Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the prophet and the apostle, and likewise the fidelity of the Redeemer of Sinners. He is called the faithful and true witness. (a) The apostle John, often stiles him true, or him that is true; the true God and eternal life. He is faithful to all his saints; and he is faithful to all his promises ; not one of them can fail. We can put little confidence, even in princes, nor in any of the children of men; for all flesh is but as grass, and the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the word of Immanuel abideth for ever. Men may sometimes want ability to perform their engagements; some unforeseen accidents may intervene, and thereby cut them short; but nothing of that kind can happen to him who is infinite wisdom; and nothing can restrain him who is infinite power. Men may change their mind, but he changeth not.

He is also the true Messiah in opposition to all vain pretenders; and he is the true rest for all his poor weary pilgrims ; a neverfailing rest, and a present help in every time of need.

He is the true foundation, upon which the church is built, and against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

ALL the dispensations of his providence are according to truth: although they may . (a) Rev. iii. 14.

at certain times appear dark and intricate, and require some degree of patience to wait the event. This we find to have been the case with many of God's eminent saints; yet he made darkness, light before them, and crooked things straight, and in the issue they could say, thou hast done all things well; just and true are thy ways, 0 King of saints. .. . .

5. In this adorable person we discover our only Redeemer and Saviour. We were indeed poor captives, who had sold ourselves for nought; but he came forth to be our ransom and our peace. He gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time. He gave himself for our sins, that he might redeem us from the present evil world. Awful indeed, and great was the price laid down for us ; not corruptible things such as silver and gold, but his own most precious blood, by which a world of sinners was redeemed. Hence he says, in the context, The day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. Indeed he loved poor sinners, and gave himself - for them, that he might redeem them from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.

6. He is not only the Redeemer, but the actual Saviour of perishing sinners. For although the ransom is paid down, even his own precious life; yet the cruel tyrant, the

furious oppressor, is not willing to let them go, nor are they very desirous of being released; so that in their actual salvation there are two conquests to make; namely, the captives themselves, that they may see their misery; and feel an eager desire to be released from it: that like the Israelites, in Egypt, they may groan to be released : and then the sighing of the prisoner comes up before him with acceptance, and he saves to the uttermost all them that come to him. That he is able to do this, appears from what has been said, and that he is willing, there is not the smallest doubt, seeing he declares, him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. · Nor do we ever find that he rejected any poor sinner that ever come to him. Let satan have ever so strong hold of the sinner, the Ransomer of the nations can, and will deliver such as are looking to him. If they sink into the miry clay, he can and will pluck them from thence, and set their feet upon a rock and establish their goings. Let the habits of sin be ever so strong, he can break the power thereof, and set the captive free; let their natural propensities be ever so vicious, yet he can subdue all to his sovereign sway, that at the last they may sing, Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

II. HAVING contemplated this glorious personage; let us enquire froin whence he comes, the text says, from Edom; we have said, from the earth, that is, from the grave, where he had been laid in arrest for our offences; and therefore, the text is a lively description of his glorious and triumphant resurrection.

DEATH was the penalty due to sin, and as he freely stepped into the sinner's place, it behoved him to suffer; even the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. As he said to his disciples, thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and rise from the dead the third day.-And, as he said to the two disciples, Ought not Christ to suffer these things and to enter his glory? · WHAT amazing mystery is all this? God manifest in the flesh, God in human nature laying down his life for ruined sinners! This may lessen, if not wholly banish the gloom of death. The apostle observes, to the Corinthians, that the sum of what he had preached to them was, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (a). And from the resurrection of Christ, he proves our resurrection; for be observes, If there be no resurrection from the dead, then is Christ not risen. (b) But, as he farther observes, By man came death, by man came also the

(a) 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4.

(b) 1 Cor. XV. 13.

resurrection of the dead. The first Adam was made a living soul ; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (a)

How great was that love which brought the Lord and giver of life, down to the shades of death? However, it affords a louder song of triumph. He could say to his fainting servant, I am the first and the last; I am he that was dead, but am alive, and behold: I am alive and live for evermore. (b)

0, THIS is matter of triumph to us also, and hence the Father speaking to his coequal Son, says, thy dead men shati live ; and the adorable Conqueror subjoins; together with my dead body shall they rise; and then by a striking apostrophe, addresses his living seed, Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust. (c) Thus he stooped to the gloomy recesses of the grave, that he might triumph over the tomb, and lead captivity captive, and receive gifts for men.

2. Tis said he came from Bozrah, a vintage, we said, where the wine press stood, the painful toil of which, he had to endure, where all his opposers were like the grapes beneath the feet of the treader.

MOREOVER, it may signify the glorious, in-gathering of precious souls, in conse-, quence of his agony and bloody sweat, his cross and passion, his precious death and (a) i Cor. xv. 45. (b) Rev. i, 17, 18. (c) Isa. xxvi. 19.

[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »