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to suffer injuries. But, if thou art a sinner, why dost thou flee from the punishments ? And if thou dost not appear to thyself to deserve the name of sinner, why dost thou call thyself one ?-The glory of the righteous is, that they have “honour and peace” laid up for them: but the things that are laid to sinners are “ tribulation and anguish,” Rom. ii. 9, 10.
Those, therefore, who ascribe unto God righteousness, and unto themselves sin, with a true heart,- these are they who sacrifice those two sacrifices of righteousness commended in the scriptures. The one of which may be called the morning sacrifice : concerning which Ps. 1. 23, saith, “The sacrifice of praise will honour me: and that is the path wherein I will show him the salvation of God." The other is the evening sacrifice : concerning which Psalm li. 17, saith, “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” And perhaps this is what the verse before us signifies; which, in the Hebrew, has 'sacrifices' in the plural number ; “Sacrifice the sacrifices of righteousness:" so that it includes both sacrifices.
In every temptation, and under every injury, therefore, we are not to arrogate righteousness to ourselves and hold it fast, but to take it utterly from ourselves, and ascribe it unto God: and they that do not this, are immersed in self-excuses, accusations of their adversaries, self-justifications, and all kinds of judgings, detractings, strivings, quarrellings, contendings, brawlings, and those other works of the flesh which the apostle enumerates, Gal. v. And it comes to pass, that, by mutual bitings, such are consumed, not only in spirit, all love being lost, but not unfrequently in body also, by mutual slaughters and by possessions spent in litigations.
But you will say, perhaps, If Christians used always these sacrifices of righteousness, what would become of ordinances and laws ? But, we are for this end taught these sacrifices, that we might have no need of ordinances and laws. Thus, the King of Babylon acted lawlessly in leading the children of Israel captive, as the
is about sacred and divine zht, redeemed, sold, re-sold, andered away. Those lawyers at this day, the fountain of justice hereas, it ought more properly to
iniquity : for it is from thence that I the oblivion of those sacrifices of
of the knowledge of Christ proceed, ad themselves with such force and viout the whole world. In a word, Rome, ir more nearly resembles the kingdom of
kingdom of heaven. haps some will say, Be it so, that we give up usness and confess that we are sinners, and ourselves to all the desert of sinners: What Tre we to perish and die in our sins ? Does not ite sinners ? Into what peril dost thou draw us by y doctrine?-David answers you thus : Be of cheer: only hope in God. For thus the compai of Daniel did, chap. iii. (Three Children, chap.
Ipocrypha,)“ For we have sinned, and committed ity.” But afterwards, being raised up to hope, they 1, ver. 17, “ For they shall not be confounded that it their trust in thee.” This is what I before spoke upon From Isaiah xxx. 15, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” That is, We are not to avenge ourselves as if we were righteous, but are to suffer in Silence without tumult; confessing our sins, committing our cause into the hand of God, and expecting his mercy with a believing confidence. For he that shall come will come, and will execute judgment in favour of them that jury, and will avenge the
his strength perfect in our weakness. T
lence in our own righteousness be not
if we do not confess ourselves any and every evil, salvation and .ce in us; for God will only have
Three Children say, chap. i. 9, “ Thou hast delivered us into the hands of lawless enemies, most hateful forsakers of God, and to an unjust king, and the most wicked in all the world.” And yet King Zedekiah, and those who were left in Jerusalem, by resisting righteousness and expostulating with God, offended him much more. Whereas, those who, laying aside all boasting in their own righteousness, committed themselves unto God, greatly pleased him. So that, the latter were preserved, honoured, and multiplied in Babylon in the midst of enemies; while the former at Jerusalem, in the midst of friends, perished, were confounded, and decreased. Because, the latter of the captivity sacrificed the sacrifices of righteousness without cattle or any such things : but the former offered the sacrifices of cattle and of created things, without righteousness, because they wished to be righteous in themselves, and did not acknowledge their sins: whereas, those of the captivity did acknowledge their sins, and ascribed righteousness unto God.
From this, therefore, we understand, that all that chaos and dark abyss of forensic causes and Roman arts, together with the whole mass of books, waxen tables, morals, uses, ordinances, and all such judicial righteousnesses, are matters totally foreign to a Christian man; and have nothing to do with that holy life of the church which is in sincerity; and are only tolerated for the safety of the weak, that they may not do worse things in their desire of revenging themselves, and may not be overcome by the power of impatience. But at the present day, Rome and the episcopal senate, so wholly devote emselves to this judicial righteousness, that they not only imagine that righteousness rules there, but, for the sake of increasing this kind of righteousness, they even procure strife by strife; yea, they call to themselves the quarrels and contentions out of every corner of the whole world; so that there never was a senate-house of any Emperor, either gentile or profane, filled with such a confusion of affairs and causes; and those the most profane; and yet, (which may perhaps
excite a wonder) the whole is about sacred and divine things most basely bought, redeemed, sold, re-sold, taken by force, and squandered away. Those lawyers call the Roman senate, at this day, the fountain of justice and righteousness; whereas, it ought more properly to be called a deluge of iniquity: for it is from thence that the destruction and the oblivion of those sacrifices of righteousness and of the knowledge of Christ proceed, which have spread themselves with such force and violence throughout the whole world. In a word, Rome, at this day, far more nearly resembles the kingdom of hell than the kingdom of heaven.
But perhaps some will say, Be it so, that we give up all righteousness and confess that we are sinners, and condemn ourselves to all the desert of sinners : What then ? Are we to perish and die in our sins? Does not God hate sinners ? Into what peril dost thou draw us by this thy doctrine?---David answers you thus : Be of good cheer: only hope in God. For thus the companions of Daniel did, chap. iii. (Three Children, chap. 1. 6, Apocrypha,)“ Por we bave sinned, and committed iniquity." But afterwards, being raised up to hope, they say, ver. 17, “For they shall not be confounded that put their trust in thee." "This is what I before spoke upon from Isaiah xxx. 15, “ In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” That is, We are not to avenge ourselves as if we were righteous, but are to suffer in silence without tumult; confessing our sins, committing our cause into the hand of God, and expecting his mercy with a believing confidence. For he that shall come will come, and will execute judgment in favour of them that suffer injury, and will avenge the poor: and thus, God will make his strength perfect in our weakness. For, if our confidence in our own righteousness be not taken away, and if we do not confess ourselves șinners and worthy of any and every evil, salvation and bope can have no place in us; for God will only have respect unto the humble.