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evil,” Jer. xliy. Though thou shouldst speak with a divine tongue, and with an heavenly wisdom, thou mayest have good cause to cry out, “Who hath believed our report; and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ?” Isa. liii. John xii. In short, as the rivers of fresh water, that run continually into the sea, cannot cure its bitter and salt qualities; thus thy good and holy life, thy learned and excellent ser, mons, will not be able to remedy the corruption of this present evil age, nor stop the torrent, and hinder the overflowing of vice ; for thy labour and industry, if compared with the corruption of the world, are as inconsiderable as a few drops of water in comparison tothe ocean. This cursed earth may be watered by thy sweat and tears; it will nevertheless bring forth nothing but briars and thistles. The weeds which thou thinkest to pluck up, will tear thy skin, and draw blood out of thy hands. In short, he that plants is nothing, nor he that watereth, but it is God who giveth the increase, 1 Cor. iii..
It is justly to be feared, that in staying any longer time in this unwholesome air, thou mayest receive some evil impression from the general contagion. It is to be feared, that thou mayest sully thy pure hands by handling so many wounds and sores, and that the thorns of this cursed eartlı may pluck off the wool of thy harmless and innocent life.
But though thou shouldst have a thousand times more gifts and graces, and that thy labours should bring far greater advantages and profit to Christ's church, it belongs not to thee to give laws to thy God, but to follow the motion of his will. Leave to him the chief care of his own household, and rest upon his eternal providence. He hath more right in the church chan thou canst pretend to; for he hath created it by his power, and redeemed it with his precious blood. He that cares not for his own, especially for those of his family, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. And
can God, who is faithfulness itself, and the very being of truth; God, who cannot deny himself, and whose gifts and callings are without repentance, Rom. xii. can such a God cast of all care of his church, of that which he embraceth with an eternal love, and cherisheth as the apple of his eye? Jer. xxxi. This Father of mercies, who hath not spared his own Son, but hath delivered him to die for his church, how should he not with him freely give her all things? Rom. viii. He understands better than thou, and all the mean m the world, what is proper and advantageous for his boly congregation, and for every member that composes it. He
nows how to provide for all its wants; for his wisdom is mhinite, and bis providence is most wonderful.
W hen this great God hath a design to plague his enemies, a to declare his justice, he hath always agents ready, and is quiver full of arrows. As soon as he commands the holy angels, that wait before him, to cast their sickles in the earth,
to reap, or pour down the phials of bis wrath, these holy
its fly with an unspeakable swiftness to perform his Ted pleasure, Rev. xiv. and xvi. Likewise when he in
Is to do good to his chosen, he finds in every place the aids of his mercy, and his divine hand is always full of
ssings. As the main ocean of his wonderful bounty can never
der be dried up, likewise the channels by which he cona veys them to us shall never fail.
Now thou me his great blessings an He that?
"he cause of thy complaints should serve to appease thy eto nourish thy faith, and increase thy hopes; for if thou Braced with extraordinary gifts, this proceeds not from thy Wre, nor thine industry, but God's favour and bounty.
thou mayest be assured, that his hand is not shortened, great power is not lessened, the well-springs of all his Shags and wonders are not stopped nor dried up, Isa. lix. What sends a desired whiteness, the prognostic of an ap
proaching harvest to the spacious fields, Job iv. he sends also into his spiritual harvest, labourers, when he sees it convenient. In this latter age, and in the old age of the world, as well as in the first appearance of his church, Luke xix. he finds men to work in his vineyard ; or rather be forms and . fashions them with the hand of his grace, and enables them. by his holy Spirit ; for he gives the mouth and the tongue; he maketh deaf, dumb, and blind, and restores the eye-sight; he calls things that are not, as if they were, Matt. xx. Exod. iv. Rom. iii:
· When he designs for himself a tabernacle, he calls by name a Bezaleel, and fills him with the spirit of wisdom, of understanding and knowledge, in all manner of workmanship, Exod. xxxi. When he resolves to deliver the children of Israel from their Babylonish captivity, and to build the temple of Jerusalem, he hath at his command Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, Ezra. vi. 14. He stirs up Zorobabels, Esdrases, and Nehemiahs. Likewise when heute intends to repair the breaches of his house, and to increase the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, he makes servants, and fit agents, and bem stows upon them sufficient graces for such a noble work, Psa. viii. Matt. xxi. As he has never left himself without wita ness in doing good, thus he has never been without witnesses to declare his sacred truths, Luke xix. By the mouth of babes he perfects his praise ; and as our Saviour told the Jews, “ If these held their peace, the stones would cry out," Luke xix. God will take the pillars of the idol's temple to prop up his church, rather than suffer it to fall down. He will change the wolves into lambs, and the lambs into shepherds, rather than his sheep should want their necessary pasture. He chooseth the feeble things of this world to confound the strong; the despicable, and such as are not, to destroy such as are, 1 Cor. ix.
