Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

They always resist the Holy Ghoft. They désire not the knowledge of his ways; and therefore bid himn depart from them. The old calumny is often raised upon him, en that occasion, John x. 20. Hepis mad, why hear ye him? Soul exercise raised by the spirit of bondage, is ac. counted by many, nothing else but distraction, and melancholy fits; men thus blaspheming the Lord's work, because they themselves are beside theinselves, and cannot-judge of these matters. i Evid. 2. Consider the entertainment he meets with, when he comes to teach men outwardly by his word.

Y1.) His written word, the Bible, is flighted; Christ bath left it to us, as the book of our instructions, to thow us what way we must

steer our course, if we would come to Emmanuel's land. It is a lamp to light us through a dark world to eternal light. And he hath left it upon us, to search it with that diligence, wherewith men dig into mines for silver and gold, John v. 39. But ah! how is this facred treasure profaned by many! They ridicule the holy word, by which they must be judged at the laft day; and will rather lose their souls than their jest, dressing up the conceit of their wanton wits in scripture phrases, in which they act as mad a part, as one who would dig into a mine to procure metal to melt and pour down his own and his neighbour's throat. Many exhaust their spirits in reading romances, and their minds pursue them, as the flame doth the dry stubble ; while they have no heart for, nor relish of the holy word, and therefore feldom take a Bible in their hands.. What is agreeable to the vanity of their minds, is pleasant and taking : but what recoinmends holiness to their unholy nearts, makes their spirits dull and flat. What pleasure will they find in reading of a profane ballad, or story book,'to whom the Bible is tasteless, as the white of an egg! Many lay by their Bibles with their Sabbath-day's clothes, and whatever ufe they have for their clothes, they have none for their Bibles, till the return of the Sabbath. Aias ! the dust or finery aboût your Bibles is a witness now, and will, at the last day, be a witness of the enmity of your hearts against Christ, as a Prophet. Besides all this, among these who ordinarily read the fcriptures, ħow few are there that read it as the word of the Lord to their fouls, and keep communion with him in it. They do not make his statutes their counsellors, nor doth their particular aile fend thein to their Bibles. They are strangers to the folia comfort of the scriptures. And if at any time they be dejected, it is

Something else than the word that revives them: as Ahub was cured of his fullen fit, by the securing of Naboth's vineyard for him.

(2.) Christ's word preached is despised The entertaininent most of the world, to whom it has come, have always given it, is that which is mentioned, Matth. xxii. 5. They made light of it. And for its fake they are despised whom he has employed to preach it; whatever other face men put upon their contempt of the ministry, John xv. 20. The

Jervant is not greater than the Lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also perfecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep

yours

[ocr errors]

of

yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake. That Levi was the son of the hated, seems not to have been 'without a mystery, which the world in all ages, hath unriddled. ' But tho' the earthen veljel, wherein God has put the treasure, be turned, with many, into velfels wherein there is no pleasure, yet, why is the treasure itself slighted? But fighted it is, and that with a witness this day. Lord, who hath b-lieved our report? To whom shull we speak Men can, without remorse, make to themselves silent Sabbaths, one after another. And alas! when they come to ordinances, for the most part, it is but to appear (as the word is, to be fren) before the Lord, and to tread his courts; namely, as a company of beasts would do, if they were driven into them, lfa. i. 12. fo little reverence and awe of God appears on their spirits. Many stand like brazen walls before the word, in whose corrupt conversation the preaching of the word makes no breach. Nay, not a few are growing worse and worse, under precept upon precept: and the result of all is, They go ant fall backward, and be broken, art, Jnared, and taket., Isa. xxviii

. 13. What tears of blood are sufficient to lament that (the gospel) the grace God, is thus recerved in vain! We are but the voice of one crying; the Speaker is in heaven; and speaks to you from heaven by men: why do ye refuse him that speaketh? Heb. xii. 25. God has made our Master heir of all things, and we are sent to court a spouse for him. There is none so worthy as lie ; none more unworthy than they to whom this match is promised; but the prince of darkness is preferred before the Prince of Peace. A disial darkness overclouded the world by Adam's fall, more terrible than if the sun, moon and stars had been for ever wrapt up in blackness of darkness; and there we thould have eternally lain, had not this grace of the gospel, as a shining fun, appeared to dispel it, Tit. ii. 11. But yet we fly like night owls from it; and like the wild beasts, lay ourselves down in our dens; when the sun ariseth, we are struck blind with the light thereof; and, as creatures of darkness, love darkness rather than light. Such is the enmity of the hearts of men against Christ, in his prophetical office.

