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Verf. 2. For the Law of the Spirit of Life, in Christ Jesus,
bath made me free, &c. .
HAT whereabout the Thoughts than you fear. We are under a Law of
and Discourses of Men now run, Sin and Death, that hath the Dominion is Freedom and Liberty, or Rondage and and Sway in all Mens Affections and Slavery. All Men are afraid to lose Conversations, and when the glorious their Liberties, and be made Servants to Liberty of the Sons of God is offered unStrangers: And indeed Liberty, whether to us in the Gospel, when the Son hath National, or Personal, even in civil Re- come to make us free, we love our own spects, is a great Mercy and Privilege ; Chains, and will not suffer them to be but, ales! Men know pot, neither do luosed: Therefore it is that a Nation that they consider what is the Ground and hath despised such a gracious Offer of Reason of such changes, and from what Peace and Freedom in Jesus Chrift, is robFountain it flows, that a Nation of a long bed and spoiled of Peace and Freedom. Time free from a foreign Yoke, should When this Law of the Spirit of Life in now be made to submit their Necks unto Christ is published and proclaimed openly it. Many wonder that our Nation un. unto Congregations, unto Judicatories, and conquered in the Days of Ignorance, and unto Persons, yet few do regard it; the Darkness, thould now be conquered in generality are in Bondage to a contrary the Days of the Gospel; and there want Law of Sin, and this they serve in the Lusts not many ungodly Spirits, that will rather thereof. Yea, ( which most of all agimpute the Fault unto the Reformation of gravates and heightens the offence) even Religion, than take it to themselves. after we have all of us professed a Subo, There are many secret Heart-jealouties jection to the Law of God, and to Jesus among us, that Christ is a hard Mister, Chrift, the King and Law-giver, we and cannot be served. But would you are in an extraordinary Way ingaged to know the true Original of our apparent the Lord, by many Oaths and Covenants and threatned Bondage? Come and fee, to be his People; we did consent that he come and consider something.expressed in should be our King, and that we should be these words. All your Though's, are ruled in our Proteflion and Practice by busied about civil Liberty, but you do not his Word and Will, as the fundamenconsider that you are in Bondage while tal Laws of this his Kingdom.; we did you are free, and that to worse Masters Solemnly renounce all ftrange Lords, that
had tiramized over ús; and did swear a. mand of themselves. Look upon a Man gainst them, never to yeild willing Obe given to Drunkennels, and what a Slave dience unto them; namely, the Lusts of is he? Whither doth not his Lust drive the World, Ignorance of God, Unbelief, him? Let him bind himself with Reso. and Disobedience. Now what became of lutions, with Vows, yet he cannot be all this work, you may know, the gene- holden by them; Shame before Men, Loss rality of all Ranks have rebelled against of Estate, Decay of Health, temporal Puthat Lord, and Prince, and withdrawn from nishment, nay, eternal, all set together, his Allegiance, and revolted unto the same cannot keep him from fulfilling the Delires Lufts and Ways, these same Courses a. of that Luft, when he hath Opportunity. gainst which we had both by our Profer- A Man given to Covetousness, how doth lion of Christianity, and solemn Oaths en- he serve that Idol? How doth he forget gaged our felves; and fo Men have vo- himself to be a Man? Or to have a realuntarily and heartily subjected themselves fonable Soul within him, he is fo devoted unto the Laws of Sin, and Desires of the to it; and thus it is with every Man by Flesh. Hence is the Beginning of our Nature : There may be many petty little Ruine ; because we would not serve our Gods that he worships upon Occalion, own God and Lord in our own Land, but every unrenewed Man hath some one therefore are so many led away captive Thing predominant in him, unto which to serve Strangers in another Land, there he hath sworn Obedience and Devotion. fore we are like to be Captives in our own The Man most civilized, most abstract Land; because we refused Homage to from the grosser outward Pollutions, yet our God, and obeyed ftrange Lords with certainly, his Heart within is but a Temple in, therefore are we given up to the Luft full of Idols, to the Love and Service of of Strangers without.
