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at Christ and his things, let us take care that we be not therefore offended also, but let us confider,
1. That it is no new thing that Christ and his ! That it Gospel should be stumbled at, and contradicted thing for by the world and worldly Church; for thus it was men to be foretold by the Prophets, and thus it hath been Chrift done ever since Christ was manifested in the flesh. In the days of his Ministry, bis Doctrine was so contrary to carnal reason, and the humane apprehensions of men in matters of Religion, that many of his Disciples faid, This is a hard saying, who can bear it ? Joh. 6. Yea, many of bis Disciples murmured at bis Doctrine, and went back and walked no more witlo him. And all along during Christs Ministry, many were snared, and stumbled, and fell, and were broken thereby; and he that is troubled and offended at this, must get him another Christ, and another Gospel; for the true Christ is set for a sign to be spoken against, and the true Gospel is fet for a word of contention and contradiction to the carnal Christians, and to the whole world.
Wherefore when we fee in our time the world and worldly Church offended at Christ and his Gospel, let us know that thus it hath been from the beginning; and let us know that as Christ and his Gospel are the same now as they were then, so the World and Antichrist, and the Devil, the Head of both, are the same also; and therefore it cannot be but Christ and his Gospel must suffer the same contradiction in our time, as they have done in all former times.
2. That we may not be offended with the com- 2. Chrift mon and general offence of others, let us consider word are that Christ and his Gospel are never the worse for not the the offence which the 'World takes at them, but she offence Christ is still the Son of the living God, aud the Gof- of the
World pel is still the Power of God to Saldarion, to every
one that believes, and Christ and his Word do fill remain a sure foundation for the true Church of God; That Christ crucified, which is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolish. ness, is notwithstanding to them who believe, Christ the Power of God, and Christ the Wisdom of God. I Cor. 1. So that Christ is not the worse for the Worlds being offended at him, neither do the faithful think him the worse: Nay the more vile
he is to others, he is still the more precious to them. 3. Chrift still remains
3. Let us consider that notwithstanding all the for all such offence of men, Christ and his Gospel still remain offence,
and continue what they are, and cannot be prevailed against. Men may be offended at Christ and his Word, but they cannot destroy and extinguish them, but they still remain, and do always pre. vail against all things that oppose them.
Wherefore, to deliver us from the scandal of all Mens being offended against Christ, we are to conlider, that as all the world have been, are and will be against Chrift, so Christ and his Kingdom shall rise up and increase against all the World, and against all their thoughts and endeavours; And all their Councels, Contrivances, and industrious Actings shall not be able to hinder the Kingdom of Christ from prospering and growing great; But it shall arise and stand up in all its Glory, out of the midst of all the offences and contradictions in the world. Wherefore Christ and his Kingdom are called a Tried stone; for he hath long ago indured whatever the world and worldly Church could do against Him, and whatever the might and malice of men and Devils could do against him, and ye: hath overcome all: All that have opposed Him have been damed in pieces by him, in the several Ages of the World; and He and his Kingdom still remain, and shall remain for ever; For He is a fwre tried ftone. And they in this Town and Vnivero
how to care
fury, who are the most grievously offended at the
3. In the third place, I shall shew you how belie- 3. Use. vers ought to carry themselves in the midst of those Direction, offences that are taken against Christ, and against
ry our lelves themselves for Chrifts fake, that is, for his Life and in the midit
of offences, Doctrines sake. 1. First then, we ought to be careful to abide". To abide
in in Chrift, and to walk in Clorift; To speak all our words, and to do all our works, and to live our whole life in Cbrist, and in his Spirit, that so the world may not be offended at Us who are nothing, and do nothing in our selves, but at Christ in Us, who is and doth all in us: And then as we shall certainly be established and preserved in Chrift, through our abiding in him: To they shall as cer tainly perish and be ruined through His abiding in Us, and their dalhing against Him in Us.
2. To carry our selves aright in the midst of 2. To be sure offences, let us be sure that the word we believe
we confess is and hold forth is Chrifts woord, and then we may the true be very confident that this truth and cause shall and
Word of must remain, how many Adversaries foever it may have; and though the world and Devil may rage against ic, yet (as hath been said) they shall never be able to over throw it, much less to root it out,
A true Christian must be able to say, I know the word which I believe and profess, is the only
word of the Lord God, and his everlasting and inchangeable truth, and the last manifeftation of his will by his own Son; and whatever Word agreeth not herewith, is false, and of the Devil, and Antichrist; and therefore by this Word will í Itay, though all the world be against me.
And when we are thus certain of the Word of God through Faith and the Spirit, it comforts the heart and makes it glad, and settles it in inward Peace and Reft, in the midst of all outward Oppositions and Troubles as through Gods goodness we have found by Experience. For when we know that the Word which we have received and profess, is the very Do&trine of the Son of God, then also we know that it fall prevail against all Kingdoms, Comnionwealths, States, Governments, Societies Universities, against all Laws, Orders, Decrees, Acts, and against all sorts and degrees of worldly and Ecclefiaftical Powers which are contrary thereunto, and fall in the time appointed by God utterly consume them, and bring them to no• thing.
And by these Means, to wit, by abiding in Chrift and being all in him; And by being sure that the word we believe and profess is His word, we may live safely in the midst of all offences without the
least prejudice. 4. Vl. 4. Lastly, I shall speak a few words to those in
this University and Town who are offended at Christ and his Gospel; and also a few words to those who (through the Grace of God) have escaped this of
fence, and so shall conclude this matter. . A Word And first, for you who are offended at Christ and are offended his Word, which (we must needs fay) is come a
mongst you in Truth, and in plainness, and are angry at it, and storm at it, and reproach it, and think and contrive how to resist it, and to hinder the free course and pastage of it in this place, be
cause it is not only contrary to the Philosophical Divinity of the Schools and Universiry, and the common carnal Religion of the Nation, but doth also reprove and condemn them, and will have the baughtiness of men bowed down, and the pride of men laid low, and the Lord Jesus Christ and his things only exalted, and that here where the Wit, and Wisdom, and Parts, and Learning, and Accomplißments of men, have ruffled it, and reigned hitherto. I say, you that are thus offended for this cause, are offended at Christ himself, and at God in Corist, and you do stumble at the stumbling Stone, and shall fo fall thereby, as to be broken in pieces ; Yea chis Stone it self thall fall upon you, and shall grind you to powder, and you shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his power, and this destruction shall be poured on you with the greatest severity and wrath, that God himself can inflict in all his Infiniteness and Eternity; For if (as the Penman of the Epistle to the Hebrewos faith) the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and every trangression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward, what escaping can there be for them who neglect ibat great salvation, which was published at first by the Lord Christ, and after confirmed by the first believers, and witnessed to by Signs and Miracles, and gifts of the Spirit, by God himself ? Heb. 2. 2. 3. and if (as the same Believer faith) he that despised Mofes Law died without mercy, of bomo much forer punishment shall be be guilty who treads underfoot the Son of God? Oc. And assuredly it had been much better for you, thac you had lived among the Heathen and Pagan where the Gospel of God our Saviour had never been heard, than to hear this joyful sound which manifests the Love of God, and brings along with ic Remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit, through faith in Christ, and to be offended at it, and so to