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A35951 An expositon of all St. Pauls epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude : wherein the sense of every chapter and verse is analytically unfolded and the text enlightened. / David Dickson ...; Expositio analytica omnium Apostolicarum Epistolarum. English Dickson, David, 1583?-1663.; Retchford, William.; Dickson, David, 1583?-1663. Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews. 1659 (1659) Wing D1403; ESTC R7896 807,291 340

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after the flesh so that they could not please God 2 They were uncircumcised that is had in reproach by the Jews who boasted in an external circumcision made with hands Vers. 12. That at that time yee were without Christ being Aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel and strangers from the Covenants of Promise having no hope and without God in the world 3 They were without Christ or destitute of all actual communion with Christ in the Spirit 4 Aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel that is without the Church of God 5 Strangers from the Covenants of Promise that is from all right to apply unto themselves the Covenants and Promises of God 6 They were without any certain hope of future good 7 They were without the true God that is without his knowledge and worship 8 They were worldly or a part of the world which wallows in sin and which is the Kingdome of Satan Therefore that yee are delivered from this so miserable a condition cannot bee any thing else but of Grace Vers 13. But now in Iesus Christ yee who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Argum. 15. If the happiness of this present state were compared with the former state it would bee found to bee so great that it could proceed from nothing but Grace There are eight parts of this Argument every one whereof hath the same tendency 1 The Ephesians who were far off from the Covenant and from the Church and its priviledges are now made nigh their way unto the Covenant and to the Church being laid open which benefit hath for its meritorious cause the blood of Christ for its instrumental Faith whereby they are implanted into Christ and consequently it is of Grace Vers. 14. For hee is our Peace who hath made both one and ha●h broken down the middle wall of partition between us 2 Christ hath reconciled the Gentiles and Iews to one another hee is a peaceable Mediatour and the very cause of Peace hee hath joyned both his people into one body hee took away the Ceremonial Law which as a body or partition-wall did divide betwixt Jews and Gentiles and was a cause of enmity by his suffering in the flesh hee hath procured this Peace And are not all these of Grace Vers. 15. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity even the Law of Commandements contained in Ordinances for to make in himself of twain one new man so making Peace 3 This is propounded more specially and in express words Christ hath abrogated the Law of Commandements consisting in Ordinances that is the positive Ceremonial Law which was fulfilled by his comming thus that Law being taken away which stirred up enmity between the two people hee joyned them both being reconciled to one another as one new man in himself the common head making one mystical Christ or joyning the Jews and Gentiles as the members of one mystical body into one body hee himself being the Head thereof And here wee may perceive Grace in the highest degree Vers. 16. And that hee might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross having slain the enmity thereby 4 Here hee brings another end of the abolished Law that hee might reconcile in this his own body not onely both people to one another but unto God paying the price of their Redemption from their sins by the death of the Cross and removing the enmities between God and his redeemed people by his own death Here Grace also is very conspicuous Vers. 17. And ●ame and preached Peace to you which were afar off and to them that were nigh 5 Here hee declares how this Peace was made known to the world viz. in the preaching of the Gospel by Jesus Christ who as hee was the Author of Peace so hee was the first publisher of this Peace in the Gospel to the consolation and salvation of the Jews who were called such as were nigh because of the Covenant and to the salvation of the Gentiles who were called Aliens because they were strangers to the Covenant Here also Grace shews it self Vers. 18. For through him wee both have an access by one Spirit unto the Father 6 Here hee gives the reason why this Peace was preach'd to both because the price being paid by one Christ there is one way and access opened to both Jews and Gentiles that Gentiles as well as Jews might call upon one Father through one Spirit and therefore Peace was preach'd to Jews and Gentiles Here is nothing but Grace Vers. 19. Now therefore wee are no more strangers and forreigners but fellow-Citizens with the Saints and of the houshold of God 7 In this hee gathers by way of a Corolary that the Ephesians are now no more guests or strangers but Citizens of the City of the Saints and of the family of God which also is the priviledge of all us that beleeve Vers. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets Iesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone 8 In which explaining more at large the union of the Ephesians with Christ and the holy Church hee shews that they are living stones of the Temple of God as streightly united with other Beleevers and with Christ as stones are to the foundation of a building And here is a graphical description of the Church in its likeness to a Temple the parts whereof are three 1 The Church is like to the Temple of God whose foundation is Christ not onely upholding the whole building but also joyning together the several walls the Jews and Gentiles and uniting them in himself 2 The Apostles and other faithful Ministers after them are the builders who teach that Christ who alone is able to bear the whole business of Redemption and Salvation is the onely foundation of this Temple and by thus teaching do edifie and build the Saints upon Christ according to the Doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles 3 The stones of this Temple are the Elect or all true Beleevers who ●re built upon Christ by the preaching of the Truth amongst whom were these beleeving Ephesians Vers. 21. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple in the Lord Hee proceeds in his allegorical description of the true Catholick Church and explains four conditions and properties of the Church or Temple of God 1 This Temple is said to bee artificiously made or fitly compiled because the whole building of the Church and all its members are then fitly compacted with the greatest wisdome when Christ and his will is so preached that every Beleever hath his proper place and function according to the quality of the gifts of the Holy Ghost so that some in publick office some in their private calling and all in their several places concur to the edification of the whole Temple 2 This Temple is living because Christ who is the foundation is living and quickening and his true members all Beleevers are living stones being quickened and
the measure for so also is Charity imperfect but chiefly in respect of the manner of knowing viz. by means which kind of knowledge because it is mediate it is imperfect Vers. 10. But when that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall bee done away This manner of knowing viz. mediately shall bee quite abolished when the perfect way of knowledge shall come viz. the immediate But Charity although it bee imperfect as to the measure yet as to the manner of loving it is perfect for it is immediately carried to God and therefore this manner of loving shall never bee abolished but rather encreased Vers. 11. When I was a child I spake as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child but when I became a man I put away childish things Hee shews that the present way of kno●ing is to bee abolished by the similitude of the abolishing of childish sports when any comes to bee a man Vers. 12. For now wee see thorough a glass darkly but then face to face now I know in part but then shall I know even as also I am known Hee shews the same by another similitude ●●●paring the present manner of knowing to knowledge by a glass darkly which kind of knowledge is mediate but the knowledge to come is immediate whereby any one kno●● intuitively because in the life to come our mind shall immediately bee enlightened by God and wee shall see and know God immediately Vers. 13. And now abideth Faith Hope Charity these three but the greatest of these is Charity Argum. 4. Charity is more excellent than Faith or Hope which are saving Graces and gifts not to bee repented of Therefore the most worthy Because Charity shall never fail but shall also continue in the life to come when Faith and Hope shall cease In the mean time let us remember that Faith in some respects is more excellent than Charity because Faith is the cause of Love Gal. 5.6 Wee are justified by Faith and have peace with God Rom. 5.1 And Christ dwells in our hearts by Faith which works Charity in us Ephes. 3.17 But the Apostle regarding the concord and edification of the Church by right extolls Charity as much as belongs to his purpose hee knew also that no man could endeavour after the increase of Christian Charity but hee must also labour after the increase of Faith which is the cause of Love CHAP. XIV HEE PROCEEDS TO TREAT OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND THEIR RIGHT USE THere are two parts of the Chapter In the first hee prefers the gift of Prophesie before the gift of Tongues to vers 26. In the other hee gives commands concerning that order that was to bee observed in their Assemblies to the end Vers. 1. Follow after Charity and desire spiritual gifts but rather that yee may prophesie Hee proved in the fore-going Chapter that Charity was the most excellent gift In the beginning of this Chapter hee infers an Exhortation by way of conclusion that they would affect it and have all both gifts and spiritual offices in honour but because some were proud of the gift of tongues and most despised Pastoral gifts in comparison of this gift and too much admired the gift of tongues Therefore hee compares these gifts together and proves that the gift of Prophecie or Exhortation is