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The voice of my Beloved! Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the bills!

In general, the advice I would give to thefe that came here strangers to our Lord Jefus, and are like to go away fo, having never yet heard the voice of Chrift in his word, fo as to believe it; nor got a vifit of him, by his Spirit, fo as to behold how he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills; Ŏ go not away, fuppofing that there was nothing for you at this occafion; and that the word of this falvation was not fent to you. What! was not the door of hope opened to you in this word, Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains? If you be finners, that have been heaping up mountains of fin and guilt between him and you, was there no good news here for you, that he comes as a Saviour to fave you from your fin, and to melt down thefe mountains? And does not faith come by hearing fuch good tidings? How do you expect that Chrift fhould come to you, or that you fhould meet with him, but in fuch a word? For, you need not fay, "Who will afcend to heaven, to bring him down; or, defcend to the deep, to bring him up? The word is nigh, even in your heart, and mouth: That is, the word of faith which we preach," Rom. x. 6, 7, 8. If you live and die, flighting this word of falvation, you perish in your unbelief. And therefore, I advise you, as you would not lofe the benefit of this folemn occafion, to retire to fome fecret corner, and plead with God, that what you have heard and feen, may be bleffed to you, and when the word fays, Behold, be cometh! even to fave fuch finners as you are, that have great and high mountains ftanding betwixt them and him, and that therefore, according to that word, he would come to you, and glorify his grace, in leaping over them to you, to vifit you with his falvation, and to fet your heart a-leaping after him, whose word fays, Behold, be cometh! fo as to meet him, by saying to him, "Behold, we come unto thee! for thou art the Lord our God."

But the advices that I would more particularly offer to all the Lord's people, efpecially communicants, are thefe following.

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1. Seeing

1. Seeing the communications of the love of Chrift are fo eminent and confpicuous, in his coming and leaping over mountains and hills towards you, O ftudy his love, fo as it may beget more love in you to him. He loves, notwithstanding all difficulties we put in his way of coming to us: he loves the most unworthy. O what a fhame is it for us, that we love him fo little, who is moft worthy; "Worthy is the Lamb that was flain!" He loves them whom he corrects and chaftifes: and ought we not to love him when he corrects? But, alas! our love decays, when we get a rod or a crofs to bear. His love is conftant love; "Whom he loves, he loves to the end" but how fmall a matter interrupts our love, and creates miflakes and jealoufies? This is a fad requital we give him, when fo little of our love is kindled by his to us.

2. Seeing our Lord Jefus, though he comes fo kindly, yet comes fovereignly when he pleafes, O beware of tampering with temptations, and raifing up mountains and hills between him and you; for, though when he comes, he leaps and fkips over them, yet he may, in righteoufnefs hide himfelf, and withdraw, you know not how long; and it may coft you many a long look, before you fee him again on the top of the mountain; yea, it may coft you many a troubled heart, let he fhould never come again, and left his abfence fhould be a perpetual abfence; "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, for ever?" Pfalm xiii. 1. What a fad thought is that, to be forgotten for ever?

3. Seeing Chrift, when he comes, comes fpeedily, like a roe upon the mountains, then, O wait his coming without complaining; and wait on him dutifully, in hope of his coming fpeedily; the bride here fees him coming and fkipping,

Queft. How does his fpeedy coming appear, when the complaint is, "O why tarry the wheels of his chariot ? "and, how long does he hide himfelf?"

Anfw. That in his fpeedy coming, he does not refpect our flesh, nor regard the foolishness of Nabal; the flesh indeed it is, when quarreling at his delay, which is a provoking him to ftay away the longer: the



moft compendious way to enjoy his fpeedy approach, is not to make halte, but to wait in the ufe of means; that believeth, maketh not hafte." Our impatient hafte is our unbelief, which tends to retard his motion; and yet he comes fpeedily whenever he comes, and that in three refpects, wherein it may be faid, the vifion does not' tarry.

(1.) Because he comes long before we be ready for his coming. If you confider the tafk he puts in your hand in his abfence; fuch as, the difcovery of the wild beafts, that creep out of their dens and lurking-places in the night of abfence; the humbling of the uncircumcised heart, to accept of the punishment of its iniquity; the bearing of the indignation of the Lord, because we have finned against him; the kindly taking with chastisement, and with the rod of correction, and fubmiffion to a fovereign God, his providential and preceptive will. Does he not come speedily, when he comes before that tafk be done? If he ftayed away till thou didst perfect that work, it would not only be long before he come, but there would be a continual feparation between him and thee. In this refpect then he comes speedily.

