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the waters increasing and swelling," they would fly t» tkf highest houses or mountains, to save; them from thex waters of the deluge, in hopes that the waters would stay before they came up where they were: But Noah knew other things i he knew tha.t these were hut lying refuge*, and that the waters would overtop the highest mountains in the world: And therefore he renounced these vain refugeq, and betook himself unto the ark.
just so is it in the matter of helicving in Christ, the poor foul is made to fee that "in vain is, salvation to be expected from, the hills, and from the multitude o( mountains," Jer. in. 33. "That the luil shall sweep away the refuge of lies," If. xxviii. 17. Ami the waters shall overflow ail theft hiding places, which hypocrites, the carnal worldling, or legalist, betake themsejves unto: and therefore it flies for refuge unw Christ, that blessed hope set before it, Heb. vi, ltf. in the gospel, knowing that there i- no name given—whereby to be saved, but bj 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.
Sa in the matter of believing, Christ is taken up as an allsufficient .Saviour, " able also to save unto the uttermost, all that come unto Qod by him," Heb, yii. 2$.;- and as he is appointed and ordained of God to he a Saviour every way qualified for the salvation os lost sinners, and made of Qod " unto, 14s, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctisication, and redemption," 1 Cor. i. 30.
5. G»d gaye to the bviftg creatures (that were to be fayed aliye in t^e ark) a certain instinct, which made them to move from all parts of the, eanh towards the -irk, and at last io enter into. it.
Just so is it in the matter of believing. God gives aa instinct, a supernatural instinct, unto the poor sinner, that makes him restless, until he win Christ, and be sound in him, Phil. iii. 8. 9, This is nothing else but that drawing power of the word and Spirit of God, whereby the sinner is led to the Reck that is higher than all other refuges; John vi. 44. " No man (fays Christ; can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him;" Hos. xi. 3. " I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love." You, know the bees, before a shower, they, by a certain instinct, sty 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 hum to prepare it.
So in the matter of believing, true faith terminates upon "God—in Christ, reconciling the world to himself," a Cor. v. to. The great design of Gcd in manifesting himself \r. the fsest, ij not that Out faith should terminate upon thr Man Christ Jesus, but upon God in him. You rnve a word to this purpose, t Pet. i. 2t. «» Who by him do believe in God, that raised him dp from the dead, and gave him glory, that yotir faith and hope might be in God." So that you fee, the scope of the whole work of redemption (through Christ) is to bring us to trust ia God, and to place our confidence in him, as a God with us. Sirs, remember that God alone is the object «faith; and if yoar faith terminate upon any thing inf-nof jo God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it is not saving f.iith, w 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 .1 refo* lotion to abide there, until the waters of the delude were abated. b
Juft so is it here; when a sinner comes by faith unto Christ for refuge, he comes with a design to abuse in him, not (ik* Noah with his ark) for a while, but for ever. The soul in bearing cries concerning Christ, " This is try rest for evrr, h«e will I dwell;" Psal. cxxxii. 14 It is the will of Christ* that we should abide in him, 1 John ii. 28. '« And now little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we rvay we confidence, and nor be ashamed, before him at his coding i" John xv. 4—7. " I am th vine, ye are the branches: "«that abtdeth ist me, and I in him, the faint bringeth forth *uch fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man wide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into (he fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, Je shall ask what ye will, and it (hall be done unto you."
VI. The Jiath thing ift the method was to apply this doctrine.
And the only tifes I make of the doctrine shall be in a word of *rial and exhortation.
^'e firJt shall be in a Word of trial and examination.
And that which I would have you to try, is, Whether have' ?0u got into the New Testament ATk Christ, where alons a •nner can be in safety from the deluge of divine wrarh. I re* member John the Baptist says urito the Scribes and Pharisees, 1 a1' '"" '" " ^ Peneration of vipers, who hath Watned you 0 "J from the wtath to come?" So fay I to you; have you, upoti God's warning, by the word of the law, fled for rctuge j"tu> Christ, and taken up your residence and abode in him?
offer these few marks for trial.
