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professors are great admirers of love feasts. Peter tells us that they were spots in their feasts of charity, feeding themselves without fear; that they turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, had eyes full of adultery; cursed children, that could not cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. The way to find such men out is, to look at their congregations; and, when you see two or three women to one man, you may be sure that Belial is in the pulpit; for God has fixed it as an eternal rule, and we may judge by it, that there shall be, like people like priest.

The fifth influenza is intended to counterfeit the melting operations of the spirit of love, which is produced by those who are skilled in empty oratory. Such feel out and play upon the corrupted passions of flesh and blood; they make their bowels yearn and sound like an harp. This produces a voluntary humility, natural meekness, weeping, and lifting up the hands; glee, joy, and the raptures of the wayside hearers, follow. This is called a refreshing time; every plant is watered at such seasons as these. I once heard of an old lady who went into a meeting-house accidentally to hear a sermon, and there was an orator in the pulpit; and the good old matron was wrought upon, and went after the sermon was over and offered herself to the minister as a member; informing him of the power that she had felt, and of her conversion under the discourse. He wanted to know what part of his discourse it was that had

done the execution; but her heart was so big, and her tears flowed so fast, that she was obliged to give some vent to her passions before she could speak. The word, she said, she should never forget as long as she lived; and at last, with a mighty burst of noise, passion, and tears, she said the word was, Mesopotamia; that is the name of a country. From this sort of fire the foolish virgin gets her spark; for this is strange fire: "Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled: this shall you have at my hand, you shall'

lie down in sorrow."

Hence it is plain that the joy of the Lord which is produced in the soul under the operations of the Holy Ghost is the oil of the wise virgin; and the joy that springs up in the heart at the stirrings and motions of natural affections is the light and blaze of this foolish one. Their zeal, fervour,

gifts, and profession, spring up from the heat of inward passions; and so the Saviour intimates: He receives the word with joy, yet hath he not root in himself, but endurcs for a while, and in temptation falls away. This the Lord calls withering; and when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered. "All the trees of the field are withered; because joy is withered away from the sons of men," Joel i. 12.

There is no mention made in my text of any vessel that these fools took: They took their lamps, but took no oil with them. I have shewn it as my opinion, that the lamp of this fool is the law; and


by their having no oil, we may see that God doth not minister the spirit by the works of the law, but by the hearing of faith; nor does grace flow in that channel; faith comes by hearing of faith, and grace is communicated by God's giving testimony to the word of his grace; and all real joy is duced by the Spirit of God; nothing of all which comes by the preaching of the law, nor by the works of the law. The reason that there is no mention made of a vessel is, because all this profession is carried on without the heart; they took their lamps and went forth, but their hearts stayed at home in the world: "Their heart is far from me, therefore in vain they worship me." God requires a heart sensible of its own plague, a broken and a contrite heart; a believing heart, and a heart circumcised to love him; and without this vessel all religion is nought, and without the oil of joy all worship is a task. I come now,

Lastly, To shew the cause of these lamps going out, and what it was that extinguished them, Sometimes the light of these hypocrites is from God; and I believe that the light of some others is not from God, but from Satan. It is said that "The Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face." Hence he so often boasts and says, "Balaam, the son of Beor, hath said, and the man whose eyes are open, hath said; he hath said which heard the words of God, and knew the

knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open." And what does he see? He sees his own way to be perverse before God; he sees beforehand a drawn sword, which was to shew him, had he understood it, that he should fall in his rebellion by the sword of Israel, and afterwards be cut asunder with the sword of justice, and have his portion appointed with hypocrites and unbelievers. And this every hypocrite sees in this world, who, in strict justice, is given up to a fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries; and all other hypocrites, who die without these awful visions, will have hem hereafter; for we read of some who in hell lift up their eyes. But Balaam's eyes were opened in this world; and he sees the safety of Israel, the death of the righteous, and the destruction of Amalek, and perhaps his own banishment: "I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh." He would see him at the day of judgment, though not now; and he would in hell behold him, but not nigh; for there is a great gulf fixed between these two parties. How lofty, how pompous this poor, proud, boasting hypocrite speaks; how does this knowledge puff him up! and so it doth all others, as well as he, who never knew the plague of their own heart.

The light that Jehu had in the scriptures, which he discerned when he executed God's judgments

on the house of Ahab, seems to be from the same fountain with this of Balaam. But the light of some hypocrites seems to come from another quarter; for, if Satan can transform himself into the likeness of an angel of light, there must be some sort of shining rays about him, which must be intended to deceive some of his own children, who are given up to his strong delusions. Saul saw that David would surely be king, and that the kingdom would be established in his hand, and that he should go on and prosper. But who could shew him this? The Lord was departed from him long before, and an evil spirit troubled him. This light was from Satan; and so was the light of Haman's wise men, and of Zeresh his wife, who told Haman that, if Mordecai was of the seed of the Jews, he should not prevail against him, but should surely fall before him. The light that was in Judas seems to come from this transformation of Satan. "Take heed," says the Saviour, "lest the light that is in thee be darkness:" and in this darkness are all those who in their hearts hate the saints of God, let them have what light, knowledge, or understanding, they may: "For he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." And this was the case with Judas; he hated Christ in his heart, though he followed him in order to get into the ministry, to get the name of an apostle, and to bear the bag, and rob the common stock; he

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