« ForrigeFortsett »
the covenant, to receive also the seals of it; for thus we publicly acknowledge ourselves to be the Lord's. It is itrange how those who plead their accepting of the covenant should live in the neglect of improving its feals. Among men, they who are in earnest for a bargain or contract, certainly will not refuse to ratify it. How is it, then, that persons are for the covenant of grace, and yet will not ratify it, by receiving the feals of that covenant?-Learn,
3. That such as have given themselves honestly away to the Lord, should look on themselves as his. Impress it on your spirits, ye are not your own, but the Lord's. Have you given your consent to Christ in the covenant? Then henceforth reckon yourselves to be his.-Look on yourselves,
(1.) As his habitation : Eph. ii. 22. “ In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Christ has called to you to open to hin, promising to dwell in you. You have given consent to him, now look on yourselves as his habitation, and exert yourselves to drive out the old inhabitants. Consider yourselves as no more at liberty to harbour his enemies. Our Lord has made a purchase of two houses, and has made two journies, to take infeftment and poffeffion of them: (1.) Having purchased heaven for his people, he went thither in his ascension, to take posseflion of it for them : Heb. vi. 20. 66 Whither the forerunner hath for us entered, even Jesus, made an High-Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (2.) Having purchased the finner for hiinfelf by his blood, he comes to the finner's heart, to take poffeffion of it for himself : Rev. iii. 20.' “ Behold,” says he, “ I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the Ffa
door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” To the former house he has ready access, having to do with a holy and just God : But not fo to the latter ; often his enemies are admitted in, and he is made to stand at the door, as if the house were not his own, because here he has to do with fickle creatures : Song, v. 2. “ I sleep, but my heart waketh ; it is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night."--Look on yourselves,
(2.) As his temple, 1 Cor. vi. 19. (quoted above); a temple consecrated and set apart for the Lord, which, therefore, it is most dangerous to defile. Before the foul comes into the covenant, the man is Satan's work-house : Eph. ii. 2. “ He is the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." His heart is a forge of evil imaginations, a den of thieves. But, entering into the covenant, he is consecrated for a holy temple unto the Lord. Be careful, then, that your hearts and lives be a continual sacrifice of praise, Christ the altar, and thou the priest. Feast on the facrifice slain for you, feed daily on Jesus Christ, and guard against pollutions of heart and life. Look on yourselves,
(3.) As his confederates, or covenant-people : Heb. viii. 10. “ I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Remember, the cove.
have entered into is an offensive and de. fenfive league. You are to have common friends and common enemies with the Lord. Whoso are the friends of God, they must be your friends also, as Ruth said to Naomi, “Thy people shall be my people.” Pfal. cxix. 63. “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy
precepts.” If you desire heaven, you must affociate with those who are going thither, for a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”—His enemies must also be yours : Psal. cxxxix. 21. 22. “ Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them mine enemies." So also Pfal. lxix.
6. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee have fallen upon me."--Look on yourselves,
(4.) As his followers: Eph.v. 1. « Be ye, therefore, followers of God as dear children.” Our Lord is given for a Leader, Ifa. lv. 4. to lead his people through the world to heaven. Now, you are going through the wilderness, where it is hard, in many cases, to discern the right way, and where there are many to lead us wrong.
The multitude goes the way to destruction, but do you keep your eye on your guide : Prov. iii. 6. “ In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Observe his precepts, his example; mark his footsteps, and follow them: 1 John, ii. 6. “ He that faith he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked.” Follow also the footsteps of his flock, and conform not to the world, to follow them : Rom. xii. 2. « And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”--Look on yourselves,
(5.) As his subjects, for he is your King and Lord, yea, your God and King, to whom
you abfolute resignation and obedience : Psal. xlv. II. “ He is thy Lord, and worship thou him.” Christ has a kingdom in the world, and whoso have entered into his covenant are the subjects of that
kingdom. Observe, therefore, to live according to his laws, confederate not with his enemies, but be true to your King and Lord.-Look on yourfelves,
(6.) As children of his family : 1 Pet. i. 14. “ As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lufts in your ignorance; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Have you come out from among those of Satan's family, and entered into the family of God ? then walk as the children of God. Do not again mix with Satan's family: Psal. xii. 7. “ Thou fhalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Avoid them, their company, and their ways, as you would shun a society infected with the plague: Acts, ii. 40. “ And with many other words did he teftify, faying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Strive to be like your heavenly Father ; ftudy to be obedient and dutiful children to him.-Look on yourfelves,
I aftly, As his servants. So says the text. Our Lord has been amongst us, seeking servants to himself. Remember he is your Master, and you must apply yourselves to his work.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Acts, xxviii. 23. For there stood by me this night the
angel of the Lord, whose I am, and whom I serve.
trine taken from these words, I now go
Doct. II. That those who are the Lord's ought
to make, and will make, God's service their business. For illustrating this doctrine, I shall fhew,
I. What is that service of God, which is the business of those who are the Lord's.
II. I am to fhew, what it is to make God's service our business, or when one may
be said to do fo. III. I will confirm the doctrine. And then,
V, We shall add the practical improvement of the subject. --We are then,