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SERMON XXX.

THE ANNALS OF REDEEMING LOVE, WITH THE REDEEMER'S VENGEANCE UPON THE GRAND ENEMY OF

THE REDEEMED.*

For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year

of
my

redeemed is come.Is. LXIII. 4.

THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

To gain time, I wave the connexion, and just come to the words themselves, which I take up as a material repetition of the first promise, Gen. iii. 15: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent:" which words are an express threatening of wrath and vengeance unto the old serpent and his seed; but at the same time, a promise of salvation implied unto the woman and her seed. It is as if the Lord had said to Satan, Thou hast indeed ruined Adam and his posterity at one stroke; but remember I will be avenged on thee for what thou hast done; in the fulness of time I am to take on the human nature, and, in and by that nature which thou hast ruined, I will bruise thy head, and ruin thy kingdom. So says the Lord here, “The day of vengeance is in mine heart," &c. As if he had said, I cannot forget the old quarrel I have with Satan for ruining the woman and her seed, it is still fresh in my view: I will surely pursue it to the destruction of Satan, and the redemption of my people. So, then, you may take up the words in these few particulars:

1. We have here the name or designation of God's remnant of mankind-sinners, they are called his redeemed, my redeemed: they are mine by election, mine by my Father's donation, mine by the purchase of my blood, and they are to be mine by conquest; their redemption plainly supposes them to be in bondage to sin and Satan. It is observable, that they are called The redeemed of the Lord, though the the price of their redemption was not yet paid; many hun. dreds of years intervened before the actual payment of the ransom, and yet it is spoken of as a thing done, because it was a thing already acted in the purpose of the Father,

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* Several sermons preached at sacramental and other occasions.

and in the promise of the Son from all eternity: for the same reason. Christ is called “a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

2. In the words we may notice the deep resentment that the glorious Redeemer has of the quarrel of the redeemed; The day of vengeance, says he, is in my heart. Perhaps, indeed, there may be here a reference immediately to the vengeance that God was to inflict by Cyrus upon the Babylonian empire, for the hard usage Israel had received from them during their seventy years' captivity; but ultimately it has a respect to the vengeance the Son of God was to take in the fulness of time upon Satan, that destroyer of mankind; he speaks here in the capacity of our kinsman. According to the tenor of the law of Moses, the nearest of kin was to be the avenger of his kinsman's blood: so Christ here as our Goel, our brother, our elder brother, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, espouses our quarrel against the enemy, and destroys the destroyer: The day of vengeance is in my heart, it is in my heart, that is to say, I have purposed it, I have promised it, and the resolution is firmly seated in my soul, and the very thought of it is a pleasure and delight to me, “Thy law is within my heart,” Psal. xl. 8.

3. In the words we have the stated time for the deliverance of the redeemed; it is called a day in the beginning of the verse, and a year at the end of it.

A day and a year are one thing with the Lord; yea, a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years with him, being from everlasting to everlasting God, without any variableness or shadow of turning: only this, perhaps, may be in it, the time of mercy to the redeemed may be called a year, and the time of vengeance a day, because justice is his “strange work, his strange act, and therefore despatches it in a little time, makes short work with it; but mercy is a work in which he delights, and therefore he protracts, and draws it out to a far greater length; "his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him.” Whatever be in this, yet the period of time here pointed at, by the day of vengeance, and the year of the redeemed, is especially the fulness of time, when “God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

4. We may notice the Redeemer's pleasure and satisfaction with the view of all this, he speaks of it with a particular air of joy and triumph: The day of vengeance is in my

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VOL. II.

heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. He, as it were, anticipates the scene, and acts it oyer in his own heart before the time be fully come, he relishes it in his own mind, and rejoices in it, as come already, because now it was near at hand. Thus you see, that this text has a twofold aspect; it has a favourable and kindly aspect upon the redeemed of the Lord; but it has a frowning and terrible aspect upon the serpent and his seed.

OBSERVE, “ That as the year of the redeemed is the joy of the great Redeemer; so he has the stated time for avenging their quarrel in his heart.” The day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

Method (through divine assistance) shall be this:
1. To speak a little of the great Redeemer.
II. Of the redeemed.
III. Of the year of the redeemed.
IV. Inquire on whom their quarrel is to be avenged.
V. Of the day of vengeance, and the execution of it.
VI, Make it appear, thať all this was, and still is, the joy
of the Redeemer's heart.

