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with-the first part of our message, ye will be sure to refuse the second. Christi will be refused by you, and we will seem to you like théin that mock. But whatever use ve make of it, we shall proceed in our work: and if we prové not the favour of life unto you, we thall prove the favour of deatli; for we are a feet favour'unto God in them that are saved, and in them that perish, and if our goSpel be hid, it is "hid to them that are lojt, 2 Cor, iv. 3. I come now, vidi?! Y Secondly, To speaka word to such as are awakened, and are saying, with the convinced jaylor in the text, What Mall I do to bë faved? and to you we fiy, it is į didirib 1 1. Bless-the Lord, who has opened your eyes. Ye were naturally as niuch inclined to sleep or as others; and it is only the distinguishing goodness of God that has made you to differ. i . ....2Study to keep your eyes open. " If ye fut them again, and of convidions, then ye'may. never recover thein again. If yé quench the fpirit, it is hard to say. But the issue may prove fatal to you. If God, being provoked by your ftifling conviction, thall give over dealing with you, I may fay, Wounto you, for ye are undone eternally. And that ye have got your eyes opened in fome meafure; to discover your bazard, will be lo far from 'mending the matter, that it will make it much worfe; it will put an accent upon your lin; and likewife upon your punimenti in
3: Endeavour to improve the discoveries, ye have got of sin, and letk'not only to keep your eyes open, but to håve them further opened. The more clear the light of sin is, which ye get, the more welcome will ye 'make the gofpcltender of
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mercy and relief, the more sincerely and heartily
will ye close with it. i b . :. 4. Would ye indeed be saved? then take the advice in the text, Believe in the Lord Jesus Clirisi, and thou malt be saved. This leads me to that which I did principally design in the choice of this subject; therefore I thall, if the Lord will, insist upon ..it at length, because it is the very fum and substance of the gospel, that which comprises all the rest.
We have hitherto represented your cafe by na„ture, as ye are under fin; and have hinted shortly fat your cafe, as under the influences of the spirit in conviction : now we shall proceed to a discovery of the gospel relief, that is provided by infinite wisdom, for such as are awakened to a discovery of their lost and undone state; and that lies before us in this 3. ver. Ye may remember, that when we did open to you the context, we did refer the explication of this verse, till such time as we had ended the former, This being now done, I shall briefly open the words, and then draw thence some such comprehensive truth as may giveground to dilo course of that which we have principally in our eye,
The words contain a direction given to the distressed and awakened jaylor; cand in them we may take notice, in 9. Doi !
. 1. Of the person to whom the direction is given ; and, as was just now faid, he is an awakened and convinced linner. This is the gospel method; it proposes its remedy, not to these who are whole and well, in their own eyes, but to such as are disealed, Christ is tendered to such as need him, and are sensible that they do so. The foundation of the gospel is laid in conviction of sin. Hence it is, that we find gospel ministers begin their work here; 'of which we have many eminent and
for the line in to his hearers
hotable instances in the fèripture. John the Baptist, whose business it was to make way for Chrift, and prepare finner's for entertaining the call of the gospel, begins his ministry with conviction, with, preaching of sin to his hearers. Repënt, faith he, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He'sinart lý rebukes such as came to him, and fully unfolds to them their need of a Sáviour. There were two forts of people that came to him, as we read in that ili of Matthew. The ordinary sort of people, and the more refined fórt, the Scribes and Phari. fees; and he deals with them accordingly., The more gross fort he directly prelles to repentance, in confideratiok of the approach of the gospel.' Their sins went beforehand into judgment. Mat ters of fact they could not deny; and therefore he pieples them to lokathéir consciences with a fente of them. The inore refined fort of finners' he tåkes another way of itcaling with; he calls them vipers, thereby pointing them full'as bad, if not worse than the conmon fort, and beats them from the strong holds they were wont to shelter them lèlves in from the stotms of an awakened conscience : Think not to pay within yourselves, IVc'have Abrahain to our father, etc. This was their ordináry relief; and this he discovers the vanity of, in order to prepare them for the entertainment of the gospel · The laine course was followed by the ac' postles, Acts it. The fame methode did our Lord ufe with the apostle Paul in Acts ix. and this me. thod have we endeavoured tof low, in dealing with you: we have laid fin' before you; and it is for the sake of fuch as are convinced among you, that we have entered upon the confideration of this relief, that is only suited to convinced finners: But, 2. In the words we may take notice of the 04 ..
persons who propose this relief to this awakened sinner, viz. Paul and Silas. In reference to them there are only two things I observe amongst many,' the one, that they were persons who had a commission from Christ to preach the gospel; the other, that they once had been in the same case themselves: which two, when they meet in one, help to fit a man to be a complete minister ; one who in his measure will be capable to answer the character given of Christ, that he had the tongue. of the learned to speak à word in scafon to weary fouls. ;
3. We may take notice of the way wherein they propose this direction : and here it is remarkable, that they do it speedily, they do it plainly. No sooner is the question proposed, but it is answered. One would have thought, that it had been the apostles wisdom, to capitulate with him, and hold him in suspence, till such time as he should engage to contribute for their escape : but they would not do so, but presently offer him reliefhaving themselves been acquaint with the terrors of the Lord, they know how uneasy, it' would be for him to continue in that miserable perplexity, nay, how cruel it would be not to do their utmost for his speedy relief. They minded more the sinner's eternal salvation, than their own temporal safety,ll, They had greater regard to the glory of Christ, than to their own safety. They were more concerned to satisfy a poor convinced and dejected sinner, than their own private grudges. And this they do, not by proposing the gospel in such a dark and obscure way as might a. muse and confound; but in so fair and plain a way, as might be understood easily by the poor distressed man, . I
- *4. In the words we are to notice the direction itself, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In which again we are to observe three things, the duty pointed to, the person whom it respects, and the way how it respects him. The duty pointed to, is, believe ; that is, act faith ypon, receive and reit upon Christ, look unto him. All these words fignify exactly one and the same thing, as we shall fee anon, if the Lord will.The person whom this faith respects, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Here we have a threefold title given to him. He is called the Lord, which points at hisauthority and domini . on. He is Lord over all things and persons, bee cause he did create, and doth still uphold them and he is so in a peculiar manner, as he is the re deemer of the church, for whose behoof all things are put into his hands; he being made head over all things to the church. Again, he is called Jefus, to point at the design of his lordship and dominion; as he is exalted to be a Prince, so he is! likewise to be a Şaviour. Nay, the design of his advancement to that dominion which belongs to him as mediator, is to fit him to be a Saviour which is the proper import of the name Jesus, aer cording to the scripture account of it, Thou shalt. call his name i fefus, because he fhall save his peom ple from their fins, Matth. i. 21. In fine, be is called Christ, i. e. Anointed, because he is anoints ed, designed, and furnished of God to be a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance and remiffion of Jins, Acts v: 31. The last thing we did notice in the direction itself, is the nature of that respect which this faith has to Chrift: it is not faid, Bed lieve the Lord Jesus Christ, but believe [on] him, or [in] him. It is not simply to give credit to his word, and take as truth whatever he has said; but.