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for deliverance in the terrours and anguill of their hearts. Their Acth, and heart, and friends have failed them, and all the creatures cast them off. 7. They have gone through far greater perfecutions for the sake of Chrift and righteousness, than ever we did : Se persecuted obey the Propbets before you, Mat.5.11,12. Wbicb of the Propbets did not your Fasbers kill and perfecuto's even of them for whom their pofterity created Monuments ? Mattb. 23. 36, 37,38 We bave not refifted unto blood, as many of them did, Heb. 11. The same and greater aff Sions which we have undergore, were accomplished on our brethren in this world, 1 Pet. 5.9. We go through the lime conf A as they did, Pbil. 1. 30. We are no more fallly nor odiously Nandered in any of our sufferings than they were, Mat.5.11,12. 8. They were men of like passions as we are ; for fo James faith even of Elias, that was carryed to Heaven without our kind of death. They had their ignoranccs, uncertainties,doubes, mistakes; their dark thoughts of God, and that world wherg they now are. Many of them know as little of ir, till they saw it, as we do now. Many a fcursul trembling hour, macy a thought that God had forsaken them, and that the day of grace was past, have many of them had as well as wc. 9. Yea they were imperfect in all their graces ; they had an imperfia faith, an imperfect hope, an imperfect Love to God and mon, and many an hour in such groans as ours now are, when shall we be saved from our darkness and unbelief! when all wc bercer love the Lord ! 10. They had their adual fins also. (Though none that were regnant after conversion) their obedience was imperfe& as ours now is. Many of their fadles and falls are left on record for our warning. There is not onc humanc foul in Heaven befides our Saviours, that was not once a linnes : They all came thither by a Redeemer as we mult do. They had their too great selfilhness, Pbil.2. 21. They had their pufillanimity and fears of men. (as Peter and the Apoftles.) They had their fioful controversies, as Paul and Barnabas ; and finful separations in complyance with the cenforious, as Peter and Barnabas had, Gal. 2. 16, 17. They had their carnal sidings, fadions and divisions in the Church, 1 Cor. 1. & 3. Many a time have they been put to groan, O Peretobed man, wbo fhal deliver me from sbie body of deatb,
Rom.7,&c. 11. They had as difficult duries to go through, as any of us : They were put upon as many cars and troubles, wa:chings and travels, setings and helf-denyal, as the most laborious and luff.sing Christians pow. 12. They had as long delayes of the accumplillment of their desires, as any of us.
13. And laftly, they palt through deach it felf, as we must do. Tacy lay gelping on their bods of langu Ching, and death broke in upon every part, and they underweot that separation of foul and body, as we must do: Their Acth was turned to rot: tennels and duft, and laid out of the fight of man in darkness, and remain.th to this day as common carib.
All this the Saints in Heaven have undergone. This was their calc a while ago, who we now in glory. And ihis was not only the case of some few, but of thousands and millions, and char in the most of these particulars, cvcn of all that aro gone before us unto blessedness. It is not we that are compted first
, that are perfecuted or affli&cd firfi, that have linned tisft, that mult dic first; but all this hoft hath broke the Ics, and are fafely past through this Rcd Sca, and ste row triumphing in felicity with their Saviour.
Direct. 3. Let Faith next look back, and sec by what way these Saints have come to this felicity ; I mcan, by what means they did overcome, and win the Crown. And brichly, you will find, 1. That they all came to Heaven by the Mediation, the Sacrifice, che meritorious Righteousness of a. Redeemer, Jesus Christ (either as promised, or as incarnate) nonc of them were juftified by the works of the Law, or the Covenant of Inrocency.
2. That their common way was by Faiib, Repentance, Love ard Obedience ; Nitby works of Rigbtroufness, which we have done, but according to bis mercy be saved us, by obe washing of Regeneration, and iberoneming of the Holy Ghost, pbicb beshed or MS abundently through Corit, Torus 3. 5. Even by the triple Image of the Divine perfe&tions, Power, Love and Wisdom, 2 Tim. 1.7. They lived soberly, rigbreasly and godly in 1be world, and were cealous of good works, lo king for tbe blesed bope which they have attained, Tirus 2. 14, 15. Koowing that Repentance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, are the funn of saying do&rine and dury, Aas 20. 21. And Bbbb a
that to feat God and keep bin Commandments, is thc wbole duty ofman, Ecclef. 12. 13. And that the end of tbe Commandment i Charity, out of a pure beart, and a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 1.s. and that Love is the fulfilling of obe Law.
3. They Audied the Word of God, or such mcans of knowing him as God afforded them, in order to the attaining and maintaining of these graces, Pfal.1.2.and fought the Lord with all their hearts, while he might be found, and called upon him while he was near,151.55.6,10. And did not presumptuouíly acgleat Gods helps, and defpise his Word, while they trulted
for his mercy,
4. They lived in a continual conflict agsinft the tempta. tions of the Dzvil, the world and the ficth, and in the main did conquer as well as ftrive. They made it their work to mortifie those fleshly lults, which others make it their intereft and work to please, Gal. 5. 17.21, 22. & 6. 14.
5. They suffered affictions and perfecutions patiently ; and being reviled, they did not revile : They loved tbeir enemies, and blest obose that curse shem, and prayed for those that despitefully used and persecuted them, Matth. 5.44.45. I Cor. 4. 11, 12, 13, 2 Cor. 1. 6,7. Heb. 11. They would not accept of deliverance from imprisonment, torments and death, upon finding terms.
