Page images

Put thy will in his hand, and lie promises to make thee or wille ing in a day of his power.” And if the enmity and aversation of thy will be really thy exercise, it is an evidence that the Footed consent of thy heart is already gained; for I never de. fired a greater evidence of true love to Christ, tlaan ta be groaning under the enmity of the heart against him : so it is a sgn that the will is really bowed to him, where the remaining corrupt will is the soul's burden and exercise. .

Naw, I shall conclude this exhortation with a few advices; if you, indeed, have a mind for this match with our Goel, our glorious Kinsman, who has avenged our quarrel upon hell, fin, and death. And for your direction, I recommend the practice of Ruth, or her earriage till the accomplifhment of her marriage with Boaz, her kinsman or redeemer; for in the Hen brew language the fame word fignifies both a kinsman and redeemer, as you will see by noticing the margin of your Bibles, Ruth ix. 14. Now, I say, observe Ruth's management in this matter, and follow her example; for these things are written for our learning."

1. You will find, that Ruth The clave fast unto her mother Naomi, and thewed great kindnefs to her, fo that she would bv no means part with her, when returping to her own country, to “ dwell under the wings of the God of Israel.” We are told, that Orpah “ kissed her mother-in-law," and then left her, returning again unto her own people in the land of Moab, but Ruth would by no means part with her, Ruth i. 16. 17. So my advice to you is, to cleave to your mother, the church, in her rerurning to the Lord God of Israel. I do not advise you to cleave to our mother in her backflidings from the Lord, but cleave to her in so far as the returns to the Lord God of Israel, to dwell under his shadow. If Ruth had left her mother Naomi, as Orpah did, she had never been married to her kinsman Boaz, she had been quite out of the way to it: fo my advice to you, in order to a marriage with Christ your bleffed Kinsman, is to, cieave to your brother-church, the church of Christ, in her returning to the Lord, and do her all the kindness that you can. Boaz took it kindly that Ruth had dealt with her mother-in-law, and shewed her kindness in a strange land, and came aloog with her unto the land of Ifrael: so Christ he takes it kindly when any shew kindness unto his church, and cleave to her when in a strange land, or among the midst of enemies. Say, with the pfalmist, Pfal. cxxxvii. 5. 6. " If I forget thee, O Jerufalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” O ftudy to keep by the poor church of Christ, ef

: pecialy. pecially in her returning to the Lord. I confess there are many things wrong in the church at this day, but yet we must not leave her for that, we must not, like Orpah, kiss her, and bid her adieu ; no, we must cleave to our mother, and yet separate ourselves from her defects, by giving due testimony against what is wrong about her. , • 2. Ruth, you will find, according to the advice of her mo. ther Naomi, went and gleaned in the field of Boaz her kinsman; and she was discharged by Boaz, as well as her mother, from going to glean in another man's field. Do you the like, glean the field of our blessed Kinsman, Jesus Christ, and keep by his reapers, I mean the faithful ministers of Christ; this is the advice given to the spouse, Cant. i. 7. 8. “ If thou know not, O thou faireft among wonien, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids among the shepherds tents. Why should I be as one that turneth alide by the flocks of thy companions ?" Do not turn aside unto the fields of Atrangers, deceivers, - erroneous teachers, hirelings, who have the sheeps clothing, but “ inwardly are ravening wolves.” Keep by Christ's green pastures, his field; for there you may expect to have something dropt for your encouragement, by the order of the great Master of the field ; as Boaz ordered his reapers to let handfuls fall to Ruth, when she kept by his field; so if you keep by the pure field of the preaching of the word and ordinances, as he has commanded them to be dispensed; you may expect that our kind Kinsman will let fome. thing fall for your encouragement. .. · 3. Ruth, she improved every hint of Boaz's kindness and good-will, to cleave to him as her kinsman; and the more that the observed his kindness, the more she was encouraged. So I would have you to encourage faith and trust in our Goel and Kinsman, from every hint of his good will and kindness manifested in his word. Do as the servants of Benhadad did, who catched at every favourable word that dropt from the mouth of the king of Israel. Gather up the fheaves, or the handfuls that he orders his reapers to let fall to you ; and when he bids you come at meal-time, and eat of his bread, and dip your morsel in his vinegar, or wine, be sure to do his bidding, and take ic as a token of his kindness ; for his heart is full of love, being love itself. . 4. We are told, that Ruth did creep down at her kinsman's feet, chap. iij. 7. and under his covering, being encouraged thereunto by the relation he bore her, as a kinsman, by the kindly words and acts that he had shewed her. So my advice 10. you is, to lie down at the feet of our kind Kinsman, and creep under the covering of his righteousness; for he is "clothed

with a garment down to his foot;" and encourage yourselves to do so, from the kindness that he thews by his words and acts. ( what kindness has he sewed in his word! “ Come to me who will, I will in no wise cast out : Whosoever will, let him come, and take the water of life freely.” O what kindly invitations doch he give to “come and eat of his bread, and drink of the wine that he hath mingled !” O what kindness appears in his acts, particularly in becoming si bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, laying down his life a ransom for many, in spoiling principalities and powers, and making a few of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross !” Now, let all this encourage you to creep near him, and to creep under the covering of his law-fulfilling righres ousness, and say to our Goel, as Ruth did to Boaz, chap. iii. 9. “Spread thy skirt over me, for thou art a near kinsman," or, as in the margin,“ one that hath right to redeem.” O Sirs, our blefsed Boaz, he will be so far from taking this in ill part, that he will say to you, as Boaz did to Ruth, chap. iii. 10. 11. And if you do this, our Kinsman will not be in rest, till he have finished the thing, according to your hearts desire, chap. iii. ult. And accordingly you find he finishes the redemption and mars riage together in the last chapter. .

