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6. Persons to be admitted into the church, and unto a participation

of all the holy ordinances thereof, had need be well instructed

in the important principles of the gospel,


7. It is not the outward sign, but the inward grace, that is princi-

pally to be considered in those ordinances or observances of the

church, which visibly consist in rites and ceremonies, or have

them accompanying of them,



1. No discouragements should deter the ministers of the gospel,

to whom the dispensation of the mysteries of Christ is commit-

ted, from proceeding in the declaration of these, when they are

called thereunto,


2. As it is our duty to submit burselves in all our undertakings

unto the will of God, so especially in those wherein his glory

is immediately concerned,


3. Let them who are entrusted with means of light, knowledge

and grace, improve them with diligence, lest, upon their neglect,

God suffer not his ministers farther to instruct them,



1. It is a great mercy, a great privilege, to be enlightened with

the doctrine of the gospel, by the effectual working of the Holy



2. It is such a privilege as may be lost, and end in the aggravation

of the sin, and condemnation of those who were made partakers

of it,


3. Where there is a total neglect of the due improvement of this

privilege and mercy, the condition of such persons is hazardous,

as inclining towards apostasy,


4. All the gifts of God under the gospel are peculiarly heavenly,

John iïi. 12. Eph. i.-3.


5. The Holy Ghost, for the revelation of the mysteries of the

gospel, and the institution of the ordinances of spiritual wor-

ship, is the great gift of God under the New Testament, ib.

6. There is a goodness and excellency in this heavenly gift, which

may be tasted or experienced in some measure by such as never

receive him, in their life, power and efficacy,

7. A rejection of the gospel, its truth and worship, after some ex-

perience had of their worth and excellency, is a high aggrava-

tion of sin, and a certain presage of destruction,

8. The Holy Ghost is present with many, as to powerful opera-

tions, with whom he is not present as to gracious inhabitation, 98

9. There is a goodness and excellency in the word of God, able to

attract and affect the minds of men, who yet never arrive at ,

sincere obedience to it,


10. There is an especial goodness in the word of the promise con-

cerning Jesus Christ, and the declaration of its accomplishment, ib.

VERSES 7, 8.

1. The minds of all men by nature are universally and equally

barren, with respect to fruits of righteousness and holiness, meet

for and acceptable unto God,




2. The dispensation of the word of the gospel unto men, is an ef-

fect of the sovereign power and pleasure of God, as is the giv.

ing of rain unto the earth,


3. God so ordereth things in his sovereign unsearchable provi-

dence, that the gospel shall be sent unto, and in the administra-

tion of it shall find admittance into what places, and at what

times, seems good unto himself, even as he orders the rain to fall

On one place, and not on another,


4. It is the duty of those unto whom the dispensation of the word

is committed of God, to be diligent, watchful, instant in their

work, that their doctrine may, as it were, continually drop and

distil upon their hearers, that the rain may fall often on the earth, ib.

5. Attendance unto the word preached, hearing of it with some

diligence, and giving of it some kind of reception, make no

great difference among men ; for this is common unto them

who never become fruitful,


6. God is pleased to exercise much patience towards those to whom

he once grants the mercy and the privilege of his word,


?. Where God grants means, there he expects fruit,


8. Duties of gospel obedience are fruits meet for God, things that

have a proper and especial tendency unto his glory,


9. Wherever there are any sincere fruits of faith and obedience

found in the hearts and lives of professors, God graciously ac.

cepts and blesseth them,



1. Whilst the gospel is preached unto men, they are under their

great trial for eternity,


2. Barrenness under the dispensation of the gospel, is always ac-

companied with an increase of sin,


3. Ordinarily God proceeds to the rejection and destruction of

barren professors by degrees ; although they are seldom sensible

of it until they fall irrecoverably into ruin,



1. It is the duty of the dispensers of the gospel, to satisfy their

hearers in and of their love in Jesus Christ to their souls and



2. It is our duty to come unto the best satisfaction we may, in the

spiritual condition of them with whom we are to have spiritual



3. We may, as occasions require, publicly testify that good persua-

sion which we have concerning the spiritual condition of others,

and that unto themselves,


4. The best persuasion we can arrive unto concerning the spiritual

condition of any, leaves yet room, yea makes way for gospel

threatenings, warnings, exhortations and encouragements,


5. Among professors of the gospel, some are partakers of better

things than others,


6. There are, according to the tenor of the covenant of


such things bestowed on some persons, as salvation doth infalli-

bly accompany and ensue upon,



7. It is the duty of all professors strictly to examine themselves,

concerning their participation of those better things, which ac-

company salvation,



1. Faith, if it be a living faith, will be a working faith,


2. We ought to look on obedience as our work ; which will ad.

mit neither of sloth nor negligence,


3. It is a due regard unto the name of God that gives life, spiri.

tuality, and acceptance, unto all the duties of love which we

perform towards others,


4. It is the will and pleasure of God, that many of his saints be

in a condition in this world, wherein they stand in need of be-

ing ministered unto,


5. The great trial of our love, consists in our regard to the saints

that are in distress,


6. It is the glory and honour of a church, the principal evidence

of its spiritual life, when it is diligent and abounds in those du-

ties of faith and love, which are attended with the greatest dif-


7. Our perseverance in faith and obedience, though it require our

duty and constancy therein, yet it depends not on them abso-

lutely, but on the righteousness of God in his promises, 212

8. Nothing shall be lost that is done for God, or in obedience

unto him,


9. The certainty of our future reward depending on the righte-

ousness of God, is a great encouragement unto present obedience, ib.


