Imágenes de páginas

gospel one; O! my God and Father in Christ Jesus will be angry at me, and deny me his love-tokens? I suppose the former works upon enmity, and raises it, but this works upon love, and inflames it.

But here a question may be moved, Ought not the believer to live unto God, even without relpect to the threatening of satherly chastisement and punishment? To this we answer,

No doubt, the more persect his obedience be, the better and the more like to the obedience of the saints in heaven* where no chastisement is seared; but, while he is here, he carries a body of sin about him, and needs to be stirred up by satherly correction. He siiould indeed serve. God purely out ot love and respect to the command itself* and because he commands it: but thus the matter stands, that as cn the one hand, being persect in his Head,. Christ Jesus, it is not his duty to have respect to whafc the law of wo ks either promises, or threatens; so, on the other hand, being impersect in himself while here, it is his duty to have respect to what the law, in the hand of Christ, promises and threatens; which indeed is a loving respect, tending to advance holiness.

(4.) The whole form of the law as a covenant of works, being thus altered, the law in the hand of Christ,, is all love, all grace, and so influences the man to sanctisication. The man that is under the covenant of grace,, he hath a principle of grace within him, striving against sin; he hath the Spirit of grace within him, causing him to walk in God's statutes; he hath the promise of grace to be sussicient for him: is sin prevail, and pollute him, he hath daily access to the fountain open for sui and for uncleanness, to which he runs; is his back^ Hidings encrease, he hath Christ engaged by premise to heal his backshdings: which, when he view's by faith, it doth not encourage him to sin, is he be in right exercise of his senses, but draws him to his duty, like a cord of love, and brinps him back to his kindLord. In a word, being dead to the law, he is married to Christ, who is like a green sig-tree, from whom all his fruit is found.—Thus you see what influence a man's being dead to the law, hath upon

V 3 . his

his living unto God. And so much for the fourth head proposed.

V. The Fisth thing in the method, was the Application, which we shall essay in an Use of Information, [Examination, Lamentation, and Exhortation.

Is it so, that being dead to the law, in point of justisication, is necessary, in order to living unto God in point of sanctisication? Then for Information, hence we may see,

I. That the doctrine of the gospel is not a doctrine of licentiousness, or carnal liherty, however it be reproached in the world: and is the preachers thereof, who would bring off people from the law of works, and from their self-righteousness, be reproached, as is they were enemies to holiness, I will venture to say it with considence, in a place where salsehood should be an abomination, that it is a vile slander; for whatever sinsul weakness and impersection may cleave to the preaching or practice of these, who desire to publish this gospel-doctrine, yet the Lord God of gods is witness; yea, the Lord God of gods knows, and all Israel may know, and all whose eyes God enlightens shall know, that this doctrine of dying to the law, in point of justisication, is a doctrine according to godliness, and the very means of holiness itself, and of living unto God: is this be Antinomianism, I am content to be called an Antinomjan *. But, we see who are indeed


* The rifj and ground of this injurious accusation mav be seen, in some measure, accounted for, Scrrn. IV. page 238 —The Baxterian legal scheme of doctrine had, bv this time, spread itse'f abroad, and di(Fused its dangerous and pernicious influence and diresul effects, not only among the clergy in England, but had even crept into many of the pulpits in Scotland: This paved the way for exhibiting the charge of Antinomianifm against all those ministers who adhered to, and assidnoufly taught the doclrine of grace; especially those who maintained the absolute freedom of the covenant of grace; the unlimited grant that God hath made sf Christ, and salvation u-ilk him to mankind j the necessity of beaming dead to the law as a covenants and of faith top prebend and appropriate Christ, and his righteousness, for salvation. And though the Marrow tf Modern Divinity was designed to vindicate the doclrine of grace, in opposition to Antinomian and Neonomian extremes} jet they who befriended this book, especially such who Antinomians, and enemies to the law and holiness; even all those who oppose this doctrine, whereby we give the law all the honour imaginable; "Do we make void the law through saith; God forbid; yea, we establish the law:" as a covenant we establish it, while we preach Christ as our righteousness for justisication: and as a rule of holiness we establifli it, while we preach Christ as our strength for sanctisication of heart and lise: and they that do not. thus honour the law, do but disgrace and dishonour it, and are truly Antinomians, /'. e. enemies to the law. And is this be called a new scheme of doctrine, by way of reproach, though I consess it is a new covenant scheme, in opposition to that of the old, yet I will grant to no man that it is new otherwise; seeing it is not only as old as Paul here, but as old as the sirst publication of the covenant of grace in Paradise; so that we see where it is, that the reproach of


