صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
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mife, nor any witness or feal of the Spirit, t
his propriety in Chrift; for he never feals, \.
fanctifies. So that it is beyond all contradicti
and none but believers, are partakers of the
are in Chrift Jefus.

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Fourthly, and lastly, There is one inquiry r tisfied; namely, feeing Jefus Chrift is confolati how it comes to pafs, that fo many believers in the world fhould walk fo dejectedly as they do, without any fpiritual confola



First, This need not be wonder'd at, if we confider, that the confolations of Chrift are of two forts; feminal and in preparation, or actual in prefent poffeffion. Every believer in the world hath the root and feed of comfort planted and sown for him, Pfal. xcvii. 11. "Light is fown for the righteous, and "gladness for the upright in heart." They have Chrift and the promises, which are the feeds of confolation, and will bring forth joy at last, though at present they have have no actual confolation; the feed of all joy is fown, and in due time they shall reap the full ripe fruit thereof,

Secondly, It must be remembered, that intereft and evidence ́are diftinct blefings, every believer hath interest in Chrift; but every believer hath not the evidence thereof, Ifa. 1. 10." Who "is among you, that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice

of his fervant; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?" Every child of God is not of fufficient age to know his father, or take comfort in that blessed inheritance whereunto he is begotten again, I Pet. i. 3, 4.

Thirdly, Every believer doth not walk with like ftrictness, and exact holiness: all do not exercise faith in a like degree. Among Chriftians fome are strong in grace, rich in faith, frict in obedience, tender of fin to an eminent degree; these usually are owners of much confolation: but others are weak in grace, poor in faith, comparatively careless of their hearts and ways, frequently grieving the good spirit of God, and wounding their own confciences (the veffel into which spiritual confolation is poured); and these are ufually denied the joy and comfort which others abound withal.

Fourthly, The confolations of Chrift are arbitrarily difpenfed by the Spirit, who is the Comforter, and giveth to every man in fuch proportions, and at such seasons, as pleafeth him: whence it comes to pass, that he that is rich in comfort to day, may be poor to morrow; and, contrarily, the heart that is quite full of forrow one hour, is filled with peace and joy in believing the

Firft, gs that are neceffary to the being of a Chriftian, are, foul the table; but things belonging only to the well-being Du hriftian, come and go, according to the good pleasure and pointment of the Spirit. The ufe of all follows.

Infer. 1. Hence it follows, That the fate of unbelivers is the moft fad and uncomfortable fiate in the world, having no intereft in Chrift, the confolation of Ifrael. It is true, they abound in creature-comforts; they live in pleasure upon earth: joy dif plays its colours in their faces; but for all this, there is not the leaft drop of true confolation in any of their hearts; they have fume comfort in the creature, but none in Chrift: that little they gather from the creature now, is all their portion of joy, Luke vi. 24. "Ye have received your confolation:" as this is all they have, fo they fhall enjoy it but a little while, Job xxi. 13, 17. And while they do enjoy it, it is mixed with many gripes of confcience, Job xiv. 13. "Even in laughter the heart is for


rowful, and the end of that mirth is heavinefs." Whate ver confolation any unbeliever speaks of befides this, is but by rote; for when the day of his diftrefs cometh, and the terrors of confcience fhall awake him out of his pleafant dreams, all his fenfual joys will vanish from him, and the doors of true con folation will be fhut against him. Let him go to Jefus Chrift, knock at that door, and fay, Lord Jefus, thy name is confo lation my heart is ready to burst within me; haft thou no confolation for me? O Lord, for one drop of fpiritual comfort now; but alas there is none, no not in Chrift himself, for any unbeliever. It is childrens bread, the faints privilege; comfort and grace are undivided. Let him return into himself, fearch his own confcience for comfort, and fay, O confcience! thou 'art more than a thousand witneffes, and thousands have been comforted by thee; where thou speakeft comfort, none can fpeak trouble; haft thou no confolation for me in my deepest diftrefs? Alas, no; if God condemn thee, wherewithal fhall I 'comfort thee? I can speak neither more nor less than the fcrip tures put into my mouth, and I find not one word in all the book of God, warranting me to be thy comforter. Believe it as an undoubted truth (though the fenfe of the bewitched world o ver-rules it) that the flate of unbelievers, even at the best, is a fad and difmal state.

Infer. 2. Let all believers fetch all their comfort out of Chrift, who is the confolation of his people: "We rejoice (faith the apo

file) in Chrift Jefus, and have no confidence in the flesh." That is the true temper of a believing foul: take heed you live not partly upon Chrift, and partly upon the creature for your

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comfort; much rather beware, that you forfake not Chrift, the.
fountain of living waters, and hew out cilterns for yourselves
which can hold no water, Jer. ii. 13. If you make any creature
the spring and fountain of your comfort, affuredly God will dry
up that fpring. If your fouls draw their comfort from any
creature, you know they must out-live that creature, and what
then will you do for comfort? Befides, as your comforts are,
fo are you. The food of every creature is fuitable to its nature.
You fee divers creatures feeding upon several parts of the fame
herb, the bee upon the flower, the bird upon the feeds, the
sheep upon the stalk, and the fwine upon the root, according to
their nature fo is their food. Senfual men feed upon fenfual
things, fpiritual men upon fpiritual things; as your food is, fo
are you.
If carnal comforts can content thy heart, fure thy
heart must then be a very carnal heart. Yea, and let Christians
themselves take heed, that they fetch not their confolations out
of themselves inftead of Chrift. Your graces and duties are ex-
cellent means and inftruments, but not the ground-work and
foundation of your comfort, they are useful buckets to draw,
but not the well itself in which the fprings of confolation rife.
If you put your duties in the room of Chrift, Christ will put
your comforts out of the reach of your duties.