(2.) He comes fpeedily, notwithflanding thy complaint; because he never comes out of time when he comes. A phyfician may come out of time to a fick perfon; he may come, and find him paft cure when he comes. A friend may come out of time to another friend, fo as he cannot help him when he comes. But when Chrift comes, he can make all things as well, as if he had come the first moment he was fought after. It is all one, whether he comes to Lazarus when he is fick, or when he is dead; for, when he comes, he raises him from the dead, and gets the greater glory. Hence,

(3.) He comes fpeedily, becaufe he comes always in the most acceptable and fit time. A particular confideration of times and circumftances, makes out this from time to time, that he is a prefent help in trouble; therefore, we should learn to believe, and not to quarrel his delay. Let us ftudy that faith of the faints,

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which is confpicuous in the patience of the faints, Rev. xiii. 10.; for, amongst other means, the way of winning to a speedy outgate from under defertion, or any difficulty, is to leave off quarreling, and to rest satisfied with, and fubmit to his dealing; and when you put a blank in his hand, saying, Thy will be done; this were the way to a speedy outgate. Here it is to be observed, that the quarreler is ordinarily an idler, and neglecter of duty; therefore, if fuch were turning their quarreling to diligence, they would come the better speed. It is the Lord's complaint against complainers, Hofea viii. 5. "How long will it be ere you attain to innocence?" We fhould turn our complaint against ourfelves, and not charge God foolishly; this would haften his coming.


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4. The manner of Chrift's coming fhould commend him to you, and make you commend him to others. The bride here commends him who thus comes, and apprehends the excellency of his perfon. Many would have Chrift coming fpeedily to help and fave them, faying, "Arife, and fave us," Jer. ii. 27. in the time of their trouble; but whenever they have got what they 'wanted, they have done with him, and with any more correfpondence with him. This is the fad temper of many in the vifible church; they receive favours from Christ, as Jonathan faid to Thou faweft it, and did rejoice," 1 Sam. xix. 5. They will take a good turn from Chrift, if they can get it; but they will have no more ado with him. All the favours that fuch meet with from Chrift, that lead them not to an estimation of himself, are the fadelt of fnares and plagues; and therefore to be dreaded; this is a cafe to be trembled under. But let the favours of Chrift commend the perfon of Chrift to you; for fo it is with the bride here; Bebold, be cometh, leaping upon the mountains, and fkipping upon the bills! Whereupon fhe commends him, faying," My Beloved is like a roe, or a young hart."

O commend him by your walk and converfation; by your talk and communication: commend him by imitating him, by being like a roe, or a young hind, in following him, whitherfoever he goes; whatever moun

tain of tribulation it be on which he calls you to follow him; let it be the mountain of perfecution or reproach, yet fellow him leaping and skipping upon the mountains, that are in the way. You that would be faithful witneffes for God and reformation at this day, have mountains on every hand of you: the growing mountains of backfliding and defection in the Judicatories, on the one hand; and the hideous mountains of delufion, and extravagance among Separatifts, on the other hand: I know not how you can follow Chrift, or imitate him, if you fuffer your feet to reft on any of thefe mountains; nay, if you tarry there, you will flay to your hurt, or ftumble on the dark mountains; but if you follow Chrift, it will be in a way of leaping and fkipping joyfully, "Counting it all joy, when you fall into divers temptations, or tribulations," in following him: yea, "Rejoicing that you are counted worthy to fuffer fhame for his fake;" were it even the flame of mens curfes and anathemas, their hideous excommunications; for, "The wrath of man fhall praise him." And little do fome men confider what honour they have been putting upon us, and what fhame upon themfelves, as inflruments of putting on our Master's crown of thorns upon our heads; and, "God forbid that we fhould not glory in the crofs of Chrift." We were never worthy to fuffer fhame for his fake.

5. The next advice I offer, is, O learn, with the church and bride of Chrift here, to be fill obferving his coming; Behold, he cometh, leaping! It is not expreffed in the præterit, He did come: nor in the future, He will come but in the prefent tenfe, Behold, be cometh! intimating, that he is always coming; it is his trade, it is his work, his daily conftant business, even as much as it is the property of the roe, or young hind, to be daily leaping and fkipping on the mountains. Though Chrift be not fill coming fenfibly, to comfort you; yet even in his real or feeming abfence, he is always coming, either wifely, to try you; or fatherly, to correct you; or mercifully, to humble you: by the difpenfations of his providence, be what they will, he is always coming therein upon fome love de

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