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standing at his right hand to resist him,” ver. 1. but such as devils work, or as rank Bedlams have. The same posture as Judas stood in when he Yet this poor man was dispossessed, taken into was to be condemned—“Set thou (saith David) God's compassion, and was bid to shew it to the a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at world—“Go home to thy friends, and tell them his right hand,” Ps. cix. 6–8. Thus there- how great things the Lord hath done for thee, fore Joshua stood. Now Joshua was clothed and hath had compassion on thee;" which last (not with righteousness, but) with filthy rags! words, because they are added over and above his Sin upon him, and Satan by him, and this before being dispossessed of the devils, I understand to the angel ! What must he do now? Go away? be the fruit of electing love_“I will have comNo; there he must stand. Can he speak for passion on whom I will have compassion,” which himself ? Not a word; guilt had made him blesseth us with the mercy of a justifying rightdumb, Isaiah, liii. 12. Had he no place clean? eousness ; and all this, as by this is manifest, No; he was clothed with filthy garments. But without the least precedent qualification of ours. his lot was to stand before Jesus Christ, that Secondly, “ And when they had nothing to maketh intercession for transgressors—" And the pay, he frankly forgave them both,” Luke, Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, vii. 42. Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, The occasion of these words was, for that the rebuke thee,” Zech. iii. 2. Thus Christ saveth Pharisee murmured against the woman that from present condemnation those that be still in washed Jesus' feet, because “she was a sinner,” their sin and blood.
(ver. 37 ;) for so said the Pharisee, and so saith But is he now quit? No; he standeth yet in the Holy Ghost; but saith Christ, Simon, I will filthy garments ; neither can he, by aught that ask thee a question—"A certain man had two is in him, or done by him, clear himself from debtors: the one owed him five hundred pence, him. How then? Why, the Lord clothes him and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with change of raiment: the iniquities were his to pay, he frankly forgave them both,” ver. 38. own, the raiment was the Lord's—“ This is the Hence I gather these conclusionsheritage of the servants of the Lord, and their 1. That men that are wedded to their own righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” We will righteousness understand not the doctrine of the not here discourse of Joshua's sin what it was, forgiveness of sins. This is manifested by the or when committed; it is enough to our purpose poor Pharisee ; he objected against the woman that he was clothed with filthy garments, and because she was a sinner. that the Lord made a change with him by causing 2. Let Pharisees murmur still, yet Christ hath his iniquity to pass from him, and by clothing pity and mercy for sinners. him with change of raiment. But what had 3. Yet Jesus doth not usually manifest mercy Joshua antecedent to this glorious and heavenly until the sinner bath nothing to pay -“ And clothing? The devil at his right hand to resist when they had nothing to pay, he frankly (or him, and himself in filthy garments — “ Now freely, or heartily) forgave them both.” If they Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and had nothing to pay, then they were sinners; but stood before the angel. And he answered and he forgiveth no man but with respect to a rightspake to those that stood before him saying, eousness; therefore that righteousness must be Take away the filthy garments from him. “And another's ; for in the very act of mercy they are unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine found sinners. They had nothing but debt, noiniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee thing but sin, nothing to pay:“Then they were with change of raiment,” ver. 3, 4.
justified freely by grace, through that redempBut to pass the Old Testament types, and to tion that is in Jesus Christ.” So, then," men come to the New.
are justified from the curse in the sight of God First, " And when he was come into the ship, while sinners in themselves.” he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Thirdly, “ And when he saw their faith, he him that he might go with him. How beit Jesus said unto the man, Thy sins are forgiven thee,” suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home Luke, v. 20. to thy friends, and tell them how great things This man had not righteousness to stand just God hath done for thee, and hath had compassion before God withal, for his sins as yet remained on thee,” Mark, v. 18, 19.
unforgiven; wherefore, seeing guilt remained The present state of this man is sufficiently until Christ remitted him, he was discharged declared in these particulars
while ungodly. 1. He was possessed with a devil ; with devils, And observe it, the faith here mentioned is with many; with a whole legion, which some say not to be reckoned so much the man's, as the is six thousand, or thereabouts.
faith of them that brought him ; neither did 2. These devils had so the mastery of him as it reach to the forgiveness of sins, but to the to drive him from place to place into the wilder- miracle of healing; yet this man in this conness among the mountains, and so to dwell in dition had his sins forgiven him. the tombs among the dead, Luke, viii.
