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to do, without the least change except gradually ripening for the harvest, till in the end of the world, they are cast into a furnace of fire. The whole of this crop is bad from the root to the pod, and only fit for the beasts of the earth, or the fowls of heaven. Matth. 13. 37. &c.

In how sweet a light do these things place the electing love of God before the world began, and his will of mercy upon the vessels afore prepared unto glory. How precious becomes the blood of Christ who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, which testimony is by the witness of his own Spirit. 1 John. 5. 6. And at the very time when all our strength is gone. When we were without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly, by this blood of the covenant are we sent forth as prisoners out of the pit, (not one more nor less than those he has died for being released,) the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus making us free from the law of sin and death.

And

how much to be prized is that Holy Spirit by whom we have access thro' Jesus Christ unto the Father, and are sealed unto the day of redemption, so that we know, we shall never perish, neither shall any pluck us out of the hand of Christ. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. Rom.

11. 3.

Tho' the goodnes of God in whatever way discover ed, is sure to meet in return with hardness of heart; His will is not baffled but accomplished. Of the

same lump He has power to make one vessel to ho nour and another to dishonour. What if God willing to shew his wrath and make his power known? This then is a part of his will, and therefore 'tis said whom he will, he hardeneth; but how? endured with much long-suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. Rom. 9. 22. He is injured thro' an abuse of his goodness, and therefore is just in taking vengeance. They are not hardened by ill treatment, but good. There is also his will of mercy: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 9. 15. All equally by nature hate him, and refuse, and resist him, but he singles out some as thè objects of his mercy, having chosen them before the world began, and these he humbles and saves, and so makes known the riches of his glory on these vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. 23.

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This will of good, or good will goes first, and out of this are manifested his justice and his mercy. To display these to the highest, he has given some the greatest advantages, and opportunities, as may be seen for an example in Esau and the Jews. He had the birth right, every thing apparently in his favour. Their's were the fathers, and of whom, N

as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. But he despised the birthright. They received Christ not. His guilt was his profaneness. They were broken off because of unbelief. Jacob was loved, no better in himself than Esau, for they were brethren, sinners by nature, and enemies to God. Yet God who is rich in mercy, loved Jacob. The Jews put the word from them; the Gentiles had by nature no more óbedience than they, for they were led by dumb idols. But out of these God took a people for his name. His good will the angels saw, and sang. Paul says, he hath made known to us the mystery of his will, this is discovered to few, even that he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. By each, and by both God is justified and is glorified; and by each, and by both, every man whether sinner or saint is silenced.

This will of mercy is accomplished by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once, by the which will we are sanctified, are no more strangers, and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints; and this according to God's good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. He has said, and he has proved it, that as he lives, he hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but that he should turn from his evil way; but this is not his good pleasure, for it is attended with no good to the

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soul. His word preached to all nations proves he is no enemy first to any man, but as this word being rejected leaves the sinner without excuse, so the commandment going forth accomplisheth that which God pleaseth in the salvation of his chosen people. His word may be, and will be refused; but his commandment cannot, it is life everlasting, and is for the obedience of faith. There are many kinds, and degrees of faith in the church at large, but there is but one faith which will stand, and be truly profitable, even the faith of God's elect, and this is the faith of Jesus, peculiar to him, and his seed. It is not an easy thing to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, but God's power is sufficient. An inordinate carnal concern for sinners often opens the heart too wide; and selfishness, thro' a blind, biggotted spirit contracts, and makes too narrow. The only things to counteract both, are a rich experience of the kindness and love of God as declared in the scriptures, and displayed to the world; and of his distinguishing mercy by which alone any can be saved.

And I heard a voice from heaven. Such a miserable life as to outward things may certainly by human judgment be said to be under the blast of God, because they see what befalls them of evil, but can neither feel themselves, nor perceive the good that attends them within. And we need every encouragement to hold on, and often think if life be so, what must death be, and if with such difficulty we wade on

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thro' this host, what shall we do when we encoun→ ter the last enemy: heaven is very attentive to our frames and exercises, and a voice comes forth to John, saying, write, blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord from henceforth. Write it, that it may be for the time to come, It is not so much for you as for others. I tell you, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord henceforth, but write it for others. They are not as men suppose, and will say, the hated of God in this world, and gone to everlasting destruction, as his enemies, in that which is to come. But they are blessed, that is they have full possession of eternal life. For this is the blessing, as eternal death is the curse. And further, as it was denounced in case of disobedience in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die'; by one man, sin came, and death by sin: so far from this being now a curse, it is a blessing to all who die in the Lord. The saints die a temporal death, but in Christ they rise again, they are blessed then even in temporal death, because it is a certain prelude to a joyful resurrection.

But they need not this voice, who are not harrassed with many fears of death which a saint often says, he is tho' God hath delivered his soul from death, his eyes from tears, and his feet from falling, But some will object and say, you ought not to be so contradictory, you ought to triumph, and beno more afraid of death, than death is afraid

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