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where we read siow the Four Beasts and Twenty Four Elders threw doitji their Crowns at the Feet of Christ, aid ascribed all the Glory to hint that sat upon the 1'hror.e,. and to the Lamb for ever and ever. The next thing to be considered is, As Gardens by the Rivers side; that is, Israel, the Church, and People of God, are by the Spirit compared unto, or as Gardens by the River's side. And however Balaam spake these Words, yet they are not Balaam's but God's Words, which he spake: Wherefore I shall observe that all the Saints are as beautiful Gardens in the Lord's Account. Pray mind As Gardens, not in the Singular but Plural Number-, and so may be apply'd to every Child* of God; every Believer is as a Garden in God's view, as they are distinctively considered; but take them* collectively of the whole Elect, and they are but as one Garden, as in Sol.iv.i 2. A Garden inclosed is my Sister, my Svoufe; a Springsinit up, a Fountain sealed. This Garden takes in the whole Spouse of Christ, consisting both of Jews andGentiles, which is laid to be but one in Chap. vi. Ver. 9. My Dove, my Undesiled, is but cite, &c. But in this place {lie is expressed to be as Gardens by the River's Side; which seems to hold forth the great Love, Esteem, and high Value, which the Lord hath unto every Member of Christ's Mystical Body. No noblePerson that hath never so fine a Garden, with all the greatest Delights of Nature in it, can so love, value, and esteem it, as the Lord does his People. Secondly, It may be to shew that every Believer hath the fame Interest in all the Blessing of the Covenant, or that Fulness of Grace which by the Father is laid up in Christ; and therefore these , Gardens

Gardens are all of them by the 'River's Side; they are all watered by the pure Riv r of the Water of Life, proceeding from the Throve of God and the Lamb. Again, the Church or God, or Spouse of Christ, may be compared unto a Garden or Gardens fbr several Reasons. First, A Garden is'-'a select Place, distinguished from the rest of the common • Ground; so are the Saints distirguisted bj peculiar Grace from the rest, or chosen out of the World, Job. xvii. 6. Secondly, That Plat ] of Ground made choice of for a Garden, is hedged in, or closed round about with a Wall; so is the Chvrch of God more eminently hedged in with a double Hedge, loth of common and special Providence, Job i. i o. Hast not thou set en Hedge about him, and about his House, and about all that he hath on every fde. Tea they are enclosed as it were with a double Wall, in one Plac e caWd a Wall of Fire round about them (to strike Dread and Terror in the Hearts of their Enemies) in the other, the Walls of Salvation; Salvation hath the Lord appointed for Walls and Bulwarks; so that no ravenous Beast of Prey can possibly break thro' to hurt or anno}r them, Isa. xxvi. 1. Zech. ii. f. Thirdly, When a Place is made choice of for a Garden, hedged in, or walled about, it is digged up,the Stones cast out, manured, to make it fruitful,sown with precious Seeds, and planted with Variety of Fruit. This stiews that until God cones to work upon our Hearts, we are altogether unmeet and uncapable of our selves to bring forth any good Fruit; being by vature of the same common Ground with others: But when God comes to the Soul in,a way of Mercy, he opens the Heart, takes away the stony Nature, sows in the precious immortal Seed of -•I G g 2 th«

the Word, plants them as Trees of Righteousness by the Rivers of Water, whereby they bring forth Fruit vnto God. fourthly, Gardens are made for the Use Profit and Delight of the Owners. Tho' it is true we can in no wife be profitable unto the Lord, yet he takes such delight in his People, as that he love* to do them good: What God hath "done, does, or will do for his Children, it was for his own Glory and the eternal Good of his own People. TheDelight which the Lord takes in his Garden is infinitely beyond the Delight that any Person can take in any Creature Enjoyments. It is in this Garden that the Lord so frequently walks, and takes delight continually to be in it. TheDelightfulness and Excellency of this Garden will appear many ways. Firs, He loved her, and there' fore made choice of her, selefied and disinguifl)ed her from the World to be his Garden, or a peculiar People to himself. Secondly, This Garden is of the Lord's own Right Hand Planting; and therefore glorious. Thirdly, This Garden is the Purchase of Christ ; he has bought her with the Price of his own Blood ; fe is the Travel of his Soul: And therefore he cannot but must delight in her. Fourthly, She isbeautify'd and adorned with the Graces of his Spirit, cloatbed ppon and wrapt round with the glorious Robe of bis Godlike Righteousness in which Glory she outshines the Angels. Fifthly, This Garden stands in relation to Christ as his Wife, Bride, and Spouse; yea, as Flefi of his Fief}, Bone of his Bone, and Members of his Body: And therefore cannot but must be near, dear, and delightful to him. Sixthly, The Beauty, Glojry, and Excellency of this Garden, is further set forth in the Text, by thtir being likerid to the Trees of Ligtialoes which the Lord hath planted. These Trees of Lignaloesate, according to History, a Tree growing in Arabia and India, which for the sweet and odoriferous Smell that it had, the Spirit of God alludes to, to set forth the sweet Perfume and odoriferous Smell of this Garden. These Trees, for the Excellency of them, are said to be of the Lord's Planting. O how sweet do these Plants smell! What an Odour of sweet Perfume do they send forth, from the Grace and Righteousness of Christ; which is both planted in them and put upon them, that makes them smell like a Field which the Lord hath blessed. Here is another thing to be observed in the Words, and that is, these Plants are said to be as Cedar-Trees befde the Waters. The Excellency of Cedar-Trees are set out by their Heighth, Strength, and the abundance of Sap that is in them, especially in such as grow by the Water Side. Sure here lies the Excellency of the Saints who are planted in this Garden, when by Faith they are strong in the Grace that is mChrist Jesus5 when they grow and increase in the Graces of the Spirit, and appear like tall Cedars in the Lori's Lebanon; when they are helpt to live upon the Grace that is in Christ, and to derive Light, Life, Sap, and Nonristiment from the Fulness that is in him: There is abundance of Plenitude of Sap in the Root, which by virtue of Union in the Exercise of Faith we should draw out at all times, as the Woman drew Virtue oat of Christ, in touching the Hem of his Garments, that so we may appear as tall Cedars by the Water-fide, in the Garden of the Lord.

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