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these bands have a comforting and also a refreshing "virtue. They bring the oil of joy sooner or later to the soul. The way of the Physician in this is, "According to thy saith, so'be it unto thee." And thus the broken-hearted eat of the hidden manna, they get the white stone, and in the stone a new name written, Rev. ii. 17.
V. It now remains that we make some improvement of this subject.—It may be improved in uses of information,—reproof,—consolation,— and exhortation.
Firsts In an use of information.
• 1. This shews us the love and good-will of God to hetp poor sinners, especially broken-hearted ones. He has provided a glorious Physician for them, having remembered us in our low^estate. O the love of the Father in investing his Son with this office! O the love of the Son in undertaking it! Especially considering, what it behoved him to undergo, in order to provide the medicines; his own heart had to be broken, that sinners might be healed.'—We may learn,
2. The preciousness of our souls, and with all the desperateness of the diseases of sin. Sure it behoved to be a desperate disease, and the patient at the same time very precious in the Lord's sight, for which he employed such a Physician. A physician of less value than an incarnate God, would have been a physician of no value for a brokenhearted sinner. No medicine less than his blood could have been effectual, else the Saviour's heart had never been broken for blood to cure it.—We may see,
3. To whom we must go with our hard hearts. O the reigning plague of hardness of heart this day among all ranks! Ordinances, providences,
mercies, judgements, cannot break them. - Alas! There is little occasion to speak to broken-hearted sinners this day; it is the least part of our work, to get their hearts healed. We cannot go with whole hearts, as broken. What can we do with •them? Carry them to Christ. He who can heal broken hearts, can surely break whole hearts. He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins, Acts, v. 30. A look of him would do what nothing else" <an do. When the Lord Jesus looked on Peter, then Peter remembered his sins, and went out, and wept bittetly, Luke, xxii. 62.—We (hall improve. this subject,
Secondly, In an use of reproof..—This doctrine :reproves and condemns,
1. Those who, when their hearts ape any sway ibroken for En, go not to Christ, but to physicians ;of no value: Hos. v.13. «« When Ephrain saw Jiis sickness, and Judah saw.his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to King Jareb: .yet could he .notheal yoo, nor cure you of your wound." The Spirit of the Lord is at work with the hearts of many to break them for sin, who mar all by their haste to be healed, which carries them to other physicians than Christ, who may palliate the disease, hut never can effectually cure it. These are,—the law, which is now weak through the flesh, Rom. viii. 3. The law may wound the foul, but can never heal it: Rom. iii. 20. "By ithe deeds of the law shall no fleih living -be justisied in his .sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Yet many go to it for healing, namely, when they go about to pacify their consciences, .not by a believing application. and sprinkling ot ..Christ's blood, but by their own prayers, vows, repentance, amendment of their ways, and the
'like. like. The law indeed may give them-a palliative. by these things their consciences may be blinded anil bribed, but the disease is still rooted in them, and will break forth again at last, when there is no remedy, if not sooner, by the mercy of God, to prevent their sinal ruin.—Throng of worldly business. When Cain's heart was wounded, and he could not get out the sting which galled his conscience, he went to this physician, he went from the presence of the Lord, and built a city, Gen. iv- 16. 17. To this many run at this day, who, when their consciences begin to stir within them, sill their heads and hands with business, till they get conscience quiet. This palliates the disease by way of diversion, while it will make it only like a gathered dam, which will at length break down the wall, and overwhelm the soul with aggravated sorrows: Isa. xxx. 13. " Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach- ready to sall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking Cometh suddenly at an instant."—Jovial company: •So Saul, in his distress of mind, instead of calling for his Bible to read on, calls for musicians to play to him. And it is not to be doubted, that many a man's convictions are drowned in the ale-house, hushed to silence at rtvelling-meetings, these supports of the devil's kingdom, people are so fond of; and many good motions are spoiled and laughed away. This palliates the disease by searing the conscience, and making it senseless. But it will awaken again on them like a lion roused up, and rent the caul of those hearts which have been so healed, Hos. xiii. 6. 8.—This doctrine reproves,
2. Those who offer themselves physicians to the broken in heart, in opposition to Christ and his method of cure. There ate such agents for the devil, who, like the Pharisees, will neither