Five SERMONS ON Several Subjects.

I. A Birth-day SERMON, Preached on the Day when the Author attained to the Eightieth Year of his Age.

II. A dying Testimony to the So­vereign Grace of God in the Salvation of His Elect, Con­taining Three SERMONS.

III. Believers encouraged to Pray from the Consideration of CHRISTS Interceding for them, and with them.

By Increase Mather, D.D.

Rom. 11. 6. If by Grace then it is no more of works.
2 Pet. 1. 11. Moreover, I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease, to have these things always in remembrance
Christiani fiunt, non nascuntur.Tertul.

BOSTON: Printed by B Green, for Daniel Henchman, Sold at his Shop. 1719.

[Page i]

The Preface.

THE SERMONS emitted herewith, were not written with my own Hand, but taken from me when Prea­ched, by One that has a rare dexterity in Writing Characters, the same Person, who at first in Short hand, and after that in a very Ligible hand transcribed the Sermons on the Beatitudes, lately Printed. Upon the Perusal of these as well as those, I find them to agree with what I de­livered: but therefore plainess of style, and inculcations must be ex­pected.

[Page ii]I have endeavoured to declare the great Truths of the Gospel with all possible plainess, and perspicuity, that the most ordinary Capacities might understand and be edified.

The Occasion of the Discourse con­cerning the Sovereign Grace of God in the Salvation of the Elect, was, a Letter which a Worthy Minister, who lives in a Town remote from Boston sent to me, proposing that I would Preach and Publish some Meditations, on Eph. 2. 8. I was the more willing to comply with his desire, that so [...] who am Expecting Death every day (and for that reason call these Ser­mons, my dying Testimony) may leave something with that dear Flock (a­mong whom I have been Labouring for the space of Eight and Fifty Years) which may help to confirm them af­ter my Decease, in those Gospel Truths, [Page iii] in opposition, not only to the Errors of Pelagius, Papists, and Socinians, but of Arminians, & Semi-Arminians; such as Amyrald, Testardus, Camero, Ti­lenus, (not to mention any New Me­thodists of our own Nation) whose Writings are known to Learned Men, and well refuted by the very Learned Peter Du Moulin. These Discourses are not Published for the Instruction of great Scholars, but for the Confir­mation and Establishment of the or­dinary sort of Readers. And therefore they are not handled in a Polemick or Scholastick way, but in a Plain, Practical, and Scriptural Method.

The Reverend and Learned Mr. Clarkson (who when belonging to the University, was Tutor to that E­minent Man Dr. Tillotson late A. B. of Canturbury) has Written a Judici­ous Discourse of Free Grace, with whose Sentiments I fully▪ concur. [Page iv] As also with Dr. Grew in his Excellent Sermons of Justification.

It is with the Lord to make my Endeavours on a profitable Subject to become profitable. I often think of (and I wish Young Preachers would think of it) the Advice of the famous Dr. Sibs to Young Thomas Goodwin▪ (who afterwards proved a no les [...] famous Doctor than the other) Young Man (said he) if ever you would do good, you must Preach Christ and Free Grace.

No Man can expect any thing great from me, as on other accounts, so in respect of my great Age. It is true, that there is sometimes an in­stance of an Old Man of whom it may be said as it was of Moses, and o [...] Caleb, That Age has not debilitated him.

Nec tarda senectus Debilitat vires animi, mutatque vigorem

[Page v]It cannot be said so of me. Ne­vertheless it is some Encouragement to me, that there have been aged Men, (and aged Ministers too) who have brought forth fruit in Old Age, by Writing as well as other ways. Dr. Sheaf wrote a profitable Book when he was, (as now I am) arrived to the Eightieth Year of his Age. There is a blessed Promise, Psal. 92. 14. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age. Death (if the Lord shall so please) is far more Eligible than a useless Life, supposing it to be a death in the Lord. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do fol­low them.

Sept. 23. 1719.

[Page 1]

A Plain Discourse Concerning every Man's BIRTH SIN.

EZEKIEL XVI. 5.‘—In the Day that thou wast born.

THE design of the Prophet in the beginning of this Chapter, is to declare the woful condition the Jews were in before such time as God called them to be His People: They had no cause to be Proud of their Pedigree, yet they were so. They boasted that they had Abra­ham for their Father, and that they were descended from such great & good Men [Page 2] as Isaac & Jacob; but the Prophet [...] them to understand that they were [...] better than if they were descended [...] the Canaanites, whom they had [...] meanest esteem of. Nay, the Amorite [...] the worst among the Canaanites. [...] Father was an Amorite, and thy Mother an H [...]ttite. In this with the preceding and following Verses Jerusalem is com­pared unto a wretched Exposititiou [...] Infant, cast out not in the Stree [...] where it might have some pity, but [...] the open Field, where none eye pitie [...] it nor look'd after it. Thus by Parabo­lical & Allegorical Expressions the Pro­phet sets forth the Miserable state [...] the Jewish Nation when in AEgypt▪ There is also a Mysti [...]l Spiritual Mea­ning intended in the words; Namely to signifie that such as this is the case o [...] all the Elect of God, till He shall please to Regenerate them. Wherefore the Doctrine is,

DOCT. That the Children of Men are bor [...] very Sin [...] Creatures.

There is a Birth-Sin that every Ma [...] [Page 3] has cause to be sensible of, and to be humbled for all his days: Men do bring Sinful Natures into the World with them: It is not only true that they are Sinful, but that they are born so. The Pharisees said to the man that was born blind, Thou wast altogether born in Sin: What they said was true, and if they said so of themselves, it had been as true. It is true of every Man that comes into the World, that he is altogether born in Sin. For the clearing the Doctrine, we shall first prove, That it is so. 2ly, In­quire, How it comes to pass? For the proof of the Doctrine.

1. The Holy Scriptures declares it. Gen. 8.21. The imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth. The Heart is put for the Soul, and all the powers and faculties of it; the Imagination of the heart, is the Mould in which thoughts are formed. The heart is like a Mint in which evil thoughts are Coyned continually. Thus it is with Man, not with this or that Man, but with every Man, and this from their Youth. The Hebrew word, Nagnar, is sometimes translated, a Babe, even Babes have this evil in them. The Chil­dren [Page 4] of Men can no sooner think, no sooner set their imaginations on work but they are thinking and imagining that which is evil; and they can no sooner Speak, but they Speak that which they ought not. Psal. 58.3. They go astray as soon as they are born speaking lies. Chil­dred are apt to do so as soon as they can Speak; and they no sooner do any thing but they do that which is Evil. Isai.48.8. Thou wast called a transgress [...]r from the Womb. Thou wast called so; that is to say, Thou wast so: as that phrase is of­ten to be so understood in Scripture. True it is, That as Man did at his first Creation come out of Gods hands, there was no Sin in him. Eccl. 7.29. God made man upright, but they have sought out ma­ny inventions. They, our first Parents, Adam & Eve, sought out many sinful In­ventions; and all their Children after them are doing as they did. When God Created Man, he was made in the Image of God. Gen.5.1. In the day that God Cre­ated Man, in the likeness of God made [...]e him. But then it is said in the third Verse, That Adam begat a Son in his own likeness. The likeness of Adam is set [Page 5] in opposition to the likeness of God. Another Scripture speaks to this pur­pose: Job 11. 12. Man is born like the wild asses colt It is not only true that he is foolish and unteachable, but that he is born so: As it is said, Folly is bound in the heart of a Child. There is a bundle of folly in his Heart.

2. This is evident, In that Infant Children are obnoxious to the wrath of God. Eph. 2. 3. Children of wrath by nature. Sometimes they bring into the World with them sad tokens of the displeasure of God. Some are born Blind, some are born Deaf, & so continue to be dumb all their days: Others bring woful diseases into the World with them; Natural dis­eases which show they are subject to Moral diseases. Nay, they are subject to Death as soon as they come into the World; by that Argument the Apostle proves that Infants have the guilt of Sin upon them. Rom. 5. 14. Death reigned over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adams transgression. That is to say, That had not been guilty of any Perso­nal Actual Sin; Death reigneth over them, therefore they are under the guil [...] [Page 6] of Sin, the wages whereof is Death▪ And there have been some Infants in the World, that God has manifested a special indignation against them: so the Infant Children of the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15. 3. GOD commanded Saul that he should destroy the Amalekites, par­ticularly, The Infant & the Suckling. And is it not said concerning the Infant Chil­dren of the Babylonians? Psal. 137. 9. Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the Stones. Would it be so, if Children in their Infancy were altogether free from Sin? How many thousands, it may be Millions of Infant Children did there perish in the flood▪ how many when Sodom & Gomorah was destroyed? Concerning those that de­struction fell upon, in the 7th. Verse of Judes Epistle: It is said, They suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

3. Men are naturally indisposed unto that which is good, and inclined to that which is evil. Original Sin (as every Mans Birth-Sin has ever since Austin expressed it by that Name, been commonly & fitly called) consists in these two things, An [...] indisposition to that which is good, and an inclination to that which is evil.

[Page 7](1) Men are Naturally indisposed un­to that which is good. Jer.4. 22. To do good they have no knowledge. Tit. 1. 16. They are unto every good work reprobate. A work that is Spiritually good, the Na­tural Man has neither skill nor will for the performance of it. [...] Cor.2. 14. T [...]e natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can be know them. He is not only unable, but averse to that which is Spiritually good. Therefore, when any good Motion is proposed to Sinners, presently they make excuses; it is natural for them to make excuse, Luke 14.18. When the offers of the Gospel was set before them, it is said, They all with one consent began to make excuse. And the better the Motion is, the more averse are Men naturally to close with it. What can be better than to come to Jesus Christ: Yet Christ com­plains, Joh.5.40. Ye will not come to me that ye might have life. Hence, Men are presently weary when engaged in a thing that is good: They say, as in, Mal.1.13. What a weariness is it? Thus the Jews concerning the Sabbath Day, Amos 8.5. They said, When will the Sabbath be gone. [Page 8] Do we not see Men are weary of Sab­baths, and hardly allow to GOD the ful [...] of the time they ought to do, the Se­venth part of time. Are not Men weary of Sermons? How many come & sleep at Sermons. Men by Nature do not love that which is holy; they don't love holy things, nor holy Men, they don't love the Holy GOD, by nature. Rom. 1. 30. They are haters of God: They are [...] there is in their hearts a Stygian, a hellish hatred of the blessed GOD; and they are haters of JESUS CHRIST the Holy One of GOD. Christ there­fore says, Their Soul abhorred me, Zech. 11. 8. They don't love the Chil­dren of God as such; the Seed of the Serpent have an Antipathy against the Seed of the Woman. Men in their na­tural estate are the Seed of the Serpent: there is enmity in their hearts against the Seed of the Woman: Those that are godly they don't love them.

(2) Men are naturally inclined to that which is evil. Jer.4.22. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge; if there be an evil Motion they presently comply with it. It is [Page 9] not true, which some assert, That Men become Sinners only by imitation, or by learning from others. Some Sins are learnt from others, yet if Men should live where they should see no Sin com­mitted, they would Sin against GOD. Suppose a Child brought up in a Religi­ous Family, and never heard a ly told in his life, yet that Child committing a fault will go to cover it by telling a lie, which shews that to Sin is Natural. Some have committed such Sins as none in the World before them did the like. Rom. 1.30. They are inventers of evil things: which shows they then are Sinners by Inclination, and not only by Imitation. Yea, a sad truth it is, That the worst of Sins, the vilest of Abominations are na­tural to the Children of Men, tho' it may be God keeps them from committing them. The Apostle shewing what Men are by Nature, says, Rom. 3.15. Their se [...]t are swift to shed blood. Why? are all Men Murderers? Truly, they have Mur­derous hearts within them. That holy Man Mr. Bradford, who dyed a Ma [...]tyr, When he heard of any One Executed for Capital Crimes, would strike upon his [Page 10] breast and say, In this heart of mine [...] that which would make me commit the [...] Sin, if God by His Grace did not [...] me. All sorts of Sins are natural to [...] Mat. 15. 19. Out of the heart proceed [...] Thoughts, Murders, Adulteries, Fornic [...] ­tions, Thiefts, false Witness, Blasphemi [...]s These proceed out of the heart; [...] they are in the heart: how should the [...] proceed out of the heart, if there was no­thing of them there. So that all sor [...] of Sins are natural to Men in this the [...] corrupt, fallen estate. This may to som [...] seem impossible, because there are Si [...] which seem contrary the one, to the [...] ­ther; as Prodigality is contrary to C [...] ­vetousness, yet in the same heart a [...] both these. We see sometimes a Ma [...] that has been Notorious for his Prodi­gality, afterward that very Man shall become as Notorious for his Covet [...]us­ness; then these corruptions are both of them in his heart. It is very true▪ There are special Sins which some Per­sons are more apt to commit them, tha [...] others, according to their natural Tem­pers; some are naturally more subje [...] to anger, being of a passionate dispositi­on; [Page 11] others are more subject to a spirit of revenge; others to Intemperance, and the like: Nevertheless, it is true, That all sorts of Sins are in the hearts of Men, and those Sins which they may seem to have an Antipathy to, yet even those Sins are in their heart, and it may be will discover themselves at the last. Saul seemed to have an Antipathy against Witches and destroyed them, yet this very Saul goes to the Witch of Endor to inform him how the War he was ingaged in should prosper. It has been noted of Julian the Apostate, That he did abomi­nate some Sins, As that of Drunkenness, and Stage-play, but it was because of some inconveniencies that attended them; he did not hate them as being Sins against GOD. Men naturally dis­like the Law of God, [...]ay they make it an occasion of Sin. The holy Apostle confesses it was so with him before his Conversion: Rom.7.8. Sin taking occasion by the Commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. Because the Commandment, said he, should not do such a thing, therefore he was the more ready to do it. Austin in his confessions [Page 12] does bewail it, as that which did discov [...] the natural corruption of his heart, Th [...] when he was an Ungodly Youth; [...] would go into his Neighbours Orchard and Steal Apples: Whereas (says he [...] I might have had the same kind of A [...] ­ples in my Fathers Orchard, and bett [...] too, and been welcome to them; but [...] ­cause I could have them in my Father Orchard without Sinning against God therefore I did not care for them; [...] because he transgressed the Eighth Co [...] ­mandment if he had them out of [...] Neighbours Orchard, he chose to [...] them there.

2l [...]. We come to enquire, How it [...] to pass; Whence is it, That Men are [...] thus Sinful?

Ans. 1. Adams Sin is the cause of [...] all the Sin, Death, and Misery, that [...] been in the World ever since Adam, [...] Sin of his has been the Original of [...] Rom.5.12. By one man sin entred into [...] world and death by sin, and so death [...] upon all men for that all have sinned, 1 [...]. 15.22. In Adam all die: If in Adam [...] die, then in Adam all have Sinned. [...] Sin is the cause, the original, [...] [Page 13] that Inherent Sin, that corruption which is in the hearts of Men. Rom. 5. 19. By one mans disobedience many were made sin­ners. Truly as many as ever shall be in the World, as many Men, Women and Children as ever were born into the World, by the disobedience of Adam are made Sinners and guilty before GOD. Some may be apt to think this is hard, Is this reasonable, why should we be punished for Adams Sin? We could not help what he did in eating the forbid­ding fruit. But it should be considered that Adam was not a particular but uni­versal Person, the Representative of all Man-kind: now the act of a Represen­tative is justly imputed to those he does represent; tho' we did not chuse Adam for our Representative, God chose him for us. If Adam had not Sinned, we should all have fared the better for it: Not Original Sin, but Original Righte­ousness would have been propagated. Men then would have been born with a perfect Image of God upon them; there­fore it is just and reasonable that when he sinned they should be deprived of that Image, and be punished with Original Corruption.

