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f Can a man (says he) be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born ?" John iii. 4. The cafe is just the fame with a great deal of men in our day, who set up for wits. They are ready to brand the doctrine of conversion and regeneration with the character of enthusiasm: but let such remember, that the God of truth his said it, with a verily, verily, except they know and fetl it on their own souls, they " cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."

12. The gospel-lamp discovers the way of justification for an ungodly sinner, by an imputed righteousness. This discovery is wholly supernatural, which the apostle Paul valued so highly, and gloried so much in, that when compared with the knowledge hereof, he reckoned every thing else as so much dross and dung, &c.

13. The mystery of sanctification is discovered by the gospellamp ; how Christ is made of God unto us sanctification; and how, by the great and precious promises, we are made partakeTS of the divine nature 5 and by beholding the glory of the Lord in the glass of the gospel, we are changed into the same image; how the heart is purified by faith in Christ, our old man crucified in him, and the body of sin destroyed, &c.

In a word, to shut up this head, by the light of the gospellamp, we may see in through the vail of death and mortality, and behold life and immortality brought to light: "For (says the apostle), we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal." By the gospel-lamp, and the eye of an enlightened understanding, we may see the Jordan of death divided, and a passage opened for the Israel of God into the promised land ot glory, where we shall be for ever with the Lord, By this lamp we may look to the end of time, and lee Christ coming to judi'e the world. He will "descend from keaven with a fliout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. Behold he cometh with clouds ; and every eye (hall fee him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth (hall -wail because of him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth," &c. By this gospel-lamp we may see all that sleep in their graves raised up again, some to the resurrection of eternal life, and others tothe resurrection of everlasting damnation; some are seen like condemned prisoners, brought out of goal unto the place of execution, and whenever they fee the Judge upon his white throne, crying to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, to

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i. lien, It is > £**>* lamp, a lamp of G*d s makmg »n«J •reaanag, brace the pHpd b eaBed - rbe eofrel cf the blessed Goi" It comes down from the Father of rights. AU scripture e crrrn br inspiration of God ; hence we arc to recerre it with a\ Ciriae faith, &c- ,

i It is a d*i£*£ tamp- There are fwch thing* in the gofec!, or discoreries made St k. asdaatxle the eyes of men. S«ie are totaJW struck ©find with it: " For »aJ cement I am (iits Christ) cost into this world: rhat tKry which lee not, raiiht fai and that they which fa (er ima^ne they fee) might be made blind." jcha ix- 39. As for teal believers, wnea goft**-light (hints in:c thrir hearts wmi discovers the method ot salvation through Chrrt, they fall a wondering at everv th:JtgtbeT behold, cryinj, «" O the depth cf love, grace, and wisdom! Without cofttTovtrsy, great i» the mystery of godlist i.5, Go-4 manifest in the deth P* But why do 1 speak of mm? The dear sighted anprls, they c-crer their faces with their wings at tu.e brightness cf that <jtery that shines in the person and mentation of Christ -, «* which things the angels de* fire to look into;" and one cries unto another, and fays, " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is fall of his g'.ory," If- si. ?• I fay, it is a Caazhxj lamp j and, like fight, it is of a p.crciug and pc«ctrau-g nittrre. Both the law and gospel light ot the word are penetrating; " For the word of God is quivk and powerful, and sharper than any


-• ••<<■» 1U through the head, down into the heart, and,

like the candle of the Lord, pierces into the belly or bottom of the foci.

3. I he light of this lamp is of an afimilating nature. "But We all with otK-n face (f»ys the apostle), btholding as in a



gkihhe glory of the Lord, arc changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." It purifies the foul, and makes it holy: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," John xv. 3.

4. It is a glorious lamp; hence called "the glorious gospel of 1 the blessed God." The author of it is the God of glory; the ; -'N object of it is Christ the brightness of the Father's glory ; and the end of it is the glory of all God's attributes in the ever* lasting salvation of the lost sinner, &c.

J. It is a most pleasant lamp; truly the light of it is sweet; *hen it shines into the heart, it fills the foul with the light of knowledge, the light of joy and comfort; the consolations of it ate strong, and fill the foul with "joy unspeakable, and full of glory," &c.

6. It is the most profitablo lamp that ever the world saw, beewse it shews unto us the path of life, and leads the foul into an immense treasure of soul-riches, that make3 the man, up for an endless eternity, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, &c.

7. It is an infallible lamp. We have a great deal of newlighrsgotup inourday,whichlike»gn;j/artttt/,or wiJd sire, leads men into the bogs and pits of Deism, Arminianisn, Quakerism, and other errors in which men are drowned in perdition. But here is a sure light, which we may follow with full assurance of faith. It is the "sure word of prophecy, to which ye do well that ye take heed. The testimony of the LoTd is tore, making wife the simple. And as many as walk according to" the light of this lamp, "peace shall be upon them, as upon the Israel of God," &c.

