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Branch 3. It reproves such as bring forth fulness, I desire them to weigh these five good fruit, but to a bad end, Hos. x. 1, “ Is- things. rael is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit 1. Fruit is that which God expects from us, unto himself:” a man had as good bring forth we are his plantations; and, “Who planteth no fruit, as bring forth fruit unto himself. a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit there.
Quest. What is it for one to bring forth of?” 1 Cor. ix. 7. Let us not be as Pharaoh's fruit unto himself ?
kine, which devoured the fat, and yet still Ans. When all the good he doth is for the were lean ; let us not be still devouring ser. magnifying of himself; the worm of pride mons, yet never the fatter. gets into his fruit and spoils it. Prayer is 2. Fruitfulness is one of the most distincgood ; but when a man prays only to show his tive characters of a Christian ; Prov. xii. 12, parts, this is to bring forth fruit unto himself: " The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.” some pride it in their humbling confessions, Fruitfulness differeth a saint from a hypowhich is as if Benhadad's servants had been crite! the hypocrite is all for show and preproud when they came before the king with tence, he hath fair leaves, but the root of ropes upon their heads, 1 Kings xx. 31. the righteous yieldeth fruit ;" fruit can no Works of mercy are good, but when a man more be separated from faith, than moisture gives alms, not so much to feed the poor, as from the air, it is the very definition of a to feed his pride, now he brings forth fruit to branch in Christ, “it bears fruit,” John xv. himself, and this fruit is worm-eaten. God 2. As a man differs from a beast by reason, will say to all such self-seekers, as once he a beast differs from a plant by sense, a plant did to the people of the Jews, Zech. vii. 5, differs from a stone by vegetation ; so a good "When ye fasted and mourned, did ye at all Christian differs from a hypocrite by fruit. fast unto me, even to me?" Sinners, did ye Fruitfulness puts a difference between the not bring forth fruit unto yourselves?
sound tree and the hollow tree. Use 3. Exhort. Branch 1. Let this exhort Quest. But may not hypocrites bring forth all to fruitfulness. How happy were it, if it fruit ? might be said of us as of Joseph, Gen. xlix. Ans. 1. They do not bring forth fruit in 22, “Joseph is a fruitful bough ?" We love the Vine ; they bring forth in the strength of to see every thing fruitful : if there be a tree parts, not in the strength of Christ. in our orchard, though with ever such fair 2. Hypocrites bring forth something like leaves, we value it not unless there be fruit; fruit, but it is not the right fruit. when you come into your garden, you com 1. The fruit they bear is not sweet. The plain if you see no fruit; such a root is set, crab may bear fruit as well as the pearmain ; but it doth not grow; we love to see fruit- but this excels in sweetness. The hypocrite fulness every where, and why not in our may pray and give alms as well as a child of hearts ? O let the precious grapes and figs God, but there is a difference in the fruit; we bear, evidence that we are trees of God's the fruit of the regenerate is mellow, it is planting. We often plant trees to be a shade sweetened with faith, it is ripened with love. to the house ; God cares for no such trees as The hypocrite's fruit is sour and harsh; he are only for shade, he loves fruit. Arabia is doth not bring forth pomegranates, but crabs, called Felix, because of the sweet fruits which not figs, but wild grapes. grow there, frankincense, with other per 2. The seeming fruit of hypocrites dies fumes and spices. That Christian may be and comes to nothing, John xv. 6, “ He is entitled Felix, happy, that hath the sweet cast forth as a branch, and is withered.” The fruits of the Spirit growing in his heart; be hypocrite's fruit is like the grass upon the fruit-bearing trees. This is the emblem of house tops, which withereth before it grow. a good Christian, he is never without fruit, eth up, Ps. cxxix. 6. Matt. xiii. 6. either blooming in his affections, or fructify 3. Fruitfulness adorns a Christian; the ing in his conversation.
fruit adorns the tree; a fruit-bearing ChrisThat I may persuade Christians to fruit- tian is an ornament to religion; the more
fruitful the branch is, the more fair to look 1. This is the end why we have new cost on. A dead tree, as it is unserviceable, so it laid out upon us, that we should bring forth is uncomely. A Christian, decked with the more fruit. The Lord is still manuring us; fruits of righteousness, is beautiful and glo- not a week, not a day, but he is at new cost rious.
with us, he rains down golden showers ; and 4. Fruitfulness is a good evidence to show why is God at all this charge with us, but for heaven; the fruits of love, humility, good that we may bring forth more fruit ? works, are (as St Bernard saith) seeds of 2. The fuller we are of fruit, the more we hope, signs of predestination, the happy are like Christ, who was “full of grace
and presages of future glory. The righteousness truth,” John i. 14, he received the Spirit of faith is always accompanied with the fruits without measure," John iii. 34. This tree of of righteousness. He that can show good life was ever bearing; and he brought forth fruit, goes full sail to heaven.
several sorts of fruit, wisdom, righteousness, 5. God delights in his fruitful trees ; when sanctification, &c. The more we are filled his garden flourisheth he will walk there ; he with the fruits of righteousness, the more we who curseth the barren tree, will taste of the resemble the Sun of Righteousness. We fruitful tree, Cant. v. 1, “I am come into were elected to this end, to be made like my garden, my sister, my spouse : I have Christ, Rom. viii. 30, and then are we most gathered my myrrh with my spice." like this blessed Vine when we bear full
2. Branch. It exhorts them that do bear clusters, fruit, that they would bring forth more fruit; 3. The more fruit a Christian brings forth, do not think you have fruit enough, but bring the more will Christ love him. “Now, saith forth further degrees of sanctity, John xv. 2, Leah, will my husband be joined unto me, “ Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth because I have born him three sons," Gen. it that it may bring forth more fruit." Grace xxix. 34. When we bear much fruit, now is like the morning light which increaseth will Christ's heart be joined to us. Christ more and more to the full meridian of glory. will pardon a weak faith, he will honour a Christians should be like that ground in the great faith. It was not a sparkle of faith Christ parable which brought forth “some sixty, commended in Mary Magdalene, but love some a hundred fold,” Matt. xiii. 8. He who flaming, Luke vii. 74, “she loved much." hath a little gold labours to increase it ; and Christians, would you be like that beloved disis not grace more precious than gold? some ciple which “ leaned on the bosom of Jesus?" Christians have a little fruit, and they think would you have much love from Christ? let that is well ; like trees that have an apple or him have much fruit from you. two growing upon them to show that they 4. Bearing much fruit will usher in abunare of the right kind, Isa. xvii. 6, “ Two or dance of comfort into the soul in these two three berries in the top of the uppermost exigencies. bough.” They are like the church of Phila (1). In the hour of tentation. Satan will delphia which had a little strength,” Rev. be sure to besiege the weakest Christian ; all iii. 8, so they have a little faith, a spark of his darts fly that way, and a strong tentation love. Christ chides a little faith, Matt. xiv. may overcome a weak faith; but a flourishing 31. Christians should increase with the in- faith stands like a cedar, and is not blown crease of God, Col. ii. 19. Christ compares down by the wind of tentation; a strong faith the breasts of the spouse to clusters of grapes, can stop the mouth of the devil, that roaring for fruitfulness, Cant. vii. 7. O labour to be lion, 1 Pet. v. 9, Christians of degrees; the apostle prays for (2). Store of fruit will give comfort in the the Philippians that their love might abound hour of death; a little grace will make us “yet more and more," Phil. i. 9.
above the fear of death; 0 what joy will it Now that I may press Christians who have be on the deathbed, when a Christian can fruit, to bring forth more fruits of patience, bring his sheaves full of corn! when he can humility, love, &c. Consider,
show his five talents that he hath gained by
trading ! when there is not only a drop or cities. If you would have your crown hung
5. Consider what need we have to be heart; sin lived in, is like vermin to the tree,
is eclipsed with sin, our faith is lene, a weeping plant, how fruitful was she
blood of Christ, and the promises.
“ Thou hast left thy first love.” It is am, the blood of Christ applied to the heart,
when we believe, now we water the root of
lustre in glory.
to make the tree bear better: apply the pro- preached will not only make us knowing
5. Another means to fruitfulness his humi- other husbandmen; they can plant and prune
6. If you would be fruitful in grace, be ness.” The bleeding vine bears best: it is much in good conference ; Mal. iii. 16, an observation that the pulling off some of “ Then they that feared the Lord spake often the blossoms of a tree makes the fruit fairer ; one to another.” There is an observation the reason is, because the sap hath the less some have concerning the sympathy of to nourish; some writers say, they have plants ; some plants will bear better near known a tree by having too many blossoms, other trees than when they grow alone, as is hath blossomed itself dead.
The notion seen in the myrtle and olive; this holds true holds true in a spiritual sense; God, by in divinity; the trees of righteousness, when pulling off some of the blossoms of our they associate and grow near together, thrive comforts, makes us bring forth fairer fruit; best in godliness. The communion of saints some have so blossomed in prosperity, that is an
excellent means for fruitfulness. they have blossomed themselves into hell. Christians increase one another's knowledge, It is an ancient experiment, that the planting strengthen one another's faith, clear one some tender trees near the west sun doth another's evidences. When the trees planted them hurt, and parcheth the fruit, the sun in God's orchard stand at a distance, and being so extremely hot: too much prosperity, grow strange one to another, they are less like the west sun, doth Christians much hurt, fruitful.
and parcheth all good affections, Jer. xxvii. 7. If you would be fruit-bearing trees, be 21. O pray to God that he would make near the water of the sanctuary ; Jer. xvii. you fruitful, though it be by bleeding. Say, 8, “ He shall be like a tree planted by the as Luther, Lord, wound where thou wilt
, waters, and that spreadeth out the roots by prune and cut me till I bleed, so that I may the river ; her leaf shall be green, nor shall have my fruit unto holiness, and my end it cease from yielding fruit,” The word everlasting life.” Rom. vi. 22.
Adam's s Adopted Adoption Adultery
in it a Afliction
happi Aflicti Aggray Aggrav
of h Angel:
infir Anthr Apost
in it appears,
not sufficient to entitle us to salvation, 604 Believers, how they come to have those
98 Believers, privilege of, after death, 200
156 Believers, when they enter upon posses-
318 Benefits of God's children, what they
232 Bodies, how shall we know they shall be
502 Bodies of the saints shall be glorious at
455 Cain went out from the presence of the
Christ, why called the Word,
167 Christ, what are the lessons he teaches, 113
ness of them did appear,
he doeth in the work of intercession, 121
362 Christ, how we may know that he inter-
cedes for us,
176 Christ, how he comes to be a king, 127