Obrazy na stronie

ing to good works. Afflictions and sufferings are like dew and drops of the night. Hence Christ compares his sufferings to these; in the fifth chapter of the Song of Solomon, ver. 2. I have cast all this together, conceiving the opening the same afterward will be better than it might here. As it respects dew, "It is a thick vapour that falls on the earth, chiefly when the sun is below the horizon. In warm countries, where it seldom rains, dews do exceedingly refresh and fructify the earth. The fall of dew was reckoned by the Israelites, a great blessing, and the withholding of it, a grievous curse, The dew is first raised from the earth, heated by the sun; and, hence the lower bodies are first moistened, and bodies most hard share least of the dew. When so much is extracted, as the air cannot sufficiently poize, it falls back on the earth. When the air is corrupted with hurtful vapour, the dew is infected by it, and hence is formed the mildew, so injurious to corn and wheat." I will now by of elucidation of the metaphor dew, “I will be as the dew unto Israel," say that we may wellconceive all the divine persons in Godhead included in the term, and this as it respects their acts of grace, in the discoveries and manifestations of the same. So the words may be considered as spoken in the name of the Eternal Three, the Lord God, or Jehovah God. It is also very expressive of the Israel of God, at the very time


when this declaration, I will be as the dew unto Israel, shall be most fully and openly ac complished. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. Micah, 5. 7. Moses says, My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as showers upon the grass: because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. Deut. xxxii. 2, 3. What can be conceived by this, but the everlasting gospel, its ordinances, graces, and blessings, and these as preached by holy meu of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost! Our Lord says to his Spouse, my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night, referring to his sorrows and passions, all of which, were very salutary and beneficial to his church. Thus the metaphor before us, is designed to express how the church of God, and saints of the Most High, are refreshed by the love of the Father, the salvation of the Son, and the gracious influences of the Holy Ghost. He falling gradually and insensibly on the souls of the elect, they are most blessedly revived and refreshed ; so as to be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus, and made fruitful in every good word and work. Thus the Lord is pleased to set forth his sovereign good-will and pleasure to his saved

[ocr errors]

and pardoned ones, whom he loves freely, with all the love of his heart. I will be as the dew unto Israel. Thus the sending the Holy Ghost into their hearts, reviving and reinvigorating them by his grace, is set forth by the metaphor of dew. I go on to notice.

II. The sudden change produced by the fulfilment of this promise, He shall grow as the lily; which as the effect of its being watered, suddenly sprouts up. This is also to be opened and explained, He shall blossom, or grow as the lily.

Here is an expression used which regards spiritual growth. There can be no growth into Christ where he is not known; neither can this be, but by the grace and divine influences of the Holy Spirit. This being that which was contained in the declaration, I will be as the dew unto Israel; the effect of which, is a most sudden change in the church: she is watered, she shoots up tall, she aspires heaven-ward, she is in purity like the lily, she hath a quick growth. This will be the case and state of the visible church of God, in the latter day, when the Spirit shall be poured upon it from on high; the wilderness then will be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. When these words, and those also before us are accomplished, the Jews will be converted, and being reinstated in their own land, and embodied in a gospel church, the Lord then will

be in the midst, as the glory of it, as a wall of fire around it to protect and defend the same. Whilst I do not want to deprive myself and other saints from making use of this chapter, especially these and the following verses, for our own comfort, encouragement, benefit, and consolation, by any means; yet, I want to keep this in my eye, that whilst the Lord is, and will be to all his beloved all which he here declares, and they also shall be the subjects of all the grace here expressed; yet, I do wish this to be noticed, and closely attended unto, that the full perfection and accomplishment of the whole, will be realized in the state of the Jewish church in the latter day. Into which, the fulness of the Gentiles being brought, there will be but one Lord, and his name one. Then Christ will be a perpetual dew unto every real member of his mystic body. He will then so influence his whole church, that she shall shine forth openly, manifestatively, and influentially, as she has never yet done. There shall be a most glorious change in her. The freeness of God to her, in the person of Christ, shall be so gloriously reflected on her, and she so gloriously enlightened by the same, as surpasses our thoughts at present. She being thus brought under the mighty power, influence, and operation of the grace of the Holy, Blessed, and Glorious Trinity, will have the rich and real experience of the Lord's being a dew unto her. A sudden change,


as the effect of this, will be produced in and throughout all her members. The heavenly influence shall promote her growth in spiritual things. The church shall grow as the lily. This is expressive of the quick growth of the Jewish Church at the latter day, when the effulgency of light bestowed on it, is thus expressed by the prophet Isaiah: Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. chap. xxx. 26. I will now aim to open and explain the metaphor, He shall grow as the lily. It should be noticed before I enter on the explanation, that it is not the church which is here represented and compared to a lily, it is the glorious and sudden change made by the grace of God in the church, is the subject here. It is her growth, her spiritual growth into Christ and spirituality. It is not she is a lily, or she is like a lily, no. It is, He, including the whole church, shall grow as the lily. In the Canticles, Christ compares his church to the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley, which hath but one leaf, formed in the manner of a bell, and of which there are seven kinds. But in the words before me, it is not the persons of the saints, but the graces of the saints, their growth and real spirituality is the subject; yet, some account of the

« PoprzedniaDalej »