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V. We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins 9; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants" ; and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit"; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment :
VI. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him '; not as though they were in this life wholly unblaineable and unreproveable in God's sight "; but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased
sabbath-day. Remember me, O my God, Luke xvii. 10. (See letter p in this Chapconcerning this also, and spare me ac- ter.) cording to the greatness of thy mercy. s Gal. v. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is Job. ix. 2. I know it is so of a truth: but love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, how should man be just with God? Ver. goodness, faith, Ver. 23. Meekness, tem3. If he will contend with him, he cannot perance: against such there is no law. answer him one of a thousand. Gal. v. 17. t Isa. lxiv. 6. But we are all as an unFor the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, clean thing, and all our righteousnesses and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are as filthy rags ; and we all do fade as a are contrary the one to the other; so that leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, ye cannot do the things that ye would.
have taken us away.
Gal. v. 17. For the V. 9 Rom. iii. 20. Therefore by the deeds flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the of the law there shall no flesh be justified Spirit against the flesh: and these are conin his sight: for by the law is the know- trary the one to the other; so that ye can. ledge of sin. Rom. iv, 2. For if Abraham not do the things that ye would. Rom. were justified by works, he hath whereof vii. 15. For that which I do I allow not: to glory, but not before God. Ver. 4. Now for what I would, that do I not; but what to him that worketh is the reward not I hate, that do I. Ver. 18. For I know that in reckoned of grace, but of debt. Ver. 6. me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good Even as David also describeth the blessed. thing: for to will is present with me; but ness of the man, unto whom God imputeth how to perform that which is good I find righteousness without works. Eph. ii. 8. not. Psal. cxliii. 2. And enter not into For by grace are ye sayed through faith; judgment with thy servant: for in thy and that not of yourselves: it is the gift sight shall no man living be justified. of God: Ver. 9. Not of works, lest any man Psal. cxxx. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldest should boast. Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall righteousness which we have done, but stand! according to his mercy he saved us, by the VI. v Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of glory of his grace, wherein he hath made the Holy Ghost; Ver. 6. Which he shed on us accepted in the Beloved. 1 Pet. ii. 5. us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a Saviour; Ver. 7. That, being justified by spiritual house, an holý priesthood, to nis grace, we should be made heirs ac
offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to cording to the hope of eternal life. Rom. God by Jesus Christ. Exod. xxviii, 38. viii. 18. For I reckon, that the sufferings and it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, of this present time are not worthy to be that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the compared with the glory which shall be holy things, which the children of Israel revealed in us. Psal. xvi. 2. O my soul, shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art it shall be always upon his forehead, my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to that they may be accepted before the thee. Job. xxii. 2. Can a man be profit- Lord. Gen. iv. 4. And Abel, he also brought able unto God, as he that is wise may be of the firstlings of his fock, and of the lat profitable unto himself? Ver. 3. Is it any thereof. And the Lord had respect ulito pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art Abel, and to his offering. With Heb. xi. 4. righteous ? or is it gain to him, that thou By faith Abel offered unto God a more ex. makest thy ways perfect! Job xxxv. 7. If cellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he thou be righteous, what givest thou him? obtained witness that he righteous, or what receiveth'he of thine hand? Ver. God testifying of his gifts; and by it he, 8. Thy wickedness may hurt a man as being dead, yet speaketh. thou art, and thy righteousness may profit w Job ix. 20. If I justify myself, mine the son of man.
own mouth shall condemn mo: if I say, I
tu accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections *.
VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith? ; nor are done in a right mannor, according to the word a ; nor to a right end, the glory of Godb; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God o. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God d. am perfect, it shall also prove me per- and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will reverse. Psal. cxliii. 2. And enter not into joice. judgment with thy servant: for in thy *Gen. iv. 5. But unto Cain, and to his ofsiglit shall no man living be justified. fering, he had not respect. And Cain was
x Heb. xiii. 20. Now the God of peace, very wroth, and his countenance fell. that brought again from the dead our With Heb. xi. 4. By faith Abel offered unLord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the to God a more excellent sacrifice than sheep, through the blood of the everlast- Cain, by which he obtained witness that ing covenant, Ver. 21. Make you perfeet in he was righteous, God testifying of his. every good work to do his will, working in gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speak. you that which is well-pleasing in his eth. Ver. 6. But without faith it is imsight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be possible to please him : for he that cometh glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Cor. viii. to God must believe that he is, and that 12. For if there be first a willing mind, it he is a rewarder of them that diligently is accepted according to that a man hath, seek him. and not according to that he hath not. a 1 Cor. xiii. 3. And though I bestow all Heb. vi. 10. For God is not unrighteous, to my goods to feed the poor, and though I forget your work and labour of love, which give my body to be burned, and have not ye have showed toward his name, in that charity, it profiteth me nothing. Isa. i. 12. ye have ministered to the saints, and do When ye come to appear before me, who minister. Mat. xxv. 21. His lord said un- hath required this at your hand, to tread to him, Well done, thou good and faithful my courts servant; thou hast been faithful over a 1 Mat. vi. 2. Therefore, when thou doest few things, I will make thee ruler over thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before many things : enter thou into the joy of thee, as the hypocrites do in the synathy lord. Ver. 23. His lord said unto him, gogues, and in the streets, that they may Well done, good and faithful servant; thou have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, hast been faithful over a few things, I will They have their reward. Ver. 5. And make thee ruler over many things: enter when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as thou into the joy of thy lord.
the hypocrites are: for they love to pray VII. y 2 Kings x. 30. And the Lord said standing in the synagogues, and in the unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well corners of the streets, that they may be in executing that which is right in mine seen of men. Verily I say unto you, 'They eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab have their reward. Ver. 16. Moreover, according to all that was in mine heart, when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of thy children of the fourth generation shall a sad countenance: for they disfigure their sit on the throne of Israel. Ver. 31. But faces, that they may appear unto men to Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of fast. Verily I say unto you, They have the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; their reward. for he departed not from the sins of Jero- c Hag. ii. 14. Then answered Haggai, boam, which made Israel to sin. 1 Kings and said, So is this people, and so is this xxi. 27. And it came to pass, when Ahab nation before me, saith the Lord; and so heard those words, that he rent his is every work of their hands; and that clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, which they offer there is unclean. Tit. i. and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and 15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but went softly. Ver. 29. Seest thou how Ahab unto them that are defiled and unbelieva humbleth himself before me? Because ing is nothing pure; but even their mind he humbleth himself before me, I will not and conscience is defiled. Amos. v. 21. I bring the evil in his days; but in his son's hate, I despise your feast-days, and I will days will I bring the evil upon his house. not smell in your solemn assemblies. Ver. Phil. i. 15. Some indeed preach Christ even 22. Though ye offer me burnt-offerings, of envy and strife; and some also of good and your meat-offerings, I will not accept will. Ver. 16. The one preach Christ of them ; neither will I regard the peace-ofcontention, not sincerely, supposing to add ferings of your fat beasts. Hosea i. 4. And affliction to my bonds. Ver. 18. What then? the Lord said unto him, Call his name notwithstanding, every way, whether in Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will protence, or in truth, Christ is preached; avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house
CHAP. XVII. Of the Perseverance of the Saints. VIIEY whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually callod
and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved a.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father); upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christo; the abiding
of Jehu, and will cause to cease the king. him: and he cannot sin, because he is dom of the house of Israel. Rom. ix. 16. born of God. 1 Pet. i. 5. Who are kept by So then it is not of him that willeth, nor the power of God through faith unto salof him that runneth, but of God that show- vation, ready to be revealed in the last eth mercy. Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of righ- time. Ver. 9. Receiving the end of your teousness which we have done, but ac- faith, even the salvation of your souls. cording to his mercy he saved us, by the II.'b 2 Tim. ii. 18. Who concerning the washing of regeneration, and renewing of truth have erred, saying that the resurrecthe Holy Ghost.
tion is past already; and overthrow the d Psal. xiv. 4. Have all the workers of faith of some. Ver. 19. Nevertheless the iniquity no knowledge ? who eat up my foundation of God standeth sure, having people as they eat bread, and call not this seal, The Lord knoweth them that upon the Lord. Psal. xxxvi. 3. The words are his. And, Let every one that nameth of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he the name of Christ depart from iniquity. hath left off to be wise, and to do good. Jer. xxxi. 3. The Lord hath appeared of Job. xxi. 14. Therefore they say unto God, old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved Depart from us; for we desire not the thee with an everlasting love; therefore knowledge of thy ways. Ver. 15. What is with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. the Almighty, that we should serve him? c Heb. x. 10. By the which will we are and what profit should we have, if we sanctified, through the offering of the body pray unto him ? Mat. xxv. 41. Then shall of Jesus Christ once for all. Ver. 14. For he say aiso unto them on the left hand, by one offering he hath perfected for ever Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlast- them that are sanctified. Heb. xiii. 20. ing fire, prepared for the devil and his Now the God of peace, that brought again angels : Ver. 42. For I was an hungered, from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood and ye gave me no drink : Ver. 43. I was a of the everlasting covenant, Ver. 21. Make stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, you perfect in every good work to do his and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, will, working in you that which is welland ye visited me not. Ver. 45. Then shall pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto to whom be glory for ever and ever. you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of Amen. Heb. ix. 12. Neither by the blood the least of these, ye did it not to me. Mat. of goats and calves, but by his own blood, xxiii. 23. Woe unto you, scribes and Phari. he entered in once into the holy, place, sees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, having obtained eternal redemption for and'anise, and cuminin, and have omitted us, Ver. 13. For if the blood of bulls and the weightier matters of the law, judg- of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprink. ment, merey, and faith: these ought ye to ling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifyhave done, and not to leave the other un- ing of the flesh; Ver. 14. How much more done.
