« AnteriorContinuar »
bleeding afresh thus upon every remembrance of sin.
Secondly, Here we must be confiding on Christ Jesus, and relying on him alone for life and salvation. When we mourn for sin, blessed be God, we do not sorrow as those that have no hope ; true penitents are perplexed, but not in despair-cast down, but not destroyed. Faith in Christ turns even their sorrows into joy....gives them their vineyards from thence, and even the valley of Achor, (of trouble for sin) for a door of hope.... Hos.'ii. 15. We have not only an all-sufficient happiness to hope for, but an all-sufficient Saviour to hope in : here, therefore, let us exercise and encourage that hope ; let us trust in the name of the Lord Jesus, and stay ourselves upon him; come up out of this wilderness, leaning upon your beloved.... Cant. vii. 5. Come, my soul, weary as thou art, and rest in Christ; cast thy burden upon him, and he shall sustain thee ; commit thy way to him, and thy thoughts shall certainly be established; con mit thyself to him, and it shall be well with thee: he will keep, through his own name, that which thou committest to him. Commịt thyself to him, as the scholar commits himself to his teacher to be instructed, with a resolution to take his word for the truth of what he teacheth, oportet discentum credere )-as the patient commits himself to his physician to be cured, with a resolution to take whatever he prescribes, and punctually to observe his orders as the client commits himself to his counsel, to draw his plea, and to bring him off when he is judged, with a resolution to do all such things as he shail advise--as the traveller commits himself to his guide, to be directed in his way,
with resolution to follow his conduct--as the orphan comnits himself to his guardian, to be governed and disposed of at his discretion, with a resolution to comply with hiir. Thus must we,commit ourselves to Christ.
(1.) We must confide in his power, trusting in him as one that can help and save us." (1.) He hath an incontestible authority....is a Saviour by office....sanctified and sealed, and sent into the world for this purpose : help is laid upon him. We may well offer to trust him with our part of this great concern, which is
the securing of our happiness; for God trusted him e with his part of it, the securing of his honor, and de
clared himself well pleased in him.... Mat. iii. 17. (2.) He hath likewise an unquestionable ability to save to the uttermost: he is mighty to save, and every way qualified for the undertaking: he is skilful , for treas
ures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in him : he is i solvent ; for there is in him an inexhaustible fulness
of merit and grace, sufficient to bear all our burdens, and to supply all our needs. We must commit our
selves and the great affairs of our salvation unto him, - with a full assurance that he is able to keep what we
commit to him against that day'....that great day, which will try the foundation of every man's work.... II Tim. i 12.
(2.) We must confide in his promise, trusting in him as one that will certainly help and save us on the terms proposed. We may take his word for it, and this is the word which he hath spoken-Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.... John vi. 37. Here is a double negative, I will not....no, I will not. He is engaged for us in the covenant of redemption, and engaged to us in the covenant of grace ; and in both he is the Amen....the faithful witness. On this, therefore, we must rely, the word on which he hath caused us to hope. God hath spoken in his holiness, that he will accept us in the beloved, and in that • I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem ; Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine....Psal. Ix. 6, 7. Pardon is mine, and peace is mine, and Christ mine, and heav- . en mine ; " for faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it.'
Come, then, my soul, come thou and all thy concerns into this ark, and there thou shalt be safe when
the deluge comes : flee, flee to this city of refuge, and - in it thou shalt be secured from the avenger of blood.
Quit all other shelters; for every thing but Christ is a refuge of lies, which the hail will sweep away.' There is not salvation in any other but in him ; trust him for it, therefore, and depend upon him only.· Reach hither thy finger,' and in this ordinance behold his hands ; reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into his side,' and say, as Thomas did, My Lord, , and
my God.' Here I cast anchor ; here I rest my soul; it is Christ that died...yea, rather, that is risen again, and is and will be the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him. To hin I entirely give up myself, to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him: and in him I have a full satisfaction. I will draw near to God for
grace, in a dependance upon him as my righteousness : I will go forth, and go on, in the way of my duty, in a dependance upon him as my strength : I will shortly venture into the invisible, unchangeable world, in a dependance upon him as the Captain of my salvation, who is able to bring many sons to glory, and as willing as he is able. Lord, I believe...help trou my unbelief.
