Page images



... i •

The first preached at the admission of the Rev. Mr James

Fisher, late Minister of the gospel at Kinclaven, to be Minister of the diflenting Associate Congregation in and about Glasgow, October 8. 1741 ; the other preached at Stirling, the third Sabbath of October, 1741.

[ocr errors]

.♦*■ i'"".4, ;•

I SHALL not consumer time in introducing myself into these words. It .isjtjicaight'-bjj Ipipe interpreters, that this psalm was penned by Solomon, upon the occasion of the dedication of the temple unto God. The first part of the psalm, viz. from the beginning of it to ver. 10. consists of petitions. The second part, namely, from ver. 11. to the close, consists of a bundle of great and precious promises relating to David and his family in the type, but mainly and ultimately to Christ and his New Testament church in the antitype.

God promises, (1.) To six his residence in his church, ver. 13. 14. " For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever t here will I dwell, for I have desired it." God's gracious presence in his church, and amongst his people, makes her the perfection of beauty, and the praise of the whole earth, (j.) He promises to bless the provision he makes for them, ver. 15. *' I will abundantly bless her provision: 1 will satisfy her poor with bread." He •will supply all their needs, according to his riches in glory, bv Christ Jesus. He will feed them with the hidden manna,


&c. (3.) He promises to give her faithful and successful ministers, ver. »6. "I will clothe her priests with salvation." Ministers are then clothed with salvation, when, by the power of God resting upon them and their ministrations, they are the happy instruments of bringing ma'ny to Christ, in whom they find salvation from sin and wrath ; and when the arm of the Lord is revealed, then the servants of Christ, and all true believers, do " shout aloud for joy." (4.) He promises, that however low the interest of Christ may be brought, though, like himself, it may appear a root in a dry place, yet, like a tree well rooted in the ground, sore lopt and hacked by man ( and Satan, it will sprout again, as in the first part of the verse, «' There will I make David's horn to bud." The meaning is, I will bring forth a glorious and renowned King out of the rotten stump of the family of David in the fulness of time. Christ himself i« the principal bud of that tree, and all believers are the buds of that bud. (5.) He promises, that the lamp of gospel light shall still shine in his true church, for manifesting the glory of Christ: I have ordained a lamp for mime Anointed.

Where remark, (1.) The designation given unto Christ by God his Father ; he is mine Anointed. Though he be despised and rejected of .men.; thqugh. aP PP.W\|6ving world sec no form Ot comelindft*si&:'h(rn/ whjf.hse stenjd be desired, yet I own him, and cbafierrge'hirh as TnlnfAliciinted, the Prophet, Priest, and King of "my; catfish.•:?? I have found David my servant: with mylrolyoir<.{.ave I anointed him. With whom my hand shall'*C ^tgMalftil :\ mine arm also shall strengthen him," Ps.rl. SiyX\xSi6^1X... (2) The great mean of God's appointment for manifesting the glory of Christ to a lost world; he has provided a lamp for his Anointed. The use of a lamp is to give light to people in the darkness of the night; so the word of God, particularly the gospel, is a light shining in a dark place, until the day of glory dawn, when the Lord God and the Lamb will be the light of the lansomed for endless evermore. (3.) The authority by which this Ump is lighted and carried through this dark world; it is ordained of God; and by his commandment it is that we preach and spread the light of the gospel, Mark xvi. 15. 20.

Observe. *' That the dispensation of the everlasting gospel is a lamp which God has ordained for manifesting the glory of Christ unto a lost world lying in darkness."

In discoursing this doctrine, through divine assistance, I shall pursue the following mtthod. I. Speak a little of Christ as God's Anointed.

■i. II. Of

II. Of the lamp ordained for him.

III. Of the ordination of this lamp.

IV. Offer some reasons why God has ordained it.

V. Make application.

1. The first thing proposed is, to fpeai a little of God's Anoiitt* ed. "God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows," Psal. xlv. 7. Hence his name Mijfuih in the Hebrew, and Christ in the Greek, both of them signify properly, The anointed One of God. This designation imports,

i. That he is a Redeemer and Saviour of God's choosing; for none were anointed unto any office under the law, but such as Cod particularly designed and elected: and such an one is Christ. "Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles," If. xlii. 1.

2. This designation intimates, that he was called, "the called and sent of God: I the Lord have called thee," Is. xlii. 6. He did not take this honour to himself, but was "called of God, as was Aaron." When faith embraces him, it hath this in its eye, it takes him up as the sent of God.

