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even since his eyes were opened, he has been guilty of many actual fins, either altogether overlooked by him, or not fufficiently mourned over: (For spiritual sores, not healed by the blood of Éhrist, but skinned over fome other way, are easily ruffled, and as soon break out again.). And therefore the law takes him by the throat, saying, Pay what thou owest.
Sixthly, Then the finner says in his heart, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all : and so falls to work to pacify an offended God, and to atone for these fins. He renews his repentance, such as it is ; bears patiently the afflictions laid upon him; yea, he afflicts himfelf, denies himfelf the use of his lawful comforts, sighs deeply, mourns bitterly, cries with tears for a pardon, till he hath wrought up his heart to a conceit of having obtained it ; having thus done penánce for what is paft, and resolving to be a good servant to God, and to hold on in outward and inward obedience, for the time to come. But the stroke must go nearer the heart yet, ere the branch fall off. The Lord discovers to him, in the glass of the law, how he sinneth in all he does, even when he does the best he can; and therefore the dreadful sound returns to his ears, Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, &c. When ye fafted and mourned, faith the Lord, Did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? Will muddy water make clean clothes? Will you satisfy for one sin with another? Did not your thoughts wander in such a duty? Were not your affections flat in another? Did not your heart give a whorish look to fuch an idol? - And did it not rise in a fit of impatience under such an affliction? Should I accept this of your hands? Cursed he the deceiver, which Sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing, Mal. i. 13, 14. Avid thus he becomes so far broke off, that he sees he is not able to satisfy the demands of the law.
Seventhly, Hence, like a broken man, who finds he is not able to pay all his debts, he goes about to compound with his creditor . And being in pursuit of ease and comfort, he does what he can to fulfil the law; and wherein he fails, he looks that God will accept the will for the deelt. Thus doing his duty, and having a will to do better, he cheats himself in a persuasion of the goodness of his state: and hereby thousands are ruined But the elect get another stroke, which looseth their hold in this case. The doctrine of the law is born in on their consciences; demonstrating to them, that exact and perfect obedience is required by it, under pain of the curse: and that it is doing, and not wishing to do, which will avail. Wishing to do better will not answer the law's demands: and therefore the curse sounds again, Gurfed is every one that continueth not-to do them; that is, actually tó do them. In vain is wishing then.
Eighthly, Being broken off from hopes of compounding with the law, he falls a-borrowing. He sees that all he can do to obey the law, and all his desires to be, and to do better, will not save his soul tlicrefore lie goes to Christ, intreating, that his righteousness may
make up what is wanting in his own, and cover all the defects of his doings and sufferings; that so God, for Christ's fake, may accept them, and thereupon be reconciled. Thus doing what he can to fulfil the law, and looking to Christ to make up all his defects, he comes at length, again to sleep in a sound skin. Many persons are ruined this way. This was the error of the Galatians, which Paul, in his epistle to them, disputes against. But the Spirit of God breaks off the finner from this hold also: -by bearing in on his conscience that great truth, Gal. iii.' 12. The law is not of faith; but the man that doth them, Whall live in them. There is no mixing of the law and faith in this business; the finner mast hold by one of them, and let the other go: the way of the law, and the way of faith, are so far different, that it is not possible for a sinner to walk in the one, but he must come off from the other : and if he be for doing, he must do all alone'; Christ will not do a part for him, if he do not all. A garment pieced up of fundry forts of righteousness, is not a garment meet for the court of heaven. Thus the man, who was in a dream, and thought he was eating, is awakened by the stroke, and behold his soul is faint; his heart links in him like a stone; while he finds he can neither bear his burden himself alone, nor can he get help under it.
