The Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Judgment
by John Bunyan
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

I could here also bring in the testimony of the very devils themselves as Luke 4:41, 8:28 where he is by them acknowledged to be the Son of the living God: But it is needless so to do; for we have plainly proved it already.

Third, Now followeth the several scripture arguments, which will prove that Jesus the Son of Mary is very God.

1. There is none but he that is the true God, can satisfy the justice of the true God, for the breach of his holy law; but if you compare Isaiah 53:6 with Matthew 3:17 you shall find, that Jesus the Son of Mary did give God a full and complete satisfaction for the breach of his holy law; therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be the great and true God.

2. He that hath power of his own to lay down his life, and hath power of his own to take it up again, must needs be the true God: but this did Jesus the Son of Mary the virgin; therefore he must needs be the true God (John 10:17; Rom 1:4).

3. There was never any able to bear the sins of all the believers in the world, that ever were, now are, or hereafter shall be, but the true God: But Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, did bear them all, 'in his own body on the tree' (1 Peter 2:24; Isa 53:6). Therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be the true God as well as man.

4. There was never any mere man able, by his own power, to overcome the devil in all his temptations, but he that is also the true God (for Adam in his state of innocency was overcome by them, and fell under them:) But Jesus the Son of the Virgin did overcome them all by his own power; therefore he is very God, as well as very Man. See Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 51:9, 63:5; Matthew 4:24; Luke 4:12.

5. There was never any that did call himself the true God (and was not) which did please God in so doing. But Jesus the Son of Mary did call himself the true God, or account himself equal with God (which is all one) yet God was well pleased with him (Matt 3:17; Phil 2:6,7; John 8:29). And therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be true God as well as man.

6. There was never any that had all power in heaven and in earth, but the true God. Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, who was espoused to Joseph, hath all power in heaven and in earth in his own hand. Therefore he is the true and great God (Matt 28:18).

7. There was never any able to keep poor souls from falling from God, saving he that is the true God. Jesus the Son of Mary did, and doth this (John 10:27-30, 17:12). Therefore he is the true and great God.

8. Never could any justly call himself the first and the last, except the true God, nor truly (as the Lord did say) I AM. But these did Jesus the Son of Mary (Rev 1:1 compared with vv 17,18; Rev 2:8 and John 8:58). Therefore Jesus must needs be true God as well as man.

9. Never was there any that could absolutely forgive sins but God (Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21). But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, can forgive sins (Luke 5:20; Mark 2:5). Therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be true God, as well as man.

10. The scriptures never call any the true and living God; but he that is the true God. The scriptures call Jesus, the Son of the Virgin, the true God (Isa 9:6; 1 John 5:20). Therefore he is the true and great God.

11. He that made all things, whether they be visible, or invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers, must needs be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary did make all these (Col 1:14-18; John 1:1-16; Heb 1:2,3). And therefore he is the true God as well as man.

12. The blood of a mere finite creature could never obtain eternal redemption for sinners. But the blood of Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, hath obtained eternal redemption for sinners (Rom 3:23, 5:9; Heb 9:12,14, 10:19,20). Therefore the blood of the Son of the Virgin, must needs be the blood of God. And so the Apostle calleth it, saying to the pastors of the churches, 'Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood' (Acts 20:28; 1 John 3:16).

13. Never was there any that could overcome death in his own power, but the true God (Hosea 13:14; 2 Tim 1:10; Heb 1:2). Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary did overcome death by himself (Heb 3:14). Therefore he is the true God as well as man.

14. He that searcheth the hearts, and knoweth the thoughts of men, must needs be the true God (Jer 17:10). But Jesus the Son of the Virgin doth (Luke 5:22, 9:47; John 2:24,25). Therefore he is the true God.

15. He that by his own power commandeth the raging sea, must needs be the true God (Job 38:10,11; Prov 8:29). But this did Jesus the Son of Mary (Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:24). Therefore, he is the true God.

16. He that is the WISDOM, power, and glory of God, must needs be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin is all these as 1 Corinthians 1:24; Hebrews 1:3. Therefore Jesus the Son of the Virgin must needs be true God as well as man.

SECOND.—The next thing that I am to prove, is this; namely, That by this Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin, the world was made: And here I shall be brief, having touched on it already. Only I shall lay down some of the scriptures, that hold forth this to be a truth, and so pass to the next things that I intend to speak of.

And therefore in the first place, see Hebrews 1:2 where the Apostle is speaking of the Son of God, which Son was born of the Virgin Mary, according to these scriptures mentioned before (Matt 1:18-23; Luke 2; Matt 3:17) where God himself saith, This is my beloved Son, &c. This Son of God, saith the Apostle, by whom God hath spoken to us, by him also he made the worlds. And Colossians 1 the Apostle speaking of the deliverance of the saints, saith, 'who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins': And is that all? No, but he is (also) 'the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature' (v 15). And in verses 16, 17, 'By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.' Also Hebrews 1:10 it is thus written of this Son of God, Christ Jesus the Son of Mary, 'And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands.' And again, John 1 and the first 9 verses, the Evangelist, or Apostle, speaking of the Son, saith, 'In the beginning was the Word,' which Word was the Son (Rev 19:13). This Word, or Son, was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 'In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.' But in the ninth verse of this first chapter of John, it is written, 'That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Now seeing the Lord hath brought me thus far; and because the Quakers by wresting this scripture, do not only split themselves upon it, but endeavour also to split others, I shall therefore, before I proceed any further, speak a few words to it; and they are these that follow.

The Apostle in these nine first verses, or most of them, is speaking of the divinity or godhead of the Son of Mary, and shewing that he made the world: Now in this ninth verse he speaketh of man as he is in his coming into the world, and not as he is a regenerate person. Now every man as he comes into the world, receives a light from Christ, as he is God, which light is the conscience, that some call Christ though falsely. This light, or conscience, will shew a man that there is a God, and that this God is eternal (Rom 1:20). This light doth discover this eternal God by his works in the world; for saith the scripture before named, 'The invisible things of him [meaning God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead'; This light also will reprove of sin, or convince of, and make manifest sins against the law of this eternal God: so that man, before he is regenerate, is able by that light to know that sins against the law, are sins against God, as is manifested in the unconverted Pharisees, who, (as Christ told them) had neither the love of God, nor the word of God abiding in them (John 5:38,42) yet knew sins against the law, to be sins; for they were offended at a woman for committing adultery, which act was forbidden, by the law (Matt 5:27,28); and it is said also, they were convicted of sin by their own consciences (John 8:7-10).

Again, The Apostle writing to the Corinthians, and admonishing them to walk orderly (1 Cor 11:14) turns them to nature itself, saying, 'Doth not even nature itself teach you?' &c. This light surely is that, wherewith Christ, as he is God, hath enlightened every man that cometh into the world, which doth convince of sins against the law of God. Therefore, as the Apostle saith (Rom 1:20). They are left without excuse. That is, they have their own conscience, that doth shew them there is a God, and that this God is to be served and obeyed; and the neglect of this will be sure to damn them, though the obedience to the law will not save them, because they are not able to make a full recompense to God for the sins that are past; neither are they able for the time to come, to yield a full, continual, and complete obedience to the law of this almighty, infinite, and eternal God. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the [works of the] law,—it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith' (Gal 3:10,11).

But now, though Christ, as he is God, doth give a light to every one that cometh into the world, which light is the conscience, (as they themselves confess;) yet it doth not therefore follow that this conscience is the Spirit of Christ, or the work of grace, wrought in the heart of any man whatsoever; for every one hath conscience, yet every one hath not the Spirit of Christ: For Jude speaks of a company of men in his days, who had not the Spirit of Christ (Jude 19). 'These be they who separate themselves, [saith he] sensual, having not the spirit.' Yea, Heathens, Turks, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, have that also that doth convince of sin, and yet are so far from having the Spirit of Christ in them, that it is their great delight to serve their lusts, this world, their sins; whereas the Apostle saith plainly, 'If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life for righteousness sake' (Rom 8:10)[1] So that those who are alive to their sins, have not the Spirit of Christ. Nay, let me tell you, the very devils themselves, who were thrown from their first state by sin (Jude 6) have such a taste of their horrible sins (2 Peter 2:4) that when they did but suppose that Jesus was come to put an end to their tyrannical dealing with the world, and to bring them to judgment for their sins, (to which they know they shall be brought,) it made them cry out, 'Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?' (Matt 8:29). James doth also signify this much unto us, where he saith, 'The devils also believe and tremble' (James 2:19). Which belief of theirs is not a believing in Christ to save them; for they know he did not take hold on their nature (Heb 2:16). But they do believe that Christ will come to their everlasting torment; and the belief of this doth make these proud spirits to tremble.

