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such inward terrors and fears of spirit about it, when that terrible representation was made 5'ou, will be loth to feel those gripes, and distresses of conscience again, for the best enjoyment in this world.

Blessed be God if any -word has been brought home to our hearts, 'which hath been instrumental to bring us to Christ I

SERMON XXII.

The Teachings of God opened, in their Nature and Necessity.

John vi. 45. It is written in the Prophets, Jni they shall he all taught of God. Every man theref ore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

TT 0 W necessary to our union with Jesus Christ, the application of the law, or coming home of the commandment to the heart of a sinner is, we have heard in the last discourse; and how impossible it is, either for the commandment to come to us, or for us to come to Christ, without illumination, and instruction from above, you shall hear in this.

This scripture hath much of the mind of God in it; and he that is to open it, had need himself to be taught of God. In the foregoing verses, Christ offers himself as the bread of life unto the fouls of men: against this doctrine they oppose their carnal reason, ver. 41, 42. Christ strikes at the root of all their cavils and objections in his reply, ver. 43, 44. "Murmur not "among yourselves: no man can come to me, except the Fa"ther which hath sent me draw him;" q. d. you flight me because you do not know me; you do not know me, because you are not taught of God; of these divine teachings, the prophets of old have spoken, and what they foretold is at this day fulfilled in our sight; so many as are taught of God, and no more, come unto me in the way of saith: it is impossible tocotne without the teachings of God, ver. 44. It is as impossible not to come, or to miscarry in their coming unto me, under the influence of these divine teachings, ver. 45.

The words read, consist of two parts, viz.

1. An allegation out of the prophets.

2. The application thereof made by Christ. Vol. II. Hhh

First, An allegation out of the prophets: "It is written io *' the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God." The places in the prophets to which Christ seems here to refer, are, Isa. liv. 13. " And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;" and, Jer. xxxi. 34. "And they shall teach no more every man "his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, knew the "Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them "unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord." These promises contain the great blessings of the new covenant, viz. Divine instruction, and heavenly illumination, without which, no man can be brought up to the terms of the new covenant.

Secondly,We have here the application of these testimonies, trot of the prophets, made by Christ himself; "Every man therefore "that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

In which words, we have, both the necessity, and the efficacy of these divine teachings; without them no man can come, and under them no man can miscarry. The words being fitly rendred, and the fense obvious,

The notes are,

Doct. 1. That the teachings of God are absolutely necessary to fvery man that cometh unto Christ, in the -way of faith.

Doct. 2. No man can miss of Christ, or miscarry in the viy if faith, that is under the special instructions, and teachings us the Father. . .

Doct. 1. That the teachings of God are absolutely necessary -to (' very man that cometh unto Christ, in the way of faith.

Of the necessity of divine teaching, in order to believing, the apostle speaks, in Eph. iv. 20, 21. " Bnt ye have not so learned '* Christ, if so be that you have heard him, and been taught by

him, as the truth is in Jesus ;" (i. e.) Your saith must needs be effectual, both to the reformation of your lives, and your perseverance in the ways of holiness, if it be such a saith as is begotten, and introduced into your hearts by divine teachings'*. Now, in the explication of this point, I shall speak distinctly to the following enquiries. . , .

1. How doth God teach men, or what is imported in our being tanght of God? ,

2. What those special lessons are, which all believers do hear, and are taught of God? '. .

* They who believe, by means of the preacher speaking to then* outwardly, hear and learn inwardly of the Father; they who*!-" lieve not, hear outwardly, but not inwardly. Aug. »n Prt»'J{chap.%. ., '',

3. Ia what manner doth God teach these things to men, ia the day of their conversion to Christ?

4. What influence God's teaching hath upon our believing?

5. Why it is impossible for any man to believe, or come to Christ, without the Father's teachings.

First, How doth God teach men, or what is imported in our being taught of God? To this I will speak, both negatively and positively, for your clearer apprehension of the sense and meaning of the Spirit of God in this phrase.

First, The teaching of God, and our hearing and learning of him, is not to be understood of any extraordinary, visional appearances, or oraculous and immediate voice of God to men: God indeed hath so appeared unto some, Numb. xii. 8. Such voices have been heard from heaven ; but now these extraordinary ways are ceased, Heb. i. t,%, and we are no more to expect them; we may sooner meet with satanical delusions, than divine illumination, in this way. I remember, the learned Gerson tells us that the devil once appeared to an holy man in prayer, personating Christ, and saying, I am come in person to visit thee, for thou art worthy. But he with both hands shut his eyes, saying, Nob hie Christum videre, satis est ipjum in gloria videre 1 si. e.J I will not see Christ here; it is enough for me to fee him in glory. We are now to attend only to the voice of the Spirit in the scriptures: this is a more sure word than any voice from heaven, 2 Pet. i. 19.

