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have us to trust in them. 2. A firm persuasion, and full relying upon Christ, holding the eye of our soul upon him continually. John the Baptist (John iii. 33) useth two words to express the nature of faith and confidence. One is bnp Syr. Hop Cabala, the word of receiving, which in the Syriac is not every receiving, but a receiving of a doctrine sent from God, as divine, and sent from him. The other word is more, non Syr. : Obsignavit, conclusit, hath set to his seal. When the word is used of God towards us, we know the meaning, but when it is ascribed unto us in relation to God and his truth, it expresseth the resting of our conscience on the truth of God; that as the Lord sealeth his testimony unto us by the sacraments, and by his own Spirit, so upon our part, our faith and assurance sealeth the truth of God, that we acquiesce in it, and close with God, and the matter is concluded betwixt the Lord and our souls. The writing thus sealed cannot be reversed, for while the seal is at it, it abides firm, and the seal is kept by the Lord's faithfulness, for our benefit. This confidence will make us submit to the will of God, and to say, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because 1 have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her, which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? (Mic. vii. 9, 10). “Woe is me for my hurt; my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it,” (Jer. x. 19). This will carry us through all discouragements, because it maketh us to see greater things than the world. It opposeth the wrath of God against the terrors of the world, and the love of God against the love of the world. This assureth us of the presence of Christ in all our troubles, “It is I, be not afraid ;” the most terrible word to the enemy, and the most comfortable to the godly. It persuadeth us, that God cannot deny himself, nor forsake his own cause; and for ourselves, that although this life and all things in it should fail us, yet our happiness waits for us. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope,” (Psal. xvi. 9). Much might be spoken here, and to good purpose, of the notes whereby to try our faith and confidence, whether it be weak or strong, and of the means to increase it, that it may come to a full assurance; but I have troubled you too much already, and therefore I shall only desire that the recent proof of the mercy of God in our deliverance may be added to your calendar of former deliverances, to make your experience the stronger, that your hope and confidence may be the stronger for all time to come.
AN EXCELLENT ALLEGORY,
Taken forth of this History by Augustine, in his 14th Sermon, upon the words of our Lord.
As Christ going to the mountain to pray, gave commandment to his apostles, to get into a ship, and to go to the other side; so after his ascending into heaven, at his commandment the gospel was to be carried through the sea of this world. As the ship wherein the apostles of Christ were passengers, meeteth with a great tempest ; so the church of Christ sustaineth waves of persecution, and is opposed by the various blasts of heretical winds. As the disciples do not straightway forsake the ship, but did toil in rowing; so the confession of our faith is not to be forsaken, but the teachers of the church, both by word and writing, in the midst of the contrary winds of the world, and of the blasts of tumultuous heretics, are to discharge their office faithfully. Let the cross-yard be set up, and Christ crucified, be looked upon, and let us not make defection from him, but follow his steps; let us through suffering and death itself press toward eternal glory. Let also white sails, that is, a pure and honest conversation be laid hold of. Moreover, although the sea do rage, the wind withstand strongly, and the surges rise and make a noise, so that the ship be sore tossed and covered with the waves, yet is she not drowned but runneth to the haven: so may indeed the church be pressed, but can never be oppressed, for Christ is praying on high, and beholdeth his own, mightily wrestling with the contrary winds; he therefore intercedeth for them, that their faith fail not, but that they may carry unto the nations these noble, but to human reason, foreign wares of remission of sins, and the kingdom of heaven, through faith in Christ freely offered to all that earnestly repent and amend their lives. Furthermore, this small ship shall be tossed, and float on the water, till the Lord come, who alone is able to make a weighty body to walk upon the face of the liquid element, which shall come to pass about the fourth watch of the night, that is, in the end of time, when the night of this world is almost spent. In the meanwhile, although the roaring sea do murmur and repine under the feet of the Lord, yet nilling willing, it is constrained to bear him; so although the swelling pride and powers of the world arise together never so high, yet our Headshall trample on their head. But when Christ cometh near unto the ship, before he be clearly seen and known of his own, he striketh their hearts with a new terror, that they seem to themselves to see a ghost: for in the darkness of this night we are not able rightly to understand the work of the Lord ; but when the darkness is scattered, and all the storm calmed, we shall know him aright, and shall worship him as the true Son of God, our Redeemer and Saviour. It is our part who do live about the fourth watch, and upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Cor. x. 11.), to provide, lest that by the sudden and unlooked for coming of the Lord, we be surprised and confounded; for as Christ in one moment, and with one thrust, brought the ship into the harbour, so before we can look about us or turn ourselves, eternity shall come upon us; for the elect's sake these days shall be shortened, (Matt. xxiv. 22).
A SERM ON,
PREACHED BEFORE THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HOUSE OF LORDS, IN THE ABBEY CHURCH AT WESTMINSTER, UPON WEDNESDAY THE 28th of MAY, 1645.
BEING THE DAY APPOINTED FOR SOLEMN AND PUBLIC HUMILIATION.
BY ALEXANDER HENDERSON.
NoT any desire or confidence of mine own, but submission and obedience, made me first preach, and now print this sermon. Not any opinion or esteem I have of it, but example and custom, have moved me to set some words before it. These have I directed generally to the Christian reader, that I may not only include the noble Lords of Parliament, if any amongst them shall be pleased to look this way; but may also invite all other Christian readers (and such I wish all readers to be) to bestow some of their most serious thoughts upon so precious and excellent a subject, as is the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; which is here but generally hinted and briefly touched, but is represented to the life in scripture, and to the full treated and debated by divines. Jesus Christ by virtue of the three offices of his prophecy, priesthood, and kingdom, is made unto us of God, “wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” His sufficiency and suitableness to be
unto us a Saviour, consisteth in the dignity of his person, and in his willing undertaking and faithful administration of these his offices. The sum of the grace given us through communion with him, is comprised in these inestimable benefits. Without the one, he could not be a perfect Saviour; without the other, our salvation cannot be perfect. It hath been of old and is at this day a just complaint, that of the offices of Christ, his kingdom is least considered of, and most mistaken; which as it is dishonour to his name, so is it a mighty hinderance to the comfort of some, to the sanctification of others, and to the salvation of many, and is a main cause of the many disorders and scandals in the Church of Christ. The Papists will have their Pope, by reason of the kingdom of Christ, to be the head and (which is the same) the king of the Church, and at least in ordine ad spiritualia, to be the head and king of the kings of the earth. A sect of politics, which subject religion to policy, and Christ to the world, will have the supreme civil power, at least in ordine ad temporalia, to be the head and king of the church; and both the one and the other do turn the kingdom of Christ into a worldly kingdom. Ignorant and carnal professors are content to be served with Christ, as a prophet to teach them, and a priest to satisfy and make intercession for them; but are not willing to serve Christ as their king, that he may rule over them. And many modest and peaceable Christians suffer themselves to be robbed or cozened, if not of the one half, yet of a necessary and large part of the kingdom of Christ, while they either satisfy themselves with the internal influence of Christ their head, upon their own spirits, or give way to such as for their own ends would have them believe, that the whole administration of the kingdom of Christ is internal; not distinguishing betwixt that which is spiritual, and that which is internal, nor considering the external administration of the kingdom of Christ, although it be in this world, yet to be spiritual and heavenly, and not of this world. Judicious