which he is devoted. There is some of the I would have you thinking, and that se fundamental Laws of Satan's Kingdom, riously, that there are worse Mafters you that rules in every natural Man, either serve, than these you moft hate, and that the Luft of the Eyes, or the Luft of the there is a worse Bondage, whereof you Flejb, or tbe Pride of Life ; every Man are insensible, than that you fear moft, facrificeth to one of these, his Credit and you fear Strangers, but your greatest Evil Honour, or his Pleasure, or his Profit : is within you ; you might retire within, Self, whatever Way refined and subtilized and behold worse Masters, andmore per in some, yet at beft it is but an Enemy to nicicus and mortal Enemies to your Well. God; and without that Sphere of self, can. being. This is the Case of all Men by not a Man act upon natural Principles, till Nature, and of all Men as far as in Na- a higher Spirit come in, which is here ture ; Sin ruling, commanding in them, spoken of. and lordiogitover them, and they willing Oh! that you would take this for Bonly following after the Commandment, dage, to be under this woful Necessity of and to oppressed and broken in Judgment. satisfying and fulfilling the Desires of your If you could but rightly look upon other Flesh and Mind,Eph.ii.2. Many account Men, you might see, that they who are Ser- it only Liberty and Freedom, therefore vants of diverse Lufts, are not their own they look upon the Laws of the Spirit of Men (lo to speak) they have not the Com-Life,as Cords and Bonds, and consult to
call them off, and cut them asunder ; but must needs be subject to a Law of Death; confider, what a wretched Life you have if you will not be perswaded to quite the with your imperious Lusts. The Truth Service of Sin, then tell me, what think is, Sin is for the most part its own Pu- you of your Wages? The Wages of nishment ; I am sure, you have more La. Sin is Death, that you may certainly bour and Toil in fulfilling the Lufts of expect; and can you look and long Sin, then you might have in serving God. for such Wages? God hath joined there Mens Lusts are never at quiet, they are together, by a perpetual Ordinance, they continually putting you on Service, they come in the World together, Sin entera are still driving and dragging Men headed, and Deatb by Sin, and they have long, hurrying them to and fro, and gone Hand in Hand together fince: And they cannot get reft ; what is the Cause think you to dissolve what God hath join of all the Disquiet, Disorder, Confusion, ed? Before you go further, and obey Trouble and Wars in the World? From Sin more, think, I pray you, what it can wbence do Contentions arise? Come tbey give you, what doeb it give you for the not bence, (saith James iv. 1.) even of prefent ? but much Pain and Toyl, and ibe Lufts that War in our Members. It Vexation; in stead of promised Pleasure, is these that trouble the World, and these and Satisfaction. Sin doth with all Men, are the Troublers of Israel's Peace, these as the Devil doth with some of his sworn take away both inward Peace, domestick Vastals, and Servants, they have a poor Peace, and national Peace : These Lusts, wretched Life with him, they are wearied Covetousness, Ambition, Pride, Paffion, and troubled, to satisfy all his unreasonable Self-love, and fuch like ; do fet Nation and imperious Commands; he loadens against Nation, Men and Men, People them with bale Service, and they are ftill and People by the Ears. These multiply kept in Expectation of some great ReBusinesses beyond Necessity; these mul- ward, but for the present, they have noriply Cares without Profit, and so bring thing but Misery and Trouble ; and at forth Vexation and Torment. If a Man length, he becomes the Executioner, and had his Lusts subdued, and his Affections perpetual Tormenter of them whom he composed unto Moderation and Sobriety, made to serve him ; such a Master is Sin, o what a Multitude of noisom and hurt and such Wages you may expect: Com ful Cares should he then be freed from, lider then, what your Expectation is, bewhat a sweet Calmness should polless that fore you go on, or engage further, Death. Spirit. Will you be perswaded of it, we are under a Law of bodily Death, Beloved in the Lord, that it were eaiier therefore, we are mortal; our House is to serve the Lord, than to serve your like a ruinous Lodge, that props through, Lufts, that they cost you more Labour, and one Day or other it must fall. Sin Disquier, Perplexity, and Sorrow, than hath brought in the Seeds cf Corruption in the Lord's Service will, that so you may Mens Nature, which diflo'ves it, elfe it weary of such Masters, and groan to be had been immortal: But, csere is a worse from under such a Law of Sin.
Death after this, a living Death, in reBut, if that will not luffice to perswade spect of which, simple Death would be you, then consider, in the next Room, if chosen rather ; Men will rather five very you will needs serve a Law of Sin, you miserably thap die, Nature hath an Avera
fation of it, Skin for Skin, and all for fir up in our Hearts, some holy AmbiLife will a Man give : Death imports a tion, and earneft Desire after such a State ; Destruction of Being, which every Thing how might it awake our Hearts after it: naturally seeks to preserve. But o! what But this is the Wofulness of a natural Cona dreadful Life is it, worse than Death, dition, that a Soul under the Power of when Men will chofe Death rather than Sin, can neither help it self, nor rightly Life? O! how terrible will it be, to desire Help from another, because the hear chat Word, Hills and Mountains Will is captive too ; this makes it a very fall on us, and cover us. Men newly desperate and remediless Business to any risen, their Bodies and Souls meet again, humane Expectation, because such a Soul after a long Separation, and this to be is well pleased with its own Fetters, and their mutual Entertainment one to ano- loves its own Prison, and so can neither ther, the Body to wish it were still in the long for Freedom, nor welcome the Sox Duft, and the Soul to desire it might ne- who is come to make free. But yet, ver be in the Body: Surely, if we had so there is a Freedom and Delivery, and if much Grace as to believe this, and tremble ye ask who are Partakers of it, the Text at it, before we be forced to act it, there declares it to you, even these who are in were some Hope ; if we could perswade Jesus Christ, and walk according to the our selves once of this, that the Ways of Spirit of Christ. These all, and these onSin, all of them, how pleasant, how pro- ly, who finding themselves dead in Sins fitable foever, whatsoever Gain they bring and Trespases, under the Power and in, whatsoever Satisfaction they give, that Dominion of Sin, and likewise under the they are nothing else, but the Ways of Sentence of Death and Condemnation, beDeatb, and go down to tbe Cbambers of gin to lift up their Heads, upon the Hope Hell, that they will delude and deceive of a Saviour, and to look unto their Re. us, and so in end destroy us: If we might deemer, as poor Prisoners, whose Eyes once believe this with our Heart, there and Looks are strong Intreaties, and in. were fome Hope that we would break off ftead of many Requests; such as give an from them, and choose the untroden Paths intire Renounce unto their former Ways, of Godliness, which are Pleasantness and and prevailing Lufts, and give up
them Peace. However, this is the Condition felves in Testimony of their Sense of his of all Men, once to be under Sin, and unspeakable Favour of Redemption, to be under a Sentence of Death for Sin: 'Tis wholly his, and not their own. There are the Unbelief of this, and a Conceit of some Souls who are free from the DominiFreedom, that securely and certainly de- on of Sin, and from the Danger of Death, stroys the World, by keeping Souls from some who were once led about with Jesus Chrift, the Prince of Life.
divers Lufts, as well as others, who But there is a Delivery, and that is the walked after the Course of this World, Thing expressed in the Words, there is and fulfilled the Defires of tbe, Fles, Freedom from both attainable ; and I and were Children of Wrath as well think, the very hearing of such a Thing, as others; but now they are quickned that there is a Redemption from Sin and in Christ Jesus, and have abandoned their Misery possible, yea, and that some are former Way; they have another Rule, actually delivered from it: This might another Way, other Principles, their Study
is now to please God, and grow in Holi. is to be obtained, an immortal and never ness; the Ways they delighted in, in for- , fading Crown. If mortifying and crucimer Times, are now loathsome ; they fying the Lusts of the Flesh, if dying to think that a filthy Puddle, which they the World, and to thy self
, seem very drank greedily of; and now 'ris all, or hard and unpleasanı to thee, if it be as the their chiefert Grief and Burden, that so plucking out of tbine Eye,and cutting off much of that old Man, must be carried ibine Hand; know then, that Corruptiabout with them, and so this expresseth on is much alive yet, and hath much many Groans from them with Paul, Woe Power in thee ; but remember, that if is me, miserable Man, who fall deli- thou can have but so much Grace, and ver me? Such Souls are, in a manner Resolution, as to kill and crucifie there (to speak fo ) half redeemed, who being Lusts, without foolish and hurtful Pity, made sensible of their Bondage, groan if thou canst attain that Victory over thy and pant for a Redeemer : The Day of self, thou shall never be a Lofer, chou. their compleat Redemption is at Hand, cannot repent it afterward: To die to our all of you are Witnesses of this, that there selves and the World, to kill Sin within : are some thus freed, but they are Signs O! that makes way to a Life hid from the and Wonders indeed to the World ; their World, one Hour whereof is better than Kinsmen, their Acquaintance, their Friends many Ages in linful Pleasure : Quicken and Neighbours wonder what is become thy self often with this Thought, that of them, they think it ftrange they walk there is a true Life after such a Death, and not, and run not into that same Excess that thou canst not pass into it, but by the of riot with them. But whosoever thou art, Valley of the Death of thy Lusts; re. that is escaped from under the Slavery of member, that thou doft but kill thine EnSin, wonder at the World, that doth run emies, which embrace, that they may so madly on their own Destruction, think ftrangle thee ; and then stir up your self it strange that thou ran so long with them, with this Consideration, the Life of Sin. and that all will not run in these pleasant will be thy Death: Better enter Heaven, Ways with thee; think it ftrange, that without these Lufts, than go to Hell.with thou runs fo Nowly, when so great a Prize them.
Verf. 2. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Chrift,
hath made me free, from the Law of Sin and Death. THat Hat which makes the Delivery of Men | Nature, is, that Sinners have given up
from the Tyranny of Sin and Death, themfelves unto it, as if it were truly LiLoft difficult, and utterly impossible upto berty, that the Will and Affections of Men