Page images
PDF
EPUB

But as express scripture speaks out this truth, that Christ is very rich, so there are eight things more that do with open mouth speak out Christ to be very rich.

1. You may judge of his riches by the dowry and portion that his Father has given him.

Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession, Psal. ii. 7,8. He is heir of all things; all things above and below, in heaven and earth are his. God hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, Heb. i. 2. Christ is the richest heir in heaven and earth. Men cry up this man to be a good match, and that; and why so, but because they are great heirs? O but what are all the great heirs of the world, to this heir, the Lord Jesus? Joseph gave portions to all his brethren, but to Benjamin a portion five times as good as what he gave the residue. So the Lord scatters portions among the sons of men; he gives brass to some, gold to others; temporals to some, spirituals to others; but the greatest portion of all, he has given into thehands of Christ, whom he has made the heir of all things. And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Rev. xi. 15. So in chap. xix. 11, 12; And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge, and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. Mark that. What are princes' single crowns, and the pope's triple crown, to Christ's many crowns? Certainly he must be very rich, who has so many kingdoms and crowns. Wait but a while, and you shall see these scriptures made good.

2. You may judge of his riches, by his keeping open house for the relief and supply of all created beings, both in heaven and in earth.

You look upon those as very rich, who keep open house for all comers and goers. Such a one is the Lord Jesus Christ. He keeps open house for all comers and goers, for all created beings both in heaven and earth. The earth is full of thy riches; so is the great and wide sea, where are things creeping innumerable, both small and great, Psa. civ. 24, 25. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing, says the psalmist. Ho, every one that thirsteth; let him come and buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and thy labour for that which proftteth not? Isa.lv.1,2. All creatures, high and low, honourable and base, noble and ignoble, blessed and cursed, are fed at the cost and charge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Theyareallfedathistable,andmaintainedbywhat comes out of his treasury, his purse. All angels and saints above, and all saints and sinners below, are beholden to Christ for what they enjoy. O the multitudes, the numberless number of those who live upon the cost and charge of Christ! Can you number the stars of heaven? Can you number the sands upon the sea-shore? Then may you number the multitudes, the millions of angels and men that are maintained upon the cost and charge of the Lord Jesus. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. i. 16, 17.

3. You may judge of the riches of Christ oy me ime that he has fed and clothed, cherished and maintained so many innumerable millions of angels and men.

He has maintained his court above and below, upon his own cost and charge, for almost six thousand years. O to keep such a multitude, if it were but for a day, would bespeak him out to be richer than all the princes in the world; but to keep so many millions, and to keep them so long, what does this speak out, but that Christ is infinitely rich, rich in goodness and mercy? It would beggar all the princes on earth-to keep but one day the least part of those that Christ maintains every day.

4. You may judge of the riches of Christ by this, that he doth not only enrich all the saints, but all of the saints; that is, he enriches all the faculties of their souls. He enriches their understandings with glorious light; their con

No. XLI.

sciences with quickness, pureness, tenderness and quietness; and their wills with holy intentions and heavenly resolutions; and their affections of love, joy, fear, with life, heat, and warmth, and with the beauty and glory of the most soul-enriching, soul-delighting, soul-ravishing, and soul-contenting objects. All saints' experiences seal to this truth, and therefore a touch will suffice.

5. Judge of the riches of Christ by this, that notwithstanding all the vast expense and charge that he is at, and has been at for so many millions of thousands, and that for nearly six thousand years, yet he is never the poorer; his purse is never the emptier.

There is still in Christ a fulness of abundance, and a fulness of redundance, notwithstanding all that he has expended. It were blasphemy to think that Christ should be a penny the poorer by all that he has laid out for the relief of all those who have their dependence upon him. It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; not stay or abide, a night or a day, and away, but should dwell. The sun has not the less light for filling the stars with light. A fountain has not the less for filling the lesser vessels. There is in Christ the fullness of a fountain. The overflowing fountain pours out water abundantly, and yet remains full; why, the Lord Jesus is such an overflowing fountain; he fills all, and yet remains full. Christ has the greatest worth and wealth in him. As the worth and value of many pieces of silver is in one piece of gold, so all the petty excellencies scattered abroad in the creature, are united in Christ; yea, all the whole volume of perfections, which is spread through heaven and earth, is epitomized in him.

