SIX DREADFULL ALARMS IN ORDER TO THE RIGHT IMPROVING OF THE GOSPEL, RO THE SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON

Preached by Mr. Michael Bruce Minister of the Gospel.

Matth. 7.24 Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doth them. I will liken him unto a Wise­man which Built his House upon a Rock: &c.

THE TEXT.

Matth. 7.24. Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto a Wise-man which Built his House upon a Rock: &c.

THERE is Two Questions I would Propone to you the Day, and I desire an Answer to them both: The First Question I would Propone to you, is this, What have ye done with all CHRISTs Sayings that ye have heard? And what have ye done with all the Preach­ings ye have gotten? Have ye letten them all go by you as things that ye have no more adoe with? Or are ye among the number of these, that is Hearers and Doers? I trow when then the Question comes to your Door, it shall put ma­ny of you in a Gast; What have ye done with all CHRISTs Sayings? And what have ye done with all the Preach­ings that has been preached among you?

A Second Question I would Propone to you the Day, and that is, How are ye fitted for a Stress of Weather that is coming by the Preachings that ye have heard? Here is a strange stress of weather, the Rain falls, the Floods descends, and the Wind blows; that is an uncouth stress of weather, such a stress of weather that many dyes in the midst of it and wins never to the shore: The storm is to fall upon Godliness account, and the storm is to fall upon Religions account: [Page 4]This is the House that ye have been Building. And now the Question I Propone, is, Whether or no have ye this made sure, and founded upon a Rock? when the stress of weather comes, that it may stand and not move: That I may put you to it, to prepare for a stress of weather, therefore I have chosen this Text. In the former part of this Chapter, our Master hath laid many very concerning Truths at this Peoples Door, and He shuts up all His long Preachings with this, as if it were the most concerning Truths of all. Therefore whosoever hears these Sayings of Mine, and doth them, I will liken him to a Wise man which Built his House upon a Rock: &c. which is the words of my Text; Wherein ye have these three things considerable.

First, A Duty supposed, or rather Proposed; which is hear­ing and doing by the People of GOD. 2. Ye have that Du­ty Commended, and it is Commended from both. First, From the advantagiousness of it. 2. It is Commended by laying it over forgainst the opposite of it: for then a thing shines ay best, when it is laid over forgainst the opposite.

A Third Thing is, The Way how this comes in with a there­fore: Therefore whosoever hears these Sayings of Mine, & doth them, I will liken him to a Wise-man which Built his House upon a Rock: &c.

For the Illustration of this Similitude, I shall speak more particularly to it, as I go throw the Doctrine: I shall here give you some few Observations from the Connexion, & then come to the words more particularly.

And the First Observation from the Connexion shall be this, That it is the Goodness of our Master to His Followers, that as He gives them Preaching, so He Schools them in the right use making of preaching: Or ye may take it thus, That as our Master desires to have His People hearing, so He will have them schooled in the right improvement of Preaching when [Page 5]heard. Therefore this Lesson about right improvement of Preaching is the thing that He shuts up all this Excellent Ser­mon with: Therefore, this is the Great Bussiness ye have adoe, as to hear preaching, so to improve preaching. Well then, that I may speak a little to this; I will let you see from the Text, comparing it with the Context, what Way CHRIST Schools His Hearers in the right use making of preaching. 2. I shall let you see wherefore CHRIST takes pains to School His People in the right improvement of preaching. 3. We shall give you a Word or Ʋse, and go forward.

First then, How Schools He His People in the right use making of Preachings? Ye will see Him from the Text, to­gether from the Context, Schooling them Two Ways. First, By giving them Dreadfull Alarms. 2. By giving them Sea­sonable Instructions: And therefore, and ye will take a view of my Text, ye will find six Alarms in it, and all for improv­ing of Preaching; and gife ye will take a view of my Text, ye will find six Instructions for the right improving of Preaching; and as ye will be answerable to the Great GOD for the Preachings ye hear, take both the Alarms, and the Instructions with you.

The First Alarm that lyes in the bosom of my Text, to­gether with the Context, is this, That People may be living un­der a Preaching Ministry all their Days, and yet when all is done, CHRIST and they never ken other. O! then take home the Alarm, and be not ye among that number; take the A­larm home, and improve Preaching better. O sirs! may these two stand together living under a Preaching Ministry all their Days, and yet CHRIST and they never ken other; Should not this be an Alarm to you to improve preaching better.

