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Title: The Descent of the Branch into the Waters of Sorrow - to bring up the Election of Grace
Author: Church, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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WATERS OF SORROW***


Transcribed from the 1817 R. Thomas edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org  Many thanks to the British Library for allowing their
copy to be consulted.

                   [Picture: Public domain book cover]



                              _THE DESCENT_
                                    OF
                                THE BRANCH
                                 INTO THE
                           _WATERS OF SORROW_,
                               TO BRING UP
                          The Election of Grace.


                          BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF
                                A Sermon,

                               PREACHED BY
                                J. CHURCH,
                       _OF THE SURREY TABERNACLE_.

                      [Picture: Decorative divider]

            “AND HE CRIED UNTO THE LORD, AND THE LORD SHEWED HIM A
              TREE, WHICH WHEN HE HAD CAST INTO THE WATERS, THE
                           WATERS WERE MADE SWEET.”

            “AND IF WE ARE AFFLICTED IT IS FOR YOUR CONSOLATION.”

                                * * * * *

                                Southwark:
          Printed by R THOMAS, No, 11, RED LION STREET, Borough.

                                  1817.

                                * * * * *



A Sermon.


                           2 KINGS, 6th Chap. v. 6.

    _And the Man of God said_, _Where fell it_?  _And he shewed him the
    place_, _and he cut down a stick_, _and cast it in thither_, _and the
    iron did swim_.

ALL scripture is written for our instruction in the knowledge of the
Person and Work of God our dear Saviour, as the only foundation of our
hope, the object of our faith and love, the only refuge of guilty man,
the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his love,
his wisdom, and his infinite condescension.  Holy men of old spake, and
wrote the sacred scriptures, under the divine influence of the Holy
Ghost.  Christ is the main object they all believed in, looked to, hoped
for, and held forth to succeeding generations.  Christ is the substance
of the whole Bible; every passage, in some way or other, like the Star of
Bethlehem, points to him; and the most wise and spiritual children of the
Most High, as divinely taught, must be ever upon the look-out for Jesus
in every part of the divine word.  Christ is in every doctrine, in every
sacred illustrious character, in every type, in every ordinance, and in
every precept, in every promise, and every Old Testament history, as well
as every New Testament parable: and where the mind is sweetly influenced
by the love of Jesus, it gladly receives Christ wherever it is given by
the Spirit to see him.

I would not be wise above what is written, nor would I attempt to force
the meaning of the blessed Spirit, or misapply it to answer any purpose;
but I must humbly beg to remark, that in reading the circumstance which I
have selected for a text, my mind was at first forcibly struck with the
account; and looking up for wisdom to preach on it, and having been
favored with the gracious presence of my Lord in handling it, I could no
longer suppress my own feelings, with the earnest solicitations of many
that heard it, who were apparently blessed by this feeble testimony, I
present it in the simple form, as in part preached.  I have tried to
retain the substance, though I am not able to write verbatim, what was
delivered: I only aim at setting forth the glory of the dear Saviour, as
held forth in this passage, to the Church; that by comparing spiritual
truths with spiritual experiences, some of God’s tried people may be
built up in their most holy faith, and sweetly led to see that they have
not believed in vain.

We find in this history, that the Spirit of Prophecy in the Church was
increasing in the land; this was doubtless a favourable sign, for _where
there is no vision the people perish_; and truly happy is that land which
abounds in spiritual ministers, spiritual ordinances, and spiritual
people.  The increase of Prophets rendered it necessary that they should
be convened together, tor the promotion of each other’s knowledge and
comfort.  We find there was a College of them at Gilgal, over which the
prophet Elisha was a President, in the room of his Predecessor Elijah.
We would, indeed, humbly hope, this College of Prophets, was a blessing
to the Church, and that the Candidates for the Ministry were really moved
by the Holy Ghost, to take upon them that sacred office; but, alas! in
those days was Gehazi, and others, who, it is to be feared, never were
taught either Law or Gospel, experimentally; and may we not adopt the old
Church Service, and exclaim, with grief of heart, _As it was in the
beginning is now_?  But our most blessed Lord will do all his will,
perform all his gracious purposes, and as the great Head of the Church,
and Saviour of the body, he must bring all his redeemed to the knowledge
of himself, and at last home to glory, by all the means his own infinite
wisdom has planned, whether they are educated at a Collage, or not.
Human learning is a blessing to the Church, when sanctified; but most
mere letter-learned men, like Pilate, fix their Hebrew, Greek, and Latin
upon the head of Christ, instead of laying it at his feet, as Paul did.
Most probably the College of Gilgal was at this time full, so that some
of the Sons of the Prophets asked leave to go to Jordan, and reside
there—we are informed of the reason of this request, in the first of this
chapter.  Their piety, humility, and industry are evident.  The matter
was laid before Elisha and before the Lord, by him; so should God’s dear
ministers and people ever act—_for in the multitude of counsellors there
is safety_; and hence that very important advice, _In all thy ways
acknowledge him_, _and he shall direct thy paths_.  The humility of their
minds is as clearly revealed; they did not desire a mansion, or even an
elegant college, but only an humble cot—a little, with the fear and love
of God, is far, yea, infinitely preferable to great riches.  The main
study of ministers should be usefulness; great riches seldom promote much
spirituality in ministers or people: those who are running an heavenly
race, should not load themselves with thick clay.  The gospel ministry is
called a warfare, and an aged father in the church, observes to his son
Timothy, _No man that warreth should entangle himself in the affairs of
this life_—that is, if he can avoid it.

Not only the piety and humility of these good men are evident, but their
industry; not to be burdensome to any, they went to work themselves, in
the thicket, near the river Jordan, the resort of wild beasts; but the
appointed path of duty, is, in general, the place of safety; here the
Lord had directed them, and being in _his_ way, he doubtless honoured
them with _his_ protecting, supporting, and approving smile.—Elisha was
with them, superintending their affairs, and entreating the Lord for
their success.  This act, thus recorded by the divine Spirit, of the
conduct of the Prophets, in cutting down the thickets of trees, and
building an House, might perhaps have brought to their minds, the work to
which they were called, and for which they were preparing.—Sinners are
called Trees; the Gospel is compared to an Axe; Ministers are called
Labourers; and if they find but little success in their work, they are
directed to Jesus for strength, and to the blessed Spirit for wisdom to
aim right.  Perhaps Solomon alludes to this, when he says, _If the Iron
be blunt_, _he must put to the more strength_; _but wisdom is profitable
to direct_.—Agreeable to this is the language of our Lord to his
Disciples, when fishing; he said, _Follow we_, _and I will make you
fishers of men_.  Thus instructed by Jesus, they could spiritualize their
employment as fishers.  This World is called a Sea, the Church a Ship,
Men are compared to Fish, Ministers to fishermen, and the Gospel to a Net
cast into the Sea; thus out dear Lord improved any circumstance, for the
instruction of his dear people.

It appears, the Prophets were not ashamed to handle an hammer, or an axe,
nor did their Master forbid it; they were mechanics, as well as
preachers.  The Lord has often called the meanest of men to the highest
office in the Church of God, and made them eminently useful: David from
keeping Sheep; Elisha from the Plough’s-tail; Amos from gathering
Sycamore-fruit; the Apostles from their Barges; and those Prophets to
handle the axe, the saw, and the hammer.  Their work as Carpenters and
Builders, serves to remind them of their spiritual occupation—and it is
worthy of observation, that when the Holy Spirit shewed Zechariah in
vision, of the future opposition that would be made against the kingdom
of Jesus, in the Gospel Dispensation, he shewed him four Horns, and after
that, he shewed him four Carpenters, who were to fray them, cut them
down; and such were the Apostles and Ministers of the Gospel in the four
parts of the World; who were to fell trees, cut them down, lay them low,
fit them, square them according to God’s Word, and thus build them up an
habitation for God, through the Spirit.

Our text relates, that as one was felling a Beam, the head of his Axe
fell into the water; (most probably into Jordan).  This was a grief to
him, for the reason he assigned, so that he cried to Elisha, and said,
_Alas_, _master_, _for it is borrowed_!  Possessing a spirit of honesty,
and being too poor to make it good to the lender, he applied to Elisha,
not to work a miracle, that we can tell, but because the man’s Axe was
sunk, and the Prophet’s work stopped.  Thus, ministers have constantly
something to try them in their work; they well know the world is always
ready to reproach them, and the glorious cause they espouse, which fills
them with grief, but leads them to the dear Saviour, to appear in the
love of his heart, and in the power of his arm, for their deliverance,
who always kindly assures them his grace is sufficient for them.  Some
have conjectured that this man was an hypocrite, or a figure of all false
preachers, who run unsent of God; who preach a borrowed experience, a
borrowed system of religion; who are only in the letter, and not in the
spirit; of whose religion and preaching, like the poor man’s Axe, it may
be truly said, _Alas_! _master_, _for it was borrowed_.  And hence God
threatens the Prophets, that steal his words from others, and declares
they shall not profit this people at all; nor can unconverted, graceless
preachers profit the experimental children of God.  A preacher must be
taught the plague of his own heart, the spirituality of God’s Law, the
value of a precious Jesus, in his Person and Work, by God the Spirit,
before he can be useful to the Church.  We must first know, then speak
what we know, as the Apostle says, _We can but speak of the things which
we have seen_, _and we are his witnesses_.  Many may borrow words from
real saints, and may appear like believers indeed; nor can even the
brightest saint at all times tell a hypocrite from a saint, but the day
will declare it—_then_, _then shall ye return_, _and discern between the
righteous and the wicked_—a mere borrowed religion will let the soul sink
in death, but the free gift of God is eternal life—locked up in Christ,
manifested by the Spirit, and leads the soul to rest, live, and rejoice
alone in the everlasting love of God, the free, unmerited grace of an
everlasting covenant, the glorious person, and finished work of Christ,
as its all in all.

The Prophet seeing the situation of his pupil, cut down a stick from a
tree, and cast it into the water, when behold a most astonishing miracle
appears—the stick, contrary to its native tendency, sunk, and brought up
the iron head of the axe, which swam, contrary to its natural
gravitation.—The man no doubt joyfully received it, and went on with his
work.  What cannot, what will not the God of Israel do for his people, to
shew he is the Lord their God, that they are his servants, and that they
are acting agreeable to his will.  The Lord confirmeth the work of his
servants and frustrateth the tokens of liars; and surely the petition of
Elijah is exactly adapted, in many cases, to God’s dear ministers, when
he prayed, and said, _Lord God_, _let it be known this day that I am thy
servant_, _that this is thy people_, _and that I have done all these
things according to thy word_.

Our text reads thus: _But as one was felling a beam_, _the axe head fell
into the water_; _and he cried_, _and said_, _Alas_! _Master_, _for it
was borrowed_.  _And the man of God said_, _Where fell it_?  _And he
shewed him the place_.  _And he cut down a stick and cast it in thither_,
_and the iron did swim_—_therefore said he_, _take it up to thee_, _and
he put out his hand_, _and took it_.

In further considering this most instructive subject, I would take
occasion to notice our fall and recovery, in the two heads; Adam, the
sinful head and representative of all mankind; and the adorable Jesus,
the elect head of his dear people.  It is a solemn and a glorious truth,
that as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.  Or, as
the learned say it is literally in the Greek, All in Adam die; all in
Christ shall be made alive.  Here are the two heads, and no more—the one
represents all mankind—the second Adam, all his children given to him,
loved, redeemed, and saved by him.  Much has been said and written on the
subject of the Fall of Man: great indeed was that Fall, and dreadful has
been the consequences of it.  All the miseries in earth and hell are the
consequences of it.  Alas! how deeply fallen is man into the mire of
corruption, sin, and folly; and into the waters of deep affliction—sunk,
as iron cast or dropped into the waters of Jordan, which naturally
gravitates to its own centre.  Our nature was sunk so deep, that it was
apparently lost, and so incapacitated, that it has no more power to come
up out of it, than iron has to swim of itself, independent of a
miracle—covered over, sunk in earth, yea, the Apostle asserts, it is
earthly, sensual, and devilish; having fallen from wisdom, and become
foolish; from righteousness, and become a criminal; from holiness, and
become impure; and from happy freedom, to awful bondage.  The powers of
the soul, all the noble talents that were only lent; these are awfully
depraved, yea, so evil, that I am bold to assert, no man can believe he
is as vile as the Bible declares him, till he is put in the possession of
the faith of God’s elect.  There requires as much divine power, to credit
the state of man, as to believe in the salvation of the soul.  The same
faith the holy Spirit gives to see Jesus, believe in Jesus, and rest on
Jesus, is required to believe the desperate depravity of the human heart.
The same light in which I see the new man, I see the old; in the same
teaching I see truth, I discover the aboundings of error, and by the same
anointing I behold my standing in the second Adam, I see my fall in the
first.  But it is well for the people of God, who are acquainted with
their fallen natures, that the holy Spirit leads them to see the glorious
remedy in the gospel; that as the Law enters, sin being discovered,
weakness felt, corruption a burden, misery groaned under, and the awful
consequences deplored.  The Gospel is so highly esteemed by such persons,
and none know the value of the Gospel, but those who feel their sins, and
see them in the light of the Law, as deserving the wrath of a holy God;
and finding the utter impossibility of keeping the Law, in thought, word,
or deed—that the law condemns most justly for a sinful thought, as well
as a sinful action.  Hence the dear Redeemer, in his grand Sermon on the
Mount, preached this Law in its spirituality, and insisted upon it, that
anger in the heart against another without cause, was murder; and a
lustful glance of the eye, adultery.  Truly believing this testimony from
the word, and by the teaching of the Spirit out of the Law, we must
exclaim, What flesh can be saved?  The scripture answers, (and all the
election of grace is brought to believe it) _Therefore by the deeds of
the Law shall no flesh be justified in his sight_.  But it is the grand
design of the Gospel, to open to a poor sinner, the glorious plan of
salvation, by the joint work of the ever adorable trinity in unity.  And
it is the business of gospel ministers, to be ever stating the precious
truths of the Gospel, and pointing poor guilty man to the blessed means
whereby he can be justified and pardoned.  This leads me to notice the
conduct of the Prophet; when the man cried on account of his loss to him,
he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither, and the iron did swim.  Many
great events were done at Jordan, it divided when the Israelites were to
pass over to Canaan.  As soon as the Ark, borne upon the shoulders of the
priests, made its appearance, the waters parted.  Hence the Psalmist
asks, _What ailed thee_, _O thou Sea_, _that thou fleddest_, _and thou
Jordan_, _that thou wast driven back_.  Another text answers, _The waters
saw thee_, _O God_, _in the midst of Jordon_.  Joshua set up twelve
stones in remembrance of the surprising event.  Jacob passed over it
twice, once with a heavy disconsolate heart, in leaving his home—and
twenty years after, he passed the same place, and called to remembrance
the gracious conduct of his God; _with this Staff I passed over Jordan_,
_and now I am become two bands_.  Elijah and Elisha smote the waters of
Jordan with the same Mantle, but the most distinguished honour that was
ever conferred on Jordan, was the descent of the lovely Son of God into
them, by the ordinance of baptism, when the adorable Spirit alighted upon
him, visible, though in the manner in which a Dove hovers in its descent;
and Jesus was anointed to enter into his great work, while the Father
bore testimony to him as his beloved Son, in whom he rested, pleased with
him, and all his dear people in him.  In the waters of Jordan the Axe
head fell, and gravitating to its centre, sunk deep, no doubt, in the
mire at the bottom, but a stick is cut down, cast in, sinks deep, and
brings up the head, by causing it to swim—this was the means; and who can
read this circumstance with attention, but must be reminded of him, who
is the stem of Jesse, who was so many years typified by the rod of Moses,
who performed so many wonders for the children of Israel, and is, in a
certain sense, doing the same for his people in the wilderness to this
day.  He was also typified by the rod of Aaron, which budded, blossomed,
and yielded almonds—to all human appearance, a very unpromising object, a
dry stick.  This is he, of whom the prophet Isaiah spake, perhaps in
allusion to Aaron’s rod, _He shall come up before him like a tender
plant_, _and as a root out of a dry ground_; to all human appearance, a
very unlikely person to be the Messiah, the Saviour of men.  But another
chapter holds forth his qualifications, _And there shall come forth a rod
out of the stem of Jesse_, _and a branch shall grow out of his root_.  So
says the Lord by another Prophet, _Behold my servant_, _the Branch_.  And
the Lord again, by Ezekiel, says, _I will take off the top of his branch
a young twig_, _and I will set it_, _and under his branches shall dwell
all fowl of every wing_.  And perhaps, in allusion to this, the dear
Saviour compares himself to a grain of mustard seed, small when sown, but
large when grown, so that the birds of the air lodge in the branches
thereof.  This was to shew the reality of his human nature, his amazing
condescension, his deep abasement, and the meanness of his descent.  As
man, humbled himself to the form of a servant, and as the saviour of the
body, of which he is the head, the Father called him to the great work of
redemption, and said, _Thou art my servant_, _O Israel_, _in whom I will
be glorified_.  He gave him to the church, to deliver it from the ruins
of the fall, and, as a Branch, he was cut off from the land of the
living.  Hence the prediction, _Messiah shall be cut off_, _but not for
himself_.  He was indeed cut off from the synagogue of the Jews, from the
carnal worldling, and from the proud Pharisee.  He was cut off from his
own relatives, from his own dear disciples for a time, from every earthly
comfort and convenience, and cut off from the land of the living, by a
most violent, painful, and shameful death; _for the transgression of my
people was he stricken_.  He was cast into the deep waters.  He had been
baptized in water at Jordan—now he must be baptized in blood, and sweet,
and tears.  Hence his deep afflictions are called waters; and he sighed
and said, _Save me O God_, _the waters are come in unto my soul_.  _I
sink in deep mire_.  _I am come into deep waters_, _where the floods
overflow me_.  _Deliver me out of the deep waters_, _and out of the
mire_.  _Let me be delivered from them that hate me_.  Hence we see our
dear Lord sinking with the blood of our guilt, bearing our sins,
sustaining our curse, and enduring the hell that we had merited—

