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not but that in its own nature it is sufficient, being the same with that which groweth up and prospereth in the hearts of those who receive it. So that though all are not saved by it, yet there is a seed of salvation planted and sown in the hearts of all by God, which would grow up and redeem the soul, if it were not choked and hindered. Concerning this parable

Viktor Antiochenus on Mark iv. as he is cited by Voffius, in his Pelagian History, book 7. faith, " That our Lord Christ hath liberally fown the “ divine seed of the word, and proposed it to “ all, without respect of persons; and as he that “ soweth distinguisheth not betwixt ground and “ ground, but simply casteth in the feed without “ distinction, so our Saviour hath offered the food « of the divine word so far as was his part, although “ he was not ignorant what would become of many. “ Lastly, He fo behaved himself, as he might justly “ fay, What should I have done that I have not “ done?” And to this answered the parable of the talents, Mat. xxv. he that had two talents was accepted, as well as he that had five, because he used them to his master's profit : and he that had one might have done so; his talent was of the fame nature of the rest; it was as capable to have proportionably brought forth its interest as the rest. And so though there be not a like proportion of grace given to all, to some five talents, to some two talents, and to some but one talent; yet there is given to all that which is sufficient, and no more is required than according to that which is given : For unto whomsoever much is given, from him mall much be required, Luke xii. 48. He that had the two talents was accepted for giving four, nothing less than he that gave the ten: so should he also that gave the one, if he had given two; and no doubt one was capable to have produced two, as well as five to have produced ten, or two four.

§. XXIII. Thirdly, This saving spiritual light Pr. III. is the gospel, which the apostle saith expresly is

preached

M 3

power

of God

heaven.

The light is preached in every creature under heaven; even that the soppel

, very gospel wbereof Paul was made a minister, Col.

i. 23. For the gospel is not a mere declaration of preached in good things, being the power of God unto salvation ture under to all those that believe, Rom. i. 16. Though the

outward declaration of the gospel be taken fometimes for the gospel; yet it is but figuratively, and by a metonymy. For to speak properly, the gospel is this inward power and life which preacheth glad tidings in the hearts of all men, offering salvation unto them, and seeking to redeem them from their iniquities, and therefore it is said to be preached in every creature under heaven: whereas there are many thousands of men and women to whom the outward gospel was never preached. Therefore the apostle Paul, Romans i. where he faith the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, adds, that therein is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; and also the wrath of God against Juch as hold the truth of God in unrighteousness : for this reason, saith he, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath jewed it unto them. Now that which may be known of God, is known by the gospel, which was manifeft in them. For those of whom the apostle speaks had no outward gospel preached unto them; so that it was by the inward manifestation of the knowledge of God in them, which is indeed the gospel preached in man, that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; that is, it reveals to the foul that which is just, good, and righteous; and that as the soul receiveth it and believes, righteousness comes more and more to be revealed from one degree of faith to another. For though, as the following verse faith, the outward creaţion declares the power of God; yet that which may be known of him is manifeft within : by which inward manifestation we are made capable to fee and discern the Eternal Power and Godhead in the outward creation ; fo were it not for this inward principle,

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we could no more understand the invisible things of God by the outward visible creation, than a blind man can see and discern the variety of shapes and colours, or judge of the beauty of the outward creation. Therefore he faith, first, That which may be known of God is manifest in them, and in and by that they may read and understand the power and Godhead in those things that are outward and visible. And though any might pretend that the outward creation doth of itself, without any supernatural or saving principle in the heart, even declare to the natural man that there is a God; yet what would such a knowledge avail, if it did not also communicate to me what the will of God is, and how I shall do that which is acceptable to him? For the outward The out. creation, though it may beget a persuasion that tion maybethere is some eternal power or virtue by which the get a perworld hath had its beginning; yet it doth not tell man of an me, nor doth it inform me of that which is just, eternal holy, and righteous ; how I shall be delivered from my temptations and evil affections, and come unto righteousness; that must be from some inward manifestation in my heart. Whereas those Gentiles of whom the apostle speaks knew by that inward law and manifestation of the knowledge of God in them to distinguish betwixt good and evil, as in the next chapter appears, of which we shall speak hereafter. The prophet Micab, speaking of man indefinitely, or in general, declares this, Mic. vi. 8. He bath

