Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ...

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Title
Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ...
Author
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.
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London :: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst ...,
1675.
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Subject terms
Christian life -- Congregational authors.
Sermons, English -- 17th century.
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"Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ..." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A30576.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 18, 2024.

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Page 159

Sermon II.

Luke 10. 6.
And if the Son of Peace be there, your Peace shall rest up∣on it: If not, it shall turn to you again.

TO leave what was said in the former Verse, and to proceed to what remains:

In this Verse, you have, First, A Supposition, If the Son of Peace.

Secondly, A Description of a good Hearer of the Gospel, He is a Son of Peace.

Thirdly, The Blessing upon him, Your Peace shall rest upon him. (We shall speak to no more, only these Three things at present.)

First, The Supposition, If the Son of Peace be there. Here there is a Supposition, That when the Lord sends the Ministry of the Gospel unto any place, that there will be some Sons of peace; it were a hard thing if we should come and find no Sons of Peace. If the Son of Peace be there: As if Christ should say, It is hopeful you

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may find some Sons of Peace. From whence the Point of Doctrine is this:

That when God doth send the Ministery of the Gos∣pel to any place, there is hopes that there is some Sons of Peace there.

There may be hope to Ministers and others, that they shall find some that will entertain their Gospel: In Acts 18. 9, 10. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night, by a Vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: For I have much People in this City. When God sent Paul to Preach, there was a great deal of Oppositi∣on: Well, saith God, for all that Opposition, you shall Preach in this place: Why? For I have much People in this City. So that when God by His Providence, shall order the Word to come to any place, there is a hope∣ful Argument at least, that God hath People in that Ci∣ty. In Mat. 10. Where you have Christ sending of the Apostles to Preach, He bids them in ver. 5. Go not in∣to the way of the Gentiles, and into the Cities of the Sa∣maritans, enter ye not, saith Christ: But go rather to the lost Sheep of the House of Israel. As if Christ should say, As for the Gentiles, and the Samaritans, I have yet none to Call there; the time is to come for the Gentiles to be Called: I would not therefore have you go thi∣ther, I would not have you lose your Labour: But go unto the lost Sheep of the House of Israel. There are many of the House of Israel, that are as lost Sheep, that are wandering from God, and their own Happiness: I would have you go thither, saith Christ; thereby Intima∣ting that there were some to be Call'd there, rather than in the other place. The Ministry of the Gospel, it is the great Gift of Jesus Christ, that He gave when He

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Ascended on high: And to what end did He give it? Mark, in Ephes. 4. 11, 12. to what end it is: And He gave some Apostles: And some Prophets: And some Evangelists: And some Pastours and Teachers: For the perfecting of the Saints: (So it is Translated in your Books:) But the Word in the Original is, For the Joynting of the Saints; the putting of them into Joynt: At first, to put them in∣to Christ, (and then that they may grow up) For the Work of the Ministry, for the Edifying of the Body of Christ. For the Building up of the Body of Christ. And this Text is quoted out of that Prophesie that we have in Psal. 68. 18. Thou hast ascended on High, Thou hast led Capti∣vity Captive, Thou hast received Gifts for men, &c. Here's a Prophesie of Christ clearly: And the Apostle doth ap∣ply it in Ephes. 4. Christ received Gifts for men, here it is: And there it is, That He hath Dispensed Gifts to Men. And mark, Yea, for the Rebellious also. Those Men that are the most Rebellious, yet Christ hath recei∣ved Gifts for them: What Gifts? The Ministry of the Gospel is the great Gift, that God the Father hath given to Christ, and Jesus Christ hath given it unto His Mini∣sters, and sends them among the Rebellious. And to what end? That the Lord God might dwell among them. So that by this it appears till God send the Ministry of the Word among a People, the Lord God doth not dwell there; for it is, That the Lord God might dwell among them. They are without God in the World, but when that comes unto a place, then the Lord God comes to Dwell among them. So that then, you see the Point clear by Scripture, when the Lord sends the Ministry of the Gospel, there is some hope that there is some good intended for some in that place.

And the Reasons are these, 1. Because Christ sends His

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Ministers, according as His Father sent Him. Now thus we have it in John 20. 21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. Mark, As God the Father sends Christ, so Christ sends Ministers. Well, How doth God the Fa∣ther send Christ? Compare this Scripture with John 3. 17. Thus God the Father sends His Son, He doth not send His Son into the World that He might Condemn the World: That is not Gods primary End to Condemn the World, but that that God doth Aim at, in sending His Son into the World, it is, that by Him the World may be saved. Now then compare this Scripture with that other; saith Christ, As my Father sent me, so send I you. Now my Father sent Me into the World, not to Condemn the World, though by accident the World shall be Condemned, the rather because of Christs come∣ing among them, and they refusing Him: But this is the Scope of my Fathers sending of Me into the World, that by Me the World may be Saved; and so do I send you▪ I send you to Places, not to Condemn them; not to Ag∣gravate their Sin and their Condemnation: That is not my primary Intention, though this may fall out; but I send you to a place, that through your Ministry, Souls in that place may come to be Saved.

Reas. 2. A second Reason is, from the Promise of Christ unto His Ministers, when they go to any place to Preach. In the last words of the Gospel by Saint Mat∣thew, Christ sends them to Preach; and saith He, Lo, I am with you alwayes, even unto the end of the World; I am with you to Assist you, and to Bless you whithersoever you go, even to the end of the World. That is, with you, and with all that shall succeed you to Preach this Gospel in any place, unto the end of the World.

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Reas. 3. Further, We know that the Gospel, it is the Arm of God, Isa. 53. 1. Who hath believed our Report, and to whom is the Arm of the Lord revealed. And Rom. 1. 16. It is the Power of God unto Salvation. And if God Arm, and Gods Power unto Salvation come among a People, there is hopes that there is an Intention of some Good unto some of them.

Reas. 4. The Preaching of the Gospel: It brings the Day of Grace and of Salvation, to any place whereso∣ever it comes; and so long as that doth continue to any place, so long the day of Grace and Salvation continues to the place. This you have clearly, 2 Cor. 6. begin∣ning, We then as Workers together with Him, beseech you also, that ye receive not the Grace of God in vain. For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of Salvation have I succoured thee: Behold, NOW is the accepted time, behold, NOW is the day of Salva∣tion. Now: When was that Now? That was, when the Apostles came and Preached among them, the Doctrine of Reconciliation: Now is the accepted time, Now is the day of Salvation. Now if you come in, you may be accepted: Now is the time, that if you be appointed to be Sav'd, you must come in now.

Reas. 5. And this Scripture doth put me upon a Fifth Reason of the Point, and that is: That when the Gospel comes to be Preached to a place, it doth not only make an Accepted time, and a day of Salvation: But it is the Fruit of the Prayer of Jesus Christ, even of that Prayer that Christ hath made to God the Father, that He would in such a time send the Ministry of the Gospel, to be clearly and powerfully Taught in that place. And if you ask me where the place is that doth prove it, it is in Isa. 49. 8. You have there almost the very

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some words that you have here: Thus, saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of Sal∣vation have I helped thee. Now this is clearly meant of Christ, if you look both unto the Coherence of the words, with what hath been before, and that which fol∣lows after: For, saith He, I will preserve thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the People, to Establish the Earth, to cause to Inherit the desolate Heritages. Now saith God concerning Christ: Thus, saith the Lord, In an accept∣able time have I heard thee. What is that acceptable time? It is that which the Apostle doth Interpret to be, A day of Salvation. The Apostle speaks of an accept∣able Time, and of a day of Salvation; and saith he, Now it is. Now while we are Preaching the glad Ti∣dings of the Gospel unto you. And here, saith the Ho∣ly Ghost, The Lord hath heard thee in an acceptable time, and in a day of Salvation. That is, When as Jesus Christ did Pray to God the Father, for His Church that should be; that God would send the Ministry of the Gospel, unto those whom the Father had given unto Him from all Eternity: I say, Jesus Christ did Pray unto the Father for them. Now, saith God, I have heard thy Prayer, and I have granted what thou Prayest for. And this hearing of thy Prayer, it is an acceptable Time, and it is a day of Salvation. Thou hast a day of Salvation according to thy prayer; and this very day the Apostle doth Interpret of sending the Gospel unto any place: So that where the Gospel comes, it is not to be lookt upon as a thing that comes meerly by Accident, or by an ordinary Providence of God, as other things; but it is that that comes unto a place by Virtue of the Prayer of Jesus Christ, of the Intercession of Jesus Christ unto the Fa∣ther, for that particular Place, or Town, or Parish.

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And this is the Reason why the Lord leaves some places destitute of Help, in Ignorance and Darkness, that they scarce ever come to hear of Jesus Christ: And others that it may be are in themselves as unworthy as the other; they come to have the great things of the Gospel open∣ed to them: The reason of the difference is, Jesus Christ hath Interceeded before the Father for the one, and not for the other; and one is the Fruit of the Prayer of Jesus Christ, and the other Christ hath let go, because they do not so belong unto Him: He hath not those among them, that are to be made the Sons of Peace.

Reas. 6. Yet further, When the Gospel comes to a place, there is hope of Good, because that the Gospel hath in it self so much power. I say, it is not only as an Ordinance to convey the Word of God. But though Mans Words and Ministry hath little in it, yet the Truths of the Gospel, they have in them a mighty Strength; there are such wonderful things that the Gospel doth Re∣veal wheresoever it comes, that one would wonder that the Hearts of all People should not be taken with it. Yea, there are such things that are made known in the Gospel, that one would think might break the Heart of any Devil in Hell. That if God should send the Gos∣pel unto the Devils (if they were not gone Irrecovera∣bly) one would think that what is made known in the Gospel, might break the heart of a Devil. O that God should be Reconcil'd to Man! To send His own Son to Die for base Worms, upon whom the Lord might have Glorified His Infinite Justice upon to all Eternity. There is that in the Gospel, that it is to Admiration, that all People do not come in unto it. What doth Christ say, If the Son of Peace. It is a wonder that all do not come in to Imbrace the Blessed Gospel. The Patience of God

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doth Lead to Repentance; Then what might the Grace of God do, that is held out in the Gospel? The Lord doth reveal such Arguments to draw People, that to speak af∣ter the manner of Men, we may conceive: That if the Lord should have Studied and Contriv'd with His own In∣finite Wisdom, what strong Arguments He would use to work upon the Hearts of the Children of Men; one would not have imagined how an Infinite Wisdom, should have found out such to perswade Men to come in. One may say of the Arguments of the Gospel, as the Master of the Vine∣yard said, when he had Let out his Vineyard to Husband∣men, and sent for Fruit; one Servant was beaten, and the other was misused: But at last, saith he, I will send my Son, for surely they will reverence my Son. Why now, this may be said of other Arguments. To compare those things that are in the Gospel, with all other things that can be Preached unto People: Indeed a Minister of God may come with many strong Arguments, to draw the Hearts of People from their sin, and to draw them unto Repentance. But now, this Argument will not do it, nor the other Argument will not do it; they stand out this and that Argument: I, but saith the Lord, I will send the Ministry of my Gospel among them, I'll reveal my Son unto them. Certainly, they will Reverence this Argument, and their Hearts will be taken with this Ar∣gument. That's another Reason why there is great hopes, when the Ministry of the Gospel comes, that there should be some Sons of Peace found there.

Reas. 7. Further, Another is this, Because it is the Way of God with a People, when He sends them the Gospel in the Power of it, and the Clearness of it: I say, the Way of God then, is not so much to have regard to any of their sins, that ever were Committed before that

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time, but now to go as it were upon a new Score: I do not say, but if they should perish, then they must perish for their old sins too: But I mean thus, That when the Lord sends the Ministry of the Gospel to a place, the Lord now doth not so much look at any sin that they liv'd in before, in the dayes of their Ignorance; there is none of those sins now that shall Damn them, upon condition that they now do Imbrace the Gospel that is offered to them: Therefore there is a great deal of hope, that there may be some Sons of Peace: For the Riches of Gods Mercy hath not yet had the Glory; the Turn as it were of it towards this People, that yet have not had the Gospel in the Clearness, and in the Power of it brought amongst them. Now God looks thus upon a People, that He sends His Gospel unto. It's true, they have liv'd in Blind∣ness, in Darkness, in Prophaneness, in Sabboth-break∣ing, in Ungodliness: Alas, they did not know what the Councels of my Will were, concerning the Eternal state of their Souls, which is revealed in that Gospel of Mine. They knew no better things that to Eat and Drink, and make provision for the Flesh, therefore for all that time of their Ignorance, I will not regard, I will Wink at it. But now God Calls for Repentance: So you find it in Acts 17. 30. And the times of this Ignorance God Winked at, but now God Calleth all men every where to Repent. As if the Lord should say, As for the times of your Ignorance, though you were very Prophane, very Superstitious, ve∣ry Ungodly, yet I am content to Wink at it; but now I am content to go, as it were, upon a new Score. Now come in and Repent, and your Souls shall live. Now, my Brethren, when Mercy comes to have a Turn towards a People, who knows what may be done. As thus, Now suppose that a Man hath lain Sick a long time, and his

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Sickness increases upon him, and it is very dangerous: If you should come to such a Man, and say, What means have you used? What Phisicians have you had? Now it appears that he hath not used such a Medicine that is Soveraign for such a Disease, it hath not been tried; now if that Medicine hath not been used, you will have a great deal of hope concerning the Life of your Friend, until it be tried, and you see it doth no good, that it makes no alteration upon the body of your Friend. So it is here, People that have liv'd Prophanely, and Un∣godlily, and their Hearts have not been brought to God. I, but what hath God revealed his Grace in Christ unto their Souls? Have they known the Blessed things of the Gospel? If not, there may be a great deal of hope: For when Gods Mercy shall come to have its Turn upon this People, it's very like there are many, whom God intends Everlasting good unto. But now to wind up this Point in a word of Application.

If this be so, O do not frustrate Hope! There are hopes that God intends Mercy to a People, when He sends the Gospel to be Preached to them at any time; though they may say, we have had it Preached to us be∣fore: Yet if He sends it a-fresh, it seems that Mercy must have the second Turn to this People. I say now, do not frustrate Hope.

First, The Hope of God Himself.

You will say, The Hope of God, why, God knows whether it will work upon People, yea or no; and that cannot be Frustrated.

But for the Answer to that, We are to know, that God is pleased in Scripture, to Speak after the manner of Men, and God Himself doth Speak after this manner, as if He

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had some good hopes that People would be wrought up∣on, when He sends His Ministers among them. As that place which I named before, I will send my Son, surely they will reverence him: I hope that will prevail. And a suitable place we have of Gods expressing himself after this manner, in Jer. 36. 2, 3. Take thee a Roll of a Book, and Write therein all the Words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, &c▪ It may be (saith God) that the House of Judah will hear all the evil that I purpose unto them. Go your way and preach saith God unto the Prophet, it may be they will hear, and re∣turn every Man from his evil way. This was not now the Ministery of the Gospel but of Threatings; and yet God speaks with some expectation, as if so be he did ex∣pect that they should; it may be they will, saith God. And so in Zeph. 3. 7. I said, surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive Instruction, so their dwelling should not be cut off; howsoever I punished them, but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings: God was frustrated in his Expectation; yet I said, surely thou wilt fear me. Thus the Lord, though he knows all his works from all eter∣nity, yet he speaks after the manner of Men; and saith, surely such and such means may do good upon such and such people: O therefore, let not the Expectati∣on of the Lord be frustrated; and let not the expectati∣tions of the Ministers of the Gospel be frustrated. Cer∣tainly, when they come to any place, they are to come with their hearts filled with hope, that there are Sons of Peace in that place; and there is nothing that can incourage a faithful Minister of the Gospel to spend his time in Studying, and Opening of the Mysteries of Grace more then this; that he comes with his Heart filled with hope, that there are some Sons of Peace

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in that place. O do not frustrate this expectation. It is a vile thing for the Ministers of the Gospel to come to any place, but to gain Sons of Peace: And indeed upon this expectation the heart of a faithful Mini∣ster, who understands what the meaning of Peace with God is, cannot but be drawn forth towards a People; why he comes with this expectation, and he looks af∣ter his Ministery to see what becomes of it. O there∣fore do not frustrate the Expectations of your Ministers in this: Do not give them occasion to make their Com∣plaint, that they have spent their Strength in vain.

Yea, and further, As it is the Expectation of the Mi∣nisters that Preach, so it is the Expectation of all the Saints of God. None of Gods People that know a place that hath Liv'd in Darkness and Blindness before, but if they see the Lord by His Providence, carrying the Ministry of the Gospel with Power in that place, they think thus with themselves, Whom is it that the Lord intends good unto? Surely the Lord hath a Mercy to such a People. And they will wait to see who it is that God will pitch upon.

O likewise, Do not frustrate the Expectation that the Angels themselves, in 1 Cor. 11. a place, I suppose you know, where the Women are to be Covered, because of the Angels: It doth appear by that Text, that the An∣gels are in Congregations, when a Congregation is met together to hear the Word of God Preached, and for other Accounts, there the Angels are Met; And I make no question, but this place is as full of Angels as of Men, and they are here present, and do look upon our Beha∣viour, and wait for the time when God will be pleased to Work upon the Hearts of some or other. O to what Family, to what particular Soul doth God intend good

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unto. O that we might know it, that we might have Joy in Heaven: For so the Scripture tells us, That at the Conversion of sinners, there is Joy in Heaven, and surely they wait for it. O that we might see the Mini∣stry of the Gospel work effectually upon Souls, that so we might joy for it.

And now let every particular Soul reason thus with it self: What is it so, that there is hope that there may be some Sons of Peace; why may it not be I, though vile, though a very wretched Creature? Yet I hear that the time of Ignorance God winks at, only now He calls to Repent: If I feel God beginning to jogg my Heart now, I may be the Man or Woman, that the Lord in∣tended from all Eternity. For we are to know, that which God doth now in time, is no other than He did determine from Eternity: And I say, if you feel your Hearts stirred, and wrought upon by the Ministry of the Gospel, you may know that God did intend you in particular. And Christ, when He did Pray to God the Father for this acceptable time, that you were particu∣larly intended in that Prayer of His; and you are not excluded to be saved any more than any, and therefore it may fall upon you. Perhaps in a Family, it may fall upon the poor Servant, or Child, and the others may be left: But some or other it is like, it will fall upon.

And, my Brethren, If this be so, if there be hopes when the Gospel comes to be Preached, that there are Sons of Peace in that place, it is a most Cursed thing for any to stand to oppose the Gospel, when it comes to any place. It is very seldom but some or other will be Rail∣ing, and Crying out against it: But take heed what thou dost, Wilt thou stand against God, to cross God in such a blessed End as this is? It may be the Lord hath

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some Souls in that place, He intends Eternal good unto: And wilt thou stand out against that, and cross God? But especially take heed you do not oppose the Gospel, in any place where there is not only a remote hopes, but it comes to be Nearer and Fuller than it was before, and there is some real Manifestation that God intends Good unto some: O take heed of thy Opposition of it there. This was the Reason that Paul was so mightily provok'd, when Elimas came to resist his Ministry; of which you may read in Acts 13. There was one Sergius Paulus, which sent for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the Word of God. Now this Sergius Paulus was a Chief Man in the place where Paul Preached, he was the Deputy, and there was good hopes that God would Convert his Soul. And Elimas the Sorcerer, he stood and opposed, and sought to turn away the Deputy from the Faith. Now when Paul was in so good a hope that he should gain not only a Soul, but a publick Man, that might do a great deal of good: O the Spirit of Paul was mightily provok'd! He looks up∣on Elimas, and sets his Eyes upon him (the Text saith) and and said: O full of all Subtilty, and all Mischief, thou Child of the Devil, thou Enemy of all Righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the Right Wayes of God, &c. Paul was a Man of a very Quiet and Meek Spirit, and yet mark how full of Passion he was at this time: O this pro∣vok'd the Spirit of Paul, he was not able to bear it. We never read that Paul was so troubled when they Perse∣cuted him, when they put him into Prison: But as if Paul should say, Do with me what you will, put me in∣to Prison, do what you will with my Carcass; but do not frustrate my Expectation in Gaining a Chief Man, that may do a great deal of Service for God. When he was but in fear that he should be frustrated of his hope,

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he was not able to bear it. And certainly, nothing can go so near to the Heart of any Faithful Minister, as that there should be any to stand to frustrate his hope of Gaining of Souls. Perhaps in a Family, if one or two doth but go to hear the Word, the others will be Scorn∣ing and Jeering; and one Neighbour will be Scorning at another, and all to frustrate the Hopes of God, of His Ministers, and of the Saints and Angels. But know, when thou do'st any thing to oppose the Ministry of the Gospel, thou do'st set thy self what in thee lies, both to frustrate the Hopes of God and His Ministers, and His Saints and Angels; and thou wilt find this to be a hard work, thou do'st but Kick against the Pricks. And thus much for this Point, we come now unto the next.

That good Hearers of the Gospel, are called the Sons of Peace: If the Son of Peace be there. They are some∣times called, The Children of the Kingdom, as in Mat. 13. there they have that Title given unto them. Those that are good Hearers of the Word, in the Parable that you have about the Seed.

