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at this day, “ These are the wounds whereby they have wounded me in the house of my friends:" I am wounded in my truths, in my members, in my prerogatives, as the Eternal Son of God, and the supreme King of my church; and yet no due testimony or re. sentment shewed against these wounds and injuries I have received. But while others are injuring and affronting the King of Zion, let all that would be found among his lawful subjects study to put bonour upon him ; by believing in him and trusting in him, particu. larly in his kingly office; trust that he will rule and defend his subjects, and that he will restrain all his and his people's enemies.Oh beloved, he never erred in his administration; and therefore whatever seeming confusions may cast up, yet trust that the wheel in his band shall bring such glory to himself, and such good to his subject, as that it sahll be said of Jacob and of Israel, « What bath God wrought!” Let us put honour upon him, by confessing him with the mouth; " With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This is a day wherein the devil and his emissaries have laid a plot for defaming any profession of Christ and religion. I condemn as much as any a hypocritical profession of Christ and Christianity; but let us not cast away our King's livery, because a secret enemy may put it on, and mingle in among his loyal subjects. Let us put honour upon him by a conscious regard unto all his laws and commandments : and while others are breaking his bonds, and casting away his cords from them, let us say with Joshua, “ As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” by witnessing for him and his cause in our sphere, and by owning a testimony for him. Let us avoid the fellowship and society of those who are the known enemies to the king of Zion, and his cause and interest, whatever be their pretences of friendship: “ O my soul, come not thou into their secret ; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united." It is dangerous to stay in the camp where there is a mutiny and conspiracy against the King and his kingdom, especially when the King's standard is lifted up.
Act the part of faithful soldiers in fighting your King's battles, against sin, Satan, and the world. Fight against sin; this is the grand enemy that Christ came to destroy, and make an end of; and therefore, Wage war against Satan ; for Christ came to bruise his head : “ Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Wage war against the world,” for the friendship of this world is enmity against God; the world was an enemy to Christ, and it will be an enemy to his cause, work, and testiinony to the end." These are the enemies you are to enter the lists with. Then consider the Lord has fought your battles; he entered the lists with sin, Satan and the world, yea, with the wrath of God, and the curse of the law, to the dying of his garments, and the pouring out of his soul unto death. Your King bas gained the victory, he has broken and routed the enemy, and is wearing the victorious palm. His victory
jectsed to con King is act as the standse to
is yours in law, by virtue of the legal and mystical union betwixt you and him; and therefore he calls all his friends to rejoice, and take up the spoils of his victory as their own : hence the apostle cries, " Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” Your King, who is also your leader and commander, he hath given command to“ fight the good fight of faith, to stand fast, to quit yourselves like men and to be strong." All the subjects of Christ are soldiers, while in the church militant, and re. quired to contend in faith, to resist even unto blood, striving against sin.” Your King is a spectator of your behaviour in the field of battle, and sees who act as cowards in his cause, and wbo act the part of valiant soldiers. He stands ready to succour you when the battle is hot, and when you are like to be worsted : “ Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God." The Lord stood with Paul, when all men forsook him. Your Lord and Saviour will sound the retreat in a little time, and call you off the field, to triumph with him in glory; for, “ if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him ; your light afflictions and combats which are but for a moment, work for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Be sure then to have his kingdom and authority established within you, and study to have every thought brought into captivity -unto the king of Zion, and to beware of harbouring any traitor in your own bosom. Can ever that man fight the open battles with ihe external enemies of the King of Zion, who is saying a confedesacy with sin in his bosom? Therefore, give daily battle unto indwelling sin, a body of sin and death, and take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief," " turning you aside from the living God. Make use of your King's armoury, and the weapons of his providing and appointing, if you would fight his battles; “ Above all, taking the shield of faith.” Keep within the sight of your royal King. As we must run our race, so we must fight our battles, “ looking unto Jesus.” A sight of the King of Zion, inspires the soldiers with courage and greatness of spirit :“They looked unto him and were lightened ; and their faces were not ashamed. Consider him who endured the contradiction of sin. ners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." Carry the blood of your King continually along with you, in the hand of faith, especially in the day of battle; for the enemy flees at the sight of it : “ They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” In the time of open war study to know and keep the camp of the King of Zion, and be aware of the camp of the enemy. Where is the King's camp some may be saying, in our divided day, “ Lo it is here," and others, “ Lo, it is there;" " where he feedeth, where he maketh his flocks to rest ?" I reply, it is not always where standeth the GREATEST MULTITUDE; for Christ's Alock is but a little flock. In the days of Elijah it was seven thousand. It is not always with a body of men calling themselves the church of
Christ. For remember, the King's camp is where the King's standard is upheld, not where it is pulled down ; it is where his fock is gathered, and not where they are scattered, borne down and op. pressed; where his glory is most displayed, and not where it is darkened and ob cured. It is where the smell of his garments gladdens the hearts of his subjects. The King's camp may be known by the current of the flood of the old serpent's malice: we read that “the serpent cast out of his mouth waters as a flood, after the woman;" that is, the devil raised a storm of persecution and trouble against the church of Christ, represented by the woman : and “ The dra. gon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” So then if you would know where is the camp of the King of Zion, where his standard is ; you may observe where the weapons of hell are levelled, malice, reproach, persecution of hand or tongue, THERE is the camp of Christ, for be “ fights neither against small nor great, but against the King of Israel,” and bis seed and interest.