Having thus committed thyself, my soul, to the Lord Jesus, comfort thyself in him. Please thyself with the thoughts of having disposed of thyself so well
, and of having lodged the great concern of thy salva. tion in so good a hand : now return to thy rest, a my soul, and be easy. Every good Christian may, by faith, triumph as the prophet doth, pointing at Christ .... Isa. 1. 7, 8. • The Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded ; therefore have I set my face like a flint,' in a holy defiance of Satan, and all the powers of darkness; and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?" Take the Bible...turn to the 8th of the Romans, and read from ver. 31. to the end of the chapter: if ever blessed Paul rode in a triumphant chariot on this side heaven, it was when he wrote these lines, "What shall we then say to these things,' &c. Apply those comforts to thyself -- 0, my soul, thou hast said of the Lord, he is my Lord;' rejoice in him, then, and be exceeding glad. Thy Redeemer is mighty, and he rides upon the heavens for thy help, and in his excellency, on the sky.... Deut. xxxiii. 26. Do thou, then, 'ride upon the high places of the earth, and suck honey out of this rock, and oil out of this flint; rock'.... Deut. xxxii. 13-Isa. lviii. 14. Having made sure of thy interest in Christ, live in a continual dependance upon him ; and, being satisfied of his love, be satisfied with it: thou hast enough, and needest no more.
Thirdly, Here we must be delighting in God, and solacing ourselves in his favor. If we had not Christ to hope. in, being guilty and corrupt, we could not have a God to rejoice in; but, having an advocate with the Father, so good a plea as Christ dying, and so good a pleader as Christ interceding, we may not only come boldly to the throne of grace, but may sit down under the shadow of it with delight, and behold the beauty of the Lord.' That God, who is love, and the God of love, here sheweth us his
marvellous loying kindness....causeth his goodness to pass over us....proclaims his name gracious and merciful:' Here he gives us his love, and thereby invites us to give him ours. It is a loye-feast; the love of Christ is here commemorated...the love of God here offered; and the frame of our spirits is disagreeable, and a jar in the harmony, if our hearts be not here going out in love to God, the chief good, and our felicity. They that come hither with holy desires, must refresh themselves here with holy delights. If we must rejoice in the Lord always, much more now; for a feast was made for laughter; and so was this for spiritual joy: if ever Wisdom's ways be ways of pleasantness,'
surely they must be so when we come to eat of her F bread, and to drink of the wine which she hath mingled."
Put thyself, then, my soul, into a pleasant frame; let the joy of the Lord be thy strength, and let this ordinance .put a new song into thy mouth. Come and hear the voice of joy and gladness.
(1.) Let it be a pleasure to thee to think that there is a God, and that he is such an one as he hath revealed himself to be.' The being and attributes of God are a terror to those that are unjustified and unsanctified; nothing can be more $; they are willing to believe there is no God, or that he is altogether such an one as themselves,' because they heartily wish they were none, or one that they could be at peace with, and yet continue their league with sin ; but to those who, through grace, partake of a divine nature themselves, nothing is more agreeable, nothing more acceptable than the thoughts of God's nature and infinite perfections. Delight thyself, therefore, in thinking, that there is an infinite and eternal Spirit, who is self-existent, and self-sufficient...the best of beings, and the first of causes...the highest of powers, and the richest and kindest of friends and benefactors.... the fountain of being, and fountain of bliss....the Fa. ther of lights....the Father of mercies.' Love to think of him whom thou canst not see, and yet canst not but know-who is not far from thee, and yet between thee and him there is an infinite, awful distance. Let these thoughts be thy nourishment and refreshment.
(2.) Let it be a pleasure to thee to think of the ob. ligations thou liest under to this God as thy Creator.' He that is the former of my body, and the father of my spirit, in whom I live and move, and have my being,' is, upon that account, my rightful owner, whose I am, and my sovereign Ruler, whom I am beund to serve. Because he made me, and not I myself, therefore I am not mine own, but hiş.... Psal. c. 3. Please thyself, my soul, with this thought, that thou art not thine own, but his that made thee....hpt lest to thine own will, but bound up by his....not made for thyself, but designed to be to him for a name and a praise. Noble powers are then intended for a noble
purpose. Delight thyself in him as the felicity and end of thy