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inward work, is preferable to the person, the ping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Naza- as gold rings, set with the beryl, his belly is reth. To be able to draw those inferences as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His from the principles of Free-thinkers, Soci- legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets nians, and Arians, would not at all surprise: of fine gold. His countenance is as Lebanon, but to see them naturally rise, from the doc-excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most trines of such, who would be contradistin- sweet, yea, he is altogether lovely." Thus guished from the former, and considered as gold, precious stones, ivory, marble, spices, preachers of Jesus Christ, may possibly sur- flowers, trees, mountains, rivers, gums, birds, prise some who have been used to say unto &c. are here collected, to form a composition the work of their own hands, ye are our gods. of beauties, figurative of him. Yea, whatsoever If we consider the Bible-saints and their is seen in all the creation of God, all the exexcellencies, in a figurative light, as I have cellencies and beauties, whether they are. already hinted; our Jesus will appear the he- glories terrestrial, or celestial, are figures of ro of the scriptures: or, if we respect them him: all transmitting their lustre to him, all as being really in Christ, what they are cha- pointing to him as their perfection, and he racterized in the letter, (for it is easily proved whose glory and honour was the ultimate end that they were not so in themselves,) he still of their creation: All things were created by hath the pre-eminence in all things, and every him, and for him, saith the Spirit. His beaubeautiful character given unto man in the ties of holiness, how inexplicable! how discriptures is primarily his: as the substance vine! Pure, without austerity; wise, without of the shadow, or as the head, who by union vanity; humble, without pride; self-denying, with the body, blesses all the members with without self-love; holy, harmless, undefiled; his own condition, and character: whilst purer than the heavens, holier than the anthey, above all things, rejoice in his beauty, gels, he only is holy: he only is the Lord. power, and excellencies. That one thing so Such was his self-denial, that though he greatly desired by the Psalmist, is granted was rich, yet he became poor. Though all unto all who discern their union with the honour, power, and glory, was originally his; head: namely, to dwell in the house of the his name and character the most exalted, Lord for ever, to behold his beauty, and yea, though without robbery he was equal to to inquire in his temple. Though the con- the Most High, yet "he took upon him the Whilst the foxes had holes, sideration of such a glorious salvation in Je- form of a servant, and made himself of no resus, is infinitely refreshing, and delightful, putation." yet is there a higher felicity, consisting in the and the birds of the air had nests, the clear views of his personal beauties, and Son of Man had no where to lay his head! glories. Thus the elders who surround his As a stranger, and pilgrim, he passed through throne, though perfected in his likeness, the worlds which his own hands had made, wearing crowns of glory, palms of victory, and unfeignedly felt the want of such necescast all their honours, and themselves like-saries and refreshments, which the creawise, before his feet: prostrating, and singing tures, from man, to the reptile, yea, even to incessantly, worthy is the Lamb: thereby in- the smallest insect, through his providence, timating, that his personal worth, dignity, were abundantly supplied with. In all this and beauty, as beheld by them, is their high- he sought not himself, but through all his est heaven, their sublimest consolation. For unchangeable motto was, not my will, but this the Saviour prayed, "Father, I will that thine be done: it being his meat and his they whom thou hast given me, may be with drink to do the Father's will. Such was his me where I am, that they may behold my self-denial, that though he was that just one: glory. Unto the eye of sense, there was nei- in his own individual self was holy, harmther form, nor comeliness, whereby men less, undefiled, separate from sinners, made should desire him, when in the day of his hu- higher than the heavens; yet was he content miliation, his judgment was taken away: to be numbered amongst the transgressors; when his face being more marred than any and to be accounted seditious, a rebel, a glut man's, and his form more than the sons of ton, a wine-bibber, a blasphemer, a deceiver, men, he was pressed with our sicknesses, a demoniac, an encourager, and ringleader sins, and sorrows: then, he appeared like the of the most notorious sinners: unto those tabernacles of old, (as covered with badgers' accusations, he replied not, but by his silence skins) mean and contemptible, unto all such denying his holy character, he seemingly acas judged according to appearance: but unto knowledged the charge exhibited against those who conceived aright of his beauty and him, and submitting to the punishment, was glory, even then, his form was most excellent content to make his grave with the wicked. and his comeliness perfect, the fairest of the *Though as an individual he was perfectly holy; sons of men, grace and truth were poured in- and the charge of sin brought against him by his to his lips. My beloved, (saith the spouse) is enemies, as false as Satan; yet as the head and white and ruddy, the chief amongst ten thou- representative of the people, as personating the sand. Yea, he is made the central point of all sinner, he confessed the charge by his silence. beauties, and excellencies, as when thus de- Otherwise it does not appear, wherefore he was scribed: "His head is as the most fine gold, silent, when the cause of truth called upon him to make his defence. That his great and unhis locks are bushy, and black as a raven, paralled humility was evident in this transaction, his eyes are as the eyes of doves by the does not prove that his behaviour in this particurivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly lar, was calculated only to exhibit that beauty. set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as Therefore may we construe his silence a tacit acsweet flowers. His lips like lillies, drop-knowledgement of his being made sin for us.




