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Lord hath taken away,” though they were given, and much was required. Their of the Chaldeans and Sabeans that plundered fences were aggravated by their privileges him. God did not carry away the Jews by Sin is not to be judged of by its grossness, miracle, but by the effect of war: by the in- but by its guilt; and guilt arises from knowvasion and success of unprincipled and wicked ledge possessed, from obligations violated, conquerors. What did Tiglath-Pileser, or from advantages abused. God has not "dealt Shalmaneser, or Sennacherib, or Nebuchad- so with any land.” What wonder therefore nezzar, think of God? They were only fol- that he should say, “You only have I known lowing the calls of vanity, and of revenge. of all the families of the earth: therefore I Yet, says God, “ O Assyrian, the rod of mine will punish you for all your iniquities." anger, and the staff in their hand is mine in- Fourthly. The event displays the wisdom dignation. I will send him against an hypo- of God. By their dispersion the Scriptures critical nation, and against the people of my were diffused; and the Desire of all nations wrath will I give him a charge, to take the was announced and expected. The pious spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them Jews would be in the midst of many people down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit as a dew from the Lord.” We have reason he meaneth not so, neither does his heart to believe many miracles were wrought by think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and to them. We know that some were: witness cut off nations not a few.” Whence we learn, the preservation of Shadrach, Meshech, and that we are not to conclude that God has no- Abednego, in the fiery furnace; and Daniel thing to do in any work, because of the vile in the lions' den. These prodigies, accomness of those who are engaged in it. He panying a good conversation, would doubtless adapts his instruments to their employment, induce many to become proselytes to their overrules the natural tendencies of human religion, and to “ take hold of the skirt of actions, to subserve his designs, and makes him that was a Jew, saying, We will go
with the very wrath of man to praise him. The you, for we have heard that God is with event, Secondly, displays the truth of God. It Lastly. The event displays his goodness
. had been clearly foretold; it had been in the midst of judgment he remembered threatened, as early as the days of Moses: mercy. Though he punished them it was “The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten not to destroy, but to correct and reform: and before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one therefore he said, “Though I make a full end way against them, and flee seven ways be of the nations, yet will I not make a full end fore them: and shalt be removed into all the of thee: but I will correet thee in measure.' kingdoms of the earth. And thou shalt be- The dispensation, therefore, was temporary come an astonishment, a proverb, and a by- and limited. Hence he said, “ After seventy word, among all nations whither the Lord years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit shall lead thee.” It would be needless to you, and perform my good word toward you, prove how every successive prophet in the in causing you to return to this place. For name of God renewed the threatening. But, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, in consequence of these denunciations, the thoughts of peace, and not of evil
, to give calamity was identified with the divine vera- you an expected end. Then shall ye call city, and became surer than heaven and upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, earth: for it is easier for heaven and earth and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” seek me, and find me, when ye shall search The Jews imagined that they had nothing to for me with all your heart. And I will be fear: they thought that such a mighty judg- found of you, saith the Lord : and I will turn ment was improbable, not impossible; and away your captivity, and I will gather you presumptuously cried, " The temple of the from all the nations, and from all the places Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; the Lord are we: they leaned upon the Lord, and I will bring you again into the place and said, Is not the Lord among us? None whence I caused you to be carried away capevil can come upon us. But the Lord is not tive.” Hence, even in the mean time, be a man that he should lie, nor the son of man did not leave them comfortless. It was a that he should repent: hath he said, and shall calamity unspeakably awful and painful to he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall be driven from their native land, and deprived he not make it good ?"
of oll their civil and sacred privileges; but Thirdly. The event displays the holiness it was softened. And observe, of God. His holiness is most strikingly seen II. The ALLEVIATION.