Again, Man at his coming into the world, hath his conscience given him, which doth convince of sin (John 2:9, 8:9), yet man, as he cometh into the world, hath not the Spirit of Christ in him; for that must be received afterward, by the preaching of the word, which is preached by the ministers and servants of Jesus Christ. This is God's usual way to communicate of his Spirit into the hearts of his elect; and this is clear in so many words, where Peter preaching to a certain number, the scripture saith, 'While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost, [or Holy Spirit,] fell on all them which heard the word' (Acts 10:44). And again (Gal 3:2,5 compared together), 'Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, [saith the Apostle] or by the hearing of faith?' or the Gospel, which is the word of faith preached by us? Which Spirit, as Christ saith, the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, though his children shall have fellowship with him to the great comfort of their own souls (John 14:16,17).

But now, this merciless butcherer of men, the devil, that he might be sure to make the soul fall short of glory, if possible, endeavours to persuade the soul that its state is good; that it hath the Spirit of Christ in it; and for a proof of the same, saith he, turn thy mind inward, and listen within, and see if there be not that within thee that doth convince of sin: Now the poor soul; finding this to be so, all on haste (if it be willing to profess) through ignorance of the Gospel, claps in with these motions of its own conscience, which doth command to abstain from this evil, and to practise that good; which, if neglected, will accuse and torment for the same neglect of others, both now and hereafter (Rom 2:15).

Now the soul seeing that there is something within that convinceth of sin, doth all on a sudden close with that, supposing it is the Spirit of Christ, and so through this mistake, is carried away with the teachings and convictions of its own conscience, (being misinformed by the devil) unto the works of the law; under which, though it work all its days, and labour with its might and main, yet it never will be able to appease the wrath of God, nor get from under the curse of the law, nor get from under the guilt of one sinful thought the right way, which is to be done by believing what another man hath done by himself, without us, on the cross, without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb 1:2,3; Rom 5:15). See also for this 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 13:12. The one saith, He bare our sins in his own body on the tree; the other saith, It was done without the gate.

And thus the poor soul is most horribly carried away headlong, and thrown down violently under the curse of the law, under which it is held all its days, if God of his mere mercy prevent not; and at the end of its life doth fall into the very belly of hell.

Again, That the devil might be sure to carry on his design, he now begins to counterfeit the work of grace: here he is very subtle, and doth transform himself into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). Now he makes the soul believe that he is its friend, and that he is a gospel minister; and if the soul will be led by what shall be made known unto it by the light (or conscience) within, it shall not need to fear but it shall do well.

Now he counterfeits the new birth, persuading them, that it is wrought by following the light that they brought into the world with them. Now he begins also to make them run through difficulties: and now, like Baal's priests, they must lance themselves with knives, &c. Now, 1656, quakers are changed to the laws of the world. Now they must wear no hatbands; now they must live with bread and water; now they must give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, which bids them abstain from marriage, and commands them to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, of them which love and know the truth, as in 1 Timothy 4:1-3. Now they must not speak, except their spirit moves them, (I do not say the Spirit of Christ) though when it moves, they will speak such sad blasphemies, and vent such horrible doctrines, that it makes me wonder to see the patience of God, in that he doth not command, either the ground to open her mouth, and swallow them up, or else suffer the devil to fetch them away alive, to the astonishment of the whole world.

Object. But you will say, doth not the scripture say, that it is the Spirit of Christ that doth make manifest or convince of sin? (John 16:8).

Ans. Yes, it doth so. But for the better understanding of this place, I shall lay down this; namely, That there are two things spoken of in the scriptures, which do manifest sin, or convince of sin. First, The law, as saith the Apostle (Rom 3:20). 'Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: [viz., God's sight:] for by the law is the knowledge of sin.' Secondly, The Spirit of Christ doth make manifest, or reprove of sin, as it is written (John 16:8,9). 'And when he [the Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me'; saith the Son of Mary, which is Christ.

Now the law doth sometimes by its own power manifest sin without the Spirit of Christ; as in the case of Judas, who was convinced of the sin of murder, which made him cry out, 'I have sinned'; yet at that time he was so far from having the Spirit of Christ in him, that he was most violently possessed of the devil (Luke 22:3,4).

Again, Sometimes the Spirit of Christ takes the law, and doth effectually convince of sin, of righteousness, and judgment to come.

Query. But you will say, How should I know whether I am convinced by the law alone, or that the law is set home effectually by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus upon my conscience?

Ans. 1. Unto this I answer. First, When the law doth convince by its own power, without the help of the Spirit of Christ, it doth only convince of sins against the law, as of swearing, lying, stealing, murdering, adultery, covetousness, and the like. I say, it doth only make manifest sins against the law, pronouncing a horrible curse, against thee, if thou fulfil it not, and so leaves thee; but it gives thee no strength to fulfil it completely, and continually, (which thou must do, if thou wilt be saved thereby). Now thy own strength being insufficient for these things, having lost it in Adam, thou art a breaker of the law. Here the law finds thee in thy sins, and condemns thee for thy sins: But gives thee no power to come wholly out of them; neither doth it shew thee thy right Saviour, to save thee from them (which is the Son of the Virgin Mary, the man Christ Jesus) but commands thee upon pain of eternal damnation, to continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them (Gal 3:10). And therefore if thou hast been convinced of no other sins, but what are against the law, for all thy convictions and horror of conscience, thou mayest be but a natural man, at the best, and so under the curse.

(Obj.) But, perhaps thou wilt say, I am not only convinced of my sins against the law, but I have also some power against my sins, so that I do in some considerable measure abstain from those things that are forbidden in the law.

(Ans.) This thou mayest have, and do, as thou thinkest, perfectly, as those blind Pharisees called quakers, do think that they also do, and yet be but a natural man: And therefore I pray consider that place, in Romans 2:14, 15, the Apostle there speaks on this wise, concerning the Gentiles' obedience to the law, 'For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.' Which work of the law, Christ as he is God, hath enlightened every one withal, that cometh into the world (John 1:9), which, as the quakers say, doth convince of sin, yet of no other than sins against the law: and therefore must needs be all one light or law; for 'the law is light' (Prov 6:23) and gives 'the knowledge of sin' (Rom 3:20). And therefore, as I said before, so say I now again, if thy convictions are no other than for the sins against the law, though thy obedience be the strictest that ever was wrought by any man, (except the Lord Jesus the Son of Mary) thou art at the best but under the law, and so consequently under the curse, and under the wrath of God, whether thou believest it or not (Gal 3:10; John 3:36).

Ans. 2. But now the second thing, how thou shouldest know, whether the Spirit of Christ doth effectually set home the law upon thy conscience, or not; and therefore to speak directly to it, if the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, doth set home the law effectually; then the same Spirit of Christ shews thee more sin than the sins against the law. For,

(1.) It shews thee, that 'all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags' (Isa 64:6). Thou seest all thy praying, meditation, hearing, reading, alms-deeds, fasting, reformation, and whatsoever else thou hast done, doest, or canst do, being an unbeliever, deserves at the hands of God his curse and condemnation, and that for ever: And therefore thou art so far from trusting to it, that in some measure thou even loathest it, and art ashamed of it, as being a thing abominable, both in God's sight and thine own (Phil 3:8). Thou countest thy own performances, when at best, and thine own righteousness, A bed too short to stretch thyself upon, and a covering too narrow to wrap thyself in (Isa 28:20). And these things thou seest not[2] overly, or slightly, and as at a great distance, but really and seriously, and the sense of them sticks close unto thee.

(2.) It shews thee that thou hast no faith in the man Christ Jesus by nature, and that though thou hadst no other sins, yet thou art in a perishing state because of unbelief, according to that 16th of John, verse 9, 'Of sin, because they believe not on me.' If therefore thou hast been convinced aright by the Spirit, thou hast seen that thou hadst no faith in Christ the Son of Mary, the Son of God, before conversion. It shews thee also, that thou canst not believe in thine own strength, though thou wouldest never so willingly; yea, though thou wouldest give all the world (if thou hadst it) to believe, thou couldest not.

