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unto the meek.”—These good tidings were preached by the Lord in such words as these : “ Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. v. 5).

“ Come unto me,


ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls : for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. xi. 28-30). And being so expressed by the Lord himself, there can be no doubt that the glad tidings of great joy consist not so much in temporal as in spiritual blessings,- peace to the soul from the accusations of a guilty conscience, not from the labours and persecutions of a weary and wicked world ; consolations of the Holy Ghost under the oppressions of this mortal flesh and the hidings of the countenance of God. The meek are those who do not lift up nor cause their voice to be heard in the streets; who will not complain of injuries, nor cry aloud for the redress of their wrongs ;

but count it better to suffer than to contend. Such persons do always come to the worst : the strong and the mighty trample them under foot, the cunning and artful deceive them, the bold and forward spoil them of their rights, and they are left to mourn in silence and alone. They are commonly found amongst the poor, because riches and rank do engender pride and hardness of heart; and in whatever class they are found, they are poor in spirit and contrite of heart : wherefore our Lord, in citing this text, doth adopt the word

poor,” in place of “meek;" and in referring to it, as I think, when interrogated by John's disciples, he adds, as one of the signs that he is the Messiah, “ And to the poor the Gospel is preached” (“the poor are evangelized, have the good tidings "); and it is said, The common people heard him gladly.” It is not that the Gospel hath any partialities amongst mankind, but is sent unto every creature under heaven ; and its benefits are unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference, for God is no respecter of persons; but that the meek and the lowly of heart, who alone can receive it, are found chiefly and almost entirely amongst the poor: for the love of riches is the root of all evil, and it is all but impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The good tidings of a redemption are only to the meek: no one shall partake of it but the neek : to save all the meek of the earth” the King of glory rideth forth triumphantly: and in that day " the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. xxix. 19).

It was this lowly and gracious manner of preaching which made Jesus be rejected of the Jews, who desired a Messiah that would exalt their national pride and humble the necks of their enemies; and the same cause doth still make his Gospel to be rejected by the high and the noble, the wise and the learned of this world, and by every one who will not abase himself before God for his sins, and take up the cross and follow Jesus; for he that loveth his life more than Jesus is not worthy of him. This enmity, which existeth in the natural man, to the humbling truths of the Gospel, is the cause why a work of the Father is needed to bring us unto Jesus. “ No man knoweth the Son but the Father,” and “ we cannot come unto him except the Father, which hath sent him, draw us." The Gospel is therefore a call to be humble and lowly of heart; and because we are not so by nature, it is a reproof and rebuke to us, and ever an entreaty to go to God that we may be made so. The seed of the kingdom requireth for its soil a good and honest heart, which it is the Father's work to create by the regeneration of the Spirit. The preacher hath a God to proclaim before he proclaimeth a Saviour; and that God we must come to in humility and meekness before we can receive the kingdom which the Saviour brings. We must know God putting the flesh of Jesus to death, and with it all fleshly pride and lust, before we can know God glorifying the flesh of Jesus, and with it all his people. God seen in the lowly Jesus must be by us loved and worshipped and imitated, before God seen in the risen Jesus can be enjoyed and delighted in. We must suffer with him in uncomplaining meekness, before we can reign with him in blessedness; and to those who will


their lives in high-mindedness, there are no glad tidings of a kingdom, but a fearful looking for of judgment.

Observe here how necessary it is to bear in mind that the thing which we preach is not a thing present, but a thing to come, of which faith is the present substance. For if the thing preached were a present thing, then there were a condition to it, the condition of meekness, and none but the meek could have any lot or part in it: whereas it is freely and fully preached to all, even to the chief of sinners-to the Pharisee reviling in his pride, to the Sadducee revelling in his lust. But, being a thing at a distance, which is to be brought unto us at the coming of the Lord, we invite all to enter into it against that time, and shew them the meek and lowly spirit they must attain to in the mean while. And when they ask us how this is to be attained unto, for no one doth by nature possess it, we refer them to God's work on the cross of Christ washing out the stain and very memory of sin from all flesh, and bringing into entire subjection and subordination to the Spirit all the members of this our fallen nature. This work being believed in, the God who doeth this being trusted in, we may, all men may, and are called upon to, acquire those graces of the Spirit which may make them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light : these are “ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. v. 22, 23). These things hath a humbled Saviour wrought out for all men, and upon all men is ready to bestow, through faith in God in whom he believed ; and whosoever cometh unto him for those lowly graces now, shall hereafter enter with him into glory. It is the jubilee, the year of the redeemed of the Lord, which is now published, by preaching, far and wide over the earth : this is the glad tidings, that we shall enter into the joy of the Lord, whither he the Forerunner is entered before 'us. But as he was made perfect through sufferings, so must we also ; we must suffer in the flesh, as he also did.


