No. 7

Rev 19 7

No. 7 [1]

Revelation 19:13

[2nd sermon on this text]

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God.
By his name in the former verse I understand a declaration of his eternal and proper Godhead (for it cannot be said of any creature how exalted soever, that none knows his name, his nature, character and perfections but himself).  The name here expresses his personal character, as distinguished from the person of the Father.  For the same Evangelist who confirms the general tenor of the Scripture by expressly asserting that the Word was God, tells us likewise the Word was with God. [2] These words are certainly designed to teach us something concerning him, and therefore are not to be overlooked.  Both are to be attended to, when we would form a judgment of our Redeemer.  For though it be the very foundation truth upon which all our hopes are built, that God was manifested in the flesh, yet it was not the Father but the Word, who took our nature upon him.  You must not expect from me, so much as an attempt to explain this great mystery.  I never could understand the attempts of others in this way.  I receive it as a truth upon the authority of Scripture, not proposed as a subject of curiosity, but demanding our humble assent.  And though it is a truth beyond our reason to discover, or to search into when revealed, yet I am sure it is perfectly agreeable to right reason to believe God upon the testimony of his own word; and some due conception of it according to the Scripture, is needful to give us a conception of the counsel and method of redemption.  I believe it impossible to know more of this subject than is expressly revealed, or to understand what is revealed of it, but by divine teaching.  Two things are expressly declared and may be proved from the testimony of Scripture, beyond which I cannot go myself, and therefore, I dare not attempt to lead you.
1. That a threefold distinction in the Godhead is plainly asserted (Matt. 28:19; [3] 2 Cor. 13:14 [4]).
  By changing either of the latter as if you should say, in the name, of the Father, the Angel Gabriel or the Apostle Paul – or the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Virgin Mary, we should bring absurdity, blasphemy and idolatry into the texts, by joining creatures in the same rank and consideration with the Creator. These expressions of worship and benediction being severally applied to three, though only properly applicable to One God, sufficiently prove that each of the names is the name of God, and as there can be but One God, they must refer to a distinction in the divine nature, which is real, though the manner be entirely inconceivable by us.

Upon this ground, the method of our salvation is spoken of as the effect of counsel and consent and a different part of the execution is assigned to each of these names, which we usually denote by the word person.
  1.1 [Father]
    To God considered as a Father is attributed the plan, design and preparation of this great work.  He gave the Son – he chose a remnant of the fallen race, to be the objects and subjects of his love, and gave them to the Son before the foundation of the world, who accepted them as a trust and a treasure, according to the engagements of the everlasting covenant.
  1.2 [Son]
    Redemption itself – revealing and accomplishing the will of God, in making atonement, paying a ransom, honouring the law, satisfying justice, bringing in an everlasting righteousness, rescuing sinners from the power of Satan, sin and the world, and presenting them at last in himself perfect and victorious before the throne.  This is the Son's great work – the painful and laborious part of it is already accomplished, but he still works, and is still executing the office of Mediator, Head and King, and will reign till the whole counsel of God be fulfilled, the whole number of the elect brought home to glory and all enemies subdued under his feet.  Then cometh the end, when his kingdom under the present dispensation of it shall cease, and God shall be all in all (1 Corinthians 15).  The he will condescend to unfold the plan, the steps, and all the complex harmonious train of events which from the beginning of the creation to the consummation of all things, have continued, like the various parts of a curious machine, to form and fulfil the whole.
  1.3 [Spirit]
    The application of salvation to the hearts of sinners, convincing, teaching, applying the great truths and showing the Redeemer's glory to the soul, is ascribed to the Holy Spirit (John 14 etc; 1 Corinthians 2:13; [5] 2 Corinthians 3:18 [6]).  He produces a new creation in the heart, and by giving the light of the knowledge of God in the person of Christ, we know that he is the God who at first caused light to shine out of darkness. [7]
  Now not only the part assigned to God the Father, but what is ascribed to the Son and Spirit likewise, requires the power and perfections of deity to accomplish.  He who is the Shepherd of such a flock, and He who commands light to shine into so many dark hearts, must be Almighty and Omnipotent.
2. That the second person is the Word of God
  2.1 [It expresses his message]
    That in and by him the will of God concerning man and to man is made known.  He is the great Angel or Messenger to the Church (John 1:18 [8]).
  2.2 It expresses his authority
    He is the Word of God and must be heard.  Beware of despising him who speaketh from heaven.  His doctrines demand and deserve our full belief, his promises our whole confidence, and his precepts our absolute and unreserved obedience.
  2.3 It expresses his power
    By this Word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.  He spake and it was done.  He commanded and it stood fast.  And he is the same yesterday, today and forever, and therefore able to save to the uttermost.  Fear not poor soul.  Nothing is too hard for him who has all power in heaven and earth and who does what he will.
    Rev 19 7 nothing
  2.4 It expresses his faithfulness
    He is the Amen, the faithful and true witness.  Heaven and earth shall fail, but not a tittle of what he has said.  He is of one mind.  Therefore his poor people are not consumed, He is God no less than Man, and therefore able to bear with their weakness, folly and sin and to multiply pardons for his name['s] sake.

And unbelieving sinners will find him faithful to his threatenings.  He has said and it must be done.  He will denounce a curse upon them, and then they must be forever accursed, for none can reverse it.
Oh!  Will you not be afraid of the curse of God?  the wrath of Him who liveth for ever and ever.  As yet he is upon a throne of grace.
Believers approach his table in faith.  He is mindful of our concerns on high – he is preparing a place for us and will come again to receive us to himself.  Till then he said, Do this in remembrance of me. [9]  We are to show forth his death till he come, yea we may hope he will be with us now, for he has said, Where two or three are met in my name, etc. (Matthew 18 [10]).

[1] A week of praise for progress in the spiritual life of Thomas Scott (1747-1821): ‘I think he gets forward into the light of thy truth’ and another lecture with the students, ‘subject: sanctification’.  Watts Wilkinson (1755-1840), then studying at Worcester College, Oxford, joined them, describing Newton as ‘a very affectionate and tender friend and counsellor’.  Henry Foster (1745-1814), a graduate of Oxford, and since 1767 curate to William Romaine, also arrived, to fill in for Newton when he would soon took a trip to London. Foster was a favourite of both Newtons – he would later read both their funeral services, by their request. Newton’s diary on Sunday 7 September 1777 when this sermon was preached: ‘My Lord accept my praise for another Sabbath. I preached but once today. Mr Foster twice... My usual dryness and dullness at the sacrament. What a strange inconsistent creature, to know such things as thy Gospel reveals and to be as if I knew them not. But did I not feel these evils, how should I learn to say, Behold I am vile. Lord I would fain cleave to thee and lose all other thoughts in the thought of thy Person, work and love.’
[2] John 1:1,2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
[4] 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
[5] 1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
[6] 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
[7] 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
[8] John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
[9] Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
[10] Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney

Marylynn Rouse, 09/08/2016