Imatges de pÓgina


not to be fuel to our lusts. Let us use them so as we would wish to have done in the day when we will see them delivered ; that is, use them to the honour of God.

[3.] Let us never build our nest in that tree at the root of which the axe is lying. The creature is passing, lay not the weight of your portion upon it. Ye cannot abide with this world ; and if yo could, it will not abide with you. He is a fool, though he act the part of a king on a stage, who looks not for a portion that will be more abiding. For where is ho when the stage is taken down?

[4.] Look for your portion in another world, where is an enduring substance: Matth. vi. 19, “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” Verse 20, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” This world is no continuing city ; look out for one that is to come. That is life, which begins after death is subdued, and when mon shall dio no

To be easy hero is no great matter, but to bo so then is what should be our chief concern.

[5.] Be holy in all manner of conversation, 2 Pet. iii. 11. This is the time of God's forbearanco, wherein many confusions aro suslorod in the world : the holy and unholy aro mixed : the effects of sin lio on God's good creatures, as well as sinners: but this will draw to an end, and there will be a fair separation. It concerns you now to see on what sido you shall be set, to distinguish yourselves by holiness now, from those you would be distinguished from by bappiness hereafter.

(3.) And last place. Boliovo thy delivery, and help it forwards with your prayers. Cry for tho great deliveranco, the restitution of all things. It is ono of six petitions our Lord has put into our months, “Thy kingdom come;" and the last in the book of God is, “Even so, como, Lord Jesus," Rev. xxii. 20. I would have you to consider,

[1.] That the churches are all groaning together this day; somo of them under temporal plagues, being raised by Antichrist; all of them under spiritual plagues, a fearful decay of power and purity among them, whereby the disease is become general. The concern for the Protestant interest is very little at the hearts of somo Protestant states. But a due concern for the Protestant religion, the promoting truth and holiness, by a thorough reformation, appears to be very little at the hearts of any of them : Isa. Ixiii. 5, “ And I looked, and there was none to help: and I wondered that there was


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none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me."

[2.] That the wheels of providence seem to be running speedily forward to great changes in the world. God is shaking the nations, and things appear as in Luke xxi. 10, 11, “ Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights, and great signs shall there be from heaven.” And who knows what shall be the issue ? But we may be sure that the mystery of God is carrying on by them, and a way making towards it being finished.

Let us then, by our prayers, help on the deliverance of the creation, from sin and its consequences, by crying mightily to the Lord, that these glorions things which are spoken of the city of God in the latter days may be fulfilled, and so the end may come.-I now proceed to

Doct. III. That the whole creation makes a mournful concert in the ears of serious Christians, by their groans under man's sin.—Or,

That how deaf soever others be to the groans of the creature under man's sin, serious Christians will not be so, they will be affected with them.-In speaking to this, I shall be very short.

I shall only, in a few words,
1. Mention the reasons why they so affect serious Christians.
II. Make some improvement.

I. I am to mention the reasons why they so affect serious Christians.-- Among others, there are the following:

1. They are the undoubted mark of man's fall and apostacy from God, which cannot fail to affect a serious heart. Sin has marred the beauty of the creation ; and though blackness is no deformity among blackamores, yet it is so amongst the whites. Some glory in their shame, but they will not do so to whom sin has been truly shameful. Now, these groans are the memorials of the fall.

2. They are the constant evidences of God's indignation against, and hatred of sin, which are never wanting in the world. And it is a child-like disposition to be affected with the tokens of their father's anger; though they who have no care to please God, can easily pass the signs of God's displeasure, others cannot.

3. They bring their own sins to remembrance : and a tender conscience disposes persons to think, “ This is for my sake, for my provocations, that they suffer.” And so the saints groan with the groaning creatures, and long for the commou deliverance.

4. God is dishonoured by the sinner's abuse of the creatures. This

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wakes both the creature and true Christians to groan, to see God's good creatures abused, to the dishonour of their Creator.

II. I am now to make some improvement; and all I propose here, is an exhortation-not to be deaf to the groans of the creation under man's sin, but to be suitably affected with them. God has not only made them groan with their ordinary, but with an extraordinary groan; and if you do not from hence see what an ill thing sin is, what a just God the Lord is, and how severely he punishes, and so set forwards to reformation of life, you may assure yourselves you will see these things more to your cost, when you yourselves shall be made to groan under the heavy hand of the Lord.

Alas! for the security and impenitency of Scotland; nothing of all we have yet met with will rouse us out of it. Take heed that God do not create a new thing amongst us, which whoso shall lear of, their ears shall tingle, and thus groans of another sort from houses and fields shall be heard.

O that we were showing ourselves serious Christians, by our being deeply affected by the groans of the creation under sin ! If wo were so, we would be,

(1.) Groaning under a sense of our own sin, and the sins of the land: mourning for the dishonour done to God by ourselves and others, by which we have grieved the Spirit of God, and burdened the very earth that bears us.