(3.) In the next place it will shew thee, that if thou doest not believe in the man Christ Jesus, and that with 'the faith of the operation of God' (Col 2:12), thou wilt surely perish, and that without remedy; Also it shews thee, that if thou hast not that righteousness, which the man Christ Jesus accomplished in his own person for sinners; I say, if thou be not clothed with that instead of thine own, thou art gone for ever; and therefore saith Christ, (speaking of the Spirit) 'When he is come he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness' too (John 16:8). That is, the Spirit shall convince men and women of the sufficiency of that righteousness that Christ, in his human nature, hath fulfilled: So that they need not run to the law for righteousness: 'For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth' (Rom 10:4). Again, if the Spirit of Jesus setteth home the law upon thy conscience, thou wilt freely confess, that although the law curseth, and condemneth thee for thy sins, and gives thee no power either to fulfil it, or to come out of thy sins: Yet God is just in giving that law, and 'the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good' (Rom 7:12).

(4.) Lastly, It also convinceth of judgment to come: He (viz. the Spirit) shall reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, yea, and of judgment too (Acts 24:25). Then doth the soul see, that that very man that was born of the Virgin Mary, crucified upon the cross without the gates of Jerusalem, shall so come again; even that same Jesus, in like manner as he was seen to go up from his disciples (Acts 1:11). Yea, they that are thus convinced by the Spirit of Christ, know that God 'hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained' (Acts 17:31): which is the man Christ Jesus: For 'it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead' (Acts 10:42).

And now, O man, or woman, whoever thou art, that art savingly convinced by the Spirit of Christ, thou hast such an endless desire after the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou canst not be satisfied or content with anything below the blood of the Son of God to purge thy conscience withal; even that blood that was shed without the gate (Heb 13:12, 9:14). Also thou canst not be at quiet, till thou dost see by true faith, that the righteousness of the Son of Mary is imputed unto thee, and put upon thee (Rom 3:21-23). Then also thou canst not be at quiet, till thou hast power over thy lusts, and corruptions, till thou hast brought them into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then thou wilt never think that thou hast enough faith. No, thou wilt be often crying out, Lord, give me more precious faith: Lord, more faith in thy righteousness; more faith in thy blood and death; more faith in thy resurrection: And Lord, more faith in this, that thou art now at the right hand of thy father in thy human nature, making intercession for me a miserable sinner (John 16:5-7; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 7:24,25). And then, O poor soul, if thou comest but hither, thou wilt never have an itching ear after another gospel. Nay, thou wilt say, if a presbyter, or anabaptist, or independent, or ranter, or quaker, or papist, or pope, or an angel from heaven, preach any other doctrine, let him be accursed, again and again (Gal 1:8). And thus have I briefly shewed you.

First, How Christ, as he is God, doth enlighten every man that comes into the world.

Secondly, What this light will do, viz. shew them that there is a God, by the things that are made; and that this God must be worshiped (Rom 1:20).

Thirdly, I have shewed you the difference between that light and the Spirit of Christ the Saviour.

Fourthly, I have also shewed you, how you should know the one from the other, by their several effects.

The first light convinces of sins, but of none other than sins against the law; neither doth it shew the soul a Saviour, or deliver (for that is the work of the Spirit) from the curse wherewith it doth curse it. But I shewed you, that when the Spirit of Christ comes and works effectually, it doth not only shew men their sins against the law, but also shews them their lost condition, if they believe not in the righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, and intercession of Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, the Son of God (John 6:44, 16:24; Matt 3:17; Heb 1:9). And thus much I thought necessary to be spoken at this time, touching the nature of conviction.

THIRD. Now in the third Place. Though I have spoken something to this thing already, namely, concerning our Lord the Saviour, yet again, in few words, through grace, I shall shew, that he was made, that is, born of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem them that are under the law. My meaning is, That God is our Saviour.

First, And for this, see Isaiah 45:15 where you have these words, 'Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour': And verse 21, 22 you have these words, 'Who hath declared this from ancient time?—Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth': Why, who art thou? 'For I am God, and there is none else.' Also in Isaiah 54:5 'For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.' Read also verses 6-8 of that chapter. I could abundantly multiply scriptures to prove this to be truth, but I shall only mind you of two or three, and so pass on; the first is in Jude, verse 25, 'To the only wise God our Saviour be glory.' And Acts 20:23; John 3:16; 1 John 5:20.

Object. But you will say, How is God a Saviour of sinners, seeing his eyes are so pure that he cannot behold iniquity (Hab 1:13).

Answ. For answer hereunto. 'When the fulness of the time was come' wherein the salvation of sinners should be actually wrought out, 'God sent forth his Son, [which Son is equal with the Father (John 1:1, 17:5, 10:30)] made of a woman, made under the law,' (that is, he was subject to the power and curse of the law) to this end, 'to redeem them that [are, or] were under the law' (Gal 4:4,5), that is, to deliver us 'from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us' (Gal 3:13). From whence take notice, that when the salvation of sinners was to be actually wrought out, then God sent forth the everlasting Son of his love into the world, clothed with the human nature, according to that in John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14 and 1 Timothy 3:16 which saith, 'God was manifest in the flesh,' that is, took flesh upon him.

Second, This Son of God, which is equal with the Father, did in that flesh, which he took upon him, completely fulfil the whole law: So that the Apostle saith, 'Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth' (Rom 10:4). This righteousness which this Christ did accomplish, is called, 'The righteousness of God' (Rom 3:22). This righteousness of God, is by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe: My meaning is, it is imputed to so many as shall by faith lay hold on it. This is also part of the meaning of that speech of the Apostle: 'As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ' (Gal 3:27). That is, by faith have put on the righteousness of Christ, with the rest of that which Christ hath bestowed upon you, having accomplished it for you. This is also the meaning of the Apostle (Col 2:9,10) where he saith, 'for in him [that is the Son of Mary, (1:13,14)] dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.' That is, in his obedience and righteousness; which also the Apostle himself doth so hard press after (Phil 3:8,9), saying, 'doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord'; which Lord was crucified by the Jews, as it is in 1 Corinthians 2:8 'for whom, [that is for Christ,] I have suffered the loss of all things [as well the righteousness of the law, in which I was blameless (Phil 3:6) as all other things] and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith': which is 'unto all, and upon all them that believe' (Rom 3:22). That place also in the ninth of Daniel (vv 24,25), holdeth forth as much where prophesying of the Messias, he saith, that it is he that came 'to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.' Now that the righteousness of the Son of Mary is it, mind the 26th verse, where he saith thus, 'And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off,' that is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not cut off,' that is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not for himself,' that is, not for any sin that he hath committed; for he committed none. Then surely, it must be for the sins of the people (John 11:50), as the high priest said, 'It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people,' which man was the true Messias (Dan 9:24), which also is the Son of Mary (Matt 1:18-23). And the Son of God (Matt 3:17). And also the true God (1 John 5:20). And this Messias, this Son of the Virgin, this Son of God, this true God, did not die for himself, for he had not offended; neither did he fulfil the law or finish transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness for himself, for he had not sinned (1 Peter 2:22), therefore it must of necessity follow, that this righteousness of God, this everlasting righteousness, is imputed to all, and upon all them that believe (Rom 3:22; 2 Cor 5:19-21). But,

Thirdly, this Messias, this Son of Mary, this Son of God, this true God, he was put to death for the sins that his children had committed, according to that saying, 'Herein perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us' (1 John 3:16). Also in Acts 20:28 the apostle speaking to the pastors of the churches, saith, 'feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' See also Zechariah 12:10.

Now, I would not be mistaken. I do not think, or say, that he died in his divine nature, but as it is written, he in his own body on the tree did bear our sins (1 Peter 2:24); which tree was the cross (Col 2:14). And as the apostle saith again, who 'when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high' (Heb 1:3). And again, the apostle speaking of this glorious God, saith on this wise, (being before speaking of his godhead) in Colossians 1:19-22, 'For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things to himself: by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, who were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.' But how? why in verse 22 he tells you, that it is 'in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight.' That is, Christ, who is the true God, after that he had finished all actual obedience on earth, did in the power and strength of his godhead (John 19:30, 10:18) yield up himself to the wrath of his Father, which was due to poor sinners (and that willingly) (Isa 63:3) [see Heb 9:14 and read that verse with understanding] according to that saying in 1 Peter 3:18, 'For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust': That is, the Son of God for poor sinners: 'that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.' Again (1 Peter 4:1), 'Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us [not for himself (Dan 9:26)] in the flesh, [in his own body which he took of the Virgin (1 Peter 2:24)] arm yourselves likewise with the same mind': That is, let us die to sin as he did, that we might live to God as he did, and doth (Rom 6:10). And thus have I briefly showed you.