“ Thus saith the in his abhorrence of sin. He is “of purer Lord God; Although I have cast them far eyes than to behold iniquity. The wicked off
' among the heathen, and although I have shall not stand in his sight. He will not scattered them among the countries, yet will spare the guilty.” His conduct towards this I be to them as a little sanctuary in the counpeople seems severe; and it was severe. But tries where they shall come. the provocation was peculiar. Much was takes to secure and accommodate them. He
engages to afford them the advantage of a pious female in the most distressing bereaverefuge and a temple: so that wherever they ment was able to say, sought him, he would be found of them; and “Thou dost but take the lamp away, they should see his power and his glory, so
To bless me with unclouded day." as they had seen him in the sanctuary. And a good man, who had endured the wreck
The doctrine to be drawn from this part of of fortune, being asked how he bore the our subject is this—That God is never at a change in his condition so cheerfully, replied ; loss to serve his people; and that he will " When I had these good things, I enjoyed compensate them for the want of those very God in all; and now I am deprived of them, things that seem essential to their welfare. I enjoy all in God.”
Let us consider two cases in which this How many can bear witness, that He has truth may be exemplified.
made that condition comfortable which they The first is, in the loss of outward com- once deemed insupportable; that was the forts. God does not require us to be indif- sufferings abound, the consolations abound ferent to our substance, to our health, to our also;" and that the light of his countenance, friends and relations: yea, under the removal the joy of his salvation, the comforts of the of them he allows us to feel. But it is the Holy Ghost, are effectual substitutes for every duty and privilege of a Christian, to be able deficiency in creature-good! to say with the Church, " Although the fig Secondly. In the want of gracious orditree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be nances. The preaching of the word, and the in the vines; the labour of the olive shall observance of public worship, will always be fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the deemed a privilege by the godly: they will flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there therefore repair to them, not only because shall be no herd in the stalls : yet I will re- they are commanded, but because they are joice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my inclined. They are glad when it is said to salvation."
them, Let us go into the house of the Lord: The believer may well display a superiority upon the same principle, the loss of them will over those events that keep others constantly be their grief. When,” says David, “I realarmed or distressed, since God is his por member these things, I pour out my soul in tion; and in His unchangeableness and all-me: for I had gone with the multitude, I sufficiency he has a stock of happiness in- went with them to the house of God, with dependent of the body and its diseases, time the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude and its vicissitudes, the world and its disso that kept holy day.” lution.
God will never countenance the neglect of The design of affliction is to wean us from the means of grace; but he will make up for creatures, and to bring us more entirely to the wantof them. And those should rememmake use of God. At first we are often ready ber this remark, who by accident, or sickness, to murmur and repine, imagining we are un- or the care of young children, or the duties done: but when we find, that, in consequence of servitude, are wholly or partially denied of the failure of the streams, we have been the privileges of the sanctuary. When we led to the fountain of living waters, we can cannot follow hiin, He can follow us. I have be thankful for the exchange; and acknow- known Christians placed by Providence in ledge that it is good for us that we have been situations that had very few spiritual advanafflicted. — Is not he better to us than ten tages and yet they have surpassed others sons; better than thousands of gold and sil- who were much more favoured. ver? Is not he “the father of the fatherless, The superstitious should remember this as and the husband of the widow ?" How pleas- well as the afflicted. Hedwelleth not in teming in this view is the promise, “ Therefore, ples made with hands : as saith the prophet; behold, I will allure her, and bring her into - The heaven is my throne, and the earth is the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto my footstool : where is the house that ye build her. And I will give her her vineyards from unto me? And where is the place of my thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of rest ? For all those things hath mine hand hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days made, and all those things have been, saith of her youth and as in the days when she the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to came up out of the land of Egypt.” When him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and Moses was wandering with the Israelites in trembleth at my word.” He can meet with “ the wilderness, in a solitary way, and found his people in any place; and wherever he no city to dwell in,” he familiarised God un- holds communion with them, the place beder the image of a home; and said, “ Lord, comes sacred. “And Jacob awaked out of thou hast been our refuge and dwelling- his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in place in all generations." When David was this place; and I knew it not." Though there driven from his palace by the rebellion of was no building near, “He was afraid, and Absalom, and was obliged to keep the field, said, How dreadful is this place! This is he said, “Be thou my strong habitation, none other but the house of God, and this is whereunto I may continually resort." A the gate of heaven.” To which me may add,
the assurance of our Saviour to the woman shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterat the well. “The hour cometh, when ye ward receive me to glory. Whom have I shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at je in heaven but thee? and there is none upon rusalem, worship the Father. But the hour earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh cometh, and now is, when the true worship- and my heart faileth : but God is the strength pers shall worship the Father in spirit and in of my heart, and my portion for ever." truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship "Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor, him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.* him must worship him in spirit and in truth." What a place then is heaven!
