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of heaven indeed to be a strait gate, because many seek to enter in, in a legal way, and shall not be able, Luke xiii. 24.'; and this makes the broad way that leads unto hell, so broad, that it lets in all that are out of Christ, but the openly wicked, and the self-righteous. There is but one way to heaven, and that is Christ; but there are many ways to hell: especially these two; some walk in a more cleanly way ot sell-righteousness, and others in a more dirty way of open wickedness; but both meet together at the end of the way, and that is the centre of damnation. O what need, then, is there of a law-work, to convince the wicked of their sins, and the self-righteous of their need of a better righteousness, that, being dead to the law, they may live unto God.
5. Hence we may see whence it is, that believers live so little to God, and are so untender, and unholy: it flows from this, that they are not persectly dead to the law, nor persectly freed from it: much of a legal spirit remains; the more that takes place, the more unholy they are. Tho* they have shaken off, in conversion, the authority of the covenant of works as a prince, which is a great matter; yet they are many times under the authority thereof as an usurper, and by reason of the old legal nature, which is but partly renewed in time: and hence the voice of the law speaks many times in the believer's conscience, and he is terrisied at the voice of it; for it presumes to curse him, and to desire him to do, or else be damned; and so it weakens his hands, and makes him think God is a hard mailer: whereas the voice of the gospel in his conscience, is the still, calm voice, sweetly intreating, and alluring the heart to its obedience, and conveying a secret strength to obey, and making the soul to delight in the Lord's way; 44 Draw me, we will run after thee," Song i. 3. But what should the believer do, when the law conies to charge him, and command him to obey upon pain of death, or to curse him for his disobedience? Why, he may even say in the words of Luther, who, upon the point of justisication, was as found as any since his day; • O law, Christ is my righteousness, my treasure, and my
[ work; * work; I consess, O law, that I am neither godly nor 'righteous, but yet this I am lure of, that he is godly
* and righteous for me.' His obedience answered both the godliness required in the sirst table of the law, and the righteousness required in the second table. The believer may say to the law, O law, I am dead to thee, and married to another Husband, even Jesus Christ; and theresore, canr.ot bring forth any children, any. fruit, any acts of obedience to thy threatening commands; but, behold, I run to my sweet Husband, who hath sugared and sweetened the law, with a gospel-dress and form; which, giving strength to obey, and shewing the believer's freedom from the wrath of God, ' en1 courages the believer, as our Consession of Faith
* speaks, being free from the curse of the moral law,
* and delivered from everlasting damnation, to yield
* obedience to God;' not out of flavish fear, but a childrlike love, and a willing mind.
6, Hence see how it is, that holiness is necessary to salvation 5 why, it is the very lise of the justisied man, being dead to the law, to live unto God: he is not holy that he may be justisied, but justisied that he may be holy, I do not here meddle with the question, Whether regeneration or justisication be sirst in order of nature? For I am speaking mainly, not of habitual holiness, or the sirst habit of grace, but of actual holiness; whether internal in the exercise of grace, or external in the performance of duty. Thus holiness, I say, is necessary to salvation, as being the native, necessary, and inseparable fruit of justisication, or dying to the law; it is the justisied man's way of living, or walking towards heaven. They that turn the grace of God into wantonness, they pervert the right end of grace, which teacheth us to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts; and they that give up with the law as a rule of holiness, because they are, or think they are delivered from the law, as a covenant of works, they pervert the very end of that freedom, which is that they may live unto God: and no doubt, many among believers themselves are in danger of this sin: for I know no sin, but a believer is liable to it, is he be lest to himself; and because many
of of them abuse grace, theresore God keeps the law-spur at their side; for it is with many, as with dull lazy horses, so long as the spur is in their side, they ride quickly; but when that is removed, they become dull and heavy, and are ready to Rand still: so, w hile the law exacted rigid obedience, and threatened damnation and hell, they were diligent, and durst not neglect a duty; they were tender in their walk: but now, being delivered from this spur, that was daily pricking their sides, and seeing that Christ hath satissied the law, which now tan neither justisy, nor condemn them, they imagine they have no more to sear; and so they sin the more, and live securely, instead of living soberly, righteousty, and godly. Tuis is a turning the grace of God into wantonness, and a perverting of the very end of grace: an 1 is any child of God here be guilty, remember, that your heavenly Father will not let you pass unpunished; though he pardon your sins, yet he will take vengeance on your inventions. It is to prevent this wantonness in some, that the spur is kept long in their side; and they are kept many days and years, perhaps, under many legal shakings, sears, doubts, and tremblings, attaining to very little of any chearsul gospel-obedience; for the law cannot work that. And this leads me to another inserence. . 