Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. 26, 27. xxvth Chapter óf St. MATTHEW. 129 can, God is bound to give him what he cannot ; which will run little lower than the Merit of Congruity. Then we cannot fay, God hath made himfelf a Debtor ; forne would feem to have given him firff. All which are againff the Scripture ; and therefore we are juffly afraid to enlarge and extend the Liberty and Power of Man in this Bufinefs. 2. If you anfwer, That a Man cannot ufe that Common Grace which he bath re- ceived, fo as to obtain the Grace of Regeneration, and that the thing dependeth nó way upon his Will and Choice ; or that there is no hope or poflibility of doing otherwife than they do ; or that do their Duty, or do it nor, Hill Condemnation refls upon them ; then no lets Difficulties will offer themfelves : Flefh and Blood will then complain, that God is harlh and antlere, Reaping where he bath nst forced, and gathering where he bath not firmed ; and that he requireth what we cannot do ; and when we do it not, loth feverely punifh us. What Mall we anfwer to the Qgefli0n, Whether it be in the Power of the Creature, to acquire the fpecial Grace of Re- generation by the good ufe of common Grace ? The belt Anfwer that we can give, is, That the Queffion is curious, and needeth no Anfwer : The bufinefs is not, Whether God will or net ? but, What I' am bound to do ? The great Rule in all fuch Cafes is God may do what he pleafeth ; but I muff do what he commandeth. He that is deadly fick doth not refufe Phylick, till he be made certain, that it will recover him ; but ufeth it, and committteth the Event to God. He that is to Plow, and commit his precious Seed to the Ground, doth not Eland to have Affurance, that the next Year will prove fruitful, and the Seafons kindly ; but ventures, because ufu- ally God's Bleffing concurreth with Man's Índuflry So in the bufinefs of Salvation; we fhould not difpute of our Power, nor the Event of our Endeavours : 'Tis enough to acknowledge the Debt of Obedience, to try our Power, to endeavour to do what we ought to do ; and then leave the Event to God. There is no need to difpute of our Power ; 'tis much fifer to confefs our Impotency, to humble our felves before God, and, to feeke his Bleffing and Grace in the Means he bath inffituted to that end ; but not at all to doubt the Counfel and Will of God : And the Intention of Chriff, whatever it be, will be no Impediment to us in doing our Duty. And 'tis as certain, that no Man doth all that he can, but by divers Offences, and abufe of the Gifts received, giveth God it'll caufe to be angry, and withdraw his help. And 'tis alfo out of doubt, that 'tis not for want of God's help, but for their own folly and negligence .that they perifh : Therefore let us do what we are commanded to do; and leave the Event to God ; confeffing, when we have done all that we can, that God is not our Debtor ; but that we remain Debtors to God, guilty of eternal Condemnation, as long as we are not Partakers of Regeneration, and Juffificatien by Chriff. If we could learn to fupprefs our Cavils and Curiofity by this humble Submiffion, the bufinefs of our Salvation would foon come ro an Iffue; and we fhould find God better to us than we could imagine. 3. The next Confederation is, That this Increafe is given in by Degrees: We have not all at firfi, nor all at once ; but as our Capacities are enlarged, fo is God's Hand. Pfal. 81. so. Open thy Mouth wide, and I will fill it. The more we improve the Grace received, the more are we ftrengthned for God's Service ; and our Defires and Ex= peftations, which are as the Mouth of the Soul, are more railed. It is Exercife maketh us fee the neceflïty and worth of Grace ; and fo delire more as neceffary to bear our Burdens, perform our Duties, and refill Temptations : And the more Grace we have, and the more we are acquainted with God; the more Hoes have we to- wards him. By Hope and Delete the Soul is more widened, and fitted to receive : As Mofis, Tel me thy Name ; and then, Shew me thy Glory. None fee the want of Learning fo much, as they that have moil of it : $o for Grace, the Delire and $enfe ofWant increafeth with enjoyment ; fo Both God's Bounty to us; The Deletes and Endeavours of Believers after Grace, are not eafily fatislied. 4., This gradual Increafe is continued, till at length all be full and. perfefl. The dpo/lle prayeth for the Saints, E ,,hef. 4. 59. That they might be filled with all the Fulnefs of God. God keepeth filling í1t11, till Grace, begun here, be fully compleated in Glory hereafter : and in Heaven they are filled up with God, as far as finite Creatures' are capable of enjoying that which is Infinite. The reafon is, Becaufe the Riches of God's Goodnefs are inexhauflible : God is newer weary of well- doing where he bath given, hewill give ; and delighteth to crown his own Gifts: Some Gifts ofGod leave fome Obligation upen him to give more. Deus donando debet. Chrifl's Rea- S fonine