« FöregåendeFortsätt »
ment which justice is bound to inflict; and when he finds himself in this guilty and helpless state, then he will be glad to hear of a Saviour. Blessed be God, there is salvation for him who despairs of being saved by the law. To him the gospel offers a free pardon. When he flies to the gospel, seeking to be saved by free grace, then there is mercy for him, and plenteous redemption. When he cries out, O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the curses of the broken law, and the justice of an offended God? The gospel points out unto him the victorious Saviour, who hath redeemed his people from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them, and hath satisfied all the demands of his Father's justice, having made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness. And therefore he can save to the uttermost. If there be
whom the broken law accuses, and whom justice is pursuing to inflict the threatened punishment, fly to this almighty Saviour, and you will find in him a safe refuge. He can save you from the condemnation of the law : for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. And he can deliver you from the stroke of justice: for who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect, since it is God himself that justifieth them?
This is the great salvation set before you who despair of being saved by the law. It is a free, full, and eternal salvation. He who has it to give has graciously concinced you of your want of it, and has made you willing to receive it as a free gift
. Ask it then of him, deeply sensible of your unworthiness, and of your helplessness, and he will incline his ear unto your petitions; for he never casteth out the prayer of the poor and destitute. Ask, and have the precious gift of faith, and great joy and peace in believing that you are redeemed from the curse of the law, and that you are enriched with the blessings of the gospel. You will be made the children of God, and will receive the adoption of sons through faith in Christ Jesus, and if sons, then you will be heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you: which may the Father reserve for you all, for the sake of his beloved Son, through the effectual grace of the Holy Spirit, that to the three persons in one Jehovah you may be happy in ascribing equal honour, and glory, and blessing, and praise, for ever
ye shall Amen.
“ Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to
the mountain of myrrh, and to the bill of frankincense.". -SONG OF SOLOMON, iv. 6.
AFTER man had broktn the moral law, and had
fallen into a helpless state of guilt and misery, it pleased God to reveal the covenant of grace. As soon as the way to salvation was stopped by the law, he opened a new and living way by the gospel. The Messiah was promised, and the rites and cere, monies were instituted, which were to represent what he was to be, and to do for the salvation of men. “ Which things were a shadow, but the body or substance was Christ.” They were expressive figures and shadows of his actions and sufferings, and in them the religion of the gospel was delineated to the senses of the faithful. This law of ceremonies was revealed upon the fall, and afterwards republished in writing by Moses. It had God for its author, and was established by his divine authority, and therefore it deserves our particular consideration.
In my last discourse I endeavoured to explain the scope and design of the moral law, and to prove that by its works no flesh can be justified in the sight of God. The next body of law is the ceremonial, whici preached salvation from the pains and penalties incurred by the breach of the moral law. It held forth this doctrine under a great variety of types and figures, and taught it in many plain passages. The words which I have read contain the Messiah's own sentiments on the subject. The commentators allow him to be the speaker, and he is addressing himself to the faithful, with whom he holds sweet and spiritual çliscourse in this divine treatise. He particularly informs them where he vouchsafed his presence, and would be found of them that sought him, so long as the ceremonial law was in force. Until the day break, says he, until the day of my first coming in the flesh shall dawn, and the shadows of the law shall vanish, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense, to the mountain of the Lord's house, even to the holy hill of Sion, and there will I be spiritually present in the temple service; I will there give my blessing to the ordinances, and will make them the means of grace: whatever your wants may be, apply to me in these instituted means, and you will find an abundant supply; for until the day break, and the shadows flee away, &c.
The consideration of this passage will, I hope, by the assistance of God, help us to comprehend the scope and design of the ceremonial law. the Holy Spirit, who inspired these words, accompany our present meditation upon them, that we may,
First, clearly understand their true sense and meaning, and
Secondly, may be established in the doctrine which they contain.
There are many parts of the song hard to be ung derstood, especially by the unlearned and unstable, who wrest it, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. But the passage which we have now before us is very easy; there is no difficulty in it to persons who have a little acquaintance with the scripture manner of writing, which constantly uses and accommodates natural things to explain spiritual, suiting its instructions to man's present em
bodied state, in which he cannot see the things of grace, bnt through the glass of nature. The language of the Old Testament is entirely of this kind. Every Hebrew word has a literal sense, and stands for some sensible object, and thereby gives us a comparative idea of some spiritual object. As this is the nature of the language, so is it also of the subject matter of the book of Canticles. It is drawn up in the manner of a dialogue, in which outward and material things are used to represent inward and spiritual things. This way of writing is very abstruse to them, who have not the senses of their souls exercised to discern the things of God, but to them who have, it is an easy book. He that runs 'may read it, if he has but a little acquaintance with the scripture language, and some of that love in his heart, of which this book treats: for it is a song of loves, setting forth the mutual affection between Christ and the be. liever, who is united to him by saving faith. And in the words of my text Christ informs the believer where he might at all times find his presence. He would be spiritually present in the services and ceremonies of the temple. By these he would convey grace and strength to his faithful people, until his coming in the flesh.
“Until the day break." The scripture mentions two days by way of eminence, and distinguishes them by two of the greatest events which the Redeemer's love and power are to produce, the day of Christ's first coming, and the day of his second coming. The day of his first coming in the flesh is here spoken of the day which Abraham earnestly desired to see, and which is often mentioned in the prophets under the expressions of the day of the Lord,” or of “the day of our God," and sometimes it is very emphatically styled “that day;" that day's wonders raising it above all days from the beginning to the end of time. And in the New Testament the Lord calls it my day, the day of my incarnation, when I, Jehovah, should take a body of flesh, and God and man should