« Prev Sermon XV. Preached May 24, 1691. Next »

SERMON XV.1818   Preached May 24, 1691.

Romans viii. 24.

We are saved by hope.

THAT which I proposed to do in discoursing to you from this passage was, 1st, to shew what hope that is of which this is said, inasmuch as it is apparently not to be said of all hope. There is an hope that will not save. There is an hope that will destroy; and to that head we have already spoken. We have shewn you what hope it is not; and then have positively shewed you what hope it is, concerning which this is spoken, that it saves. And now,

2. Our further business is to shew you which way hope doth operate towards salvation, or what influence it hath in order thereunto. We told you (entering on this head last time) that the understanding of this matter will depend upon our conceiving aright what is more immediately and certainly necessary to salvation; for if hope will be found to influence such things as are of most apparent confessed 206necessity unto salvation, it will be then found to have a necessary influence on salvation too. If it be necessary to that which is necessary, it must be itself also necessary. And it must be somewhat in itself exceeding great, and so that needs all the suitable and proper influences imaginable to bring it about, that shall distinguish them that are saved from them who shall perish; or, in short, the things that are more immediately necessary to salvation, must be understood to be very great things, and things that are not to be wrought at an easy rate, but which will require the help and concurrence of whatsoever may have an apt subserviency thereto; for the differences of them that are to be saved from them that will be finally lost, must be understood to be fundamental to the eternal differences of heaven and hell. And think how vastly different are the states of men hereafter, who shall be plunged and sunk into an abyss of woe and misery to eternity, and of them who shall be eternally rejoicing and exulting in the highest and most perfect felicity and glory.

There is the embryo of heaven and hell in the very hearts of men on this side both; and therefore the differences must be vastly great, even here in this world, between them that are in a state of salvation and them that are not in that state. The inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, that comes down from heaven, they make up the community of them that are to be the saved ones, as was noted from that 21st chapter of Revelations, 24th verse: “The nations of them that are saved do walk in the light thereof.” How vastly another sort of men, in all reason, are they to be from the rest of the perishing world, who are to be exempt from the common ruin, who, when the rest of the world must perish in vindictive flames, are to be caught up in the clouds, and meet their Redeemer in the air, and so be for ever with the Lord! How vast (I say) must we suppose the differences between these two sorts of men, when there is the seed, the very primordia of heaven and hell, the very beginnings of heaven and hell, to be found on earth in these two sorts of men! Therefore the distinction of the saved ones must be great and eminent from those that are not to be saved.

And what is their distinction I have generally told you already. It lies in these two things: in thorough regeneration, or conversion to God, by which they are brought into a good and safe state at first; and then, in their per severance herein unto the end.


1. They are such as are “born from heaven.”—“from above;” and the expression (John iii. 3, 4.) may as well be read “born from above,” as “born again;” they are an heaven-born sort of men; a community of persons that are all of a divine family,—of the family of God, to be the sons and daughters of the Most High; not by adoption only, as if their sonship were no more than a relative thing; but by regeneration too, which is a real thing, and which makes an internal subjective change, the greatest that can be wrought in this world upon the subject where it hath place. By that regenerating impression on them they are turned to God; a divine touch upon their spirits inclines them to him; and now they turn to him with all their hearts and with all their souls. By being turned they turn; passive conversion and regeneration are the same thing. That turning influence by which the whole soul is brought about towards God, is nothing else but the regenerating influence that puts a new nature into them: for it is not a violent turn, but a spontaneous turn; a turn from the inclination of that new nature that is now in them: and in respect of this communicated divine nature are they said to be “born of God,” to be “children of the Most High;” or otherwise (as the same thing is eliptically expressed) “they are of God;”—“we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.” 1 John v. 19.

2. And being brought into this state, they must persevere in it. It is absolutely necessary that they do so: “he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matt. xxiv. 13. “They that are born of God must overcome the world;” which, indeed, some way or other, sums up all the enemy’s power that they are to contend with; for the great destroyer of souls tempts men by this world, and their own flesh is tempted by it; so that, take one of that ternary of enemies, and you take them altogether. They cannot be severed; and he that is born of God must overcome these; in overcoming one, he must overcome all of this ternary of enemies, these adversary powers; and, overcoming, shall sit down with Christ on his throne, as he overcame, and is sat down with his Father upon his throne.” They are such, as, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for honour, and glory, and immortality,” till they actually “obtain everlasting life.” Rom. ii. 7. And they are to continue believing, which sums up the whole of that duty which the gospel makes necessary to salvation, till they actually receive “the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls.” 2081 Peter i. 9. “They must not be of them that draw back to perdition, but of them that believe, to the saving of their souls.” Heb. x. last verse.

Both these are of most absolute necessity to being saved. This is plain, and out of all question; and they are necessary to salvation two ways, both of them, as in their own nature they do dispose and suit the soul for the heavenly state; both for the work, and for the felicity of it. If it were possible that one should come unchanged, unconverted, and unrenewed into heaven, what an exotic thing would he be there? He could have no business there; there is nothing there to be done that he could do; there is nothing there to be enjoyed that he could enjoy. Suppose one in heaven, that were no lover of God, that can take no pleasure in the divine presence, that hath nothing in him of the divine image, what could he do there? And if we could suppose the wisdom of heaven to do so inapt a thing as to admit him thither, to what purpose would it be? Therefore, upon the account of internal, subjective qualification, both these are necessary.

1. There must be a new nature given, that such an one be regenerate, born of God, turned unto him with the whole heart and soul. And that there be a new creation raised up in him, to attemper and suit him to the heavenly state; that is, that there be (as it were) the epitome of a new world, new heavens, and a new earth, in that soul which is designed for that blessed state above. A new creation is to rise up, which is to top heaven, to wit, to lift up its head into heaven, and a blessed eternity. That work is to be wrought in him that is a congenerous thing unto heaven; “He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, (saith our Lord,) shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up into eternal life.” John iv. 14. The regenerate frame and nature is so much akin to heaven, that in nature and kind they are not different things: and so there can no man ever come into heaven, that hath not somewhat of heaven aforehand come into him. He must have the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven, within him, which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. xiv. which are the very primordia of heaven: righteousness, universal rectitude; and peace, universal tranquillity resulting from most perfect and unexceptionable order; and then joy in the Holy Ghost, that state now taking place, that consists of “fulness of joy, and pleasures 209for evermore. Psalm xvi. last verse. All these together are inchoate heaven, and so must in the work of regeneration and conversion, be inwrought into the soul to prepare and qualify it internally and subjectively for salvation, or the heavenly state, which is all one. And then,

2. Perseverance is equally necessary upon the same account, and for the same purpose, under that very notion; for, if it were necessary that such a thing should be, to qualify such and such as subjects for the heavenly state, it must be, for the same reason, necessary to continue and remain. This seed of regeneration must abide; it must continue even to the very last; for the soul is not qualified for the heavenly state by what it was ten or twenty years ago, but by what it is when it comes into it; when it comes actually to possess it, and partake of it.

And then, both these are necessary, not only in the nature of the thing, as internal qualifications of the subject; but they are also necessary as things required by the tenor of the evangelical law of grace, which entitleth none to heaven but those that are regenerate; those that are born of God; and those that, being so, do continue adhering and cleaving to him to the very end; that is, those (as was said before) who do believe to the very saving of their souls.

And you must consider here, that this second necessity of both these things, arising from the gospel constitution, or the constitution of the evangelical covenant, or the law of grace, it comes in this kind to supervene and to be superadded to the other; to wit, considering salvation at length as the effect of the gospel grant; for it is not merely to be looked upon as a natural product, (though you say spiritually natural, or you mean so;) it is not to be considered under that notion, (though it is partly to be considered under it,) but it is withal to be considered under the notion of a gift. “The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is not a mere natural product, nor the product of the divine nature, the spiritual, the holy nature, that is wrought into the soul. It is not (I say) merely such a natural production, but it is to be considered morally too, as the effect of a free donation. And being so a given thing, a thing conferred, then it must be understood to be conferred upon the donor’s own terms, the terms that he chooseth, that he is pleased himself to enact and appoint. And these terms are those terms which I have told you of already; “except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;”—“except ye 210be converted, and become as little children, ye cannot be saved;” and (as was told you before) “he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” And the righteous Judge of all” the world, “who will render to every man according to his works;” (Rom. ii. 6.) “he hath deter mined this, that to them that by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality,” he will give “eternal life;” and for the rest, “to those that obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.”

