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III. The bright and morning star, with relation,
1. To the nature of its substance; he was pure,
without the least imperfection. 2. To the manner
of its appearance; he appeared small in his humanity,
though he was the great Almighty God. 3. To the
quality of its operation, open and visible by his light,
chasing away the heathenish false worship, the
imperfect one of the Jews, and all pretended Mes-
siahs; secret and invisible by his influence, illumi-
nating our judgment, bending our will, and at last
changing the whole man.
I. Christ's coming into the world, who, 1. Was
the second Person in the glorious Trinity, the ever
blessed and eternal Son of God; 2. Came from the
bosom of his Father, and the incomprehensible
glories of the Godhead; 3. Came to the Jews, who
were his own by right of consanguinity; 4. When
they were in their lowest estate, national and eccle-
siastical in which we may consider the invincible
strength and the immoveable veracity of God's
II. Christ rejected by his own. For, 1. The
Jews' exceptions were, (1.) That he came not as a
temporal prince; (2.) That he set himself against
Moses's law. 2. The unreasonableness of which
exceptions appears from this: (1.) That the Mes-
siah's blessings were not to be temporal, and he
himself, according to all the prophecies of Scripture,
was to be of a low, despised estate; (2.) That Christ
came not to destroy, but to fulfil and abrogate
I. That he was stricken; his suffering, in its lati-
tude and extent, in its intenseness and sharpness,
and in its author, which was God.
II. That he was stricken for transgression; the
quality of his transgression was penal and expiatory;
he was punished for sins past, not to prevent sins for
the future. He bore our sins, his soul was made an
offering for sin. He was qualified to pay an equiva-
lent compensation to the divine justice, by the infinite
dignity and the perfect innocence of his person.
III. That he was stricken for God's people; the
cause of his suffering. Man's redemption proceeds
upon a twofold covenant, one of suretyship, the
other of grace; and, without any violation of the
divine justice, Christ suffered for men,
account of his voluntary consent; and because of his
relation to them, as he was their king and head, and
necessity of Christ's being believed in as a Saviour;
5. The nature of Christ's priesthood.
The belief of Christ's resurrection affords us, 1.
The strongest dehortation from sin; 2. The most
sovereign consolation against death.
SERMON XXXV.-P. 291.
THE CHRISTIAN PENTECOST, OR THE SOLEMN EFFUSION
OF THE HOLY GHOST, IN THE SEVERAL MIRACULOUS
GIFTS CONFERRED BY HIM UPON THE APOSTLES AND
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
Spirit."-1 COR. xii. 4.
I. What those gifts were, either, 1. Ordinary,
conveyed to us by the mediation of our own endea-
vours; or, 2. Extraordinary, immediately from God
alone, such as the gift of tongues, of healing the sick,
and raising the dead, of prophecy, the continuation
of which miraculous gifts in the church was but for
II. The diversity of those gifts, which consisted,
1. In variety; 2. Not in contrariety.
III. The consequences of their emanation from
one and the same Spirit, which are, 1. That this
Spirit is God, and hath a personal subsistence; 2.
That every one of us may learn humility under, and
content with, his own abilities; 3. That it affords a
touchstone for the trial of spirits, as in the gift of
prophecy, of healing, of discerning of spirits, of divers
tongues, of interpreting, by which trial we may
discover some men's false pretences to gifts the
Spirit; 4. That knowledge and learning are not
opposite to grace.
III. What it is to bring out of one's treasure
things new and old.
And then, by applying all this to the minister of
the gospel, we are to examine,
1st, His qualifications, namely, 1. A natural abi-
lity of the faculties of his mind, judgment, memory,
invention; 2. A habitual preparation by study, in
point of learning and knowledge, of significant
speech and expression;
2dly, The reasons of their necessity, namely, 1.
Because the preacher's work is to persuade; 2. Be-
cause God himself was at the expense of a miracle
to endow the first preachers with them; 3. Because
the dignity of the subject, which is divinity, requires
The misery of all foolish or vicious persons is,
that prosperity itself to them becomes destructive,—
I. They are ignorant or regardless of the ends
wherefore God sends it, 1. To try and discover what
is in a man; 2. To encourage him in gratitude to
his Maker; 3. To make him helpful to society.
