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unbelief, its ten thousands. It blinded the pharisees, and hardened the Jews against Chrift. † It planges into everlasting fire all nominal christians, who have a form of godliness but (to the last] deny the power thereof.

Yea, strange as the assertion may seem to some, this (pernicious error] feeds immorality, and secretly nourishes all manner of vice. The scripture tells us, 1 Cor. vi. 9, that neither fornicators, nor effeminate, neither thieves, nor covetous, neither drunkards nor revilers, neither unrighteous nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Now how comes it to pass, that so many, who are guilty of one or another of those abominations, remain as easy as if they were guiltless! Why, this damnable notion, that the merit of their works atones for the guilt of their fins, makes them think, that they shall do well enough in the end. “! get drunk now and then, says one, but I am honest."

- I oppress or cheat my neighbour, says another, but I go to church and facrament."

" I love money or diversions above all things, says a third, but I bless God, I am neither a thief nor a drunkard." passionate and swear sometimes, says a fourth, but my heart is good, and I never keep malice in my breast; besides, I'll repent and mend some time or other before I die.” - Now the sum of all those pleas amounts to this: “I do the devil's works, but I do good works too. I am guilty of one piece of wickedness, but not of all: and I hope, that, thro' the merit of the good which I do, and of the evil which I have left undone hitherto, or purpose to leave undone by and by, Chrift will have mercy upon me.


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+ Here I leave out those words : “ It [the pharisaic conceit of merit] damned the foolish virgins, and the man who had not on a wedding garment.And I do it, because, upon second thoughts, it ap

pears to me, that the boldness of the foolish virgins, and the insolence of the man, who pressed to the marriage-feast without a proper dress, exactly represent the vain confidence, with which immoral Solifidians cry Lord! Lord! and make a shining profession in the robe of selfimputed righteousness ; despising the evangelical robes of real righteoulness and true holiness, and calling them cobwebs spun by spiders out of their own bowels,

God's mercy :

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Thus all our (pharifaic +) delays of converfion, and all our [self-righteous +] remorseless going on in fin and wickedness, are founded upon the doctrine of (pharifaic) merits. Well then may our Church call ita devilim doctrine, which is mere blasphemy agaiuft

a doctrine, which turns Christ out of his throne [by refusing him the honour of being the primary and properly meritorious cause of our falva. tion:) a doctrine which [by crooked ways] leads firft to [worldly-mindedness or licentiousness, as the conduit of many, who cry op the [self-righteous) merit of good works [fo called) too plainly thews; and next !o pharisaic morality and formality; and from both, except (a timely submiflion to] converting grace prevent it, into endless misery: for, No doubt, says Bishop Latimer in his sermon on twelfth day, he that departesh out of this world in that opinion [or, as he expresses it in the same paragraph, thofe who's think to be saved by the law,” by the first covenant] “Mall never come :0 heaven :" [For they set their hearts against Christ; and, like the obftinate pharisees of old, not only mistake the works of unbelief for good works ; but give them also the place of the primary, meritori0915 cause of eternal salvation; when, if they were the works of faith, they would only be a secondary evidence ing cause of it. Now, as such men cannot possibl ydo this, without the greatest degree of spiritual pride, impenitency, and unbelief; it is plain, that, if they die confirmed in this grand antichristian error, they cannot be saved : for St. Paul informs us that pride is the condemnation of the devil; and our Lord declares, that except we repent we Mall all perish, and that he who believeth not shall be damned.]

+ I add the words pbarifaic and self-righteous, to come at Mr. Fulsome and his numerous fraternity, whom I now should be glad to convince of their remorseless going on in lin, and of their antironian delays of conversion,


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(Having thus laid before you the destructive nature of self-righteousness,] it is time to come to the last. thing proposed, which was to show, why good works cannot (properly speaking) deserve salvation in whole or io part; and to answer the old cavil,

If good works cannot save us; [by the + covenant of works why. Thould we trouble ourselves about them.” [In doing the former, I fall attempt to give pharifaism a finihing stroke: and in doing the latter, I shall endeavour to guard the scriptural doctrine of grace against antinomianism, which prevails almost as much among professed believers, as pharifaism does among profeffed moraliits.

