Page images

match with her master; but for a creature to match with his Maker, O!" What is man, that thou shouldst be mindful of him? or the Son of man, that thou shouldst visit him ?"

2." The Lord of hosts is thy Husband!" He that is Lord of all the hosts of angels, another sort of beings than man; he that is Lord of all power, and commands so as the winds and seas obey him: he that can raise children to himself elsewhere, though he had destroyed all the posterity of fallen men; yet he has matched with thee! though he is a God of infinite power, to whom are subject all the hosts of men and devils! O the wonder!

3. "

Thy Maker is thy Husband!" Who is that? Even he that has all grace to bestow, and has thought good to bestow it on the like of you and me, by whom he can never be the better; he that has all merit, and has bought you with his blood, and bought your beautiful robes, wherein he sees you to be his love, and his fair one, and loved you when lying in your blood.

4. "The holy One of Israel is thy Husband." What is that? O! it is even he that cannot look upon sin, but is of purer eyes than to behold it; and he that cannot dwell with sinners, but of whom it is said, 66 Thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with the," Psalm v. 4. God and Belial cannot dwell together; yet he dwells with men, and sanctifies them for himself.

5. "The God of the whole earth is thy Husband.' He that has all things to give, and puts down one, and puts up another; he that has all things at his command and nod, and that needs none of our services or sacrifices; to whom all nations are but as the drop of a bucket, and as the small dust in the balance; who sits upon the circle of the earth, and all the inhabitants, thereof are as grashoppers before him; and of whom it is said, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." This God of the whole earth, is thy Husand. O wonder of wonders!

And what art thou, a monster of sin and guilt, that he should call thee his love, and his fair one, and him

self thy Husband? Behold! the Maker of all things is pleased to become a Husband to them that are nothing, and have nothing, and can do nothing, and are worse than nothing: the Lords of hosts is pleased to become a Husband to a poor insect: the gorious Redeemer, the holy One of Israel, a Husband to a vile polluted and unholy creature; the God of the whole earth, a Husband to a grain of animated dust, that was an heir of hell, but now matched with the Heir of all things. Surely God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor his ways as our ways; but, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his thoughts higher than our thoughts. Does he commend thee as his love, and his fair one? What commendation wilt thou give him? O had you all the tongues of men and angels, you would not be able to speak out his praise! O wonder! wonder ! that ever he invited thee to rise and come away with him. Is it not now highly incumbent on you to abide with him, and keep him company? Whoever turns aside to any crooked way, he will take it ill, if you do so. What!" Will ye also go away?" says Christ, when many of of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him, John vi. 66. Some of his disciples in our day have gone back and turned aside to many strange ways; some to terrible and horrible ways; and you, believers, are in danger of turning aside to your old lusts and lovers: but, O believer, that art so highly honoured, and so well matched, why should you be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of his companions? O tell your Husband this, that he may keep his everlasting arms about you, and keep you back from presumptuous sins: O tell him, never to suffer you to turn aside out of his company, Lord, why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy compa


Now, when you rise and go away from this table, see that you abide close with him in a way of duty and dependence on him, till he call you to rise and come away to the upper-table, that shall never be drawn. When I spake to this text some time ago, as it is laid down verse 10th, some that were then hearers, found it

a sweet summons given them to rise and come away to heaven. I heard of two Christians in this congregation, going into eternity about that time, who got these words applied to them at their dying moments, as their last invitation, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." And who knows, believer, but this may be the next explication and application of the text to you? For you must away out of this world as well as others and happy these that shall drink no more of the fruit of the vine, till they drink it new in their Father's kingdom; and that shall go away to be for ever with the Lord, at the upper-table of full and everlasting communion, after this low communion-table is drawn. Therefore, O abide close with him by faith, and love, and praise, till he repeat this invitation again to you in another manner: saying, Now, I will not want your company any longer, nor shall you want mine any more; for now the time of your departure is at hand, and you shall have finished your course in this world: "I went to prepare a place for you;" and I said, I would come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also, John xiv. 3. And now 1 will not let you tarry any longer in this weary land, this vain and wicked world; "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse with me from Leabnon; look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and from the lions dens, and from the mountains of the leopards." Come away from this noxious place of sins and snares.

