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XII. Impediment.

XII. Deluding themfelves with the notion of Chrifl's dying for the Sins of the World. Why should they confider how to be rid of Sin, and lay the Pleafures of Piety before their Eyes? Why should they torment themselves with thinking how God's favour may be purchased, and involve themselves in anxiety and trouble about their tranfgreffions, when Chrift hath done all that is to be done; appeafed his Father's Wrath against the lapfed Progeny of Adam, and purchased them a glorious Freedom from the flavery of a merciless Law? If he hath fatisfied God for the injuries he received by their Sins, why should they make a new fatisfaction by holiness of their Lives? Is not that it, which all Pulpits ring of, That the Eternal died, that we might not die eternally; and that God would fuffer, that we might escape Torments for ever? That the Innocent was punished for the Nocent, the Judge for the Malefactor, the Master for the Servants, the Juft for the Unjuft, the Good for the Bad, that we finned, and he was afflicted; we commited the crime and he was condemned; we trefpaffed,and he was tortured ; we exalted our felves, and he was humbled; we were difobedient; and he fmarted under the reward of difobedience; we did eat of the forbidden Tree, and he endured hunger for it; and we tafted of the Apple, and he of the Gall and Vinegar to expiate all? Is it not this that all Protestant Churches teach? That

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Chrift would be crowned with Thorns, that we might have an incorruptible Crown of Glory hereafter; and that he endured reproach, and calumnies, and contradictions of Sinners against himself, that we might inherit everlasting honour! And why should they difparage Chrift's fufferings fo much, as to hope to gain Heaven by mortification of their Lufts, and poring upon their Sin and Misery? This would be to fall back into Popery, and to enflave our felves again into Superftition. This would be to make us fubject once more to the Law of Works, and to marry us to the Husband, from which we were divor ced by Chrift's giving up the Ghost, even to the Law which neither we, nor our Forefathers were very able to bear. This would be to undervalue fo great a Bleffing, and to tell the World, that Chrift's purchase of eternal Glory for us was. imperfect; and without there be an additon of our own Works and Merit, that Redemption fignifies little, and hath not ftrength enough to compass what was defigned by it?

Thus Men prevent their confideration of Spiritual Concerns, and dafh the checks and motions of their Confciences, when prompted to call their ways to remembrance. They examine not the end of Christ's death, nor their own obligations. They run away with the notion, that Chrift died for them, and are not at all careful to know, what his death fignifies; much like heedlefs Servants, who, before they have half their errand,run away, and when they are come to the place they are fent to, know not what Meffage to deliver. The

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Doctrine is pleafing to their flesh, and that they may not lofe their pleafure, they'll be fure not to enquire what the true meaning of it is.

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Would they but caft their eyes upon that Bible, which they believe contains the Oracles of Hea ven, they would find, that the great reason why Chrift gave himself for us, was to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purifie unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Titus 2. 14. They would find St. Paul was of another mind when he wrote to the Romans, In that Chrift died, he died unto fin once; but in that he lives, he lives unto God: Likewise, Reckon ye alfo your felves to be dead unto fin, but alive unto God through Jefus Christ our Lord. Let not fin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye fhould obey it in the lufts thereof; neither yield ye your members as iuftruments of unrighteousness unto fin,. but yield your felves unto God, as thofe that are alive from the dead, and your members as iuftruments of righteoufnefs unto God, Rom. 6. 10, 11, 12, 13, And that the Apostle is conftant to himself, appears from 2 Cor. 5. 5. Chrift died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves,but unto him which died for them, and rofe again.

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And indeed, this is no more than common gratitude; fo great a Mercy challenges no less than A Reformation and Obedience. For leffer favours Men require far greater things; for relieving a poor wretch, we expect continual attendance; and for giving fuch a Man a Hundred Pounds in his neceffity; we cannot imagine that he will ever be falfe to us. For Twelve pence a Day, a General

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ral expects the Soldier, that fights under him, fhould be true to him; and the day-labourer is chid, if being hired to go into the Vinyard, he doth not perform the work he is fet about with all faithfulness. Doth the Husbandman, that fows good Seed in his Field, look for Tares? Or he that plants a Fig-tree expect Fruit contrary to the nature of the Tree? He that redeems another from Barbarian flavery, doth it fo muchas enter into his thoughts, that: the Wretch can ever be fo inhuman, as to defpife, and fcorn, and vilifie fo great a Benefactore That God could have given Man accefs to his Favour and Reconciliation fome! meaner way, than through the Grofs and Death of Chrift, is very, probable; for what may not infinite Goodness do. What may not the Fountain of Mercy do? What may not he do, whofe Bowels of compaffion furpass the understandings of Men and Angels but it seems he would not. This remedy was his choice,he would pitch upon this ftupendious way, to amaze and astonish Men into holiness and ferioufness. He thought Men could not poffibly avoid being Converts, and heavenly minded when they fhould fee the Son of God wading through Blood and Death to refcue them from Hell. God looked upon the Mercy to be fo dreadful, and the Kindnefs to be fo full of Majefty and Compaffion toge ther, that he thought the incomprehenfibleness of the Favour would carry Terror with it, and fright Men into Repentance and Contrition.

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He thought Men would have fo much sense and modesty in them, as not to rush through ago

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nies and torments, and groans and fobs, and fighs and tears, and wounds, and ftripes, of the Son of God into eternal deftruction. He thought thofe Thorns and Nails that wounded that Sacred Head, would fcratch and fting them into awe and reve rence of fo great a love; as they were rolling into eternal flames. He thought, they must divest themselves of all humanity and felf-love, if under the Cross of Chrift they could pursue their own damnation, and make the ftreams of that Blood a River to carry them into eternal darknefs.

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But thou haft feen, O God, and beholdeft, and canft not but behold it with Sorrow and indignation, how these Men, that pretend to be Chriftians, live the reverse of thy defigns! How they improve the Crofs of Chrift, into affronts of thy power and glory! How, under that Tree of Life, they work out their own death! And how that precious Blood doth but encourage them to bid defiance to Heaven; and the Sweat and the Toil of the Son of God, under the burthen of their Sins, makes them fweat and toil, to fall a prey to the merciless clutches of the Devil! If I had not come, faith Chrift, they had had no fin, i. e. their fin would not have been fo great as now it is, John 15 22. So it is, if the Son of God had not fpilt his Blood, and had Men difobeyed, their Difobedience would have received an ordinary recompence of Reward, but trampling on the Blood of the Son of God, that's a thing which must needs make God's indignation inexpreffible, and aftonithing.

God indeed reconciled the World unto him

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