I. That the Son of Mary is very God.

II. That he made the world.

III. That he is our Saviour, and how.

IV. That he died for sinners, and how, namely, not in his divine nature, but in his human, in his own body, and in his own flesh (Col 1:22) redeeming his church with his own blood (Acts 20:28) and with his own life (1 John 3:16; John 10:18).

We shall now pass on to some other things (the Lord willing) touching his burial, resurrection, ascension, intercession, second coming, resurrection of the body, and eternal judgment.

HIS BURIAL PROVED.—I shall prove by several scriptures that he was buried, and so pass on. Therefore see that place, Matthew 27 verse 57 and so forward. After that Jesus the Son of God had been crucified a while, he gave up the ghost; that is, he died; and after he had been awhile dead, Joseph of Arimathea went into Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave consent thereto. And Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it (viz. the body of Jesus) in his own tomb, and rolled a stone upon the mouth of the sepulchre, and departed. Also in Luke 23:51-53. The apostle Paul also teacheth so much (1 Cor 15:3,4) where he saith, 'For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scripture; And that he was buried.' Again, in Acts 13:29 the apostle speaking there of Jesus Christ, saith, 'And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.' And so much touching the burial of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

RESURRECTION. In the next place, I am to prove, That that very man, whom the Jews did crucify between two thieves, called Jesus Christ, did rise again. That very man, with that very body wherewith he was crucified upon the cross, did rise again out of the grave in which he was laid. And this I shall prove 1. by scripture, 2. by the testimony of angels, 3. by Christ's own words after he was risen, and 4. by the testimony of the apostles in the scripture.

First therefore consider, Psalm 16 verse10 where the prophet speaks on this wise of Christ's resurrection; 'For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.' Which words the Apostle Peter cites in Acts 2 from verse 22 to 32, also Isaiah 26:19 in the person of Christ saith, 'Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they rise.' See also John 20:15, 16 where mention is made of his appearing unto Mary Magdalene, and he called her Mary, and she called him master; which signifies that he was risen, and that she knew him after his resurrection; for he was come out of the grave, see verses 6, 7, 8. Again, another scripture is that in Luke 24:1-3. The disciples of Jesus coming to the sepulchre, thinking to anoint the body of Jesus, found the stone that was on the mouth of the sepulchre rolled away; and when they went in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus; and at this they were troubled and perplexed (v 4). But as two of them went up to Emmaus, and were talking of what had befallen to Jesus, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them (v 15). Another scripture is that in Mark 16:9 which saith on this wise, 'Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.' Where take notice how the Holy Ghost lays it down in these words, out of whom he had cast seven devils. To intimate to us the certainty, that it was the same Jesus that was born of the virgin Mary, who did many miracles, and cured many diseases, who did also cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalen, that did rise again. Yea, saith the Holy Ghost, it was the same Jesus that did work such a wonderful miracle on Mary, he appeared to her first, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And let these scriptures suffice to prove the resurrection of the Son of God.

Second, you shall have the testimony of the holy angels also by the scriptures. And first look into Mark 16:3-7 the words are these, 'And they [viz. the disciples] said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone?' They had a good mind to see their Lord, but they could not, as they thought, get away the stone which covered the mouth of the sepulchre. 'And when they looked [that is, towards the sepulchre] they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man [that is, an angel] sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and They [the disciples] were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted [you have no cause for it] Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen, he is not here; behold the place where they laid him.' What scripture can be plainer spoken than this? Here is an angel of the Lord ready to satisfy the disciples of Jesus, that he was risen from the dead. And lest they should think it was not the right Jesus he spoke of, Yes, saith he, it is the same Jesus that you mean; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, do you not? Why he is risen, he is not here. But do you speak seriously, and in good earnest? Yea surely, if you will not believe me, behold the place where they laid him. This scripture, or testimony is very clear to our purpose. But again, the next place is in Matthew 28:3-7. In the third verse there is an angel (as before) bearing witness of the resurrection of Jesus. 'His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto them, [viz. to the women who came to seek Jesus] Fear not ye': but let them that seek to keep the Lord in his grave fear if they will; for you have no ground of fear, who seek Jesus who was crucified; He is not here, for he is risen; he cannot be in body here and risen too: If you will not believe me, come, see where the Lord lay, and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall you see him. But shall we be sure of it? Yea, saith the angel, Lo, it is I that have told you. See how plainly this scripture also doth testify of Christ his resurrection. Here, saith the angel, you seek a Saviour and none will content you but he, even the same that was crucified: Well you shall have him, but he is not here. Why, where is he then? He is risen from the dead. But are you sure it is the same that we look for? Yea, it is the same that was crucified (v 5). But where should we find him? why, he goeth before you into Galilee, where he used to be in his life-time, before he was crucified: And that you might be sure of it, there to find him, know that he is an angel of God that hath told you (v 7). And thus have you in brief the testimony of the angels of God, to witness that Jesus the son of the virgin, the Son of God, is risen from the dead.

Object. But you will say, might they not be deceived? Might not their eyes dazzle, and they might think they did see such a thing, when indeed there was no such matter?

Ans. Well, because it is so difficult a matter, to be persuaded of the truth of this thing, that Christ is raised again out of the grave, that very man, with that very body; though these things that have been already spoken, might be enough (through grace) to satisfy, yet because of the unbelief of some, we shall turn to some more of those infallible proofs that are spoken of in Acts 1:3 to prove the point yet more clear.

Third, Do but see how the Lord doth deal with an unbelieving disciple (John 20:23-29). You shall see in the 23d verse, Christ after his resurrection is talking with his disciples, but Thomas was not with them. But when the disciples saw him again, they said unto him, We have seen the Lord (v 25) but Thomas would not believe them. Another time Jesus comes to his disciples again, and then Thomas was with them; then so soon as the Lord had said, 'Peace be unto you,' he turned himself to Thomas, and said to him; 'Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing' (v 27). As much as if the Lord should have said, Come Thomas, thou hast doubted of the truth of my resurrection very much; thou sayest that thou wilt not believe, except thou do feel with thy fingers the print of the nails, and do thrust thy hand into my side. Come Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and see if there were not the nails driven through them; and reach hither thy hands and thrust them into my side, and feel if I have not the very hold in it still, that was made with the spear that the soldier did thrust into it, and be not so full of unbelief, but believe that my resurrection is a glorious truth.

Another infallible proof, is that in Luke 24 from the 36th, to the end of the 44th verse. In verse 30 it is said that the Lord, (even while they were talking) 'stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you': But they were so far from being at peace, that they were terrified, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And Jesus said to them, 'Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?' What, do you think that I am a spirit? Do you think your eyes dazzle? 'Behold my hands and my feet.' Look well upon me, and see my hands, and the holes in them, and likewise my feet, and the holes in them, and know that it is I myself, and not a spirit, as you suppose. Know, that it is I myself, and not another. Doth your hearts fail you? Then take hold of me with your hands, yea, 'handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken he shewed them his hands and his feet.' As if he had said, Come my disciples, take special notice of me, do not be daunted, nor affrighted, but consider that it is I myself. Well, they could not believe as yet, but wondered that such a thing as this should be: And while they were thus wondering he will give them another infallible proof: And 'he said unto them, have you here any meat?' (v 41). As if the Lord had said, Come my disciples, I see that you are very full of unbelief, if you have here any meat, you shall see me eat before you all. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, 'And he took it, and did eat before them.' Again (v 42), the Lord strives with another infallible proof against their doubting, saying, My disciples, do you not remember what discourse you and I had before I was crucified, how that I told you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets concerning me (Mark 8:31, 14:21). Another infallible proof was, that appearance of his at the sea of Tiberias, where he came to them on the shore, and called them, and provided for them a dinner, and wrought a notable miracle while he was there with them at that time, namely, the catching of 153 great fishes, and yet their net break not. (John 21, read that whole chapter, and Acts 10:41.) Which as it was a great miracle, so it did also show his power and authority over his creatures. Besides his eating and drinking with his disciples after his resurrection; and also his preaching to them (Acts 1:3). This is not the least, viz. that he was with his disciples on earth forty days, which was almost six weeks, speaking to them the things concerning his kingdom: which was a mighty confirmation of their faith in his resurrection.

