« PreviousContinue »
fed in him-all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth woudrous things. And blessed be his glo- , rious name for ever, and let the wkole earth be filled with his glory." In these things taking place, the prayers, wishes, or desires of the great antitype of David are accomplished--as tis said the 20th verse of the Ixxii. Psalm (which we read, the prayers of David the son of Jeffe are ended) doth signify from the original,
This is the time of the promise made to the disciples, Matt. xix. 28. “ Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, ye which have followed me ; in the regenera: tion when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath for, saken houses, or brethren, or fifters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlast; ing life.”—The time of recompence to them that call the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind, to their feast, who cannot recompençe them, Luke xiv. 14, " thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just,'
”-called also “ the times of refreshing,” Act. iii, 19.“ the times of the reftitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his prophets since the world began,” verse 21.
This is improved by the apostle to deter the disci ples from going to law, one with another, about the things pertaining to this life; which might be settled by the least esteemed in the church; those who knew enough to do to others as they would that nen should do to them. “ Know ýe not (says he) that the saints shall judge the world ? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" ift of Corinthians, vi. 2.
This is also an Argument with the disciples to attend to the voice of Christ in Matthew vi. 19, 20, 21. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth--byt
lay lay up for yourselves treasures in 'heaven-for where your treasure is, there will your heart be álló, Col. i. 3, 4. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. When Christ who is our life Thall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory: Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth-and covetousness which is idolatry;"
This is again ufed by thie apostles as an argumeint for Christ's difciples to be in subjection to the higher powers that are ordained or ordered of God-as may be seen by comparing Romans xiii. from ift. to 8th with verses it and 12, where what he had said in the foregoing part of the chapter, is enforced from the consideration ** of the night being far spent, the day being at land,” even the day of their complete falvation, which was 't nearer than when they believed."
This likewife" appears to be the argument in Titus, ii. 7, 8. “ that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and thefe things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they who have believed in God, be careful to maintain good works." The first good work enjoined in this chapter, is,
put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates," _which being confidered in connexion with what follows to the end of the gih verse, shews that the apostle all along has his eye upon the importance of the Christian's duty of subjection to'magistracy, as foregoing a contention about natural and civil rights, in consideration of the hope of eternal life.
Those that despised government, were selfwilled, were not afraid'to speak evil of dignities; 2d of Peter ii. 10.-- the fanie that had (verse 14.) an heart exercised with covetous practices and though they had bech in some fort professors of Christianity (verse 1, 2, 3 :) yet (verse 15:) they have forsaken the right way, and are gone aitray, following the way of Balaam whé loved the wages of unrighteousness, verse 3. through cove
tousness toufness shall they with feigned words make merchandife of you. The same are spoken of by Jude ver. 8. as those that despise dominion, and are not afraid to speak evil of dignitics. Verse 11. they have run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, &c. As such persons, notwithstanding their profession by which they crept in unawares among the first disciples (verse 4:) by these things evidenced themselves to be.covetous, to have their hope in this life, that is to be of the world, which is to be of the kingdom of Satan who is the god of this world; (for a covetous man is said to be an idolater, Eph. v. 5. and no such hath any, inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God) I fay, as this was thus evidenced in the times of the firft Christians, so it will evidence the same now ; yea, even among professed Christian teachers now as well as then, as well as the many that follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth is evil spoken of. So that however many things may be said by them with an appearance of agreeableness to the gospel of Christ; yet when we hear them contending about government, and appearing to have no other fear of speaking evil of dignities, but what arises from the fear of the wrath of the magistrate, or from exposing themselves to the punishment of the laws of the land, we need not hesitate at applying 1 John iv. 5.“ They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world hear eth them, and we must look upon thofe things they fay that may have an appearance of agreeableness to the gospel, as the feigned words that they through.com vetoufness make merchandise of their bearers with.
These might be let alone, were it not for their profession of Christianity. But the disciples of Christ are indispensibly, bound by his authority to attend to his example and precepts, and the precepts of the apostles herein, from their being his subjects whofe kingdom is not of this world, and from their hope being brought to them at the appearing of Jesus Christ. As motive
hereto fucli would do well to consider Proverbs vill. t$; 16. by me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, yea, all the judges of the earth." Daniel iv, 17.“ the Hoft Migh ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and fetteth ap over it the basest of men;" John xix. 11: "Jefus answered, thou couldst have no power at all against ine, except it were given thee froin a-bove.", Rom. xiii. 1. " there is no power but of God. The powers that be, are ordained of God.”
Whatever takes place under their administration, is likewise overruled by him who is head over all things to the church, for bringing about the designs of his kingdom. And the disciples are warned from the word to expect the greatest calamities in states and kingdoms towards the second coming of Jesus Christ. See Dan. xii. 1. " and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation to that same time'i And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one found written in the book." Luke xxi. 25, 26, 27. “and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves' roaring”-verse 28.“ when these things begin to come to pass; then look áp, and lift up your heads ; for your redemption draweth nigh;' Which shews it the duty of Christ's disciples to receive these things as what he has told them should come to passa; and have their minds exercised with joy about his second coming, which they are the intimation of, as they would avoid the character and doom of the evil fervant, Matchew xxiv. 48, to the end.
It may also be considered, that though Joseph and Mary were exposed to a journey to Bethlehem, to quarter in a ftable, to lay in a matiger, on account of a dex cree from Cæfar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.--Though John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod in Christ's time, and beheaded in the prison-thoughi the Jews expected Jesus to deliver their nation from fubjection to the Romans, and urged him to decide thế
controversy, whether it was lawful to give tribute to Cæfar or not?-yet he made no alteration in the state } but went through the world in patient suffering what not only his parents, his nation, his fervant John, bat also himself met with, from the civil power, till he was led as a lamb to the flaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, fo he opened not his mouth.
Neither did he give the least intimation to his apostles in their commission after his resurrection, to concert themselves in rectifying the affairs of the kingdoms of this world ; although all power in heaven and earth was given to him, and he could as easily have sent them to attend this business, as to preach the gofpel, had is been agrecable to the nature of his kingdom. But as that was not of this world, fo his commission to his aa' postles was to tell that news among the nations, the belief of which has eternal falvation
infeparably connected with it.
I should here have concluded, were it not that I am aware of an objection to what has been advanced, from fome who will speak highly for the work of the Spirit upon their hearts, whereby they are encouraged to take those things to themselves, or éompliment some others (whom thựy know) with them, which are applied to Jesus Chrift--and so are ready to fay," while this writer speaks highly of Jesus Chrift, he seems to deny the work of the Spirit ; and so the faith spoken of is no more than the faith of devils."
For anfwer, ift. with respect to the work of the fpirit, Jesus Christ, who promised the Spirit to his difciples, said of him, John xvi. 13, 14.“ He shall noc fpeak of himself. He shall glorify me ; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew' it into you.
From whence it
appears, that the holy Spirit whom Christ was to send to his difciples, was to testify of him, to glorify him, to take of his, and shew it to them ; not to speak of himself, of his own work, fo as to cause those ho whom he is fent, to be able to fpeak of a work of