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for grace as others are for gold; use the means diligently, but trust not to the means. Though Paul and Apollos may plant and water, it is God gives the increase : he only can speak to the heart, and say to thy sins, Die; and to thy soul, Live.

O my God, forgive, I beseech thee, my carnal confidence, and trusting to an arm of flesh, both in reference to my body and soul ; let me see the vanity of all creature confidences, how little they can avail without thy blessing; and however thou crossest my designs for the world, Lord, succeed my designs for heaven with thy blessing. Leave me not to the teaching of man, but teach me thyself; water me with the dew of heaven, and let thy clouds drop fatness ; “incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness,” Psa. cxix. 36.

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers-until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest, Isa. xxxii, 13, 15. I will

pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring : and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses, Isa. xliv. 3, 4.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase, 1 Cor. iii, 6, 7.



When I considered the constant dependence of a garden, both on Divine and human care, so that they would equally err who should trust in their own cultivation of it, without seeking the influences of the heavens; and those who, in reliance on those influences, should neglect its culture :this recalled my thoughts to spiritual husbandry, and the means of grace. It put me in mind of a twofold error in men, one in the excess, the other in the defect: some draw at the pipe, and

neglect the fountain; the others thinking to be supplied immediately by the fountain, neglect the pipe: some trust in the ordinances, and think them sufficient, and idolize the minister, who yet can give no more than he receives from the fountain; the others think themselves above ordinances, and neglect them, the ordinary way appointed by God for their supply; and these ofttimes argue themselves out of their religion. Though the breast be not that which feeds the child, yet the child must draw milk from the breast, or otherwise is not likely to have it: though the pipe cannot supply the water, it is the usual means of bringing it. Thus the ministry of the word is usually honoured with the conversion of souls, though God can, and no doubt sometimes does work conversion without it. Cornelius, we



find, was directed by an angel to Peter. Though the angel certified him, that his alms and his prayers were accepted, Acts x. 4; yet he read not to him the doctrine of redemption, though no doubt he could better have done it than Peter, had God given him a commission : but the office of preaching is given to men, not to angels. When Paul was struck down in the way, as he journeyed towards Damascus, Christ did not teach him himself, but sent him to Ananias, Acts ix.; thereby honouring his own ordinance. So Philip, by the Spirit of God, was sent to instruct the eunuch, Acts viii. 29. Now either Christ himself immediately, or the angel, or the Holy Spirit, might have done the work, and would, had not God intended to have honoured his messengers with the work of man's conversion, and also to leave the gospel ministry as a standing ordinance, for the bringing in and building up those who shall be saved. It is therefore not safe to contemn the means.

O my soul, fall not out with the pipe, for this is the appointed way to bring water from the fountain ; fall not in love with it, for of itself it can give no satisfaction; use it thou must, but idolize it thou must not; trust not in men nor means, food nor physic, though thọu must make use of them ; “ Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord,” Jer. xvii. 5. All other are physicians of no value; clouds without water,

“ broken cisterns that can hold no water,” Jer. ii. 13. It was Asa's failing, and no doubt a gross one, to seek to the physicians in the





neglect of God. Think it not sufficient for the body to make use of the ablest physician, nor for the soul to live under the ablest minister, for

many bodies and souls perish under such : if God help thee not, whence shall they help thee? The sun, in a clear day, may be seen in a pail of water ; but if it be clouded, all the water in the world cannot show it. The ordinance is the usual place where God may be seen; but, till God open men's eyes, no one can see him there. must not the ordinances be despised; for usually God makes discoveries of himself there. He could have fed Elijah himself, or by an angel, yet he sends him food by a raven; he could have taught Paul as well as struck him down, yet he sends him to Ananias; he seldom works otherwise where the means of


is to be had; he could have healed Hezekiah with a word, yet useth a bunch of figs. No matter what is the disease, or what is the receipt, if God bless it.

O my God, afford me the means of grace, the ministry of thy word, and visit me not with a famine of thy word, nor leave me to the teaching of man, but follow home every truth, and set it home by thy Holy Spirit; let me not draw at an empty pipe, but from a full fountain : then shall I be fat and flourishing.

We are labourers together with God, 1 Cor. iii. 9.

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God,

and not of us, 2 Cor. iv. 7.



When I considered the various forms, features, colours, and virtues of the several sorts of herbs, flowers, and other vegetables; and that though there are perhaps many species in the world, yet every species has a distinct colour, shape, and virtue different from the rest; it came to my

mind how many thousand millions of faces are upon the face of the earth, all alike, and yet unlike; all resembling one another, and yet scarcely two persons to be found out in the whole world, so like, but they may be distinguished in some respects by a discerning eye. And as they differ in bodily shape, so also in the endowments of the mind : scarce two can be found in an age, alike qualified in mental gifts. God does not intrust any one man with all, neither is there


that has not some talent. « Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits ; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation

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