Imágenes de páginas



[ocr errors]

THE EVERLASTING Gospel. 63 « and from judgment.This was done, that a throne of grace might be erected, without any injury to Law or Justice. Justice and Judgment are the babitation of his throne; Mercy and Truth shall go before bis face. - Secondly, Judgment sometimes signifies God's arraigning an elect sinner at the bar of the Law, and appearing (according to the finner's views) in 2 judicial way against him: “He is convinced of all, “ he is judged of all; and thus are the thoughts of « his heart made manifest; and fo falling down on " his face, he will report that God is in you of a s truth.” Which trial ends in a fatherly chastife-. ment, and in the justification of the foul: “But when 'so we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, thac ** we should not be condemned with the world.”.

Thirdly, it signifies the Law of Faith, or the Gospel; which, to the believer, is the Saviour's judgment of him, of every body's state, and of every thing in doubt about his state—which the elect finner receives, in which he believes, to which he yields his obedience, by which he is ruled, by which he lives, by which he walks and worships, and by which he rules all his actions. " Hearken “ unto me, my people, and give ear to me, O my « nation; for a Law shall proceed from me, and I “ will make my judgment to rest for a light of the 6 people.” Ifa. li. 4.


[ocr errors]

Fourthly, It signifies the inward and righteous sentence of a person who knows the Scriptures, and the power of God; who JUDGES not according to appearance, but judges righteous JUDGMENT. For the want of which the Saviour rebuked the Jews: “Nor “even of your own felves judge ye not what is right?"

Fifthly, It signifies the knowledge that a saint has of God, of his word and ways, and of his own worShip, faith and practice; for the want of which the ignorant are complained of: “ There is no JUDG. “ment in their goings.

Sixthly, It signifies Thewing the sentence of Scrip ture, between any of God's children who may have a do&trine, a practice, or a wrong, in dispute. “What, “ is it so, that there is not one wise man among you, " that is able to judge between his brother? but « brother goeth to law with brother, and that before " the unbelievers ?”

Seventhly, It fignifies the judicious proceedings of a juft Judge, who has his eye to God and to justice, and accepts no man's person in judginent. For the want of which integrity God complains: “How “ long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the per*** sons of the wicked? Ye shall be destroyed, every " one of you.” Hence wrong judgment proceedeth. By this first weighty matter of the Law, the Saviour fhews, in a spiritual sense, that when the finner's mouth is stopped, himself brought in guilty before God by the Law, and he is justified by faith

[ocr errors]

new, that

in his Surety's righteousness; that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in him, and that all other branches of righteousness spring froin hence: which is, in effect, telling us, that whatsoever is not of faith is fin; and that he that believes not shall be damned, be who he may, or do what he will. I come to the second general head, or weighty requirement of the Law, which is

Mercy. Mercy, here, is intended to shew, that all good to men, all good in men, all good by men, and all good from men, is owing to the sovereign clemency of Heaven. Mercy is a perfection, or attribute, of God, which in a way of providence, or in a way of grace, is exercised over all his works. Sometimes it fignifies God's kind providence: God give you mercy,” says Jacob to his sons, before the man." Gen. xliii. 14. And again, Abraham's fervant observes it, in his success of taking Rebekah to Ifaac: “God hath not left destitute my master of “ his mercy.Gen. xxiv. 27. But, in a spiritual sense, God Thews it in the gift of his Son, and in the pardon of fins: “God hath raised us up a horn of ,“ salvation, in the remembrance of his mercy, (Luke, “1. 54.) to give the knowledge of salvation, by the “ remission of sins, through the tender mercies of “ our God.” Luke i. lxxvii. 78. Deliverance from the curse of the Law, from the power of fin, and from the precept, De, and live, and all this by the Spirit of God, is called Mercy revealed: “But ac- 8


MORAL LAW NOT INJURED BY “ cording to his mercy he saved us, by the washing “ of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Tit. iii. s. Preaching the pure Gospel faithfully; revealing the whole counsel of God, and not fainting in it through opposition, temptation, and persecution, that may befal us in exercising the mercy (of God received) in the discharge of the ministry, is owing to mercy: Having obtained mercy, we faint not. Receiving courage to be faithful and fingular in an apostate and degenerate age, is owing to the Inercy of God: Having obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, 1 Cor. vii. 25. This is the fure mercies of David given to Christ, and entailed upon the houshold of Faith by the decree of God, which secures the salvation of all the elect; and in their glorification Mercy will be built up for ever. He, therefore, that is a stranger to the mercy of God in the gift of his Son, and to the knowledge of salvacion, by the pardon of lin; a stranger to regeneration, by the gift of the Spirit; is a stranger to, and desticute of, this weighty matter of the Law. He is in his sin, a wicked man, and the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel, therefore little worth. Such a man fees not the End of the Law, that it was intended to train a sinner up to mercy, and to shew him the need of mercy. And he is a ftranger to the door of hope that God threw open by Moses, when he prophesied of Christ, and said, God will be mercifal to whom he will be merciful. I go to the next weighty rement, which is

Faith. For although the Law is not of Faith, nor Faith of the Law, yet the word of Faith, and the righteousness of Faith; are witnessed both by the Law and the Prophets. Besides, the whole Old Testament is often included in the word Law: “ But this cometh to pass, that it might be fulfilled " that is written in their Law, They hated me witb. « out a cause.Which words stand in the Psalms; and in which it appears plain that Jesus himself is one of the brethren that the Pharisees were angry with without cause. Furthermore, the Lord brings in Faith as a weighty matter of the Law, because the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in them that believe, and without Faith it is impossible to please God; and because Faith goes before Love, and al. ways works by it: which Love is the fulfilling of the Law; for it is the grand hinge upon which hang all the Law and the Prophets, and without which no works can be performed but dead works, no obedience can be given to God, nothing but the eye-service of a bond Nave. Faith is a blessed fruit of the Spirit, and is produced under his operation. It generally lays a fast hold of the Law and the Justice of God first; and the finner believes that he is the character described and condemned by the Law: he views it and feels it in all it's fpiritual meaning and dreadful consequences : I have bee « lieved thy commandments,says the Psalmist. He believes, and crembles, and calls upon God in his

E 2


« AnteriorContinuar »