« AnteriorContinuar »
ment, and search shall be made for transgression, it shall not be found—but he will say to all who are hid in him, “Come ye “ blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you 6. from the foundation of the world.”*
Christ is an hiding place from the wind. When the winds a. rise, wrapt in black and scowling clouds, and portend a dreadful hurricane, sweeping houses, trees, and all before it, hurling on promiscuous ruin, how acceptable in this awful distress and danger is a secure hiding place, into which the traveller may run and he safe? Thusis Christ to the soul, when the wind of the Spirit descends upon him in strong convictions. The operations of the Spirit in the sacred oracles, are often compared to the wind. . When he places before the sinner all his sins. in direful array, uncovers hell to his view, and shows him the anger of God as an irresistable storm ready to dash him into the gloomy abyss, then in anguish of soul, he cries-out, “What shall I do to be saved?" Here is a place of refuge provided in the blood of Jesus, to which the convinced sinner may betake himself and be safe. The creature, who a little while ago, vas bemoaning himself as wretched, miserable and undone, Iraving Aled to this hiding place, his horrors are dispelled, and his mourning is turned into joy... Wherefore let sinners, who are under a deep sense of their guilt, and filled with direful apprehensions lest the storms of divine ven.. geance should burst upon them, be exhorted instantly to fly to Christ, who is an hiding place from such destroying winds..
Thirdly, Christ is a covert from the tempest. Now a covert in scripture phrase, is either a cooling shade-the baunt of wild beasts, or an impregnable defence. It is used as a cooling shade, when the place where Abagail met with David is designated. " She came down by the covert of the hill, and David and his men “ came down against her.” That is, they met under the unbrage, the įhill .projected, which was a pleasant and refreshing place. It is used also as the haunt of beasts of prey :- " Lions. “ abide in the covert to lie in wait, and Behemoth lieth in the 66 covert of the reed.” But it is here employed to express a see cure shelter, or a strong defence. Thus Christ Jesus is a munition of recks to all who resort to him. When tempests rise, lightnings flash, and thunders 'roar, and torrents burst from the ponderous clouds, then a covert at hand, into which we retreat, affords peculiar pleasure. But what tempest so terrible as the vengeance of almighty God ? “ He is a consuming fire ; and de" clares, the wicked he will persecute with his tempest, and make " them afraid with his storm. Upon the wicked he will rain “ snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; this shall “be the portion of their cup." But Christ is a covert and secure defenee against all these dreadful things, to those who flee to him. Noah was safe in the arky. when the cataracks of heaven were opened, the floods descended, and the highest mountains were deluged in the waves. He enjoyed hiinself in peace, when millions were swimming, sinking, and drowning around him. Thus they possess sweet tranquility, who have taken shelter in the precious ark Christ Jesus. He is a strong tower, into which we may run and be safe. Blessed and happy are they, who have made Clirist their covert from the tempest.
Fourthly, Our excellent prophet proceeds, not only to represent the Saviour as a place of perfect safety and security, but as an abundant source and fountain of consolation. “He is as ri“ vers of water in a dry place." A country, whose' verdure is sunk in dust, withered by incessant heat, and scorched by a burning sun, what so pleasant and refreshing as to meet with a running water ? Christ is this, and more than this, to the poor despairing and broken hearted soul ; of whom the parched earth affords a resemblance. Even the christian graces and virtues often languish and wither, like the grass and herbage of the field without rain ; and then, a renewed effusion of gracious communications, is as streams of water gently overflowing a thirsty soil. Rivers are not like land floods, which swell high and deluge for an hour, and quickly all is dry again, but they continually flow; thus Christ is an ever living river of refreshment, a source that never wastes or dries. He ever liveth, dispensing bountifully the waters of his grace, to all who will approach unto him. His voice is, “ Whosoever will let him come and take of the water “ of life freely.”