(2.) We would be weaned from, and in a holy manner wearying of the world, wbich is a compound of sin, misery, and vanity.

Lastly, We would be longing for the glorious day of the great change abiding the world, when our Lord's kingdom shall be fully come,--the mystery of God finished, --sin and misery swept out of the world,--and the saiuts and the creatures perfectly delivered. Amon.



NUMB. xiv. 24,
But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and

hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he

went, and his seed shall possess it. The Lord being provoked with the murmuring of the people, in consequence of the ill report of the land brought by the spies, though he • Delivered after the dispensation of the Lord's supper, July, 1712.


did not destroy the people all at once ; yet, justly displeased, he threatened to cut off the whole generation of murmurers, so that not one of them ghould come to Canaan. His anger at the rebels, however, did not make him forget his faithful servant Caleb, who had acted a totally different part from the rest of the spies, together with Joshua, who is not named here, because now be was not numbered with the people, being for the present the attendant of Moses, and afterwards his successor, as captain to lead the children of Israel into Canaan. This intimates to us, that God's own people may get special intimations of his love in a time when God is angry with the generation. However great the darkness may be, some select ones will always have a Goshen, a land of light to dwell in. Joys may be their portion, while God is distributing sorrows to others.

There were twelve spiez, all of them noblemen or gentlemen, heads of the children of Israel, Num. xiii. 3. There were two, and but two of them, faithful to God and their country. Ten of them brought up an ill report of the land, dishonoured God, and ruined both their countrymon and themselves. They that are false to God, will never be true friends to their country. Hence we see, thongh not many noble are called, yet some are. Greatness and goodness met in Caleb.-Goodness, that he would not desert the cause of God, notwithstanding of all the ill company with which he was associated. They have little religion, that will not endure the shock of ill company, bo they never so great.-In the text there is,

1. Caleb's charactor.-More generally, God owned him as his servant. This honour God put upon him. It is an honour to the greatest to be God's servants; thongh the greater part will rather be the devil's slaves, and count that their honour. But blackness is beauty among black men.-More particularly, Caleb was a man of a truly gallant and generous spirit. His name signifies all heart, and liis disposition corresponded with his name. He had another spirit than that of the world, another than his own, another than the rest of the spies. Ho possessed a spirit from heaven, calculated for the work to which ho was appointed; and that Spirit inspired him with courago, with undauntod resolution, while the rest were misled by a base, mean, sneaking spirit. He was truly courageous in his actions; his other spirit made him behavo himself otherwise than tho rest. IIe followed the Lord fully; he walked with the Lord, kept close by his duty, in opposition to all dilliculties and discouragements. He was not afraid of the Anakims, nor did his undaunted heart shrink at the sight of their high walls. IIe know that towns, walls, armies, and giants, must fall before the

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Lord, when his promise was engaged for it. His companions deserted and contradicted him in his good report. The people threatened him with stoning, but he was all heart, would not yield, but followed the Lord fully. (IIebrew, fulfilled after the Lord.) Whatever way the Lord led, he followed. In the text there is,

2. The gracious recompense which God promised to his steadiness and faithfulness; that is, the possession of that good land, while the carcases of the rest fell. Pioty is the best policy. They who are careful of God's honour, he will see to their interest. Caleb was to fight for the land, but God says, I will bring him into it. The praiso of the success of our endeavours is due to the Lord only ; this promise secured his through-bearing over all difliculties. From this subject, we may draw the following doctrines, which wo shall attend to in their order, viz.

Doct. I. That the honest servants of Jesus Christ must distinguish themselves from others, by following the Lord fully.

Doct. II. That they who would follow the Lord fully must have another spirit, another than tho spirit of the world, another than their own spirit naturally is.

Doct, III. That those who, by following tho Lord fully in the time of great declining, distinguish themselves from others, God will distinguish them, by special marks of favour in a time of great calamity.—Tho scripture assords many instances in proof of this, as Noah, Lot, Jeremiah, &c.- We begin with

Doct. I. That the honest servants of Josus Christ must distinguish themselves from others, by following the Lord fully.--I'or illustrating this doctrine, it is intended,

I. To show what it is to follow the Lord fully.
II. To give the reasons of the point. And then,
III. To improve the subject.- We are then,
1. To shew what it is to follow the Lord fully.

1. It is to follow the Lord only as our great guide and leader : Heb. xii. 2, “Let us run the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” They that follow not tho Lord only, do not follow him fully: Ios. x. 2, “ Their heart is divided.” Their heart was going, one part after the Lord, another after their idols. He must have the whole man. Now, this implies two things,

(1.) The soul's ceasing to follow all others who do not lead in subordination, but in contradiction to him. We have eaten our gospel-passover, and must now set forward on our journey. Wo stand as in a place where two ways meet, and at the entrance to

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