Page images

Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge ; to shine upon our Understandings with the bright Beams of Divine Truth ; and to remove that Cloud from off our Faculties, which (as you have heard) gather'd at the Fall, and hath ever fince unhappily lain upon them. As the laft; to gird us with ftrength unto the Battle, to stand by and affift us in all our Spiritual Conflicts, and to enable us, if we are willing, to do all things that he requires of us, i. e. to repent and turn from our Evil Ways, and to serve him in Righteousness and true Holinefs all the Days of our Lives. This (Ifay) He of his free Goodness and Mercy oblig'd himself to do for us. For not only a particular, felect, determinate number of Perfons, but for Adam, as our great Parent and Reprefentative, and confequently for all his Children, the whole Mafs of Mankind; for you, for me, and for all the World. As I fhall evince,

2. From those manifold Calls and Invitations, and those Pathetical and most affectionate Proteftations and Promises, which God makes to Sinners. For to what purpose (I pray) does he fo warmly, fo earnestly

earnestly invite us to return to him, and live; if he puts it not into our Power to accept these Invitations? To what purpose so zealously endeavour to allure us into our Duty by his Promiles of Pardon and Peace, of Life and Happiness; if we are not enabled to lay hold upon thefe Promises? To what purpose by fuch vehement and folemn Proteftations, continually affure us of his infinite and boundless Compaffions for our Souls; if he inexorably holds back his Hand, and denies them his Affiftance to recover out of that Pit, wherein he knows they must neceffarily and unavoidably perish? These Proteftations, these Promises, these Invitations at this rate, would be useless and infignificant, irrational and abfurd, unkind and reproachful: No lefs infignificant, abfurd and reproachful, than 'twould be for one of us to hold forth a Crown of Gold to a Man, that has loft his Arms, and importune him to accept it, and to place it upon his Head; or to intreat a Man, that lies 2 upon the Ground, bound Hand and Foot with ftrong Chains and Fetters, 13 to rise up and walk. But far be it from us, to speak or think thus unworthily

[ocr errors]



of our God. Since then he underftands our Condition better than we do our felves; that Sin has taken fuch hold of us, that we are not able to look up: That our Hearts are wholly fet in us to do Evil, and that therefore without his Supernatural Affiftance, we cannot move so much as one Step towards him. Since (notwithstanding all this) he fo inceffantly, fo importunately invites us to return ; yea, so paflionately expoftulates with us for our unkindness both to Him and to our felves in refusing to return.Since he is too good to make a Mock at our Infirmities, or to require Impoffibilities at our Hands: We may be sure from these Calls and Invitations, these Proteftations, and Promises, and Expoftulations, that He in his infinite Mercy leaves none of us deftitute of neceffary aid, but offers to all the Children of Men, Grace fufficient for their Converfion and Salvation. Which I fhall

make to appear,

3. From plain and exprefs Texts of Scripture. God would have all men come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be faved; and, God commandeth all men every (b) 1 Tim. where to repent ; (b) fays the Learned






16. 15.

Doctor of the Gentiles: And the great (i) Apostle of the Circumcifion, The (i) 2 Pet. Lord is long-fuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all fhould come to repentance. The beloved Difciple delivers the fame most comfortable Doctrine, God fent his Son into it the World, (k) fays He, that the World (4) Ev. c. through him might be faved, And our 3. v. 17. (1) Great Mafter himself, I came not to (1) Joh.12. I judge the World, but to fave the World.47. And accordingly, Go, (m) fays He to (m) Mar. his Apostles, into all theWorld, and preach the Gospel to every Creature, The Expreffions (you fee) are all Univerfal. God no more Negatively, than Affirmatively or poffitively reprobates his Creatures; but as in their uncorrupt or primitive State, he defign'd them all for Heaven and Happiness, so now they are fallen, he would not willingly pass by fo much as one of them, not leave fo much as one under the Guilt of Adams Tranfgreffion, but bring all and every one of them to Repentance, and rescue them both from that and all their other Sins, and fave and crown them in the Day of Judgment.

[ocr errors]


I do not say, that he offers at all times to do this: For fome poffibly may fo fin, as entirely to forfeit the Continuance of this Mercy. By a long, obftinate, uninterrupted abuse of his Grace, they may at length provoke him to leave them to the Conduct of their own Lufts, and to fuffer them to fol low their own Imaginations. But 'till they have done this; 'till (I fay) they have wearied him out with their conti nued Provocations, and constrain'd him by their most wretched and shameless Abufes of his Grace, their insufferable Grievings of his moft Holy Spirit, at length to rend himself from them, and to go away. Thefe Texts of Scripture demonftrate, that he daily calls up on them to accept his Grace, and to repent, and live. That he ftands at the Door, and knocks; would willingly come in, and make his abode with them; and take to himself the poffeffion of their Hearts. In a word, That He in his Infinite Mercy offers to all the Children of Men, Grace fufficient for their Converfion and Salvation.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »