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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 witnessed; 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 haih visited and redeemed his people, and he hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the bouse of bis servant 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 gire knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins, through the tender inercy 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 him not.' And when he was to leave the world, he proposed it to his disciples for their comfort: 'Nevertheless 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 1 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 seethhim 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 manisest, 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 dis- covery 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 thein 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 gospel that brings the glad tidings of salvation, and reveals to
us the Lord Jesus Cbrist 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 John, .This then is the message which we have heard of him, 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 be preached, Rom. i. 16. 'So much as in me is, (saith the Apostle) I am ready to preach the 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
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 tho great God of heaven and earth, that the Lord will exalt this light of the gospel of Cbrist, 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 his 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 thee, 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 people. You that wait for Christ, he shall appear to you. There are many Christians that expect the coming of Christ to be at the end of the world ; but they do not wait for the coming of the power of Cbrist into their hearts now. But one age may come, and another age after that, before the coming of Christ at the end of the world. There were many ages to come when the Apostles preached of the coming of the Lord being near, and at hand. The Apostle preached of the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; of his second coming williout sin to salvation : the knowledge and expectation of the coming of Christ is greatly wanting among professing Christians; and I must tell you, the want of it bath been the occasion of all those miseries and calamities that are come upon the world. If people did obey the voice of Christ, it would quickly reclaim them, and reform them; but people are not fitted for it: there are not many preachers of the coming of Christ, that preach it ihus, even the coming of Christ by his light and Spirit into men's souls. This is looked upon by many as Antiebristian doctrine; they call it enthusiasm, and Quakers' doctrine, and the doctrine of the Spirit ; tbey deride it, and mock at it..
God knows my soul is sorrowfut when I consider it, how people that are called Christians reject the light, and do despite to the holy Spirit of God. These things have been the cause of our misery and calamity, and will be so more and more, till men come into the light and Spirit of the Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; till Christians live together in love and mutual kindness, as those that are led by the Spirit of God, as the children of God.
Now I would offer this, and tenderly recommend it to you all, that you will henceforth mind the Spirit of the Lord God, and bearken to the voice of Christ in your souls. This is the testimony of the gospel ministry which was once recommended to the