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" cannot be justified, or find righteoufnets by works of the law.
But I may every man fay) according to the covenant of works am liable to the curfe of God, for breaking the law, times and ways "" out of number.
"Therefore I cannot be juftified, or have righteousness by the "works of the law."
Thus may a man be convinced of righteousness, that is not to be had by his own works, or by the law.
III. For convincing a man of judgment by the law, confider, 2 Theff.
THE Lord Jefus fhall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels: Ver. 8. In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gofpel of our Lord Jefus Chrift: Ver. 9. Who fhall be punished with everlasting deftruction from the prefence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, Ver. io. When he shall come to be glorified in his faints, and to be admired in all them that believe.
Wherein we are taught, that our Lord Jefus, who now offers to be a Mediator for them who believe in him, fhall, at the last day; come armed with flaming fire, to judge, condemn, and deftroy all them who have not believed God, have not received the offer of grace made in the gospel, nor obeyed the doctrine thereof; but remain in their natural ftate, under the law or covenant of works.
Hence let every man reafon thus;
"What the righteous Judge hath forewarned me, fhall be done at "the last day, I am sure is just judgment.
"But the righteous Judge hath forewarned me, that if I do not "believe God in time, and obey not the doctrine of the gospel, I fhall "be fecluded from his prefence and his glory, at the laft day, and be "" tormented in foul and body for ever.
"Therefore I am convinced that this is a juft judgment.
"And I have reafon to thank God heartily, who hath forewarned « me to flee from the wrath which is to come."
Thus every man may be, by the law or covenant of works, convinced of judgment, if he fhall continue under the covenant of works, or shall not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
IV. For convincing a man of fin, righteousness, and judgment, by the gofpel.
s for convincing a man of fin, and righteoufnefs, and judgment, by the gospel or covenant of grace, he must understand three things; 1. That not believing in Jefus Chrift, or refuting of the cove
'nant of grace offered in him, is a greater and more dangerous fin, than all other fins against the law; because the hearers of the gospel, not be lieving in Chrift, do reject God's mercy in Chrift, the only way of freedom from fin and wrath, and will not yield to be reconciled to God. 2. Next, He must understand, that perfect remiffion of fin and true righteoufnefs, is to be had only by faith in Jefus; because God requireth no other conditions but faith; and teftifies from heaven that he is well pleased to justify finners upon this condition. 3. He must understand, that upon righteoufnefs received by faith; judgment fhall follow, on the one hand, to the deftroying of the works of the devil in the believer, and to the perfecting of the work of fanctificati on in him, with power: and that, upon refufing to take righteouf nefs by faith in Jefus Chrift, judgment fhall follow, on the other hand, to the condemnation of the misbeliever, and destroying of him with Satan and his fervants for ever.
For this end, let these paffages of fcripture, among many others, ferve to make the greatnefs of the fin of not believing in Chrift appear; or, to make the greatness of the fin of refufing of the covenant of grace offered to us, in the offering of Chrift unto us, let the fair of fer of grace be looked upon as it is made. Ifa. lv. 2. Incline your ear, and come unto me, (faith the Lord) bear, and your foul shall live; and I will make an everlafling covenant with you, even the fure mercies of David. That is, if ye will believe me, and be reconciled to me, I will, by convenant, give unto you Chrift, and all faving graces in him: repeated, Acts xiii. 34.
Again, confider, that this general offer in fubftance is equivalent to a fpecial offer made to every one in particular; as appeareth by the apostles making use of it, Acts xvi. 31. Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be faved and thy house. The reafon of which offer is given, John iii. 16. For God fo loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him, should_not_peris, but have everlasting life. Seeing then this great falvation is offered in the Lord Jefus, whofoever believeth not in him, but looks for happinefs fome other way, what doth he elfe but obferve lying vanities, and forfake his own mercy, which he might have had in Chrift? Jonah ii. 8, 9. What dóth he elfe but blafpheme God in his heart? as it is faid, John v. 10. He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God hath given of his Son: and this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in bis Son. And that no fin against the law is like unto this fin. Chrift teftifies. John xv. 22. If I had not come and spoken to them, they bad not had fin; but now they have no cloak for their fin This may convince a man of the greatness of this fin of not believing in Christ.
For convincing a man of righteousness to be had only by faith in Jefus Chift, confider how, Rom. x. 3, 4.
T is faid, that the Jews, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not fubmitted themselves unto the righteousness of God, (and fo they perished) for Ghrift is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. And, Als xiii. 39 By Chrift Jefus all that believe are juftified from all things, from which ye could not be juftified by the law of Mofes. And, 1 John i. 7. The blood of Jefus Chrift, his Son, cleanseth us from all fin.
For convincing a man of judgment, if a man embrace this righteouf nefs: confider, John iii. 8. For this purpose the Son of God was mani'fefted, that he might deftroy the works of the devil. And, Heb. ix. 14. How much more ball the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your confcience from dead works, to ferve the living God?
But, if a man embrace not this righteoufnels, his doom is pronounced, John iii. 18. He that believeth not is condemned already, because be hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loveth darkness rather than light.
Hence let the penitent, defiring to believe, reason thus;
"What doth fuffice to convince all the elect in the world of the "greatness of the fin of not believing in Chrift, or refusing to "fee to him for relief from fins done against the law, and from "wrath due thereto; and what fufficeth to convince them, that righteoufnefs and eternal life is to be had by faith in Jefus Chrift, or by confenting to the covenant of grace in him; and what fuffice th "to convince them of judgment to be exercised by Chrift, for deftroy"ing the works of the devil in a man, and fanctifying and saving all "that believe in him, may fuffice to convince me alfo.
