Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Tom

[ocr errors]

love of God to loft man, that he has laid help for him upon one that is mighty, Psal. lxxxix. 19.

4. I recommend to you to be much in studying the love of the eternal Son of God, in marrying the human nature unto a personal union with the divine, that he might act the part of a Kinsman Redeemer. Oh! think what he has done in order to get a bride for himself in Adam's family, for one love kindles another, and “ we love him because he first loved us," i John iv. 19.

. Be much in viewing the glorious fulness and suitable. bels of the Bridegroom through the lattices of the word read and preached; “ For all-we beholding as in a glass the glojy of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory,” &c. 2 Cor. iii. last.

6. Oh! cry and plead much for the purchased and promised Spirit, that he may glorify Christ, and testify of him to your souls, according to the promise of the Bridegroom, before he left this world, John xvi. 14. “ He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you."

7. In matching with the Bridegroom, disband all other lovers, saying with Ephraim, Hof. xiv. 8. “ What have I any more to do with idols.". Il. xxvi. 13. “O Lord my God; other lords besides thee have had dominion over me, but henceforth by thee only will I make mention of thy name." If you be for me (says Christ), let these soul-murdering lusts go; let go your luft of covetousness, your luft of uncleanness, your luft of pride, malice, revenge, your luft of drunkenness and gluttony; for as no man can serve two masters, Matth. vi. 24. so can no man be married unto Christ and these lusts at once; Christ says, Destroy these, crucify them, “ Mortify the deeds of the body,” Rom. viii. 13. “ Fornication, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry," Col. iii. 8. I came to destroy these works of the devil, John iii. 8. And therefore give a bill of divorce to them, if you would follow me.

I shut up this discourse with a word of counsel and advice to believers, who, through the power of grace, have been des termined to go forth and meet the Bridegroom.

Oh! bless the Lord that ever gave you counsel to do so, for this was never effected by the power of nature, but only by the power of victorious grace, Psal. cx. 3. “ Thy people thall be willing in the day of thy power.” Thou wait dead in fin, Eph. ii. 1. but he passed by thee, and said unto thee, Live,” Ezek. xvi. 6. Thou wast full of enmity against God and his anointed, Pfal. ij. 2. but he captivated thy heart with VOL. III. PP

his his own love, and loveliness. Who made thee to differ from others that are left behind, “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity ?Why, it was the blessed Bridegroom that drew thee to him with the cords of his own love; and therefore let the high praises of the Bridegroom, and of his eternal Father, be continually in thy mouth, Pfal. cxlix. 16. John vi. 44. “ No ınan can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." Let the bride, the Lamb's wife, put much confidence in the Bridegroom; and well may fhe do it, for he is “ the confidence of all the ends of the earth, liis name is FAITHFUL and TRUE," Rev. xix. 11,

THE NEW TESTAMENT ARK OPENED AGAINST THE

DELUGE OF DIVINE WRATH.

Fieb. xi. 7... By faith Noah, being warned of God of things

not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the fa. ving of his house.

THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

TN the preceeding chapter, the apostle, in the close of it, had

I exhorted the believing Hebrews to persevere in the faith; and to enforce the exhortation, he demonftrates, in this chap ter, the excellency of the grace of faith, and that, first, Abstractly in itself considered, ver. 1-3.; fecondly, By laying before them the example of their believing anceitors, both before and after the flood.

This verse which I have read contains the example of the faith of Noah, who was the last patriarch of the old world, and the first of the new world; I mean the last before, and the first, after the flood. More particularly in the words you have these things.

ift, An alarm founded, (warning is given by God of thicgs not seen as yet.) The party that gives the warning is God. And when God speaks or warns, well doth it become all the inhabitants of the earth to listen, Pfal. I. 1. « The mighty

God

God the Lord hath spoken, and called the earth, from the ri. fing of the sun unto the going down thereof.” When the lion roars, the beasts of the field tremble. The subject matter of the warning is about things not seen as yet ; that is, the approach of the general deluge, or deltruction of the whole world by water, of which there was not the lealt visible appearance, when the warning was given of God. Sirs, the word of God deals mostly about things that are not seen, things invisible and eternal, which as yet lie behind the curtain; bence faith, that believes the word of God, is called, ver. 1. of this chapter," the evidence of things not seen;" a setting to the real to what God says, though not obvious unto sense,

2dly, In the words we have the person, and the only person, that took the alarm in all the old world, viz. Noah, whose character we have, Gen, vi. 9. "a just man, and perfect in huis generation.” He was a just mari, being justified by faith, in the promised seed of the woman; and he was a holy man, whose walk and conversation justified his faith, in the view of the ungodly inhabitants of the old world. And being such a person as lived near God, God takes him upon his secrets, and imparts that unto him, which was hid from all the world besides. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and unto them will he shew his covenant." Yea, sometimes he not only im parts to them the secrets of his covenant, and the mysle. ries of his kingdom; but also the secrets of his providence, what he is about to do in the world : so did he unto Noah; and so did he unto Abraham, when he was about to destroy Sodom : “ Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do?” The Lord will do nothing, but he will reveal it unto his servants the prophets. It is dangerous to pry curiously into the sea crets of God's purpose or providence, but when he is pleased to reveal them, they are welcome.

