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Life (a flaming Fire, and Sword of Di. you find the Law fulfilled, Justice satisfied, vine Justice compassing and guarding the and God pleased; in Him you find the Tree of Life, left Man should touch Promise of Life indeed established, in a it) there might be access to God in a Me better and furer Way than was first pordicator like unto us, that we might come pounded, you find Life by his Death, you to him, and might have life from God by find Life in his doing for you: And again, the Intervention of Jesus Chrift.
consider the Ceremonial Law, What were Look then what is in the Holy Scrip: all those Sacrifices and Ceremonies ? Did tures, and you shall find it but a Letter of God delight in them? Could he favour Death and Ministration of Condemnation their Incense, and Sweet Smels, and eac while it is beparated from Him; Christ the Fat of Lambs, and be pacified ? No, is the very Life and Spirit of the Scrip- he detests and abhors such Imaginations. tures, by whose vertue they quicken our Because that people did stay in the Letter, Souls; if you consider the perfect Rule of and went no further than the Ceremony ; Righteousness in the Law, you cannot find he declares, that it was as great AbominaLife there, because you cannot be confor- tion to him as the Offering up of a Dog: med unto it; the holiest Man offends in while they were separated from Jesus every thing, and that holy Law being vio- Christ, in whom his Soul rested, and was lated in any thing will send thee to Heil pacified, they were not Expiations, but with a Curse, Cursed is be tbat abides Provocations ; they were not Propitiatinet in every Thing. If you look upon ons for Sins, but Abominations in themthe Promise of Life, Do. this and live ; felves. But take these as the Shadows of What coinfort can you find in it, except such a living Substance; take them as Reyou could find doing in your selves: And membrances of him who was to come, and can any Man living find fuch exact behold Jesus Christ lying in these SwadlingObedience as the Law requires. There is cloaths of Ceremonies, until the Pulnefs a Miftake among many. They conceive, of Time should come that he might be that the Lord cannot but be well pleased manifested in the Flesh, and so you thall with chem, if they do what they can find eternal Life in those dead Beasts, in But be not deceived, the Law of God reo | those dumb Ceremonies; if you consider quires perfe& doing ; it will not come this Lamb of God (lain in all these Sacripound with thee, and come down in its fices, from the Beginning of the World, Terms; not one Jot of the Rigour of it will then you present a sweet smelling Savour be remitted. If you cannot do all that is to God, then you offer the true Propitiacommanded, all you do will not satisfie tion for the - Sins of the World, then he that promise ; therefore thou must be will delighe more in thàc Sacrifice than all turned over from the Promise of Life to other personal Obedience. the Curse, and there thou shalt find thy But what if I should say, That the Gof Name written: Therefore it is absolutely pel it self is a killing Letter, and Ministranecessary, that Jesus Chrift be made under tion of Death, being fevered from Chrift? the Law, and give Obedience in all things, I should say nothing amiss, but what Paul even to the Death of the Cross, and so be speaketh, that his Gospel was a Savour of made a Curse for us, and Sin for us, even Death to many ; take the most powerful be who knew no Sin ; and thus in him | Preaching, the most sweet Discourse, the
most plain Writings of the free Grace and that we being concluded under Sin and Salvation in the Gospel, take all the Preach Wrath on the one Hand, and an impossiings of Jesus Chrift himlelf and his Ability to save our selves on the other Hand, postles, and you thall not find Life in them, Gal. iii. 22. Rom. v. 20, 21. may unless ye be led by that Spirit of Christ be pursued unto Jesus Christ for Righteoulunto himself, who is the Resurrection andness and Life, who is both able to fave the Life : It will no more fave you than us, and ready to welcome us. Therefore the Covenant of Works, unless that Word the Gospel opens che Door of Salvation in abide and dwell in your Hearts, to inake Christ, the Law is behind us with Fire and you believe in Him, and embrace Him Sword, and Destruction pursuing us; and with your Souls, whom. God