« ForrigeFortsett »
shall be feasonably and suitably supplied out of his treasures. They never saw the prince, they know nothing of his treasures, but by the testimony of his word sent to them. The heralds commend the prince, they aver it is the fureft way of supply to these who are poor. Some of these poor count these things idle tales, and go their way, one to his day-labour, to earn a penny, another to the begging through the country. When the supply comes to the country, have these any ground to expect a share ? No; they did not believe his proclamation. But as for those who were so foolish in the eyes of their neighbours, but fo truly wife, as to believe the proclamation, and venture their supply upon an unseen provider, and an unseen treasure, it lies on his truth and honour to fee them abundantly supplied. I fall no further apply this, than to say, that God's truth and honour is most undoubted security : Rom. ix. 33. “ As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone, and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
To conclude, think not that I have been teaching you to presume, nay, but to draw near with a true beart, in the full affúrance of faith ; not to lay aside humility, for the greatest humility is to deny ourselves, and obey the call of God, though it be an high calling. It is not humility, but unbelief, which is the spring of the true heart's doubtings in drawing near to God. They are but warts and moles in the face of Christ's bride, and so far mar her beauty; though he does not cast her off for them, if faith do but peep, as it were, out among the crowd of these deformities, as if she could see only with one eye : Song, iv. 9.
« Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hait ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.” Matth. xiv. 31. “ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith! wherefore didst thou doubt?” The rule is, “ According to thy faith, so be it unto thee.” So little faith, little comfort; but, what is worse, little faith, little fanctification. Amen.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED *
SE R M O N XXXVI.
HEB. X. 22.-Let us draw near with a true heart,
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
T is by no means only at a communion-table
that we are to draw near to God, but also in all other parts of his worship ; yea, in the whole of our conversation we must be drawing near, and keeping near to God, till we at length appear before him in heaven : I say keeping near ; for certainly, the text points not merely to a drawing near, just for a start, and away again; but it is to draw near to the house over which Christ is set, as a house where we are to abide ; and it is such a drawing near, so as not to draw back.
You may remember, I told you, drawing near to God is by faith, and that this lies principally in three things. 1. Accepting God as our God in Christ. 2. Claiming God for our God in Christ.
* Delivered, June 2715.
3. Improving, according to our necessities, for time and eternity, the interest in God thus chained. Ye have had two directions offered for the right managing of this : 1. That you should draw near with a true heart; 2. With full assurance of faith; which I explained to consist in, (..) Taking God for your God in Christ, without doubting of your welcome ; (2.) Claiming God in Christ as your God, without doubting of your title ; (3.) Improving your interest claimed, without doubting of success. I spoke upon the first of these three largely, namely, the taking God for your God in Chrift, without doubting of your title. Upon the other two, little was said. I shall now speak to a case which I shall propose, and so proceed.
Cafe. How shall I know that I have drawn near to God in Christ with a true heart, and fincerely taken him for my God in Christ? Answ. The difference between the true and false heart in this point, may be discerned in the following particulars, viz.
1. The false heart draws near to God, as a neighbour only, as it were, to pay a visit, stays a little, and then goes its way again : Isa. xxvi. 16. “ Lord, in trouble have they visited thee; they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.” The hypocrite never takes up his everJasting rest in God. Though he leaves his own house to come to the house of God, yet he leaves his heart behind him; and so he cannot stay. With the mixed multitude who came out of Egypt, Num. xi. 5. “ They remember the filhr which they did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick ;" and they found the retreat to go
back from whence they came.
as the new-married wife comés home to her hub band's house to dwell there all her days, never to go back again to her father's house : Psal. cxvi. 7.
Return to thy rest, O my soul! for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” It was a custom among the ancient Greeks, to burn, at the bridegroom's door, the axle-tree of the coach in which the bride came home, to shew she was never again to go away;
have drawn near to God with a true heart, taking him for your God in Christ, I will not say, that the axle-tree of the chariot in which you came to God is as yet burnt to ashes, but sure I am, there is a fire set to it; and if it is once set in a flame at the door of the house of your new Husband, it is so because you had no mind to go again back. And whether this be fo or not, you will know,
(1.) By the smoke which will be rising there. There will be a threefold smoke rising at the door of the house
have come to, if the axle-tree be on fire, and you have determined not to go back again to your former house. [1.] There will be the smoke of fear as to draw
I mean not a faithless fear, which seizes those who look to the duties to which they are bound, but not to the strong God, whose strength is engaged by covenant to his people, for the performance of them. This is the fear which takes heart and hand from people, making the heart quaver, like a candle burnt to the socket, till at last it expires with a stench. This is the smoke of a fire from hell, blown up with hard thoughts of God, and of the sweet yoke of Christ, Matth. xxv. 24. 25. Rev. xxi. 8. It is the forerunner of apostasy; but there is a fear of circumspection in the true heart, in opposition to that self-confidence with which hypocrites are blown