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head, young school-boys, that make the heart of the righteous fad, whom God hath not made sad, Ezek: xiii. 22. thać wound the dear children of God by doing all in their power to shut up rather than open this glorious fountain, or well-spring of life mi-' nisterially to the people. Shall Chrift give this water of life freely to his poor thirsting people ? and Thall he fend forth his ministers to proclaim the same? and fhall any presume to stop the current of this river? Awful will it be for those who do this another day! They will wish they had studied any other art or science rather than to meddle with God's word. Let such read Ezek. xxxiv. throughout and tremble. Alas, how are the waters of the sanctuary fouled with the feet of the priests at this time! It seems but a small matter to them to eat up the good pasture, but they must tread down with their feet the residue of the pastures, and to have drunk of the deep waters, but they muft foul the residue thereof with their feet: and Christ's poor lock must drink it after they have done: But a time will come when God will feed the fat ones with judgment. So he will judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats. There is a neceffity to speak in this manner, when men attempt to muddy this precious river of water of life, which we have been speaking about, by their corrupt and false doctrine, and when the doctrines of grace are so much despised, yea exploded by many.
The riches of the free, distinguishing, sovereign grace and mercy of God in Chrift, without any works of righteousness which we can do to be added to it, open a door of mercy to, and a way of access for every poor, thirsty, fainting, finful, polluted fout to come unto. Thos you see the freenefs of the invitation to this water of life; none are to be excluded from it that see their need of it; neither will any thing be required of them for this water.
Whatever God requires of his people he will give it them, it is all of his free grace: Let him take of the water of life freely. Havingnowconsidered the things Iproposed, I proceed,
Fourthly and lastly, to make some improvement of the whole. In doing which I shall address myfelf to four sorts of people.
1. Those who have drank freely of this water.
3. To such who think they have a power and will in themselves to turn to God, and parfake of this water of life at their own option.
Lastly, To such who are altogether unconcerned about the matter.
1. I am to address myself to such that have drank freely of this water of life. You know something of the virtue of it--you know it to be living water -- you have found its life-giving virtues-so that your louls are continually quickened and animated by it--it is a well-spring in your souls-it springeth up into everlasting life: You cannot ceale to be fruitful when thus watered. So your souls are purified and made better by chis water. And, O my brethren, you will, ere long, swim in the boundless ocean of God's everlasting love! The water of life you now receive comes from this ocean; but then you will come to the ocean itself: your tongue (as I observed before) will no more fail for thirst; neither will you know then, as you do now, what it is to be barren in your soul; these complaints will cease for ever : Mean time, methinks you are refreshed when you hear any thing about this water of life. O that you inay have a large draught of this water, while I am now preaching to you! How will your souls exult in the Lord your God, especially while you are in such a wilderness as this world is to your fouls ! O that
God would smite the rock at this time, that the waters might gush out, and that the streams might · flow in abundance into your souls! Psalm lxxviii. 20. then you will not think this a loft opportunity : It is your duty and privilege to wait at the pool of ordinances : And may you experience yourself healed, at this time by this water, of whatever diseale or malady you may have been troubled with, then you will be able to speak more of its virtue and excellency, and you will desire to drink yet larger draughts of it ; for the more you receive, the more you will want of this water.
2. I shall address myself to such whose fouls now begin to thirst after this water of life.
" Blefied are they who do hunger and thirst after righteoul“ ness,” Matt. v. 6. How came you to thirst after this water of life if you saw no excellency in it? Who created that holy thirst in your souls after righ teousness ? Certainly Christ, and he only can faci ty the same: " For I have sariated the weary soul, and “ I have replenished every forrowful soul,” Jer. xxxi.25. The vaft desires of your soul are such, as that they cannot be satisfied with any thing short of this water of life; you are like the two daughters of the horse-'each, that cry, “ Give, give.” Prov. xxx. 15. You never can be satisfied, or have enough of it, whilst you sojourn here below, you have an incolant thirst after it. O may God by his Spirit bring you to this water to-night, that you might have a draught, and that your thirit might be fu fatisfied to-night, as that you may go home and recommend this water to other poor thirsty fouls ! “Let him that is athiist come." O may the Lord take you by the hand, and lead you to this fountain—may be dispel clouds of darknessmay the Lord scatter all your fears to night! you may take it freely: Neither men or devils can hinder
you of it. Satan may tell you this water is not for you tho' you are thirsting after it ; but he is a liar, and the father of lies ; believe him not; for if you really are convinced, by the Spirit of God, of your need of this water, and if you are thirsting after it, if Christ's word is to be taken, you are heartily welcome. You may take this water of life freely, without asking the devil leave. May you be enabled to come to this water of life without any disputing with fatan or with your own wicked heart: and cast yourself upon Christ as a poor, needy, thirsty, fainting soul! And I make no doubt of your being accepted by him, “ for he that cometh to Christ, he will by no means
66 cast out."
3. I shall address myself to such who think they have a power in themselves to make themselves willing to come and take of this water of life. Your case is like that of the young man in the gospel, who came to our Lord with a “Good master, what good
thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life,” Matt. xix. 16. He wanted eternal life, the water of life-he was very desirous after it-he thought it was a thing worth seeking after-therefore he comes to Christ to enquire about it. Our Lord observing fonerning very agreeable in this young man, it is faid, Mark x. 21. Jesus beholding him loved him. And yet notwithstanding this he was rotten at the bottom: He was under the law as a covenant of works, and consequently under the curse, Gal. iii. 10, And our Lord Ipeaks to him upon his own principles: “ Thou knowest the commandments.” And if chou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments; plainly fhewing, if he appealed to Cæfar, to Cæsar he must go: He must keep the law in thought, word, and deed, and then, and not otherwise, he thould be saved by it. But, alas ! when our Lord
begins to sift this young man, after all his pretended piety to the law, and keeping it, as he vainly imagined he had done from his youth up. man, he little understood the spirituality of God's law, nor the plague of his own heart. After all, when there was but one thing lacking, in order, as our Lord expresses it, to his being perfect, which was to fell what he had and distribute it to the poor, it then appears his heart and affections were in the world, he leaves our Lord and goes away sorrowing; and we never read of his coming to our Lord any more: He had enough of Christ's religion; he wants no more of it: worldly riches are preferred before Christ. Thousands of such professors we have in this our day. And yet this young man must needs be religious: nothing short of eternal life is the thing he feeks after. But alas, how does he seek it? Why as it were by the works of the law, Rom.
Now if this be your case, you are at as great a distance from the Lord Jesus Christ as thole poor unhappy creatures that are now making the disturbance at the door to , and are endeavouring to perfecute the children of God, and disturb them from their attendance on his worship in his house. These are enemies of Christ ; so are you : you are no nearer to this water of life than they ; perhaps not so near : “ Publicans and harlots enter the kingdom of heaven before you Pharisees,” Matt. xxi. 31.
Matt. xxi. 31. While you think you have a power and will in you to turn to God at your pleasure, it will be an effectual bar to your coming to the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore I may say to such, you have neither part or lot in the matter, for your heart is not right with God. “ You are in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity,”
Acts + Alluding to the disturbances and outrages at Hampstead.