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you in some former Letters. In the latter Sense they must be diligently and painsully pursued and attended to; as 1 (hall more sully set before you. —Our Business therefore is, with most earnest Application to watch daily at Wisdom's Gates,xand wait at the Posts of bis Doors, to use our most active Endeavours in all the Ways of Godliness, Righteousness, and Charity, doing all in the Name of Christ; and when we have done all we can, to come still as loll, guilty, worthless and helpless Sinners, self-loathing and self-coBdemning, to the Throne of Mercy, acknowledging, that to us belongs Shame and Consusion of Face; and that we have nothing to plead, but the Riches of redeeming Love, and the boundless Grace of God in Christ, for the Acceptance either of our Persons or Services. In our highest Attainments, we mould come before God with that Language of Faith, Dan. w. i8. We do not present our Supplications before thee for our Righteoujnejfes, but for thy great Merries.
1 (hall only subjoin, that we must not depend upon our good I'.'orks for ^progressive Sanc l if cation, for renewing Supplies of Grace, and for a continued Progress in Holiness and Comfort unt» God's heavenly Kingdom. It is a dangerous Mistake, which too many seem to sall into, that we are to depend upon Christ alone for justifying Righteousness; but trust to our own active Kndeavours for inherent Righteousness, for a Victory over our Corruptions, and for a Consormity of Heart and ^Ase unto the divine Nature and W ill. Thence it JSj that although they carry on a dreadful Struggle with their Corruptions, yet these, notwithstanding all their Purpofes, Promises, Vows, W atchings, Fastings, and other mechanical Endeavours, will still Kmfl, and often throw them into great Perplexity
ty and Consusion.—They are sensible, that God demands their Hearts, and that it is impossible their external Reformations mould be acceptable, while their Hearts are sar from him, and led away with divers Lusts. With what Agony and Toil do they therefore worry with their carnal and sensual Affections, their impetuous Appetites and Passions, using various Methods of Mortification and Discipline, to correct the Disorders of their Nature; and are but still rolling a Stone up Hill, which as foon as they let go, it is at the Bottom again !—They are sensible that God requires Sincerity in the inward Man, in all the Duties of religious Worjhip. They therefore groan under the Burden of their religious Desects, their Deadness, Formality, and wandering Thoughts, in their Approaches to God, condemn every Duty they perform, and resolve upon more Watchsulness and Care for the suture: But, alas! the Difficulty remains, and they are ready to sink under discouraging Apprehensions of their Hypocrify. Indeed, when they gain a little Ground, their Hopes are revived and their Endeavours animated ; but when Deadness and Corruption prevail, their Distress and Fear return and^ prevail with them, their'Spirits sink, and they are ready to be quite discouraged. How many poor Souls are thus labouring in the very Fire, making a toilsome and melancholy Drudgery os Religion, by their legal Attempts, and their Spirit of Bondage?
How sar these Characters are applicable to your self, Sir, you can best tell: But this I know by Experience, that so sar as this legal Disposition prevails in us, it will not only darken our Way, but check our Progress in Grace and. Holiness.— If you would make any Proficiency in your spiritual Course, you ought to remember, that the di
vine Lise must be carried on in the Soul, in the same Manner, and by the same Means that it was begun there. We are not only justified by Faith, but we must be sanftified by Faith too, and of Christ', Fullness must receive, even Grace for Grace. Achearsul Dependence upon Christ for all Supplies tf Grace and Strength is the Way to obtain his quickening, comforting, and strengthning Influences; to have our Hearts enlarged in the Service of God, and to run the Way of his Commandments with Delight.—We must be dead to the Law (to all Dependence upon it, and Hope from it) if we would live unto God. Gal. ii. io.~Though we must discharge the Duties of the Law, and live in Consormity to it; yet these must be done with a Gospel Spirit, from Gofpel Principles and Motives. What the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the Flesh, God sending his own Son in the Likeness offinful Flesh, andsorSin, condemned Sin "i the Flesh. Would you then maintain a truly spiritual Lise, the Lise which you live in the Fiesta must be by she Faith of the Son of God, Gal. ii. 20. Would you maintain a Conversation worthy of your holy Prosession, your good Conversation must in Christ, 1 Pet. iii. 16. Would you live in the Love of God and your Neighbour, it is Faith iubich works by Love, Oil. v. 6. Would you get »Victory over the World, and all \ts Allurements, 'bis is the Victory that overcometh the World, even our Faith, 1 John, v. 4. Would you be able to Withstand Temptations, it is the Shield of Faith, by which sou will be able to quench the pry Darts of Wicked, Eph. vi. 16. Would you walk honestly in the Day, you must put on the Lord Jesus Cbrist,Rom. xiii. 13, 14. Would you be strengthen«i in the Service of God against all Opposition, you must be strong in the Lord, and in the Power^ *f his Might, Eph. vi. To. Would you have your Heart purisied from sinsul Lusts, Appetites and Passions, you must get your Heart purified by Faith, ACts xv. 9. Would you go on in your Way rejoicing, you must rejoice in Christ Jefus, having n» ,Confidence in the Flesh, Phil. iii. 3. Would yoa persevere in the Fear and Service of God, you must he kept by the Power of God through Faith unto Salvation, 1 Pet. i. 5.—Sir, it is not your Business to run without Legs, or fly wit loat vVmgs; but to go foi-th in the Strength of the L'ird God. Despair of all Sufficiency of your own, to mortify your Corruptions, and quicken yo .r Soul in the Ways of God and Godliness. Humbly repair to the Lord Jesus Christ, and chearsuliy trust in him for Grace and Strength, to make a successsul Progress in your Spiritual Course. Let not your Impersections or Corruptions discourage you; nor let yourgood Purpofes or Performances be theGround of your Hopes; but in a diligent Use of Gofpelmeans, commit your way to the Lord, trust alfo in him, and he will bring it to pafs. I think you cannot fo sar misunderstand me, as to suppose I am exhorting you to depend on Christ for Holiness, in the careless Neglect of good Works. This would be Prefumption and not Faith. No! I am exhorting you to a realizing Impression, that yoar good Works will not sanctify your Heart, your Affections, or Conversation; when you have done all you can, that you must rely wholly upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you may rely confidently upon him, to sulsil the good Pleasure of his Goodness in your Soul, and carry you on from Grace to Grace, and from Strength to Strength, till you come to the Mtasure of the Stature of a persect Man in Christ Jesus.—Thus I have shewn you negatively in some Instances, to what Purpose our good workt are not necessary, and in what Respects they may not be depended upon.
I proceed in the next Place to fhew you affirmatively, in what Refpects they are of Necessity ; and to what Purpofes they must be done, by all thofe who would approve themselves Christians indeed.
I. Then good works are necessary, as being one Design of our Election, Redemption, and effectual
Vocation. They are one End of our Election.
God bath chofen us in Christ, before the Fouudal on of the world, that we should be holy and without BLime before him in Love, Eph. i. 4 And it is by a Lise of good works, and a Progrels in Holiness, that we are to make it evident to ourselves, that we were chofen unto Salvation, through Sanllificalion of the Spirit, and Belief of the Truth. And accordingly we are exhorted in this Way, to give Diligence to make our Calling and Election fure.— 2 Pel. i. 10. —Good works are likeways one End and Design of our Redemption in Christ. He gave hinifelf for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and put ijy unto himfelf a peculiar People, zealous of good works, Tit. ii. 14'. And they who are indeed interested in this Pedemption, who indeed have believed in God our Saviour, who sincerely trust, in Christ for needed Supplies, will seel the Power of his Grace quickening their Souls, and exciting in them a zealous Carefulnefs to maintain good works: And therefore such have no Grounds to conclude upon their Interest in Christ, who live careless sensual Lives, in the Neglect of Duty to God, of Righteousness or Charity to Men, or in a willing Indulgence of any way of Sinning.—I may add, good works are also the End of onr Vocation. God hath called us unto Holinefs, I ThejJ. iv. 7. We are accordingly instructed, that as he which hath called us is holy, fo we should be holy in all Manner E e of