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he commended his Spirit into his Father's hands, Luk. 23:46. It is observable, what we have Pfal. 141.7, 8. when some of David's followers, were hackt, and hewed in pieces, and left unburied, or ( as some think) when their dead Bodies, after they were buried, were digged up, and their bones were scattered about the Grave's mouth : When Dad vid saw, or heard of this, see what he had most in his thoughts : Lord, leave not my Soul destitate.
Thus ye have one argument to make good the Inference : That it is the miost raa tional thing in the World, to mind the wellfäre of our Souls, above all things else, because it is very rational, above all outward things, to mind the preservation of our lives. And that though it be so, those that have been wise to Salvation, have minded the face ving of their Souls, above the saving of their Lives, there being indeed no comparison between this Natural life, and the Spiritual life of the Soul.
(2.) It is every way most rational, agreco able to the best, and highest principles of reason, to mind that most,which Jesus Christ (in whom dwelt all the Treasures of Wifi dom) minded most. This none will deny; but that as it is the highest pitch of our holiness, that our Ends in all things fall in with his: So it ought to be our greatest bus
finess, that in all things we thould be of the same mind with Christ. Now that this was, and still is the greatest work that Jesus Christ did, and still doth mind in our behalf, will appear by these particulars.
1. This was the great work, next to the glorifying of his Father ( and therein he did glorifie his Father ) that was in his heart to accomplish ; in, and by that mysterious work of his Incarnation, in taking upon him Man's nature, and for which he made himself of no reputation in the World; for which he suffered so much, and still doth fo much by his intercession in Heaven, to this day, that (as Isa.53.11.) he might see the Travel of his own Soul, and be satisfied in the complete, and Eternal prosperity, of all their Souls, which God the Father gave unto him, and for which he engaged himself. Fohn 6. 38, 39, 40, For I came down from Heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that
And this is the Fathers will which sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it again, at the last day. In 1 Pet. 2. 25. Christ is said to be the Shepherd of Souls. Now a faithful Shepherd, though he will be ready to do his Master, what good service he can, in any thing; yet his chiefest care is for his Master's flock. Such a faithful Shepherd is Jesus Christ, he highly minds the meanest
thing, wherein any of his are concerned : Satan ( to his own great vexation cannot overlook this, fob 1, 10, Hast thou not made an hedge abort him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every hide ? And we know, that when he was visibly in the World, he was exce
ceeding helpful to the Bodies of Men, yet his chiefest care was over his peculiar flock, as the Shepherd of Souls. He laid down his Natural life, to procure their Spiritual life: That dead Souls might live, and living Souls prosper. That they might have life, and live in abundance. Fob. 10. 10, 11. For this end he ever lives to make intercession for those that come unto him, that they might be saved to the uttermost, Heb. 7.25. And as the effect of his intercession (according to his promise, Joh. 16. 16.) he sends the Spirit of Grace into their hearts, to work in them all the
graces, that accompany Salvation.
And to abide in them, to preserve what he hath wrought, that in believing, their Souls might be saved, Heb. 15.39. And that they might receive the end of their Faith, the Salvation of their Souls, 1 Pet. 1.9.
This is the first thing, that Jesus Christ minded this most, in our behalf, that for this cause he came into the World, to seek, and to fave loft Souls, Luk, 19.10. (2.) This is the great end, he aims to car-'.
ry on by all his Ordinances. The Law of God (that is the whole Doctrine revealed in the word) is for the Conversion of Souls, Psal. 19. 7. And for Edification of Souls, A&t. 20. 32. I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up. The Sacraments are Spiritual Food for Souls. I Cor. 10. 3, 4, And did all eat the same Spiritual meat. And did all drink the same Spiritual drink. Yea, Excommunication that dreadful Ordinance, fo it be managed according to the mind of Christ) for it is a delivering a Man to Satan, yet it is with reference to the good of his Soul, i Cór. 5.5. To deliver such a one unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. For this end, he appointed the Ministry to be a standing Ordinance unto the end of the World, that they might watch over Souls, Heb.13.17. This was that which the Apostles aimed at, according to their Commission from Christ. Paul saith, That he was made all things to all Men, that by all means, he might save fome, 1 Cor. 9.22. In his removal from one place to another, he aimed at the conveying of some Spiritual gift, where ever he came, for the good of Souls, Rom. I. II, For I long to see you,
that I may impart to you, fome Spiritual gift. In all his prayers, for those to whom he wished
all the good that might be, this was the great thing he desired in their behalf, that their Souls might prosper, Eph. 3.14, 15, 16, 17, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might, by his Spirit, in the inner Man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by Faith, &c. Gal. 6. 18, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit. Prospering Souls were his joy, and Crown, Phil. 4. 1.
3. This was, and is the great end of all his Providential Dispensations. They are, or may be, all them, either Food, or Physick for the Soul. Thriving in holiness, as ye have heard, is Soul-thriving. Now this is the end, that all comforting, desirable Providences seem to drive on, Obad. verf. 17. But upon Mount Zion, there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness. All afflict. ing, faddening Providences, are for the same purpose, Heb. 12. 10, God chasteneth us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Yea for this very cause, it often goes very ill with many of those that live highly in the love of God, in their outward condition, that their spiritual condition may prosper, and flourish, Isa. 27. 9, By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be pur. ged, and this is all the fruit,' to take away bis fin : Which is the sickness, and otherwise would be the death of the Soul, and its