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pleafed," Heb. xiii. 15, 16. Christ himself is the altar that sanctifies the gift, ver. 10.

But what comes of the fleins and dung of their facrifices ? They are carried away without the canip. : If we look for incense, it is there too. The

graces

of the Spirit are found in their hearts: and the Spirit of a crucified Chrift, fires them, and puts them in exercise; like as the fire was brought from the altar of burnt-offering, 10 fet the incense on fame : then they mount heavenánard, like pillars of Imoke, Cant. iii. 6. But the best of incense will leave alhes behind it; yes indeed; but as the priest took away the ashes of the incense in a golden dish, and threw them out : so our great High-priest takes away the ashes and refuse of all the saints services, by his mediation in their behalf.

Au Eighth benefit flowing from union with Christ, is Estab. lishment. The Christian cannot fall away, but mult persevere unto the end, Joho x. 28.They shall never perih, neither Thall any man pluck them out of my hand. Indeed if a branch do not knit with the lock, it will fall away when shaking winds arise : but the branch knit to the fock tands faft, whatever wind blows. Sometimes a stormy wind of temptatica blows from hell, and tcfleth the branches in Christ the true Vine ; but their union with him, is their security; muved they may

be but removed they never can be. The Lord will with the temptation Iso make a way to escape,' - Cor. x. 13. Calms are never of any continuance; there is almost always some wind blowing: and therefore branches are rarely altogether at rest

. But fometimes violent winds arise, which ihreaten to 'rend them from off their ftocki Even so it is with saints; they are daily put to it, to keep their ground against temptation : but sometimes the wind from bell riseth so high, and bloweth fo furiously, that it makes even top: branches to sweep the ground; yet be. ing knit to Chrift their stock, they get up again, in spite of the most violent efforts of the prince of the power of the air. Plal. xciv. 18. When I said, my foo: Nippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.' But the Christian improves by this trial; and is so far from being damaged, that he is benefited by it, in so far as ir discovers what hold the soul has of Chrift,and what hold Christ has of the soul. And, like, as the wind in the bellows, which would blow out the candle, blows up the fire : even so it often comes to pass, that such temptations do, enliven the true Christian, awakening the graces of the Spirit in him, and, by that means, discover both the reality, and the strength of grace in him. And hence, as Luther, that great man of God, faith,

One,

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One Christian who bath had experience of temptation, is worth a thousind others.'.

Sometimes a stormy wind of trouble and persecution from the men of the world, blows upon the vine, i, e. myftical Chrift": but union with the stock is a sufficient security to the branches. In a time of the church's peace and outward prosperity, while the angels hold the winds that they blow not, there are a great many brinches taken up, and put into the stock, which never knir with it, nor live by it, though they be bound up with it, by the bonds of external ordinances. Now these may ftand a while on the rock, and Itand with great ease, while the calm lafts: But when once the storms arile, and the winds blow; they will begin to fall off, one after another and the higher the wind riseth, the greater will the number be that falls. Yea, fome lirong boughis of that fort, when they fall, will, by their weight, carry others of their own' kind, quite down to the earth with them; and will bruise and press down fome true branches in such a manner, that they would also fall off, were it not for their being knit to the stock; in virtue whereof they get up their heads again; and cannot fall off, because of that fast hold the stock has of them. Then it is that many branches, sometime high and eminent, are found lying on the earth withered, and fit to be gathered up and cast into the fire, Match. xiii. 6.

And when the sun was up, they were scorched ; and because they had no root, they withered away. John xv. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.? But however violently the winds blow, none of the truly ingrafted branches, that are knit with the stock, are found missing, when the storm is changed into a calm, John xvii. 12.

those that thou gavelt me, I have kept, and none of them is loft.' The least twig growing in Christ, shall stand it cut, and fubfift; when the tallett cedar's growing on their own root fhall be laid fat on the ground, Rom. vii. 35. Who shall feparate us from the love of Chrift? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ?? See ver. 36. 37. 38. 39. However severely "Ifrael be fifter,

s yet Thall not the least grain, or, as it is in the original language, a. li tle stone fall upon the earth,' Amos ix. 9. It is an allusion to the fifiing, of fine pebble itunes from among heaps of duft and fand : tho the land and dust fall to the ground, be blow away: with the wind, and trampo

under foot; yet there shall not fall on the earth, lo much as a little stone, such is the exactness of

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the lieve, and care of the lifter. There is nothing more ready co fall on the earth, than a stone : yet, if professors of religion be lively ftones built on Christ the chief corner stone ; alıho they be little itunes, they shall not fall to the earth, whatever Iturm bear upon them. See 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5, 6. All the good grain in the church of Christ is of this kind; they are ftones in respect of folidity; and lively stones, in respect of aalvity. If men be solid fubftantial Christians, they will not be like chaff tossed to and fro with every wind; having so much of the liveliness that they have nothing of the stone : and if they be lively Chriftians, whose spirit will stir in them, as Paul's did, when he saw. the city wholly given to idolatry, A&s xvii. 16. they will not ly like stones, to be turned over, hiiher and thither, cut and carv• ed, according to the loss of men; having so much of the stene,

leaves cothing of liveliness in them.

Our God's house is a great house, wherein are not only vesels of gold, but also of earth, 2 Tim. ij. 20. Both these are apt to contract filthiness; and therefore when God brings trouble upon the church, he hath an eye to both. As for the vessels of gold, they are not destroyed, but purged by a fiery trial in the fur. nace of afi &ion, as goldsmiths purge their gold, Ifa. i, 25., · And I will turn niy hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy drofs,

But destruction is to the vessels of earth : they Máll be broken in thivers, as a potter's vessel,ver, 28.' And the destruction (or breaking) of the transgreffors, and of the Gnners, shall be cogether.' It seems to be an allusion to that law, for breaking the vessels of earth, when unclean ; while effels of wood, and confequently vefleis of gold were only to be infed' Lev. xv, 12.

