Imatges de pàgina
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For the proof of this observation, see Aas x. 4. And be (viz. the angel ) said unto him (Cornelius) thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. Heb. xiii. 16. To do good, and to comwynicate, forget not; fer with such sacrifices God is well pleased. I observe farther, that the good works of hypocrites and wicked men, who perform some acts of obedience to God's law, but live in the wilful habitual breach of the most cosiderable parts of it; such men's good works, or righteousnesses, are as filthy rags, which stink in the nostrils of God (if I may lo speak.) The people of Israel put on an appearance of holiness. and did many acts of obedience to the ceremonial part of God's law, which the Prophet calls their righteousnesses, when at the same time their hands where full of blood and rapine, and other abominations, and this their abominable wickedness made even their acts of obedience, which otherways were good (because commanded to be done) to be as filthy rags in God's sight. And that this is the true state of the case, appears plainly in the first chapter of Isaiah's prophecy, where he tells the people, That their new moons, and their appointed feasts, were hateful to God, and that be was weary to bear thema verse 14. And the reason given is, that their hands were full of blood, verse 15 As to the words of St. Paul, in Phil

, iii. 9. he is there speaking of a two-fold righteousness, not fuch a righteousness as gave a legal title to justification, but only such as made men the suitable objects of that grace. The first fort was that righteousness which consisted in a ftrict observance of the ceremonial law of Moses, which he mentions, verse 6, as touching the righter oufness which is in the law, blameless. The sea cond sort of righteousness was christian obedience, or a conformity of mind and life, to the mind and life of Christ, which the gospel required as

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necessary to our acceptance in God's fight. Now the Apostle desir'd that he might be found in Chrift, that is a true christian, not having the former, but the latter fort of righteousnefs; because the former would do him no fervice as & christian, but the latter would render him a suitable object of divine grace. And tho' the Apostle uses the term, mine own righteousness, this is not opposed to the righteousness of another, which he desired to be found in, but it is the righteousnefs of the ceremonial law of Mofes, opposed to the righteousness of christian obedience, which the gospel recommended. And to make the text answer the full and crue meaning of the Apostle, I conceive it may be fill'd up, and read thus ; cho' I have as much ground to boast as any man, with respect to external privileges and performanRes; yet these are fo 'mean, in my opinion, that I esteem them but as diofs and dung in comparifon of that inestimable treasure the gospel, for which I have fuffer’d the loss of all things, and count them but dung that I may win Chrift, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, or that righteousness which consists in an external observance of the ceremonial law of Moses (which the Jews and Judaizing christians value themselves upon) but I do desire to be found a true christian, having that righteousness, or christian obedience, which my faith in Christ ought to produce in me, and which will make me the suitable object of God's grace, As to the words of St. John, he defined hereby to convince men that it was in vain for them to expect that their faith in Christ, or their profeffion of the civistian religion, or any extraordinary illumination, or any pretended love to God or Christ, or union with them, would be of any service to them, with respect to their acceptance with God,

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except they brought forth the fruitsof righteousness
or christian obedience. And as to the term even as
the Apostle did not intend an equality, but only
the certainty and likenefs of the thing to which it
is compared. A case like this we have in verse 3
Every man that bath this bepe in him (viz. of seeing
Christ, and being made like unto him :) purifieth
himself even as be (viz. Christ ) is pure. Here Sta
John doth not mean by the term even as, an em
quality of purity, but only a likeness, and the
certainty of the thing ; which is as much as if he
had said, every man, that in good earnest hopes
to see Chrift at his appearing, and be made like
ụntoihim, purefies himselflike as Christ is pure, or
as certainly as Christ is pure. So in like manner,
by the term even as, in the present case, the Apostle
means that he which doth righteousnefs is righte-
pus, like as Christ did righteousness, and is righte-
ous; or he is righteous as certainly, as Chrift did
righteously, and is fo. Here I think likewise that
there are several words wanting to express the
full and trụe meaning of the Apostle, which
when fill'd up may be read thus'; little chil-
dren, let no man deceive you in this impor-
tant point, for he, and only be, that doth righ-
teoufnefs, is righteous in God's acceptance,
ven like as Christ did righteoufly, and is right-
eous, or as certainly as Chrift did righteousness,
and is so. Again,

We learn, thirdly, from the foregoing observațions, that the doctrine of Christ's paying a full and equal satisfaction in the original and strict sense of the word) to the justice of God, for the fins and offences of mankind, and of christians being justified upon that foot; I say, we learn that these doctrines are erroneous: for if sinners are justified freely by God's grace, if God exercises his mercy in the forgiveness of their sins, if this forgiveness is obtain'd to them by the interceffion of Christ, who uses his interest with God for them, and if God pardons the beleiving penitent upon Christ's account, and for his fake, (as I have shewn( from hence it will necessarily and unavoidably follow, that there hath been no such equal satisfaction paid to God, because if there had been, then justification would be of debt, and not of grace; for, whatever grace might be exercised in the satisfier, there could be none in the fatisfied. When such satisfaction had been made, a release became due, and there could be no such thing as forgiveness of sins, because there would be no sin to be forgiven; neither could Christ become an intercessor for the finner's pardon, because he had prevented himself by making full satisfaction for the damage done; neither could God forgive the penitent upon Christ's' account, and for his fake, because there was no room por place for the exercising of such mercy,

TRACT.

AN

ENQUIRY Concerning the sense and meaning of

our Lord's words, viz. Son thy fins be forgiven thee; as in Mark ii. 5.

F

OR the right understanding of these words, it is necessary to observe, that as sin is a transgrelpon of God's law; so God is plea

fed to manifest his dislike of fin, by punishing the transgressors of that law: which punishment is two-fold, either, first, by inflicting upon temporary aMictions and death in this world; or secondly, by punishing them with everlasting death in the world to come. Thus we read, AEls xii. 23. that Herod, for his impiety, was smitten with a fore disease, that he was eaten of worms and died And St. Paul informs us, that the Corinthians, for the abuse of the Lord's supper (an ordinance inftituted to perpetuate the memory of Christ's death to all pofterity, and to awaken and keep alive in the mirds of christians an affecting sense of Christs love in laying down his precious life in their cause, and for their fake) I say, for the abuse of this ordinance, some of them were sickly, and some were fallen asleep (or dead) 1 Cor. xi. 30. So again we read, Luke xvi. 22. 23. That the rich man also died and in hell be lift up his eyes, being in torment. And verse 25

Abraham said nnto him, son, remember that thou in thy life received;t thy good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now ke is comforted, and ibou art tcrmented. And Christ is represented, in

Matt.

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