Christ's napkin

Christ's napkin  (1807) 
by Samuel Rutherford

CHRIST'S NAPKIN:

A

SERMON

PREACHED IN

KIRKCUDBRIGHT

AT THE

COMMUNION.


BY THAT FAMOUS FLOWER OF THE CHURCH,
MR. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.


REV. XXI. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

And God ſhall wipe away, all tears from their eyes,
'and there ſhall be no more death, neither ſorrow,
nor crying, neither ſhall there be any more pain:
for former things are paſſed away. And he that
ſat upon the throne, ſaid, Behold I make all things
new. And he ſaid unto me, Write: for theſe

words are true and faithful; &c.

GLASGOW,

PRINTED BY J. AND M. ROBERTSON,
[No. 18.] SALTMARKET,
1807.

CHRIST'S NAPKIN

А

COMMUNION SERMON.

Rev. XXI, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

And God ſhall wipe away all tears from their eyes,
and there ſhall be no more death, neither ſorrow,
nor crying, neither ſhall there be any more pain
for former things are paſſed away. And he that
ſat upon the throne, ſaid, Behold I make all things
new. And he said unto me, Write: for theſe

words are true and faithful, &c.

THIS text contains four things. Firſt, The ſtate of the glorified, ver. 4. Secondly, A part of Chriſt's office, ver. 5. Thirdly, A deſcription of his Nature. Fourthly, The promiſes. As, 1. Drink to ſatisfy the thirſty. 2. An inheritance to the Overcomers, or overcoming ſoldiers. The 3. Is a threatening of eternal wrath to offenders againſt the firſt and ſecond table of the law, 'And God ſhall wipe away all tears.' When friends meet they give the ſtranger his welcome home. Here is the Pilgrim's welcome home that our Friend Chriſt gives us: this was given from heaven, and therefore, it is true doctrine. Then we ſee that the the ſufferings and tears of the ſaints ſhall be wiped away and removed, but not fully, while the life to come; for here is Chriſt's welcome home to poor sinners; for they come all to him with wet faces, and bleared with tears for ſin, and the manifold troubles in this Life; and Chriſt meets them at the door with a fair ſoft Napkin in his hand, and puts up his hand to their faces, and ſays, Hold your tongue, my dear bairns, ye ſhall never weep again. And indeed, in my judgement, it is a ſpeech borrowed from a mother that has a bairn with a broken face all bloody, and all bleared with tears, and it comes to her, and woes her heart to ſee him ſo, and ſhe ſits down and wipes the tears from his eyes, and lays her hand ſoftly on the wound, and lays his head in her breaſt, and dights away the blood, and lays her two arms about him, and there is no end of fair words. So when Chriſt and we ſhall meet in heaven, he will huſs us up, and wipe away all tears, and lay our heads in his boſom. See how he alludes to this place, Iſa. liv. 11. 'O thou afflicted, toſſed with tempeſt, and not comforted: behold, I will lay thy foundation with ſapphires,' &c. It is there, to ſpeak ſo, our Lord is ruing that ever he had handled his ſaints as he did, Iſa. lxv. 18. 'Be glad and rejoice for evermore in that which I create; for behold, I create Jeruſalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.' verſe 19. 'And I will rejoice in Jeruſalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping ſhall be no more heard in her, oor the voice of crying.' If ever there was a blyth meeting between two, it muſt be between the bridegroom and the bride in the marriage-day. And what a meeting there is of joy betwixt ſuch a bridegroon and bride cannot be conceived: For Chriſt that day will have on all his his beſt clothes, and ſuch a bride as the Lamb's wife, what a welcome will ſhe get! To get a drink at our firſt meeting and incoming to heaven, the well of the water of life. O ſtrong comforting water! When we ſhall be clothed and not a wrong pin in us. A fair bride in ſilks and purple of Chriſt's own buſking, and Chriſt our Lord ſhall preſent his bride to his Father and our Father-in-law, the Father of our huſband, ſhall take us by the hand and lead us ben the houſe to the dining-hall, and let us down at a table to feaſt our fill upon the tree of life, O! ſtrong comforting water, the well of life, to feaſt upon the Trinity forevermore. Now mock and ſcorn the way to heaven as ye pleaſe, ye never heard of true happiness till now. Here is a banquet of joy for evermore. "He ſhall wipe away all tears." Chriſt our Lord here wipes the tears from the bairns' faces; yet after that they weep new tears: he never wipes away all tears till now. Here ſhall be our laſt good-night of death: good-night, mourning and crying, and ſorrow; we ſhall be on the other ſide of the water over beyond the black river of death; for Chriſt (Rev xx. 14.) "ſhall take away death and hell, and caſt them into priſon; former things are done away". The mother that has loſt her bairns ſhall get them: All the Lord's widows ſhall get their huſbands; the old world which was the mourning world ſhall be away; and, therefore, never until now ſhall all tears be wiped away, for it is the way. The Kirk is half a widow here, her Lord is in an uncouth country, far from her here, and ilka lown round about plucks at this ſilly widow, while ſhe is in the valley of Baca, wherein is no water. The watchman ſtriketh her and taketh her veil from her; and Chriſt writeth a love-letter to her, and after ſhe has read it, ſhe rejoiceth and wipeth her face, but, when the letter grows old, and she has loſt the letter, new troubles come on, ſhe sheds new tears, and ſhe comes under new perſecutions, and her Lord, for her ſin, goes in behind the wall, and hides himſelf, and lets her mourn her fill; but, in that day, he "ſhall wipe away all tears from her eyes," ſee then how it goes here in this life; firſt a fair day, then again a foul day, while at laſt that fair day dawns that all our ſhadows all flee away; but there ſhall nover be a foul day after that; but ay the long lasting ſummer-day for evermore. Ye ſee a man travelling to his home, here is a water, then dry land, then another water, then dry land, then a water, and only dry land between and his home; then he goes home to his wife and bairns, and has no more water; but all our tears are never dry'd till we come to heaven; for the ſaints have a life-rent tack of the croſs of thriſt while they are here, and ay ill weather, Matth. x. ever the croſs. See John xvi our Lord compares our troubles to the pains that come upon woman travailling, now a ſhower, and then ſome eaſe a ſhower again, and then eaſe, ay till the laſt shower that ſhe be delivered, and then no ſhowers; she remembereth no more pains, for joy that a man-child is born into the world. We muſt be in pain ere our birth be born; but will be delivered of our birth.

