תמונות בעמוד
[ocr errors]

ftudy fo to walk, as you may not cast that so they may not be readily brought Dirt-upon it, or open any Gap in the under the Bondage of the Fear of Wrath Conscience for the Re-entry of these hel again. Perfect Love casts out the Pear lifh-like Fears, and dreadful Apprehen- of Hell, but perfect Love brings in the fions of God. Certainly 'tis impossible Fear of Sin: Ye that love the Lord to preserve the Spirit in Freedom, if a bate Ill; and if ye hate it, ye will fear it Man be not watchful against Sin and Cor. in this State of Infirmity and weakness, ruption. David prays, Re-establish me wherein we are. And if at any Time ye, with tby free Spirit ; as if his Spirit had through Negligence and Carelesliefs of been abafed, embondaged, and enthraled walkining, lose the comfortable Evidence by the Power of that Corruption. If you of the Father's Love, and be reduced awould have your Spirits kept free from gain to your old Prison of legal Terror, the Fear of Wrathi ftudy to keep them do not despair for that, do not think that free from the Power of Sin, for that is such a Thing could not befall a Child of byt a Fruit of this ; And 'tis most suitable

God, and from that Ground do not raze that the Soul that cares not to be in Bon former Foundations ; for the Scripture dage to livful Lusts, should, by the Righ- | faish not, that whosoever believes once in teousness of God, tempered with Love Chrift, and receives the Spirit of Adoptiand Wisdom, be, brought under the Bon on, cannot fear again; for: we see it dage he would not, that is, of Fear and otherwise in David, in Heman, in Terrour ; for by this Means the Lord fob, &c. all holy Saints ; but the Scrip makes him know how evil the first is, by ture faith, ye bave not received the Spithe Bitterness of the second.

rit of Bondage for that End' to fear a It is usual on such a Scripture as this, gain : It is not the Allowance of your Fa. to propound many Questions, and debate ther ; your Allowance is better and largen, many practical Cales; as, whether a Soul;af. if you knew it, and did not sit below it. ter believing, can be under legal Bondage ? Now, the great Gift, and large AllowAnd wherein these differ, the Bondage ance of our Fatber, is exprefled in the of a Soul after believing, and in its first next Words, But ye have received the Conversion ? And how far that Bon- Spirit of Adoption, &c. Which Spirit dage of Fear is preparatory to Faith?. of Adoption is a Spirit of Intercesion, And many such like ; but I choose rather to make us cry to God as our Father. to hold forth the simple and naked Truth | These are two Gifts, Adoption or the for your Edification, than put you upon, Privilege of Sons, and the Spirit of t. or intertain you in such needless Janglings doption revealing the Love and Mercy and Contentions. ' All I desire to say to a of God to the Heart, and framing it to a Soul in Bondage, is, to exhort him to Soul-like Disposition : Compare the two come to the Redeemer, and to consider. Statestogether and its a marvelous Changx that his Case calls and cries for a Delivery: A Rebel condemned, and then pardon. Come, I say, and he shall find Reft and ed, and then adopted to be a Son of God : Liberty to his Soyl. All I would say to A Sinner under Bondage, a bound Slave Souls delivered from this Bondage; is, to to Sin and Satan; not only freed from request and beseech them to live in a holy that intolerable Bondage, but advanced Fear of Sin; and Jealousy over themselves, to this Liberty, to be made a Son of God



