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S E R M . Good-will, from One Person to another, do
7. And when St Paul had reckoned up
plainly plainly means, severely to blame the One, S E R M.' aSting upon the incitement of Lust; and the Other, for ailing upon the Suggestions of 'ryrsJ the Devil. Thus therefore in the T>xt likewise, when our Lord fays, No man can come to Me, except the Father, which has sent me, draw him; 'tis reasonable and necesiary to understand him as speaking, not concerning any AB of God upon men, but concerning the Affection which Some men bear towards God. For as 'tis not a misfortune, but a Vice, for a Man to be drawn away by his own Lust, and enticed; and St Peter's expostulation with Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart, is not by way of Excuse, but by way of aggravating his crime: So neither on the other side, is it any declaration of Fate, but a high commendation of Men's Virtue, to fay that they were drawn to their Duty, or prevailed with to perform it, by consideration of God. Indeed, without consideration of God, without a continual View and Regard towards Him as Governing the World, there can be no such tiling as 'True Virtue: No man can become a true and geed Christian, without first having a Sense of the original natural obligation he lies under, of Love and
SE R M.Duty towards God: No man can come to HI, Me, except the Father, who has sent me, draw him. And 'This fense of the phrase, our Saviour himself confirms by the words immediately following: For so he expressly adds in the very next verse, Every man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me; Every one that has a just fense, and suitable Practice, of natural Religion towards God will be disposed readily to embrace the Doctrine of Christ.
There is another expression very frequent in Scripture, which may help much to illustrate the manner of speaking in the Text. The fame Disciples of Christ, who are here faid to be drawn to him by the Father, are elsewjiere frequently described as being given to him «>f God. Heb. ii. 13. ^ and the children whom God has given me. And again, Job. xvii. 2. Thou hast given him power over all fiesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. Now that even This phrase does not denote any Aclion of God upon men, but merely the character or qualifications of the persons described; is apparent from
the the parallel places of Scripture. All thatStR M. the Father giveth me, Joh. vi. 37. are, in the 40th verse, every one which seeth the ^*^>> Son, and believeth on him: And they to whom it is not given of the Father to come to Christ, ver. 65; are they whom, in the verse before, our Lord reproves for their unreasonable objlinacy in not believing. And when in his Prayer to the Father, ch. xvii. 12. he fays, those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the Son of perdition; 'tis plain by That exception, that Judas was originally one of those, whom God had given to Christ, in the fame fense as he gave him the rest of his Disciples; and yet afterwards, by his own Fault, by becoming a Son of Treachery, ». e. a wicked and traiterous person, he ceased to be of that number. Just as, in Æls xxvii.24. God had given to St Paul all those that sailed with him; and yet he declares, ver. 31. Except these abide in the Jlrip, ye cannot be saved.
By a not much unlike figure of Speech, such persons as voluntarily undertake extraordinary Difficulties for the Kingdom of Heaven's fake, Matt. xix. 12. are, in
SErM.the verse before, stiled those to whom it is Hfc given. And, "Tis given unto you, fays our
^"v>^ Lord to his Disciples, ch. xiii. u. to know the myjieries of the Kingdom of Heaven) because feeing, ye fee, (that is, ye fee without Prejudice;) and hearing, ye hear and understand, ver. 13. And concerning those of a contrary Disposition, the Scripture fays that they are blinded; that God hath given them eyes that they should net fee, and ears that they Jhould not hear j nay, that God fends them strong Delusion. And Moses, in a most affectionate manner of expostulation, complains of the Israelites, Dent. xxix. 4. that after all the Great things that their eyes bad seen, the Signs of those Great Miracles, yet the Lord had not given them an heart to perceive, and eyes to fee, and ears to hear, even unto That day. Nothing is more evident, than that the meaning of these Complaints is, not that God was wanting in his ajijlance, much less that he actuially operated upon men to make them jlu~ pidly and ungratefully wicked; but thaf, through their own Obstinacy and Perverfenes?, the Means which God had been pleased to make use of to reclaim them;