shall the blood of Christ, who through the I. a Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very eternal Spirit offered himself without spot thing, that he which hath begun a good to God, purge your conscience from dead work in you, will perform it until the day works, to serve the living God ? Ver. 15. of Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore And for this cause he is the mediator of the rather, brethren, give diligence to the new testament, that by means of death, make your calling and election sure: for for the redemption of the transgressions if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. that were under the first testament, they John x. 28. And I give unto them eternal which are called might receive the promise life ; and they shall never perish, neither of eternal inheritance. Rom. viii. 33. Who shall any pluck them out of my hand. shall lay any thing to the charge of God's Ver. 29. My Father, which gave them me, elect? It is God tha eth; er. 31. Who is greater than all; and none is able to is he that condemneth? It is Christ thai pluck them out of my Father's hand. 1 died, yea rather, that is riseu again, who is John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth
even at the right hand of God, who also not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in maketh intercession for us. Ver. SS. Who us.
of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them d; and the nature of the covenant of gracee : from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereoff.
III. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins & ; and for a time continue therein " : whereby they incur God's displeasure ', and grieve his Holy Spirit k; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts'; have their hearts hardened m, and their consciences wounded n; hurt and scandalize others °, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves P. shall separate us from the love of Christ ? nal life; and they shall never perish, shall tribulation,or distress, or persecution, neither shall any pluck them out of my or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? hand. 2 Thess. iii. 3. But the Lord is Ver. 36. (As it is written, For thy sake we faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep are killed all the day long; we are ac- you from evil. 1 John ii. 19. They went counted as sheep for the slaughter.) Ver. out from us, but they were not of us; for 37. Nay, in all these things we are more if they had been of us, they would no than conquerors, through him that loved doubt have continued with us : but they
Ver. 38. For I am persuaded, that went out, that they might be made mani. neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor fest that they were not all of us. principalities, nor powers, nor things pre- III. & Matth. xxvi. 70. But he denied besent, nor things to come, Ver. 39. Nor fore them all, saying, I know not what height, nor depth, nor any other creature, thou sayest. Ver. 72. And again he denied shall be able to separate us from the love with an oath, I do not know the man, of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ver. 74. Then began he to curse and to John xvii. 11. And now I am no more in swear, saying, I know not the man. the world, but these are in the world, and immediately the cock crew. I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through h Psal. li. (the title.] To the chief musician, thine own name those whom thou hast A psalm of David, when Nathan the progiven me, that they may be one, as we are. phet came unto him, after he had gone in Ver. 24. Father, I will that they also to Bath-sheba. Ver. 14. Deliver me from whom thou hast given me be with me blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my where I am ; that they may behold my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud glory, which thou hast given me: for thou of thy righteousness. lovedst me before the foundation of the i Isa. lxiv. 5. Thou meetest him that reworld. Luke xxji. 32. But I have prayed for joiceth and worketh righteousness; those thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou that remember thee in thy ways: beart converted, strengthen thy brethren. hold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also to in those is continuance, and we shall save them to the uttermost that come be saved. Ver. 7. And there is none that unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up make intercession for them.
himself to take hold of thee: for thou d John xiv. 16. And I will pray the Fa- hast hid thy face from us, and hast conther, and he shall give you another Com- sumed us, because of our iniquities. Ver. forter, that he may abide with you for 9. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither
Ver. 17. Even the Spirit of truth; remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, whom the world cannot receive, because we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 2 it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: Sam. xi. 27. And when the mourning was but ye know him; for he dwelleth with past, David sent and fetched her to his you, and shall be in you. 1 John ii. 27. house, and she became his wife, and bare But the anointing which ye have received him a son. But the thing that David had of him abideth in you; and ye need not done displeased the Lord. that any man teach you: but as the same k Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the Holy anointing teacheth you of all things, and Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath the day of relemption. taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John i Psal. li. 8. Make me to hear joy and iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not gladness; that the bones which thou hast commit sin; for his seed remaineth in broken may rejoice. Ver. 10. Create in me him: and he cannot sin, because he is a clean heart, God; and renew a right born of God.