[ocr errors]

this will be the continued Wonder of E. their own Misery, cordially receive him,
ternity, and that whereabout the Song of as he is offered; but the unspeakable Pri.
Angels and Saints will be. Accursed Re: vilege of Sonsbip and Adoption for his
bels, expecting nothing but present Death, Sake who became our elder Brother,
Sinners arraigned and sentenced before his Gal. iv. 4, s. Men that want Children
Tribunal, and already tafting Hell in their use to supply their Want by adopting fome
Consciences, and in Fear of eternal pe- beloved Friend in the Place of a Son ;
rishing, not only to be delivered from all and this is a kind of Supply of Nature for
that, but to be dignified with this Privilege the Comfort of them that want: But it is
to be the Sons of God: To be taken ftrange, that God having a Son fo glori--
from the Gibbet, to be crowned, that is ous, the very Character of his Person,
the great Mystery of Wisdom and Grace and Brightness of his Glory, in whom he
revealed in the Gospel, the proclaiming delighted from Eternity ; strange, I say,
whereof will be the joynt Labour of all that he should in a manner lose and give
the innumerable Companies above for all away his only begotten Son, that he might
Eternity. Now, if you ask how this Eftate by his Means adopt others, poor defpi-
is attainable, himself tells us, fobn i. 12. cable Creatures, yea rebellious, to be his
As many as believed or received him, Sons and Daughters ! Certainly, this is an
to them be gave tbe Privilege to be the Act infinitely transcending Nature, fuch
Sons of God. The Way is made plain an Act that hath an unsearchable Mystery
and easy, Chrift the Son of God, the na- in it, into which Angels defire to look,
rural and eternal Son of God, became the and never cease looking, because they
Son of Man ; to facilitate this, he hath never see the Bottom of it. It was not
-taken on the Burden of Man's Sin, the out of Indigency he did it, not for any
Chaftisement of our Peace; and fo of the need he had of us, or Comfort expected
glorious Son of God he became like the from us, but absolutely for our Neceflity
wretched and accursed Sons of Men; and and Consolation, that he might have up-
therefore God hath proclaimed in the Gof. on whom to pour the Riches of his
pel, not only an Immunity and Freedom Grace.
trom Wrath, to all that in the Sense of



Verse 15. — But ye have received the Spirit of Adoption,

whereby we cry, Abba, Father. BE EHOLD what Manner of Love God, 1 John iii. 1. It is a wonderful

the Father baib jueved unto us, Expression of Love, to advance his own that we sbould be called the Sons of Creatures, not only infinitely below him.


felf, but far below other Creatures, tothus in him, and Aies to him, defiring to such a Dignity. Lord what is Man lay down the Weapons of their Warfare, that thou fo magnifieft bim ! but it sur their Peace is not only made by that Marpasses Wonder, that rebellious Creatures, riagewhich Christ made with our Nature, lis Enemies, should have, not only their but they are blessed with this Power and Rebellious freely pardoned, but this Pri- Privilege, to be the Sons and Daughters vilege of Sonsbip bestowed upon them; of the Most High: And from thence you that he should take Enemies, and make may conclude, chat if God be your Fa. Sons of them; and not only Sons, but ther, you can want nothing that is good: Heirs, Coheirs with bis own only be- But the Determination of what is good gotten Son. And then, how he makes for you, whether in spiritual Enlargements, them Sons, is as wonderful as the Thing or in the Things of this Life, you must reit felf, that he Mould make his own Son, fer to his Wisdom: For bis Love indeed olir Brotber, Bone of our Bone, and is strong as Death, nothing can quench Flesh of our Fles; and make him spring it, in the Point of Reality and Constanout as a Branch or Rod out of the dry cy: There is nothing to shadow it out aStem of Jelle, who himself was she mong Men; the Love of Women is earRoot of all Mankind. This is the way, neft and vehement, but that is nothing to God sent bis Son, made of a Woman, it, isa. xlix. 15. For they may forget, under the Law, ibat we might receive but he cannot. Yet his Love is not a the Adoption of Sons, Gal. iv. s. The foolish Dotage, like Man that is often House of Heaven marries with the Earth, miscarried with Fancy and Luft, but it is with them who have their Foundation in a rational and wife Affection, adminiftred; the Duft; the chief Heir of that heaven- and expressed with infinite Reason and ly Family, joineth in kindred with our Wisdom: And therefore, he chooses rabase and obscure Family, and by this ther to profit us, than to please us in his means, we are made of Kin to God. But Dealings, and we who are not so fit co of bini are ye in Cbrift Jesus, 1 Cor. judge and discern our own Good, should

