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“ wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him, who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” So that, so long as a man is married to the law, he can never bring forth fruit unto God. Now then, thus lies the reason : if that the law, and justifification thereby, be no friend but a real enemy unto all our holiness: then contraries having contrary consequences, justification by faith alone, is a friend, and no enemy unto our spiritual life and holiness.
This also will appear, if ye consider the parallel between the first and second Adam. Christ is our second Adam. Now, says the apostle, in the vth of the Romans, “ As by the sin of one, death came upon all men to condemnation : so by the righteousness of one, life comes unto many.” Well, but how came condemnation upon all men by the sin of one? The first Adam, he was a common person, he did stand for all mankind; when he sinned, all mankind sinned: and therefore as soon as any one is born, the sin of Adam being imputed to him judicially; that imputation is the original of all the unholiness that is among the children of men.
So our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being our second Adam, he is a common person, stands in the room of all the elect; he was obedient, not for himself, but for them : Christus non meruit sibi. Obeyed not for himself: and he died not for himself, but for them, righteous for them. When therefore, a man is born into the other world, is regenerate by faith? then all that righteousness of Christ, the second Adam, is imputed to him.
And this imputation of his righteousness by faith, is the original of all that holiness that is in our lives, thus: as all the unholiness, and wickedness that is in the world, does flow from the imputation of the first Adam's sin : so all that grace and holiness that is in the world, does flow from the imputation of the second Adam's righteousness. Now by laith alone, this righteousness is imputed, and does become urs, and therefore, justification by faith alone, is the princile and original of all our grace and holiness.
If free remission of sin, and the sense thereof, be the ause of our holiness: then justification by faith alone must eeds be a friend unto it. For these two, free remission of
sin, and justification by faith alone, go together, and are ordinarily taken for one. And therefore in the iiird of the Romans, the apostle having said at the 24th verse,“ Being justified freely by his grace;" he says at the 28th verse, “ That a man is justified by faith :” and saying that a man is justified by faith, he says, That a man is justified freely by grace; these are put together. Now free remission of sin, and the sense thereof is the cause of all our holiness. Ye know what the apostle says, “ The grace of God hath appeared unto all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live righteously and soberly in this present world,” Titus ii. 11, 12. All holiness comes from thence, the apparition of grace, free remission of sin. And ye know what it is that doth hatch the chicken ; it is not the fire that doth hatch the chicken, nor is it the cold water that does hatch the chicken; but laying of the eggs under the warm feathers of the living hen. Come to a man or woman that hath many eggs, that are yet not chickens, within a month or two, these are all become living chickens : say you, how comes it to pass, that all these are now living chickens? What! did you lay these eggs unto the fire? No, for then they would have been roasted. What, did you lay these eggs in the cold water? No, then they would have rotted; but I laid them under the warm wings of the living hen, and so they are become chick
So you come to a living soul, a living heart, and you say, Friend, how came you to be thus enlivened, and quickened? a month or two ago, I heard you complaining of your dead heart, Oh, my heart is dead: but how came you to be thus enlivened, and to be thus quickened ? Did you go and lay your heart against the fire of the law? No, that would have scorched me, and tormented me. What, did you go and lay your heart in the cold world? No, that would have rotted me. How then? Truly, after all my fears, and after all my doubtings, I went and laid my cold heart under the warm wings of divine love, and so it came to pass that I am thus enlivened, and I am thus quickened, as you see this day, for the which I bless the Lord for ever. Three things there are that do make up a gracious conversation : repentance for sin past; mortification of sin present; and the obedidience of faith, or obedience.
Now as for repentance: look, I pray, at what is said in the
viith chapter of Luke, and see what is the cause of that : you read there a story of a great sinner, that became a great penitent, at the 37th verse, “ Behold a woman in the city which was a great sinner; and she came and stood behind Jesus (at the 38th verse) weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head.” “She wept much ;" why? " for ” says the text at the latter end of the chapter, “ she loved much." But why did she love much? She loved much, because much was forgiven her. So, then, remission is the cause of repentance. And have ye not so much expressly in that xvith chapter of Ezekiel, and the last verse : I will establish my covenant with thee, that thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified towards thee, for all that thou hast done.” So that this shame and repentance comes from pacification. And as for this matter, Luther had so great a sight into it, that, says he, Before I was justified by faith alone, and saw into this matter of free remission, I looked upon that word, repent, as a terrible word, I did even hate that word, and I wished that there had been no such word in all the book of God; but after once that word, justicia, was opened, the righteousness of faith ; and after once I understood this doctrine of free remission, and justification by faith alone, then I loved repentance.