    He sunk beneath our heavy woes,
    To raise us to his throne.

This tells his gracious design to fetch us up from destruction, to make
atonement for all our transgressions, to fulfil all the Law’s demands, to
satisfy the justice of God, to harmonize every divine attribute, to
redeem his dear people from the curse, to open a way of access to God, to
sanctify every temporal blessing, to incense the gift of the Holy Ghost,
and that our old man might be crucified, that the whole body of death
might be destroyed, to conquer sin, to subdue Satan, to bar the mouth of
hell, to rend the vail of the temple, to open the pearly gates of the
celestial city, to remove spiritual death, to take away the sting of
temporal death, to finish transgression, make an end of sin, bring in an
everlasting righteousness, make reconciliation for iniquity, and to make
himself an everlasting name; and he must, he shall have, all the glory,
from first to last.  Thus Jews died for these grand purposes—death is our
life; he hath raised us up in himself, raised up our poor fallen natures
indeed; and by virtue of his work we are restored to the image of God in
regeneration, to communion with God in conversion, and to the likeness of
Christ in our resurrection.  Glory be to his dear name for stooping so
low to raise us so high; nor will he ever give over the wonders of his
grace till we are raised out of the mire of corruption, indwelling sin,
and out of the waters of all affliction; for the Lord will perfect his
begun good work, for his mercy endureth for ever.

Thus we see our fall, and our recovery in Christ.  Not that the dear
people of God, in one sense, ever fell out of the flavour of God, or were
ever liable to be damned; but the nature of sin in God’s people is the
same as in the reprobate, and requires an infinite satisfaction—this
being given a free proclamation is issued out to all who feel their need
of this Jesus; they are welcome to him, and he has graciously assured
such he will in no wise cast them out—and this is a promise worth a
thousand worlds, and gladly accepted by them that believe, _That Jesus
Christ came into the world to save sinners_.—Praise ye the Lord.

