« EdellinenJatka »
that our Lord answer'd him, Mat. 19. 17. If thou wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Gummands. True, He should ; upon Performance of that Condition. But it's as True, That this Condition is now Impossible to any Child of Adam. The Man ask'd, What he Joould Do; Shewing that he sought Life in Works: And then if he did so; Our Saviour let him know, that it must be by observing the Law of God: Because that is the perfect Rule of Obedience. And no other Works could serve the turn: And even those alone, he should find such a Task, as would give him enough of it; And (if ever he came to Understand himself,) make him fain to seek out further.
Such another commonly Mistaken Text feems to be that, Rom. 2. 13. Not the Hearers of the Law are Just before God; But the Doers of the Law shall be Justified. 1. e. They shall be so; If they do it, as it ought to be done. But what then? Is the Doctrine to be raised from hence, That Juflification cannot be had, without our own Fulfilling the Law of God? And that no Man can be Justified, but by the Deeds of the Law ? So the Sound may seem to carry it : But ’ris plain, That the Apostle's Design there is quite another thing: Even to Humble the Jews Hearts, and a Stop their mouths; In thewing, that as none of 'em Did; so none of 'em Gould, Keep the Law, to their Jufti
fication. And then he infers from the premises, Chap. 2. 20. Therefore by the Deeds of the Law there mall no Flesh be Justified in the fight of God. No, You inust be glad to take another course: For this will never do: How Often, and how Far soever it has been Attempted ; It is not to be Performed. And though many are still Hammering at it; they can make nothing of it: Nor shall the Exattest Liver ever be able to work out his Salvation only by this means.
Indeed the God of all Grace did not Intend the Delivery of his Law, to Evacuate and thrust out the Covenant of his Grace ; which he was pleas’d to make so long Before it. As the Apostle assures us, Gal. 3. 17, 18. This I say, That the Covenant which was before Confirmed of God in Chrift, The Law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot Disannul; That it should make the Promise of none Effect. For if the Inheritance be of the Law, it is no more of Promise : But God gave it to Abraham by Promise. Wherefore then serveth the Law ? The Apostle there puts the question; ver. 19. And he answers it himself: It was added , (says he) because of Transgresions ; Till the Seed jould come, to whom the Promise was made. It was not given, as such a Covenant of Works; By coming up to which, Men Thould make their own Pasage into Heaven ; So to gain Righteousness and Life Eternal.
No, but it was given, as a perfect Rule of
Oblige 'em to do it: And then by thewing 10 them their Insuficiency, and Convincing 'em,
that all their Own Obedience could never e do ; To direct 'em into Better Hands: As
Hagar, the Handmaid, to lead them unto
where we could never be Justified by any * Works of our Own. For Christ is the End
of the Law, for Righteousness, to every one
that Believeth, Rom. 10. 4. He Effects ị that for them, which the Law could not.
For it only Shew'd them what was to be done; and gave them no Power to do it. But he Fulšils it For them, and In them : And so Provides, That all the utmost Demands of it shall be Satisfied to the full. Such therefore as do not take the Law for their Tutor and Monitor, to send them unto Christ Jesus, do Mistake it; and are yet to Learn the Meaning of it.
O Sinner! The Law of God is as the Avenger of Blood at thy heels; To drive thee away unto the City of Refuge ; and even to Constrain thee, to Fly for the Life of thy Soul, into the Arms of thy Saviour. Take the Warning then; And let the Ne
cessity of thy Case cast thee upon him : And do not Neglect the Only Remedy. If thou wilt not be. Allured, yet at least, be Terrified into it : And let the Rigor of the Law do thee this Kindness, to throw thee into the Bosom of that Blessed Surety; Who, where thou art Insolvent, and unable to Discharge what thou Owest to the Law, has Undertaken for thee; and paid all, even to the utmost Farthing.
II. They that stick in the Law, and make account to be Justified by its Righteousness, are Ignorant of its Latitude and Purity; And do not know how Broad and Spiritual, how Holy, and Heart-searching it is. They think it enough, to be Honest and Sober ; to Hear and Pray, and do some Externat acts: As if then they had performed Obedience to the Law Sufficient : and so Brisk up, and conclude, All's well. As S. Paul says of himself, Rom. 7:). I was Alive, without the Law once. Without it! When was he so, who all along had been Bred up under it ? Indeed he was not at all Without it, in the Letter. But it did not before come home, in its Spirit and Power; to Ransack his Conscience; and to Search all the privy Corners of his Heart.. And then he was Alive; and thought himself in good case enough. But when it came, and pier
ced into his Soul, with its Purifying Energy; to catch hold of all his fecretelt Motions, Desires, Purposes, Inclinations and Thoughts; Then he saw he was a Loft Man, by the Sentence of the Law: If he were not found in Christ, and help'd by his Merit and Grace, to answer for all that he had Misdone ; and to do all for the future, in an Acceptable manner.
Never be so Vain then, Bankrupt Sinner ! as to think, that thou, (out of thy poor Stock and Strength) canst Satisfy all the Precepts of such a Righteous, Exact, and perfect Law. For when thou hast done thy very utmost, Thou wilt be still exceedingly Short : and hast extreme Need to look out further ; To Shelter thy Unrighteousness under that Righteousness of thy Redeemer, which alone is Compleat, and without any manner of Blemish. O wo to the most Lavdable Liver, should he be Tried and Doom'd by this Law, Naked, without the Covert of a Mediator !
III. They that are for Working themselves a Righteousness of their own, out of Legal Observances, to serve the turn, without the Righteousness of Christ Jesus; are 1 gnorant of their Evil case and Misery under the Law: Where again they put themselves under the old Covenant of Works : which