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chap. viii.] OF JUSTIFICATION. 427

is comfort indeed: they, who build not on these foundations,
are certainly, like Job's friends, miserable comforters. It is
memorable what the reverend Voetius, Disput. ii. p. 754, re-
lates of John Frederic, duke of Saxony, who acquainted Luther
that George, duke of Saxony, comforted his son John, in the
agonies of death, with the righteousness of faith, desiring him
to look to Christ alone, and disclaim his own merits and the
invocation of saints. And when the wife of the aforesaid
John (who was sister to Philip landgrave of Hesse) asked
duke George, why these things were not thus publicly taught,
made answer, O hter, such things are to be said to the
dying only. O the force of truth, breaking forth even from
the breasts of those who are set against it.
LXXXIII. 4thly. This doctrine is o powerful to
promote godliness. 1. Because it lays, as a foundation, a
submissive humility of soul, presuming nothing of itself, with-
out which there is no holiness that deserves the name. ... 2.
Because we teach, that no faith justifies, but what is the fruit-
ful parent of good works. , And can any one really believe,
that he, who is himself a most unworthy sinner, is, without
any merit of his own, received into the favour of God, deli-
vered from the expectation of hell, and favoured with the
hope of a blessed eternity, and not, in every respect, and by
all means be obedient to so benevolent a Lord? Can he be-
lieve, that God the Father spared not his own Son, that he
might spare this slave: that God the Son bore so many
things grievous to mention and hard to suffer, that he might
procure pardon for the guilty, and a right to life: that God,
the Holy Ghost, off. his heart, as the messenger and
earnest of so great a happiness, and love those soarden {. who
had no love for him f Can he then provoke the Father by dis-
obedience f Trample on the Son by . wickedness, and one
his blood? Can he grieve the Spirit the Comforter? Indeed,
such a one knows not what faith is, who imagines, that it con-
sists in a strong i. destitute of good works. , 8dly.
Because it teacheth a sublime pitch of holiness, by, which a
person, laying aside every mercenary affection, can love God
and virtue for itself, direct every #. to the glory of God
alone, and securely trust him with the free reward of his works.
Here now we appeal to the conscience of our adversaries,
which is the safer way, whether that which we point out to
our people, or what they would have theirs to walk in P.We
both agree, that without good works none shall be saved.
Now whether is it safer to say, Do good works, with a pre-
sumption of merit; or, do them with all diligence and energy

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428 OF SPIRITUAL PEACE. [Book 111.

of soul; because you cannot be saved without them: yet,
having done all, own thyself to be an unprofitable servant, and
look for heaven as a free gift. If works merit nothing, doubt-
less he offends God who boasts of his merits. But if they de-
serve any thing, yet I, though performing them. diligently,
dare not arrogate Auy thing to myself from merit: of what de-
triment, pray, will that humility bef . We conclude, that a
doctrine, whose advantages are so many, and so considerable,
tannot but be true.

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I. Reconcillarios stands in close connection with justifica-
tion, the consummation of which is a spiritual, holy, and bless-
ed peace: “ therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom.
v. 1.
II. This peace is “a mutual concord between God and the
sinner, who is justified by faith; so that the heart of God is
carried out towards man, and in like manner, the heart of
man towards God, by a delightful inclination of friendship.”
God thus addresses the church, when reconciled to him;
“ thou shalt no more be termed forsaken, neither shall th
land be any more termed desolate: but thou shalt be called,
i.o. (my delight), and thy land, Beulah (married):
for the Lord de o in thee, and thy land shall be marri-
ed,” Isa. lxii. 4. And the church in her turn, replies, “I
will love thee, O Lord, my strength,” Psal. xviii. 1.
III. This blessed peace presupposes that unhappy and de-
structive war, which the inconsiderate sinner had raised be-
tween God and himself; concerning which the prophet says,
“your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you," Isa. lix. 2. By
sin man lost the favour and friendship of God, and incurred
his righteous hatred and displeasure, which “is revealed -
from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men,” Rom. i. 18. and is threatened by the curse of the law,
Deut. xxvii. 26. felt in the conscience, which trembles at
every voice of God, Gen. iii. 8. and is the bitter source of all
that anguish, which is the forerunner of eternal destruction.
And on the other hand, man is carried out to a dreadful hat-

red of God, Rom. i. 30. After sin became his delight, he

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chap. 1x.] of SPIRITUAL PEACE. 429

became an enemy to all holiness, and consequently: a most
bitter enemy to , because he is the most unspotted holi.
ness. Whatever wisdom he has, it is enmit inst; God,
Rom. viii. 7. He hath joined himself to the .
whose banner he fights against God. “He stretcheth out hi
hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Al:
mighty: he runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the
thick, bosses of his o Job xv. 25, 26. If anything is
so. to him out of the law of God, he the more bold.
y acts contrary to it, Rom. vii. 8. Whenever he feels the
effects of divine indignation, he with the most reproachful
words, reviles the most holy justice of God, Isa, viii. 21. And
almost goes so far as to wish, that either there was no God,
or that he did not punish sin. The first of these tends to
destroy the existence of God; the other his holiness, without
which (horrid to think!) he would be a wicked spirit. But
seeing God is greater than man, Job xxxiii. 12, this war can-
not but prove fatal to man. “God is wise in heart, and mighty
in strength; who hath hardened himself against him, and hath
prospered?" Job ix.4. -
IV. In this very grievous war, all hopes of an uniting
peace seem to be entirely cut off. For it cannot be devised,
in what manner, either God can be reconciled to man, or
man to God. The holiness of God does not suffer him to
allow the sinner communion with himself, lest he should
seem to be like him, Psal. 1. 21. The justice of God demands
punishment, Rom. i. 32. The truth of God threatens death,
Gen. iii. 3. And it is on no account to be ... that
God would make a peace in favour of man who despises him,
to the prejudice of any of his own ections: for he cannot
deny himself; 2 Tim. ii. 18. And man on his part is no
less averse to peace, for though he will find nothing but ruin
in this war, and all manner of good in this peace, yet he is
so infatuated, so much an enemy to himself, that *: madly
hardens himself to his own destruction. Being subjected to
the power of sin and Satan, he freely and fully serveth them;
These blind the eyes of his understanding, “lest the light of
the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them,"2 Cor.
iv. 4. And so lead him captive at their will, that he neither
can, nor dare think in what manner he may recover himself
out of the snare of the devil, and be reconciled to God, 2 Tim:
ii. 26. - ---- * * * * *
W. But God, “whose understanding there is no searching
out,” Isa. xl. 28. was able to find out a'method and way,
whereby all these difficulties could be surmounted. For he

