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we should trust the Physician of our Souls. Serm. Therefore,

III. 3. If Christ is our Physician, we are then to submit to, and follow his Prescriptions, and readily comply with all the Methods he is pleased to make use of for the Recovery of our Souls to a state of Health and Sounds nefs. Some of thofe Methods which are very necessary to this End, may be

very

dic agreeable. Adictions are often a necessary Means to this End. And though none of them are for the present joyous but grievous ; yet, being sent to work out for us the peaceable Fruits of Righteousness, they ought not only to be quietly, but thankfully submitted to. Let us not refuse the falutary Potion, because it is unpleasant. Whatever bitter Ingredients there

may be in the Cup, which our divine Physician puts into our Hands, since it is he that prescribes it, we may be sure it is for our Good. And to refuse it, because of it's disagreeable Relish, is to question his Skill, or Kindness, or both; and to refuse to take him for our Physician

Lastly, If we take Christ for our spiritual Physician, we are bound not only to follow his Prescriptions for the present, but his Dia VOL. II.

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rections

SERM. rections for the future: or those Rules he IIT. hath laid down for the future Regulation of

our Lives. It is usual with all the Faculty, not only to prescribe for their Patients medicinal Remedies, but to lay them under a dietetic Regimen: that is, give them such Rules for the Management of themselves with regard to their Food or Diet, which may prevent the Return of their former Difi orders, and preserve them in a state of Health and Vigour. Such Rules and fuch Directions hath Christ left us in his Word for the Pre-:-, fervation of our fpiritual Health: which wë are as much concerned to comply with to prevent a Relapse, as with the Means he preferibes to procure our Recovery.

Whoever then disregards the Rules and Directions of Christ's Gospel, or takes no care to regulate his Temper and Practice by them, he doth therein virtually disown Christ for his Physician; and discovers no proper Sense of his need of him under that Cha. rácter.

And thus have I laid before you, in a plain View, several Thoughts which seemed naturally to rise from this Subject; which I

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thall now conclude with a few Reflexions Serm. by way of Application.

III.

APPLICATION. We have been particularly considering the Character under which Christ hath been pleased to represent himself in the text, as the Physician of Souls: and have seen how properly and eminently that Character belongs to him; and what are the Duties and Regårds we owe him as such. And now from what hath been said we learn, Scripture is made fo necessarily to depend on

To Vation in Christ. His great Character is, the Saviour of Souls. , And he is so called, because he hath purchased Salvation for them by his Blood, and fits them for that Salvation by his Grace. Without the latter, their Salvation would be incomplete, or rather impossible. In the former respect, he is the Redeemer; in the latter, the Healer of their Souls. So that he must be our Physician, before he can be our Saviour. Or he is our Saviour by being our Physician. He first delivers us from the Power and Dominion of Sin, and

then

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SERM. then from the Guilt and Condemnation of
HI.

it. Nor can any have an Interest in him,
as their Saviour, who do not submit to him
as their Physician. A Truth of unexcep-
tionable Evidence and Importance; and de-
ferves to be seriously attended to by every
one who desires to understand and comply
with that Method of Salvation which is
constituted and revealed in the Gospel of
Christ.

2. From what hath been faid we fee how
vain a thing it is to expect Salvation from
Christ whilst we continue in Sin, of take
no care to subdue and mortify it. Those
Persons fhew themselves very ignorant of
the Constitution of the Gospel, and the Me-
thod of Salvation contained therein, who de-
fire only an Interest in the Blood of Christ
for the Pardon of their Sins, without a
hearty Concern for his Grace to subdue
them. To take occasion to fin because Grace
hath abounded, is to counter-act and reverse
the grand Design of the Gospel ; which was
to make us holy, in order to make us happy.
Nor indeed is it possible for Happiness to
be attained

any
other
way.

The Body is as
capable of enjoying Ease and pleasure under

a griev

a grievous and growing Distemper, as the SERM. Soul is of enjoying Happiness whilft it is un

III. der the power of Sin. No, let us ever remember it; whatever our Hope in Christ is, he must be our Physician before he can be our Saviour; and whatever our Notions of Sin are, it will be our Ruin if it be not fubdued. It is of infinite Importance rightly to settle our Notions of these. Things, in which our everlasting Interests are so much concerned ; and to determine our Practice, Views and Hopes accordingly. 3. What hath been delivered

upon

this Subject, may serve to reconcile us to some things that may at present appear difficult and disagreeable, as our Natures now are, which nevertheless are necessary to recover them to a more perfect State. Patients must not expect to be always supported with high Cordials. The most distasteful Draughts are sometimes more necessary. Religion, especially the first Entrance upon it, or the first Recovery of the Soul from a State of Sin, is not so easy a matter as some may inagine. From the nature of the Case it appears that many painful Mortifications muít bé endured, much Self-denial exercised, ere

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