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had fallen upon the Sinner, there is not so much Worth in the Creatures extreamest Sufferings, as to compensate the infinite Wrongs done to the Holiness and Righteousness of God; therefore what was wanting in the intrinsic!: Value of the "Creatures Suffering, .behoved to be made up in the infinite Extent of it, and eternal Continuance of it upon the Creature. Thus there could never be a determined time assigned, in which the Curse were fulfilled, and in which, Justice could say, bold, I have enough. It is, as if a Man ■were owing an infinite Debt, and he could get nothing to defray it, but poor petty Sums, which being all conjoined, cannot amount to any Proportion of it: Therefore, since he cannot get one Sum in Value equal to it, he must be eternally paying it in Smalls, according to his Capacity; and so, because the utmost Farthing cannot be won at, he can never be released out of prison. But our Lord Jesus hath satisfied it to the full; he was a more substantial debtor, and because of the infinite dignity of his person, there was an tntrinsick Value upon his Sufferings, pro portioned unto the Infiniteoefs of Mans I Sin •, so that he could pay all the Debt in a short time, which a Sinner could but have done to all Eternity. Now, you know, any Man would rather choose such a Cautioner, that can solidly satisfy him in Gross, and pay all the Sum at once, than such a Principal, that because of his Inability, cannot amount to any considerable Satisfaction in many Years. And even so it is with the Law and Justice of God ; they hold themselves better contented in Christ, than in us, in his being made a Curse, than the falling of the Curse on us, Gal. iii. 13. And therefore God testifies it to poor sinners, deliver them, Be have J Mid a Ransom, Job suiii, 24.
and that is the Ransom which Christ gave, his life for many, Mat. xx. 28.
You see, then, how this Conclusion follows, that the Righteousness of the Law: might be fulfilled in us, be having fu Ifil ed it, and satisfied it so fully, both by obedience to the Commandment, and Submission to the Curse ; it is all one in God's Account, as if we had done it, because Christ was Surety in our Stead, and a common Person representing us, and therefore his paying of the debt, acquits us at the Hand of Justice, and whatever he did to fulfil all Righteousness, that is accounted ours, because we were represented in him, and judicially one with him: And therefore, we were condemned when he was condemned, we were dead when he died, and so the Righteousness of the Law, in exacting a due Punishment for Sin, was fulfilled for us in him; and it is all one as if it had been personally us. And this is laid down as the Foundation of that blessed Embassy or Message of Re conciliation to sinners, as that upon which God is in Christ reconciling and beseeching us to be reconciled,2 Cor. v. 19, 20, 21. Him who knew no Sin, hath he made Sin for us, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him. You fee the blessed Exchange that he hath made with us, he hath laid our Sins on sinless ChriH, and laid Christ's Righteousness on sinful us. Christ took our Sins on him, that he might give us his Righteousness, and by Vertue of this Transaction and Communication, as it was righteous with God to condemn Sin in Christ's Flesh, because our Sin was upon him, so it is as just with him to impute Righteousness to us,. because we were in him: And as the Law made him a Curie, and exacted the Punishment of him, it is as righteous with the Lord, to give us Life and Salvation, Gp and and to forgive Sin, as John speaks, i Epistle i. 19. If we confess our Sins, he is faithful andjust to forgive our Sins. Now confides this, my Beloved, for it is propounded unto you, as the greatest Peri wasive to move you to come to Jesus Christ,there is such aclear and plain Way in him to salvation. If this do not move your Hearts, I know not what will: I do not expect that your Troubles in this World, the frequent Lashes of Judgment, the impoverishing and exhausting of you, the plucking away of these Things you loved, the disquieting your Peace so often, that any of those things that have the Image of Wrath upon them, can drive you to him, and make you forlake your Way, whensuch a Motive as this doth notprevail with you. O! what Heart could stand a. gainst the Power of this Perswasion, if it were but rightly apprehended? Who would not willingly fly in to this City of Refuge, if they did but know aright the Avenger of Blood that pursues them, and what Safety is within ? You are always imagining vain Satisfactions to the Law of God; how great Weight doth your Fancy impose upon your Tears, your Confessions, your Reformations? If you can attain any Thing of this Kind, that is it
which you give to satisfy justice, it is that wherewith you pretend to fulfil the Law. ButifitcoulJ be so, wherefore should God have sent his Son to condemn Sin, and purchase Righteousness by him? I beseech you, once know and consider your Estate, that you may open your Hearts to this Redeemer, that you may be willing to be stript naked of all your imaginary Righteousness, to put on this which will satisfy the Law fully. Will you die in your Sins, because you will not come to him to have Life? Will you rather be condemned with Sin, than saved with Christ's Righteousness? And truly, there-isno other Altar that will preserve you but this. Now, if any apprehending their own misery, be hardly pursued in their Consciences, by the Law of God, I beseech you come hither, and behold it satisfied and fulfilled. I beseech you in Christ's stead, to be reconciled unto God, to lay down all hostile Affections, and come to him, because God is in Christ reconciling the world, and not imputing their Sins, because he hath imputed them already to Christ, him. ivbo knew no Sin, &c. and he is in Christ, imputing his Righteousness to "Sinners.
