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PAGE 202

a poor creature, never worthy to have been made a minister; and if it had not been Himself that had urged and fastened it on me, it may be I never would have undertaken it; and I came not to this place I thought without somewhat of his own hand seen therin, and have been labouring but very weakly indeed) to declare unto you a message from God, and some have received it, and sum not, and I am even afraid severall1 of this congregation have not received it, yet God grant they may receive it. The Lord that quickeneth the pickle that is sown in the ground, after the seedsman is gone, if he please may doe good to some of you, if so it come to passe that we be separate from you.2

I shall not take up your time with reading any place. If I had, I would have read that place of Scripture in the 10th of Matthew, and 32d verse, Christ saith, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever will deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father."

Christianity is nothing else now but what you have heard before, but it may be you have not taken up Christianity aright. I shall say but a few words, and pray, and so dismiss you. There are four pillars, one may think, of Christianity: 1. A man believeth with the heart; and that brings in another pillar, Righteousness; and a third is, man confesseth with his mouth; and that brings on a fourth, which accomplishes all, Salvation.

There are two main wayes how Satan prevaills with poor creatures. He allures them, and he terrifies them. There are the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world and of honour. These have a kind of enticeing faculty. And then he hath another engine toward those that will not be so much moved by the former, and that is, he bends up terrors upon them, and makes them afraid; and therefore that is the word going before the word that I have cited. "Fear them not, ye arc of more value than many sparrows." Now for a remedy against this fear, the fear of the



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1    I am afraid even severall.

2    That we should be separate one from another.

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flesh, and the fear of sufferings, Jesus Christ holds forth that it may be a man will not get much in this life, yet in another place he makes them sure of ane hundred-fold in this life; but he insisteth upon this, The man that confesseth him, (he hath to doe but with men like himself,) it is before men Jesus Christ shall avow and confess that man (in another kind of ane assembly) before his Father. And, on the other hand, because many are ready to find out strange wayes to save themselves, their means, their life, (these have been a great snare to many,) he propons very sharply, The man that denyes me, saith he, before men, I will turn my back upon him, and deny him before my Father.

This is the most ticklish point in all divinity. Lawyers have their points of high treason.1 Physicians have their poysonous things dangerous to handle. Now, what is the most dangerous thing in all divinity, the rock that many have beaten out their brains upon? It is even this, Satan hath wiled them, entised them to deny Christ Jesus. It may be in reference to the time we live in, some think if it were Christ Jesus, if it were any fundamentall point, we would stand for it life and estate, and all that we have. But it is thought that some things that Christians stand upon are but fancies, and nice scrupulosities, and if there be any thing in them, it is but a small matter. Shall a man venture his condition here and hereafter upon such and such a small thing? Indeed, if they be none of Christ's small things, let them goe; but if it be one of his, will ye call that a small thing? His small things are very great things; and what if this be warranted and proven to you, that there was never a tryall since the beginning of the world, but in the while2 it was a tryall, it was a small thing. The word was very clear, and it is very clear still. But I cannot go through the things that have been contraverted, as the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and his humane nature; the union and distinction of the two natures in him, and his offices, his propheticall and his priestly office; and it hath been the judgement of many of his



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1    Otherwise, If lawiers have a poynt of hie treason, O that is a dangerous poynt to meddle with.

2    "Time."






        
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