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them come forward with what they have; if it were but goats hair, it fhall not be rejected; if it were but rams skins, they fhall be kindly accepted; for they are dyed red, dipe by faith in the Mediacor's blood, and so presented unto God.' A very ordinary work done in faith, and from faith, if it were but the building of a wall about the holy city, is a great work, Neb. vi. 3. If it were but the bestowing of a box of ointment on Christ, it shall never be forgotten, Matth, xxvi. 13. Even ' a cup of cold water only given to one of

Christ's litile oncs, in the name of a disciple, shall be rewarded," Match. x. 42. Nay, not a good word for Christ, shall drop from their mouths b!t it shall be registred in God's book of remembrance, Mal. iii. 16. Nor hall a tear drop from their eyes for him, but, he will put it in his bottle, Pfal. lvi. 8. Their will is accepted for the deed: their forrow for the want of will, for the will itlelf, 2 Cor. viii. 12. “ For if there be first a willing mind, it is accept" ed according to that a man hath, and not according to that he

hath not." Their groanings, when they cannot well word their desires, are heard in heaven; the meaning of these groans is well known there, and they will be returned like the dove with an olive branch of peace in her mouth. See Rom. viii. 26, 27. Their mites are better than other mens talents. Their lisping and broken sen: tences are more pleasant to their Father in heaven, than the most fuent and flourishing speeches of those that are not in Christ. Their voice is sweet, even when they are alhamed it should be heard; their countenance is comely even when they blush, and draw a vail over it, Cant. ii. 14. The Mediator cakes their petitions, blots out fome parts, rectifies others, and then presents them to the Father, in consequence whereof they pass in the court of heaven.

Every true Christian is a temple to God. If ye look for fucri. fices, they are not wanting there; they offer the sacrifice of praise, and they " do good; wich fuch sacrifices God is well pleased,” Heb. xiii. 15, 16. Christ himself is the altar that sanctifies the gift, ver. 10. But what comes of the skins and dung of their facrifices? They are carried away without the camp. If we look for incense, it is there too. The graces of the Spirit are found in their hearts: and the Spirit of a crucified Chrift, fires, them and puts them in exercise.; likeas the fire was brought from the altar of burnt-offering, to set the incense on flame: then they mount heaven-ward, like pillars of smoke, Cant. iii. 6. But the best of in

cense will leave ashes behind it: yes indeed; but as the priest took , away the ashes of the incense in a golden dish, and threw them out;

to our great High-priest takes away the ashes and refuse of all the faints services, by his mediation in their behalf.

An Eighth benefit flowing from unicn with Christ is Establishinent. The Christian cannot fall away, but mult persevere unto the end, John X. 28. “They shall never perish, neither shall any man plock * them out of my hand.” Indeed if a branch do not knit with the


i stock,

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Mock, it will fall away when shaking winds arise: but the branch knit to the stock lands fast, whatever winds blows. Sometimes a ftormy wind of temptatiò:z blows from helt, and coseth the branches in Christ the true vine: but their union with him, is cheir fecurity; moved they may be, but removed they never can be. The Lord " will with the temptation allo make a way to escape," i Cor. x. 13, Calms are never of any continuance: there is almost always fome wind blowing; and therefore branches are rarely altogether at rest. But sometimes violent winds arise, which threaten to rend them from off their stock. Even so it is with sainis; they are daily put to it, to keep their ground against temptation : but sometimes the wind from hell riseth (o high, ad bloweth fo furi. ously, that it makes even top-branches to {weep the ground; yet being knit to Christ their stock, they get up again, in spite of the most violent efforts of the prince of the power of the air, Psal. xciv. 18. “When I laid my fooi slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up." But the Christian improves by this crial; and is so far from being damaged, that he is benefited by it, in so far as it discovers what hold the soul has of Christ, and what hold Christ has of the foul. And look as the wind in the billows, which would blow out the candle, blows up the fire: even so it often comes to pass that such temptations do enliven the true Christian, awakening the graces of the Spirit'in bim; and, by that means, discover both the reality, and the strength of grace in him. And hence, as Luther, that great man of God, faith, " One Christian who hath had ex"perience of temptation, is worth a thousand others.”