Secondly, The teachings of God are not to be understood as opposite unto, or exclusive of the teachings of men. Divine teachings do not render ministerial teachings in vain, or useless. Paul was taught of God, Gal. i. 12. and his conversion had something extraordinary in it, yet the ministry of Ananias was used, and honoured in that work, Acts ix. 4, 17. compared. Divine teachings do indeed excel, but not exclude human teachings. I know that scripture, Jer. xxxi. 24. to which Christ here refers, is objected against the necessity of a standing ministry in the church, "They shall teach no more every man his "neighbour, and every man his brother," <bc. But if those words Ihould be understood absolutely, they would not only overthrow all public ordinances of God's own istitution, 1 Cor. xii. 28. and deprive us of a principal fruit of Christ's ascension, Eph. iv. 11, 12. but, for the same reason, would destroy all private instructions, and fraternal admonitions also. Such a sense would make the prophet to contradict the apostle, and spoil the consent, and harmony of the scriptures: the sense thereof cannot be negative, but Comparative; it shews the excellency of divine, but doth not destroy the usefulness of human teachings, Sufordinata non pugnant. The teachings of men are made effectual by the teachings of the Spirit; and the Spirit in his teachings will use and honour the ministry of man.

Thirdly, But to speak positively, the teachings of God are nothing else, but that spiritual, and heavenly light, by which t'le Spirit of God shineth into the hearts of men, to give them "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of '' Jesus Christ," as the apostle speaks, 2 Cor, iv. 6. And though this be the proper work of the Spirit, yet it is called the teachings of the Father, because the Spirit who enlightens us is commissioned, and sent by the Father lo to do, John xiv. 26. Now these teachings of the Spirit of God, consist in two things, viz. h) his,

1. Sanctifying Impressions.

2. Gracious assistances.

First, In his sanctifying impressions, or regenerating works 'upon the foul, by virtue whereof it receives marvellous light and insight into spiritual things; and that not only as illumination, is the first act of the Spirit in our conversion, Col. iii. 10, but as his whole work of sanctification is illuminative, and instructive to the converted foul, 1 John ii. 27. "The anointing '* which you have received of him abideth in you, and ye need "not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teath»? eth you." The meaning is, that sanctification gives the soul experience of those mysterious things, which are contained in ihe scriptures, and that experience is the most excellent key to unlock, and open those deep scripture-mysteries; no knowledge is so distinct, so clear, so sweet, as that which the heart communicates to the head, John vii. 17. "If any man do his will, *' he shall know the doctrine." A man that never read the nature of love in books of philosophy, nor the transports and ecstasies thereof in history, may yet truly describe and express it by the sensible motions of that passion in his own soul; yea, he that hath felt, much better understands, than he that hath only read or heard. O what a light doth spiritual fense, and experience, cast upon a great part of the scriptures! for indeed sanctification is the very copy or transcript of the word of God upon the heart of man} Jer. xxxi. 33, " I will write my la* 'n V their hearts:" so that the scriptures, and the experiences of believers, by this means, answer to each other, as the lines and letters in the press, answer to the impressions made upon the paper 5 or the figures io the wax, tp the engravings io the seal-.

When a sanctified man reads David's Pialmr, or Paul's epistles, how is he surprized with wonder to sind the very workings of his own heart, lo exactly decyphei ed, and fully expressed there! O, saith he, this is my very cafe; these holy men Ipeak what my heart hath felt.

Secondly, The Spirit of God teacheth us, as by his sanctifying impressions, so by his gracious assistances, which he give* us pro re nata, as our need requires, Mat. x. 19. " It mall bfl "given you in that same hour what ye shall speak," John xiv. 26. " He shall bring all things to your remembrance:" he assisleth, both the understanding in due apprehensions of truth, and the heart in the spiritual improvements of truth. And id much briefly of the first particular.

Secondly, In the next place, we are to enquire what those special truths are which believers hear, aud learn of the Father, when they come to Christ.

And there are divers great, and necessary truths, wherein the Spirit enlightens men in that day. 1 cannot say they are all taught every believer in the same degree and order; but it is cer» lain they are taught of God such lessons as these are, which they never so understood before.

Lejson 1. First, They are taught of God that there is abundantly more evil in their finful natures, and aftiens, than ever they discerned, or understood besore: "the Spirit when he "cometh shall convince the world of sin," John xvi. 8, 9. Men have a general notion of sin before; so had Paul, when a Pharisee: but how vastly different were his apprehensions of fin, from all that ever he had in his natural state, when God brought home the commandment to his very heart! There is a threefold knowledge of sin, viz. traditional, discujsive, and intuitive. The first is in the more rude, and illiterate multitude. The second in more rational and knowing men. The third is only found in those that are enlightened, and taught of God. And thtre is as great a difference betwixt this intuitive knowledge of siri, whereby God makes a foul to discern the nature, and evil of it, in a spiritual light, and the two former, as there is betwixt the sight of a painted lion upon the wall, and the sight of a livii.g lion that meets us roaring in the way. The intuitive sight of sin is another thing than men imagine it to be: 'tis such a sight as wounds a man to the very heart, Acts ii. 37. for God doth nos only shew a man (his, or that particular sin, but, in the day of convictions, he sets all his sins in order before him. Psal. 1. 21. yea, the Lord shews him the sinfulnsss of his nature, as well as practice. Convictioa digs to the root, shews, and lays open

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