« PreviousContinue »
of which the guilty transgressors are acquitted; he was made *' sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ;" that is his name, The Lord our righteousness. He is renowned for his fulness; for all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily in him; he is full of grace and truth; full of all created and uncreated excellencies. He is renowned for his love; what but love brought him out of the bosom of the Father to this lower world? what but love made him lay down his life for his people? He is renowned for his liberality; he has a full hand and a free hearr, as we use to say; he gives without money, and he invites all to come and share of his fulness. He is renowned for his constancy; he is Jesus, the fame to-day, yesterday, and for ever: the best of men will fail us when we trust them, they will run like splinters into our hands when we lean upon them ; but, Sirs, you will find Christ ay the fame, to-day, yesterday, and for ever. And then he is renowned for his authority and dominion ; it is great, and extends far and wide, whether in heaven above, or in the earth beneath; and his dominion reaches from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth; and all the kings of the earth are but his vassals. Thus, I fay, Christ in every respect is renowned.
But, here, to keep by the phraseology of the text, he is a renowned Plant. Wherein is he renowned?
First, I fay, he is renowned for his antiquity; " I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was," &c. All the plants in the higher and lower gardens of God are but just upstarts in comparison of him; angels and archangels, and the greatest seraphims, are but of yesterday in comparison of this plant. He is renowned for his antiquity; for he is "The Ancient of days, and the everlasting Father," If. ix.
N. B. Here he was desired to conclude his discourse, in respect the work in the church was over, and that he might give way to another minister that was to preach the evening Sermon.
EzEK. xxxiv. M),—And 1 will raise up for them a Plant os
The Second Sermon On This Text.
I HAD occasion, upon a solemnity of this nature, not long ago, to enter upon these words, but had not time to go far into the import of them: After I had traced the connection of the words a little, I took them up in the few following partic ulars:
M. We have here a great blessing promised unto the church, and that is none other than Christ under the notion of a Prince, and a Plant os renown.
2. We have the party by whom this promise is made in the pronoun (I), I Jehovah, the eternal God, I will raise up for them a Plant os renown.
3. We have the way how this Plant os renown is raised; and I will raise him up, I that am the great Husbandman of the vineyard, / will raise up for them, &c. Then,
4. I noticed the persons to whom the promise is made, / will raise up for them, that is, for his church, for his people that are brought into a very low condition, as ye will fee by reading the preceding part of the chapter; the slock of Christ were scattered by the stiepherds of Israel, they were torn, they were devoured, and under manifold trials; well, what will the Lord do for his flock in that condition? lie fays, / •will raise up for them a Plant os renown, and they Jhall hunger no more.
The observation is much the fame with the words themselves:
Namely, "That our Lord Jesus Christ is a Plant os renown, of his Father's upbringing; / will raise up for them a Plant os renoiun.
In prosecution of this doctrine, I proposed to observe the order and method following.
I. To premise a few things concerning this blessed Plant.
II. To sliew that indeed he is a Plant 0/renown.
III. To speak a little concerning the raising up of this Plant.
IV. Shew for whom he is raised up.
V. Shew for what good, or what benefit and advantage it he raised up. And then,
Lastly, Apply the whole.
As to the first, I spoke to it; I premised a few things concerning this blessed Plant, and I shall not stay to resume what was said on that head.
I likewise entered upon the second, and shewed that Christ is a Plant of renown in several respects : I mentioned eleven or twelve particulars wherein Christ is renowned, but I shall not resume these neither.
I shall only tell you a sew things wherein this blessed Plant is renowned.
i In the first place, this blessed Plant, he is renowned for his antiquity. There are many other plants in God's garden, as angels, seraphims, cherubims, saints militant and triumphant, they are all plants of God's garden; but they are all but up-starts in comparison of him ; for he was set up before ever the earth was ; you will fee, that one name of this Plant of renown is, the everlasting Father, or the Father of eternity, as it may be rendered.
2. As he is renowned for his antiquity, so for his beauty, he is the most beautiful Plant in all the garden of God; "I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys; he is as tlie apple tree among the trees of the wood:" He is renowned, 1 fay, for his beauty, and his glory, for the glory of a God is in him. Is there any glory in his eternal Father? Why, thit glory shines in our Immanuel in the very brightness of it, Heb. i. 3. He is the " brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person." Now, Sirs, if ever your eyes were opened by the Spirit of God, to take up the glory of this Plant, his glory has just dazzled your very eyes; you that never saw any glory in him, you never saw him to this very day. Pray, that the light of the glory of God in the sice of Jesus Christ may yet shine into your hearts ; it would make a heart some sacrament, if this Plant were displayed in hit glory among us. Sirs, have you come to fee him in his glory • O give God no rest till he make a discovery of himself to your souls.
3. then, He is renowned for his verdure, for his pirpetm' greenness. Other plants are fading, you and I are fading plants;" All flesh is grafs, and all the gccdlinsss thereof is astne
flower of the sield." He is a tree evergreen; he never fades fummer nor winter, and shall be ever a green Plant to the faints as it were to eternity. When millions of ages, yea myriads of ages, are past in heaven, he will be as frefh and green to the believer, as when he sirst faw him, or the sirst moment the faint entered into glory: Therefore it is, that the fongs of the rer deemed in glory, are ay new fongs, and through eternity will ay be new fongs; becaufe they will ay fee matter of a new fong, and the more they fee, they will more wonder at him through eternity. Again,
4. This plant is renowned not only for his verdure, but for his virtue. We read in Rev. xxii. " That the leaves of the tree of life, were for the healing of the nations," that tree of life is the very fame with this Plant of renown; the leaves of this Plant are for the healing of the nations; and we that are ministers are come this day to fcatter the leaves of this tree of life, of this Plant of renown: try, if you can get a leaf of it applied and fet home upon your fouls, depend upon it, there is virtue in every word of his: Sirs, mingle faith with a word, and you will sind it will have the fame essicacy with you as it had with the poor woman with the bloody iffue, that was healed with a touch of the hem of his garment, who had fpent all her living on doctors. O fee if ye can sind him; I assure you he is here, he is behind the door of every man's heart, Rjv. iii. 20. " Behold, I stand (fays he) at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to \\im-t and will sop with him, and he with me:" and O let him in; there is virtue in him for curing you all, though there were ten thoufand millions of you more than there are, there is virtue in him for healing every one of you. But then,
5. This blessed Plant, he is not only renowned for his virtue, but likewife for his fertility: He is not a barren plant; he would not be renowned if he were barren; he brings forth all manner of fruit every month ; yea, I may add, every day, every moment. You read in Rev. xxii. of the tree of life, that brings forth twelve manner of fruits every month; that is to fay, he brings fonh all manner of fruit that is neceffary for a poor foul: whatever thy foul stands in need of is to he found in him. See then and gainer, fee if you can gather fome of it: There is the fruit of his incarnation; there is the fruit of his death ; there is the fruit of his refurrection; there is the fruit of his afcenfion; there is the fruit of his intercefsion, and sitting at the right-hand of God; there is the fruit of his prophetic ossice; there is the fruit of his priestly ossice; there is :he fruit of liis kingly osssice; there is the fruit of hi* appearing within the vail j there is the fruit of what he did
without without the vail, and without the camp. O what fruit is here: Here is wisdom for fools; here is justification for the condemned soul; here is sanctification for the polluted soul, and clothing for the naked; riches for the poor, bread for the hungry, drink for the thirsty; all manner of fruit is tare, and we are trying, Sirs, to fliake the tree of life among you, and blessed be God they may be gathered. O Sirs, they are dropping among you! O gather, gather, for salvation is in erery word that drops from him, for his words are the words of eternal life. But
6. This blessed Plant is renowned for his scent, and pleasant savour. O Sirs, there is such a blessed savour in this Plant of renown, as has cast a perfume through all the paradise above; he has cast a perfume through all the church militant, which in If. v. is called God's vineyard. O Sirs, do ye find any thing of the scent of this Plant; I can tell you, if ever you have been made to ken him, it will be so, Cant. i. 2. •• Because of the savour of thy good ointment, thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee." The believer finds a scent about him, he draws a savour from him. What is the design of us ministers but to cast abroad his scent; and it is by this we win souls: and they that cast out and drop the Plant of renown out of their sermons, no wonder their sermons stink, and they shall stink to eternity that throw Christ out of their sermons. The great business of ministers is to cast forth the scent of Christ to people. I shall read you a word to this purpose, in 2 Cor. ii. 14—16. " Now thanks be unto God, which always causcth us to triumph in Christ :" the apostle triumphs in him, and all other honelt ministers will just triumph in him too, and all Christians triumph in him that know him ; ** And maketh manifest the favour ot his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that peristi. To the one we are "the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life, and who is sufficient for these things?" Who is able to tell the sweet savour that is in him? But then, again,
7. This blessed Plant (in my text) is not only renowned for his savour, but likewise for his shadow, Cant. ii. 3. "I sat <down under his shadow with great delight," the sliadow of the Plant cf renown. You are all lifting there or standing, but are you sitting under the Plant 0/ renown? Jonah's gourd did him service against the scorching heat of the lun that was like to take away his life : but, alas, that soon sailed him; for God sent a worm and smote it, that it withered; and the worm of death will soen smite and wither you and me; Oget