2. The natural man is an enemy to Christ in his priestly office. He is appointed of the Father a Priest for ever: that, by his alone sacrifice and intercession, sinners may have peace with, and access to God; but Christ crucified is a stumbling-block, and foolishness to the unrenewed part of mankind, to whom he is preached, 1 Cor. i 23. They 'are not for him, as the new and living way. Nor is he by the voice of the world, an High Priest over the house of God. Corrupt nature goes quite another way to work.

Evidence 1. None of Adam's children naturally incline to receive the blelling 'in borrowed robes; but would always, according to this {pider's motto, owe all to themselves; and so climb up to heaven on a thread spun out of their own bowels. For they desire to be unde ja the law, Gal. iv. 24. And go. about to establish their own righteousness, Rom. $. 3. Man, naturally, looks on God as a great Master; and

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

643 beren as his wages.

2 st, to the end he 2 ne law; ferve God

tear de cones thort. And DE HI ten to Jesus Christ. IT I zer dries, that seem * L LDLE with God ac

To Cuare téey have in DIS".. und thou ferft Traies and attainments; 2. I. t. 16. ;-) taking to

real-friett. 2u1 ! Mes, we always be SCT, I venture saa the only

srl, au rere venturous: * D vizur Corat; to rush

asi listrs, without being her. In het requests into

2 renewed heart, that cared with upon the point

za scarcely be heard SIL* Jak to obtain the pardon

as far mercy, because God See to contrade in. Others look

so they know that Chrift will

asie Papets have their mediators ...b..***. iza brow he cannot but do it;

v roce great delires, and the like; ne eretto commend them unto him?

Deer Duricand brought empty-handed to

- ime brei of any blood. il seniai 2 takav to Christ in his kingly office. * Paccar leur King in Zion, Psal. i. 6. A di ww it * tame des are commanded, on their highest . tot. See, et themselves unto him, ver. 12. But

te of brand is, it way with him; as you may fee, 148.2, ;The act baie him to reign over them, Luke xix. 14.

govern

neig andt they seldor of the to the will t1 the Bi with t their ci Sabbat and wi against narily r of the I

[ocr errors]

do not r

afe fen comfort fom of h

is

The warnings of corrupt nature to wrest the 6.5*** Bali lo sooner was he born, but being born a

ed , Matth. ii. And when he was crucified, este tus acculation writțen, This is Jesus, the King ...:2Nam. 2.3.3: Though his kingdom be a spiritual

10: di th. u grid; yet they cannot allow him a kingdon H..", u har akwwledgeth no other head or supreme, 02:3r. They make bold with his royal prerogatives

, sis, button and ordinances, modelling his worthip Center the other own hearts; introducing new offices

and

and officers into his kingdom, not to be found in the book of the manner of his kingdom, disposing of the external government thereof, as may best suit their carnal designs. Such is the enmity of the hearts of men against Zion's King.

Evid 2. How unwilling are men, naturally to submit unto, and be hedged 'in by the laws and discipline of his kingdom! As a King, he is a Law.giver, (Isa. xxxiii 22.) and has appointed an external government, discipline and censors, to controul the unruly, and to keep his professed. subjects in order, to be exercised by officers of his own appointment, Matth. xviii. 17,18. Cor. xii. 28. 1 Tim. v. 17. Heb. xiii. 17. But these are the great eye-fores of the carnal world, who love sinful liberty, and therefore cry out, Let us break their bands afunder, and cast away their cords from us, Psal. ii. 3. Hence this work is found to be, in a special manner, a striving against the streain of corrupt nature, which, for the most part, puts such a face on the church, as if there were no King in Israel, every one doing that which is right in his own eyes.

Evid. 3. However natural men may be brought to feign fubmiffion to the King of faints, yet lusts always retain the throne and dominion in their hearts, and they are serving divers lusts and pleasures, Tit. wi. 3. None but these in whom Christ is formed, do really put the erown on his head, and receive the kingdom of Christ within them. His crown is the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals. Who are they, whom the power grace

has not sub dued, that will allow him to set up, and to put down, in their souls, as he will ? Nay, as for others, any lord Thall sooner get the rule over them, than the Lord of glory: they kindly entertain his enemies, and will never absolutely resign themselves to his government, till conquered in a day of power. Thus ye may see that the natural man is an enemy, to Jesus Christ in al his offices.

But O! how hard is it to convince men in this point! They are very loth to take with it. And in a special manner, the enmity of the heart against Christ in his priestly office, seems to be hid from the view of most of the hearers of the gospel. Yet there appears to be à peculiar malignity in corrupt nature against that office of his. It may be observed that the Socinians, these enemies of our blessed Lord, allow him to be properly a Prophet and a King, but deny him to be properly a Pri-ft. And this is agreeable enough to the corruption of our nature ; for under the covenant of works, the Lord was kyown as a Prophet or Teacher, and also as a King or Ruler ; but not at all as a Prieft: so man knows nothing of the mystery of Christ, as the way to the Father, till it be revealed to him. And when it is revealed, the will riseth up against it; for corrupt nature lies cross to the mystery of Christ, and the great contrivance of salvation, through a crucified Saviour, revealed in the gospel. For clearing of which weighty truth, lec these four things be considered.

of

himsek as his servant, that must work and win heaven as his wages. Hence, when conscience is awakened, he thinks that, to the end he may be faved, he must answer the demands of the law ; serve God as well as he

can,
and
pray

for mercy wherein he comes short. And thus many come to duties, that never come out of them to Jesus Christ.

Evid. 2. As men, naturally, think highly of their duties, that seem to them, to be well done ; so they look for acceptance with God according as their work is done, not according to the share they huve in the blood of Christ. Wherefore have we fafted, say they, and thou ferft not? They'll value themselves on their performances and attainments: yea, their very opinions in religion, (Philip. iii. 4, 5, 6, 7.) taking to themfelves, what they rob from Christ the great High-priett.

Evid. 3. The natural man going to God, in duties, will always be found, either to go without a mediator, or with more than the only Mediator JESUS CHRist. Nature is blind, and therefore venturous: it sets a man a-going immediately to God without Christ; to rush into his presence, and put their petitionsån his hand, without being introduced by the Secretary of heaven, or putting their requests into his hand. So fixed is this disposition in the unrenewed heart, that when many hearers of the gospel are conversed with upon the point of their hopes of salvation, the name of Christ will scarcely be heard from their mouths. Ask them how they think to obtain the pardon of sin? they will tell you, they beg and look for mercy, because God is a merciful God; and that is all they have to confide in. Others look for mercy for Christ's sake; but how do they know that Chrift will take their plea in hand. Why, as the Papists have their mediators with the Mediator, fo have they. They know he cannot but do it; for they pray, confess, mourn, and have great desires, and the like; and so have something of their own to commend them unto him : they were neyer made poor in fpirit, and brought empty-handed to Chrift,'to lay the stress of all on his atoning blood.

3. The natural man is an eneiny to Christ in his kingly office. The Father has appointed the Mediator King in Zion, Psal. ii. 6. And all to whom the gospel comes, are commanded, on their highest peril, to kiss the Son, and submit themselves unto him, ver. 12. But the natural voice of mankind is, Away with him; as you may see, ver. 2, 3. They will not have him to reign over them, Luke xix. 14.

Evidence 1. The workings of corrupt nature to wrest the govern- . , ment out of his hands. No sooner was he born, but being born a King, Herod persecuted him, Matth. ii. And when he was crucified, they set up over his head his accusation written, This is Jesus, the king of the Jews, Matth. xxvii. 37. Though his kingdom be a fpiritual kingdom, and not of this world; yet they cannot allow him a kingdom within a kingdom, which acknowledgeth no other head or supreme, but the royal Mediator. They make bold with his royal prerogatives, changing his laws, institutions and ordinances, modelling his worthip according to the devices of their own hearts; introducing new offices

and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »