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of pounds, if after this she marry, yea, though while she is in the goaler's hand, in the same day that she is joined to her husband, her debt is all become his; yea, and the law also, that arrested and imprisoned this woman, as freely tells her, Go, she is freed, saith Paul, from that, and so saith the law of this land. The sum, then, of what hath been said, is this: the christian hath now nothing to do with the law, as it thundereth and burneth on Sinai, or as it bindeth the conscience to wrath and the displeasure of God for sin; for from its thus appearing it is freed by faith in Christ. Yet it is to have regard thereto, and is to count it holy, just, and good, which that it may do, it is always, whenever it seeth or regards it, to remember, that he, who giveth it to us, is merciful, gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, &c.







Shewing that the day of Grace may be past with him long before his life is ended; the signs also by which such miserable mortals may be known.




HAVE written to the now about the barren fig-tree, or how it will fare with the fruitless professor that standeth in the vineyard of God.

Of what complexion thou art, I cannot certainly divine; but the parable tells us, that the cumber-ground rust be cut down,

A cumber-ground professor, is not only a provocation to God, a stumbling-block to the world, and a blemish to religion, but a snare to his own soul also. "Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish for ever, like his own dung; they that have seen him shall say, Where is he?" Job xx. 6.

Now they count it pleasure to riot in the day-time, 2 Pet. ii. 13, 14. But what will they do when the axe is fetched out?

The tree whose fruit withereth, is reckoned a tree without fruit, a tree twice dead, one that must be plucked up by the roots, Jude 12. O thou cumber-ground, God expects fruit, God will come seeking fruit shortly.

My exhortation therefore is to professors that they look to it, that they take heed.


The barren fig-tree in the vineyard, and the bramble in the wood, are both prepared for the fire.

Profession is not a covert to hide from the eye of God; nor will it palliate the revengeful threatening of his justice; he will command to cut it down shortly.*

The church, and a profession, are the best of places for the upright, but the worst in the world for the cumber-ground: He must be cast, as profane, out of the mount of God: cast, I say, over the wall of the vineyard, there to wither; thence to be gathered and burned. It had been better for them that they had not known the way of righteousness, 2 Pet. ii. 21. And yet if they had not, they had been damned; but it is better to go to hell without, than in, or from under a profession, These shall receive greater damnation, Luke xx. 47.

If thou be a professor, read and tremble; if thou be profane, do so likewise. For if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinners appear? Cumber ground, take heed of the axe Barren fig-tree, beware of the fire.

But I will keep thee no longer out of the book; Christ Jesus, the dresser of the vineyard take care of thee, dig about thee, and dung thee, that thou mayest bear fruit, that when the Lord of the vineyard cometh with his axe to seek for fruit, or pronounce the sentence of damnation on the barren fig-tree, thou mayest escape that judg ment. The cumber-ground must to the wood pile, and thence to the fire.


Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. Amen.


God expects suitable and proportionable fruit from a people, according to the time of their standing in his vineyard, and the cost, culture, and pains he has bestowed upon them.


Gregory se

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