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Secondly, I should now speak a word to these who are mar. ried to their lusts, and are cleaving unto the world's trinity, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life. The prophet Hosea speaks of some who were joined to their idols; they are so wedded to their sinful profits and pleasures, such as the lust of drunkenness, the lust of uncleannese, the lust of covetousness, that they never yet went out to meet the Bridegroom in a way of believing. What shall I say to all such profane sinners, that are hugging their Delilahs in their bosom, and giving them that room that is due to the Lord Jesus Christ? I have only a word or two unto you.
ijl, You are in love and league with that which God hates; for every sin and lust in heart or hand, in life or lip, is the abominable thing which God hates.
idly, You are married to that which Christ came to deft roy and condemn. Christ's great errand was to finish tranigreffion, and make an end of sin. "He condemned sin in the flesh/' or by the sacrifice of his flesh or human nature. Can you expect to be saved by Christ, while you harbour that condemned traitor.
},dly, You are married unto a soul-murderer, that is stabbing you to your very heart, and the life of thy foul must go for it, if you hold it fast, though as dear as a right hand.
i,thly, You are married unto that which the holy law of God condemns. The law pours out its anathemas againii every sin, because sin is a transgression of the law, Gal. iii. 10. "Cursed is every one that conlinueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
$tbly, If you continue married to your lusts, you must bed with them in hell, where your present lusts will be found so many vipers to sting you tx> the heart for ever. Your meat will then be turned in your bowels, and will be as the gall of asps within you. In a word, snares, fire, and brimstone, and a furious tempest of wrath and vengeance, shall be the portion of your cup, if you continue married to your lusts.
Perhaps some may be saying in their hearts, "I hope I am married unto Christ, and shall be saved by him, though 1 continue in my old way of lying nnd drinking, cheating ao<i whoring, and over-reaching my neighbours ; 1 hope God will pardon these, and the like failings aud infirmities." Well, you may softer yourselves up in these vain hopes; but what fays Christ ?" No man can serve two masteri," he must give up either with the one or the other. O, shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with Ciod? ?.n£ lha'.l sin, and self, and the world, have the throne of your hearts, and the obedience of your lives, and yet think you to have fellowship with God ?" What communion hath light with darknefs? What concord hath Christ with Belial?" And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? 2 Cor. vi. 14. 15. And therefore I fay, if ever you go out rb meet the Bridegroom, you must let thefe go, and fay with Ephraim, What have I to do any more with idols? So much for reproof.
Matth. xxv. 6.—And at midnight there wat a cry made. Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.
THE SIXTH SERMON OK THIS TEXT.
THE -fifth ufe of this doctrine I fhall endeavour to manage in an addrefs to two forts of perfons: First, To all in general. Secondly, To believers in particular.
First, I fay, I would addrefs myfelf to all in general.
Sirs, you have been hearing of Chrilt in the quality of a Bridegroom, and how he is not only come in the flelh, but actually come in the difpenfation of the gofpel, to court a bride for himfelf among the fons of men. He who married our nature unto a perfonal union with himfelf, when he past by the nature of angels, that he might he upon a level with us, is now actually prefenting himfelf to us in this gofpel, aS the Bridegroom of fouls, and faying, with his hand stretched out, "Behold me, behold me;" I will be for you, if you will be for me, and not for another: "Boliold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door of his heart to me, and confent to the bargain, I will come into him, and will fup with him, and he with me : I will bet rothe thee unto me for ever."
Now, I fay, feeing this is the cafe, my call and exhortation unto all is, to give the assent and confent of faith unto the bargain. I, as a friend of the Bridegroom, have a comrhisiion to court for him, and to fay to you, as Rebekah's friends faid to her, upon a propofal of marriage with Ifaac, "Wilt thou go with this maa?" the Man Immanltel, Goe
Manj Man; the Man of God's right hand; the Man whose name is the Branch, who builds the temple, and, bears all the glory; the Man who hath all power in heaven, and on earth; who is King Of Kings, And Lop.d Of Lords. O, will you fisrn the contract of the new covenant with the hand of faith, an>i fay, "I am the Lord's, lny Miker is and shall be ray Husband, whose name is the Lord of hosts, and my Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." O, what a happy day would it be to this assembly, if every individual foul would give Rebekah's answer to the proposal, with the same affection and resolution, 'I will go with the man. I will follow him whithersoever he goes ;'his God (hail be my God, his Father (hall be my Father, where he dwells there will 1 dwell; neither deatli nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, (hall ever separate between him and me.' Now, because it is Christ's way not to drag with violence, but to draw his bride to him with the cords of a man, and the bands of love, therefore I mall essay to enforce the exhortation with a few motives or arguments;
Mot. i. shall be taken from the glory and excellency of the blessed Bridegroom. And here it is fit you remember what was said of him in the doctrinal part. As to his name, he has a "name above every name that can be named." As to his pedigree, who can declare his generation? As to his personal worth and excellency, his qualities are every way incomparable. "Now, seeing such a Bridegroom offers to bctrothe you to himself, O let it be a bargain; give your consent unto him," that the everhsting knot may be cast between you and him.
