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and perfect than the first. Only, now tell me, did not St. Paul, with good reason, speaking of the resurrection of Christ, give it an advantage and pre-eminence, even above his death? Is not the Mallov dè in my text, the “ye rather,” verbum Talavratov, a word of great moment and weight? since the resurrection of Christ actuates and ripens the fruit of Christ's death, which, without it, would have withered, and been of no help to us. Is not the doctrine of Christ's resurrection and exaltation with as good reason made an article of our Creed, and as necessarily, if not rather to be leaned upon, as any of the rest? Nay, hath not St. Paul epitomized the whole Creed into that one article, saying, (in Rom. x. 9.) “ If thou shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
56. And now it is time to consider, who are the persons whom the death, yea rather, the resurrection of Christ, will protect and warrant from condemnation. In my text, as we find none to condemn, so likewise, we cannot light upon any to be condemned. In the verse immediately before these words, the elect of God are those, which are justified, and therefore must not be condemned. And, to say the truth, though we dispute till the world's end, the event will shew, that the elect of God, and only they, shall reap the harvest of Christ's sufferings, and bring their sheaves with them. As for the wicked and reprobates, it shall not be so with them: but why it shall not be so with them; whether, because they have wilfully excluded themselves, or, because God had no mind they should be any thing the better for these things, I will not tell you.
57. In the verses on both sides of my text we find, that we are those that must not be condemned. We? Which we? Why Paul and the Romans, Jews and gentiles. What all Jews, and all gentiles? I told you, I will not tell: only thus much let me tell you, we may boldly maintain St. Paul's phrase: nay, it is unsafe and dangerous to alter it. Why, it is all the comfort we have to live by; it is our glory and crown of rejoicing, that we are those, whose salvation Christ did so earnestly and unfeignedly desire, and thirst after; that, to obtain power and authority to bestow it on us, he suffered such torments and blasphemies, that Never sorrow was like unto his sorrow, which was done unto him, wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce wrath.
58. Wherefore, I beseech you, beloved brethren, even by the bowels of this Jesus Christ, that you would give me leave to advise you, if there be any
here fit to be advised by me, if there be any in this company as weak and ignorant as myself (and though my heart be deceitful above all things, yet as far as I understand mine own heart, if I speak these words out of partiality or faction, let me be excluded from having my part in those merits). I say, let me desire you, or rather, let our holy mother the church persuade you (in 17th Article) to receive God's promises in such wise, as they are generally set forth to us in Holy Scriptures.
59. For, consider impartially with yourselves, what an unreasonable, horrible thing is this, seeing there are so many several, frequent expressions of God's general love and gracious favour unto mankind, enforced and strengthened with such protestations and solemn oaths, that the cunningest linguist of you all cannot, with your whole life's study, conceive, or frame expressions more full and satisfactory; I say, then, is it not desperate madness for a man to shew such hatred and abomination at these comfortable and gracious professions of God, that he can be content to spend almost his whole age in contriving and hunting after interpretations, utterly contradicting and destroying the plain, apparent sense of those scriptures; and will be glad and heartily comforted to hear tidings of a new-found-out gloss, to pervert, and rack, and torment God's holy word?
60. On the other side, far be it from us to think, that it is in our power, when we list or have a mind to it, to put ourselves in the number of God's elect, faithful servants : or, to imagine, that we have God so sure chained and fettered to us by his promises, that we may dispense now and then for the commission of a delightful, gainful crime: or, that, when we have business for a sin to advantage us in our fortunes, we need not be too scrupulous about it, seeing God is bound, upon our sorrow and contrition, to receive us again into favour. Thou wretched fool ! darest thou make an advantage of God's goodness, to assist and patronize thy security ? 'Tis true, God has promised remission of sins to a repentant, contrite sinner; but has he assured thee, that he will give thee repentance, whensoever thou pleasest: to allow thyself leisure to seek it? No: know, that there is a time (and presuming security, like sleep, doth hasten and add wings to that time) when there will be found no place for repentance, though thou seekest it with tears. And thus more than I meant for
61. And now what remains, but that we try ani experiment. That we may know in what a comifortable state Christ hath set us, let us consider, and look about us, to see if we can find any enemies that are likely to do us any harm: for which purpose, we shall not meet with a more accurate spy and intelligencer than St. Paul, who, in the remainder of this chapter, after my text, hath mustered them together in one roll. But, first, there is one, if he were our adversary, he would be instead of a thousand enemies unto us, and that is God. But him we are sure of in the verse before my text; for it is he that justifies, therefore surely he will not condemn: therefore what say you to “ tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword ?” Why, these are not worthy the naming, for over all these we are more than conquerors. More than conquerors ? What is that? Why they are not only overcome and disarmed, but they are brought over to our faction; they war on our side.
62. Well, in the next file, there follow adversaries of better fashion; there is life, and death, and angels, and principalities, and powers.
Who are those ? In truth I know not; but be they who they will, they can do us no harm: no, "nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth;” (these are adversaries we should scarce have dreamed of:) and, to make all sure in a word, there is no other creature shall ever “be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord."
63. Yet for all St. Paul's exactness, there remains one enemy behind, and that is a sore one, of prime note; and truly I wonder how the apoVOL. III.
stle could miss him. And that is sin. I would to God St. Paul had taken notice of him: for this one enemy is able to do us more harm than all the rest put together: nay, but for sin, all the rest almost were our very good friends. Had we best supply St. Paul's incogitancy, and even adventure to put him in the catalogue too? Well, let them that have a mind to it, do it; truly, I dare not. And, but that I know Martin Luther was a bold-spirited man, I should wonder how he durst so confidently have adventured upon it: in his book, entitled, Captivitatis Babylonica, (cap. de Baptismo, near the beginning) he hath these words : Vides quam dives sit homo Christianus sive baptizatus, qui etiam volens non potest perdere suam salutem quantiscunque peccatis, nisi nolit credere. I will not translate them to you; and I would they never had been Englished; for by that means, it may be, some of our loudest preachers would have wanted one point of comfortable false doctrine, wherewith they are wont to pleasure their friends and benefactors. Only, let us do thus much for St. Paul's credit, to believe it was not merely inconsideration in him to leave out sin in this catalogue; that there was some ground of reason for it: for though it may come to pass, by the mercy and goodness of God, that even sin itself shall not pluck us out of his hand, yet it would be something a strange, preposterous doctrine, for a preacher of the new covenant to proclaim, that we shall undoubtedly obtain the promises of the covenant, though we never so much break the conditions. · 64. I do confess myself very guilty, and am sorry that I have thus long exercised and wearied your patience; and yet, for all that, have not per