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whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ and be fuund in him; not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith, that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. O my Friends, those that come truly to be sensible of this, they come to see and understand the advantage and benefit of the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the reconciling of mankind through his death, that we might all be saved by his life; that we might all partake of salvation, and of that eternal redemption which he bath obtained for us; that we miglit have it and enjoy it; that we might not rest only in a profession that Christ suffered for us, though that be true; but that we may have a living faith of it, and a true sense of it conveyed unto us by the Holy Spirit; that every one may truly esteem all that Christ hath done and suffered for the good of mankind. I have known it, my Friends, with many others, for many years; and we have had a deep consideration of these matters, and of the Scriptures, of the prophets and evangelists, and of the holy apostles, bearing witness to Jesus Christ, both as to his outward and inward appearance and coming; we have been sensible of the love of the Father, in giving his Son; and of the love of the dear Son of God, who gave himself a ransom for us, to be testified in due time, that he was the Son of his Father's love, and that bis sufferings and his blood were of great esteem and value in the sight of God; and our Lord Jesus Christ hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet sinelling savour. I have sometimes considered why this sweet smelling savour, of the sacrifice of the Son of God, did as it were interpose between God the righteous judge, and the offenders, ill sa
vour of their many iniquities, and enormities of the sons and daughters of men, which they have committed : And that judgment being come upon all men unto condemnation for their transgressions, so that all who are in a state of unbelief, are condemned already. Yet God the most righteous judge, with respect to this sweet smelling sacrifice of his dear Sun, is pleased to exercise forbearance, and not speedily to execute the judgment, the wrath and the condemnation which mankind have brought upon themselves, and have justly incurred; but that there may be such a space and time for people to come to true faith and true repentance, and true humiliation, under the mighty hand of God, under his chastising band, whose chastisements are not for destruction but for salvation, that they inay be fitted and prepared for mercy. Many that in a custoinary way, cry, 'Lord have mercy upon us, miserable offenders ;' and 'Lord incline our liearts to keep this law,' and the like; they consider not what it is to be prepared for mercy, but those mercies that are extended to them, they abuse too many of them, God knows, and with sorrow it may be said,' that many abuse God's temporal mercies and blessings, and mispend their precious time, and hazard their immortal souls, and regard not God's chastising hand when he punisheth others, for their crying sins ; nor do they consider their latter end, nor inquire into their present state; and they are not awakened by the judgments and terrors of the Lord, when he doth by his power and judgments smite through the proud, that they might take warning, though many take little notice of it; nor yet are humbled under the secret smitings, rebukes and reproofs, that they cannot but sometimes feel in their own hearts, and which the Lord is pleased to send in order to soften them, and to make them tender and broken, and contrite, and humble under his afflicting hand, as they ought to
came wisdom, deerimined not to and him eruciti and
nies in our days did spring from thence as in ages past; the hearts of the servants of the Lord were exercised towards him; this is the end of our preaching, to bring people to this, that they may know and be sensible of the word of life, of that which doth quicken and make souls alive unto God, that they may come to know and experience that true and living faith that stands in the power of God.
For which end the apostles and the primitive believers were witnesses, whom God raised up as true and faitbful ministers of Christ: Tbey preached Christ; they preached bis sufferings, they preached Christ crucified, as the apostle declares, i Cor. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring untu you the testimony of God; for I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified; and I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling; and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.'
The apostle who was crucified with Christ, he that had a real knowledge of his sufferings ; he that had a spiritual and living knowledge ; a sanctifying and saving knowledge of Christ Jesus, who was sensible of a crucified state with Christ, and that in weakness and fear, and much trembling, still having an eye to the power of Christ, and to the life of Christ, to bring them to know their faith standing in that power. O my Friends, this is the design of true and living ministers and preachers of the everlasting gospel ; this is their travail, and this is the intent of the labour of those whom God hath called, who have kept their station and their habitation in that life, in that spirit, in that divine grace,
which God through his dear Son, hath made them partakers of. It was prophesied of Christ, That when he should make his soul an offering for sin, he should see his seed, and that he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand, and that he shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.' My Friends, Christ himself travailed in soul, that a seed might be brought forth to serve the living God, and that he might see, bis seed and the blessed effect of his travail; the afflictions, travails, and sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ were both inward and outward. Now they who know him truly, and have a living faith in him, they know a being crucified with Christ, a dying with him, a being baptised into the likeness of his death, that they may arise and come forth in the likeness of his resurrection. O my Friends, it is good for every one of you to be serious and considerate, and to be inward in your minds towards God, that your hearts may be affected with those things which concern your everlasting peace and happiness, that so you may come to be crucified to the world and the corruptions of it, having the flesh with the affections, passions, and lusts of it crucified, that you may live unto God, that you may so live in this present world, as to have boldness at the great day of judgment; for it is certain, the consideration of the judgment to come, is very terrible to many people, if they will but suffer the serious thoughts of it to take place in them; and the reason is, they have not made their peace with God; they are not reconciled in their minds, as they ought to be, to the heavenly gist of God, that he bath given to them, whereby they may know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he bath sent, which is life eternal. What is the reason why Felix trembled, Acts xxiv. 25, when Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come?' There was a witness in him, that did an
swer to that serious sort of reasoning, and th ready to shew him, that he was wanting i Teixebe inatters of justice, temperance, moderation : sebe, real belief of the judgment to come; "A stress the thought of it was terrible.' There is a witn" atid Uud to people, if they come to examine their own and look into their own state, and deal in ly with themselves, that will shew unto the so they are, and where they are ; that will she what it is that hath made them unfit for com with God, and unmeet for the kingdom o and that they must of necessity be born a. they cannot enter into it. They are no fit for that kingdom, if they be not subject to ness of God in them, to the light of Chris them, to the law of the Lord in their hea are not fit for the heavenly kingdom.
And therefore, my Friends, let every o the visitation of the Lord; mind the appea his light and grace in you; that you may * wait upon the Lord, have your minds drawin the earth, out of the world, and out of t and corruptions of it. That the work of th , the work of a true and living faith, heart
il the faith, all may be sensible of. That none n themselves contented, either only with a no . . faith, or with the bare profession of faith, ei God or Christ, or the holy Scripture ; nor ye being only convinced and persuaded of the the Lord testified of amongst us, as many are safe let every one give up themselves to obey the and look upon it as the love of God, that h: opened the understandings of men by his lig! grace: And that he hath affected their hea some measure towards himself, his way and There are many who have a better opinion ( true people of God, than they have had hereti the prejudice is allayed and brought dow many; and the enmity whereby they were u