O believer, rejoice in the hope of bis heavenly kingdom ; for ere it be long thy King will call thee out of the church militant to the church triumphant; and therefore rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” And io excite your joy, and quicken your long. ings after the heavenly kingdom, where the King of Zion is in person, I will tell you of a few things ye shall then be free of, which are heart-breaking to you while in the church militant on earth. You will be free of all necessities of nature. No need of food when it is dismantled of the body of clay ; and when it is raised again it will be a spiritual body. No need of clothing to cover the shame of our nakedness: for we shall not only be like the bodies of Adam and Eve, but like Christ's glorious body. No need of armour: for then there shall be no enemy: nor of sleep, for " there will be no night ihere.” So then, we shall be free from all imperfections both of soul and body. The infirmities of the body are left in the grave; and as for the soul it is made perfect in holiness ; that which is in part shall be done away. Free from all toil and labour, " they rest from their labours ;" their work shall be their element like the singing of the bird, which is its pleasure. Free from all sorrow : There shall be no more sorrow. We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened. Free from all temptations; the poisoned arrows of the eneiny do not touch the inbabitants of the church triumphant; be is cast out; “ no lion to hurt." Free from all vexing and carking care, whereby we are now tortured. Care wastes the spirits, and ears out the comforts of our life here; but no such thing in the church triumphant; no fear, and therefore no care: no fear of want where all things will be enjoyed. Free of all doubts of the love of God; none saying, “ where is thy former loving.kindness ?” We shall be in the embraces of our King for ever, wrapt up in his arms and bosom. Free of the society of ihe wicked world. Christ's lily is now among the thorns, but in the church triumphant there is no more pricking briars in all God's field; Christ will thoroughly purge his floor. Free from all divisions ; the saddest thing in the church militant is the division among those that are really gracious. The divisions between the godly and wicked are not so afflicting as the divisions among saints. But this shall be done away then, then tbey will be all one in the Lord, and all their jealousies and censures of one another will be at an end. Free of all distraction and wandering of spirit in the worship of God; now the heart will be fixed on Gud for ever. Let these things excite you to long for the day of everlasting vision above.
To the Editors of the Gospel Magazine.
THE DECREE AND COUNSEL OF GOD. Dear Sirs, In the powerful efficiency of God, the decree of God obtaineth the first place, because the manner of working of all being most perfect, doth chiefly agree to the Divine nature. The decrees of God are his determinate purpose of effecting all things by his Almighty power, and according to his counsel, Eph. i. 11. He doth all things according to the counsel of his own will. In the decree of God there appeareth his constancy, truth and faithfulness. Constancy is that whereby the decree always remains immutable. Num. xxiii. 23.-The strong God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent. Prov. xix. 21.-The counsel of the Lord it shall stand. Truth, is that whereby he declares that alone which he hath decreed. Jer. 8. 13.-Jehovah is a God of truth. Rom. iii. 4.-Let God be true and every man a liar. For although his word may seem sometimes to sound another thing, yet the sense of them doth always agree with the decree. Faithfulness, is that whereby he effects that which he hath decreed, and as he hath decreed. Isaiah xlvi. 10.- My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Every decree of God is eternal, 1 Cor. ii. 7.—But we speak the wisdom of God in mystery, even the bid. den wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory. Acts xv. 18. To this decree of God pertaineth counsel, Eph. i. 11. Acts iv. 28. The counsel of God is as it were his deliberation con. cerning lhe doing of every thing in the best manner after that it is of the understanding and will approved. Counsel is given to God in respect of perfect judgment whereby he doth all things ad. visedly, willingly, and of a set purpose; not in respect of any inquisition upon which such a judgment doth depend as men, for God seeth and willeth all and every thing together. Therefore, it is called as it were deliberation, not deliberation properly so called. Three things concur to the perfection of this counsel. First, A scope or end propounded. Second, a conceipt of the mind tending
towards that mind. Third, An intention or well-pleasing ness of the will.
The scope or end of this counsel is the glory of God himself, that is, that goodness or perfection of God which is made manifest by his efficiency, and shines forth in his works. Eph. i. 6.-To the praise of his glorious grace. In every artificer, or one that works by counsel outwardly, there is a platform beforehand in the mind, which when he is about to work he looks into, that he may fit his work to it; so also in God, seeing he worketh not naturally, nor rashly, nor by constraint, but with greatest perfection of reason, such a platform is to be conceived to pre-exist before in his mind, aj the exemplary cause of all things to be done. Heb. xi. 3. Those things we see were made of things that do not appear. The platform of all things is the Divine Essence, as it is understood of God himself as is suitable to the creatures, or so as in some sort the image of that perfection, or some footsteps thereof may be expressed in the creatures: that is, the creatures themselves as they are conceived in the mind of God are the platform or image of that nature which they have in themselves; a platform in the mind of men who attain to knowledge by analysis or resolution as collected of things themselves: and so things are first in themselves, then they come into the senses of men, and then to the understanding, here they make some idea to direct the following operation ; but because God' un. derstandeth all things by composition, and doth not require knowledge by analysis or resolution of things, therefore all things are first in his mind before they are in themselves. In us, the things themselves are the example, platform, or copy, and our knowledge is the image ; but in God, the Divine knowledge is the copy or platform, and the things themselves the image or express likeness of it. An idea in man is first imprinted, and afterwards expressed, properly, not impressed, because it doth not come from any other thing.
From this one foundation may all errors of merits and foreseen faith be sufficiently refuted; for if any decree of God should depend properly on such foresight, then the idea of God should come to him from something else, which doth in no wise agree with his nature. The idea or platform as it is absolutely considered in God is only one, but as it includes divers respects to the creature, it becomes manifold ; so that it is true that the idea of one creature is not the islea of another. There are in God platforms of all perfections, which are in the creatures, because they proceed from the active power of God; but not of imperfections, if they be formally considered as imperfections. Therefore, the knowledge of evil depends upon the denying of God, as the being of evil consists in privation of good, for every thing as it hath its being, so it is known -ideas as they are many, so some of them are knit together among themselves, and depend one upon another, whence also a certain order ariseth of former and latter ideas, as they are considered going