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the Apple-tree. New discoveries of sin and guilt may be ready to make them think their case to be hopeless; and yet these discoveries open the door of hope, even as the law before was their school-master to lead them to Christ.
4. Consider them even in their best case, in this world, when coining a-new unto, and abiding in him, without departing from him; yet they may lay their account, that their condition in this world will be such as that they will still need a shadow : for, partly, Christ will give them much ado, that he may be employed by them, and get work put in his hand by their daily errands to him; and partly also they must look for a scorching sun from the world, because they are not of the world, and therefore they may expect that the world will hate, persecute and abuse them : they need to be armed against daily difficulties, daily storms, and scorchings; and fenced against the heat of that sun spoken of in the first chapter, “ The sun hath looked upon me;' this is a fiery sun of worldly tribulations, that,
(1.) Consumes, sometimes, the man's estate and worldly fortune, as it did Job's sheep, and oxen, and cattle, and servants; all taken away.
(2.) It sometimes scorches and consumes their relations and friends, as it did Job's sons and daughters; as they were eating in their elder brother's house, a wind comes and smites the corners of the house : this was a scorching flame indeed, insomuch that Job rose up and covered himself with ashes, and cries out, “ Naked came I into the world, and naked must I return;"' chap. i. 13,--22. It is a terrible scorching heat that strips a man naked of all his relations, friends and brethren.
(3.) It sometimes scorches their body; and I need go no further than Job in this also ; he was scorched and smitten with sore boils, from the sole of his foot to his crown, that he took a pot-sherd, to scrape himself with al, chap. ii. 7, 8.
(4.) It sometiins scorches their good name, and in a manner consumes it, as not only Job's wicked wife,
chap. ii. 9. but his godly friends reproached him, and laid to his charge much sin, and wickedness, and hy, pocrisy. This was one of the hottest beams of the fiery sun with which he was burnt black; and it made him cry out, “O that my grief were weighed, and my calamity laid in the balance: for now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea,” chap. vi. 2, 3. And while inen and devils were throwing darts at him, he saw the hand of God drawing the bow and shooting the arrows at him; “ The arrows of the Almighty are within me: the terrors of God set themselves in array against me; the poison thereof drinketh up my spirit,” chap. vi. 4.-Thus the New Testament saints also were scorched, Heb. xi. 36, 38. “They had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, and bonds, and imprisonments : even they, of whom the world was not worthy, they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented.”—Thus you see how the bride of Christ may be scorched and sun-beaten.
If it is inquired, For what reason is all this? Why, one great reason is, their distance from the Apple-tree, when they are not below the shadow thereof: and the reason of this distance is either more extravrdinary, when the Lord, in sovereignty, withdraws; as it was with Job, from whom God did not withdraw for his sin; for he commends his servant Job, as a perfect and upright man, none like him in all the earth, chap. i. 1. : or, the more ordinary reason is, the bride's withdrawing from under his shadow, through unbelief, and sinning against God; “ Your iniquities separate between you and your God,” Isa. lix. 2. Yet it is to be here remembered, the distance is neither total nor final; for he said, “ I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," Heb. xiii. 5.; and that though, when distance takes place, they want the refreshing benefit of the shadow, yet they have his love, and his goodness and mercy to follow them; and “ Though for a small moment he hide his face from them, yet with everlasting mercies will he gather them: for, He will not contend for ever, nor be always wroth, lest the spirit should fail before him, and the soul which he hath made. He will see their ways, he may,
and heal them; and restore comforts to them." Which proves, that his love is never altered towards them.
In a word, the case of the soul, that comes to sit down under this shadow of the Apple-tree, is such a sore scorched case, that sometimes the scorchings of the fiery law are great, and the scorchings of the awakened conscience are severe. It is said, “ The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmities, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Prov. xviii. 14. The soul of a man will bear his bodily troubles; but when the soul itself is troubled and wounded, who can bear him up? Who but he that healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds, Psalm cxlvii. 3. Although a real convert, after the first convictions have issued in conversion, doth not receive the spirit of bondage again unto fear, in the manner as before, yet after grievous backslidings,
in a manner be sent back to mount Sinai, and find great flames of the fiery law flashing in his face; his convictions may be greater, and the scorchings hotter than before, because now he sees he hath sinned against so many mercies, so much light, and so many experiences of God's goodness, so many sweet enjoyments and enlargements, that he hath sinned the unpardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost: though the trouble on that head gives him the lie, and manifests that that is not the case, yet the wound is deep, and the soul is thus scorched almost to death, till, in answer to the call, Return, backsliding children, for I am married to you,” it returns again to its resting-place, and sits down under the shadow of the Apple-tree. I go on, therefore,
II. To the second thing proposed, To speak of the object of faith, Christ, as a shadow and shelter for the scorched soul. And here you may take both a negative and positive view of this shadow.
Ist. View it negatively; and remember there is no other shadow, no other rest for the soul but Christ; all other shadows are but refuges of lies: “ There is no other name under heaven given, among men, whereby we must be saved; neither is there salvation in any other,” Acts iv. 12. Other shelters are broken reeds.
What says God to them that trusted in the shadow of Egypt, and in the strength of Pharaoh ? " The strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame: and trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion ?" Isa, xxx. 2, %. They that trust to any other shadow, both rebel against God, and ruin themselves, Isa. xxxvi. 5, 6. Jer. xlviii. 45.
Truly in vain is salvation looked for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains, truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel,” Jer. iii. 23. All other shadows that men betake themselves to, will bring them to a bed of sorrow, Isa. I. 11.; they will prove as Jonah's gourd, having a worm at the root, that will wither them. Whatever shadow men trust to, whether it be the shadow of worldly props and mistaken providences, the shadow of unsound experiences, the shadow of natural and cominon graces, the shadow of gospel-privileges, the shadow of legal righteousness ; duties of civility, morality, or wliatever else, unhappy are they to find a shadow to rest under without Christ; Their sorrow shall be multiplied that hasten after another God;" their sorrows will but gather into a dam, to meet them in their extremity, when they have little need of such an encounter. Happy only are they that find no rest for the sole of their feet, till, with the dove, they come to the ark, Christ. Here, by the bye, iş a touch-stone of a good or bad condition : he that is in a bad condition, any shadow, without Christ, will satisfy and content him; but he that is in a good condition, no shadow, in the world, but Christ, will ease and please bim.
2dly, View this object positively ; Christ is the shadow indeed, and he alone, for the relief of poor scorched souls, the sun-beaten, and sin-bitten soul. I shall direct you to soune scriptures for shewing this ; and then observe that he is a shadow for all sad cases, and having all good qualities.
1. For the scripture-expressions hereof, see Ps. xxxi. 20. He is said to “ Hide them in the secret of his presence, from the pride of men ; and keep them secretly in a pavilion, from the strife of tongues.” Hence says David, Psalm lvii. 1. - In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, till these calamities be overpåst:" and Psalm xci. 1. “ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.-Psalm cxxi. 5.9. The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy shade upon thy right-hand; the sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.- Isa. iv. 6. And there shall be a tabernacle, for a shadow, in the day-time, from the heat; and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm, and from rain.-Isa. xxv. 4. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, &c. Isa. xxxii, 2. A man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
2. Here is a shadow in all cases, particularly in the four following ones.
(1.) A shadow and shelter against the wrath of God, for guilty sinners to fly to, that would fly from the wrath to come: he is “ Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come,” and from the curse of the fiery law ; for, he hath righteousness without the law to give, whereby he justifies the ungodly, in a way that magnifies that law, by paying all the debt of obedience and satisfaction it can crave; and so is, “ The end of the law, for righteousness, to every one that believeth."
(2.) He is a shadow against all challenges and charges whatsoever, in so much, that the believing soul, that sits under this shadow, may say, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth ?" Rom. viii. 33, 34. He is a shadow against every raging and impetuous last and corruption, that tosses and vexes his people like the raging waves of the sea; and that by the mortifying virtue of his death and blood; hence these two things go together, Rom. xiii. 14. “ The putting on Christ Jesus the Lord, and the making no provision for the flesh;, to fulfil the lusts thereof :" the raging heat of corruption is abated under this coot shadow.--He is a: shadow from all fears and cares, anxieties and grievances relating to worldly circumstances, when a believer bath