« PreviousContinue »
Cancan; fo the Lord their God will conquer thefe nations, by little and little.
I fhall endeavour to open and confirm this doctrine in the following method.
I. Enquire who are the true Ifrael of God.
II. Speak a little of the heavenly Canaan, which they will be brought to the poffeffion of.
III. Enquire what nations of enemies they have in their way.
IV. Speak a little of the Conqueror, the Lord their God.
V. The manner of the conqueft, his putting them out before them, by little and little.
VI. The reafons of this gradual conqueft.
And in all thefe, I fhall endeavour as much brevity as poffible. Mean time, look to the Lord, that he would give fome word with power, and with a bleffing.
I. The first thing, Who are the true Ifrael of God,' to whom this promife is made, in the myftical and fpiritual fenfe of it? They are not all Ifrael that are of Ifrael.
1. The true Ifrael of God, whom he will bring to the heavenly Canaan, are a people whom he hath fet apart for himself, and feparated from the reft of the world, as Ifrael was. The true Ifrael are fet apart, not only by election, from eternity; but by effectual calling, in time. As, in the first creation, God feparated the light from the darknefs, and made the one day, and the other night; fo, in effectual cailing, he feparates the elect from others, as light from darknefs; he leaves the reft of the world buried in their own obfcurity, and makes the others children of light. By ellectual calling, they get convincing grace, others are left ftupid and feared; they get enlightening grace, and others are left in the dark; they get renewing grace, and others are left in their enmity; they get perfuading and enabling grace to believe, others are left in their unbelief, and remain children of difobedience and unperfuadablenefs: "This Bb2 peo
people have I formed for myfelf, they fhall fhew forth my praife." Hence,
2. The true Ifrael of God are a people whom he hath brought out of Egypt, in a fpiritual fense, as Ifrael was in a temporal; and that with a high hand, and outftretched arm. He hath brought them out of the Egypt of a natural ftate, and out of the house of bondage; from their natural bondage to fin and Satan, their bondage to the law, as a covenant of works, putting them to the hard tafk and intolerable labour of doing for life; a task much worse than the Egyptian bondage, of making brick without ftraw he hath brought them, I fay, out of the. houfe of bondage with a high hand: no power in the world being able to loose their bonds, if the power of a God had not been put forth for that end: They are a people redeemed, not only by the price of the Mediator's blood, but alfo by the power of his Spirit: by his power he hath begun to plague their enemies, and to drown them in the Red-fea of his blood; for, they overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
3. The true Ifrael of God are a people acquaint with travelling in the wilderness, from Sinai to Zion, as Ifrael was; I mean, from the law to the gofpel; from the covenant of works to the covenant of grace. As Ifrael at Sinai was amazed at the fight of God appearing in his terrible majefty, and afterwards were brought into covenant with him; fo the true Ifrael of God are a people, that have been humbled with the views of God's holinefs and infinite juftice, in the command and threatening of the law; and been made to flee for refuge to the hope fet before them, in the gofpel-covenant: they have come from Sinai to Zion; to Jefus the Mediator of of the new covenant, and to the blood of fprinkling.
4. The true Ifrael of God are a people acquaint with the conduct of the pillar of cloud and of fire, as Ifrael was; I mean, they have gotten the Spirit of Chrift to be their guide in the way to Canaan: "If any man have not the Spirit of Chrift, he is none of his;" and if any man have the Spirit of Chrift, he is guided thereby, and led into all truth, and out of all the paths of damnable error. There is a leading of the Spirit by a fecret invifible hand, and
and by the means of the word, that all the Ifrael of God are partakers of; even a voice behind them, faying, This is the way, and that is not the way; and all his fheep know his voice.
The true Ifrael of God are a people fed with manna from heaven, in a spiritual sense, as Ifrael was in another fenfe: they are a people that eat the hidden manna; that have bread to eat the world knows not of; even the bread of life that came down from heaven: they live by faith on the Son of God; Chrift is the Alpha and Omega of their life; the food and medicine of their life; the reftorer and preferver of their life; they cannot live without him. The worldling lives upon his riches, the carnal man lives upon his lufts, hypocrites live upon their profeffion, legalifts live upon their duties; but the true Ifrael of God live, in the way of duty upon Chrift himfelf, as their wisdom, righteoufnefs, fanctification, and redemption. If I have any wifdom, Chrift is my wisdom; if any righteoufnefs, Chrift is my righteoufnefs; if any holinefs, Chrift is my fanctification: Chrift is my ALL; my life, my ftrength, my treafure, my hope, my deliverer, my friend, my Saviour, my complete falvation.