"But what the Spirit hath faid, in thefe or other like fcriptures, "fufficeth to convince the elect world of the forefaid fin, and righte❝ousness, and judgment.
"Therefore what the spirit hath faid, in these and other like fe ipa "tures, ferveth to convince me thereof alfo."
Whereupon let the penitent defiring to believe, take with him words, and lay heartily to the Lord, feeing thou fayelt, Seek ye my face, my foul anfwereth unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I feek: I have hearkened unto the offer of an everlasting covenant of all faving mercies to be had in Chrift, and I do heartily embrace thy offer. Lord, let it be a bargain; Lord, I believe, help my unbelief: Behold, I give myself to thee, to ferve thee in all things for ever; and I hope, thy right hand fball fave me; the Lord will perfect that which concernetli me; thy mercy, O Lord endureth for ever; forfake not the works of thine own hands.
Thus may a man be made an unfeigned believer in Christ.
For ftrengthening the man's faith, who hath agreed unto the covenant of grace.
Ecause many true believers are weak, and do much doubt if ever they shall be fure of the foundness of their own faith and effectual calling, or made certain of their juftification and falvation, when they fee, that many, who profefs faith, are found to deceive themselves; let us tee how every believer may be made strong in the faith, and fure of his own election and falvation upon folid grounds, by fure warrants, and true evidences of faith. To this end, among many other fcriptures, take thele following.
1. For laying folid grounds of faith, confider 2 Pet. i. 10.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make sure your calling and election: for if ye do thefe things, ye fhall never fall.
In which words, the apoftle teacheth us thefe four things, for help and direction, how to be made ftrong in the faith.
1. That fuch as believe in Chrift Jefus, and are fled to him for relief from fin and wrath, albeit they be weak in the faith, yet they are indeed children of the fame Father with the apoftles; for fo he ac counteth of them, while he calleth them brethren.
2. That, albeit we be not fure, for the time of our effectual calling and election, yet we may be made fure of both, if we ufe diligence; for this he prefuppofeth, faying, Give diligence to make your calling and election fure.'
3. That we must not be difcouraged, when we fee many feeming believers prove rotten branches, and make defection; but we must the ' rather take the better heed to ourselves, Wherefore the rather, bre'thren,' faith be, give all diligence.'
4. That the way to be fure both of our effectual calling and clecti on, is to make fure work of our faith, by laying the grounds of it folidly, and bringing forth the fruits of our faith in new obedience conftantly: For if ye do these things,' faith he, ye fhall never fall;' understanding, by these things,' what he had faid of found faith, verfes 1, 2, 3, 4. and what he had faid of the bringing out of the fruits of faith, verfes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
To this fame purpofe, confider, Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Chrift Jefus, who walk not • after the flesh, but after the Spirit Ver. 2. For the law of the • Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus hath made me free from the law of fin and death.' Ver. 3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God fending his own Son in the likeness of finful flesh, and for fin condemned fin in the flesh. Ver. 4. That
⚫ the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'
Wherein the apostle teacheth us these four things, for laying of the ground of faith folidly;
1. That every one is a true believer, who, in the fenfe of his fin, and fear of God's wrath, doth flee for full relief from both unto Jefus Chrift alone, as the only Mediator, and all-fufficient Redeemer of men; and, being fled to Chrift, doth ftrive against his own flesh, or corrupt inclination of nature, and studieth to follow the rule of God's Spirit, fet down in his word: for the man, whom the apostle doth here bless as a true believer, is a man in Chrift Jefus, who doth not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'
2. That all fuch pertons as are fled to Chrift, and do ftrive again fin, howsoever they may be poffibly exercifed under the fenie of wrath and fear of condemnation, yet they are in no danger; for, there is 'no condemnation,' faith he, to them that are in Chrift Jefus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'
3. That, albeit the apoft'e himself brought in here for example's caufe, and all other true believers in Chrift, be by nature under the law of fin and death, or under the covenant of works (called the law of fin and death, because it bindeth fin and death upon us, till Chrift let us free) yet the law of the fpirit of life in Chrift Jefus, or the covenant of grace, (fo called, because it doth enable and quicken a man to a Ipia ritual life through Chrift) doth fet the apoftle, and all true believers, free from the covenant of works, or the law of fin and death; fo that every man may fay with him, The law of the fpirit of life,' or the Covenant of grace, 'hath made me free from the law of fin and death,' or covenant of works.
4. That the fountain and firft ground, from whence our freedom from the curte of the law doth flow, is the covenant of redemption, past betwixt God, and God the Son as incarnate, wherein Chrift takes the curfe of the law upon him for fin, that the believer, who could not otherwise be delivered from the covenant of works, may be delivered from it. And this doctrine the apoftle holdeth forth in thefe four branches (1.) That it was utterly impoffible for the law, or the covenant of works, to bring righteouinefs and life to a finner, because it was weak. (2) That this weaknefs and inability of the law, or covenant of works, is not the fault of the law, but the fault of finful flesh, which is neither able to pay the penalty of fin, nor to give per fect obedience to the law (prefuppofe bygone fins were forgiven;) The law was weak,' faith he, through the flesh.' (3.) That the righteoufnefs and falvation of finners, which was impoffible to be brought about by the law, is brought to pafs by fending God's own Son, Jefus Chrift, in the flesh, in whole flesh fin is condemned and punished, for making fatisfaction in the behalf of the elect, that they might be fet free. (4.) That, by his means, the law lofeth nothing,
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