Fourth, I shall now briefly touch two or three scriptures, the which hold forth his disciples' testimony of his resurrection. And the first is in Acts 10:40, 41. In which place the Apostle speaking of the Lord Jesus, saith, 'Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly,' yet 'Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [saith the Apostle] who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.' Again, Acts 4:10 and 13:29-31. The words run thus (the Apostle speaking of Jesus, saith) 'And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.' See 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. And thus far touching his resurrection from the dead.

ASCENSION. In the next place I am to prove that this very man, Christ Jesus, the Son of the virgin, in his very body, the same body that was crucified, is above the clouds and the heavens. And though this is made light of by those men called quakers, and other infidels of this generation: Yet I am sure that it will prove true to their cost, who reject it as erroneous and vain. But to prove it, First, I shall prove that he is ascended. Secondly, that he is ascended above the clouds, and the heaven.

First, that he is ascended, see Ephesians 4:8-10. 'Wherefore [saith the Apostle] When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth, he that descended is the same also that ascended [again] up far above all heavens.'

Again, read John 20:17 where Christ after his resurrection from the dead, saith to Mary Magdalen, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father': That is, I have not yet ascended with this my body wherewith I was crucified on the cross. 'But go to my brethren, and say unto them [meaning his disciples] I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.'

Object. But in that place, (may some say) (Eph 4:10) He that descended, is said to be the same that ascended. Now there was no human nature with God in heaven before the world was; Therefore if he be but the same that was with the Father from all eternity, then the humanity of the Son of Mary is not ascended into heaven.

Ans. For answer, It is clear from John 1:1 that the Word or Son of God, as he was a Spirit, was with the Father before the world was (Titus 1:2). But now, in the fulness of time, that is, when that time that the Father and he had concluded on, was come, 'God sent forth his son [which was with him before the world was (John 17:5)] made of a woman' (Gal 4:4); that is, born of a woman. 'And took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men' (Phil 2:6,7). Now as he was born of a woman, as he was in the likeness of men, so he ascended to the right hand of his Father, in our nature. And for this, I pray turn to Acts 1:9-11 and there you shall find, that he is the same that was born of the virgin, that very man that was crucified; if you compare verse 3 with verses 9, 10, 11 you will find it so to be. Now in verse 9 after he had spoken many things while they beheld, that is, while his disciples looked on him, he was taken up, that is, he was taken up from them into heaven, as in verse 11 and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked up stedfastly towards heaven, as he went up (which heaven, was not within them; if it had, they needed not to have looked toward the clouds and the heaven without them) behold two men stood by them, not in them, in white apparel, which also said (that is, the two men, or angels which stood by them said) Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Here again, they did not look within them, but stood gazing or looking after the Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary, who was carried away from them in a cloud (v 9). But why (say the angels) do you stand gazing so much into heaven: your master will come again after a certain time (Matt 25:19; Mark 13:34). For, This same Jesus, namely, which was crucified, which rose again, and hath been with you these forty days, which also you see go into heaven, shall so come, (namely in a cloud) as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:3). But shall he not lose his body before he come again? No say the angels, he shall so come, that is, as ye have seen him go; in like manner, that is, with the same body. Or else I am sure he cannot come in the same manner, if he lose his body before he comes again; for he went thither with that body. But that same Jesus that was crucified, is he that went, or ascended up into heaven. If you compare Luke 24:39-44 with the 50th and 51st verses of the same chapter, you may clearly find it so to be. And therefore if he come again in like manner, he must come again with the same body wherewith he was crucified.

Object. But you will say, The scripture saith, he that descended is the same that ascended, which to me (say you) implies, none but the Spirit's ascending?

Ans. For answer, we do not say, (as I said before) that it is another that ascended, but the very same: That is, the very same Christ, that was with the Father from everlasting did come down from heaven: That same Christ also that came down from heaven did ascend up thither again; only, he descended without a body from heaven, and took flesh and blood upon him from the virgin. And though he descended without a body, yet he, the very same Christ that descended without a body, the same did ascend again with a body, even that very body that he took of the virgin Mary. See Luke 24 from 39th to 51st verses; Acts 2:30, 31; John 15:1; 1 Corinthians 9:24, 25. Now let me give you a similitude, for it is warrantable; for both Christ and his apostles did sometimes use them, to the end, souls might be better informed. The similitude is this, Suppose there come into thine house a man that is naked, and without clothing, though he go out of thy house again well clothed, yet the same man that came in without clothing, is the same man also that goes out of thy house, though very well clothed. Even so it is in this case, The Lord Jesus came into the womb of the virgin, Spirit (Matt 1:18), but he came out of the womb clothed with a body, and went up into heaven again clothed with a body. Compare Luke 24:39 with Acts 1:11 and 2 :30, 31.

Now also I shall lay down some few things to be considered, for the better clearing of it.

Consider 1. That he did say to his disciples that he would go away from them (John 14:3, 16:7; Matt 25:19). Yea, saith he, I go and prepare a place for you, and then I will, after a long time, come again, and take you to myself, that where I am, that is, whither I am going, there ye may be also. Now, I say, if Christ had not gone from his disciples (for that was his meaning) touching his bodily presence; I say, if he had not gone away from them, in respect of his bodily presence, he had said more than he had performed; which is horrible blasphemy once to assert; which going of his, is his going into heaven. See 1 Peter 3:22.

Consider 2. That there it was that he was to receive the promise of the Father (Luke 24:49), which promise was the shedding forth in an abundant manner the blessed Holy Ghost. And for this see Acts 2:33-36, 'Therefore being by the right hand of God [which is in heaven] exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly [for 'tis very true] that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.'

Consider 3. That if he were on earth, he could not be a priest (Heb 8:4). Now the man Christ Jesus is a glorious priest (Heb 7:24) in the heavens (Heb 9:24). And therefore he is able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (This man (7:25)).

Consider 4. If he be not gone into heaven, both his own, and his Apostles' doctrine is false; yea, the witness of the angels also, which to think were damnable infidelity in any man (1 Peter 3:22; Acts 1:9-11).

Consider 5. Know that he is gone into heaven, because the scriptures say he is; which is the very truth of God, spoken by his holy Apostles and prophets: Yea, holy men of God, spake them as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (Eph 6:9; 1 Peter 3:22; Heb 9:24).

Consider 6. If thou sayest that that man is not gone into heaven, then thou must also conclude that he is still in the grave; and if so, then thou sayest that the prophets, apostles, angels, Christ, God, and all are liars, who have testified these things in the scriptures for glorious truths (Isa 26:19; Acts 10:40-43, 13:30-39, 1:9-11; Rev 1:17,18, 2:8). And as the Apostle saith of himself, and the rest of the Apostles and ministers of Jesus Christ, 'And we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.—But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For as by man came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead' (1 Cor 15:15,20-22).

Second, Now I am to prove, that he is above the clouds and the heavens. My meaning is, he is above the lowest heavens. For there are three, as appears in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. I knew a man in Christ, (saith Paul there) caught up into the third heaven. Now,

Heaven in scripture, is taken sometimes metaphorically, and sometimes properly. First, Metaphorically it is taken for the church and people of God, as in Revelation 12:12. Second, Properly, it is taken for the material heaven, where the sun, moon, and stars are placed, as in Genesis 1:8, 14, 15, 16 compared together: above which heaven, Jesus the Son of Mary is ascended. Therefore I pray you consider with me a little.

Consider 1. That when he went into this heaven into which he is gone, he went AWAY from his disciples, as it is written, If I go not away, the comforter will not come (John 14:2,3; John 16:7; Acts 1:9-11). So that he did not go into a heaven within them in his person and human nature. If so, he must needs go into that heaven without, above the clouds and the stars (Gen 1:8,5,16).

Consider 2. He was caught away in a cloud; yea, and was caught upwards from them, as it is Acts 1:9-11 and carried away into heaven; yea, and his disciples stood gazing or looking up after him into heaven, which heaven must needs be that above the clouds. (1.) If you consider the posture of the disciples, they looked upwards after the cloud that did take him away. (2.) Consider the manner of his going, it was in a cloud. (3.) He was received out of their sight. (4.) And so received up into heaven; which heaven must needs be above the clouds, where God is in his special presence (Job 22:12-14). But further,

Consider 3. That those believers that are alive at this day in the body, 'are absent from the Lord' (2 Cor 5:6), but now, if the man Christ were ascended into that heaven within them, he would neither be 'absent from them,' nor they from him; but in that he is absent from them touching his bodily presence, and they from him touching the same, it is evident that that heaven into which he is ascended, must needs be without, above the clouds.

