Imágenes de páginas

who searched the scriptures even upon a journey ; or of Cornelius, who fought the Lord in alms-givings, and prayer ; } if thou believest at all, {I fear] it is with the drunkard's faith, the whoremonger's faith, the devil's faith, James ii. 19. — From such a faith, may God deliver us, and give us, instead of this counterfeit, the faith once delivered unto the saints, the myfery of faith kept in a pure conscience ! Get it, О finner, who beareft a christian name, and Christ and heaven are thine : [but if thou] die without it, (whether it be by continuing in thy present fin and unbelief, or by making shipwreck of the faith,] thou diett the second death; thou finkest in the bottomless pit for evermore, Mark xvi. 16.

Having thus given you an account of both covenants, and laid before you the condition (or term] of each ; namely, for the first, a finless, uninterrupted obedience to all the commands of the holy, spiritual, [and Adamic] law of God, performed by ourselves i without the least mediatorial affistance:) and for the fecond, a lively faith in Christ (the light of the world, according to the gospel-dispensation we are under ; ] by which faith the virtue of Christ's active and passive obedience to the law [of innocence] being imputed to us, and applied to our hearts, we are made new creatures, born again, and created in Christ Jesus unto good works, without which there can be no lively faith (under any of the divine dispensations :) and having by that important distinction of the two grand covenants) removed a great deal of rubbish out of the way; I hope it will not be difficult to prove, under the


That the way of falvation by such a lively faith only, or, which is the same, by the covenant of grace [alone,] is the one way that leads to life, according to the bible and our articles of religion.

If you ask all the pharisees, all the self-righteous Heathens, Turks, Jews, and Papists in the world, which is the way of salvation ? [with too many ignorant Protestants] they will answer, (without making the least mention of repentance and faith] “ Thro' doing good works, and leading a good life:” That is, « Ibro’ the covenant of works ;” flatly contrary to what I have proved in the first part of this discourse; namely, that by the works of the law, by the first covenant, shall no flesh living be justifed, Gal. ii. 16. Or if they bave yet fome sense of modefty, if they are not quite loft in pride, [fuppofing them Chriftians) they will varnish over the blafphemy (which I fear is india rectly couched under their boasting speech, ) with two or three words about God's mercy. “Why, say they, it is to be hoped, we fall all be saved by endea“ vouring to lead good lives, and do good works : “ And if that will not do, God's mercy in Chrift will as do the rest.” Which means neither more nor less than this : “ We are still to be saved by the covenant

of works, by putting on, [finful and guilty as we " are,] the robe of our own [pharisaic, anti-evange“ lical, Chrifless] righteousness; and if it happen to “ be too short, or to have some holes, Christ (whom

we are willing to make the omega, but not the alpha; " the last, but not the first,) will in mercy tear his

(potless robe (of merits,] to patch up and lengthen « ours.” (And this they say, it is to be feared, without the least degree of genuine repentance towards God, and heart-felt faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.] O how

many dream of getting to heaven in this fool's coat, (this absurd dress of a christian Pharisee !] How many, by thus blending the two covenants, which are as incompatible as fire and water, try to make for themselves a third covenant, that never existed but in their proud imagination! In a word, how many are there, who say or think: We must be saved partly by (the covenant of ) works, and partly by (the covenant of ) grace ! giving the lic to God and my text ! overturning at once the gospel and protestantism! - No, no: if a remnant is saved, is by

covenant of gospel- ]grace; and if by [gospel-]grace, then it is

no more [by the covenant) of works ; otherwise grace is no more (gospel-]grace. But if it be [by the covenant) of works, then it is no more (gospel-grace ; otherwise work is no more [anti-evangelical] work: [for the moment obedience is the work of faith, it can no more be opposed to faith and gospel-grace, than the fruit of a tree can be opposed to the tree, and the fap by which it is produced.]

But, to the law and the teftimory ! Do the oracles of God, or the writings of our Retormers, direct us for salvation to the covenant of works, or to a third covenant of (anti-evangelical + ] works and [evangeli. cal) grace patched up together? Do they not entirely and invariably point us to the covenant of grace alone?

Hear first the word of the Lord. He chat BELIEVETH on the Son (according to the light of the difpensation he is under] hath everlasting life : He that beLIEVETH NOT, Jhall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him, John iii. 36. When the trembling jailer cries out, What must I do to be saved ? Paul and Silas answer, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, Acts xvi.

