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Objection. Why, but we hope in Jesus Christ, we put our whole trust in God; and therefore doubt not but we shall be saved.
Answer. 1. “ This is not to hope in Chrift, but
against Chrift.” To hope to see the kingdom of God without being born again, to hope to find eternal life in the broad way, is to hope Chrift will prove a false prophet. It is David's plea, “ I “ hope in thy word," Psalm cxix. 81.; but this hope is against the word. Shew me a word of Christ for thy hope, that he will save thee in thy ignorance or profane neglect of his service, and I will never go to shake thy confidence.
« God doth with abhorrence reject this hope." Those condemned in the prophet went on in their sins, yet faith the text, “ they will lean upon “ the Lord,” Mic. iii. II, God will not endure to be made a prop to men in their fins: The Lord rejected those presumptuous finners that went on still in their trespasses, and yet would stay themselves upon Ifrael's God, isa. xlviii. 1, 2. as a man would Shake off the briers (as one said well), that cleave to
3. “ If thy hope be any thing worth, it will "purify thee from thy fins," 1 Joko iii. 3.; but cursed is that hope that cherisheth men in their fins.
Objection. Would you have us to despair?
Answer. You must despair of ever coming to heaven as you are, Ants ii. 37; that is, while you remain unconverted. You must despair of ever feeing the face of God without holiness : but you
must by no means despair of finding mercy, upon your thorough repentance and conversion ; neither may you despair of attaining to repentance and conversion in the use of God's means.
Fifthly, “ Without this, all that God hath done " and suffered will be, as to you, in vain,” John xiii. 8. Titus ii. 14.; that is, it will no way avail to your salvation Many urge this as a sufficient ground for their hopes, that Chrift died for finners: But I must tell you, Chrift never died to save impenitent and unconverted finners, fo continuing, 2 Tim. ii. 19. A great divine was wont, in his private dealings with fouls, to ak two questions ; ift, What hath Chrift done for you? 2d, What hath Chrift wrought in you! Without the application of the Spirit in regeneration we can have no saving intereft in the benefits of redemption. I tell you from the Lord, Christ himself cannot save you, if
you go on in this itate.
I, « It were against his trust.” The Mediator is the servant of the Father, Isa. xlii. 1.; shews his commission from him, acts in his name, and pleads his command for his justification, John X. 18. 36. and vi. 38. 40.; and God “ committed all things “ unto him,” intrufted his own glory and the salvation of the elect with him, Mat. xi. 27. John xvii. 2. Accordingly Christ gives his Father an account of both parts of his trust before he leaves the world, John xvii. 4
Now Christ would quite cross his Father's glory, his greatest trust, if he should save men in their fins; for this were to overturn all his counsels, and to offer violence to all his attri, butes,
First, “ To overturn all his counsels,” of which this is the order, that men should be brought “ thrɔ' fantification to falvation.” 2 Thell. ii. 13. “ He hath chosen them, that they sould be holy.' Eph. i. 4. They are elected to pardon and life through fanctification, i Pet. i. 2. If thou canst repeal the law of God's immutable counsel, or corrupt him whom the Father hath sealed, to go di. rectly against his commission, then, and not otherwise, mayest thou get to heaven in this condition. To hope that Christ will save thee while unconverted, is to hope that Christ will falsify his trust. He never did nor will save one foul, but whom the Father hath given him in election, and drawn to him in effectual calling, John vi. 35. 37. Be assured, Christ will save none in a way contrary to his Father's will, ver.
38. Secondly, “ To offer violence to all his attri. “ butes." 1. To his juitice: For the righteousness of God's judgment lies' in “ rendering to all according to their works,” Rom. ii. 52
6. Now Thould “ sow to the flesh, and yet of the Spirit “ reap everlasting life.” Gal. vi. 7, 8.; where were the glory of Divine Justice, since it should be given to the wicked according to the work of the righteous? 2.“ To his holiness.” If God should not only fave finners, but save them in their fins, his most pure and strict holiness would be exceedingly defaced: The unsanctified is in the eyes of God's holiness worse than a swine or viper, Mat. xii. 34. 2 Pet. ii. 22. It would be offering the extremest violence to the infinite purity of the Divine Nature to have such to dwell with him; S* they cannot stand in his judgment, they cannot
« abide his presence," Psalmi. 5. and v.4, 5. holy David would not endure such in his house, no, nor in his fight, Pfalm cxxxi. 3. 7.; can we think God will? 3.
“ To his veracity:" For God hath declared from heaven, that “if aby shall say he “ shall have peace, though he go on in the ima
gination of his heart, his wrath shall smoke
against that, man,' ” Deut. xxix. 19, 20.; that " they (only) that confess and forsake their fins « shall find mercy," Prov. xxviii. 13.; that“ they " that shall enter into his hill, must be of clean “ hands and a pure heart," Psalm xxiv. 3, 4. Where were God's truth, if, notwithstanding all this, he should bring men to falvation without conversion? O desperate finner! that darest to hope that Christ will lie to his Father, and falsify his word to save thee, 4. “ To his wisdom:" For this were to throw away the choicest mercies on them who would not value them, nor were any way suited to them.
First, “ They would not value them.” The un. fanctified finner puts but little price upon God's great salvation, Mat. xxii. 5. He fets no more by Christ than the whole by the physician, Mat. ix. 12.; he prizes not his balm, values not his cure, tramples upon his blood, Heb. x, 29. Now would it stand with wisdom to force pardon and life upon those who would give no thanks for them! Would the all-wise God (when he hath forbidden us to do it) “throw his holy things to dogs, and his pearl « to swine, that would, as it were, but turn again « and rend him?" Matt. vii. 6.; this would make mercy to be despised indeed. Wisdom requires that eternal life be given in a way fuitable to God's
honour, and that God should fecure his own glory as well as man's felicity.God would lose the praise and glory of his grace, if he should cast it away on them that were not only unworthy but unwilling
Secondly, “ They are no way suited to them.” The Divine Wisdom is seen in suiting things to each other; the means to the end; the object the faculty; the quality of the gift to the capacity of the receiver. Alas! what would an unsanctified creature do in heaven? He could take no content there, because nothing suits him: The place doth not fuit him, he would be quite out of his element; the company doth not suit him: “ What communion o hath darkness with light,” corruption with perfection, filth and rottenness with glory and immorcality? The employment doth not suit him; the anthems of Heaven fit not his mouth, please not his
Canst thou charm thy beast with mufic? Or wilt thou bring him to thy organ, and expect that he should make thee melody, or keep time with the tuneful choir? Spread thy table with delicates before a languishing patient, and it will give him great offence. Alas! If the poor man thinks a sermon long, and says of a Sabbath, “ What a “ weariness is it!” Mal. i. 31.; how miserable would he think it to be held to it to all eternity?
5. “. To his immutability, or else to his omni
sciency or omnipotency:" For this is enacted in the conclave of heaven, and enrolled in the decrees of the court above, “ none but the pure in “ heart shall ever fee God," Mat, v. 8. This is laid with him, and fealed among his treasures. Now, if Christ bring yet any to heaven uncan