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slight in the country, so long as he hath the ear and savour of his prince.
Infer. 4. Never let believers fear the -want of any good thing necessary for them in this world. The savburof God is the fountain of all bit-flings, provisions, protections, even of all that you need. He hath promised that he will withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly, Psal. lxxxiv. 11. He that is bountiful to his enemies will not withhold what is good from his friends. The savour of God will not only supply your needs, but protect your persons, Psal. v. 12. "Thou wilt bless "the righteous, with savour wilt thou compass him as with a "shield'"
Inser. 5. Hence also it follows, that the fins of believers are very piercing things to the heart of God. The unkindness of those whom he hath received into his very bosom, upon whom he hath set his special savour and delight, who are more obliged to him than all the people of the earth beside, O thjs wounds the very heart of God. What a melting expostulation was that which the Lord used with David, 2 Sam. xii. 7, 8. "I anointed thee "king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul, "and I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives "into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and Judah, "and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given "unto thee such and such things: wherefore hast thou defc "pised the commandment of the Lord?" But reader, if thou be a reconciled person, a savourite with God, and hast grieved him by any eminent transgrestion, how should it melt thy heart to hear the Lord thus expostulating with thee: I delivered thee out of the hand of Satan; I gave thee into the bosom of Christ; I have pardoned unto thee millions of sins; I have bestowed upon thee the riches of rnercy; my savour hath made thee great; and, as if all this were too little, I have prepared heaven for thee: for which of all these savours dost thou thus requite me?
Infer. 6. How precious should Jesus Christ be to believers, by 'whose blood they are ingratiated -with God, and by -whofe intercesfion they are, andfhall for ever be continued in his favour? When the apostle mentions the believers transtation, from the sad state of nature to the blessed privileged state of grace, see what a title he bestows upon Jesus Christ, the purchaser of that privilege, calling him the dear Son, Col. i. 13. Not only dear to God, but exceeding dear to believers also. Christ is the savourite in heaven, to him you owe all the preferment there: Take away Christ, and you have no ground on which to stand one
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minute in the savour of God. O then let Jesus Christ, the foun" tain of your honour, be also the object of your love and praise.
Infer. 7. Estimate by this, the state and condition of a deserted saint, upon -whom the savour of God is eclisped. If the favour of God be better than life, the hiding of it from a gracious foul must be more bitter than death: Delerted saints have reason to tike the first place among all the mourners in the world: The darkness before conversion had, indeed, more danger, but this hath more of trouble. Darkness after light is dismal darkness. Since therefore the cafe is so sad, let your preventing care be the more; grieve not the good Spirit of God, you prepare but for your own grief in so doing.
Infer. 8. Lastly, Let this persuade all men to accept Jesus Christ, as ever they expetl to he accepted with the Lord themselves. It is a fearful cafe, for a man's person, and duties to be rejected of God; to cry and not be heard: And much more terribl6 to be denied audience in the great and terrible day. Yet, as sure as the scriptures are the sealed and saithful sayings of God, this is no more than what every Christless person must expect in that day, Mat. vii. 22. Lukexiii. 26. trace the history of all times, even as high as Abel, and you shall sind that none but J believers did ever sind acceptance with God; all experience confirms this great truth, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Reader, if this be thy condition, let me beg thee to ponder the misery of it in a few sad thoughts.
Consider how sad it is to be rejected of God, and forsaken by all creatures at once; what a day of straits thy dying day is like to be, when heaven and earth shall cast thee out together. Be assured whatever thy vain hopes for the present quiet thee withal, this must be thy cafe, the door of mercy will be shut against thee, no man cometh to the Father but by Christ. Sad was the cafe of Saul, when he told Samuel, "the Philistine ** make war against me, and God is departed from me," 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. The saints will have boldness in the day of-judgment, 1 John iv. 17. But thou wilt be a confounded Man; there is yet, blessed be the God of mercy, a capacity and opportunity of reconciliation, 2 Cor. v. 19. Isa. xxvii. 5. But thi« can be of no long continuance. O therefore, by all the regard and love you have for the everlasting welsare of your own souls, come to Christ; embrace Christ in the offers of the gospel, that you may be made accepted in the beloved.
t If any one desires to know the will of God, let him be a fn< of God. Aug.
S E R M O H XVIII.
FR O M the 30th verse of this chapter unto my text, you have an account of the different effects which the words of Christ had upon the hearts of his hearers: Some believed, ver. 30. these he encourageth to continue in his word, ver. 31. giving them this encouragement, ver. 32. "Ye shall know the truth, "and the truth shall make you free." Hereat the unbelieving Jews take offence, and commence a quarrel with him, ver. 33. ** We be Abraham's feed, and were never in bondage to any man." We are of no slavish extraction ; the blood of Abraham runs in our veins. This scornful boast of the proud Jews, Christ confutes, ver. 34. where he distinguisheth on a twofold bondage; one to men, another to sin; one civil, another spiritual: Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin, then tells them, ver. 36. " The servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son "abideth for ever." Wherein he intimateth two great truths, viz. That the servants, and slaves of sin may, for a time, enjoy the external privileges of the house, or church ot God; but it would not be long before the master of the house will turn them out of door: But if they were once the adopted children of God, then they should abide in the house for ever. And this privilege is only to be had by their believing in, and union with the natural Son of God, Jesus Christ: Which brings us sairly to the text; "If the Son therefore shall make you free, "ye shall be free indeed." In which words we have two parts;
(_ 2. A concession.