A Second Alarm lying in the bosom of my Text worthy of your Observation, and that is, That People may get a Delusi­on [Page 6]unner the Cross, and under Preaching, that may stick to them, not only throw a storm, but may gang in to Eternity with them, and no less than Eternal Rejection convincing them of that; and then that Delusion is our of time. GODS Eternal Wrath and Vengeance in Hell will be the first Cure that some of your Delusions will get. There may be a Delusion blecked in your bosom under the Preaching, that not only will go to Death, or a storm with you, but it may gang into Eternity with you; and GODs Wrath in Hell the Cure of it: This may be a Dread­full Alarm to you.

A Third Alarm I shall give you from the Text, and it is this, There is a stress of weather coming, and as ye would be out of it, improve preaching better: for very few will bide it out; but the Man that improves preaching. Here is an uncouth Stress of Weather coming, the Rain falling, the Floods descending, the Wind blowing, and the Man that im­proves not preaching, he is like the Man which built his house upon the sand, and whenever this stress of weather comes, his house falls: This may be an uncouth Alarm to you, to put you to improve preaching better.

A Fourth Alarm to put you to improve preaching in the bosom of my Text, is this, That Folk may be a Work, and at meikle Work under preaching for building of a House, and yet when all is done, loss both their Profit and Pains: Here is a Great Work, it comes to a House Building, it comes to the Ripeness of a House, and yet Pains and Profit and all is lost, when­ever the Storm comes, the House goes on, because it is not Builded on a Rock. This may be a Dreadfull Alarm to you to improve preaching better, and to Build upon a Rock; with­out which ye loss both your Profit and your Pains: This may be a Dreadfull Alarm to you to be upon your Watch-tow­er, and to see what yeill do with the Preachings that ye hear: For ye may be at miekle Pains and Travel to hear a [Page 7] Preaching, and Venture your Life for it, and yet when all is done, the storm may ding all down, and ye loss both your Work and your Pains; This may be a Dreadfull Alarm to you.

A Fifth Alarm lying in the bosom of my Text, and that is, That Folk may have their Light bettered by Preaching, and Folk may win at a bigg Profession under Preaching, and yet when all is done, they and their Profession both bulk little in CHRISTs Bosom; and their Light and their Profession both be casten over the Bar, and themselves at the taill of it: Here they are Enlightened Folk, for they can say, LORD, LORD, they could not have said that, if they had not been taught it by Preaching: Their Profession is likeways made bigg by it, for they themselves, and all the Country-side takes them for the Servants of GOD, and yet CHRIST professed that He never knew them: This may be a Dreadfull Alarm to you.

The Last Alarm, is this, That it is not Single Persons on­ly that is in this Condition; but they are many of them, and since they are many of them, look that ye be not among the Multitude; and not only will they be many of them, but these many would give all the World to have one Preaching again to improve better, and it will be denied to them. Thir poor Bodies that cryed, LORD, LORD, open to us, would have given all the World for a Day of the Gospel again; but it was gone, and there was no more Time for them. May not this be a Word of Warning to you, to try how ye guide preaching, for all these six Alarms lyes at your Door; They are CHRISTs Alarms to you from His Word; and I think then, since they are given you from CHRISTs own Word, e­very one of you should take them Home, and start to your feet.

Secondly, Ye will find Six Instructions lying in the Bosom of my Text, for your guiding of preaching.

And the First is this, Never think ye the Work of Preach­ing is done, when the preaching is ended; for when the preaching is ended, your work about the preaching is but to begin: Therefore our Master tells them at the ending of this Excellent Sermon, that their Work was before their hand; Do­ing was but to begin: The Stress of Work, and the Stress of Weather was before their hand. It is a sore matter Sirs, ma­ny of you, you think your selves well enough exonered at GODs Hand on a Sabbath day, that ye have heard two bits of preachings such as they are; for ye have heard a bit of a stolen preaching some Night, and ye think your Work is done; but when the preaching is done, your Work is but to begin. O but I love the Hearer of a preaching well on a Sabbath-day, that ay the nearer night it grows, his Work grows the thronger upon his hand; And I like that Improver of preach­ing well after a Sabbath, that divides the Week, and the first part of it he improves for the use making of what he hath heard; and the second part oftit, he improves for preparing, and fitting himself for what he is to hear the next Sabbath-day. O Sirs, Are there any Dividers of the Week among you? Did ye ever divide the Week in two, for right improving of preaching?

