« ForrigeFortsæt »
his saints made unspeakably happy in the view of his glory; a time, wherein God's people should not only once see the light of God's glory, as Moses, or see it once a year with the high priest, but should dwell and walk continually in it, and it should be their constant daily light, instead of the light of the sun,(Isa. ii. 5. Psal.Ixxxix. 15. Isa.Ix. 19) which light should be so much more glorious than the light of the sun or moon, that the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts should reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem before his ancients gloriously ; Isa. xxiv. 23.
, It is represented as a time of vast increase of knowledge and understanding, especially in divine things ; a time where. in God would destroy the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail spread over all nations," Isa. xxv. 7. wherein “ the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven fold," Isa. xxx. 26. « And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the heart of the rash shall understand knowledge," Isa. xxxii. 3, 4. “ And they shall no more teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, because they shall know him from the least to the greatest," Jer. xxxi. 24.
And a time of general holiness, (Isa. Ix, 30.“ Thy people shall be all righteous.") And a time of a great prevailing of eminent holiness, when little children should, in spiritual attainments, be as though they were “ an hundred years old,” Isa. 18r. 20. And wherein “ he that is feeble among God's people should be as David,” Zech. xii. 8. A time wherein holiness should be as it were inscribed on every thing, on all men's common business and employments, and the common utensils of life, all shall be dedicated to God, and improved to holy purposes ; (Isa. xxiii. 18.“ And her merchandize and hire shall be holiness to the Lord.” Zech. xiv. 20, 21. “ In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord ; and the pots in the Lords house shall be like the bowls lefore the altar ; yea every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be hcliness unto the Lord of Hosts.") A time wherein rcligion and true Christianity shall in every respect be uppermost in thc world ; wherein God will cause his church to arise and chake herself from the dust, and put on her beautiful garments, and sit down on a throne ; and the poor shall be raised from the dust, and the beggar from tlie dunghill, and shall be set among princes, and made to inherit the throne of God's glory : A time wherein vital piety shall take possession of thrones and pala. ces, and those that are in most exalted stations shall be eminent in holiness. Isa. xlix. 23. “ And kings shall be thy pursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers.” Chap. lx. 16. “ Thou shalt suck the breasts of kings.” Isa. xiv. 12. “ The daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift, the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor," A time of wonderful union, and the most universal peace, love and sweet harmony; wherein the nations shall beat their swords into filoughshares, &c. and God will cause, wars to cease to the ends of the earth, and break the bow, and cut the spear in sunder, and burn the chariot in the fire ; and the mountains shall bring forth peace to God's people, and the little hills by righteousness ; wherein the wolf should dwell with the lamb, &c. and wherein God's people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and quiet resting places ; (Isa. xxxii. 17, 18, and xxxiii. 20, 21) a time wherein all heresies and false doctrines shall be exploded, and the church of God shall not be rent with a variety of jarring opinions. Zech. xiv. 9. « The Lord shall be king over all the earth : In that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one.” And all superstitious ways of worship shall be abolished, and all agree in worshipping God in his own appointed way, and agreeable to the purity of his institutions ; Jer. xxxii. 39. “ I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them and their children after them;" a time wherein the whole earth shall be united as one holy city, one heavenly family, men of all nations shall as it were dwell together, and sweetly correspond one with another, as brethren and children of the same father ; as the prophecies often speak of all God's people at that time as the children of God, and brethren one to another, all appointing over them one head, gathered to one house of God, to worshin the King, the Lord of hosts; a time wherein this whole great society shall appear in glorious VOL. III.
