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be hired? Will riches do nothing ? No, neither riches nor -policy can then avail.
4. The side to which the tree leaned inost while it stood, that way it will fall when it is cut down, and as it falls, so it lies, whether to the south or north, Eccl. xi. 3. So it fares with these mystical trees, I mean fruitless professors: Had their hearts and affections inclined and bended heaven-ward whilft they lived, that way, no doubt, they had fallen at their death; but as their hearts inclined to sing and even bended to the world, so when God gives the fatal stroke, they must fall hellward and wrath-ward: And, how dreadful will such a fail .be !
s. When the dead tree is carried out of the orchard, it shall never be among the living trees of the orchard any more; many years it grew among them, but now it shall never have a place there again. And when the barren professor is carried out of the world by death, he shall never be affociated with the saints any more: He may, then fay, farewel all ye faints, among whom I lived, and with whom I so often heard, fafted, çand prayed : I shall never see your face more ; Matth. viii. 11,
I say unto you, that many shall come from the east, and “ west, and north, and fouth, and shall fit down with Abra: .“ ham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the ; “ children of the kingdom shall be cast forth into utter darkness, “there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth."
6. When the dead tree is carried out of the orchard, the husbandman cuts off its branches, and rives it asunder with his wedges. This also is the lot of barren professors : “ The “ Lord of that servant will come in a day when he lookech not « for him, and will cut him asunder;" he shall be diffected, or .cut abroad, Luke xii. 46.
Now therefore consider this, ye that forget God, left I tear “(or rend) you in pieces," Psalm 1.22. O direful day! when the fame hand that planted, pruned, and watered thee so long, and so tenderly, shall now strike mortal strokes at thee, and that without pity !' " For, he that made them, will not have mer
cy on them; and he that forned them, will shew them no “ favour,” Ifa. xxvii. 11. For the day of mercy is over ; 'and the day of liis wrath is fully come.
7. When this tree is cleaved abroad, then its rotten hollow inside appears, which was the cause of its barrenness; it looked like a fair and sound-bodied tree, but now may
see how Totten it is at the heart ; so will God in that day, when he shall dilect the barren profeffor, discover the rottenness of his heart,
and unsoundness of his principles and ends : Then they who never suspected him before, shall see what a hollow and rotten hearted profeffor he was.
8. Lastly; The fruitless tree is caft into the fire. This allo is the end and fad iffue of formality, John xv. 6. “ He is caft « forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, « and cast them into the fire; and they are burned.” This is an undoubted truth, that there is no plant in God's vineyard, but he will have glory from it, by bearing fruit; or glory on it, by burning in the fire. In this fire thall they lie “gnathing * their teeth," Luke xiñ. 38. and that both in indignation a gainst the saints, whom they shall see in glory; and againft JeTus Chrift, who would not save them; and against themselves, for losing so foolishly the opportunities of salvation. Do you behold, when you sit by the fue, the froth that boils out of those flaming logs? O think of that foam and rage of those undone creatures, foaming and gnafhring their teeth in that fire which is not quenched! Mark ix. 14.
REFLECTION. A reflection for a How often have I passed by fuch barrer formal hypocrite. trees, with a more barren heart, as little
thinking such a tree to be the emblem of myfelf, as Nebuchadnezzar did, when he saw that tree in a dream, which represented himself, and thadowed forth to him his ensuing mifery, Dan. iv. 13. But, my consciencel my drousy, freepy conscience I wert thou but tender, and faithful to me, thou wouldft make as round and terrible an application of such a spectacle to me, as the faithful prophet did to him, ver. 22. And thus wouldst thou; O my foul, bemoan thy candition.
Poor wretch ! here I grow, for a little time, among the trees of righteousness, the plants of renown, but I am none of them j I was never planted a right feed; some green and flourishing leaves of profession, indeed, I'have, which deceive others, but God cannot be deceived; he sees I am fruitless and rotten at the heart. Poor foul! what will thine end be but burning? Behold, the ax lieth by thy root; and wonder it is, that there it thould lie so long, and I get standing ! Still mercy pleads for a fruitless creature: Lord, spare it one year longer. Alas ! he need ftrike no great blow to ruin me; his very breath blows to destruction, Job iv. 9. A frown of his face can blast and ruin me, Psalm lxxx. 6. He is daily follicited by his justice to hew me down, and yet I stand. Lord, cure my barrennes ! I know thou hadst rather see the fruit than fire upon me.
The PO E M.
No hopes of fruit, down goes the barrren trees..
think, when justice lifted up its hand,
• To the THIRD PART of
TOW, from the pleasant orchard let us walk
A turn i' th' fields, and there converse and talk
CH A P. I.
to rite betimes, to provender and dress them. Much time is fpent in some countries, in trimming and adorning their horses with curious trappings and plumes of feathers, and if at any time their beasts be lick, what care-is taken to recover and heal them : you will be sure they shall want nothing that is niecessary for them ; yea, many will chuse rather to want thenselves, than suffer their horses fo to do; and take a great deal of comfort to see them thrive and prosper under their hands.
children at Bethlehem, That it were better to be his fwine than his son, may truly enough be applied to some parents and masters, who take less care for the saving the souls of
their children and servants, than they do for the bodies of those beasts which daily feed at their stalls and cribs. Many there be who do in reference to their fouls, as Jacob did with respect to the preservation of their bodies, when he put all the berds of cattle before, and his wives and little ones behind, as be went to meet his brother Efau. It is a weighty faying of a grave * autbor ; 'It is vile ingratitude to rejoice when cattle
multiply, and repine when children increase; it is heathenith distrustfulnets, to fear that he who provides for your beasts, will not provide for your children ; and it is no less than un
i natural cruelty, to be careful of the bodies of beasts, and < careless of the souls of children.' Let us but a little compare your care and diligence in both respects, and see, in a few
particulars, whether do indeed value your own, or your
chil, dren and fervants fouls, as you do the life and health of a beast.
1. Your care for your very horses is expressed early, whilst they are bur colts, and not come to do you any service ; you are willing to be at pains and coft, to have them broken and brought to their way. This is more than ever many of them did for their children; they can see them wild and profane, Daturally taking a stroke or way of wickedness, but yet never were at any pains or coast to break them; these must be fond. led and cockered up in the natural way of their own corruption and wickedness, and not a tod or reproof used to break them of it.
It is observed of the Persians, † that they put out their children to school, as soon as they can speak, and will not see them in seven years after, left their indulgence should do them hurt.
2. You keep your constant set times, morning and evening, to feed, water, and dress your cattle, and will by no means neglect'it once : but how many cimes have you neglected morning and evening-duties in your families ? 'Yea, how many be there, whose very tables, in respect of any worship God hath there, do very little differ from the very cribs and mangers at which their hortes feed? As soon as you are up in a morning, you are with your beasts, before you have been with How little do such differ from beasts? And happy were it, if they were no more accouutable to God than their beasts are,
The end of your care, colt, and pains about your cattle is, that they may be strong for labour, and the more ferviceable to you: thus you comply with the end of their beings. But how