A Sermon Preach'd at the Parish-Church OF St. Helen's, LONDON, MAY the 19th. 1700.


Being his Third Sermon after Ordination.

LONDON, Printed for J. Gwillim, against Crossby-Square in Bishopsgate-street, 1700.

Mr. KEITH's SERMON, Preach'd at St. HELEN's, LONDON, May the 19th. 1700.


A SERMON, Preached at the Parish-Church of St. Helen's LONDON.

2 Cor. V. 14, 15.

For the Love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus Judge, that if one Died for all, then were all Dead. And that he Died for all, that they which Live, should not henceforth Live unto themselves, but unto him who Died for them, and Rose again.

I Shall not take up much time to Explaine the Words of the Text, they being plain enough to ordinary intelligent Christians, only I intend to take notice of the force of the Greek word that is here Translated Constraineth, which is [...] ▪ that is variously Translated in the New Testament; and tho' I find no fault with the Translation of it, as [Page 6] it is in the Text, yet there is more understood by it, than what either the word Constraineth, or any other one word of the English Language can express. A Learned Author Translates it thus, The Love of Christ, nos totos possidet, i. e. Possesseth us whole; doth as it were, fill our Hearts up to the top, that there is no room left in them for the love of Sin.

The same Greek word I find in St. Luke 8.45. where it is said, The multitude Throng thee, and Press thee, and sayest thou, Who Touched me? Again, in St. Luke 22.63. I find the same Greek word, where it is said;, The Men that held Jesus, i. e. That kept him Prisoner, Mocked him, and Smote him. And in St. Luke 19.43. there is the same Greek word, where it is said, by our Saviour, who Prophesied concerning Jerusalem, and was accordingly fulfill'd, For the days shall come upon thee▪ that thine Enemies shall cast a Trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.

And in St. Luke 4.38. where it is said. Simon's Wives Mother was taken with a great Fever.

And Lastly, to mention no more at present, Phil. 1.23. where St. Paul said, I am in a strait betwixt, two, &c.

In all these places there▪ is the same word, or theme in the Greek, and in all the several Significations of it; in the places mentioned, it may be understood here, as importing the great influence that the Love of Christ hath upon sincere Believers, and then had upon St. Paul and his Brethren.

[Page 7] The love of Christ constraineth us, i. e. It taketh the whole possession of our Souls, and leaves no room empty, to receive the love of Sin. The love of Christ doth so throng and press upon us, that there is not access for Satan, or the World, to prevail against us.

The Love of Christ doth hold us, and make us Prisoners, putteth us in her Chains, that we cannot get out, no more than a Man can get out of a strong Prison; they are very Blessed, who by Experience witness such a State, that the Love of Christ hath such a powerful Influence, and such mighty Effects up­on them; thus to fill them; thus to throng and press in upon them; thus to imprison them, and captivate them; such Captivity is the greatest and most perfect Freedom; thus to Besiege and Compass them round, and keep them in on every side, that they cannot ea­sily get to their old Lovers, their formerly belov'd Lusts, that the Love of Christ, like a Coelestial Fire, doth take hold of them (as a Fiery Fever taketh hold of such as are afflicted with it) and raiseth a vehement thirst in them after Holiness, and those Divine Consolations which are to be found in Christ: Such sort of a Hea­venly Burning, or Fever, had the Spouse, Cant. 2.5. That is the Church, and every Faithful Soul that is very inwardly and deeply touched and affected with the Love of Christ, when she said, Stay me with Flaggons, comfort me with Apples, for I am sick of Love. As when one is very Thirsty, it is not a little Drink [Page 8] that will quench, or satisfy his Thirst; no less than Flaggons will do it. These, and the like things, are the experiences of faithful, well-grown and advanced Christians; and they are Blessed who find it so to be with them; and all should endeavour to attain to such a State, and Growth.

There are Three things, which I shall (God willing, and assisting me) particularly take notice of, unto you, from the Words.

First, The High and Excellent Priviledge, and Dignity of a Christian, that he is called unto; and his High Calling, as it is called, Phil. 3.15. And Holy Calling, 2 Tim. 1.9. And Heavenly Calling, Heb. 3.1. The which is held forth in the words of the Text. 1. Negatively, That we should not henceforth live un­to our selves.— 2. Positively, and Affirmatively, But unto him who Dyed for us, and Rose again.

Secondly, The Author, by whome we are, called, and made capable to attain unto this high Dignity, viz. The Lord Jesus Christ, who Dyed, and Rose again, who is both God and Man.

