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laid upon this bleffed foundation, Ged fays, From this day will I bless you.

VII. The feventh thing propofed, was the application of the fubject. And this we fhall effay in an ufe of information, examination, and exhortation.

ift, We fhall improve this subject in an use of information. Well then, Is it fo, that all faving bleflings do actually commence from the day that the foundation of the fpiritual temple is actually laid? Then hence fee,

1. What a fearfully curfed ftate and condition we are all into, by nature; lying under the curfed rubbish, the old building, the covenant of works. When our greatgrand-father, Adam, eat the forbidden fruit, the fabric of the old covenant fell down, and the foundation thereof was overturned; and fo great was the fall thereof, that he and all his pofterity are buried under the ruins thereof; that is, under a heap of fins, miferies, plagues, deaths, and damnation: for, on that day that the covenant of works was broken, curfes did commence; and curfed is every one that is yet in a natural fiate, and under the covenant of works, as all are, that are out of Chrift; for no faving bleffing commences, till the new foundation be laid. Oh! the curfed ftate of unbeliev ers, and all that are out of Chrift! As the bleffings commence from the day of union with the fecond Adam, Chrift Jefus; fo, the curfe continues as long as you are unite to the firft Adam, and upon an old-covenant bottom. Alas! how great is the folly of multitudes, befides. the openly profane, that flatter themselves as if they were bleffed! And why? They think they are good, honeft folk, and good livers, as they call them; they perform many good duties, and fo they doubt not but God will thereupon blefs them. But, I must tell you, in the' name of the great God, that you are under the great curfe of this almighty God, as long as the foundation of the fpiritual temple is not laid; and as long as you know not, what it is to be brought off from the old-covenant foundation you may, indeed, deceive yourselves and the world, by thinking that you are Chriftians good enough, like neighbour and other; but God knows the blaf


blafphemy of these that fay they are Jews, and are not; that fay they are Christians, and are not; but are the fynagogue of Satan, the temple of the devil, and not of God. And as you blafpheme God, by thinking your religion is good enough, while God's word declares the contrary; fo God curfes you, and all his attributes are against you; for, out of Chrift, he is a confuming fire; in him only he is well-pleafed and therefore, while you are out of him, he is neither pleafed with your perfons nor duties. If your work be only the repairing the fabric of the old covenant of works, thinking to please and fatisfy God's juftice, and fulfil God's law by your duties, that you may live thereby; I must tell you, that unless your perfon was as innocent as Adam's before the fall, and your obedience fo perfect as never to have finned in thought, word, or deed, all your days, but lived up to the law, in its moft full and fpiritual extent; fay, unless it be thus with you, which is fimply impoffible, of any of Adam's finful race, I mult tell you, that you are fo far from being God's people, or in God's favour, by your beft duties, that all the people of God are obliged to fay, That God is in the right to curfe you; they are obliged to fay Amen to all the curfes of the Bible against you; "Curfed is he that confirmeth not all the words of the law, to do them: and all the people fhall fay, Amen," Deut. xxvii. 26. If you could give perfect obedience to it yourfelf, then you fhould be juftified by it; but, whereas you cannot do it, and you are ftill attempting it, without building upon the foundation of Chrift's obedience to the death; if you will take the old way of doing, that you may live, then you must take it with a vengeance, unless you can do to purpofe; "Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them, Gal. iii. 10. And all the people fhall fay, Amen;" all true believers can fay Amen to it, in the words of Paul," Let him that loves not our Lord Jefus Chrift [who is the fure foundation of the fpiritual temple] be Anathema, Maran-atha." Oh! the curfed ftate of all that are out of Chrift, and are yet upon the old foundation! If the foundation of the temple be not laid, no


bleffings do yet belong to you, but all divine curfes; and, if you have adventured to a communion-table this day, in that cafe, you are fo iar from being blefied from this day, that you have been eating and drinking your own damnation, and getting a feal and confirmation of all the curfes that you are under. Ah! dreadful! man, woman, what if God be faying, "From this day will I curse you; from this day will I plague you?" Confider this, all ye that are in a fecure, Chriftlefs, natural flate.

