Imatges de pàgina
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co regulate our Judgments and Affections concerning the good Things of this. Lite. . Secondly, Because they are Instrumental in stirring as up, to a more carefaland circumspect walking in the Paths of Holiness.

Thirdly, Because they capacitate us for the Enjoyment of a greater Degree of future Glory and Happiness - S tats · These Things being confidered, I go How to che, · Second Thing propounded; namely, to examine the Description of those Perfons, to whom Afdictions and Sufferings will work to gether for Good.' · They are such as love God, such as are called according to his purpose. Thus the Apostle describes them in the Text: We know (says he) that all Things work together for Good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to bis Purpose. - By them that are called according to bis Purposé, may be meant, those Persons who are called into Covenant with God, by the Ministry of the Gospel; those who have had the Gospel of Christ revealed co sbem, and do embrace and profess the fame; that is in short, all Christians. For as God designed to be reconciled to finful

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Men, by the Blood of his Son Jelos Chrift, fo 'twas his purpose, that this his good Pleasure should be revealed to them, that they should be acquainted with the Condicions of Reconciliacion and be invited to enter into Covenant withi hiin, by accépring of those Condicions. Now 'ris the Gospel or Religion of Christ, which contains thole Condicions of Reconciliation; They therefore who have this Gofpel or Religion of Christ made known unco them, and receive the same by becoming Christians, are chereby entred inco Covenant with God, and may properly be faid to be called according to his purpose.

And in this Sense, we find the like Phrafe used in other Places of Scripture : Thus in tlic est Chap. of this Epistle to the Romans, at the Grill Ver. St. Paul terms all the Christians that were in Rome, the Called in Ghrif Yesus. Thus again, ir I Cor. i. 9. Those who had embraced Christianity at Corinth; and in every ther Place; are faid to be called by God unto the Fellore ship of his Son Jefus Chrift our Lord. That is, by God's revealing che Gospel to them, and their receiving it; they were called and brought into the Society of Christ's mystical Body, the Church; and to partake of theBenefits ofhis

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natural Body's being (lain upon the Cross So likewife in 1 lim. j. 9. he lets us know that God bath faved us and called us with an Holy Calling, not according to our Works ; but according to bis own Pura pofe and Grace, which was given us ini Christ Jefus before the World began. And in Epb. i. . He calls God's revealing the Gospel to the World, a making known. unto us the Mystery of bis Will, accordings to his good Pleasure, wbich be bad pura pored in himfelf.

From these Passages it appears, that 'cwas God's Purpose to reveal the Chriftian Religion to the World, by embrace ing of which, Men might enter into Covenant with him: It appears also, that those who had this Religion révealed to them, and embraced the same, are in Scripture termed the Called in Chrif yes Jus; are faid to be called of God into the Fellowship of bis Son and to be called with an Holy Calling: And agreeably hereunto Christians are, in other places of Scripture, said to be partakers of the Heavenly Calling; and exhorted to make their Calling fure; and the like.

Hence then we have good Grounds to conclude, that by them who are called * Heb. jf. t. Pet, i. 10. Eph. iv. 1....

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according to God s Purpose, may be meart, those Persons who are called into Covenant with God, by the Revelation of the Christian Religion; that is, thole who are become Christians. When therefore the Apostle declares, that all Things Mall work together for Good to them that are called according to God's Purpose; we may reasonably presume his Meaning to be this, to wit, that all Things shall work together for Good to Christians. ....

But here it must be considered, thac too many who are called Christians, do pot walk-worthy of the Vocation where. with they are called: And that this Calling may be effcctual co' cheir Salvation, and make all Things work together for their Good; 'cis necessary thåt they act fuitably thereunto, 'by a careful Obser: yance of its Rules and Directions. And this is implied in the other part of their Description; namely, that they love God: A brief Difcuffion of which, will give us the compleat Character of those, to whom all Things will work together-for Good. · Now the Love of God consists in fuch a just Esteem of him, as secs him infinitely beyond all other Beings; and is attended with choosing him for our Supreme Good; defiring the Enjoyment of him;

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and yielding a. fincere and universal Obedience to him. For the Love of any thing, cornmonly signifies a due Eleem for it ; which Elteem, flows itself in difa ferenc Manners, answering the Difference of the Objects to which ic hach Relation,

Thus the Love of our King is such an Esteem for him, as appears in Expreslions, and Designs of Honour and Loyalty towards him. Thus again, the Love of our Parents is luch an Esteem for them, as is accompanied with Tender-heartedness and Obedience to them. And thus God being infinitely more excellent than all Things else, the Love of God must be luch an Esteem for him, as prefers, and prizes him infinitely beyond all other Things; which, if it is suffered to link into our Souls, and cake deep Root in them, will make us choofe him for our chief Good, and desire che Enjoyment of him..

This we find exemplified in the Plab mift who was pofseft with the most ar. dent Love and Esteem of God, and made him the chief Object of his Choice and Desire. Whom (fays he) have I in Heaven but thee? And there is none upon Earth that I defire in Comparison of thee, Psalm lxxiii. 24. Thus in the Beginning of the 63d Pfalm, he expresseth his pale

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