more excellent than the gift of tongues separated from the gift of interpretation Hee gives thirteen Reasons Vers. 2. For hee that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men but unto God for no man understandeth him Howbeit in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries 3. But hee that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort The first Reason Hee that speaks in an unknown tongue although by the gift of the Spirit hee speaks the Mysteries of God yet hee speaks without profit because hee is understood by God alone and not by men But a Prophet or Pastor speaking in a known tongue teaches exhorts comforts his hearers and so speaks profitably Therefore Prophecie is more excellent than the gift of tongues Vers. 4. Hee that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself but hee that prophesieth edifieth the Church Reason 2. Hee that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies none 〈◊〉 himself but a Prophet the whole Church or Assembly Therefore Prophecie is more excellent Vers. 5. I would that yee all spake with tongues but rather that yee prophesied for greater is bee that prophesieth than hee that speaketh with tongues except hee interpret that the Church may receive edifying That hee might rightly bee understood hee shews that hee doth not abolish tongues though hee prefers a Prophet before him that speaks in an unknown tongue Vers. 6. Now brethren if I come unto you speaking with tongues what shall I profit you except I shall speak to you either by revelation or by knowledge or by prophecying or by doctrine Reason 3. From his own example his Apostolical Ministery would not bee profitable to them unless hee should speak to them in a known tongue by extraordinary Prophecie by Revelation or ordinary knowledge either by Prophecying or exhorting as a Pastor or instructing as a Teacher Therefore the gift of tongues is inferiour to the gift of Prophecie Vers. 7. And even things without life giving sound whether pipe or harp except they give a distinction in their sounds how shall it bee known what is piped or harped 8. For if the Trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself unto the battel 9. So likewise you except yee utter by the tongue words easie to bee understood how shall it bee known what is spoken for yee shall speak into the ayr Reason 4. As a Trumpet or any other instrument touched or blown sounding confusedly utters an unprofitable and an ungrateful sound so also a tongue not understood gives no other than an uncertain and useless sound But the Prophets in their Prophecying speak in a known tongue Therefore the gift of tongues is inferiour to the gift of Prophecie Vers. 10. There are it may bee so many kinds of voices in the world and none of them are without signification Reason 5. The voices of Brutes are many whereof none is so inarticulate but represents a certain species of the living creature to those that hear It is therefore an unworthy thing so to debase the gift of the Spirit that it should profit no more but should bee less valued than the blearing of a brute beast In Prophecie it is not so Therefore the gift of Tongues is inferiour to that of Prophecie Vers. 11. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice I shall bee unto him that speaketh a Barbarian and hee that speaketh shall bee a Barbarian unto mee Reason 6. Because to speak things not understood makes the Teachers and the Hearers Barbarians each to other Therefore c. Vers. 12. Even so yee for as much as yee are zealous of spiritual gifts seek that yee may excell to the
themselves fairly before men Onely Sign 2. That they compel the Galatians to admit of Circumcision not out of love but onely lest they should suffer persecution by the Jews for the Doctrine of the Cross or free justification by the death of Christ and not by the works of the Law Vers. 13. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the Law but desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh Sign 3. That although they were circumcised long since yet they little care for the observance of the Law which they required of others But desire Sign 4. That they seek occasion from the circumcision of the Galatians to glory amongst the Jews that they had converted many Proselytes to the Law Vers. 14. But God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Iesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto mee and I unto the world In the other part of the comparison the sincerity of the Apostle is shewn in these two things 1. That hee onely glories in his free Redemption by Christ crucified and in his sufferings for the Doctrine 2. That hee doth not affect earthly pomp but contemn the world with all its pomp and glory which persecuted and despised him for the Doctrine of the Cross sake and by the Cross learnt daily more and more to contemn the world Vers. 15. For in Christ Iesus neither Circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision but a new creature Hee gives four Reasons of his endeavour which are so many signs of his sincerity Reason 1. I know that in the Kingdome of Christ neither Circumcision nor Uncircumcision is respected by God but a new creature i. e. I know that it is necessary when any