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2. It is a hopeful thing in Jonah's case, that he had some desires after a departed God, as appears in the clause following, “ Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” That soul is not really deserted of God, that has longing desires after a deserting God.
Thirdly, I come now an use of exhortation. I might offer a word of exhortation to these that are in a de. serted case, the case of these that are crying, “ I am cast out of thy sight.” I would exhort such to beware of concluding, that they are quite cast out: there is hope in Israel concerning thy case ; although thou art in the belly of the whale, yet the door of hope is opened, while Christ Jesus is exhibited as the gift of God unto you, for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and so to be an antidote against all misery. And it would be an evidence of your sharing of these blessings, if ye were brought off your self-wisdom to Christ, being made wisdom to you; brought off your self-righteousness to Christ, being made, of God, unto you righteousness ; brought off your self-holiness, selfgoodness, and all conceit of your self-qualifications, unto a view of the absolute need of Christ for sanctification
; and if ye were brought from a sense of your misery to Christ for complete redemption. O then, beware of saying, that the door of hope is shut against you, such conclusions Satan fosters them, that he may lead you away from Christ. O, say you, I find dreadful wrath and anger
in God's dispensations. It may be so; but did not Jonah find the same; And yet says he, "] will look again toward thy holy temple.” But, say you, I am plunged in the depths of misery; and it is my sin that hath
brought me into these depths. Well, be it so; but was not this the case with Jonah ? His rebellion against God brought him into these terrible depths: and yet says he, “ I will look again toward thy holy temple."
What I have been saying concerning believers, that have been brought into such great depts, is not for you that are strangers to such exercises, or know not how to exercise faith. You see faith expressed by looking, in this and many other places of scripture; “ Look unto
me, and be saved." This is the call of God unto be. lievers, to look again and again towards God's holy temple. Ye that never yet looked to Christ, his call is, “ Look to me and be saved.” He says, I am the great God, cast yourself out of the old ships, in which ye hope to be saved, and come to the Rock of ages; and in order to your coming to him, I would have you believe the law. I do not expect that you will believe the gospel until ye believe the law: that is, believe your undone case without him ; believe the absolute need of coming out from under the old covenant, and of casting yourselves out of the old ships. People that are ready to be shipwrecked, they will be very loth to cast themselves upon the waters, unless the mariner be skilful, and tell them, there is no hope, if they do not cast themselves upon the waters and swim to shore. ,
Well, this is the case with lost sinners, they are very loth to cast themselves out of the old ships; they trust to their own doings, they think, if they do so and so, God will be favourable unto them; and they will not cast themselves out of the old ships, unless they be informed, by that faithful mariner, the Spirit of God, that they will perish in the depths of of divine wrath, unless they swim to the Rock. O, but say you, I cannot swim to the Rock. · But, Osirs, cast yourselves out of the old ships, and essay looking to him: “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God; and there is none else.” This was Jonah's case here; “ Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.”
JONAH ïi, 4.
[The second Sermon on this Text.]
HAT salvation is of grace, is a notable argument, and vast encouragement unto the faith which is in this text, namely, To look again and again toward God's holy femple: This is the exercise of faith, that Jonah was now brought unto. Jonah had been sleeping when he was in the ship; but we have him now awakened, praying and calling upon God, when he is in the belly of the whale. In the greatest danger, the Lord does good unto bis own by afflictions, and often brings on storms to awaken them. Convictions arise in the conscience, and prayer is poured out, as in Isaiah xxvi: 16. “ Lord, in trouble have they visited thee; they poured out a prayer, when thy chastening hand was upon them.” Thus we find Jonah here exercised.
