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throws back the fiery poisoned dart injected by satan.
Fourthly, A fourth storm wherewith the elect soul meets, is the wrath of God feared for sin. Not that God is indeed wroth with the elect sinner as he is with the reprobate, who hath no share or part in his Son's redemption; but satan and carnal reason represent Cod as a wrathful enemy to the sinner, and the poor sinner fully concludes it to be SO;
and from hence he feels a miserable hurri. cane within himself, as if God were indeed his enemy, and designed to damn him for transgressing his just and righteous law. That the elect sinner, as Adam's child, is born heir of the curse, partaker of a nature as polluted and vile as hell itself can make it, and likewise obnoxious to the wrath threatened for the breach of the law, and that according to · Do and live, sin and die,' is, and must be granted.
But that he, being elect, and chosen of God in Christ, is under the curse, and in danger of being seized by the wrath of God, is no less than blasphemy to think or say, and that for the reasons following:
1, Because of the compact and agreement between the Father and the Son, concerning the elect in eternity; by virtue of which agreement the elect are not only secured from the curse of God's law, by Christ, their vademony and surety, being made a curse for them, according to Isa. liii, 5. and Gal. iii. 13; but they are also secured,
in Christ their head, and covenanting representative of eternal life, according to 2 Cor. v. 21.. 1 Cor. i. 30.
2, Because of the plenary and full payment, by way of purchase and redemption, which Christ, the elect's undertaker, hath made to God's justice for them. Concerning which I am not afraid to affirm, that neither the strict law of God, nor yet his justice, can demand more, by way of satisfaction for the sins of the elect, than is to be found in that one oblation which he offered to God, when he, through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, &c. Heb. ix. 14. Heb. x. 14.
3, Because of tlre declared satisfaction of God the Father with that his Son's mediatorial performance; according to Isa. liii. 11, 12. Matt. iii. 17. and John xvi. 10.
4, Because it would be a charging God the Father with injustice, to hold or say, that he looks that the same debt should be twice paid : first, by Christ his Son, whom he himself chose and anointed to this very work of redeeming his elect captives; and, secondly, by the elect themselves. Such a practice as this would be hissed at by graceless moralists; and shall man be more just than God? Job iv.. 17.
5, Because it would be an everlasting stain and reflection on the name and honour of the Lord Jesus Christ; as if he had engaged in a work which he proved not able to accomplish, viz. to
redeem God's elect, and to secure them from the curse of God, in case the elect be still under that curse and wrath.
The point, then, which I conclude upon, is this: namely, That God's elect are either secured from the curse of the law, and delivered from the wrath of God; or else there must be some defect in the justice of God, or in the mediatorial satisfaction of the Son of God, the elect's surety: but there is, there can be, no defect in the justice of God; nor yet in the mediatorial satisfaction of the Son of God, the elect's surety.
Therefore, the elect of God are secured from the curse of the law, and delivered from the wrath of God. “ Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? it is God that justifieth,” Rom. viii. 33.
“ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” Gal. iii. 13. “Even Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come,” i Thess. i. 10. From what hath been said it will necessarily follow, that the storm and hurricane occasioned by the fear of the wrath of God in the soul of an elect sinner, is rather from the sentence of the law not rightly understood, than from any actual execution of the curse and wrath of God upon him for sin.
Whatever thoughts or apprehensions the elect sinner hath concerning the wrath of God, which raiseth such a terrifying storm in the conscience; this is an undoubted truth, that nothing but flying to the shadow of Christ's mediatorial satisfaction
can allay that storm, and give the troubled soul inward comfort. “ Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him,” &c. Job xxxiii. 24. “ Who have fled for refuge to the hope set before them,” &c. Heb. vi. 18.
Fifthly, A fifth storm wherewith the elect sinner will frequently meet in the world, is the scorching heat of tribulations and outward
persecutions. Of this our Lord himself hath had large experience, none more; and of this he hath forewarned all his following members who are to follow him in the regeneration. “ In the world ye shall have tribulation," &c. John xvi. 33.
" And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake," &c. Matt. x. 22. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Tim. iii. 12.
This was the path wherein the now triumphing martyrs followed the captain of their salvation, who was made perfect through suffering, Heb. ii. 10. These kinds of storms are very uneasy
and frightful, yet they must be gone through by those who follow the Lamb to the kingdom of heaven. It is here as it is with those merchants who covet to partake of the riches in the Indies: they must expect to meet, not only with contrary winds, but with fearful storms and dreadful hurricanes too, before they can come to possess the desired riches of that country. And, of all storms, the hurricane is most frightful and dangerous; the same be
ing occasioned by a meeting of all the four winds together, opposing each the other with all their strength. When but one of the winds blow, though it blow not only fresh but boisterously, yet, if the ship hath but sea-room enough, she will weather the point; yea, albeit the wind chop about from one point to another. But, when all the four winds blow in their full strength together, the ship knows not which way to steer her course : all she can do is, to commit herself to the mercy of the restless sea, which, like a gulph, is ready with open mouth to swallow her
When it comes to this, the mariners' hope of escaping with their lives is at a very low ebb, if any hope at all be left them. And surely, did not the over-ruling providence of heaven watch over poor mortals in such hurricanes, the great deep must be their tomb.
As there are natural storms which attend the children of Adam, threatening the life and comforts of their body; so there are spiritual storms, which, as designed and managed by the devil, strike at and threaten the very life and comfort of the soul. As the former of these, so also the latter: they admit of degrees; some souls, as well as some bodies, they meet with, and pass through, far greater and sharper storms than others.
And, as the common care and providence of God is to be seen and acknowledged in preserving the bodies of men from perishing by the former;