« PreviousContinue »
be made out to thee. What canst thou be the better of a salve not applied to thy sore, or of a promise which is not applied by faith to thy own foul. It is by the faith of application, that these breasts of consolation are fucked, and that the water is drawn out of the wells of salvation. And what other way can we be partakers of the fap which flows from them, but by thus believing, as was before shewn. And for this cause it is necefsary to be well acquainted with the Bible, and to mark the promises, that, whatever be thy case, thou mayest have a word suited to it to plead with God, for the word is that by which influences are conveyed. And, seeing much lies in believing and applying the promises, take these two notes to clear your way in this exercise.- I observe,
(1.) That whosoever receives Chrift, and takes God for his God in him, has a right to all the promises of the covenant suited to his case, and has a right to apply them. They meet all in Christ, for “ all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by
And so all of them may be claimed in him, even as he who marries a wife may plead all that is promised with her in the contract. It is with him that God freely gives us all things, Rom. viii. 32. Take Christ, then, and the promise is yours in him.--I obferve,
(2.) That the promises are made primarily to Jesus Christ : Gal. iii. 16. “ Now, to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He faith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy feed, which is Christ.” He is the fecond Adam, the great contractor with the Father in the covenant of grace, and through him to all who are his, even as the promise of the first covenant was to Adam; and his feed in him.
And they were made to him on condition of his satisfying the demands of the law, which is now done; so that, with respect to us, they are all absolute and free ; properly speaking, none of them are conditional. Some of them describe the qualification of these to whom they shall be accomplished, as Matth. v. 3.-10. which qualification is, however, wrought in them, in accomplishment of the leading promises, the promises of grace, such as Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 27. “ A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the ftony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them.” But both the one and the other are pleadable only through Jesus Christ, being through him made absolute to those who are his; so that in Christ you have a right to all that is suited to your case. Hence it is that promises, made to some particular faints, may be confidently applied by others in their circumstances, as growing all upon one root, which is our common Lord. Thus, God said to Joshua, chap.i. 5. “ As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, 'nor forsake thee.” He says to every believer, Heb. xiii. 5. “ I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Laftly, He should hang on about the Lord's hand till the supply come, and that confidently. This is that which in the scriptures is celebrated under the name of trusting, relying, staying on the Lord. The whole weight of all our wants is to be laid over on the Lord, and a confident expectation maintained, that he will supply them, according to his word. Trust reposed in a generous man is a strong tie on him to help and answer
expectation. expectation. Lot, Gen. xix. 8. would have any ill done to himself rather than to his guests, because, says he, “ for this cause they came under the shadow of my roof.” And they that trust in the Lord according to his word, Thall never be ashamed. Thus, the believer should be familiar in the house over which Christ is set, and in this way draw near with full assurance. - Let us now,
II. SHEw why the believer should be fo familiar in this house, improving his claimed interest for his necessities, without doubting of the fuccess.--He should be so,
1. Because heaven is made home to him by the blood of the Son of God, and therefore no reason to doubt of welcome, Heb. x. 19. 20. That is a kindly word, which you have in John, xx. 17. “ Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended unto my Father ; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” It is our Father's house, because it is Christ's Father's house ; and where may one be familiar, if not in their father's house? It is the house prepared for them first by Christ's fatisfaction, then by his interceflion: John, xiv. 2. “ I go to prepare a place for you." It is the house their Lord and Husband is set over ; it is the house they came of, for they are born from above ; and it is the house they are to dwell in for ever, nay, the Lord himself is their home : Psal. xc. 1. “ Lord, thou hast been our dwellingplace in all generations.” The Jewish Doctors called him place, because the only resting-place of the soul is in God, and to believers he is unquestionably their rest.
2. It is a pleasure to have full breasts fucked. The breasts of grace and goodness in God to fin
ners through Christ, are full, there is nothing wanting, faith has only to fuck, and to be satisfied. It is applied to the church, what you have in Ifa. lxvi. 11. “ That ye may fuck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her confolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.” The breasts are, as it were, held forth in the word of the gospel, which is our great privilege. There is all fulness in Christ, the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in him, that fo finners might have access to God through the vail of his flesh, and be filled with all the fulness of God. The fulness in him is not the fulness of a vessel, to serve itself only, but the fulness of a fountain to be communicated, which still gives, and yet has enough. Well may we, then, draw Bear to God with full afsurance of faith. -We ihould be thus familiar ; for,
3. This is the great end for which finners are at all brought to God through Chris, many, ihat they may partake of his fulness. It is the great end of all the promises : 2 Pet. i. 4. “ Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through luít.” The communication betwixt God and man was interrupted by Adam's fall; it is opened by Jesus Christ, that irifluences from heaven may run freely, and that in him they may get all their wants made up. They may be assured of a cordial welcome when taking for their necessities these things which are brouglit in for this very end, that they may be supplied.
4. The Lord offers himself in the gospel for all, and the finner who takes him aright, takes him för all, and instead of all, Matth. xiii. 45. 46. Now, if he offer himself for all, surely he intends that his people should improve their interest in him for all. He has taken them from all their former friends ; surely, then, as an affectionate husband, he will allow his wife to be familiar in his house, and take it very ill if she hang on about others for a supply of her wants. This familiarity our Maker, our Husband, allows us, and approves of.
5. Our Lord (if I may so speak) makes very familiar with his people, and this is a sign that he would have them to be fo with him. Lodge they ever so meanly, he will lodge with them: Ifa. lvii. 15. “ For thus faith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." He not only gives them, but he takes from them ; what provision from heaven is with them, he takes part of, though he needs nothing from them : Song, v. I. “ I am come into my garden, my fifter, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice ; I have eaten my honeycomb with
my I have drunk my wine with my milk: Eat, О friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved !" He sometimes even will take from them what they would not part with tò any but himself, and they will make him welcome to it, as he did with Job, chap. i. His sheep, affes, children, were taken from him, and little at all was left him. And if they act like themselves, they will rejoice that they have any thing, liberty, life, &c. to part with to him. But sure I am, the best of the faints can never so freely part with any thing to him, as he does to them. They should be familiar; for,
Lastly, They who use most familiarity with the Lord, improving their claimed interest, with