A Ninth benefit is support. If thou be a branch ingrafted in Christ, the root beareth, thee. The believer leans on Christ ; a5 a weak, woman in a journey, lcaping upon her beloved biosband, Cant. viii. s. He itays Dimseit upon him, as a feeble old man Itays himselt on his Natt, Ifil. 1. yo. He rolls himself on bin, as one rulls a burden he is not able to walk under, off his own back, opon another who is able to bear ii, Pfal. xxii. 8. Marg. There are many weights to bang opon, and press down the branches in Christ, the true Vine. But ye know, whatever weighis hang on branches, the fock bears all; it bears. the brancheand the we'ght that is upon it too.

ist, Christ supports believers in him, under a weight of outward troubles. That is a large promise, Isa. xliii, 26 When show. pofleft through the waters, I will be with thee: and thro'

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Head. II.
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245 the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. See how David wasfupported under a heavy load, 1 Sam. xxx..6. His city Ziklag was burnt, bis wives were taken captives, his men {poke of Honing him; nothing. Was left him but his God and his faith; but, by his faith, he encouraged himself in his God. The Lord comes and lays his cross on his people's thoulders; it preffeth them down, they are like to fink' under it; and therefore cry, "Mafter, save us, we perish :? But he supports them under their burden ;: he bears them up, and they bear his cross.. Thus the Christian having a weight of outward troubles upon him; goes lightly under bis.burden, having withal the everlasting arms underneath him. The Christian has a spring of comfort, which he cannot lose; and therefore never wants fons thing to support him.. If one have all his riches in money, robbers may take these away; and then what has he more? But though the landed man be robbed of his money, yet his lands remain for his fupport

They that build their comfort on wordly goods, may quickly be comfortless ;:but they that are united to Christ, all find comfort when all the streams of wordly enjoyments are dried up, Job. vi. 13:,'

• Is not my help in me? And is wisdom driven quite from me? 5d. Though my substance is gone ; though ny fervants, my children, my health, and loundness of body, are all gone.; yet my grace is not gone too, Tho’ the Sabéan's have driven away my oxen and asse's, and the Chaldeaus have driven away my camels ; they have not driven away my y faith, and my hope too: these are yet in me, they are not driven from: ine ; ;fo that by them I can fetch comfort from heaven, whea I can have none from earthik,

2dly, Chrift: supports his people under a weight of inward troubles and difcouragenients. Many times heart and flesh fail them, but then God is the ftrength of their heart;? Pfalo lxxiji: 263. They may have a weight of guilt pressidg ;

temi Tris is a load that will make their back to stoop, and the spirits to fiok: but he takes it off, and puts a pardon in their hand, while they cast their burden over upon him: Christ" takes the soul, as one marries a widowy. Under a burden of debt: and so when the creditors come to Christ's’spouse, she carries them to her husband, confefseth the debt, dectares she is not able to pay; and Jays all over upon him. The Christian sometimes, through carelessoess, loseth his discharge; he cannot find it, however he: Search for it. The law takes that opportunity; and benus up a process against him, for a debt paid already. God hides his face, and the soul is diftreffed. Many arrows go through the

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heart now;: many long accounts are laid before the man, which he reads and acknowledges. Often does he see the officers coming to apprehend him, and the prison door open to receive him. What else keeps him from finking utterly under discour. agements in this case, but that the everlasting arms of a Mediator are underneath him, and that he relies the

great Cautioner? Further, they may bave a weight of trong lufts pressing them. They have a body of death upon them., Death is a weight that presseth the foul out of the body. A leg or an arm of death (if I may so speak) would be a terrible load. (One lively luk will fometimes ly so heavy on a child of God, that he can no more semove it, than a child could throw a giant

' from off him:) How then are they supported under a whole body of death? Why, theiç support is from ihe roof that bears them, from The everlasting arm that is underneath them. His grace is fufficient for them,? 2 Cor. xiii. 9. The great stay of the believer is nog the grace of God within him, that is a well, whose streams fometimes run dry: but it is the grace of God without him, the zrace that is in Jesus Chrift; which is an ever-Howing fountain, to which the believer can never come amiss. For the A poftle tells in the same verse, it is the power of Christ : Most glade ly therefore, faith he, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ níay rest

t-upon me, or tabernacle above me;' as the cloud of glory did on the Ifraelites, which God spread for a covering, or shelter to them in the wildernefs, Psal

. cv. 39. compare, Ifa. iv. 5, 6. So that the believer, in this combat, like the eagle, first flies aloft, (by faith) and then comes down on the prey, Pal. xxxiv. 5. They looked to him, and were lightened. And finally, they have a weight of weakness and wants upon them, but they caft over that burden on the Lord;" their strength, and he sustains them,' Psal. lv. 22. With all their wanes and weaknesses, they are cast upon him; as the poor, weak and naked babe, coming out of the womb, is cast into the lap of one appointed to take care of it, Psal. xxii, 10. Though they be destitute, (as a shrub in the wilderness, which the foot of

every beast may tread down,) "the Lord will regard them," Plal.cii. 17. It is no marvel; the weakest plant may be safe in. a garden: but our Lord Jesus Christ is a hedge for protection to his weak and deftitute ones, even in a wilderness.

Object. But if the faints be fopported, how is it that they fall fo often under temptation and discouragements ?? Aos. ? 1.) How long soever they fall at any time they derer fall off ; d that is a great matter. They are kept by the

power

of God

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