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be a very dangerous thing to commit Sin; but now Christ has Righteousness and Merit enough for us all, and we need none of our own, nothing but Faith to apply his Righteoulnels to us; Christ has pulled out the Sting of Sin, that it cannot greatly hurt; it cannot kill a Believer; though it may slightly wound him, and draw some Tears of Repentance from him; and that heals all again.
This, if any thing in the World, is to turn the Grace of God into Lasciviousness, to be wicked, because God is good, to sin, because Grace does abound, whose damnation is just.
I beseech you, for the Love of Christ, and for the Honour of his Undertaking, of his Death and Intercession for us, to consider this a little better. Consider what the Gospel teaches us to believe of Christ, and how absurd and contradictious it is to fay, that such a Faith will save us without Holiness and Pu: rity of Heart and Life. Do you noç believe, That Christ gave himself for us, to redeem us from all Iniquity, and to purifie
. to himself a peculiar People, Zealous of good Works, 2 Ticus 14. And is it reasonable to think, that our believing this, will save us, unless we be redeemed from all Iniquity, unless we be purified, unlöss we be a People Zealous of good Werks. If Christ faves those who are not redeemed from all Iniquity, who are not purified, who are not Zealous of good Works it is certain he must save those for whom he did not give himself, or must save them con trary, to his own Intention of giving himself for them ; but however, to believe that Christ Сc4.
gave himself for us, to redeem ws from al Iniquity, does not seem to be such a Faith, (if our Faith be true) as will justifie us without being redeem, ed from all Iniquity.
I shall add but one thing more, wherein Christians have a great advantage of Jews and Heathens, and have received more from God, than they ; I mean, the plentiful Effufions of the Holy Spirit on the Christian Church. I dare not say, that Heathens themselves wanted all internal Affiftances to Virtue; for I can by no means perswade my self, that God who is an infinite Spirit, should for so many Ages together, have no commerce with Men's Minds and Spirits ; that he who governs the inanimate World, who fteers the Motions of the Heavens, and keeps Nature in its regular course, fhould wholly negle& the rational World, and the moral Springs of Action, should not influence the Thoughts and Passions of Men, should not lay invisible Chains on their-Lufts, nor inspire them with great and virtuous Defigns; especially since he is a great Lover of Vertue, and abhors Vice, and knows the cor, ruption and wickedness of Human Nature, without some restraints ; and its weakness and
indisposition to Virtue, without Divine ImNunquam pulses. " I am sure Heathens themselves called vir magnus Vertue the Gift of God, and ascribed all exfine Divine traordinary Excellencies and Perfections of
Men, to the secret Influences and Assistance of their Gods.
The Jews had these Internal Affiftances to illuminate their Minds, to influence their Wills,
to dire& their Choice, to give Warmth and Vigour to their Affections ; as is plain from the Psalms of David, wherein there are many Prayers to this purpose, which prove what his Belief was; for had he not known, that the Divine Spirit did use to affift good Men, he would not have prayed for such assistance; and
yet this he frequently does : O that my 119 Pfal. ways were directed to keep thy Statutes. With s. 10. 147 my whole beart have I bought thee, O let me notar 8, 19,27, wander from thy Commandments. Blessed art
36, 37. thou, O Lord, o teach me thy Statutes. Open thou mine eyes, that I may bebold wondrous things out of thy Law. I am a stranger upon eartb, bide not thy Commandments from me. Make me to understand the way of tby Precepts. Strengthen tbou me, according to thy word. Teach-me, o Lord, the way of thy Precepts,
Give me una derstanding, and I shall keep thy Law. Incline my Heart unto thy Testimonies, and not to Cover tousness. Turn thou mine eyes from bebolding vanity, and quicken me in thy way. And in his Penitencial Psalm he prays : Create in me a clean beart, 51 Plal. O God, and renew a right Spirit within me : restore 10. 12. unto
me the joy of thy Salvation, and uphold me with aby free Spirit.
But as devout Men among the Jews had a greater Portion of the Holy Spirit, than the Heathens had, so there was still a more plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit on the Christi, an Church, not only in those miraculous Gifts and Powers, which were bestowed upon the Apoftolick Age, and continued in some meafure in after Ages, till Christianity was well
planted in the World; but as to the renewing and fan&ifying Influences of the Holy Spirit. We are now born not only of Water, but of the Spirit, in Baptism, 3 John 5. And by one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body - And bave been all made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Cor. 12, 13. So that at Baptism we are born of the Spirit, which fignifies that the Holy Spirit gives Life, and is a new Principle of Life to us; in the Lord's Supper we drink into one
'; which fignifies the fresh Supplies and Communications of Grace, as we daily receive new Supplies of Spirits from our natural Meat and Drink : And I know not how we should have the Spirit in a more perfect manner, than as a constant Principle of Spiritual Life.
But it is not my business to prove, what all Orthodox Christians own; that the Holy Spirit is more plentifully bestowed upon the Christian Church, than ever it was upon Jews or Heathens, which makes our Obedience to the Divine Laws more easy by encreasing our Strength, and exacts from us more perfect Attaimnents, as we all expect more perfect Services from our Children, as their Age and Strength increases.
All this God has done more for us Christians, than he has done for the rest of the World, and all this Owhich he has done more for makes it our Duty to live better, and to do more Service for God than other Men, and that makes it very just for God to expect more from ụs, and that proves he does so, and then we
should consider, what manner of Persons, we Christians ought to be in all holy Conversation and Godlines. If Heathens shall be damned for their Sins against the weak and glimmering Light of Nature, and the feeble Convictions of a natural Conscience, corrupted by Eduçation, by Examples, by prevailing Customs, by the Cheats and Impoftures of wicked Spirits, what shall the Condemnation of Christians be who neglect so great Salvation ; who when light is come into the World, love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil: Who sin against the clear and bright Light of the Gospel, against the Love of GOD, against the Grace of CHRIS T, against the powerful Restraints and Assistances of the HOLY SPIRIT? If those that despised Moses's Law, died without Mercy, under two or. three Witnesses : of how much sorer Punishment, Suppose ye, shall be be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the Blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unboly thing, and bath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace, io Heb. 28, 29. Which is true, not only of final Apoftasy, but of all wilful Disobedience. The Grace of the Gofpel makes our Work easy, but our Dury more, and the danger of a Miscarriage greater. It does not require unsinning Obedience, but it requires greater Measures of Purity and Goodness, and Universal Righteousness, and has threatned a hotter Hell against wicked Christians.