Page images
PDF
EPUB

God's glorious perfections, and that ever since it was made, it has been before sinful man, blinded with sin, except the short time Adam stood, it may occasion some thoughts as to what the state of matters shall be in a new heaven, and in a new earth.

-We come now,

III. To confirm the doctrine of the creatures' delivery.--As to this,

1. Consider, that the great day is the day of the reftitution of all things : Acts, iii. 21. “Whom the heaven must retain, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.” When God made the world, there was nothing but harmony and orderliness in it. But as ever a rude heedless person, by a rafh touch of his hand, defaced a fine picture, or disjointed and unframed a curious piece of work; fo did Adam's sin the world. But there is a restoration coming. Consider,

2. That our Lord Jesus is the heir of all things, Heb. i. 2. God Adam a charter, to hold of him the great eftate of the world. But, rebelling against his God, his estate was forfeited, and that charter-right void, because it depended on his good behaviour. The second Adam coming in his room, the forfeited estate is made over to him, Pfal. viii. 5. 6. 7. compared with Heb. ii. 6. 7. 8. « But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

“ But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” But still in some sense he has not yet the actual poffefsion of all, there are many of them still in the hands of hiş enemies, Heb. ii. 8. As

Jesus

gave

Ver. 9

Jesus Christ has a right to all the elect, though some of them are yet under the power of fin and Satan, and all of them, except a few singular persons, under the power of death, but Christ at that day will fully recover them all ; so the creatures yet in the hand of his enemies, he will then restore, seeing they are all his by his Father's gift; hence we are taught that he will come again out of heaven for that restoration : Acts, iii. 21.-Consider,

3. That all the effects of the curse are to be gathered together, and confined for ever with the wicked in the lake : Rev. xx. 14. 15. “ And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Now, they lie scattered up and down through the whole creation, but they shall all meet together there ; and therefore it evidently follows, that as to the creatures, their share of them, which makes them groan now, shall then be taken off them, and they for ever made free. As the mud and filthiness that lies in every part of the street being swept together, and caft into the common fink, it is all there then, and in no place else. It remains,

[merged small][ocr errors]

IV. That we make some improvement.
1. In an use for information.
(1.) This teaches us that every

wicked man shall at length get all his own burden to bear himself alone. Many one takes a light lift of the burden of sin, because there are so many to bear a share of it. Men provoke God, and God fmites the carth that,bears them with a curse, makes their poor beasts groan, &c. But these strokes are far from their hearts; they notwithstanding keep their fins.

If they groan at one time, they will recover again. But remember, O impenitent Ginner! the day is coming when the creature fhall escape, and leave thee in the lurch for all. The whole weight that is on them and thee together now, shali lie on thyself alone, and press thee down through eternity, while not one of the creatures shall touch it with the least of their fingers.-Learn,

(2.) That people had need to take heed how they use the creatures while they have them. For as much as they are under our feet now, their ears are not nailed to our door-posts to be our flaves for ever. The day of their freedom is approaching. Let us not abuse them to the service of our lusts, lest they witness against us at last. Let us not dishonour their Lord by them, left they rejoice over us for ever in our misery, when their foot is out of the snare, and ours in it. Let us not put them in God's room, left they fend all the effects of the curse from off themselves on us, and so put us in the same place with devils.-We may hence fee,

(3.) That this world, and what is therein, pafseth away : 1 John, ii. 17. “ And the world pafseth away, and the lust thereof." It is a stage of vanity that will be taken down, and the table of a dying life will come to an end. What marvel is it that man dies, seeing he lives by deaths, the death of the creatures; but this bondage of the creatures will not continue, they will be delivered, and God will support the life of man another way in eternity.

(4.) We may learn what glorious things will be the new heaven and the new earth! When the old cracked pewter vessel is melted down and refined, and cast into a new mould, how unlike will it be to what it was! 'The heavens and earth are

He now very glorious, yet sin has marred them. VOL. II. F

that

that made them is not pleased with them, and therefore will have them cast over again. If they be fo glorious, even while so far unmade by fin, how great muft their glory be when they are again new made!- We learn, (5.) However large a share the wicked

may have here, they will have neither part nor lot in them. For “ in the new heavens and new earth dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Pet. iii. 13. For the wicked to be there, would be inconsistent with the creatures. But as for the saints, they have a charter, making over the earth to be theirs; which, seeing it is not fully put into their possession now, it must be in the other world : Matth. v. 5. « Blefled are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” But how and in what sense they fhall pofless it, I am not here to inquire.

2. From this subject we have afforded an use of terror to the wicked. How dreadful shall their case be at the end of the world! Come, o impenitent finner ! behold here, as in a glass, the mifery that is abiding thee. Thou canst make a shift now for thy ease, but what wilt thou do then ? It is terrible news to thee, that the creature thall be delivered. ---For,

(1.) The misery that lies this day on any creature whatever for thy fake, shall be taken off it, and laid on thee thyself ; and when all is laid on thee, thy burden will be insupportable. There is a curse on thee already, as a transgressor of the law, Gal. iii. 10. But a heavy end of the curse lies on the creatures for thy fake : Gen. iii. 17. “ Cursed is the ground for thy fake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” There is no way to extinguish the curse but by faith in Christ's blood, which thou flighteft. Therefore, seeing there must be a removal of it from the creatures,

it must needs be turned over on thee, and with thee turned out of the world : Matth. xxv. 41. “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Compare

Rev. xiv. 10. « Thou shalt also drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation, and thou shalt be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." And wilt thou not then cry out with Cain, “ My punishment is greater than I can bear ?" Gen. iv, 13.

(2.) As thou wilt be deserted of God, so thou wilt be deserted of the creatures in thy misery. No help from heaven, none from earth : Ifa. viii. 21. 22. “ And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: And it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their King, and their God, and look upwards. And they shall look unto the earth, and behold, trouble and darkness, dimness and anguish ; and they shall be driven to darkness.” When thine enemy falls upon thee, all thy friends will run away from thee. There are two ways by which the ungodly get ease in the world, which will both fail them here.

[1.] Though they have no comfort or fatisfaction in God, they can take it in the creature. Though they see no beauty in Christ, they fee a great deal in the world. Though the marriagefupper of the King's Son be to them a light matter, yet the farm and the merchandise are not so Matth. xxii. 4.-7. Though they have no heart for the bargain of the everlasting covenant, Prov. xvii. 16. yet they are easy when they can win a few pence or pounds. Though the promises of things unseen are to them hungry things, empty

fhadows,

[ocr errors]

F 2

« PreviousContinue »