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will come after me, let him" (do as I have done) even deny himself, take up his (indeed my) cross daily, and so follow me.

13. I told you, I remember, my text was a law, and I repent not of the expression, though I know not how, since our divinity has been imprisoned and fettered in theses and distinctions, we have lost this word law; and men will by no means endure to hear, that Christ came to command us any thing, or that he requires any thing at our hands: he is all taken up in promise: all those precepts, which are found in the gospel, are nothing, in these men's opinions, but mere promises of what God will work in us, I know not how, sine nobis, though indeed they be delivered in fashion, like precepts.

14. These, and many other such dangerous consequences, do, and must necessarily arise from that newly-invented fatal necessity; a doctrine, that fourteen centuries of Christianity never heard of. If we will inquire after the old and good ways, we shall find the gospel itself by its own Author called a law: for thus saith the Psalmist in the person of Christ: "I will preach the law, whereof the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."* And how familiar are such speeches as those in our Saviour's mouth: This is my command: "A new commandment I give unto you! Ye shall be my disciples, if ye do those things which I command you!" Among the ancient fathers, we find not only that Christ is a lawgiver, but that he hath published laws, which were never heard of before; that he hath enlarged

Psalm ii. 7

the ancient precepts, and enjoined new; and yet now it is Socinianism to say but half so much. Clemens Alexandrinus. (3. Erpwp. in fine) saith, that Christ is more than a lawgiver; he is both Aóyos kai Nóuos, and quotes St. Peter for it.

15. Well then, my text is a law, and a preparatory law; it is the voice of one crying, Prepare the ways of the Lord; let all hills be depressed, and all vallies exalted. It bears indeed the same office in our conversion, or new birth, that Aristotle assigns to his privation in respect of natural generation. It hath no positive active influence upon the work, but it is Principium occasionale, a condition or state necessarily supposed, or prerequired in the subject, before the business be accomplished. For, as in physical generation there can be no superinduction of forms, but the subject, which expects a soul, must necessarily prepare a room or mansion for it; which cannot be, unless the soul that did before inhabit there be dispossessed; so it likewise comes to pass in our regeneration: there is no receiving of Christ, to dwell and live with us, unless we turn all our other guests out of doors. The devil, you know, would not take possession of a house, till it was swept and garnished; and dares any man imagine, that a heart defiled, full of all uncleanness, a decayed ruinous soul, an earthly sensual mind, is a tabernacle fit to entertain the Son of God? Were it reasonable to invite Christ to sup in such a mansion, much more to rest and inhabit there?

16. In the ordinary sacrifices of the old law, God was content to share part of them, with his servants the priests, and challenged only the inwards as his own due. And proportionably in

the spiritual sacrifices, his claim was, My son, give me thine heart." He was tender then in exacting all his due. It was only a temptation, we know, when God required of Abraham, that his only son Isaac should be offered in holocaustum, for a whole burnt sacrifice, to be utterly consumed, so that no part nor relics should remain of so beloved a sacrifice; yet even in those old times, there were whole burnt-offerings: whereby (besides that one oblation of Christ) was prefigured likewise our giving up our whole selves, souls and bodies, as a living, reasonable sacrifice unto God. And, therefore, our Saviour Christ, (who came to fulfil the law, not only by his obedience thereto, but also by his perfect and complete expression of its force and meaning) doth in plain terms resolutely and peremptorily exact from all them that purpose to follow him, a full, perfect resignation of themselves to his disposing, without all manner of condition or reservation.


17. This was a doctrine never heard of in the world before completely delivered. Never did any prophet or scribe urge or enforce so much upon God's people, as is herein contained. Yet, in the evangelical law, we have it precisely, and accurately pressed; insomuch, that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up almost all the metaphors that can possibly be imagined, the more forcibly to urge this so necessary, a doctrine.

18. We are commanded so perfectly and wholly to devote ourselves to God's service; so earnestly and resolutely to undertake his commands, that we must determine to undervalue and despise all earthly and transitory things besides : nay, from the bottom of our hearts we must hate and detest

all things (how gainful, or delightful, or necessary soever they seem) if they do in any measure hinder or oppugn us in our journey to Christ.

19. We must not so much as look upon Christ, or glance our eyes upon his glorious mercy, expressed in suffering and satisfying for us (for St. Luke calls this Otopiav) but we must resolve to keep them there fixed, and not deign to think any creature to be a spectacle worthy our looking on:

a' popovvτes εis 'Inoouv, saith St. Paul. We have no English term that can fully express the force of this word; for it is not only, as we have it translated, "looking unto Christ," but taking off our speculations from other objects, and fastening them upon Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

20. When we have been once acquainted, though but imperfectly, with this saving knowledge, we must straight bring our understandings into captivity unto the obedience thereof; and whatsoever other speculations we have, how delightful soever they be unto us, yet rather than they should overleaven us, and (as knowledge without charity is apt to do) puff us up, we must, with much greater care and industry, study to forget them, and resolve, with St. Paul, to know nothing, "save Jesus Christ and him crucified."

21. When we have had notice of that inestimable jewel, the kingdom of heaven (so called by our Saviour in the parable) exposed to sale, though our estate be never so great, our wares never so rich and glorious, yet we must resolvedly part with all we have; utterly undo ourselves, and

• Heb. xii. 2.

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turn bankrupts for the purchasing of it. Hence are those commands, "Sell all thou hast;" and, lest a man should think, that when the land is sold, he may keep the money in his purse, there follows," and give to the poor." And such care is taken by the Holy Ghost in those expressions, lest any evasion should be admitted; lest it should happen, that such a merchant should find no chapman to buy his wares, nor (which is scarce possible) hands to receive his money, when he would bestow it; it is further said, Forsake all, leave all; by all means quit thyself of thy own riches, run away from thy possessions, and, if there be any thing yet more dear unto thee than thy possessions, as necessary as thy clothes, Despolia teipsum, "Put off the old man, with his lusts and affections ;" and though it stick never so close, tear it from thee, shake off the sin that hangeth so fast on.

22. And yet the Holy Ghost proceeds further in a more forcible expression: for many heathens have been found, that could persuade themselves to prefer fame, obtained by a philosophical austere life, before riches or honours; but "every man loveth and cherisheth his flesh:" therefore, if there be a lust so incorporated into thee, that it becomes as useful and necessary as thy right hand or eye, yet thou must resolve to be thine own executioner, to deform and maim thyself; for what will it profit thee, to go a proper personable man into hell! Nay, if thy whole body begin to tyrannize over thee, thou must fight and war with it, and never leave, till thou hast brought it into captivity. Then must thou use it like a slave, with short and coarse diet, and store of correction,

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