Burgess - Houston-Packer Collection BT715 .B85 1652

Vale Signs of Grace. thofe means which God hashappointed for our progreffe and encreafé in grace; efpecially theword ofGod, asappears ver.3 Now yeare ,ot poi ( the fame word in the originali with theformer ) t, rongb the word Ihave .lÿokea unto yon. Io the next placeour Saviour defcribeth this purging from the end, that ye maybring forth more fruit: now that they maybe partakes of this growth,he ufeth teverall arguments worthy obfervation, Verfe4. 4bide in me, and I inyam, becátife the branch cannot bear fruit, feparated from the vine, nomere can ye ( faithChill : ) Xapìt íµi7, without or rather feparated fromme : he dothnot fay, faithtlnflin, that ye can do nogreater thing withent me, bat no thing; andhe doth not fay ye cannot perfcereperfeft, butfacere,ye cannot do ; which our Saviourdoth notapply unto that generali aidof God that is needfull in all natural! and moralfaftions, but of the fpeciall affiftanceofgrace, whereby as branches we bringforth fpirituall fruit; and obferve that there is our abiding in Chrit, and Chrilts abiding in us, and Chrifts immanencyor indwelling in us, is properly the caufe Of fpirituall fruit, notour dwelling in him ; as the branch bearechfruit,not fo mach becaufe it is in the vine, asbecaufe the vine is in it communicatingjuyce to it. Lastly,Thisgrowth ,,,Jfuitfalneffeis Spokenof,nanabfoluteproperty, in mv Text : Andverf8, Ifye bringfirth fruit, fof4a8 ye bemy Difciples ; that is, this is a neceffary property to demonftrate that yeare indeed my Difciples, and then our Saviour fpeaks of it as a figo, v.tI. Theft thing: have I.f oken,that my joy might remaininyou,andthatyonr joymight be fill; now they could have no joy in thefe things, unleffe they could know they did bring forth fruit, and therefore wereChrifts Difciples. Thatgrowth andeacreaftmngrace is a neceffaryproperty andan infallible fignofour obferv. being in thelute ofgrace. Our Saviour faithnot, Every branch in me, that is green Growth id and flourifhethwith leavesand bloflomes, blot that bearetb fruit, he makes it to grace a frgd bring forth more fruit. It is not every Chriftian that hath theflouriflaing green- ofgrace: neffe and leavesofcommon abilities, and parts in religion,thatis regarded by God, but that man Whole talent of grace, as ftve,hatb gainedten: Therefore in that Pa- rable our Saviour bid them all negotiate, play the merchants, and trade in the waits ofgrace, and one man hath his portion amonghypocrites, though hehad not idlely fpent his talent, but becauk hehadnot improved,prapter lucram ceffans, thoughnot prayer damnum emergen:; fo thatthe openingof this mark will beof great ufe, becaufe encreafe ofgrace is fo rare : and whereas all menendeavour to have their health,wealth and eftatesbetter, they arenot carefull tohave bettergra- ces, topray better, tohear better, to bemore prong in beleeving and heavenly- mindedneffe. To affeffyou therefore herein, confider firft, Thatas there is anecef tyofbeing convertedand IranRatedfrontfiniteto a fiate of grace,fo there is elfo a neceffity When weare pat therein, to growand eacreare toafir- ther f attire in bolineffs. Thus in the Text, Every branch he purgetb to bring more flair, Eph.4.16. Co1.2.19. In which places every godly man is laid tobe knitted toChrift, and therebypartakethofhis fpirit and nouriihmenr, whereinhetuerea- feth with the encreafe ofGod, that is, with a divine and fpirituall encreafe, in op- polition to the naturali growth ofthe body : fo that whofoever findeth himfelffet- ledupon his lees, continuing frill in thefameformáll, empty, barren way, he may juftly fulpeft whether he be of thebodyof Chrift ; butas the glaffe eye and artifi- ciall leg receivtth no nourifhment from thebody, but haveRill the fame dimen- fions, isno longer or broader, fo isevery unregenerate man destitute of the vivifi- call influenceof Chrifts fpirit, and therefore is the fame without any change, he was many years ago. Yea, that theneceffìty of the growthof grace may appear; the Apoftle Eph.4.r2,13. makes it thegreat end of the Miniftery, theend why God bathgiven Pallor: and Teacher: to hit Chock, not only for converfion, but fIrrcheredifäcation, till we all come unto the »majare-ofthe fiatetre of the *title of Chrifi: whichis notto be understood in the life tocome, but in this life, as ap- pearethby the verfe following, that We benot hesacrflrch like children carried With everywinde of da&irine; fo thatGod bath appointed a Miniftery not only for lay-. y rug