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tion of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be (r) revived, and by the which, in the meantime, they are (U) preserved from utter despair.
(N) Cant. v. 2, 3, 6.-I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
(0) Ps. li. 8, 12, 14.-Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
(P) Ps. cxvi. 11.—I said in my haste, All men are liars. Ps. ixxvii. 7, 8.-Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Ps. xxxi. 22.-For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
(a) Ps. xxx. 7.-Lord by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
(R) 1 John iii. 9.-Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
(s) Luke xxii. 32.—But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
(T) Ps. xlii. 5, 11.-Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
(u) Lam. iii. 26-31.-It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. For the Lord will not cast off for ever.
OF THE LAW OF GOD.
1. God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience (A) written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual (B) obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and (c) threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.
(A) Gen. i. 27.-So God created man in his own image: in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them. Eccles. vii. 29.-Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
(B) Rom. X. 5.-For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
(c) Gal. iii. 10, 12.-For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
2. The same law that was first written in the heart of man (D) continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was
delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in (E) ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.
(D) Rom. ii. 14, 15.-For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
(B) Deut. x. 4.-And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me.
3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, (F) prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions (G) of moral duties, all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end, (H) abrogated and taken away.
(F) Heb. x. 1.-For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year, continually make the comers thereunto perfect. Col. ii. 17.Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(G) 1 Cor. v. 7.-Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
(H) Col. ii. 14, 16, 17.-Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holiday, or of a new moon, or of the Sabbath days; Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Eph. ii. 14, 16.-For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. And that he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
4. To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution; their general (1) equity only being of modern use.
(1) 1 Cor. ix. 8-10.-Say I then these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt this is written: That he that ploweth should plow in hope, and that he that thrasheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, (K) as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the (L) authority of God the creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, (M) but much strengthen this obligation.
(K) Rom. xiii. 8-10.-Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear faise witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. James ii. 8, 10, 11, 12.-If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou are become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
(L) James ii. 10, 11.-For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
(M) Matt. v. 17, 18, 19.-Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Rom. iii. 31.-Do we then make void the law through faith, God forbid : yea, we establish the law.
6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, (N) to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; (o) discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience: it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. These promises of it likewise shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man's doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being (P) under the law and not under grace.
(N) Rom. vi. 14.-For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Gal. ii. 16-Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works. of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Rom. viii. 1.— There is therefore now no condemation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Chap. x. 4.-For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(0) Rom. iii. 20.-Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Chap. vii. 7.-What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
(P) Rom. vi. 12-14.-Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [The reader is likewise referred to 1 Pet. iii. 8-13.]
7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law (q) contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing (R) and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.
(Q) Gal. iii. 21.-Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid : for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
(R) Ezek. xxxvi. 27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
OF THE GOSPEL, AND OF THE EXTENT OF THE GRACE THEREOF.
1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, (A) the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; in this promise the (B) gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
(A) Gen. iii. 15.-And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise
(B) Rev. xiii. 8.-And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by him, is revealed only by (c) the Word of God; neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, (D) make discovery of Christ, or of grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the revelation of him by the promise or gospel, (E) should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.
(c) Rom. i. 17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(D) Rom. x. 14, 15, 17.-How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shail they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
(E) Prov. xxix. 18.-Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Isa. xxv. 7.-And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. Chap. lx. 2, 3.-For behold, the darkness shail cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
3. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the (F) sovereign will and good pleasure of God, not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men's natural abilities by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did (G) make, or can so do: and therefore in all ages, the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.
(F) Ps. cxlvii. 10.-He delighteth not in the strength of the horse, he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. Acts xvi. 7.-After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bythnia: but the spirit suffered them not.
(G) [Read Rom. i. 18th ver. to the end.]
4. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened
OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.
or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable (H) work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life, without which no other means will effect (1) their conversion unto God.
(H) Ps. cx. 3.-Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 1 Cor. ii. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Eph. i. 19, 20.- And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
(1) John vi. 44.-No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him and I will raise him up at the last day. 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6.-In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.
1. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and (▲) curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil (B) world, bondage to (c) Satan, and dominion (D) of sin, from the (E) evil of afflictions, the fear and sting (F) of death, the victory of the grave, and (G) everlasting damnation; as also in their (H) free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of a slavish fear, (1) but a child-like love and willing mind.
All which were common also to believers under the law (K) for the substance of them; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the (L) free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.
(A) Gal. iii. 13.-Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
(B) Gal. i. 4.—Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
(c) Acts xxvi. 18.-To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Rom. viii. 3.-For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.
(E) Rom. viii. 28.-And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
(F) 1 Cor. xv. 54-57.-So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.