Uſe 1. Let us prepare, for tears will follow us to heaven, unto the very entry of the door our face ſhall be wet, for we go out of this life ſad and groaning for this miſerable life, and to thruſt thro' the laſt port, and to wade thro' the hindermoſt water, it is a ſore-ſet: but be blyth Chriſtians, and grip to the promiſe; but ye that laugh now, and ſo are are far from tears, that mock the mourner of Zion, ye may ſigh and cloſe the Bible, and ſay alas! I never ſhed a tear for Chriſt, yon text is not for me: It may be Chriſt ſhall that day gar you weep and ſhed tears for evermore. This ſour laughing world will away; there is a day of tears coming on you, greeting and gnaſhing of teeth. And when a man gnaſheth his teeth one againſt another, he has no mind of laughing: but I would not have your mirth for a world, be doing, we will ſee who will laugh faſteſt yon day.

Uſe 2. There is an ill coming on this land: ſin is not come to a full harveſt. God's bairns, that can now mourn for their own ſins, and the ſins of the land, rejoice in heaven, there is never a greeting bairn ſeen there; God has a napkin to dight their faces. It is the laughing, rejoicing people that God deſtroys.

"He that ſat upon the throne," John heareth more of Chriſt, a ſweet ſpeech. Here three things. 1. A ſpeaker. 2. A ſpeech. 3. A direction to keep the ſpeech. Who ſpake the ſpeech is not told; whether an angel or an earthly king; for they ſit on thrones alſo; but it is he of whom it is ſaid, Rev. iv. 2. "And a throne was ſet, and one ſat on the throne." John tells not his name, but he thinketh ſo much of him, that he takes it as granted, that there is none worthy to be a king but he, and to ſit upon a throne but he. The ſaints meaſure all affections of others by their own affections; as if one aſked at John, who is he that ſits upon the throne? He would have anſwered, what need ye aſk, is there any in heaven or earth in my eſtimation worthy to be a king but He? and to take a crown upon his head but He? The ſaints ſet ay Chriſt alone, they ſet set him above all; ſpeak of kings to them, but Chriſt is out of play. So Cant. ii. The kirk meeting with the watchman, ſaith, "Saw ye him whom my ſoul loveth?" what kend the watchman whom her ſoul loveth? for the might have loved a lown, or a harlot, or an idol-god, or the world; but ſhe meaſured the watchman by herſelf: there was none in her mind but Chriſt; and therefore ſhe needed not tell them as he thought. So Mary Magdalene, John xx. 15. ſays to the gardener (as ſhe thought) "Sir, if ye have borne him hence, tell me where ye have laid him;" ſhe tells not of what him; taking as granted, none was ſo much in her mind as Chriſt, nay, I pray you, let the ſame mind be in you that was in John. Let Chriſt be to your ſoul the pearl of the ring. Amongſt all kings, Chriſt ſhould be made high and eſteemed as He, the only He, that is worthy to ſit on the throne. So Cant. v. He is the kirk the chief among ten thouſand. Gather all the angels, and all the ſaints in heaven and earth together, Chriſt is too good to be their captain; and, indeed, what is all that ſits upon the throne? It muſt be infinitely more in him: and what glory is in the world, is far more in him. Take all the roſes on the earth, and put them all in one, that would be a dainty ſight; and now what are all theſe to Chriſt? no more than a nettle to the faireſt roſe: fy upon the taſteleſs love of men that never love Jeſus Chriſt and yet falleth in love with luſts: they love gold, riches and honour, and put Chriſt to a backſide; ay, Chriſt gets not his own amongſt us, we commend him not, neither will we match with him.

Thirdly, "I will make all things new." This is as much as all things were old; ſin has made all things old, Rom. viii. They are like a woman groaning groaning in child-birth with pain and vanity, becauſe of our ſin; all the creation are ſickened becauſe of ſin; becauſe of our ſin, vanity came on the Sun, Moon, and other creatures, they ſigh under this, and pray their kind of malliſon, and a woe to man, for ſin has made us all miſerable. The heavens, that are the greateſt part of the web of the world, wax old as a garment. The prophet ſays, they are like an old clout. The water ſaith, let me drown ſinners, they have ſinned againſt my Lord; the fire ſaith, let me burn them, let me burn Sodom, for they have ſinned againſt my Lord. All things have loſt their glory that they got in their firſt creation; Jeſus faith, all things are gone wrong, and quite out of order; and man, fallen from his Lord: and he did even with the world, as a pilot once with an inattentive man at the rudder, ſteering the ſhip on a ſand-bank, he ſtept in quickly and turned her incontinent, or elſe all would have gone to confuſion. So our Lord ſtepped in, when the great ſhip of the world was running on a ſand-bank, the ſun and moon looked ſad-like, and ſaid they would ſerve us. Our Lord renewed them by his death, and made them all laugh on the elect again, and gave them all a ſuit of new clothes. Drunkard, Chriſt gave his bleſſing to the wine that ye ſpue on the walls. Ye that diſhonour your Maker with your vain apparel, ye know not what it coſt Chriſt; our Lord bled to buy a right of them that ye abuſe in vanity. All that ſet the world in their hearts, where the Lord ſhould be, forget that Chriſt bought the world to be their ſervant, and not to be as their darling and wife, that lies in their boſom. Ye that make the earth and the broad acres of it your ſoul's portion, ſo as ye deſire no more but land, yet forget Chriſt that that bought the world, and made it new to be a foot-ſtool, and not a chair for their ſouls to ſit down upon. And if Chriſt has this art to make all things new, come unto him all ye that are old, ye that have old hearts come. Indeed Chriſt may get his craft among us, if we would go to him, for he makes all things new. The devil borrows another man's heart for covetouſneſs, and he has crooked it with the thorny cares of this world, and holed it, and dung the bottom out of it. O if ye would put it in Chriſt's hand, he would put it in his furnace and melt it again, and by his art bring it out a new heart for himſelf to dwell in. Alas! Chriſt gets not his trade or calling among us; but, why are not our old hearts mended! becauſe we handle them as a fooliſh mother doth a dauted bairn, ſhe will not let him go to ſchool to learn, and why? becauſe ſhe dow na want him out of her ſight; ſhe will therefore never let him do well, but feed him to the gallows. We do not give away our ſouls to Chriſt who would fain have them, and eaſily mend them ; but juſt keep them like the fooliſh mother, out of Chriſt's company. And pride keeps another man's heart, and covetouſneſs another man's heart; that dear craftſman Chriſt, that made the heart, and made the earth under our feet new, and the mountains new, yet we will not have our hearts new; our ſouls are all hanging in tatters, worn and old with ſin, and we do not put them in Chriſt's hand that would make them whole and cleanſe them. Fy upon thee that thy garden was curſed in Adam's day to bring forth nettles and thorns, and is bleſſed to bring out fruit in Chriſt, and thy ſoul gets not ſo much good in Chriſt as thy garden; it is made new and thy ſoul remains old, and Chriſt gets not his craft among us. us. He bids John write theſe things concerning the ſtate of the glorified, and calls them faithful and true; he would not intruſt his word to man's memory and conſcience: he would have it written. Blaſphemous papiſts, laugh not at this, nor call the Pope's breaſt the Bible; here a warrant for the written ſcripture. But indeed it tells that man's falſehood wore his conſcience; had his conſcience been a faithful regiſter, there ſhould have been no more need of a written Bible: but now the Lord has lippened more to dead paper more than a living man's ſoul. Our conſcience, now under ſin, has not been a good Bible: becauſe man is ready to run away from his conſcience; becauſe what is written in our conſcience, as there is a God, a Judgement, a Heaven, a Hell; Satan and ſin come in as two falſe witneſſes, and blot out that, and write that in the fool's heart, that ſays there is no God. And there are many holes in our ſouls; the word of God comes in and runs out again and back-ſpouts, except Jeſus make their ſoul water-faſt, ſo that the word of God may dwell in them plentifully, Coloſ. iii. 16. Is not our hearts compared to a field, wherein the preacher ſows the ſeed, Mat. xiii. and the black ſpirits of hell come and gather up Chriſt's wheat. O but there are many running-out fools, and much need we have of a written Bible, and therefore make much of the written word, and pray God to copy his Bible in all, and every one of our hearts, and to write a new book of his doctrine in our hearts, and put it into the conſcience as he directs, Jer. xxi. 1. Of his prohecy. 2. A deſcription. 3. A promiſe of matter. Chriſt ſays to John, it is done. That is exponded in Rev. xvi. 17. The world is ended, ſo ſpeaks Chriſt of the world, and the glory of it paſſeth paſſeth away as the twinkling of an eye, and Chriſt crieth to thoſe who have the world in their arms, It is done; it is a paſt thing, there is no more of it. It is but a word to our Lord, he ſaid, Let all things be, and they were. He ſaid, Let all things be, and they are at an end.—And we are beginning with the world, as if it would be evermore ours; and our Lord ſays, in a moment, let us be packed from them, and it is done. It is not for nothing that the taking down of this Inns of heaven and earth is touched in ſo few words, It is done, for it is an eaſy thing for the Almighty to take the ſtaves in his own hand that holdeth np this fair tent, and when he pulleth it, he garreth it come down with a titt. So Rev. xi. Four angels are brought in, holding the four winds in their hands as if they had the world in their hands, and as if they had it ready to fold up as a ſheet. And, O! what a ſighting and buſtling do they make to get a clout of this ſheet; he ſtareth out his eyes, and he ſetteth out his neck for a piece of this holly clout and ſheet, and for a globe of the earth. But ſee, Rev. vi. 14. The heavens ſhall depart away like a ſcroll of parchment that is rolled together, and the fair ſtories thereof are like figs, with the ſhake of the Almighty's arm they ſhall fall together to the ground and what more with a touch of the Almighty's hand, or a putt of his little finger, with the bleſt of his mouth, ſaying, "It is done." The cupples of the walls of the houſe cometh down. Now, I cannot but ſpeak of fools that have their head full of wind-mills, an cry it is beginning, "and to-morrow ſhall be as this day, and much more abundant." Iſa. lvi. And there is no end of buying and building; I came not here to bid any body be unthriſty; but not to be like bairns building ſandy bourocks at a water-ſide, when preſently a ſpate of water comes and ſpoils all their ſport, or a shower chaſes them in from their play, men are even building caſtles in the air. In very deed we are like bairns holding the water at a riverſide with their hands, they think (daft things) they hold the water, while in the mean time it runs thro' their fingers. And what ſays God of honour, riches, pleaſure, lands, fair houſes, ſums of money, even that in a word, all is done. Aſk at them that had the world once at will, and had broad lands, and what is to the fore of ſo many thouſands? Nothing but their name: And what if their name be loſt too? What has the world of them but their name? and what is that, ten or eleven letters of the A, B, C; and for their bodies, howbeit when they were living, kingdoms would not content them, and yet the clay in which the bodies are diſſolved, would not now fill a glove. I think that a true word, and a ſtrange ſpoker word, Iſa. xl. 22. "God ſits in the circle of the heavens, and all the world are as graſs-hoppers." We even creep like graſs-hoppers up and down the globe of this earth, and cry to men of the vanities of all things, while death comes like a little common-thief, without any din or feet, and plucks them away, and there is no more of them, and then they ſay, it is done. All men will ſay, it is true that I ſay: but I think to be dead ere they believe it, or be brought to hate the world. I think the world is the devil's great hairy water-net, that has taken thouſands and ſlain them, ye ſay ye are ſure of it. Then I ſay ye are a dyeted horſe for heaven.

