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ther, as we would liave others do to us : all fobriety and self-government, &c. And will any man say that these things are but heathenish virtues ? Let not us therefore, to whom the grace of the gospel is declared, be àverse from hearing and practising those duties and virtues, that are founded in our creatureftate : for thou canst not be an intelligent agent, but thou art under the obligation to all these. And yet to make you full and compleat christians, I have two things more.
1. Kepent of all your sins, failings, and miscarriages.
2. Be sure hold the head; make due acknowledgment to the son of God, whom he hath set up to be a prince and a Saviour, whom God in love and good will, hath given to us, that we believing in him, may be saved. And so now I have brought you through religion ; from the beginning of God's creation, from that part of it which is connatural to our make, to that that is final in it, God in Chrift.
I have but one word more, and that is in the subsequent verse. Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. These things are consistent with, and connatural, and in order to the blessed hope, Where you may observe.
1. This blefled hope is an argument to all holiness.
2. It is proposed to us in scripture as such.
3. Thát we are fo to use it. Now, he that hath this hope in him, purifies himself, even as he is pure, I John iii. 3. And it is Christ's intent to purify to
himself himself a peculiar people zealous of good works ; which agrees fully with this, that the grace of God which bringeth salvation, teacheth us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lufts, we should live føberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
Whence it is apparent, that we are christians only in external denomination, and have not a principle of divine and heavenly life, if we are not reconciled in nature and disposition to the law of righteousness, goodness, and truth.
The Reconciliation of SINN ER S, by
the Death of CHRIST.
HE B. ii, 17.
unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and
I. T behoved him.) In the greek ’tis, he made him
self a debtor ; he became under obligation ;
and it is no more than is fit and becoming. ?Tis no disparagement to the highest and wisest to be ruled and determinated by the reason of things, and to observe that order they require. In this there is real goodness, and the fullest liberty; and all beQ 2
fides this, is pride, haughtiness, impotency, and exorbitancy. It is said here, it became our Saviour, or he made himself a debtor, to do what he did. Though he acted willingly, and laid down his life freely ; yet this became him in respect of his compaffron and great good-will to men. That is the first.
2. It became him in respect of his father's will, - and the pursuit of that business in which he was engaged. From 'whence you may take notice, that if we speak worthy things of God and Christ, we speak without danger, and we do not disparage the · Almighty or cast limitations upon omnipotency itself, to say, upon supposition of one thing, that another must of necessity follow. As for instance : if God make a promise, he must perform it: if he makes a creature intelligent and voluntary, he must use him as such :. if the creature he hath made, be finite and fallible, he must give him allowance. And therefore, you have many scriptures that speak of God's justification in this respect ; in which he appeals to human faculties. Let us reason together, faith the Lord, Ifa. i. 18. Judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard, Isa. v. 3. And elsewhere he faith, remember and shew yourselves men, Isa. xlvi. 8.
'Tis well resolved by one, that it was not so much boldly, as worthily spoken by him that said ;
there is that in God that is more beautiful than power, than will, and sovereignty, viz. his righteousness, his goodness, his justice, wisdom, and the like. But to go on,
3. It behoved him in all things, to be made like unto us.) What, sin and all ? No : God forbid ; thatis excepted. He was in all things made like unto us fin only excepted. Heb. iv. 15. Hence we learn, 1. That
1. That single texts of scripture are not to be wrested ; but must be interpreted according to the consent and harmony of other fcriptures. This is a good rule : for fcripture, as it is a matter of faith, is not a single text, but all the scripture ; and not fo much the words, as the sense, that sense which is verified by other scriptures. For you may take it for granted, that there is no matter of faith, or duty that stands upon the authority of one single text : and that sense which is not otherwhere, is no where to be taken. But if this will not satisfy, sin need not be excepted. For God doth not take notice of it, nor own it as any production of his. Therefore when he speaks of all things, fin doth not come into the number, as - not being a thing that depends upon divine production, but is our deficiency ; not God's efficiency, but our exorbitancy and iniquity. 'Tis not so much an effect, as a defect; it is impotency, deformity, and it is just like motion in the paralytick, which is not from strength of nature, but from its weakness. Every inordinate passion and irregular motion is of this nature. And this is spoken to our just reproof. But then I will make this advantage of it: the scripture doth not take notice of an exception of any thing in this place; from which we are to know, that God expects that the reader of scripture should be of an ingenuous spirit, and use candor, and not lie at the catch : for the scripture is to be read as a man would read a letter from a friend, in which he doth only look after what was his friend's mind and meaning, not what he can put upon the words.
2. Since fcripture, which is God's inftrument, and conveys to us directions in matter of faith and hope, useth this liberty, sometimes to leave out fo necessary an exception as you have heard ; let us be fair condition's one towards another, and give one another allowance. If we mistake any man's meaning, or find cause of offence in his words, give him leave to speak again, and interpret his own mind and meaning, either to retract or to fupply.
For in truth, a man did not say that which he did not
And we have reason to give one another this liberty ; since we are so easily mistaken, and oftentimes speak suddenly, and in a passion. And fcripture itself must have candor in the perusal of ita Certainly, we ought not to make one another of fenders for a word. But I' must not stand upon this.
It became him in all things to be made like unto us.) You see here is an exception : and we have a rule, where there is an exception, the rule holds more strong in all other things. If only fin then be excepted, nothing else is to be excepted : therefore, our Saviour'was made like unto us.
1. In our limitation, contraction, bodily shape. He was as we are, confined to time, place, bodily weakness and infirmity; and therefore his body was no more in every place than ours is. And where is then the doctrine of tranfubftantiation ? If this were true, what need our Saviour travel from place to place, as we read in the gospel he did ? But