[Page 14]2. Men are born of Sinful Parents▪ Their next and immediate Parents con­vey a Corrupt Nature to them: We [...] in natural respects it is so; there [...] diseases that are Hereditary, that go from Father to Son, from one Generation to a­nother, diseases that run in the blood. Truly Original Sin is such a disease, it runs in a blood throughout the whol [...] race of Man-kind. It is like the Lepro­sy in the Family of Gehazi, 2 King.5.27▪ The Leprosy of Naaman the Syrian sh [...] cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed [...] ever. It is so here, Original Sin is Leprosy, and it cleaves to the Childre [...] of Men from one Generation to another it cleaves to them for ever; qualities [...] the Nature are Propagated. It is true Personal qualities are not always Propa­gated, but qualities of the Nature ar [...] Thence it is that the Children of godl [...] Men, are as much subject to Original Sin as the Children of other Men, be­cause Grace is a Personal Property which [...] is not Propagated, but Original Sin is property of Nature, thence does conti­nue to be Propagated. We see this [...] Davids confession, Psal. [...]1. [...]. I was shap [...] [Page 15] in iniquity and in sin did my Mother con­ceive me. Yet Davids Mother was a gracious holy Woman. In one of the Psalms he takes notice of it; I am the Son of thy Handmaid: As for his Father Jesse, he doubtless was a very holy Man. The Jews in their Writings when they speak of J [...]sse Davids Father, Call him Jesse the Righteous; they speak Hyper­bolically concerning him, That when the Angel of death came to him, he could not find any thing in him for which to take his life from him, but remembred Original Sin, and so killed him. Cer­tain it is, Jesse was a holy Man, for he was one of the holy line; that is, One from whom our Saviour Christ was lineally descended, & they were all of them holy Persons, but tho' Jesse Davids Father was a holy Man, and his Mother a holy Woman, yet he confesses that he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived in Sin. All Creatures the evil qualities of their Nature are Propagated with them. A Wolfe, his Wolvish nature is Propagated to th [...]se that pro [...]eed from him: [...] Wolfe tho' he never saw any one destroy a Sheep, he does it naturally. So Ser­pents [Page 16] bring Poison in their Nature [...] the World with them. Thus it is wi [...] the Children of Men, they are Serpent [...] Christ calls the Scribes and Pharise [...] Serpents & ageneration of Vip [...]rs. Th [...] we see the Doctrine cleared in the par­ticulars that have been mentioned.


USE, I. Hence No Man in the Worl [...] has cause to be Proud, but to walk Humbl [...] and Mournfully before the Lord, and to [...] ashamed. For Sin has made him to [...] a vile Creature, which he has cause [...] confess and bewail. As Job did, Job.4 [...] ▪4. Behold I am vile. Every Man ma [...] say so, Behold I am vile; and he was [...] vile Creature as soon as he came into th [...] World, a loathsome Creature in th [...] sight of God. The Lord here says by the Prophet, I saw thee when thou was [...] cast out to the leathing of thy person in the day that thon wast born. Every Man by Nature is that loathsome Person. It i [...] true that Actual Sins makes Men loath­some before the Lord. Prov. 13. 5. The wicked i [...] loathsome. Original Sin much [Page 17] more. Is not a Plague sore loathsome? What then is the Plague of the heart. Is not a Leprosy a loathsome disease? What then is the Leprosy of the Soul. In the Chapter concerning the Plague of Leprosy, viz. Lev. 13. We read of him that hath that Plague, from Head to foot, vers. 12. Truly Original Sin is such a Leprosy, it over spreads Sinful Creatures from head to foot, all over them: That Men have cause to say, as Job also did, Job 42.6. I abhor my self and repent in dust and ashes. Men have cause to abhor them­selves on the account of Original Sin, if on the account of Actual Sins much more on the account of Original Sin, that is the worst Sin that any Man has been guilty of. Rom.7.13. That sin might become exceeding sinful. He speaks of Original Sin, and could not call it by a worse name than it Self, even that of Sin, and Sinful Sin. It may be some of you have been over taken with vile Sins, that if they were known you would be ashamed of yourselves. But let me tell you, thy Original Sin, there is more evil in it, than in any Actual Sin that ever thou wast guilty of in thy life, for it is a [...] [Page 18] Sin that others proceed & spring [...] Suppose a poisonful Tree, that the leav [...] are poison, the berries are poison, [...] is much more poison in the root of [...] Tree. Do Actual Sins make thee loat [...] ­some? There is a root Sin, Origin [...] Sin, which makes thee more vile, [...] loathsome: But where are the Person [...] how few are they? that were ever tro [...] ­bled for this Sin. How many of [...] that hear me this day never shed [...] Tear in their lives because of that Origi­nal Sin which makes them loathsome [...] the sight of God. Those old Heretick [...] the Pelagians said, There was no evil i [...] it, and that its a foolish thing for a Ma [...] to be troubled for Original Sin. And [...] is related concerning Bellarmine, whe [...] he would set himself to be humbled be­fore God, he could not see that he ha [...] cause to be humbled on the account [...] any Sin that he had been guilty of, bu [...] that so he might have something to [...] humbled for, he would reflect on the fol­lies of his Childhood. Ah! Miserable Man! he knew n [...]t his own heart, [...] knew not what he was by Nature. Th [...] holy Apostle Paul was of another judg­ment; [Page 19] he laments it, he went mourning all his days because of his Original Sin, and crys out, Oh wretched man that I am! What! You a wretched Man, that have done so much good in the World, been an Instrument of Converting many Souls! Ah but (says he) I have Original Sin re­maining in me, that makes me cry out, O [...] wretched man that I am! The Lords Ser­vants, yea, the best of them should have an humbling remembrance of what once they were, Eph. 2.11. Their Souls should [...]e humbled within them, when they re­member the day when they were naked and are, and polluted in their blood, Ezek.16.2 [...].

USE, II. If Men are by Nature so sin­ful as has been proved, Then every man must either be made partaker of a New-birth, or perish Eternally. Regeneration is ab­solutely necessary to Salvation. The Mouth of the Son of God has declared it, and that with a double Verily. Joh. 2. 2. Verily, verily I say [...] thee. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the King­dom of God. No! he cannot, Can a Man that has no Interest in Christ the Only Saviour be Saved? when the Scripture [Page 20] says, He that has the Son has life, [...] he that has not the Son has not life? [...] that has no Interest in Christ can he [...] Saved? As for the Unregenerate [...] it is certain that he has no Interest in [...] Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 5. 17. If [...] man is in Christ he is a new creature. [...] then, think seriously and sadly on th [...] Art thou a New Creature? Has [...] created a clean heart in thee? Has [...] given thee another kind of heart, anoth [...] Nature than once thou hadst? If [...] thou hast no Interest in Christ. Chri [...] said▪ If I wish thee not thou hast no part [...] me. If thou art not washed in the bloo [...] of Christ, and washed with the Spirit [...] Christ; if thou art not made partak [...] of the washing of Regeneration and Re­newing of the Holy Ghost, it is mo [...] certain thou hast no Interest in the Lo [...] JesusChrist. Can a Man be saved whos [...] Sins are not forgiven? One Sin Unpar [...] doned is enough to sink a Soul to the bot­tom of Hell. One of thy Sins has [...] Mouth like Hell, wide enough to swal­low up thy Soul; but now if thou ar [...] not Converted, Regenerated, not any One Sin that ever thou wast guilty of in thy [Page 21] life is forgiven thee. Acts 3. 19. Repent [...]nd be converted that your sins may be blot­ted out. Then if thou art not Conver­ted, thy Sins are not blotted out, they all are remaining still in Gods Book. And Men by Nature are not holy, but holy they must be or they shall never see Hea­ven. Heb.12.14. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Think sadly on this. Let Parents consider of this, Your Chil­dren are diseased; there is a Mortal dis­ease on them, if God don't Mercifully heal it they will die and die for ever: they derive this disease from you, Wont you endeavour that they may be healed that so they may be saved? You will say, We cannot give Grace to our Chil­dren: Well, but you may use the Means, and then you don't know what God will do for them: You may set before them an holy example. Believe it, Sirs, There is many a Child of godly Parents shall go to Heaven, and the holy example of their Father has been the Means of their Conversion to God. Then be very holy. Take heed that your Children do not see their Fathers Nakedness & be hard­ned thereby, as Ham was. Walk before [Page 22] them in all holy Conversation; [...] them, and Charge them. Solomon [...] the Instructions he received [...] his Parents was a Means of lasting [...] to him. I was my Fathers Son, [...] only beloved in the sight of my Mother; [...] taught me also, and said unto me, get [...], yet understanding, keep my comm [...] ­ments and live, Prov.4.3. Lay the [...] ­lemn charge of God on your Child [...] ▪ What a solemn charge did David [...] his Son Solomon? Thou Solomon my [...] know, and serve the God of thy Father, [...] thou seek him he will be found of thee, [...] if thou forsake him he will cast thee for ever. It is reported concerning [...] holy Man, That upon his Death [...] he said to his Children, Let not any of [...] dare to see me at the Day of Judgment an Unregenerate State, if you do, I [...] to you, I your Father will be a witnes [...] [...]gainst you, and will joyn with the Lord Je­sus Christ in passing a Sentence of eter [...] Condemnation upon you. And be much Prayer for your Children. You [...] not what Prayer may do for them. [...] may be you may Pray down Grace [...] their hearts, tho' you may not see [Page 23] [...]nswer presently, if you hold on Praying. [...]t may be God will say to you, as to [...]raham, concerning his wild Son Ishmael, [...] have heard thee, and will bless him. That [...]nstance of Monica the Mother of Austin, [...]s well known. Austin was a vain un­godly Youth, his Pious Mother was ex­treamly troubled for him, went into her Closet, continued Praying that God would give him Grace; She went to Am­brose, and made her complaint to him, with a flood of Tears, Oh what shall I do that my Son Austin may be Conver­ted. Said Ambrose, Don't trouble thy self, that Son of thine shall be Conver­ted, I will never believe that a Child of so many Prayers & Tears shall perish. In a while after, That Young Man became One of the most holy Men on the face of the earth. Then let Parents go on Praying to God for their Children.

Let me now apply my self to Children, I would speak a word to them; You Children do you hear, In the Name of the Lord I declare it to you, That if you be not New born it had been good for you that you had never been born. You will be the unhappiest Creatures in the [Page 24] world; It would been better for you [...] have been a Dog, a Toad, a Serpent, [...] the vilest Creature on the Earth, [...] those doleful Creatures, when they [...] there is an end of all their Misery, [...] you Children, if you die before you [...] New born, as soon as you are dead [...] your Eternal Miseries come upon [...] Have you not heard of a Young [...] perhaps Ten Years Old, that would [...] alone and Pray and cry to God, [...] his Sins, and beg Mercy of God; and [...] that reason for it, I don't know [...] may die; as Young as I am I may die, [...] I should die before I have Repented [...] my Sins, and turned to God, I shall [...] Miserable for ever more. You Childr [...] You may die as to your bodies; but [...] have Immortal Souls within you [...] shall never die; if when Death [...] you are found New Creatures, such [...] have turned to God, holy Angels will [...] sent to carry your Souls to Heaven; [...] if you die in your Sins, without [...] New Creatures, Devils will be sent [...] carry your Souls to Hell. The [...] make you, to think of it. As to [...] who are past their Childhood, Young [...] [Page 25] Hear the word of the Lord. Consid [...] [...]hat you are by Nature, how necessary it is that you should become New Creatures, have New Natures given to you. I have seen a Book which speaks of a Young Man, who on his Birth day, Prayed ear­nestly that he might be New born. Oh that many Young Men would make that Prayer not on their Birth day only, but on other days also. You may die in your Youth: Have not some of your Com­panions you were won't to walk with, been struck with Death? God has struck them dead. How do you know but that He may deal so with you? Many times Young Men that have lived under the Gospel all their days, and hardned their hearts, and gone on in ways of Sin, God kills them while they are Young. Job 36. 14. They die in Youth, and their life is among the unclean. It is oftentimes so, Young Men whose life is among the Un­clean, God strikes them dead in their Youth. Oh consider of it, and turn to the Lord!

USE, III. Hence then Believers on Je­sus Christ ought to be very willing to die and leave this World that so they may have [Page 26] a perfect deliverance from that Sin [...] brought into the World with them. As [...] the Believer in Christ, The day of his [...] will be better to him then the day of [...] birth. In the day of his birth he [...] a Sinful Creature; but when once [...] happy day of his death is come, [...]e [...] then be Sinless. The Primitive Chris [...] ­ans we find they were very willing to [...] and leave this World. 2 Cor.5.8. William rather to be absent from the body and to [...] present with the Lord. Doubtless, [...] was one reason that made them so [...], that they might be delivered [...] the remainders of Original Sin. For long as Gods Children are in this Wor [...] they shall be grievously troubled [...] Indwelling Sin, & that is to them a c [...] ­tinual burden. Rom. 7. 24. O wretc [...] man that I am who shall deliver me fr [...] this body of death? Original Sin [...] shall deliver me from it? Suppos [...] living Man is chain'd to a dead loath [...] Carcass, will it not he very grievous him to think he must be chained [...] dead Carcass continually? So it is [...] the Child of God; Original Sin is a [...] loathsome Carcass, he is chained to [...] [Page 27] but death will deliver him; he will then be delivered from that Sin for ever. Rom.6.7. He that is dead is freed from Sin. A Child of God is not only then free'd from the dominion of Sin, so he is in this life; but from the very being of [...]: When once he is dead, he shall ne­ver have one vain Thought in his heart any more; he shall never speak one un­profitable Word any more: Who would not be willing to die to attain such happiness? Especially they that have been a long time in this World, have had this Sin in them a long time; certainly they should be willing to die. He that now Speaks to you, is such an One. I bless the Lord, I am very willing to lea [...]e this sinful World; God has made me willing, yea, desirous of it. This very Day Four Score Years are expired since I was born a sinful Creature. I trust in the Lord with Submission to His Will, that I shall never see another sinful Birth-day, but that ere long, I shall be gathered to my Fathers, and be with the Spirits of Just Men made perfect, and with Jesus Christ to behold His Glory; Amen, dearest Lord!

[Page 28]

Soveraign Grace Proclaimed.


EPHESIANS, II. 8.By Grace ye are Saved:—’

THE Apostle in the begi­ning of this Chapter de­clares to the Ephesians what they were before they had Faith in Jesus Christ, that they were dead in trespasses & sins, and were Children of wrath; he also declares what the were since they had true Faith in Christ they were brought into a state of Salva­tion: Which Salvation, in the words be­fore us, is described from the Suprea [...] Cause and Original of it; Namely, [...] Grace of God. The holy heart of [...] [Page 20] Apostle was much set upon that Subject of Grace, therefore he mentions it no less than three times in four Verses. In the 5th verse rather than not mention it he brings it in by way of Parenthesis: He no sooner speaks of Salvation but he thinks of Grace, as we see in verse 5,7,8. By Grace here, is not meant that Grace which is wrought in Believers, or Sancti­fication; altho' it is true there is no Sal­vation without that; without holiness no man shall see the Lord: but hereby is meant Grace without us, or the Grace of God. So then the Doctrine before us is,

DOCT. That the Salvation of Believers on Jesus Christ, is to be ascribed wholly to the Soveraign Grace of God.

There are three particulars that may be inquired into. (1) What is imply'd in this Salvation the Text speaks of? (2) What is meant by the Grace of God? (3) How it does appear that the Salva­tion of Believers must be ascribed wholly and only to the Soveraign Grace of God.

Quest. 1. What is imply'd in this Salva­tion the Text speaks of?

[Page 30] Answ. This word Salvation is a [...] comprehensive word; as on the [...] hand that word Death is a very comp [...] ­hensive word; in Death all evils Spi [...] ­tual, Temporal, Eternal, are imply'd even so by Salvation all desirable go [...] is to be understood, A deliverance fr [...] all evil, and the communication of all go [...]

1. It does imply a deliverance fr [...] evil, from all evil, in special from th [...] which is the worst, the greatest of evi [...] and the cause of all other evil whatso [...] ­ver: Namely, Sin. Mat. 1. 21. He [...] save his people from their sins.