Thus God never leaves his church without some testimony of his favour,' some powerful instrument of bis grace : But many times, when he removes one good thing from us, he bestows upon us something more rare and excellent. This consideration glads the heart of Joseph upon his death-bed, as appears by what he said to his brethren ; “ I am going to die, but God will not fail to visit you, and cause you to go up from hence unto the land that he sware unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” Gen. l. For instead of a Joseph, who had occasioned the bondage, God raised up a Moses, who delivered them with an almighty hand, and stretched-out arm. Thus God took up Elijah with a chariot of fire, 2 Kings ii. but he gave unto Elisha a double portion of his master's spirit, and caused his glorious miracle to appear more admirable. Also our Lord and Saviour, when he had finished the great work of our redemption, ascended up into heaven, a cloud conveying him up to the throne of his glory; but, according to the promise, he hath not left us destitute, but hath sent us the Comforter to dwell with us for ever, namely, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world seeth not, nor can know, John xiv. Christ's corporal presence was enjoyed but by a small number of people ; but his divine Spirit is like a large river, that swells and runs over every where, John vii. This holy Spirit is not only with us, but also within us; he is poured out into our hearts, he seals us for the day of redemption; the is the earnest of our inheritance, until the full consummation of the glory reserved for us in heaven. Therefore when this merciful Saviour saw his apostles afflicted in an extraordinary manner for his leaving of the world, he speaks to them in this language; “Because I have said these things unto you, sorrow bath filled your hearts : nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send him unto you, John xvi. Wben St. Paul took his last farewel of the elders and people of the church of Ephesus, they wept bitterly, being grieved to the heart bez cause he said, “ that none of them should see his face any more." But to comfort them, he assures them, that in heaven they had a Father and Protector, and such a Shepherd as would never forsake them. “ I commend you, (saith he) to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified,” Acts xxii. Remember therefore, O man of God, seriously to consider all these things ; if the Lord, who has called thee to the sacred function of the ministry, cona tinues thee in the world, labour with courage and diligence in thine holy employment; be not tired in the service of this good Master, and merciful Saviour ; fight the good fight of faith ; endure patiently all kind of labour, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ ; be as earnest and as careful for the Lord's sheep, as Jacob was of those of Laban. Hear what he professeth of himself, “ In the day the drought cons sumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from mine eyes, Gen. xxxi. Jacob endured patiently these grievous pains and labour, and the time of his service seemed to him to be but a few days, because of the love he had for Rachel. Likewise thou wilt joyfully endure the troubles of thine office, and bear with patience all the hardships, if thou dost sincerely love the Lord Jesus, and his heavenly spouse ; if thou dost esteem the salvation of souls, for whom Jesus Christ hath suffered death; if thou hast well undera stood the excellency of thine heavenly reward, and the glory prepared for thee, when thou shalt have finished the time of thy painful and difficult service, and of thy mortal race: for they who bring many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars for ever and ever, Dan. xii. Jacob had to do with a deceitful and unfaithful man; but God is not a man that he should lie, or as the son of man that he should repent, Gen, xxiii. “Be thou faithful unto death, and he will give thee the crown of life," Rev. ii.