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Will our great Creditor deny himself;
And for full payment take our filthy pelf?
Dispense with justice, to let mercy vent?
And stain his-royal crown with 'minish'd rent?
Unworthy thought! O let no mortal clod
Hold fuch base notions of a glorious God.
Heav'n's holy cov’nant, made for human race,
Consists, or whole of works, or-whole of grace.
If works will take the field, then works must be
For ever perfect to the laft degree:
Will God difpenfe with lefs? Nay, fure he won't
With ragged toll his royal law affront.
Can rags, that Sinai flames will foon dispatchs
E'er prove the fiery law's adequate match?
Vain man must be divorc'd, and choose to take
Another husband or a burning lake.
We find the divine volume no where teach
New legal terms within our mortal reach.
Some make, though in thefacred page unknown.
Sincerity affume perfe&tion's throne :
But who will boast this bafe usurper's fway,
Savé ministers of darkness, that display
Invented night to stifle fcripture day?
The nat’ralist's fincerity is naught,
That of the gracious is divinely taught;
Which teaching keeps their graces, if fincere,
Within the limits of the gofpel sphere,
Where vaunting, none created graces sing,
Nor boast of streams, but of the Lord the springe
Sincerity's the foul of ev'ry grace,
The quality of all the ransom'd race: -
Of promis'd favour 'tis a fruit, a clause;
But no procuring term, no moving cause.
How unadvis'd the legal mind confounds The marks of divine favour with the grounds,
And qualities of covenanted friends
With the condition of the cov'dant blends?
Thus holding gofpel truths with legal arms,
Mistakes new-covinant fruits for fed'ral terms.
The joyful found no change of terms allows,
But change of persons, or another fpouse.
The nature fame that finnd mult de and die;
No milder terms in gospel-offers lie.
For grace no other law abatment fhews,
But how law-debtors may restore its dues ;
Restore, yea, through a Surety in their place,
With double int'rest and a better grace.
Here we of no new terms of life are told,
But of a husband to fulfil the old ;
With him alone by faith we're call'd to wed,
And let no rival * bruik the marriage-bed.
Mens vain attempt to seek Life by Christ's righ
teousness, joined with their own ; and legal hopes natural to alt.
UT fill the bride reluctant disallows
The junior suit, and hugs the senior spouse. Such the old felfish folly of her mind, So bent to lick the dust, and grasp the wind, Alledging works and duties of her own May for her criminal offence atone; She will her antic dirty robe provide, Which vain the hopes will alf pollutions hide. The filthy rags that faints away have flung, She holding, wraps and ipls herself in dung.
Thus maugre all the light the gofpel gives,
Unto her nat-ral confort fondly cleaves.
Though mercy set the royal match in view,
She's loth to bid her ancient mate adieu.
When light of scripture, reason, common fense,
Can hardly mortify her vain.pretence,
To legal righteousnefs; yet if at laft
Her conscience rous'd begins to stand aghaft,
Press'd with the dread of hell, she'll ralhly patch,
And halve a bargain with the proffer'd match;
In hopes his help, together with her own,
Will turn to peaceful smiles the wrathful frown.
Though grace the rising Sun delightful fings,
With full salvation in his golden wings.
And righteousness complete; the faithless foud,
Receiving half the light, rejects the whole;
Revolves the sacred page, but reads purblind
The gospel-message with the legal mind.
Men dream their state, ah! too, too slightly
Needs only be amended, not renew'd; [view'd,
Scorn to be wholly debtors unto grace,
Hopeful their works may meliorate their cafe.
They fancy present prayers, and future pains
Will for their former failings make amends:
To legal yokes they bow their servile necks.
And, least soul flips their false repose perplex,
Think Jesus' merits make up all detects.
They patch his glorious robe with filthy rags,
And burn but incense to their proper drags *,
Disdain to use his righteousness alone,
But as an aiding stirr‘p to mount their own;
'I hus in Christ's room his rival self enthrone,
And vainly would, dresséd up in legal trim,
Divide salvation 'tween themselves and him..
Hab. i. 16
But know, vain man, that to his share mult fall
The glory of the whole, or none at all.
In bim all wisdom's hidden treafures lie *
And all the fulness of the Deity to
This store alone, immenfe, and never spent,
Might poor infolvent debtors well content;
But to hell-prilon juftly Heav'n will doom
Proud fools that on their petty stock prefume.
The foftest couch that gilded natare knows,
Can give the waken'd confcience no repose.
When God arraigns, what mortal power can
Beneath the terror of his lifted hand. (stand
Our safety lies beyond the natéral line, .
Beneath a purple covert all divine.
Yet how is precious Christ, the way, despisód,
And high the way of life by doing priz'd!
But can its vot‘ries all its levy show?
They prize it most, who least its burden know :
Who by the law in part would save his foul,
Becomes a debtor to fulfil the whole 1.
It's priséner he remains, and without bail,
‘Till ev'ry mite be paid; and if he fail,
(As sure he must, fince, by our sinful breach,
Perfection far surmounts all mortal reach),
Then cursd for ever muft his soul remain :
And all the firik of God must say, AMENS.
Why, seeking that the law should help afford,
In honouring the law, he flights its Lord.
Who gives his law fulfilling righteousness
To be the naked finner's perfect dress,
In which he might with spotless beauty shime
Before the face of majesty divine:
Yet, lo! the finner works with mighty pains
A gatment of his own to hide his stains;
* Col. ii. 3. :ť Col. ii. 2. | Gal. v. 3. g Deut. xxvii.
Ungrateful, overlooks the gifts of God,
The robe wrought by his hand, dy'd in his blood.
In vain the Son of God this web did weave,
Could our vile rags sufficient shelter give :
In vain he ev'ry thread of it did draw,
Could finners be o’ermantled by the law.
Can men's salvation on their works be built,
Whose faireft actions nothing are but guilt?
Or can the law fupprefs th' avenging fame,
When now its only office is to damn?
Did life come by the law in part or whole,
Bleft Jesus dy'd in vain to fave a foul.
Those then who life by legal means expect,
To them is Christ become of no effect ;*
Because their legal mixtures do in fact
Wisdom's grand project plainly counteract.
How close proud carnal reasoning's combine,
To frustrate sov'reign grace's great design?
Man's heart by nature weds the law alone,
Nor will another paramour enthrone.
True, many seem by course of life profane, No favour for the law to entertain But break the bands, and cast the cords away, That would their raging lusts and passions stay. Yet ev'n this reigning madness may declare, How strictly wedded to the law they are; For now (however rich they fesxrd before) Hopeless to pay law-debt, they give it o'er, Like desp'rate debtors mad, still run them
felves in more. Despair of success thews their Itrong defires, Till legal hopes are parch'd in lustful fires. • Let's give, lay they, our lawless will free scope, * And live at random, for there is no hope *.' * Gal. ii. 21. V. 2, 4.
+ Jer. xviii. 12.