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Pure of faith, under the limilitude of Noah's entering into the ark, and the creatures that were saved there with him.
1. Then, we see in the text, that Noah was warned of God of his danger before he prepared an ark, or fled unto it.
Just so is it with sinners in the matter of believing in Christi God gives the finner warning of the danger he is in of the wrath to come. As God gave public warning to the old world, by the ministry of Noah, of the approaching deluge ; so by the word read and preached, particularly by the preaching of the law, there is warning given to all finners of the danger they are in of perishing for ever. The voice of God in the law to finners is, Gal. iii. 1o. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Rom. i. 8. 9. “ Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguiih, upon every foul of man that doth evil.” Plal. ix. 17. “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. --The wages of fin is death." Now, there and the like warnings are carried in and brought kome to the soul in particular, by the power of the eternal Spirit, before the finner enter in to the New Testament Ark; and the finner is made to believe the truth of these threatenings: For there is a law of faith, and a particular application of these and the like threatenings, before there be a true gospel faith of the remedy. Hence, . 2. You see that Noah was moved with fear before he prepared an ark, or entered thereinto. What was he afraid of ? say you. I answer, He was afraid of perishing in the delage with the rest of the wicked world. (See the text.)
Just fo is the cas: with sinners in the matter of believing, or flying to Chrilt ; they are moved with the fear of an angry God, against whom they have finned. And hence it is, that the finner, through the terror of God, and of an awakened conscience, falls a trembling, with the jailor, Acts xvi. 30. and cries, " What must I do to be saved ?" Oh! to whom shall I fly for help, Isa. x. 3. “ Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? and who among us thall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Il. xxxiii. 14. This is what is commonly called a law-work, which every one that believes hath either in a greater or leiler degree : For “ The law is our (choolmaster to lead us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith,' &c. Gal. iii. 24.
3. Noah renounced all the false confidences that the men of the old world betook themselves unto for shelter against the deluge. There is no doubt, but the inhabitants of the old world, when they saw the “ windows of heaven opened, and the fountains of the great deep broken up, and VOL. III. U u
the the waters increasing and swelling," they would fly to the highest houses or mountains, to save them from the waters of the deluge, in hopes that the waters would stay before they came up whest they were : But Noah knew oiher things ; he knew that these were but lying refuges, and that the waters would overtop the highest mountains in the world : - And therefore he renounced chese vain refuges, and betook himself unto the ark.
Just fo is it in the matter of believing in Christ, the poor foul is made to fee that " in vain is salvation to be expected from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains," Jer. i. 23. “ That the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies," 1.. xxviii. 17. And the waters Mall overflow all these hiding places, which hypocrites, the carnal worldling, or legalist, betake themselves unto: and therefore it flies for refuge unto Christ, that bleffed hope fet before it, Heb. vi, 18. in the gola pel, knowing that there is no name given whereby to be fa. ved, but by the name of Jesus.
4. Noah believed that the ark (being God's ordinance) was sufficient to save him and his family from the deluge.
So in the matter of believing, Christ is taken up as an allsufficient Saviour" able also to save unto the uttermoft, all that come unto God by him," Heb, vii. 25.;. and as he is appointed and ordained of God to be a Saviour every way qua. lified for the salvation of loft finners, and made of God" unto us, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” į Cor. i. 30.
5. God gave to the living creatures (that were to be saved alive in the ark) a certain inftinet, which made them to move from all parts of the earth towards the ark, and at lal 10 enter into it.
Juft fo is it in the matter of believing. God gives an iaftinct, a fupernatural inftinet, unto the poor finner, that makes him reftleis, until be win Christ, and be found in him, Phil. iii. 8. 9. This is nothing elle but that drawing power of the word and Spirit of God, whereby the finner is led to the Rock that is higher than all other refuges; Jolin vi. 44. “ No man (fays Christ, can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ;" Hof. xi. 3." I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love." You know the bees, before a hower, they, by a certain instinct, fly into the hive: Just so is it here.
6. Noah's faith rested (not in the boards of the ark, but) in God who had appointed him to prepare it,
So in the matter of believing, true faith terminates upon "Gode-in Christ, reconciling the world to himself," 2 Cor
ber chats confidence in is to be ope
v.19. The great design of God in manifesting himself in the fleth, is not that our faith should terminate upon the Man Chrilt Jesus, but upon God in him. You have a word to this purpose, 1 Pet. j. 21. " Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God." So that you fee, the scope of the whole work of redemption (through Chrift) is to bring us to trust in God, and to place our confidence in him, as a God with us. Sirs, remember that God alone is the object of faith; and if your faith terminate upon any thing inferior to God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it is not faving faith, for it doth not answer the very first command of the law; “Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exod. xx. 3.
7. When Noah entered into the ark, it was with a refox lution to abide there, until the waters of the deluge were ; abated.
Just lo is it here; when a finner comes by faith unto Christ for refuge, he comes with a design to abide in him, not (tke Noah with his ark) for a while, but for ever. The soul in be
lieving cries concerning Christ, “ This is my rett for ever, - here will I dwell;" Psal. cxxxii. 14. It is the will of Christ
that we inhould abide in him, 1 John ii. 28." And now little - children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may
have confidence, and not be ashamed, before him at his co
ming ;" John xv. 4-9.“ I am the vine, ye are the branches : - he that abidech in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing. If a man 3abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered,
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
VI. The fixth ihing in the method was to apply this doctrine.
And the only uses I make of the doctrine shall be in a word of trial and exhortation.
Use firft shall be in a word of trial and examination.. 3. And that which I would have you to try, is, Whether have
jou got into the New Testament Ark Chrilt, where alone a linner can be in safety from the deluge of divine wrarh. I remember John the Baptist says unto the Scribes and Pharisres, Matth. iii. 7." () generation of vipers, who hath warned you to fly from the wrath to come?” So say I to you; have you, upon Goo's warning, by the word of the law, fled for retuge unto Christ, and taken up your refidence and abode in him? I offer these few marks for trial.
1. If ever you led to the New Testament Ark, you have seen the devouring deluge of God's wrath ready to swallow you up, and you have seen yourselves upon the very brink of perilling for ever in the deep waters, so that you have been made to cry out, Oh “ what shall I do to be saved ?” Acts xvi. 30.
2. God has broken all your false props and confidences, and made you see they are nothing but lying refuges that would betray you. So was it with Paul at his conver. fion, what things were gain to him, there he counted loss for Christ, Philip. iii. 7. “ Alhur shall not save us," Hos. xiv. 3.
3. You have (by the light of the word and Spirit) got such a discovery of the glory, structure, beauty, and excellency, of the New Testament Ark, as has filled you with wonder and admiration at the love, mercy, and grace of God, in providing such an Ark, such a Saviour. 2 Cor. iv. 6. “ For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.” Oh, will the soul say, at the light of the Ark Chrift, " What hath God wrought?" Numb. xxiii. 23.; “ This is the Lord's doing, it is wonderful in our eyes," Pfal. cxviii. 23.; “ Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh!" &c. 1 Tim. lli. 16.
4. If ever you entered into the ark, you have seen a reconciled God in the Ark Chrilt, “ For God is in Chrift, reconciling the world unto himself,” 2 Cor. v. 13. This is the very thing that induces and encourages the soul to enter into it. The poor soul could see nothing before but God a devouring fire to consume it; but, looking to Christ, it sees a finiling God, saying, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matth. xvii. 5. O Sirs, this is the very thing that begets frith, love, hope, and confidence, God's love in giving Christ, John iii. 16. ^ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” &c. Now, have you seen God to be love? and have you feen his love manifested in this, that he sent his only begotien Son into the world, that we might live through him ? i John iv. 9. and has the faith of this love killed your enmity?
5. Is you have'fied to the New Testament Ark, you will be so well pleased with your new lodging, and your safety therein, that your hearts will be filled with gratitude, and your tongues with the high praises of the Lord, that ever provided such an Ark, and that ever brought you into it. You
will ling and fay with the church, Micah vii. 18. “ Who is a God like unto thee, who pardoneth iniquity, and paffeth by the transgression of the remnant of thine heritage ;' and with David, Pral. ciii. at the beginning, “ Bless the Lord, O my foul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name : Bless the Lord; O my soul, and forget not all his benefits :” and with Israel, when God had brought them through the Red fea, and delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians, Exod. xv. 11. "I will fing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” &c.
6. If you have ever fled into the Ark, then you will be new creatures; for if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things will pass away, 2 Cor. v. 17. You have got new light in your understanding, a new will and affections, you will not walk according to your old lusts in the flesh, or according to the curse of the world; no, but as the ark and they that were in it were lifted up above the earth upon the waters, towards heaven, so you will not lie grovelling upon the earth, but “ seek things that are above, where Christ is, Col. iji. 1.
7. You have got something of the Spirit of Christ : for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his," Rom. viii. 9. “But lie that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit,” 1 Cor. vi. 17. And his fpirit will be in you as “a well of water springing up unto everlasting life,” John iv. 14: The Spirit will convince you of sin, &c.
8. If you have fled to the New Testament Ark, you will be concerned to get as many as possible into the Ark with you; and for this end you will be telling them of their danger while out of Christ, and of the great salvation that is to be found in him. How active was Paul, after he came to know Christ, to recommend him to others? Acts ix. 20. &c. compared with Gal. i. 23.
Use second shall be of Exhortation to all in general.
Is it so that Christ is our great New Tellament Ark, to save from the deluge of divine wrath? O then, Sirs, let me beseech and intreat you to consult your own safety, by flying into this blessed Ark, before the waters of the deluge sweep you away into a miserable eternity.
I offer a few motives to stir you up to fly into the Ark.
1. Consider, That there are innumerable multitudes of mankind that are already lost irrecoverably in the deluge of God's wrath, through their not entering into the Ark. The inha. bitants of the old world that are said to be in prison, unto whom Noah preached. O what innumerable numbers of men and women have gone down to the sides of the pit fince in