Page images
PDF
EPUB

IV. The fourth thing I proposed was, for whom is it that this Piast is raised up?

O, may some poor thing say, was he ever raised up for me? I tell you, Sirs, he was never raised up for the fallen angels; " For he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Our nature was highly ho. soured at first, but it soon sunk below the beast that peritheth. Lat the second Adam took our nature upon him, and he hath raised it to a higher dignity than the very angels; for to which of the angels did this honour appertain to be united to the eternal Son of God? So that I say, that this Plant of renown is raised up for mankind Ginners, not fer angel-kind tinners, and every mankind finner that hears tell of him, should lay claim to him, as in If. is. 6. And I advise every one of you mankind sinners to apply it; “ Unto us a Son is given, unto us this Child is born, and the government shalì be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;" to us he is given ; unto us he is born. I remember the angel, at the birth of Christ, told the thepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you (inners, not unto us) is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Sirs, Jet all this company receive it as glad tidings of great joy; for I tell you, that this Plant of renown is raised up for you, if you have but a heart for to use him. As the firmament is for you, if you will open your eyes, so the Sun of righteousness is for you, if you will open your hearts to him : for the Lord's saké do not refuse hin, or else it will not be telling you ; you will rue it to eternity. But, say fome, are you telling us, that Christ was raised up for all mankind ? That is not what I say; but I say, that Christ was revealed to all mankind : I abstract from secret things. Our duty is to go and“ preach the gofpel to every creature ;" therefore, according to our commilfion, we bring this Plant of renotun to every creature, whether young or old, every rational creature here; we command you (as you will answer at the bar of the great God, as you will answer at the day of judgement), that you receive this Plant of renorun. For the Lord's fake do not refuse him ; for this is the condemnation, that this Plant is brought into the world, and the world will not receive him. Let not the devil nor an unbelieving heart knock off your hains from embracing and receiving him, as offered in this gospel we are preaching. The devil and an unbelieving heart will tell you, your ans are so many, and you have run on such a course of fin, that he cannot belong unto you ; but the very thing makes

you

you need Christ is, because you are great finners. Any of you that needs this Plant of renown, I invite you not only to tak. him home in your hands, in your Bibles; but, for the Lora fake, take him home into your hearts, and let him lie cher all night between your breasts, saying, “ This God is our God for ever and ever, and will be our guide even unta death.” If you have got this Plant of renown, you will at death just go unto God with a fhout, with a long, and far, O death, I defy thee; “ O death, where is thy sting? () grave. where is thy victory?” what harm canst thou do to me: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” gain for endless evermore, becaase I will win to the immediate enjoyment of God, and abide for ever under the refreshing thadow of this Plant of renown.

N. B. I thought to have gone through what I designed on this

subject, but time and strength will not allow; I shall rather return afterwards, if there be occasion for it.

The Lord blefs his word.

Ezek. xxxiv. 29.- And I will raise up for them a Plant of

Rchoren.

THE THIRD SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

[ocr errors]

'HE fifth thing is, Why is he raised up, or for whai

ends and ufes is this Plant of renomun raised up by JEHOVAH?

Answ. ist, He is raised up as a Redeemer to set the captives of the mighty at liberty. It was a poling question, that would have filenced all mankind, which we have, If. xlix. 24. “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered ?" Well, Christ being raised up for this very end, folves the hard question, in the words immediately following, ver. 25. “ Thus faith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible thail be delivered.” And if you ask, How doth he this? You have an answer to it, Heb.ii. 14. Col. ii. 14. &c.

2dly, He is raised up as a Mediator of the new covenant, to make peace betwecn an offended God, and oiTending re

bcllious

besligus man, he “ makes reconciliation for iniquity,” Dan. ix. 24. God was in Chriit reconciling the world unto himfelf, &c. When we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the death of his Son." And O what a great matter is it to be restored to the favour and friendship of that glorious Majesty, to whose wrath we were lying obnoxious, &c.

3dly, He is raised up as a Surety, to pay the debt of a company of broken dyvers, and to bind himself under a bond to. satisfy justice for their crimes, and that he should reduce them to obedience to their offended Lord. Hence he is called, Heb. vii. 25. " The Surety of a better teitament;” and as our Surely he fulfils the law which we had broken, as a covenant, both in its do and die, in our room and stead, and then engages he (by his Spirit) would write the law in their hearts, as a rule, and, by putting his Spirit within them, would cause them to walk in God's statutes.

4thly, He is raised up as a renowned Healer, a non-fuch Physician, Exod. xv. “ I am the Lord that healeth thee." Man, through sin, is become a leper from head to soot, full of wounds, bruises, and putrefying fores, which renders hin unfit for any good service, unfit for answering the ends of his creation, to glorify God, or to enjoy him for ever. Well, Christ is raised up for the recovery and health of diseased souls; he has opened up a medicinal well, Zech. xiii. 1. that washes from fin and from uncleanness, and, whatever be your malady, we invite you to come to this well, and wash and be clean, like Naaman in the waters of Jordan ; O he is all over virtue! his "leaves are for the healing of the nations.” And in a particular manner, his commillion carries him, to heal the broken in heart, and to bind up all their wounds.

