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it self: laws would want that force, comj mon-wealths that bond or cement, conversation that confidence, and our possessions that security which is necessary to render them blejings to US.
§. 3. A thirdfruitofChristian Liberty'is that relation which it creates between Goi and us. We are no longer of the world, but are separated and sanfiifi'ed, devoted and dedicated to Goi. Thus St. Peter, 1 Epist. ii. 9. 2> tfn? <z s#o/£;z generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, - a peculiar people. And thus St. Paul, Rom. viii. 15, 16. Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit cj adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bear et h witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and is children, then heirs; heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ, God is our God; we are his people. He is our Father, and we are his children, we are ingrafted into his family. The consequence of this is, his dearly beloved and only begotten Son is our Advocate at his right-hand, the Propitiation for our fins, and Intercefj'or for us. His Spirit resides with us to comfort and afstst us ; his angels guard us, and minister to us; for we are no longer the objeci of his wrath, but of his love and care. How does the afoslk triumph on this argument, Heb. xii. 18, 19, &c For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire; nor unto blackness and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpets and the voice of words, which voice they who heard, intreated that the wordjhould not be spoken to them any more: (for they could not endure that which was commanded; and if so much as a beasst touch the mountain itshall be stoned, or thrufl through with a dart: and Jo terrible was the fight, that Moses said> I exceedingly fear and quake:) but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living Gody the heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general aJJ'embly and church of the first-born, .which are written in heaven; and to God, the judge of all, and to the Jpirits of just men made perfect: and to Jejus, the Mediator of the new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, that Jpeaketh better things than that of Abel. And thus again, 1 Cor. hi 2. 'Therefore let no man glory in men ; for all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Chris s, and Christ js God's. These are great and glorious things. What dignity and eminence does this adoption raise us to? What blessedness flows from communion and fellowship with Gods What can we
want, .want, or what can we fear, when we have so mighty an interest in the Soveraign of heaven and earth; when all his divine Perfections are employed to promote and secure our happiness t Now sure we may rejoice, now we may glory and triumph; for certainly all things must work together for our good. But as fallen angels envied the happiness of new-created man; so do apostate and debauched men envy that of the godly. And one of these will be apt to say, hold, Sir, you run too fas; these glorious privileges are yet but in embryo, and all your happiness is yet but in the reverfion: notwithstanding all these big words, you must grant me that you are yet but in a slate of probation; that you are to undergo hardships and difficulties, and to live upon the thin diet of hope and expectation: and so I think I might take you down from heirs of God, to servants at the best. Well, I will grant, that we yet live by faith, and wait for the hope of glory: nor will I at present contend about those pleasures that are but in the bud: I will for once quit all that preference both as to nobility and pleafare, which adoption and the full assurance of hope gives a godly man above afinner; and I will take the fate of a child of God, to be as the objeSlor would have it; I will suppose him to be under age till he come to
another life; and to differ nothing from a servant whilfl he is so, though be be heir of all. Yet after all, it lean prove that'tis our duty to serve God, it will be no contemptible fruit, no small commendation of liberty, that it enables us to do our duty. And that it is our duty to serve God, is plain: for is it not fit that he, who made and still upholds the 'world, should govern it? ought we not to pay obedience to his laws, whose infinite Perfections and immense beneficence invest him with an absolute and uncontrouhble Jbveraignty over us? whom should we honour with our soul and body, but him who is the author of both? to whom should we devote and sacrifice wliat we have, but to ÆzVw from whom we received all ? ic/^ praise should we shew forth, but A« who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light % whom should we obey and adore, but him who has translated us out of bondage into liberty, out of the servitude of satan into the kingdom of his dear Son; having redeemed us by the blood of his Son from that wrath to which our fins had deservedly subjected us? But this is not all; I (hall prove it not only to be our duty, but our honour and our happiness, to serve God; even on the suppofition on which the objection proceeds, and which I at present grant. ?.. 'Tis our honour to serve him whom***
gels serve, to whom all things in heaven and in earth do bow and obey. 'Tis the highest prerogative we can derive from grace or nature; to be capable of serving him. His divine Perfections transcend the conceptions of inferiour creatures, and can be known, contemplated, and adored by none, but such as are made but a little lower than the angels; such as are endued, not only with the light of reason, but with a far brighter, that of the Spirit of God. "This is indeed our utmost Perfection, and must be our utmost ambition: this alone makes us confiderable, who are in all other respects but mean and contemptible; for we draw but zprecarious and dependent breath; and the world we inhabit is a </<zrÆ and tempestuous one, full of folly and misery. But even fi&w will serve for a further confirmation of what I further contend for. For being indigent and needy, standing at an infinite distance from selfsufficiency, 'tis plain that what we cannot find within us, we must seek without us. Some all-sufficient good we must find out; something we must rest in, and repose our selves upon ; and this will be our God, this we shall/<?r?;<? and adore. And wto shall this be f shall we serve evil spirits? fi^g are our avowed and inveterate enemies, and go about like a roaring lion seeking whom they may devour. Shall we serve the good?