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called, as in a solemn day, my terrors round about.” The church of the Jews had, of a long time, many a pleasing meeting at the temple, on solemn days, for the worship of God; but they got a solemnity of another nature, when God called together, about the temple and city, the Chaldean army, that burned the temple, and laid Jerusalem on heaps. And now that the church of God is yet militant in this lower region, how can it be, but the clouds will return after the rain ? But the cross of Christ (which name the saints trou. bles do bear) is a kindly name to the believer. It is a cross, indeed, but not to the believer's graces, but to his corruptions. The hypocrite's seeming graces, may,indeed, breathe out their last on across,as those of the stony-ground hearers did, Mat. xiii. 6. “ And when the sun (of persecution, ver. 26.) was up, they were scorched: And because they had not root, they withered away.But never did one of the real graces in a believer die upon the cross yet. Nay, as the candle shines brightest in the night, and the fire burns fiercest in intense frost; so the believer's graces are, ordinarily, most vigorous in a time of trouble.

There is a certain pleasure and sweetness in the cross, to them who have their senses exercised to discern, and to find it out. There is a certain sweetness in one's seeing himself upon his trials for heaven, and standing candidate

There is a pleasure in travelling over these mountains, where the Christian can see the prints of Christ's own feet, and the footsteps of the flock, who have been there before him. How pleasant is it to a saint, in the exercise of grace, to see how a good God crosseth his corrupt inclia nations, and prevents his folly ! How sweet is it to behold these thieves upon the cross ! How refined a pleasure is there in observing how God drawsaway provision from una ruly lusts, and so pincheth them, that the Christian may get them governed ! Of a truth, there is a Paradise within his thorn-hedge. Many a time the people of God are in bonds, which are never loosed, till they be bound with cords of affliction. God takes them, and throws them into a fiery furnace, that burns off their bonds; and then, like the three children, Dan. iii. 25. they are loose, walking in the midst of the fire. God gives his children a potion, with one bitter ingredient ; if that will not work upon them, he

put in a second, a third, and so on, as there is need,

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that they may work together, for their good, Rom. viii. 28. With cross-winds he hastens them to the harbour. They are often found in such ways, as that the cross is the hap. piest foot they can meet with; and well may they salute it, as David did Abigail, saying, “ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me,” i Sam. Xxv. 32.

Worldly things are often such a load to the Christian, that he moves but very slowly heavenward. God sends a wind of trouble that blows the burden off the man's back; and then he walks more speedily on his way; after God hath drawn some gilded earth from him, that was drawing his heart away from God, Zeph. iii. 12. “I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.” It was an observe of an Heathen moralist, “ That no history makes mention of any man, who hath been made better by riches." I doubt if our modern histories can supply the defect of ancient histories in this point. But sure I am, many bave been the worse of riches; thousands have been hugged to death, in the embraces of a smiling world ; and many good men have got wounds fromoutward prosperity, that behoved to be cured by the cross. I remember to have read of one, who having an imposthume in his breast, had in vain used the help of physicians ; but being wounded with a sword, the imposthume broke ; and his life was saved by that acci. dent, which threatened immediate death. Often have spiritual imposthumes gathered in the breasts of God's people, in time of outward prosperity, and been thus broken and discussed by the cross. It is kindly for believers to be healed by stripes ; although they are usually so weak, as to cry out for fear, at the sight of the pruning-hook, as if it were the destroying axe; and to think the Lord is coming to kill them, when he is indeed coming to cure them.

I shall now conclude, addressing myself, in a few words, first to saints, and next to sinners.

1. To you that are saints, I say, First, Strive to obtain and keep

upactual communion and fellowship with Jesus Christ; that is, to be still deriving fresh supplies of grace from the fountain thereof in him by faith ; and making suitable returns of them in the exercise of grace and holy obedience. Beware of estrange ment betwixt Christ and your souls, it has got in all

ready, (which seems to be the case of many in this day,) en deavour to get it removed. There are multitudes in the world that slight Christ, though ye should not slight him : Many have turned their tackson him, that sometimes looked fair for heaven. The warm sun of outward peace and prosperity has caused some cast their cloak of religion from them, who held it fast, when the wind of trouble was blowing upon them; and will ye also go away ? John vi. 67. The greatest ingratitude is stamped on your slighting of communion with Christ, Jer. Ü. 31. “ Have I been a wilderness unto Israel; a land of darkness? Wherefore say my people. We are lords ; we will come no more unto thee?" Oh! beloved, is this your kindness to your friend? It is unbecoming any wife, to slight converse with her husband; but her especially, who was taken from a prison or a dung-hill, as ye were, by our Lord. But remember, I pray you, this is a very ill-chosen time to live at a distance from God : It is a time in which divine providence frowns upon the land we live in ; the clouds of wrath are gather

ing, and are thick above odr heads! It is not a time for 15 you to be out of your chambers, Isa. xxvi 20. They that

now are walking most closely with God may have enough ado to stand, when the trial comes : How hard will it be for

others then, who are like to be surprised with troubles, as when guilt is lying on their consciences unremoved. To

be awakened out of a sound sleep, and castintoa raging sea, as Jonah was, will be a fearful trial. To feel trouble before we see it coming, to be past hope, before we have any fear, is a very sad case. Wherefore, break down youridols of jealousy, mortify these lusts, these irregular appetites and desires that have stolen away your hearts, and leftyou, like Samson, without his hair, and say, “ I will go and return to my first husband; for then it was better with me than bow," Hos. ii. 7.

Secondly, Walk as becomes those that are united to Christ

. Evidence your union with him, by walking as he also walked, 1 John ii. 6. If ye be brought from under the power of darkness, let your light shine before men. Slaine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life, as the lanthorn holds the candle, which being in it, shines through it, Philip. ii. 15, 16. Now that ye proFestes Christ to be in you, let his image shine forth in your

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conversation ; and remember the business of your lives is, to prove by practical arguments what ye profess.

1. You know the character of a wife : " She that is married, careth how she may please her husband :” Go you and do likewise : “ Walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing," Col. i. 10. This is the great business of life; you must please him, though it should displease all the world. What he hates must he hateful to you, because he hates it. Whatever lusts come in suit of your hearts, deny them, seeing the grace of God has appeared, teaching so to do, and you are joined to the Lord. Let him be a covering to your eyes; for you have not your choice to make, it is made already; and you must not dishonour your Head. A nan takes care of his feet, for that, if he catch cold there, it flies up to his head : “ Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot ? God forbid," says the Apostle, 2 Cor. vi. 15. Wilt thou take that heart of thine, which is Christ's dwelling place, and lodge his enemies there? Wilt thou take that body, which is his temple, and defile it, by using the members thereof, as the instruments of sin ?

2. Be careful to bring forth fruit, and much fruit. The branch well laden with fruit is the glory of the Vine, and of the Husbandman too, John xv. 8.

• Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." A barren tree stands safer in a wood than in an orchard : And branches in Christ, that bring not forth fruit, will be taken away and cast into the fire.

3, Be heavenly minded, and maintain a holy contempt of the world. Ye are united to Christ; he is your and Husband, and is in heaven: Wherefore, your hearts should be there also, Col. iii. 1. “ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” Let the serpent's seed go on their belly, and eat the dust of this earth; but let the members of Christ be ashamed to bow down and feed with them.

4. Live and act dependently, depending by faith on Jesus Christ. That which grows on its own root is a tree, not a branch. It is of the nature of a branch to depend on the stock for all, and to derive all its sap from thence, Depend on him for life, light, strength, and all spiritual

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benefits, Gal. ï. 20. “ I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.” For this cause, in the mystical union, strength is united to weakness, life to death, and heaven to earth ; that weakness, death, and earth, may mount up on borrowed wings. Depend on him for temporal benefits also, Mat. vi. 2. Give us this day our daily bread.” If we have trusted him with our eternal concerns, let us be ashamed to distrust him in the matter of our provision in the world.

Lastly, Be of a meek disposition, and an uniting temper with the fellow-members of Christ's body, as being united to the meek Jesus, the blessed centre of union. There is a prophecy to this purpose, concerning the kingdom of Christ, Isa. ii. 6. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lambi and the leopard shall lie down with the kid." It is an allusion to the beasts in Noah's ark. The beasts of prey, that were wont to kill and devour others, when once they came into the ark, lay down in peace with them : The lamb was in no hazard by the wolf there ; nor the kid by the leopard. There was a beautiful accomplishment of it in the primitive church, Acts iv. 22. 5 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of onc soul.” And this prevails in all members of Christ, according to the measure of the grace of God in them. Man is born naked; he comes naked into this world, as if God designed him for the picture of peace; and surely when he is born again, he comes not into the new world of grace with claws to tear, a sword to wound, and a fire in his hand, to burn up his fellow-members in Christ because they cannot see with his light. Oh! it is sad to Sec Christ's lilies as thorns in one another's sides; Christ's lambs devouring one another like lions; and God's diamonds cutting one another. Yet it must be remembered, that sin is no proper cement for the members of Christ, though Herod and Pontius Pilate may be made friends that way. The Apostle's rule is plain, Heb. xii. 14. « Follow peace with all men, and holiness.” To follow peace no further than our honour, dit, and such like things, will allow us, is too short; to pursue it further than holiness (that is, conformity to the divine will) allows us, is too far: Peace is precious, yet it may be bought too dear ;

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