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but to the poor in fpirit, they sunk like a refreflaing oil into their bones.--From these words I take the following

DOCTRINE, That as the tidings of the gospel will

indeed be good and welcome tidings to those who are meek, and poor in fpirit, fo Jesus is, by his heavenly Father, employed on the great work of preaching the good tidings of the gospel to finners, especially to such who are meek, and spiritually poor in their own eyes. In handling this doctrine we propose,


I. To consider this meekness and poverty, and shew who are these meek poor

H. To explain the good tidings of the gospel, and, as we go along, shew that they are good and welcome tidings to such persons.

HII. Shew how this great work of preaching is, and hath been performed by Christ.

IV. Give the reasons of the doctrine.

V. Make fome practical improvement of the whole.--We are then,

I. To consider this meekness and poverty, and few who are these meek poor ones.

- As to this, we obferve, that this meekness comprehendz in it,

1. A pretling scene of utter emptiness in one's felf: Rom. viii, 18. « For I know that in me (that is in my fleih) dwelleth no good thing." A poor man going abroad, sees this and the other thing, in the houses of the rich; but when he comes home, he sees none of them there.

Thus, the meek poor foul looks through himself, and there, as in himself, he sees nothing but emptiness of all goodness, no holiness, wisdom, nor strength. The heart, which should be the garden of the Lord,


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appears as a bare muir, a wild, a waste. He is ready to cry out, O barren, dry, fapless heart and nature of mine! Agur looks for knowledge, and he says, Prov. xxx. 2. 3. “ Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy." The prodigal looks to his provisions, and says, “ How many

his red servants of my father have bread enough, and to spare, and I perish with hunger ?" . Paul reckons up his whole felf, and the sum total is nought: 2 Cor. xii. 11. “ For in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing."--This meekness comprehends,

2. A pressing sense of sinfulness : Rom. vii. 14. “ We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, fold under sin." He looks to the whole of himself, and he fees nothing on him but rags; a finful nature, a corrupt heart, unclean lusts, and an unholy life. He must rank his righteousness with his unrightousness, his duties with his sins, for he is defiled with them all : Isa. Ixiv. 6. “ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” These meek poor ones see themselves the very picture of rank poverty, having only filthy rags, death printed on their face by want, and overgrown with the vermin of filthy lufts. They see themselves not only nothing, but worse than nothing, while they look over these frightful accounts of the debt of fin, which stand against them, and for which they have nothing to pay.---This meekness comprehenda,

3. A preiling sense of misery by fin. Like the prodigal, they see themselves ready to perish with hunger. Debt is a heavy burden to an honest


heart, and filthiness to one that desires to be clean : Rom. vii. 24. " O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” They look about them, and see themselves in a cloud of miseries, arising from their fins. Their poverty presseth them down. They are obliged to do many things which otherwise they would not, and cannot attain to other things which they defire to arrive at: Rom. vii. 19. “ For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” It feparates them from that cominunion with God which they would otherwite en.., joy, makes them fit within, mourning without the fun, when otherwise they might walk abroad in the light of the Lord's countenance. This presseth their souls to the duft.--It comprehends,

4. A sense of utter inability to help one's self : 2 Cor. iii.


« Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves.” They see themselves in the mire, but unable to help themselves out; therefore these poor men cry unto the Lord, Psal. xxxiv. 6. They see an emptiness and weakness in all their external privileges, their gifts, duties, yea, their graces, to save and help them. They count all things but loss for Christ, and with to be found in Christ, not having on their own righteousness, which is of the law. They find the sting in their conscience, but cannot draw it out; guilt is a burden, but they cannot throw it off; lusts are strong and uneasy, but they are not able to master them; and this presles them fore.-This meekness comprehends,

5. A sense of the abfolute need of a Saviour, and of help from heaven : 2 Cor. iii. 5. « But our sufficiency is of God.” The pride of the spirit is beat down, they lie down at the Lord's feet, saying, Jer. xxxi. 18. « Thou hast chastised me, and I was


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chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for thou art the Lord my God.” They see they will be ruined if their help come not from above. Their case appears desperate to all remedies, but thofe which are under the management of an eternal omnipotent hand. They say to their fouls, as the king of Israel said to the woman in the time of famine, “ If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?" --It comprehends,

6. A fense as to utter unworthiness of the Lord's help; they fee nothing which they have to recommend them to the Lord's help. They dare not stand upon worth, like those proud beggars, who would have others to value them, and who value themselves, on what they have been or done. Like the centurion, they fay, “ Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under


roof." Hence there is a word put in for them, Isa. Iv. 1. “ Ho! every one that thiríteth, come ye to the water, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price. They own the Lord would be just, if he should never vouchsafe his mercy and grace to them, but exclude them for ever from his presence : Jer. iii. 22. “ It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compaffions fail not." They fee a lothfomenefs in the best things about them, in their reformation, mourning, their desires of Chrift, wrestling, and prayers for mercy; so that they conclude, if ever he notice them, it must be altogether for his own name's fake.--This meekness comprehends,

7. An earnest desire as to the supply of foul-wants: Mat. v. 6. " Blessed are they which do hunger and

thirst cable

thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”' A greedy many we say, is always poor, because natural poverty consists rather in the desire of what we want, than in the want itself. There are many who want spiritual good things, yet are not poor in spirit, because they are not pained with the want of them. But the poor in spirit are pained with the want of spiritual good things. They pant for them, Pfal. xlii. 1. ; long for them, thirit for them, Pfal. lxiii. I. Hence we read of the expectation of the poor, which shall not perish for ever, Pfal. ix. 18.--It comprehends,

Lastly,. A hearty contentment in submitting to any method of help which the Lord will prescribe : Acts, ix. 7.“ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Beggars must not be chusers; these meek poor ones are content with Christ on any terms, while others stand contending about them. Necessity has no law, and hunger will break through stone-walls. Whoso are thus situated, will be for a Saviour, a righteousness, and holiness, at any rate.' They are content to be taught, content to be managed : Pfal. xxv. 9. “ The meek will he guide in judgement; and the meek will he teach his way.They are content to part with all, for the enriching pearl of great price.- We are now,

II. To explain the good tidings of the gospel, and, as we go along, shew that they are good and welcome tidings to such persons.

The poor in spirit are wounded by the law; the gospel brings a healing medicine to these wounds. It suits their case fully, and declares to them the good news of a salve for all their fores. Solomon tells us, Prov. xxv. 25.“ As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Appli

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