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to it. It is a fure word of prophecy, more fure than a voice from heaven, and more free from the hazard of delufion, than if we had an extraordinary revelation on every emergent; what men or angels fay, may put a curfed cheat upon us; but what the word fays, we may venture our fouls upon, Rom. x. 8. 1 Pet. iv. 19.

Bebold, be cometh!

Here, more particularly, we may obferve these three things. 1. The motion; He cometh. 2. The notice fhe takes of it; Bebold, be cometh! 3. The manner of it; Leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the bills.

ift, The motion itself; He cometh. There are feveral forts of Chrift's comings that we read of in fcripture.

1. His coming in the flesh, in his incarnation; “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; fhout, O daughter of Jerufalem; Behold, thy King cometh!" Zech. ix. 9.Some are of opinion, that the Old teftament church here hath a respect to Chrift's coming in the flesh, rejoicing to fee his day afar off, as Abraham did.

2. His coming in the clouds, or unto judgment, called his fecond coming; "Behold, he cometh with clouds ! and every eye fhall fee him," Revelation i. 7. This is not the coming here fpoken of; but our communicating this day is to be in the faith of it: for, by the facramental fupper, we fhew forth his death till he come again.

3. His coming in the word, and in his ordinances and providences: Thefe are the outward means and chariots of falvation, Hab. iii. 8. wherein he comes for the fupport and comfort of his people; hence he says, "Fear not, be ftrong;" why? " your God cometh with falvation: I will come and fave you," Ifa. xxxv. 4.

4. His coming in the Spirit, which feems here to be fpoken of. Concerning this coming, fee John xiv. 18. I will not leave you comfortlefs: I will come unto you; I will fend the Comforter*." And it is his coming in

*This fourfold coming of Chrift is more fully laid open, Vol. VI. p. 61,----63.

the

the power of the Spirit that I take to be especially here underflood.

2dly, The notice fhe takes of it; Bebold, be cometh! Here remark, what effect the word had, after fhe hears his voice; it roufes her to a Behold, be cometh! As his word is a fure word, as I faid, fo it is a roufing word; yea, the word received and believed, is but the fore-runner of a more near manifeftation or approach.

Queft. But does every one that hears his word, fee him coming?

Anfw. It is not the naked word of Chrift that roufes us up, or affects us duly; but the word received and believed; and therefore many never fee him, becaufe they do not hear his voice believingly, nor obferve it as the voice of their Beloved. His near approaches are the fruit of a tender and loving entertainment, and obfervation of his word, and not of a coldrife bare hearing, without understanding and concern. Her Bebold here, is not only,

1. A note of certainty, denoting the reality of the thing, as when it is faid, Jude, ver. 14. "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his faints;" it is fure and certain: But,

2. It is a note of obfervation; Behold, be cometh! She was no idle hearer of the word; but the voice which fhe knew led her to the perfon of Chrift: in the glass of the word fhe fees himfelf by faith; Behold, he cometh! And not only fo, but,

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3. It is a note of wonder and admiration, as when it is faid, Behold, a virgin fhall conceive!" &c.; it is matter of wonder: the believing foul, after diftance and defertion, is always filled with wonder and amazement at his return: Yea,

4. It is a note of joy and exultation; "Behold, he cometh, to feek and fave!" The foul cannot but rejoice in his falvation. Such as by faving acquaintance with Chrift know his voice, and his approaches, are exceedingly filled with joy and gladnefs at even the diftant found, or small whifper of his voice, or noise of his feet upon the mountains: hence the bride here breaks

forth

forth abruptly, The voice of my Beloved! Bebold, be cometh! From thefe parts of the text, I have, for fome time bygone, deduced and spoken to feveral obfervations, before this occafion, and particularly from that middle clause, Bebold, be cometh! But it remains that I confider,

This is

3dly, The manner of his coming, that is, Leaping upon the mountains, and fkipping upon the bills. fpoken evidently, in allufion to the roe and young hart, fpoken of in the beginning of the following verfe, "My Beloved is like a roe or a young hart," which uimbly skips over the hills and mountains, and fo points out Chrift's chearfulness in coming; his fwiftnefs and celerity, speed and dispatch, in coming feafonably to his people's help; together with his power in furmounting all difficulties in his way; of which more afterwards. I need not then here ftand to enquire what is to be underftood by the mountains and hills, nor what is the dif tinction between mountains and hills; what is mainly aimed at thereby, according to interpreters, is, that they fignify difficulties and impediments, greater or leffer, over which he comes leaping and fkipping, fo as, be what they will, they fhall not be able to hinder him; fo eafy is it for him to remove them all. That this is no forced explication, appears from Ifa. xl. 3, 4. "The voice of him that crieth in the wildnefs, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the defart, a highway for our God. Every valley thall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked fhall be made flraight, and the rough places plain." Every difficulty fhall be removed.

