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case, God does me no wrong, though he should destroy me; and he does not wrong his own justice, but is a just God in so doing: yea, I cannot see how the credit of his justice should be salved, and how he should be glorisied in his justice, is he do not execute judgment upon me, either in myself, or in a surety for me, because I have offended such an insinitely glorious Being: " Against thee, thee only have I sinned,— that thou mightest be justisied when thou speakest; and clear when thou judgest," Pi aim li. 4. Is God unrighteous, that takes vengeance? God forbid," Rom. iii.5,6. The offence done against the greatest of Beings, deserves the greatest of punishments, even the eternal destruction of the creature. It is true, God delights not in the death of a sinner; "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner," Ezek. xviii. 32.; that is, as it is a destruction of the creature, though he delights in it, as it is the execution of justice; even so, the sinner convinced by the law, though he cannot take pleasure in this, to think of being destroyed, yet there is some secret kind of justisying that which God takes pleasure in, namely, the execution of justice. O how sit is it, that God's justice be glorisied I And, how just is God, in executing insinite judgment upon such an insinite evil as sin is! And indeed the sinner would not see salvation to be free, is he did not see damnation to be just; but the sight of this, in the glass of the law, and in the light of the Spirit, tends, in a manner, to reconcile the man with the device of salvation through Christ, whose bloody sacrisice gives justice sull satisfaction. — He is now content that God's justice be glorisied by a satisfaction more glorious than that which the damned in hell can give; and so it tends to make him dead to the law, and to all other legal pennances, and sham satissactions, which those, who are ignorant of God's equity and righteousness, are ready foolistily to invent.
5. Through the law a man gets the conviction of his own inexcusableness, which is that effect of a legal , work of the Spirit, whereby the soul is lest without
S 4 excuse excuse of, or desence for itself: "Whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them that are under it, that every mouth may be stops, and all the world may become guilty besore God," Rom. iii. 19. Now the whole foul of man cries out, Guilty, guilty; his sig-leaves of excuses are blown away; his former stiists and cavils, in desence ot himself, do now evanish: he hath not a word to speak in savours of himself. What said he formerly? Why, it may be, his heart said, is not his mouth, O I hope there will be no sear of me, Adam's sin was not mine; original sin is what I could not help, it came with me to the wrjrld; as for my actual sins, I see others guilty of greater; as for my omission of duties, and commission of trespasses, I see none but have their saults; and God is a mercisul God, and I hope he will not be so unjust as to damn his own creatures.—These, and the like, shists and excuses, formerly took place; but now he becomes speechless; his moutli is stopt. They see they will but deceive themselves, by these miserable stiists; and that they are guilty, guilty, and sinsul wretches, blacker than the very devil, and have not a mouth to open for themselves; and so they die to all conceit of themselves, and their own righteousness.
6. Through the law the man comes thus to get a conviction of his absolute need of the gospel, or of the Saviour revealed thereby; being convinced of his iinsul and miserable state by nature, and humbled under the serious consideration and view of his sin and misery, searing the wrath of God due to him for sin, beholding the equity of God, though he should cast him into hell; having his mouth stopt, and despairing of getting o\it of this condition, by his own power, or the help of any other creature; he is now convinced of the need of a Saviour: O I perim, I peristi for ever, unless the Law-giver provide a law-binding righteousness for me! Now, the foul is ready to cry out, not in Rachel's sense, *' Give me children, or else I die;" but in her phrase, O give me Christ, or else I die; give me a Surety, or else I die. Now, he is content to be for ever indebted to the righteousness of another: and thus the law is the occasion of bringing a man to Christ. And so you see how it is, that through the law, they arc dead to the law, that they may live unto God.