So far it was necessary to clear to you the immediate requisites to salvation, these two summarily, conversion and perseverance. And now, hereupon, I am to evince to you, that hope hath an influence upon both these; that a man would never turn to God if it were not from the influence of hope; and that being turned, he would never walk with God to the end, never cleave to God to the last, if it were not still from the influence of hope.

I hope you have all so much of gospel-understanding with you as to think, that the asserting such and such a means as necessary, doth not make the end less necessary. We are not to suppose the end (eternal salvation) is less certain, because such means have a certain subserviency thereto; for he that hath appointed the end hath appointed the means too, and settled the connection between them; that is, that there shall be such faith, such a new creature, such holiness; and these shall be continued and maintained till the end be attained; and the end shall be attained hereupon. The necessary subserviency of such means doth not make the end less certain; but more rationally certain, more certain to us, more evident to us, when we see the way chalked out more plainly that leads to it, and in which it is brought about. I say, that nothing is plainer, than that both these are brought about by the influence of hope; both the soul’s first conversion and turning to God, and its continuance and perseverance to the end. And, that I may evince the influence of hope as to both these, with the more clearness, there is somewhat that I must premise to make my way the clearer thereto. That is,

1. That God, in his dealings with the souls of men in order to salvation doth work very much upon a natural principle of self-love in them. I say, that, in order to the saving of souls, God, in his dealing with them, doth very much apply himself to a principle of natural self-love. This 211is plain, and out of all question. And the precepts, with their sanctions, (the great instruments that he works and moves them by,) do all suppose it. The great gospel precept, “believing in the Son of God,” with its sanction admixt, doth plainly suppose it. “Go, preach this gospel to every nation;”—What is this for? In order to believing in general. What is the sanction annexed to this precept?—“He that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.” These are direct applications to the principle of self-love. What can either of these signify by way of argument, but as they do accommodate this principle, and are some way suited thereunto? What doth it weigh to tell such an one, You shall be saved if you believe with a true gospel faith, if he doth not love himself; if he have no love for his own soul? And what doth it weigh to tell such an one, If you do not believe you shall be damned, if he love not his own soul, if he care not what becomes of his soul? Nothing is plainer, than that God doth apply himself to the natural principle of self-love in us, when he comes to deal with us about the affairs of our salvation and eternal well-being. What are heaven and hell laid in open view before us for, in so much amiableness, and in so much terror, but to move this principle of self-love? And then I would premise,

2. Supposing the principle of self-love, the end that every one must design thereupon must suit and answer that principle. And thereupon it will be consequent, that he who is to be saved must be made to design his own salvation; which also the plainest and greatest gospel principles do most significantly and. manifestly hold forth to us as matter of indispensable duty; that is, that we are to design our own salvation; to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling;” what doth that signify else? what doth it signify less? “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure;”—“strive to enter in at the strait gate;” be ye in agonies in order to it; that is the English of that expression. If the principle of self-love is to be set on work; and if, from that principle, our own salvation is to be designed as our end; then it will be most apparently consequent, that the hope of attaining our end must needs be the great influencing thing upon us, in reference to whatsoever is necessary thereunto. And so,

3. The whole business of conversion we must under stand to be influenced by hope, upon the supposal that the person that now lies under the converting work is all the 212while designing his own salvation. And here my business is, and will be, to let you see how the many things that are incident, and do fall in together in the business of a man’s serious and thorough conversion, and turning to God, must be understood to be influenced by hope throughout. The turning soul is, in its turning, an hoping soul, and would never turn if it did not hope; because it hopes, therefore it turns. The Divine Spirit works all, (it is true;) but it works accommodately and suitably to our nature, to the reasonable intelligent nature in which it works. Do but consider the plain and great things that are carried in this turning, when the soul hath received the impression, or doth now actually receive the impression from God that turns it: and see how manifest it is, that the influence of hope runs into every one. As,

