The Great DOCTRINES OF THE Gospel of Christ, Owned, Believed and Asserted In several DECLARATIONS OR Sermons Preached in London, by Sundry Servants of Christ of the Society of Christian Quakers.

London, Printed for Nath. Crouch, at the Bell in the Poultry, near Cheap-side. 1694.

A SERMON Preached by Thomas Budd At Devonshirehouse, London, June 17th 1694.

1 Tim. 3.16.‘And, without Controversie, great is the Mystery of Godliness: God was mani­fest in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believ­ed on in the World, received up into Glory.’

A Great and Glorious Mystery in­deed-it is, beyond what Man can conceive or apprehend; God mani­fest in the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; For in the fulness of Time the Word took Flesh: The Word became Flesh, The Word took Flesh in the Womb of the [Page] Virgin; being over-shadowed by the Holy Ghost, she conceived with Child, and in the appointed Time of the Father she brought forth her First-born into the World, and ac­cording as the Angel directed, his Name was called Jesus, for he shall save his People from their Sins; And it is said, This Child increa­sed in Wisdom, and Stature, and in Favour with God and Man. When he was Twelve Years old he disputed with the Doctors in the Temple; in the Temple at Jerusalem: He disputed wisely, and they greatly admired his Wisdom; and when the Time was come that he was to shew himself to Israel, and to do the Work that was appointed him of the Father, He came to John to be Baptized of him in Jordan; but John forbad him, saying, I have need to be Baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becom­eth us to fulfil all Righteousness: Then he suf­fered him. And Jesus, when he was Baptized, went up streightway out of the Water, and lo the Heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a Dove, and lighting upon him; and lo a Voice from Hea­ven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And having received the Holy Ghost, and be­ing fitted for the Work which he was after­wards to accomplish, He was led up of the Spirit into the Wilderness to be tempted of the Devil; and when he had fasted Forty Days and Forty Nights, he was afterward an hungred: [Page] And when the Tempter came to him he sai [...] If thou be the Son of God, command that these Stones be made Bread: But Christ resisted the Temptation, and told the Devil, That Man doth not live by Bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth cut of the Mouth of God. And then the Devil not prevailing by this Tempta­tion, He taketh him up into the Holy City, and setteth him on a Pinacle of the Temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thy self down; for it is written, He shall give his Angels charge concerning thee, and in their Hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any Time thou dash thy Foot against a Stone. And he overcame the Devil in this Temptation also, and said unto him; It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And the De­vil taketh him up into an exceeding high Moun­tain, and sheweth him all the Kingdoms of the World, and the Glory of them, and said; All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus unto him, Get thee behind me Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Here was a great Temptation indeed; how apt are these things to prevail over Mankind? The love of Riches, Honours and Pleasures of the World; but these could not prevail over our blessed Saviour, who was the Holy One of God: Therefore we that profess to be his Followers should tread in his Steps and fol­low his Example. How can we be his Di­sciples, except we deny our selves and take up [Page] his Cross and follow him, who is the Captain of our Salvation? Who is our High Priest; who is ascended into Heaven and entred into the holiest of all, made without Hands? As the High Priest under the Law, he entred into the Holy Place, made with Hands, not without Blood, which he offered for himself and the Sins of the People: But Christ being become an High Priest of good Things to come, neither by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own Blood he entred in once into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal Redemption for us.

Christ is not entred into the Holy Places made with Hands (saith the Apostle) which are the Figures of the true, but into Heaven it self, now to appear in the Presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high Priest entred into the Holy Place eve­ry Year, with the Blood of others; for then must he often have suffered, since the Foundation of the World; but now once, in the End of the World, hath he appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself, Heb. 9.24. And he is able also to save them to the utmost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make Intercession for them.

And God the Father hath regard to the prevailing Intercession of his Son; him he heareth always, and if we pray in Faith and in the Name of Christ, our Prayers shall en­ter into the Ears of the Father; as the Father heareth the Son always, so he heareth those that believe in him and pray in his Name; [Page 7] they are sure to receive the Spirit of Adopti­on, whereby they cry Abba, Father: There­fore, ask in his Name and receive, that your Joy may be full; you shall receive fulness of Joy, that will give Satisfaction to your Souls, and you shall receive a double Portion of the Divine Spirit, and come with a filial Confi­dence and humble Boldness to the Throne of Grace, and obtain Mercy and find Grace to help in the Time of Need. God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life, John 3.16.

They that receive the Dear and Well-be­loved Son of God, receive him as God's Gift; and they that believe in him, believe in both his inward and outward Appearance: Ye be­lieve in God (saith our Saviour to his Disci­ciples) believe also in me, John 14.1.

So that it is not enough to believe in Christ's Inward Appearance, and to look only to the Spiritual Appearance and Operation of the Divine Word of Truth within us, but we must look unto Jesus, that is the Dispencer of Life and the giver of his Holy Spirit to them that ask him; Look unto me▪ and be ye saved all the Ends of the Earth. We must look un­to him that is the Giver of Grace and the Dispencer of Life and Salvation, as the Au­thor and Fountain of it. We must believe in Christ, the Eternal Word, that came down from Heaven, that took Flesh and dwelt among us; that came in the likeness of sinful Flesh, and for Sin condemned Sin in the Flesh. We must [Page] believe in him as the true Light, that light­eth every Man which cometh into the World.

There is a Sufficiency in this Light, which is the Light of Life and the Arm of God's Salvation: But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise; say not in thy Heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven (that is, to bring down Christ from above) or who shall descend into the Deep (that is, to bring up Christ again from the Dead) But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth and in thy Heart (saith the Apostle) That is the Word of Faith which we preach, that we might hear it and obey it. And, if thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine Heart that God hath rai­sed him from the Dead, thou shalt be sa­ved.

Here is the Means of Salvation, the pow­erful Working of Faith in thy Heart, and that is the Light within, the Spirit within; It is the Power and Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, that worketh this Living Faith in thy Heart. This Faith in Christ Crucified when thou shalt be assured of Eternal Life in him, of Eternal Salvation by him. This Work of Faith with Power is wrought by Christ in all that believe on his Name: He is the Dispen­ser of it: This is the Word of Faith which we preach; if thou shalt confess Christ with thy Mouth and believe in thy Heart that God raised Christ from the Dead, who died for our Sjns and rose again for our Justification, [Page 9] and ascended into Heaven and sitteth at th [...] Right-Hand of God, and liveth for ever to make Intercession for us.

By this Living Faith in the Lord Jesus, which worketh by Love, which constraineth thee to live to him that died for thee, thou shalt escape the Wrath to come and obtain Eternal Salvation; by means of this Living Justifying Faith thou maist receive the Spirit of Adoption, and call God Father. Christ Jesus is become now thy High Priest and El­der Brother, and thou maist walk by Faith, in the narrow way that leads to Eternal Life. And if thou hast received Christ Jesus the Lord, then walk in him, and follow his Ex­ample, who was Holy, Harmless and Unde­filed, and separate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens by Faith in Christ; thou shalt overcome the world, and obtain Victory over thy Sins and Lusts: And if we be once united to Christ by a Living Faith, he will be a Light and a Leader to us, and as a Pillar of a Cloud by Day and a Pillar of Fire by Night, as he was to the Israelites, when he conducted them out of the Land of Egypt, through the Red Sea and the Wilder­ness, and brought them safe into the Land of of Canaan; a Land flowing with Milk and Hony.

O the Showers of Mercy that come from this Heavenly Cloud and fall down upon the believing Soul. Who can declare the Show­ers of heavenly Joy and Consolation that are poured down upon those that are Childre [...] [Page 10] of Light? that walk in the Light and have the Light of God's Countenance lifted up upon them?

O thou poor distressed, sorrowful Soul that art clouded and at a distance from the Lord! that art cast down and disquieted, having all thy Sins set in order before thee; thou art greatly afflicted and almost overwhelmed with Grief, when thou remembrest how thou hast transgressed the righteous Law of God, and sinned against the tender Love and Compassi­on of thy Heavenly Father, that waiteth to be gracious; rely upon his Grace and Mer­cy, and pardoning Love, and he will subdue thy Lusts and Corruptions, and speak Peace unto thy disconsolate Soul.

If he appear unto thee as unto his Servant Moses, in a Flame of Fire, out of the midst of a Bush, when the Bush burned with Fire and was not consumed. If God appear ter­rible to thee, as a Flame of Fire, it is not to consume thee, but to burn up and destroy thy Sins and Lusts, which would destroy thy Soul. When he appears as a consuming Fire, he will purifie and refine thee from thy Dross, and only burn up the combustible Matter in thee. And when he appears as a Cloud to thee, thou shalt feel Divine Showers of Joy and Refreshment to thy Soul, which will make thee as a watered Garden to be green and flourishing.

Here is the Baptism of the Cloud, of which the Apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 10.1. Moreover, Brethen, I would not that ye should [Page] be ignorant how that all our Fathers were under the Cloud, and all passed through the Sea, [...]nd were all baptized unto Moses in the Cloud and in the Sea: When the Lord shall suddenly come into his Temple (saith the Prophet Malachy) even the Messenger of the Covenant, who may abide the Day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a Refi­ners Fire, and like Fullers Soap, and he shall sit as a Refiner, and Purifier of Silver. Here is a Refiner and Purifier indeed: When he hath refined thee with Fire, he will then water thee, and cleanse thee, and make the Cloud thou art under drop down divine Dews of Refreshing upon thy disconsolate Soul, and he will lead thee in the way as he did Israel of old by the Pillar of Fire and of a Cloud both by Day and by Night; so he will shine into thy Mind by the Light of his Dear Son.

When the Children of Israel were march­ing out of Egypt they were in a great strait; Pharoah▪ and his Host pursued after them, to destroy them, they saw no way to escape, they must unavoidably go into the Sea, or fall into their Enemies H [...]nds: Then the Lord appeared to deliver them by a mighty Arm of Power; when the Egyptians pursued after them all the Horses and Chariots of Pharaoh, and his Horsmen and his Army, and overtook them encamping by the Sea. And when Pha­raoh drew nigh, the Children of Israel lift up their Eyes, and behold the Egyptians marched after them, and they were sore afrai [...], and [Page 12] cryed out unto the Lord; and they said unto Moses, Because there were no Graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the Wilder­ness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us out of Egypt? And Moses said unto the People, fear ye not, stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you this Day; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to Day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

So when thy Soul is brought into great Straits, then stand still in a pure Resignation to the will of God, and he will deliver thy Soul: wait upon him and be resigned up to him, and he will work Deliverance for thee from Time to Time, when thou art in great Straits and Troubles, and afflicted, and di­stressed, and seest nothing but a Sea of Trou­ble before thee, that thou must pass through, thy Faith fails, and thou art ready to sink into this troubled Sea, which doth with its proud waves threaten to overwhelm thee, walk upon this Sea and fear not sinking; thou fearest thou shalt not overcome the Try­al and Temptations that are before thee; be not discouraged with any Danger, but stand still and thou shalt see the Salvation of God, and he will deliver thee out of all thy Trou­bles and Afflictions, and lead thee safely through this raging troubled Sea as on dry Land: Therefore mind thy Divine Guide, look to the Divine Light, and the Arm of God's Power; the Spirit of God will conduct thee by his Divine Influences; and though [Page] the way be difficult and dangerous, he wil [...] carry thee through; trust in the Mighty Arm of the Lord and in his Divine power and aid, and he will lead thee through all troubles that attend thee in thy way to the Heavenly Ca­naan; If so be thou dost return to Egypt's Land in thy Mind, in thy desires and affec­tions, then thou wilt be overcome by the Adversary, and be made to serve the King of Egypt again.

Therefore let me intreat thee to resign thy Heart and Soul to the Lord, and go forward; And the Lord said unto Moses wherefore cryest thou unto me? Speak unto the Children of Israel that they go forward; therefore my Advice Friends is that you go forward; let us go Hand in Hand, let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, for he is good and gracious who will teach us of his ways and enable us to walk in his Paths: It is said that Moses stretched out his Hand over the Sea, and the Lord caused the Sea to go back by a strong East Wind all that night, and made the Sea dry Land, and the Waters were divided, and the Children of Israel went into the midst of the Sea upon the dry Ground, and the Waters were a Wall unto them on their right Hand and on their left, and the Egyptians pursued and went in after them. And it came to pass that in the Morning-watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the Pillar of Fire and of the Cloud, and trou­bled the Host of the Egyptians, and took off their Charriot Wheels, that they drove them heavily, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the [Page] midst of the Sea, and the Waters returned and covered the Charriots and the Horsemen and all the Host of Pharaoh that came into the Sea, and there remained not so much as one of them.

Now consider with thy self, although thou hadst powerful Sins and Lusts that did beset thy Soul, they have been destroyed in the Sea of Gods Judgments, and the Lord hath given thee a Feast of Joy and Consolation to thy Soul, and thou canst tell unto thy Neighbours what great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath made thee Witness of, and thou canst now sing both of Mercy and Judg­ment; And say, Come all you that fear the Lord and I will tell you what he hath done for my Soul: Here is a living experience. O thou canst speak experimentally; thou needst not boast in another Mans Line, and of things made ready to thy Hand, thou speakest and declarest things thou hast found true and ex­perimentally known. When thou feelest it thus with thee, be not secure after thy ma­ny deliverances the Lord hath wrought for thee of one kind and another; do not think that thou art come to the end of thy Journey, or that thou shalt never meet with trouble again but always feel these sweet Consola­tions.

For after God had brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and by his Almighty Arm had saved them and destroyed their Enemies, he then brings them into the Wilderness to prove them and try them, and after all, to do them good; in [Page] the latter end, he brings them into strai [...] and necessities, they want Bread to eat and Water to drink,

Thus God deals with his Spiritual Israel in the same manner as he did with outward Is­rael which was a figure of the Spiritual Israel travelling to the Heavenly Canaan, as Israel was led to the Earthly Canaan a Land that flowed with Milk and Hony and abounded with all good things necessary for the nourish­ment and sustenance of Man, as Corn, Wine and Oil, this was for the outward Israel; so the Spiritual Israel is led into the Spiritual Canaan, a Land flowing with Milk and Ho­ny; there is the sincere Milk of the Word, and Hony out of the Rock to satisfy us; this Blessed Land is worth all our pains, Labour and Travel; therefore persevere and go on with patience and courage, and think not thou art come to the end of thy Journy, not­withstanding all thy inlargements in Duites, and sweet Enjoyments and strong Consola­tions of the Spirit thou hast been made par­taker of: God may bring thee into the Wil­derness, into mnay straits, afflictions and di­stresses, to prove thee, and try thee, and do thee good in thy latter end; thou maist be brought into the Wilderness as thy Master Christ was, and tryed to the utmost of thy strength.

Seeing it must be thus, be contented with the will of the Lord, though he should hide his Face and thou shouldst feel desertions and great distresses of Soul, insomuch as thy Soul [Page 16] should be as the dry and parched Ground where no water is, that is barren and brings forth no Fruit; and thou thinkest with thy self that the Lord is angry with thee, and de­lays his coming to thee, and thou art affraid thou hast done something that hath displeased the Lord, that he should so long hide his Face and not lift up the Light of his Coun­tenance upon thee. And this causeth great searchings of Heart, and makes thee cry out, what have I done? why is it thus? and why hath the Lord withdrawn himself, and why do I want those Comforts that some­times I have enjoyed? I am now in a starving VVilderness and barren Desart; O how shall I recieve again those sweet incomes of the love of God that sometimes I have enjoyed! I will put my self now upon strict performances and exact walking.

Thou thinkest by this means to obtain Divine comfort, and have the joy of thy Salvation (which thou hast in some measure lost) restored to thee, but alas all this will not do.

What must I d [...] under these sad Circum­stances? If Obedience will not do.

If thou shalt receive no comfort or refresh­ment because of the Lords withdrawing and hiding his Face, trust not to thy own Duties and Obedience, but rely upon Christ's Obe­dience, his compleat and perfect Obedience. Look unto Jesus who is thy Advocate with the Father, and Propitiation for thy Sins, and not for thine only, but for the sins of the [Page 17] whole World. 1 John 2.1. My little Child­ren (saith the Apostle John) these things I write unto you that ye sin not; and if any Man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, &c. Look, therefore unto Jesus; how shall I look unto him? Look unto him by Faith, believe that he is an Advocate, an Intercessor and Mediator, and a Propitiation for thy sins. This will give thee an entrance and admission into his Presence again, and thou wilt have the Springs of Life that were stopped, opened again, the Wells of Salvation opened, and thou wilt come to know Joy and Consolation again, and then thou wilt declare what God by this living Faith hath wrought for thee, when thou comest to know the over­coming of Unbelief.

If thou hast this living Faith, thou canst say to this corrupt Tree of Unbelief, that is grounded and rooted in thee, be thou plucked up, and it shall be so. If thou hast Faith as a Grain of Mustard-seed, a very small seed, thou shalt say to this Mountain, Be thou removed, and it shall be so; and to thi [...] Sicamore-tree, Be thou plucked up and planted in the midst of the Sea, and it shall be done.

O this living Faith, this Faith unfeigned, it works by Love and Charity, which the Apostle saith 1 Tim. 1.5. Is the end of the Commandment, out of a pure Heart and good Conscience. This pure divine Faith doth wit­ness the overcoming of Unbelief, and it is more precious than Gold that perishes, and will [Page 18] be found to Praise, Glory and Honour, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. This Faith will en­dure all Temptations, Tryals, Afflictions, Buffetings; O this pure living Faith that is wrought by God's powerful Word, and de­clared by the Light within, by the Arm of God's Salvation, it doth do the Work that is appointed for, it to do. The Hand cannot do any thing without the Body or the Head; no more will this Arm of God's Salvation within, work without the power of the Man Christ Jesus, that is the Giver of it, nor without his Death and Sufferings, but it is all-sufficient to save us with them, with his Death and Suffer­ings, Resurrection, Ascention, Mediation and Intercession.

Look not only to the Light within, but look unto Jesus the Dispenser of it. It pleased the Father, that in his blessed Son Jesus Christ should all fulness dwell; The fulness of the God­head dwells bodily in him; of his fulness we all received, and Grace for Grace.

A Brief DECLARATION OF Thomas Budd, AT The Close of a Meeting in Harp-lane, October 14th, 1694.

Rom. 10.6, 7, 8, 9, 10,‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above, or who shall descend into the deep (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead) But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart: That is, the word of Faith which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Je­sus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart Man be­lieveth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’

IT is not a bare litteral, traditional or histo­rical Faith or Knowledge of the Lord Je­sus Christ, that he was raised from the Dead, will save us; but we must know a living Faith [Page 20] wrought in our Hearts by the living Word [...] God, that Word that is nigh, that is in o [...] Hearts and in our Mouth; we must know th [...] operation of the living Word of God to wor [...] Faith in our Hearts, in the Man Christ Jesu [...] This Faith must be wrought in our Hearts b [...] the living Word, and by the Spirit of Chris [...] by the same Power that raised up Christ fro [...] the dead.

It is not a bare historical Faith or Knowledge, that will save us, but we must have living Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; we mu [...] believe in him that he died for our Sins, an [...] rose again for our Justification, and that he ascended into Heaven, and sate down at the righ [...] Hand of the Majesty on high, and that th [...] Heavens received him, and will retain him until the time of the restitution of all things according to the Testimony of the Angels a [...] his Ascension into Heaven. Act. 1.9, 10. It i [...] said, That while the Disciples beheld, he was take [...] up, and a Cloud received him out of their sight and while they looked stedfastly towards Heave [...] as he went up, behold two Men stood by them i [...] white Apparel, which also said, Ye Men of Ga­lilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven.

The Apostle saith, The Heavens have re­ceived him till the time of the Restitution of all things; he will come again and restore all things, and raise the dead to life. He will open the Graves and cause the Dead to come [Page 21] forth; then he will come to be glorified [...] his Saints, and to be admired in all [...]em that believe, in all them that [...]elieve the divine Promises, and that put [...]heir Trust in him: He will be glorified in all [...]hat believe in him and expect Salvation by [...]im. Then Believers shall be restored to their [...]rimitive State, and to a greater dignity and [...]lory than Adam enjoyed in Paradice, when [...]e was created in the Image of God: That [...]ost Image shall be restored again, when the Lord Jesus himself shall descend from Heaven with a Shout, and with the Voice of the Arch­ [...]ngel, and with the Trump of God, and the Dead in Christ shall rise first, they shall have [...]he preference: For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every Man in his own order; Christ the first Fruits, afterward [...]hey that are Christ's at his coming; then he will change our vile Body that it may be fashi­ [...]ned like unto his glorious Body, according to the Workings whereby he is able even to subdue all [...]hings unto himself, to the Bodies of the Saints.

A SERMON Preached by George Keith, At Devonshire-house, June 17. 1694.

Rom. 10.6, 7, 8,‘But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise: Say not in thine Heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ from above) Or, who shall descend into the Deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the Dead) But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth and in thy Heart: That is, the Word of Faith which we Preach.’

THE Apostle Paul, by the Wisdom given him of God, preached Salvation by Christ Jesus, both within us, and without us: This is the true Gospel of Salvation, the true Gos­pel-Doctrin which Christ Jesus himself preach­ed, and all the holy Prophets; Evangelists and [Page 23] Apostles; they preached Salvation by Jesus Christ, by the Knowledge of him, without dividing him. It is not our Principle to di­vide these, Christ within us and Christ with­out us, but to join them. I have fully preached, [...]saith the Apostle) the Gospel of Christ; Say not in thy Heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ from above.) But we may know his coming down spiritually, that we may witness and enjoy a further mea­sure of him, and of his spiritual and heavenly Presence, and wait for his coming to us. O, saith David, when shall thy Word come unto me? How sweet are thy Words unto my taste, yea, sweeter than Hony to my Mouth. He waited that the Word of God might come unto him: Send forth thy Light and thy Truth, send it forth from thy Zion, from above, from thy ho­ly Hill, from thy Dwelling-place above in Heaven; Send forth thy Light and thy Truth, that it may guide me to thy holy Habitation, thy holy Hill of Zion: He waited more and more for it.

These Words were first of all spoken by Moses, Deut. 11.12. For this Commandment which I command thee this Day, it is not hid­den from thee, neither is it afar of: It is not in Heaven, that thou should say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the Sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the Sea for us and bring it unto us? That we may hear it and do it: But the Word is ve­ry nigh unto thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart, that thou maist do it.

This is the Word of Faith, the Word of Life and Reconciliation, the powerful Word of God that is within; as a Hammer and a Sword, and as Fire, it breaks and melts the Heart, and is helpful to every good Thing: The Tribes of Israel had it; This Word which I command thee this Day: This Word of Righteousness and Salvation every Man and Woman hath it in all Ages and Generations; blessed be the Lord, it is more abundantly re­vealed now than in former Ages and Genera­tions; yet Moses saith, This Commandment which I command you, it is not hid from you; But this Mystery of Christ was hid from Ages and Generations. It is said to be hid because it was not so plentifully revealed as in latter Ages, yet it was not so hid always but some­thing of it was known in darkest Times. Moses might well say to the Children of Israel, It is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off: It is not in Heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven (that is to say, to bring down Christ from above) to bring him down to appear in a Body of Flesh; he was not then come in the Flesh, yet was expected in many Ages. Moses and all the Holy Prophets, and Holy Men of God, they were contented with a Spiritual Sight of him; they waited and prayed for his Coming; yet he was not manifested in the Flesh in their Days and Generation, they died in the Faith, that Christ should come into the World in the fulness of Time; and they obtained Remissi­on of Sins for hi [...] sake, Who hath redeemed us [Page 25] from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us, and died the accursed Death of the Cross, that our Sins might be forgiven, and that the Blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gen­tiles, through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit through Faith.

Before the coming of Christ, God's Israel of old offered Sacrifices of Rams, Bullocks and Goats; not that they believed there was any Vertue in the Blood of those Sacrifices to take away Sin, but this was a Testimony of their Thankfulness to God: And so likewise it helped their Faith, as a Symbol, to preach Christ to them and their Posterity, That in the fulness of Time Christ should descend from Heaven and take a Body of Flesh, Gal. 4.4. The Apostle tells us, But when the fulness of Time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a Woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might re­ceive the Adoption of Sons. Rom. 8.3. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus [...]th made us free from the Law of Sin and D [...]th, for what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the Flesh, God sending his own Son, in the lik [...]nes [...] of sinful Flesh, and for Sin condemned Sin in the Flesh t [...]t th [...] [...]ighteous­ness of the Law might be ful [...] in us, who walk not after the Flesh but after the Spirit. Christ was a Sacrifice for Sin; he came to finish Transgression and make an end of Sin, and bring in everlasting Righteousness.

Now it was in the fulness of Time tha [...] Christ should descend from Heaven and com [...] in the Form of a Servant, and die for ou [...] Sins and rise again for our Justification. Be­fore Christ died and rose again from the Dead this Prophecy of Moses was not fulfilled. Who shall go up for us to Heaven and bring down Christ to us, or who shall go over the Sea for us and bring it to us before Christ di­ed and rose again from the Dead. He wen [...] over Lakes and Seas. Here is a Prophecy given forth by the Spirit of God in Moses hi [...] Time, and now fulfilled. Christ went abou [...] doing good: He went about by Land an [...] by Sea, to do good unto People: Sometimes he preached aboard a little Ship, and sometimes on the Land. He travelled both by Sea and Land, and went about doing good, and heale [...] all manner of Diseases; for God was with him: And that was the Time and Age of which Moses gave forth this Prophecy, That Christ should die and rise again from the Dead, and go over the Seas. And the Apostle Paul was guided by the same Spirit when he wrote these Words, Rom. 10.6, 7. Say not in thy Heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven (that is to bring down Christ from above) or who sha [...] descend into the Deep (that is, to bring up Chris [...] again from the Dead) the Word is nigh thee even in thy Mouth and in thine Heart; tha [...] is the Word of Faith which we preach.

This was declared and fulfilled in the Apo­stles Days; Christ had descended into the lower parts of the Earth, died and rose again [Page 27] and was ascended into Heaven: This is the Word of Faith that we Preach.

I shall insist further upon this (God willing) if I have an Opportunity renewed to me: If you have a right Faith and Belief that Christ died for you, you will believe it was for us, and not for himself he suffered the Death of the Cross; he was cut off for our Sins, not for his own; he shed his precious Blood for our Sins, not for his own; he offered not a Sa­crifice as other Priests did, first for his own Sins and then for the Sins of the People, for he had no sins of his own.

If you have fixed your Faith upon this, and if you have a living Faith in your Heart i [...] will open to you, and give you the Comfort of it. I say, It is a Lamentation, and may be for a Lamentation, that the true Faith of it is so little preached in Christendom: Therefore Christendom is as a Wilderness, which might have been as the Garden of the Lord. This Faith comes from this Living Fountain, this Living Root and Foundation, Christ within the Hope of Glory: This would make Chri­stendom as the Garden of Eden and the Para­dice of God; but Christendom is now be­come a barren Wilderness, there is little true Faith found among them.

The Lord hath some, even a remnant, that love and fear him, and that are near and dear to him, that have a True and Living Faith in the Lord Jesus, but they are as a Cluster of Grapes in a barren Wilderness, but the rest are as a Thorn-Hedge.

My Friends, Is Christ ascended into Hea­ven? Let us by Faith ascend and dwell with Christ in Heaven; let our Faith ascend to Christ in Heaven, and let our Meditation a­scend to Christ in Heaven, and let our Hearts and our Affections ascend to Christ in Hea­ven; while we are in the Body and in the Wilderness of this World, yet in our Minds and Affections let us be with Christ in Hea­ven; and let us witness with the Apostle, That our Conversation is in Heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile Body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious Body, according to the Working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. They looked for the last Appearance of his glorified Body, and they looked for his daily coming into their Hearts; I will not leave you com­fortless, I will come unto you. How will he come unto them? By daily renewed Incomes of his Spiritual Life and Light, and Divine Power: He knew they would have but little Meetings at first, yet he encourageth these little Meetings, Where two or three are gather­ed together, in my Name, I will be in the midst of them. It is not limited to a great number, the Promise is to Two or three as well as to an hundred or many hundreds.

If a Man be in his House alone, or if he be on the Top of a Mountain, or by the Side of a River, in Prayer, if he be a true Di­sciple of Christ, and takes up his Cross and follows him, he shall find the Holy Spirit pre­sent [Page 29] with him; If a Man love me (saith Christ) he will keep my Words (John 14.23.) and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our Abode with him.

So that here is a daily coming: From whence? From Heaven. Here is a daily Coming from Heaven, of Christ's Descending from Heaven; The Father, Son and Holy Spirit will come from Heaven to a true Be­liever, and make their abode with him: We must not understand this coming so grosly as if the Father Son and Holy Spirit should leave Heaven and come and dwell with the Sons of Men. What is this coming then? It is the Heavenly Influences, the Heavenly Powers, and Heavenly Vertues, like Heavenly Rains, the Heavenly Gifts and Manifestations of the Lord Jesus, by his Blessed Spirit in our Hearts.

So then, Friends, I beseech you, observe these following Words, which are of the like Import and concern to every one of us, The Word is nigh thee; this is the Command (saith Moses) which I command thee this Day; this Word is not hidden from thee, neither is far off; it is not in Heaven, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? How may we be sure it is God's Command, as well as the most known and revealed Truth? It was a Command to them, I say to them, to believe that Christ was to come in the Flesh; they were to obey that Command­ment, the Word of Christ in their Hearts; [Page 30] the word of Faith, the word of Righteous­ness, the word of Reconciliation to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was to die for Sin­ners. In the Time of the Law, and before the Time of the Law they were to believe that Christ was to come and die for them, and shed his Blood for them, Heb. 11.1. Faith is the Substance of Things hoped for, and the Evidence of things not seen.

Now from the beginning of the World, all that long Trace of Time between Adam and Moses for about Four thousand Years, they lived by that Faith, they hoped for Christ's Coming, and had got an infallible Assurance that God would forgive them their Sins, and receive them graciously into his Hands when they should come to die and go out of this earthly Tabernacle of the Body, and give them an abundant Entrance into his Everlast­ing Kingdom, the Paradise above.

