« AnteriorContinuar »
them; for God will be all in all; That is, all the saints Mall be abuodantly fatisfied in and with God alone.' 'As there is water enough in one sea to fill all the rivers, lakes, and springs in the world: And light enough in one fun to enlighten all the inhabitants of the world : So there is enough in one God eternally to fill and satisfy all the blessed fouls in heaven, without the addition of any creature-comfort. God is complete satisfaction to all the faints in the absence (I capoot say want) of wives and children, meats and drinks, estates and fen (tive pleasures : There will be no more need of these things, than of capdles at noon-day. You shall be as the angels of God, who have no cooceroneot for relations.
Your folness of years, infirinities of body, and, I hope, i may add, your improvements in grace, speak you pot far short of this blessed state : Aud though you may seem to need these comfor(s in the way, your God thall fupply all your wants.
Confid. IV. To conclude, Whatfoever your troubles, wäots, fears, or dangers are, or may be in your passage to this blessed fate, the covenant of grace is your security, and by virtue thereof your troubles (hall open and divide, as jordan did, to give you a safe pallage joto your eternal reft.
Look, as when the Israelites came near the land of promise, there was a swelling Jordan betwixt it and them, which feemed to forbid their farther passage add progress, but it is faid, Josh. ji. 17.
“ The priells that bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, food firm on the grouad in the midst of Jordan; and « all the Ifraelites passed over on dry ground, until all the peo “ ple were paffed clean over Jordan." Juri fo it is here : The covenant of
grace stands on firm ground, in the midnt of all the deep waters of tribulation you are to pass through, to secure voto you a safe passage through them all. Rejoice, therefore, and triumph in the fulness and firmness of this blessed covenant, and whatsoever affliction your God mall please to lay upon you, or whatsoever comfort he shall please to remove from you, still comfort and encourage yourselves, as David here doth, " Yet “ hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all
things, and fure : For this is all my salvation, and all my di“ fire; although he make it not to grow.”
Preached for the FUNERAL of that Excellent and Religious
JOHN UPTON OF
2 CHRON. XXXV. 24, 25. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him
in the second chariot that he had ; and they brought him to fe. rufalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the fepulcbres of his fathers: and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Jofiah, and all the linge ing-men, and the singing-women spake of Fofiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Ifrael: and behold they are written in the lamentations.
N this context we have the history of the pious life, and tra
gives us an account of both what he was, and what he did. As to his personal endowments and qualifications, they were fingular and eximious, as appears by the fourfold character by which he is described in the context: For,
First, He espoused the interest of religion betimes, even in his youth; chap. xxxiv. ver. 3. “ For in the eighth year of his " reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the “ God of David his father:" Aod that under the
disad vantage of an ill education, such a morning promifed a glorious day.
Secondly, He hated all corrupt mixtures in the worfhip of God, and was answerably zealous for reformation; “ Audio " the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from " the high places, and the groves,” &c. as knowing well he and his people might expect no more of God's blessing on the ordinances, that there was of his presence in them ; and Do Bore of his presence can rationally be expected, than there is of his own order and inftitution.
Thirdly, He was of a very tender and impressive heart, mourn. ing for public fios and dangers ; chap. xxxiv. 26, 27,
“ Because " thy heart was teoder, and thou did it humble tlayself before God, “ when thou heardest his words against this place, and against " the inhabitants thereof; and humbledit thyself before me, and
didst read thy cloaths and weep before me,” &c. He was not so intent upon his own pleasures, (though in the sprightly vigour of youth) nor on the weighty conceros of the kingdom, as to forget the interest of God, and the greater concerns of his glory.
Fourthly, He was exceeding careful to propagate the interest of religion, and spread it far and wide among his people. Though he could not infuse the inward principle, (that was the work of God) yet he did enjoin the external practice of it upon all his subjects; which was his part and duty: chap. xxxiv. ver. 33
“ He made all that were present in Israel to serve, even « not from the Lord their God. And all his days they departed
to serve following the God of their fathers.” But yet good Josiah had his mistakes and failings. The best of men are but men at best: He was too rash and hasty in refolving, and too ftiff and obstinate when resolved ; and this was the occasion of his ruig. The case was thus :
Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, was at that time making war upon Charchemish, a place that belonged to him, but was taken from him by the king of Assyria; fo the war of Necho was a just war ; and Judah lying between him aod Charchemish, and being at peace with Judah, he requests leave of Josiah to march his army peaceably through his country to the seat of war : Josiah takes an alarm from this meffage, and arms against him. Hereupon Necho feat ambassadors to Jofiah, chap. XXXV. ver. 21. saying, " What have I to do with thee, thou king of Ju“ dab? i come pot against thee this day, but again ft the house “ wherewith I have war : For God commanded me to make “ hafte; forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with
me, that he destroy thee not."
