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exercised in Christ, and withal a sense of their own defect and want therein (conformity unto him being their design), they cannot but apply themselves unto him in solemn invocation, for a farther communication of that grace unto them, from his stores and fulness. And these things mutually promote one another in us if duly attended unto. A due sense of our own defect in any grace, will farther us in the prospect of the glory of that grace in Christ. And a view, a due contemplation of the glorious exercise of any grace in him, will give us light to discover our own great defect therein, and want thereof. Under a sense of both, an immediate application unto Christ by prayer, would be an unspeakable furtherance of our growth in grace, and conformity unto him. Nor can there be any more effectual way or means to draw supplies of grace from him, to draw water from the wells of salvation. When in a holy admiration of, and fervent love unto, any grace as eminently exercised in and by him, with a sense of our own want of the same grace, we ask it of him in faith, he will not deny it unto us. So the disciples upon the prescription of a difficult duty, unto whose due performance a good measure of faith was required; out of a sense of the all-fulness of him, and their own defect in that grace which was necessary unto the peculiar duty there prescribed, immediately pray unto him, saying, 'Lord increase our faith;' Luke xvii. 5. The same is the case with respect unto any temptation that may befall us, wherewith he was exercised, and over which he prevailed.

(5thly.) The time of death whether natural, or violent for his sake, is a season of the same nature. So Stephen recommended his departing soul into his hands with solemn prayer. Lord Jesus,' said he, 'receive my spirit.' To the same purpose have been the prayers of many of his faithful. martyrs in the flames, and under the sword. In the same manner doth the faith of innumerable holy souls work in the midst of their death-bed groans. And the more we have been in the exercise of faith on him in our lives, the more ready will it be in the approaches of death, to make its resort unto him in a peculiar manner.

And it may be other instances of an alike nature may be given unto the same purpose.

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An answer unto an inquiry which may possibly arise from what we have insisted on, shall close this discourse. For whereas the Lord Jesus Christ as mediator doth intercede with the Father for us, it may be inquired, Whether we may pray unto him, that he would so intercede on our behalf; whether this be comprised in the duty of invocation, or prayer unto him?

Ans. 1. There is no precedent nor example of any such thing, of any such prayer in the Scripture. And it is not safe for us to venture on duties not exemplified therein. Nor can any instance of a necessary duty be given, of whose performance we have not an example in the Scripture.

2. In the invocation of Christ, we honour the Son, even as we honour the Father.' Wherefore his divine person is therein the formal object of our faith. We consider him not therein as acting in his mediatory office towards God for us, but as he who hath the absolute power and disposal of all the good things we pray for. And in our invocation of him, our faith is fixed on, and terminated on his person. But as he is in the discharge of his mediatory office, through him 'our faith and hope is in God;' 1 Pet. i. 21. He who is the mediator, or Jesus Christ the mediator, as God and man in one person, is the object of all divine honour and worship. His person, and both his natures in that person, is so the object of religious worship. This is that which we are in the proof and demonstration of. Howbeit it is his divine nature, and not his discharge of the office of mediation, that is the formal reason and object of divine worship. For it consists in an ascription of infinitely divine excellencies and properties unto him whom we so worship. And to do this on any account but of the divine nature, is in itself a contradiction, and in them that do it idolatry. Had the Son of God never been incarnate, he had been the object of all divine worship. And could there have been a mediator between God and us, who was not God also, he could never have been the object of any divine worship or invocation. Wherefore Christ the mediator, God and man in one person, is in all things to be honoured even as we honour the Father; but it is as he is God equal with the Father, and not as mediator, in which respect he is inferior unto him. With

respect unto his divine person we ask immediately of himself in our supplications; as he is mediator we ask of the Father in his name. The different actings of faith on him, under the same distinction, shall be declared in the next chapter.


The principle of the assignation of divine honour unto the person of Christ, in both the branches of it; which is faith in him.

THE principle and spring of this assignation of divine honour unto Christ in both the branches of it, is faith in him. And this hath been the foundation of all acceptable religion in the world since the entrance of sin. There are some who deny that faith in Christ was required from the beginning, or was necessary unto the worship of God, or the justification and salvation of them that did obey him. For whereas it must be granted that without faith it is impossible to please God,' which the apostle proves by instances from the foundation of the world; Heb. xi. They suppose it is faith in God under the general notion of it, without any respect unto Christ that is intended. It is not my design to contend with any, nor expressly to confute such ungrateful opinions, such pernicious errors. Such this is, which being pursued in its proper tendency, strikes at the very foundation of Christian religion. For it at once deprives us of all contribution of light and truth from the Old Testament. Somewhat I have spoken before of the faith of the saints of old concerning him. I shall now, therefore, only confirm the truth, by some principles which are fundamental in the faith of the gospel.

