Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


fome of it. O proud blafphemer, come down from your
altitude, and be content frankly to own and acknow-
ledge that grace hath done much even for you.-Again,
It will be pride, and not humility, for you to deny and
refufe to take Chrift by the land, when you are down in
the duft; or to take what help he offers you, even when
you are lying in the mire. It was Peter's pride to fay,
Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet; and yet no doubt
he took it for humility.-Again, it is pride, and not hu-
mility to refufe the confolations of the Spirit, because
are confcious of your own vilencfs and abomination :
do not lay upon yourself a load of felf cenfuring, more
than God himfelf does; I faid in my hafte, fays David,
I am caft off from before thine eyes, Pfal. xxxi. 22. Da-
vid was in hafle when he faid it, and fo may you fay,
Will God allow any favour or comfort to fuch as I am?
It is pride and arrogancy to measure God by your
thoughts, and to limit his mercy.-Again, it is pride,
and not humility, for you to deny him the praife and
commendation due to him from you, left you be not a
fit hand for doing it. Why, fays one, I think I would
defire to commend Chrift to others, and fpeak to his
praife, but I am afraid I prove a hypocrite, and prove a
fcandal to religion. Why, man, woman, whatever
come of you, let not Chrift want his due, and it fhall
not fare the worfe with you; therefore, Walk bumbly
with thy God; or, as the word may be read, Humble
thyfelf to walk with thy God. It is beft humility to be
found in the way of duty; and it is pride to withdraw
from it, upon any confideration of felf-unworthinefs.


[2.] I would exhort you to a holy walk, and thereby to commend and exalt Chrift, as the woman of Samaria here did, faying, both with your lip and life, Come fee a man that told me all things that ever I did; Is not this the Chrift? Where the both takes fhame to herself, and gives glory to God in Chrift and as our chief happinefs lies in the enjoyment of God, and our holiness lies in glorifying him, which is our chief end; fo the way to glorify him, is to commend and exalt Chrift with our hearts, lips, and lives. The text leads me to direct you particularly to this part of holinefs, namely, to commend


him to all that you have opportunity to converfe with, and to converfe with before the world. Hath he met with you, as he did with this woman? O then commend him, and preach forth his excellency. Here is a way how every private Chriftian may be a preacher of Christ. This belongs not to minifters only, but even you who are followers of Chrift, among the female fex, that cannót regularly be preachers of Chrift in a minifterial way; yet, O poor woman, it is comfortable that you may be a fuccefsful teacher and preacher of Chrift in a Chriflian charitative way, by your fpiritual communion and converfation. O woman, commend Chrift to your husband; O man, commend Chrift to your wife. O parents and mafters, commend him to your children and fervants. O believer, commend Chrift to your neighbours and friends, and all that you have regular accefs to.

[ocr errors]

1. Commend him humbly as this woman did; He told me all things that ever I did: fhe kept her eye upon her own bafenefs, and vileness, and unworthinefs, which he had difcovered to her. Saints have a double eye, viz. a carnal eye, and a spiritual eye; or the eye of sense, and the eye of faith. When they look upon themfelves with the carnal eye of fenfe, then they forget all that ever they did, and what Chrift told them and convinced them of, and are apt to gaze upon their own parts and gifts; and then felf creeps in and fpoils their pleafant exercife. But when they look upon themfelves with the fpiritual eye of faith, then they loath themfelves, and commend Chrift to purpofe, and fet him up to the higheft, when felf is finking to the loweft in remembrance of all that ever they did, as he told them.

2. Commend him highly alfo, as this woman did commend him as the great God, the fearcher of hearts, the glorious JEHOVAH; when Arians and Atheists at this day are pulling him down from his throne, if it were poffible. O fet you him up, and commend him from your own experience, as the God-man that told you all things that ever you did. Commend him in his offices, faying, Is not this the Chrift? the fealed and confecrated of the Father, to be the Prophet, Prieft, and King of Zion? Is not this JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, The Lord our

[ocr errors]

righteoufnefs? Is not this JEHOVAH-ROPHI, The Lord our phyfician? Is not this JEHOVAH SHAMMA, the IMMANUEL, God with us? Is not this the promifed MESSIAS, in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen? Is not this the only Saviour, in whom all cur falvation lies, being made of God to us wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanctification, and redemption? O there is more to fay to his commendation, than the tongues of angels can trumpet forth to eternity. Again,

3. Commend him zealously as this woman did. Come and fee HIM; it is not, Come and hear what I have to fay of him; but, Come fee himself. Let thefe whom you commend him to, understand, that what you would be at, is, that they should never reft till they fee, and taste, and handle this word of life; and know, to their experience, what you know. And thus alfo,

4. Commend him feelingly as this woman did, Come See a man that told me all things that ever I did. You fhould let ftrangers to Chrift know, that what you fpeak of Christ, you have felt and experienced. If you know the terrors of the Lord, you will perfuade men, with an aking heart, and with holy fear and trembling; and if you know the confolations of God, you will speak of them with holy triumph, and as if your heart were leaping within you. Experience is the mother of affection; commend him feelingly and affectionately. And


5. Commend him cautionfly, as you alfo find this womap did. I think it is alfo remarkable, in this fhort account that she gives of her converfe with Chrift, that fhe hid, in her own bofom, that fpecial part of Christ's difcourfe to her that made moft for her own confolation, particularly, that glorious word, wherein he clearly manifefted himself to her, faying, I that speak unto thee, am be. No, fhe relates nothing of this; but tells them of that part of the conference, which made moft to her fhame, as well as to his honour: He told me all things that ever I did. As if fhe was content, that Chrift fhould be exalted on the ruins of her reputation; to let her name be debafed, that his name might be exalted. Indeed, it tends moft to her praife, that the commends Chrift


to them in that particular that made moft to her shame; and he tells them no more of what he faid. Here is wifdom and caution: and, indeed, there are fome precious things that Chrift fpeaks to his people when they are alone, that is not fit to be blazed abroad to every one, especially to these that are yet ftrangers to Chrift; but, in commending Chrift to them, it is fafeft to treat of thefe particulars that make moft for the debafing of ourfelves, and for the exalting of Chrift.

6. And Laftly, O commend him practically, as you fee this woman did, while fhe fays not, Go fee; but, COME fee a man that told me all things that ever I did. O believer, after a communion, if you have met with Christ, either now, or formerly, commend him, not only verbally, with your mouth; but practically, with your life, faying, in effect, Come fee him. The life of commendation, is the commendation of the life; not of the lip, that fays, Go fee; but of the life, that fays, Come fee your Go fee will not convince any that you are in earnest; but a Come fee may make them follow your example. When you fay, Go, and pray; go, and praife; go, and worship; go, and do this and that excellent fervice; they only hear you: but when you go before them, and fay, Come, and praife; come, and worfhip; come, and let us feek after Chrift, then they both hear and fee you; and are the more apt to come and fee with you.

O believer, give evidence that you have met with Christ, by living To him as your end, and on him as your all; he died that you fhould not live to yourself, but to him: and now he lives, that you may live upon him: Becaufe I live, fays he, ye shall live alfo. O Sirs, let it be feen that you are three ftory high; and that there is a new addition made to your fpiritual flature, by the light of a new difcovery of Chrift. The light of reafon may make people good moral men; the light of gifts, good fcholars; but the light of grace and experience, good and holy Chriftians. O believer, beware of fuch a practice and converfation, as will give occafion to the world to fay, Take up your communicants; they can tipple and drink, fwear and debauch, as well as their neigh


bours. Oh! will you give occafion to Chrift to say, "He that fat at table with me, and ate of my bread, hath lift up his heel against me? Thefe are the wounds that I have got in the house of my friends?" O fee that your converfation be a practical faying, Come and fee the man that bath told me all things that ever I did; Is not this the Chrift? And let the leading part of your practice ly in this, a going again to fee Chrift, and attending and depending upon him, in all the duties of religion, in order to your getting more and more acquaintance with him. For, as it is a faving difcovery of Chrift that works this felf-debafing, Chrift-exalting effect; fo the more of this you get, it will fit you ftill the more for commending of him humbly and practically.

Let your walk then appear to be a gofpel-walk, a walking in Chrift, and a going ftill again and again to feek him and fee him, that you may be the more like unto him; and that beholding as in a glafs his glory, you may be changed into the fame image from glory to glory. It is but a dunghil on which the fun fhines, and yet reflects no beams; but the fun fhining on a ball of filver, or upon a bright glafs, or a ftill water, it will make another fun by reflecting the beams of it. Thus the broken beams of the glory of God, fhining on Mofes in the mount, made him come down full of glory. And, O Sirs, the more of the glory of Chrift you fee, the more of the glory of God's holinefs will appear about you, and the more of heaven; of which it is faid, they fhall be like him, for they fhall fee him as he is. The more frequently you return to fee Chrift, the more fit will you be for refifting the fnares and temptations you meet with; for your heart is a magazine of hell where corruption lies, like a barrel of gun-powder, ready to take fire with the leaft fpark of a temptation, and to blow you up in the flames; but the more you come to fee and converfe with Chrift, the more you will get of the living water, which Chrift gave to this woman; The Spirit as a well of water, Springing up to everlasting life and if you can get that barrel of powder funk into the bottom of this well, or the flood of the Spirit to drown


« PreviousContinue »