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after they went home, remembered what had befallen them; how God had cast Jonah into the sea; and how be was swallowed up of the whale; and how God had wrought a miracle for bim; and this made his preaching take the more effect upon them. However, Jonah was under very strange and fearful-like providences ; and, among other things, Jonah might reckon that his looking to God's holy temple was not ingenuous work; it was out of necessity and fear, and not out of choice, when he was brought to this sad pass. But we have his faith conquering all these difficulties; “ I said, yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” And, in this providence, we may notice how faith gets the vic. tory by these and the like means.
1. Though the soul, in straits, be driven unto Christ, under its difficulties; yet the soul that makes Christ its last shift, will be welcome to our Lord Jesus Christ; and faith comes to act more kindly afterwards.
2. Faith is a grace that can look to the mercy of God amidst all the angry dispensations of God; it can see mercy in the midst of wrath. Again,
3. Faith looks to the angry providences of God, and his dreadful dispensations that the soul is trysted with ; yea,
it looks to them in the glass of the promise ; and particularly that promise that was cited in the former sermon, Isa. Ivii. 17. “ For the iniquity of his cove. tousness was I wroth and smote him; Í hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.” Here was a very trying providence; here was wrath kindled; and here was wrath pursuing the soul; and here were heavy providences, as it were, rousing corruption, and making the person fight more against God; “ He went on frowardly ;” and yet, in this very case, faith looks to sovereign mercy;"1 have seen his ways, and will heal him.” Again,
4. Faith, in the midst of terrible times, wherein God is shewing himself angry: faith, I say overcomes in looking to God's holy temple; and looking over all angry dispensations in the way. The woman of Canaan, Mat. XV. she cometh to Christ, saying, “ O Lord, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me.” Well, she got one
repulse on the back of another. The first was, “ He answered her not a word;" he, as it were, disdained to regard her. And when his disciples came to intercede for her, a second discouragement is cast quite in her way; “ I am not sent, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Well, the woman comes again the third time, and worshipped him, saying, “ Lord help me.” " But here is another repulse;" It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs." Well, this was enough to fill her with despair; but faith was at hand, and draws arguments from that which might have been inatter of discouragement; "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master's table." On this our blessed Lord says, “ ( woman, great is thy faith.” So it is with faith looking to Christ, notwithstanding all the difficulties that are in the way, and amidst angry dispensations of divine providence.
IV. The fourts general head in the method was, to give some reasons, why faith is the surest way of relief, from the saddest cases that the children of God can be in. I shall briefly assign these four reasons following:
1. Because it is the way that God has commanded. God hath ordered us, in the greatest trouble, to trust in him; “ Trust in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength.” God hath commanded us to take the way of looking to his holy temple.
2. Another reasor is, because the promise is annexed to this way; " He that believeth shall be saved.”
3. This is the way that all the saints in all their difficulties, have taken ; " By this way the elders obtained a good report.” And ye see how they wrought miracles by faith, Heb. xi.
4. This is the way wherein his people have won nigh unto him: and they found this to be the safe way. It is said, “They looked to him, and were lightened; this poor man cried, and the Lord helped him.” And I trusted in him, and I am helped. « I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the Isord's goodness in the land of the living."
V. We now proceed to the application of the sub ject. And we may apply it an use of information, trial, and exhortation.
1st, We may try it in an use of information. And,
1. Hence we may see, why faith is the eye-sore of hell. Why, Satan fights against neither small nor great, but against this grace of faith. Why, it is by faith that we bruise Satan's head; it is by faith that we have power with God, and prevail.
2. Hence see what is the ground of all the discouragements which the people of God meet with. Wby, it is their unbelief; they are not employed in looking unto God's holy temple.