From this laft claufe of the text, which I now propofe to speak upon, the only doctrine I offer, is as

follows.

OBSERV. That however ftrange and wonderful it be, yet it is fure and certain, that when Chrift hath a mind to come to his people, no mountains of difficulties ftanding in the way, fhall be able to hinder him.

In the opening up of this fubject, as favoured by divine pity, we incine to obferve the following order.

I. We would offer fome remarks concerning Chrifl's coming to his people.

II. Touch at fome of thefe mountains and hills over which he comes.

III. Speak a little of the manner of his coming, imported in his leaping on the mountains, and skipping on the hills.

IV. Confider the ftrangeness of his coming, and yet the certainty of it; together with the reafons why no mountainous difficulties fhall be able to hinder him.

V. Make application of the whole fubject.

I. We return then to the first thing propofed, which was, To offer fome remarks concerning Chrift's coming. And,

1. You may remark, "That Chrift's coming to his people, particularly in the ordinances of his appoint"ment, is a fpiritual not a bodily approach. It is by "his Spirit, not in the flesh." Thus, indeed, he came in his incarnation, when the Word was made flesh; and thus he will come at the laft day, when every eye shall fee him. But till then we cannot expect a bodily fight of him; for, "The heavens mult receive him, till the time of the reflitution of all things." But we may expect his fpiritual prefence, which is better for us than his bodily prefence; for, it was expedient for us, that he fhould go away, becaufe if he had not gane, the Comforter would not have come; but feeing he is gone, he will fend him unto us, John xvii. 7. See John xiv. 16, 17. "I will not leave you comfortlefs," I will come ; how? "I will pray the Father, and he will fend another Comforter," Now, if it be enquired, How Chrift comes by his Spirit? Why,

(1.) He comes by his Spirit, when he brings finners under humbling convictions of fin, and of God's anger and abfence because of fin: hence Chrift fays, "When

the

the Spirit cometh, he will convince the world of fin:" and hence when Chrift begins to appear to his people, they not only fee a far way, but a ragged way of mountains and hills between him and them; and not only distance, but impediments that are infuperable for them to get over, if he himfelf comes not over them.

(2.) He comes by his Spirit, when he reproves them for their fin, that procured his abfence, or made the diftance. Though they are ready to look on this, as no evidence of his coming to their fouls, yet is even a merciful dealing, when he does not ceafe to be a reprover; yea, be the inftruments of reproof who will, they have reason to say, "Let the righteous reprove me, and it fhall be a kindness and an excellent oil," Pfal. cxli. 5.

(3.) He comes by his Spirit, when he turns their darknéfs to light, and when after they have gone mourning without the Sun, he comes and fcatters the thick clouds, and makes darkness light before them, and crooked things flraight.

(4.) He comes by his Spirit, when he revives them, and quickens them who were like dead and dry bones, fcattered about the grave's mouth; when he fanctifies, feals and comforts them, and makes the joy of the Lord their ftrength, who before were funk in forrow, and drooping in difcouragement; when he fends his word, and heals them, and roufes and awakens them, fo as they have ground to fay, "This is my comfort in mine affliction, thy word hath quickened me."

Remark 2. "That his gracious coming is fome"times more, and fometimes lefs difcernable." There is a difference between his real coming to his people, and his doing fo fenfibly. Jacob, at Bethel, had much of the divine prefence; and yet, for a time, understood not fo much; he had no diftinct reflection on it; which made him fay, "Surely God was in this place, and I knew it not." Chrift may deny his fenfible prefence for a long time; hence fuch complaints as that, Pfal. xiii. 1. "How long wilt thou forget, O Lord? how long wilt thou hide thy face?" &c. yet he is not wholly or really away, when he is helping them to look after him, and

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