Ninthly, What can one do, who must needs pay, and yet neither has as much of his own as will bring him out of debt, nor can he get as much to borrow; and te beg he is ashamed? What can such a one do, I say, but fell himself, as the man under the law, that was waxen poor. Lev. xxv. 47. Therefore the sinner beat off fronı so many holds, goes about to make a bargain with Christ, and to fell himself to the Son of God, (if I may fo fpeak) folemnly promising and vowing, that he will be a servant to Christ, as long as he lives, if he will save. ( his soul. And here oft-times the sinner makes a personal covenant with Christ, religning himself to him on these terms ; yea, and takes the facrament, to make the bargain sure. Hereupon the man's great care is, how to obey Chrilt, keep his commands, and so fulfil his bargain. And, in this the foul finds a false, unsound peace, for a while; till the Spirit of the Lord fetch another stroke, to cut off the man from this refuge of lies likewise. And that happens in this manner: When he fails of the duties he engaged, to, and falls again into the sin he covenanted against; it is powerfully carried home on his conscience, that his covenant is broken: so all his confort goes, and terrors afrelh seize on his foul, as one that has broken covenant with Christ, and commonly the man, to help himself, renews his covenant, but breaks again as before. And how is it possible it thould be otherwise, seeing he is still
the old stock? Thus the work of many, all their days, as to their Touls, is nothing but a making and breaking such covenants, over and over again.
Object. Some, perhaps, will say,“ Who liveth and foneth not? " Who is there that faileth not of the duties he is engaged to ? If you reject this way as unsound, who then can be laved?”—
are the branches. "As the sap comes from the earth into the root and stock, and from thence is diffused into the branches; so by Christ, as Mediator, divise life is conveyed froin the fountain unto these who are united to him by faith, John vi 57 As the living Father hath seni me, and I live by the Father: So he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. Now Cbrift is Mediator, not as God only, as fonie have afferied: nor yet as man only, as the Papifts gènerally hold: but he is Mediator as God-man, Acts xx. 28 - The church of God, which he hath purchased with his blood. Heb ix 14. Chrift, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himjelf without spot is Cod. The divine and human natures have'their distinct actings, yet a joint operation in this, discharging the office of a Mediator. This is illustrated by the similitude of a fiery sword, which at once cuts and burns: cutting it burneth, and burning it cutreth; the Steel cuts, and the fire burns. Wherefore Chrif, God-man, is the stock, whereof believers are the branches: and they are united to whole Christ. They are united to him in his human nature, as being members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, Eph. v. 30. and
they are united to him in his divine nature ; for fo the Apestle į speaks of tbis union, Col.i. 27. Cbrift, in you, the hope of glory. And
by him they are united to the Father, and to the Holy Ghoft, 1 John iv. 15. Whosoever sball confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Faith, the bond of this union, receives whole Christ, God-man: and so upites us to him as such.
Behold here, I believers, your bigla privilege. Ye were once branches of a degenerate stock, even as others: but ye are by grace, become branches of the true Vine, John xv. I.
cut out of a dead and killing stock; and ingrafted in the last Adam, who was made a quickning Spirit, 1 Cor. xv.45. Your loss by the first Adam is made up, with great advantage, by your union with the second. Adam, at his belt efcate, was but a fhrub, in comparison with Christ the tree of life. He was but a servant, Christ is the Son, the Heir, and Lord of all things, the Lord from heaven. It cannot be denied, that grace was town in the first covenant: but it is as far exceeded by the grace of the second covenant, as the twilight' is, by the light of the mid-day.
III. What branches are taken out of the natural pock, and grafced into this Vine? Anf These are the elect, and none other. They, and they only, are grafted into Chrift; and consequently none but they are cut off from the killing stock. For them alone he interceeds, that they may be ene in him, and his father, John xvii: 9,23. Faith, the bond of this union, is given to none else : it is the faith of God's clecl, Tit. i. 1. The Lord paffed by many branches growing on the natural stock, and cuts off only here one, and there one, and grafts them into the true Vine, according as free love lrath determined. Oft does he pitch upon the most unlikely branch, leaving the top-boughs ; paling by the mighty, and the
noble, and calling the weak, base, and despised, 1 Cor. i. 26, 27. Yes, ke often leaves the fair and smooth, and takes the rugged and knotty, and such were fome of you, but ye are wafned, &c. 1 Cor. vi 11. If ye enquire, wby so? We find no other reason but because they were chosen in him, Eph. i.4. Predestinated to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, ver. 5. Thus are ihey gathered together in Christ: while the rest are left growing on their natural stock, to be after.' wards bound up in bundles for the fire. Wherefore, to whomsoever the gospel may come in vain, it will have a blest effect on God's elect, Acts xiii, 48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed! Where the Lord has much people, the gospel will have much fuccess, fooner or latter Such as are to be saved, will be added to the mystical body of Christ.
How the branches are taken out of the natural Stock, and ingrafted
into the supernatural Stock.
IV. I am to shew how the branches are cut off from the natural stock, the firtt Adam, and grafted into the true Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks to the husbandman, not to the branch, that it is cut off froin its natural flock, and ingrafted into a new one. The finner, in his coming off froni the first stock, is passive; and neither can nor will come off from it of his own accord; buc clings to it, till almighty power make him to fall off, John vi. 44. No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw bim. And chap. v.40. Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. The ingrafted branches are God's husbandry, i Cor. iii. 9 The planting of the Lord, Isa. Ixi. 3. The ordinary means he makes use of in this work, is the miniltry of the word, 1 Cor. iii 9 We are labourers together with God. But the efficacy thereof is wholly from him, whatever the minister's part or piecy be, ver. 7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth: but God that giveth the increase. The Apostle preached to the Jews, yet the body of that people remained in infidelity, Rom. 8. 16. Who hath believed our report? Yea, Christ himself, who spoke as never man spoke, faith concerning the success of his own ministry, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, Ila. xlix. The branches may be hacked by the preaching of the word: but the stroke will never go through, till it be carried home on them, by an omnipotent arm. However God's ordinary way is, by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe, i Cor. i. 21.
The cutting off of the branch from the natural stock, is performed by the prunning knife of the law, in the hand of the Spirit of God, Gal. ii. 19. For 1, through the law, am dead to the law. "It is by the bond of the covenant of works, as I said before, that we are knit to our natural stock; and therefore, as a wife, unwilling to be put away, pleads and hangs by the marriage cie; so do men by the
covenant of works. They hold by it, like the man who held the thip with his hands; and when one hand was cut off, held it with the other; and when both were cut off, held it with his teeth. This will appear from a distinct view of the Lord's work on men, in bring. ing them off from the old stock; which I now offer in these following particulars.
First, When the Spirit of the Lord' comes to deal with a person, to bring him to Christ; he finds him in Laodicea's cafe, iir a found sleep of security, dreaming of heaven, and the favour of God, tho’ full of fin against the holy One of Israel. Rev. iii. 17. Thou knowejt nas that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and bind, and naked. And therefore he darts in fome beams of light into the dark foul ; and lets the man see he is a lost man, if he tittn not over a new leaf, and betake himlelf to a new course of life. Thus by the Spirit of the Lord, acting as a Jpirit of bondage, there is a criminal court erected in the man's brealt; where he is arraigned, accused, and condemned for breaking the law of God, convinced of sin and judgment, John xvi. 8. And now he can no longer sleep securely in his former course of life. This is the first ftruke the branch gets, in order to cutting off.
Secordly, Hereupon the man forsakes his for:ner profane courses ; his lying, fwearing, Sabbath-breaking, stealing, and such like practices, though they be dear to him as riglit eyes, he will rather quit them, that ruin his soul. The ship is like to fink, and therefore he throweth his goods over-board, that he himself may not perish. And now he begins to bless himself in his heart, and look joyfully on his evidences for heaven; thinking himself a better fervant to God than many others, Luke xviii. il. God, I thane the I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, &c. But he soon gets another stroke with the ax of the law, shewing him that it is only he that doth what is written in the law, who can be saved by it; and that his negative holiness is too scanty a cover from the itorm of God's wrath. And thus, although his fins of commission only were heavy on him before: his fins of omiffion now crowd into his thoughts, attended with a train of law-curses and vengeance. And each of the ten commands discharges thunder-claps of wrath against him, for his omitting required duties.
Thirdy, Upon this he turns to a positively holy ccurse of life. He not only is not profane, but he perforins religious duries: he prays, seeks the knowledge of the principles of religion, strictly observes the Lord's day, and, like Herod, does many things, and hears fermons gladly. In one word, there is a great conformity in his outward conversation, to the letter of both tables of the law. And now there is a mighty change upon the man, that his neighbours camot miss to take notice of. Hence he is cheerfully admitted by the godly into their society, as a praying person, and can confer with them about religious matters, yea, and about foul-exercis, which some are not acquainted with. And their good opinion of him confirms his good