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I did. The word was the fearcher and difcerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart: and the fearching word was the ftrong hook that catched her; and fhe faw Chrift therein: Is not this the Chrift? Then the word is effectual and prevails, when Chrift himself is feen: Chrift is the beft preacher himfelf; the only powerful preacher, who, by his word, can open the eyes; and by a fanctified fight of one fin, difcovers all to the man; and in that difcovery fhews himfelf to be the Chrift.
4. Hence fee, that faving illumination is the best antidote againit Arianifm. Here the enlightened woman profeffes her faith of Chrift's Deity, and thereupon of his being the CHRIST: the fees him to be the true God, who told her all things that ever he did; and thence declares him to be the true Meflias: Is not this the Chrift? If Chrift were not the true God, he could not be the true Meffias; and confequently, they who deny his fupreme Deity, deny that he is the Chrift. And thus blafphemous Arians are guilty of denying the Lord that bought them: and they that thus deny him were never enlightened by him. A faving difcovery of Chrift will afford a poor illiterate perfon an argument from experience; and fpiritual feeling, more ftrong and powerful, for proving the fupreme Deity of Chrift, than all the learn ed and logical arguments in the world, which a man may be fraughted with, and yet remain an Atheist : and, indeed, Arians are Atheifts, whatever they profefs; for, He that denies the Son, denies the Father alfo : becaufe, to deny the neceffary existence of the Son, is to reject the neceflary paternity of the Father, who yet is as neceffarily Father, as he is God; and to deny both the Father and the Son, is to contemn the neceffary proceffion of the Holy Ghoft from both: fo that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft is denied, when the fupreme Deity of Chrift is impugned. Alas! Sirs, this atheiftical world needs fuch à turn and meafure of enlightening grace, as this poor woman gət.
5. Hence fee, that perfuafion, with application, is in the nature of faving faith, both objective and subjective. Perfuafion objective, affuring the man that this is the
Chrift; and fubjective alfo, affuring the man that as he is the Chrift, the anointed; fo he is anointed for my behalf; anointed, as the woman here fuggefts, as a Prophet for me, to tell me all things that ever I did: and, at the fame time, that he told me all my fins, he told me that he was the Chrift, anointed to fave me; and hence the glories in him as the Chrift. Whenever he manifefts himfelf, faith brings in holy triumph in the Lord, even under a fight of the greatest finfulnefs. Indeed, fuch a fight as this woman got, namely, of the guilt of all the evils that ever fhe did, would have caufed trembling, instead of triumphing, if faith's view of Chrift discovered to her, had not carried, in the bofom of it, a fiducial perfuafion of his being a Chrift for her; which, whenever fhe faw, then fhe was kindly humbled: which leadst me to another inference.
6. Hence fee, that true gofpel-humiliation and evangelical repentance goes not before, but is a fruit of faith, and of Chrift manifefting himself to the foul; for then, and not till then, does fhe cry out, O! he hath told me all things that ever I did. Now, fhe fees all her fins in the brightest light. By the light of the stars we may fee fome things; by the light of the moon, we fee more; but by the light of the fun, we fee moft of all. By the light of nature, people may fee fome fins; by the light of the law, more, much more; for, By the law is the knowledge of fin; but, by the light of the Sun of righteoufnefs, moft of all is difcovered: but with this difference, that the moon-light of the law fhews the disease, and no more, leaving the finner to die in that difeafe, and perifh; but the fun-light of the gospel difcovers the remedy, The Sun of righteoufnefs arifing with bealing under his wings. And when no lefs than the blood and righteoufnefs of God is feen to be the healing medicine, then the difeafe appears to be infinitely great; and yet the fight is infinitely fweet, because it is a fight of that wonderful healing, under these wings and rays of the Sun of righteoufnefs: this makes kindly and pleafant humiliation.
