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into his marvellous light, and into the kingdom of bis dear Son; not one of this elected remnant, but shall in due time be brought home; for whom he did predestinate, them be also called. Fourth, God's remnant are a holy people, they are a set of men that study to keep clean garments ; they study to purify themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfeting holiness in the fear of the Lord; and therefore called, the people of his holiness, Isai. Ixiii. 18. Holiness is the design of their election, for be bath predestinated us unto the adoption of children, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. Holiness is the design of their redemption by Christ Jesus, Tit. ii. 14. He hath redeemed us from all ini quity, and purified unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Holiness is the design of their effectual calling: For God hath not called us to uncleanness, but unto holiness; and he hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling : So that God's remnant is a holy remnant. Fifth, The number of this remnant is but small, there are but a few, names in Sardis that have not defiled their garments. Christ's flock is but a little flock: It is indeed a great flock, and an innumerable multitude, abstractly considered; but, considered comparatively, or when laid in the balance with the droves and multitudes of the wicked, it is but a little flock and a small remnant: They are few that are elected, for many are called, but few are chofen: They are few that are redeemed, it is only God'select that are bought with a price: They are few that are effectually called, for, to whom is the arm of the Lord revecled? Few that hold out in the time of temptation, but leven thousand among all the thousands of Israel, that have not bowed the knee to Baal. Sixth, Altho' they be but few, yet in the
worst worst of times God has always some of this remnant, who cleave to him and his way, even when all about them are corrupting their ways. He had a Lot in Sodom, whose righteous soul was vexed with the abominations of the place; he has a remnant of mourners in Jerusalem, when the whole city was defiled with wickedness; he has bis two witnesses to bear testimony unto his Truths, when the whole world is wondring after the beast, and over-run with antichristian darkness and idolatry. Seventh, God has a special eye of favour and kindness on this remnant, in a sinful and declining time; he has a mark set upon the men that high and groan for the abominations in Jerusalem, his eyes run to and fro through the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them, &c. But this leads me to
The second Thing proposed, which was to fhew, that Christ has a high value for this remnant; they are the worthies of the world in his esteem, however they be difesteemed and under-valued by the world. This will appear from these following considerations, (1.) Consider what an account he makes of them, when compared with the rest of the world; he values them so highly, that he will give whole nations and kingdoms of the wicked for their ransom, Isai. xlv. 3, 4. Ever since thou wast precious in my hight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee, and I gave men for thee, &c. that is, he will sacrifice whole nations and kingdoms of wicked men, before he be bereft of his little remnant, The scriptures are very full to this purpose; his remnant is the gold, the rest of the world are but dross, thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross, Pfal. cxix. 119. But the precious fons of Zion are comparable to fine gold, Lam. iv. 2. Not only gold, but fine gold, polished by the hand of the Spirit. A
gain, his little remnant are the wheat, but the rest of the world are the chaff; and what is the chaff to the wheat, faith the Lord? When he comes with his fan in his band, he will gather his wheat into bis garner, but the chaff he will burn up with fire that is unquenchable, Matth. iii. 12. His little remnant is the good corn, but the wicked are the tares; and he will say to his reapers at the last judgment, gather the tares together, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the good corn into my barn. His remnant are his sheep, but the rest are the goats ; and be will say to the sheep on his right hand, Come, ye blessed; but to the goats he will say, Depart, ye cursed. His remnant are his vessels of honour, whom he reserves as furniture to adorn the house not made with hands ; but the wicked are o whom he will break in pieces as a potter's vessel, and cast into the furnace of his anger. Thus, I say, that they are worthy in his esteem, is evident from the account he makes of them when laid in the balance with others. (2.) That this litile remnant is worthy in Christ's account, will appear, if we consider the names and appellations that he gives them : He sometimes calls them his Love, his Dove, his Unde filed, his Hepäibo!, his Bulah, his fedidiahs, the very darlings of his heart; he calls them sometimes his fewels, Mal. iii. 17. They shall be mine, faith the Lord, in the day that I make up my jewels; and, I will spare thein as a man spareth bis own son that serves bim. He calls them the very apple of his eye, the most tender part of the body, and the eye-lid of his special providence doth cover them : Yea, such is the value that he has for them, that he calls them himself, and speaks of them as if he and they were but one. Saul, Saul, says the Lord, wely perfecutest
thou me ? (3.) Consider the endeared relations they ftand under unto him, and from thence you will see that they cannot but be worthy in his esteem: There is a legal, a moral, and a mystical union between him and them; he is their head, and they are his members; he is the root, and they are the branches that grow upon him; he is the husband, and they are his spouse and bride, thy Maker is thy husband'; he is their father, and they are his children; he is their elder brother, and they are his younger brethren; he is heir of all things, and he makes them joint-heirs with himself of his heavenly kingdom ; he is their advocate, and they are his clients; he is their king, and they are his subjects. (4.) They cannot but be worthy in his esteem, if ye consider how much he values, not only their persons, but whatever pertains unto them: He values their names, I have a few names in Sardis; , he keeps them among the records of heaven, and has them written in the lamb's book of life. He values their prayers, Cant. ii. 14. O my dove that art in the clefts of the rock! let me hear thy voice, for it is fweet ; the prayers of the wicked are like the howling of dogs to him, but the prayers of the upright remnant are his delight: He values their tears, and puts them into his bottle ; he, as it were, gathers every drop from their eyes, I have heard thy prayers, I have seen thy tears, faith the Lord to Hezekiah ; he values their blood, Psal. cxvi. 15. Precious in the hight of the Lord is the death of his faints; and they that thed their blood, he will give them blood to drink. (5.) That they are worthy in his esteem, appears from what he does for them : He remembred them in their low estate, and set his love on them, when they were wallowing in their blood; be has loved them with an everlasting love, an unalterable
love, with an ardent love ; his love to them is Atrong as death; he has redeemed them with bis blood; for we are not redeemed by corruptible things, such as filver and gold, &c. He hatb loved us, and wash'd us with his own blood, Rev. i. 5. He confers many excellent privileges upon them ; they have an excellent pardon, it being full, final and irrevocable, Heb. viii. 12. they have an excellent peace, which passes all understanding ; an excellent joy, being unspeakable, and full of glory; excellent food, they eat of the hidden manna ; have access to an excellent throne with boldness, Heb. iv. 16. They have excellent communion, even fellowhip with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Chrift; they have the interposition of an excellent Mediator, even Jesus the mediator of the new covenant; they have an excellent guard attending them ; they are guarded with the divine attributes, even as the mountains are about Jerusalem ; guarded with the twenty thousand chariots of angels ; Mahanaim, the host of God, is about them; they have an excellent store-house, even the whole fulness of the Godbead dwelling bodily in Chrift; they are cloathed with excellent robes, even the garments of salvation, and robes of righteousness : They are beirs of an everlasting inheritance, that is incorruptible and undefiled : yea, heirs of God and joint-beirs with Jesus Christ. And to crown all, they have excellent security for all this, the word of God, his covenant, his oath, his blood, and the earnest of his spirit. From all which it appears, what an high value he has for them, and how worthy they are in his account.
The third thing proposed was, to enquire what is imported in the remnant their keeping their garments clean: And, (1.) Įt imports, that God's remnant are clothed, or that they have garments given