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geance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay; fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.”. Here I will tell you of some sea. sonable appearances of the blessed Breaker, for the help and relief of lost sinners; and then tell you of the manner of his coming up.
1st, The blessed Breaker came up seasonably, and appeared in our quarrel, in the council of peace. When the question was put, Who will take the field against the old serpent and his seed, for the help and relief of lost sinners of Adam's family ? presently the blessed Breaker appeared in our quarrel, saying, "Lo, I come," send me, and I will bruise the head of the serpent," and set the captives at liberty, to the glory of divine justice, and to the eternal honour of his law.
2dly, He came up seasonably upon the field, immediately after the fall of man.
prey had no sooner fallen into the hands of the mighty, but the mighty Redeemer enters into conflict with the enemy, given him a deadly thrust: With the word of his mouth he slays the wicked one, saying, “ It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel," Gen. iï. 15; which at once gave a deadly wound to the enemy, and saved the poor prisoner "out of the pit, wherein there is no water.” All the appearances of Christ for his church during the Old Testament dispensation, were founded upon the grace of this first promise. •
3dly, In his incarnation he came up really and personally. What was his whole life in this world, but a continued battering and breaking down of the kingdom of darkness? This was the design of his doctrine, miracles, life, and death; by the preaching of his gospel through the cities of Israel, he
“ Satan fall like lightning from heaven;" by a word spoken, he, in a miraculous manner, 'threw him out of the souls and bodies of men at once; and by his death he destroyed “ him that had the power of death, that is, the devil:" Heb. ii. 14. And with a view to this, he tells his disciples, “ Now is the judgment of this world come; now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” John xii. 31 : And by his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, he came up as a victorious and renowned Conqueror from the field of battle, carrying the spoils of sin and Satan, hell and death, along with him: “God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet; twenty thousand chariots of angels attending him, as at Sinai. He ascended up on high, and led captivity captive," Psal. Ixviii. 17-18.
4thly, He may be said to come up, or to take the field against
the enemy, when he appears in the power of his Spirit in the dispensation of the gospel, when he girds his sword on his thigh, and rides prosperously and successfully upon his chariot of truth, dividing a portion with the great, and sharing the spoil with the strong. Oh how terrible is this Breaker to the powers of hell, when he sends the rod of his strength out of Zion, making a willing people in the day of his armies ! When the “armies which are in heaven follow him, whose name is, The WORD OF GOD!" When he “ smites the nations with the sharp sword that goeth out of his mouth!" While every one that runs may read his name “on his vesture, and on his thigh, King of kings, and Lord of lords!" Rev. xix. 16.
5thly, He may be said to come up in the outward dispensation of his providence, for the relief and deliverance of bis church and people, when they are harassed or oppressed in their temporal or spiritual privileges, by men of malignant spirits, who bear rule over them. Thus the Breaker came up seasonably for the relief of Israel in Egypt, when they were groaning under their Egyptian task-masters, breaking their oppressors and enemies with plague upon plague. Thus he many times came up for their relief, during the government of the judges and kings of Israel. Thus he came up after the seventy years' captivity, and broke the Babylonian empire in pieces, to make way for the return of his people to their native land.
6thly, He comes up as a mighty Breaker, when he finds religion depressed, and undertakes to revive his own work in a backsliding land and church. He comes first and breaks down, before he begins to build up. There is commonly a shaking of nations, before “the Desire of all nations” come, for the building up of Zion. See in what awful majesty the Breaker appears, Hab. iii., in order to the reviving of his work in the midst of the years. The prophet, ver. 2, puts up a prayer, " O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years; in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” Well, his prayer is heard; God comes for the revival of his work; but his glorious march was so awful, as made the prophet himself to fall to trembling, ver. 16: “When I heard, my belly trembled, my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered into my bones. When he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.” And yet how sweet and glorious is the issue of that awful dispensation ? as you see in the verse following.
7thly, He may be said to come up in every display of his grace and love to a particular believer, when he seasonably interposes for the relief of a poor soul, sinking under the burden of sin, temptation, affliction, and desertion. The Breaker
comes up seasonably, when he dispels clouds, and lifts
up light of his countenance; when he rebukes the roaring lion, and blunts and breaks his fiery darts; when he says to the poor soul, “ Fear not, for I am with thee;" when he heartens or animates the poor soul for its work or warfare, saying, “ Fear not, thou worm Jacob—I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth.” “My grace shall be sufficient for thee."
8thly, And O how seasonably does he come up at death, when the poor soul is trembling at the thoughts of going through Jordan, and launching out into a wide eternity? What a sweet up-coming is it, when he says to the soul, as Rev. i. 17, “ Fear not, for I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.” Thus I have given you some of the seasonable up-comings of the blessed Breaker.
Quest. In what manner does he come up in our quarrel, to the help of the weak against the mighty ?**
Answ. 1. He comes up seasonably. All his appearances for the help and relief of his people have ever been well timed. O how seasonably did he interpose immediately after the fall, when the roaring lion was about to tear the prey, saying as Pharaoh, in another case, “ I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil?" Then, indeed, he came up and bruised the head of the serpent. How seasonably did he deliver Israel out of Egypt? How seasonably did he turn back their captivity? How seasonably did he interpose for our relief in this land, at the late glorious revolution, when we were upon the point of being swallowed up with Antichristian tyranny and darkness ? O how seasonably does he come up to the help and relief of the poor soul, when it is upon the point of being swallowed up with temptation, desertion, and affliction ? Deut. xxxii. 36: • The Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up,
2. He comes up for the help of his church and people solitarily; or he alone comes up. It is his own arm that brings salvation. He stood alone in the glorious work of redemption; He trod the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with him:" and therefore he alone must bear the glory of it; “ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.” And when he comes up for the deliverance of his church and people from tyranny and oppression, whatever instruments he
may make use of, yet he alone must have the glory, because they are only instruments, and can do no more than the tool without the hand of the workman.
Hence says the church, Psal. xliv. 3: “ They got not the land in possession with their sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, thine arm, and the light of thy countenance."
3. , He comes up in our quarrel with the greatest alacrity and cheerfulness. He “ rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men.” The Sun of righteousness rejoiced to run his race; and like a giant or strong man, refreshed with new wine, he gave a shout when he came up into the field of battle: “I have a baptism,” says he,“ to be baptized with, and how am I strait
" ened till it be accomplished !"
4. He comes up speedily: he did not linger" nor tarry when he came upon his redeeming and saving expedition; no, he flew as it were upon wings, Cant. ii. 8: " Behold he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills."
5. He comes up courageously to his breaking work, challenging all the powers' of hell, as it were, to the combat. With what undaunted magnanimity did he set his face to the cause, when he is entering the field! See Is. I. 8, 9: “He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together; who is mine adversary ? let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God will help me, who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."
6. He comes up victoriously, distributing death and ruin amongst all his and his church's enemies. Victory follows him whithersoever he goes! his enemies being to him but as briers and thorns entering the lists with a consuming fire. When he whets his glittering sword, and his hand takes hold on judgment, he "renders vengeance unto his enemies, and a reward unto all them that hate him."
7. His up-coming to his breaking work is irresistible. Who can stay his hand, or stop him in his march? When Red seas and Jordans of wrath and vengeance were in his way, this Breaker broke through them: when the armies of earth and hell were in his way, he “ trod them in his anger, and trampled them in his fury, and stained all his raiment with their blood." And hence it follows,
. 8. That the up-coming of the Breaker is with much awful majesty, and astonishing greatness. When he came up upon the field of this world, he struck terror amongst the powers of hell. When they saw the divine majesty and greatness that was about him, they cried, “ What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? art thou come to torment us before our time ?" When he comes up to plead
the controversies of Zion, the proud and wicked of the earth, who carried it with a high hand against his church and people, would then be content to creep into the clefts of the rocks, and caves of the earth, “ for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty," Is. ii. 19. And when is it that they are thus struck with terror? It is when the Lord comes up to his breaking work, as you see in the close of that verse, when he arises terribly to shake the earth. So much for the second thing, namely, the up-coming of the Breaker.
III. The third thing in the method was, to inquire what may be implied in his coming up before them?
But before I go on to this, you may readily ask, to whom is it that he comes up?
I answer, 1. As the Shepherd of Israel, he comes up to the sheep of his pasture, to preserve or deliver them from wolves or foxes, that would tear them.
2. He comes up as a Captain to his soldiers, to head and lead them on against the armies of the aliens; for he is given for Leader and Commander to the people.”
3. He comes up as a King to his subjects, or on the head of his armies, to rule and defend, to restrain and conquer all his and their enemies; as in the close of the verse, their King shull pass before them, and Jehovah on the head of them. Thus you see the Breaker comes up to his sheep, his soldiers, and subjects; and whoever they be that are not of that number, the Breaker comes up against them; for they are not on the Lord's side.
Now, to come to the question, what is imported in his coming
up to them?
1st, It imports, that he has them and their case deeply at heart, that he is heartily engaged in their quarrel; otherwise how would he come up to them as a Breaker. Many that bear the name of shepherds of the lock now-a-days, have the case of Christ's sheep, his little ones, so little at heart, that they are very easy what becomes of them, if they get patrons and the great ones of the world pleased.
world pleased. But, however little account they make of them, and their rights and privileges, yet the great Shepherd has them so near at heart, that he has declared, that it were better for such that “a millstone were hanged about their necks, and they cast into the midst of the sea, than that they should offend or hurt one of these little ones.” At the coming up of the Breaker, the weight of this wo will be felt, however little account some may make of it now, while they are tearing the flock of Christ in pieces, and forcing them to send up many a heavy complaint to heaven.