appeared in desence thereof, when attacked and condemned by the Assembly, were accused with being Antinomians, enemies to the law and holiness, friends to licentiousness, and branded with introducing and venting new schemes of Divinity. Though it is a notour fact, and well known to many yet alive, that there were not greater friends in the whole church, to evangelical DoBrine, than those who besriended the Marrow Doblrine: They were justly allowed to be sirst-rate Divines. It is true, indeed, they were enemies to all previous legal qualifications, to be performed by us, in order to fit and qualify us for coming to, and closing 'with Chrijl. And witli respect to our worthy Author, it is ob. vious to every intelligent person, who either heard him preach, or have carefully perused his writings, that he had a peculiar talent in stating the difference between the law and the gospel, and put a respectable honour upon, and paid a due regard to each of them; and that he constantly urged conformity to the law, as a rule of Use: and assiduoi.ily inculcate the practice os holiness. — Any who incline to see the justness of these observations, and have a complete view of this affair, may attain it, by perusing the Marrow itself, with attention, and caresully adverting to the judicious Mr. Boston's notes upon it; and the Brethren's Answers to the Assembly's Queries; and an Act concerning the Docti in<s oi Grace, by the Associate Pi elbytery: In which Act, the Doctrine of Grace, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and set forth in our Standards, is asserted and vindicated from the errors veslted against it; the Marrow doctrine freed from the charge of Antinomianifm, laid against it by the Assembly, and shewn to be founded on the Scriptures, consistent with our Standards, and agreeable to the; end the Act of Assembly condemning the Marrovi, evinced to be injurious to the Doctrine of Grace, contrary to many passages of Scripturej and diametrically opposite to our Standards,

9 new scheme should be lodged.-—I would have re^ proachers to mind what J^aul says of this doctrine of his, Gal. i. 8. "If we, or an angel from heaven, preach another gospel, let htm be accursed." Here is the doom of such as preach another gospel, which yet, says the apostle, is not another; but there are some that trouble the Lord's people, and would pervert the gospel of Gurist. T° be dead to the law, is npt tp turn a loose Antinomian; it is to live unto God.

2, Hence fee the reason why the devil opposes the jjo6trine pf grace la much, and cares not though the Jaw, as. a covenant, be never so much preached up, because it is the gospel-doctrine that tends only to true godliness, while the law and legal doctrine lends to keep men strangers to the lise of God. The devil cares hot how much you be in duties, providing you Veep off from Christ, who is the end of the law for irighteousness; for then he knows you would, be holy also; but he is at} unholy devil; and theresore he opposes the gospel, and its doctrine, 'she devil knows that he hath sast hold of you, so long as you cleave to the law; but that he hath lost you, is once you have laid hold pn Christ: for, is once you get Christ for justisication, as having sulsilled the righteousness of the Jaw for you, then you will also get him for sauctisication, to sulsil the righteousness of the law in you. The devil knows, that though in seeming holiness, you should be transformed to an angel of light, like himself, yet you !y under the heavy vengeance os God, and curse pf the law, and under the power of sin too, so long as you are under the law. Theresore,

3. Hence see the reason why the most part of the world are living tp sin, living to self, living to the world, Jiving to the devil: Why? because they are not dead %o the law. They only that are dead to the law, do Jive unto God; and sorely then, they that are alive to th,e law, and not dead to it, they are living to the devil. No man that is alive to the law, can be a holy man: nay, what is the reason of all the ungodliness and unrighteousness, all the prosanity and wickedness of the geperatioo! Why? people are strangers to Christ, and are still under the power, the irritating power of the law, which is the strength of sin. The world is crying up morality, as is the preachers of Christ and his righteousness were enemies to the moral law, as a rule of holiness; and behold, in the righteous judgment of God, there was never a generation left to greater immoralities than the present; a just punilhf rnent os mens despising Christ, ar.d his law-biding righteousness, through the saith whereof only true holiness, and conformity to the law can be attained. O when the believer comes to see by saith, that he hath nothing to do with the law as a covenant, this makes him delight in the law of God, as a rule of holiness; when he sees he hath not a sarthing of debt to ray, either to the precept, or threatening of the law as a covenant, because that debt was paid by Christ's obedience tq the death, this makes him sind himself under the most gratesul obligations to serve the Lord, in obedience to his law, as a rule; yea, under greater obligation than ever Adam was in the state of innocency: but the rest of the world, that are utter strangers to this freedom, they are in bondage to the law, and so in bondage to their lusts.

4. Hence we may fee the necessity of a law-work cf conviction and humiliation, and how much of it is necessary, even ac much as will render the person dead to the law, that he may live unto God. So much conviction is necessary, as will unbottom the man from the covenant of works, and make him disclaim his own righteousness, and make him cry out, "Uncleanj unclean guilty, guilty; that thus his self-considence may be killed, and he, through the law, may be dead to the law, and may come Under the covert of' the] blood of the Lamb, under the covert of the righteousness of Christ for justisication; that, being dead to the law, he may live unto God. While men are without this law-work, rendering them dead to the law,, they are at best but establisiVing a righteousness of their own, which will keep them out of heaven, as much as their sins will do. And this makes the gate

« AnteriorContinuar »