A Second Instruction, is this, Then preaching is rightly improven, when improven for bringing you the nearer CHRIST. The Hearer and the Doer, he is ay upon the height of the Rock with it, he is ay building himself on CHRIST, and Con­forming himself to Him: For my part Sirs, I love not the im­proving of preaching that many Folk hath; for hear preaching as they will; Nearness to CHRIST is never studied by them.

A Third Instruction for right improving of preaching, and that is, When preaching is well improven, when improven for fitting Folk for foul-weather, that thereby they will pre­pare for a stress of weather, so that when that comes, their [Page 9]Ship shall be sound below their Mast strong, their Taklings fast, and their Sails spread, gang the World as it will.

A Fourth Instruction, is this, Then Preachings is well im­proven, when improven for bettering and building of a house for CHRIST in thy bosom; preaching is never well impro­ven, but when there is some pinning put in this his House, or some stones laid on the Wall, or something done thereby for putting forward the House for CHRIST in thy bosom: Well, what is the result of the many preachings heard in this Ge­neration; Folk gets the Time put off, in telling over Tales out of preachings that they hear; but few of them improven for building a House for CHRIST in their bosom. There is lit­tle of this kind done by hearing of preaching among them: Preaching is never well improven, as long as a House for CHRIST in thy bosom is not going up by preaching.

Fifthly, Then preaching is well improven, when every preaching thou hears shines in thy Work and Practice betwixt Sabbaths. I love that improver of a preaching well, that Folk will not need to Spear what the Minister was on in the Sab­bath; for it shines forth in his Practice through the Week; What need you Spear what the Minister was on in the Sab­bath? read it in yon mans practice throw the Week; Holi­ness was much pressed on the Sabbath; See ye it not engraven on you Mans Walk and Practice through the Week. Heaven­ly-mindedness has been much pressed on the Sabbath, see ye it not in you Mans Walk and Conversation, as if he were in Heaven already. Mortification has been much pressed on the Sabbath, see ye it not in you Mans using the World, as if he were hanged to the World, and the World hanged unto him.

Then Lastly, Preachings are well improven, when impro­ven for sitting us as for that day, (What day?) that day men­tioned in the 22. verse, CHRIST calls it that Day Preach­ings is well improven, when improven for fitting us for that [Page 10]Day, when we must all appear before the Tribunal of GOD; so that whenever we come, we shall be Welcome: When our Master will Welcome Lasses and Lads for improving preach­ing, and take them in by and clap their heads, and say, Well done good and faithfull Servant, I never lost a preaching by you; and I never lost a preaching by thee, thou gathered it ay up to the least Crumb. It is a strange thing to me Sirs, CHRIST will be at the Day of Judgement with them before e­ver he hath done with his Preaching, to tell us this much, that every preaching we hear, we may not have our acquain­tance to make with JESUS CHRIST when we appear there. Well then, these are the six Alarms upon the one hand, and six Instructions on the other hand for right improving of preaching.

The Second Thing to be spoken to, is, Wherefore doth our Master take so much Pains to School us His Hearers in the right improving of preaching? It is upon two Accounts.

First, Upon this Account, That all that he doth, and saith, is lost Labour, except it be improven: And do ye think that ever our Master will take it well off a Peoples Hand to have all His Preachings lost, and all His Pains lost? Will He take it off your hand well (think ye) to have all His Ordinan­ces and Preachings on Sabbath-days lost? Will He take it well off your hand to have Fast-days-preachings, and Com­munion days-preachings lost? And will He take it well off your hand to have many a stolen nights preaching that we have gone far for, and ventured your Life for lost? But a­las, we have lost all; What will come of us?

Secondly, He is serious: For it is upon this Account, that he may testifie to all His Friends and Followers, that the right Guiders of Preaching, is ay bulksom in His Bosom: but all the Pains thou takes upon hearing of preaching with­out doing, will never make thee bulksom in CHRISTs bosom,

The Ʋse I would have you to make of it, is this, Will ye tell me, Sirs, Have ye been at CHRISTs School yet? Have ye heard all these six Alarms, and taken them home for your misimproving of Preaching? And have ye made use of all the six Instructions for that same end, and travelled through them all. But if ye will take a view of my Text more particu­larly, ye will find two things very remarkable.

