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(says Christ) ye shall have tribulation;" but look beyond the wilderness to thy fellow-travellers, whose journey is ended. “ What are those which are arrayed in white robes ? and whence came they?” Rev. vii. 13. You have the answer in the verse following, “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple.” Wait a little, believer, and thou shalt be there al. fo; and then thy present “ light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall” resolve in “ a far more and exceeding and eternal weight of glory; and God Thalb wipe away all tears from thine eyes.”

Use fecond of this doctrine may be of Reproof. Is it the duo ty of believers, and their practice, to come up from the wilderness of this world ? then,

1. It reproves those who sit down in the wilderness, and take up with it as their home; like the fool we read of in the gospel, who, when he had amassed a great deal of worldly substance together, he cries, “ Soul, take thine ease, thou haft much goods laid up for many years." But, Sirs, read what followed in that parable of the rich fool ; perhaps God may come and say, " Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou halt provided ?" You who are perhaps “ cloathed in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day," and have no thoughts of another world, look to it in time, least in a little you be weltering among purple flames, crying for a “ drop of water to cool the tip of your tongue.”

2. It reproves those who, instead of coming up from the wilderness, are going down the wildernefs. The way of lin is faid to be a downward way, and leads unto kell beneath; and this road all the profane world are taking. You may fee a roll of their names, and where their landing will be, Rev. xxi. 8. ". The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and mur. derers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : which is the second death."

3. It reproves those who to men would appear to be coming up from the wilderness, and yet are steering a quite other course, such as the painted fepulchre, who goes under a malk of religion, and yet is rotten at the root; he is going down the wilderness, instead of coming up. Christ has pronounced many heavy woes against you; and thererefore " the sinners in Zion shall be afraid,” &c. Again, the moralist, whose outward walk before the world perhaps is « touching the law blameless,” and yet never comes to him who is " the end of the law :" your morality and civility will be found wanting a true root, not being grounded and graffed in Chrift, of whom only our fruit can be " unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” The same we may say of the legalist; he is but going down the wilderness, all his righteousness will be found to be as filthy rags; for,“ by the works of the law ihall no fleih living be justified.” Again the carnal gospeller, whose language is, “ Let us sin, because grace doth abound.” Sirs, whatever may be your evangelic notions, yet if the grace of God in the gospel do not « teach you to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to walk foberly, righteouily, and godly,” you are not coming up, but going down the wilderness. Jude 4. They are ranked among the sumber of the “ ungodly, who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” The secure, fleepy finner, that was never awakened to see his danger, but is crying with the sluggard, “ Yet a little sleep, a little Number, a little folding of the hands to seep ;" you are going down the wilderness, for sudden destruction is pursuing you.

4. This doctrine reproves those who make a feint to come up from the wilderness, but immediately they turn heartless in the journey : they cry, “ There is a lion in the way, a lion in the streets,” and therefore turn back, and steer towards another airth. Of this sort are all backsliders, who put their hand to the plough of religion, but look back again. What an awful sentence is it that God hath pronounced against such, when he says, that they “shall be filled with their own ways, and be led forth with the workers of iniquity !”

5. This doctrine reproves those who hinder the spouse of Chiist, or hurt her in her way, as she is coming up from the wilderness. We find the spouse frequently complaining of injuries, even from those from whom other things might have been expected; the complains that her “ mother's children were angry with her, chap. i. 6. these who were mother's children but not father's children with her; members of the visible church, but were never born of God; they were angry with her : and with them joined the corrupt clergy of that day, and they continually abused her; hence the complains, chap. v. 7. “The watchmen that went about the city, found me, they smote me, they wounded me ; the keepers of the walls took away my vail from me.” They were called watchmen, and had got themselves into that office for a piece of bread : but instead of watching against the enemy, they opened the gates to the enemy, and suffered foxes to come in and spoil the vines ; and instead of comfortin nd pouring in oil into her wounds, they themselves

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by stripping her of the sacred rights and privileges allowed her by her great Husband. Instead of drawing a vail over the infirmities and weaknesses of real believers, they studied to expose them as a company of hypocrites, and loaded them with a great deal of invidious calumnies and reproaches, that so they might with the better colour of equity harass and persecute her. The application of all these things is easy. Even in our own day, what melancholy cries and complaints are going up to heaven, thsough several corners of the land, to the God of fabaoth, the great King of Zion, against some set of men, who meet together in a judicative capacity even in this city ? and I do not know but some of them may be hear. ing me. I thall only say, that the injured little ones of Christ will have day about with those that carry it against them now; before the whole scene be over, there will be wound for wound ; tribulation will be rendered unto them that trouble the spouse of Christ, and when the reckoning comes, “ the great men, and the mighty men, the man with the gold ring," which are now adored, as if they were the only persons to be owned in the planting of churches, they, and those that join hand with them in conspiring to hurt the little ones of Christ, will be “ crying to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of the Lamb ;" when the poor people of God, that were accounted as the " dross and offscourings of the earth,” will be fitting upon the bench with Christ, every one of them “ shining forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” I conclude this with a word of advice unto Christ's oppreffed people, and you have it, James V. 7. 8. « Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the pre

cious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, un. - til he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts : for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."

