Sivut kuvina

tween these two : for the one is by imputation, the other by infusion. In justification the sentence of God proceeds this way: the righteousness that Christ wrought out by his life and death, and the obedience that he paid to the law of God, is reckoned to the guilty sinner for his absolution; so that when a sinner comes to stand at God's bar, when the ques. tion is asked, Hath not this man broken the law of God? Yes, saith God; yes, saith the conscience of the poor sinner, I have broken it innumerable ways : And doth not the law condemn thee to die for thy transgressions ? Yes, saith the man; yes, saith the law of God, the law knows nothing more but this ; The soul that sinneth must die. Well then, but is there no hope in this case ? Yes, and gospel grace reveals this hope ; there is one that took sin on him, and died for our sins, and his righteousness is reckoned for the poor sinner's justification ; and thus we are absolved. We are absolved in justification by God's reckoning on our account, on our behalf, and for our advantage, what Christ hath done and saffered for us; but in sanctification the Spirit of God infuses a holiness into the soul. I do not say, he infuses a righteousness; for I would fain have these words, righteousness and holiness, better distinguished than generally they are. Righteousness and holiness are, in this case, to be kept vastly asunder. All righteousness is without us; our holiness is within us, it is our own; the apostle plainly makes that distinction, Phil. iii. 9. N. having mire own righteousness: it is our own, not originally, but our own inherently; not our own so as to be of our own working, but our own because it is indwelling in us.

But our righteousness is neither our own originally nor inherently; it is neither wrought out by us, nor doth it dwell in us; but it is wrought out by Jesus Christ, and it eternally dwells in him, and is only to be pleaded by faith, by a poor creature. But our holiness, though it be not our own originally, yet it is our own inherendy, it dwells in us : this is the distinction that the apostle makes, Phil. m. 9. That I may be found in kiin, sat kaving my own righteousness, which is of the Lew, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the sig desisness which is of Ged by faith. Sliy, Justification is perfect, but sanctification is imperfect; and here lies a great

difference between them. Justification, I say, is perfect, and admits of no degrees; admits of no decays, admits of no intermission, nor of any intercession : but sanctification admits of all these. When I say justification is perfect, I mean, that every justified man is equally and perfectly justified. The poorest believer that is this day in the world, is justified as much as ever the apostle Paul was : and every true believer is as much justified now, as he will be a thousand years hence, Justification is perfect in all them that are partakers of it, and to all eternity; it admits of no degrees; and the plain reason of it is this--the ground of it is the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the entitling us to it is by an act of God the gracious Judge, and that act stands for ever ; And if God justifies, who is he that shall condemn? Rom. viii. 33. But sanctification is an imperfect, incomplete, changeable thing. One believer is more sanctified than another. I am apt to believe that the apostle Paul was more sanctified the first hour of his conversion, than any man this day in the world. Sanctification differs greatly as to the persons that are partakers of it; and it differs greatly too as to the same man; for a true believer, a truly sanctified man, may be more holy and sanctified at one time than at another. There is a work required of us, To be perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. vii. 1. but we are no where required to be perfecting tighteousness in the sight of God; for God hath brought in a perfect righteousness, in which we stand; but we are to take care, and to give diligence to perfect holiness in the fear of God. A saint in glory is more sanctified than ever he

was ;

for he is perfectly so : but he is not more justified than he was ; nay, a saint in heaven is not more justified than a believer on earth is : only they know it better, and the glory of that light in which they see it, discovers it more brightly and more clearly to them.

I shall add but two words of advice on this head, of the difference between justification and sanctification. • divide them. Do not confound them.

1st, Do not divide and separate them: no man can do so, but in dream and notion. Justification and sanctification God hath joined together, and no man can put them asunder.

Do not

[ocr errors]

