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inherit any of the offspring, and issue, or cast nway any of the vessels that hang, by a faith of his operation, upon the nail aliened in a sure place.
Use third may be of Consolation to the offspring and issue, and all die vessels of cups and flagons. This doctrine may yield comfort to you. \ • s "•
i. In cafe of public reelings and commotions in the world. The abounding sin of all ranks, and the present aspect of providence, gives just ground to fear, that some shaking judgement is not afar off, such as, sword, famine, or pestilence, tt> avenge the quarrel of a breken covenant, a contemned gospd, and the blood of those whose souls are crying from undcrthe altar. But whatever calamities may be a-comirig, though the world should be unhinged, heaven and earth mingled, and nothing to be heard or seen but the confused noise of the warriors, and garments rolled in blood, yet verily it (hall be well with the righteous; the great Manager of the house is given to be head over all things to the church, which is his body ; and he, being at the helm, will take care that the least cup of his Father's house shall not be loft, though the mountains lhould be removed and cast into the midst of the sea, If. xxvi. Psal. xlvi. at the beginning.
a. Here is comfort in cafe of personal afflictions. Sometimes the Lord fees fit to take the vessels of his house, and to c*(t them into a hot furnace, or to plunge them into the deep and bitter waters of Marah; deep may call unto deep, one wave making way for another: but here is comfort, the great Manager sits at the side of the furnace, to fee that the dross be purged, but the vessel preserved. He. treads upon the waves, and the wind a-nd the seas obey him, and at length he will fay, "Peace, be still;" and then' there (hall be a great calm, Psal. xlii. 7. 8. " All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his loving^kindntss in the day-time, and in the night, his song shall bs with me."
3. Here is comfort in cafe of rents, divisions, and manifold ditorders in the visible church, as there is at this day; men beating their fellow-servants, and puting tbemout of the house, for their faithfulness to the Master of the house; their maltreating the offspring and issue of the family, n.isplacing the vessels, preferring the man with the c*old rin^, to the man that is rich in faith, and an heir c. . ._■ kingdom; these, or the like evils, take place in the vilib> ■ ' rch, and have a melancholy appearance. But here ■ is comfort, that the: great" Minager of the house is looking on; he permits and oveitules all these confusions and disorders, for his own holy
and wife ends, fo¥ the trial of faid* andi piMSeirce'^arid1 fr> fhew his own skill in bringing order out of confusion : and when he has performed his whole work, in -Mottnr Ztdri, and in Jerufalem^ he will reig+i among his ancients glorioufly. 4. Here is dounfort to the Lord's remnant, when thereV are few or none of the rulers, nobles, or gentry of the land to own the caufe of Christ!, ©*i to pus ter the'it hmd to the rebuilding of the walls or glwes of Jerufalem, lying in t'ubbilh, as in the days of former reformation in this land. The great New Testament Zerubbabel can carry on historic, either with them or without them, »ven though great fnourrtains be standing in the way; for it is " not by the rrright or power of man, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord of hosts, that tl\e work is essected. The man whofe name is the Branch, he shall come out of his place; he fliast build the tempse, and bear all the glory." This ufe might be enlarged in many p.n-tkulars, which I wave at prefent, that I may go on to a fourth use.
Is. xxti. 24.—And they jhall hang open hitn all the glory of hit Father's houje, the offspring and lIn iyus, all vejsels of fmall quantity ; from the vessels of cups, even to ail the vessels of
THE FIFTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
nrHE fourth ufe, namely, of Exhortation, v. To all in ge-"- neral. 2. To believers in particular.
Firft, I would offer a word of exhortation to all it* general. Is Christ the great Manager of his Father's house, and.has God the Father hung all the glory, alt the ossspring and issue, all the vessels greater and fmaller upon him, as upon a nail fastened in a fure place? Then let every man and woman, that has a foul to be faved, come to him in a way of believing, and lay the strefs of their eternal falvation upon the great Manag, r of the house. This is a bufinefs of everlasting concern, and therefore allow me to enforce the exhortation ;i little.
There is no help for you in heaven, or in earth; all other nails are weak, broken, or crooked, but this of God's fastening; and therefore to the bottom of eternal wo and-mifery you must go, unlefs you hang your falvation upon it. No name given under heaven, whereby to be faved, but by the name of Jefus ; neither is there falvation in any other : all refuge fails, and proves only a refuge of lies : " In vain is falvation expected from the hills, or multitude of mountains :" and therefore I may put that question to you in this cafe, " Whither will you flee for help? or where will you leave your glory," if you do not " commit the keeping pf your fouls unto him as unto a faithful Creator."