(1.) This Salvation imply's in it a d [...] ­liverance from the guilt, and condem [...] ­tion due for Sin. Rom.8.1. There is now [...] condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. It is not said, there was none, [...] now they are in Christ there is none; [...] Believer is in no more danger of etern [...] condemnation then if he had never be [...] guilty of Sin. Jer.50.20. Tho' their in­quity be sought for there shall be no [...] Their pardoned Sins shall be as if th [...] had never been: pardoned Sins are sa [...] to be blotted out: a Debt blotted out [...] as if it had never been. So Sins that [...] [Page 31] pardoned shall be as if they had never been committed, as to any eternal con­demnation for them: Believers stand before God as sinless & guiltless. Rev. 14. 5. They are without fault before the Throne of God.

(2.) It imply's a deliverance from the dominion of Sin, which indeed is no less a Mercy than deliverance from the dam­nation of it; for a greater evil cannot befal a poor creature than to be a slave to Sin: Believers are delivered from that slavery: God has made them to be bles­sed free Men. Joh.8.36. If the Son shall make you free ye shall be free indeed. The Son of God has made Believers on Him free from the power & dominion of Sin. The Apostle does not only affirm this, but he proves it. Rom.6.14.Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace. You are not under a Covenant of Works, but you are under a Covenant of Grace: The Covenant of works did command Obedience, but it did not give any power to obey. As the AEygptians, commanded the Israelites to make brick and gave them no straw to make them with. But in the Covenant [Page 32] of Grade, there is a power goes alo [...] with the Command, GOD will enab [...] them to do what He requires of the [...] ▪ This Salvation is peculiar to Believer on Jesus Christ, and it is a great delive­rance.

(3.) This Salvation imply's a delive­rance from Death. Where Sin reigns [...] is unto death, but where it does no [...] reign it is not so. Christ says, Joh.8.5 [...]He that keeps my saying [...]e shall never [...] death. It is true, as to the death of [...] body, natural death, Believers on Chri [...] are as much subject to that as other Me [...] but they are delivered from the curse [...] it, the sting of it; their death is not [...] cursed, but a blessed death. Rev. 14.1 [...]. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lo [...] They are delivered from the Seco [...] Death; on them the Second death has [...] power: they are delivered from t [...] death of the Soul. As David speaks Psal▪ 116.8. Thou hast delivered my soul fro [...] death. Every Believer his Soul is del [...] ­vered from death. What is the dea [...] [...] the body compared to the death [...] the Soul? The death of the body it [...] soon over, but the Second Death, whi [...] [Page 33] [...]iezes on the Soul, that is more tormen­ting, more painful than any bodily death, [...]nd yet will never be over. Rev. 14. 11. The smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever. But this death Believers are delivered from. 1 Thes. 1. 10. Jesus has delivered us from the wrath to come. The Second death, is called the wrath to come. After a miserable Creature has been weltring under that wrath Ten thousand Millions of Years, he is no near­er an end of his Misery than the first day fit came upon him. Now this Wrath to come Believers are delivered from it, and sure it is a great deliverance.

(4.) Believers are delivered from the power of Satan; from the power of evil Angels which have power over other Men, so as they have not over Believers on Jesus Christ. Col. 1. 13. Who hath de­livered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear son. There were some temporal Salvations which were Types of this Sal­vation; as that deliverance out of AEgypt which was a great Salvation; but this is a greater. It is a sadder thing to be a slave to the Devil than to be a slave [Page 24] to Pharaoh. So redemption out of [...] was a great Salvation, and [...] Typical of this Redemption I am spe [...] ­ing of. Isai. 49. [...]4. Shall the lawful [...] be delivered? shall the prey be [...] from the mighty? The Devil is the Mi [...] ­ty enemy. The Elect of God were some accounts, become lawful [...] to him, in as much as God for the [...] of Men had delivered Mankind into [...] hands: now deliverance from [...] mighty enemy is a great Salvation. [...] Christ said to Paul, Act.26.18. That he [...] him to the Gentiles, to turn them [...] darkness to light, and from the power Satan unto God. Belivers before [...] had Faith in Christ were Satans Serva [...] now they are Gods Servants.

(5.) In this Salvation, positive [...] is implyed. God will give Grace a [...] Glory, and no good thing will He [...] hold from Believers in Christ. God [...] not indeed Promist them any great m [...] ­ter as to Temporal good, as to Tempo [...] blessings to be bestowed on them; [...] indeed there are but few of them [...] have much of these blessings. Jam. [...] God hath chosen the peer of this world [...] [Page 35] in Faith. But then God has promised them Spiritual blessings, which are far better and more desirable. Eph. 1. 3. He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. The positive g [...]od imply'd in this Salvation is in Scrip­ture called Eternal Life. One Scripture says, He that believes shall be saved; a­nother Scripture expresseth the same thing, by saying, He that believes has everlasting life: Everlasting life consists chiefly in a full and eternal enjoyment of God: nothing can make a Man happy without the enjoyment of the Chief good, and that is God. Psal.48.14. This God is our God for ever & ever, He will be our guide even unto death. This is Salva­tion, the great Salvation, to have God for our God, and that for ever and ever.

Quest. 2. What is implyed in Grace? When it is said we are saved by Grace.

For Answer, Grace imply's, That Unde­served [...]avour which God as a Soveraign does manifest to some of His Creatures. It is said concerning the Primitive Christians, Act. 4. 33. That great Grace was upon them: because they had great [Page 36] favour with all People; so the favour God is exprest by that of Grace. Rom▪ 2. This Grace, wherein we stand. That to say, this favour of God: therefore [...] Apostles in their Salutations, [...] Grace, and Peace: By Grace we are understand the favour of God, and Peace the sense of that favour; this [...] ­vour which is show'd to undeservi [...] Creatures is set in opposition to the which is a due debt. Rom. 4. 4. To [...] that worketh is the reward not of grace, [...] of debt. Thus a Man that works & [...] his wages given to him, that is [...] grace, it is debt; he has earn'd what given to him: but Grace it is undeservi [...] it is altogether free. There is so [...] difference between Grace and Mercy respect of the object thereof, the object of Mercy is a Miserable Creature, the ob­ject of Grace is an Undeserving Creatu [...] There is some difference between Grace and Love: tho' Love is the original Grace, for there may be love between equals; nay there may be love between Inferiours & Superiours, there ought [...] be so; Subjects may love their Princ [...] ▪ But Grace imply's Superiority. [...] [Page 37] speaks like a King, and as the Lord of Heaven & Earth: Exod. 33. 19. I will be, gracious to whom I will be gracious: I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy. Kings single out whom they please to be their favourites, sometimes those that are very unworthy: and shall we limit the most high God, shall not He single out whom He pleases to be the objects of His Divine favour? There is the com­mon Grace of God, all Creatures are the subjects of that. Psal. 145. 9. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. He does good to all: there is common Grace which all the works of God are the subjects of; but then there is also Special Grace that the Elect of God are the subjects of, and this is the Grace that brings Salvation. Psal. 106.4. Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people, O visit me with thy salvation. Thus we see what is in­tended by Grace: It is the free favour of God which He is pleased to manifest to His People, tho' they deserve it not.

Quest. 3. How it does appear that the Salvation of Believers is to be ascribed wholly to the Grace of God?

[Page 38] Ans. This is evident, 1. In that Go [...] does not stand in any need of Men. Job. 2 2, 3. Can a man be profitable unto God, as [...] that is wise may be profitable unto himself. Is it any gain to him if thou makest thy [...] perfect? No, therefore David says, Psa [...] ▪ 16. 2, 3. My goodness extendeth not to th [...] but to the saints on the earth. Men [...] be the better for us, may have adva [...] ­tages more ways than one by us, but God is not advantaged by any thing we c [...] do. God indeed has commanded Men th [...] they should Pray to Him, that th [...] should Worship Him; but it is not be­cause He stands in need of any of the [...] Services. Acts 17.25. God is not worship­ped as tho' he needed any thing, seeing [...] giveth to all life & breath and all things▪ He that has given all things to all, c [...] need none. God may say to the greate [...] Man in the World, I have no need of thee God may say to the wisest Man in t [...] World, I have no need of thee; He [...] say to the best Man in the World, I ha [...] no need of thee; He has better Crea­tures than Men are, Ten thousand time ten thousand of them, holy Angels th [...] never sinned against Him, yet He [...] [Page 39] not stand in any need of them neither: for God was blessed in and of Himself be­fore ever there was any World, any Creature, most blessed in the injoyment of His own Infinite Perfections: God is called in Scripture by that Name of El-Shaddai, h. e. God who is sufficiency it self.

2. That the Salvation of Men is from Soveraign Grace, special favour, and not any desert of theirs, is manifest in that they are not worthy that God should be­stow Salvation on them, but the contra­ry. The best Man in the World is not worthy of the least Mercy. Was there a better Man in the World in his time than Jacob? Yet he says, and speaks very truly in it, Gen. 32. 10. I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Men are not worthy of any temporal Salvation to be vouchsafed unto them, much less of e­ternal Salvation. God said to Israel, when He promist Salvation to them, Ezek. 36. 32. Not for your sakes do I this, be it known unto you, O house of Israel, but for my own sake. Not for any desert of yours, but that I may make known my own Name, my Grace, Goodness, Mercy, [Page 40] therefore will I do it. They that have Grace wrought in their Souls are very sensible of their own unworthiness. Th [...] we see in the Centurion, Mat.8.8. Lord (says he) I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof. And we see it in [...] Converted Prodigal, he was made se [...] ­ble of his own Unworthiness; Luk. 1 [...] ▪ 21. I am no more worthy to be called [...] son. I say, Men are not worthy of S [...] ­vation but the contrary; they are wor­thy of Damnation: they that dese [...] Damnation, it is impossible they should deserve Salvation; yet this every M [...] in the World has done, deserved Death and eternal Damnation. All Men in [...] World are Sinners in the fight of G [...] Rom.3.23. All have sinned and come sh [...] of the glory of God. Adam sell short, [...] did not hold on in the way of Obedience all his Posterity, all the Men in [...] World are guilty of Adams Sin, it is be­come theirs; and they are guilty of O­riginal Sin, an evil Nature, that [...] might justly send them from the Wom [...] to the Grave, so to Hell for ever. [...] if they see a Serpent they will kill hi [...] tho' that Serpent never hurt any one; [...] [Page 41] soon as they come into the World they will kill them, because there is a poiso­nous nature in them. The Children of Men who are the Seed of the Serpent, if God should kill them as soon as they come into the World, and send them down into Hell, He were just in so doing. And Men have been guilty of many Actu­al Sins; they have been guilty of innu­merable Sins against God. Psal. 40. 12. Innumerable evils have compassed me about, iniquities more than the heirs of my head have taken hold on me. Every Man may say so, that Sins more than the heirs of his head have taken hold on him; and there is not any one of all those Sins but it has deserved Hell. Rom.6.23. The wa­ges of sin is death. And what death? Death Temporal, Spiritual & Eternal; the first, and the second Death is due for every Sin: Then if the Lord is pleased to bestow Salvation on Men it must needs proceed from Grace, and not from any desert of theirs.

3. The Truth is further evident, if we consider what Man is, what a poor Creature Man is. Psal.8.4. What is man that thou art mindful of him? The Origi­nal [Page 42] word is, Enosh, which signifies M [...] ­rable Man. Men are in the Script [...] compared to the meanest, the most de [...] ­cable Creatures in the World; [...] Worm: I am a worm and no man, [...] King David: they are compared to [...] hoppers, that are despicable Creatu [...] Isai. 40.22. The Lord sitteth in the [...] of the earth, the inhabitants the [...] are as grashoppers before him. What Man? Psal.39.5. Verily every man at best estate is altogether vanity. Not [...] Men, but every Man, and that at his [...] estate; is not only a vain thing, but [...] it self: Then if God bestows Salva­tion upon any, it is certainly from Gra [...] ▪ It is Grace in the Great GOD so much to look upon His Creatures. Job 14. Wilt thou open thine eyes upon such a [...] [...] Mephibo heth said to David, What is [...] servant that thou shouldest look upon [...] deal dog as I am? What then is Man [...] the Great GOD should look upon such one, or take the least notice of his Man, consider him as what he was in Original before ever he was guilty Sin. Job 4. 19. They'd well in [...] of [...] their foundation is in the dust. [...] [Page 43] made out of the dust, and his Soul dwells in a Tabernacle of clay, that God should suffer any Man to speak to Him, it is In­finite condescention. Abraham said, Gen. 18.27. I which am but dust and ashes, have taken upon me to speak unto God. There is an Infinite distance, and disproportion, between the Great GOD, and Men. Eccl. 5.2. God is in heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words be few. Says So­lomon, Thou art a poor Earth-worm, God is an Infinite Majesty, therefore we need have a care what we say when we come before Him. That God should vouch­safe to bestow signal Salvation upon so poor, mean a Creature as Man, Is not this condescending Grace?

4. If we consider where God finds His Elect when He first begins to bestow Sal­vation on them, We must needs say it is from Grace that they are Saved. Where does God find His Elect when He comes to Convert them? He finds them in the High Ways. Luke 14. 23. The Lord said to the servant, go out into the high ways, and compel them to come in. Use argu­ments with them to perswade them to come in to the Lord Jesus Christ. ▪God [Page 44] finds them in Prisons, in Dungeons, [...] He comes to save them. Zech. 9. 11. [...] the blood of the Covenant I have sent [...] thy prisoners out of the pit. What a c [...] ­dition does He find them in? In a wo [...] lothsome condition. Ezek.16.5,6. I [...] thee, (says the Lord) when thou [...] cast out to the lothing of thy person, [...] when thou wast in thy blood, I said unto the Live. God finds them among His E [...] ­mies when He comes to Convert th [...] Col.1.21. Ye were sometimes enemies. [...] you are not so now, you may th [...] Christ & Grace for it. God finds th [...] in the Devils Kingdom, doing the Dev [...] drudgery, than, and there He calls the [...] God calls them out of that Kingdom darkness into His own blessed Kingdom sure this is an evidence of glorious Gra [...]

5. The Truth asserted will be ma [...] ­fest, if we duly consider the Soveraign [...] of GOD. He has an absolute Domini [...] over His Creatures: GOD has as great Do­minion over all His Creatures, as the Potter has over his clay, and shall [...] clay say to the Potter, What dost th [...] do? Why hast thou made me thu [...] May not the Potter make one vessel [...] [Page 45] honour, and another vessel to dishonour, as pleases Him: And may not the Great GOD make this Man a vessel of honour, another Man a vessel of dishonour; and who may dare say to Him, What dost thou? There have been Men that have pretended to absolute power, and domi­nion, over other Men. Nebuchadnezzar was such an one. Dan.5.19. It is said of him, Whom be would be killed, and whom he would be kept alive. The Housholder said, Mat.20.15. May not I do with my own, what [...] will. All the Creatures in the World are Gods own, therefore He may do with them, and to them, according to what His Soveraign Will & Pleasure shall be. Job 41.11. Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine, says God: then God may do with His Creatures as seemeth Him good. Moses wonders at the free Grace of God toward Israel, that He should single them out from all other Nations in the World, to become His peculiar Peo­ple, Deut. 10.14,15. The Elect of God, are singled out to become the subjects of His eternal Salvation: This proceeds from free love, and immerited favour.

6. A Sixth demonstration of the Doctrine [Page 46] is, That the Salvation of Believers p [...] ­ceeds from Divine Election as a firm, [...] alterable foundation, and that is [...] free Soveraign Grace.

7. A Seventh demonstration, is, [...] there are three great things contain'd this Salvation, viz. Conversion, Just [...] ­cation, Glorification. These are all [...] Grace, and are hereafter to be spoken with the Application. Only one Use this time.

