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not. It is much at one to a strong faith, to have heaven, or to believe it this grace makes heaven as really present, as if it were already in possession: and therefore it is called, in Heb. xi. 1. the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for it is the very being of things hoped for; the being of those things, that as yet have no being.

Thirdly. We have a Kingdom of Glory, as in the view of faith, so also in the embraces of Hope.

And therefore hope is called, the anchor of the soul.....that entereth into that within the veil: Heb. vi. 19. that is, into heaven: it lays hold on all that glory, that is there laid up and kept in reversion for us. Hope is, in itself, a solid and substantial possession; for it stirs up the same affections, it excites the same joy, delight, and complacency, as fruition itself doth. It is the taster of all our comforts: and, if they be but temporal, it not only tastes them, but sometimes quite devours them; and leaves us in suspense, whether it be not better to be expectants than enjoyers. Heavenly hope gives the same real contentment and satisfaction it antedates our glory; and puts us into the possession of our inheritance, whilst we are yet in our nonage: only it doth not spend and devour its object, beforehand, as earthly hope doth.

Fourthly. We have a Kingdom of Glory, because God hath assured to us the possession of it by his immutable word of Promise.

And therefore it is called eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, hath promised: Tit. i. 2. God's word is as good security, as actual possession. It is this word, that gives us right and title to it; and this right we may well call ours. Hence we have it, and it is observable, Mark xvi. 16. He, that believeth..... shall be saved here is assurance of salvation, for the future. But, in John iii. 18. it is, He, that believeth not, is condemned already. He, that believeth, shall be saved: He, that believeth not, is condemned already. Unbelievers are no more actually condemned, than believers are actually saved: only, what God promiseth, or what God threateneth, it is all one whether he saith it is done or it shall be done; for damnation is as sure to the one, and salvation as certain to the other, as if they were already in their final estate. So, then, we have a kingdom: that is, God, who cannot lie, hath promised it; and his promise is as much as actual possession itself.

This kingdom is described to us, in the text, to be immove. able: We have a kingdom, which cannot be moved. It is not like the kingdoms of the earth, that are all subject to earthquakes and commotions; but we have a kingdom, which cannot be moved. And, if we understand this of the Kingdom of Grace in the hearts of believers, then the sense is, it can never be so moved as to be utterly removed: though it be shaken and battered, yet the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal on it, The Lord knoweth who are his; as the Apostle speaks, 2 Tim. ii. 19: indeed, as all earthquakes are caused by some vapours included in the bowels of the earth, so is there enough in us to cause shakings and earthquakes: there are those corrupt and sinful steams of lusts, that are still working and heaving in our breasts; that, were not God's truth, wisdom, and power all engaged to keep and preserve us, we should be soon moved from our standing and overthrown. If we understand by it the Kingdom of Glory, that is certainly immoveable: We have a kingdom, which cannot be moved: there, we shall be free from the temptations of Satan, from the infirmities and corruptions of the flesh, from the mutability and fickleness of our own wills; and shall have a blessed necessity imposed upon us, to be for ever holy, and to be for ever happy.

So much for the thesis, We have a kingdom that cannot be moved.

Secondly. From the thesis, the Apostle proceeds to draw a Practical Inference: wherein we may observe, both what he exhorts us unto, and how we ought to do it.

The matter of the duty, to which he exhorts us, is, Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God.

The manner how we ought to serve God is set down in one word, and that is acceptably: Let us.....serve God acceptably: which that we may do, he directs us to the means; and that is, in all our serving of God let us address ourselves to him, with reverence and godly fear: let us serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.

I shall only, as I pass along, take a taste of this part of the text, before I fix upon what I principally intend. The word here translated reverence signifies shamefacedness or bashfulness; such, as is commendable in inferiors, while they are in the presence of their superiors. And it implies in it two things: first, consciousness of our own vileness and unworthiness: se

condly, an overawing sense of another's excellency. For modesty, or reverence, consists in these two things; in low and debasing thoughts of ourselves, and in a high esteem of others. This the Apostle exhorts us to in the text, by the word reverence. Whence observe this: That a due sense of our own vileness and of God's glorious majesty, is an excellent qualification in all our services to make them acceptable. Let us serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.

Thirdly. You have, in the text, the Motive, whereby the Apostle enforceth this exhortation: For our God is a consuming fire.

These words are cited out of Deut. iv. 24. where Moses, to bring the Israelites from idolatry, represents God to them as a jealous God and a consuming fire. And here the Apostle makes use of them, to compose men into a holy awe and reverence of God in serving him.

Whence observe,

First. That an irreverent and fearless worship of the True God, provokes him and deserves his consuming wrath, as well as the idolatrous worship of a false god.

Moses makes use of the same words, to deter the Israelites from idolatry and worshipping a false god, as the Apostle makes use of, to excite us to a reverence and worshipping of the True God.

Secondly. Whereas it is said, that our God is a consuming fire; observe, That our peculiar interest in God is no encouragement to cast off our most awful fear of God.

Our God is a consuming fire: though he hath laid down his enmity against us, yet he hath not laid down his sovereignty and majesty over us. Indeed these two expressions, our God, and a consuming fire, at first blush and glance seem to look strangely and wistly one upon another: but the Holy Ghost hath excellently tempered them. He is our God: this corrects that despairing fear, that otherwise would seize upon us, from the consideration of God as a consuming fire. And he is a consuming fire also this corrects that presumptuous irreverence, that else the consideration of our interest in God might possibly embolden

us unto.


I. You see now, from the explication of these words, what an excellent copious portion of Scripture I have unfolded unto

you, wherein indeed is contained the true art and method of serving God acceptably. It is the fear of God, that quickens us to serve him: and this fear of God is pressed upon us and wrought in us, by two strong principles: we have a kingdom : and, what is strange too for those that have a kingdom of God, our God is a consuming fire, and therefore let us fear him.

Now this is such a principle, that carnal men are not apt to apprehend. They say, "If we have a kingdom, that cannot be moved, why then should we fear? And, if God be such a consuming fire, why should we ever expect that kingdom, since we are but as stubble?" But our Apostle hath well conjoined them together: and, from that conjunction, I shall raise and prosecute this one PROPOSITION.


In prosecuting this Proposition, I shall shew how consistent the Grace of Fear is with other Graces of the Spirit: that it is no impediment to

Full Assurance

Love of God

A Spirit of Adoption

Holy Rejoicing, nor
Holy Boldness. *

i. In shewing you that the grace of Fear is NO IMPEDIMENT TO FULL ASSURANCE, I shall consider,

What Fear of God it is, that a believer ought always to
overawe his heart with.

Upon what Grounds and Considerations he is thus to do.
What there is in a reconciled God, that may be a

ground and motive to overawe our hearts with a
fear of his majesty.

* I have borrowed this Division from a subsequent part of the Treatise, in order to render the Author's method obvious, which, for want of it in this place, was obscure. I have also, with the same view, made a slight alteration in his mode of expressing one or two of the subsequent heads. EDITOR.

1. What Fear of God it is, that a believer ought to overawe his heart with.

Fear, in general, is described to be a passion or an affection of the mind, arising from the apprehension of some great evil with difficulty avoidable.

And, as it is observed by some, it usually carries in it Three things.

A doubtfulness or uncertainty of the event, what it may
prove: and this is always a torment to the mind.
A terror, that ariseth from the greatness of the evil ap-
prehended and feared.

A careful flight and aversion of it.

(1) There is, in Fear, a doubtfulness and uncertainty of the


And this is a torment, when a man is racked in suspense and doubt what to expect; whether or no the vengeance of God will not fall heavy upon him; whether or no he be not fuel on which this consuming fire will for ever prey. Now this is not that fear, which the Apostle, in this text, exhorts us to serve God withal: no, to serve God with reverence and godly fear, is not to serve him with a doubtful, anxious, and solicitous fear of what the event may prove: nay, such a fear as this, is inconsistent with actual assurance; and those, who are perplexed with it, cannot say we have a kingdom, nor cannot fear their God as a consuming fire. There may be a genuine, awful fear of God as a consuming fire; where there is not the least doubt remaining concerning our final state; where the soul is fully assured, that God will be to him not a fire to consume him, but a sun to cherish him for ever. I will give you one or two remarkable scriptures to this purpose. In Heb. iv. 1. Let us fear, says the Apostle, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it: here the Apostle quickens them to the exercise of holiness, from the fear of falling short of heaven: yea, though they had assurance by God's promise of it; lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, yet you should fall short of it. And so the Apostle triumphs in his assurance, 2 Cor. v. 1. We know that.....we have a house.....eternal in the heavens: and yet, in verse 11. he quickens himself to the discharge of his ministerial office, from the fear of God's wrath; knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men: though he was assured of glory, yet he quickens

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