one is admitted by faith into the Kingdome of Christ and justified that hee should bee more and more renewed and sanctified but other priviledges are of no value without newness of life Therefore I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ. Vers. 16. And as many as walk according to this rule peace bee on them and mercy and upon the Israel of God Reas. 2. The rule of my intention is the summe of the whole Canonical Scripture to which as to one onely rule or one onely Canon the Doctrine and life of all is to bee conformable Therefore I will only glory in the Cross of Christ c. Peace Reas. 3. I am perswaded that whosoever shall order their faith and life by this rule they shall also obtain peace i. e. a sense of their reconciliation to God all kinde of blessings or an accumulation of good things and mercy or a remedy for the purging away all evills Therefore I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ. Israel Reas. 4. They are alone the true Israel of God that follow this Rule Therefore all things laid aside I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ by c. Vers. 17. From henceforth let no man trouble mee for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Iesus After the Comparison as a Conquerour hee triumphs over his Emulators forbidding them to make him any further work either by gain-saying his Doctrine or by detracting from his Authority because hee bare the ensign of his Felicity towards Christ viz. the mark of a servant most devoted to Christ i. e. Hee hath all the signes of an Apostle and a faithfull Witness clearly to bee seen in him Vers. 18. Brethren the Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with your spirit Amen Hee shuts up the Epistle with his accustomed seal wishing that the Grace of Jesus Christ manifested beleeved and effectual might abide in their mindes hearts and whole life that from thence they may draw consolation both in life and death to which Amen is subjoyned as a testimony of his vote and the faith of an Apostle and for a seal of the truth of the precedent Doctrine The Epistle of Paul to the EPHESIANS Analytically expounded The Contents THe City of the Ephesians was the Metropolis of Lesser Asia in which the Apostle two whole years preached the Gospel Act. 19. And when lastly hee went up to Jerusalem hee fore-told a change of the Church to the Ephesians Act. 20. Against which hee fortifies them by this Epistle when hee was now held captive at Rome and plainly despaired of his return hee endeavoureth diligently to confirm their minds in Faith and Truth There are two principal parts of the Epistle besides the Preface and the Conclusion The first is The Doctrine of Grace for the confirmation of their Faith to Chap. 4. The other is the Doctrine of gratitude and thankfulness tending to holiness of life to the end of the Epistle That which belongeth to the first part First of all hee shews that the whole reason of our salvation is free and solidly founded on Christ in the first Chapter Furthermore hee amplifies this Grace from the former misery of the Ephesians Chap. 2. Thirdly The scandal of the Cross lying upon him being taken away hee exhorts them to constancy and progress in the Faith by the glorious commendation of his Ministery and by manifesting the cause for which hee suffered Chap. 3. In the second part hee gives Precepts of keeping the unity of the Church of holiness of life as well in general as in particular in the shunning of evil and following after virtue by which the life of every one is ordered in a Christian manner Chap. 4. and in the former part of Chap. 5. After these hee descends to houshold duties to which and all other Christian duties that are to bee performed hee arms the faithful in the latter part of Chap. 5. and in the former part of Chap. 6. CHAP. I. THis Chapter besides the Preface contains two parts In the first is a thanksgiving tending to prove that the whole business of salvation both of Iews and Gentiles is meerly of Grace and wholly built on Christ to vers 15. In the other is a commemoration of the Apostles continual thanksgiving and prayer offered to God for the Ephesians tending to the confirmation of Faith the assurance of their salvation and of the perseverance of all truly faithful unto the end The Preface in the two first verses contains a direction of the Epistle and a salutation of the Ephesians which is very short because hee hath not to do here with envious persons or enemies but with conformable and obedient men to whom it would bee sufficient briefly to intimate his divine authority in writing this Epistle and the Apostles good will towards them and opinion of them Vers. 1. Paul an Apostle of Iesus Christ by the Will of God to the Saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Iesus In the direction of the Epistle wee have the description of the Writer from his Name Office and Authority And then of those to whom hee writes from the condition in which they stood towards God and from the place which they did inhabit on the
