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victions, unattended by the Spirit of life, terntinate in self-pity, in hatred to truth, in hatred to the saints, in dishonesty at heart, in enmity to God, in love to human applause, in worldly grief, in infernal pride, and in desperate forrow. All of which are fruits unto death, or dead works. But the spirit of life from God quickening the foul and making intercession with unutterable groaning for it, and the wrath and terrors of God by the law blasting and withering all human glory, soun strips the finner of his rags, if it does not strip him of all reliance on his own arm, and always brings him to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and he labours hard to work one out; but, as soon as he hears from the gospel of Christ that there is such a thing to be had as an imputed righteousness, O how he longs for it! And sure I am that this divine life in the soul, which makes the finner hunger and thirst, shall terminate in his justification unto life. “For, if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Chrift.” Rom. v. 17. Selfrighteousness is the boalt and glory of every class of professors of natural religion; and nothing but an application of the law, attended with life and convictions by the Spirit, will ever stain this pride of human glory. « The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the Spirit of God

bloweth

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bloweth upon it.” Satan will prop up and swell · with pride every foul that trusts in himself that he is righteous, for such are his own children. All the scribes and pharisees among the Jews, whom Christ declared were of their father the devil, were such as went about to establish their own righteousness; but the righteousness of faith the hypocrite cannot endure: he is an enemy to God who provided it, to Christ who wrought it out, to the gospel which reveals it, to the Spirit who applies it, to faith which apprehends it and puts it on, to those ministers of righteousness which preach it, and to all that seek it or follow after it. In this best robe the Father embraces the returning fon; in this wedding-garment Christ receives his spouse; and the devil knows this and hates the match. If God justifies, who can condemn? This makes Satan's accusations and charges groundless, and faps the very foundation of his kingdom. Grace shall reign, but then it is “ through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. v. 21. When justification is past, glorification is sure ; whom God justifies, them he also glorífics ; and where the Sun of Righteousness rises, there he never goes down. All the time that Joshua stood before the Lord in the filthy garments of his own righteousness, Satan stood at his right hand to accuse him, reproach him, calumniate him, tempt him, confound him, and resist him. You

may

may fee here the insolence of the devil, in prefuming to take the upper hand even of God's high priest, and when in the presence of God, and when attending upon his function. But Satan pays no regard to sacred offices nor ecclesiastical orders; whether it be Joshua the high-priest under the law, or Judas the apostle under the gofpel, he will have the pre-eminence as long as the filthy rag of human righteousness is kept on and trufted in ; for “ as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” And“ he that believeth not is condemned already.” And this Jack Ketch will have the ascendency oyer malefactors. But, when the Lord said, “ Take away the filthy garments from him ;" and added, “ Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment;" this made the devil knock under and relinquish all claim to his prey. “ The Lord rebuke thee,

Satan; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ?". Zech. iii. 2. A brand plucked out of the fire, à rotten limb of a barren, corrupt, and dry tree, half burnt up: but now plucked out of the fire of divine wrath, and out of the fire of Satan's rage, and from the fire of hell. Hence it is plain that the devil hath no better column to his empire than self-righteousness. Witness the · many thousands that Satan has raised up to preach it among the Papifts, among the Arminians, among those of the establishment, and

among

among a great number of the diffenters: and no wonder, for, “.if Satan be divided against himfelf, how shall his kingdom stand ?" Another prop of Satan's kingdom, which the Lord demolishes, is

Falle confidence. Satan pays particular attention to this branch of his empire, for he knows that unbelief and damnation are inseparably connected ; and that wherever this pillar stands fast Satan is sçcure in his strong hold. This was the first feed of Satan that Eve conceived in her mind, and by this Satan usurped his power and authority, and where this stands fast Satan hath full poffeffion: “ He that believeth not is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him.” False confidence credits every lie that Satan applies, and gives the lie to all that God says, When God gives a man up to false confidence, it is that he may believe a lie and be damned. 2 Theff. ii. 11. And this is evident, look which way you will. Let Simon Magus give out to the city of Samaria that he is the great power of God, and the whole city believe it and respect the impostor ; let Barcocab tell the Jews that he is the Messiah, and he is received ; let the pope but promile absolution and heaven to a whole nation of natural men, and there are but few doubts or scruples about it; let the foldiers which kept watch over the Saviour's tomb tell Pilate, that when they were fast afleep they saw the disciples

of

no

of Christ sical away the body of our Lord, and he believes it as soon as the high priest begins to perfuade him. But, though this false confidence never staggers at a lie, yet it can give no credit to what God says. It makes God a liar.' i John v. 10. Yea, and speaks it out too. · Elisha told the Shunamite she should embrace a fon, and The faid, “ Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.” The same prophet predicts a measure of fine flour for a shekel, and two mcasures of barley for a Thekel, in Samaria; and an infidel replied, “ If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be.” Jesus said, “ I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness :" the Jews repliec, « Thou bearest record of thyself, thy record is not true." John viii. 12, 13. God told Eve, in the day that the ate of the tree of knowledge she should surely die; the devil told her she should not, but the should be as God- the cast away all the confidence the had in God's threatening, but cmbraced both the lies of Satan. This is one of the high things in Satan's strong hold that exalteth itself against God, and agaiuft the knowledge of him ; but Chrift, by the spiritual weapons of our warfare, pulls down Satan's strong hold, and this barrier of it among the rest. Whatever God sends with a divine energy to the souls of his elect, the grace of faith, by the Spirit, is one ins

gredient

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