He denied himself so far as to permit Satan, | Ophir, are equally suprised, astonished, and (a creature of his power, and one whom he smitten with wonder. How glorious the dishad before crushed to everlasting darkness plays of his wisdom! in creation, redemption, for his rebellion) to tempt him, and that with and providence, especially in that admirable the glories of a world, which he himself had economy with which he governs his own made, and which at that time, he upheld by house. There he shews the beauties of holithe right hand of his power; all living, mov-ness, holiness for ever becometh his house, and reverence his saints. Of experience, having been tempted in every point like unto us. Of compassion, he has compassion on the ignorant, and such that are out of the way. Of sympathy, he is touched with a feeling of our infirmities. His wisdom, love, and power, in guiding, protecting, enriching, and causing all things to work together for the good of them who love him, and are the called according to his purpose, is most beautifully seen here. The house which he had built, where through the labours of his life and death, he hath built us in himself, an habitation for God, through the spirit.

ing, existing in him, and governed by his providence. And also, with worshipping him, who was not only his creature, but a creature fallen and accused, and whose very being, was enmity against him. Yea, he suffered the tempter to sift him like wheat; to rush upon him with all his policy and power, by every gate of hell: to try him with despair, presumption, self-murder, and with an inordinate love of life, by using the most extravagant means for the preservation thereof: yea, even to hazard his knowledge of himself, of his own dignity and glory, as the Son of God, upon the success thereof.

Thus seeking, if by any means he might oblige him to deviate from his own law, and rule of righteousness, written by Moses, and the prophets. How beautiful his humility! he patiently endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. How conspicuous his love, through the things which he suffered! many waters could not quench it, neither could the floods drown it. His meekness! how apparent, when as a lamb led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers dumb, he opened not his mouth: when he was reviled, he reviled not again, nor did he hide his face from shame and spitting, but calmly gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks, to them who plucked off the hair. These, and every other godlike disposition and perfection, shining in him, through his life and death, renders him at once the object of wonder, delight, and pleasure. Yea, such is his superlative beauty, that when we have considered all excellencies in heaven and earth with the utmost exactness and impartiality, we are still with relation to them all, constrained to cry, “As the apple-tree is among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." Surprisingly rare! one amongst thousands, yea, only one in all the wood: distinguished from all in fragrance, fruit, and shade. Well may every admiring worshipper say, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."

He is beautiful in the majesty of his power, and the glory of his kingdom. All power in heaven, and earth, is given into his hand. By him kings reign, and princes decree justice. The Queen of Sheba came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and to see his glory, (but behold a greater than Solomon is here,) And "when she saw his wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the siting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cup-bearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her."

We also, when we come up to Zion, to see the king in his beauty, with the queen standing on his right-hand, shining in gold of

The meat of his table, his flesh is meat indeed, his blood is drink indeed: by union with which, we are fed with all his grace, and fruits. The sitting of his servant, the rest that remaineth for the people of God, which rest is in him, where all those who believe entering cease from their own works, as God ceased from his. The standing of his ministers, their continual readiness to execute his will; and with unwearied pleasure and delight, to bear his message to his church; he maketh his ministers a flame of fire, administering by the word of his cross, light and heat, all around them. Apparrelled with him who is the righteousness of the saints, they bear witness of his royalties, majesty, and glory, as the king of kings, and Lord of Lords.

His cup-bearers, those who offer everlasting praise, resulting from his blood and death; which, as the juice of the true vine, the fruit of his own doings, and sufferings, he drinks for ever new, in the kingdom of the Father. His ascent into the house of the Lord, the union of natures in his person; by which the man in him, is one with God, and therefore goes up unto the house of the Lord.

When the Queen of Sheba saw this, only in the figure, there was no more spirit in her: but breaking forth in strains of ecstasy, it exceedeth, saith she," the fame which I heard, the half was not told me, happy thy men, happy these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, that hear thy wisdom, blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel; because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice." What then must be the strains, when our great Solomon, in all his wisdom, majesty, beauty, and glory is seen. Such is the poverty of speech, yea, of the most expressive, words, that we are utterly incapable of declaring, what we then conceive of his eternal excellency. Whilst our utmost conceptions bear no proportion to his real glories, his transcendent beauties: but are as a moment of time to eternity. Thousands of thousands minister unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand, stand before him: let us mingle with the multitude thus blest with his pre

sence; saying with a loud voice, worthy is the lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing: and with every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth,

and under the earth: and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. Amen.