Iafer. 3. If Chrift be the confolation of believers, what a comfortable life fhould all believers live in the world? Certainly, if the fault be not your own, you might live the happiest and comfortableft lives of all men in the world. If you would not be a difcomfort to Chrift, he would be a comfort to you every day, and in every condition, to the end of your lives. Your condition abounds with all the helps and advantages of confolation. You have the command of Chrift to warrant your comforts, Phil. iv. 4. You have the Spirit of Chrift for a spring of comfort; you have the fcriptures of Chrift for the rules of comfort; you have the duties of religion for the means of comfort: Why is it then that you go comfortlefs? If your afflictions be many in the world, yet your encouragements be more in Christ. Your troubles in the world may be turned into joy, but your comforts in Chrift can never be turned into trouble. Why should troubles obftruct your comfort, when the bleffing of Christ upon your troubles makes them fubfervient to promote your happinefs? Rom. viii. 23. Shake off the despon dency then, and live up to the principles of religion. Your de`jected life is uncomfortable to yourselves, and of very ill use to others.

Iufer. 4. If Chrift be the confolation of believers, then let all

that defire comfort in this world, or in that to come, embrace Jefus Chrift, and get real union with him. The fame hour you fhall be in Chrift, you shall alfo be at the fountain-head of all confolations: thy foul fhall be then a pardoned foul, and a pardoned foul hath all reason in the world to be a joyful foul: in that day the confcience fhall be fprinkled with the blood of Chrift; and a sprinkled confcience hath all the reason in the world to be a comforting confcience: in that day you become the children of your Father in heaven, and he that hath a Father in heaven, hath all reafon to be the joyfulleft man upon earth; in that day you are delivered from the fting and hurt of death; and he that is delivered from the fting of death, hath the best reafon to take in the comfort of life. O come to Christ! come to Chrift! till you come to Chrift, no true com. fort can come to you.




Enforcing the general Exhortation, by a feventh Motive drawn from the first Benefit purchased by CHRIST.

EPH. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of fins, according to the riches of his grace.


IX great motives have been presented already from the ti tles of Chrift, to draw the hearts of finners to him; more are now to be offered from the benefits redounding to believers by Chrift; effaying, by all means, to win the hearts of men to Christ. To this end I fhall, in the firft place, open that glorious privilege of gofpel-remiffion, freely and fully conferred upon all that come to Chrift by faith, "in whom we have redemption by "faith," &c.

In which words we have, firft, a fingular benefit, or choice mercy bestowed, viz. redemption, interpreted by way of appofi tion, the remiffion of fins this is a privilege of the first rank, a mercy by itself; none fweeter, none more defirable among the benefits that come by Chrift. And therefore,


Secondly, You have the price of this mercy, an account what it coft, even the blood of Chrift, in whom we have redemption [through his blood :] precious things are of great price; the blood of Chrift is the meritorious caufe of remiffion.

Thirdly, You have here alfo the impulfive cause, moving God

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to grant pardons at this rate to finners, and that is faid to be the riches of his grace: where, by the way, you fee, that the freeness of the grace of God, and the fulness of the fatisfaction of Chrift, meet together without the leaft jar in the remiffion of fin, contrary to the vain cavil of the Socinian adverfaries: "In "whom we have redemption, even the remiffion of fins, ac"cording to the riches of his grace."

Fourthly, You have the qualified fubjects of this blessed privilege, viz. Believers, in whose name he here fpeaks, [we] have remiffion, (i e.) We the faints and faithful in Chrift - Jefus, ver. 1. We whom he hath chofen in Chrift before the foun dation of the world, and predeftinated unto the adoption of children, ver. 4, 5. We that are made accepted in the beloved, ver. 6. It is we, and we only, who have redemption through his blood. Hence obferve,

Doct. That all believers, and none but believers, receive the remiffion of their fins, through the riches of grace, by the blood of Jefus Chrift.

In the explication of this point, three things must be spoken


1. That all that are in Christ, are in a pardoned state.

2. That their pardon is the purchase of the blood of Chrift. 3. That the riches of grace are manifested in remission. First, That all that are in Chrift, are in a pardoned state : where I will firft fhew you what pardon or remiffion of fin is. Secondly, That this is the privilege of none but believers.

First, Now remiffion of fin is the gracious act of God, in and through Chrift, discharging a believing finner from all the guilt and punishment of his fin, both temporal and eternal.

It is the act of God; he is the author of remiffion; none can forgive fins but God only, Mark ii. 7. Against him only, (i, e.) principally and especially, the offence is committed, Pfal. li. 4. To his judgment guilt binds over the foul; and who can remit the debt, but the creditor? Mat. vi. 12.

It is an act of God, discharging the finner; it is God's loofing of one that stood bound, the cancelling of his bond or obligation, called therefore remiffion, or releafing in the text; the blotting out of our iniquities, or the removing of our fins from us, as it is called in other fcriptures; fee Pfal. ciii. 11. Micah vii. 18, 19.


It is a gracious act of God, the effect of pure grace, done for his own name's fake, Ifa. xliii. 25. difcharging us without any fatisfaction at all by us: there is much grace in that; and proVOL. II.

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