31. God so loved the world, says St. John, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BeLIEVETH in him, should nor perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 16. By GRACE, says St. Paul, ye are initially saved thro' Faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not [by the covenant] of works, (nor yet by the proper merit of any works,) left any man Mould boast (as the Pharisee;


(14) + I add the word anti-evangelical, to point out the rise of the mistake of some pious protestants, who, being carried away by an injudicious zeal for the first gospel-axiom, and milled by the conciseness of the Apostle's style, get upon the pinnacle of the antinomian, babel, and thence decry all works in general; unhappily quoting St. Paul in confirmation of their error. Although it is evident, that the Apostle never excluded from the gospel-plan of salvation by grace, any works but the works of urbelief, and sometimes pleaded for the works of faith, and for the immense rewards, with which they Mall be crowned, in far stronger terms than St. James himself; denouncing indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon EVERY SOVI. Of man that neglects them, or deth evil. Rom. ij.

[ocr errors]

all who despise the way of faith, and put the inftra. mental causes in the room of the first and properly me. ritorious cause of our salvation, being no better than boatling Pharisees.) For to him that worker) [without applying to the throne of grace, as an hell-deserving finner) is the reward not reckoned of [evangelical] grace, but of [legal) debt : but to him, that worketh not [upon the footing of the first covenant ;] to him, who lees that he cannot [escape hell, much less] get heaven, by [setting] his good works, [if he has any, on the Redeemer's throne ;] but believeth (as a loít finner,] on him that jufiificth the ungodly ; his FAITH is counted for righteoujness : he is saved by [obedient) faith, which is the CONDITION of the covenant of grace, Rom. iv. 4.

Thus speak the Scriptures, and, blessed be God! thus speak also our liturgy and articles.

In the absolution the priest declares, that [in the day of conversion] God pardoneth and absolveth, that is, saveth, (3 not those [moralifts] who (being alhamed to repent, and scorning to believe the gospel, endeavour to] lead a good life to get a pardon [by their own merits :) but all those, who truly repent and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel; that is, all those, who, by true repentance renounce [together with their fins] all dependance upon the covenant of works; and by a faith unfeigned fly for refuge only to (God's mercy in Chrift, which is so kindly offered to finners in) the covenant of grace. Hence it is that in the communion-service, we are commanded to pray, That, by the merits and death of Christ, and thro' faith in his blood, we and all the whole church, may obtain remision of fans, and all other benefits of his passion.

This holy doctrine is most clearly maintained, and strongly established in the ixth, xth, xith, xiith, and xiiith of our articles of religion. And upon these five pillars, it will remain unshaken, as long as the church of England shall stand.

The ixth thews, that fince the fall of Adam, the corruption of our nature deserves God's wrath and dum


nation;" so that [being considered without the free gift, that came upon all men in Chrift unto justification of life, Rom. v. 18.] we are, of ourselves, evil trees ready for the axe of death, and the fire of hell.

The xth adds, that we cannot consequently get grace and glory, that is, save ourselves, by bearing good fruit [thro' our original powers, according to the first covenant] because an evil tree can only produce evil fruit :

- [And, that «

we have no power to do works acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Chrift preventing us," according to the second covenant.).

The xith affirms, that we are saved, that is, accepted of God, changed, and made good trees, trees of the Lord's planting, only for the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works and deservings: as we can do no good works, before we are (at lealt] in a state of [initial] salvation, © Make the iree [in some measure] good, says our Lord, and its fruit shall [in some degree] be good. (In our infancy we are freely blessed with a seed of light from Chrisi, the light of men ; and at the same time, we are freely justified from the damning guilt of original corruption. As we grow up, and personally repent and believe in the light after a personal fall, we are again freely pardoned. Thus, so long at least as the accepted, and the day of salvation laft, ] God has firit [in some degree iespect to our persons in Chrift, and then to our sacrifices or works [of faith.) Heb. xi. 4.

The xiith declares, that good works, works which neceffarily follow (at least the] free justification (of infarto,] do not ferve to put away (or atone for] sin; but to declare the truth of our faith ; insomuch that ly them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a free discerned by che fruit." A tree is firit planted, and then it brings forth fruit : ( A believer is first saved, [i. e. freely made partaker of initial falvation) and inen he does good works. [A lively faith neceffarily producis them, tho' a believer does not neceffa

Gen. iv. 4, 5;

« AnteriorContinuar »