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is that of every Christian in his baptism. And this is eithet an external dedication; and so all the baptized are sanctified and holy; or an internal dedication, which if it be sincere; it is both actual and habitual, when we both give up ourselves to God in covenant, and are also disposed and inclined to him; and our hearts are set upon him; yea and the life also consisteth of the exercise of this disposition, and performance of this covenant. This is the sanctifica tion which here I speak of. And so much for the name.
The doctrinal propositions necessary to be understood about it are these, (more largely and plainly laid down in my. Confession, chap. 3.)
Prop. 1. So much of the appearance or image of God as there is upon any creature, so much it is good and amiable to God and man.
Object. 'God loveth us from eternity, and when we were his enemies; not because we were good, but to make us better than we were.
Answ. God's love and all love) consisteth formally in complacency. God hath no complacency in any thing but in good; or according to the measure of its goodness. From eternity God foreseeing the good which would be in us, loved us as good in ' esse cognito'; and not as actually good, when we were not. When we were his enemies, he had a double love to us (or complacency), the one was for that natural good which remained in us as we were men, and repairable, and capable of being made saints. The other was for that foreseen good as in ' esse cognito', which he purposed in time to come, to put upon us. This complacency exceeded not at all the good which was the object of it: but with it was joined a will and purpose to give us grace and glory hereafter; and thence it is called, a love of benevolence : not but that complacency is the true notion of love; and benevolence, or a purpose to give benefits, is but the fruit of it. But if any will needs call the benevolence alone by the name of love, we deny not in that sense that God loveth Saul, a persecutor, as well as Paul, an apostle; in that his purpose to do him good is the same..
Object. 'God loveth us in Christ, and for his righteousness, and not only for our own inherent holiness.
Answ. l. The benevolence of God is exercised towards us in and by Christ; and the fruits of his love are Christ
himself, and the mercies given us with Christ, and by Christ. And our pardon, and justification, and adoption, and acceptance is by his meritorious righteousness : and it is by him that we are possessed of God's Spirit, and renewed according to his image, in wisdom, and righteousness, and holiness. And all this relative and inherent mercy we have as in Christ, related to him, without whom we have nothing. And thus it is that we are accepted and beloved in him, and for his righteousness. But Christ did not die or merit to change God's nature, and make him more indifferent in his love to the holy and the unholy, or equally to the more holy, and to the less holy. But his complacency is still in no man further than he is made truly amiable in his real holiness, and his relation to Christ, and to the Father. (The doctrine of imputation is opened before.) The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed," &c.; John xvi. 27. “ He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father;" John xiv. 21.As God loved us with the love of benevolence, and so much complacence as is before described, before we loved him (1 John iv. 10. Ephes. ii. 4.), so he now loveth us complacentially for his image upon us, and so much of his grace as is found in us ; and also for our relation to his Son, and to himself, which we stand in by this grace : but as he loveth not Saul, á persecutor, under the notion of a fulfiller of his law in Christ; so neither doth he love David in his sin, under the notion of one that is without sin and perfect, as having fulfilled the law in Christ : but so loveth him in Christ, as to pardon his sin, and make him more lovely in himself, by creating a clean heart, and renewing a right spirit within him, for the sake of the satisfaction and merits of Christ.
Prop. 2. Holiness is God's image upon us, and that which was our primitive amiableness ; Col. iii. 10.;
Prop. 3. The loss of holiness, was the loss of our amiableness, and our state of enmity to God.
Prop. 4. Holiness consisteth in, 1. Our resignation of ourselves to God as our owner, and submission to his
providence: 2. And our subjection to God as our ruler; and obedience to his teaching and his laws : 3. And in thank
fulness and love to God as our chief good, efficiently and finally,
Prop. 5. Love is that final perfective act, which implieth and comprehendeth all the rest; and so is the fulfilling of the law, and the true state of sanctification; Rom. xiii. 10. Matt. xxii. 37. Mark xii. 33. 1 John vii. 16.
Prop. 6. Heaven itself, as it is our ultimate end and perfection, is but our perfect love to God maintained by perfect vision of him, with the perfect reeeption of his love to us.
Prop. 7. Therefore it was Christ's great business in the world, to destroy the works of the devil, and to bring us to this perfect love of God.
Prop. 8. Accordingly the greatest use of faith in Christ is to subserve and kindle our love to God.
Prop. 9. This it doth two special ways: 1. By procuring the pardon of sin, which forfeited the grace of the Spirit; that so the Spirit may kindle the love of God in us : 2. By actual beholding the love of God, which shineth to us most gloriously in Christ, by which our love must be excited, as the most suitable and effectual means; John iii, 1. iv. 10.
Prop. 10. Our whole religion, therefore, consisteth of two parts: 1. Primitive holiness, restored and perfected: 2. The restoring and perfecting means : or, 1. Love to God, the final 'and more excellent part: 2. Faith in Christ, the mediate part. Faith causing love, and love caused by faith; 1 Cor. xii. 31. xiii. Rom. viii. 35. Ephes. vi. 23. 1 Tim. i. 5. 2 Thess. iii. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 9. viii. 3. Rom. viii. 28. James 1. xii. ii. 5. 1 Pet. i. 8.
Prop. 11. Repentance towards God, is the soul's return to God in love ; and regeneration by the Spirit, is the Spirit's begetting us to the image and nature of God our heavenly Father, in a heavenly love to him; so that the Holy Ghost is given us to work in us a love to God, which is our sanctification; Rom, v. 5. Titus iii. 447. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 1 John iv. 16.
Prop. 12. When sanctification is mentioned as a gift consequent to faith, it is the love of God as our Father in Christ, and the Spirit of love, that is principally meant by that sanctification.
Prop. 13. The pardor of sin consisteth more in the
pænam damni', the forfeiture and loss of love, and the spirit of love, than in remitting any corporal pain of sense. And the restoring of love, and the spirit of love, and the perfecting hereof in heaven, is the most eminent part of our executive pardon, justification and adoption.' Thus far sanctification is pardon itself; Rom. viii. 15–17. Gal. iv. 6. 1. Cor. vi. 10, 11. Titus jii.-6, 7. Titus ii. 13, 14. Rom. vi. viii. 4. 10. 13.
Prop. 14. The pardon of the pain of sense, is given us as a means, to the executive pardon of the pain of loss, that is, to put us in a capacity, with doubled obligations and advantages to love God; Luke vij. 47.
"Prop. 15. Sanctification therefore being better than allother pardon of sin, as being its end; we must value it more, and must make it our first desire to be as holy as may be, that we may need as little forgiveness as may be, and in the second place only desire the pardon of that we had rather not have committed; and not make pardon our chief desire; Rom. vi. vii. viii. throughout. Gal. v. 17, to the end.
Prop. 16. Holiness is the true morality; and they that prefer the preaching, and practice of faith in Christ, before the preaching and practice of holiness, and slight this as mere morality, do prefer the means before the end, and their physio before their health : and they that preach or think to practise holiness, without faith in Christ, do dream of a cure without the only Physician of souls. And they that preach up morality as consisting in mere justice, charity to men, and temperance, without the love of God in Christ, do take a branch, cut off and withered, for the tree. - Some ignorant sectaries cry down all preaching, as mere morality, which doth not frequently toss the name of Christ, and free grace.
And some ungodly preachers, who never felt the work of faith or love to God in their own souls, for want of holy experience, savour not, and understand not holy preaching; and therefore spend almost all their time, in declaiming against some particular vices, and speaking what they have learned of some virtues of sobriety, justice or mercy. And when they have done, cover over their ungodly unbelieving course, by reproaching the weaknesses of the former sort,
who' cry down preaching mere morality. But let such know, that those ministers and Christians, who justly lament their lifeless kind of preaching, do mean by morality, that which you commonly call ethics in the schools, which leaveth out not only faith in Christ, but the love of God, and the sanctification of the Spirit, and the heavenly glory. And they do not cry down true morality, but these dead branches of it, which are all your morality. It is not morality itself inclusively that they blame, but mere morality, that is, so much only as Aristotle's ethics teach, as exclusive to the Christian faith and love; and do you think with any wise men (or with your own consciences) long to find a cloak to your infidel or unholy hearts and doctrine, to' mistake them that blame you, or to take advantage of the ignorance of others ?
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost," do shut up your liturgy by way of benediction, but it is almost all shut out of your sermons, unless a few heartless customary passages; and when there is nothing less in your preaching, than that which is the substance of your baptismal covenant and Christianity, and your customary benediction; you do but tell the people what kind of Christianity you have, and what benediction; that is, that you are neither truly Christians, nor blessed.
True morality, or the Christian ethics, is the love of God and man, stirred up by the Spirit of Christ, through faith; and exercised in works of piety, justice, charity and temperance, in order to the attainment of everlasting happiness, in the perfect vision and fruition of God. And none but ignorant or brain-sick sectaries will be offended for the preaching of any of this morality. “Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye tithe mint and rue and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone ;" Luke xi. 42.