It ; behoved Christ, in a manner, commit all to his fatherly and wise Provi. to lose his own Sonship, as to Men, to dence. Therefore, if you be tempted to hare it so vailed and darkned by the su- Anxiety and Carefulness of Mind, eiperadded Interest in us, and his Nearness ther through he Earthliness of your Dif to us ; he was so properly a Son of Man, positions, or the present Straits of the subject to all human Infirmities, except Time, you who have resigned your self Sin, that without Eyes of Faith, Men to Jesus Christ, wouid call to Mind that could not perceive that he was the Son of your heavenly Father careth for you ; God: And by this wonderful Exchange And what need you care tou ? Why not, . are we made the Sons of God: Whoever, use your lawful Callings, .be diligent in in the Apprehension of their own Enmi-chem ; this is not to prejudge that, but if. ty and Ditance from God, receive Christ you believe in God, then you are obligJesus, offered as the Peace, the Bcnd of ed by that. Profession to abate from the Union between the two Families of Hea- lupe fluous tormenting Thoughtfulness, that ven and Earth, that were at an infinite Odds is good for nothing, bớt to make you, and Distance ; whoever (I say), belicves more miserable than your Troubles can

X x 22


i. 30.

make you,

[merged small][ocr errors]

and to make you mi- them, and leave them a good Example serable before you be miserable, tofur hnitation : But in this our heavenly anticipate your Sorrows. If you say Father transiends all, that he can impare God is your Father, you are lyed 10 de his own Spirit to his adopted-Children, volve your selves over on him, and trust and this Spirit is in a manner the very in his good Will and Faithfulness, and to effential Principle that maketh them Chilsit down quietly as Children - that have dren of the Father ; their Natures, their Parents to provide for them.

Dispositions are under his Power, he can as Now, the other Gift is great too, the well reform them, as you can change your Spirit of Adoption, and because ye are Childrens GarmentsHe can make of Sons, therefore bath be given you the us what he will, our Hearts are in his Spirit of bis Son saith this Apostle, Hand, as the Water, capable of any ImGal iv. 6. And so it is a Kind of Con. pression he pleasesh to put on it: And this fetary of the great Privilege and blessed is the Impression he putteth on his ChilEfate of Adoption. They who adopt dren, he putteth his Spirit in their Hearts, Children, use to give them some kind of and writeth his Law in their inward Parts, Token to express their Love to them : a more divine and higher Work, than all But as the Lord is higher than all, and human Perswalion can reach. This Spithis Privilege to be bis Son or Child is srit they receive as an Earnest of the Inherithe greatest Dignity imaginable, so this cance, and withal, to make them fit for Gift of his Spirit fuits the Greatnels and the Inheritance of the Saints in Light. Glory and Love of our Fatber. “It is Now, the working of this Spirit of a Father's Gift indeed, a Gift suitable 10 Adoption, I conceive to be threefold, our heavenly Father. If a Father that beside that of Intercession, expresied in is tender of the Education of his Child, the Verfe. The first Work of tbe Spirit and would delire nothing so much as that of Adoption, that wherein à Father's Af he might be of a vertuous and gracious Dil: fećtion seems to break firft from under position, and good Ingine ; I think if he Ground, is, the revealing to the Heart, were to express his Love in one Wilh, it the Love and Mercy of God to Sinners; would be this, that he might have such a I do not say, to fuch a' Soul in particular, Spirit in him, and this he would account for that Application is neither firit, nor better than all that he could leave him : universal ; But herein the Spirit of AdopBut if it were possible to transmit a gra- tion first appears from under the Cloud of cious, well-disposed and understanding Fear; and this is the first Opening of the Spirit from one to another, and if Men Prison of Bondage, wherein a Soul was could leave it, as they do their Inheritance shut, when the plain Way of Reconciliati. to their Children, certainly a wise and reson to God in Chrift, and Delivery from ligious Parent would firit make over a the Bondage of Sin and Wrath, is bolden Disposition of that to his Children ; as out; when such a Word as this comes inElisba fougbt a double Measure of Eli- to the Soul, and is received with some jah's Spirit, so a Father would wish such Gladness, God so loved the World, that a Measure to his Children, and, if it were be gave bis Son, &c. This is a true and possible, to give it : But that may not be, faitbsul saying, &c. Come ye tbat labour all that can be done is to wish well to andare weary,and I will give reft to your


