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gerous, and dark Paths ro eternal Life, Heart, ere they understand the Writings (that is full of Pits and Snares) of the of the Scriptures ; his Arm muft create an Lamp, or Word, written, or preached, Eye in their Souls, an eternal Light, bewithout us; and the Illmination of the fore it can behold that glorious Brightness Holy Ghost within us. These are con of God shining in the Word. The Word joyned, ifa. lix. 2!. This is my Cove is God's Testimony of himfelf, of his nant, the Spirit that is upon thee, and Grace and Mercy and good will to Manthe IVords that I have put in thy Mouth, kind: Now no Man can receive this shall not depart out of thy Mouth, nor Testimony, unless it be sealed and confirmthe Mouth of tby Seed, &c. There are ed by the Holy Ghost into the Heart : Saith Words without, and there must needs be Peter, We are bis Witnesses of these a Spirit within, which makes us to behold things, and so also is tbe Holy Ghost whom the Truth and Grace contained in these God batb given to those that obey bim, Words. There is a Law written with Afts. v. 32. The Word witnesses to the out, .with Pen and Ink, and there is a Law Ear, and the Spirit teftifiech to our Spirits written within, upon the Heart, with the Truth and Worth of that, and there. the Spirit of the living God: The Law fore the Spirit is a Seal and a Witness. without is the Pattern and exact Copy; | The Word is the Lord's Voice to his own the Law within, is the Transcript, or Children, Bastards cannot know it, but the Image of God upon the Heart, fram- my Sheep bear my Voice, John X. 4, 16. ed and fathioned according to the Simili. You know to Difference between the 'tude of it, 2 Cor. iii. 3. Heb. viii. 10. bleating of one Sheep and another, but the So then, there needs be no more Question poor Lambs know their Mother's voice; about the Divine Authority of the Scrip-ibere is a secret Instinct of Nature, that is tures, among those who have their Sense- more powerful than many Marks and exercised to discern between good and ill, Signs: Even fo those who are begotten than among Men who see, and taste, con- of God know his Voice, they discern chat cerning Light and Darkness, fweet and in it, which all the world that hear it canbitter. The Peonion of a Christian is not discern, there is a Sympathy between fetched deeper than the Reasons of Men; their Souls and that living Word, that their Faith is the Evidence of Things not word is the immortal Seed they are befeen, 'tis an Eye, a supernatural Eye, gotten of, and there is a natural Instinct to whereby a Soul beholds that Majesty and love that, and to meditate in it ; such au Excellency of God shining in the Word, Inclination to it as in new born Babes to which shough it shine about the rest of the the Breasts : So the Children of God do World, yet 'tis not seen, because they can- defire the fincere Milk of the Word, ibat not know it, nor discern it. Wonder not, they may grow thereby, as they were born that the Multitude of Men cannot believe of it, i Fot. ii. 2. In these Scriptures the Report that is made, that there are so which we read in your Audience, you have few, who find any such Excellency and something of their Excellency, and our Sweetness in the Gospel as is reported, be Duty; there is a rich Jewel in them, a cause, faith Isaiab, liii. 1. The Arm of precious Pearl in that Field, even Jesus the Lord is not revealed to them ; the Christ, and in him eternal Life ; and there Hand of God muft firft write on their fore we ought to search the Scriptures for
this Jewel, to dig in the Field for this do but think you have, and are beguiled. Pearl, the Doctrine of the Prophets and while you seek it out of me, in vain you Apoftles, as a fure Foundation whereup- think you have it, for it is not in the ScripTi Souls may build their eternal Felicity, tures, but because they reftify of me the ad the Hope of it. Jesus Christ is the Life and the Light of Men. May not this very chief Stone in that Foundation, now commend the Word to us? Eternal shereupon the Weight of all the Saints Life is in it. Other Writings and Dif and all their Hope hangs. And therefore courses may tickle the Ears, with some we ought to lean the Weight of our Souls pleasing Eloquence, but that is vanishing, only to this Truth of God, and build our
'tis but like a Musician's Voice; some may Faith only upon it, and square our Practice represent some petty and momentary Adonly by it.
