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three, says Austin, shows those that Christ will raise up from the dead again. The first, the maid that lay in her father's house, notes that sort of sinners that commit secret sins, and never come abroad, never come into act. The second, the son that was carried out of his father's house, and laid upon the hearse, notes that sort of sinners that sin openly; swearers and drunkards, whose sins are abroad. And the third, that of Lazarus, notes that sort of sinner that hath lien so long in the grave that he even smells again. Now I pray further observe this, that when Christ came to raise Lazarus, then Christ prayed, but he did not pray when he raised the other two; and he groaned over him; he did not groan over the maid, nor over the young man, but he groaned over Lazarus, to shew the difficulty of raising a poor sinner from the dead that hath lien long in his sin. And therefore, if there be ever a poor soul here that is dead in his sins; oh, go to Christ while thou art young, and fall down before him and say, Oh, Lord, I have a dead heart of mine own, oh, let me have life from thee. But whether thou be young or old, here is yet hope; Lazarus raised as well as the young maid, and young man ; Lazarus, that lay, till he stank again in the grave; and therefore, yet there is hope though thou hast lien long. Wherefore in the name of the Lord, I beseech you all, come unto Jesus Christ this morning, If there be ever a poor dead soul in this congregation, as may be some there is, some drunkard crept in, some swearer, some unclean wanton: well, if there be ever a dead soul in this congregation, now go to Christ that thou mayest have life: and I say to thee, Awake thou that sleepest, and stand up from the dead and the Lord Jesus give us life.
Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
Gal, II. 20. YE heard the last day, that two things especially, are observable from these words:
First. That every godly, gracious man, is a living man,
is in the state of life, lives a spiritual life. And this I have spoken to.
Secondly. That our justification by faith alone, is no enemy, but a real friend unto this our spiritual life.
Nevertheless, (wde and now I live; but now I live. As if he should say, I never did live before ; but now, being justified by faith alone, and having the experience of this great truth, now I live. At the 16th verse, he had said, “ That a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ;" whereupon it was, or might be objected: if a man be not justified by the works of the law, then is he free from the law, then he is dead unto the law, then a man may live as he lists ? Nay, not so, says the apostle at the the 19th verse, “ For I through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live to God :" quite contrary, “ That I might live to God, I am dead to the law.” Yea, “ and though I am crucified with Christ, yet now I live," and I never did live till now; but now I live: this very principle of justification by faith alone, is the fountain and original of all my spiritual life. And thus indeed you shall find : for if you look into those three epistles of Paul to the Romans, the Galatians, and the Hebrews; ye shall find that the apostle does give this as the rise unto all his exhortations unto holiness of life : in the latter end of the epistle to the Romans, the apostle does exhort unto holy practices, and to a godly conversation: but in the beginning, he does state, and prove this doctrine, of justification by faith alone. So in this epistle to the Galatians; so in the epistle to the Hebrews : as if the only rise of all our holiness, and godly conversation were this, our free-justification through the blood of Christ, by faith alone.
For the opening, and clearing of this great truth ; I shall spend a little time in the explication of the terms.
First. Justification by faith alone.
Secondly. I shall labour to demonstrate this truth unto you, that justification by faith alone, is the fountain and original of all our holiness and spiritual life.
Thirdly. Answer to some objections.
Fourthly. Labour to shew ye, what there is in this free justification by faith alone, that may, can, or doth advance our holiness.
First. What is meant by this justification by faith alone ?
I answer, that I may be understood by the meanest. By this justification I mean, That act of God's grace, whereby through the imputations of our sins to Christ, and Christ's righteousness unto us, God the Father doth pronounce us righteous in his sight. This is justification. And this is done by the righteousness, and the blood of Christ only, as the material and meritorious cause, it is done only by faith as the instrumental cause, so we are said to be justified by faith alone. Yet not so, as that a man is justified by faith which hath no works; for all justifying faith is full of works: but these works do not come into our justification : as now, a man's servants, they have him to bed. Servants have their master and mistress to bed; tend upon them to bed; but they do not go into the bed with them : they are with them again in the morning, they bring them water and necessary things, but they do not come to bed to them. Now, says, Luther, justification is that bed, where Christ and a believing soul lies: and though good works, duties, and prayers tend upon Christ, and wherever there is faith, there are these; yet this bed of justification is kept free, and entire, and only for the righteousness of Jesus Christ; and they come not to bed, they come not into this work. Or if you will thus : ye know, that when an Israelite was stung in the wilderness, by a fiery biting serpent, he was then to look upon the brazen serpent; and by the beholding of the brazen serpent he was cured; the looking of his eyes cured him. He had other members, there were the arms, and the legs, and other members that did accompany the eyes; but though there were other members that did accompany the eyes, it was the seeing of the eyes that did cure the person. And so, though works do accompany faith ; and there is no saving justifying faith, but works accompany it; yet it is only the beholding of this brazen serpent by the eye of faith, that does cure the soul as to the point of justification. When Abraham went up into the mountain to offer up his son, he spake to his servants to stay below, “ Stay you here till I come again, at the foot and bottom of this hill," Gen. xxii. 5: and so they did. Servants he had, but they stayed below. And so when a man goes up into this hill of justification, this high mountain, he takes only his faith with him,
and he says unto all his works, and unto all his duties, stay you below at the bottom of the hill; and there they attend. So that faith, justifying faith, though it hath always works, yet they come not into this matter of of justification. It is faith alone that justifies. This by way of explication.