6. The true Ifrael of God are a people acquaint with wrestling with God for the bleffing, as Jacob was, who thereupon obtained the name of Ifraei; and all believers are thereupon called the feed of Jacob, that shall not feek his face in vain. They are a people, whofe life of faith is acted much upon their knees; or in a way of praying in the name of Chrift, and in the Spirit of Christ; "Praying in the Holy Ghoft: This is the generation of them that feek thee; that feek thy face, O Jacob's God." They are always wanters, and that makes them conftantly feekers and beggars.
II. The fecond thing was, to speak a little of the heavenly Canaan, that they will be brought to the poffeffion of. I would hold it forth in these four particulars, namely, in its types, epithets, parts, and properties.
Ift, In its types. The types of the heavenly Canaan were many. I fhall name a few of them.
1. The earthly Canaan was a type of the heavenly
and celeftial Canaan. How magnificently does the Lord fpeak of Canaan? It is called a goodly land; a holy land; a land flowing with milk and honey: yet this land was but a type and fhadow of the heavenly.
2. Paradife was a type of this heavenly Canaan. Though all the pleafant orchards, and comely things in the world were unite in one, they could not come that length as to compete with the earthly paradife for pleafure and comelinefs, when God placed our firft parents there in their innocent ftate: yet, what was it but a faint refemblance of the heavenly paradife? nothing but a fhadow of it.
3. The Sabbath was a type of this heavenly, happy, and eternal Sabbath of reft. Indeed it is unfettled reft the Lord's people have here; when they reft in the Lord at any time, their reft is foon difturbed: even tho' they can fay at times, "Return unto thy reft, O my foul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee;" how foon does the devil, the ill heart, and the world difquiet them again? But, But, "There remains a reft, [a Sabbatifm,] for the people of God," when they fhall reft from their labour; reft from fin and forrow.
4. The tabernacle was a type of the heavenly Canaan: the Lord's prefence filled the tabernacle. O how does his glorious prefence fill heaven, and fill all the hearts of the heavenly inhabitants! glorious things are fpoken of the earthly Zion; how much more glorious things may be fpoken of the new Jerufalem above! But then,
2dly, We may confider the heavenly Canaan in its epithets; as,
1. It is called a house, John xiv. 2. A manfion-house, a prepared place. "In my Father's houfe are many manfions; I go to prepare a place for you." O what a noble houfe is it, where glory dwells! What an excellent houfe will it be, when the Father of the family will be in the midst of the houfe, and all his children about. him; all his elect gathered together from all the corners of the earth; where the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, Chrift himfelf, the elder Brother, and all the younger brethren will dwell together!
2. It is called the joy of the Lord: "Enter thou into
the joy of thy Lord." Joy here enters into the believer; but there the believer enters into joy: he enters, as it were, into an ocean of joy; and it is the joy of his Lord Jefus. How great is the joy that our Lord entered into, as the reward of his obedience unto death? of which it is said, Heb. xii. 2. that, "For the joy that was fet before him, he endured the crefs, defpifing the fhame, and is fet down at the right-hand of the throne of God." That fame joy the faints are to enter into; "In thy prefence there is fulness of joy, and at thy right-hand, there are pleafures for evermore."
3. It is called life, eternal life; Rom. vi. 23. "The gift of God is eternal life, thro' Jefus Chrift our Lord.” Life is fweet; and the more excellent the life is, the more fweet. A living fly is more happy, by reason of life, than the glorious fun in the firmament. The rational life is vet more fweet; the life of grace is yet fweeter than any of thefe: but the life of glory is fwecteft of all; and this life is eternal; it is life for evermore.
4. It is called a kingdom, a heavenly kingdom; 2 Tim. iv. 18. The Lord fhall preferve me to his heavenly kingdom. Yea, fuch a kingdom, that all the fubjects here are kings. One faid of Rome once, that it was Refpublica regum, 'A commonwealth of kings:' it is true of heaven, it is a commonwealth of kings; they are all kings and priests unto their God. And there all the kings have their crowns; a crown of glory, righteoufnefs, and joy, They will have their thrones; "To him that overcomes, will I give to fit with me on my throne," &c. They will have their royal robes; their robes of glory, and palms of victory. But again,
3dly, We may confider this heavenly Canaan in its parts. There are especially thefe four parts of heaven and glory mentioned in fcripture, namely, vifion, likenefs, love, fatisfaction.
The firft part of it is the vifion of God; 1 Cor. xiii. 12. "Now we fee thro' a glafs darkly, but then face to face. Father, I will, that thefe whom thou haft given me, may be with me where I am, to bo old my glory." New cabinets of rich treafure will be opened up to them every moment to eternity.