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Ceal of to the nail in the gor
Adanı, your federal head, and also in your own persons, you are liable to the wrath and displeasure of God, yea, condemned already.
5. Be convinced of the utter insufficiency of all those nails that you have been formerly trusting to. Perhaps you have been trusting to the nail of a general mercy in God. But this will not hold ; for God himself has declared, that he who “ made finners, will have no mercy on them; that he will by no means clear the guilty,” without a satisfaction to his justice, and faith's improvement of that satisfaction set forth in the gof. pel-revelation. Perhaps you are leaning to the nail of gospelchurch-privileges, or receiving the seal of the covenant in baptism, or the Lord's supper. But this nail will give way: “ Unless you be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and eat the Hesh, and drink the blood of the Son of man, you have no life in you.” Perhaps you are leaning to the nail of a blazing profession. But, alas! this will fail you, as you see in the case of the foolish virgins, and those Matth. vii. 22. to whom Christ says, “ Depart from me, I never knew you.” Perhaps you are leaning your weight upon the nail of some common attainments under the drop of the gospel, such as, a common knowledge, a common faith, a common reformation, a cominon zeal for the public caufe of Christ, without an actual taking hold of God's covenant of grace and promise. All these will give way. That knowledge that does not humble and fance tify, that faith that is not accompanied with a humble sense of unbelief, that reformation of life that does not begin at the heart, that zeal that is not founded on knowledge, will never abide the trial. Perhaps you are laying your weight upon the law, or the works of it, either in part or in whole; your moTality, civility, delight in duties, or your own good meanings and endeavours. But, alas! this nail will break also: for the law is weak through the flesh, and there is no law given, since the fall of Adam, that can give life, otherwise righteousness would come by the law. The Jews leaned to this nail, and went about to establish their own righteousness, as it were by the works of the law, But what came of it? The nail broke, and they fell under the condemnatory senience of that law to which they leaned ; and there they lie, and will lie till their eyes be opened. Now, I say, study and be fully persuaded af the urter insufficiency of all these, or other nails you are venruring your salvation upon. The hail Thall (wecp away all these refuges of lies.
6. Turn away your eyes from all these, and take a view of the strength, lufficiency, and excellency of the nail that God has faltened in a fure place. Study the excellency of Christ in his person as Immanuel, God man; the validity of his commií.
fion as the sent of God; the sufficiency of that righteoufness he has brought in for justifying of the ungodly by his obedience unto the death; the stability and freedom of the covenant whereof he is Head, Surety, and Mediator; the prevalency of his interceffion, by virtue of which he is able to save to the utter. most all that come to God by him: I say, be much in viewing. and meditating upon these things.
7. With these join earneft and importunate prayers in the name of Chrift, that he, who is Father of light, the Author of cvery good and perfect gift, may send forth his light and truth, that in his light you may see light; that it may be given you, by his word and Spirit, to know the 'myfteries of the kingdom of heaven, particularly that leading mystery of a God in our nature, “ God manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,” &c. And while you are praying for there things, study to believe, and be confident toward him, that he will hear you, and that he doth hear ġou, because these things are agreeable to his will, Mark xi. 24. 1 John v. 14.
8. In obedience to the command of God, and in a dependence upon his power, make the mint at reiting upon the nail fastened in a fure place ; commit your eternal all into the hands of the great Manager of his Father's house, saying, “ I believe, Lord, help thou mine unbelief :". I belieye that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I shall be saved, as well as others that have taken the same course : and thus he that believeth entereth into his rest. And in this way wait on the Lord; for “ he that shall come will come, and he will miot tarry."
I proceed now to offer a word of exhortation and advice to believers, who are here defined the offspring and ilue of the house, and likewise the vessels of cups, and of flagons. I fhall offer a few advices unto you, suited unto these different chaTacters given you in the text.
First, then, Considering you under the character of the offSpring and the isue of God's family, I have the following advices to offer you.
1. Bless God that ever put you among the children, and gave you the pleasant portion and the goodly heritage. The queftion that is put, as to this matter, Jer. ii. 19. “How shall this be done?" plainly implies, that there were such infuperable difficulties in the way of its accomplishment, as no created power was capable to remove. Although a general assembly of angels and archangels had been convened to answer this question, How Ihall these finners of Adam's family, being Leirs of hell and wrath, lawful captives to the god of this world, under sentence of eternal death; how shall they, in a
consistence consistence with the honour of the law, justice, and holiness of God, be put among the children, and become heirs of God, and be poffeffed of the inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth. not away? they had been all put to an eternal stand, they behoved to own that it was a question too high for them to resolve. But behold the knotty and unanswerable question solved by Infinite Wisdom and Sovereignty, inspired with infinite grace and love, in the close of that verle, " And I said, thou shalt call me, My Father, and thou shalt not turn away from me.” As if he had said, Although this question puts the whole creation to filence, yet I myself will answer it. My own' beloved and eternal Son, having, in the council of peace, promised as a second Adam to satisfy justice, and to repair the honour of my law, by his obedience unto the death, I have determined to put them among the children, and, by the power of my Spirit, they shall, upon the footing of the ransom I have found, cry, Abba, Father, unto me, and I will keep them by my power through faith unto falvation, O how should the consideration of all this grace and love, manifested in your adoption, fill your hearts with wonder, and your mouths with the highest praises of God, faying with the apoftle, John iii. s. « Behold, what manner of love the Fa. ther hath bellowed upon us, that we should be called the fons of God! what is man that thou art fo mindful of him ? or what is the son of man that thou shouldīt be so kind unto him ? , Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, blefs his holy name," &c. O levy a tribute out of the whole creation, and invite all creatures in heaven and earth to concur with you in celebrating his praises, as David doth under a lente of redeeming love and grace, Pfal. ciii. through the whole.