USE. If Salvation is from Grace, [...] certainly any way to pervert and to [...] the Grace of God, must needs be a [...] great evil. If Men Sin the more beca [...] of the goodness of God in Temporal bles­sings which He bestows on them, it p [...] ­vokes Him highly, it provokes Him take away His blessings from them. H [...] 2.8,9. They know not, that I gave [...] corn, wine & oyl; therefore I will take way my corn, and my wine in the [...] thereof. They prepared these things Baal. This causes miserable Har [...] many times, that in the season the [...] the Corn is taken away. So other bl [...] ­sings, When Men have Wine, or [...] Strong drink, and they abuse it,& the [...] ­selves [Page 47] with it, this is to prepare it for Baal. When God gives them Clothing [...]o cover their Nakedness, and they are Proud of their Clothes, this provokes God to take them away; and not only [...]o take away their blessings, but to in­ [...]ict heavy Judgments on them. Rom.2. [...],5. Despisest thou the riches of his good­ness, after thy hardness of heart treasurest [...] unto thy self wrath against the day of wrath. Men bring treasures of wrath upon themselves, when they so abuse the goodness of God; when they take occa­ [...]on from thence the more to sin & dis­ [...]onour His Name. But it is much more [...]vil to abuse the Grace of God in the Gospel, when from thence they indulge themselves in Sin. Rom.5.20. Where sin [...]bounded, grace did much more abound. In [...]he beginning of the next Chapter, the A­postle says, Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. Shall we so [...] in Sin that Grace may abound in [...]ardoning of it? God forbid, says he. [...] is a most horrid thing for Men to Sin against God because He is a gracious Sin­ [...]rdoning God. There were wretched [...]ntinomians in the World in the Apostles [Page 48] days, who, because they were not to [...] saved by the Moral Law, but by faith [...] Christ, therefore would disregard [...] Moral Law, they would live in the [...] transgression of it, notwithstanding [...] written in the hearts of Men by [...] that they ought to obey it. Such Men [...] pretend to faith in Christ, but certa [...] they have none. So says the Apost [...] Jam. 2. 17. Faith without works is [...] For Men to pretend to faith, yet not [...] good works, works of New Obedienc [...] is a vain pretence, and so they [...] themselves. It is true, No Man shall be [...] ­ved on the account of his works, in a [...] ­venant way, yet this is certain, God [...] ­mands, that Believers should live ac [...] ­ding to that holy Law which He has h [...] ­ven to His People of Old, and [...] shall remain for ever: therefore [...] the Apostle say, Do we by faith make [...] the law, nay we establish the law. [...] Men are saved not for the sake of [...] Obedience to the law, but for the sak [...] Christ, shall we then live as we list, [...] break the law of God; No, the [...] establisheth the Moral Law, altho' as a Covenant, yet as an eternal [...] [Page 49] If any one shall say, the more I Sin, and the longer I continue in Sin, the more will the Grace of God be mag­nified in pardoning my Sin, therefore, I will go on in Sin adding one Ini­quity to another, this is to abuse the Grace of God in the highest degree: let me tell you, there is hardly a black­er sign of Reprobation than this. Jude speaks of Men that turn the grace of God into laciviousness. They would say, tho' we Sin ever so much God is able to for­give us, and the Blood of Christ has made atonement for the Sins of the World, therefore let us go on in Sin. Now (says he) these are ungodly Men and they were of old Ordained to con­demnation. So then, this evil is heinous. For the grace of God that brings Salvation, That is, the Gospel which is a Doctrine of Grace. This Grace of God, teaches Men to deny all ungodliness and world­ly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present World.

[Page 50]


THE Doctrine which we upon is,

That the Salvation of Believers is he wholly ascribed to the Grace of God.

We have show'd, What is implyed▪ this Salvation; that it implies a d [...] ­verance from all evil, and the comm [...] ­nication of the greatest good. We [...] shewed, What is meant by the [...] of God? namely His undeserved fav [...] which He is pleas'd to manifest as Sovereign to some of His Creatu [...] Also we begun to inquire, How it [...] appear, that the Salvation of Believ [...] is from Grace? Five particulars [...] been mentioned. We proceed to a [...] Demonstrat on of the Doctrine before [...] which is,

6. That the Salvation of Believers built upon the Electing Love of God, an a sure, a never failing Foundati [...] [Page 51] 2 Tim. 2. 19. The foundation of God stand­eth sure, having this seal, the Lord know­eth them that are his. That there are some among the Children of Men, whom God has from Eternity chosen unto Salvation, is a glorious Truth which we had ne­ver known, if the Scriptures had not re­vealed it to us, these are all known to the Lord, they are all numbred by Him, and that not only as to the number num­bering; but as to the number numbred, as Divines speaks. That is, God has determined not only now many shall be Saved, but who they are. Election is particular and personal, therefore Christ said, Joh. 10.3. I know my sheep by name. As for those that are not the Elect, they are compared to Goats, the Elect are compared to Sheep, and Christ knows them all by Name; knows, what the name of every one of them is. A­gain, Christ says, Joh. 13. 18. I know whom I have chosen. We find in Scrip­ture, there are some who are vessels of Honour, that are vessels of Mercy, Rom. 9. 23. that God will magnify His Mer­cy upon for evermore; there are some whose Names are written in the Book of [Page 52] Life. As Paul said of Clement and som [...] others that were his fellow laboure [...] Phil. 4. 3. that their Names were wri [...] ­ten in the Book of Life; and the [...] are others, of whom the Scripture say [...] Their names are not there. So, concerni [...] the worshippers of Anti-christ, Rev. 1 [...] ▪ 8. It is said, That their names were [...] written in the Book of Life. There is [...] blot in God s Books, therefore as [...] those whose Names are there, it is cer­tain, that they shall have Eternal Li [...] they shall obtain Salvation. Rom. 1 [...] ▪ 7. The election has obtained, the rest [...] blinded. All Mankind are distinguish [...] into the Election, and the rest that [...] Election shall obtain, is evident from [...] considerations.

1. When God decrees the end He [...] decrees the way, and the means of ob­taining that end: the way to the obtain­ing Salvation is Faith and Holiness. God has decreed that the objects of His E­lection shall have Faith and Holiness gi­ven to them; God has so determined and it will be accordingly. The Ele [...] are said to be pred [...]stinated, Rom. 8. 29▪ [Page 53] Whom he did fore know, namely, with a knowledge of Love, them he did predest [...] ­nate to be conformed to the Image of his Son. Now Predestination has respect to the means as well as the end. The Elect of God shall have the means of Grace vouch­safed to them. Suppose it to be never so improbable, Providence, which is the Execution of the Decree, will bring it to pass. It is said, Ezek. 47. 10. That from En-gedi, even to En-eglaim, They shall spread forth nets. That is, from one end of the dead Sea to the other, there were Fishers, and they cast their Nets, and there were many Fishes taken thereby. Suppose a People to be as wicked as Sodom and Gomorr [...]h; yet if they belong to God, they shall have the means of Grace, and it shall be made ef­fectual to their Conversion and Salvati­on. The Lord said to the Apostle Paul concerning the City of Corinth, Preach the Gospel to them, for (said the Lord) I have much people in this City, Act. 18. 10. The Word of God shall be a means to be get Faith in the Elect. Acts 1 [...]. 48. As many as were ordained to Eternal Life believed. Hence, T [...] 1. 1. We read of [Page 54] The Faith of God's Elect. They that be­long to Election either they have Faith or they shall have Faith, if they have Faith, it is a sure sign they are amon [...] the Elect of God, He has promis'd tha [...] they shall have Salvation. There is such a promise made concerning the House [...] Israel, that was figurative; the House [...] Israel, were a Type of the Elect of Go [...] Israel was a People which God cho [...] out from the rest of the World. This promise was made originally to Our Lo [...] Jesus Christ, Isa. 53. 10. God promis [...] to Him, That if he would make his So [...] an offering for Sin, he should see his [...]. That then the Elect of God should [...] converted to Him. The Apostle speaks of a Promise of Eternal Life before [...] world began, Tit. 1. 2. How was the [...] such a promise? to whom, but [...] our Lord Jesus Christ in the Covena [...] of Redemption. God promis'd that Hi [...] Elect should have [...]ternal Life given [...] them. And to the Elect the Word of [...] will be made effectual to cause them [...] be holy, as well as to believe. 2 Thes.2.13. God has from the beginning chosen [...] to salvation, through sanctification of [...] spirit and belief of the truth.

[Page 55]2. Another consideration that eviden­ceth the truth we assert, is, The Stabi­lity & Immutability of the decree of God; that which God has decreed it shall stand for ever. Psal.33.11. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all Generations. Therefore the Apostle speaks concerning the Immutabi­lity of the Counsel of God. Heb. 6.17. Men indeed they change their Minds, they decree a thing and don't perform it, they don't see all things at once, their second Thoughts are wisest. It is not so with the blessed GOD, whose Wisdom is Infinite, His counsel shall stand, particularly that of Election is said to stand. Rom. 9. 11. That the purpose of God according to Electi­on might stand. It shall stand and no al­teration shall be made in it. Therefore, it is said, as was but now mentioned. The Lord knows who are his, having this seal. A thing that is sealed is unal [...]erable; so it is in this case: therefore Christ com­forts His Disciples from this considerati­on, Luk. 10. 20. That their names were written in heaven. But if their Names could be blotted out after that, it could not be any great matter of comfort and [Page 56] rejoycing to them. We see then the Salvation of Believers is built on the E­lecting love of God as on a sure founda­tion. Now Election proceeds from Grace, Rom. 11. 5. it is called, The Election of Grace. It is not from any works in Men▪ No. Deut.7.7. The Lord loved you, because he loved you. Nothing out of God Him­self can be given as the reason of it: It is then from Grace; it is not from any holiness, from any worth in Men, for be­fore ever they had a Being God had a purpose of Mercy to them. It is sai [...] of Jacob, before ever he either did good or evil, God had loved him and chosen him; therefore it cannot be from any works of holiness in Men. Eph.1.4. God hath chosen us before the foundation of the World, that we should be holy. Not be­cause we are holy, but that we might be holy: we cannot suppose any cause of it, but the free Grace, and Favour of the most High. We cannot say the Merits of Christ has obtained Election, tho' all the saving benefits flowing from Election ha [...] been Merited by Christs Obedience, yet we cannot say that Election was Meri­ted by Him; for Christ considered as [Page 57] Man, and as Mediator, is an object of Election. Isai.42.1. Behold my servant, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. Therefore it is said of Christ, 1 Pet. 1. 20. That he was [...]ore-ordained before the foun­dation of the World, but was manifest in these last days. We see then Election proceeds from the free love of God. Joh.3.16. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever belie­veth in him should not perish, but have e­verlasting life. God did not first send His Son into the World, and then love the World; but He loved the World of His Elect, therefore He sent His Son in­to the World to be their Saviour; then it must be resolv'd into the good plea­sure of God that He chooses these and those, to eternal Salvation. It may be said indeed God did appoint some to Salvation that His Mercy might be glo­rified for ever. God did Reprobate o­thers that so His Justice might be glori­fied for ever: True, but why did God choose Jacob rather than Esau? Why did He choose Peter rather than Judas? No reason can be given of it, but the Sove­raign Will & Pleasure of the Most High [Page 58] GOD. Eph.1.5. According to the good pl [...] ­sure of his will. Mat.11.25. Jesus [...] I thank thee, O Father Lord of heaven [...] earth because thou hast hid these things [...] the wise & prudent, and hast revealed [...] unto babes, even so Father for so it seem [...] good in thy sight. Thus it must [...] solv'd into the Soveraign Pleasure [...] Him who is the Lord of Heaven & Eart [...] ▪ I have the rather insisted on this, becau [...] there have been some in the World, [...] would not have the Ministers of the Gos­pel, Preach the Doctrine of Electio [...] Nay, there have been Prelates, that ha [...] prohibited their Clergy from Preachi [...] the Doctrine of Election. It is a stran [...] thing that any Men that believe [...] Scriptures should do so: For there [...] hardly any one Article in the Christi [...] Religion, that is more frequently m [...] ­tioned in the Scripture than this of [...] Doctrine of Election: Christ speaks [...] it again & again. All the Apostles spe [...] of it in their several Epistles, especially the Apostle Paul, very singularly in [...] Epistle to the Romans.

We go on to a Seventh Demonstrat [...] of the Doctrine before us, which is, [...] [Page 59] the principal things contained in Salvation [...]re from Grace, therefore Salvation must needs be so. There are especially three things contain'd in this Salvation. (1.) [...]ffectual Calling, or Conversion. (2.) Justification. (3.) Glorification. These are the great things contained in Salva­tion, and they are all of them from the Soveraign Grace of God.

