ΠΑΝΤΑΛΟΓΙΑ. THE SAINTS ABUNDANCE OPENED.

BY THOMAS STERRY Preacher of the GOSPEL.

Published at the earnest intreaty of some Friends.

Imprimatur JOHN DOWNAME.

LONDON, Printed by F: Neile for William Wenborn, at the Signe of the Rose at the Bridge-foot. 1646.

TO THE TRULY VERTUOUS MY HIGHLY HONOURED FRIEND, The Lady H. Wife to the RIGHT WORSHIPLVLL, Sir H. H. KNIGHT.

THe Scriptures frequently tell of a wealth, a plenty, a fulnesse, which be­leevers onely have right to, and injoy. The best endeavours of your humble Servant hath been (both in the Pulpit, and the Presse) to set this before you: that in all Your relations, in all Your injoyments on earth Your Soul might be carried forth after this abun­dance which in the Scriptures language is not one­ly true, durable, riches; but honours too.

Ever Honoured, pardon me if I humbly move to be heard in this: viz. remember, O! remember in [Page] all Your uses of this worlds plenty principally to use this abundance: for by this alone can You be made for ever rich, for ever Honourable.

And I bow my knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, that in all Your uses of this abun­dance, You may use it as Your own. That Solomons Proverb may for ever be Your impresso, with me are riches and honours. Thus he daily prays, who is,

Madam,
Your Ladiships lowest Servant in Christ Jesus. Thomas Sterry.

To the READER.

Reader,

BEcause in things of publick view, it is a custome, give me leave also, to make (my) particular addresses. Be it known, I have done (in the publishing of this) no more than what many, daily, powerfull, perswa­sions have drawn me to. Loath (indeed) I was, but being overcome, my Motives turn'd to a Command, and how great an insufficiencie soever I found in my self for it, I must do it. Now as I am able, I have done it: not with an intent (if in me there were that Art) to work upon you with the inticing words of mans wisdom; but humbly to declare as a weak dim-sighted man (as I have received) the things of an immortall God, yea, the deep things on which hangs the eternall comfort of my own Soul. Candidly (I beseech you) then imbrace what so I present, remembring alwayes that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of [Page] God. If any man think of, or expect from, these rurall lines otherwise; on such I have spent my paine, my time, for nought; with them my labours hath been in vain, yet surely my judgement is with the Lord, and my Labours with my God.

T. S.

ΠΑΝΤΑΛΟΓΙΑ. THE SAINTS ABUNDANCE OPENED.

ROM. 8.32.

—How shall be not with him also freely give us all things?

I Will briefly acquaint you, with one part of the Spirits aime in this Text, from the Con­text. It is (from the confideration of a firm consolation) to cheer, to bear-up the spirits of such who are, already under, or, apt to droop at, the sad predictions of a holy life. Which are, If any man will come after me,—let him take up his crosse, &c. Luk. 9.23. Yea, and all that will live godly shall suffer persecu­tion. 2 Tim. 3.12. In the 17. ver. of this 8th. Chapter these are call'd — suffering with him-. Now, for a revivall of their drooping hearts he presents this consolation: viz.

Sufferings are inferiour to glory. A Saints Crosse is belowe his Crown. If the earliest glimmerings of our Lord Jesus upon a Soul, shroud so much joy, so much strength of spi­rit within their own beams: as overpower'th the crosse, and smileth at the shame; what will his meridian rays of glory when they shall be reveal'd?

With the least of these the whole body of a Saints suf­ferings is not worth the comparison. Through infirmitie, some have, others may oppose it to glory; but by lifting up your eye to the 18. ver: view its worthlesse opposition. [Page 2]The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be reveal'd in us. The inward sence of this difference (Present sufferings, future glory,) together with the disproportion (of These to That) which makes them not worthy to be compar'd) I can conveigh into none: this is all I can say to every Soul, that in respect of worth, the basest metall with gold may be as well compar'd, as sufferings with glory.

To this he adds: Sufferings are no perpetuall impediment to glory. A Saints crosse hinders not his crown any more than a dark night the rising of the Sun the next Morn. Persecu­tion by men may, fleshly warrings against the mind shall, troubles of all sorts for the night of this life, indure; but—glory shall be reveal'd. v. 18 ult. part.

