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sdamental truths, because of Christ's stamp upon them, will not dare to give up with circumstantial truths which they know, seeing they also bear the same impression of divine authority: So that it is a bold venture for a man, on any pretence, to quit the word of Christ's patience in a time of trial, and to step out of God's way; for he leaves his soul in pawn for it, which is of more worth than all he has in a world ; and it is one to a thousand, if ever he has power to come back, and loose it by repentance.
Mot. 4. Death is approaching, and then you must
part with all you have in the world. Cleave as fast as you will to these things, you must let go your hold at length. The serious confideration of the shortness of our time, the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time of it, would discover to us, that the whole we can make by turning aside from God's way in a time of trial, is not worth our trouble, not worth the going off our road for it; for it may be, what is refused for Christ may quickly be taken from you at death. I am sure we will never part easily with what we have, as when we fit loose to it. Ripe fruit falls off the tree with a shake, when the unripe must be rent off. When the heart is loosed from what we have in the world, it is easy parting with it, by what it is when the heart holds by it till it be forced from it.-Nothing is ever parted with so honourably, as when it is parted with for Christ. No thanks to you that you part with what you have, when God takes it from
will or not. It is hoc nourable to forsake the world at Christ's call, for Christ's fake, before we be forsaken of the world.
Mot. 5. You will be no losers at Christ's hands. you quit with them now to Christ, he probably
will let you keep them, and accept of your wifi for the deed. This was the case with Abraham, when called to offer up Isaac; and with David, when it was in his heart to build a house to the Lord. Thus you will have them with his bleffing and favour. If he take them from you, without them you will get a throughbearing: Pfal.
“ Trust in the Lord, and do good; fo shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou fhalt be fed.” A little served
from the promise, and brought to your hand by a particular providence, will have a double sweetness in it. That bread will not be lost which is thrown upon these waters ; after many days you shall find it : Matth. xix. 29. “ And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or lifters, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's fake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and fhall inherit eternal life.” Himself will be to you instead of all, and better than all here; and heaven will fully make
all hereafter. If
any shall say, “But, O! I fear I shall never be able to carry through, I would say to such, You know that the foundation of your throughbearing is laid, if your heart be loosed from all things besides Christ, and if he be dearer to you than what is dearest to you in a world : Psal. xlv. 10. 11. « Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. So shall the king, greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.” When the king thus greatly desires thy beauty, he will see to preserve it: John, x.
« I give unto' them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is
able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” You have taken him for all, and it lies upon his honour to see you carried through. Live by faith, and draw your daily supplies from him : Hab. ii. 4. “ The just shall live by his faith.” Isa. xl. 31. “ They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles'; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Amen.
A RICH REWARD TO DILIGENCE IN
SERMON XXXV. .
Hos. vi: 3.—Then fall we know, if we follow on to
know the Lord.
T is an observation of Solomon's, Prov. xii.
he took in hunting." Men are at some pains to get something, but when they have got it, they let it flip through their fingers. Hence our religion, good frames, attainments, resolutions, &c. turn to small account. We are at some pains to acquire something when attending divine ordinances, but then we put it in a bag with holes. Now, the text tells us how to remedy this loss, and to bring our religion to fome good account; and that is, when once our hand is in, to follow on cagerly : “ Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.”—In these words, consider,
1. What is the fum and substance of all religion. It is “ the knowledge of the Lord,” that is, the
practical * Delivered at Tweedsmuir, April 1712.
practical knowledge of him, who can only be truly known in Jesus Christ. That thus the knowledge of the Lord is here to be understood, is evident, not only from the nature of the thing, but from other scriptures : John, xvii. 3. “ And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." See also Hor. vi. 6. Jer. xxii. 16.-Con-fider,
2. The beginning of religion supposed. This is supposed in the particle then, namely, when we have turned to the Lord ; and likewise in fc!lowing on to know the Lord.—Consider,
3. The pursuit of religion, or the knowledge of the Lord proposed. We shall follow on, if we shall not content ourselves with the measure at. tained, but go on still farther, improving the beginnings. (Heb. pursue), which is an eager fort of following, as is the case when we follow a fleeing enemy.- Consider,
4. The benefit of this pursuit : “ Then shall we know,” we shall thrive in our religion, get a larger measure of it, even of a practical experimental knowledge of the Lord. We shall be still adding a cubit to our spiritual stature. The more we pursue, the more we will gain. From this subject, I observe the following
Doctrine, That the way to thrive in religion is
to follow on, to pursue, to hold our hand to it, when once our hand is in it.
IT is evident, this is a day in which there is little thriving in religion. It is long since the generation began to weary of God, and professors to decline; yet sometimes there is a blowing up of the fpark, but, alas ! it dies always out again. Some