« AnteriorContinuar »
be fatisfied for fins paft? Justice must have fatisfaction, or you can Dever have remission, Rom. iii. 25, 26. and no work wrought by man can satisfy divine justice ; nor is the fatisfactia on of Christ made over to any for their discharge, but to fuch, only, as are in him; therefore, Qever expect mercy out of Christ.
Infer. 2. Is Christ, the merry of mercies, greater, better; and more necessary than all other mercies ; then let no inferior mercy satisfy you for your portion.
God hath mercies of all forts to give, but Christ is the chief, the prime mercy of all mercies: O be not satisfied without that mercy,
When Luther had a rich present fent him, “ he pro" tefted God should pot put him off fo:" and David was of the fame miod, Pfal. xvii. 14. If the Lord should give aoy of you the desires of your hearis in the good things of this life, let not that fatisfy you, whilft you are Chriftless. For,
First, What is there in these earthly enjoyments, whereof the vilest men have not a greater fulness than you? Job xxi. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Psal. xvii. 10. and lxxiii. 3, 12.
Secondly, What comfort can all these things give to a foul al. ready condemned, as thou art ? John iii. 18.
Thirdly, What sweetness can be in them, whilst they are all unfanctified things to you? enjoyments, and fanctification, are.' two distinct things, Pfal. xxxvii. 16. Prov. X. 22. Thousands of unfanctified enjoyments will not yield your souls one drop of folid spiritual comfort.
Fourthly, What pleasure can you take in these things, of which death must, shortly, strip you naked? You must die, you must die; and whose then shall all those things be, for which you have laboured ? Be not so fond, to think of leaving a great name behind you ; 'tis but a poor felicity (as Chryfoftome well observes) to be tormented where thou art, and praised where thou are pot f: the sweeter your portion hath been on earth, the more iatolerable will your condition be in hell; yea, these earth. ly delights do not ooly increase the torments of the damned, but also prepare (as they are instruments of sin) the souls of men for damnation, Prov. i. 32. “ Surely the prosperity of fools fall “ destroy them.” Be restless, therefore, till Chrilt, the mercy of mercies, be the root and fountain, yielding and fanétifying all other mercies to you. I
lofer. 3. Is.Chrift, the mercy of mercies, infinitely better than
* Valde proteftatus fum, me nolle fic ab eo fatiari. Luth.
# For then the devouring fame burns up those whom carnal pleafyre pollates.
all other mercies ; then let all that be in Chrift be content, and well Jatisfied, whatever other inferior mercies the wisdom of God lees fit to deny them. You have a Benjamin's portion, a plentiful inheritance in Chrift; will you yet complain ? Others have houses, splendid and magnificent upon earth ; but you have “ an house made without hands, eternal in the heavens,” 2 Cor. V. I. Others are cloathed with rich and coftly apparel, your souls are clothed with the white, pure robes of Christ's righteousuels. Ifa. lxi. 10. " I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my foul Mall be joyful in my God: for he hath cloathed me " with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the “ robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with
ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.” Let those that have full tables, heavy, purses, rich lands, but no Christ; be rather objects of your pity, than envy: it is better, like fore-cattle, to be kept lean and hungry; than, with the fatted ox, to tumble in Aowery meadows, thence to be led away to the shambles. God hath not a better mercy to give than Christ, thy portion; in him all necessary mercies are secured to thee, and thy wants and straits fanctified to thy good. O! therefore, never open thy mouth to complain against the bountiful God.
Infer. 4. Is Christ the mercy, (i. e.) he in whom all the tender mercies of God towards poor finners are ; then let none be discouraged in going to Christ, by reason of the fin and unworthiness that are in thena : his very name is mercy, and as his name is, so is he. Poor drooping finner, encourage thyself in the way of Faith; the Christ to whom thou art going, is mercy
itself to broken-hearted fingers, moving towards him in the way of faith : doubt not that mercy will repulse thee ; it is against both its name, and nature, fo to do. Jesus Christ is so merci. ful to poor fouls, that come to him, that he hath received and pardoned the chiefest of finners ; men that stood as remote from mercy, as any in the world, 1 Tim. i. 15. 1 Cor. vi. 11. Those that shed the blood of Christ, have yet been washed in that blood from their fin, Aéts ii. 36, 37.' Mercy receives fiopers, without exception of great and heinous ones. John vii 37:
If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink.” Gospel invitations run, in general terms, to all finners that are heavy laden, Mat. xi. 28. °When Mr. Bilney, the martyr, heard a minister preaching at this rate, Othou old finner, who haft been Serving the devil these fifty or fixty years; doft thou think that Christ will receive thee now? O! said he, what a preaching of Christ is here ? Had Chrilt been thus preached to me in the day
trouble for fin, what had become of me? But, blessed be God, there is a fufficiency, both of merit, and mercy, in Jesus Christ, for all finners, for the vilest among finners, whose hearts 1hall be made willing to come unto him. So merciful is the Lord Jesus Christ, that he moves first, Ila. Ixii. 1, 2. fo merciful, that he upbraids gone, Ezek. xviii. 22. fo merciful, that he will not despise the weakest, if sincere, desires of fouls, Isa. xlii. 3. fo merciful, that nothing more grieves him, than our unwillingness to come unto him for mercy, John'v. 40. so merciful, that he waiteth, to the last, upon sioners, to thew them mercy, Rom. X. 21. Mat. xxiii. 37. in a word, so merciful, that it is his greatest joy when finners come unto him, that he may shew them mercy, Luke xv. 5, 22.