First, A suppofition, "If the Son therefore shall make you "free," q. d. The womb of nature cast you forth into the world in a state of bondage; in that state you have lived all your days; servants to sin; slaves to your lusts; yet freedom is to be obtained: And this freedom is the prerogative belonging to the Son of God to bestow: "If the Son shall make you free."
Secondly, Christ's concession upon this supposition, "Then "shall ye be free indeed," (i.e.) you snail have a real freedom,
an excellent, and everlasting freedom: No conceit only, as that
John viii. 36. If the Son theresore shall make ym free, ye Jhall be free indeed.
which you now boast of is: If ever therefore you will be free men indeed, believe in me. Hence note,
Doct. That interest in Christ Jits the foul at liberty from all that bondage uuhereinto it "wassubjected in its natural Jtate.
Believers are the children of the new covenant, the Denizons of Jerusalem which is above, which is free, and the mother of them all, Gal. iv. 26. The glorious liberty, viz. that which is spiritual and eternal, is the liberty of the children of God, Rom. viii. 21. Christ and none but Christ delivers his people out of the hand of their enemies, Luke i. 74.
In the doctrinal part of this point, I must shew you,
First, What believers are not freed from by Jesus Christ in this world.
Secondly, What that bondage is from which every believer is freed by Christ.
Thirdly, What kind of freedom that is which commences upon believing.
Fourthly, Open the excellency of this state of spiritual freedom.
First, What thofe things are from -which believers are mt made free in this -world: We must not think that our spiritual liberty by Christ, presently brings us into an absolute liberty, in all respects, For,
First, Christ, doth not free blievers from obedience to the moral law: It is true we are no more under it as a covenant for our justification; but we are, and must still be under it, as a rule for our direction. The matter of the moral law is unchangeable, as the nature of good and evil is, and cannot be abolislied except that distinction could be destroyed, Mat. v. 17, 18. The precepts of the law are still urged under the gospel to enforce duties upon us, Eph. vi. 12. It is therefore a vain distinction, invented by Libertines, to lay it binds us as creatures, not as Christians; or that it binds the unregenerate part, but not the regenerate: but this is a sure truth, that they who are freed from its penalties, are still under its precepts. Though believers are no more under its curse, yet they are still under its conduct: The law fends us to Christ to be justified, and Christ fends us to the law to be regulated. Let the heart of every Christian join therefore with David's in that holy wish, Psal. cxix. 4, 5. '* Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently; "O that my heart were directed to keep thy statutes." It is excellent when Christians begin to obey the law from life, which others obey for life; because they are justified, not that they may he justified, It is also excellent when duties are done k>
the ltrength, and for the honour of Christ, which is evangelical; and not in our own strength, and for our own ends, which is servile, and legal obedience: Had Christ freed us from obedience, such a liberty had been to our loss.
Secondly, Christ hath not freed believers, in this world, from the temptations and assaults of Satan: even those that are freed from his dominion, are not free from his molestation. It is said indeed, Rom. xvi. 20. " God shall shortly bruise Satan under "your feet:" But mean time he hath power to bruise, and buffet us by his injections, 2 Cor. xii. 7. He now bruifeth Chrill's heel, Gen. iii. 15 si. e.) bruifeth him in his tempted, and afflicted members: Though he cannot kill them, yet he can, and doth afflict and fright them, by shooting his fiery darts of temptation among them, Eph. vi. 16. It is true, when the saints are got safe into heaven, they are out of gunshot; there is perfect freedom from all temptation. A believer may then say, O thou enemy, temptations are come to a perpetual end. I am now arrived there, where none of thy fiery darts can reach me: But this freedom is not yet.
Thirdly, Christ hath not yet freed believers, in this world, from the motions of indwelling Sin: These are continually acting, and infesting the holiest of men, Rom. vii. 21, 23, 24. Corruptions, like Canaanites, are stiil left in the land to be thorns in your eyes, and goads in your sides. Those that boast , most of freedom from the motions of sin, have most cause to suspect themselves still under the dominion of sin. All Christ's freemen are troubled with the same complaint: who among them complains not as the apostle did, Rom. vii. 24. " Oh wretched "man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this "death?"
Fourthly, Jesus Christ doth not free believers in this world from inward troubles, and exercises of foul, upon the account of sin. God may let loose Satan, and conscience too, in the way of terrible accusations, which may greatly distress the soul of a believer, and woefully eclipse the light of God's countenance, and break the peace of their fouls. Job, Heman, and David were all made free by Christ, yet each of them hath left upon record his bitter complaint upon this account, Job. vii. 19, 20. Psal. lxxxviii. 14, 15, i6. Psal. xxxviii. unto ver. 11.
Fisthly, Christ hath not freed believers, in this world, from the rods of affliction. God in giving us our liberty, doth not abridge his own liberty, Psal. lxxxix. 32. All the children of God are made free, yet what son is there whom the sather chastneth not? Heb, xii. 3. Exemption from affliction is so sar from