They are everlasting!y united together, and every one that is a partaker of either is a partaker of both. 2dly, Do not confound them. I am persuaded that one of the main causes of the disorder that is in the spirits and the conversation of the most part of Christians, lies in their confounding these two great blessings. They do not give them their proper place ; they are not rightly exertised about them in their due sphere; therefore I shall offer a word or two of advice for preventing this confounding of them. When you are seeking justifcation, let there be no mind of sanctification, I mean as to any merit; but srhen you are seeking sanctification, have a good mind to justification. To make this matter plain to you; when you are seeking justification, you should have no thought of sanctification; the reason is, because justification is an act of pure grace, that we must betake ourselves to God for, as poor condemned sinners. If men will perplex us with qualifications, pray let it run this way, What is it that qualifies a sinner for justification? it is this only, that he must be a condemned sinner; God's law must condemn him, and the man must come into God's court with this sentence in his hand, « Lord, justify a poor “ sinner for Christ's sake ; the law hath condemned me, and « sentenced me to hell, and thither I must go except gospel “ grace relieres me in Christ Jesus." When I say that in seeking justification you should have no mind of sanctification, my meaning is only this, that when you come to plead at God's bar for justification, do not dream of bringing your sanctification with you: for it is altogether improper and impertinent at this court. Let men varnish their doctrines which way they will, and cover them what pretences they please, they do but murter souls, who pretend to advise them to bring something with them to God for the grace of justification. Bring thy sins with thee, and bring the curse of the law upon thy conscience, and tay these before the Lord, saying, « Lord, « here is an undene sinner, hare mercy upon me, for Christ's e sake :" there should be nothing else heard there but that. Bat when you come for sanctification, you have good reason to mind justification, for it flows from it. When you would try your justification, in God's name try it by your sanctification, that is allowed you; the reasoa js, it is but a trying the

tree by its fruit. If the question be, Am I a pardoned, forgiven, accepted sinner in the sight of God, through the righteousness of Christ ? if that be the question, try it by your sanctification ; for all who are justified by the grace of God in Christ Jesus, are also sanctified by the Spirit of God. Now sanctification being the work of God in us, is far more easily discernible than justification, which is an act of God about us. Justification is the sentence of a judge, but sanctification as you have heard, is a gracious work of God on the heart and soul of a poor sinner, and that may be more easily known : therefore try your justification by your sanctification. In short, they who bring sanctification as a title to their justification, they err the breadth of God's whole heavens: and they who pretend to the blessing of justification, and cannot justify it by the practice of sanctification, do but deceive themselves. If any man, saith the apostle, abideth in him, he ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked, 1 John ii. 6. i would only add, it is the Spirit of God alone that can make the word of God, and the truths of it, powerful upon us; it is he alone that can let us into them, and make us know spiritually and savingly the great blessings of justification and sanctification ; our acceptance with God through the righteousness of another, and our being adorned by the Spirit of God with a holiness of his own implanting in us. We must not make our holiness our righteousness, nor our righteousness our holiness; our righteousness belongs to another, and only the benefit of it accrues to us; our holiness is the work of the Spirit in us, and Christ is the root of both. He is the person we are justified by or through, and his Spirit is the root of all holiness in us; and both give us the possession of eternal life: justification, by the sentence of the judge, is the ground, and sanctification is that which makes us meet for it in his time and way.

So much for this first general, of sanctification itself, its agreement with, and its difference from justification.

II. The next thing in the words, that I am now to speak to, is, the sanctification of the Spirit; what is to be understood when sanctification is thus expressed: The sanctification of the


Spirit. There are three things contained in it that I would speak to. 1st, Sanctification of the Spirit respects the author of it, that is the fairest, fullest, and plainest meaning of the word ; sanctifying a simer is the work of the Spirit of God. 2dly, Sanctification of the Spirit relates to the means of it ; it is wrought by the Holy Ghost, by means of the gospel, which is often called the Spirit in the word. 3dly, It may be taken as relating to the seat of it ; it is called sanctification of the Spirit, in that is seated and lodged in the inmost part of the man, called the spirit of the mind, Eph. iv. 23. Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind.

Ist, Sanctification is here called sanctification of the Spirit, to denote the author of it, the Holy Spirit of God. I told you before, that there were three blessed persons in the Godhead, and one God; and each of them has a distinct part in the work of man's salvation, here expressed in the text. Election is ascribed to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sancti. fication to the Holy Ghost. The same is also expressed by the apostle Paul, God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and the belief of the truth, 2 Thess. ii. 13. A little concerning this, the operation of the Holy Ghost in the work of sanctification.

Ist, Since a divine person hath the work in hand, it must be managed by sovereign grace; God works nothing from hire, or motive from the creature, more than he did the work of creation; no more doth he any thing since. When he raised all things from nothing, nothing moved God to make all things, but only his own will and pleasure : all divine operations must necessarily have their rise from sovereiga will and grace: and this is ascribed to the Holy Ghost. All these things worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing 19 kerty man stilly ai ke tvill, I Cor. i. 11. There is the sovereignty of the will and the grace of the Holy Ghost in this great work of sanctification.

, As all divine acts are acts of sovereignty, flowing from his own will and pleasure, so they are always acts of an Almighty power. When we sar, that it is the sarcification of the Spirit, and that the Holy Ghost works it, it is plain he works it with en Almighty ard irresistible porer; pushing

[merged small][ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »