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3. As there is so intimate a relation between Christ and believers, we may hence infer the certainty of their perseverance. They that are once his, (hall be always so. Having loved his own, he loved them to the end; and will keep them by a power not to be overcome through faith unto salvation.

4. This may confirm our faith as to the resurrection and future blessedness of them that sleep in Jesus. This, the spouse's triumph plainly includes, in her faying, My Beloved is mine, and 1 am his. The meaning is, I am intirely so j his, as to soul and body, time and eternity. And without this, how little would it signify to fay, My Beloved is mine j for if in this life only we had hope in Christ, and our relation to him, and all our expectations from him were to end at death, we should be of all men the most miserable, 1 Cor. xv. 19. But his friends, when going to resign their souls, and lay down their bodies, may hear him speaking full to their comfort with reference to both, Because I live, ye /hall live also: os all that the Father hath given me, I will lose nothing, but raise it up at the lasl day.

5. Who would not wish to be one of the happy number, who, with reference to Christ, can use the language of the text as his own, saying, My Beloved is mine, and I am his? Whilst you have no ground for this, how comfortless must you live, and how much more dreadful will it be to die? Who can think of leaving the world without horror, who has no interest m the only Saviour? But for the encouragement of

such

such as may have hitherto lived without him, you are to be assured in. his name, he is yet willing to be yours, and ready, upon your coming in, to receive and own you for his. He waits for your consent, and would rejoice in it. And, as he came to seek and to save such as are lost, may every one that feels himself so, as being melted by hie grace, fay, Lord, if thou wilt pity and regard such an one as I, if thou wilt forgive, receive, and save me, I yield myself to thee, to be thine, thine only, and thine for ever.

6. Laftly, Having done this, let it be remembered, that the relation between Christ and every believer, is mutual. As soon as grace enables any one to fay in truth, js am his, it is equally true, that he is theirs.

If we love him, it is because he loved us first; and therefore the spouse in another place, {Chapter vi. 3.) begins with her own consent, 1 am my Beloved's, and thence argues, My Beloved is mine. The fame method I would direct the humble Christian to take, to get over his doubts and fears: fay this night, fay tomorrow, when commemorating your Redeemer's death and love, Lard, I am thine: I desire, I design, I consent, I resolve to be so: I call heaven and earth to witness to the declaration I make, the engagement I bring myself under, 1 am my Beloveds. And in this way, wait for his Spirit, to enable you to add, My Beloved is mine.

And, for your support in waiting, tell your souls, he has been known to others in breaking

of bread; why may he not be so to me? But duty is ours, comfort is his j and how long soever he hide his face from me, I would not think the worse of him. If he will have me go mourning to the gates of Sion, I would hold on after him, though with fear and trembling; I having some hope too, that I shall at last hear his reviving voice faying, Come up hither, the days of thy mourning are ended: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

SER

SERMON X.

Ezek. XLVII. ii.

But the miry places thereof, and the marljhes thereof Jhall not be healed, they Jhall be given to salt.

IN this chapter we have an account of Ezeiiefs vision of the waters of the sanctuary j by which the doctrine of Christ, attended with the gifts and precious influences of his Spirit, are commonly understood to be represented, the river that makes glad the city or church of our God, and which was prefigured and predicted to do so under these our New Testament times. As to these waters, we may observe, i. Their rise, ver. i. They issued out from under the threjhold of the house; signifying, that from Zion should go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from 'Jerusalem, Isaiah ii. 3. There the Spirit was to be poured out upon the apostles of Christ, endowing them with the gift of tongues to preach the gospel to all nations, beginning at Jerujalem, Luke xxiv. 47. In the temple they were to stand and preach the words of this life, that is, of eternal life and salvation, as obtainable by poor sinners through Jesus Christ; and from thence to carry the glad tidings farther.

The waters issued from the temple: and as they are said to come down from under the right fide of the house x at the fouthfide of the altar. Some think reference is here had to Christ, who purchased the gospel, and all the blessings that accompany it, by offering up himself to die a sacrifice, and through whom they flow to us. From God, as the fountain, in and by Christ as the channel, they are conveyed to us.

2. We may observe their progress and increase. The waters went forth eastward; and Ezekiel, and his guide, followed them, and found them grown deeper and deeper as they went.

Having measured a thousand cubits, they went thorough the waters, and they were to the ancles, verse 3. A thousand cubits farther, wading through again, they were to the knees. Then walking a thoufand cubits more, and crossing a third time, they were to the loins. After this, they walked a thousand cubits farther, and attempting to go over, the stream was found too deep to be forded: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over, verse 5.

This notes that the waters of the sanctuary, the gospel, and the grace wrought by it, are progressive and increasing. The gospel church was very small in its beginning, like a little purling brook; but by degrees it improved, as

the

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