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ture very remarkable and full to our purpose. “ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Surely he “ shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” He “ shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes, shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways,-lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."
But though the saved of the LORD dwell thus in safety, yet they dwell alone. They are neither beholden to sinful alliances, nor sinful submissions, for their security. Like Israel of old, they are a peculiar people, separated from sin and sinners, devoted to the service of God, and singular in the general tenour of their deportment. They have complied with that well-known and useful exhortation, “ Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the LORD God Almighty.” The Lord, therefore, takes them under his peculiar care, and they are a peculiar treasure unto him, above all people of the earth.” They are “as a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of their God.” The LORD 'himself is “ their sun and shield, the LORD will give them grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold” from them. Yea, he will guide them continually, and satisfy their soul in drought, and make their bones fat, and they shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of waters, whose waters fail not."
This is all implied in the next particular, “ The fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine, also his heavens shall drop down dew.” By the “ fountain of Jacob,” some understand the posterity of Jacob, which flowed from him as waters from a fountain; and if this is
it, the fountain is put for the streams issuing thence. Others
suppose the fountain of Jacob " to signify the people of that generation, from which all the succeeding generations of Israelites were derived. Or, the word
here rendered fountain, may be translated eye, as it primarily and properly means.
of Jacob is upon a land of corn and wine." In either of these ways it signifies one and the same thing, viz. that the Israelites should possess a fruitful land ; a land productive of corn and wine, in which commodities, that it might abound the more, the “ heavens would drop down dew." Thus understood, it beautifully illustrates that happy and flourishing state, into which the LORD brings all those in whom he destroys the works of the Devil. But it would represent this in a still more striking manner, if we should admit that the phraseology of this passage, like that of many others in the Hebrew Bible, was not very exact, and, therefore, construe it with a little latitude. Thus we may understand the inspired penman, as informing us, not only that the land of Canaan should be well watered with rain from heaven, and consequently produce plenty of corn and wine, but likewise that it should abound in wells and fountains from beneath, for the pleasure and refreshment of the inhabitants. This we know was the case with that land, as appears from the eighth chapter of this book, and the seven following verses ; a passage of Scripture which serves to explain the meaning of our text. “ The LORD thy God,' says Moses, bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills.". Then it is added, “ a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates, a land of oil-olive and honey; a land, wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land, whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.” In this sense, then, we may lawfully take this passage, and thus taken it may be considered as a striking emblem of that Gospel liberty, and plenty, and enjoyment into which CHRIST saves his followers.
When the Lord has thrust out and destroyed the enemies of his people, then shall Israel not only " dwell in safety alone," but also 66 the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine.” Or, as it is in the prophet, “ They shall dwell on high, their place of defence shall be the munition of rocks; bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure." They shall not only enjoy in peace and tranquillity all those temporal blessings which the LORD sees good for them, but shall also be “ satisfied with the fatness of his house, even of his holy temple;” shall be abundantly replenished with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The indwelling Spirit of God, which has now taken up its abode in their hearts, is in them, a “ fountain of living waters, springing up to life everlasting.” This is that “ river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.” Here their thirsty souls are refreshed, satisfied, and comforted, and hence they are qualified for usefulness to others. 56 He that believeth on me,” says JESUS, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” From that well of divine grace, which is within them, bubbling up with love, and hope, and joy, and overflowing in peace and righteousness all around, streams of edification and comfort are perpetually descending upon children, servants, and neighbours. All within their influence are watered by them, look green and flourish. “ They that dwell under their shadow' return;
" after being apparently exhausted and dead, they become verdant and fruitful; they “ revive as the corn, grow as the vine; their smell is like the wine of Lebanon.”
But again. While they are thus replenished with the grace of God within, for their own refreshment, and the good of others ; at the same time they shall be supplied with every outward advantage for their spiritual proficiency and growth in grace. They shall cultivate a rich soil, watered with fruitful dews and showers from heaven; “ a land of corn and wine ; also his heavens shall drop down dew.” The word and ordinances of God, the means of grace, the promises and privileges of the Gospel, shall be to their souls what corn and wine, the most useful things in nature, are to men's bodies. Hereby shall
Hereby shall they be nourished and strengthened, that they may keep their enemies at a distance, may do the whole will of God, and cheerfully sustain the trials and afflictions of this pilgrimage-state. And the word of God, and the ordinances of his appointment, shall not be as dry breasts to them, or as a wilderness and land of drought, because “the heavens shall drop down dew.” The grace of God, distilling from above in silent sweetness, shall render those means like green pastures, where Christ's flock shall feed in peace ; like fruitful
valleys laughing with plenty of corn, and vineyards overflowing with red wine.”
