« PoprzedniaDalej »
to an offended God. From that text above-mens tioned the covenant of God's free grace in Christ was explained and laid open before the
my enlightened understanding; the terms whereof I found were as far wide of, or contrary to, the way to which the covenant of works directs for attaining life eternal, as the east is from the west, or as heaven is from hell. : The work of the Spirit in discovering Christ to me from that text, and his drawing me to close with Christ, so discovered, was so full of amazing and astonishing wonderment and surprising ravishment of soul, that I am no more able to express or relate the same, than I am able to find out the dimensions of the sun; or to give an exact account of the number of the stars.
There was held, as it were, a court of inquiry in my soul. The Holy Ghost, the spirit of love and liberty, delivered me from that legal spirit of bondage by which I was chained, to the wounding, killing, and terrible sentence of the law, and operated as the spirit of adoption, to consummate à fweet and blessed marriage between the Lord Jesus Christ, God's only Son by eternal and ineffable generation, and a poor loft and undone prodigal, who, as Adam's child, was born heir of the curse, partaker of a nature as vile and polluted as hell itself could make it; and whose case and condition, in respect of inward horror and despair of foul,
differed but little, at least as I thought and believed, from that of the damned in hell.
Six things this blessed spirit of adoption did effect, in order to confummate this match:
First, He discovered and made known to me who the Lord Jesus, held forth in the gospel, was, from whence he came, and to what end the Father sent him.
Secondly, He made plain discoveries to me of Christ's almightiness to save, and reconcile to God, the worst and most wretched of sinners; and that the righteousness which he, as mediator between God and finners, hath wrought, is the alone righteousness by which a finner is to be justified and accepted of God; and that in a way of believ, ing, though not for believing, that God, for the Lake and merit of his Son's obedience to the law, both active and passive, doth frankly and freely pardon and forgive the poor rebels transgressions committed against the moral law, as if he had never committed them; and accounting the whole of that righteousness of Christ, both active and pallive, as truly the finner's as if the finner had personally performed the same himself, and that in a way of free imputation,
Thirdly, He persuaded my heart that God the Father, against whose law. I had sinned, and whose anger and curse for the fame I feared, was really willing and desirous that I should be reconciled to himself, by the virtue of his Son's mediation; and
that, by my betaking inyfelf to him, and casting my weary and sinking soul on him, to be introduced into his presence; and, by his spotless comeliness put on me, I might be made amiable and acceptable in the sight of God.
Fourthly, He discovered to me, and persuaded my heart of, the full and complete provision made by God, and made known in the covenant of grace, for the making completely and eternally happy those fouls who are enabled to believe and rely on Christ Jesus for life and salvation.
In respect of these and the like discoveries which the Holy Ghost makes to the elect in effectual calling, and between that and their arriving at glory, he is stiled the spirit of manifestation and of revelation. i Cor. xii. 7. John xvi. 14. xvii. 6. Ephefi i. 17.
Fifthly, He interrogated or queried of my soul as follows:
1. Art thou become truly and thoroughly senfible and convinced that thou art, by departing from and sinning, against God, an undone, miserable, and guilty creature, having lost his blessed image stamped on thee in Adam, thy natural and federal head, in the first creation? and being now become obnoxious to God's curse and the wrath to come, and partaker of such a spiritual impotency as renders thee utterly incapable of doing any thing whereby thou mayest be delivered out of thy present forlorn condition ? Art thou convinced
that this thy misery is of thy own bringing upon thee?
Sinner answers: O thou most holy, just, and tremendous God! by the light now sprung from thee, the fountain of all light, into my dungeons like soul, I plainly see what a wretch I am become, no way like what thou at first made me in Adam. I am likewise fully convinced, that this my misery was brought on me by my every way voluntary defection and apoftacy, when, in Adam's loins, I first yielded to the motion of the tempter.
2. Art thou convinced of what the real desert and merit of thy sinning against a holy and righteous God is? What canst thou say against God's casting thee into hell, for that hellish rebellion of thine against his holy and righteous law.
Sinner answ. Othou most holy and everlastingly righteous God, who canst not possibly act amiss in any thing thou dost with thy creatures ! I am, by the convincing power of thy holy spirit, made sensible that, by my departing from and rebelling against thy Majesty, I have forfeited that right I had in Adam to all good, spiritual and temporal. And shouldst thou cast me into hell, and assign me my portion with the apostate angels, whose conduct and wretched example I followed when I turned my back on thee, thou art and wilt for ever be and remain a just, a holy, and a most righteous God; my misery is of my own procurement; and so far am I from reflecting on thee as unjust, shouldst thou
tirow me from thee for ever, that I am amazed and astonished to think I should be so long out of hell: the place where I fometimes even longed to be, to try whether there was any special difference bes tween the torments and nuiseries of thår place, and what I felt in myself while fhut up in thy law's prison, under the sharp and killing pedagógue thereof.
3. Hast thou viewed and taken nocice of that Mediator, which I have proposed and discovered to thee in the gofpel? Doft thou think, or canft thou be persuaded, that he can do thy work for thee, fave thee from the curse and wrath to come; and not only fo, but to restore thee, and bring thee back again to the favour and fellowship of God? Dost thou see in him an adequate suitableness to anfwer all thy neceffities?
Sinner answers: O Lord, my eyes are fo intent and fixed on that Mediator, that I can have no leisure, or fpare time, to look on any other object in heaven or earch ; never did, neither can men or angels, behold or fee such an object, except himself.
The angels, and all the glory of the whole creation, are but darknefs and deformity when compared to his surpaffing and incomparable arniableness and lovelinefs, since I had the firft glimpse of Irim, as held forth and discovered by thy divine and efficacious manifestation. I have forgotten iny misery; and the fearful thoughts of hell and damnation are swallowed up of the thoughts and