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CONTENTS OF VOL. III.
A LAMP ORDAINED FOR GOD'S ANOINTED,*
I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed.-PSAL. CXXXII. 17.
THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
I shall not consume time in introducing myself into these words. It is thought by some interpreters, that this psalm was penned by Solomon, upon the occasion of the dedication of the temple to God. The first part of the psalm, namely, from the beginning of it to verse 10, consists of petitions. The second part, namely, from verse 11, to the close, consists of a bundle of great and precious promises relating to David and his family in the type, but mainly and ultimately to Christ and his New Testament church in the antitype.
God promises, (1.) To fix his residence in his church, verse 13, 14; “ For the Lord hath chosen Zion : he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell, for I have desired it." God's gracious presence in his church, and amongst his people, makes her the perfection of beauty, and the praise of the whole earth. (2.) He promises to bless the provision he makes for them, verse 15: “ I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.” He “ will supply all their needs, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” He will “ feed them with the hidden manna,” &c. (3.) He promises to give her faithful and successful ministers, verse 16: “I will clothe her priests with salvation.” Ministers are clothed with salvation, when by the power of God resting upon them and their ministrations, they are the happy instruments of bringing many to
* The substance of two sermons; the first preached at the admission of the Rev. Mr. James Fisher, late minister of the gospel at Kinclaven, to be minister of the dissenting Associate Congregation in and about Glasgow, October 8, 1741; the other preached at Stirling, the third Sabbath of October, 1741. VOL. 111.
Christ, in whom they find salvation from sin and wrath ; and when “ the arm of the Lord is revealed," then the servants of Christ, and all true believers, “shout aloud for joy." (4.) He promises, that however low the interest of Christ may be brought, though, like himself, it may appear “a root in a dry place,” yet, like a tree well rooted in the ground, sore lopped and hacked by man and Satan, it will sprout again, as in the first part of the verse: “ There will I make David's horn to bud." The meaning is, I will bring forth a glorious and renowned King out of the rotten stump of the family of David “in the fulness of time." Christ himself is the principal bud of that tree, and all believers are the buds of that bud. (5.) He promises, that the lamp of gospel-light shall still shine in his true church, for manifesting the glory of Christ: I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed.
Where remark, (1.) The designation given to Christ by God his Father; he is mine Anointed. “Though he be despised and rejected of men;" though an unbelieving world see no form or comeliness in him, why he should be desired, yet I own him, and challenge him as mine Anointed, “the Prophet, Priest, and King” of my church. 66 I have found David my servant: with my holy oil have I anointed him. With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him," Psal. lxxxix. 20, 21. (2.) The great mean of God's appointment for manifesting the glory of Christ to. a lost world; he has provided a lamp for his Anointed. The use of a lamp is to give light to people in the darkness of the night; so the word of God, particularly the gospel, is
a light shining in a dark place," until the day of glory dawn, when the Lord God and the Lamb will be the light of the ransomed for an endless evermore. (3.) The authority by which this lamp is lighted and carried through this dark world; it is ordained of God; and by his commandment it is that we preach and spread the light of the gospel, Mark xvi. 15, 20.
OBSERVE, “ That the dispensation of the everlasting gospel is a lamp which God has ordained for manifesting the
glory of Christ to a lost world lying in darkness.”
In discoursing on this doctrine, through divine assistance, I shall pursue the following method :
I. Speak a little of Christ as God's Anointed.
1. The first thing proposed is, to speak a little of God's anointed. «God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Psal. xlv. 7. Hence his name Messiah in the Hebrew, and Christ in the Greek, both of them signify, properly, The anointed One of God. This designation imports,
i. That he is a Redeemer and Saviour of God's choosing; for none were anointed to any office under the law, but such as God particularly designed and elected: and such a one is Christ: Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles," Is. xlii. 1.
2. This designation intimates, that he was called, " the called and sent of God: 1, the Lord, have called thee,” Is. xlii. 6. He did not take this honour to himself, but was “ called of God, as was Aaron.” When faith embraces him, it has this in its eye, it takes him up as the sent of God.
3. This designation likewise implies his investiture into his offices as the great Prophet, Priest, and King of his church. He was invested into his offices with great solemnity; the solemnity of a decree, “] will declare the decree," Psal. ii. 7, &c. the solemnity of an oath, “ The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever,” Psal. cx. 4; yea, with the solemnity of an open and audible proclamation from the excellent glory above, when “the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon him in the likeness of a dove."
4. This designation also denotes his being thoroughly fitted and furnished for his work, by an immeasurable effusion of the Holy Ghost. “Grace was poured into his lips.” There is a twofold grace given to Christ as Mediator, namely, (1.) The grace of personal union, when the human nature, consisting of a true body and a reasonable soul, is taken into the person of the eternal Son of God, which is the great mystery of godliness.” (2.) There was a created habitual fulness of grace bestowed on him for the discharging of his mediatorial work, and for the use of his mystical body: he “ received gifts for men,” that “out of his fulness, we might receive grace for grace.”. Thus, you see what is imported in Christ's anointing.
For the farther illustration of this anointing, I shall only add,
1. Christ and all his members, all believers, are anointed with the same oil of the Holy Ghost, although in a very different measure.
He is " anointed with that oil above his fel. lows;" he received not the Spirit by measure: “ It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell.” Our anointing is but a drop in comparison of the ocean; yet it is with