Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee. 2 Chron. xx. 12. So Micah, finding no room for human confidence, resolves, Therefore I will look unto the Lord. Micah vii. 7. Thus an humble sinner, sensible of his utter inability, resolves to venture upon Christ, to trust in him, though he should slay him. Job xiii. 15. And in those happy moments when the sinner has some glimmering hopes of acceptance, with what pleasure and satisfaction does he rest upon this eternal rock! and how happy we, should we be engaged this day to place our humble dependence there! It is to this the text calls us.

5. Looking to Christ means a universal, cheerful submission to his authority. We must consent to be his servants for ever, and wait all the intimations of his will to obey them. We must look and observe the motion of his hand pointing out to us the way of duty. We must look as a servant upon his master, eager to receive his orders. So the phrase seems used in Psalm cxxiii. 1, 2. “Unto thee I left up mine eyes, oh thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord.” Thus, whoever trusts in Jesus with a saving faith, surrenders himself to an unlimited obedience to all his commandments; and to this the text invites us.

9. Looking to Christ implies a hearty approbation of him as a Saviour, and supreme affection to him. Love is often expressed by looks; and when we look affectionately upon an object, it evidences that we are pleased with

So a perishing world is commanded to acquiesce in the method of salvation, through Christ, to love him above all, and to take the fullest and noblest complacence to him; and upon their so doing, they are assured of salvation. We have indeed been influenced by educa

the survey.

348

LOOKING TO CHRIST OPENED AND EXPLAINED.

tion and the like means to entertain a general good esteem of Christ; but, alas! this is very far short of that endearing affection and hearty complacence which he claims and deserves. Our hearts must be engaged to him; he must be the chief among ten thousand in our eyes. Our thoughts and passions must often ascend to him, and we must rest in him with complacence, as containing all our salvation and all our desire. 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.

7. And lastly, Looking to Christ implies joy and gratitude for his delivering goodness. The passions of joy and gratitude are easily discovered by the looks; and therefore are intended by this phrase, look unto me. And this it not only the duty, but the delightful inclination of one that has been relieved by him from the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the dreadful displeasure of God. Joy is in itself a pleasing passion, and we delight to indulge it: and to a heart that has just felt the mercy of deliverance from everlasting destruction, thanksgiving is a most grateful and pleasing employ; and, in this, much of the happiness of heaven consists.

From this view of the duty intended by looking to Jesus, take occasion, my brethren, to examine, whether ever you have complied with it; for it is a matter of infinite importance, as your eternal state depends upon it. He that hath the Son, hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life, 1 John v. 12.

ARGUMENTS TO ENFORCE OUR LOOKING TO CHRIST. 349

SERMON XLII.

ARGUMENTS TO ENFORCE OUR LOOKING TO CHRIST.

ISAIAH xLv. 22.Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the

ends of the earth : for I am God, and there is none else.

The duty of looking to Christ being explained, I shall,

II. Urge you to look to him by several weighty considerations.

This is the great duty of saints and sinners, and consequently of every one in all ages and places, even to the ends of the earth. It is the duty of sinners to turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and fix them upon this attractive, but, alas ! neglected Saviour; to turn their attention from the trifles of time to the great Antitype of the brazen serpent, who is lifted up that a dying world may open their eyes, just closing in death, and look and live. And saints, whose eyes have been turned to this glorious object, ought to fix them more intensely upon him, to take larger surveys of his glory, and to renew their affectionate trust in him.

I would premise, that when I exhort sinners to look to Jesus, I would not intimate, that they are able to do this of themselves. No; I am very sensible, that all the exhortations, persuasions, invitations, and expostulations that a feeble mortal, or even the most powerful angel in heaven, can use with them will have no effect, but vanish into air, without the efficacious operation of almighty grace. And

yet such exhortations are neither useless, improper, or un scriptural: they tend to convince sinners of their inability to believe, which is necessary to their believing aright; and it is while such arguments are addressed to their understandings, that the Holy Spirit is wont to work upon their hearts. Hence they are so often commanded in Scripture to repent, to believe in Christ, to look to him to make them a new heart, fc. I would add, that when I express the duty enjoined under the metaphor of looking, I hope it will not lead any of you into gross corporeal ideas, since the import of it has been so fully shown.

The arguments to enforce this important evangelical duty can never be exhausted; and therefore I must confine myself to those which this copious text furnishes us with, which, when resolved into particulars, will stand thus :

It is salvation we are called upon to pursue-It may be obtained upon the easiest terms, without any personal merit, viz. by a look-It is Immanual, the incarnate God, that commands and invites us to look—and he is the glorious and affecting object to which we are to look-and our looking shall not be in vain, for he is God, who engages to save those that look to him; and it is in vain to look elsewhere for salvation, and needless to fear his grace should be controlled by another; for as he is God, so there is none else—and we in particular are invited, being especially meant by the ends of the earth.

1. It is salvation that is here offered. Look and be saved. Salvation! Oh most propitious, transporting sound! Amazing ! that ever it should be heard by our guilty ears! Sin, my brethren, has exposed us to the curse of the divine law, to the loss of heaven, and all its joys, yea, and of earth too, and all its entertainments : for death, the consequence of sin, will rend us from them. We have no title

to any good to satisfy our eager pantings; and must languish and pine through an endless duration without a drop of bliss, if punished according to our demerit. We are also subject to the torturing agonies of a remorseful conscience, to be cut off from the earth by the sword of justice, and swept away by the besom of destruction into the regions of horror and despair, there to consume away a long, long eternity in inextinguishable flames, in remediless, intolerable torments, in the horrid society of devils and damned ghosts, who shall mutually promote and join in the general roar of torture and desperation. This, sirs, is our just, our unavoidable doom, unless we obtain an interest in the salvation of the Lord. But salvation brings us a complete remedy, equal to our misery. It contains a title to the divine favour, and consequently to all the joys of heaven ; it contains a perfect deliverance from all the torments of hell: and shall we not then regard and obey the voice that cries, Look unto me, and be ye saved! Is it not fit those should perish without remedy, who hear the offer of such a salvation with indifference? How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? Were we now under a sentence of condemnation to death, by an earthly court, and were going out one after another to the place of execution, and should some welcome mes

with a general pardon in his hand, come with joyful speed into this assembly, and proclaim salvation; salvation! to all that would accept it on the easiest terms, what a shout of general joy would burst from this assembly! What changed faces, what tears of general joy, would appear among us! In this agreeable character, my brethren, I have the honour and the happiness of appearing among you this day. I proclaim salvation from the Lord to dying men; salvation to all that will look to him for it. And I would not make the offer to the air, or to

senger, with a

« AnteriorContinuar »