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of this temporal life; but especially most inestimably precious recompenses be will bestow in spiritual and eternal Rom ii.6. blessings: He will render to every man according to his Co\:m.**. yjorks; to them who by patient continuance m welldoing seek glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: and, Rom.vi. Being freed from Jin, and made servants to God, ye have 9S- your fruit unto fanSlificalion; and in the end everlajtivg
life: [a fruit to falsification, (all benefits conducing to our spiritual welfare here,) and hereafter a life in perpetual joy and happiness :] to them who have been diligent and faithful in performing their tasks, and improving the talents committed to them for his interest, he will one Matt. xxv. day fay, Euge, bone serve, Well done, good and faithful <».*c- - servant; enter into thy Master's joy: Blessed are ye, when tl::Z menjhall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all manMaut» ner of evil against you falsely, for my fake: rejoice, and be V, exceeding glad; for great Jhall your reward be m heaven.
And he that is at such care and charges for us; who feeds and fumisties us so plentifully; who rewards out small pains, our poor works, our unprofitable services, with so high and bountiful wages; him sure most justly we should esteem, most willingly calk our good Lord and
But yet farther, he is not only our Lord by nature, by acquisition, by manifold deserts and performances of his; but by our deeds also, by most formal and solemn, most free and voluntary, and therefore most obligatory, acts of ours: he is our Lord and King by election: finding ourselves oppressed by our cruel enemies, (groaning under intolerable slaveries to fin and Satan,) we had recourse to him upon his gracious invitation, offering us ease and refreshment under his most gentle and equal government; Matt.xi.s8, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and 39> 30- I will give you rest: take my yoke upon you—Jor my yoke is easy, and my burden light. So he invited us; and so we did (or did at least pretend to) undergo his yoke, and freely submit to his government: we vowed allegiance and fealty to him, as our lawful prince.; promised subjection to his will, and obedience to his laws; engaged (forfaking all things) to follow him, and fight under his bariners against the common enemies of his glory and biir salvation: we contracted with him, upon certain condi- ^mt-mtions and considerations, (most advantageous to ourselves,) TM»iey«r;». to be his obedient and faithful servants; not only re-Ma,t,xxanouncing all other masters, but resigning up all pretence to liberty, or power over ourselves; becoming absolutely subject to his will and command: this we did at our baptism in most express and solemn manner: and in every religious performance we confirm our obligation; by acknowledging his right over us, and our duty toward him; by imploring his princely protection, and succour, and mercy upon us; and by promising our humble respect and obedience toward him. Upon so many grounds is Jesus Christ the Son of God our Lord. The general influence of which doctrine upon our practice is very obvious and palpable.
1. If we do truly believe Christ our Lord, we must conceive ourselves obliged to observe and submit to his will; to attend unto and obey his law; Why call you me, Luke vi.46. Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I fay? It is a vain and absurd profession (an irrational and illusive pretence) we make, when we confess and invoke him as Out Lord, and disavow his authority in our practice. Not Matt. vii. every one that faith, Lord, Lord,Jhall enter into the king-*1' dom of heaven; (shall obtain the reward assigned to a faithful servant; but he that really performs the duty of one; that does the will of God.) Do ye not know, faith Rom. vlj 6. St. Paul, that te whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, hisservants ye are whom ye obey P We forfeit all pretence to the very name (as well as to the rewards and privileges) of Christ's servants, if we disobey his commands; being really servants to the lusts which sway us; to the devil, whose suggestions and pleasure we comply with. We do but usurp the name of Christians, if our practice be not conformable to the laws of Christ.
3. If Christ be our Lord, then are we not our own lords, not our own men; and therefore must not think to have our own will and do our own business; please
A a %
our own appetites, or gratify our desires; except in sub
1 Cor. vi. ordination and reference to his service; We are not our
own, faith St. Paul; for we are bought with a price: (we are by nature, by manifold acquisition, by free choice and
2 Gor.v. 15. compact his :) For this end Christ died, (and performed all
for us,) that they which live, may not henceforth live to themselves, but lo him that died and rose again for them:
Rom. xiv.s. Whether we live, or whether we die, (whatever actions we undertake, relating either to life or death,) we are the Lord's, and should direct all to his glory, his profit, his service.
