Plant of renown (1813)/Sermon Two
Ezek. xxxiv. 29.
And I will raise up for them a Plant
I Had occasion, upon a Solemnity of this nature, not long ago, to enter upon their words, but had not time to go far into the import of them. After I had traced the connection of the words a little, I took them up in the few following particulars.
1. We have here a great Blessing procured unto the Church; and that is none other than Christ, under the notion of a Prince, and A Plant of Renown.
2. We have the Party by whom this Promise is made, in the pronoun I,—I Jehovah, the Eternal GOD, I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown.
3. We have the way how this Plant of Renown is raised; And I will raise him up. I that am the great Husbandman of the vineyard, I will raise up for them, &c. Then,
4. I noticed the persons to whom the Promise is made, I will raise up for them; that is, for his Church, for his people that are brought into a very low condition; as ye will see by reading the preceding part of the chapter. The flock of Christ were scattered by the shepherds of Israel; they were torn, they were devoured, and under manifold trials: Well, what will the Lord do for his flock in that condition? He says, I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown, and they shall hunger no more.
The Observation is much the same with the words themselves, namely, "That our Lord Jesus Christ is a Plant of Renown of his Father's upbringing:" I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown. In prosecution of this Doctrine, I proposed to observe the order and method following.
First, To premise a few things concerning this blessed Plant.
Secondly, To shew that indeed he is a Plant of Renown. And then,
Thirdly, To speak a little concerning the raising up of this Plant.
Fourthly, For whom he is raised up.
Fifthly, For what good, or what benefit and advantage he is raised up. And,
Lastly, To apply the whole.
As to the first, I spoke to it, and premised a few things concerning this blessed Plant; therefore I shall not stay to resume what was said on that Head. I likewise entered upon the second, and shewed that Christ is A Plant of Renown in several respects: I mentioned eleven or twelve Particulars wherein Christ is renowned, but I shall not resume these neither: I shall only tell you a few things wherein this blessed Plant is renowned.
1. In the first place, This blessed Plant, he is renowned for his Antiquity. There are many other plants in God’s garden, as angels, seraphims, cherubims, saints militant and triumphant, they are all plants of God’s garden; but they are all but upstarts in comparison of him; for he was set up before ever the earth was. You will see that one Name of this Plant of Renown is, The Everlasting Father, or, "The Father of Eternity," as it may be rendered.
2. As he is renowned for his Antiquity, so for his Beauty: He is the most beautiful Plant ih all the garden of God; "I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lilie of the valleys.—He is as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood." He is renowned, I say, for his Beauty and his Glory; for the glory ot a God is in him. Is there any glory in his eternal Father? Why, that glory shines in our Immanuel, in the very brightness of it, Heb. i. 3. "He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his Person." Now. firs, if ever your eyes were opened by the Spirit of God, to take up the glory of this Plant, his glory has just dazled your very eyes! You that never saw any glory in him, you never saw him this very day: Pray that the light of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, may yet shine into your hearts. It would make a heartsome Sacrament, if this Plant were displayed in his glory among us. Sirs, have you come to see him in his glory? O give God no rest, till he make a discovery of himself to your souls. Then,
3. He is renowned for his Verdure, for his perpetual Greeness. Other plants are fading; you and I are fading plants; "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:" He is a Tree ever-green, he never fades, summer nor winter, and shall be ever a green Plant to the Saints as it were to eternity! When millions of ages, yea myriads of ages are past in heaven, he will be as fresh and green to the believer, as when he first saw him, or the first moment the saint entered glory: Therefore it is, that the songs of the redeemed in glory, are ay new songs; and, through eternity, will ay be new songs, because they will ay see matter of a new song; and the more they see, they will more wonder at him thro’ eternity! Again,
