« PreviousContinue »
made whole, and took up his bed and walked. Now we see that by means the angel had power given him to do great things; but our blessed Lord, by means, or contrary to meins, even by his word, can do whatsoever seemeth him good. And again, you see in another place, that our Lord did a miracle by way
means, for we read and see, how that Jesus spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle; and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam; and he went his way 'therefore, and washed, and came seeing. (John ix. 7) 0, how amiable thou art in thy acts, thou lovely Jesus, and in the eyes of thy dear children ; but a terror to the unbelieving Jews.
Now we read of a wonderful miracle that Christ wrought upon one that he raised from the dead; and you have in St. John, chap. xi. Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that: Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus; and when he had heard that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was: then after that, saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth : but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. But Jesus spake of his death' : but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesús unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead... And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe: nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then when Jesus came he found that he had lien in the
grave four days already. Now these dear sisters Mary and Martha, as soon as they heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him; and so you may read in this chapter, with what love and faith, and humility of soul they address their Lord with, and they trusted through him in the Godhead, and said, Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not dięd: and Mary said, But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. And they believed in the Resurrection of the Dead, and that the Lord's power was infinite ; and when this salutation which our Lord and they imparted to each other, was past a little, Jesus groaned in the spirit and was troubled, and said, Where
have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord,come, and see. Jesus wept. And Jesus cometh to the grave: it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it: and Jesus said, Take ye away the
But Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh : for he hath been dead four days; but Jesus being he who purifieth the body from corruption, would not draw back at this, but strengtheneth Martha's faith. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid : and after the Lord Jesus had prayed to his Heavenly Father, he cried with a lond voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes : and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, Loose him, and let him
go. Now, mark and observe, you that read these lines, and have examined the Holy Scriptures-I say, can you believe that there is any spirit, below an infinite and Godlike spirit, that can do those miracles that Christ did. And when we read in the Old Testament and hear what the prophets say concerning him--and then looking into the New Testament, and seeing that he fulfilled all that they wrote concerning him. Therefore I
appears to me, by a clear demonstration that he is the Son of God, and that he is in the Father, and the Father in him : and so by the grace of God, I believe, that has he had power to raise the dead, and to bring the souls into their bodies again, so I believe he will have power to raise the dead at the day of the resurrection, and to: bring them to judgment. And by the grace of God, I believe we are as likely, after death, to rise up into a world above, as we were to raise up into this world; but they are two great mysteries--but one we may believe, because we see it is so, and we need not disbelieve in the other; for God is as able to bring us into a world above, as he was to bring us into this world below. Now there are many proofs to convince us that the Scriptures are true, but I will speak of only one now, and that is, I believe, that the Holy Scriptures were never written by bad men, nor the Infidels, for they disown and condemn them altogether; therefore I say, he never could be a prompt inspired man of the devil, because it speaks against all manner of sin, and casteth his throne down to the ground, and shuts him up in black despair, and casteth him into hell to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev. xx. 10.) Therefore I say, if bad men did not write the Holy Seriptures, they must have been good men who wrote them-inspired men of God; therefore, if the Holy Scriptures were not written by Satan, they must have been written by Almighty God; for truth and righteousness is of God, but sin is of the devil. So I think if the word of God be not true, then the devil would overthrow all. And again, and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand ? (Matt. xii. 26.) Now by this one proposition which I have made, it appears to me to be a clear demonstration of these things, so that
every one that rightly considers it, must own its truth: but yet at the same time, a man in his sins'cannot believe feelingly to the saving of his soul, except he sincerely repents of his sin, and hath
grace and faith in God his Saviour. But who shall I liken or compare the great part of mankind to, who hath a kind of historical faith? Now you hear of the works of Christ, and cannot deny them: but sin sets you at such a distance sometimes, so that you cannot scarcely believe them. O let me compare you to the queen of Sheba ; for it is said, that she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold a greater than Solomon is spoken of here. Now it appears,
that the Sheba was a great way off from the Land of Canaan. Now it
appears, when the queen of Sheba had heard so much of this great man Solomon, and all his wisdom, and all his fame, and all his understanding in the ways of the Lord his God, it was so great that she could scarcely believe all that was said concerning him; and it appears that she could not rest in her own land satisfied, unless she knew the truth of these things that she had heard concerning him; therefore she was determined to come to Jerusalem to him to know the certainty of those things that she had heard concerning him. And when she came unto him, she proved him with hard questions, and communed with him of all that was in her heart; and Solomon told her all her questions; there was not anything hid from the king which he told her not; and when the queen of Sheba had seen and heard all Solomon's wisdom, and perceived his understanding, and the capacity of his soul, and the house of his God that he had built, and the order of his servants, and when she had seen all these things there was no more spirit in her; and she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and wisdom-howbeit I believed not the words until
queen of I came,
had seen it, and behold, the half waš not told me ; thy wisdom and prosperity
, exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom, and all the earth sought to Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. (1 Kings x.) And O, that all the earth may be like unto the queen of Sheba; and that they may not rest satisfied in scarcely believing the things concerning the fame and power, and reputation, and love of the Lord Jesus. But o that they may, by the help of God, come out of their land of unbelief to him, and see if these things be true, which they have heard concerning him; and if we come to know, with a good desire, like as the queen of Sheba did ta Solomon, with a whole purpose of heart, but not only so, but by humble faith, repentance, and
prayer, and then, no doubt, but at the Lord's good time, thou will be ready to break out like the queen of Sheba, and say, Surely it was a true report that I heard in mine own land, of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words until I came,
and mine eyes had seen it. Surely thy wisdom, acts, mercy, and loving kindness, exceedeth the fame, which we heard of thee : happy, happy, are' thy children which stand continually before thee, and hear the words which proceed out of thy gracious lips, thou lovely Son of God.
PRINTED BY J. PICKBURN, NEW ROAD, AYLESBURY.
BOOK THE EIGHT H.
The Sufferings of Christ.
This work is well worthy of being called the Christian's Treasure, and the Repenting Sinners Life; it shows us our wretched state and condition by our sinful nature, and our recovery by our Blessed Lord and Saviour. When I have meditated on, and read this Book, and that with humbleness of soul, it hath made the tears trickle down from mine eyes, because he hath suffered so much for me, and loved me so much, and I have loved him so little. This Work hath a fair explanation to it, and it contains two of the Author's Divine Songs, which he hath often times sung before his God, with his eyes towards Heaven, being alone in secret places.
Behold! what a mystery of redeeming love and thanks be unto Almighty God, because he hats revealed it unto us by the son of his love. Now I intend to say a few words concerning the Fall of Man; and then, by the help of God enlarge upon his recovery, by the sufferings of Jesus Christ our Lord.
First, I believe that the Almighty God inade man, upright, and perfect in holiness, and exempt from sin: I believe that Adam did not know in his first state what sin was; and God commanded him to avoid it, and not to eat of itand the Lord shewed Adam the danger of it, and said unto him, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Now I believe that there was a possibility for Adam to have stood in a perfect state without sin; because Gou had commanded him not to sin—therefore I cannot believe any thing adverse from this. Bnt I believe, by the grace of God, that when the Lord gave Adam a command to avoid sin, he also gave him power to avoid it: for if God had not given Adam