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1 John 2, 1.
fed Saviour , tby blood was shed for the remiffion of finnes, and thou haft inviced all that are heavy laden to come winto thee, and thou wilt cafe shem: Thou sayeft, if any man finne, he hath an advocate with the Faber , Pesus Cbrift ihe righteous, and he is the propiciation for finnes. Now I am ihus and chus sinful, and these guiles fie up.n my conscience, I am nevet a. ble to get them to be pardoned for any thing in me, but I do put my soul upon thee, and do trust to thee to get off these finnes, I put them on thy sccount, yca all of them, and do be. leeve chat in chiy blood they shall be pardoned, &c.
Ow for the second thing which faicti looks on in Chrift,
and that is Righteousneffe. Beloved, cbis know, that God doch never Juftifa á man, nor will ever (ave a man who hath not a perfe&t Righteousnesc, for hic is a Righreon God, and will nor pronounce cbe finner goiloleffe; his Law and Puffice must be facisfred in all points, or elle che Ginner shall never come to heaven.
Now the lout of a person is marvelloufly distressed, when it seriously chinks of this ; How shall I stand before the great and Holy God another day, being By nature so wholly sinful, and ac the beft being but defectively and imperfe&tly good? But faith in rbis cale Brings the four to Christ, and in him it findes a most perfe&t and abot'ure righteousnesse: For whom fåicb the scrupulous foul for chee, faith Faith; what for me? yea for thee,
for etie Scripture faitli, That Cbriff was made the righteousne Te of God form, and that he was made finne for us, ibae na mighe be made the righteousnesle of God in him. So that if thou wouldnt Have such a rigtireousnesfe, as may answer the Law,and satisfie God, and which God will accept for Juftification : Thou must by faictt get out of Hyself, and lay: hold on that righteousness which is in Chrift: "As Paul, I account all things bui dung has I'may win Cbrift, and be found in him, not having mine amnrigbo teomnesse which is of the Land, but that which is through ibe faith of Christ, the righteousnegle, which is of God by Fairb Phil. 3.8,9.
There is a twofold righteousnesse.
Onc inherent, whicb is in us, and this imperfe&t, it can acver justifie us in the sight of God.
Another is impuled, wbich is not in us, yet it is for us; And this is the righteousnesse of Jesus Claris, both in his nature, and in his obedience; Altive, and Passive, which God reckons unto him who doch beleeve in Cbrift, of which the Apostle abundantly in Rom.4.1 2.0.5. & on this doth faith reft only in the matter of justicacion. Though inherent righteousnesse be abfoJutely required. co salvation, yet no righteousnesic bot that only which is Christs, and is impuced to beleevers, is the matter of our justification. When a fioner comes to account it with God, he can never say, Lord, Lo here I am, see if there be any fin in my person, or defed in my holinesic, I will expoftulate wich thee upon bare termes; I have not offended thee, or if I have,here's grace enough to answer for me, my heart is whola ly cleane, my duties at all times in every respect, for maccer and manner, have been performed just as thou requirest in thy holy Law, enter into judgement with me ifthou pleafelt; I will be tryed by my own bolinelle, by my own goodnefse. 0.no, chere can be no such thing, no fioner can be pro nounced just this way, cver the Saints must saft obeir crowns te the ground, and give glory so the Lamb who only is woreby. For when we come to the point of justification before God, we must renounce our own rightoamne fe as fileby rags, we must cry ont, enter not into judgement wichtboy
Servane, for insby fagle Ball no flesha living bejuftified.
But as they who were in danger, fled to the bornes of the Altar for their lives, so must we, if we would be justified, fly by faith to the Altar of Christs perfect righteousnesle, and so doch faith, when it would present the person of a finner perfed and onblameable before God; I doth bring him unto Chrift, and faich before God, i beleeve in him to be the Lurd my rigbeeonsneffa
How it may appeare, that to believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved.
Efore I give you the arguments or Reasons to evince this, I must premise some particulars, viz.
First, That beleeving, or faith,may be con Gidered four wayes; either,
1. Absolutely, as a simple habit, or quality
of grace, apt to change the unbelievingacsle 3. Premises, of the heart, and to send forth the ads of trusting and accep.
tance. Thus faith is not the only way of salvation, partly becaufe orher habits are required as well as faith, and partly because there is not in faith, (absolutely considered) any meritorious dignity (of it felf) to challenge salvation. We say that a Ring is worth a hundred pound, noe absolutely considered, not char the gold which makes the Ring, amounts co that ya. lue, but in respect of the Diamond set in that Ring; fo faith is a grace of wonderful price (much more precious then gold) Nor so much in refpe&t of ic self, as if it did by its own natural dig. nity : cause our Juftification, and falvation, but in respect of Chrift, whole person it takes, and on whose' rightcousnelle it doth rely; fo though this be true, we are justified by faith, yet chis is as true, we are not justified for fairb, t'w for Christ, on whom faich doth trust.
2. AEtually, (that is) for the very act of beleeving: Arininiws, and Birtiw, and some of that cur,do lay, That not the righseousnesle of Christ is chai which justifieth, but the act of bejeeving on it, is that which is impžied in our Justification. A righteousnesse of Cbrift they do grant, but 'cis the act of our beleeving on this, which (by divine acceptation or favour)
is impured, for. righteou'ne ile ; but this is a roiten opia:
Becaufe-first, it makes void the righteousnesfe of Chrif: by
Secondly, no works of ours, beiore or after grace, do justifie us, but the act of faith is one of theic.augo,
3. Correlatively (chat is) with relation to Christ and his righteousnesse, and in this respect faith is the onely way: one faith well, faith doth not justific as an action, but as a passion bis Bucer, meaning is chis, not faith apprebending, but the thing apprebended by faith doch justifie: It is true, I must by faith apprehend Chrift if I will be saved; but it is not the apprehension which saves, but he who is apprehended is the cause of my falvacion. If I were like to be drowned in the water, I must put forch my band to him, who stands and reachech out his hand unto me; yet it is not the meer putring forth of my hand which saves me from drowning, but his hand which is laid hold on by mine, which draws me forehi, and so I an preserved; both mustmeer, but the cause is in him.
4. Inftrumentally, or in refpe&t of office; you know well how to distinguish twixt actions a man doth as a man,and adions which a man doth as an officer : If a man be condemned, and ready for execution, and one comes from the King with the message of pardon, the delivering of this message is an ad of his employment and office, not of his ablolute nature as a man only. Thus it is with faith, it sends out some actions, as an absolule grace, and io performes others as a grace in office, as an inftrument designed and de puced ; lc juftifies us in chis latter respeA; nor that it is the matter or cause which cleares all for us with God,'but because it is the instrument, taying hold on him who doth this for us : As the hand.is faid to cloach the body, not chat the hand is any cloaching (for a man doth not weare his hand) but because it is the instrument to put on our cloaching; or as che.cup is said to quench our cbirst, not that the metral of the cup can go down and facisfie that nicural appecice," but because it holds that wine or liquor which coth quench; so doth faiih juffifie a linner, not as:
che obje&t, not as the cause, but as the instrumeni (chat is ) as the hand of the soule, laying hold on the Robes of Christ's rightearsneffe, putting on chae gatment of his, and as an inftrument, receiving, and bolding, and bringing to the foul that precious blood of Christ, which onely can immediately)facisfie
God, and appease a sbirsty confcience. A twofold re
2. Againe we must dillinguish of the manner and peculiar ference of
babitudes, or respect of things unto salvation; some things things.
have a reference to falvation by way of proper caufaling, which have in them a meritorious reason, for the proper dignity of which a person is justified and saved; And in chis respect we say, that beleeving in Jesus Christ is she only method, and way of salvation. Noc that faich can (from its own worth) dispute and challenge from God, but because 7efus Chrift, (who is che object of faith)bath as a cause mersted our pardon , juftification and falvacion,
Other things have a reference by way of order ; As suppose a man were to be Knighred by the King, co obraine chis Knighchood, he must come to the Court, and stoop down on his knce, and so reccive that honqur ; This acceffe co the Court, and humbling on his knee, is not a matcer of meric or cause, but boly of order and condition: In this later refpe&t , we deny not but good works look comards salvation and are required chereto. Not as any.came (Christ only is the came)but as conditions,
and erdar 11. fteps, and wayes, which we most tread, if we will be Bernard.
faveds via ad regnum,non causa regnandi.
When we fay, thac beleeving in Christ Jesus is the onely War to be saved; you must not understand it lo, as if no other
grace were required from a man but faith only, but chus, There is no other grace which layes hold on Chrif(who is the cause of saja vacion ) but faith only. As it was with che father of the Prodigal, when be mer bis Sonne, falling down on his knees, he presently forgave him: but before he brought him into bis
' boule, be did cloath him with ober garments: So doth God our Father, upon our humbling and believing, freely conter on us reu miffion of fins for his Chrifts fake; yet before be brings us to heaven, he docb inveft our fouls with the singular graces of his holy Spirit; yea, though justificarima be noc. sanétification, yet where God doch the one ,' he ever beftowes and works the