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made more proud. It is true, occasionally a man may be proud of and puffed up by his very graces, but there is yet that in true grace itself that will suppress pride, grace being contrary to sin ; as for gifts, though they be divers from sin, yet they are not contrary unto sin, and so cannot suppress sin, as grace can do, that is contrary thereunto; for one contrary doth destroy the other. I express it thus : a man may be proud of his clothes, and he may be proud of his graces, but there is not that in his clothes which will suppress his pride; there is nothing in clothes that is contrary unto pride, but in grace there is. So a man may be proud of his gifts, and he may be proud of his graces, but there is not that in gifts that is so contrary unto pride as there is in grace; there is that in grace that is directly contrary unto sin and pride: I say, therefore, that pride and corruption cannot so easily plant and grow upon grace itself as it can upon gifts, and therefore there is a greater excellency in grace, and the way of grace and holiness, than in the way of gifts. Though a man have never so little grace, and have no gifts, yet he gives no offence, is not scandalous; but if a man have all gifts, and have no grace, how many offences doth he fall into, and how scandalous is he? let experience spcak.

Though a man have never such great parts and gifts, yet if he have not grace withal, he may go to hell, and perish to all eternity, for by his gifts he is not united unto Jesus Christ, for by his gifts he is not made the child of God, for by his gifts he is not estated in the covenant of grace. You know what our Saviour saith: “Many shall say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and have done many wonderful works?" these are the effects of gifts; "and he shall say unto them, Depart, I know you not.” But saith the apostle concerning grace and love, “ I hope better things of you, and such as accompany salvation, for God is not unmindful to forget your labour of love that accompanies salvation. You see how it is with children that are playing together in the day, if they be playing abroad, and children of divers parents, when night comes, one child goes to his father, and the other unto his father; they are very like, it may be, and their clothes are alike, and when they are playing together abroad, you cannot say whose child this is, or whose child that is, but when night comes, the fa-

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ther then comes unto his child and saith, Come home, my child, come in at doors, and if the other offers to go in there, No, child, you must go home to your father; so while we are living, grace and gifts are mingled together, some men have gifts and some men have graces, and they look very

like. Ah, but when night comes, and when death comes, then God the Father, he saith to those that have grace, Come, my children, enter in; but if those that have gifts only come, he sends them away: No, you must go to your father, it is not your gifts make you my children; by grace you are my children, but not by gifts, and therefore home to your father, I am none your father, home unto your own father; thus will the Lord speak when night comes : if a man do go to hell and perish, the more gifts he hath, the deeper will he sink into hell ; as it is with a man that is in the water, sinking in the water, the more he is laden with gold, the more he sinks, and as he is sinking if he hath any time to cry out, he saith, Oh, take away these bags of gold, these bags of gold will sink me, they will undo me: so I say, these golden parts and golden gifts they will

1 undo men; wher, men come to hell, and shall perish, the more golden gifts and parts they have had, the deeper they shall sink in hell; parts and gifts will never save a man from the wrath to come, aye, but grace, and love, and holiness under Christ will; surely therefore there is an excellency in the way of grace and of love, beyond the way of gifts : though the way of gifts be an excellent way, and much to be desired,

way

of
grace

and of love is a more excellent way, and most of all to be desired.

By way of application then methinks this doctrine looks wishly upon those that have gifts, upon those that have none, or very weak, and it looks wishly upon us all.

It looks wishly upon those that have parts and gifts, and it calls upon you all for to bless the Lord. Hath the Lord led you in a way of gifts ? of gifts ? He hath led

you

in an excellent way, for the way of gifts is an excellent way. Is it not a

, great mercy for a man to be able to do good to others, and to save another man's soul, to have a hand to pull others out of everlasting burnings? Herein man seems to go beyond the angels, for the angels are ministering spirits, but men are called saviours, “Others save with fear, pulling them out of

yet the

the fire.” And hath the Lord led you in a way of gifts, and given you gifts to do good to others ? Such a hand he hath given to you, surely therefure you have cause for ever to bless the Lord.

But though the Lord, through his grace, hath led me in this way of gifts, I fear I have nothing but gifts, I fear that they are gifts alone, and not grace withal; had I gifts and graces too, I should bless the Lord indeed, but I fear it is nothing but gifts.

For answer, it is possible that a man that hath grace may think he hath nothing but gifts; it is possible for a man that hath only gifts to think that his gifts are graces. But would you know the difference between gifts and graces as they are in subjecto, as they are in a particular person for the difference between them as they are in themselves, I have shewn you in the beginning. Then thus, the faculty you know is distinguished by the act, and the act by the object, potentia distinguitur per actum, et actus per objectum, saith philosophy. If a man have gitts only, he is exercised most about a gifting object; if grace, then about a gracious object; and therefore if you look into Scripture, you shall find, that grace and faith fall in with a crucified Christ, “I desire to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified,” saith faith and grace. But now gifts coming in by the ascension of Jesus Christ, “ He hath ascended on high, he hath given gifts to men," they are conversant especially about ascensions and glories, but a crucified Christ is a mean and fleshly thing in their eyes.

Again, They differ in their nature; for gifts, as I may so speak, are a dead grace, and grace is a living gift ; dead men are free among the dead, and living men love to converse with the living; grace is a living quality, and therefore it prizeth living saints, and things are most savoury that come from a living hand; but gifts in comparison are a dead thing, and therefore prizeth dead notions, and dead persons; and things relish best which come from a dead hand, as books and the like; why? because gifts being dead, themselves are free among the dead.

Again, They differ also in their disposition, for grace and holiness is contented with the simplicity of the gospel, gifts are not contented therewithal, and therefore you shall observe that the Corinthians, who excelled in gifts, adulterated the gospel with their swelling words; the Galatians adulterated the doctrine of the gospel, and mingled the doctrine of the gospel with justification by works; and the Corinthians mingled the words of the gospel with their own swelling language; they had gifts and they were not contented with the simplicity of the gospel, aye, but grace is. You see how it is with a child that comes into a corn-field, he is mightily taken with the blue or red weeds, or a company of daisies, but now when a man comes, the husbandman comes, he looks at the corn, and is not so much taken with the blue or red weeds, or the daisies that grow there, but is taken with the corn itself. So now take a man that hath gifts only, and bring him to a sermon, or to a prayer, and if there be any fine expressions, any daisies, he is much taken with them, he prizeth and magnifieth them, and he hangs on them ; but now bring a man that hath grace, to prayer, or to a sermon, and he looks at the corn, he doth not look at the daisies so much, but at the spirituality and the power of those things that are there delivered. They differ in their disposition.

Again, They differ also in their effects ; grace hath a good hand at suffering as well as at doing; gifts have a very good hand at doing, but they have an ill hand at suffering ; they are given to profit withal, they are given to act, and to do with ; but when you come to suffer, gifts, I say, though they have a good hand at doing, they have a very ill hand at suffering: but now grace hath as good a hand at suffering as it hath at doing.

Again, They differ also in their abatement and in their quenching : if a man have grace and fall into sin, that sin will hinder and quench the former actings of his grace; he cannot act now as he did act before; therefore saith the apostle, " Quench not the Spirit :" but if a man have gifts only, and no grace, and he fall into sin, that sin hinders not his actings, he can pray as he did, and he can converse as he did, his actings are not so much hindered or quenched thereby; as it is with a candle, if it be only painted upon a board, and you put it into the water, that is not quenched thereby ; why? because it is a dead candle, it is not a living candle : but now come and take a living candle, a burning candle, and put that into the water, and that is quenched: why? be

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cause it is a living candle, it is a burning candle : so now, take a man that hath gifts only, and let him fall into sin, and his gifts are not quenched with his sin ; why? because he is but a dead candle, a painted candle, and so he can pray as well, and converse as well, though he fall into sin : but now, a man that hath grace in truth, and more than gifts, if he fall into sin, oh, he cannot act as he did act before, he hath not the same face towards God as he had before : thus, I say, they differ in their abatements. And therefore now, whosoever you are that make this objection, and fear that you have nothing but gifts, and not grace; as it is the scruple of many christians, Oh, I fear, saith one, I have nothing but gifts, that I have not grace at all, but gifts alone: I appeal unto you before the Lord, whoever you are that labour under this fear, whether do you not desire above all to know Jesus Christ and him crucified; whether are not things best that come from a living hand to you; whether do not your disposition lie towards the simplicity of the gospel; and are you not content and satisfied therewithal; whether have you not as good a hand at suffering, when God calls you thereunto, as at doing; whether are you not quenched, when you fall into sin? Oh, yes, saith the poor soul; this I must needs say, through grace thus it is with me; the Lord knows I can speak this in truth, I desire to know nothing but a crucified Christ; living things from a living hand do savour best with me, and my disposition lies towards the simplicity of the gospel; I am not so much taken with the daisies, as with the corn that grows in a sermon and in a prayer; and through grace I have as good a hand at suffering, when God leads me to it, as at doing; and this I can say in truth, that when I do fall into any great sin, that I find some abating and quenching, I cannot pray then as I could pray before. Well, if these things be in you and abound, be of good comfort, here is more than bare gifts, here is

also. This doctrine looks wishly also upon those that have no gifts, upon those that are weak in gifts, have either no gifts at all, or very weak gifts; and it calls upon you to be of good comfort. There is many a poor soul complains and says, As for such and such men, they have great gifts, but I have no gifts at all; I have no memory at all, I have no utterance, I have no elocution, I have no gifts in prayer, I have no gifts

grace

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