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Thus every man may be, by the law or covenant of works, convinced of judgment, if he fhall continue under the cove nant of works, or shall not obey the gospel of our Lord Jefus.
IV. For convincing a man of fin, righteousness, and judgment, by the gospel.
AS for convincing a man of fin, and righteousness and judgment, by the gospel or covenant of grace, he must underftand three things; 1. That not believing in Jefus Chrift, or refusing of the covenant of grace offered in him, is a greater and more dangerous fin, than all other fins against the law; because the hearers of the gofpel, not believing in Christ, do reject God's mercy in Chrift, the only way of freedom from fin and wrath, and will not yield to be reconciled to God. 2. Next, He must understand, that perfect remiffion of fin, and true righteousness, is to be had only by faith in Jesus; because God requireth no other conditions but faith; and teftifies from heaven, that he is well pleased to justify finners upon this condition. He must understand, that upon righ3. teousness received by faith, judgment fhall follow, on the one hand, to the destroying of the works of the devil in the believer, and to the perfecting of the work of fanctification in him, with power: and that, upon refusing to take righteoufnefs by faith in Jefus Chrift, judgment fhall follow, on the other hand, to the condemnation of the misbeliever, and deftroying of him with Satan and his fervants for ever.
For this end, let thefe paffages of fcripture, among many others, ferve to make the greatnefs of the fin of not believing in Christ appear; or, to make the greatness of the fin of refufing of the covenant of grace offered to us, in the offering of Chrift unto us, let the fair offer of grace be looked upon as it is made, Ifa. lv. 2. 'Incline your ear, and come unto me,
(faith the Lord) hear, and your foul fhall live; and I will 'make an everlasting covenant with you, even the fure mercies of David.' That is, If ye will believe me, and be reconciled
conciled to me, I will, by covenant, give unto you Chrift, and all faving graces in him: repeated, Acts xiii. 34.
Again, confider, that this general offer in substance is equivalent to a special offer made to every one in particular; as appeareth by the apostles making use of it, Acts xvi. 31. Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be saved ' and thy house.' The reafon of which offer is given, John iii. 16. For God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Seeing then this great falvation is offered in the Lord Jefus, whofoever believeth not in him, but looks for happiness fome other way, What doth he elfe but obferve lying vanities, and forfake his own mercy, which he might have had in Chrift? Jonah ii. 8, 9. What doth he else but blafpheme God in his heart? as it is faid, 1 John v. 10. He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God hath given of his Son: and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.' And that no fin against the law is like unto this fin, Chrift teftifies, John xv. 22. If I had not come and spoken to them, they
had not had fin; but now they have no cloke for their fin.' This may convince a man of the greatness of this fin of not believing in Christ.
For convincing a man of righteousness to be had only by faith in Jefus Christ, confider how, Rom. x. 3, 4.
IT is faid, that the Jews, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteoufnefs, have not fubmitted themselves unto the righteousness of God, (and fo they perished) for Chrift is the end of the 'law for righteousness to every one that believeth. And, A&s ‹ xiii. 39. By Chrift Jefus all that believe are justified from ' all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Mofes. And, 1 John i. 7. The blood of Jefus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all fin.'
For convincing a man of judgment, if a man embrace this righteousness: confider, 1 John iii. 8. For this purpose the Son of God was manifefted, that he might destroy the works of the devil. And, Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without fpot to God, purge your confcience from 'dead works, to serve the living God?'
But, if a man embrace not this righteoufnefs, his doom is pronounced, John iii. 18. He that believeth not is condem'ned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved dark⚫ nefs rather than light.'
Hence let the penitent, defiring to believe, reafon thus, "What doth fuffice to convince all the elect in the worl "of the greatness of the fin of not believing in Chrift, or refufing to flee to him for relief from fins done against the law, and from wrath due thereto; and what fufficeth to "convince them, that righteousness and eternal life is to be "had by faith in Jefus Chrift, or by confenting to the cove"nant of grace in him; and what fufficeth to convince them "of judgment to be exercised by Christ, for destroying the "works of the devil in a man, and fanctifying and faving all "that believe in him, may fuffice to convince me alfo.