Sometimes a stormy wind of trouble and perfecution from the men of the world, blows upon the vine, ' i. e. myftical Christ: but union with the stock is a sufficient security to the branches. In a time of the church's peace and outward prosperity, while the angels hold ine winds that they blow not, there are a great many branches taken up, and put into the stock, which never knit with it, nor live by it, though they be bound up with it, by the bonds of external ordinances. Now These may stand a while on the Atock; and stand with great ease, while ilie calı lafts. But when once the storms arise, and the winds blow; Tiey will begin to fall off, one after another: and the higher the wind riceth, the greater will the number be that falls. Yea fome strong

mughs of that fort, when they fall, will, by their weight, carry others of their own kind, quite down to the earth with thein; and will bruise

ric press down some true branches in such a manner, that they would alio ad off, were it not for their being knit to the stock; in virtue Wherece tacy get up their heads again, and cannot fall off, because of that faát hold the stock has of them. Then it is that many bran. ches, faneruo high and eminent, are found lying on the earth withered, and fit to be gathered up and cait into the fire, Matth, xüi. 6. < And when the lun was up, they were scorched; and because . ley had no root, they withered away." - John xv, 6. If a man

'' “ abide.

torm is chan have kept, anid it out, and we haid Mat on the Chrift

on the eart the lifter. if profefiors of rey be little

« abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and e men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." But however violently the winds blow, none of the truly ingrafted branches, that are knit with the stock, are found milling, when the storm is changed into a calm, Jolin xvii. 12. “ Those that thou gay“ eft me, I have kept, and none of them is lost." The least twig growing in Christ shall stand it out, and subsist; when the tallelt cedars growing on their own root, thall be laid Mat on the ground, Rom. viii. 35. “Who fhall separate us from the love of Chrift? " Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or naked« ness, or peril, or sword?See ver. 36, 37, 38, 39. However fe. verely Israel be sifted, yet shall not the leaf grain, or as it is in the original language, a litile stone fall upon the earth, Amos ix. It is an allusion to the fifting of fine peeble stones from among heaps of dust and land: tho? the fand and dust fall to the ground, be blown away with the wind, and trampled under foot; yet there shall not fall on the earth so much as a little slone, such is the exactness of the fieve, and care of the fifter. .. 'I here is nothing more ready to fall on the . carth than a stone : yet if professors of religion be lively stones built on Christ the chief corner stone; altho' they be litile stones, they shall not fall to the earth, whatever storm beat upon them. See 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5,6. All the good grain in the church of Christ is of this kind; they are stones in respect of folidity; and lively stones, in respect of activity. If men be solid substantial Christians, they will not be like chaff tosfedt to and fro with every wind; having so much of the liveliness that they have nothing of the stone : and if they be lively Christians, whose

fpirit will stir in them, as Paul's did, " when he saw the city wholly ị 1 given to idolatry,” Acts xvii. 16. they will not ly like stones, to

be turned over, hither and thither, cut and carved, according to the lufts of men ; having so much of the stone, as leaves nothing of liveliness in them.

Our God's house is a great house, wherein are not only et vessels of « gold, but also of earth,” 2 Tim. ii. 20. Both these are apt to , contract filthiness; and therefore, when God brings trouble upon the

church, he hath an eye to both. As for the vesiels of gold, they are | not destroyed, but purged by a fiery trial in the furnace of affliction,

as gold-Smiths purge their gold, Ifa.1. 25. “ And I will turn my hand “ upon thee, and purely purge away thy drofs.” But destruction is to the vessels of earth : they thall be broken in Shivers, as a potter's vessel, ver.28, “And the destruction (or breaking) of the trans“ greffors, and of the finners, shall be together." It seems to be an allution to that law', for breaking the veffels of earth, when unclean ; : while veliels of wood, and consequently vessels of gold were only to be' rinsed, Lev, xv. 12. ii ii,

A Ninth benefit is Support. If thou be a branch ingrafted in Christ, the root beareth thee. The believer leans on Christ, as a weak woman in a journey, leaning upon her beloved husband, Cant. viii. 5. He

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stays himself upon him, as a 'feeble old man stays himself on his staff, Ifa. 1. 10. He rolls himself on him, as one rolls a burden he is not able to walk under, off his own back, upon another who is able to bear it, Pfal. xxii. 8. Marg. There are many weights to hang upon, and press down the branches in Christ the true Vine! But ye know, whatever weights hang on branches, the stock bears all ; it bears the branch and the weight that is upon it too.

