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preceptively, namely," To deny ungodliness and worldly lufts, and to live foberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world.”-Here is an antidote against Legalism, or Neonomianism, as some call it, which turns the gospel to a new law, and the covenant of grace, as it were, to a covenant of works *. This text and doctrine fhews that we are not saved by a work, but by a word; not by any work of ours, but by a word sent from God to us, even a word of salvation : “ Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,” Titus iii. 5. See 2 Tim. i. Here also is an antidote against ignorant preachers of the gospel, that confound the marks of faith with the ground of faith, or the evidences of faith with the warrant of faith, or the condition of the covenant with the qualities of the covenanted, as if the gospel-call were only to faints, or to finners so and so qualified; and so leading men in to themselves for a ground of faith, in. stead of leading them out of themselves to Christ, ex. hibited to them in a word of salvation sent to them t. The gospel-method of salvation is the reverse of all the legal schemes in the world. The legal strain supposes fome good quality about the finner, before he be allowed to meddle with the word of salvation; and so fhuts the door of the gospel, which it pretends to open. But the gospel-strain brings the word of salvation freely to every finner's door, and supposes him to be destitute of all good qualities whatsoever, and leaves no room for to say, I am not allowed to come in.
7. Hence see how much it concerns all and every one to try and examine what entertainment they have given the word of salvation that is fent them. Have you received it or not in a saying way?
(1.) Have you received it as the word of God; the word by way of eminency; the word of God in Chrift; 1 Thess. ii. 13. and received it not as the word of man,
* That these particulars were the prevailing principles of the age, was formerly affirmed, Vol. 1. p. 232. Vol. II. p. 304, 305, 466. Vol. III, p. 54. Vol. IV. p. 148. Vol. V. p. 91, 92.
# This important point of doctrine is somewhat more copioully laid apen above, p. 145, 146, 147,
of this or that man, but, as it is in trath, the word of God?
(2.) Have you received it as a word of salvation, or as a faithful saying, worthy of all acceptation; both as a truth and as a good ? This reception of it supposes a view you have of your being a loft finner welcoming a Saviour.
(3.) Have you received it, as the word of this falva. tion, a present falvation, a particular salvatior.? This particular salvation from fin and wrath, that you need; this near falvation ; “ I bring near my righteousness to the stout-hearted and far from righteousness; my salvation fhall not tarry,” Ifa. xlvi. 12, 13. This great falvation, this purchased falvation; this promifed falvation, this offered falvation, presently offered. Faith fixes upon fomething present. You need not fay, Rom. x. 6, 7, 8. * Who will ascend to heaven, to bring Christ down? or, defcend into the deep, to bring Christ up? The word is nigh thee, even in thy heart, and in thy mouth.” Again,
(4.) Have you received it as a fent salvation ; as God's send, as God's gift, fent by the hand of Christ, fent by the hand of his ambassadors, fent freely and fo. vereignly, without your feeking after it, fent out of the ftore-house of divine grace?
(5.) Have you received it as sent to finners, to fino ners in general ? For here is glad tidings of great joy to all people : “ Upon this mountain fhall the Lord of hofs make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feaf of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined, Ifa. xxv. 6.
(6.) Have you received it as fent unto you in particular? To you, finners, says the general difpenfation : to thee, finner, in particular, says the particular offer ; " Whosoever will, let him come.” Halt thou then received it, as sent to thee, tho' a guilty finner; to thee; though a vile finner ? Hast thou entertained it with a me, me, of particular application, saying, Here is an offer to me, a gift to me, a promife froin heaven to me? Halt thou found thyself called by name, and said, I am warranted to take hold of Christ, and the salvation he brings with him, in this word of salvation, and even fo I take him at his word; "Lord, I believe, help thou mine
unbelief?”-Have you hereupon found the virtue of this word, as a word of salvation, saving you from your doubts and fears, saving you from your bonds and fetters, saving you from your helpless and hopeless condi. tion, and inaking you to hope for complete salvation from fin and misery?-Have you found falvation begun in the faith or the word of salvation, and been begotten to a lively hope thereby? And does this hope begin to purify your heart, and this faith begin to work by love to God and hatred of fin, and of yourself for sin ? And is your continual recourse to this word of falvation, or to the promise of God in Christ, for all your falvation?