And first, that good works cannot [ftri&tly speaking] merit salvation in part, much lets altogether, I prove by che following arguments,

(1) We must be wholly saved by the covenant of works, or by the covenant of grace ; my text Thewing most clearly, that a third covenant made up of [Chriftless] merits [according to the first, ] and divine mercy {according to the second,] is as imaginary a thing in divinity, as a fifth element made up of fire and water would be in natural philosophy. I

(2) There is lefs proportion between heavenly glory and our works, than between the sun and a mote thar Aies in the air : therefore to pretend, that they will avail towards (purchasing or properly meriting] heaven, {see the 5th note] argues want of common sense as well as want of humility:

(3) God (33) † This is strictly true ; nevertheless we must grant, that as cold water, when it is pút over the fire in a proper vessel, imbibes fiery heat, and boils without damping the fire : fo our works of faith, when they are laid with proper humility on the golden altar of Christ's merits, are fo impregnated with his diffufive worth, as to acquire a rewardable condecency unto eternal lift : And this they do without mixing in the least with the primary, or properly meritorious cause of our salvation ; and consequently without obscuring the Redeemer's glory.

1 That the works of faith fave us by the covenant of grace (next to Christ and Faith] will be proved in the Scriptural Eljaz.

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in a way that excludes [ juft, and the justifier of hin is boasting then? says th fwers he: By what cove faic] boasting excluded No, but by the law of fai whose condition is (per cnt] faith in Jesus Chrif he, that a man is justified the law. Rom. iii. 27, 2 perly speaking] deserve we may juftly boaft thá part of the victory; and jy] to glory in ourselve which say, that every mo ing is excluded, and tha The Lord, t

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ang it, I shall guard the doctrine of obedience against Le antinomians.]

As this quibbling argument may puzzle the simple, und make the boasting pharisees, that use it, triumph is if they had overturned the protestant doctrine of alvation by faith without [the] works [decried by t. Paul;] i beg leave to Thew its weakness by a comnarison.

Suppose you said to me, “ Your doing the work »f a parith-priest will never (merit] you an archbihoprick ;” and I answered with discontent, “lf ioing my office will never (merit) me the fee of Can. erbury, why should I do it at all? I need not trouble nyself about preaching any more;” would you not k me whether a clergyman has no reason to attend iis flock, but the wild and proud conceit that his la. bour muit (deserve t] him a bishoprick. And I ark in my turn ; Do you suppose, that a christian has no motive to do good works, but the wilder and prouder notion, that his good works muft [properly speaking meritj him heaven? [see the 5th note. )

If therefore I can Thew, that he has the strongest motives, and inducements, to abound in good works without the doctrine of [proper] merits; I hope you will drop your objection. You say, “ If good works will never ( properly merit us salvation, see the 5th note] why thould we do them?" I answer, For fix good reasons, each of which [in some degree 1 ] oversurns your objection.

(1) R7 We

(38) + This illustration is not strictly just. If the king had milions of bishopricks to give, and if he had promised to bestow one upon 'very diligent clergyman ; folemnly declaring that all who neglect their harge, should not only miss the ecclefiaftical dignity annexed to dili. ence, but be put to a shameful death as fo many murderers of souls, le cases would then be exactly parallel. Besides, every clergyman

not a candidate for a bishoprick, but every man is a candidate for paven. Again, a clergyman may be as happy in his parfonage as a hop in his palace : but if a man misies heaven, he sinks into hell, hele glaring truths I overlooked when I was a LATE evangelical "acber.'

Formerly I said [entirely] but experience has taught me otherwise,

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