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they are such as I have received of God, and if faithfully practised, will put your salvation past all hazard. But what they have done, or what they will do, I cannot tell, but must leave the issue to God and you. It is pity eternal glory should be lost, for want of yielding to so holy, and sweet, and reasonable a course. It is lamentable to observe, what ignorant, base, unworthy thoughts the most have of the very office of the Holy Ghost, who is the Sanctifier of all that God will save. The very name of regeneration and sanctification, is not understood by some, and is but matter of derision to others; and the most think that it is another kind of matter than indeed it is. To be baptized and come to church, and to say some cold and heartless prayers, and to forbear some gross, disgraceful sins, is all the sanctification that most are acquainted with; (and all have not this;) and thus they debase the work of the Holy Ghost. If a prince have built a sumptuous palace, and you will shew men a swinestye, and say, 'This is the palace that the prince hath been so long a building;' were not this to abuse him by contempt? If he built a navy, and you shew a man two or three pig-troughs, and say, 'These are the king's ships;' would he not take it for a scorn? Take heed of such dealing with the Holy Ghost. Remember what it is to believe in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and remember that you were baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: and do you not yet know why, nor know the meaning of your baptismal covenant? It is not only to believe that there are three persons in the Trinity, but to consent to the relations and duty to them, in respect to their several relations and works. If the Father had not created you, how could you have been men? The Lord of nature must be acknowledged as the End and Governor of nature, and accordingly obeyed: and this is to believe and be baptized into the name of the Father. If the Son had not redeemed you, you had been as the devils were, forsaken and given over to despair. The Purchaser, Procurer, and Author of grace, of pardon, and salvation, must be acknowledged to be such, and himself and his salvation accordingly accepted, and his terms submitted to: and this is to believe in the name of the Son; and in baptism we make profession hereof. And certainly the work of the Holy Ghost is as necessary to your salvation. Without the sanctifying work
of the Spirit, could you never be delivered from sin and satan, nor restored to God's image; and consequently could never be the members of Christ, nor have any saving benefit by his sufferings. Would you not think him unworthy to live, that would reproach the Father's work of nature, and say, That the whole creation is but some poor contemptible work! And would you not think him unworthy the name of a Christian, that had contemptible thoughts of the Son's redemption, as if we could be saved as well without a Saviour: or as if it were some poor and trivial commodity that Christ had purchased for us? I know you would confess the misery of that man, that believeth no better in the Father and the Son and how comes it to pass that you think not of your own misery, that believe no better in the Holy Ghost? Do not you debase the sanctifying office of the Holy Spirit, when you shew us your knowledge and parts, and outward duties and civility, and tell us that these are the works of sanctification? What! is sanctification but such a thing as this? Why, holiness is a new life and spirit in us; and these that you talk of, are but a few flowers that are stuck upon a corpse to keep it awhile from stinking among men, till death convey it to a burial in hell. O sirs, sanctification is another kind of matter than the forsaking of some of our fouler vices, and speaking well of a godly life; it is not the patching up of the old man, but the creating of a new man. I give you warning therefore from God, that you think not basely of the Holy Ghost; and that you think no more to be saved without the sanctifying work of the Spirit, than without the redeeming work of the Son, or creation, government, or love of the Father. Sanctification must turn the very bent and stream of heart and life to God, to Christ, to heaven; it must mortify carnal self, and the world to you; it must make you a people devoted, consecrated, and resigned up to God, with all that you have: it must make all sin odious to you, and make God the love and desire of your souls; so that it must give you a new heart, a new end, a new master, a new law, and a new conversation. This is that noble, heavenly work which the Holy Ghost hath vouchsafed to make the business of his office; to slight and despise this, is to slight and despise the Holy Ghost: to refuse this, is to refuse the Holy Ghost, and not to believe in him to be without this work, is to be without the
Holy Ghost: and "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his;" Rom. viii. 9. The holy Catholic church is composed of all through the world that have this work upon them, and therefore it is called holy. The communion of saints, is the blessed vital fellowship of these. sanctified ones; for these only is the resurrection unto blessedness, and the life everlasting with the Lord of life for all others is the resurrection of condemnation, and the everlasting punishment.
But if the other two articles of our faith have been so denied by the blind, it is less wonder if this be so. Some heretics denied God to be the Creator of the world, and because they saw so much evil in the world, they said that it was made by devils or evil angels (who indeed made the sin, but not the world). So dealt the Jews by the Son, and the second article of our faith. The sacrifice of bulls and goats, and such beasts, was all the sacrifice for sin that they believed in. And thus deal the multitude of the ungodly by the Spirit. Indeed they know not themselves sufficiently, to know the need and worth of sanctification. They are too whole to need the skill and care of Christ or the Holy Ghost. The insensibility of spiritual death and misery, and thinking too lightly of original corruption, and too well of our depraved nature, is both the cause of many of the heresies of the learned, and of the common contempt of Christ and the Spirit, and recovering grace, in all the unregenerate. For it is not possible that men should have any deeper sense of the need or worth of the remedy, than they have of the greatness of their sin and misery.
O sirs, did we not come upon this great disadvantage to you, that we speak to dead men, that have indeed a natural life, which doth but take pleasure in their spiritual death; how confidently should we expect to prevail with all! But while you think lightly of your disease, we can expect no better, but that you think as lightly of Christ and holiness, and all the means that tend to your recovery; and think of the new man, as the poets fabled of the Promethean race, that it grows out of the earth (of your poor, sorry purposes and performances) like ordinary plants.
Truly sirs, I have led you even as far as I can; and what more to say to you, or what more to do for you to procure your conversion, I do not know. If it had been in my power
to have shewed you heaven and hell itself, that you might better have known the matters that we speak of, I think I should have done it. But God will not have men live by sense in this life, but by faith. If I could but help you all to such a knowledge and apprehension of these invisible things, as the worst of you shall have as soon as you are dead, then I should make but little doubt of your conversion and salvation. Sure if you had but such a sight, the force of it would so work upon you, that before I went out of the congregation, you would all cry out that you are resolved to be new creatures. But though this be beyond my power, and though I cannot shew you the great and wonderful things that every eye here must shortly see; yet I come not to you without a glass of God's own making, and in that glass you may see them. There, if you have but an eye of faith, you may see that God that you have so long offended, and that now so earnestly inviteth you to return: there you may see that crucified Christ that hath opened you a way for repentance by his blood, and pleadeth that blood with you for the melting of your impenitent, obstinate hearts. There you may see the odious face of sin, and the amiable face of holiness, which is the image of God. There you may see both heaven and hell, for all that they are invisible; and may know what will be, and that to all eternity, as well as what is.
And will not such a sight in the glass of God's word serve turn to move thee presently to give up the trade of sinning, and to resolve before thou stir, for God? I am now come to the end of this part of my work; if the reading of it have brought thee to the end of thy ungodly, careless life, it will be happy for thee, and I shall so far attain the end of my labour. I have purposely put this Direction of the necessity of resolution in the last place, that I might leave upon thy spirit the reasons for resolution, that here I have laid down. And now I beseech thee reader, whoever thou art, with all the earnestness that I am able to use with thee, as ever thou wouldst escape the fruits of all thy sin, as ever thou wouldst see the face of God with comfort, and have him thy reconciled Father in Christ; as ever thou wouldst have a saving part in Christ, and have him stand thy friend in thy extremities; as ever thou wouldst have hope in thy death, and stand on the right hand, and be jus
tified at judgment; as ever thou wouldst escape the day of vengeance prepared for the unconverted, and the endless misery that will fall upon all unsanctified souls, as sure as the heaven is over thy head; see that thou resolve and turn to God, and trifle with him no more. Away with thy old transgressions, away with thy careless, worldly life, away with thy ungodly company, and set thyself presently to seek after thy salvation with all thy heart, and mind, and might. I tell thee once more, that heaven and hell are not matters to be jested with, nor to be carelessly thought of, or spoken of, or regarded. The God of heaven stands over thee now, while thou art reading all these words, and he seeth thy heart, whether thou art resolved to turn or not. Shall he see thee read such urgent reason, and yet wilt not resolve? Shall he see thee read these earnest requests, and yet not resolve? What! not to come home to thy God, to thy Father, to thy Saviour, to thyself, after so long and wilful sinning? What! not to accept of mercy, now it is even thrust into thy hands, when thou hast neglected and abused mercy so long? O let not the just and jealous God stand over thee, and see thee guilty of such wickedness. If thou be a Christian shew thyself a Christian, and use thy belief, and come to God. If thou be a man, shew thyself a man, use thy reason, and come away to God. I beseech thee read over and over again the reasons that I have here offered thee, and judge whether a reasonable man should resist them, and delay an hour to come in to God. I that am now writing these lines of exhortation to thee, must shortly meet thee at the bar of Christ. I do now adjure thee, and charge thee in the name of the living God, that thou do not thyself and me that wrong, as to make me lose this labour with thee, and that thou put me not to come in as a witness against thee, to thy confusion and condemnation. Resolve therefore presently in the strength of Christ, and strike an unchangeable covenant with him; get thee to thy knees, and bewail with tears thy former life, and deliver up thyself wholly now to Christ, and never break this covenant more.
If thou lay by the book, and go away the same, and no persuasion will do any good upon thee, but unholy thou wilt still be, and sensual, and worldly still thou wilt be; I call thy conscience to witness, that thou wast warned of the evil that is near thee; and conscience shall obey this call,