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430 of SPIRITUAL PEACE. [book III.

hath a Son, who being given to be the mediator and surety,
made satisfaction to his holiness, justice, and veracity, and
thus on his part God is reconciled, 2 Cor. v. 19. Moreover
that Son has a Spirit far more powerful than the infernal
spirit, who by his turning and inclining efficacy, can expel the
hatred of God out of our hearts, and shed abroad the . of
God there. To whose guidance and influence, if man gives
himself up, that blessed peace will be soon procured of which
We are now to treat.
VI. Hence it appears, that the rise and beginning of this
is from God; accordingly it is called the peace of God;
and God himself the God of peace, Phil. iv. 7, 9. The Fa-
ther hath established the counsel of peace, Zech. vi. 13. And
therefore it is ascribed to him as the original of it, that
“having made peace, he reconciled all things unto himself.”
Col. i. 20. The Son hath executed that counsel of peace,
and by shedding his precious blood, removed all obstructions,
and actually obtained for the elect the grace and favour of his
Father, which was long before designed for them. He there-
fore calls this his own peace ; and declares that he gives it,
John xiv. 27. nay he is called the Prince of peace, Isa. xi. 5.
and king of peace, prefigured by Melchizedek, Heb. vii. 2.
and the peace, Mich. v. 5. and our peace, Eph. ii. 14. The
Holy Spirit, the messenger of so great a happiness, like
Noah's dove with an olive-branch, flies at the appointed mo-
ment of grace to the elect, and effectually offers and brings
home to them the peace decreed ". Father, and purchased
by Christ: Hence peace is said to be by the Holy Gost, Rom.
xiv. 17. -
VII. The sountain of this peace, and the first cause of it,
can be nothing but the infinite mercy and philanthropy of God:
and this is the reason why the apostles in their epistles
wishing peace to believers, usually set grace before it, as the
spring of that peace. Which is the more evident, because
as there was nothing in man, that could invite God to make
peace with him, (for, when we were enemies, we were re-
conciled to God by the death of his Son, Rom. v. 10) so in
like manner, God, who is all sufficient to himself for all happi-
ness, could gain nothing by this peace. The whole advantage
thereof redounds to man: the glory of so great a work is due
to God alone.
VIII. Man surely ought not to hear the least report of
this peace, without being directly carried with the greatest
vigour of soul, to obtain it for himself. And though he should
be obliged to go to the utmost end of the earth, for instruc-

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chap. Ix.] OF SPIRITUAL PEACE. 431

tion in the manner how to procure it, he should undertake
the journey with the utmost diligence and readiness... But,
behold the incredible benevolence of the Deity, who not only.
in his word, sufficiently instructs men in the excellency of so
great a blessing, but also fully informs them in what manner
they may enjoy it; by putting the word of reconciliation
in the mouth of his servants, 2 Cor. v. 29. “I create the
fruit of the lips, peace to him that is afar off and to him
that is near, saith the Lord,” Isa. lvii. 19.4 But this is not
all, for he also is the first who sends ambassadors to men
to offer peace. Would it not have been inestimable grace if,
after many and solicitous entreaties, he had suffered himself
to be at length prevailed upon by us as Herod, who with
difficulty granted peace to the Tyrians after their most ear.
nest requests Acts xii. 20. But he not only freely offers,
but also solicits and affectionately entreats and beseeches men
by his ambassadors, that they would not refuse to be reconcil-
ed to him, 2 Cor. v. 20. And though his tremendous majesty
has been often scornfully despised, and though he has for a long
time addressed himself to their ears by his most alluring invita-
tions, and all to no purpose, yet he does not desist, but again
and again presses, over and over urges that affair of peace, and
compels, with so much gentleness, the most obstinate to partake
of his friendship and love, Luke xiv. 23. Such is the infinite
goodness of the Supreme Being ! ~ * * **, *i; };
IX. But he does not stop here, for as the word of grace,
though preached in the most pathetic manner, actually draws
none, without the secret operation of the Spirit of , so?
he graciously bestows that Spirit on man; who at length
opens the eyes of the understanding, that wretched men ma
see, how bad their case is, while they continue in that d
ful hostility, and on the other hand, what superabundant
piness, the peace so often tendered, will bring along with it.
He tames the wild and savage hearts, and subdues them to
the obedience of God and of Christ; first he strikes them to
the heart with a view of their sins, and with some sense of
divine indignation; u this he ts them with some
distant to: o: peace; ... he declares with
greater earnestness the loving kindness of God to the trem-
bling soul; and then excites the greatest longings after the
enjoyment of it, and thus, by little and little, he disposes thein-
most powers of the soul, to whatever is contrary to God, to
declare war against his enemies, submissively to entreat his
favour, cheerfully to accept of it when actually offered, and

give themselves up, without reserve, to be governed by the *

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