passing by chose us Therefore wee are chosen out of grace 2. Hee chose us in Christ as in the head who was first chosen as in the common Parent root and fountain of the elect After whom wee in the consideration of dignity and order and in whom wee as his body members and off-spring are afterwards chosen in the order of nature Therefore our election is free there being no cause of it in us which is to bee sought for in God alone 3. Hee chose us before the foundation of the world that is from eternity before the world was much more before any works of ours were Hee chose us before any matter of the created world was existent much more before any matter of our works or workings could bee existent for hee elected us in order of nature before hee decreed that the world should bee For the decree of the creation of the world was subservient as a means to bring to pass the already decreed salvation of the elect Therefore hee chose us of grace and not for fore-seen works Hee chose us that wee might bee holy 4. Hee did not choose us because wee were holy or because hee fore-saw that wee would bee holy but hee chose us without any consideration of any holiness at all in us nay hee chose us as not having holiness to the end that being chosen wee should bee made holy and should become unblameable in his sight that is that being consecrated to God wee should bee by degrees truly and sincerely sanctified and should at last bee presented fully and perfectly holy in heaven Yea further that being unblameable without spot without wrinkle not onely of sin but also of all misery wee should at length appear together before him blessed and glorious Therefore our election is not from faith fore-seen or works fore-seen but of meer grace which as it is the cause of election so of all holiness and happiness which follows election In love Love or charity is meerly free in which as hee hath chosen us that wee should bee made holy and unblameable so also that in that his love we should perfect this our happiness which love God will then fully put forth when hee shall fully consummate our holiness and happiness And so the charity or love of God is hoth the cause of election and the completing or perfecting of those good things which follow election and by consequence election is not onely of grace but is for the perfect possession of free happiness in the sight of God Vers. 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Iesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will Arg. 3. Thus God of his grace hath blessed us in time so also of grace hee hath predestinated us to the inheritance of Sons which was to bee obtained by Christ in his own person according to the good pleasure of his will Therefore wee should celebrate his grace The parts of this reason prove the same that the whole reason it self doth Having predestinated us 1. As our election before time was free so is our predestination also before ages unto life eternal and to fit means which should bee effectual to bring us to that end Therefore predestination is free in that it doth not onely assign the end and persons but also appoints the means by which wee must attain that end Unto the adoption of children 2. Here also the Apostle manifests the grace of God Wee are predestinated not because wee are fore-seen as Sons but that being not as yet Sons wee should by Grace attain the Adoption of Sons Now the Adoption of Sons includes these four things 1 An effectual Calling or Faith to imbrace the offered communion with Christ the onely begotten Son 2 A towardliness and good disposition of Sons or the renovation of our nature that wee might love God as our Father 3 The dignity and honour of Sons 4 The Riches or Inheri●ance of Sons even to the glorifying of our Bodies Rom. 8.23 Therefore both our Predestination and Adoption is free and not for any work of ours By Christ 3 And this doth make much for the advancement of Grace Wee are predestinated that wee may obtain the Adoption of Children by Iesus Christ who is the first-begotten and onely-begotten Son that by his merit and efficacy wee might obtain all the fore-said degrees of Adoption Therefore our predestination is from meer Grace To himself 4 That Grace might appear he shews the end of Adoption God hath predestinated us that wee should obtain the Adoption of Children by Christ to himself or to his use viz. to the honour of him that predestinateth or of Christ by whom hee communicates to us Grace and the Glory of the Sons of God Therefore our predestination is free for otherwise honour would not accrew to God or Christ by our Adoption According to the good pleasure of his Will 5 Here hee excludes all causes besides God and makes the Grace of God the onely cause For hee predestinated us according to the good pleasure of his Will Therefore onely Gods Grace onely his Will onely his good pleasure is the cause of our predestination and not any work of ours Vers. 6. To the praise of the glory of his Grace wherein hee hath made us accepted in the Beloved Argum. 