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a share in the blood of Christ, and being shut out of that, they must needs be void of the least ground of hope, and so of spic ritual comfort ; For to such there remains no more sacrifice for sin. Secondly, Because they are denied a share in the promise of life : • They shall never be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.' Thirdly, The Son of God excludes them also from a share in bis blessed intercession, being for ever ashamed to own them, both before his holy Fa. ther, and the blessed angels in heaven.
“ When I had with much deliberation considered of this matter, and could not but conclude that the Lord had comforted me, and that too after this my wicked sin : then, methought, I durst venture to come nigh unto those most fearful and terrible scriptures, with wbich all this while I had been so greatly affrighted, and on which indeed, before I durst scarce cast mine eyes (yea, had much ado an hundred times, to forbear wishing them out of the Bible,) for I thought they would destroy me: but now, I say, I began to take some measure of encouragement, to come close to them to read them, and consider them, and to weigh their scope and tendency.
“ The which when I began to do, I found their visage changed; for they looked not so grimly, as before I thought they did. And, first, I came to the seventh of the Hebrews, yet trembling for fear it should strike me ; which when I had considered, I found that the falling there intended, was a fall. ing quite away; and is as I conceived, a falling from, and absolute denying of the gospel, of remission of sins by Jesus Christ; for, from then the apostle begins his argument, verse 1, 2, 3. Secondly, I found that this falling away must be openly, even in the view of the world, even so as to put Christ to an open shame.' Thirdly, I found those he there intended, were for ever shut up of God both in blindness, hardness, and impenitency : It is impossible they should be renewed again unto repentance. By all the particulars, I found, to God's everlasting praise, my sin was not the sin in this place in. tended.
"First, I confessed I was fallen, but not fallen away; that is, from the profession of faith in Jesus unto eternal life.
“Secondly, I confessed that I had put Jesus Christ to shame by my sin, but not to open shame ; I did not deny him before men, or condemn him as a fruitless one before the world,
“Thirdly, Nor did I find that God had shut me up, or denied me to come (though I found it hard work indeed to come) to
him by sorrow and repentance: blessed be God for unsearchable grace.
“ Then I considered that in the tenth chapter of the He. brews, the 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th verses, and found that the wilful sin there mentioned, is not every wilful sin, but that which doth throw off Christ, and then his commandments too. Secondly, That must be done also openly, before two or three witnesses, to answer that of the law, verse 28. Thirdly, This sin cannot be committed, but with great despite done to the Spirit of grace ; despising both the dissuasions from that sin, and the persuasions to the contrary. But the Lord knows, though this my sin was devilish, yet it did not amount to these.
“And as touching that in the 12th chapter of the Hebrews, about Esau's selling of his birthright: though this was that which killed me, and stood like a spear against me, yet now I did consider, First, That his was not a hasty thought against the continual labour of his mind, but a thought consented to, and put in practice likewise, and that after some deliberation. Gen. xxv. Secondly, It was a public and open action, even before his brother, if not before many more; this made his sin of a far more heinous nature, than otherwise it would have been. Thirdly, He continued to slight his birthright: he did eat and drink, and went his way : thus Esau despised his birthright ; yea, twenty years after he was found to despise it still. And Esau said, “I have enough, my brother, keep that thou hast thyself.'
“ Now as touching this, that Esau • sought a place of repen. tance;' thus I thought: First, This was not for the birthright, but the blessing: this is clear from the apostle, and is distin. guished by Esau himself, he hąth taken away my birthright (that is, formerly;) and now he hath taken away my blessing also. Secondly, Now this being thus considered, I came again to the apostle, to see what might be the mind of God, in a New Testament style and sense, concerning Esau's sin ; and so far as I could conceive, this was the mind of God, that the birth. right signified regeneration, and the blessing, the eternal inheritance ; for so the Apostle seems to hint. • Lest there be any profane person, as Esau, wlio for one morsel of meat, sold his birthright;' as if he should say, that shall cast off all those blessed beginnings of God, that at present are upon him, in order to a new birth ; Jest they become as Esau, even be rejected afterwards, when they should inherit the blessing,
“ For many there are, who in the day of grace and mercy, despise those things which are indeed the birthright to heaven, who yet when the deciding day appears, will cry as loud as Esau, · Lord, Lord, open to us; but then, as Isaac would not repent, no more will God the Father, but will say, I have blessed these, yea, and they shall be blessed ;' but as for you, Depart, you are the workers of iniquity.'
“ When I had thus considered these scriptures, and found that thus to understand them, was not against, but according to other scriptures ; this still added further to my encourage. ment and comfort, and also gave a great blow to that objection, to wit, • That the scriptures could not agree in the salvation of my soul.' And now remained only the hinder part of the tempest, for the thunder was gone beyond me, only some drops did still remain, that now and then would fall upon me; but because my former frights and anguish were very sore and deep, therefore it oft befell me still, as it befalleth those that have been scared with fire ;-I thought every voice was fire! fire! Every little touch would hurt my tender con. science.
