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and the broken hearted as his proper patients; and therefore he has a peculiar care of them: Ezek. xxxiv. 15. 16. "I will seed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God; I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was. sick ; but I will destroy the sat and the strong, I will seed them with judgement." You see that he will handle the broken hearted very tenderly: Isa. xl. 1 ;. "He shall seed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young-," chap. xlii. 3. " A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgement unto truth."
In the last place, we woukl exhort those whose broken hearts Christ has healed, to take heed1 to the preserving your restored. health. Indeed' every one who seems to" be healed, is not healed by the hand of the true Physician;. but if your hearts are now eased, and your wounds bound up by the great Physician, you wil} know it by these three things.—1. You will have an appetite for spiritual food: 1 Pet. ii. 2. 3. "As newborn babes, desire ye the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; it so be ye have tasted that the Lord; is gracious." "When one begins to recover in earnest, he recovers his appetite. But such an on*?, say we, is not well yet, for he has no appetite^ so.thou art not well if thou dost want the spiritual hunger.—2. Your food will relish with you: Prov. xxvii. 7. " The sull soul loatheth the honey-comb j but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." Many have their quahns of conscience which they get over, but still K 3 they
they have no relish for spiritual things, but for the world and their lusts. But if Christ has healed thee, he has corrected thy taste.—Lastly, You will be beginning to walk in the way of God. "I will run," said David, " in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart," Psal. cxix. 32. They who return with the dog to the vomit, shew that their disease is yet in its strength, though they are not sensible of pain.
Now, if Christ has healed you, to preserve the health of your souls, it is necessary for you,—To keep a good and regular diet. Beware of these things which formerly cast thee into foul-sickness. Peter went no more back to the high priest's hall,. nor Judah to Tamar, Gen. xxxviii. 26. Feed there, and on these things which may tend to the foul's health. "Behold," said Jesus to the impotent man he had healed, "behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee." And for this cause observe your Physician's rules in all things.—Walk circumspectly, take notice os every step you make, as one who has had a broken limb healed : Isa. xxxviii. 1 J. "I shall go softly," said Hezekiah, "all my years, in the bitterness of my soul." And beware of walking in the dark, of going forward there where you cannot discern your way by the light of the Lord's woid.— Study to increase in love to Christ, zeal for his glory, and hatred of sin.—Always keep correspondence with your Physician. Be often at the throne of grace by prayer, and keep up communion with him in-the exercise of saith. "They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not saint."—-"Amen.
JESUS PROCLAIMS LIBERTY TO THE
Isa. Ixi..1.—To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Hitnerto we have had Christ's commission as it respects those who have some good in them, the meek and the broken hearted. Here is his commission with respect to those who have no good in them, but are utter strangers to him, living in their natural state. He is anointed to proclaim liberty to the captives.—In which words conCder,
1. Man's natural state. It is a state of captivity; they are captives to Satan: 2 Tim. ii. 26. "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captives by him at his will." He is the tyrant whose captives they are, who has carried them away out of the light of God's savour, and- holds them sast in his territories^ being the god of this world.—Consider,
2. Christ's work with respect to them, it is to proclaim liberty to them, Luke, iv. 18. "To preach deliverance to the captives." These are indeed the same. Luke's word for liberty or deliverance, is properly dismissing or letting away, that is, giving liberty. The words for preaching and proclaiming, signify properly to cry, and are used either of preaching or proclaiming. And what is preaching but proclaiming in the name of the King of heaven? and so this, relates to Christ's kingly office.—From this part of the subject we talte the following Doctrines.
Doct. I. That sinners in their natural unregenerate state are Satan's captives. _
Doct. II. That Jesus Christ, with the express consent of his Father, has issued out his royal proclamation of liberty to Satan's captives.
We begin with* Doct. I. That sinners in their natural un regenerate state are Satan's captives.
For illustrating this doctrine, we shall consider,
I. How sinners in their natural state have become Satan's captives.
II. What is their condition as Satan's captives.
III. The properties of this captivity.—And then,
IV. Add the improvement of the subject..
We are then, L To shew, how sinners in their natural state have become Satan's captives.—They have become his captives,
1. As taken in war: 2 Pet. ii. 19. "Of whom a man i6 overcome, of the" same is he brought inbond age." Satan having proclaimed war against Heaven, maliciously set on our sirst parents in paradise, and on all mankind in them. -He set on them as the consederates of heaven, and carried his point, gained the victory. And in this respect he is still pursuing the victory, and driving the unrenewed world before him as prisoners of war, called his lawsul captives, Isa. xli. 24.—They have become his captives, because,
2. They are born his captives, as being born o£ those whom he overcame and carried captive. So they are expressly called the children of hell, Matth. xxiii. 15. There were many of the cap. tives in Babylon, who had never seen Canaan, ha. ving been born in that country. These were captives no less than their parents; and that by their birth. So is it with all Adam's posterity naturally, they were born under the power of Satan, Acts, xxvi. 18. When a slave, under the law,
- married in his master's house, though at the end of seven years he got his own freedom, yet the children were his master's as being born in his house, and could not be free without :•. particular. liberty for them, Exod. xxi. 4. Thus even the children of godly parents are by nature Satan's captives; children of Abraham, children of the devil. To the Jews, our Saviour said, "Ye are of your sather the devil, and the lusts of your Fa.. ther ye will do," John, viii. 44.—*We were,
II. To inquire what is their condition as Satan's captives.—Upon'this we observe,
1. That every natural man is transported from their primitive soil into. Satan's territories, his, kingdom of darkness. Hence believers are