This appears by foure things. By the

  • Creatures expectation.
  • Saints qualification.
  • Spirits work.
  • Fathers love.

The first is the Creatures expectation. There is a hidden strong defire of glory in every creature. It appears by this their earnest expectation. There is also a full discovery yet to be made of this glory. It is evident by their Waiting for its manifestation. Of both these you read in the 19. ver:—The earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. This manifestation, &c. is spoken in refe­rence to glory, and in the 21. ver: is call'd the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

With one force these verses with the 22.23. prove by all our fellow creatures (notwithstanding great opposition) a future glory of the Saints.

The second is, the Saints qualification. This the Spirit notes in two expressions: Hope, Patience. Of their Hope you read in the 24. ver.—We are saved by hope—in ver. 25. for that which we see not,—of their Patience in the same vers: — then (or therefore) do we with patience wait for it. To me these expressions seem to concur in this fignification; The certain manifestation of invisible glory to the Saints. But with this distinction.

First, as the ground of their hope. From future certainty springs hope infallible. This hope is the true, present union of the Soul with that certainty; the true reall appearance of that to the soul. Glory invisible (without all question) shall be reveal'd. This leads the soul to hope for its disco­very. Which act of the soul is its sweet close, its secret con­junction with that glory invisible: that glorie's true, pre­sent appearance to it. Good Abraham thus saw (though then it was a far off) the brightnesse of the Fathers glory. Thas Saints now see (that which shall be reveal'd) the ex­cellent glory of that glory. This is the appearance, the manifestation of glory to the Saints in this life. This is their salvation by hope.

Secondly, as the Crown of their patience. These words—Then do we with patience wait for it; implies as much. Saints are men singular in the world; they discover more by hope than by sence: and recover more by patience then by pains. That shall be finish'd, gloriously crown'd, with the full accomplishment of its expectation. The Saints there­fore wait, otherwise, they wait in vain. But for what? for a rising Sun, a superexcellent glory to be reveal'd in them, in their souls after this life, in their bodies after this world. This is the highest, fullest, greatest manifestation of that glory which shall in that day sweetly, fully, certainly sa­tisfie [Page 4] all patient desires that have been exercised in the ex­pectation of it. This is the glory the Saints wait for.

The third is, the Spirits work. Of this, what more can be said? what more can be thought, than is summ'd-up in the 26. verse? Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, &c. This hath two parts.

  • A Person. and
  • His work.

First, a Person. The Spirit of glory. It appears, he is ingaged in a Saints sufferings: by those conjunctive particles: Like­wise: also. But how? Not simply, but in reference to his work.

Secondly, His work. To help our infirmities. Piscat. Divines say, to help our infirmities: is Auxiliari nobis infirmis, quum prae infir­mitate non sufficimus oneri crucis portando. The Spirit strengthen­ing weak men to hear the burthen of the Crosse. The Spirit bearing (as it were) the burthen that man faint not. So that sufferings may, load a Saint: not hinder his glory.

The fourth is, the Fathers love. A royall attribute, which hath its floods in persecutions hottest climate.

It is seen

  • In the Fathers heart.
  • By the Fathers hand.

First, in his heart. Have you ever observ'd in the relation, or action, of private, of publick differences; how the au­ditors, the spectators, have inclin'd, or sided, (as affection led them) to the one party, or with the other? So sides (yea far more) this person of glory with all his Saints. He sees, he hears, their sorrows, their cries, his heart earns, and he takes their parts. ver. 31. If (or Ponitur au­tem si pro quia. &c. Pisc.— because) God be with us (Beza renders it on our side) who can be against us? The glory pre­par'd [Page 5] (therefore) shall in them be reveal'd. All sufferings cannot hinder; (in all) the Father of glory sides with them, is for them, is with them.

Secondly, By his hand. A loving heart is open handed. Can any thing be thought too much, too dear, to expresse a heart fully indeared to one? The Scriptures tell us; This Person so intirely loved—that he gave his Son, his onely be­gotten. Joh. 3.16. He gave him as his, rich, rare, love-token to the Saints.

A gift implies propriety, and possession; and this the greatest, the sweetest.

What hindrance then can sufferings be to Saints? Christ the brightnesse of the Fathers glory, and all things are theirs: theirs as a Right, a right Peculiar to them, a right injoyed by them, after the sweetest the fullest way.—How shall he not with him also freely give us all things? v. 32.

