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same sort of fame. The branch is of the same nature with the stock and root, has the same sap, and bears the same sort of fruit. The members have the same kind of life with the head. It would be strange if Christians should not be of the same temper and spirit that Christ is of; when they are his flesh and his bone, yea, are one spirit, i Cor. vi. 17 ; and live so, that it is not they that live, but Christ that lives in them. A Christian spirit is Christ's mark that he sets upon the souls of his people ; his seal in their foreheads, bearing his image and superscription.....Christians are the followers of Christ ; and they are so, as they are obedient to that call of Christ, Matth. xi. 28, 29, “ Come to me and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” They follow him as the Lamb, Rev: xiv. 4....." These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” True Christians are as it were clothed with the meek, quiet, and loving temper of Christ; for as many as are in Christ, have put on Chris:. respect the church is clothed with the sun, not only by being clothed with his imputed righteousness, but also by being adorned with his graces, Rom. xiii. 14. Christ the great Shepherd, is himself a Lamb, and believers are also lambs; all the flock are lambs, John xxi. 15. “ Feed my lambs." Luke x. 3. “I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.” The redemption of the church by Christ from the power of the devil, was typified of old, by David's delivering the lamb out of the mouth of the lion and the bear.
That such manner of virtue as has been spoken of, is the very nature of the Christian spirit, or the spirit that worketh in Christ, and in his members, and in the distinguishing nature of it, is evident by this, that the dove is the very symbol or emblem, chosen of God, to represent it. Those things are fittest emblems of other things, which do best represent that which is most distinguishing in their nature. The Spirit that descended on Christ, when he was anointed of the Father, descended on him like a dove. The dove is á noted emblem of meekness, harmlessness, peace and love. But the same Spirit that descended on the head of the church, demends to the members. « God hath sent forth the Spirit of
his Son into their hearts,” Gal. iv. 6. And“ if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. viii. 9. There is but one Spirit to the whole mystical body, head and members, 1 Cor. vi. 17. Eph, iv. 4. Christ breathes his own Spirit on his disciples, John xx. 22. As Christ was anointed with the Holy Ghost, descending on him like a dove, so Christians also “ have an anointing from the Holy One," I John ii. 20, 27. And they are anointed with the same oil ; it is the same “precious ointment on the head, that goes down to the skirts of the garments.” And on both, it is spirit of peace and love. Psalm cxxxiji. 1, 2. « Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments.” The oil on Aaron's garments had the same sweet and inimitable odor with that on his head ; the smell of the same sweet spices, Christian affections, and a Christian behavior, is but the flowing out of the savor of Christ's sweet ointments. Because the church has a dovelike temper and disposition, therefore it is said of her that she has doves' eyes, Cant, i. 15. “ Behold, thou art fair, my love, behold thou art fair, thou hast doves' eyes.” And Chap. iv, 1.
“ Behold, thou art fair, my love, behold, thou art fair, thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks." The same that is said of Christ, Chap. vi. 12. “ His eyes are as the eyes of doves.” And the church is frequently compared to a dove in scripture, Cant. ii. 14. “ O, my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock.”....Chap. v. 2. “ Open to me, my love, my dove.” And Chap. vi. 9. “My dove, my undefiled is but one." Psal. lxviii. 13. “ Ye shall be as the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." And lxxiv. 19. “ O deliver not the soul of thy turtle dove unto the multitude of the wicked." The dove that Noah sent out of the ark, that could find no rest for the sole of her foot, until she returned, was a type of a true saint.
Meekness is so much the character of the saints, that the meek and the godly, are used as synonimous terms in scripture : So Psalm xxxvii. 10, 11; the wicked and the meek
are set in opposition one to another, as wicked and godly, 6 Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be : But the meek shall inherit the earth.” So Psal. cxlvii. 6. « The Lord lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground."
It is doubtless very much on this account, that Christ repa resents all his disciples, all the heirs of heaven, as little children, Matth. xix. 14. Suffer little children to come unto mé, and forbid them not ; for of such is the kingdom of heav: en.” Matth. X. 42. « Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his re ward.” Matth. xviii. 6. " Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, &c.” ver. 10. “ Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones,” ver. 14. « It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." John xiii. 33. “ Little children, yet å little while I am with you.” Little children are innocent and harmless ; they do not do a great deal of mischief in the world ; men need not be afraid of them ; they are no dangerous sort of persons; their anger does not last long, they do not lay up injuries in high resentment, entertaining deep and rooted malice. Só Christians, in malice, are children, 1 Cor. xiv. 20. Little children are not guileful and deceitful, but plain and simple ; they are not versed in the arts of fiction and deceit ; and are strangers to artful disguises. They are yieldable and flexible, and not wilful and obstinate ; do not trust to their own understanding, but rely on the instructions of parents, and others of superior understanding. Here is therefore a fit and lively emblem of the followers of the Lamb. Persons being thus like little children, is not only a thing
ghly commendable, and what Christians approve and aim at, and which some of extraordinary proficiency do attain to s but it is their universal character', and absolutely necessary in order to entering into the kingdom of heaven ; Matth. xviii, 3. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Mark x. 15. Verily I say unto you,
soever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
But here some may be ready to say, is there no such thing as Christian fortitude, and boldness for Christ, being good soldiers in the Christian warfare, and coming out boldly against the enemies of Christ and his people?
To which I answer, There doubtless is such a thing. The whole Christian life is compared to a warfare, and fitly so. And the most eminent Christians are the best soldiers, endued with the greatest degrees of Christian fortitude. And it is the duty of God's people to be stedfast and vigorous in their opposition to the designs and ways of such as are endeavor. ing to overthrow the kingdom of Christ, and the interest of religion. But yet many persons seem to be quite mistaken concerning the nature of Christian fortitude. It is an exceeding diverse thing from a brutal fierceness, or the boldness of the beasts of prey. True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things ; in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind ; and in steadfastly and freely exerting, and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear, or the opposition of enemies. But the passions that are restrained and kept under, in the exercise of this Christian strength and fortitude, are those very passions that are vigorously and violently exerted in a false boldness for Christ. And those affections that are vigorously exerted in true fortitude, are those Christian, holy affections, that are directly contrary to them. Though Christian fortitude appears, in withstanding and counteracting the enemies that are without us ; yet it much more appears, in resisting and suppressing the enemies that are within us ; because they are our worst and strongest enemies, and have greatest advantage against us. The strength of the good soldier of Jesus Christ appears in nothing more, than in stedfastly maintaining the holy calm, meekness, sweetness, and be nevolence of his mind, amidst all the storms, injuries, strange behavior, and surprising acts and events of this evil and unreasonable world. The scripture seems to intimate that true
fortitude consists chiefly in this, Prov. xvi. 32. “ He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty ; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.”
The directest and surest way in the world, to make a right judgment what a holy fortitude is, in fighting with God's enemies, is to look to the Captain of all God's hosts, and our greater leader and example, and see wherein his fortitude and valour appeared, in his chief conflict, and in the time of the greatest battle that ever was, or ever will be fought with these enemies, when he fought with them alone, and of the people there was none with him, and exercised his fortitude in the highest degree that ever he did, and got that glorious victory that will be celebrated in the praises and triumphs of all the hosts of heaven, throughout all eternity ; even to Jesus Christ in the time of his last sufferings, when his enemies in earth and hell made their most violent attack upon him, compassing him round on every side, like renting and roaring lions. Doubtless here we shall see the fortitude of a holy warrior and champion in the cause of God, in its highest perfection and greatest lustre, and an example fit for the soldiers to follow that fight under this Captain. But how did he show his holy boldness and valour at that time? Not in the exercise of any fiery passions ; not in fierce and violent speeches, and vehemently declaiming against and crying out of the intolerable wickedness of opposers, giving them their own in plain terms: But in not opening his mouth when af. flicted and oppressed, in going as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, not opening his mouth; praying that the Father would forgive his cruel enemies because they knew not what they did ; not shedding others' blood, but with all conquering patience and love, shedding his own. Indeed one of his disciples, that made a forward pretence to boldness for Christ, and confidently declared he would sooner die with Christ than deny him, began to lay about him with a sword: But Christ meekly rebukes him, and heals the wound he gives. And never was the patience, meekness, love, and forgiveness of Christ in so glorious a manifestation, as at that time. Never did he