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1. Because the former expositions have been shewn to be unnatural, forced, or impertinent, and there is no other besides this assignable, 6.

2. Since Paul here uses David's very words, it is most probable that he used them in David's sense, 7.

3. The words descending and ascending are so put together in the text, that they seem to intend a summary account of Christ's whole transaction in man's redemption, which was begun in his conception, and consummate in his ascension, 7.

II. Christ's glorious advancement and exaltation, he ascended far above all heavens ; that is, to the most eminent place of dignity and glory in the highest heaven, 7.

III. The qualification and state of Christ's person, in reference to both conditions : he was the same. He that descended, &c. which evinces the unity of the two natures in the same person, 9.

IV. The end of Christ's ascension, that he might fill all things, 12. All things may refer here, 1. To the scripture-prophecies and predictions, 12. 2. To the church, as he might fill that with his gifts and graces, 12. Or 3, (which interpretation is preferred) to all things in the world, 12. which he may be said thus to fill in double respect.

1. Of the omnipresence of his nature, and universal diffusion of his godhead, 12.

2. Of the universal rule and government of all things committed to him as mediator upon his ascension, 14.

It now remains that we transcribe this into our lives, and by being the most obedient of servants, declare Christ to be the greatest of masters, 16.

SERMON II.

EPHESIANS iv. 10.

That he might fill all things. P. 17.
These words are capable of a threefold interpretation, 17.

1. All things may refer to the whole series of prophecies and predictions recorded of Christ in the scriptures, which he may be said to fulfil by his ascension, 17.

St. Paul vindicated against the Jews' charge of perverting the prophet's meaning in that eminent prediction, Psalm lxviii. 18, 18.

2. All things may refer to the church : which sense is here most insisted on, 19.

The church, from its very nature and constitution, has unavoidably a double need or necessity, which it is Christ's prerogative to fill, 20.

I. In respect of its government. Hereupon he gave some, apostles ; some, evangelists ; some, prophets ; some, pastors and teachers, 20.

2. In respect of instruction : for this Christ made a glorious provision by the diffusion of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles, 21. In which passage two things are observable :

1. The time when, 21. Which is remarkable in respect,

1. Of Christian religion itself, it being about its first solemn promulgation, 21.

2. Of the apostles. It was when they entered upon the full execution of their apostolic office, 22.

II. The manner how the Holy Ghost was conferred ; namely, in the gift of tongues, 25. And as these tongues were a proper representation of the gospel, so the peculiar nature and efficacy of this gospel was emphatically set forth by those attending circumstances of the fire and the mighty wind, both of which are notable for these effects; 1. To cleanse. 2. To consume and destroy, 26.

SERMON III.

John ix. 4.
The night cometh, when no man can work. P. 28.
The sense of the text naturally lies in three propositions :

I. That there is a work appointed to every man to be performed by him, while he lives in the world, 28.

Man, as he is, 1. a part or member of the body politic, hath a temporal work, whereby he is to approve himself a good citizen, in filling the place of a divine, lawyer, &c., 29.

2. As a member and subject of a spiritual and higher kingdom, he has also a spiritual calling or profession of a Christian ; and the work that this engages him to is threefold, 31. 1. Making his peace with God, 31.

, 2. Getting his sins mortified, 31.

3. Getting his heart purified with the proper graces and virtues of a Christian, 34.

II. That the time of this life being once expired, there is no further possibility of performing that work, 36. The word by which the time of this life is expressed, viz. a day, may emphatically denote three things :

1. The shortness of our time, 36. 2. The sufficiency of it for our work, 36. 3. The determinate stint and limitation of it, 37.

III. That the consideration of this ought to be the highest argument for using the utmost diligence in the discharge of this work, 38. Which requires all our diligence; 1. From its difficulty, 38. 2. From its necessity, 39.

SERMON IV.

PREACHED AT THE CONSECRATION OF

DR. SETH WARD, BISHOP

OF

OXON.

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JEREMIAH xv. 20. I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee : for I am with thee to save thee and deliver thee, saith the Lord. P. 42.

