Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pity our Misery, as to give us his Son, and in him to make a mew Covenant with us, after we had broken the First.

17. This SECOND COVENANT was made The Second with Adam, and us in him, presently after his Fall : Covenant.

and is briefly contained in those Words, Gen. 3. 15. where God declares, That The SEED OF THE WOMAN S HALL BREAK THE SERPENT'S HEAD; and this was made up, as the first was, of some Mercies to be afforded by God, and some Duties to be performed by us.

18. God therein promises to send bis only Son, who is God equal with himself, to Earth, to become Man like unto us in all things,Sin only excepted,and be to do for us these several Thing s.

19. First, To make known to us the whole Will of his Father'; in the

Performance whereof we shall be sure to be accepted and rewarded by him. And this was one great Part of his Business, which he performed in those many Sermons and Precepts we find set down in the Gospel. And herein he is our PROPHET, it being the Work of a Prophet of old, not only to foretell, but to teach. Our Duty, in this particular, is to bearken diligently to him, to be most ready and desirous to learn that Will of God, which he came from Heaven to reveal to us.

20. The Second Thing he was to do for us, was to satisfie God for our Sins, not only that one of Adam, but all the Sins of all Mankind that truly repent and amend; and by this Means, to obtain for us Forgiveness of Sins, the Favour of God, and so to redeem us from Hell and Éternal Damnation which was the Punishment due to our Sin. Al this he did for us by his Death. He offered up himself a Sacrifice for the Sins of all those who bear. tily bewail and for sake them. And in this he is our Priest, it being the Priest's Office to offer Sacrifice for the Sins of the People. Our Duty in this particular, is, first, truly and heartily to repent is of, and forsake our Sins, without which, they will never be forgiven us, thó Christ have died. Secondly, Stedfastly to believe, i hat if we do that, we shall have the Benefits of that Sacrifice of his; all our Sins, how many and great soever, Shall te forgiven us and we saved

from those Eternal Punishments which were due unto us for them. Another Part of the Priest's Office

was

was Blessing and Praying for the People ; and this also Christ performs to us. It was his special Commission from his father to Blessus, as St. Peter tells us, Acts 3. 26. God fent his Son Jesus to bless you: And the following Words Shewo wherein that Blessing confifts, in turning away every one of you from his Iniquity : Those Means which he has used for the turning us from our Sins, are to be reckon'd, of all other, the greatest Blessings; and for the other part, that of Praying, that he not only performed on Earth, but continues ftių to do it in Heaven; He sits on the right Hand bf God, and makes Request for us, Rom. 8. 34. Our Duty herein is, Not to resist this unspeakable Blessing of his, but to be willing to be thus bless'd, in the being turned from our Sins, and not to make void and fruitless all his Prayers and Intercessions for us, which will never prevail for us, whilst we continue in them.

21. The Third Thing that Christ was to do for us, was, To Enable us, or give us Strength, to do what God requires of us. This he doth, First, By taking off from the Hardness of the Law given to Adam (which was, Never to commit the least Sin, upon Pain of Damnation), and requiring of us only an honest and hearty Endeavour to do what we are able ; and

where we fail, accepting of fincere Repentance: Secondly, By sending his Holy Spirit into our Hearts to govern and rule us, to give us Strengih to overcome Temptations to Sin, and to do all that he now under the Gospel requires of us. And in this he is our KING; it being the Office of a King to govern and rule, and to subdue Enemies. Our Duty in this particular, is, To give up ourselves, obedient Subje&ts of his, to be governed and ruled by him, to obey all his Laws, not to take part with any Rebel; that is, not to cherish any one Sin, but diligently to pray for bis Grace to enable us to Subdue all, and then carefully to make use of it to that Purpose.

22. Lastly, He has purchased for all that faithfully obey him, an Eternal Glorious Inheritance, the Kingdom of Heaven, whither he is gone before to take Poffeffion for us. Our Dury herein is, To be exceeding careful, that we forfeit not our Parisin it; which we shall certainly do, if we continue impenitent in any Sin: Secondly, Not to falten our Affections on this World, but to raise them according to tbe Precept of the Apostle, Col. 3. 2

Set

Set your Affections on Things above, and not on Things on the

Earth; continually longing to come to the PosJelion of that blessed Inheritance of ours, in comparison whereof all Things þere below should seem vile and mean to us.