vantage, but how soon shall an End be puc We shall speak something of the First, to all that? So that within a litttle Time the that it may be a Spur to the Second. Advantage of all the Books of the World The Joves had some respective Opinion shall be gone. The Statutes and Laws of of the Word of God, they knew that in Kings and Parliaments can reach no further them was eternal Life, they thought it a chan some temporal Reward or PunithDoctrine of Life and Happiness, and so ment, their highest Pain is the killing of chis cried up Moses Writings, but they would Body, their highest Reward is fome evanot believe Christ's Words, they erred, not nishing and fading Honour, or perishing under ftanding the Scriptures, and so set the Riches : But he shewech his Word and Writings of Moses Law at Variance, with Judgments to us, and hath not dealt so the Preaching of Christ's Gospel? What a with every Nation, Psal. clxvii. 19, 20. pitiful Miftake was this? They thought And no Nation under the whole Heaven they had eternal Life in the Scriptures, and hath such Laws and Ordinances ; eternal yet they did not receive nor acknowledge Life and eternal Death is wrapt up in him whom to know was eternal Life ;. them, these are Rewards and Punishments therefore our Lord Jesus sends them back suitable to the Majesty and Magnificence again to the Scriptures, go and search them, of the eternal Law-giver. Consider, I beyou think, and you shink well, that in leech you, what is folded up here, the them you may find the Way to 'eternal Scriptures thew the Path of Life, Life is of Life, but while you seek it in them you all Things moft excellent, and comes nearmiftake it: These Scriptures teftifie of me eft the blessed Being of God. When we the End of the Law, but you cannot behold lay (Life) we understand a blessed Life, the End of that Ministry, because of the that only deserves the Name. Now this Blindness of your Hearts, Rom. X. 3. we have lost in Adam, Death is paft upon Cor. ii. 13, 14, Therefore search again, all Men, but that Death is not the worft, unfold the Ceremonies, I am wrapt in 'tis but a Consequence of a Soul-death, the them, and Life eternal with me, dig up immortal Soul, whose Life consifteth in the Law till you find the Bottom of God's Communion with God, and Peace with Purpose in it, till you find the End of the him, is feparated from him by Sin, and fo Miniftration, and you shall find me, the killed, when it is cut off from the FounWay, and Truth, and Life, and so you cain of Life; what Life can it have any Thall have that eternal Life which now you more, than a Beam that is cut off by the
Inrervention of a dark Body from the Sun. | Difference, but the Continuance of the Now then what a blefled Doctrine must one, and Shortness of the other, that the it be that brings to Life, Light and Iminor. World's standing is but as one Day, one tality ? especially when we have so mife Moment to Eternity, that ought to pre. rably
. loft it, and involved our Souls into ponderate in your Souls ; do we not here an eternal Death? Life is precious in itself
, dee away as a Shadow upon the Mounbut much more precious to one condem- tains? Are we not as a Vapour that aned to die, to be caught out of the Paws fcends and for a little Time appears a solid of the Lyon, to be brought back from the Body, and then presently vanisheth? Do Gibbet. O how will that commend the we not come all into the Stage of the farour of a little more Time in the World. World, as for an Hour to act our Part and But then if we knew what an eternal Mife- be gone; now then, what is this to endless rý we are involved into, and stand under Eternity ? When you have continued as a fentence binding us over to such an in- long as since the World began, you are no conceivable and insupportable Punishment nearer the End of it, ought not that Eas is the Curse and Wrath of God, how state then to be most in your Eyes, how precious an Esteem would Souls have of to lay up a Foundation for the Time to the Scriptures, how would they be sweet come? But then compare the Misery and unto their Soul, because they Mew unto us Vexation of this Life, with the Glory and a Way of escaping that Pit of Misery, and Felicity of this eternal Life ; what are our a Way of attaining eternal Blessedness, as Days? But few and full of Trouble. fatisfying and glorious, as the Mifery would Or, if you will take the most blessed E have been