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Christ, considered as a Redeemer | sent? Surely the opinion of one and Saviour. For trusting in our or the other must be fundamentown righteousness, repentance, ally and essentially erroneousvirtue and obedience, as the not merely different from, but ground and procuring cause of directly opposed to and subverour acceptance with God, is evi- sive of the real truth. dently inconsistent with trusting 5. The great importance of in the righteousness of Christ as sound doctrine may also appear, the only foundation ofour justifica- from a view of the perplexing tion. He who trusts in his own difficulties and pernicious conrighteousness to intitle him to sequences attending the favor of God, does by that urally following from ignorance very act reject the righteousness of the truth, and essentially erof Christ, and must fail of accep-roneous opinions, respecting the tance, if his own righteousness way and terms of acceptance proves insufficient. So an in- with God. spired apostle appears to have Is it not evidently of high and taught. 6 Behold, I Paul say un- unspeakable importance to deto you, that if ye be circumcised, pendent creatures, and especialChrist shall profit you nothing. Iy to fallen, guilty creatures, to For I testify again to every know whether there be any way man that is circumcised, that he in which they may have accepis a debtor to do the whole law. table access to Godany terms, Christ is become of no effect un- on which they may have accepto you, whosoever of you are tance with him ?-and if any, justified by the law ; ye are fal- what they are ? len from grace.” Gal. v. 2, 3, 4. With what distressing anx
How every way interesting iety and painful uncertainty, da and important, then, must it be the seriptures represent a guilty to us, to understand and believe man inquiring, wherewith he and embrace the truth, with res- shall come before the Lord, and pect to the person, character bow himself before the high and mediation of Christ, as stat- God.? “Shall I come before him ed and exhibited in the sound with burnt-offerings, with calves doctrine delivered by him and of a year old ? Will the Lord his apostles ? Christ's words in be pleased with thousands of John xvii. 3. plainly import, rams, or with ten thousands of that eternal life consists in and rivers of oil ? Shall I give my
connected with the knowl- first born for my transgression, edge of the only true God and the fruit of my body for the sin Jesus Christ, whom he hath of my soul ?". Micah vi. 6, 7. sent. But whilst two persons
Certainly a creature, conscious hold, opinions, concerning the and thoroughly convinced that person and character and work he is a sinner, and as such deof Christ, so directly contrary to serving and exposed to the one another, and so mutually dreadful wrath of God, must be subversive the one of the other, painfully solicitous to know wheas the orthodox and the Socini-ther it be posible, and if so, how, an, is it possible that both should or in what way, or by what have the true knowledge of God means, it is possible, that he and Jesus Christ, whom he hath may be pardoned and accepted
of God. And if he is totally ig- believing as the church of Rome norant or utterly at a loss as to believes and conforming to its what is the truth in this respect, rites and ceremonies; whilst, he must feel himself in a very in truth, these things imply & perplexed and painfully embar-rejection of Christ and his rightrassing situatioti.
eousness, and are an abomina: The sound doctrine of the tion in the sight of God; it will gospel, well understood, would then be readily seen, that such at once relieve him from this persons are pleasing themselves painful embarrassment and per- with the hope of future happiplexing difficulty; and on this ness, whilst they are pursuing account, in this view, it of great the way which leads to death, importance that it should be and are in great danger of perclearly exhibited, and well un- ishing in their delusion. derstood.
Or if any think the way to Again, If men are ever so make sure of eternal life, is to well satisfied, that there is a way, believe firmly that they are alin which they may be accepted ready justified by the righteousof God and happy in the world ness of Christ, even before they to come, but entertain essentially repent that God is already wrong ideas and opinions about their reconciled God and Father, it, the consequence may be fa- who hath forgiven their sins and tálly pernicious. If, like the promised them eternal life, and Pharisees and many of the Jews, under the influence of this ber any think the only way of ob- lief, to rejoice in him and love taining acceptance with God and and praise and serve him ; and eternal life, is by virtue of their if at the same time, the truth is own obedience and good works, that no one is actually pardoned and accordingly, go about to es- and justified before he repents tablish their own righteousness; and believes in Christ ; it is then whilst, in truth, this is impracti-evident, that all such persons cable, and the only way of sal. are in great danger of deceiving tation is by virtue of' the atone-themselves by the belief of a ment and righteousness of lie. Christ, through faith in his Or if any think that Christ blood ; it is easy to see, that hath actually purchased etërthey are in the utmost danger nał life for all mankind, and will of perishing for ever, whilst in fact, sooner or later, put all they view themselves as being into actual possession of it, in the sure way to everlasting whatever be their tempers and happiness. Or if any think the conduct during their abode on sure way to happiness is by the earth ; they will of course masses, and prayers to saints believe themselves sure of eterá and angels and the virgin Mary, nal happiness, though they live to intercede for them by auri- in sin, and continue impentitetit cular confession and penances, to the last moment of their lives. and giving farge sums to priests But if this be a mistake, and or to the church, to obtain abso directly contrary to the truth of lution from their sins, and ex. the gospel, it will probably exmption or deliverance from prove a most pernicious mistake, the pains of purgatory, and by and, to them who retain it to the
last, issue in their most awful | apt to indulge and justify themdisappointment and utter ruin. selves in gross enormities and
These, several cases, out of abominable iniquities. Witness the vast variety which might be the case of the Pagan nations, mentioned, are stated, as sam- as stated by Paul in Rom. i. ples, to show, thatessentially erro- And where the gospel is, in a neous and false notions respect- measure promulgated, and a ing the way or terms of accept-general belief of it professed, ance with God, tend to and are they who do not carefully attend naturally productive of the to it, and understand and pay a most fatally pernicious conse- conscientious regard to its inquences ; and thereby to illus- structions and precepts, appear trate the vast importance of a to think it warrantable, to inclear exhibition and right idea dulge to and do many things of the truth or sound doc- contrary to the plain tenor of its trine, with respect to the all-im- doctrines and commands ; and portant article of the way or to live in the habitual neglect of terms of acceptance with God. many things which they ought Mistakes respecting this point to do, and which, according to are far more dangerous than the plain tenor of the scriptures, respecting many others. For if they are indispensibly bound to we essentially err and fail here, perform. Instances of this kind or ground our hopes on an es may be seen in those who think sentially different foundation to it right and warrantable to renthe rejection of the true, and, der evil for evil, in the way of persevere in the mistake, we are private or personal revenge-to lost for ever, however knowing hate and persecute their eneand orthodox we may be in ma-, miesto settle disputes and seek ny other points. What then satisfaction for insults and injucan be more important to man- ries, by duelling or other open kind, than a right understanding violence-to take advantage of and belief of the sound doctrine, the weakness, wants, or ignothe pure and uncorrupted truth rance of others, to advance their of the gospel, respecting the on- own interests at others' expense ly way of acceptance with God? to dissemble, and even to conAnd what, of course, can be more tradict the truth and utter falseimportant to be clearly and hood, when it appears to them plainly preached ?-Once more, highly necessary for their own
6. Sound doctrine is of great interest or safety--to neglect the importance, to assist us in judg- payment of their just debts, ing what we may and ought to though in their power to pay do, or to forbear and avoid. them, and to violate their con
Our own reason, depraved, tracts and engagements, when selfish, and prejudiced, as we it appears to them convenient are, is a very imperfect and de- and greatly conducive to their ceitful guide. Men, who form worldly interest—to neglect the their opinions of what they may support of the poorto withor ought to do or to forbear, in- hold or evade, as far as they can dependently of or without any without greater pecuniary loss, assistance from the sound doc- the legally required contributrine exhibited in the gospel, are Itions, for the support of governVOL. VI. NO. 4.
ment and defraying the expen-walking in craftiness, nor hand-
them, and give thein such a corThese observations will now that, through the attending pow
dial reception and entertairment, De closed with a few brief infer- er of the Holy Spirit, we may ences, naturally resulting from find them able to make us wise the whole that has been said.
to salvation through faith which -1. It may hence appear that is in Christ Jesus, and to fura large share of a gospel-minis- nish us thoroughly unto every ter's business, in point of preach- good work. ing, is to state and explain, ex
PAREPIDEMOS. hibit and inculcate the doctrine contained in the scriptures ; and to distinguish it clearly from the unsound, corrupt and false On Justification. principles and opinions, which
justification, and at the day the gospel should copy the apos- of retribution they will be opentolic example, by renouncing the ly acquitted in the presence of hidden things of dishonesty, not the assembled universe, and pro
dermine it. All preachers BELIEVERS are subjects of
nounced blessed. God will jus- j pel justification ; to which will tify them from motives of perfect be added several inferences.. benevolence; and infinite wisdom, The several things by which inflexible justice, and unbounded believers are said in the scripmercy will be equally maintain- tures to be justified are, ed by his holy decision. But
1. The grace of God. several things are necessary to render believers proper subjects we should be made heirs accord
Being justified by his grace for justification, and by tbese several things they are in a sense jus
ing to the hope of eternal life.” tified, as these will all vindicate.
2. The blood of Christ.
* Being justified by his blood the ways of Jehovah before the
we shall be saved from wrath intelligent universe, in that day through him.” when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed. Although the
3. Faith in Christ. scriptures plainly declare that “ A man is justified by faith.” believers are justified by several
4. Gracious words. things, yet it must not be under- “For by thy words thou shalt stood that they are justified by be justified.” each of those things in the same 5. Good works, sense, yet there must be a sense “ Ye see how that by works a in which they are really justified man is justified." by each of them, in order to dis-; Gospel justification stands opplay the harmony of the scrip- posed to condemnation, and suptures and the beauty of the di- poses the demands of the law vine government. It is proper satisfied in order to vindicate the to notice here that nothing is Judge in pronouncing justificadesigned to be understood in tion upon the ill deserving ; what follows, to exclude all from“ for grace reigns through rightfinal justification, who have not eousness.”. Believers are justiarrived to years of understand- fied first by the grace of God, ing or that remain in heathen- for, says the apostle,“ being jusish ignorance ; for God who tified by his grace, we should be commanded the light to shine made heirs according to the hope out of darkness can shine into of eternal life.” A gracious act, their hearts as he did into Cor- is favor shown to the ill deservnelius' while speculatively igno- ing. Believers are therefore ill rant of the way of salvation, and deserving as they are justified by the same almighty power freely by the grace of God. babes may be sanctified like Je- When man had violated the law. remiah, from their mother's of his God, and stood justly exwomb, and of such may be the posed to the threatened penalty, kingdom of heaven. But of which was eternal condemnation, those to whom much is given having no created eye that could much will be required.
pity, nor .created arm that could We shall now attempt to save, then was a time of God's point out in what sense believers love, for his own almighty arm are justified by each of those wrought salvation. He laid help things mentioned in the gospel, upon one that was mighty to and then notice the reason why save, one who could honor the law they are all necessary for gos- which man had broken, and suf