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will of Christ, and his Father's do not clash, John xvi. 26, 274 yea, what he prays for, he prays not for gratis, or asks upon any dishonourable terms to the justice of his Father, but they are all mercies purchased and paid for; and therefore tear Dof the failing of your graces.
5. From the Spirit of Christ which dwelleth and abideth in thee, and hath begun his saving work upon thee.. I say, faving, for else it would afford no argument. His common works on hypocrites come to nothing, but in thee they cannot fail. For, 1. His honour is pledged and engaged to perfect it. That reproach of the foolish Builder shall never lie upon him, that he þegan to build, but could not finih. Besides, this would make void all that the Father and the Son have done for thee; both their works are complete and perfect in their kinds, and the Spirit is the last efficient in order of working. 2. Besides, the grace he hath already wrought in thee, may give thee yet further and fuller afsurance of its preservation, inasmuch as it bath the nature of a seal, pledge, and earnest of the whole, Rom. viii
. 23. 2 Cor. i. 22. So that it cannot fail.
6. From those multitudes of allertory, promisory, and comis parative fcriptures, the rich veins whereof run through the book of God, as so many streams to refresh thy soul. Of af. fertory fcriptures, see John vi. 39. John 10, 28. 19. Of promissory scriptures, fee Ila. liv, 10. Jer. xxxiv, 40. 1 Cor. i. 8. c. Of comparative scriptures, see Pfal. i. 3. Psal. cxxv. 1. John iv. 14. &c. The principal scope of all which is to thew the indefectible nature of true grace in the saints.
And now, how should this refresh thy drcoping foul, make thee gird up the loins of thy mind, fince thou doft “not run ” as one uncertain, neither fighteít as one that beats the air," 1 Cor. ix. 26. but art fo secured from total apostacy, as thou seest thou art by all these things. O bless ye the Lord.
Obj, 2. But the Lord seems to be departed from my soul; God is afar off from me, and troubles are near. I seem to be in such a case as Saul was when the Philistines made war upon him, and God was departed from him ; and therefore I shall fall.
Sol. Not fo; for there are two forts of Divine defertions ; the one is absolute, when the Lord utterly forsakes his crea. tures, so that they shall never behold his face more : The O. ther is limited and respective, and so be forsook his own Son, and often does his own eleft: and of tạis kind, some are Olt: y cautional, to prevent an; some are merely probational, to
- : sky grace; and others castigatory, to chastise our negligence
and carelessness. Now, though I have not a word of comfort to speak in the case of total and absolute defertions; yet of the latter (which doubtless is thy case) much may be said by way of support, be it of which of the three forts it will, or in what degree it will, For, 1. This hath been the case of many precious souls, Psal. xxii. 1, 2. Pfal. xxvii. 2. Pfal. lxxxviii. 9. Job xiii.
24, 25, 26. This was poor Mr. Glover's case, as you will find in his story, and it continued till he came within fight of the stake; therefore no new or strange thing hath happened
2. The Lord by this will advantage thee for perseverance, not orly as they are cautional against fin, but as they make thee hold Chrift the faster, and prize his prefence at an higher rate, when he shall please Cant. iii. 4. graciously to manifest himself to thee again,
3. This shall not abide for ever : it is but a little cloud, and will blow over. It is but for a moment, and that moment's darkness ushers in everlasting light, Isa. liv. 7.
Yea, lastly, the light of God's countenance shall not only be restored certainly, but it shall be restored feasonably ; when the darkness is greatest, thy troubles at the highest, and thy hopes lowest. He is a God of judgment, and knows how to time his own mercies, Psal. cxxxviii. 3.
Obj. 3. But I am a weak woman, or a young person, how shall I be able to confess Christ before rulers, and look great ones in the face ? Sol. Christ delights to make his power known in such, 2 Cor. 9.
for he affects not social glory. 2. “ Thou shalt be holden up, for God is able to make thee « stand,” Rom. xiv. 4. Thou that art sensible of thine own infirmity, mayest run to that promise.
3. Such poor weak creatures shall endure when stronger (if self-confident) fall, Isa. xl. 30, 31. “ Even the youths shall “ faint, and be weary, and the young men utterly fall. But "they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength:
they shall mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint.”
Youths, and young men, are bold, daring, and confident persons, that trust to their own strength; to whom such as wait upon the Lord stand here opposed; they shall faint, but these fhall renew their strength.
