תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." And this shall be our entertainment to all eternity! There shall never be any end of this happiness, or any thing to interrupt our enjoyment of it, or in the least to molest us in it !

2, By your being united to Christ, you will have a more glorious union with, and enjoyment of God the Father, than otherwise could be. For hereby the saints' relation to God becomes much nearer; they are the children of God in an higher manner than otherwise could be. For, being members of God's own natural Son, they are in a sort partakers of his relation to the Father: They are not only sons of God by regeneration, but by a kind of communion in the sonship of the eternal Son. This seems to be intended, Gal. iy. 4, 5, 6. “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that are under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”....The church is the daughter of God, not only as he hath begotton her by his word and Spirit, but as she is the spouse of his eternal Son,

So we, being members of the Son, are partakers in our measure of the Father's love to the Son, and complacence in him. · John xvii. 23. “I in them, and thou in me.... Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” And verse 26. “That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them.” And chapter xvi. 27. 66 The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” So we shall, according to our capacities, be partakers of the Son's enjoyment of God, and have his joy fulfilled in ourselves, John xvii, 13. And by this means we shall come to an immensely higher, more intimate, and full enjoy. ment of God, than otherwise could have been. For there is doubtless an infinite intimacy between the Father and the Son; which is expressed by his being in the bosom of the Father. And saints. being in him, shall, in their measure and manner, partake with him in it, and the blessedness of it.

And thus is the affair of our redemption ordered, that thereby we are obliged to an immensely more exalted kind of union with God, and enjoyment of him, both the Father and the Son, than otherwise could have been. For Christ being united to the human nature, we have advantage for a more free and full enjoyment of him, than we could have had if he had remained only in the divine nature. So again, we being united to a divine person, as his members, can have a more intimate union and intercourse with God the Father, who is only in the divine nature, than otherwise could be. Christ, who is a divine person, by taking on him our nature, descends from the infinite distance and height above us, and is brought nigh to us; whereby we have advantage for the full enjoyment of him. And, on the other hand, we, by being in Christ, a divine person, do as it were ascend up to God, through the infinite distance, and have hereby advantage for the full enjoyment of him also.

This was the design of Christ to bring it to pass, that he, and his father, and his people might all be united in one. John xvii. 21, 22, 23, “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in US ;

that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thon hast given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." Christ has brought it to pass that those that the Father has given should be brought into the household of God ; that he and his Father, and his people, should be, as it were, one society, one family ; that the church should be as it were admitted into the society of the blessed Trinity.

SERMON VII.

Ruth's Resolution.

RUTH i. 16.

AND RUTU SAID, INTREAT ME NOT TO LEAVE THEE, OR

TO RETURN FROM FOLLOWING AFTER THEE; FOR WHITH, ER THOU GOEST, I WILL GO; AND WHERE THOU LODGEST, I WILL LODGE: THY PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE, AND THY GOD MY GOD.

THE

HE things that we have the history of, in this book of Ruth, seem to be inserted into the canon of the scripture, especially on two accounts.

First, Because Christ was of Ruth's posterity. The Holy Ghost thought fit to take particular notice of that marriage of Boaz with Ruth, whence sprang the Saviour of the world, We

may often observe it, that the Holy Spirit that indited the scriptures, often takes notice of little things, minute occurrences, that do but remotely relate to Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Because this history seems to be typical of the calling of the Gentile church, and indeed of the conversion of every believer. Ruth was not originally of Israel, but was Moabitess, an alien from the commonwealth of Israel: But she forsook her own people, and the idols of the Gentiles, to worship the God of Israel, and to join herself to that people : Herein she seems to be a type of the Gentile church, and al

30 of every sincere convert, Ruth was the mother of Christ: He came of her posterity : So the church is Christ's mother, as she is represented, Rev. xii. at the beginning. And so also is every true Christian his mother. Matth. xii. 50. “ Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is

my brother, and sister, and mother." Christ is what the soul of every one of the elect is in travail with, in the new birth. Ruth forsook all her natural relations, and her own country, the land of her nativity, and all her former possessions there, for the sake of the God of Israel; as every true Christian forsakes all for Christ. Psalm xlv, 10. “ Hearken, daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy l'ather's house."

Naomi was now returning out of the land of Moab, into the land of Israel, with her two daughters in law, Orpah and Ruth ; who well represent to us two sorts of professors of religion: Orpah that sort that indeed make a fair profession, and seem to set out well, but continue but for a while, and then turn back ; Ruth that sort that are sound and sincere, and therefore are stedfast and persevering in the way that they have set out in. Naomi, in the preceding verses, represents to these her daughters the difficulties of their leaving their own country to go with her. And in this verse may be observed,

1. The remarkable conduct and behavior of Ruth on this occasion ; with what inflexible resolution she cleaves to Naomi, and follows her. When Naomi first arose to return from the country of Moab into the land of Israel, Orpah and Ruth both set out with her; and Naomi exhorts them both to return : And they both of them wept, and seemed as if they could not bear the thoughts of leaving her, and appeared as if they were resolved to go with her. Verse 10. “ And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.” Then Naomi says to them again, “ Turn again, my daughters, go your way," &c. And then they were greatly affected again, and Orpah returned and went back. Now Ruth's stedfastness in her purpose had a greater trial, but yet

is not overcome : “ She clave unto her," verse 14. Then Naomi speaks to her again, verse 15. “Behold thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods ; return thou after thy sister in law.” And then she shews her immoveable resolution in the text and following verse.

2. I would particularly observe that wherein the virtuousness of this her resolution consists, viz. that it was for the sake of the God of Israel, and that she might be one of his people, that she was thus resolved to cleave to Naomi : “ Thy people shall be my people ; and thy God my God.” It was for God's sake that she did thus: And therefore her so doing is after. wards spoken of as a virtuous behavior in her, chap. ii. 11.12. " And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law, since the death of thine husband ; and how thou hast left thy father, and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." She left her father and mother, and the land of her nativity, to come and trust under the shadow of God's wings ; and she had indeed a full reward given her, as Boaz wished ; for besides immediate spiritual blessings to her own soul, and eternal rewards in another world, she was rewarded with plentiful and prosperous outward circumstances in the family of Boaz; and God raised up David and Solomon of her seed, and established the crown of Israel (the people that she chose before her own people) in her posterity ; and (which is much more) of her seed he raised up Jesus Christ, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed.

From the words thus opened I observe this for the subject of my present discourse.

“ When those that we have formerly been conversant with, are turning to God, and joining themselves to his people, it ought to be our firm resolution, that we will not leave them ; but that their people shall be our people, and their God our God."

« הקודםהמשך »