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monuments of his written word, confirming it'; here is the tcaładded co ic; here is the Livery and Se zin given, in the carnest of his Spirit, and here is fufficient witnesse to all ; even Gods Spirit witneffing with our Spirits that we are the fons of God; Let us finde this in out bolome and we are happy; neither let our hearts be quiet till we can say with the chosen Vestel, I am perswaded that neither life, nor death, nor Angels, nor Principalities, nor powers ; nor rings prefent, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any creature can be able to Separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Rom. 3. the last verfe - Lo, this is not a guesse, but an affurance (mono) .neither dochthe Apostle speak of his own fpeciall revelation ( as che Popish Doctors would pretend ) but he takes all beleevers into the partnership of this comfortable unfailablenesfe(nothing shall separare us) thus happy are we if we be sealed into the day of Redemprion,
Having now handled the parts feverally, let us ( if you please ) pur them together, and see the power of this inference or argument: ye are by the Spirit of God fealed to tbe day of redemption, Oh therefore grieve not that Spirit of God by whom ye are thus fçaled. The Spirit of God hath infinitely merired of you ; hath done fo much for you as ye are not capable to conceive,much lesse to answer in fo Heavenly an obsignation : Oh then be you tender of giving any offence to that good Spirit ; Do not you dare to do ought that might displease that loving aud beneficent Spirit. Be not you so much yout own enemies, as to give just distast to your good God. So as the force of the argument, as we intimated at the first, lies upon an action of unkindnesle ; affording us this instruction, that the ground of Gods Childrens fear to offend mult be our of love and thankfulness; great is thy mercy that thou maist be feared, saith the Pfalmift; he doch not say; great is thy mercy that thou maist be loved ; nor, great is thy Majesty that thou mailt" be feared; but great is thy mercy that thou maist be feared : base servile natures are kept in with feare of stripes, but the ingenuous disposition of Gods dear ones is wrought upon by the tender respect to the goodness and mercy of that God who hach lo infinitely blessed it. It is an emphaticall cxpression that of St. Paul For the love of Christ conftraineth us : 2.Cor. 5. 14. La, here is a kind of force and violence offered to the soul ; but it is the force of love, then which nothing can be more pleasing, neither will God offer any other; it can be no will that is forced ; God will not R
break in upon the soul ; but wins it with those sweet solicitations that are more powerfull then those of fear : Men commonly run in a full carcre towards Hell, it were happy that any thing in the world could stay them; but are there any of us that find a restraint upon our selves, in the midst of our evill wayes, fo as we make a stop in this pernicious course of our sining ? whence is it? Is it out of a meer fear of the pains of Hell, of those eternall torments that abide for sinners? This is little thank to them: Nature even in brute Creatures will teach them to affect their own preservation and to avoid thote things which will necessarily draw, on their destruction ; Balaams asse leeing the Angels sword, will strive to decline it ; every llave will tugg hard to escape the lath: but is it in a sweet sense of the mercies of God, who hath done so much for thy soul ? is it out of a conscience nor to offend so holy and munificent a God, who hath purchased thee fo dear,and sealed thee up to the day of Redemption:now, thou hast in thee a true generosity of Ipirit; this argues thee to have the proper affections of a true child of God;for every child of God is fpiritually good natur’d;It is not lo with our natural children; A stomackfull
Efau knowes that his good Father cannot but be displeased with his Pagan marches; yet he takes him wives of the Daughters of Heth: Gen. 26.35. And an ambitious Alfalom dares rise up in rebellion against his tenderly-loving Father 3 bur grace hath other effects; the spirituall generation of Gods faithfull ones, are dearly affc Etionare to their Father in Heaven, and apply themselves to all obcdience out of meer love and duty. The Son, and the flave are both injovned one work (God be thanked we can have no instance in this kind, that vassalage is happily and justly extinguished as unfit to be of use amongst Christians) but where it obrainech ftill, the Son and the slave do one work, but out of different grounds ; the Son to please his Father; the slave that he may avoid the stripes of an imperious Master, therefore the one doth it cheerfully and willingly; the other grudgingly and repiningly; the ome of Love; and Gratitude, the ocher out of fear. This is a point worthy of our serious consideration, as that which mainly imports our souls, what are the grounds of our either actions, or forbearances; we indevour some good duties, we refrain from some sins; out of what princip'es? Some there are that can bragg of their immunity from gross fins, with the proud Pharisee, I am no fornicatos , ; no drunkard, to
