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to have compitied thee, not falte de thou want
VII. The Application. And what use I intend, shall be comprised in the following inferences.
1. then, From this doctrine believers are led back to their first original, and have discovered unto them from whence they sprung." Why, believers, you were among the generation of the dead, before he that is the resurrection and the life paid you' a visit.' It were much for the advantage of believers, to be recollecting, and looking back to the state from whence they fprung.' I remember, God taught Israel to fing in the wilderness, when they came to offer up their first.fruits unto him: “ A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous," Deut. xxvi. s. And God by Ezekiel tells them what they were before he vi. fited them; “ As for thy nativity in the day thou wait born, thy navel was not cut, neither waft thou washed in water to fupple thee: thou waft not falted at all, nor fwaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these things unto thee; to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field; to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born, Ezek. xvi. 4. 5. Remember, believers, what you were, and what you are ; and remember, it is only him that is the resurrection and the life that brought you to any thing you are. But again,
2. From this doctrine we may see what a blessing Christ is to a lost world, to a world of mankind finners, « dead in trefa paffes and fins;" Christ is become the resurrection and the life to them; “ I have laid help (fays the Lord), upon one that is mighty ; Men shall be bleffed in him; and all nations shall call him blessed.". O what a wretched condition had we been in this day, if Christ had not come into the world to save us! we had continued among the generation of the dead, if he had not paid us a vist: “ Ifrael, thou haft destroyed thy felf, but in me is thine help.” But again,
3. We may fee, what dignified, what happy and excellent persons believers are. I remember Solomon fays, that " a living dog is better than a dead lion.” As one living man is better than all the race of men lying in the grave; so one living saint, who hath got life from him that is the resurrection and the life, is better than a whole nation of dead men and women lying under the curse of God. O to what a lad pass are we come in the judicatories of the church of Scotland, when there is no difference made between the dead and the living! A dead man, if he have a gold ring, he will come far. ther benn in the election of a minister, than a living faint, because he wants earthly heritage ; it is an earthly church when
it is so. Alas! a church is come to a sad país, when we judge of perions, not according to their relation to Christ, but accor. ding to th: ir earthly poffc itions. Christ says, his “ kingdom is no: of this world,” but the judicatories will have it to be of this world; Christ has chosen the poor of this world, but they choose the rich of this world to be heirs of his kingdom. Do such judicatories deserve the name of being the courts of Chrift! But gain,
4. We may see the difference between the first and the second Adam. The first Adam is the spring of death to all his posterity; the second Adai is a spring of life unto ail his poitcrity; the first Adam was the head of the covenant of works, the second is the head of the covenant of grace; the Erit Adam reprcf.nted all his natural posterity, the second Ada.n represents all his spiritual posterity; the first Adam. sends the curse of the law, and the curse of God along with it, to them, and the second Adam funds all spiritual blessings and mercies to his posterity for everniore. O what a difference is thcre between these iwo! The first Adam was a creature, but the second Adam is God-man, God manifested in the fielh. But then again,
s. From this doctrine we may see the intimacy and closeness of the union between Christ and his members; why, this is implied in the expression, I am the resurrection, and the life. One would think he is taking in only infcli, but he takes in all believers; it is a relative word, it h.th a relation to these that are dead in fins and crespasses :“ You hath be quickened who were dead in trespasies and fins ;" that is, all that believe in Christ; “ He that hath the Son, hath line." That connection between Christ and his members it is very close; there is a bless. ed oneness between him and them; ne and they have but one Father, he is the Son by eternal generation, and they are sons by regeneration; he and they under one decree, he as head of the election, and they elected in him before the world began; he and they included in one bond, they have one and the same Spirit, the same Spirit that is in the head is in all the members, O what a blessed oneness is between Christ and them? “ He that fan&lifieth, and they who are functified, are all of one;" they are one in nature, and they are one in law, and they are comprised in one marriage-covenant; “He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.” But then,
6. We may see the reason of that fimilitude and likeness that believers bear to Christ; they are liker Christ than all the rest of mankind, they are his living pictures and representatives upon earth, th y carry his name upon their foreheads, so as epery one may know him in them, What is the reason of
the Life. 593 this similitude and resemblance? Why, the reason is, he is their resurrection and life; the same life that is in the head is in the members ; the same fap that is in the root is in the branches and little twigs; the same Spirit of life that is in Christ goes through all the members of his mystical body; that is the reason of the Gimilitude between him and them. And then,
7. In the seventh place, from this doctrine we may likewise see the ground and reason of the perseverance of the saints, and the recovery of believers from their dismal fits of unbelief they fall under. Why, what is it that makes the righteous grow stronger and stronger ? what is it that recovers the believer from these desperate fits of unbelief, which make him to cry, “I am cast out of thy fight, I am free among the dead, my bones are withered, my life is gone;" yet he reverts ay? What is it that brings him back, and restores his soul ? Why, Christ is the resurrection and the life, a new stream of life comes from his glorious head, and then he begins to “ revive as the corn, grow as the vine, and his scent is as the wine of Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow, who is the resurrection and the life, they shall revive as the corn," &c. Again,