Expositors conceive Necho had this discovery of the mind of God, from the prophet Jeremiah, Per oraculum non fcriptum, fed viva voce editum * : eveo by word of mouth. If so, RO doubt Jeremiah also dissuaded Josiah from going out against him : however, this is clear, Josiah did got consult the mind of God about that expedition, as be ought, and was too hasty and resolute therein; chap. xxxv. 22. “ Nevertheless Josiah would not tura
• Jerom. a Lapide, Just. Mart,
“ his face from him,” &c. By this means this excellent man came to a tragical end, and that in the very flower of his days. He dies in that unhappy expedition, from which he would not be diverted; is brought home to Jerusalem in the fecond chariot ; dies, and is buried in the fepulchre of his fatbers, to the ubiVertal forrow of all good men in Israel, as you read in the text; wherein we have thete two parts to consider;
1. The aature and quality of the lamentation.
II. The caufe and ground of it. 1. For the lamentation bere made, it was extraordinary ; neyer fuch cries heard before in Israel at any funeral, whether we consider it cither,
3. Protensively. 1. Extensively, All' Judah and Jerusalem, that is, city and country mourned that day ; not every individual, but all that had any feple of the worth of the man, the good that he did, or the evils that followed upon his removal. No dopbt the priefts of Baal, their abettors and associates, secretly rejoiced at his fall; but all good men mourned. But among all the mourders, one is only fpecified by Dame, and that is Jeremiah the prophet, in whom all the faithful ministers of God were include ed. To them he was a true and faithful friend; and in him they lost a father, and a famous instrument of reformation.
2. Consider it Intensively, as to the degree of the forrow, it was a bitter lamentation fo pungent, intente, and deep, that the mourning of the Jews for Chrift, at the time of their conver. Sion to him, is compared to this mourning for Jofiah, Zech. xii. 11. " In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jeru. " falem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of “ Megiddon.". This Hadadrimmon was a little town in the val. ley of Megiddop near the place of this fatal battle, whose inha. bitants receiving the first tidings of the fall of Josiah, made the town ring with doleful cries and lamentations.
3. Laltly, Consider it Protensively, in its continuance and duration, it was made an ordinance in Ifrael;” and accordingly " the finging-men and fingiog-women fpake of Josiah in " their lamentations to this day :” 1. c. Whenever any
folemn fuperal or public calamity was solemnized in Israel, thofe perfons that were skilful in lamentations, brought in the story of Jofiah's death, as the burden of that doleful song or fuperal elegy.
1. Let us consider the caufe and ground of this lamentation, which certainly was great and weighty enough to justify that forrow, as great and bitter as it was : for in him they lost a faishful, public, useful, zealous, and tender-hearted instrument, whole life had been erninently useful to the church of God, and whole death opened the gap to all the followiog calamities ypon Judah.
Now, considering Josiah here, especially in his religious ca. pacity, as fo faithful, industrious, and useful an ioftrument for the church of God, rather than in his political capacity as a king, the note froin it will be this, Dolt. That faithful, active, and public-spirited men in the
church of God, sbauld not be laid in their graves without
great lumentations. When Jacob was buried, a man famous for religion, a great and fore lamentation was made for him, Gen. 1. 10. And when Aaron died, all the house of Ifrael mourned for him thirty days, Numb, XXi 29. When Stephen the proto-martyr died, devout men carried him to his grave with great lamentations, Acts viii. 2. and indeed for any good man to be laid io his grave without lamentation, is lamentable. The living saints have ever paid this respect and honour to dead faipts, as men sensible of their worth, aod how great a loss the world sustains by their removal.
I know the departed fouls of faiots have no concernment in these things, yet respect is due to their very bodies, as the tem. ples wherein God hath been served and honoured, as they are related to Christ, who will one day put great glory and honour upon them
lo the explication and confirmation of this point, I will thew you,
1. Negatively, On what account the death of good men is
not to be lamented. 2. Positively, Oo what account tears and lamentations are
due to them, with the grounds and reasons thereof. 1. Negatively, There is not a tear or ligh due to the death of any good man, upon the account of any real loss or detriment that he sustains thereby. No, no, in this case all tears are reAtrained, all forrow prohibited, by the principles and rules of Christiapiry, i Thess. iv. 13, 14. Religion differences the forrows, as well as the joys of its professors, from the common joys and sorrows of the world. Dead saints are better where they are, than where they were ; to be with Christ is far bet. ter ; death to them is gain and infinite advantage, Phil. i. 21, 23. This world is the worst place that ever God designed his