But again ; set the case the faith was only his, 3. He was out of his wits; he would cut his (as it was not,) and that it reached to the docflesh, break his chains, nay, no man could tame trine of forgiveness, yet it did it without respect him," Mark, v. 7.
to righteousness in himself; for guilt lay still 4. When he saw Jesus, the devil in him, as upon him, he had now his sins forgiven him. being lord and governor there, cried out against But this act of grace was a surprisal; it was the Lord Jesus. In all this what qualification unlooked for : “ I am found of them that sought shews itself as precedent to justification ? None me not," Isaiah, lxv. They came for one thing, he gave them another; they came for a cure come to seek and save that which was lost"-to upon his body, but, to their amazement, he seek it till I find it, to save it when I find it. He cured first his soul: “ Thy sins are forgiven tinds them that sought him not, Rom. x. 20; and, thee."
as in the case of Zaccheus, Behold me! to a people Besides, to have his sins forgiven betokeneth that asked not after him. So, then, seeing Jesus an act of grace ; but grace and works as to this findeth this publican first, preaching salvation to are opposite, Rom. xi. 6; therefore “ men are him before he came down from the tree, it is erijustified from the curse in the sight of God while dent he received this as he was a sinner; from sinners in themselves.”
which faith flowed his following words and works Fourthly, “ Father, I have sinned against as a consequence. heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy Sixthly, “ Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say to be called thy son,” Luke, xv. 21.
unto thee, This day shalt thou be with me in What this man was, is sufficiently declared in paradise,” Luke, xxiii. 43. ver. 13, &c. As first, a riotous spender of all- This was spoken to the thief upon the cross, of time, talent, body, and soul.
who had lived in wickedness all his days; nei2. He added to this his rebellion great con- ther had he so much as truly repented—no, not tempt of his father's house—he joined himself to till he came to die; nay, when he first was hanged a stranger, and became an associate with swine, he then fell to railing on Christ ; for though ver. 15, 17.
Luke leaves it out, beginning but at his converAt last, indeed, he came to himself. But then sion; yet by Matthew's relating the whole traobserve, 1, He sought not justification by per- gedy, we find him at first as bad as the other, 'sonal performances of his own; 2, Neither did he Matt. xxvii, 44. This man, then, had do moral mitigate his wickedness; 3, Nor excuse himself righteousness, for he had lived in the breach of before his father ; but first resolveth to confess the law of God. Indeed, by faith he believed his sin ; and coming to his father, did confess it, Christ to be King, and that when dying with him. and, that with aggravating circumstances: “Í But what was this to a personal performing the have sinned against heaven; I have sinned against commandments ? or of restoring what he had oft thee; I am no more worthy to be called thy taken away? Yea, he confesseth his death to be son,” ver. 18. Now what he said was true or false ; just for his sin ; and so leaning upon the mediaif true, then he had not righteousness; if false, tion of Christ he goeth out of the world. Now he he could not stand just in the sight of his father that truly confesseth and acknowledgeth his sin, by virtue of his own performances. And, indeed, acknowledgeth also the curse to be due thereto the sequel of the parable clears it. His father from the righteous hand of God. So, then, where said to his servant, “ Bring forth the best robe, the curse of God is due, that man wanteth righte. the justifying righteousness, “ and put it upon cusness. Besides, he that makes to another for him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on help, hath by that condemned his own (had he his feet,” ver. 22. This best robe, then, being in the any) of utter insufficiency. But all these did this father's house, was not in the prodigal's heart; poor creature; wherefore he must stand just neither stayed the father for further qualifications, from the law in the sight of God while sinful in but put it upon him as he was, surrounded with himself.” sin and oppressed with guilt. Therefore “men Seventhly, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to are justified from the curse in the sight of God do ?” Acts, ix. 6. What wilt thou have me to do? while sinners in themselves."