"But what the fpirit hath faid, in these or other like fcrip"tures, fufficeth to convince the elect world of the forefaid fin, and righteousness, and judgment.
"Therefore what the Spirit hath faid, in these and other "like fcriptures, ferveth to convince me thereof also."
Whereupon let the penitent defiring to believe, take with him words, and fay heartily to the Lord, feeing thou fayeft, Seek ye my face, my foul anfwereth unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I feek: I have hearkened unto the offer of an everlasting covenant of all faving mercies to be had in Chrift, and I do heartily embrace thy offer. Lord, let it be a bargain; Lord, I
believe, help my unbelief: Behold, I give myself to thee, to serve thee in all things for ever; and I hope, thy right hand fball fave me; the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me; thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever; forfake not the works of thine own hands.
Thus may a man be made an unfeigned believer in Christ.
For ftrengthning the man's faith, who hath agreed unto the covenant of grace.
BECAUSE many true believers are weak, and do much doubt if ever they shall be sure of the foundness of their own faith and effectual calling, or made certain of their juftification and falvation, when they fee, that many, who profefs faith, are found to deceive themselves; let us fee how every believer may be made strong in the faith, and fure of his own election and falvation upon folid grounds, by fure warrants, and true evidences of faith. To this end, among many other scriptures, take these following.
1. For laying folid grounds of faith, confider 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make fure your calling and election: for if ye do these things, ye fhall never fall.
In which words, the apoftle teacheth us these four things, for help and direction, how to be made strong in the faith.
1. That fuch as believe in Chrift Jefus, and are fled to him for relief from fin and wrath, albeit they be weak in the faith, yet they are indeed children of the fame Father with the apostles; for fo he accounteth of them, while he calleth them brethren.
2. That, albeit we be not fure, for the time, of our effectual calling and election, yet we may be made fure of both, if we ufe diligence; for this he prefuppofeth, faying, Give diligence to make your calling and election fure.'
3. That we must not be difcouraged, when we fee many feeming believers prove rotten branches, and make defection;
but we must the rather take the better heed to ourselves, 'Wherefore the rather, brethren, faith he, give all diligence.'
4. That the way to be fure both of our effectual calling and election, is to make fure work of our faith, by laying the grounds of it folidly, and bringing forth the fruits of our faith in new obedience conftantly: For if we do these things, faith he, ye fhall never fall;' understanding, by these things, what he had faid of found faith, verfes 1, 2, 3, 4. and what he had faid of the bringing out of the fruits of faith, verfes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
To this fame purpose, confider, Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Chrift Jefus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the fpirit. ver. 2. For the law of the spirit of life in Chrift Jefus hath
made me free from the law of fin and death. ver. 3. For 'what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the
flefh, God fending his own Son in the likeness of finful flesh, and for fin condemned fin in the flesh. ver. 4. That the righteoufnefs of the law might be fulfilled in us, who 'walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.'
Wherein the apostle teacheth us these four things, for laying of the ground of faith folidly;
1. That every one is a true believer, who, in the fenfe of his fin, and fear of God's wrath, doth flee for full relief from both unto Jefus Chrift alone, as the only Mediator, and allfufficient Redeemer of men; and, being fled to Christ, doth strive against his own flesh, or corrupt inclination of nature, and studieth to follow the rule of God's Spirit, fet down in his word: for the man, whom the apostle doth here bless as a true believer, is a man in Christ Jefus, who doth not walk • after the flesh, but after the spirit.'
2. That all fuch perfons as are fled to Chrift, and do strive against fin, howsoever they may be poffibly exercised under the fenfe of wrath and fear of condemnation, yet they are in no danger; for, there is no condemnation (faith he) to them