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<< me, I have given them: that they may be one, 66 even as we are one. I in them, and thou in "me, that they may be made perfect in one, "and that the world may know that thou haft "fent me, and haft loved them, as thou haft "loved me *."
I Shall now clofe this difcourfe with fome practical improvement of these important truths. Several reflections have indeed already been interwoven with the particular branches of the fubject, and the light which they throw on other parts of religion pointed out. I fhall therefore at this time only make a few obfervations upon the whole, and proceed to a fericus addrefs to all my readers on this moft interefting fubject. And,
ift, From the various truths above established, and the order in which they have been opened, we may see the indiffoluble connection between falvation by the grace of God, and holiness in heart and converfation. We may fee their equal importance and their influence upon one another. There are many who attempt to divide those things which God hath infeparably joined. Many infift only on the duties of the law of God, and our natural obligations to obedience; and are * John xvii, 21, 22; 23.
hardly brought to any mention of the righteoufnefs of Chrift, as the ground of a finner's acceptance before God. Nay, fome fcruple not to affirm, that the doctrine of juftification by free grace, or a finner's being found in Chrift, not having his own righteoufnefs, weakens the obligation to holiness, and tends to introduce licentioufnefs of practice. But from what hath been faid in the above difcourfe, we may learn, not only in general the abfolute neceffity of a change, but how this ftands connected with the purchase and gift of falvation, the character and work of a Redeemer. It will plainly appear, that a change in fome refpecs is neceflary to bring us to, and in others is the necessary effect and confequence of, the acceptance of falvation.
I have endeavoured in the preceding pages to fhew, that a discovery of the nature and glory of God, and of the infinite evil of fin, is absolutely neceffary, in order to our either understanding or relishing the doctrine of the crofs. What is this then, but a change begun! Muft not the dominion of fin in every fuch perfon have received a mortal blow? Doth any thing more directly tend to holiness, than to see the power and glory of a holy God, and how "evil
and bitter a thing" it is to depart from him? On the other hand, is it not neceffary to complete the change, that there be a fenfe of reconciliation
ciliation and peace ? "Can two walk together
except they be agreed?" Can any person live in the love and service of God, while he conceives him to be his enemy, and supposes himfelf still the object of his wrath and displeasure? But fuppofing this reconciliation obtained, let me boldly afk, What motive to holiness in all manner of converfation, equal to the force of redeeming love? Judge, O Christian, will any cold reasoning on the nature and beauty of virtue have fuch an effect in mortifying corruptions, as a believing view of a pierced Saviour? Where fhall we find fo faithful, fo active, fo chearful a fervant of God, as one who joins with the apoftle Paul in faying, "I am crucified with Chrift: "nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Chrift liv"eth in me: and the life which I now live in "the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of "God, who loved me, and gave himself for
me *" Faith in Chrift Jefus never can take place in any heart, unless there has been an internal work of the Spirit of God teftifying of him; and there is no effectual principle of new obedience, but faith which worketh by love.
2. What has been faid above, will ferve to explain fome controverfies with which the truths of the gospel have been often darkened and perplexed; particularly those relating to the priority,
Gal. ii, 20.
or right of precedency, so to speak, between faith and repentance. Some make repentance, that is, as they explain it, forrow for fin, ferious refolutions of forfaking it, and begun reformation, the joint grounds of our acceptance with the merit of a Saviour. Thefe, with great plaufibility, state the matter thus: That our fincerity is accepted through the fatisfaction of Chrift, instead of that perfect obedience to which we cannot now attain; and, when taken in a certain light, this affertion is undoubtedly true. Others, discerning the falfhood that may lurk under this reprefentation, and fearing the confequences of every felf-righteous plan, are tempted to go to the oppofite extreme. That they might fhew falvation to be wholly of grace, fome have even prefumed to ufe this harsh and unfcriptural expreffion, that it is not necessary to forfake fin in order to come to Chrift. I could fhew a fenfe in which this alfo is true, even as it is not neceffary to forfake your difeafe in order to apply to the phyfician. But if it is not neceflary to forfake it, I am fure it is neceffary, in both cafes, to hate it, and defire deliverance from it.
This difficulty will be eafily folved from what has been faid in the preceding parts of this treatife, and we may learn to preferve the truth, without expofing it to the fcorn or refentment of its enemies. The reader may obferve, then, that
none can fee the form or comeliness of a Saviour standing in the room of finners, and purchafing forgiveness from a holy God, till the glory of this God is difcovered, till the guilt of fin lays hold of the conscience, and its power is both felt and lamented. This may, perhaps, be called repentance, and I believe it is called fo fometimes in the holy fcriptures, particularly in the following paffage: "Repent ye therefore, and be con"verted, that your fins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing fhall come from the pre"fence of the Lord *." But the finner does not fo properly forfake fin in order to come to Chrift, as he flies to him for deliverance from its condemning guilt and enflaving power. He is fo far from coming to God with a gift in his hand, even of his own prayers and penitential tears, that his convictions continue to follow him, if I may fpeak fo, through every lurking place, till he is entirely fubjected, till he is ftript naked and bare, and deprived of every fhadow of excufe. Then it is that falvation through a despised crucified Saviour becomes unspeakably amiable in all its parts, fin becomes more perfectly hateful, and an affured profpect is obtained of its immediate mortification, and, in due time, of its intire and
complete deftruction. Thus faith and repentance are involved in one another, they produce,
Acts iii. 19.