The ſecond thing that is in the verſe, is a deſcription of Chriſt, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning beginning and the end." Our Lord here being to make an offer of the water of life; he firſt ſheweth what he is, even the firſt and the laſt letters of the A, B, C; "The ancient of days, the eternal Son of the eternal God." It teaches us that we may crack more of our old holding, and old charter, than all the world can do: For why? When began Chriſt to bear a good-will to a ſinner? Even when he began to be God; and he was God from all eternity. Suppoſe the ſun in the firmament were eternal, the light of it behoved to be eternal: for the light of the ſun is as old as the ſun. Love is a beam of light, and heat that comes from Chriſt the Sun of righteouſneſs; therefore ever-living Chriſt, and ever-loving love: for love comes not on Chriſt the day which was not on him yeſterday: man's love and a king's love are very much hunted for, and yet they die, and their love dies with them, and often their love dies before themſelves: but who ſeeks Chriſt's love that changes not? yea, this is a matter of admiration and wonder that Chriſt ſhould have thought on us worms of clay ere ever we were, and that our ſalvation is as old as evermore, and as old as Chriſt, and Chriſt as old as God; for indeed, if God ſhould begin at any point of time to love ſinners, his love ſhould have had a beginning; and if his love ſhould have had a beginning, Chriſt himſelf ſhould have had a beginning; becauſe love with him is one with his eſſence and nature: But it may be ſaid, can the love of God be older than the death of Chriſt? Anſwer, Chriſt's death doth not make God properly a hater for a lover of man, for then both his will ſhould be changeable, and his love have a beginning. How then? Chriſt's death not only let God kythe the fruits of his eternal love out upon us, but after ſuch ſuch a way as he thought convenient for his juſtice; and therefore we are ſaid in ſcripture to be reconciled to God; and God is ſaid to be reconciled to us; his love is everlaſting; becauſe by order of nature it is before the ſeed, before we had done either good or evil; ſo that ſin ſhould not change God's mind, but only by order of Juſtice; ſin ſtood in the way to hinder us from life everlaſting, which is a fruit of his love: yea more, God with that ſame love in Chriſt, loveth the elect before and after converſion; and therefore, we have to rejoice in feeling any of God's love to us in Chriſt. It is old acquaintance betwixt him and us; and therefore, as it is folly in man (as Solomon faith) to caſt off his old friend, and his father's friend; ſo let us think it madneſs to caſt off ſuch an old friend as Chriſt, and let our faith hold faſt by this, under temptations and deſertions; Alpha and Omega changeth not, the change is in us.

The third thing in the words is a promiſe of the water of life to the thirſty, Iſaiah lv 1. and John xiii. 17. Chriſt at the mercat-croſs cries the well free; but learn firſt, the thirſty and hungry ſouls, are meeteſt for the waters of life. What! (ye will ſay) are not all thirſty ? all want the life of God and the ſap of grace, and are burnt and withered at the root; but all know not their own wants; but indeed ſpecial comfort for the weak ones to ſay, O ſay they, I know Chriſt doth good to believers, to repenters, and to ſuch as love him ; but I dow not, nor cannot win to faith and repentance, hope and patience; I have too ſhort an arm to rax ſo high. Then, ſay I, have ye a deſire, a hunger for faith and repentance and love? now upon your conſcience ſpeak the truth; I trow ye cannot deny it. Then your Lord bids you come, the well is орen opon unto you; for hunger and thirſt being next to motion, are the two properties that begin firſt with life. So every thing that is new-born is lively, and hath a ſtomach for meat and drink. O but ſay ye, I am many times in my ſoul even at death's door; I have neither faith nor feeling! I am even at this, God loves me not, and the well is not ordained for me at theſe times. Would ye fain be at the well? now in my mind ye cannot in away. The children of God, when at the loweſt ebb, even when faith, comfort, joy, love, and a diſpoſition to pray is away, is there not a longing for preſence. I ſpeak to the conſcience of God's child, lie not. No, David (Pſalm vi.) when he thought God ſtrake him in his wrath, was at, "How long Lord?" a cutted word; I think that he looked like a poor hungry beaſt, looking o'er the dyke, who would ſain have had a mouth-ful; He was even going about to ſeek a ſlap to break o'er the dyke of his doubtings. And ſo it is with God's bairns under their thirſt for the well of life. See Cant. iii. when the kirk can get no sparing of Chriſt, and has no ſmell of him, and cannot find the print of his foot; yet ſhe is at this, "Saw ye him whom my ſoul loveth?" and chap. ii."I charge you tell him, that I am ſick of love." then let me now ſpeak to weak ones, and I will tell you who are Chriſt's companions that drink with him, and ſhall get their heads and hearts full of the water of life; even the tender Chriſtian that is ay ſpeaking: the bairn in Chriſt's houſe that is moſt cumberſome, and makes moſt din for his meat, is the beſt bairn that Chriſt has; the bairn that is greeting ilk hour of the day for a piece and a drink: we ſay of ſuch a ſilly thing he fain would love. Ay the cumberſomer that Chriſt's bairns bairns be, they are ay the welcomer. Nay, he loveth the bairns beſt that have no ſhame, and are ay crying alas! black hunger, dear Lord Jeſus, I a burnt with thirſt: O for an open cold fountain. O it is a ſweet thing ay to be whinging and crying and ſeeking about Chriſt's pantry-doors, and to hold an eye upon Chriſt when he goes into the houſe of wine, into his Father's fair lucky wine cellar where there are many wines, and bout in at Chriſt's back. But in a word, have ye a good ſtomach? Much hunger and thirſt, will get much ſatisfaction of grace in Chriſt: now, who are they who are debarred from Chriſt's well! Anſw. Theſe who have gotten an ill drink from the devil, full of luſts, pride and covetouſneſs, full of love of the world; ſuch are they that have no ſtomach for Chriſt; alas, and woes me, Chriſt ſtandeth at the well's ſide, and crieth the back of my hand to you. The Lord Jeſus gives you a vomit to drink, that you may grow wholeſome and hungry again for Chriſt; for, while then, ye are never meet for Chriſt. Is there not a time when ye cannot get preſence, and ye hav no pith to put up the door and bout in, but put half up, and blink in? love to pray, or deſire ye but a time of prayer? hold on then, there ye are right, the true deſire is abſolute, and not conditional: not like the ſluggard that wad have a crop upon condition he might have a feather-bed to lie on for fear of cold; even ſo they would have heaven upon condition they might keep their luſts, and take their luſts with them. But, Secondly Hunger is ay ſeeking thro' the whole houſe, for the belly can hardly play the hypocrite. The natural man is in darkneſs, he is in a ſleep; it is night with him, and he is like a cumberſome bairn greeting in the night for a drink, and crying, Pſalm iv. Who will ſhew us any good thing? and Satan is ready at his elbow with his diſhful of the dirty miry matters of luſt to the world, and he drinks while he ſwears and tynes breath, and tynes a' fight and deſire of Chriſt, the fountain of the water of life, John vii. 37. It is true this fountain of life is ſaid to proceed out of the throne of God, and from the Lamb: but it is all one; for the ſtreams of the water of life proceed from the fountain Chriſt. How then is the water Chriſt? Chriſt as man dying and ſending out his heart's blood for quenching of the thirſt of ſuch poor ſinners as find the fire of hell at the ſtomach of their ſoul burning them up with the fire of the wrath of God for ſin; this is the reaſon why he is called the fountain of the water of life. As,