2. Hence fee on the other hand, the bleffed fate of all believers in Chrift, ever fince they came to Chrift; they are blefied: for, they are lively fiones built up a spiritual houfe, to offer up fpiritual facrifices acceptable to God by Jefus Chrift, 1 Pet. ii. 5. There is the live and do, in the covenant of grace, inftead of do and live, in the covenant of works. Under the law of works, the man doth, that he may live; but, under the law of grace, he lives that he may do; he gets a fpiritual life in Chrift; being, as a lively ftone built up a spiritual houfe; and then he is put in cafe to offer up fpiritual facrifices, acceptabe to God, by Chrift. Let men build never fuch a high tower of duty and devotion, without coming to Chrift, as unto a living ftone, and fo getting life in him, they build without a foundation; and fo their Babel-building will be overthrown, as being neither fpiritual nor acceptable to God, by Jefus Chrift. But, O bleffed is the believer in whom the foundation of the spiritual temple is laid, by his being unite to Chrift; for, now he lives and builds upon a good foundation; " Serving the Lord, not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit." Becaufe Chrift the foundation lives, he lives alfo; he lives a life of juftification, through the merit of Chrift: and a life of fanctification, by the Spirit of Chrift; faying, "Surely in the Lord only have I righteoufnefs and ftrength." There is the foundation on which he leans all his weight, to the greater credit and honour of God's holy law, than the greatest merit-mongers and legalists in the world are capable to give it; for, if he looks to the law as a covenant of works, then he leans upon this foundation for righteoufnefs; and there he finds perfect obedience to all the commands, and com


plete fatisfaction to all the curfes of it, as much as the Covenant of works can feek: and then, if he looks to the law as a rule of duty and of obedience, then he leans to his foundation for ftrength, that his grace may be fufficient for him, and his strength perfected in his weakness. O happy believer, which hath learned this mystery, which God hath hid from the wife and prudent, and revealed unto babes; and whereby you can anfwer the law, as a covenant, by faying, "In the Lord have I righteousness;" and answer it as a rule, by faying, "In the Lord have I ftrength," Ifa. xlv. 24. To fay this in reality, and in the experience of faith, is more than thousands of learned Rabbies in the world could ever fay or understand; “ Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but your Father which is in heaven." O bleffed day, that ever the foundation of this fpiritual temple was laid? He that hath laid the foundation will carry on the work, till it be finifhed: "He that hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it; for, He is a Rock, and his work is perfect." He hath been at fome expence already in laying the foundation; and he will never leave the work incomplete; he hath been at the expence of blood in buying the stones of the old quarry out of the hand of juftice; for, “Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things, fuch as filver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ:" and he hath been at the expence of power and pains, in laying the ftones upon the foundation; for, without a day of power, none would be willing to cleave to this foundation, But for you, believer, he hath made you willing in a day of his power; and from this day doth he blefs you; and blessed shall you be for ever in him. And all God's mi nifters and people on earth, and all his faints and angels in heaven, will fay, Amen.

3. Hence we may fee, that God hath his term days, his building days, his bleffing days. Every day is not a temple-foundation day; every day is not a temple-building day; but, O for fuch days of the Son of man amongst us! for they are very rare, in this dark and heavy day wherein we live; O for that happy hour in which the dead fhall hear the voice of the Son of man, and they hat hear fhall live! When the minifter is brought


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to a good and warm frame in preaching, he is ready to think, O now, that happy day is come, when power fhall accompany the word for deftroying the old building, and laying the foundation of the fpiritual temple: but he may be all mistaken; for, "It is not for us to know the times and the feafons." But, notwithstanding of the great restraint of the Spirit at this day, yet I would fain hope that God's term-day is coming with respect to fome in this country-fide: O cry for a day of power. I hope of others, that they have met with this day already: and, though the work goes flowly on, while the Lord is fo much withdrawn, becaufe the generation have finned him away; yet, ever fince the firft ftone of the tem ple was laid, the foundation hath never altogether been razed, but they have enjoyed now and then, fome remarkable days; fome days for digging and discovering the foundation; and fome days for fealing and giving confir mation. O Sirs, "Defpife not the day of fmall things;" but put a remark upon God's days; his days of coming, and his days of going; his days of abfence, and his day's of prefence; that fo his day of abfence may be a day of prayer to you, and his day of prefence, a day of praise.

4. Hence we may fee, what makes it go fo ill with the church of Chrift, in general, at this day, especially in these lands: why, the Lord's temple is not built; few or none put to their hand to lay the foundation of the temple, or to begin and advance a work of reformation:" and, therefore, the Lord is not bleffing us at this day; but we ly under many curfed fruits and effects of his anger; curfed divifions and animofities; curfed jealoufies of one another; and differences of judgment and principles; curfed diffentions, even about truth and error; curfed bondage with respect to the discipline and government of the church: many, many curfes we ly under at this day, inftead of bleffings; and none of them all more dreadful than that the word and ordinan. ces of Chrift are fo much blafted to the generality, that few are getting any faving or converting good of the word; and the most part are rather hardened or ftupi fied under it. Alas! whence is all this curfe upon us,


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