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under a head of recommendation, the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Chrift? Wherefore we have that that Job (who is upon record for patience) said, I am vile, what shall I answer thee, &c. And again I abhor myself in dust and ashes, Job xlii. 6. After he had reasoned his case out to the utmost, and defended himself; yet when God appears, and he comes to a view of his own state, immediately between God and himself, then he faith, I am vile, and I abhor myself. Whosoever fins ; every sin is either an immorality, or else a manifest falling off from the divine will, and saying to God himself, that we owe him nothing. Now this is the interpretation of sin, either one or other of them, and (sometimes both. Now, doth any one think, that he that is guilty of this high exorbitancy, in a state of contradiction against God, that he can continue in good terms with God? No. None in the whole creation of God is able, or worthy to bring himself, or any else into favour with God. It is only proper to him who may without
arrogancy account it no robbery to be equal with God. Phil. ii. 6. We live in a lie, if we conceit otherwise than thus. God and a sinner come not together immediately, but by means of an interceffor.
2. The confideration of Christ's fitness and fufficiency. Who fo fit as the natural Son of God to bring into favour the adopted sons of God? What font as the eternal reason, to reform the reasonable creature ? None like him ; no fo fit mediator ; if we consider the height of his person, the integrity of his nature, his near relation to God, and then
his conjunction with us, or if we confider the intention of his priestly office, which was voluntarily assumed. If the height of his perfon, equal with God; in him dweli the fulness of the God-head: if we speak of the integrity of his nature, while we retain innocence and integrity, we are valuable : or if his conjunction with us, he is able to fit himself to us, and was found in the form of a man ; then he was in all things like as we are, fave only fin. Having an unchangeable priest-hood, he is able to save to the utmost all that come to God by him, Heb. vii. 25. He came into the world to bring home children to God. Our own contrivances amount to no more, than cloathing ourselves with fig-leaves. Lut Christ is the Lord our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6. and xxxiii. 16. Christ is made a common head, wherein all that receive the gospel, mect. He hath gathered all together in him, Eph. i. 10.
3. The confideration of Christ's willingness and readiness. He hath, in good-will, taken upon him the office of a mediator, which he will discharge in his own person. He will not trust any creature with it, not the highest angel. Christ in his person, and Christ by his spirit, doth all for us, and in us. So that there cannot be any failing, because it doth not pass through many hands. Can we doubt that he will fail in the glorious part of his office, when as the suffering and humiliation part of his office is over ? He humbled himself to the death of the cross, and he is risen again for our justification. Will he fail now ? Who can think he will ? He hath pera formed the worst, the hardest part ; will he not
all idolatry, and all false worship. For it is a work unprofitable and vain (when all is done, nothing is done) to worship idols. If you call upon them all day, cut your selves, build altars with Balaam, remove from place to place, all is loft labour. In idolatry, the better services, the worfe. That the idolater doth dishonour himself, makes himself believe in that, that is the work of mens hands : so that this is one design of the Meffias, to rid the world of idolatry.
2. To discharge ús of thofe burthenfome institutions of the Mofaical law. Now we are rid of all those unprofitable rites. I dare call them so, because God calls them fo. Now instead of them, we have faith, and going to God in the name of Christ.
3. To begin, and advance in us the divine life; which is the high improvement of the whole creation : 2 Pet. i. 4. partakers of the divine nature; the fcripture warrants to use it.
Now if you duly consider these arguments, I doubt not but you will be willing to go to God by him, and wholly to depend upon him, and renounce self-confidence, and wholly to acknowledge God in the use of his Son's recommendation. And then, taking in the assistance of the divine fpirit, we are compleat.
DISCOURSE XLVI. The arguments by which Men should
be persuaded to Reconcile unto God.
2 COR. v. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be je reconciled to God.
An hath an indifpofition God-ward, which
doth expose him to the greateft danger : but
here is great hope in Israel in this particular. Open your ears therefore, and attend to the voice of heaven. You are intreated to be reconciled. Let us admire this miracle of divine goodness! God doth by us, befeech you to be reconciled : we pray you in the name of Christ, be reconciled to God. It is the same as if a sovereign should intreat a malefactor to receive a pardon. It is an observation true concerning the whole world ; the calamitous and neceflitous are not wont to be intreated to receive an alms, or accept a benefit : but we find, through the goodness of God, it is otherwise here. God beseecheth us to be reconciled. We pray you in Christ's stead; be ye reconciled to God.
We account it our honour, and for our credit, to controul, to crush, to be revenged when injury and wrong is done to us : but God thinks it good,
and that which is worthy of himself, and that which doth become him, to woo us by love, and to pity the necessities of the miserable. There are but few men in the world to whom it is acceptable that any one should interpose or offer terms of reconciliation : he is an exceeding good man that will go To far, and admit of equal satisfaction. But if there were not more in divine clemency than this, we should be without all hope ; our case would be desperate. This is enough to enamour our souls of God. In these words we will observe three
1. That the motion of reconciliation begins with God. He is the forward and active and leading party, in this great business of reconciliation. And this declares bis great goodness; for nothing declares goodness so much as clemency, benignity and compassion.
2. Though the motion of reconciliation begins with God, yet God expects our concurrence and con. fent. Reconciliation is never accomplished without us, without some voluntary act of man. not be happy but by that which is our own choice, for that which is not our choice, will be our burden. There is nothing of happiness where there is violence and force. That which will make us found, must be inwardly received and concocted for no outward application will make a man found. It is so in naturals and spirituals. We being made rationals, are also made happy by the improvement of our principles : therefore we cannot be happy without some act of our own, and that must be an