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Why do true Christians so contemn the world? It is a weary land to all such. What keeps them all under the tribulation of the world, while others faint, so that they have had a joy in tribulation, took joysully the spoiling of their goods, yea, and even death itself? Why, under the shadow of the great Rock, they got meat to eat the world knew not of.
3. See the transcendent excellence of Christ. What a prexi6us one must he be in whom there is enough to balance all the miseries of the weary land !- There are some of these that nothing under the sun can balance; what avails all the- riches and honours under the fun, to a person under extreme bodily distress, or exposed to the arrest of death. But in the most wearisome step of the weary land, Christ is a refreshing shade.
4. This lets us see, where there is a shelter to be found in the worst of times, against the stormy tempest of public or private calamity: John, xvi. 33 "These things (fays Jesus) I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace ; in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." In Jesus Christ our sasety lies, and without him there is no sasety. Here is the rock that is higher than we, and higher too than the highest of our enemies, whether devils or men.
I have only now to add an use of exhortation. I would exhort you to come to Christ, and put yourselves under his shadow this day. And that you may understand what you are caWed to, take it in the following advices.
1. Lay aside your security, and see that you stand in need of a shade for refreshment and for protection in the weary land. However lightly
people 'people look on the consusions of our day, I think we have no reason to be secure; security is dangerous, seeing the sins of the generation are crying sins, crying for a stroke. Whatever has brought a stroke on a church or people, that is not wanting in Scotland this day. Did universal corruption amongst all ranks bring the deluge on the old world? that is visibly the plague of this generation. Did the despising of the gospel bring the Roman armies on the Jews? Matth. xxii. 7. the monstrous profanity amongst some, and loathsome formality among others, fays we cannot escape, though God bear long with us.—The many deliverances we have met with when at the brink of ruin, and yet the generation not bettered by them, fays that the axe, which has been lying so long at the root of the tree, will be wielded against us at the last: Amos, iv. n. 12. " I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a sire-brand plucked out of the burning; yet have ye not returned unto me, faith the Lord. Therefore thus will I do unto you, O Israel! and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel!" We are manisestly pining away under spiritual plagues at this day, many given up to vile asfections, the generation generally plagued with hardness of heart and deadness, men are turned hatesul, and left to hate one another, biting and devouring one another, all which is an evidence, that there is an evil spirit amongst us.—Finally, our security in the face os alarming dispensations, is a terrible token, according to that in 1 Thess. v. 3. "For when they shall fay, Peace and sasety, then sudden destruction comets upon them, as travail upon a woman with childVand they shall not escape."—I would exhort you, Vol.i. . KJc (2.)
2. To embrace Jesus Christ, and lay hold on"the1 everlasting covenant. Ye that are strangers to Christ, come in at length. Let the state of your perishing souls come into your minds in earnest, and lay a sure foundation for eternity. Ye who have already come, come nearer and nearer, renew your acceptance of Christ, and stir up the grace of faith, that for the present is lying in. such a weak. slate.
3. Repent os your sins, and turn from them. Amend your ways and your doings, and. let not Iniquity be your eternal. ruin. Answer the call of God at length, that there may be no standing; controversy betwixt; Goes and you. Many. delays have been in this matter, bring it now to a point, and halt no more betwixt two opinions, whether to be for God or for your lusts,—In a word, I exhort you,
4. To lay the weight of your. through-bearing' through the weary land over on Jesus Christ.— Look before you to the difficult steps that may be yet betwixt you and the grave, aud solemnly talw: him for all you need.or may need* Be concerned to depend upon him, and to trust in him, that he will not cease caring. for you> and.working in you, till he completely. accomplish all. that good word upon which he has.caused you to hope.— To prompt you to this good.work, I would propose the following Motives.
1. This is the shade God the Father has provided for.you. "I have (fays he) laid help upon one that is. mighty," Psal. lxxxix, 19.; and you hear what he says to you. in the text. Therefore, honour the Father by coming to his Son, and puttmg yourselves under. his shadow. He knew Jmners would need a flielter in the weary land. U neglect not the offered salvation !—Consider,
.2. That all other shadows are and will be but Tain and vanishing ones; they will not be able to desend you from the ills to which you are exposed "in the weary land; they will be like a hut built within the sea-mark, which will be carried away, together with the inhabitant, when the waters begin to flow : Isa. xxviii. 17. "The hail shall sweep away the resuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place." Then your own wisdom will be but folly, your strength weakness, your carnal schemes shall not prosit you.—Consider,
3. That the wrath of God will pursue all who are not under thi6 shadow. O Christless sinners 1 what will you do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what will you answer him? He is a .consuming sire, all else you can put betwixt him
and' you 'will be but as stubble, or at heft but a ^partition-wall of dry boards, that will quickly be consumed in that devouring sire.—Consider,
4. That whatever weary steps ye meet with in the weary land, these will be doubly heavy by your rtot coming in under Christ's shadow; for the .curse will be in them ; and though they werejvery light in themselves, that will make them heavy. You will get all your burden to bear alone, as Saul did. And, O what a fad case it is to have heaven and earth dark both at once! Isa. viii. 21. 22. —Consider,
j. That all the travellers to Zion have. made this shade their shelter. It is a tried shade in all ages of the church, Psal. xc. 1.; whoever pursues them, this is the resuge of all the people of God in all times: Prov. xviii. 10. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it, and is sase." The spouse of Christ looks for .this shade, Song', i. 7. 8. and ii. 3.; and many a K k 2 good good word they have spoken of it to recommend ir to others.—Consider,
Lastly, That under Christ's shadow there .will be sasety in the most wearisome parts of the weary land. He is the Saviour, and there is none besides him. Under his shadow there is sasety from troubles, when they are flying very thick in the weary land. He can hide his people in the hollow of his hand in the midst of danger, Psal. xci. 7. For he has all things at his command; men and devils are under the check of his providence. There is oftentimes a moderation of troubles.— UnvV.T this shadow people sind, that though they be not quite freed from them, yet they are made, very moderate to them: Jer. xv. n. "The Lord said, Verily, it shall be well with thy remnant, verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil, and in the time of affliction." And sometimes it is much better for his people to meet with this moderation, Jer. xlv.5. The lise for a prey is no small mercy. While his people rest under this shadow, there is always a spiritual salvation from the sting of evil; thus the nature of afflictions is altered, and the sharpest and heaviest stones thrown at them become precious stones, which do them no hurt, but rather good; for "who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good ?" 1 Pet. iii. 13.—To sum up all in a word,
There^is never missed here an eternal salvation. However they be treated in the weary land, none go to hell from under Christ's shadow; but though they should go through sire and water, they will land at last in Abraham's bosom, and be brought unto the wealthy place. Amen.