1. The first promise, Gen. iii. 15. truly called Пlowτεvavyéλov, was revealed, proposed, and given, as containing and expressing the only means of delivery from that apostacy from God, with all the effects of it, under which our first parents, and all their posterity were cast by sin. The destruction of Satan and his work in his introduction of the state of sin, by a saviour and deliverer was prepared and provided for in it. This is the very foundation of the faith

of the church, and if it be denied, nothing of the economy or dispensation of God towards it from the beginning can be understood. The whole doctrine and story of the Old Testament must be rejected as useless, and no foundation be left in the truth of God, for the introduction of the New.

2. It was the person of Christ, his incarnation and mediation, that were promised under the name of the 'seed of the woman,' and the work he should do in 'breaking the head of the serpent,' with the way whereby he should do it, in suffering, by his power. The accomplishment hereof was in God's sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, in the fulness of time, made under the law, or by his manifestation in the flesh, to destroy the works of the devil. So is this promise interpreted, Gal. iii. 10. iv. 4. Heb. ii. 14-16. 1 John iii. 8. This cannot be denied but upon one of these two grounds.

(1.) That nothing is intended in that divine revelation, but only a natural enmity that is between mankind and serpents. But this is so foolish an imagination, that the Jews themselves, who constantly refer this place to the Messiah, are not guilty of. All the whole truth concerning God's displeasure on the sin of our first parents, with what concerneth the nature and consequence of that sin, is everted hereby. And whereas the foundation of all God's future dealing with them and their posterity is plainly expressed herein, it is turned into that which is ludicrous, and of very little concernment in human life. For such is the enmity between mankind and serpents, which not one in a million know any thing of, or are troubled with. This is but to lay the axe of atheism unto all religion built on divine revelation. Besides, on this supposition there is in the words not the least intimation of any relief, that God tendered unto our parents for their delivery from the state and condition. whereinto they had cast themselves by their sin and apostacy. Wherefore they must be esteemed to be left absolutely under the curse, as the angels were that fell, which is to root all religion out of the world. For amongst them who are absolutely under the curse without any remedy, there can be no more than is in hell.


(2.) It must be, because some other way of deliverance and salvation, and not that by Christ, is here proposed and

promised. But whereas they were to be wrought by the 'seed of the woman,' if this were not that Christ in whom we do believe, there was another promised, and he is to be rejected. And this is fairly at once to blot out the whole Scripture as a fable. For there is not a line of doctrinal truth in it, but what depends on the traduction of Christ from this first promise.

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3. This promise was confirmed, and the way of the deliverance of the church by virtue of it declared in the institution of expiatory sacrifices. God in them and by them declared from the beginning, that without shedding of blood there was no remission;" that atonement for sin was to be made by substitution and satisfaction. With respect unto them, the Lord Christ was called the Lamb of God,' even as he took away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of himself; John i. 29. For we were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;' 1 Pet. i. 19. Wherein the Holy Spirit refers unto the institution and nature of sacrifices from the beginning. And he is thence represented in heaven as a lamb that had been slain;' Rev. iv. 6. the glory of heaven arising from the fruits and effects of his sacrifice. And because of the representation thereof in all the former sacrifices, is he said to be a lamb slain from the foundation of the world ;' Rev. xiii. 8. And it is strange to me that any who deny not the expiatory sacrifice of Christ, should doubt whether the original of these sacrifices were of divine institution or the invention of men. And it is so amongst others for the reasons ensuing.

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(1.) On the supposition that they were of men's finding out, and voluntary observation, without any previous divine revelation, it must be granted that the foundation of all acceptable religion in the world, was laid in, and resolved into, the wisdom and wills of men, and not into the wisdom, authority, and will of God. For that the great solemnity of religion, which was as the centre and testimony of all its other duties, did consist in these sacrifices even before the giving of the law, will not be denied. And in the giving of the law, God did not on this supposition confirm and establish his own institutions with additions unto them of the same kind, but set his seal and approbation unto the in

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