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O miserable Comforters! That would drive us out of this Refort! Wretched Christians! That fo Derogate from the Merits of Christ, As if they were not fit to be Relied on: Which are indeed the only Stay for a poor Sinful Soul, to take hold of: If ever that Soul would have Peace, and be at Reft. God knows what sorry Keepers of the Peace we are; And how ill it is preserved, when lying only upon us : Who are every day Breaking with him, and Flying out against him; after he has been Reconciled to us. 'Tis his Peace alone, that keeps our Hearts. Phil. 4. 7. And in me ye shall have Peace; (faith our Lord: 7oh. 16. last ver.) Not in all the best that ever you can do your selves. And therefore, 'Tis in Christ Jesus, that we must Rejoice; and not have any Confidence in the Flesh; Phil. 3. 3. Nor be so Hardy, as to cast our felves upon a Trial, by that Law ; which will for certain Condemn us. For our Sinning against the Law, has not Freed us from it; And where-ever we come Short of Obedience to the whole Law; We are guilty of Sin, and Liable to the Curse. Nor can we thro' vertue of the Gospel-Covenant, be Justified by our Personal Righteousness : Because there's no Less Perfeet Righteousness requir'd in the Gospel, than in the Law : The same holy Rule being still in full force. And if we are Juitified by Inherent Righteousness; Then are we still under the Covenant of Works: For if it be of Works; it is no more of Grace. Nay, Such as make Obedience and Perseverance, the Condition of our Juftification, offer that which can never be accomplish'd till our Death. And so no JuItification, (according to them,) is to be had in this Life. And then, (in the Judgment of our Church,) neither can one Good Work ever be done in this Life. For we are taught, (Art. 12.) That Works are the Fruits of Faith; and follow after Juftification. And (Art. 13.) That Works done before Iufiification, are so far from being Good and pleasing to God, that they have the Na. ture of Sin. And if Justification be only a Reversion; and Suspended for Term of Life: Where then is the Peace and Joy, which Believers have in it, as a Done
thing, already Paft? For so the Apostle speaks of it; Rom. 5. I. Being Justified by Faith, we have Peace with God. And if we are Justified by Faith, in our Saviour's Blood; What Works then are joined with that? For what is Faith in his Blood, but a Depending upon the Meritorious Effusion of that precious Blood, for the Gratuitous Remission of our Sins? And if God Impute Righteousnefs without Works; Rom. 4. 6. Then we may indeed Rejoice and Triumph in the Blessed Effects of his Grace, already wrought in us : Which is the true Ingenuous Spirit of the Gospel; Opposite to that Servile Spirit ; which fome are at so much pains to bring Believers under.
And when God in Mercy, (with regard to our Necellity, and for the Relief of our Impotency,) hath given out the Subsidiary command, provided for our Lapsed state, That we should Believe on the Name of his Son: (And so Believe unto Righteousness, and to Salvation :) How do they Slight their Souls, as well as their Peace, and throw away their Salvation, together with their Confolation, that make Light of the only Mediator; and Dispute and Cavil themselves out of their Faith: and make but a Jeft of Believing in Christ, to the Saving of the Soull o what Madness, to reject the only sure Hold in the World, and stand off from the only safe Refuge, where Rest is to be found for the Soul?