We read of a trumpet, Rev. iv. 1. that said," Come up hither; when behold a door was opened in heaven. Let this text be like a trumpet to you, believer, wherein you may hear the voice of Christ saying to you, "Come up hither;" and in this sense take his sweet call and invitation along with you to your death bed, that the king of terrors may be no terror to you, but rather a trumpet of triumph, when the King of glory shall be saying, in effect, " Come up hither" to me; "Rise my love, my fair one, and come away."


FAITH in CHRIST the Surest Way of RELIEF in the SADDEST CASE.*

JONAH ii. 4.

Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

HE Spirit of God, in the words of inspiration, ac-
quaints us, that many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivereth them out of them all. Many
are their troubles, though believers: and hence the ex-
ercises of the children of God, in this world, are some-
It is a



times very sad, and at other times very sweet.
very sad exercise that the prophet is employed in, in
the first clause of this verse, "I said, I am cast out of
thy sight:" and it is a very sweet exercise, and exceèd-
ing reviving, that he is employed in the next clause of
the versc; "yet will I look again towards thy holy

There is shortly in these words. 1. The sad case that Jonah was in; "I said, I am cast out of thy sight." 2. The cure of that case; "yet will I look again towards thy holy temple.'


1. There is the sad case he was in; "I said, I am cast out of thy sight." No wonder he feared he was cast quite away, when he was now cast into the belly of the whale, and ready to be quite devoured. Jonah had proved disobedient to his God; he refused the message that God had given him to go unto Nineveh, and proclaim, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed." Jonah possibly thought this very unpleasant work; and perhaps he thought that the people of God, Israel themselves, will not be reclaimed by my preaching: why

*This subject was handled in two discourses, on a Sacramental occasion at Dalkeith, in the year 1751.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

should I go to these that are strangers unto God? According to some, he might have thought this; a proud thought, that he would be disappointed in his design : Nineveth would destroy him for coming with such a disagreeable message; or, if it was successful, God would repent, and not execute judgment: and then he would be reckoned a false prophet: Whereupon he wilfully disobeyed the heavenly message. But God pursued him in the way of fatherly wrath and indignation, until he is brought into these sad circumsstances here: and he was never awakened until he is thrown into the sea, and brought into the belly of the whale, which he calls the belly of hell. Jonah was fast asleep in the midst of the sea, while he lay by the side of the ship: and he was not awakened with the storm. Sirs, when people are asleep in the time of a storm, or wrathful times, it is a sad sign that the storm comes for their sake, and that they are the Jonahs that brought on the storm. However, God had a mind, that Jonah should be awakened; and therefore he never fell a crying unto God, until he was in the belly of the whale, and there he had his fears: "I said, I am cast out of thy sight," &c. Jonah knew he was in the presence of God, as God is essentially every-where; for now God was pursuing him. Here notice, that Jonah was in a very sad case and condition; for, he apprehended God had quite cast him away: "I said, I am cast out of thy sight." As if he had said, I have now no ground to expect God's gracious presence; there seems to be now no mercy for me. Thus it continued with him until faith gets in its word, and so here is relief: "Yet will I look again towards thy holy temple." Here is,

2. The cure of this sad and pitiful case; faith's beholding God's holy temple. Jonah knew what it was to look to a God in Christ; God's holy temple.-Thetemple typified Christ, wherein was the ark of the cove nant: there was the propitiatory sacrifices, that were typical of the only propitiatory sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jonah looked to God in his adversity, and his relief came in by this act of faith,

In these two cases there are these two things observable.

« PreviousContinue »