“ But one day, as I was passing into the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, .Thy right. eousness is in heaven;' and methought withal, I saw with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God's right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness ; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, · He wants my righteousness ;' for that was just before him. I also saw moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse ; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, The same yesterday, to-day, and forever.'
“ Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed ; I was loosed from my afflictions and irons ; my temptations also fled away; so that from that time those dreadful scriptures of God left off to trouble me: now went I also home rejoicing, for the grace and love of God; so when I came home, I looked to see if I could find that sentence; Thy righteousness is in heaven,' but could not find such a saying; wherefore my heart began to sink again, only that was brought to my remembrance, • He is made unto us of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctifica. tion and redemption ;' by this word I saw the other sentence true.
" For by this scripture I saw that the man Christ Jesus, as he is distinct from us, as touching his bodily presence, so he is our righteousness and sanctification before God. Here, therefore I lived, for soine time, very sweetly at peace with God through Christ; oh! methought Christ! Christ! there was nothing but Christ that was before my eyes : I was not now (only) for looking upon this and the other benefits of Christ apart, as of his blood, burial, or resurrection, but con. sidering him as a whole Christ !-as he in whom all these, and all other his virtues, relations, offices, and operations met together, and that he sat on the right hand of God in heaven.
“ 'Twas glorious to me to see his exaltation, and the worth and prevalency of all his benefits; and that, because now I could look from myself to him, and would reckon, that all those graces of God that now were green on me, were yet but like those cracked groats and fourpence-halfpennies, that rich men carry in their purses, when their gold is in their trunks at home! Oh! I saw my gold was in my trunk at home! In Christ my Lord and Saviour. Now Christ was all ; all my righteousness, all my sanctification, and all my redemption.
“Further, the Lord did also lead me into the mystery of Union with the Son of God; that I was joined to him, that I was flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone;' for now was that word of St. Paul sweet to me. By this also was my faith in him, as my righteousness, the more confirmed in me ; for if he and I were one, then his righteousness was mine, his merits mine, his victory also mine. Now could I see myself in heaven and earth at once : in heaven by Christ, by my head, by my righteousness and life, though on earth by my body or person.
“Now I saw, that Christ Jesus was looked upon of God: and should also be looked upon by us, as that common or public person, in whom all the whole body of his elect are always to be considered and reckoned ; that we fulfilled the law by him, died by him, rose from the dead by him, got the victory over sin, death, the devil, and hell, by him ; when he died, we died, and so of bis resurrection. “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body they shall rise,' saith he. And again,
after two days he will revive us, and the third day we shall live in his sight. Which is now fulfilled, by the sitting down of the Son of man on the right hand of the majesty in the heavens, according to that to the Ephesians, · He hath raised
us up together and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.'
“Oh! these blessed considerations and scriptures, with many others of like nature, were in those days made to spangle in mine eye, so that I have cause to say, • Praise ye the Lord God in his sanctuary, praise him in the firmament of his pow. er ; praise him for his mighty acts ; praise him according to his excellent greatness.' Psal. cl. 1, 2.
“ Having thus in a few words given you a taste of the sorrow and affliction that my soul went under, by the guilt and terror that these my wicked thoughts did lay me under ; and having given you also a touch of my deliverance therefrom, and of the sweet and blessed comfort that I met with afterwards, which comfort dwelt about a twelemonth with my heart, to my unspeakable admiration : I will now, (God willing,) before I proceed any farther, give you in a word or two, what, as I conceive, was the cause of this temptation; and also after that, what advantage, at the last, it became unto my soul.
“For the causes, I conceived they were principally two: of which two also I was deeply convinced all the time this trou. ble lay upon me. The first was, for that I did not, when I was delivered from the temptation that went before, still pray to God to keep me from the temptations that were to come; for though, as I can say in truth, my soul was much in prayer before this trial seized me,-yet then I prayed only, or at the most principally, for the removal of present troubles, and for fresh discoveries of his love in Christ, which I saw afterwards was not enough to do; I also should have prayed that the great God would keep me from the evil that was to come.
o Of this I was made deeply sensible by the prayer of holy David, who when he was under present mercy, yet pray. ed that God would hold him back from sin and temptation to come; • For then,' saith he, ó shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent of the great transgression. By this very word was I galled and condemned, quite through this long temptation.
“ That was also another word that did much condemn me for my folly, in the neglect of this duty. Let us therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.' This I had not done, and therefore was thus suffered to sin and fall, accord. ing to what is written, "Pray that ye enter not into tempta. tion.' And truly this very thing is to this day of such weight and awe upon me, that I dare not, when I come before the