4. God to that end and purpose that hee might bring praise to his glorious Grace chose and predestinated us to the Adoption of Sons It necessarily follows that God hath elected and predestinated us out of Grace For else hee could never attain that end and consequently ought wee to give praise to Gods Grace and to bless God who hath thus blessed us Of the Glory of Words of this Nature have an Emphasis for 1 This Grace hath glory in it self that is it is every way glorious and most worthy in it self that wee should highly esteem it acknowledge and publish it because who is most great and most good hath vouchsafed to advance us who are most vile and most unworthy unto the dignity of sons the riches of the inheritance of sons To the praise 2 God doth both intend and expect from us the praise of this his glorious Grace that wee should acknowledge the benefit in words and deeds and that by all means possible wee should give praise to this wonderful Grace of God Wherein Argum. 5. In this Grace whereby God hath chosen and predestinated us to holiness and happiness I say in this very Grace hee hath made us welcome and acceptable to himself in his beloved Son Therefore wee should celebrate this Grace of God In which reason hee intimates four things 1 That God did of his Grace intend our salvation in election and predestination and doth actually and in deed begin to put forth and exercise Grace in our effectual Vocation to Faith 2 That Christ not onely as Son but as Mediatour undertaking for us and paying the price of our Redemption for us is beloved
and accepted with God in whom the Father is fully satisfied and pleased as one in our stead 3 In him and by him sin is removed which might hinder the course of Grace towards us 4 Hee intimates that by Christ and in Christ the cloud of sin being dissolved the Grace of God shines upon us and wee are embraced and entertained as reconciled as now pleasing and acceptable in Christ who a● our Surety and common Parent comprehends us all in himself Vers. 7. In whom wee have Redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his Grace Argum. 6. In Christ by the rich Grace of God wee receive Redemption and pardon of sins Therefore wee should give praise to the rich Grace of God onely in our salvation And to this purpose all the parts of this reason tend Redemption 1 Wee were in our selves lost and held captives under the bonds of blindness sin wrath and death whence wee could by no means free our selves whence there had been no comming forth if Grace had not both opened the way and led us out Therefore our salvation is of Grace In whom 2 Christ alone redeemed us without any merit or help from us the price of our salvation being both covenanted for and paid by himself alone lest any praise should bee given to any thing besides his Grace Through his blood 3 Wee are not redeemed with Silver or Gold but with the Blood of Christ that so the price might shew the danger wherein wee were and exalt Gods Grace The forgiveness 4 The Blood of Christ is that which procures for us in particular the pardon of our sins in which wee lay polluted and which was all the riches God saw in us wee being void of every good work that the Grace of God might bee more apparent in our sins and unworthiness In whom 5 This Redemption and remission of sins wee being once become Beleevers have not in our selves without reference to Christ but in Christ as our Surety Redeemer and Head wee being united and graffed into him by Faith The riches of 6 The onely cause and measure of so great a benefit is the rich Grace of God according to the abundance whereof Christ and Redemption in Christ is bestowed upon us Therefore Gods Grace onely may deservedly bee praised as the cause of our salvation Vers. 8. Wherein hee hath abounded toward us in all Wisdome and Prudence Argum. 7. From this abundant Grace as from a fountain Christ or the Father in Christ hath according to his great wisdome communicated to us in our effectual Vocation all Wisdome and Prudence that is hath given us saving Faith in the object whereof consists the summe and perfection of all Wisdome and Knowledge for though saving Faith bee in it self imperfect yet by it wee apply a known Christ to our selves who is the treasure of all saving Wisdome and Prudence as a general medicine and remedy for all evils which is an abbreviate of Wisdome and Prudence In this Argument the particulars prove the same also Towards us 1 Wee who as well as the rest of the world were ignorant imprudent and foolish erring in the blindness and vanity of our minds It is of Grace therefore that wee are endowed with Wisdome Hee hath abounded 2 Christ the Author first comes to us and bestows Faith upon us which consists in the Knowledge and Application of the saving Truth of God which is true Wisdome and Prudence Therefore it is of Grace Wherein viz. In which Grace 3 Here Grace is expresly mentioned hee out of his Grace hath plentifully bestowed upon us this Wisdome and Prudence Hath abounded 4 Hee who was full of Grace hath shewn himself to bee such in this as if hee could not any longer restrain his Grace within himself but it overflowing brake forth upon us Therefore Grace is the sole cause in effectual Vocation and Donation of Faith and so deservedly to bee praised Vers. 9. Having made known unto us the mystery of his Will according to his good pleasure which hee hath purposed to himself Argum. 