Ignorance is here set forth to the full. He Fifthly, “ For the Son of man is come to seek hitherto knew not Jesus, neither what he would and to save that which was lost,” Luke, xix. 10. have him to do; yet a mighty man for the law of
The occasion of these words was, for that the works, and for zeal towards God according to Pharisees murmured because “ Jesus was gone that. Thus you see that he neither knew that to be a guest to one that was a sinner,” yea, a Christ was Lord, nor what was his mind and willsinner of the publicans, and are most fitly applied “ I did it ignorantly, in unbelief,” i Tim. i. 13—15. to the case in hand. For though Zaccheus climbed I did not know him; I did not believe he was to the tree, yet Jesus Christ found him first, and save us; I thought I must be saved by living called him down by his name; adding withal, righteously, by keeping the law of God. This " For to-day I must abide at thy house;" which thought kept me ignorant of Jesus, and of justibeing opened by ver. 9, is as much as to say, I fication from the curse by him. Poor Sanl ! am come to be thy salvation. Now this being be- how many fellows hast thou yet alive !-every lieved by Zaccheus, he made haste and came down, man zealous of the law of works, yet none of and " received him joyfully.” And not only so, them know the law of grace; each of them seekbut to declare to all the simplicity of his faith, ing for life by doing the law, when life is to be and that he unfeignedly accepted of this word of had by nought but believing in Jesus Christ. salvation, he said unto the Lord, and that before Eighthly, “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, all present, “ Behold, Lord, the half of my goods and thou shalt be saved,” Acts, xvi. 31. I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything A little before, we find Paul and Silas in the from any man by false accusation, (a supposition stocks for preaching of Jesus Christ; in the intimating an affirmative,) I restore him four- stocks in the inward prison by the hands of a fold.” This being thus, Christ doubleth his com- sturdy jailor ; but at midnight, while Paul and fort, saying to him also, and that before the bis companion sang praises to God, the foundapeople, *** This day is salvation come to this tions of the prison shook, and every man's bands house." Then, by adding the next words, he were loosed. Now the jailor being awakened expounds the whole of the matter, “ For I am by the noise of this shaking, and supposing he
had lost his prisoners, drew his sword, with in- are but like “painted sepulchres, within you are tent to kill himself; “ But Paul cried out, Do full of dead men's bones,” Prov. xxx. 12; Matt. thyself no harm, for we are all here. Then he xxiii. 27—30; Luke, xi. 24; xvi. 15. Such is called for a light, and sprang in, and came trem- the root from whence flows all their righteousbling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and ness. But doth the blind Pharisee think his state brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do is such? No; his thoughts of himself are far to be saved ?" In all this relation here is not otherwise—“God, I thank thee (saith he) I am aught that can justify the jailor. For,
not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adul1. His whole life was idolatry, cruelty, and terers, or even like this Publican," chap. xviii. enmity to God. Yea,
11, 12. Ay, but still God judgeth him for a 2. Éven now, while the earthquake shook the hypocrite. prison, he had murder in his heart-yea, and in Secondly, God judgeth him forone that spurneth his intentions too; murder, I say, and that of a against Christ, even by every such work he doth. high nature, even to have killed his own body And hence it is, when Paul was converted to and soul at once. Well,
Jesus Christ, that he calls the righteousness he 3. When he began to shake under the fears of had before, madness, blasphemy, injury ; because everlasting burnings, yet then his heart was what he did to save himself by works was in diwrapped up in ignorance as to the way of salva- rect opposition to grace by Jesus Christ, Phil. tion by Jesus Christ: “What must I do to be iii. 7, 8; Acts, xxii. 3, 4; xxvi. 4; 1 Tim. saved ?" He knew not what-no, not he. His i. 14, 15. condition, then, was this: he neither had righte- Behold, then, the evil that is in a man's own ousness to save him, nor knew he how to get righteousness ! it. Now, what was Paul's answer ? Why, 1. It curseth and condemneth the righteous“ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, (look for ness of Christ. righteousness in Christ,) and then thou shalt be 2. It blindeth the man from seeing his misery. saved." This, then, still holdeth true,
3. It hardeneth his heart against his own justified from the curse in the sight of God whilst salvation. sinners in themselves."
Thirdly, But again, God judgeth such for those I should now come to the second conclusion, that condemn him of foolishness-—“ The preachviz., that this can be done by no other righteous- ing of the cross,” that is, Christ crucified, “is to ness than that long ago performed by, and re- them that perish foolishness," i Cor. i. 18, 23. maining with, the person of Christ. But before What! saith the merit-monger, (mine ears have I speak to that, I will a little further press this, heard all this,) will you look for life by the by urging for it several reasons.
obedience of another man? Will you trust to The first reason.
