Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

190 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. their society. 4. And pray for the benefit of their ministry on earth, especially in all our dangers. IV. The fourth article is, " Preached to the Gentiles. " - The Jews, having the covenant of peculiarity, were proudof their priv- ilege, even while they unworthily abused it ; and despised the rest of the world, and would not so much as eat with them, as if they had been God's only people. And, indeed, the rest of the world was so corrupted, that we find no one nation; that, as such, renounced idolatry, and was devoted in covenant to the true God alone, as the Jews were. Now that God should be manifested in flesh, to reconcile the heathen world to himself, and extend greater privileges, indefinitely, to all nations, than -ever the Jews had in their state of peculiarity, this was a mystery of godliness, which the Jews did hardly yield belief to. And that which aggravateth this wonder is, 1. That the Gentile world was drowned in all idolatry and unnatural wickedness, such as Paul describeth. And that God should suddenly and freely send them the message of reconciliation, andbe foundof them that sought him not, is that wonder which obligeth us Gentiles, who once lived as without God in the world, to be thankful to him; Rom. i. 2. Eph. ii. and iii. 18, Inc. V. The fifth article is, "Believed on in the world." The effect of the gospel on the souls of men, in their effectual faith, is one of the evidences of the Christian truth. I told you before, that the fifth witness ofthe Spirit on the souls of all believers, I reserved to be here mentioned. Here, I. It is a part of the wonder, that Christ shouldbe believed on in the world, even with a common faith. For, 1. To believe a mean man to be the Mediator between God and man, and the Savior of the world ; yea, one that was crucified as a malefactor; this must needs be a difficult thing. , 2. The very Jewish nation was ascontemptible to the Romans, being one of their poorest subdued provinces, as the Gentiles were to the Jews; and Christ was bybirth a Jew. 3. The greatness of the Roman empire, then, ruling over much ofthe world, was such that by preaching, and not by war, to bring them to be subjects to a crucified Jew, was a marvelous work ; and so to bring the conquered nations to become Christ's voluntary subjects. 4. The Roman and Greek learningwas then at the height of its perfection ; and the Christians were despised by them as un- learned barbarians; and that learning, arts, and empire should all submit to such a King and Savior, was certainly a work of super- natural power. Christ did not levy .armies to overcome the na-