3. This designation likewise implies his investiture into his offices as the great Prophet, Priest, and King of his church. He was invested into his offices with great solemnity; the solemnity of a decree, "I will declare the decree," Psal. ii. 7. &c. the solemnity of an oath, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever," Psal. ex. 4.; yen, with the solemnity of an open and audible proclamation from »' the excellent glory above, when the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon him in the likeness of a dove.

4. This designation also connotes his being throughly fitted and furnished tor his work, by an unmeasurable essuhon of the Holy Ghost. *' Grace was poured into his lips." There is a twofold grace given unto Christ as Mediator, namely, (1.)' The grace of ptrl'onal union, when the human nature, consisting of a tme body and a reasonable soul, is taken into the peson of the eternal Son of God, which is the great mystery of godliness. (2.) There was a created habitual fulness of grace bestowed on him for the discharging of his mediatorial work, and for the use of his mystical body: he " received gifts for men, that out of his fulness, we might receive grace for grace." Thus you fee what is imported in Christ's anointing.

For xhfi further illustration of this anointing', I fliall only add,

1. Christ

i. Christ and all his members, all believers, are anointed with the fame oil of the Holy Ghost, although in a very different measure. He is anointed with that oil above his fellows ; he received not the Spirit by measure : " It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell." Our anointing is but a drop in comparison of the ocean; yet it is with the self- same Spirit; for "he that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit." As it is the fame human soul that is in the head and in the members of the natural body; so it is the very fame Spirit that is in the head and in the members of the body mystical. He is " the head, from which all the body by joints and bantU having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God," Coj. ii. 19. ,

2. The anointing of Christ was gradual, according to the different stages or advances in his work. He "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man," Luke ii. 52. This anointing began in the first moment of the unipn between the divine and the human natures. He had.a greater, measure of the Spirit and the gifts of'the Holy Ghost bestowed on him at his baptism; a still larger measure at his death, when " through the eternal Spirit, he offered up himself without spot to God," Heb. ix. 14.: a greater measure yet was poured uponjhim at his resurrection, when he was " declared, to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead:" and when he ascended up on high, he poured out the Spirit like the ruining of a mighty wind, Acts ii. I.—4.

3. The anointing of Christ extends to all his offices, Prophet, Priest, and King. As a Prophet he fays of himself, *' The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek," If. lxi. 1. &c. He is an anointed Priest: the human nature which was sanctified, were as it were perfumed with the oil of gladness, which made it fcivoury to God through the eternal Spirit. "He ont-red up himself a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour," £ph. v. 2. This anointing extends unto him likewise a sa King: " But unto the Son, he faith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever_; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom:—therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows," Heb. i. 8. 9. And again," 1 have anointed (as it may be trantlated) my King upon my holy hill of Zion," Plal. ii. 6. 1 shall finish this head, when I have told you,

4. That Christ himself, and the whole of his gifts, graces, and qualifications, is ordained for our use, who are sinners of Aden's race. He is "made of God uuto us wisdom, and

righteousness, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.'.' He is God'e gift unto you: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given :—and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, My Fathetf giveth you the true bread from heaven. God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love;" and therefore let every loft sinner come unto him, receiveand employ this anointed Saviour'; take Christ's counsel untoLaodicea, for the same advice and counsel comes to every one of you: " I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayst be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayst be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayst see," Rev. iii. iS.

II. The second head proposed was, to discourse a little of the lamp that GodTitu ordained for his Anointed.

By the lamp then 1 understand the word of God, and particularly the word of the truth of the gospel. You know the use of a lamp is to give light to men in the dark, and to let them fee their way. AH mankind, ever since the fall, are in darkness, yea darkness itself. They have lost their way, and are walking upon the ridge of hell and utter destruction. Now, the gospel, or word of faith which we preach, is a light or a lamp as it were, which God hath set up to discover to the children of men how they have lost their way, and let them see that new and living way of his own devising, by which they may come back again to God and glory. "We have a more sure word of prophecy : unto which we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts," 2 Pet. i. i y. The dark place that the apostle is speaking of, is this dark world, and the heart of man is the darkest place in the world. God who is the Father of lights, he has given his word, the scriptures of truth, as a lantern or lamp, to direct us how we 2re to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. To this light, or lamp, we do well to take heed, as David did, the man according to God's own heart: "Thy word (fays he) is a light to my feet, and a lamp unto my paths." Now, the lamp of the word of God casts a twofold light among the children of men, namely, a Jaw light and a gospel light. A law light, to discover sin and misery; for by the law is the knowledge of


« PreviousContinue »