Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

JO. A comfortable and fanctified use of all condicions: in prosperity, moderation ; in adversity, contentedness; in all, fobriety. For as our Lord hath purchased for us grace, to use all things aright, so he hath obtained for us an inheritance that renders the best the world can give us, unworthy to be valued, and the worst it can give us, unworthy to be feared, in respect of the bleiledness which he hath settled upon us.

11. Consequently contempt of the world, because higher matters are in my eye, such as the best the world can yield, cannot equal; nor the worst it can inflict, cannot take away.

away. All this upon, 12. A lively hope : a hope that maketh not ashamed; even of that glory which my Saviour came down from heaven to purchase by his blood; and the assurance whereof he hath sealed with his blood. go to prepare a place for you, and if I

and if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive

you unto myself, that where I am, ye may be also !' A hope of a blessed resurrection after death ; a hope of that blessed appearance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Ch ist; a hope of that glorious fntence, in the presence of men and angels, Come, ye blessed ;' and an hope of an everlasting estate of blelledness and glory in the presence of the Great God, and glorified saints and angels, unto all eternity. And the efficacy of this hope, dipped in the blood of Christ, brings us victory :

1. Victory over fin. 'Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under

He that hath this hope puiifieth himself Seven as he is pure 3.'

2. Victory over the world, in the best it can afford us; its flatteries and savours: these are too finall and inconsiderable, when compared with this hope; they shine like a candle in the fun, and are ineffectual to win over a foul that is fixed upon this hope, and vicJohu ii. 3. * Rom. vi. 16. i John i. S.

tory

grace ?'

tory over the worst the world can inflict. Our Lord hath conquered the world in this respect for us : ‘Bc Srot afraid, I have overcome the world!,' and conquered it in us; “ This is the victory that overcometh 'the world, even your faith?.'

3. Viclory over death ; which now, by means of this bleffed hope is stripped, as well of her terror as her power;

• Thus thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Je'us Christ 3.'

And now though the nature of this argument hath carried my meditation to a great height, yet, to avoid mist ikes, some things I must subjoin.

1. That when I thus aggravate the sufferings of our Lord under the imputed guilt of the sins of mankind; yet we must not think that his sufferings were the same with the damned in duration, fo neither in kind nor in degree ; for this could neither consist with the purity of his nature, nor innocence, nor dignity of his perfon, nor the hypoftatical union of both natures in him: but he suffered as much as was consistent wish these considerations ; and, as considering the dignily of his perfon, was equivalent to the sin and demerits of all mankind.

2. That his righteousness imputed to us, doth not exempt us from acquiring a righteousness inherent in us. This were to disappoint the end of his suffering, which was to redeem us from our vain conversation, and make us a peculiar people zealous of good works.

3. That this purchase of salvation by Christ for believers, is not to render them idle, or secure, or presumptuous; where there is such a disposition of soul, it is an evident indication, that it is not yet truly united unto Christ by true faith and love ; his grace is sufficient to preserve us, and always ready to do it, if we do not wilfully neglect or reject it.

John xvi. 33. 1 John v. 4. 1 Cor. xy. 57.

1

THE

THE VICTORY OF FAITH

OVER THE WORLD.

1 JOHN, V. 4.

FOR WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD, OVERCOMETII

THE WORLD; AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN YOUR FAITH.

These

HESE things are herein confiderable :

1. The azt which is here declared, Victory or Overcoming

2. The person that exerciseth this act, or concerning whom this is affirmed, described by this description, a person that is born of God.

3. The thing upon which this act of victory is exer: cifed, viz. the World.

4. The instrument or means by which this act is exercised, viz. Faith.

5. The method or order, or former reason whereby faith overcometh this world.

Some few observations I shall deliver touching all these in the order proposed.

I. Viftory or overcoming is a subjugation of bringing under an opposing party to the power and will of another. And this victory is of two kinds, complete and perfect, or incomplete or imperfect. 1. The notion of a complete victory is, when either the opposing party is totally deltroyed, or at least when despoiled of any possibility of future resiitance. Thus the Son of God, the Captain of our salvation, over

[blocks in formation]

cane

came the word. Be of good cheer, I have over

come the world 1.' And thus when we are delivered from this body of death, we shall overcome the world. This complete victory will be the portion of the Church and Christian triumphant. Again, 2. There is a victory, but incomplete, such as the victory of the children of Israel was over the Canaanites, which though they were subdued, as to any poflibility of a total re-acquiring of a superiority or equality of power, yet they were not subdued from a posibility of annoying, disquieting and rebelling; they remained fiill thorns to vexad disturb, though not to subdue their conquerors; there was still an over-balance of

power in the victors, though not wholly to extirpate them: and this is the condition of the Christian militant in this world: he keeps the world in subjection, and every day gets ground upon it; but he cannot expect to obtain a perfect, complete and universal conquest of it, till he can truly say with our blessed Lord, “The Prince of this world hath nothing * in me 2.' Which cannot be till our change comes ; for till then we carry about with us our lusts, and passions, and corruptions : which, though with all vigilancy and severity, kept under, and daily impaired in their power and malignity, will hold a correspondence with the world and prince thereof, and be ready to deceive and betray us, though never to regain their empire and fovereignty; and the reason is significantly given by the same apostle, ' For his feed abideth in him, and he cannot fin, because he is born of God 3.' Indeed he may, and shall have fin as long as he hath Aleth about him. “If we say 'we have no fin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is (not in us 4' But although we have sin still abiding in us, and like the bias in a bowl, warping us to the world, yet that vital seminal principle of the grace of God, in Christ, always keeps its ground, its lise, and ten* John xvi. 89. John xiv. 30. s 1 John iii. 9. ' 1 John i. 8.

dency dency towards heaven, and wears out, wastes, and gradually subdues the contrary tendency of fin and corruption.

II. The person exercising this act of victory and conquest, he that is born of God. All men, by na. ture, may be said, in some fense, to be born of God; the apofllc tells the Athenians,“ We are all his off

spring!.' But in this place, this heavenly birth is a second, a supervenient birth from God; and hence it is called regeneration, the new birth, birth of the water and the spirit, birth of the spirit, the formation of Christ in the foul; and the creature so new born ftiled the new creature, the new man, a partaker of the divine nature, born not of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but born of the will of God. And all these, and the like expressions, are figurative, and seem to carry in them a double analogy: first, to the first creation of mankind; and secondly, to the ordinary generation of mankind since their first creation. 1. As to the former analogy, we know by the holy word that the first man was the root of all mankind, stamped with the signature of the image of Almighty God, principally consisting in knowledge, righteoulness and holiness, and stood or fell as the common representative of all mankind. This image of God was in great measure lost and defaced by the fall of man, and more every day spoiled by the actual sins and acquired corruptions of his descendants : Christ the second Adam, hath instamped upon him a new inscription of the glorious God, came to be a common head, root, and parent of as many as are united unto him by faith, love, and imitation, and to instamp anew upon them that lost and decayed image of God: who thereby put on the new man, "Which after God is created in righteousness and “true holiness 3,' and so becoming a new creature 3, renewed in knowledge after the image of him that Acts xvii. 28. * Ephes. iv. 24. 32 Cor. v. 17. Galat. v. 6.

created

H 2

« PoprzedniaDalej »