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of righteousness, a prophet, an example of holiness, a highpriest, a sacrifice, a Saviour, an intercessor, a king, and a head of life to his body the church, both spiritual and eternal.
III. As in this dispensation of Christ, revealed in the New Testament, we have a fuller and plainer discovery of our fallen state, our guilt and danger, our degenerate sinful natures, and our weakness to all that is good; so also we have much brighter manifestations made of the pardon of sin, and justification of our persons, the methods of its procurement by the obedience, sufferings and death of Christ, which made a proper atonement for sin, the adoption of us into the family of God, the sanctification of our natures by the influences of the Holy Spirit, to enable us to repent of sin, and mortify it daily, together with all our consolations in life, and hope in death. And besides all this, the future state both of saints and sinners, the resurrection of the body, the everlasting happiness of good men, and the eternal misery of the wicked, arc brought much nearer to our view, as motives to our duty, and support to our hope: And they are set much plainer before us in all the blessings and the terrors of them, together with the duties of faith and love toward the Son of God our Redeemer.
IV. As I have also before observed, that the whole system of natural duties, or the whole moral law, is taken into every edition of the covenant of grace, so in the New Testament also, or in the dispensation of christianity, it should not be forgotten, that we have a much larger, clearer, and fuller explication of the moral law in all the parts and precepts of it, with the more particular application of them to the occurrences of human life, and a more express notice, that they reach to the thoughts and desires of the heart, as well as to words and actions: So that our love and duty to God, to our neighbours, and ourselves, was never so plainly and fully set forth, either by the light of reason, or by revelation, as it is in this last dispensation. This is sufficiently evident in the sermons of Christ, and in the writings of his apostles. To these I add also, the special exaltation of the duty of love to our neighbours, and forgiveness of injuries to a superior heighth in the gospel of Christ. Our love to one another is made the sign and token of our Christianity; and our love even to enemies is required and enforced by the love of God to us, and an universal holiness of heart and life, proceeding from love to God and man, is!requ ently prescribed.
V. Under this dispensation, almost all the former emblems of the covenant of grace, required of us as duties, are entirely left out and abrogated; and the chief, if not the only emblems, signs, or seals, required in it are baptism and the Lord's supper, which are usually called the two sacraments. This new covenant of God byfaith, and that righteousness which is through the faith of Christ; as in Phil. iii. 9. because it implies an acknowledgment of sin and imperfection in our works, and a dependence, faith or trust on the mercy or grace of God, as manifested more clearly in the gospel, through Jesus the great Mediator: Or a trust in Christ, who is called the Lord our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6. and who is made of God righteousness to us; 1 Cor. i. 30. that is, we are justified for the sake of his doings and sufferings.
V. And therefore this faith is called faith in Christ, faith in his name, faith in his blood, faith in his righteousness: Gal. iii. 24. John i. 12. Rom. 25. 2. Pet. i. 1. to shew that we must trust or depend on Jesus Christ, our Mediator, and on what he has done and suffered, for our pardon and acceptance with God, or our justification *. It is he hath wrought out such a perfect righteousness, by his obedience and sacrifice, which are perfectly well pleasing to God, and perfectly satisfactory to God, whom we had offended, and which are the true and only ground and foundation of our pardon, justification or acceptance with God.
VI. Thus tee are justified by faith or trust, as an appointed medium, to he performed by us, in order to our interest in this blessing; and we are justified by the righteousness of Christ, or his obedience unto death, as the only foundation or ground of it: We are justified also by the free grace of God, as the prime author of this blessed transaction, and we are justified by the gospel or covenant of grace, as the great rule of divine conduct or government in this affair.
