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and the broken hearted as his proper patients ; and therefore he has a peculiar care of them : Ezek. xxxiv. 15. 16. “ I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, faith the Lord God; I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick ; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, I will feed them with judgement." You see that he will handle the broken hearted very tenderly : Isa. xl. 11. “ He shall feed his flock like a thepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bofom, and shall gently lead those that are with young;" chap. xlii. 3: “ A bruised reed fhall he not break, and the smoking. flax fhall he not quench; he fhall bring forth judgement unto truth.”
In the last place, we would exhort those whose broken hearts Christ has healed, to take heed to the preserving your restored, health, Indeed every one who seems to be healed, is not healed by the hand of the true Physician; but if your hearts are now eased, and your wounds bound up by the great Physician, you will know it by these three things.--1. You will have an appetite for spiritual food : 1 Pet. ii. 2. 3: “ As newborn babes, desire ye the fincere milk of the word, that
ye may grow thereby; if fo be ye have tafted that the Lord is gracious." When one begins to recover in earnest, he recovers his appetite. But such an one, lay we, is not well yet, for he has no appetite; so thou art not well if thou doft want the fpiritual hunger.—2. Your food will relish with you: Prov. xxvii. 7. « The full foul loatheth the honey-comb ; but to the hungry foul every bitter thing is sweet.” Many have their qualms of conscience which they get over, but still K 3
they have no relish for fpiritual things, but for the world and their lusts. But if Christ has healed thee, he has corrected thy taste.—Laftly, You will be beginning to walk in the way of God. “I will run,” said David, “ in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart," Psal. cxix. 32. They who return with the dog to the vomit, shew that their disease is yet in its strength, though they are not sensible of pain,
Now, if Christ has healed you, to preserve the health of your souls, it is necessary for you,—To keep a good and regular diet. Beware of these things which formerly cast thee into foul-sickness. Peter went no more back to the high priest's hall, nor Judah to Tamar, Gen. xxxviii. 26. Feed there, and on these things which 'may tend to the soul's health. “ Behold,” said Jesus to the impo-tent man he had healed, “ behold thou art made whole ; fin no more, left a worse thing come upon thee.” And for this cause observe your Physician's rules in all things.- Walk circumfpectly, take notice of every step you make, as one who has had a broken limb healed: Ifa. xxxviii. 15. * I shall go foftly,” said Hezekiah, “all my years, in the bitterness of my soul.” And beware of walking in the dark, of going forward there where you cannot discern your way by the light of the Lord's word. - Study to increase in love to Chrift, zeal for his glory, and hatred of fin.-Always keep correspondence with your Physician. Be often at the throne of grace by prayer, and keep up communion with him in the exercise of faith.
They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount; up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they Ihall walk and not faint." Amen.
JESUS PROCLAIMS LIBERTY TO THE
Isa. Ixi. 1.-To proclaim liberty to the captives.
ITHERTO we have had Christ's commission
as it respects those who have some good in them, the meek and the broken hearted. Here is his com:mission with respect to those who have no good in them, but are utter strangers to him, living in their natural state. He is anointed to proclaim liberty to the captives.--In which words consider,
1. Man's natural state. It is a state of capti, vity; they are captives to Satan : 2 Tim. ii. 26. " And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captives by him at his will.” He is the tyrant whose captives they are, who has carried them away out of the light of God's favour, and holds them fast in his territories,, being the god of this world.—Confider,
2. Christ's work with respect to them, it is to proclaim liberty to them, Luke, iv. 18. « To preach deliverance to the captives.” These are indeed the same. Luke's word for liberty or deliverance, is properly dismissing or letting away, that is, giving liberty. The words for preaching and proclaiming, fignify properly to cry, and are used either of preaching or proclaiming. And what is preaching but proclaiming in the name of the King of heaven? and so this, relates to Christ's kingly office.-From this part of the subject we take the following DOCTRINES.
Doct. I. That sinners in their natural unregene
rate state are Satan's captives. Doct. II. That Jesus Christ, with the express
consent of his Father, has issued out his royal proclamation of liberty to Satan's captives.
We begin with, Doct. I. That finners in their natural unregene
rate state are Satan's captives.
For illustrating this doctrine, we shall confider,
1. How finners in their natural state have become Satan's captives.
II. What is their condition as Satan's captives.
III. The properties of this captivity.--And then,
IV. Add the improvement of the subject..
We are then, I. To fhew, how finners in their natural state have become Satan's captives.--They have become his captives,
1. As taken in war : 2 Pet. ii. 19. “ Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Satan having proclaimed war against Heaven, maliciously set on our first parents in paradise, and on all mankind in them. He set on them as the confederates of heaven, and carried his point, gained the victory. And in this respect he is still pursuing the victory, and driving the unrenewed world before him as prisoners of war, called his lawful captives, Isa. xli. 24.–They have become his captives, because,
2. They are born his captives, as being born of those whom he overcame and carried captive. So they are expressly called the children of hell, Matth. xxiii. 15. There were many of the cap. tives in Babylon, who had never seen Canaan, ha. ving been born in that country. These were captives no less than their parents; and that by their birth. So is it with all Adam's pofterity naturally, they were born under the power of Satan, Acts, xxvi. 18. When a slave, under the law, married in his master's house, though at the end of seven years he got his own freedom, yet the children were his master's as being born in his house, and could not be free without a particular liberty for them, Exod. xxi. 4. Thus even the children of godly parents are by nature Satan's captives ; children of Abraham, children of the devil. To the Jews, our Saviour faid, “ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your Father ye
will do," John, viii. 44.--We were,
II. To inquire what is their condition as Satan's captives.-Upon this we observe,
1. That every natural man is transported from their primitive foil into, Satan's territories, his, kingdom of darkness. Hence believers are