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distant borders of the camp looked and were saved : But suci obstinate wretches must be unpitied in death.
Attend then, ye sinners in Zion, and hearken to the voice of God the Saviour. Christ has been brought near to you in his gospel, his promises, and his holy ordinances; you have read of him in his word, you have heard him speak hy his ministers, and you have learned much of him from the instructions of your pious parents : Ye have begun to see something of him in his glory and grace ; and will you now turn your eyes away from him? Will you look upon the vanities of the present evil world, and fix the eye of your souls, yoar desires, hopes, and wishes, upon trifles and impertinence, and neglect the offer of heavenly trcasures? Have you seen and heard so much of Christ already, that you have grown weary of him? Are the Lord and his salvation grown cheap and common things to you, of little value, not worth a look? Will you who are near to the kingdom of heaven, refuse to enter in, and let those that come froni the ends of the earth obtain the inheritance, and seize the happiness before you? O how aggravated will your condemnation be? How dreadfal the agonies of your torment, to see perishing sipners come from distant regions, from the east and the west, from poop. wicked families, and houses of iniquity, and receive the salvation of Christ? while you are cast into outer darkness? There shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? Mat. viii. 11, 12.
IV. The last use I shall make of this discourse, is to take a short survey of that salvation, of the happiness and the holiness thereof, that is derived to a sout by a sincere look of faith to Jesus the Saviour. O what a blessed change is made by our looking to Christ ! A change, I say, in the very eye-sight of our souls; and in our view and survey of all things round about us, so far as we have any concern in them! What a blessed change in our judgment and esteem of them! We look upon things with another eye than before, and things put on a new face. Faith looking to Christ for salvation, sets all things in a different light before the eyes of the soul, and gives quite another vicw of them. It is like some heavenly glass applied to the organ of sense, that not only assists and improves our sight, but represents every thing to us in a divine light, even such as they appear to the blessed spirits above.
1. It alters the view and appearance of all the great and gay things of this life. All the treasures, and pomp, and entertainments of this world, were once the most tempting objects we coull look upon ; but now we look on the world, with all the gayest and richest scenes of it, as a little mean and despicable thing; for we have seen Christ and heaven; and when the world begins to flatter us again, and to look great and tempting in our eyes, let us look again to Jesus, and his salvation ; that the world way lose its splendour and allurements.
z. Once a poor christian in a cottage, or in vile raiment, was contemptible in our sight, now we look on the saints, even in the meanest circumstances, as the excellent of the earth; for they are heirs of heaven, they are like to Christ, and formed after the blessed image of bim, whom we have seen with an eye of faith and love. Holy Saviour, and holy saints! They, the excellent of the earth, and he the ornament of heaven.
3. The bible heretofore we looked on but little better than a common book ; or perhaps it was our aversion. The New Testament gave us no pleasure. The true glories of it were hidden from us. The gospel was a hidden gospel ; but now we look upon it as our most valuable treasure and portion ; and we often look into it; for we find Jesus Christ there, with all his salvation. Every part of the bible carries quite another aspect than once it did. We look upon the promises as an inventory of our inheritance; and we read those words, All things are yours, with a relish of unknown delight, because of our own interest in them : And as they are repeated twice, to confirm our faith, so we can read them often, and dwell upon them with pleasure.All are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's; 1 Cor. ü. 22, 23. Then by virtue of this promise we can look to the heavens and the earth; to the sun, moon, and stars ; to Paul, Apollos and Cephas ;; to ministers and to angels; to this world and the other; to life and death, to things present and to come; with a humble and pleasurable belief of our interest in them, so far as we have need of them to make us holy or happy.
And as we look on the promises of the bible with another eye than formerly, so we behold the precepts of it in a sweeter light : We read them now as the rules of our happiness, as the model of our new-nature, as the holy transcript of the perfections of God, and the blessed advices of our dear Redeemer. We look on his commandments, and behold they are no more grievous to us ; for his law is our delight; 1 John v. 3. Ps. cxix. 77. As for the threatenings of the book of God, we once beheld them, perhaps, with a regardless eye, and a stupid heart; or if we were awakened we read them with utmost terror, as the messengers of our damnation : We beheld them as so many angels with flaming swords, to forbid our entrance into paradise. But since we have seen Jesus with an eye of saving faith, the threatenings of scripture have no more such a dreadful aspect. Since the sword has awoke against the man that was God's fellow, and all the necessary vengeance was executed on Christ, our surety, we behold the threatenings as disarmed of their terror and no longer a bar to our salvation.