1/4, Christ supports believers in him, under a weight of outward troubles. That is a large prrmise, Isa. xliii. 2. “ When thou passest a through the waters, I will be with thee :, and through the rivers, “ they Thall not overflow thee." See how David was supported under a heavy load, 1 Sam. xxx. 6. His city Ziklag was burnt, his wives were taken captives, his men spoke of stoning him; nothing was left him but his God and his faith; but by his faith he encouraged himself in his God. The Lord comes and lays his cross on his people's shoulders ; it' prefreth them down; they are like to sink under it, and therefore cry, " Master, fave us, we perish :" but he supports them under their burden; he bears then up, and they bear their cross. Thus the Christian having a weight of outward troubles upon him, goes lightly under his burden, having withal the “ everlasting arms * underneath him."". The Christian has a spring of comfort, which he cannot lose; and therefore never wants something to support him. If one have all his riches, ir money, robbers may take these away ; and then what has he more? But though the landed man be robbed of his money, yet his lands remain for his support. They that build their comfort on worldly goods, may quickly be comfortless : but they that are united to Christ, thall find comfort when all the streams of worldly enjoyments are dried up, Job vi. 13. ^ Is not my help in “ me? And is wisdom driven quite from me?" q.d. Though my substance is gone; though my servants, my children, my health, and foundness of body, are all gone ; ýet my grace is not gone too. Tho' the Sabeans have driven away my oxen and asses, and the Chaldeans have driven away camels'; they have not driven away my faith and my hope too: these are yet in me, they are not driven from me; so that by them I can fetch comfort from heaven, when I can have none from earth.

2dly, Christ supports his people'under a weight of inward troubles and discouragements. Many times“ heart' and flesh fail them,” but then, “ God is the strength of their heart," Plal. lxxiii. 26. They may have a weight of guilt pressing them. This is a load that will make their back to stoop, and the spirits to link: but he takes it off, and puts a pardon in their hand, while they cast their burden over upon him.' Christ takes the foul, as one marries a widow, under 2 burden of debt; and so when the creditors come to Christ's spouse, she carries them to her husband, confeffeth the debt, declares the is not able to pay, and lays all over upon him. The Christian somea times, through carelestiness, loseth his discharge; he cannot find it,

how. law,

the Scabels of body though nven quite ob vi. 13. when all thes

lutterly mediator ther, they of death ? A les one li

however he search for it. The law takes chat opportunity; and berds up a process against him for a debt paid already. God hides his faces and the soul is diftreffed. Many arrows go through the heart now; many long accounts are laid before the man, which he reads and acknowledges. Often does he see the officers coming to apprehend, him, and the prison door open to receive him. What else keeps him from sinking utterly under discouragements in this case, but that the everlasting arms of a Mediator are underneath him, and that he relies upon the great Cautioner? Further, they inay have a weight of strong lusts pressing them. They have a body of death upon thein. Death is a weight that preseth the foul out of the body. A leg or an arm of death (if I may lo speak) would be a terrible load. (One lively lust will sometimes ly so heavy on a child of God, that he can no more remove it, than a child could throw a giant from off him.) How then are they fupported under a whole body of death? Why, their support is from the root that bears them, from the everlasting arm that is underneath them. His grace is sufficient for them, 2 Cor. xiii. 9.' The great stay of the believer is not the grace of God within him, that is a well, whose streams fometimes run dry : but it is the grace of God without him, the grace that is in Jesus Christ; which is an ever-flowing fountain, to which the believer can never come amiss. For the Apostle tells us in the fame verse, it is the power of Christ. :/ "Most gladly therefore," saith he, will I rather glory in my in. " infirmities, that the power of Christ may reft upon me, or taber" 'nacle above me," as the cloud of glory did on the Ifraelites, which God spread for a covering, or shelter to them in the wilderness, Pfal cy. 39compare Isa. iv. 5, 6. So that the believer in this combat, like the eagle, first flies aloft (by faith) and then comes down on the prey, Pfal. xxxiv. §. " They looked to him, and were " lightened." And finally, they have “ a weight of weakness and "wants upon them, but they " cait over that burden on the Lord " their strength, and he sustains them,” Pfal. lv. 22. With all their wants and weaknesses, they are cast upon him; as the poor, weak and naked babe, coming out of the womb, is cast into the lap of one appointed to take care of it, Pfal. xxii. 10. Though they be destitute ; (as a shrub in the wilderness, which the foot of every beast may tread down) the Lord will regard them, Pfal. cii. 17. It is no marvel, the weakest plant may be safe in a garden: but our Lord Jesus Christ is a hedge for protection to his weak and deftitutę ones, even in a Wilderness.

Object. “But if the saines be supported, how is it that they fall ! " lo often under temptation and discouragements?” Anf: (1.) How

long soever chey fall at any time, they never fall off ; and that is a great matter. They "are kept by the power of of God through faith unto salvation,” , Pet. i. 5. Hypocrices may so fall, so as to fall off, and fall into the pit, as a bucket falls into a well when the chain breaks. Buç though the child of God may fall, and that so

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