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visible guardianship of angels about God's | The saints conquer their own lusts; they children.
bind these princes in fetters of iron, Ps. cxlix. 12. If God be our Father, we shall not 8. Though the children of God may somewant any thing that he sees is good for us, times be foiled, and lose a single battle, yet Ps. xxxiv. 10, “ They that seek the Lord shall not the victory. 2d. They conquer the not want any good thing." God is pleased world ; the world holds forth her two breasts sometimes to keep his children to hard com- of profit and pleasure, and many are overmons, but it is good for them; sheep thrive come by it, but the children of God have a best on short pasture : God sees too much world-conquering faith, 1 John v. 4, “This is may not be good : plenty breeds surfeit. the victory that overcometh the world, even Luxuriant animi rebus secundis. God sees our faith.” 3d. They conquer their enemies : it good sometimes to diet his children, and how can that be, when they oft take away keep them short, that they may run the hea- their lives ? (1). They conquer, by not comvenly race the better; it was good for Jacob plying with them; the three children would there was a famine in the land, it was a not fall down to the golden image, Dan. iii. means to bring him to his son Joseph : so it 18. They would rather burn than bow; here is that God's children sometimes see the they were conquerors.
He who complies world's emptiness, that they may acquaint with another's lust, is a captive; he who rethemselves more with Christ's fulness. If fuseth to comply, is a conqueror. (2). God's God see it be good for them to have more of children conquer their enemies by heroic pathe world they shall have it: God will not tience. A patient Christian, like the anvil, let them want any good thing.
bears all strokes invincibly; thus the martyrs 13. If God be our Father, all the promises overcame their enemies by patience. Nay, of the Bible belong to us ; God's children are God's children “ are more than conquerors,” called " heirs of promise," Heb. vi. 17. A Rom. viii. 37, “ We are more than
conquer. wicked man can lay claim to nothing in the ors.” How are God's children more than Bible but the curses; he hath no more to do conquerors ? Because they copquer without absolutely with the promises, than a plough- loss; and because they are crowned after man hath to do with the city charter; the death, which other conquerors are not. promises are children's bread; the promises 15. If God be our Father he will now and are mulctralia Evangelii, the breasts of the then send us some tokens of his love. God's gospel milking out consolations ; and who I children live far from home, and meet someare to suck of these breasts but God's chil- times with coarse usage from the unkind dren? The promise of pardon is for them, world ; therefore God, to encourage his chil. Jer. xxxiii. 8, “I will cleanse thein from all dren, sends them sometimes tokens and their iniquity, whereby they have sinned pledges of his love. What are these ? He against me. The promise of healing is for gives them a return of prayer,--there is a them, Isa. lvii. 18. The promise of salva- token of love; he quickens and enlargeth tion, Jer. xxiii. 6. The promises are sup- their hearts in duty,—there is a token of love; ports of faith ; they are God's sealed deed; he gives them the first-fruits of his Spirit they are a Christian's cordial. O the hea- which are love-tokens, Rom. viii. 23. As God venly comforts which are distilled from the gives the wicked the first-fruits of hell, horror limbeck of the promises ! Saint Chrysostom of conscience and despair: so he gives his compares the scripture to a garden, the pro- children the first-fruits of his Spirit, joy and mises are the fruit-trees that grow in this peace, which are foretastes of glory. Some garden : a child of God may go to any pro- of God's children having received those mise in the Bible, and pluck comfort from it: tokens of love from their heavenly Father, he is an heir of the promise.
have been so transported, that they have died 14. God makes all his children conquerors : for joy, as the glass oft breaks with the 1st. They conquer themselves ; fortior est strength of the wine put into it. qui se, quam qui fortissima vincint mænia.