VII. Nor should it be forgotten in this place, that as Adam is more clearly described or represented, in the New Testament, as the spring or head of all that sin, condemnation and death, which are imputed, or derived, or any way conveyed to all his posterity ; so our Lord Jesus Christ is called the second Adam; I Cor. xv. 45, 47. because be U the head and spring of that righteousness or justification, and right to life, which are also imputed, given or conveyed to all his seed or posterity. As the children of men, the seed of Adam fell into condemnation and misery, by the disobedience of Adam, their head and representative ; so believers in Christ are his seed, and are raised also to justification, life and happiness, by the active and passive obedience of their representative or surety, even the Son of God, of whom the first Adam was a type or figure ; see Rom. v. 14, 18,19, As, by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men, that is, all those who are justified, to justification of life For as, by one mail's disobedience, many were made, or constituted, sinners, by a certain appointment or covenant; so, by the obedience of one, many shall be made, or constituted, righteous, by another agreement or covenant: And they are interested therein by free gift on the part of God, and by faith or dependence on their part, as I said before.
* Here let it be observed, that the words Tivc and irifii/w, which continually return upon us iu reading the Greek Testament, should be frequently translated, by trust and trusting in Geii, or Christ, especially where the preposition » or ut is added to it; and it should not be so often called belief or believing; for it is out such a mere assent to the gosprl of Christ, as excites hope or trust in mercy, and so draws forth the soul to love God, repent of sin, and fulfil the duties of holiness.
The Hebrew words which imply trust and dependaoue in the Old Testament, are represented often by Kirrt/w in the New Testament, as well as those which sitmf.' belief or assent: And therefore David, in the Psalms, where he expresses the inward actings of his soul towards God, is ever using the words trust anil hope ; and the translators of our New Testament should have much oftener used ihcm to express the true meaning of the words Tij-'s and irtriw in the sacred writers. As John xiv. I. Ye trust in God, trust also in mc, Acts xvi. 13. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved. Mark vi. 22. Have hust in God. Acts xx. 21. Reprnlence towards Cud, and trust in our lard Jesus Christ. Rom. iii. 25. He is set forth as a propitiation ihrou^ trusting in his blood; and many other places. This is the constant sentiment of our protectant divines in their opposition to the papists, that "tides est fiducia."
Chap. IX.—Sanctification or Holiness Necessary as well as Faith.
I. But let it be always remembered, as under all the former dispensations, so under the christian, that this faith can never justify us if it be a dead faith, that is, such a faith as produceth no good works; that is, where there is time and opportunity for them; James ii. 17, 18, 20. It is only that faith that works by love, that is of any avail to our salvation; Gal. v. 6. To trust in the grace of God, and to persevere in sinning against the authority of God, are subversive and destructive of one another: And the great end and design of God, in saving us by his grace, is to restore us to his holy image, and our duty, and to a willing obedience or submission to his authority, and by all these to make us capable of everlasting blessedness.
II. The very light of nature teaches us, it is in vain for rebels to expect or hope for favour from God, the Ruler of the world, while they repent not of sin, but abide in a state of wilful rebellion. The scripture always supposes our return to God, by repentance, and continued endeavours to please him, if ever we would be received into his favour. It is absurd to imagine or suppose the contrary opinion.
It is granted that the obedience which we can pay to any laws or commands of God, under any dispensation of grace, is not so perfect as to answer all the just demands of God in that dispensation, but has still some sinful defects in it, and therefore it cannot become a righteousness sufficient to justify us, or pronounce us completely righteous in the court of God : yet reason itself constantly assures us, that God is too wise and too holy a being, to pardon and accept, or justify any creature who continues in constant and wilful disobedience. This would be a mere prostitution of his grace to the service of sin, and the encouragement of farther disobedience. This would be to make God the patron of iniquity, and Christ the minister of sin; Gal. ii. 17. This would be turning the grace ofGod into wantonness; Jude, terse 4. And this exceeding great mercy of God, the holy apostle supposes, should be a sufficient guard against wilful sin, while we hope to be justified by faith. If we are justified by faith in Christ, what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid; Rom. vi. 1, 2.