8. The manifestation of Gods secret Will touching salvation to bee obtained by Christ to the communicating of Faith or Knowledge and Prudence to his is of the meer Will of God according to his good pleasure which hee had purposed in himself Therefore the Grace of God is worthily to bee praised under the name of Gods revealed Will and of Faith bestowed upon us To this end all the parts of this Argument refer The Mystery 1 The Will of God touching the business of Salvation to bee accomplished by Christ was a secret Mystery sealed up from all eternity in the breast of God which neither Angels nor men could ever have brought to light but that God out of his Grace revealed it Having made known 2 God took care not onely that this Mystery should bee revealed but out of his Grace hee provided that the blindness both of our minds and hearts being taken away wee should understand it Unto us 3 Hee hath manifested the Gospel of Grace to us rather than to others Good pleasure 4 God freely brought this to pass not being induced or excited thereunto by any external cause but according to his good pleasure or gracious predestination and his eternal purpose in himself Therefore wee ought deservedly to give praise to Gods Grace Vers. 10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times hee might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in Heaven and which are in Earth even in him Argum. 9. It depends meerly upon Gods Will and pleasure to appoint a full and fit time wherein this Mystery of his Will should come to mans knowledge what how much and when to what age and to what particular person this Mystery should bee dispensed Therefore the Will of God prevails in assigning the time in which Faith is to bee given and in this respect also Gods Grace is praise-worthy The several particulars in this Argument confirm the same also In the dispensation 1 The Grace of God is to bee acknowledged because here is an oeconomy or as the Master of a Family a free disposing of his domestick things whereby every one orders them as hee pleases which liberty as it is by right to bee granted to every housholder so to God also that hee may act according to his own pleasure The fulness 2 There is a mature and fit opportunity of time in which it is in Gods power alone to determine what and how much of his secret Will it is fitting to reveal to every age and to each man And therefore whatsoever and how much soever is revealed to us it is of Grace For the good pleasure of God which hee had purposed in himself of which vers 9. belongs to this ordering of the time Therefore his Grace deserves here also to bee taken notice of That hee might gather Argum. 10. The gathering and manifestation of this gathering the elect
that is from the Doctrine of Grace in begun Knowledge Faith Love Renovation or any measure thereof Then 1. Albeit the Elect cannot fall away fully and finally yet some Professors in the visible Church may fall away from their Profession and what degrees of Grace they had attained unto for whose cause warning must be given to all as a mean to keep the Elect from a fall 2. Albeit the Elect cannot fall away finally from Grace yet may they fall for a time from the purity of the Doctrine of Grace and from some degrees of the work of Grace from the measure of their first love and zeal and at length fall into scandalous sins He joyneth another point of advertisement with the former That they beware lest any bitter root break forth whereby many be defiled that is left any scandalous sin break forth amongst them Then 1. As men do fall from any measure of the work of Grace so doth the bitter root of unmortified sin spring out and grow The ones decreasing is the others encreasing 2. When any scandal breaketh forth in the Church it troubleth the whole body and polluteth them by the contagion thereof till it be removed 3. Watch must be kept diligently by every man ●o curb this bitter root preventing the out-shooting thereof Vers. 16. Lest there be any fornicator or prophane person as Esau who for one morsel of meat sold his birth-right He expoundeth this bitter root in the example of fornication and prophanity like Esaus Then 1. Fornication and prophanity are the bitter roots of other evils and able to defile a Congregation 2. Such as count more of the satisfaction of their sensual lusts than of their spiritual Prerogatives do prove themselves prophane persons and are justly ranked in with Esau. Vers. 17. For ye know how that afterwards when he would have inherited the blessing he was rejected for he found no place of repentance though he sought it carefully with tears He sheweth Gods judgement on Esau to terrifie all men to hazard upon the sinful satisfaction of their own lusts at any time Then 1. Esaus judgement should be a terrour to all men to keep them from presuming deliberately to commit that sin which they know may cut them off from the Blessing because sundry times albeit not always God doth punish presumptuous sinners with giving over the man to his own ways and final impenitency 2. Esaus example sheweth how justly they may be deprived of the Blessing annexed to any Sacred Symbole or gracious Mean who do despise the mean whereby the Blessing is conveyed For the Birth-right amongst the Patriarchs was a pawn of the Blessing of being an Heir of Promise and therefore was Esau counted to reject the Blessing when he counted light of the Birth-right 3. His example sheweth how little sinners consider for the present what Merchandize