Those that Imbrace the Gospel, and are the good Hearers of it, they are the Sons of Peace, and that in a Five-fold regard:

First, Because they are such as are ordained to Peace, as the Son of Perdition, one that is appointed to Per∣dition.

Secondly, They are those that do attend upon the Gospel of Peace, as in Mark 2. 19. The Children of the Bride-Chamber, those that do attend upon the Gospel.

Thirdly, Because they are Obedient unto the Gospel: As the Sons of Belial, are Sons of Wickedness; so the Sons of Peace, such as yield Obedience unto the Gospel of Peace.

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Fourthly, The Sons of Peace, because they are Be∣gotten by the Ministry of the Gospel.

Fifthly, Because they are such as shall Inherit the Peace of the Gospel, therefore Sons of Peace.

There is somewhat that every one of these may afford unto us, but I take the first Three are principally meant; therefore of the other I shall speak of but a little by the way.

The First is, Because they are appointed unto that Benefit of the Gospel of Peace: So that from thence the Point is this:

That all those that are good Hearers, and Entertain∣ers of the Ministry of the Gospel that comes to any place, they are such as are appointed from all Eternity to enjoy the Peace of the Gospel. Judas was not more a Son of Perdition, than such a one is a Son of Peace. That is, There was no more Evidence that Judas was appointed to Eternal perdition, than there is certain Evi∣dence that such a one is appointed from all Eternity to enjoy the Benefit of the Gospel.

I shall give you these two Scriptures for it, the first is in Acts 2. latter end, And the Lord added to the Church, (that is, Converted to Himself, made His Gospel effe∣ctual) daily such as should be saved; such as were ap∣pointed to be Saved. And another Scripture there is, which saith, That all those which were ordained to Eternal Life, believed. But above all, I will give you this one Scripture, in 1 Thes. it is a most excellent Text for this purpose, and a mighty Encouraging Text to all those, that shall be found good Hearers of the Gospel: Chap. 1. 4, 5. Knowing, Brethren beloved, your Election of God. We know that you are those whom God hath Eternally Elected: How do you know that? Were you in the

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Counsel of God, in Gods Treasury, to know what His Thoughts were: How can you tell the Election of God? Mark, The Words following doth give you the Reason for what He saith, knowing your Election of God: For our Gospel came not unto you in Word only, but also in Power. Indeed when the Gospel comes to a place, if it comes in Word only unto a Congregation, they come indeed to hear, and flock to hear what a Man can say; This is no Argument of a Mans Election: but when it comes not only in Word but in Power, when you begin to feel the Power of the Word upon your Hearts. Though you come, it may be, at first out of Curiosity and Novelty, and took notice of nothing that would be done; but when you came there, the Gospel took hold upon your Spirits, and over-powered your Hearts. Now by that you may know, that you are one that are appointed unto the Benefit of the Gos∣pel of Peace, that you are Elected of God. Those Souls that feel the Power of the Gospel upon them, may know certainly that they were Elected from all Eterni∣ty. As if God should Speak from Heaven, and say, Such a Man or Woman, they are Elected from all Eter∣nity; we may now as well doubt of that Voice, as we may doubt of a Man or Woman, that hath the power of the Gospel upon their Hearts: So that is appears by this Text, that where there are good Hearers of the Gospel, they are the Sons of Peace; that is, appointed for all Eternity to have the benefit of Peace. And there are these particulars in this:

First, They may know that the Lord had Thoughts upon them in particular, before the World was; yea, that the Lord, when He saw the great Lump of Mankind before Him, He set apart these for the Praise of His

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Grace in Christ for ever: Left others, and set apart these.

Yea, They may know, that there were Transactions be∣tween the Father and the Son, about their Souls in par∣ticular, from all Eternity.

Yea, you may further know, That God the Father did give them unto His Son from Everlasting: For so Christ saith, That those come to Him, whom the Father hath given Him. There are a certain Number, that God the Father hath given to Jesus Christ, to Redeem from all Eternity; and said to Him, Son, take these Souls, and do you undertake for them: And He hath made Answer, Father, I do undertake to Satisfie Thy Wrath and Ju∣stice for them. Now were it not a blessed thing to know, that when there were such Transactions between the Father and the Son, that thou wert mentioned in particular, that God the Father did give thee by Name to His Son. Certainly, if thou beest an Entertainer of the Gospel, thou mayest be certain of this thing.