Use third of this doctrine shall be by way of Trial and Examination. That which I would have you to try is, Whether are you in this world as in a wilderness, or are you in it as your home? and whether are you fitting down in the wilderness, or are you coming up from it? I am ready to think, that in these words there may be an allusion to Israel in their travelling from Egypt to Canaan : therefore with allusion to their journey toward the promised land, which was typical of the true church of God travelling through this wil. derness unto giory, I would by way of trial ask the few following questions. :

1. Hath your Egyptian bondage been loosed in a day of power? Has God, as with a high hand, and stretched-out arm, brought you out from under the dominion of sin and Satan,

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these thefe oppreffing taskmasters? and has he made you to see these Egyptian enemies overthrown in the Red sea of the death and suffering of a glorious Redeemer, while you by the same means made your escape ? This is God's way of dealing with all his own Ifrael; he first makes them to groan under the fears of fin and wrath, and then opens up a way for their escape by the death and blood of the Lamb. So then, has the Son of God made you free ? If so, you are free indeed. But,

2. I ask, Has God ever brought you to the foot of Sinai, and discovered himself in such awful majesty, greatness, and in the holiness and severity of his law, as has persuaded you that there is no dealing with God without a mediator. The law was published at mount Sinai “ because of transgression,” and that it might be " a schoolmaster to lead them unto Christ.” So then, I ask, if you have seen such a distance between God and you, such holiness and perfection in his law, as has made you flee to him who is “ the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth ? If so, you are indeed coming up from the wilderness towards the promised land; but, if not, it is a sign you are yet in the Egypt of a natural state.

3. Have you ever seen the tabernacle that God reared, and the glory of God in it? You know, the tabernacle in the wilderness, it was the symbol of God's presence among Israel, in which the law was kept ; and the glory of the God of Israel was therein discovered in the view of Israel : this was a type of Christ, the true tabernacle which God hath reared. Now, I say, have you seen this tabernacle, a God in Christ reconciling the world to himself ? Have you seen the glory of God shining in the face of Christ, and the law magnified and made honourable in him? And are your motions through the wilderness, and your way to the land of promise, directed by viewing this tabernacle; according to that of the apostle, Heb. xii. 1. “ Let us run our race, looking unto Jefus ?" And are you made to go “ singing in the way of the Lord" through the wilderness, becaufe “ great is the glory of the Lord ?

4. I ask how are you fed in the wilderness ? Israel in the wilderness were not fed with the fruit of the earth, but with manna rained from heaven: so God has a way of feeding his true Israel in the wilderness with the manna from heaven. Christ the bread of life comes down in the dispensation of the word, and they gather it by faith, and feed on it. And Oh but this manna hath a pleasant tafte with it to the spouse of Christ coming up from the wilderness ? they can say in some measure

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of fincerity, with Jeremiah, “ Thy word was found by me, and I did eat it, and it was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.”

5. Are you frequently drinking of the water of the rock? You know, there was a rock smitten, out of which streams of water issued, which followed Israel till they came to Canaan: “ This rock was Christ," who being smitten with the rod of his Father's anger, refreshing streams of grace and consolations of the Spirit have issued, which make glad the city of God. Now, what experience have you as to this? Is Christ to you like “ rivers of waters in a dry place ?” And are you made now and then to see the accomplishment of that promise, Il. xliv. 3. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground ?"

6. Have you seen the mystical brazen serpent? and have you got health conveyed to your souls by looking on it, when ftung by the fiery serpent in the wilderness, or when wound, ed by the fiery darts of Satan? for, “ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so is the Son of man lifted up" on the pole of the everlasting gospel; “ that whosoever believeth in him,” or looks to him by faith,“ may not perilh, but have everlasting life.”

7. What is it that keeps up your heart in your journey through the wilderness? If God had not made a promise of Canaan to Israel, and engaged his veracity to bear them company in their journey, they had not gone out of Egypt; and it was the faith of God's promise that fpirited and enlivened them in their travels and battles. Just so is the case here ; God hath made a promise of life and rest on the other side of death through Christ, and that he will be their God and their guide ; that his Son, the angel of his presence, shall be your leader and commander : now, if you be really coming up from the wilderness to the promised land of glory, it is the faith of God's promise that bears you up, and carries you through in your travels, and in your wilderness-work and warfare. Hence the spouse here, she is said to come up leaning on her beloved, resting on the promise of a God in Christ for through-bearing, and for a comfortable landing at laft.

8. What pillars of smoke are you sending up from the wilderness? The offerings 'of Israel in the wilderness, they went up to heaven like pillars of smoke towering upwards; so you will be frequently sending up the sacrifices of prayer, and of praise, and holy meditation ; your affections, like the {moke of the sacrifice, will be soaring heavenwards.

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