(1.) In this turn wrought upon the soul there is conviction of sin, (as is obvious to every one,) accompanied many times with very great terrors, which have much participation even of hell in them, an affinity with it, a nearness to it. The soul, in order to its being raised and brought as high as heaven, is first (as it were) dipped into hell, brought as near hell as it can come without being plunged and irrecoverably lost and swallowed up of it. And you must consider the soul as an apprehensive thing all the while. You must consider the Divine Spirit working upon an intelligent, rational subject, in this its descent. The soul descends with open eyes, and it descends with a kind of consent, let me go down and visit my own deserved portion and lot. It descends an apprehensive thing, an open-eyed thing, and voluntarily; there is a voluntariness in it; but that there could never be if there were no hope. I am. content to go down, and descend even to the very brink and verge of the infernal pit; but I go down with hope, that God will not plunge me in it; that he will not lose me, and let me be swallowed up there; even while it is beset with amazing terrors, they are not the terrors of total despair, then it were to be turned into a mere devil; total despair would make it so. But though there may be so great fear, the soul seems, it may be, to itself, a composition of fear; there is, however, a secret influence of hope; though he shake me over hell, he will not throw me into it; he will, in mercy to my soul, “save me from going down into the pit:” while it is convinced, it hopes; and the more it hopes the more easily it admits of conviction: As vile a wretch as I am, as any representation could make 213me, I hope God will not utterly cast me off. The convictions that are accompanied with terror are not accompanied with hope; it is undespairing terror.

(2.) There is in this converting work deep and serious humiliation, which is a farther thing than mere conviction of the evil of sin, and of the deserts of it; which hath for its seat and subject of it, the heart, a tender heart, a relenting heart, a broken, melting heart. This is carried in the work of conversion; but this can never be without hope. All the terror in the world will never melt a soul, but hope will. Hope makes it to dissolve, makes it to relent; he puts his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. Lam. iii. 29. Is there hope for me?—then I care not how low I lie; then let me humble myself to the low est that is possible at the footstool of the mercy-seat; for I see there is hope for me. Despair would harden the heart, and render it as a rock, impenetrable, inflexible. But hope makes it to melt and dissolve. There is the greatest horror (to be sure) in hell itself, where there is the most absolute perfect despair; and so that fire, even the fire of the infernal pit, that scorches, that enrages, that exasperates, that inflames the soul with enmity, malignity, and hatred against the very Author of its being. But it is another kind of fire that melts. Hell fire will scorch, but it will not melt. It is the spirit of divine love in the gospel that only melts; and if it melts it gives ground of hope, as God is revealed reconcileable and willing to be at peace. When the gospel saith so, and the Spirit breathes in that gospel, and declares to the soul immediately, God is reconcilable; now is the heart clothed with shame and confusion, and lies low in self-abasement, even to the very lowest it can lay itself; “that thou mayest be ashamed and confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified towards thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord.” Ezek. xvi. latter end. That is, when I have shewn thee how willing I am to be reconciled, revealed myself so pacifiable, reconcileable, and given thee hope of pardon, mercy, and grace, then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I have discovered myself so placable towards thee, and so willing to be reconciled. And again,

(3.) There is in this converting work, a mortification endured and undergone, even of the most con-natural corruptions, and evil inclinations. The soul endures the cutting 214off the right hand and the right foot, and putting out the right eye; and submits to the command, Ure, Seca, as that Father is brought in saying, Lord, burn me, wound me, cut me, so thou wilt but save me! I matter it not. What? Cutting off the right hands and feet, and plucking out the right eyes?—this would never be endured if it were not for hope. Here is in this turn a denial of all ungodliness and worldly lusts whatsoever, under the instruction of grace, under the instruction of that grace, which appears bringing salvation, and that teaches us this denial of all ungodliness and worldly lusts. And how, and in what way?—“Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” While I yield and submit to such things as these, to be pulled away from all ungodliness, and to have all my worldly lusts torn from me, it is in the contemplation of that blessed hope. Oh, how comfortably shall I behold Christ, and will he behold me, who have endured all this for his pleasure! The pleasures of sin are abandoned, which are, but for a season. And why?—Because there is an eye had to the recompense of the reward; and because that faith begins now to take hold of the soul, that is “the substance of things hoped for.” Heb. xi. 1. compared with what is mentioned in the 26th and 27th verses. And again,