the blood that was shed upon the cross, that run First, Men must be justified from the curse down to the ground, and perished in the dust ? while sinners in themselves, because by nature all Thus deridingly they scoff at, stumble
upon, and are under sin—" All have sinned, and come short are taken in the gin that attends the gospel ; not of the glory of God. He hath concluded all in to salvation, but to their condemnation, Isa. viii. 14; unbelief; he hath concluded all under sin,” Ro- because they have condemned the Just, that they mans, iii. 23; xi. 32; Gal. iii. 22. Now hav- might justify their own filthy righteousness. ing sinned, they are in body and soul defiled, But, I say, if all have sinned, if all are defiled, and become an unclean thing. Wherefore, what if the best of a man's righteousness be but madever they touch with an intent to work out ness, blasphemy, injury; if for their righteousrighteousness thereby, they defile that also. And ness they are judged hypocrites, condemned as hence, as I have said, all the righteousness they opposers of the gospel, and as such have counted seek to accomplish is but as a menstruous cloth God foolish for sending his Son into the world; and filthy rags; therefore they are sinners still, then must the best of “men be justified from Tit. i. 15; Lev. xv. 11; Isa. Ixiv. 6.
the curse in the sight of God while sinners in Indeed, to some men's thinking, the Pharisee themselves;" because they still stand guilty in is holier than the Publican ; but in God's sight, the sight of God, their hearts are also still filthy in the eyes of Divine justice, they stand alike infected—“ Though thou wash thee with nitre, condemned — “ All have sinned;" there is the and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is poison. Therefore, as to God without Christ marked before me, saith the Lord God," Jer. u. 22. all throats are an open sepulchre, Matt. xxiii. 27 ; It stands marked still before God. So, then, what Rom. iii. 13.
esteem soever men have of the righteousness of The world in general is divided into two sorts the world, yet God accounts it horrible wickedof sinners-
ness, and the greatest enemy that Jesus hath. 1. The open profane.
Wherefore, this vine is the vine of Sodom; these 2. The man that seeks life by the works of the clusters are the clusters of Gomorrah; these law. The profane is judged by all; but the other grapes are grapes of gall; these clusters are bitter, by a few. "Oh! but God judgeth him.
they are the poison of dragons, and the cruel First, for a hypocrite; becanse that notwith- venom of asps, Matt. iii. 7; xxiii. No marvel, standing he hath sinned, he would be thought to then, if John in his ministry gives the first rebe good and righteous. And hence it is that buke and jostle to such, still calling them serpents Christ calls such kind of holy ones, “ Pharisees and vipers, and concluding it is almost impossible hypocrites, Pharisees hypocrites,” because by they should escape the damnation of hell; for of their gay outside they deceived those that beheld all sin, man's own righteousness in special bids them. But, saith he, “ God sees your hearts;" you defiance to Jesus Christ.
The second reason.
sin ; for sin by the law hath dominion over all Secondly, A second reason why men must that are under the law, Rom. vi. 14. Dominion, stand just in the sight of God from the curse I say, both as to guilt and filth. Guilt hath dowhile sinners in themselves is, because of the minion over him, because he is under the curse; exactions of the law. For were it granted that and filth, because the law giveth him no power, men's good works arose from a holy root, and neither can he by it deliver his soul. And for were perfect in their kind, yet the demand of the this cause it is that it is called beggarly, weak, law-for that is still beyond them--would leave unprofitable; imposing duty, but giving no them sinners before the justice of God, 1 Pet. ii. 5; strength, Gal. iii. 2 ; iv. 9; expecting the duty Rev. vii. 14-16; Heb. xii. 8. And hence it is should be complete, yet bendeth not the heart that holy men stand just in the sight of God to do the work; to do it, I say, as is required, from the curse, yet dare not offer their gifts by Rom. viii. 3. And hence it is again that it is the law, but through Jesus Christ, knowing that called a void of words, Heb. xii. 14; for as words not only their persons, but their spiritual ser- that are barely such are void of spirit and qaick. vice also, would else be rejected of the heavenly ening life, so are the impositions of the law of Majesty.
