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answered afterwards in a power of blelings. Ezek. xxxiv. 26. And much feed hath been sown in sinners hearts, that for a while may seem to lie dormant, but afterwards it sheweth itself. And be faid, so is the kingdom of God, as if a man mould caft feed into the ground, and mould feep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, be knoweth not bow. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that. the full corn in the ear. Mark iv, 26, 27, 28.
Ahimaaz. Pray how old was the youth when his parents died? Were they people of property ? Did they leave him any thing?
Cushi. I believe' he was about fifteen years of age at the death of his father, who left him an apprentice to an attorney at law, and left him with a very considerable property ; but he soon spent it, when he got it into his own hands, which I do not wonder at, for as the old people were dotingly fond of him, they were perpetually endeavouring to save what they could, in order to leave him in great possessions; and, if I am rightly informed, their anxiety in this matter was their sin; and for my part, I do believe that whatsoever people get for their children, with an unwarrantable anxiety, so as to close the bowels of liberality to all but their own offspring, do greatly dishonour God by a visible distrust of his providence; and in reality they entail a curse upon all that they leave; and perhaps this was the reason why they had such
strong bands in their death. God will purge the soul that he saves from sin, if it be by fire.
Ahimaaz. Their putting their son out apprentice to an attorney (a business in which it is impossible for a man to live, and keep a good conscience towards God), and their carefulness after this world's goods, gives me room to suspect that divinity never made a very deep impression upon their souls; for he that drinketh of the living water that the Saviour gives shall never thirst (after the riches of this life]. But the water that I mall give him shall be in him a well of water Springing up into everlasting life. John iv. 13, 14. Pray did you know them, or do you go by report?
Cushi. I have seen them, but had no acquaintance with them ; though they are reported to be singularly pious, yet I know it is not all gold that shines, nor are they all maids that pass for such, and wear white aprons. I know the best of saints are burdened with the remains of corrupt nature, which, at times, has broke out and left its spots in the brightest characters, as incest in Lot, excess in Noah, adultery in David, and blafphemy in Peter ; yet there are some sins that they stand clear of, I mean such as are real partakers of the Holy Ghost.
Ahimaaz. Pray, my brother, what are those fins that you suppose every inspired soul to stand free from? For my part I would wish to stand for ever free from all; for it is the death of all real comfort, as well as a great dishonour to God, and a sweet morsel to them that eat up the sin of God's people,
Cußi. I think there are two sins which are not found in the dark catalogue of any gracious character in the Bible. One fin is what the law calls presumption, Num. xv. 30; which David calls the · great transgresion, Psalm xix. 13 ; which John calls
the fin unto death, 1 John v. 16; but Christ calls it the unpardonable fin. Matt. xii. 31.
The other sin is covetousness; for this sin God was wroth with Israel and smote him, and of this he promises to beal bim. Isaiah lvii. 17, 18. Paul calls it the root of all evil, 1 Tim. vi. 10, and idolatry, Col. iii. 5, which the Saviour calls the fervice of mammon, Matt. vi. 24, and pronounces a wo on all such servants. Luke vi. 24, 25. To the best of my knowledge, I do not remember that ever daring presumption, and the love of money, are once filed among any of the bills that God hach brought in against a real citizen of Zion; his character excludes both thefe, Psalm xy. These are the two sins against which David levels the force of his prayers, Keep back thy fervant from presumptuous fins. Psalm xix. 13. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Pfalm cxix. 36. Both these are the devil's own inarks, and I defy the world to prove them to be marks of a faint; wherever we find any thus marked, we may fay, They have corrupted themselves ; their spot is not
the spot of the children (of God); they are a perverse and crooked generation, Deut. xxxii. 5.
Abimaaz. I have often wondered why Paul calls the love of money the root of all evil. The apostle seems to intimate, that one single root is sufficient to produce the whole crop of wickedness: I wonder what he makes the root of all godliness to be?
Cubi. The root of all vital godliness is the love of God, operating on the affections of a regenerate soul; and this love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us : this is Paul's root, Be ye rooted and grounded in love. Eph. iii. 17. Job tells you, this root of the matter was found in him, as was before hinted ; and false professors not having this root in them, is the cause of their withering away. Matt. xiii. 6.
These two roots are clearly seen in the ten commandments; for that which is therein required is, love to God and thy neighbour; and he that loveth God and his neighbour hath fulfilled the law. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour ; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. xiii. 10. As love includes all obedience to the law; so covetousness includes all disobedience. Thou malt not covet. Exod. xx. 17. I had not known sin but by the law : for I had not known luft, except the law bad faid, Thou shalt not covet. Rom. vii. 7.
Abimaaz. By the apostle's calling the love of money a root, it must take a deep hold in man;
and if so, nothing but the grace of God can root it up.
Cushi. Salvation, applied to the finner's conscience by the Spirit of grace, will do it, and nothing else. There was a man named Zaccheus, who was chief among the publicans, and be was rich. And be sought to see Jesus who he was. And be ran before, and climbed upon into a fycamore-tree. But Jesus said unto him, Zaccheus, make baste, and come down, for to-day I must abide at thy house. And when they (the Lord's followers] Jaw it, they all murmured, saying, That be was gone to be guest to a man that is a sinner. And Zaccheus food, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the balf of my goods I give to the poor ; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him four-fold. And jefus said unto bim, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as be also is a Son of Abraham. Luke xix. 2--9. Thus the presence of the Lord, and his salvation, applied by the spirit of grace, opens the contracted bowels of a worldling, and makes him disgorge half his property at once. This shews the purging quality of grace: Every branch in me that beareth fruit my Father purgeth it. John xv. 2. If a chosen vessel bath swallowed down riches [when grace is revealed] it makes him vomit them up again: God Mall cast them out of his belly. Job xx. 15.
Ahimaaz. Excuse my breaking in upon your discourse, which I should not have done, but I