DISCOURSE LXXX. There we shall need none of these outward advantages. What a natural world must that be, where we can dispense with OBEDIENCE THE FRUIT OF such an essential blessing as the sun! “ And
REDEMPTION. there shall be no night there ; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the What? know ye not that—ye are not you Lord God giveth them light: and they shall
own? For ye are bought with a price. reign for ever and ever.”—There we shall
therefore glorify God in your body, and is need none of these spiritual helps. What a
your spirit, which are God's.—1 Cor. vi. moral world must that be, where we can dis
19, 20. pense with Sabbaths, with preaching, with It cannot be denied that the death of our temples! Even religion will cease there, and Lord Jesus holds a very large and distinnothing of it remain, but the dispositions it guishing place in the Scripture: but the informed, and the state to which it led. “And portance attached to it is frequently diminishI saw no temple therein : for the Lord God ed, or misunderstood. Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." There are some who contend that he died What a being then is God! not to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself
, He enables us to realize and to begin this but only to give us an example of patience, blessed state, even in this world. There we and to seal the truth of his doctrine with his shall be perfectly happy, because he will be blood. This is an error peculiarly at variance all in all : and here we are happy, in propor- with the types and prophecies of the Old Tes tion as we live a life of dependence upon him, tament, and the language and spirit of the and communion with him. There are some New; with the relief of an awakened sinner; individuals who are of importance to many and the consolation of the believer who *joFs around them. They are eyes to the blind, in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by and feet to the lame; they are a father to the whom he has received the atonement." poor; the blessing of him that is ready to But there is another heresy. It consists perish comes upon them; and they cause the in believing that the Son of God died not to widow's heart to sing for joy. But the cir- save us from our sins, but in them; not to cle is limited; their power is contracted ; and render us holy, but to dispense with our being in numberless cases, pity and prayer is all the so. This
, though not always avowedly prosuccour they can yield. But God is the fessed, too generally prevails; and alarms us fountain of life; he is an infinite good. “He with regard to many of those who are very is able to do for us exceeding abundantly tenacious of the doctrines of the Gospel. above all we can ask or think." There is no Against this delusion we would warn you want but he can relieve; no hope but he can in the words of the Apostle: "God is not only accomplish.
your Saviour, but your Sovereign : and from Let us rejoice that he is accessible. the Cross he demands of you nothing less Though sin carried us to such a distance than a life of praise. •What? know ye not from him, we are “made nigh by the blood that—ye are not your own? For ye are of Christ, who once suffered for sin the just bought with a price: therefore glorify God in for the unjust, that he might bring us unto your body, and in your spirit, which are God.” Let us come unto God by him ; say. God's.'” ing, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for Let us consider, the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." I. YOUR STATE.
II. YOUR DUTY. While many ask, Who will show us any THE CONNEXION BETWEEN THESE, OR THE good ? may we pray, “ Lord, lift thou the DERIVATION OF THE ONE FROM THE OTHER. light of thy countenance upon me :" and feel I. YOUR STATE. Paul expresses it in the a gladness to which the man of the world is form of a question. “What? know ye not a stranger, even when his corn and wine in-that-ye are not your own ?" Such a mode
of address is very common with our Apostle; Happy the man, wherever he resides, or and it always implies either the obviousness whatever is denied him, who can say with or the importance of the principle he is estaDavid; “I am continually with thee: thou blishing; and so is designed to reprove either hast holden me by my right hand. Thou our ignorance or our inattention. "How much
do we need reproof with regard to each of II. YOUR DUTY. It is to “glorify God in these! How little do we know! How little your body, and in your spirit, which are do we consider !