works. Thus far, therefore, the man remains a For the law is itself so perfectly holy and good sinner. But, as not to admit of the least failure, either in the Secondly, The law is so far from giving life or matter or manner of obedience—"Cursed is every strength to do it, that it doth quite the contrary. one that continueth not in all things that are For, written in the book of the law to do them. For 1. It weakeneth, it discourageth, and disthey that shall keep the whole law, and yet offend hearteneth the sinner, especially when it shews in one point, are guilty of all, and convicted of itself in its glory; for then it is the ministration the law as transgressors,” Gal. iii. 10; James, of death, and killeth all the world. When Israel ii. 9, 10. “ Tribulation therefore, and anguish, saw this, they fled from the face of God; they upon every soul of man that doth evil, of the could not endure that which was commanded; Jew first, and also of the Gentile,” Rom. ii. 9. yea, so terrible was the sight, that Moses said,
And observe, the law leaveth thee not to thy I exceedingly fear and quake," Exod. xx. 18, 19; choice, when, or when not, to begin to keep it, Heb. xii. 20, 21. Yea, almost forty years after, but requireth thy obedience so soon as concerned, Moses stood amazed to find himself and Israel exactly, both as to the matter and manner, and yet alive—“Did ever people,” said he,“ hear that before thou hast sinned against it; for the the voice of God speaking out of the midst of first sin breaks the law, John, iii. 18. Now, if the fire, as thou hast done, and live?” Deut. thou sinnest before thou beginnest to do, thou iv. 32, 33. art found by the law a transgressor, and so Alas! he who boasteth himself in the works of standest by that convicted of sin ; so, then, all thy the law, he doth not hear the law; when that after-acts of righteousness are but the righteous- speaks, it shakes Mount Sinai, and writeth death ness of a sinner, of one whom the law hath con- upon all faces, and makes the church itself cry demned already. “The law is spiritual, but thou out, A mediator! else we die, Exod. xx. 19; Deut. art carnal, sold under sin,” Rom. vii. 14.
v. 25-27 ; xviii. 15, 19. Besides, the law being absolutely perfect, doth 2. It doth not only thus discourage, but abunnot only respect the matter and manner as to dantly increaseth every sin. outward acts, but also the rise and root, the (1.) Sin takes the advantage of being by the heart, from whence they flow; and an impedi- law; the motions of sin are by the law. Where ment there spoils all, were the executive part no law is, there is no transgression, Rom. iv. 15; never so good—“ Thou shalt love the Lord thy vii. 5. God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all (2.) Sin takes an occasion to live by the law : thy mind, and with all thy strength," Mark, “ When the commandment came, sin revived ; xii. 30. Mark the repetition, with all, with all, for without the law, sin is dead,” Rom. vii. 8, 9. with all, with all ; with all thy heart, with all thy (3.) Sin takes an occasion to multiply by the soul, in all things, at all times, else thou hadst as law : “ The law entered, that the offence might good do nothing. But “every imagination of abound,” Rom. v. 20. the thought of the heart of man is only evil con- (4.)“ And the strength of sin is the law,” i Cor. tinually," Gen. vi. 5. The margin hath it, the xv. 56. “whole imagination, the purposes, and desires ;" (5.) “Sin by the commandment is become" so that a good root is here wanting. “ The heart outrageous, “exceeding sinful,” Rom. vii. 7, 8. is deceitful above all things, and desperately “ What shall we say, then ? Is the law sin? God wicked; who can know it?" Jer. xvii. 9.' What forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the thoughts, words, or actions can be clean, suffi- law: for I had not known lust, except the law ciently to answer a perfect law, that flows from had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking this original ; it is impossible. “Men must there- occasion by the commandment, wrought in mne all fore be justified from the curse in the sight of manner of concupiscence. For without the law, God while sinners in themselves."
sin is dead." But further yet to open the case.
There are These things, then, are not infused or operated several things that make it impossible that a man by the law from its own nature or doctrine, but should stand just in the sight of God but while are occasioned by the meeting of, and having to sinful in himself.
do with, a thing directly opposite. “ The law is First, Because the law under which he at pre- spiritual, I am carnal ;" therefore every imposisent stands, holds him under the dominion of tion is rejected and rebelled against. Strike a
steel against a flint, and the fire flies about you; Tell me now, you that desire to be under the strike the law against a carnal heart, and sin ap- law, can you fulfil all the commands of the law, pears, sin multiplies, sin rageth, sin is strength and after answer all its demands? Can you ened. And hence ariseth all these doubts, mur- grapple with the judgment of God? Can you murings, and sinful complainings that are found wrestle with the Almighty? Are you stronger in the hearts of the people of God; they have too than he that made the heavens, and that holdeth much to do with the law; the law of works is angels in everlasting chains ? * Can thine heart now in the conscience, imposing duty upon the endure, or can thy hands be strong in the day carnal part. This is the reason of the noise that that I shall deal with thee? I, saith the Lord, you hear, and of the sin that you see, and of the have spoken it; I will do it,” Ezek. xxii. 14. horror that you feel in your own souls when Oh, it cannot be ! “ These must go away into tempted. But to pass this digression.