Consider 4. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, must contain him till the time of the restitution of all things, as in Acts 3:21 into which heaven he hath been ascended above sixteen hundred years by computation. And I am sure there is not a saint that doth live in the world half so long, before he fall asleep, and be gathered to his fathers; so that that heaven into which he is ascended, is not within, but must needs be that above the clouds. But

Consider 5. That he that ascended from his disciples, was a man, with flesh and bones, not a sprit only; for handle me, and see, (saith he) for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have (Luke 24:39,50,51). Now let the adversaries show by the scriptures, that there is any place in them called heaven, that is able to contain a man of some four or five feet long, the space of fifteen or sixteen hundred years; besides that: therefore, it must needs be that heaven without, which is above the clouds and stars.

Consider 6. That heaven into which the Lord Jesus that man is ascended must not contain him always; for, saith the Apostle (1 Thess 4:16) 'The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.' So that there is another descending from that heaven into which he is ascended; and his descending from that heaven is to this end, namely, to take his people to himself, as it is verse 17 so that it is clear that it is not any heaven within thee, into which the man Christ that was born of the Virgin Mary is ascended, but it must needs be that heaven without, which is above the clouds (Heb 12:22). If thou consider, that the place into which he ascended, even the heaven into which he is entered, is the same place where all the deceased saints are in their spirits: 'Therefore,' saith Paul, 'I desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.' Now Paul did not in this place (Phil 1:23) mean the enjoying of Christ only in the Spirit; for that he enjoyed in great measure when he spake these words; but he spake of a dying, and being with Christ after this life is ended; as is clear if you compare the 20th to the 26th verses together, being absent from him while he was here in the body (2 Cor 5:6). For 'whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.'

Consider 7. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, is not into his church on earth; but into heaven without, above the clouds and the stars (John 16:7, 14:1-3; 1 Tim 2:5). And this David doth prophesy of (Psa 47:5), where he saith, 'God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.' Now Christ, as God merely, could not go up, being no less in one place than another; but as God-man, or in his human nature, he went up; as will clearly appear (Eph 4:8-10) where he speaketh of his triumph over all the enemies of his people at his resurrection and ascension into heaven above the clouds.

Consider 8. When Christ doth descend from that heaven into which he is now ascended, his saints and he will meet one another, just in the air, according to the scripture (1 Thess 4:16,17), 'For,' (saith he) 'the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [that is, they shall come out of their graves]. Then we which [shall be saved] are alive [at that day] and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.'

Pray mark here a little, and see what heaven the man Christ is ascended into, and see if it be not the heaven without, above the sun, moon, and stars.

When Christ and his saints do meet a second time together, the one ascends and the other descends; the one is caught up in the clouds towards the heaven, the other descends from heaven towards the earth, and they must needs meet one another just in the air, that is, between the heaven and the earth. So then, the one coming from heaven and the other from the earth, and their meeting being in the air, which is between heaven and earth, is an undeniable demonstration, that that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended, must needs be that heaven without, above the sun, moon, and stars (Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 1:10). And thus much touching the Son of Mary, his ascending up into the heaven without above the clouds (Acts 1:9-11, 3:21; 1 Peter 3:22).

INTERCESSION. In the next place, now I shall prove the intercession of the man Christ Jesus to be in the heaven that I have been speaking of; though some have mocked at it, and others have called it juggling; which names here I shall not mention, only I shall admonish them, that they do not blaspheme the truth and Son of God in his intercession.

I shall quote some of the scriptures that hold out this truth, and so pass on.

First, And first of all, see Psalm 16:4 where David prophesying of the intercession of Christ, saith, 'Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another God, [speaking of the wicked] their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.' Now, compare this with Hebrews 8:4 where he saith, 'if he were on earth, he should not be a priest.' And Hebrews 9:24, 'For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [meaning the temple which Solomon built] which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us': 'wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them' (Heb 7:25).

Second, But you will say, is there a man made mention of here? Yes, for the scripture saith, 'There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1 Tim 2:5). And in that 8th to the Hebrews made mention of before; where the Apostle is speaking of Christ's priestly office, as he is in the heavens, compared with other priests that are on earth; he saith (v 3), 'For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [speaking of Christ] it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law,' which law was the law of Moses (9:19-23), where also he is speaking of the priesthood of the priests under the law, and their offering of the blood of bulls and goats (v 12 compared with vv 19-21). And of the Lord Jesus the high priests of saints, and of his blood (v 14 compared with v 24). Now as men under the law did offer up the blood of bulls and goats, so the man Christ Jesus did offer up his own blood to his Father; and this you may clearly see, if you compare Hebrews 9:14 where he saith, 'How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God?' [with] Hebrews 10:12 where he saith, 'But this man [meaning the Son of the Virgin (2:14 compared with Matt 1:21)] after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God'; again (Heb 7) the chapter I mentioned before, you shall find his intercession plainly held forth, if you read verse 22 and so on, where the scripture saith, 'By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests [meaning the priests under the law] because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death': (that is, the high-priest under the law, could not live ever in this world, because it was appointed to all men once to die) (Rev 2:8). But when he speaks of Christ Jesus, he saith on this wise, 'But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood' (Rev 1:18). Wherefore he (this man) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he (this man) ever liveth to make intercession for them. And thus in brief have I proved through the assistance of the Lord, the intercession of the Son of Mary, which is also the Son of God. And this concerning Christ's priestly office, might serve also for a proof of his being in the heaven without, above the stars. But all men may see (unless they be blind) that these are the truths of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of God his Father; and that those men that oppose them (as the quakers do) are very violently possessed of the devil, and besides themselves; and have neither the truth of God, nor his Spirit in them (2 John 9:10; John 5:38,42).

[CHRIST JUDGE OF QUICK AND DEAD.] And now through the assistance of the Lord, I shall come to the last that I promised, and that is to prove, that this very man Christ, will come to judge the quick and the dead. And first, I shall prove the truth itself, viz., That that man shall come again to judge the world, quick and dead. Second, I shall shew you that his coming will be very shortly. Third, What shall be done at his coming. fourth, Who shall stand when he shall come, and who not.

First, That that man that was born of the Virgin Mary shall come again to judge the quick and the dead, read 2 Timothy 4:1. 'I, [saith Paul] charge thee therefore before God, [speaking to him, even to Timothy, and so to all believers] and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.' Now if you would know who this Lord Jesus is, look into Acts 10:28 and you shall see it was Jesus of Nazareth; would you know who that was? read Matthew 2 towards the end, and you shall see it was the Son of Mary the Virgin, who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter. But read Acts 10:38-42, you shall find these words, 'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with the power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him: And we are witness of things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree, [even Jesus of Nazareth] Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, [that is, God commanded us] and to testify [that is, to be bold in our preaching] that it is he [namely, Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Jews did thus crucify] which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead.' This is he also that is spoken of in Acts 17:30, 31. 'The times of this ignorance God winked at; [meaning men's being without the gospel] but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day [which day is the day of judgment (Matt 12:36)] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man [namely, Jesus of Nazareth] whom he hath ordained, [compare this with that in Acts 10:38-42] whereof he hath given assurance unto all men [that is, hath given a sure sign unto all men] in that he hath raised him, [that is, in that he hath raised Jesus of Nazareth] from the dead.' This also is Christ's own meaning (Matt 24) where speaking of his second coming, he styleth himself the Son of man, saying: 'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man' (v 30), and 'so shall also the coming of the Son of man be' (v 27). So shall also the coming of the Son of man be (v 37). So shall also the coming of the Son of man be (v 39). Where, by the way, it is observable to see how the Lord of life and glory doth in this chapter, where he speaketh of his second coming, for the most part style himself the Son of man. Sure he doth it to this end, because he will not have his humanity and the doctrine thereof, to be razed out from under heaven: For he knew, that in the last days, there would come mockers 'walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming' (2 Peter 3:3). I could multiply scriptures to prove this doctrine of his second coming, as Hebrews 9:28; 2 Peter 3; 2 Thess 1:6-8; Luke 21; Matt 24, 25; Eve 22:7, 12 and 20; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; Acts 24:25. But,

Secondly, I will shew you that his coming will be shortly. It is true, no man can tell neither the day nor the hour, yet so far as the scriptures will give us light into the nearness of his coming, so far we may go. And if you read Matthew 24 you shall see many sings of his coming spoken of.

