« ForrigeFortsæt »
the robbers, and taken Satan captive, and bruised his head, and destroyed that destroyer of mankind; he hath finished transgression, and made an end of sin, and hath brought in an everlasting righteousness,” and has recovered all the goods that the robbers had taken away, all the goods and gear men lost ; has recovered them with wonderful advantage; and the goods are all in his hand, and he has sent out us, who are his ambassadors, to cause all mankind to see what losses they have sustained ; and whoever have lost any thing, their God, and their souls, heaven and happiness, he is willing to restore it to mankind, and that without any [compensation ;] for he will do it without money and without price. Come, and get your own again; for Christ “ hath received gifts for men,” for the sons of men. O come, come, come, sirs, and get from the glorious Restorer what you have lost, what you stand in need of, through time and eternity! O come and get your life, your God, and your souls again for a prey !
Since the rebellion [instigated by the Pretender to the crown of England] commenced, many a man has lost very much ;, some have lost their land, some their houses, some their legs, and some their arms, and many their lives. And now, if the Duke of Cumberland, the King's son, should issue forth a proclamation, to every man to come and get his losses repaired in his Father's name, I believe you would not be shy to put in your name, and tell that you have lost this and that. Well, the Son of the King of heaven, the great JEHOvah, has all his Father's treasures in his hand, and he has sent us to tell you to come and get your losses repaired. O sirs, what are men's temporal losses in comparison with their soul losses ! " What is a man profited, though he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" Well, come and “ get your souls for a prey” from the Son of God.
• I might make use of many motives to persuade you. Pray consider only the goods you lost are in Christ's hand, and that they are in his hand that they may be restored again to you. He invites you to come: “ Incline your ear, and come unto me,” &c. He not only invites you, but counsels you: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire," that is, I counsel
you to get your losses restored. He not only counsels you, but commands you: “ This is his commandment, that ye
believe in his Son Jesus Christ.” He not only commands, but he promises; he gives all manner of security that your losses shall be made
if you come to him for a repas ration, Psal. Ixxii. 4: " He shall judge the poor of the pe ple, he shall save the children of the needy." Come, then,
poor and needy sinner. He is grieved to the heart when sinners will not come and get their losses repaired; he was grieved when Jerusalem would not be gathered as a hen gathereth 'her chickens under her wings. I will tell you, many a man has got his losses repaired; an innumerable company have got restitution from him, Rev. vii. 9: “I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Now, when others have come and got reparation, will not you come and get reparation too?
O sirs, consider what you are doing. Mind, there is no hope of reparation after death; but if you come for reparation, you must come now to the King's Son; therefore, “ Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
Upon this last day of the feast, I cry to all mankind, if my voice could reach them, to come and get their losses repaired by the Son of God, who restores that which he took not away, Do not say, “ I am rich, and increased with goods, and stand in need of nothing;" for I can assure you, that he who is infinitely wise, and knows you better than you do yourselves, declares, that you are " poor, miserable, wretched, blind, and naked," through the robbery that sin has committed.Say you, I cannot get time to come, because of worldly business. But let me tell you, that your worldly business is but a mere trifle in comparison with this; therefore make all other business but by-business in comparison with this “ thing needful.”-Says another, I will get time enough afterwards. I will tell you, delays are dangerous; what know. you, man, what a day may bring forth? Death may come, and then you are gone for ever through eternity.-Says another, I am afraid the time is gone already, and that he will not make a reparation of my losses. No, sirs, I will tell you,
, that while there is life there is hope, and the Son of God is at the back of your heart, crying, “ Behold, I stand at the
I door, and knock: if any man" (out of hell) hear my voice, and
open to me, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”—But O, say you, I fear
losses are irreparable. I will tell you, poor sinner, as broken a ship has come to land, as we use to say; as great sinners as you have got a reparation of their losses, and a full pardon to the boot. What think you of Manasseh, and Mary Magdalene, and Paul?. The same hand that repaired their losses is ready to repair yours; " his hand is not shortened, that it cannot save," &c.-Says another, What if I be not
among the number of the elect? I answer, You have nothing to do with election; for "secret things belong unto the Lord, but that which is revealed unto us and our children.” Election does not belong directly and immediately to the business of believing, but only things revealed: and if revealed things belong to us, then put in your claim: for “the promise is to you and your seed.”-Say you, I am impotent, and cannot come. I answer, That was one of the losses Christ came to restore; “ he gives strength to the weak, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”—Say you, My will is as an iron sinew, it will not answer. Answ. He that restores that which he took not away, offers to restore your good heart, and your will; “ Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Ezek. xxxvi. 26 : “ I will take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh."-Says another, I would fain come to get my losses repaired, but I think when I come to bim he (would thrust] me away. Do not think so; for he says, “Whosoever will come to me, I will in no wise cast out.” When he frowns upon you, and calls you a dog, be as the Syrophenician woman, do not give over, and you shall prevail, " Truth, Lord, I am a dog, yet
“ the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master's table;" the Lord repaired her losses, and granted her all the desires of her heart.
