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DISCOURSE I. Stating the Notion of the Chri
stian Salvation, and shewing it chiefly to consist in a deliverance from our Sins.
On Matt. 1.21. Thou shalt call his
Name Jesus : For he shall save his
INCE all men, who make any
Pretence to Sobriety and Religion, profess themselves moft ear
nestly desirous of Salvation ; and the great Errand of our blessed Lord into the world was to purchase it, and make a tender of it to them ; it may well seem strange to us, as once it did to the Apostles, that yet for all this, there are but few wbo shall be saved. For the far greater number of the Christian world, are impenitently wicked';
they live all their days in a course of Sin, and die without amendment ; and such men the Scripture assures us, in the last Judgment will not be forgiven : so, that notwithstanding all the noise that is made about Salvation, the greatest part have very little, or no share in it; it is but seldom found, tho’ it be often talked of, and the generality of men seem to be as far from it, as if the Gospel had never come abroad to bring them to it.
Now one chief Reason, why so many men do at last miss of Salvation, after they have put forth such eager desires, and spent such zealous Pains upon it is because they mistake its Nature, and understand not truly wherein it doth confift. They take it to be something else than what it is, and so are apt usually to hope well of it, and, to think they have attained to it, when as, alas! they are yet in a lost state, and at a very great distance from it; for altho' that Salvation which Christ dearly purchased, and which the Gospel comes to promote in us, be a Salvation from fin, as we shall see presently; yet that which men ordinarily talk off, and expect by. him is nothing less. They think to be pardon'd without Obedience, and to be
saved from Punishment, whilst they per-
To prevent or redress such dangerous
First, To represent to you what that
Secondly, To note some particular
First, I shall represent to you what that Salvation is, which Christ has purchas'd for us.
To save, is, to deliver from evil and danger; and may be extended to as many evils, as men may be delivered from. Thus every
where in David's Pfalms, * Pfal. 37. the Deliverance of the righteous out of 37. A&t. afflictions and troubles, is called * his 27:31.
2 King.13 Salvation; and Gideon is said to have sa
ved Israel when he rescued them out of the hands of the Midianites, Jud. 6. 14.
Now as for those evils which Christ came to save us from, in our Deliverance from which consists our Christian Salvation, they are not the temporal evils and afflictions of this Life. His Kingdom was not of this world ; nor is his Protection always from the evils of it; he himself was a man of sorrows, and his Church must expect to be like him, and to live under Perfecutions. But they are,
First, Our fins; and consequent upon them,
Secondly, These eternal Punishments, which are due unto us for them Upon these accounts it is, that he is Christ the Saviour ; he shall be called Jesus, or a Saviour faith the Angel, because he shall save his people from their fins.
As for the latter of these, viz. the Deliverance from eternal Death, and Helltorments, which are the Punilhment that is due unto our Sins ; this Christ has undoubtedly purchased for all those that are his. . There remains ' no Condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ;
faith the Apostle, Rom. 8. 1. but they are passed over from death unto life, Joh. 5.24. God who should in anger exact those Punishments, is reconciled to them by the death of his Son, Rom. 5. 10. so that now they are no longer under his severity as an offended Lord, but can · look upon him as their Protector, and Patron, having received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby they can call him Abba, i. e. Father, Rom. 8..15.
And as for this Deliverance, from the worm of Conscience, and Pangs of Soul, from the eternal Pains of Hell, and the Horrors of Darkness, we are generally apt to think it a Deliverance indeed, and such as we have all great need of; for who is willing to live with everlasting burnings ? Who would be content to roar in never ending Tortures ? There is no man who believes there is such a place as Hell, but whenfoever he seriously considers of it, most 'earnestly desires to be secured from it ; and therefore among all those, who are not Atheistical or desperately loose and-inconsiderate, we see there are few or none, who will not make some profession and perform fome outward and easie Acts of Religion, that thereby they may quiet