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verseness. Reader, when thou art going to carry thy complaints to thy fellow Christian, bring forth all the best as well as the worst, and ask thyself whether thou believest all these evident tokens of

perdition which thou art going to bring forth, and whether conscience will put her amen to thy complaining oration; and if not, depend upon it that thou art going on with this old cursed trade of lying. But I must drop a few words on the second part of my text;

My wound is incurable without transgression.” Job's wound, strictly speaking, was occasioned by the exhibition of the law to Job's mind, and the application of it to Job's conscience, which discovers our sin. Paul calls it the hand-writing that is against us, and contrary to us; and of this Job complains: “ Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth. Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths.” A sight of sin, and even of the sins of his youth, appeared in this handwriting; and sad bondage always attends it; of which Job complains when he calls his bondage the stocks; and as the law lays open all our evil ways, Job complains of God's looking narrowly to all his paths.

Another of Job's inward wound was, the terrors of the law, which terrify the soul with fears of future judgment; and these are attended

part

with cutting rebukes, reproofs, and the piercing sentence of the law: “ For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.” Job was sorely assaulted with the blasphemous suggestions and fiery darts of Satan; besides the hard treatment of his friends, the loss of property and family, and the sore afflictions of body which he laboured under; and, if what the Jews assert be true, that Job was seven years in this furnace, it was a long, a sharp, and a gricvous trial; but it ended gloriously. Now this wound was incurable. So says carnal reason, so says unbelief, and so say the lips of those that lie against their right. And this incurable wound was inflicted without any transgression as the procuring cause thereof. This Job contradicts himself: “Thou makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.” Again: “I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men ?" Job vii. 20. Various are the voices in this book; unbelief, carnal reason, desperation, and inflamed wrath, have their voices; faith, conscience, and truth, have their voices also. But all that has been advanced by infidelity, anger, or blind reason, at the grand trial is put to silence, and falls to the ground; but not one word spoken by the Spirit, not one word spoken in faith, and with the testimony of conscience, but what is highly honoured and fulfilled, to the glory of God, and to the comfort of Job.

VOL. XVI.

WII

CHARITY DESCRIBED IN ITS FOUNTAIN, IN ITS

CHANNEL, AND IN ITS STREAMS.

COLOSSIANS iii. 14, “ And above all these things put on charity, wbich is the bond

of perfectness."

All that I have ever read upon this mysterious subject of charity, both in ancient and in modern productions, and all that I have ever heard upon it from the pulpit, or among the saints of God, served only to leave me just where I was; I never could come to a right understanding of it, so as to be satisfied about it, and settled in it. I found many that were in the possession of it, and in the enjoyment of it, but they could give no consistent account of it. I once went to a prayermeeting where a company of young men met to pray and expound the Scriptures; and charity, with the properties of it, so fully set forth in 1 Cor. 13th chapter, was the subject that was to be expounded that night; and several spoke upon it, but they knew nothing of it, either in heart or in head.

Many glorious things are spoken of this gospel grace in the holy Scriptures; and, as liberality to the poor is strongly enforced and highly commended in the word of God, many have mistaker this grace, and imagined that it signifies almsgiving; and to such Paul, in his account of charity, has proved a stumblingblock, when he sets charity above all ministerial and miraculous gifts and operations, and even above all the liberality of men, saying; “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,

and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity,. it profiteth me nothing.” Then they ask, If giving all one's goods to feed the poor be not charity, what is? Charity is a gift from God: “ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning: Charity is one of God's good and perfect gifts, as appears from Paul's advice and counsel to the Corinthians: “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.

. Follow after charity.” The best gift that ever was or ever will be given to men is the Lord Jesus Christ; and the next is the most holy and everblessed Spirit of God. The next gift is eternal life, which is God's gift to us in Christ, and comes to us by the Spirit. The gift of an everlasting righteous

ness is a most invaluable and wonderful gift; and so is charity. These are the best gifts.

The fountain of charity is God; he is the fountain of living waters, and charity is the river of pleasures that flows from that fountain, and is no less than the self-moving, free, sovereign, discriminating, and everlasting love of God to the sons of men, set upon us in Christ Jesus. This the Son of God saw in eternity; this the Son of God highly approved; with this he closed, and that with all the love of his deity, and undertook for us, which secured this love to us in him for evermore. And of this our celebrated poet sings; and in this he sings truth, when God speaks of Adam's fall and of Christ's undertaking:

He with his whole posterity must die ;
Die he or justice must, unless for him
Some other able and as willing pay
The rigid satisfaction death for death.
Say, heavenly powers, where shall we find such love?
Which of ye will be mortal to redeem
Man's mortal crime, the just the unjust to save?
Dwells in all heaven charity so dear ? Milton.

This is the fountain of charity; here it began. God the Father's love, and the love of the Son, met together, as mercy and truth have done since; and the love of both were displayed in the gift of God, which is Christ, and in the death of Christ: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him

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