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sending his only Son to call us to repentance, and to die to obtain for us pardon, and resurrection, and eternal life ; sending his Holy Spirit by rare arguments, and aids external and internal, to help us in our spiritual contentions and difficulties. So that we have nothing of our own, and therefore can challenge nothing to ourselves. But besides these considerations, many sins are forgiven to us, and the service of a whole life cannot make recompense for the intimate favour of receiving pardon: especially since, after our amendment and repentance, there are remaining such weaknesses and footsteps of our old impieties, that we who have daily need of the divine mercy and piety, can not challenge a reward for that which in many degrees needs a pardon; for if every act we do should not need some degrees of pardon, yet our persons do in the periods of our imperfect workings. But after all this, all that we can do, is no advantage to God; he is not profited or obliged by our services, no moments do thence accrue to his felicities; and to challenge a reward of God, or to think our best services can merit heaven, is as if Galileo when he had found out a star which he had never observed before, and pleased himself in his own fancy, should demand of the grand signior to make him king of Tunis: for what is he the better, that the studious man hath pleased himself in his own heart, and the Turkish empire gets no advantages by his new argument? And this is so much the more material, if we consider that the littleness of our services (if other things were away) could not countervail the least moment of eternity: and the poor countryman might as well have demanded of Cyrus to give him a province for his handful of river-water, as we can expect of God to give us heaven as a reward of our good works. '.
22. XVI. But although this rule, relying upon such great and convincing grounds, can abolish all proud expectations of reward from God as a debtor for our good works, yet they ought not to destroy our modest confidence and our rejoicings in God, who by his gracious promises hath not only obliged himself to help us if we pray to him, but to reward us if we work. For 6 our God is merciful, he rewardeth every man according to his work :" so said David b;' according to the nature and graciousness of the works, not according to their value and proper worthiness; not that they deserve it, but because God for the comniunication of his goodness was pleased to promise it. “ Promissum quidem ex misericordiâ sed ex justitiâ persolvendum,” said St. Bernard : “ Mercy first made the promise, but justice pays the debt.” Which words were true, if we did exactly do all that duty to which the reward was so graciously promised ; but wherë much is to be abated even of that little which was upon us by so glorious promises of reward, there we can in no sense challenge God's justice, but so as it signifies équity, and is mingled with the mercies of the chancery. “ Gratis promisit, gratis reddit.” So Ferus. “God promised freely; and pays freelyd."-". If therefore thou wilt obtain grace and favour, make no mention of thy deservings. And yet let not this slacken thy work, but reinforce it, and enlarge thy industry, since thou hast so gracious a Lord :" who of his own mere goodness will so plentifully reward it.
y Consil. Arausic. 2. c. 18. Debetur merces bonis operibus : sed gratia quæ non debetur, præcedit ut fiant.
2 Job, xxxv. 7. a Rom. viii. 18. b Psal. lxii, 12.
23. XVII. If we fail in the outward work, let it be so ordered, that it be as little imputable to us as we can; that is, let our default not be at all voluntary, but wholly upon the accounts of a pitiable infirmity : for the law was à covenant of works, such as they were ; but the mind could not make amends within for the defect without. But in the Gospel it is otherwise : for here the will is accepted for the fact; in all things where the fact is not in our power. But where it is, there to pretend a will, is hypocrisy. “ Nequam illud verbum est, · bene vult, nisi qui bene facit;" said the comedian. This rule is our measure in the great lines of duty, in all negative precepts, and in the periods of the law of Christ, which cannot pass by us without being observed. But in the material and external instances of duty, we may without our fault be disabled, and therefore can only be supplied with our endeavours and desires. But that is our advantage : we thus can perform all God's will acceptably. For if we endeavour all that we can, and desire more, and pursue morë; it is accepted as if we had done all: for we are accepted 5 according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath note.”. Unless we can neither endeavour, nor desire, we ought not to complain of the burden of the divine commandments. For to endeavour truly, and passionately, to desire and contend för more, is obedience and charity, and that is the fulfilling of the commandments.
c Matt. v. 12. 1 Cor. ii. 8. Matt. xvi. 27. 2 Cor. iv. 17. 2 Thess. i. 5. A poc. iii. 4. and xvi. 6. Rom. viii. 18.
d In Matt. lib. 3. cap 20. v. 8. . e 2 Cor. viii, 12.
MATTER FOR MEDITATION OUT OF SCRIPTURE, ACCORDING
TO THE FORMER DOCTRINE.
The old Covenant, or the Covenant of Works. In that day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.** Gen. ii. 17.
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things whith are written in the law, to do them.--Gal. iii. 10. Deut. xxvii. 26.
And thou shalt write upon stones all the words of this law very plainly.-- Deut. xxvii. 8.
Thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand or to the left.
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, then shall all these curses come upon thee, and overtake thee.--Deut. xxviii.
And if you will not be reformed by these things, but will walk contrary unto me, then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. Lev. xxvi. 23, 24, &c.
He that despised Moses's law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses.--Heb. x. 28.
The new Covenant, or the Covenant of Grace. Wt ärė justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then ? It is excluded: by what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.-Rom. iii. vers. 24 28.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.-Rom. viii. 1. 14. 26–28.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall not he with him also freely give us all things ? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.-Ver. 33, &c.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people--all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.--Heb. viii. 10-12.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.--2 Cor. v. 17–21.
Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost: for the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, and to as many as the Lord our God shall call.--Acts ii. 37, 38.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.--Rom. x. 13. . .
Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doth those things, shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith, speaketh on this wise ;
The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach, that if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.-Acts ii. 21. Rom. x. 5, 6, 8, 9: · Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. xv. 55, 56.
My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.--Rom. viii. 3, 4. · For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, hath for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.—Rom. viii. 3, 4.
His commandments are not grievous.—1 John v. 3. . If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.-Rom. v. 10.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.-Phil. iv. 13.
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.--2 Cor. xii. 9.
Ask and ye shall have, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.—Matt. vii. 7.
To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.-2 Cor. vii. 1. Vide etiam Isa. xlix. 6. liii. 12.
Having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.-Psal. xxii. 23.-28. Jer. xxxii. 34.
O ETERNAL God, Lord of heaven and earth, Father of men and angels, we do adore thy infinite goodness, we revere thy justice, and delight in thy mercies, by which thou hast dealt with us, not with the utmost right and dominion of a lord, but with the gentleness of a father; treating us (VOL. VIJI.