« VorigeDoorgaan »
through the Death and Righteculness of his Son.) We are accounted righteous before God only for the Merits of our Lord and Savicur Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own Works or Deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of Comfort, as more largely is express’d in the Homily of Justification, and in Article XIth. Oh sweet Article! Sound and scriptural Tener of our Mother Church ; how few of the Clergy do feed thy Sons with the sincere Milk of thy precious Doctrine? How often do they mix the imaginary Meetness of Man with the Merits of Christ, in Point of Acceptance with God, and so rob him of the Honour due to his Name. May all you that read the above sacred Lines, the Touchstone of orthodox Teaching, take due Care how you adulterate the unspotted Righteousness and Merits of Christ with a base Mixture of your own (imperfect, deceitful, ragged) Righteousness. For “ God will not give his Glory to another, neither his Praise to graven 'Images,” (viz. Works performed by you) Ifa. xlii. 8. Bebold
my Servant, faith God! as much as to say, I have given him for a Covenant to you my People, to fulfil my Law, and (thereby bring in an everlasting Righteousness for you, Dan. ix. 24.) also to die in your stead, that you might live eternally; and
my Soul delighteth in him for so doing, Ija. xlii. 1, 6. “ Neither can there be Salvation in any other Way; for there is no other Name given under Heaven among Men, but the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby we must be saved,” A&t. iv. 12. Tho' too often let at nought by you Builders, v. II. by mixing your own Doings with his Merits, and thereby daụbing your Hope, Faith, and all your Building with uncempered' Mortar. For you secretly idolize your own good Works, instead of
xiii. 13, 14
trusting wholly to his Righteousness, imagining at least that your good Endeavours will partiy entitle you to Salvation.
All such fond Hopes, such Wood, Hay and Stubble-Building, God, in his Anger, will consume, and you with it, in the Midit of all your vain Hopes, with the great Hailftones of his Wrath and fiery Indignation, Ezek.
. God would have you know that Christ only is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, Jer. xxiii. 6. “ Behold! all ye that kindle a Fire, that compass yourselves about with Sparks, (that foster yourselves with false, persecuting Zeal) God bids you walk in the Light of your Fire, and in the Sparks which you have kindled, (feed yourselves with the Hope of being saved by pompous Ceremonies) this shall ye have at my Hands, ye shall lie down (not in Peace, but) in Sorrow," Ifa. I. 11.
" Therefore look unto me all the Ends of the Earth, (faith Christ) and be saved,” Ija. xlv. 22. Oh! how does Jesus Christ love to hear poor Sinners plead in Faith the Merits of his Sufferings at the Throne of Grace: and how acceptable are their Persons and Performances in Christ, in whom the Facher is for ever well pleafed. When his Merits are pleaded before the Throne in Faith, Christ, who is the Angel of the Covenant, putteth much incense into the Prayers of such Supplicants ; and offers them up acceptably upon the golden Altar (of his personal Merit and Holiness) which is before the Throne, Rev. viii. 3. The Apostle faith, “ We have an Altar (a Type of Christ on the Cross) whereof Unbelievers have no Rigth to eat,” Heb. xiii 10. Our glorious Redeemer condescended to be a Priest, Altar, and Sacrifice for the Benefit of the Faithful : unto whom the Lord will reveal his Secrets, and shew them his Covenant, Pfal. xxv. 14.) Oh! may THE LORD
OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, and great High-priest, cause the Smoak of his Incense, perfumed with the Odours of his Merits, to enliven our lukewarm Prayers ; and through the Efficacy of his atoning Blood, may we find Reception with God : And may he take the golden Censer, and fill it full of the holy Fire from the Altar of God, and pour it down into our earthly Hearts ; that we may become the Sons of Thunder to awaken the Dead, and shining Lights to direct those that are blind and may we likewise be Instruments in the Lord's Hands to turn many from Darkness to Light, and from the Power of Satan unto God : that they may be inlightened to see the Misery of Man by Nature, and the Necessity of being born again, (notwithwithstanding his specious Morality) " that Man is from the Crown of his Head to the Sole of his Foot, full of Wounds, Bruises, and putrifying Sores; that never have been clofed, neither bound up, nor mollified with Ointment,” in short, extreamly miserable, deftitute of all Good, Isa. i. 6. O may Thousands among us be inlightened to see themselves all over spread with the Leprosy of Sin, and shut without the Camp, having not been cleansed by the only Remedy, the Blood of the Lamb, Rev.
And consequently have no spiritual Communion with Believers, who are sanctified by Grace, having never received the Forgiyness of their Sins. May they cry out like the poor broken-hearted Publican, Lord, be merciful to me a Sinner, Luke xviii. 13. When they see themselves all over leprous, they, like Naaman, will be glad to be healed, and would hearken to the weakest Instrument under God for proper Advice, in order to be made whole, as that great Man attended to the Words of the little captive Damsel of Israel: and like him would obey the Voice of the Hebrew Maid,
who bid him repair to the Prophet in Israel. “ Would to God (says she) my Lord was with the Prophet that is in Samario, for he would recover him of his Leprosy," 2 Kings v. 3. But let them not consult with Flesh and Blood, Gal. i. 16. Nor with carnal Reason or earthly Grandeur. Let them not go to the King of Israel with their Prefents, ver. 5. nor to the great and Worldly wise, fer they will abhor meddling in such Matters, like the King of Israel, who rent his Clothes, saying, Am I a God to kill or make alive? 'Here the King being unacquainted with the Power of God, and the Eficacy of Faith, thought there was no such Cure to be done in Israel, ver. 7. But you see, God is pleased to hide those Mysteries from the Great, the Wise and Prudent, worldly-minded' Men, and reveals them unto Babes, even so Father, (says Christ) for so it seemeth good in thy Sight, Matt. xi. 25, 26. Would to God that all our rifing Generation, that are led captive by their Sins, might have the same experimental Belief of the Power of God in their Souls, as the little captive Daughter of Israel had. O! how sweet would their Words be seasoned with Salt, and consequently minister Grace, as did the Words of this believing Maid, unto their Hear
But to return, what faid the Prophet to the astonished King of Israel? “ Wherefore (faid he) halt thou rent thy Clothes ? Let Naaman come now to me, and he shall know that there is a Prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his Horses and Chariot, and stood at the Door of the House of Elisha, (and thought to have no small Honour paid him, as proud wealthy Men expect in our Days) But Elisha only fent a Messenger unto him, saying, Go, and wash in Jordan seven Times, and thy Flesh Thall come again unto thee, and thou fhalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went
away displeased, saying, Behold! I thought, he