Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

of it; And wilt not yield thy self a Vasal to it; But when ever thou art carried Captive by it, Thou groanest under the Bondage ; and strugglest to Regain thy Freedom; Thou shalt be Accepted.

Thy Lord does not look for Unfinning Righteousness now from thee : For if all were so Right and well with thee; Of what use then would the Saviour be to thee? Hadit thou a full Sufficiency in thy self ; There would be an end then of Leaning by Faith upon him. He expects not, that thou

, shouldest punctually answer all that ever the Law demands : But that thou shouldnt Approve his Law; and have a Will present to do it; and Desire and strive still better to Fulfil ir. And if thou hast a sincere Love and Respect to all his Commands; Though thou faileft in the performance of many Particulars, he will Accept thee, and take thy Fulfilling of his Law [xcel Meixner,] with a Gospel Mitigation; and not Exact it [xce]" exgiener) according to the Legal Rigor.

He would have thee Fruitful in Good works; And to let thy Light shine before men, that they may see 'em. Yet he expects not now the Harvest, but the First-Fruits of Goodness : And stands not so much on the A&tions, as the Affections; Not on the Perfection of the Work done; But the Readiness of Mind, and Alacrity of the Heart, that it comes from.

The

[ocr errors]

The Righteousness Inberent that he calls for, is not an absolute Freedom from Evil, or a Perfection of Obedience: -No, but the Confelling of thy Unrighteousness, and Bewailing thy Sinfulness; and Longing and Labouring more and more to get out of it; and to Rile to a more eminent Height of Newness of Life; And to Fill up all the Wants and Imperfe&tions, by Faith and Affiance in the most Holy Saviour. And then tho' I dare not tell thee, (as some do,) That Christ has Merited this for thee, That thou shouldst be Justified by thy Own doings, and Inherent Righteousness; yet I dare Affure thee, That Imperfe&t Services fhall be taken in Good part from thee; when thou art by Faith Intcreljed in the Perfect Mediator and Redeemer. For 'tis thro' his Death, that the God of Heaven Reconciles us; and lo presents us Holy and Unblameable, and Unreproveable in his fight: (Not upon the impossible condition, That we never any more do Amiss ; But). if we continue in the Faith, Grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the Hope of the Gospel. Col. 1. 21, 22, 23.

Put forth thyself then,to do as thou canst: And that will give thee a Testimony of Confrience, which shall be thy Rejoycing : In Simplicity and godly Sincerity, to have had thy Conversation in the World. 2 Cor. 1. 12. And when thy Heart Condemns thee

not,

for any

[ocr errors]

Wickedness allowed in it: Then shalt thou

have Confidence towards God; and find his : Kingdom within thee, to be not only Righ

teousness, but Peace, and Jay in the Holy Ghost. So that thou mayit take Comfort even in the Personal Righteousness; as it is an Evidence of Grace, and of thy Implantation in the Living Vine. And thus proving thy own Work, thou mays have Rejoycing in thy self, and not in another. Gal. 6. 4. Ünless it be in Him, that has made thee to Differ ; and Alter'd thee so much for the better: Yea in Him, who (according to that New Covenant, which thou art under,) has promis'd to put bis Law, not only in thy Mind, (to Think of it;) but in thy Heart; (to Delight in it:) And cause thee to walk in bis Statutes, and to keep his Judgments, and do them; Ezek. 36. 27. And (for what thou failest,) To be Merciful to thy Unrighteousness and thy Sins; and rememýer thy Iniquities no more. Heb. 8. 10, 12. Thou hast Encou

, ragement then, to go on chearfully with thy duty; Though it be attended with frailty: And Delight to do the 'Will of God, according to the proportion of thy ability.

But having done thy Besi, Yet Trust to nothing that thou doit : Nor Miftake thy Way, for thy Journey's End. No, Let thy Saviour alone ftill have the Honour; to be thy Refuge and Fortress, thy Tower of Defence, and Rock of Salvation: Where thou

layest

[ocr errors]

-1

[ocr errors]

layest up all thy Hope; and on which thou haft all thy Dependance. Nor think it enough to imitate them, who make him no other Amends, for sharing his Honour, in Satisfying for themselves; but only to shut up their Colleets, Per Jefum Chriftum Dominum noftrum. (As the Acute Pemble perftringes the Romish Faith:) 'Tis not such a Formality, that will pay him his due Glory. But even when thou dost the best Service co him: Yet must thou Repose all thy Hope and Confidence in him. And as thou must not fo Depend upon his Mercy, as to neglect the Care of thy Duty: So neither have such Dependance on any of thy Duties, as to cast away thy Trust in his Mercies. Only give Duty and Obedience their due place and Office, under thy Lord Redeemer : But ascribe not the Work and Glory of Christ to any the best of thy Works; Set them not in Competition with him; much less in Opposition to him: To make them the Price of Redemption, or Meritorious of thy Salvation. Oncver think to set up such a Righ

O teousness of Works ; as fhall Satisfy the filfice of Heaven : Without being Beholden to the Satisfaction of Christ Jesus. But humbly bewailing thy own Unrighteousness, Plead the Righteousness of thy Saviour; as that wherein thou would it be Found; And by which thou resolvest ever to Abide.

For

For (according to the Belgic Confeffion) We pall Arait be overwhelmed with the Majesty of God; If we present our felves before it, Trufing either to our selves, or to any other Creature. And there will be nothing but Doubting and Wavering ; And the Conscience always Staggering and in Torment; Without an entire Reliance on the Satisfaction of Jesus Christ.

And so the Church of Bohemia, Christ alone is our Perfektion and Fulfilling of the Law; Our Life and our Righteousness; And whosoever Receive him by Faith, And, repose the Truft of their Souls in him; Have all their. Sins wash'd away in his Blood. So that after they need not fear Condemnation.

And the Council of Auspurg does not Mif-callyit, Pharifæick Blindness, to Mif-like the Doctrine of JuNification by Faith; which Extols the Honour of Chrift; Offers sweet and fure Confolation to Godly minds; Teaches the true Knowledge of God's Mercy: Produces his right Worship and Eternal Life.

And accordingly, have all those Protestant Churches in the World, The Confessions of whose Faith I have, seen, Signified their Sense of this Doctrine. A Doctrine that quells our Fears: and Raises our Souls; from Jealousy of the Lord's Mercy, to Rejoice in Hope of his Glory; From Groaning under the Body of this Death; To Sing Praise unto God, that gives us the Victory thro' our Lord Jesus Christ.

But they that set men to dig Justification, out of the Minds of their Own Righteousness, Push 'em upon an imposible Task; and Stretch Conscience upon a Tormenting Rack; To Sting and Wound; Without offering any true Ease and Healing : Proposing such a Method of Justification, wherein it can never be Effected : And yet Insisting peremptorily upon it; That to it must be done ; Whipping and Spurring poor Creatures, to Carry Mountains ; For which, when they see their utter Infuficiency, Thus their Peace is Ruined; And there they are left in doleful Distress, and Desperate Agony ; And so Frighted from Reliance on the Blessed Jefus ; That they scarce dare turn their Heads to Look that Way.

Omnia

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »