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7. As he himself was sent and commissioned by his Father, so fends lie his apostles and other ministers to proclaim aTM publish the gospel of the grace of God unto all the world. "A my Father hath sent me, even so send I you," John xx. 21. Am what commission gives he them? Mark xvi. 15. " Go ye (fay he) unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,' Matth. xxviii. at the close. "Go ye therefore and teach al nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of th Son, aud of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe al things whatsoever I have commanded you : and lo I am witi you alway, even unto the end of the world." Hence "wi are ambassadors for Christ, we pray you in Christ's stead, ai though God did beseech you by us, be ve reconciled to God,. 2 Cor. v. 20'. Now, I fay, is there not in all this 'a clear and fair ground laid lor your believing, or entering into th New Testament Ark?' O, Sirs, ponder Christ's commiffioi from the Father; for this "is the work of God, that yc bi lieve in him whom he hath sent," John vi. 29. See that yi do not refuse him that speaketh, Heb. xii. 25. from heaven for it is his Father's solemn command, "Hear ye him, Matth. iii. last, i. e, believe in his name, for they that turn deaf ear to him shall pefisti in the deluge.
idly, Christ's declared ability and sufficiency to save is H other door for faith to enter into the New Testament Ark No man will readily enter intp the ocean upon an insulHcien bottom. If one that is on a voyage to a foreign counts get the least notice or advice, that such a ship is insufficient or if he have but a suspiejon that it is so, he will turn awa from her, and will nejther venture his person nor his goedj into her. This is the c.ise with every legalist and unbeliever he has a secret suspicion in his heart, that Christ alone is no! sufficient to save him: And therefore he will rather venture hi eternal life upon the gt-ner.il mercy of Cod,or upon the law, a"* the works of the law, upon his own inherent grace, his dutiesTM and good qualification', than upon Christ; or if he dots not stt Christ aside altogether, he will venture partly upon Christ, and partly upon something dor.e by himself; * Christ and"3/ faith, Christ and my works and duties, Christ and my obedience, Christ and my tears, prayers, will, I hope, do my bP'*ress, and save me from the delude of God's wrath.' New, I fay, whence comes all this, but from a secret jealousy and suspicion of Christ's ability and sufficiency, and that he alone Is
Kppened unto? Ami l.ence, through an evil hon icf, they turn away from him, and lay the llresecJ
feon upon this, aud th. t, and the other broken pta*
*f their own making and crrinng, faying wi:h txose in Micah vi. 6." Wherewith (hall I come before the LciJ? Shall I come before him with borc: orliriscs *rith calves of a year old? Will rhe Lord be pleased Tirh liwuiand* of rams r" In a werd, until the GnncT be fui> and thoroughly convinced of the ibsolnte sufficiency of the New Testament Ark, :^d of bis fall ability to fare, be wiil ncTtr belirre it him to the saving of his sou).
Now, to corvince you of his ability and sufficiency, will you tike the following testimonies concerning him. (1.) Take the testimony of Gcd the F.iher, Pfai. ixxxix. 19. *' I hare laid help upon one that is mighty. (2.) Take Christ's own testimony, If. lxtii. 1. "I speak in tighterufnefs, and am mighty to save." (3.) Take the testimony of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to testify of him: " He (sap Christ) fell glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall stew it unto ycu," John xvi. 14. that ye may believe in me. (4.) Take the testimony of all these three witnesses in heavm together, 1 John T. 10. 11. '-This is the record (viz. of the three in one, and one in three), that God hath given to us eternal life, and this hie is in his Son." (5.) Take the testimony of the apostle Paul, speaking by V e inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Heb. vii. 2c. "Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God ty him, seeing he ever liveth to make interceffion for them. (6.) Take the testimony of the ransomed in glory, who Itll) from their experience, that he alone undertook and accomplished their salvation, Rev. v. 9. " Thou art worthy to take the bock, and to open the seven seals thereof; for thou wast Sain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood." Thus you fee there is sufficient ground for our faith to rest upon Christ's ability to save ; and to dispute or doubt of.it is to call God a liar, 1 John v. 10. and to call all men liars that ever linewhim.
But to illustrate this ground of faith a little further, I will tell you of a fourfold al «.ity and sufficiency that there is in Christ.
1. An ability of merit for the obtaining ot pardon and acceptance through his obedience unto death. As was already stewed, there are two things the sinner wants in order to restore him to the favour of God, and to his title to eternal iife, that was forfeited by his breach of the covenant of works : (1.) Pardon of sin; and (2.) A perfect law righteousness. Now, both these are to be found in Christ. As to the first, viz. pardon, why this we have in him, for he hath finished transgtsflion and made an end of sin, Dan. ix. 24. As to its condemning power, " he is the Lamb of God which taketh away Vol. III.' T t the the fin of the world, John i. 29. "We have redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace," Eph. i. 7. Hence the apostle John declareth, chap, i. 7. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all fin ;" and it is upon the ground of the satisfaction of Jesus that Gori declares himself to be the " Lord pardoning iniquicy, trapsgreflion, and sin,"Deut. xxxiv. 7. and promises to be merciful to our unrighteousness, Heb. viii. 12. As to the second, viz. A perfect law righteousness, this is to be had to the full in Christ, for he is " the end of the law for righteousness unto every one that believeth," Rom. x. 4. " He is made sin for ps, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,'' 2 Cor. v. 21. "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us," Rom. viii. 4 This is that best robe that is put upon the poor prodigal when he comes home, Luke xv. 22. whereby the shame of his nakedness is covered j this is the wedding garment that fits for communion with God, and entitles the foul unto that" inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away," 1 Pet. L 4. So that there is in Christ a fulness of merit for justification.