III. The Third thing is to speak of the believer's Lirr, which is the fruit of this death; it is a living unto God. And now, in speaking hereto, I would, 1. Enquire what kind of lise it is? 2. What are the scriptural designations of it? 3. What is imported in its being called a living in general? 4. What is imported in its being called a living unto God in particular?
ill, What kind of lise is it that the believer hath in consequence of his being dead to the law? And,
1. It is not a natural lise, either in a physical or moral sense. Natural lise, in a physical sense, is that which we received from Adam by generation; and it is the function of natural saculties, in living, moving, using of sense and reason; that is a lise that is common to all men, who yet may be dead; neither is it a natural lise in a moral sense, such as heathens may have; the heathens may have common notions of God, and of good and evil, so as to render them inexcusable in their unnatural immoralities, Rom. i. 19, 20. They have a book of nature, both internal, in the remainders of the law in their heart, so as they do by nature the things contained in the law, Rom. ii. 14. 15. and external, in God's works of creation and general providence; " The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the sirmament sheweth his handy-work," Psal. xix.'1. Now, this natural lise cannot be the living to God here spoken of, because this natural lise flows only from a natural state, which is a state of death: by nature we are dead, legally dead under condemnation; spiritually dead in sins, wholly corrupt, and the tree being bad, the fruit must be bad also: a silthy fountain can bring forth nothing but silthy streams.—This natural lise does proceed from natural principles, and these are corrupt; such as the desires of the flesh and of the mind; the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of lise. At best their natural lise flows from self-love, or love to its own ho* nour, praises, prosits, or pleasures: all nature's works are selsish, however heroic they may be. This natural lise is directed by a natural rule, such as the light of nature inward, or outward, accompanied with the counsels and examples of naturalists; neither does it ever come up to that same rule of nature's light, which theresore does condemn them as guilty. This natural lise hath only natural designs, and ends: the natural man acts from self as his principle, to self as his end, ascribing the glory of all his actions thereunto: thus Herod gave not God the glory of his sine oration, but took the praise to himself; but he was immediately smitten of an angel, and eaten up of worms.—This natural way of living, it is in a natural manner, after the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, Eph. ii. z. which is nothing but a walking in the lusts of the rlesti. sulsilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: yea, in this natural lise, nothing of Christ, or of his gospel, is either in the state, practice, rule, end, or manner of it; nay, they are without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise; having no hope, and without God, [or, Atheists] in the world, Eph. ii. 12.
2. It is not a legal lise, either of Jewish conformity, to the ceremonial law, or of persect conformity to the moral law: It is not that legal lise of Jewish conformity to the ceremonial Jaw, or according to the Old Testament dispensation ;, for that ceremonial law is a. brogated in Christ, the substance of all the old shadows; and so that Jewish lise is unprositable, and vain; yea, it is damnable, and prohibited under the highest penalties, Colos. iii. 20, 21. And theresore, says the apostle, Gal. v. 2. " If ye be circumcised, [or live according to the ceremonial law, or any other law of works, so as to expect justisication thereby,] Christ shall prosit you nothing." Neither is this living to God that persect lise of conformity to the moral law, according to the old Covenant of works, which required persect, personal, and perpetual obedience, as the condition of lise; and threatened death upon the least sailure: I say, it is not this life either; for man hath become guilty, and
, forforseited lise, and incurred death by Adam's sirst transgression; "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," Rom. v. 12. Thus we are for ever incapable of that lise, which Adam was capable of before the sall. It is also impracticable, because man is by nature without strength, Romans v. 6. We have no strength to give that obedience which the covenant of works requires, because we must be redeemed from the curse thereof, and restored to the righteousness thereof, besore we can be capable to do what it requires.—And though Adam's sin and transgression were not imputed to us, as indeed it undoubtedly is, yet seeing every adult person at least hath sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression; for, No man liveth and sinneth not;" theresore he can never perform the persect obedience therein required; and, '' By the deeds of the law, no fleso can be justisied." Besides, there is no article of the covenant of works, that provided for a remedy in, case of a breach; but all that the covenant of works doth, is, to promise lise to persect obedience in man's own strength, and threatens death in case of sailure, and so leaves the transgressor thereof under its curse.—In a word, the lise according to that covenant cannot be the lise here meant, because that covenant speaks nothing of Christ, or of his gospel, by whom, and by which, only we can now come to this living unto God; and because this living unto God presupposes a being dead to the law, or dead to that covenant, otherwise we can never live unto God. \
3. It is not a Pharisaical lise of external, legal, but impersect conformity to the law, and thereby endeavouring to establish a righteousness of our own, as the Jews, Romans ix. 31, 32. and x. 3. Many reckon an outward moral conversation to be this living unto God, whether in performing the natural duties of civility and moral honesty, or in an external performance of religious duties, such as prayer, praise, reading, hearing and waiting upon divine worstiip. The church of Laodicea was self-conceited; they thought they were rich and increased with goods; but, behold the