Object. But yet it cannot enter into my thoughts that I should obtain mercy. Sol. First, You measure God by yourselves, 1 Sam. xxiv.
19. “ If a man find his enemy, will he let him go
well will not, but the merciful God will, upon the submission of the enemies to him.
Secondly, You are discouraged, because you have not tried. Go to Jesus Christ, poor distressed sinners; try him, and then report what a Christ thou findeft him to be.
Object. But I have neglected the time of mercy, and now it is too late.
Sol. How know you that? Have you seen the book of life, or turned over the records of eternity ? Or do you not unwarrantably intrude into the secrets of God, which belong not to you? Besides, if the treaty were at an end, how is it that thy heart is now distressed for sin, and follicitous after deliverance from it? Object. But I have waited long, and yet
fee no mercy for me. Sol. May not mercy be coming, and you not see it ? Or have you not waited at the wrong door? If you wait for the mercy of God through Christ, in the way of humiliation and faith, and continue waiting; assuredly mercy shall come at last.
Infer. 5. Hath God performed the mercy promised to the Fathers, the great mercy, the capital mercy, Jesus Christ ; then let mo man distrust God for the performance of lesser mercies, contained in any other promises of the scripture. The performance of this mercy secures the performance of all other mercies to us. For,
First, Christ is a greater mercy than any other which yet remains to be performed, Rom. viii 32.
Secondly, This mercy virtually compreheads all other mercies, I Cor. iii, 21, 22, 23.
Thirdly, the promises that contain all other mercies, are ra. tified and confirmed to believers in Christ, 2. Cor. i. 20.
Fourthly, It was much more improbable that God would be fow his own Son upon the world, than that he fiould bellow any other mercy upon it. Wait, therefore, in a comfortable expectation of the fulfilling of all the rest of the promises in their seasons. Hath he given thee Christ? He will give thee bread to eat, raiment to put on, support in troubles, and what foever else thy foul or body ftands in need of: The blessings contained in all other promises, are fully secured by the perfor mance of this great promise ; thy pardon, peace, acceptance with God now, and enjoyment of him for ever, mall be filfil: led : The great mercy, Christ, makes way for all other mercies to the souls of believirs.
Infer. 6. Lastly, How mad are they that part with Christ, the best of mercies, to secure and preserve any temporal lefser mercies to themselves ! Thus Demas and Judas gave up Christ to gain 3 little of the world ; O soul-undoing bargain ! How dear do they pay for the world, that purchase it with the loss of Christ, and their own peace
for ever! Blessed be God for Jesus Christ, the mercy of mercies.
* * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *
S E R M ON
Containing a third Motive to enliven the general Ex
hortation, from a third Title of CHRIST.
CANT. v. Part of Verfe 16.-.--Yea, He is altogether lovely.
T the ninth verse of this chapter, you have a query pro
pounded to the spouse, by the daughters of Jerusalem ; “ 'What is thy beloved more than another beloved ?" To this question the spouse returns her answer in the following verfes, wherein the asserts his excellency io general. Ver. 10.
“ He is " the chiefest among ten thousands;" confirms that general af sertion, by an enumeration of his particular excellencies, to ver. 16. where the closes up her charater and encomium of her beloved, with an elegant epiphonema, in the words that I have read; “ Yea, he is altogether lovely."
The words, you fee, are an affirmative proposition, ferting forth the transcendent loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ; and naturally resolve themselves into three parts, viz.
1. The subject.
Firft, The subject, He, viz. the Lord Jesus Christ, after whom The had been seeking, for whom she was sick of love; concerning whom these daughters of Jerusalem had enquired : whom she had endeavoured fo graphically to describe in his particular excellencies. This is the great and excellent subject of whom fhe here speaks.
Secondly, The predicate, or what she affirmeth, or faith of him, viz. That he is a lovely one, Machamaddim, delires; according to the import of the * original, " which signifies earnelly as to desire, covet ; or long after that which is most pleasaot, “ grateful, delectable, and admirable ;" The original word is both in the abstract, and of the plural number, which fpeaks Cbriik to be the very essence of all delights and pleasures; the very foul aod fubfiance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the congregation or meeting-place of all the waters in the world : fo Christ is that ocean in which all true de. lights and pleasures meet.
Thirdly, The manner of predication : Heis [altogether] lovely, Totus, totus defiderabilis ; lovely in all, and in every part: as if she had laid, Look on him, in what respect or particular you will; cast your eye upon this lovely object, and view bim any way; curo him in your serious thoughts, which way you will; confider his perfon, his offices, his works, or any other thing belonging to him; you shall find him altogether lovely: There is nothing ungrateful in himı; there is nothing lovely without him. Hence nole, Doct. That Jesus Christ is the loveliest person souls can set their eyes upon. Pfal. xlv. 2. “ Thou art fairer than the children
of mea.” That is said of Jesus Christ, which cannot be said of any creature ; that he is "
" altogether lovely." In opening this lovely poiot, I shall,
1. Weigh the importance of this phrafe," altogether lovely." 2. Shew you in what respects Christ is for
First, Let us weigh this excelleot expression, and particularly consider what is contained in it, and you fall find this exprefr fian, “ Altogether lovely :"
* Significat appetere, expetere quod jocunduth, gratuor, volup. Luofum, urile at annabile cft. Pag.