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what James faith, Ye ask, and ye receive not." Why? because ye ask amiss: that is, with an heart that is not right, but insincere, unmortified, not in the faith that purifies the soul, and therefore can never receive what is asked: fo that a man may say with truth, thy condition is worse by thy religion, because thou art tempted to think thyself the better for it, and art not.
9. X. Well! by this prospe&t that is given thee, of thy foul fall from primitive Christianity, and the true cause of it, to wit, a neglect of the daily cross of Christ, it may be eafy for thee to inform chyself of the way of thy recovery
For, look at what door thou wentest out, at that door thou must come in: and as letting fall, and forbearing the daily cross lost thee; so taking up, and enduring the daily cross, must recover thee. It is the same way, by which the finners and apoftates become the disciples of Jesus. Whosoever, says Christ, will come after me, and be my disciple, let him deny himfelf, and take up his daily cross, and follow me. Nothing short of this will do; mark that; for as it is sufficient, so it is indispensible: no crown, but by the cross: no life eternal, but through death : and it is but just, that those evil and barbarous affections, that crucified Christ afrelh, should, by his holy cross, be crucified. Blood requires blood; his cross is the death of sin, that caused his James iv. 3.
Mark viii. 34
* Mat. xvi. 24. I.uke xiv. 27.
death; and he the death of death, according to that passage, 0 death, I will be thy death!
> Hof. xiii. 14.
S. 1. What the cross of Christ is ? A figurative
Speech, but truly the divine power, that mortifies the world. S. 2. It is so called by the apostle Paul to the Corinthians. $. 3. Where it is the cross appears, and must be borne ?. Within ; where the lufts are ; there they must be crucified. §. 4. Experience teaches every one this ; to be sure, Christ asserts it, from within comes murder, &c. and that is the house where the strong man must be bound. Ş. 5. How is the Cross to be borne ? The way is spiritual, a denial of felf, of the pleasure of sin : to please God, and obey his will, as manifested to the soul by the light he gives it. $. 6. This shews the difficulty, yet the necesity of the Cross.
THE daily cross being then, and still, o Christendom ! the way to glory; that the succeeding matter, which wholly relates to the doccine of it, may come with most evidence and advantage upon thy conscience, it is most seriously to be considered by thee.
First, what the Cross of Christ is?
Secondly, Where the Cross of Christ is to be taken up?
Thirdly, How and after what manner it is to be borne?
Fourthly, What is the great work and business of the cross? In which, the fins it crucifies, with the mischiefs that attend them, will be at large expressed.
Fifthly and lastly, I shall add many testimo. nies from living and dying persons, of great reputation either for their quality, learning, or piety, as a general confirmation of the whole tract.
To the first, What is the Cross of Christ ?
$. 1. The Cross of Christ is a figurative speech, borrowed from the outward tree, or wooden cross, on which Christ submitted to the will of God, in permitting him to suffer death at the hands of evil men. So that the cross mystical, is that divine grace and power which crofseth the carnal wills of men, and gives a contradiction to their corrupt affections, and that constantly opposeth itself to the inordinate and fleshly appetite of their minds, and so may be justly termed the instrument of man's wholly dying to the world, and being made conformable to the will of God. For nothing else can mortify fin, or make it easy for us to submit to the divine will, in things otherwise very contrary to their own.
ģ. II. The preaching of the cross, therefore, in primitive times, was fitly called by Paul, that famous and skilful apostle in spiritual things, the power of God, though to them that perish, then, as now, foolishness. That is, to those that were truly weary and heavy laden, and needed a deliverer, to whom sin was burdensome and odious, the preaching of the cross, by which fin was to be mortified, was, as to them, the power of God, or a. preaching of the divine power, by which they were made disciples of Christ, and children of God : and it wrought so powerfully upon them, that no proud or licentious mockers could put them out of love, with it. But to those that walked in the broad way, in the full latitude of their lusts, and dedicated their time and care to the pleasure of their corrupt appetites, to whom all yoke and bridle were and are intolerable, the preaching of the cross was, and is, foolishness; to which I may add, in the name but of too many now-a-days, and the practice ridiculous ; embraced by none, if they may be believed, but half-witted people, of fiingy and singular tempers, affected with the hypochondry, and oppressed with the power of melancholy. For all this, and more, is bestowed upon the life of the blessed cross of Christ, by the very professors and pretended admirers of it, in the persons of those that truly bear it.
. III. Well: but then where does this cross appear, and where must it be taken up ?
I answer, within : that is, in the heart and soul, for where the sin is, the cross must be. Now all evil comes from within : this Christ taught : From within, faith Christ, out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, adulteries,
fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evils come from within, and defile the man."
The heart of man is the seat of fin, and where he is defiled, he must be sanctified; and where fin lives, there it must die : it must be crucified. Custom in evil hath made it natural to men to do evil; and as the soul rules the body, so the corrupt nature sways the whole man : but still, it is all from within.
f. IV. Experience teaches every son and daughter of Adam to affent to this; for the enemy's temptations are ever directed to the mind, which is within : if they take not, the soul sins not; if they are embraced, lust is prefently conceived, that is, inordinate desires ; lust conceived, brings forth fin; and fin finished, that is, acted, brings forih deaih.. Here is both the cause and the effect, the very genealogy of fin, its rise and end.
In all this, the heart of evil man is the devil's mint, his work-house, the place of his residence, where he exercises his power and art. And therefore, the redemption of the soul is aptly called the destruction of the works of the devil, and bringing in of everlasting righteousness. When the Jews would have defamed Christ's, miracle of casting out devils, by a blaspheinous imputation of it to the power of Beelzebub, he says, That no man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, • Mark vii. 21, 22, 23.
James v. 15.
"I John iii. 8.
Dan. ix. 24.