As for the mortification of sin: ye know what the apostle says, “ Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, or have dominion over you:” why? " for ye are not under the law, but under grace," Rom. vi. 12, 14. So, then, it is being under grace that does mortify sin.
And as for the matter of obedience: ye know what the Psalmist says, “ There is mercy with thee, O Lord, that thou mayest be feared," Psalm cxxx. 4. That is, that thou mayest be served, that thou mayest be obeyed. So that obedience, also, comes from the sight of mercy and of free remission.
Now, if free remission, and the sense thereof, be the cause of our holiness; then, surely, justification by faith alone can be no enemy, but must needs be a real friend unto all our spiritual life.
Thirdly. But by way of objection, it will be said, this doctrine of free remission and justification by faith alone, seems to
carry somewhat with it that is opposite unto grace and holiness; for the more a man is bound unto the law, and takes himself to be so, the more obedient he will be to the law : but now, a man never takes himself more to be bound under the law, than when he seeks to be justified by the works of the law, and so he will be most obedient.
For answer, ye must know that the word law, in the New Testament, is taken two ways: either it is taken for the covenant of works, thus; If you keep the ten commandments perfectly, you will live for ever: this is the covenant of works : sometimes the law is taken for the ten commandments, the rule of man's life. In the first sense a christian is dead unto the law, and is freed from it; but in the second sense, a believer, a justified person, is more bound to the law, to observe it as a rule of life, than ever he was. Only, you must know, there is a twofold bond; there is the bond of love, and there is the bond of fear; as there is the law of love, and the law of fear. Love, and the bond of love, is stronger than fear and the bond of fear; for fear is servant to love, fear is the handmaid of love; for ye never fear the losing of any good thing but what ye first love. Fear is the servant to love, and therefore love is stronger than fear, and the bond of love stronger than the bond of fear. Now, though a justified person be not bound unto the law, with the bond of a servile fear, yet he is bound unto the law with the bond of love; and so he is more obedient, as the bond of love is stronger than the bond of fear. A man must needs be obedient unto Christ, that takes himself to be none of his own, but Christ's. Therefore says the apostle, “ Glorify Christ with your body, because ye are bought with a price, and because ye are God's," i Cor. vi. 20. So long as a man seeks to be justified by works, and by the law, so long he looks upon himself as his own ;
but when a man sees that he is justified by faith alone, then he looks upon himself as Christ's; that he is not his own: and so he is more obedient unto Christ than ever he was before.
If this be such a principle of grace and holiness, how comes it to
pass that men sin the more, as they hear more of this free remission, and justification of a poor sinner by faith alone? Oh, says one, God is merciful and gracious, and therefore I will now live as I list, and repent afterwards. If
this doctrine, this truth, and this grace of God, be the principle of all our holiness; how comes it to pass that men sin more hereby?
I answer, pray how comes it to pass, if that water doth cleanse, that it doth not cleanse the blackamoor and if fire doth warm, how comes it to pass that it doth not put heat into the dead man? and if the sun do enlighten, how comes it to pass it doth not enlighten those that are blind? I may ask you the reason, likewise ; but I will tell you the reason, the reason of this is, because men are contrary unto God; and all that doth make this use and application of the Lord's mercy and grace, they are contrary unto God, for God works good out of evil: now a wicked man being contrary unto God, he works evil out of good. God works the greatest good, grace, out of the greatest evil, sin : a wicked man, he works the greatest evil, sin, out of the greatest good, God's love and grace. Why? Because he is contrary to God. But, now, take this truth and this grace of God, as it is in itself, and so it is a very real friend unto all our grace and holiness.
Fourthly. You will say, then, What is there in this justification by faith alone, or free remission, that does advance our holiness? How comes it to pass? What is there in this, that hath such an influence upon our lives, to make us the more holy, the more heavenly?
1. The more a man does forsake any good thing of his own for Christ, the more Christ is engaged to give a man his good things. There is no losing in losing for Jesus Christ. What ye lose for Christ, ye shall gain by Christ: and the greater and sweeter any blessing is that ye lose for Christ, the greater blessing will Christ give unto ye in the room thereof. Now what nearer thing is there to a man than his own righteousness? In justification by faith alone, a man lays down all his own righteousness at the feet of Jesus Christ, and therefore Christ is engaged to give him a better righteousness, the righteousness of God. 2. God does never cause any man to pass
relation, but he does write the law of that relation upon his heart. For example, If the Lord does cause a man to pass under the relation of a magistrate, God will write the law of that relation upon him, and give him ability to it. If God does cause