1. Becauſe a man burnt with thirſt, nothing can quench him, no, not a world of gold is ſo good as a drink of pure, cold, clean fountain-water. In a word, a ſoul weakened under ſin, findeth nothing in the world ſatisfactory to the ſoul's appetite, but in Chriſt. Tell me, art thou a thirſty ſinner after Chriſt? thy ſoul is dead-ſick while thou get him. Lay a man down on a ſoft bed, dry the ſweat off him, give him a cold refreſhing drink. Now, ye cannot ſpeak ſuch a word to a ſoul-burſten-thing under ſin, as to lay it upon a crucified Chriſt: O that is a ſoft bed; his ſinful foul being ſtretched upon the open, warm, flowing blood and wounds of Chriſt: O that is a ſoft bed. O but a part of Chriſt's blood is a refreſhing, cooling drink to him. To a ſlave of hell to know that he is made a free heir of heaven, O that is ſweet: hence it is, that those that are wakened with the furies of hell, howbeit they know not yet what Chriſt is to them; yet this world cannot calm their conſcience, becauſe cauſe for men that are ſoul-ſick and ſin-ſick, there is no phyſic but one, only a drink of the well of life, and becauſe they ken not the gait to into the fire of hell, thro' the madneſs of an awakened conſcience. For a thirſty-ſick-ſool finds two things in Chriſt, never to be found in all the world, nor any thing elſe. 1. Chriſt takes off the hardneſs of ſin: none has power to do this but he; all the pardons of ſin are in Chriſt's keeping, and of Chriſt's making; it is his office to forgive ſin. 2. Beſides, they find in him an influence, and abundance of happineſs in him; ſo as, what they ſought before in the creature, they find no where elſe but in him; then ſpeak to them of gold, it is nothing to Chriſt; ſpeak of lands and lordſhips they are nothing to a Saviour, and ſuch a Saviour has and is another name to a ſinner that is awakened.