I proceed now to the fourth branch of exhortation, from this second branch of the doctrine. Is it so, that Christ, our glorious Kinsman and Redeemer, has avenged our quarrel up: on the powers of hell ? Did he, in the resentment of our quarrel, invade Satan's kingdom, counteract his project for our ruin, destroy his first-born, wrest the keys of hell and death out of his hand, make him a prisoner of war, and load him with chains of darkness, &c. ? I say, has he thus avene ged our quarrel upon our enemies? O then, let us have com. mon friends and enemies with our glorious Kinsman, saying with David, Psal. cxxxix. 21. 22. “Do not I hate them that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred : I count them mine enemies.” O Sirs, you and I are called Christians, after our blessed Kinsman Christ, our very name bears that we are listed under his banner, engaged in the same quarrel with him, against Satan and all his auxiliaries ; and therefore let our resentment point the same way with Christ's, when he said, The day of vengeance is in mine heart. Christ's resentment did run against Satan, not as a creature, but as a sinner, as a criminal. It was the ruin of sin that Christ intended. This is the great pillar gf Satan's kingdom in the world, it is his main and only bulwark, his “ first-born, and the beginning of his strength.” Christ well knew, that if once this were cut off and destroyed, VOL. II.


3 T

bended Now, I alus, because in and manifeplies

Satan's kingdom in the world would fall like lightning; and therefore we find it fo frequently afferted, that this was the main and principal end of his manifeftation in the fieth, and of his manifestation in the word atid Spiric : For this purpose, says the apoftle John, the Son “ was manifested to take away fin, 1 John iii. 5. he came to “ faye his people from their fins! For this purpose was the Son of God manifelted, to destroy the works of the devil,” that is, sin and death. Yea his very name was called “ Jesus, because he faves his people from their fins.?' Now, I say, was the vengeance of a Redeemer thus bended againft this first-born of Satan, in order to our redemption?' Othen, let me call and invite all that profefs the name of Christ, or who have his name called upon them, to come forth “to the help of the Lord against the mighty;" join hands with the Son of God, in helping to pull down the works of the devil in the world. As Chrift spent his blood « to finish transgression, and to make an end of fin;" fo let us even "reGift unto blood, striving against it. This is what our glorious Kinsman and Avenger frequently calls us to in his word; and to arm us with the greater refentment against fin, he calls us to make war against fin, by a word borrowed from the kind of death that he suffered in avenging our quarrel, viz. that of crucifixion. He calls us to "crucify the hesh, with the affections and lufts.” “I am crucified with Christ,” says Paul. The Spie rit of God, no doubt, for holy ends, makes use of such an ex. preffon, particularly, that, by presenting the death and cross of Christ unto our view, the remembrance of his death for our fins, might make us breathe after nothing less than the death and ruin of Gin in our own souls: and therefore I say, O “mortify the deeds of the body of fin," and let nothing less than the total extirpation of it content you.




. ON Psal. ii. 6."


[ocr errors]

Psal. ii. 6.— Yet have I set my King upon my bioly bill of Zion.


to the severyone woul, to the like an aca

TN the first three verses of this psalm, we have an account of

the strong opposition that is made to the kingdom and government of the Messiah. One would thought, that when he came into the world, every knee would bow unto him, crying, “ Hosanna to the Son of David;" and that alt the sceptres of the earth fhould have been laid at his feet; but never was any government so much opposed. For, (1.) We are here told, that hell and earth take the alarm when he appears upon the stage : “ The heathen rage," &c. (2.) The opposition they make is here described ; it is spiteful and malicious ; for they rage and gnash their teeth at him, filled with indignation against him, Luke xiii. 14. John xi. 47. Acts v. 17. 33. and xix. 28. &c. It is deliberate ; they take counsel, &c. It is resolute ; they “ set themselves against the Lord," set their faces like flint; and make themselves a brow of brass. It is joint opposition; they combine. (3.) What they aim at by, this opposition to Christ; they are children of Belial, that cannot en dure the yoke, they cast away his cords, his commandments, his

laws; * The following discourses were taken from the author's notes, which he never intended, at writing, for the public, but only for the help of his own memory, and were enlarged in the delivery, as the Lord was pleased to assist. Several discourses, particularly in the applicatory part, were omitted in the transcribing, to prevent their being too voluminous and large. Nothing but the clamours of enemies, and the importunity of friends, particularly with relation to the first sermon at Perth, has made the author yield to the publication. And he judged that the frit discourse, without any more, would been too lame upon such a subjet. No tongue, no pen can handle it according to its worth. “Wha o lufficient for these things ***

« PreviousContinue »