Imatges de pÓgina

your word.

gages not in the work of religion is cumbered about many things, had he not better take up with the one thing needful? The saint has but one master to serve; sinners have many, not only at war with God, but at war among themselves, one lust dragging them one way, and another another way.

5. The time is coming, when working in the vineyard will be over; and if ye continue to refuse, ye know not if ever you will get another offer; “ for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” This day's delay may be an eternal loss, for you may be in eternity before another day. A new refusal is dangerous ; God may


at 6. Our Lord is content yet to invite you to his work, notwithing your former refusals; you will still be accepted : “Him that cometh unto me," says Jesus, " I will in nowise cast out."

7. Whatever hardships may be in the work of religion, it is not long ere you shall be freed from them all; you shall be made more than conquerors : “You shall rest from your labours, and your works shall follow you.”

Lastly, If you will not, then remember death will make you change your mind, and you will get a long eternity to repent that ye did not repent in time. But such a change can then be of no avail, but to increase your misery. Infinitely better, then, will it be for you if this change take place at present; “ for now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation."




Psalm cxxxi. 2,
My soul is even as a weaned child.

This psalm is David's profession of piety, wherein he discovers what was the habitual bent of bis heart, and course of his life. The occasion of it seems to have been the injury done him by Saul and bis courtiers, who reproached him as a proud, ambitious, and turbulent man.

Flis comfort is the testimony of his own conscience,

Delivered on Sabbath afternoon, August 1, 1714.

which witnessed, 1. The humility of his heart. This kept him from an aspiring temper, and within the bounds of his station. 2. His easiness in any condition with which the Lord was pleased to tryst him. God had promised him the kingdom, yet kept him from it long, and that in very hard circumstances ; but yet he was easy under it; he was far from that restless itching after a crown, of which his enemies accused him.

In the text, he points out the spring of this easiness : “My soul is even as a weaned child :" that is, his heart was loosed from those things to which the hearts of men naturally are glued. There is here, 1. Something supposed, namely, that the day was, when he was sucking the breasts which fallen Adam led all his children to, as well as others.; that he was even as fond of them, and could as ill want them, as a child the breast. 2. Something expressed ; that now there was a change, the child was weaned, set to another way of living, and could want the breasts. God had taken off his heart from those things on which naturally it was set, and now he fed at God's hand, instead of creatures'. He does not speak of willingly forsaking these breasts of his own accord, but he was weaned by the power of grace. Now, this is his comfort against the aspersions of his enemies. From this subject I take this

DOCTRINE, That grace makes a weaned soul.
In discoursing which, I shall inquire,
I. From what does grace wean the soul ?
II. How is the soul weaned from these things?
III. What are the effects of a weaned disposition of soul ?
IV. Make some practical improvement.
I am to inquire,

I. From what does grace wean the soul ? Grace weans the soul, 1. From the dry breasts of the world. One part of pure religion, and undefiled, before God and the Father, is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, James i. 27. For, says John, 1st Ep. ii. 16, “ All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” The soul of man is not self-sufficient, and must fetch in its satisfaction from something without itself, seeing it is capable to desire what it hath not to furnish itself with. Our first father, Adam did us two ill turns; he led us out of the path of life, not knowing how to get into it again, and so left us with a conscience full of guilt; he led us away from the living God, not knowing how to return to him again, and so left us with a heart full of unsatisfied desires. Hence the poor soul is like the horse leech, having two daughters crying, Give, give; a restless conscience, and a restless heart, to each of which it must say, as Naomi to Ruth, chap. iii. 1, " My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?" But alas! the first way it goes for that, is through dry places, as the devil, when he goes out of a man. For the restless conscience seeks rest in the dry and barren region of the law, Rom. X. 3,“For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness;" for the restless heart goes to the creatures, saying, Who will shew us any good? The poor soul, like a hungry infant, weeps and crys, shifts about as it can, gaping for something to fill the mouth. The world is nearest, and there it fastens and sucks. The soul has fallen off the breasts of divine consolations, and cannot set itself on again, and therefore takes up with the breasts of the world; but grace takes off the soul again. And,

1. Grace weans the soul from the profits of the world : Heb. xi. 26,“ Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures in Egypt.” The natural man fixes on them, drinks greedily at the broken cisterns. His hungry heart flies out after them, as a ravenous bird after its prey; he is restless till he get them, as the child is for the breasts; he is fond of them, when he has them, as the infant plays with the breasts. They say they are become rich, they have found out substance, Hos. xii. 8. But when grace comes, it stops the chase. It makes the bulky vanity, that can only satisfy the fancy of children, and not souls of men, dwindle into nothing.

2. Grace wears the soul from the pleasures of the world. Pleasure is a necessary ingredient in happiness, and men cannot but seek it; hence God proposes it to the soul in the enjoyment of himself, Psalm xvi. 11; “In his presence there is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures for ever more.” But the soul, instead of going to God for it, to drink at the pure fountain, naturally goes to the muddy streams of it in the world, and there sucks,-is as fond of the lusts of Egypt, flesh, &c. as the Israelites; yea, can as little live without them, as the sucking child without the breast: 2 Tim. iii. 4, " They are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” But when grace comes, it makes the soul fall off, and looses the heart from these things.

3. In a word, grace weans the soul from all worldly comforts whatsoever, making it take up its rest in God : Luke xiv. 6, “ If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” The heart of man takes a greedy grip, naturally, of relations, liberty, lise, and such things. These are their good things, which they can no more part with than the child with the breasts. Take these away, what has the man inore ? He has not a God. He will rather part with God and Christ than these things. But grace puts matters right; it regulates the affection to these things, and makes a soul ready to give up with them at God's call. rises again on another view, comes forward to it, and it is but a bush. They fall always short of expectation; and his most blooming hopes are blasted. When he is going to take in the most pleasant fruit, providence makes it even fall between the hand and the mouth, Hos. ix. 2, “The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.” Let him make his bed where he will, there is always a thorn in it. (2.) Severe wounds arise from them. The man leans with great delight on the broken reed; and ere he is aware, it pierceth through his hand. He sucks eagerly at the breast, and, instead of milk, wrings out blood. When striking the rock for water, instead of it, the fire flashes out in his face. Perhaps from the very thing from which he expected his greatest comfort, arises his greatest cross. Rachel must have children, else she dies; she gets them, and dies bringing them forth. But all this will not wean the soul; therefore,

2. Grace weans the soul from the foulsome breasts of sin, so that it loaths that which it loved before. The soul in its natural state is like Israel, Ezek. xvi. 4, " Not cut, neither washed in water to supple them; not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.” They had lain long in the foul womb of Egypt, and after they came out, they were still sucking in the Egyptian manners, customs, ånd abominable courses. Thus men suck the breasts of sin; they seek satisfaction in those things which they ought not so much as desire; they greedily drink of what God forbids them to taste; they are as fond of their sins as a child is of the breast, their hearts aro averse to part with their sinful courses. There is a sweetness in these to their corrupt hearts, which they cannot want. For, let a man go the round of all created lawful gratifications in the world, and squeeze the sap out of them all to satisfy his heart, they are so empty, that lie will break over the hedge, to try if forbidden fruits will make up the want which allowed fruits cannot do. But grace weans the heart from these breasts. It makes the person say, " That which I see not, teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do so no more," Job xxxiv. 32.

II. How the soul is weaned from these things?

1. Grace lays gall and wormwood upon these breasts, and so embitters them to the soul that it is made willing to give over sucking them. The heart is made loath to part with them; and though it is often about to give up with them, yet it still goes back again, hoping to suck sweeter than before; but still the gall and wormwood lies there, and more and more is laid on till the hoart be actually weaned. The way is hedged up with thoras. Hence," she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them : then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then it was better with me than now,” Hos. ii. 6, 7. Now, there are two things that serve to embitter these breasts. (1.) Continual disappointments from them. Though the man is always seeking satisfaction from them, he can never get it. Like the prodigal, Luke xv. 16, “He would fain fill his belly with the husks that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him.” The man is like one in a mist: he sees something, and it appears a house ; he comes to it, and it is but a stone. His hope

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2. The Lord fills the soul with better things; “ Open thy mouth wide," says God," and I will fill it,” Psalm lxxxi. 10. If the nurse take away the breast, she will not put an empty spoon into the child's mouth. The soul of man is an empty, wavering thing, must always have something to feed on; and will hold what it has as good for it, till it get what it counts better. The man will not quit hold of the world and his lusts, till he open his hand to take hold of Christ and all the benefits of the everlasting covenant in their stead. Therefore, the great transaction of the soul with Christ is called buying of him, in which if a man gives away his money, he gives it not but for as good, or better. Thus grace weans the soul; for, saith Jesus, John iv. 14, “ Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life." Hence, two things are evident. (1.) That only the enjoyment of God can wean the soul, and the soul will never be at rest till it rest in God. The heart of man must have a match, and will be ranging through the world for a match, till it meet with Christ, who is the pearl of great price; and, to gain this, quits with all. The soul of man will be a restless night-walker till the day of grace dawn, and discover Jesus the plant of renown. If they cannot work themselves happy, they will try to dream themselves happy, and prepare themselves a feast of a thousand airy nothings; possessions of the heart, though not of the hand. (2.) That the soul will never be boasted away from these breasts. The very dung, and asses' heads, will be precious in Samaria when there is no bread. Who is there that has not rational conviction of the world's vanity? yet men throng into the house, craving a fill. Why is it that men

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