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judgement of our assembly now•a-days. Why, by our way of acting now in judicatories, the substance of the land is caft out, and the very scum and trash taken into its room. Lords and lairds are now, by church-authority, made the substance, and almost the fole power of electing the ministers of the gospel lodged in them ; while the poor godly man, though “rich in faith, and an heir of the kingdom,” is laid aGde. According to the rules of electing ministers now-a-days, Chrift, in his ftate of humiliation, could have had no interest in electing or appointing officers in his own house, because he had no worldly heritage ; as he himself declares, “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,” Luke ix. 58.

The second use of this doctrine may be of Trial. O Sirs ! are you among the holy feed, which are the substance of our land? Our Jacob is very low at this day; we are like a tree or oak, whose leaves are calt, that appear to have but little life ; but blessed be God, I hope the substance is in it. There is here and there a branch, a sprouting twig or branch, which says there is some life in the root, or item ; although, alas ! there are many withered branches that will be lopt off with the ax and pruning knife that is in the Lord's hand; yet I say, there is a holy feed that shall be the substance thereof. And I will give you a few marks whereby you may try whether you be among the number, yea or not. ** 1. then, The holy seed, which are the fubftance of the land, they have the seed of God abiding in them, that is ay making war with fin: 1 John iii. 9. “ Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit fin; for his feed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” By the seed of God we are to understand the grace of God, or the new nature, a principle of spiritual life, by reason of which he cannot fin, as others do; he doth not go down the tide of corruption, either within him or without, as others do ; no, but he stands against the stream, he is ay making war with sin, whether it be within him or without him : “ The flesh lufteth against the Spirit, and the Sprit against the flesh.” Wherever the grace of God meets with fin, it enters the lifts with it. Try by this whether you be the holy feed that are the substance of it. “ What wilt thou see in the Shulamite? as it were the company of two armies.”

-2. The holy feed they are a people that glory in Chrift, and in him alone : If. xlv. 25. “ In the Lord fhall all the feed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” He is “ the glory of his people Israel ;" they look on Christ as the crown and orna. ment of the human nature, by whom it is raised unto a high

er

er dignity than ever it was at its first creation, when adorned with all the glories of 'innocency. Oh! will the believer say, though I have nothing elfe to glory and boast of, yet "my soul shall make her boast in the Lord: Who is God, save the Lord ? and who is a rock, save our God? Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges." You will glory in his wisdom, under a sense of your own folly; glory in his strength, under a sense of your own weakness; glory in his righteousness, under a sense of your own guilt; glory in his life, under a sense of your own deadness; yea, the very death and cross of Christ will be your ornament: “ God forbid (says Paul), that I should glory” in any thing, “ save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

3. The holy feed, which are the substance and stay of a land, are a mourning seed ; they “ sow in tears; and the remnant of Jacob shall be as the doves in the valley, every one mourning for his own iniquity.” Hence called, “ the mourners in Zion, that figh and cry, for all the abominations done in the midst thereof." Sirs, iniquity is come to a great height; all ranks have corrupted, and are corrupting their ways more and more; a flood of defection is running; men are setting up their authority against the authority of God in his word. Now, can you say with David, “I beheld tranfgreffors, and was grieved: Rivers of waters run down mine eyes; because they keep not thy law ?”

4. The holy feed are a praying and wrestling remnant : Pfal. xxiv. 6. * This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.” God is their Father, and the Spirit of adoption within them is ay sending them many an errand to a throne of grace, “ crying, Abba, Father,” hear and help; and in every thing they study by prayer and supplication to make their requests known unto him. Oh, Sirs, there are but few wrestling Jacobs in our day!

5. The holy feed are a people that have the cause of Christ much at heart; and their hearts are up and down as the cause of Christ is stated. They prefer Jerusalem unto their chief joy; and therefore, when it goes ill with the inte. rest of Christ, they “ hang their harps upon the willows, and weep when they remember Zion:" and if the cause of Christ be maintained or flourish, their hearts do rejoice, and they “ fing in the heights of Zion;" and they are ay ready to lend a lift to Christ's interest.,

Use third, of Confolation and Encouragement unto the Lord's remnant in this evil day. This is the day of Jacob's trouble in the land, I{ a day of treading down, and of perplexity by

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Pfal. Set thy face. ion withineno that feffit of adophie of spaces the

the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision." Men, even our spiritual men, at this day are stricken with such a fit of madness, that they are casting out the very substance of the land, and treading God's jewels under their feet, and giving them to be trodden upon, in matters that pertain to their eternal salvation, by malignant lords and lairds, up and down the land; while the holy seed, the facra plebs, as they were called in the primitive times, are cast out as the dross and off-scourings of all things. But here is matter of comfort; however you may be despised by men that should take a care of you ; yet here, I say, you have God's verdict, the holy feed, in his reckoning, is the very substance of the land. There are these few words of comfort I offer unto you.