I should conclude with a word to believers, who have got their losses repaired by the glorious Immanuel. I only say two or three things to you by way of advice. (1.) O sing praises to the blessed Restorer, “O my soul, bless the Lord, who hath redeemed thy life from destruction, and crowned thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies," Psal. ciii. 14. (2.) Whenever you meet with new losses, come back to the blessed Restorer. Satan will be about with
goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and to take away any good you have got on this solemn occasion; but when the enemy has robbed you, I
say, come back to Christ by faith, and you will find restitution again. Again, my advice to you is, O love the Lord with your heart, strength, and mind; let him have the strength and flower of your affection, lay nothing in the balance with him; and, as an evidence of your love, keep his commandments, “ walk worthy of the Lord, to all well pleasing," "contend for the faith once delivered to the saints;" study, with the church, to cause his name to be remembered to all generations, that the people may praise him for ever and ever," who restored what he
took not away.
WORTHLESS MAN MUCH REGARDED BY THE MIGHTY
Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man,
that thou makest account of him.-Psal. CXLIV. 3.
Here is a question put, that is both answerable and unanswerable; it is both easy and difficult: it is easy to tell what man įs, for the end of his perfection is soon discovered; but why God takes knowledge of man, or makes so great account of him, as to heap his favours on him, is a thing that God only can best account for. David, in the two preceding verses, declares, first, what a reconciled God in Christ was to him, and makes it the ground of his praise and triumph: 1. Says he, My God is my strength; he is the strength of Israel, the glory of their strength. However feeble and weak the saints be in themselves, yet "their Redeemer is strong, the Lords of hosts is his name." O “ blessed is the man whose strength is the Lord Jehovah, with whom there is everlasting strength;" for " he shall go from strength to strength, till he appear before the Lord in Zion," &c. 2. His God was his goodness; for “there is none good but one, that is, God;" who, as he is the chief good himself, so he is truly good to Israel; good to them that wait upon him, and to the soul that seeks him. And whatever goodness is in any of the sons of men, or saints of God, he is the glorious source and fountain of it; for 6
every good and perfect gift cometh down from above, ". from an infinitely good God, &c. 3. His God was his for. tress and his high tower. David saw himself in God, as a man is in his castle, that can look down on all his enemies with contempt: and hence we find him frequently expressing: himself with the greatest confidence of safety ; " I will not be afraid of ten thousands of mine enemies against me round about:" O! who can hurt them that have the eternal God for their refuge, and his everlasting arms underneath them ?".
* Preached upon a thanksgiving day, after the sacrament, in Dunfermline, Monday, July, 1737
4. His God was his deliverer. Many a danger David had been in, from Saul, from Absalom, and his other enemies; but his God had always interposed for his preservation; probably he may have his eyes upon the great deliverance that God wrought for him, and all his saints, by Jesus Christ, in finding a ransom for him, that he might not go down to the pit, &c. 5. His God was his shield: as a shield in the day of battle defends against darts and arrows that are shot against a man's body, and wards off the blows that are levelled against him; so his God has protected him against the malicious arrows of reproach and malice, &c. 6. His God had made him a skilful and successful soldier: his hands had been used to the shepherd's crook, and the musician's harp; but God had taught " bis hands to war, and his fingers to fight," and to lead and head the armies of Israel, &c. 7. His God had taught him not only to manage the sword, but to sway the sceptre; (in the close of verse 2.) “He subdueth my people under me.” He who had ordained him to be king of Israel, in the room of Saul, swayed the hearts of all the tribes to acknowledge him as their king and ruler; just so he, in a day of power,
bends and bows the wills and minds of men to submit to the government of the Son of David, Christ Jesus, every one crying, Thou hast delivered us out of the hands of our enemies, therefore rule thou over us.
Well, David having thus viewed the goodness of God to him, and remembering the greatness, glory, and majesty of his Benefactor, who had done all this for him; extends his views to the goodness of God to mankind in general, and especially to the saints, and cries out, in a rapture of wonder, in the words of my text, Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! and the son of man, that thou makest account of him! So then the words are a question of admiration. And more particularly we may note, l. The subject-matter of the question, and that is man; earthly man, as some read it; man that is a
sprung of earth, and whose foundation is in the dust; man who was made a little lower than the angels,” but who is now sunk into the greatest ignominy and contempt, by his apostacy from God. 2. We have a question of contempt put, concerning this creature, man, or the son of man, what is he? or " wherein is he to be accounted of?" We may hear the solution of this question afterwards. 3. Notice to whom this question is proposed; it is to the Lord: Lord, what is man? “ The Lord is a God of knowledge," and " there is no searching of his understanding :" he “needs not that
should testify of man to him;" he knows the inward value of persons, things, and actions: God has balances in which he weighs all mankind, and therefore he can well tell what man is; “ he