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the Author to the Hebrews, Chap. 2. 9. And this is a faithful Saying, and worthy of all Men to be receiv'd, that Jefus. Chrift came into the World to Save Sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15. where, if Sinners are not excluded from Mercy, we may be well affur'd that the Tender of this Salvation extends to all. But,

(2.) Tho the Merits and Virtue of Chrift's Death and Satisfaction be fufficient for, yet they are not effectual to all Men for there are many thousands perish everlastingly, notwithstanding this Propitiation; and more fall into the Gulph of Perdition, than escape it. But yet this proceeds not from any Defect or Imperfection in the Sacrifice, nor from any want of Love or Readiness in our Saviour to confer the Benefit and Efficacy of it; but from Mens being wanting to themfelves, in not confidering or obferving the Terms upon which it is tender'd to them. And here we must note,

(3.) That the Promifes of Redemption and Salvation by Jefus Chrift are not abfolute, but conditional; they are made and perform'd only upon the Conditions of Faith and Repentance, and none but fuch as obferve thofe Terms and Conditions can reap any Advantage from them. We must die unto Sin, before his dying for Sin can be of any avail to us; for he came to fave his People from their Sins, not to make them fecure in them. He gave himfelf for them, to redeem them from all Iniquity, not to allow them in any; and to purify to himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works. 'Tis whofoever believeth in him fhall not perish, but have everlafting Life: where Faith is made the Condition of the Promife, and we must believe, that is, receive his Doctrine, and become his Difciples and Followers, if we expect to receive Life and Salvation from him. He that believeth on him (faith he) is not condemned; that is, is not condemn'd here by his own Confcience, but may find Peace, Eafe and Reft to his Soul; nor fhall be condemn'd hereafter, but thall be commended and acquitted at the laft and great Day of Account, when he fhall be refcu'd from eternal Death, and reftor'd to eternal Life: for if our Hearts condemn us not, then have we Confidence in God. But he that believeth not, is condemned already; that is, by his own Confcience, which ftings and upbraids him here, and fills him with many Fears and Terrors for his Unbelief; and will be much more condemn'd hereafter, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only-begotten Son of God, but hath refus'd the only


Remedy vouchfafed him by the Son of God, the only Sa viour of the World: And if our Hearts condemn us for it already, God, who is greater than our Hearts, and knoweth all things, will furely bring upon us a greater Condemnation. I John 3. 20, 21.

And having mention'd this future and eternal Condemnation, the Apostle gives us in the next words fome account of the Ground and Cause of it, faying, This is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men love Dark nefs rather than Light, because their Deeds are evil: Where this Condemnation is aggravated,

It, From the Greatness of the Bleffing vouchfafed, that Light is come into the World.

2dly, From the Ingratitude or bad Ufe that is made of it; Men love Darkness rather than Light. And,

3dly, From the Ground and Reafon here given for their fo doing; Because their Deeds are evil. All which muft mightily enhance the Guilt, and aggravate their Condemnation. For the

ift, By the Light's coming into the World, is meant the Son of God's appearing in it, to reveal the Mind and Will of his Father for the Salvation of Mankind; who is therefore ftil'd, The Light of the World, or the Light that lightens every one that cometh into the World; John 1. 9. The Prophet Malachi, before his Appearance, call'd him, The Sun of Righteoufnefs, who was fhortly to arife with Healing in his Wings: Which Prophecy St. Luke tells us was fulfil❜d, when this Day-Spring from on high visited us with his Salvation. The World before his coming was wrapt in Clouds and thick Darkness; the Jews had but a very imperfect Knowledg of a Saviour, and the Gentiles had none at all, being without God, without Chrift, and fo without Hope in the World. But Chrift at his Coming difpel'd this Darkness of Error and Ignorance, and scatter'd the bright Beams of Light and Knowledg over the benighted World: He fhin'd by the Luftre of his Doctrine and Miracles to the ends of the Earth, and all Nations may now fee the Salvation of God, for he hath brought Life and Immortality to light by the Gofpel; he hath enlighten'd the World with the Knowledg of all neceffary and Divine Truths, and thereby fhew'd himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By following his Doctrine we cannot err, and by treading the Steps of his Example we fhall furely arrive to everlasting Life; fo that we are not left in Ignorance of our Duty, but the Way


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of Salvation is made plain before us, and Light is come into the World.

But 2dly, What use doth the World make of it? Why, fuch is the Folly and Ingratitude of moft Men, as to love Darkness rather than Light, to prefer Error and Ignorance before the Knowledg of the Truth, and to chufe rather to walk on ftill in Darkness, than to tread the Path that leads to the Light of everlafting Life. Such as thefe wilfully fhut their Eyes against the Light flashing in their Faces, and caft the Word of God behind their backs; faying with them in Job, Depart from us, we defire not the Knowledg of thy Ways, Chap. 21. 14. One would think the World fhould be tranfported with Joy at this great Light's coming into it; and that all Men fhould welcome this Sun of Righteousness: as 'tis reported fome of the Northern People do the Sun, who wanting its Light for fome Months, when it begins to peep out and rife to them, they all falute it with Joy and Exultation, crying out, ideas, Behold the Sun! In like manner, it might be expected, that the benighted World that had a long time lain in Darkness, and in the Shadow of Death, fhould rejoice at the Appearance of this Sun of Righteousness, meeting him with Acclamations of Joy, and faying, is ios, Behold the Sun! or with St. John, ide o auvos, Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the Sins of the World! But lo! the quite contrary, He came unto his own (that is, to the Jews, who were his own People, of his own Stock and Lineage) and yet they receiv'd him not, John 1. 11. Yea, they from whom he might expect the best Reception, were fo far from receiving him, that they rejected his Perfon and despised his Doctrine; and inftead of owning him as a Saviour, treated him as a Malefactor: They fhut up this great Light of the World in the dark Lanthorn of the Grave; and eclips'd awhile this Sun of Righteousness. And tho he foon rofe again, and breaking thro the Cloud, after fhin'd the brighter; yet they ftill hated the Light, flighted his Inftructions, and would have none of his Ways. And fo do the Atheists, Deifts, and many nominal Chriftians to this day.

But what is the Ground or Reason of this ill Carriage? Why, the Reafon here given is, Because their Deeds are evil: They love Darkness rather than Light, because their Deeds are evil. The Courfe of Men's Lives have a strange and strong Influence upon their Belief and Opinion of


things, and evil Practices do very much corrupt and debauch good Principles. 'Tis obvious to obferve, that good Men, who lead holy and vertuous Lives, eafily believe the Truths of the Gospel, which they fee tend fo much to the Happiness of this Life and the next; they feel their Minds inclin❜d to receive Christ as the Saviour of the World, and both defire and delight in the Knowledg of his Ways: they chufe Light rather than Darkness, and prefer Knowledg before Ignorance, and that because their Deeds are good: they labour to regulate their Practice by the Rule of God's Word, and instead of shutting their Eyes against the Light, they pray God to open them, that they may more clearly fee the wonderful things of his Law. And thus an honest Mind leads them to the Knowledg of Divine Truths. Whereas bad Men, on the other hand, who lead loofe and wicked Lives, do all they can to extinguish the Light of Truth, which fhews them the Error and Danger of their Ways, and would ftop their Career of Wickedness: for this reafon they hate Knowledg, and endeavour to ftifle and fupprefs the Light of it from fhining into their Understandings, and that because their Deeds are evil. Their Works being contrary to God's Word, they care not to receive or hearken to what makes against them; but rather feek to put out that Light, which they have no mind to work or walk by. And therefore the Evangelift in the next words adds, that every one that doth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, left his Deeds fhould be reprov'd There are fome Sins fo foul, as to fhun all Discovery, and to covet a black Veil of Darkness, to hide their Deformity. There are others attended with that Shame and Disgrace, as not to be able to bear the Light, and fo are acted under Vizors and Difguifes, to avoid the Reproach and Cenfures of the World. Again, there are others fo full of Mischief and Danger both to Body, Soul, and Goods, that few care to own or be thought Actors of them. And generally all forts of Sinners feek Secrecy, to conceal the Bafenefs and Obliquity of their Actions.

But he that doth truth, cometh to the Light, that his Deeds made be made manifeft, that they are wrought in God. Where by Works of Truth are meant vertuous and good Works, done in conformity to God's Word, and the Rules of right Reafon. Such Works do not decline, but defire the Light; they come to it to be made manifeft, and rather court than fly Obfervation. For thefe being wrought in


God, that is, according to his Will, and by the Direction of his Holy Spirit, have the Approbation of God and Confcience too: and the more they are expos'd to Light, the more Joy and Comfort do they bring to them that do them.

This is the Senfe and Drift of this Day's Gofpel; which

fhews us,

1. The infinite Love of Godito Mankind, in giving his Son to be our Saviour; fo as to admire, adore, and anfwer the Ends of it.

2. The great Danger of Ingratitude, and the Abuse of fuch Love; which defeats the Defign, and deprives us of the Benefit of it, fo as to abhor and avoid it.

3. The Honour and happy Iffue of good and vertuous Actions, which will intitle us to the Salvation procur'd by it. All which are to be the Subject of this Day's Meditations, and the Practice of our whole Life: which God grant, &c.

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The EPISTLE for Tuesday in Whitfun-Week. Acts viii. 14-17.

When the Apostles that were at Jerufalem heard that Samaria had receiv'd the Word of God, they fent unto them Peter and John; who when they were come down pray'd for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghoft; for as yet he was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptiz'd in the Name of the Lord Jefus. Then laid they their Hands upon them, and they receiv'd the Holy Ghoft.


FTER the Death of St. Stephen, there follow'd a great Perfecution of the Church which was at Jerufalem, by means whereof, the Difciples that were there, were all scatter'd about throughout the Regions of


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