I entered upon these words yesterday: and, after some introduction, found in this text, 1. The case that Jonah was in ; " I said, I am cast out of thy sight.” 2. The cure, and that is faith ; " Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” From the first clause of the verse I observed, " That gracious souls may be sometimes under " desponding fears lest they be cast off.” " I said, I am cast out of thy sight.” This proposition I first explained ; and then offered some remarks anent the fears they may have; I next gave some grourds of these fears; and, lastly, deduced some inferences for the application of what was offered on the subject. ,
I now go on to the second doctrine laid down from the second clause of the verse; “Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” Why it is thus expressed, and in what respect it is called a looking unto God, I have already explained. Doct." That the surest way of relief, from the sad
“dest case, the people of God can be in, is faith in “ the mercy of God, through Jesus Christ; or,
“ faith's looking anew unto God's holy temple.” The method proposed, through divine assistance, for handling the subject, is the following.
1. To offer a few remarks for clearing of the doctrine II. I propose to inquire into the import of that reso
lution of Jonah's in the text. III. I would take notice of some of the special dis
couragements that faith has to surmount, and grapple with, when it looks towards God's holy temple.
H h 2
IV. I would next offer some reasons why this is the
best way of relief, from the greatest difficulties,
the children of God can be in. V. I would, lastly, make application of the whole.
1. We return to the first thing proposed in the general method, which was to offer a few remarks for clearing the doctrine.
1. I remark, That there is a mighty struggle in the best of God's children between their faith and unbelief; Here we see a struggle in the text. There are two sentences in one verse : there is the power of unbelief;
I said, I am cast out of thy sight:" The other is the sentence wherein the victory of faith is expressed ;
Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple." So that the believer in Christ is a mysterious kind of creature: he has, as it were, two nations struggling within him.
2. I remark, that corruption and unbelief frequently have the ascendent before faith and before grace. Here we see it in the text; unbelief saying, “ I am cast out of thy sight.” The power of unbelief may be so great, that faith may be quite out of sight, as it certainly is, when the soul is saying, “ I am cast out of God's sight.”
3. Remark, however low the actings of faith may be for a time, yet faith will get up its head in triumph; for the author of faith is the finisher of it; and he is the supporter of it. Our blessed Lord has prayed for his people, that their faith fail not. He has engaged to keep them by his mighty power.
4. I remark, that the first thing that revives the soul, and the first grace that is revived in the soul, is that of faith ; wheir
once faith acts in a way of looking to the Lord Jesus Christ, then all the other graces come to be revived also: for faith influences love, and works by love ; and excites repentance : « They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn." Faith influences all the other graces and it is the first thing that is revived in the soul, after it has been sore kept under by the powers of hell.
5. I remark, when faith comes to be revived, after a great decay, then the spirit of prayer comes along with faith. This is evident, if ye consider how the words are spoken unto God, in a way of prayer : " Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.
II. The second thing proposed, was to inquire into the import of the resolution ; " Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” We find faith comes under various names in scripture, according to the many names that its object is represented by. If Christ is held out as matchless; then faith is called a beholding; * Go forth, 0 daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon.” If he is exhibited as a gift; then faith is called a receiving this gift; “ As many as received him, to them gave
power to become the sons of God.” If Christ is represented as meat and drink; then faith comes under the name of eating and drinking: Eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of the Son of God. If Christ is represented as a rock, or foundation; then faith is called a resting on this foundation. If Christ be represented by a city of refuge; then faith is a fly. ing unto him as a refuge. If he is represented as a glorious object; then faith is called a looking to him : s Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else.”
In the import of this resolution there are these four things we shall take notice of: 1. The act of faith, and what may be imported in this looking. 2. There is the resolution of this act; “ I will look.” 3. There is the object of this act; - Thy holy temple.” 4. There is the circumstances of this resolution. It imports a looking to him with a yet : “ Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple."
Ist, There is the act of faith. Faith is called a looking: and faith, being thus expressed, may import these following things.
1. This act of faith imports the knowledge of Christ, or a sight of him! it is a seeing of the Son; it is a knowledge of himas an immutable ground of confidence unto his people. Jonah had the knowledge of God ; and knew a God in Christ, when he viewed him as the temple of God.
2. It imports the soul's despairing of help from any other airt ; " In vain is salvation expected from the