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believes In him; but on the contrary, that moment a sinner beliefs in him, 'all the charges that the law and justice had against the poor sinner, they are all cancelled,' Gal. iii. 10. Col. ii. 14. Rom. viii. 1. 33. 34.
Now, when we speak of the death of Christ as a ground of faith, we abstract entirely from the ordinate sufficiency of it for the elect ; for that being among the secret things that belong unto the Lord, Deut. xxix. 29. it can never be a ground of faith unto any man, no, not unto the elect themselves, that Christ died for the elect, otherwise a man behoved to know his election, before he adventured to believe, which is a thing absolutely impossible, in regard our election of God is a thing that can only be known by obeying the call of the gospel; hence we are commanded, 2 Pet. i. 10. to give all diligence to make our calling and (then) our election sur-. And therefore seeing "is not the ordinate sufficiency of the death of Christ that we are commanded to preach, which would lead us in among the secret decrees of God, which do not belong unto us, it must needs be the intrinsic and legal sufficiency of the death of Christ, that is to be held forth, as the ground and foundation of faith to sinners of mankind. Hence are these universal and extensive expressions in scripture, John i. 29. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fins of the world." 1 John ii. 2. " He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our fins only, but for the sins of the whole world." Tim. iv. 10. He is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who beheye." All mankind have such an interest in the death and satisfaction of Christ, as the devils have not. Yea, consider">g that it was the human nature, that was the sacrifice, ,n<l that all mankind are related to him, through his ta*lng hold of the human nature (as was said), it is impossible 'o conceive how all mankind, especially gospel-hearers, fliould n»t have an interest in his death, I mean, such as warrants 'hem to fay, in faith, "He loved me, and gave himself for fne»* Gal. ii. 20. •' He was delivered for our offences," Rom. "• 2S- " He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities," &c. If. liii. 5. And upon this account I con•C|ve that the death of Christ, and the benefits flowing therefrom, is said to be a feast made unto all people, of fat things TMtt of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined, If. xxv. 6. inis is the carcase unto which all the hungry eagles of manila should gather, and feed to the full, Matth. xxiv. 28. Jence it is, Luke xiv. 21. 23. "The poor, the maimed, the ha"i and the blind, that lie about the hedges and high-ways, We called, yea compelled, to come in," and feast with him. 5'Wy, she great'and precious promises of the covenant of
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unbelief, as Ifrael did, who believed not in God, and trusted not in his falvation, Pfal. lxxviii. 22.; fo that you fee the promife is a door for entering into the Ark. O, do not shut the door of faith upon yourfelves, lest God fliut it alfo, and fwear in his wrath that ye fhall not enter into it, but be left to periso in the deluge, Pfal. xcv. 7.
Object. • I still doubt if I have a right to clofe with the premife ; I am afraid that I be but guilty of prefumption.' Answ. It can never be prefumption to do what God commands you, "and this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jefus Christ." And if the promife does not belong to you, and to all to whom it is revealed, as a ground of faith, it is impossible to conceive, how it is that an unbeliever makes God a liar, John v. 10. by difobeying it,' for no man is obliged to believe a promife that is not made to him.
6/hly, Another door by which faith enters into the New Testau.ent Ark, is the Father's gift of Christ unto mankind lost. * There is fuch a gift of Christ in the word as warrants any man that reads it, to receive, appropriate, and apply Christ and all his purchafed falvation to himfelf in particular, and to rejoice in him as his own property, If. lv. 4. " Behold I have given him for a "Witnefs unto the people, a Leader and Commander unto the people," If. xlii. 6. " I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, chap. xlix. 6. "I will alfo give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my falvation unto the end of the earth;" John iii. 16. ,t God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life," John vi. 32. " My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven." If. iz. 6. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a fon is given." From thefe, and many other places, it appears, there is fuch an univerfal gift or grant of Christ unto sinners of mankind, as makes it lawful and warrantable for every one to receive, ufe, and apply him, for all the ends for which he is given; for wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanctisication, and redemption. No man doubts of his right to take or receive a gift when it is held out to him, and he bidden take it; and we have a common proverb among us, Have or take will make a deaf man hear. It argues a very strange infatuation among men and women, that they should fo readily grafp at a gift of this world's good, and yet be backward in receiving God's unfpeakable gift, that would make them up in time and through all eternity. If 1 had this houfe full of gold and silver to distribute an i fcatter among you, and
were were calling every man and woman, young and old, to come and get as much as they want, 1 am fure there would b> ftw or none in that cafe that would draw back, everyone would be more forward than another, to receive or gather. Wsli, Sirs, why fo forward to receive worldly riches that take *ings and fly away? and yet refufe to receive Chrift and his unfearchable riches which we are a fcattering among you in the difpenfation of the word! Here is the great gift of heaven, without money or price. Here is the gift of life, "for he that hath the Son hath life," 1 John v. 12. Here is the gift of righteoufnefs, that will entitle you to God, to heaven, and glory, and all the good of the covenant. Here is given gold tried in the sire, Rev. iii. 18. that moth and ruft cannot corrupt, Matth. vi. 20. Here is the best robe, Luke xv 22. White raiment, Rev. iii. 18. Clothing that doth not wax old. Here is the merchandife of wifdom, that is better than the merchandife of silver, and her gain, which is better than sine gold, Prov. iii. 1. 4.
You particularly that are young children and bairns, you are perhaps longing for to-morrow, being the sirst Monday, and the sirst day of the new-year 1750, that you may go to your friends and acquaintance to afle your newyear's gift. I would give you my advice before it come, and that is, that before ever you go to man or woman to ask any thing, go sirst to God, "who giveth liberally to all men, and upbraideth not," James i. 5. and ask your new-year's gift from him. Quest. What shall we ask from him? will you put words in our mouth? Anfvt. I will tell you what to fay and afk as your new-year's gift from God. Go to God, and fay, * Lord give me grace to improve this new-year to thy glory, and my own eternal good and advantage, if thou fpare me, Lord, give me thyfelf, to be my God and portion for ever, for thou hast faid, I am the Lord thy God, Exod. xx. 2. Lord, give me Christ, and let him be my Prophet, Priest, and King, Surety, Mediator, and Advocate. Lord, give me thy Spirit, for thou givest thy Spirit to them that afk him, Luke xi. 19. Lord give me the new heart, and the new fpirit, fer thou hast promifed it, Ezek. xxxvi. Lord give me a heart to know thee, that thou art the Lord. Lord, put thy fear in my heart, that I may never depart from thee, Jer. xxxii. 40. Lord, forgive me all my sins, and lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from all evil, Luke xi. 4. efpecially from the evil of sin, which is the abominable thing whic.h thy foul hates. Lord, teach me how to anfwer my chief end, how to glorify thee here, fo as I may enjoy thee eternally hereafter.'
Now, I fay, go to God in the morning of the new-year's day,
and and seek these and the like things from him, as your newyear's gift. And to encourage you to be in earnest, consider, (i.) These soul gifts are far better than any thing your friends can give you. (2.) Your God is liberal, and more ready to give than you are to ask. John xvi. 24. " Hitherto (fays Christ), ye have asked nothing in my name, ask, and ye (hail receive." Your heavenly Father has a full hand and a free Leart, Matth. vii. 7. " Ask, and it (hall be given you -, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (3.) The Lord loves young children to be about his hand, Psal. xxxir. 2. "Come, ye children, hearken Unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord," Prov. viii. 17. "I love them that love me, and these that seek me early (hall find me." (4.) God's newyear's gift will make you up for all your days, yea, for all eternity ; and what he gives of saving grace, he will never take it back again, "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance," Rom. xi. 29. Only be importunate with the Lord, and do not take a nay-fay ; fay as Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 26. "Lord, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me; and whatever you aslc of God, seek it all for Christ's fake; for, fays Christ, John xiv. 14. "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it;' and though you get not what you ask at first, yet be not discouraged, but go again, and again, and again unto him. Ify01 get not your new-year's gift the first day, go again the next day, and the next day, and continue in prayer, and ye shall find the Lord ;for he has said, Jer. xxix. 12. 13. "Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you, and ye shall seek me, and ye shall find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart," and with all your soul.
Now, before we part, I have a word to fay to you that are old people, and of a riper age.
The first day or first week of the new-year, I understand uses to be very ill spent in eating and drinking, and that perhaps to excess. I would give you that caveat or warning that Christ gives to all that profess his name, Luke xxi. 34. " Take heed, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day (the day of death and judgement) come upon you unawares." It is a bad requital to God for his goodness these bygone years, to bt giti the next year with an abusing yourselves, and abusing the good creatures of God with any manner of excess; aud therefore, let your moderation appear in all things, for the Loid
at hand, Philip, iv. c.
Heb. xi. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things
not feen as yet, moved with /car, prepared an arkt to the faving of his house.
THE FOURTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
WE read, Deut. xxvii. 11. 12. and downwards, of two great mountains, viz. Mount Ebal, and Mount Grrizzim; the one was a mount of cursing, and the other of blessing. Upon thefe two mountains God fets a two-fold throne; upon Mount Ebal he places a throne of justice, and on the other a throne of grace. From Mount Ebal there is an eruption of woes and curfes against all mankind, which, like the deluge, overfpreads the face of the whole earth, " for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Rom. iii. 23. and therefore the wrath of God, like the fwelling deluge, purfues them wbereever they go, until they fly to the mount of blessings, Mount Gerizzim, or Mount Zion, where stands the covenant of grace, the New Testament Ark, Jefus Christ, from which there comes a cry to the poor sinner, that knows not what to do to be faved from the curfe of the law, and the wrath of the Lawgiver, "Turn ye to your strong holds," Zech. ix. 12. enter into the Ark ; and whofoever doth fo, " fhall not perifh, but have everlasting life," John iii. 16.
I have been essaying to cast up the doors of the New Testament Ark, that poor law-condemned, justice-condemned, and confcience-condemned sinners may take the benesit of it, and be faved from the deluge. I have named and cast open six of them. (1.) The door of the revelation of Christ in the word, for he is revealed that sinners may believe in him and be faved. (2.) The door of the incarnation, whereby God becomes our Kinfman in the perfon of his Son, that we may take ho!d of the fkirt of him that was a Jew, Zech. viii. 23. and go with him and be faved. (3.) The door of his perfect obedience to the law, in the room of the sirst Adam, whereby the title to eternal life, which was lost by the difobedience of the sirst Adam, is again recovered ; and thus he has power to give eternal life to whom he will, as we fee he himfelf declares, John v. 21, 22. (4.) The door of his fatisfaction, whereby the hand-writing of the curfe that was against us, and contrary to us.