1. There is falling away from the faith spoken of. And that hath been fulfilled and is fulfilling every day.

2. Wars and rumours of wars is another sign that his coming doth draw night, even at the doors.

3. The love of many waxing cold, is another sign that it is nigh, even the coming of Christ. And how cold is the love of many at this day? They that were hot two or three years ago, are now grown lukewarm and cold. They are cold in the Lord's appearing. They are cold in the profession of the gospel. They are cold in love to the saints, they are cold in the worship of God; Yea, very cold, which is a notable demonstration that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

4. The stars falling from heaven; (That is professors falling from the faith which once they professed) is another sign that the coming of the Lord is at hand. And how many professors do you see now a-days, fall from the doctrine of God, and his Son Jesus Christ, as though there were no such thing as a world to come, and no such thing as a Lord Jesus Christ, and his second coming.

5. Many poor souls will go on in their profession with lamps without oil, just before his second coming (Matt 25:1-7). And the Lord knows that most of the professors of this generation, are such kind of professors, yea, very foolish professors, which is another sure sign, that the coming of the Lord draws nigh.

6. When the time of Christ's second coming is at hand, there will be but a very little faith in the world. And the Lord knows, that there be many, who are now as high as lucifer, that at that day for want of faith will be thrown down to the sides of the pit: even in the very belly of hell.

7. Another sign of Christ's second coming, is the carnal mindedness of the most of the world; and the very carriages of almost all men now living do discover this truth to be at this day fulfilled, and know that when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes, and they shall not escape (1 Thess 5:1-4).

8. Before Christ's second coming, there shall come many false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs, and wonders, to seduce if it were possible the elect (Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22). And is not this more clearly fulfilled in our days than ever it was, especially among those men called quakers, who being as persons, whose consciences are seared with an hot iron, and they being sealed up unto destruction, do some of them call themselves Christ, and shew great signs, (as their quaking) and such a legal holiness, as makes the simple admire them, and wonder after them, which shews the coming of Christ to be very nigh.

9. Before Christ's second coming, there shall come scoffers in the world, walking after their own lusts (2 Peter 3:3) and if ever this scripture was fulfilled, it is fulfilled on these men called quakers: For they are the men, that at this day make a mock at Christ's second coming, which shall be from heaven without (1 Thess 1:10; Phil 3:20); and therefore saith the Holy Ghost, these mockers shall be such as shall say, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were, see 2 Peter 3:3-7. And there you shall see their mocking and the reason of it. Read and the Lord give thee understanding. But I would not have thee think that I speak at random, in this thing, Know for certain, that I myself have heard them blaspheme; yea, with a grinning countenance, at the doctrine of that man's second coming from heaven above the stars, who was born of the Virgin Mary. Yea, they have told me to my face, that I have used conjuration, and witchcraft, because what I preached was according to the scriptures. I was also told to my face, that I preached up an idol, because I said, that the Son of Mary was in heaven, with the same body that was crucified on the cross; And many other things have they blasphemously vented against the Lord of life and glory, and his precious gospel. The Lord reward them according as their work shall be.

I could have hinted in many other things which Christ and his Apostles have shewed to be signs of his coming. But I shall commend the holy scriptures unto thee, which are able to make the man of God perfect in all things, through faith in the Lord Jesus (2 Tim 3:17).

Now you have also the manner of his coming how it shall be, most notably laid down in the scriptures. I shall hint in a few things touching it.

1. He will come when there is but very few looking for his coming. 'When they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh' (1 Thess 5:1-3). Which sudden destruction will be at his second coming, for that is it which the Apostle spake of in those three verses. Then will all the world be caught at such an unexpected time, that it will come upon them, even as a snare cometh upon those creatures that are caught in it. As it is written (Luke 21:35) 'For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.' Which is all on a sudden, before they are aware.

2. He cometh with all his saints and angels. Then will the Lord descend from that heaven, into which he is now ascended, as it is written in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Then will he come, and all his saints with him, as Jude saith in his Epistle, 15. then shall Abel and Enoch, Noah and Abraham, David and Job, Peter and Paul: Together with all the saints which have been, now are, or hereafter shall be, and they shall sit on the throne with the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Matthew 19:28. Before whom shall all the nations of the world be gathered, as it is written (Joel 3:12). 'Let the heathen be wakened [or raised out of their graves (Dan 12:2)] and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge the heathen round about.' Which never was yet accomplished, though it shall certainly be, in God's time: To the astonishment, and everlasting damnation of all those that shall continue mocking, or sinning against God and his Christ.

3. He shall come in a flaming fire, (when he doth come again: he will come in such a manner, as will make all that shall be found in their sins rather seek to creep under a mountain, than to meet the Lord of glory (Rev 6:15)). As Isaiah saith, 'For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire' (Isa 66:15). 'To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him' (Jude 15), as I shall shew farther by and by.

Third, And therefore in the next place, I shall shew you, what shall be done when he is come.

1. When Christ is come the second time, they that are in their graves shall arise, and come forth of their graves (as I said before) in which they have lain according to that in John 5:28, 29. Where Christ saith, 'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' You will say, Are these graves spoken of here, the graves that are made in the earth? Yea, that they are, and for a further proof of the same, look into Daniel 12:2. Daniel there speaking of the same thing saith, 'And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, [or arise] some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt' (or damnation).

I shall not stand here to dispute any distinctions of the resurrections, only prove that the dead shall arise; and that is a clear truth from the scriptures (Acts 10:42; Rev 20:11-14; 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52). 'The dead shall be raised.'

2. He shall call all men and women to an account for all their[3] close sinful thoughts, words and actions; then will the secrets of all hearts be made manifest. Then shall all thy adulterous, and thievish, and covetous, idolatrous, and blasphemous thoughts be laid open, according to that saying, 'Their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean [time, or] while accusing or else excusing one another' (Rom 2:15). But when? Why, 'In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ' (v 16). See also 1 Corinthians 4:5, 'Therefore judge nothing before the time.' What time is that? Why, when the Lord comes; what will he do? He 'will bring to light the hidden things of darkness,' that is, all those cunning, close, hidden wickednesses that thou in thy life-time hast committed; yea, he will 'make manifest the counsels of the hearts'; that is, the most hidden and secret things that are contrived and plotted by the sons of men. Then shall all the midnight whore-mongers be laid open with all their sins; Then thou (it may be) who has committed such sins as thou wouldest not have thy neighbour, thy father, thy wife, thy husband, or any one else know of for thousands, then thou shalt have them all laid open, even upon the house tops (Luke 12:3). Then thou that hatest God's children; his ways, his word, his Spirit; then thou that makest a mock at Jesus of Nazareth's second coming, then thou that livest in open prophaneness, or secret hypocrisy, then I say, will be such a time of reckoning for you, as never was since the world began, then you that shall die in your sins, will cry to the mountains, Fall on us, and cover us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (which Lamb is the Man Christ Jesus (John 1:29)). And ah, my friends! If the very looks of God be so terrible, what will his blows be, think you? Then if all thy idle words shall be accounted for, as it is written, 'But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment' (Matt 12:36) and also all thy filthy actions shall be then regarded in such sort, as thou shalt receive a just recompense for them. And know, saith the scripture, 'that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment' (Eccl 11:9). Then

Thou that art an unbeliever, shalt be sure to fall under the judgment for all thy sins. (1.) Thou must give an account. (2.) Thou must fall in the judgment. Oh my friends, there are hot days a-coming for all those that are found out of the Lord Jesus: Behold, saith Malachi, 'The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch' (4:1). The day of judgment will burn like an oven, and all that have not the righteousness of Christ upon them shall be as stubble. Ah friends, put a red hot oven and stubble together, and what work will there be! Even the one will burn and destroy the other.

3. When Christ doth come the second time, another end of his coming will be to pure out all things that offended in this kingdom (Matt 13:41,42). 'The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' There are many things that do offend in his kingdom now: namely

(1.) The lukewarm professor, he doth offend, (a.) the Lord, (b.) his people. But then thou lukewarm offending professor shalt offend the church of God no more.

(2.) The loose professors do also offend God, Christ and his church. (a.) He scandals the gospel by his loose walking, and naughty carriages. (b.) He doth make the world blaspheme the name of God by the same. (c.) He grieves the hearts of God's people (Phil 3:18). But know that thou also shalt be taken away from offending any more, God, Christ, and his saints, and thou shalt have weeping and gnashing of teeth, for thy thus offending (Matt 18:6,7).