6. The Lord Jesus is generally rich; and that speaks him out to be rich indeed.

You have few persons who are generally rich. That is a rich man indeed, who is generally rich; that is, who is rich in money, and rich in land, and rich in commodities, and rich in Jewels. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is one that is generally rich. He is rich in all spirituals; he is rich in goodness, rich in wisdom and knowledge, he is rich in grace, and rich in glory. Yea, he is generally rich in respect of temporals. He is the heir of all things. He is the heir of all the gold in the world, and of all the silver, and of all the jewels, and of all the land, and of all the cattle in the world, as you may see by comparing some Scriptures together. Hos. ii. 5, 8, 9. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink: but Mark what follows, verse 8, 9. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal: therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. So in Psal, xxiv. 1. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof y the world, and they that dwell therein. All others are either usurpers or stewards; it is the Lord Jesus that is the great landlord of heaven and earth. So in Psal. 1. 8, 9, 10. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt-offerings, I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds: for every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. It is all mine, says the Lord.

Thus you see that the Lord is generally rich, rich in houses, in lands, in gold, in silver, in cattle, in all morals as well as in spirituals; but where will you find a man that is generally rich, either in spirituals or temporals? It is true, you may find one Christian rich in one grace, and another Christian rich in another, but where will you find a Christian that is generally rich, that is rich in every grace? that is rich in knowledge, in faith, in love, in wisdom, in humility, in meekness, in patience, in self-denial? Abraham was rich in faith, and Moses was rich in meekness, and Job was rich in patience, and Joshua was rich in courage, and David was rich in uprightness; but where will you find a saint that is rich in all these graces? or where will you find a man that is generally rich in respect of temporals, as to be rich in lands, and rich in money, and rich in wares, and rich in jewels. But raw the Lord Jesus Christ is generally rich, both in respect of spirituals, and temporals. 'In having nothing I have all things,' says one, 'because I have Christ; having therefore all things in him, I seek no other reward, for he is the universal reward.'

7. You may judge of the riches of Christ, by the tribute and rent that are due to him.

He is the great landlord and owner of all that angels and men possess above and below. All created beings are but tenants at will to this rich landlord, the Lord Jesus. He puts out and puts in as he pleases; he lifts up one, and casts down another; he throws down the mighty, and sets up the needy, according to the pleasure of his own will. Whom he will he destroys, and whom he will he saves alive. Whom he will he binds, and whom he will he sets at liberty. Whom he will he exalts, and whom he will he abases. Whom he will he makes happy, and whom he will he makes miserable. The psalmist, in Psalm xlviii. upon this account calls upon all celestial and terrestial creatures to pay their tribute of praise to the Lord. He has given them all their being, and he maintains them all in the being that he has given them.

The ancient Hebrews, as Josephus relates, set marks and tokens sometimes on their arms, sometimes at their gates, to declare to all the world the tribute and praise that were due to the Lord for all his benefits and favours shewed unto them. Bernard says, 'We must imitate the birds, who, morning and evening, at the rising and setting of the sun, omit not to pay the debt of praise that is due to their Creator.'

8. Judge ofthe riches of Christ by the multiplicity and variety of temporal and spiritual gifts and rewards that he scatters among the children of men.

He gives honours to thousands, and riches to thousands, and peace to thousands, and pardon to thousands, and the joys and comforts of the Holy Ghost to thousands. There is not a moment that passes over his head, but he is scattering jewels up and down the world; he throws some into one bosom, and others into others, but the best into the bosom of his saints. O the abundance of peace, the abundance of joy and comfort! O the fear, the faith,

« PreviousContinue »