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of strong and urging temptations. Is this the condition of the soul? strong temptations beat upon it, which are ready to hurry it down into sin and folly, that it hath no rest from them, one blast immediately succeeding another, that the soul begins to faint, to be weary, give over, and say, I shall perish, I cannot hold out to the end? Is this thy condition? See the Lord Christ suited unto it, and the relief that is in him, in this promise he is 'a hiding-place.' Saith he, These temptations seek thy life, but with me thou shalt be safe. Fly to his bosom, retreat into his arms; expect relief by faith from him, and thou shalt be safe.

[2.] There is a tempest,' in reference whereunto Christ is here said to be a covert.' A tempest in the Scripture représents the wrath of God for sin. "He breaks me,' saith Job, ' with a tempest;' chap. ix. 17. when he lay under a sense of the displeasure and indignation of God. He threatens to 'rain upon the wicked a horrible tempest;' Psal. xi. 6. A tempest is a violent mixture of wind, rain, hail, thunder, darkness, and the like. Those who have been at sea, will tell you what a tempest means. Such was that in Egypt, Exod. ix. 23. There was thunder, and hail, and fire running upon the ground: fire or dreadful lightning mingled with hail;' ver. 24. What did men now do upon the apprehension of this tempest? They ‘made their servants and cattle flee into the houses;' ver. 20. got them into safe covert, that they might not be destroyed, and they were safe accordingly

Suppose a poor creature to be under this tempest, full of sad and dreadful thoughts and apprehensions of the wrath of God; behind, before, round about he can see nothing but hailstones and coals of fire, heaven is dark and dismal over him, he hath not seen sun, moon, or stars in many days, not one glimpse of light from above, or hopes of an end. I shall perish, the earth shakes under me, the pit is opening for me. Is their no hopes? Why, see how Christ is suited in this distress also. He is 'a covert' from this tempest; get into him, and thou shalt be safe. He hath borne all this storm, as far as thou art concerned ; abide with him, and not one hurtful drop shall fall upon thee, not one hair of thy head shall be singed with this fire. Hast thou fears? hast thou a sense of the wrath of God for sin? dost thou fear it will one day fall upon thee and be thy portion ? Behold a covert, a sure defence is here provided.

[3.] There is drought, causing barrenness, making the heart as a dry place, as a heath, or a parched wilderness. In reference whereunto Christ is a river of water, abundantly, plentifully flowing for its refreshment. Drought in the Scripture denotes almost all manner of evil, it being the great, distressing punishment of those countries. When God threatens sinners, he says, they shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good (or watei') cometh ; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness;' Jer xvii. 6. he shall be left to barrenness and want of all refreshment. And David complains in his great distress, that his ' moisture was turned into the drought of summer ;' Psal. xxxii. 4.

Two things are evidently in this drought: want of grace, or moisture, to make the soul fruitful; and want of rain or consolation to make it joyful. Barrenness and sorrow or disconsulation are in this dry place. Let us then suppose this condition also. Doth the soul find itself like the parched ground ? It hath no moisture to enable it to bring forth fruit; but is dry, sapless, all the fruits of the Spirit seem to be withered; faith, love, zeal, delight in God, not one of them flourishes ; yea, it thinks they are quite dead, it hath no showers, not any drop of consolation, no refreshment, but pines away under barrenness and sorrow. What would now best suit such a condition? Why turn in a stream of water upon this parched ground, let there be springs in this thirsty place, let' water break out in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;' as Isa. xxxv. 6. and how will all things be changed? Those things that hung their heads, and had no beauty, will flourish again ; and the things that are ready to die will be revived. Why in this condition Jesus Christ will be water, and that in abundance, rivers of water, that there shall be no want. He will by his Spirit give supplies of grace to make the soul fruitful; he will give in consolation to make it joyful.

[4.] There is weariness, and in respect hereof, Christ is said to be the shadow of a great rock. Weariness of travel ånd labour through heat and drought, is insupportable. He that is to travel in a thirsty land, dry and hungry, the sun beating on his head, will be ready with Jonah in such a condition to wish he were dead, to be freed of his misery. Oh, how welcome will the shadow of a great rock' be to such a poor creature? If Jonah rejoiced in the shade of a gourd ; how much better is the shadow of a great rock ?' Many a poor soul exercised with temptations, hindered in duties, scorched with a sense of sin, is weary in his journeying towards Canaan, in his course of obedience; and thinks with himself, it were better for him even to die, than to live, having no hopes to come to his journey's end. Let now this poor soul lie down and repose himself a little under the shadow and safeguarding protection of this rock of ages,

the Lord Jesus Christ, how will his strength and resolution come to him again?

Thus, I say, is Christ in the promises peculiarly suited to all the several distresses, that we may at any time fall into. I might multiply instances to this purpose; but this one may suffice to make good the consideration proposed, for the encouraging of us to believe, from the suiting of the grace in the promises to all our wants.

Two things then may hence be deducted.

1st. The willingness of God that we should be established in believing. To what end should the Lord thus obviate all objections that can possibly arise in a misgiving heart, and accommodate grace in Christ to all perplexities and troubles we at any time lie under, were he not willing we should lay hold on that grace, own it, accept it, and give him the praise of it. If I should go to a poor man, and tell him, Thou art poor, but see here are riches; thou art naked, but here is clothing; thou art hungry and thirsty, here is food and refreshment; thou art wounded, but I have the most precious balm in the world: if I have no intent to have him partake of these riches, food, raiment, medicine, do not I egregiously mock and deride the man's misery and sorrow? will a wise or good man do thus ? Though many will deafen their ears to the cries of the poor; yet who almost is so desperately wicked, as to delight himself in sporting at their misery, and increasing their sorrow? And shall we think that the God of heaven, 'the Father of mercy, and God of all consolation, who is all goodness, sweetness, and truth (as hath been declared), when he doth so syit and temper

his fulness to our wants, and suits his grace in Christ to all our fears and troubles for their removal, doth it to increase our misery, and mock our calamity? I speak of the heirs of promise, to whom they are made and do belong. Is it not time for you to leave disputing, and questioning the sin cerity and faithfulness of God in all these engagements ? What farther, what greater security can we expect or desire? So that,

2dly. All unbelief must needs be at length totally resolved into the stubbornness of the will. You will not come unto me,' saith our Saviour,' that you may have life.' When all a man's objections are prevented, and answered ; when all his wants are suited; when a ground is laid, that all his fears may be removed, and yet he keeps off, and closes not; what can it be, but a mere perverseness of will, that rules him? Doth not such an one say, Let the Lord do what he will, say what he can, though my mouth be stopped, that I have nothing wherewith to wrangle or contend any more, yet I will not believe? Let this then be another motive, or encouragement, which, added to what was spoken before concerning God, even the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, is all I shall insist upon.

VOL. XV.

SERMON VII*

ΟΥΡΑΝΩΝ ΟΥΡΑ ΝΙΑ. .

THE

SHAKING AND TRANSLATING

OF

HEAVEN AND EARTH.

This sermon was preached to the Honourable House of Commons in Parlia ment assembled, on April 19, 1649; a day set apart for extraordinary humiliation.

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