spirit within me. Ver. 12. Restore unto e Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an ever- me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold lasting covenant with them, that I will me with thy free Spirit. Rev. ii. 4. Nevernot turn away from them, to do them theless I have somewhat against thee, begood; but I will put my fear in their cause thou hast left thy first love. Cant. hearts, that they shall not depart from me. v. 2. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the
f John 28. Ånd I give unto them eter- voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying,
CHAP. XVIII. Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation.
deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation a; which hope of theirs shall perish”; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; whicn hope shall never make them ashamed a.
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope e ; but an infallible assurance of Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, Lord among us? none evil can come upon my undefiled: for my head is filled with us. Deut. xxix. 19. And it come to pass, dew, and my locks with the drops of the when he heareth the words of this curse, night. Ver. 3. I have put off my coat; that he bless himself in his heart, saying, how shall I put it on? I have washed my I shall have peace, though I walk in the feet; how shall I defile them? Ver. 4. My imagination of mine heart, to add drunkbeloved put in his hand by the hole of the enness to thirst. John viii. 41. Ye do the door, and my bowels were moved for him. deeds of your father. Then said they to Ver. 6. I opened to my beloved; but my him, We be not born of fornication; we beloved had withdrawn himself, and was have one Father, even God. gone: my soul failed when he spake: I b Mat. vii. 22. Many will say to me in sought him, but I could not find him; I that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophecalled him, but he gave me no answer. sied in thy name? and in thy name have
m Isa. lxiii. 17. O Lord, why hast thou cast out devils ? and in thy name done made us to err from thy ways, and har many wonderful works? Ver. 23. And dened our heart from thy fear ? Return then will I profess unto them, I never for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine knew, you: depart from me, ye that work inheritance. Mark vi. 52. For they con- iniquity. sidered not the miracle of the loaves: for c1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do know their heart was hardened. Mark xvi. 14. that we know him, if we keep his comAfterward he appeared unto the eleven as mandments. 1 John iii. 14. We know that they sat at meat, and upbraided them we have passed from death unto life, bewith their unbelief and hardness of heart, cause we love the brethren: he that loveth because they believed not them which had not his brother abideth in death. Ver. 18. seen him after he was risen.
My little children, let us not love in word, n Psal. xxxii. 3. When I kept silence, my neither in tongue ; but in deed, and in bones waxed old, through my roaring all truth. Ver. 19. And hereby we know that the day long : Ver. 4. For day and night we are of the truth, and shall assure our thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture hearts before him. Ver. 21. Beloved, if is turned into the drought of summer. our heart condemn us not, then have we Psal. li. 8. Make me to hear joy and glad. confidence toward God. Ver. 24! And he ness; that the bones which thou hast that keepeth his commandments dwelleth broken ay rejoice.
in him, and he in him: and hereby we o 2 Sam. xii. 14. Howbeit, because by this know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit deed thou hast given great occasion to the that he hath given us. 1 John v, 13. These enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the things have I written unto you that bechild also that is born unto thee shall liere on the name of the Son of God, that surely die.
ye may know that ye have eternal life, and p Psal. Ixxxix. 31. If they break my sta. that ye may believe on the name of the tutes, and keep not my commandments; Son of God. Ver. 32. Then will I visit their transgres- d Rom. v. 2. By whom also we have acsion with the rod, and their iniquity with cess by faith into this grace wherein we stripes. 1 Cor. xi. 32. But when we are stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that God. Ver. 5. And hope maketh not asham. we should not be condemnedwith the world. ed; because the love of God is shed abroad
I. a Job viii. 13. So are the paths of all in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope given unto us, shall perish: Ver. 14. Whose hope shall II. e Heb. vi. 11. And we desire that be cut off, and whose trust shall be a every one of you do show the same dili. spider's web. Micah iii. 11. The heads gence, to the full assurance of hope unto
judge for wa and the priests the end. Ver. 19. Which hope we have as thereof teach for hire, and the prophets an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedthereof divine for money: yet will they fast, and which entereth into that within lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the the vail,