23. This is the Sum of that SECOND COVENANT we are now under, wherein you see what Chrift hath done, Þow he executes those Three Great Offices of King, Priest, and PROPHET: as also what is required of us; without our faithful Performance of which, all that be hath done, Sall never stand us in any stead; for he will never be a Priest to Save

any, who take him not as well for their Prophet to Teach, and their King to Rule them: nay, if we negle&t our Part of ahis Covenant, our Condition will be yet worse than if it had never been made ; for we shall then be to answer, not for the Breach of Law only, as in the first, bui for the Abuse of Mercy, which is of all Sins the most provoking. On the other side, if we faithfully perform it, that is, Set ourselves beartily to the obeying of every Precept of Christ, not going on wilfully in any one Sin, but be wailing and forsaking whatever we have formerly been guilty of, it is then most certain, that all the fore-mentioned Benefits of Christ belong to us.

24. And now you see how little Reason you have to cast off the Care of your SOULS, upon a Conceit they are past Cure, for that it is plain they are not; nay, certainly, they are in that very Condition, which, of all others, makes them fittest for our Care. if they had not been thus REDEEMED by CHRIST, they had then been so hopeless, that Care would have been in vain: On the other side, if his Redemption had been such, that all. Men Mould be saved by it, though they live as they lift, we should have thought it needless to take Care for them, because they were safe without it. But it hath pleased Gop foto order it, that our Care must be the Means by which they must receive the Good even of all that CHRIS T baih done for them.

25. And now, if, after all that God hath done to save these Souls of ours, we will not bestow a little Care on them our. selves, we very well deserve to perish. If a Physician should undertake a Patient that were in some desperate Disease, and by his

Skill bring him so far out of it, that he were sure to recover, if be would but take Care of himself, and observe those Rules the Physician fet him ; would you not think ihat Man weary of his Life, that would refuse to do that? So certainly, that Man is weary of his Soul, wilfully casts it away, ibat will not confent to those easie Conditions by which he may save it.

26. You see how great Kindness God hath to these Souls of burs ; the whole TRINITY, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, have all done their Parts for them. The FATHER gave his only Son; the Son gave himself, left his Glory, and endured thé bitter Death of the Cross, meerly to keep our Souls from perishing. The HOLY GHOST is become, as it were, our AtTendant, waits upon us with continual Offers of bis Grace, to enable us to do that which may preserve them; nay, he is so defirous we should accept those offers of his, that be is said to be grieved when we refuse ibem, Eph. 4. 30. Now, what greater Disgrace and Affront can we put upon God, than to despise what be thus values? That those Souls of ours, which Christ thought worthy every Drop of his Blood, we should not think worth any

Part of our Care? We use, in Things of the World, to rate them according to the Opinion of those who are belt skill'd in them: Now certainly God, who made our Souls, best knows the Worth of them; and since he prizes them so bigh, let us (if it be but in Reverence to him) be ashamed 10 negle&t them especially now that they are in so hopeful a Condition, that nothing but our own Carelesnefs can possibly destroy them.

27. I have now briefly gone over thosé Four Motives of Care I at first proposed, which are each of ihem such as never misses to stir it up towards the Things of this World; and I bave also shewed you, how much more Reasonable, nay, Necessary it is,

they should do the like for the Soul. And now, what can I say more, but conclude in the Words of Isaiah, Ch. 46.8. Remember this, and shew yourselves Men; that is, Deal with your Soul, as your Reason teaches you to do with all other Things that concern you. And sure This common Justice binds you to; for the Soul is that which furnishes you with that Reason which you exercise in all your Worldly Business: And Mall the Soul itself

receive

receive no Benefit from that Reason which it affords you? This is as if a Master of a Family, wbo provides Food for bis Ser vants, should by them be kept from Eating any himself, and so remain the only starv'd Creature in his House.

28. And as fustice ties you to this, so Mercy doth likewise you know, the poor Soul will fall into endless and unspeakable Miseries, if you continue to neglect it, and then it willbe too late to consider it. The last Refuge you can hope for, is God's Mercy; but that you have despised and abused. and with what Face can you, in your greatest Need, beg for his Mercy to your Souls, wben

you will not afford them your own? no, not that common Charity of considering them, of bestowing a few of those idle Hours, you know not (scarce ) how to pass away, upon ihem?

29. Lay this to your Hearts; and, as ever you hope for God's Pity when you most want it, be sure in Time to pity your selves, by taking that due Care of your precious Souls which belongs to them.

30. If what hath been said, hath persuaded you to this so neceffary a Duty; my next Work will be, to tell you, How this Care must be employed; and that, in a Word, is, In the doing of all those Things which tend to the making the Soul Happy, which is the End of our Care: And what those are, I come now to Shew you.

For more particular Concernments, see
The Causes of the Decay of Chriftian Piety;

AND
The Gentleman's Calling:
Both Written by the AUTHOR of this Book.
The Whole Duty of an, being put into significant

Latin, for the Use of Schools, is now Printed and
Published.

All Printed for John BASKETT, Printer 10 the King's

Most Excellent Majesty,

« AnteriorContinuar »