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Nature, but any Discoveries that were made in any former Revelation? And therefore it may on this Account be justly said, that our Lord Jesus Christ hath brought Life and Immortality to Light by the Gospel.
It remains that I (hew, that our Lord Jesus Christ hath also given the clearest and best Directions, as to the Way and Terms upon which that future Happiness is to be obtained: But the Consideration of thie must be reserved to another Opportunity.
How Christ brought Life and Immortality to Light.
Z Timothy i. 10. .
• And hath brought Life and Immorta-*
tality to Light through the Gospel.
IN my former Discourses on this Subject, I endeavoured to shew, First, That our Lord Jesus Christ hath given us more convincing satisfying Assurances of the Certainty of a future immorT tal Life and Blejfednefs, than had been given to Mankind in any former Ages.
Secondly, That he hath not only assured
us of the Certainty of that future Happiness,
Hh 4 but but hath made clearer and .more distinct Discoveries of the Nature and Greatneft of that Happiness, than the World was ever favoured with before.
I proceed now to the Third Thing I proposed in considering this Subject, which was to shew, That hd hath given us the best Directions, as to the Way that leads to that future Glory and Felicity, and the Terms upon which it is to be obtained. This is^ a Matter of very great Importance, and without which all the rest would be of small Advantage or Avail. For, let the Happiness be never so great and glorious, yet, if we are not well informed how it is to be obtained by us, or if the Terms upon which it is proposed and promised be so very high and difficult, as to be above what Men in their present frail and imperfect State can attain to, even by their best andsincerejl Endeavours, it will be of little Benefit or Comfort to us.
With Regard to the Terms upon which that future Happiness js to be obtained, it seems proper that they should be so ordered, that, on the one Hand, there should not be any Encouragement given to obstinate impenitent Sinners that go on in a Course of presumptuous Sin and Disobedience; and that, on the other Hand, no sincere Upright Persons, that make it their hearty
and diligent Endeavour to yield a dutiful Obedience to the Divine Commands, in the Practice of true Piety and Virtue* should be rejected and excluded from those glorious Hopes. And accordingly the Terms of the New Covenant, as declared to us by Jesus Christ in his Go/pel, are so admirably adjusted as fully to answer both thole Ends: For,
First, We are there ajfured that real Holiness of Heart and Life, or a dutiful Obedience to the Divine Commands, is necessary to our being made Partakers of that future Glory, and that obstinate impC" nitent Sinners shall have no Part or Share in it; and we have greater Advantages, under the Gospel, for guiding and assisting us in' the Practice of Holiness, than were given to the World before.
Secondly, Though Holiness, or real Piety and Virtue, be represented as absolutely necessary, yet a perfect fnless Obedience is not insisted upon as the Condition of our Right to eternal Life; but there is a gracious Provision made in the Gospel Covenant for pardoning our Sins upon our Repentance, and for the accepting and rewarding of our sincere, though iwperfeel, Obedience, so that it shall, through the rich Grace and Mercy of God in Jejus Christ, giye us a Right to eternal Life.