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for the faithful fail from among the children of men," Pfal. xii. 1.-Confider,
(2.) That we are like to see trying times, in which the Lord will set his furnace in Zion. God has appeared often seasonably and wonderfully for pur deliverance; but the generation is not bettered, but rather growing worse and worse in all points. This is a forerunner of a fearful stroke. Now, Sirs, a fhew of religion may do in a time of cafe and peace, but when that trial comes, it will be hard to bear up without the reality.-Confider,
(3:) That death and judgement will try us all. We may put off the trial as we will for a time, there is however no fhifting of it altogether. God will not be mocked.- Confider,
Lafly, That it will be a terrible difappointment to be awakened out of dreams of heaven, by falling into hell. It will be no time to seek oil, when the Bridegroom is come, and hath shut the door. We have in view an ordinance that calls to selfexamination : 1 Cor. xi. 28. « But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” Therefore beftir yourfelves, and consider your state. Study the fpirituality of religion, that you may thus approve yourselves to the heart-searching God. Amenn:
THE STATUTE-LAW OF DISCIPLESHIP *
LUKE, xiv. 26. If any man come to me, and hate
not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and fifters, yea, and his own life alfa, he cannot be my disciple.
E is a fool who joins himself to any society,
before he has weighed with himself how he can comply with the laws and rules of that fociety. In vain do we propose to be a disciple to any perfon, if we are not disposed, if we will not submit to his discipline. Man is born like a wild ass's colt, naturally untractable and unteachable; the Son of God has set up his school a-. mongst us ; many who externally belong to it stand at a distance from him, as rude and unpo. lished by grace as when they first came to it. There is a solemn and awful entry into the school of Christ before us, and it cannot be unsuitable, especially on such a season as this, to stand and
heas; Delivered at Selkirk, Saturday, Oa..11. 1712.
hear, out of the mouth of the great Master, the neceflary qualifications of all such as will be reckoned his disciples indeed. This we have in the text.--In which there is observable,
1. A case supposed ; and there are two things in it. For this case, though the case of many, is like the legs of the lame, which are not equal.In it, first, there is a fair profeflion. The man cometh to Christ, not in the way of believing on him, as this word is often used, the expreflion here can by no means be thus explained; but in the
way of an outward profeffion, joining himself with his followers, taking on him the name of his party. The occasion of the words clears this. Multitudes went with him, and they were ready to value themselves because they kept good company. The Lord turns to them, and tells them, that it was another thing to be a difciple of his than most of them took it to be. He lays the matter so plainly before them, as would make it easy to conclude, that most who followed him now would leave him afterwards ; and that when it came to the trying pinch, he would have but a thin backing'; therefore they should in time consider what they were doing. In the case there is, next, a fout and falfe heart. The man comes to Christ, and brings not his heart with him, but leaves it at home with his father or nother, &c. or keeps it still hugging and embracing his dear felf, his life, so that he cannot embrace Christ, more than a man can take both heaven and earth in his arms at
Christ muft be dearer to his difciples than what is dearest to them in the world. The dearest persons are father, mother, &c. The dearest thing is life. That which makes this case fo bad is, that they are dearer to the man than Christ.
He hates not his father, mother, &c. He who taught us
in the law, to love our neighbour as ourselves, does not contradict this here, but speaks out what was implied there, that we must neither love our neighbour nor ourselves as our God. It is not an abfolute, but a comparative hatred, which is here meant; that is, a less love : Gen. xxix. 31. (6 And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated;" that is, less loved than Rachel. Similar instances occur, as in Deut. xxi. 15. John, xii. 25. And thus it is explained, Matth. x, 37. “ He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me.” A man must leave father and mother to cleave to his wife; but he must leave his wife, yea, and his life alfo, to cleave to Chrift. Levi gave a practical commentary on this text, Deut. xxxiii. 9. “ Who said unto his father, and to his mother, I have not feen, neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children ; for they observed thy word, and kept thy covenant." And so did that difciple-like resolution of Jerom : If my father should stand before me,' says he, my mother hang upon me, my brethren press about me, I would break through my brethren, throw down my father, tread under feet my mother, to cleave to Jesus Christ.' So faid a certain Dutch schoolmaster, being asked, if he loved not his wife and children ? · Yes,' says he, if all the world were gold, and mine to difpofe of, I would give it all to live with them, though but in a prison; yet is my soul and my Lord Christ dearer than all. But perhaps this is only the attainment of few. Miftake it not, but hear,
2. Christ's verdict upon the case, and venture not to distinguish where the law makes no distinction: “If any man come to me, and hate not, &c. he cannot be my disciple.” Be he or she who
they will, they cannot be Christ's disciples, if Christ be not dearer than what is deareft te them in a world. Nominal disciples they may be indeed, but real they cannot be, they cannot bear afflictions for Christ, because they want such affections to him as are necessary to make them go in the strait and narrow way which leads. unto life.- From this subject I would take this
Doctrine, That no man can be a true disciple of
Christ, to whom Christ is not dearer than what is dearest to him in the world.
For illustrating this subje&t, I shall, I. Speak to the nature of this necessary qualification of a true disciple of Chrift.
II. Confirm the doctrine of the text.
III. Offer some reasons why Christ is dearer to his true disciples, than what is dearest to them in the world. And,
IV. Conclude with some improvement.
We are then, I. To speak to the nature of this necessary qua lification of a true disciple of Christ.-There are
1. An efteem of Christ above all : Pfal. xlv. 26 « Thou art fairer than the children of men, grace is poured into thy lips ; therefore God hath bles. fed thee for ever.” Christ is the highest and most glorious object in the practical judgement of all his true disciples : Psal. lxxiii. 25. 56 Whom have I'in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” They do not only think him the best portion, confidering things in the general, in which sense he even the commendation of those who flight him; but they look