God's." It reminds us, But let us attend to the truth of the state- First, Of our complex nature. Some by a ment. “You are not your own”-you are kind of voluntary humility would strip us of not the masters of your own actions, the our glory, and reduce us to mere matter. But framers of your own condition, the proprie" there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration tors of your own persons: you are not at your of the Almighty giveth him understanding." own disposal, but entirely at the Lord's com- We are fearfully and wonderfully made. mand. And if it be asked, On what principle We combine clay and thought. On the one is the claim founded, and whence does the side we unite with angels; and on the other title spring? We answer, It is a claim you with the beast that perish. We are mortal cannot deny; it is a title you cannot dispute in life, and immortal in death. Then shall -you are redeemed-you are paid for the dust return to the earth as it was; and “Know ye not that ye are bought with a the spirit shall return to God who gave it.” price?"
Secondly. The body is not to be excluded No being can be his own, unless he be su- or undervalued in religion. It is the workpreme, absolute, independent, self-existent. manship of God, and displays much of his In this view, therefore, you are not your own. perfection. His providence appears in preHe made you and fashioned you. He formed serving and supplying it. He has redeemed your body out of the dust of the earth, and it; and will glorify it. And therefore the breathed into your nostrils the breath of life. body, as well as the soul, is to be employed in Show me one day, one hour, in which you can glorifying him. Religion is not only a real, live without God; and that day, that hour, but a visible thing. It flows from principle, shall be reckoned your own. If you refuse to but is to be exemplified in practice. We are acknowledge his right, why do you live at his not only to approve ourselves to the eye of table? why are you clothed by his bounty ? God, who seeth in secret, but we are to conwhy are you mean enough to be indebted to vince, to impress, to encourage, others. “ Let him for all your enjoyments, as well as sup- your light so shine before men that they may ports? Tell him to take back all that is his, see your good works, and glorify your Father and leave you nothing but what is your own. which is in heaven." -And where is the earth you tread ? the air The form of godliness is nothing without you breathe ? the light you behold ?--All are the power; but when the form is produced vanished. And where are you?--Annihilated. by the power it is comely, and useful, and ne
Strong however as this claim is, it is not cessary. They who disregard the Sabbath the principal one. The Apostle alleges an- and the sanctuary, (under a notion that all other. You are God's, says he, not only be times and places are to be alike to Christians, cause he made you and preserves you, but and under a pretence of superior spirituality because he has bought you—“ bought you despise the exercises of devotion, and the with a price.”
means of grace,) show little regard to the reWhat price? He deemed it needless to vealed will of God, and little acquaintance describe it. He knew every Christian could with the constitution of human nature. For exclaim, “He hath redeemed us from the man is an imbodied creature; his soul is to curse of the law, being made a curse for us. be approached through the medium of sense; In him we have redemption through his and his communion with things unseen and blood, even the forgiveness of our sins. We eternal is to be maintained by means of those are redeemed—with the precious blood of our that are seen and temporal. How is the Lord Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without Scripture to be read but by the eye? How blemish and without spot.”. Having finished is the Gospel to be heard but by the ear? Is the work that was given him to do, “ neither not the ordinance of the Lord's supper foundby the blood of goats, or of calves, but by his ed on the principle, that the body may be own blood, he entered in once into the holy helpful to the mind ? place, having obtained eternal redemption But our greatest danger lies not here. for us.". What a ransom is here offered and Many are satisfied with their state in reliaccepted! What a redemption is here made gion, because they regularly observe its and pleaded! Now we are his by a more forms, and abound in bodily exercise, which, awful, a more endearing, a more powerful, when alone, profiteth little. We therefore claim than creation. Redemption delivers us remark, from far greater evils than creation. Re- Thirdly, that in all the duties of religion demption confers upon us far greater blessings we are indispensably bound to glorify God in than creation. Redemption was much more our spirit, as well as in our body. This is his difficult than creation. Our Maker had only demand : “My son, give me thine heart.” to speak; our Saviour had to suffer. He Keep this back, and every thing else you renmade us at the expense of his breath; he der him will be unacceptable. Actions and redeemed us at the expense of his blood. professions may satisfy a fellow-creature, be
cause they may delude him: but God is not right. What a man has bought he deems his mocked-he views our principles and mo- own; and especially when the purchaze has tives; he looketh at the heart. “God is a been costly. And has not God bought you Spirit: and they that worship him must wor- with a price of infinite value? And ward ship him in spirit and in truth.” The Jews you rob him of a servant from his family: of never insulted our Saviour more than when a vessel from his sanctuary? To take what they bowed the knee before him, and said, belongs to a man is robbery, but to take what
Hail, king of the Jews!" Judas gave him belongs to God is sacrilege. lip-service, and betrayed the Son of man with Secondly. If we do not glorify God, are a kiss. If you pray without desire, sing with we not chargeable with the vilest ingratitude! out gratitude, hear without reverence and You ought to be thankful for the common obedience; if you approach his table, and rest bounties of his providence; but how much in the outward and visible signs, not discern- more for his unspeakable Gift! How ready ing the Lord's body, or showing forth his are you to çensure a fellow-creature, whom death, "you draw nigh to him with your you have served and indulged, when he apmouth, and honour him with your lips, but pears insensible to your welfare. Yet had be your heart is far from him:" and, therefore, some claims upon you; and the favours you in vain do you worship.
