« PreviousContinue »
Serm. struct us so far to cast our care upon God, VII. as to expect his blessing on our own en
deavours in proportion as he gives us opportunity. Once more,
5. Fiftbly, we should endeavour above all things to seek for that spiritual food and refreshment, which may sustain our souls unto eternal life. Labour not (fays our blessed Saviour) for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat: wbicb endureth unto everlasting life *. The Manna of the Text was only typical of that bread of God, that true bread which cometh down from beaven, to give life and salvation to the world. And therefore, the nourishment which That supplied was only temporal, but figured out that spiritual nourishment to life eternal, which is supplied under the gospel by the death of Christ. And therefore, lays our Lord, Your fatbers did eat Manna in the wilderness, and are dead; but this is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die t. This is the great privilege of christianity, which not only sets Christ before us in all its ordinances, but more particularly, in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, exhibits bread and wine, the mystical symbols of his body and blood, to be first presented before the Father, as the commemoration * John vi. 27.
+ Ver. 49, 50.
of his facrifice for fin, and then to be eaten SERM. and drank by us as the spiritual repast and VII. food of our fouls.
Only it is necessary, in order to qualify us for receiving this spiritual efficacy, that we should work the works of God: And this (says our blessed Saviour) is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he hath sent *. We must exercise our faith in Christ, and come with humble trust and confidence in his merits, with an earnest repentance of our fins, and a sincere
purpose to forsake them, by the aid and direction of his grace: and then may we expect the performance of his gracious promises, and experimentally perceive his hesh to be meat indeed, and his blood to be drink indeed.
Withal, the promise of temporal provifion (in such measure and proportion as may be fittest for us) is annex'd to this faithful and regular discharge of duty. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness
, and all these things shall be added unto you f. Be but solicitous to fecure your interest in Christ, by a steady faith in him, and obedience to his laws; and then together with your souls, you may truft him with your bodies alfo, and make no doubt but the provisions for this John vi. 28,29.
+ Matt. vi. 33.
Serm.life shall be supplied, as is best for you ; VII. and whatever is with-holden shall be abun
dantly made up, as well in present consolation of mind, as in that fulness of glory which shall hereafter be revealed throyesus Christ our Lord; to wbom with the Fas ther, and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and benceforth for evermore. A
S E R.
Of the Re Verence due to
CHURCH E 'S.
Gen. xxviii. 17.
How dreadful is this place ! this is
none other but the house of God,
HESE words are the reflection SerM.
of the Patriarch Jacob, upon that VIII. extraordinary yifion which he saw in his journey towards Padan-Aram, in the neighbourhood of Luz. He saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven, and the an. gels of God ascending and descending on it. The God of Abraham and of Isaac called to him from the top, and not only promised him a great increase of his posterity, to possess the land, in which he then fojourned, but repeated the promise made formerly to Abraham, that in him and in his feed should all the families of the earth be blessed.
SERM. The Patriarch was so affected with the
VIII. matter when he awoke, that, as he was s not without some apprehension for having
hitherto regarded it no otherwise than as a common place, so he resolved, for the future, to distinguish it with marks of respect. The name of the place he changed from Luz to Beth-el, which signifies the bouse of God. And the stones which he had used for his pillow, he not only erected into a pillar of memorial, such as in those times was usual for the Altar of God, but moreover poured oil upon it, as a rite of confecration, and made a vow that when he Thould return prosperously from his journey, he would use it as God's house, and endow it with a competent revenue. If God will be with me (says he) and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; so that I come again to my father's house in peace : then fall the Lord be my God. And this stone, wbich 1 have set for a pillar, shall be God's house : and of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
All which was the result of that reflection made in the Text. How dreadful is this place ! this is none other but the bouse of God, and this the gate of beaven. From which words' there are these three things very obvious to be collected, namely,