Art thou one that waitest and dependeft upon an all-fuslici.
ent God, in the sense of thine own weakness? This promise
B the mighty power of God resting upon fuch as you are, out of our own martyrology
Thomas Drowry, the poor blind boy, Fox, vol. 3. P.703. What a presence of spirit
was with him, when examined by the Chancellor !
Eulalia, a virgin of about 12 years of age, see how lhe was acted above those years, yea, above the power of nature. Fox, vol. 1. p. 120. Tender women, yea, children, act above them. selves, when aslifted by a strong God.
And thus you have some help offered you by a weak hand, in your present and most important work.
To The Lord carry home all with power upon your hearts, that if God call you to suffer for him, you may say as Paul did, “I “ am now ready to be offered up, and the time of my departure “ is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my “ course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up for « me a crown of righteousness, which God the righteous Judge To “ shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to them “ also which love his appearing,” 2 Tim. iv. 6,7,8. And as you expect so to finish your course with joy; be diligent in the use of all means, to prepare and make yourselves ready to follow the call of God, whether it be to bonds, or to death, for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Τ Η Ε
B A L M OF THE C O V E N A N T
Applied to the
BLE E DING WOUNDS
AFFLICTED SAINT S.
To which is added, a Sermon preached for the Funeral of
that excellent and religious Gentleman John UPTON of Lupton, Esq;
To the Virtuous and Much Honoured Madam, URSULA
Upton af LUPTON in Devon.
it cannot be imagined but your part must be abundantly harder, who feel over and over what is here written. Could I tell how to administer counsels, and comforts to you, without exasperating your forrows, I would certainly take that way ; but seeing the one (in this case) cannot be done without the other, it is our duty to submit to the method Providence hath prescribed to us.
The design of the ensuing discourse, is to evince the truth of what seems a very great paradox to moft men, namely, that the afflictions of the saints can do them no hurt, and that the wifdom of men and angels cannot lay one circumstance of their condition (how uneasy soever it seems to be) better, or more to their advantage than God hath laid it. I attempt not by a flourish of rhetoric to persuade you against the demonstrations you can fetch from sense and feeling to the con, trary, but to overthrow the false reasonings of flesh and sense, by the allowed rules of Scripture, and fure principles of religion. And methinks you, and every Christian, should gladly enter,
tain that comfortable conclusion, when you shall find the foude kmu dation of it as strong, as the influences thereof are sweet and we in comfortable.
Certainly, Madam, the intent of the Redeemer's undertak: a b ing was not to purchase for his people riches, ease, and plea. comf sures on earth ; but to mortify their lufts, heal their natures, G and spiritualize their affections; and thereby to fit them for stere the eternal fruition of God. Upon this supposition the truth as i of this conclusion (how strange foever it seems) is firmly be built.
It was not without Divine direction, that the subject of the 3 ensuing discourse was as pertinently, as teasonably, recommended to me by your dear husband, in the day of your for dy rows for your only fon. He took, I hope, his portion of est comfort out of it before he died, and it is now left as a spring this of comfort to you, who then mourned with him, and now for dom him.
kad Heavy pressures call for strong support, and fainting seasons for rich cordials. Your burden is indeed heavy: yet I must say it is much our own fault our burdens are so heavy feel them to be ; for according to the measure of our delight our in, and expectation from the creature, is our forrow and diso appointment when we part from it. The highest tides are als ways followed with the lowest ebbs. We find temperance and be patience knit together in the same precept, and intemperance and impatience as inseparably connected in our own experi
: ence. It may be we did not suspect ourselves of any inful excess in the time of their enjoyment; but it now appears
the ਹੈ । creature was gotten deeper into our hearts than we imagined ste by the pain we feel at parting : Did we not lean too hard upon it, there would not be such fhakings as we feel when it is flipt from us.
But, Madam, it is high time to recal your thoughts, and bound your sorrows, which the following confiderations would greatly assist you in.
J. What is the very ground and reason of our excessive forrows for the loss of earthly comforts? Is it not this, That they are perising and transtory ? That is, that you
the God made them. And can we expect that God should
1 alter the laws of nature to please and humour us? It is as 1a
and tural to our relations to die, as it is for flowers to wither, or the
TOLL 2. That there is no such necessary connexion betwixt these
effe things and our comfort, that whenever God removes the one,
mcon to wane.