This Text by some is read; How doth he not, &c? referring (as it were) to the particular moment of each Soul's con­version, wherein the Father, in the act of giving his Son, doth instate them in the inheritance of all things in him.

By others, How Hath he not, &c? (as it were) pointing at the Saints present injoyment of that inheritance. This seems most harmonious in the literall sound: the word, Hath, being expressed (in every Translation either silently or visibly) twise before.

But the Greek word ( [...]) most properly signifies: How shall he not: &c. This thwarts not the other two, but (according to the manner of expression, a question carry­ing it's answer in it: which is, He shall with him freely give us all things) renders the text as a gracious promise of conti­nuing the Fathers bounty to the Saints, begun in them at their houre of conversion.

Now with out any longer stay; the parts of this Teat are two. viz.

  • A free giver.
  • His great gift.

First, a free giver.—How shall He not freely give? Who this is appears by the demonstrative particle, He. A person easi­ly known by his paternall relation. 'Tis He (in the begin­ning of the verse) Who spared not bis Son, &c. and freely to bestow this gift is His proper act.

Secondly, His great gift. But who? or what is this great gift? It is mark'd with a double character: A Person, All things.—How shall he not WITH HIM give us ALL THINGS?

First, a Person, a Divine, a Distinct person in the Trinity, Jesus Christ. He is spoken of, as of a Person; Him: as of a Divine person; Him; in reference to Son: as of a Distirct per­son in the Trinity; Him; as Another besides this He; the Fa­ther.

Secondly, All things. Some say such onely are these All things which are necessary to salvation. Others, These; and Created things too. It is true, All things, whether Paul, or Apol­lo, or Cophas, or the world, or life, or death, things present, or to come, are the Saints. 1 Cor. 3.21, 22. But I will not here anti­cipate my purpose. My Doctrine from the text is this.

Doctr. Such as have receiv'd Jesus Christ (Saints by calling) injoy by his Fathers liber all hand, all things with him.

By comparing two places I will at once prove, and ex­plain it.

Rom. 8.32. wherein Paul speaks as a Saint to Saints; when he saith,—Shall be not give us all things? with 1 Corinth. 2.12. we—know the things that are freely given us of God. These places have this sence, with this Dif­ference. [Page 7] The Father freely upon his Saints bestows all things. This all things he bestows with it's distinction. By things therefore he explains All things; both which in sence are terms equi­valent. A Saints All things then are but all some things, but such as in themselves are truly All things. Of things the Scriptures thus distinguish, [...], and [...]: Things whose depths are fathom'd onely by the Spirit; of God, things, Divine. Things, apparent to the sencitive, to the ra­tionall soul; things Huntaine. 1 Cor. 2.11. For what knows the THINGS OF A MAN save the spirit of man which it in him: even so the THINGS OF GOD knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

If the latter (Things humain) be here meant, then a Saints All things are those which St. Paul cals the world, this life, things visible, and temporall: 1 Cor. 3.22. David, the portion of the wicked: Psal. 17.14. And Solemon, Things equally common to good and bad. Eccl. 9.2.

In such gifts, in such injoyments, what comfort peculiar, to beleevers? what difference essentiall, can there be, be­tween the righteous, and ungodly?

Their All things therefore must be Peculiar, Dinisive, Con­stitutive. Things onely theirs, distinguishing them, constitu­ting them. Such as the naturall man hath no part in. Such as differenceth them from him. Such as makes them to be what they are: men effectually call'd. Such as these are onely the deep things of God. These are the Fathers gift, and these from St. Paul's mouth are call'd All things. 1 Cor. 2.10. But God hath revealed (which is his hidden free way of giving) them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth All things, yea, the Deep things of God.

Take now (that your souls may suck at the breasts of Consolation) two questions of worth from this Doctrine.

Quest. 1. Wherein doth the ABƲNDANCE of a beleeving soul (which is these, Deep things of God, ALL THINGS given) fully con­sist? or what more particularly these deep things, these all things?

Answ. The holy Trinity one God (blessed for ever) bestowing himself upon a creature in those sweet relations mentioned in his Word, is these deep, these All things: in whose inward injoyment (after this way which is a mysterie hid to the world) consists (as theirs) the Saints abundance.

From this Answer take three notes.

The first is: the Father is All things, the Son is All things, the holy Ghost is All things: yet, not three divided, but one All things: so that the beleevers abundance is to be conceived not onely to lie, in the unity of the Godhead; but also, in the distinction of persons.

The second is; the relations of the Father, of the Son, of the holy Ghost downward to the creature, are equally common to each of them as one God; but distinctly pecu­liar as three persons: The Father bestowing, therefore, of these All things upon the creature is not onely the free manifestation of community in relation in the unity of the Godhead; but also, of pe­culiarity, in the trinity of persons.

The third is, a beleevers propriety in this gift (so as he can sencibly say, My abundance) is by an inward relative sence of this Ʋnity in Trinity.

Thus God is All things, thus he is Given, thus as the abun­dance to the Saints.

Here's wine and marrow, a misterious peice of heaven displaid in each person in the Godhead, which, not many wise, not many mighty can perceive; but, is freely reveal'd to tender babes.

First, God the Father is All things, abundance. Ephes. 3.19.—That ye might be filled with all the fulnesse of God. These [Page 9] words, for their conexion, their explication, refer you to vers. 14. viz. For this cause I how my knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus: that is, he prayeth to God the Father: and for what? (besides other things) for this (as one) that the beleeving Ephesians might be fill'd with his own fulnesse: which may sound thus, That they might have abundantly of him, even all things that might make them perfect before him.

This person (therfore) freely bestows himself upon such as he bestows his Son; that together with him, they might have this abundance, this all things.

A mans gift (saith Solomon) maketh room for him.—Prov. 18.16. Jesus Christ is the gift of this person: and where­soever he is, there is his Father too. He is there (by deed of gift) after the same way as Jesus Christ is. So that a belee­ver may lay claim to him, yea, as truly to him as to Jesus Christ. He may challenge him, for his own, and all that he hath as freely, truly, really, as any thing that he injoyes in the world. For the right that he hath in himself is not more firm, proper, unquestionable, than that which a be­leever hath in him: it being a way of undeniable propiety (which is the deed of gift) in which he hath past himself over to his creature.

By this act and deed he makes himself over in a double relation. As a

  • Father, to them.
  • God in Covenant, with them.

First, as a Father. It is that which he speaks of himself. 2 Cor. 6. ult.—I will be a Father to you:—Here (as to behold both) let your eye equally fall (but with a distinct look) upon the person (I) and the relation; (Father:) for this latter onely serves as a respective accident under which the first is referr'd and made over to the creature justified. Which is [Page 10] done by (deed of gift) freely giving himself over to them.—I will be—to you:—thus this person of glory becomes a Father.

But what is it for him to be thus related? or what, to give over himself as a Father? A sublime mistery (swelling with sweetnesse) thus opened. The reference of himself to them according to a mutuall, objective, coexistent, dependance.

Here vulgar thoughts, of Dependancie are apt (but suffer them not) to grow over rank: This persons is only paternall, such as is an inseparable conjunction of a Father and his child in their relative Existencies, in their Diffinitions. The one (which of them soever it be) cannot be so, nor so call'd; but by this dependance. Ask: what is a Father? how comes he to be so? Do we not answer? One that hath a child: and because he hath a child. Transpose the termes: what is a child? how comes it to be so? One that hath, and because it hath, a Father. Thus he depends, thus mutually.

Objectively, as directly pointing each to other: (the Fa­ther to his child, and the contrary) in a distinction from all things subjectively depending on their substance in which they inhere. Contemporarie are they too: neither thus existing before or after each other, but both together. The Father, indeed, as a man, the agent begetting is (said to be) the cause, and so is in Nature before the begotten: but a father the one is not, till the other is a child; and so he depends coexistently.

Of this person and a beleever, as thus allied according to adoption, is all this affirmed. Inseparately are they for ever conjoyn'd: yea so, as abstract the one from the other, and neither can be, what thus they are; neither can be thus call'd. (passe by our Saviours sonship of eternall genera­tion) Come to a beleever's by free adoption; and he is their [Page 11] Father; he comes to be so, as they are his children adopt­ed; and because they are so. His paternity, their sonship, have for their basis a mutuall dependance. Between these (to hinder the object of each others eye) flies no gloomy cloud: but both, like the eye of day darting its beams upon the centure of the Creation, are still looking upon, still point­ing, each, to other. One thought of either excludes, dark­ens, neither; but takes in both. For, touching a beleevers sonship, what mind can passe a thought, and in the same not include this persons paternity? They are children: as he is, & because he is, their Father. And, which is more, both relations in priority claim an equall priviledge. His pater­nity (to them) precedes not their sonship, neither is first, or last, they co-exist. He is not to them a Father, till they are children, by adoption, to him.

