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who it is that faith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldeft have asked of him, and he would
have given thee living water." O then prefs eagerly into the inner court of religion; there are beauties there that will arreft your heart. Labour that you may have your hearts in every duty; break through the fhell, till ye come to the kernel. Once make religion your business, it will foon fill your hands, as well as your hearts.-I fhall only mention,
4. Another cause of this walking. They would fain be at heaven, but have no heart for the rugged way to it: Mark, x. 21. "Then Jefus beholding him, loved him, and faid unto him, One thing thou lackeft; go thy way, fell whatsoever thou haft, and give to the poor, and thou fhalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was fad at that saying, and went away grieved; for he had great poffeffions." The fluggard loves the gold, but will not dig for it.
In this cafe the remedy is, to put on a resolution, a peremptory refolution for God, to cleave to him at any rate, and to pass through the wilderness to the heavenly Canaan, coft what it will: Numb. xiv. 24. "But my fervant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his feed fhall poffefs it." There ye may be, there ye must be, else you are ruined. And there are two things, as to which I would caution you.
(1.) Have you not got that victory over your idols you were expecting? Do not give over, but refolutely continue the struggle, looking to the Lord for strength to accomplish that in which you have engaged: Rom. xvi. 20." And the God of peace fhall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Have you come to Christ's door, though you apprehend
you have got nothing yet? Be peremptorily refolved you will not go back to the door of your lufts, but hang on at his, though you should die at it, and you fhall find, as in Cant. iii. 4. "It was but a little that I paffed from them, but I found him whom my foul loveth."
(2.) Have you got your feet on the necks of your idols? Pray, do not think the war is over, or that the Egyptian purfuers, who have been fometimes heavy on you, that you will fee them no more; No, no; the broken forces of corruption will rally again, and the newly-baffled idols will lift up their heads; therefore be on your watch, and prepare to renew the battle.
IV. I AM now to make fome improvement, which for the present shall only be in an use of exhortation.
Beware of wavering, and study to be stable Chriftians.--To enforce this, confider,
1. That stability is the ground of fruitfulness: Pfal. i. 3. "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his feafon; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doth fhall profper. The ungodly are not fo, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away." A tree, after being lifted, and planted fometimes here, fometimes there, cannot be fruitful: The rolling-ftone gathers no fog.' Unstable as water, can never prevail. Doubts, fears, and drynefs in the foul's cafe, is a neceffary confequence of unfettlednefs.--Confider,
2. That stability is the beginning of comfortable experiences in religion. We cannot think to thrive in a trade, till we fettle to it. A fool is always beginning, leaves off, begins again, and so on; he never brings any thing to perfection.-Confider, B 2 3. That
3. That stability is a fence against temptations. The wavering profeffor is a hopeful prey to temptation. The town that begins to parley, is next door to surrendering. The Jews faw Pilate begin to waver, and then they plied him to condemn Christ, till they carried him off his feet.-Confider,
Lastly, That ftability is the foundation of ferviceablenefs for God. The veffels of the temple were of gold, filver, brafs, &c. but none of glass, no crystal ones; these were too brittle for templefervice. So wavering profeffors will never be honoured of God to be ferviceable for him, but they will do much harm to the way of the Lord.
CREATION'S GROANS CONSIDERED AND
ROM. viii. 22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now.
we look abroad into the world, we cannot mifs to perceive it in a feverish condition; the whole head fick, the whole heart faint; good men and God's good creatures alfo groaning under a weight of mifery. If we look above us into heaven, we cannot but fee that it is an holy God who has caft them into, and keeps them in this miferable condition. But withal we may conclude, that it fhall not be always fo; this fever of the creation will have a cool. A gracious God will not fuffer it always to be ill with good men and his good creatures. Therefore the apoftle, ver. 18. of the chapter before us, taking a view of the fuffering lot of the faints, of which himself had a large fhare, by faith looks through the cloud of B 3 miferies
*Delivered January 1716.
miferies into which the faints are now wrapt up, and beholds a glory that is to be revealed in them, a lightfome day that shall fucceed this dark night, when all the clouds fhall be scattered, never more to gather. He confirms the revelation of that glory from two confiderations. 1. The creatures, ver. 19. with earnest expectation wait for it. 2. The faints, ver. 23. anxioufly look and long for it. And neither of these can be in vain, for they are of God's implanting; and justice stands not against the fatisfying of thefe appetites raised by the fanctifying Spirit in the faints, and by the creating hand in the creatures.
As to the first of thefe, the apostle, 1. Afferts that longing of the creatures for the revelation of that glory in the faints, ver. 19. 2. He fhews the mifery they are under, from which they are so anxious to be delivered, Vanity, ver. 20.; Corruption, ver. 21. 3. That their deliverance is connected with, and must be fufpended till the revelation of that glory in the faints, ver. 21. 4. He fhews how uneafy they are in the mean time, ver. 22.—Thus much for the connection.
In the words of the text, we have,
1. The party whofe uneafinefs is here taken notice of "The whole creation," or every creature in heaven and on earth, is uneafy. Yet this phrafe is not fo univerfal, but that it admits of fome exceptions, as Mark, xvi. 15. "And he faid unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature ;" yet not to the angels, glorified faints, devils, &c. The limitation is every creature made for the use of man, in heaven or on earth, which, because of their relation to him, were made subject to vanity on occafion of his fin. This fhews a good reason for that phrase, Mark, xvi. 15. "Preach the gofpel to every crea