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pentance, as well as faith, and in no other way. If any are not in that way, they are not in Christ’s way: and have therefore reafon to fufpećt their union to Christ, and to conclude, that they are not in the path of life. Their eternal intereft does therefore loudly call upon them, to mourn for their fins, to hate and forfake them, left they perish eternally. True believers will not finally : ; for whom God justifies, he will also glorify. But then the believer's perfeverance is fubferved by a fear of caution; níor are there any true believers, but penitent believers: and therefore, whoever are habitually carelefs in their walk, and impenitenť for their fins, will fall short of falvation, whatever pretences to faith in Chrift they may make. There is but one way to heaven ; and whoever gets there, muft attain the glorious
, falvation, by obtaining affiftance, from the powerful in
fluences of divine grace, to keep that way. They must be enabled to go weeping and mourning, with their faces toward Zion. They muft offer to God the facrifice of an humble and contrite spirit. They muft loath themfelves in their own fight, for their iniquities and abominations. Every other road but this leads down to the chambers of death. Believers therefore as well as others, have caufe to pass the time of their fojourning here in fear. They have not caufe indeed (as is before obferved) of a legal and flavifh fear : but they have caufe of a jealoufy of themfelves, left they miss their way and fall fhort of their hope. They have caufe to watch and pray, that they enter not into temptation, Matth. xxvi. 41. They have cause to keep under their body, and bring it into /ubjećfion, left by any means they them/elves /bould be ca/i-aways, I Cor. ix. 27. And to judge them/elves, that so they may not be condemned with the world, chap. xi. 31, 32. They have caufe to follow peace with all men, and holine/s, without which no man /ball/ee the Lord,
Heb. xii. 14. They have caufe to repent and turn
who are kept by the power of God, are kept through faith (an operative faith, which is accompanied with all the graces of the blefied Spirit) unto the falvation which /ball be revealed in the lasi time, 1 Pet. i. 5. The doctrine of our union to Chrift does therefore allow no plea for licentioufnefs, fince Christ is a prince, as well as a Saviour, to all who are in him, to give them repentance, as well às forgivene/s of fins, Aćts v. 31. And they who do not, live in the exercife of repentance, whatever pretences they may make unto an union to Chrift by faith, have not the faith of God’s elećt, are none of his ; nor are they likely ever to partake of his falvation. It therefore concerns fuch filthy dreamers to awake, and confider their danger, who are at ease in Zion, who flatter them/elves in their own eyes : for their, iniquities muft first or laft be found hateful. You go on to argue ; * it appears a contradićtion, to teach, that the believer is perfećtly righteous in the fight of God, by virtue of his union to Christ, and by the imputation of his righteoufness; and yet that he is finful and polluted in God’s fight, at the fame time. If he be united to Christ and interefted in his righteoufnefs, he is perfećtly righteous: and if he be perfećtly righteous, he cannot be finful: and therefore cannot have caufe to repent for his fins, to grieve for them, or feek pardon for them.’ In anfwer to this, I would intreat you to confider, 1. That this is to blend together justification and * fanĉtification, as if they were the fame thing. There is not the leaft fhadow of a confequence, that becaufe believers are interefted in a perfećt righteoufnefs, and are thereby perfestly justified in the fight of God, therefore their fanćtification is compleat, and they perfećtly holy. God may blot out our tran/gressions as a cloud, and caff our iniquities into the depths of the fea, by a gracious pardon, when yet we have caufe to acknowledge ourfelves altogether as un unclean thing, and that if he /bould mark iniquity, we could not /tand; that if he /bould contend with us, we could not anfwer him one of a thoufand. And is that an'argument why we should be bold and careless in finning, becaufe God has been infinitely gracious in Pardoning our fin ? Is it an argument why we should fecurely and ungratefully abufe our heavenly Father, becaufe he has laid us under the strongeft obligations to love and ferve him ? But it feems to be the drift of thofe whom you would perfonate in this argument, that the believer’s violation of the law of God is no fin, that their not being under the law, but under grace, makes it no ways criminal in them to tranfgrefs the law; and their being united to Chrift legitimates even the groffest tranfgreffions both of the law and gofpel. If this be intended, I muft obferve to you, that in order to a just deducing of this conclufion, it muft be fupposed, that the law of God is wholly vacated, and ceafes to be a rule of life; though the apostle aflures us, that the law is not made void by faith, but established, Rom. iii. 31. It muft also be fupposed, that holinefs of life is not required by the gofpel of Christ; though the whole defign of the gospel is to promote holinefs; and we are exprefly told, that the grace of God which brings /alvation, teaches us, that denying ungodline/, and worldly lufts, we /hould live foberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit. ii. I I, 12. And it must even be fupposed, that the nature of the glorious God - himself must be changed; that he can look upon fin with approbation ; and be pleased with what is moft oppofite to his own purity and rećtitude. It muft be fupposed that David's murder and adultery, that Peter’s denying his Lord, with curfing and fwearing, &c. were acceptable to God. What blasphemy, what fubverfions of the very light and law of nature are contained in fuch principles as thefe ! But you will fay perhaps, that it does not obviate the difficulty,..to fhew the inconfiftency and incongruity of thefe principles, while the question yet remains, whether they do not (how wicked foever) necefiarily follow from my doćtrine of our union to Chrift. To which it is fufficient anfwer, that by virtue of a believer’s union to Chrift, his righteoufnefs is imputed, to anfwer the demands of the justice and law of God; and thereby to reconcile the believer to God : but not to legitimate his finful aćtions. It is to procure him a pardon for paft fins; and not a licenfe for future tranfgreffions. It is to free him from the guilt and condemning power of fin : but not to change the nature, and destroy the infera.
rable effential defert of fin. It is true, that the believer is hereby interested in God’s covenant mercy and love; therefore fecure of a gradual fanĉtification, whereof his repentance, hatred of and forrow for fin, is a peculiar and principal part. Whence it follows, that we muft mourn for our fins, repent of and hate them, in order to evidence our union to Chrift and intereft in him ; and not live contentedly in fin from a vain dream of our union to him. There can be no fuch thing in nature, as an impenirent true believer ; and therefore all conelufions of this kind are groundlefs and impious. 2. It is a faćt most notorious, and admits of no difpute, that believers have not a perfećt perfonal and inherent righteoufnefs in the fight of God; and therefore the doćtrine under confideration affords no handle for fuch licentious pleas, as you have fuggested. , Christ’s righteoufnefs imputed to us, it is true, is perfećt; and . therefore our justification is perfect too, by virtue of our intereft in it, fo that on that account we have no caufe of any difquietment and uneafiness. But what is our own perfonal righteoufnefs ? It is filthy rags, Ifa. lxiv. 6. It is loß and dung, Phil. iii. 8. And if we fly we have no fin, we deceive ourselves ; and the truth is not in als, 1 John i. 8. Have we no caufe therefore to lament the imperfećtion of our own righteoufnefs, becaufe Christ’s righteoufnefs is perfećł ? Have we no caufe to lament the great defećts of our fanćtification, becaufe our justification is perfećt ? Have we no matter of uneafinefs on account of our non-conformity to the holinefs of God, becaufe his vindićtive justice is fatisfied ? Have we no occafion to lament, that we are no more prepared and ripened for heaven, becaufe we hope to escape hell ? Have we no reafon to lament the difhonour we do to God, becaufe he has in infinite mercy been pleased to pardon our fins, and make us heirs of glory ? And in fine, have we no fins to repent of, when in many things we all offend, and when our offences are peculiarly aggravated, by our diftinguishing privileges and obligations ? I speak thefe things upon the fuppofition that we have an aflurance of a justified ftate; which (as I have before proved) no man ever had, or can have, while he makes light of finning. It is little likely, that they
are true believers, who believe in Christ for a pardon only: or that they are true penitents, whose only motive is the penalty, and not the turpitude of fin, which should make us loath it, and ourfelves for it, though confcious of a pardon. You further obferve, that * the Antinomians argue * from the doćtrine of our union to Chrift, as I have * proposed it, that the fins of believers do really belong to * Chrift, as the fins of the hand really belong to the * head, unto which thofe hands are united. Accord* ingly he aćtually bare our fins, fuffered for us, and God * laid upon him the iniquities of us all. The fins that * the believer commits, do therefore truly belong to * Chrift, and not to the believer himself. They are his * fins, not ours. They are already accounted for by * him, and confequently are not now to be repented of * by us. You fufpećt (you fay) that there are too ma“ ny among us, which quiet themfelves with fuch dan‘ gerous pretences, while going on in finful praćtices ; * that thefe feem to found, their erroneous principles * upon the doćtrine taught in my laft: and you defire * me to confider, whether they do not naturally flow * from it.” There needs no other anfwer to this, than to fhew you, that our fins are to be confidered in a threefold respeċt. They are to be confidered with respect to their pollution, or contrariety to the holinefs of God; with refpećt to their innate guilt, or contrariety to the preceptive will of God; and with refpećt to their defert, or relation to the penalty denounced against them by the justice and law of God. It is in the latter fenfe only, that our blefied Saviour bare our fins, and was made : for us : and that our fins are by virtue of our union to Chrift imputed to him, and esteemed as his. If this be diftinćtly confidered, the cafe will appear most plain and evident. If we confider fin with respećł to its blot or pollution, it is the abominable thing, which God’s foul hates. It is what he is of purer eyes than to behold; and what he cannot look on but with abhorrence and detestation. Now it were the greatest blasphemy, to fuppofe, that Our Lord Jefus Christ did in this fenfe take our fins upon