1. There is that of Effectual Calling, [...] the Conversion of Sinners to God. 2 Tim.1.9. He hath saved us, and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and Grace. Has Cal­led us and Saved us, that is, has brought us into a State of Salvation, by an Effectu­al Calling, this according to His purpose and Grace; that is to say, His gracious purpose: So then it is from Grace. If we search the Scriptures we shall find that Conversion is from Grace. The cau­ [...]ing Faith to be in the Soul, proceeds from the irresistable Grace, the Efficacious Will & Power of God, and not from Men themselves, not from any thing that Men [...]re able to do, all is from Grace. Jam. [...] ▪ 18. Of his own will begat [...]e us, with the word of truth. Tho' Men may Preach the [Page 60] word it will never Convert a Sinner, [...] ­ver Regenerate them, if the Power [...] Grace of God do not accompany it. [...] is true, We are bid to work out our ow [...] Salvation with fear and trembling, [...] then it is added, It is God which work [...] in you both to will and to do of his own [...] pleasure, Phil. 2. 13. There have [...] some in the World who have assert [...] ▪ That the Conversion of Sinners is effect [...] by nothing but meer Moral Swasion; [...] the Ministers of God must set befo [...] Men the good that will follow, if [...] believe, and the evil that will follow, [...] they do not believe; they say there nee [...] no more; and that Men can change [...] own hearts: but how much otherwi [...] does the Scripture speak which declar [...] that it does require an Almighty Pow [...] to cause a Sinner to become a Belie [...] on the Name of the Lord Jesus Chri [...] Eph.1.19,20. The exceeding greatness [...] his power to us-ward who believe accordi [...] to the working of his mighty power, whi [...] he wrought when he raised Christ from [...] dead. A Mighty Power, an exceedi [...] Mighty Power, the same Power that [...] put forth when He raised Christ from [...] [Page 61] dead, this is put forth in causing a Sin­ner to become a Believer on the Lord Je­sus Christ: either Sinners can Convert themselves, or they are Converted by the irresistible Grace of God; they do not nor can they Convert themselves. Eph. 2.8. Ye are saved by Grace, thro' faith, and that not of your selves it is the gift of God. Even faith it is the gift of God, then not from Men themselves. The truth is, they have no Mind to believe, their Wills are set against believing on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joh.5.40. Ye will not come to me that ye might have life. Nor have they any ability of themselves to believe, if God do not enable them. Rom.5.6. Without Christ, and without Strength. As long as a Sinner is without Christ he has no Spiritual Strength, therefore ex­cept God shall draw the Soul to Christ it never will come. Joh.6.44. No man can come to me excep [...] the Father draw him. Sin draws the Sinner away from Christ, and there is the World to draw him back, and all the Devils in Hell are set to keep him from coming to Christ, therefore unless Almighty Power do draw him he will not come. It is said▪ a corrupt Tree [Page 62] cannot bring forth good fruit: Men na­turally are corrupt Trees. Faith, Holi­ness, Repentance are good Fruit; they cannot bring forth this good Fruit. [...] is said of the Unbeliever, He is to every good work rebrobate; he cannot do any thing pleasing to God. Moreover, th [...] Truth before us is evident from the things where-unto Regeneration is com­pared in the Scripture. It is compared unto and called a Creation; a Conver­ted Sinner is made a New Creature. Ep [...].2.10. We are his workmanship created [...] Christ Jesus unto good works. A work of Creation is a work of Almighty Power▪ The New Creation is no less an effect [...] the Almighty Power of God than [...] first Creation. Again, Regeneration [...] compared unto a Resurrection: So [...] this second to the Ephesians, you hath [...] qu [...]ckned who were dead in trespasses and sins: You were dead, aye, but you [...] made alive; and can the dead ma [...] themselves alive; those that are in woful Grave of Sin & Misery, have they Power to bring themselves out of their Graves? No, they have not. It was sa [...] concerning the Converted Prodigal, [...] [Page 63] 15.32. This my son was dead, but he is a­live. So it is with the Sinner when he is Converted, when he truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ; before that he was dead but then he is alive: the Al­mighty Power of God, the irresistible Grace of God has made him to be alive; then as it is said in the Prophet Ezeki­el, Ezek.37.13. Ye shall know that I am the Lord. None but God can do such a thing, When I have opened your Graves, and brought you out of your Graves. Thus does God do to His Elect, He opens their Graves and brings them out of their Graves, that show's Conversion is from the irresistible Grace and Power of God. Therefore also it is in Scripture set forth by that of giving a New Heart: Ezek.36.26. A new heart will I give you, sayes God, & a new spirit will I put within you; I will take away the heart of stone & I will give you an heart of flesh. Who can give a New heart? The heart is put for the Soul with all the Powers & Faculties of it. The Soul with all the Powers and Faculties of it, when once Converted, when Grace is bestowed on the Sinner, these are all wonderfully changed, and [Page 64] renewed. I will take away the heart [...] stone, and will give you a heart of fles [...] Who can do this but God? Who [...] turn a stone into flesh? none but God [...] do it. It is therefore evident that th [...] Conversion & Salvation of Sinners must be ascribed to the Soveraign irresistibl [...] Grace of God. It will appear yet further▪ If we consider what manner of Sinne [...] some are, or have been whom God [...] pleased to Convert, and when it is [...] does Convert them; not only such [...] have been guilty of lesser evils, but some times those that have been very gre [...] Sinners, God has been pleased to besto [...] converting Grace upon them. Thus the [...] Ephesians the Text speaks of, they [...] been very Notorious Sinners, they ha [...] been the greatest Idolat [...]rs in the World beside that they had been guilty of So [...] ­cery, Act.19.19. It is said of them, the [...] used Curious Arts; but when they were Converted, they burned their books, wit [...] a holy indignation at themselves; and the price of them was fifty thousand pieces of Silver, which is fifteen hundred Pounds, Sterling, in English Money. [...] much did they give to obtain these wick­ed [Page 65] books, which was a most abominable Sin in the sight of God; yet God made them New Creatures, turned those vile Sinners into eminent Saints of God. We have a remarkable instance hereof, in the Apostle Paul, he had been a very Notorious Sinner, altho' not as to Immoralities, yet he had been the chief of Sinners, he was a great Persecu­tor, the chief of Sinners because he was a ringleader among Persecutors, he was a great Blasphemer of the Name of Christ, and he would punish Christians, and persecute them even to the very death, and was consenting to the blood of the Martyr Stephen, and yet he found Mercy with the Lord, and how so? 1 Tim.1.14. The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant toward me. Not only Grace, but abundant Grace, and exceeding a­bundant Grace: And then the time when the Lord came upon Saul to Convert him. So as to other Sinners when in the height of their wickedness, when prosecuting their wicked designs▪ with all their might, then God comes and changes them, makes New Creatures of them. It was so with Saul, when draw­ing [Page 66] near to Damascus with an intention to persecute the Christians there, wher [...] on his Journey before he came to the City, God met with him and Convert [...] him, changes his heart, that this Saul af­terwards Paul, who had been the great­est Persecutor of Christians, becomes the greatest lover of them, and the greatest instance of Converting Men to Christ of any Man in the World. And in the se­cond Chapter of the Acts, we have [...] wonderful evidence of the Soverai [...] Grace of God. The Jews had just been Crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and was there ever a greater Sin committ [...] in the World? Now when that blo [...] was reeking on them, God comes a [...] Converts them, when that blood had ju [...] been shed by them: Men might have thought that God would have sent the [...] active to Hell, but instead of that He Con­verts them, makes New Creatures [...] them. There have been some of the E­lect of God, whom He has left to fall in­to some great Sin to the wounding [...] their Conscience, and has made that Sin of theirs to become an occasion of their Repentance, and turning to God. [...] [Page 67] have then cause to cry. Grace! Grace! that ought to be admired by all the Saints on Earth,& by all the Angels in Heaven.

2. Another thing cont [...]ined in Salva­tion, is, Justification. Believers are Justi­fied. Rom. 5. 1. Being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham is styled, The Fa­ther of all that do believe. Why so? be­c [...]use all that do believe must be justifi­ed the same way that Abraham was, not by works, but by faith in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus it is said, Gen. 15.6. which is the first place in all the Bible that speaks expressly of belie­ving: It is said, Abraham believed in the Lord and it was counted to him for righte­ousness. He was therefore look'd upon as a justified Man because he believed on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now this Justification is from free Grace. Tit. 3.7. We are justified by his Grace, (says the Apostle) that so we might [...]ve hope of eternal life. Yea, by Grace indeed, by the greatest and freest Grace. Rom. 3. 24. Being justified freely by his Grace. There are two things imply'd in Justifi­cation, both of them are from the rich, [Page 68] free Grace of God. One thing imply'd in Justification, is the forgiveness of Sin▪ As for the justified person his Sins are forgiven, that is an evidence of Infinite Grace. Considering how great a wrong Sin is unto God, and how much it does provoke Him; if God does forgive a sin­ner it must needs be from Grace, there­fore God says, Isa. 43. 25. I will blot ou [...] your sins, for mine own sake. Not fo [...] your sakes, not that you deserve any▪ such thing; but for my own sake. That He might magnify His wonderful Grace and Mercy on poor Creatures, He for­gives many Sins and great Sins too. We have a Parable to this purpose, Luk. [...] 41, 42. There was a certain Creditor▪ that had two Debtors, the one owed hi [...] fifty pence, the other owed him five hun­dred pence, they had nothing to pay, and he frankly forgave them both. Thus not only they that owe fifty pence; but they that owe five Hundred pence, yea, Thou­sands, God frankly forgives them: They have nothing, they may not plead that they deserve to be forgiven. It is more▪over not only a free, but a full forgive­ness, that God does favour Believers on [Page 69] Christ with. He forgives not some of their Sins only, but all of them. Col. 2. 13. He has forgiven us [...] [...]espasses. Their Sins shall be as tho' they had ne­ver been; their Sins are so forgiven, as that not one of them is to be found. Jer. [...]0. 20. If their Iniquity be sought for, they shall not be found, there shall be none. Why! It is all carried away into the wilderness of everlasting forgetfulness; it shall not be found when God has par­ [...]ioned it. Another thing implied in Justi­fication, the Sinner is accepted as Righ­teous. For the Righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, not Christ's essential Righteousness, then he would be God, nor his habitual Righteousness, for then he would be perfectly sanctified; but Christs active Righteousness is imputed to the believer. What Christ has done God accepts of it as if the Believer him­self had done it. 2 Cor.5.21. He hath made him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He has been made so only by imputation. Rom.5.19. As by the disobedience of one, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one many are made righteous. Hence one [Page 70] of the Martyrs has an admirable expr [...] ­sion, Behold (says he) here is a wonderful exchange, Christ has my sins, and I ha [...] His righteousness. Christ has my si [...] has answered for them, and I have [...] Righteousness imputed to me. [...] would magnifie his law and make it hon [...] ­rable, therefore there must be a comple [...] Obedience to the Law of God, and [...] case His Law is transgress [...]d, then the p [...] ­nalty of the Law must be submitted [...] The Lord Jesus Christ has undertak [...] both these, He has fulfilled the Law: [...] Him all Believers are look'd upon, as [...] they had kept the Law, so have a rig [...] unto eternal life. Rom.8.4. The righ [...] ­ousness of the law is fulfilled in us. [...] is it fulfilled in us? but with respect [...] the Lord Jesus Christ, He has fulfill [...] the law, He has done all that the law [...] God required to be done; He never di [...] ­transgress it in Thought, Word, or Deed now because Christ has done it, Believe [...] are said to fulfil the law, for what he [...] done is imputed to them. Christ [...] has submitted to the penalty of the [...] He was made a curse for us, that we mig [...] be delivered from the curse. He w [...] [Page 71] wounded for our transgressions; He had our iniquities laid upon Him, the pun­ishment due to us was laid upon our Lord Jesus Christ, Isa [...]. 53.1. Thereby He has made full satisfaction to the Justice of God, so has obtained Life & Salvation for us; the passive Obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, as it is usually called, or the Obedience of His Passion and Death, has been a full satisfactory price offered to God: therefore it is said, Rom.4.25▪ that He rose again for our justification. Hereby it is evident that Believers are justified, that a perfect satisfaction was made to God by Christs dying. Christ was put into the Grave for our debt; in as much then as God has opened the Grave and let our Saviour Christ come out of the Grave, we may conclude He has made full satisfaction to the Justice of God; the reason is because Christ is our Surety. Now if the Surety pay the debt, it is as if the debtor himself had paid it: So has Christ our surety who is called, The Surety of the New Testament. If it be ob­jected, If we are saved by the Righteous­ness of Christ, How then is it by Grace? For answer, Salvation by the Righteous­ness [Page 72] of Christ and by Grace do very [...] consist. There is not only Grace but a­bundant Grace, in our being saved by [...] Righteousness of Christ. Rom. 5. 15. [...] gift by grace which is by One man Jesus Christ has abounded to many. If God [...] accept of the Obedience of another [...] our behalf, it is Grace. The giving [...] Christ, the greatest & most glorious [...] that ever was or that possibly could [...] was from Infinite Grace; His being [...] His Son should endure such Su [...] ­rings that He might obtain our Salv [...] ­on, was wonderful Grace. It is theref [...] said, Heb.2.9. Christ has tasted death [...] every Man, by the Grace of God. The [...] is a New Covenant made & this is [...] the Righteousness of Christ. Christ [...] the Mediator of the New Covenant; [...] Covenant of the Gospel is the Coven [...] of Grace. Tit. 2.11. It is said, The Gra [...] of God which brings salvation; has appear [...] to all men: The Gospel is that Grace. [...] is Grace that has appeared to all M [...] ▪ Thus concerning Grace in Justificati [...] ▪ There is a third thing contained in [...] Salvation, Namely Glorification, I sha [...] leave that and the Application of [...] Doctrine to another time.

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MANY things have been spoken for Demostration of the Truth before us. The last time we entred upon a Seventh Demonstration, namely, If we consider the principal things contain'd in this Salvation, we shall see it is from Grace. There are (as we have said) especially three things contain [...]d there­in, Conversion, Justification, Glorification. Concerning Conversion and Justification, that they proceed wholly from Grace, you have heard. We go on to show, that the Glorification of Believers, also pro­ceeds wholly from the free Grace of God. I say then, Believers on Christ shall be Glorified, not one link in the Apostles Golden Chain, as some of the Ancients have called it, shall be broken, viz. that in Rom. 8. 30. Whom he did predestinate them [...]e also called, and whom he called, them he justified, and whom he justified, them [...] glorified. Believers then shall be made the subjects of Glory, and that is from In­finite [Page 74] Grace. 1 Pet. 5. 10. The God of all Grace hath called us unto his Eternal G [...]ory. If God were not a God of Infinite Grace, it could not be so; one that has deser­ved Hell more than a Million times over▪ could never not only be delivered from thence; but also be made partaker [...] a glorious Heaven. This Glorification [...] called Eternal Life in Scripture; an [...] that is called Grace. 1 Pet. 3. 7. He [...]rs of the Grace of Life. There are especi­ally two considerations which set forth the wonderful Grace of God herein.

First, If we consider the greatness of that happiness, which God will bring Be­lievers to the Enjoyment of. And, ho [...] great is it? That neither I nor any Ma [...] living can declare. 1 Cor. 2. 9. It hi [...] not entred into the heart of man to con­ceive, what God hath prepared for them that love him. It is beyond all Expressi­ons, beyond all Conception Glorious▪ It is in Scripture set forth by Metapho [...] and Similitudes, of such things as are of greatest value among Men; by that of [...] Treasure, Mat. 6. 20. Lay up for your­selves Treasures in Heaven. By that of [...] Crown, Rev. 2. 10. By that of a Kingdom▪ [Page 75] which is the greatest Riches & Dignity among Men. Jam. 2. 5. Hath not God chosen the poor of this World, rich in [...]aith, heirs of the Kingdom. It is set forth by that of a Rich Glorious Inheritance. Eph. 1. 18. The Riches of the Glory of the Inheritance. Believers in another World shall in some respects be made equal to the An­gels of Heaven. Luk. 20. 36. They shall be equal to the Angels. The Chil­dren of the Resurrection shall be so, being the Children of God. They shall be, (tho' not equal to) yet made very like unto the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Joh. 3. 2. We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. When the Day comes that Believers shall see Jesus Christ as He is, in all His Glory, they shall be made like to Him; as to their Bodies which shall be made like to Christ's Glorious Body. Phil. 3. 21. He shall change our vile Bo­dies, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious Body. Then how Glorious will their Souls be in respect of that Holiness, that Grace, which they shall then be filled with? Again, If we consider the continuance of this Glory, that sets forth the wonderful Grace of God. In that [Page 76] respect Believers in Christ are happier than Adam in Parad [...]se was: Adam was a happy Man before he sinned against God; but he was in a state wherein he might lose his happiness, might be turn'd out of Paradise,& he was so when he sin­ned; but it shall not be so with the Belie­ver. Rev. 3. 12. I will make him a pillar i [...] the temple of my God, & he shall go out [...] more. It was truly affirm'd by one, th [...] Believing Job when on the Dunghill was [...] happier man than Adam in Paradise, name­ly in respect of that state he was brought into; then what is Job now when his Soul is in Heaven? And what will Jo [...] be in the Resurrection, when with his Bodily eyes he shall see Jesus Christ [...] is God? This sets forth the freeness and Riches of the Grace of God, that He should take fallen Man, & bestow a hap­piness on them that they cannot be de­prived of. As for Life in this World it is a fading thing, no Man can enjoy that long; the greatest Men must be Subject to Death, and the best Man also. Do the Prophets live for ever? but as for Life in Heaven, that shall never have an end. Those things which we see, are but Tem­poral; [Page 77] the greatest happiness Men en­joy in this World, is momentany; but now that in Heaven is not for Time, but for Eternity. 2 Cor. 4. 18. The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are Eternal. And it is as sure that the Believer shall enjoy this Glory as if he were now in the actu­al Possession of it. It is therefore said, Joh. 3. 36. He that believes has everlast­ing Life. It is not only true that he shall [...]ave; but that he has Everlasting Life; he has it in the beginnings of it; and in the faithful promise of that God that cannot lie. It is said of Believers in the Context, Eph. 2. 6. He hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. In respect of Christ their Head, He has made them to sit together in heavenly pla­ces. And, as sure as Jesus Christ is in Heaven, Believers shall be there in a little time. These things set forth the Grace of God. Thus for the Doctrinal handling of the Truth.