2. There is in Christ a fulness of wisdom for the sou"* instruction and direction in all cases; " for in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Col.-ii. 3. By his Spirit of wisdom and understanding he gives unto fools and babes the knowledge of the " deep things of God, which are hid from the wife and prudent of the world," Matth. xi- 25. compared with 1 Cor. ii. 10. And by his skill and wisdom he directs and guides his poor people through all the dark and diflkult steps in their way, until he bring them to glory,and so accomplish that promise, " 1 will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight," If. xlii. 16.
3. There is in him a fulness of strength arid ability to bear up the poor foul under all work and warfare that it is called to engage with. Sometimes the poor believer, looking to the poor weak fund of grace within him, is ready to succumb, and cry out, • Alas! such and such work as the Lord carves out for me will be marred in my hand, I am not sufficient to think, to will, to do.' But here, believer, lies an allsufficient fund of ability, "Thy God hath commanded thy strength," Psal. Ixviii. 28. "Then mayest thou be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," Eph. vi. 10. ** He gives power to the faint, and he increaseth strength to them that have no might," 1'. xl. 29. Sometimes again the poor weak believer is ready to faint, because of the many and mighty
enemies be has to grapple with; ' Alas! (will he fay) I hare no might to subdue this or the other strong lust and corruption ; it will master me; on: day ox other 1 shall fall into the band of the enemy; Satan supports the power of indwelling sin, so that! have not only flesh and blood, but principalities and powers, spiritual wickednesses in high places to contend with, Eph. vi. 12. I know not what to do.' Well, poor believer, hpTe lies the glory of thy strength, Pfal. lxxxix. 17. even in Christ, who has already, in his own person, destroyed sin and Satan,and who has also s id, that he will subdue thine iniquities, Mic. vii. 19. " Sin shdl not have dominion over you," Rom. si. 14. And as for Satan, " the God of peace will shortly bruise him under thy feet," Rom. xvi. 2a. and mean time his grace shall be sufficient for thee, I Cor. xii. 9.
4 There is in him an all-sufficient stock of grace for the supply of all thy wants; for " it hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell," Col. i. 10. " tint out of his fulness all we might receive grace for grace," John i 16. The grac- that is in him, as Mediator, is not in him for himself, but for us poor needy sinners, 1 Cor. i. 30. " He is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and Lnctification, and redemption." *• He received gifts for men," Pfal. ixriii. 18- that men might be "blessed in him with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things," Epn. i. 3. and therefore men, and the sons of men, are invited to conv- to him and get their own, for he and all that he is, or has, as Mediator, is for us. Oh then, " Come, come, come, and take of the water of life freely," Rev. xxii. 17.
idly, There is another door of access to the New Testament Ark, that is the door of his good-will that he bears unto fallen man beyond the fallen angels (who are by nature creatures of a higher rank than man, for God made man a little lower than the angels, Pfal. viii. 5.) When the angels left their first state, there was no good-will discovered towards them, yea, on the contrary, they are shut out of heaven to hell, where "they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgement of the great day," Jude 6. But when man finned, aud fell from the state wherein he was created, what lirange work is made for his recovery? Hence is that declaration of the angels at the birth of Christ, " On earth Peace, C.ood-will towards men," Luke ii. 14. He " is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," a Peter in. ().
Qaefi. Wherein doth this good-will of God towards man, fallen man, appear r Anfiu. In these few things:
1. Does it not appear in his remembering us in our low estate, Pfal. cxxxvi. 23. when we were like the infant call out into the open sield, none to pity, or help, yet even then he looked upon us, and our time was the time of love, Ezek. xvi.
2 How did his good-will appear, when, immediately after the fall, the remedy was difcovered, Gen. iii. 15. It (viz. the feed of the woman) shall bruife thy head, (viz. the ferpcnPs)?" the plaster is at hand to be applied, even before the wound was given by the ferpent?
3. Was it not good-will to men upon earth, that he would not trust any angel or archangel with his falvation, but commits it unto his Own Son, his Beloved Son, "who is in the form of God," Philip, ii. 6. and is fully able for the work?
4. Was it not good-will in the Son of God not only to assume the human nature, but to take our law-place, that law and justice might reach him for our debt? For he " was made of a woman, made under the law," Gal. iv. 4. He was made sin for us, 2 Cor. v. 21. "And he was numbered with the tranfgressors," If. liii. 12.
e. Was it not good-will in him to die for our ossences, and to rife again for our justisication? Rom. v. 25. Greater love than this hath no man, than that a man lay down his life for his friends: "Bvt God tommendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us," John xv. 13. compared with Rom. v. o. 8.
ft. Fs tt not good-will toman, in that whenhe had sinished our redemption upon earth, that he fhouW afcend into heaven, to appear in the prefence of God for us, Heb. ix. 24. As an Advocate at the high court of justice, If. liii. last, " He was numbered with the tranfgressors, and he barf the sin of many, and made intercession for the tranfgressors," Luke xxiii. 34. 1 John ii. 1. " And if any man sin, we have an Advocate -with the Father, Jefus Christ the righteous."
7. Is it not good-will to man upon earth, that he commands the white flag of peace to be lifted up in the view of mankind, and creates the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to him who is afar oss, and to him who is near ? If. lvii. to.
8. Is it not good-will to man, that he mskes' osser of himfelf, and of his whole falvation, to sinners ? If. xlvi. 12. 13. "Hearken unto me, ye stout heirted, and far from righteoufnefs, I bring near my righteousnefs unto you: it fhall not be far oss, and my falvation shall not tarry."
. ^. Is it not good-will to man, that when he fees them running unto their ruin, in the broad way that kadeth to eternal destruction, he purfues them, crying, O "turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die ? for, as I live, 1 have no pleafure