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be zeal impermixt as the sun, not mingled with our smoky, sooty, factious affections. Some grammarians have noted the word washing here, to be derived from a word, that signifies a lamb ; we must be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and we must be brought to the whiteness, the candour, the simplicity of the lamb; no man is pure, that thinks no man pure but himself. And this whiteness, which is sanctification in ourselves, and charitable interpretation of other men, is exalted here to that superlative, Super nivem, Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snou.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snou". Esay was an evangelical prophet, a prophetical evangelist, and speaks still of the state of the Christian church. There, by the ordinary means exhibited there, our scarlet sins are made as white as snow; and the whiteness of snow, is a whiteness that no art of man can reach to; so Christ's garments in his Transfiguration are expressed to have been as white as snow®S, so, as no fuller on earth can white them. Nothing in this world can send me home in such a whiteness, no moral counsel, no moral comfort, no moral constancy; as God's absolution by his minister, as the profitable hearing of a sermon, the worthy receiving of the sacrament do. This is to be as white as snow; in a good state for the present. But David begs a whiteness above snow; for snow melts, and then it is not white; our present sanctification withers, and we lose that cheerful verdure, the testimony of an upright conscience; and snow melted, snow-water, is the coldest water of all; devout men departed from their former fervour are the coldest and the most irreducible to true zeal, true holiness. Therefore David who was metal tried seven times in the fire, and desired to be such gold as might be laid up in God's treasury, might consider, that in transmutation of metals, it is not enough to come to a calcination, or a liquefaction of the metal, (that must be done) nor to an ablution, to sever dross from pure, nor to a transmutation, to make it a better metal, but there must be a fixion, a settling thereof, so that it shall not evaporate into nothing, nor return to his former nature. Therefore he saw that he needed not only a liquefaction, a melting into tears, nor only an ablution, and a transmutation, those he had by this purging and this washing, this station in the church of God, and this present sanctification there, but he needed fixionem, an establishment, which the comparison of snow afforded not; that as he had purged him with hyssop, and so cleansed him, that is, enwrapped him in the covenant, and made him a member of the true church ; and there washed him so, as that he was restored to a whiteness, that is, made his ordinances so effectual upon him, as that then he durst deliver his soul into his hands at that time: so he would exalt that whiteness, above the whiteness of snow, so as nothing might melt it, nothing discolour it, but that under the seal of his blessed Spirit, he might ever dwell in that calm, in that assurance, in that acquiescence, that as he is in a good state this minute, he shall be in no worse, whensoever God shall be pleased to translate him.
21 Isaiah i. 18.
19 Mark ix. 3.
We end all the Psalms in our service, those of praise, and those of prayer too, with a Gloria Patri, Glory be to the Father, &c. For our conclusion of this prayer in this Psalm, we have reserved a Gloria Patri too, this consideration for the glory of God, that though in the first part, the persons, the persons were varied, God, and man, yet in our second part, where we consider the work, the whole work is put into God's hand, and received from God's hand. Let God be true, and every man a liar; let God be strong, and every man infirm; let God give, and man but receive. What man that hath no propriety therein, can take a penny out of another man's house, or a root out of his garden, but the law will take hold of him? Hath any man a propriety in grace? What had he to give for it? nature? Is nature equivalent to grace? No man does refine, and exalt nature to the height it would bear, but if natural faculties were exalted to their highest, is nature a fit exchange for grace? and if it were, is nature our own? Why should we be loath to acknowledge to have all our ability of doing good freely from God, and immediately by his grace, when as, even those faculties of nature, by which we pretend to do the offices of grace, we have from God himself too? For that question of the apostle involves all, What hast thou that thou hast not received? Thy natural faculties are no more thine own, than the grace of God is thine own; I would not be beholden to God for grace, and I must be as much beholden
to him for nature, if nature do supply grace ; because he hath made thee to be a man, he hath given thee natural faculties; because he hath vouchsafed thee to be a Christian, he hath given thee means of grace. But, as thy body, conceived in thy mother's womb, could not claim a soul at God's hand, nor wish a soul, no nor know that there was a soul to be had : so neither by being a man endued with natural faculties canst thou claim grace, or wish grace; nay those natural faculties, if they be not pretincted with some infusion of grace before, cannot make thee know what grace is, or that grace is. To a child rightly disposed in the womb, God does give a soul; to a natural man rightly disposed in his natural faculties, God does give grace; but that soul was not due to that child, nor that grace to that man.
