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an hundred-fold advantage? Mark x. 29. So that none need be frightned at religion, for the losses that attend it, whilst Christ and heaven are gained by it: they that count religion their loss, have their portion in this life.
Infer. 5. How securely is the faints inheritance settled upon them, seeing they are in common -with Jesus Christ? Christ and his saints are joint-heirs, and the inheritance cannot be alienated, but by his consent; he must lose his interest, if you lose yours. Indeed, Adam's inheritance was by a single title, and moreover, it was in his own hand, and so he might, (as indeed he soon did) divest himself and his posterity of it; but it is not so betwixt Christ and believers, we are secured in our inheritance by Christ our co-heir, who will never alienate it: and therefore it was truly observed by the sather, Foelicior Job insterquilink, qwim Adamus in paradise: Job was happier upon the dunghill, than Adam was in paradise. The covenant of grace is certainly the best tenure; as it hath the best mercies, so it gives the fullest security to enjoy them.
Infer. 6. How rich andfull is Jesus Christ, -who communicates abundantly to all the saints, and yet hath infinitely still more in himself, than hath ever been received by them all.
Take all the saith of Abraham, all the meekness of Moses, all the patience of Job, all the wisdom of Solomon, all the zeal of David, all the industry of Paul, and all the tender-heartedness of Josiah; add to this,- all the grace that is poured, (tho* in lesser measure), into all the elect vessels in the world, yet still it is sar short of that which remains in Christ; "He is anointed with the "oil of gladness above his fellows:" And in all things he hath, and must ever have the pre-eminence. There are many thousand stars glittering above your heads, and one star differs from another star in glory, yet there is more light and glory ia one fun, than in the many thousand stars. Grace beautifies the children of men exceedingly, but still that is true of Christ, Psal. xlv. 2. "Thou art sairer than the children of men, grace is poured into "thy lips." For all grace is secondarily, and derivatively in the sainrs, but it is primitively and originally in Christ, John v. 16. Grace is imperfect and defective in them, but in him it is in its most absolute^perfection and fulness, Col. i. 19. In the saints it is mixed with abundance of corruption, but in Christ it is altogether unmixed, and exclusive of its opposite, Heb. vii. 26. So that as the Heathen said of moral virtue, I may much more say of Christ, That were he to be seen with mortal eyes, he would compel love and admiration from all men, for " be is altogether "lovely," Cant. v. 16. Vol. II. L 1
Infer. 7. What delight, andsingular advantage must needs be in the communion of the Jatnts, who have communion with Jesus Cbrijk in all his graces and benefits.
"That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, "that ye also may have fellowship with as: And truly our fel'' lowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,'1 i John i. 3. O it is sweet to have fellowship with those that have fellowship with God in Jesus Christ. Christ hath communicated to the taints, varieties of graces, in different measures and degrees; and as they all receive from Christ the fountain, lo it is sweet and most delightful to be improving themselves by spiritual communion one with another: Yea, for that end one is furnished with one grace more eminently than another, that tne weak may be assisted by the strong, as a modern divine * well observes. Athanafius was prudent, and active, Basil of an heavenly, sweet temper, Chrysostome laborious, without affectation, Ambrose relolved, and grave, Luther couragious, and Calvin acute, and judicious. Thus every one hath his proper gift from Christ, the fountain of gifts and graces, 1 Cor. vii. 7. One hath quickness of parts, another solidity of judgment, but not ready and presential; one is zealous, but ungrounded; another well principled, buttimerous; one is wary, and prudent; another open and plain; one,is trembling, and rnelting; another chearful and joyous; one must impart his light, another his heat: The eye, the knowing man, cannot '(;iy to the hand, the active man, I have no need of thee. And O how sweet would it be, if gifts, graces, and experiences vere frequently, and humbly imparted! But idle notions, earth]v-mindedness, self-interests, and want of more communion with Christ, have, almost, destroyed the comfort of Christian fellowship every where in the world.
Infer. 8. In a. word, those only have ground to claim interest in Christ, who do really participate of his graces, and in whom are found the effects and fruits of their union and communion 'with him.
If you have interest in Christ, you have communion in his graces and benefits; and it you have such communion, it wiH appear in your maintaining daily actual communion with God in duties; whereby will be produced.
First, The increase of your sanctification, by fresh, participations from the fountain; as cloth which is often dipt into the Jat receives the deeper dye, and livelier tincture; so will your
* Mr. Turfhel.
souls-by assiduous communion with God. It will also be discerned,
Secondly, ,\n your deeper humiliation, and spiritual sense of your own vileness: The more any man partakes of God, and is acquainted with him, and assimilated to him, the more base and vile in his own sight he still grows, Job xlii. 5, 6. Isa. vi. 5.
Thirdly, It will appear in your more vehement longings after the full enjoyment of God in heaven, 1 Pet. i. 8. and Rom. viii, ?3. You that have the first fruits, will groan within yourselves after the full harvest, and satisfying fruition; you will not be so taken with things below, as to be content with the best lot on earth for your everlasting portion, O! if these coinm.unicated drops be so sweet, what is there in Christ the fountain?
And thus I have opened the method of grace in bringing home Christ and his benefits to God's elect by union, in order to communion with him.
