And how doth the vine grow? Why, in those soils that are favourable to it, vines are not erect like trees, neither are they fixed, as we do our vines, against walls; but the vine creeps along upon the ground, and rests its tender stalk and branches upon the nearest prop that will stay it. And, my soul, is it not so with the believer that wholly leans upon Jesus, and throws the arms of faith wholly upon him, as the staff, and stay, and support of all confidence. And there is another property of the vine which carries with it a striking resemblance to the believer, namely, the tenderness of its nature, and danger to which it is exposed. How very weak, and poor, and frail, and helpless, is the child of God. What can a believer perform in himself. And what an host of foes is he exposed to; corruption within, and the enemy on every side, makes his case truly like the vine, exposed to the wild beasts, and nipping winds, and storms, which every moment threaten to destroy it. And there is a third particularity by which both are known. While flourishing, to what an extensive length will the vine throw out her branches, and what an abundance of fruit will it bear[ And doth not the believer in this sense grow as the vine, when, from being ingrafted in Jesus, and nourished by him, and from him, his fruit being found, sends forth the graces and fruits of the Spirit, and brings forth some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred fold? And, to mention no more, what a likeness is there between the dry unpromising stick of the vine, and the lifeless and unpromising appearance of the believer. As Jesus himself, when upon earth, was like a root out of a dry ground, so all his followers now are men every where wondered at. Precious Jesus, thou glorious Vine of thy church, cause me to be so united to thee, as a branch in thee, the one heavenly plant thy Father hath planted, that in thee my fruit may be found; that I may be perpetually receiving fresh communications from thee, and living upon thee, and to thee, and rejoicing in thee, the source and fountain of all that is gracious here, and the everlasting spring of glory, happiness, and joy, that shall be hereafter.From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
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