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THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE,
es For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy
Ghost; and these Three are One."-1 John v. 7. “ Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”—Jude 3.
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”—1 Tim. iii. 6.
THE GOSPEL PULPIT. the subject and come immediately to
the text. Before I do so, I would A Sermon preached at the Baptist Chapel, Christ as the stone, the Shepherd of
just say, we described the Lord Jesus Bedworth, Warwickshire, on Lord's Day Afternoon, February 7th, 1847.
Israel, and pointed out the properties
or qualifications requisite for a shepBY MR, JAMES OSBORNE,
herd, in which the Lord Jesus exOf the City of Baltimore. ceeded all others. We left the sub“ Fear not, little flock; for it is your first general head of our discourse.
ject there without finishing even the Father's good pleasure to give you the king- Where we left off this morning, there dom.”—LUKE XII, 32.
we will begin this afternoon. The In discoursing from these words last property or qualification, we this morning, after some introductory spoke of our glorious Shepherd's remarks, which were rather lengthy, amazing and unequalled skill in the we then proposed four things to be diseases of sheep, so that when a discussed, which stand immediately sheep applied to him for cure, it connected with our text, or deducible never pined or died under his hand, from the same.
but that a cure was effected in every 1st. The Shepherd of Israel, the instance. That, however compli. speaker in the text, from the natural cated the diseases of God's children conclusion of the term flock being may be, however deep-seated, of long made use of.
standing, whatever might be the state 2nd. Describe the flock, and point and condition of the complaint; the out what those characteristics are wretchedness and misery to which that constitute sheep, the flock of they might be reduced; the skill of which Christ is Shepherd.
the Shepherd was never either baf3rd. Attend to what the Shepherd fled or put to a nonplus. That he here says—Fear not, little flock. pursues in every essential, in healing
Lastly. The ground or reason why broken-hearted sinners one and the they should not fear.
same course of application. Whatever Father's good pleasure to give you he brings to view is sure to effect all the kingdom.” We shall take up that he designs to be effected. That
“ It is your
he covers the whole ground, and in upon the dry ground. I will pour what a loathsome condition some my Spirit upon thy seed, and my have been brought; the fearful ap- blessing upon their offspring.” The prehensions; the dreadful uprisings consequence of this is, “And he shall of the mind which they are under; spring up as among the grass, as from the fearful state they consider willows by the water-courses.” Then themselves to be in; that not only you see the advance of faith, see the does the trouble baffle the skill of strength of that grace. “ One shall their fellow-creatures, but they feel say, I am the Lord's ;” so we say so sure that God himself in an honor. far so good. And another shall call able way, cannot extricate them from himself by the name of Jacob; and the ruin in which they feel them- another shall subscribe with his hand selves to be; many such groundless unto the LORD, and surname himself fears are they occupied about. But by the name of Israel.” This is when poor returning prodigals, and sin a poor distressed sheep supplicated sick souls in every instance are dis- the Lord Jesus Christ the shepherd, appointed; where application had under the character of Jacob, having been made to Jesus Christ, in every prevailed, he now subscribes with his instance these poor things have been hand unto the Lord, and surnames disappointed, and found health and himself by the name of Israel; and cure in the Divine Redeemer. Hence- he will lead them into the green pasforth, from that hour they were dis- tures. It is said, “I will feed them posed more or less to speak good of in a good pasture, and upon the his name, to speak well of the Great high mountains of Israel shall their Physician of souls, also with much fold be; there shall they lie in a good cheerfulness of heart, and great con- fold, and in a fat pasture shall they fidence they recommended him in all feed upon the high mountains of Iscases to poor sin-sick souls for health rael.” There God will feed tbem and cure; that he, the Lord Jesus and water them; there the air is saChrist, was the wisdom of God. We lubrious for bracing and building left this matter half finished, and not them up, strengthening and confirm
still we must move along. The ing them, the water is the water of next characteristic or property pecu- life, “He shewed me a pure river liar to Jesus Christ, as far as relates proceeding from the throne of God to the extent of his love, then, is the and the Lamb.” There they drunk love and attachment to them, is that copiously; does it distress them or this love and attachment to them al- produce any unfavourable symptoms, ways will, and always has done, and anyswelling with pride and arrogance, does now, induce him to pursue such any disarrangement in their vital measures with them, that shall be part? Quite the reverse; everything. for their good, and his declarative the reverse. The more we take of glory and honour. Hence Jesus it, the more we want: as the poet Christ the Shepherd, knows what sayswill suit them; what air, what cli
" Thy bounties make me hunger more.” mate, what sort of seasons, what sort of provisions ; he knows all these So in drinking this water, it is taken things, better than they do them- in large quantities, it refreshes, selves. Hence we are told he leads cheers, comforts, and strengthens. them by the still waters of comfort. Here we have also the bread of life. Water is a beautiful emblem in scrip- the broken bread, the mangled body ture: it represents the outpouring of our dear Redeemer, who cries out of the Holy Spirit; “I will pour water and says, “Eat, О friends ; drink, on him that is thirsty, and floods yea drink abundantly, o beloved."