There is one thought more worthy our attention as the people of God.
When the Apostle enumerates the vast privileges of God’s dear children,
as one with Christ, the property of Christ, as Christ is God’s—he infers
that the ministry of the Gospel is none of the smallest in the inventory:
_all are yours_, _whether Paul or Cephas_—implying that the calling and
qualification of ministers is for the Church: and the Apostle adds, in
another place, that even the very afflictions of the ministers are for
the Church.  Hence, he says, _If we be afflicted it is for your
consolation_.  And again, _All things are for your sakes_.  So then death
worketh in us, but life in you.  For this cause we faint not.  As a
Candle which burneth, consumeth away itself to give light to others, so
it is true of ministers; they are quickened by the Spirit, united to
Jesus, love his person, name, and work, his truths, his people, and his
ways.  And being called into public life, by the great head of the
church, they are cut off from the world and its maxims, its religion, and
its bare form the power.  They are cast into many waters of affliction;
they are plunged deep, even into the mire, to bring up some poor soul by
their instrumentality.  Why are they led to feel more deep the depravity
of the human heart, but that they might be able to describe its workings.
Why are they so deeply exercised with the discipline of the Law, but that
they might describe the cases of them who are under its workings, and so
often liable to a spirit of bondage.  Why have they uncommon temptations
from the adversary, but that they, like their divine Lord, might
sympathize with the tempted, and being well acquainted with Satan’s
devices, that they might expose them.  Why cast down because of the
troubles of the way, but that they might seek only to Jesus; that they
might learn, experimentally, how to make use of a precious Saviour, as
exactly adapted for such cases.  Why more reproached.  Why more exposed
to temptations.  Why is Satan more busy with them.  Why, perhaps, more
tried in their families; plagued with erroneous characters of every
description; tried in the world; perplexed in the church; in perils often
among false brethren; exercised in mind, with the sins of professors; the
weakness of God’s own dear children; the envy of their own brethren; and
the aboundings of iniquity and error in the World.  The fears of not
being called to the work aright; the little success they meet with; their
dead seasons in the pulpit; and the very little progress in the Church
among God’s children, in their knowledge of divine things.  The
instability of their hearers; the cruel criticisms, uncharitable
reflections, and unpleasant speeches, mixed with the contempt of the
proud.  The apostacy of some from the truth, after a blazing profession,
and professing to be called under our ministry; with the envy of poor
niggardly professors, who, perhaps, never gave a shilling to the cause of
Jesus, yet grudge every good thing the Lord gives them, and they receive
with the sanction of the great head of the church, the heir of all
things.  These, and many more afflictions the dear ministers of the
sanctuary experience.  Oh! if many pious young men, who are anxious for
the ministry, even from the best of motives, if they could foresee what
they would pass through before they finish their course, they would
venture forward with more trembling steps than they do.  These trials
made one of the greatest preachers (next to our dear Lord himself)
exclaim, _Who is sufficient for these things_?  But glory be to Jesus,
our sufferings are of God, and our trials are not merely for ourselves,
as believers, but for the sake of God’s dear children.  We are often cast
into these deep waters, to dive after some who have sunk very low in
soul, either in the waters of affliction, or in the deep mire of known,
felt, lamented, and painful corruptions.  This teaching made Paul
understand all things, and all men: if he met with a soul in deep
terrors, he could describe their state, and point out their feelings,
having known the terrors of the Lord.  If in bondage, if filled with
fears, if depressed in soul, if exercised with fiery darts, if fearful of
falling away, if fallen into sin, if distressed with a load of trials, if
persecuted, reproached, apparently forsaken, and dejected, he knows how
to prescribe the remedy, as well as to describe the state, both is a
mercy—and to be led by the divine Spirit, to be deeply acquainted with
sin and its miseries, with Jesus and his salvation, experimentally; to be
called, and enabled to preach both, with the testimony of God to the
soul, is a mercy for a minister; and what is he without such teaching?
For the whole design of the Spirit, leading to all the miseries of our
fallen nature, is but to endear Christ, and that we might prize the
precious truths of the Gospel, as they exhibit to us the only remedy for
all our woes; the mystery of the adorable trinity in unity, with the
several covenant acts of love to the election of grace; the glorious
undertaking of our adorable surety; the exact suitability of Jesus; his
infinite birth, his infinite life of obedience, his most wonderful death,
his glorious resurrection, his prevalent intercession, his covenant
engagements, his precious promises, his gracious presence, his
astonishing pity, his boundless compassion, his free grace, his saving
offices, his glorious perfections, his mediatorial glories, his sweet
titles, his precious characters, and his numerous appearances for his
church.  These clearly stated to God’s chosen, without the mixture of
free-will, human performances, or any of the effects of old Adam’s
nature, will be owned and blessed to God’s own children, their glorious
remedy for every malady; while the faithful minister will be led to see
the gracious design of his God, in permitting him to feel, and leading
him into deep waters.

I conclude by observing once more on this subject, that all the Lord’s
children are the subjects of many sinkings of soul, arising from inbred
sin, felt guilt, lamented depravity, heavy trials, sore besetments,
family troubles, and grievous backslidings.  The holy Spirit is always
carrying on his own work, by leading us daily to see and feel what we
are, as sinners, in the first Adam’s head; and what we are, as saints, in
Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven.  This is blessed
teaching, it leads from all self-righteousness, self-wisdom,
self-dependance, and self-adulation; it leads alone to the dear God-man
Mediator, as the glorious fountain of untreated good, as the centre of a
believing soul, and as its eternal all in all.  The teachings of the
Spirit, though accompanied with numerous trials, known only to those who
are taught of God, are, at the same time, sweet evidences of our eternal
election, divine predestination, gracious adoption, compleat
justification, and eternal pardon.  And the holy Spirit has engaged to
act as a gracious comforter in the soul, to fetch us up when sunk in
sorrow, dismay, and despair; and will put this sweet song in our mouths,
_He brought me up also out of the horrible pit and mirey clay_.  And he
will also quicken our mortal bodies, and bring us up again from the
territories of the grave; for the Lord said, _I will bring again from
Bashan_; _I will bring my people up again from the depths of the Sea_.

                                * * * * *

                                  FINIS.





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