Thirdly, The Means by which he calleth us, and enableth us to attain unto it. 1. By his Death and Re­surrection. 2. By his Love, which was the moving and impulsive Cause, that moved and constrained him to Dye for us: As his Love to us ought to constrain us to Live to him, who Dyed for us, so his Love to us did constrain him to that undertaking; as he said, [Page 9] Luke 12.50. I have [...] Baptism to be Baptized with, and how am I straitned till it be accomplished! Here a­gain is the same Greek word, as is mentioned both in the Text, and in the other places above recited; this was the Baptism of his Death and Sufferings, whereby he was Baptized, as with his own Blood, that he might wash us with the same; as it is said of him, That he hath loved us, and washed us from our Sins in his own Blood, Rev. 1.5. His being thus straitned until this his Baptism of Sufferings should be accomplished, doth signifie his exceeding great desire, out of his great love to us, to suffer Death for us; as also, when he said, Luke 22.15. With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I Suffer: For then it was im­mediately after the Passover, that he was to Institute the Holy Memorials of his Death and Passion, to wit, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, which was to con­tinue until his last coming.

This Love of Christ, we are to consider it as a two-fold Love, the one of his Godhead, the other of his Manhood; for as Christ had, and still hath, a two-fold Nature, distinct, but not divided; and a two-fold Will, the one as God, the other as Man; so he had, and still hath, a two-fold Love towards Men, called, the Phi­lanthropie, Tit. 3.4. i. e. His Man-Love, or his Love to Men, not only as he was, and is God, but as he was, and is Man, yet one Christ, in two distinct Natures, but undivided, and most Gloriously, and Inseparably United for ever.

[Page 10]It was an Ancient Heresie, most justly Condemned above Twelve hundred Years agoe, by the Orthodox Fathers, That Christ had but one Will; from which they were call'd Monothelites, i. e. such as did hold that Heresie, That Christ had but one Will.

They were also call'd Eutychians, from Eutyches, the Author of it. They conceited, that Christ's Manhood-Nature was transmuted, or melted into his Godhead-Nature; and consequently, that the Will of his Manhood was transmuted, or melted into the Will of his Godhead, which is an abominable Error; for the Transmutation of any one Created Substance, into a­nother Created Substance, is impossible; then surely as impossible is it, that the Substance of Christs Manhood can be transmuted, or changed into his Godhead.

It is to be fear'd, that too many do not well Con­sider, nor well and duly Meditate upon this two-fold Love of Christ, so as to have their Thoughts fix'd up­on it, that it may have the greater influence upon them. If ye rightly understand, and consider, and deeply ponder this two-fold Love of Christ, the one where with he loves you as God, (and that love of his is one and the same in nature with the Father's Love) and the other, wherewith he Loves you as Man, as he is now Glorified in Heaven, in the true intire Glorified Na­ture of Man, consisting of a Glorified Soul and Body, the same for Substance he had on Earth, tho' won­derfully changed in Manner and Qualities, yet no ways [Page 11] changed in his Love towards Man, but rather heigh­tened and increased, that will have a double force and influence upon you, much greater than if ye should consider his Love singly, either as he is God, or as he is Man.

As they have not a right knowledge and belief of Christ, who only believe that he is God, and do not believe that he is Man also, and will not allow that his Manhood, having a created Soul and Body, is any part of him, whereof he consisteth, as the intire Christ, and Saviour: Nor have others a right knowledge and belief of Christ, who only believe that he is Man, and not God also, both such sorts of men have not the true Faith, but Err greatly, concerning the Faith; and too many of both sorts are now in this Nation; so they have not a right knowledge and belief of the Love of Christ, who do not believe it in both respects above mentioned.

Thus then we are with true Faith, Love, and De­votion, to consider our Lord Jesus Christ in his two-fold Nature, as he is both God and Man; and as each Nature acted its part in the work of our Redemption, and that it behoved so to be, that the Author of our Eternal Salvation, should be both God and Man: Had he not been Man, he could not have died for us, which the justice of Gods Law required, that he who should be our Saviour should dye for us, and undergo the Curse that was due to us for our Sins, as accordingly he did; and had he not been God, his Death and Suf­ferings [Page 12] had not been of that Merit and Value before his Father, for our Reconciliation and Eternal Salvation.

But yet more particularly, I think to lay before you how, and after what manner the Death and Sufferings of Christ, and also how, and after what manner the Love of Christ, are the effectual means whereby he brin­geth true Believers to this high Dignity and Priviledge, and High, and Holy, and Heavenly Calling, not to live unto themselves, but unto Him who Died for them, and Rose again. His Death and Resurrection are only exprest in the Text, but by a Synecdoche, of the part put for the whole, his whole Active and Passive Obe­dience is understood, from his Descent and Conception in the Virgins Womb, to his Ascension, and Glorifi­cation in the Heavens: But his Death, being a prin­cipal part, that is it; which here, and elsewhere, is most frequently mentioned in Scripture.

First, The Death of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was an effectual means to advance us to this high Dignity above mentioned, that it was a per­fect Attonement for us, wherein he made a full and plenary satisfaction, to Divine Justice for our Sins; and did purchase and procure, by way of Merit, our Re­conciliation with God, Having made Peace through the Blood of his Cross, and having Reconciled us in his Body of Flesh through Death, to present us Holy, and Ʋnbla­mable, and Ʋnreproveable in his sight, Col. 1.20, 21. [Page 13] And by the Merit of his Death, having obtained the Remission and Pardon of our Sins, for he dyed in our stead, the Just suffering for the Unjust; and being our Surety, he paid our Debt, and became a Curse for us.