6. They endured to the end, and did not fall off and for fake the Covenant of their God, Rev. 2. & 3.
7.La@ly, They did allt! is by the motive of their hopes of Heaven, and by a confidence in the promises of it, and in a heavenly mind and conversation, as knowing that they did not labour or suffer in vain, 1 Cor. 15.58. 2 Cor. 4.17. 1 Tim.4. 10. Rom. 8. 18. Mattb. 5. 11. 2 Tbef. 1.6,7. Heb. 12. 2. * This was the way by which the Saints have gone to Heaven; the only truc fuccessful way.
Dirca. 4. Confider next what belps and means God gave them for this work, and compare our own with them, and foc whether ours be not as great.
1. We have the same natural capacity as they : we are intelle&ual free agents, made for anotber world, and capable of all that they attained. There is no difference in our natural faculties,
2. We have the same God to fhow us mercy, 1 Cor. 12.5. There are divers operations, but the fame God, Ephef. 4.4, 5. There is one God, one Lord, &c. even the Lordover all, good to all tbar call upon him, Rom. 10. 12. The same mercy which called them, and waited on them, callcth us, cven a God who hath no respect of perfons; but in every Nation be tbat feareth bim, and Dorker bo righteousness, is accepted of bim, A&s 10.37. Though he be a free benefador, he is a righteous Judge, and he is good
to all, and the Father of every member of his Son.
3. They had the same Saviour as we have ; thc Camc fa. crifice for their fins; the same Teacber, and the same example ; the same intercefir with the Father : For though tbere be diver's adminiftrations, ibere is abe funde Lord, 1 Cor. 12.5. Ephef. 4.4. For orber foundation can no man lay, iban bim who is the cbief corner ftone, Cor. 3. 11. They all did eat of the same spiritusl. meat, and drank of ihe same rock as we do, which is Cbrift, 1 Cor. 10. 3, 4. li was the reproach of Cbrift which Mofes in Egypt clteemed better than their treasures, Heb. 11.26. The fame Physician of fouls who hath us in curc,did cure all them: The lame Captain who is conducting us to salvation, is he that saved them. The fame Prince of the Covenant, and Lord of life, who conquered dcath and all their enemics, hath corquer ed them for us, and is preparing us for life with them. They had no greater, or better High Prict and Mediator with God than we have.
4. They had the famae Rule to walk by, and the fame way to go, as all we have, Gal. 1, 7, 8. & 6.16. Phil. 3. 14, 15. The same Gopel and Word of God, in the main, though under various promulgations and adminiArations: Those before the dood were under the Covenant of the promised feed, made universally to mankind in Adam. Those after the food were under the same Covenant renewed universally co mankind in Noab. The Ifraclites were under the same Covenant renewed to them pecially in Abraham, with special additions; and after under that Covenant feconded with tbe Law which was given to Moses: And all Christians after Chrifts Refurre&tion are under the perfe&ied Covenant of Grace, and have the fime word of falvation tor their rule; even the Gospel of Cbrift, which is thic popper of God, torbe falvation of every one that believeth, Rom. 1. 16.
s. They had but the same Promises in this Covenant to be lieve, and to affure chemof the talvation which they now pofscis
. They had no other charter freun God to thew, nor any but chis universal ed of oblivion to trust to for the pardon of all tbeir fins, which we have to truk ro for the pardon of ours, Jibn 3. 16 18. Mark 16. 18. The promise which was made to the Jews, and co chcir children, was made allo 10 them ibat are afar off, and to as many as tbe Lord soll call, A&s 2.39. For i be promije obar be foould be beir of ibe world, was not to Abraban or bis fredobrough sbe Law, but sbrougb tbe righteousness of fairb, Rom. 4. 13. And Iberefore it was of faith, that ic might be by grace, torbe end i be promise migbs bc fure to all the feed, not only io tbat pbicb is of the Law, bur to ibat also wbicb is of ibe faith of Abrabam, who is the farber of us all, v. 16. That it might appear that God justified not Abrabam for any peculiar Carmel priviledge, but as Believer, which is a reason common to him with all Believers : To whom also their faith Mall be im. puted for righteousness, v. 24. Godliness still is profitable to all ibings, baving the promise of ibe life tbat now is, and of that wbicb is to come, 1 Tim. 4. 8.
Yea what difference there is in both thcsc forementioned re. (peats, it is to our advantage : we have the most perfc&cd Rule, and the fullch Promiks; and we have many Promises fulfilled to us, which were not fulfilled to them in their daics, Heb. 11. laft. And we are ncares the final accomplishment of all i he promises.
6. They had the fame Motives to faith, and patience, and godliness as we have : They could have no greater bappiness offered them, nor any greater punishment thrcarned, to drive them from fin by fear: They could have no bigber ends shan ours ; nor any nobler reasons to be religious. The same ree fons and ends did bring them through all temprations and difficultics, to cverlading life, which we have also to Gatisfic us, and to carry us on, 2 Tim.4. 8. 7.
The same spirit did illuminate, Sandific and gnickow them, which is illuminating, fanäifying, and quickening us. All the molt excellent and heavenly codowments and workings of their fouls, were wrought by the same operator who is Aill at work in all the Saints, Rom. 8.9. There are diverfities of gifts,