But why is this Word called the Command­ment, in the singular Number? I will tell you, because one Word, not many is com­prehensive of all God's Commandments; be acquainted with this word in thy Heart, and it will learn thee all God's Commandments; It will teach you all that can be preached from the Holy Scriptures: This Word of God that is in your Hearts is comprehensive of all.

Then you will object and say, What need I have any outward Preaching? I will sit at home, and only mind the Light within, the Word that is nigh and in my Heart.

No, that is a great Mistake, to say there is no need of outward Preaching; many things are greatly profitable that are not of absolute necessity: I do not say the Bible is of such absolute nece [...]sity, that if Men should take the Bible from us we must perish for want of it; God forbid: If we should be banished into Turky, and they should be so cruel as to take our Bibles from us, as they do other Goods, and think to bring us over to their Religion, this word of Faith in our Hearts will bring to our Remembrance what is writ­ten in the Holy Scriptures; so that the Bible is a necessary and profitable outward Help, but not of such absolute Necessity that we must be undone for ever, and perish without it: This word of Life that is in thy Heart will preserve thee from perishing eternally: O be acquainted with it!

If a Time should come that there should be no Meetings, no outwatd Preaching or Hear­ing, or that we should be shut up in Prison, and see the Face of Man no more, yet this word of God in our Hearts will teach us, and witness the love of God to us in our dying Moments, and we shall feel our departing Souls in the Hands of the Lord, and may say with our Redeemer, Father, into thy Hands I commend my Spirit. O what Joy will this be to us in a dying Hour!

Now what is it that gives this Knowledge, Understanding and Assurance to us? The word of Faith in the Heart. It may well be called the word of Faith. An hypocritical [Page 32] Faith is a Faith without Charity, Love and Obedience: All Faith is false that is not grounded upon this Word of God; it is needful to be preached this inward Word; this Word of God within, how doth it re­concile us to God? It reconcileth us to God by opening of the Mys [...]ery of Christ Jesus, and discovering to us. That Jesus Christ in the fulness of Time died for our Sins, and became an Offering and a Sacrifice to recon­cile us to God, by dying and shedding his precious Blood for us. So this Word within us is put into us; he hath put into us the Word of Reconciliation. Christ is the great Sacrifice of Attonement, the great Reconci­ling Sacrifice, and by his Spirit he applies the Vertue and efficacy of his Death and Suf­ferings to us.

Christ being risen from the Dead, we are not ashamed to own it; we are not ashamed to confess it with our Mouths, For with the Heart Man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth Confession is made unto Salva­tion; for the Scripture saith, Whosoever be­lieveth on him shall not be ashamed; If thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine Heart that God hath raised him from the Dead, thou shalt be saved. The Brain and Head Belief will not do, it is the Word of Faith in the Heart that begets this Belief in us.

If the Lord shall hereafter be pleased to give me further Opportunity, I shall shew you what Salvation is, in the full extent of it. [Page 33] It is not only from Sin and Wrath, and the Anger and Displeasure of God, but it is a Salvation from all the Consequences and ef­fects of it: It is a Salvation from Ignorance and Error, and from Darkness of Under­standing; It is a Recovering of us from a State of Sin and Misery, and a Restoring of us to a higher Dignity and Felicity than that Primitive State which Adam was created in; to whom God gave Dominion over all the Works of his Hands.

We are saved gradually; we obtain Victo­ry by degrees, and Dominion over Sin, and Power over all our Spiritual Enemies: This is a great Salvation indeed, we are saved by Faith, and saved by Hope. There is a Time coming when there shall be no more Sorrow, Sickness, Pains, Aches, Miseries, Afflictions, Agonies or Death; but Mortality shall be swallowed up of Life.

The great Necessity of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is both God and Man, in order to Salva­tion. Held forth in a Declaration or Sermon, Delivered by GEORGE KEITH, At Grace-church-street, August 22. 1694.

Acts 16.30, 31.‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shat be saved, and thy House.’

I Shall not spend much time about the word Sirs, which in the Greek signifies Lords, which is the Title that the Jailer here gives to Paul and Silas. He was struck with fear and terror in his Conscience, and was under much horror and consternation, when by the mighty [Page] Power of God he was convinced of his Sin, and danger of falling short of Salvation. We read, That at Midnight, after Paul and Silas had many Stripes laid upon them, and were cast into the inner Prison, and their Feet made fast in the Stocks, they prayed and sung Prai­ses to God, and the Prisoners heard them. And it is said, That suddenly there was a great Earth­quake, so that the Foundations of the Prison were shaken, and immediately all the Doors were opened, and every ones Bands were loosed, Being in such fear and consternation, no won­der that the Keeper of the Prison gives to Paul and Silas those high Titles of Sirs or Lords, What shall I do to be saved? Not that they desired those Titles, or accepted those Titles, which the Jailer gave to them. For Paul saith, There is but one Lord; not Lord Paul and Lord Silas, not Lord Timothy and Lord Titus. To shew his Honour and Esteem of their Persons, and of their Advice and Coun­sel in his distressed condition, he cries out, Sirs, or Lords, What must I do to be saved? Which will not justify such Titles.

But, notwithstanding, the Query was sea­sonable and proper, and is so to every awake­ned Conscience, that is struck with a deep sense of the need of a Saviour, and want of Salvation, What must I do to be saved? Now the Answer is very short, but full and com­prehensive, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy House. It must not be supposed or thought that this was all they spake, or the whole they preached to [Page] him, and to those that were in his House; but this was the matter, and the sum of their Exhortation and Counsel, tho' they might en­large in many Words. We do not read that they went to Bed all that Night; they had a sweet time together, until the next Morning, when they parted, being discharged from their Imprisonment. For the Magistrates that sent them to Prison came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the City. Without question there was much Discourse and Conference passed be­tween them; but the chief material thing which Paul and Silas preached to the Jailer and his Family, was, Believe on the Lord Je­sus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy House.

It is not to be understood that his House and Family, Wife, Children and Servants, should be saved by his Faith alone; no, every Man and Woman are to be saved by their own Faith, The Just shall live by his Faith, not by another Mans Faith, but by his own Faith. The Words imply so much, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be sa­ved, and thy House. If they believe also, you shall all be saved if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now some say, Was there not need of some Preparation before the Preaching of Faith?

Here was an excellent Preparation, the Mans Conscience was mightily awakened with the sense of his lost and undone state and con­dition. What needed he to ask for Salvation, [Page] if not sensible of his lost and undone condition? So indeed here was a good Preparation; and such a Preparation is necessary to have the Conscience awakened, through a deep and inward sense of sin, and of the wrath of God that was due because of sin; this Preparation is necessary to Faith. The Whole (saith our blessed Lord) need not a Physician, but they that are sick: And I came not to call the Righ­teous, but Sinners to Repentance.

Who are these Righteous that Christ did not come to call to Repentance? Did Christ find any Righteous? Are there any found Righteous before they be called?

No, there is none Righteous till God first visits them by his mighty Power. What is the sense of these Words, I came not to call the Righteous? It is those that are Righteous in their own Sight, in their own Eyes; those that have their own Righteousness, a humane Righteousness, a legal Righteousness, such are not Righteous in the sight of God, they have need of Christ as much as others. They that rely upon their own Righteousness, a humane or legal Righteousness, they see not the want they have of Christ Jesus, the great Physician of Souls.

It is certainly so, before ever Christ Jesus can be welcomed as the Souls Physician and Saviour, before he can be welcomed, em­braced and received as a High Priest and Pro­pitiation for Sin, as an Advocate, as an In­tercessor, and as the Attonement; we must see our absolute need of him, in order to our ob­taining [Page] Eternal Salvation: Christ is both the Priest and the Sacrifice, the Priest that offers, and the Attonement that is offered.

O glorious Mystery! that he who is our great high Priest should offer himself. The Priests under the Law offered other things, [...]s the Body and Blood of a Beast, but Christ offered himself; he gave himself a Ransom for us, he offered his own Blood, his own Life, he made his Soul an Offering for Sin, he offered himself Soul and Body, a compleat Offering; not his Body only, but his Soul and Body also, he offered himself through the eternal Spirit. Before Christ can be thus em­braced and sought after as a Hiding-place, there must be a Preparation going before. And it is prophesied of him, A Man shall be a Hiding-place, the Man Christ Jesus. No Man but he can be a Hiding-place from the Storm and Tempest, And as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary Land. And it is prophe­sied of him again, He shall be our Peace when the Assyrian shall come into our Land. What Man is this? And who is this Assyrian? It is an Allegory or Metaphor. The King of As­syria you know invaded the Land, and car­ried away the ten Tribes. The King of As­syria, by way of Metaphor or Allegory, is he that seeks to destroy our Souls and make ha­vock of them, Christ shall be our Peace. When the Assyrian comes into our Land to spoil us and destroy us, the Man Christ Jesus shall be our Defence: How? through Faith in him, he shall be our Hiding-place and our [Page 39] Defence, and as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary Land. We must fly unto him by Faith, and our Faith must not stand in the wisdom of the words of Men, but in the power of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true Foundation; he is the true Ground and sure Footing (for every one) of our Faith.

The mighty Power of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, opening and revealing to our Souls the great Mysteries of our Salvation. Christ is called the Power of God and the Wis­dom of God. The Jews require a Sign, and the Greeks seek after Wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a Stumbling­block and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Doth Paul preach two Christs?

No, by no means; neither Prophet, Apo­stle or Evangelist, preach two Christs; as if Christ within were one Christ, and Christ without another Christ. The Man Christ Je­sus that died a painful and shameful Death upon the Cross, in whom all Fulness dwells, the Fulness of the Godhead bodily; (he is the living, powerful, eternal Word,) that had the Spirit without measure, which is in measure in us; he is but one Christ, one compleat and intire Christ.

But some may say, Why doth the Apostle Paul call Christ the Power of God, and the wis­dom of God?

I answer plainly, because the fulness of the divine power and wisdom dwelt in Christ, and dwells in him, so that through our Faith in him we receive such a measure of the di­vine wisdom and power as we need, in order to have the work of our Salvation wrough out, to have it begun, carried on and finish'd.

There are two things that we greatly need, that we absolutely and indispensibly need, Wisdom and Power.

We need a measure of God's Wisdom, of heavenly and divine Wisdom, to make known to us the whole Will, Counsel and Mind of God for our Salvation; for all that we can read in the holy Scriptures and other good Books, and all that we have preached to us from time to time, can never suffice to give us the true Knowledge of the will and mind of God in order to our Salvation, unless we be supplied with divine Wisdom from above, unless we be inwardly inspired, endued and inlightned with the Spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge from God and Christ Jesus. We need a measure of the divine Spirit and of the divine Wisdom, to teach and instruct us con­cerning the Mind and Will, and Counsel of God, concerning our Salvation; not by Piece­meal and in Parts, but we must know the whole Mind and Counsel of God, as much as is needful to our Salvation, to have it wrought in us. David was sensible of this, when he thus prayed, Teach me to do thy Will, O God, teach me thy Judgments, Psal. 119.108. And teach me thy Statutes, vers. 64. teach me by thy good Spirit.

But some there are that are ignorant and self-conceited, which are ready to say, What need we pray after this manner? Did not David know God's Precepts and Statutes? He had them upon his Memory, and upon his Heart. But for all the knowledge that he had of God's Precepts, yet he needed further to be taught and instructed in the depth of the My­stery of divine Wisdom and Knowledge; therefore, in respect of the Commandments and Statutes of God, he prays, Lord, teach me thy Precepts, teach me thy Statutes and Te­stimonies, and Judgments: We need the Teachings of the Spirit of God, which is cal­led the Spirit of Wisdom and Revela­tion.

The Apostle prays thus for the Ephesians (1 chapter 17, 18.) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation, in the knowledg of him: The eyes of our under­standings being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the Riches of the Glory of his Inheritance in the Saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his Power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty Power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the Dead and set him at his own right Hand in the Heavenly places. We need a measure of the Divine Wisdom that dwels in all fullness in Christ. He that was Crucified, and buryed▪ rose again, and Ascended into Heaven; and is now there in that prepared Body wonder­fully [Page 42] Glorified; but not another Body, it [...] the same Body, but now impassible, not subject to suffering or Bodily weaknesses, a [...] Hunger, Thirst Sleep or Wearyness; hi [...] Body is not now passible or obnoxious to any kind of Suffering.

Secondly, Another thing we greatly need is Power; these two, Wisdom and Power do in a manner comprehend and contain all our needs; We want the Instruction of Divine Wisdom to give us understanding and know­ledge to know the Mind of God, to know the whole Will and Counsel of God, to know our Duty to God, and what the Lord re­quires of us, and what the Lord Christ re­quires of us in order to our Eternal Happy­ness. And then we want Power as well as Wisdom; if God should give us Wisdom and Understanding and Councel to know what we ought to do, and withhold Power from us to do it we should be at a great loss and dis­advantage.

But God is so full of Grace and Bounty, (blessed be his Name) that he giveth us both Wisdom to know his Will and Power to ful­fil it. Therefore the Spirit of God which was promised to rest upon Christ, the Root and Stem of Jesse, God promised that the Spi­rit should rest upon him, and that a measure of it should be given to all the Members of that Body whereof he is the Noble and Holy Head; he giveth it in one measure to one, in another measure to another, and in a suitable measure to all, according to every ones Capa­city, [Page 43] to some more and some less, as in the [...]istribution of Talents, he giveth to every [...]ne according to their ability. The state and [...]ondition of Men with respect to Spiritual [...]nd Divine gifts, they are like the Capacity [...]f Vessels, some of a lesser, and some of a greater quantity. There are Cups, and Flaggons and Barrels, and other Vessels that contain greater and lesser quantities. So for Vessels of the Sanctuary, Vessels of the Lords House, there are Cups, and Flaggons and o­ther Vessels: A Cup is not capable of holding so much as a Flaggon, nor will a Flaggon contain so much as a Barrel or Firkin; here­in appears the Wisdom of God, in that he gives to every one according to their Capacity, so that none have reason to repine and mur­mure, and say Lord thou hast not given e­nough to me.

Grudge not at the gifts of God to others, but consider that though God hath given thee but a little, he hath given thee what is fit for thee to receive; if he had given thee more, there might have been more danger to thy Soul; if thy Cup run over there is more than it is capable to receive, and therefore God gives that measure to thee that is fittest for thee. God gives to every Man and Woman a measure of his Grace, which was purchased for them by the Son of his Love, the Lord Je­sus Christ, by what he hath done and suffer­ed, even by his Obedience to the Death. The Spirit of God which rests upon his dear Son Christ Jesus, is said to be the Spirit of Might. [Page 44] Isa. 11.1, 2. And there shall come forth a ro [...] out of the stem of Jesse; and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lor [...] shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom an [...] understanding, the Spirit of councel and might, the Spirit of knowledg, and of the seat of the Lord: Here is a Spirit of might as well as a Spirit of VVisdom and Understanding; here is I say, a Spirit of might, and of the fear of the Lord.

The Holy Scripture saith perfect love cast­eth out fear; what fear is it that it casteth out? Slavish fear, but Filial fear, Evangelical fear, perfect Love casteth not out; for this Love and fear are Twins, they are Inseparable, they are of one kind, of one nature; our Lord Jesus Christ himself was filled with this Holy Spirit of fear; it is said Hebr. 5.7. Who in the Days of his Flesh when he had offered up Prayers and Supplications, with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from Death, and was heard in that he feared. Isa. 11.3. The Spirit of the Lord (saith the Prophet) shall rest upon him, &c. The Spirit of knowledg and of the fear of the Lord. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, and he shall not judge after the sight of his Eyes, nei­ther reprove after the hearing of his Ears, but with righteousness shall he judge the Poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the Earth.

If we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ sin­cerely and truly, by this belief we shall re­ceive VVisdom and Power, sufficiency of it, plenty of it, one measure and degree after an­other, [Page 45] we shall have the Spirit of God to teach [...]s and counsel us what we ought to do, what [...]s our Duty to God, to our Neighbour, and [...]o our selves, and all that is required of us in order to our Eternal Happiness and Salvation, which is given by Christ Jesus, and also Pow­er to do what we ought to do, and also Pow­er to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some have made such an Objection as this, and I have sometimes made it my self, in my own Thoughts. O! say some, we want a Power to believe, we find it very difficult to believe.

It is good to be thus sensible of thy own Inability; and it is good to be perswaded that it is not so easie a thing to believe as many hold it to be. The generality of Christians, here in Christendom, they think it to be an easie thing to believe: It is impossible for any Man or Woman rightly, and truly, and sin­cerely to believe in God or in Christ, with the least Measure of true saving Faith, unless the mighty Power of God work this Faith in us: And this Faith begins in a very small begin­ning; it is first sown in the Heart of Man or Woman, as a grain of Mustard-seed; he that soweth it will make it to grow; he is not like an unskilful Husbandman that begins to plant or build, and is not able to go through with it; the Lord is wise and Powerful, he will go through with his Work; if thou dost not by the Obstinacy, Subbornness and Care­lesness of thine own Heart hinder it, the Lord will carry on this Work of Faith by his migh­ty [Page 46] Power; And if you have Faith but as Grain of Mustard-Seed, you shall say to th [...] Mountain, Be removed, and it shall be removed.

This Faith is witnessed by a Blessed Remnant, that know the removing of Mountains not earthly Mountains, but all those inward Letts, Impediments and Hindrances that th [...] poor Soul feels within it self, even Mountain [...] of Sin and of the Powers of Darkness, tha [...] stand between God and their Souls, which intercept the Light of his Countenance from shining on them, they would get near to the Lord, they follow hard after him: The Lord lifts up the Light of his Countenance in some lesser degree upon them, which is like a little Beam of Light coming through a Cranny; they have not that full and satisfactory Enjoy­ment of the Lord that they desire.

Act Faith upon the Lord's Almighty Power, that hath given thee a little Grain of Faith, a small measure of it, and in due Time thy Faith shall be strengthned, and be able to re­move all those Mountains of Sin, and of the Powers of Darkness, that are in thy Heart.

I say it hath often been an Objection to me: O! I would fain believe, I want Power to believe, and I bless the Lord that let me see that I was not able of my self to believe, that I had no might or Ability of my self to act Faith; the Lord was pleased, by the shi­ning of his blessed Light into my Heart, to enable me to act Faith, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for Life and Salvation.

I would never speak a Word to diminish [...]r lessen the great Work of Faith, but we may easily see the Vanity, and falsness, and unprofitableness of that Faith that abounds in the World. The vain Person's Faith, the worldly and covetous Man's Faith, and the proud Man's Faith, which greatly abounds in Christendom 3 Men, say they, believe in Christ, and yet Covetousness, earthly-minded­ness, Pride of Spirit, and Envy, and Malice, and Strife, and Contention abound among us. I say, If Faith had but room and Place in the Hearts of People, here in Christendom (the Lord grant that Time may come) it would then remove these Mountains; and had it ta­ken Place it would have removed them long ago.

If any shall ask me, What Time I will prefix or allow that this little Grain of Faith will remove all those Mountains of Sin, and Unbelief, and Unrighteousness, and the Pow­ers of Darkness that are in Peoples Hearts?

I answer; No time is to be prefixed for the effecting of this; wait the Lord's time, for his time is the best time. If thou desirest to make this time short, then improve that little measure of Grace bestowed upon thee, that little Grain of Mustard-seed, pray with it, and give Thanks to God for it, pray with all the strength and ability that the Lord hath already given thee. There is none of us to whom some measure of Grace and Held is not given; there is no ground to complain that [...]nough is not given; but our Complaint should [Page 48] be, That we have not made use of that H [...] that is given us. Do not despise the Day [...] small things: Who art thou that despisest [...] day of small things? Do not despise a lit [...] Grace, a little Help, that God hath given [...] thee; let us make use of that little Streng [...] we have, and God will give us more, and [...] will do it in due time, in his own time, wh [...] is the best time.

I may be bold to say, The time shall n [...] be long, if thou wilt do thy utmost Endeavou [...] the time will not be long before the Lord r [...] move these Mountains of Sin and Unbelie [...] and of the Powers of Darkness, and give th [...] the sense of his Love and Mercy, and refres [...] ment from his Presence; then all those Cloud shall be scattered and vanish away, whi [...] formerly interposed between the Presence [...] God and thy [...].

I shall next [...]me to shew how Paul preached Christ, 1 C 1.23, 24. We preach Chri [...] crucified (saith he) unto the Jews a Stumbling block, and unto the Greeks Foolishness; but unt [...] them which are called, both Jews and Greek [...] Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom o [...] God. This Power and Wisdom of God di [...] dwell in Christ in all Fulness, and out of tha [...] Fulness he distributes to every one a suitable measure. Eph. 4.7. saith the Apostle Paul But unto every one of us is given Grace, according to the measure of the Gift of Christ: Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he le [...] Captivity Captive: he received Gifts for Me [...] yea, for the Rebellious also, that the Lord Go [...] [Page 49] might dwell among them, or inhabit them, [...]s the Word signifies.

I come not here to shew my self skilful in Hebrew, Greek and Latin; I hope it is no Of­ [...]ence to tell you of a better Translation of a [...]lace of Scripture, as in the Margent of your [...]ibles. I come not hither to speak Hebrew, [...]reek and Latin, and to shew my Skill in se­ [...]eral parts of Learning and Philosophy, after [...]he Rudiments of the World, as one vainly [...]uft up by a fleshly Mind; I relinquished it [...]ove thirty Years ago. I never reckoned [...]mane Learning a necessary Qualification to [...]ake a Man meet to be a Preacher of the Gos­pel of Christ. There is needful another Qua­ [...]ification for the preaching of Christ and him [...]ucified, preaching his Cross, which is a Stumbling-block to some, and Foolishness to others, but unto them that are s [...]d, it is Christ, [...]he Power of God, and the W [...]dom of God, [...]orasmuch as the Fulness dwell [...] in him, and [...]orasmuch as we receive our several Measures one after another, and we receive them by him and through him, and from him. Christ is the Author or Beginner of our Faith, and the Fi­nisher of it; he is the Light of every Man [...]hat comes into the World, a common Illumi­ [...]ation is given to all.

There are some that say, That Lam gone from [...]ny ancient Testimony to the Light within; they have not said it to my Face, though they insinuate and whisper against me. I am bold not in mine own Ability and Strength, but in [...]he Lord to say, None can justly charge me [Page 50] that I am gone from my ancient Testimony t [...] the Sufficiency of the Light within, that ther [...] is a Sufficiency in the least measure of it to profit withal; tho' it be never so little, if Me [...] labour to improve it, God will not be want­ing to give more.

I am yet to learn that there ever were any among our Friends in former Days, or of thos [...] that are newly risen up among us, will say [...] Any have received so much that they need no [...] depend upon the Lord for more; as if tha [...] was sufficient for all time to come, we hav [...] already received, We are to pray for ou [...] daily Bread, we are to pray for daily Sup­plies of the Spirit; Lord give us more of thy Spirit, and multiply thy Mercies and Blessings upon us, saith the Apostle Peter, 2 Pet. 1.2. Grace and Peace be multiplied to you, through the Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.

But to proceed, and speak a little further concerning that Doctrin which Paul and Silas preached to the Jailor and his Houshold, Be­lieve in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy House. I did not study a Text before I came hither, I did not know what I should speak, but waiting for the pure Motion of the Lord, that Scripture was brought before me, and a sweet Motion was upon my Spirit, and yet continues with me; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

Observe here, that Paul nor Silas doth not say, That he must witness Regeneration or [Page 51] Sanctification before he doth believe in the [...]ord Jesus Christ: He doth not say, Thou [...]ust have a pure Conscience before thou dost [...]eceive the Mystery of Faith, [which is a Do­ [...]trin that some hold, that a pure Conscience [...]ust be witnessed before Faith.] Tho' the [...]ords are true, Faith is held in a pure Consci­ [...]ce. But we must not say, That the Conscience [...]st be first pure, and then Faith will be gi­ [...]n to a pure Conscience; Faith and a pure [...]onscience go together.

I have experience of [...] [...]lessed be God, [...] have known a defiled Co [...]ence; and now, [...]o God's Praise I spea [...] [...], I know in some [...]easure a purified Conscience. My Consci­ [...]nce was not purified before I did receive the Faith of Christ; the very same moment that [...] received a measure of this pure Faith, this [...]ure Faith purified my Conscience.

So Men and Women come to be cleansed [...]rom the Defilements of Sin by the power of [...] true and living Faith, not that Faith which [...]s so common in Christendom, a traditional [...]nd historical Faith. What if all Men and Women in England should say, They have [...]he Faith of Christ within? What if all Chri­ [...]endom should profess the Light within them, [...]nd yet live contrary to that Faith, and cru­ [...]ifie the Lord Jesus Christ afresh with their Covetousness, Strife, Envy, Fighting, and [...]uch things? It is not every Profession of Faith [...]f Christ within us, or of Christ without us, [...]at is a true Faith. The Enemy of our Souls [...]ay creep in at that Door under a Profession [Page 52] of Christ within, or the Light within, wh [...] there is neither a true Belief of Christ withi [...] nor of Christ without; many have professe to be taught by the Light within, and th [...] Spirit of Christ within.

It is not a traditional Faith, nor an hist [...] rical Faith, of Christ without or of Chr [...] within that I preach, but that evangelical, [...] ving and living Faith, by which we come be dead with Christ, and buried with hi [...] and risen with him, according to the expre [...] Testimony of Scripture, Rom. 6.3, 4. Kn [...] you not that so many of us as were baptized [...] Jesus Christ, were baptized into Death? th [...] fore, we are buried with him by Baptism in Death, that like as Christ was raised up fro [...] the Dead by the glory of the Father, even so w [...] also should walk in newness of Life. It is no [...] meant there of outward Baptism, but of more excellent Baptism; and you are not risen with Christ before Faith; no, but throug [...] the Faith of the operation of God, that Powe [...] that raised Christ from the Dead, 1 Col. 2.12 And if you feel not a measure of that Powe [...] which raised Christ from the Dead to bege [...] Faith in your Hearts, it is impossible yo [...] should be dead with Christ, or risen wit [...] him.

Why shall they profess Faith in Christ tha [...] have it not otherwise than the World hat [...] it?

If they have not a true and living Faith which is another kind of Faith than the Worl [...] hath, or Christendom generally hath; for the [Page 53] are Strangers to true Faith: This true, living, [...]aving Faith is as necessary to be preached at [...]his Day as ever it was. As to the manner of [...]t, I do not say, It is needful to stand up from Morning to Evening, to preach to People in a [...]are historical way, to convince them that the [...]ternal Son of God came in that prepared Bo­ [...], and by his Death was a Sacrifice for our [...]edemption and Salvation, that is not the [...]ing I labour in; I never Laboured a quar­ [...]er of an hour, much less have I stood up in [...] Meeting from Morning to Evening, to con­ [...]ince People barely from the Letter, that C [...]rist is come: But I will tell you what I have laboured for, I preach Christ as I am moved, and as the Lord is pleased to open my Mouth to speak; and I hope, he hath opened the Ears and Hearts of People to [...] ▪ I have laboured to prove, That the [...] of that Faith in Christendom is a false Fa [...] not a Faith of the operation of God: I have de­monstrated, That the Faith that abounds in Christendom, is an unprofitable dead Faith; their Works do prove it so.

It is an absurd Doctrin to say, That divine Revelation and divine Inspiration is ceased; the true Faith comes by divine Revelation, inward Revelation and Inspiration; and also, by outward Preaching, and hearing instru­mentally in God's ordinary way of working. It is the Spirit of God that reveals the Mystery of Faith in our Hearts. Its well known how I have laboured, and what Books I have writ­ten for this Testimony, that none have this [Page 54] true sincere Faith but they that have it by i [...] ward, divine Revelation; the Mystery of i [...] must be by Inspiration revealed within them I have laboured with all my Heart to pro [...] this, but a preparatory Work goes before han [...] John Baptist was sent to prepare the way [...] the Lord; therefore, it is no new Testimon [...] but it is the ancient Testimony of our Frien [...] that I have long since heard preached. It is th [...] which answers John's Ministry, that is, a M [...] nistration within. Before Christ's Ministr [...] tion, the Gospel Ministration, there is the M [...] nistration of the Law within, and of Joh [...] Baptist within, and Mount Sinai within Thus I have pressed and preached.

O, my Friends, before you come to th [...] spiritual Sion, you must pass by the spiritua [...] Sinai: You must not take up your Rest i [...] Mount Sinai, nor in the Wilderness, but yo [...] must follow the Pillar of a Cloud by Day, an [...] a Pillar of Fire by Night, that God leads hi [...] People by. Isa. 4.5, 6. And the Lord wi [...] create upon every Dwelling-place of Mount Zi­on, and upon her Assemblies a Cloud and Smoa [...] by Day, and the shining of a flaming Fire by Night; for upon all the Glory shall be a Defence. And there shall be a Tabernacle for a Shadow in the day-time from the Heat, and for a place of Refuge, and for a Covert from Storm and from Rain.

Here is a Cloud not without Christ's re­freshing Rain, it will shower down heavenly Rain, and divine Influences from Heaven up­on us; and this Cloud shall likewise be as a [Page 55] Fire in a cold Night, to warm us with hea­venly Heat and Influence. So we are not to [...]it down at Mount Sinai, but to pass through the several Ministrations of both the Law and the Gospel.

It is not my present Testimony to demon­strate to People these great, important and weighty Truths, That Christ is God; That he is the true Messiah and Saviour of the World; and, That he is already come, God manifest in Flesh. I should think it almost needless to demonstrate these things to any but such as are ignorant of them, as Jews and Hea­thens, to demonstrate that Christ is outwardly come; but it is a most necessary and profita­ble Labour, and God hath blessed it with Success to all that labour in the Power of the Lord to demonstrate to People that it is a living Faith in the crucified Jesus that is abso­lutely necessary to Salvation, to believe in him as he lived in the Body, died and rose again, and is ascended and is gone to Heaven in the Body. The Heavens, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain him as to his Godhead, which fills Heaven and Earth, but with re­spect to his Body he is only in Heaven: The Heavens have received his Body until the ap­pointed time of the restitution of all things, when he shall come again to judge the World; then all Nations shall see him, and shall stand before the Son of Man. God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the World by the Man Christ Jesus, not by the Light with­in [Page 56] only (tho' he shall judge Men here by the Light within, and also hereafter.)

