every living thing that moveth upon the earth.?? For the same purpose he made all the plants, and herbs, and trees of the field : Gen. i. 29. “I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

He made the sun in the heavens, that glorious luminary, that wonderful globe of light, to give light to man, and to constitute the difference between day and night. He also made the moon, and the vast multitude of stars to be to him signs and seasons. What great provision bath God made for man! What a vast variety of good things for food and convenience, to put him under advantages to be useful! How lamentable is it, then, that after all these things he should be an useless creature !

3. How much is done for you in the course of God's common providence! Consider how nature is continually labouring for you. The sun is, as it were, in a ferment for mankind, and spending his rays upon man to put him under advantage to be useful. The winds and clouds are continually labouring for you, and the waters are going in a constant circulation, ascending in the air from the seas, descending in rain, gathering in streams and rivers, returning to the sea, and again ascending and descending, for you. The earth is continually labouring to bring forth her fruit for your support. The trees of the field, and many of the poor brute-creatures, are con. tinually labouring and spending their strength for you! How much of the fulness of the earth is spent upon you!

How many of God's creatures are devoured by you! How many of the lives of the living creatures of God are destroyed for your sake, for your support and comfort !-Now, how lamentable will it be if, after all, you be altogether useless, and live to no purpose! What mere cumberers of the ground will you be!. Luke xiii. 7. Nature, which thus continually labours for you, will be burdened with you. This seems to be what the apostle means, Rom. viii. 20—22. where he tells us, that the creation is made subject to vanity, and brought into the bondage of corruption; and that the whole creation groans and travails in pain, under this bondage.

4. How much is done for you in the use of the means of grace. How much hath God done to provide you with suitable means and advantages for usefulness! How many prophets hath he sent into the world in different ages, inspiring them with his Holy Spirit, and enabling them to work many miracles to confirm their word, whereby you now have his written word to instruct you! How great a thing hath God done for you, to give you opportunity and advantage to be useful, in that he hath sent his own Son into the world! He who is really and truly God, united himself to the human nature, and became


man to be a prophet and teacher to you and other sinners. Yea, he laid down his life to make atonement for sin, that you might have encouragement to serve God with hopes of acceptance.-How many ordinances have been instituted for you! How much of the labour of the ministers of God hath been spent upon you! Is not that true concerning you which is said (İsa. v.) of the vineyard planted in a very fruitful hill, and fenced and cultivated with peculiar care and pains, which yet proved unfruitful ? How much bath the dresser of the vineyard digged about the barren tree, and dunged it, and yet it remains barren!

5. Consider what a shame it is that you should live in vain, when all the other creatures, inferior to you, glorify their Creator, according to their nature. You who are so highly exalted in the world, are more useless than the brute creation ; yea, than the meanest worms, or things without life, as earth and stones: For they all answer their end ; none of them fail of it. They are all useful in their places, all render their proper tribute of praise to their Creator: while you are mere nuisances in the creation, and burdens to the earth: as any tree of the forest is more useful than the vine, if it bear not fruit.

IV. Let me, in a farther application of this doctrine, exhort you by all means to bring forth fruit to God. Let it be your constant endeavour to be in this way actively useful in the world. Here consider three things.

1. What an honour it will be to such poor creatures as you are to bring forth fruit to the divine glory. What is such a poor worm as man, that he should be enabled to bring forth any fruit to God! It is the greatest honour of his nature, that God

! hath given him a capacity of glorifying the great Creator. There is no creature in the visible world that is capable of actively glorifying God, but man.

2. In bringing forth fruit to God, you will be so profitable to none as to yourselves. You cannot thereby be profitable to . God; Job xxii. 2. “Can a man be profitable to God ?" And

" though thereby you may be profitable to your fellow-creatures ; yet the fruit which you bring forth to God will be a greater benefit to yourselves than to any one living.--Although you are under a natural obligation to bring forth fruit to God, yet he will richly reward you for it. In requiring you to bring forth fruit to him, he doth but require you to bring forth fruit to your own happiness. You will taste the sweetness of your own fruit. It will be most profitable for you in this world, and the pleasure will be beyond the labour. Beside this, God bath promised to such a life, everlasting rewards, unspeakable, inGinite benefits. So that by it you will infinitely advance your own interest.

3. If you remain thus unprofitable, and be not actively useful, surely God will obtain his end of you, in your destruction. He will say concerning the barren tree, “Cát it down, why cumbereth it the ground ?" Christ (John xv. 6.) tells us, “ ir a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” This is spoken of the barren branches in the vine. How would you yourselves do in such a case with a barren tree in an orchard, or with weeds and tares in your fields ? Doubtless if it were in your power, you would utterly destroy them.-God will have his end; he will not be frustrated. Though all men and devils unite their endeavours, they cannot frustrate God in any thing; and “though band join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished ;" Prov. xi. 21. God hath sworn by his great name, that he will have his glory of men, whether they will actively glorify him or no. Numb. xiv. 21, 22, 23. “ But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wil. derness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice ; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it."'-" The axe lieth at the root of the trees ; and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire ;"! Matt. iii. 10. The end of those men who bring forth nothing but briers and thorns, is to be burned, as in Heb. vi. 7, 8. “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers, is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”' So we read of the tares, Matt. xiii. 30. “Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them;" and in verses 40, 41, 42. “ As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."-So it is said of the chaff, Matt. iii. 12. " Whose fan is in his band, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

If you continue not to bring forth any fruit to the divine glory, hell will be the only fit place for you. It is a place prepared on purpose to be a receptacle of such persons. In hell nature ceases to labour any more for sinners. There they will have no opportunity to consume the fruits of divine goodness on their lusts; there they can prejudice or incumber nothing, upon which God sets any value. There no faithful servants and ministers of God will any longer spend their strength in vain upon them. When the barren tree is in the fire the servants of the husbandman are freed from any further labour about it.-In bell the fruitless will no more have opportunity to clog and discourage the flourishing of religion, and to destroy much good, as they often do in this world; they will no more have opportunity to corrupt others by their ill example; they will no more have it in their power to offend the godly; they may hurt and torment one another; but the godly will be out of their reach. In hell there will be no ordinances, no sabbaths, no sacraments, no sacred things, for them to profane and defile by their careless and hypocritical attendance; but unceasing wo for their abuse.




Isaiah xxxiii. 14.

The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the

hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?


Showing who are sinners in Zion.

There are two kinds of persons among God's professing people ; the one, those who are truly godly, spoken of in the verse following the text; He that walkeih righteously, and speaketh uprightly, &c. The other kind consists of sinners in Žion, or hypocrites. It is to be observed, that the prophet in this chapter speaks interchangeably, first to the one, and then to the other of these characters of men ; awfully threatening and denouncing the wrath of God against the one, and comforting the other with gracious promises. Thus you may observe, in the 5th and 6th verses, there are comfortable promises to the godly; then in the eight following verses, awful judg. ments are threatened against the sinners in Zion. Again, in the two next verses are blessed promises to the sincerely godly, and in the former part of ver. 17. And then in the latter part of ver. 17. and in ver. 18, and 19. are terrible threatenings to sinners in Zion : then in the verses that follow are gracious promises to the godly.

Our text is part of what is said in this chapter to sinners in Zion. In ver. 10. it is said, Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself, 'i. e. Now will í


* The substance of two posthumous discourses, dated Dec. 1740

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