2. Let the whole offspring and issue of God's family be much employed in beholding and admiring the pail upon which they and all their privileges hang; for all the glory and offspring hang on Christ as the great Manager of his Father's house, as you heard in the doclrinal part. Believer, thou hast thy very being as a new creature in him; and all thy privileges, in time and through eternity, they have their conveyance to thee through him. Hence is that doxology of the offspring and illue of God's house, Liph. i. 3. “Bleflcd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blefted us with all fpiritual blellings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ii is the will of the Father, that “all men should ho. nour the Son, as they honour the Father; that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” And therefore, I say, let every one behold and
admire the glory of his person as Immanuel, the glory of his mediation; for through him it is that your relation to God, as your God and Father, doth come : John xx. 17.“ I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.”
3. Let all the offspring and issue of the family give a firm credit to their Father's word, fet to their seal unto this word of promise, and believe the record of God concerning the great Manager and Priest over the house of God. It were a thing criminal among men, and an iniquity to be punished by the judge, for a child to say to the father that begat him, Thou art a liar. But is it not much more criminal for the offspring of God by regeneration, to say so to him that begat them by the word of truth? And yet this is the way that God is treated by his own children, under their fits of unbelief, despondency, and discontent; for " he that believeth not, hath made God a liar.” Alas! how often do we contradict our Everlasting Father to his face, by saying either with the heart or tongue, “His promise fails for evermore ; he hath forgor. ten to be gracious; his mercy is clean gone?" Is not this Hatly oppofite to what he hath declared in his word, that “his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting; that his grace never faileth; that he is ever mindful of his covenant; his promise he will not break ?" O beware of the fin of unbelief, for it is a reproaching and contradicting your Father, “Why sayest thou so, O Jacob? Why speakelt thou so, O Israel? Is he not thy Father, that begat thee? Beware of him, and provoke him not; for he will visit these thine iniquities with the rod, and thy transgressions with stripes.” Well then, credit your Father's word, for faithfulness is the girdle of his loins, and truth the girdle of his reins. Man may lie, and the son of-man may repent, but it is impossible for God to lie. Imitate ' Abraham, the father of the faithful, who " staggered not at
the promise through unbelief, but was strong in faith, gi. ving glory to God.”
4. Let all the offspring and issue of the family trust the blessed Manager, and rest upon him in all casts with allured confidence. Hath God the Father intrusted him with all the glory, all the offspring, and all the vessels of his house ; and Mail not all the members of the family, particularly his own offspring and issue, trust him also with every thing that concerns them in time and through eterniiy? This being the leading duty called for from the text and doctrine, allow me to enforce it with some few motives, and then to illustrate it by ana swering a question or two. Firli, I would enforce the duty with a few weighty cons
Boutelifpleafure, Bhealing of Godonly beg
thes want of faith in the preiteted as an abort on the oth
derations. Consider, then, in the firft place, That as God the Father reposes a full trust and confidence in him, and has hung upon him all the glory of his house, so he calls and commands all mankind, particularly the children of the fami. ly, to do the like, and to write after his example, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” He hath my e2r, 'let him have yours also. He cries from heaven, “ Beliod my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth.” And for what end doth he thus commend him, but that we may make him the object of truf and confidence, as he doth? There is not one duty in all the word of God, that is so much, or so frequently inculcate, as that of faith in Chrift, or a firm trust in him, for all the eads of his incarnation ; yea, this is the great end of the whole revelation, Joha xx. ult. “ These things are written, that ye may believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
There is no pleasing of God, no way to avert his wrath and displeasure, but by trusting the great Manager of his house; without faith in Christ it is impossible to please him, even though you were capable to perform all the other duties enjoined in the holy law, which yet is imposible through the want of faith in the promised Messiah. All the splendid services of Israel were rejected as an abomination, Il. i. 10-12. although commanded in the law. But, on the other hand, the weakest mint at commanded duty, though attended with many infirmities, is accepted of God, if done in faith. And the reason of this is, because faith hangs the whole glory of the foul's acceptance upon the nail fastened in a sure place, and not 'upon any work or duty done by us. The language of it is, " I will go in the strength of the Lord God, and I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only."
Truft the great Manager, for he is “ the mighty God," II. ix. 6. Take his own testimony as to this, Rev. i. 8.I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Al. mighty." He is the man who is God's 'fellow, neither is it any robbery for him to be equal with God, for he and his Father are ore, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Let this engage your trust in him, for this he gives as the ground and reason why he should be the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the seas : lf. xlv. 22. “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
The great Manager is your near Kiníman, bone of your bone, arid fieth of your fleih, and has acted the Kinsinan's part,