Imatges de pÓgina

Chap. 4. tisfaction for sin, that it might be allowed ? Did he

vindicate his broken Law at so high a rate, that it might be more broken, and that with Impunity ? 'Tis utterly impossible : those Sufferings of Christ which did witness Gods hatred of Sin, could not open a gap to it: the Surety did not sweat, pray, bleed, and dye under Wrath, that the impenitent sinner might be spared. O how profane and blasphemous is such a thought, which makes the great Redeemer a Patron of iniquity! He came to save us from our sins, not in them; to redeem from iniquity, not to encourage it; What then? where is thy hope, O impenitent sinner? Is it in Gods Mercy? As infinite as it is, it will not let out a drop to the impenitent, neither indeed can it do so, unless, which is impossible, one Attribute can cross another; Mercy can reproach Holiness or Justice. Believe it, Salvation it self cannot save thee in thy sins : Is it in Christ and his Merits? He is the Saviour of the Body, but thou art out of it. He is the Author of eternal Salvation to them that obey him: but thou art a Rebel. May Christ be divided? Canst thou have a part in his Priestly office, who art in Arms daily against his Kingly? Shall the Promises comfort thee, who castest off the Righteous Commands ? It cannot be. What Concord hath Christ with Belial? How ill-suited are an hard heart and a bleeding Saviour? How canst thou trust in that Jesus, whom thou despisest, and crucifiest afresh by thy Rebellions ? or depend on his Merits, when thou livest in enmity against his Divine Spirit and Life? These are meer inconsistencies. Thy case,

Thy case, while


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thou art in thy sins, is very forlorn and despe- Chap. 4. rate. God will be a consuming fire to thee; thy self must be as dry stubble before him ; every lust will be a never-dying worm ; thy soul will furioully reflect upon it felf for its prodigious folly ; abused Mercy will turn into fury. Christ, the great Saviour, will doom thee to perdition; fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest will be rained down upon thee, and that for ever. If then thou hast any fear of God, or love to thy self, cast away thy transgressions, and return to him, that thou mayest escape the Wrath to come, and enjoy the pure beatitudes which are in Heaven.


70 Chap 5

CHAP. v.

Gods Love and Mercy manifested, in that he stood"

not upon the old terms as he might, and in giving his Son for us. The Socinian objeđtion ( That if God loved us, he was not angry ) answered. The earliness and freeness of Gods Love in giving his Son. The greatness of the Gift. The manner how he... was given. The persons for whom. The evils removed, and the good procured by it. The excellent Evangelical" terms built upon it. These are easie and fure. The Love and Mercy of God an excellent Motive to stir up our Love towards God and Man.

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AVING spoken of Gods Justice, I now

proceed to his Love, Mercy, and Grace. These are eminently ascribed to him in Scripture: He is love it self, 1 John 4. 16. essentially such. He is the Father of mercies, 2 Cor. 1. 3. Mercy is his off-spring and joy. He is the God of all grace, 1 Pet. 5. 10. The fountain of it is in him, and all Graces in the Creature issue from thence. Love communicates: good to the Creature. Mercy communicates it to the Creature in misery. Grace communicates it to a Creature, though unworthy. All the drops and measures of goodness in the Creature, are from Love: when the good is suited to the misery of the Creature, 'tis Mercy ; when it exceeds desert, and as it were triumphs over unworthiness, 'tis Grace in a special manner. I shall not discourse of these distinctly, but, as the usage in Scripture is, promiscu-

ously ;..

oully; these are in a very signal manner manifested Chap. 5.
in Christ. So admirable a Glass is he, that not only
Wisdom, Holiness, and Justice are represented in
him ; but Love, Mercy and Grace also. In these it
is that this wonderful Oeconomy terminates. Wisdom
laid the plot, Holiness and Justice appeared in our
Saviours Passion, but the Center of all is Grace and
Mercy. These are highly exalted in the Reconcilia-
tion and Salvation of Men.

The first appearance of these stands in this, That God did not stand upon the first terms, upon the Old Covenant of Works : God made Adam a very knowing and righteous Creature, he gave him excellent Laws, Moral ones inscribed in his heart ; and over and above, one positive Law in the Tree of knowledg: He entred into a Covenant with him, as the head and root of all mankind; the terms were, That all his Posterity should stand or fall in him. He transgressed the Command of God, and so Sin and Death came upon all the humane World. Here God might have stood upon the first terms; he was not bound to make new ones, but might have stood upon the old, and prosecuted them to the utter ruin of all Mankind. This is plain by these Considerations.

1. The Laws given by God to Adam were such, as became God to give, and Adam to receive, very just and righteous. The Moral Ones were congruous to his holy Faculties, and conducible to his Happiness: they were interwoven into his very rational Powers, and Obedience might have come forth in the easiness of his Holy Principles. The positive one was a just one. God, who made Man Lord of


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Chap. 5. the lower World, might well except one Tree, as

a token of his Supreme Soveraignty, when the thing forbidden was not a thing in it self evil, but indifferent. Gods Authority appears the more Sacred; and Mans Obedience would have been the more pure ; the Tree, as lovely to the eyes, was a fit curb to the sensitive appetite. And as a Tree of knowledg was a just restraint to intellectual curiosity, the prohibition of such a Tree was an excellent Item to man to look to both faculties; the terms were just, not only as to himself, but as to his posterity. Had not God made them, he would never have told us, that all finned in one; and that by one, judgment came upon all, Rom. 5.12, & 18. Which, without such terms, would have been impossible; and if he made them, it was no less impossible that they should be unjust. Adam was the root and head of Mankind; we were in him naturally as latent in his loins, and legally as comprised within the Covenant. His Person was the fountain of ours, and his Will the representative of ours. The thing therefore was equal : unjust Laws should be abrogated; but in this case, the Laws and Terms being Righteous, God might have stood strictly upon them.

2. Adam having holy Powers, sufficient for Obedience, was bound to keep them with all diligence : that, which was formaly spoken to the Church in Thyatira, Hold fast that which thou hast, Rev. 2. 25. was virtually.spoken to Adam : Nature dictates, that Duty should be returned where benefits are received. The Law of fidelity requires, that a Trustee should keep the depositum. God intrusted man with excelJent endowments ; but if he will by his transgres

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