Imatges de pÓgina

be called wonderful. You have seen many wonders abroad, : you have seen the heavens and the earth, at which you ma

ny times wonder; but when God darts light into your spirits, to cause you to see the beauties of Jesus Christ, all other wonders will cease, and give way to this great wonder. As the stars, tho' they be glorious creatures in themselves, yet when the sun arises, all their glory is eclips:d; fo tho' God hath mapy wonders in the world, yet when the Sun of righteousness ariseth, all other works of God are darkned with the glory of him; certainly that foul knows not God nor Christ savingly, that knows him not practically as the wonder of the world, and so cries out, Oh the height, and depth, and breadth, and length of the glory of God in Jelus Chrift.

2. Labour fo to know Christ, as to have a practical and experimental knowlege of Christ in his influences, and not merely a notional. Alas! Christ is but a meer notion and imagination to most people in the world; how few know Jesus Christ by way of influence, power, and fellowship with him? It is said of them that fear his name, that Christ the Sun of righteousaess will arise with healing in his wings, and they thall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall, Mal. iv. 2. This clears it up, that as the sun bộ an influence into the earth doth quicken and enliven the earth, and makes all the feeds and roots hidden in the earthi to revive, and put themselves forth to sprout and flourish; so there is an influence going forth from the Sun of righteousness unto the souls of men, to ma

them of dead to become living, and of barren to become fruitful, and this is called the power of Christ, that I may kåow him and the power of his resurrection, Phil. iii. 10. i.e. That I may know Christ, and be made partaker of the good things flowing from Christ, this is the voice of one who would tavipgly know Christ, Oh that I may know him as a pic. phet instructiog me, as a priest sanctifying me, and as a king reigning (piritually in me! Oh that I may know the power of his refurrection iö the vivification of my foul, in the abolition of my fin, in the acquisition of righteoufaefs, and in the restoring of me to the assured hope of future glory! The devil is a great enemy to an historical know. lege of the prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices of Chrift, or of the resurrection of Christ, of which Paul speaks fynechdochically; but to the holy virtue and power which comes from Christ in any of these particulars, he is a deadly enemy: It is your duty, therefore fo to know Christ, as that you may feel the heavenly influences of whatsoever you know of Chrift: For instance, it is one part of the cry, that I may know Christ as à prophet instructing me! How is that? Why, Christ in his prophe tical office teachech the heart concerning himself, which Done can do but only Christ Jesus. I will not deny but mea or angels may present truths, and convince the underftanding, but they cannot so make known a truth as to gain the heart by it, or to transform the heart into the veny image of that truth; only Jesus Christ in the admioiAtration of the prophetical office teaches and prevails with the heart when he comes with truths.


We see many people come to sermons, and there Christ is opened clearly and distinctly, and thereupon they get some notional, fpeculative brain knowlege of Jesus Christ, but they are not changed, their hearts are not over-powered. At another time the same persons may come to a fermon, when Chrif is named only by the by, and then their hearts are mightily wrought upon, and they go away saying, Verily God is in this place; why now, Christ speaks to the heart, and before man speaks only to the ear. 2. It is another part of the cry, Oh that I may know the power of the resurrec. tion of Chrift! How is that? Why, there is a virtue flowing from the resurrection of Christ from the grave, to the resurrection of the souls of men from the death of fin. As Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Fa. ther, even fo we also bould walk in newness of life, Rom. vi. 4. Aod this influence of Christ is called the exceeding greatness of his power, Eph. i. 19. It is exceeding great power that by the resurrection of Christ, an holy and gracious change rould be wrought in the souls of men, from death to life, from bondage to liberty, from uncleapness to holiness, and from the power of Satan unto God. Oh that thus you would labour io kaow Christ in a powerful, praétical, and experimental knowlege.

3. Labour

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3. Labour fo to know Christ, as to make him the object of your faith, and not merely as the object of your knowlege: Many study Christ, but herein they only act as students, and not as believers: Oh be acquainted with this mystery of grace! the very setting of Christ before the foul as the full object of justifying faith, hath a mighty power to draw our faith upon Jesus Chrift; as the setting a temptation before a man, hath a power to draw out his corruptions, so the setting of Christ in his glory and excelJency, in his active and passive obedience, in what lie is, and what he came inro the world for, as an object of faith, it hath a mighty power both to draw out faith where it is, and to cause or procure faith where it is not: Christ is not only an object for you to work upon when you have faith, but such an object, as being set before the foul, hath á quickning power to cause faith; it may be your complaint, Christ is a glorious object indeed, he is the chic fest among ten thousand; but alas ! I am dead in fin, and I want a faculty to see him savingly in all his glories. Why now set Christ before you as the object of faith, and sooner or later, if you belong to him, you will feel his influences: He is not only an object of faith for the soul to work upon, when it can see, but such an object, as the very fetting of it before the foul, hath a quickning power to work life in the soul, to cause the eye to see him, and to cause the heart to make after him, though it were never so dead.

4. Labour fo to know Christ as he is your righteouspels, both to expiate former iniquities, and to yield obedience to the law for your joftification. This is the Spid tir's second convidlica of all whom he purposeth for sale vation. First He convinceth them of fin, and, 2dly, He convinceth them of righteousnefs; but of what, or whose righteousness? surely not of their own. Alas! fouls in

. Doxious to the law of God, and the curse thereof, acd therefore never able to expiate lig. 2dly, As creatures made to a supernatural end; and therefore bound to an. fwer the whole mind of God in the obedience required at their hands; now it being discovered to them, that both


these are beyond the compass of their own endeavourg, there is no other way, but to look to Christ Jesus as their righteousness, the spirit therefore convinceth them of Christ his righteousness: And indeed it is Chrift, and only Christ, who first expiates former iniquities, he satisfies for sin, and procures the remission of sins, In his blood we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, Eph. 1. 7. And, 2dly, He fulfils all righteousness, he performs all the obedience which juftly may be required of us; ' For if .. when we were enemies, we were recoociled to God by

the death of his fon, much more being reconciled, we Niall be saved by his life,' Rom. v. 16. His death reconciles us, and his life saves us; his passive obedience, and the actual obedience which he yielded to the whole law of God, is that righteousness whereby we are reconciled and saved. Oh. that you would labour to know Christ thus; as he is God your righteousness, and so act your faith on him.

SECT. Xit.
Of Satan's Affaults upon Defires after Chrift.
HE Holy Ghost having brought on the soul thus far,

in the next place begins to breed in the heart some desires after Christ; and indeed how should it be otherwise? 1 he frequent discourses of Christ, and of the mercies of God in Christ to poor finners, are fo fuitable and favoury, that the soul begins to talte fome sweetness in hearing them, and this sweetness Nirs up fome passionate defire; Oh that Chrilt were mine! Oh that I had my share in the passion and purity of the Lord Jesus Christ! Oh I thirst, i faint, I languith, I long for one drop of mercy; as the hart panteth for the water brooks, fo my foul panteth after thee, my Lord, and my God: Oh that my poor trembling fool were now received into the blessed bleeding arms of Jesus Chrift!

Satan that hears this, understands well enough that now the soul is not far from the kingdom of God, it is even upon the quickbing, and therefore he plies this season, Therefore he beltirs himself with all the policy and power of hell to cause it miscarry; 9. d. Come my angels, come devils, and beltir yourselves, it may be those desires are



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only fashy, it may be these pantings are nothing but a paog: Have got the desires of many been like lightning, foon in and soon out, too violent to hold? Or like the wiod, which how strongly soever it seem to blow one way at present, yet foon after it is found in the quite contrary poiot: A maa may be drunk with passion and affection as really as with wine; and as it is ordinary for a man to make a bargaia when he is in his cups, which he repeots of lo soon as he is sober again, so it is ordinary for finners, who make choice of Christ and his ways in a fermon (while their affections have been elevated above their ordinary pitch by some moving discourse) to repeat of all they have done a while after: How many have come from a iermon with a full gale of desires, but when the impression of the word, which heated their affectioas, was but once worn. off, when they came to themselves again, and were as far from any such defires after Christ, as ever they were bę. fore? Sudden desires seldom ripen into a deliberate choice; rash and hasty wilhes do but seldom settle into a permanent fcloution to renounce sin and self, and to calt the sonl wholly on Jesus Chrift: Come then and blow op these defires, blast them ia the bed, that they may Dever. b¢ár fruit, por come to maturity, of faith. Thus Satan, calls on: his legions, and they arm themselves against the foul, aow panting and breathing after Christ.

SECT. XIII, of the Soul's wrestling with Satan, as to this Afault.

AE duties, thereiore that sow concern you, are

thefe: 1. Content not yourselves with some sudden pangs of affection, but labour to perserve those impressions, which the Spirit at any time makes on your souls, This is the caveat of the apoille, Therefore we ought to give the more earaeft heed to the things which we have heard, left at any time we should let them slip, or run out as leaking vessels. It may be at present your desires are firong, earDelt, eager, vehement, extreme thirsting, as the parched earth, for refreshing showers, or as the hunted hart for the water-brooks; surely this is well, and herein you difference your desires, from lazy, cold, heartless, indiffer.




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