This Manager is a perfon of great flcill and experience in the bufinefs of faving fouls that are lost by the fall of Adam; it is his trade and bufinefs upon which he came is.to the world ; no cafe is defperate to -him, for he is able to fave to the uttermost, and he has been occupied in the work of faTing the lost, ever since iin entered into the world. Many, many haye gone through his hands, and he has made a good account of every one of them; the innumerable company that are about the throne, singing the fong of Mofes and the Lamb, are all standing monuments of his skill and experience; every one of them cries, "Worthy is the Lamb that was fl.iin: for thou hast redeemed us, and thou hast washed and faved us by thy blood."
The great Manager has not only skill, ability, and experience, but he is most willing to be employed. "To you, O men, doth he call, and his voice is to the fons of men. Come to me who will, I will in no wife cast out. Come, and let us reafon together, faith the Lord: though your sins be as fcarlet and crimfon, I will make them white as fnow and as wool." And to put the matter out of doubt, and beyond all conttoverfy, he assures you of his willingnefs with the folemnity of an oath, Ezek. xxxiii. n. "Asl live, faith the Lord, 1 have no pleafure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn unto me, and live," &c- He is fo willing and defirous of having the management of thy falvation committed to him, that it is the joy of his heart when a lost sinner comes to him for this end, as you fee cleared in the three parables, Luke xv.
You are well warranted to bang your all upon this nail, for it was sixed in a fure place. For this very end he was fet up from everlasting, from the beginning, to be the Saviour of lost sinners; he is ordained for men in things pertaining to God: »nd it is the command of God, that you believe in him to the faving of yotir fouls, that you receive and rest upon him, 1 John iii. 33.- And therefore you must either trull this great Manager wish your falvation, otherwife you counteract the
: -. : 1 authority authority of Heaven in the greatest command that ever was issued out from the excellent glory.
Let nothing then scare you from coming to the-great Manager by faith, or from hanging your justification, sanctisication, and salvation, upon this nail fastened in a sure place. "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in turning you away from the living God; and le's us fear lest a promise of salvation being left us, any of us should seem to come short of it;" the consequence thereof will be fatal through all eternity.
Do not say, I am not prepared for coming to him ; for I know of no preparation a sinner can make for Christ, but that of his feeing himself lost and undone without him/ What pr paration had the man-flayed, besides danger from the avenger of blood, when he fled to the city of refuge? What preparation has a drowning man to make for taking hold of a strong rope cast in to draw him ashore? Is not the sick man prepared for the physician ? the man starving through want prepared for meat? • ■
Do not fay, that the fiery law, and its Curse, stands in your way, for the law condemns you because you do not improve the remedy presented to you in the gospel. The thunders of the law are hustled into a pleasant calm, whenever the sinner comes unto mount Zion, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant. Chritt is " the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believt-th; and therefore'no condemnation to them that are in him.'?
Do not fay, that the decree of -God is any obstacle in your way of coming unto Christ, r.nd hanging your eternal salvation upon him; for as the decree of God is lecret, and doe« not belong to us, so, in the decrees of Heaven, the cr.d and the mean are connected together, and the one made subservient unto the other. Does any man concern himself with God's decrees in the ordinary aft".iirs of life? Does the merchant argue, If Gcd has decreed that I (full be rich, it shall •come to pass, though I never go to iht market and buy and sell? Or doth the husb<in<iman argue, 1 shall have a plentiful crop, if God ha« ordained it, although I neither plant nor sow? Men wits not venture their worldly astairsupon such a foolish way of irguing; why then should any argue at that rate in matters wherein their precious fouls art concerned, and lie at Hake? .: , ..
May (onie poor foul fay, £),■ gladly would I come to the
gre^t Manager Christ, and hang my suui's eternal salvation
upon him, as on a nail fastened in a sure place; but, alas! I
find such an utter impotence and inability to believe in him,
that all exhortations are in vain, until the power bf God be
I shut up this exhortation with two or three advices, in order to your committing your all into the hand of the great Manager of the house of God.
1. Study to be in good earnest in the matter of believing; for it is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness. Faith is not a dreaming, sleeping work, as you fe in the cafe of Peter's hearers, Acts. ii. thejiilor, Acts xvi.
2. Consider well the werth of the foul, and what danger it h into of b"ing lost for ever. "What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his foul?"
3. Be frequently viewing the majesty of that infinite God, with whom you must have to do for ever and tver, and what a iearful thing it is to fall into the hands of an implacable and etern.il enemy. ■* Who knows the power of his wrath ? Who can dwrll with devouring fire f"-&c. *
.| Be convinced, that, by the breach of the holy law in Vol. HI. Q_ Adam,