(4.) There is in this work of conversion a forsaking of all the world; that is the term the soul turns from, when God is the term it turns unto; a forsaking of all this world, as a most despicable thing, a composition of idols; and what have I to do with idols? saith the turning, the returning soul. What have I any more to do with them? “Love not the world, nor the things of the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John ii. 15. And what can make a man abandon a thing he hath loved, but the hope of a better?—I shall meet with something better, something that will be a rich compensation for all that I abandon and throw away. We find those converts to whom the Apostle Peter writes his first epistle, that they were thrown out of all for Christ and the gospel’s sake: elect strangers, scattered throughout the several quarters of Cappadocia, Asia, and Bythinia, and wherever else scattered they were; driven from their own home and inheritance. And how came they to yield to all this; to quit all they had in this world, and betake themselves to wandering? Why, it was for the sake of Christ. You have 215“been begotten (saith the Apostle) to a lively hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” This was in their very regeneration; this was among their natulitia, the principles of their birth, their new divine birth. A certain hope of better things than they were to lose for the sake of Christ and the gospel. They were to lose all their earthly inheritances; no matter for that, “we are begotten again to a lively hope” of such an inheritance; and we shall be kept to it,—“kept by the mighty power of God through faith to salvation;” as there it follows in the same context. And,

(5.) Here must be in this work of conversion a serious, solemn taking of God for our God, when the soul is so far loosened and unhinged from sin, and from this world, to which it did cleave by sinful inclination. Then are things so prepared and made ready for its unitive closure with that great object, from whom it hath injuriously withheld itself all this while; and unto whom, out of the state of apostasy, it must now betake itself, and is now betaking itself. Now having thrown off this world, and being loosened, and saving myself, by the help and power of thy grace, from the bands and cords of my own iniquity, I come, blessed God, to accept of, and unite with thee, to take thee for my Lord and my God. Here is the term to which the soul turns, when sin and the world were the terms from which it did turn. But now, I pray, do any of you think that a soul ever took God for its God with despair?—or doth it ever take God for its God without hope? To be without God, and without hope, they come together; and to be with God, and with hope, must parineam be joined together too. “Ye are without Christ and without God in the world,” (saith the Apostle to the Ephesians, referring to their natural unconverted state, Ephes. ii. 12.) when the case herein is changed, that the soul is no longer without God, then it is no longer without hope. It would be without God, if it still were without hope; but it having conceived an hope, that God is graciously and most condescendingly willing to be embraced by such a poor wretched thing as I am, he will permit himself to be embraced; I hope he will, I say; because it hopes therefore it chooses, therefore it accepts him, therefore it takes him. This God shall be my God; he takes him under hope; he covenants with him under hope.

You see how the case was with apostate Israel; they 216were gone off from God, and he threw them off, when he abandoned them to the captivity; well, he hath, at length, gracious inclinations towards them, and within the appointed limits of time revisiteth them, releaseth them, and bringeth them back into their own land. And then the great assembly of them, in the posture of penitents, (as you read in the 10th of Ezra,) is gathered together, and the result is, “Come, now, and let us make a covenant with God.” They are for covenanting with him; they have a mind to have this God for their God again. But now is this introduced? Now, because “there is hope in Israel concerning this thing,” therefore let us make a covenant; since there is hope, let us do this; since there is still some ground for hope, that God is taking up the controversy, and will not abandon us finally, and quite throw us off, and cast us away from being his people; “because there is hope in Israel concerning this thing, therefore let us make a covenant.” Every particular soul, upon its return to God, hath in it the epitome of this very case; I have been a wandering wretch, a revolted creature, an apostate rebel; God hath discovered himself, however, placable and willing of my return, and that I strike a covenant with him anew; and he hath published this to be the tenor of his covenant, “I will be your God;” and I am to give my consent to it, and take him hereupon for my God. Now this (I say) the sol only doth because there is hope; I will make a covenant, because I see there is hope in this thing. If I make none, I am lost; if I do not covenant, I am undone; if I will be still a stranger to God, there is no way but to perish. But because there is hope I will covenant, I will take him for my God; because there is hope he will accept a poor returning soul. And,