They must be friends and beloved of power as the church of old did. “I God. He will lead them in the green sat down under his shadow with great pastures of the Gospel, that is in Zion, delight, and his fruit was sweet to my they are to be led. There all God's taste. springs are: “ All my springs are in Wisdom is another property in the thee.' In general this is understood Lord Jesus Christ. We can say of the church saying her springs are in it, that it will never, never be baffled, Christ. It is true, yet not to the excep- nothing so complicated in your state tion of the other; all her springs are or condition, though from time to in Christ. It pleased the Father that time your finite mind may be baffled: in him should all the springs of mercy, you cannot see the end from the bepeace, truth, life, light, and love, ginning; you cannot see through this dwell, all in Christ, as well as the mystery, and are apt to draw prechurch, all “my springs are in thee." mature conclusions. Your shepherd The bride takes of these springs; the Lord Jesus, is never baffled; let these bountiful springs are calculated your disease be ever so complicated, to build them up. She may say, all or your case appear to be ever so enthe springs of life that I draw from, tangled. The dreadful awful entanand receive benefit from, are in Christ. glement in which you are standing, Hence, strictly speaking, the text or may engulf yourself, such things should be so understood that Christ with which you stand charged, and speaks so of his church: all my have been guilty of, in every case Jesus springs of grace, love, life, peace, Christ can open up this labyrinth, and truth, joy, and comfort, are in Zion. bring the soul out of the imprisonHere is a fountain, come to it. This ment, out of that darkness, out of is Zion, the church of the living God. that prison-house, and places him The house of God; the people's where he may go. He brings him home; home, sweet home; home to into a large place where there is no the soul; this is God's dwelling- straitness; this is the place, Christ place, where he rests in his love, as the Shepherd says, loose him and let we read, “For the Lord hath chosen him go. He
where he chooses, Zion, he hath desired it for his habi. and where is that? To his own tation; this is my rest for ever; here company;
who are they? The outwill I dwell, for I have desired it. I casts of Israel, the broken in heart, will abundantly bless her provision, the contrite soul, that little diminuI will satisfy her poor with bread.” tive few spoken of in the text, “Fear Here the sheep, hungering, starving, not, little flock.” This wisdom may poor, sickly, feeble, diseased sheep, be spoken of in a variety of branches. hither are brought, and Christ the As I said in the morning, so I say shepherd watches over them, as a now, I am confined in my feelings, shepherd watches over his flock, to I am at a loss at this moment, not lead them in the green pastures. what I should say, but what I should They shall spring up among the leave unsaid, so that nothing ought grass, and spread forth their roots as to be left unsaid that should be said, 1.ebanon. Being thus honorably We will now pass from this property clothed, and blessedly fed, they are in Christ, of wisdom, and just say a convinced it is all of grace. Cheer- few things with regard to another fully do they speak of the King and important property he possesses, that the kingdom: “ All thy works shall is, power. It is said in one of the praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints minor prophets, Zephaniah, “The shall bless thee, They shall speak Lord thy God in the midst of thee is of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk mighty.” Where is he? In Zion. of thy power.” They talk of his He is head and corner and all. “The
Lord thy God." Zion's God, the a little. Who is this that cometh church's God, is in the midst of thee, from Edom, this Prince of Peace, the right in the centre, so that we can Eternal God? Who is this that take a fair view of him. His eyes cometh from Edom, with dyed garare towards every soul in this enclo- ments from Bosrah. “ Wherefore
“ The Lord thy God in the art thou red in thine apparel ?” This midst of thee is mighty ;" mighty to is a question Christ himself answers, condemn, to dash in pieces as a pot- "I that speak in righteousness, ter's vessel ; to cut off head and tail; mighty to save.”
This is a property drive from light into darkness; chase belonging to our Shepherd. To what out of the world. No! in the gospel extent art thou able to save? The there is no such abstract measures, apostle Paul puts this at rest,“Wherethey are issued at Sinai's mount, not fore he is able also to save them to under the gospel; there is something the uttermost that come unto God by so forcible in it that we need not dis- him, seeing he ever liveth to make pute about it. He declares he will intercession for them.” Paul speaks not condemn. He is mighty, as the here confident, his power as being text says, "he will save, he will re- almighty is scarcely brought into the joice over thee with joy, he will rest account; so far it is but he is able to in his love, he will joy over thee with save to the uttermost. Paul does not singing."