Thus, are mankind taught to establish their own righteousness: where, upon the

THE matter and manner of the apostles' preaching, appears, when among Jews and Gentiles, they taught that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God; and that he was crucified unto death, and on the third day rose again from the dead, for the forgiveness of sins, and the justification of mankind. And this they proved from the predictions of the prophets, from the pattern shewn unto Moses in the mount, and by undoubted miracles wrought in the name of that Jesus whom they preached. All who believed their testimony, were thereby sensible of salvation: there were no such doubts as these amongst them then, viz. How do I know whether he died for me, or whether I am particularly interested in him, &c. Those queries and criticisms are of later date than the apostolic age, and owe their existence unto the wisdom of this world, which in the decline of true Christianity, took place of that primitive simplicity, with which the first preachers of Jesus bear witness of him. They had their rise from the distinctions made amongst men, of predestinate and reprobate, as qualified, or unqualified for the grace of the gospel: of fruitful, as having a right to believe their personal interest in Christ, or unfruitful, whose interest in him is doubtful. Those distinctions once concluded upon, between self-righteousness, and ignorance of the scriptures; have, from generation to generation, been carefully handed down. Whilst all the world assented to them, as traditions of gracious men, taking it for granted, without impartial inquiry, that they were deducible from scripture. This, by degrees, rendered the things belong-surrection of Jesus profit you, except you are ing to our peace so intricate, that the know- changed, and made fruitful in all good works. ledge thereof was considered as wholly con- words, and thoughts. The scripture saith, fined to the schools. And hence it was, that "To him that worketh not, but believeth on when a man believed the gospel report con- him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is cerning Jesus Christ, namely, that he was the counted for righteousness." Rom. vi. But Son of God, the Saviour of the world, that he Antichrist saith that Christ doth not jusdied, and rose again for our justification: I say, tify the ungodly; and that he justifies only when a man had believed this, he was yet taught such who are godly: who are repentant, to inquire, how do I know whether he died for humble, meek, loving righteousness, and me? whether I am interested in him or not? was hating iniquity. And where the fore-cited I sure, says one, that I am predestinate, I text shews us, that Christ's faith is accounted could be easy: says another, was I but suffi- for righteousness, to all such who working ciently convinced, and humbled, I could be- not, believeth on him, as justifying the unlieve that Christ died for me: says a third, godly: Antichrist says, you are justified by could I but perceive the fruits of the spirit your own faith, which will produce rightein me, the proper effects and obedience ousness in you, to evidence it. The scripof faith, I could be assured of my interest tures say, that while we were yet sinners, in him. Christ died for us, Rom. v. 8; and that when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, ver. 10; and that

authority of some goodness wrought by them, or found in them, they are directed to con clude of the love of God towards them, and of their personal interest in Christ. But what shall that man do, who is assured that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually, Gen. vi. 5; whose goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away, Hos. vi. 10; and that he is an unclean thing, and all his righteousness as filthy rags? Isaiah Ixiv. 6. I say, what shall the man do, who by deep experience every day and hour, is sensible of those awful truths, and knows them applicable to every child of man? who has a continual sense of his poverty, misery, blindness, and nakedness? According to the forementioned traditions, he must despair, and be damned everlastingly; for those traditions say, it will avail him nothing to believe all that the Bible reports of Jesus Christ, if he has not good works, good fruits in himself, as more corroborating evidences, more infallible recommendations unto God, yea, as more undenia ble marks of his acceptance with him, than Jesus Christ: than his birth, life, sufferings death, resurrection, and ascension. Let us only compare those conclusions with the scriptures, and we shall quickly perceive them to be the very sinews of Antichrist.