Fifthly, the last line observable in this divine portrait, to which your attention is directed, “Christ is the shadow of a great “rock in a weary land.” Contemplate for a moment, the massy rock ; can heat penetrate it, or storm produce any effect upon it? This rock is great, it is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which fills the whole earth, and therefore, must project its shade to the most distant corners of the world. When the summer sun pours forth his insufferable heat, and all nature wilts and faints under his blazing rays, a cool and refreshing shade to the half burnt labourer, restores life, and fills his faint
ing heart with comfort. The weary traveller casts himself into . the umbrage, with feelings of pleasure inexpressible. Thus 2
poor soul, in the sultry clime of legal convictions, and in the weary land of unavailing strivings and endeavours to happen to behold the gospel shade, to feel the wings of a crucified Saviour extended over him, it is life to his despairing heart. It revives, invigorates, and fills his soul with consolation. The wings of salvation are knot fas the boughs of a tree, which extend their coolness to a small distance, but they are as the umbrage of a stupendous rock, which has prohibited the sun to shine for ages, casts his friendly shade over extended lands, and affords the cool. ing breeze amidst the most fervent heat. Thus the precious Jesus is to the weary soul, who hath long laboured and been heavy ladened, worn down (with legal convictions and the toils of self-performances, finding him affords more extatic delight, than all the pleasures of the shade of a great rock, to the fatigued and fainting traveller.What refreshing streams flow from Christ Je. . sus ? What cooling and reviving shades do the covert of his wings afford to all who repair to him? “ He is a man that shall be an * hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, rivers " of water in a dry place, the shadow of a great rock in a weary A land."
A brief application, must close the pleasing reflections.
First, How should our admiring thouglits be excited by redeeming love, and the excellencies of the glorious Jesus? All the perfections of heaven and earth are concentered in Immanuela His condescension-bis humiliation-his life-death, merits, and righteousness are an impregnable defence to the believer-2 fortress of rocks for his safety-rivers of everlasting waters for his refreshment--and cooling shades of eternal consolation.
Secondly, Who can exhibit the compleat felicity of those who have fled to Jesus? They are secured from the storms of wrath --fortified against the tempests of temptation-freed from the stings of conscience-delivered from the ensnarements of the world--sustained in afflictions-sweetly supported in sorrowscased in pain, and armed against the terrors of death. Blessed and happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.
Thirdly, We may here pass a gloomy glance upon those who are still out of Christ. Their case is awful beyond conception. Nothing to shelter them from the storms of divine vengeancenothing to allay the surges of a wounded conscience-to ward off the fiery darts of the evil one-no comfort in distress, affliction, or death-and soon, instead of cooling shades and refreshing rivers, they will be in the world of burning and tormenting flames, where a drop of water cannot be administered to their scorching tongues.
Indulge me to end the subject, with a word of exhortation.
First, To those who have fled to Jesus, as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Allow me te
congratulate you upon the glories and safety of your retreat. You are in the land of certain pleasure, of security, comfort, peace and joy. You have entered into the ark of salvation, and God, who is faithful by his promises, hath closed the door.-Wherefore, remain in this impregnable tower, rest under the transporting shadow of the rock of ages, and drink plentifully of the rivers of living water. In simple language, cleave to Christ -live by faith upon him-look to him for strength, for the performance of every duty-for succour in temptations, support in afilictions, and to be your staff and stay in the valley of death. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will guide you by his counsel, and afterwards receive you to glory. Ever then proceed in your celestial course, rejoicing in bope of a crown of glory which fadeth not away.
Secondly, Let thoughtless sinners be exhorted to awake from their fatal slumbers, and attend to the things of their peace. The hiding place from the wind, the covert from the tempest are still open the rivers of water, and the shading rock are free to all. Now is the time for you to enter in, drink and live. “ Now " is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." If any are under concern about their souls, there is no other place to which they can possibly flee and be safe. Remember, O sinners, your case is dangerous—your duty should urge you-your misery aların you-your necessity compel you and your interest and happiness draw you. Remember Christ is worthy-he is able and willing to save—he is a place of security, and a fountain of consolation. Hearken to the persuasive voice of heaven. “Ho, “ every one that thirstest, come ye to the waters, and he that "hath no money ; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine
and milk, without money, and without price."