4. This Plant is renowned not only for his Verdure, but for his Virtue. We read, Rev. xxii. "That the leaves of the Tree of Life were for the healing of the nations." That Tree of Life is the very same with this Plant of Renown; the leaves of this Plant are for healing of the nations; and we that are Ministers are come this day to scatter the leaves of this Tree of Life, of this Plant of Renown; try if you can get a leaf of it applied and set home upon your souls. Depend upon it, there is virtue in every word of his. Sirs, mingle faith with a word, and you will find it will have the same efficacy with you, as it had with the poor woman with the bloody issue, that was healed with a touch of the hem of his garment, who had spent all her living on Doctors. O see if you can find him? I assure you he is here; he is behind the door of every man’s heart: "Behold I stand (says he) at the door and knock! If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." And O let him in there is virtue in him for curing you all, though there were ten thousand millions of you more than theer are; there is virtue in him for healing every one of you. But then,
5. This blessed Plant is not only renowned for his Virtue, but likewise for his Fertility. He is not a barren Plant he would not be renowned if he were barren: He brings forth all manner of fruit every month; yea, I may add, every day, every moment.—You read in Rev. xxii. of the Tree of Life that brings forth twelve manner of fruits every month; that is to say, he brings forth all fruit that is necessary for a poor soul: Whatever thy soul stands in need of, is to be found in him; see then and gather, see if you can gather some of it. There is the fruit of his Incarnation; there is the fruit of his Death; there is the fruit of his Resurrection; there is the fruit of his Ascension; there is the fruit of his Intercession, and fitting at the right hand of God; there is the fruit of his Prophetic Office; there is the fruit of his Priestly Office; there is the fruit of his Kingly Office; there is the fruit of his appearing within the Vail; there is the fruit of what he did without the Vail, and without the Camp. O what fruit is here! Here is Wisdom for fools; here is Justification for the condemned soul; here is Sanctification for the polluted soul, and Clothing for the naked; Riches for the poor, Bread for the hungry. Drink for the thirsty. All manner of fruit is here, and we are trying, sirs, to shake the Tree of Life among you; and blessed be God, they may he gathered: O sirs! they are dropping among you; O gather, gather, for Salvation is in every word that drops from him; for his words are the words of eternal life. But, in the
6. Place, This blessed Plant Is renowned for his Scent and pleasant Savour. O sirs! there is such a blessed favour in this Plant of Renown, as has cast a perfume through all the Paradise above! He has cast a perfume through the Church militant, which in Isa. v. is called God’s vineyard. O sirs! do ye find any thing of the scent of this Plant? I can tell you, if ever you have been made to ken him, it will be so: "Because of the favour of thy good ointment, thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the Virgins love thee." The believer he finds a scent about him, he draws a favour from him. What is the design of us Ministers, but to call abroad his scent, and it is by this we win souls; and they that cast out and drop the Plant of Renown out of their Sermons, no wonder their Sermons stink; and they shall stink to eternity, that throw Christ out of their Sermons. The great business of Ministers is to cast forth the scent of Christ to the people. I shall read you a word to this purpose, in 2 Cor. ii. 14,—16. "Now, thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ." The apostle triumphs in him, and all other honest Ministers will triumph in him too; and all Christians that know him, triumph in him. "And maketh manifest the favour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet favour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the favour of death unto death; and to the other, the favour of life unto life: and who is sufficient for these things?" Who is able to tell the sweet favour that is in him? Again,
7. This blessed Plant in my text, is not only renowned for his Savour, but likewise for his Shadow, Song i. 3. "I sat down under his Shadow with great delight;" the Shadow of the Plant of Renown. You are all sitting there or standing, but are you sitting under the Plant of Renown? Jonah’s gouard did him service against the scorching heat of the sun, that was like to take away his life; but, alas! that soon failed him, for God sent a worm and smote it that it withered; and the worm of death will soon smite and wither you and me: O get in under the Shadow of this Plant of Renown, and ye are secured against death and vindictive wrath for ever, Get in under his Shadow; the Shadow of his Intercession, the Shadow of his power, the Shadow of his Providence, the Shadow of his Faithfulness: O sit under his Shadow, and you will find shelter there against all deadly; whatever blasts come, you will find safety there. Would you be shadowed from the king of terrors? Death is a terror to many! O if you would be shadowed against the awful terrors of death and God’s vengeance, get in under this Shadow, and you are safe.
