Obrazy na stronie

the Lord himself, ages after, by his servant Isaiah, déclared concerning the church," For I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb." (Isaiah xlviii. 8.) Nay, by another servant, even Ezekiel, we find those solemn declarations concerning the church," As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Thou hast committed more abominations than they." (Ezekiel xvi. 48—52.)

Now pause over this statement, and forget not that it is wholly scriptural. And when under divine teaching you have duly pondered the marvellous subject, namely, that Jehovah," the high and lofty One whose name is holy, and who inhabiteth eternity," to whom nothing can be added, and from whoni nothing can be taken, should in his infinite condescension, form a portion, a lot, an inheritance in his people; yea, that all the persons in the GODHEAD should alike take part, and by personal acts, make known their love to the church in Christ. And when, as had been fore-viewed by the Adam-fall transgression, the church became involved in ruin, and all her affections in enmity and rebellion against God; the glorious head of his body the church undertook and accomplished her redemption by himself; and restored her to an holiness infinitely greater than the natural holiness she lost in Adam. Who, that by regenerating grace is enabled to contemplate such things, but must cry out with the apostle, "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Romans xi. 33.)

I have only one service more on this subject to perform at this time, namely, according to my proposal under the second branch of the discourse, to shew you, and from the same divine authority, some few of the very blessed consequences resulting from

this sovereign grace of Jehovah in his trinity of persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and in which the whole church are equally and alike interested.

The inference is unavoidable and conclusive: if the church be God's special portion, she shall be the special object and subject of the divine care. Hence John, towards the close of the canon of Scripture, was favoured with a spécial vision to shew this: “I, John, (said he) saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, behold! the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people; and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev. xxi. 2, 3.) And how sweetly and graciously did the Lord Jesus himself state this in his farewell sermon to his church; in which he promised the presence of the whole persons in the GODHEAD to be with them: "If a man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him; and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John xiv. 23.) "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter that he may abide with you for ever: even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John xiv. 16, 17.)

And from this in-dwelling, this co-habitation, this unceasing presence of Jehovah in all the persons of the GODHEAD, manifested day by day to the regenerated church of God, as the church is in Christ; what can arise to prevent the Lord's unceasing attention to every individual of Christ's mystical body? Doth not the Lord in one of his love-songs say, speaking of his church," Sing ye to her, a vineyard of red wine. I the Lord do keep it. I will water it every

moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day!" (Isaiah xxvii. 2, 3.) And if the glorious inhabitant is always at home, can it be otherwise? Will the enemy dare approach to hurt it? He cannot come unseen, and the promise is absolute : "there hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. x. 13.) "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." (Romans xvi. 20.) Are the Lord's people a poor people, an afflicted people, which the Lord hath left in Zion? These things are not only known but appointed by the Lord, yea, measured out by the Lord. And were these things not so, half the promises in the Bible would have no opportunity for exercise. But the indwelling Lord hath provided the richest cordials for every case. ery case. So that as one said of old, and thousands can say the same now, "in the multitude of my sorrows within me, thy comforts delight my soul!" (Psalm xciv. 19.) In short there is not a case which can occur, not a circumstance that can arise, that ought to distress; yea, none could, or would, distress the regenerated child of God, if through grace he always had in remembrance that the church is the Lord's portion, and must be the Lord's care. Every child of God is garrisoned by the divine presence. Hence all are impregnable. The babe in Christ, or the fathers in God, all are what they are in the Lord. "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old." (Isaiah lxv. 20.) " And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared unto Abram." (Gen. xvii. 1.) And amidst all the blighted and withered state of the church, as to our view,

things appear," the new wine is found in the cluster;" the indwelling Lord of his inheritance is there, and he that looks on saith "Destroy it not, there is a blessing in it." (Isaiah Ixv. 8.) Such are among the infinite resources of holy comfort folded up in the assurance, that "the Lord's portion is his people ; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance."

You are going away, but not till I have asked what unction from the Lord hath accompanied your attention to the subject? Let us before we separate seek grace from Him, whose we are, that the glorious inhabitant of his people will, by unceasing manifestations of his presence, give us unceasing spiritual enjoyment of his indwelling favour. And as it is the special act of our glorious Lord to make himself known unto his people otherwise than he doth unto the world, let us seek grace from him day by day, to rejoice that he will keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.





"But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My Father; and shalt not turn away from me." JER. iii. 19.

« PoprzedniaDalej »