USE, I. If Men are Saved by Grace, then they are not Saved by their own free [Page 78] Will. There have been those in th [...] World, who have maintained, that Men are Saved by the Power of their [...] free will; that they have naturally a free will to that, that is good, as well as to th [...] which is evil. They say the reason why some are Saved and not others, is not because of any special Grace of God to­wards them; but because some impro [...] the power of their own free will mo [...] than others do; this was the opinion [...] Pel [...]gius, Austin therefore calls him [...] enemy of the Grace of God. This [...] was condemned by a whole Synod [...] Palestine, and afterward by three othe [...] Synods, to be Heretical. It is certainly [...] great Error. How can Men be Saved, [...] the Power of their own free will, whe [...] they have not a free will to that which is Spiritually Good, till God by His pow­erful Grace shall renew their wills, and of unwilling make them willing? Psal. 110. 3. Thy people shall be willing in th [...] Day of thy power. God does show the power of His Grace in making those that are unwilling to become a willing Peo­ple. As Men have no power to do that that is Spiritually Good by nature; [...] [Page 79] [...] power▪ to will it neither. It is God works in you both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Christ says, Joh. 15. 5. Without me ye can do nothing. One of the Ancients descanting on those words of our Saviour, speaks thus, Christ does not say without me, ye can do but little; He does not say without me, you can do no great Matter; He does not say you cannot, except with great difficulty do that that is necessary for you to do, but you can do nothing that is Spiritually good without Christ. The fruit will be according to the Tree it grows upon. Mat. 7. 16. Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles. Men must be otherwise than what they are by Nature, or they cannot bring forth good fruit, the fruit of Grace, of Salvation, no they can­not. Luther wrote a book with that Title, The Servo Arbitrio. Concerning that will that is a slave, He would not call it the will Liberum Arbitrium, Free will, be­cause the will of the Sinner is a captive, a slave to the will of the Devil. 2 Tim. 2. 26. Taken captive by him at his will. Nay, that which is sadder, the will of the Sinner is a slave to the Lusts, and vile [Page 80] Corruptions of his own heart. Jo [...]. [...] 34. He that committeth sin, is a servant [...] sin. It is added, If the son make you [...] then you shall be free indeed. Till Chr [...] the Son of God renew the will of [...] Sinner▪ he has not a will to that which is Spiritually good. The will of Man [...] the worst thing in him. Jer. 17. 9. [...] heart is desperately wicked, and deceitful above all things, who can know it? Mat. [...] 19. Out of the heart proceed evil thought▪ murders, adul [...]eries, fornications, [...] false witness, blasphemies. Can Grace [...] Salvation proceed out of such an hea [...] as that is? The Apostle says, 1 Cor. [...] 7. Who maketh thee to differ? If thou ha [...] Grace and another has none, Who ma [...] thee to differ? The Proud free will may say, I made my self to differ, I ma [...] use of my free will, when others d [...] not. The Psalmist says, Psal. 1 [...]5. 1. [...] unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto [...] Name be glory, because of thy mercy. But now if Men could Convert and so Sav [...] themselves by the power of their ow [...] free will, they might say, Not to th [...] Mercy of God, but to us be glory give [...] ▪ The Apostle says, Rom. 9. 16. It is not [...] [Page 81] him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Whereas if the Conversion, and Salvation of Men did depend on their own free will, and not wholly on the Grace of God, the A­postles words might be inverted, and it might be said, it is not wholly God that shews Mercy, but of him that willeth, and of him that runneth. Nothing can be more contrary to the Scriptures than to say, That the Conversion of Men de­pends on themselves, that Regeneration is from the Power of their own free will. If a Man is indeed Regenerated, He is born not of the will of the flesh; not by the power of his own carnal will, but of God. Jam.1.18. Of his own will b [...]gat [...]e us by the word of truth.

USE, II. If Men are Saved by Grace, then they are not Saved by their own works. Thus does the Apostle declare in the Con­text before us, By Grace are ye saved, through Faith, and that not of your selves, [...]t is the gift of God, not of works least any man should boast. He says the same again to Timothy, 2 Tim. 1. 0 He hath saved us and called us, not according to our works, [...]ut according to his own Purpose and Grace. [Page 82] That is to say, of His own gracious pur­pose. And the same again, in his Epistle to Titus, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy [...]e saveth us If it is by Grace [...] not by works; for these two are contra­dictory, they are [...] one wit [...] another. So does the Apostle arg [...]t, Rom. 11. 6. If by Grace, then is it no mo [...] of works; if it be of works; then is [...] more Grace. How often is it said [...] Scripture, We are saved and justified [...] Faith, in opposition to a being saved by works? Faith does not Save or Justify [...] it is a Grace wrought in us; but in re­spect of the object of it, the Righteousn [...] of Jesus Christ. To be Saved by Faith [...] the same with being Saved by the Right [...] ­ousness of Christ; for Faith i [...] the Gra [...] that gives us an Interest in that Righte­ousness. I will mention but two pla [...] Arguments, that evince the Truth before us.

1. The best work of a Christless Sinn [...] does not deserve the name of a good [...] Tit. 1. 16. They are to every good work [...] probate. The Tree that is a bad [...] the Fruit of it will be bad. Mat. 7. [...] [Page 83] A corrupt tree, cannot bring forth good [...]ruit. An unbelieving Sinner is such a [...], therefore he cannot bring forth good fruit. That is the misery of a Christless Sinner, he never did one good work in all his Life, that God did esteem, and accept as good. What if he pray? Psal. 109. 7. His prayer becomes sin. What if [...] does perform any other Religious Du­ [...]y? Hag. 2. 14. That which they offer is [...]clean. That as long as a Man is in a [...] state, he cannot perform any one good work, will appear if we consider what is necessary, that so a work may become a good work. It is required, not [...]ly that the matter of it be such as God requires; but that it proceeds from a right Principle, from a Principle of Faith in the heart. This you see in the instance of Cain & Abel, Heb. 11. 6. Without Faith [...]t is impossible to please God. Let a Man▪s work be whatever it may be, if he has not Faith in Christ, he does not please God. As now Abel's offering was plea­ [...]ing to God, because he had Faith in Christ that was to come into the World. Cain's [...]ffering God did not accept of it, because [...] had no Faith. Again, the end must [Page 84] be such as God approves of, else the work is not a good work; a corrupt end will spoil a good work, as we see in J [...]hu, wh [...] he executed Judgment on the bloody house of Ahab, he did what God Com­manded; but because his end was no [...] good, it was in God's account no better than Murder; therefore God threatned, that he would avenge on the house of [...] the blood of Jezr [...]el, Hos. 1.6. We see it in the Pharisees, they would Pray, they would give Alms, and the like; but they did it to be seen of Men, that spoiled their good works, that they found no ac­ceptance with God. Among the Gentiles the Heathen, some of them would [...] such works as made them famous; they excelled in Morality, that the World cryed them up and admired them; but Austin said truly, that those works [...] theirs, for which the World admired them, were Splendida peccata, but splen­did Sins, beautiful abominations.

2. The best works of the best Men [...] the World are attended with a great dea [...] of imperfection. They come very muc [...] short of that which the holy Law of Go [...] calls for. Feign they would come upt [...] [Page 85] that perfection, but they cannot. Rom. 218. For to will is present with me, but [...] to perform that which is good I find not. There is iniquity in the holy things of the Lords Servants. Well did the Psalmist [...], If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquity, [...] Lord, who shall stand? Psal. 130. 3. May we not speak as the Church does, Isai. [...] ▪6. All our righteousness are as filthy [...]. Can we then think to Merit Sal­ [...]ion by them? It is impossible it should [...] so, considering there is so much im­perfection in the best works we do: Who can make a Prayer without an unsuitable or impertinent thought in his heart? Suppose a Man to confess Sin never so Penitently, he needs pardoning Mercy in respect of that confession. Austin Pray­ed, Lavo lacrimas Domine, Lord wash my Tears, my sinful polluted tears. Sup­pose a Man not only to Pray, but to Fast as well as Pray, and to pour out many tears before God, because he has sinn'd against so good a God, yet that Man, his years need washing in the blood of Christ, that they may find acceptance with God. We see then Men cannot be saved by their own works. The Doctine of Mens being [Page 86] saved by their own good works, their Me­riting Heaven thereby is one of the fun­damental Errors of Popery. And there is nothing more contrary to the Gospel, the great design where of is to Exalt Christ and Grace, and to abase Man. What could be more proudly spoken than the Speech of a Jesui [...]ed Papist, who sai [...], That if God would give him Heaven gratis he would not accept it so, he wo [...] do something to deserve it before [...]e would accept it. Can a Sinner Merit Heaven, that has Merited Hell so often? Eccl. 7. 20. There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not. In­deed there are just Men in Heaven that are always doing good, and who do not sin; but there is not one such just Man upon Earth. As for a Meritorious work there must be some proportion between the work done, and the reward; where­as there is no porportion between out works, and the reward of eternal Life. If Men could Merit by their Obedience, it would be by their Passive Obedience, but it is said, Rom.8. 18. The sufferings of thi [...] present time are not worthy to be compare [...] with the glory which shall be revealed in [...]. [Page 87] No proportion, therefore no Meritorious work.

USE▪ III. Since Believers on Christ are the objects of special Grace, and the sub­jects of Salvation, Sin is more evil in them than in any Men in the World. Sin, is called the evil. Joh. 17. 15. Keep them from the evil. It is the evil of evils: one Sin has more evil in it than there is in all the afflictions in the World. It is im­possible there should be a Sin committed that shall be a little evil, considering a­gainst whom it is committed; never­theless some Sins are greater than others. Sin is aggravated from the consideration of the person committing it. For an In­dian, a Heathen to commit a Sin, it is not so bad as for a Christian to commit the same Sin. If Men are only visible Christians their Sin is worse than if o­thers that do not make their Profession should be guilty of the same Sin, because they Sin against their Baptism that ob­liges them not to Sin. One that was tempted to Sin repelled and overcame the temptation by this consideration, I am baptized, therefore I dare not commit such a Sin. Thence it is if Men who pro­fess [Page 88] the Name of Christ shall be guilty of Scandalous Sins, God will punish the [...] with the greatest Severity. When d [...] ­stroying Judgments are coming upon the World for the iniquity thereof, God u­sually begins with His own Profess [...] People: Judgment begins at the house of God. When there was a Commission [...] slay utterly Old and Young, God says, Ezek. 9. 6. Begin at my Sanctuary. [...] says of His professing People, Amos [...] [...] only have I known of all the Families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for [...] your iniquities. Such Men as have [...] to be Christians, but have only given their Names to Christ, and [...] their Hearts, they are Hypocrites, there­fore they shall have the forest Pu [...] ­ment in another World; the dark [...] Dungeon in Hell is reserved for Hyp [...] ­crites, therefore the forest punishment is so express'd, Mat. 24. 51. Give him [...] portion with Hypocrites. But when [...] only those that are Professors, but [...] Believers in Christ shall fall into Sc [...] ­dalous Sins, it is worse in them than [...] any Men in the World: God may [...] of Believers as of His Vineyard, Isai. [...] [Page 89] What could I have done more for my Vine­ [...]rd that I have not done. So God may by of Believers, What could I have done more for them, I have given them that that is better than all this World, I have given Grace to them, which is a greater Mercy than if I had given them all the riches of this World, I have given Christ [...] them, and will they Sin against me? [...] foolish people and unwise thus to requite [...] Lord for His kindness, and for all He [...]th done for you! O do not thus re­ [...]uite the Lord! It is the blackest in­gratitude that possibly can be: you can­ [...]t dishonour the Lord more than by [...]inning against Him, after all He has [...] for you: will you do that? Hea­ven & Earth may stand astonished at it. [...] grieve the Spirit of God excee­ [...]ingly: When a Godly Man Sins the Spirit of God is grieved more than when an Ungodly Man shall commit the same Sin. The Lord says of such an one, Psal. [...]. 12, 13. If it had been an enemy I could have born it, but it was thou my friend. So [...]oes God say, If a wicked Man had com­mitted such a Sin, if a wicked Man had [...] himself drunk, or the like, I could [Page 90] better have born it, but it was thou [...] friend, thou a Believer in Christ, thou a Godly Man, this grieves Him, it goes to His heart. And there is the greatest Sacrilege in it, when a Believer shall commit Scandalous Sins against God, be­cause he is United to Christ. 1 Cor.6.15. Know you not that your bodies are the mem­bers of Christ. Shall I take the Members of Christ, says the Apostle, and do wicked thing with them, God forbid, O horrible, shall a Man take that Tong [...] that is united to Christ and Sin with that? Shall he take those hands that a [...] united to Christ, and Sin with them▪ Oh let it not be! Moreover, when such Sin, when Godly Men fall into Scand [...] ­lous-Sins they do a great deal of hurt [...] Religion; they dishonour the Name of God exceedingly; it makes the Wor [...] ready to become Atheists, and to thi [...] there is nothing in Religion. Th [...] when David sinned fearfully against Go [...] the Prophet Nathan said to him. Th [...] hast, given great occasion for the name of Go [...] to be blasphemed. So it is, when such a One, so good a Man a David shall Si [...] David's Sin did a great deal of hurt after [Page 91] he was dead and his Soul in Heaven. Some of the Ancients say, That Pagans were prejudiced against the Christian Religion, because of David's Sin. They would say, There was one David King over the Jews, he was guilty of Adultery and of Murder; they say this was one of their good Men, we won't be of their Religion that have done such wicked­ness as this. And it has encouraged Chri­stians to Sin and to do wickedly. Some have said, St David, cur non Ego? has David committed such Sins, why mayn't I venture to do so as well as he? Thus he has given great occasion to the enemy to blaspheme. And God punishes the Sins of such in a terrible manner, tho' after their Repentance, He forgives them as to Eternal Judgment for them; yet, not as to temporal punishments. The Prophet said unto David, The sword shall never depart from thy house. All his Days after, one sore Judgment after another did befall him.

Let the fourth USE, be an Antidote a­gainst Despair. Let no Sinner Despair of the Salvation of his Soul; but consider the Grace of God, say not, you don't know [Page 92] what Sins I have been guilty of. Let thy Sins be what ever they may be, I am sure thou hast not out sinned Infinite Grace. Rom. 5. 20. Where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound. Tho' thou hast been guilty of abundance of Sins, there is a greater abundance of Pardons with the gracious God. Isa. 55. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous [...] his thoughts, and let him return unto [...] Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God for he will abundantly [...]. There is abundance of Pardons with God for the greatest Sinners, if they will Re­pent and forsake their Sins, and turn to God in Jesus Christ. Say not, I have been guilty of all manner of Sins, I have tra [...] ­gressed against the first and second Ta­ble of the Moral Law; but does not Christ say, Mat. 12. 31. All manner of sin and blas­phemy shall be forgiven unto men, except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. And as for that Sin, I am perswaded there [...] not one that hears me this Day, that eve [...] was guilty of it; and the reason why that Sin is not forgiven, is not because there is not Grace enough in God to Par­don it; but because such Sinners never [Page 93] will return to God, and beg Pardon of Him. No, their hearts are hardened, they trample under foot the Son of God, count His Blood worth nothing; they continue to do Despi [...]e to the Spirit of Grace. It is not so with thee. No one that hears me, but it is possible he may be forgiven. Do we not find in Scripture, that very great Sinners have been Converted and Pardoned? What Sinners had the Corin­ [...]ns been? Some of them had been vile [...]domites; yet they were forgiven upon their Repenting and Believing, 1 Cor. 6. 11. Such were some of you; but ye are washed, ye are s [...]nctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. What horrid Sinners were the Jews who Crucified the Son of God? Was there ever a greater Sin committed in the World, than that of Crucifying the Son of God? Yet those very Men, some of them had their Sins pardoned for the sake of that Blood, through the Infinite Grace of God. Oh then, Despair not. Shall I say to thee, If thou should'st De­spair now Life and Salvation is offered to thee, that Despair of thine, will be a greater Sin than ever thou hast com­mitted [Page 94] in all thy Life before. And [...] not godly Parents Despair of the Conver­sion of their Children, altho' at prese [...] it may be, there is little signs of it, but the contrary. It may be thou hast a▪ So [...] or a Daughter, that is a grief of heart to thee, yet Despair not, you know [...] what Infinite Grace may do. It may be as for that Son of thine that ev [...] breaks thy heart, it may be God will bring some sad affliction upon him, and set him a praying and crying to God▪ [...] was so with Ma [...]asseh, he was the [...] a very godly Father; yet was notoriously wicked, and continued a long time to [...] so; God brought a grievous affliction up­on him, and then he humbled himself greatly before the God of his Father and prayed unto Him. It may be [...] will deal thus with that ungodly Child of thine. Some that have been notori­ously wicked have been Converted and proved eminent Saints afterwards. Some of you have heard of Mr. Rogers of D [...] ­ [...]am in England; in his Young Days [...] was very extravagant, inasmuch as [...] kinsman whoMaintain'd him at the Uni­versity, was so offended at him, as [...] [Page 95] [...] was resolved to cast him off, and to [...] no further care of his Education; [...] God met with him, made a Con­vert of him. This Man that had been [...] wicked, became not only an eminent Convert, but an eminent Preacher of the Gospel, and was an instrument of [...] more Souls to God, than per­haps any one Man in his Time: When it was so, his kinsman would often say, [...] the sake of John Rogers, I will never [...] of any Man.

