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uninterrupted echo of the heart of every one of those who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groaning within themselves while in this taber. nacle, being burdened, waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of the body, when they shall be delivered from this bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
If it be urged from Heb. ii. 15. that there we read of some weak and doubting believers, who through fear of death were all their life.
time subject to bondage,' whom Christ came to deliver: Remark the answer to your last argument, and the connection of the present text, and then honestly say, if the persons there said to have been all their lifetime, through fear of death, subject to bondage, are not all those whom the Lord by his death delivered from sin, death, and the
power of Satan, even all whom he sanc. tified in himself, who are all his brethren, of one father, with whom he partook in flesh and blood, Abraham, Samuel, and John the apostle; as much as any other person whatsoever of the blood of Adam, whom he loved and washed in his own blood; having found them all in the same condemnation, that he might bring them all to the same absolution and glory in himself. Now, how oddly does your account of certain saints fearing death and damnation, being in bondage, agree with the apostle's account of himself and all the called of God? - Ye have ( not received the spirit of bondage again to
· fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adop
tion, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. We ' groan to have the earthly house of this taber
nacle dissolved, that we may be clothed upon 6 with our house from heaven; and in this we
are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from
the Lord And we wait for the Lord from • heaven.'
Lastly, if you insist upon 2 Pet. i. 10. where believers are called upon to give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, that there. fore believers may be ignorant of their calling and election, and consequently in darkness as to their interest in Christ; it is asked of you, to whom is this calling and election to be made sure, according to your sense ? To God? Absurd ! can worms of the earth have
influence upon the purpose or knowledge of God? To themselves ? No; the address to them came too late for that: for they were already designed as Elect, and called according to the foreknowledge of God, &c. 1 Pet. i. 2. as being made partakers of the divine nature through the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour, &c. Now, if they are supposed not to know their own character and designation, the exhortation, proceeding upon their knowledge of that character and designation, must go for nothing. To whom then are they called to shew their calling and election ? even to all who
behold them; as the Lord said to his disciples, John xv. - You
• have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, ! and ordained you, that ye should go and bring « forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
-Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear "much fruit, so shall ye be,' that is, approve yourselves to be," my disciples.' And again, • The foundation of God standeth sure, having * this seal, The Lord knoweth them who are his :
And, Let every one that nameth the name of • Jesus depart from iniquity.-I know my
sheep, and am known of them, and they know ' my voice, and they follow me.'-Shew your faith by your works: as your charity by your alms-giving. Make your calling and election
Prove them, manifest them sure. Let the Spirit of life within you have free scope in the direction of your life and motions, that it may appear you were not sealed to the day of redemption for nothing. Thus a man is de clared just by his works, even as God himself is justified, or declared just in his works. Thus children, servants, wives, subjects, soldiers, make sure their loyalty and love by their obedience, according to the relation, election, and calling, as we may express it, of their several respective states. Thus good fruit makes sure the goodness of the mother-tree. Thus Isaac made it sure that the Lord was true, and Sarah barren no more. Thus all witnesses of truth establish and make sure the facts which they only shew, and not do. So do
your sure calling and election appear, as being God's workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that ye should walk in them ; as dear children, holy and beloved, walking worthy of God to all well-pleasing, as knowing your election of God.
Those spoken of 1 John ii. 13. are evidently the same persons considered in different respects, and not believers of different ranks, or degrees in grace, as weaker and stronger : Certain it is, the weakest of them, even in your view, are not described as doubting of their interest in Christ, but assured of that ; in which point they are equal all of them.
6 I write unto
little children, because your sins are forgiven you 6 for his name's sake.—I have not written to you, because you know
know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the • truth: for ye have an unction from the Holy « One, and ye know all things.' And again,
Hereby know we that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. And we know " that we are of God. And we know that the
Son of God is come, and hath given us an un
derstanding that we may know him that is ? true : and we are in him that is true, even in - his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, 6 and eternal life. Little children, keep your
selves from idols. Amen.'
It is now entreated of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, that you excuse this freedom, and consider the answers which have been given to your arguments, whereby your principal weapons
have been endeavoured to be wrested out of your hands, that you might not for the future endeavour to abuse yourselves, and your hearers, by abusing the book of Psalms, or any other portion of the book of God; and that, at least, one might be clear of the blood of all men. Beware, O beware of that judaizing spirit of yours, lest thereby it come to pass, that Christ profit you and your followers nothing; and you be found guilty of undoing, to all intents and purposes, before God and man, the doctrine of sanctification, which is by the Spirit of Christ ; as the former set of men were found guilty of undoing by their doctrines (which you hated) the doctrine of justification, which is by the blood of Christ.
There is a third set of people whom it is not easy to describe at full length, as being a mixture of many things, but who seem to be strongly characterized by their leading features in the writings of the apostles, as deceiving, and being deceived, spoiled and spoiling, with philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments, or elements, of the world, and not after Christ; being given up to profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called. One of these gentlemen will think nothing of reading you a text, for example, out of the iid, xvith, or lxxiid Psalm; and then, without any ceremony, apply it to some earthly constitution, or establishment of human wisdom's devising, which may have struck his fancy as a