hath sent ; all for this End, that Sinners may come to suppose you heard all, and heard it glad-him and have Life. Thus the Law is ly, and learned it, and could discourse made the Pedagogue of the Soul to lead to well upon it, and teach others, yet if you Christ, Christ is behind us, curling, conbe not driven out of your selves, out of demning, threatning us, and He is before your own Righteousness, as well as Sins, with Atreatched-ouk Arins ready to receive and pursued to this City of Refuge, Jesus us, bless us, and save us, inviting, promiChrift, you have not eternal Life. Your ting, exhorting to come and have Life. Knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, Christ is on Mount Sinai, delivering the and your Obedience to God's Law will Law with Thunders, Acts vii. 38. and cergainly kill you; and as certainly, as he is on Mount Zion, in the calm Voice; your Ignorance and Disobedience, untefs He is both upon the Mountain of Curlings you have embraced in your Soul, that and Blessings, and on both doing the Part goou Thing Jesus Christ contained in these of a Mediator, Gal. iii. 19, 20. It is Truths, who is the Diamond of that Gol- Love that is in his Heart which made him den Ring of the Scriptures; and unless first cover his Countenance with Frowns your Soul embrace thefe Promises as Soul- and Threats, and 'tis Love that again difsaving, as containing the chief Good, and plays it self in his smiling Countenance. worthy of all Acceptation, as well as Thus Souls are inclosed with Love puryour Mind receive these as true and faith- fuing, and Love receiving: And thus the ful Sayings, 1 Tim. i. 15.
Law which seems moft contrary to the Thus ye fee Christ Jefus is either the Gospel, teftifies of Christ, it gives him Subject of all in the Scriptures, or the End this Teftimony, that except Salvation be in of it all. He is the very proper Subject him, it is no where else. The Law fays, of the Gospel: Paul knew nothing but it is not in me, seek it not in Obe. Chrift crucified in his Preaching; and he dience, I can do nothing but destroy you is the very proper End and Scope of the if you abide under my Jurisdiction. The Lar for Rigbteousness, Rom. x. 3. All Ceremonies and Sacrifices say, if you can the Preaching of a Covenart of Works, behold the End of this Ministry (if a Vail all the Curses
and Threatnings of the Bible, be not upon your Hearts, as it was on all the rigid Exactions of Obedience, all | Mofes Face, 2 Cor. ii. 13, 14.) you may come to this one great Delign ; nor that fee where it is, 'tis not in your Obedience, we may fet about such a walking to please but in the Death and Suffering of the Son Godof do something to pacifie Him, but of God, whom we represent. Then the
Christ the Subje&t or And of all that is in the World.
27 fpel takes all these Coverings and Vails a- | the Scriptures, if you think to have eternal way, and gives a plain and open Testi. Life, search them, if you would know mony of him, Tbere is no Name under Christ, whom to know is eternal Lite ; Heaven to be saved by, but Chrift's. then again search them, for these are they The Old Testament spake by Figures and that testifie of him. Searching importe Signs, as dumb Men do, but the New Diligence, much Diligence, 'uis a serious Speaks in plain Words, and with open Work, 'tis not a common seeking of ad Face. Now I say, for all this that there easie and common Thing, but 'tis a Search is no Salvation but in him, yet many Souls, and Scrutiny for some hidden Thing, for not only those who live in their gross Sins, some special Thing. "Tis not bare reading and have no form of Godliness, but even of the Scriptures that will answer this the better Sort of People, that have some Duty, except it be diligent and daily read. Knowledge and Civility, and a kind of ing, and 'tis not that alone, except the Spi. Zeal for God, yet they do not come to rit withio meditate on shem, and by bim that they may bave Life, Rom. x. Meditation accomplish a diligent Search. 1. 