they are making with Satan when they meddle with known sins and how they will be made to know it afterwards 2. He saith that afterwards he would have inherited the Blessing but was rejected Then It agreeth with the prophane mans disposition to desire the Blessing and yet despise the means whereby the Blessing is gotten ●o satisfie his fleshly lusts for the present and to desire the Blessing withall afterwards But God will neither sever the means from the Blessing nor joyn the Blessing with the satisfaction of mens lusts Therefore he who will have the Blessing must use the means to obtain the same and renounce the satisfaction of his sinful lusts or else be rejected when he thinketh to get the Blessing 3. He saith He found no place of repentance albeit he sought the blessing with tears That is he could not obtain that his father should repent the bestowing of the blessing beside him nor that God should repent his righteous judgement on him For repentance here is recalling the sentence given out And why Because he for all his tears and untimeous seeking of his sold blessing repented not himself of his sin for he continued as prophane as before and resolved to murther his brother as soon as he found opportunity Then 1. Esau did rue his deed but repented not his sin It is one thing to rue a deed done and another thing to repent the sin in doing of the deed and every known sin for that sins cause 2. Tears may follow upon ruing as well as on repenting and it is possible that the loss or harm procured by sin may draw forth the tear and not the sorrow for the offending of GOD by the sin 3. Esau here is not brought in dealing with God for pardon of sin and the heavenly inheritance but with the man who had the ministry of dispensing the earthly blessing onely We read then that a blessing was sought carefully from a man with tears and not obtained but we read not that Gods Mercy and Blessing was ever sought from himself carefully and not obtained Vers 18. For ye are not come unto the Mount that might be touched and that burned with fire not unto blackness and darkness and tempest Beside the example of Esau's judgement here is another reason to move us who are under the Gospel to beware of licentiousness and prophanity because we are delivered from the terrour of the Law ver 18 19 20 21. and brought by the Gospel to the society of so holy a company as beseemeth no prophane man to enjoy vers 22 23 24. The sum tendeth unto this You are not under the Law but under Grace Instead of saying whereof he saith You are not come unto Mount Sinai but unto Mount Sion For the LORDS manner of dealing with the people at Mount Sinai represented the state of men in nature under the Law liable to the Curse His manner of dealing with them at Mount Sion represented the state of men reconciled through Christ and under Grace Let us take a view of both as the Apostle setteth them before our eyes And first how the state of man unreconciled in Nature and under the Law and Curse thereof was represented 1. Before we come to Christ we have to do with God as a terrible Judge sitting on the Throne of his Justice shadowed forth by Mount Sinai 2. Our Judge is offended with us his wrath is kindled ready to consume us as his adversaries in our transgressions represented by the burning of the Mount 3. When God beginneth to shew himself as our Judge offended with us we are filled with confusion and perplexity and fire represented by Blackness and Darkness and Tempest Vers. 19. And the sound of a Trumpet and the voyce of Words Which Voyce they that heard entreated that the Word should not be spoken to them any more 20. For they could not endure that which was commanded And if so much as a Beast touch the Mountain it shall be stoned or thrust thorow with a dart What further 4. There is no flying from compearance before our Judge Summons and Citations go forth from
in Jesus Christ Therefore this ground of our Justification by Faith is no less to bee maintained than the glory of Gods Justice Faithfulness and Goodness to bee declared in justifying Believers Vers. 27. Where is boasting then it is excluded By what Law of Works nay but by the Law of Faith 28. Therefore wee conclude that a man is justified by Faith without the deeds of the Law Argum. 10. Because by the Law of Faith or the Covenant of Grace which requires Faith to our Justification by the Righteousness of another mans boasting in himself is excluded and not by the Law of Works or the Covenant of Works which exacts perfect obedience and affords matter of boasting to men in their Inherent Righteousness Therefore saith hee wee conclude that a man is Iustified by Faith without the Works of the Law The Argument is good For if men were Justified by their Works and Inherent Righteousness they might boast of the meritorious cause of their Justification to bee in themselves but they that are Justified by Faith are compelled to renounce their own Inherent Righteousness and to place their only Confidence in the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ and solely in the grace of God Vers. 29. Is hee the God of the Iewes only Is hee not also of the Gentiles Yes of the Gentiles also 30. Seeing it is one God which shall justifie the Circumcision