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" that we labour, as that we labour in vain : When our mini“ Itry petrifies, turd's hearts into ftones, and thefe taken up " and thrown at us, this kills us ; the recoiling of our pains " kills us.
When our peace returns to us, when we spend our strength to make men more nought than they were; “ this wounds our hearts: Which should be considered by fin.
ners, to kill one's felf, and one's minister too, which would “ save them ; what a bloody condition is this? + Every drop " that hath fallen from our heart and hand, from our eye. “ lids, and eye-brows, shall be all gathered up, and put as mar
ginal notes by all our labours, and all put in one volume toge“ ther, and this volume put in your hands at the great day, and “ opened leaf after leaf, and read distinctly and exactly to you."
Christians, you hear our case, you see our work, now a little to chear our spirits in the midst of our hard and killing labours, God sends us to you for a little refreshment, that, by beholding your holy and heavenly conversation, your chearful obedience, and sweet agreement in the ways of God; we may be comforted over all these troubles, 2 Thef. i. 3, 4. And will you wound and kill our hearts too? O what a cut will this be !
Fourthly, God hath further use for holiness of your lives; this serves to daunt the hearts, and overawe the consciences of his, and your enemies. And sometimes it hath had a strange influence, and effect upon them. There is a great deal of awful Majesty in holiness, and when it shines upon the conscience of a wicked man, it makes him stoop, and do obeysance to it. Which turns to a testimony for Christ and his ways before the world. Thus Herod was over-awed by the ftrict and holy life of John, he feared him, knowing that he was a juft and holy man, and observed (or preserved and saved) him,
That bloody tyrant was convinced in his conscience of the worth and excellency of that servant of God, and was forced to reverence him for his holiness. So Darius, Dan. vi. 14, 18, 19, 20. What conflicts had he himself about Daniel, whom he had condemned ; his conscience condemned him, for condemning so holy, and righteous a person. “Then the king went “ to his palace, and past the night in fallings; neither were in“ struments of music brought before him, and his sleep went “ from him. He goes early in the morning to the den, and cries “ with a lamentable voice, O Daniel, fervant of the living God." How much is this for the honour of holiness, that it conquers the very persecutors of it; and makes them ftoop to the meageft
* Lockyer, upon the Coloffians, p. 551.
fervant of God! It is said of Henry II. of France, that he was fo daunted by the heavenly majesty of a poor taylor that was burot before him, that he went home sad, and vowed, that he would never be present at the death of such men any more. When Valence the emperor came in person to apprehend Basil, he law such majesty in his very countenance, that he reeled at the very light of him ; and had fallen backward to the ground, had not his servant ftept in to support him. O holiness, holiness, thou art a conqueror. So muck, o Christians, as you shew of it in your lives, so much you preserve your interest in the consciences of your enemies : cast off this, and they despite you presently.
Fifthly, and lastly, God will use the purity of your conversations, to judge and convince the world in the great day f. It is true, the world shall be judged by the gospel, but your lives Shall also be produced as a commentary upon it; and God will not only thew them by the word how they ought to have lived, but bring forth your lives and ways to Itop their mouths, by shewing how others did live. And this I suppose is intended in that text, i Cor. vi. 3. “ The faints shall judge the world, ye?, " we shall judge Angels ;" that is, our examples are to condemn their lives and practices, as Noah, Heb. xi. 7. is said to condemn the world by building the ark, i. e. his faith in the threatning, and obedience to the command, condemned their supinenels, infidelity and disobedience. They saw him every day about that work, diligently preparing for a deluge, and yet were not moved with the like fear that he was; this left them inexcufable : so when God shall fay in that day to the careless world, did you not see the care, and diligence, the holy zeal, watchful. ness, and self-denial, of my people, who lived among you? How many times have they been watching, and praying, when you have been drinking, or sleeping! Was it not eafy to reflect when you saw their pains, and diligence ; have not í a soul to look after as well as they ; a heaven to win or lose, as well as they? O how speechless and inexcusable will this render wicked mea, yea, it shall not only be used to judge them, but angels also. How many shocks of temptations have poor saints stood; whereas
| When therefore the faithful are said to fit in judgment with Chrift, it must be understood, not of any authority and power of judging of themselves, but, (1.) of that which is given them in Christ their lead. (2.) of their approbation of the sentence nounced by Christ. Apoc. xix. I. (3.) of their bearing witness by their ministry or conversation (against the wicked) and the comparison of their own lives with theirs, by which the justice of the Judge shall be manifest,
they fell without a tempter? They stood not in their integrity, though created in such excellent natures; how much then are you concerned on this very account also, to walk exactly! if not instead of judging them, you (hall be condemned with them.
And thus you see what use your lives and actions shall be put to; and are these inconsiderable uses? Is the winning over fouls to God a small matter? Is the falving the honour, and reputation of godliness, a small matter? Is the encouraging the hearts, and strengthening the hands of God's poor mioilters, amidlt their spending, killing labours, a small matter? Is the awing of the consciences of your enemies, and judging them in the last day, a light thing? Which of these can you call to ?
O then, since you are thus obliged to holiness of life, thus fingularly afifted for it; and since there are such great dependencies upon it, and uses for it, both gow, and in the world to come ; fee that ye be holy in all manner of conversation. See that, “as ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so ye walk in " him;" always remembring, that, for this very end, Christ hath redeemed, or “delivered you out of the hands of your e“ nemies, that you might serve him without fear, in righteous“ ness and holiness all the days of your lives,” Lukei. 74, 75. And to how little purpose will be all that I have preached, and you have heard, of Christ, if it be not converted into practical godlinefs? This is the scope and design of it all.