Therefore, (as we said at first) David does not bring the hyssop, and pray God to make the potion, but, do thou purge me with hyssop, all is thine own; there was no pre-existent matter in the world, when God made the world; there is no pre-existent merit in man, when God makes him his. David does not say, do thou wash and I will perfect thy work; give me my portion of grace, and I will trouble thee for no more, but deal upon that stock ; but Qui sanctificatur, sanctificetur adhuc, Let him that is holy be more holy, but accept his sanctification from him, of whom he had his justification ; and except he can think to glorify himself because he is sanctified, let him not think to sanctify himself because he is justified ; God does all. Yet thus argues St. Augustine upon David's words, Tuus sum Domine, Lord I am thine, and therefore safer than they, that think themselves their own. Every man can and must say, I was thine, thine by creation ; but few can say, I am thine, few that have not changed their master. But how was David his so especially? says St. Augustine : Quia quæsivi justificationes tuas, as it follows there ; Because I sought thy righteousness, thy justification. But where did he seek it? He sought it, and he found it in himself. In himself, as himself, there was no good thing to be found, how far soever he had sought: but yet he found a justification, though of God's whole making, yet in himself.
So then, this is our act of recognition, we acknowledge God, and God only to do all; but we do not so make him sovereign
alone, as that we leave his presence naked, and empty ; nor so make him king alone, as that we depopulate his country, and leave him without subjects; nor so leave all to grace, as that the natural faculties of man do not become the servants, and instruments of that grace. Let all, that we all seek, be, who may glorify God most ; and we shall agree in this, that as the Pelagian wounds the glory of God deeply, in making natural faculties joint-commissioners with grace, so do they diminish the glory of God too, if any deny natural faculties to be the subordinate servants and instruments of grace; for as grace could not work upon man to salvation, if man had not a faculty of will to work upon, because without that will man were not man; so is this salvation wrought in the will, by conforming this will of man to the will of God, not by extinguishing the will itself, by any force or constraint that God imprints in it by his grace : God saves no man without, or against his will, Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, and good will towards men; and to this God of glory, the Father, and this God of peace and reconciliation, the Son, and this God of good will and love amongst men, the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all praise, &c.
PREACHED ON CANDLEMAS DAY.
ROMANS xii. 20.
Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for,
in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
It falls out, I know not how, but, I take it, from the instinct of the Holy Ghost, and from the prophetical spirit residing in the Church of God, that those Scriptures which are appointed to be read in the church, all these days, (for I take no other this term) do evermore afford, and offer us, texts that direct us to patience, as though these times had especial need of those instructions.
And truly so they have ; for though God have so far spared us as yet, as to give us no exercise of patience in any afflictions, inAlicted upon ourselves, yet, as the heart aches if the head do, nay, if the foot ache, the heart aches too; so all that profess the name of Christ Jesus aright, making up but one body, we are but dead members of that body, if we be not affected with the distempers of the most remote parts thereof. That man says but faintly, that he is heart-whole, that is macerated with the gout, or lacerated with the stone; it is not a heart, but a stone grown into that form, that feels no pain, till the pain seize the very substance thereof. How much and how often St. Paul delights himself with that sociable syllable, ouv, con, conregnare', and concificare, and consedere', of reigning together, and living, and quickening together: as much also doth God delight in it from us, when we express it in a conformity, and compunction, and compassion, and condolency, and (as it is but a little before the text) in weeping with them that weep. Our patience therefore being actually exercised in the miseries of our brethren round about us, and probably threatened in the aims and plots of our adversaries upon us, though I hunt not after them, yet I decline not such texts, as may direct our thoughts upon duties of that kind.
This text does so; for the circle of this epistle of St. Paul, this precious ring, being made of that golden doctrine, that justification is by faith, and being enamelled with that beautiful doctrine of good works too, in which enamelled ring, as a precious stone in the midst thereof, there is set, the glorious doctrine of our election, by God's eternal predestination, our text falls in that part, which concerns obedience, holy life, good works; which, when both the doctrines, that of justification by faith, and that of predestination have suffered controversy, hath been by all sides embraced, and accepted; that there is no faith, which the angels in heaven, or the church upon earth, or our own consciences can take knowledge of, without good works. Of which good works, and the degrees of obedience, of patience, it is a great one, and a hard one that is enjoined in this text; for whereas St. Augustine observes six degrees, six steps in our behaviour towards our enemies, whereof the first is nolle lædere, to be loath to hurt any man
12 Tim. ii. 12.
* Eph. ii. 1, 6.