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the daughters of Jerusalem ; but no rest till now that she is come to the shadow of the apple-tree.
(4.) Sit down and take refreshment to your weary souls; come and feast upon the apple tree; and, as you come, be convinced you cannot come alone; Christ hath told you, “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him;" therefore put up your prayer to God, and say, · The Son of thy love,
O Father, hath told me, I cannot come under his shadow, except thou draw me; therefore now, O good and gracious God, for the sake of Jesus, draw me: and under the influence of this drawing grace, come and sit down and gather apples. “I am the true vine," said our Lord Jesus, “ and my Father is the husband. inan;" even so, he is the true apple-tree, and his Father is the gardener ; and he is now come to shake the tree, to let down the apples about your hands that you may gather, or to bend the branches down to you, that you may pluck what apples you need.
What apple, say you? Why, we shall tell eight sorts of apples. · Well here is,
1. The apple of imputed righteousness for you that are guilty sinners. Your own righteousness is a' rotten apple, good for nothing but to be cast away with all your other idols, to the moles and to the bats; but the ' righteousness of Christ is a sweet apple, a fresh apple, a ripe apple, ready for eating : and if you taste of this apple you shall live a life of justification. By 'eating the forbidden fruit you was condemned; but by tasting of this apple you shall be justified : " By one man's offence, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; but by the righteousness of one, the free gift comes upon all men unto justification of life; for as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous,” Rom v. 18, 19.
2. Here is the apple of implanted grace you may pluck from off this tree of life. Do you want even the grace of faith and ability to pluck? It grows upon this tree: Christ is the author of faith, and the finisher of it. Do you want the grace of repentance? It grows
also upon this tree, Acts v. 31. “ Him hath God exalted, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sin. Do you want love? It grows upon this tree; his love is the seed of love ; “ We love biin, because he first loved us :" his doing, dying, rising, reigning love is the seed that being sown in your heart, will make heartlove to him grow there. Whatever grace you need you may get it upon this tree of life; for, “ Out of his fulness we all receive, and grace for grace;" or, as it may read, •Love for love.'
3. Here is the apple of peace. Is not peace with God and peace of conscience a sweet apple? And does it not grow here ? - In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace :He made peace by the blood of his cross.” O! who would not be in hands with this refreshing apple, that will chear the heart against all the disquiet in the world! This peace in Christ is like a dry house within, in a rainy day without doors. It is like a quiet harbour in stormy weather or a safe haven in a terrible tempest.
4. Here is the apple of joy, joy in the Holy Ghost; and this also grows upon the apple-tree : “Whom having not seen ye love, in whom tho' now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,” 1 Pet. i. 8. A taste of this apple makes all carnal joy tasteless to you ; for, it is unspeakable joy, full joy, glorious joy, and unspeakably full of glory; the very dawning of the day of glory.
5. Here is the apple of contentment that grows upon this tree of life; contentment with every lot, every cross; « Godliness with contentment is great gain." When a man tastes of this apple, it makes him say with Paul, “I am poor, yet possessing all things; lam sorrowful, yet always rejoice: I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” This sweet apple sweetens every lot, be it never so bitter.
6. Here is the apple of communion with God, and access to him, that grows upon this tree ; for, “ Through him we have access by one Spirit to the Father:" putting the soul, in case to say, " Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” This makes the soul to invite others sometimes to come and share, saying, “ “O taste and see that the Lord is good ; for, that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that you may have fellowship with us;" while we have fellowship with the Father, in his electing love ; with the Son, in his redeeming love; and with the Holy Ghost, in his applying both the love of the Fa. ther, and the grace of the Son. This communion is sometimes only in desire; “ The desire of our souls is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.” Sometimes in delight; “ Delight thyself in the Lord, and he will give thee the desire of thine heart.”
7. Here is the apple of spiritual liberty that grows upon this apple-tree; “ If the Son make you free, you are free indeed.” When we taste of this apple, we preach at liberty, and pray at liberty, and hear at liberty, believe at liberty, and walk at liberty ; " I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts,” Psal. cxix. 45. It is a heartsome feast to the soul where all bonds and fetters are loosed, and the heart at liberty to love; the hand at liberty to work; and the feet at liberty to run; “ I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou hast enlarged my heart.”
8. Here is the apple of assurance that grows upon this tree : assurance of God's everlasting love is one of the sweetest apples that ever, was tasted ; and a taste of it makes the man to cry out, “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, Job xix. 25.--I know in whom I have believed, 2 Tim. i. 12. I know that if the earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, I have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor. i. 5. “ I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor prineipalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom. viii. 38, 39. This apple, being tasted, leads the soul up to the pinnacle of praise, according to that word, Psal.cxl. 18. “ Surely the righteous shall give thanks to thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence."
In a word, there is no telling of all the apples that grow on this tree of life; there is no end of the number nor the sweetness of them; because all the treasures of heaven are the apples that grow here: for, • In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." All the perfections of God are the apples that grow upon this trèe'; for, “ He is the wisdom of God, and the power of God: and in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”. All the graces of the Spirit are the apples that grow upon this tree: “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." All the promises of the covenant are the apples that grow upon this tree; for, “ All the promises of God are in him Yea, and in him Amen, to tlie glory of God."
O my dear friends, if one should throw but a lapful of green apples among a company of reapers on a harvest field, what a running, and striving, and struggling would there be, who should get their pockets best filled! Allow me the homely comparison, where yet there is no comparison : only our Lord being here compared to the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and you being allowed not only to sit down under his shadow with great delight, but also to take of the fruit that shall be sweet to your taste; Is there no appetite here, no disposition to gather the fruit of this Apple-tree: for, “He that eateth of this fruit shall live for ever," John vi. 5. 8.? Here you may gather a store of apples, that will be provision for the day of death, and for a long eternity. Now, the great God, the great gardener, is, by this gospel-offer, shaking the Apple-tree; O strive who shall get the greatest fill of this fruit! Which of these apples' are you for? Or, rather, are you for them all? Do you need them all? Why, then, they are designed for the poor and needy; therefore, “ Whosoever will, let him come and take freely :" be what you will, and whatever you have been, or are, if you think that this fruit would do you good, or that these apples would do you service, now when you are under the Tree, lay your hands about you. Say not, I dare not put to my hands, my hands and my heart are so polluted'; but if I were so and so prepared and qualified, I would put to my hand. What is this you are saying, () proud sinner? Are you bringing your mo. ney as a price to buy this fruit that comes papping and falling down freely to you? If you do not humble yourself to take all freely, you and your money shall perish. Would you bring fruit with you
you come here, where all the fruit is growing or hanging down to your hand, even in him who is made of God to you wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, and every thing: You affront the Apple-tree, if you come to give, and not to get: Nay, you have nothing to give; and here you have all to get.
Quest. How shall I get all the apples of this tree of life? I will tell you, the short way is just to take the tree to yourself, and then you get all the apples ; for, here is a wonder, though innumerable apples may fall down amongst your hands, yet they never fall off from the tree; like beams of the sun, that fall down upon you, yet they are never separate from the sun, nor fall off from it. Whatever sweet fruits fall down from this apple-tree, yet they never fall off from it; they are all growing, and growing for ever upon the tree; therefore, take the tree to yourself, and you get all the fruit, and all the apples that grow upon it: take the person, Christ, and you have all his benefits and blessings with him. : Quest. How shall I take the tree? And what should I do with it? You are just to take it by faith; He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life :* and take the tree and plant it in the garden of your heart, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Say not, I am a dead sinner, and can do nothing ; res member it is not doing but believing, you are called to; and therefore, though you have no life in yourself, yet mind this apple-tree is the tree of life, the living and life-giving tree; the leaves of that tree which is for the healing of the nations, is such as hath power, not only to heal the sick, but to quicken the dead : and, there. fore, seeing he is the God that quickens the dead, let the dead hear what he says, even he who by a word could bring all things out of nothing; "I am the re