mean (if I may so speak) his physical That is his character; he is mighty strength, if that were the case, he as the church once said; and Christ would save beasts of the field, and himself answered: “Who is this that the cattle upon a thousand hills; cometh from Edom with dyed gar- devils as well as men; all mankind ments from Bosrah? this that is glo- as well as some. But according to rious in his apparel, travelling in the the text, power is not the rule by greatness of his strength ?" Imagine which the Almighty acts. He never to yourselves that gigantic army acts by that rule, as it respects that greater than known for two thousand rule of power, and, as Paul tells us, years, which above thirty years ago, we are bound to believe, “ According marched in solemn column from to the purpose of him who worketh France to Moscow; when the very all things after the counsel of his own noise of their drums, ard sound of will.” What the Lord wills, his their arms, made Kings and Empe- power executes. As Job says, " But rors to totter; the world trembled he is in one mind, and who can turn under the tread of Napoleon, then him, and what his soul desireth, even travelling in the greatness of his that he doeth. For he performeth strength. Though this country put the thing that is appointed for me, forth its strength, it was remarkably and many such things are with him." feeble. They were obliged to call in He having consecrated a new and the neighbouring nations to help living way to heaven, removing all them at a dead lift; and as sure as I obstacles out of the way; a way that draw the breath of life, neither Rus- is consistent with all the attributes of sia, Prussia, Austria, nor Britain ever his divine perfections ; he is able to got any real honour by conquering save to the uttermost, he has not Bonaparte.* Imagine to yourselves only done away and obviated all difNations, Kings, and Emperors, trem- ficulties, but it is in an honorable bling. It might have been said lite- way. None should despair of his rally, Who is this that cometh from mercy, that is, no poor penitent sinFrance, travelling in the greatness of
mercy is consistent with his his strength ? Even this figure is justice. As Dr. Young saysremarkably puerile; still it may help “ A God all mercy is a God unjust."
* We do not alter, but certainly do not understand what the author means here. We presume it veils some republicanism, learnt in America, with which we can have no sympathy.-Eds.
He is not a God all mercy, but a part Where to? To the truth, to gospel of both. He magnified the law and ground; draws them to himself; he appeased justice; satisfied divine draws them to sweet home; that is justice, and brought salvation to the Zion, the home of the soul, as the sinner. He is a God of mercy and poet says truth; the attributes of God were all
“ Prepare me, dear Saviour, for Zion my honored in the salvation of the sinner
home." from condemnation. We must now Jesus Christ's heart and love are say something of his strength. This set upon them, not on Paul ; Abraimportant property belonging to our ham, the friend of God; David after Shepherd to save your souls. Are God's own heart, in an especial manyou sunk so low, under such trying ner, above all his children, there is circumstances, that you conclude you no speciality about it in that sense. can never possibly be raised. But I would not insult my God; I must as low sunk as the Lord's people acknowledge this great truth, a glorimay be, whatever difficulties they, ous truth, that there is a speciality may be in, “The eternal God is thy about it but not in that sense that refuge.” And he will put under you, his speciality is partial God loved does it read so? It does not. That me with the same love as he loved is not correct, that when we are sunk Abraham and Paul, his love is the down God interferes, as a man who same towards his people, ever was, sees his friend sinking in the water and ever will be; he will love me to - drowning—and flees to his aid. the end ; “Having loved his own The text should be in the present which were in the world he loved tense according to that doctrine, but them unto the end," and he maniit is not. It is in the past tense ; fested that love towards me in choosunderneath were the everlasting arms, ing me while others were passed by. placed there in the ancient settle. It is a grand truth, that the love of ments of eternity. Therefore we do this shepherd is a perpetual motion, not sink under what is below us. one continual flow, “Behold, I will Where do we sink ? Just low enough extend peace to her like a river, and for the everlasting arms to catch us. the glory of the Gentiles like a flowIn sinking we fall upon safe ground, ing stream; then shall ye suck, ye underneath are the everlasting arms; shall be borne upon her sides, and be thus this power of our Shepherd is dandled upon her knees: as one whom one important property that consti- his mother comforteth, so will I comtutes him a proper Shepherd over his fort you; and ye shall be comforted sheep. Much more might be said, in Jerusalem; and when ye shall see and we want time to go through the this, your heart shall rejoice, and whole. However, we will go on de- your bones shall flourish like an herb; liberately.
and the hand of the Lord shall be The next property is love. A known towards his servants, and his shepherd amongst men, may have a indignation towards his enemies." sort of love, a sort of respect anyhow The text quoted from Zephaniah, I for his sheep. This, in moderation, will remind you of again, in speaking is right and proper, just and good. of this property of love in our ShepThen, of course, this is but a feeble herd, it is both unfathomable and figure to bring to our view, the love illimitable. It is intense, more so of our Shepherd, the Lord Jesus than any thing a finite being can posChrist, which he ever had towards sibly conceive of its ardour, fervour, his own people. He loved them with intensity, and every property of it. an everlasting love, therefore, on How great is this love, the text in account of this, he draws them. Zephaniah says: “ The Lord thy