Images de page

Hence, prompted now with gratitude and love,
Her chearful feet in fwift obedience move.
More ftrong the cords of love to duty draw,
Than hell and all the curfes of the law.
When with feraphic love the breaft's infpir'd,
By that are all the other grace's fir'd;

Thefe kindling round, the burning heart and frame
In life and walk fend forth a holy flame.



A CAUTION to all against a legal fpirit; efpecially to thofe that have a profeffion without power, and learning without grace.

WHY, fays the haughty heart of legalifts,

Bound to the law of works by nat'ral twifts,

Why fuch ado about a law-divorce;

"Men's lives are bad, and would you have 'em worfe?
"Such Antinomian fluff, with labour'd toil,
"Would human beauty's native luftre fpoil.
"What wickednefs beneath the cov'ring lurks,
"That lewdly would divorce us from all works?
Why fuch a flir about the law and grace?
"We know that merit cannot now take place,
"And what need more?" Well, to let flander drop,
Be merit for a little here the scope.

Ah! many learn to lifp in gofpel-terms,
Who yet embrace the law with legal arms.
By wholefome education fome are taught
To own that human merit now is naught;
Who faintly but renounce proud merit's name,
And cleave refin'dly to the Popish fcheme.
For graceful works expecting divine blifs;
And, when they fail, traft Chrift for what's amifs.
Thus to his righteoufnefs profefs to flee;
Yet by it fill would their own faviours be.
They feem to works of merit bloody foes;
Yet feck falvation, as it were*, by thofe.

* Rom. ix. 32.

Blind Gentiles found, who did not feek nor know;
But Ifra'l loft it whole, who fought it fo*.
Let all that love to wear the gofpel-drefs,
Know that as fin, fo daftard righteouinefs
Has flain its thoufands; who, in tow'ring pride,
The righteoufnefs of Jefus Chrift deride:
A robe divinely wrought, divinely won,
Yet call by men for rags that are their own.
But fome to legal works feem whole deny'd,
Yet would by gofpel-works be justify'd,
By faith, repentance, love, and other fuch:
Thefe dreamers being righteous overmuch †,
Like Uzza give the the ark a wrongful touch.
By legal deeds, however gofpeliz'd,
Can e'er tremenduous juftice be appeas'd?
Or finners juflify'd before that God,
Whofe law is perfect and exceeding broad?
Nay, faith itself, that leading gospel-grace,
Holds, as a work, no juftifying place.
Juft Heav'n to man for righteoufnefs imputes
Not faith itself, or in its acts or fruits;
But Jefus' meritorious life and death,
Faith's proper object, all the honour bath.
From this doth faith dérive its glorious fame,
Its great renown and juftifying name;
Receiving all things, but deferving nought;
By faith all's begg'd and taken, nothing bought.
Its highest name is from the wedding-vote,
So inftrumental in the marriage-knot.
JEHOVAH lends the bride, in that bleft hour,
Th' exceeding greatnefs of his mighty pow'r 4;
Which fweetly does her heart-confent command
To reach the wealthy Prince her naked hand.
For clofe to his embrace fhe'd never flir,
If first his loving arms embrac'd not her :
But this he does by kindly gradual chafe,
Of roufing, reaching, teaching, drawing grace.
He fhews her, in his fweeteft love-addrefs,
His glory, as the Sun of righteoufnels;

* Rom. ix. 30, 31. † Eccl. vii. 16. Pfal. xix. 7. Rom, vii. 12. + Eph. i. 15.


At which all dying glories earth adorn

Shrink like the fick moon at the wholefome morn.
This glorious Sun arifing with a grace,

Dark 1hades of creature-righteoufnels to chafe,
Faith now difclaims itself, and all the train
Of virtues formerly accounted gain;

And counts them dung, with holy, meek difdain.
For now appears the height, the depth immenfe
Of divine bounty and benevolence;
Amazing mercy, ignorant of bounds!

Which most enlarged faculties confounds.
How vain, how void now feem the vulgar charms,
The monarch's pomp of courts, and pride of arms?
The boafted beauties of the human kind,
The pow'rs of body, and the gifts of mind?
Lo! in the grandeur of IMMANUEL'S train,
All's fwallow'd up, as rivers in the main.
He's feen, when gofpel light and fight is giv'n,
Encompass'd round with all the pomp of heav'n.