USE, V. Lastly, Let us magnifie and [...] the Grace of God. And how? By [...]ribing all we are, all we have, all we can do, none of it to our selves; but [...] to the Grace of God; as the Apostle does, 1 Cor. 15. 10. Not I, but the grace of God, which was with me. It is related concerning the famous Mr. Knox, that when on his Death Bed, the Devil Temp­ [...]ed him to think that because he had [...]een very faithful in the Discharge of his Ministry, that therefore he had [...] a Reward from God; but he [...] and overcame the Temptations with those words, Not I, but the Grace of God which was with me. Have we any [Page 96] Temporal Blessings bestowed upon us, as every one has that hears me this Day [...] It is from Grace. If we are alive, it is of the Lord's Mercies we are not consu­med, it is because His compassions fail not. Ascribe it to the Grace of God. If you have common Mercies, temporal Blessings, much more if you have Spi­ritual Blessings, Mercies that concern your Souls; ascribe it to Grace. Have we the written Word of God? Have you the Bible in your hands, in your Houses? Ascribe it to the Grace of God. Do you live under the Gospel? The Gos­pel of the Grace of God, it is called; [...] that Preached to you? Acknowledge Grace in it. Some of you have had Com­panions in Sin, they are Dead, and gone out of this World! Is thy Companion [...] Sin, Dead! is he roaring in Hell, and art thou hearing a Sermon? O the Grace of God! Yet more, If God has Saved us and Called us; brought us into a state of Salvation, by an Effectual Cal­ling; then our Cry should be, Grace Grace! Wonderful is this Soveraign Grace of God. And we should glorify God by living to Him, by doing all we [Page 97] can to promote His Glory. Think, has God done such things for me, what shall I do to promote His Glory in the World! and if the consideration of the Grace of God shall have that Effect upon us, as to cause us to be more holy, that will be an infallible sign that we are those very Persons whom Infinite Grace will make the partakers of Eternal Salvation. Well then, let us be always admiring the Grace of God. Grace and Glory will He give. Admire the Grace of God, in the Glory He will bestow upon Believers one Day, it is an astonishing thought. Believe it, the Day is coming, when it will be ad­mired by all reasonable Creatures in Hea­ven, on Earth, and under the Earth. The Day is coming, When the Elect of God will stand & wonder at God's bestowing such a Salvation on them, the wicked shall see it & admire; and all the Angels of Heaven will be swallowed up with Everlasting admirations at it. The heart of the De­vil will stand amaz'd at what God will do for His Elect. Thus it shall be, accor­ding to that Scripture, with which I con­clude, 2 Thes. 1. 10. When he shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.

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BELIEVERS Encouraged to PRAY, From the Consideration of CHRISTS Interceding for them, and with them.

REVELATIONS, VIII. 3.And another Angel came and stood at the Altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much Incense, that he should offer it with the Prayers of all Saints upon the golden Altar, which was before the Throne.

IN the former part of this Chapter the Apostle John declares; that he had a Vi­sion of Seven Angels with Seven Trumpers, thereby intimating terrible▪ Judg­ments, Wars & Confusions that were to come upon the World. Here is also [Page 99] Notice taken how Christ would take care of the safety of His People in those times of trouble, that were at hand. In this Verse there is another Angel spoken of, I saw another Angel, (says the Apo­stle) an Angel that did differ from those Seven that had the Trumpets given to them; this Angel heard the Prayers of all the Saints of God in the World, and He did offer Incense; which shows, that thereby Christ and He only is intended. The Angel here mentioned did offer In­cense upon the Golden Altar, which was before the Throne. This has respect to what was customary among the Children of Israel, there was an Altar of Incense, a Golden Altar which the Priest did of­fer Incense upon; and that Altar is said to be before the Throne, because it was before the Holy of Holies, which was said to be the Throne of God. All these things were Typical, they have respect to Christ, to what He has done and will do: which will appear in opening the Doctrine from them.

DOCT. That Christ is an Intercessor for His People, by means of whose Merit & Me­diation their Prayers find acceptance with GOD

[Page 100]THE Doctrine may be opened in se­veral Propositions.

PROP. I. That Christ is and ever was, and ever will be an intercessor on the be­half of His People.

This is a Scripture Truth, a Mystery that is not known but only by the Scrip­tures, and by revelation from the Spirit of God. The Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament do bear Witness to it. In the Old Testament we read of Christs Intercession for His People. Zec [...]. 1. 12. The Angel of the Lord said, how long shall it be, O Lord, of Hosts, [...]re thou have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the Cities of Judah, against which thou hast bad indigna­tion; and the Lord answered the Angel with good & comfortable words. That An­gel was the very same with the Angel in my Text, expressed in verse 11. by the Man that stood among the Myrtle Trees. This Truth is more abundantly declared in the Scriptures of the New Testament, where we often read concerning the In­tercession of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 8. 34. He is at the Right hand of God, and maketh intercession for us. Hence Christ is said to be an Advocate. 1 Joh. 2. 1. If [Page 101] any Man sin, we have an advocate with the [...]ther Jesus Christ the righteous. The work of an Advocate is to answer the Impleadings of an Adversary. The Ad­versary of the Saints of God, is the De­vil, who does accuse them; and some­times very falsely, as we see in that in­stance of Job; and sometimes he has matter for his accusation; but then Je­sus Christ, the righteous Advocate, does [...] His Servants, He pleads for them when Satan does accuse them, and plead against them; This we see, Zech. 3. 1, 2. Joshua the High Priest, stood before the Angel of the Lord, and he was Clothed with filthy Garments, and there stood [...] at his Right Hand. The accuser was [...] to stand at the Right Hand; so Satan is represented as standing at the Right Hand of Joshua; the Angel of the Lord, which is Christ, said, The Lord re­ [...]ke thee Satan, is not this a brand pluck [...] out of the Fire. He is but newly brought out of Babylon, if something of the [...] Garments of Babylon, is still up­on him, that is not so much to be won­dered at. And He said, Take away his [...] Garments, and cloath him with change [Page 102] of Raim [...]nt. Thus Christ is an Advocate for His People. And there were Typical Intercessors of old, among the People of God, which had respect to what Christ would be and do. Thus Moses was a Typical Intercessor, Psal. 106. 23. Moses stood before him in the breach, to turn a­way his wrath, lest he should destroy them. God had destroyed them, had not Mo­ses ste [...]t in, and by His Intercession pre­vented; and we see how it was, Exod. 3 [...]. Moses fell down before God, when the People had grievously Sinned and pro­voked God to destroy them. God had threatned to consume them in a moment. Lord, (says he) forgive the Sin of this People, If not, blot me I pray thee out of thy Book. Has not Christ said, Rather her me Die than thy People perish. Sa­muel also was a Typical [...] on the behalf of the Children of Israel, when they were in great Distress. 1 Sam. 7. 9. Samuel offered a Lamb for a burnt offering unto the Lord, and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel, and the Lord heard his. God was pleased to accomplish a won­derful Salvation for his People as that time, he was in that a Type of our Lord [Page 103] Jesus Christ. Again, The High Priest was a singular Type of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Priest was to offer Sacrifice; then to enter into the Sanctuary, there to offer Incense. Thus Christ has offered Him­self a Sacrifice, has not done that only, but has entered into the Sanctuary, into the holy place, and there He offers In­cense. It is said, Heb. 8. 4. Is he to [...] Earth, he should not be a Priest. Why? the Priest did not his office compleatly, if he did not after he offered Sacrifice, enter into the holy place of offer In­tense: so (says the Apostle) Christ would not be a Priest, would not do His work fully, if He had not gone to Heaven, to offer Incense after He had offered Him­self a Sacrifice for His People. Thus Christ is an Intercessor for His People, and He ever will be so, even to the end of the World. Heb. 7. 21. He is a Priest for ever, after the order of M [...]chisedeck. Ver. 2 [...]. He ever liveth to make Intercessi­on. So that He continues to be an In­tercessor on the behalf of His People, even throughout all Ages of the World. Yet we may not suppose, Christ now in Heaven intercedes in such a way and [Page 104] manner as in His Estate of Humiliation He did; but He intercedes as becomes His state in Glory: We see the pattern of it, Joh. 17. 24. Father I will, that those whom thou hast given me, be with me, to behold my Glory. I will, Christ Intercedes as one that makes a Legal demand, that what He has bought and paid for, should be granted unto Him.

PROP. II. That the Elect of God are is a peculiar manner the Subjects of the Inter­cession of our Lord Jesus Christ. As He Died for them, so as not for others in the World, Joh. 10. 15. I lay down my life for the sheep. Not for the Goats, but for the Sheep, even so He Intercedes for them so as not for others. As the High Priest when He entered into the Holiest of all, had the Names of all the Tribes of Israel on his Breast; so now that Christ is in the Holy of Holies, He has the Names of all the Elect of God writ­ten on His Heart. Consider the Elect of God.

1. As Unconverted. Christ intercedes for them while they are in an Unconver­ted Estate. Joh. 17. 20. I pray, (says Christ) not for these alone. Not for my [Page 105] Disciples only, or for them that do Be­fore; but for them also which shall Be­have. Therefore it is, that they do Be­lieve; that is the reason the Elect of [...] are made Believers. They shall not [...], not one of them, in an Estate of Sin [...] unbelief, because Jesus Christ has in­terceded for them, that they might Be­lieve. We have a remarkable Scripture [...]cerning this, Isa. 53. 12. He made Intercession for the transgressors. That Scripture was gloriously fulfilled, when Christ interceded for those heinous transgressors, that Crucified Him. He [...]gged for them, that God would for­give them; and God did forgive many of them. Some of those very Men that [...] a hand in Crucifying our Lord Jesus Christ, they were Converted and their Sins were forgiven. We find, Acts 2. Peter said to those Jews, you have with wicked hands Crucified Him, whom God hath made both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were wicked in their heart, they Repented, they did seek to God for pardoning Mer­cy and were pardoned. Here then was a wonderful fruit of the Intercession of [Page 106] Christ for His Elect, before they ever did Believe. The Lord says, Psal. 2. 8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine Inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. The Hea­then Nations have been given to Christ, Whole Nations of Heathens have been Converted to Christ. The Roman Empire of Pagan became professedly Christian. Here is the reason of it, Christ's Interce­ding that it might be so. God said, Ask of me, and I will give thee the Heathen, and the uttermost parts of the Earth. Of Old Europe, in special Britain, was look'd upon as being in the uttermost parts of the Earth; and there Christ has a Peo­ple belonging to Him, according as God promised. Of latter times, these Ameri­can parts of the World, where we are have been esteemed the uttermost parts of the Earth, these are the goings down of the Sun; but here in these uttermost parts of the Earth, God has given to Christ a Possession, Christ has taken Pos­session here, even among the very Indi­ans; and it is a great work of God, one of the marvellous things of this last Age, that among the poor Indians in this part [Page 107] of the World, there are above Twenty Indians that Preach Christ every Lord's Day: Thus has God given the uttermost parts of the Earth to Christ, according as He said, Ask of me, and I will give them to thee.

2. The Elect of God considered as Converted and brought home to God, as made Believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, are in a most peculiar manner the Sub­jects of His Intercession. Christ Prays for them, Joh. 17. And He says, ver. 8. They have Believed. Christ Intercedes for them, Heb. 9. 24. He is entered into Hea­ven it self, to appear in the presence of God for us, to be an Intercessor an Advo­cate for us; namely, for us who Believe. And in the Text before us, it is said, He does offer Incense, for all Saints; that is, for all true Believers in Christ; for all Saints are true Believers in Christ, and all true Believers, are Saints; they are Sanctified in Christ Jesus for these Christ is concerned as an Intercessor; and what does He intercede for?

PROP. III. The Lord Jesus Christ, Does Intercede for Believers, that their Prayers may be answered; that God would [Page 108] give to them the things they humbly Pray and seek unto Him for. We find when the People were Praying without the Sanctuary, then the Priest was Of­fering Incense within. Luk. 1. 10. We Read of Zacharias the Priest, that he did offer Incense on the Altar; and that then the People were Praying without. And doubtless there is an Allusion to that in the first Verse of this Eighth Chapter of the Revelations, where it is said, There was silence in Heaven for the space of half an hour. Thus it was a­mong the Jews, when they were offer­ing Sacrifices, there was not silence; but the Temple rang with Musick while the Sacrifices were offering; but after they offered Sacrifice, Incense was offered, then all was silent. So then, Christ in Heaven is Interceding for His People, that their Prayers may be heard. When they are Praying on Earth out of the Holy Place, then He is Interceding with God before the Throne in Heaven; and the very things they Pray for, Christ does desire on their behalf, that those things may be granted to them. He de­sires they may have those things which [Page 109] are the main Petitions that they present to God. As now, Believers Pray to God that they may be kept from Sinning a­gainst Him, that of all evils they may be preserved from Sin, that is the request of all true Believers: Christ has made that Prayer on their behalf, Joh. 17. 15. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the World: that is, before they have done all the work thou hast appointed for them; but I pray that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. What is the evil? Sin is the evil of evils, the greatest of evils; now Christ Prays for Believers, that they may be kept from that, that no Sin may ever prove a ruining iniquity to them, and it will be granted. Believers Pray that they may have Grace to perse­vere, that they may hold on in the way God has commanded them to walk in; that is a special request which all true Believers earnestly present to God, that they may hold on to the end, may never turn aside from God: and Christ has made the same request to God, that they may Persevere in the way of holy Obedience to Him. He said to Peter, Luk. 22. 31. Satan has desired to sift you, but I have [Page 110] prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. The faith of the true Believer shall never fail, tho' as to the actings, and the exer­cise of it, there may be a failing, yet as to the habit of faith, that shall never fail; when the Grace of Faith is really wrought in a Soul it shall never fail. The Believers is like a Tree that may be shaken by the wind, but is never pluck'd up by the roots: So the wind of temptation may shake the Believer grievously sometimes, but his root of Faith shall abide fast and firm. Belie­vers Pray that they may be brought safe to Heaven at the last; and Christ has interceded with God that it may be so. Christ has said, I will that they be with me where I am that they may behold my glory. They Pray that their Salvation may be carried on to a glorious perfection; and Christ in Heaven does intercede for them that it may be so. Rom. 5. 10. We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be sa­ved by his life. Saved, that is, our Sal­vation perfected, by His Life, by His li­ving to be an Intercessor, So Christ in Heaven intercedes for Believers that [Page 111] they may be brought safe thither, that their Salvation may be carried on to the highest degree and perfection, which is intimated, Heb. 7. 25. He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by him, since he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Save to the uttermost, that is to say, the Salvation of Believers is car­ried on to a most glorious perfection, there shall be nothing wanting. And why? Christ ever lives to make Inter­cession. Thus we see what Believers Pray for themselves, Christ Prays with them, presents the same desire before God that they present to him.

