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of need." “Out of his fulness do all we receive, and grace
Let thy vessel just lie under the flowing of this blessed fountain, that it may never be found empty when the midnight cry is made, “ Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.”
Lastly, Pray for a plentiful outpouring of the Spirit, according to the promise, Is. xliv. 3: “I will pour floods upon the dry ground,” that so all the empty vessels of the land, that are destitute of the waters of God's grace, may be filled ; and those that are hanging upon the first Adam, and under the curse of the law, may, by the power of grace, change their holding, and hang upon the nail that God has fastened in a sure place.
A ROBBERY COMMITTED, AND RESTITUTION MADE, BOTH
TO GOD AND MAN.*
Then I restored that which I took not away.—PSAL. LXIX. 4.
It is abundantly plain, that there are several passages in this psalm applied to Christ in the scriptures of the New Testament; particularly that in the 9th verse of the psalm, “The zeal of thine house hath caten me up,” we find it applied to Christ, John ii. 17; and likewise that immediately following, “ The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me,” Rom. xv. 3; so likewise in the 21st verse, “ They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink," applied to Christ, Matth. xxvii. 48, and Mark xv. 23. But I need go no farther to prove this, than the first word of the verse, where ,my text lies,
They hate me without a cause,” Christ applies it to him
* Preached upon a thanksgiving day, after the sacrament, in Dunfermline, Monday, August 11, 1746.7
f I have perused the following notes of my sermon, preached at Dunfermline August last, taken from my mouth in the delivery. My other work cannot allow nie time to transcribe it. However, I have corrected and amended what I thought might mar the sense. If the doctrine of the gospel here delivered be understood, I am not anxious about the wisdom of words, “lest the gospel should be of none effect." Stirling, December 27, 1746.
self, in John xv. 25. We find our Lord here, in the verse where my text lies, complaining of his enemies; he complains of their causeless hatred in the first clause of the verse, “They hate me without a cause;" he complains of their multitude, They are more than the hairs of mine head;" he complains of their implacable cruelty, “ They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty.” Now, our blessed Lord is thus treated by the world, whom he came to save.
When there is such a powerful combination of hell and earth against him, one would have been ready to think, that he would have stopped, and gone no farther : but“ he did not faint, nor was he discouraged,” for all the opposition that was made against him; for you see, in the words I have read, what he was doing for lost sinners, when he was meeting with harsh entertainment from them. Then, even then, says he, I restored that which I took not away.
In which words you may notice these following particulars:-(1.) You have here a robbery disclaimed; a robbery was committed, but it is disclaimed by the Son of God; I took not away. There was something taken away from God and from man; by whom it is not said, but it is easy to say, that “surely an enemy did it.” But then, (2.) We have a restitution made of that robbery that was committed: I restored, says Christ, I restored what I took not away. The work of man's redemption, is a restitution both to God and to man of what was taken away by sin and by Satan. When once the work of redemption is completed, there will be a restitution of all things; for we read, Acts iii. 21, of the “ restitution of all things." Again, (3.) We have an account of the person restoring. Who made the restitution ? It was I, says the Lord; I restored what I took not away. “I who speak in,
; righteousness, and who am mighty to save,” I, the child born, and the son given to the sons of men, whose name is “ Wonderful,, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of peace;" I, even I, restored what I took not away. Again, (4.) You have the voluntariness and frankness of the deed. No man is obliged to make restitution of what is taken away by another, unless he does it of his own accord. Well, says Christ, though I took it not away, yet I made restitution of the robbery and stealth, that was committed; I engaged to do it in the council of peace," " Lo, 1 come: I delight to do thy will,” &c. Again, (5.) We have here the time when our glorious Immanuel made this restitution of what he took not away. It was, Then I restored what, &c., when his enemies were destroying him; when they were robbing him of his name, and robbing him of his very life, he restored what was taken away by robbery from men,
You will see how low our blessed Lord descended to make this restitution, and when it was; it was, in the first verse, when the waters of God's wrath were coming into his soul, even then, says he, I restored that which I took nol away. Now, from the words thus briefly opened, the doctrine that I take notice of is shortly this :
Doct. “That it was the great design of the Son of God, when he descended into a state of humiliation here, in this lower world, to make restitution both to God and to man, of what he never took away." For as there was a robbery committed
upon God and upon man by sin and Satan; so our glorious Redeemer, makes a restitution of the stolen goods: he restores both to God what was his due, and to man what he had lost.
Now, in the prosecution of this doctrine, if time and strength would allow, the method that I propose is,
I. To premise two or three things for clearing of the way.
II. To inquire into the stolen goods, what it was that was taken away both from God and man.
III, I would make it appear, that our glorious Immanuel, makes restitution of what was taken away both frorn God and from man; he restores to God his due, and to man his loss.
IV. I would show when it was that our Lord did this; for it is said here, Then I restored.
V. I would give the reasons why Christ made this restitution, when he was under no manner of obligation to it, but his own free will. And then,
VI. Lastly, I would make some application of the whole.
I. The first thing proposed is, to premise two or three things for clearing of the way. For clearing of it you would con
1. That when God made man, he made him a rich man: he bestowed all manner of goods upon him, that were necessary to make him live comfortably here, and to make him eternally happy hereafter.
2. You would consider, that Satan, by this time, having fallen, like a star, from heaven to earth, when he lighted upon this world, upon this earth, he presently saw man standing and acting in the capacity of God's viceroy, bearing his image, and having the whole creation in subjection to him. This filled the enemy with envy, and therefore he enters into a resolution, if it were possible, to commit a robbery upon man, and to strike at God's sovereignty through man's side ; and, accordingly,
3. Satan prevailed upon our first parents, and beguiled them into an eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God had discharged them to eat upon the pain of death; and thereby the compact between God and man (I mean the covenant of works) was broken.
4. The covenant of works being broken, and man having entered into a rebellion against God with the devil
, he justly a forfeited all the spiritual and temporal goods that God bestowed upon him, and likewise lost his title to a happy eternity, and became the enemy's vassal; and thus the enemy robbed him of all the goods that God bestowed upon him.
5. Lastly, The eternal Son of God having a delight in the sons of men, and beholding them in this miserable plight, enters upon a resolution that he will take on man's nature as a coat of mail, and that he will in man's nature be avenged upon that serpent that has beguiled our first parents, and spoiled them of their patrimony. And, accordingly, in the fulness of time, he comes, and is “manifested to destroy the works of the devil,” and to recover all the stolen goods;" he spoiled principalities and powers, and triumphed over them in his cross," and then “ divides a portion with the great and the spoil with the strong;" and, with a view to this, it is said in this text, Then I restored that which I took not away. And so I come to,
upon God and
II. The second thing I proposed, and that was, to inquire a little into the robbery that was committed by sin and Satan, both
upon And, first, To begin with the robbery that was committed upon God. It was the devil's great drift, by tempting man to sin against God, to rob God of his glory. God made all things for his glory, “and for his pleasure they are and were created.” The whole earth, before sin entered into it, was full of his glory; and whenever Adam opened his eyes, and looked abroad through the creation, he saw the glory of God sparkling, as it were, in every creature he cast his cyes upon. Well
, the enemy's design was to despoil and rob God of his glory. There is a question put, Mal. iii. 8: “Will a man rob God ?' will a creature venture to rob his Creator? And yet this wickedness is perpetrated. God is invaded, and his glory is in a great measure taken away, I mean his declarative glory, for it is impossible his essential glory can be invaded.
I will tell you of several things relative to the glory of God, which were attempted to be taken away, and quite obscured and sullied by the sin of man.
1. There was an attempt made to rob God of the glory of his sovereignty, as the great Lord and Lawgiver of heaven
and earth. Man, when he sinned against God, and broke the law in compliance with the motion of the enemy, what was the language of the deed? It was,
“ We ourselves are lords, and will come no more unto thee;" we will make our own will a law: " Let the Almighty depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of his way."
2. There was an attempt to rob him of the glory of his wisdom. The wisdom of God was impeached by the sin of man as a piece of folly, namely, in giving a law to man, that was not worthy to be observed. Sirs, depend upon it, every sin you are guilty of, charges God with folly, and exalts the will and wisdom of the creature, above the will and wisdom of God expressed in his holy law. And what a capital crime is it for poor men to charge God with foolishness!
3. By sin there is an attempt to rob him of the glory of his power, in regard the sinner gives a defiance to the Almighty, and upon
the matter, says, he is not able to revenge his quarrel on us, the arm of his power is withered. That is the language of sin. And then,
4. There is a robbery upon God's holiness, which is one of the most orient and bright pearls of his crown. When the holy law is violated and transgressed, the language of that action is, God is like ourselves, he approves of our ways. Again,
5. There was an attack upon his justice, and a denying his rectoral power and equity. God says, “ The soul that sin
, neth shall die, that he will by no means clear the guilty.” Well, but the language of sin is, “God will not require it," or he may be pleased or pacified with this or the other petty atonement.
Not to insist: there was a despising of God's goodness. God gave man a great estate; he
him the whole earth, and would have given him the heavens also, if he had continued in his integrity; but yet all that goodness of God was trampled under foot by the sin of man.
Also, there was a denial of the faithfulness of God in the threatening that was denounced against the sin of man, “In the day that thou eatest of it, thou shall surely die.” But the language of sin is, God is not true to his word, he will not surely do it; said Satan, " Thou shall not surely die.” Thus you see there was an attempt made to rob God of the glory of all his perfections at once.
Secondly, Let us inquire a little into the goods that were stolen from man by sin and Satan. Here we may see a melancholy scene. The glory of the human nature as quite marred by sin. Man was made the top of the creation ; but by sin he was brought below the very beasts that perish, so