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the forerunner of eternal destruction. And on the other hand, man is carried out to a dreadful hatred of God, Rom. 1. 30. After sin became his delight, he became an enemy to all holiness; and consequently a most bitter enemy to God, because he is the most unspotted holiness. Whatever wisdom he has, it is enmity against God, Rom: -8: Hé hath joined himself to the devil, under whose banner he fights against God. He firetcheth out his band against God, and strengthenetb bimself against the almighty: be ranneth upon bim, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of bis bucklers, Job 15. 25, 26. If any thing is propounded to him out of the law of God, he the more boldly acts contrary to it, Rom. 7. 8. Whenever he feels the effects of divine indignation, he, with the most reproachful words: reviles the most holy justice of God, Ifa. 8. 21. And almost goes so far as to wish, that either there was no God, or that he did not punish fin. The first of these tends to destroy the existence of God; the other his holiness, without which (horrid to think!) he would be a wicked spirit. But seeing God is greater than man, Job 33. 12, this war cannot but prove fatal to man. God is wife in heart, and mighty in strength: who bath hardened bimself against him, and bath prospered ? Job. 9. 4.

IV. In this very grievous war, all hopes of an all hope : uniting peace seem to be entirely cut off. For, it of peace

cannot be deviled, in what manner, either God can seems to

be reconciled to man, or man to God. The holines be cut off.

of God does not suffer himn to allow the sinner communion with himself, least he should feem to be like him, Pf. 50. 21. : The justice of God demands punishment, Rom. 1. 32. The truth of God threatnes death, Gen. 3. 3. And it is on no account to be expected, that God would make a peace in favour of man, who despides him to the prejudice of any of his own perfections: for, he cannoi deny bimself, 2 Tim. 2. : 3. - And man on his

part :

In which

2. 26.

part: is no less averse to peace for, tho' he will find nothing but ruin in this war, and all manner of good in this peace, yet he is so infatuated, so much an enemy to himself, that he madly hardens himself to his own destruction. Being subjected to the power of fin and Satan, he freely and fully serveth them. These blind the eyes of his understanding least the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, jould sbine unto them, 2 Cor. 4. 4. And so lead him captive at their will, that he neither can, nor dare think, in what manner, be may recover bimself out of the snare of the devil, and be reconciled to God, 2 Tim. V. But God, whose understanding there is no fearch-A method

found out ing out, Isa. 40. 28, was able to find out a method

by God and way, whereby all these difficulties could be for a surmounted. For, he hath a son, who being given peace. to be the mediator and surety, made satisfaction to his holiness, justice and veracity, and thus on his part God is reconci.cd, 2 Cor. 5. 19. Moreover that son has a spirit, far more powerful than the infernal spirit, who, by his turning and inclining efficacy, can expel the hatred of God out of our hearts, and thed abroad the love of God there. To whose guidance and influence if man gives himself up, that blessed peace will be soon procured of which we are now to treat.

VI. Hence it appears, that the rise and begin-The-faning of this peace is from God: accordingly it is ther hath called the peace of God; and God himself the God of decreed. peace, Phil. 4. 7, 9. The father hath establithed the counsel of peace, Zech. 6. 13. And therefore it is ascribed to him, as: the original of it, that having made peace, he reconciled all things unto himself, Col. 1. 20. The fon hath executed that counsel of peace, The Son and, by theding his precious blood, removed all bath meobstructions, and actually obtained for the elect the rised. grace and favour of his father, which was long before designed for them. He therefore calls this

tecedent

God.

bis own peace; and declares t'at he gives it, John 14. 27; nay he iş called the prince of peace, Ifa. 9. 5, and king of peace, prefigured by Melchizedek, Heb.

7. 2 ; and the peace, Mich. 5. 5; and our peace, Eph. The holy 2. 14. The Holy Spirit; the messenger of fo great {pirit ap- a happiness, like Noah's dove with an olive-branch, plies it. flies, at the appointed nyoment of grace, to the

elect, and effectually offers and brings home to them the peace decreed by the father, and purchased by Christ: Hence peace is faid to be by the Holy Ghost,

Rom. 14. 17: The an Vii. The fountair of this peace, and the first

cause of it, can be nothing but the infinite mercy cause, the grace of and philantrophy of God: and this is the reason,

why the Apostles, in their Epiltles, wishing peace to believers, ufually set grace before it, as the spring of that peace. Which is the more evident, because as there was nothing in man, that could invite God to inake peace with him (for, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of bis son, Rom. 5. 10), so in like manner, God, who is allfufficient to himself for all happiness, could gain nothing by this peace. The whole advantage thereof redounds to man: the glory of so great a work is due to God