“ In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine, I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not, and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord, thy God in the midst of thee, is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice, over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout
Israel, be glad and rejoice, with all the heart, O daughter of
Jérusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath čast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee, thou shalt not see evil any more.”
Now 66 shalt thou remain” in the everlasting possession of that good land, into which the Lord has brought thee;
s A land of corn, and wine, and oil,
With every blessing blest ;
And everlasting rest.”
Having now finished the explanatory part of this Discourse; before I congratulate those who are brought into this happy state, in the language of the twenty-ninth verse, I would address myself, briefly, to two different classes of people. First, to those who believe there is no such holy and happy state attainable in this world, as I have been describing. You, my friends, too much resemble the men of that wicked generation, who unreasonably disbelieved the true testimony of Joshua and Caleb concerning that good land, which God had promised to his people, while they readily credited the lying stories of other spies, who maliciously brought up an evil report of the larid. You uns reasonably reject the true testimony which the Old and New Testament, which the Prophets and Apostles, yea, and Christ himself, have unanimously borne to the great salvation of the Gospel, while you readily believe the suggestions of Satan, who was a liar from the beginning," the false insinuations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth," and the dictates of your own deceitful hearts. How unjustifiable is your conduct! How can you excuse yourselves to God or man? Nay, how shall you escape if you continue to neglect so great salvation? How did those unbelieving and ungrateful Israelites escape ? 66 Their carcases fell in the wilderness.” God was grieved with that evil generation, and said, “ It is à people that do always err in their hearts, and they have not known my ways; " he sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest.” Now, inasmuch as these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are recorded for our admonition, surely if we imitate them in their sin, we have but too much reason to dread their punishment !
The Israelites did not " enter in because of unbelief.” For the very same reason you shall not enter in. According to the whole tenour of the Gospel dispensation, only those who believe the pro
mises obtain their fulfilment. Those who, notwithstanding their evidence and certainty, continue to call their veracity in question, and doubt their accomplishment, shall live and die destitute of the blessings promised. But this you do not regard. It would be matter of grief rather than of joy to you, to be convinced such holiness was really attainable and necessary.
You love your idols too well, to part with them without reluctance. Your attachment to the world and sin, whatever you may think of it, is in fact at the bottom of your aversion to this doctrine. 66 You love dark. ness rather than light, because your deeds are evil.” You are in love with sin, and therefore you hate to hear of entire sanctification. Let me, therefore, observe further, because you “despise the riches of God's goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering," because you deny and undervalue his mercies, therefore you
shall feel the effects of his indignation and wrath, and sustain, however reluctant, the execution of his threatenings.
Consider, therefore, in time what you are doing. If there is indeed such a good land to be possessed, you cannot neglect to proceed to the possession of it, and yet be innocent and safe, You cannot live and die in that wilderness of doubt, and fear, and sin, and misery, in which you now wander, without such a mix. ture of unbelief, ingratitude, and obstinacy, as, you have great reason to think, God will remember and punish with the loss of the Canaan of eternal rest, yea, with everlasting destruction. Besides, granting what there is not the least reason to grant, that we carry matters to an extreme, and that there is no such holiness to be attained in this frail state of things, yet, after all, where is the danger of this doctrine? what harm can it do us to believe and practise it? Is there any danger of our being too holy, of our hating sin, and loving God too much? Can we possibly run to an extreme here? Surely not. The only danger is, lest we should not go far enough ; lest, after all, we should be but almost Christians, lest we should stop short of that “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord;” and for that reason we should be excluded the holy and pure city, into which nothing unclean can enter. “Awake then, thou that steepest !” Know thy privileges! Know thy danger! O lay aside thy evil reasoning, and thy unbelief, and by following “after holiness, and giving diligence to be found of him in peace, and without spot and blameless, make” now thy calling and thy election sure.” So shalt thou never fall, but an entrance shall be administered to thee abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our God and Saviour.”