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Serm. The Force of the former of these Argu- IV. ments has been already in a good Measure seen: Yet it cản be very well supported by observing, how God promised by his Prophets, that in the Gospel-state he would pour out bis Spirit upon all Flesh (P), and upon the House of David the Spirit of Grace (q). This he has amply performed by bestowing both the extraordinary and the ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost on them, that obey him (r), whose supporting Presence helpeth our Infirmities (s), and strengtheneth us with Might in the inner Man (t), whose 'Fruit is in all Goodness, and Righteousness, and Truth (u), and by whose Power we abcurid in Hope, and ere filled with all foy and Peace in believing (*).

And as we read this comfortable Assurance in God's Word, fo may we also prove it from his Nature ; and be as certain of it, as that he is consummately just and good. Goodness and Justice are Perfections, which belong to him in the highest Degree, and he can be as foon without Existence, as

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(o) Joel ii. 28. (9) Zech. xii. 10.
(r) Acts v. 32. (s) Rom. viii. 26.
(t) Ephes. iii. 16. . (u) Ephes. v.g.
(x) Rom. xv. 13.,

SERMONS on several
Serm. without these Attributes. If then it be in-
IV. consistent, therewith for God to deny Man

all necessary Grace and Asistance towards
serving him acceptably, and duly discharging
the Offices enjoined, we may safely conclude,
that he will not withold it: And that such
a Procedure in God, would no way coincide
with his infinite Perfections, a Night Atten-
tion to the Subject will discover. In Re-
fpect of Goodness the Point is clear, neither
can it be reconciled with Justice. For the
one in the strictest Notion of it requires,
that no Person be miserable without his own
Fault ; and the other, that every one be
happy according to his Capacity. Bụt since
Man, if refused the Aids of God's Holy
Spirit, is unable to please him, to will and
to act, as he commands, it follows, that
the expecting his Obedience and not vouch-
safing the proper Helps towards the Per-
formance, is in Effect the calling upon him
for what it is impossible, he should ever pay;
and such a Demand can never be made by
a Being perfectly good and just, especially
under the Penalty of Damnation on Non-
payment. Because this would be: to con-
demn a poor undeserving Creature to the
most dreadful Sufferings, contrary to the
known Rules of Goodness and even Justice

too:

too: And undeserving he must be, who Serm. fails in his Duty and comes short of the IV. Glory of God through his Misfortune rather than his Crime, and offends more from a natural than an acquired Depravity. :)

was

God was not pleased, it is true, to prevent the Fall of our first Parents ; nor can we see, that he was obliged to : Yet it seems to have been his Concern, dictated to him by his own essential Excellencies, to work out a Recovery; which he has sufficiently done by the Redemption of his Son and the Sanctification of his Spirit. To have destroyed human Nature immediately upon Transgrefsion, when the deplorable Effects were to reach down to Millions of Descendants, not Parties in it, would have been so far from an Injury, that it must have been the utmost Compassion to them ; Though to continue the Species and make all suffer for the Crimes of two Individuals, what can be called unjust and unmerciful, if this be not? But every such heinous Charger God has fully guarded against by providing a Remedy as efficacious, as the Disease is malignant. For the Merits of Christ, and thro?: Faith in his Blood, Repentance is granted unto Life, and by his prevalent Mediation

abundant

m

SERM. abundant Grace is ensured to us towards IV. both our new Birth and spiritual Growth,

s o that it is evident from the unfolding of the Divine Scheme under the Gofpėl, no one shall miss of Happiness and incur Mifery, except for his own wilful personal Demerit. The original Taint communicated from Adam is cleansed by Jesus, and the consequent İnability to obey God in Righteousness, is repaired by the fupernatural Alistance of the Holy Ghost. This, as Matters now stand, it is necessary that Man fhould receive, or be punished for not performing Impossibilities; this therefore is imparted to him as certainly, as God is good and just.;

· Here, however, we should be warned a-
gainst raising our Expectations too high, it
being a faulty Presumption to promise our-
felves more than our kind Benefactor has
promised us. What is needful for him
to work in us, in order to make up the
Deficiency of our own Strength, and only
That is, in the common Course of his Deal-
ings, wrought by him; he does nothing
unnecessarily; our Wants he graciously
Supplies : But that he will do all for
us, when we can do something for our-

felves,

selves, we have no Room to hope, and fhall SERM. be sure to have such vain Hopes miserably IV. disappointed.

This Doctrine may be very usefully illustrated, by applying it to the three great Duties of the Gospel, Faith, Repentance, and Obedience: Thefe all are in a sound Sense the Gifts of God, and what is requiGte on his Papt to their Production in us, he never with-holds.

Thus with Respect to the firft of them, Faith. Tbe Lord is faid to have opened the Heart of Lydia, that she attended unto theThing's wbicb were spoken of Paul (y), and was baptized being found faithful. Yet this Faith of hers, which qualified her for Admittance into the Christian Church, is faid to be the El: fect as well of her own hearing as of the Lord's opening her Heart. These are alsa our Saviour's Declarations, that all; that the Father giveth me, shall come unto me : and that no Man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father, or except the Father, which batb fent me, draw him (2),---draw him not by Force and Violence, like a Brute Beaft, that hath no Will or Underftanding;

but

(v) Acts xvi. 14.

(z) St. John vi. 37, 65, 44.

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