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and spare us, Mal.iii, 17, " I will spare them, flower appears in its orient brightness : 80 as a man spareth his own son that serveth the wicked may by misreports darken the him." God's sparing his children, imports honour and repute of the saints ; but God will this, his clemency towards them; he doth not dispel this darkness, and cause their names punish them as he might, Ps. ciii. 10, “He to shine forth : “He shall bring forth thy hath not dealt with us according to our sins.” righteousness as the light.” As God did We oft do that which merits wrath, grieve stand up for the honour of Moses, when Aaron God's Spirit, relapse into sin; God passeth and Miriam went about to eclipse his fame, by much, and spares us; God did not spare Numb. xii. 8, " Wherefore then were ye his natural Son, Rom. viii. 22. Yet he will afraid to speak against my servant Moses !" spare his adopted sons; God threatened So will God say one day to the wicked, where. Ephraim, to make him as the chaff driven fore were ye not afraid to defame and traduce with the whirlwind, but he soon repented, my children? They having my image upon Hos. xiii. 4, “Yet I am the Lord thy God;" them, how durst ye abuse my picture ? At v. 10, “I will be thy king." Here God last God's children shall come forth out of all spared him as a father spares his son. Israel their calumnies, as a " dove covered with oft provoked God with their complaints, but silver, and her feathers with yellow gold," God used clemency toward them, he oft an. Ps. lxviii. 13.—2. God will make an open swered their murmurings with mercies; here and honourable recital of all their good deeds: he spared them as a father spares his son. as the sins of the wicked shall be openly
17. If God be our Father, he will put mentioned, to their eternal infamy and con. honour and renown upon us at the last day. fusion ; so all the good deeds of the saints --1. He will clear the innocency of his chil. shall be openly mentioned, “and then shall dren. God's children in this life are strange every man have praise of God," 1 Cor. iv. 5. ly misrepresented to the world. They are Every prayer made with melting eyes, every loaded with invectives, they are called fac- good service, every work of charity, shall be tious, seditious; Elijah, the troubler of Israel; openly declared before men and angels : Matt. Luther was called the trumpet of rebellion ; xxv. 35, 36, “I was an hungered, and yo Athanasius was accused to the emperor Con- gave me meat; thirsty, and ye gave me drink; stantine, to be the raiser of tumults; the pri- naked, and ye clothed me." Thus God will mitive Christians were accused to be infan- set a trophy of honour upon all his children ticidii, incestus rei, • killers of their children,' at the last day; "then shall the righteous
guilty of incest;' as Tertullius reported St shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of
18. If God be our Father, he will settle a heretics, and said to have died drunk. If Sa- good land of inheritance upon us, 1 Pet. i. 3 tan cannot defile God's children, he will dis- 4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord grace them ; if he cannot strike his fiery darts Jesus, who hath begotten us again to a lively into their conscience, he will put a dead fly hope, to an inheritance incorruptible and uninto their name; but God will one day clear defiled.” A father may be fallen to decay
, his children's innocency, he will roll away and have nothing to leave his son but his their reproach. As God will make a resur- blessing ; but God will settle an inheritance rection of bodies, so of names, Isa. xxv. 8, on his children, and an inheritance no less “The Lord God shall wipe away tears from than a kingdom, Luke xii. 32, “ It is your off all faces, and the rebuke of his people Father's good pleasure to give you the king. shall he take away.” God will be the saints' dom.” This kingdom is more glorious and compurgator, Ps. xxxvii. 6, “ He shall bring magnificent than any earthly kingdom; it is forth thy righteousness as the light.” The set out by pearls and precious stones, the richnight casts its dark mantle upon the most est jewels, Rev. xii. 19. What are all the beautiful flowers ; but the light comes in the rarities of the world to this kingdom, the morning and dispels the darkness, and every coasts of pearl, the islands of spices, the rocko
of diamonds ? In this heavenly kingdom is that to carry him to his son Joseph! The text
Heaven's eminency is its perma- 20. If God be our Father, he will not dis-
ther will not cast them off from being chil. 19. If God be our Father, it is comfort, 1st. dren. 1. It is evident God's children cannot In case of loss of relations. Hast thou lost be finally disinherited by virtue of the eternal a father ? Yet, if thou art a believer, thou decree of Heaven. God's decree is the very art no orphan, thou hast a heavenly Father, pillar and basis on which the saints' perse. a Father that never dies, 1 Tim. vi. 16, verance depends; God's decree ties the knot “ Who only hath immortality.” 2d. It is of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, comfort, in case of death; God is thy Father, nor hell, can break it asunder, Rom. viii. 30, and at death thou art going to thy Father; “ Whom he did predestinate, them he also well might Paul say, death is yours, 1 Cor. called,” &c. Predestination is nothing else iii. 22. It is your friend that will carry you but God's decreeing a certain number to be home to your Father. How glad are chil- | heirs of glory, on whom he will settle the dren when they are going home! This was crown; whom he predestinates, he glorifies. Christ's comfort at death, he was going to What shall hinder God's electing love or his Father, John xvi. 28, "I leave this world, make his decree null and void ?-2. Beside and go to the Father.” And, John xx. 17, God's decree, he hath engaged himself by " I ascend to my Father.” If God be our promise, that the heirs of heaven shall never Father, we may with comfort at the day of be put by their inheritance. God's promises death, resign our souls into his hand : so did are not like blanks in a lottery, but as a Christ, Luke xxiii. 46, " Father into thy sealed deed which cannot be reversed; hands I commend my Spirit.” If a child hath the promises are the saints' royal charter ; any jewel, he will in time of danger, put it and this is one promise that their heavenly into his father's hands, where he thinks it Father will not disinherit them, Jer. xxxii. will be kept most safe : our soul is our rich-40, “I will make an everlssting covenant est jewel; we may at death, resign our souls with them, that I will not turn away from into God's hands, where they will be safer them; but I will put my fear in their hearts, than in our own keeping : “ Father, into thy that they shall not depart from me.” God's hands I commend my spirit.” What a com- fidelity, which is the richest pearl of his fort is this, death carries a believer to his crown, is engaged in this promise for his Father's house, “where are delights unspeak- children's perseverance ; “I will not turn able and full of glory!" How glad was old away from them.” A child of God cannot Jacob when he saw the wagons and chariots fall away, while he is held fast in these two
arms of God-his love, and his faithfulness. frated. Christ and his spiritual members make 3. Jesus Christ undertakes, that all God's one Christ : now, is it possible that any part children by adoption shall be preserved in a of Christ should perish? How can Christ state of grace till they inherit glory. As the want any member of his body mystical and be heathens feined of Atlas that he did bear up perfect ? Every member is an ornament to the heavens from falling : Jesus Christ is that the body, and adds to the honour of it. How blessed Atlas, that bears up the saints from can Christ part with any mystical member, falling away
and not part with some of his glory too? So Quest. How doth Christ preserve the that by all this it is evident that God's chilsaints' graces, till they come to heaven? dren must needs persevere in grace, and can.
