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II.

the body. What can be more express LECT. than the doctrine of our Saviour himself w upon this subject ? My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth me, even be shall live by me; that is, shall live with a new and divine life, as really as his body lives and is nourished by his daily bread. Unless these words do fignify, that a real principle of life and strength is derived to us from the body of Christ, whereof we partake, there can be no certainty in language, and every doctrine of the scripture may be thrown into doubt and obscurity. Without faith, as it hath already been argued in the proper place, the language of the scripture never was nor ever will be admitted in its true sense; but with it, it is clear enough to very reader.

This first head of my subject is so copious, that I must conclude here, and defer what remains to the next Lecture.

LECT.

LECTURE III.

ON THE FIGURES OF THE SCRIPTURE WHICH

ARE TAKEN FROM NATURE.

(A CONTINUATION OF THE FORMER.)

III.

LECT. THE former Lecture would not al

1 low me room to explain the figures which the scripture hath borrowed from the natural world and the objects of common life; though I determined to select such of them only as might be thought most important and instructive: and even now, the subject is so copious, that I must leave many which I should be glad to treat of.

From the consideration of the heavens, the elements and the seasons, we descended to man, whose bodily life is a pattern and

shadow

shadow of his spiritual life, and is applied LECT. to illustrate it in many instances.

III.

From his natural, we must now go forward to his social, civil, or political life, as a citizen, subject, and member of society; together with his worldly condition, relations, offices, and occupations.

The spiritual state, or kingdom of heaven, is represented to us under the em.. blem of an earthly kingdom, in which God is the supreme governor and judge, ruling all his creatures with infinite power, and according to the laws of justice, goodness, and mercy.

The church is a spiritual kingdom under Christ its head; and its ministers are ambassadors, commissioned to treat with the world, and propose terms of reconciliation from God, with whom they are by nature at enmity. St. Paul, having occasion to speak of his commission under Jesus Christ, faith, for whom I am an ambassador in bonds. This was a strange

case ;

LECT. case; and he mentions it as such; beIII.

cause the persons of ambassadors were accounted sacred, and it was against the law of nations to do any violence to them : but the world, while it keeps good faith with itself, keeps none with God. Our blessed Saviour, as Pilate truly entitled him upon the Cross, was the King of the

Fews, though not after the form and authority of worldly kingdoms; and as such had a claim to the allegiance of his subjects. Their rebellious treatment of him and his ambassadors is represented in the parable of the marriage of the king's fon*; whose invitation they rejected, and abused his servants. In consequence of this his armies were sent out, to do execution upon them as murtherers, and burn up their city: all of which was fulfilled upon the apostate Jews, and their city Jerusalem : and having rejected him, they are to this day without a king, without laws, without a country.

There is another parable of the same . * Matth. xxii.

III.

kind, which admits of a more general ap- LECT. plication, and comes home to ourselves. La Christ ascending into heaven, there to receive all power, and return invested with it to the general judgment, is signified under the person of a nobleman who went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom and to return-But bis citizens hated bim, and sent a message after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us*. Thus insolently and ungratefully doth a wicked world treat the authority of Christ in his absence: but he shall return; and then the authority they will not admit for their good, will be turned to their destructionThose mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring hitber and say them before me. Not all the powers upon earth can hinder the execution of this command bring them hither wherever these offenders shall then be, they will all be found; even the grave shall not

hide them, the dust shall not cover them; , but the ministers of vengeance will drag

them forth, and present them before that

xix. 126.

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