Further, Thou mayst know this; As God the Father did give thee to His Son, so He did make a Promise to save thee. There was a Covenant between the Father and the Son for thy Salvation, according to that Text in Tit. 1. 2. That Scripture speaks of a Promise of Eter∣nal Life before the World began: How could there be a Promise before the World began? To whom could it be made? When there is a Promise made, there must be some body to receive it? Surely it was: The Pro∣mise was between the Father and the Son, from all Eter∣nity, concerning thy Soul in particular.

Yea, and further, Thou may'st know, That when God did send His Son to take Mans Nature upon Him, He sent Him into the World, to have a care of thy Soul, as well as any others.

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Yea, and further, That when God did from all Eter∣nity appoint, that at such a time and place, such means should be for good; that He did likewise Aim at thee. And indeed, many may see the Work of God wonderful this way. Thus those that are good Hearers of the Gos∣pel, they are the Sons of Peace, in this First regard, be∣cause they are appointed by God, unto the Benefit of the Peace of the Gospel, from all Eternity. And it may be a mighty Encouragement unto those, who do begin to feel the Gospel to be powerful upon their Hearts.

Secondly, The other is, A Son of Peace, that doth attend upon the Gospel. That is, when the Ministry of the Gospel doth come, he doth make it his care to make preparation for it; he doth come to hear the Gos∣pel as a matter of great Moment; and when he doth come to hear, he doth bend his whole Soul to attend to what is heard, and he dares not give liberty to the wandering of his Thoughts: And he doth charge his Memory with such and such truths, to think of these whatsoever he doth forget. And here's now a Son of Peace; as the Children of the Bride-Chamber, they are such as do attend there: So he, A Son of Peace, attends upon the Ministry of the Gospel. Now by this Second, thou mayst know the First; thou mayst know whither thou beest a Son: That is, whither thou beest one that from all Eternity, wert set apart by God the Father, to obtain the Peace and Benefits of the Gospel.

But, Thirdly, The Son of the Gospel, is to be as an Obedient Child: To come with a Resolution, when he comes to hear the Word, Whatsoever the Lord shall this day make known of his Mind unto me, the Lord knows, that I would fain yield unto it. I come

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with this Resolution, every time I come to hear the Ministry of the Gospel: This is now a Son of Peace, that comes with such a Heart, resolved to be Obedient unto it.

2. He doth open his Understanding, and is easily Convinc'd of those Truths, that he doth hear Revealed in the Ministry of the Gospel, he doth not stand Oppo∣sing of them.

3. He doth open his Heart, to accept of the Condi∣tions of the Covenant; when the Lord Reveals the Do∣ctrine of the Covenant of Life and Peace, the Soul doth open it self, to admit of the Conditions of the Cove∣nant. Lord Speak, thy Servant hears: Reveal what Thou wilt, my Soul is here ready and willing, to accept of the Covenant whatever it be.

Further, He doth give up himself to be Moulded by the Gospel, according to that Phrase, in Rom. 6. 17. The Doctrine into which ye were delivered. So it is in the Original, that is, There is a delivering of the Soul up to the Ministry of the Word, as the Mettle is to the Mould, to be Fashioned by it. So here, a Son of Peace doth give up his Soul to be Moulded by the Word; whatsoever he was before, yet here he is now ready to give up his Soul to be Fashioned, to be Framed by the Word. Here's a Son of Peace.

Further, He doth in his Conversation, Act what he doth hear in the Ministry of the Word; and he doth in∣deavour to Live according to the glorious Gospel that he doth hear, and he doth Labour to become the Gos∣pel: So that one may know in such a ones Family, and in such a ones Life, a mighty deal of Alteration.

And again, Such a one as is Begotten by it, is not only Obedient, but indeed, there is the work of Rege∣neration

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wrought, and therefore he may be called a Son, saith the Apostle, I have Begotten you by the Gospel. And so, by the Word of Truth, you are Begotten. Abundance of Scriptures might be for this: Those that the Gospel works Savingly upon, the Gospel doth not only stir their Hearts, but put a new Life into them. They live by new Principles, by new Rules; they find a mighty Power in the Gospel to Beget them again: And such as these are, are Sons, because they are Heirs of the Gospel, Children of the Kingdom. But that we shall have more use of in the other place, when we speak of the Blessing of the Gospel that shall be upon them.

Now to Apply these in a few words. The good Hear∣ers of the Gospel, are the Sons of Peace. O what a blessed thing it is, to be the Sons of Peace! Better to be the Son of Peace, than a Monarch, than of the greatest of the World; better to be this Son of Peace, than to in∣joy all the World. If the Lord should give thee the Inheritance of all the World, He doth not do so much for thee, as when He makes thee to be a Son of Peace. It may be many of you were Born very mean, and you are like to Inherit but little of this World; but if the Lord work upon your Hearts in the Ministry of the Gospel, that which comes by this, makes you blessed Creatures for ever: For by this means, you come to be the Sons of the Living God: You come to be the Children of Life, and Co-heirs with Jesus Christ. O how Industrious should Ministers of the Gospel be, to Beget such Sons of Peace to God. St. Paul, in Gal. 4. he tells the Galatians there, that he did Labour and Travel in Birth, till Christ was formed in them: My little Children of whom I Travel in Birth again, until Christ be formed in you▪ A Faithful Minister of the Gospel doth even Travel in Birth, that

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he might beget Sons of Peace to Jesus Christ. And, O the Blessedness of this Work, for God to set Men on Earth to this Work, to Beget Sons of Peace. If we should Beget you to be Children of the Bond-woman, it were somewhat; that is, to strike fear into your Hears by the Terror of the Law: I, but to Beget you to be Children of Peace, and of the Free-woman; this is a great deal more. This is such a Work, as it is that which doth satisfies the Soul of Jesus Christ when He sees it: It satisfie His Soul for all His Sufferings: As in Isa. 53. 10, 11. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him: That is, It pleased God the Father, to bruise Jesus Christ. For this is an Evangelical Chapter. When thou shalt make His Soul an Offering for sin. Mark, He shall see His Seed, He shall prolong His dayes; and the Pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand: He shall see some Children Born unto Him, some Sons of Peace. But, Mark, He shall see of the Travel of His Soul, and shall be satisfied. So that when there is a Son of Peace, he is the Fruit of the Travel of the Soul of Jesus Christ; and he is the Fruit at the Second hand, of the Travel of the Souls of Gods Ministers, their Souls Travel, as you heard before in Paul, but that not so much. He is the Fruit of the Travel of the Soul of Jesus Christ; the Soul of Christ Travels with this Birth, and this Work of God upon the Heart of such a one, it is the Fruit of this Travel of the Soul of Christ.

And Mark further, And He shall be satisfied. As if the Holy Ghost here should say, Let but Jesus Christ see a Soul brought in to Himself, let Him but see any Be∣gotten to be the Sons of Peace, Christ saith, I am satis∣fied, for all the Blood that I have shed, for all my Suf∣ferings; I have been willing to come from the Bosom of my Father, to take your Nature upon me, and I did

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endure the Withdrawings of my Father, when I cried, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. I was made a Man of Sorrows, and my Father did Bruise me, and my Soul was made an Offering for sin. But now, What will satisfie the Soul of Jesus Christ for all this? Saith he, Let me see the Travel of my Soul, let me see the Ministry of the Gospel to work upon some Soul, to make them to be Sons of Peace, I have then what I have Travelled for, I am satisfied; I think this is even worth my Suffering, I account my Sufferings well Answered; I account my Blood well laid down, that I might gain these Souls unto my self. O what an Encouragement is here unto Souls to Imbrace the Gospel, to be the Chil∣dren of Peace. And how should you seek unto God, for your Children and Friends. O that God would make His Gospel effectual to Beget them to be Sons of Peace. You that are tender Mothers, you should look upon your Children, and think thus: It may be the Lord hath some Thoughts of good unto this Child; and when they come to hear the Word, you should pray earnestly for them, that the Lord would Speak a Word to their Souls: And you should take as much Pains, and as earnestly Pray, that the Second Birth may be per∣fected, as you did for the First Birth. So it was with Austins Mother, he saith, She did take as much pains, and shed as many Tears for the Conversion of his Soul, as she did at his First Birth; and so she obtain'd her Labour. I put this to you that are Mothers, you com∣plain of your Children: Have you Laboured as much for the Second Birth of your Children, as your Labour was when you did Bear them in your Wombs? It was so with that gracious Mother for her Son. You have

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Sons, it may be, that are rather Sons of Belial, now you should Strive with God in Prayer, and Labour to the uttermost of your Power, that they may be wrought upon by the Gospel, to be made the Sons of Peace by it.

Notes

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