8. Hence see what matter of joy and praise believers have, who have been determined thus to entertain the word of salvation : for, when the word of salvation is received through grace, then the work of salvation is begun: and you need be in no uneasiness now, though you be called to work out the work of your salvation with fear and trembling; because it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do. “ He that hath begun the good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of the Lord.” The word of salvation may be to thee, O believer, the word of consolation all the days of your life : for, it is a word of salvation, not only from the finful state, and miserable state you was in, but is a word of salvation also, bringing the good news of salvation in every case; falvation from the devil, the world, and the flesh; falvation and deliverance from the hands of all your enemies; salvation from the sling of death; falvation from the terror of judgment; salvation from the curse of the law, and from the guilt of all your fins; salvation not only from all evil, but salvation to eternal life; for the word of salvation, which you
have received and entertained through grace, contains all the words of eternal life. The word of salvation is the word of life for you, when under deadness, and the word of liberty for you, when under bondage ; a word of rest for you,
when under weariness, a word of relief for you, when under diftrefs of whatsoever fort. It is a word of salvation confirmed with the oath of God, " That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God
to lye, they might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them.”
9. Hence fee matter of terror to those who neglect this great salvation that is sent to them by this word : “ How shall they escape, who neglect so great falvation,” and so near to them? O finner, it is a salvation fent to your house; and will you reject it ?
you reject it? Salvation fent to your soul; a word of salvation sent to your hand to receive it, and will you reject it? A word of salvation sent to your ear, saying, “But hear, and your foul shall live.” A word of salvation sent to your heart, and by it God is knocking at the door of your heart :
O Sirs, will you refuse him that speaketh from heaven?“ See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven,” Heb. xii. 25. If you will not hear God's word of grace in the gospel, faying, To you is the word of this salvation sent; you must lay your account to hear his word of 'wrath in the law, saying, yea, swearing in his wrath, “That you shall not enter into his rest.” If you have no fear of God, as it is in the verse where my text lies, if you shall never be perfuaded to fear the Lord and his goodness, manifested in the word of salvation, sent to you, you must lay your account to fear the Lord and his wrath, manifested in the word of condemnation, which the law pronounces against them who believe not the gospel:“ He that believeth not, is condemned already,” John iii. 18. And there is no escaping this sentence of condemnation, but by receiving the word of salvation. 10. Hence fee how much it is the interest of
every one to receive, and entertain, and welcome this word of salvation. O Sirs, “ Hear, that your souls may live.” Hear the joyful sound of salvation, Oloft perishing fin ner, before the door of mercy be fhut, and the day of grace bę over. To persuade you hereunto, we shall lay before you the four following considerations.
(1.) Consider what sort of a salvation is offered to you. It is a spiritual salvation; the salvation of the immortal soul : " What shall a man profit, tho' he gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul ?" If you would not lose and ruin your souls, O receive the word of salvation. It is a costly falvation ; it comes running in the channel of the blood of Christ. It is bought to your hand, and free to you, however dear bought by the Redeemer. You have nothing to pay for it; the price of it is paid already ; the condition of it is fulfilled.It is a complete salvation; salvation from every thing you need to be saved from: salvation from unbelief, enmity, atheism, heart-hardness, heart-deadness, and every thing that you make an objection against receiving of this salvation. You say you cannot believe, you cannot repent; but would you be saved from your unbelief and impenitence? This, and all the other branches of falvation is sent to you, when the word of salvation is fent. Will you welcome a Saviour to save you from all, to be wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and all to you? --It is an everlasting salvation. Would you be happy after death, and have an eternity of happiness?“ Life and immortality is brought to light by this word of salvation.” O poor dying finner, consider what an everlasting salvation this is.
(2.) Consider what need thou hast of this salvation. Thou hast a dark mind; and needelt salvation from that darkness and ignorance. Thou hast a guilty conscience; and needest salvation from that guilt. Thou hast a hard heart; and needest salvation from that hardness. Thou hast powerful and strong corruption; and needest salvation from that. Thou hast a corrupt nature; and needeft falvation from that. Thou hast many heart-plagues ; and needest salvation from these plagues, and healing. Behold, all this salvation, and infinitely more, comes with the word of salvation ; no salvation thou needeft is excepted. Thy need is great, death is at hand, judgment at hand : “ Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” There will be no word in the day of judgment to finners, but a word of condemnation; “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels :" but now, in the day of salvation, is sent to you this word of salvation ; now, now is the day; and, perhaps, now or never. (3.) Confider what a firm ground this word of falva