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in sending servants after servants, and passing by many offences, before he determined to destroy and cast them out. First then, this cannot be understood of the saints, or of such as repent and are saved; for it is said expresly, He will destroy them. Neither would the parable any ways have answered the end for which it is alledged, if these men had not been in a capacity to have done good; yea, such was their capacity, that Christ faith in the prophet, What could I have done more ? So that it is more than manifeft, that by this parable, repeated in three sundry evangelists, Christ holds forth his long-suffering towards men, and their wickedness, to whom means of salvation being afforded, do nevertheless resist, to their own condemnation. To these also are parallel these fcriptures, Prov. i. 24, 25, 26. Jer. xviii. 9, 10. Mat. xviii. 32, 33, 34. Aēts xiii. 46.
Lastly, That there is a day of visitation given Pr. III. to the wicked, wherein they might have been saved, and which being expired, they are shut out from salvation, appears evidently by Christ's lamentation Christ's laover Jerusalem, expressed in three fundry places, over Jerus Mattb. xxiii. 37. Luke xiii. 34. and xix. 41, 42. falem. And when he was come near, be bebeld the city, and wept over it, saying ; If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thiy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes ! Than which nothing can be said more evident to prove our doctrine. For, First, he insinuates that there was a day wherein the inhabitants of Jerusalem might have known those things that belonged to their peace. Secondly, That during that day he was willing to have gathered them, even as an ben gathereth her chickens. A familiar example, yet very significative in this case; which thews that the offer of salvation made unto them was not in vain on his part, but as really, and with as great chearfulness and willingness, as an ben
gathereth her chickens. Such as is the love and care of the hen toward her brood, such is the care of Christ to gather loft men and women, to redeem them out of their corrupt and degenerate state. Thirdly, That because they refused, the things belonging to their peace were bid from their eyes. Why were they hid ? Because ye would not fuffer me to gather you ; ye would not see those things that were good for you, in the season of God's love towards you; and therefore now, that day being expired, ye cannot see them: and, for a farther judgment, God suffers you to be hardened in unbelief,
So it is, after real offers of mercy and salvation dens, when. rejected, that mens hearts are hardened, and not
before. Thus that saying is verified, To him that bath, shall be given; and from him that bath not, shall be taken away even that which he bath. This may seem a riddle, yet it is according to this doctrine easily solved. He hath not, because he hath lost the season of using it, and so to him it is now
as nothing; for Christ uses this expression, Mattb. The one ta. xxv. 26. upon the occasion of the taking the one
talent from the Nothful servant, and giving it to Cufficient.
him that was diligent; which talent was no ways insufficient of itself, but of the same nature with those given to the others; and therefore the Lord had reason to exact the profit of it proportionably, as well as from the rest : so, I say, it is after the rejecting of the day of visitation, that the judgment of obduration is inflicted upon men and women, as Christ pronounceth it upon the Jesus out of Isa. vi. 9. which all the four evangelists make mention of, Matth. xiii, 14. Mark iv. 12. Luke viii. 10. John xii. 40. and last of all the apostle Paul, after he had made offer of the gospel of salvation to the Jews at Rome, pronounceth the same, AES xxviii. 26: after that some believed not; Well spaka the Holy Ghost, by Isaiah the prophet, unto our fa
ibers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall bear, and shall not understand; and seeing ya ball fee, and fall not perceive. For the beart of tbis people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of bearing, and their eyes bave they closed; left they fbould see with their eyes, and bear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should beal them. So it appears, thac God would have them to fee, but they closed their eyes; and therefore they are justly hardened. Of this matter Cyrillus Alexandrinus upon John, lib. 6. Cyril. Alex, cap. 21. speaks well, anfwering to this objection. « But some may say, If Christ be come into the « world, that those that see may be blinded, their « blindnefs is not imputed unto them; but it rather « seems that Christ is the cause of their blindness, « who faith,” He is come into the world, that those " that fee may be blinded. « But,” saith he, “ they
speak not rationally, who object these things unto « God, and are not afraid to call him the author of « evil. For, as the sensible sun is carried upon our
horizon, that it may communicate the gift of its « clearness unto all, and make its light shine upon « all; yet if any one close his eye-lids, or willingly The cause “ turn himself from the fun, refusing the benefit
of of man's re« its light, he wants its illumination, and remains darkneis, " in darkness, not through the defect of the fun, his eyes « but through his own fault. So that the true Sun, « who came to enlighten those that fat in darkness, a and in the region of the shadow of death, visited " the earth for this cause, that he might commu« nicate unto all the gift of knowledge and grace, « and illuminate the inward eyes of all by a spiritual « splendor: but many reject the gift of this heavenly “ light freely given to them, and have closed the eyes " of their minds, lest so excellent an illumination or « irradiation of the eternal light should shine unto. << them. It is not then thro' defect of the true Sun " that they are blinded, but only thro' their own
iniquity and hardness; for, as the wise man saith, “ Wisdom ii. their wickedness bath blinded them.”