Mot. 2. To engage you to match with the Bridegroom, 0 consider how fond he is of the match, how much his heart is set upon it. This will appear, if you consider,
I. That he hud it upon his heart from all eternity, before the world was made: " 1 have loved thee with an everlasting love," Jer. xxxi. 3. Before we had any being, save in his own purpose, when lie saw us in our blood,' his time, even then, was a ti'ne of love, Ezek. xvi.; and the accomplishing of that project of love was the joy of his heart, Prov. viii. 30. He rejoiced "in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of risen."
'2. He was so fond of the match, that, though he be God's fellow, and thinks it not robbery to be equal with God," yet he consented voluntarily to become his Father's bond servant out of love to us. This is the import of that word, "Mine ear hast thou bored, Lo, I come; I delight to do thy will, O
my my God ! yea, thy law is within my heart." As Jacob became Laban's fervant for fourteen years, out of love he had to Rachel; fo did Chrift become his Father's fervant in the great work of redemption, out of love he had to the bride, that his Father promifd him, in Adam's family.
3. Becaufe he was none of our kindred, therefore he became our Kinfman, by manifesting himfelf in the ilelh, or taking part of our flefh, Heb. ii. 14. John i. 14. " The Word was made flefh;" he became as one of us, that fo the natural distance being removed, the marriage might be accomplifhed.
4. Becaufe the bride was a bond flave to law and justice, and could not be redeemed but with a ranfom of insinite value; therefore the Bridegroom dies for the bride, and redeems her, not with filver and gold, but with his own precious blood: he gave his life a ranfom for many.
5. Becaufe she was a prifoner unto Satan, and a lawful captive unto her greatest enemy, who was ready to devour her; therefore he comes, in the quality of a victorious and renowned conqueror, and travels in the greatnefs of his strength, fpoils principalities and powers, makes a fhew of them openly, and "through death, destroys him that had the power of death," fetting the captives of the mighty at liberty. f
6. Becaufe the bride was as black as hell, by lying among the pots ; therefore he undertakes to wafh and cleanfe her, and to put his own beauty upon htr, whereby fhe fhould be as the wings of a dove, covered with yellow gold.
7. Becaufe the bride was naked, the devil having run away with her beautiful ornament of original lighteoufnefs; therefore the Bridegroom undertakes to clothe her with white raiment, fo As the fhame of her nakednefs might not appear : the Bridegroom is made of God to her, " righteoufnefs and fanctisication," &c.
8. So fond is the Bridegroom of the match, that he difpatches his heralds to m ike open proclamation ot his purpofe of marriage to her, and he gives it us ministers in our commiffion, to infist upon it, and not to take a refufal ; 1 Cor. v. 20. " Now then we are ambaffadors for Christ, as though God did befeech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God," by embracing his beloved Son, and confenting to him as your Hend, Hulband, and Bridegroom.
9. So fond is he, that he waits for a good anfwer from the bride ; he waits, that jie may he gracious, and he exalts himfelf, that he may fhew mercy; he stands at the door and knocks, till his head is silled wi:h dew, and his Jocks with the drops of the nip; lit.
Vol.. HI. N n 10. He
ro. He is grieved at the heart when he gets a refusal. How did he weep over Jerusalem, saying, O, "lfthouhadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! How (hall I give thee up Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee Israel? Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together."
ir. How glad is his heart when the consent of the bride is gained? He is so glad, that he calls heaven and earth to rejoice with him : for there is joy in heaven when but one sinner is converted: O then the cry is given, Rev. x\x 5. "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is corne, and his bride hath made herself ready." The joy of that day is expressed by the joyful solemnity of a king's coronation, Cant. iv. last, " Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon, with the frown ^wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart."
Now, is Christ so fond of a match with you, and will you be cool, careless, and averse? especially, if you consider by way of
Mot. 3. The vast disparity and disproportion between you and him. Never was there such an inequality in marriage between parties as here; and yet his love and kindness towards the bride makes him come over nil inequality. O let heaven and earth, angels and men, stand amazed! He who is the Lord, the Creator of all the ends of the earth, offers to match with his own creature, the work of his own hand, If. liv. 6. "Thy Maker is thine Husbind." He who is the Ancient Of Days, the Everlasting Father, offers to match with a forlorn infant csst out into the open Held. He who is the most noble Branch of heaven or earth, offers to match with a vils prostitute, who had pl.tyed the harlot with many lovers, whose father was an Amoritc, and her mother a Hittite. He who is the Heir of God, Heir of heaven, the Heir of all things, offers to match with the children of Satan, and heirs of hell. He who is the greatest beauty of heaven and earth, the brightnesses the Father's glory, offers to match with a bride, black as the Ethiopian, and spotted like the leopard, who is full of wounds and bruises, and putrefying fores. O let heaven and earth stand amazed at the condescension of the Bridegroom, and the folly of sinners in refusing such a match!
Mot. 4. To win your hearts to the Bridegroom, consider how much it will turn out to vour advantage, if you take on with him as your Husband. View this in these following things.
1. The Bridegroom will clear, and ease you of all your