Presbytery, derived by some from Jethro, came first from Midian, an heathenish place, 42. Their elders are mentioned sometimes in the Old Testament, but their office not described, 42. A superintendency of bishops over presbyters may be argued from the superiority of the priests over the Levites, much better than they can found their discipline upon the word elder, 43. But if God instituted such a standing superiority and jurisdiction of the priest over the Levites, these two things follow :

1. That such a superiority is not in itself absolutely irregular and unlawful, 43.

2. That neither does it carry in it an antipathy and contrariety to the power of godliness, 43.

And yet upon these two suppositions, as if there was something in the very vital constitution of such a subordination irreconcilable to godliness, are all the presbyters' calumnies commenced, 43.

In the words are three things considerable :

I. God's qualification of Jeremy to be an overseer in his church; I will make thee a fenced brasen wall, 44.

Now a wall imports, 1. Enclosure, 44. 2. Fortification, 44. This metaphor of a wall, as applied to a church-governor being explained; to make good that title he must have, 1. Courage, 46. 2. Innocence and integrity, 47. 3. Authority, 48.

II. The opposition that the church-governor thus qualified will be sure to meet with in his office : They shall fight against thee, 50. And this they are like to do,

1. By seditious preaching and praying, 50.

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2. By railing and libels, 51.
3. Perhaps by open force, 52.

III. The issue and success of this opposition : They shall not prevail against thee, 53.

It is bold to foretell things future, which fall under human cogni. zance only two ways : 1. By a foresight of them in their causes, 53. 2. By divine revelation, 53. And from both these there is ground of hope to the church, 53.

The arguments against this answered, 1. That the enemies of the church in the late confusion did not prevail against her : for that only is a prevailing which is a final conquest, 54. 2. That he who is pillaged or murdered in the resolute performance of his duty is not properly prevailed against, 54.

Wherefore the governors of the church may with confidence from the text bespeak their opposers ; Who shall fight against us ? it is God that saves. Who shall destroy? it is the same God that deli

rers, 55.

SERMONS V. VI.

Titus i. 1.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to

the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging the truth which is after godliness. P. 56.

The end of all philosophical inquiries is truth ; and of all religious institutions, godliness ; both which are united and blended in the constitution of Christianity, 56.

I. In this expression of the gospel's being the truth which is after godliness, three things are couched :

1. That it is simply a truth, 57.
2. That it is an operative truth, 57.
3. That it operates to the best effect, 58.

The words may have a double sense, 58. 1. That the gospel is so called, because it actually produces the effects of godliness in those that embrace it, 58. 2. That it is, in its nature, the most apt and

proper instrument of holiness, 58. and the truth which has thus an influence upon godliness consists of two things, 59.

1. A right notion of God, 59. 2. A right notion of what concerns the duty of man, 59. II. Three things are deduced from this description of the gospel, 61.

1. That the nature and prime design of religion is to be an instrument of good life.

This cleared by these arguments. 1. That religion designs the service of God, by gaining to his obedience man's actions and converse, 61. 2. It designs the salvation of man, who is not saved as he is more knowing, but as he is more pious than others, 62. 3. That the excellency of Christianity does not consist in discovering more sublime truths or more excellent precepts than philosophy, (though it does this,) but in suggesting better arguments to enforce the performance of those precepts, than any other religion, 62. 4. That notwithstanding the diversity of religions, men will generally be condemned hereafter for the same things, viz. their breaches of morality, 62.

2. That so much knowledge of truth as is sufficient to engage men in the practice of godliness, serves the necessary ends of religion, 63. For,

If godliness be the design, it ought also to be the measure of men's knowledge in this particular, 63.

3. That whatsoever does in itself, or its direct consequences, undermine the motives of a good life, is contrary to and destructive of Christian religion, 63.

The doctrines that more immediately concern a good life are, 1. Such as concern the justification of a sinner, 64.

And herein the motives to holy living are subverted, 1. By the doctrine of the covenant of grace without conditions of performance on man's part, but only to believe that he is justified: taught by the antinomians, 64. 2. By the doctrine of acceptance with God by the righteousness and merits of other saints : taught by the Romanists,

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2. Such as concern the rule of life and manners, 66. And here the motives to godliness are destroyed,

1. By that doctrine of the antinomians, that exempts all believers from the obligation of the moral law, 66. 2. By that doctrine of the church of Rome, which asserts any sin to be in its nature venial, 68. The church of Rome herein resembling the Jewish church corrupted by the Pharisees, who distinguished the commandments into the great and the small, 69. 3. By the Romish doctrine of supererogation, 71. 4. By that doctrine, that places it in the power of any mere mortal man to dispense with the laws of Christ, so as to discharge any man from being obliged by them, 73.

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