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and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up."
(2.) If it be supported and carried on with lies, calumnies and reproach, Isa. xxviii. 17. "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies; and the waters shall overflow the hiding places. Ezek. xiii. 22. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.”
(3.) If it cover violence with a mask of zeal; God hates robbery for burnt-offering; "For, 1, the Lord, love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt-offering, Isaiah Ixi. 8. And him that loveth violence, his soul hateth," Psalm xi. 5.
(4.) If, consequently, it turn the keys of the temple into swords and staves, and instruments of fury, and fiery persecutions: "Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders which were come to him; Be ye come out against a thief with swords and staves; Luke xxii. 52. For thy violence against thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee; and thou shalt be cut off for ever," Obadiah, ver 10.
(5.) If it bear the mark of madness, or of men's being plagued in their prudentials; "Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid, Isa. xxix. 14. The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come : Israel shall know it; the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad; for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred," Hos. ix. 7.
(6.) If it foster pride, arrogance, and lordly pre-eminence: Zeph. ii. 10, 11." This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts: The Lord will be terrible unto them, for he will famish all the gods of the earth, and men shall worship him
every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.-3 John, ver. 9. "I wrote unto the church, but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not." And if it lead men to act the part of lords over men's consciencès.
(7.) If it shun the light. John iii. 20. "For every one that doth evil, hateth the light; neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
-- (8.) If it make men unnatural and unsociable; Rom. i. 31. “ Without understanding, covenant-breakers; without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.— The prodigious heights, that are of such a nature and tendency, and have such concomitants, that they that climb them, must come down humbly, otherwise they will fall down headlong.
6. Hence see, that few are called effectually, because few have come down to entertain Christ in their hearts and houses. They have no will to come from the tree they have climbed; they hold fast by the branches thereof. Many hold so long by some rotten branch that they are in danger of letting Christ go his way, and call no more, saying, "My Spirit shall no longer strive with them." But here is a mark of effectual calling : the soul is made gladly and hastily to come down to Christ; down to his school, as a Prophet, to be taught of him; down to his altar, as a Priest, to be accepted in him; down to his footstool, as a King, to be Blessed and ruled by him.-Why, say you, must we not come up to Christ, and up to his terms? Nay, man you are far enough up already; you are for more terms than he is seeking of you. He seeks that you come down from all terms, conditions, and personal qualifications; to a renunciation of your all, which is nothing, and to an embracing of Christ's all, which is "all in all.” The soul, in effectual calling, is made to come down from self-love to self loathing; from self-estimation to self-abhorrence; from self-will to God's will; from self-ease to an enduring of hardship, and a taking joyfully the spoiling of our goods, by plunder, and the spoiling of our names, by reproach and calumny down from self-confidence to a renouncing of all confidence in the flesh, and a placing our confi
dence only in God: from self-fulness and sufficiency to self-emptiness, and contentment to be beggars at the door of grace's all-sufficiency, and daily travellers between creature-emptiness, and Christ's fulness.Down from self-righteousness to a counting all our own righteousness but filthy rags. A sight of God, as so glorious in holiness, that, this attribute cannot be vindicated without a perfect obedience; and so glorious in justice, that this attribute cannot be satisfied without a condign satisfaction of infinite value; both which are only to be found in Christ. This brings down all lofty thoughts of self-righteousness, and makes the soul cry out, " In the Lord only have I righteousness." In a word, a day of effectual calling is a down coming day the soul that was rich and increased with goods, comes down to his shop to buy his wares, his tried gold, his white raiment, his eye-salve. The soul that was climbing too high, comes down to sit under his shadow, who is the tree of life; down to his pasture, who is the good shepherd; down to his wine-cellar, to be fed and feasted with him in his banquetting-house; down to his green bed of fellowship with him, in his pleasant
7. See hence how unkind it is to delay, when Christ is calling us to haste and come down, and saying, "Today, even to-day, I must abide at thy house;" I would be into thy heart: "Now is the accepted time." The present time is the time wherein God calls you to come down and work in his vineyard. When death comes, he will call you no more. The present time is the time wherein he is casting open his door to all beggars, saying, To day ye may be saved; if ye delay till to-morrow the door may be for ever shut. The present day is the day wherein the judgments of God are begun; his judgments are in the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are to learn righteousness. Come down, and own that ye are yet to learn the lesson of coming down, instead of climbing up. There are three things should be considered by you that are lingering and putting off the time.
(1.) Your delay hardens your heart: "Go thy way,
said Felix, I will hear thee at a more convenient time;" but that time never came. Time is not at your command.
(2.) Your delay wearies God, and not man only; "I am weary with forbearing," saith God; and with waiting on this generation; "If it be a small thing to. weary man, saith the prophet, will ye weary my God also?" If you wear out his patience, you are undone for ever.
(3.) Can you tell how long God will spare you? Can you tell me that you will be out of your grave till this day eight days? Do you know what a day may bring forth? Then, this moment, hearken to his call, when he is saying, Haste, haste; Make haste, and come
8. Hence see the duty of all that hear the gospel, namely," To come down, and sit in the dust;" and to quit hold of all the branches by which they are holding, that they may come and take hold of Christ, the righteous Branch. Let me here exhort, excite, and direct you.
 Let me exhort you to come down, and quit hold of all the branches wherein you confide. What branches?
2. Some hold to the branch of worldly confidences, minding only earthly things, and cast anchor there; making earth their heaven; but this world is like a floating island, such as some we read of, where it is. folly for sailors to cast anchor, lest the land swim away with the ship. Oh! dangerous trusting to floating and flying things.
2. Some hold by the branch of carnal excuses, when invited to come down to the gospel supper with Christ, Luke xiv. 18, 19, 20. They all made excuse;" and, among the rest, one said "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them." Augustine made these to represent the five senses, which men want to gratify, instead of coming to Christ; called a yoke, because we have them, as it were, in pairs; two eyes, for seeing; two ears, for hearing; two nostrils, for smelling; two jaws, for tasting; and a two-fold feeling, outward and
inward and a yoke of oxen, because occupied about the earth, and earthly things: but, "Come down, Zaccheus;" "Come down from the top of Aimana and Hermon:" from these mountains of vanity.
3. Some hold to the branch of proud Self, setting themselves above all others, and embracing even the doctrines of devils, such as that, of "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats," 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3. This, in a literal sense, is applicable to Papists; but in a spiritual sense, applicable to those, who so far are forbidding marriage, as they are pretending to loose the marriage-relation between pastor and people; whom God hath joined, they would put asunder by their pretended sentences of deposition and excommunication: and hence so far commanding to abstain from meats, as to be discharging people to feed upon these green pastures, wherein their souls have been formerly nourished *. If it be the doctrine of devils to forbid marriage, and command to abstain from meats, in a temporal and literal sense, how dangerous and deadly must the doctrine be, that doth so, in a spiritual sense! However, so it is, that these who are catched in such a snare, after their credit is engaged, their pride holds them like a chain, and makes them ashamed to return and acknowledge their folly. But pride must come down, for it is abominable in the sight of God.
I have read a pretty story, or a pretty fable, " of an angel and a hermit travelling together: the first thing they met with, on their way, was a stinking carrion: at which the hermit stopped his nose, but the angel smiled; afterwards they saw a strumpet decking herself proudly and pompously, at which the hermit smiled, and the angel stopped his nose." The moral teaches us, That nothing is more abominable to God, and his holy angels, than pride and vanity; and of all pride, none more hateful to God than religious pride; men's saying, "Stand by, for I am holier than you: there are a smoke in his nose, a fire that burneth all the day," Isa. lxv. 5.
Alluding chiefly to the conduct of the separating Brethren, formerly laid open.