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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : WATCHMEN UPON THE WALLS by JAMES BOURNE

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 WATCHMEN UPON THE WALLS by JAMES BOURNE


"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence." (Isaiah 62:6)
The prophet begins this chapter with much zeal to show the Lord's peculiar care over his afflicted people. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth" (verse 1) and he even declares that we Gentiles shall be partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and shall really see and understand the glory of the Lord's rich grace and mercy. Old things shall pass away, the old formal worship denying the power.

You shall be called by a new name, no more a servant, but a son, and this the Lord, the Holy Spirit will witness in our hearts and write it there. It shall prove an everlasting name that neither men nor devils shall cut off, because the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (verse 2)

This glorious work of God is so delightful to himself. For he says he delights in all who hope in his mercy, that they are said to be a crown of glory, and a royal diadem of beauty in the hand of the Lord. Surely what safety all this denotes, and yet in trouble how hard we find it to believe.

It is further added, "Thou shall no more be termed Forsaken," (verse 4) that is, the Lord will never more leave thee, never, never forsake thee, because his delight is in thee. "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." (verse 5) This is the reason why he sets watchmen to guard this his rich treasure night and day. All this is for the sake of his church and people who are often found in a very low place, although the security of all nations depends upon the few scattered sheep of Christ.

The Lord shows us in this text the means he chooses for the perfection of his people, is a faithful ministry. "I have set watchmen upon thy walls." Their business is to be like their Master, neither to slumber, nor sleep. We conceive that what is meant by never holding their peace, is unceasingly to seek the welfare of the people, in private prayer, and every way promoting the welfare of God's people, as faithful servants of Jesus Christ. "Ye that make mention of the LORD," of his having done any thing for you, "keep not silence," but declare it in simplicity to the afflicted, that they may be encouraged to hope for the same.

Put on the whole armour of God, and make it manifest you are a good soldier of Jesus Christ, [that ye may] be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, (Eph. 6:10-20) who watches every opportunity to destroy all profiting, by pride, prejudice, contention, or in whatever way he can enter. His is sure to give a faithful ministry no rest, therefore it follows immediately after the text, that God's people must never give the Lord rest, but by unceasing prayers call upon the Lord to establish them that they may be a praise in the earth; and not a disgrace in turning aside to folly on all occasions. "And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (verse 7)

It is a sad sign of an hypocritical professor, when instead of growing in knowledge and understanding there is a turning aside to some foolishness that brings on darkness, and a sad reproach upon the righteous cause of God. These have no regard to the house of God, nor any feeling sense of the Lord's coming or going. To these his absence is just as good as anything else. There is no feeling sense of God's wrath against their sin, nor any fear of the destruction that awaits them for it. Some of these show a wish to retain their outward profession of religion, but are not aware that when the foundation is so removed, the outward building must of necessity fall sooner or later.

A faithful watchman will sound the alarm. offence is often taken at it, like a poor man who had turned aside, and being reproved for it, he said he would have no more of this. He was watched for many years and often tried to return, but the Lord took him at his word. He could find no place of repentance, and at length died. Indeed he never had any more hope or help from the Lord. And in that state he finished his course.


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