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rftakes day, I mean Christ, the glorious Sun of righteoufnefs; and you will be fo much taken up with him, that you will account all things but lofs, &c.
4*hly, The light of the day of Christ has warmed thy foul with love to. the Lord; love to his ordinances, a day in his courts will be better than a thoufand ; love to his people, they are my delight, the excellent-ones of the earth.
Ufe third shall be of Exhortation.
Sirs, has your lot fallen in the day of Christ, which Abraham faw by faith, and was glad? Theni
ifi, Receive the light of the day; entertain the light of the Sun of righteoufnefs. O behold that glorious Sun, that is Alining upon you in the difpenfation of the gofpel! You are as much warranted to make ufe of the light of the Sun of righteoufnefs, to direct you to glory, as you are warranted to make ufe of the natural fun, to direct you in your w iy home to your feveral abodes. What freer th;m thejight? The beggar has as good a right to ufe it as the prince upon the throne. So the day-light of the Sun of righteoufnefs, and the bleffings of his day, are as free to you as to any man; and therefore, 0 do not shut out the light, but entertain and receive it, John viii. 12. "I am the light of the world (fays Christ); he that followeth me shall not walk in darknefs, but shall have the light of life."
idly, Is this the day of Christ? O then, work while it is ^y, work out the work of your falvation while the day lasted, for the night hasteth on, wherein no man can work. And if you ask, What is the work of God? I give you the fame anfwer that Christ gave, and I cannot give you a better, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.'* The everlasting gofpel is preached to all nations, for the obedience of faith. O, for the Lord's fake, believe ora the name of the Son of God, for this is his great commandroent; this is the foundation of all obedience, and without it you cannot obey one commandment of the law, for " whatever is not of faith is sin."
idly, Is this the day of Christ? O then, let us be glad, and 'tjoice therein. This was the practice of Abraham, the father of the faithful, and this will be the practice of all the genuine true-born children of Abraham, Pfal. cxviii. 24. "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." O let us rejoice in his perfon, for he is the glory of mankind, as well as the brightnefs of his Father's glory. L« us rejoice in him, faying, *• To us a Son is given," Sec. l-et us rejoice in his fulnefs, fuitablenefs, and excellency, "for fuch an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmlefs,
Vol. III. 3 I undesiled, undesiled, separate from sinners, Sec. ivlio is made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctifkation, and redemption." Let us. rejoice in the great things that we fee actuals done in his day, that he hai finished transgression, made art end of sin. Let us rejoice to fee the glory of heaven brought down to earth, "the Word made flesh, and tabernacling among us." O rejoice and wonder, that the tabernacle of God is with man, that the temple of God is opened j »n<J ia the view of all this together, let us join issue with the church, If. xii. 3. " Behold, God is my salvation •, I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength ami roy song, he also is become my salvation; therefore with joyuUJ ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."
CHRIST, AS THE BREAKER, OPENING ALL PASSES Ti> GLORY, THAT WERE IMPASSABLE j
OPENED UP IN THREE SACRAMENTAL SERMONS, FROM
MlCAH ii. 13—The breaker is come up before them ; they ha:i broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gon out by it; and their king stall pass before them, and W Lord (or Jehovah) on the head of them.
WHATEVER literal respea these words may have unto the return of the children of Israel, from their Batylonifh captivity, through the instrumentality of Cyrus, ytf |E is generally agreed upon, not only by Christian, but even by some Jewish interpreters, that they have a principal and ultimate view unto the glorious Messiah, and the great worW salvation that he was to accomplish in the fulness of time.
The prophet tells us, in the preceJing verse, that Christ,35 the great Shepherd of Israel, was to gather together the ITM Iheep of the house of Israel, and would gather a New Test'" ment church to himself; and, by reason of the multitude 01 converts that should flock unto the ever-blessed Shiloh) tM noise and report of their gathering should be heard fat >ninear, through the earth. But fenfe, anrt reafon might look on this as a thing altogether impracticable, becaufe of the strong bars that stood in the way, and the great oppofition that would be made by hell and earth, to the rearing and gathering the New Testament church: therefore the prophet here prophesies, that Christ fhould rid the way, and clear the passage, and make mountains as a plain.
In which words we have these three things;
1/?, The way of the Lord's ransomed opened up by the great Redeemer, The breaker is ame up before them.
idly, Thiefcape ot the ranfamed by this way, or the improvement they make of it by faith. This is held forth in three expressions, They have broker: up—T. key have pnjjed through the gate—They have gone out by it.
idly, We have the glorious march of the ranfomed under the Redeemer's conduct, as their renowned general, Their Kingfeallpajs before them, and Jehovah on their head.
1ft, I fay, we havs the passage opened up by the great Redeemer, 'The breaker is come up before them. Where again we have,
1. The(designation given to the glorious Messiah, he is called the Breaker. Cyrus v.-as an instrument in the hand of God, for breaking the Babylonish yoke, and fo paving a way for the return of Ifrael into their native land; and herein he was a type of Christ, by whom the yoke of our fpiritual captivity under fin and Satan is broken, and a way paved for coming up to the land of rest and glory that is above, of whicli the earthly Canaan was a corruptible type. Some think that in this exprefsion, there is an allusion unto the he-goat, or the ram, which in a storm breaks the way to the rest of the flock. Christ is " given for a leader and commander to the people," and he it is, that opens the passage to glory fur us, through 'he storms and tempests of his Father's wrath, and the rage of men and devils. Whatever allusion there may be in this name, jet it is abundantly plain, that it is Christ that is intended; for he that is called the Breaker in the beginning of the verse, 'i called their King, and Jehovah, in the close of it; their ^-'"g shallpafs before them, and Jchov.Jj on the head of them: "•d who can bear this name, or wear the weight and worth o' ;t, but he who has "a name above every name."
2. We have the courageous appearance of the glorious Redeemer in his breaking work. He comes up, he appears upon the sield with an undaunted and heroic courage, to tnJ^unter enemies and opposition that stood in the way, he lets "s face to it, and ia not afraid to meet the enemy in the sield of bank.
3. We have the party that he heads, or thofe in whofe quarrel this Breaker appears ; He comes up before them. This being a relative, leads you back to the preceding verfe, where we sind them fet forth under the notion of a stock of lhccp , silly, weak, and timorous creatures, that can do nothing in their own defence; the bark of a dog will make ten thoufand of them to run. Such weak, helplefs creatures are we, when Christ appears for our relief, The breaker is come up be/ore them. As for the other particulars in the verfe, it is like we may have occasion to point at them in the fequel of the difcourfe; at prefent, I osser this doctrine from the ivords.
Observe, "That as Christ is the Breaker up of our way to glory, fo he comes up before us, for our encouragement, as the renowned Captain of falvation."
In difcoursing this doctrine, I shall endeavour, through divine assistance,
I. To inquire upon what account Christ is called the Breaker.
II. Speak of the coming up of this Breaker.
III. Inquire into the import of his coming up before his people.
IV. Shew why he acts the part of a Breaker.
I. The jirjl thing is, to inquire into the reafon of this name, Why is Christ called the Breaker?
j]nfw. 1. In general he is fo called, becaufe of the great opposition he had to break through, in the glorious undertaking of our redemption, both in the purchafe and application of it. The eterral Son of God had a fpiritual kingdom to rear up in this lower world, among the lost family of Adam ; but before, he could essectuate his dtiign, he must break in upon the powers of hell, ard overthrow the ufurped kingdom of the devil, who, becaufe of his uriverfal empire that he had obtained, is called The god of this wotld. Accordingly, the sirst work that the Son ot God undertakes, is, to bruife or break the head of the ferpent, Gen. iii. 15. »'. e. to destroy his power, or to wiert the government out of his hand: accordingly, when he had sinished tie wck of our redemption upon the crofs, he is faid to have " fpoiled principalities and powers, and made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them ia it."
1. Having broken the head of the ferpent, he breaks open his prifon, and proclaims freedom and liberty unto his prifoners. Had that question been put to all the angels in heaven, and men upon earth, which you have, If. xlix. 24. "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or mail the lawful captive be delivered?'' it would have silenced them, and put them to an eternal stand. Well, who anfwers the question? The blessed Breaker that is come up before us, he steps in, ver. 25. "Thus faith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty fhall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will fave thy children." O Sirs, we had remained eternal captives to Satan, unlefs the Son of God had undertaken our deliverance, and broken the chains of our captivity, Zech. ix. II. " As for thee alfo, by the blood of thy covenant, I have fent forth thy prifoners out of the pit wherein there is no Water." .
3. He is sitly called the Breaker, becaufe he breaks up a new and living way, by which we have accefs to God and glory. The old way of the covenant of works was blocked up with so many bars, thorns, woes, and curfes, that it was become impassable ; none of the fallen race of Adam could enter by that road : but our blessed Goel, our kind Kinfman, cames, and by his obedience unto the death, opens up a new entry or passage, by which we have accefs to God, and Christ himfelf is that way, John xiv. 6. '* I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; and there is no coming to the Father but by me." Of this new way, cast up by the Breaker that is come up before us, the prophet Ifaiah fpeaks, chap. xxxv. 8—10. " A high-way sball be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holinefs: the unclean shall not pafs over it, but it fhall be for thofe; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein: no lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall £0 up thereon, it fliall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ranfomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with fongs, and everlasting joy upon their beads; they shall obtain joy and gladnefs, and forrow and sighing shall flee away."
4. He is called the Breaker, becaufe he breaks through the storms of divine wrath, the rage of men and devils, in order to accomplish our redemption. The justice of God stood in his way, with a flaming fword, ready to be sheathed in his bowels, the curfe of the brokeu law rolled mountains in his way: the armies of hell were combined to oppofe him in his work, "many bulls compassed him, the strong bulls of Bafhan furrounded