Vid. John 3. If Christ be our Lord, (absolutely our Lord,) then
mi. 13. can we have no other lords; none in opposition to, none in competition with him; none but in subserviency and
Matt.vi.a6.respect to him: No man, our Saviour tells us, conserve two lords (with collateral and equal observance.) Serving riches, or honours, or pleasures, is inconsistent with our duty to Christ; He that doth not forsake all that he hath, cannot be his disciple, or servant, (Luke xiv. 33.) Nor can we therefore please and humour men; obeying any .command, or complying with any desire, or following an)'
Gal. i. 10. custom of theirs, contrary to Christ's will and precept, If I did yet please (or soothe) men, faith St. Paul, I were not
1 Cor.vii. the servant os Christ: Ye are bought with a price; be not (or you are not) the servants of men; that is, do not (or ye ought not to) perform service with ultimate relation to men, but out of conscience to Christ, as his servants. We may, we are bound to obey men humbly, and willingly, and diligently, and faithfully, in our stations, and according to our conditions, as subjects or servants; but this in subordination to our supreme and principal Lord;
Eph. Ti. 5, Servants, faith St. Paul, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, (that is, humbly and re
Vid. 1 p«. spectfully,) in singleness of heart, as to Christ; not in eye
"',6, service, as menp leasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the foul; serving with good-will, at
Col. iii. 93, to the Lord, and not to men: Yea, whatsoever, faith the
*4- same wise instructor, ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not to men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive hack tlie recompense os inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
4. It is, we fee, (which may be another use of this point,) not only an engagement, but an encouragement to the performance of all duty, particularly to those hard duties of cheerful obedience and submission to men, (who are sometimes, as St. Peter intimates to us, crxoWi, some-1 Pet. ii. is. what untoward and harsh in their dealings with their ser-Vid. 61. vants,) that therein do we serve a most equal and gentle Master, who will graciously accept our service, and abundantly requite it; a Lord, that will not suffer his servants to want any needful sustenance, any fit encouragement, any just protection or assistance; who will not only faithfully pay them their promised allowance, but raise them to the highest preferment imaginable. It is a great comfort also for a Christian (how mean soever he be in this world) to consider this relation of his; how great, how good a Master he doth serve; that the greatest princes, that the highest angels, are his fellow-servants; yet that bis gracious Lord will not despise or neglect him. St. Paul also makes use of this consideration to press upon superiors Rom.xiv.4. their duties toward their inferiors; their duties of equity, meekness, kindness, mercy, pity, and all humanity; Masters, faith he, yield unto your servants that which isCol. iv. 1. juji and equal, knowing that you also have a Majler in heavm: And, ye masters, do the fame things to them, (toEph. vi. 9. your servants,)forbearing threatening: knoiving that your14**TM' Majler also is in heaven; and there is no refpecl of persons with him: Thou haji not despised the lowliness of thy hand- Luke i. 49. maid. And we fee how our Saviour, as he doth commend and bless those faithful and wise servants, who Matt. ixiv. being appointed over his household, (placed in any supe- *5" rior rank and office,) do behave themselves justly and kindly to their fellowservants, dispensing them their food in due season; so those which beat and abuse their Matt, xviii, fellowservants; that are rigorous and unmerciful in their98' c' exactions of debt, or other dealing toward their fellowservants, he denounces severe punishmeut and vengeance upon.
The farther consideration of this point our Saviour improves as an engagement to imitate him; especially in charity, in humility, in patience: it is proper for a servant to follow, to attend upon in all places and performances, to compose himself to the example, to conform to the garb and condition of his master. Were it not absurd, that the servant mould be more stately, or more delicate than his master; that he should despise those whom his master vouchsafes to regard; that he should refuse to undertake those employments, should disdain to undergo those hardsliips, his master doth condescend to? To such John xiii. purpole our Saviour discourses; Ye call me Master and 13,14, is. jj^g. ang ye jay wen . fa j0 1 am% jf 1 1 hen, your
Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wqjh one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. And having directed his difciples to the patient enduring of reproaches, affronts, and injuries put upon them, he enforces his preMatt.x.34, cept by subjoining, The disciple is not above his master, X.ukevi.40 nor the servant is not above his Lord. It is enough for the Johnxv.no. disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his Lord. (He ought in reason to be very well content, if he find such usage as his Lord hath willingly and patiently undergone.)
Full of many suoh practical uses is this excellent doctrine; the which I leave to be deduced by your private meditation.
Coiucrueo bp the toolp Ghost-, born of rfje Œijjjiii
THE proper name, special title, principal relations of Jesup Christ, the only Son of God, our Lord, (the peculiar grand object of our Christian faith, wherein was included or implied what did especially respect his divinity, so fiu as it/ is reveajjd unto or may be comprehended by us,) being hitherto expressed, and in some manner explained and applied by us, we prpceed to that which follows; those illustrious accidents, or passages and circumstances,