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of adversity." Isaiah, pointing to Christ, says "This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing," Isaiah xxviii. 12. And Christ, calling to such, says, "Come unto me, and I will give you rest." Yet they cannot come to him till the Father draws them.

Now I know that temptations and legal terrors are common to the reprobate as well as to the elect; yet I think this teaching of God out of his law differs much from all their terrors and convictions: and do you observe what follows:

1. There is a blessing pronounced upon these poor souls that are thus dealt with, thus chastened and taught out of the law. And this blessing is not a temporal one, or a blessing of temporal things; nothing of this appears in the text, it is therefore one of the spiritual blessings with which God has blessed us in heavenly places in Christ; for the blessing promised in the text is rest, which is a new covenant blessing, and is promised to the people of God: "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law, that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity," &c.

Now, what is God's chief blessing? I answer, God's chief blessing is life: "Upon mount Zion God commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." And sure I am that those distressed souls, whose case the Saviour describes in his sermon on the mount, (some of whom mourned, some wept, some hungered, some were poor in spirit, some

were meek, &c. and upon all of whom the Lord pronounced the blessing), were under this law-work, or were under the chastening hand of God the Father, and he was then teaching them out of his law.


3. Now, as the blessing of God is life, it appears plain to me that these souls, under this lawteaching, are secretly quickened by God the Father; and this I think is what the Saviour intimates when he says, For, as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will," John v. 21. For under this, the Father's teaching, poor sinners are strangely raised up, alarmed out of all their carnal security, and effectually awakened from their bed of sloth, and from their death in sin; and they are raised up from their state of insensibility, and brought to judgment; and, if they are not secretly quickened, it will be hard to tell what this blessing of God upon them is, even while God is chastening them, and teaching them out of his law.

Moreover, the keenness of their sensations under God's chastening hand; the motions of their hearts towards God; their earnest and incessant cries day and night unto God; the diligent searches after God; the keen hunger after righteousness, and after the bread of life; the parching thirst that is upon them while their souls are scorched with the fiery law which God describes, calling them the poor and needy, that seek water and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, saying, "I the Lord will hear them, I the God of

Israel will not forsake them:" are all such as the prodigal son felt when he came to himself: and, if he had no life, how could he have motion towards God? and yet he arose and came to his Father, and God says he had life: "This my son was dead, and is alive again," &c.

4. The Saviour tells us, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth;" and again, "And when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment." And it is under the secret operations and convincing power of the Spirit that the hand-writing appears against us, and an angry God before us. And I think all the Saviour's real followers were under the Father's teaching in the days of his flesh; for he compares them to women in labour when he left them; nor were they enlarged, brought forth, or born again by the perfection of love, till the day of pentecost was fully come. Then, but not till then, were their fears and torments cast out, no, not even the fear of men; for they were all shut up till then, for fear of the Jews. Yet these had life in their souls, as appears by Peter; "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Yea, the Spirit of life was in them, though he did not fill them with his joys and comforts; hence the Saviour tells them, upon their desire to command fire from heaven upon the Samaritans, that they knew not what manner of spirit they were of.

5. It is the Spirit that discovers the heart;

"The Spirit in man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of the belly,” Prov. xx. 27. I do not understand that text as most do, who make that candle, or spirit, to be the soul of man; for Satan blinds that too much; it is too dim to search all the innermost parts of the belly, besides, that candle never found out the sin of unbelief, and therefore we want a better. God says, "I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees,” Zeph. i. 12. And this was fulfilled in the apostles' days; for, when Christ had inspired and illuminated the apostles by his Holy Spirit, he tells them that men do not light a candle to put it under a bushel, or under a bed, but on a candlestick, that all that come in may see the light; and calls them the light of the world, and tells them to let their light shine before men; and, when he had searched out his own elect with these candles, he called for the Roman sword, and punished severely the carnally-secure Jews, who were settled on their lees.

6. James says, "God of his own will begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures," James i. 18. And his word is called the incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever; and which seed never leaves us, but terminates in a spiritual birth; "Being born again," says Peter, "not of corruptible, but of incorruptible seed; the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever."

It is well known that there must be a spiritual

begetting and quickening before there can be a spiritual birth; and it is with the word that God begets us; and Peter says that this word is an incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever; and to this agrees Christ; " My word is spirit, and my word is life." But you may object, and say, the word of life is peculiar to the gospel; whereas you are speaking of a law-work, and the law is the ministration of death. Well, let me make this matter more clear, and do be observant.

It is not always a sentence, or a passage of the law, or from the law, which enters the soul of a sinner when he is first summoned to the bar of God: this was not the case with the great apostle of the Gentiles; the voice that called to him was, "Saul! Saul! why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." The light which attended his voice shone round about him, and about them that journeyed with him; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to Paul. Now I have no doubt but that voice quickened Paul; "The time cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." The above passage, Saul, Saul, &c. is not to be found in the moral law. The apostle describes this word of the Lord, and the entrance of it into his heart, and what effect it had upon him, when he says, " For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword; piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,

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