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which perisheth not, but endureth to everlasting life; and layeth up a treasure in heaven, and maketh himself friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, and layeth up a good foundation for the time to come, laying hold upon eternal life, and striveth to enter in at the strait gate, and fighteth a good fight, and finisheth his course for the crown of righteousness, and suffereth persecution for a reward in heaven, and prayeth in secret that God may reward him, and always aboundeth in the work of the Lord, because his labour is not in vain in the Lord, and endureth to the end, that he may be saved, and is faithful to the death, and overcometh, that he may receive the crown of life; this man taketh God's way, and the only way to heaven; and they that thas seek not the reward (being at the use of reason) are never like to have it.
Error 49. “It is not lawful for the justified to pray for the pardon of any penalties, but temporal.'
Contr. The ground of this is before overthrown.
Error 50. “It is not lawful to pray twice for the.pardon of the same sin; because it implieth unbelief, as if it were not pardoned already.'
Contr. It is a duty to pray oft and continuedly for the pardon of former sins: 1. Because pardon once granted must be continued; and therefore the continuance must be prayed: If you say, 'It is certain to be continued,' I answer, then it is certain that you will continue to pray for it (and to live a holy life. 2. Because the evils deserved, are such as we are not perfectly delivered from, and are in danger of more daily. And therefore we must pray for daily executive pardon, that is, impunity; and that God will give us more of his Spirit, and save us from the fruit of former sin; because our right to future impunity is given before all the impunity itself. 3. And the complete justification from all past sins, is yet to come at the day of judgment. And all this, (besides that some that have pardon, know it not) may and must be daily prayed for.
Error 51. The justified must not pray again for the pardon of the sins before conversion.'
Contr. What was last said confuteth this.
Error 52. No man at all may pray for pardon, but only for assurance: for the sins of the elect are all pardoned before they were born; and the non-elect have no satisfaction
made for their sins, and therefore their pardon is impossible.'
Contr. Matt. vi. “ Forgive us our trespasses,” &c.
These consequences do but shew the falsehood of the antecedents.
Error 53. •No man can know that he is under the guilt of any sin ; because no man can know but that he is elect, and consequently justified already.'
Contr. No infidel, or impenitent person is justified.
Error 54. : Christ only is covenanted with by the Father, and he is the only Promiser as for us, and not we for ourselves.'
Contr. Christ only hath undertaken to do the work of Christ; but man must undertake, and promise, and covenant, even to Christ himself, (that by the help of his grace) he will do his own part. Or else no man should be baptized. What a baptism and sacramental communion do these men make? He that doth not covenant with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, hath no right to the benefits of God's part of the covenant. And no man (at age) can be saved that doth not both promise and perform.
Error 55. We are not only freed from the condemning sentence of the law, but freed also from its commands.'
! Contr. We are not under Moses's judaical law, which was proper to their nation, and their proselytes; nor are we under a necessity or duty, of labouring after perfect obedience in ourselves, as the condition of our justification or salvation ; but to renounce all such expectations. Nor will the law of works itself ever justify us (as some affirm) as having perfectly fulfilled it by another : but we are justified against its charge, and not by it, by the covenant of grace, and not of works. But perfect obedience to all the law of nature and all the commands of Christ, is still our duty, and sincere obedience is necessary to our salvation. All our duty is not supererogation.
Error 56. When a man doubteth whether he be a believer or penitent, he must believe that Christ repented and believed for him.'
Contr. Christ never had sin to repent of, and it is not proper to say one repenteth of another's sin ; Christ believed his Father ; but had no use for that faith in a Mediator which we must have. He that repenteth not and
believeth not himself, shall be damned; therefore you may see how Christ repented and believed for us.
Error 57. 'A man that trusteth to be justified at the day of judgment, against the charge of unbelief, impenitency and hypocrisy, by his own faith, repentance and sincerity, as his particular subordinate righteousness, and not by Christ's righteousness imputed only, sinneth against free grace.'
Contr. Christ's righteousness is imputed or given to none, nor shall justify any that are true unbelievers, impenitent or hypocrites; therefore if any such person trust to be justified by Christ, he deceiveth him. If the charge be, : Thou art an infidel or impenitent;' it is frivolous to say, • But Christ obeyed, suffered, or believed, or repented for me. But he that will then be justified against that charge, must say, and say truly, I truly believed, repented and obeyed.