From all which I thus argue :
If there was a day wherein the obstinate Jews nate Jews might have known the things that belonged to their a day.
peace, which, because they rejected it, were hid from their eyes; if there was a time wherein Christ would have gathered them, who, because they refused, could not be gathered; then such as might have been saved do actually perish, that nighted the day of God's visitation towards them, wherein they might have been converted and saved.
But the first is true; therefore also the last. Prop. II S. XXI. Secondly, That which comes in the se
cond place to be proved is, That whereby God offers to work this salvation during the day of every man's viftation ; and that is, That be bath given to every man a measure of saving, sufficient, and supernatural light and grace. This I shall do, by God's affistance, by some plain and clear testimonies of
the scripture. Proof 1. First, From that of John i. 9. That was the true The light
light, which lighteth every man that cometh into enlightning the world. This place doth so clearly favour us, every man, that by some it is called the Quakers text; for
it doth evidently demonstrate our assertion ; so that it scarce needs either consequence or deduction, seeing itself is a consequence of two propositions asserted in the former verses, from which it followeth as a conclusion in the very terms of our faith. The first of these propositions is, The life that is in bim is the light of men: the second, The light shineth in the darkness; and from these two he infers, and He is the true light,
which ligbteth every man that cometh into the world. Obs. 1.
From whence I do in short observe, That this divine apostle calls Christ the light of men, and giveth us this as one of the chief properties, at least considerably and especially to be observed
by us ; seeing hereby, as he is the light, and as we walk with him in that light which he communicates to us, we come to have fellowship and communion with him; as the same apostle faith elsewhere, 1. John i. 7. Secondly, That this light fbineth in darkness, though the darkness comprehend it not. Thirdly, That this true light enlighteneth -Not to a every man that cometh into the world. Where the certain apostle, being directed by God's Spirit, hath care- men, but fully avoided their captiousness, that would have every man. restricted this to any certain number : where every one is, there is none excluded. Next, should they be so obstinate, as sometimes they are, as to say that this [every man) is only every one of the elect; these words following, every man that cometh into the world, would obviate that objection. So that it is plain there comes no man into the world, whom Christ hath not enlightened in some measure, and in whose dark heart this light doth not shine ; though the darkness comprebend it not, yet it shineth there; and the nature thereof is to dispel the darkness, where men shut not their eyes upon it. Now for what end this The light light is given, is expressed verse 7. where John is difpelling faid to come for a witness, to bear witness to the begets faith. light, that all men through it might believe; to wit, through the light, di durš, which doth very well agree with pards, as being the nearest antecedent, though most translators have (to make it suit with their own doctrine) made it relate to John, as if all men were to believe through John. For which, as there is nothing directly in the text, so it is contrary to the very strain of the context. For, feeing Christ hath lighted every man with this light, is it not that they may come to believe through it ? All could not believe through John, because all men could not know of John's teitimony; whereas every man being lighted by this, may come there-through to believe. John shined