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ners through Chrift, are full, there is nothing wanting, faith has only to fuck, and to be fatisfied. It is applied to the church, what you have in Ifa. lxvi. 11. "That ye may fuck, and be fatisfied with the breafts of her confolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory." The breafts are, as it were, held forth in the word of the gospel, which is our great privilege. There is all fulness in Chrift, the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in him, that fo finners might have access to God through the vail of his flesh, and be filled with all the fulness of God. The fulness in him is not the fulness of a veffel, to ferve itself only, but the fulness of a fountain to be communicated, which ftill gives, and yet has enough. Well may we, then, draw near to God with full affurance of faith.- -We fhould be thus familiar; for,
3. This is the great end for which finners are at all brought to God through Chrift, namely, that they may partake of his fulness. It is the great end of all the promifes: 2 Pet. i. 4. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having efcaped the corruption that is in the world through luft." The communication betwixt God and man was interrupted by Adam's fall; it is opened by Jefus Chrift, that influences from heaven may run freely, and that in him they may get all their wants made up. They may be affured of a cordial welcome when taking for their neceffities these things which are brought in for this very end, that they may be fupplied."
4. The Lord offers himself in the gospel for all, and the finner who takes him aright, takes him for all, and inftead of all, Matth. xiii. 45. 46. Now, if he offer himself for all, furely he intends
that his people fhould improve their intereft in him for all. He has taken them from all their former friends; furely, then, as an affectionate husband, he will allow his wife to be familiar in his house, and take it very ill if fhe hang on about others for a fupply of her wants. This familiarity our Maker, our Hufband, allows us, and approves of.
5. Our Lord (if I may so speak) makes very familiar with his people, and this is a sign that he would have them to be fo with him. Lodge they ever fo meanly, he will lodge with them: Ifa. lvii. 15. "For thus faith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whofe name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him alfo that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the fpirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." He not only gives them, but he takes from them; what provision from heaven is with them, he takes part of, though he needs nothing from them: Song, v. 1. "I am come into my garden, my fifter, my fpoufe; I have gathered my myrrh with my fpice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: Eat, O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!" He fometimes even will take from them what they would not part with to any but himself, and they will make him welcome to it, as he did with Job, chap. i. His fheep, affes, children, were taken from him, and little at all was left him. And if they act like themselves, they will rejoice that they have any thing, liberty, life, &c. to part with to him. But sure I am, the best of the faints can never fo freely part with any thing to him, as he does to them.They fhould be familiar; for,
Laftly, They who use most familiarity with the Lord, improving their claimed intereft, with
greatest confidence, come best speed at this throne : Matth. xv. 28. "Then Jefus answered and faid unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: Be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Little faith is a narrow veffel, which brings in little from the fountain; but great faith brings in much. Whatever the Lord's people may think of their doubtings of the promises, the word of God never speaks a good word of the believer's doubts: Matth. xiv. 31. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didft thou doubt ?" Doubts are not pleafing to God, for they fhew the weakness of faith, and always in lefs or more contain fome reflections on the blood of Chrift, the truth and gracious nature of God. Auguftus admitted the common people with their petitions fo pleafantly, that it is reported he reproved a certain perfon, telling him that he prefented his petition to him, as if he had been giving a halfpenny to an elephant. Humility may well confift with the confidence and full affurance of faith.
Now, to conclude all this, ye who have taken God in Christ as your God, learn this holy art of living by faith, claiming your intereft and improving it for all your neceflities. Alas! firs, for what end have we taken God in Christ for our God, if we do not live upon him? John, vi. 57. “ As the living Father hath fent me, and I live by the Fa ther; fo he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." Why have we profeffed to enter into the houfe of God, by embracing the covenant, if we do not improve it for all we need? Improve, then, the claimed intereft for all; and particularly,
1. For a reft to your confciences. Here David found a reft to his, when death and guilt together ftared him in the face: 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.
though," fays he, " my houfe be not fo with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and fure: for this is all my salvation, and all my defire, although he make it not to grow." If God be thy God, the righteousness of God is thine to cover thee, the righteoufnefs of Chrift, God-man. Thou art within that vail where the fiery law is clofed up in the ark, and cannot reach thee. Confeffing, mourning, repenting, are blessed and holy exercifes, well becoming the child of God, and the more faith, the more of these, and the deeper will they be; but they, after all, are wholly infufficient for a reft to the confcience.-Improve the claimed intereft,
2. For a reft to your hearts: Pfal. cxvi. 7. “Return to thy reft, O my foul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." Have you come to God through Christ? then rest thy heart in enjoyment of him. Is the world fmiling on thee? beware, reft not on it, thou wilt foon find thy rest broken, thou wilt never reft foundly in the embraces of a smiling world, for the bed is fhorter than thou canst stretch thyself upon. Is the world frowning? Are the cifterns dried up? thy created pillars taken away? Yet defpond not, faint not, while God remains, Hab. iii. 17. 1 18. You who have taken God for all, you have a poor bargain of it, if you have not as much as can make you live without those things which may be taken from you. Look to your stock in heaven, look to the glorious promifes; he who overcometh fhall inherit all things.
Laftly, Improve it for fanctification, to be holy, as God is holy, to get strength for duty, and against corruption. Draw in your furniture for a holy life, from the fulness of him that filleth all
in all. Believe, that you may be holy. Take, by faith, the promise with you, when you use the means of holiness. They know little of the property of faith, who use it only for the pardon of fin; it is the inftrument of fanctification, as well as of juftification: Acts, xv. 9. "Purifying their hearts by faith." If a luft is to be fubdued, or a temptation refifted, &c. faith muft run thy errand to heaven. Believe the promise of fan&tification with application to thyfelf, believe it with full affurance that it shall be made out to thee; and in that confidence use the means appointed of God for thy fanctification, and fo thou fhalt fucceed.If any of you have fet about gathering evidences for heaven, and have got them, these things may help you to keep them, and to increase them. Amen.