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bad meddling with Thistles and Thorns, they being 1718. generally very unprofitable to Mankind, and hurt the good Seed, wherever they grow among it. Well, where must we go for the Grapes, and the Figs? To be sure we must go to the Vine, and the Fig-Tree ; Christ is the Body of this Vine, and his people are the Branches, who bring forth such Fruit (according to the Divine Life and Sap which they receive) as he taught, and teaches, to his Followers. So that if Mens Words be like the Words of Angels, if they have never so great Parts and Endowments ; yet if their Fruit be evil, if they live in Sin, and do Iniquity, and bring forth the Fruits of Malice and Rage, or devouring Persecution, they then are none of Christ's Sheep, though they may have their Clothing : For every good Tree bringetb forth good Fruit; and a corrupi Tree bringeth fortbevil Fruit. So if the Fruit be evil, the Tree is certainly corrupt. Our Lord elsewhere faith, Make the Tree good, and the Fruit will be Mat. 12. good also ; and to be made truly good (since we are 33. all corrupt by Nature, and in the Fall) we must be cut off from that. Nature and grafted into Chrift, who said, I am the Vine, and ye are the Branches : And Tobre i then our Lives and Fruits will be changed. And then, s. A good Tree cannot bring forth evil Fruit, nor can a corrupt Tree bring forth good Fruit: And every Tree that bringetb fortb not good Fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the Fire. It would be very unnatural, and a meer Prodigy, for one Tree to hew down another, and cast. it into the Fire, as they are natural Trees : But that Mar. 3; Ax (which John speaks of) will be laid to the Roots ". of the corrupc Trees, and will hew them down, and they will be cast into the Fire, as Christ speaks. This is not a destroying the Bodies of Men chat Christ speaks of, but an inward Work in the Soul, shewing the powerful Nature of the Dispensation of the Gospel of Christ, which is not material Cutting, or Burning with material Fire, or Sword: But Christ's Word is a Fire
1718. and Sword to cut down and burn up the evil Nature
w in Man. The Apostle confirms this Doctrine of his 1 John 2: Master thus, He that doth Righteousness is righteous,
but be that sinneth is of the Devika The Apostle is plain and full, as is Christ, who repeats his Doctrine over again, with, Wherefore by their Fruits ye shall know them,
Verse 21. Not every one that saith unto me Lord ! Lord ! fall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven ; but be obat doth the Will of my Father whicb is in Heaven.
It is not our Profession that will give us Admittance into Heaven, nor a Name of Religion, nor religi. ous Performances, if we love Sin and Unrighteousness, nor our praying, preaching, hearing, reading, or discourfing of, or arguing for Christ, if we do the Works of Satan ; for there are many who may yet go farther than this, and yet not have Admittance into the Kingdom of God and our blessed Lord Jesus, as is plainly manifest in the next Verse.
Verse 22. Many will say unto me in that Day, Lord, Lord, have we noi prophesied in thy Name, and in i by Name have cast out Devils, and in thy Name, have done many wonderful Works? · Verfe 23. And then I will profess to them I know you not ; depart from me, ye that work Iniquity.
So that professing Christ's own Name, and prophefying therein, without working the Works of God, will not do. Nay, though they may cast out Devils, which indeed is a great Work, and here is not only one Devil in the Singular Number, but Devils in the Plural.' They say they have cast out Devils, and cruly there are many Devils in poor Mortals sometimes, as was laid by them to Christ ; Our Name is Legion, for we are many. There are the Devils of Pride, Covecousness, Drunkenness, Whoredom, Theft, Envy, Murder, Lying, Swearing, Hypocrisy, Cheating, Backbiting, &c. and abundance more, which cannot easily be named; and though it may be said, and
that truly, that all these proceed from the Devil, who 1918.
Verse 24: Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings
Verse 25. And i be Rain descended, and the Flood's came, and the Winds blew, and beat upon that House, and it fell not : for it was founded upon a Rock.
1718. Oh! what abundance of excellent Sayings, and
Doctrine, what holy Precepts has Christ here recommended to the Professors of his Name, and to them which believe in him, and the Almighty Father and Maker of Heaven and Earth. Surely we are greatly beholden to our Lord Jesus Christ for those plain Di. vine Sayings. But to commend them only is obut little, or to read them, or hear them : The keeping and the doing of them is the main Thing ; the Thing that is needful ; and to press the Practice of them, Jesus has made this apt Comparison.
ist, He that bears them, and doib them, I will liken bim to a wise Man: And indeed it is great Wisdom to keep them (that is, to practice them) and as great Folly to live contrary to them, and plead against chem, • 2dly, Who built bis Houfe upon a Rock. This Rock is Christ, the Rock of Ages, and his Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, as Christ said to Peter, when Christ
was revealed to him : Fleh and Blood has not revealMar. 16. ed this unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven : 17. 18.
" Thou art Feter (or a Stone or Rock) thou art a Man, though thy Name signifies a Rock; and as thy Name signifies a Rock, so s on this Rock will I build my Church” (that is on the Spirit of the heavenly Father, which revealed Chrift to Peter J and the Church of Christ so built, “ the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against it." And Peter was one who heard these Sayings, and did them, when he had received the Holy Ghost or Spirit; for which every true Believer ought to pray continually, until he receive iç; through the Help of which he may, without Doubt, keep those holy Sayings. For of ourselves without it, we cannoë do any real Good, either in Speaking, Think. ing or Ačting.
3dly, And the Rains descended, and the Floods came, and the Winds blew, and beat upon that I use, and it fell not ; because it was founded on 4 Rock. If Rain from above be poured out in Wrath on Man, for Sin.
and Iniquity, and Floods of Persecution, or the Windy 1918. Words of Men come upon this House, it will stand : ww If Sickness and Death itself, and many other Storms, that we may meet with here, in this low World, should beat against our Building, we being built upon the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, shall surely stand them all out, and live through all, if we observe to hear or read Christ's Sayings, and to practice the fame then are we on the Rock, and shall not fall for that Reason.
Verse 26. And every one that beareth these Sayings of mine, and doth them not, Mall be likened unto a foolish Man, which built bis House upon the Sand.
Verse 27. And ibe Rains defcended, and the Floods came, and the Winds blew, and beat upon that House, and it fell ; and great was the Fall of it.
If we read or hear these Sayings, or Doctrine of Christ, and do not dwell in the Life of it, nor practice the same, it were better we knew it not. For as our Saviour faith, He that knoweth bis Master's Will, and doth it not, mall be beaten with many Stripes. And doubclefs it is great Folly to be sensible of Christ's holy Will, and Doctrine, and not to do it: If we profess Chriftianity, and to build our Profession on Christ, and yet not observe to keep his Sayings, the Foundation of our Building will be but very loose and sandy; and when those Rains, and Floods, and Winds, which Chrift speaks of, shall descend and come, and beat against this Building, it must needs fall, and the higher his Building is, the greater will be the Fall of it.
Thus ended the best Sermon that ever was preached by Man; in which is set forth the great Truths of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, with Bleslings and Rewards to the Righteous, and holy Believers in him, who put in practice his Precepts; and Reproof to the Disobedient, and Unfaithful; with Promises of the Kingdom of Heaven to the former, and to the Jacter a being shut out of it. And when he had ended