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and therefore said, Behold, he cometh, leaping on the mountains, and skipping on the hills.” Their faith saw him coming in the flesh as a Saviour, and so leaping over that mountain of infinite distance betwixt God's nature and ours; this is called his first coming. The faith of the New Testament church relates especially to his coming in the clouds as a Judge, which is called his second coming; and our comunicating at this table bath such a concern in it, that it is a shewing forth of his death till he come again. Him that was crucified at Jerusalem actually, we have crucified before our eyes sacramentaliy ; and we are now shewing forth his death. He came in our nature, and died in our room, and so we are shewing forth the truth, and accomplishment of what the Old Testament church believed ; the object of their faith is so far made the object of our sight and sense ; and as this is to be shewn forth under the New Testament till he come the second time without sin unto salvation, so our faith in his second coming hath no such high mountain to ascend as theirs : for the incarnation of the Son of God, for these purposes which we commemorate, was not only a leaping over that infinitely great mountain of distance that was betwixt God and us, which, to the conception of men and angels, would have been for ever insuperable and impassable, but also was a pledge and evidence, that no other mountain could stand in the way, nor be able to hinder him when he is pleased to come.
The faith, therefore, of his second coming hath no such difficulty to surmount. He that said of his coming in the flesh of old, Lo, I come! he hath said of his coming in the clouds, “ Behold, I come quickly!” The first being ascomplished, secures the second. There is no such mountain now in his way as this; and yet he was able to come leaping over it: all the other mountains he hath to overleap, for the accomplishment of his other promises, are but little hills, in comparison of this.- His coming in the flesh not only makes a plain and evident way for his second coming at the great day, to judge the world in righteousness; but for all his other gracious approaches and promised comings, that intervene bea
tween the first and second ; and particularly for bis promised coming in the Spirit, over all the mountains of sin and guilt that stand in his way. Why, Christ hath not only come in the flesh, to our earth, and finished his work there, but he hath taken our flesh to heaven with him, under promise that he will send the Spirit; “ If I go, I will send him; and he shall come and testify of me, and glorify me:" and may we not now expect his coming thus, and say, in the faith of it, “ The voice of our Beloved ! Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills ?" He that came over the greater mountains, can speedily come over lesser. Did it cost him but a leap or two, to come over the mountain of infinite distance betwixt God and us, God's nature and our nature, God's holiness and our sin, God's justice and our guilt, and mountains of God's flaming wrath ? O then how easily may you think can he come over all the mountains of your sin and provocations ? If he has come by his Spirit with pardon and healing, O bless him for his hasting to your help.
If the Spirit is not yet come as a Comforter, bless him, if he be come to convince you of sin; to pave the way for his comforting you afterward. Is he convincing you of your aggravated sins and mountains that you have raised up between him and you? O invite him to come and undo the mischief you have done, to dissolve the mountains that you have reared, and to skip over the hills that you have heaped up; for, he can come at a leap, like a nimble roe, or a young hart upon the mountains; his name is called, Wonderful ! miracles of mercy are no strange or marvellous things. to him.
If, therefore, he does not come just at your time, but, to your apprehension, delays his coming ; yet wait upon him, as knowing what he can do Mind, believer, even at your lowest case, when you are at the bottom of the mountains of separation, when you cannot see him coming over them, you would be very low indeed, before you give over waiting on him, who can, in a moment, leap over them. Indeed, put a carnal heart VOL. IX.
to it, it would say, “ What! should I wait on the Lord any longer ?” 2 Kings vi. 38. Yea, put a believer hard to it, and he will say with the church, Lam. iii. 18.
My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord.” But, in believing how speedily he can come, you are not to lose hope, but to wait on him, Psalm lxi. 2. There the psalmist, as to his outward lot, is at the end of the earth, far from the sanctuary; and, as to his inward frame, his heart is overwhelmed within him; yet in that extremity, he cries, “ Lead me to the rock that is higher than 1.” And so he finds afterwards, Psalm xciv. 18. “When I said, my foot slippeth, (like a man on the brink of a pit, and his foot slipping, and he ready to fall down into it) thy mercy, O Lord, held me up." Hence also Job professes, that God's slaying him, should not crush his confidence; “ Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” He can soon make a motion amongst the dry bones, and seek out the free among the dead.--Though the mountains in your way be such as you cannot come over, do not give over waiting, so long as they do not pass his power, or surmount his abi- . lity to leap, and agility to skip over them.
It is not come to that, say you ; I think he is able to save to the utmost, and to come over all the mountains of sin and guilt betwixt him and me. What, man! dost thou believe he can come over such high mountains as you have raised between you and him, even between him and you! Then there is not a great distance, now, between him and you; according to your faith of his ability, so be it unto you: You see him higher than the highest mountain, stronger than the strongest mountain, greater than the greatest mountain ; you see him above them all; why then, he is near to your faith, that sees bim on the top of the mountains; therefore, now say, “ The voice of my Beloved ! Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills !"
Seek him now, also, to melt down the mountains between him and the church of Scotland, between him and the generation, between him and witnessing-ministers and people; to level mountains of temptation ; also, to melt the mountains that separate between him and your family. O pray him to come leaping to you and them; and may you come leaping to him; and may you go from this table, with hearts leaping after him, and meeting with him on the mountains.
CONCLUSION OF THE SOLEMN WORK.
ow, my friends, when you are about to go away, I shall dismiss you with a few advices, in consequence of the doctrine I was delivering, concerning Christ's coming, in the manner described in these words,
• The voice of my Beloved ! Behold, he cometb, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills !"
In general, the advice I would give to these that came here strangers to our Lord Jesus, and are like to go away so, having never yet heard the voice of Christ in his word, so as to believe it; nor got a visit of him, by his Spirit, so as to behold how he cometh, leaping apon the mountains, and skipping upon the bills; O go not away, supposing that there was nothing for you at this occasion, and that the word of this salvation was not sent to you. What! was not the door of hope opened to you in this word, “ Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains ?” If you be sinners, that have been leaping upon the mountains of sin and guilt between him and you, was there no good news here for you, that he comes as a Saviour to save you from your sin, and to melt down these mountains? And does not faith come by hearing such good tidings? How do you expect that Christ should come to you, or that you should meet with him, but in such a word ? For, you
need not say,
6 Who will ascend to heaven, to bring him down: or descend to the deep, to bring him up? The word is nigh, even in your heart and mouth: That is, the word of faith which we preach,” Rom. x. 6, 7, 8. If you live and die, slighting this word of salvation, you perish in your unbelief.
And therefore, I advise you, as you would not lose the benefit of this solemn occasion, to retire to some secret corner, and plead with God, that what you have heard and seen, may be blessed to you, and when the word says, " Behold, he cometh!" even to save such sinners as you are, that have great and high mountains standing betwixt them and him, and that therefore, according to that word, he would come to you, and glorify his grace, in leaping over them to you, to visit you with his salvation, and to set your heart a-leaping after him, whose word says, “ Bebold, he cometh !" so as to meet him, by saying to him, “ Behold, we come unto thee! for thou art the Lord our God."
But the advices that I would more particularly offer to all the Lord's people, especially communicants, are these following:
1. Seeing the communications of the love of Christ are so eminent and conspicuous, in his coming and leaping over mountains and hills towards you, O study his love, so as it may beget more love in you to him. He loves, notwithstanding all difficulties we put in his way
of coming to us: be loves the most unworthy. O what a shame is it for us, that we love him so little, who is most worthy; “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain !" He loves them whom he corrects and chastises: and ought we not to love him when he corrects ? But, alas ! our love decays, when we get a rod or a cross to bear. His love is constant love; “ Whom he loves, he loves to the end:” but how small a matter interrupts our love, and creates mistakes and jealousies ? This is a sad requital we give him, when so little of our love is kindled by his to us.
2. Seeing our Lord Jesus, though he comes so kindly, yet comes sovereignly when he pleases, O beware of tampering with temptations, and raising up moun