Secondly, as, a God in Covenant. Of this way too of giving himself; himself speaks: Hebr. 8.10.—I will be their God:—one article (and that on Gods part, are these words) of a Contract, a Covenant everlasting, new, between God and man. For matter, it is himself, God: for manner, [...]deed of gift,—I will be theirs: In the first unbound your thoughts, and in some particulars inclose not him, who hath (in one word, God:) given over himself without limits. He will be their God: not in some one attribute onely; or in more; but he in All gives himself to be a Saints: their God. Theirs what his own, that is, God.

The certainty of this by entring Covenant he hath put out of all question: freely binding himself over to perform,—I will be, &c.—I (a particle of equall worth, and value with, God.) I, who am very God, will see that I be your God. Yours, as bound to you: yours, as (on my one part) the substance of the Covenant.

But secondly, in himself too hath God the Son abundance, yea, all things. He is a plenty without an end, his measure (if it may be so call'd) is fulnesse; fulnesse in the largest ex­tent, all: and for ever inseparable from his person, it Dwelt in him. Col. 1.19.—It pleased the Father that in him should all fulnesse dwell.

Now this Son to every beleever is the Fathers gift, Isa. 9.6.—To us a Son is given—as their abundance. Joh. 1.16.—Of his fulnesse have we (Saints by calling) all received,—as firm, then, as undeniable is the beleevers title (of pro­priety and possession) to Him and his fulnesse, as to God the Father. In the world there's nothing (either fully, truly, or clearly) can be more their own.

He is given to them, clearly, without condition, truly, without deceit, fully, without division: his Person, his Bene­fits are both theirs. He (this way) is all theirs, and for them.

His Person now in heaven is theirs, as there for them. The Father gives him to them to stand in their stead: represent­ing them continually spotlesse and unblameable in his sight. Thou art all fair my Love, there is no spot in thee. Cant. 4.7.

All theirs are his Benefits too. The Father never gives one alone, but both together. Let loose your thoughts among the fruitfull benefits of his person, and try, if there can be found one, upon which the beleevers propriety is not deep­ly ingraven in these characters, THEIRS. Free justifica­tion from sin's damning guilt, sweet reconciliation to God his Father, compleat adoption to glory and liberty; is their justification, their reconciliation, their adoption, as Jesus Christ given to them.

Now Christ, as thus theirs, is, so in foure respects. [Page 13] As their

  • Husband.
  • Brether.
  • Friend.
  • Advocate.

First, as their Husband. Revel. 21.9.—I will shew you, the Bride, the Lambs wife: that is, the Church, beleevers stand­ing to Jesus Christ, related, as to their Husband. For, Jer. 3.14.—I (saith he) am married to you:—to which adde this conjugall effect, The wife hath not power of her own body, but her husband; and likewise the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. 1 Cor. 7.4. They who before, wore no yoke but their own, retaining a prerogative in self propri­etie; have mutually exchang'd, and solely become each others after the celebration of nuptiall rites. This, Eph. 5.32. is (according to the flesh) a great mistery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Saints: to whom (being married, and there­by fully given over to them) he hath not that power now remaining in him as to deny himself, or his sanctifying, saving uses. He is married to them, and so he is theirs. My beloved is mine, &c.—Cant. 2.16.

Secondly, as their Brother. Joh. 20.17.—Go (saith he to Mary) to my brethren, (the disciples, personating all belee­vers) and say unto them, I (that is Jesus their Brother) ascend—Fraternity (for its kind) is the neerest, native, personall relation: giving an actuall propriety to both, in each other; a joynt one (while they live) in their Fathers pos­sessions; and a totall sometimes to the survivour in his de­ceased brothers. All which is freely given to a beleever with Jesus their Brother. His next of kin: are such; for (with their difference, 1 Joh. 3.9.) they are born of God as well as he. Whereby he in their persons, and they in his, have, at once and for ever, this neerest, this native, pro­priety.

Moreover, this their Brother was dead, but is alive: Rev. 1.18. By vertue of whose brother-hood, as he now lives for ever; beleevers have a share with him as joynt-heirs in (life and immortality) God their Father's eternall posses­sion. Rom. 8.17. If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and coheirs with Christ, &c.

And still by vertue of the same relation, (as he was once dead) beleevers retain a full interest in all his benefits. The first person of glory (when upon them he bestowed this Je­sus) dealing with them as a loving Father after the fune­rall solemnity of his eldest Son: gave ALL to them (as the next of kinne) that was in the possession of their elder Brother. His obedience, his satisfaction, his righ [...]eousnesse, was transacted upon them, and now is theirs. Thus he that was dead, and is alive; is theirs, as Jesus their Brother. This partly is that giving of Christ to a Soul, as Christ dying, and as risen again.

Thirdly, as, their Friend. Equality, which other relati­ons hath not, appears in this. A Husband, a Brother, are titles of dignity, therefore terms of distance: but Friends are equall. And he into whose thoughts it never entred as robbery to be equall with God: Phil. 2.6. thinks it no dis­grace thus to be equall with a Saint. Ye are my friends, &c.—Joh. 15.14.

If relations infold any rights reciprocall, friendship then may hold parallel with most. For men therby have in each other a true, constant interest: such as, the summe whereof the ancient Heathen have long since cast up; and, in their grave Orations, their best passionate Songs, left it upon re­cord; That true friends have divided bodies, for each other, upon occasion, readie to die: and but one heart, one mind, one possession, common to both.

In after-times, The multitude of them that beleeved were of me heart, and of one soul, neither any of them said that any thing of that which he had was his own, but they had all things common. Act. 4.32. And some there hath been (yet but few such) who chearfully for each other have adventured to walk through the worst of dangers: among whom, matchlesse in all is this couple; a true beleever, and his friend Jesus.

To speak onely on his part: Joh. 10.17.—I lay down my life, &c.—v. 18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self;—1 Pet. 2.24.—His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,—1 Cor. 15.3.—Christ died for our sins,—Rom. 4.25.—and was raised again for our justification. And, Joh. 17.19. for their sakes I sanctifie my self that (as the Margin reads it) they also might be truly sanctified.

The antient Greeks ther­fore calld him [...], such another. Plut. A Friend is his friend's, as he is another own self. In all these, this Friend Jesus is theirs, as thus to them. Observe the bur­then of the last quoted Scriptures, in every one it is, Christ for them. He, with All that he did, in, dying, rising, justifying, sanctifying, was in their steads, and for them. As their per­sons then, as their performances this friend, and his, is theirs.

A peculiar interest too (to compleat their community in him) they have in his tender heart and soul. Thou hast ra­vished (or taken away) my heart, &c.—Cant. 4.9. Of this friend's especially, it is true, the heart is not so much where it lives, as where it loves. By distinction of persons Christ and a Saint are two: by union in affection he is theirs. This (as one branch) is that unity, which is the (beleevers band of comfort.

Fourthly, as, their Advocate. The expression is politicall, a sublime title of office, implying a Subject imploy'd (after this way) for another: and as thus spoken of Jesus Christ we read it: 1 Joh. 2.1.—We have an Advocate with the Father, [Page 16] Jesus Christ,—who (as it is his office) makes intercession for us. Rom. 8.34. that is, continues the mournfull act of his sa­crifice after this manner. The same body (which in belee­vers steads) with strong cries and tears was upon the crosse once offered; now virtually in the heavens with as strong prayers he still so offers up for them to the Father. So that in this act of oblation for them, his person is, as an Advocate, theirs.

And now lastly, God the Spirit is abundance, yea theirs, as the Father's gift, with Jesus Christ, to them. In one breath you may read all three. Tit. 3.5.—And renuing of the holy Ghost, v. 6. [...] as rela­ting to [...], not to [...]. Which (holy Ghost) he (the Father, in a distin­ction from his Son, and Spirit) she [...]n us abundantly by Jesus Christ. Abundantly on us is here joyn'd with the Father's ef­fusion of his Spirit: declaring thereby it's signification to be an abundance, and that theirs by the Father's gift.