3dly, We have the way how the warning was taken by Noah. It was by faith ; that is, he believed the word of God, that the flood would come: and the ground of his believing was the faithfulnels and power of God; his faithfulness, " for it is impossible for God to lie;" and his power, that was able in give being to his word of threatening, as well as his word of promise.

4thly, We have the affection of Noah's soul, that was stirred or exercised by this awful warning of the approaching deluge; he was inoved with fear. When faith fees a smiling and reconciled God in Christ, it moves the foul with joy and gladness, yea, a “joy urspeakable, and full of glory." But when faith fees a frowning or a threatening God, then it begets fear, not a Navilh, but a filial fear; like a dutiful child, that falls a trembling when he sees the iod in his Father's hand, and anger in his countenance. Such was the fear of Noah ; and God declares, that he has a particular regard unto the soul that thus fears him, If. lxvi. 2. “ To this man wiil I look, who is poor, and of a contrite fpirit, and who trembleth at my word.”

Sthly, We have the wise improvement that Noah made of God's warning concerning the deluge: why, his faith and fear excited him to prepare an ark :'“ The wise man (saith Solomon) foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself.” True faith of God's operation is, a sagacious grace; it takes up things not as yet feen, dangers that are out of the view of the rest of a blind world, and provides for safety against approaching dangers. So here, Noah's faith engages hiin to prepare an ark against the deluge. Noah had not the ark to build when the deluge came; no, it was ready for use, when the windows of heaven, and the fountains of the great deep, were opened ; and the fruit and effect of his faith and fear, and diligence in preparing of the ark, was the saving of himseli and his house.

Now, I do not stand so much upon the literal, as the mystical and spiritual intendment of all this. The history and mystery of the Old Testament is opened and unvailed in the New Testament. It is 'granted by all, that the deluge of water, whereby God destroyed the old world, was a typical · representation of the wrath of God that is revealed from heaven againft all the wickedness and ungodliness of the chil- y dren of men, which will infallibly sweep away the wicked, de and all the nations that forget God, into hell: and that Noah's ark was a type of Christ, and of that falvation that believers have in him, from the wrath of God, and the curse of the broken law; for “ whosoever believeth in him, thall not perish, but have everlasting life.” The apostle Peter gives us an hint, and that not an obscure one, of what I am saying, concerning this typical design of the deluge and ark, i Pet. iii. 19.-21. “ By which also he went and preached to the fpirits in prison : which sometine were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight fouls, were saved by water. The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good condcience towards God), by the resurrection of Jefus Christ.” Where, by 112

Jpirits

Spirits in prison, we are to understand the souls of the inhabitants of the old world, who, in the days of Peter, were in: prisoned in hell, but in the days of Noah, they were alive in their bodies. Noah, by the direction of the spirit of Chrift, went and preached to them, and warned them of the approach: ing déluge; but they never regarded him, but went on in their finning trade, until the water caine, and carried them away, except eight souls that were saved in the ark. Now, there is the type, and then follows the anti-type, ver. 21.“ The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us,” &c.

The main doctrine that I have in view from the words, is as follows. Doct." That Christ is the great New Testament Ark into

which finners must enter, if they would be saved from the deluge of divine wrath."

The method, through divine affiftance, shall be as follows.

I. I would speak a little of the wrath of God, with allufson unto the universal deluge.

II. Of the warnings God has given, and is still giving, of the deluge of his wrath.

III, I would speak of Christ as the only ark wherein safety is to be found.

IV. Speak of the access that finners have to this New Testament Ark.

V. How it is that a finner enters into this ark, so as to be saved from the deluge. .

VI. Deduce some inferences, and make some application of the whole.

1. The first thing is, to speak a little of the wrath of God, with allufion unto the univerial deluge in the days of Noab.

ift, then, The fin and wickedness of the old world was the procuring cause of the deluve, Gen. vi. 5-7. “ And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whoin I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air ; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Now, I say, as the fin of man procured a deluge of water, fo coth it procure the de!uge of the wrath of God, that is or

has

« PreviousContinue »