martherer, 10 lyer, no slanderer, no opprefour ; And I would to God every one of you that hear me this day could in sincerity of heart say fo; But what is the ground of this their pretended inoffensiveness'? If it be only a fear of Hell, and of the wrathful indignation of chat just Judge, thou canst reap (mal comfort to thy Soul in this condition; for this is our of meer selfe-love, and desire to escape pain and milery, which is incident into the worst of creatures : Even the evil Spirits themselves are afraid of tormenting, and deprecate the sending them back to their chains : But it it be out of a gracious, and tender love to God ; out of a filial fear of the displcalure of a God that hach done so much for thee, this argues che disposition of a true child of God, and may justly administer comfort to thy Soul, in the time of thy crial:Oh that we could every one of us lay before our eyes the sweet mercies of our God;especially.his fpiritual favours ; how freely he hath loved us, how dearly he hath redeemed us į even with the most precious blood of the Son of his love ; how graciously he hath scaled us up to the day of our redecmption and that we could make this use of is to be a strong retractive from any, even of our dearest, and gainfullest sins ; Carry this home with you, dear brethren, I befeech you, and fail nor to think of it upon all occasions when ever you shall finde your selves tempted to any sin whatsoever of luft, of excesse, of coverous desires, have this Antidote ready in your bosomes, which good Josepla had; How Shall I do this great evill and sin against God; As good Polycarpus that holy Martyr, when for the preservation of his life he was urged to renounce Christ, said; Fourscore and six years have I been his fervant, and he never did mc hurt ; and shall I deny my Soverain King that hath so graciously preserved me? If out of these grounds thou canst check thy sins; and canst say ; Lord I have been carefull not to gricve thy good spirit, because thou in thine eternal love haft sealed me thereby to the day of my redemption, be confident, that thy redemption is scaled in Heaven, and shall in due time be minifeíted to thine investiture with the eternall glory and happiness which God hath prepared for all his ; To the participation whereof, that God who hath ordained us, in his good time mercifully bring us, for the sake of the Son of his love, Jesus Christ the just
, to whom with the Father, and the blessed Spirit one infinite and incomprehensible God be given all prayse, honour, and glory, now and for evermore, Amen.
In the Year 1652.
ROM. 8. 14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the
Sons of God.
His only day is wont to be confecrared to the Celebration of the descent of the holy Spirit, and therefore deserves to be ( as it is named) the true Dominica in albis, whit. sunday: white is the colour of Innocence and
joy in respect of the first, this, together with the fealt of Ester was wont in the primitive times to be the solemn season of Ba prism, and sacramentall Regeneration : in respect of the second, it was the season of the juft Triumph and exultation of the Church; which was as this day graced, confirmed, and refreshed, with the miraculous defcent of the promised comforter ; in both regards every Christian challenges an interest in it; as these who claim to be the Sons of God by Baptism, the Sacrament of Regeneration, and to be indued and furnished with the sanctifying gifts of that blessed Spitit, whose wonderfull descent we this day celebrate : which how can we do better then by inquiring into what right we have to this
holy holy spirit, and to tha t son-ship of God, which in our Baptism we profess to partake of: we are all apr upon the least cause to be proud of our parentage. There arc Nacions (they say) in the world, whereof every man challenges gentilicy, and kindred to their King ;, fo are we wont to do spiritually to the King of Heaven. Every one hath the Spirit of God; every one is the fon of God. It is the main errand we have to do on the Earth to settle our hearts upon jult grounds, in the truth of this resolution, and this text undertakes to do it for us, infallibly deciding it, that those, and vone bur those,, that are led by the Spirit of God, are the Sons of God.
So as we need not now think of climbing up into Heaven, to turn the books of Gods ecernall Counsell ; nor linger after Enchufialmes and Revelations, as some fanaticall spirits ule to do znor wish. for that holy Dove to wisper in our ear, with that great Arabian impoftour ; bur only look seriously into our own hearts and lives and trie our felves thoroughly by this sure, and unfailing rule of our blessed Apostle, So many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God, let my speech, and your attention then be bounded in chese three limits : Here is First a priviledg, To be the Sons of God. Secondly a qualification of the priviledged, To be led by the Spirit. Thiedly an Universall predication of that priviledge upon the perfons qualified; So many as are led by tbe Spirit of God are the Sons of God; I need not crave your attention, the importance of the matter challenges it. To the firlt then ; it is a wonderfull and inexplicable priviledge, this, To be the Sons of God; no marvell if everyone be ape to claim ; The glory of Children are their Fathers, Prov. 17. 6. How were the femes puffed up with that vain gloriation that they were the Sons of Abraham, and yer they might have been so; and have come from hated Esau, or ejected ifmael: Brat is it then to be the: Sons : of the God of Alraham ? Ye know what Diivid could say upon the ten-der of matching into the blood royall ; seemeth it a small matter to you to be the Son in L'am to a King ? Oh what then is it to be the true born ? tons to the great King of Heaven ? The Alafsins pride themselves to be derived from that Son whom they say the Queen of Sheka had begotten of her by Solomon when she went to visit him ; - it is enough that it was Princely though bale ; how may we glory to be the true and legitimate iffue of the King of glory ? the great Lord in the Gospell is brought in by our Saviour in his parable to fay; They will re