« ForrigeFortsett »
look to at all. O what a pitiful idol is the clay god of the world !-We may farther learn,
(7.) That God is a sovereign King, against whom there is no rising up. How can finners think to escape with their sins, when the whole creation smart for their fakes? Can we think that the innocent creatures should suffer, and we go free? Can there be an out-braving him, who makes the earth and heavens groan under his hand ? or a fleeing from him, from whom the whole creation cannot make their escape?--We are instructed farther,
(8.) That the service of the creatures to sinful man, is an imposition on them: Rom. viii. 20. “ For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly.” Man falling from God, lost the right he had to them. But yet they are kept in his service, which they grudge, and therefore they groan.Hence it comes to pass, that these servants sometimes becoming masters, hurt him, and dispatch him. The least creature, having a commission for such a service, proves too hard for him, such as a stone in fruit, or a hair in milk.--I only add,
(9.) That the creatures are wearied of the world lying in wickedness, and would fain have it brought to an end: Rom. viii. 19. “ For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” There is a happy day for the restitution of all things; they are longing for that day, when this world, that sink of fin, that stage of vanity, and scene of misery, shall be taken down; and the wicked shall have poured out upon them, the deserved curse, with all its effects, centering in themselves, without burdening others with it in any measure.--I come now,
2. To an use of exhortation. The groans of the creatures are exciting, stirring up groans.
So VOL. II. E
many of them as are about us this day, so many preachers have we to provoke us to the duty we profess to be engaged in.— They cry to us,
(1.) Humble yourselves under the hand of God. He has laid them low, and shall not we lie low before him, since for our fake they are cast down. The noisy waters are now silent as a stone under his hand, the lofty mountains have laid aside their ornaments, and every thing mourns after its kind. Come down, then, from your pride and obstinacy; yield yourselves to the God that made you, lie low in the dust, and join issue with the rest of the creation.—They cry,
(2.) Repent, repent ; for he is a God that will not be mocked, and though he long forbear, he will be avenged on impenitent sinners at last. He has been long pleading with us to let our sins go, and he is saying now, as to Pharaoh, Exod. ix. « For if
refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them ftill; behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the afles, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep; there shall be a very grievous murrain.” Harden not your hearts to keep fast the bane of strife betwixt God and you, left it fare with you as it did with Pharaoh, on whose person God's hand fell heavy at last.They cry,
(3.) Pray, pray. When the heathen mariners were at their prayers in a storm at sea, it was a shame for Jonah to be sleeping, Jon. i. 4. The creatures, as they can, are crying to the Lord; shall we be more brutish than they, and be silent at such a time? We have been praying in the congregation ; it would be a promising thing, and no more but duty, if families and particular persons were fasting and praying : Zech. xii, 12. « And
the land shall mourn, every family apart.” There is much work in families otherwise, to take care of them. O! then, will you not do that which is so needful for yourselves and them? I exhort you,
(4.) To reform, for the fake of these you would not involve in ruin with yourselves. For, Eccles. ix. 18. « Wisdom is better than weapons of war ; but one finner destroyeth much good.” We fee how the poor creatures are ruined in this way. But it is not them only: Achan troubled the camp of Israel. God has threatened to pursue his quarrel to the third and fourth generations. If one in the family be seized with the plague, it is enough to carry away the whole. --Be exhorted, (5.) To endeavour to reform others, for
your own fakes. The fire in your neighbour's house may come to burn down yours, if you do not help to quench it. It is thought that Achan's fons perished with him, because they concealed and laboured not to put away their father's sin.
(6.) Seek to find your comfort and happiness only in the enjoyment of God and Christ. Then in the time of famine you may rejoice in the God of salvation, like the prophet Habakkuk, chap. iii. 17. It is a fad matter we should again be so ready to trust the deceiving world, and to lean again to that broken reed that hath so often failed us, and pierced through our hand. Seek it in God, where it can never fail, in the everlasting covenant, that will be a portion of which ye may always be sure.
(7.) Fear God, and stand in awe of him. As the fight of the drawn sword makes him in some measure afraid that wields it, so the fight of God's judgements should fill us with the dread of his majefty : Psal. cxix. 120. “ My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgement." When the sea was raging, and Jonah awaked, he
was impressed with fear and reverence of him that made it, Jonah, i. 9. God would have the hearts of people awed with his works ; and it is contempt of God not to be fo.
(8.) Labour to get a renewed right to the creatures. Our first charter was lost by Adam at his fall; and as the estates of rebels fall of course to the crown, so our right to the creatures was forfeited, and they fell back into the hands of him that gave them. We must get a new right through Jesus Christ, by faith in him, if ever we would have true comfort in the creatures. I own a wica ked man has a fort of right to the creatures : Pfal. cxv. 16. “ The earth hath the Lord given to the fons of men.” By the same law that God has said, Thou shalt not kill, he has made them over to us. This is a providential right, but it is not a covenant-right. It is but like the right the forfeited condemned man has to his nseat till the hour of his execution, Lastly, Ye that are godly, I would beseech
you to long for that blessed day for which the creatures are groaning. You have good reason, as well as they. Long for the day this stage shall be taken down, whereon so much fin and misery are acted, when all that Adam put wrong shall be completely righted by Jesus Chrift.
CREATION'S TRAVAIL, AND DELIVERY..
SE R M ON XXVII.
Rom. viii. 22. For we know that the whole creation
groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now.
HAVING, in the preceding discourses, confiderof men, I now proceed to the illustration of
Doct. II. That the creatures' pains under the sin
of man are travailing-pains, fore indeed, but hopeful, they will not last always, they will be delivered from them.
That this is the sense of this metaphor, appears by comparing ver. 23. “ And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
The creatures have now had a sharp shower for several weeks; blessed be the Lord it has in part intermitted, and that he has heard prayers in their be