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revealed ?' This Jesus have you known bim? Are you acquainted with him ? Do you know his revealing to your souls? I cannot tell, saith one, how doth he appear? How is he revealed ? He comes by bis Spirit, by his light and truth into thy heart; and when he comes, the first work he doth, he discovers thy sin and reproves thee for it. You that know the Lord Jesus Christ, it may be said of you that he is revealed in you, and he is visiting of you.
But this is such an unpleasant way to the wicked, that love their sins, that delight in the pleasures of the world, when Christ comes thus, then they will hide their faces from him, they do not desire bim, they reject him, they do that which binders the work of his Spirit in their souls, and in the hearts of many of the children of men. Thus they despise Christ, and reject bim.
Therefore whenever he is revealed to you, do as the spouse did of old, seek after bim, open the door of your hearts to him, and let him in; for be stands there, as was hinted of old. Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.' This implies that Christ waits upon the children of men, in the night of their darkness and unregeneracy. How doth this concur with the gospel and evangelical testimony? When the apostle John wrote unto the churches of Asia, he tells you, that Christ stands at the door of the heart. 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to bim and will sup with him, and he with me; and I will make my abode with him, and dwell with him. Thus you see how the prophets and apostles do concur in their testimony.
The Lord Jesus Christ hath been pleased to open this dispensation to us, and to make us partakers of it, I mean of the spirituality of it: For here hath been a long time a profession of Christ and Christianity in the world for above sixteen hundred years, yea, almost seventeen hundred years; but it hath fallen out so with some people, that they have looked more outwardly than inward. ly; they have looked at Christ Jesus as at a distance when he is near to them: So that it is an absolutely necessary doctrine and testimony to be preached to the world in our day and age, that people might be mindful of the inward voice of Christ to their souls, that when he speaks, they might hear; and when he knocks they might open to him. But this hath been wanting amongst us, this hath been a loss and great misery that hath come upon the children of men.
It is the great mercy and love of God in this latter age of the world, that he hath opened the dispensation of the gospel, in the nature and the manner of it, for the good and benefit of his people, if they would mind it and regard it. For salvation and eternal life to their souls, can come no other way to their souls; can come no other way but in and by the Lord Jesus Christ, and you must all receive it in the way that God bath ordained it; God hath sent his Son into the world to be a Saviour: And it was prophesied of him most significantly, that the Lord would give him for a light to the people. I may say most significantly, for the people have been in darkness, and many are so still; and this was the right way, but it was resused and rejected by many of the children of men; the people that are in darkness reject this way and despise this way. So did they of old, they rebelled against the light, they knew not the way of it, nor lived in obedience; yet the prophets prophesied nevertheless, after this, that Christ should be given as a light and witness to the people, that he might be "for salvation to the ends of the earth; so that the gospel testimony and message is, that Jesus
Christ, the eternal Son of God, is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Though he hath been despised and rejected, we must follow the line of the prophets and apostles, and of Christ himself; and preach salvation in no other way, and in no other name than in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the way the prophets foretold, and the apostles wit. nessed; yet we have much ado to reconcile people to this doctrine of Christ, and the day of God's visitation.
Many, instances might be given from the holy Scripture, that this was the way wherein God did visit the children of men, Luke i. 67: Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and he hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of bis ser
vant David. And thou child shall be called the .prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us; to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace. We read all these 'things in the Scripture, that the Lord Jesus Christ is sent into the world to be a Saviour to the children of men; yet they did not mind him: “He came to his own, and his own received bim not.? And when he was to leave the world, he proposed it to his disciples for their comfort: “Nevertbeless I tell you the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you; and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth hiin; but ye know him, for he dwelleth in you, and shall be in you. Christ is the light of the world; but this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil :' they do not love the light, because their deeds will be made manifest, that they are not wrought in God.
The light of the Spirit of Christ hath a wonderful influence and operation on the hearts of mankind, a wonderful authority over them. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; for as the light of the sun outwardly makes a discovery of visible things, so the inward light of the Son of God makes a discovery of the invisible things. The light of Christ discovers that which no man's eye can see. When the light of Christ comes into my soul, it is to convince me of my sins. The Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and he enlightens every man that cometh into the world ; so that this concurs with the great testimony of the apostles themselves. Saith Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, · God hath made of one blood all nations for to dwell on the face of the earth, and he hath given then their times, and their seasons, that they might seek the Lord.' · He speaks this to the men of Athens. All people are visited, all uations are of one blood, whether they be Indians or Ethiopians, or of what country soever they be. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness, doth shine upon them, and will illuminate them, as the sun in the firmament doth by his bright beams enlighten the world.
So that, my Friends, this divine light and truth is a most noble and excellent thing. Our Lord Jesus Christ bath opened to our souls his everlasting gospel, bis excellent and glorious gospel; his gospeltbat brings the glad tidings of salvation, and reveals to
us the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world. You know that “Life and immortality is brought to light by the gospel.' The Apostles in their day did preach the gospel of Christ under this head, though it is much out of fashion now a-days, the more is the pity. - The Apostles were moved with this testimony when they went to preach the gospel of Christ : saith the Apostle Jobn, "This then is the message which we have heard of bim, and declare unto you, that God is light; and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth : but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ bis Son cleanseth us from all sin.' This Apostle writes to young men, children, and fathers; to all states and conditions of Christians. The Apostle Paul was a most eminent minister, and had a commission from Christ to go and preach the gospel, both to the Jews and Gentiles. But particularly, he was made a minister to preach the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles ; but how did he go forth? what method did he take? what was his subject? what was his text? and what did he design to turn people to ? when he was under examination, he gives an account of his conversion, how the Lord Jesus appeared to him from heaven; and be was obedient to this heavenly'vision. I went forth (saith he) immediately to preach the gospel. How did he do it? what way did he take? I went forth (saith he) to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to the power of God.' My Friends, this was the gospel he preached, Rom. i. 16. 'So much as in me is, (saith the Apostle) I am ready to preach tbe gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew, and also to the Greek.' The Apostle you see, made it bis work to turn men from darkness