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iittle request among us at this day, aud that there is such a plucking away of the glory of this blessed Plant. Sorne plucking away the glory of his supreme Deity, as you were hearing, and studying to reduce him among the rank of created and dependent beings: Some plucking at his sovereignty and supremacy, as' the alone Head and King of his church; enacting laws inconsistent with, and directly opposite unto these laws that he has given in his word: Some plucking at the "liberty wherewith he has made his people free," by violent intrusions of ministers upon congregations, contrary to scriptare pattern, and the covenanted sworn principles of the church of Scotland, inserted in her books of discipline.
0 Sirs, if the Plant of renown were nourishing in she 'and, there would not be so many unsavoury plants allowed to grow or come up in his vineyard, as there are at this day. The plant of Popish idolatry is connived at, and on the growlng hand, both through Scotland, England, and Ireland. The P*ant of prelacy, error, and superstition, tolerate, contrary 10 solemn covenant engagements, which the land lies under; the plant of unsound professors of divinity, poisoning our fountains of learning, and seminaries for the holy ministry; the plant of lax erroneous ministers and preachers, are growlng up apace, and filling the land every day. The plant of o.d malignancy against the power of religion and a covenanted reformation is growing up, especially among a set of pretend(d PreJbyterians, falsely so called. The plant of profanity is nourishing apace, men abandoning themselves unto wickedness, and giving themselves loose rein6 in drinking, swearing, rioting, whoredom* drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, and all manner of abominations, burlesquing the scriptures, ridiculing 'he worship of God, and breaking their profane jests upon the 'acred things of God. The plant of ecclesiastical tyranny, which seemed to be nipt a little these two years ^bygone, is grouting again as fast as ever, notwithstanding the great cries °'» pretended reformation that we heard among a great many "•misters and professors in the estaolished church; witness tne proceedings of the last Assembly, in the cafe of Dennie and Traquair, and the entertainment of the petition of the parish of Stow. I say, all these, and many other things that in'ght be insisted upon, evidently declare that the Plant ofren»T"i is not raised up among us, but rather that his flavour ^d favour is gone away, in a great measure, from amongst magistrates and ministers, from judicatories and assemblies f°r Worship, and from among the generality of professors and '"habitants of the land. Yea, many come that length, that, like the Gadarenes, they would be well content that Chi ift were quite departed out of our coasts, that they might with freedom enjoy their fwinilh lusts; and indeed he feems to be taking his leave of us. But O, what will follow upon his departure ?" Wo, wo, alfo unto them, when I depart from them." See wliat comes of the vineyard of the Lord dt hdsts, lf.v. from the beginning, when he departs he takes away the hedge, &c.
ntkly, Is in a word of exhortation. Is it fo that Christ is a Plant of renown raifed up by Jehovah ? Then let all that bear the name of Christ, efpecially you who have been entertained at his table, and tasted of his fpecial love and goodnefs, study to anfwer God's design, in raising up for us this Plant t>f renown.
Take this in the following particulars, with which I conclude. (i.) Sit down, and rest your weary fouls, under the shadow of this renowned Plant, after the example of the fpoufe, Cant. ii. "1 fat down under his shadow with great delight." When you sind no rest in the world, by reafon of temptations, afflictions, and the working of indwelling corruption, and when you are crying, "O tell me where he maketh his flocks to rest," let your recourfe be ay to the Plant of renown, for to him " shall the Gentiles feek, and his rest fhall be glorious." (2.) I invite you to come and behold the glory and beauty of the Plant of renown: "O look unto him, and be faved, all ye ends of the earth." God the Father thinks fo tneikle of this Plant of his own raising, that he invites the whole world to behold him as the delight of his very foul, If. xlii. 1. " Behold my Servant whom 1 uphold, mine Elect in whom my foul delighteth." It is by beholding of his glory, that the work of fanctisication, and conformity to the divine image, and the life of religion is maintained and kept upi 2 Cor. iv. last. 'iAll we beholding, as in a glafs, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the fame image. (3.) Come and feed upon the fruit of this Plant of renown; "For his flefh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed." You have been at his table, and perhaps got a meal there, but, Sirs, you would be continually feeding upon him. You fee, in the clofe of the verfe, this Plant is raifed up to be food to the hungry; "I "will raife him up for them, and they shall hunger no more," or be confumed with hunger no more; and therefore be ay feeding upon his fruits, for they are "fweet to the taste, and make the lips of them that are afleep, to fpeak, like the best wine that goeth down fweetly," &c. (4.) Whenever you sind yourfelves wounded by tempiPtion, or corruption, or die world, come to the Plant of renown nov.it for healing, for his "leaves are for the healing of the nations." You have a sweet promise to this purpose, Mai. fv; 1. "To you that fear my name ihall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings ; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calvesof the stall,"&c. (j.^Letme exhort you, in your sphere, ministers and private Christians, and I would sein take home the exhortation to myself. O let us all join issue with the Father of Christ, in studying to raise up this Plant tf renown, and to make him more ar.d more renowned, this will be the ambition, and resolution, and endeavour, of all that know him. Psal. xlv. at the close, says the church there, "I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations, therefore shall the people praise thee, O Lord, fur ever and ever." Let us (that are ministers) preach and proclaim his righteousness and renown, and the glory of his person, in the great cbngregation. And you (that are the people) O study to commend liim by your walk ar.d talk, and tlie holiness of your conversation, upon ajl occasions; and, when his cause and interest in the land is in such a finking condition, let us take a lift of it. Let us lie at a throne of grace, pleading, that lie would.not forsake the land; but that he would yet return, ivA be " the glory in the midst of us," Zech. ii. 5.