Ans. 1. Influxu Spiritus. Christ carries not be disinherited. If they could be disin. on grace in the souls of the elect, by the in- herited then the Scripture could not be fulfluence and co-operation of his Spirit. Christ filled which tells us of glorious rewards for doth, Spiritu, continually excite and quicken the heirs of promise, Ps. lviii. 11, “Verily grace in the godly ; his Spirit doth blow up there is a reward for the righteous.” Now, the sparks of grace into a holy flame; Spi- if God's adopted children should fall away ritus est vicarius Christi,—the Spirit is finally from grace, and miss of heaven, what Christ's vicar on earth, his proxy, his execu- reward were there for the righteous ? And tor, to see that all that Christ hath purchased Moses did indiscreetly to look for the recomfor the saints be made good. Christ hath ob- pense of the reward, and so there would be tained an inheritance incorruptible for them, a door opened to despair. 1 Pet. i. 5, and the Spirit of Christ is his exe- OBJ. This doctrine of God's children percutor, to see that this inheritance be settled severing, and having the heavenly inheritupon them,
ance settled on them, may cause carnal seA. 2. Christ carries on perseveringly in the curity, and make them less circumspect in souls of the elect, vi orationis, by the preva- their walking. lency of his intercession : Heb. vii, 25, “ He
Ans. Corrupt nature may, as the spider, ever lives to make intercession for them.” suck poison from this flower; but a sober Christ prays that every saint may hold out in Christian, who hath felt the efficacy of grace grace till he comes to heaven : can the chil- upon his heart, dares not abuse this doctrine ; dren of such prayers perish? If the heirs of he knows perseverance is attained in the use heaven should be disinherited, and fall short of means, therefore he walks holily, that so of glory, then God's decree must be reversed, in the use of means he may arrive at persehis promise broken, Christ's prayer frustrated, verance. St Paul knew that he should not which were blasphemy to imagine. be disinherited, and that nothing could sepa
A. 3. That God's children cannot be dis-rate him from the love of Christ : but who inherited or put by their right to the crown more holy and watchful than he ? 1 Cor. ix. of heaven, is evident from their mystical 27, “I keep under my body :" and Phil. iil. union with Christ. Believers are incorpo. 14, “ I press towards the mark.” God's chilrated into Christ; they are knit to Christ, as dren have that holy fear in them, which keeps the members to the head, by the nerves and them from security and wantonness; they ligaments of faith, so that they cannot be believe the promise, therefore they rejoice in broken off, Eph. i. 22, 23, “The church which hope ; they fear their hearts, therefore they is his body.” What was once said of Christ's watch and pray. Thus you see what strong natural body, is as true of his mystical, 'A consolation there is for all the heirs of the bone of it shall not be broken. As it is im- promise. Such as have God for their Father possible to sever the leaven and the dough are the happiest persons on earth; they are when they are once mingled and kneaded to in such a condition that nothing can burt gether; so it is impossible, when Christ and them; they have their Father's blessing, all believers are once united, that they should things conspire for their good ; they have a ever, by the power of death or hell, be sepa- kingdom settled on them, and the entail
can never be cut off. How may God's chil careth for you.” An earthly parent may
Use 4th. Of exhortation. Let us behave xiii. 5.
The child doth not only bear his Father's
3. If God be our Father, let us submit