Error. 58. • There is no use for a justification against any such false accusation before God, who knoweth all men's hearts.'
Contr. 1. You might as well say, there is no use of judging meu, according to what they have done, when God knoweth what they have done already. 2. We are to be justified by God before men and angels, that Christ may be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe, because the Gospel was believed by them; 2 Thess. i. 10, 11. And not only the mouth of iniquity may be stopped, and open false accusations confuted; but that the prejudices and heart-slanders of the wicked may be refelled, and our righteousness be brought forth as the light, and our judgment as the noon-day: that all the false judgments and reproaches of the wicked against the just may be confounded; and they may answer for all their ungodly sayings, and hard speeches (as Enoch prophesied) against the godly; and that they that speak evil of us, because we run not with them to all excess of riot, may“ give an account to him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead;" 1 Pet. iv. 4, 5. And that all may be set straight which men made crooked, and hidden things be all brought to light.
3. And we must be better acquainted with the ingenuity of the great Accuser of the brethren, before we can be sure
that he who belieth God to man, will not belie man to God; seeing he is the father of lies, and did so by Job, &c.
4. But we must not think of the day of judgment, as a day of talk between God, and Satan, and man; but as a day of decisivE LIGHT or manifestation. And so the case is out of doubt. The faith, repentance, and sincerity of the just will be there manifest, against all former or latter, real or virtual calumnies of men or devils to the contrary.
5. But above all let it be marked, that nothing else can be matter of controversy to be decided. That Christ hath obeyed, and suffered, and satisfied for believers' sins, and made a testament or covenant to pardon all true believers, will be known to the Accuser, and past all doubt. The day of judgment is not to try Christ's obedience and sufferings, nor to decide the case whether he fulfilled the law, and satisfied for sin, or made a pardoning covenant to believers : but whether we have part in him or not, and so are to be justified by the Gospel-covenant, through his merits against the legal covenant; and whether we have fulfilled the conditions of the pardoning covenant or not. This is all that can then be made a controversy; this is the secrets of men's heart, and case that must be opened before the world by God. However we doubt not, but the glory of all will redound to Christ, whose merits are unquestioned.
6. Note also, that Christ will be the Judge on supposition of his merits, and not the party to be tried and judged.
7. Note also, that we are to be judged by the new covenant or law of liberty, and therefore it is the condition of that covenant (as made with us) which is to be inquired after.
8. Note also, that Christ himself in Matt. xxv. (and every where) when he describeth the day of judgment, doth not at all speak of any decision of such a controversy, as whether he was the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world? Or whether he did his part or not; but only whether men did their parts or not, and shewed the sincerity of their love to God and him, by venturing all for him, and owning him in his servants, to their cost and hazard. And the fruit of Christ's part is only mentioned as a presupposed thing, “ Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you—-For I was hungry," &c.
The preparation (in God's decree and Christ's merits) is unquestioned, and so is the donation to all true believers ; therefore it is the case of their title to this gift, and of the condition or evidence of their title, which is here tried and decided.
Lastly, Note that upon the decision, in respect of both together (Christ's merits and covenant as supposed, and their own true faith and love, as manifested decisively,) they are called righteous, Matt. xxv. 46. “ The righteous into life eternal.”
So much to take the stumbling-blocks out of the way of faith, about free grace and justification, which the weakness of many well-meaning erroneous men hath laid there of late times, to the great danger or impediment of weak believers. “ Take up the stumbling-block out of the way
my people;" Isa. lvii. 14.
“ Thou shalt not put a stumbling-block before the blind, but shalt fear God;" Levit. xix. 14.
How to live by Faith, in order to the exercise of other Graces
and Duties of Sanctification, and Obedience to God.
And first of the Doctrinal Directions.
We cannot by faith promote sanctification, unless we understand the nature and reasons of sanctification. This therefore must be our first endeavour.
The word sanctified doth signify that which is separated to God from common uses. And this separation is either by God himself (as, he hath sanctified the Lord's day, &c.). or by man's dedication ; either of persons to a holy office; and so the ministers of Christ are sanctified in their ordination (which is a consecration) and their selfdedication to God. And it is high sacrilege in thenaselves, or any other, that shall alienate them unjustly from their sacred calling and work. Or of things to holy uses (as places and utensils may be sanctified.) Or it may be a dedication of persons to a holy state, relation and use ; as