'alone. God first VIII. Man surely ought not to hear the least Invites

report of this peace, without being directly carried peace.

with the greatest vigor of foul, to obtain it for himself. And tho' he should be obliged to go to the utmoft end of the earth, for instruction, in the manner how to procure it, he should undertake the journey with the utmost diligence and readiness. But behold the incredible benevolence of the deity! who, not only in his word, sufficiently instructs men in the excellency of so great a blessing, but also fully informs them, in whar manner they may enjoy it ; by putting the word of reconciliation in the mouth of his servants, 2 Cor. 5.29. I create the fruit of the ops, peace to him, that is a far off, and to him ikat is

néara

men to

near, saith the Lord, Ifa. 57. 19. But this is not all,
for he also is the first, who fends ambassadors to men
to offer peace. Would it not have been inestimable
grace, if, after many and folicitous entreaties, he
had fufferd himself to be at length prevailed upon by
us as Herod, who with difficulty, granted peace to the
1 yrians after their most earnest requests? Afts 12.:
20.

But he not only freely offers, but also folicites: and affectionately entreats and beseeches men by his ambassadors, that they would not refuse to be reconciled to him, 2 Cor. 5. 20. And tho' his tremendous majesty has been often scornfully despised, and tho' he has, for a long time, addressed himself to their ears by his most alluring invitations, and all to no purpole, yet he does not defift, but again and again preses, over and over urges that affair of peace, and compels with so much gentleness, the most obitinate to partake of his friendship and love, Luke 14. 23. Such is the infinite goodness of the supreme being!

IX. But he does not stop here, for as the word of Inclines grace, tho' preached in the most pathetic manner, them by actually draws none, without the secret operation of his spirit, the spirit of God; so he graciously bestows that fpirit on man; who at length opens the eyes of the understanding, that wretched men may see, how bad their case is, while they continue in that dreadful hostility, and on the other hand, whatsuperabundanc happiness, the peace so often tendered, will bring along with it. He tames the wild and savage hearts, and subdues them to the obedience of God and of Chrilt ; first he strikes them to the heart with a view of their fins, and with some sense of divine indignation, upon this, he presents thein with some distant hope of obtaining peace; after this, he declares with greater earnestness the loving kindness of God to the trembling soul; and then excites the greatest longings after the enjoyment of it, and thus, by little and little, he disposes the.inmost powers of the 13 Vol. II.

L

foul,

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an enemy to hiin, but, being reconciled deals

foul, to hate whatever is contrary to God, to declare
war againtt his enemies, submissively to entreat his
favour, cheerfully to accept of it, when actually
offered, and give themselves up, without reserve,
to be governed by the spirit, who procures fo great
a happiness for them. Thus at length the man is
translated into such a state, that, all enmity being,
on both sides, blotted out, God lays aside the
remembrance of past offences, appears no more as

with
hin as a friend: the man likewise being grieved for
having formerly offended "God, now endeavout's
with all care to please him. And these are the

beginnings of the spiritual peace with God. Upon

X. But these are beginnings only: for, no sooner peace fol- is the man in covenant with God, but he becomes

the confederate and the friend of that great king,
friend.
fhip..

Jam. 2. 23; John 15. 14, 15:. The gates of the
heavenly palace are fet open to him, and free accefs
in the spirit is granted him at all times, by night or
by day. He may behold the king of glory nigh at
handpour out all the oppressing grievances of his
soul into his bosom; confidently make known his
ftammering requests for a fuller measure of grace;
while God, instead of forbidding him, does even,
by his condescending goodness, give him encourage-
ment to attempt it. Cantiel. 1. 14; he may often
be earnest for the same things, and with a friendly
and agreeable importunity wrestle with God, with
reverence of his majesty be it spoken, who conde-
scends as it were, to folace himself with us, till we
have in a manner forced the beslings we stand in
need of, out of his hands. Moses is an example of

this Exod. 33. 12, and following verses.
God fa XI. God also himself soinetimes descends from
miliarly heaven by his grace, and graciously visits the foul,

whom he loves, and who is filled with love for him,
John 14. 23, Speaks to his heart, Hof. 2. 14, "displays
the riches of his supereminent goodness, and what is

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converses

with man.

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