DONALD CARGILL - Sermon Two
The following sermon, hitherto unpublished, probably
belongs to this period; this we infer both from its general tenor, and from a
particular allusion to the Indulgence. 2 Cor. vi., 17, 18
" Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
"God's special owning of man depends in a manner a man's owning of God. We complain greatly that God is not more clearly owning his people. What is the cause of this, think ye? It's because they do not more boldly avow God. The verses we have read knit those two together, "Come out, etc.," and "I will receive you, etc." There are here, as it were, two sides, and all of us must take one of them. God is on the one side, and the devil and the powers of earth are on the other, for they and the devil are together. Which will you choose? Which will ye avow? Say ye "I'll avow God," then ye must do it boldly and freely. It is now with the Church of Scotland as it was in the days of the rebellion with Israel when the Lord said, "Take ye the tabernacle of the congregation and pitch it without the camp, and let all that will serve God go out to the tabernacle of the congregation."
So is it this day with the Church of Scotland. Now that the tabernacle of the congregation is pitched outside the camp, who will come out and who will bide in? You will serve God with your liberty and the great folk, you will serve Him with the Indulgence and privately, but, says God, "I will have you to own me publicly, otherwise never expect Me to own you as you desire."
But there is a second thing here that is obvious. If ye will boldly own and avow God, God will tenderly own you. Let them cast you out, He will receive you; but that you may be the better encouraged to come and own Him, He saith, "I am the Lord Almighty." There has been great complaining that God has been very untender of his people, but the great cause has been that his people have been so backward in owning Him. There is here a duty required and a promise made
1. The duty is to come out from among them. But what shall we come out from? From our ministers and our church, from our king and our rulers. God must be dearer to you than all these, and ye must therefore come out. There are none now that can be partakers with them in their sin, but they must be partakers also in their judgment. None can keep fellowship with them without touching the unclean thing.
2. The " I will receive you, etc." Whenever ye forsake anything at God's bidding, remember ye have better in the stead of it. Ere ye want you shall have Himself making up to you in what you want, so that the Christian may say " make good Thy promise, for they have now cast me out, and I have cast them off because they have cast off Thee and now Thou must take me in!"
Now some may say, "What good is it to show our mind thus against the king and his rulers?" It shows that ye have a love for Christ and for God. But I say now, follow God's command and plead his promise, and ye shall be bettor governed and cared for than before. and now observe the cause is from them, the call is from God, and the duty is from ourselves :
(1) The cause is from them. They separated from God, therefore must we separate from them. We followed our ministers and our rulers with our hearts when they followed him, but now we must let them go. We need not be troubled with the word separate, for the cause is in them. They have departed from God, and what are they doing but strengthening the enemy's bands, and it's sad to see them eating, drinking, and conversing with the sworn enemies of Christ, and as they have departed from God in giving up the cause, so all that follow them will depart from Him too, for we cannot keep from defection and bide with them. Our very being with them is a consenting in some measure to their sin, so that it comes to this now, that every man must show himself what he is and why? For the matters of God were never so controverted before, and when most controverted we should be most zealous. We wish therefore ye would more heartily take you to God's side, else ye will but weaken and not strengthen us. If not, then take you to your own way.
(2) the call is from God. When things have come to such a pass that we cannot bide with them without compliance in their sinful courses, then God calls us to come out from among them. Now ye have bidden long enough with them, and God is saying bide no longer, else ye shall be partaking both of their sins and judgments. I must also tell you if ye will not sever from them now, ye know not if ever ye will get a heart to do it before punishment overtakes both you and them together. It may be some of you think ye have got some good by being with them, but stay till the King of Terrors and you meet, and you will find it has been dearly bought. If you stay when God is calling you, the wrath of God will chain you to them till judgment overtake you.
(3) What says your conscience to you? There are many who live in open ungodliness, and yet they will say they have peace. I never like that peace that flows not from a tender conscience. Well say you shall we then quit their company? Yes, but know this also, you must quit your aim. Remember, though ye come out from among them, if ye quit not your sin God will cast you into hell. Oh, if you would quit both them and your sins, then would He say to you "I will receive you, etc." I say no more unto you now, but remember that Jesus Christ and this world are going far asunder. So then take you to Christ's side and see that ye put honour upon it. The Lord Himself will help you to this.
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