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(or as a debt ) teaft any man pould boast. This is likewise farther prov'd, from all those texts where : in God is faid to pardon and to forgive sins, as in Matt. vi. 14. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Eph. iv. 32, Forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's fake, barb forgiven you. 1 John i. 9. If we confefs our firs, be is faithful and just to forgive us our fins, and to cleanfe us from all unrighteousness. Chap. i. 12. I have written unto you, little children, because your fins are forgiven you, for his name's sake. From all which I think it is abundantly evident; that christians have no right, founded in innocency, to claim an acquitment at God's bar, seeing they are transgreffors of his law; but their acquitmene is founded wholly upon the merciful good ness of God the lawgiver, who gives them their discharge wholly of his free grace.
I obferve, secondly, that as the justification of 'a christian is wholly of grace, and not of debt, . fo there is something pre-requisite which makes
the christian the suitable object of this favour of juftification, viz. repentance, and faith; not that this pre-requisite is a meritorious cause of that jusțifiCation, for them it would be of debt, and not of grace; but only that it disposes him ( in whom it is found) and makes him a suitable object for this grace to be exercised upon. By repentance, I understand an awakening sense of the evil nature, and the dreadful consequences of fin; a conviction ofour own guilt; a deep forrow, humiliation or pain of mind, that we have done amiss; a confeffion of our folly, and an actual forsaking it. By faith I understand two things, first, faith in Christ that is, a believing or being perswaded, upon rational grounds, that he is the true Messiah, the only begotten, and the most beloved Son of God, she anointed Lord and Saviour of mankind; and
le that belmall all likererile Liske xiii. For the pain
that the glad tidings which he published to the world are true, viz. that God is in and by him reconciling finful mankind to himself. Secondly, Faithfulness to him, that is, an honest profession of his name and truth; an humble and dutiful submission to his kingdom and government, a patient bearing of his cross, and a persevering in hope of the heavenly inheritance. For the proof of this observation, fee Luke xiii. 3. 5. Exceps ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Mark xvi. 16. He that believes not shall be damned. John viii. 24, Except ye believe that I am be, ye ball die in your fins, Heb. xii. 14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. In these texts the foregoing obfervation is prov'd negatively, by proving that where repentance and faith are wanting, the person which is deftitute of them will be condemned, and consequently will not be justified.
Note, When I say, where faith is wanting, I mean such a want, as arises from a refusing to attend to the evidences, upon which faith, in the prefent case is founded ; and not such a want, as arises froin an incapacity of affenting, for want of that evidence. And when I consider faith as a pre-requisite to justification, I do not consider ir barely as an act of affent, but as it is a principle of action, and a foundation of that repentance and reformation, which renders men the suitable and proper objects of God's mercy.
For a positive proof of the foregoing observation, see Mark i. 15. The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. Chap. vi. 12. They cvent out and preached, that men should repent. John xx. 31. These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to the Jews, and cljo to the Greeks, repentance 10
wards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Chrift. Rom. xv, 18. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ bath not wrought by me, ta make the Gentiles obedient, both in word and deed, James i. 22. Be ye doers of the word, and not bear. ers only, deceiving your own selves. In these texts we see the forementioned pre-requisites are necessary. Again, Mark xvi. ;6. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. Luke xxiv, 47. That repentance and remission of fins should be preached in his name. John iü. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him mould not perish, but have everlasting life. Chap. xiii. 17. If ye know these things, bappy are ye if ve do them. Chap. xx. 31. These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Chrift, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might bave life thro' his name. Acts xi. 18. Then hath God also unto the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. 2 Cor. vii. 10. Godly Forrow worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of. Heb. X. 39. We are not of them which draw back unto perdition, but of them which believe, to the saving of the soul. Rev. ii. 10. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Here we see that repentance, faith in, and faithfulness to Jesus Chrift, have the benefit of justificacion annexed to them. Upon the whole, I think it is abundantly evident that repentance and faith are pre-requisites to, and make chriftians the suitable objects of the forementioned favour of justification. ..
I observe, thirdly, that as the christian's jufti. fication is wholly of grace, arising from the merçiful goodness of God, the lawgiver ; so this fa pour is youchsafed to obedient believers upon the account, and for the sake of Chrift Jesus our Lord, who hath used his interest to obtain this favour for them at God's hand. Chrift fo re:
commended himself to his Father's love, in une dertaking the cause of finners, and in prosecuting the work of their redemption (from sin and satan) with sincerity and faithfulness, even unto the death of the cross; that his father hath, as a reward of that undertaking, not only raised him from the dead, and exalted him at his right, hand, and fet him to be their Lord and governour ; but also he accepts of his mediation and intercefsion for them, and pardons them upon his account, and for his fake, and gives him authority to acquit them at the day of trial; fo that they are said to be justified by Chrift, not only as the is appointed by his Father actually to acquit them at the day of judgment, but also as they are justified by his obedience unto death, both as that obedience is a prevailing argument with christians to exercise that faith and obedience which make them the suitable objects of this grace ; and also as it is a prevailing argument with God to bestow this favour of justification upon all true believers. For the proof of this obfervation, see Jobre x. 17, 18. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. This commandment I bavc received of my Father.. . Phil. ii. 8, 9. He bumbled himself, and becanze cbedient unto death, even the death of the cross ; wberefore God also hatte bigbly exalted him. Heb. xii. 2. Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, de piling the name, and is fet doren at the right hand of the ihrone of God. Here we see that Christ's humble obedience unto death recomınended him to his Father's love, and was the ground of his exaltation at God's right hand. Rom. viii. 34. Who is he that condernneth? it is Christ that died, yea, roi ther that is risen again, wubo is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh interceflion for 11s. Heb. vji. 25. Wherefore be is able also ta fave to the uta bermast those that come unto God by bim, seeing be ever liveth to make intercelhon for them. Chap. ix. 24. Christ is not entered into the holy place made with bands but into heaven itself, noza, to appear in the prefence of God for us. Eph. iv. 32. For. giving ane another, even as God, for Christ's fake, bath forgiven you. i John ii. 12. I write unta you, little children, because your fins are forgiven: you ; for his (viz. Christ's) name fake · Here. we fee, that.Chrift's interceshon is available: for the juftification of all true believers; and confequently, that tho’ their juftification is wholly of grace, and not of debt, yet it is vouchsafed, upon the account, and for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord, who ufes his interest to obtain this favour for them at God's hand. And this St. Paul de. clares. Rom. iii. 24. That as they were freely justified by God's grace ; fo. it was through the redemption that was in Yesus Christ. This is plainly the cafe, as it is represented in the scriptures ; though, I think, we ought not to understand it fo ftri&tly, as that God would have heen absolutely implacable to penitent returning finners, had not his resentment been abated, by the mediation and interceffion of another in their behalf, such a proposition being injurious to truth, and to the morcl character of our heavenly Father; it being equally as wrong, in the nature of the thing, and thereby would be as much an imperfection in God, for him to with, bold his mercy from those, who are the suitable and proper objects of it, except intercession be made to him in their behalf, as it would be for him to be prevailed upon, by an intercessor, to fhew mercy to those, who are not the proper objects of it. Again,