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religion, the promoting truth and holiness, by a thorough reformation, appears to be very little at the hearts of any of them: Ifa. Ixiii. 5. "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold therefore mine own arm brought falvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me."
[2.] That the wheels of providence seem to be running fpeedily forward to great changes in the world. God is fhaking the nations, and things appear as in Luke, xxi. 10. 11. " Then faid he unto them, Nation fhall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and great earthquakes fhall be in divers places, and famines and peftilences; and fearful fights, and great figns fhall there be from heaven." And who knows what shall be the iffue? But we may be fure that the mystery of God is carrying on by them, and a way making towards it being finished.
Let us then, by our prayers, help on the deliverance of the creation, from fin and its confequences, by crying mightily to the Lord, that these glorious things which are spoken of the city of God in the latter days may be fulfilled, and fo the end may come.--I now proceed to
DOCT. III. THAT the whole creation makes a mournful concert in the ears of ferious Chriftians, by their groans under man's fin.-Or, That how deaf foever others be to the groans of the creature under man's fin, ferious Chriftians will not be fo, they will be affected with them.-In fpeaking to this, I shall be very short.
I SHALL only, in a few words,
I. Mention the reasons why they so affect serious Christians.
II. Make fome improvement.
I. I AM to mention the reasons why they fo affect ferious Chriftians.-Among others, there are the following.
1. They are the undoubted marks of man's fall and apostacy from God, which cannot fail to affect a serious heart. Sin has marred the beauty of the creation; and though blackness is no deformity among blackamores, yet it is so amongst the whites. Some glory in their shame, but they will not do fo to whom sin has been truly shameful. Now, thefe groans are the memorials of the
2. They are the conftant evidences of God's indignation against, and hatred of fin, which are never wanting in the world. And it is a child-like difpofition to be affected with the tokens of their father's anger; though they who have no care to please God, can eafily pafs the figns of God's dif pleasure, others cannot.
3. They bring their own fins to remembrance; and a tender confcience difpofes perfons to think, This is for my fake, for my provocations, that they suffer. And fo the faints groan with the groaning creatures, and long for the common deliverance.
4. God is difhonoured by the finner's abuse of the creatures. This makes both the creature and true Christians to groan, to see God's good creatures abused, to the dishonour of their Creator.
II. I AM now to make fome improvement; and all I propofe here, is an Exhortation-not to be deaf to the groans of the creation under man's fin, but to be fuitably affected with them. God has not only made them groan with their ordinary, but with an extraordinary groan; and if you do not from hence fee what an ill thing fin is, what a just God the VOL. II. G Lord
Lord is, and how feverely he punishes, and so set forwards to reformation of life, you may affure yourselves you will fee these things more to your coft, when you yourselves fhall be made to groan under the heavy hand of the Lord.
Alas! for the fecurity 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 fhall tingle, and thus groans of another fort from houses and fields fhall be heard.
O that we were fhewing ourselves ferious Chriftians, by our being deeply affected by the groans of the creation under fin! If we were fo, we would be,
(1.) Groaning under a sense of our own fin, and the fins of the land; mourning for the difhonour 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.
Laftly, We would be longing for the glorious day of the great change abiding the world, when. our Lord's kingdom fhall be fully come,-the mystery of God finished,―fin and misery swept out of the world,-and the faints and the creatures perfectly delivered. Amen.
FAITHFULNESS TOWARDS GOD EXEMPLIFIED AND REWARDED*.
NUMB. XIV. 24. But my fervant Caleb, because he had another fpirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went, and his feed fhall poffefs it.
HE with the murmur
Ting of the people, in confequence of the
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 fervant 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 G 2 attendant
* Delivered after the difpenfation of the Lord's Supper, July 1712.
attendant of Mofes, and afterwards his fucceffor, as captain to lead the children of Ifrael 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 Gofhen, a land of light to dwell in. Joys may be their portion, while God is diftributing forrows to others.
There were twelve fpies, all of them noblemen or gentlemen, heads of the children of Ifrael, Num. xiii. 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 themfelves. They that are false to God, will never be true friends to their country. Hence we fee, though not many noble are called, yet fome 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 affociated. They have little religion, that will not endure the fhock of ill company, be they never so great.- In the text there is,
1. Caleb's character.-More generally, God owned him as his fervant. This honour God put upon him. It is an honour to the greatest to be God's fervants; though the greater part will rather be the devil's flaves, 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 fignifies all heart, and his difpofition correfponded with his name. He had another spirit than that of the world, another than his own, another than the rest of the fpies. He poffeffed a spirit from heaven, calculated for the work to which he was appointed;