« PreviousContinue »
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Isa. lxi. 1.-To bind up the broken hearted.
T TAying considered that brokenness of heart
i which is here meant, what about sin the heart is broken for,--and described the nature of a broken heart,- we go on, as was proposed;
IV. To shew how the Lord Christ binds up and heals the broken hearted. The great Phyfi cian uses two sorts of bands for a broken heart, he binds them up with inner and with cutward bands. . 1.1. With inner bands, which go nearest the fore, the pained broken heart. And these are two. The first inner band is,
Christ's own Spirit, the Spirit of adoption." The hearts of the disciples were fore broken at , the news of Jesus leaving them, and it behoved them to bleed a while. But he tells them, he
would send a healing band for their broken hearts: John, xiv. 16. « And I will pray the Father," said he," and he shall give you another Comforier, that he may abide with you for ever.” Our Lord breaks his people's hearts by his Spirit, and yet by the same Spirit binds them up again. - In the firft work he is the Spirit of bondage, and some may be long under his hand this way.
lence we read of some " who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage," Heb. ii. 15. The Old Testament church had much of this Spirit, “ I am afflicted,” says the psalmist, Pfal. lxxxviii. 15. ~ and ready to die, from my youth up; while I suffer thy terrors, I am distracted.” In the next work, he is the Spia rit of adoption : Rom. viii. 15. “ For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” He comes quickening, sanctifying, reviving, and comforting the soul. Therefore pray with David, Pfal.li. 11.12. Take 110t thy holy Spirit from me; restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit.” The second inner band is,
Faith in Christ, (the band of the covenant), which he works in the heart by his Spirit. Faith is a healing band, for it knits the soul, Ephes. iii. 17: “ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” « The woman with the bloody issue, when she got a touch of the hem of Chrilt's garments, was presently made whole. Thus the brokenhearted sinner, when he gets hold of Christ by faith, is bound up with him in one mystical body, virtue comes from him for the soul's healing. The virtue of his blood takes away guilt; the „virtue of his “Spirit breaks the power of fin. The apostle prescribes this healing band to the . - 13
broken-hearted jailor : Acts, xvi. 31. ~ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house ;” and the more faith that there is, the band will be the stronger, and the soul the sooner healed. Much unbelief, and little faith, keep the wounds of the foul long open : Psal. xxvii. 13. “ I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." I broken-hearted finner staving off and disputing against his believing, is like a child which has a broken legi doing what he can to ttar off the bands with which it must be bound up; but he must admit them, or his leg will never heal: John, xi. 40. “ Jesus faith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God ?" Peter walking on the water, was like to break and link quite, Matth. xiv. 30.; the cause was his unbelief, ver. 31. « Jesus said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"-There are also,
2. Outward bands for a broken heait.--Thefe also are two.
The first outward band is his own word, especially the promises of the gospel. This band * Peter held out to the broken-hearted company,
Acts, ii. 38, 39. “ Repent,” said he, “ and be baptifed every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remiffion of fins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghoft; for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” This word has a sovereign virtue for healing, Psal. cvii. 20. “ He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their de. structions." Our Lord wraps up a promise, in a foft band of love ; and he makes them lay it to with their own hands; and the more closely they
tie it about their broken hearts with the hand of faith, they will be the sooner whole. Say not, What can a word do? An encouraging word from men will wonderfully raise a carnally-dejected mind; and if so, certainly the Lord's word will heal a broken heart. A promise will be, in this case, like the opening of a box of perfumes to one ready to faint away : Song, i. 3. “ Because of the favour of thy good ointments, thy 'name is like ointment poured forth, therefore do, the virgins love thee.”
The second outward band is his own seals of the covenant, Acts, ii. 38. quoted above. These seals are for our ingrafting into, and having communion with Jesus Christ, and so are most fit means to bind up hearts broken under a sense of fin, when they are partakers of these in faith. Hence many have been healed at such occasions ; though indeed the wa. ter is not moved at all times, or at least the brokenhearted sinner does not always step into it. It was an ancient custom, though that will not jufti· fy it, to put a white garment on persons when
they were baptised. But surely our Lord has taken off the spirit of heaviness, and given the garment of praise to many at sealing ordinances. The eunuch, after he was baptised, went on his way rejoicing. The sorrowful disciples were also made glad, when after his resurrection Jesus made himselt known to them in the breaking of bread, Luke, xxiv. 35. All these bands are the Phyfician's absolute property. The poor patient has nothing of his own to be a band to his wounds. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; faith is his work; the word and facraments are his ordinances, and their efficacy is all from him ; and thus he heals them. His kindness in this instance; we may take up in these three things.
1. They (1.) They are justified and pardoned : Job, xxxiii. 23. 24. “ If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to thew unto man his uprightness : Then he is gracious unto him, and faith, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom.” The sting of guilt is taken away, that poison is carried off, by a full and free pardon. . Thus the fick man is whole : 'Ifa. xxxm. 24. " And the inhabi. tant shall not say, I am fick ; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." The blood of Christ, with which by faith the soul is bound up, cleanses the wound, and heals it: 1 John, i. 7. “ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with ano. ther, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all fin."
(2.) They are fan&tified : 1 Cor. vi. 11. " And such were some of you ; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” The Spirit is a fanctifying spirit; faith a sanctifying grace : Acts, sv. 9. « And put no difference between us and them, sanctify. ing their hearts by faith.” The facraments are sanctifying ordinances : 1 Cor. xii. 13. “ For by one Spirit, we are all baptifed into one body,-and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." By these the power of corruption, as to its reign, is broken ; lufts are gradually killed, and grace is made to grow.
Lastly, They are comforted : Job, xxxiii. 25. 76. « His fleih fhall be fresher than a child's : He shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he shall be favourable unto
him : and he shall see his face with joy: for he · will render unto man his righteousness.” Ail