« PreviousContinue »
Action Sermon, Simprin, February 2, 1707.
CHRIST'S PEOPLE, A WILLING PEOPLE.
PSALM CX. 3,
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.
OUR Lord Jesus Christ is this day erecting his standard in this place, requiring us to submit ourselves to him. But, Oh! how averse are sinners to submit to him; were it left to their own will, he should be a head without a body, and though he travailed long and sore, yet should have no issue; but God hath otherwise secured it. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."
This is spoken to Christ, by David, in the spirit of prophecy. That it belongs to Christ, no Christian can doubt; for here David in spirit calls him Lord. The Jews, denying the divinity of the Messiah, could not extricate themselves from that difficulty. "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son ?" But to us it is easy, for as he was man, he was the son of David, and came after him, but he was more than man, being God he was David's Lord, and so was before him. He is in this Psalm held forth as a priest having an everlasting priesthood; and as a king, who hath Jehovah for his confederate, who sets him at his right hand, even on his throne, after he had overcome death, Rev. iii. 21. He is placed upon his throne, with a promise that his enemies shall be made his footstool; which imports his absolute victory over them, and the eternal disgrace that shall lie upon them. The footstool is a piece of state, that both raiseth and easeth him that sitteth upon the throne.
In the second verse it is plain David speaks, and so continues; "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength," that is, the gospel in power, "out of Zion," Micah iv. 2. Thy kingdom shall begin VOL. IV.
there, but it shall extend itself to the nations. But how shall he reign that hath so many enemies? He shall set up his kingdom in the midst of them. But shall he have no kindly subjects? Yes he shall. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."
There is here, 1. Something supposed. Namely, that Christ hath a people in the world where he erects his standard, that he hath a special relation to, and interest in. Thy people, even his people, Matth. i. 21. The elect who are his, by gift from the Father, John, xvii. 9, and by purchase, he hath bought them with his blood, John x. 15. It is supposed also, that he finds these unwilling to submit to him, as well as the rest of the world. The corruption of the will, is common to them with others. They are not only as infants who do not know their Father; but as rebellious children, who yield no obedience to him.
2. There is something here ensured to the mediator, respecting this people of his; namely, that these unwilling people shall be willing, Hebrew, willingnesses; which imports that they shall submit to him, and give away themselves to him; acknowledge the right which Christ hath to them, and be his people by their own consent. It imports that they shall do this cordially, with all their heart; it shall not be a lying to him, as hypocrites do; it shall not be a forced pretext only, but their wills shall be cast into the mould of his will, and in point of practice conformed to the will of his commandments. See Isaiah xlix. 18, and lv. 5.
3. There is the time when, and the way how this shall be done. "In the day of thy power." That is, in a day of the gospel's coming with power. "For the gospel is the power of God unto salvation." There is a power which is Christ's that makes them willing, that is the power of Christ's spirit, different from moral suasion, 1 Thess. i. 5. This power opens the heart, dissolves the stone in it, melts down the old will and renovates it. Nothing less can do it, nor break the iron sinew in their necks. Then there is a day for this power, a time appointed from eternity, at which everlasting love that was under a cloud, shall flash out on the faces of these children of darkness, and bring them forth to marvellous light. The gospel sometimes it is but like wild fire, that gives light, but does not burn up that on which it falls, but in this day it is big with power, and so brings forth children to God.
What follows, is diversely rendered, and interpreted too. It seems to me to point at these things: 1. The beauty: the spiritual beauty of those that are thus made willing; they shall stand before him in the beautiful garments of holiness, as so many priests unto God. 2. The suddenness of this change, as if that beauty of