תמונות בעמוד

in heart, and in all manner of conversation; that he should be pure in heart, even as God is pure; perfect as his Father. in heaven was perfect : That he should love the Lord his God, . with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength; that he should love every soul which God had made, even as God had loved him: That by this universal benevolence, he should dwell in God, (who is love,) and God in him: That he should serve the Lord his God with all his strength, and in all things singly aim at his glory.

3. These were the things which the Righteousness of the Law required, that he who did them might live thereby. But it farther required, That this entire obedience to God, this inward and outward holiness, this conformity both of heart and life to his will, should be perfect in degree. No abatement, no allowance could possibly be made, for falling short in any degree, as to any jot or tittle, either of the outward or the inward Law. If every commandment, relating to outward things, was obeyed, yet that was not sufficient, unless every one was obeyed with all the strength, in the highest measure, and most perfect manner. Nor did it answer the demand of this Covenant, to love God with every power and faculty, unless he were loved with the full capacity of each, with the whole possibility of the soul.

4. One thing.' more was indispensably required by the Righteousness of the Law', namely, that this universal obedience, this perfect holiness both of heart and life, should be perfectly uninterrupted also, should continue without any intermission, from the moment wherein God created man, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, until the days of his trial should be ended, and he should be confirmed in life everlasting.

5. The righteousness, then, which is of the Law, speaketh on this wise: “Thou, o man of God, stand fast in love, in the image of God wherein thou art made. If thou wilt remain in life, keep the commandments, which are now written in thy heart. Love the Lord thy God with all thy hcart. Love, as thyself, every soul that he hath made. Desire nothing but God. Aim at God in every thought, in every word and work. Swerve not, in one notion of body or soul, from him, thy mark, and the prize of thy high calling. And let all that is in thee praise his holy name, every power and faculty of thy soul, in every kind, in every degree, and at every moment of

thine existence. - This do, and thou shalt live: 'thy light shall shine, thy love shall flame more and more, till thou art received up into the house of God in the hicavens, to reign with him for ever and ever.”

6. “ But the Righteousness which is of Faith, speaketh on this wise: say not in thinc heart, Who shall ascend into hearen ? that is, to bring down Christ from above; ” (as though it were some impossible task, which God required thee previously to perform, in order to thine acceptance ;) “Or, Who shall descend into the deep, that is, to bring up Christ from the dcad ? ” (as though that were still remaining to be done, for the sake of which thou wert to be accepted ;) “But what saith it? The word,” according to the tenor of which thou mayest now be accepted as an heir of life eternal, “is nigh thec, cven in thy mouth, and in thy hcart, that is, the word of Faith, which we preach ; ” the New Covenant which God hath now established with sinful man, through Christ Jesus.

7. By “the Rightcousness wlich is of Faith” is meant, that condition of Justification (and, in consequence, of present and final salvation, if we endure therein unto the end,) which was given by God, to fallen man, through the mcrits and mediation of his only begotten Son. This was in part revealed to Adam, soon after his fall, being contained in the original promise, made to liim, and his sced, concerning the Seed of thell'oman, who should “bruisc thc Serpeut's head." (Gen. iii. 15.) It was a little more clcarly revealed to Abraham, by the Angel of God, from heaven, saying, “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, that in thy Seed shall all the nations of the world be blessed.” (Gen. xxii, 15, 18.) It was vet more fully made known to Moses, to David, and to the Prophets that followed; and, through them, to many of the people of God, in their respective gencrations. But still the bulk cren of these were ignorant of it; and very few understood it clearly. Still “life and immortality” were not so “brought to light” to the Jeu's of old, as they are now to us“ by the Gospel.”

8. low this Covenant saith not to sinful man, “ Perforin unsinning obedience, and live.” If this were the term, he would have no more bencfit by all which Christ hath donc and suffered for him, than if he was required, in order to lite, to “ascend into heaven, and bring down Christ from aborc;” or, to “ descend into the deep," into the invisible world, and “bring up Christ from the dead." It doth not require any impossibility

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to be done: (although to mere man, what it requires would be impossible; but not to man assisted by the Spirit of God :) this were only to mock human weakness. Indeed, strictly speaking, the Covenant of Grace doth not require us, to do any thing at all, as absolutely and indispensably necessary, in order to our justification; but only, to Believe in Him, who, for the sake of his Son, and the propitiation which he hath made, “justifieth the ungodly, that worketh not,” and imputes his Faith to him for Righteousness. Even so Abraham “ believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen xy. 6.) “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith,—that he might be the father of all them that believe,—that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” (Rom. iv. 11.) “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it [i .e. Faith] was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed,” to whom Faith shall be imputed for righteousness, shall stand in the stead of perfect obedience, in order to our acceptance with God, “if we belieơe on him, who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead: Who was delivered to death] for our offences, and was raised again for our Justification :” (Rom. iv. 23–25:) For the assurance of the remission of our sins, and of a second life to come, to them that believe.