VII. Apply the whole.

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1. The first thing is, to speak a little of the great and glori

. ous Redeemer. And here I shall only answer, in short, two or three questions that may be asked respecting him. And,

1. It may be asked, as the church does in the 1st verse, 6. Who is this that cometh from Edom and Bozrah, to avenge our quarrel, and set us free from the hand of our enemies ?" It is fit, in this day of blasphemy and reproach in our valley of vision, to tell you, that our Goel, the avenger of our blood, is none other than “God manifested in the flesh;' and every one that ever saw him, will be ready to cry out with Thomas, “ My Lord, and my God." Who is he? say you. Sirs, I tell you, that he is " the great God:" Tit. ii. 13: “ Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” He is the true God;" 1 John v. 20:“ He hath given us an understanding to know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, that is, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” He is " Gọd over all, blessed for evermore," Rom. ix. 5. He is the eternal God; for “ his goings forth were of old, from everlasting.” He is the omnipresent God, who “ fills heaven and earth;" for though he be ascended to heaven, and is to continue there, as to his human nature, till the time of the restitution of all things, yet he is still here on earth,

and every where as to his divinity: “Lo," says he, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He is the omniscient God: “I am he that searcheth the heart and the reins;"! and he needeth not that any should testify of man, for he knoweth what is in man. He is the independent and self-existent God, for he is the first, and he also is the last, Rev. i. 17: “He is before all things, and by him all things consist ; he is the beginning, and in all things he must have the preeminence, Col. i. 17, 18. He is the immutable and unchangeable God, “ without any variableness or shadow of turning ;" • The heavens shall wax old as a garment; and as a vesture he shall change them, and they shall be changed: but he is the same, and of his years there is no end,” Heb. i. 12; Heb. xiii. 8: “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." He is the very same God, numerically one with the Father: “I and my Father are one." 66 There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit: and these three are one;" the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Now this is our Redeemer, “This is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem ;" this is he that “speaks in righteousness, mighty to save.” O sirs, see if

you can call him Lord in a way of believing, by the Holy Spirit; for every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father; however others may blaspheme him, as if he were only an inferior deity, let us ever think and speak honourably of him; for “he is thy Lord, and worship thou him;" and all men must honour him, as they honour the Father.

2. If it be asked again, what is the birth and pedigree of this Redeemer? from whom is he descended ? I answer, “Who can declare bis generation ?" View him in his divine nature, " He is the only begotten of the Father; the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person;" and so like his Father, that he who hath seen him, hath seen the Father also. But as for the manner of his eternal generation, who can declare it? It will remain an inexplicable rhystery, till the day of glory declare it. View him as to his human nature, he is the promised seed of the woman; the seed of Abraham, in whom “ all the nations of the earth are blessed;" he is sprung of ancient kings, in the royal family of David ; in him David's family terminated, in him David's throne and kingdom is to be perpetuated for ever. But if you still ask, How was he generated, as man? I answer, even as to this, “Who can declare his generation ?" This also is a mystery; for, like Melchizedek, his type, he is without father as to his human, and without a mother as to his divine nature. All that we can tell you about this, is only,

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that he was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her without sin. Thus, you see what is the birth and pedigree of our glorious Redeemer. O sirs, you need not be ashamed to own him, for he is the credit of all his kin, he is the credit of his Father's family, for his Father glories iņ him, and shows him in a way of triumph and gloriation to the wide world, crying, Is. xlii. 1: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth:” and if he be the credit of his Father's family, much more is he the credit of Adam's family; in him the human nature recovers its crown of glory and dignity to a vast advantage, which was lost by the sin of our first parents; and “ in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.".

3. If you ask again, with relation to this Redeemer, the avenger

of our blood, How is he called, what is his name? I answer, as the Angel' did to Manoah, Judg. xiji, 18: "Why askest thou after my name, seeing it is secret ?" or wonderful, as in the margin. It is like " the white stone, and new name," that no man knows, but he that is taught of God; forʻ" flesh and blood cannot reveal it, but only our Father which is in heaven.” However, “ the Spirit which searcheth all things, yea, even the deep things of God,” has given us some hints of his names, every one of which is like ointment poured forth to them that can read and understand them in the light of the Spirit.

1st, Then, his name alone is JEHOVAH, Most High over all the earth: Jer. xxiii. 6: “ This is his name whereby he shall be called, JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, The Lord our righteousness." Well may we call him by that name, when the angeļs, the cherubims and seraphims of the higher house, who stand continually in his presence, cover their faces with their wings, when they see him upon his throne, high and lifted up, cry. ing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, JEHOVAHZABAOTH: These things spake Esaias, when he saw his glory," John xii. 41, compared with Is. vi. 3.

2dly, Another letter of his name you have, Exod. ii. 14: “Go,” says he to Moses, “and tell them, I am hath sent me unto you, I AM THAT I AM;" which is just an explication of the name JEHOVAH, and says, that he is the very fountain of all being and blessedness, that is, self-existent, independerit God, who “ hath faithfulness for the girdle of his reins, and righteousness for the girdle of his loins.” And that he who appeared to Moses by this name, is none other than Christ the glorious Messiah, is clear, by comparing that passage with Acts vii. 32..

3dly, His name is Immunwel, God with us, Matth. i. 23. He

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