« PreviousContinue »
fecret thing, wkecher it be good or evil.” All the laws and a&g of kings, of parliaments, of councils, of assemblies, of jua dicatories of whatever sort, will be canvassed then by the fo. lemn Judge, &c.
6. He will distributé rewards and punishments unto men and women, according to what they are found to be at that day, righteous or wicked, gracious or graceless, building on the rock, or on the sand: he will say to the one, “Come, ye blessed,” &c. ; he will say to the other, “ Depart, yé cursed,"
7. When all is done, he and his ransomed will return in triumph to heaven with singing, when the wicked shall be turned into hell with howlings, crying, “ Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk" at thy table ? « have we not prophefied in thy name ?" &c.; and then Christ will have all his enea mies under his feet, and reign over his myftical body for ever. It is true, we are told, that Chrift will deliver up the kingdom to his Father;" but this is to be understood of his prefenting the ransomed to his Father, saying, “Here am I, and the children thou hast given me:" and he will indeed cease to rule them in that manner which he exercises in the church mi. litant; but Christ will still be the head of the ranfomed in mount Zion above; but though it be fo, “ God will be all in all;" for the design of his whole mediation and government, was to bring them back to God, as their only all, from whom they had departed in the first Adam.
And thus I have given fome lame account of thë royal ado ministration of the King of Zion, until “ the confummation of all things." And fo much for the second thing in the general method, which was, to speak of the kingdom and admia nistration of Christ in his holy hill of Zion.
III. The third thing in the general method was, Why God the Father has set and ordained him to be King in Zion? I answer in the two or three particulars following. · 1. This flows originally from the fovereign love and good pleasure of God: “ Even fo, O Father ; for so it hath pleafed thee. God so loved the world, as to send him into the world;" and God so loved his church, that he gave the true King Solomon to be her King.
2. Because it was for the Father's glory and honour, to fet hiin upon the throne. None fa fit to be his Father's viceroy, and to manifest his glory, as he, who is "the brightnefs of his Father's glory :' all the divine perfections shine in his person and adminiftration. This the angels faw, when they saw him
but in his swaddling clothes, which made them fing," Glory to God in the highest,' &c.
3. That he might bring about salvation to his mystical body the church : Eph. i. " He hạth given him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body:" hence the church is called (Zech. ix. 9.) to rejoice, because her King cometh, having salvation ;" and the church cries, “Thou art my King of old, working manifold salvation in the midst of the earth:” salvation from fin, Satan, hell, and death. How soon would the church be swallowed up, if it were not for the safety fhe enjoys through the protection of her King ? The Lord is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved." His presence in his church is her walls and bulwarks, and makes her to fing that song, If. xxvi, 1.“ We have a strong city, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.”.
A. Because his shoulders were only able to bear the weight. of the government. No hand was able to fway the sceptre, but he who was God's fellow, and to whom it is “no robbery to be equal with God." The government had fallen into con fugon and disorder, had it been committed either to angels or archangels. : 5. He bought the church to himself, with the price of his blood, from the hand of justice; and therefore it was fit that the government of the church should be committed to him. And indeed his royal or kingly office, is founded upon the fa. cerdotal or priestly office : and therefore, I. Ixiii. at the beginning, the King of Zion is there represented as “coming from Edom with dyed garments, and red in his apparel, as one that treadeth in the wine-fat.” And Rev. xix. he who hath that great name written on his thigh, and on his vesture, “ The Word of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords,” is said to have his “ vetture dipt in blood,” viz. his own blood, and the blood of his enemies. But I do not infift further upon the reasons of the doctrine, that I may shut up with some further application.
IV. The fourth head in the method was the Application. And, waying all other uses, I shall only apply it by way of exhortation, 1. To the subjects ; 2. To the enemies of his kingdom and government.
First, A word of exhortation unto all these that profess them selves the subjects of Christ's kingdom.
1. Imitate your King. The example of a King has great weight with the subjects, whether it be good or bad; folk follow the fashions of the court. Never was there a king fo worthy of your imitation ; be calls us to “ learn of him;" he
has left us an example, that we should follow his steps; an example of holiness, “ Be ye holy, as he is holy," &c: an example of faith and trust under the darkest clouds, Psal. ixii. 1. &c. : an example of meekness and humility of spirit; * Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly.” Phil. ii. 5. “Let the fame mind be in you, which was also in Christ Je. fus." An example of patience in affliction and perfecution; lieb. xii. 2. “Let us run our race, looking unto Jefus," &c.: an example of constancy and resolution ; he “set his face like a fint."
2. I exhort all the professed subjects of Zion's King to “ trust in him at all times; for blessed are all they that trust in him," as you see in the last verse of this pfalm. Trust him with your all, and trust him for all you need. And to encou. rage your trust, consider, (1.) His word is the word of a King,' a royal word, and the subjects depend upon the royal promise. (2.) His word is the word of the King of Zion, is a well advised word, it is the effect of counsel. (3.) It is an invariable word; it “ endures for ever : Heaven and earth shall pass away, but one jot of his word shall not fall to the ground.”. (4.) It is a faithful word; “ truth is the girdle of his loins," it is established in the heavens. (5.) It is a cried word; “ The word of the Lord is tried like Glver in a fur. nace;" it abides trial. All the saints in heaven tried it, and found it firm; and therefore let all saints on earth trust it. (6.) This puts honour upon your King, to trust his word, to fet to the seal that he is true. (7.) This is the way to obtain the promise, and the blessings promised in the covenant.
