« PreviousContinue »
Justice of God in the Distribution of Re. wards and Punishments ? After all these, Men live insensible of either; slighting his Rewards, and defying his Punishments. Did Christ come into the World, and dye a painful Death? Did God exert his Power in so many Miracles? Did the Holy Spirit descend as upon this day, to put an end to the Empire of the Devil? These Men by Perseve. rance in Sin endeavour to re-establish it in the World, and do effectually restore it in their own Souls.
Justly therefore may this Eternal Advo. cate implead thefe Men before the last Tribunal. 'I have conveyed the Knowledge of the true God even to these Sinners: I have convinced them of the Truth of the Christian Faith ; at least they will pretend themselves to have been convinced: I have nourished this Knowledge, by causing the Holy Scriptures to be writ for their Edification: I have endeavoured the Improvement of it by the constant Exhortation of those my Officers, which I have settled in the Church: I have assisted it by the Grant of all neceffary Graces, as often as defired; yet notwithstanding all this, they have lived as if they knew not of it, much less as if they were convinced of it. All
All my Graces and Sollicitations of them have produced no other effect, than to render their Sin the more heinous; in that they have wilfully disobeyed my Commands, Nlighted my Directions, contemned my Exhortations, and stifled my Motions.
Motions. All false Persuasions, which might betray them to Sin and Disobedience, I have long since corrected. If they imagine the Disbelief, or, which is all one, the Neglect of my Doctrines, to be no heinous Crime; I have long since convinced the World of Sin. If they fancy God not to be an unerring and infallible Judge in the Dispensation of Rewards and Punishments; I have long ago reproved the World of Righteousness. If they pretend the Temptations of the World, the Flesh; and the Devil to be irresistible, I have long fince judged the prince of this world, taken away his Kingdom, and limited his Power: These then are the most criminal Enemies of the Name of Christ, who being by me convinced of their Duty to obey his Laws, refused to perform them; who serving under his Banner, and kindly intreated by him, deserted his Service, and delivered
themselves to his and their own Enemy, from whose Tyranny i had before freed them. What then shall we plead in behalf of oui selves at that dreadful Day? Shall we alledge Want of Conviction? That we pretend not to; or if we should, the Holy Ghost hath by the Wonders and Benefits of this Day effectually confuted that Pretence. Shall we fay that we believed ňot God to have been in earnest, when he allured us with Rewards, or threatned us.with Punishments?
That Plca is removed by the Assertion of the Righteousness of God made upon this Day. Or Thall we excuse our felves with want of extraordinary Assistances and Graces of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to perform our Duty, and overcome all Temptations? That Excuse is overthrown by the constant Continuation of the kind Influen. ces of the Holy Ghost.
We receive not now indeed those miracu. lous Gifts, with which the Apostles were once endued. Nor is it necessary that we should receive them. Those contribute not directly to the securing of our Salvation, which may be equally obtained without them, and lost with them. All that is necessary, all that is convenient for us, is yet continued to us. The Holy Ghost still diffuseth his inestimable Benefits to the Souls of Men, excites them by inward Motions, confirms them by his Asistance, perfects them by his Graces; which left we should doubt that he still plentifully bestoweth op us for want of some external Assurance, he hath instituted the Holy Sacraments, more particularly the Eucharist, as visible Pledges of his Distribution of Grace to all faithful Believers; herein bestowing no less a Benefit to the Members of the Church, than he did when he formerly descended, as upon this Day, attended with mighty Signs and Miracles, with the Gift of Tongues, and Cure of Diseases.
We ate assured, that altho' any one speak with the tongues of Men and Angels; altho' he be able to remove Mountains; yet it is possible for him to miscarry, and become a caft-away. But to him that receiveth this Holy Sacrament worthily; to him that bewails his former Sins, and seriously endeavours to reform them; to him that enters anew into Covenant with God, and lays hold of the Merits of his Crucified Saviour in the Participation of these sacred Mysteries; to him that herein reconciles himself to Christ his Head, by a lively Faith and Repentance, and to all the Members of the Church by unfeigned Charity; it is not possible to miss his desired End, the Salvation of his Soul; because God, who cannot lie, hath promised it by his Word and Spirit; the Son hath sealed it by his Blood; and the Holy Ghost confirmed it; as at first by his Descent upon this Day, so now also by the sensible Effects of his Grace, which he diffuseth to all worthy Communicants. Το these three Perfons, but one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed all Honour, Power, and Glory, henceforth and for evermore.
On TRINITY-SUN DAY, 1689. at
1 COR. II. 11.
The things of God knoweth no Man, but
the Spirit of God.
HE Doctrine of the Holy and Everblessed Trinity (in Honour of which
this Day hạth, for some Ages, been Instituted and Celebrated in the Church) is that alone, among all the Principles of Christianity, which carrieth an undeniable Difficulty along with it, and hath been always made use of by the Enemies of the Cross, to oppose the Revelation of Christ.
Other Doctrines, such as the Resurrection of the Body, Incarnation of the Son of God, and such like, may appear incredible ; but at the same time it cannot be denied, that they are possible: And when the Motives of Faith are added to them, must by all Men rightly judging, be allowed to be credible. But it is pretended, that the Ex