beauty, in genuine amiable Christianity, and excellent order, as a city compact together, the perfection of beauty, an eternal excellency, shining with a reflection of the glory of Jehovah risen upon it, which shall be attractive and ravishing to all kings and nations, and it shall appear as a bride adorned for her husband; a time of great temporal prosperity ; of great health, (Isa. xxxiii. 24. “ The inhabitants shall not say, I am sick”) of long life ; Isa. Ixv. 22. “ As the days of a tree, are the days of my people ;” a time wherein the earth shall be abundantly fruitful; (Psal. Ixvii. 6, Isa. xxx. 23, 24, Amos ix. 16, and many other places.) A time wherein the world shall be delivered from that multitude of sore calamities that before had prevailed, (Ezek. xlvii. 20) and there shall be an universal blessing of God upon mankind, in soul and body, and in all their concerns, and all manner of tokens of God's presence and favor, and God shall rejoice over them as the bridegroom rejoiceth over his bride, and the mountains shall as it were drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk ; Joel iii. 18. A time of great and universal joy through the earth, when from the utmost ends of the earth shall be heard songs, even glory to the righteous, and God's people shall with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, and God shall prepare in his holy mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the Lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the Lees well refined, which feast is represented, Rev. xix. as the marriage supper of the Lamb. Yea, the scriptures represent it not only as a time of universal joy on earth, but extraordinary joy in heaven, among the angels and saints, the holy apostles and prophets there ; Rev. xviii. 20, and xix. 1.....9. Yea, the scriptures represent it as a time of extraordinary rejoicing with Christ himself, the glorious head, in whom all things in heaven and earth shall then be gathered together in one ; Zech. iii. 17. “ 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," And the very fields, trees and mountains, shall then as it were rejoice, and break forth into singing ; Isa. lv. 12. “ Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains
and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isa. xliv. 23. “ Sing, heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains ; O forest, and every tree therein ; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
Such being the state of things in this future promised glorious day of the churches prosperity, surely it is worth pray, ing for. Nor is there any one thing whatsoever, if we view. ed things aright, which a regard to the glory of God, a concern for the kingdom and honor of our Redeemer, a love to his people, pity to perishing sinners, love to our fellow creaLures in general, compassion to mankind under its various and sore calamities and miseries, a desire of their temporal and spiritual prosperity, love to our country, our neighbors and friends, yea, and to our own souls, would dispose us to be so much in prayer for, as for the dawning of this happy day, and the accomplishment of that glorious event.
It may be worthy to be considered, 3. How much Christ prayed and labored and suffered, in order to the glory and happiness of that day.
The sum of the blessings Christ sought, by what he did and suffered in the work of redemption, was the Holy Spirit. So is the affair of our redemption constituted ; the Father provides and gives the Redeemer, and the price of redemption is offered to him, and he grants the benefit purchased; the Son is the Redeemer that gives the price, and also is the price offered ; and the Holy Spirit is the grand blessing obtained by the price offered, and bestowed on the redeemed. The Holy Spirit, in his indwelling, his influences and fruits, is the sum of all grace, holiness, comfort and joy ; or in one word, of all the spiritual good Christ purchased for men in this world : And is also the sum of all perfection, glory and eternal joy, that he purchased for them in another world. The Holy Spirit is that great benefit, that is the subject matter of the promises, both of the eternal covenant of redemption, and also of the covenant of grace ; the grand subject of the prom
ises of the Old Testament, in the prophecies of the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom ; and the chief subject of the promises of the New Testament; and particularly of the covenant of grace delivered by Jesus Christ to his disciples, as his last will and testament, in the xiv. xv. and xvi. chapters of John ; the grand legacy that he bequeathed to them in that his last and dying discourse with them. Therefore the Holy Spirit is so often called the spirit of promise, and emphatically the promise, the promise of the Father, &c. Luke xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4, and ii. 33, 39. Gal. iii. 14. Eph. i. 13, and iij. 6. This being the great blessing Christ purchased by his labors and sufferings on earth, it was the blessing he received of the Father, when he ascended into heaven, and entered into the holy of holies with his own blood, to communicate to those that he had redeemed. John xvi. 7. “ It is expedient for you, that I go away ; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come ; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Acts ii. 33. “ Being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. This is the sum of those gifts, which Christ received for men, even for the rebelous, at bis ascension. This is the sum of the benefits Christ obtains for men by bis intercession ; John xiv. 16, 17. “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Trutb." Herein consists Christ's communicative fullness, even in his being full of the Spirit, and so full of grace and truth, that we mnight of this fulness receive, and grace
grace. He is anointed with the Holy Ghost; and this is the ointment that goes down from the head to the members. God gives the Spirit not by measure unto him, that every one that is his might receive according to the measure of the gift of Christ. This therefore was the great blessing he prayed for in that wonderful prayer, that he uttered for his disciples and all his future church, the evening before he died, John xvii : The blessing he prayed for to the Father, in behalf of his disciples, was the same he had insisted on in his preceding discourse with them : And this doubtless was the blessing that he pray.