Imatges de pÓgina
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one pearl that makes one give over seeking the many. The heart
of man is like a child that will not let the knife go out of its hand,
till something that pleases it better is put into it. Though the devil
go out, if the house be empty, he will return again, Matth. xii.
44, 45.

4. Lastly, If ye are not espoused to Christ, ye will fall in the wilderness, and never see the heavenly Canaan, Heb. iv. 12. They will have no access to the marriage above, that are not espoused to Christ here below. Nor will they be transplanted into the paradise above, who are not first planted in the nursery of grace below.

Thirdly. I invite, and sound an alarm to you all, to go up from this wilderness world with Christ. Rise, ye that are espoused to him, and come away. Rise, ye dwellers in the wilderness. Take him as your head and husband, and go along with him towards the heavenly Canaan, leaving this world in heart and affection.

QUEST. How shall I get up from the wilderness world, how will I get through it to the heavenly Canaan, while the journey is so hard and difficult for a poor weak creature? ANsw. I give you your directions and advice in a third doctrine from the text.

DOCTRINE. The way to get up from the wilderness-world to the heavenly Canaan, is to go all along leaning on Jesus Christ by faith. The way to live well in this world, till we come to heaven, is to live by faith.

Here I shall briefly shew what it is to go leaning, or to live by faith; and that we are allowed to go thus.

I. I shall shew briefly what it is to go leaning, or to live by faith. 1. It supposes the soul's taking, receiving, and embracing Christ for its head and husband, John i. 12. In the gospel Jesus Christ is offered, presented, and exhibited to every one that hears it, as the Father's gift to them, Isa. ix. 6; John iv. 10. He says in effect, "Poor souls, ye can never of yourselves make your way up through the wilderness; but I freely give you a strong one to lean upon. Take him and welcome." Hereupon the soul takes its hold of Christ for that end, the soul believes the gospel offer or promise as made to itself, saying in effect, "Then he is mine by the free offer made to me;" which implies the heart's consent to take him, and so the espousals are made, 1 John v. 11. It bears a going,

2. Cleaving to him, Acts xi. 23. Faith joins the soul to the Lord, so as to be one with him; and so holds the gripe, and will not quit it. The believer hangs by Christ, by the word of the gospel; and as the weak woman dares not lean to her own strength, but cleaves to her husband on the journey, so does the believer to Christ.

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3. A going on under a sense of weakness, 2 Cor. iii. 5. There are two causes of one's going leaning upon another. One is love, the other weakness; both concur here. The believer loves Christ as his Lord and Husband, and therefore will lean on him; he is sensible of utter weakness and inability to make the journey in his own strength, and therefore must lean on him. Faith is a self-emptying grace, and therefore is chosen to be the mean of communication on our part betwixt the Lord and us, Rom. iv. 16.

4. A going on, laying our weight on the Lord Jesus for the whole of the journey, Psalm lv. 22. When the believer sets out with Christ, he says to him, "All thy wants be on me." "So be it," says the believing soul, and so rolls itself upon him for all. Hence faith is called a staying, Isa. 1. 10, as an old man stays himself upon his staff; a believing on Christ, as a chief corner-stone, i. e. laying the weight on him, as the foundation, 1 Pet. ii. 6.

b. Lastly. A going on, with a persuasion that we shall be borne up and borne through by him, 2 Tim. i. 12. This is the plain import of leaning on Christ; for none will ever lean on that for help, concerning which they have no manner of persuasion that they shall be helped by it. Thus faith is called trusting in God, relying on him, both which bear this persuasion. And they that would remove this from the nature of faith, would destroy it, and leave us a mere wavering opinion in its stead.

But as one may lean trembling, so faith may be accompanied with doubting. But as trembling belongs not to the nature of leaning, but is opposite to it; so doubting belongs not to the nature of faith, but is opposite to it. And the more trembling the less leaning, so the more doubting the less faith.

This going up from the wilderness, leaning, is walking in Christ Jesus as we have received him, Col. ii. 6, which is the only true holiness competent to fallen man.


II. I shall shew, that we are allowed to go thus leaning. sider, that,

1. The Father has appointed the Mediator for this very end, that so he may bring many sons to glory, Psalm lxxxix. 19, "I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people." The first man, with all his children in his loins, set off alone through the world, on his own stock; and fell, being unable to make the journey. Wherefore now the strength for all the heirs of glory is lodged in Christ, and they are allowed to live and lean on him; 1 Cor. i. 30, " But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 2 Tim. ii. 1, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

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2. We are called and commanded to lean on him; Psalm lv. 22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee." Prov. iii. 5, 6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not into thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Psalm xxxvii. 5, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass." Isa. xxvi. 3, 4, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." It is the great duty called for in the Old and New Testament. We honour the Father and the Son, by doing this through the Spirit.

3. To pretend to go another way, is an abomination to the Lord, Prov. iii. 9. We know no holiness of Adam's fallen children, but what is a walking in Jesus Christ. Men may call the obedience given to the law otherwise, holiness; but a holy God will never own it as such, when it savours not of union with his Son.

USE. Then if ye would go up from the wilderness of this world to the heavenly Canaan, go leaning on Jesus Christ.

1. Go leaning on him for light to know your duty, Prov. iii. 5. Ye are in the wilderness; let him be eyes to you there; look to him, as the Israelites did to the motions of the cloud, for your direction. He is the great Prophet and Teacher; close your own eyes that ye may be guided by his word and Spirit.

2. Go leaning on him for strength to perform your duty, Phil. iv. 13. It will not be your weak hands that will work the work, nor your feeble knees that will perform the journey. The strength must come from him who is the Head. And ye must go on borrowed legs.

3. Lastly. Go leaning on him for acceptance, and the happy issue of your journey, Eph. i. 6. It is through him alone that any step in the Lord's way can be accepted, and by him alone we can be brought into the eternal rest.

In all this ye are to believe the word of promise, and on the credit of it to set about your duty, renouncing yourselves, and believing and applying the sufficiency treasured up in Christ.

Great is your need of leaning; ye have great work to do, a great journey to go, much weakness hangs about you, much opposition ye must encounter; yet forward ye must be out of the wilderness to the heavenly Canaan, else ye perish.

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And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.

Ir is too evident, that the generation we live in is in a declining condition; that professors are few, but real Christians fewer by far. Religion with many is turned to be the object of their ridicule; and among those that own it, to merely dry and sapless notions, for the most part. Few now are added to the church, or brought over out of the devil's camp. True godliness languishes, and serious experimental religion wears out. Therefore I would press religion in the life and power of it, on those that would save themselves from this untoward generation.

Here shines the brightest star in the patriarchal age, which having given light to the lower world for a time, was afterwards translated into a higher sphere, and passed out of the world in as un usual a manner as he lived in it. For as men live in the world, so ordinarily they go out of it.

There is a long account here, where nothing is marked but names and numbers, men's living and dying, till we come to Enoch, whose singular piety is recorded. OBSERVE. The life of man is for the most part a vain thing, of which, by the sleeping of some, and the slumbering of others, nothing remains remarkable, but that they lived and died. But close walking with God serves another and better purpose, than to cause one just fill up room in the world for a while.

From the short history of these antediluvian patriarchs, we may learn one lesson, that will serve us all our days, viz. That we must die, how long soever we live. It is reported of one, that by hearing this chapter read in the church, he got such an impression of his own death, that he turned religious, that he might die well. Drexel. de ætern.

But from the history of Enoch we may learn two lessons. 1. How to live well in this world. 2. The happiness that abides those in another world, who so live here; even eternal happiness of soul and body with the Lord.

* Several sermons preached at Ettrick, in the year 1716.

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In the words there is remarked a real preaching that was given to the old world by Enoch; a life-preaching; for his conversation preached to them, what religion was, and what was their great duty, viz. walking with God; a removal-preaching, (we cannot say his death preached, for he did not die; but his passage out of this world preached), that there is another and a better life with God in another world, both for soul and body. And this is no doubt marked, to shew us the mercy bestowed on that generation, that the godly in it might be encouraged, and the wicked left without excuse, while such a bright star shone so fair in that dark age. For it is observable, that his walking with God is twice told, once, ver. 22, and here again in the text, in conjunction with his happy removal, giving us a compendious body of divinity, written for the use of that age especially, (not excluding others), in this man's life and translation out of the world. So that God left not himself without a witness in that degenerate age. They not only heard, but saw in him, the power of godliness, and the reward of it too.

OBSERVE, Men will not only have the best instructions and warnings they get from the world, but those they get from the examples of holy men, to answer for in the day of accounts. There are silent preachers, who yet speak home, as Noah, who "being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world;" Heb. xi. 7; and the men of Nineveh, and the queen of the south, of whom our Lord says, Matth. xii. 41, 42, " The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here." Examples of a holy life, if they do not lead spectators to heaven, will drive them more deeply into destruction.

Though it is charitably thought, that all the patriarchs were good men, yet surely the age wherein Enoch lived was a very degenerate and profane age, Methuselah his son died the same year the deluge came on. He lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years. Enoch walked with God three hundred years. So from his translation there were six hundred and sixty-nine to the deluge. Of that they got one hundred and twenty years' warning of the deluge; so that to that time there were but five hundred and forty-nine years. There were none of those here mentioned but they lived more than seven hundred years. And God's Spirit had been long striving with the

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