Obrazy na stronie

pleased to realize in our regenerated minds the love of the holy and blessed Trinity; and to give us such views and apprehensions of the same, as can never be exceeded this side heaven. When the Father shines upon us and shines within us, in the face of his anointed, and gives us to behold his glory in the person of Christ, we have then everlasting life in our souls. So when our Jesus is pleased to bless us with communion with himself, in true spiritual apprehensions of his person, love, and salvation, he hereby dwells in our hearts; and this as truly, yet not so fully as he will do when we are admitted into the state of glory. Thus also, when the Holy Spirit is pleased to give us the revelation of Christ in our minds, from the record which God hath given of his Son in the everlasting gospel; and this by his taking of the things of Christ and shewing the same unto us, and opening our spiritual faculties to receive the same; it is hereby we receive the truth as it is in Jesus, and grow into Christ, and into the knowledge of him, so as to be rooted, grounded, and established in him. These acts of grace will not be greater in the latter day, than they are in the souls of the called elect now; only that the number of the elect who will then be in this world, will be more numerous than they have ever yet been. The gospel will be more gloriously dispensed. There will be a greater effusion of the Holy Spirit's

[ocr errors]

gifts and graces, than has ever yet been since
the apostles' times. There will be no errors, nor
heresies; there will be a clear light given to the
mind, so as to be clearly understood in what
way, and by what means, the promises have been
fulfilled. The ordinances of Baptism and the
Lord's Supper, will be kept pure, agreeable to
their institution, by Christ himself. There will
be no gross outward sinners; all will be under
the profession of gospel truth, gospel ordi-
nances, and gospel order. The prophet says,
Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wast-
ing nor destruction within thy borders; but thou
shall call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates
Praise. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither
shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord
shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy
mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be
all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever,
the branch of my planting, the work of my
that I may be glorified. A little one shall become
a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the
Lord will hasten it in his time. Isa. lx. 18. 20-
22. And in those things which I have given the
account of, will the superior excellency of the
outward visible state of the church consist. His
branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as
the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. The
church is expressed as having a savour, a scent,
and a good smell. His smell as Lebanon. The


[ocr errors]

vines in the lower parts of it, and the cedars on the top of it, rendered it extremely beautiful. It was a hill of perfume. It is made use of in the passage before us, as expressive of the sweet and most delightful perfume the church in the latter days will yield to others. This will, doubtless, be exemplified by the preaching of the everlasting gospel; the preachers of which, diffuse the knowledge of Christ by the same. The apostle speaking of himself and Timothy, says, We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ. 2 Cor. chap. ii. 15. It most certainly will be the glory of the churchstate in the latter day, to be so perfumed with the knowledge of the love of Christ, as to distil the dews and fragrancy of the same on multitudes. I will collect the three former verses, with this as one of them, that you may have the more full comprehension of the vast grace contained in them, as I conceive the two next verses are expressive of the blessed effects which this sovereign, free, and glorious grace produces in the minds of those persons who are the subjects of it. I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily and cast forth his roots as Lebanon: His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. The Lord being as the dew unto Israel, he grows as a lily; not as the fruit of creature exertion, but as the effect of sovereign and divine operation on the mind. This is evidenced and made most

openly and manifestatively to appear, by the spreading of Israel's branches, so that his beauty should openly appear, as the olive tree in his beauty; and his smell as Lebanon. What follows in the next two verses, contains the blessed fruits of this grace in its divine influences on the minds of such as were brought under the mighty power of omnipotent grace. I conceive the last verse of this chapter is the fourth part, as it also concludes the chapter. I now commit this discourse with all the infirmities which are in what has been delivered, to the Lord himself, for his blessing to accompany his own truth, so far as it is contained in what has been delivered. Amen.


HOSEA XIV, v. 7.

They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

IN the two former verses we have had an account of the beauty, establishment, glory, and flourishing state of the church of Christ, in the last day, or in its perfection, as it will shine forth

in the latter day of glory; with its increase and enlargement also. This with its fragrancy and sweet smell to others, is expressed by very significant figures and similitudes. The Lord declares, He will be as the dew unto Israel, which is said to be of more efficacy to the vegetable world than rain or other meteors. The sudden growth of the church is expressed by that of a lily. Its establishment in a flourishing condition is thus set forth. He shall cast forth his roots like Lebanon. The enlargement of the church-state is set forth thus: His branches shall spread; its glory and beauty shall be as the olive tree, which is always green, fruitful, and large. The acceptableness of the church to others who may be enquiring the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward. The preaching of the gospel in it, yields a perfume to others. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. The words of our present text include and express the blessings the church of Christ will be productive of to others. All that repair unto it, shall find refreshment, and peace of conscience. They shall revive as the corn; they shall grow as the vine; they shall be fragrant and full of perfume; so that they shall freely emit the same, and thereby be as the wine of Lebanon, They that dwell under his shadow shall return: they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the

« PoprzedniaDalej »