The foul, now taught of God, fees human fchools
Make Chriftlefs Rabbi's only lit'rate fools;
And that, till divine teaching pow'rful draw,
No learning will divorce them from the law.
Mere argument may clear the head, and force
A verbal, not a cordial clean divorce.

Hence many, taught the whole fome terms of art,
Have golpel heads, but ftill a legal heart.
'Till fov'reign grace and pow'r the finner catch,
He takes not Jefus for his only match,
Nay, works compete! Ah! true, however odd,
Dead works are rival with the living God.
'Till Heav'n's preventing mercy clear the fight,
Confound the pride with fupernatʼral light;
No haughty foul of human kind is brought
To mortify her felf-exalting thought.

Yet holiest creatures in clay-tents that lodge, Be but their lives scann'd by the dreadful Judge; How fhall they e'er his awful fearch endure, Before whofe pureft eyes heav'n is not pure?

* Phil. iii. 7, 8.

How muft their black indictment be enlarg'd,
When by him angels are with folly charg'd?
What human worth fhall ftand, when he fhall fcan?
O may his glory stain the pride of man.

How wondrous are the tracts of divine grace?
How fearchlefs are his ways, how vaft th' abyfs?
Let haughty reafon ftop, and fear to leap;
Angelic plummets cannot found the deep.
With fcorn he turns his eyes from haughty kings,
With pleasure looks on low and worthlefs things;
Deep are his judgments, fov'reign is his will,
Let ev'ry mortal worm be dumb, be still.
In vain proud reafon fwells beyond its bound;
God and his counfels are a gulf profound,
An ocean wherein all our thoughts are drown'd.



Arguments and Encouragements to Gofpel-minifters to avoid a legal ftrain of doctrine, and endeavour the finner's match with Chrift by gofpel-means.



A legal Spirit the root of damnable errors.

E heralds great, that blow in name of God,
The filver trump of gofpel-grace abroad;
And found, by warrant from the great I AM,
The nuptial treaty with the worthy Lamb:
Might ye but stoop the unpolifh'd mufe to brook,
And from a fhrub an wholefome berry pluck;
Ye'd take encouragement from what is faid,
By gofpel-means to make the marriage-bed,
And to your glorious Lord a virgin chafte to wed.
The more proud nature bears a legal fway,
The more fhould preachers bend the gofpel-way:
Oft in the church arife deftru&tive fchifms
From anti-evangelic aphorifms;

A legal fpirit may be jufily nam'd

The fertile womb of ev'ry error damn'd.


[ocr errors][merged small]


Hence Pop'ry, fo connat'ral fince the fall, Makes legal works like faviours merit all; Yea, more than merit on their fhoulder loads, To fupererogate like demi-gods.

Hence proud Socinians fet their reason high, 'Bove ev'ry precious gofpel-myflery,

Its divine author ftab, and without fear.
The purple covert of his chariot tear.

With thefe run Arian monflers in a line,
All gofpel truth at once to undermine;
To darken and delete, like hellith foes,
The brighteft colour of the Sharon Rofe.
At beft its human red they but decry,
That blot the divine white, the native dye.

Hence dare Arminians too, with brazen face,
Give man's free-will the throne of God's free grace;
Whofe felf-exalting tenets clearly fhew
Great ignorance of law and gofpel too.

Hence Neonomians fpring, as fundry call
The new law-makers, to redrefs our fall.
The law of works into repentance, faith,
Is chang'd, as their Baxterian Bible faith.
Shaping the gofpel to an eafy law,

They build their tott'ring houfe with hay and ftraw;
Yet hide, like Rachel's idols in the fluff,
Their legal hands within a gofpel-muff.

Yea, hence fpring Antinomian vile refufe,
Whofe grofs abettors gofpel grace abufe;
Unfkill'd how grace's filken latchet binds
Her captives to the law with willing minds.


A legal Strain of Doctrine difcovered and difcarded.

O wonder Paul the legal fpirit curfe,
Of fatal errors fuch a feeding nurse.
He, in JEHOVAH's great tremenduous name,
Condemus perverters of the gofpel-fcheme.
He damn'd the fophift rude, the babbling priest
Would venture to corrupt it in the leaft;

« PrécédentContinuer »