9. What saith then the Covenant of Forgiveness, of unmerited love, of pardoning mercy? "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” In the day thou believest, thou shalt surely live. Thou shalt be restored to.the favour of God; aud in bis pleasure is life. Thou shalt be saved from the curse, and from the wrath of God. Thou shalt be quickened, from the death of sin, into the life of righteousness. And if thou endure to the end, belicving in Jesus, thou shalt nerer taste the second death; but, having suffered with thy Lord, shalt also live, and reign with him for ever and ever.

10. Now "this word is nigh thee.” This condition of life, is plaiu, easy, always at hand. “It is in thy mouth, and in thy heart,” through the operation of the Spirit of God. The moment “thou believest in thine heart” in him whom God “hath raised from the dead,” and “confessest with thy mouth the Lord Jesus," as thy Lord and thy God, thou shalt be saved from condemnation, from the guilt and punishment of thy former sins, and shalt have power to serve God in true holiness all the remaining days of thy life.

11. What is the difference then between the “righteousness which is of the Law," and the “righteousness which is of Faith ? " Between the first Covenant, or the Covenant of Works, and the second, the Covenant of Grace? The essential, unchangcable difference is this: The one supposes him to whom it is given, to be already holy and happy, created in the image and enjoying the favour of God; and prescribes the condition whereon he may continue therein, in love and joy, life and immortality: The other supposes him to whom it is given, to be now unboly and unbappy; fallen short of the glorions image of God, having the wrath of God abiding on him, and hastening, through sin, whereby his soul is dead, to bodily death, and death everlasting. And to man in this state it prescribes the condition, whereon he may regain the pearl he has lost; may recover the favour and image of God; may retrieve the life of God in his soul, and be restored to the knowledge and the love of God, which is the beginning of life eternal.

12. Again, the Covenant of Works, in order to man's continnance in the favour of God, in his knowledge and love, in holiness and happiness, required, of perfect man, a perfect and uninterrupted obedience to every point of the law of God. Whereas, the Covenant of Grace, in order to man's recorery of the favour and the life of God, requires only faith; living faith in him, who, through God, justifics him that obeyed not.

13. Yet, again: The Covenant of Works required of Adam, and all his children, to pay the price themselves, in consideration of which they were to receive all the future blessings of God. But, in the Covenant of Grace, seeing we have nothing to pay, God “ frankly forgives us all:” provided only, that we believe in him, who hath paid the price for us; who hath given himself a “ Propitiation for our sins, for the sius of the whole world.”

14. Thus the first Covenant required what is now afar off from all the children of men ; namely, unsinning obedience, which is far from those who are “conceived and born in sin.” Whereas, the second requires what is nigh at hand; as though it should say, Thou art siu! God is love! Thou by sin art fallen short of the glory of God; yet there is mercy with him. Bring then all thy sins to the pardoning God, and they shall vanish away as a cloud. If thou wert mot ungodly, there would be no room for him to justify thec as ungodly. But no! drair near, in full assurance of faith. He speaketh and it is done. Fear

not, only believe; for even thé just God, justifieth all that believe in Jesus."

Il. 1. These things considered, it would be easy to show, as I proposed to do in the Second place, the folly of trusting in the “Righteousness which is of the Law," and the wisdom of “submitting to the Righteousness which is of Faith.”

The fully of those who still trust in the “Righteousness which is of the Law,” the terms of which are, Do this and live,may abundantly appear from hence: They set out wrong : their very first step is a fundamental mistake : for, before they can ever think of claiming any blessing, on the terms of this Covenant, they must suppose themselves to be in his state, with whom this Covenant was made. But how vain a supposition is this; since it was made with Adam in a state of innocence! How weak, therefore, nust that whole building be, which stands on such a foundation! And how foolish are they who thus build on the sand! Who seem never to have considered, that the Covenant of Works was not given to man, when he was “ dead in trespasses and sins," but when he was alive to God, when he knew no sin, but was holy as God is holy: Who forget, that it was never designed for the recovery of the farour and life of God once lost, but only for the continuance and increase thereof, till it should be complete in life everlasting.

2. Neither do they consider, who are thus “seeking to establish their own righteousness, which is of the law,” what manner of obedience or righteousness that is, which the law indispensably requires. It must be perfect and entire in every point, or it answers not the demand of the law. But which of you is able to perform such obedience ? Or, consequently, to live thereby? Who among you fulfils every jot and tittle, eren of the outward commandments of God ? Doing nothing, great or small, which God forbids ?.. Leaving nothing undone which he enjoins ? Speaking no idle word? Having your conversation always “meet to minister grace to the hearers ?” And, “ whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, doing all to the glory of God?” And how much less are you able to fulfil all the inward commandments of God! Those which require, that every temper and motion of your soul should be holiness unto the Lord! Are you able to “love God with all your heart? ” To love all mankind as your own soul? To “pray without ceasing? In every thing to give thanks ? " To

Vol. I, No. 2.

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