SE R M O N XV.
Verse 4.' l%at the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, &c.
CTHIHK not (faith our Lord and A Saviour Jesus Christ) that I am come to destroy the Law, I am come to fulfil/f.Mat. Y. 1^. It was a needful Caveat, and a very timeous Advertisement, because of the natural Misapprehensions in Mens Minds of the Gospel. When free Forgiveness of Sins, and Life everlasting, is preached in Jesus Christ, without bur Works ; when the Mercy of God is proclaimed in its Free Join and Fulness, the Heart of Man is subject to a wofu) Misconceit of Christ, as if by these a Latitude were given, and a Liberty proclaimed to Men to Live in Sin. That which is propounded as the Encouragement of poor Sinners, to come to God, and for fele their own wicked Way, it is miserably wrested upon a mistake, to be an Encouragement to revolt more and more. Righteousness and Life, by Faith in a Saviour, without the Works of the Law, is holden out as the grand Perswalion of the Gospel, to study Obedience to the Law; and yet such is the Perverseness of many Hearts, that either in Opinion, or practice, they fo carry themselves, as if there were an Inconsistency between Christ and the Law, between free Justification and Sanctification, as if Christ had come to redeem «s not from Sin, but to Sin. Now, to
prevent this, think not, faith he, that I am come to destroy the Law, do not fancy to your selves a Liberty to live in Sin, and an Immunity from the Obligation of a Commandment, because I havepuchased an Immunity and Freedom from the Curse; no, I am come to fulfill it rather, not only in mine own person, but in yours also. And to this purpose, Paul, Rom. iii. y 1. Do we then make void the law by Faith f It is so natural to our rebellious Hearts, to desire to be free from the Yoke of Obedience, and therefore we fancy such a Notion of Faith, as may not give it self to working in Love, as is active in nothing but Imagination. The Apostle abominates this, God forbid, he detests it, as impious and sacrilegious ; yea, we establijb it- So then, all returns to this, one of the great Ends of Christ's coming in his Flesh, and one main Intendment of the Gospel, published in this Name, is not metrly to deliver us from Wrath, and reedem at from the Curse, Gal. iii. 13. 1 Thess. i. 10. but also,-and that especially, to redeem us from all Iniquity, that we might be a People zealous of good works, Tit. ii. 14. and to take away Sin, and destroy the Works of the Devil, 1 Joh. iii. $7 8. We spoke something before Noon, how Christ hath ful
filled, the Law, and established it, in his | own. Person, by Obedience and Suffering, neither of which Ways it could be so well contented by any other: But there is yet a third Way that he fulfills and established it, and that is, in our Persons, T'hat the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in' us, who walk not after the Flejb, but after the Spirit. He hath obliged himself to fulfill it, not only for Believers, but in Believers; therefore the Promises run thus, / will write my Law in their Hearts, and cause them to walk in my Statutes, Ez?k. xxxvi. 27. Jer. xxxi. 33. Not only / delight do thy Will, but I will make them delight to do it also: And truly in this respect, the Law is more fulfilled and established by Christ, than ever it could have been, if Man had been left to satisfy it alone. If we had reckoned alone with the Law, we had been taken up eternally with satisfying for the Breaches of it, so that there could be no Access to Obedience of the Command, and no Acceptance either: A Sinner must first satisfy the Curse, for the Fault done, before ever he can be in a Capacity to perform new Obedience on the Terms of Acceptation of it with God. Now the first would have taken up Eternity, so that there can be no Place of Entry to the second; therefore, if Christ had not found out a Way of free Pardon of the Sins that are past, and Assurance of Forgiveness for the Time to come, the Commandments of God should be wholly frustrated; but there is Forgiveness with tbee, that tbou mayest be feared, Pfal. exxx. 4. The Word is also, worshipped. Truly my Beloved, this is the Fountain of all Religion, free Forgiveness; There hadbeentjo Religion, no Worship of God, no Obedience to his Command* throughout all Eternity ; there