The apostle says, "It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save sinners." 1 Tim. i. 15. But Antichrist says you cannot be saved, except you are holy, and good in yourself; nor shall the death and re

"God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." 2 Cor. v. 19. But Antichrist saith, sinners have no right to conclude that Christ died for them; that such who have this right, are distinguished from sinners by inherent holiness and gracious qualities. And it farther saith, in contradiction to Christ, that he did not reconcile us to God when we were enemies, but that we must love him, fear him, and serve him, before we can be said to be reconciled to him; and as to man's being reconciled by the death of Jesus, it absolutely denies that; and says, we are reconciled by being reformed, changed, and made conformable in heart and practice to God; and that until then, it is not true that God hath reconciled us unto himself in Christ, notwithstanding the apostle saith it. The scriptures say, that we are saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts xv. 11; yea, expressly, "by grace are ye saved." Eph. ii. 8. But Antichrist says, there are terms and conditions to be complied with and fulfilled, before you can be saved. The apostle saith, that God hath "given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son and that he who believeth not this record, hath made God a liar." John v. 10, 11. From whence it is plain, that he who be lieveth not, hath eternal life given him in the Son of God, as fully as him who believeth: else it doth not appear how he could make God a liar, by not believing; nor, how the unbeliever can be censured for not believing hat was not true. But Antichrist says, all have not a right to believe: some because they are not predestinate, others because not qualified, by repentance, &c. others though they have believed, have no right to be assured, because they are not sufficiently fruitful: Therefore those cannot make God a liar, when they believe not, it being not required of them to believe a falsehood. Onr Savioured but it was for them, because hitherto, they censured such who trusted in themselves that had not been taught that any were excluded they were righteous, and despised others: from it. Antichrist had not as yet the boldBut Antichrist supports this character, and ness to affirm, that there were some amongst is constantly for distinguishing between mankind, who though they heard of the death, saints and sinners, and that not from any re- and resurrection, of the Lord Jesus, yea, joicing in Jesus Christ, which one hath above though they believed it, yet had no right to the other, but from the saints being more conclude it was for them. Nor had he as yet righteous than the sinners, more holy, devout, propagated that subtle distinction, between the and wise. Our Saviour reproved the church belief of the truth, and knowledge of their of Laodicea, in the sharpest manner, for personal interest therein. For in those days growing rich, and increasing in goods, for of undisguised truth, and simplicity, when not retaining a just sense of her poverty, any man believed the testimony of the aposmisery, blindness, and nakedness: But An- tles concerning Jesus, his heart exulted in tichrist says, you must increase in goods, you the truth, nothing doubtful of his interest must grow rich, rich in wisdom, knowledge, therein. The belief of the truth, and the purgholiness, goodness, virtue, and experience: ed conscience, were then inseparable. For and except you thus increase in goods, Christ the testimony is, not only that Christ died, shall profit you nothing. You was poor, and and rose again, such as we might hear of some miserable, and blind, and naked, says Anti- other person, as Lazarus: but the truth is, that christ, but not so now, you are converted, you he died for our sins, and rose again for our jusare born again, you are changed, therefore tification: insomuch, that believing the truth, how should you know yourself to be what necessarily implies the knowledge of our peryou are not, now however, whatever you have sonal interest in Christ, the latter, is always been. The spirit of truth says, Christ is in proportion to the former. To distinguish made of God unto us, wisdom, righteousness, between the belief of the truth, and the knowsanctification, and redemption. Yea, saith ledge of our interest therein, is the invention of Antichrist, but except you are made this in a spirit, who professing Christianity, would yourselves, you cannot be saved. Thus the not be thought to be an unbeliever, but at the traditions of man, make void the word of God; same time, having not the testimony of a good

and thus Antichrist warreth against Jesu the son of Mary. This is that Antichrist, whose coming was prophesied of, and who made his appearance, as early as the days of the apostles. He ruined the labours of Paul, in Galatia, and made him complain that all they who were in Asia, were turned away from him: insomuch, that this apostle, laborious, and zealous for the glory of Jesus Christ, lived to see sundry of the Churches, whom he had espoused to one husband, as a chaste virgin to Christ, overrun and spoiled by Antichrist. And indeed this, and what followed, was foretold by him, in his epistle to the Thessalonians, where he said: The day of Christ should not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." It is easily seen, that this prediction is fulfilled. John also said, that Antichrist was in the world then, denying that Jesus was come in the flesh : Or, as it signifies, that he had finished the redemption of mankind; and consequently, taught men to look for him yet to come, in their flesh : under the notion of light, power, wisdom, faithfulness, humility, love, &c. From the appearance of this Antichrist in the world, we may date the era of the apostacy, or falling away from the apostles' doctrine; when mankind began to entangle each other, with their own inventions. The apostles, as I have hinted, preached the person of Christ, the simple facts of his death and resurrection, as justification and forgiveness of sins to the children of Adam. It was enough, that their hearers believed their report of the crucified one: and as I observed before, the persons thus believing, never once question

