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1. You who have never yet turned to the Lord, but have been going aside from him all your days, know, that ye are yet in a ruinous condition; there is nothing you can call yours, but what is vanity, and cannot profit or deliver. Ye will not be persuaded of this ; but remember it is explicitly told you; and if grace do not open 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 profits ! 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 faith, 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 profit nor deliver, for they are vain : Isa. xxx. 7. « For the Egyptian shall help in vain, and to no purpose ; therefore have I cried concerning this, Their' strength is to be still."
4. Disappointed communicants may hence be fatisfied, that if you love your own souls, it is not for your profit to go aside to another door, to get your loss at the door of God's house made up ano. ther way. Your case, it is likely, is sad, and Satan will strike in with the occasion to make you a fair offer. But know of a truth, if you embrace it, instead of mending your.condition, you shall make
your your fad case yet fadder. Be peremptory in your resolutions, that you will wait upon the Lord, and not give over, how long soever ye be without sensible fuccess : 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 ; ftir 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 souls.
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 cut of a substantial good: it is what will not fail to be bitterness in the end. Have your eyes in your head, then, and forfeit not God's favour or smiles for lying vanities.
Again, Turn not aside, whatever be the hazard of holding on. Let devils and men run that as
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 fearful risk. Wherefore, take it home with you, lay it up in your hearts, and improve it in your daily 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 " after vain things, which cannot profit, nor deliver, for they are vain." Amen.
JESUS COMPLETELY QUALIFIED
FOR HIS WORK *.*
Isa. Ixi. 1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
. because the Lord hath anointed me.
THIS text is that upon which our Lord Jesus
I himself preached to the congregation of Nazareth, Luke, iv. 16.-19. And if ye ask of whom the prophet fpake, 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. Jefus is here described as the Mediator between God and man. In the words we have two things.
1. The glorious qualifications 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
Jesus * Delivered Sept. 1715.
Jesus being both God and man, the Holy Spirit, with all his gifts, was put on the man Christ. At his baptism the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, Matth. iii. 16. On him also the Spirit rested, and never again departed from him, but continued filling him at all times with graces and gifts for the discharge of his great trust. So that. he says the Spirit is upon me, not is come upon me.
2. The reason of these glorious qualifications. This was, because they were'necessary for the office to which he was called : Because the Lord God hath anointed me. It behoved him to be both Ged and man.' As he was God, he could have no. thing added to him ; but as he was man, it behoved him to be endowed with unparalleled qualifications for this unparalleled office.--Here consider his call to the work. The Lord anointed him, ás prophets, priests, and kings were wont to be, and thus were called and set apart to their respective offices ; in like manner was Chrilt called of the Father to the Mediatorial works, not with material oil, as they were, but with the Holy Spirit, which was signified by that oil. - Again, consider his million : The Lord sent him. He did not come unsent to the world ; but his Father having called him, and furnished him for the work, fent 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-fick souls, to bind up the broken hearted. Thirdly, As a king, to issue out proclamations, far more joyful than B 2