Christ alone our Life.

THE GREAT CASE Of Every Man's LIFE and DEATH Determin'd by the Sentence of God, In 1 John 5.12.

Opened and applied in a SERMON Preach'd in the Sessions-House at Northampton, Sept. 9th. 1690. to some Prisoners the Day before their Exe­cution: And now Published with En­largements, for the further Benefit and Service of Souls.

With a Narrative of the Behaviour of the Prisoners.

By EDWARD PIERCE, M.A. Rector of Cottesbrook in Northampton­shire.

LONDON, Printed for Jonathan Robinson, and are to be Sold by Thomas Pasham Bookseller in Northampton, 1691.

To the Honourable • Sir James Langham, Kt and Baronet, my most Honoured Patron. , • Sir William Langham of Walgrave. , and • John Thornton of Brockhole, Esq;  Grace, and Eternal Life.

Most Honoured Sirs,

THE Reasons for the Honour and Service which I owe to eve­ry of your Persons, are more than I shall declare, or than you desire should be declared. I should not have grac'd these few Sheets with your Names, but that I hope to make some advantage of them, for those that shall be in such unhappy Circumstances of the [Page] Prisoners, who were the occasion of my preaching upon this Argument, by pro­posing you as Examples to Gentlemen of Quality and Goodness, who shall bear the Office of High-Sheriffs as you have done.

The first of you, considering the Charge committed to you by the Law, of the Bodies of Prisoners, and the Pow­er you had over the Prison, judged it to be a great Duty to take care of their precious Souls, as if they had been a part of your Houshold. Having a large room in the Hearts of able good Mini­sters, you made use of it, and easily obtained their pains of Preaching Week­ly in the Prison. They were all Li­censed Preachers, and of Eminency in the Country, beside the Reverend Dr. Ford, then Minister in the Town: But before your Year expired, this Light in the dark place was put out by one, who should rather have set up Light in it, if you had not. It could not be for not reading the Liturgy, which all did; [Page] nor for want of a Liturgy, for the Goaler had got A.B. Laud's, which was sent into Scotland, and put that King­dom into a Flame. This, Sir, you so tenderly resented, that had it not been so near the end of your Shrievalty, you would have tried his Power in that House, which was as your own for that year. But then, as about three years before, and after, it was the Policy of Rulers to countenance no more preach­ing, than would consist with the Design then subtily covered, but afterwards re­vealed: Great care was taken that Zeal in Religion should not disturb the Quiet of the State; and they were made use of to put out the Candles, who were of all men most obliged to keep them burning, in Conscience to God, and Love to Souls. There was then in the Goal a large Room next the great Parlour, which look'd to the Street, and a Pulpit in it, with a Gallery above Stairs at one end of it, as I remember, and other Conveniences for the Prison­ers [Page] and others, (tho then it was hard for any of the Town to get admittance, except they were Friends, or could make acquaintance in the House) and there was Six Pound per Annum paid to a Preacher, (for preaching once a Month as I remember) given by Sir Francis Nicholas, and your old Acquaintance in Em. Col. And my sincere Religious Friend Mr. William Holms received it many years for Preaching there. But since the dreadful Fire, there is a very fair House built, that stands in good Air, open to the Fields on one side, which make a pleasant prospect; well contrived for all Offices and Ʋses; but there is no Room proper nor fit for preaching. I presume the Salary is paid, but it is more than I know, that there is as much as one Sermon in a year preach­ed for it.

After the Fire, the Goal was remo­ved into a strait House; and since that, more good may have been done in the Prison than I can tell of, by private Vi­sits, [Page] especially by the Excellent Dr. Co­nant, who was much taken up in those private Exercises of his Ministry; but the Office of Salvation, as Martyr La­timer calleth the preaching of the Word, hath been shut up there: And I wish that some like to your self may open it again, and others keep it open.

The Second of you in few years suc­ceeded your Elder Brother; and there being no extraordinary Goal in your Year, there was no extraordinary pains to be taken, especially remembring how that compassionate Act of your Brothers was check'd and controul'd; and you must needs have undergone a Contest with the same Power, which was so lately exerted against the ordinary great means of Salvation, then in the same person, whom you at a publick Table heard speak contemptibly of Preaching, and therefore could not expect the fa­vour of a Connivance from him. But, Sir, be pleased to take a share in this little Present, because of the Encou­ragement [Page] you have given me, speaking very kindly of my Performances in this kind, when you have heard first from others, and then took a particular Ac­count of them from my self.

The Third of you succeeded the Se­cond, the very next year, if I am not much mistaken; and when you saw your time, revived the Exercise, and set up most of the same Lights which had been taken down before in the same place, to shew the involuntary Inhabi­tants of it a way to prevent and escape their greatest Dangers. And you met with no Interruption. It is happy when poor Prisoners fall under the Care and Custody of such Men, as know that there are immortal sinful Souls in those Bo­dies, of which they must give an ac­count by their Place. The greatest of their Miseries is, That they are shut up from the publick Light and means of Salvation, therefore mercy on their Souls is the greatest mercy that can be shewed unto them. And when all Acts [Page] of Charity shall come in remem­brance, even this to the Souls of men, upon which commonly least Cost is be­stow'd, will be found the greatest. The Lord God of Grace put it into the Hearts of Gentlemen to be thus merci­ful to Souls in Bonds, whether in Pri­son or out of Prison. And, Honoured Sirs, whatsoever you have done, or have procured the doing of, in this ex­cellent kind, will turn to your best ac­count. The Objects of all other Cha­rities are mortal Bodies, but the Ob­jects of this are immortal Souls; and to help to ransom them from the power of Devils, is a nobler Work than to ran­som Slaves from Heathens, whose great­est misery is, that they are in the hands of the Enemies of Christ: Yet tho out­ward Charities must by no means be neglected nor intermitted; for there is a Charge to be laid upon rich Men, to be rich in good works, 1 Tim. 6.17, 18. And upon all and every man,, 2 Cor. 8.7. Every man according as [Page] he hath purposed in his heart, so let him give, &c. yea, even he who laboureth with his hands, that which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth, Ephes. 4.28. But yet Baskets of Spiritual Alms are the most precious; and what is done, as directly tending to the everlasting Salvation of poor Souls, comes next to the love of Jesus Christ to Souls. You have given an Example in this, as in many other kinds; the Prison hath been emptied and filled since your time, and most of your Preachers are gone before you: You are honoured with Age, I pray God enable you more and more to honour him, who only hath Immor­tality, with your Age and Abilities of doing good.

But to return to my purpose. The next year after, the third of you, a Gen­tleman of another County was made Sheriff in this, whose Estate was little known in the County, and so great a Stranger, that he was directed by ano­ther [Page] where to find out a Preacher. The Preacher humbly desired him to carry on the Work of preaching in the Good as you had done, assuring him, he should find Ministers, though Strangers to him, that would freely bestow their pains. He took the motion kindly; but living out of the County, and taking ill to be put into that Office, who had but very late­ly serv'd in another County, he did no more than just what was necessary in attending upon the Judges. Soon after, besides the Inconveniency of the Prison after the Fire, Gentlemen were pickt out for that place of Trust, who were carved and fitted for the Service of the Court; (and they were active men, till the Eyes of some of them being opened, they turned their Backs upon the Court, and their Faces upon Nottingham) and the chief Persons of Quality were divided, and most of them endangered by that famous Presentment of the 52, (whereof but one was a Papist, and he was sure enough of protection and favour, [Page] whatever became of the rest) and while the Country was broken into Parties, there was no regard to such private and pious Exercises as I am speaking of: And all other Exercises, besides read­ing the Service, and giving the Sacra­ment, was next to keeping a Conventi­cle, if not as bad, in the Sense of some of the most favoured Clergy, whose Af­fections or Interest made them drink down Notions and Objections against the prime Duty of their Office, in which there was little new, and nothing could be strong against it. The chiefest of their Objections were long ago answered either materially or formally, by those Reverend Men, Mr. Attersoll on Phi­lemon, and Mr. Hildersam on Psal. 51. Lect. 152. and on John. Sec. 60. And by Mr. Rob. Bolton, Saints sure and perpetual Guide p. 205. &c.

If I could turn my Wishes into Pe­titions, I would beg for poor Prisoners these following Benefits.

[Page]I wish, 1. That able and holy Mini­sters of Experience, would frequent these close places, to try if they could not recover some that belong to the Election of Grace out of the Chains of Infideli­ty and Impenitency. Many a Soul hath been called out of a Prison to Grace and Glory. And Holy Men have made it a business to find them out in Goals. Holy Latimer the Mar­tyr hath transmitted this of St. Bilney as he called him, and himself also to our notice; Now after I had been acquainted with him, [Bilney] I went with him to visit the Prisoners in the Tower of Cambridge, for he was ever visiting Prisoners and sick Folk. Latim. 1. Serm. on the Lords Prayer. Holy Bradford, when he was Prison­er in Southwark, was wont to visit the Thieves on the other side the Prison. Learned Mr. Perkins preach'd once every Lords Day to the Prisoners in the Sessions-House in Cambridge, whi­ther the Goaler brought them, till he [Page] was called to preach in a Church in Town. And so that Reverend and Experienced Exemplary Divine Mr. Richard Rogers, was a Visitor of Pri­soners, as may be seen in Practise of Christianity, Of visiting the Sick, p. 698. Edit. Fol.

2. I wish that all High Sheriffs would be so zealously affected towards the Salvation of poor Prisoners, as to take care to provide the best means and helps to save their Souls from Hell; and in particular, that they would pro­vide well for them, and grant them as much time as they can between Sentence and Execution, that they may not be hurried out of the World under Dark­ness, and Confusion upon their Souls. Then we may press hard upon them, Turn or Die, when hopes of Life are taken away. Some Learned Men have written against a Late or Death-bed Repentance, with much Severity; and it must be acknowledged to be a very great Sin to neglect Salvation; and I [Page] have been under a Temptation to ne­glect them, because I had so much to do with hard Heads and hard Hearts, and but a little time to do all in. But as I have the great Examples of Divines more exercised and experienced than the former, so I have found that God has been pleased to make the fear of Death a means of Salvation: And why may we not think it to be much more effectual than an Affliction, out of which a man may escape alive? But here is no hopes of Life; and Afflicti­ons have been sanctified means of Con­version; therefore so may the fear and apprehensions of approaching Death and Judgment be. This request is the same in effect that zealous and holy Latimer made to King Edward the 6th. Serm. 4. Here I take occasion to move your Grace, that such Men as may be put to Death, may have Learned Men to give them Instructi­on and Exhortation. For the Reve­rence of God, when they be put [Page] to Execution, let them have Instru­ctors, for many of them are cast a­way for lack of Instruction, and die miserably for lack of good preaching. And the fore-cited Mr. Rogers hath these Word: And this I can say, I have my self visited ma­ny Prisoners after they have receiv­ed Sentence of Death, in whom I saw as good Signs of saved persons, as ever I beheld in such as died in their Beds, not having tasted of Re­pentance before. And it were to be desired, that as Joshua pitied A­chan, when he should be stoned to Death for his Offence, so that he brought him to confess his Faults with hope of Pardon; so that such woful Prisoners might be provided for, that they might die with com­fort. p. before-cited. There is more to be said and done, than Prepare your self, and I will give you the Sacrament.

3. I humbly desire that High Sheriffs would give encouragement and leave to [Page] willing Ministers to visit Prisoners at all times, and especially the last men­tioned time, and command to their Officers to receive them to such an end, and for such a Work: And this I de­sire not, because I have found any dif­ficulty or disrespect, (but the contrary) but, that none may be thought to intrude into anothers man's Province, or que­stioned for exercising out of his own Parish. I may not be much suspected for making this motion with respect to my self so much, for my distance and manifold occasions at home may excuse me from doing much this way, except when particularly called or desired. And here I have a convenient place to make my most humble and thankful ac­knowledgments to the Honoured Tho. Catesby, Esq; for his leave and encou­ragement given to me and Mr. D. to take pains with the last that were Executed: And also I give my publick Thanks, with the Offer of my best Services, for the like leave given us, by the very [Page] worthy John Creed Esq; our present High Sheriff.

4. And I would that such piously af­fected Sheriffs should not think this to be any Augmentation of their Charge; for it is sufficient reward to have the Testimony of a good Conscience for a sincere endeavour to save them that have destroy'd themselves. But seeing Sir Francis Nichols gave that pious Example, it would become persons of Estate and Piety to add something to it, which might be an augmentation to some Minister in Town, that shall best deserve it; by taking most profitable pains for it, and that Gift of Sir Fr. would be enquired after.

5 I wish, that every apartment in the Prison, both for Debtors and Cri­minals, might be provided for with good Books, a fair Quarto Bible, a good full Catechism, or Body of Divinity, such as Usher's Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, a good Treatise of Conversion or Regeneration, and of [Page] Holy Living, of Judgment and Life to come. I will not name any, because I would not direct unasked, but leave the choice to any well-devoted Benefa­ctor. It is a great Inducement to men that have nothing to do, to read, or to hear the reading of good Books, especi­ally on the Lord's Day, when they have them provided for them. These should be booked down, and left in safe Cu­stody when any go away.

6. I wish all the Masters of Prisons were such as he was, Acts 16. for their own, and the sakes of them who are un­der their Charge. It is a place which would require Prudence, Gravity, Mer­cifulness, and a Hand or Gift of Go­verning the ill bred and corrupted part of Mankind, with a Temper of Mercy and Rigour. I have heard some say, they did not look to fare so well at home, as they did in this Prison: O then, that there were nothing wanting for the Life of their Souls! Be kind to the few that are well inclined, and so­ber; [Page] be severe toward the prophane and debauched; let not a Prison, a place of Correction for sin, be a School and a Shop for sin.

7. I wish that were done, which might not be impossible to see done: There are some (too well bred for such a place) that can read; let some pri­viledg or reward be given to such, espe­cially to the more sober and serious, for reading to them that cannot; and let such as cannot, and have no employ­ment, be bound to hear reverently some time every day, but inexcusably every Lord's Day. The loss of Liberty, and impairing of Health is great pay for the madness or pleasure of sin; but to suf­fer the punishment of eternal Fire is too great for men to expose them to, without effectual application of all possible means to save them from eternal Death.

8. And because I would not be mis­taken, as if I were all for publick preaching; I do humbly conceive that there is much good to be done by private [Page] and particular Conferences with parti­cular persons, for one man's case may differ from anothers. But then this must be well managed and well follow­ed, and requires more time, and there­fore more proper for Ministers that live near, and may visit frequently; but when Ministers come from a distance, and cannot make frequent Visits, preach­ing must needs be best. And why may not leave be given for preaching in the Sessions-House, seeing there is no room convenient in the Goal, and that there is so short and so safe a passage from the Prison to the Bar? Why should it offend any man now to preach in a Ses­sions-House, when it was so ordinary at Cambridge, a Shire-Town, and an Ʋniversity? And why may not preach­ing be so publick, that many people may hear, who are much affected on such oc­casions?

Honoured Sirs, If I were to make any of these Petitions to any of you, you would grant me these, or teach and [Page] advise me to make better. I have but one humble request to every of you, That you would pardon my making of your Honoured Names publick, without your leaves or knowledge; and that you would accept this little Present: And one Re­quest I have to make to God for you in particular, and for all your Honoured Relations and Families, my most obli­ging Friends, That you may all so have the Son, and the Beginnings, and Fore­tastes, and First Fruits of Eternal Life here, that you may have it in its ful­ness in Heaven.

Honoured Sirs,
Your most obliged Servant in Christ, Edward Pierce.

Mr. S. D. to the Reader.

BEing desired by my dear Friend and much Honoured Brother in the Work of the Lord Mr. Pierce, to peruse the Narra­tive of the occasion of his preaching the Ser­mon annext, and of the Behaviour of the Con­demned Persons, for whose sakes it was preached: I have diligently read it over, and find that he hath given so faithful and exact an account in every particular, that I remem­ber not any thing necessary to be added by me, but my hearty Thanks to Mr. Pierce for the great pains he took with those poor ignorant Souls in order to their Salvation, and my Humble Requests to Almighty God, that he would raise up more such publick Spirits to serve him in their Generation; and that this Sermon (which was then received by the Prisoners, and a Crowd of other Auditors, with so much satisfaction) may now its pub­lished, by the Blessing and Grace of God accompanying it, become effectual to the beget­ting and encreasing of saving Faith and Knowledge in all such as read it. So prayeth

Thine in the Lord Jesus, S. D.

The Author being remote from London, the Reader is entreated to amend or pardon the Errata of the Press.

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A new System of the Apocalyps; or, plain and methodical Illustrations of all the Visions in the Revelation of St. John. Written by a French Mi­nister, in the year 1685, and finished but two days before the Dragoons plundred him of all except this Treatise.

1 John V.xii.

He that hath the Son, hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not Life.

WE that have this Prize put in­to our hands, of labouring to save your Souls, near the last Day and Hour, and the going down of the Sun of your Lives, are constrained to make short Work,As blessed Mr. Per­kins did, in calling down a Malefactor from the very Lad­der, saying, Man, come down, and thou shalt see what God's Grace will do to strengthen thee. In the Life of Mr. Per­kins. but as true as we can in this little time. If we should hold you under the Conviction Wrath, and Condem­nation of the Law of God, for Sin deserving it, we should keep you in the dark Prison of Unbelief, and endanger your everlasting state, by with-holding from you the saving Knowledge of Je­sus [Page 2] Christ. We have endeavoured faith­fully to set before you your Sins, and the Ways of Sin, not to keep you under Terrors, but to draw you to Christ; not to bind upon you the heavy Burden of Ten Thousand Talents, which you owe to the Justice of God, and leave you to groan under it without hope of unbind­ing or releasing your Souls; but that you may come weary and heavy laden to Christ. We have cause of great sadness and heaviness of Spirit, to think how nigh you are to the Judgment-Seat of Jesus Christ, and how long you have been ignorant, careless Despisers of him, in whom you must believe, or perish ever­lastingly. Oh! How sad and grievous would it be, if you should go out of the World without saving Knowledge and Faith, without turning to God through Jesus Christ, by whom alone you must come to God, and obtain remission of Sin, and everlasting Life? You have now but a little Time left you to learn Christ, and we must now open to you the Kingdom of God, and set forth Je­sus Christ before you evidently, for Grace and Life, or leave you in the Dark as we found you. You must take hold of Christ, and of Eternal Life, or sink into [Page 3] the Gulf of Eternity. You are upon the Brink of that boundless Ocean; O now, even now, while there is any part of this Day left, lay hold of eternal Life by Jesus Christ! But how shall you believe, except you hear; and how shall you hear without a Preacher! O now then hear a Sermon of Jesus Christ, and of eternal Life by him! If I were to Preach for my Life, and but one Sermon, and never to Preach more, it should be of God my Saviour, of the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is certainly like to be the last that you, for whose sake principally it is designed, shall hear before you die. O! therefore now heark­en, for it is for your Life; and by how much the more negligent you have been of your great Salvation, be you the more diligent and attentive now. O hearken now, and the Lord open your Hears to attend to what the Lord shall say unto you, from the Text now read to you.

The Reason why I have chosen this Text, is, because I would drive home the Point which you heard already,Preached by Mr. Dud­ley the Wednesday before in the Prison. and to pur­pose handled the other day, That you cannot contend with God, nor stand in [Page 4] his Judgment without Christ, from Job 9.3. If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand; you cannot answer to your Charge, therefore take Counsel: And this being the last Service I shall ever do for you in this kind, the best Service I can do you, that are so near your appointed End, yea, and to all that hear me this day, is to open and apply to you this Text, which I have read unto you.

In the Words we may find full Resolu­tions and Answers to the greatest Que­stions of Concernment to all Men liv­ing. The great Case of every Mans Life and Death is determined in them.

If the Question were asked by any of you, 1. Who is the Man that shall escape in the day of the Lords Wrath, and live happily with God in Heaven for ever? The Answer is, That Man, and that Man only, who hath the Son of God, that is to say, He who heartily believes in him, embraces and receives him, as the Son of God the Saviour. The Decision is plain in few words, He that hath the Son hath Life. 2. If a contrary Question be asked, Who is that wretched miserable Man, who shall not see Life, nor come into the Kingdom of Heaven, but perish [Page 5] everlastingly in Hell, not in respect of his being, but happiness and well-being? The Answer is plain and peremptory, He who hath not the Son of God hath not Life; hath no title nor right to Life, nor any grounds of hope of it.

3. If the Question be, What a Man shall do to be saved? Or how may a Soul that is convinced of Sin and Death, that is made sensible of his Sin and Mise­ry, that confesseth how he hath sinned, and how he deserves to die for ever for it? How may a Soul, I say, thrust thorough with the fear of the Curse of the Law, as with a fiery Dart, that sigheth and groan­eth under the Sentence of Death, and is afraid of dying, and being condemned to Hell when he dieth, come to be cured of his Wounds, and to Hope to see Life? This, this is the way, the Only way, the sure and certain way; let him come to Christ, and have him as he is offered, and then he shall not die in his sins, but have eternal Life: For, He that hath the Son hath Life; as sure as he hath the one, he shall have the other. O then, you that pant for Life, embrace the Son.

4. Grant it to be true, that such are the Merits, Grace and Power of Jesus [Page 6] Christ the Son of God, that whoever hath him, and believeth in him with a right, hearty, uniting, effectual Faith, hath Life. But may not a Man, who hath not the Son, have Life? Is there no other way, or means of Life and Sal­vation, but Christ? Hearken to the Word, and give Credit to it; it speaks fully to the Question, He who hath not the Son of God, hath not Life. This one Scrip­ture carries Evidence and Conviction with it, to stop the Mouths of all Gain­sayers and Cavillers. But this Text is not alone, there are three Scriptures more that conclude in the same Sense, both in the Affirmative and Negative.

See 1. John 3.36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting Life, (there's the Affirmative, He that hath the Son, hath Life) And he that believeth not the Son, shall not see Life, (there's the Negative, or Contrary, He who hath not the Son of God, hath not Life) but the wrath of God abideth on him.

2. See another Text, John 14.6. Je­sus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me. I am the way, by which you may come to the Father, as to your last and highest End and Happiness. I am [Page 7] the Door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, John 10.9. There's as much as, He that hath the Son hath Life. But then observe, No man cometh unto the Father but by me: He who hath not the Son of God, hath not the Way, nor the Truth, nor the Life.

3. Take a third Witness to confirm both parts of the Point, Acts 4.12. Nei­ther is there Salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. The Affirmative, That Salvation and Life is in Christ, is included in the excluding word, Neither is there Salvation in any other; Salvation is in and by Jesus Christ, but not in any other; for there is none other name, &c. And therefore if any one hath not the Son of God, he hath not Life.

From what is said, you may come to be past fear and doubt of your ever­lasting Salvation; if you have the Son of God (as you shall hear by and by) you may be sure your Life, your Trea­sure, your Happiness is safely laid up for you. And on the contrary, a Man that reads these Words may read his own Doom, He who hath not the Son, hath not Life. Conclude now, as you have, or [Page 8] or have not the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Saviour, so you shall live or die eternally. But yet take this for preven­tion of Trouble or Despair: As it is certain, no Man hath any Right or Ti­tle to eternal Life, except he believeth, and hath the Son; so he who hath not the Son at present now, may have him, may believe and be saved, if he attend for him in the means of Grace; and have him while he may be had, that is, while he is offer'd to him.

I take the Words as Doctrins, or Di­vine Propositions, without putting them into any other Form:

  • 1 D. He that hath the Son, hath Life.
  • 2 D. He that hath not the Son, hath not Life.

In opening the first, observe these Par­ticulars:

1. Who and what is this Son spoken of in the Text.

2. What it is to have the Son.

3. What is that Life which they have who have the Son.

4. The reason why he who hath the Son hath Life, or how it will follow [Page 9] and appear, that he who hath the Son Jesus, hath, and must needs have Life.

1. By the Son is to be understood Je­sus Christ the Son of God, our Mediator and Redeemer, of whom there is fre­quent mention in this Chapter. The Son is that same Holy One, and wonderful, spoken of in the first Verse, Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God, v. 5. Who is he that overcometh the World, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? He who came by Water and Blood, even Jesus Christ, ver. 6. He to whom the Father, the Word, (or the Second Person in the Godhead) and the Holy Ghost bear witness; the Three in Heaven that bear witness, and to whom the Three bear witness on Earth, the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood, ver. 7, 8. He who is called Son, his Son, Son of God ten times from ver. 8. to the end of the Chapter. And observe ver. 20. And we know the Son of God is come, (He who was given and sent, is come in our Flesh, to be a Mediator between God and us) and hath given us an Ʋnderstanding to know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true [Page 10] God and eternal Life. This Son, this Son of God, is the true God, and eternal Life is in him, ver. 11. He is called Life, John 14.6. and the Word of Life, 1 John 1.1. and Eternal Life, v. 2. He is the true God, and hath Life in Him­self; and he is eternal Life, essentially as the Son of God, the only begotten Son, John 3.16. And because the only begotten, (begotten by eternal Genera­tion by the Father) he was Life, and had Life in Himself, from Eternity, before the Beginning; therefore he is immutable and immortal; he is Eternal Life origi­nally and in the Fountain: And that eter­nal Life which the Father, of his meer Grace and Love hath given to us who are born of God, is in his Son, who is entrusted with it for us, and hath pow­er to give it to us, John 17.2. and he who hath him hath eternal Life for that reason.

From these Scriptures learn four great Points and Matters of Faith:

1. That Jesus Christ is so the Son of God, that he is certainly the True God. 2. That the Son of God is come into the World, as sent of God, as made of a Woman, as manifest in the Flesh, ha­ving taken part of the same Flesh and [Page 11] Blood which his Brethren were partakers of, Gal. 4.4. 1 Tim. 3.16. Heb. 2.14. 3. That the only begotten Son of God hath Life in Himself, yea, is the Life, the word of Life, and eternal Life. 4. That Christ, his Son Jesus Christ hath that eternal Life in him, as our Mediator, Saviour and Head, which God hath giv­en to them who are born of God, rege­nerated by the Spirit, and adopted to be the Sons of God and Heirs of Life. Jesus Christ our Mediator and Saviour, is that Son, which whoever hath, hath Life.

Give me the attentive Ear to two Texts more, which being taken together as they ought to be, will prove, That the Son of God is the same with Jesus our Saviour, and that as our Jesus he is call­ed the Son of God, Luke 1.31, 32, 35. And behold thou shalt conceive in the Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be call­ed the Son of the highest, &c. And to her Question, who thought it to her a thing incomprehensible, but not impossible, ver. 34. How can it be, seeing I know not a Man? The Angel answered and said un­to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall o­ver-shadow [Page 12] thee. Therefore also that Ho­ly Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. The Name Jesus is the Name of the Son of God as Mediator, given him from the End, or Effect of his coming into the World, Mat. 1.21. Thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their Sin. The same is called, according to the Prophesie of Isaiah, Emmanuel, God with us; and the same called the Son of God, Mat. 1.23. He shall be called,Dr. Owen of the Person of Jesus Christ against Biddle, p. 180. &c. Mr. Est­wick's Articles of Mr. Biddle's Faith confuted, p. 211. A. B. Ʋsher of the Incarnation, Fol. p. 428. Last Edit. of the Sum and Sub­stance. Cameron My­rothec. Evang. in Luc. & Praeter. in Mat. 16. Johan. Junii. Exam. Socini de Incarnatione fil. Dei. cap. 1. p 92. &c. he shall appear to be, shall be acknow­ledged and professed to be the Son of God; for the Son of God hath taken that which is conceived in thee, into Union with him­self; and so, altho he is the Man Christ, as made of a Woman, conceived in the Womb of the Virgin by the Holy Ghost, he is indeed the Son of God, and shall be so called; He shall be glorified with the Name of the Son of God, with whom [Page 13] he is made One Person by that Power of the Highest overshadowing the Virgin. If he was therefore the Son of God, be­cause he was conceived and formed in the Virgins Womb, then he must needs be the Son of the Holiest, his own Spirit; but the Son is the only begotten of the Father, and called the Holy Thing, which signifies and denotes that which is Essential to Christ, the Divine Nature or Person; and the same is called the Son of God, to whom the Humane Na­ture is united, that so he might be Jesus, Our Saviour, and God with us, in our Nature and for us, for our Salvation. Had Christ been meer Man, and no more, he might have been called the Son of God, as the first Adam is called, Luke 3. v. ult. because of his immediate Cre­ation; but then he had been but a Creature, tho perfectly holy from his Conception, and had not been at all the proper and Natural Son of God, as not being of the Divine Essence or Nature; for every Son hath the same Nature that his Father hath; but the Humane Nature is not the Divine,Simber, de Filio Dei, l. 1. c. 5. p. 58, 59. the Humane Nature being from the first moment [Page 14] of Conception united to the Second Person, the Son of God; that which was conceived in the Womb of the Vir­gin was the Son of God. Our Mediator must needs be God and Man in one Per­son; and because the Holy thing that was born was Emmanuel, God-Man, therefore he was called the Son of God. The Na­tures are distinguished, but the Person was but One; and being but One, there is one glorious Name given him, The Son of God. The Son of God and the Son of Mary are one and the same, called the Son of God. Christ the Son of Da­vid according to the Flesh, Rom. 1.3. had his beginning when he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and that Operation of the Spirit was the Cause of his being called the Son of God.Johannes jun. ib. Hooynbeck Socinianis­mi Confutatio, 1 De Christ. c. 1. p. 38. The Son of God took our Nature into Union with himself, and he was not on­ly to be called the Son of God by Men, but was owned and called so by God himself, at his Entrance into the Admi­nistration of his Office of Mediator, Mat. 3.17. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased: And besides many other places, (too many, to be opened at this [Page 15] time) he is called his dear Son, or the Son of his Love, Col. 1.13. and demon­strated to be the Son of his Being, if I may so speak, by the many Arguments in the following Verses.

1. The Son of God's Love, is the great God our Saviour, and so great, that he hath a Kingdom, and hath tran­slated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. O most blessed translation and change! To be delivered from the pow­er of Darkness, and translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son! It is a delive­rance, and a translation from Darkness, and the power of Darkness, out of the Devils Power and Tyranny, out of the Dominion of Sin, where every Lust is a Lord, and we Slaves and Drudges, work­ing our own Destruction by our own Thoughts, Tongues and Hands! Great is the Power of Darkness, and miserable are they that are under it! They are under Wrath, and within a step of Hell, as long as they are under his Power! But O how happy are they, who are brought out of it into this Kingdom of the Son of God's Love! Such as the King is, such is his Kingdom; the Son, the King is full of Grace and Truth, his Kingdom is a Kingdom of Grace [Page 16] and Glory, of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. The Laws, Or­dinances, Priviledges, Subjects, and the whole Government of this Son of God's Love, and King of Saints, are answerable or suitable to him; and what's wanting here of perfect Happiness, shall be made up in Heaven. Our translation, by ef­fectual Calling and Grace, is a Delive­rance from the outward Prison, and Sub­urbs of Hell, into the outward Courts of Heaven; and out of them there will be another remove and promotion into the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven!

2. He is such a Son of God, as paid a Ransom for all that have him, and that was his own Blood: Was there ever such a Son, such Love, such a Ransom! All that are in him by Faith, have the Bene­fit of that Ransom from the Wrath of God, and the deserved Punishments of Sin. He is the Son that procured our Pardon and Release from the Guilt of Sin, the Curse of the Law, the Justice of God, ver. 14. In whom we have redemption thro' his Blood, the forgiveness of sin. O, how blessed is that Man, whose Iniquities are forgiven! Psal. 32.1. Is not this then the Son of God, the true God in our [Page 17] Natures, purchasing us with his own Blood, Acts 20.28.

3. This dear Son is such a Son, who is the Image of the invisible God. God is invisible in his pure Essence and Be­ing: What Image can there be that is lively and perfect, but what must needs be invisible also? So Christ the dear Son of God must needs be invisible also in his Godhead, and Divine Person, and there­fore truly God the Son; but then God the Son, the essential, invisible, and per­fect Image of his invisible Father, ha­ving taken our Nature into Union with his Person, is a visible Image of the liv­ing true invisible God; for he who hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also, John 14.9. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. Ver. 10. Believ­est thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? Never did any Image so lively express the Original, as the Son of God in our Nature did express the in­finite Wisdom, Power, Grace, and Mer­cy of God. God was manifest in his Flesh, in his Humane Nature, a pure material Glass, shewing us Divine Per­fections, 1 Tim. 3.16.

[Page 18]4. He is the First Born of every Crea­ture. As Man, it is certain he was not born before every Creature: As God, he is not called the First-Born but the only begotten, John 1.14. He is not called the First-Born, in respect of Order of Time, or Participation of the same Na­ture with the Creature created after him. For if the Notion of the Arians were true, That the First-born is of the same Nature with the rest of the Children, thinking thereby to strip him of his Di­vine Nature and Godhead, and to make him no more than a Man; then he would partake of the Nature of every Crea­ture, as well as Mans; for he is not said to be the First-born of Men only, but of every Creature. This therefore is a Title of Dignity and Honour; as much as to say, He is the First-born, Heir and Lord of every Creature. He is not a Creature, nor called first,Mr. P. Bayn on the Colos. Christianni Scho­tanni in Collegio Mis­cellaneorum Theologi­corum. Disp. 1. de prim. genitura. Sec. 11, 12. Zanch. in Col. as tho first made, but first and chief in Dignity and Power o­ver all Creatures, Psal. 89.28. I will make him my first-born, higher than the Kings of the Earth. All things are subject to him, 1 Pet. 3.22. [Page 19] and put under his Feet, Ephes. 1.22. His Dominion is over all. This is the Son of God's Love, manifested in the Flesh, suffering in our Nature even unto Blood, to make Attonement, and to procure us the forgiveness of Sin. O how happy are they who have him!

5. That he is, not a Creature, not a meer Man, or made God, which implies the greatest Contradiction: Nor a Divine Man; as if he were more like God than other Men, as the Arians and Socinians dream and feign him to be; but that the Son of God, the Son of God's Love is true God, and hath an undoubted Title to the Dominion of all Creatures, is made evident from ver. 16, 17. in which there are these infallible Proofs of his God­head. 1. All things were created by him that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, &c. 2. As all things were crea­ted by him, so they were created for him. All things were created by him and for him; therefore he was not an Instrument in the Hand of the Creator, but the most High God, and one God, with the Father and Holy Ghost. To us there is but One God, of whom are all things, &c. 1 Cor. 8.6. All things are by Christ, the Son of God; and also for [Page 20] him, as their End, therefore he is the High God. See Rom. 11.36. The Instru­ment is for the princi­pal Cause:That which I, as the Principal, do use my Servant to do, is not for his sake, but my own; but the end of all these things was no less the Honour of Christ than the Father. Re­verend Holy Bayn on the Coloss. If Christ were the Instrument of God the Creator, in the Creation, then all things would not be for him, for his Service and his Glory, who was the Instru­ment. He was an equal Cause with the Father and the Holy Ghost, because all things are for him, for his Service and Glory; therefore he was not an Instrument, nor an inferiour Agent, but one God with the Father: Yet we must observe an Order in the Government and Admini­stration of the Mediatory Kingdom of Christ. Christ as God is one with the Father; but Christ God-Man, as Media­tor, hath a respect to God the Father, John 5.8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much Fruit, so shall you be my Dis­ciples. John 11.4. I have glorified thee on the Earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. John 7.18. He that seeketh the Glory of him that sent him, is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. And [Page 21] Phil. 2.11. And that every Tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. 3. And he is before all things, ver. 17. before the World, and all things in it. If he were a meer Creature, he could not be before all things, he could be but the first of Creatures; but being before all Crea­tures, he should not be degraded and debased to be made but a Creature: But he is before all things that are made, therefore God the Creator of all things; for there can be nothing before All things but God, as before all Time no­thing but Eternity. And that Saying of the Re­verend Davenant upon these Words,Quomodo fuit ante omnia, si ante suam incarnationem non fu­it? Quomodo condidit omnia qui ipse non ex­titit? Expos. Rep. P. ad Colos. might stop the Mouths of all the Socinians, who make the Conception of Christ to be the Prin­ciple and beginning of his Filation, or being the Son of God, grounding their Error upon that Text spoken of before, Luke 1.35. How was he before all things, if he was not before his Incarnation? How could he make all things, who was not himself in being? Saith that clear and learned Man.

[Page 22]4. By him all things consist: He sup­porteth and beareth up all things, up­holdeth all things by the Word of his Power, Heb. 1.3. All things are conti­nued in their Being, Place, Order and Usefulness by him, by whom all things were made. He beareth up the World, and keepeth things together from falling into confusion and ruin.

I have been the longer in the De­scription of the Son, that you may know him, and that knowing him you may desire him, come to him, believe in him, have him, honour him, admire him, and do all that is required of you. Consider, one thing before I go to the next Head. The Son of God is to be had as he is given, and sent of the Fa­ther, and as he is said to come into the World. All which Expressions do sig­nifie to us his Office and Undertaking of a Mediator, with the Performance and Benefits thereof. The Knowledge of him as such is necessary to, and is the beginning of Eternal Life, John 17.3. This is Eternal Life to know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent as Mediator, to mediate Peace between the infinite God and sinful Men. Therefore let me in few Words [Page 23] open to you the meaning of the Word, and the reason and nature of the Office of the Mediator, as he is called, 1 Tim. 2.5. There is one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave him­self a Ransom for all; where observe these things plainly.

1. The Mediator is a middle Person between Parties. 2. The Parties between whom he dealeth as Media­tor, are God and Man.Medius Natura Medi­ans Officio, Trelent. & alii. 3. The high Quality of the Mediator is set out by his Hu­mane Nature, and by his Names, the Man Christ Jesus. 4. What he did, he gave himself a Ransom for all. And by this last Particular we understand three things of great Moment. 1. The Con­dition of all Men; they were guilty of an heinous Transgression against God, and were fallen under the Curse and Ju­stice of God: A miserable Condition! 2. What God required and must have, or sinful Men must abide and perish un­der the Wrath and Curse of God; there must be a Ransom given and paid for them, and that was the precious Blood of the Son of God, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. and his Life, Matth. 20.28. Oh! what an in­estimable [Page 24] Ransom is that! 3. The Na­ture of Christs Mediation. His Work was not so easie and cheap as the Soci­cinians make it. They make our Mediator to be a Messenger sent from God to make known his Will to the World,Catech. Racov. de pro­phetico Christ. munere. or an In­terpreter of his Mind. But to what End doth the Apostle add this, Who gave himself a Ransom for all, if that was all? But he who is that One, and only Medi­ator between God and Man, gave him­self a Ransom for those who could ne­ver have redeemed their own Lives, who lay under the Sentence of Death and Con­demnation. Let it not be tedious to you to read and ponder, Heb. 9.14, 15. How much more shall the Blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offer'd himself without spot to God, purge your Conscience from dead works to serve the living God? The Offerer or Priest was Christ, the Of­fering or Sacrifice was Himself, Body and Soul, even unto Death and Blood; that which gave Efficiency and Power to the Offering, was the eternal Spirit, or Divine Nature; he to whom it was of­fered was God, who in Justice required, and in Mercy accepted it, for them who [Page 25] believe and repent, to purge Conscience from Guilt and Pollution, vers. 15. And for this Cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of Death, for the Redemption of the Transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which are called may receive the Promise of the Eternal Inheritance. Here we have the Reason or Cause of Christ's Mediatory Office. He is a mid­dle Person dealing between both Parties, God and Men, and for both. To God he gave himself a Ran­som,Nam ad [...] officium non minus pertinent hominum vice apud Deum fungi, quam Dei vice apud homines. Grot. de Satisfa­ctione Christi, p. 172. which is a Satisfacti­on for Sin, and sinful Men: For them that are called he procured the Promise of the Eternal Inheri­tance; the means by which he obtained Par­don for the sins of the Hebrews under the First Testament, whereof Moses was a Typical Mediator, and the eternal Inheritance for them who are called and believe, was his Blood, the Blood of Attonement. And this great Work of Christ was perform­ed by him as a Priest, and so he is a Me­diator in his Priestly Office, and procures [Page 26] Peace and Reconciliation as a Priest, and therefore as a Priest he is Mediator. As a Priest he offered up himself to God, in our sted, and for our Good; so he stood between us Sinners and the offended God, and made Attonement; and as Priest, he appears for all that believe in him; for he is an Advocate, and makes inter­cession, which he could not do, if he were not the Propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2.2. And so he is a Mediator between both, for both; for he is the Mediator of the New Testament, having satisfied by his Death and Obedience for the Violation of the first Covenant made with Adam, in the Guilt of which all Mankind are involved; and for the sins of the Hebrews under the first Testa­ment made with their Fathers, which no Sacrifice could expiate or satisfie for. All the Mercy and Goodness of God is conferred upon them that are called, and brought to believe and obey him, by a Testament or Covenant; and all that Man is obliged to, as Duty and O­bedience, is required in that Testament, whereof Christ is Mediator. And there­fore some judicious Divines put this into the Description of the Office of Christ [Page 27] Mediator, that Christ is the Person God-Man, who doth confede­rate God and Man in the same Covenant of Grace,Christianus Scho­tanus. Disput. 19. De Mediatore. Thess. prima. Le Blanc. Thess. 1. An Christus sit Mediator secund. utram (que) naturam, p. 109. Tileni Syn­tagma de Incarna­tione Fil. Dei. Dis­put. 1. Thess. 4. and make them one a­gain.

The whole Work of Christ as Mediator may be reduced to two Heads.

1. To satisfie for the Breach of the first Co­venant, and redeem sin­ful Men from the Curse of it.

2. To bring God and Man into ano­ther Covenant, the Covenant of Grace, and to make them one.

To this end it was necessary, 1. That he should be a Mediator of Redemption and Reconciliation. 2. That as God is one, there should be one Mediator; and so there is one, and but one, 1 Tim. 2.5. 3. This one Mediator is said to be Man in this Text, but not meer Man, nor Me­diator as Man only, excluding the Di­vine Nature; but the Man Christ Jesus: He addeth to the Nature Man the Names Christ Jesus, which contain [Page 28] the Nature and Person of the Son of God, and signifie that wonderful Person,Pet. Martyr admi­nistros Regn. Polo­nici, L. Com. p. 1113. our Lord Jesus Christ. The Words do not shew ac­cording to which Nature Christ is Mediator, but that the Media­tor is Man, and that Jesus Christ is Man, who bringeth us to God. It is usual in Scripture to speak of the Person of our Mediator Jesus Christ by one of his Natures,Genevenses Thes. Theol. de Christo. Med. Thes. 27. p. 49. Centur. 1. not excluding the other from the Unity of the Person: So by the Man Christ may be understood that Person who hath that Nature which is truly called Man, and that for divers Reasons. 1. That the Apostle would encou­rage us to put our Trust and Confidence in him,Reverend Mr. J. Ball of the Co­venant, p. 269. as being our Elder Brother. 2. To encourage us in the Duty of Prayer through the Mediator, to which we are exhorted, as knowing the great­ness of that Power and Authority which Christ hath with his Father residing in our Nature. 3. That it might appear that our Mediator was the same Christ, [Page 29] or Messiah, which was promised from the Beginning, as the only Restorer of miserable Sinners, the Seed of the Wo­man, Gen. 3.14. 4. That no man to whom the Gospel is preached,Nequis igitur se torqueat ubinam ille quaerendus Me­diator, aut qua via ad ipsum perveni­endum, hominem nominans, propin­quum imo contigu­um nobis esse ad­monet, quandoqui­dem caro nostra est. Calvin. Instit. l. 2. c. 12. S. 1. & 2. of any Condi­tion or Quality, whether in Authority or under Au­thority, high or low, rich or poor, should be dis­couraged or terrified from seeking and accept­ing that Salvation, which by the Gospel is proposed and offered to all Condi­tions of men, seeing there is one Mediator for all, as there is one God over all, and good to all; and that one Mediator is the man Christ Jesus, who is near to us, and bound not only by the bond of Nature as Man, but by Office and Undertaking, as Mediator, Redeemer and Reconciler, to save all that come unto him. Now if you have cause to fear everlasting De­struction for want of a Mediator and Re­deemer, nor for want of Tenderness of Compassion, or largeness of Heart to­wards you, as well as Power to save you: [Page 30] Your Destruction is of your selves, your Ignorance of him, your Unbelief, and neglect of great Salvation: None of you doubt of the All-sufficiency of Jesus Christ to save you because he is but one, one Mediator and one Man: And how can one save miriads of men; so many as are past number, from their sins which are numberless and infinite, in respect of the Object against whom they are committed? If that Antichri­stian Cavil of Socinus should come by the Sug­gestion of Satan,Johan. Maccovii Anti-Socinus, c. 2. to be a doubt in the Heart of any; To help you against that Temptation, and to answer the Cavil of that Man that hath mudded and and disquieted the pure Water of Life, flowing from Jesus Christ, take these Considerations: 1. It must be ac­knowledged, that all the men in the World cannot satisfie for the Sins of any one man, or redeem any one Soul; much less can any one meer man give a Ransom for all. But the man Christ Jesus our Lord is such a man as gave himself a Ransom, and it was accepted for all; therefore it was all-sufficient. It de­served not to be called a Ransom, if it [Page 31] were not sufficient, nor accepted: But it is called a Ransom for all in common; (all that shall be saved are saved by vertue of the same Mediator, and the same Ransom) therefore it was suffici­ent. If the Ransom had not been suffi­cient, Christ could not have been Media­tor and Saviour; but he is Mediator and Saviour; therefore his Ransom was sufficient for all. 2. The man Christ is not a particular Person, an Individual, as humane Persons are; but the Son of God took the Humane Nature existing in that one Soul and Body unto Union with his own Divine Person; and taking the entire humane Nature, he is not a par­ticular man subsisting himself, but truly the Seed of the Woman, Gen. 3.15. and so an Head of all that shall be saved; as Adam was the Head of all that died in him. 3. The singular Humane Nature of Jesus Christ was never alone, and se­parated from the Infinite Person of the Son of God, but was assumed into Per­sonal Union with him, in the instant of his Conception and Creation; and so he was always the Son of God, and the Son of God paid the Ransom, and it was of infinite Value, equal to the Offence of [Page 22] man, and the Justice that required it. 4. Mark, that the Apostle saith, there is one God and one Mediator; as certain as there is one God, so certain there is one Mediator between God and man, and this said long after the Mediator had paid the Ransom, and offered himself without Spot to God, and had obtained the Promise of the Eternal Inheritance. If he had failed in his Undertaking, and not performed all things required for our Redemption, he had been no Media­tor, and by consequence there had been no Covenant of Grace between God and man, nor had there been any Advocate with the Father, nor any Promise of the eternal Inheritance; and it must have been as the Apostle argues, If Christ be not risen, our preaching is vain, and our Faith vain, and we had been still in our sins. But there is a Mediator, a Cove­nant of Grace, an Advocate with the Fa­ther, even Jesus Christ the Righteous, who is the Propitiation for our sins; therefore the ransom which he paid was satisfactory for all that are saved; and by consequence, tho Christ be but one Mediator, he is sufficient for all.

[Page 33]These things being thus explained, I shall draw up the rest into a little room.

I. The Son of God, whom you must have, that you may live, is by Nature God and man, two distinct Natures, infinitely distant one from another in themselves, are united in one Person, to perform the Office of a Mediator and Redeemer, that by his Mediation and Redemption he may be a Saviour. As the Son of God he is a middle Person in the Trinity, being the Second. As the Son of God in the Flesh, he is a middle Person appointed by God, and by his own voluntary Consent, transacting between God and sinful man, for the Glory of God, and Salvation of them that believe. Thus he is wonder­fully sitted for that wonderful work: In him the Godhead and Manhood are one by personal Union. As God, he is concerned to repair the Honour of God; as Man, he is concerned for men, for all that are given him by the Father to be saved. He is distant from both; from man, as he is God; from God, as he is man;Reverend and ju­dicious Ball of the Covenant. and yet with both by the Per­sonal Union of the Di­vine, [Page 34] and Humane Nature. He is Emma­nuel, God with us, God-man. There is no other Mediator but him, for there is none fit for the Work but him. What was inconsistent with the infinite Per­fection of God, he did, and suffered for God's Glory, and in man's stead, and for his good, in the Humane Nature; what was above the ability of the Hu­mane Nature to perform and obtain, he was enabled to do as God, The Son of God carried him as man, and as Son of man through all the Difficulties of his Work. 2. The Son of God performed his Office of Mediator or Redeemer in a threefold Capacity; or, he executed his great and general Office in a three-fold Office, of Prophet, Priest, and King; and in each of these he acted, and acteth as Mediator between God and man, and for both. And from these par­ticular Offices he is called Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is his Name is as a Sa­viour, Mat. 1.21. Christ as the Messiah, anoynted by the Holy Ghost, fitting ting him for his Offices, that he might save his People; and Lord, as he is our supream King, Ruler and Defender; as Prophet, he reveals to us the Will of [Page 35] God by his Word and Spirit, and so he saves us from our Ignorance and Folly: As Priest, he made Attonement, satisfied the Justice of God, and delivered all that believe, from the Curse, and makes continual Intercession, and so we are sa­ved from the guilt of Sin and Condem­nation, and obtain the remission of Sin by him: As King, we are subdued and converted to the Obedience of God, governed and preserved to his everlast­ing Kingdom; and so we are saved from the power of Sin, and the hand of all Enemies. In short, we are taught and perswaded effectually to come to God; we are reconciled, justified and accept­ed; we are converted and subdued, pre­served, governed and kept by him, through Faith to Salvation. The necessi­ty of knowing him, the Excellency of this Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, and the Honour due to his Name, who hath a Name above every Name, hath kept me thus long upon this Branch of this Excellent Subject, and yet I leave out many things.

This is the Son. Now followeth the next Particular, What it is to have the Son.

[Page 36]This Word to have is often used to express Marriage, Union and Relation, John 3.29. 1 Cor. 7.2. Mark 12.22, 23. Luke 20.33. Of which afterwards.

II. To have the Son, is so to have him, as to have him for Eternal Life, and so to have him as to have Life by him and from him. To have him is unspeakably more, than to have him as some think they have him. To have the Son you shall hear, is more than, 1. To have him in your Eye by reading, in your Ears by hearing, in your Mouths by speaking; you come to have him by means, but many have means who have not him; many have him in the Word and Mini­stry, in the Church, in the Creed, who have him not in their Minds by spiritual and saving Knowledge, nor in their Hearts by Love. 2. To have him, is much more than to have him in their Mouths and Profession. Oh! how many hear him, and have him standing at the Door, knocking without; and let him stand till he is weary of standing and knocking, and they have no mind nor heart to listen, rise and open, having other Guests, Friends, Companions, and things which they naturally and dearly [Page 37] love, which they love better than him, or that Life, that true happy eternal Life, which he comes to give to them that will have it. Oh! How many have him, as they who cried Lord, Lord, but did not the Will of God: Or not as Thomas had him, with Interest in, and Affection to him, My Lord and my God. Oh! how many have him coming and going in the Word and Ministry, that let him go as he came, in at one Ear and out at another! The Doors of the Heart are as open for him to go out, as they were to let him in. Oh! how ma­ny have him in their mouths, as he is in their Belief, in the Congregation, as Je­sus Christ his only Son our Lord, who study not the meaning of what they say, who shew nothing of him in their Conversation: The Devil, and rotten Communication may be oftner in their mouths than he, except it be to tear his Wounds, and prophane his Blood, and to cause many to blaspheme that worthy Name by which they are called! Oh! how many have him no further in­to their Souls than their minds and me­mories, as a Stranger or Passenger; that have him not in their Hearts as a Ruler [Page 38] or Dweller! They have him as the Papists have the Crucifix, hanging at their Necks, and in their Bosoms, that have him not within them by his Spirit for Life and Salvation. And are they few, who have him but as Judas had him, and carnal and worldly Politicians have him for their private Ends, to make mer­chandize of him? And to say no more, how many delay to have him till a con­venient Season? They say they intend to have him, but they cannot yet determin when, for he is held at too high a rate, they cannot yet come up to the terms of Repentance and Self-denial: When they cannot sin as they were wont, they will repent; and when they are upon a forced remove out of the World, and must leave all, then they will deny themselves. This is plainly the Sense of them, who do not flatly refuse to have him, but are not resolved to have him as they must, or not at all. And that is as followeth.

Mark the Word it self, He that hath the Son hath Life. First the Son, and then Life by him. First, Christ himself, his Glorious Person full of Grace and Truth, and then Life; both or neither, [Page 39] and both in this order and connexion; of which a little more afterwards. And then observe, that to have the Son is all one as to believe in him, John 3.15, 16. And to believe on the Son with Trust and Reliance, John 3.36. Or to receive him; but to as many as receiv­ed him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name, John 1.12. They who receiv­ed first the Son, had the Prerogative and Priviledge to become the Sons of God. Upon our having the Son, as in­vested in the Office of Mediator, for which he put on our Nature, we have Life, the Benefit of his Redemption and Mediation. To have him, is to have him by the Application and Union of Faith. There is a mutual Act between Christ and the Believer; Christ exhibi­teth himself unto us, and we adhere and dwell in him,B. Reynolds Life of Christ, 4 to. p. 461. saith one of our best Divines upon the Text. To have him, is to believe and receive him, as to have a Propriety in him, and and after a sort, a Possession of him, as another of our [Page 40] Worthies doth express himself,Mr. Ball of the Covenant, p. 287. not by way of Dominion, for so we are his (1 Cor. 6.19.) but by way of Communion and Propriety. To have him, is to believe and receive him as he is made of God to us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Re­demption, 1 Cor. 1.30. which are the Be­nefits of Christ as Medi­ator,Worthy Mr. Fir­min. Real Christi­an. Synopsis pur. Theologiae de Offi­cio Christi, S. 38. and the gracious effects of his Offices, as Prophet, Priest and King. For these things we need him, and these things we have by him. To have Christ, is to act an­swerably to the Proposal & offer of Christ, and everlasting Life through him. The matter will be more clear in Particulars.

I. To believe, and to have the Son, is to have him in our Understanding and Minds, by a clear and unfeigned Assent to the Revelation and Proposal of Jesus Christ as Mediator and Redeemer. The Understanding, upon the convincing Evidence of what is reported concern­ing Christ, and Life by him, doth assent unto it, and doth acknowledge the Wis­dom and Grace of God in the way to [Page 41] Life Eternal. That God was in Christ re­conciling the World to himself, 2 Cor. 5.19. That God set him forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, Rom. 3.25. is wonderfully approved of. This is a faith­ful Saying, that Jesus Christ came into the World to save Sinners, and it is received and own'd as true and worthy to be believed, When a Sinner is convinced of Sin and Death, and that Life is out of his own reach and power, and that he must receive it as a gift of Grace and Mer­cy, and that the Author and Giver of Life hath set down this for a Law & Rule, That whoever would have Life must have Christ; The Soul lays aside all Thoughts of com­ing to Life and Happiness any other way, and subscribes to, and approves of this wonderful Contrivance of giving eternal Life by Jesus Christ, and of ma­king it necessary to have Christ. Much of the Nature and Work of Faith is seen in this Assent to, and Approbation of this way of attaining Eternal Life. And thus Faith may be understood to be an Approbation of the way to Life, by its contrary unbelief, express'd by a dis­allowance of God's prescribed way and means, 1 Pet. 2.4. unto whom coming as [Page 42] unto a Living Stone, disallowed indeed of Men, but chosen of God as precious. They disallowed the living stone, chosen of God and precious, upon whom, as upon a Cor­ner-stone, the Church is built; and that was their Unbelief; they would not have him, but laid him aside and threw him by: He was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to them that be­lieve Christ the wisdom and power of God. The Believer approves what the Unbe­liever disalloweth; the one admireth what the other despiseth.

II. To have the Son, is to have him highly in our Estimation; it is to have him by a new, spiritual, convincing E­vidence in our Minds, and to think highly of him; to esteem so highly of him, as to honour the Son as we honour the Father, John 5.23. Mark the place before quoted, 1 Pet. 2.4. Certainly, saith the Soul, God cannot be mistaken in the choice of a Saviour, a Rock of Salva­tion for one to build upon for eternal Life. Christ is a Stone perfectly fitted for his Place; he is a Living Stone, that will put Life into all the Stones, the Spi­ritual Building, as the Church is called, 1 Cor. 3.9. He is chosen of God and pre­cious; [Page 43] therefore the rightly informed and illuminated Soul, esteems him high­ly, as a living stone as chosen of God, (who perfectly knew his Excellency) and precious. But to you that believe he is precious, 1 Pet. 2.7. Life is preci­ous to him that hath been convicted, and found himself condemned and lost, and the Son that hath Life for him is most precious to him: He can't prize him according to his Worth. The great­est Honour he can do him, is to believe what is testified of him. O how base is every thing in comparison of his Savi­our! They that are called (out of Darkness to Light) do see the Wisdom and Power of God in him, 1 Cor. 2.24. They admire him in all his Characters and Properties. They glorifie him as the Son of the highest, as the only be­gotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth, as the only Name under Heaven given among men whereby they shall be saved. They fall down and worship him, they cannot reach him with their highest Thoughts. As his Name is won­derful, so is he; wonderful in his Person; Emmanuel, God-man; the Holy one of God, the fairest among ten thousand, [Page 44] yea, altogether lovely. They esteem him for himself, for his All-sufficiency, for the greatest and hardest of all Works, that of a Saviour: They esteem him for his Singularity: He is One, and but one, like the Sun in the Firmament, one Sun for the whole World; so he is one Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his Wings, for all that are wounded, and fear the scorching, burning Wrath of the just and holy God. They esteem him as a Pearl of great Price; all the good­ly Pearls, sought for by the Merchants, will be given for him at any time by e­very wise understanding Heart. They who have him count all things but Dung and Loss, that they may win him. There is nothing in him but unsearchable Rich­es! They who have him have nothing but gains and winnings by him; yea, tho they should lose their Lives for him, they can't lose them, but shall have e­ternal Life, Mat. 16.25. That I may win Christ, said Paul. O that the World could believe it! Believers are made Part­ners with him in the Benefits of his Sufferings, Victories, Exaltation and Glory. What things are these? O think of him as he is, that you may [Page 45] have him! O labour to be acquainted with him, that you may set up a Throne for him in your Hearts, as for a Prince and Saviour, that you may prize him! 1. As he who is all, and in all! 2. That you may prize him, according to your need of him, and his fulness and free­ness to supply. Mean things are valued when we need them. But Christ is one of incomprehensible Worth; he hath in him the desirableness of all things necessary, and of all things that are called incomparable. 3. Esteem him as your Souls, (Alas! who esteems them, tho not to be exchanged for a World?) esteem him as your Life, yea, infinitely better than the longest and happiest Life upon Earth. The highest and dearest thing you can reckon of, is Life, is eter­nal Life; esteem Christ as that Life; He gave his Life for it, he hath it in his Gift and Power; he brought Life to the Dead, and Life from Death.

III. He that hath Christ for Life, hath him in his Will and Heart. He doth un­derstandingly, judiciously and heartily receive him. He hath him so as to close with him with a voluntary, intire, glad­som Consent. He hath him with the [Page 46] Approbation of his Mind and Judgment; he hath overcome his Doubts and his Ca­vils, if he had any; he hath not a Word nor a Thought against him; he is fully satisfied with him, and therefore doth receive him into his Heart, and with it. No man hath the Son for Life, except the Son hath his Heart, that is, the House in which Christ will dwell; That Christ may dwell in your Hearts by Faith, The Heart of Faith is wanting till Faith hath the possession of the Heart. Holy Mr. Baxter in that Excellent Treatise Dir. and Perswasi­ons to a sound Con­version, p. 283. Ephes. 3.17. That is the place of his Rest which he desires to dwell in, who dwells not in Temples that are made with Hands. Such was his Grace and Love, that he came down from Hea­ven to cast out Devils, fleshly and worldly Lusts out of thy Heart, to make thee free, to recover the possession of thy Heart for himself. O give him thy Heart, he best deserves it! This is the Word of Faith which we Preach, If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thy Heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: For with the Heart man believeth unto Righteousness, and [Page 47] with the mouth confession is made unto Sal­vation, Rom. 10.8, 9, 10. He that be­lieveth with his Heart, that God rai­sed Christ from the Dead for our Justifi­cation, Rom. 5.24: is righteous and justi­fied before God. He, and he alone who believeth with his Heart, will have Cou­rage and Boldness in dangerous Times to confess him before men, and call upon him, and he alone shall be saved, and have Life through him. Then Lidia had Christ and Salvation, when the Lord opened her Heart, Acts 16.14. Judas had Christ in his Head, and upon his Tongue as a Preacher, but he had not the Son for Life, because he had him not in his Heart. In the Gospel the Son is set forth in his Names and Properties, which are admirable, commending and inviting all that know him, and believe the Testi­monies concerning him: And not only so, but he is propounded and offer­ed by his Embassadors; yea, he makes gracious Offers, standing at the Door; If any man hear my voice, and open unto me, I will come in to him, &c. The Cove­nant of Grace is a Marriage-Covenant between Christ and his Church, Rev. 3.20. The only Son of the highest, the Lord [Page 48] of Glory, that one Mediator, is tendred to you: Will you have the Son of God? If you will, you shall live: A Blessing which comprehends all manner of Bles­sings in it, even the everlasting Inheri­tance. You hear what is said, your An­swer is, will, or will not; if you will not, then that's entred as in a Book of Re­membrance. And you will not come to me that you may have Life, John 5.40. But if you will, and consent and say, you will have him for your Husband, your Head, and your Lord; then there is a Covenant between you, and you have Life setled upon you, and you en­ter upon the First Fruits of it, and have Communion with the Father and the Son, which is Life indeed. O what a Life is this beginning of Life! Till the Soul say, I will, there is no full An­swer given; and while you suspend Con­sent, your Life is in Suspense.

IV. He who hath the Son, hath him in his Affection. And except you have him by Faith in your Heart, how can you af­fect him? But if you have him in your Hearts, the whole Houshold of the Affecti­ons entertain and come about him. Love, the first-born and strength of the Heart, [Page 49] receives, and hath him. Desires run and go, clogged as they are now with Infir­mities towards him; their Delights and Joys, when they are themselves, and free from the clutter of Strangers and worldly Lusts which quarter upon them, are in him, above all Persons and Things they ever saw or knew. My Beloved is unto me a Bundle of Camphire, of a refresh­ing vertue. He is a Bundle, and breaths out Grace and Life; he shall lie all Night between my Breasts, he shall be next my Heart; most intimate with me; I will make him a Bed in my very Heart; I will not disturb him, nor offend him, nor make him weary of his Lodging, and so offend him as to make him go away. O happy I when I have him with me! Cant. 1.13. He is altogether lovely, or all desirous: And this is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O ye Daughters of Jerusalem, Cant. 5. from ver. 10. to 16. They who have him in their Hearts, trust him with the dearest thing they have, with the best of all; yea, their All, that is, their Life in whom ye trusted, Ephes. 1.13. And rejoyce in the hope of the Glory of God; and Christ in them is that hope of Glory, Col. 1.27. You cannot have Christ without spiritu­al [Page 50] strong affections towards him, no more than a faithful chaste Wife can have an Husband. God works upon these Powers of the Soul, when you come first unto Christ to have him, and by lively Affections you hold him, and keep to him.

5. To have the Son, is by Faith to have him in our Aims. We have him to live by him, to live in Communion with him, not as with an equal, or or­dinary Companion, but to live to him, and to make him the scope of our Lives, as well as the lively Rule and Example, That we should not live unto our selves, but to him who died and rose again, 2 Cor. 5.15. And so the Holy Apostle profess'd, that to him to live is Christ, Phil. 1.21. That Christ may be enjoy'd, obey'd, pleas'd and glorified in me and by me.

6. They who have him thus, have him as in their Eye, to love him and to aim at him, so they have him in their re­membrance. Can a Maid forget her Or­naments, or a Bride her Attire? Jer. 2.32. Can that Soul who hath the Son of God, who hath taken him, and given her self to him, forget her Ornaments, the Gar­ments of Salvation, wherewith he hath [Page 51] clothed her, the Wedding Garment and best Robe? Can a Bride forget her At­tire? If not her Attire, can she forget her Bridegroom? There is a particular great Ordinance appointed to this End, that he should be remembred; and the Church his Spouse must do as he hath commanded in remembrance of him, 1 Cor. 11.25.

7. They who have him in their Minds, Hearts and Affections, will have him in their Mouths with Honour. Whom do Men say that I the Son of Man am? Some say thou art John the Baptist. But whom do ye say that I am? And Simon Pe­ter answered, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God, Mat. 16.16. They that have the Son know what to call him, and who he is: Faith must know him distinct­ly and separately from all other Names and Persons, and eminently above all. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Acts 8.37. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the Dead, thou shalt be saved, Rom. 10.9. What! A Wife and not speak of her absent Husband! While we are present in the Body we are absent from the Lord. [Page 52] But, not have him in our Mouths to re­member and honour him! How many Wonders have you to speak of concern­ing Christ? How many great Actions, wise Sayings, Heavenly Doctrins, holy Precepts and precious Promises, and rich Tokens have you to speak of? Have him, have him more in your Hearts, and more in your Mouths, with pure Affecti­on and great Praise, as the Church had him, Cant. 5. from the 10th verse. Have him in your daily Prayers and Praises; have him in your Closets, in your. Hou­ses; have him in your Communication, as the Disciples had him as they walked by the way, Luke 24.

8. They who have him, have him in their Lives: They cannot live but by having him; I live, yet not I; but the Life that I live in the flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me, Gal. 2.20. You must have the Son, or you cannot have Life: He is our Life, Col. 3.3, 4. Have him in your Lives as the perfect Copy, Exemplar and Pattern of Holy and Heavenly Living; have him in your Lives as the Manna, as the Meat you eat, as the Garments you wear, as [Page 53] the Air you breath in; yea, as the Life you live.

III. What is that Life which they have who have the Son? By Life all man­ner of good things, all manner of Bles­sings are understood; and by Death all manner of Evil. Life and Good are set out together, in opposition to Death and Evil, Deut. 30.15. See, I have set before thee this day Life and Good, Death and E­vil. There is some shadow of Death in all manner of Afflictions, Miseries and Sufferings, and all the lesser Streams of Evil run at last into the endless Gulf of Death, whose Spring-head is the Curse and Threatning of Death, In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, Gen. 3.36. That is the Wrath which abideth upon them who believe not: And when we believe, and are justified and pardoned, we are said to pass from Death to Life, John 3.36. John 5.24.

I have shewed you before, that the Son is here considered as Mediator; the Life which they who have him, have with him, is that which he hath as Mediator, which the Father hath given to all that believe, and is put into the hands of the Son, to give unto them. To open this great [Page 54] Mystery the more, you will find, that the Son as God hath Life himself as in a Fountain, yea, he is Life. And as he is Mediator and Redeemer, the Father hath given to the Son to have Life in himself, John 5.26. And gave him power to give eternal Life to as many as he hath given him, John 17.2. And again, John. 6.57. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me shall live by me. Mark the place; Christ was speaking of eating his Flesh; and comparing himself to Bread more excellent than Manna, and of the sin­gular Benefit which they who made use of him by Faith, as Men do eat Bread, they should have Life by him. But how could he give Life to them that believe? He opens that in this, vers. 57. where note, 1. The gracious Act of the Father in sending his Son in our Natures, to be a Mediator and Saviour, with Commissi­on and Power. 2. He who as God the Son had Life in himself, receiv'd Life from the Father, by whom he lived; and this Life he did communicate to all that believed. 3. So he that eateth me shall live by me. The Benefit and Bles­sing derived to them that eat him, that [Page 55] by Faith apply him, is Life; and as eat­ing of Bread is the means of living by Bread, so believing or spiritual eating is the means of living; so he that eateth me, shall live by me. O! How marvellous is the manifold Wisdom of God in the way of Life, as his Grace and Mercy is in bringing forth Life to the Dead in Sin, and in bringing Life and Immortality to light by the Gospel! Our miserable and helpless condition required no small help, but a great and all-sufficient Saviour. And so the Life of our Mediator shews the Death of every Sinner; and our De­liverance from Death must in order go before, though not in time, the free Gift of Life. It was by an easie passage, which seemed wonderful delightful to the deluded minds of our first Parents, that we fell under Condemnation and Death; but the recovery was hard, and two things were to be done for us, to the praise of the Glory of Grace. 1. The Evils under which we lay were to be re­moved. 2. Our Life and Happiness pro­cured and communicated, and both these are done by our Mediator and Savi­our.

[Page 56]I. The Evils under which we lay are contained under that bitter and terrible Word, Death, which is four-fold:

1. We were dead in respect of the Guilt of Sin. We were all Filii Mortis. As in Adam all die. That Threatning, In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, hangs over our Heads, Gen. 2.17. The Death contained in the Threatning and Curse of the Law,Grot. de Satisfac. p. 71. the eternal Death especially. We are dead and our sed by the Law, and we are all guilty before God, Rom. 3.19.

2. We are all spiritually dead, dead in Trespasses and Sins, under the power of our Corruptions and sinful Lusts, Eph. 2.1. and 5. And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins, dead to God and all spiritual Good. Even when we were dead in sins hath he quickned us together with Christ, making us alive to God and Holiness.

3. We were dead as to all real and spiritual Comforts, born to misery as the Sparks fly upward. Comfortless with­out [Page 57] Hope, Eph. 2.12. As Adam was naked and ashamed, thrust thorough with Fears and Perplexities, driven to invent help­less Shifts for felt necessities. Paul did sad­ly mistake his condition, when he thought himself alive, and was brisk and well, Rom. 7.9. I was alive without the Law once, I thought my self well and safe, but it was my Ignorance and Senselesness; for when the Commandment came by which I was convinced of Sin, then sin revived, then the Snake appear'd to be alive by that Fire, and I died; I was a lost man; I died, and had no hope nor comfort that way.

4. We are dead, as Death is opposed to Eternal Life in Heaven; dead under God's everlasting Wrath, which is an everlasting Separation from the Presence of God, and the Punishment of the E­ternal Fire. This is the wages of sin, Rom. 6.

II. The good which we need, and which is procured for us, is Life and Happiness: All Blessings are compre­hended in, and presented to us, under the sweet and comfortable Word, Life; [Page 58] and this Life is in the Son Christ, and they who have him have it, and every Branch and Distinction of Life, and that in Perfection.

1. He hath in him the Life of Righ­teousness, and through his Righteousness they who believe in him are justified, and pardoned; and have their precious Life given unto them, who were under Con­demnation. Righteousness and Life are equivalent, to have the one is to be se­cure of the other, Rom. 5.17 18. There­fore as by the Offence of one Judgment came upon all to condemnation; so by the Righte­ousness of one, the free gift came upon all men to the justification of Life. How came this to pass? See 2 Cor. 5.21. For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him: He paid the Ransom, and endured the Curse of the Law, and as a Sin-offering, bare the punishment of our Sin, that we migh be made the Righte­ousness (the Abstract put for the Con­crete) that is, that we might be made ful­ly righteous in his sight, with that righ­teousness which is of God, compleat and acceptable. He was made of God to be righteousness for us, that we might be [Page 59] justified, and not come into Condemnati­on, 1. Cor. 1.30.

2. He hath in him the Life of Grace, Sanctification and Holiness. He hath a quickning Power in effectual Calling, raising out of the Death and Grave. of sin, and rolling away the stony Heart, that the dead in sin may rise to a spiritual Life, John 5.25. Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. They shall hear his Voice, and they that hear shall live. O then most mighty Lord, put forth thy Voice and say, Awake thou that sleepest, and rise from the Dead, and Christ shall give thee Life, Ephes. 5.14. And that our Lamps should never want Oyl, our Hearts never want Supplies, there is a fulness in Jesus Christ, and that to be communicated to all that re­ceive him. And of this fulness have all we received Grace for Grace, John 1.16. The Life of Holiness conceived and brought forth in Regeneration, is encreased and continued by the Mortification and Death of Sin, and living to God, and both these Powers we receive from Christ, Rom. 6.11. Likewise reckon you your selves to be [Page 60] dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, John 15.4. Abide in me and I in you. As the Branch cannot bear Fruit of it self, except it abide in the Vine, no more can ye, except ye a­bide in me, vers. 5. I am the Vine, ye are the Branches; he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. For without me ye can do nothing, Phil. 1.11. Being filled with the fruit of righteous­ness, which are by Jesus Christ (mark that) unto the glory and praise of God. All Sanctifying Grace comes from Jesus Christ; and power to bring forth Fruit, See Rom. 8.10, 11, 12, 13. And if Christ be in you the Body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is Life because of righteous­ness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, &c.

3. He that hath the Son hath a Life of Joy and Gladness. He was a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Griefs for our sakes; his Griefs and Sorrows were a strong Composition of Sorrows, prepared for a Man of Sorrows: He was sorrowful unto Death, Mark 14.33. As a man cast out from among men, that hath none to comfort him, nor as much as to speak kindly to him, or to make his Com­plaint [Page 61] to. But his Sorrows were turn­ed into Joy. He told his Disciples, that they should have Sorrow, but I will see you again, and your Heart shall reioyce, (and the sight of Christ risen from the Dead should be as joyful to them as the Birth of a Son to a Woman after Travel) and your Joy no man taketh from you, John 16.21, 22. He is the Author and Fountain of a Christian's Joy; he is the matter and object of our Joy; his Birth was a time of Joy in Heaven and Earth; his first Preaching was with Joy, Luke 4.18. out of Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he hath anoynted me to preach the Gospel to the poor; glad Tidings to the poor, to the broken-hearted, to the captive, to the blind, to the brui­sed, and the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of Jubilee or Release. The fore­sight of his Resurrection was joyful to him going to his Death; and to see him risen from the Dead, made his Disci­ples glad, John 20.20. He hath provided for them plentifully that their Joy might be full, John 15.11. And all that believe have (the matter and cause, tho not al­ways the sense) joy and peace in believing, Rom. 15.13. 1 Pet. 1.8. And he is still a [Page 62] flowing Spring of Joy. Rejoyce in the Lord, Phil. 3.1. Verse 3. Rejoyce in the Lord, and again I say, rejoyce. Phil. 4.4. Rejoyce ever more, 1 Thess. 5.12.

4. He that hath the Son hath Life, hath everlasting Life, that endless Life of per­fect Happiness in Heaven. It is an ever­lasting Life, pure Life, next for excellency to the Life of God himself, who liveth for ever and ever! A Life of likeness to God; We shall be like him, 1 John 3.2. We shall be satisfied with his likeness, Psal. 17. ver. ult. A Life of the nearest Union with our glorified Head; and therefore a Life of Gladness, and fitting Communi­on, and therefore most blessed. This Life is the Gift of God, Rom. 6.23. trust­ed in the hands of the only begotten Son, the Son of God's Love, to be kept for, and to be given to all that sincerely believe and love him. It is in a faithful, powerful hand, and he hath promised to give it over and over. The Heavens and Earth shall pass away, but his Promise shall be like the Waters of Noah, as they shall never drown the World again, so this Life shall certainly come. Look for it, it is better, tho yet to come, than that Life which you now live: This [Page 63] Life is in his, 1 John 5.11. O how rare and transcendent a Life is this! And what a way is this of giving it, of laying it up for us, and deriving it unto us!

IV. And so I come to the Fourth Par­ticular, Why, or how it comes to pass, that he that hath the Son hath Life. This follows necessarily upon the former Words last repeated. And this is the Record, that God hath given to us Eter­nal Life, and this Life is in his Son; He that hath the Son hath Life. These Words have the Force of an Inference or Con­clusion from the other. This Life is 1. Given to us who are called of God, who believe, who turn to him, love and o­bey him: The Donor is God the Father, who is the Fountain of Life. It is the Fathers Gift of Free-grace and Love. 2. He appointed his Son (O raise up your Thoughts into an holy admiration of this effect of infinite Wisdom and Grace for the Salvation of undone Sinners!) to be Mediator, to do what was for the Glory of God, and then to be the Trustee and Conservator of this Life, the greatest Trust that could be put into his Hands; wherein the [Page 64] Glory of God is more concerned than in all his Works; and all that is most pre­cious, the Treasure of eternal Life, the All of the Chosen Ones of God. Our happiness was once put into the hands of Adam, he fail'd and broke, and we were all ruin'd in him: But now it is put into the keeping of Jesus Christ our Lord the Son of God, and there it is safe. 3. The Son of God undertook the Charge and Trust. His Father shall not lose the Glory intended, nor his chosen and called ones the Blessing and Benefit of this Grant, intended by his Father for them. 4. It was concluded and decreed in the Eternal Counsel of the Father, the Word and Spirit, those in Heaven which de­clare and testifie these things, that all and every one that is to have this Life eternal, must have the Son: For this is the Decree or Order consented to, and declared to us; He that hath the Son hath Life. The Son as Mediator received Life for all that have him; they there­fore who have him have Life.

But if you desire to be yet informed, How we come to have Life; then know.

1. We have the Son by a Spiritual U­nion with him, as a Bride hath a Bride­groom, [Page 65] a Similitude often attended to: Or as a Wife hath an Husband: As all the Blessings and Benefits of a Matrimo­nial State, do by agreement follow upon the Marriage-Union with the Person; so by the Covenant of Grace, that vast Blessing of Eternal Life, which compre­hends all in it, doth become the Inheri­tance and Estate of every one that by Faith joyns himself to the Lord, the Son of the most High God. Union is the appointed means of Com­munication of Life. 2.Ʋnitio communis est Patri, Fil. & Sp. Sacto; unio pro­pria est Filio. Ca­mer. de Ecclesia. p. 223. This Union is the won­derful Work of the ho­ly Trinity; observing the order of Operation, eve­ry person is the cause of it. All that come to Christ are taught of God, they have not the Knowledge of it, and Wis­dom in themselves to come to Christ. And the Father draweth; No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him, John 6.44.

2. The Son calls and puts out a migh­ty quickning Voice, and raiseth the dead senseless Sinner to come to him for Life; and he outwardly inviteth and draweth also, Mat. 11.28. Come to me all ye that [Page 66] labour and are heavy laden, &c. He draw­eth objectively all Men to come unto him, and all that come are drawn by him effectually, John 12.32. And as all that the Father giveth him come unto him, so he receiveth them, and will in no wise cast off any that come unto him. And then the Holy Ghost convincing the igno­rant, senseless, lost, miserable Sinner of Sin and Damnation, and of Christ, Righ­teousness and Salvation by him, worketh Faith, and the Heart to consent, and re­ceive, and take Christ, and so we come to have him. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Faith, 2 Cor. 4.13. and the Cause of our Union; For by one Spirit we are baptized into one Body, and into Christ the Head of that one Body, who puts Life and Spirit into every living member of it, 1 Cor. 12.12; 13.

3. The outward means of this Union are, The Word of God, and the Mini­stry of it. I have espoused you unto one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste Virgin to Christ, 2 Cor. 11.2. If you de­sire to know yet further, how you have Life? The Answer is ready, In, or by having the Son Christ, you have Life: You have it, in having him who hath [Page 67] received it, and hath it for you: You have it in him who is the Author, Pur­chaser and Giver of Eternal Salvation. He is our Life, as the meritorious Cause, as the Conservator and Fountain of it, as the efficient Cause and Giver of it: You have Life, and Deliverance from Death Eternal, by the Grant of Pardon and Righteousness: You have the Life of Grace and Holiness by Union and In­fluence from him, and there is a fulness of habitual Grace to supply you, John 1.16. You have the Spirit in you, Rom. 8.9, 10. and you have the Life of Glory in the Bud, Principle, First-Fruits, Pro­mise and Hopes of it. What shall I say? You have Life in having Christ, as a Branch in a Vine hath Sap and Vertue by being in the Vine; as a Member of the Body from the Head, as a Spouse hath all that she is endowed with, by being espoused and married to the Husband. All the incomparable Benefits of Christ come from Union with him. As we have Christ now, so we have Life now, that is, such Communications of Grace and Blessings as are convenient for our present state, and in the Life to come a Crown [Page 68] of Life; All! All! an incomprehensible All!

This Union doth not stand only in relation to Christ, (tho in every rela­lation there is some kind of Union) but it is such an Union, (tho spiritual and mystical, as these Terms are contradi­stinct to Corporal and Natural) as a third one doth result from it. But he that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit, 1 Cor. 6.17. That one Spirit which our Lord received not by measure, that he might be the Head of his Body the Church,The Mystery of our U­nion with Christ consi­steth mainly in this; That the self-same Spi­rit which is in him, as in the Head, is so deri­ved from him into eve­ry one of his true Mem­bers, that thereby they are animated and quick­ned to a spiritual Life. The most reverend Ushers Sermon before the House of Commons, 1620. p. 20. Lyford's Senses exerci­sed, 127. The same Spi­rit which was the im­mediate Conveyor of Grace to the Humane Nature of Christ, is so to us. Mr. Charnock, 2 Vol. p. 134. is that one and same Spirit which teach­eth, guideth, ruleth in, and sanctifieth all and every one that by Faith are joyned to the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God. To be one Spirit, is to be uni­ted in the highest degree of Union. The Union of one [Page 69] Believer to another is very near and close, as of one Member of the same Body to another. And this Union of every single Believer to the Body of the Catholick or Universal Church, is by the Grace and Operation of the holy Spirit, quickning and regenerating; and all these living Members make one Body in Christ. Christ the Head of the whole Body, and the Head of Influence, from whom they all receive spiritual life and growth, and they who are joyned to him are one Spirit, and from that one Spirit we have Grace to consent with Christ, to will the same, and to love and hate the same things; to aim at the same End, the Glo­ry of the Father, and to be govern'd by him, against all Distractions and Op­positions that hinder us. It was an entire and comfortable happy Union of the Primitive Church, an Example to all succeeding Churches, Acts 4.32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one Heart, and one Soul; neither said any of them, that ought of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things com­mon. They were all of one Heart, aim­ed all at one common Good, in one common Action, without any private [Page 70] Ends. This was a close Union of Hearts, but the Expression of this Con­junction comes far short of that Spiri­tual, real (tho not essential) Union be­tween Christ and his gracious, regene­rate, sanctified Members made One Spirit. It was much to be of one Heart and Soul, but it is more to be one Spirit. This is the closest Union of all, except the Es­sential Union of the Persons in the God­head, or the Hypostatical or Personal of the Second Person with the Humane Na­ture: For one Believer doth not derive his Spiritual Life and Being from ano­ther, nor depend upon one another for it, but all receive it from their Head Christ, and depend upon him for it; although their being knit together is a means of their Growth, Col. 2.19. And not holding the Head, from which all the Bo­dy by joynts and bands having nourishment ministred, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Our Union with Christ the Head is the closest, because from him we all receive our Life, and have nourishment ministred, that we may increase with the increase of God. And because our Union with Christ is most inward and strict, therefore it is shadow­ed [Page 71] out under the Si­militude of the streightest natural Union,Cum itaque nostra cum Christo unio sit arctissima, ea propter in Scriptura sub figura utrius (que) illius unionis nobis quasi adum­bratur, &c. Cameronis Myrothec. in Evang. Jo. 6.56. p. 149. of both. See the excellent B. Rey­nolds Life of Christ, and Mr. Polhil's Answer to Dr. S. of the Knowledg of Christ, c. 4. s. 1. p. 162. &c. and his Treatise of Spiritual Union. There is no stricter Union in the World than that of Christ to Believers, 'tis therefore compared to all kind of Unions, &c. The Apostle doth mix both these Unions, of Husband and Wife, Head and Members, Ephes. 5.28, 29, 30. The Elaborate and Judicious Mr. Charnock's Disc. Weak Grace victorious, p. 1339. as between Head and Members, and the closest po­litical Union, as be­tween Husband and Wife: Not that our Union with Christ is wrought after a natural man­ner, but is like unto it in respect of the closeness and effect of it; the Bonds of our Union with Christ is of all the streightest and in­dissoluble. Death will separate, and untie all our Joynts and Bands of Na­ture and Marriage-ties; but he who hath the Son, hath Life, and that eternal; and Death is so far from keeping us from it, that it is made an open Door and Pas­sage into it. The Bands of our Spiri­tual [Page 72] Union with Christ, are such as con­vey unto us Life and Nourishment from him; and without such an Union as this, by vertue of which we receive Spiritual Life and Power to obey his Command­ments, and live under his Government, he might in vain call for Service and O­bedience (which is due to him, whether we can pay it or not) or we ever expect the Reward of our Obedience. Christ is an Head for Government; but if our Union with him were only as to a King, Political Head and Governor, we should be related to him only in respect of his Kingly Office, and that only as to the outward administration of that his King­ly Office and Policy. But the Nature of our Union with him is best understood by the effect of it: If we have Life by having him, we so have him, as to have Life in him, and with him and by him; and without the Spirit of Life and Faith, we can never obey him as he requires. Christ infinitely excels all those things to which he is compared; and our Union with him by the Spirit and Faith hath those things singular in it, which cannot be comprehended in any one of those Unions, to which it is compared; it excels [Page 73] the natural Union of Head and Members,A. B. Ʋsher's Sermon before quoted, p. 19. &c. Immuel added to his Sum. p 438. Sum. and Subst. p. 154. Ly­ford, 118. Mr. T. Hook­er, Serm. Soul's Ex­altation, p. 25. &c. Cameron. Praelect. de Ecclesia. for it is spiritual and everlasting; it excels the political Union be­tween a King and his Subjects, by Compacts and Laws; for Sub­jects pay Obedience and Tribute of their own, but we are made a willing People by the Power of Grace; and having no­thing of our own, we have all in having Christ. The Political Union by Marri­age doth more fully express it, but not fully. Hold to this then, that to have Christ is so to have him, as to have Life given us, and maintained by our Union with him. The Wife hath the Benefit of Counsel, Direction,Haec Ʋnionis exempla adumbrant tantum, non satis exprimunt Ʋnio­nem nostri cum Christo &c. Cameron. Praelec. de Ecclesia, 225. p. Government, Prote­ction, Maintenance from her Husband, but not Life; and she doth not live because her Husband lives. But a Believer hath Life as well as Counsel, Protection and Maintenance from Christ; and he is our Life, the Cause of [Page 74] our Life; It is hid or laid up for us in him, Col. 3.3, 4. And because I live, said Christ, ye shall live also, John 14.19. There is a distinction between Christ and his Members, they are not what he is, nor he what they are, notwithstand­ing this Spiritual Union; but he is said rather to live in Believers, than they to live, Gal. 2.20. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the Life which I now live in the Flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who gave himself for me.

So much of the first Doctrin; attend to the Application of it. I must be short upon many Heads, or else too long for a short Discourse.

I. Use of Information in many Par­ticulars.

1. Hence you may learn the true way and method of having eternal Life. Observe the Words, He that hath the Son, hath Life. The Son first, and then Life, and all those Benefits and Blessings which are comprehended in that sweet and precious Word Life. We cannot have any Pro­mises nor Priviledges without Christ, [Page 75] nor before we have him by Faith;For as none can be made Partakers of the Vertue of the Bread and Wine to his bodily sustenance, unless he do first re­ceive the substance of those Creatures; so neither can any participate in the benefits arising from Christ to his spiritual relief, except he first have Communion with Christ himself. We must have the Son before we have Life. Most Reverend Usher's Serm. before H. of C. p. 17. His 18 Sermons, p. 421. not the pardon of Sin, nor Peace, nor Hope, nor any access to God, but by having Christ, and him first in order, though at the same instant and time of having Christ, we have some Benefits for the present, and a Right and Title to all the rest in due time. Who­ever shall eat of the Marriage-Feast must have a Wedding-gar­ment, and be married to the Son by Faith first. In vain do all those hope for great things, that care not for the Knowledg of Christ, or having of him. The ha­ving of the Son makes Faith effectual, lively and working, because it hath Life; and Faith without Life from Christ can never be but a dead Faith: And this is also the trial of our sincere Love to Christ, when we receive him, and close with him, as he is proposed to us, as [Page 76] altogether lovely: Then do we, like those who marry for Love to the Person, and not for Wealth, as too many do,See the clearly judi­cious and holy Dr. Preston's Treatise of Faith, p. 11 And of Effectual Faith, p. 12, 13. And Mr. Baxter's Dir. and Perswas. to a sound Conversion, p. 286. who care not for the Per­son, so they have the Wealth. Hypocrites would have Mercy to pardon them, yea Hea­ven, that Kingdom, who care not for ha­ving Christ as a Saviour, to save them from their Sins: These can forsake him, deny him, be Traitors to him in a time of Danger and Temptation.

2. Hence learn, That if every one that hath the Son hath Life, then our Faith and our Love are set upon the most holy and glorious Person of the Son of God, but then as invested in the Office of Me­diator, for as such he hath received Life from his Father for us. Doth the Word Son here in this Text denote and signifie the Person of our Redeemer? Was it the Person of our Saviour that was given us, when it was said, To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, Isa. 9.6. If it was the Person that was born and given to us; then it is the Person that they [Page 77] have, who have Life, as able to give them Life.It is a spiritual and real Union, whereby Christ and a Christi­an are knit together; our very Persons Soul and Body are coupled to the Per­son of Christ by the same Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in him, and in us, 1 Joh. 4.13. Worthy Lyford, p. 116. Hoornb. Theol. practic. l. 7. de Spiri­tuali nostri cum Christo unione. Zanch. in Ep. ad Ephes. c. 3. De Spi­rituali Connubio, A. B. Arm. Serm. before cited, p. 19, 20, 21. And by him the Pro­testant Schoolman, (as a learned Per­son calls him) Zanc. in c. 5. Ep. ad Ephes. Q. 3. Thess. 4. l. 3. Spi­ritualis connubii. It was an high Dishonour that some did to Christ, and in­jury to Souls, that ex­posed the having ac­quaintance with the Person of Christ to the pleasure of vain ignorant Men, or dis­gusted Palates at the Doctrin of God our Saviour. We must not only know, but have the Person of the Son, as sent into the World to save Sin­ners, as Mediator in the Execution of that Office, as Prophet, Priest and King, as was said before. But if any will ask, How is it possible for us upon Earth to have the Son, who is now ascended above all Heavens? This Que­stion or Objection was answered long a­go by the renowned Ʋsher: ‘The Con­junction is Spiritual and Supernatural, [Page 78] no Local Presence, no Physical or Ma­thematical Continuity or Contiguity is requisite thereunto. It is sufficient for the making of a real Union in this kind, that Christ and we, (tho never so far distant in place each from other) be knit together by those Spiritual Li­gatures, the quickning Spirit, and a lively Faith wrought by the same Spi­rit.’ A Wife is a Wife joyned in Marri­age to her Husbands Person, tho separate in divers Countries. Subjects are related to the Person of their King, and Politi­cally united, and enjoy the Benefit of his Government, and pay Duty to him, tho they never saw him. But tho the Body of our glorious Redeemer be in Heaven, his Person and his Spirit are in all that believe, and with them, whom having not seen, yet believing ye live, 1 Pet. 1.8.

3. Every particular Believer, who hath the Son, hath Life, and hath the Son for himself, and by his own particular Faith, as really and truly as the Catholick Church hath, which is made up of all Believers. What is the Universal Church, but the Whole existing in Particulars? The Text speaks in particular, and not [Page 79] in general, He that hath the Son hath Life, Camero, de Eccles. p. 226. Itaque nullum est membrum corporis Christi, ne vilissimo quidem judicio huma­mano, quod non aeque Christum contingat; at (que) illa quae sunt nobilissi­ma, &c. quia Christus totius Ecclesiae, & sin­gulorum Ecclesia [...] mem­brorum Sponsus est. and this having is an immediate having of him, by every parti­cular Believer for him­self. He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not, shall be damned, Mark 16.16. By this there­fore let this Truth enter into your Hearts, That every one of you, not one excepted, must have Christ for your own particular Life and Salvation: Except we are living Stones, living Members, we are not Members of the Catholick Church. The wise Virgins might as well have given of their Oyl to the foolish Virgins,All Believers are im­mediately joyn'd to Christ, one is not more united than another; in the Bo­dy every Member is not proximly joyn'd to the Head, but in Christ the meanest and weakest Believer is immediately joyn­ed to him. Rev. Mr. Burgess on 17 of John, p. 589. as the Catholick Church give Life to any particular Mem­ber of it. Christ is the Fountain of Life, and except we have Life from him, we [Page 80] are not Members of his Body the Ca­tholick Church, nor have Spiritual Com­munion with it. Do not think of en­tring into Life by any new-invented Door, or round about, by which you shall not speed; but come to him that hath Life, and calleth you to come to him himself: Make haste then, for it is for Life.

4. If he who hath the Son hath Life, O what a Prize have they who have him! They have him who is all Worth and Excellency! A Pearl, and nothing but Pearl! There is no dross at all cleav­ing to him, whose Head is of the most fine Gold, Cant. 5.11. Yea, he is altoge­ther lovely! all Desires! Most desirable, and most desirable for this, that he is good to make a Man that is dead, to live. O what a Prize have all that have him! They have Life! What an Immense Loss was that of Adam's losing Life and Goods, God and Creatures, Soul and Body! But now behold all that was lost is recovered: All was sunk in the Sea of Perdition; Man and his whole Estate of Happiness; but now all regained and brought to Light; he hath brought Life and Immortality to light by the Gospel. Is [Page 81] there any thing to be given in exchange for a Soul? Here is now a Jewel, more valuable than a World. Here's Life with the Lord Jesus Christ! Such a Life as none should live without, but those miserable condemned ones, who cannot have it! The loss of it will be lament­ed for ever! How joyful should the Souls be that have it! Let us make merry, saith the Prodigal's Father, for this my Son was lost, but is found; was dead, but is now alive. O, how glad should we be of ha­ving this Life! For it was lost, and is now found, and shall never more be lost. O value, value Christ, and what is to be had with him! He is infinitely better than your selves, and by him you have the best of the best of things: Life is more precious than all things, but this Life is the Crown of Life.

4. You who have Christ, owe more to him than to all the World. Parents have done nothing for you in comparison of Christ; they were Instruments of giv­ing Life to you, but they were also un­happy Instruments of Sin, and of bring­ing Death upon you; and when they had made you miserable, and brought you into a World of Misery, and Dan­ger [Page 82] of Sin, of every Sin, and of Tem­ptation: They never sweat drops of Blood, nor shed their Blood to save you! They reckon they have done much in nursing and bringing you up, and giving you a Portion of such perishing things (poor stuff!) as they have. But the Son of God, who never did you harm, and whom you never obliged to do you good, sorrowed, pray'd, wept, sweat drops of Blood, yea, died a cursed Death to save you from everlasting Death, and to procure everlasting Life. What have Physicians done for you, or can they do, but give some ease and some relief, and for a few days prolong your natu­ral Life? Did they ever bear your Sor­rows, or raise your Dead, or make your recovered Lives the happier? But the Son hath born our Griefs, and by his Stripes we are healed: (There's a way of healing!) and all the happiness of life he provided for you. What can Kings and Princes do for you? VVe acknow­ledge the Blessing of Peace and Protecti­on under them. Thousands, yea, Mil­lions of Lives are lost in their Quarrels and Wars: But here is the Son, who saves his Subjects Lives, raiseth their [Page 83] dead Bodies to Life; he is the Prince of Peace and Life, and he that believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlast­ing Life. O, what love and thanks shall be render'd to the Father of Mercy for his Son, and to the Son for Life!

5. Then here is good News to Sinners that are sensible of sin, that know some­what of the Death which they de­served, and that fear it; that desire Life, and long for it, but fear and doubt, if not despair of Life. O Souls, here's good News for you, for Christ and Life are both to be had. If you would have Life, you must have Christ; and if you have Christ, you have Life; both Christ and Life are to be had: Life may be had. O! if the Soul cry out and say, How, how is Life, the Life of my Soul to be had? The Spirit of God hath told you, and his Servant John, He that hath the Son, hath Life; the way to have Life is to have Christ: Have him, and you have Life, that is most certain. If the Soul pant, and faint, and pine for Life, and cry out, O when shall I be so happy as to live? The Answer is ready, As soon as you [Page 84] have Christ, so soon you shall have Life. Long, long for Christ then, make haste and come; he will receive the Soul whom necessity drives.

6. The way of having life is very wonderful and high, yet attainable. It is by Christ, and by having Christ. God gives life, eternal life to his beloved ones, but not one of them is fit to keep it for himself, much less for others; it is in his Son. The Son comes down from Heaven in our Natures, and he must die, or we cannot have it. We are dead, and love Death in loving the way of Death, and we are under the power of Murde­rers and Destroyers; nay more, we are under a Law of Sin and Death, under the Curse of God. Christ could cast out Devils with a Word, and destroy the Destroyers without pain, or shedding one drop of Blood; but he could not deliver us from Death under the Sentence and Curse of the Law, but by Blood. The life of pardon by forgiving Sin, was by precious Blood; for without the shed­ding of Blood there is no remission of Sin, Heb. 9.22. Behold! how costly a life is our life? Whence comes it? From [Page 85] Heaven! By whom? by the Son.By the imputation of his merit, infusion and communion of his Spi­rit. Per imputatio­nem, sc. quae faciunt ad justificationem, partim per participa­tionem, quae pro no­stra sanctificatione & gloria. So those great Divines agree, Bp. Reynold's Life of Chr. and Hoornbeck, as be­fore, p. 801. How by the Son? By his Death and Life, Passion and Resurrection. From what? O wonder at it, it is life fetcht out of the Fire, out of Death and Hell! pluckt out of the Jaws of Devils! and secured from all Dangers and Hazards; but then he who hath it hath the Son.

7. Then he who hath Christ, is happi­er in having Christ than all other Persons in the World; for he, and he alone hath life, when and while all other Persons are dead; dead in Law, dead in Sin, dead to God, and dead to their own Souls Good.

8. Then the only sure and ready way to escape Death, and to be sure of Life, is to have Christ, to come to him, to be­lieve in him, and make him your own. You know the ordinary way is that of the rich Man, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may inherit life? Mat. [Page 86] 19.16.Memorable is the Relati­on of blessed Bilney's Con­version. As the Woman in the Gospel had consu­med all she had upon Phy­sicians, and yet was still worse and worse, till she came to Christ, &c. Before I came to Christ I had like­wise spent all I had upon ignorant Physicians; they appointed me Fastings, Watchings, buying of Par­dons, and Masses, &c. But at last I heard speak of Je­sus, even then when the N. Testament was put forth by Erasmus. At first I was allured to read rather for the Latin, than for the Word of God. At the first reading I hit upon the Sen­tence of St. Paul, (O most comfortable Sentence to my Soul!) It is a faith­ful Saying, &c. 1 Tim. 1.15. This did so exhilerate my Heart, wounded with the guilt of my Sins, inso­much that my bruised Bones leapt for joy: And then I learnt that all my Travels, all my Fasting and Watches, all the Redemption by Masses and Par­dons, without Faith in Christ, were but an hasty and swift running out of the way, or like sowing Fig-leaves, &c. Neither could I be relieved or eased of the sharp stingings of my sins, before I was taught of God, that as Moses lift up the Serpent in the Wilderness, &c. That whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting Life, &c. B. of Martyrs, 2 Vol. Letter to Tonstale. The way he approved of, was hard, and he went a great way in it; but there was a harder way, and he could not find in his Heart to take it. Souls! Souls! the way is but one, and it is very fair; save your pains of Pilgri­mages and Cords, and all the devi­sed ways of hu­man [Page 87] Reason and Superstition. The way you know, and me you know, said our Saviour: So say I, because his Word saith so. Have Christ, and you shall live.

2. Use of Exhortation to you all to have the Son. O that I could perswade you to have Christ, and to have him for Life, and so to have him, as to have Life by him. Oh! how many have but Notions of him? Some know not as much as the meaning of his Names and Office; and such as their Faith is, such their Life is: A Notional Faith can have but a conceited Life; an imaginary Life, such as will last no longer, but while they neglect their Salvation, and receive the Grace of God in vain. O have him, as you have been taught what it is to have him.

I beseech you go along with me, and set Consideration on work while I per­swade you, and then I will answer what you desire to know. Arguments drawn from necessity, and that extream, and from advantage and gain, and loss, and both the greatest, are very prevail­ing. Let the greatest Wit in the World think if he can, what is more necessary, [Page 88] or equally necessary. What Gain com­parable to the gain of Life eternal! Or what loss can come into a comparison with a loss of Life! Who can number the Reasons to perswade you to have the Son for your Saviour? and if you weigh them, all other things are lighter than Vanity, being put in the Ballance with them. This one Reason should per­swade us to have Christ, because our life, and all those good, great and glo­rious things, contained in life, is first in Christ, and from him in all that have him. Life is first in God,So often the great E­vangelical Dr. Sibs Expos. on the 4 c. 2 Ep. to the Corinth. So in the Excellency of the Gospel above the Law, p. 418. &c. then in Christ Mediator, and then in us who believe. All our Mercies, Blessings, Comforts of all kinds and degrees, from E­lection to Glorificati­on, are first in Christ, and from him to us. Therefore in having him you have all, as in a Fountain as large as an Ocean, running in a full stream to Eternity. O what a thing is this life! It is everlasting life, begun in Faith in Christ and Rege­neration, running up hill (a marvellous cross and hard passage) against mighty [Page 89] and unwearied opposition of Satan and the VVorld, and our indwelling Corrup­tion, labouring to choak it at the very mouth of it, in our Sanctification, till it run into the vastness of immeasurable Eternity. Mark what it is called, It is Life; it is a life of Sentence, (as the Reve­rend Dr. Sibs often calls it) or Absolution from the Sentence of the Law and Death. It is a life of Grace, from Christ by his Spirit, kindled in a dead Nature; and this is the Spring of Heavenly Glory. The least Beam of the light and life of Grace has more Glory in it, than all the VVorld on this side Heaven can shew: It is for the Excellency of it called, The life of God, Ephes. 4.18. And the life of Jesus, 2 Cor. 4.10, 11. For we which live are alway delivered unto unto Death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal Flesh. Na­ture teacheth Men to prize life above all things; therefore life, whether of Sense or Reason, is the best thing in Na­ture's Orb: But for the life of Grace and Glory, Grace teacheth; Faith which is called a wise Grace (by that named Divine) teacheth a gracious Man, who is the best of Men, to lose his life for [Page 90] Grace, and eternal life! For we which live are always delevered unto Death for Jesus sake, &c. And will not this move you to have Christ the Son, and life with him! VVhat do you stick at? Do you know, that if you have the Son he must have you? and that you must forsake your Sins, and all the World at his Call? And will you stick at these things? O what an Act of Grace, Mercy, Pity and love, is it in Christ to receive and have you! If Christ have you not, the Devil will, and your Enemies shall and will have you. What should I speak of Sin, and the pleasures of Sin, and all the Vanities under the Sun? Will you stick at these? And not part with them at the first word, that you may have Christ and Life? I will only say to you, if every Hair of your Head were a life of Pleasure, Wit, Mirth, Diversion, Riches and Honour, you should part with them all for this life of Grace and Glo­ry. Christ paid more for your Redem­ption for life, than all the lives in the whole World are worth. If you will not forsake Sin, your loathsom Disease, for life and spiritual Health; If you will not deny your selves in your Vanities for [Page 91] Christ and the hopes of Glory, how ma­ny drops of Blood would you have shed for your own Redemption, if such a price had been set upon your own Souls? Now Christ and Life are offered you for having; how cruel and merciless are you to your precious Souls, that will not have them? And O! how happy for ever shall you be, if you have life, and that more abundant; more abundant in duration, and confluence of all things to make you fully and for ever happy. Hearken again; That which is to be had is life eternal; it is the life of life; who can describe it? This life is but a Vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away, James 4.14. It fleeth as it were a shadow, Job 14.2. The natural life is sustained by corrupti­ble earthly matter. The spiritual life is a noble Heaven-born life, but encumbred with a mixture of much evil while up­on Earth. A life rooted in Christ, or it could not continue; a life of conti­nual Contention and Warfare, much clouded and distracted with vain Thoughts, Doubts, Fears, Unbelief, Cares for the body, for the Morrow, and things of this life. It hath its good [Page 92] days and times, foresights and foretastes of Heaven in Communion with God and Christ by the Spirit in Ordinances; it hath its Victories, Peace, Increase, Com­forts and Supports by the way: But when Time is run out into Eternity, and the new Man grown into a perfect Man, then life will appear to be life indeed! That life is a life all of Grace and Holiness, without one dark or vain thought or in­dwelling Sin. A life like God's in con­formity to him; a life of Vision, per­fect Union and Communion. A life free from any thing that shall cause Trouble and Repentance. A life with­out Care for what we shall eat, or where­with we shall be clothed: Immortality and Glory shall be our Clothing, and the living God, that is a full infinite Fountain, shall be our life. A life full of God, Goodness, Holiness, Light, Peace, Joy and satisfaction for ever. It is happy now to walk with God, and to be under Grace. O what will it be to be for ever with the Lord? When Adam took his Death by the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he would have made his way to the Tree of Life, but that he was kept off by a Flaming [Page 93] Sword. But all that have Christ shall live upon him, as upon a Tree of life, which will yield all manner of Fruit, and satisfie every blessed one with blessedness. Have Christ, and you shall have eternal life immediately upon your believing in Christ your Head: Your Soul shall enter into eternal life upon your Dissolution; and Body as well as Soul shall have e­ternal life at the Resurrection.

Q. But some may desire to know, How they may come at this Eternal Life?

A. The Text is your Direction for that, Have the Son, and you have Life.

Q. But how shall I come to have the Son?

1. A. The original and first Cause of our having the Son, and so the first way by which we have him, is by God's graci­ous Act of giving us his Son. As he gave him for us to be a Saviour, so he gives him to every Soul prepared by Grace, and that is the Work of the Holy Ghost, and so we have him. The Spirit of Grace gives to every one that hath Christ, un­derstanding to know him, and a heart to [Page 94] receive him; and when we receive him,Whatsoever is wrought in Man, it is by the Spirit; all comes from the Father as the Foun­tain, and through the Son as Mediator; but whatsoever is wrought it is by the Holy Ghost in us. Excel. Dr. Sibs as before, p. 579. Grace is in the Father as a Fountain, in Christ as Treasurer, in the Spirit as Dispenser. Excellent Charn. made known and offered to us, then we have him. God shines in our hearts, 2 Cor. 4.6. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fa­ther of Glory giveth the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, E­phes. 1.17. Every man therefore that hath heard and learned of the Father, cometh to me, John 6.45. This is the way by which we come to the Son and have him.

2. But the meaning of the Question may be, What must I do? What means may I use? Or what manner of Man must I be, that I may have the Son? And then I answer in this general Sentence or Rule, Then a man may have the Son, when he is made heartily glad to have him, on any Terms, that is, according to the Son's own Proposals. Here mark. We do not mean by the Word, Terms, Condi­tion, Propositions, any Bargain or Ex­change, [Page 95] Price or Com­modity of our own,We receive all from Christ, being nothing to him. in consideration whereof we have Christ. We find in him all fulness, riches and honours: But what have we of our own but Baseness, Poverty and Misery? This Misery contracted by sin, is the Dowry, Cameron. as above-ci­ted in Myrothecio. The Son, as the Son of God, gets nothing by us, nor doth our Uni­on which he affect­eth, bring any gain or happiness to him, but by much loss and ma­ny Sufferings he ob­tained it. But respectu nostri omnia candida, we receive from him nothing but good and magnificent, and only such things, Hoornb. ubi supra, p. 797. which we bring to our Husband Christ. I say again, then are you prepa­red to have Christ, when you would glad­ly have him with all your Soul, with all that he requireth of you. He hath set down the Terms, your Hearts consent, you subscribe to them all; as the VVritings are drawn by the Spirit in the Gospel, you desire no new Articles, nor abatement of any, but stand to his Mer­cy and Grace: And well you may, for he is VVisdom and Love, Goodness, Mercy and Compassion, and will enable you to [Page 96] do and suffer all that you bind your self unto.

Q. But when is the Sinner made glad to have him?

A. Then, when he seeth, there is but one way for him, if he have him not; that is, when he is under actual strong Apprehensions and Convictions, that he must perish and die for ever, a Death of Privation of the enjoyment of God in Heaven, yea, and in Earth also; when he is humbled, and poor in his own Sense; when he feels himself sinking into the bottomless Pit, under the Burden of his Sin and Guilt.

2. VVhen he finds all Creatures, Helps and Confidences in the Flesh fail him; Phil. 3.4. When he looks upon his right hand, and upon his left hand, and there is no Helper nor Intercessor that can save him, when he believes for certain, there is Salvation in any other, Acts 4.12. Oh how formidable and terrible doth Hell look with its Flames and utter Darkness! How wonderful doth Salva­tion appear to such a Soul!

[Page 97]3. When he cannot think of being damned without Horror; and not of be­ing saved without Wonder and Astonish­ment: And then when he hears of the Grace of God in Christ, and of the graciousness of Jesus Christ, his Fulness, his Fitness, his Compassions, his Kind­ness, his willingness to save every one that comes unto him; O how glad is the miserable humbled Soul to hear of his Offers, his Invitations to come to him, and his Promises to them that come and have him! Those Jews who were pricked in their Hearts, gladly or wil­lingly received the Word (of Advice and Grace in their extremity, and sore­ness of heart:) And they who gladly recei­ved the Word (of Salvation) were baptized: They by Baptism, a sign of their ha­ving him, put on Christ and had him. They who are sick will gladly have the Physician; and the Soul that is poor, desolate, lost, a Syrian ready to perish, will most gladly have Christ for a Cover­ing of their Eyes, for their Head and Husband, when they hear the Record and Testimonies, those high Characters and Reports that are given of him. [Page 98] Mark, a condemned Prisoner,When we behold our selves in our Blood, O how com­fortable is that word of Grace and Mercy, Live! that fears the Execution, and lies under the terror of Death, will most gladly receive his Life at the hands of his Gracious Prince, and serve him as his Prince, with the hazard of Life. What will not a Man do for Life! How much for eternal Life!

Q. But how may I be brought to this, to be made glad and willing to have the Son for my Saviour?

1. You must awake out of your Sleep and Dreams. And will not the Alarum of Death and Wrath hastning towards you, awake you? Will not a Cry at Midnight rouze you? The last Enemy and the last Trump stir you? The Drow­siness of this Generation is a fearful Sign and Forerunner of a Spirit of Slumber, and a dead Sleep. You then that have Ears to hear, hear, and then we shall shew you how you may have Life Eternal.

[Page 99]2. Hear, read, and ponder upon the Word of God: The more you know and seriously consider of these things, the better it will be. I say, ponder the things, and the drift of them, and do not lay them up as Notions and Histori­cal Passages in a careless Head. 1. Un­derstand how the case of Mankind stood before the Fall. 2. How it is with all Mankind under the ruins of that Fall; how we are under Guilt, Sin, Satan and the Curse; how great our Darkness is; how we are all out of the way; what our Enmity is against God and true Ho­liness; what our Impotency is to turn to God, as without Strength to help or re­cover our selves. 3. How we must be restored by Jesus Christ alone, Rom. 5.8, 9, 10, 12. &c. 4. What the Gospel declares to be our Duty, Knowledge, Faith, Repentance, Love, Obedience, Active and Passive Obedience and Self-de­nial, when our Lord calls for us to for­sake all, and suffer for him. 5. None of these things are called for as a price, or Mony, as the Prophet speaks, Isa. 55.1, 2. The great main thing that is re­quired of you, is your rational, delibe­rate, free Consent. Will you have me? [Page 100] That's the great Question; say under­standingly and sincerely you will, and you have him who is infinitely worth your having. 6. Study the invaluable worth of your precious Souls, and of your great Saviour, the Son of God, and the Life of your Souls. Know that one thing needful, Luke 10.42. and the first thing to be sought, Mat. 6.33. And tho the Gate be strait, you will enter, because it is unto Life. 7. Think not much of the way of Salvation, but submit to be led into every step of it. It is the Invention of infinite Wisdom, out of Grace and Mercy. 8. No Man is exclu­ded from Eternal Life, but he that will not believe and have the Son, John 6.37.9. Understand what it is to have the Son, and what follows upon our having of him.

Q. How may I know that? O that I knew it better what it is to have him!

A. Beside what I said before in explain­ing that Head, I pray take notice, that nothing less than having him can save you, and give you Life. It must therefore be your own Personal Act. 1. Whatever [Page 101] Benefit you received as Priviledge by Pa­rents, and was granted you by the Mini­sters of Christ, must become yours by your own Personal Act and Engagement. Faith is a Personal Act of Application and Spiritual Union; every Man that hath him hath him for himself. This having cannot be done by any other for you. The Friends of the Bridegroom and Proxies may treat and propose, but Personal Consent, taking and receiving consummateth this Spiritual Marriage. He that hath him hath him upon his own knowledge, John 4.42. Now we believe not because of thy Saying, for we have heard him our selves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the World.

2. You must have the Son, whole Christ altogether. Is Christ divided? No, you must not separate, and take him in one Office, or in one part of his Office, for one Benefit and not for all. You must have him for Life, and if you have him not all, he will not be for Life. They who have him not, would have him for forgiveness of Sin, and Sal­vation from Hell, but not for Sanctifica­tion; they would have him for their Conveniency and Profit, but would part [Page 102] with nothing, and do but what they have a mind to; they would have him for their own Ends, but God who sent and gave him, must have his Ends; he must be glorified in you, as well as you glo­rified in Christ: Christ will never have you, to his Fathers Disgrace, and his own; he is and will be faithful to his Fathers Interest, as well as merciful to you. You must have him to save you from your Sin, or else how can he save you from God's Wrath? And if you have him not for Holiness, how can you love him, if you do not love his Image? And how can you love him, that do not love his Image in your selves? If you love him not all, you have him not at all for Life.

3. It is a mutual having: And as we must have Christ in­tirely,Ergo in hoc Spirituali conjugio, tota cujus (que) fi­delis persona, anima, sc. & caro, cum tota Christi persona conjun­gitur, & fit unum cum illo, una caro, unus homo. Zanch. de Spirituali Connubio, c. 3. Explic. c. 5. ad Ephes. Toti jungimur cum toto, uti in matrimonio &c. Hoorn. bek. Theol. Practicae, l. 7. c. 3. p. 796. Norton's Or­thodox Evangelist, p. 285. &c. so he will have us intire to himself. As in Marriage, the [Page 103] Parties have one another, Cant. 2.16. My Beloved is mine, and I am is his, my Be­loved altogether; and well we may so have him, for he is altogether lovely: With him we have the Father, and the Holy Ghost; with him we have unsearchable Riches, and of that Fulness which dwel­leth in him; with him we have Life, and Promises, and Priviledges, and hopes of a Crown of Life. The Wonder is, that he would have us; Us, that have no­thing that is good in us; not one Grace, or attracting lovely Quality; we are made up of all the base and hateful ill Qualities of Sinners. We are vile and poor, till we have him with his Riches; we are blind, and deaf, and dead, till till we have him for Light and Attention, till he open the Heart to attend to the things that are spoken by him, Acts 16.14. We are dead till we have him for Life. And after we are recovered and made alive, we are weak, and faint, and diseased; we are in wants and streights, subject to great Discontents and Com­plaints. But O! what a Husband is he! He covereth and cureth Infirmities and Defects; he healeth Diseases, supplieth Wants, maketh rich; and what doth he [Page 104] not do, to give full Proofs of his admi­rable Love, Kindness, Patience, Power, and incomparable Goodness every way, to make us think our selves happy in him! He hath us not for the Good that is in us, but to make us better: But such as we are he must have us; our Souls, our Bo­dies, and all our Faculties and Abilities. Believers are a redemed purchased Wife, therefore altogether his, Ephes. 5.25. He must have that little Wit, Reason, Wis­dom; he must have our Memories to be a Cabinet, a Closet, a Store-chamber to lay up, and keep what Goods and Treasure he brings with him: He must have our Wills, our Affections, our Bodies and all our Strength for his Service; and all we have in the World to be at his Com­mand and Dispose, 1 Cor. 6.19, 20. And this the Nature of Faith, as it is sometimes express'd, to give up our selves to the Lord, 2 Cor. 8.5.

4. He who hath the Son, as he ought, must have him understandingly and cor­dially, hath, and must have him for per­petuity and constancy, yea, for Eternity: He hath him not for a time, and then either change him, or cast him off; but we have him considerately, heartily, and [Page 105] therefore resolutely. We are fixed in our purposes of forsaking all we have left; yea, doubtless, and I count all things but Dung; and to have what we account ex­cellent and gainful, that I may win Christ, Phil. 3.8. Christ comes to us not as a Sojourner, but a Dweller, Ephes. 3.17. He must abide in us, and we in him. Read John 15.5.7.9, 10. In a word, you have Christ for everlasting Life, there­fore you have him for everlasting. No­thing can tempt you to Reservations, Ir­resolutions, and Apostacy, but Sufferings; but our Saviour hath armed us against all Encounters and Hazards, Mat. 16.24, 25, 26, 27. and in multitudes of other Scriptures. If you can say, I will have Christ however, for I shall be a Saver by him, I'll take him with all that follows, and I know I shall make a good bargain, therefore I will have him on any terms, come what will: When a Man can have his Will so perpendicularly bent upon Christ, that he will have him tho he leave his Skin behind him; there's a true accep­tation of him, Redemption by Christ, p. 427. said that zealous Preacher as well as great Scholar, A. B. Ʋsher in one of his Sermons at Oxford, 1640.

[Page 106]That I may not be too long for my purpose, I return to my Exhortation to beseech you all, as you fear eternal Death, and as you desire eternal Life, that you would, 1. Make haste to, and humbly and readily accept of Christ, for it is for your Life. 2. That nothing hinder you, or come between you and having Christ, as you have been taught; stick at nothing, for it is for Life. 3. That you would so have him, as to know that you have him: You would not be fully satisfied with some hopes of a Pardon and Life till you were sure of it. 4. As you have him for life, so make use of him for life; not for Notions, for Talk, for Shews, for worldly Advantages, In­terest in Parties, and Hypocritical Ends; but for Life, to live to God, and to live with God for ever.

Consider, I beseech you, what encou­ragements you have to have Life, that great thing, that one thing needful, Life, Life, Life Eternal: For 1. As Great, as Glorious, as Holy as the Son is, yet you who are poor and humble may have him; you that are so poor that you know not how to live, except he will relieve you, and keep you alive, may have him. [Page 107] I counsel thee to buy of me, (that is, to have of me, at the lowest rate, yea, no­thing of worth) Gold tried in the Fire, that thou mayest be rich, &c. Rev. 3.18.

2. And this you will believe, if you believe, as you may and ought, what his gracious and merciful Design and End was in becoming our Mediator and Re­deemer, and what the Fathers gracious End and Purpose was in giving and send­ing him, John 3.16. God so loved the World, (with a love of Benevolence and Com­passion) that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not pe­rish, but have everlasting Life. 1 John 4.9. In this was manifested the love of God to­wards us, because he sent his only begotten Son into the World, that we might live through him.

3. If you consider his nearness to us in Nature and Blood, tho he be the Son of God, God over all blessed for ever­more, yet he is the Son in our Nature; and he loveth our Nature, tho he hate our Sin; and the hatefulness of our Sins and Corruption doth not hinder his Love nor his Compassions, Heb. 2.14, 15, 16, 17.

[Page 108]4. If you consider the nearness of his Relation: Mediator and Redeemer in­clude and comprehend all Relations, and those Relations are for Union, and that Union is for Life and Communion. He is as near as a Brother, Heb. 2.11. For which cause he is not asham'd to call them Brethren, &c. yea, as a Father. Vers. 13. And again, Behold I, and the Children which God hath given me. Yea, he is a Be­loved, and a Husband, a Bridegroom al­ways in the Fervors of his wonderful pure Love. Christ so loved his Church, as to give himself for it, Ephes. 5.25.32. 2 Cor. 11.2. O! then take encourage­ment, and come directly to him! O, have him before you go to Bed this Night!

And now let me direct my Speech to you, who are the occasion of this Assem­bly in this place. I have opened the Case plainly to you, that you may know where to find Life and Salvation, before you die. I am under some Discourage­ment and Temptation, because you have lived so long without Christ, and know so little of him, and have no time to live to express your Thankfulness, by holy walking for that unspeakable Gift, [Page 109] Christ, and Life by him: But as late as it is, I know what God can do, and what you must have before the End, or Noon of another Day, or you must die in your Sins; in those for which you are condemned to die, and more than the Hairs of your Head beside, even your Thoughts, Words, Deeds, your Omissi­ons and Commissions; besides those, you know how earnestly you beg'd for life, and that for God's sake, for Chists sake, and that but for an uncertain, short, beg­garly kind of Life with Shame, and many other Evils. How welcom would the hopes of Life be if I had any to give you? Would you not receive the King's Pardon if I brought it to you? Would you not have it, and never ask one hour to deliberate or demur upon it? O that you would have what I have to offer to you, upon this one condition of having it, and that if you had a longer Life to shew it, you would manifest that you have it. I come to you in the Name of God, and his Son Jesus the Prince of Life, and make you a free Offer of e­verlasting life, the life of Justification and Pardon, a discharge from Condemnati­on. O! the Patience of God, that hath [Page 110] let you live so long! O! the Mercy of God, that hath let you live to this hour, to hear of life, of this life; and that upon this condition of having his Son Jesus Christ. Had you now had him, you had never have come to that place in that Condition. VVill you have him before you die, that you may not die ternally? There is but this one way left; you need not make Friends and Interests, nor make Sums of Mony for this Par­don and Life: Have the Son, and have life this hour, and life for ever: O what an Act of Grace is Justification and the pardon of Sin! Rom. 3.24. Being justified freely by his Grace, through the redempti­on that is in Jesus Christ. That which cost Christ his Blood, is free to all that are justified. Here, a free Offer upon acceptance; and methinks one of you should acknowledge the difference between this free Offer which will be made good,Three were impri­soned for Murder, and 200 l. was promised to one to procure a Pardon; 100 l. was paid, and the other was to be paid when­ever the Pardon should come. The two Men were executed, this Woman's Husband, and his Brother-in-law, who both agreed, that the whole Sum should be paid if her Pardon could be obtained. if you have Christ, and that costly Pardon, which was mightily [Page 111] laboured for, and could not be obtained. Have you not told us, that, to use your own words, Tenscore Pound was promised to obtain your Pardon, and two died with­out it, and you alone was to have the benefit of it, and missed of it? Now here is Life offered again, and that Life indeed more worth than the World, yea, than a World of Worlds! O do not refuse, but have it. And what I say to you, I say to all present before God, for you must all die, tho not as these Per­sons are condemned to die, and die eter­nally if you have not Christ; but if you have him, your Souls shall live for ever; and though after your Skin Worms de­stroy these Bodies, yet in your Flesh shall you see God. O have the Son, and you shall have Life; but if not, you shall not have Life.

And so I come to the Second Doctrin or Proposition, He that hath not the Son of God, hath not Life.

These Words carry in them a clear and full Determination of the final Case of all, And every man that hath not the Son of God. As the Word declares, so it [Page 112] shall be with every one that hath not the Son. Unbelief makes Sinners unfit for, and uncapable of everlasting Life. The words are clear and decisive, there is no darkness nor ambiguity in them. Men may think they have many things, which make them presume and hope that they shall not die, but live. But had they all that ever Pretenders had, and have not Christ, this is a ruled case in the Book of God, They are all lost and dead Men, they shall never see Life.

Not to have the Son of God is a Ne­gative of having him; and not to have Life, is a Privative of having Life. The Reasons and Truth of this Sentence doth spring from the former, He that hath the Son, hath Life; which implies these Propositions or Doctrins. 1. The Son of God hath Life in him, and is the Saviour of all them that believe; and he alone, excluding all other ways or means, or persons; neither is there Sal­vation in any other. 2. He, whoever he be, that would have Life, must have the Son. 3. He that hath the Son of God hath Life, and none but he: Therefore he who hath not the Son, hath not Life, be­cause [Page 113] he alone hath Life who hath the Son of God: And as God did for his great Love give his Son, made this Law abstract in the first Sentence, so in Justice he hath added this other.

The words are so plain and certain, that they need no Proof, but only a lay­ing open of the case, that all Men may see into themselves. And the desire of my Soul is, that by seeing how it is, as long as you have not Christ, and how it shall be for ever, if you will not have him, you may be prevailed upon to believe in Christ, to close with him, and cleave to him for Life.

Beside what was proved in the for­mer Doctrin, from John 3.36. Acts 4.12. Open your Eyes and see, open your Ears and hear, and conclude with the Text upon full Proof and Evidence, both in Jews and Gentiles.

1. The Jews had Moses and the Pro­phets, Priviledges, Ordinances, Types and Shadows, and Promises of Christ; but if they had not Christ they were lost and undone, for they had not Life: For God declared and enacted this Law or Rule to be followed in giving Life, John 5.24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, [Page 114] he that heareth my Word, and believeth on him (or him) that sent me, hath everlast­ing Life, and shall not come into Condem­nation, but is passed from Death to Life. And again, John 6.40. And this is the Will of him that sent me, that every one who see­eth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting Life, and I will raise him up at the last day, vers. 36. But I say unto you, ye have seen me and believe not. How could they then have everlasting Life? or escape that Sentence, v. 53. Except ye eat the Flesh, and drink the Blood of the Son of Man, ye have no Life in ye? It is not your eating Bread; and following me for Loaves that can give you Life, but you must by Faith eat of Christ, and live.

2. All they who believed not are severely threatned with dying in their sins. I said therefore unto you, that ye that die in your Sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your Sins.

3. All that were sensible of Sin and Death, that were stung in Conscience, were to look to him for Cure, John 3.14, 15. and were invited to come to him; Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, &c. Mat. 11.28. But they [Page 115] who would not come unto him, would not come that they might have Life, John 5.40.

4. They who put away the Word of God from them, judged themselves un­worthy of Eternal Life, Acts 13.46. and were cut off for their Unbelief, Rom. 11.20, 23.

2. Thus God determined concerning the Jews: Let us pass from them to the Gentiles: Could they have Life who had not Christ? If Life and Immorta­lity were brought to Light by the Go­spel, as they were, 2 Tim. 1.10. then they were in Darkness before that was brought to Light; and their state before the Gospel-light did shine, and the Go­spel-call did sound in their Ears, is eve­ry where described to be miserable and doleful; as, Dead in Sin, as Children of Wrath, Slaves of the Devil, Ephes. 2.1, 3. Out of the way, Rom. 3.10, 11, 12. And without hope. Ephes. 2.12.

2. After the Gospel was preached, it was still certain, He that believed not, and had not the Son, had not Life. To open this, observe there was and is but one way, one streight Gate for all Flesh to enter into Life. For observe, 1. When [Page 116] the Apostles were to go into all the World, and to preach the Gospel to eve­ry Creature capable (as the Jews called the Gentiles by way of Contempt) they were to keep to this Rule, He that be­lieveth and is baptized, shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned, Mark 16.16. And Paul was sent to the Gentiles, to open blind Eyes, to turn them from dark­ness to light, that they might receive an In­heritance among them that are sanctified by Faith that is in me, Acts 26.18.2. When the Gospel brought forth Fruit, this was the Fruit, they were translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son, Col. 1.13. And as many as were ordained to eternal Life, believed, Acts 13.48. See 1 Thess. 1.9, 10. and 1 Cor. 15.11. So we preach, vers. 3. &c. and so ye be­lieved.

3. Consider what was the principal Subject-matter of the preaching and writing. Was it not Christ, and him crucified? 1 Cor. 2.2, 5. Was it not Christ Jesus the Lord? 2 Cor. 4.5. Was it not Faith in Christ, the Benefits and Fruits of Faith? Yes certainly. 1. They shew­ed the necessity of Faith, and the Righ­teousness of God by Faith, Rom. 3.22, 28. [Page 117] 2. The great Blessing, the Justification of Life by Faith, Rom. 3.25, 26, 30. Chap. 5.1. Being therefore justified by Faith, we have Peace with God, &c. and Salvation, which is the Consummation of all Bles­sedness and Life in Perfection, Ephes. 2.8. By Grace ye are saved, and that through Faith. Receiving the End of your Faith, the Salvation of your Souls, 1 Pet. 1.9. 3. They forewarned all of the danger of Unbe­lief, Heb. 3.18, 19. c. 4.2, 3. See the Heads of Doctrin preached by Paul to the Co­rinthians, 1 Cor. 15.3, 4, 5. 4. How ma­ny Arguments are spent in perswading to Perseverance, and how many flaming Threatnings are drawn to deter from everlasting Deaths, from the 23d Verse of the 10th to the Hebrews, to the end of the 12th Chapter? All this serves to convince every considering Person, that as Life and Power to save all Men is in Christ, and that they who would live must have him; so they who have him not, shall certainly perish.

Application.

I hope I have cleared and laid open the Case of every Man that hath not Christ; not to leave any Soul that shall [Page 118] read this in that horrid state of Death, but to perswade them to a timely Flight from the Wrath to come, upon all that believe not, and trust not to God through Jesus Christ alone for Mercy; I beseech you, receive the Love of the Truth, that you may be saved.

1. If all who have not Christ have not Life, then he convinced of the mise­rable and necessitous condition of all them who are under the Reign of Dark­ness and Unbelief; whatever their out­ward Condition is in the World, high or low, rich or poor, young or old; they lie under the heaviest and most in­tolerable necessity in the VVorld. 1. They want Life, and are under Death; and what Pleasure can they take in Pleasures, Riches, Honours, or the Glory and En­joyment of all the Delights of the Sons of Men (if they had them all) as long as they have not Life? VVhat ungrate­ful things should Musick, and Songs, and Revellings, Banquettings, Masks, Dan­cings, wanton Fashions, the Fooleries of vain Minds, be to a condemned Man? VVhat Pleasure could you take in ful­filling any sinful Desire, gratifying any Lush tho in the most secret retirement, [Page 119] if you thought the Devil, the Executio­ner of God's Sentence of Death, stood at the Door or Stairs-foot to have you away? You are condemn'd already, and have no Pardon, no Life. 2. They need Jesus Christ for Life. 3. They need Faith for having Christ. Here's nothing but want and misery!

2. VVhat should be the first and chief endeavour and purpose of every one of our Souls, but to be first out of the Dan­ger of the greatest Loss, and in the way of supplying the greatest want? There­fore apply your selves to free Grace without delay; pray and cry mightily to God for Life. The Life is more than Meat, and the Body than Raiment; but this Life is more than Meat, Raiment, Body, or the present Life; pray and labour for it.

3. If this be the sad case of Unbe­lievers, then let us learn what should be the great study and work of Ministers▪ Oh! Is our state any better than other Mens? No, not at all! yea, we are in danger of being further from Salvation than other Men, because we are more apt to conceive and hold Errors concern­ing [Page 120] Spiritual Death, Adam's Guilt, and our own; concerning Christ, and Faith in Christ, than other Men. The great­er Men's Parts are without true Light and Grace, the more apt to err, and to flourish out their Errors, and Sophisti­cally to defend them. How should we study for our own Life, and for the Life of as many Souls as we are to watch over! O! how should we labour to save our selves and them that hear us! To have Christ for our own Life and Salva­tion, and then to preach Christ, and to draw others to have him for their Life! There are three great Points to be studied by us. 1. Christ the Son of God, and what is written of him. How ne­cessary, profitable and delightful is the study of Christ, who is all in all!See that excellent Sermon of the great Preacher Bp. Reynolds at an Ordination, call'd, the Preaching of Christ Printed at the request of those who were or­dained. 2. The on­ly true way of having him for Life; the Be­nefits of Christ, and the way of partaking of them; his Com­munication of him­self and Benefits, and our Reception of them, and Duties to­wards him. How offensive and trouble­som [Page 121] should all those Notions and Books be to us, which detract from the Glory of Free Grace in Christ, and bring in another Gospel, and speak vain Words of Spiritual Union and Communion, the Nature and Office of Faith, and work of the Holy Ghost upon the Hearts of Men! 3. The state and condition of Souls, what they need, what way they must be saved; what loseth, and what saveth Sinners: As they have or have not Christ, so it must be with them for ever. I can­not pass by this use, when I consider how faithfully and plainly Moses dealt with Israel, Behold this day I have set Life and Death, Life and Good, Death and Evil before you, Deut. 30.15. And when I see the same Spirit of Light and plain-dealing in the Divine John; How can we honour Christ,It had been sufficient to say, that all should seek to Christ for Life; but lest any should turn aside out of the way, he shuts out all from the hope of Life that seek it not in Christ. Calvin on the Eph. and be faith­ful to Souls, that do not preach as he wrote? How can we deal faithfully with Souls, if we have not some spiritual insight into that, by which precious Souls are sa­ved [Page 122] or lost? O how faithful and plain should we be, who have so great Argu­ments to treat upon, as Christ, and the Life and Death of Souls! And hence will also follow under this Head, that no Man should be ignorant of, but all de­sirous to learn the way of Eternal Life and Death, and to see in what way they are, whether in the narrow way to Life and Salvation, or in the broad way of Ignorance, Carelesness, Impenitence and Ungodliness, which leadeth to Destructi­on. But still remember, when we speak of the Terror of the Lord, and say to the wicked, that they shall die, if they turn not, and receive Christ for Salvati­on, that it may be to perswade Men to be willing to pass from Death to Life, 2 Cor. 5.11.

4. If he who hath not the Son hath not Life, then in what case are all they that are ignorant and without Spiritual Sense of their Spiritual Death, Unrighteous­ness, Guilt and Condemnation by the Law for transgressing it, and that are ignorant of Christ, save by the Sound or Letters of his Name; they know him not as the Son of God, or how he is so; nor as he is Mediator between God and [Page 123] Man, to bring us to God, as well as to make Reconciliation, and procure for­giveness of sin; nor how he came to be Mediator, nor to what end, nor how he performeth the Part and Office of a Me­diator; nor what it is to believe in him, so as to have him for their Life. Ma­ny will sometimes say, that he died for them, and hope he will be so good as to save them: But do they know indeed the Nature, Efficacy, and Office of Faith? which they should know; for if they have him not, they shall die in their Ini­quities. 2. In what case are they who neglect him and make light of him? Mat. 22.5. They neglect their own Lives that neglect him, Heb. 2.3. 3. What will become of all them that refuse him? John 5.40. And ye will not come unto me that ye may have Life. How shall we e­scape, if we refuse him who speaketh from Heaven? See Heb. 12.25.

5. Seeing God himself hath already determined this great Point, and an­swered this Question, Who shall, and who shall not be saved, it is every Man's Wis­dom, and should be his great business to submit to this Sentence of God, concern­ing every Mans final state; and as many [Page 124] as have any desire and knowledge of eternal Life, or Apprehensions of eter­nal Death, should apply themselves to the means of Grace, that they may be drawn and brought to Christ. When Men are sure that there are other things more worthy of their Care and Pains, than the Life of their Souls, let them lay aside the Care of their Souls till they are fil­led with their Vanities, which will never be. But Man! hast thou any Sense left? Any desire of Happiness and Heaven, or fear of Hell? O then take up the seri­ous Thoughts of the Life of the World to come! of Glory and Immortality; and apply thy self to Jesus Christ, not slightly and ineffectually, but betimes and earnestly. Thou shalt find no Dis­couragement from him, but most graci­ous Inclinations, and assurance of being received into his Bosom and Arms, as a Saviour of them that believe. And know for certain, that if thou come short of Eternal Life,Quamvis fides non fit nisi ex Dei dono, & ho­minis voluntate, infide­litas tamen non est, ni­si ex sola hominis vo­luntate. Prosp. Responsa ad Cap. Gallorum, p. 330. it is thy own Sin and Fault, and the remembrance of that thy Sin of [Page 125] making light of Christ, will lie heavy upon thee to Eternity, as the main Cause of thy Damnation.

6. In what Honour and Reputation should the Son of God be had in the World, seeing, as was Prophesied of him by Simeon to the Mother of our Lord, that should be for the fall and rising again of many in Israel! Luke 2.33. He will raise up all that are humble, and poor, and broken in Heart, that come unto him, that they may have Life; but he will be by his Justice and Power the fall of all them that refuse him. If Christ be so high and great, that the eternal Life and eternal Death of all be in his Hand, O! what seeking should there be unto him for Life and Mercy? What crowd­ing to his Doors? What knocking and lifting up of Eyes, Hands, Voices, Hearts, to the Throne of Grace for Life? And how would Christ be reverenc'd and fear'd, admir'd and magnify'd, sought unto and lov'd, if Men would be­lieve that he is the Prince of Life, and the Author of eternal Salvation! Heb. 5.9. O, how would it be said, Happy is that Man that hath him first! It is [Page 126] the Will of his Father, that all Men should honour the Son as they honour the Father; but how true is that, that they who believe not, honour neither the Father nor the Son? no, tho he have Life and Death in his Power. How will Petitioners for Pardons from a King gra­tifie even Door-keepers and Friends, that can make way for them? How will the proudest Knee come down to the King himself?

7. Then hence be satisfied in the true cause of the Damnation of Sinners. Sin­ful Man takes himself to be wise in shift­ing off the true Cause of his Miseries and Sufferings which come upon him from himself upon others; The Woman that thou gavest me, &c. Gen. 3.12. Adam doth not only cast the Blame upon the Woman, but upon God himself, Which thou gavest me. If thou hadst not giv­en me the Woman, I had never eaten.

But now this Text is of great use to carry us to the proper Cause of Per­dition; the true reason why Sinners die, is because they have not the Son. And if this be the Cause of Perdition, then as you love Life, and hate Death, do all that God commands you to prevent [Page 127] your Damnation in the Cause of it. The means of Grace are the open and beat­en way of Life; O! keep that way with care and diligence.

8. Then how inexcusable will all Un­believers be before God's Tribunal, that have not Life? They shall then know what a Life, what a Pearl they have lost: And the more inexcusable, the greater will the shame of their being placed on the left Hand be; and the more their shame, the more grievous will their Torment be. They should have had Christ, and he was made known and offer'd as the Author of Eternal Salvation; and Salvation and Damnati­on were set out before them, but they neglected the Son of God, and lost Eter­nal Life by wilful neglect. The Cause of the Death of Sinners is slighting of Christ, Mat. 22.5. Neglecting of great Salvation, Heb. 2.3. Refusing to hear Christ, Heb. 12.25. Scriptures quoted but little before. But Soul, to whom I speak, what think you? Is a Saviour to be ne­glected, when there is but one, and no other? Is the Salvation of Soul and Bo­dy to be neglected, when thou hast but one of a kind, one Body and one Soul? [Page 128] Is Life Eternal to be neglected, when there is but one day of Salvation, and when that is once gone, not one moment to be added to it? They who in the Pa­rable of the Wedding-Feast are said to make light of Christ, are the good Hus­bands and Men of Business in the World, who could spare no time from their care­ful Occasions to spend in seeking, nay, in accepting the Grace and Favour of God, and Communion with him, who had made great preparation for them. We should let all things lie, rather than neglect the momentous Affairs of a bet­ter and more enduring Life. Oh! then how do they neglect it, and make light of Christ, who are Men of Pleasure and Diversion, who have so much time lying upon their hands, that they are glad of such Persons and Occasions as will help them to consume it! And how can they who throw away this Life, save that which is to come! And with what Shame and Confusion will they go out of the World, and come out of their Graves to be judged by the Judge of the whole World, who offered them a dearly pur­chased Pardon and Life! What a Mad­man would you account him to be, who [Page 129] hath no more life to spend than what runs between Condemnation in Law, and execution in Judgment, that would spend that precious time, in stead of securing his precious Life, upon his Hair, his Cloaths, in reading Plays, in Drollery, Songs, Racing, Gaming, the News of the Town, fruitless Disputations, Con­tentions, Quarrelling and Fighting? Oh! What time have we but the time of Pa­tience and long-suffering, which we should count Salvation? 2 Pet. 3.15. That is a time for us to take hold of eternal life. All are condemned already that do not believe, John. 3.18. But if Judgment be not speedily executed, shall we live after the Flesh this time? Then we must die, Rom. 8.13. How bitter will Death be after a Life of Pleasure; and when this shall be a continual Aggravation to make it the more bitter, that eternal life was lost through neglect! How mad are worldly Men with themselves, if they lose a Fortune, as they speak, or a Place of Profit or Honour, by being out of the way at a convenient season. Oh! how will they rave when they go to Hell for the loss of life by negligence and folly?

[Page 130]9. One Inference more, and so to o­ther Uses. Hence you may plainly see, what is the great Duty and Interest of all Men whatsoever, to whom the Word of Salvation is sent; it is to have, and to secure to themselves the having of Je­sus Christ; for have Christ have life, and all spiritual Blessings, all kind of promi­ses of all kind of good; but, no Christ no Life. What is every natural Man's business in the World, but to live in some fashion, or way or other? O! shall the short and uncertain life that fa­deth away, be more the Care and Con­cern of all Men, than the life of Jesus? That incomprehensible Gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, unto all them, but to none but them who have his Son: Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for the meat which indureth unto eternal Life, which the Son of Man shall give you, John 6.27. Yea, count it better to enter into life halt or maimed, or blind, to avoid Sin, the cause of Death, than having two Hands, two Feet, two Eyes, to be cast into Hell-fire, Mat. 18.8, 9. yea, if it comes not only to the loss of Limbs, but of Life it self; spare not any thing [Page 131] to secure the Son, and Life to thy Soul. The having of him is safe, without as­surance; but the assurance of it is com­fortable; for then the greatest danger is over, and the everlasting Treasure and Inheritance secured, and known to be so by the Testimony of the Spirit, both from the Word and Conscience also.

2 Ʋse. Of Exhortation and Persuasi­on to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, so as to have him altogether, Per­son and Offices, for all Uses, Necessities Benefits and Purposes, with all your Soul, Mind and Strength. What can be said more to persuade you, than what is contained in these two short Sentences in the Text? Be not content with any thing below the real, and saving having of the Son of God. Deceive not your own precious Souls; try what you have, whe­ther what you have, and put confidence in, doth cause a spiritual Life of Holi­ness, and true Joy and Peace in believ­ing, and be in you the hope of Glory, all which they have who have Jesus Christ indeed.

That you may not be deceived in so great a matter, I will shew you what some have had, and you may have, and [Page 132] yet come short of having the Son to Sal­vation; and what they have who have him.

1. You may read, that the Jews thought they had enough, when they could say, they had Abraham to their Father, John 8.38. But if God had been their Father, they would have loved his Son, v. 42. And by their Relation to Abraham they had the sign of Circum­cision, and other outward Privileges, which many did build much upon: But the Apostle did often overthrow their deceitful Building, often telling them, that Circumcision availed nothing, no more than Uncircumcision, but Christ was all in all, Col. 3.11. But Faith working by Love, Gal. 5.6. And a new Creature, Gal. 6.15. 2. They may not oly build up­on their relation to Abraham, and have nothing in themselves, but they had a Form of Knowledge and Truth of the Law, and think they can be Teachers of others, Rom. 2.20, 21. &c. 3. And not only a Form of Knowledge, a Religion in the Head, but also a Form of Godli­ness in their Lives, in opposition to the power of it, 2 Tim. 3.5. which is root­ed in the Heart, and from the Heart [Page 133] springs forth and grows out in the Life, dying to Sin and the World, and living unto God. 4. They may think they have, and seem to have, but they are mistaken in their thinking, and but seem to have, Luke 8.18. They may seem to have a Root of Faith, when the Seed of the Gospel comes up in a green Blade; but it withereth and is choaked by the heat of Sufferings and worldly Affecti­ons. And they may say they have Faith, James 2.14. These may have knowledg of Christ and his Word, and be so far convinced of his being the Son of God, as to be able to answer Questions con­cerning Christ, and make an acknow­ledgment of him. As the Devils con­fessed Christ, Thou art Christ the Son of God, Luke 4.41. And he suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ. Which was almost as much as Peter's Confession, Mat. 16.16. and more than the ordinary Jews and Pharisees could say. The one was the sincere Confessi­on of a Friend, the other of an Enemy. There is an Assent to this Truth, as to a Proposition, or a true Doctrin; and an Assent that is lively, practical and cor­dial in order to have Christ the Son of [Page 134] God, as a Person to be trusted to, and relied upon for Life. This is the Assent of a true Faith. 5. Men have some De­sires after Christ for the good they may get, as the Scribe expressed, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The Foxes have Holes, and the Birds of the Air have Nests, but the Son of Man hath no where to lay his Head, Mat. 8.19, 20. This was a tri­al of his sincere Faith, if he would be as poor and destitute as the Master was. If you had all things that can be na­med, and have not Christ, you have not Life. Take heed therefore where you pitch and settle, what you count your Treasure, and upon what you build your Confidences. Give me leave to hold you a little longer, and to shew upon what Sand careless Builders, who look not to the things that are eternal, do lay their hopes of Life. Suppose you had all things that are common to the sincere Believer, and to the Pretender, all will not amount to the Happiness of Life. You say, you are born of Chri­stian Parents, and not only of profes­sing Christians, but holy Parents: So had the Jews, as was noted but now, [Page 135] Abraham the Father of the Faithful to their Father; but not his Faith in Christ. Say, you have the best Church in the World for your Mother; to what pur­pose, except you are a living, new-born Child of God? Know you not that the Children of the Kingdom, such as they were, should be cast out? Mat. 8.12. You have Baptism: Had not Simon Magus that Token upon him? Acts 8.13. You have the Ministry of the best Scholars and bless'd Men: Had not they who had not Life, this to say to Christ himself, Thou hast taught in our Streets? Luke 13.25. Yea, but you have a Society of Saints, you have Fellowship with Vir­gins, and wise Virgins; and had not, and have not foolish Virgins the same? Mat. 25. Shew what you have with your Lamps, and what Oyl your Lamps are furnished with. Have you Faith? So had Simon Magus, Acts 8.12. so have Devils. Have you Christ indeed? Have you Love, un­feigned, burning, fruitful Love? You have perhaps a Name to live, a Name of Renown and Eminency, so had they who were dead, Rev. 3.1. All these things will make rather against you than for you, [Page 136] if by all outward means you have not the Son himself.

2. But some may say, How shall I be certain that I have Christ the Son, truly and indeed? Let me ask you a Question or two, and answer them to your self. 1. How came, you to seek after him, and to have him? Have you understood and felt your own Case, and do you still know and feel when you look into your self, a dead, miserable, lost, cursed state of Guilt, Uncleanness, Bondage, and utter Inability to come to Life of your self? 2. Have you seen the necessity of a Mediator, to make your Peace, and to bring you to a reconciled God? 3. Have you been, and are you still satisfied with Christ? And Christ alone? His Death, Merits, Resurrection and Intercession a­lone? (not joyning Antichrist as a Head, bringing him to Christ, and sodering him to you with soft Wax, or binding him to you with a Rope of Sand) nor adding Saints Merits and Intercessions to his? Nor any other devised Supplements and Means of your Peace and Salvation? 4. Have you with hearty self-abasement been, and are you still a great Admirer of the way of your recovery by Jesus [Page 137] Christ? And stand amazed at the Grace, Wisdom, Righteousness and Love of God in Christ? 5. Have you come na­ked, wounded, poor and humbled to Jesus Christ upon his Offer and Invita­tion; and taken him understandingly, advisedly, deliberately, heartily and re­solvedly through his Grace and Assi­stance, without whom you can do no­thing; casting away whatever offends him out of his place and House, name­ly, your Heart? And do you still know that you are dead without him? And do you love him, and observe him, and the longer you are acquainted with him, the more and better?

2. What Use do you make of the Son? Do you reckon him your Life? Do you draw your Spiritual Life from him? And do you alledg him, Rom. 8.34. and plead him for your Discharge against all Accusations, and trust him for your Salvation in his own way, and your way of Adherence and Obedience?

2. Positively. All that have him are united to him, that's the immediate Work of the principal efficient Cause, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit, who makes Application of [Page 138] Redemption, and brings Christ and his Members to be one, and the immediate Work and Office of Faith, given of God, and excited by the Spirit; like the open­ing of a blind Eye to behold an admira­ble lovely Object, or quickning a dead Palsie Hand to receive a Pardon.

2. Every one who is united to him, and made one, is regenerate and born of God, 1 John 5.1. 2 Cor. 5.17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature. 3. He that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit. And this having of the Spirit is made a Sign of the mutual Union between Christ and the true Believer, 1 Joh. 3.24. And he that keepeth his Commandments (of Believing on the Name of his Son Christ, and mutual Love to the Bre­thren, vers. 23.) dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he a­bideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. But how may the true Spirit be known? By his Light, Life, Operati­ons and Fruits. As the Soul of Man is known to be a rational Soul by its Ope­rations, so is the Spirit of Christ known to be in Believers by his Operation and Effects. Take your Aim and Direction in this, from one effect of the Spirits [Page 139] uniting us to Christ and dwelling in us, and that is Life. He that hath the Son, and the Spirit of the Son, hath Life in him, whereby he lives a New Life to God through Jesus Christ. Where this Life is, it is known by a spiritual sense and motion from Christ and back again unto him.

2. By Hunger and Thirst, by an Ap­petite to Spiritual Food As a new born Babe desires the sincere milk of the word, 1 Pet. 2.2. 3. By Growth and Strength: As new born Babes grow and gather strength till they come to be Men, by using proper means of nourishment, as Milk, and stronger meat, by abiding in Christ, and living by Faith, drawing Supplies of Grace by holy Desires and Prayers with all perseverance. 4. By Nauseating and loathing, refusing, re­sisting and casting out Contraries to it, and using Preservatives.

These things being drawn up for your Service in this little room, I return to my Exhortation, to persuade you to have Christ, to have him for Life; for your Necessity is so great, that you do not need him for less than your Life; and that you would make haste and [Page 140] have him while he is near, Isa. 55.1, 2. Or else you may seek him when you shall not find him, John 8.21. And when you have him, adhere to him; have him and cleave to him, for (still the same reason continueth) it is for your Life. What will stir you, if the Words of the Text will not?

Consider the unconceivableness of the loss, and what is the consequent of it. The greatness of the loss and depriva­tion, and the nearness of it are im­plied in these Words, Hath not Life. Oh! Wo! Wo! to that Soul. His state is infinitely worse than his, who hath not the Light of the Day to look on, nor Eyes to see it: Worse than his, who hath not a Friend in the whole World, not a Rag to his Back, not a Farthing in his Purse, not a Morsel to eat, not as much as a fading Gourd to hide his Head under; not the use of a Limb, not Skin upon his Back; no, not a Grave to rest in: If every Unbelievers loss were as great as Job's was, it were nothing to this, Hath not Life. It amounts to as much as the loss of God, of Heaven, and all that is therein. The loss of Earth and the present Life is the least part of it. This [Page 141] loss cannot be reckoned in the Ages of of the World; it is a loss, under which there is no support or relief to bear it: (Miserable Sinners can contribute no­thing but Miseries and Sorrows to one another.) Nor will God himself ever repair it to any of them. They who will not have the Son for their Saviour and Redeemer, would refuse, yea, de­spise, all other means and ways of their recovery, and readmission to happiness. They who do not assent to this wonder­ful way of God, nor consent to the Terms of the Covenant of Grace now revealed, would dissent from any other ways, if there were any other reserved in the Will of God. They who can­not forsake, nor give up their Sins, which a Disgrace, a Shame, a Burden, a Perversion, a Confusion of Nature, which every Sinner hath cause to be sick of, and in continual pain till he be de­livered of it, would never accept of Grace and Mercy upon condition of being Ho­ly, and pleasing God. They who will not have the Son for their Saviour, would not have God for their God and Father: There being no way left to recover their forfeited Life, they are lost for ever who lose it.

[Page 142]Q. But may not a man, who hath not the Son at present, have him, and Life by him hereafter? A. Yes, if he have him while it is to day, when God waiteth, that he may be gracious. But if he die before he comes to, and receiveth Christ, he dies in his Sin, and is out of all hopes of Life. Oh! who would for any bu­siness, or any Pretence whatsoever, de­lay the having of the Son, seeing that is no less than to put off the having of Life. Who would run his Life upon such an Hazard, seeing their are so many Enemies that seek our Damnation, and work it by gaining the time of our de­laying? Can any Business or Pleasures in the World be thought of that Conse­quence, as for them to venture the loss of eternal Life? Many Men given much to the Pleasures and Vanities of Life, have cast them off, and fallen to the stu­dy of the Law, or to follow their Bu­siness, when but some Branch of their Estates have been in Question, much more when the whole was in Danger. Oh! how diligent and wise for the World, and careless for a World to come, are Men? Put on Consideration, and know for certain, that the greatest matters of [Page 143] care and diligence meet in this one Life; for this Life comprehends in it the whole of a Man's Estate. He who hath not Life hath lost all in one; and both these in­estimable things, and both these inesti­mable things, an everlasting Kingdom, an Heavenly Treasure, a Crown of Life and Glory, and that Life in the possessi­on whereof the blessed Saints shall rejoyce for ever, and in the privation of which the miserable and damned shall weep and lament for ever.

And this Punishment of Privation of Life will be the more intolerable, when it shall come upon the Unbeliever for this Cause, of his not having the Son. For not having the Son, who is the Son of God's love, infinitely amiable, and dear to all that love their own Nature; for he is the Son in our Nature, and now in our Nature glorified. All Men think them­selves honoured in the Honour of their Blood and Kindred, and esteem the Per­son that is advanced. But such is the Nature of Unbelief, that it moves to no Estimation, or Love to our Lord in Glory, who hath promised Glory to all that believe and follow him, and can see no excellency in him, who is highly ex­alted, [Page 144] and hath a Name that is above e­very Name. The not having of the Son, is upon Refusal and Contempt, in Deeds, if not in Words. And because this Pri­vation of Life is for Unbelief and Refu­sal, the loss will be the greater; for the Punishment of Unbelief must needs be great, because Unbelief is a great sin, and we need not go further than this Text to prove it. Unbelief and not having, is the undervaluing, neglecting and refusing the only two things that cannot be valued, the Son of God, and everlasting Life. O that I could say something that may enter and stick to the Heart! Hath God been pleased to make manifest the Mystery of Redempti­on by Jesus Christ, which hath been hid from Ages, Col. 1.26. and now will ye not look into it, but reject the Counsel of God, as the Lawyers did against them­selves? Luke 7.30. Hath God so loved the World, that he sent his only begot­ten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish; and now he is sent to you, who have as much need of him as any in the World, will you not have him? Is there Salvation in no other, and will you not have him? Do you no more [Page 145] value the Grace and Love of God in his Son Christ? Nor the love of Christ in humbling himself unto Death, even the Death of the Cross for you? And now he is at the Right Hand of God in pos­session of his Kingdom, and is able to save all that come to God by him, and will you not have him, and Life by him? Oh then you must perish! Then you must have no part in the Tokens of God's e­verlasting Love; no Saving Benefit of all the Cost our Lord hath been at to re­deem you; no Joy or Consolation by the Spirit; no Communion with Saints in Glory, nor Light, Rest, Peace in your own Souls for ever! No pardon of Sin, or Peace and Comfort by it, nor any other Blessing of Grace.

Obj. But some may say, If I have not Life, then I shall die.

A. So you shall: But you hope you shall be extinct, and be no more; but that shall not be; eternal Death will not be like the blowing out of a Can­dle, which shall never be lighted again. No, if you are Unbelievers and Atheists of that sort, the everlasting Pain and Torment shall convince you of your wicked Error, and of the loss of not [Page 146] having Life. And this should be a

2. A Second effectual Motive to have Christ and Life, for else you shall not have Life, but enough of Death the first moment. Oh! how bitter and dread­ful will it be to Eternity! All they that hate me, love Death, Prov. 8. vers. ult. They love the way, and the sins which deserve it. This shall be the Punishment of all Unbelievers. Oh! who would make light of Christ and Life, that shall be condemned, if they have him not, to Death Eternal? Death! A word contain­ing innumerable and endless Evils. The loss of God and Heaven will be a Death. The sight of Hell and Devils, with Milli­ons of Workers of Iniquity under Con­demnation, will be Death. Death! not an End of the Sinner, but of his Hap­piness! If the Flames shall never be quenched, as they shall not, as Christ hath declared, whose word is true, Mat. 25.41. And this everlasting Fire is call­ed everlasting Punishment, vers. 46. If the Punishment shall be everlasting, it will follow, that they who are punished must live in it, and endure it for ever. And Men may as well say, that the bles­sed of the Father shall not go into [Page 147] everlasting Life, as that the wicked shall not go into everlasting Punishment. As long as the Punishment shall endure, they shall endure that have deserved it, and shall be condemned to it. Oh! what a cursed Death will this be! Oh! how miserable will an immortal Body be with an immortal Soul! All the Miseries of the Damned are set forth by the Name of Death: Every drop of the Ri­vers of Brimstone, every Spark of the unquenchable Fire, every Tear that the Damned shall drop, every Gnash of their Teeth, every Bite of the Worm will be a Death! O Death! How full of Stings! This Death will be a Death of Separation from God and Good: When Christ shall bid the wicked depart from him, then all presumptuous Thoughts, all fond Imaginations, all vain Hopes, all carnal Confidences, and all that ever they deceived themselves withal shall de­part from them; and under this Death they shall weep and roar for ever! Now if the Life everlasting with God in Hea­ven were no better than a Prisoners Life upon Earth, or of a Persecuted Prote­stant kept from Sleep, and tortured by Dragoons, the Devils black Regiments, [Page 148] and bare-fac'd Wolves; the Conside­ration of this fearful Death should make all Men that have any Consideration, de­sire and prefer the Son's Grace before the whole World. But when the Life that is entail'd upon Believers is a Son's Life in the Kingdom of God, an Heirs of Life, what desperate Folly and Madness is it for any to refuse him, or any thing enjoyned by him! Men have sold their Services, and hir'd themselves for Slaves; but who ever sold his Life, but Sinners, for no Hire?

3. But whatever others do, or what­ever becomes of others, do not you, to whom the Lord of Heaven and Earth doth make a gracious Tender of his only Son and Eternal Life; refuse not, nor de­lay to have the Son of God, for you pro­fess, and are engaged to have him. Your Baptismal Covenant binds you to go thorough with the Match you have put him on, Gal. 3.25, 26. O know him as he is, esteem as he deserves, joyn Hearts and Affections to him, renounce all Friendship with Sin and the World, and receive the Son to dwell in your Hearts, as Sovereign Lord and Master, and cleave to him to the end, and you shall have all [Page 149] that he is gone before to prepare for them that love him.

4. I know not how to make an end of perswading you, the business is so great and urgent: If there were any Compa­rison to be made between these two, of having Christ and Life, and not having him and Life, there might be something to be said for chusing the worst, before the best; but there being no compari­son between the one and the other, let me urge you, for the love of Jesus, and your own Souls, to have the Son of God. Many a Man may be such a Fool as to chuse the worst, and part with the best of it. Esau chose a Mess of Pottage be­fore his Birthright in his Extremity of Hunger and Impatience. Our first Pa­rents thought of bettering themselves by eating the forbidden Fruit. But, mark it, here is no colour for chusing. If the case were, If you have the Son of God, you shall have the best of Lives; but if you have not this Christ the Son of God, you may have another, tho not so great and good. But if you have not the Son, you can have no other Sa­viour; there is no pretence for refu­sing him. If the Case were, If you have [Page 150] the Son, you shall be justified, and all your Iniquities forgiven; you shall have the Life of a glorious King, a Saint in Heaven, and of perpetual and endless Communion with God in his Glory: But if you have him not, you shall live in­deed, tho more meanly; you shall live, tho barely and poorly, by the sweat of your Brows; you shall live, but be­tween Sickness and Health, Pain and Ease, Peace and Trouble; sometimes you shall be well, but for the most part ill; you shall have no better a Life than Lot had in Sodom, or David in Meseck; some such Life as Sinners have upon Earth you shall have, but the Life of Heaven you shall not have, nor the Life of Faith, nor the Life of Joy and Hope. But now this is the case, If you have not the Son you have not Life, no better Life than the Life of the damned in Hell. What madness of Unbelief is this! Here is no comparison, but direct oppo­sition, and the greatest Contrariety of Good and Evil. Many a Man and Wo­man do chuse the worse for an Husband or Wife. But what a Self-hater is that Man or Woman that would have none of an Abraham, or a Sarah, or any other [Page 151] great and blessed Man or Woman, and have a cursed Branch of some cursed Stock; yea, to lead ones Life with a very Devil. Apply this Consideration, and then you will find worse than the worst Comparison you can make. No Son of God, no Life, not one good Day, or Moment of a Day to Eternity. O that you would hold your Thoughts to some such Illustrations of the greatest Loss, where there is not the least Ad­vantage, the greatest Loss of the great­est Good, to fall into the greatest Mi­sery.

5. You cannot separate either of these things from the other, both go together. You cannot refuse Christ the Son of God, and yet have Life; and you can­not separate the not having Life from the not having Christ. Christ will make any Soul happy in the highest degree that hath him. But if there were no better a Life to be had with Christ, than Christ with Banishment, Persecution, with with a Cross, yea, many Crosses in this Life; to live as the Apostles did, some­times in Bonds, Prisons, Stocks; how in­finitely is that to be preferred before all other Lovers! The excellent Properties [Page 152] of a Person in Marriage, will make a Wife follow him through the World. The Perfections of the Son of God make him most desirable with all Afflictions and Sufferings. But what! when you have Christ, you have a blessed Life now, and a glorious one hereafter! But you cannot have the Glory without Christ: yea now, if you consider the Life of Glo­ry, you should have Christ, tho he were but like a curs'd Husband. (O ponder the Comparison and Supposal, it is but to il­lustrate the Point!) As many a Woman marries a Crab-stick for a great Estate and ample living; fat Sorrow is digested, the Sorrow is swallow'd, because it is fat. But Oh! there is nothing but Sor­rows and Wo attends them who have him not; nothing to shew, be it never so little, that is good, and abides with them; nothing but what will make them as ill at ease in their Minds as their Bo­dies in Flames of Fire. O! then before I leave you, let me in the Name of Christ, on hi [...] Behalf, and for your dearest Life sake, beg you to be prevail'd, and won this day over to Jesus Christ.

6. Consider one thing more, whose Work it is to make you averse from Je­sus [Page 153] Christ. Oh! the wonderful power of the Devil upon the corrupt Natures of Men! The Devil himself never had the Impudence to bely or slander the Son of God with his own lying Tongue: The Father of Lies did never forge an ill word to the Dishonour of the Lord of Glory: nay, he spake to his Honour, and yet he works, by means of the World, upon the sinfulness of Man, to dishonour him, to belie him: We remember this Deceiver said; Men spake what the Devil durst not, yet he was that lying Spirit from whom they speak; he filled the Heart of Judas to betray him, and the Hearts of all others with Prejudices against the em­bracing of him; he crams them with the Chaff of worldly things, (they (tho now gilded, laid over with various Co­lours, and strewd with Spice) will prove no better) that feeding them to the full, they may lie under the Wo to them that are full, Luke 6. that there may be no room for the Son of God in your Thoughts and Affections. It is he that keeps all he can possibly prevail upon, not to have the Son of God; for Satan must out when the Son of God comes in: Therefore knowing the design of the [Page 154] Devil, be not such Enemies to Christ and your own precious Life, and such Instru­ments of the Devil against Christ and your own Souls, as to lose Life, and lie un­der eternal Death through his Temptati­ons and prevailing Power. It will be more tolerable in Hell for Devils, than for any of you, if you die in Unbelief; for Christ died not to save them, nor was he ever offer'd to them as he is to you. Will you chuse Sin and Death, rather than Christ and the Life of Pardon, Grace and Glory, because the Devil would have you do so? What Evil have you heard of the Son of God, that rather than have him you would be tied to a stake, yea, drag­ged in pieces, yea, lose Life rather than have it, if you must have him for it! Oh! the Prejudices, Strangeness and En­mity of the World against Christ, and his ways of Salvation! But will you live and die without a Saviour? And walk in that Faction of Men against God, which hath the Devil in the Head of them? You should turn out of all the Paths of the Devil, for he brought in Sin, and Death by Sin into the World. If you come to Christ, and have him with his Merits and Benefits, with his Fathers Love and [Page 155] Spirits, Grace and Comfort, you shall have a Chri­stian's Life in Heaven; but if not, you must take what Follows, the Life of a Sinner, which is a Slave's Life upon Earth, and a Devil's Life in Hell.

Precious and Beloved Soul! whoever seriously reads, and is moved with any of these things, take these Advices and Directions following; and the Lord give you a Heart to follow them. 1. Do not carelesly lay by the Book, and the Thoughts of what is written together. If one Eye be opened to see somewhat of your Case, close it not up to sleep upon it, but open both to see the true state of your Soul, as to Life and Death. If you are prickt in the Heart, receive more Pricks, and fear not to be wounded for sin; for Christ can heal thee, and give thee Life.

2. Do not receive the Word upon my Credit, and do not reject it for any Prejudice against me, but go to the Word of God it self: Read the Text, and recieve it, as it is the Word of God, for so it becomes effectual, 1 Thess. 2.13.

3. Dread a slight Work upon thy Heart. The Son of God finished his Work, and left nothing undone that was to be done. It lay heavy upon him, yet he did it, till all was finished. Be faithful to thine own Soul, to thine own Life, in working out thine own Salvation with fear and trembling, with a wise care and diligence, fearing to fail and miscarry. And when you are heartily and seri­ously engaged to work out your Salvation, Take these Directions.

1. Study well, with reading, hearing, praying, the Word of Grace and Salvation. As you shall pass from Death to Life in your Justification, so you must have a new Principle of Life, and be changed from Death to Life in Regeneration and Sanctification. How was the Apostle changed? [Page 156] The Law of the Spirit of Life, which is in Christ Jesus, Christ hath made me free from the Law of sin and death, Rom. 8.2. The Gospel is the Mini­stration of Life, 2 Cor. 3.6. and by it we are changed, while we behold the Glory of the Lord, (the Son Je­sus Christ) with open face as in a glass, v. 18.

2. As you are dead, and can never be saved but by Christ the Saviour, so you can never be quick­ned, nor believe, nor have Christ but by the Holy Spirit; We are changed from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. 3.18. It is the re­al effectual Work of the Spirit of the Lord, and it is so done, as to demonstrate the Finger of God to be in it.

3. Rest not in outward Performances and Acts of Devotion, but wait upon God in all his Ordi­nances, as appointed means for Salvation. Pray for the Spirit of the Lord, to work in you a sincere Separation from sin, Satan, and Self, and to im­plant you in Jesus Christ, to work your Hearts to believe, and joyn you to him in love, that you may have him for all those kinds of Life that have been spoken of.

4. Rest not in Wishes that you had Christ, but by humble Applications, with great earnestness of Soul, by the quickning Assistance of the Holy Spirit come to Jesus Christ himself, for Himself and Life. You must have Christ himself, therefore come to him directly, and see that no overloved Creature or Sin whatever lie in the Heart, like a Stone be­tween the Grass and the Tree, to hinder a closure. Idols and Harlots must be shaken off, or there will be no Marriage-Union between the Son and you. And now the God of all Grace supply what I am wanting in, and give Life with his Son, to whom be Glory for ever.

A Narrative of the Occasion of Preaching and Printing this Discourse, and of the Behaviour of those two condemned Cri­minals from their Condemnation to their Death; submitted to the charitable Judg­ment of Pious Readers.

THE last day of the Assizes at Even, which or­dinarily was in Lent, but then put off, I re­ceived a Message at my House, to desire me to vi­sit a Woman, (a meer Stranger to me, as was her Father also) condemned for the Murder of a Child. Next Morning I waited on the Lord Chief Justice Pollixfen on the Road towards Rutland, being but two Mile from my House, to desire the favour of a Reprieve for some convenient Time, for me to use my endeavours with her. His Lordship told me he had reprieved her, not being satisfied in the Proof that the Child was born alive. He en­tertained me with very Divine Discourse, and pro­per for me and the Woman, and obliged me to give him an account of her, at his return from the Circuit, that if there were good hopes of her leading a Life answerable to Repentance, he might procure her Pardon; and his last Words to me de­serve my remembrance, Pray Sir, do it sincerely. Her Name was put into the Pardon by his Lord­ship, and expected to come the next Assizes; but came not then as was expected. The next Assizes I waited upon his Lordship, and staying there, giving what Assistance I could to the most afflicted [Page 158] good Father of the Woman; Mr. Samuel Dudley my kind Friend, came to me, and told me, He was shortly to come and settle in Town, and was resolved to make it his business to visit the Prison­ers; and desired my Assistance, which I promised when desired, and had opportunity. The After­noon after the Woman was ordered to be Execu­ted, being condemned two years before, and the Man received his Sentence, Mr. D. sent for me into the Prison, where he was performing his Vi­sit to these poor condemned Criminals. After we had privately discoursed them as fully as time would give us leave, the Honoured Thomas Catesby Esq; the High Sheriff, was desired to give us leave to preach to them before Execution, which was readily granted, with Thanks for our willingness to take pains with them: They had but about a Week to live; we agreed, That one of us should preach the Wednesday following, and the other the Friday. Mr. D. preached the Wed­nesday, after I had been in private with the Pri­soners, clearing some necessary things to them for their Profit; as we had good reason to hope they were not unprofitable Hearers, after hearing that Sermon. When I came about the time appointed on Friday, I did not a little wonder to see so ma­ny stand in the Street before the Prison-Gate, and a Crowd within, and the Room in which I did in­tend to preach, as my Brother had done, so full that there was no getting in. As soon as I came within the Gate, the Mistress of the House, in her Husbands Absence, desired me, (shewing a great Concern in her Speech [...] Countenance) that I would preach in the Se [...] house, for the Crowd was too great for the [...] I foreseeing what Offence some would [...] that new thing, and how I should be censu [...] [...] offered to preach [Page 159] in the Prison-yard, or in any other convenient. place. The Officers of the House press'd me to preach in the Sessions-House, for the Debtors stood in need of, and would be glad of a Sermon as well as others, and they could easily and safely bring all of them into the Bar, (there being a Vault to convey the Prisoners from the Prison to the Bar up a Trap-door.) Being overcome by their Rea­sons and Earnestness, I consented to that which was most convenient, and safe for the House, the Auditory, and for me, tho it was a large place. And to this day I know not how otherwise to have done so well; nor had I any ways to avoid it, ei­ther by refusing to preach, because the Assembly was so great, or desiring them to depart and go about other business. If either of these had been suggested to me at that time, I hope I should have rejected the Temptation. I foresaw not the Au­ditory, nor desired the place. It was not my Zeal nor my Vain-glory that led me to the first occasi­on of visiting, nor to this of preaching. And this may satisfie my Friends, and those others, that they did wisely forbear to give us trouble for this Ser­vice, for which we had Authority sufficient to have born us out. The Reasons for Printing this plain Sermon enlarged, are not to vindicate my self, nor condemn others, but purely for the Ex­cellency of the Subject, the very Sum of the Go­spel, and pertinency to all, praying that God would pardon its Defects, and make it profitable to many more than those that heard it, several of whom desired a Copy of it, and I could not deny their Request; and some of my Fellow-labourers and Brethren, hearing what the Subject was, have perswaded me to print it. But the prevailing Rea­son is taken from God's Glory alone, and desire of saving Souls. I have nothing to say to any parti­cular [Page 160] Man; But why so angry? Why so trouble­som to themselves? What Evil had I, or my Fel­low-Servant done? Know ye not yet what Spirit ye are of? I should be glad if this Evil Spirit were cast out for its own sake. I was very much taken with a Story I read of Mr. John White, a very Judi­cious Divine. He liv'd a while in a House that was haunted; his Maid-Servant complained much of the trouble in the House. He chid her for go­ing near the haunted Chambers, and bad her keep within the compass of her own business. One Night the Spectre, after Mr. White was laid down in his Bed, came to his Beds Feet, opened the Cur­tains, and looked upon him; to which the fearless Minister said, If thou hast nothing else to do, stand there, and I will go to sleep. Was ever poor Ghost more blew'd? So I would say to this restless Spirit, If thou wilt not go to rest, and hast nothing else to do, I am resolv'd to do my Masters Work as well as I can, when call'd unto it, and not be scared or frighted from it by thee. I trust that he who was a Shield to me from Dangers in Evil Times, will do as much for me in better times. He who walk­eth uprightly, walketh surely. And so good Night.

Judge charitably of the Success of our Endea­vours, which in short, was as followeth. And first of the Woman. We might have looked for better Fruit from a Branch of that Stock from which she sprang, had her Parents lived to have seen her past the years of dangerous and foolish Youth. Her Parents left her young, with other Children, and her Friends gave 60. l. with her to a Trade in the Exchange. There the old Deceiver and Murderer would soon find her out, and draw out her Incli­nations to suitable Actions, and bring her such Confidents and Acquaintance as could serve [Page 161] his Designs upon her. When she came to set up she came into the Country, and followed the Calling of a Milliner, travelling with Horses. Her Hus­band went about as a Bedder; he had married and buried a Sister of a Family, that for Estate might live reputably at home, but delighted in the rambling course of Gipsies; and this Man had learn'd the Cant, and followed that kind of Life with his Relations. Some of her Friends betrayed her to this Marriage, as she said, and others were against it; and she and her Family were so well known, that they were constrained to go a great way before they could be married. Because of this Marriage, and meeting sometimes with the Gipsies in their Travels, and being present when (as she constantly affirmed to her Death) the Gipsie, her Husband's Brother-in-law, kill'd the Inn-keeper, she was counted one of that Crew; but she con­stantly affirmed that she understood not their Cant, nor their way of living and could never endure that her Husband should have any Famili­arity with them. She had a ready Wit and Speech, a great stout Spirit, but too little knowledge; she was more apprehensive than the poor Fellow was, but came short of a preparedness to die. After that we had opened the Nature and Desert of Sin in general, we came to those particular Sins for which they were condemned; and when I aggra­vated their Sins, from the Ignominy of the Punish­ment, that such Offenders were thought unfit to live among Men; she stomach'd the Expression, and cried bitterly, through Pride, and the sense of the dishonour of the Death she was condemned to; and slew out in angry Expressions at her Pro­secutors. We gave way to her Passion, and made as good use of it as we could for her Consideration of the shamefulness of sin, and a far worse End to [Page 162] come without Repentance. I laboured to convince her of the Truth of what I had said, and went on to other things. She confessed freely, she had been a great Sinner, but not guilty of several sins which she named, nor of that for which she was to die; altho Mr. D. told her he was sent for while he left us, by some Persons of Quality upon the Grand Jury, who remembred the Evidence against her, and looked upon her as a very ill Woman; yet she persisted in the Denial of the Murder to the last, as I said before. We opened to her the ways whereby she might participate in the Guilt; but still she denied all, saving that she stood at a di­stance when her Husband's Brother-in-law stabb'd the Man; and when he had done the Fact, he told her Husband in their Cant, that he had kill'd the Man, and threw away the Knife. The next time I came, I found her very much humbled in Spirit, be­wailing that she had been a very great Sinner, and with many Tears and loud Cries for sin, she seem­ed glad that she should go out of a sinful World, in which she desired to live no longer. What? said Mr. D that you may sin no more? Yes, yes, that I may sin no more against a merciful God. The World, said she, was a sinful World. And how are you re­conciled to the manner of your Death, said I? Said she, I could bear it, I can suffer it, tho all the Friends I have in the World look'd on. I judg'd this to be a considerable degree of Humiliation, re­membring how high she was before. While Mr. D. was preparing to preach, I was preparing them for it, and did explain and enlarge upon some things which I was afraid they understood not; she ap­prehended me, and her Knowledge grew. I re­member I told her, That she should not think the way to obtain Pardon was to diminish her Sin, in Number, Nature, and Aggravation; and that [Page 163] Pardon extended even unto Blood, to all penitent Believers; that the Blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God cleanseth from all Sin, and therefore be­sought her to acknowledge her sin of Blood-guilti­ness. She received my Words with meekness and sense, but persisted as before. At Prayer and Ser­mon she behaved her self with Attention and Re­verence, and we hope it was not in vain; she promised to observe our Direction in our absence. Her Demeanour at my Sermon was very attentive, and with Signs of inward Affection. After we had done, Mr. D. desired them to remember what was preach'd, and to retire, and that we would come again to them that night. When we thought it most convenient, we repaired to them; there were several others in the Room well employed; but she was at Prayers at her Bed-side. Her Heart was so full, that she could not refrain from speak­ing out the Language of her own Heart, with good words and matter, Flames of Fervency, and then with Silence. When she rose up she thanked us for our Pains, and said, She blessed God, now she understood how it was, and must be with her. She understood her Case, and found her self wil­ling to die; and tho she had been a great Sinner, she hoped she should find Mercy: She now knew the way, she told us; she was not afraid to see her Coffin, which was brought into the Room. She desired to live no longer to sin in a sinful World. Next Morning we came betimes, and adjusted se­veral matters of Reckonings as Offences, that no­thing might be a stop in her way. She reproved some, and counselled others. She reproved an old Man for flouting at me when I was wont to vi­sit, There comes, or there goes your Soul-saver, which we took not well, but she spake well. While we were busie with the poor Fellow, she, the Room [Page 164] filling, fell on her Knees, to secret Prayer, and con­tinued a good space, taking no notice of any thing that might interrupt her. When the Officer came to unlock her Irons, she wept bitterly, and roar'd, sorrowing; and rejoycing at her end. I applied my self as pertinently as I could to that occasion, upon which she was very quiet and well compo­sed. After a preparatory Preface concerning Prayer, as the last Exercise of the Thief upon the Cross, one of us praid in the Prison. I told her I would attend her to the place, and bad her, if any Doubt or Fear should arise, that she should let me know it. She went along weeping, praying, confessing and counselling one that held her by the Arm. When once I turned from her to speak to the Fel­low, she turned quick and said, O Sir, do not leave me. When she came in sight of the Tree, she burst out into more Tears, and said, O yonder is the place, yonder is the place; but I am to suffer nothing for my Sins, in comparison of what my Saviour suffer­ed for me for my Sins; and was much upon that till we came to the place of her End. There one of us pray'd, and she went up the Ladder without Fear or Boldness; spake little; she desired them all to reverence and hearken to the Ministers of God; confessed she had been a great sinner; and being ask'd about the Murder, she denied it as before; she prayed a little while, and went off to Eternity.

The Fellow had disobediently ran away from his Master and Father, who knew not what was become of him. He gave himself to Thieving, and other Sins maintained by his Theft. He was arraigned the foregoing Assizes, and burnt in the Hand before my Lord Chief Justice Pollixfen, who shewed by his Countenance and Carriage an unwil­lingness to condemn him to die, but that he feared there was no hope of his amendment, that would [Page 165] not carry his Warning in his Hand so lately given him.

We found him grosly ignorant in the three Forms of Religion, the Lords Prayer, Ten Com­mandments and Creed; he could not repeat them without help: He was ripe in Sin, but slow to take in what was good. He had the same pains taken with him which the other had, if not more; for he stood in need of more. His Face was covered with shame, exceedingly dejected, and he was pe­nitent; something he spake of Pardon, of Sin, Re­pentance and Mercy, but understood nothing of Jesus Christ as Mediator, and Salvation by him, or Faith in him. We instructed him in those things, and had some weak Hopes concerning him; but we had cause to fear all would be lost the morning of his Dying Day. Then we instructed him in the knowledge of Christ, the Mercy and Grace of God in the Nature of Repentance, Confession of Sin, that his Repentance and Confession might be full, that God might be glorified, and others might be warned, and called from the Evil of their ways. We pressed him to detect his Compli­ces, and acknowledge the Injuries he had done, and to ask Pardon, who could not restore or compen­sate. Mr. D. told him, he was at Coventry when he and others had broken into several Houses, when they were going towards Ireland. Here all the signs of Ingenuity and Goodness fell flat, and went in again. An horrid sullen paleness and dul­ness of Spirit seized him. We told him, his De­tection would be no accusation of any, we should make no ill use of what he told us, to endanger any Man's Life; but if it lay in our Power, to warn them, and call them from the way of Death to Life, and break the Knot and Combination. We applied our selves to him with Mercy and Judg­ment; [Page 166] we told him of the danger of a partial Confession and Repentance, of the horridness of the Judgment of God, of the sinfulness of having and hiding Sin; and pleaded with him, by the Pa­tience and Mercy of God, by his Grace in affording him the means and helps God had granted him; how that notwithstanding what was done upon him, all would be to no purpose as to his Salvation, but would aggravate his Condemnation. Nothing would stir him, nor a Word come from him. At last I told him, 'twas Satan's Great Design to lock him up for his own, to harden him against Christ; and that we would have him know, and the Devil know, that we were the Ministers of Christ, and must declare his Word, and should leave him to the Judgment of the Great God. We told him, That whose confesseth and forsaketh his sin, shall find mercy; but he that hideth his sin shall not prosper. i. e. shall not be blessed or happy, but on the con­trary. We spared no Arguments or Pains to re­cover him out of the hands of the strong Man armed. There were some good People with us, who dealt with him to the same purpose: At last God was pleased to own us, and preserve us from a Foyl, and baffle off the Devils; and so he told us, He believed none of his Confederates were living, however he knew of none. And then we went on again: His Heart was melted, his Tears re­turned, his Ears were opened to further Instructi­on. As he went along to the place of Execution, he sighed, mourned, wept, groan'd, that I never heard the like. Oh! how did he complain of his hard and obstinate Heart! Oh this hard Heart! O mercy, mercy! Oh sweet Jesus have mercy up­on me! When he came in sight of the Tree, Oh! there is the place I am going to! Oh! my sins have brought me to it! Oh! my stealing, my drinking, [Page 167] my swearing, my whoring, my Sabbath-breaking, my gaming. I turned to him and said, And your stealing was to maintain your other sins. Oh! Ay, ay. Oh, my hard and obstinate Heart! Oh sweet Jesus, have mercy upon me! Oh Father, have mercy upon me! Oh, pardon my sins! And thus he continued from the Prison to the place of Exe­cution, which is, I suppose, a good Mile or more. He said little upon the Ladder, but desired all pre­sent to take Example. He died very soon after he was turned off, so that I believe his Heart was al­most broken with Grief before the last stroke of Death.

This is a plain and true Account of both these Persons, as to the matter, and as to the very Words that are most remarkable. I have but few Remarks upon them, 1. They who are not at all ashamed of the most shameful sins, think the Punishment de­served a great shame to themselves and Kindred. 2. It is a good sign when persons are more grieved for their sins, than ashamed of the Punishment. 3. The Devil will hold out to the last, and baffle Mi­nisters if he can; but we must not suffer it, but resist him with those Weapons that are mighty through God. 4. What Honourable, Reverent, Sweet Words will poor Souls, that have been igno­rant Despisers of Christ, give him, when they come to see their need of him. Grace and Mercy to e­very Reader of what is written.

Three useful Books written by Mr. Edward Pearse, viz.

  • The Best Match, or the Souls Espousal to Christ.
  • A Serious Warning to a lively and thorough Pre­paration for Death.
  • A Treatise of God's Unchangableness.

Books lately Printed.

A Discourse of Sickness and Recovery. By T. Rogers, M. A.

A Treatise of Closet-Prayer, by Mr. Slater.

Hearts Ease in Heart Trouble: A Book useful for those that are in Affliction. By J.B.

An Abridgment of the Holy History. By S. Clark, Author of the Annotations on the Bible lately Pub­lished.

Sold by J. Robinson at the Golden Lion in St. Paul's Church-yard.

FINIS.

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