8. In the eighth place, from this doctrine we may see whereaway our eyes should be turned, in such a day as this, in order to the resurrection of a dying church. There is a melancholy complaint at this day through the land, of dead ministers and dead people, dead ordinances, dead hearing, dead reading, dead praying, and dead sacraments; where shall we go for help? Let us look to him who is the resurrection and the life; it is he only that is the resurrection of ministers, resurrection of judicatories, the resurrection of doctrine, the resurrection of discipline, and the resurrection of government; he is the resurrection and the life of them all; if he would come back, we would look forth as the morning, be fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” I remember Jehoshaphet, in a perplexing time, when he was troubled, and knew not what to do, he turns his eyes to the Lord, and cries, “ () our God, wilt not thou judge them for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee." Well, Sirs, when all things are like to tura to wreck and confusion, let us look to him who is the resurrection and the life, that he may raise us from the grave of apostacy and backiliding to which we are fallen, by the very breath of his mouth he will make them live ; and if ne say but to ministers, “ Go prophesy upon these dead and dry bones," when minilters are VOL. II. 4 F
of judicipline, and the
saying, O!“ how can these dry bones live?” immediately joint comes to joint, and sinew to finew, and lite enters into them, and a great army will stand up for the Lord. In the mean time, until he be pleased to come, let us ply the oar of duty at his command; let us put up the request of the church in a day like this, “Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee? Awake, 0 north wind, and come thou south, and blow upon our gardens, that the spices thereof may flow out.” But again,
9. In the ninth place, if it be so that Christ is the r:urrection and the life, then certainly it is matter of sad regret and lamen. tation, that there should be so many dead finners, when Christ is presented to them in the everlafting gospel. - Indeed it is to be regretted, though the words of life be proclaimed, though the words of the Spirit of life are scattered, fo few are quickened by them. What way does that appear? sav you. I answer, it appears by many things, that there are a great mul. titude of dead finners among us. It appears from the want of a right colour. O Sirs, the pale and wane colour of death is staring out of the countenance and conversation of the greatest part; there is little or nothing of the lively colour of true holiness among us, and the want of it is a sign of death. The want of appetite after food is another symptom of death. The bread of life, the everlasting gospel of Christ is nauseate and loathed, as the manna was by Israel. The preaching of a crucified Christ is foolisnefs to some, and a stumbling-block to the worldly wise: whatever reckoning such may make of themselves, God reckons them fools and dead men; God's wisdom is foily to them, and their wisdom is folly to the Lord. And then the want of motion is another fign of death. Indeed the dead may be moved from without, by external force, but not from within ; there is something of motion they may seem to have, in attending upon ordinances; but, O Sirs, is it from a principle of spiritual life ye atiend upon these ordinances ? is it from a defire to see him who is the resurrection, and the life. O let us lament over the misery of the dead in the valley of vision; if it were poflible to sound an alarm, and startie and awaken the dead that are before me; this indeed is God's work, who “ quickeneth the dead, and calls things that are not as if they were ;" however, by his appointment, we must use the mean. There are these few words I would say to the dead, if they would give ear and hear.
ist, The dead are loathesome to the living. Ye know whene ever the soul departs from the body, it becomes loathesome, it corrupts, it stinks. Hence Abraham says concerning Sarah,
when she was dead, " Bury my dead out of my fight,” though he loved her well when she was alive. Sirs, ye are loathesome, ye are abhorred of the living God while out of Christ, and abborred by all living saints : « O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united."
2dly, As they are loathesome, so they are frightsome. People are frighted to see the dead; so believers they are frighted when in the society of the wicked, lest they be corrupted with their contagion : and indeed it is hard to be amongst the dead, and not to be infected by them, and not to be some way partakers of their sin. Then the dead must be buried, and cast into the grave; so, dead finners, you must be buried. Where will ye b: buried ? Your bodies will go to the worms, but your souls to hell. The Hebrew word, Shecl, it signifies both the grave and hell, because the grave is the very mouth of hell to the wicked. “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Consider this, o dead fine ners; let this engage you to improve him that is the resurrection and the life. And this leads me to another inference, or use from the doctrine.
10. If it be so, that Christ is the resurrection and the life of a loft world, “ dead in sin,” then, in the name of this great Lord, as one of his meanest heralds, I proclaim life unto the dead. It would be in vain to speak to the dead, if it were not by order from him who “ quickeneth the dead, and who calleth things that are not as though they were.” Can the dead praise him? If God were giving mea commission to speak to the very Itones in the field, I would do it, believing that the stone's would live and praise him; and when the Jews were forbida ding the people to praise Christ, he says, “If these should forbear, the very stones would cry out; for out of the stones can God raise up children to Abraham." Sirs, ye are not yet naturally dead, ye are not eternally dead; therefore there is hope. O here is a living Saviour; here is the fountain of life among you; I cry, “ Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life: O carth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord." Comply with the word of the King eternal and immortal; it is his voice coming through an earthen trumpet, that the excel. lency of the power may be of him. O that this may be the hour wherein the dead may hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. O Sirs, ye are reasonable men and women, ye have rational faculties; will you consider, .. - 1, That this very name of Christ invites you to come to him. Why hath he taken this name to himself, the refurreco tion, and the life, if there were not dead figners to quicken?