4. The face of God, shining in his terrible attributes of holiness and justice, was dreadful to our souls, so that we could no
look upon him, and we turned our eyes away from God: As for his attributes of love and inercy, we had no relish of them; for we had no solid hope in them. We saw nothing in God desirable and delightful to us : We stood afar off; we neglected and forgot him ; or else we hid ourselves from him, as Adam did, because we were afraid. But now, since we have beheld God in Christ, as reconciling sinners to himself, now we can look upon him in all his awful and his peaceful attributes without dismay; we can survey and dwell upon all his glories with a sacred pleasure: and lift up our eyes towards him with humble confidence, in prayer or in praise ; for we behold him as God reconciled, and a Father, since we have seen Jesus the Mediator and trusted in his name.
With what surprize and overwhelming fear did we once behold approaching aftlictions, when we were without God, without Christ, and without hope? But now we can look upon sufferings and sorrows without being overwhelmed by them ; we can look upon the huge swelling waves without painful apprehensions, and see the floods rise high without fear of being drowned; for we have seen Jesus as it were walking on the water; and we have heard him saying, It is I, be not afraid. We can look to him when we are afar off from our friends, even in the ends of the earth, and find light in darkness, and relief in the midst of our distresses.
6. How formidable once was the face of death. No pencil can describe the monster so hideous to the sense, as he appeared constantly to our awakened souls, before we had seen Christ. What horror did our spirits feel, and our flesh shuddered at the thought of his approach! How frightfully and yet how justly, did our guilty fancy paint him, and all his attendants, in their terrible array ! But the saint looks on death now as a harmless thing, for he has seen Jesus disarın him; Christ has abolished sin, and taken away the sting from death. The lively christian man look on it as a friend, or rather as a slave subdued to the service of his Lord, sent on a glorious message, to fetch him to dwell where his blessed Lord is. They shall be where I am, to behold my glory ; John'xvii. 24.
7. The man who has seen Jesus with an eye of faith, can look to the last great tribunal without terror; for he knows and is acquainted with Christ the judge: He has seen him and trusted all the important concerns of that day into his hands. I know, saith the christian, whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is abletó keep all that I have committed to him unto that day; 2 Tim. i. 12. Therefore he can see the judgment-seat, and the books opened, without dismay or fearful expectation; for he has seen Jesus cross out all his sins with the blood of his sacrifice : Christ has cancelled them for ever from the great register of heaven,
bi the book of dirine remembrance; and has shewn him his own
name written in the Lamb's book of life, from the foundation of the world.
8. Then he may turn his eyes to all that glorious assembly on ligh; he may look on the saints in their robes of liglit, as companions of his blessedness, and the troops of angels as ministers of fire, to execute vengeance on all his enemies; and heralds to prepare his way to the upper licavens. He may fix his eyes with most intense and transporting delight on Christ his sovereign Lord, and behold him hereafter with eyes of sense amidst the honours of heaven, whom he had beheld here with an eye of faith, amidst the sufferings of the cross, and the agonies of the garden. “ This is he, says the saint, whose voice of mercy I heard in yonder perishing world, and to whom I looked from the ends of the earth, that I might be saved. I believed him then to have all the fulness of the godhead dwelling in him bodily ; and as God manifest in the flesh, I worshipped him, and trusted in him. I behold him now as the brightness of his Father's glory, and his divinest image: I find him to be a complete and allsufficient Saviour; for I stand possessed of his divine salvation, My knee bows, and my tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord. He is one with the Father. To him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, and honour, and power, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen. Rev. v. 13.
Faith built on Knowledge.
2 Tim. i. 12.-I know whom I have believed, and im persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him, against that day.
THE FIRST 'PART. WHEN this epistle was written to Timothy, St. Paul, the writer of it, was a prisoner at Rome; there he lay under a heavy chain, and was exposed to public shame for the sake of the gospel. He had death in-a near view, and was preparing for the bloody stroke. For in the sixth verse of the last chapter he says, I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand: I have fought the good fight, and my course is finished. But he seems to assure himself upon the words of my text, and grows bold upon this foundation of solid comfort: As though he should should say,
“ None of these things move me, nor am I afraid to die, for I shall not be lost: I suffer ; but I am not ashamed: I know whom I have trusted to take care of me in death, and all beyond it; even to the great day of retribution."
It is pleasing and glorious to see this apostle, this little mean figure of a man, whose presence and whose speech were both contemptible; 2 Cor. x. 10. to see how he builds upon this hope, and assumes divine courage in the midst of pain and shame, in the
very face of scandal and martyrdom.“ Let me die out of this world, though with infamy, violence, and blood; but I have been told of life, and joys, and hoponrs, in the world to come: and that with such evidence, as to constrain my belief; And I know whom I have believed. Let my barbarous executioner and the sword rob me of the short remains of this present life; but I have committed my soul, and all my infinite concerns, for a long hereafter, into the hands of an almighty and a sure Friend, and I am persuaded he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day."
This is the language of a lively hope, and these are the words that have administered constant support to many dying christians. Now that such a hope may appear to be rationally built upon this text, and that our present meditations and discourse may proceed with more regularity and profit; I must briefly explain the words. The chief things that want any explication are these four :