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portant particulars. We should know that the natural man is ignorant of the holy nature of God, on these two main accounts, First, in regard of the spirituality of his worship: they know not that God must be worshipped "in spirit and in truth," (John iv. 24), therefore they think external worship complete. Next, in regard of the holy nature of God: they know not that he cannot look on iniquity, therefore it is said, "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself," (Psa. 1. 21). The second thing that the natural man is ignorant of is, the spirituality of the law. Paul says, "I had not known sin but by the law," (Rom. vii. 7). The philosophers knew not the spirituality of the law. A third thing that the natural man is ignorant of, is the gospel, and the righteousness of God by faith; thence it is that they go about to establish their own righteousness, (Rom. x. 3). Next, they are ignorant of a good part of their duty. Something the light of nature teaches them, but there are many things that they never know, till God bring them to another estate; therefore, our condition is a condition of ignorance and stupidity.

3. Next, our natural condition is an untoward and stubborn condition. Such are the properties of lions and leopards; they are not easily tamed, they are not easily put into the yoke. We are as undaunted heifers, as bullocks unaccustomed to the yoke. "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; people doth not consider."

but Israel doth not know, my

4. Last of all, it is a fiery, cruel, and proud condition. Of such a condition are lions, by which there is no passing by the highway where these remain. So are all of us by nature; exceeding fierce, cruel, and proud, one to another, and oftentimes to ourselves. Thus ye see the shadow of a natural condition.

USE I. It seems to commend the grace of God manifested in the gospel. Set these things right against those things that he calls us to in the gospel, calling us spouse, and

calling us to match with himself; these things commend the grace of God. We shall name some few things that commend the grace of God manifested to that undesirable party:

1. That He stands in no need of us. "My goodness extendeth not unto thee," (Ps. xvi. 3). "I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds; for every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the world is mine and the fulness thereof," (Psa. 1. 9-12). “Can a man be profitable unto God? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous; or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect?" (Job xxii. 2, 3). "If thou be righteous, what givest thou him?" (Job xxxv. 7). When men have done all these things that are commanded them (says Christ, Luke xvii. 10), they are unprofitable servants; they have done that which was their duty to do. This one consideration in this match, doth highly amplify the grace of Jesus Christ the Lord.

2. Another thing that commends the grace of God is, that if he would have chosen a match to himself, he had more honourable parties to have matched withal. The angels were more honourable than those lying in the lions' dens. But verily, "He took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham," (Heb. ii. 16). The apostle lays much weight upon it, though we lay little weight upon it.

3. Next, he took not those who in some sense had more need than we; who were fallen not only to the earth, but to hell. Is it a small matter that he passes by them, and chooses us? Surely they were better in their institution than we; and if they had been chosen again, they had been better than we.

4. But again, if he would have chosen a match to himself, might he not have chosen the strong and the mighty? My brethren, "ye see your calling; not many wise men after

the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence," (1 Cor. i. 26). The vilest calls he from the lions' dens. These things serve much for aggrandizing of the grace offered in the gospel.

USE II. It teaches us how to improve both the one and the other our natural estate, and the grace offered in the gospel. "Wherefore, I abhor myself (says Job, xlii. 6), and repent in dust and ashes." We should all be humble. Have any of you reason to be proud of your birth and high places? here is your pedigree-the lions' dens; base and vile creatures, subject to many vile affections; vile, fierce, cruel creatures, that will not submit to God your Maker, devouring one another day by day. Have we not reason to abhor ourselves, and walk humbly with our God?

USE III. Next, it calls us to the admiration of this grace tendered to us in the gospel, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Wilt thou look about, and consider what a party thou art whom he chooses to match with? Consider what a match he is, and what a match he might have had; and yet he choosed thee, even when thou wert cast out upon the open field, to the loathing of thy person. Consider these things, and see if thou hast not cause to wonder at free grace.

USE IV. Next, it calls us to give subjection to, and improve this free grace offered unto us in the gospel; therefore we come to the next point: it is the gracious call and invitation that Christ gives to souls to come with him in the word. "Come ye," is a word frequently used in this Song. The observation is, that there is a gracious, tender, affectionate invitation, holden out by Christ to poor sinners in the gospel, wherein he offers no less than himself, to partake of his own lot: "Come with me, even with me."

There is a twofold call in the word: one, external, in the outward ministry and dispensation of the gospel, which he speaks of, when he says, "Many are called, but few are chosen," (Matt. xxii. 14). By the external call, in the mouth of the Lord's ministers by whom this gospel is preached, we beseech you in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God, (2 Cor. v. 20). And there is an internal call, consisting in the ministration of the power and arm of the Lord on the hearts of his people, bringing them home to himself, spoken of, "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts," (Psalm lxv. 4). "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him," (John vi. 44). This internal call, is that mainly meant in the text; therefore in the first language it runs thus, Thou shalt、 come with me: be the opposition of thy heart what it will, thou shalt come with me.

There are some properties of this call that we would name; and First, It is a very serious and real call: "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled, for my head is filled with the dew, and my locks with the drops of the night," (Cant. v. 2). "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me," (Rev. iii. 20). "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell: arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," (Cant. ii. 10-13). And Revelations xviii. 4, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." The Lord Jesus, when he calls on the souls of any that are given him of the Father, he doth it in a most serious real way; therefore he presses his suit till

he prevail and obtain: he stands at the door and knocks, and waits on, till his head be filled with the dew of the night; he pursues his business in a cordial way: if it were not so, all of us would have a cold coal to blow at. Who of us all whom the Lord Jesus has brought under the banner of his love, would have come there, if there had been no seriousness on his part?

2. Next, as it is a serious, so it is a compassionate and kindly call: "Come with me, even with me, my spouse." The scripture speaks much of the bowels of his heart moved with compassion towards his people. His bowels moved with compassion when he saw the multitudes scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd, (Matt. ix. 36). And Ezekiel xvi. 8, "When I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness, yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine." There is much compassion there!

3. Next, the scripture holds it out to be a heavenly call. Such a word is in the third chapter to the Hebrews, verse 1, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling”—It is heavenly, not only because it comes down from God out of heaven, and reveals to the soul heavenly things; but because it makes the soul partake of the divine nature, and never gives it rest, till it make the soul fly above to dwell with God.

4. Next, it is a holy calling: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling"-not only because dispensed in a holy way, but because it makes us partakers of holiness, and of all things that pertain to life and godliness. We are all called unto holiness: "As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."

5. Next, the scripture says this of it, that it is a uniform call. We know not the word in scripture, but ye will find the thing in Ephesians iv. 4, "There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling." The hope of it is uniform in all that are called therewith: the


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