And now, Reader, thou art come to the last leaf of this trea. tise of Christ, it will be but a little while, and thou shalt come to the last page or day of thy life ; and thy last moment in that day. Wo, to thee, wo and alas for ever, if an interest in this blessed R:deemer be then to get. The world affords not a fadder light, iha: a poor Chriltless foul (hivering upon the brink of eternity. To see the poor soul that now begins to awake out of its long dream, at its entrance in to the world of realities, to thrink back into the body, and cry, O I cannot, I dare not die. And then the tears run down. Lord, what will become of me? O what shall be my eternal lot ? This, I say, is as fad a fight as the world afförds. That this may not be thy case, reflect upon what thou hust read in these fermons; judge thyself in the light of them. Obey the calls of the Spirit in them, Let not thy sight and formal spirit, Aoat upon the furface of these truths, like a feather upon the water ; but get them deeply fixed upon thy spirit, by the Spirit of the Lord; turning them into life and power upon thee; and so animating the whole course and tenor of thy conversation by them, that it may proclaim to all that know thee, that thou art one who esteemelt all to be but dross, that thou mayft win Christ.
METHOD OF GRACE
GOSPEL - REDEMPTION.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATOR Y, To the Worshipful John Upton, of Lupton, Efq; and the most accomplished and virtuous Lady, bis dear Confort, the Author wishes Grace, Mercy, and Peace.
Honcured and worthy Friends, IT IT was a comfortable expression, which Ambrose used in his fir
neral oration, at the death of Theodosius; *“That thougha, "he were gone, yet he was not wholly gone ; for he had left " Honorius, with others of his children, bebind him, in whom " Theodofius still lived.” Your renowneu and worthy ancestors are gone, yet (blessed be God) they are not wholly gone ; whilst the prudence, piety, aud publicaels of their spirits, Till lives and Mourishes in you, the top branch of a renowned and religious family. It is a great truth, which Philo Judaeus recommends to the obfervation of all pofterity,“ + That it is not a natural " defcent from the most honourable and illustrious progenitors, " nor the greatest affluence of riches and pleasures that makes a
man either honourable or happy ; but the inhabitation of God “ ja his soul, as in his temple, tho' (faith he) those that never “ tasted religion, nor have feen its glory, will not credit this al
* Theollofius tantus imperator recessit a nobis, fed non totus recessit ; reliquit enim nobis liberos fuos, in quibus debemus euin ag. nofcere. Ambros, in obit. Theod.
+ Τας δ υμνοσι την ευγενειαν ως μεγιςον αγαθον και μεγάλων αγαθων αιτιον, και μέμως επίλιμητέον, ει πρωτον μεν οιονται τις εκ παλαιοπλάτων και παλάϊενδοξων ευγενής., μήτε των προγονων αρ ων αυχεσι γενεσθαι.-Βοληθεις γαρ ο Θεος δια ημεροτηλα και φιλανθροπιαν και παι ημιν τεθ ιδρυσασθαι, νεων αξιοπρεπισερν επι γης εχ ευρε λογισμα κρειτω ο γαρ νας α. γαλμάνοφορα το αγαθον, καν απισωσι τινες των μη γευσαμένων σοφας και χείλεσιν ακρους. Pilo fudeης περι Ευγενειας, a book fit for the hands of all gentlemen, translated by Laurentius Humphredus in his excellent tract de Nobilitaie,
“ fertion.” “The foul which is filled with God, (faith * Ploti: “ nus) and brings forth the beautiful fruits of righteousness, this " is the truly noble loul :” Our new birth makes us more honourable than our natural birth, let our birthright dignities be what they will. The children of nobles are, by nature, the chil. dren of wrath, even as others : Omnis Sanguis concolor, all blood is of one colour : it is all tainted in Adam, and mingled together in his posterity. “There is no king, faith Seneca, which role
not from a fervant; there is no servant which rose not from “ a king : these things have been blended, and tossed to and fro “ by a long variety.”
But though the privileges of natural birth fignify nothing as to eternal falvation, yet in civil and political respects and considerations, those that by birth, education, or estate, posless an higher station in the world, differ from the vulgar, as stars of greater magnitude and lustre : their interest and influence are great in these things, and the welfare of kingdoms I greatly depends upon them.
It is therefore a great design of the enemy of mankind, to corrupt perfons of eminent rank and quality both in religion and morality; and by their influence and eximple, to infect and poison the whole body politic; and his success herein, deserves to be greatly lamented and bewailed. Persons of eminency are more especially || obliged to sun base and fordid actions. Hierom professed ġ he saw nothing desirable ia nobili
Ψυχη πληρωθεισα θεε γεννα το κάλλος, γεννα τεν δικαιοσυνην. Ρlorinus.
+ Neminem regem non ex servis ele oriundum, neminem fervum non ex regibus : omnia ifia longa varietos miscuit, et surfum deorsum fortuna versavit. Sen. Ep. 44.
& Who manages the reins of government, who is present at, and presides over, both private and public matters, but persons of eminent rank and quality? Who moderates in the senate, presides in courts, commands at home and abroad ? Chief men and nobles surely. Who commands and countermands, acts and overacts, manages and canvasses all affairs, who makes laws and rescinds them, who governs the state in time of peace, and commands the forces in time of war, but great men and nobles? No wonder that the management of public affairs be committed to him, who both by personal merit and renown of his ancestors hath recommended himself to the good report and eiteein of mankind. Laurent. Humphred, on Nobility. | In- maxima fortuna, minima eft licentia. Saluft. Nihil aliud video in nobilitate appetendum, nisi quod nobiles