« PreviousContinue »
A LAMP ORDAINED FOR GOD'S ANOINTED.
BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF TWO SERMONS,
The first preached at the admission of the Rev. Mr James
FISHER, late Minister of the gospel at Kinclaven, to be Mi. nister of the diffenting Associate Congregation in and about Glasgow, October 8. 1741 ; the other preached at Stirling, the third Sabbath of October, 1741.
Psal. cxxxii. 17.-I beve, ordained a lamp for mine Anointed.
THE FIRST SET. NGAY ON TIS TEXT.
T SHALL not coníund sinne in inıroducing myself into
this psalm was penned by Solomon, upon the occasion of the dedication of the temple unto God. The first part of the pfalm, viz. from the beginning of it to ver. 10. consists of petitions. The second part, namely, from ver. 11. to the close, conlists of a bundle of great and precious promises re.. lating 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 fix 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 : 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. (2.) He promises to bless the provision he makes for them, ver. 15. “ I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.” He will supply all their needs, according to his riches in glory, hy Christ Jesus. He will feed them with the hidden manna,
&c. (3.) He promises to give her faithful and successful mi. niliers, ver. 16. “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 many 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 glarious and renowned King out of the rotten stump of the family of David in the fulness of time. Christ himself is the principal bud of that tree, and all belie. vers are the buds of char bud. (5.) He promises, that the lamp of gospel light shall still shine in his true church, for ma. nifefting the glory of Chrift: I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed.
Where remark, (1.) The designation given unto Chrift by God his Father; he is mine Anointed. Though he be despised and rejected of men, though, an unbelieving world see no form or comeliners in him; why he shond be desired, yet I own him, and cha Herrg him as mine "Anointed, the Prophet, Priest, and King of rty: chrich.:: % I have found David my servant : with my bóby oik. Své I anointed him. With whom my hand shall be stabduhed :: mine arm also Thall strengthen him," Pfal. xxxis.20. 21... (2.) The great mean of God's appointment for manifesting the glory of Christ to a loft 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 thining in a dark place, until the day of glory dawn, when the Lord God and the Lamb will be the light of the ransomed for endless evermore. (3.) The authority by which this lamp 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 method. 1. Speak a little of Christ as God's Anointed.
IT. Of the lamp ordained for him.
I. The first thing proposed is, to speak a little of God's Anointa ed. “ God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of glade. ness above thy fellows,” Plal. xlv. 7. Hence his name Meliah in the Hebrew, and Christ in the Greek, both of them fignify properly, The anointed One of God. This designation imports,
1. That he is a Redeemer and Saviour of God's choosing; for none were anointed unto any office under the law, bat such as God 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,” If. 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, Priett, and King of his church. He was invested into his offices with great solennity; the solemnity of a decree, “ I will declare the decree," Pral. ii. 7. &c. the solemnity of an oath, “ The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever,” Plal. cx. 4. ; yea, with the folemnity 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 ficted and furnished for his work, by an unmeasurable effufion of the Holy Ghost. “Grace was poured into his lips." There is a twofold grace given unto Chriit as Mediator, namely, (s.). The grace of personal union, when the human nature, conlilta ing of a true body and a reasonable soul, is taken into the peson of the eternal Son of God, which is the great niystery of godliness. (2.) There was a created habitual fulness of grace bestowed on him for the discharging of his medias torial work, and for the use of his myfticai body: he “reccived gifts for men, that out of his fulness, we might receive grace for grace.” Thus you see what is imported in Chrift's anointing.
For the further illustration of this anointing, i fhall only add,
: : .. Chrift
1. Christ and all his members, all believers, are anointed with the same oil of the Holy Ghost, although in a very dif. ferent measure. He is anointed with that oil above his fel. lows; he received not the Spirit by measure : “ It pleased the Father, that in him fhould all fulness dwell.” Our anointing is but a drop in comparison of the ocean; yet it is with the self-fame Spirit; for “ he that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit.” As it is the same 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 my.. ftical. He is the head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God,” Col. ii. 19. ,
2. The anointing of Christ was gradual, according to the different stages or advances in his work. He “ įncreased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,” Luke ii. 52. This anointing began in the first moment of the union 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 ftill larger measure at his death, when“ through the eternal Spirit, he offered up himself with. out spot to God," Heb. ix. 14.; a greater measure yet was poured upon him 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 rushing of a mighty wind, Acts ii. 1.-4.
3. The anointing of Christ extends to all his offices, Prophet, Priest, and King. As a Prophet he says 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. Ixi. 1. &c. He is an anointed Priest: the human nature which was fanctified, were as it were perfumed with the oil of gladness, which made it savoury to God through the eternal Spirit. “He offered up himself a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling favour,” Eph. v. 2. This anointing extends unto him likewise a sa King: “But unto the Son, he saith, 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," I have anointed (as it may be translated) my King upon my holy hill of Zion,” Pial. ii. 6. I 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 finners of Adam's race. He is “ made of God unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption. He is God's 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 Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. God sent bis only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love;" and therefore let every loft Inner come unto him, receive and employ this anointed Saviour; take Christ's counsel unto Laodicea, 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 may st be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-falve, that thou mayst see,” Rev. iii. 18.
II. The second head proposed was, to discourse a little of the lamp that God has ordained for his Anointed.
By the lamp then I 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 see their way. All mankind, ever since the fall, are in dark. ness, 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 å 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 fure word of prophecy : unto which we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that thineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-Itar arise in our hearts," 2 Pet. i. 19. 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 are 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 ac. cording to God's own heart : “ Thy word (says 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 law light and a gospel light. A law light, to discover lin and misery; for by the law is the knowledge of