(6.) In this work of conversion there must be an absolute self-denial, self-abnegation, an abandoning one s-self. This is the plain state of the case; conversion being that by which the soul enters into the Christian state of discipleship to Christ; and Christ himself hath determined the matter; “Except a man deny himself, he cannot be my disciple;” he can be no disciple of mine except he deny himself; because Christ’s business with all that he christianizeth, that he admits and takes to be his disciples, is but to take and lead them back to God; and that they are never capable of till he takes them off from their rival god. Self is their rival god; and in this converting work the soul must abandon itself, must deny itself, so as no longer 217to live according to its own will, as its rule; nor for its own interest, as its end. I am to live (saith the soul) a self-governed, a self-designing creature, no longer. I told you before of a very lawful and necessary self-love; that is, a love to a man’s soul, and a true desire of his own felicity; but that self that is to be denied is a carnal self, a brutal self, that is now become ourselves, become the whole of us; and so it comes to this with every returning soul; I am not I; Ego non sum Ego. There is a self to which it doth adhere, and there is a self, the which it doth abandon and forsake; but, through the influence of hope, because I have hope in losing myself, I shall find myself; because I have hope, that, in throwing away this base, sordid self, I shall find and gain a rich glorious hope, self-conformed to the divine likeness; and, finally, made happy in him. Therefore I endure such severities as these; and I do endure all in hope.

Here is in all this sowing to the Spirit, which sowing requires the breaking up the fallow ground beforehand, and the tearing out of weeds and roots, that did infest. And this is in order to such sowing to the Spirit, and that is with expectation of reaping of the Spirit what shall be suitable to it; and “they that sow to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” But now you know, (as the Apostle teacheth us to conceive, and to speak elsewhere upon another account,) every one “that soweth, soweth in hope; and he that plougheth, plougheth in hope,” that he may be partaker of his hope. 1 Cor. ix. 10. When I give over sowing to my own flesh, pleasing and indulging of that, and begin to sow to the Spirit, as my ploughing before was ploughing in hope, my sowing now is sowing in hope. I would neither plough or sow, but only in hope; so it is in a spiritual sense. And hereupon,

(7.) There is in this work of conversion, a giving one self up quite unto God, absolutely to be his; you have taken him to be your’s; you abandon self thereupon, and therewithal; and now you give up yourself to be his. And is this an act of despair, when a man gives up himself to God? “Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead,” as the charge is, Rom. vi. 13. Is this giving or yielding ourselves to God a yielding one-self to perish?—or is this the act of a despairing soul, when it saith, I will be the Lord’s? Though he saith, absolutely, Let him do with me what he will, yet it always apprehends he will not destroy me. When I yield myself to him; when I 218put myself into his hands by my own act and deed, by my free and voluntary surrender, I know he will never destroy what I so voluntarily resign. And again,

(8.) There is hereupon a resolution of walking in the way of holiness; I have chosen the way of truth; that I will do whatever it cost me. And this cannot be but in hope neither. I shall find a pleasure in this way, though, it seem uncouth at the first; I shall find safety in it at length, at the latter end. Because I hope, therefore I choose. And there is, hereupon,

(9.) An abandoning of all associates that any have united themselves with in an evil way; a forsaking of them all; a breaking off from them. They that have been my companions in wickedness shall be my companions no longer, unless they will accompany me in the ways of God. This cannot be but in hope. There is an irksomeness in it, parting with those with whom we had all pleasantness of wit and raillery, and a delicious conversation, according to the gusts and relishes of impure imagination. And these relishes cannot be forsaken and abandoned, but upon the hopes of better. Now I shall be the associate of the blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to whom by baptismal vow I have been given up, and to whom now also I have afresh given up myself. Those that know, not only what it is to leave the ways of sin, but their accomplices in wickedness, do know withal that there is difficulty in it, to which they need this powerful inducement of hope, that there will be that at length which will recompense and make up all to me.

« Prev Sermon XV. Preached May 24, 1691. Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection