« FöregåendeFortsätt »
But here he will set us right, and through the -Power of that Grace which goes along with his Ministry, not fieffer us to be tempted above what we are able. He will display unto us the natural Clemencies and Mercies of our God; and that he is the great Lover of Souls
. He will fet before us the Graciousness and Comfort of the Christian Promises ;, the readiness of Jesus Christ to embrace returning Penitents; and the good Hopes we have, when this Life is done, of going to God, and living with him in Immortality and endless Blessednefs.
Secondly, He will establish and confirm us in our Stedfastness, against all Ambiguity and Wavering. Having taken account of our Faith, he will exhort us to continue therein to the End, as being that which was once delivered to the Saints. He will put us upon looking up to God, by an iminovable Trust and Confidence. He will move us, to a hearty Confesion of all our Frailties; and to a penitential Sorrow for all our Sins. He will difcourse unto us Edifyingly and Feelingly, of the Subftantial and Comfortable Doctrines of Religion ; such are Repentance towards God; Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ; and an unlimited Charity towards all the World: These are the proper Topicks of Comfort ; and the Confcience and Practice of them will be more satisfactory to us, when we came to die, than all the Fine-spun Controverges, the modern
Systems and Theologies, the vain Inventions
Thirdly, Having thus quieted our Fears, and bound up our Consciences, and confirmed our Faith; he will then address to our Hopes ; by raising them above this perishing World, and placing them upon Heaven, our eternal Abode. Here he will be very copious and eloquent ; and by all that Sense he has of the Love of Christ upon his own Soul, by the most melting and pathetical Arguments the Gospel affords, he will endeavour to affect us with the highest Degrees of Faith and Devotion to our crucify'd Redeemer. He will plead his Sacrifice in Prayer ; and Seal unto us the Remission of all our Sins in the Blood of the everlasting Covenant. Then may we sing our Núnc Dimittis ; and with a gentle Sigh resign up our Souls in the Words of good Old Simeon. Lord! now lettest thou thy Servant depart in Peace ; for mine Eyes Luk. 2. 29 bave seen thy Salvation.
I have now done, and the Conclusion of all
I beseech you, be careful in the first Place; to live well, and to walk before God in all Chriftian Conversation and Godliness. And then, when Sickness comes, and and God calls, let us make good the End of
our Lives: Let us send for the Elders of the Church; and in the Prayer. of Faith, : conimit our Souls to the Mercies of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all Hanour and Glory, c.
The Security and Comfort of
Living under the Belief, that our Sins are forgiven.
St. MATTHEW ix, 2. Lattèr Part.
HESE Words were spoken by our Bles
sed Saviour, to a Man fick of the Pala' sie, whom his Friends had brought to be healed of that Distemper. Our Lord immediately, without any Hesitation, or further Enquiry, pronounces him whole, and pardons his Sins. A fudden Cure, and a very surprizing Mer-. cy this! And therefore must proceed froins fome extraordinary Signs of Grace ; from forne very good Temper and Disposition of Mind, which our Saviour knew to be in this Paralytick.
No doubt but the Man had heard of the Fame and Miracles of Jesus, and secretly believed in him ; and was very desirous to be healed by himn. But being under the Sense of his own Unworthiness, and Conscious of his former Sins, which had brought that Affliction upon him ; this something shock'd his Mind, and damp'd his Confidence.
Jt wrought in him an honest, but an anxious Faith.
Our Saviour knowing the Probity of his Heart, and the Sincerity of his Defres, is moved with Compassion towards him; at once absolves and cures him. Son, be of good Cheer, thy Sins be forgiven thee. Arise take up tby Bed, and
unto thine House. In which Instances of extraordinary Grace and Favour, we have at once a very lively Rea presentation of the uncomfortable State of Mankind by Nature, and under Sin : And what it now is, as it is restored by our Saviour Christ, and put under the Means of Grace, the Affiftances, and Promises of the Gospel. Here we may easily discover what a gracious Alteration God hath made in the Terms of our Duty and Happiness; after what manner he now deals with Penitents of what Efficacy Faith and Repentance are ; how carefully he obferves, how readily he cherishes the first Beginnings of thefe 3 and if they be fincerely entertained, and carried on, how much they incline him to Mercy and Pardon,