2, 3. they do not submit to the Righ. There is some hidden Secret that that you teoufness of God. Here is the March must search for, that is inclosed within that divides the Ways of Heaven, and the Covering of Words, and Sentences, Hell, coming to Jefus Christ, and for there is a Mystery of Wisdom that you faking our selves : The Confidence of must apply your Hearts to search our, these souls is chiefly or only in that little Eccl. vii. s. Jesus Christ is the Treasure Knowledge, or Zeal, or Profeflion they that is "hid in this Field, Q a precious have, they do not as really abhor them. Treasure of eternal Life l Now then, felves for their own Righteousness, as for Souls, search into the fields of the Scrip their Unrighteousnefs, they make that the cures, Prov. i. 4. for him as for hid Covering of their Nakedness and Filthiness, Treasure. It is not only Truth you must which is in it self as menstruous and un- seek and buy, and not it, but 'tis Life clean as any Thing. It is now the very you would search : Here is an Object thac Propension and natural Inclination of our may not only take up your Understand . Hearts, to ftand upright in our felves: ings, bux fatisfie your Hearts. Think not Faith bows a Soul's back to take on Christ's you have found all when you have found Righteousness, but Prefumption lifts up the Truth there, and learned it: No, exa Soul upon its own Bottom, How can ye cept you have found Life 'there, you have believe that seek Honour one of another? found nothing, you have milled the Treas The Engagements of the Soul to its own' sure. If you would profit by the ScripCredit or Estimation, the Engagements of tures, you must bring both your Under. Self-Love, and Self-honour, do lift up a ftandings and your Affections to them, and Soul, that it cannot submit to God's Righ depart not till they both return full: If teousness, to Righteousness in another. you bring your Understanding to seek the And therefore many do dream and think Truth, you may find Truth, but not truly : that they have eternal Life, who shall You may find it, but you are not found of awake in the End, and find that it was it : You may lead Truth captive, and inbut a Dream, a Night-fancy.
close it in a Prison of your Mind, and enNow from all this, I would enforce compass it about with a Guard of corrups this Duty upon your Consciences, to search
tions, that it shall have no issue, no out and not obeying. If you find Curses in it, going to the Rest of your Souls and Ways, | Search again, and you shall find Jesus and no Influence on them; you may know Chrift under that, made a Curse for us ; the Truth, but you are not known of it, you thall find him the End of the Curse, and brought in Captivity to the Obedience for Righteousness to every one that be. of it. The Treasure that is hid in the lieves. When you know all the Letter Scriptures is Jesus Christ, whose intire of the Scripture, yet you must search into and perfect Name is, Way, Trutb, and the Spirit of it, that it may be imprinted Eife. He is a living Truth and true into your Spirits : All you know does you Life: Therefore Christ is the adequate no good but as 'tis received in: Love, unObject of the Soul, commensurable to all less your Souls become a living Epistle, its Faculties. He has Truth in him to fa- and the Word without be written on the tisfie the Mind, and has Life and Good Heart, you have found nothing. As for aess in him to satiate the Heart: There you that cannot read the Scriptures, if it fore if thou wouldt find Jesus Christ, be possible, take that Pains to learn to read bring thy whole Soul to seek him, as them. : O if you knew what they contain, Paul expresseth it. He is true and faith- and whom they bear Witness of, you ful, and worthy of all Acceptation, then would have little Quietness till you could bring thy Judgment to find the Light of read, at leaft his Love-epiftles to Sinners: Truth, and thy Affections to imbrace the And if you cannot learn, be not discou. Life of Goodness that is in him. Now, raged, but if your Desires within be fer. as much as ye find of him, so much have vent, your Endeavours to hear it read by ye profited in the Scriptures : If you find others will be more earnest. Bue it is not commands there which you cannot.obey, fo much the reading of much of it that search again, and you may find Strength profiteth, as the pondering of these things under that Command ; dig a little deeper, in your Hearts, and digesting them by fre and you shall hand Jesus the End of an quent Meditation, till they become the impossible Command: And when you Food of the Soul: This was. David's have found him, you have found Life and Way, and by this he grew to the Stature Strength to obey, and you have found a of a tall and well-bodyed Christian. Propitiation and Sacrifice for tranfgrefling