Again, the text calls him, The water of life. We ſee here, there is ſome water that is rotten and ill-taſted; will a thirſty man drink of it? he ſhall not be the better, but the wholeſomeſt water is the running spring; ſo all that ſinners can get beſide Chriſt is ſtanding water. Let them drink in gold, and kingdom, and lands, they ſhall never be to ſatisfying to a ſick-ſoul as he ſhall be and they who have drunk in theſe, at death would be content to ſpue them out again, they ly ſo heavy upon their ſtomach; but Chriſt is the cooling wholeſome ſpring, the well of water, ſpringing to eternal life. Now, to make our uſe of this ſeeing Chriſt is ſuch a living well of water, how is it in the goſpel that there are ſo many withered dried ſouls? I anſwer, for God's part, indeed God has not put an iron-lock upon the well of life.But Chriſt Chriſt by his word and ſacrament opens the well in the midſt of us, and for ſeventy years and more in this kingdom the well has been open. Chriſt and his meſſengers have been crying to dry ſouls; but now for ought we ſee he will cloſe the well again; for he has been ſetting out the means of life, and opening his booth-doors to give it freely, even to such as will take it, but he gets no ſale; therefore he muſt put up his wares and go away, for men are not thirſty for his waters; but one thirſts for court and honour; another for luſt and money; a third luſts after ſinful pleaſures. 1. There be few ſtomachs gaping for Chriſt. 2. They have not a veſſel to caſt down into the well and take up the water: this is a fruitleſs generation. Oh! we lothe Chriſt, and Chriſt lothes us. We need ſpeak no more of the call of the word; all the land, court, king, noblemen and kirkmen, have ſpued the waters, by deſpiſing the mercy, and contemning the goſpel; and in very deed when we caſt in clay and mud in Chriſt's well, and mix his doctrine with the poiſon of the whore's well of Rome. We think we would have ſomething to give to Chriſt for the water of life, ſome of our own righteouſneſs, ſome of our worthineſs; but that is plaiſtered humility, watered copper; and in doing ſo we refuſe grace, and make grace to be no more grace; for, if it be given for any worth in us, it is no more grace: and therefore, let men here ſee then, that the kingdom of grace is a good cheap world, where the beſt things are gotten for nothing; and therefore, I think, in this dear world, wherein all things go for nothing; when court coſts expences, lands are dear, and gold is not gotten for nought, and laws are dearer than ever they were; yea, paper and ink are now dearer than ever; yea, paper and ink are now dearer than jewels. No, ſays the Pope, not a drop till ye tell out money; that bloody beaſt would fell the water of Rome for gold; as meikle money, as meikle grace and forgiveneſs; but Chriſt and his world care no more for money than before.

2. There are excellent promiſes made to overcomers; to him that taketh heaven with ſtroke of ſword and blood; for heaven is a beſieged city or caſtle; armies of ſin with all their armour, and the deceiving and malicious world; the world has Eve's apple in the one hand, and fire and ſword in the other, and the devil is the captain of the army; now, here is a price ſet, and an offer made to him that overcometh, to him that will mount up by faith and hope, and leap up in Chriſt's chariot, and beſide him life, beſide him death, he will go through; but, they are cowards that take a backſide and let the devil coup them in a gutter. But yet, to lead men on, here is a promiſe of two things ;

Firſt, He ſhall inherit all things; then ye ſee, that that Chriſtian's captain is a man of fair rent, 1 Cor. iii. 21. "For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death; things preſent, or things to come," and to let us ſee he bides by the thing he has ſaid, he ſays again, "all things are yours:" ye ſee then, one has a kingdom, as Aſia, but wants health, and is lame of his feet, he has not all things. Another has ſtrength of body above any living, yet had many troubles, and wanted his eyes as Samſon, and therefore had not all things. O the buſineſs Adam's ſons are at for inheritance: here a male-line, there a lairdſhip, that they call their all things. I think this is a greedy ſtile and proud-like lordſhip or lairdſhip lairdſhip, that they call their all things: yet greedy Adam's ſons have more greedineſs here than wit. They run all upon their lordſhip, that they call the Lordſhip of many things, Luke x. "Martha, Martha, thou art troubled about many things;" worldings, ye are troubled about many things, to be called my lord of many things. But we ſhall ſee if the text be true, I am Alpha and Omega;,then, firſt, the apoſtle here puts in death. Death is the wages of ſin; I think death an ill mailing, better want it out of the charter. How then have they all things? I anſwer,

Death is alſo a part of the lordſhip this way; becauſe it is my lord of all things, and a coach to glory: Chriſt himſelf being the coachman, and driving the horſes; death is the ſervant; as the wind ſerveth to bring the ſeamen home, ſo death ſerveth him that hath the lordſhip. Death is Chriſt's ferry-boat to carry us home; for, in Chriſt to we ſet our foot on death's neck. It is a bridge o'er the river of hell that we walk on to heaven, and it is ours; the Chriſtian is advanced in Chriſt's court, and gets the new ſtile to be my lord of all things, the prince of all things, the prince, the duke of all things. Yet I ſhall get you a lordſhip beneath them all, but much fought for the lordſhip of vanity or nothing, Prov. xxiii. 5. wilt thou ſet thine eyes on that which is nought? for, verily, riches have wings; he that is rich hath nought.