4. Another end of Christ's second coming, is to cut off all the ignorant persons that are in the world. There is a generation of poor souls that do think to be excused for their ignorance: Alas! saith one, I am a poor ignorant man, or woman; and therefore I hope that the Lord will have mercy upon me: we cannot, say others, do as such and such, and will the Lord condemn us? And thus poor souls, as they are in the broad way to destruction, lest they should miss of the way to hell; do swallow down by clusters, that which will poison them, body and soul for ever and ever.

Quest. But you will say, What, will not the Lord have mercy on ignorant souls?

Ans. Not on those who live and die in their ignorance. He himself hath said (Isa 27:11), 'For it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.' Again, Paul also in that 2 Thessalonians 1:8 saith, that when Jesus Christ shall come to judge the world, he doth come to take vengeance on all 'them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

But ye will say, Who are those ignorant persons, that shall find no favour at that day? or how doth the ignorance discover itself? I shall only mention three or four sorts of men; and leave thee to the scriptures, which if thou read them diligently, will further lay them open before thee. And,

(1.) The profane scoffer, who makes a mock at the truths of God, and so goes on in his sins, for this see in 2 Peter 3:3 which the apostle attributes to their ignorance (v 5). And therefore he likens them to brute beasts (2:10,12) who 'walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness,' and 'speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption'; who because they understand not the scripture, nor the power of God in them, speak evil of the truths therein contained, and think the Lord like unto themselves (Psa 50).

(2.) The formal professor, who hath only a notion of the gospel, and some seeming holiness, but wants gospel faith: such are called foolish virgins (Matt 25:2,3) to whom Christ will say in that day, Verily, 'I know you not.' Add hereto, those that think it enough to confess Christ with their mouths, and profess that they know God, but deny him in their works; such notwithstanding all their profession, shall, if they so continue, perish eternally, being abominable, disobedient, and to every good work reprobate, or void of judgment, that is, ignorant (Titus 1:16).

(3.) The legal righteous man or woman, though they walk blameless, as touching the righteousness that is in the law: For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness, as reading, hearing sermons, prayers, public or private, peaceableness with their neighbours, fasting, alms, good works as they count them, just dealings, abstinence from the grosser pollutions of the world, stricter obedience to the commandments of the first and second table; all which with many other things may be comprehended in their own righteousness, and it is grounded on their ignorance, and goes on in rebellion; and such ignorant persons shall in that day perish, not submitting through ignorance to the righteousness of God, Romans 10:3 compared with Luke 19:27 where Christ saith, that when he shall come the second time, he will command those his enemies, who submitted not themselves to him, (who is called the righteousness of God (Isa 46:13)) or would not have him to reign over them, to be slain before his face.

(4.) Those whose hearts are set upon the world, and follow the alluring persuasions of it; the Lord calls such fools (Luke 12:20; Prov 7:7), who go after it (viz. the world, held forth by a similitude of a woman with the attire of an harlot) as an ox to the slaughter, or a fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life: and knows not, mark, it is through ignorance (v 23).

5. A fit end of Christ's coming, is, that his righteous ones might shine as the sun in the glory, or kingdom of their father (Matt 13:43). There are many things that do hinder the people of God from shining forth as the sun now.

As, They have a body of death, which makes them fetch many a groan in their journey to Canaan (Rom 7:24; 2 Cor 5:2). They meet with many a sad temptation, which also makes them in heaviness many a time (1 Peter 1:6). They have also many other things that do hinder their shining now; but then the body of death shall be left off. My meaning is, that sin shall be no more in the natures of God's people then: Their bodies that are now so vile, shall then be made like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, 'Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself' (Phil 3:21).

6. Another end of Christ's coming shall be to take an account of his children, how they have laid out their talents, that he hath committed to their trust (Matt 25:19; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

7. Another end of his coming is, to set up his kingdom, which will be glorious indeed at his appearing (2 Tim 4:1; Rom 8:19-21). I do but touch these things, because I would hasten towards a conclusion; many other things might have been spoken to, but at this time I shall forbear.

But you will say, Who shall stand when he appears? Why, I told you before, that 'the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous' (Psa 1:5). Let him be close or profane, as I told you even now, all shall be laid open, all shall be made manifest, all shall come into judgment.

Ah poor soul! It is not then thy brave words will save thee; it is not thine eloquent tongue that will then do thee any good: if thou be without the wedding garment, thou wilt be speechless, as in Matthew 22:12. But thou that art a converted person, shalt stand in the judgment; thou that art born again shalt enter into the kingdom, and none else (John 3:5; Rev 21:27).

But how shall I know that I am born again?

(1.) Why, if thou art born again, then thou knowest that thou wast not born a Christian at first (Eph 2:1-3). 'You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.'

(2.) Thou knowest that once thou hadst no faith in the Lord Jesus; and wert convinced of sin because thou didst not believe in the Son of Mary (John 16:9).

(3.) Thou seest all true joy through the blood and righteousness of the Son of Mary (1 Cor 15:57; Rom 7:25).

(4.) Art thou born again? Then thou canst not be quiet till thou seest God smile, and lift up the light of his countenance upon thee (2 Cor 4:6; Psa 4:6) and that through the face of the Son of Mary, the Son of God.

(5.) Thou knowest that God hath given thee thy faith (Phil 1:29; Eph 2:8).

(6.) Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that the doctrine of the Son of Mary the Virgin, is a right doctrine (2 John 9).

(7.) Then also thou lookest for the personal appearing of the Son of Mary from heaven in the clouds, the second time (Heb 9:28; Rev 1:7).

These things, though plain, yet if the Lord set them home upon thy conscience, may be profitable both to thee and me. Therefore let us examine the matter a little. And

Examine 1. Thou thinkest that thou art a Christian; thou shouldest be sorry else: Well, But when did God shew thee that thou wert no Christian? When didst thou see that: And in the light of the Spirit of Christ, see that thou wert under the wrath of God because of original sin? (Rom 5:12). Nay, dost thou know what original sin means? Is it not the least in thy thoughts? And dost thou not rejoice in secret, that thou art the same that thou ever wert? If so, then know for certain that the wrath of God to this very day abideth on thee (John 3:36). And if so, then thou art one of those that will fall in the judgment, except thou art born again, and made a new creature (2 Cor 5:17).

Exam. 2. Thou thinkest that thou hast been born again, ('tis well if thou hast) but least thou shouldest deceive thy poor soul, I pray thee consider, when did the Spirit of the Lord Jesus shew thee, that thou hadst no faith in thee by nature? And when did the Spirit of Christ convince thee of sin, because thou didst not believe in him? It may be thou hast been convinced of sins against the law, by the law, and thine own conscience, as the Pharisees were (John 8:9; Rom 3:20). Ay, but when didst thou see thyself a lost creature for want of faith in the son of Mary? If not, thou hast not yet been savingly convinced by the Spirit of Christ; for that, when it convinceth effectually of sin, it convinceth of unbelief; though thou hast been never so much convinced of sins against the law, if thou hast not seen thyself under the power and dominion, guilt and punishment of sin, because thou didst not believe in Christ, thou hast not yet been savingly convinced; for that's one work of the Spirit to convince of sin, 'Because they believe not on me,' saith Jesus the Son of Mary, who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter: But on the contrary, dost thou not say in thy heart, thou never hadst thy faith to seek, but hast always believed with as good a faith as any one alive? If so, then know for certain that thou hast no faith of the operation of God in thee, according to God's ordinary working; and if so, then know, that if the Son of Man should come to judge the world at this moment of time, that thou with all thy faith (thou thinkest thou hast) wouldst fall in the judgment (2 Thess 2:12).

Exam. 3. Art thou born again? Then thou seest that thy great sin was want of faith in the Son of Mary. Then thou seest that it is he that was sent of God to die for the sins of the world (John 1:29, 3:16-19; Acts 13:38,39) and that thou art complete in him, without any works of the law (Rom 4:5), then thou rejoicest in Christ Jesus, and puttest no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3) yet thou rejoicest in the flesh and blood of the Son of Mary, knowing that his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed (John 6:55) out of which thou wouldest very willingly make thy life all thy days; out of his birth, obedience, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorious intercession, now at the right hand of his Father (Heb 7:24,25), but if thou art wavering in these things, know that thou art but a babe at the best, and for ought thou knowest, God may cut thee off in thy unbelief, and cast thee into utter darkness, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse