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Of the permanent Efficacy, and Obligation
Faith in the MEDIATOR.
C H A P.
EEING then, in fine, that the XVIII.
Mediator was appointed of God upon the Fall of Man, as the Foun
dation of the new Covenant of Obe
2 dience, and all his future Mercies unto him, and the Fountain of his Remedy and Recovery ; being the Import of that never-failing Promise of subduing the Enemy of his Happiness, and of impartially blelling all the Nations upon Earth ; and the original Ground of that diffufive fundamental Principle of Natural Religion, That he is a Rewarder of those that diligently seek 10 please bim : And that, in due time, after several Renewals of that saving Promise, some good Preparation of the Knowledge of God, and of ourselves in our lapsed Condition was imparted from Heaven with a long Series of Prophecy, connected to the critical Time of Expectation ; he came into the World and manifefted himself in our Flesh ; and reestablish'd the Religion of the End, the original Law of our Nature in the three Branches specified, and not only re-asserted its Obligation from the general Corruption it was fallen under in Theory, and Practice ; but improved our Knowledge in many Particulars, to the Convic
tion, or at least Admiration of all acquainted CHAP. with it ; and not only taught a perfect Rule of XVIII. Manners, but perfectly obey'd it ; and to his divine Life added innumerable Miracles to prove himself the Son of God, fent from his Father, the Father of all our Mercies, to give Life and Efficacy to the languishing and utterly difhearten'd Religion of the Means, Repentance and Prayer ; by dying a Propitiation for our Sins ; rising from the Dead ; ascending to the right Hand of God a perpetual Intercessor for us : And further, to enlighten those natural Means of finful Men, and fasten the Engagement of the new Covenant, and perpetuate those Benefits, and incorporate them into our Constitu tion, to retrieve the decaying Impression, and rivet them into our Body and Soul, he instituted Baptism and the Lord's Supper ; and moreover procured to our Prayers in his Name, a new internal Afftance to our enfeebled Faculties; and brought the Authority of God and himself over us to light, by bringing the Rewards and Punishments of his Laws to light, and to the Affurance of his Dispofal of them at the last Day ; and instituted Helps and Instruments for the Administration of these Things, as we are sociable as well as accountable Creatures. And if this Mediator, Christ the Lord, rules, "prefides, directs, and animates all thefe Things to the Glory of God the Father, now, and to the End of the World ; then, as the true Light that came into the World, a Law-giver of them severally, able to Jave, and destroy, he might well enact to the Consciences of all Men, to whom these Presents and Blessings of his Gospel shall come, Ye believe in God, believe also in MÈ*. John xiv.
CH A P. How suitable to him, and gracious to us is that XVIII. Character of him in the Volume of the Book, i.e.
The Author and Finiface of our Faitb? Heb. xii. 2.
Thus should Cbrift dwell in our Hearts by FAITH, so as to be able to say with his Apoftle, Tbe Life that I now live in ihe Flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave bimself for me, whom having not seen we love ; and in whom tho now we fee bim not, yet believing, we rejoice with Jay unspeakable and full of Glory t. And this shews the true Sublime of those Expressions she desired to know nothing but JESUS CHRIST, and bim CRUCIFIED : for such a Death, ktho' che great Scandal at first of a Saviour that could not save himself, a Itumbling Block to the Jews, and to Greeks Foolishnefs ; yet, with Respect to its ineftimable Benefits, and the Methods of God in baffling the Devil, and giving Life to the World that way, is in that very Circumstance, preach'd and proclaim'd by him, to be the Power of God and the Wisdom of Gods and therefore the Glory I, as it is the Basis of his Religion, and that Foolishness of God in the Eye of the Greek was wiier than any of their Philosophers, in Deeds and Doctrines, to make wise, unto Salvation to The Dearb of the Mediator being founded in the Na. ture of the best Government of God over sinful Man, is the true Sublime of Divine Government, therefore the Apostle, might well place all his Glory, and consign all his Eloquence to it; being so much the Demonstration of the Spirit, and of the Power of all Superior, Divine, and there fore of all Human Reason. Gal. ij. 20.
+i Par. i. 8. Mi Cor. iv. a. t Gal. iv.
14 + Cor. i. 4.
AND С НАР. And elsewhere he accounts all Things as Loss XVIII. in Comparison of the transcendent Gain of the Excellency of tbe Knowledge of Christ Jesus *. For the incomparable Excellency of it consists in making wise unto Salvation, by first discovering and enlightning the right Ends, and likewise the only true Means, of chat true Religion of Man, that is acceptable to God ; and secondly
, directing how to apply the Means for the accomplish ing the End. A Man may be knowing in the End, and also in the Means, but he is wife as to neither of them, nor has any Title to the Character of Wisdom (which is constantly the complex Idea of a moral Agent applying the proper Means to the End he has pitch'd upon, fuppose his own Happiness in this Life, and the next) till he has accordingly begun and persevered to apply the Means agreeable to their Nature and Design, to the Furcherance of that chosen End. And this is the Business and the very Affair of this admirable Faith with Mankind, which is therefore faid to abound to us ward in all WISDOM and PRUDENCE +: This is the Divine Glory and Guidance, invaluable Comfort and Affurance of the Light, the Way, and the Truth chat came into the World to lead Men to Heaven and Happiness.
This Belief, tam necesitate Medii quam Pre- . cepti, is, without Controversy, the leading, animating Article, and most concerning Truth of the Gospel (supposing the Belief of a God) the Corner-Stone whereon we build our Name and Discipleship, and the Reason of the thence re
CHA P. sulting Hope that is in us. This is the peculiar XVIII. Obligation why we ought to Thew ourselves, a
peculiar People zealous of good Works. This the good Christian Tree that bears the good! Fruit of Christian Works; and we are order'd to make and preserve that Tree good, as it was first planted, and improve it in its Growth, in order to produce its Fruit in due Goodness and Quantity. If no Tree, no real acceptable Froit ; if corrupt, the Fruit can be no better *; and where it is sometimes without Fruit,or at other times the Fruit withereth and fallech off, it is twice dead, plucked up by the Root to. This is the Foundation or Covenant of God, that standetb furt, baving this Seal, The Lord knoweth them that are bis : and let him that nameth the Name of Christ depart from Iniquity.' .
c.br : ; THERE are two most dangerous and 'degenerous Extremes relating to this moft amiable and beneficial Faith. One is of thofe, who place all Religion in the End, without any, or without fufficient Regard to the appointed Means, thinking there is no Religion, Necessity, or very little Use of them.
The other is of those, who either place all, or the most of their Christianity in resting in, with a Judgment and Zeal confin'd to the Means, without any, or without due Reference to the End they were purposely ordain'd to produce ; foolishly rating and efteeming them more neceffary and valuable than the End they were subservient to. This Extreme produces great Variety of Errors and Mistakes, more or less, • Matth. xii. 331
+$2 Judo ra.