Souls: When a Soul is made to hear , xviii. that there is a way of justifying the glad Tidings of Liberty preached to .a Sinner and ungodly Person, without Captives, of Light to the blind, of Joy to Wrong to God's Righteousness; and this the heavy in Spirit, of Life to the Dead; being well pondered in the Heart, and rethough he canaot come that length as to ceived in Love, the great Business is done ; fee his own particular Interest, yet the after that, particular Application is very receiving affectionately and greedily more easy, of which I thall not speak now, such a general Report as good and irue, because Occasion will be given in the next gives fome Ease and Relaxation to the Verse, about the Spirit's witnelling with Heart. To see Delivery pollible, is some our Spirits, which is another of the SpiDoor of Hope to a desperate Sinner ; but rit's workings : Oniy I say this, that which to see it, and espy more than a Polibility, makes this so difficult,is a Defect in the first: even great Probability, though he cannot But the common Principles of the Gospel reach a Certainty, that will be as the break are not really, and so seriously apprehening open of a Window of Light in a dark ded, because many Souls do not put to Dungeon, it will be as the taking off of their Seal to witness to the Promises and some of the hardest Fetters, and the worst | Truth of it; therefore the Lord often deChains, which makes a Man almost to nies this Seal and Witness to our Comfort. think himself at Liberty. Now this is It is certainly a preposterous Way Satan the great Office of the Spirit of the Fa. pues Souls upon, first, to get such a Testither, to beget in us good Thoughts of mony from the Spirit before they labour him, to incline us to charitable and fa- to get such a Testimony to Christ, and vourable Constructions of him, and make Eccho or Answer in their Hearts to his us ready to think well of him, to begat Word: this Way it seems sorteft ; for a good Understanding between us and it would leap into the greater Liberty at him, and correct our jealous Misapprehen. the first Hand; but certainly 'tis fartbelt fions of him ; for certainly we are na about, because 'tis impossible for Souls to turally suspicious of God, that he deals not leap immediately out of Bondage to AL in rad earnest with us: When ever we furance, without some middle Step : They see the Height of our Provocation, and cannot pass thus from Extremes to Ex. Weight of deserved Indignation, we think tremes, without going through the midhim like our Yelves, and can hardly re. dle State of receiving Chrift, and laying ceive without Suspicion, the Gofpel that his Word up in the Heart ; and therefore lays open his Love in Christ to the it proves the Way furtheft about, because World.

when Souls have long wearied themNow, thisis the Spirit's Work, to make felves, they must at length turn in hiusentertain that honourable Thoughtof God, ther. that he is most inclinable to 'pardon Sin But there is another working of Ibe ners ; and that his Mercy'is infinitely above Spirit, I wish you were acquainted with. Mans Sin; and that it is no Prejudice to his As the first Work - is to beget a suitable Holiness or Justice ; and to apprehend Apprehension of God's Mind and Heart to. feriously a constant Reality and folid Truth wards Sinners; fo the next is, to beget a in the Promises of Gospel; and so to con- suitable Disposition in our Hearts towards vince a Soul of Righteousness, Joh. God as a Farber : The first apprehends

« הקודםהמשך »