1. Our profession will not be preserved, nor the work of faith and

love carried on, unto the glory of God and our own salvation,

without a constant studious diligence, in the preservation of the

one, and the exercise of the other,


2. Ministerial exhortation unto duty, is needful even unto them

who are sincere in the practice of it, that they may abide and

continue therein,


3. Whereas there are degrees in spiritual saving graces, and their

operations, we ought continually to press towards the most per-

fect of them,


4. Hope, being improved by the due exercise of faith and love,

will grow up into such an assurance of rest, life, immortality

and glory, as shall outweigh all the troubles and persecutions

that in this world may befal us, on the account of our profession



1. Spiritual sloth is ruinous of any profession, though otherwise

never so hopeful,


2. Faith and patient long-suffering, are the only way whereby

professors of the gospel may attain rest with God, in the ac-

complishment of the promises,


3. All the children of God, have a right unto an inheritance, 238

4. The providing of examples for us in the Scripture, which we

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ought to imitate and follow, is an effectual way of teaching, and

a great fruit of the care and kindness of God towards us, 238

VERSES 13–16.

1. We have need of every thing that any way evidenceth the sta-

bility of God's promises to be represented unto us, for the en-

couragement and confirmation of our faith,


2. The grant and communication of spiritual privileges, is a mere

act or effect of sovereign grace,


3. Where the promise of God is absolutely engaged, it will break

through all difficulties, ta a perfect accomplishment,


4. Although there may be privileges attending some promises,

that may be peculiarly appropriated to some certain persons,

yet the grace of all promises is equal to all believers,


5. Whatever difficulty and opposition may lie in the way, patient

endurance in faith and obedience will infallibly bring us unto

the full enjoyment of the promises,


6. Faith gives such an interest unto believers in all the promises

of God, as that they obtain even those promises, that is, the be-

nefit and comfort of them, whose actual accomplishment in this
world, they do not behold,


7. There is, as we are in a state of nature, a strife and diffe-

rence between God and us,


8. The promises of God are gracious proposals of the only way

and means for the ending of that strife,


9. The oath of God interposed for the confirmation of these pro-

mises, is every way sufficient to secure believers against all obe

jections and temptations, in all straits and trials, about peace

with God through Jesus Christ,


10. That the custom of using oaths, swearing, cursing or impreca-

tion, in common communication, is not only an open transgres.

sion of the third commandment, which God hath threatened to

revenge, but it is a practical renunciation also of all the autho.

rity of Jesus Christ who hath so expressly interdicted it, 272

11. Whereas swearing by the name of God in truth, righteousness

and judgment, is an ordinance of God for the end of strife

amongst men ; perjury is justly reckoned amongst the worst

and highest of sins, and is that which reflects the greatest dis-

honour on God, and tendeth to the ruin of human society,


12. Readiness in some to swear on slight occasions, and the ordi-

nary impositions of oaths on all sorts of persons, without a due

consideration on either hand of the nature, ends and properties

of lawful swearing, are evils greatly to be lamented, and in

God's good time, among Christians, will be reformed,


VERSES 17-20.

1. The purpose of God for the saving of the elect by Jesus Christ,

is an act of infinite wisdom, as well as of sovereign grace,


2. The life and assurance of our present comforts and future

glory, depend on the immutability of God's counsel,


3. The purpose of God concerning the salvation of the elect by

Jesus Christ, became immutable from hence, that the determi.

nation of his will was accompanied with infinite wisdom, i..

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4. Infinite goodness, as acting itself in Christ, was not satisfied in

providing and preparing good things for believers, but it would

also shew and declare it unto them for their present consolation, 257

5. It is not all mankind universally, but a certain number of per-

sons, under certain qualifications, to whom God designs to ma-

nifest the immutability of his counsel, and to communicate the

effects thereof,


6. God alone knows the due measures of divine condescension, or

what becomes the divine nature therein,


7. So unspeakable is the weakness of our faith, that we stand in

need of inconceivable divine condescension for its confirmation, ib.

8. Fallen sinful man stands in need of the utmost encouragement

that divine condescension can extend unto, to prevail with him

to receive the promise of grace and mercy by Jesus Christ, 294

9. Sense of danger, and ruin from sin, is the first thing which oc-

casions a soul to look out after Christ in the promise,


10. A full conviction of sin, is a great and shaking surprisal unto

a guilty soul,


11. The revelation or discovery of the promise, or of Christ in

the promise, is that alone which directs convinced sinners into

their proper course and way,


12. Where there is the least of saving faith, upon the first disco-

very of Christ in the promise, it will stir up the whole soul to

make out towards him, and a participation of him,


13. It is the duty and wisdom of all those unto whom Christ in

the promise is once discovered, by any gospel means, or ordi.

nance once set before them, to admit of no delay, of a through

closing with him,


14. There is a spiritual strength and vigour required unto the se-

curing of our interest in the promise ; xpatutai, ' to lay fast and

firm hold upon it,'


15. The promise is an assured refuge unto all sin-distressed souls,

who betake themselves thereunto,


16. Where any souls, convinced of sin by the charge of the law,

and their own lost condition thereon, do betake themselves unto

the promise for relief, God is abundantly willing that they should

receive strong consolation,


17. All true believers are exposed to storms and tempests in this



18. These storms would prove ruinous unto the souls of believers,

were they not indefeasibly interested by faith and hope in the

promise of the gospel,


19. No distance of place, no interposition of difficulties, can hin-

der the hope of believers from entering into the presence of, and

fixing itself on God in Christ,


20. The strength and assurance of the faith and hope of believers,

is invisible unto the world,


21. Hope firmly fixed on God in Christ by the promise, will hold

steady, and preserve the soul in all the storms and trials that

may befal it,


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