« PreviousContinue »
concern us all to keep our Bodies pure
and undefiled, to poliss them in Sanétification and Honour. A Man that is given to Luft or Drunkenness, is no more capable of receiving or lodging the Holy Spirit, than a Stye is fit to be made a Temple.
4. But fourthly and lastly, As there are some particular Sins, so there are some particular Circumstances of Sins, that do likewise grieve him in a niore especial manner than others. Now of these Circumstances, this I cannot but take Notice of, as a chief one; viz. our continuing to pursue a sinful Courke of Life after we have often engaged ourselves by folemn Vows and Refolutions to forsake it. There is nothing more hated by God or Man, than the Sin of Unfaithfulness and Ingratitude. The best Friend in the World, if Time after Time we abuse his Kindnesses, if upon every Turn when we have need of him we Tolemnly engage to him to do this or the other Thing that he would have us, and yet when that Turn is served, we forget all our Promises and Engagements, and fall again to that Practice that we know will above all things in the World disoblige him: I say, in snch a Cafe as this, the best Friend in the World will, without Scruple, shake off all Thoughts of Friendship with us, and have nothing to do more with Persons who are so ungrateful and perfidious. It is a matter of great Comfort to us, that
the Patience and Kindness of God doth fo infinitely exceed that of the best Friends npou Earth. But yet our Baseness; and Treachery, and Inconftancy, in a customary Breach of Vows and Promises, I say these Things will (if any thing in the World can) provoke God Almighty to abandon us, and leave us to ourselves.
The Holy Spirit of God will strive with us for a long Time; but God hath told us, that his Gen. 6. 3. Spirit shall not always strive with us. We may, by our frequent Back-slidings, after our solemn Engagements to the contrary, so weary him (if I may speak in Scripture 1: 7:13; Language) that he may think fit to give us Mal. 2.17. up. However, it is certain, that every Man that is thus false and treacherous, takes the most ready Course in the World to bring this Judgment upon himself.
And so much it may suffice to have spoken upon the Precept itself, Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.
I come now to the other Part of my Text, viz. The Argument wherewith St. Paul enforces this Precept; and that is the Consideration that it is the Spirit that sealeth ats unto the Day of Redemption. In speaking to which Words, I must first enquire what is meant by the Day of Redemption.
Secondly, What is meant by being sealed unto the Day of Redemption. And
Thirdly, How, or in what Sense the Holy Spirit doth thus seal Christians. From all which it will appear what á mighty Argument the Consideration of this ought to be to us, not to grieve the Spirit.
I. And first let us enquire what is meant by the Day of Redemption. The Writers of the New Testament speak of a four-fold Redemption which Chrift hath wrought for us; viz. A Redemption from the Law : A Redemption from the Guilt and Punishment of Sin: A Redemption from the Dominion and Power of Sin: And a Redemption from the Grave.
1. I fall speak a Word or two upon each of these Particulars. The Scriptures
speak of a Redemption from the Law. Gal . 3. 13, Christ hath redeemed us from the Curse of
the Law, being made a Curse for us, that the Blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles thro' Jesus Christ, that we might
receive the Promise of the Spirit throʻ Faith. Gal.4.4, 5. And again, When the Fulness of Time was
come, God sent forth his Son, made of a Woman, made under the Law, to redeem thein that were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption of Sons. The Fews were properly and immediately concerned in this Redemption from the Law; for none were under the Law (viz. obliged to Obedience to it, or obnoxious to the Curses of it,) but they to whom it was given.
And this Redemption consisted in this, that Christ, by his Death, did wholly put an End to the Mofaical Covenant, so that the Jews were no longer under the Obligation to the Law, nor subject to the Inconveniencies it brought upon them. And justly might this be called a Redemption ; for it was a Restoration of that people from a State of Bondage into a State of Liberty. Gal. 24.5, So long as they were under that Covenant, 31. (viz. the Dispensation of the Law) they were in a servile Condition, rather Ser- V.1,2,3,5, vants than Sons; nor was it possible for them, by means of the Law, to attain to Rom. 3. Justification, or a State of God's Favour and Acceptance. But Christ, by putting an End to this Covenant, set on foot a better ; viz. the Evangelical, that was first made with Adam, and then with Abraham, 430 Years before the Law; which, Gal. 3. 20. as it gave better Conditions, (requiring only Faith and Repentance instead of many cumbersome Ceremonies) so it was esia- Heb. 8.6. blished upon better Promises; making over to us not only the Pardon of our Sins, and the Assistances of the Spirit, but eternal Rewards in another World. So that to be redeemed from the Law, was indeed an inestimable Privilege.
But it may be asked, How doth this Redemption concern us Gentiles, since we were never under the Law ? I answer, ic doth concern us infinitely; and the Benefit
we have received hereby, is as great as
Curse of the Law, because we were never
it faith to them that are under the Law)
Law, and entring them into a new Cove-
of the Gospel made with Abraham, became
when the Mofaical Covenant should be abE92.2.14• rogated (which was a Wall of Separation
and Partition between the Jews and Gentiles)