1. If ever you fled to the New Testament Ark, you have seen the devouring delqge of God'3 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 fee they are nothing but lying refuges that would betray you. So was it with Paul at his conversion, what things were gain to him, these he counted loss for Christ, Phiiip. iii. 7. "Afhur 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, a Cor. iv. 6. " For God, who commanded the ii^ht 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 foul far, at the sight of the Ark Christ, <; What h.ith God wrough:: Numb, xxiii. 23.; "This is the Lord's doing, it is wonderful in our eyes," Ps.il. cxviii. 23.; "Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh!" &c. i Tim. iii. 16.
4. If ever you entered into the ark, you have seen a reconciled God in the Ark Christ, "For God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself," 2 Cor. v. 19. This is the very thing that induces and encourages the foul to enter into it. The poor foul could fee nothing before but God a devouring sire to consume it; but, looking to Christ, it sees a smiling God, saying, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Matth. xvii. 5. O Sir?, this is the veiy thing that begets faith, love, hope, and confidence, God's love in giving Christ, John iii. 16. " God so loved the world, that lie gave his only begotten Son," &c. Now, have you seen God to be love? and have you seen his love manifested in this, that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him? 1 John iv. 9. and has the faith of this love killed your enmity?
5. If you have fied to the New Testament Ark, you wili 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 Gng and say with the church, Micah vii. »8. "Who is a God like unto thee, who pardoneth iniquity, and passe th by the transfTeffion of the remnant of thine heritage;" and with David, Psal. ciii. at the beginning," Bless the Lord, O my foul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name: Bless the Lords Omy soul, and forget not ail his benefits:" and with Israel, when God had brought them through the Red sea, and delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians, Exod. xv. 11. "I will sing 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 •he earth, but " seek things th3t are above, where Chiist is," Col. Hi. 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 he that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit," 1 Cor. vi. 17. And his spirit 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.
&■ 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 •n 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_/it-o//J (hall be of Exhortation to all in general.
Is it so that Christ is our great NewTeilament 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 '"to a miserable eternity.
I offer a few motives to stir you up to fly into the Ark.
'• Consider, That there are innumerable multitudes of man*"id that are already lost irrecoverably in the deluge of God's wrath, through their not entering into the Ark. The inhabitants 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 since (in
entered entered into the world; "Broad is the way that leadeth unto destruction, and many there be that go in thereat," Matth vii. 13. Now, is it not your interest to take warning from the ruin of so many?
a. Consider, That you must inevitably go the same wav, I mean, perish in the deluge, except yon enter into the Ark; ** For there is none other name under heaven, given amongst men, whereby we must be saved, but by the name of Jesus Christ," Acts iv. 12. It is not your broken planks of a profession of religion, hope in the general mercy of God, your civility, morality, legal righteousness, that will do; God's wrath •will stave all these broken planks in pieces: and therefore repair to tbe Ark Jesus Christ.
3. There is a a fixed day, a time set for your entering rnto" the New Testament Ark, which if it be let slip, there will be no entrance into the Ark, but you shall infallibly prristi in the deluge. "He that lives for ever, has sworn with his hand lifted up to heaven,'* that there (hall be no more enhance into the Ark. $ue/t. What is the fixed time? Ansvi. It is the day of grace, the day of life, the day of salvation ; if that pass, you are gone for ever: and therefore, "To*day, if you will hear his voice,'' Psal. xcv. and Heb. iii.
4. The Ark is prepared of God for you, and that at an infinite expence. God has provided a Saviour, Psal. Ixxxix. 10. "Help is laid upon one that is mighty, John iii. 16. ** God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who* soever believes in him, should not perish." The Ark is finished, and perfected, and made ready for you: «' AH things are ready," Matth. xxii. 4.
5. The Ark is at hand, it is near to us, If. xlvi. at the close, Behold, "I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation (hall not tarry -, and I will place salvation in Zion," &c. "The word is uigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is the word of faith which we preach," Rom. x. 8.
6. The Ark is ordained for men and women of our stamp, I mean men and women of the human nature: And therefore the call is "to men and the sons of men," Prov viii- 4Christ is a Saviour, not for the fallen angels, but for us: "Unto us is this child born," If. ix. 6. be " is made of God unto as, wisdom,and righteousness,and fanctification,and redemption," 1 Cor. i. 30.
7. Many have already entered, and are saved; an innurtie* table company, " which no man can number," Rev. vii.
8. Tht doors of the Ark are cast wic!-. open to tot» also, to