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principles and practices of the above-mentioned heretics put upon the church's apple tree; in that they hold and teach that Christ's righteousness alone is not sufficient to justify a sinner at the bar of God, without the sinner's qualifications as con-causes with Christ's righteousness in justification. This is a disparagement to Christ, the church's apple tree, which the God of love and patience himself cannot bear, Deut. xviii. 18; John v. 23. And should not I herein patrizate, that is, imitate my father, in decrying and condemning such a Christ-debasing and soul-damning principle? I should not, by being silent herein, evidence myself to be the adopted son of God.
Secondly, Boldness for God, and zeal for the honour of his Son, are some of those blessed effects which the shadow and fruits of the apple tree produce in all true believers who sit under the shadow and feed on the fruit of the church's apple tree, Acts iv. 13; Gal. iv. 18. vince any hereof who question the truth of what I now assert, let such but once get a saving acquaintance with this apple tree, by sitting under its comfortable and delightful shadow in time of the most raging storms they meet with, and by feeding believingly on its fruit; and, in case they become not bold and zealous for God and Christ, I shall be willing to bear
the ignominious brand or character of a false prophet.
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; thereby good shall come unto thee. Job xxii. 21.
O taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psal. xxxiv. 8.
CANT. ii. 3.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among
I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Among all the metaphors whereby the wisdom of God hath seen fit to set forth the excellency, and commodiousness of Christ his Son, as he is designed for the happiness and comfort of
poor elected sinners; none so sets him forth to the life as this of the apple tree, as will most plainly appear by two things:
First, By explaining or unfolding the sense and meaning of the Spirit of God in this allegory or metaphor.
Secondly, By a due and scriptural application of the same to the souls of poor, weak, tempted believers, for the relief and comfort of whom the same is left upon record.
I begin with the first, To explain and unfold the sense and meaning of the Spirit of God in this allegory or metaphor.
The design of the Spirit of God in this allegory is, I humbly conceive, to set forth the incom
parable and transcendent excellency of Jesus Christ above all other of Adam's children, and that on a twofold account.
First, On the account of what he is in himself.
Secondly, On the account of the great work he is designed and called to by his Father.
First, On the account of what Christ is in himself. He far and unspeakably transcends all the children of Adam; so witnesseth the Spirit of God concerning him: “ Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee for ever,” Psalm xlv. 2. To this also witnesseth the church of God, the true spouse of Christ, which is acted and guided by the Spirit of God: “ My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely,” Cant. v. 10, 16. This transcendent excellency of Christ in himself, on which account he excels all the children of Adam, is to be considered with respect to two things :
First, In respect of his godhead. As Christ is God, he possesses an uncreated and essential excellency above all created beings; from whom, as such, all created and communicated excellency, in angels and saints, flows and springs, Zech. xii. 7; John xvii. 5; Phil. ii. 9; Heb. i. 3.
Secondly, In respect of his humanity, Christ is transcendently more excellent than all the children of Adam, and that on a twofold account.
First, On the account of the spotless purity and