PROP. IV. As Christ does intercede for Believers, so it is on the account of His Me­rit, and Mediation, that their Prayers are accepted with God. The Prayers of Be­lievers are very acceptable to God, He takes delight in hearing them. David therefore said, Let my prayer be as incense. Incense was a sweet perfume, very de­lightful to the senses; let my Prayer be so, sayes David. The reason why the Prayers of Believers are so, is because of the much incense that cometh out of the [Page 112] Angels hand. Hence the Prayers of the Saints are so grateful to God: alas! there is many times that in their Prayers which is unsavory, that He might say to them, Your incense is an abomination to me; and threaten them as He did the Jews, I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. God might say so of our Prayers that have so much sinful Infir­mities in them, and in the best of them too: How come they then to be so ac­ceptable to God? It is because of Jesus Christ, He by His Incense does take away the ill savour of our Prayers, and does present to God, that, that is highly plea­sing to Him. It is therefore said, Rev. 5. 8. There were golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of Saints. Golden vials; there were Censers made of Gold that the Incense was put into: the Pray­ers of Saints are very Odoriferous, very pleasing to God. How comes that to pass? It is because Christ Intercedes with them and for them. Christs Intercession will always prevail. Whatever Christ does ask for, it will certainly be granted. Suppose the thing to be never so Mira­culous. Did He not say to Peter, If I [Page 113] would pray to my Father for it, He would presently send an [...] my of Angels to de­send my twelve Disciples: Yea, twelve Ligions of them, as many as made a Ro­men Army, and more if I would but pray for it, Mat. 26. [...]3. And did He not say to God? Joh. 11. 42. I know that thou bearest me always. What Christ does Intercede for it is always accepted with God. That His Intercession is prevalent, and shall be regarded, and answered, is evident from several things.

1. The Intercession of a special favou­rite is regarded. When Esther was high­ly in favour with the King of Persia, he said to her, F [...]th. 5. 3. Queen Esther, what is thy petition, and it shall be granted. Our Lord Jesus Christ is highly in favour with the King of Heaven, the King of all the World, and what He does Intercede for will surely be granted. God never did deny Him any thing, never will deny Him any thing: He is infinitely dear to God, therefore shall not go with a denial. Isai. 42. 1. Behold mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth. The very Soul of God does delight in the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore He will grant what He re­quests.

[Page 114]2. It is evidently so, If we consider the Relation Christ does stand in towards God. Sometimes a faithful Servant has a great interest in his lord, and will be heard in what he requests. We read concerning the Centurion, Luke 7. 2. That he had a Servant sick who was dear to him. Never was any Servant so dear to his Master, as Christ is to God: Christ as Mediator is Gods Servant, and the best and dearest Servant that ever the God of Heaven had; the most Wise, the most Prudent Servant, that ever God had, Isai. 52. 13. Behold my Servant shall deal pru­dently. And He is a most Faithful Ser­vant. It is said of Moses, he was faith­ful to him that appointed him: but Christ is more worthy than Moses. There­fore God did commit to Christ all His Elect. He trusted Him with all His Elect, and Christ did faithfully take care of them all. Joh. 17. 12. Of those thou hast given to me, I have lost none, saith Christ. The Elect of God that are given to Him, He will not lose any One of them. God has trusted Him with them, and He will be faithful. Christ is dear to God, not only as a Servant, but as a Son. We be­hold [Page 115] his glory as the glory of the only begot­ten of the father, Joh. 1. 14. God has ma­ny adopted Sons, but One Own Son, Christ is His only begotten Son. There came a voice from Heaven and that more than once, when our Saviour submitted to Baptism, and when with His Disciples on the holy Mount, He was transfigured, that voice came from Heaven, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. God delights in Him more than in any One else, more than in all the Creatures in the World; all the Angels in Hea­ven are not so dear to God as Jesus Christ is.

3. CHRIST has purchased what He Intercedes for. Purchas'd it with the Price of His own Blood, Heb. 9. 12. He is gone not without blood into the holy Place, He is gone to Heaven with the Merit of His blood, and pleads that before God continually: He has deserved what He asks for. The Altar of Incense had blood Sprinkled upon it, this signifying that Je­sus Christ Intercedes by vertue of His blood. The high Priest after He offered Sacrifice once in a Year, did enter into the holiest of all, and there Sprinkled blood [Page 116] on the mercy seat, teaching us that God is become Merciful to us through Jesus Christ, and that Christ Intercedes on the account of what His blood has Merited; that He desires nothing at the hand of Mercy but what He has Purchased at the hand of Justice. We may then be sure what Christ Intercedes for in behalf of His Elect, shall be graciously answered. For the blood of Christ is Infinitely Me­ritorious, because it is the blood of God: Not the blood of a meer Man, but of One who is God as well as Man. So the Scripture expressly declares to us, Acts 20. 28. The Church of God which he has pur­chased with his own blood. God with His own blood, that is Christ who is God. He is also Man, so was capable of shedding blood, as God Man He has Merited what He has shed His blood for: the blood of Christ has a powerful Voice. We are come to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than the blood of Abel. Abel, his blood cryed for Vengeance, but the blood of Christ cries for Mercy on the behalf of Believers, of those, which this blood by the hand of faith is sprinkled on, it crys and sayes, Let this Sinner be [Page 117] forgiven, notwithstanding all his Sins he has been guilty of, let him be saved E­ternally; then it must needs be so. We [...] then what Christ Intercedes for shall [...] granted. We see the Doctrine cleared [...] opened in the particulars mentioned.

USE, I. We should make sure that we [...] of those for whom Christ does Intercede. Then happy are we, considering Christs Intercession always prevails: and what does He Intercede for? Joh. 17. 17. Sanctifie them through thy truth. That Grace may be given to His Elect. Christ Prays that Sanctifying Grace may be gi­ven to His Elect: And as for Believers who are Sanctified, it is His Prayer that they may be more Sanctified, that more Grace may be given to them. Are not those happy Men, happy Women, concerning whom this is true? Surely they are. Christ Prays that they may be where he is, and He is ascended into Heaven: He is gone to the Father, there­fore gone that He may prepare a Place for them. Christ by His Intercession does prepare a Place in Heaven for all true Believers on His Name. It is true, [Page 118] there are some subjects of Christs Inter­cession that cannot know they are so, Namely, the Elect of God while Uncon­verted; but there are others may know Christ is Interceding for them, Namely, true Believers may know that Christ In­tercedes for them, by their having the Spirit of Prayer; if they have the Spirit of Prayer it is certain Christ does Inter­cede for them. Joh. 14. 16. I will pray the Father and he will send you another comfor­ter, even the spirit of truth. If God has sent his Spirit into our hearts, making Intercession, in us, we may know Christ is Interceding for us before the Throne of God in Heaven. The Apostle says, We know not what to Pray for as we ought, but the Spirit of God maketh In­tercession in us with groans that cannot be uttered, If we have the Spirit of God making Intercession in us, we may believe, we should believe, Christ is In­terceding for us. Indeed Men may practice the duty of Prayer, yet not have the Spirit of Prayer; yea, a Man may have the gift of Prayer, able to Pray an hour or two, yet not have the Spirit of Prayer. Zech. 12. 10. I will pour the spirit of grace and supplication, upon the [Page 119] house of David. If there is a Spirit of supplication, there is Grace wrought in the Soul. The Spirit of Prayer, What is it? It implies a continual Inclination [...] Prayer; a Man that has the Spirit of Prayer, cannot for his Life live without Prayer; if he has been from God a while he cannot be at rest till he go to God a­gain. The Spirit of Prayer makes a Man desire chiefly Spiritual blessings; Nay, [...] God should put him to his choice, Tell Me what thou wouldst have, Earthly or Heavenly good things, He says, Let me have Spiritual blessings; he Prays that God would give His Spirit to him; and will not God give His Spirit to them that ask it? We are sure He will. When a Man does desire that Christs Interest may prevail in the World, rather than any thing else; a Man that seeks in the first place the Kingdom of God, that is the Man that has the Spirit of Prayer, and may know Christ Intercedes for him.

USE, II. The other Use is a word of Encouragement to practise this Duty of Prayer. Seeing we have an Intercessor in Heaven that presents our requests to [Page 120] God, that is encouragement enough to this duty. And what should we pray for We should Pray that the Interest of Christ may prevail in the World. In the Printed Proclamation for this day, We are directed to Pray, That the Interest [...] Christ may prevail all the World over. [...] Christ Intercedes for us, it is most rea­sonable that we should Intercede for His Interest. Psal. 72. 15. It is said concerning Solomon, Prayer shall be made for him con­tinually. Christ is the Solomon there in­tended. Why, are we to Pray for Christ? Certainly He needs none of our Prayers who is blessed for ever; we are not to Pray for His Person, but for His Kingdom, that His Interest may prevail every where; that we are the rather to Pray for, because there are Prophesies i [...] the written word of God that such [...] Day shall come. Dan. 2. 35. The little [...] shall become a great Mountain, and fill the whole Earth. There is a promise of the enlargement of Christs Kingdom, that it shall fill the whole Earth. We should be the more fervent in Prayer for this, because the Time draws on a pace. I don't doubt, but there are some here [Page 121] living will see the beginning of those glorious days, that are Promiss'd concer­ [...]ing the Church of God. We read of Daniel, that when he knew by Books the time for the deliverance from Captivity was at hand, he set himself to Pray with fasting. When we know the Time for the enlargement of Christs Kingdom is [...] hand, wè should set our selves more fervently to Pray that it may be so. And truely if there be a Spirit of Prayer on that account, That will be a blessed sign that the time is near. And it must needs the near, for it is said, When the Seventh [...] shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished. The Mystery of God, is the glorious Kingdom Christ shall pos­ses in this lower World; and it is past doubt, we are come to the close of the Sixth Trumpet. Well then, the Seventh Trumpet will sound in a little time, then behold what is said; it is said, Rev. 11. 15. The Kingdoms of this World are become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever & ever. Therefore let us Pray, that it may be so; we don't know what God may bring out of the present Commotions & Shakings of Na­tions: [Page 122] This we know, before those glori­ous Times come there will be dark and dismal times, terrible shakings of Nati­ons & Kingdoms. The Lord has said, I will shake all Nations, and the desire of all Nations shall come into his Temple. What God will bring out of the present sha­kings, is known to Himself; if there be a Spirit of Prayer, that will cause shakings to be among the Nations. It is said in the Context before us, after the Prayers of the Saints with the much Incense gi­ven, There were Thundrings and Light­nings, & an Earthquake. Some have sup­posed that there was a Notable fulfill­ment of that Scripture, by what was done in the days of the Emperor Theodo­sius, He with his Army was surrounded with Heathen Enemies, before he would give them Battel, He fell down on his Knees at the head of his Army, Prayed earnestly to God to be with him: God sent Thunder & Lightning, and an horrible Tempest, which beat back the Weapons of the Enemies upon themselves, & gave him a glorious Victory: that Victory made a Mighty Revolution in the World. We should Pray then that the true Reli­gion [Page 123] may prevail in the World, because the Kingdom of Christ does consist very much in True Religion. There is but [...] true Religion, the Christian Religion is the only true Religion: in the Christi­an Religion, the Protestant Religion is the only true Religion. As for Papists, they belong to the Kingdom of Antichrist, not to the Kingdom of Christ; they are wicked Idolaters, such if any in the World are Enemies to Christ: We should Pray against that Interest. It is matter [...] humiliation that of late Years the Protestant Religion has been decaying, and the Popish Interest on the growing hand. So in the Palatinate, where for [...] Generations the Prince Palatine was a Protestant, now he is a Papist. In Poland of late there have been severe [...] against all Protestants. In Saxony, that Duke (whose Progenitor was the first Prince that embraced the Protestant Religion) that so he might be capable of being a King of Poland, has renounced the Protestant, and espoused the Popish Religion; and we are informed that this last Year his Son has done the like. We likewise hear that in Hungary, Protestants [Page 124] are Persecuted. Also that those Places which in the late War were taken from the Turks, are put into the hands of Pa­pists, who are worse & more bloody than the Turks. Luther advised the Emperor of Germany, that he should make War rather against the Pope than the Turk, as being the greatest Enemy in the World to the Kingdom of Christ. We ought to Praise God who has given our Nation a Protestant King, whose Ancestors have ever been Protestants. His Royal Grand­Mother famous for her Piety, dyed in Exile for her Religion. His Grand-Fa­ther was deprived of the Kingdom of Bohemia for His being a Protestant. Be­hold how God has rewarded Him, in be­stowing Three Kingdoms on His Grand­Son, our King GEORGE. And this National Mercy is the greater, in that divers of our late Kings were not so. One called Himself a Protestant, that was a Papist: Another renounced the Protestant Religion, and designed to restore Rome a­gain in England. What came of it? Truly the curse of Joshua fell upon him. Joshua cursed the Man that should go to re­build the Walls of Jericho, cursed that [Page 125] Man and His Children. So that King [...] went to build the Romish Jericho, the [...] of JESUS has fallen on him and to his Family, Josh. 6. 26. Since God has given us a Protestant King, we ought to Pray much for Him. It is said of One of the Kings of Persia, when he gave en­couragement to build the Temple, they were to Pray for the Life of the King, and of his Sons, Ezra 6. 10. Thus our King has given encouragement to build the Tem­ple, we should Pray for Him for His Life, and Pray for His Family. And when we Pray for our Nation, shall we not Pray for our selves, for poor distress'd New­England. It is well that we have begun the Year with solemn Prayer. If the Harvest should fail, what a Miserable condition shall we be in? If we have Showers from Heaven, it is God that gives them. God says, Zech. 10. 1. Ask of the Lord rain, and he will give you Showers of Rain. What shall be done that we may be delivered out of the grie­vous distresses upon us? Alas! for the Sins of New-England. Alas! for the Sins of Boston; What unreasonable Oppressi­on is in the midst of us? The Merchant [Page 126] Oppressing the People in the Country, the People in the Country Oppressing the People in Boston: but who does the Op­pression chiefly fall upon? Not so much upon the Rich, as upon the poor; the poor are like to be crushed to death Alas! that there are the Sins of Sodom among us! Many in Boston are guilty of the Sins of Sodom. Is there not Pride? Poor People will go beyond their rank, & beyond their ability, which is a great iniquity, and very provoking to God. Fullness of bread, and of drink, great a­buse that way; Drunkenness is become a common Sin among us. Abundance of Idleness: There is not that Industry a­mong us as ought to be. How many spend their Time in Taverns; if they spent their Time Industrously, they might live comfortably. When as there are too ma­ny, that their Wives & Children are pe­rishing at home, when they are Idling in Taverns or Publick houses. Alas! Sin­ful Boston, dost thou not see, that Poverty is coming on thee like an armed Man, and that many of thy Houses will be for­saken and left desolate. Now the great question is, What shall we do that we [Page 127] may be extricated out of our difficulties? You say, Blessed is the Man that can tell us what should be done. Some say that if an old Law of the Colony were revi­ved, That no Merchant should ask above Four Pence, or Six Pence in the Shilling for what he Sells, that would bring Mo­ney into the Country, and save the Land from ruine. That's a matter out of my Province to meddle with. I have nothing to say about it, but I can tell you of a­nother thing that must be done, and if it be done, God will deliver Boston, and New-England, out of the dismal straights and difficulties that are upon us: The thing to be done is, to Repent and Pray. Don't think Praying alone will do with­out Repentance, without Reforming and Returning to the Lord; but if you do that, I can assure you in His Name, He will deliver you out of your distresses. I will bring you a plain Scripture for it. Jer. 18. 7, 8. At what instant I shall speak concerning a Nation, & concerning a King­dom, to destroy it; if that Nation against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. Well then, let there be [Page 128] that Repenting, that Returning to the Lord that He now expects from us, and we may be sure of it, God will be as good as His Word, and turn from His Anger, and be pleased with us: Only do it with­out delay; don't put it off till hereafter, Remember the words of the Prophet: Zeph. 2. 3. Seek the Lord ye meek of the earth, before the decree bring forth; Seek righteousness, seek meekness, it may be ye shall be bid in the day of the Lords anger. Be in earnest with God. And I will con­clude with the words of a Martyr, Pray, Pray, Pray, never more need than now.


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