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persevering, appears from what has been observed of those affections themselves, from whence this practice flows, being universal and constant; in all kinds of holy exercises, and towards alt objects, and in all circumstances, and at all seasons in a beautiful symmetry and proportion.
And much of the reason why holy affections are expressed and manifested in such an earriestness, activity, and engageda ness and perseverance in holy practice, as has been spoken of, appears from what has been observed, of the spiritual appetite and longing after further attainments in religion, which evermore attends true affection, and does not decay, but in creases as those affections increase.
Thus we see how the tendency of hóly affections to such a Christian practice as has been explained, appears from each of those characteristics of holy affection that have been before
And this point may be further illustrated and confirmed, if it be considered, that the holy scriptures do abundantly place sincerity and soundness in religion, in making a full choice of God as our only Lord and portion, forsaking all for him, and in a full determination of the will for God and Christo on counting the cost ; in our heart's closing and complying with the religion of Jesus Christ, with all that belongs to it, embracing it with all its difficulties, as it were hating our dearest earthly enjoyments, and even our own lives, for Christ ; giving up ourselves, with all that we have, wholly and for ever, unto Christ, without keeping back any thing, or making any réserve ; or, in one word, in the great duty of selfdenial for Christ; or in denying, i. e. as it were, disown- : ing and renouncing ourselves for him, making ourselves nothing that he may be all. See the texts to this purpose red ferred to in the margin.* Now surely having an heart to
* Matth. v, 29, 30. Chap. vi. 24. Chap. viii, 19.-28. Chap. iv, 18, ta 22. Chap. X. 37, 38, 39. Chap. xiii. 44, 45, 46. Chap. xvi. 24, 25, 26. Chap. xviii. 8, 9. Chap. xix. 21, 27, 28, 29, Luke v. 27, 28. Chap. X. 42. Chap. xii. 33, 34. Chap. xiv. 16.--20, 25.–33. Chap. xvi. 13. Acts iv. 34, 35, with Chap. v. 1.–11. Rom. vi. 3.-8. Gal. ii. 20. Chap, vi. 14. Philip, iii. 7. VOL. IV.
forsake all for Christ, tends to actually forsaking all for him so far as there is occasion, and we have the trial. An having an heart to deny ourselves for Christ, tends to a denying ourselves indeed, when Christ and selfinterest stand in competition. A giving up of ourselves, with all that we have, in our hearts, without making any reserve there, tends to our behaving ourselves universally as his, as subject to his will, and devoted to his ends. Our heart's entirely closing with the religion of Jesus, with all that belongs to it, and as attended with all its difficulties, upon a deliberate counting the cost, tends to an universal closing with the same in act and deed, and actually going through all the difficulties that we meet with in the way of religion, and so holding out with patience and perse
The tendency of grace in the heart to holy practice, is very direct, and the connexion most natural, close, and necessary. True grace is not an unactive thing; there is nothing in heaven or earth of a more active nature ; for it is life itself, and the most active kind of life, even spiritual and divine life. It is no barren thing ; there is nothing in the universe that in its nature has a greater tendency to fruit. Godliness in the heart has as direct'a relation to practice, as a fountain has to a stream, or as the luminous nature of the sun has to beams sent forth, or as life has to breathing, or the beating of the pulse, or any other vital act; or as a habit or principle of action has to action ; for it is the very nature and notion of grace, that it is a principle of holy action or practice. Regeneration, which is that work of God in which grace is infused, has a direct relation to practice ; for it is the very
end of it, with a view to which the whole work is wrought ; all is calculated and framed, in this mighty and manifold change wrought in the soul, so as directly to tend to this end. Eph. ii. 10. “ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Yea it is the very end of the redemption of Christ, Tit. ii. 14. " Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Eph. i. “ According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy, and without blame before hím in love." Chap. ii. 10. “Created unto good works, which God hath foreordained that we should walk in them." Holy practice is as much the end of all that God does about his saints, as fruit is the end of all the husbandman does about the growth of his field or vineyard ; as the matter is often represented in scripture, Mat. iii. 10, chapter xiii. 8, 23, 30, 38, chapter xxi. 19, 33, 34. Luke xiii. 6. John xv. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8. 1 Cor. iii. 9. Heb. vi. 7, 8. Isa. y. 1.....8. Cant. viii. 11, 12. Isa. xxvii. 2, 3.* And therefore every thing in a true Christian is calculated to reach this end. This fruit of holy practice is what every grace, and every discovery, and every indi. vidual thing which belongs to Christian experience, has a di. rect tendency to.
The constant and indissoluble connexion that there is between a Christian principle and profession in the true saints, and the fruit of holy practice in their lives, was typified of old in the frame of the golden candlestick in the temple. It is beyond doubt that that golden candlestick, with its seven branches and seven lamps, was a type of the church of Christ. The Holy Ghost himself has been pleased to put that matter out of doubt, by representing his church by such a golden candlestick, with seven lamps, in the fourth chapter of Zechariah, and representing the seven churches of Asia by seven golden candlesticks, in the first chapter of the Revelation. That golden candlestick in the temple was every where, thoughout its whole frame, made with knops and flowers, Exod. xxv. 31, to the end, and chapter xxxvii. 17.....24. The
*" To profess to know much is easy; but to bring your affections into subjection, to wrestle with lusts, to cross your wills and yourselves, upon every occasion, this is hard. The Lord looketh that in our lives we should be serviceable to him, and useful to men. That which is within, the Lord and our brethren are never the better for it : But the outward obedience, flowing thence, glorifieth God, and does good to men. The Lord will have this done. What else is the end of our planting and watering, but that the trees way be filled with sap? And what is the end of that sap, but that the trees may bring forth fruit? What careth the husbandman for leaves and barren grees 2" Dr, Preston of the Churches Garriage.
word translated knop, in the original, signifies apple or pome. granate. There was a knop and a flower, a knop and a flow; er : Wherever there was a flower, there was an apple or pom egranate with it : The flower and the fruit were constantly connected, without fail. The flower contained the principle of the fruit, and a beautiful promising appearance of it ; and it never was a deceitful appearance ; the principle or shew of fruit, had evermore real fruit attending it, or succeeding it. So it is in the church of Christ : There is the principle of fruit in grace in the heart ; and there is an amiable profession, signified by the open flowers of the candlestick; and there is answerable fruit, in holy practice, constantly attending this principle and profession. Every branch of the golden candlestick, thus composed of golden apples and flowers, was crowned with a burning, shining lamp on the top of it. For it is by this means that the saints shine as lights in the world, by making a fair and good profession of religion, and having their profession evermore joined with answerable fruit in pracy tice : Agreeable to that of our Saviour, Matth. v.15, 16, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in . the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” A fạir and beautiful profession, and golden fruits accompanying one another, are the amiable ornaments of the true church of Christ. Therefore we find that apples and flowers were not only the ornaments of the candlestick in the temple, but of the temple itself, which is a type of the church; which the apostle tells us " is the temple of the liv: ing God.” See I Kings vi. 18. “ And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops, and open flowers." The orna. ments and crown of the pillars, at the entrance of the temple, were of the same sort: They were lilies and pomegranates, or flowers and fruits mixed together, 1 Kings vii. 18, 19. So it is with all those that are “as pillars in the temple of God, who shall go no more out,” or never be ejected as intruders ; as it is with all 'true saints, Rev. iii. 12. " Him that over,
cometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out."
Much the same thing seems to be signified by the ornaments on the skirt of the ephod, the garment of Aaron, the high priest ; which were golden bells and pomegranates. That these skirts of Aaron's garment represent the church, or the saints (that are as it were the garment of Christ) is manifest ; for they are evidently so spoken of, Psal. cxxxii. 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 garinents." That ephod of Aaron signified the same with the seamless coat of Christ our great High Priest. As Christ's coat had no seam, but was woven from the top throughout, so it was with the ephod, Exod. xxix. 22. As God took care in his providence, that Christ's coat should not be rent ; God took special care that the ephod should not be rent ; Exod. xxviii. 32, and chap. xxxix. 23. The golden bells on this ephod, by their precious matter and pleasant sound, do well represent the good profession that the saints make ; and the pomegranates, the fruit they bring forth. And as in the hem of the ephod, bells and pomegranates were constantly connected, as is once and again observed, there was a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranaté, Exod. xxviii, 34, and chap. xxxix. 26, so it is in the true saints; their good profession and their good fruit, do constantly accompany one another : The fruit they bring forth in life, evermore answers the pleasant sound of their pro. fession.
Again, the very same thing is represented by Christ, in his description of his spouse, Cant. vii. 2. “Thy belly is like an heap of wheat, set about with lilies.” Here again are beautiful flowers, and good fruit, accompanying one ånother. The lilies were fair and beautiful flowers, and the wheat was good fruit.
As this fruit of Christian practice is evermore found in true saints, according as they have opportunity and trial, so