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The Best BOND; or, the Surest Engagement. *
Jeremiah Xxx. 21.
For, Woo is tbis that engaged bis heart to approach unto mef faith tbe Lord,
MY friends, after that the sirst Adam's heart departed from the Lord, so as to violate the co- venant of works, never one heart of all his posterity could, or would have approached unto God again, bat had remained in their natural enmity against him, had not the second Adam so engaged his heart unto God, in our savours, as to draw the hearts of many after him: and is we could this day see into Christ's heart, and discover his heart-kindness in this matter, so as to unite our hearts to him, and to God in him, and get the knot sealed in the sacrament with God's seal; it would make this a day to be much remembered to all eternity. O then, let you hearts be looking up to the Lord, that you may see in to the heart and bosom of this scripture, and in to the mystery of this great question, " Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord."
The Lord, by the prophet Jeremiah, had been comforting his church, by several excellent promises relating
* This was an action sermon preached immediately before the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, at Dunsermline, July 19th, 1724. To which is annexed, a Discourse on the same subject, delivered after the solemn work was ended.
to to their return out of the Babylonish captivity, typical of the glorious things reserved for the church in the days of the Meffias; particularly in the preceding verse, it is promised, that they snail be blest with an excellent government, "Their nobles shall be of themselves," they shall not have strangers and enemies to be their judges, but these of their own nation. "Their governor shall proceed from the midst of them." This hath a reserence to Christ our Governor, David our King, as you may see by comparing this with ver. 9.
They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them." This Governor is of ourselves, being in all things made like unto his brethren: "I will C3use him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me."-—It is a single person that is spoken of, and the person is the Governor, and the Governor is Christ. God the Father did cause hiroj as Mediator, to draw near and approach to him; he commanded and authorized him to do it; he sanctisied and sealed him for this end; he appointed and anointed hint for this purpose, and he accepted of him, and declared himself well-pleased in him; and theresore he speaks of it with wondersul pleasure, M Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?" When God draws a person near to him, he is even delighted with that approach unto him, whereof he himself is the cause; much more is it be such a person as here, the Governor of Israel; "For who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?" Here is the issue of the excellent promises that were made to Israel, by way of anticipation of some objection that might be made, How shall all this be done? Why, Christ the Governor hath engaged for all that either God calls for from you, or that he promises to you—He is one that shall not sail nor be discouraged, till he hath set judgment in the earth, Isa. xliii. 4. Thus all the promises come to us in Christ; they come from God thro' him, and should lead us up to him, in whom they are all Yea and Amen. They are rivulets that sweetly flow out and run forth from the ocean to the city of God, to the house of the moorner, to the sield of the
. withwithered and decayed, to the habitation of the hungry and thirsty, yea, to the grave of the dry bones, to make the dry land springs of water, and to make the wilderness to blossom as the rose. What these excellent promises are, that thus run forth, you may see in the preceding part of the chapter: For example, ver. 17. tho' the wound see.n incurable, God will make a cure for it; and though you be thrown off at all hands, and thrust out at every door, and none seek after thee, yet " I will put honour upon thee; yea, I will glorisy thee, and thou shalt not be small," as it is ver. 19. And the sum of all the promises is, ver. 22. "Ye stiall be my people, and I will be your God:" I will work in you all that you want; and that is, " You shall be my people;" and I will be to you all that you need; and that is, " I will be your God." O! that we could take hold of this promise! It is as much as to say, I will make you holy, and what I would have you to be; for, " Ye mall be my people;" and I will make you happy ; for, " I will be your God." O! but upon what consideration, or on what account will he do all this? My text opens the ground, " For, who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord."—Why will he do so much kindness to any poor worm of Adam's house? Why, because Christ as Mediator, hath engaged his heart to approach unto God in their room, to do all that was requisite for making a ventto this kindness and savour of God towards man.
I know that some take the words to be spoken of the people of God their drawing near by saith, and in point of duty engaging themselves to approach to him through his grace. This is a consequent that follows upon the other; and theresore I shall not exclude it from its own room in the application of this subject, is the Lord will. But, with the best interpreters that I have seen, I apprehend it is spoken of Christ, holding out his undertaking for an elect world in the covenant of redemption, or grace, and becoming our Surety, engaging himself to the Father for us, in the view of our having ruined ourselves, and broken our own credit and interest with God. The-sirst Adam, our natural and sederal head, in the covenant of works, he brake the covenant, and violated lated the engagement that he made of approaching to God, with Ids persect, personal obedience; and so her and we in him, lost all our power with God. But behold, the second Adam, having his heart silled and fraughted with love to a company of sinsul miserable worms, such as are here present, he takes on the en-, gagement that Adam brake: and he being a person of in.ire credit, it was a done bargain, and God issues out all blessings on his account: "For, who is he that engaged his heart J"
In the words you may notice these four things.
1. The proper work and ossice of our Lord Jesus as Mediator, viz. to approach unto God, and that for us, and in our room and stead, as the High-priest of our prosession. The priests are said to draw near to God, Lev. x. 21. and xxi. 17, 18. It is said, Exod. xx. 21, that Moses drew near unto the thick darkness, where Gcd was. So did Christ, our great Moses, draw near and approach unto Ggd.
2. Notice, in the words, his cordial compliance with his work; He engaged his heart to it; received a commandment of the Father, who caused, him to approach; he being the original cause and spring, as the connecting particle For does shew; For, who is this that does approach? Could any do it without me? No: the Father was sirst at work; but Christ was as willing to the work, as his Father was to employ him: he engaged his heart to it; that is, he bound and obliged himself to it; he undertook for his heart, as some read it; he undertook for his foul, that in the sulness of time it should be made an offering for sin. His own voluntary compliance with his Father's will, and his compassion to sallen man, engaged him; and he was hearty and resolute, free and chearsul in it, and made nothing of the dissiculties that stood in the way.
3. You have here the singularity of this sact, and the wondersulness of it, expressed in the question, "Who is this that engaged his heart unto me?" It points but the greatness of the person, the amiable nature of the work he essays. Christ is in all this matter truly wondersul; and when it is a God that expresses it in
this this manner, we may well alk it with admiration, Who is this that engaged his heart to such an undertaking? And then, • 4. You have the divine testimony annexed to the whole, in these words, " Saith the Lord." Here is a noble ground for saith, even the testimony of the God of truth: let the mouth of uubelies be stopt, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. God's testimony is our security; and we need no better than the word of a God testisying concerning his eternal Son. "Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord."'
Observ. That our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, cordially and willingly engaged himself to approach unto God, in the work and business of our redemption.
I stiall endeavour to clear this doctrine, and upon it speak to the several parts of the text, in the following method; after that we have cleared the truth of the doctrine, we shall,
I. Shew what a wondersul person this is, that engaged his heart to approach unto God; as seems to be pointed out in this question, " Who is this?"
II. The nature of the work that he engages himself in, while it is an engagement to approach unto God.
III. The singularity of the sact, included in the manner of the expression, " Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto God?"
IV. The reasons of the doctrine; or, why Christ came under this engagement: together with the reasons of our saith concerning it; or, why.it is, that Jehovah's testimony is added in these words, "Saith the Lord."
V. Draw some inserences by way of application of the doctrine, as the Lord shall please to assist.