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« Our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he pleased.”
The other great consequences of believing, is an admirable unparalleled communion ; by virtue whereof, i. The parties themselves do belong to each other. The Lord is the God of his people ; he himself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is their God, in all his glorious at: tributes ; his justice as well as his mercy; his wisdom, power, holiness, &c. for he becometh the God of his people, as he often speaketh in the covenant. On the other part the believers are his people. In their very persons they are his, as the covenant doth speak : 'they shall be his people; their head, their heart, their hand, &c. whatsoever they are, they are his.
2. By virtue of this communion they have a mutual interest in one another's whole goods and money, in as far às can be useful. All the Lord's word dath belong to the believer, threatenings as well as promises, for their good; all his ways, all his works of all sorts, special communications, death, devils, even all things, in so far as can be useful; “ All things are your's; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are your's, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." On the other side all which belongeth to the believer is the Lord's ; heritage, children, life, wife, credit, &c. all is at his disposing; if any of these can be useful to him, the believer is to forego them, else he falsifieth that communion, and declareth himself, in so far, unworthy of Christ; “ If any man come to me, and hate not his father-yea, and his life alfo, he cannot be my disciple."
3. By virtue of this communion there should be much homeliness and familiarity between God and the believer. The Lord may meddle with any thing which doth belong to the believer, and do unto him what seemeth good to him'; and the man is not to mistake, or say unto God, " What dost thou ?” except in so far as concerneth bis duty : yea, he is still to say in every case, “Good is
the word and will of the Lord.” On the other part, the believer may, in an humble way, be homely and familiar with God in Christ: he may 4 come with boldness to the throne of grace," and not use a number of compliments in his addresses unto God, for 6 he is no more a stranger unto God," so that he needs not speak unto God as one who has acquaintance to make every hour, as many professors do ; and it maketh a huge inconlistency in their religion.
The believer also may lay open all his heart unto God; “I have poured out my soul before the Lord," and im. part
all his secrets unto him, and all his temptations, without fear of a mistake. The believer also may inquire into what God doth, in so far as may concern his own duty, or in so far as may ward off miftakes of the Lord's way, and reconcile it with his word; fo 70b xiit
. 15.“ Though he say me, yet will I trust in him ; but I will maintain mine own ways before him." The believer is a friend in this respect, as“ knowing what the Master doth.” See Gen. xviii. 23, &c. Jer. xii. 1. Ifa.
The believer also may be homely with God, to go in daily with his failings, and seek repentance, pardon, and peace, through Christ's advocateship; “ Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Ifrael, and forgivenefs of sins." “ If any man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." O how often in one day may the believer plead pardon, if he intend not to mock God, or to turn grace into wantonness! The Lord hath commanded men to“ forgive seventy times seven times in one day ;' and hath hinted there in the parable " of a King who took account of his servants," how much more the Master will forgive, Mat. xyiii. 22-28.
The believer also may be homely to intrust God with all his outward concernments, for he doth care for these things ; " If God so clothe the grass of the field- shall he not much inore clothe you, Oye of little faith ?-
Therefore take no thought, saying, What fhall we eat ? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. Cafting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” Yea, the believer
may humbly put God to it, to make him forth-coming for him in all cafes as befeemeth, and to help him to suitable fruit in every season, even grace in time of need." Yea, how great things may believers seek from him in Chrift Jefus, both for themselves and others'! “ If we ask any thing according to his will, he heartheth us. Whatsoev. er ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. Afk me things to come concerning my sons; and concerning the work of my hands command ye me." It is the Thame and great prejudice of his people that they do not improve that communion with God more than they do: Christ may justly upbraid them, 6 that they ask nothing in his name."
By what is said, it doth appear of how great confequence this duty of believing is, by which a man closeth with Christ Jesus, whom the Father hath sealed, and given for a covenant to the people. It is so honorable for God, answering his very delign, and serving his interest in the whole contrivement and manifestation of the gospel; and it is so advantageous to men, that Šatan and an evil heart of unbelief do mightily oppose it, by moving obje&tions againft it. I shall hint fomemost ordinary. Chapter 111. Obječtions taken from a Man's Unworthiness, and the Hei
noufness of his Sin, answered.
I , ,
Object. AM so base, worthless, and weak of myself, that I think it were high presumption for me to meddle with Christ Jesus, or the salvation purchased at the rate of his blood.
Anfw. It is true, all the children of Adam are base and naughty before him," who chargeth his angels with fol. ly: All nations are less than nothing, and vanity before him." There is fuch a disproportion between God and ,men, that unless he himłelf had devised that covenant, and of his own free will had offered fo to tranfact with men, it had been high treason for men or angels to have imagined that God should have humbled himself, and become a servant, and have taken on our nature, and have united it by a personal union to the blessed Godhead ; and that he should have subjected himself to the shameful death of the cross; and all this, that men, who were rebels, should be reconciled unto God, and be made eternally happy, by being in his holy company
But I say, all that was his own device and free choice : yea, moreover, if God had not sovereignly commanded men so iq close with him in and through Christ, Ifa. lv. 1, 2, 3. Mat. xi. 28. 1 John iii. 23. 2 Cor. v. 20. no man durft have made use of that device of his. So then, although with Abigail I may fay, “ Let me be but a servant, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord," yet, since he hath in his holy wisdom devised that way, and knoweth how to be richly glorified in it, “ The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know-what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. All mine are thine, and thine are minc, and I am glorified in them;" and he hath commanded me, as I shall be answerable in the great day, to close with him in Christ, as said is, I dare not disobey, nor inquire into the reasons of his contrivements and commands, but must adventure on the business, as I would not be found to “ frustrate the grace of God,” and in a manner disappoint the gospel, and falsify the “record which God hath borne of his Son, that there is life enough in him for men," and fo “ make God a liar," and add that rebellion to all my former tranfgressions.
Obje&t. I am a person singularly linful, beyond any I know; therefore I dare not presume to go near unto Christ Jefus, or look after that salvation which is through his righteousness.
Answ. Is your fin beyond the drunkenness and incest of Lot ; adultery covered with murder in David; idolatry and horrid apostacy in Solomon ; idolatry, murder, and witchcraft in Manasseh ; anger against God and his
way in Jonah ; forfwearing of Christ in Peter, after he was forewarned, and had vowed the contrary ; bloody persecution in Paul, making the saints to blaspheme? &c. (but woe to him who is emboldened to sin by these instances recorded in scripture, and adduced here to the commendation of the free and rich grace of God, and to encourage poor penitent finners to flee unto Christ); I say, are your fins beyond these ? yet all these obtained pardon through Christ, as the scripture doth shew.
Know therefore, that all fins do ly alike level before the free grace of God, “ who loveth freely," and looketh not to less or more fin. If the person have a heart to “ come unto him through Chrift, then he is able to fave to the uttermost :” Yea, it is more provoking before God not to close with Christ when the offer cometh to a man than all the rest of his transgressions are ; for “he that believeth not hath made God a liar, in that record he hath borne of life in the Son: And he who doth not believe, shall be condemned for not believing on the Son of God;" That ihall be the main thing in his ditty ; so that much sin cannot excuse a man, if he scar at