7. Hence fee, that faving discoveries of Christ are very rare in our day; for, very few are thus exercised,
ther in condemning and debafing themfelves, under a fense of all that ever they did; or in commending and exalting Chrift, and dealing with others to come and fee him. Oh! how few humble walkers, and hearty commenders of Chrift are to be obferved! Few taking kindly with their fin, and few breaking forth into the praifing commendations of Chrift! When this woman got a difcovery of Chrift, fhe kindly takes with her whoredoms, and all her fins that ever fhe did, and zealoufly breaks forth into the praifes and commendation of Chrift. But whence is it, that the land we live in, the church of Scotland, is not taking with, and kindly acknowledging all that ever fhe did, and taking with all her whoredoms and adulteries, and treacherous breaking covenant with her God, to whom fhe folemnly gave her hand? Whence is it that there is fo little zeal in commending and exalting Christ in his fupreme Deity, in a day wherein Arian † blafphemers open their mouth against him? Whence is there fo little zeal for the reviving of our broken covenants, national and folemn league, even in a day wherein the obligation thereof is denied?· Why are we neither humbly condemning ourselves, and taking with our national fins, nor highly commending Chrift, and exalting him in his injured honours, truths, and prerogatives, but rather conniving with, and winking at all the difhonours done to him? Why, what is the matter? The reafon is, faving difcoveries of Chrift, which fhould work the contrary effect, are very rare. When the Lord hath a mind to build up Zion, he appears in his glory, as he did in the days of our Reformation: but now he hath juftly hid himself from the Godprovoking, Chrift-defpifing, gofpel-flighting generation. But, O Sirs, if he would yet appear and discover his glory in the fanctuary, then we might expect Reformation times: but, as matters ftand, we look as if a ftroke
That Arianifm was gaining ground in Scotland, at this time, was formerly noticed, Vol. II. p. 466, 467. And the procefs, before the fupreme ecclefiaftical court, relative to this affair, was this year terminated, with no very adequate fentence againft the propagator of it; as any one may fe who confults the printed procefs relative to that affair.
and judgment, that hath been fo long threatened, were fuddenly to fall upon us with a terrible vengeance. There were little hazard of the prefent rumour of war †, if the Lord, who is a man of war, were not against us; and if the Lord carry on his controverfy, it will be little wonder, tho' we fhould fee the land turned into a field of blood and defolation, before we fee another communion-folemnity here. God hath borne long with us; but how much longer he will do fo, who can tell? Forty years peace in the church is a wonder, &c. But,
8. Hence fee, that a meeting with Chrift, makes a marvellous change upon a perfon or people that are so privileged. Before this woman met with Chrift, or rather before he met with her, fhe was nothing but a common ftrumpet; but now fhe is humbled to the duft for the fins fhe had formerly indulged herfelf in, and commends and exalts that Lord whom fhe had difhonoured. She is brought from darknefs to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; from being exercifed in corrupting and debauching her neighbours, to a kindly concern for their foul's everlafting welfare, to get them brought to Chrift. Saving illumination and acquaintance with Christ, creates in the heart a fympathy with the cafe of poor Chriftlefs finners: Come fee a man that told me all things that ever I did: Is not this the Chrift? This leads
Ufe 2. Namely, an ufe of Trial and examination, whether you have met with Chrift, and got a faving discovery of him at this occafion or formerly. O how fhall I know, fay you, if I have met with Chrift, and if he hath discovered himself to me? Why, if you have, then this discovery has led you to thefe two things. 1. A humiliation of felf to the lowest. 2. An exalting of Chrift to the higheft.
1ft, What felf-humbling difpofition and abafement hath
+ About this time the nation was mightily alarmed about a rupture with Spain; who, as was affirmed, had entered into a formidable alliance with different powers, in order to recover Gibraltar and Portinahon and place the Pretender on the throne of Britain.
been wrought in you? Are you laid low in the duft, and made vile in your own eyes, by Chrift difcovering you to yourself? Have you got a difcovery of your own finfulness uglinefs, and unworthinefs? Hath Chrift fallen a difcourfing with you, and told you all things that ever you did? Hath he told you of your ill life, your wicked heart, your depraved nature? Hath he told you of your unbelief? For when the Spirit comes, he reproves the world of fin ; becaufe they believe not in him. Hath he told you of your fecret fins, and discovered to you what none but himself could tell you? And, have you taken it from himself without faying, who has gone and told the ministers this and that of me? Hath he told you of your wicked thoughts and intentions, and made the word the difcerner of the thoughts and intents of your heart? Hath he told you your spiritual wickednefs, your atheism, ignorance, enmity, carnality, pride, felf, and hypocrify, and made you to know the plagues of your own heart? Hath he told you of the fig-leaves you have been covering yourfelf with, and the falfe refuges you have been running to, and chafed you out of your refuges of lies? Hath he told you your fecret, as well as open fins, and fo told you fome things, as that thereby he hath discovered the reft to you; and you have been led by the ftreams to the fountain of fin within? And, has he given you, by one glance upon the map of your corrupt nature, a view of your total depravation? Hath he told you your proper name by calling you a dag, and by making you take with your name, faying, Truth, Lord, I am a dog, a devil, a monster? Behold, I am vile! Why, it is a glorious internal light that difcovers this internal vilenefs. What makes you, with Job, to abhor yourfelf? Why, it fays, Now your eyes fee him, Job xlii. What 5, 6. makes you, with Paul, look upon yourfelf as less than the leaft of all faints; yea, as the chief of all finners, the worft of all finners, the vileft of all finners? Why, it says, He bath revealed bis fon in you. It is not natural for proud man to think fo bafely of himself; it is the Spirit of Chrift that hath told you what you are. But here, to prevent any mistake, it may be asked,
QUEST. May not one who hath not the Spirit of God,