Eph. ii. 20. And builded upon the Foundation of the Apo'tles, &c. B
God, in which he dwells and walks: | ftool of the Creature's Soul, as for the Son 2 Cor. vi. 16. Every one of them is a | to come down in the State of a Servant, little Sanctuary and Temple to his Maje- and become in the form of sinful Fles. ity, Sanctifie the Lord of Hofts in your | But then he is a Temple and Sanctuary to Hearts ; though he be the high and lofty | them, and be sball be to you a Sanctuary, One that inhabits Eternity, yet he is pleaf | Ifa. viii. a Place of Refuge, a secret ed to come down to this poor Cottage of biding Place. Now, as every one is a a Creature's Heart, and dwell-in it: Is noc i little separated retired Temple, so they this as great a humbling and condescend- all conjoyned make up one Temple, one ing, for the Fusher to come down off his vigible Body in which he dwells : There
fore Peter calls them living Stones, built Foundation of his Confidence, which he up into a spiritual House to God, 1 Pet. may stand upon. They are one of the two i. s. All these little Temples make up that Chrift speaks of: Luke vi. 46. One one House and Temple, fitly joyned to builds on the Rock, another on the Sand: gether, in which God Mews manifeft Now as the Foundation is, so is the Houses Signs of his Presence and working: Un a changeable Foundation makes a falling to this the Apostle in this place alludes. House, a sure Foundation makes an unThe Communion, and Union of Chrifti- changeable House; a House without a ans with God, is of such a Nature, that Foundation will prove quickly no House, all the Relations and Points of Conjuncti- now whatsoever Men build their Hope on in the Creatures are taken to resemble and Confidence upon, beside the Word of it, and hold it out to us. We are Citi- God, his fure Promise and sure Covenant, zens, faith he, and Domesticks, Houfbold and Jesus Christ in them, they build upon Men, and so dwell in his House;, and then no Foundation, or upon a sandy Foundati-we are bis House beside : Now ye know on. All Fles is Grass, and the Flower there are two principal Things in a House, and Perfection of it is as the Flower of the Foundation and the Corner-Stone; the Field, here is the Name and Character the one supports the building, the other of all created Perfections, of the most exunites it, and holds it together : These two cellent. Endowments of Mind, of all the Parts of this spiritual building are here fpecious Actions of Man, 'tis all but vanish-pointed at : The Foundation of every sing and Vanity, every Man at his beft Eftate particular Stone, and of the whole Buil. I is such, yea altogether such: You who ding is the Doctrine of the Prophets and have no more to build upon but your ProApostles, as holding out Jesus Christ to sperity and Wealth, O that is bur Sand and Souls, the Rock on which our House Dung ;, would any Man build a House hall be builded : Not the Apostles, or j upon a Dung.hill
. You who have no o. Prophets, far less Paftors and Teachers ther Hope, but in your own good Prayers, lince ; for they are but, at beft, Workers and Meanings, your own Reformations, together with God and imployed in the and Repentances, your Professions, and building of the House ; nor yet their Doc Practises, know this, that your Hope is. trine, but as it holds out that true Founda. like a Spider's House, like the Web that tion that God had laid in Sion, Isa. xxviii. the hath laboriously exercised her self which is Jesus Christ, for other Foundati- bout all the Week over, and then when on can no Man lay. And then the Corner' you, lean upon that House it shall fall ftone is that same Jesus Christ, who through, and not sustain your Weight : reaches from the Bottom even to the Top Whatsoever it be, beside this living Stone of the Building, and immediately touches Jesus Christ, who is the very Substance of every Stone, and both quickens. it in it the Word, and Promises, it fall inoubt-felf, and unites them together.
edly prove thy shame, and Confusion : Well then, bere is a fure Foundation But behold the Opposition the Prophet 10 build our eternal Happiness upon the makes, between the Word and these o Word of God that endures for ever holds (ther Things, the Word of our God sall it out to us : All Men are building upon stand for ever, Isa. xl. 6, 7, 8. And. something, every Man is about some E- therefore Peter makes it an incorruptible dablishment of his Hopes, lays some.