Page images
PDF
EPUB

not see you wantt Will you trust a rich man upon his word? and will you not trust a rich Christ upon his word! Do you believe he will give you a crown? and will you not trust him for a crust? Do you believe he will give you a kingdom? and do you doubt whether he will give you a cottage to rest in ?. Has he given you his blood? and do you think that he will deny you any thing that is really for your good? Surely he will not, he cannot.

Again; trust him for power against all the remainders of sin in you. Has Christ freed you from the damnatory power of sin, and from the dominion of sin? and will you not trust him for deliverance from the remainders of sin. Iniquities prevail against me; as for my transgressions, thou shalt purge them away, Psal. lxv. 3. O excellent faith!

Again; trust him to bring you into the land of rest. Do you think that this Joshua is not able to carry you through all difficulties, dangers, and deaths? Do you think that he will leave you to die in the wilderness, who have already had some glimpses of heaven's glory? O trust to this Christ for bringing your souls into the promised land. Christ would lose his glory, should you fall short of glory.

VIII. If Christ be so rich, then do not forsake him, do not leave him, do not turn your backs upon him.

Are the riches of justification, and the riches of sanctiHcation, and the riches of consolation, and the riches of glorification in Christ? Yes; why then do not depart from him, do not shake hands with him. That is a sad complaint of God in Jer. ii. 12, 13.; Be astonished, O ye heavens at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord; for my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Is it madness. and folly to fly from the fountain to the stream, from the light of the sun to the light of a candle? and is it not greater madness and folly to forsake the Creator, to run after the creature? O say as Peter, Whither shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. To run from Christ, is to run from all life, peace, and joy. It is to run from our strength, our shelter, our security, our safety, our crown, our glory. In Lev. xi. 10, Crabs that go backward, are reckoned among unclean creatures. The application is easy.

Origen coming to Jerusalem, after he had shamefully turned his back upon Christ and his truth, and being exceedingly pressed to preach, at last yielded, and as he opened the book, he happened to cast his eye upon that place of the psalmist, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee? Psal. 1. 16, 17.—Now the remembrance of his own folly so reflected upon his conscience, that it made him close the book, and sit down and weep. Such as forsake a rich, a full Christ, shall have weeping work enough. That is a very dreadful scripture in Jer. xvii. 13; All you that forsake the Lord, shall come to be ashamed, and they that depart from him, shall be written in the dust. Can you read this text, backsliding souls, and not tremble?

IX. If the Lord Jesus Christ be so rich, O then all you that have an interest in him, labour mightily to clear np your interest, and to be more and more confident of your interest in so rich a Jesus.

My brethren, it is one thing for a man to have an interest in Christ, and another thing to have his interest cleared up to him. I do speak it with grief of heart, that even among such Christians as I hope to meet in heaven, there is scarcely one of forty, nay, one of a hundred, that is groundedly able to make out his interest in the Lord Jesus. Most Christians live between fear and hope, between doubting and believing. One day they hope that all is well, and that all shall be well for ever; the next day they are ready to say, that they shall one day perish by the hand of such a corruption, or else by the hand of such or such a temptation: and thus they are up and down, saved and lost, many times in a day.

But you will say unto me, 'What means should we use to clear up our interest in Christ?' There are six singular means that you should labour after, for evidencing more and more your interest in Christ. And take it from experience, you will find that they will contribute very much for evidencing your interest in Christ.

1. And the first is this—faithfully and constantly fall in with the interest of Christ. Holiness is the interest of Christ, the gospel is the interest of Christ, the precious ordinances are the interest of Christ. Now the more sincerely and roundly you fall in with the interest of Christ, the more abundantly you will be confirmed and persuaded of your interest in Christ. Such souls as fall in with strange interests, or with base and carnal interests, may justly question whether they ever had any real interest in Christ. Christians, did you more sincerely and fully fall in with Christ's interest, you would less question your interest in Christ. This would scatter many a cloud.

2. Be kind to the Spirit of Christ. Do not grieve him, do not slight him. If you should set this Spirit a mourning, who only can evidence your interest, who only can seal up" your interest in Christ, by whom shall your interest in Christ be sealed up? O do not grieve the Spirit by acting against light, against conscience, against engagements; do not grieve him by casting his cordials and comforts behind your backs; do not grieve him by slighting and despising his gracious actings in others; do not cast water upon the Spirit, but wisely attend the hints, the items and motions of the Spirit; and he will clear up thy interest in Christ; he will make thee say, My beloved is mine and I am his.

