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1. You who have never yet turned to the Lord, but have been going aside from him all youri'.ays, know, that ye are yet iii a ruinous condition ; there is nothing you can call yours, but what is vanity, and cannot prosit or deliver. Ye will not be persuaded of this; but remember it is explicitly told you; and if grace do not o;-ien your eyes to see it timely, death will open them to see it when it is out of time to mend the matter.
■2. Backsliders, be all of you convinced of the foolish choice ye have made, repent, and turn again unto the Lord. What have you gained by your departures from him? Where is the advantage of the sad exchange? Blasted prosits! shortlived pleasures! leaving a sting behind them in the conscience! these will not compensate for what ye have lost.
3. Ye who have got near God in this ordinance, ye may see that it is your duty and interest, by a holy tender walk, a living by saith, to hold where you are. If you step aside from God, you may .well mar your case, you will never. mend it this way. Entertain no curiosity to be on the other side of the hedge; satisfy yourselves that there is nothing there but vain things, which cannot prosit nor deliver, for they are vain: Isa. xxx. 7. " For the Egyptian shaU help in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I cried concerning this, Their' strength is to sit still."
4. Disappointed communicants may hence be satissied, that if you love your own fouls, it is not for your prosit to go aside to another door, to get your loss at the door of God's house made up another way. Your case, it is likely, is sad, and Satan will strike in with the occasion to make you a.sair ofser. But know of a truth, if you embrace it, instead of mending your.condit.ion, you stiall make
your your sad case yet sadder. Be peremptory in your resolutions, that you will wait upon the Lord, and not give over, how long soever ye be without sensible success: Gen. xxxii. 26. "And the angel said to Jacob, Let me go, for the day breaketh; and he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Go thou, and do likewise.
5. Ye carnal ones, "who are weary of waiting on about the Lord's hand, and are longing to be back to the world as your element, saying in your heart, "When will the Sabbath be over?" ye may see the propriety of checking these carnal motions; stir up yourselves to seek the Lord, and to improve the present opportunity for making a happy settlement for your souls; otherwise, if ye miss such an occasion of mending your condition, ye know
. not if ever ye shall have it again; and by neglecting it, ye run towards the ruining of your fouls.
Let all be exhorted to cleave to the Lord, and tremble at the thought of turning aside from him. Be exhorted, with purpose of heart to cleave
'unto the Lord, Acts, xi. 23. Turn not aside from his precious truths, his holy ordinances, the way of holiness and tenderness in the whole of your conversation ; "but cleave to the Lord, his word, his way, and to whatever bears his stamp. Turn not aside, whatever may be the temptation or allurement. Know of a truth, that it is but poison presented in a golden cup to you, which will work the ruin of your condition; it is but a gilded vanity, to cheat you out of a substantial good: it is what will not sail to be bitterness in the end. Have your eyes in your head, then, and forseit not God's savour or smiles for lying vanities.
Again, Turn not aside, whatever be the hazard of holding on. Let devils and men run that as
high high as they will, as sure as God's word is truth, the greatest hazard is ever on the other side; and they who turn aside run the most searsul risk.— Wherefore, take it home with you, lay it up in your hearts, and improve itinyourdaily walk; decide all your controversies with temptation, managed by a subtile devil, a carnal heart, or the men of the world, by this,—That you cannot turn aside, but " aster vain things, which cannot prosit, nor deliver, for they are vain." Amen.
JESUS COMPLETELY QUALIFIED
3sa. lxi. I, The Spirit os the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me.
THIS text is that upon which our Lord Jesus himself preachedto the congregation of Nazareth, Luke, iv. ;6.—19. And if ye ask of whom the prophet spake, Jesus tells you, ver. 21. that it was of him. Though the prophet perhaps had an eye to himself, and to the promised deliverance from the Babylonish captivity; yet certainly Christ, and the spiritual deliverance by him, is the principal subject. Jesus is here described as the Mediator between God and man. In the words we have two things.
1. The glorious qualisications of our Mediator: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. Here are the three persons of the Trinity distinguished. The Lord God, his Son, and his Spirit. Our Lord
* Delivered Sept. 171S.
Jesus bsing both God and man, the Holy Spirit, with all his gifts, was put on the man Christ. At his b.iptism the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, Matth. iii. 16. On him also the Spirit rested, and never again deputed from him, but continued silling him at all times with graces and gifts for the discharge of his great trust. So that he fays the Spirit is upon me, not is come upon me. —We have,
2. The reason of these glorious qualisications. This was, because they were'necessary for the ofsice to which he was called : Because the Lord God hath anointed me. It behoved him to be both God and man. As he was God, he could have nothing added to him ; but as he was man, it behoved him to be endowed with unparalleled qualisications for this unparalleled office.—Here consider his call to the work. The Lord anointed him, as prophets, priests, and kings wtre wont to be, and thus were called and set apart to their respective ofsices; in like manner was Christ called of the Father to the Mediatorial works, not with material oil, as they were, but with the Holy Spirit, which
was signisied by that oil. Again, consider his
milsion: The hoidsent him. He did not come unsent to the world; but his Father having called him, and surnished him for the work, sent him away to exercise his commission, and to perform his work. ——Consider, next, the work he. was called to, and sent out upon. Consider this work with respect to Christ himself; and it is threefold. First, As a prophet or preacher of the gospel, revealing the Father's mind. Secondly, A priest or healer, a spiritual physician, for sin-sick souls., to bind up the broken hearted. Thirdly, As a king, to issue out proclamations, sar more joysul than B 2 those