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entered into the world ; " Broad is the way that leadeth unto deftruction, and many there be that go in thereat,” Matth. vii. 13. Now, is it not your interest to take warning from the ruin of so many?
2. Confider, That you must inevitably go the same way, I mean, perish in the deluge, except you enter into the Ark;"For there is none other name under heaven, given amongst men, whereby we must be saved, but by the name of Jesus Chrift," Acts iv. 12. It is not your broken planks of a profeffion of religion, hope in the general mercy of God, your civility, morality, legal righteousness, that will do; God's wrath will ftave all these broken planks in pieces : and therefore repair to the ARK Jesus Christ.
3. There is a a fixed day, a time set for your entering into the New Testament Ark, which if it be let flip, there will be no entrance into the Ark, but you shall infallibly perish in the deluge. “He that lives for ever, has sworn with his hand lifted up to heaven," that there hall be no more entrance into the Ark. Quell. What is the fixed time? Answ. It is the day of grace, the day of life, the day of salvation ; if that pass, you are gone for ever: and therefore, " To-day, if you will hear his voice,'' Psal. xcv. and Heb. jji.
4. The Ark is prepared of God for you, and that at an infinite expence. God has provided a Sáviour, Pfal. Ixxxix. 19. “ Help is laid upon one that is mighty, John iii. 16. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who. soever believes in him, should not perish." The Ark is finished, and perfected, and made ready for you: “All things are ready," Matth. xxii. 4.
s. The Ark is at hand, it is near to us, If. xlvi. at the close, Behold, “ I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my falvation shall not tarty; and I will place salvation in Zion,” &c. “ The word is vigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart : that is the word of faith which we preach," Rom. X. 8.
6. The Ark is ordained for men and women of our ftamp, I mean men and women of the human nature : And therefore the call is “to men and the fons of men,” Prov vii. 4. Christ is a Saviour, not for the fallen angels, but for us: "Unto us is this child born,” If. ix. 6. he “is made of God unto as, wisdom, and righteousness, and fandlification, and redemption,"
1 Cor. i. 30:
7. Many have already entered, and are saved ; an innume. rable company,
“ which no man can number," Rev. vii. 8. The doors of the Ark are cast wide open to you also, to
gether with a promise of safety, “Whosoever believeth fhall not perish, but shall have everlasting life," John iii. 16.
9. The great God commands you to enter into the Ark, 1 John iii. 23. “ This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of bis Son Jesus Christ.”
I conclude with a word to believers who have fled into the Ark.
(1.) By way of comfort.
1. God is with you in the Ark, “For God is in Chrift," .2 Cor. K. 19. and he will never leave you, Heb. xii. 5. 2. “ Your life is hid with Christ in God," Col. iii. 3.
« Becaufe I live, ye shall live allo," John xiv. 19.
3. You are freed from condemnation. The law cannot curfe you; though man may, yet God will not curse you, Rom. viii. I. 4. The waters of affliction fhall not overwhelm you,
If. xliii. 2. 3. ; the waves they may dash, but they will turn into foam like the waves of the sea.
5. Death and the grave cannot harm you, “ For you are ran: fomed from the power of both," Hof. xiii. 14.
(2.) A word of counsel to you that are in the Ark. i. Bless God that provided the Ark. 2. Bless God that brought you into it. 3. Rejoice and glory in the Lord, triumph in him. 4. Live upon Chrift, and the provision you find in the Ark. s. Walk worthy of the Lord, unto all well-pleasing, Col.
THE PLANT OF RENOWN.
Lzek. xxxiv. 29.-And I will raise up for them a Plant of
THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
F we cast our eyes back upon the foregoing part of this
chapter, we shall find a very melancholy scene casting up; we shall find the flock and heritage of God scattered, robbed, and peeled, by the civil and ecclefiaftical rulers that "vere in being at that day; a day much like to the day where
in we live ; the ruin of the church of Christ, in all ages and periods of the world, has been owing to combinations betwixt corrupt churchmen and corrupt statesmen. And fo you will find it in the preceding part of this chapter; there is a high charge brought in against the shepherds of Israel, and a terrible and awful threatening denounced by the great and chief Shepherd against them, for the bad treatment that the flock of Christ had met with in their hands. However the sheep of Christ may be fleeced, scattered, and spoiled, yet the Lord looks on them : And many great and precious promises are made for their encouragement in that evil day ; you may read them at your own leisure, for I must not stay upon them just now: But among all the rest of the promises that are made, Christ is the Chief, Christ is the To-look of the church, whatever trouble she be in. In the 7th chaper of Isaiah, the church had a trembling heart, God's Israel was fhaken as ever you saw the leaves of the wood shaken by the wind, by reason of two kings combining against them: well, the Lord tells them, a virgin Ihall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL : But night the church say, what is that to us? what encouragement doth this afford in the present distress? Why, the Melliah is to come of the tribe of Judah, and the family of David; and therefore that tribe and family must be preferved, in order to the accomplishment of that promise. Whatever distance of time, suppose hundreds or thousands of years may intervene before the actual coming of the Mefliah, yet the promise of his coming, as it is the ground of your faith for eternal salvation, so it is a security for the present, 'hat the enemy shall not prevail to the total ruin of Judah, and the royal family of David. In all the distrefies of the church, Christ is always presented to her in the promise, as the object of her faith, and the ground of her confolation; and accordingly they looked to him in the promises, and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed. He is here promiled under the notion of David; he is promised under the notion of God's Servant ; and in the words of the text, he is promised as a rellowned Plant, that was to rise in the fu!nels of cime : And blefled be God he has sprung up, and is in heaven already, and has overtopt all his enemies, and all his encmies shall be his footstool.
Here then you have a comfortable promise of the Mefliah; where again you may notice, ist, The Promifer, (1), 1 avill raise up, &c. It is a great (1) indeed, it is JEHOVAH in the perion of the Father, it was he that in a peculiar manner sent him; “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him thould not perith, bu have everlasting life. In the fulness of time he sent forth his Son “ made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”. God promised to send him, and accordingly he has actually fulfilled his promise. Again, 2dly, We may notice the blessing promised, and that is, a Plant of re. nown : Christ gets a great many metaphorical names and de.. scriptions in fcripture ; sometimes he is called a Rose, fome. times he is called a Sun, and sometimes he is called a Door, sometimes he is called the Tree of life; fometimes he is called one thing, and sometimes another, and he is content to be called any thing to make himself known to us ; and here he is called a Plant, and a renowned Plant; but more of this afterwards. But then, 3dly, We have the production of this Plant, I will raise him up. Hell will endeavour to keep him down, the devil and his angels will endeavour to smother him when he sets his head above ground. So we find Satan sends Hea rod, and Herod sends the bloody dragoons to murder him when he came into the world. But let hell do its utmost, as it hath done in all ages, and is doing this day to finother that Plant, up it will be ; I will raise him up; and therefore he shall prosper. But then again,. 4thly, We may notice here for whom, or for what end, for whose use and benefit it is; I will raife up for them) a Plant of renown. Who these are, you will see by casting your eye on the former part of the chapter, it is for the Lord's flock, his oppreiled heritage, that are born down by wicked rulers, civil and ecclesiastic, I will raise up for them a Plant of renown, and he will be their Delia Yerer.
The doctrine that naturally arises from this first clause of the verse is in short this,
" That Christ is a Plant of renown, of God's raising up, for
the benefit and advantage of his people, or for their comfort and relief in all their distrelles ; he is a renowned Plant of God's raising up.” Now, in discoursing this doctrine, if time and strength would allow, I might,
1. Premile a few things concerning this blefied Piant.
1. As to the first of these, namely, to premise a few things concerning this blessed Plant.,
1st, I would have you to know, what is here attributed and ascribed to Christ, is not to be understood absolutely of him as God, but-officially, as he is Mediator and Redeemer. Considering him absolutely as God, this cannot be properly said of him that he was raised up; for he is God co-equal and co-essential with the Father : but viewing him as Mediator, he is a Plant, as it were, of God's training. You will see from the context, all that is said of Christ has a respect to him as Mediator, that he was to be God's Servant, to do his work; in that consideration, he is here called a Plant, and a Plant of renown: Hence Zacharias, when speaking of him, has a phrase much to the same purpose ; “He hath raised up a Horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David."
Again, 2dly, Another thing I would have you to remark is, that this Plant is but small and little in the eyes of a blind world. He was little looked upon when he sprung up in his incarnation, and when he was here in a state of humiliation: Men looked upon him as a root sprung up.out of a dry ground, they saw no comeliness in him why he should be desired; and to this day, though he be in a state of exaltation at the right hand of God, yet he is little thought of, and looked upon by the generality of mankind, and the hearers of the gos. pel; “He is defpifed and rejected of men."
But then, 3dly, Another thing I would have you to remark is, that however contemptible this Plant of renown is in the eyes of a blind world, yet he is the tallest plant in all God's Lebanon : There is not the like of him in it; he is fairer than the children of men, and he is as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood ; if ever you saw him, ye will be ready to say so too, “ Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon the earth that I desire besides thee."
Ag.in, 4thly, Another thing I remark is, that this blefred Plant of renown was cut down in his death, and sprung up gloriously in his resurrection. The sword of divine justice hewed down this plant upon Mount Calvary, but within three days he sprung up again more glorious, and more beautiful and amiable than ever, and he was “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead."
Luftly, I would have you to remark, that all the little plants in the garde. are ingrafted in this Plant of renown; "' I am the vine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without me