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THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Isa. lxi. 1.—To bind up the broken hearted.
Maving considered that brokenness of. heart •which is here meant,—-what about sin the is broken for,—and described the nature of a broken heart,—we go on, as was proposedj
IV. To shew how the Lord Christ binds up and heals the broken hearted.— The great Physi cian uses two sorts~of bands for a broken heart, he binds them up with inner and with outward bands. . . i. With inner bands, which go nearest the fore,
the pained broken heart. And these are two
The sirst inner band is,
Christ's own Spirit, the Spirit of adoption." The hearts of the disciples were fore broken at the news of Jesus leaving them, and it behoved them to bleed a while. But he tells them, he
would would send a healing band for their broken hearts: John, xiv. 16. "And I will pray the Father^" said he,"" and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with ygu for ever." Our Lord breaks his people's hearts by his Spirit, and yet by the same Spirit binds them up again. — In the sirst work he is the Spirit of bondage, and some may be long under his hand this way. iTence we read of some " who, through sear of death, were all their Use-time subject to bondage," Heb. ii. 15. The Old-Testament church had much of this Spirit, " I am afflicted," says the psalmist, Psal. lxxxviii. 15. " and ready to die, from my youth up; while I suffer- thy terrors, I am distracted."—In the next work, he is the Spirit of adoption: Rom.. viii. 15. " For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to sear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." He comes quickening, sanctifying, reviving, and comforting the soul. Therefore pray with David, Psal. Ii. 11.12. \«Take not thy holy Spirit from me; restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit."*—The second inner band is,
Faith in Christ, (the band of the covenant), which he works in the heart by his Spirit. Faith is a healing band, for it knits the soul, Ephes. iii. 17; "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by saith." v The woman with the bloody issue, when she got a touch of the hem of Christ's garments, was presently made whole. Thus the brokenhearted sinner, when he gets hold of Christ b.y saith, is bound up with him in one mystical body, virtue comes from him for the soul's healing. The virtue of his blood takes away guilt; the .virtue of his Spirit breaks the power of sin. The apostle prescribes this healing band to the I 3 broken
broken-hearted jailor: Acts, xvi. 31. " Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou (halt be saved, and thy house;" and the more saith that there is, the band will be the stronger, and the soul the sooner healed. Much unbelief, and little saith, keep the wounds of the foul long open: Psal. xxvii. 13. "I had sainted unless I had believed to see the jzoodness of the Lord in the land of the Jiving." A broken-hearted sinner staving off and disputing against his believing, is .like a child which has a broken k-g, doing what he can to Tear off the bands with which it must be bound up ; but he must admit them, or his leg will never heal: John, xi. 40. "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldft see the glory of God?" Peter walking on the water, was like to break and sink quite, Matth. xiv. 30.; the cause was his unbelief, ver. 31. "Jesus said unto him, O thou of little saith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?"—There are also,
2. Outward bands lor a broken heait.—These also are two.
The firjl outward band is his own word, especially the promises of the gospel. This band 'Peter held out to the broken-hearted company, Acts, ii. 38, 39. "Repent," said he, " and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are asar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."' This word has a sovereign virtue for healing, Psal. cvii. 20. "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." Our Lord wraps up a promise, in a soft band of love; and he makes them lay it to vixk their own hands 5 and the more closely they
tie tie it about their broken hearts with the hand of saith, they will be the sooner whole. Say not, What can a word do? An encouraging word from men will wondersully raise a carnally-dejected mind; and if so, certainly the Lord's word will heal a broken heart. A promise will be, in this case, like the opening of a box of persumes to one ready to saint away: Song, i. 3. " Because of the savour of thy good ointments, thy name is like ointment poured forth, therefore do.the virgins love thee."
The second outward band is his own seals of the covenant, Acts, ii. 38. quoted above. These seals are for our ingrasting into, and having communion with Jesus Christ, and so are most sit means to bind . up hearts broken under a sense of lin, when they are partakers of these in saith. Hence many have been healed at such occasions; though indeed the water is not moved at all times, or at least the brokenhearted sinner does not always step into it. It was an ancient custom, though that will not justi• fy it, to put a white garment on persons when they were baptised. But surely our Lord has taken off the spirit of heaviness, and given the garment of praise to many at sealing ordinances. The eunuch, aster he was baptised, went on his way rejoicing. The sorrowsul disciples were also made glad, when aster his resurrection Jesus made himselt known to them in the breaking of bread, Luke, xxiv. 35. All these bands are the Physicians absolute property. The poor patient has nothing of his own to be a band to his wounds. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; saith is his work; the word and sacraments are his ordinances, and their efficacy is all from him; and thus he heals them. His kindness in this instance, we may take up in these three things.
(t.) They arc justisied and pardoned: Job, xxxiii. 23. 24. " If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to ihew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom." The sting of guilt is taken away, that poison is carried off, by a sull and free pardon. Thus the Gck man is whole: Isa. xxxiii. 24. "And the inhabitant shall riVt say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." The hlood cs Christ, with which by saith the scul is bound up, cleanses the wound, and heals it: 1 John, J. 7. " But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have sellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
(2.) They are sanctisied : 1 Cor. vi. 1 r. " And suen were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctisied, but ye are justisied, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." The Spirit is a sanctifying spirit; saith a sanctifying grace: Acts, xv. 9. "And put no difserence between us and them, sanctifying their hearts by faith." The sacraments are sanctifying ordinances: 1 Cor. xii. 1 j. "For by one Spirit, we are all baptised into one body,— and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." By these the power of corruption, as to its ieign, is broken; lusts are gradually killed, and grace is made to grow.
Lastly., They are comsorted: Job, xxxiii. 25. 76. "His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: He shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he lhall be savourable unto him: and he shall see his sace with joy: for he will render ui;to man his righteousness." AU