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Branch 3. It reproves such as bring forth fulness, I desire them to weigh these five good fruit, but to a bad end, Hos. x. 1, “ Is- things. rael is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit 1. Fruit is that which God expects from us, unto himself:” a man had as good bring forth we are his plantations; and, “Who planteth no fruit, as bring forth fruit unto himself. a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit there.

Quest. What is it for one to bring forth of?” 1 Cor. ix. 7. Let us not be as Pharaoh's fruit unto himself ?

kine, which devoured the fat, and yet still Ans. When all the good he doth is for the were lean ; let us not be still devouring ser. magnifying of himself; the worm of pride mons, yet never the fatter. gets into his fruit and spoils it. Prayer is 2. Fruitfulness is one of the most distincgood ; but when a man prays only to show his tive characters of a Christian ; Prov. xii. 12, parts, this is to bring forth fruit unto himself: " The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.” some pride it in their humbling confessions, Fruitfulness differeth a saint from a hypowhich is as if Benhadad's servants had been crite! the hypocrite is all for show and preproud when they came before the king with tence, he hath fair leaves, but the root of ropes upon their heads, 1 Kings xx. 31. the righteous yieldeth fruit ;" fruit can no Works of mercy are good, but when a man more be separated from faith, than moisture gives alms, not so much to feed the poor, as from the air, it is the very definition of a to feed his pride, now he brings forth fruit to branch in Christ, “it bears fruit,” John xv. himself, and this fruit is worm-eaten. God 2. As a man differs from a beast by reason, will say to all such self-seekers, as once he a beast differs from a plant by sense, a plant did to the people of the Jews, Zech. vii. 5, differs from a stone by vegetation ; so a good "When ye fasted and mourned, did ye at all Christian differs from a hypocrite by fruit. fast unto me, even to me?" Sinners, did ye Fruitfulness puts a difference between the not bring forth fruit unto yourselves?

sound tree and the hollow tree. Use 3. Exhort. Branch 1. Let this exhort Quest. But may not hypocrites bring forth all to fruitfulness. How happy were it, if it fruit ? might be said of us as of Joseph, Gen. xlix. Ans. 1. They do not bring forth fruit in 22, “Joseph is a fruitful bough ?" We love the Vine ; they bring forth in the strength of to see every thing fruitful : if there be a tree parts, not in the strength of Christ. in our orchard, though with ever such fair 2. Hypocrites bring forth something like leaves, we value it not unless there be fruit; fruit, but it is not the right fruit. when you come into your garden, you com 1. The fruit they bear is not sweet. The plain if you see no fruit; such a root is set, crab may bear fruit as well as the pearmain ; but it doth not grow; we love to see fruit- but this excels in sweetness. The hypocrite fulness every where, and why not in our may pray and give alms as well as a child of hearts ? O let the precious grapes and figs God, but there is a difference in the fruit; we bear, evidence that we are trees of God's the fruit of the regenerate is mellow, it is planting. We often plant trees to be a shade sweetened with faith, it is ripened with love. to the house ; God cares for no such trees as The hypocrite's fruit is sour and harsh; he are only for shade, he loves fruit. Arabia is doth not bring forth pomegranates, but crabs, called Felix, because of the sweet fruits which not figs, but wild grapes. grow there, frankincense, with other per 2. The seeming fruit of hypocrites dies fumes and spices. That Christian may be and comes to nothing, John xv. 6, “ He is entitled Felix, happy, that hath the sweet cast forth as a branch, and is withered.” The fruits of the Spirit growing in his heart; be hypocrite's fruit is like the grass upon the fruit-bearing trees. This is the emblem of house tops, which withereth before it grow. a good Christian, he is never without fruit, eth up, Ps. cxxix. 6. Matt. xiii. 6. either blooming in his affections, or fructify 3. Fruitfulness adorns a Christian; the ing in his conversation.

fruit adorns the tree; a fruit-bearing ChrisThat I may persuade Christians to fruit- tian is an ornament to religion; the more

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fruitful the branch is, the more fair to look 1. This is the end why we have new cost on. A dead tree, as it is unserviceable, so it laid out upon us, that we should bring forth is uncomely. A Christian, decked with the more fruit. The Lord is still manuring us; fruits of righteousness, is beautiful and glo- not a week, not a day, but he is at new cost rious.

with us, he rains down golden showers ; and 4. Fruitfulness is a good evidence to show why is God at all this charge with us, but for heaven; the fruits of love, humility, good that we may bring forth more fruit ? works, are (as St Bernard saith) seeds of 2. The fuller we are of fruit, the more we hope, signs of predestination, the happy are like Christ, who was “full of grace

and presages of future glory. The righteousness truth,” John i. 14, he received the Spirit of faith is always accompanied with the fruits without measure," John iii. 34. This tree of of righteousness. He that can show good life was ever bearing; and he brought forth fruit, goes full sail to heaven.

several sorts of fruit, wisdom, righteousness, 5. God delights in his fruitful trees ; when sanctification, &c. The more we are filled his garden flourisheth he will walk there ; he with the fruits of righteousness, the more we who curseth the barren tree, will taste of the resemble the Sun of Righteousness. We fruitful tree, Cant. v. 1, “I am come into were elected to this end, to be made like my garden, my sister, my spouse : I have Christ, Rom. viii. 30, and then are we most gathered my myrrh with my spice." like this blessed Vine when we bear full

2. Branch. It exhorts them that do bear clusters, fruit, that they would bring forth more fruit; 3. The more fruit a Christian brings forth, do not think you have fruit enough, but bring the more will Christ love him. “Now, saith forth further degrees of sanctity, John xv. 2, Leah, will my husband be joined unto me, “ Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth because I have born him three sons," Gen. it that it may bring forth more fruit." Grace xxix. 34. When we bear much fruit, now is like the morning light which increaseth will Christ's heart be joined to us. Christ more and more to the full meridian of glory. will pardon a weak faith, he will honour a Christians should be like that ground in the great faith. It was not a sparkle of faith Christ parable which brought forth “some sixty, commended in Mary Magdalene, but love some a hundred fold,” Matt. xiii. 8. He who flaming, Luke vii. 74, “she loved much." hath a little gold labours to increase it ; and Christians, would you be like that beloved disis not grace more precious than gold? some ciple which “ leaned on the bosom of Jesus?" Christians have a little fruit, and they think would you have much love from Christ? let that is well ; like trees that have an apple or him have much fruit from you. two growing upon them to show that they 4. Bearing much fruit will usher in abunare of the right kind, Isa. xvii. 6, “ Two or dance of comfort into the soul in these two three berries in the top of the uppermost exigencies. bough.” They are like the church of Phila (1). In the hour of tentation. Satan will delphia which had a little strength,” Rev. be sure to besiege the weakest Christian ; all iii. 8, so they have a little faith, a spark of his darts fly that way, and a strong tentation love. Christ chides a little faith, Matt. xiv. may overcome a weak faith; but a flourishing 31. Christians should increase with the in- faith stands like a cedar, and is not blown crease of God, Col. ii. 19. Christ compares down by the wind of tentation; a strong faith the breasts of the spouse to clusters of grapes, can stop the mouth of the devil, that roaring for fruitfulness, Cant. vii. 7. O labour to be lion, 1 Pet. v. 9, Christians of degrees; the apostle prays for (2). Store of fruit will give comfort in the the Philippians that their love might abound hour of death; a little grace will make us “yet more and more," Phil. i. 9.

above the fear of death; 0 what joy will it Now that I may press Christians who have be on the deathbed, when a Christian can fruit, to bring forth more fruits of patience, bring his sheaves full of corn! when he can humility, love, &c. Consider,

show his five talents that he hath gained by

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trading ! when there is not only a drop or cities. If you would have your crown hung
two of oil, but his lamp full of oil ! what full of jewels, let your boughs be hung full of
though the devil show God our debts, if we fruit.
can show him our fruit. O how sweet will Use 4. Direction. The last use is of direc-
death be! it will not be a destruction, but a tion. I shall lay down some means to fruit-
deliverance.-Death, like a whirlwind, may fulness.
blow down the tree of the body, but it can 1. Be sensible of unfruitfulness. Many
not blast the fruit of our graces. The trees might have been fruitful in grace, if they
of righteousness carry their fruit with them, had not conceited themselves so; he that
Rev. xiv. 13, “Their works follow them.” thinks himself fruitful enough, is barren
The Christian who abounds in holiness may enough ; be sensible of your wants; it is
say as Simeon, Luke ii. 29, “Lord, now leto better to complain than presume.
test thou thy servant depart in peace." He 2. If you would be fruitful, remove those
who bears but a little fruit departs in safety ; things which will hinder fruitfulness.
but he who bears much fruit departs in peace. (1). Cherishing any secret lust in the

5. Consider what need we have to be heart; sin lived in, is like vermin to the tree,
putting forth still more fruit; our graces are which destroys the fruit ; grace cannot thrive
yet in their nonage ; indeed in heaven this in a sinful heart.
doctrine will be out of season, we shall not (2). The love of riches ; “The cares of
need to hear it ; then we shall have done the world choked the seed,” Matt. xiii. The
growing, being arrived at our full stature ; love of sin poisons the fruit, the love of rich-
then our light shall be clear, and our love es chokes it.
perfect ; but while we live here, there is 3. The third means to fruitfulness is weep-
something “lacking in our faith,” 1 Thess. ing for sin. Moisture helps germination in
iii. 10, therefore we had need increase the trees; holy tears do water the trees of God,
stock of grace, and bring forth more fruit. and make them more fruitful. Mary Magda-
grace

is eclipsed with sin, our faith is lene, a weeping plant, how fruitful was she
full of unbelief; now as when the sun is in love to Christ? moist grounds, as your
eclipsed, it is by degrees getting out of the marshes, are most fertile : the soul that is
eclipse, and it shines brighter and brighter, moistened and steeped in tears, is most frugi-
till it recovers its perfect lustre ; so it must ferous : never did David's graces flourish more
be with us, we must be getting out of the than when he watered his couch with tears.
eclipse till once we shall arrive at our perfect 4. If you would be fruitful, often apply the

blood of Christ, and the promises.
6. He who doth not increase to more (1). Apply the blood of Christ. Natural-
fruitfulness will soon be on the losing hand; ists say, that blood applied to the root of
he that hath not more faith will quickly have some trees makes them bear better. Sure I

“ Thou hast left thy first love.” It is am, the blood of Christ applied to the heart,
with grace as it is with fire; if it be not makes it flourish more in holiness. None so
blown up and increased, it will soon decay. fruitful as a believer ; " I know," saith St
Such as thrive not in their spiritual estate, Paul, “whom I have believed ;" there was
we may perceive sadly to decline. Though the applying blood to the root of the tree,
a Christian cannot lose the seed of grace, and how fruitful was he in zeal, love to
yet he may lose the actings of grace, and Christ, heroical courage! He that believes
the comfort; therefore bring forth more fruit : Christ died for him, never thinks he can do
no sooner doth a Christian begin to stand or suffer enough for Christ. When we read
still, but you may perceive him going back and pray, now we do but water the branches ;
ward.

when we believe, now we water the root of
7. The more your fruit is increased, the the tree and make it fruitful.
more your glory is increased; he whose (2). Apply the promises. Husbandmen
pound gained ten, was made ruler over ten have an art to comfort the spirits of the root

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to make the tree bear better: apply the pro- preached will not only make us knowing
mises ; these are for comforting the spirits of Christians, but growing Christians. Minis-
a Christian, and then he puts forth fruit more ters are compared to clouds, Isa. v. 6, their
vigorously. It is an experiment in nature, doctrine drops as the rain, and makes the
the root of the pine tree watered with wine trees of God fruitful. I wonder not that
doth cause it to flourish; the promises are they are barren trees and nigh unto cursing,
as wine to water the trees of righteousness, that are not under the droppings of the
whereby they spread and augment more in sanctuary ; a Christian can no more be fruit-
grace. Ever preserve the spirits of the tree ful without ordinances, than a tree without
if you would have it bear; a pensive dejected showers.
soul is less fruitful; but when through the 8. And lastly, if you would fructify apace,
promises, a Christian's heart is cheered and go to God and desire him to make you
comforted, now he is enriched with pleasant fruitful ; God is called the husbandman,
fruits ; he is like a tree laden with fruit. John xv. 1, and he hath an art above all

5. Another means to fruitfulness his humi- other husbandmen; they can plant and prune
lity. The low grounds are most fruitful : trees, but if they be dead they cannot make
“ The valleys are covered with corn," Psalm them bear. God can make the barren tree
lxv. 13. The humble heart is the fruitful bear, he can put life into a dead tree, Epb.
heart. The largest and fairest fruits of the ii. 5. It is not Paul's planting, but the
Spirit grow in a lowly Christian ; 1 Pet. v. Spirit's watering, must give the increase.
5, “ God gives grace to the humble.” St Pray to God to make you fruitful, though
Paul calls himself the least of saints, yet he ) it be by affliction ; oftentimes God makes us
was the chief of the apostles. The Virgin grow in grace this way, Heb. xii. 11, “No
Mary was low in her own eyes, but this chastening for the present seemeth to be
lowly plant did bear that blessed Vine which joyous, but grievous ; nevertheless afterward
brought the fruit of salvation into the world. it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteous-

6. If you would be fruitful in grace, be ness.” The bleeding vine bears best: it is much in good conference ; Mal. iii. 16, an observation that the pulling off some of “ Then they that feared the Lord spake often the blossoms of a tree makes the fruit fairer ; one to another.” There is an observation the reason is, because the sap hath the less some have concerning the sympathy of to nourish; some writers say, they have plants ; some plants will bear better near known a tree by having too many blossoms, other trees than when they grow alone, as is hath blossomed itself dead.

