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come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier, shall come up the myrtle-tree. a”. This force shall the word have in thine heart, for planting of grace and destroying of sin.
“They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the vine in Lebanon."b
If thou wouldest return, apply this, "He shall return." If thou art decayed, apply this, “They shall revive as the corn." If thou wouldest flourish in grace, apply, "They shall flourish as the vine." If thou wouldest be a sweet-smelling savour in all places, apply, "The scent thereof shall be as the vine of Lebanon."!
Seeing all these good things come from the powerful ordinances of the Lord, let us give him no rest till he bestow these blessings upon us. When the pastor of the people pronounceth the blessing, apply this promise, “I will bless thee.':c
Wouldest thou enjoy the ordinances of God,
and a blessing upon them? "I will satiate the souls of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with goodness.
# Isa. Iv, 3, 11, 12, 13. b Hos. xiv, 7.
vi, 27. d Jer, xxxi, 14.
“I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. a
“And I will make them, and the places round about my hill, a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her increase, and the earth shall yield her fruit.”b
These promises are both for pastor and people; the pastor shall be able to teach with knowledge and understanding; his soul shall be replenished with fatness; his teaching shall be as a seasonable shower of blessing, that shall make the people fruitful.
The people must apply these promises, that God would give them able teachers; and that they may find their ministry blessed unto them, according to these promises; that they may be fed with knowledge and understanding, that they may be satisfied with goodness, and that their teaching may be seasonable showers of blessing to make then fruitful; as it is promised that the trees shall yield their fruit. How much are God's ordinances to be desired, by which he doth convey so many blessings unto his people! Let us give him no rest, till he furnish Jerusalem with her ordinances and officers.
• Jer. iii, 15. bEzek. xxxiv, 26, 27.
If thau enjoyest grace, or means of grace,
and fearest the losing of them. “Upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle of a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from the storm and from the rain.a
“I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment; lest
hurt it, I will keep it night and day.b
“His place of defence shall be the muni. tion of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure.”
Hast thou any glorious grace, or means of grace! Arm thyself with the power of God, in his promises; for the devil will use all his forces and subtilty to deprive thee of them. Hast thou a glorious minister, and pure ordinance? Do glorious graces begin to spring in thine heart, and thou seest no means to defend them? Apply, "Upon all thy glory he shall be a defence: his defence shall be a munition of rocks."
Seest thou a heart of sin in thyself, or the rage of the wicked, that causeth thee to fear the loss of them? Apply, "There shall be a covering for a shadow in the day from the heat."
Doth the devil raise up storms, or outward persecutions? Apply, "The defence and covering shall be a place of re
a Isa. iv. 5, 6. b Isa. Xxxyii, 3. clsa. xxxiii, 16.
Kuge, and covert for the storm and for the rain."
Fcarest thou the subtilties of thine enemies; that, unawares, when thou thinkest not on them, they will surprise thee, and steal thy blessing from thee? Apply, "I the Lord will keep it night and day.” If thou fearest God will not continue thus to thee, appl.y, “I will water it every moment;' not one moment, but he will be adding and nourishing; "bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure.” When thou art banished from God's ordin
ances and desirest to return. “The ransomed. of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and sighing shall fly away."
"And I will bring you to Zion. If any of thine be driven out to the outmost parts: of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetcb thee.c
“Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd
: seeketh out his fibck, in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and deliver them.out
*Isa:. XXXV, 10.. b Jer
... 14;. cDeut. XXX, 4;.
of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries; and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and
upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away; and bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. as
If thou mournest for God's ordinances, apply, “Thou shalt not only return to Zion, but return with joy, and sorrow shall fly away." If thou art but one amongst many which desire it, and fearest thou shalt be left among them, apply, “I will take you one of a city, and two of a tribe. b:Though thou art but one of a city that returneth to the Lord, he will bring thee to Zion from all the rest.
If thou art far removed from all means, and that the Lord hath done it for thy sin, apply, “Though thou wert cast into the a Ezek. xxiv, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 6 Jer. ü, 14.