conscience, the inward witness, which the good and evil: for were we always to deterscriptures affirm to be the case with such mine of our good and evil by the perfect law, who believe: but still retaining a conscience it would be much more easy, with the greatof sin, he was obliged to scheme this distinc-est pretender to piety, to number his good tion to keep up his credit as a believer, but frnits, than it is to find them. Was this but such a one as was doubtful of his personal truly considered amongst mankind, we should interest in the truth believed. Yea, and to not have such proud boastings, and pretenward off all censure on this ac ount, this sions to know this, and the other matter, by doubtfulness must be nourished, and cherish- their good works, and holy fruits, as we have ed, and strongly recommended to others, as in the world. I might say, it smells much prudent religious fear; from which we are stronger of the Church of Rome, (if it does very rarely to be delivered; and that only in not look a little towards Deism) than of the proportion to our fruitfulness, as the effects Protestant faith; but as that would be saying of the truth believed. And to make this the nothing, to such who think the Romish faith more plausible, it is insinuated that the great- true, and the Protestant wrong; I shall conest danger lies on the side of a confident be- tent myself with saying, that it is a flat conlieving; signifying, that men are rather damn-tradiction of the apostle's testimony; as I ed for believing, (which is called presuming) have in part, and shall yet farther shew: than for doubting: Thus from every quar- though it would fain shelter itself under their ter, Antichrist aims by his traditions, at mak- authority. Where those, and the like suggesing void the word of God. It is very sur-tions of antichrist take place in any heart, the prising to observe, after a person hath made consequences are shocking: as to such who a great bustle about Christ, and raised a dust, are vain enough, to imagine themselves fruitby proposing a truth to be believed, unclogged ful in themselves, and from thence to draw with any conditions whatsoever in the person conclusions: as they must first make to thembelieving; requiring no other qualification in selves a new law, before they can thus think: him, than what is naturally common to man- so must they of necessity be puffed up, and kind; and that the truth which is thus to be be- come into the character of the self-righteous. lieved, is none other than the simple fact of And, as to such who are not sufficiently vain, Christ's death and resurrection: I say, after to think themselves less fruitful, as they canproposing this, and quarrelling with all the not know their interest in Christ, there reworld about it, giving the hardest names, even mains naught for them, but misery and fear: unto such, who only differed unhappily in the though they have this consolation, to be taught mode of expression; to find such a one sink to that unbelief and gloom, is a much less danthis, that a man may believe the forecited truth, gerous state, than an unshaken confidence. and not know his interest in it; yea, have no It is easily seen, that those propositions are interest at all in it: and that such who have calculated to multiply and increase the perI can only know it by their fruits, gives us a plexities, doubts, and objections of mankind, striking prospect of Antichristian policy, and against the gospel of Jesus: therefore is it, makes us suspect the intention, where it is that we have many more of those in the world proposed to exalt Christ alone. The Scrip- now, than in the first ages of Christianity. tures assure us that mankind as sinners, are interested in the death and resurrection of Christ: Therefore to appehend and believe that truth properly, is to believe our personal interest in him. If it should be objected, that Christ doth not now say to any individual, thy sins are forgiven thee; I answer, he doth for what he said unto one, he saith unto every one who believeth it: otherwise, we may say there is nothing in the Scriptures said unto us; the Old Testament being written unto the Jews; the New Testament, some to one Church, and some to another, but none to us if we have not a right to believe that what Christ said unto them, he said unto us; but, that we can only know our interest in Christ by our fruits; is first a denial of the witness of the spirit: except it is supposed that he bears witness by those things, and not by Christ: which by the way, is to speak of himself, and prove himself a spirit of error. Again, it is to make our goodness essential to the knowledge of our Salvation, which is a manifest going about to establish our own righteousness, as the medium at least whereby we believe; and a contradiction to the Scripture: which saith, to him who worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Again, it makes void the law: by not adhering to its determination, concerning

The apostles preached Jesus and his benefits, promiscuously to sinners, and did not straiten his grace, by shewing that there were some who had no right to it; either from their being reprobated, or from their being unqualified; but by divine authority, they preached the gospel to every creature, and every man who was a sinner, yea whether he knew himself such or not, (for they spake of things as true with God, and not according to the conceptions of man) was sufficiently qualified, and had an indisputable right, to conclude the Saviour's death, and resurrection, his justification unto life. And this much is to be understood by the apostle's assertions, we preach Christ crucified. And again, we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord: And with great power, gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all. And again, he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. Thus, the apostles dwelt altogether upon the fact of Christ's death and resurrection, amongst Jews and Greeks, as the alone salvation of mankind. And what Paul himself thought of it, is evident from that heart exultation of his. Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again: Thus the resurrection of Jesus, without the consideration of any other matter, in heaven or in earth,

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