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6. When gospel-ordinances and gospel-ministers are contemned. Were not the gospel received in vain, the house where his honour dwells, and the galleries where he walks, would be prized; and the feet of them that bear the glad tidings would be precious. But alas! all is contrary here. His ordinances are trampled upon, his fervants are discouraged, and broken on every hand. Few want brow enough to break over the awful hedge that God has fet about them: He that despiseth you, despiseth me. We are as little troubled with the fcrupulous in coming to us for information from the word concerning different practices, as with cases of foul exercise.
7. When they are not thankful for it. The Lord hạth doně, great things for us; but the generation is waxed wanton, so as there seems to be a sort of fond. nels to see the church in confusion again. Well, come when it will, it is like we will cool of that heat, and learn to prize what is now lightly lct of.
8. Lastly, Most of all when Chris is not received by faith into the soul, Matth. xxii. Were there never so much ftrictness of life, mortification, reeling amongst the affections, and this be wancir:g, all is to no purpose. Uņbelief, or rejecting of Christ, is the great quarrel that God pursues in time and eternity against the hearers of the gospel, But ah! is not the preaching of Christ fapless at this day? are not our cyes held, that we cannot behold his glory? He is despised and rejected of inen still.
I shall conclude with an improvement of this subject.
Pake heed ye receive not the grace of God, the go. spel; in vain. Two things ye would especially tako heed to in this matter. Cut. Take heed the gospel leave you not fill out of Chrift. It is certgin, (1.) That the gospel finds people growing upon the old itock, and out of Christ, Ezek. xvi. (2.) That without Christ men are without hope; let them profess or be what they will, if they be not ingrafted into Christ, they are nothing, Eph. ii. 12.
John xv. 6. (3.) That the gospel is the great mean appointed of God to bring finners to Chrift, the mi. nistry of reconciliation, 2 Cor. v. 18. It is by this that sinners are brought to the marriage of the King's Son, Matth. xxii. O take heed ye receive 'not the gospel in vain. The cry, Cant. iii. 2. ult. Go forth, Oye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his eSpousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart, is come to your ears ; beware ye sit not still. These invitations, Pfal. xxiv. 7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, und be ye lift up, je everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in; and Rev. iii. 20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock : If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me; beware they leave you not fo. There is a treasure in this field, one pearl of great price in this market, and it is in
offer. 2. Take heed it leave you not without a saving change in your hearts and lives. It is impossible you can be saved without this, John iii. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Heb. . xi. 14. And this gospel is the mean of it, 1 Pet. i. 23. 24. 25. Faithful minifters will be in pain till Christ be formed in people, Gal. iv. 19. What is their preaching, beseeching, exhorting, (c. but pains to bring forth? But alas we may fit down with that, Il. xxvi. 18. We have been with child, we have been i'r pain, we have as it were brought forth wind, we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth, neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. O for that day when that promise shall be accomplished, ver. 19. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body jhall they ezrise : awake and sing, ye that dwell in duft: for thy des iš as the dew of herbs, and the earth fall cast out the dead. And this is a change that must be carrying on while here, Eph. iv. 21. and that by the fame means it was begun, unless ye receive the grace of God in vain, John xv. 2. O Sirs, what branches of the old
man is this knife fnedding off? what hellish weeds is the gospel in its ordinary preaching to you plucking up? Sure they are not wanting in our hearts and lives, and fure there will be some execution doing on them, if ye receive not the gospel in vain.