1. The holy feed shall be preserved in a winnowing day. The winds of errour, profanity, tyranny, persecution, are bé. ginning to blow, and, it is like, they may blow harder yet be. fore all be done ; the Lord seems to be coming with his fan in his hand to purge his floor, and to distinguish between the chaff and the wheat. Now, here is comfort; the holy feed, which is the substance, shall not be blown away with these winds: the wise husbandman will let no more wind enter his barn-door, than serves for cleansing his feed from the chaff, or the light corn; so here, Is. xxvii. 8. “ In measure when it fhooteth forth, he will debate with it ; he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east-wind.” : 2. The holy seed shall not ay be trodden upon. Indeed he may yoke the threshers to thresh his holy feed ; and he may make the wheel of the cart to pass over it; but he will not ay be bruising it: If. xxviii, 28. 29. “He will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." Up the heart, for “the Lord will not contend for ever, nci. ther will he be always wroth : for the spirit should fail before him, and the souls which he hath made."

3. The holy feed will low the land ; for it is “the substance thereof, and a blessing is in it." I will give you a scripture to feed your faith and meditation upon, as to this matter, Psal. xxii. 30. 31. “ A seed shall serve him, it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” God, like a wise husbandman, is keeping a feed of honest ministers and Christians in this time of common defection ; and I would fain hope, that it is not for nought, but that he may low his field again. . 4. The koly seed shall be watered, and flourish, and sprout

forth

be brit, nor horfemer derful

Church and ses in a wint Ilraelibanon.

of a Church and Nation.

201 forth like a tree that has lost its leaves in a winter storm, it reverts in the spring : “ I will be as the dew unto Israel; and he Thall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olivetree, and his smell as Lebanon." The vineyard of red wine is watered every moment, when others are dry and withered like the mountains of Gilboa : Psal. Ixxii. 16. “ There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains ; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the city lhall flourish like grass of the earth.” God's work will get up again, in spite of all the speat of malignancy that is run, ning against it at this day.

5. The holy feed shall rejoice. When the Lord turns back their captivity, it will be like streams from the south: “ Weeping endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." And they that laugh at your calamity will hang their heads, II. Ixv. i 3. 14. “Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry ; behold, my servants shall drink, but ye İhall be thirsty : behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed : behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye Thall cry for forrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirir."

6. Another word of encouragement I give you under your hard treatment at this day, is, that you meet with no worse measures than Christ, and the cloud of witnesses, met with be. fore you. Are you despised and rejected of men ? so was he, If. liii. 3. The stone was rejected by the builders, and so his followers, Heb. xi. 35. 36.

The laß use thall be of Exhortation. Is it so, that the holy feed of believers are the substance and strength of a land? then,

1. Let this serve to commend holiness unto all hearing me; especially to you who have been at a communion-table, ma. king an open profession of being the holy seed, before God, angels, and men. Sirs, if you have any kindness for the land you live in, as you would avert impending judgements, or recover us from that current of defection we are running into, ftudy to be holy yourselves, “ in all manner of conversation," and to promote and advance holiness among others; for it is the holy feed, that is the substance.

2. Another word of exhortation I offer to you, is, to trust, and hope, and wait upon the Lord, in this dark, and cloudy day : “ What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Sirs, VOL. II. Cc

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faith : "Wetanding in this mate and Strength

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The true Substance and Strength there is no standing in this shaking and trying day, but by faith : “ We walk by faith, and not by sighit." And to encourage your trust,

14, Consider his near relation to you as your Goel, your kinsman. Who will not trust such a near friend ? &c.

2dly, Consider how he has avenged your quarrel upon the old serpent, &c. .

3dly, You are conimanded to trust in him at all times, &c. - Athly, It is pleasing to the Lord to be trusted; it is the work of God; it is like the fucking a mother's breast by the infant, when gorged with milk, &c.

- 5thly, Consider the advantages of trusting him in an evil day. (1.) Perfect peace: II. xxvi. 3. “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee : because he trusteth in thee.” (2.) Jov, filled with joy in believing. See Hab. iii. 16-18. (3.) Provision in famine : Pfal. xxxvii. 3. « Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the "land, and verily, thou shalt be fed.” (4.) Protection in time of danger, Pfal. xci. 2.-4. &c. (5.) Stability like inount Zion : Psal. cxxv. 1.“ They that trust in the Lord thall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever." (6.) Increase of grace and the waterings of the Spirit : Jer. xvii. 7. 8. ” Blessed is the man that trufteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river,” &c.

3. Another exhortation to God's holy feed, is, to be much in wrestling at a throne of grace, and in improving your interest for the land and church wherein we live, that deserved itrokes may be averted. Tokens of God's anger are to be Yound; his anger hath divided us; his anger has made him to withdraw his Spirit from ordinances and judicatories; the clouds are bound up, the fruits of the earth withered, and famine at the door ; Oh wrestle and pray for floods and water to the dry ground.

Motive (1.) You do not know how far you may prevail with a prayer-hearing God. Moses's prayers prevailed to deliver Israel; Asa prays against the Ethiopian army; Jeholhaphat prays against the Ammonites; and he is the same prayer-hear, ing God this day as ever.'s

(2.) Although you should not prevail to avert wrath; yet your prayers will not be loft, they shall return into your own bosom ; you shall either deliver your own souls, or God will hide you from the common calamity. . (3.) Consider how active finners are to pull down wrath,

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