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sing with the church, Mich. 7. 17, “ who is a God « like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth 6. by transgrefron? 0! the purity of that boliness, « which chofe rather to punish the fins of the elect s in his only begotten fon, than suffer them to go so unpunished! O! the abyss of his love to the 6 world, for which he spared not his dearest son, s in order to spare finners! O! the depth of the “ riches of unlearchable wisdom, by which he “ exercises mercy towards the penitent guilty, “ without any ftain to the honour of the most sc impartial judge! O! the treasures of love in “ Christ, whereby he became a curse for us, in “ order to deliver us therefrom.” How becoming the justified soul, who is ready to diffolve in the sense of this love, with full exultation to sing a new song, a song of mutual return of love to a justifying God?
LXXXI. 2dly. This doctrine is likewise calcu- 2. For the lated for the bumility of the finner ; from whom it humilia
tion of the cuts off all boasting, that the glory may remain
finner. unstained 'to God alone. 4 What hast thou, O ss man to boast of? What, wherewith thou canst **s stand before the tribunal of God? Good works? " But all thy righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Ifa. 64. « 6.' If thou leanest on them, they are, Pope “ Adrian VI. himself being judge, like the staff of a s6 reed which shall break, and pierce thy leaning “ hand. Perhaps thou wilt boast of thy faith, as if “ by the excellency of that thou canst please God. “ But even that is like a shaken and shattered reed,
to which thou canst not safely trust; and what' “ ever it be, it is the gift of God, Pbil, 1. 29. Thou
baft received; why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst
not received ? 1 Cor. 4.7. Thou hast nothing of " thine own, to present to God. Indeed thou hast
a great dale of thine own, but it is either fin, or at least what is stained with fin; for which if thou
he haft deserved any thing, it is only hell, or that “ which is worse than hell, if any such thing can be. “ And canst thou, O most wretched creature, boast
of any such vanity? Rom. 3. 27." 3. For the consola-
LXXXII. 3dly. It conduces above all to the tion of the consolation of the afflicted soul, bewailing his sins afflicted. with godly forrow; whom we may address in this
manner, from the very genius, or nature of this doctrine. “ Indeed, thy fins are both more numerous “ and greater, than thou canst either conceive or
express: but behold the lamb of God, which taketh “ away the sins of the world. Every thing, in thee,
is infected with much sin: but thanks be to God, “ the cause of thy justification is not to be fought “ for in thee: we are justified freely, by his grace. “ Thou hast to do with a most righteous judge, ..“ who will not clear the guilty: but behold Jesus " the surety, who, by a full expiation, has brought « it to pass, that he can justify the ungodly, with"out any violation of his justice. Having lucha “ leader and guardian, approach without fear to this
judge, being assured, that Jesus thy patron or “ powerful friend will lo plead thy cause, that “ thou shall not to be cast. Can'st thou not yet “ venture? What should hinder? Do thy sins, thy
nakedness and thy pollution affright thee? But “ take shelter behind Christ, hide thyself in his " wounds, wrap thyself in his death and blood, “ receive, with the hand of faith, the offered fine
linen, the righteousnesses of the saints. Is thy “ faith itself so weak, that thou art albamed and
grieved? But again thanks be to God, that thou art
not to be juttified for thy faith, or for any “ worthiness that is in it, but if it is true and sincere, " however weak, it is the band çf thy union and “ communion with Christ. And being united to
him, present thyself to God without fear; undauntedly also before the devil, and all, who take
pleasure to accuse thee. Humbly confess what“ ever sin may be objected against thee: but add, “ that they shall no doubt triumph in the judgment, 6 when they shall make it appear, that the merits 6 and satisfaction of Christ are not sufficient to
atone for and remove them, or thou not suffered to plead those merits of Christ in judgment. I challenge the devil and all his accomplices: who fall lay any thing to the charge of God's ele&t? It is " God tbat justifieth, &c. Doeft thou believe these
things? Thou doelt, but with faultering and 66. hesitation. Fight manfully against all the temp“ tations of unbelief, and even now, thou shalt
receive that white stone, and new name written “thereon, which none knoweth, but he who re“ceived it, and the hidden manna, which have“ ing tasted, thou wilt enjoy thy life in patience, « and death in desire." This 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. 2, P. 754, relates of John Frederick 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 Jobre (who was sister to Philip Landgrave of Helle) asked duke George, why these things were not thus publickly taught, made answer ; O daughter, Juch things are to be said to the dying only. 01 the force of truth, breaking forth even from the breasts of those, who are set against it.
LXXXIII. 4thly. This doctriņe is exceedingly 4. For powerful to promote gadliness. 1. Because it lays, as promota foundation, a fubmissive bumility of soul, presuming ing piety. nothing of itself; without which there is no holiness; that deserves the name: 2. Because we teach, that no faith justifies, but what is the fruitful parent
of works. And can any one really believe, that
he, who is himself, a most unworthy finner, is, without any merit of his own, received into the favour of God, delivered 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 believe, that God the father spared not his own son, that he might spare this save: that God the son bore fo many things grievous to menticn, and hard to fuffer, that he might procure pardon for the guilty, and a right to life : that God, the Holy Ghost; should enter his heart, as the messenger and earnest of fo great a happiness, and love those fo ardently, who had no love for him? Can he then provoke the father by disobedience? Trample on the fon by his wickedness and profane his blood? Can he grieve the spirit the comforter? Indeed, such a one knows not what faith is, who imagines, that it consists in a strong pursuasion destitute of good works. 3dly, Because it teacherh a sublime pitch of holiness, by which a perfon, laying alide every mercenary affection, can love God and virtue for itself, direct every thing 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 fafer way, whether that which we point out to our people, or what they would have theirs to walk in! We both agree, that without good works none shall be saved. Now whether is it safer, to say, do good works, with a presumption of merit; or, do them with all diligence and energy of foul; 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, doubtless he offends God, who boasts of his merits. But if they deferve any thing, yet I, tho performing them diligently, dare not arrogate any thing to myself from merit: of what detriment, pray,
will that humility be? We conclude, that a doctrine, whose advantages are so many, and so considerable cannot but be true.
сн А Р. IX.
Of Spiritual Peace,
1. ECONCILIATION stands in close connec- Peace fol
tion with justification, the confummation of lows upon which is a spiritual, holy, and blessed Peace : there-juftificafore being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5. T.;
II. This peace is a mutual concord between God and Defined. the finner, who is justified by faith; fo that the heart of God, is carried out towards man, and, in like manner, the beart of man towards God, by a delightful inclination of friendhip. God thus addresses the church, when reconciled to him ; thou shalt no more be termed forsaken, neither shall thy land be any more termed desolate: but thou shalt be called, Hephzi-bah (my delight), and tby land, Beulah (married): for the Lord delighteib in thee, and thy land Mall be married, Isa. 62. 4. And the church in her turn, replies, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, Pf. 18. 1.
III. This blessed peace presupposes that unhap- Presuppy and destructive war, which the inconsiderate poles a finner had raised between God and himself; concerning which the prophet' says, your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your fins have bid his face from you, Isa. 59. 2. By fin 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, Róm. 1. 18, and is threatned by the curte of the law, Deut. 27. 25, felt in the confcience, which trembles- at every voice of God, Gen. 3. 8, and is the bitter source of all that anguish, which is