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themselves we may tracé some footsteps, and discover at a distance some glimmering Rays of this glorious Truth; which forc'd so doble an Expression as This from One of their Philosophers, who had no Light but that of Reason and Nature, that alluding to the Fabulous Transformations of their fancy'd God, when he design'd to make the World, Transformd himself into Love. What but Love and a desire of Communicating his Own Goodness could move God, who from all Eternity was Happy in Himself, who neither stood in need, or was capable of receiving any addition of Bliss or Glory from any Creature, to produce out of nothing either Angels or Men to be partakers of his Over-flowing Fullness? and to command into Being this admirable Frame of Heaven and Earth for their Use and Enjoiment? All this must be allow'd to have been from the free and unbounded Grace of God. $. But it is not of this Undeferved Favour of God in making us after his Own Image, tho? that is just matter of Adoration and Praise, but the more stupendous Love in renewing us from what we had made Ourselves that the Grace mention'd in my Text, is to be underfood. The Grace, not by which we are Creatved, but the Grace by which we are Savd. For we are to take Notice that there are two
forts of Grace (or rather Grace converfant about two sorts of Objects) in God. The One fimply Beneficent, the other Merciful too. The firft of these, which is Purely Beneficent, is that which God had from Everlalting in himself towards the Creature, even before his being so, when he had yet no Existence but in the Eternal Wisdom of Him, who calleth things that are not as tho they were, Rom. 4. 17. For from his Grace, as well as to his Glory, and for bis pleasure all things are and were Greated, or which he in time exercis’d to the Creature actually produc'd into Being, and ftill remaining Innocent and therefore Happy. The Other which is more than barely Beneficent, including Mercy as well as Love, is That which God makes use of towards the Creature finful, and consequently Miserable. For all the Good that the Almighty Goodness affords the most Pure and moft Holy, the Brightest and Perfectest Being in Earth or Heaven is of free Grace, fince He owes them Nothing of all that He gives, and They on the contrary Owe wholly and entirely to Him whatsoever they receive. That which plac'd the Angels in Heaven, that admits them to so near access to his Person and the full Contemplation of his Glory, chat maintains them in their Original In tegrity, and honoars them with the Con
fidence fidence of his Secrets and the immediate Execution of his Commands, is nothing else but Grace, since nothing without himself could oblige him to raise those Blessed Spirits to that height and excellence of Glory, which renders them the first and most noble Intelligences of the whole Creation. That which made Man but little Lower than the Angels and Crown'd him with Glory and Honour, that by which God feated Adam in Paradise and gave him Dominion over the. Works of his hands, that which conftituted him his Representative and made him as it were a Visible God upon Earth, was meer Grace, since it was in God's Power and wholly at his free disposal whether he would at all produce him out of nothing, or if he were pleas'd to do so far, whether he would raise him to so great dignity or place him in the Rank even of the meaneft of those Creatures which he put under his Feet. And should Adam have persever'd in that original Righteousness wherein he was Created, yet all the Happiness he would have then possess’d,would have been nothing else but Grace, since he ow'd not only all he had, but all that he was, to God, and could receive nothing from Him, but as a gift from his undeserved Bounty. But ftill this would not have been Mercy, since Man never having offended God, God could have
had no occasion of exercising that Divinest Perfection, the very Crown of all the Blessed Attributes in the Deity, that most sweet, and liberal, and tender, and amiable Goodness that delights in forgiving Sinners. Divines therefore have distinguish'd Grace into Creating and Saving Grace. Creating Grace is that by which God has given a Being to the Angels with all the incomparable Privileges belonging to their Heavenly Nature, and Life to Man with all the glorious Prerogatives with which he was at first invested. Saving Grace is that by which he raises us from our fall, has given us his Son, confers upon us his Spirit, pardons our Offences, and brings us to his Kingdom.
As we cannot fufficiently value, nor by thought conceive, nor by words express this inestimable Saving Grace; fo we cannot without horror and thame and confusion of face reflect, how soon God's firft Creating Grace 'was repay'd by his Creatures with Apostacy and Rebellion, and as a juft Consequence of that, how foon that Noble Creature, whom he had made but a little lower than the Angels , was reduc'd to a Condition much worse than that of the Beasts that peris. Divested of all Original Righteoufness, darkend in his Understanding, Perverse in his Will, disorderd in his Affe
&tions, a Captive and Slave to the Dominion of Sin and the Tyranny of Satan, obnoxious to all the Miseries and Evils of this present Life, and, what is the most dreadful of all, juftly hateful to God, and the Object of his Insupportable Wrath, and by that concluded under the Sentence of Everlalting Death, and the Torments of Hell to all Eternity. This was the sad Estate not
Our First Father only, but of all Us his numerous and wretched Offspring. And in this most deplorable Condition, when we lay, like Ezechiel's wretched Infant, polluted in our Blood, when no Eye pity'd Us, then this Saving Grace, this Love of God pasid by Vs, and said unto Us, Live, yea faid unto Vs, when we were in our Blood, Live, Ezek. 16.5,6. Which shews, how far this Goodness of Redemption furpasses that of Creation. In the Creation indeed there was no Object to invite, much less to deserve, but neither was there any thing to hinder or obstruct the Divine Goodness. Tho'there was no Worth, there was no Unworthiness. But the Object of Redeeming Grace was the Wretched and Unworthy. There was not only in our Nature an Absence of all Good, that might move the Divine Compaflion, but there was a positive Malignity against that God that should pardon, agaipkt that. Christ that should fatisfy, against that