First, That a Christian must be reasoned into the right improvement of Preaching, ere ever he fall on it: Ye must reason your selves into that Exercise. So CHRIST here, He begins this Verse with a Therefore; Holding out a Reason for that Conclusion of doing, at the back of hearing.

Secondly, Ye will see this in my Text, That ye must ever­more keep the Lovesomness of doing, or the Lovesom side of doing in your Eye; or ye will grow ill-improvers of Preach­ing: And therefore here He casts up the Beautifull-side of that Exercise to them: The Man that hears and does, he is like a Man that builds his House upon a Rock; and what ever storm comes, his House stands, &c. Telling us this much, that, and we keep not the Beautifull-side of doing in our Eye, we are fair to be shaken in a day of the Cross. But we come to the Words more particularly.

And First from the Duty imposed, or rather proposed, and that is, Hearing and Doing by the People of GOD: And the Observation, is this, That it is a Duty that the LORD layes at all your Doors that hears the Gospel, to be doing as well as hearing; Ye must do His Sayings, as well as ye must hear them, John 13.17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. The Observation imports two things.

First, The Observation imports this, That Blessed JESUS has knit Hearing and Doing together, and since He has knit them together, GODs Vengeance will be upon that Man that will loose that Knot, since He has knit Hearing and Doing [Page 12]together: Therefore upon your Immortal Souls peril, do not ye break that Knot: For He has knit Hearing and Doing to­gether, and upon your Peril be it, i. ye undoe what He hath done.

Secondly, It imports this much, That it is a Doing-Chri­stian, or the Christian that does best, is ay bulksome in CHRISTS Bosom. Well now that I may speak a little to this, for I think it is the Plague of Scotland; whatever hear­ing we hear, there is no doing among us: And therefore I say; that I may speak a little to this: I'll First Let you see what doing is, that ye must be at, if so be ye would be appro­ven of GOD: For there is meikle doing among many Folk, that Ille no give meikle Silver for. Secondly, I shall speak a word to this. Wherein lyes the Commendableness of this, to be doing CHRISTs Sayings. Thirdly, I shall give you a word of Caution. And Lastly, A word of Ʋse; and go forward.

The First Thing then to be spoken to, What is this do­ing that they should be at? It is a doing of the Sayings of CHRIST with these seven. O ken ye the doing of the Say­ings of CHRIST that hath these seven with it? First, It is a Doing upon the back of Hearing of CHRISTs Sayings, where­by the Christian in all his Doings, labours ay to be Confor­med to the Rock CHRIST, and brought near Him; and if ye be not Labouring by your Doing, to be brought near the Rock, and conformed to Him, Ille not give a gray Groat for your Doing; Ille no give meikle Silver for many Folks Doing: For they never win to Conformity to CHRIST by their Doing. Secondly, It is such a Doing upon the back of Hearing of CHRISTs Sayings, whereby not only a Good Foundation is laid, but the fulness of the measure of the sta­ture of a perfect man in CHRIST is aimed at by the Christi­an, as well as the laying of a Good Foundation. For my part Sirs, I think it is a poor Bussiness, we say ay we are Doing. [Page 13] Christians, and yet a Good Foundation is never laid by us, and we say that we are Doing-Christians, and yet the Sydwall of a Buiding gangs never up with us; We say ay that we are Doing-Christians, and yet the fulness of the measure of the statures of CHRIST is not the End that we aim at in our Do­ing Thirdly, It is such a Doing upon the back of Hearing of CHRISTs Sayings, whereby at the back of thy Doing, thou Erects a New Walk, with these four cleaving to it: O have ye all these four cleaving to your Doing. First, Such a Walk as hath Spiritual-mindedness in the midst of it, Romams 8.1. Who Walk not after the Flesh but after the Spirit. There­fore every word of a Preaching that I get, I make Use of it for keeping me Spiritually-minded in my Generation, Philip. 3.20. Our Conversation is in Heaven, from whence we look for a Saviour. Why is thy Conversation in Heaven, poor Body? Even because my Master is there, and where should I be but where my Master is? A Second Thing that this Doer Erects, ye may take it out of Acts 9.31. Walking in the fear of the LORD, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost: Therefore my Walk hath ay two Flowers strawed over it, the fear of the LORD, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost; and every one of them plays to others hands in my Walk. A Third Piece of Walk that this Doer Erects at the back of my Hearing, and that is in Micah 6.8. He Walks humbly with his GOD: And therefore ye shall never find my Head high­er than the Dust; and ye shall never find my Head higher than the Ground, humbly with my GOD shall my Walk be all my days. A Fourth Walk that is to be Erected upon the back of Hearing of CHRISTs Sayings, and that is, Such a Walk wherein the Christian hath Holiness and Exactness engraven upon every stap of his Walk, 1 Peter 1.16 Be ye Holy, for I am Holy. The Men of the World says, What a sorrow aills this Mans Holiness, or that Mans Holiness, that it may not [Page 14]gain you? There is no Mans Holiness that we are to write af­ter for a Copy to us; but the Holiness of GOD: Holy, as He is Holy, must be our aim. The Men of the World says, it is enough and we Profess to be holy: Yea, yea, in that day when CHRIST speaks with Folk, if there be no more but a professed holiness, it will be casten over the Bar, and themselves at the taill of it. For I assure you holiness bulks much in CHRISTs bosom; but a big Profession make it as bony as ye like, will not bulk much in CHRISTs bosom, and there be no more. These are the four Walks that ye are to Erect at the back of your hearing of CHRISTs Sayings.

There is a Fourth Piece of Doing at the back of hearing that the Christian is to have, and that is, A doing with these three Harmonies in it. First, A Harmony betwixt his Do­ing the Duties of the First Table of the Law, and his Do­ing the Duties of the Second Table of the Law in his Walk; never one of them wrongs another, never one of them shuts another to the Door; but every one of them plays to others hands in his Walk and Practice: What think ye of that brave harmony? Few of you hath that excellent Walk in your Do­ing. A Second Harmony in this Mans Doing, and that is, A harmony betwixt his Light and his Practice, and never one of them Justels against another; he brings up his Practice to his Light, and never one of them thorturs with another: he lets no thorturing be betwixt these two: This may be the mat­ter of our Mourning, that thorturing with Light is like to be Scotlands plague. Thirdly, This Man keeps a harmony be­twixt his own part in doing, and GODs part in doing, and he never lets one of these croses and thorturs answer, but he gives GOD the Glory of all his Doings; all the Supports, and all the Comforts, and all the Upholdings and throw bearings that GOD gives him, he gives GOD the Glory of it all; he steals nothing of GODs Glory from Him; but he levels all at [Page 15]GODs Glory, and takes to himself Shame and Confusion of Face: GODs Glory is the Butt we are to aim at in all our do­ings. Therefore it is a sore matter in this Generation that these three Harmonies is gone, and away in our Practice. Our doing the Duties of the First Table of the Law, wrongs and Justels against the Duties of the Second Table of the Law; and our doing the Duties of the Second Table, wrongs and justels against the Duties of the First. For in do­ing of our Duties, many times we aim at GODs part, and leaves our own undone; or when we win any length in doing, we take all the Glory of it from GOD, to our self; and our do­ing thorturs our Light, and our Light thorturs our Doing. O Sirs, and it were kent how much we have thortured with GOD, we would be a Wonder to our selves; we have thortu­red with GOD, and we have thortured with the Light in our bosom; and we have thortured one with another; and we have thortured with the Bible; and in our Doings we are like to thorture with all the Testimonies of the Saints; we are a shamed, shamed, shamed Pack: there is nothing but thortur­ing among us.

A Fifth Piece of Doing that the Christian is to study in his Generation at the back of Hearing of CHRISTs Sayings, where­in the Christian is to mark his short-comings of his Duties, and Mourn over them; and mark his speed-comings, and bless GOD over these, and take an Argument from both to foster doing upon his hand: Is not that a piece of Royal-work in a day of the Cross? Therefore whenever a Minister hath preached up my Duty, I never rest untill I win at doing, and I will not let GOD want neither the Glory of my short-com­ings, nor of my speed-comings; and I bless GOD for that, and Ille take an Argument from both to feed doing and hearing u­pon my hand. The Men of the World sayes, What have we adoe with Religion now? It is ill spoken off every-where? [Page 16]Ille tell you News; Ille get as much in the Practice of Reli­gion and in Doing, as will keep me warm against the coldest blast that can blow upon the Christians in Scotland. Many thinks it is their Duty to grow Lukewarm in GODs Mat­ters, and they call that Prudence. The Lukewarmness that GOD hath said, He will spue out of his Mouth; Men and Women will call that prudence: Shame and lack come upon that prudence. GOD will tirll us out of that prudence ere He hath done with us.

Sixthly, This doing is a doing wherein the Christian is much troubled with the Bands that lyes upon his Spirit, and hin­ders him from doing what he would, for the want of encourag­ment in doing, are staps in his Way; The Bands on his Spirit troubles him more than the want of the blessing and imbrac­ing and dandling on the Knee of his Master here away: There­fore the Christian hath a sore heart; Why? not because he wants the Countenance of his Master. But would ye ken what aills him? Here is his Complaint, Alas! I do nothing in Doing; the Bands on my Spirit makes me have a sore heart. What aills thee, O Christian, to break thy Heart? Is it for fear thou be not well, or is it for fear thou win not to heaven? Or is it for fear thou never be admitted to follow the Lamb a­bove? Or is it because thou gets not anew of His Visits upon the Earth? No. What aills thee then poor Body? Alas it is because I do nothing at the Doing-Trade, and that breaks my Heart.

Lastly, It is such a doing as has these five Motives cleaving to it; O ken ye the five Motives of the Doing-Christian.

The First Motive of this Doing-Christian, is this. He does timously; no sooner is his Heart warmed with the hearing of CHRISTs Sayings; (but if I may say so) his fect is as soon warmed with the Practice of them, presently he puts them in Practice; he never lets his heart cool, till he practise them; [Page 17]Well kens he to strick the iron while it is hot. I wat not Sirs, I trow many of us lets our selves cool, ere ever we put CHRISTs Sayings in Practice. What is the reason that there are so many stiffe lithed Professors in Scotland; Here is the Reason, we gate a kindly heat; but alas! we got a sudden and unkind­ly cool upon the back of it. A sudden cool upon the back of a great heat, makes Folk stiffe bound and sweer to gang: We got a kindly heat under out swearing of a Covenant, and un­der a Work of Reformation, and a lively Ministry; But alas! we put it not in Practice, when it was at our heart; but we sat down upon it, and that gave us a sudden cool at the back of our heat, and that makes our Bones stiff; we dow not draw a Limb to us. O the sudden cools that the Ministers & Pro­fessors in Scotland hath given themselves, that makes them Walk in the Ways of GOD, as if all their Bones were broken: Even like a poor Traveller hot on his Journey, and when he meets his Neighbour in the gate, he says to him, sit down Gos­sop and rest you there; and the poor Man having sitten a while, when he rises, he dow not draw a Leg after him. O Sirs! it cannot be told how many makes stiff Bones among you; that that makes them Walk as if all their Bones were broken: But the Man that is an acceptable Doer, he does timously upon the back of Hearing.

A Second Motive of this Doing-Man, and that is, As he does timously, so he does orderly; he begins with Substanti­als, and for Circumstances, he puts them in their own place, though he will leave none of them undone: He begins with that, that is first in GODs Count-book, and for other doings, he puts these in their own Room: Therefore it is a well wail­ed word of Davids in the 119. Psalm, Order my Goings in Thy Way, and I shall keep Thy Testimonies to the end. I cannot tell what to do, nor what to begin at; bat if Thou wilt order my [...], I will keep Fyle and Rank to purpose. But [Page 18]O but the Christians in Scotland is ill Sojors in this Christi­an-Warfare, for they can neither keep Fyle nor Rank; What will word of you Sirs? Will ye not all be broken?

A Third Motive of this Doer, and that is, He will not be holden back from doing, neither by Friends nor Foes: And therefore, when he sets to his Duty, will he let Flesh and Blood hinder him; No. In that first of the Galatians 16. Verse, immediatly said the Apostle, I consulted not with Flesh and Blood: Flesh and Blood will never be the Members of His Parliament, he will consult none with them about the Bussi­ness; but he will set all these once to the Door. Will he not let the Counsel of Christian-Friends hinder him? No. There­fore that 21. Chapter of the Acts 13. Verse, What mean ye to Weep and break my Heart (says the Apostle) I am not only ready to go to Jerusalem and be bound; but to Die for the Name of the LORD JESƲS. Woes me! are there not enew to break our Hearts, albeit Christian-Friends break not our Hearts; I am-not only ready to gang to Jeru­salem for my Duty; but to Sacrifice my Life for that Cause that I Preach: Therefore the poor Man gangs in the Bands of the Spirit to Jerusalem, knowing nothing but one thing, that in every Place and Country that he geed to, he was ay for to get a sore skin; but he could promise himself no other Suc­cess: This is ay the Comfort that a poor Minister hath to gang out and preach to a People and Country-side. Would ye ken what he can promise himself? nothing: But this, he is sure of the fury of the Magistrate in the Place he comes to, and he is sure of the fury of the Curate in the Parish; and he is sure of the fury of a whean Graceless Folk; and he is sure of the Censure of a whean Old Jobb-trot-Christians that hath joined with the Curats, and if there be any Dunts in dealing, he will get his share of them; yet go they must, and do their Duty they must. I think and Paul had lived in our Time, he had been the rankest Fool that ever ran thereout. What can [Page 19]ye promise to your self Paul, in following out of your Duty? Bands and Afflictions in every place, I can promise my self that, and a redding stroak ay when Dunts comes a Dealing; Will thou gang Man for all that? yes, Gang I must; I ken no other faer, yet gang I must, though the Spirit binds Hands and Feet; and when the Spirit binds, I dar not louse. And as Pe­ter says, and O but he Reasons well; What am I (says he) that I should withstand GOD, in that 11. of the Acts 17. Verse. They are ay abusing him for going to preach in that place and neock of the Country where they thought he had no Warrand to gang and preach; but he lets them all hear in the deafest side of their heads, that he had a Warrand to gang there; Who am I, that I should withstand GOD? Let all the Prudent Men in the Country-side Answer this, and Ille quatt the Bussiness.

A Fourth Motive of this Doing-Man, and that is, He does constantly; ye will never find him out of doing; it may be he be put far from his Point, and may be he be put far from his Intention; but be put als far from it as he will, he falls ay a doing again. Well then, my Advice to you Sirs, is this, that ye fall a doing with it, and Labour twelve hours, for the Night cometh, when no Man seeth to Work.

Lastly, It is such a Doing wherein four pieces of Spiritu­al-Wisdom kyths in all his Doings.

The First Practice of Doing, wherein Spiritual-Wisdom kyths, is this, That any Attainment that he gets, and any Re­ceipt that he receives from his Master for it, he puts ay a prize upon it, and blesses his Master for it; but he so puts a prize upon it as undervalues himself, and gives himself that Name in the 17. of Luke 10. Verse, An Ʋnprofitable Servant; that shall evermore be my Name.

A Second Practice of Wisdom this Doer hath, and that is, He gives ay the Sayings of CHRIST a right Seat, and then [Page 20]when it hath a Right Seat, it will break out in many Springs. What is the Right Seat of the Sayings of CHRIST? David kent well what it was; The Right Seat of the Word of GOD, I hid Thy Word in my Heart, that is a Right Seat for the Sayings of CHRIST: Even the Heart of the Christian, and having it well seated there, it will convey Streams through all his Members. A Right seated word of CHRIST will break out at the Eye; and a right seated word at the Heart will break forth at the Door; and a right seated word at the Heart, will break forth at the Mouth, and at the Hand, and Foot, and will convey it self into all the Members: It cannot be told how many Streams the right placing of a word at the Heart will have.

A Third Practice of Wisdom this Doer hath, and that is, as he Places the Word of Christ Right in his Heart, so he plac­eth himself Right, and giveth CHRIST the Chief Room; and as long as ye give not Him the Chief Place and Room, ye will be but Bumblers at doing: Therefore this Doer, he sets ay CHRISTs Chair at the Table-head, and when he hath set Him there, he hath three words to hear: O ken ye the three words the Doing-Christian hath in the day that he hath CHRIST set at the Table-head.

The First word he hath, is this, LORD, What wilt Thou have me to do? The Second word, is this, LORD, help me to do. The Third word, is this, Not unto me, not unto me, but unto Thy Name be all the Glory: When ever he wins any bit forward in doing, then he says, Not unto me, not unto me; but to Thy Name be all the Glory.