GOD'S DOVES FLYING TO HIS WINDOWS.
?s. lx. 8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to
their windows /
IN the last verse of the preceding chapter, God had made a promise of the continuance of the church upon earth to the uttermost ages of time: "As for me, this is my covenant," &.c. Here, in the beginning of this chapter, we have * promise concerning the enlargement of the church under the New Testament, unto the uttermost ends of the earth: Ver. 3. 4. "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and i-ings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and fee; all they gather themselves together,
they they come to thee, thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side." We are likewise told, how the church (hall be affected with this increase of her numbers and enlargement of her borders. (1.) She will be in a transport of joy upon this account; ver. 5. "Thou shalt sec and flow together," &.c. (2.) There will be a mixture of fear with this joy; "Thine heart shall fear,'' as though it were a thing unlawful to join with the Gentiles, &c. (3-) She (hall be enlarged with love, so as to leave room for ail the Gentile converts. (4.) She shall be struck with surprise and wonder, saying, Who are these that fly * &c.
Where four things are considerable. 1. We have a sweet sight that the Old Testament church gets of the state of matters under the New Testament, upon the revelation of Christ in the gospel among the Gentiles. Why, she fees poor souls upon the wing, in great multitudes, flying to a Saviour; and a sweeter sight cannot be seen upon earth, &c. 2. Notice the manner of their flight; they fly as a cloud, and as doves: Of which more particularly afterward, when we come to prosecute the doctrine. 3. Notice the term or object of their flight; they fly to the windows for their relief. Like the windows of the ark of Noah, whereat the dove entered, when she could find no place for the sole of her foot, because of the deluge. 4. Notice the pleasant surprise that the prophet or the Old Testament church is put into at this sight. This is implied in the manner of the speech, (Who are the/e?J She 13 striken with a pleasant astonishment, to see the sinners of Gentiles, "aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenant of promise," stocking in to Christ; Christ preached unto the Gentiles, and the Gentiles believing in Christ, being a branch of the great mystery of godliness, I Tim. iii. and last.
Oes. That the flight of sinners to a Saviour is a sweet and surprising sight. Who are these that fly as a cloud? &ac. The method, through divine assistance shall be,
I. To speak a little of this flight of the sinner to Christ, and shew what it imports.
II. I would speak a little of the manner of their flight: They fly as a cloud, and as doves. What may be couched in these metaphors.
III. Speak a little of these windows to which they fly.
IV. Shew that this is a sweet and surprising sight.
V. Apply the whole,
I. Thejirfl thing is, to fpeak a little of the flight of a sinner to Christ, the Saviour.
ifl, Then, This flight fuppofes that fome fpiritual life and fenfation is given to the sinner; for there can be no flying without life. The sinner is by nature dead in sin, legally dead, and fpiritually dead; Eph. ii. 1. "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trefpasses and sins." The Spirit of life that is in Christ Jefus enters into the dead foul, and quickens, and gives it at least a senfation of its case, otherwise there can be no flying to Christ.
idly, This flight fupposes or implies an apprehension and fear of danger from a purfuing enemy. The poor foul is made to fee danger from the broken law, danger from the fword of justice, the avenger of blood, and thereupon he falls a-trembling, like the jailor, "Sirs, what must 1 do to be seved," &c.
yily. This flight of the foul to Christ implies a renunciation of relief from these lying refuges, in which it had formerly been trusting. The man, in flying to Christ, renounces an empty profession, his common gifts, his common graces^ his gofpel advances, his law works, his own holinefs and righteoufnefs, his tears and prayers; his righteoufnefs cannot prosit him, therefore he cries out, " Afliur fhall not fave us j we will not ride upon horses, neither will we fay any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods; for in thee the fatherlefs sindeth mercy," Hof. xii. 3. "In vain is falvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the Lord our God is the falvation of his people."
\thly. It implies a difcovery and uptaking of Christ, and of his falvation, as he is held out in the gofpel. A beam of divine light fhines into the heart, "even the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (or perfon) of Jefus Christ," whereby the man sees him to be indeed what the gofpel reprefents him to be, a nonfuch and incomparable Saviour; one that U the "Man of God's right hand," Pfal. lxxx. 17.; "the Man who is God's fellow," Zech. xiii. 7. and therefore mighty to fave, 8cc.
$thly, This flight of the foul to Christ implies the foul's hearty approbation of Christ, and of the way of falvation through Christ, as an ordinance of God calculate for his glory, as well as for his own fafety and happinefs. O, fays the man, " It is indeed a faithful faying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jefus came into the world to five sinners." I fee this method of falvation through the new and