3. Hence see what is the duty of backsliding believe ers, and backsliding churches and professors, that have turned away their eyes from looking to God's holy temple; why, their duty is to return to the Lord, from whom they have fallen by their iniquities. This is the duty of the generation; and of backsliding Scotland, to return to the Lord. It is the duty of those that have turned aside unto crooked ways, to return to the Lord. It is the duty of those that have gone aside out of God's way, and deserted their holy profession, to return to the Lord. In so far as any desert their holy profession, wherein they were baptized, in so far have they turned away their eyes from God's holy temple. It is the duty of the backsliding generation to return; and, indeed, those who have been professed witnesses for God, and his causę, they have more work upon their · hand than they had. They have not only the corruptions of the Judicatories to witness against, which witnessing was the original design of the Associate Court, while we maintain the doctrine, discipline, worship, and government of the Church of Scotland ; but we have more ado; that is, to witness against the extravagancies of new Separatists. We need not speak, as if we were designed to expose them: No: by their violent and furious methods, they have exposed themselves to the rational world : like these, in 2 Tim. iii. 3. of whom he says, “ They shall proceed no farther, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men." However, we may apprehend dreadful judgments coming on the generation, especially because of growing defection. O sirs cry that the Lord may recover such as have been en. snared by the temptations of the times, that they may return unto the good old way, and look again towards God's holy temple.
4. Hence see what a blessed thing it is to have one look of Christ. () what a good thing is that, when such a person is brought into straits ! bis relief is at hand, just to look again, and there find relief. O sirs, they have great advantage who have got a sight of God in his temple, and have seen his glory in his sanctuary ; whatever changes may befal them in the world, yet, O what advantage has the believer to think upon this God of Bethel, that he is what he was? I am the God of Bethel.' So the believer in Christ, let him be brought to never such a strait, if once he has looked to Christ, he hath but just again to look to Christ. But,
Use 2. For trial. Try, O sirs, if ever you have looked to Christ, who is the holy temple. Got you never a sight of God's holy temple? that is, a sight of God in Christ. How shall I know this? Why, try it by these following things.
1. If you have been made to look to God's holy temple, then some time or other you have been cast into the sea of trouble. Sirs, people never get the pledge that God vouchsafes kindness unto them, until they be ready to sink in the ocean of divine wrath.
2. Try if your eyes have been opened to see the holi. ness of God in his temple, in Christ Jesus : and to see
of salvation through Christ, to be such as brings honour to God's holiness, and glory unto all the attributes and perfections of God. This is a sight that faith gets, when it looks to God's holy temple.
3. Try what effect this has had upon you. If ever you looked to God's holy temple, did ye not find it a heart-melting look ? and did ye not find it a heart.cona forming look : By beholding his glory, ye have been changed into his image. Did ye not find it a hearthumbling look? And did ye not find it a heart-weaning look; weaning you from the world, and making you count all things but loss and dung for Christ? And did you not find it a sin-killing look, making you to
say, “What have I to do any more with idols ?” Did it make Christ precious unto you? “ To them that believe he is precious."--Enquire what virtue is in the look ye got of Christ; it will make you look with disdain upon all other things.
4. Try if ye have looked to God's holy temple : then certainly you will follow your look, and follow on to know the Lord. Sirs, they that have once looked to Christ, they will follow their look; it will not be one look that will satisfy them; they will look again and again. They will look to him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. So, I say, if you have looked to Christ, ye will follow your look : your life will be a believing life; “ The life they live in the flesh, is by the faith of the Son of God.” It is true, unbelief many times gets the ascendent over them; but when unbelief prevails, that is not the believer's life, it is rather his death and disease : His life is a life of faith on the Son of God.
5. Try by this, if you have looked to him, it will be, and has been, with a notwithstanding, or a yet, as in the text : " I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.” And though ye have had difficulties in your way, and yet you have got them mastered ; ye have had mountains in the way, and yet ye have won over them: ye have been brought to believe on the Son of God, not withstanding of the great guilt you have been lying under, and notwithstanding strong corruption. " Yet will I look ;” and notwithstanding, angry providences, and heavy trials, yet ye have been made to look again towards God's holy temple. And though you are brought to think that your case is the most dreadful case, the most desperate case, the most terrible case that ever a soul was brought into, yet thou hast said, " Yet will I look again toward thy holy temple.”
Use 3. For exhortation. This doctrine may be improven in an use of exhortation. 1. To these that never looked to Christ, God's holy temple. 2. To these that have once looked, but are under such exercises that they dare not look again. 3. To such as are come to this resolution in the text, and are saying, notwithstand