But this is not so to be understood, that any are act­ually Pardoned, Justified, or Reconciled unto God, be­fore that Faith, and Repentance, and a real work of Conversion is wrought in them, but the Pardon was then purchased for all, tho' it is not given unto any, until they be actually Converted, and sincere Faith and Repentance is wrought in them.

Secondly, That the Merit of our Saviours Death, and shedding of his precious Blood, did procure and purchase to us the Holy Spirit, with the saving and sanctifying Graces thereof, by which he applieth to us the vertue and efficacy of the same for our Conversion, Regeneration, Justification, and Eternal Salvation.

Now it was necessary that what Christ Did and Suffered for us, should be done in Love, as accordingly it was done, in the highest Love, both to God, and also to us. As it was this his exceeding great and high Love, that made it so acceptable unto the Father, so it is the same that doth most effectually work upon our Hearts and Souls, to Love him, and to Live unto him who Died for us, and Rose again.

That the Apostle adds to Christ's Dying, his Rising again, doth Instruct us, That his Resurection was as necessary as his Death: If Christ had Died, and had [Page 14] not Rose again from the Dead, he could not have been our Saviour; He was delivered for our Offences, and Rose again for our Justification. He behoved to over­come Death, by rising from the Dead, and not only by his Rising, but by his Ascending to the Father, he gave full evidence that what he Did and Suffered for the Sons of Men, was fully accepted by his Father; and that he was a Sacrifice of a sweet smell unto God.

But what ever Vertue, Merit, or Efficacy Christ's Death, and the Love which moved him to dye for us, hath before God, in order to procure or purchase our Reconciliation with God, Pardon and Justification, and the Grace of Sanctification, yet it hath not that in­fluence upon us, or any, to cause us to live to him, and to God through him, but as his Death and Sufferings, and Love, which moved him to dye for us, are made known to us.

In the time of our Ignorance of this great Mystery, how God so loved us, that he gave his only Begotten for us; the Word to be made Flesh, and God manifest in the flesh; and how Christ so loved us, that he gave himself for us; who, as he was the Father's Gift, was also his own Gift to us; he gave himself for us, to redeem us from all Iniquity: Before this Love, and the great ef­fects of it, upon our blessed Lord, were made known to us, we felt not that influence of it upon our Hearts, to move us to live to him; but while we were igno­rant of those things, we lived to our selves, and to the [Page 15] World. Life and Immortality was to be brought to the Light of our Knowledge; the Kindness and Love of God our Saviour, was first to appear to us, and come to our knowledge, before we could be gained upon to Love him, and to Live to him, who Died for us, and Rose again.

But the next thing that is to be Enquired, and Re­solved is, How this great Mystery of Christ's Death, and his great Love, that moved him to lay down his Life for us, is made known to us.

This Question I shall Answer in the following Particulars.

First, Christ's Death, and Love, wherewith he so Loved us, that he died for us, is made known to us by the Doctrine of the Gospel, more especially as it is Preach'd to us, and also as we Read, or hear it Read to us out of the Holy Scriptures, Life and Immortality is brought to light by the Gospel, 2. Tim. 1.10. The Mystery which was hid in God, before the World be­gan, came to be gradually reveal'd; after Adam's fall, first more obscurely; and implicitly, but afterwards more clearly, and explicitly, by the Scriptures of the Old Testament, Rom. 16.26. And Lastly, most clearly and explicitly, by the whole Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, all which are given by Divine Inspiration, and are able to make us Wise unto Salvation, through Faith in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 3.15, 16. Both consisting in excellent Harmony; and [Page 16] the New Testament being both a Fulfilling and Ex­position of the Old Testament.

The great design of the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, is to set forth the great Love of God to Men, in giving his Son for their Salvation; and also the great Love of Christ, who gave himself for the same: The way and manner how it is accompli­shed, how this Love is the Love of the whole Trinity, and how each Person is concerned in the work of our Salvation, jointly and severally; and of the Duty that Men owe to God, for that great Love, and to Christ, considered not as God only, but as God Incarnate, i. e. as both God and Man, having two Natures, as above mentioned, but one Person, one intire Jesus Christ our Saviour.

This commends to us the Holy Scriptures, Incom­parably above all Writings of Men, above all Wri­tings and Books of the greatest Natural and Moral Philosophers, whether Greeks or Romans, or of what­ever other Nations, whatever true things they Taught or Writ, either from true Reason, or common Illumi­nation, assisting and strengthening their Reason, that might be, and were useful to Mankind, yet they fell short of the discovery of this great Mystery, That Christ so loved us, that he Died for us; and that he Died for us, that we might not Live to our selves, but to him who died for us. Nothing but special Revelation, such as he gave to his holy Prophets from time to time, from the [Page 17] of the World, in the gradual discoveries of it, and which are Recorded in the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, could have given us this know­ledge; and for this cause it is, that we ought highly to value the Holy Scriptures, as a special Treasure, of greater worth incomparably than all the Gold and Sil­ver, and Wealth and Riches of the whole World.

Secondly, The same is made known to us by the Holy Spirit's internal Illumination and Inspiration, perswa­ding us of the truth of the Holy Scriptures, and of thhis great Mystery, That Christ so Loved us, that he Died for us, that is so fully Recorded in the Scriptures, and also opening our Understandings to understand it, and give us to see the great Riches, Glory, and Beauty of the wonderful Love, Wisdom, Power, and Holiness, and other the Glorious Attributes of God in the way of our Salvation, in all the various steps of it. God hath so appointed it, that by his Words as Outwardly de­livered by the Holy Prophets, by Christ, when he came in the Flesh, and by his Holy Evangelists and Apostles, which are now on Record in the writings of the holy Scriptures, and by his Holy Spirit Inwardly En­lightening and Inspiring us, we should be both Taught, and Helped to Believe and Understand Savingly, the great Mystery of our Salvation; according to Isaiah 59.21. The words which God gave unto Christ, Christ hath given them to the Apostles and Evangelists, and they have faithfully Recorded them; and by these Re­cords of the Holy Scripture, they are given to us, while [Page 18] we daily hear them in Preaching and Reading, John 17.8, 20. And for this cause it is, that St. Paul calls the Gospel, The Power of God to Salvation, to every one that Believes; For that the Power of the Spirit of God accompanies the Doctrine of the Gospel, to whomso­ever it is Preached, to enable such who hear it, both to Believe and Understand it; Faith is thereby offered unto them; and the Holy Spirit accompanying the Doctrine, offers his help to All who hear it; tho All do not receive it, yet many do, and shall. Christ stands at the door of your Hearts and knocks, as he said to them of Laodicea, If any Man will hear my Voice, and open unto me, I will come in to him; and will sup with him, and he with me. This calling and knocking of Christ at the door of your Hearts, is both Outwardly by the Gospel, as outwardly Preach'd, or Read; and Inwardly by his Spirit: The Word Outwardly deli­vered, is as the Hammer, but the Spirit Inwardly ac­companying, is the Hand that moves it.

If any should bring the strongest Arguments to prove the Scriptures to be True, and of Divine Au­thority, suppose they should be as Demonstrative as a­ny Theorem in a natural Science, yet all this could produce no more than an Humane Assent, or Faith, with­out the Spirit work together with the Word and Doctrine, Inwardly to seal to the Truth of the Scrip­ture, and work a Divine Faith in us of the Truth of them. For true Saving Faith is the gift and work of [Page 19] Gods Spirit and Power; It is by the Spirit's working, together with the written Word Preach'd, or Read, that we know the things that are freely given us of God.

If any Object, What need of both? If we are Taught by the Word and Doctrine Outwardly, as delivered in the Holy Scriptures, what need we to be Taught by the Spirit Inwardly? Or if we be Taught by the Spirit Inwardly, what need we be Taught by the Word and Doctrine Outwardly? Is not the Inward Teaching of the Spirit, or Light within, sufficient, without any o­ther thing? So some do Argue.

To this I Answer, It is one thing what God could, or can do; it's far another thing what he is pleased to do. He could Teach us all without the written Word, as well as he Taught the Apostles, before the Word was committed to Writing, but he hath not seen meet so to do; he hath a regard to our Weakness: A School-master that is able, can Teach his Schollars without Books, but they cannot so well Learn without Books; therefore he Teacheth them with, and by Books, to condescend to their weak Capacity. When God Al­mighty spake from Heaven, by an Audible Voice to the People of Israel, they were so affraid, that they prayed that God would not Speak to them, viz. immediately, they were not able to bear it; but that God would speak to Moses, and by Moses to them; which was granted. Many who pretend to the same Inspirations in Prophecy that the Apostles had, should God Inspire [Page 20] them, as he did them, in that Extraordinary and Mi­raculous way and manner as he did the Prophets of old, they should find, they could not be able to bear it; Such Miraculous & Extraordinary Inspirations that God gave to the Prophets, would be like new Wine in their old Bottles, that would burst and break them asunder. What God hath joyned together, we ought not to put asunder; he hath so ordered it, most Wisely and Gra­ciously, that the Spirit of God, as the principal Agent, should Teach us, and work all Saving Knowledge and Faith in us, by the Written Word Preached, or Read, as his Instrument.

Thirdly, The Death of Christ, and his Love in Dy­ing for us, is made known to us by the Holy Spirit, his Inspiring and Imprinting into our Hearts a sense of his Love; He sheds abroad his Love into our Hearts by the Holy Spirit that he has given us; according to Rom. 5.5. Christ in his Prayer to his Father, St. John 17.26. Prayed in behalf of all that should Believe in him to the end of the World, even for us, as well as for them who were then with him, That the Love where­with thou hast Loved me, may be in them, and I in them. It ought greatly to affect our Hearts, to consider and think, that he had us in his Heart and Thoughts at that very time, when he prayed this Prayer to his Father; and he still hath us in his thoughts, who ever Lives to make Intercession for us, that the Love wherewith the Father hath Loved us may be in us, and he in us: Not [Page 21] that the Love wherewith the Father Loved the Son could be (strictly and properly speaking) contained in us, or comprehended by us; for that being an infinite Love, how could, or can it be contained in us, who are poor finite Creatures; or comprehended by us? How can a Finite thing contain that which is Infinite? But the Holy Spirit, which is called in Scripture, The Spirit of Love, worketh some Inward sense and impres­sion of the Love of God and Christ, in the Soul, whereby the Soul that has this Inward sense and im­pression may know it.

Fourthly, The Love of Christ is made known to us, and hath its Influence upon us, by his Infusing and In­spiring into our Hearts and Souls (If we be true Be­lievers) a vigorous and active Principle of Love and Charity, that becomes in us a Principle of a Holy and Vertuous Life, mightily inclining us to Love both God and Christ, and also to Love our Neighbours, and all Men, even our very Enemies, after the example of our Saviours Love. And we being acted by that Principle of Love, we are thereby enabled, with great freedom and readiness, with great joy and chearfulness, to per­form our respective Duties both to God and Man. This Principle of Charity Infused, or Inspir'd into the Soul, is all one with that which is called, The Grace of God in the Soul, the Grace of Sanctification, that in­cludes all the Vertues in it; and tho' the Operations be various and manifold, yet they all proceed from one [Page 22] Root, Seed, and Principle. This Principle of God's Grace some do not distinguish it from the Holy Ghost, but hold it to be one and the same therewith; but this is a great Error, and dangerous. The Holy Ghost is one and the same God with the Father, and with the Son; the Grace of God, and the God of Grace, are distinct, as the Effect and the Efficient, the Gift and the Giver; Grace is weaker or stronger, greater or lesser, hath its several measures; therefore it cannot be God himself, which is an Infinite Being, and hath nei­ther Parts nor Passions, to whom nothing can be added, and from whom nothing can be diminished. This Prin­ciple of Love that is in Believers, inclining them to Love God and Christ; it is, so to speak, the reflection, shadow, or image of the Love of God, and of Christ, towards us; As when we look into a Looking-Glass, the Glass reflects the image, or shadow of the Face back again upon the Beholder, the which image hath a likeness to the Original, but is as far short of it, as a shadow is to the Body, or Substance, whose shadow it is: Or like the Echo, which is nothing but the refle­ction of the Voice, or Word of the Speaker. Therefore it is that St. John said, We Love him, because he hath Loved us; our Love to him being the reflection of his Love to us, and as it were, the Daughter; and his Love to us, as the Mother.

But to the end that his Love may work this power­ful constraint upon us, it must not only be known by us, [Page 23] but after it is known, we must (by the help of the Holy Spirit which is given to us) frequently Meditate upon it, and upon the Death of Christ, which his Love constrained him to undergo for us; that by frequent Meditation thereof, we may have it fixed in our Hearts, and become as a burning Fire in us, according to that in Psal. 39.4. My Heart was hot within me, while I was Musing (i. e. Meditating) the Fire Burned. This is also clear from the words in the Text; The Love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge. ▪God Almighty is pleased to work upon our Hearts by his Gospel Out­wardly, and by his Spirit Inwardly, as we are Reaso­nable Creatures, enabling us to form a sound and firm Judgment of things, both of Causes and Effects; and to view and consider the excellent Order and Harmo­ny of them, that the Wisdom of God hath appointed. Had God only infused a Spiritual and Supernatural Principle of Grace into our Hearts, mightily inclining us to Love and Obey him, without affording us cer­tain Arguments and Reasons, Convincing and Perswa­ding our Reasonable Understandings why we should so do, on that supposition our Love and Obedience had not been such a rational and free Love and Obe­dience, suiting our rational Nature and Faculties, as now it is, he having given us most excellent Arguments and Reasons why we should so do; the greatest of which are taken from these words, which are con­tained in the Text, Because God so Loved us, that he gave [Page 24] his Son for us unto Death; and Christ so Loved us, that he gave himself to Die for us; therefore we ought to Love him, and Serve him, and Live to him, who Died for us, and Rose again; and also to God the Fa­ther, through him, and with him. Christ's Dying for us, is such an Argument why we should be wholly his, and wholly Love him, and Live to him; That it is our Duty so to do, not only in point of Gratitude, but in point of Justice; and this both St. Paul and St. Peter did argue, with them to whom they writ, 1 Cor. 6.20. For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorifie God in your Body and in your Spirit, which are God's. And v. 19. Ye are not your own. And 1 Pet. 1.18. For as much as ye know ye were not Redeemed with Corruptible things, as Silver and Gold, from your vain Conversation, received by Tradition from your Fathers, but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without Blemish and without Spot. And 1 Pet. 2.24. Who his own self bore our Sins in his own Body, on the Tree, that we being Dead to Sin, should Live unto Righteousness, by whose Strength ye are Healed.

The Love and Bounty of God in our Creation and Preservation, and all the Blessings of this Life, are argu­ments very convincing and perswading, why we should Serve and Glorifie God; and the consideration of his Glorious Greatness, and Power, in his Creating all things, and Upholding them, and of his most Wise, and Just, and Powerful Providence, in the Government of [Page 25] the World, obvious and apparent to the Eyes of all Mankind, ought greatly to move all Men to Fear, and Reverence him, as well as to Love and Serve him, to their utmost ability and knowledge. But the Light of the Gospel, wherewith God has been pleased to enlighten us Christians, not only furnisheth to us all these Arguments, taken from the Power, Wisdom, Good­ness, and Justice of God, and other his Glorious Attributes that are clearly to be seen by his works of Creation and Providence, obvious to Heathens, both more clearly and abundantly out of the Holy Scriptures; but with greater Arguments than these, taken from the great work of our Redemption, by Christ's Dy­ing for us; &c. It moveth us to Love and Fear God, and Live to him, and to Christ who Died for us; and is both his own, and the Fathers Gift unto us, most freely given, for our Eternal Salvation.

But that the Argument taken from the Death of Christ may be the more effectual to perswade us to Live to him who Died for us, let us Consider the excellent way of the Apostles Argu­ing here in the Text, which he doth from the Extent of it▪ Because, said he, we thus judge, that if one Died for all, then were all Dead. There are some that say, Christ Died not for all, but for some; to wit, such only as shall be Converted, from the be­ginning of the World, to the end of it; and by his Dying for all, they say, must be meant Genera Singulorum, but not Singula Generum; i. e. all kinds of Men, Jews and Greeks, Scythians and Barbarians, Noble and Ignoble, Bond and Free; but not all in­dividuals of Men. But this cannot be the meaning here, other­wise the Apostles Argument would not be Convincing, Because Christ Died for All, therefore All were Dead; The word All, in the Proposition, must have the same Signification with the word All in the Conclusion, which is deduced from the Proposition, other­wise St. Paul's Argument would not be Logical, and sufficient. Now the word All in the Conclusion, signifies all Individuals of Mankind. All are Dead in Adam; Death both Spiritual and Temporal is come upon all Adam's Posterity, by his Sin and Fall, [Page 26] which the Apostle here proves from this, That Christ Died for All, for if All had not been Dead in Sin and Transgression, as well as subject to Bodily Death, Christ had not Died for All, for it was not needful that he should Die for them, who were not Dead.

It is a good Rule in Divinity, That the words of Scripture ought to be understood in their proper and full Signification and Extent, except some necessary Reason can be given to the contra­ry, which cannot be given in this case. But divers strong Rea­sons can be given, why they should be understood as above mentioned: By Christ's Dying for All, an offer is made unto All, to whom the Gospel is Preached, to receive that high Dig­nity and Priviledge to which they are called, and without this Universal Offer to All, who have the Gospel Preach'd unto them, a ground of Doubt would be laid, whether this Love extends to us, if it doth not extend to All; as it is said in the 17th Article of the Church of England, We must receive Gods Promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture. But to teach, that Christ Died not for All, is (I think) some hinderance for us to receive Gods Promises in such wise as they be gene­rally set forth in Holy Scripture.

It is true, all have not Salvation by Christs Death, even to whom it is Preached; but who have it not, it is their own fault. Nor are the Benefits of Christs Death equally extended to All. And tho' I believe, according to the Holy Scripture, That there is a Predestination to Life, yet I no where find in Scripture, that God by any absolute Decree hath made Salvation impossible to any part of Mankind; for such an absolute Decree were utterly inconsistent with Christs Dying for all Men. The Decrees of God, some are Absolute, and some are Conditional: I mean Conditional, not Subjectively, but Objectively, i. e. Not that there are two Wills or Decrees in God, the latter depending upon the former Conditionally, but by one and the same Eter­nal Act of Gods Will and Purpose, he hath Decreed such an or­der of Causes and Effects; and of some things to follow after [Page 27] others Conditionally, that will, or will not come to pass, as the Conditions do, or do not goe before; as Plowing and Sowing, before Reaping; Repentance and Faith, before Remission of Sins, and Eternal Salvation.

Thus having shown, That the Death of Christ, as having Died for All, will be the more effectual to work upon us, by the Grace of God, to move us to Live to him who Died for us; That we believe he Died for all, and Consequently for us; and that in Love to all. Let me a little yet further set forth his Love to us, that it may have its Influence upon us: Greater Love hath no man than this, (said Christ) that a man lay down his Life for his Friends, John 15.13. But God commended his Love to us, in giving his Son to Die for us, who were Enemies, Rom. 5.8, 9, 10. If you ask, How were we Enemies, when Christ Died, seeing we were not Born many Years after that Christ Died? I Answer, We were Enemies as in the Loins of our Forefathers; Not only up to them who were then Living, but up to our Forefather Adam, as the Scripture testifieth; That in Adam all are Dead; and by the offence of One, Condemnation is come upon All.

The Love of Christ towards Men, exceedeth all Examples; as David said of Jonathan's Love, It exceeded the Love of Women. It may be said of Christs Love to us Men, Sinners and Enemies, it exceedeth all Examples, either in Scripture or elsewhere, as of that Grecian Zaleucus, King of the Locretians, who, both to an­swer the Justice of the Law, and shew his Love to his Son, par­ted with one of his Eyes, that his Son might not lose both his Eyes, which was the Penalty that the Law required for his Sons Crime of committing Adultry. As also that Example of Codrus King of Athens, who being told by the Oracle, That if he was Kill'd by the Peloponesians, who had Besieg'd Athens with a mihg­ty Army, the Athenians should Overcome; and that by his Death they should Live: Whereupon he put off his Royal Ap­parel, and put on the Habit of a Common Souldier, and rushed into the Battel where it was hottest, and was Kill'd; after which, according to the Oracle, the Athenians had the Victory, and the [Page 28] Enemy was Routed. This he did out of Love to his Subjects, as what the other did was out of Love to his Son; but what our Blessed Lord Did and Suffered, was out of Love to his Enemies; who being in the form of a God, and counted it no Robbery to be Equal to God, but made himself of no Reputation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, &c. He did not (properly spea­king) denude himself of his Glory, that being impossible, being Essential to him as God, but he hid it within the Vail of his Flesh, and gave up himself most willingly and freely to Suffer for us; such was his Love to us, that constrained him thus to Die for us; and therefore his Love ought to constrain us to Live not to our selves henceforth, after that his Love in Dying for us is made known to us, but to him who Died and Rose again.

In the next place I intend, as Briefly as I can, to shew you,

First, What it is not to Live to our Selves. And

Secondly, What it is to Live to him who Died for us, and Rose again, according to the words of the Text, which I shall deliver in the following Particulars.

1. Not to Live to our selves, is, not to Live to any Beastly Lusts of Uncleanness or Sensuality.

2. Not to gratifie our Outward and Bodily Senses in things that are materially Lawful, so as to make that gratification the end of our Living, which makes Men no better than some more tame and innocent sort of Beasts; and yet how many do so? As if they liv'd only to gratifie their outward Senses, as their Sight, in pleasing it with Visible Objects, as fine Houses, Or­chards, and Gardens; their Hearing, with delightful Musick; their Taste, with delicious Meats and Drinks; their Smelling, with odoriferous Perfumes and Smells; their Feeling, with Soft Raiment, and soft Beds of Down, which are commonly the En­tertainment of some that are Rich in this World, as if they were born, and did live in the World only to gratifie the Sensual Life.

3. Not to make the highest gratifications of our Reasons in the highest Knowledge of Natural things, our End and Felicity.

4. Not to make our highest Knowledge, even in Spiritual [Page 29] Things and Mysteries, our Objective Happiness and Felicity; for that is to put our Knowledge in the Place of God himself▪ and his Gifts in the room and place of the Giver, which ought not to be, for it is a sort of Spiritual Idolatry: Our formal Hap­piness doth indeed partly consist in the knowledge of God, be­gun here, and perfected hereafter, and in the fruition of him by Love and Joy; but we must not make either of them the Ob­ject of our Happiness, but God alone, in, and through, and to­gether with Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our supreme and highest Good.

5. Not to make our own Will and Pleasure our End and Aim, but wholly to submit our Wills to the Will of God, in all things; and wholly to trust in him.

Secondly, To Live to him, who Died for us, is

1. To Live a Life of Love to God and Christ, and from that Love to Serve and Obey him, in all his Commandments, with all sincere Resolutions and Endeavours to keep and observe them all our days, by our continual endeavouring to attain more and more to a Conformity to him, imitating his Vertues and Perfecti­ons daily more and more, like a Schollar, that every day Wri­ting after his Copy, Writeth better and better, tho' still he comes not up to the perfection of his Copy.

2. To Live to God and Christ, is to live a life of Communion and Fellowship with God and Christ, and in a true and real En­joyment of them, as St. John said, The Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and declared it unto you, (which Life is Christ, both God and Man) that ye may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and the Son. The which Fellowship and Enjoyment is actually begun here, and tobe perfected here­after, in the World to come.

The Fellowship that the Faithful have with God and Christ here in the Mortal Body, and the Enjoyment they have of God and Christ, tho' it is not either in that immediate, or clear and perfect manner as it shall be in the World to come, yet it is a true and real Fellowship and Communion with God and Christ, [Page 30] and also with the Holy Spirit; and a real Divine Enjoyment, af­fording an incomparable inward joy, sweetness, and satisfaction to such who really have it. Nor ought the False and Counterfeit Pretences of too many, who boast they have it, and yet their Vile Errors and Unchristian Practices sufficiently prove they have it not, make any to disbelieve such a thing, that is so great a Bles­sing and Priviledge to the Faithful.

The which Divine Enjoyment, and Communion with God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, is by an Inhabitation of the Holy and Blessed Trinity in the Faithful, as God hath Promised, I will Dwell in them, and Walk in them: And by real inward operations and communications of Grace, Vertue, and quickening and re­freshing Influences, generally given and imparted to the Faithful, in the frequent and diligent use of the ordinary means of Salva­tion, as the Word and Sacraments, Meditation, Prayer; and in the daily and continual course of our Obedience to all Gods Commands; by these means, as by Conduits and Pipes, the Li­ving Waters, i. e. Life and Vertue, flow into the Souls of the Faithful from Christ, and from God in Christ, in whom the Ful­ness dwells, and of whose Fulness we all receive, and Grace for Grace.

The Beatifical Vision, i. e. To see God in the same Immediate­ness, and Clearness, and Perfection, as the Glorious Saints see him in Heaven, is reserved for the Life to come; as God said to Moses, Thou canst not see my Face and Live, our State of Morta­lity is not capable of it.

The way and manner of Gods shewing himself to the Faith­ful, in this state of Mortality, is as Cant. 2.9. He looketh forth at the Windows, shewing himself through the Lattice: [That is] all the usual and ordinary means of Grace above-mentioned; we see here but darkly, as in a Glass; for we walk by Faith, and not by Sight; i. e. Such a clear sight as we shall have in the Future State.

The Prophetical Vision, even of Moses, or any others, did not amount to the Beatifical Vision; but was presented by some Mediums, sometimes External, and sometimes Internal, to their outward, and inward Senses.

[Page 31]The which Communications of the Spirit, being generally received in the use of the Word and Sacraments, and other Holy Duties; as Wine, or any other Cordial, is received into the Mouth by some Vessel, yet the Vessel goes not into the Stomach to nourish the Body, but the Wine, or Cordial; so it is the Life and Vertue that is conveyed by the outward Word and Sacra­ments, that Nourisheth and Feedeth, Refresheth and Streng­theneth the Soul; and is like the Bread and Water that the Prophet Elijah received by the Angel, in the strength whereof he was to go Forty Days. The like inward Comfort and Strength the Reverend Hearers of the Word, and Worthy (i. e. duly Qualified) Receivers of the Lords Supper, do experience, which will abide with them for many days, and for ever.

I do therefore recommend to you, the Diligent and Frequent Use of all the means of Grace, with earnest Prayer to Almighty God, for his Grace, and help of his Spirit to make them effectual. Hear the Word with Reverence, receive it with Meekness and Love; Meditate upon it, and after ye have heard it in Publick, recollect, and call it to remembrance in Private. And ye that are Masters of Families, call your Children and Servants to ac­count what they remember of it, that it may be more deeply engrafted and rooted in all your Hearts, and bring forth fruit in you. And thus going on, and walking in a continual course of Holy Duties, and Holy Living, we shall go from Strength to Strength, until we appear before God in Zion, viz. the Heavenly Zion above, where God is to be seen Face to Face.

And may we all feel the Love of Christ, more and more to Constrain us to Love him, and Live to him, who Died for us, un­til we come to be with him, where he is, to behold his Glory, and have a full Enjoyment of him. Which God grant, for Christs sake. Amen.



THIS is to give Notice, That a Printed Sheet, call'd, Mr. George Keith's Account of a National Church, &c. Humbly Presented to the Bishop of London, Published by Tacy Sowle, the Quaker Printer, which she hath delivered to the Hawkers, (as one of them told me) to cry about the Streets, is a Quaker-Cheat, Writ and Publish'd altogether without my Con­sent or Knowledge; and the whole containing some unsound, imperfect, and lame Quotations out of my former Books, wrot by me when I was among them, and in these, and some other things Deceived by them, is long since Retracted and Disowned by me, in a Book publish'd, called, George Keith's Retractations; The which being Retracted by me, doth no more affect me, but them who have Published them against me, to Defame me for my Retracting them. However this their Cheat and Abuse hath this Service, That thereby they declare, in the face of the Nation, that they are still chargeable with these Errors, and that Uncharitableness, which, I thank God, I have Retracted. And it is an evidence, that their Cause and Case is bad, when they have no better Weapons wherewith to fight against me, but the Errors which I have Retracted, and which they still hold, with many more, and much greater, whereof I never was guilty, and which I have proved them guilty of, in my Fourth Narative, Printed this present Year 1700, in above Two Hun­dred and Fifty Quotations, faithfully Collected out of their Ap­prov'd Authors, to which they have given no Reply, nor are ever like to give to any purpose, nor to divers others I have Publish'd against them.

What Blindness, and Hardness of Heart, and Obstinacy hath befallen them, who instead of Retracting their own Errors, or seeking to clear themselves thereof, seek to Defame and Abuse me, for my Retracting mine! But the Abuse and Shame they cast out against me, falls upon themselves.

G. K.

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