“ He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted.”—“Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; and I looked for some to pity, and there was none; for comforters, but I found none.” This is the broken-heartedness which shall be bound in the day of his coming again as our Redeemer, even that which is produced by the superabounding persecutions of a wicked world and a lukewarm church. What his followers have to expect in this kind, what they are now in this day and generation to expect, he himself in his prophetical discourse sets forth in these words : “ Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. xxiv. 9-12). And the reward of those who endure unto the end is thus given: " But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (ver. 13). And again, “When ye shall see these things, hold up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”. Are there many such in the church at present? There are but few, but there will soon be more. The furnace is heating seven times, the persecutions are beginning. The forsaking and the falling away; the breaking up of all near and dear relationships ; the exposure of things sacred and secret to the open gaze of a blaspheming world ; the desertion of the banner of Christ by those you loved ; the evil reports, so eagerly taken up and propagated by all; the rash and unrighteous judgments; the most wicked and ungodly speeches ; the levity and mockery and hideous blasphemy of the Holy Ghost; do all work together at this time to break the hearts of the holy and faithful people. My own is well-nigh broken, and I am in great heaviness while I write these words, which to me have become realities, and are written from the memory of the heart, not from the prediction and anticipation of the sure word of prophecy. And I feel fully assured that all the meek ones, who are come to Jesus and sitting at his feet, will speedily prove the

fellowship of his broken heart and heaviness of spirit; and with the signs of a broken-heart, and with the cries of a desolate condition, they will bring down the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, to give them a foretaste of that joy whose fulness is to be brought unto them in the day of Christ's appearing; who will come to bind up their peace for ever, and plant them in the new Jerusalem, where there is no more sorrow nor sighing nor tears nor death.-Oh! come quickly, come quickly, Lord Jesus, my King and my God. , “ Blessed are ye that mourn, for ye shall be comforted..... Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh.....Be of good cheer, little Rock, for it hath pleased the Father to give you the kingdom..... In the world ye shall have tribulation ; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”—My prayer is, that I might know the fellowship of his sufferings, that I might be made conformable to his death.

“ To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison-doors to them that are bound.”—The two former benefits being of a moral and spiritual kind, these also ought to be so interpreted ; and being a part of what Jesus did read in the

syna. gogue of Nazareth, and of what he said was that day fulfilled in their hearing, it must apply not only to the great jubilee of the Jewish nation, when every captive shall go free, and the whole world be ransomed from the power of Satan, but also to something which Jesus preached in the days of his flesh, and which is still preached as a part of the Gospel, or glad tidings. From what captivity, then, did Christ preach a liberty ; from what prison did he proclaim delivery? The answer is, From the captivity of sin and from the prison-house of the grave. The bondage of sin was expressed in the ordinances of the Law; and from that captivity he came to redeem men, in order that they might receive the adoption of sons. The reasonings of Paul, in the Epistle to the Galatians, and in various parts of his other Epistles, are all to enjoin this liberty upon his countrymen, who had become enamoured of their chains and bonds. I particularly refer to the vii th chapter of the Romans, and the iv th and v th chapters of the Galatians. But the Law was only, as it were, the rivetting on of the chains by the hand of a holy and gracious God, to tame and bind down the wild beast, until the days of liberation, and the liberation should come. The cause which rendered this binding necessary was from a higher source, even from sin, and from this body of sin and death which is born of the flesh. The creature man, which God had formed with such stupendous power, had broken loose from God's authority, and passed over into Satan's service to be directed against God; wherefore God, having purposes of grace in reserve, did meanwhile send a holy law, in order to bind him up from doing evil, until the time should come that sin should be cast out of flesh VOL. IV.NO, II.

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and Satan dispossessed of his dominion over the will. And as it was the work of one man to bring in the bondage, so must it be the work of one man to bring in the deliverance from the bondage. This man was The Anointed, or Christ, of God, who was the Preacher of the work which he bimself was doing. He came into Alesh, to condemn sin in flesh; he came into the usurped dominion of Satan, to cast him out thence: and by his work he hath delivered all flesh from the captivity of sin ; and all flesh is now made free to do the will of God without reluctance; is no longer the bondsman but the freeman of God. We are all free-born; and when a man believes, he doth but take his freedom up. He hath not a freedom to procure; Christ hath purchased it for all : all are free ; and the Gospel is but the publishing of this freedom, far and wide, over the whole world; and the believing of the Gospel doth not alter it one jot. It is the work of Christ in flesh to have redeemed all flesh from the power of sin, which we preach: we call upon men to know and believe it; but it is the same thing whether they believe it or not. How they shall be enabled to believe it, is another question ; but the thing to be believed is this,-that Christ hath delivered all flesh from the power of sin and the bondage of the law, and brought us into the estate of children to be entreated of God with grace and love. The Law, as it lay upon the Jews, did teach a universal truth, for the information of all men-namely, That there was in flesh (not merely in the wilful acts of the mind, but in the involuntary acts of the flesh, and therefore in the flesh itself) that which God could not overlook, but must punish with death; of which the blood of a sacrifice was the sign. But from the time that Christ offered himself without spot upon

the cross, all other sacrifices came to an end; for truly He was the end and signification of them all: from thenceforward and for ever He became the sacrifice through which all flesh might be presented unto God faultless and blameless; and every one who thus cometh is accepted, be his sins what they may, all the same as if he had never once sinned in his life, yea, all the same as if his flesh had never sinned in any person since the day of its creation. Not only hath Christo taken our flesh out of the hands of sin, as the the prey is taken out of the hands of the strong man, but he hath also judged and condemned the strong man, and cast him out of the house; and given us the house, swept and garnished, to keep it so until the day of his appearing. The devil, indeed, like a roaring lion, doth rage around the house; but he cannot enter, unless we open and let him in. When he is let in, he can at any time be overcome and cast out by the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony. To bring man back into man's original estate, to deliver him from the captivity of sin and Satan, to loose him and let him

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