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an; except the Father which has sent W^serm. - draw him. And This is the

Second thing to be considered in the Text; the meaning of these latter words, except the Father, which has sent me, draw him. Which expression, many Writers in Divinity have so understood, as if thereby was signified, that no man had it in his own Power to become a good Christian, or to perform any good Action; but that every Act of Virtue, was operated or produced in him by the immediate Power of God. And thus much of Truth there is indeed in That Notion j that neither in any religious, nor in any natural action, does any one perform any thing, but by a Power freely given him from, and entirely depending upon, the good pleasure of God. In Him, and by virtue of Powers and Faculties continually depending upon him, we live and move and have our Being, and perform all, even the natural Actions of Life. In the execution of Civil Power and Authority, or of any Office whatsoever, there is still further, not only a continual dependance upon the Will of God for the use of men's natural Faculties; but moreover a dependance upon God's general Providence in F 2 the

S £ R M. the Government of the World, to order things so, as that the Authority, what^^"^ ever it is, may actually take place: Thus Pilate could have had no Power to judge or condemn our Lord, or any other person, except it were given him from above, Joh. xix. ii. And the Baptist in This fense well expresses the Success of his Own Ministry, A man can receive nothing, fays he, Job. iii. 27. except it be given him from Heaven. In religious matters still further, 'tis not only true, that 'tis Cod who giveth us both to will and to do of his good pleasure; that 'tis God from whom alone we receive the rational Faculties, or Powers, both of choosing and acting; but moreover, that 'tis owing to his superabundant grace and favour, to his free Gift .and undeserved Bounty in Chris* that he has afforded us the Benefit of a Revelation, the Advantage of a clearer and- more express declaration of his WUh the Assistances of his Holy Spirit, an Authoritative Assurance of Pardon upon Repentance, and a more complete Discovery of the Rewards and Punishments in the suture State, than could be obtained by the bare Light of Nature. All This, I

fay> sky, is unquestionably true; and ought toSer M. be continually and thankfully acknowledg- Hied, with a just and humble fense of ourty^Nj Dependence upon God in every thing that we Are, or Do. But it is not the Meaning of the Text before us, nor what our Saviour is at all here speaking of in this whole Discourse. For where any one is exhorting men to at7, and pressing them to perform their Duty 'tis not there a proper. Argument or Incitement to Diligence, (though it is undoubtedly in itsejf a certain Truth,) to tell them they can do nothing at all, unless God give them Power; but the proper Motive is to assure them, that because God has actually given them Power, therefore he expeBs and re-r quires it of them, that they mould ac~i accordingly. Thus St Paul argues to the PhiVppians, ch. ii. 12. Work out your own Salvation with Fear and Trembling \ For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. The meaning plainly is; God has given you Power to choose and act, therefore work out your own Salvation. And for the fame reason, when our Saviour, in the Text, tells the unbelieving Jews, by F 3 way

S E R M. way of Reproof for their obstinate Infidelity, and not by way of pitying them for

*/"V"Sk'any Want of Power to do their Duty; when he tells them (I fay) by way of Reproof for their unreasonable Infidelity, that no man can come to Him, except the Father draw him 'tis very certain he does not by these words mean to express any Act of God upon Them, but some certain affection or deposition of 'Theirs with regard to God.

For the further clearing of which explication of our Lord's fense, 'tis to be observed in the general nature of language, that when Any Person or Thing is faid to draw another, the word (draw) may with equal propriety of Speech, signify either the ASlion of Him who draws the Other, or the Ac!ion of the Other who is drawn by him. And that, both in Scripture and in vulgar language, it much more frequently signifies the Action of Him who is drawn, than of Him who draws, will appear most evidently, and beyond All contradiction, from the following considerations. Our Saviour discoursing with the Jews, Joh.xu. 32. And I, fays he, if I be lifted up from the Earth, will

draw draw all men unto me: His meaning clear- S E R M. ly is, not to express any Aft of his Own upon Men; but that, after his crucifixion, <-/~v"NJ many nations and people, convinced by the Excellency of his doctrine, and by the Miracles it was attended with, should by their own Will and Aft embrace his Religion. In like manner when God by the Prophet declared concerning the Israelites of old, Jer. xxxi. 3. With loving Kindness have 1 drawn thee, and Hof. xi. 4. I drew them with Cords of a man, with Bands of Love; every one fees the Meaning to be This only, that the consideration of the kindness and love of God, shown forth to the Israelites in so many eminent Instances of Mercy, was a very strong reason to prevail with them to obey and serve him cheerfully. The sense is the very fame, as in that of St. Paul, 2 Cor. v. 14. The Love of Christ constraineth us; which is a stronger expression than that of drawing us: The Love of Christ, fays he, constrains or compells us,

that we stould not henceforth live

unto ourselves, but unto Him who died jor us, and rose again. A fense of Gratitude, draws Us j Acts of Kindness, Love and F 4 Ccod-will,

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