8. This Plant is renowned for his Stature. He is a high Plant, he is a tall Plant: You see the heavens above you, but they are but creeping things in comparison of him; for this glorious Plant is, The high and lofty One that inhabits eternity. You can never see his height; your eye will look high, and your thought will reach higher, but neither your eye nor thought will reach unto him; he is taller than all the cedars in the Lebanon of God: "Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man," to think of the height and glory of this Plant of Renown! And,
Lastly, This Plant is renowned not only for his Stature, but for his Extent also: He is a broad Plant; he was planted in the first Promise in Paradise; he spread through the Old Testament Church; he came the length of filling the land of Judea; and, at length, this Plant has spread itself among us: And O that I could open the leaves of this Plant, to take you in; he is a broad Plant, he will serve you all. We read of the Tree of Life being on every side of the river: There is a great river betwixt us and heaven, and that is death; and we are all running into this river of death.—As one well observes on the place. This Tree is in the middle of the river; he is on this side of time, and he is on that side of time. Now, this this Plant is on both sides of the river; though you were going to the wastes of America, you will find him there as well as here, if you have but the art of improving him. And this Plant will spread himself through all kingdoms, "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, just as the waters cover the sea." He will not only fill the earth, but the whole heavens throughout eternity! O but he is a broad Plant, that will extend himself both to heaven and earth! And this shall serve for the Second thing proposed, namely, To show, that this Plant is indeed a most Renowned Plant.
The Third thing I proposed, in the prosecution of this Doctrine, was, Concerning the raising or upbringing of this Plant.—You see it is no other than the Great GOD, that raised up this Plant. I find the Great JEHOVAH glorying in his skill and wisdom in the raising up of this Plant for that use of the Church. In Psalm Ixxxix. 19. says the Lord, "I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people; I have raised up David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him." Here he glories in it, that he had raised up this glorious Plant of Renown.
I will tell you a few things with reference to the raising up of this blessed Plant.
1. He was raised up in the Counsel of God’s Peace from eternity. The Trinity sat in council anent the upbringing of him; "The Counsel of Peace was between them both," Zech. vi. 13. The Father and the Son agreed upon it that in the fulness of time the Son should come into the world.
2. He was raised up in the first Promise to Adam and Eve. Till this Plant was discovered to them, they were like to run distracted: And indeed, sirs, if Christless sinners saw where they were, and the wrath of God that is hanging ever their heads, they would be ready to run distracted, till a revelation of Christ was made to them. All the Promises, all the Prophecies, all the Types, and all the Doctrines of the Old Testament, they were the gradual springings of this Plant: But it was under ground until,
3. His actual manifestation in the flesh, when, in the fulness of time, he appeared: In the fulness of time, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, &c. And,
4. This Plant was raised up even in his Death and Resurrection, by which he was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the Spirit of holiness. And,
Lastly, This Plant of Renown will be raised up in the Songs of the redeemed, through endless eternity. Thus you see, Christ is a plant of Renown, and what way he is raised up.
The next Thing I proposed was, For whom is it that this Plant is raised up? O! may some poor thing say, Was he ever raised up for me? I tell you, sirs, he was never raised up for the fallen Angels; "For he took not on him the nature of Angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham." Our nature was highly honoured at first, but it soon sunk below the beast that perisheth; but the second Adam took our nature upon him, and raised it to a higher dignity than the very Angels; for to which of the Angels did this this honour appertain, to be united to the eternal Son of God? So that, I say, this Plant of Renown is raised up for mankind-sinners, not for angel kind sinners; and every mankind sinner that hears tell of him, they should lay claim to him, as in Isaiah ix. 6. "To us a Son is given, to us this Child is born; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, "The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." To us he is given, unto us he is born.—I thought to have gone through what I designed on this subject, but time will not allow. The Lord bless his Word.
This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.