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cially Christians ; then the fewest were to be CHAP. elected out of the Heatben World, fome out of XIX. the Jews, but most out of the Christians, who have receiv'd the five Talents here below. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, with the holy Angels, all interest themselves, and offer Qualifications to the Christian, if they will but confent, and use proper Endeavours to be elected. All that are called might be chosen ; and it is thro' their own Defect that many are called, and few chosen. The wicked Angels oppose it with all their Devices, and Might: And all the Might and Chance they have in the Opposition is owing to the Folly, Inconftancy, and Abuse of Liberty in the Candidate. And what sharpens the Vigilance and Keenness of the Opposition is, out of regard to their own Interest ; that they might thereby prevent the Numbers of the Eleet from being compleated, as long as they can, and so defer the evil Day, the Day of. Judgment, as late as possible į and towards alleviating the Miseries of that Day, in the mean time, gather up all the Associates they can, in the Calamity prepar'd for them,
2. It is not true in fact, that God did not prescribe sufficient Remedy to the Disease, or afford fufficient Means for Mens Happiness, buc deferr'd it for 4000 Years till the Time of Iiberius. As the Will of God was directed by the greatest Wisdom and Goodness in appointing different Degrees of Happiness or Rewards hereafter, according to the different Use Men make of their moral Powers in pursuing it in this Life, in the diligent and due Application of the Means he severally put in their Power ; so, from the first Prevarication in Happiness, or be
CHA P. ginning of the Disease, he prescrib'd one uniXIX. form, potent, adequate Remedy, to supply every
thing that was not in Man's Power, upon Condition of his diligently doing every thing on his part that was in his Power, from the first to the Jaft Man of our Race ; and successively thro' all his Generations, and in every Country under Heaven; which was the Promise of the Mediator in Paradise, in the Seed of the Woman, as I observ'd before. And this Means was dispens'd to Mankind by the fame Wisdom and Goodness in the Diversity of one, two, and five usufructuary Talents; as it was more obscurely, or less clearly, or, at length, reveal'd to perfect Light; whilst every Man had equally committed to him the one using Talent, of diligently seeking God as be is, and diligently seeking to please him as a Rewarder, committed to him.
With respect to those who had the one Ta, lent of Means, I took notice before * how thac universal Principle of Reason, and Creed of Natural Religion, That God is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek to please bim, flow'd from that original Promise of a Mediator to Adam. There needed but one Person, Methuselab, to convey it safe to Noab, for he convers'd with both of them. Enocb, and doubtless others in the old World walk'd with God and pleas'd him in virtue of that Faith ; and Sacrifice was unquestionably intimated and instituted from Heaven, from the very first, as observ'd before, to conserve that Hope and Belief, and preserve the Me. morial of that Means of pleasing God without which Faith, of God being a Rewarder, in vir
* Vol. I.
tue of that Means, or Medium, it was imposh.CHA P. ble either in the old World, or the new, impli
ХІХ. citly or explicitly, to please him. From Noah, who is called the Heir of the Righteousness of Faith of the old World, the Promise with the.. Sacrifice flow'd down in two Channels, one, in a direct Line to Abraham, and fo to the Houfe and Lineage of David ; to Abraham the Promife was renew'd of blessing all Nations and Kindreds of the World in his Seed, that should be born of the Virgin Mary. In the other,
Promise and Sacrifice - went out in a winding Channel, to water the rest of the Earth more fparingly, and with Interruptions from the Inhabiters of it, till the Time of refreshing should come from the Presence of the Revelation of the Lord.
Tho' the Promise might be loft in a short Time, by the Unfaithfulnefs of Oral Tradition; yet
the shedding of Blood in Sacrifice, and the Neceffity of Atonement remain'd all the World over ; and we find it in Fact, in the Discovery of every diftant Territory of it, together with the Memory of the Flood convey'd down to all People ; whose Reason could hardly fail of con necting the Sins of the then World and the Anger and Hatred of God, to such a Judgment, and likewife his monumental, distinguishing, reward. ing Love of the Righteous, seeing almost all Mankind were drown'd, and but very few faved from perishing by Water. Yet the Religion and Devotion of Sacrifice carried with it, in the very Face of the Thing, a Proof and a Testimonial to everyone's Reason, that God was reconcileable to Sinners; and therefore a Rewarder of
CHAP. those who diligently seek to please him, and conseXIX.
quently a Punisher of thole who do not.
This being so natural, so easy, and so universal a Principle of Reasoning to all Mankind, carrying with it a Divine Authority as a Principle of Faith and Religion, to all those who would do their Duty in using their Reason, in seeking God as he is, and please him in Hope of his rewarding Favour. And those Gentiles who govern their
Actions by that Principle of Faith, are not so much as one Remove from Abrabam. Having Faith in a future Country and better City, they have the Similitude of Children in that wherein Abrabam was Fatber of the Faithful, and compleatly and emphatically Father of many Nations,
Nations, they inherit that Country and City with him; and share the Blessing of Mofes's Faith, who likewise had Respect unto the Recompence of Reward; all the Just upon Earth lived by that Faith, steer'd by that Compass, and became faithful and justifiable before God from their Fidelity, to that Expe&ation. The Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Heathen thro Faith, preacbit the Gospel (the Promise, the fame Gospel, the same Promise to fallen Adam, which preserv.d the first form'd Father of the World, and brought him out of bis Fall, Wisd. x, 1.) unto Abraham, In thee shall all Nations be blessed, Gal. iii. 8. Tho' they lost the Promise, yet it was included in that true religious Principle of God's being a Rewarder ; and tho? Men want to be put in mind of their Promise,
* Sacrificant, adolent, libant, orantq; voventq;
Mortales fuperis, fi quid peccavit inique
yet God does not, to give the Effect of it im- CHAP. partially to all his diligent, fincere Servants. XIX. Inasmuch as the Mediator tasted Death for all Men, and gave his Life a Ransom for all, to be teftified in due time. And this makes good the Apostle's Argument, why God would have all Men to be saved, and to come to the Knowledge of the Truth, upon the Proof that follows, For there is one God (of the Gentiles as well as the Jews, the common Father of all Men) and one Mediator betwixt God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus * ; the Mediator, as Man, took human Nature in general upon him, which shews the great Beauty of his own Expression, Whosoever mall do the Will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my Brother, and Sister, and Mother ; the Gentiles being related to him as well as the Jews, and equally ordain'd to trust in his Name; that all the Descendants of Adam might be equally his Brethren in the Flesh and Blood he partook of. He would have all Men, by their common Reasoning upon his Goodness, at all Times, and in all Places, to come to the Knowledge of that Truth, that he is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek to please him: That includes and secures the rest ; till in his own due Time he shall testify the Mediator more openly and explicitly to all Nations.
And therefore the same Apostle tells the Romans, that Word, or Righteousness of Faith,
which be preached, was in their Heart t, as well i as the Righteousness of Works, of the moral
Law, which he contended also for, and proved to be written there.