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by the sacrisice of himself, and thereby to purchase tho Spirit, as a Spirit of holiness and sanctisication, to destroy the power of sin and corruption; and theresore it is a bale calumny to say, that this gospel-doctrine does open the door to sin and licentiousness; this he proves by two arguments, 1. Because the saith of Christ does not destroy itself, verse 18. "I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." Sin is like an old house, which I have razed and destroyed,, by my doctrine of free justisication by saith, and not by works of the law; for by this doctrine I preached freedom from sin through Christ; and therefore, is I should build up these old wastes of sin again, it is not Christ, but I that would be the sinner, or minister of sin f nay, I would be a madman, to build with one hand what I destroyed with the other. 2. Because liberty to sin i3 contrary to the very scope of the gospel, and to the design of this doctrine of justisication by saith without the works of the law; "For, I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God," ver. 19.
This is a very strange and wondersul text, that flesh and blood can hardly hear, without suspecting, that it savours too much of a new scheme of doctrine: and is it were not the divinely inspired words of the apostle, it would hardly escape being taxed as an Antinomian paradox. I remember, Luther upon the text, says, 'The salse apostles taught, unless you live to the • law, you cannot live to God;' and theresore Paul here must be the most heretical of all heretics; his heresy is unheard-of heresy, reason and human wisdom cannot receive it, that is we will'live to God, we must be dead wholly to the law: yet so it is here, he declares it of himself, and in the name of all believers in Christ, yea, as the very doctrine of saith, "I thro' the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."
In which words you may notice two remarkably disferent things, death and lise; mortisication and vivisiestion. 1. A wondersul Death; " I through the law am Dead to the law." 2. A remarkable Life, proceeding out of that death: "That I might Live unto God."
1st, You have a wondersul Death, or Paul's strange mortissication; "I thro' the law am Dead to the law:" and of this mortisication we have here three things; 1. The general nature of it, it is called a Death; " I am dead." 2. The object of it, The law. 3. The means of it, The law; "I through the law am dead to the law;" all very odd things to carnal reason.
1. The general nature of it, it is called a Death; "I am Dead." There are several sorts of death commonly spoken of, viz. temporal, spiritual, and eternal; but this is none of them. Temporal death is a separation betwixt soul and body; but this death takes place where there is no such separation: Paul was thus alive, when he said here, "I am dead." Spiritual death is a separation betwixt God and the soul; but this death is a mean of joining God and the foul together. Eternal death is an eternal separation betwixt God and the soul; but the death here spoken of, makes way for
eternal communion with God. This is a strange
death, a strange mortisication; especially is you consider,
2. The object of it, The Law; "I am dead to the law:" not only the ceremonial law, but even the moral law itself, as under the form of a covenant of works, and as a condition of lise. I renounce, might he say, the righteousness of the law, seeking no salvation in the works tl.ireof; nay, in this respect it is dead to me, and I to it; it cannot save me, and I cannot expect falvation by it; nay, " I am dead to the law." To be dead to sin, is a mortisication that people may think they can easily understand; but the mystery of it, in being dead to sin, by this mean of being dead to the law, us what cannot be so well understood; for one would think, that to die to the law, were to live in sin: nay, says the the apostle, it is quite otherwise; that I
.die to sin, "I am dead to the law."
3. You have the means of this death, which is as strange, namely, The law; "I thro' the law am dead to the law." As to this mean of death to the law, viz. The Law, I sind some divines understand it a disferent law from the other; as is the apostle should say,
• I by • I, by the law of Christ, am freed from the law os
* Moses; or, I, by the law of saith, am freed from the 4 law of works.' But I incline to join with the current of found divines, who understand both of the same law, q. d. I am dead to the law, Through the law: the law hath taught me that 1 am a sinner, that cannot be justisied by the law, which curses and condemns sinners: "By the law is the knowledge of sin;" and having thus by the law known myself to be a guilty wretch, 1 am dead to all expectation of righteousness by the law. The law then, having thus killed me, and all my hope of lise by it, hath been a blest mean of drawing me out of myself, and. all my legal righteousness, to seek lise and justisication in Christ, and his righteousness received hy saith. Thus you have a wondersul death here spoken of. v
2dly, You have a remarkable Life proceeding out of that death; you may call it Paul's vivisication, which, was not peculiar to him, but is common to all believers: "That I might live unto God." Where again you may notice three things.
1. The general nature of this vivisication; it is called by the name of Lise: while a man is alive to the law, he continues dead; but whenever he is dead to the law, then, he is alive; the breath of lise is breathed into his nostrils, aud he becomes a living foul; for the Spirit of God, the spirit of lise enters into him. • .
2. The object of this lise, or vivisication, it is God; a living unto God, that is, a new lise, a holy lise, a divine lise; a living to God, to God's honour, to God's glory. Besore this, the man lived to himself as his end, as well as from himself as his principle; but now he lives from God as his principle, and to God as his end, which only is a holy lise, and wherein true fanctisication lies.
3. You have the Influence that this death hath upon this lise, or this mortisication hath upon this vivisication; or, the influence that justisication by saith alone, ,and not by the deeds of -the law, hath upon sanctisication of heart and lise, or living to God, in the particle That: "I am dead to the law, That I might live
unto unto God.'' Now, might the apostle say, How salsely do you charge my doctrine, as opening a window to licentiousness, while I in the name of all believers declare, that this doctrine of justisication by saith alone, or our being dead to the law, in point ot justisication, does open the door to true holiness; for none can live unto God, till they be dead to the law. "I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."
But I mall endeavour surther to explain the word3 Upon the following observation.
Doer. "That to be dead to the law, in the point "of justisication, is necessary in order to our living unto "God, in point of sanctisication: "I, through the law, "am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."
Now, upon this doctrine, I stiall endeavour, through grace, to explain the several branches of the text; and the general method shall be.
I. To clear and consirm the doctrine.
II. To speak of the believer's Death, or mortisication, here intended; " I, through the law, am dead to the law."
III. To speak of the believer's Life, or vivisication; his living unto God.
IV. Of the necessity of this death, in order to this lise; or the influence that our being dead to the law,
'hath upon our living unto God.
V. Make some Application of the subject, in sundry Uses.
I. To clear and consirm the doctrine; "At the rnouth of two or three witnesses, every word stiall be established." But, to shew that we are not straitened to sind out witnesses to attest the truth of this doctrine, I stiall produce more than two or thre.e.
The sirst witness that I cite, is that, Rom. vii. 4, 5,6. where you see, that to be dead to the law, and married to Christ, is accessary, in order to living unto God,
Vol. II. 'f R bringbringing forth fruit to him, and serving him in newness of spirit.
The second witness I cite, is very like to this, Isa. liv.
1.5. compared: "Sing, O barren, that did not bear.
For more are the children of the desolate [Gentiles] than the children of the married wise." Why? Ver. 5. "Thy Maker is thy hufb.ind." Being dead to the law, and divorced from it, and married to Christ, the barren woman becomes a fruitsul bride. And, lest you should think I put a wrong gloss upon this text, and mistake the meaning of it, you may compare it with,
A third witness that I cite, whereby this very gloss that I give it, is consirmed, Gal. iv. 27. " For it is written, Rejoice thou barren, that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailed not: for the desolate hath many more children than me which hath an husband." Now, we would consider what is the subject here spoken of: The apostle is setting forth believers freedom from the law by the gospel, or their justisication by saith, without the works of the law; and he consirms it by an allegory, shewing, that our liberty from the law, was presigured in the samily of Abraham, that we are not children of the bond-woman, or bond-men to the law, but children of the promise, as Isaac: And the apoftle explains the prophet, and stiews his allegory to be founded, not only on the former historical, but also on this prophetical Scripture. The gospel-church, including all believers among Jews and Gentiles, is called the bride, the Lamb's wise: and as this bride in general, being divorced from the law, and married to Christ, is a fruitsul bride, bearing many children, many sons and daughters to Christ, and more under the new dispensation of the covenant of grace, than under the old legal administration thereof besore Christ's coming; so every particular believer, being dead to the law, and married to Christ, is, by this means, fruitsul in bringing forth the fruits of holiness and righteousness, to the glory of God; as the apostle, in prosecuting this discourse, surther stiews, ver. 30. "Call out the bond-woman and her son." Strange! that the law mould be called a bondwoman; and then, "Calliout the bond-womap;" this