Thanks he to God for Jesus Christ.
Containing the first general Use of Exhortation, inviting all Men to apply Jesus Christ.
Matt.h. xi. 28. Come unto me, allye'that labour, and are hea* vy laden, and I -will give you rest.
Tfl E impetration of our redemption by Jesus Christ, being finished in the first part, and the way and means by which Christ is applied to sinners in the foregoing part of this treatise; I am now orderly come to the general use of the whole; which in the first place shill be by way of exhortation, to invite and persuade all men to come to Christ; who in ail the former sermons, hath been represented in his garments of salvafim, red in his apparel, prepared and offered to sinners as their all-sufficient and only remedy: And in the following sermons will be represented in his persumed garments coming out of his ivory palaces, Psalm xlv. 8. to allure and draw all men Unto him.
For a general head to this use, which will be lar 'e, I have chosen this scripture, "Come unto me all ye that labour, and "are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
These words are the voice of our Lord Jesos Christ himself, in which there is a vital, ravishing sound: It is your mercy to have such a joyful sound in your ears this day. And in them I will consider their dependence, parts, and scope.
As to their dependence, it is manifest they have an immediate relation to the foregoing verse, wherein Christ opens his com' mission, and declares the fulness of this authority and saving power, and the impossibility of coming to God any other way. "All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man "knoweth the Son but the Father: Neither knoweth any man "the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will "reveal him," ver. 27.
This 28th verse is brought in proleptically to obviate the discouragements of any poor, convinced, and humbled soul, who night thus object: Lord, I am fully satisfied of the fulness of thy saving power, but greatly doubt whether ever I shall have the benefit thereof; for I see so much sin and guilt in myself, so great vileness and utter unworthinefs, that I am overweighed, and even sink under the burden of it: My soul is discouraged because of sin. This objection is prevented in the words of my text, "Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy la"den," q. d. Let not the sense of your sin and misery drive you from your only remedy: Be your sins never so many, and the fense and burden of them never so heavy, yet, for all that, Come unto.me: You are the persons whom I invite and call. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
In the words, three things are especially remarkable.
1. The soul's spiritual distress and burthen: Weary and heavy laden.
2. Its invitation to Christ under that burthen: Come unto me.
3. Its encouragement to that great duty: / miillgive you rest. First, The soul's spiritual distress and burthen, expressed in
two very emphatical words *, »< xoirwcv; ««i m<po?Tt<rpmi. "Ye "that labour and are heavy laden." The word which we tran
* Oi xiTiavri;, it e. They who labour even to sainting andtinngi for this Greek word T« Kww differs by this emphasis from the word 'rov«», which signifies only in general to labour. Piscator on the place, explains it thus, Ye who feel the burden of your sins, and yet do not sink under the weight thereof. Chryslstome expounds it of those who are burdened with the legal rites and ceremonies ; but we understand it in general, of all those who being pressed with the burden of their sins, and the fense of the malignity of their corrupt natures, do strive with all their might to throw off this dei gravity, and to obtain righteousness. Mujculus en the place,
slate labour, signifies a labouring even to saintnefs and tiring, to the consumption and waste of the spirits; and the other word signifies liich a pressure by a burthen that is too heavy to be borne, that we do even sink down under it.
There is some difference among expositors about the quality of this burthen. Chryfostome, and lome others after him, expound it of the burthen of the legal rites and ceremonies, which was a heavy burthen indeed, such as neither they, nor their sathers, could bear. Under the task and burthen of these legal observances, they did sweat and toil to obtain a righteousness to justify them before God, and all in vain; and this is a pious fense: But others expound it of the burthen of sin in general; the corruption of nature, and evils of practice, which fouls are convinced have brought them under the curse, and will bring them to hell, and therefore labour, and strive, all that in them lies, by repentance, and reformation, to clear themselves from it: but all in vain, whilst they strive in their own strength. Such are they that are here called to come to Christ, which is the second thing; namely,
Secondly, The invitation of burthened souls to Chtist: "Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden: Come "unto me," i. e. believe in me, lean and rest your burthened fouls upon me. I am able to ease all your burthens; in me is that righteousness and peace which you seek in vain in all the legal rites and ceremonies; or in your repentance, reformations, and duties; but it will give you no ease, it will be no benefit to you except you come unto me. Faith is often expressed under this notion, fee John vi. 37. and John vii. 37. and it is to be further noted, that [a//] burthened fouls are invited to come, "All ye that labour." Whatever your sin cr guilt have been, whatever your fears or discouragements are, yet come, (i. e.) believe in me.
Thirdly, Here is the encouragement Christ gives to this duty, And I -will give you rest: awx-ccura vftat. * I will refresh you, I will give you rest from your labour, your consciences shall be pacified, your heart at rest and quiet in that pardon, peace, and savour of God, which I will procure for you by my death. But here it must be heedfully noted, that this promise of rest in Christ is not made to men simply, as they are sinners, nor yet as they are burthened, and heavy laden sinners, but as they come to Christ; i. e. as they are believers. For let a man break
* Why dost thou seek that where thou canst not find it ? I am bf only that can helji th»e. Muf. en the place.