vexing and tormenting. O that Atate you have seen or heard of in this ye would once lay these in the Ballance to World, of Kings and rich Men, and help gether, this present Life, and Life eternal. all the Defects of it by your Imaginations : Know ye not that your Souls are created Suppose unto your felves the Height and for Eternity, that they will eternally fur- Pitch of Glory, and Abundance, and Power vive all these present Things: Now how that is attainable on Earth, and when your do ye imagine they fhall live after this Fancy hath busked up fuch a Felicity, comLife? Your Thoughts, and Projects, and pare it with eternal Life: O how will Designs are confined within the poor nar- that vanish out of your Imaginations; if row. Bounds of your Time; when you die, fo be you know any thing of the Life to in that Day your Thoughts Mall perish, all come, you will even think chat an odious your Imaginations and Purpofes, and Pro. Comparison, you will think all that earthvidences shall have an End then, they reach ly Felicity, but light as Vanity, every no further than that Time, and if you Man at bis beft Estate is altogether should wholly perish too, it were not fo Vanity. Eternal Life will weigh down much Matter : But for all your Purpofes eternally, 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. O but it and Projects to come to an Ead, when you hach an exceeding Weight in it self; one atc but beginning to live, and enter Eter Moment of it, one Hour's Poffeffion and nity, that is lamentable indeed. There- Tafte of ir; but then what shall the end. fore I say, consider what ye are doing, less Endurance of it add to its Weight? weigh these in a Ballance, eternal Life, and Now there are many that prefume they the prefent Life, if there were no more have a Right to eternal Life, as the Jews
did, you think, faith he, that you have it, ven so it is this Day; the most Part have you think well that you think 'tis only to no more of Christianity but a Name, be found in the Scriptures, but you vainly they have some outward Privileges of think that you have found it in them: And Baptifm, and hearing the Word, and, it there is this Reason of it, because you may be, have a Form of Knowledge, and will not come to me that you may bave a Form of Worship ; but in the mean Life, ver. 40. If you did understand Time they are not baptized in Heari, they the true meaning of the Scriptures, and did are in all their Conversation even conformnot reft on the outward Letter and Ored to the Heachen World ; they hate perdinances, you would receive the Tefti- fonal Reformation, and think it too permony that the Scriptures gives of me. But cise and needless ; Now, I say, such are now you hear not me the Father's sub- many of you, and yet ye would not take fantial Word, therefore you bave not bis well to have in questioned, whether ye Word abiding in you, ver. 38. There fhall be Parrakers of eternal Life ? You was nothing more general among that think you are wronged when that is called People than a vain- carnal Confidence and in Question. Oh, that it were beyond all Prefumption of being God's People, Question indeed. and having Interest in the Promise of That you are but Chriftians in the Letter, Life eternal, as it is this Day in the in the Flesh, and not in the Spirit ; many Visible Church. There is a Multitude of you have not so much as a Form of that dre Chriftans only in the Letter, Knowledge, have not so much as the and not in the Spirit, that would never Letter of Religion : You have heard some admit any Question concerning this great Names in the Preaching often repeated, Matter of having eternal Life, and so as Christ, and God, and Faith, and Heaby not questioning it, they come to ven, and Hell, and you know no more think they have it, and by Degrees their of these but the Name; you consider nor, Conjectures and Thoughts about this a. and meditate not on them: And those who rilech to the Stability of some faigned and know the Truth of the Word, yet the ftrong Perswasion of it. In the Old Tel Word abideth not, nor dwelleth in you ; tament the Lord Atrikes at the Roots of you have it in your Mouth, you have it their Perswalions, by discovering unto in your Mind or Understanding, but it is them, how vain a thing it was, and how not received in Love, it doth not dwell abominable before him, to have an ex- in the Heart, Let the Word of Cirift ternal Profession of being his people, and dwell in you richly, Col. iii. 16. You to glory in external Ordinances and Privi- have it imprisoned in your Minds, and leges, and yet to neglect altogether the shut up into a Corner where it is useless, purging of their Hearts and Consciences and can do no more but witness against from Lufts and Idol-fins, and to make no you, and scarce that: As the Gentiles inConscience of walking righteously towards carcerated and detained the Truth of God, Men : Their Profession was contradicted written by Nature within them, in Unby their Practice, Will ye Steal, Murder, righteousness, Rom. i. 18. So do many and commit Adultery, and yet come and of you detain the Knowledge of his Word Stand up my House, jer, vii. 8, 9. Doch in Unrighteousness, it hath no place in the nos that lay as much as if I had given you Heart, gets no Liberty and Freedom to Liberty to do all these Abominations ? E walk through the Affections, and so to
order the Conversation of Men: And But the first is the very Substance of therefore the moft Part of Men do but the Gospel, There is no other Name by fancy to themselves an Interest and Right wbicb Men may be saved, but by Jesus to eternal Life, you chink it, and do but Cbrist, Acts iv. 12. Life Eternal is all think ir ; it is but a strong Imagination, within him, All the Treasures of Grace, that hath no Strength from the Grounds of and Wisdom, and Knowledge, are feat. is, no Stability from any Evidence or Pro ed in bim, Col. i. 19. and ii. 3. All mise, but meerly from it self; or it is but the Light of Life and Salvation is imbodia light and vain Conjecture that hath no ed in this Sun of Righteousness, since the Strength in it, because there is no Question Eclipse of Mans Felicity in the Garden. or Doubts admitted which inay try the Adam was a living Soul, but he loft' his Strength of it. But then I suppose that a Manown Life, and killed his Posterity. Chrift could attain some answerable walking, that Jesus the second common Man in the he had not only a Form of Knowledge, but World is a quickning Spirit, he hath not some Reality of Practice, some inward Heat only Life in himself, but he gives it more of Affection and Zeal for God and God- abundantly : And therefore you have it finess, yet there is one thing that he wants, lo often repeated in John, who was the and if it be wanting will spoil all: And it Disciple most acquainted with Christ, In is this which Christ reproves in the Jews, bim was Life, and the Life was the You will not come to me to bave Life ; Light of Men, John i. 4. And be is the the Scriptures teftifie of me, but you re-Bread of Life, that gives Life to the ceive not their Testimony. Suppose a World, John. vi. 33. 35. He is the Man had as much Equity and Justice to- Resurrection and the Life, xi. 25. and wards Men, Piety towards God, and So The Way, the Truth, and Life, xiv. 6, _briety towards himself, as can be found a- The Scriptures do not contain eternal mong the best of Men ; let him be a Life, but in as far as they lead to him who diligent Reader of the Scriptures, let is Life, and whom to know and embrace him love them, and meditate on them is Eternal Life : And therefore (faith he ) Day and Night, yet if he do not come out These are tbey which testifie of me. Man of himself, and leave all his own Righte-lived immediately in. God when he was in ousness as Dung behind him, that he may Innocency, he had Lite in himself from bé found in Jesus Christ, he hath no Life, God, but then he began to live in himself, he cannot have any Right to Life Eternal. without Dependance on God the Fountain You may think this a strange Assertion, of Life, and this-himself being interposed that if a Man had the Righteousness and between God and his Life, it evanished, Holiness of an Angel, yet he could not even as a Beam by the intervening of any be saved without denying all that, and gross Body between it and the Sun. Now fleeing to Chrift as an ungodly Man: Man's Light and Life being thus eclipsed And you may think it as strange a Suppo- and cut off, the Lord is pleased to let all sal, chat any Person that reads the Scrip- Fulness dwell in his Son Jesus Christ, and tures, and walks righteoully, and hatha Tbe Fulness of the God.Head droelt in Zeal towards God, yet are such as will bim bodily, Col. ii. 9. that since there not come to Christ, and will not hear him was no Access immediately to God for whom the Father hath sent.