3. Labour more and more after a full and universal conformity to Jesus Christ. The more the soul is conformable to Christ, the more confident it will be of its interest in Christ. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world, 1 John iv. 17. As he is, so are we. The child is not more like the father, than we are like our Saviour. The child is the father multiplied, the father of a second edition. Our summum bonum consists in our full communion with Christ, and in our full conformity to Christ. O if men were more universally conformable to Christ in their affections, ends, designs, and actings, they would have abundantly more clear, full, and glorious evidences of their interest in Christ. A more full conformity to Christ in heart and life, will make your lives a very heaven. ....,'

4. Interest Christ in the glory of all you enjoy, and in the glory of all you do. This is a precious way to have your interest in Christ more and more evidenced to your own souls. Such as are good at this, as are much in this, will find Christ every day clearing up more and more their interest in himself. It is not usually long night with such souls. O Christians, interest Christ more and more in the glory of all your graces, interest him in the glory of all your duties, interest him in the glory of all your abilities; as Christ does interest you in himself, in his Spirit, in his graces, in his riches, in his titles, in his dignities, in his offices. Ah Christians, did you interest Christ more in all you have, in all you are, and in all you do, you would never be so full of fears, and doubts, and questions, about your interest in Christ, as you are. Your interesting of Christ in all you have and do, will speak out, not only the truth of your love, but also the strength and greatness of your love; and where men love much, where they love strongly, there they do not question the truth of their love.

The heathen gods were contented to divide their honours amongst themselves, and hence the senate of Rome rejected Christ from taking him to be a God, after they had consulted about it. ' For,' said they, 'if Christ come to be acknowledged a God, he will not share with the rest, he will have all himself;' and so upon this reason they refused him. Christians, Christ will not have any competitor; he will rather part with any thing, than with bis glory. I am the Lord; that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images, Isa. xlii. 8. Christ will rather part with his life, than with his honour; therefore let every Christian say as David does in 1 Chron. xxix. 11—13; Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. And clearly, friends, the more your hearts are led forth to interest

Christ in all you enjoy and in all you do, the more clear and glorious evidence you will have of your interest in Christ. Let his honour and glory lie nearer and nearer to your hearts, and you will see that he has set you as a seal upon his arm, as a seal upon his heart.

5. The fifth means to gain the knowledge of your interest in Christ, is by cleaving to Christ and whatsoever is dear to Christ, in the face of all miseries, difficulties, and dangers. It is nothing to cleave to Christ in fair weather, when every one cleaves to Christ, when every one professes Christ; but to cleave to him in a storm, when every one runs from him, this speaks out a child-like disposition; it speaks out a Jacob's spirit. Surely he must needs have much of Christ, that nothing can take off from cleaving to Christ. When the soul says to Christ, as Ruth said to Naomi, Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodges t, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me—when neither the frowns of men, nor the reproach of men, nor the contempt of men, nor oppositions from men, can take the soul off from cleaving to Christ, it will not be long before Christ speaks peace to such a soul. My soul followeth hard after thee, thy right hand upholdeth me; in the Hebrew it is, My soul cleaveth to thee, or is glued to thee; as Jonathan's soul cleaved to David, and as Jacob's soul cleaved to Rachel, in the face of all difficulties and troubles. Doubtless, when the soul cleaves to Christ in the face of all afflictions and difficulties, this carries with it very great evidence of its interest in Christ. In temporals men cleave to persons and things as their interest is in them, and so it is in spirituals also. Christ cannot, Christ will not throw such into hell, that hang about him, that cleave to him.

6. If you would know whether you have an interest in Christ, then be very much in observing what interest Christ has in you. Observe whether he has the interest of a head, a husband, a father, or not. Christ has a general interest in all creatures, as he is the Creator and Preserver of them; and he has a head's interest, 'd husband's interest, a father's interest, in them only who have a saving interest in him. The interest of the head, the husband, the father, is the greatest interest; it is the sweetest interest; it is a com

« PreviousContinue »