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But tho' this love is so sweet and so humbling, it is but the forerunner of sufferings; which sufferings love of itself even as a grace does not enable, us to endure. Hence my text speaks of the patience of the saints, and speaks of no other grace. Not that there was no other, for without every other, there cannot be this. But this fruit is the last of

the season. It is not a spring fruit, nor a summer fruit, but is ripening toward the end of autumn, and must endure many a wintry storm before it is mellowed and matured. The shooting forth of the bud is comforting, reviving, and refreshing to our view. This as the grace of hope first appears. The blossom next unfolds its various beauties in the joy and gladness arising from hope that attends the word preached, or applied in secret, attracts the preachers' and the saints' admiration, and the scent thereof is sweet. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. John 20. 20. Their faith and hope unfolded themselves thro' his chearing presence in joy and gladness: but this very joy which covered the bud, so that they believed not for joy, was frail and weak, and as a feeling soon gone. The fruit was not yet brought forth which was to remain. And of the same kind was the gladness of the Gentiles, not the gladness of salvation felt by them, but of salvation proclaimed to them. When Paul thus speaks; so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have given thee F

for a light to the gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation to the ends of the earth.-And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord. Acts 13. 47. Thus was this scripture fulfilled, and thus it is now. The wilderness and solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. Isa. 35. 1. The sun of righteousness rising with healing in his wings brings forward the fruit.The blossom dies away; that joy and gladness which were felt,not because a Saviour died, but because there was a way of escape, did not produce that love which melts, and sweetens, and mollifies the soul thro' its rich unction. They wept not that he should die, but were rather glad. But when healing comes then come the fruits of repentance in all their soul humbling, and self abasing pow. ers; and these are of the sweetest kind as peace, joy, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. But patience is not mentioned in this list of fruit. We must therefore look for it somewhere else. Patience supposes suffering, not enjoyment; and therefore is said to flourish and abound in days of storm and darkness, when the soul is in heaviness thro' manifold temptations, because faith must be tried; or when falling into divers temptations, the trying of faith must work patience and patience must have her perfect work, that the saint may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

James 1. 3, 4. He has, as a saint, every thing else within and without; but patience he has not, and therefore is not perfect nor entire, wanting nothing, for he feels he wants this.

Tho' destined to endure so hard storms and so many, she is best suited to her employment, which is to attend upon the weak and faint. And observe her singular modesty and delicacy, yet most exquisite tenderness and attachment. She is never found

She

when the days of feasting come round. The voice of melody, the solemn feasts, the banquetting house find her not a companion; not from suiliness, but because her company being one too many for the room, she would make it inconvenient to all. most disinterestedly, having led the guests into their enjoyment, slips away and retires. Be not slothful, but followers of them who thro' faith and patience inherit the promises. And so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Heb. 6. 12. 15. You are not to impute your enduring troubles always to patience. For charity it is said endureth all things. Love enjoys, and so bears on, and bears up. Patience suffers, and so endures-See this plain in the Hebrews-Call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great. fight of afflictions. Heb. 10. 32. This was during their season of love, immediately after being illuninated. So the Apostles departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted wor

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thy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5. 41. This was love, but not patience. So these Hebrews. presently fainted, their fruit was much shaken by the blast, and to help the evil they were disposed to cast away their confidence: now then, comes patience in which they were to possess their souls Ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise. Heb. 10. 36.

Now as patience is not to be expected when love is sufficient; so neither will she be found when the soul is turbulent, restless and contending: and the reason is good; she is not wanted, and so rough a frame would only ill treat her, and she could do us no service. Therefore, when Job's heart was quiet and submissive in all the heavy dealings of God upon him in body and circumstances, you hear nothing of selfishness, of peevishness, of his own righteousness, and his own strength. He was weak and overpowered in himself, but patience was exerting her utmost influence. And you have heard of the patience of Job. But presently this kind friend was insulted, and left him for a season. His own spirit began to work, and his own merits to shine before him; self justification rose, and then down he went, and opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth. Now this part of Solomon's advice explains this. If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. But he opened his mouth. We find that a spirit of

pride and selfishness will rise, or strive to rise, even when patience is still present, and we begin to think something of ourselves, as injured, or, if in happy and favoured circumstances get a light and conceited frame which is striving for the mastery. Now when this is discerned, happy, if humility checks, and faith applies a stopper to the mouth. But if the Lord see it not good, and self must be felt and known to be hated; then some very cross and untoward circumstance from friends, from foes, from devils, from providence, from the world will aggravate this: and so, as surely as the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife, Prov. 30. 32. So Job found it, and so we find it. As this is the beginning of affliction, a selfish spirit going astray, do not lay the charge upon God; he will not have it; nor yet upon his purpose, that he has ordained all things for good; nor yet upon his favour, that whom he loves he chastises; but upon this, you yourself have had and indulged risings that you knew were selfish and vain.

In some circumstances when the contention grows warm, self-will rises higher and higher. I will leave my complaint upon myself. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. Job. 10. 1. He breaketh me with a tempest, he multiplieth my wounds without 9. 17. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go, my heart shall not reproach me so

cause.

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