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nor can he know them, [either in time or eter, nity,] because they are spiritually discerned.” And the Holy Spirit does not teach the world: the reprobate world cannot receive him, either in this world or the next, because it seeth him not, nei, ther knoweth him, John xiv. 17. Therefore, “ they that go down into the pit cannot hope for the truth.”
And, as they that are of this world are not Christ's sheep, so he never gathers them out of it; he never seeks them out, nor finds them. He seeks none but the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and the other sheep, which are not of that fold, namely, the elect among the Gentiles, these he must bring, and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd. For these he died; these he redeemed; these he gathers out of all places, whither scattered in the cloudy and dark days. The diseased of these he strengthens; the lame he heals; the broken he binds up; the weak he lays on his shoulders; the lambs he carries in his bosom; and those that are with young he gently leads. In the height of Israel he pitches their fold, in the green pastures of the life-giving gospel he makes them to lie down, and by the still waters of comfort he leads them. But, though this kind Shepherd deals thus with his sheep, yet not so with the goats, as himself says; “I will feed the flock of slaughter; even you, O poor of the flock: and I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands, [or binders;] and I fed the flock.” Here is Christ the King of Israel with his beautiful staff, or sceptre, ruling and governing his own subjects; and with his other staff, called binders or bands, which is his shepherd's crook, that catches, holds fast, and detains, every sheep of his flock to himself, and to one another in his own fold; while he himself condescends to feed them. But then he has no charge of the goats; he is a shepherd, not an herdsman; nor does he feed them, as himself declares; “ Then, said I, I will not feed you; that that dieth let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.” Hence it appears plain that the good Shepherd has no charge of these; nor does he put. forth his crook among them, Nay, he asked what they would give for his price in this his twofold office of mediatorial king and good shepherd; and they prized him at the common price of a bond slave, Exod. xxi. 32; compare with Zech. xi. 12. Then he cut asunder his staff, even Beauty ; that he might break the legal, national, and conditional covenant, that he had made with the house of Israel, Zech. xi. 10, for their disobedience to it, and for their rejection of him: and the middle wall of partition was broken down on that day; and salvation was proclaimed to the Gentiles : and after they had sold his blood, and himself as their shepherd and king, then he cut asunder his other staff, even Bands, that he might break the brotherhood between the spiritual Jews and Israel after
the flesh, Zech. si. 11. " And it was broken in that day." So that they are not Jews that are so outwardly, but are of the synagogue of Satan; but they are Jews that are such inwardly; “ and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." From hence it appears plain that the Lord Jesus does not undertake for the reprobate, the goats, and the seed of the serpent; but for the sheep, which the Father has given him; for whom he died, and whom he redeemed from among men, out of every kindred, people, tongue, and nation.
Nor does the grace of Christ rule over the reprobate. His kingdom is not of this world; it is not of men, but of God; not supported by worldly means or worldly maxims; nor are the subjects of it of this world, but of God. It is set up in the hearts of God's elect, and in no other. Satan is a king still, and has a kingdom; and his kingdom still stands, and his subjects are led captive by him at his will. Nor is he divided against him. seit, nor ever will be: witness the infernal lies of Mr. Winchester, who is manifestly, at present, a subject of Satan's kingdom; as appears plain by blindness, ignorance, carnality, hypocrisy, infernal craft, and damnable deception. All which prove plain enough, that Satan, not Jesus, is king over all the children of pride; and that he rules in the hearts of all the children of disobedience. But Christ turns his own people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; and
translates them out of the kingdom of Satan into his own kingdom, where they find the forgiveness of sins, and a glorious inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in him. Hence we conclude that, as Christ did not assume the nature of the reprobates, so he is not the mediator, advocate, intercessor, priest, shepherd, or king, of these. God has set his King upon his holy hill of Zion, not upon Sinai; for all that are of the works of the law are under the curse. But the subjects of Christ's kingdom are all righteous persons ; agreeable to his sceptre, which is a sceptre of righteousness. “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands; that I may be glorified.” They that go down into the pit are without Christ in every sense; and therefore have no hope in him, nor can they ever hope for his truth.
Nor does the word of truth ever come with power to them; nor has it any place in them; nor is it ever promised to them: their taste remaineth in them, their scent is not changed; their palate is vitiated; they have no relish for it. And the reason is, they are not of God; that is, they are not of God's choosing; they are not of God's electing; they are not of God's loving, ordaining, or appointing to salvation. “He that is of God heareth God's words; ye therefore hear it not, because ye are not of God.” The word never comes with power to them: they are never quickened nor illuminated by it, nor ever shall be. Satan, Simon Magus, and old Adam after the flesh, are their fathers, and to them they shall go; and from thence they shall never come. “ He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light:” and, if they never see light, then “ they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth."
And, as the wicked die without Christ in every covenant character, who is the way, the truth, and the life; and without the words of truth; so they die also without the true God, and without any hope in him. God is the God of Abraham, and of all his mystic seed; the God of Isaac, and of every heir of promise; and the God of Jacob, and of every true Israelite. This is his name for ever, and this is his memorial to all generations. But, as for them that die under the curse and condemnation of the law, with the sting of death in their conscience, and the sentence of death in their hearts; twice dead, plucked up by the roots; is he the God of these? No. “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” And, as he is not their God, then “they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
And shall these dead ones; enemies to Christ and his cause; despising his word and his peo. ple; servants of sin and Satan; at whose calamity God will laugh, and at whom he will mock when their fear cometh; shall the covetous, whom God abhorreth; shall the wicked, whom he hath made for the day of evil; shall the vessels of