5thly, He is raised up as a Witness to tell the truth, or as a Prophet to reveal it. We have by the fall loft the knowledge of God, and of his truth, and any knowledge of the truth that remains with us by nature, it is detained in uurighteous. ness. Well, Chriit comes to make a revelation of God, and of the things of God unto us; that Christ was raised up for this end, see Deut. xviii. 18. “ I will raise them up a Prophet like unto thee, from among their brethren, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall (peak unto them all that I thall command him." But see the awful certification that follows, ver. 19.

" Whosoever will not hearken unto my words, that he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." 6thly, He is raised up as a Leader unto the people. We have

our way to heaven, and Satan was leading all mankind 10 hell blindfold. But Chrilt came to thew us the path of life, and to lead us into it, and, by his leading, he causes the way.

luft

faring man to walk without erring, “ I will bring the blind by a way they know not,” &c.

7thly, He is raised up as a Commander unto the people, as the Captain of salvation, to fight our battles for us, and to head the armies of God's Israel in their way to glory: And, by his fkill and conduct, he makes them all conquerors, yea, more than conquerors, at the end of the day, &c.

I might tell you further, that he is raised up as the great High Priest of our profession, that, by one offering, he might for ever perfect them that are sanctified,” &c.: As our Advocate with the Father, to plead our cause, and to agent our bu. finess in heaven : As a Shepherd, to feed his church and people in the wilderness ; " He shall feed his flock like a shepherd," &c.: As a prince, to rule them by his word and spirit; he is the “ Prince of peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end," &c. : As an everlasting Father, in whom the fatherless family of Adam find mercy, &c.: As a wonderful Counsellor, to give counsel in all dark and difficult cafes, &c. : As a Husband and Bridegroom, to cherish and comfort his church and people, and accordingly he betrothes her unto him for ever. But these things I do not inlist upon.

I hasten forwarıl to

VI. The sixth thing, which was the application of the doctrine, Is it so that Christ is a Plant of renown, raised up by JEHOVAH?

Then, ift, See hence the iniquity and wickedness of these men, who itudy to derogate from the glory of this renowned Plant. The Arians would darken the renown of this bleffed Plant, by denying his supreme Deity, and making him an inferior and dependent being ; the Socinians, by denying he had any being before his actual incarnation; the Armi. nians, by denying his righteousnefs, and by making the efficacy of his grace to depend upon the will of man and the power of depraved nature. O, Sirs, Christ is not renowned in Scotland this day, either among ministers or profeffors, as he has fometimes been. “ The Head-Itone of the corner is rejected," the Plant of renoun is cast aside, by many minifters in the land; and he is rejected by all that do not really believe in him, &c.

2dly, See hence how to know a true and faithful minister of Christ. Some at this day make it a question, whom they thall hear, when there are luch divisions, and such a flood of corrupt ministers getting into a church. Why, Sirs, you may know a true minilier of Christ, he will have a smell of the Plant of renown about him; whether he be in the pulpit or out of it ;-whether le be in a judicatory, or wherever he be, his great business is to advance the glory of the Plant of ree nown, the smell and favour of his Master will be about him, which the true difciples of Christ will discern.

3dly, See hence whence it is that believers flock to gospel ordinances, where they can get them dispensed by these that þear Christ's commission to dispense them. Why, it is the smell of the Plant of renown that draws them thither: hence it is, that his tabernacles are amiable, “ and a day in his courts better than a thousand;" why, his fcent perfuines these palaces of Zion, as with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, &c.

4thly, See hence why God the Father is called a Hulbandmạn. Why, he is so called with reference unto his raising up this Plant of renown, John xv. 1. “ I am the true Vine, and my Facher is the Husbandman;" he raised him up as the root, and upheld him, and takes branches of the wild olive, and grafts them into him, and makes them fruitful, &c.

5thly, See herce the regard that God hath for his church upon earth, as his own garden. Why, he plants this Tree of life in her, by which she became a new paradise. The tree of life that grew in the earthly paradife, which was the seal and sacrament of the covenant of works, is long since withered and gone; but the tree of life, in the new garden, of God's planting, of which even a finner may eat, and live for ever, will never wither. O let us admire God's way of grace! for it is full of wonder, in providing this renowned Plant, this new Tree of life, for us.

His fruit is so far from being forbidden, that it is God's great commandment to all finners,

« to come and eat, ad live," &c.

6thly, See hence the excellency of Christ, in his person, nature, offices, and appearances. Why, he is the Plant of rem flown. O Sirs, Christ is such an excellent person, that he is the Renown of the family of heaven and earth; he is the Renown of his ather, for he is “the brightness of his glory." He is the Renown of earth, for by him the human nature is raised up to a higher glory than that of angels ; for, even as Mediator, he" hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." O should not every one of mankind finners be ready to ery, “Olet his name endure for ever, let his name be continued as long as the Sun ; for men are blessed in him: and O, bleiled be his glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be fille ed with his glory?"

7tbly, See what makes a land or a church pleasant, a Hephzibah or a Beulah unto the Lord. Why, it is the Plant of rea nown that makes any church or land delectable : If the Plant of renown and his intereft be thriving in a land or church, it VOL. III. Z z

makes

« PreviousContinue »