To this Spirit also hath a beleever then as true a title as to the Father, and the Son. To them the promise—the Fa­ther—shall give you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth.—Joh. 14.16, 17. is fulfill'd. Upon them the Father hath poured him forth. They have him (actually in possession, peculiar­ly in title) he is theirs.

Now as the other two persons had their distinct relati­ons in which they were made over, this hath his proper work in which he is theirs: viz. This Spirit is their onely light by which they see all things (necessary for them to see) of the Father and Jesus Christ. God hath made sence and reason lights (in their own sphears) to this world of nature: but in the deep things of himself these are darknesse to a Saint. As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath en­tred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared—1 Cor. 2.9. But (mark what follows) God hath revealed them [Page 17] unto us by his Spirit, for he searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, v. 10. And in v. 12. We have received the Spirit—which is of God, that we might know the things, &c.—'Tis the proper work of this Spirit to sound these depths, for from eternity he lived in the bosome of the Godhead, and was privie to all in God and Jesus Christ.

'Tis his onely too, to make them known. As an inhabi­tant therefore (he is said) to dwell in beleevers, 2 Tim. 1.14. Into whose minds, to whose souls he continually bringe them. Here shines the Saints light in a mistery, they know these things (not theoretically, but feelingly) as this Spirit reveals them.

Thus (as well as I am able) little of much have I set before you; the relations of these persons of glory, in which God freely makes himself over to his creature: and not all, but some: yet by these few imperfect lineaments the spi­rituall sence of that Christiano-Platonicall thesis (one was all, and all one) may be in some sort conjectured. For this Trinity (indeed) is but One, and that one a beleevers ALL.

This is the close of the first Question.

Quest. 2. What comfort hath a beleever more by having this ALL FREELY GIVEN him, than by injoying it any other way?

Ans. A great deal. In the injoyment it is unspeakable, full of glory.

Consider this All but simply as a gift; so it was neither bought, nor borrowed. Deeds of Sale, and Loan have each their trouble: viz. Laerge expence, short injoyment. And were this all made over by either of these, the creature must pay for it, and at last part with it. If the first (their Stock not amounting to the ten thousandth part of the price) they must then either go without it, or be undone in the pur­chase.

Or if not so, should God but lend Himself, his Son, his [Page 18] Spirit; a time would come, when but justly he would look for his own again. Would not this then be as bad as the former? The Creature would be undone in the surrender.

But now the Father hath burthened them with neither of these. What they have, they have by gift. Herein then lies (that which is better felt then spoke) one peice of their comfort: viz. With a price they are not troubled; of a part­ing with they are not afraid. This all (though in respect of Christ (it is true) the Saints are bought with a price) costs them nothing, and is theirs to eternity.

Consider it again as a free gift. And here if you would rightly understand the Answer of the Question, have re­course in every particular (as the sound passeth by your ear) to the chearfull workings of your own soul. Are the Saints intitled to? are they possessed of, All freely? All then is theirs without reluctancie. Jer. 30.18. The Father the (pro­per giver) waits to be gracious. In his eye a chearfull giver is of great esteeme: 2 Cor. 9.7. for he himself delights to give chearfully. All such acts toward his own go not to, but from his heart.

All is theirs without any motive externall. Among men, the glory of a gift's freenesse consists in the voluntarinesse of the spirit: we use not therefore to call that free to which a man is outwardly provok'd. Were God thus moved to give Himself, Son, and Spirit to a Saint, a gift it might be; but not free. That, therefore which he doth by deed of gift, comes from a principle within him (his love: Joh. 3.16.) that his gift might appear plainly to be free.

All is theirs without Condition. The Father gives it not according to the Law, but the tenour of the Gospel. He binds not his Creature, in the act of donation, to the per­formance of Articles for their interest in his gift: but be­stows [Page 19] (where he pleaseth) without these: Conditions (it is true) may perchance sometimes stand with a gift, but they are alwaies limits to the freenesse of it: that then which is bounded cannot be free. This great gift therefore is un­conditionate.

Thus I have done with the Doctrinall part.

Ʋses. Now to close all, give me leave (my dear friends) to speak thrice to you.