The notion seen in the myrtle and olive; this holds true holds true in a spiritual sense; God, by in divinity; the trees of righteousness, when pulling off some of the blossoms of our they associate and grow near together, thrive comforts, makes us bring forth fairer fruit; best in godliness. The communion of saints some have so blossomed in prosperity, that is an

excellent means for fruitfulness. they have blossomed themselves into hell. Christians increase one another's knowledge, It is an ancient experiment, that the planting strengthen one another's faith, clear one some tender trees near the west sun doth another's evidences. When the trees planted them hurt, and parcheth the fruit, the sun in God's orchard stand at a distance, and being so extremely hot: too much prosperity, grow strange one to another, they are less like the west sun, doth Christians much hurt, fruitful.

and parcheth all good affections, Jer. xxvii. 7. If you would be fruit-bearing trees, be 21. O pray to God that he would make near the water of the sanctuary ; Jer. xvii. you fruitful, though it be by bleeding. Say, 8, “ He shall be like a tree planted by the as Luther, Lord, wound where thou wilt

, waters, and that spreadeth out the roots by prune and cut me till I bleed, so that I may the river ; her leaf shall be green, nor shall have my fruit unto holiness, and my end it cease from yielding fruit,” The word everlasting life.” Rom. vi. 22.

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Asbtaining from external acts of sin, Believers, privileges of, at death, 193

not sufficient to entitle us to salvation, 604 Believers, how they come to have those
Acts of sin, how we may keep from them, 596 privileges,

195
Adam, how long he continued in Para Believers, how shall we know that we
dise before he fell,
95 shall gain them at death?

199
Adam's sin, how made ours,

98 Believers, privilege of, after death, 200
Adopted son, how free,

156 Believers, when they enter upon posses-
Adoption, the instrumental cause of it, 156 sion of glory,

202
Adultery, the heinousness of it, where Benefits of believers at the resurrection, 203

318 Benefits of God's children, what they
Afflictions of the godly, how they differ are,

159
from those of the wicked,

232 Bodies, how shall we know they shall be
Affliction, what kindness there is in it, raised at the resurrection,

205
when God seems most unkind, 497 Bodies, since they must lie long in the
Afflictions, how they contribute to our grave, what shall support us till then ? 206
happiness,

502 Bodies of the saints shall be glorious at
Afflictions, how they magnify us,

599
the resurrection,

206
Aggravations of Adam's sin,

97
Aggravations of the loss of the kingdom

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of heaven,

455 Cain went out from the presence of the
Angels, their society, how can it add to Lord, what meant by it,

40
the happiness of souls, when God is Call, effectual, the means of it,

148
infinite to fill the soul with delight? 439 Call, effectual, the qualifications of it, 149
Anthropomorphites' objection answered, 35 Cerinthian heretics, their error, 111
Apostacy from religion, whence it pro Change in the new creature, wherein it
ceeds,
451 consists,

625
Appearance of evil, the mischief of it, 596 Charity, the excellency of it,

314
Arguments to persuade us to seek after Children, wherein they are to show their
the obtaining the kingdom of heaven, 472 respect to their parents,

300
Arian errors about the Holy Ghost re Child of God, how it appears that he
futed,
78 has worldly things in love,

389
Arminians deny saints' perseverance,

Christ, why called the Word,

111
and why,
188 Christ, a prophet, how he teaches,

113
Assurance, what it is,

167 Christ, what are the lessons he teaches, 113
Assurance, true, the difference between Christ's teaching, how it differs from
it and presumption,
168 others' teaching,

114
Assurance how to know if we have right Christ, what we shall do to have him for
to it,
170 our teacher,

116
Assurance, what we must do to get it, 172 Christ, the parts of his priestly office,

117
Assurance, they that have it, how they Christ's sufferings, wherein the great-
must carry themselves,

172

ness of them did appear,
Atheist, the wickedest creature that is, 33 Christ, why he did suffer,

118
Christ, who he intercedes for, and what
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he doeth in the work of intercession, 121
Baptism, what it is,

362 Christ, how we may know that he inter-
Believers, why they have not all the full

cedes for us,

125
enjoyment of peace,

176 Christ, how he comes to be a king, 127

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