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the word of promise, bearing his own testimony in the heart, that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all fin. He draws the foul to believe this as an everlasting truth; and in our believing it, the Lord speaks peace to the heart, and by this means the believer is raised up from under the burden of his fin and guilt. Hereupon the Lord fings this sweet song of his redeeming, pardoning grace. A bleeding Saviour is a reviving light to a broken-hearted sinner. A purple Saviour cleanseth a scarlet crimson finner ; a Saviour full of boundless grace, bottomless mercy, everlasting love; this is just such an one as the soul wants. When this well of salvation is revealed and disco. vered, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. It is then a day of triumph, conquest, and joy. The soul is everlastingly conquered by the love of Christ. The will is, with a kind of omnipotent sweetness, drawn to the Saviour. It is the day of the espousals of the soul to Jesus; and it is the day of gladness of heart to the victorious Redeemer. A song is sung in the church of Christ upon this occasion; yea, God rejoiceth in this joy, In that day sing ye unto her a vineyard of red wine. The church is compared to a vineyard of red wine, because she is redeemed from sin, Satan, death, and hell, by the blood of Christ : also, because of those bloody persecutions which from time to time it has been exposed unto : principally, because of the precious fruits it brings forth to the praise and glory of God; all of which are the effects of her feeding upon the doctrine of a crucified Redeemer. In the church of Christ is found the wine which cheereth the

heart of God and man. God's love, which is the ocean from whence all spiritual blessings flow, and which like wine, refreshes, comforts, strengthens, exhilarates, and emboldens his people, fills their hearts with joy, their mouths with praise, their souls with delight in him as their everlasting portion and inheritance; likewise pardon, peace, cleansing, and healing through the stripes and blood of Christ, make the church like a vineyard of red wine, their thoughts being at times wholly intent upon their Saviour's sufferings : so that looking upon their Jesus as crucified, who is their head, and is like Carmel; and the bair of their head (the thoughts of their hearts upon his bloody sweat in the garden, his strong crying and tears upon the cross) like purple, being deeply steeped in meditation upon their beloved and in his bloody fufferings ; thus in the fight of God they are as a vineyard of red wine-red in the blood of their Lord's atoning sacrifice, in which they are everlastingly pure, and by which they draw nigh unto God; yea, they rejoice in him through our Lord Jesus Christ, having received his atonement, and rested their souls upon it. Also the facrifice of Christ, remembered by them in the ordinance of the Lord's supper, may be said to refresh the heart of God and man, as it is by the offering of his soul and body in union with his Deity, that justice is satisfied and wrath appeased; and by the remembrance of it, the hearts of God's people are comforted and refreshed. From hence we observe, there is matter for real joy; Christ's vineyard, the church, is ever before him, and it is ever his delight:

he dwelleth in his people for ever. God rejoiceth over his people to do them good: and they rejoice in him with exceeding great joy, the cause of which is, that the Lord is their portion and inheritance, and is become their falvation, their fhield, and exceeding

great reward.

This brings me fecondly, to take notice of God's prote&ing care towards his church, which is expressed under the fimilitude of a vine-dresser, taking care to water and proteat his vineyard. I the Lord de keep it ; I will water it every moment. As a church is compared to a vine and a vineyard, so the Lord is represented as the husbandman, or vine-dresser ; and his care is manifested by his preserving and watering his people with the dews and showers of heavenly grace and divine influences. What are the people of God, in themselves considered ? Nothing but flesh and deformity; though, as considered in Christ, they are beautiful and glorious; in themselves, they are sinful; yea, in themselves, they are emptiness, vanity, and misery : so that they require the Lord's constant care. They would be continually falling into fin and misery, if not protected and preserved by the Lord himself; who, out of the riches of his own grace, becomes their keeper, and will be their guide even unto death. We shall endeavour to consider, as the Lord may be graciously pleased to direct and affift, under this second particular head of our present discourse, first, how the Lord is the keeper of his people; and, secondly, how he waters their fouls every moment.

First, the church of Christ, which for its value, excellency, and preciousness in his fight, is styled a vineyard of red wine, is the peculiar property, care, and charge of the Lord of hosts; he is the keeper of it; he

preserves and defends it from evil. What is here said, and which seems to be spoken, and may be understood of the church of God colle&tively considered, is also true as it respects every individual member of our Lord's real and mystical body. They are all and every one of them the objects of everlasting love, vessels of mercy, the purchase of Christ's most pre- ' cious blood : in his fight they are perfeâly comely through his comeliness put upon them; a garden of delight which the Lord hath blessed; an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits; a vineyard of red wine. The

eye

of the Lord is ever upon them, towards them, and around them for good. Agreeably to what Elihu says to Job: He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous ; but with kings are they on the throne ; gea, be doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted : which gives us a beautiful account of God's grace and providence exercised by him on his people. His eyes of providence are upon them to supply their temporal wants, and to protect and defend them from their enemies, and they are never off them: so the eyes

of his love, grace, and mercy. JEHOVAH, the Father, always viewed them in his Son, and ever beheld them righteous in him, through his righteousness imputed unto them; and looked upon them with delight and pleasure: and always so views them. They are set as a feal upon the heart of Christ, engraven on

his hands, and are ever before him, and in his view. His eyes are upon them from the beginning of the year to the end of it; yea, from one eternity to another; were set upon them from everlasting: and are upon them in time; at the time of converfion, to quicken and call them by grace ; and afterwards they continue upon them under all their afflictions, temptations, and desertions, and will ever remain on them, and never be withdrawn. Nothing can separate believers from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. They are equal to kings on thrones ; they are so accounted of by the Lord, being made by him kings and priests; yea, he doth establish them for ever, as righteous persons in Christ's righteousness, which is an everlasting one ; and they shall never come into condemnation; for they are established in the love of God, in the covenant of grace, in the hands of Christ, in a state of grace now, and they shall be confirmed in a state of happiness to all eternity. And they are exalted, being raised as beggars from the dunghill, to sit among princes, even among the princes of God's people; and they will one day be exalted and placed at Christ's right hand, they will fit down with him for ever in his throne, and reign with him for ever and ever. The Lord himself is their keeper, and they are well kept by him : it implies that he is with them--in the midst of them; that he surrounds them, protects and provides for them. So run the gracious declarations of God's grace and protecting care towards his beloved people in the charter of grace : I the Lord will

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