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sibil ferile; nothing barren or unfruitful in it. God's vineyard is planted in a very fruitful hill. lla, v. 1.,“ And surely they that are « planted in the house of the Lord, should flourish in the courts of ~ our God; they fhould bring forth fruit, even in old age, to fhew " that God is upright," Pfal. xcii. 13, 14. “ They are created in “ Christ Jefus unto good works, which God hath ordained they “ Ihould walk in," Eph. ii. 10. “ They are married unto Chrift, that “ they might bring forth fruit to God,” Rom. vii. 4. An empty branch is a dishonour to the root that bears it, a barren field to the husbandman that owns it ; God cannot endure that in his fields which he suffers in the wilderness.

The third Corollary. If the church be God's husbandry, then there is such a special, gracious presence of the Lord in his churches, as is not to be found in all the world belide. Where may you expect to find the husbandman but in his own fields? There lies his bufiness, and there he delights to be. And where inay we expect to find God but in the afsemblies of his faints ? « He walks among the golden candlesticks," Rev. ii. 1. I will walk among you, (faith he) and be your God, 2 Cor. vi. 16. Upon this account the church is called Jehovab Shammab, the Lord is there, Ezek. xlviii. ult. You may fee the footAteps of God in the creatures, but the face of God is only to be seen ja his ordinances. Hence, Pfal. xxvii. 4. “ David longed for the "temple, that he might see the beauty of the Lord." Now what is beauty, but a fymmetry and proportion of parts? In she works of creation you fee one attribute manifested in one thing, and another in another thing: but in the sanctuary you may fee beauty, even in all the attributes of God displayed there : And, indeed, we find in fcripture such astonishing expreflions about the vitions of God in his church, that in reading them, a man can see little difference betwixt it and beaven; for as the church is called heaven, Mat. xxv. 1. so its description is like that of heaven. Heb. xii. 22, 23. “ You are 6 come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company « of angels," &c. And Rev. xxii. 4. ^ They Thall fee his face, “ and his name shall be written in their foreheads." And ver. 6. The faints are represented “ standing nearer to the throne of God " than the angels themselves." Hence also ordinances are called galleries, in which both saints and angels walk, beholding the glory of him that fits upon the throne. Zech. iii. 7. • If you will keep “ my ways, I will give you galleries to walk in among them that " {tand by.”

The fourth Corollary. If the church be God's husbandry, then those that be employed in ministerial work ought to be men of great judgment and experience in foul-affairs; for these are the labourers whom God, the myftical Husbandman employs and entrusts about his spiritual husbandry. Should husbandmen employ ignorant persons, that neither un

ber: mu ktheir workieed not be Be

derstand the rules nor proper seasons of husbandry; how much would such workmen damnify and prejudice him? He will not employ such to weed his fields, as know not wheat from tares; or to prune his trees, that think midsummer as fit for that work as December : much less will God. He qualifies all that he fends with wisa dom for their work. “ His workmen approve themselves workmen os indeed, such as need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of " truth,” 2 Tim. ii. 15. As Bezaleel was furnished with wildom before he was employed in tabernacle-work; fo Christ instructs his servants with skill and insight, before they are employed in minifterial work. He gives them a mouth and wisdom, Luke xxi. 15. endues them with power from on high; as Christ was filled abundantly with the Spirit for his work, fo, according to proportion, are those that are sent by him. John xx, 21, 22. As my Father hath "" sent me, so fend I you.” And as for those that run before they are sent, and understand not the mysteries of the gospel; I fhall fay no more of them but this ; “ Father, forgive them, for they know “ not what they do."

The fifth Corollary. To conclude, If the church be God's busbandry, that is, if hufbandry have so many resemblances of God's works about the church in it ; then how inexcuseable is the ignorance of husbandmen in the things of God, who, besides the word of the gospel, have the teaching of the creatures, and can hardly turn their hands to any part of their work, but the Spirit hints one fpiritual use or other from it to their souls? How do the scriptures abound with parables and lively fimilitudes taken from husbandry ? From the field, the feed, the plow, the barn, from threshing and winnowing ; fimilitudes also from planting, graffing, and pruning of trees; and not a few from the ordering of cattle. So that to what business foever you turn your hands, in any part of your calling, ftill God meets you with one heavenly instruction or other. But alas ! How few are able to improve their civil employments to such excellent ends! these things are but briefly hinted in the scriptures, and those hints scattered up and down, that they know not where to find them; and if they could, yet would it be difficult fo to methodize them, as it is necelsary they should be, in order to their due improvement by meditation.

And therefore I judged it necessary to collect and prepare them for your use; and in this manner to present them to you as you find them in the following chapters. Read, consider, and apply; and the Lord make you good husbandmen for your own souls.

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OBSERVATION. THE employment of the husbandman is by all acknowledged to

I be very laborious ; there is a multiplicity of business incum-. bent on him. The end of one work is but the beginning of another, every season of the year brings its proper work with it: sometimes you find him in his fields, dressing, plowing, sowing, harrowing, weeding, or reaping; and sometimes in his barn, thrething or winnowing ; fometimes in his orchard, planting, graffing, or pruning his trees; and sometimes among his cattle ; so that he hath no time to be idle. As he hath a multiplicity of business, so every part of it is full of toil and spending labour : he eats not the bread of idleness, but earns it before he eats it; and, as it were, dips it in his own fweat, whereby it becomes the sweeter to him. Though fin brought in the husbandman's sweat, Gen. iii. 19. yet now not to sweat would increase his fin, Ezek. xvi. 49.

APPLICATION. Behold here the life of a serious Christian, shadowed forth to the life. As the life of a husbandman, fo the life of a Christian is no idle nor easy life. They that take up religion for oftentation, and not for an occupation, and those that place the business of it in 'notions and idle speculations, in forms, geitures, and external observances, may think and call it so: but such as devote themselves unto it, and make religion their business, will find it no easy work to exercise themselves to godliness. Many there are that affect the reputation and weet of it who cannot endure the labour and sweat of it. If men might be indulged to divide their heart betwixt God and the world, or to cull out the cheap and easy duties of it, and neglect the more difficult and costly ones, it were an easy thing to be a Christian: but surely to have a respect to all God's commandments, to live the life, as well as speak the language of a Christian į to be holy in all manner of conversation, is not so easy. This will be, evident, by


manner well as speak terpect to all me an caly

comparing the life of a Christian with the life of a husbandman, in these five particulars ; wherein it will appear, that the work of a Christian is by much the harder work of the two.

1. The husbandman hath much to do, many things to look after ; but the Chriftian more: if we respect the extensiveness of his work, he hath a large field indeed to labour in, Psal. cxix. 96. “ Thy com“ mandment is exceeding broad," of a vast extent and latitude, comprizing not only a multitude of external acts and duties, and guiding the offices of the outward man about them, but also taking in every thought and motion of the inner man within its compass.

You find in the word, a world of work cut out for Christians ; there is hearing-work, praying-work, reading, meditating, and selfexamining-work; it puts him alfo upon à constant watch over all the corruptions of his heart, Oh, what a world of work hath a Christian about him? For of them he may say, as the historian doth of Hannibal, they are never quiet, whether conquering or conquered. How many weak, languifhing graces hath he to recover, improve, and strengthen? There is a weak faith, a languishing love, dull and faint defires to be quickened and invigorated. And when all this is done, what: a multitude of work do his several relations exact from him ? He hath a world of business incumbent on him, as a parent, child, husband, wife, master, servant, or friend, yea, not only to friends, but enemies. And, besides all this, how many difficult things are there to be borne and suffered for Christ? And yet God will not allow his people to neglect any one of them: neither can he be a Christian that hath not respect to every command, and is not holy in all manner of conversation, Psal. cxix. 6. 2 Pet. i. 11. every one of thefe duties, like the several spokes in a wheel, come to bear, in the whole round of a Christian's conversation : so that he hath more work upon his hands than the husbandman.

2. The husbandman's work is confessed to be spending work, but not like the Christian's. What Augustus said of the young Roman, is verified in the true Christian, Quicquid vult, vulde vult. What. foever he doth in religion, he doth to purpose. Under the law, God rejected the snail and the ass, Lev. xi. 30. Exod. xiii. 13. And under the gofpel, he allows no sluggish, lazy profeffor, 1 Tim. v. 11, 13. Sleepy duties are utterly unsuitable to the living God; he will have the very spirits distilled and offered up to him in every duty John iv. 24. he bestows upon his people the very fubstance and ker. nel of mercies, and will not accept from them the shells and shadows of duties ; not the kin, but the inwards, and the fat that covereth the inwards, were required under the law, Exod. xxix. 30., And every facrifice under the gospel, must be facrificium medullatum, a sa crifice full of marrow ; observe the manner in which their work is to be performed.

Rom. xi, 11. In ferving God, fervent in fpirit, or biffing hot.

en when Satan tand when he with him

: 2 Pet. i. ro. In fecuring salvation, diligent ; or doing it thoroughly and enough.

7 Tim. iv. 7. In godliness, exercising or stripping themselves; as for a race.

Tuke'xii. 24. In the pursuit of happiness, striving. even to an agony. . .

Acts xxvi. 7. In prayer, serving God instantly; or in a stretched out manner ; yea, pouring out their hearts before him, Pfal. Ixii. 8. as if the body were lett like a dead corps upon the knees, whilft the spirit is departed from it, and afcended to God. This is the manner of his work: judge then how much harder this work is, than to spend the sweat of the brow in manual labour. si i ndi

3. The husbandman finds his work as he left it, he can begin one day where he left the other; but it is not f with the Christian ; a bad heart and a bufy devil, disorder and spoil his work every day. The Christian finds not his heart in the morning, as he left it at night, and even when he is about his work, how many set-backs doth he meet with ? Satan stands at his right hand (the working hand) to resist him, Zech. iii. 1. when he would do good, evil (the evil of his own heart and nature) is present with him.

4. The husbandman hath fome refting-days, when he throws aside all his work, and takes his recreation ; but the Christian hath no resting-day, till his dying-day; and then he shall rest from his labours. Religion allows no idle day, « but requires him to be always abounding in the work of the Lord," 1 Cor. xv. 18. When one duty is done, another calls for himı; the Lord's day is a day of rest to the husbandman, but no day in the week fo laborious to the Christian. O it is a spending day to him. When he bath gathered in the crop of one duty, he is not to sit down satisfied therewith, or fay as that rich worldling did, Luke xii. 19. “ Soul, take thinę ease, « thou haft goods laid up for many years;" but must to plow again, and count it well if the vintage reach to the feed-time, Lev. xxvi. si I mean, if the strength, influence, and comfort of one duty, hold out to another duty; and that it may be fo, and there be no room left for idleness, God hath appointed ejaculatory prayer, to fill up the intervals, betwixt stated and more folemn duties. These are to keep in the fire, which kindled the morning facrifice, to kindle the evening facrifice. When can the Christian sit down and say, Now all me work is ended, I have nothing to do without doors, or within

Laftly, There is a time when the labour of the husbandman is ended ; old age and weakness takes them off from all employment ; they can look only upon their labourers, but cannot do a' ftroke of work themselves ; they can tell you what they did in their younger years, but now (say they) we must leave it to younger people: we cannot be young always; but the Christian is never superannuated as to the work of religion; yea, the longer he lives, the more his Master expects from him. When he is full of days, God expects he lould

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