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ful man faith, There is a lion without, I shall be flain in the streets." Their floth musters up difsiculties to them, forming some that are groundless, imaginary ones, and aggravating real ones, so that they conclude before hand that they will not be better, their endeavours will not succeed, and therefore they lie still, and will do nothing for their own help; this ruins many.
(3.) A sorrowsul despair, which ariseth from strong sears, which raise such a mist in the soul, that grounds of hope in its case, are hid out of sig I it, and they are in their foul's case as in Acts, xxvii. 20. neither sun nor stars for many days appear, no small tempest lies on them, and all hope"that they shall be saved is then taken away. There arc different degrees of this; sometimes it is silent and sullen, making little noise, but is smothered in one's breast like a burning sire. In such a case, one would do well to give it a vent before God, his servants, or godly experienced Christians, lest it ruin them. This is the way David took when in such a case, Psal. xxxix. 2.—4. " I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from good, and my sorrow was stirred; my heart was hoT within me; while I was musing, the sire burned, then spake I with roy tongue, Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it js, that I may know how frail I am." Sometimes it is raging, as in Judas, who, under horror laid upon his sin, did miserably end his lise.
Beware of all these, and resist the beginnings of despair, and if it has fastened on any foul, let them strive to quench it, as they would do a sire. The former makes way for the latter, and all together make way for remediless despair in hell. I lhall only say two things of it.—(1.) It is desiling, and
makes makes the foul most loathsome before God; for it conceives most basely and abominably of God and Christ, directly opposing itself to the grand design of the gospel; it blasphemes the power of God, and the essicacy of his Son's blood and Spirit. (2.) It is ruining, for it makes the sinner flee from God, and cast away the means of recovery, and ib ensures their destruction; besides that it often drives the sinner to put an end to his torment here, by leaping into endless torments before the time, as in the case of Judas. And while we see how Satan is ready to take advantage, we had need to take heed.
2. Beware of presumption. Talce heed that ye do not flee from the one rock to dash on the other. Indeed despair is tormenting, while presumption is easy. Nevertheless, though none of them is good, yet a person presuming is ordinarily in greater hazard than one despairing; for the presumptuous sees not his case as the other does; the one is well pleased with his damnable condition, the other is weary of his, and wishes to have it changed; so that many more perish by the one than by the other.
To conclude: Remember, on the one hand, God is a holy jealous God, who cannot away with •sin, or a state of sin, but the sire of his jealousy burns against it. On the other tand, remember that the blood of Christ takes away all guilt, his •Spirit overcomes the most hopeless case, and his mercy reaches wide for every condition. Fear 'him, ye that hope in him; hope in his mercy, ye that fear him; for the Lord taketh pleasure in ihttn'that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Amen.
Vol. I. N Jesus
JESUS VICTORIOUS OVER DEATH.*
Isaian, Xxv. 8.—He will swallow up death in •uiBory.
SUCH as are desirous duly to manage this solemn communion-occasion, will have in their view the other world. We are all on a journey towards it, and, if suitably exercised, will improve this occasion to lay down our measures for eternity. Betwixt us and that other world, lies the great gulf of death; through it are two passages; one deep and devouring, where the sinner passes alone; there the waters flow with all that force and strength which they acquired by the breach of the covenant of works. By this passage, sinners are thrown out into the land of utter darkness and misery. The text shews us the other passage, which is shallow and sase, where the sinner passes on at the Mediator's back, the waters being dried up by the soles of his seet, whoso
* Delivered Saturday, October 4. 1/1S.
passeth this way, enters into Immanuel's land, the land of lise ; for he willswalluw up death in viBory.
In these words, we have a prophecy of the happy success of a battle fought by the Mediator on. account of elect sinners. The success is most certain; therefore it is in the Hebrew, He hathswalkived.up, &c. Here consider,
i. The combatants; the two mightiest that ever encountered. Upon the one hand is Death, with his devouring mouth, a champion who never yet could sind his match among the children of men, tin" the great HE, in the text, entered the lists against him, even Jesus Christ, who being man, was capable of seeling the force of death; but, being the Lord of hosts also, ver. 6. could not but be conqueror at length. So Death and the Mediator are the combatants.—There is,
2. The encounter of the combatants, implied in these words, He will swallow iip death in viffcry.' Death attempting to prey upon that elect world which was given to Christ by the Father, HE, as Mediator, to pluck that prey out of Death's devouring mouth, encounters the terrible enemy while he is making hayqck of poor sinners; and, having taken upon him the guilt of his elect, which gave death a power over them, death advances against him, and attacks him, and he abides the contest. No sooner was he born, than Death mounted on his pale horse, advanced against him, and striking at him, silled Bethlehem with the blood of babes, and the shrieks of parents. Though it could not then reach him the deadly blow, it pursued him still, shot out its poisonous arrows against him all along, till they came to a close engagement on the cross, where it wrestled him down even into the grave, the proper place of its dominion. So the Mediator got the sirst fall.
N 2' 3. But
3. But behold the issue of the battle. Death, who in all other battles wins whatever party loses, loses the day here; the victory is on the side of the flain Mediator. The flain Saviour again revives, gets up upon death, stands conqueror over it, even in its own territories, breaks the bars of the grave, takes away the sting it fought with against him, and puts it and all its forces to the rout; so that it can never shew its face against him any more, Rom. vi. 9. "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him."
4. The Mediator's pursuit of the victory, till it be complete for these that are his, as well as for himself.: He -will swallow up death in victory. The vanquished enemy has yet many strong-holds in his hand, and he keeps many of the redeemed ones at under; some of them as prisoners, that they cannot stir; others of them, though they can stir, yet can go no where, but they must drag the bands of death after them. But the Mediator will pursue the victory till he swallow up death, totally abolish it out of his kingdom, that there shall no more of it be seen ^there for ever, as a thing that js swallowed up is seen no more at all; our Lord is cutting it down daily, and the last of it shall go over at the last day, 1 Cor. xv. 54. "So when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the faying that is written, Death is swallowed up in viclory.—These words contain in them this
Doctrine, That our Lord Jesu?, having sought death, and obtained the victory, will pursue the victory, till death be utterly abolished out