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spectum,' righteous too. In which sense I understand those words, “ He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” Though it is indeed in him, yet the Lord looketh on him as clothed with the righteousness of Christ; and so is said not to see it, as the eye seeth the colour of the glass in the wall ; and therefore cannot behold that other inherent colour of its own, which yet it knoweth to be in it.
Now of this doctrine of justification, by Christ's righteousness imputed, we may make a double use. First, It may teach us that great duty of self-denial : we see no righteousness will justify us but Christ's; and his will not consist but with the denial of our own. And surely, whatever the professions of men in word may be, there is not any one duty in all Christian religion of more difficulty than this,--to trust Christ only with our salvation ; to do holy duties of hearing, reading, praying, meditating, almsgiving, or any other actions of charity or devotion, and yet still to abhor ourselves and our works; to esteem ourselves, after we have done all, unprofitable servants, and worthy of many stripes ; to do good things, and not to rest in them; to own the shame and dung of our solemn services; when we have done all the good works we can, to say, with Nehemiah, “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy ";" and with David, " To thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy, for thou renderest to every man according to his work u;” it is thy mercy to reward us according to the uprightness of our works, who mightest, in judgement, confound us for the imperfection of our works; to give God the praise of our working, and to take to ourselves the shame of polluting his works in us. There is no doctrine so diametrically contrary to the merits of Christ, and the redemption of the world thereby, as justification by works. No papist in the world is or can be more contentious for good works than we, both in our doctrine and our prayers, and in our exhortations to the people. We say, no faith justifieth us before God, but a working faith ; no man is righteous in the sight of men, nor to be so esteemed, but by works of holiness; without holiness no man shall see
• Numb, xpiii. 21.
t Neh. xiii. 22.
u Psal. lxii. 12
God; he that is Christ's, is “ zealous of good works,” purifieth himself even as he is pure, and walketh as he did in this world. Here only is the difference: We do them because they are our duty, and testifications of our love and thankfulness to Christ, and of the workings of his Spirit in our hearts ;-but we dare not trust in them, as that by which we hope to stand or fall before the tribunal of God's justice, because they are, at best, mingled with our corruptions, and therefore do themselves stand in need of a High-priest to take off their iniquity. We know enough in Christ to depend on; we never can find enough in ourselves. And this confidence we have, if God would ever have had us justified by works, he would have given us grace enough to fulfil the whole law, and not to have left a prayer upon public record for us every day to repeat, and to regulate all our own prayers by, Forgive us our trespasses. For how dares that man say, 'I shall be justified by my works, who must every day say, • Lord forgive my sin, and be merciful unto me a sinner!' Nay, though we could fulfil the whole law perfectly, yet from the guilt of sins, formerly contracted, we could no other way be justified, than by laying hold, by faith, on the satisfaction and sufferings of Christ.
Secondly, It may teach us confidence against all sins, corruptions, and temptations. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth ; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died,” &c. Satan is the blackest enemy, and sin is the worst thing he can allege against me, or my soul is or can be subject unto : for Hell is not so evil as sin ; inasmuch as Hell is of God's making, but sin only of mine. Hell is made against me, but sin is committed against God. Now I know Christ came to destroy the works, and to answer the arguments and reasonings, of the Devil. Thou canst not stand before God,' saith Satan, • for thou art a grievous sinner, and he is a devouring fire.'But Faith can answer, Christ is able both to cover and to cure my sin, to make it vanish as a mist, and to put it as far out of mine own sight as the East is from the West.'— • But thou hast nothing to do with Christ, thy sins are so many and so foul.'—' Surely the blood of Christ is more acceptable to my soul, and much more honourable and precious in itself, when it covereth a multitude of sins. Paul was a persecutor, a blasphemer, and injurious, the greatest of all sinners; and yet he obtained mercy, that he might be for a pattern of all long-suffering to those that should after believe in Christ. If I had as much sin upon my soul as thou hast, yet faith could unload them all upon Christ, and Christ could swallow them all up in his mercy.'— But thou hast still nothing to do with him, because thou continuest in thy sin.'— • But doth he not call me, invite me, beseech me, command me to come unto him? If then I have a heart to answer his call, he hath a hand to draw me to himself, though all the gates of Hell and powers of darkness, or sins of the world, stood between.'-' But thou obeyest not this call.'—* True indeed, and pitiful it is, that I am dull of hearing, and slow of following, the voice of Christ; I want much faith: but yet, Lord, thou dost not use to quench the smoking flax, or to break the bruised reed; I believe, and thou art able to help mine unbelief. I am resolved to venture my soul upon thy mercy, to throw away all my own loading, and to cleave only to this plank of salvation.'- But faith purifieth the heart; whereas thou art unclean still.'