should never have been any Fear, an7 Love, any Delight in God, any Reve" rence and Subjection to him, if he had no1 Forgiveness, a -Treasure* of Mercies with him to bestow first uppn Sinners ; and this makes Access to stand and serve in his Sight. The Cloud pf our Transgressions is so thick and dark, that there could never have been any Communion with God, if he had not found out the Way to scatter and blot it out, for bis own Name's fake. Religion then must begin at this great and inestimable free Gift of . imputed Righteousness, of accAunting us, what we ?,re not in our selves, because found so in another, it begins at Remission of Sins; but that is mt atl, this hath a further End, and truly it is bus introductive to a further End; that so a Soul may be made Partaker of the Gift of Holiness within, and have that Image of God renewed in Holiness and Righteousness. I would have you once persuaded to begin at this, to receive (mfree Gift of another's Righteousness, Rom. v. 17. and another's Obedience, to find your own Nakedness Tiud Loathsomeness without this Covering, and how short -all other Coverings of your own Works are. O that we could once persuade you to renounce your selves, to embrace this Righteousness,- then it weie easy to prevail with you to renounce Sin, 10 put on Holiness. I fay, first, You must renounce your selves, as undone in all you do, as loathsome in all that ever you loved, and come under the wide and broad Skirt of Christ's Righteousness, which he did weave upon the Earth, for to hide our Nakedness. You must once have the Righteousness of the Law fulfilled perfectly by another, before you can ha«e Access 10 fulfil one Jot of it your selves, or any Thing you do be accepted; and
'till this foundation be laid, you do but beat the Air in Religion, you build on the Sand.
Now If once you were brought this Length, to renounce all Confidence in your selves, and to Aee into Christ's Righteousness, then it were easy to lead you a Step further, to renounce the Love of your most beloved Sins: And the more lovely that Christ's Righteousness is in your Eyes„ the more Beauty would Holiness and Obedience have in them also unto you; then you would labour to walk after the Guidance of the Spirit.
I would have the impression of this Deep in your Hearts, that the Gospel is not a Doctrine of Licentiousness, but a doctrine of the purest Liberty, of the compleatest Redemption. Many think it Liberty to serve their Lusts, and it is indeed as Bonds and Cords to restrain them. There is no Man but would be content to be saved from the Wrath to come, and therefore many snatch at such Sentences of the Gospel, and take them lightly, without Consideration of what further is in it. But truly if this were all, it were not compleat Redemption, if there were not Redemption from Sin too, which is the most absolute Tyrant, in the World. I think a true Christian would account the Service of Sin Bondage,- though it were left at his own Option; He that commits Sin, is the Servant of Sin, therefore the 'freedom that Christ' purchaseth, is Freedom from Sin, Job. viii. 38. I will fay more, we are delivered from Wrath, that ib we may be redeemed from Sin, we have the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us, that so the image of Christ may be renewed within us, this is the very End of that. I am sure any that discerns aright, knows Sin to have infinitely more Evil in it, than Punish'
ment hath; nay, Punishment is only evil, as it hath Relation to Sin: There is a Beauty of Justice and Righteousness in Punishment, but there is nothing in Sin, but Deformity and Opposition to his Holiness, 'tis purely evil, and most purely hated of God: And if there were no more to persuade you that Sin is infinitely more evil than Pain, consider how our Pain and Punishment was really transferred upon the blessed Son of God, and that all this did not make him a whit the worse ; but he was not capable of the real Infusion of our Sin, that would have made Christ as miserable, wretched, and impotent as any of us; that would have disabled him so far from helping us, that he would have had as much need of a Mediator, as we: All which were highly blasphemous to imagine. Look then how much Distance and Difference there was between suffering, dying Christ, and wretched Men Living in Sin: None can say, but he is infinitely better, even while in Pain, nor the highest Prince in Pleasure, so much Disproportion there is between Sin and Pain, so much is the one worse than the other. Do not think then that Christ died to purchase an Indulgence for you to live in Sin: Truly that were to take away the lesser Evil, that the greater may remain; that were to deliver from one Misery, that we may be more involved in that which is the greatest of all Miseries. Nay, certainly if Christ be a Redeemer, he must redeem us from our most potent and accursed Enemy, Sin; he must take away the Root, the Fountain of all Misery; Sin; that which conceived in its Womb all Pains, Sorrows. Sick. jiesles, Death and Hell. You have the great End of Redemption exprefied, Luke i. 7S. I'hat we being delivered from all our Enemies, might serve him without