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ing our case, we could have no hopes of being comfortably disposed of. But good tidings, O children of the devil's samily! You may be married to the Son of God, who for that end has taken on our nature; he says, Matth. xxii. 4. " All things are ready : come unto the marriage." This match is the most honourable, the richest, the happiest, of which we are capable. 'ITiere is nothing to hinder the match, he will make you lovely; and, what is more,- he will make you willing. Most men despise this marriage, they preser their sarms and merchandise to it. But the poor meek ones will as gladly embrace it, as ever a-captive woman, to save her lise, would match with the most desirable conqueror These tidings relate,
8. To a victory, a glorious victory: Isa. xxv. 8. "He will swallow up^death in victory; and the Lord will wipe away tears from all eyes." There is no getting to the heavenly Canaan, without sighting our enemies ; which would, if possible, keep us out there. We are not able for them ; sin, Satan, and death, are too strong for us. But good tidings! Christ has fought that battle, and' obtained a glorious victory; he offers you a share of the victory and spoils: Rev. iii. 21. "To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Join the conqueror, come up at his back against your spiritual enemies, and ye shall be more than conquerors, through him that loved us, Rom. viii. 37. They who have not yet broke their covenant with death, and agreement with hell, will flight this victory. But it will be good tidings to the meek poor ones, who would sain break through the host of their spiritual enemies, but know not how to make it out.—These tidings relate,
Vol. III. F Lastly
Lastly, To a peace, a most desirable peace: Eph. ii. 14. "For he (Christ Jesus) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down I the middle wall of partition between us." Sin I made discord, and broke the peace between hea- I ven and earth; so that God and the sinner be- I came enemies. All access to God, all commu- I nication betwixt heaven and earth, was blocked j up. But good tidings! Christ has made peace \ by his own blood. It is offered to you, Isa. xxvii. 4. 5. "Fury is not in me: Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me." It is a sirm peace, on the most solid foundation, a lasting peace which will never terminate, a peace which I will ere long be complete in all its parts ; peace external, internal, eternal.—This will be good tidings to the meek poor ones, who are wounded < with the apprehensions of God's anger, and as- I frighted with the thoughts of his wrath.—We are, then,
III. To shew how this work of preaching is and hath been performed by Jesus Christ.—As to this, we observe, That he performed it under the Old Testament, and under the New Testament I dispensation.
First, He performed this work under the OldTestament dispensation.—Under this dispensation, j
1. The sirst proclamation of these tidings was done personally by himself in paradise, to the j compendized world, our fust parents: Gen. iii. J 15. " And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed:! it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his . heel." The Son of God appearing in human shape,. as a prelude of his incarnation, sat as
their Judge, and, as the Interpreter of his Father's mind, preached the sirst gospel to them in that promise, which contains the substance aud abridgement of the whole gospel. He was absolutely the sirst, in all respects, who preached the good tidings of the gospel.
2. The second proclamation was, by his ambassadors in his name, who were of two forts :— Extraordinary, namely, the prophets whom he inspired insallibly to teach the people: i Pet. i. 2-1. "For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."— And ordinary teachers, such as priests and Levites under the law, priests and others before the law. And in respect of this preaching by men in his name, he is said to have preached to those who lived before the flood: i Peter, iii. 19. " By which also he went, and preached unto the spirits in prison."—There was also a proclamation,
3. By his written wotd, Deut. xxx. 11.—14. This is his own word, where the meek poor ones may always sind the glad tidings of salvation. Before it was written, they never wanted inspired men, and when it was written, though for a time, they might want, prophets, yet this they had always from him as an infallible rule.
idly, He preached and preaches under the New. Testament dispensation.—This he did,
1. By his own personal preaching in the days of his flesh, when he went about among the Jews, preaching to them as the Minister of the circumcision: Rom. xv. 8. "Now I say, that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to consirm the promises made unto the sathers." So that he himself, by himself, did begin this dispensation. The gospel at F 2 the the sirst began to be spoken by the Lord, Heb. ii. 3. " He spake as never man spake, and taught as one having authority."- He did it,
2. By inspiring his apostles to preach and write the doctrines of salvation, contained in the New Testament, on whom he poured out his Spirit, and by their writings, they being dead, yet speak to us from him and by him.—He does it,
3. By raising up and continuing always a gospel-ministry in the church: Eph. iv. 11.—13. "And he gave some, apostles; "and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the persecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come to the unity of the saith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a persect man, unto the measure of the stature of the sulness of Christ." And with them he has promised to be present always, even unto the end of the world, Matth. xxviii. 20. These preach in his name, as deputed by him to declare these good tidings.
Thus you see this work is performed by the Son of God, not only by himself, but by his servants in his name. And though the mistakes, errors, and unsaithsulness of ordinary ministers, both under the Old and New Testament, are solely their own, their preaching of the true doctrine of the gospel is indeed his; they are but as
it were the voice, he is the speaker. For
He gave and gives the gifts whereby they are sitted to preach the gospel. All their tapers are lighted at his shining lamp: John, i. 9. "That was the true light, which lighteth every one that cometh into the world." Their wisdom and knowledge in divine mysteries is given them by him, for the good of his church, Eph. iv. 8. Their
commission is from him, and from him they derive their power and authority, Matth. xxviii. 19. 20. They are his ministers and servants sent out upon his work, and to him they must give an account: Lastly, The efficacy of their ministry is solely owing to him and his Spirit, 1 Cor. iii. 7. "So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." He makes it essectual to his elect ones. •-We are,
IV. To give the reasons of the doctrine, or fliew, That none but he was sit to be employed in this work.—This will appear if we consider,
1. That none but he could reveal the secrets of love, which were hid from eternity in the breast of God: John, i. 18. " No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Neither man nor angel could open up these. But he was privy to his Father's counsels, as being in. the bosom of his Father from all eternity.-.
2. Nonebut he was sit to be an universal preacher to all persons for whom these tidings were designed, and to whom they were to be carried, and this in all ages. . Who else could have the great charge of this weighty business? This required one of insinite wisdom, and one every where present. :.
Lastly, Whose testimony- but his could be a sufficient ground of saith in this, of all matters the most important? Here lies the weight of God's honour, and the salvation of an elect world; and this required no less solid a bottom, than the 'estimony of Truth itself. .
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