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This End, the Gospel has answered inSirm. the wisest and most perfect mannner. For though there was indeed, even under the ^^"^ Light of Nature, very good ground of Hope, that God would accept the Repentance of Sinners; yet 'tis a strong additional assurance, which the divine Wisdom has now vouchfafed us, in not sparing his own Son, but delivering him up for us all. This is indeed an effectual encouragement to all sincere Penitents, to All who have really forfaken every vicious course; to draw near and apply themselves to theHeb.x.za, Throne of grace with a true heart, in full assurance os Faith; having boldness and access with confidence, to enter into the Rom.v. t, Holieft by the blood of fefus, by a new and £pj,. yr, Jiving way which he has consecrated for us. And the more; because he has not only e x"19 opened unto us the Temple in Heaven by his Blood, but continues constantly to nwkeHth. viL intercession for us, to be our Advocate Wthztsi0^^t. the Father, and a. perpetual High-PrieslHeb.x.21. for us over the house of God: And, that we might live worthy of these great privileges, hath himself left us an example 1 Pet. ii. of all Holiness and Purity, that we fiould21, follow his Steps: And, that we might not X 4 want
very of a Judgment to come. And, because it was Wise and Fit, that That doČtrine which was to be an universal Law and Rule of Life, which was to be the condition of Salvation to persons of all capacities, should be very easy and intelligible to All; therefore he has delivered it to us with all Plainness and Simplicity, not in the abstruse words of Man's Wis: dom, (not in Terms hard to be understood, such as are Those wherewith Later Ages have corrupted his Dočtrine;) but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power, 1 Cor. ii. 4. Teaching us, that denying ungodlines; and wordly luffs, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present JWorld, in expectation of being judged according to our works. And her is to be hims/f our Judge ; who, as St Paul ex
* faithfill High-Pries, has himself first fift. fired in all things like his brethren; and can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, having himself been in all points tempted like as we are ; and can have composion on the ignorant and on them that are (M/f
out of the way, for that he himself also had$x r Mbeen compassed with infirmity. XIII.
These are some of the principal Efjds and Designs of the Gospel. On account of the Excellency of which Ends, and the wonderful Fitness of the respective Means, made ule of by the divine Wisdom in the manner I have now discoursed of/ to accomplish them; Christ is called, (in Cor. i. 24. and 30. ) the Wisdom of God; and in the Text, Col. ii. 3. it is expressed that in him are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom; and Eph. i. 8. that, by this dispenfation, the Grace of God has abounded towards us in all Wisdom and Prudence; and Phil. iii. 8. that all other things are to be accounted as Loss, for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the first mark of Wisdom; the Excellency of the Ends proposed, and the Fitness of the respective Means to accomplish them.
The next Circumstance wherein the Wisdom of God has particularly shown forth itself in the accomplishing of the fore-mentioned Ends, is; that the Incarnation of Christ, as, after it was revealed, it appeared to be plainly in all respects
S E R M. the Jittesi possible Means; so, before it XIII. waS revealed, it was on the contrary such
^^"^an unexpected Method, and lo undifcwerable by any finite Wisdom, as to be an inscrutable Mystery, not only to Men, ( upon which account St Paul calls it in the words before the Text, the Mystery of God, even the Father, and of Chriji; and in i Cor. ii. 7. the Wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden •wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our g/cry, which none of the princes of this iccr/d knew , and Col. L 26. the mystery ivhicb bath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his Saints;) but it was moreover a mystery which even the Angels also desired to look into, 1 Pet. i. 12. and such an instance of Wisdom, Eph. iii. 9, 10. that thereby not only all Men may fee, what is the fellows ip of the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been bid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; but even to the highest Angels also, to the Principalities and Powers in heavenly places, may be known by the Church the manifold Wisdom of God.
The last circumstance I shall take notice of, wherein the Wisdom of God has
remark* remarkably manifested itself in the Go-Serm. ipel, is his causing it to prevail in the XIII. World by unlikely instruments, by the^"^' preaching of mean and unlearned persons, in opposition to all the human Power and Wisdom of the World. The Jews, fond of establishing their own righteousness, opposed with all their Might the righteousness ef God: that is, That new doctrine, that new method of Religion and Righteousness which God established in the Gospel. The Gentiles, conceited of their own human Wisdom and Philosophy, opposed with all their Learning and artfulness of dispute, the divine Wisdom manifesied in the same doSlrine of Chrifl. Against Both these Opposers at once, a few mean and unlearned Persons were wonderfully inabled to prevail. And the Wisdom of God in causing them so to do, in deslroying the Wisdom of the Wise, and bringing to nothing the under/landing of the prudent, is most elegantly described by Paul, in 1 Cor. i 21, Aster that, in the Wisdom of God, the World by Wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a Sign, and