A Fourth Practice of Wisdom this Doer hath, and that is, He takes ay GODs March-stones, and GODs March-dyke to be the Rule of his Duties doing in Practice, and no other: Therefore it is not what March-stones the Lords and the Lairds hath set to be the Rule of my Practice and Duty; [Page 21]and it is not what March-stones this Prelate and that Pre­late hath set, that is the Rule of my Dutie. But it is what March-stones the LORD Himself has set. Wad ye ken one of CHRISTs March-stones, there it is, Be ye Holy as I am Holy, 1 Peter 1.16. Vow Sirs, but that is a long March-dyke, there is many Aikers of Land within that March-dyke: O Sirs, there is meikle Work within that March-stone; keep your selves within it, and follow no Mans March-stones: but as I Walk, Walk ye.

The next Thing to be spoken to, is this, Wherein lyes the Commendableness of this to be doing at the back of hearing of CHRISTs Sayings: And First, The Commendableness of it lyes in this, this is the thing, to be doing at the back of hearing that hath Blessedness intailled on it, John 13.17. Happy are ye if ye know these things; but blessed are ye if do them. But Secondly, The Commendableness of it lyes in this, this is the thing that Honours your Master, this is the Exercise that puts Respect and Honour upon CHRIST. Third­ly, The Commendableness of it lyes in this, That this is the Exercise that will not only make thee to fend under the Cross, but out-live it with Commendation; this will put thee in a Ca­pacity to out-live a Storm with Commendation. The Men of the World sayes, That they will make a Storm and Stress of Weather blow all our Religion from us yet; but I hope to see them all beguiled. But they say, They shall gar a New Storm blow our Giddy-headedness and Phanatizism from us, and they shall blow a Covenant and a Work of Refor­mation from us. Indeed there is over many hath this blown from them; but brag at leasnre, the Doing-Christian shall keep his Religion, his Godliness, and his Covenant, and ye should gang to the sorrow: Ye may win to my Estate, and to my Body; but for my Religion, ye shall never win at that: Ye may gar me leave House and Family, and may make me [Page 22]bide many a cold blast, or ye may uncover my Roof, & send all my Bairns a begging; but for the bony House that I have been Building under a Lively Ministry, ye shall never get a hole in that; for the bony bit House that they call Religion, which I have been making up under a Covenant, and Work of Refor­mation, there shall never a drop of Rain win in that House, come the Floods as they will; and there shall never an air of Wind win in, in that House blow from what airt it will: Ye shall never see a hole in the Wall of that House, and ye should wait while your Eyes rote out of your Head. But Fourthly, The Commendableness of it lyes in this, That of all Men and Women in the World, the Man and the Woman that is Doers at the back of hearing, is bulk somest in CHRISTs bosom, and is not that a Commendable-Exercise, that makes me so bulk­som to Him? It is a fore matter, Sirs, we cannot be bulksom in our Masters bosom in thir Days. Well then, Ille tell you what we will Resolve on, we will Resolve to be Doers of Christs Sayings, and then we shall throw His Grace be bulksome in GODs Sight, and this will pay home the loss of the little bulk­somness we have among them whom we live among.

Lastly, Ay the more thou studies doing at the back of hear­ing, the more thou keeps a Good Conscience: For as long as thou keeps this Dish upon thy Table, heartsom must thy Life be; for thou hath a Dish upon thy Table that all the Prelats in Scotland hath not the like of it. Thou that hath broked thy Religion by doing, hath a bra Dish upon thy Table; if so be thou hath been at a doing of CHRISTs Sayings, thou hath a bra Life of it. But I think there are many of the Pro­fessors of Scotland, hath tryed the doing of many Assayings, that is not CHRISTs Sayings: For they have tryed Popery, and they have tryed Quakerism, and they have tryed a Pro­fession of Religion; and now they are at Atheism where they began, and I think that they shall be there. Well Sirs, Doing at [Page 23]the back of Hearing is heartsom, and if ye hear but little do the more; and if ye be Doers of the thing that ye Hear, this Doing shall bring more to your Hand, and ye shall yet gang on Grass to your Eyen Holes, for the bare going ye have got­ten; so do and wait for Him in His own Way, and ye shall have a brave Life of it.

Let us pray

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