8. It is an ancient lamp, as you heard. It has been shining in the orbs of the church militant since it was first lighted in paradise. And this lamp, instead of waxing dim, as other lamps do, it has shone brighter and brighter in every gradual dispensation of it. Hence,

9. It is a lasting and durable lamp. It will shine to the world's end, let men and devils do their utmost to have it smothered and extinguished. All that men have done hitherto on design to put out the lamp, through the hand of God oier-ruhug their wrath and corruption, has only served to snuff th« lamp, as you snuff the candle to make it give better light'. "as we have heard, so have we seen this in the city of the living God."

ro. It is a common lamp to all men. You know the fun in 'he firmament is a common lamp to this lower world; every oody, rich and poor, has the privilege of the light of-the fun, V ^pays nought for it. Just so the lamp of the gospel, the


light of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ himself, who is *' the light of the world, and the day-spring from on high,'' is a common good to all mankind, that will but take the benefit of his light i they shall pay nothing for it. That the gospel is a common good to mankind, is very evident from the words of the angel at his birth. "Behold (fays he), I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." It is also very plain from the commission Christ gives unto his ministers to " go into all the worldj and preach the gospel unto every creature" under heaven.

ii. It is a moveable and portable lamp, like the tabernacle of old, and the pillar of fire and of cloud, which moved from one place to another. God has not Jn all the word, bound himself to fix his gospel-lamp so in any nation or congregation, as never to take it away from them, and give it unto others. No, Christ plainly tells the Jews, that the gospel of his kingdom was to be taken from them, and to be given to another people bringing forth the fruits thereof. The fame, we fee, Christ tells the church of Ephefus, that he would take away his candlestick from them, except they did repent, and reform, and do their first works, &c.

Thus I have given you some account of the lamp which God has ordained for his Anointed.

III. The third general head laid down in the method was, to/peak of the ordination of this Lamp.

Remember, Sirs, it is God's authority in any ordinance of his, that gives it value, efficacy, and validity -, just as the stamp of the king upon the coin makes it to pass current. Nothing will pass current in the church of Christ, with his loyal subjects, that does not bear the stamp of the authority of the King of Zion. What is the reason that the subjects of Christ, that desire to be faithful to him at this day, run away from the generality of pretended ministers? Why, it is because they do not c.»rry the King's commission; they run unsent; they do not hear the voice of Christ in them ; they do not see them coming in by the door of the fold -, and therefore they will not follow them. Why do we Protestants reject the doctrines of the Komish church, their mass, breviaries, and idolatries? Why it ib because they do not bear the stamp of God's authority. And for the fame reason we reject Episcopal and Independent government, and the superstition and ceremonies ie English church; it is because they are only the inventions of men, and have no authority from God; and therefore we c»ni: bl ssing to accompany them. And, on the other 't we sprinkle watts in baptism in the name of the l Fathery Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Why do we eat and drink at Jhe table of the Lord a little simple bread and wine, which to carnal reason are inconsistent things? Why do we preach the gospel, which to the wise of this world is foolishness? Why do we pray, and praise, and go about other duties? It is because; the/ are commanded and ordained of God. The gospel is a lamp of God's ordaining; and therefore it is "the power of God unto salvation, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds," &c.

The weakelt and most insignificant things, when appointed of God, are the only nv ans that will produce the desired effects. What made the found of rams horns to overthrow the walls of Jericho? What made the waters of Jordan more effectual for curing Naaman's leprosy, or spittle and dull mixed together effectual for opening the eyes of the blind man? Juitthis. These were the.means.of God's appointment; and therefore his own power went along with them, bo here the gospel, and a gospel-ministry, however contemptible and insignificant in the eyes of the world they may appear: yet, being a lamp of God's ordination, therefore his power is to be looked for by it for the salvation of souls. "It hath pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to lave them believe.'' by these means it is that sinners are gathered unto the blessed Shiloh.

To let you fee how much God is concerned about this lamp of the evei lasting gospel, I shall tell you ot several things that God has ordained about it.

i. He has ordained the places and parts of the world where it (hall be set up" and shine. "He gave his statutes unto Jacob, and his testimonies unto Israel ; he dealt not so with any nation." If you ask me, Why doth God lend the gospel to Scotland, and not to many rich and populous nations who fit in darkness? Why, the reason of it is, " Lven lo, O Father, for so it hath pleased thee," &c. Hence Paul, viewing the severity of God in taking the gospel from ihr jews, and lending it to the Gentiles, he cries out, [Gr. »£*&•{, &c] " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom ana knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!" Rom. xi. 33.

2. As he ordained the places where the lamp shall be set up, so he ordained how long it should shine, before it be listed to another part of the earth. He ordained how long it should shine among the Jews, viz. until Christ came. He ordained how long it should shine in the churches of Asia, before iie came and removed his candlestick. He has ordained when, «nd kow long, the gospel shall continue in Scotland; and there is but

Vox. in. - c too

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