conferred were small, and attended with no Fourthly. We are to glorify God in our cor- painful sacrifices—what then should you think poreal and spiritual powers respectively, by of yourselves? Has not God done enough to exertions peculiar to each.
gain your hearts, and engage you in his serAs to the body-we are to glorify God in vice for ever? In what state did he find you ! guarding our health; in watching our senses; To what blessedness has he raised you! In in regulating our appetites; in opposing idle- what way—by what means—has the deliver ness and intemperance; in “yielding our ance-the elevation been accomplished ! senses and our members as instruments of " He spared not his own Son, but delivered righteousness unto holiness ;” in rendering him up for us all. He commendeth his love our natural refreshments and our secular toward us, in that, while we were sinners, callings subservient to religion, according to Christ died for us. the injunction, “ Whether therefore ye eat or “By these cords of love, these bonds of a drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory man, how am I drawn! How am I bound! of God."
• What shall I render unto the Lord for all As to the spirit-we are to glorify God in his benefits toward me? O Lord, truly I am the understanding, by exploring his truth; in thy servant; I am thy servant: thou hast the memory, by retaining his word; in the loosed my bonds. I am not my own: I canconscience, by fearing to offend him; in the not be my own: I would not be my own. Had will, by submitting to his commands, and ac- I ten thousand bodies and spirits, they shonld quiescing in his dispensations; in our affec- be only and eternally thine." tions, by loving him
above all ; in our depen- This is the language of a man properly dence, by “rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and penetrated with the subject. And how nehaving no confidence in the flesh.”
cessary it is, will appear by asking, All these subdivide themselves into branches Thirdly. Is not this glorification of God of duty too minute and various to be speci- the very end of your redemption ? Were fied. What the Apostle requires is nothing you rescued from bondage to be lawless? Or less than an entire consecration of ourselves to become your own masters? Does this in all our faculties and actions to God, accord-amazing work terminate in your mere escape ing to his comprehensive words in another of from deserved punishment ?' What says
Ze his Epistles; “For none of us liveth to him-chariah in his song of praise ? “ Blessed be self, and no man dieth to himself. For the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and redeemed his people.”—“That he would and whether we die, we die unto the Lord : grant unto us, that we, being delivered out whether we live therefore, or die, we are the of the hand of our enemies, might serve him Lord's."
without fear, in holiness and righteousness III. Let us consider the CONNEXION BETWEEN before him, all the days of our life." What YOUR STATE AND YOUR DUTY, OR THE DERI says Peter? “Who his own self bare our
Know sins in his own body on the tree, that we beye not—that ye are not your own? For ye ing dead to sins, should live unto righteousare bought with a price: therefore glorify negs: by whose stripes ye were healed." God in your body and in your spirit, which What says our Apostle? Let him explain are God's." The inference is natural. The the inference he has here drawn—Who force of it appears in four things.
gave himself for us, that he might redeem First. Does not justice demand this dedi- us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself cation? He has not only procured a title for a peculiar people, zealous of good works. you, but a title to you: and unless you devote for the love of Christ constraineth us; beyourselves to his service, you rob him of his cause we thus judge, that if one died for all,
VATION OF THE ONE FROM THE OTHER.