7. Hence, from this doctrine, we may see, that the raw can neither justisy, nor sanctisy a sinner: it cannot j istisy him, for he must be dead to it in point of justisication; it cannot sanctify him, for he never lives unto God, till he be dead to the law. On the one hand, * By the deeds of the law, no flesh living can be justisied:' Why? Because you are dead in sin by nature, and can do nothing that the law requires, in the way that it requires it; and though you would do any thing, yet your doing is impersect; but the law requires persection: yea, though you could obey the law persectly for the time to come, that will not make amends for former saults; there must be satissaction; yea, suppose it were possible that you could do all this, and that from your cradle to your grave you never sinned;
and and were as free from original sin, and had as good a nature as ever Pelagius thought any had, and strength to keep the law, and did actually keep it persectly from your youth up; yet the law of works is broken in Adam; in him we all sumed, and that one sin is enough to damn the whole world, and would do so, if Christ did not redeem from the guilt thereof.——» On the other hand, the law cannot sanctify any, it works wrath; and when the commandment comes, sin Tevives: it is the ministration of death every way, as 1 said besore. But here a question may be moved, If the law can neither justify nor sanctify, what use is it for? We may answer, It is for many noble uses, both to the regenerate and unregeneraie. To the unregenerate, it is of use to conviction of sin; to break up the fallow ground of the heart; to be a school-master to lead to Christ, by convincing him of his absolute need of a Surety, and of his undone state without Christ.— And to the regenerate, it is of use to make them highly esteem Christ, whose righteousness answers the law in its commands and threatenings both; and it serves to give him a daily conviction of sin, that the man may more and more prize the pardon of sin, and seek daily unto the Lord, for pardoning and sanctisying grace: also to let him see the intrinsical demerit of sin, while he sees hell threatened against it in that covenant; an(J thereupon may sear to offend that God, who is a consuming sire, but rather that he may worship him with , reverence and godly sear; not with a stavish sear, that he mall be sent to hell, which is impossible; that is not his duty; he may have the over-awinc; sear and apprehension of hell, but should not have a slavish sear of it: this sear of it he mould not have, but the saith of it he ought to have, and many times needs to have it, to terrisy him from sin, which of its own nature, leads to destruction; as a man that is bound with a great chain to a stake on the top of a high tower, though he cannot but know, that by reason of the chain, he is sure enough; yet when he looks over the battlement, and sees the dreadsul precipice, it scars him from going near the edge of the battlement. It is certain, that believers, when they know not that they ire under grace, may unwarrantably apply to themselves the sentence of the law; unwarrantably, I say, because there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ; yet God may, for holy ends, susser his conscience to be troubled with the sear of condemnation, that being humbled, he may make the more use of Christ for righteousness and strength. In a word, the commands of the law, not formally as a covenant, but materially as a rule of lise, serve to be an active directory for his walk; and whoever walks according to this rule, peace be on them, and on all the Israel of God. Thus it is of manisold use, though it can neither justisy nor sanctisy, which only the grace of the gospel can do.
8. Hence see what a mystery to the world religion is, and the disserence betwixt God's judgment and man's: man thinks, to be dead to the law, is the way to live in sin; but God's word tells us, That to be dead to the law, is the way to live unto God. Why? here is .a mystery, a holy riddle; and we are decrying holiness, when we preach in this apostolical strain? God forbid; ray, we declare unto you, in the name of God, that the way to be truly holy, is to quit with your salse legal holiness; the way to be truly righteous, is to quit your legal righteousness; yea, I tell you, man, that even in point of sanctisication, "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of God:" and you know they made long prayers, they fasted twice a-week, and gave alms of all that they poflest; and some of them were touching the law, blameless, and could say, "All the!e things have I done from my youth up;" and yet I say, Unless your holiness exceed their holiness, you shall never enter into the kingdom of God: and, till your unrighteous righteousness, and unholy holiness, be cried <3own in your heart, and the persect righteousness of Christ cried up, true holiness you shall never have. Was Christ a friend to publicans and harlots? or, did he approve of their sins, when he said to these Pharisees,