Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

26 FIRST SERMON the sap can never find way to the boughs : sin is the vehicle which carries shame and sorrow to the soul ; take away that, and a judgment bath no commission: You may find an error in it, if you be not the same men that you were when it issued forth, for God shoots no arrows to hurt the body of his Son. It is true, Job complains that " God's arrows did stick in him," Job vi. 4. But these were not for destruction, but for trial ; as men shoot bullets against armour of proof, not to hurt it, but to praise it. Job in this case was brought forth, not as a malefactor to suffer, but as a champion to triumph. Let a man take what course he can to keep off God's judgments, and hide himself in the closest protection that human power or policy can contrive, so long as he keeps his sin with him, God's arrows will get through at one joint or other. A naked man with innocence, is better armed than Goliath in brass or iron. We are apt in our distresses to howl and repine, to gnaw our tongues, and tear our flesh in the anguish of our sufferings. Like the silly hart, which runs mourning and bleeding, but never thinks of getting out the fatal dart which sticks in his side. We look upward to see whether help will drop into our mouths ; and we look downward, to see whether human suc- cours will avail us. But we look, not inward, to find out the plague of our own hearts, that we may be rid of that. And till this be done, sin doth as naturally draw and suck judgments to it, as the loadstone loth iron, or turpentine fire. Whence comes it that our distractions remain unremoved ? Certainly our leaks are not stopped, our sins are not thrown away, we labour at the pump to get the water out, but we do not take care to cure the passage at which it enters in ; we are old bottles still, and God will not put new