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which hope and faith are begotten by the Spirit of Christ, which Spirit dwelleth in thee if thou be a believer, and showeth those things to thee to be the only things.
And God having shown thee these things thus within thee, by the Spirit that dwells in thee, thou hast mighty encouragement to hope for the glory that shall be revealed at the coming again of the man Christ Jesus; of which glory thou hast also greater ground to hope for a share, because that Spirit which alone is able to discover to thee the truth of these things, is given to thee of God as the first fruits of that glory which is hereafter to be revealed— being obtained for thee by the man Christ Jesus' death on Calvary, and by his blood that was shed there, together with his resurrection from the dead out of the grave where they had laid him.
Also, thou believest that he is gone away from thee in the same body which was hanged on the cross, to take possession of that glory which thou, through his obedience, shalt at his the very same man's return from heaven the second time, have bestowed upon thee, he having all this while prepared and preserved it for thee; as he saith himself, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Again, if thou hast laid Christ, God-man, for thy foundation, though thou hast the Spirit of this man Christ within thee, yet thou dost not look that justification should be wrought out for thee by that Spirit of Christ that dwells within thee; for thou knowest that salvation is already obtained for thee by the man Christ Jesus without thee, and is witnessed to thee by his Spirit which dwells within thee. And thus much doth this man Christ Jesus testify unto us, where he says, "He shall glorify me," saith the Son of Mary. But how? Why, "he shall take of mine". what I have done and am doing in the presence of the Father" and shall show it unto you." John 16:14.
CHRIST NOT A SAVIOUR BY HIS EXAMPLE.
A third thing you mention is, that "the Son of God taught men their duty by his own example, and did himself perform what he required of them; and that himself did tread before us every step of that which he hath told us leadeth to eternal life."
ANSWER. Now we are come to the point, namely, that "the way to eternal life is, first of all, to take Christ for our example, treading his steps." And the reason, if it be true, is weighty; for "he hath trod every step before us which he hath told us leads to eternal life."
"Every step." Therefore he went to heaven by virtue of an imputative righteousness; for this is one of our steps thither.
"Every step." Then he must go thither by faith in his own blood for pardon of sin; for this is another of our steps thither.
'Every step." Then he must go thither by virtue of his own intercession at the right hand of God before he came thither; for this is one of our steps thither.
Every step." Then he must come to God and ask mercy for some great wickedness which he had committed; for this is also one of our steps thither.
But again, we will consider it the other way.
Every step." Then we cannot come to heaven before we first be made accursed of God; for so was he before he came thither.
Every step." Then we must first make our body and soul an offering for the sin of others; for this did he before he came thither.
"Every step." Then we must go to heaven for the sake of our own righteousness; for that was one of his steps thither.
O, sir, what will thy gallant, generous mind do here? Indeed, you talk of his being an expiatory sacrifice for us, but you put no more trust to that than to baptism or the
Lord's supper; counting that with the other two but things indifferent in themselves.
You add again, that "this Son of God being raised from the dead and ascended to heaven, is our high-priest there." But you talk not at all of his sprinkling the mercy-seat with his blood, but clap upon him the heathens' demons, negotiating the affairs of men with the supreme God, and so wrap up* with a testification that it is needless to enlarge on the point.
What man that ever had read or assented to the gospel, but would have spoken more honorably of Christ than you have done? His sacrifice must be stepped over; his intercession is needless to be enlarged upon. But when it falleth in your way to talk of your human nature, of the dictates of the first principles of morals within you, and of your generous mind to follow it, Oh what need there is now of amplifying, enlarging, and pressing it on men's consciences, as if that poor heathenish pagan principle was the very Spirit of God within us, and as if righteousness done by that was that and that only that would or could fling heaven's gates off the hinges.
Yea, a little after you tell us that "the doctrine of sending the Holy Ghost was to move and excite us to our duty, and to assist, cheer, and comfort us in the performance of it;" still meaning our close adhering, by the purity of our human nature, to the dictates of the law as written in our hearts as men; which is as false as God is true.
For the Holy Ghost is sent into our hearts, not to excite us to a compliance with our old and wind-shaken excellencies that came into the world with us, but to write new laws in our hearts, even the law of faith, the word of faith and of grace, and the doctrine of remission of sins through the blood of the Lamb of God, that holiness might flow from thence.
* That is, dismiss the subject.
CHRIST A TEACHER.
At this time I sat under the ministry of holy Mr. Gifford, whose doctrine, by God's grace, was much for my stability. This man made it much his business to deliver the people of God from all those hard and unsound tests that by nature we are prone to. He would bid us take special heed that we took not up any truth upon trust, as from this or that or any other man or men; but cry mightily to God that he would convince us of the reality thereof, and set us down therein by his own Spirit in the holy word; "for," said he, "if you do otherwise, when temptation comes strongly upon you, you not having received them with evidence from heaven, will find you want that help and strength now to resist, that once you thought you had."
This was as seasonable to my soul as the former and latter rain in their season, for I had found, and that by sad experience, the truth of these his words; for I had felt that no man, especially when tempted by the devil, can say that Jesus Christ is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
But O now, how was my soul led from truth to truth by God; even from the birth and cradle of the Son of God, to his ascension and second coming from heaven to judge the world.
Once I was troubled to know whether the Lord Jesus was a man as well as God, and God as well as man; and truly, in those days, let men say what they would, unless I had it with evidence from heaven, all was nothing to me. Well, I was much troubled about this point, and could not tell how to be resolved; at last, that in Rev. 5:6 came into my mind: "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb." "In the midst of the throne"-thought I, there is the godhead; "in the midst of the elders"there is his manhood: but Oh, methought this did glister; it was a goodly touch, and gave me sweet satisfaction.
That other scripture also did help me much in this: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
O friends, cry to God to reveal Jesus Christ unto you; there is none teacheth like him.
It would be long to tell you in particular how God did set me down in all the things of Christ, and how he did, that he might do so, lead me into his words; yea, and also how he did open them unto me, and make them shine before me, and cause them to dwell with me, talk with me, and comfort me over and over, both of his own being and the being of his Son and Spirit, and word and gospel.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST.
We never read that Jesus Christ was more cheerful in all his life on earth, than when he was going to lay down his life for his enemies; now he thanked God, now he sang.
Christ died and endured the wages of sin, and that without an intercessor, without one between God and him. He grappled immediately with the eternal justice of God, who inflicted on him death, the wages of sin; there was no man to hold off the hand of God; justice had his full blow at him, and made him a curse for sin.
A second thing that demonstrates that Christ died the cursed death for sin, is the frame of spirit that he was in at the time he was to be taken. Never was poor mortal so beset with the apprehensions of approaching death as was this Lord Jesus Christ; amazement beyond measure, sorrow that exceeded seized upon his soul: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. And he began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy." Add to this that Jesus Christ was better able to grapple with death, even alone, than the whole world joined all together. 1. He