1. First, an Information. Are beleevers thus possessed of All things in the injoyment of Jesus Christ? They are (then) the onely rich men. Rich absolutely, rich incomparably, none so rich, nor truly so, as they. Histories give us the name of one, who was (from some few earthly possessions) reported to be the richest of all the Romans: and had we not the Scriptures, we might suppose our dayes yeelds not this man his fellow. But as he among them, so (and far more) are all the Saints among the sons and daughters of men.

Behold, Paul sounds with a full blast in our ears—All is theirs. 1 Cor. 3.22. Can your thoughts of their wealth now chuse but fill? yea, to their largest extension? mine cannot: this all (to me) represents more, than can be discovered by any relation. Solomon of old under the name of Wis­dom sung thus of Jesus Christ, With me are riches and honours.—Prov. 8.18. Beleevers under the relations of the Trinity to them, may sing thus of themselves, With us are riches and treasures; we have durable incomparable riches: Jesus Christ, his Father, and Spirit.

And are these injoy'd by a deed of free-gift? No qualifica­tions (then) may pre-exist to make the creature either more worthy, or capeable of them. If the contrary shall still perswade, let me ask you, How then is it a gift? much-lesse, how is it free?

Pardon me, if I close this branch with it's vindication. I humbly conceive no liberty to licentiousnesse can be here grounded. Falsly it is pretended to frustrate performances, which God forbid. They indeed, have their excellent uses, although not these. But observe where you will men of all sorts, and who shall you see more devout? more constant in such things, than they who humbly wait for, who dili­gently wait upon this free gift?

If any there be, who, that grace may abound, take li­berty to sin; an evill spirit (we say) hath deluded such: and shall a reproach, for their sakes, be rudely cast, or lie upon the truth? Moreover, ignorance hath heretofore been a pregnant mother of scurrulous reproaches. For who more forward indeed, to load truth with such, than they that feelingly understand it not. The Father of our Lord Jesus grant, that this mother with her foule brood lodge not still in the minds, and dwell between the lips of men.

Some of great worth for all other learning have been so ingenuously civill in their thoughts, in their speeches of Plato's Ideahs, that in both they have born a moderate re­spect to them: because (as they have often said) they know not what they may mean in better understandings. Who lends me now a sigh, to help in the lamentation of a great evill that is under the Sun? O! that mens words and thoughts were but thus civillis'd towards the things of God, the high things of God. O! that they were but convinc'd of this, that there may be a divine power de­monstrating them in humble panting souls which they yet know not. How sweetly should we all live if this were so?

2. A Consolation. Is it a gift, and so not borrowed? If any of you have receiv'd it, you may sit down with bosomes fill'd with this comfort: What thou hast is thy own for ever. In thee [Page 21] then, (whosoever thou art) and in all such, groundlesse are all sad thoughts of dissertion: yea, for ever groundlesse are all such fears. Weaknesse may sometimes cloud thy soul; not really rob it of it's own. This gift especiall is stamp'd with this impresso: The good part which shall never be taken from thee.

3. An Exhortation. Is this gift all things? Expect, look for, no inward fulnesse without this gift. Fire (some say) came first from heaven, and therefore restlesly works it self through combustibles, endeavouring to aspire thither again. Every rationall soul is Heavens free born flame, raked up here in embers of flesh, restlesse and unsatisfied in all its courses. 'Tis his labour lost who endeavours the contrary with with things inferiour to it. It can never be, till inwardly united with this Father, this Son, this Spirit.

But with any of you, is it not yet so? Wait diligently for them till they be given. Or is it already so? Wait still continually on them, humbly increase your acquaintance with them. They are all fulnesse, they will be so to you.

Wait diligently upon this Father. He'l give you (with a daily increase) his Son, his Spirit.

Wait upon this Son, this Jesus. It is he that can reveal all things of the Father. If you are acquainted with him, ask him of the Father, in the discovery of him (if you ob­serve) you shall find this Jesus to be to you a Husband, a Brother, a Friend, a Counsellour.

Wait upon this Spirit too. Learn every day more and more the knowledge of him. It is he that can, that must bring you acquainted with Jesus Christ. If you already know him, why do you not ask him of your Saviour? In this inquiry he would be in you a glorious light. He [Page 22] would shew you your Saviour even as he is.

But do any of you not know him? Sure I am, you have all heard of him: Search the Scriptures, for they speak (of all three) and of this Spirit, as they do of your Saviour.

FINIS.

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