-'True indeed ; and miserable man I am therefore, that the motions of sin do work in my members. But yet, Lord, I hate every false way; I delight in thy law with my inner man; I do that which I would not, but I consent to thy law that it is good; I desire to know thy will, to fear thy name, and to follow thee whithersoever thou leadest me.' But these are but empty velleities, the wishings and wouldings of an evil heart.'— Lord, to me belongeth the shame of my failings, but to thee belongeth the glory of thy mercy and forgiveness. Too true it is that I do not all I should: but do I allow myself in any thing that I should not? Do I make use of mine infirmities to justify myself by them, or shelter my. self under them, or dispense with myself in them? Though I do not the things I should, yet I love them, and delight in them; my heart and spirit, and all the desires of my soul are towards them: I hate, abhor, and fight with myself for no: doing them; I am ashamed of mine infirmities, as the blemishes of my profession ; I am weary of them, and groan under them as the burdens of my soul : I have no lust, but I am willing to know it, and when I know, to crucify it. [. bear of no farther measure of grace, but I admire it, anz
hunger after it, and press on to it. I can take Christ and affliction, Christ and persecution together. I can take Christ without the world, I can take Christ without myself. I have no unjust gain, but I am ready to restore it. No time have I lost by earthly business from God's service, but I am ready to redeem it. I have followed no sinful pleasure, but I am ready to abandon it; no evil company, but I mightily abhor it. I never swore an oath, but I can remember it with a bleeding conscience. I never neglected a duty, but I can recount it with revenge and indignation. I do not in any man see the image of Christ, but I love him the more dearly for it, and abhor myself for being so much unlike it. I know, Satan, I shall speed never the worse with God, because I have thee for mine enemy. I know I shall speed much the better, because I have myself for mine enemy.' Certainly, he that can take Christ offered, that can in all points admit him, as well to purify as to justify, as well to rule as save, as well his grace as bis mercy,-need not fear all the powers of darkness, nor all the armies of the foulest sins, which Satan can charge his conscience withal.
The second great virtue and fruit of the priesthood of Christ was, ex redundantia meriti, from the redundancy and overflowing of his merit. First, He doth merit to have a church; for the very being of the Church is the effect of that great price which he paid : therefore the church is called a “purchased people ?." “ Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance." “ When he made his soul an offering for sin, he did by that means see his seed, and divide a portion with the great ?.” The delivering and selecting of the saints out of the present evil world, was the end of Christ's sacrifice. Secondly, He did merit all such good things for the church, as the great love of himself and his father towards the Church did resolve to confer upon it. They may, I conceive, be reduced to two heads: First, Immunity from evil, whatsoever is left to be removed after the payment of our debt; or taking off from us the guilt and obligation unto punishment. Such are the dominion of sin: “Sin shall not have dominion over you": -The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death :c He that committeth sin, is the servant of sin; but if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed':a. He that is born of God, doth not commit sin :" That is, he is not an artificer of sin, one that maketh it his trade and profession, and therefore bringeth it to any perfection. He hath received “ a spirit of judgement,” that chaineth up his lusts, and a "spirit of burning,” which worketh out lis dross ! --Such is the vanity of our mind, whereby we are naturally unable to think, or to cherish a good thought: The ignorance and hardness of our hearts, unable to perceive or delight in any spiritual thing": The spirit of disobedience and habitual strangeness and averseness from God i.-Such are also all those slavish, affrightful, and contumacious effects of the law in terrifying the conscience, irritating the concupiscence, and compelling the froward heart to an unwilling and unwelcome conformity. The law is now made our counsellor, a delight to the inner man: that which was a lion before, hath now food and sweetness in it.
y Psal. ii. 8.
2 Isai. liii. 10, 11, 12.
a Gal. i. 4
* 1 Pet. ii. 9. b Rom. vi. 14.
Secondly, Many privileges and dignities in the virtue of that principal and general one, which is our unity unto Christ: from whence, by the fellowship of his holy, and quickening spirit, we have an unction which teacheth us his ways, and his voice which sanctifieth our nature, by the par. ticipation of the divine nature; that is, by the renewing of God's most holy and righteous image in us, which sanctifieth our persons, that they may be spiritual kings and priests :Kings, to order our own thoughts, affections, desires, studies towards him ; to fight with principalities, powers, corruptions and spiritual enemies :-Priests, to offer up our bodies, souls, prayers, thanksgivings, alms, spiritual services upon that altar, which is before his mercy-seat, and to slay and mortify our lusts and earthly members; which sanctitieth all our actions, that they may be services to him and his church, acceptable to him, and profitable to others.
Secondly, From this unity with him grows our adoption, which is another fruit of his sacrifice. “ He was made of a
c Rom. viii, 2. d John viii. 34, 36. e John iii. 9. Mal. iii. 2, 3. Matth. ii. 3. 8 2 Cor. iii. 5. Ephes. iv. 17. Jolini, 5. Luke xxiv 25.45.
Ephcs. iv. 18. Job xx. 14.
f Isai. iv. 4. h Ephes. iv. 18.