Secondly. But you will say, How may it appear now, that this free-justification of a poor sinner by faith alone, is the original of all our holiness and spiritual life?
Thus, it appears by contraries : contraries, have contrary consequences. If the law, and justification thereby, be no friend, but a real enemy unto all our grace and holiness, then justification by faith alone is a friend to it: but now take the law, and you shall find that justification thereby, is no friend, but a real enemy unto all our holiness, and the power of godliness. What greater enemies had the world ever to the power of godliness, than the Jews were ? and they sought to establish their own righteousness, and to be justified by the law. And now-a-days, what more bitter and more fell enemy unto the power of godliness, than a moral, civil man? Why? Because though he do not understand himself, yet he doth secretly seek his acceptance with God, by his own doing, and good meaning. A man can never live to God, that lives to himself: so long as a man seeks justification by his own doing and working, he lives in himself. Therefore says the apostle, “I desire not to be found in mine own righteousness,” Phil. iii. 9: to be found in it. Hope is the spring of action. The ploughman ploughs in hope, and he sows in hope ; hope is the spring of action. Now if a man seeks to be justified by the law, or the works of the law, there is no hope; for all works are imperfect: and if no hope, says the soul, why should I work? as good never a whit, as never the better. That cannot be the principle of our grace and holiness, which can neither convert a man, nor mortify his sins, nor quicken one to what is good, nor comfort, or free him from temptation. Now I pray, what is it that converts a soul to Christ? is it the law, or the preaching of the law? Nay, says our Saviour, “ I will send the Comforter, and he shall convince the world of sin,” John xvii. 9. But where do I receive the Spirit ? Says the apostle in the next chapter, the ijrd of the Galatians, “ O ye foolish Galatians this would I know of ye, Received ye the Spirit by
the preaching of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?" Not by the preaching of the law. And as for mortification of sin: can the law do that?
Nay, says the apostle in the viïth of the Romans, “ The law is weak: what the law could not do, being weak, God sent his own Son, to condemn sin in the flesh.” So that the law cannot mortify sin, the law cannot do it. And as for our quickening unto what is good; can the law do that? Nay, says the apostle, “ The law is a dead letter; and the law is the ministration of death;" and can that which is a dead letter, and the ministration of death, quicken us unto what is good? certainly it cannot.
And as for our temptations, and freedom from them; does the law do that? Ye know the apostle triumphs,“ Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" And who shall lay any thing to my charge ? shall the anger, and wrath of God? shall Satan, or mine own conscience? I will not be much afflicted, says he: why? for it is God that justifies. He does not say, for it is Moses that justifies : but it is Christ that died, and God justifies, not Moses. Samson, ye know, found an honey-comb in the body of a dead lion; not in hives at home, or trees abroad; but he found an honeycomb in the body of the dead lion.
So does a poor tempted soul find all the honey-combs of comfort, in the body of the dead Lion of the tribe of Judah, not in his own hive. I have read of a certain man that was much in prayer, fasting and reading; and the devil came unto him and told him, Friend, why dost thou pray so much, and read so much, and fast so much? it is all to no purpose,
for thou shalt
to hell at the last, thou shalt never go to heaven : says he, As for that, I leave that to God; it is not my question, whether I shall go to heaven, or hell: but my question is, how shall I serve God, and live to God? Had he now sought justification in a way of works, and by the law; he could have ever been able to have answered to this temptation? Ye may see what the apostle says in the viith chapter of his epistle to the Romans; he gives you a similitude thus: as a woman; so is the soul of every man: so long as a woman is married unto one man, she brings forth children unto him, and not unto any other, but is dead unto all others : but when that man dies, she is free to marry; and she marries another, and she brings forth children unto him. Now says the apostle, at the 4th verse,