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should refuse her consent, under a pretence that she did not know the design of his heart, would not this be to charge her [lover] with disingenuousness? So here the case is the same; we are to judge of the Lord's heart and designs by the words of his mouth; and faith holds him by his word and at his word.

Object. 5. I want a will to give my consent to him. Answ. Put thy will in his hand, and he promises to make thee “ willing in a day of his power." And if the enmity and a version of thy will be really thy exercise, it is an evidence that the rooted consent of thy heart is already gained; for I never desired a greater evidence of true love to Christ, than to be groaning under the enmity of the heart against him: so it is a sign that the will is really bowed to him, where the remaining corrupt will is the soul's burden and exercise.

Now, I shall conclude this exhortation with a few advices; if you, indeed, have a mind for this match with our Goel, our glorious Kinsman, who has avenged our quarrel upon hell, sin, and death. And, for your direction, I recommend the practice of Ruth, or her carriage till the accomplishment of her marriage with Boaz, her kinsman or redeemer; for in the Hebrew language the same word signifies both a kinsman and redeemer, as you will see by noticing the margin of your Bibles, Ruth iv. 14. Now, I say, observe Ruth's management in this matter, and follow her example; for “these things are written for our learning."

1. You will find, that Ruth clave fast to her mother Naomi, and showed great kindness to her; so that she would by no means part with her, when returning to her own country, to “dwell under the wings of the God of Israel." We are told, that Orpah " kissed her mother-in-law," and then left her, returning again to her own people in the land of Moab, but Ruth would by no means part with her, Ruth i. 16, 17. So my advice to you is, to cleave to your mother, the church, in her returning to the Lord God of Israel. I do not advise you to cleave to our mother in her backslidings from the Lord, but cleave to her in so far as she returns to the Lord God of Israel, to dwell under his shadow. If Ruth had left her mother Naomi, as Orpah did, she had never been married to her kinsman Boaz; she had been quite out of the way to it: so my advice to you, in order to a marriage with Christ, your blessed kinsman, is to cleave to your mother church, the church of Christ, in her returning to the Lord, and do her all the kindness that you can. Boaz took it kindly that Ruth had dealt with her mother-in-law, and showed her kindness in a strange land, and came along with her to the land of Israel: so Christ takes it kindly when any show kindness to

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his church, and cleave to her when in a strange land, or among the midst of enemies. Say with the psalmest, Psal. cxxxvii

. 5, 6: “If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” Study to keep by the poor church of Christ, especially in her returning to the Lord. I confess there are many things wrong in the church at this day, but yet we must not leave her for that; we must pot, like Orpah, kiss her, and bid her adieu; no, we must cleave to our mother, and yet separate ourselves from her defects, by giving due testimony against what is wrong about her.

2. Ruth, you will find, according to the advice of her mother Naomi, went and gleaned in the field of Boaz, her kinsman; and she was discharged by Boaz, as well as her mother, from going to glean in another man's field. Do you the like, glean the field of our blessed Kinsman, Jesus Christ, and keep by his reapers, I mean the faithful ministers of Christ; this is the advice given to the spouse, Cant. i. 7, 8: “If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids among the shepherds' tents. Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions ?" Do not turn aside to the fields of stran." gers, deceivers, erroneous teachers, hirelings, who have the sheep's clothing, but “inwardly are ravening wolves.” Keep by Christ's green pasture, his field; for there you may expect to have something dropped for your encouragement, by the order of the great Master of the field; as Boaz ordered his reapers to let handfuls fall to Ruth, when she kept by his field; so if you keep by the pure field of the preaching of the word and ordinances, as he has commanded them to be dispensed, you may expect that our kind kinsman will let something fall for your encouragement.

3. Ruth improved every hint of Boaz's kindness and goodwill, to cleave to him as her kinsman; and the more that she observed his kindness, the more she was encouraged. So I would have you to encourage faith and trust in our Goel and Kinsman, from every hint of his good-will and kindness manifested in his word. Do as the servants of Benhadad did, who catched at every favourable word that dropped from the mouth of the king of Israel. Gather up the sheaves, or the handfuls that he orders his reapers to let fall to you; and when he bids you come at meal-time, and eat of his bread, and dip your morsel in his vinegar, or wine, be sure to do his bidding, and take it as a token of his kindness; for bis heart is full of love, being love itself.

4. We are told, that Ruth crept down at her kinsman's feet,

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chap. iii. 7; and under his covering, being encouraged to it by the relation be bore her, as a kinsman, by the kindly words and acts that he had showed her. So

my

advice to you is, to lie down at the feet of our kind Kinsman, and creep under the covering of his righteousness; for he is “ clothed with a garment down to his foot;” and encourage yourselves to do so, from the kindness that he shows by his words and acts. O what kindness has he showed in his word ! " He that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out: Whosoever will, let him come, and take the water of life freely.” O what kindly invitations doth he give to come and eat of his bread, and drink of the wine that he hath mingled !” O what kindness appears in his acts, particularly in becoming'“ bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh," " laying doyn his life a ransoni“ for many,” in “spoiling principalities and powers, and making a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross !" Now, let all this encourage you to creep near him, and to creep under the covering of his law-fulfilling righteousness, and say to our Goel, as Ruth did to Boaz, chap. iii. 9, “Spread thy skirt over me, for thou art a near kinsman,” or, as in the margin,“ one that hath right to redeem.” O sirs, our blessed Boaz will be so far from taking this in ill part, that he will say to you, as Boaz did to Ruth, chap. iii. 10, 11. And, if you do this, our Kinsman will not rest, till he have finished the thing, according to your heart's desire, chap. iii. last. And, accordingly, you find he finishes the redemption and marriage together in the last chapter.

I proceed now to the fourth branch of exhortation, from this second branch of the doctrine. Is it so, that Christ, our glorious Kinsman and Redeemer, has avenged our quarrel upon the powers of hell ? Did he, in the resentment of our -quarrel, invade Satan's kingdom, counteract his project for our ruin, destroy his first-born, wrest the keys of hell and death out of his hand, make him a prisoner of war, and load him with chains of darkness, &c. ? I say, has he thus avenged our quarrel upon our enemies? O then, let us have common friends and enemies with our glorious Kinsman, saying with David, Psal. cxxxix. 21, 22, "Do not I hate them that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies." O sirs, you and I are calléd Christians, after our blessed Kinsman Christ; our very name [denotes] 'that we are listed under his banner, engaged in the same quarrel with him, against Satan and all his auxiliaries; and, therefore, let our resentment point the same way with Christ's, when he said, The day of vengeance is in mine heart. Christ's resentment ran against Satan, not as a creature, but as a sinner, as

a criminal. It was the ruin of sin that Christ intended. This is the great pillar of Satan's kingdom in the world, it is his main and only bulwark, his “first-born, and the beginning of his strength.” Christ well knew, that if once this were cut off and destroyed, Satan's kingdom in the world would fall like lightning; and therefore we find it so frequently asserted, that this was the main and principal end of his manifestation in the flesh, and of his manifestation in the word and Spirit : “ For this purpose,” says the apostle John, the Son's was manifested to take away sin,” i John iii. 5, he came to "save his people from their sins: For this purpose was the Son of God manifested; to destroy the works of the devil,” that is, sin and death. Yea, his very name was called “i Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins.” Now, I say, was the vengeance of a Redeemer thus [directed] against this firstborn of Satan, in order to our redemption ! O then, let me call and invite all that profess the name of Christ, or who have his name called upon them, to come forth“ to the help of the Lord against the mighty;" join hands with the Son of God, in helping to pull down the works of the devil in the world. As Christ spent his blood " to finish transgression, and to make an end of sin;" so let us even “resist unto blood, striving against it.” This is what our glorious Kinsman and Avenger frequently calls us to in his word; and, to arm us with the greater resentment against sin, he calls us to make war against sin, by a word borrowed from the kind of death that he suffered in avenging our quarrel, namely, that of crucifixion. He calls us to "crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts.” “I am crucified with Christ,' says Paul. The Spirit of God, no doubt, for holy ends, makes use of such an expression, particularly, that, by presenting the death and cross of Christ to our view, the remembrance of his death for our sins, might make us breathe after nothing less than the death and ruin of sin in our souls: and therefore I say, “ Mortify the deeds of the body" of sin, and let nothing less than the total extirpation of it content you.

SERMON XXXI..

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF ZION'S KING.

Vet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.—Psal. 11. 6.

THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

!

In the first three verses of this psalm, we have an account of the strong opposition that is made to the kingdom and government of the Messiah. One would have thought, that when he came into the world, every knee would have bowed to him, crying, “ Hosanna to the Son of David;" and that all the sceptres of the earth would have laid at his feet; but never was any government so much opposed. For, (1.) We are here told, that hell and earth take the alarm when he appears upon the stage : “ The heathen rage,” &c. (2.) The opposition they make is here described; it is spiteful and malicious; for they rage and gnash their teeth at bim, filled with indignation against him, Luke xiii. 14; John xi. 47; Acts v. 17, 33; and xix. 28, &c. It is deliberate; they take counsel &c. It is resolute; they “set themselves against the Lord,” s set their faces like flint,” and make themselves a “ brow of brass." It is joint opposition; they 'combine. (3.) What they aim at by this opposition to Christ; they are children of Belial, that cannot endure the yoke, they cust away his cords, his commandments, his laws; these are what they resolve to break through. (4.) See how all these designs are baffled with the greatest ease, ver. 4, 5. (5.) Notice the stability of Christ's kingdom, notwithstanding of all these attempts of hell,

* The substance of several sermons, on Psal. ii

. 6;-the first preached at Penth before the Associate Presbytery, Thursday, October 13, 1737, and enlarged upon at Stirling, for some Sabbaths afterwards.

The foNowing discourses were taken from the author's notes, which he never intended, at writing, for the public, but only for the help of his own memory, and were enlarged in the delivery, as the Lord was pleased to assist. Several discourses, particularly in the applicatory part, were omitted in the transcribing, to prevent their being too voluminous and large. Nothing but the clamours of enemies, and the importunity of friends, particularly with relation to the first sermon at Perth, has made the author yield to the publication. And he judged that the first discourse, without any more, would have been too lame upon such a subject. No tongue, no pen, can handle it according to its worth. “Who is sufficient for these things?".

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