Men may crack of their Righteousness, Good Conscience, and Innocence: And well if such as Boast moft of it, had more to shew for it. We plead as much as ever they can do, for it. And therefore our Doctrine can bring no one under any Danger, for the want of it. But then if it be Charg'd upon us, as our Crime; That we Caution men, from Trusting to it: We are willing to bear that Burden ; And wilh they do not bring a far Heavier upon themselves; Whose turn nothing will serve, But they must work their own Justification out of it. One would think their Proud Opinion should need no other Confutation, But to hear Conscience tell them their Own; What they have Done ; and What they do Deserve. But if nothing save the Tribunal of
God will Silence them ; Thither we must Remit them. And when it comes to the Putting to, For Life and Death Eternal; I doubt not, but the Best then will soon have enough of it; And be glad to betake themselves to another Plea. All Sophistical Wrangling for the Merit of Works will be for ever dalh'd, aud itruck Dead, at that Judgment-Seat; Where will be no Trifing or Collusion of Words; but all shall be Search'd and Tried to the Bottom; Before that Glorious Majeity, whose Brightness, (As one of our first Reformers represents it,) Darkens the Sun ; Whose Strength melis dozun the Mountains; Whose Anger Shakes the Earth; W bose Parity makes even the Heavens look Sullied; Whose Wifdom catches the Subtile in their Craftiness; Whoje Juftice the Angels themselves cannot stand before ; Whofe Wrath once kindled, barns to the Lowejt Hell, and to the utmost Eternity. O let the Best men that ever Liv'd, offer their Eives and Actions to be Scann'd, before this most Worthy, but Dreadful, Judge Eternal, And then tell me, if Eliphaz faid too much; Job 15. 14, 15, 16. What is Man, that he should be Clean? And he that is born of a Woman, that he foould be Righteous ? Behold he puts no Trust in his Saints : And the Heavens are not Clean in his fight. How much more Abominable and filthy is Man; who drinketh in Iniquity like Water?
Though men may now Cavil it out with their Fellows : yet all the Defences and Confidences, how will they Vanish, at the Presence of their Glorious Maker, when he comes to Judge the World ?. And when the last Trumpet shall found; They'll be rouz'd out of the fine Golden Dreams of their own Riches and Righteousness; and be Confounded even at the very Best Worth of their own; upon which they were wont so much to Value themselves; and not backward then to make Da. vid's Confession, Psal. 119. 120. My Flesh trembles for Fear of Thee; and I am afraid of thy Judgment. And may not this stain the Pride of all Glorying in any thing that we have done, or can do ; And Humble the Lofty Looks, and bring down the Haughtiness of Man ; That the Lord alone will be Exalted in that Dreadful
Day; And to him alone, and not to any man,- shall be all the Glory of the Salvation of every one that is Saved. Almighty Judge, bow mall poor Mortals brook
Thy Dreadful Look,
But I hear tell,
So void of Sin,
That to Decline ;
Let that be Scann'd,
And if any still think, they can stand well enough upon their own Legs; And are for Establishing their Own Righteousness: 0 Christians! Do not ye count it a Disparagement, to Imitate the Spouse of Christ that is Represented, Cant. 8. 5. Coming up from the Wilderness, Leaning upon her Beloved. But as your Weakness makes you all to need the Prop: So will
shew your Wisdom in making Use of it. And take it not for a thing of Indifferency, but your bounden Duty. When this is the Command of God, That you should Believe on the Name of bis Son Jesus Christ. 1 Joh. 3. 23. O Bless his Name, That he has given you his Son, to Believe in ; And Oblig'd you to that, which is your only sure Sapport, and everlatting Confolation. And let no Dif. puters or Scorners abroad in the World; Nor any Unworthiness or Failings at home in your felves, ever pluck you froin this Fajiness; Nor Wrench you out of this Fiducial Ajiance in the Lord, your Righteousness and your Redeemer. But look to the Blessed Jefus ; And Depend all upon him: And hope for Life, only
from his Death : And Trust to his Merits and Righte. ousness alone, For the Pardon of all your Sins; For the Whole of your Acceptance with God, And all that ever you would have, to do you Good, both here and For
And thus Submitting to the Righteousness of God, And Reposing your Confidence in the Son of God; your Expectation shall not perill: You shall not be Ajbamed of your Hope: But shall Believe, to the Quieting of your Minds, and to the Saving of your Souls.
Collect for Fifth Sunday after Epiph. and
part of Sexages. o
thing that we do ; We beseech thee, to keep thy Church and Houshold continually in thy true Religion ; That they who do Lean only upon the Hope of thy Heavenly Grace, may evermore be Defended by thy mighty Power, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
F I N I S.