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Lord is, and how severely he punishes, and so fet forwards to reformation of life, you may affure yourselves you will see these things more to your cost, when you yourselves shall be made to groan under the heavy hand of the Lord.
Alas! for the security and impenitency of Scotland ; nothing of all we have yet met with, will rouse us out of it. Take heed that God do not create a new thing amongst us, which whoso shall hear of, their ears shall tingle, and thus groans of another fort from houses and fields shall be heard.
O that we were shewing ourselves serious Chriftians, by our being deeply affected by the groans of the creation under sin! If we were so, we would be,
(1.) Groaning under a sense of our own sin, and the sins of the land ; mourning for the dishonour done to God by ourselves and others, by which we have grieved the Spirit of God, and burdened the
very earth that bears us. (2.) We would be weaned from, and in a holy manner wearying of the world, which is a compound of fin, misery, and vanity.
Lastly, We would be longing for the glorious day of the great change abiding the world, when our Lord's kingdom shall be fully come,- the mystery of God finished,—fin and misery swept out of the world, and the saints and the creatures perfcctly delivered. Amen.
FAITHFULNESS TOWARDS GOD EXEMPLIFIED
AND REWARDED *.
Numb. xiv. 24. But my servant Caleb, because he
had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto be went, and his feed shall pollefs it.
WHE Lord being provoked with the murmur
ill report of the land brought by the spies, though he did not destroy the people all at once; yet, justly displeased, he threatened to cut off the whole generation of murmurers, so that not one of them Thould come to Canaan. His anger at the rebels, however, did not make him forget his faithful servant Caleb, who had acted a totally different part from the rest of the spies, together with Joshua, who is not named here, because now he was not numbered with the people, being for the present the
attendant * Delivered after the dispensation of the Lord's Supper, July 1712.
attendant of Moses, and afterwards his succeilor, as captain to lead the children of Israel into Canaan. This intimates to us, that God's own people may get special intimations of his love in a time when God is angry with the generation. However great the darkness may be, fome select ones will always have a Goshen, a land of light to dwell in. Joys may be their portion, while God is distributing sorrows to others.
There were twelve spies, all of them noblemen or gentlemen, heads of the children of Israel, Num. xii. 3. There were two, and but two of them, faithful to God and their country. Ten of them brought up an ill report of the land, difhonoured God, and ruined both their countrymen and thenselves. They that are false to God, will never be true friends to their country. Hence we see, though
noble are called, yet some are. Greatness and goodness met in Caleb.-Goodness, that he would not defert the cause of God, notwithstanding of all the ill company with which he was afsociated. They have little religion, that will not endure the shock of ill company, be they never so great.
In the text there is, 1. Caleb's character.--More generally, God owned him as his servant. This honour God put upon him. It is an honour to the greatest to be God's servants ; though the greater part will rather be the_devil's llaves, and count that their honour, But blackness is beauty among black men.-More particularly, Caleb was a man of a truly gallant and generous fpirit. His name signifies all heart, and his disposition corresponded with his name. He had another spirit than that of the world, another than his own, another than the rest of the spies. He poffeffed a spirit from heaven, calculated for the work to which he was appointed ;
and that Spirit inspired him with courage, with undaunted resolution, while the rest were misled by a base, mean, sneaking spirit. He was truly courageous in his actions; his other spirit made him behave himself otherwise than the rest. He followed the Lord fully; he walked with the Lord, kept close by his duty, in opposition to all difficul. ties and discouragements. He was not afraid of the Anakims, nor did his undaunted heart shrink at the fight of their high walls. He knew that towns, walls, armies, and giants, must fall before the Lord, when his promise was engaged for it. His companions deserted and contradicted him in his good report. The people threatened him with ftoning, but he was all heart, would not yield, but followed the Lord fully. (Hebrew, fulfilled after the Lord). Whatever way the Lord led, he followed. - In the text there is,
2. The gracious recompence which God promised to his - steadiness and faithfulness; that is, the possession of that good land, while the carcases of the rest fell. Piety is the best policy. They who are careful of God's honour, he will see to their interest. Caleb was to fight for the land, but God says, I will bring him into it. The praise of the success of our endeavours is due to the Lord only; this promise secured his through-bearing over all difficulties. -- From this subject, we may draw the following doctrines, which we shall at. tend to in their order, viz.
Doct. I. That the honeft servants of Jesus Chrift
must distinguish themselves from others, by fol
lowing the Lord fully. Docr. II. That they who would follow the Lord fully must have another fpirit, another than the
spirit of the world, another than their own spirit
naturally is. Doct. III. That those who, by following the Lord
fully in the time of great declining, distinguish themselves from others, God will distinguish them, by special marks of favour in a time of great calamity.-- The scripture affords many inItances in proof of this, as Noals, Lot, Jeremiah, &c.We begin with
Doct. I. That the lonelt servants of Jesus Chrift
must distinguish themselves from others, by following the Lord fully.- -For illustrating this doctrine, it is intended,
1. To sew what it is to follow the Lord fully. II. To give the reasons of the point. And then, III. To improve the subject. We are then,
1. To fhew what it is to follow the Lord fully.
1. It is to follow the Lord only as our great guide and leader: Heb. xii. 2. « Let us run the race fet before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and fiwilher of our faith.” They that follow not the Lord only, do not follow him fully, Hof. x. 2. “ Their heart is divided.” Their heart was going, one part after the Lord, another after their idols. He must have the whole man. Now, this implies two things.
(1.) The foul's ceafing to follow all others who do not lead in subordination, but in contradiction to him. We have eaten our gospel-pafsover, and must now set forwards on our journey. We stand as in a place where two ways meet, and at the entrance to these ways there are false guides, who cry, Follow us ; the Lord says, as in Song, iv. 8. * Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse.”