Page images

New Teftament faid to be bought or redeemed as a Property. So 1 Cor. 6. 20. Te are bought with a Price; which is again repeated Chap. 7. 23. So the Apostle St. Pe ter, 1 Ep. 1. 18, 19. Te were not redeemed with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold, but with the precious Blood of Chrift. And in this Senfe our Bleffed Lord is called the Lord that bought them, 2 Ep. 2. 1. meaning, that he hath redeemed us from the Bondage of Corrup tion, and made us his Sons by Adoption and Grace. This Redemption and Adoption is two-fold; the Firft inchoate, or in its first Principles, which is meant by the first fealing in Baptism, answering to the First-Fruits of the Spirit: The Second, which is the End and Confequence of the First, is the fulness of the Spirit, the compleat Adoption and Redemption. So faith the Holy Apostle St. Paul, Rom. 8. 23. We that have the Firft-Fruits of the Spirit, (which is the firft fealing) even we our felves, groan within our felves, waiting for the (compleat) Adoption, even the Redemption of our Body. Which plainly fhows that the Adoption here meant is diftinct from the Firft-Fruits of the Spirit, because they which had thefe, yet waited for that; and what a Man feeth (or hath) why doth be yet hope for? As the fame Apostle fays, v. 24. And as the Redemption of the Natural Body is the laft compleating Act of the perfect Redempti on, it will follow that the internal Work must be first finished, and fo the Redemption to which we were fealed by the (Firft-Fruits of the) Spirit, as the fame Apoftle witneffeth,


Eph. 4. 30. must be the Reftitution of the whole Man, Body, Soul, and Spirit, from the Bondage of Sin and Corruption, by the over-fhadowing Power of the Holy Ghoft producing in us the New Birth or Nature, which is from Heaven; being not born of corruptible Seed, or of Blood, nor of the Will of Flesh, nor of the Will of Man, but of God. These therefore having paffed through the Crofs, and by Faith overcome the Spirit of this World, and the Corruption of their Natures, have by confequence overcome Death and the Curfe, and are out of the reach of both: I do not mean in fuch a Manner and Degree, as they fhall be when they shall have put on their Refurrection-Body, and are come to that State of Impaffibility which is the Privilege of the perfect Renova tion; but that they fhall be in such a State or Principle that God fhall interpofe his Providence, perhaps in a miraculous Way, for their Prefervation, with some faint Appearances of the afore-mention'd fupernatural State, hinted to us Rev. 15. by their being upon Mount-Sion. This is what the Prophet Joel tells us, Chap. 2. v. 32. Who foever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, Shall be faved. The Reason of which is given in the following Words; For (or be caufe) in Mount-Sion and Ferufalem fhall be Deliverance; (faith the English Translation) or as it is in the Hebrew, a faved Remnant" or Company. Which is confirm'd by the put for the Prophet Obadiah, v. 17. Upon Mount-Sion fhall Adjective be a Deliverance; or (as it is in the Margin)


they that efcape; who are, v. 21. called yot Saviours (or the faved)† upon Mount-Sion; Aydowo- (or as the LXXII understood it, from Mount-Sion) expreffing those who are Bogus preferved from the Judgments and Ven



8. The

geance, by being in the Spirit of the Hea venly Kingdom; who by the Faith and Patience of the Crofs have fitted and difpofed themselves for the Reception of their Influences. For nothing hinders those heavenly Worlds, or Principles, from opening and difplaying themselves in our Souls, feeing we have in us the Seeds of them all, but our unfitness to receive them; fuch as thefe fhall be preferved from the Power of the Sword, Job 5. 20. And whilft the reft of the World are groaning under the Miferies and Confufions of Battle, They fhall dwell in peaceable Habitations, in fure Dwellings, and in quiet resting Places, Ifa. 32. 18.

§ 8. THE Manner of this Prefervation, Manner of or wherein it fhall confift, is hard to deter their Pre- mine Whether they fhall be, like the Iffervation. raelites in the midst of the Plagues of Egypt, preferv'd fecure, not only in their Perfons, but- alfo in their Eftates and Poffeffions, God making a miraculous Diftinction be twixt the one and the other; or whether it fhall be only of their Perfons; but the latter is moft probable, viz. That God fhall fuffer them to be robbed and stripped of their Eftates and Poffeffions, but fhall fave their Lives by a wonderful Delive drance that they fhall furvive thofe dread

[ocr errors]

ful Times of Vengeance, and when they are ended fall come forth with Songs of Praife,


ἐπὶ τ γης.

and everlasting Foy shall be upon their Heads, and Sorrow and Sighing fhall flee away, Ifa. 35. 10. and 51. 11. They shall lift up their Voice*; *OTS they shall fing for the Majefty of the Lord. Where- λειφθέντες fore praife the Lord in Urim, even the Name of LXXII. the Lord God of Ifrael, from the Ifles of the Sea, Ifa. 24. 14, 15. meaning the Western Iflands, not improbably our own Country, called in the next Verfe, the Wing of the Earth, from whence Songs of Praife, or (as the LXXII + feem to understand it) wondroust Te Things were heard; which may poffibly be nousy. a place of Refuge in that Day. But to return; the Holy Scriptures feem plainly to favour this Opinion, That the Prefervation of the Righteous fhall be only of their Perfons (unless perhaps alfo of their near Friends for their fakes) as it was in the Cafe of Lot; for whofe fake even his Sonsin-Law (who it plainly appears by the Sequel of the Story were not perfonally qualify'd) might have been preferved if they would, Gen. 19. 14. But by no means of their Eftates and Poffeffions. For alas ! these they have long ago forfaken in their Hearts: They are the poor in Spirit, and the Meek of the Earth, to whom this Deliverance is promifed; fuch as have forfaken the World, have forgotten themselves and their Father's Houfe, and are feeking after a better Houfe, even that is not made with Hands; and an abiding City, even an heavenly. They are dead to the World, with the Pleasures and Profits of it, esteeming the Reproach of Chrift greater Riches than all the Treasures of Egypt or Babylon; for

[ocr errors]



their Hearts as well as their Treasures are in Heaven, out of the reach of Disappointment and Lofs, where neither Moth nor Ruft do corrupt, and where Thieves do not break through and fteal: The only Use they made of their Riches, was to please God and accomplish his Will, in miniftring to the Neceffities of the Saints, and relieving their needy Brethren. And they know that the Will of God is perhaps better obey'd by a chearful Submiffion and Refignation to the difpofals of Providence, than by all the moft coftly Offerings that a charitable Soul can make. Finally, they defire nothing but to be fixed in God, to be clear and void of all Creatures, and to maintain in themselves a holy Quiet, a divine Peace; enjoying in their Poverty great Riches; in their Miferies in their Miseries great Content; in their Afflictions exceeding Joy; and in their continual Labours great Reft and Peace. Hence are thofe Admonitions to the Servants of God, in order to prepare them for that time, to fit loofe from the Things of the World, and to feek principally the Kingdom of God, and its Righteousness, and not to be feeking great Things for our felves (i.e. Honours, Eftates and Preferments) at a time when God is about to break down what he has builded up, and to pluck up whatsoever he hath planted; and our Lives only Shall be given us for a Prey, in all Places whitherfoever we shall go; as the Prophet Jeremiah tells Baruch, Chap. 45.5. So alfo that of Efdras, O my People, bear my Word: Make you ready to the Battle; and in thofe Evils be

« PreviousContinue »