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to light, and from the power of satan to God. - I wonder that the gospel should not be more acceptable to all Christian people, up and down the world; I wonder why it should not go through all this nation! and why should we not all obey the light of Christ?
Oh Friends and people! I do this day testify in the name of the great God of heaven and earth, that the Lord will exalt this light of the gospel of Christ, he will give it victory and renown over all. It shall go through all the nations of the world. We have a prophesy of Isaiah lx. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and bis glory shall be seen upon thee; and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. List up thine eyes, (saith the prophet) look round about, and see all, they gather themselves together, they come to thee : thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side ; then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged, because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto theę, the multitudes of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Epha, all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebanoth shall minister unto thee, they shall come up with acceptance to mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.'.
Friends, this is a most excellent dispensation which the Lord hath given to us; therefore I entreat and desire every one, that they be mindful of this day of their visitation, and that they would not look only outwardly, but inwardly. The Apostles went forth preaching the Lord Jesus Christ to the proceeds further, and says, "To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? And then proceeds to give an account how the wicked did look upon Christ, this arm of the Lord, he that was to be their Saviour; "He was rejected and despised, (saith the prophet ;) for he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground ; He hath no forın or comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty tbat we should desire him ; he is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him ; he was despised and we esteemed him not.' Christ Jesus was a man of sorrows, but when they say he was not beautiful, and had no form or comeliness, they give a wrong account of him.
Observe the prophet personates the wicked as well as the righteous, thereby to make a discovery to the children of men, and that there might be a right understanding. The prophet did not believe there was no beauty in him, But that he was altogether lovely, and beautiful, and to be desired.' He was the only means wbereby salvation could be procured to mankind, he was the most excellent One, "mighty to save;' yet the wicked 'despised bim, rejected him, and hid their faces from him :' and so they do now. If I should speak after the manner of men, the Lord Jesus Christ hath no beauty in him, no form or comeliness, why they should desire him; but this is the pride and arrogance of man, the wickedness of man, that doth so despise Christ, for you may remember the apostle John, and those in his day, looked upon Christ in another manner, they saw his beauty, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' There was beauty and excellency in him, and you may observe how the church of old, sets Christ
forth as · Altogether lovely, and the chiefest of ten thousands.' Those that were the true church, and the spouse of Christ, they made inquiry and diligent search after him; such open the door of their hearts to him, and earnestly seek after him, as most beautiful and desirable: It is intimated there by the wise man of old, when he represents the church seeking after Christ: "I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone, my soul failed when he spake; I sought him but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me,they wounded me, the keepers of the walls took away my vail from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us ? My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousands, his head is as the most fine gold, his eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, bis cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, his lips like lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh, &c. bis mouth is most sweet, yea, he is altogether lovely : This is iny beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.' This she speaks of him. Thus now there might be some hopes if there was such a willingness to seek after Christ amongst us, and to be mindful of him, in this the day of our visitation, in which he is calling to us, in which time and season he is wooing of us, and would gather us, that so we might be saved
Now my Friends, the way to obtain Christ to be the beloved of our souls, it must be from ar inward inclination in our souls, we must mind it there, there he stirs, there his power reaches, there his Spirit comes, there he is revealed, as the propbet said of old. Let us ask this question, with the prophet, "To whom is the arm of the Lord
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 be 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 bide 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 bearts 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 him, open the door of your hearts to bim, and let him in ; for he 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 Jobn 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 him 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 bath 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 inwardly; 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 hath 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