All that are born of Women shall stand be­fore Christ Jesus at his Tribunal; the Saints shall behold him with Joy, and the Wicked shall see him with Horror; and they would be glad that the Mountains would fall upon them, and hide them from his Presence; but the Saints shall see their Saviour with com­fort, and rejoice to hear him pronounce that blessed Sentence, that sweet and loving Invi­tation, which will transport them into an Ex­tacy of joyful Admiration, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World.

Therefore, Friends, I beseech you, unless you would rush upon that Rock that will be too strong for the stoutest of you, embrace the necessary Doctrin of Christ crucified, by whom alone you can obtain Salvation, and escape that Wrath that is to come, that will certain­ly fall upon those that make light of Christ, and what he hath done and suffered for them.

Do not discourage me in my Labours; a necessity is laid upon me to preach Christ and him crucified, and a right Faith in him; if any shall put this Question of the Jailor, What shall I do to be saved? My Answer is that of the Apostle Paul and Silas, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Say not in thine Heart who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ from above) or, who shall descend into the Deep? (that is [Page 57] to bring up Christ again from the dead) the Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth and in thy Heart, that is the Word of Faith which we preach, that if thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine Heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the Heart Man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth Confession is made unto Salvation.

But that is not all, there must be Obedi­ence, and we must express our love to Christ by keeping his Commandments, for He is the Author of Eternal Salvation to all them that obey him. If any shall reject this Doctrin and Faith in Christ crucified, and say, It will do me no good; I can tell them from mine own Experience, That the Lord hath wrought it in my Heart (blessed be his Name) and I find the purifying Nature of it.

Let it not be said, That all Christendom or all England, have this Faith which I preach; for the generality of Men and Women have only a literal, an historical and traditional Faith; they believe only because they have it sounded in their Ears, or read it in the Bi­ble, that Christ died for Sinners, to reconcile us to God, and purchase Salvation for us. And tho', as I have oft declared, I have that Charity, that God has a Remnant in all Pro­fessions in Christendom, that have some mea­sure of the true Faith; If it be a right saving justifying Faith, it must be wrought in us by the mighty power of God. Your Faith stands not in any Man's Words, tho' never so good [Page 58] but in the Power of God: Your Faith mu [...] not be grounded upon any Man's Testimony He that believeth, saith the Apostle, hath th [...] Witness in himself, and the Spirit of God beareth witness with our Spirits, that we are th [...] Children of God, and witnesseth the great lov [...] of God that gave his only begotten Son to die for us, and the love of Christ that gave himself for us, and took our Nature and Sins upon him, and became a Curse for us. Gal. 3.13. Christ hath redeemed us (saith the Apostle) from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a Tree; he hath also once suffered for Sins, the Just for the Ʋnjust (that he might bring us to God) being put to Death in the Flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

If all England had a right Belief, a right Faith and Persuasion of the Love of God that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, and of the love of his Son Jesus Christ who gave himself for u [...] ▪ this would melt their Hearts, and draw [...]hem effectually to the love of God and Christ, and constrain them not only to love the Lord Jesus, but to live to him that died for them. This Faith in a crucified Jesus, is a Faith that worketh by Love, and Love is the fulfilling of the Law, and will make you have respect to all God's Commandments; and if this divine Love reign and rule in our Hearts, it will be the most delightful Exercise of our Lives to do the Will of God.

If all Christendom had a right Belief of the Love of God, that gave his Son to die for us, and did live in a sense of the love of Christ that was crucified, and gave himself for us an Offering, and a Sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling Savour, this Love would captivate and overcome them, and melt their Hearts be­fore the Lord.

My Friends, the power and efficacy of this Faith and Love, is that (blessed be the Lord) which I know from Experience and from a deep sense of this Love of God shed abroad upon my Heart, by the Holy Ghost which is given to me, and hath opened to me the My­stery of that infinite love and grace of God in the VVork of Man's Redemption by Jesus Christ, wherein the Power, Mercy, Wisdom, Justice, Truth and Holiness of God are won­derfully displayed to our unspeakable Joy, and his everlasting Glory.

A SERMON Preached by George Keith, At Devonshire-house, August 26. 1694.

John 15.1, 2, 5.‘I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman.’

IN these VVords there is a great nearness and unity held forth by the Lord Jesus Christ between himself and his People that do believe in him. In the 5th Verse he saith, I am the Vine, ye are the Branches. VVhat Ye is this? All Men and VVomen upon the Face of the Earth? No: who then? Only them that be­lieve in him. These are Branches ingrafted into this Vine, abiding in this Vine, and bringing forth Fruit from the Sap and Moi­sture that this Vine affords; they only that be­lieve in him, derive vital influence from him. [Page 61] By Faith we are ingrafted into Christ the [...]rue Vine, and united to him; true Faith is of [...]n uniting Nature. No sooner are true Be­ [...]ievers united to Christ by a true Faith, but instantly and immediately they find a divine Sap and Vertue flowing from Christ into their Souls, which will make them fruitful; I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Husband­man; every Branch in me that beareth not Fruit he taketh away: And every Branch that beareth Fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more Fruit. True and sound Believers that are really united to Christ, will become fruitful in every good Word and Work, and abound in all the Fruits of the Spirit menti­oned by the Apostle, Gal. 5.2. But the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffer­ing, Gentleness, Goodness. Faith, Meekness, Temperance, against such there is no Law.

Now from this it evidently appears, that that Faith which generally abounds in Christ­endom, is not the true Faith: Why? Because they have not these Fruits. Love is a Fruit of the Spirit; where is Love amongst them? Where Love is there will not be Backbiting, Heartburnings, Jealousies, Surmises and un­charitable judging one another; No, where Love is these things will not be, but Love, Joy and Peace, Peace with God, and Peace with one another; and nothing but Peace and good will even towards all: Then our Swords will be beaten into Plowshears, and our Spears in­to Pruning-hooks, and Men will learn War no more. That there is so much strife and con­tention [Page 62] in Christendom, it is because true Lov [...] is wanting among Men, and true Faith is also wanting.

But there are a Remnant that have tru [...] Faith that worketh by Love; but this noble Faith, and Love, and the rest of the Fruits o [...] the Spirit are greatly wanting amongst the generality of the Professors of Christianity. I [...] is by Faith that we come to be ingrafted into Christ the true Vine, and abide in him and bring forth much Fruit.

It is by unbelief that Men are severed from Christ, and not abiding in him, they are cast forth as Branches that are withered, and then cast into the Fire and burned. O great is the hurt of unbelief, and great is the benefit of true Faith. He that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit Eph. 4.10, 11. (saith the Apostle.) Christ when he Ascended upon high he led Cap­tivity Captive, and gave Gifts unto Men. He that first descended into the lower parts of the Earth, is the same that ascended up far above all Heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastours and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come into the unity of the Faith, and the knowledg of the Son of God unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, that we henceforth be no more Children tossed to and fro and carryed about with every Wind of Doctrine, by the sleight of Men, and cunning craftyness whereby they lie [...] wait to deceiave.

Hence observe the manner of the Speech and Phrase used by the Holy Ghost; all these are for edifying the Body of Christ, till we come unto the unity of the Faith and know­ledg of the Son of God, to a perfect Man: All Believers make up one perfect Man, where Christ is the Head, and Believers are the Members. Let thy progress be never so great, thou canst not come to equality with Christ; he hath the fulness of the God-head dwelling in him Bodily; we can come only to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; unto every one of us is given Grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ; now the greatest and higest measure is but a measure. Consider what is Written, Rom. 11.24. The Jews that were natural branches were cut off from Christ the good Olive Tree through unbelief; What was their unbelief? They did not be­lieve in Christ Jesus the Son of Man; they did not believe in him that was born of a Virgin to be the Prophet that God promised to his People; they did not believe the Man Christ Jesus to be the true Messiah that God had promised to send, to put an end to the Types, and Figures and shadows of the Law, and to their new Moons and solemn Feasts, and to Circumcision, and to the Passover, and to put an end to the offering up of outward Sacri­fices and the shedding of the Blood of the Sa­crifices that so their Sins might be forgiven them, for without shedding of Blood there is no Remission.

It was not the Blood of Beasts that wer [...] offered in Sacrifice could take away Sin: Why? Because these were only Representations and Symbols to help the People's weakness, and to present Christ to their Eyes, and suited to their weak State, which is compared to the state of a Child: This was the Reason they received not Christ outwardly; and the Unbe­lief of the Jews was great in that, because they did not receive Christ into their Hearts in his Spiritual Appearance, but they receiv­ed him neither inwardly nor outwardly.

Whosoever reject Christ outwardly they re­ject him inwardly, and whosoever receive Christ inwardly and sincerely they also re­ceive him outwardly, to be the great Sacri­fice for their Sins; they own his priestly Of­fice for the Remission of Sins, through the Blood of the Covenant; they do admire the wonderful Design and Contrivance of the Wisdom of God in the great Work of Man's Redemption; they adore and admire the Mer­cy and Love of God, his Power and Justice, Holiness, Wisdom, Goodness, Faithfulness and Truth in that glorious Contrivance, that he should send his Dear Son to die for the Sins of Men, and take our Nature and Sin upon him, and be made a Curse for us, and take the Curse from us, and to be made Sin for us who knew no Sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him: He was wounded for our Trans­gressions, bruised for our Iniquities; the Chastise­ment of our Peace was upon him, and with his Stripes we are healed, Isa. 53.5. Who his own [Page 65] self bare our Sins in his own Body, on the Tree, that we being dead to Sin should live unto Righteousness. He was made Sin for us (saith the Apostle) 2 Cor. 5. How was Christ made Sin for us? Sin, that is a Sin-offering. He became an Offering for Sin. They that are Branches in the true Vine, and grafted into Christ, receive heavenly Sap and Moisture from him. We must believe that Christ died for our Sins; we must believe that he was made a Curse for us, and that he shed his Blood for the Remission of our Sins; We must believe this weighty Testimony, This is a faithful Saying and worthy of all Acceptation, That Christ Jesus came into the World to save Sin­ners, of whom I am chief, saith the Apostle, 1 Tim. 1.15. This is a faithful Saying and worthy of all Acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the World to die for Sinners, and to shed his Blood for Sinners, as well as in­wardly to appear in the Hearts of Sinners: A Work that was a most necessary Work for the Redeeming, Renewing, Sanctifying and Cleansing of us from all Sins.

So, my Friends, true Faith in Christ re­ceives him with all his Benefits, receives him both in his outward and bodily Appearance, as manifest in the Flesh, and also in his Spiri­tual Appearance and coming into our Hearts, and by true Faith in him we come to be in­grafted into him, and receive Sap and Moi­sture, and heavenly Influence from him who is the true, generous and Noble Vine.

Our blessed Lord here holds forth a won­derful Mystery in these few Words; I am th [...] true Vine and my Father is the Husbandman▪ every Branch in me that beareth not Fruit he taketh away, and every Branch that beareth Fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more Fruit. He cuts and dresseth it with his Pruning-knife, that he may cut off fruitless and superfluous Branches. You may take notice from hence that it is manifest that those that are grafted into Christ and bring forth Fruit, they may have some Superfluities that may need cutting off; but so long as the Branch brings forth Fruit the Husbandman will not cut it off; if there be any Life or Vertue in it he will spare it, that it may become fruit­ful. God is the wise Husbandman, every Branch that beareth Fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit: He comes with his Pruning Knife and cuts off the super­fluous Branches, that the fruitful Branches may grow and flourish by the Sap and Moi­sture they receive from the heavenly Vine, As new born Babes (saith the Apostle) desire the sincere Milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby. Those that are in Christ may have some Superfluities; if we may be as Instru­ments to cut off those Superfluities and save the Branch, it is well.

In this Parable of the Vine, representing God as the Husbandman, Christ as the Vine, and Believers as the Branches; God the Fa­ther acts the part of a Husbandman. What is the Office that God exerciseth towards [Page 67] Christ the Vine, under this Figure, Meta­phor and Allegory, representing him as a Husbandman? We know what Christ the true Vine doth to us that are Branches, if we be grafted by Faith into him, he supplies us with heavenly Sap and Moisture: The Vine gives Sap and Moisture to every Branch, it hath such plenty of Sap, and Moisture; and Fatness in it self as to make every Branch fruitful: There is no want in Christ the good Vine, to minister and convey heavenly Sap and Vertue to every Branch that abideth in him. We now understand what the Office of Christ the true Vine is to Believers that are the Branches, and what he doth to them.

But (may some say) what doth God to Christ? What doth God the Father, the hea­venly Husbandman do unto Christ the Noble Vine? What Influence hath the Son from the Father? We need Influences from the Son of God, but what Influence hath the Son from the Father?

I answer, Christ, as the Son of Man, needs a continual Influence from the Father, as we need a continual Influence from Christ. As the Father hath Life in himself, so he hath given to the Son to have Life in himself, and he quickneth whom he will. Saith Christ, John 5.19. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for what things soever he doth these also doth the Son likewise; for the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that [Page 68] himself doth. And in another Place he saith, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

But some may say, Is not Christ God?

Yes, he is God, and he is Man too; we must have a right Faith in him, not only as God, but as Man: Had Christ been God only and not become the Son of Man, he had not been a Saviour, that is, a perfect and compleat Saviour. It behoved him to become Man, to take upon him the Form of a Servant; it be­hoved him to bear the weight of our Sins in his own Body, upon the Tree, and become a Sacrifice and die for us, and then to rise again from the Dead and ascend into Heaven, and live for ever to make Intercession for us: We needed such an high Priest, that was sensibly touched with the Feeling of our Infirmities, and in all Points tempted like as we are, yet without Sin. That is an excellent Place wherein David prophesied of Christ, Psal. 69.18. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led Captivity captive, thou hast received Gifts for Men, yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them; or, as it may be better translated, That the Lord God might in­habit them and dwell in them. Here David prophesied what Christ received; from whom doth Christ receive Gifts to give unto the Re­bellious? He received them from the Father; he received them from him for them.

So that you may understand that Christ is a Mediator or middle Person between God and us. God the Father hath sealed the Son, and [Page 69] appointed him to give Bread to all the House­hold of God; Labour not for the Meat which perisheth, but for that Meat which endureth to Everlasting Life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed: He hath put a Mark upon him, where­by he may be known from all others; all are inferior to him and short of him, all are Ser­vants under him, Heb. 3.5, 6. Moses verily was faithful in all God's House, as a Servant, &c. but Christ as a Son over his own House [...]; whose House are we if we hold fast the Confi­dence and the rejoicing of the Hope firm unto the end. Believers are God's House, he is their Master; Christ is the Steward of the House; God hath sealed Christ and hath mark­ed him: How hath he marked him? With the fulness of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist taught the People! [...] to know Christ before all other, I indeed baptize you with Water un­to Repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose Shoes I am not worthy to bear, he shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire. John, when he had Baptized Christ in Jordan, saw the Spirit descending on him. Jesus, when he was Baptized, went up straightway out of the Water, and lo the Hea­vens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a Dove, and lighting upon him; and lo a voice from Heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,

Now, to open a little further, in a few words, the Relation that the Father hath to the Son, that is here set forth by way of Me­taphor or Allegory, in this Parable, wherein Christ is styled the true Vine and the Father the Husbandman; what the Husbandman doth to the Vine, that God the Father doth unto Christ. You will say, what is that? what doth the Husbandman to the Vine? doth Christ need any pruning, purging or dressing? was there any Sin in him? No, he needs no pru­ning, or purging; there is no Sin in him nor never was. What doth the Husbandman do to the Vine? He puts Earth and Fatness to the Vine, and the Vine it self must have Earth and Soil to grow in: The Vine cannot grow unless it have a Soil to grow in. As a Branch cannot grow unless it hath a Stock to grow upon, neither can a Tree nor a Vine grow unless it hath Earth and Soil to grow in: Now God the Father, who is the heavenly Husbandman, he gives Divine Influence and Fatness and Moisture unto Christ the true Vine: It is an Allegory, a Metaphor and Fi­gure, but there is a Reality under it and in it; the Son is planted in the Father, and we are planted in the Son; the Father gives Life to the Son, and the Son giveth Life unto Be­lievers; the Son is continually receiving from the Father, and we are continually receiving from the Son, through the Exercise of our Faith.

Would you know and feel an heavenly Vertue, and Sap, and vital Influence flowing [Page 71] [...]om Christ into your Souls? And would you now nothing of dryness, barrenness nor un­ [...]uitfulness? then live by the Faith of the Son [...]f God, and exercise your Faith upon Christ [...]ontinually: It is not enough to have Faith [...]e by you, as a Man hath an Instrument lying [...]y, and he doth not use it: But know the Use and Exercise of Faith, you must know [...]he daily Operation of Faith, els [...] you cannot [...]eceive continual Sap flowing [...] you from Christ the heavenly Vine. G [...]. 2.20. I am [...]rucified with Christ (saith the Apostle) never­ [...]heless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me; [...]nd the Life, which I now live in the Flesh, I [...]ive by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved [...]ne and gave himself for me. There is no [...]iving but by the Faith of the Son of God, Rom. 1.16.17. I am not ashamed of the Gospel [...]f Christ; for it is the Power of God unto Sal­vation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed from Faith to Faith; as it is written (Hab. 2.4.) the Just shall live by his Faith.

Every Man and Woman are to live by their own Faith: It is not the Faith and Holiness of another will serve our turn; every one must have Faith of his own, which is the Gift of God. I once more warn you against that Faith that is only literal, traditional and hi­storical, for that is not the Faith that will ju­stifie and save you; that is not the Faith which I preach: I am much abused, wronged and traduced by some, that say, I preach [Page 72] an unprofitable Faith, and that the Fai [...] which I preach, all England hath it, and a [...] Christendom hath it: If they had it w [...] should see the Fruits of it, Love, Joy, Peace Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Meek­ness and Temperance; these are the Fruit of the Spirit and Concomitants of true Faith The Faith which I preach is indispensibly ne­cessary to every one that expects Salvation and to live with God and Christ in Heave [...] for ever. It is a Faith that is wrought by th [...] mighty Power of God, the powerful word o [...] God in the Heart, Heb. 4.12. The Word o [...] God is quick and powerful, sharper than an [...] two-edged Sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of Soul and Spirit, and of the Joynt [...] and Marrow, and is a discerner of the Thought [...] and Intents of the Heart. This Faith come [...] from an inward Root; this Root is the Ligh [...] within, the Power of God, the Spirit of God within.

O, how many thousands in Christendom have risen up against this Testimony? Blessed be God that gave me a share in this Testi­mony; there is a living Testimony that re­mains in my Mouth and Heart to this Day, that the Lord Jesus Christ died for us, per­formed the Office of an High Priest for us, and upon the account of his precious Blood we receive Remission of Sins. All this is by Faith in Christ; we witness to his prophetical Office, he is the great Prophet and Teacher of his Church and People; and we witness to his Kingly Office, he rules and governs in our [Page 73] Hearts by his Holy Spirit. This Faith is not universally preached and known in all Chri­stendom, in the Root of it, which is Christ within, the Light within, that Christ in his prepared Body did the Will of God and suf­fered Death for us. This Faith, whereby I believe Christ died for me and makes Interces­sion for me, the Root of it is the Light with­in and Christ within.

Is this the Doctrine that is believed and professed all over Christendom? No, by no means: This Faith I can prove out of our Friends Writings, in Print, that it respects Christ whole and entire. Every true Exer­cise of Faith doth respect Christ, as he is both God and Man: It respects him as he came in the Flesh, died and suffered for us in the Flesh, and as he rose again from the Dead and ascended into Heaven, and now appears in the Presence of God for us, and as he will come again to judge the world, as he is [...]he Son of Man, God hath appointed a Day, wherein he will judge the World, by the Man Christ Jesus, whereof he hath given Assurance [...]o all Men, in that he hath raised him from [...]he Dead.

Some will be ready to say, Shall not the Light within judge all Men? Shall not the words which Christ hath spoken judge us at [...]he last Day?

Yes, Christ shall judge all Men at the last Day, both by his Light in their Hearts, and [...]s he is the Man Christ; now if any think [...]at the Light within is the Man Christ Jesus, [Page 74] and nothing else, and exclude the Person o [...] Christ, the same Person that was crucified an [...] died for us, and was buried, This would b [...] a great Error, and a contradiction to th [...] fundamental Principles of the Christian Faith I say, that blessed Body which God prepare [...] for his dear Son to tabernacle in, to be h [...] Temple, that Body remains in Being, and wi [...] remain a glorious Body to all Eternity. Th [...] Apostle tells us, Phil. 3.20. That our mea [...] and vile Bodies shall be made like unto Christ [...] glorious Body. For our Conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change ou [...] vile Body, that it may be fashioned like unto h [...] glorious Body, according to the working where [...] he is able to subdue all things unto himself.

It will be the Happiness of the Saints th [...] they shall be made like unto Christ, both i [...] Soul and Body. We shall be made more lik [...] to Christ in our Souls and Spirits then, an [...] we must be cleansed from Sin, and made li [...] him now; for we expect no Purgatory aft [...] this Life, therefore defer it not: He that ha [...] this Hope, saith the Apostle, purifyeth himse [...] even as he is pure.

My Friends, I expect no cleansing after th [...] Life; I expect all my cleansing here, to [...] cleansed from all filthiness both of Flesh a [...] Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of G [...] that so when I come to die, I may be receiv [...] into the Bosom of Christ, that I may have measure of that holy Confidence to pray [...] [Page] Stephen, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit, This [...]lessed Martyr Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, he looked up stedfastly into Heaven, and [...]aw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing on the [...]ight Hand of God; and when they were ston­ [...]ng him to Death, he kneeled down, and cried with a loud Voice, Lord, lay not this Sin to [...]heir Charge, and when he had said this, he [...]ell asleep.

Friends, you that have a Life of Faith, and [...]eel Christ dwelling in your Hearts by Faith, [...]ou feel his Life, Power and Spirit in you, to [...]ead you in the way of Obedience. You may die in Peace, and with great Joy and Satisfa­ction, you may die with great Courage, and commit your Bodies to the Grave, and with [...]ulness of Assurance commit your departing Souls to the Lord Jesus, to be received into his Bosom, and to have an abundant entrance [...]nto his everlasting Kingdom. All the decea­ [...]ed Saints, tho' they have a greater Injoyment of God and Christ than we have now, or th [...] [...]hey had when tabernacled in a mortal Body, [...]et they wait and long for the Reward which [...]hey shall receive at the Resurrection of the Dead; then is the full Possession, the joyful Harvest which our Saviour hath told us of; When thou makest a Feast, invite not thy Friends [...]r the Rich that will invite thee again, but the Poor and Needy that cannot recompence thee. How few make such Feasts? This was our Saviours Counsel and Advice, Luke 14.12, 13. When thou makest a Dinner or a Supper, call [...]ot thy Friends nor thy Brethren, neither thy [Page 76] Kinsmen nor thy rich Neighbours, lest they als [...] bid thee again, and Recompence be made to the [...] But when thou makest a Feast, call the Poor the Maimed, the Lame and the Blind, an [...] thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompenc [...] thee, for thou shalt be recompensed at the Resur­rection of the Just. When is the Resurrection of the Dead? when Men and Women die [...] No; when a good Man and Woman die they certainly go into Paradice; there is a great fruition of the Lord's Presence, and o [...] his Love and Life, that they then receive an [...] enjoy: But that is not the Resurrection o [...] the Dead. Many were raised from the Dea [...] before Christ died, but this is not the genera [...] Resurrection of the Dead: And our Saviou [...] himself raised Lazarus and the Widow's Son this is not the Resurrection of the Dead. Bu [...] now Christ is risen from the Dead (saith th [...] Apostle) and become the first Fruits of them tha [...] sleep, 1 Cor. 15.20. tho' some were raised from the Dead before Christ's Death and Re­surrection, yet none of them went bodily to Heaven, but Christ himself: As in Adam a [...] die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive but every Man in his own Order; Christ th [...] first Fruits, afterwards they that are Christs a [...] his coming, then cometh the end.

Friends, I hope in this manner of Doctri [...] my Testimony is acceptable to some; I war [...] you let none despise it; I hope in God tha [...] this Doctrin of the Resurrection is acceptabl [...] to many; if the holy Scriptures have Weigh [...] and Authority, and Credit with you, as I hop [...] [Page 77] they have with all here present, then the Faith of the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Faith of our own Resurrection and of Christ's Resurrection will be of Credit with you, which is such an important Matter, that all Preaching is vain without it, and our Faith vain without it: If you have not a true Be­lief of the Resurrection of the Dead, you are yet in your Sins. Pretend what you will of divine Injoyments, if you have not a Belief of the Resurrection of the Dead, I say you are yet in your Sins, and your Faith is vain. I prove this from the Testimony of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 15.14. But if there be no Resurrection of the Dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our Preaching vain, and your faith is also vain; yea, and we are found salse Witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the Dead arise not; for if the Dead rise not, then is not Christ raised, and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins, 1 Cor. 15.16, 17.

Some ignorantly imagine, that the Apostle Paul speaks of an inward Rising and of the new Birth; as the new Birth is a most neces­sary preparation for a glorious Resurrection, that better Resurrection; but that is a great Mistake to say, the Apostle speaks here of the new Birth: for he is speaking of raising the Body out of the Grave. He speaks of the same that Christ spake, John 5.28. Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in which all [Page 78] that are in the Graves shall [...]ear his Voice, a [...] shall come forth, they that have done good un [...] the Resurrection of Life, and they that ha [...] done evil unto the Resurrection of Damnatio [...] The Resurrection of the Just is a comfortabl [...] Resurrection, but that of the Unjust is [...] dreadful Resurrection, 2 Cor. 5.10. For [...] must all appear before the Judgment-seat Christ, that every one may receive the thin [...] done in his Body, according to that he ha [...] done, whether it be good or bad. You ma [...] take notice of those Words of the Apostle 1 Cor. 15.14. If there be no Resurrection [...] the Dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Chri [...] be not risen, then is our Preaching vain, an [...] your Faith is also vain.

These Words are linked together like s [...] many Links, making a strong Chain that can not be broken. The Resurrection of the Dead both of the Just and Unjust are linked wit [...] Christ's Resurrection, and Christ's Resurre­ction is linked with the Faith of it, and th [...] Faith of it linked with the Preaching of it they that have not the true Faith of Christ Resurrection, and of the Resurrection of th [...] Dead, are yet in their Sins; and let them pretend never so much to the Faith of Chri [...] within, if they have not the Faith of Chri [...] without them, they are yet in their Sins.

Take not things upon my Credit, but searc [...] the Scriptures; I hope the holy Scriptures hav [...] Credit, Esteem and Authority with you. Le [...] me once more caution you to take thing rightly, that you may not mistake me; I say [Page 79] that a bare historical Belief of the Resurre­ction of the Dead, or of the Resurrection of Christ, will not prove a Man not to be dead [...]n his sins; but if we do really believe the Resurrection of the Dead and Christ's Resur­ [...]ection, if we believe these great Truths, and [...]f our Faith be from an inward Work of the Spirit of God upon our Hearts, this Belief will lay a Constraint upon us to live unto Christ that died for us, and to have our Hearts in Heaven, and our Conversation in Heaven: If you are risen with Chrict (saith the Apostle) then seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; and set your Affectons on things above, and nor on things on the Earth.

What are those things above that we are to set our Hearts and Affections upon? And what is it to set our Affections upon things above?

To set our Affections on things above, it is to have our Thoughts and Meditations exer­cised after this manner: ‘Lord, whom have I in Heaven but thee? There is none upon Earth that I desire besides thee; Lord, my Desire is only unto thee, and to the remem­brance of thy Name; I, am travelling through the Wilderness of this World, this is the place of my Pilgrimage; I am here in a strange Land, I am passing through this Wil­derness, this Country that is earthly, but I desire a better Country, that is an heavenly. Lord, I am coming to thee, and to be with thee, and to enjoy fulness of Felicity with [Page 80] thee: That which I have now, is but an earnest and fore-taste of Heaven; that di­vine Refreshment which I have now from thy Presence, O Lord, it is very sweet unto my Soul, that followeth hard after thee, and even faints and longs for thy Salvation! Lord, my Soul is satisfied as with Marrow and Fatness, when thou drawest nigh to me, and liftest up the Light of thy Countenance upon me; this puts Gladness into my Heart, more than in the time that worldly Men have their Corn and Wine encreased. But what is all this in comparison of Heaven and the full Fruition of thee, and that fulness of Joy, and Rivers of Pleasures, at thy right Hand for evermore?’

I would not diminish those divine and spi­ritual Enjoyments, and sweet refreshing Con­solations, which the Lord is pleased many times to vouchsafe to his People here; they have large Enjoyments of the Lord's Presence and sweet Communion with him; but all this is but a fore-taste and earnest of what is to come. Therefore, setting our Affections on things above, is to be exercising our Faith, our Hope and Meditations, upon that Felicity which we shall enjoy after this Life.

I would not have any set their Imaginations on work so as to form Ideas in their Minds what sort of place Heaven is, for those thoughts and conceptions that will profit you, the Spi­rit of the Lord must give them to you, and so help you to contemplate and meditate upon the joy and Glory of Heaven. If ever you [Page 81] have any real benefit and advantage by the Exercise of your Thoughts, it must be through the help and assistance of the Holy Spirit; you can have no profitable Meditation con­cerning God, and Christ, and Heaven, and Judgment to come, except the Spirit of the Lord doth work in your Hearts, and form your Thoughts, and excite your desires, and raise your affections to a spiritual and lively Exercise.