everlasting punishment,” Matt. xxv. 46. So, then, The law, then, having to do with carnal men, men must stand just from the curse in the sight by this they become worse sioners than before ; of God while sinners in themselves,” or not at all. for their heart now recoileth desperately, op- OBJECT.—But the apostle saith, “ That the poseth blasphemously; it giveth way to despair; doers of the law shall be justified,” Rom. ii. 13, and then, to conclude, there is no hope for here- plainly intimating that, notwithstanding all you after; and so goeth on in a sordid, ungodly course say, some by doing the law may stand just before of life, till his time is come to die and be damned, God thereby; and if so, then Christ fulfilled it unless a miracle of grace prevent. From all this for us but as our example. I conclude, that “a man cannot stand just from ANSW.—The consequences are not true; for the curse in the sight of God but while sinful in by these words, “ The doers of the law shall be himself.” But,
justified,” there is no more proof of a possibility Thirdly, As the law giveth neither strength of saving thyself by the law than there is by nor life to keep it, so it neither giveth nor worketh these : For by the works of the law shall no repentance unto life if thou break it-Do this man living be justified in his sight,” Gal. ii. 16. and live, break it and die ; this is the voice of the The intent, then, of the text objected is not to law. All the repentance that such men have, it prove a possibility of man's salvation by the law, is but that of themselves, the sorrow of the but to insinuate rather an impossibility, by assertworld (2 Cor. vii, 10) that endeth in death, as ing what perfections the law requireth. And Cain's and Judas's did, even such a repentance as were 1 to argue against the pretended sufficiency must be repented of either here or in hell-fire. of man's own righteousness, I would choose to
Fourthly, As it giveth none, so it accepteth frame mine argument upon such a place as thisnone of them that are under the law, Gal. v. 9. “ The hearers of the law are not just before God;" Sin and die, is for ever its language; there is no therefore the breakers of the law are not just bemiddle way in the law; they must bear their fore God; not just, I say, by the law; but all judgment, whosoever they be, that stand and have sinned and broken the law; therefore none fall to the law. Therefore Cain was a vagabond by the law are just before God. For if all stand still, and Judas hangeth himself; their repentance guilty of sin by the law, then that law that judgeth could not save them, they fell headlong under them sinners cannot justify them before God. the law, Gen. iv. 9—11; Matt. xxvii. 3. The And what if the apostle had said, “ Blessed are law stays no man from the due reward of his they that continue in all things," instead of prodeeds; it hath no ears to hear nor heart to pity nouncing a curse for the contrary, the conclusion its penitent ones.
had been the same; for where the blessing is Fifthly, By the law, God will shew no mercy; pronounced, he is not the better that breaks the for, “ I will be merciful to their uprighteousness," condition; and where the curse is pronounced, is the tenour of another covenant, Heb. viii. 9, 10, he is not the worse that keeps it. But neither &c. But by the law I regard them not, saith doth the blessing nor curse in the law intend a the Lord. For,
supposition that men may be just by the law, but Sixthly, All the promises annexed to the law rather to shew the perfection of the law, and that are by the first sin null and void. Though then though a blessing be annexed thereto, no man by a man should live a thousand years twice told, it can obtain that blessing; for not the hearers and all that while fulfil the law, yet having sinned of the law are justified before God, but the doers, first, he is not at all the better. Our legalists, when they do it, shall be justified. None but then, begin to talk too soon of having life by doers can by it be just before God; but none do the law: let them first begin without sin, and so the law, no, not one, Rom. iii. 10, 11; therefore throughout continue to death, and then if God none by it can stand just before God. will save them, not by Christ, but works, con- And whereas it is said Christ kept the law as trary to the covenant of grace, they may hope to our example, that we by keeping it might get to go to heaven.
heaven, as he, it is false, as afore was shewedBut, lastly, to come close to the point. Thou “ He is the end of the law," or, hath perfectly hast sinned; the law now calls for passive as well finished it, “ for righteousness to every one that as active obedience; yea, great contentedness in believeth,” Rom. X. 3, 4. all thoa sufferest for thy transgressing against the But a little to travel with this objection : no law. So, then, wilt thou live by the law ? Fulfil man can keep the moral law as Christ, unless he it, then, perfectly till death, and afterwards go to be first without sin, as Christ; unless he be God hell and be damned, and abide there till the law and man, as Christ. and curse for thy sin be satisfied for; and then, And again; Christ cannot be our pattern in but not till then, thou shalt have life by the law. keeping the law for life, because of the dispropor