Secondly, If he inherit all things, then the whole world is his, and ſo he wanteth nothing.

A third queſtion, How is it then that the ſaints are hungry and poor? Anſwer, This promiſe is ſo taken from them. 2 Sam. iii 14. Pſalm lxxxix. 15. I will ſet his one hand on the ſea, and his right hand on the river.'—Then ſee how broad Chriſt's two arms are. His one hand upon all the ſea, and his other hand upon the river, and that promiſe is made to Chriſt as principal cautioner of the covenant. For, it is ſaid, verſe 26. "He ſhall ſay unto me, thou art my Father, and my God, and the rock of my ſalvation," verſe 27. Alſo, I will make him my firſt-born, higher than the kings of the earth." —Which is expounded of Chriſt, Heb. i. 5. Rev. X. 2. "He has his right-foot on the ſea, and his left-foot on the land." Put theſe two together, and ſee how wide his arms and legs and feet are, they go over the whole world as his inheritance which he wan to himſelf, and his heirs after him, with his blood. Now Chriſt got land not to himſelf: what needs he land to give his blood for clay? but he wan it to us, and he took inſeſtment in the earth in the name of his friends. And now it is true, they are not poſſeſſors of all things; bet ſecondly, for people's wants, ye fed their intereſt is in and over all things; yet their tutor lets them go with a toom purſe: he knows the heir is a young one, and cannot keep gold, and, therefore, he gives them food and raiment for the preſent neceſſity; but keeps the lordſhip for the preſent. Our tutor Chriſt is made of God out tutor, our purſe-maſter: it is all one whether we have it in our cheſt-neuk, or if it be in Chriſt's purſe to keep it while we need it, providing we want not.

Thirdly, A third queſtion, and a third doubt is, at leaſt, ſeeing they are under ſo many troubles in this life, and have no eaſe, they have not all things: I anſwer. Yet I muſt defend it, and ſay if they have the inheritance, that they have all things, becauſe the ſweet of the comfort and troubles are theirs.

A fourth queſtion or objection, They have not heaven and glory, at leaſt in this life, and therefore, they are not inheritors of all things? I anſwer. The promiſe is not fulfilled in this life: yet, when a man has ſhorn a ſtouk or two of corn, we ſay he has gotten harveſt and new corn. So the believer gets joy, hope, faith, aſſurance of heaven, and the firſt fruits of the ſpirit, are new corn. So, in the beginning, he gets all things. 2. Having God and Chriſt, they have all things, for ye ſee the great ſhip traileth the cock-boat after her; ſo the great Chriſt bringeth all things after him at his back; ſo I ay, having Chriſt they have all things: they have the Father and the Spirit, the world, life and death. Amen.

The triumphal feaſt for Chriſt's victory over ſin,
and death, and hell.

COME, let us lift our voices high,
High as our joys ariſe,
And join the ſongs above the ſky,
Where pleaſure never dies.

Jeſus, the God, that fought and bled,
And conquer'd when he fell;
That roſe, and at his chariot-wheels
Dragg'd all the pow'rs of hell.

Jeſus, the God invites us here,
To this triumphal feaſt,
And brings immortal bleſſings down
For each redeemed gueſt.

The Lord! how glorious is his face!
How kind his ſmiles appear!
And, oh ǃ what melting words he ſays
To ev'ry humble ear!
5 For you, the children of my love,
It was for you I dy'd ;
Behold my hands, behold my feet,
And look into my ſide.

6 Theſe are the wounds for yon I bore
The tokens of my pains,
When I came down to free your ſouls
From miſery and chains.

7 Juſtice unſheath'd its fiery ſword,
And plung'd it in my heart,
Infinite pangs for you I bore,
And moſt tormenting ſmart.

8 When hell and all its ſpiteful pow'rs
Stood dreadful in my way,
To reſcue thoſe dear lives of yours,
I gave my own away.

9 But, while I bled, and groan'd, and dy'd,
I ruin'd Satan's throne;
High on my croſs I hung, and ſpy'd
The monſter tumbling down.

10 Now you must triumph at my feaſt,
And taſte my fleſh, my blood,
And live eternal ages bleſs'd;
For 'tis immortal food.

11 Victorious God, what can we pay
For favours ſo divine?
We would devote our hearts away
To be for ever thine.

12 We give thee, Lord, our higheſt praiſe;
The tribute of our tongues;
But themes ſo infinite as theſe
Exceed cur nobleſt ſongs.

F I N I S.

Glaſgow, Printed by J. & M. Robertſon, Saltmarket,


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.