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the Flesh. If our Works are Virtuous and Good, consonant to the Rule of God's Holy Word, favouring and tasting not of the Flesh but of the Spirit, then we may assure our selves that the Holy Ghost dwells in us, and has consecrated us by his inhabitation to be a Temple to himself; and if so, let us ever Worship, ever Obey, ever Listen to him and never Grieve him, and withall let us give all Praise and Thanks to our Lord and Saviour Christ, for the gracious Exchange that he has made with Us, by taking of Us our Flesh, and sending to Us his Spirit! But if we find by this impartial Examination, that by our Sins, if we have not quite driven this Blessed Spirit out, yet we have juftly provok'd him to depart, let us seriously considering the Infinite danger that inevitably follows his withdrawing from us, Mortifie all those Deeds of the Flesh which ye have heard describ'd by the Apoftle, caft out those impurities that grieve and offend him, and so cleanse our hearts that they may be fit Mansions for the God of Purity to continue and reside in. Ever Praying in the words of Holy David and our own Church, O God make clean our Hearts within Vs, which is the just preparation for the Next Petition, and take not Iby Holy Spirit from Vs. To which Holy Spirit, together with 86.
Ephef. II. 8, 9, 10.
Faith, and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of Works, left any Man jould
boat For we are bis Workmanship, creat
ed in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordaind that we fbould Walk in them.
T is a folemn Charge of St Paul to
things that might conduce to the Edification of that Church, These things I' will
that thou afirm conftantly, that they which have believ'd in God, might be careful to maintain good works, Tit. 3. 8. And it is equally the Duty of every Minister of the Gospel to take care, that as the Necessity of Good Works should always be urg'd and press’d as indispensable Qualifications, so also that Faith should at the same time have its just Prerogative asserted, of being the proper and immediate Instrument of Salvation. But further and chiefly to take especial heed, that how great share soever either Faith or Good Works may claim, or in what manner foever they may be allow'd to contribute to this great Work, yet in the End all should be entirely ascrib'd to Grace, To the exceeding Riches of God's Grace, in his kindnes to #s, through Christ Jesus, Ephes. 2. 7.
For if we are fav'd through Faith, yet it is by Grace, neither is that Faith of our selves, it is the Gift of God. And tho’ God has made Holiness the condition of Happiness, and in order to that has before ordaind that we Joould walk in good works, yet is Our Salvation not of Works, lest any Man Jould boast : left any Man should fondly imagine, that He could merit by them, or of Himself be able to perform them; for if we do them, this is allo the Gift of God, it is because We are his Workmansoip created in Chrift Fejus-ta Good Works.
We We have therefore here before us to consider three things, of which if we can by God's aslistance give a clear and satisfactory Account, it will be of excellent Use both to the compofing the Differences, which have so much divided the Church of Christ, and also to the directing Ourselves in the sure Way, how by a True Faith and Willing Obedience we may attain to the End of Our Hopes, even the Salvation of Our Souls, and all this To the Praise of the Glory of his Grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, Ephef. 1.6.
I. The first of thefe is Grace, By which We are fav’d.
11. The second is Faith, Through which We are fav’d.
III. The third is Good Works, of which We are not, but without which we cannot be fay'd.
1. First By Grace are ye Sav’d: The Truth of which Proposition to deny, is to deny, the whole Gospel expressly called by St Paul Acts 20. 24, 32. the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the Word of his Grace.
But this Word Grace has several significations in Scripture, yet all of them, or at least as many of them as can any way re
late to the Text we have in hand, may be reduc'd to these two.
ift. First Gods undeserved Love and Favour to Mankind.
2dly. Secondly the gracious Effects of that Love and Favour, The gifts flowing from it.
Or briefly, In Gratiam Dantem o in Gratiam Datam, The Grace that Gives or the Grace that is Given, that is, the Grace that is in God from all Eternity, and in time from him Reveald in the Covenant of the Gospel, or That Grace which he for ever continues to communicate to Man, thereby exciting him by Faith to Accept, and by Obedience to Perform the Conditions of that Covenant.
ist. The first of these, the Grace that is in God is no other than God Himself, confider'd as freely willing from all Eternity, first the Being and then the Well-being of all his Creatures. For as there is Nothing in God which is not God, since He is a Being purely fimple and uncompounded, We may safely say that this Grace, the inexhaustible Fountain of all Derivative Goodness, diffuss'd thro' the whole Creation, is his very Nature, his Essence, his Adorable Self; which is no more than St Fobn says, when he tells us, that God zs Love. Nay among the wifer Heathens