II. Prosperity is prone, 1. To abate men's vir.
tues; 2. To heighten their corruptions, such as
pride, luxury, and uncleanness, profaneness.
III. It indisposes men to the means of their
amendment, rendering them, 1. Averse to all coun-
sel; 2. Unfit for the sharp trials of adversity, under
which they either despond or blaspheme.
Therefore, that prosperity may not be destructive,
CONCEALMENT OF SIN NO SECURITY TO THE SINNER.
These words reach the case of all sinners,
1st, Sin upon a confidence of concealment, for, 1. No man engages in sin, but as it bears some appearance of good; 2. Shame and pain are by God made the consequents of sin.
2dly, Take up that confidence upon, 1. Their own success; 2. The success of others; 3. An opinion of their own cunning; 4. The hope of repentance.
3dly, Are at last certainly defeated, because, 1. The very confidence of secrecy is the cause of the sinner's discovery; 2. There is sometimes a providential concurrence of unlikely accidents for a discovery; 3. One sin sometimes is the means of discovering another; 4. The sinner may discover himself through frenzy and distraction; or, 5. Be forced to it by his own conscience; 6. He may be suddenly struck by some notable judgment; or, lastly, His guilt will follow him into another world, if he should chance to escape in this.
THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REWARD.
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of reward."- HEB. xi. 24-26.
1st, It is exceedingly difficult, because, 1. Natural reason is averse to it; 2. This averseness is grounded partly upon many improbabilities, partly upon downright impossibilities charged upon it: Yet,
2dly, Is founded upon sufficient and solid grounds,
"Be sure your sin will find you out."— NUMBERS, which will appear, 1. By answering the objections of xxxii. 23. improbability and impossibility; 2. By positive arguments.
3dly, Gaineth much worth and excellency from all those difficulties; for from hence, 1. We collect the utter insufficiency of bare natural religion; 2. We infer the impiety of Socinian opinions concerning the resurrection.
A Christian is not bound to sequester his mind from respect to an ensuing reward. For,
1st, Duty, considered barely as duty, is not sufficient to engage man's will; because, 1. The soul has originally an averseness to duty; 2. The affections of the soul are not at all gratified by any thing in duty; 3. If duty of itself was a sufficient motive, then hope and fear would be needless. An answer to some objections.
2dly, A reward, and a respect to it, are necessary to engage man's obedience, not absolutely, but with respect to man's present condition; the proof whereof may be drawn from Scripture, and the practice of all lawgivers. Therefore it is every man's infinite concern to fix to himself a principle to act by, which may bring him to his beatific end.
ON THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.
"Having hope towards God, (which they themselves also allow,) that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."— ACTS, xxiv. 15.
It is certain that there must be a general retribution, and, by consequence, a general resurrection The belief of which, though,
SERMON XLIII.-P. 366.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE BLESSED TRINITY ASSERTED,
AND PROVED NOT CONTRARY TO REASON.
"To the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.". COL. ii. 2.
These words, examined and explained, prove the plurality of persons in the divine nature a great mystery, to be acknowledged by all Christians, whick will appear by shewing,
3dly, How the not receiving the love of truth into
the will, disposes the understanding to delusion, 1.
By drawing the understanding from fixing its con-
templation upon truth; 2. By prejudicing it against
it; 3. By darkening the mind, which is the peculiar
malignity of every vice.
4thly, How God can properly be said to send men
delusions, 1. By withdrawing his enlightening influ-
ence from the understanding; 2. By commissioning
the spirit of falsehood to seduce the sinner; 3. By
providential disposing of men into such circumstances
of life as have an efficacy to delude; 4. By his per-
mission of lying wonders.
5thly, Wherein the greatness of this delusion con-
sists, 1. In itself, as it is spiritual, and directly annoys
a man's soul, and more particularly blasts his under-
standing; 2. In its consequences, as it renders the
conscience useless, and ends in a total destruction.
6thly, What deductions may be made from the
whole, 1. That it is not inconsistent with God's holi-
ness to punish one sin with another; 2. That the
best way to confirm our faith about the truths of
religion is to love and acknowledge them; 3. That
hereby we may be able to find out the true cause of
atheism, and fanaticism.
It is natural for man to aim at happiness, the way
to which seems to be an abundance of this world's
good things, and covetousness is supposed the means
to acquire it. But our Saviour confutes this in these
words, which contains,
1st, A dehortation, wherein we may observe,
1. The author of it, Christ himself, the Lord of the
universe, depressed to the lowest estate of poverty;
2. The thing we are dehorted from, covetousness,
by which is not meant a prudent forecast and par-
simony, but an anxious care about worldly things,
attended with a distrust of Providence; a rapacity
in getting, by all illegal ways; a tenaciousness in
keeping; 3. The way how we are dehorted from it,
"Take heed, and beware;" for it is very apt to
prevail upon us, by its near resemblance to virtue;
the plausibility of its pleas; the reputation it gene-
rally gives in the world; and there is a great diffi-
culty in removing it.
2dly, The reason of that dehortation, that "a
man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the
things which he possesseth," because, 1. In the get-
ting of them men are put upon the greatest toils and
labours, run the greatest dangers, commit the great-
est sins; and, 2. When they are gotten, are attended
with excessive cares, with an insatiable desire of
getting more; are exposed to many temptations, to
the malice and envy of all about them; 3. The pos-
session of earthly riches is not able to remove those
things which chiefly render men miserable, such as
affect his mind, or his body; 4. The greatest happi-
ness this life is capable of, may be enjoyed without
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart
be also."- MATT. vi. 21.
These words, concerning the heart of man being
fixed upon his treasure or chief good, may be con-
1st, As an entire proposition in themselves,
1. Supposing, that every man has something which
he accounts his treasure, which appears from the
activity of his mind, and the method of his acting;
2. Declaring, that every man places his whole heart
upon that treasure, by a restless endeavour to ac-
quire it, by a continual delight in it, by supporting
himself with it in all his troubles, by a willingness to
part with all other things to preserve it.
2dly, As they enforce the foregoing precept in the
19th and 20th verses, wherein the things on earth
The rebellion of forty-one has had, ever since, a
very pernicious influence upon this kingdom. To
hinder the mischief whereof, Solomon's advice is best,
-to plant virtue in youth, in order to ensure the
practice of it in a man's mature or declining age;
for since every man is naturally disposed to evil, and
this evil principle will (if not hindered) pass into
action, and those vicious habits will, from personal,
grow national; and no remedy against this can be
had but by an early discipline; it is absolutely neces-
sary that the minds of youth should be formed with
a virtuous preventing education; which is the busi-
2dly, Several instances, wherein he, under the
mask of light, has imposed upon the Christian world,
making use, 1. Of the church's abhorrence of poly-
theism, to bring in Arianism; 2. Of the zealous
adoration of Christ's person, to introduce the super-
stitious worship of Popery; 3. Of the shaking off of
Popery, to bring in the two extremes of Socinianism,
and enthusiasm; a comparison of this last with
3dly, Certain principles, whereby he is like to
repeat his cheats upon the world, 1. By making
faith and free grace undermine the necessity of a
good life; 2. By opposing the power of godliness
irreconcilably to all forms; 3. By making the king-
dom of Christ oppose the kingdoms of the world.
The resurrection of a body, before its total dis-
solution, is easier to be believed, than after it; and
it was this last sort of resurrection which puzzled
Thomas's reason. Various objections, which, after
some preliminary considerations, are severally pro-
posed, and answered under eight heads, together
with a confutation of the lie invented by the Jews.
All objections being removed, Christ's resurrection
is proposed to our belief upon certain and sufficient
1st, The constant, uniform affirmation of such
persons, as had sufficient means to be informed of
the truth, and were of an unquestionable sincerity.