Dear friends, God has sent you the gospel, and has set
up his ordinances among you ; despise not the treafure, because it is in such an earthen vefsel.' I would fain see the gospel doing good, a day of God's power to Ettrick again. I dare not think I have been altogether uselets here': but truly when I look upon the case of this parish in general, and on the success of my ministry in it, my heart finks, being afraid that I have bestowed labour in vain, yea worse than merely in vain : and God, though most justly, has dealt bitterly with me, and put a heavy heavy piece of work in my hand. But ( that the doleful effects of this reached no farther than to me! O that it were well with you, though my eyes were held not to see it for my comfort! But the works of the flesh are manifeft, and continue and grow under a preached gospel, to which the appetite is loft, while the beauty and glory of practical godliness is under a dreadful vail amongst us. I would not willingly stand in the way of your mercy; but if I be indeed the Atumbling-block that lies between you and Christ and the power of godliness, I pray the Lord may remove that block out of your way, what way he thinks beft, that another face for Christ, for the gospel and true godliness, might be put upon the parish of Ettrick. But itand I must in my port, till he that set me in it call me off; and I desire to be doing while it is to-day, ere' the night come on when there shall be no more working. Wonder not that this matter is laid out with this weight: We are workers together with God, and therefore have need to blush and be hum. bled, that we cannot be more deeply concerned that ye receive, not the
of God in vain *. Consider, * The author here plainly alludes to the distracted state of the
1. We are workers with God. It is not our own, toteur Lord's work that we are about. God has mace our Lord and Master heir of all things, i te has sent us forth to court a spouse for him. Toere is none that can say so much to the commendatin of their Lord as we may: for he is white and rady, the chiet among ten thousand, yea he is altoparker lovely : and there is no bride so unworthy as ine daughter of Zion. And shall our Lord get the
In the paytay off the hands of ugly, hell-hued, beggarly Kuls, and the prince of darkoefs be preferred to the
and 1 Prince of peace? Our Lord has got the gift of the
7 n Lingdom from his father, and of this land among others, Pfal. ii. 8.; and he has sent us out to beseech
atre he you and command you in his name to submit to our
It is royal Master: and must we take him word, that ye will worl not have this man to reign over you? Luke xix, 14.
Hi fic 2. God works with us. We are but the voice of ene crying; the speaker is in heaven, and speaks of irom heaven, though by men, Heb. xü. 25. Theretore the flighting of our message is a slighting of the Lord himself: See Matth. sxviii. 20. Lo, I am with you C'secay eren unto the end of the world. Have ye never had the secrets of your hearts made manifest by the preaching of the word? why then fall ye not down before our Lord? why say ye not, We will go
with you, for the Lord is with yon? O fight not again it God.
3. The message we bring you is the grace of God; and shall it be received in vain? This gospel,
(1.) Is moft necessary grace. What a dili.al dark ness overclouded the world by Adam's fall, more terrible than if the sun, moon, and stars had been for ever wrapt up in the blackneis of darknets, in which we fhould for ever have lien, had not this grace appeared as a fhining fun to dispel it, Tit. ii. 11. So the word
rith, and the sea of trouble he was tossed in, on account of the unma. rageable fpirit of the parishioners, fed by the malignant leaven which the Old Disfenters spread through it, and of which he repeats !! vasily coarplains in his adeproirs.
rendered appeared properly signifies. And shall we now like night owls flee from the face of the rising fún, and like wild beasts get into our hellish, dens, when this fun is up? Are we ftruck blind with its light, and such creatures of darkness that we will love darkness rather than light?
(2.) It is uncommon grace. This fun enlightens but a small part of the world. The most part are yet without the gospel ; and this land had' it not always. Nothing but grace brought it to, and has kept it with us. And shall we receive it in vain? Ah! will not the wild Americans think us unworthy of a place in the came hell with them?
(3.) It is the greatest grace that God ever bestowed on the world. God has given some nations gold mines, precious stones, spices, plenty of corns, &c.; and he has given fome the gospel without these ; so that we may lay of them, Israel then shall dwell in safety alone : the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine, allo his heavens Mall drop down dew. Happy art thou, o Ifrael: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the fword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places, Deut. xxxiii. 28. 29. Barley-bread and the gospel is good cheer, if people receive it not in vain, Il. xxx. 20. 21. There is a treasure in the gospel, Christ in it is the greatest of all mercies, Matth. xiii. 44. Ah! shall such a price te put in the hands of fools, that have no heart to it!
(4.) It is God's last grace to the world, Heb.i.l. No other dispensation of grace shall ever the world see more. Now, Sirs, the last ship for Immanuel's land is making ready to go, therefore now or never, Hob. X. 26. 27. For if we fin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more facrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgementy and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. This gospel is the Lord's farewell sermon to the world. The Lord has made a fcast for the world these five