III. Besides this same apostle assures us, "that we are chosen, adopted, and forgiven, for this very end, that we might be holy and without blame before God in love; Eph.i. 4,6. Therefore is our conscience purged by the blood of Christ, from dead works, that we might serve the living God; Heb. ix. 14. Therefore are we redeemed from sin and hell by the precious blood of the Son of God, that we might be freed from the power of our iniquities, and become a peculiar people zealous of good works; Tit. ii. 14. Our holiness is one chief design of God, in all the exercises of his grace: And as we seek to frustrate his design, if we hope for his acceptance without pursuing holiness, so he will frustrate all our hopes.
IV. And, it is upon this account, that holiness of heart and good works in life, where there is opportunity for them, are insisted upon as necessary to our fiual salvation through all the bible; and perhaps in one or two places of the New Testament, it is mentioned as necessary, even to our justification, as well as to final salvation : Not that our best works of holiness are such a complete righteousness as to answer the present demands of God, under the gospel, but because they are necessary to shew the truth of our faith, and to render it a living justifying faith, which could not justify us if it were a dead faith, or without works. It is a working faith that must justify us, as good works evidence and prove the truth and life of our faith.
V. The apostle James argues this matter particularly in the last half of his second chapter*, viz. That works must be joined to our faith to make it a justifying faith. From all which it is plain, that in whatsoever scriptures faith is said to justify us without works, it can mean no more than this, viz. that we are pardoned and accepted of God through our faith, trust or dependanee on divine mercy, and on the mediation of Christ, under a sense of the imperfection of our best works, and their insufficiency to answer the demands of any law for righteousness or justification. But still in other scriptures we are told, it must be such a faith as works by love, purifies the heart, and wheresoever there is opportuney. it produces the fruits of holiness in our lives ; and therefore good works in this sense are needful to secure our justification, as well as ihey are very necessary, on many accounts, to honour God in this world, and to make us meet for final salvation. Thus the free grace of God in our justification is honoured, and yet holiness is effectually secured in all them that are saved.
* Yet it is not amiss to observe here, that the apostle James, where he treats on this matter, in the second chapter of bis epistle, speaks of that faith, which is a mere assent to the truth revealed, for it is such a faith as devils have, and it does not arise to a serious and humble hope or trust in the mercyof God for complete salvation, according to the gospel, which alone is supposed to be productive of good works.
VI. To conclude this head, let it be remembered, that since faith and repentance, and holiness of heart and life, arc all necessary, in order to our salvation under the gospel, it is of infinitely more importance to see to it, that we pursue and practise this faith, repentance and holiness, than to be nicely and critically skilled in adjusting the logical relations of these christian virtues to our salvation, or our justification, or in ranging them artificially in their proper place and order. The most skilful, most zealous, and most orthodox person, will certainly fall short of justification and salvation, if he has not these good qualities of faith and holiness found in him; and the weakest in knowledge shall be justified and saved, in whom these qualities and characters are found.
Chap. X.—The Commencement of the Christian Dispensation; or, when was Christianity set up in the World.
I. This last and best dispensation of grace, viz. the christian religion was not properly set up in the world, during the life of Christ, though he was the illustrious and divine Author and Founder of it: And the reason is plain and obvious, viz. because many of the peculiar glories, duties and blessings of it, as they are described in the Acts, and in the sacred epistles, did really depend upon those facts, which had no existence in Christ's own life-time, viz. his death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation. It was not proper therefore, that Christ should publicly preach these doctrines of his atonement for sin, of faith in his blood, of his royalties and intercession in heaven, and our living upon them, &c. in too plain and express a manner in his own life-time, because it would have given too much offence to his hearers; and his wisdom taught him to preach the truths of hi* gospel to men, as they mere able to bear it; Mark iv. 33. John xvi. 12.
II. Therefore it was but seldom that he mentioned these tilings in his own personal ministry; and it was but just at the end of his life, that he instituted the second sacrament, or the Lord's supper, which discovers plainly, and in most express language, the blessed doctrine of his atonement for sin ; and it was