bewed thee, O man, what is good. And what dotb the Lord require of thee, but to do juftly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? He doth not say God requires, till he hath first assured that he hath shewed unto them. Now because this is Thewed unto all men, and manifest in them, therefore, faith the apostle, is the wrath of God revealed against them, for that they bold the truth in unrighteoufness; that is, the measure of truth, the light, the seed, the grace in them: for that they bide the talent

power or

in the earth; that is, in the earthly and unrighteous part in their hearts, and suffer it not to bring forth fruit, but to be choked with the sensual cares of this life, the fear of reproach, and the deceitfulness of riches, as by the parables above mentioned doth appear. But the apostle Paul opens and illustrates this matter yet more, Rom. x. where he declares, That the word which he preached (now the word which he preached, and the gospel which he preached, and whereof he was a minister, is one and the fame) is not far of, but nigh in the heart and in the mouth; which done, he frameth as it were the objection of our adversaries in the 14th and 15th verses, How shall they believe in him of whom they have not beard? And how fall they hear without a preacher ? This he answers in the 18th verse, saying, But, I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their found went into all the earth, and their

words unto the ends of the world ; insinuating that The divine this divine preacher had founded in the ears and preacher; hearts of all men: for of the outward apostles that nigh, hath faying was not true, neither then, nor many hunfounded in

dred

years after ; yea, for aught we know there may hearts of all be yet great and spacious nations and kingdoms that

never have heard of Christ nor his apostles as outwardly. This inward and powerful word of God is yet more fully described in the epistle to the Hebrews, chap. iv. 12, 13. For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing, even to the dividing asunder of foul and Spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The virtues of this spiritual word are here enumerated : it is quick, because it searches and tries the hearts of all; no man's heart is exempt from it: for the apostle gives this reason of its being so in

the following verse, But all things are naked and things are opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do : manifeft. and there is not any creature that is not manifeft in

the ears and

men.

Before whom all

+

intentofthe

bis fight. Though this ultimately and mediately be referred to God, yet nearly and immediately it relates to the word or light, which, as hath been before proved, is in the hearts of all, else it had been improper to have brought it in here. The apostle thews how every intent and thought of the heart is dif- And every cerned by the word of God, because all things are na- thought and ked before God; which imports nothing else but it heart. is in and by this word whereby God fees and discerns man's thoughts; and so it must needs be in all men, because the apostle faith, there is no creature that is not manifest in his fight. This then is that faithful witness and messenger of God that bears wit- The faithness for God, and for his righteousness in the hearts ful witness. of all men: for he hath not left himself without a witness, Acts xiv. 17. and he is said to be given for a witness to the people, Isa. lv. 4. And as this word beareth witness for God, so it is not placed in men only to condemn them: for as he is given for a witness, fo faith the prophet, be is given for a leader A leader and commander. The light is given, that all through mander.. it may believe, John i. 7. for faith cometh by bearing, and bearing by the word of God, which is placed in man's heart, both to be a witness for God, and to be a means to bring man to God through faith and repentance: it is therefore powerful, that it may divide betwixt the soul and the spirit: it is like a two-edged sword, that it may cut off iniquity from A two-edshim, and separate betwixt the precious and the vile; ed sword. and because man's heart is cold and hard like iron naturally, therefore hath God placed this word in bim, which is said to be like a fire, and like a bam- A fire and a mer, Jer, xxiii. 29. that like as by the heat of the hammer. fire the iron, of its own nature cold, is warmed, and softened, and by the strength of the hammer is framed according to the mind of the worker; fo the cold and hard heart of man is by the virtue and powerfulness of this word of God near and in the heart, as it resists not, warmed and softened, and reçeiveth an heavenly and cælestial impression and

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