Friends, you must labour to come to a Holy silence and stilness in your waiting upon the Lord, and to deny your selves and take up the Cross of Christ, and give up your selves intirely to the leadings of his Spirit, and sup­press the natural workings and actings of your own Spirits, and let every Thought and Imagi­nation be brought into subjection and into a Holy Captivity to the Lord Jesus Christ, in your Meditations on God, and Heaven, and Glory in the VVorld to come; these Thoughts must be given you by the Spirit of God, you must form and frame and work them together with the Spirit.

The Life of a true Christian is to live above, to have his conversation in Heaven, and to look beyond all present Enjoyments, unto that which is to come, unto fruitions that are future and Everlasting. The Apostle, accor­ding to the VVisdom given him of God, hath given us an excellent definition of Faith. Hebr. 11.1. Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hope looks to that which is future, which is [Page 82] not presently enjoyed. Rom. 8.24., saith th [...] Apostle, We are saved by Hope; but Hope th [...] is seen is not Hope, for what a Man seeth w [...] doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for th [...] we see not, then do we with patience wait f [...] it.

If any one say that this Doctrine drawes [...] from the present enjoyment, from the gift o [...] God in our selves to look to that which is beyond the grave; I say it doth not. Tru [...] hope centers you in that which is the prese [...] measure, and confirms and establishes you i [...] it; it is the present measure that worketh tru [...] hope in us, a present measure of the gift o [...] God, of the Grace and Spirit of God; the effec [...] of Grace cannot lead us from Grace; therefor [...] it is great weakness for any thus to argue, [...] am afraid my meditation will carry me from m [...] present measure. I tell thee the Thoughts an [...] meditations that work in the Heart of a tru [...] Christian, that carry him beyond present en­joyments to those that are future, will no [...] hinder the present measure of Grace received.

Let me add this one word further; the mistery that hath been told us; the Mystery that hath been hid from Ages and Generations which is Christ in us, who is the hope of glo­ry, may we not say Christ in us is our glory▪ and Christ in us is our Enjoyment? VVe may say, if we are true Believers, Christ in me is Joy and Sweetness to my Soul, and delight and satisfaction to my Soul beyond all the transient Joys and pleasures of this VVorld. [Page] If I had the possession of them, and were Master of them; Christ within affords me that [...]atisfaction and content, that peace and joy, that surpasseth all worldly Pleasures. Christ within us is our hope of Glory, but the pre­sent measure of Christ within is not our full possession of Glory. I own it, that Christ and his Grace is in every Saint, and Grace is Glory begun; it is the earnest and first Fruits of Glory. The Apostle calls Christ within, the Hope of Glory; not the full possession of it. Christ within leads us to that which is be­yond the Grave, and beyond Time, which is to be enjoyed in a glorious Eternity.

The Apostle Paul tells us, Tit. 2.11, 12, 13. The grace of God that bringeth Salvation, hath appeared to all Men, teaching us, that denying Ʋngodliness and worldly Lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present World; looking for that blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sa­viour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works. When is the time of the ap­pearance of this blessed Hope? At the glo­rious appearing of the great God (who is both God and Man) and our Saviour. When is that? At the Resurrection of the Dead, when all Nations shall stand before the Son of Man, the Good and Bad, the Just and the Un­just together.

What this glorious Appearing will be, i [...] beyond the power and ability of any Man t [...] demonstrate; but there is one thing I shal [...] mention which will make it a most glorious Appearing, that all the unjust Judgments that have been passed against just Men, against the Saints and People of God, shall be reversed this will be very glorious, and God will then, before Men and Angels, justify his righteous and faithful Servants, that have been unjustly condemned by Popes, Bishops, and general Councils and Synods.

Thus our blessed Lord himself was unjustly condemned, and charged with Blasphemy, as you may read in the Evangelist, Mark 14.62. The High-priest asked our Saviour, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am. And ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right Hand of Power, and coming in the Clouds of Heaven. Then the High-priest rent his Cloths, and saith, What need we any further Witnesses? Ye have heard the Blasphemy; what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of Death. A wonderful thing! that Innocence it self should be condemned as Guilty, and that the supream and righteous Judge of the World, should have such an unrighteous Sentence passed against him, and be crucified and slain by those, he came to save, and that for their sakes endured the pains of Death, to purchase for them eter­nal Life: He was made a Curse, that they might inherit the Blessing. When Pilate would [Page 85] have released Christ, they cried, Not this Man, but Barrabas.

As they have treated the glorious Head of the Church, so they have dealt with his Mem­bers; this godly Man, and the other godly Man, have been reproached, persecuted and put to Death, for the sake of Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the great Captain of our Salvation, who was made perfect thro' Sufferings. If we suffer with him we shall reign with him, at the Day of h [...]s glorious Appearing; and it will be a glorious Appear­ing indeed to them that look and long for it.

The new Covenant open'd: IN A SERMON Preached by George Keith AT Harp-lane, near Towerstreet, London, Sept. 2d 1694.

Jeremiah, xxxi. 31, &c.‘Behold, the Days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new Co­venant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah: Not according to the Covenant that I made with their Fathers, in the Day that I took them by the Hand, to bring them out of the Land of Egypt (which my Covenant they brake, although I was an Husband to them, saith the Lord) But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel; After those Days, saith the Lord, I will put my Law [Page] in their [...] write it in th [...] Hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my People: And they shall teach no more every Man his Neighbour, and every Man his Brother, saying, Know the Lord: For they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their Iniqui­ty, and I will remember their Sin no more.’

THERE are diverse great and weighty things needful here to be opened, for there are many Persons are very apt to mistake, that have not a right Understanding of the Nature of the New Covenant, and they make a great jumble and confusion between that common universal Illumination, extended to all. Mankind, even the most barbarous Na­tions where the Gospel never came, by any outward Ministry, and that Illumination which is proper and peculiar to the new Covenant.

The Apostle, speaking of the Gentiles, to whom Christ was not outwardly preached, and where his Name and Fame, and the Sound of him was not come, he writes thus; Rom. 1.20. For the invisible things of him, from the Creation of the World, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power and Godhead, so that they are without Excuse. And, again, the Apostle speaking of the Dispensation of God that the Gentiles were under, who had [Page 88] not a Law outward [...] delivered to them, Rom. 2.14, 15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by Nature the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves; which shew the Work of the Law written in their Hearts, their Consci­ence also bearing Witness, and their Thoughts in the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

Here is Writing of the Law upon the Hearts of the Gentiles; and to be sure God wrote this Law: But with what Pen, you may say, did he write it? You may read in John 1.1, 2, 3, 4. In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God; all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made: In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men. Here is the Pen; God's Light is this Pen: God hath written his Law upon the Hearts of all Men, both Jews and Gentiles, Believers and Unbelievers, for both Writings are God's Writings, they are writ­ten by the Hand of God, the Finger of God, or with the Spirit of God.

But you may say, What is the difference between these two Writings? What is the difference between that Illumination which is common to all Mankind, and that which is proper and peculiar to the new Cove­nant?

I answer, the Differences and Distinctions may be branched forth into divers weighty [Page 89] particulars more than at present I shall have time to mention; but I shall speak of some of the chief of them.

First, The Law of God is universally writ­ [...]en upon the Hearts of all Men; but it doth not make a Change upon them, so as to sof­ [...]en their Hearts. We read of two Sorts of Hearts in the Holy Scripture, Hearts of Stone, [...]nd Hearts of Flesh: God hath promised to [...]ake away the Heart of Stone and to give [...]n Heart of Flesh. This universal Law of God is written upon the Hearts of all Men; [...]pon the Hearts of the Wicked and Disobe­ [...]ient: Let wicked Men do their worst, and [...]ndeavour never so much, with all their wickedness and filthiness to obliterate and [...]lot out the Law of God, that is written [...]pon their Hearts; they cannot do it, it re­mains to judge them, and will judge them, [...]nd leave them without Excuse. But the Law [...]f the New Covenant is written upon a Heart [...]f Flesh: It is written upon the Hearts of [...]one but those that are the People of God, [...]hat are true Israelites, upon them that are [...]ews inwardly in the Spirit not in the Let­ [...]er, whose Praise is not of Men but of God. This is one great difference between that Illu­mination that is common to all Mankind, and [...]hat which is proper and peculiar to the new Covenant.

Secondly, The Law of God, as he writes [...]t upon the Hearts of all Men. It is his Law, [...]s he is the great Creator and Maker, and Lord of Heaven and Earth: All ought to be [Page 90] subject to his Law, as he is their Maker, a [...] they are obliged to serve him, reverence hi [...] fear him and obey him; and hereupon he [...] every Man and Woman's Teacher. Ho [...] As he is the great Creator, and Maker, a [...] Lord of Heaven and Earth: And here t [...] Relation between God and Men and Wom [...] is that which is between a Master or Lord a [...] a Servant: But now the Law of the ne [...] Covenant, it is the Law of a Parent towa [...] his Children; now this far exceeds the othe [...] and God's Teachings here are fatherly Teac [...] ings; they are God's Teachings, as he is Father to his People, and as they are his Chi [...] dren: So that God's People that are und [...] this New Covenant, they have access to Go [...] as Children to a Father; they come with a ho [...] Boldness and Freedom into his Presence. Master of a Family hath in his House both Se [...] vants, and Sons and Daughters; and yo [...] know there is a greater Nearness and Affect [...] on between a Man and his Sons and Daug [...] ters than between him and his Servants: Master of a Family loves his Children bett [...] than he loves his Servants; so on the oth [...] hand Children, if they be dutiful, love the [...] Parents with a purer Affection, with a mo [...] free, kind, generous and noble Affection tha [...] they that are Servants love their Masters The Love of a Servant towards God is me [...] cenary and for the Reward; but the Love o [...] God's Children is a free and filial Affection they say unto God, Lord I love thee for th [...] self, because thou art good and the most exce [...] lent [Page 91] Being, and there is none like or equal [...]nto thee in Heaven or on Earth; I love thee [...]ecause thou hast given me a Heart to love [...]ee; thou hast made me partake of a Child's Nature; thou hast given me the Heart of a Child, that I might love thee.

My Friends, the Love of those that are [...]ervants is a mercenary Love, and their Fear [...] a servile Fear, a Fear of Punishment: The [...]ove of God's Children is a filial Love, a [...]ee and generous Affection, a Love whereby [...]he Soul is changed and brought under the New Covenant: a Love to God for his own [...]ake, not only for his Blessings and for his Gifts, but chiefly and principally for himself; [...]ot only because they believe that when they [...]lie they shall go to Heaven, and that because Heaven is a blessed Place, and that therefore [...]hey are glad they have such a Place to go to; but they love God above Heaven, who is bet­ [...]er to them than Heaven it self, and they can [...]ay with David, Psalm 73.25. (Lord) whom [...]ave I in Heaven but thee, and there is none [...]pon Earth that I desire besides thee.

Thirdly, Another difference between that common Illumination which is common to all Mankind, and that which is special and pecu­ [...]iar to those under the New Covenant, may [...]ppear in his Teaching them; God teacheth Sin­ners, (saith the Psalmist) Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will he teach Sinners in the way: God by his universal Illumination teacheth Men many things concerning himself, and their Du­ [...]y to him in a general way; but God teacheth [Page 92] his People under the New Covenant by r [...] vealing and making known to them clear [...] and distinctly Christ Jesus the Mediator [...] the New Covenant. God giveth them t [...] Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God [...] the Face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 4.6. Go [...] maketh known to his People this great M [...] stery of Christ, as he is the Mediator betwe [...] God and them: So we read in the Epistle [...] the Hebrews, Heb. 12.22. But ye are com [...] unto Mount Zion, and to the City of the li [...] ing God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an i [...] numerable Company of Angels, to the gener [...] Assembly and Church of the First-born, whic [...] are written in Heaven, and to God the Judg [...] of all, and the Spirits of just Men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New C [...] venant, and to the Blood of Sprinkling th [...] speaketh better things than that of Abel. The [...] is no approaching to God but through th [...] Man Christ Jesus.

But you may say, How shall they com [...] unto God by the Man Christ Jesus the Mediator, that never saw him with their bodil [...] Eyes, nor never heard him with their Bodil [...] Ears? How then can they come unto Jes [...] the Mediator of the New Covenant, who they have neither thus heard nor seen?

Blessed be God that hath given thousand and ten thousands, and hundreds of thousand to understand this great Mystery of comin [...] to God by the Man Christ Jesus, whom the never saw with their Bodily Eyes, nor hear [...] with their Bodily Ears. The like Objectio [...] [Page 93] may be made against coming to God, who [...]annot be seen with bodily Eyes, for he is a [...]pirit and invisible, yet there is a coming to God, Heb. 11.6. He that cometh to God must [...]elieve that he is. We have now no Oppor­ [...]unity nor occasion of seeing Christ with bo­dily Eyes, or hearing him with our bodily Ears, yet we may come to him by Faith. Who worketh this Faith? God's blessed Spirit, When is it wrought, and where and how is it wrought? It is wrought in God's ordinary way, by Preaching; when Christ is preached by those that he hath qualified and fitted by his blessed Spirit; when he is thus preached by the Power of his own Holy Spirit, Faith is wrought in the Hearts of those that hear; not of all, for some believe the Gospel, and [...]ome believe not.

Thus it hath been all-a-long, where-ever the Gospel hath been preached, some believe and others do not believe: I say, the Word of the Gospel, as it is preached and complied with, it is like Rain and Snow that falls up­on the Earth, it returneth not in vain, but hath a Service; though it make not all the Parts of the Earth fruitful, all Places are not alike fruitful, some remain barren still: Thus saith the Lord by the Prophet, Isa. 55.10, 11. For as the Rain cometh down, and the Snow from Heaven, and returneth not thither, but water­ [...]eth the Earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give Seed to the Sower and Bread to the Eater; so shall my Word be, that goeth forth out of my Mouth, it shall not [Page 94] return unto me void, but it shall accomplish [...] that which I please, and it shall prosper in th [...] thing whereto I sent it. When the Gospel is preached in any Congregation, in any City, Town, Country or Nation, it cannot be expect­ed that all should be converted, it cannot be expected that the good seed should fall every where in good Ground: No, it may be one part is good Ground but where the seed is sown, according to Christs Parable of the sower, Mat. 13.3, 4, 5. Some seeds fell by the way side, and the Fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places where they had not much Earth &c. And when the Sun was up they were scorched, and because they had not root they withered away; and some fell among Thorns, and the, Thorns sprung up and choked them; but others fell into good Ground, and brought forth Fruit.

Blessed be God that hath taught us this great Mystery of coming unto God by Christ Jesus the Mediatour, whom we have not seen with Bodily Eyes, nor heard with Bodily Ears. VVe have access to God by him, and we have access to the Mediatour by his pre­cious Blood, and by his Blessed Spirit. And Faith is a great mystery, it well deserves to be called the mystery of Faith; and the mystery of it is this, it joyns Believing Souls to God through the Man Christ, and to the Man Christ whom they have not seen with Bodily Eyes, according to those words of the Apostle Peter, Pet. 1.1, 8. Whom having not seen ye Love; in whom though now ye see him [Page 95] not, yet believing ye rejoyce with Joy unspeaka­ [...]le and full of Glory. These words Import, [...]hat though now ye see not the Man Christ [...]esus, yet the time will come when you shall see him, that is, when he shall appear in his Glory at the great Day of Judgment; when [...]he Nations shall stand before him, then they shall certainly see him though now they see him not, and then Believers shall rejoyce with [...]oy unspeakable and full of Glory. I say Faith is a very great mystery in that it joyns the Souls of them that truly believe in him, to Christ now in heaven. Believers do not rejoyce Imaginarily, but really. True Faith is incom­parably a more excellent thing than Imagi­nation is. Faith joyneth us to Christ, it knit­teth us to him and giveth us access unto God by him. Remember what our Lord said to Thomas after he arose from the Dead, when he appeared to his Disciples, the Doors being shut; the eleven had seen Christ before, when Thomas was not present; he would not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ had appeared to them, John, 20. When the other Disciples told him we have seen the Lord. He said unto them, except I shall see in his Hands the Print of the Nails, and put my Finger into the Print of the Nails, and thrust my Hand into his Side, I will not believe. And after eight Days again his Disciples were within, and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the Doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, peace be unto you; then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy Finger, and behold my Hands, and reach hither [Page 96] thy Hand, and thrust it into my Side, and be Faithless, but believing. And Thomas answe [...] ed and said unto him, my Lord and my G [...] Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou h [...] seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they th [...] have not seen, and yet have believed.

O my Friends these VVords are preciou [...] my Heart is touched and tendered with the [...] Blessed are they that have not seen yet ha [...] believed; we have not seen him risen from th [...] Dead, he appeared not to us as to them, and [...] he appeared to Paul, outwardly; this is o [...] case, you are blessed if ye believe in him who [...] ye have not seen, in the Lord Jesus Christ, [...] the Man Christ Jesus; and if they are Blesse [...] that have not seen, yet have believed, then follows by the Rule of contraries, that the [...] were not blessed who did not believe in hi [...] though they saw him and heard him Preach.

I cannot say it is a Sin in them not to b [...] lieve in the Lord Jesus Christ who have n [...] heard him Preached to them outwardly nor In­wardly, who have not heard of his Death Burial, Resurrection and Ascension and sittin [...] at the Right-Hand of God. I cannot say [...] is a Sin in them not to believe who nev [...] heard of those things; but those that have ha [...] this Doctrine preached and also read in th [...] Holy Scriptures, and yet do not believe Chris [...] risen from the Dead, that do not believe Chris [...] died for their Sins, nor believe that he is gon [...] to Heaven and liveth for ever to make inter­cession for us, It is so great a Sin not to be­lieve Christs Incarnation, Death and Resur­rection, [Page 97] when it is preached, that they bring a Curse upon themselves that believe not this Doctrin, after it is plainly preached to them: I do say it, and am ready to prove what I say, They that have an opportunity to hear this Doctrin preached, and read it, they have an obligation lying upon them to believe it; not because of the outward Testimony bare­ly, for where-ever the Scriptures come, and are read and preached, there is an inward Witness and Testimony goes along with the outward Testimony, and it cannot be suppo­sed that the inward Testimony of God's holy Spirit will be wanting to them that enjoy the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, to enable them to believe: It is Unbelief that brings Men under the Curse, and makes them guilty before God. Our Saviour told the Jews, Except you believe that I am he, ye shall die in your Sins: O this is most dreadful! and whi­ther I go, ye cannot come.

It is not a bare literal, traditional or histo­rical Faith or Belief in Christ that I preach to the People, which is a Faith of no Value or Worth, for Hypocrites have this Faith; but that Faith which I preach, it is a living Faith, wrought by the mighty Power of the Spirit of Christ, accompanying the outward Teaching: It is a living Faith, a fruitful Faith, and where-ever this Faith is, Love is; it is never without Love, for Faith, Hope and Love al­ways go together, and all the Fruits of the Spirit, all evangelical Vertues, Humility, Meekness, Temperance and Patience, so that [Page 98] they that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ they have a Faith that worketh by Love, Love to God and Man. That Faith that they have in them is a pious, devout, religious, conscien­cious Faith; and this Faith is accompanied with a Desire that every one might partake of the like precious Faith: Every one tha [...] hath it, they feel an earnest Travel and con­cern upon their Spirits, that all might be par­takers of it; they are zealous for the Faith of Christ's Doctrine, for by the Faith of Christ's Doctrine we have the Faith of Christ him­self.

So that I do not understand, for my part, how people can have the Faith of Christ, that have not the Faith of his Doctrine. A Man or Woman may have a measure of the true Faith of Christ, and be short in some matter of Doctrine, that is not fundamental; they may be wanting in some measure, but it were better that there was nothing wanting, if possible. I long to see you (saith the Apostle, Rom. 1.11. compared with 1 Thess. 3.10.) that I may perfect what is lacking in your Faith. He did suppose those that were partakers of the Faith of Christ might have something lack­ing in their Faith that might be supplied to them. Christ's Doctrine, as it is powerfully preached, hath this Service in it, to help a Man to lay hold on Christ by Faith; as you know we can more easily lay hold upon a Man that is cloathed than upon one that is naked; we can more easily lay hold upon Christ by laying hold upon his Doctrine and [Page 99] upon his precious Promises, the Promise of Remission of Sin, and of his Holy Spirit: John 7.38. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his Belly shall flow Rivers of living Water. These are exceed­ing great and precious Promises, by which we may be made partakers of the Divine Nature.

I can tell you something of mine own Ex­perience: I was enabled to lay hold on Christ by laying hold on the Promise of Christ. Christ comes cloathed with the preci­ous Promises, to believe the Promise of Sal­vation, through Christ Jesus, the Promise of Remission of Sin, of Justification, of Peace with God, and of eternal Life and Happiness; as Christ was held forth in the Promise, we lay hold on Christ as his Doctrine is preached. As we lay hold on a Man by taking hold of his Cloaths, or a Lap or Skirt of his Gar­ment, so we lay hold on Christ by the preci­ous things testified of him: So that there is a great difference between common Illumination given to all Mankind, and that special Illu­mination which is proper to Believers; and whatsoever other Differences there are, may be reduced to these three. But though the common and special Illumination be differing, yet they both come from one Fountain and Root, God, Christ and the Spirit, according to 1 Cor. 12.4, 5, 6. And the common Illu­mination is of a saving tendency, by way of introduction and preparation to the other.

But some may put the Question and say, Of what Use is this common Illumination? if it belong not to the new Covenant, then of what use is it to us?

I answer, it is of great use; it is of the same use with the Law; it is as a School-ma­ster to bring us unto Christ, to point us unto Christ. This common Illumination is like John the Baptist his Ministry and Baptism; he was sent before to prepare the Way of the Lord. This common Illumination prepares Men and Women for Christ; it will make them sensible that they are miserable Sinners, miserable Offenders and Transgressors, and that God is angry with them, and that they deserve to die, and that the Wages of Sin is Death; they having sinned, Death is their Wages: I say, this is of great Service to Peo­ple to be thus far convinced that they are Sin­ners, and that they need an Advocate and Me­diator to come between God and them, be­cause they have offended him. If we had of­fended a great Man, we would be glad for some who had Interest in him, and great favour and friendship to speak for us.

If we had offended the King and commit­ted Treason, would not we be glad of some Person that hath a great Interest in the King's favour, to intercede for us? If the King had a Son, would not we be glad that he should mediate for us, and interpose between us and the Wrath of the King, and turn away his Indignation, and make Reconciliation for us? Would not we be glad that the King's [Page] Son should obtain a Pardon for us, and restor [...] us to the King's favour?

We have offended the King of Kings, and the supream Lord of Heaven and Earth, so that we need a great Mediator; we need one to make our Peace, and purchase Pardon and Salvation for us; God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, he hath given his dear Son Christ Jesus, to be the great Mediator between God and Man, to be the great Peace-maker and Reconciler, and the Saviour of Sinners. But it should not be thought that Christ hath greater tenderness and love for us than God the Father, Who so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be­lieveth in him should not perish, but have ever­lasting Life.

And now, in the next place, there is ano­ther thing that is weighty upon my Spirit, and it is of great concernment, and that is, to an­swer this Question:

Question, How doth God do this great Work, of putting his Law in our inward Parts, and writing his Law in our Hearts? Doth he do it without all outward Means, Helps and Instruments?

I answer; In God's ordinary way he doth this great VVork by outward Means, Helps and Instruments, tho' he can do it without them. It may suffice us, that God hath vouchsafed to us these outward Means and Helps of Instruction, in the Preaching of the Gospel, and in our Reading of the holy Scri­ptures. It pleaseth the Lord by the mighty [Page] working of his [...] it, to go along with the outward Ministry of the VVord, and to make impression upon us, and to write his Law in our Hearts, this Law of the New Covenant.

This I testify from mine own Experience; and I doubt not but divers here can witness the like to have been their Experience, that God hath, by the mighty power and operation of his holy Spirit, accompanying the outward means and helps of Instruction, made impres­sion upon them, and written his Law upon their Hearts.

This Law of the New Covenant, here ex­pressed in the singular Number, is sometimes stiled Laws, in the plural Number: When it is stiled Law in the singular Number, it sig­nifies a Body of divine Laws consisting of ma­ny parts; I will put my Law in their inward Parts, and write it in their Hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my People. Now the Laws and Precepts of God which he gave to his People, the twelve Tribes of Israel, some have computed their number to be above six hundred Laws, many of which were typical and ceremonial: How do these typical and ceremonial Laws, which were given to them, bind us that live under the Gospel? Do they oblige us now?

I answer, they do not bind us as to the typical and ceremonial part; but they bind us as to the spiritual part, as they have a spi­ritual and moral signification, as the Law of the Sabbaths, and Sacrifices, and New Moons [Page] &c. they bind us not as to the ceremonial part, but as they have a spiritual and moral signification in them.

I shall now proceed to some few things that remain. In the new Covenant God hath pro­mised to his People, To blot out their Ini­quities, and to remember their Sins no more. The Law of the first Covenant doth not admit of Pardon of Sin; The Soul that sinneth shall die; but the new Covenant hath Pardon of Sin, through the Mediator Christ Jesus, up­on the account of shedding his Blood for us, This is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of Sins, Mat. 26.28. Why doth not he say, for Remission of the sins of all? He died for all, and shed his Blood for all; but it is only effectual to those that believe in him.

Pray observe with me this weighty Matter of Doctrin, which is this: None hath his Sins blotted out, but as he comes to God's Teach­ings, the Father's Teachings, but as he comes to be taught of God over and above all Mens Teaching whatsoever; every one that is taught of God, doth know more of God, more of his Love, more of his divine Grace, more of his Power, more of divine Enjoy­ment; those that are taught of God, know more of a divine Sweetness and Enjoyment, and of Comfort, than can be had by the Teachings of Man, or in the Bible it self, ac­cording to that Expression of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2.9. Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, neither have entred into the Heart of Man the [Page 104] things which God hath prepared for them that love him. The full fruition of these things is reserved to the World to come; but the deep things of God are revealed by the Spirit of God, and the first Fruits and Earnest are given to the People of God here in this World, the full enjoyment whereof is reserved for the next Life. Now the first Fruits and Earnest are of the same nature and kind with the full Harvest in Glory.

If thou be a true Believer, thou enjoyest a measure of the same Delight and Pleasure in Communion with God on Earth that the glo­rified Saints do enjoy in Heaven to all Eter­nity. O the inward sweetness, delight and satisfaction, that the Soul of every true Be­liever enjoys in God in this Life; it is of the same nature and kind that the Saints shall en­joy in Heaven to all Eternity; this first Fruits and Earnest is but little, in comparison of the full Harvest that is to come. Those that are the People of God, that have experienced God's Teaching, know that which is beyond all the Teachings of the best of Men, as the taste of Hony is beyond all Reports of it; the Joys and Comforts of God's holy Spirit, are beyond all that can be declared and expressed by Man concerning these things. Whatsoever God's Servants have declared and reported concerning the great things that God hath pro­mised to them that love him, the Knowledge, and Taste, and Experience of God's People goes beyond it. Yet this makes not void the outward Testimony and Teaching of holy [Page 105] Men; for so far as any holy Man has greater Experience than I, and a greater experimental Knowledge of God, he is sit to teach me further than I at present know; for the Child­ren of God are gradually taught under the new Covenant.

None have Forgiveness of Sin vouchsafed to them, but those that come under God's Teach­ing; they believe not because of Man's Testi­mony only, because Paul taught so, and Peter taught so, and James and John taught so, but as they said to the Samaritan-woman, 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.

Those that are thus taught of God, know the Truth and love the Truth, as it is in Jesus; they have heard himself preach; he is not bodily present, but he is present by his Spirit; the Voice of the Spirit of Christ is the Voice of Christ, and the Voice of God the Fa­ther; you that hear the Voice of the Spirit in your Hearts, you hear the Voice of the Fa­ther and the Son; they that are taught of God, they hear the Voice of God the Father, Son and holy Ghost.

There is one thing further upon my Heart, which I shall deliver as the Lord shall be plea­sed to enable me, in a few Words, concern­ing the new Covenant. I hope you all know thus much, that the nature of a Covenant is mutual, it binds and obligeth both Parties; so doth God's Covenant, who ever comes un­der God's Covenant: As, God obligeth him­self [Page 106] to be their Father, and their God, an [...] their Husband; thy Maker is thy Husband So God's People, that come under this Covenant, are engaged unto God, and God ex­pects and requires that they should be faith­ful unto him. And certainly God expect [...] and requires of every one in order to their coming into Covenant, that they give up their Hearts and Souls to him, and to take the Lord for their God: We must dedicate our selves to his glory and service, and say, Lord, thou shalt be my God, I will have no other God but thee, no other Lord or Master but thee; Other Lords have had dominion over us, but now we will make mention of thy Name only. Isa. 44.5. One shall say, I am the Lords, and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

Is this only an outward Book, an outward Writing and Subscription? No, that is but little to be accounted of; thou must write with thy Soul, thou must write with thy Heart: There is a Bond between the Lord and thee, and thou bindest thy self to him, and it is written in thy Heart, The Lord shall be my God. Thus David engaged himself to the Lord, Psal. 119.94. Lord, I am thine, save me; and he takes the Lord for his Por­tion, Thou art my Portion, O Lord, I have said that I would keep thy Word. How can you say, That the Lord is your God, unless you are his by Covenant? God's Covenant hath a [Page] mutual stipulation or obligation; there is a mutual engaging and promising: The Lord promiseth to be our God, and Father, and Husband, and our Preserver, to be all in all to us; and we promise, to be his People, to love him, and serve him, and obey him.

So, my Friends, I now commend you to the Lord, and commend those things to you that I have declared at this present time; I commit them to the Witness of God in all your Consciences. I commit you to God and the Word of his Grace, to open your Understand­ings, that you may be inlightned to know him, who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, which is Life eter­nal, and that you may feel his mighty power to make impression upon your Hearts, by those things that I have been testifying and declaring among you; the Lord alone can teach you to Profit, and make those great and precious Promises that have now sounded in your Ears, to have a due impression upon your Hearts, and to become effectual through the mighty Power of his blessed Spirit, for the Salvation of your immortal Souls.

A SERMON Preached by George Keith, At Harp-Lane, London, Septemb. 30th 1694.

Cor xiii. 5.‘Examine your selves whether ye be in the Faith; prove your own selves: Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates? Or as it may be better translated: Ʋnless ye be un­approved, disapproved, or without a proof.’

THis is a seasonable Exhortation of the Apostle, Examine your selves, whether ye be in the Faith, &c. know ye not your own selves, &c. how that Christ is in you except ye be Reprobates? saith our Translation'.

It were sad indeed if all they were Repro­bates that know not Christ within them: God forbid, for there are thousands that know not that Christ is in them; they have not that [Page 109] Knowledge, Understanding, Proof and Ex­perience, yet they are not Reprobate.

But who then are Reprobates, may some say? They are Reprobates of whom we may truly say, God hath wholly left them, utter­ly left them, and ceaseth to be a Reprover to them, and their Day of Mercy is expired; the Day of God's Visitation and the striving of his Spirit is at an End towards them: These are properly said to be Reprobates, yet those that are not yet in Christ, and know not that Chtist is in them, so long as they are capable of Repentance and Conversion, and of being turned to God, and the Day of his Visitation being not yet expired, it cannot be said that they are Reprobates.

But now, as to the principal Subject Mat­ter, that is before me, it is this; That it is the Duty of every one that professeth himself to be a true Christian, to examine himself whe­ther he hath the true Faith of Christ, or whether he be in the true Faith: It is all one to have the Faith to be in us, or for us to be in it: It is one and the same thing, I say, we are in the Faith, as well as it is in us. I say, too many deceive themselves; many think they have the Faith or are in the Faith, which have it not, and are not in it: This is great folly in Men, and a most dangerous deceit, to be deceiv­ed in this Case. Which of us all would be willing to be deceived in Mony? We are all very unwilling to take counterfeit Mony, of Brass, Silver or Gold; and if we be deceived, here the deceit may be an outward damage to [Page 110] us: But this is nothing, comparatively to the deceit of a counterfeit Faith. When Men shall deceive themselves to their dying mo­ment, and fancy they have true Faith, when they have it not, they that die, wanting the true Faith, they die in their Sins: If ye be­lieve not (saith our Lord Christ) that I am he, ye shall die in your Sins; and whither I go ye cannot come.

Therefore examine your selves, and exa­mine effectually, that ye may know whether ye have the true Faith and be in it.

It is in my Heart at this Time, in a few Words to open this to you: I have been often upon this Subject, therefore I shall not now enlarge upon it. Now, in opening to you the true Nature of Faith, first I will tell you what it is not that denominates a Man or Woman to be a ture Christian: I shall (God willing and assisting me) first tell you what true Faith is not, and then I shall tell you what it is.

I. It is not a bare historical literal or tra­ditional Faith of God and Christ: You say, you believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and believe these great Truths as they are declared and recorded in the Holy Scri­ptures, and you hear them preached to you by one Minister and another, and because you read them in the Holy Scriptuers, which good Men in all Ages have always had a great Esteem and Veneration for, ever since they were written; and therefore you believe this is the ground of your Faith, the foundation [Page 111] of it, and you know no other foundation but this. O this is not enough, for thousands have this Faith which have not the true Faith: So much negatively what this Faith is not.

II. To speak something positively and af­firmatively, what this Faith is, and how it is wrought.

First of all, I say unto you, that it is a supernatural thing; the other Faith is but na­tural or human. That Faith that is wrought in Men and Women only by an outward Te­stimony, let it be never so true, only because they hear it preached, or read it, or because holy and godly Men say these things are true, you believe them because of an outward Te­stimony; all this is but natural: But a true, saving, justifying Faith, that by which we are justified and saved, and by which Christ com­eth to dwell in our Hearts; that Faith by which we overcome the World, and come to be Children of God, it is a supernatural Work, an effect of God's mighty Power, that Power which raised Christ from the dead. That Power must quicken a Man that is na­turally dead in Sins and Trespasses, and work in him a true Faith, a divine Faith; the which Faith is wrought instrumentally by outward Preach­ing and Hearing, in God's ordinary way.

Now, to open a little further to you, the Nature of this true Faith, we must consider it both with respect to the Object of it, and the Subject of it, that is, the Seat of it, whe­ther it be placed only in the Understanding? [Page 112] Whether it be only an Assent in the Under­standing, That Christ Jesus came into the World to save Sinners? And that God gave his Son to die for us, that we might live through him.

Now, first as to the Object of Faith, What is it that we look to? That our Faith hath a regard to? What is it that we do believe in? Is it in God the Father only, or also in his dear Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spi­rit? Now here is a right belief in Christ; We believe in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he hath given his dear Son for us and to us; and none have a right Be­lief in Christ, the Eternal Son of God, but they that believe he is both God and Man; and believe that the Word was made Flesh, and took our Flesh in the fulness of Time, and came in a prepared Body, and put an end to all the Offerings and Sacrifices under the Law, which were Types and Figures of his offering up his Body upon the Cross; Isa. 53.10. It pleased the Lord to bruise him (saith the Prophet) he hath put him to Grief: When thou shalt make his Soul an Offering for Sin, &c. He shall see the Travel of his Soul, and shall be satisfied: Our Lord Jesus Christ became a compleat Priest and Sacrifice both in his Soul and Body: He offered himself both in his Soul and Body as a Sacrifice for Sin; and both these must be effected by Faith in Christ, viz. Justification and Sanctification: Justifi­cation is attributed to Faith instrumentally, and Sanctification also is attributed to Faith, [Page 113] in the Blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all Sin. True Faith respects, for its Object, Christ, as he is both God and Man, as the Eternal Word took Flesh; not the nature of Angels but the Seed of Abraham. It respects Christ inwardly, and it doth respect his out­ward coming and appearance in a two-fold Sense.

1. As he came and is already come in a state of Humiliation and Suffering: And,

2. It respects him as he is without us, glo­rified and exalted in Heaven, at the Right­hand of the Majesty on high: God hath ap­pointed him to be Judge of the World; all Nations shall stand before him, and every Eye shall see him; and he shall separate them one from another, as a Shepherd divides his Sheep from the Goats; the Sentence will pass, and be pronounced outwardly, by the Man Christ Jesus. I do not deny but that there is also a Judgment within in the Con­science.

But now there is a weighty Matter or Point before me to insist upon, and that is this; That as Christ within us and Christ without us is but one Christ, so the true Faith in Christ respects both Christ without us and Christ within us; and the Faith of Christ within us, and of Christ without us, is but one Faith; as Christ is but one, that suffered for us, and was nailed to the Cross, and Christ within us; so Faith in Christ within us and without us is but one. This is the [Page 114] Improvement that I would have you make o [...] this Doctrine, That no Man can have th [...] true Faith of Christ without him, unless h [...] hath the Faith of Christ within him. This [...] declare to you, as if they were my last words That true saving Faith respects Christ both inwardly and outwardly, the one cannot b [...] without the other; for if one could be with­out the other, then there must be necessarily two Faiths: If I might have the true Faith of Christ without me, and not the Faith o [...] Christ witin me, then one might be sepa­rated from the other, whereas they are but one Faith, and one of them cannot be with­out the other. Whoever hath the Faith of Christ without them, and hath not, at the same time, the Faith of Christ within, it is but a hear-say and traditional Faith. The true Faith of Christ without us, whereby we believe he was born of the Virgin Mary, and is the Saviour of the World; This true Faith is a supernatural thing, and cannot be without the Faith of Christ within,

Dear Friends and People I beseech you to weigh and consider these things well, for they are of great weight; there are some that say this Faith needs not be Preached, for all Christendom hath it, and all the Ministers of the several perswasions Preach this Faith; a strange Argument that this true Faith of Christ without us must not be Preached in our Meetings because it is Preached in all other Religious Assemblies and Meetings in Chris­tendome.

There are some that say that this Faith of Christ Crucifyed is not necessary to Salvation; [...]e Beliefe that Christ Died and rose again the [...]ird Day and Ascended into Heaven and [...]tteth at the Right Hand of God, and liveth [...]or ever to make intercession for us, they say [...]hat this Faith is not at all necessary to our [...]anctification and Salvation. We have some [...]f us divers times heard this Text of Scripture [...]cited and brought out, but not explained, but [...]ather shut up than opened, God knows, 1 John, [...]1.7. But if we walk in the Light as he is in [...]he Light, we have Fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth [...]s from all Sin. [...]hen they go about to ex­plain this, they [...] that the Blood is the life, and the life is [...] light, and the light is within, so that by [...] means the minds of the People are taken [...] [...]om the merit, effi­cacy and great benefit of the precious Blood of the dear Son of God.

Therefore you that believe that the Son of God shed his most precious Blood for the Re­mission of Sin, that the wrath of God might pass over us, as the sprinkling of the Blood of the Lamb upon the Lintel and the two side Posts was to signify to the Israelites that the Lord would pass over the Door and not suffer the Destroying Angel to come in unto their Houses, the signification of it is, that we are in great danger of the wrath of God, and of Destruction falling upon us, if we be not sprinkled with the Blood of the Lamb of God which taketh away the Sins of the World.

Faith is the Hand whereby we take th [...] Blood of Christ and sprinkle it upon us and th [...] vertue and merit of it, together with his Obedience. The great thing that the Father designed in the shedding the Blood of his Son was his Obedience and Submission. He humbled himself and became obedient unto Deat [...] even the Death of the Cross; It is not his Obedience without the Blood, nor the Blood with out his Obedience, that was so well pleasin [...] to God as to make our Peace and Reconc [...] liation, and procure the P [...]on of our Sins an [...] the Acceptation of our Persons; but it wa [...] the Blood of Christ scaling his Obedience an [...] even the humbling of [...]im [...]lf to the Death o [...] the Cross both togethe [...] [...]t made attonemen [...] for us.

Let us therefore [...] [...]nto Christ that wa [...] wounded for our tr [...]n [...]ressions, and let us take Sanctuary in his Death, and hide our selves in his Wounds, in the Clefts of that Rock of ou [...] Salvation, where we can be safe from the in­dignation of the Almighty.

There now comes to my Mind that comfor­table passage of Scripture, Gen. 9.11, 12, 13. Which I have often thought of with great melting and brokenness of Heart and with no less Comfort and Refreshment. The Lord said to Noah I will establish my Covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the Waters of a Flood, neither shall there any more be a Flood to destroy the Earth. And God said this is the Token of the Covenant which I make between me and you, and every living Crea­ture [Page 117] that is with you for perpetual Generations; [...] set my Bow in the Cloud, and it shall be for [...] token of a Covenant between me and the Earth. [...]nd it shall come to pass when I bring a Cloud [...]er the Earth, that the Bow shall be seen in [...] Cloud, and I will remember my Covenant [...]hich is between me and you, &c. And the Bow [...]all be in the Cloud, and I will look upon it that [...] nay remember the Everlasting Covenant between [...]od and every living Creature of all Flesh that is [...]pon the Earth.

The Rainbow was a Type and Figure of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as I could [...]pen at greater length than the time will [...]low me▪ see Revel. 4.3.10.1. The Rain­ [...]ow is made of the Beams of the Sun and a Cloud, when the Cloud is dissolved in Rain; The Rainbow typifyes God and Man. As the Rainbow is made up of the Sunbeams, and [...]he Rayes of the Sun united with the Water [...]f a Cloud, this figures out to us the Glorious union of Christs Godhead and Manhood. The sweet variety of lively Colours appearing in the Rainbow, can any thing be more plea­sa [...] and delightful to our sight? this signifyes and represents the manifold various Gifts and Graces of Christ, and which God through Christ liberally bestows upon his Children, having all fullness in himself: I have set my Bow in the Cloud, and it shall he for the token of a Covenant &c. And I will Establish my Covenant with you, neither shall all Flesh be cut off any more by the Waters of a Flood, neither shall there any more be a Flood to destroy the [Page 118] Earth. If God did not look upon his dea [...] Son Jesus Christ, typified by the Rainbow, [...] Cloud and Deluge of Wrath would break ou [...] upon us to our Ruin, and drown us in Perdition: As when God looks upon the Rainbow, he doth remember his Covenant; s [...] when he looks upon his dear Son, our grea [...] Mediator and Redeemer, the Mediator of th [...] new and everlasting Covenant, he extend [...] his Mercy and Patience, and long Suffering and the Riches of his Goodness towards us that the Cloud of his Wrath and Vengeance, may not break out in a Deluge upon us, and destroy us.

Now to speak something briefly of Justifi­cation, by Faith, and Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; it is not the true Do­ctrin of the Gospel of Christ to preach Par­don of Sin, and Justification through the Obedience that any Man or Woman can per­form, to or by the Light within, the Spirit of God within, or any inward Principle, with­out Faith in the Man Christ Jesus. It is by Faith in him that we witness Peace with God, Being justified by Faith, we have Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5.1. It is not in my Heart to go into Niceties to answer that Question, that hath more of Ni­city than of Necessity in it, Whether we are justified by Faith, or by Faith and Works, viz. by such Works as accompany Faith, and go along with Faith, and that flow from Faith as the effects of it?

We cannot be justified (whatever any may [...]irm) without Faith in Christ crucified; and [...]hoever preach that we may be justified by [...]y Works that we can perform, any obedi­ [...]nce to Christ within or without, without [...]ith in Christ crucified, they preach another [...]ospel, and pervert the Gospel of Christ, [...]al. 1.8. But though we, or an Angel from [...]eaven (saith the Apostle) preach any other [...]ospel unto you, than that which we have preach­ [...] unto you, let him be accursed.

Now they preach another Gospel that preach [...]ustification and Remission of Sins by our own [...]orks and Obedience, without Faith in Christ crucified. The Apostle James saith [...]deed, Jam. 2.21. Was not Abraham our [...]ather justified, when he offered Isaac his Son [...]pon the Altar? Seest thou how Faith wrought [...]ith his Works, and by Works was Faith [...]ade perfect. And the Scripture was fulfil­ [...]d, which saith, Abraham believed God, [...]d it was impute [...] to him for Righteousness, [...]d he was called the Friend of God. And it is [...]id concerning Rahab, Was not Rahab the [...]arlot justified by Works, when she had recei­ [...]ed the Messengers, and had sent them out ano­ [...]her way, Josh. 2.15. She let them down by a [...]ord through the Window, and she said unto [...]hem, Get ye to the Mountains, lest the Pursu­ [...]rs meet you. And the Spyes said unto her, [...]ehold, when we come into the Land. thou shalt [...]ind this Line of Scarlet-Thred in the Window, [...]ich thou didst let us down by, &c. The [...]carlet-Thred did typify and represent, and [Page 120] shadow out the Blood of Christ by which sh [...] should be saved; she hid the Spyes, and th [...] was a good Work; her Faith that saved he [...] was as the Scarlet-Thred, dipt and dyed i [...] the Blood of Christ, which cleanseth from al [...] Sin: So these Works were not without Faith but did accompany it, and were the real Frui [...] of it.

I have told you, that the Object of Fait [...] is God the Father, and Jesus Christ his Son both in his inward and outward coming an [...] appearance, and as he is yet to come again and appear without us, at the end of th [...] World, at the great day of Judgment, and al­so the holy Spirit.

Now to open to you briefly one Scripture, John 1.12. But as many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God▪ even to them that believe on his Name. The Exposition that some have given of this is the receiving of Christ inwardly; that is so far good: But that dot [...] [...]ot comprehend the whole sense and meaning of the Words. To receive him and believe on him, is not only to receive his Light and Power, and Spirit in our Hearts, but to receive him as he died for us, and shed his precious Blood for us, and became both a Priest and Sacrifice for us and offered himself through the Eternal Spirit without spot to God. We must believe th [...] worth and value of that Sacrifice to expiat [...] our Sins, and to make attonement for us [...] so that by Christ's Sacrifice and offering o [...] himself, the justice of God ha [...]h satisfactio [...] [Page 121] made to it as fully as if we our selves had suf­ [...]red and made full satisfaction. So that to [...]ceive Christ, is not to receive him only in [...]s inward Appearance, but in his priestly Of­ [...]ce, as he died upon the Cross, and shed his [...]recious Blood for us.

I have said it divers times, and it is in my Heart to say it again, That Christ offered the Gift of his Manhood upon the Altar of his Godhead, that sanctified it, and made it so [...]ighly valuable and acceptable. How will [...]ou prove this, some might say? This may [...]ell be proved out of the holy Scripture, Heb. 13.14. For if the Blood of Bulls and of Goats, and the Ashes of an Heifer sprinkling [...]he Ʋnclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the [...]lesh; how much more shall the Blood of Christ, [...]ho through the Eternal Spirit offered himself [...]thout spot to God, purge your Consciences [...]im dead Works, [...]o serve the living God? The [...]rnal Spirit [...] the eternal Power and God­ [...]ead, is the Altar t [...] is greater than the Gift, [...]d the Altar which sanctifieth the Gift, and [...]hich was that that gave value and merit to [...]s precious Blood, and to what his Body and [...]oul suffered; here, I say, is the Gift upon [...]e Altar, and the Altar sanctifieth the Gift. [...] Christ had been Man only, then his Death [...]d Sufferings, and his precious Blood, had [...]t been of that great worth and value to ex­ [...]te our Sin, and make Attonement for us, [...]d reconcile us to God. God hath had re­ [...]d to this in all Ages. God looks favourable [...]on us, only through Christ our great Me­diator [Page 122] and High-priest. Christ's Blood is of meritorious Efficacy in all Ages, since it was shed and before it was shed: And as Christ is the Object of our Faith; so is the Doctrin of Christ in all the parts of it, in a secondary sense, but more especially as it respects the Promises of Salvation and his Commandments; these two, the Promises of Christ, and the Commands of Christ; if we believe his Pro­mises, we believe his Precepts, and obey them. We are pardoned, and sanctified and justified freely, and all boasting is excluded. If we believe in Christ, we believe in his Per­son, and we believe his Doctrin, his Promi­ses, and all that is written, That through the comfort of the Scriptures we might have Hope.

I will, by a Similitude, express and repre­sent to you, of what great use the Promises are unto us; as I have found by experience, (blessed be God) that the great and precious Promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, and hi [...] sweet Invitations and Calls, that are recorded in the holy Scripture, are a mighty help to us, in laying hold upon Christ. We cannot take hold of a Man so well when he is naked, as when he is clothed: It is not so easy fo [...] us to lay hold on Christ naked, as when he i [...] preached in the Gospel, and as when he i [...] clothed, as it were, with the precious Prom [...] ses. It is very hard for us to lay hold o [...] Christ, and embrace him, and come to him without a Promise. The Apostle Peter hol [...] ing forth this great Mystery, tells us, 2 Pet. 1. [...] [Page 123] Whereby are given to us exceeding great and prec [...]ous Promises, that by these we might be Partakers of the divine Nature, according to his divine Power, whereby he hath given unto us all things partaining to Life and Godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to Glory and Vertue.

You see the Promises are of great use to us, in order to our being made Partakers of the divine Nature, and to witness Regeneration and the new Birth: It is not enough to read them outwardly, unless a divine Work be up­on us, to enable us to see the Promises, and our Right and Interest in them, otherwise they will not be effectual upon us.

The next thing that I would speak to, is the Subject of Faith, that is the Seat of it, as it is placed in a Man or Woman, whether it is only in the Understanding, as an assent to the Truth, or placed in the Will and Affe­ctions, so as to have an influence on all the Powers and Faculties of the Soul.

I answer; True and saving Faith is seated in the Understanding and in the Will, and so hath an influence upon the Affections, and so the Affections come to be renewed and sancti­ [...]ied, through the Power of Faith: As Faith is [...]n the Understanding, it respects Christ as he [...]s faithful and true; but as Faith is placed in [...]he Will of Man, he i [...] the Beloved of the Soul [...]nd the great desire of the Soul; and Faith re­ [...]pects Christ, and God in Christ, as he is good, [...]nd gracious, not only as he is holy and [...]ist, faithful and true, but as good, merciful [Page 124] and gracious, tender and compassionate; [...] Faith in God and in Christ Jesus, as it is seated in the Understanding and Will, it esteem him as the supream Truth and chief Good submits to his Scepter, and depends upon hi [...] Sacrifice and Satisfaction, resigns and sur­renders up to his Government, to comman [...] the whole Man, the Affections, Memory an [...] bodily Members, that Christ may be All in All.

And now to come to a Conclusion, and to end as I begun; it is the Duty of every one that professeth himself to be a true Christian to examine himself whether he hath the true Faith of Christ, or be in the true Faith. Now I have opened the nature of true Faith, it is the more easy for you to come unto an Exa­mination of your selves; examine your selve [...] by all the Marks and Tokens that can [...] given you, whether you are in the Faith, an [...] the true Faith be in you; if you have th [...] Spirit of God, ye may know the things freel [...] given you of God. It is by the Spirit of Go [...] that we may know whether we have Faith and Love, and Meekness and Humility, an [...] other Evangelical Graces. There are divers Helps, and such things as may be called Marks and Evidences, whereby we may be helped to know whether we have true Faith o [...] no.

But some may say, if we may know whe­ther we have true Faith by Marks and Signs what need we the Spirit? And if we ma [...] know it by the Spirit, then what need w [...] Marks and Signs, and other Evidences?

It is the work of the Spirit to intimate to us, whether we have these Marks; God hath given us the Book of the holy Scriptures, that tells us, If we have Faith, it works by Love; it is such a Faith as hath Works accompanying of it, such as love to God, and love to one another: If thou lovest not thy Brother whom thou hast seen, how canst thou be said to love God whom thou hast not seen? If we love God above all, and love our Brother, and love our Enemies, these are good Marks and Eviden­ces that we are in the Faith. The holy Scri­pture giveth Marks and Signs of a Man's be­ing a true Believer; but the Scripture doth not tell us that we have those Marks.

But you will say, If a Man do examine himself he may be mistaken, though he attend [...]o what Conscience shall speak.

You are not to rely upon the Testimony of Conscience alone: a Man's own Conscience may err, and his Heart deceive him, when it tells him, That he hath Faith and Love, and other Evangelical Graces. But if the Spirit of God witnesseth with our Spirits, that we have these Marks, and that we are indeed the Children of God, then be sure we cannot be deceived, when the Spirit of Truth doth give us this infallible Testimony.

A SERMON Preached by John Raunce, AT Harp-Lane, near Towerstreet, August 19th, 1694.

1 Thess. v. 21.‘Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.’

IT is a Saying of the Apostle Paul, to the Church of the Thessalonians, Prove all things▪ hold fast that which is good. The Thessalo­nians were a People too like to many in ou [...] Days, they wanted to be truly settled in tha [...] which is good; and that made the Apostle speak in Commendation of the Men of Berea [...] Acts 17.11. These were more noble than thos [...] in Thessalonica, in that they received the Wor [...] with all readiness of Mind, and searched th [...] [Page 127] Scriptures daily, whether those things were so that were preached among them.

And truly, Friends, I have this to say among you, That every one who is come through the Exercises they have met with, to a tryal of things that offer themselves to their Consideration, they may be said to be a hap­py People; if they have so proved all things as to hold fast that which is good.

This is the Day wherein we live, wherein things offer themselves to a seeking Peopl [...], after such a various manner, that truly all who desire Salvation to their immortal Souls ought to be very mindful of the Exhortation I now mentioned; Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.

Some may ask me; What is here meant by All Things, that the Apostle bids them Prove? I answer, They were such things as are of a Religious Concern: He did not bid them prove all things, of one kind or ano­ther, that offered themselves to them, but these all Things relate only to religious Mat­ters.

We are among a People that are religiously concerned about many things that offer them­selves unto them: There are many Ways, many Perswasions and Professions, and many things that offer themselves to our Conside­ration. It ought to be our Care and Con­cern, like the noble Bereans, to try all things and prove all things: It greatly commends those Men and Women that will try and exa­mine Matters, and not receive things upon [Page 128] Trust, as too many do in our Days. There are a great many, (as the common Proverb is) that are ready to pin their Faith upon an­other Man's Sleeve, to be of his Opinion and Perswasion, without any good Ground or se­rious Consideration.

That which I have to mention, among you, at this Time, is the Apostle's Exhortation; Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. In Matters of a Religious Concern, Matters of Faith, wherein your Eternal Salvation is concerned, go not by hear-say, because other Men say; so but let us all come to pra­ctise that Counsel that is here given to the Church of the Thessalonians, Prove all things; Try all things, prove Men's Ways, prove Men's Words, prove Men's Doctrines, prove Men's Principles; I question not but you are such an understanding People that I need not say much to you, I hope you are come to that exercise of Mind that you will take care not to be led aside, not to be prevailed upon by the fair Speeches of any, but that you make it your business rightly to come to know how to prove all things that offer themselves to your Consideration, which, I told you, are of a religious Concern, and are such things where­in the Salvation of our Souls are con­cerned.

That which we must come to prove things by, is that which I have next to mention among you; this a Man cannot do except it be given him from above. We cannot prove things as we ought, we cannot try things nor [Page 129] search into things, except we know a receiv­ing something from above: A Man can receive nothing except it be given to him by God, from above. You and I have not that Know­ledge, that Ability, that Understanding, to Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good, until I receive the Gift of God I cannot do it: And as it hath been often told you God hath been pleased to give so much of his Grace and of his good Spirit as he hath seen good; but some have not received this heavenly Gift.

But some may ask me, What I mean by receiving it? By receiving I mean, when this good Gift is given and bestowed upon Men, they are joyned to it and made one with it: As it hath pleased God to give to every one of us a measure of his Grace and Spirit. There are diverse Names, it is but one and the same thing; if we have received the Gift from above let us keep to it, and abide in it; then as we abide in this Gift, in this good Spirit, then are we in a State and Condition to prove all things. It is a true saying of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2.14. The natural Man re­ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually dis­cerned. You see your Calling, Brethren, how that not many wise Men after the Flesh, not many Mighty, not many Noble are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the World to confound the Wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the World, and things [Page 130] which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are.

The Apostle, speaking to the Church of Corinth, saith; Hath not God made foolish the Wisdom of this World? for after that in the Wisdom of God, the World by Wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of Preaching to save them that believe; for the Jews require a Sign, and the Greeks seek after Wisdom, but we preach Christ Crucified, to the Jews a Stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foo­lishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. If any (saith the Apostle) would be wise, let him become a Fool, that he may be wise. Let us lay aside all our own Parts and Wisdom, and come to the Gift of God in our own Souls; and to the Grace of God which bringeth Salvation, teaching us, that denying Ʋngodliness and worldly Lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.

Friends, my Charity is such, I am so per­suaded of you all; I am satisfied that God hath been so merciful to you all as to enligh­ten your Minds, and open your Understand­ings, that you are among a seeking People, walking towards Sion, with your Faces thi­therward; I do not question but you may meet with many things which may sometimes put you in doubt and make you to question your Condition, that you do not well know what to do; yet in the midst of all your [Page 131] Troubles there there is something in your own Souls and Consciences that will not let you be quiet till you come to be in some measure like those the Apostle exhorts to, Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.

It is good for all Christian People to be examining themselves, in reference to Religi­ous matters that do concern the Salvation of their Souls. I count those that are seeking Men and Women, to be in this holy Exercise; the Grace of God which is in their Hearts will put them upon it (as it is in Dan. 12.4.) They shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased: But it is fallen out in our Days, that Iniquity doth abound and Wickedness encreaseth.

That which I have further to mention is this, That you will be sure to keep to the Gift of God, and when you come to know what is good, that you hold it fast; when you are upon searching or trying any Man's Doctrine, if it be sound hold it fast; if it be not sound meddle not with it.

But some may put this Question; How shall we be further satisfied? We may be dis­composed in our Minds, and possibly be in a maze, and in great straits, that we cannot keep so close to the Gift of God as we ought to do.

Is there nothing els [...] that may be assistant and helpful to us?

I answer, yes; God hath been pleased to afford us another Help, the Holy Scriptures. The Bereans, they did search the Scriptures, [Page 132] whether those things were so? You that are a seeking, enquiring People, examine and prove all things, according to the Gift of God which is given to you, and see whether any Doctrine that is preached to you be according to the Holy Scriptures: If any Man preach any other Doctrine, the Apostle passeth a se­vere Sentence against them, 1 Gal. 7.8. There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ; but though we or an Angel from Heaven preach another Gospel to you than that which we have preached, let him be ac­cursed. It is the Lord's great and abundant Mercy that he hath graciously vouchsafed the Holy Scriptures of Truth to be preserved through all Ages, and to be translated and turned into their own Language; when we are in doubt or at a loss, we may go to the Law and the Testimony, there it no contra­riety between the Lord's Teaching and the Holy Scriptures.

Therefore let us prove Men's Sayings, and be not like many in our Days, that take things upon Trust. It is good to be striving as much as in us lies, to prove every thing wherein the Salvation of our Souls is concern­ed, and to hold fast that which is good. This ought to be our Care, and there is a great deal required after we have examined and proved, and found out what is good; there are many things to hinder us and turn us out of the Way. After you have proved all things, and come to know that which is good, that wherein your Peace with God and Com­fort [Page 133] doth consist, hold it fast, let none beguile you, the Enemy of your Souls will labour to lay something in your Way. If the Lord had not been very merciful to us, we might, many of us, long since have turned aside; we might have fainted in our Minds, and been weary of well-doing.

I do not question but many of you, in your Pilgrimage-State, do meet with many things in your way to everlasting Life: Some put one thing into your Minds, and some another; let it be your Care, that as you have received the Gift from above, and by the Holy Scriptures, are come to know what is good, hold it fast. How hold it fast? By patient Watchfulness and Diligence, taking heed to the Grace of God that hath ap­peared and brought Salvation to our Souls.

I pity those Souls that are in an unsettled State, which are tossed to and fro, that are sometimes for one thing, and sometimes for another; a double-minded Man is unstable in all his ways: You are happy if you are come to that Settlement in your Minds as to be stable and fixed, that when you have proved all things you hold fast that which is good. As you have received an Understanding from the Lord, let it be your Care in the Exercise of your Minds, to live in obedience to the Lord, in what you know to be the holy, good and acceptable Will of God, and not hold the Truth in Ʋnrighteousness, Rom. 1.18. The Wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all Ʋngodliness and Ʋnrighteousness of [Page 144] Men, who hold the Truth in Ʋnrighteousnes [...] What hath your Care been? to hold fast tha [...] which is good? You must hold it fast by living according to what you know; all pro­fession of Godliness will stand Men in no stead, if they do not live according to their Light and Knowledge.

Therefore I greatly pity many, in our Days, to whom the Lord hath been pleased to give a large measure of his Grace, that they cer­tainly know their Duty towards God, and how to live and carry themselves among Men, but they are like those mentioned by the Apostle, In Words they profess Christ, but in Works they deny him. There are many in our Days that have more Words to speak than a great many, that can speak a great deal, but live not answerably. I speak not this to up­braid any, but in pity to their Souls, and that every one of us may be excited and stirred up to live according to what we have received: What will it profit a Man if he know never so much, and run to and fro till Knowledge be increased? The Lord is about to seek out a People in all Places that may try all things, and hold fast that which is good.

This I shall leave to your Consideration, and I would ask every one of you that are before me, What do you know of that which is good? I hope none of you will say, That you do not know that which is good, for that person speaks contrary to what the Holy Ghost hath declared, Micah 6.8. He hath shewed thee, O Man, what is good, and what doth the [Page] Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love Mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God; since the Lord hath been so merciful as to shew us what is good, and what he doth require at our Hands, it concerneth every one of us to know whether we live and act according to what God requires, and do not sin against our own Light, Knowledge and Conscience.

The Lord may bear with us a great while, and his Patience and Long-suffering may be lengthned out a great while; the Time will come when God will bear no longer; it will be as it was with the old World, and with Sodom and Gomorrah; when Noah went into the Ark a Deluge of Wrath came upon them; When Lot went out of Sodom it was destroy­ed by Fire: The Lord sent a Flood to drown and destroy the old World: And he sent Fire from Heaven to burn the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, because they sinned against him: And, saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.10. For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his Body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad: Knowing therefore the Terror of the Lord, we persuade Men.

When I consider these awakening Words and Sayings, I think with my self, How can sinful Men and Women go on in such a course, when they must certainly appear at Christ's Tribunal and give an Account of their Deeds, of whatever they have done in the Body, whether good or bad? If Men would take [Page] this into their Thoughts, they would consider We must die, and as Death leaveth us, Judgment will find us, and take hold of us.

Consider your Ways, repent and turn to the Lord, that you may appear before him with Joy at the great day of his Appearing. Let your Religion be what it will, I mind not for any Man's private Persuasion or Opi­nion; Prove all things, prove Men's Words, prove Men's Sayings; and that which is of greatest concernment of all, let us prove our own Ways, and examine our own Actions; how we have lived, and what we have done; if we have lived according to what we have received, and done according to what we have known to be our Duty; we are in a good condition, but if we have lived contra­ry, our own Consciences will condemn us, if we be like those mentioned by the Apostle to Titus, Chap. 1.10. That profess that they know God, but in Works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good Work reprobate.

I do greatly pity every Soul that is found in such a state and condition, because he is in the broad Way that leads to Destruction. Our Lord Christ's Saying was after this man­ner, Matth. 7.13, 14. Enter ye in at the strait Gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to Destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it. The Lord is pleased to afford a Day of Visitation to all [Page 137] sinful Men and Women, a day of grace and mercy, a day wherein he is seeking of them [...]y his dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord, to [...]ring them out of their sinful state, that they may be saved from the Wrath to come.

So often as thou findest any thing in thee [...]eproving and condemning thee for any evil thing, that is the gift of God, the spirit of Truth, the holy Spirit, the spiritual Appear­ance of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is come to seek and save that which is lost: Let me entreat you all, that desire the salvation of your Souls, that you will be careful to enter into the Examination of your Selves after this manner:

Am I one that hath lived as without God in the World, and walked after the imagina­tions of my own Heart? And do I find my Conscience reproving me in my sinful course, and requiring me to forsake it? Let it be thy Souls care and concern to leave off sinning against God; for the time will come when God's Patience and Long-suffering towards thee will cease, and come to an end; this is the day of God's Visitation: The Lord af­fords thee a day of Grace, wherein he is plea­sed to call upon thee to turn and live, Ezek. 33.11. Thus saith the Lord, by the Prophet, Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the Wicked, but that the Wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die, O house of Israel? God's love is universal to all the Sons and Daughters of [Page 138] Men. God hath so loved the World (all Me [...] rhe worst of Men) that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shou [...] not perish, but have everlasting Life; for G [...] sent not his Son into the World to condemn th [...] World, but that the World, through him, migh [...] be saved.

We know there is Election and Reproba­tion; but where is the Election? It is in Christ of them that come to believe in Christ; they that do not believe in the Lord Jesus Chris [...] are in a reprobate State. The Lord hath not reprobated any from Eternity, but for Sin and final Impenitency; he hath not appointed any to Destruction. The Lord hath been so a­bundantly merciful and gracious, as to afford a way and means whereby all may come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be saved; I do not say that all shall be saved, for they will not come to Christ that they might have Life, and therefore their destruction is of themselves. God hath appointed a way whereby all Men may obtain eternal Salva­tion; What is that way? That they believe on him whom God hath sent. This is Life Eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, John 17.3.

Let every one of us be sensible of the great love of God to us; we have all great cause to say, That the Lord hath been merciful to us, in that the day of our Visitation is continued. The Lord hath sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in his spiritual Appearance, as he ap­peared sometimes in his prepared Body, and [Page 139] was crucified without the Gates of Jerusalem, [...]nd he is ascended into Heaven into the pre­ [...]ence of God, and liveth for ever to make [...]ntercession for us: Let it be our care to [...]orsake our evil Ways, and turn to the Lord, who is pleased to hold out the Scepter of Mer­cy to us. The Invitation is, That we will come unto Christ, whom God hath exalted to be [...] Prince and a Saviour, to give us repentance [...]nd remission of sins, Luke 13.1, 2.

We read in the New Testament, That when some told our Saviour of the Galileans, whose Blood Pilate had mingled with the Sa­crifices. Jesus answering, said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were Sinners a­bove all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, nay, but except you repent ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen up­on whom the Tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were Sinners above all that dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, nay; but except you repent, ye shall all likewise perish. And again, John 8.21. Our Saviour tells the Jews, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your s ns; whither I go, ye cannot come. These are searching Doctrins, and should put us upon a Proving all things, and holding fast that which is good, that we may believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and have an [...]bundant entrance into his everlasting King­ [...]om.

My Friends, I desire that you may all be in [...] good state and condition, and keep close to the gift of God, and the measure of Grace [Page 140] given to you, and prove all things that are o [...] a religious Concern, and so come to be Chri­stians indeed, Israelites indeed (like Natha­niel) in whom there is no Guile that you may set a Watch before the Door of your Lips: Saith the Apostle James, If any Man among you seem to be Religious, and bridleth not his Tongue, but deceiveth his own Heart, this this Man's Religion is vain, Jam. 1.26. You must watch over your Words, and be true in your Words, that your Religion may not be in vain, that when you prove all things, you may hold fast that which is good.

If I should put the Question to the most ig­norant Man or Woman among us, Friend, What dost thou think, hast thou a Soul to be saved? What dost thou think will become of thee? Such a one would answer, I have a Soul that may be saved. But I would put the Question further, What assurance hast thou that thou shalt be saved? I am in some doubt, I have not assurance of my Salvation, but I hope to be saved. Then I might ask again. Why hast thou not Assurance of Salvation? there is something that is the cause of it. My Sin (saith such a one) lies at the Door; there is something within that will let thee know, that it is some allowed Sin or Iniquity that thou livest in.

There is an awakened Conscience, the gift that God hath given to Men, that will reprove Men for Sin; though sometimes they may get over it, yet sometimes or other, there will be an awakening of Conscience that will make [Page 141] them cry out and say, Lord, I am a sinful Man, [...] am not fit to die, I am not prepared for my [...]atter end. So David cried out, Lord, cleanse [...]e from my secret sins. What is it that keeps Men in doubt of their Salvation, but some se­cret sin or other? When a Man comes to be awakened, and the Book of Conscience is opened, and a Man readeth therein that he hath done this and the other evil thing, lived [...]o and so; Then humble thy self under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt thee in due time, and speak Peace to thy Soul. If thou wilt prove all things, and hold fast that which is good, live according to what thou knowest to be the mind of God; if thy own Consci­ence condemn thee, God is greater than thy Con­science and knoweth all things.

We must direct Men to look to the Wit­ness of God in their own Souls. Thus, saith the Psalmist, Psal. 4.4. Stand in Awe and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your Bed, and be still. If you will come to consider your Ways and commune with your own Hearts, you may know how it is with you; the Lord hath lengthened out your time a little longer, therefore he would have you come to bring forth Fruits meet for Re­pentance and amendment of Life, and be con­cerned for the Salvation of your Immortal Souls.

Ask your self this Question, Am I fit to die, when-ever the Lord shall be pleased to call for me out of the World? Am I prepared for my latter end? Who are they that are pre­pared [Page 142] for a dying hour? But those that know Evangelical repentance for Sin and Faith in Christ Jesus. Now what is Repentance?

1. Wherein doth it consist? In a Knowledge of Sin, Contrition and Sorrow for it, and a Hatred of it. There is first a Knowledg of Sin, we must know that we are Sinners, that we have sinned against the Lord. This is but a common thing, all can come so far as to say, we are Sinners and have gone astray like lost Sheep.

2. But there is something more in true Re­pentance. There must be a Godly Sorrow for Sin, as it was with those to whom the Apostle Peter preached, Acts, 2.37. Let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have Cru­cified both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were pricked in their Hearts, and said unto Peter and unto the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? We are troub­led and distressed, we know not what to do, What shall we do to he saved? And thus in a deep sense of sin David cryes out, against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightst be justifyed when thou speakest, and clear when thou judgest. When he was awakened to a sorrow for his Sin, he came to a good condition; after he had cryed to the Lord in the beginning of that Penitential Psalm, Have mercy upon me O God according to thy loving kindness, according unto the multitude of thy tender mercyes, blot out my transgressions, wash me throughly from [Page 143] [...]ine Iniquity and cleanse me from my Sin, for acknowledg my transgressions, and my Sin is [...]er before me.

2. There must not only be a knowledge of [...]n, and a sorrow for it, but a forsaking of [...], and a Hatred of it, that we may not re­ [...]rn unto folly. Every one of us that hope [...] Salvation, must be sensible of the evil of [...]in, be sorry for it, and then depart from [...]; happy are you that are come so far as to [...]e convinced of your Sin, and pricked at the [...]eart, and to whom the Lord hath been so [...]erciful as to give you hope of Pardon and [...]emission. This is the happy state of a Poor [...]eking Soul, that is come so far as to have [...]s Sins washed and blotted out, and when [...]n is done away there is no more Living there­ [...]. Then as the Apostle saith, Hebr. 12.1. [...]e shall lay aside every weight, and the Sin [...]hich doth so easily beset us: Some have one [...]n, and some another that is near to them, [...]hich the Apostle here calls that Sin that doth [...]asily beset thee, Persons may part with many [...]ins and yet keep this one Sin. This is a [...]ate and condition wherein Men may fall short [...]f Mercy; therefore we must be purged from [...]ll Sin, redeemed from all Iniquity.

This should make every Man and Woman [...]ake warning, and be always watchful and [...]ake heed lest there should be some Bosom [...]in, which like a Snake or Viper may sting [...] and Destroy us. If any Sin prevail over [...]s there is great cause of shame, trouble and [...]rrow. But there is a great difference between [Page 144] sinning willfully, and falling into Sin throug [...] weakness and infirmity. Heb. 10.26. If [...] Sin willfully after we have received the kno [...] ledge of the Truth, there remains no more S [...] crifice for Sins, but a certain fearful looki [...] for of Judgment and fiery Indignation, which sh [...] devour the Adversary.

Thus it will be if we give our selves to Sin when we know it is a Sin and yet will do it this is sinning willfully and presumptuously▪ as some Persons Sin willfully, so others do Sin through weakness and infirmity, and ar [...] surprized by a Temptation. This was the case of Peter, who was Zealous for his Lord and Master Christ Jesus, and said, If all shoul [...] forsake him yet, he would not. Yet when i [...] came to the tryal, he was overcome with the Temptation, and he denyed his Lord, Luke, 22.56. &c. A certain Maid beheld Peter as he sat by the Fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, this Man was also with Jesus; and h [...] denyed him, saying, Woman I know him not. And after a little while another saw him and said, thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of an hour after another confidently affirmed saying of a Truth this fellow also was with him, for he [...] a Galilean; and Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest; and Immediately while he yet spake the Cock Crew; and the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembred th [...] Word of the Lord, how he had said unto him▪ Before the Cock Crow thou shalt deny me thrice▪ And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

In the 20th Chapter of John we read, how [...]hrist did reason with Peter, and brought his [...]in to his remembrance; he had denyed Christ his Lord three times, and our Saviour did [...]hree times put the Question to him, Simon, [...]on of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest [...]hat I love thee; he saith unto him, Feed my [...]ambs. And put the same Question to him a [...]econd time, Lovest thou me? And he also said [...]nto him the third time, Simon, Son of Jonas, [...]vest thou me? Peter was grieved because he [...]id unto him the third time, lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all [...]hings, thou knowest that I love thee; Jesus saith unto him, Feed my Sheep. Peter began [...]o be troubled and exceeding sorrowful, when he remembred what large Promises he had made to his Lord and Master, that he would not deny him or forsake him. Our Saviour [...]old him of it before-hand, and said to him, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; [...]nd when thou art converted, strengthen thy [...]rethren.

There must be a dependance upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who ever lives to make Inter­cession for us: If any Man sin (saith the A­postle) we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and he is the Propi­tiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but [...]lso for the sins of the whole World, if they will [...]elieve in him. If the Righteous be scarcely sa­ [...]ed (saith the Apostle) where shall the Sinner [...]ppear? There is no safety nor shelter out of [Page 140] Christ; it is he that appears in the presenc [...] of God for us, that is, for all that lay hold [...] him, and make it their care to live to hi [...] and to live according to what he hath mad [...] known to us.

Christ hath loved us, dost thou love him again? Wherein consists our love to him, b [...] in keeping his Commandments? As the F [...] ­ther hath loved me, so I have loved you, co [...] tinue ye in my love. Christ hath loved us, an [...] laid down his Life for us; he hath taste [...] Death for every Man, the Lord hath laid upon him the Iniquity of us all: He bare ou [...] sins in his own Body upon the Tree, that w [...] being dead to Sin should live unto Righteous­ness, by whose Stripes we are healed. Grea [...] hath been the love of God to us; he hat [...] given his Son to die for us, and his Spirit t [...] live in us, and he calls us in the Day of Vi­sitation.

How may we know when he calls? (wil [...] some say.)

When by his good Spirit he stirs in th [...] Heart, and strives in thy Soul, checks thee an [...] reproves thee for Sin, as often as thou findes [...] anything in thy Conscience that reproves the [...] for what is evil; this is the Voice of the So [...] of God, John 5.25. Verily, verily, I say un [...] you, the hour is coming, and now is, when th [...] Dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, an [...] they that hear shall live. Even those that ar [...] dead in Sins and Trespasses shall be quickene [...] by the Voice of the Son of God; For as th [...] Father hath life in himself, he hath given unt [...] [Page 147] [...]he Son to have Life in himself. And hath [...]iven him Authority to execute Judgment al­ [...]o, because he is the Son of Man: Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in which all that are in their Graves shall hear his Voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the Resurrection of Life, and they that [...]ave done Evil, unto the Resurrection of Damnation.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath made known [...]s Mind and Will unto us; we have the Spi­ [...]it of Truth within us, and the holy Scri­ptures without us. It is a great Mercy that [...]hey are vouchsafed to all Nations, and that [...]hoy have been wonderfully preserved in all Ages and Generations, from the Primitive [...]imes to this day, and have come to us safe through so many different Hands, and all the Copies of Holy Writ agreeing in Words and Sense without any cousiderable difference: Let us bless God for this singular Blessing and Mercy vouchsafed to us.

Tho' I would not Idolize the Scriptures, [...]et I do highly esteem and honour them. We [...]ead, Luke 16.27. That in the Parable of the [...]ich Man, he speaks to Abraham after this manner: I pray thee, Father, that thou wouldst send Lazarus to my Father's House; for I have five Brethren, that he may testify unto them lest they also come to this place of Torment. Abraham saith unto [...]im, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. And he said, Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto [...]hem from the Dead, they will repent. And he [Page 148] said vnto him, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, tho' one rose from the Dead; therefore to the Law and the Testimony, the Testimony is in our Consciences, and the Law is written out­wardly but effectually and inwardly upon the Hearts; there is no disjoining what God hath joined.

Therefore, if any one should bring any o­ther Doctrin that is contrary to the Holy Scripture; or, if an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel, we are not to receive it. It hath been the Spirit of Antichrist in all Ages and the Man of Sin, that hath endea­voured to undervalue the holy Scriptures, who (as the Apostle saith) opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. This Spirit of Antichrist where-ever it is, it secretly undermines the holy Scriptures; therefore, it concerns you to keep close to the Law and the Testimony.

Let me in true love to your immortal Souls, desire every one of you to mind the work of your Salvation, and to work it out with fear and trembling, and God will work in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure: Examine your selves and prove your selves, whether you are in the Faith; take heed that you be not led by a Spirit of Error, to the Law and to the Testimony. If any Man think that he is wise in many things, let him not presume to be wise above that which is writ­ten, [Page 149] lest he need to come and learn again what he doth not know and hath been taught. Great is the Mystery of Godliness, and great also is the Mystery of Iniquity, therefore you are concerned to examine your selves, and to prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.

You are a seeking and enquiring People, else you would not have been here, at this time. And what can inform you better than the gift God hath been pleased to give unto you, together with the holy Scriptures? exa­mine your selves, whether when you have proved all things, you hold fast that which is good. Make it appear that you are good Christians, by your righteous and heavenly Conversations, and by your holy Walk; make it appear that you are true Disciples of Christ, that you are Followers of the Lord Jesus, and endued with his Spirit, by being holy in all manner of Conversation. Take heed of in­dulging thy self in any sin, take that Counsel which is given by our Lord Jesus to all his Followers, Matth. 5.30. If thy right hand of­fend thee cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy Mem­bers should perish, and not that thy whole Body should be cast into Hell.

Live so as to be always ready for the com­ing of the Lord Jesus, that you may be found among the wise Virgins. The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto ten Virgins, which took their Lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom, and five of them were wise, and [Page 150] five of them were foolish: Here are abundance of Professors in this City that would be taken for Virgins and Followers of Christ, but they are too like those five foolish Virgins that took their Lamps, and took no Oil with them, whereas the Wise took Oil in their Vessels with their Lamps; while the Bridegroom carried they all slumbered and slept; and at Midnight there was a Cry made, behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him; then all those Virgins went and trimmed their Lamps; and the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your Oil for our Lamps are gone out; but the wise answered, not so, lest there be not enough for us and you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for your selves: And while they went to buy, the Bride­groom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the Marriage, and the Door was shut; afterwards also, came the other Virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but he answer­ed and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

O take heed that this be not your woful and deplorable Case at the coming of Christ to Judgment, but prepare and be in readiness, that you may have an abundant entrance in­to his everlasting Kingdom. Take my words into consideration, and lay aside every weight and the sin that doth easily beset you, and run with Patience your heavenly Race, that you may so run, as to obtain the Crown: Let it plainly appear that you are Followers of Christ, then you must deny your selves, and take up his Cross and follow him. Let it be [Page 151] our care not to love any thing, not to love our selves, more than we love the Lord Jesus Christ.

We live in a Day wherein there is so much Vanity and Pride, Oppression, Unholiness and Contempt of true Religion and the pow­er of Godliness, and other crying Sins, that it seems to me as if the end of all things were at hand, as our Saviour hath foretold, that near the end of the World Iniquity should abound, and the love of many wax cold.

If your love to Christ (my Friends) is sin­cere, you will love one another: If you love me (saith Christ) then keep my Commandments; by this shall all Men know that you are my Dis­ciples, if you have love one to another, John 13.35. If we have a sincere love to Christ. we shall love one another, and we shall find that love will cover a multitude of Sins: When we see any Man falls short of what he ought to do, we shall be concerned for him, and pity him, if he be wanting in his Duty towards God or towards Man, we shall not be severe in censuring him; but when we re­prove him or admonish him, it shall be in love and with a spirit of Meekness, and as the A­postle speaks, Rom. 12.10. We shall be kindly affectioned one to another, with Brotherly love, preferring one another.

This was the practice of the Primitive Christians, who were inflamed with a holy zeal for God and love to one another, shew­ [...]ng forth the Vertues of Christ, in a Conver­sation becoming the Gospel; let us follow [Page 152] them who were Followers of Christ, who through Faith and Patience do inherit the Promises, and then we shall say with the Apo­stle, For us to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I live in the Flesh (saith Paul) this is the fruit of my labour; yet what I shall chuse, I wot not; for I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better, 1 Tim. 4.6. I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my depart­ure is at hand; I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth is laid up for me a Crown of Righ­teousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Thus if we fight the good Fight with the Apostle, and follow the Captain of our Sal­vation, we shall be more than Conquerors through him that loved us, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who is the blessed and only Poten­tate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who only hath Immortality, dwelling in the Light which no Man can approach unto, whom no Man hath seen nor can see; to whom be Honour and Power everlasting, Amen.

A SERMON Preached by Charles Harris, At Harp-Lane, November 4th. 1694.

There is nothing so comfortable in this lower world as to be satisfyed by the spirit of God that we are saved by the Lord Jesus from the wrath to come; and therefore all who are waiting to dwell in the sense of this comfort, they should work out their own salvation, with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God which worketh in them, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. There are many People desire to be saved from the wrath to come, but they would be saved in their own wayes, not considering rightly that There is no Name given under Heaven whereby men can be saved, but the Name of Jesus.

This then have I found to be the great les­son which I and others ought to learn, how we are saved by Jesus, and delivered from the wrath to come; the Angel that was sent from Heaven unto Joseph, speaking concern­ing Mary the Mother of our Lord, Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy Wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost: And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his People from their Sins.

Now observe what the lesson is that we have in these words, he shall save his People from their Sins; it is a saying worthy to be observed, and possibly may the inquirer say, who is it that belongs to Christ? Because the word saith, he shall save his People from their Sins; our Saviour is very intent upon this matter, No man cometh unto me (saith he) except my Father, which hath sent me, draw him; Here is one of the marks and tokens that thou belongst unto Christ, that is one that the An­gel spake of, He shall save his People from their Sins. Again saith our Saviour (concerning his Church and People,) in his Prayer to his Father, John, 17.6. Thine they were and thou gavest them me; How shall we understand this saying, Thine they were? that is, they were un­der thy preparation, they were under the stir­rings of thy power and under thy awakenings, before they came to believe in me. Observe a­gain, Thine they were and thou gavest them me: How doth God the Father give Believers unto Christ? he gave them unto Christ to re­ceive [Page 155] the promise of the Father made in Christ, For in him are all the promises yea and Amen. Then again, here is your comfort, what our Saviour further expresseth in his Heavenly Prayer: Those that thou gavest me I have kept, [...]nd none of them is lost but the Son of Perdition, that the Scripture might be fullfilled.

Are you under, or have you known the drawings of the Father to bring you unto Christ? that is, are you made sensible of the want of Christ? The spouse was under the drawings of the Father before she found Christ, I will rise now and go about the City (saith the Spouse) I will seek him whom my Soul loveth; I sought him but I found him not. The Watch­men found me, to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my Soul loveth? I charge ye O ye Daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my Beloved that ye tell him that I am sick of Love. What is thy Beloved more than another Beloved, O thou fairest among Women, what is thy Beloved more than another Beloved that thou dost so charge us? My Beloved is White and Ruddy, the chiefest of Ten Thousand; Thus she was prepared for Christ who had inflamed her with his love, and drawn her desires after him.

It is said concerning John the Baptist, He Preached the Baptism of Repentance for the Re­mission of Sins, making ready a People for the Lord. This is he that was spoken of by the Prophet Esaias; the Voice of one Crying in the Wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his Paths straight. There was a stirring from Heaven among the People when the Baptist came [Page 156] Preaching, Repent for the Kingdom of He [...] ven is at hand, they were prepared to recei [...] his ministration; so when People come to [...] under a Divine preparation, as many are [...] our Days, who are ready to say, Lord hav [...] mercy upon us; among so many Religions [...] would to God we knew how to chuse tha [...] which is right; these are under a Heavenly preparation that earnestly enquire after the tru [...] way and worship of the Lord, wherein they may seek and serve him and find accep­tance.

It is left upon record concerning Christ▪ He gave his life a Ransom for many, to be tes­tified in due time; If you speak of a Ransom to one that is a liberty, he will not regard it, being unconcerned; but come and tell a poor captive in Algiers that he shall shortly be dis­charged from his slavery and sore bondage, and set at liberty, and that a noble Friend in Eng­land will pay his Ransom for him, [...]and his Heart will melt and leap for joy, and he will be transported and greatly affected to hear such glad tidings. As the Captives in Babi­lon when they sat down by the Rivers there, and hanged their Harps upon the Willows and wept, when they remembred Zion, when they that carryed them away Captive required of them mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Sion. They said, How shall we sing the Lords Song in a strange land?

So it hath pleased the Lord in our Days to make Thousands sensible of their woful Captivity by reason of sin, and to say after [Page 157] this manner, alas I am where I would not be, I am under bondage to sin and Satan; I would be at liberty, I am confined and shut up in a dark Dungeon; I would be Discharged, I am in Darkness and would have the light of Gods Countenance lifted up upon me, and he re­freshed with the Rays of the Sun of Righte­ousness; I am labouring under weakness, and I would receive strength, and strugling under my many Infirmities; I would receive Power from on high to do the will of God, and ne­ver be a weary of well doing; I am now at a distance from my Fathers House, and as a stranger on this Earth; I would have my con­versation in Heaven, and live unto Christ here, that I may live with him hereafter and sit with him at Gods Right Hand in Heavenly places.

Now those that are made sensible of their state of Captivity and darkness, and how they have been under the very region and shadow of Death, to such as sit in darkness and as it were under the shadow of Death, God hath caused light to spring up, whereby the Soul comes to perceive that God was in Christ recon­ciling the World unto himself, not imputing their Trespasses to them. Christ gave his life a Ran­som for many, to be testified in due time. The Soul hath its lodgment under fears and doubts, questioning whether ever it shall see the good­ness of the Lord in the land of the living; we have all sinned and come short of the Glory of God, and we are all Children of wrath by nature as well as others; the first step of [Page 158] quietness and comfort, is like that of the Fathers running to meet his Prodigal Son when he saw him afar off; It is when the Soul se [...] and apprehends that God is in Christ recon­ciling the World unto himself; the Lord saith I have found a Ransom, I have laid help up­on one that is mighty, that is able to save to the uttermost.

Now after we perceive there is a Ransom, that there is mercy with the Lord that he may be feared, then the light of that prophecy opens to us, Isa. 55.6, 7. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrigh­teous man his thoughts, and let him return un­to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God for he will abundantly pardon. Then the Soul begins to perceive this Morning of the Day of God, and will say with the Psalmist, return to thy rest, O my Soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee; Until the Soul comes to behold and tast of this Passover, and to believe the record that God hath given of his Son, it cannot be unlocked, and un­chained from its bondage and Captivity: He that believeth not, is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son: The believing this record and embracing the pro­mise of God, is that whereby we feel a spark of Divine hope kindled in us.

So that I say the greatest comfort that can be enjoyed in this life, is to be assured by the spirit of God that we are saved from the wrath [Page 159] to come; we must begin and go on gradually [...]d work out our own Salvation with fear and [...]embling, till it appear to thee and thou art [...]tisfyed that thy Faith stands not in the Wis­ [...]om of men, but in the power of God, and [...]hat thy sins are remitted, Psal. 32.1, 2. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, and [...]hose Sin is covered. Blessed is the Man unto whom the Lord imputeth not Iniquity, and in whose Spirit there is no guil. When you come [...]o perceive the Benefit which you have re­ceived by Christ Jesus, and that by a true be­lief in his name, you receive Remission of Sins, this kindles in your Souls a love to God, and you will be ready to say,

What, hath he paid my debt that I might be discharged from Prison? Paid that debt which I could not pay? I was in Captivity from which I could not Ransom my self, and hath God given his Son, and hath his Son Jesus Christ given himself to be a Ransom for me? I was under a strange King (as the Israelites of old) under great slavery in the land of Egypt and house of Bondage, hath the Lord brought me out from thence by a mighty Hand and out-stretched Arm, and brought me as it were through the Red-Sea, as on dry land? hath he destroyed those Enemies that designed my De­struction, and wrought a great deliverance and Salvation for me? What shall I render to the Lord, for all his Benefits? Bless the Lord O my Soul, and all that is within me bless his Holy Name, who forgiveth all thine Iniquities, who healeth all thy Diseases, who Redeemeth thy life [Page 160] from Destruction, and crowneth thee wi [...] lovingkindness and tender mercies.

When we apprehend that our sins are rem [...] ted, and that God is in Christ reconciling t [...] World to himself, not imputing their trespass [...] to them, then we have quietness and peace Rejoyce and beglad O Daughter of Zion, th [...] Lord that is Righteous will bring Salvation and he will send forth thy Prisoners out of th [...] Pit where there was no Water.

Methinks I hear a sound in a Disconsolat [...] Soul, saying, I believe that God is mercifu [...] the Night is far spent and the Day is at hand yet notwithstanding this is my trouble, that [...] do not yet feel any Power to live to Christ tha [...] died for me, and to walk worthy of my voca­tion; the Soul may therefore cry out, O wretch­ed man that I am, who shall deliver me from the Body of Death? I have formerly been greatly troubled and distressed because I wanted a cer­tainty of the Remission of my sins that are past now I am as much troubled and disquieted, and my Soul is cast down within me, because I have not Power over my present sins; alas I have not power to fight the Lambs Battles, and to overcome my Spiritual Enemies; when I am engaged in the Holy warfare, under the Captain of my Salvation, who was made per­fect through sufferings, and he hath only made a promise to him that overcometh, I have not yet obtained the Victory.

He that overcometh (saith Christ) the same shall be clothed in white rayment, and I will not blot out his Name out of the Book of life, but [Page 161] I will confess his Name before my Father and be­fore his Holy Angels, Rev. 3.5, 12. Him [...]hat overcometh will I make a Pillar in the Temple of God, and he shall go no more out; and I [...]ill write upon him the Name of my God, and [...]he Name of the City of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven [...]rom my God, and I will write upon him my [...]ew Name: Thou complainest of want of power to overcome thy Spiritual Enimies; [...]rt thou one that longest to overcome? then I [...]ope the controversy is at an end; do not say [...] shall carry this Body of sin and Death to the Grave with me, but wait to be made a par­ [...]aker of Christs Prayer, John 17.15, 17. I pray [...]ot that thou shouldst take them out of the World, [...]ut keep them from the evil: Sanctify them brough thy Truth, thy word is Truth.

Wait for Sanctification and to receive power, according to that antient lesson, John 1.12. But as many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God, even to them [...]hat believe on his Name; Dost thou believe [...]hat Christ is endued with all power in Hea­ven and Earth, that he may give power to his People, and save them from their sins, and to be a defender of their Faith? now he is in Heaven, as certainly as on the Eearth he offer­ [...]d himself a sacrifice upon the Cross, and be­ [...]ame a Propitiation for the sins of the whole World? then doubt not but thou shall have [...]ower over thy sins, and be more than Conque­ [...]our through him that hath loved thee.

I will tell thee that Lesson which I ha [...] learned in the School of Christ, that is, to w [...] to be endued with Power from on high, an [...] the desire of thy Soul shall be satisfied, and th [...] waiting will not be in vain, when thou wai [...] est upon God that waiteth to be gracious.

But thou further complainest, I want strengt [...] where my weakness is, and my weakness [...] inward, I want assistance where my enem [...] comes to assault me, and that is within me.

Every one that belongs to Christ Jesus is [...] some measure made sensible of sin, and is waiting to be delivered from it: Therefore, as said, Christ gave his life a Ransom for many to be testified in due time. Let me be wait­ing for Power to become a child of God Thou hast Power (thou sayest) to stand and to keep thy self from falling; thou hast pow­er to keep thy self from Drunkenness an [...] Uncleanness, and other gross sins, but dos [...] thou wait upon the Lord for power over thy Thoughts, and dost thou say (as it is in the Prophet) How long shall these vain Thoughts lodge within me? We have a good Lesson from the Apostle in this case, Ephes. 6.10. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, pu [...] on the whole Armour of God, that ye may b [...] able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, fo [...] we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but agains [...] Principalities and Powers, against the Rulers o [...] the darkness of this World, against spiritua [...] Wickedness in high Places.

O that all the precious Truths that are de­livered to you may be mixed with Faith in [Page 163] them that preach it and hear it: Wherefore, [...]e unto you the whole armour of God, that ye [...]y be able to withstand in the evil day, and [...]oing done all to stand. Stand therefore, hav­ [...]g your loins girt about with truth, and hav­ [...]g on the breast-plate of righteousness, [...]d your feet shod with the preparation [...] the gospel of peace; above all, [...]n [...] ­ [...]g the shield of Faith, wherewith ye shall be [...]le to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked: [...]d take the helmet of salvation and the sword [...] the spirit, which is the word of God, pray­ [...]g always, with all prayer and supplication in [...] spirit. Take unto you the sword of the [...]irit, that you may put to flight the armies [...] the aliens. Those strange and troublesome [...]ings, those vain thoughts that would alie­ [...]ate my heart and my affections from God. [...]hat sort of weapons must we use? Our [...]eapons are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty [...]hrough God, for the pulling down of strong [...]olds of the man of sin, and the bringing into [...]aptivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

O mind these things in good earnest, and [...]hey will turn to your spiritual advantage. [...]f it please the Holy Ghost to touch the Preach­ [...]r's Tongue with a coal from the Altar, he may [...]op a word of exhortation, which will be [...]arper than a sword, and may pierce thy [...]art. Heb. 4.12. The word of God is quick [...]nd powerful, and sharper than any two-edged [...]word, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow [Page 164] and is a discerner of the thoughts and intenti [...] the hearts. All Scripture (saith the Apos [...] is given by inspiration of God, and is profit [...] for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [...] struction in righteousness, that the Man of [...] may be perfect, throughly furnished unto [...] good works.

Some have unadvisedly said, That we d [...] the divine authority of the Holy Scriptur [...] which we so highly esteem, and can say w [...] the Apostle, We are not ashamed of the Gos [...] of Christ, for it is the power of God to sal [...] tion. If any among us shall deny the H [...] Scriptures to be of Divine Inspiration, [...] them bear the just reproach of it. It is commendation given to the Church in P [...] ladelphia; Thou hast a little strength, and h [...] kept my word, and hast not denied my nam [...] But now concerning the sword of the spiri [...] which is the word of God, I need not s [...] much about it unto you; you know the wo [...] is nigh you, in your mouth and in your Heart▪

Many among us have known the word [...] God powerful upon our Hearts, awakenin [...] us to consider our eternal State: Many yea [...] years ago, People marvelled at us, saying What ails this People that they are so nice an [...] scrupulous, and will not do what others do▪ They will not be chearful and merry, and g [...] to Masks and Plays; they are cast down an [...] afflicted, and weep, and lament, and mout [...] for their sin before the Lord, and are greatl [...] astonished what is the matter: They find th [...] word of God quick and powerful, and sharpe [...] [Page 165] than a two-edged Sword, and it hath [...]unded and pierced them; they had rather [...] touched with a naked Sword, and receive [...] Wound in their Bodies, than feel that An­ [...]ish in their Souls, when the Sword of the [...]irit, the word of the Lord, hath reached [...]eir Hearts; then they cry out, Have pity on [...], have pity on me, for the hand of the Lord [...]h touched me. The Word of the Lord is [...]ick and powerful, and sharper than a two- [...]ged Sword; thou wilt find it like the Sword [...] Gideon against thy spiritual Enemies.

When the Children of Israel were greatly [...]poverished because of the Midianites, they [...]ed unto the Lord, The Angel of the Lord [...]eared to Gideon as he was threshing Wheat [...] the Wine-press, to hide it from the Midia­ [...]tes; and the Angel said unto him, The Lord [...] with thee, thou mighty man of valour, Judg. [...] 14. And it is said, The Lord looked upon [...]n and said unto him, Go in thy might, and [...]u shalt save Israel from the hands of the [...]dianites; have I not sent thee? And he said, [...] my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? [...]hold, my Family is poor in Manasseh, and I [...] the least in my Father's House. And the [...]rd said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, [...]d thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. [...]deon desires a Sign; he put a fleece of Wool [...]on the Floor, and the Dew was upon the [...]eece, and it was dry upon all the Earth [...]sides.

And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine An­ [...] be hot against me, and I will speak but this [Page 166] once; let me prove I pray thee this once with [...] Fleece; let it now be dry only upon the Fle [...] and upon all the Ground let there be Dew. [...] God did so that Night, and gave him a cert [...] Token and Assurance that he would vouchsafe [...] presence with him. Gideon levies an Army thirty thousand. And the Lord said to Gide [...] the People that are with thee are too many [...] me to give the Midianites into their hands, [...] Israel vaunt themselves against me, sayin [...] Mine own hand hath saved me. And there [...] turned of the People two and twenty thousan [...] and there remained ten thousand: And the Lo [...] said, the People are yet too many, bring th [...] down to the Water. And they bowed down their Knees to drink Water, only three hundr [...] Men lapped Water with their Tongues, as [...] Dog lappeth: By these, saith the Lord, I w [...] save you. And the Lord said to Gideon, [...] down to the Host of Midian, for I have del [...] vered it into thy hand; but if thou fearest [...] go down, go with Pharoah thy servant, and th [...] shalt hear what they say, and afterward sh [...] thine hand be strengthened. And when Gide [...] was come near to the Midianites, that lay alon [...] in the Valley like Grashoppers for Multitude and their Camels were without number like th [...] sand of the Sea-side. And, behold, there was [...] man that told a Dream unto his Fellow, sayin [...] Behold, I dreamed a Dream, and lo, a Cake [...] Barley-bread tumbled into the Host of Midia [...] and came unto a Tent, and smote it, that it fe [...] and overturned it, that the Tent lay alone. An [...] his Fellow answered and said, This is nothing els [...] [Page 167] save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man [...] Israel; for into his hand hath God delivered, [...]idian and all the Host. And when Gideon [...]ard the telling of the Dream and the inter­ [...]retation of it, he worshipped and returned in­ [...]o the Host of Israel, and said, Arise, the Lord [...]ath delivered them into our hands. And he [...]vided the three hundred men into three Com­ [...]nies, and he put a Trumpet into every man's and with empty Pitchers, and Lamps within [...]he Pitchers. And the three Companies blew [...]he Trumpets, and brake the Pichers, and [...]eld the Lamps in their left hands, and the [...]rumpets in their right hands to blow withal; [...]nd they cried, The sword of the Lord and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place [...]ound about the Camp, and all the Host of Mi­ [...]ian ran and cried and fled, and the Lord set [...]very Man's sword against his Fellow, even [...]hroughout all the Host of Midian, and they [...]estroyed one another.

These things are written for our Learning, [...]hat through patience and the comfort of the [...]criptures, we might have hope, so that thou [...]hat complainest of thy Weakness and want of [...]ower, thou shall be strengthened with all might, and by the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, thou shalt prevail and put to [...]light the Armies of the Aliens, and say with [...]he Apostle, Thanks be to God, that giveth us Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ: And with Zacharias, Luk. 1.67. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who hath visited and redeem­ [...]d his People, and raised up a Horn of salvation [Page 168] for us. And say as the Psalmist, Praise ye the Lord, praise God in his Sanctuary, praise him in the Firmament of his Power, praise him for his mighty Acts, praise him according to his ex­cellent Greatness; let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. And as Moses praised God in his Song after the deliverance at the Red Sea; I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously, the Horse and his Ri­der hath he thrown into the Sea. The Lord is my Strength and Song, he is become my Salva­tion, he is my God, and I will prepare him an Habitation; my Father's God, and I will exalt him; who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the Gods? Who is like thee, glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing Wonders?

But some will object and say, Notwith­standing all the strength and power the Lord giveth his People, here is a great Allay. We have a subtle Adversary to deal with, the De­vil that old Serpent; he beguiled our first Pa­rents in Paradice, in a state of Innocence: He is the Prince of the power of the Air, and a roaring Lion going about continually seeking whom he may devour.

I answer; This Talk is begun to be laid aside when thou feelest the power of God; and thou maist encourage thy self in this, that greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the World. When the strong Man armed keeps the House, his Goods are in peace; but when a stronger than he comes to dispossess him, he spoils him of his Goods.

When once you come to be acquainted with the power of God working mightily within you, you will say, The beloved of my Soul is come, and hath strengthened me with all might in my inward Man, and enabled m [...] to overcome the Enemy: The Son of God is come, and hath given us an Understanding that we may know him that is true: This is very comfortable, Here is light sown for the Righteous, and gladness for the upright in Heart.

But, methinks, I hear another sound in ano­ther Soul, speaking after this manner: I have believed unto remission of Sins, and in my waiting upon the Lord, I have found such strength and power given, in that the Enemy hath given back. When I awake in the morn­ing and come to a Meeting, I am in distress till I receive Bread from Heaven, and Hony out of the Rock, and Consolation from those precious Promises; I will cause them to lie down, and none shalt make them afraid; and they shall have Bread in their own Houses, and Water in their own Cisterns.

The more you wait upon the Lord, the more you will find of supply from his heaven­ly helping-hand; certainly, God is carrying on the Work of your Redemption till you ap­pear before him in Zion, tho' at present it causeth trouble and exercise; as it was with the Spouse, when she was seeking after her Beloved with desires and breathings, Cant. 6.8. I charge you Daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my Beloved, that ye tell him, That I am sick [Page 170] of love. To be sick of Love is a groaning, mournful Exercise; but when thy Saviour [...]mes and opens his Mouth in blessing, thou [...]ilt be abundantly satisfied as with Marrow [...]nd Fatness, and sit under his shadow with [...]t Delight, and his Fruit will be sweet un­ [...] thy taste.

Thus it was with David; When thou hidest thy face, O God, I am troubled, and I had faint­ed unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. One that is earnestly seeking after Christ, will speak of his Excellencies, as the Spouse did, and thereby ex­cite and stir up others to seek him also; my Be­loved is white and rudy, the chiefest of ten thou­sand, his Mouth is most sweet, yea he is altogether Lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend: O Daughters of Jerusalem, whither is thy beloved gone (they said) whither is thy belov­ed turned aside, that we may seek him with thee? When thou art seeking after Christ he is not far from thee. Rev. 3.20. Behold I stand at the Door and knock; if any man hear my Voice, and open the Door, I will come unto him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Some honest Country men will say one to another, where is the Door Christ comes to? It is the Door of the Heart. What is this knocking of the beloved at the Door? How shall I know when he knocks at the Door; when the Spouse comes to have acquaintance with her beloved? I sleep, but my Heart waketh; it is the Voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying Open to me my Sister, my love, my dove, my [Page 171] undefiled; for my Head is filled with dew and m [...] locks with the drops of the Night. My belov [...] (saith she) put in his hand by the hole of [...] Door, and my Bowels were moved for him: I [...] up to open to my Beloved, and my hands droppe [...] with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my Beloved but my Beloved had withdrawn him­self and was gone, my Soul failed when he spake.

When the Lord is pleased to give a tast of his love, then after a dark Night of sorrow and affliction, the Day will break and the shadows flee away; then at the dawning of this blessed Morning, Christ will come to the disconsolate enquiring Soul, and his reward is with him and his work before him; then there shall be joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall fly away.

Then saith the humble Soul, I am sensible of the goodness of the Lord, sensible of mer­cy and supporting and preserving power, but I am still under trouble and disquietness of mind, and I am as David, when he cryed out, Lord make hast to help me, for the Waters are come unto my Soul; great distress and trou­ble are come into my Soul; now though I have believed in Christ and obtained mercy, and assistance from divine power against my Spiritual Enimies, yet I have not kept my watch, and my adversary the Devil by his sub­tilty and wiles hath ensnared me, and given me a snap at the Heel, and I have relapsed [...]nto sin, sinned presumptuously, nay I am [Page 172] afraid I have sinned the unpardonable sin, the [...] against the Holy Ghost; for I have been enlightened and tasted of the Heavenly gift, [...] have been made a partaker of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the World to come. The Apostle saith, It is impossible for such if they fall away to be renewed again by Repentance, I am affraid to die, for I cannot triumph over Death as the Apostle did and say 1 Cor. 15.55. O Death where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory! the sting of Death is sin, the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the Victory through our Lord Je­sus Christ.

I Answer, Notwithstanding all thy doubts and fears, thou art still to hope in God, who is merciful and gracious forgiving transgression and sin, and who hath promised that if we confess and forsake sin we shall find mercy, and if we forsake sin and turn from our evil ways he will abundantly pardon. Remember for thy encouragment the words of the Apostle 1 John 2.12. My little Children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propi­tiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole World. If thou dost believe in Christ thou wilt be in a capacity to resist the Devil thy grand Enemy, and to re­pel his temptations, when he comes as an accu­ser to make shipwrack of thy Faith; consider the tenderness and compassion of Christ to­ward [Page 173] broken and contrite sinners in 11 Mat. 28. in that sweet invitation, Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. And also in that charge he giveth to Peter, John 21, 15. Simon, Son of Jona [...] lovest thou me? He answered, Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; then saith he, feed my Lambs, feed my Sheep, &c. Stephen when they were stoning him to Death did look unto Christ and had strong consolation, triumphing over Death and the rage and fury of his Murderers, Acts 17.55. He being full of the Holy Ghost looked up stedfastly into Heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the Right hand of God; and they stoned Stephen calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit. And he kneeled down and cryed with a loud Voice, Lord lay not this sin unto their Charge.

Thus look up unto Jesus when thy Adver­sary the Devil doth accuse thee, and by be­lieving thou wilt overcome him and go on conquering, and to conquer till all thy enemies be utterly subdued. Believe in the Lord Jesus who hath all Power in Heaven and Earth committed to him, who is able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him; and those that come unto him he will in no wise cast out; when thou hast fought the good fight, and the Battle is over and Victory obtain­ed, thou shalt find a Song of praise to God, as Israel of Old upon the Banks of Salvation when Pharoah and his Host were drowned in the Red-Sea.

Thou art discouraged and cast down, and thy Soul is disquieted within thee, because thou art affraid thou hast committed the un­pardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost. [...]any of the Israelites were bitten they did look up to the Brazen Serpent, (a Type of Christ) and they were immediately healed; if the Devil the old Serpent hath bitten thee and wounded thy Heel, look up to Christ by an eye of Faith, and thou shalt be healed. As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; Dost thou think thy sin like that of Demas, that embraced this present World. Or like those Rom. 1.21. who were without excuse because that when they knew God, they glorifyed him not as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their ima­ginations, and their foolish Heart was darkened. Is thy sin like theirs who turned the grace of God into lasciviousness? Is thy sin like theirs that made Shipwrack of Faith and a good Conscience? Is thy sin like the sin of them that blasphemed Christ when he wrought mighty wonders and miracles, opened the eyes of the blind, raised the Dead, and cast out Devils and said he cast them out through Bel­zebub the Prince of the Devils? Look up unto Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith, look up unto him who was Crucified and lifted up upon the Cross, raised from the Dead and is now Ascended into Heaven, and is on the Right-Hand of God making intercession for us.

And the Apostle James giveth encourage­ment and direction to us, James 5.14. Is any man sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him▪ anointing him with Oil in the Name of the Lord▪ And the Prayer of Faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have com­mitted sins, they shall be forgiven him. The effectual fervent Prayer of a righteous man avail­eth much. These are the helps that God affor­ded to believers in that Day and time, and he hath given us ground of hope in our time and Day that our iniquities and transgressions shall be pardoned and blotted out upon Confession and deep humiliation, and turning from sin to God.

It may be thou canst say I did not sin will­fully against the Lord, and with an high Hand: I did not say (as they of old after a mighty de­liverance wrought for them) let us make us a Captain and go back again to Egypt. I have not so presumptuously sinned, yet I have been tempted and overcome; the enemy the Old Serpent hath snapt me by the Heel, and bit and wounded me; then look up to Christ (as they to the Brazen Serpent) and that look of Faith will heal thee. If any man sin we, have an advo­cate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, believe in him, and then Add to your Faith ver­tue, and to your vertue knowledg, and to know­ledg temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godlyness, and to godlyness brotherly­kindness, and to brotherlykindness charity, for if these things be in you and abound, they make [Page 176] you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruit­ful in the knowledg of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It may be, another Poor dejected sorrowful Soul may say, I have met with many. Trials, Troubles and Exercises, and I have been ready to sink under my burden, I have been made a Spectacle to God, Angels and Men; and another may say what is like to this, I want the assurance of my Salvation, the en­joyment of all other things is inconstant and uncertain. We have heard of terrible Earth­quakes, wherewith many have been sudden­ly swallowed up and ruined; and we hear of Wars, whereby the Blood of many thou­sands hath been shed, and their Lives extin­guished. O the Joy of Gods Salvation! they that have the lively hopes of this, may say with the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.1. For we know that if our earthly House of this Tabernacle were dissolved, we have a Building of God, an House not made with Hands, Eternal in the Heavens.

As you come to enjoy this blessed Priviledg, and have a prospect of a happy End, you will not be much concerned about any Troubles or Exercises in the way to it. The Devil, your Adversary, goes about continu­ally like a Roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour. He will assault and tempt us as he did our Saviour, and hit us in those places where he is most like to wound us. He taketh our Saviour up into the Holy City, and setteth him on the Pinacle of the Temple, and then said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thy self down. It is [Page 177] written, He shall give his Angels charge con­cerning thee, and in their Hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a Stone. And then he took him up into an exceeding high Mountain, and shewed him all the Kingdoms of the World, and the glory of them; and said, All these things will I give thee, If thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, get thee hence Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the Devil left him, and behold Angels came and Ministred to him. In his first Temp­tation, when he came to our Saviour and said, If thou be the Son of God, Command that these Stones be made Bread, Our Saviour re­pelled the force of that Temptation, and said, Man liveth not by Bread only, but by eve­ry word that proceedeth out of the Mouth of God.

Resist the Devil, as our Saviour did, and he will fly from thee; and look unto Jesus the Captain of our Salvation, and he will enable thee by Faith, to quench his Fiery Darts, and he will be a Saviour to save thee from thy Sins, and also from the wrath to come.

I have opened the Poinr I propounded to insist on, How we may know whether we belong to Christ; if we are his, he will save us from our Sins; and if we belong to him, we are under the drawings of the Father; For none can come unto me, saith Christ, ex­cept my Father which hath sent me, draw him. And I have given you several other Marks and [Page 178] Tokens whereby you may examine your selves, and know whether you be of Christs little Flock, for whom he hath prepared a Kingdom.

When I come out of the Country unto this great City, among a People that hear the Great Rabbies, the learned Doctors, the Sil­ver-tongued Men, and the admired Preachers and great Wits of the Age; I cannot but ob­serve, how easy it is for People to be bewil­dred and imposed on, and take things on trust, from those they admire and highly esteem for their profound learning and excel­lent parts. There are places for publick Meetings, and solemn Worship, and Preach­ing, almost in every Corner of your Populous City; and there stands a Pracher with the Bible in his Hand, and he calls upon his Auditors, to give their reverend and seri­ous attention, and harken to the Word of the Lord: And the People likewise have their Books in their Hands, and observe the Scrip­tures he Quotes, and turn down a Leaf that they may find them when they come home; and go away admiring the Sermon, and the wisdom and learning of the Preacher, and say, he is an excellent Man: But Alas! too few do make it their work to apply the great Truths of the Gospel to their Hearts, or so hear (as the Prophet speaks) That their Souls may live.

Though I have not a Book in my Hands while I am Preaching to you, yet I do highly esteem and Reverence the Holy Scri­ptures [Page 179] of Truth, and I do often at other times take the Bible in my Hands, and seriously read it, and pray to God to help me to [...] right understanding of it, that I may rightl [...] divide the Word of Truth, and declare un­to you the whole Counsel of God, and open the Mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the great things belonging to your everlasting Peace; and how Christ saves his People from their Sins, from the condemn­ing Power and the concommanding Power of them. Sin shall not have Dominion over you (saith the Apostle) for ye are not under the law but grace, Rom. 6.22. And being now made free from Sin, and become Sorvants to God, ye have your fruit unto Holiness, and the end everlasting Life; for the wages of Sin is Death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We that Preach the Gospel should imitate the Apostle, who used all his skill and ut­most diligence by all his Preaching to bring Men to Spirituality, Heavenly Mindedness, and to a conformity to the Life of Christ. God who at sundry times and in divers man­ners spake in time past unto the Fathers, by the Prophets, hath in these last days, spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed Heir of all things, &c. Who being the bright­ness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person, and upholding all things by the Word of his Power, when he had by himself purged our Sins, sat down on the right Hand of the Majesty on high. Thus he begins his [Page 180] Epistle to the believing Hebrews and tells them, what Christ had done for them and offers to them, then he chargeth them to give the more earnest heed to the things that they have heard, lest at any time they should let, them slip; for, saith he, How shall we es­cape, if we neglect so great Salvation! And in the close of his Epistle, he tells them, That they are not come to Mount Sinai that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and Darkness, and Tempest, &c. But ye are come unto Mount Sion, the City of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an Innumerable Company of Angels; To the general assembly and Church of the First-born, which are written in Heaven and to God, the Judg of all; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the Blood of Sprinkling, that speaketh better things then that of Abel.

It is the end and design of our Preaching the Gospel, to bring Men to the saving know­ledg of Christ, and him Crucified, and to turn them from the Power of Satan to the Power of God. There is a complaint of some that are Preachers in this City, and other places (and I fear there is too much cause for it) that they only Preach Christ within, and the Light within, but do not make men­tion of the Death and sufferings of Christ, and the benefits that come to believers by his Sa­crifice and satisfaction; for he that knew no Sin was made Sin, for us that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him; and he was wounded for our Transgressions, [Page 181] bruised for our iniquities, and the chastise­ment of our Peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Without controversy (saith the Apostle) great is the Mistery of godliness; God was Manifest in the Flesh▪ justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, Preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the World, and received up into Glory. The Prophets spake of Christs coming in our nature, and being manifest in Flesh in that Body prepa­red for him, to do the will of God. And Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, rejoyced to see his Day, and was glad great things were foretold of him before his coming, and great Titles given to him: Isa. 9.6. For unto us a Child is born, and unto us a Son is given; and the Government shall be upon his Shoulder, and his name shall be called wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

In the fulness of time, when he came into the World, Luke 1 8. The Angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds abiding in the Field, and keeping Watch over their Flock by Night; and the glory of the Lord shone round abou [...] them, and they were sore afraid. And the An­gel said unto them, fear not, for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all People; for unto you is born this Day, in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the Angel, a multitude of the Heavenly Host, prai­sing God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth Peace, good will towards Men.

I have many times been astonished, when I have considered the wonderful Condescen­tion of the Eternal Son of God, who being in the form of God, thought it not Robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no Reputation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of Men; and being found in fashion as a Man, he humbled himself and became obe­dient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross.

I have searched solemnly into this Mystery for my satisfaction, with respect to his bodily and outward appearance; and I have thought with my self, God hath been pleased in his most wonderful kindness and compassion, to condescend to our weakness and infirmity, and help our unbelief; and lest People should be ready to question Gods Veracity, and not believe what is reported by the Angel, con­cerning Christ, and Salvation to be obtained by his Death and sufferings, and what was foretold by the Prophets; God sent his Son into the World, that Men might see him Face to Face, and hear him Preach to them with his own Mouth, who had Grace poured in­to his Lips, that they might be convinced and converted by his heavenly Doctrin; who had the words of Eternal Life; for such Ma­jesty and Power appeared in his Preaching, that many which heard him were stricken with wonder and said, Never Man spake like this Man.

The Sadducees and Atheistical Persons of that age wherein our Saviour appeared, that denied [Page 183] a Resurrection of the Body, and that there were Spirits; Our Saviour, for their con­viction, did many wonderful Works; he raised the Dead, and cast out evil Spirits, and declared himself to be the Son of God, with Power, in that he cast out Devils from the possessed Persons, and made them con­fess and own his Divinity. One of the evil Spirits cried out, saying, What have I to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of the most high God. I should be glad, if I had time, to speak more at large concerning Christs Death and sufferings, and Resurrection and Ascension in­to Heaven, and sitting at the right Hand of God, and living for ever to make Intercession for us.

The Apostle Peter declares, Acts 2.22, 25. Ye Men of Israel hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you, by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did, by him, in the midst of you, as ye your selves also know, who [...] God raised up, having loosed the pains of Death, because it was not possible he should be holden of it. The Lord Jesus ap­peared after his Resurrection to Mary Mag­dalen, at the Sepulcher, where she sees two Angels in VVhite sitting, the one at the Head, the other at the Feet where the Body of Je­sus had lain. And they said unto her, Woman, Why Weepest thou? she saith unto them, be­cause they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned her self back and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was[Page 184] Jesus, And he said, unto her, Woman why Weepest thou! Whom seekest thou? she supposing him to be the Gardiner, said unto him, Sir, If thou hast born him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him; and I will take him away. Je­sus saith unto her, Mary: She turned her self, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalen came and told the Disciples, That she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same Day, at the Evening, being the first Day of the Week, when the Doors were shut, where his Disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said; Peace be unto you: And he shewed them his Hands, and his side. And the Disciples were glad when they saw the Lord; but Thomas was not with them when Jesus came. The other Disciples said unto him, We have seen the Lord: But he said unto them, except I see in his Hand the Print of the Nails, and put my Finger into the Print of the Nails, and thrust my Hand into his side, I will not be­lieve. And after eight Days, his Disciples were within, and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the Doors being shut, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy Finger, and behold my Hands; and reach hither thy Hands; and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord [Page 185] and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

To confirm our belief of these great and wonderful things recorded in the Scripture, Luke the Evangelist writes after this man­ner: Forasmuch as many have taken in Hand to set forth in order, a Declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them to us, which from the be­ginning were Eye-Witnesses and Ministers of the World; it seemed good unto me also, to write unto thee most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

And that we might not be jealous, in re­ference to any thing, concerning Christ cru­cified, and his being dead and buried, and his Resurrection and Ascension, he appeared again to Saul going to Damascus, Suddenly there shined round about him a Light from Heaven: And he fell to the Earth, and heard a Voice saying, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, who art thou, Lord! And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the Pricks, And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me to do?

Friends, I shall now draw to a close, and God willing, if I have opportunities hereaf­ter, I shall discharge my Conscience in an enlargement upon these great points of Doctrin, which are necessary to be opened to you, [Page 186] for building you up in your most holy Faith Keep y [...]ur selves in the love of God, to whom I commit you, beseeching him to strengthen you with all Might in the inward­ed Man, that you may abound in all the Fruits of the Spirir, and shew forth the vir­tues of Christ, and be Holy in all manner of conversation, and adorn the Doctrin of God, our Saviour, in all things, by patient continuance in well doing; For he that en­dureth to the end, shall be saved.

A SERMON Preached by George Keith. At Grace-Church-street, October 31. 1694.

Gal. 4. 19,‘My Little Children, of whom I travel in Birth again, until Christ be form­ed in you.’

THere is something by way of Testimony upon my Heart at this time, which I shall deliver as briefly as the Lord shall be [Page 187] pleased to enable me, concerning this great [...]nd weighty Matter, which is of great con­ [...]ernment to all of us, in order to our eternal [...]elfare and Salvation, that every one in par­ [...]icular may come to experience Christ formed [...]n them.

This is more than an outward Ptofession; Men and Women may make a large Professi­on of Christ, yea, of Christ within, and [...]et be strangers to this great Mystery of ha­ [...]ing Christ formed in them. It is a thing [...]ore than a bare Theory or Speculation, or [...]hat which some are pleased to Call an Ideal [...]owledg, or an Idea of Faith; there must be Heart-knowledge, and Heart-experience, to [...]itness this, That Christ is formed in us; and [...]deed none are fit to speak of this Mystery, [...]r declare of it unto others, but those who [...]ave an experimental knowledg and Proof of [...]t in their own Particulars. They know not [...]ow to Preach Christ to others, that have [...]ot come to witness Christ formed in them; [...]nd by that Rule, many that are called [...]reachers, and are professed Preachers, ought [...]o he rejected and denied to be true Ministers [...]f Christ, if they are strangers to this Mistery, [...]hough they have high notions of Christ in [...]heir Heads and in their Brains, from the [...]etter of the Scripture, and from orher Mens Declarations; but if they know not this Mystery of Christ being formed in them, they [...]e not true Members of Christ, if they have [...]ot experience of it.

And therefore it may well enough in part be understood as the Sense and meaning of these words of the Apostle (though I own there is more in it) when he said to the Ga­latians I travel, in Birth.

And it may well enough be understood, as if he had said, whereas formerly I traveled for my self that Christ might be formed in me, now I travel again till Christ be formed in you: We can neither rightly, nor profitably and effectually Witness for the Salvation of others, and be in labour or travail for the Salvation of others, until Christ be formed in us; un­til we know a travail for our own Salvation, until we can witness our own Salvation to be wrought and carried on, and not only begun in us; and then we shall with good success preach the Gospel, and without this no hope of success. Let Men preach ever so much in a form of sound words, yet they cannot preach with hope of success.

I say, further, it may have this further sense that whereas Paul had formerly laboured among these Galatians, and God had blessed his labours, so that there was a good degree of the Work of God begun in them, there had been a good Foundation laid, the Seed had not only been Sown, but had taken Root; and not only taken Roor, but sprung up, in some measure. But some false teachers coming after Paul, and gaining too much ground on the affections of the Galatians, they had too much undone, as it were, that which he had been doing; they had in some [Page 189] measure and degree marr'd and spoiled, and, [...]s it were, undone that which had been done [...]efore; therefore, he complains and expostu­lates with them, by way of Lamentation, after this manner: O Foolish Galatians! who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the Truth! before whose Eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, Crucified among you. This only would I learn of you; received ye the Spirit by the Works of the Law, or by the bearing of Faith?

Those that they had commended and esteemed as Ministers of Christ, laboured to bring them back to the Law, and to the ob­servance of Jewish Rites and Ceremonies, to observe days and times and such things; I am afraid (saith he) I have laboured among you in vain, lest that be marr'd and hurt in you, and you suffer loss in that which I laboured for, and made evident to you. And therefore, the Apostle laboured the second time, that that might be recovered in them and gained, which had suffered loss and de­triment.

But now to speak somewhat more parti­cularly to the Matter it self, which shall be by answering a weighty question: Which is this.

Quest. What is it to have Christ formed in a Man or Woman?

Now in order to the answering of this Question, it is in my Heart to make use of that Parable of our blessed Lord, as we find [...]t in one of the Evangelists, where the King­dom [Page 190] of God is likened unto a Grain of Corn unto Seed, Wheat or other Grain, which a Man Sows in his Field, and it springeth first into the Blade, then into the Ear, and last of all it comes to ripe Fruit. Now as to the Seed of Corn to which he compares the Kingdom of God, it is certain, that which the Scripture calls incorruptible Seed, is a Seed of God, which comes from him imme­diately, as I may say, and yet comes to us, through Christ, 1 John 3.9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit Sin; for his Seed re­maineth in him, and he cannot Sin because he is born of God, Now the Seed of God, which is called the Kingdom of God, is compared to a Grain of Corn, and all Seeds must have a Soil and Earth to grow in: What is the Soil where the Seed of God grows? It is the Hearts and Souls of Men and Women, and their inward Parts. Now you know the Earth is full of Weeds, and of Bryars, and Thorns, therefore the Husband-man takes pains to cut up, and root up, those Weeds and Tares, to keep his ground clean, that so the clean Seed may grow and come to ripeness and maturity. So it is very ordina­ry and usual for the Husband-Man to Weed his Corn, when the Corn is young, as I have seen it practiced, and those that go to Weed the Corn must be very tender, lest they ttead under Foot the Corn and tender Plants; they must do it carefully, tenderly and skil­fully, lest they do more hurt than good; so they have their Weeding-Hooks and Instru­ments, [Page 191] not only to cut down, but to root out [...]e Weeds and Tares.

Now, I say, God Almighty is the Heaven­ [...] Husband-man, and our Lord Jesus Christ [...]rincipally and primarily; and also his Ser­ [...]nts, under him, are the Ministers of Christ, [...]hich he makes use of to weed and cleanse [...]is Field, where the Seed is growing; that [...] the Hearts of Gods People. How doth [...] do this, but by reproving what is repro­ [...]ble? This is one part of the Work of the [...]inisters of Christ, as the Apostle writes to [...]mothy; I charge thee therefore, before God, [...]d the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judg the [...]ick and dead at his appearing, and his King­ [...]m: Preach the Word, be instant in season, [...]t of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all [...]ng-suffering and Doctrin. For the time will [...]me, when they will not endure sound Doctrin; [...]ut after their own Lusts, shall they heap to [...]emselves Teachers, having, itching Ears; [...]nd they shall turn away their Ears from the [...]uth, and be turned unto Fables. But watch [...]hou in all things, endure afflictions, do the [...]ork of an Evangelist, make full proof of [...]y Ministry; rebuke with all authority; re­ [...]ove what is reproveable, both in Doctrin and Manners. All immoralities, covetousness and [...]oing after the World's customs, the Lusts [...]f the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the [...]ide of Life, and all that hinders the growth [...]d fruitfulness of those Plants, which are of [...]ods planting. A word of reproof in the Mouth [...] Gods Servants is an Instrument to pluck [Page 192] up the VVeeds, that hinder Gods precio [...] Plant from growing in the Hearts of h [...] Children.

Now according to this Parable of o [...] blessed Lord concerning the Kingdom of Go [...] he compareth it to a Grain of Corn when t [...] Husband-man rises up, and lies down a [...] sleeps, the Corn grows. O what a singul [...] Mercy is it! The Corn grows Night a [...] Day; it grows and springeth up when t [...] Husband-Man laboureth not. Now Chr [...] formed within, is a measure of his divi [...] Life planted in us, and united to us, as t [...] Soul is to the Body, in some manner; it is li [...] a measure of divine Nature, a divine Princip [...] a divine and heavenly substance, as it comes take root, and spring up and grow in M [...] and VVomen, in their Souls and inwa [...] Parts; that it may grow, it needs not on [...] an heavenly, divine influence from above, b [...] it also requires the love of our Heart the affections of our Souls; there must be feeling of love and desire in our Hearts t [...] wards it, and a very tender care and conce [...] to cherish this heavenly Seed, that as t [...] Corn that grows in a good Soil, it must tenderly cherished, So thou must cherish Go [...] Plant in thine own Heart, that there may an increase and growth, God hath set an h [...] venly Seed and Plant in thy Heart; it is [...] ry precious and worthy of thy care, and m [...] tender Love, and dearest affections, in or [...] to its growth and springing up, that it may [Page 193] s [...]fe and secured from what soever may be [...]rtful and pernicious to it.

I would have you to consider a Di­ [...]nction concerning this Seed, as it is form­ [...]g and as it is formed; as Corn that [...]ows, while it is but young and tender in the [...]ade, it is but forming, when it is in the Blos­ [...]m and in the green Ear, it is yet but [...]rming; but when it comes to its substance, [...] be solid Corn and Grain, then it is formed. [...]ow when a Seed or Plant is forming, as it is generally known to such as under­ [...]and any thing of Husbandry) as VVheat, [...]hen it is Green in the Field, is in danger [...]f Blasting, but after it comes to be formed, [...]nd is well ripened in the Ear, it's past the [...]anger of Blasting, or Mildew or spoil­ [...]ng.

Now to apply this Spiritually and inward­ [...]y: There is a season and a time, when this [...]eavenly Seed or Plant of God's own plan­ [...]ng, is in danger, so to speak, of Blasting as [...]o us; and there is a time when it is grown [...]trong and vigorous, when the danger of Blasting is over. I hope there are some here [...]rrived at that blessed state and condition, that God's Corn and Heavenly Seed in them is [...]ome to ripeness and maturity; yet there are [...]egrees of ripeness to be further attained, that we may overcome all Hinderances and Ene­mies of our growth, and increasing with the [...]ncrease of God, that we may have that sweet [...]nd blessed promise fulfilled to us, Rev. 3.12. [Page 194] Him that overcometh will I make a Pillar the Temple of my God.

O Friends, Let us all wait for it, and l [...] us be strong in the Lord, and in the Powe [...] of his might, while we are warring and figh [...] ing with our Souls Enemy. VVe have [...] holy war, and we have VVeapons, but the [...] are spiritual Weapons (not Carnal.) L [...] us make War against our Spiritual Enemie that we may overcome and be made Pillars i [...] the House of God, and go no more out: He [...] is security, we shall go no more out, but be a God's ripe Corn gathered into the Barn; n [...] danger then when any are arrived at this happy state, there is no doubt that any suc [...] will indulge themselves in Lazinefs, and tak [...] any sinful liberty or Latitude to themselves but have a holy and awful fear and dread, and a holy care and concern upon them, to serve the Lord with all readiness and chear­f [...]lness do the will of God. The more that any come to a holy, and safe, and secure state and condition, the more will their Hearts be filled with diligence, and fear, and love, and temperance, and humility.

Now as concerning the state of the Gala­tians, I told you, That Paul had laboured among rhem with success; but other Teach­ers came among them, by whom they re­ceived hurt, and suffered loss and detriment so that they needed a New Visitation and build­ing up, that all might not be destroyed tha [...] Paul had been building up in them; they had [Page 195] suffered that loss and damage that they needed Paul's Ministry to bring them to an Esta­blishment in the truth, that they might stand in searching and shaking times.

Sometimes, in Harvest, there may arise such tempestuous Winds, as may shake the Corn: So such shaking and searching times may come, as to try and terrify God's People, and shake God's Corn before it be gathered into the Lord's Barn. It is good to be pre­paring for such things, and making ready; and to be earnest with the Lord to prepare us, that if shaking Winds shall come, we may be preserved stedfast and unmovable, and abounding in the Work of the Lord, that our labour may not be in vain in the Lord. If it shall be so that many shall be shaken, such times may come, let us prepare and make ready, that we may not be surprized, but preserved in shaking times; and those that shall be preserved unshaken, when the Winds of Mens Doctrins shall blow upon them, let them bless and praise the Lord.

The Apostle tells us, Eph. 4.10, 11, 12. That our Lord Jesus Christ ascended up far a­bove all Heavens, that he might fill all things: And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come in the uni­ty of the Faith, and of the knowledg of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the Stature of the fulness of Christ; That [Page 196] we henceforth be no more Children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every Wind of Doctrin, by the slight of Men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. There is nothing but the Lord's Power is able to preserve us; if we trust in the Lord, and de­pend upon him, he will preserve us, and be unto us as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary Land. We shall be preserved, if we keep in the living exercise of Faith, if we do not live in the daily exercise of Faith, we shall be as Corn on the House top shaken, and bring forth no good Fruit in season. Let us live in the Exercise of faith, and depend on God for the assistance of his Spirit, and them we shall be preserved in shaking times.

Now to speak a little further, concerning this great and weighty Matter, it is com­monly said, that in Regeneration there is an infusing of certain Habits of Faith, Repen­tance and Love into the Soul; but this is not the manner of their Doctrin, who are called Quakers, nor of my Doctrin, nor agreea­ble to the holy Scriptures, to say, That Ha­bits of Grace are infused into the Soul. The Scripture calls it, The Life of God, which is better and more than Habits. There is a Principle of divine Life communicated to the Soul in Regeneration, a measure of the divine Nature, which is indeed fitly called, The Life of God, that actuates, and enlivens the Soul, and is united to it, as the Soul doth animate and act in the Body, to which it is united, the which union of the divine Life with the [Page 197] Soul, is by the Souls Faith and Love to God and Christ.

This is that which I have had experience of, and I have not lost it, whatsoever some have said. I feel a Principle of divine Life acting in my Soul, as my Soul acts in my Body; this is Christ formed within us. How doth the Soul put forth such noble and vigo­rous Actings, and rule and actuate the Body? The Body must be organized, have its due Organs prepared, that the Soul may act in us, and exert its vital Power and Motions in us. As the Soul of Man actuates the Body, to bring forth the proper Operations of the na­tural Life, so the divine Life, the Life of Christ, doth actuate the Soul in all heavenly and spiritual Acts and Operations.

So that I am for preaching the Light within, and Christ within the hope of glory, but not so as to draw your Minds from Christ without, from what he hath done and suffered for us on Earth, and what now he is doing for us in Heaven; for as he hath died for us, and made his Soul an offering for Sin, and satisfied divine Ju­stice, and became a Sacrifice to God of a sweet smelling Savour, so he liveth for ever in Heaven, to make intercession for us.

So I would not have your minds drawn from the Light within, from Christ within, by what is preached of Christ without; but I would have you make a due improvement both of one and the other; which cannot be [...]eparated, but are always united and joyned [...]ogether in a Right Preaching of the Gospel. [Page 198] I know the Doctrin of Christ crucified may be perverted and abused by some, and the grace of God turned into wantonness; but there is no tendency in the Doctrin of Christ without us of what he did and suffered for us, there is no tendency in this Doctrin to draw the Minds of any from minding the Work of God within, the Seed of God within, and Christ within. As this Doctrin hath no such tendency, so I do appeal to God the searcher of Hearts, and the righteous Judg of Heaven and Earth, that I have no design nor intention, to draw any Man by my Preaching Christ without, from Christ within, from the Light and Grace of God within us, and the enjoy­ment of God within.

O! it is the breathing of my Soul to God, and my Hearts desire and Prayer; that eve­ry one of us may feel and enjoy, by an in­ward experience, more of the Light and Grace of God within, and of Christ within, then there would not be such hard thoughts and hard speeches, and such rash and unchari­table judging and censuring one another. The Lord grant we may learn of Christ, who when he was reviled, reviled not again; and when he suffered, he threatned not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righte­ously.

I have answered one weighty question; What it is to have Christ formed in us. It is to have a measure of the Divine Nature, a measure of the divine Life, acting in the Souls of the Lords People; Christs Life ruling in [Page 199] the Soul, and acting in the Soul, as the Soul acts in the Body. The Body cannot govern it self, but so long as the Soul lives and dwells in the Body, and is united to the Bo­dy, it carries the Body whether it will. So when this precious Life of Christ liveth and acteth in the Soul, the Soul is subjected to it; it ruleth the whole Man, it ruleth his Soul more immediately. Now another girdeth us, and we do not gird our selves, and we wit­ness that which our Saviour said to Peter John 21.18. Verily I say unto thee, when thou wast young thou girdedst thy self, and walkedst whether thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy Hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. When we are come to Christ, and when once Christ is formed in us (though we followed our own corrupt Wills and Inclinations be­fore) then we must be governed by Christ, and act according to this noble and divine Principle, and say with the Apostle; I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

I shall now come very briefly to answer ano­ther Question.

Question 2. By what means is this divine Birth, this Spiritual and Divine Life of Christ, produced and brought forth in us? That which is born of the Flesh, is Flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. There is a natural Birth that hath flesh for the Mo­ther of it. But there is a divine and superna­tural Birth, a being born again, and born of the Spirit. How is this wrought and effected?

Answer, Partly by an outward Ministry of Gods fitting, qualifying and sending; yet it is far from me to affirm, there is an abso­lute necessity to depend upon an outward Mi­nistry. There is a difference between God's ordinary way of forming Christ, within us, and God's extraordinary Way and Preroga­tive to do what he pleaseth: God can work without Means, as well as with Means: But in Gods ordinary way, he is pleased, by the foolishness of Preaching, to save them that believe, 1 Cor. 1.23, 24. We Preach Christ crucified (saith the Apostle) unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks Foolishness; but unto shem which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wis­dom of God.

The faithful Ministers of Christ, they la­bour, and they spend themselves, and are spent in their carrying on the Work of the Gospel, for the Salvation of the Souls of their hearers: They have a holy labour and travail continually upon them; they do not speak words barely from their Brains, and from other Men's Lines, and things made ready to their Hands, but they labour Night and day that Souls may be converted and saved. They are as instruments in Christ's Hand for the forming of Christ, in the Souls of People; the Holy Ghost is the Mother of the New Birth.

Pray that you may have Faith in the Man Christ Jesus, and you shall abundantly par­take of his Spirit. John 7.37, 38, In that [Page 201] last Day, the great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any Man Thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his Belly shall flow Rivers of living Water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that be­lieve on him should receive. This Faith in Christ here spoken of, doth respect Christ as God and Man; not only as God from Eter­nity, but as he is the Son of Man: As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness; even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. It is not barely a literal, traditional or Historical Faith, but a Faith wrought by the mighty Power of God, that we witness, through the Power of the most High coming upon us, and the over-shadowing of the Holy Ghost. As it was said to the blessed Virgin the Mother of our Lord, Luke 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the highest shall over-shadow thee; therefore, also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. We shall feel but in some far inferior manner the Holy Ghost to come upon us, and the Power of the high­est to Over-shadow us, as Christ is formed in us.

A SERMON Preached by Thomas Budd At Grace-church-street, April 11. 1694.

I Am under an oppression of Spirit at this time, being sensible that there are many that have left their first love, and have fallen from a State of Purity and Holiness which once they were possessors of, and are come to be like the Prodigal Son, who received his Portion from his Father and took his Jour­ny into a far Country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. O how glad should my Soul be, that some of these Prodi­gals might be awakened, that they might re­member from whence they are fallen, and call to mind how it was with them when they were in their Father's House, when they were fed at their Fathers Table. O my Soul is grieved with a Sense of their woful conditi­on, in a sense of that Famin of the Word of the Lord that is come over them, in a Sense of [Page] that darkness, and deadness, and barrenness that is come over their immortal Souls. O! that they might be awakened by the Power and Spirit of the Lord, that they might come to themselves, as the prodigal Son did, when he had spent all; and when there arose a mighty Famine in that Land, and he began to be in want, and went and joyned himself to a Citizen of that Country, who sent him into the Fields to feed Swine, and he would fain have filled his Belly with the Husks that the Swine did Eat, and no man gave unto him.

It is not Husks that will satisfy thy hungry Soul, when once thou art convinced and awa­kened to consider thy miserable condition; it is not an empty talk of Religion, which is but as Husks, and cannot satisfy thy Hungry Soul. If thou art awakened and come to thy self, thou wilt repent and mourn for thy Sin, and lament and grieve, and mourn over him whom thou hast pierced by thy trans­gressions; then thou wilt take up a Resoluti­on with the Prodigal who when he came to himself he said, How many hired Servants of my Fathers, have Bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger? I will arise (saith he) and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father I have sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son, make me as one of thy hired Servants.

Say to thy heavenly Father in thy humble Confession of Sin, Lord I have been a Pro­digal, I have wasted thy heavenly Treasure, I have spent and trifled away my precious [Page 204] Time in a strange land, and have fed among Swinish Sinners; I cannot fill my belly with these Husks. Now I remember the plenty of my Fathers House, where I had Bread enough and to spare, I will return and hum­ble my self before my Father, I will confess my sin and Folly unto my compassionate Fa­ther; it may be he will be kind and merci­ful. and gracious to me.

When good Desires were raised in the Heart of the returning Prodigal, when he arose and came to his Father, when he was yet a great way off, his Father saw him, and had com­passion, and ran and fell on his Neck and kissed him; then he humbled himself before his Father and said, Father I have sinned against Heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son; I have spent that portion thou gavest me, among Harlots in riotous living. If thou returnest as the Prodigal did, and if thou addressest thy self to thy heavenly Father as a true Mourner, with a sincere repentance never to be repented of; if thou settest thy self in good earnest to seek the Lord early and late, thou shalt find him to thy Souls satisfaction: For so the Prodigal returning to his Father, and making these acknowledgments to his Father, it moved his compassion and fatherly Bowels: His father did not chide him and upbraid him, but fell on his neck and kissed him; And he said unto his Servants, Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a Ring [Page 205] on his Hand, and Shooes on his Feet; and bring hither the fatted Calf, and Kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my Son was dead, and is alive again; and he was lost, and is found.

This was the joyful Entertainment that the returning Prodigal found with his indulgent Father; so when we return to God, our Hea­venly Father, by true repentance, he will receive us into favour, for the sake of his well-beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased: We shall be stript of our filthy Garments, and be cloathed with the Garment of Salva­tion, rhe Robe of Christs Righteousness, and be found in him not having our own Righte­ousness; and we shall be feasted with the fat­ted Calf; we shall by faith, feed upon the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, that was slain and Sacrificed for us: His Flesh is Meat, indeed, and his Blood is Drink indeed: Whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood (saith our Lord Jesus Christ) hath Eternal Life, John 6.51. There is a feast of Fat things, and of Wine upon the Lees well refined.

Thus true Penitent and returning Prodigals shall be entertained and welcomed to their Father's House; he will take them into his Banqueting-House, and his Banner on them shall be Love, and he will speak kindly and comfortably to them; Eat, O Friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly. O beloved, thus he will speak to us, that our Joy may remain in us, [Page 206] and that our Joy may be full, that we may rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and be eternally satis­fied in the love of God; in whose presence is fulness of Joy, Joy unspeakable and full of glory.

A SERMON Preached by Thomas Budd At Harp-Lane, November 4. 1694.

John 14.1.2.‘Let not your Heart be oroubled, ye believo in God; believe also in me.’

THe Disciples were greatly afflicted when our Saviour told them, He must go away, and that he must suffer at Jerusalem: They being cast down, and very sad and sorrowful at the thoughts of his Departure, he speaks comfortably to them, and bids them, Believe [Page 207] in him; ye believe in God, believe also in me. They had a Faith in God, they believed in God, they believed in the Light which came from God, with which they were enlighten­ed; yet nevertheless, the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ, his Resurrection from the Dead, and his Ascension into Heaven, was not then so clearly and fully discovered unto them, as afterward it was made known. And it appears, That it was not enough for them only to believe in God, but he bids them be­lieve in him also. And he told them that he did go to prepare a place for them. And if I go (saith he) to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto my self, that where I am there ye may be also: In my Fathers House are many Mansions, where I am, there ye shall be also.

O glorious promise indeed! who can de­clare the large extent of it, and the greatness of his Love? That he should love them so in­tirely, as to die for the Love of them; as to die for their sakes, and lay down his Life for them, and as their High-Priest, become a Sacrifice. The High-Priests under the Law, offered the Bodies of clean Beasts, and enter­ed into the Holy place made with Hands. It was not without Blood that the High-Priest offered Sacrifice for the Sins of the People, and for his own Sins, for almost all things wete purged with the blood of the Sacrifices which were offered, and then he entred into the most Holy place made with Hands. But Christ being come, an High-Priest of good [Page 208] things to come, by a greater and more per­fect Tabernacle, not made with Hands, nei­ther by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own Blood he entred in once into the Holy place, having obtained Eternal Redemp­tion for us: Ye believe in God, believe also in me, He bids them, believe in him, as the Light of the World, and follow the Dictates, and Motions of the Spirit.

You do well to believe in this divine Ap­pearance, if so be you live in it, and follow the divine Motions of it; O then it will be a Sanctuary to you, as the City of refuge was to the Manslayer under the Law. There were six Cities of Refuge appointed in the most convenient places of the Land, for the Man-slayer to fly to, if any one had killed a Man at unawars, against his Will, there was a City of Refuge to have access to: If he could get into that City of Refuge, he was in safety from the Avenger of Blood, from the Pursuer; if he was over-taken by the Avenger of Blood, then he might be slain then he might be destroyed; but if he got in­to the City of Refuge, there he was to re­main in safety, in safe custody, under the safe­guard and Protection of the Law: But if he went out of the City of Refuge, then the Man-slayer might take hold of him.

These things are written for our Learn­ing; the Lord hath provided a City of Re­fuge for his Children and for his Servants to fly unto. And what is this City of Re­fuge? It is the Light of Christ Jesus, the [Page 209] Light of the World in its first Ministration of Gods Holy Spirit. If so be you fly to it, and come under the Protection of it, it will pre­serve you in safety: But if we depart from our Obedience to this Heavenly Light, then the Man-slayer, the Justice of God, will take hold of us; then we shall feel the Wrath of God to be kindled against us, and smite us, and cut us down.

And this we have known by living Expe­rience, while we have remained under the Protection of God, and under the safe-guard of the Law, and of God's Light in our Hearts, we have been in safety from the Avenger, from Gods severe Wrath and Justice; God's wrath hath not been kindled against us, to burn us up and consume us; but if we have been rebellious and disobedient, then the wrath of the Lord hath been kindled against us, and his Judgments executed upon us. But when we have run to the City of Refuge, under the divine Protection, we have strength­ened our Hearts and Hands in the sight of God.

But if we have sinned at any time, then our own Hearts have accused us and condemn­ed us; We are to remain under the safeguard of the Law, until such time as the death of our great High-Priest, Christ Jesus, be revealed in our Hearts; when we have heard the joy­ful sound, when the tidings of the Death of the High-Priest comes to be sounded in our Ears, when the Mystery of Christ crucified comes to be revealed unto us, then we have [Page 210] a glorious inheritance to go unto, a most de­sirable possession beyond all the Enjoyment of this World. The state in Paradice, where­in Man was at the beginning, is not to b [...] compared to it; it is in the Country we are travelling to, the Spiritual and heavenly Canaan, a Land flowing with heavenly Milk and Hony, Joy unspeakable and full of Glory, This is the Country which we are travelling to, if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and follow the great Captain of our Salvation. Who was made perfect, through sufferings, we shall be made Heirs of Eternal life.

Let us believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is gone to prepare a place for us; In the time appointed of the Father, he will come again and receive us to himself, that where he is, there we may be also.

O blessed are you that have a living Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and do follow him, and the Conduct and leadings of his divine Spirit, and he will lead you to this heavenly Country, he will go before you; and he hath made this Promise to all his faithful followers, Rev. 3.21. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my Throne, even as I also overcame, and am sate down with my Fa­ther on his Throne. He is the Bridegroom and you shall be the Bride, the Lambs Wife, And you shall be joyned to him in the hea­venly Marriage Union, and you shall be with him in Glory to all Eternity.

We Read, Gen. 82.24. that Jacob being [Page 211] left alone, there wrestled a Man with him all Night, until the breaking of the Day; and when he saw that he prevailed not against him, &c. He said, let me go, for the Day breaketh, And Jacob said unto the Angel, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me; And he said unto him, what is thy Name? And he said, Ja­cob. And the Angel said to him, Thy Name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel; for as a Prince hast thou Power with God, and with Men, and hast prevailed: And he blessed him there.

So, my Friends, if you would have the Blessings of Jacob, the Blessings of Abraham, O then wrestle with the Man Christ Jesus, and wrestle in Faith; wrestle with this Angel of the Covenant, all Night, until the dawn­ing of the Day, until the Day-Star shall arise in your Hearts; and not only so, but perse­vere in the Faith, until the Son of Righteous­ness arise. As Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Covenant, Christ Jesus, who is both God and Man, he wrestled with him all Night, until the dawning of the Day: Then he blessed him; And Jacob called the Name of lhat place Peniel; For I have seen God Face to Face, and my Life is preserved. He said, a Man appeared to him, and he called him God: How is this to he understood? The Man Christ Jesus, he is both God and Man. None but he that is both God and Man, can bless us with eternal Blessings; therefore, let us believe in him, that can save to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him, for he hath obtained Eternal Redemption for us.

FINIS.

ERRATA.

PAge 16. line 26. after do, read to trust in, p. 21▪ l. 11. after again, r. to the bodies of the saints, and l. ult. dele to the bodies of the saints, p. 23. l. 25. r. Deut. 30.11, 12. p. 30. l. 12. r. after Moses, and from Moses to Christs coming in the Flesh, p. 192. l. 14. dele like, and r. it is a measure of the divine nature, p. 47. l. 32. for held, r. help.

Books lately Printed for Nath. Crouch, at the Bell in the Poultery, near Cheap-side.

I. THE Doctrin of Christ crucified, asserted in Three Declarations, or Sermons, by George Keith: Exactly token in Shorthand, as they were delivered by him, at the Meetings of the Chri­stian people called Quakers, in London. Price 6 d.

II. The Concurrence and Unanimity of the People called Quakers; in Owning and Asserting the princi­pal Doctrines of the Christian Religion: Demon­strated in the Sermons or Declarations of seve­ral of their Publick Preachers, Namely.

  • Mr. Robert Barclay
  • Mr. George Whitehead,
  • Mr. John Bowater,
  • Mr. Chacles Marshall,
  • Mr. William Bingley,
  • Mr. John Butcher,
  • Mr. James Park,
  • Mr. William Dewsberry,
  • Mr. Francis Camfield,
  • Mr. William Penn,
  • Mr. Richard Ashby,
  • Mr. Samuel Waldenfield,
  • Mr. John Vaughton and
  • Mr. Francis Stamper.

Exactly taken in Short hand, as they were de­livered by them at their Meeting-houses, in Grace-Church-street, Devonshire-House, St. Martins. le-grand, S. John's-street, Wheeler-street and Ratcliff, in and about London; And now faithfully Transcribed and pub­l [...]shed, with the Prayer at the end of each Sermon. Price one Shilling six pence.

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