3. I exhort you to be much at your King's throne as supplicants; for you have continual business there. Consider, (1.) His throne is a throne of grace, calculate for the poor and needy. (2.) There comes a joyful found out from his throne; " Whosoever will, let him come. Alk, and ye shall receive. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God," &c. (3.) There are rivers of grace flow out of his throne, and bend their course toward you. (4.) There is a rainbow about his throne, the covenant of grace and promise, Rev. iv. 3. which alludes to God's covenant with Noah. (5.) Acts and inter: locutors of grace are passed from the throne, to encourage your approach, “ I will be their God, I will give them a new heart,” &c. (6.) The King's throne of grace is founded on justice and judgement, &c. (7.) His throne and administra. tion stands by bounty and liberality; and therefore can never be exhausted, no more than the sun lofes by giving light unto the world, and therefore, I say, be much about your King's throne, come when you will, or for what you will, you are ay
imearth rejoice joyful in ice in your ki
welcome, “ In every thing by prayer and supplication make your requests known unto God,” &c.
4. I exhort you to rejoice in your King. “ Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. The Lord reigns, let · the earth rejoice. Rejoice, O daughter of Zion, behold thy King cometh.” (1.) Rejoice in his person ; for “he is alto: gether lovely;" his person is the joy and admiration of heaven and earth. (2.) Rejoice in his government and administra. tion; for it is wholly calculate for your good. (3.) Rejoice in his equity; for he rules in righteousness, whatever seeming crooks may be in his administration. (4.) Rejoice in the power and authority of your King; for he hath all power in heaven and earth; things in heaven, earth, and under ihe earth, bow to him. (5.) Rejoice in the law magnifying righteousness that your King has brought in by his obedience unto death. (6.) Rejoice in the fulness and riches of your King ; for all the fulness of the Godhead, unsearchable riches are in him.” (7.) Rejoice in the bounty and liberality of your King; he will do for you above what you can ask or think. (8.) Re joice in the love of your King; for it is unchangeable ; he “ rests in his love, and changes not.”. .
5. Obey your King's laws: have a regard to all his commandments; for all his commandments are “ holy, just, and good.” Motive, (1.) He has obeyed the law himseif, in the days of his humiliation; he wore the yoke that it might not gall you. (2.) There is great peace in the way of obedience : “ Great peace have all they that love his commandments : As many as walk according to this rule, peace shall be upon them.” (3.) A great reward in keeping his commandments; for “ he meeteth them that rejoice to work righteousness.” (4.) Hereby you will glorify your King, and commend him to others ; Matth. v. 16. “Let your light so shine before men," &c. (5.) There is great danger in breaking his laws, he will resent it, and “visit your transgreffion with the rod, and your iniquities with stripes."
Quest. What sort of obedience should we yield unto the Jaws of the King of Zion ? Answ. (1.) A willing and cheerful obedience, such as he yielded unto his Father, when he said, “ Lo, I come : I delight to do thy will.” (2.) Univer: fal obedience to all his commands, not picking and choosing, obeying one and casting at another ; “ Then fhall I not be alhamed, when I have refpect unto all thy commandments." (3.) An inward as well as an outward obedience : “ I delight in the law of the Lord after the inner man.” Obedience, when it is not with the heart, is nauseous to the King of Zion, who " searches the hearts ;" his laws reach the inward,
as well as the outward man.” (4.) A disinterested obedience, self-denied, reckoning yourselves unprofitable servants, when you have done all ; do not think that your King is in your debt for your obedience and service, &c. (5.) It must be the obedience of faith; for “ without that it is impossible to please God.” A faith in the promise unising the soul to God is the foundation of all true obedience to Chrift, or God in him. (6.) A constant and Iedsaft obedience ; not by fits or starts, but continually : 1 Cor. xv. ult. “ Be ye con, Itant, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord," &c. -6, Yield not only an active, but a passive obedience to the King of Zion, so as to submit unto his disposing will, even when his adminiftrations run cross to your worldly interest and inclination. When he sends the rod of affliction, con: lider, (1.) That cross dispensations are for your good, &c. Many advantages rise out of afflictions. (2.) He will not keep his anger for ever. (3.) This is the spirit and temper of his true subjects, to be dumb with Glence when he afflicts. (4.). Consider how submillive he was unto his Father's heavy ami&ting.hand, yea, avenging hand, &c. (5.) Your " light ami&tions work' for you a far, more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
7. I exhort all the subjects of the King of Zion to keep the King's courts, I mean his ordinances for worship. David, though he was a great king, yet we find, Psal. Ixxxiy, he made conscience of attending the tabernacles of the King of Zion, and reckoned it his honour so to do; and when driven from the place of public worship, through the persecution of Saul, or Absalom's rebellion, he envies the happiness of the very (wallows or sparrows, which were allowed to nestle about the fanctuary, while he was driven away from it, and had not access to attend his Lord and King there, Pfal. lxxxiv. 1. 2. 10. &c. What shall we think of those, who haye the doors of the sanctuary of the King opened, the ordinances of the New Testament dispensed at their door; and yet either through pride, or heart.contempt of the ordinances, or love to the world, or floth, or other carnal causes or pretences, turn their back on the courts of the great King; and yet take it in very ill part, if minifters tell them they do not act the part of loyal subjects unto Zion's King? Is it to be supposed, that people ever opened their hearts unto him, who contemn and disregard his ioftitutions, where he has required his subjedrs to attend upon him, and do him homage ? They may fancy they are his subjects as well as others, but they have reason to fear, that the day is coming, when the King of Zion will say to them, or of