« AnteriorContinuar »
mn longer. I pray le Ter
Herodotus, when one half moveth before the other is made, and while it is yet but plain mud.
But I must make this preface no longer. I pray observe that in the margin, and see whether our times be not like Tertullian's.
Reader, as thou lovest thy comforts, thy faith, thy hope, thy safety, thy innocency, thy soul, thy Christ, thine everlasting rest; love, reverence, read, study, obey, and stick close to the Scripture. Farewell.
April 2, 1652.
SAINT'S EVERLASTING REST.
THE SECOND PART.
Sect. 1. We are next to proceed to the confirmation of this truth, which, though it may seem needless in regard of its own clearness and certainty, yet in regard of our distance and infidelity nothing more necessary: but, you will say, to whom will this endeavour be useful ? They who believe the Scriptures are convinced already; and for those who believe it not, how will you convince them? Answ. But sad experience tells, that those that believe, do believe but in part, and, therefore, have need of further confirmation; and, doubtless, God hath left us arguments sufficient to convince unbelievers themselves, or else how should we preach to pagans; or what should we say to the greatest part of the world, that acknowledge not the Scriptures ? Doubtless the Gospel should be preached to them; and though we have not the gift of miracles to convince them of the truth, as the apostles had, yet we have arguments demonstrative and clear, or else our preaching would be in vain; we having nothing left but bare affirmations.
Though I have all along confirmed sufficiently by testimony of Scripture what I have said, yet I will here briefly add thus much more, that the Scripture doth clearly assert this truth in these six ways.
1. It affirms, that this rest is fore-ordained for the saints, and the saints also fore-ordained to it. “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Heb. xi. 16.) “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived, what God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Cor. ii. 9.) Which I conceive must be meant of these preparations in heaven; for those on earth are both seen and conceived, or else how are they enjoyed ? To sit on Christ's right and left
hand in his kingdom, shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. (Matt. xx. 23.) And themselves are called “vessels of mercy, before prepared unto glory.” (Rom. ix. 23.) And in Christ we have obtained the inheritance, “ being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. i. 11.) “And whom he thus predestinateth, them he glorifieth ;” (Rom. viii. 30;) “For he hath, from the beginning, chosen them to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.” (2 Thess. ii. 13.)
And though the intentions of the unwise and weak may be frustrated, and “ without counsel purposes are disappointed," (Prov. xv. 22,) “yet the thoughts of the Lord shall surely come to pass; and as he hath purposed, it shall stand. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations ;” (Isa, xiv. 24;) therefore, “ blessed are they whose God is the Lord, and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psal. xxxij. II, 12.) Who can be reave his people of that rest which is designed them by God's eternal purpose ?
Sect. II. Secondly: The Scripture tells us that this rest is purchased, as well as purposed for them; or that they are redeemed to this rest. In what sense this may be said to be purchased by Christ, I have showed before, viz., not as the immediate work of his sufferings, which was the immediate payment of our debt, by satisfying the law, but as a more remote, though most excellent fruit; even the effect of that power, which by death he procured to himself. He himself, for the suffering of death," was crowned with glory, yet did he not properly die for himself, nor was that the direct effect of his death. Some of those teachers who are gone forth of late, do tell us, as a piece of their new discoveries, that Christ never purchased life and salvation for us, but purchased us to life and salvation :b not understanding that they affirm and deny the same thing in several expressions. What difference is there betwixt buying liberty to the prisoner, and buying the prisoner to liberty? Betwixt buying life to a condemned malefactor, and buying him to life; or betwixt purchasing reconciliation to an enemy, and purchasing an enemy to reconciliation ? but in this last they have
a Paul Hobson.
b I confess the latter is the more proper expression, and oftener used in the Scriptures.
found a difference, and tell us that God never was at enmity with man, but man at enmity with God, and therefore need not be reconciled ; directly contrary to Scripture, which tells us that God hateth all the workers of iniquity, and that he is their enemy; (Exod. xxiii. 22; Psal. xi. 5, and v. 5; Isa. Ixiii. 10; Lament, ii. 5:) and though there be no change in God, nor any thing properly called hatred, yet it sufficeth that there is a change in the sinner's relation, and that there is something in God which cannot better be expressed or conceived than by these terms of enmity: and the enmity of the law against a sinner, may well be called the enmity of God. However, this differenceth betwixt enmity in God, and enmity in us; but not betwixt the sense of the fore-mentioned expressions : so that whether you will call it purchasing life for us, or purchasing us to life, the sense is the same, viz., by satisfying the law, and removing impediments, to procure us the title and possession of this life.
It is, then, by the “ blood of Jesus that we have entrance into the holiest.” (Heb. x. 19.) Even all our entrance to the fruition of God, both that by faith and prayer here, and that by full possession hereafter. Therefore do the saints sing forth his praises, “who hath redeemed them out of every nation by his blood, and made them kings and priests to God.” (Rev. v. 10.)
Whether that eis atrodút pwowy TñS TEPI Toshcews, in Eph, i. 14, which is translated “the redemption of the purchased possession,” do prove this or not; yet I see no appearance of truth in their exposition of it, who, because they deny that salvation is purchased by Christ, do affirm that it is Christ himself who is there called the purchased possession. Therefore did God give his Son, and the Son give his life, and therefore was Christ lifted up on the cross, " as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John iii, 15, 16.) So, then, I conclude either Christ must lose his blood and sufferings, and “never see the travail of his soul,” (Isa. liii, 11, but all his pains and expectation be frustrated, or else there remaineth a rest to the people of God.
e 'The phrases are used from the effect to the affection, as we say, i.e. God doth that to men, as enemies d.); and even to the elect before conversion, he ştauds, as we may say, engaged by his laws as a just judge, to do that which enemies du, aud thence is said to be their enemy, though his decree is to.deal iu mercy with them. Else, speaking of eumily properly, I say as Clemens Alexaudriuus doth of God: viz., we say that God is av enemy tu uo man, for he is the Creator of all; and there is nothing cumes to pass but what he will : but we say that those are enemies to him that do not obey him, and walk not by his precepts, for they bear an eumity to his testament.-Clemens Alexundri. nus, Stromut. lib. 4.
d Paul Hobsou.
Sect. III. Thirdly: And as this rest is purchased for us, so is it also promised to us; as the firmament with the stars, so are the sacred pages bespangled with the frequent intermixture of these divine engagements. Christ hath told us that “it is his will, that those who are given to him should be where he is, that they may behold the glory which is given him of the Father :" (John xvii. 24 :) so also, “ Fear not, little flock'; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom ;” (Luke xii. 32 ;). q. d. fear not all your enemy's rage, fear not all your own unworthiness, doubt not of the certainty of the gift ; for it is grounded upon the good pleasure of your Father. “I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me a kingdom, that ye inay eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.” (Luke xxii. 29.) But because I will not be tedious in the needless confirming of an acknowledged truth, I refer you to the places here cited : 2 Thess. i. 7; Heb. iv. I, 3; Matt. xxv. 34, and xiii. 43; 2 Tim. iv. 18; James ii. 5; 2 Pet. i. 11; 2 Thess. i. 5; Acts xiv. 22; Luke vi. 20, and xiii. 28, 29; 1 Thess. ii. 12; Matt. v. 12; Mark x. 21, and xii. 25; 1 Pet. j. 4; Heb. x. 34, and xii. 23; Colos. i. 5; Phil. iii. 20; Heb. xi. 16; Eph. i. 20; 1 Cor. xv.; Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, &c.
Sect. IV.Fourthly: All the means of grace, and all the workings of the Spirit upon the soul, and all the gracious actions of the saints, are so many evident mediums to prove that there remaineth a rest to the people of God. If it be an undeniable maxim that God and narure do nothing in vain, then it is as true of God and his grace. All these means and motions imply some end to
e Intra nostrum rationalem spiritum est quædam viva imago divinæ sapi. entiæ : ad quam dnm respicimus, movemur per quendam divinum impulsum, ad palsaudum, ad petenda, et quærenda ea quæ sunt perficientia imaginem sive ipsam ad exemplaris conformitatem ducentia.-Cusanus Exercitat. lib. 10. fol. (mihi) 183. B. Yet I do not argue as some, that because the soul de sireth, it must enjoy : for God fulfilleth but sound desires, which are his owa exciting in us, which are limited desires. If a man desire to fly with wings, or to be as God, these desires God is not to fulfil. Of which read Camero Prælect. de Verbo Dei, cap.7. p. (operum) fol. 455. Cum vitium creature angelicæ (et humanæ) dicitur, quod non adhæret Deo, hinc aptissime decla. ratur, ejus naturæ ut Dev adhæreat convenire. Quam porro magna sit laus