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in; Psalm cxlvii. 3, " He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds."

Mot. 3. The hardest heart will break at length, if not in a way of mercy, yet in a way of judgment; Prov. xxix. 1, “ He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Heb. broken, and no healing.) Thy sins are breaking to the Spirit of God; Ezek. vi. 9. Assure thyself that the stone will roll back on thyself sooner or later; if it do not kindly break thee in a way of repentance, it will grind thee to powder in the way of wrath. To such we would give the following directions briefly :

Believe the threatenings against sin, and apply them; Jonah iii. 5, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackoloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” This belief worketh fear, and fear worketh sorrow. And though this be but legal humiliation, yet this is ordinarily a mean sanctified of God to bring forward the elect sinner to Christ, as it was when Noah builded the ark; Heb. xi. 7. Ponder thy manifold sins, on the one hand, and the rich mercies with which thou hast been visited on the other. This is a proper mean to bring the heart into a broken disposition; Rom. ii. 4,“ The goodness of God leadeth to repentance.” Believe and meditate on the sufferings of Christ for sin. Look how he was broken for it in a way of suffering, till thy heart be broken for it in a way of repentance; Zech. xii. 10, (quoted above). We address ourselves, in the next place, to broken-hearted sin

To such we say, Come to Christ as a Physician for binding op and healing your broken hearts. You have sufficient encouragement to put your cases in his hand. It is a part of the work expressly put upou him by the Father, to bind up your wounds.-Ho has a most tender sympathy for such broken-hearted ones; Isa. lxiii. 9, “ In all their affliction, he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them : in his love and in his pity ho redeemed them, and he bare them and carried them all the days of old.” Therefore let us improve this sympathy; Heb. iv. 15, 16, “For we have not an high priest, who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” He is very near to such, even as dwelling under one roof with them for their welfare ; Isa. Ixvii. 15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”—There is a particular relation betwixt him as the Physician, and the broken-hearted as his proper patients; and therefore he has a peculiar care of them; Ezek. xxxiv. 15, 16, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God; I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick ; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, I will feed them with jadgment.” You see that he will handle the broken-hearted very tenderly ; Isa. xl. 11, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young; chap. xlii. 3, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax sball he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth."


In the last place, we would exhort those whose broken hearts Christ has healed, to take heed to the preserving your restored health. Indeed every one who seems to be healed, is not healed by the hand of the true Physician; but if your hearts are now eased, and your wounds bound up by the great Physician, you will know it by these three things. 1. You will have an appetite for spiritual food; 1 Pet. ii. 2, 3, “ As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” When one begins to recover in earnest, he recovers his appetite. But such a one, say we, is not well yet, for he has no appetite; so thou art not well if thou dost want the spiritual hunger.-2. Your food will relish with you; Prov. xxvii. 7, « The full soul loatheth the honey-comb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." Many have their qualms of conscience which they get over, but still they have no relish for spiritual things, but for the world and their lusts. But if Christ has healed thee, he has corrected thy taste. Lastly, You will be beginning to walk in the way of God. “I will run," saith David, “ in the


of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart," Psalm cxix. 32. They who return with the dog to the vomit, show that their disease is yet in its strength, though they are not sensible of pain.

Now, if Christ has healed you, to perceive the health of your souls, it is necessary for you to keep a good and regular diet. Beware of these things which formerly cast thee into soul-sickness. Peter went no more back to the high priest's hall, nor Judah to Tamar; Gen. xxxviii. 26. Feed there, and on these things which may tend to the soul's health. “Behold," said Jesus to the impo

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tent man he had healed," behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee." And for this cause observe your Physician's rules in all things.— Walk circumspectly, take notice of every step you make, as one who has had a broken limb healed; Isa. xxxviii. 15, “ I shall go softly,” said Hezekiah, "all my years, in the bitterness of my soul.” And beware of walking in the dark, of going forward there where you cannot discern your way by the light of the Lord's word. Study to increase in love to Christ, zeal for his glory, and hatred of sin. Always keep correspondence with your Physician. Be often at the throne of grace by prayer, and keep up communion with him in the exercise of faith. They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Amen.



Isaiah Ixi. 1,

To proclaim liberty to the captives.

HITHERTO we have had Christ's commission as it respects those who have some good in them, the meek and the broken-hearted. Here is his commission with respect to those who have no good in them, but are atter strangers to him, living in their natural state. He is anointed to proclaim liberty to the captives. In which words consider,

1. Man's natural state. It is a state of captivity: they are captives to Satan : 2 Tim. ji. 26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captives by him at his will." He is the tyrant whose captives they are, who has carried them away out of the light of God's favour, and holds them fast in his territories, being the god of this world. Consider,

2. Christ's work with respect to them. It is to proclaim liberty to them, Luke iv. 18, “ To preach deliverance to the captives.” These are indeed the same. Luke's word for liberty or deliverance, is properly dismissing or letting away, that is, giving liberty. The words for preaching and proclaiming signify properly to cry, and are used either of preaching or proclaiming. And what is preachVOL. IX.

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ing but proclaiming in the name of the king of heaven? and so this relates to Christ's kingly office. From this part of the subject we take the following DOCTRINES :

DOCTRINE I. Ti sinners in their natural unregenerate state are Satan's captives.

DOCTRINE II. That Jesus Christ, with the express consent of his Father, has issued out his royal proclamation of liberty to Satan's captives.

We begin with

Doctrine I. That sinners in their natural unregenerate state are Satan's captives.

For illustrating this doctrine, we shall consider,
I. How sinners in their natural state have become Satan's captives.
II. What is their condition as Satan's captives.
III. The properties of this captivity, and then,
IV. Add the improvement of the subject.
We are then,

I. To shew how sinners in their natural state have become Satan's captives. They have become his captives,

1. As taken in war; 2 Peter ii. 19, “Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." Satan having proclaimed war against Heaven, maliciously set on our first parents in paradise, and on all mankind in them. He set on them as the confederates of heaven, and carried his point, gained the victory. And in this respect lie is still pursuing the victory, and driving the unrenewed world before him as prisoners of war, called his lawful captives, Isa. xli. 24. They have become his captives, because

2. They are born his captives, as being born of those whom he overcame and carried captive. So they are expressly called the children of hell, Matth xxiii. 15. There were many of the captives in Babylon who had never seen Canaan, having been born in that country. These were captives no less than their parents, and that by their birth. So is it with Adam's posterity naturally; they were born under the power of Satan, Acts xxvi. 18. When a slave, under the law, married in his master's house, though at the end of seven years he got his own freedom, yet the children were his master's, as being born in his house, and could not be free without a particular liberty for them, Exod. xxi. 4. Thus even the children of godly parents are by nature Satan's captives; children of Abraham, children of the devil. To the Jews our Saviour said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do," John viii. 44. We were,

II. To enquir, what is their condition as Satan's captives. Upon this we observe,

1. That every natural man is transported from his primitive soil into Satan's territories, his kingdom of darkness. Hence believers are said “to be turned from the power of Satan unto God.” Acts xxvi. 18. And again, Col. i. 13, “ God has delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Sinners are not now where God at first set them down; they are transported into another kingdom; like the prodigal, they have left their father's house, and gone into a farcountry, where they have spent their substance, Luke xv. 13. They are far from God, his covenant, and his Son. Thou art in Satan's kingdom, 0 unconverted soul! a black and dismal kingdom, where sin, darkness, and death reign, where there is no gleam of saving light or life ; and if thou wert awakened out of thy dream, thou wilt see matters so situated; a kingdom with which God will have war for ever; and thou art an unhappy subject of that kingdom.

2. They are plundered and robbed of all that is valuable, as captives used to be; Rev. iii. 17, " They are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." The light of the mind, the righteousness of the will, the holiness of the affections, all are lost, all has become a spoil and a prey to the hellish conqueror. Now thou art a poor captive, who hast nothing truly good left thee, nothing which the bands of hell have not made thee render up.

3. They are stripped, as has also been an ancient custom of dealing with captives. Thus, as the prophet Isaiah, ch. xx. 3, 4, walked three years naked, for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and Ethiopia ; so did the king of Assyria carry away these nations captive, naked and bare-foot. What a melancholy sight is it, to see brave men, who were glittering in shining apparel and arms at the commencement of an engagement, when fallen into the hands of their enemies, stript and driven away naked before the conquerors. But yet more melancholy to see precious souls stript by Satan of their original righteousness, and driven away before him, without any covering but rags, filthy rags, Rev. iii. 17. This, O sinner, is the shameful and dangerous case which thou art in as Satan's captive.

4. They are no more masters of themselves, but under the power of the conqueror; 2 Tim. ii. 26, " They are taken captive by him at his will.” Their liberty is gone, and they are slaves to the worst of masters. Wonder not that many a poor sioner is at Satan's beck, over the belly of reason and conscience, to serve the devil, to their own visible ruin. Alas! they are captives, not at their

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