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iv.

.

P

$

E

F

a

c

F.

be

fared in

the

Lord, with

an everlafting falvation,

they

fhall

not

be afhamed

nor

confounded world without end,

ver.

17.

On theft

and

the

like accounts,

the principal. deign

of

their

whole

lives

onto whom he

is thus

precious; is to accquaint

themf

lves

with

him,

the

myfltry

of

the

wfdom, grace

and

love

cf

Gad,

in his perfon

and

mediation

as

reveal-

cd

unto

us in the feriptere, which

is

life eternal,

John

xvii.

3.

to trufl in

him,

and

unto hint,

as

unto

all the

everlafting concernments

of

their

fools,. to

love

and

honour

him

with all

their hearts,

to endeavour

after

conformity

emtohim,

in

all

thole

charaílers

of

divine

goodnefs

and

holin

fs;

which

are

reprefented

onto them

in

him.

In

theft

things

confefl

the

fail,

life,

power,

beauty

and

efficacy

'of

chrfian

religion,

without which, whatever outward

ornaments

may

be

put

upon

its

exercii

,

it

is but

an

of

lefs, lifelefs carcafs.

The whole

of

this

defmn.

is expreffed

in

theft

heavenly

words

of

the apofle,

151ül,`iii.

8,

9, ro.

r

r,

i

z. Yea doubtiefs, and

I

count

all

things but

lofs,

for

the

excellency

of

the

knowledge

of

Chat

Jefus ray

Lord;

for

whom

I have fuffered

the

lofs

of

all things, and do

count them

but

dung, that

I

might win Chrilt

and be

found n hint,

not

having mine own rithtcoufnefs, which

is

of

the

law, but

that which

is

through

the

faith

of

Chrilt,

the

righteoufnefs

which

is

of

God

by

faith.

That

I

may

know him,

and

the

power

of

his xetrirreftion, and

the

fellowlhip

of

his fufferings, being made

conformable

unto

his

death

;

if

by

any means I

might

attain

unto the refurrcftion

of

the

dead

:

Not

as

though

F

had

already attained, either were already

petfeEt

;

but

I follow

after,

if

that

I

may apprehend

that

for which

I

alto am apprehended

of

Christ Jefus.

This

is

a divine

expreon of that

frame

of

heart,

of that

defign

which is predominant

and

efficacious

in

them

Unto

whom

Chef

is precious.

But

on

the

other hand, according unto

the forementioned

prediElion,

as

he

bath

bbeen'a

fore

foundation

unto

all that

believe ;

fo

he

bath

in

like

manner

been

a

fone of

fumbling, and

rock

of

offence

unto them

that

fumble

at

the

word,

being

difobedient,

whereunto

they alto were appointed.

There is

no-

thing in

him,

nothing

wherein he

is

concerned;

nothing

of

him,

his

perfori,

his

natures,

his

office,

his grace, his love,

his

pciver,

his authority, his re-

lation

unto

the

church, but

it

bath

been

unto many

a ¡lone

of

fumbling, and

rock

of

offence.

Concerning

th,

fe

things have

been

all

the

wefryl

coretefts,

which have

fallen

out

and

been

managed

among

thofe

that

outward-

ly.

have

made pro

feffon

of

the

chr

f

ian

religion.

And

the

contentions about

them

de

rather

increafe

than

abate, unto

this

very day ;

the

difmal

fruits

whereof

the,

worldgroaneth

under,

and

is

no

longer able to bear.

For as

the

oppofition

unto

the

Lord

Chri

/t

in theft things

by

men

of

perverfe

minds,

hach

ruined their own

fouls,

as having

deified"

themfelues

in

pieces

again_ this

everlafing

rock

; fa

in conjunilion

with

others lofts

and interefs

of

the

carnal

minds

of

men,

it

teach

flied

the

world'it

felf

with

blood

and

confu

/ron..

The re-

enthroning

of

the

perfora,

fpirit, grace

and

authority

of

Chrif.ire

the hearts

and

confciences

of

men,

is

the

only

way

whereby

an

end

may

be

put

unto

theft woful

confiils.

But this

is

not to

be

expelled in

any degree

of

per

-

fetlion

amongfi them

who

mble

at

this

fane of

offence,

whereunto they

are appointed, though

in

the

iffue

he

will

herein alto

fend forth

judgment un-

to vülory, and

all

the

meek

of

the

earth _hallfollow after it.

In

the

mean

time,

as

thofe unto whom

he

is

thus a

rock

of

offence,

in his

perfora,

his

fpi-

rit,

his grace,

his

office

and

authority, are diligent

and reflefs

in their

vari-

ous

ways

and

forms, in

l

fifer

br higher

degrees,

in fecret

artifices,

or open

contradiltions

unto any

or

all

of

them, under

various

pretences,

and

fór

divers

ends, even

fecular advantages

fame

of

them, which the

craft

if

fatan

bath

prepared

for

the

eoifnaring

of

them,

an

all

ways

of

oppofition

unto his

glory;

fo

it

is

the

highe/ftt

duty

of

them unto whomhe

if

precious,. whofe

principal

defign

w to

be

found

built

on him ae

the

lure

foundation

;

as

to hold

the

truth

ton-