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planted in the World; but as to the renewing and fanctifying Influences of the Holy Spirit. We are now born not only of Water, but of the Spirit, in Baptifm, 3 John 5. And by one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body And have been all made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Cor. 12, 13. So that at Baptism we are born of the Spirit, which fignifies that the Holy Spirit gives Life, and is a new Principle of Life to us; in the Lord's Supper we drink into one Spirit; which fignifies the fresh Supplies and Communications of Grace, as we daily receive new Supplies of Spirits from our natural Meat and Drink: And I know not how we fhould have the Spirit in a more perfect manner, than as a conftant Principle of Spiritual Life.
But it is not my business to prove, what all Orthodox Chriftians own; that the Holy Spirit is more plentifully bestowed upon the Chriftian Church, than ever it was upon Jews or Heathens, which makes our Obedience to the Divine Laws more eafy by encreafing our Strength, and exacts from us more perfect Attainments, as we all expect more perfect Services from our Children, as their Age and Strength increases.
All this God has done more for us Chriftians, than he has done for the reft of the World, and all this owhich he has done more for us, makes it our Duty to live better, and to do more Service for God than other Men, and that makes it very just for God to expect more from us, and that proves he does fo, and then we
fhould confider, what manner of Perfons, we Chriftians ought to be in all holy Converfation and Godliness. If Heathens fhall be damned for their Sins against the weak and glimmering Light of Nature, and the feeble Convictions of a natural Confcience, corrupted by Eduçation, by Examples, by prevailing Customs, by the Cheats and Impoftures of wicked Spirits, what fhall the Condemnation of Chriftians be who neglect fo great Salvation; who when light is come into the World, love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil: Who fin against the clear and bright Light of the Gofpel, against the Love of GOD, against the Grace of CHRIST, against the powerful Reftraints and Affiftances of the HOLY SPIRIT? If thofe that defpifed Mofes's Law, died without Mercy, under two or three Witnesses of how much forer Punishment, Suppofe ye, Shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and bath_counted the Blood of the Covenant wherewith he was fanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done defpite unto the Spirit of Grace, io Heb. 28, Grace, to Heb. 28, 29. Which is true, not only of final Apoftafy, but of all wilful Difobedience. The Grace of the Gofpel makes our Work eafy, but our Duty more, and the danger of a Miscarriage greater. It does not require unfinning Obedience, but it requires greater Meafures of Purity and Goodness, and Univerfal Righteoufnefs, and has threatned a hotter Hell against wicked Chriftians.
Thus Christians will have a greater Account to give than Jews or Heathens, because they have received more; and as the Receipts of Christians are very unequal, fo their Accounts will proportionably differ. Some Chriftians have but One Talent, others Two, others Five, and as no Man fhall account for more than he has received, fo how much foever we have received, we must account for it all. This needs no proof, and it has been fufficiently explained and applied above.
The CONCLUSIO N.
How to know what our Sentence will be at the laft Judgment: With an Exhortation to Reverence our own Confciences.
Aving thus largely difcourfed concerning a Future Judgment, I need not mind you of what Concernment it is, to know what Sentence Chrift will pafs on us at that Day; whether Come ye blessed of my Father, or, Go ye curfed into everlasting fire. For if we must be happy or miserable for ever, how can we content our felves to live in doubt and fufpence, which of thefe fhall be our Portion? What a Hell is this to live in perpetual fear of Hell? How can we fleep without dreaming of Lakes of Fire and Brimstone without the frightful Apparitions of damned Spirits! What
a tranfporting foretafte would it give us of the Joys of Heaven to read our Names written in the Book of Life! to fee a Crown, a bright and glorious Crown prepared for us! But how fhall we know this? Who fhall fearch the Records of Heaven for us? The Answer is plain, we need not afcend up into Heaven for it, we have the counterpart of thofe Records in our own breasts. For, as St. John tells us, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than cur heart, and knoweth all things: beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God, 1 John 3. 20, 21. That is, if our Heart or Confcience condemn us, then God will condemn us, for he knows more of us than our own Confciences know, he knows us better than we know our felves; and if we know fo much Wickednefs by our felves, that we cannot but condemn our felves, (though every Man is a favourable Judge of himself) God, who knows a great deal more of us, muft condemn us alfo: But if our Confcience condemn us not, if it acquit and abfolve, than have we confidence towards God, a great and fure hope in God's Mercy; that he will not condemn us: We cannot have the confidence of innocent Men, because we have been Sinners; but we may have the humble confidence and affured hopes of returning and repenting Prodigals, and of dutiful and obedient Children.
That this is fo, the Apoftle's Authority is fufficient to convince us; and yet if the Apoftle had not faid it, the Reafon and Nature of the thing fufficiently proves it.
God has given us a certain Rule, whereby we fhall be judged, which I have now explained to you: And therefore fince God will judge us by this Rule, if we alfo judge our felves by it, we may certainly know what Judgment God will pafs on us: For neither God, nor our own Consciences can miftake in their Judgment; and when the Rule is the fame, and there can be no Mistake on either fide, the Judgment must neceffarily be the fame; and then the fame Judgment our own Consciences make of us, God will make: If they condemn us, God will condemn us alfo; if they condemn us not, neither will God condemn us; then we shall have confidence towards God.
There needs no Proof of this, if you will but confefs, that every Man knows himself, what his own Life and Actions are, and that God knows every Man better than he knows himself. If we know our felves, and know our Rule; if we know what we ought to do, and what we have done, we can certainly tell, whether we have done our Duty, or not: If our own Confciences condemn us, it is certain we have not done our Duty; that we either do what we know we ought not to do, or leave undone what we know we ought to do, for no Man in his wits will accufe himself wrongfully. Now if this be our cafe, oúr Confciences do very juftly condemn us, and then God, who knows us as perfectly as our own Confciences, muft condemn us alfo : For a guilty Sinner, who is guilty to his own