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felves to him, shall get the light of the knowledge of ihe glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6.
(2.) Man is unrighteous, and cannot stand before a righteous God. His guilt binds him over to wrath, and makes him miserable before a juft God, a revenger of fin. And this is so impressed on the hearts of men, that even a natural conscicace sometimes makes terrible heart.quakes within him, knowing the judgement of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death. Now, the natural man, for remedy of this, goes about to work out a righteousness of his own, to fpin a righteousness out of his own bowels, and to appease the anger of God, and gain his favour, by his obedience. But when it appears in the light of the hoJy law, it is nothing but as a pasty, rotten, moth-eaten garment, that cannot cover the soul before the Lord, If. lxiv. 6. Let them stretch it as they will, the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in it. · For remedy of this, Christ is made righteousness. He, by his obedience to the law's commands, and futa fering the wrath it threatened, hath brought in everlafting righteousness, which is a large garment, able to cover all that betake themselves to it, for it is the righteousness of God; a beautiful garment, found in every part, for it is white raiment, without the least ftain, being the righteousness of the Son of God, who, was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from finners, Therefore the most refined moralists must lay aside, in point of confidence, their highest attainments in mo. rality, as filthy rags before the Lord; and the strictest professors and livers on earth, who follow after the law of righteousness, must renounce their inherent righteousness, and sit down naked before the Lord, to receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. And the vileit of men coming to him, shall find a righteousness in hiin to be communicated to them; fo that they țhat are from righteousnçfs shall be wiapt up in
point of Te the most
a perfect righteousness, if they will take Christ to them as God has made him. .
(3.) Man is unholy, unfit for communion with a ho- : ly God here or hereafter. His soul is dead in sin, his lusts live and are vigorous in him ; so that he is no more meet for heaven than a fow for a palace. The ; natural man, to help himself in this point, calls together his natural powers as in a solemn day, and endea. vours to set about his duty, and turn the stream of: his life and conversation into the channel of the law, Some prevail this way to the reformation of their outward conversation; but there is as much difference betwixt true holiness and their attainment, as betwixt a living body and an embalmed corpse. Others find all their endeavours to no purpose, and so they come to despair of fanctification, and therefore even lay the reins on the necks of their lufts, Jer. ii. 25. And how can it be otherwise in either of them? for, like fools or madmen, they go into the mire to wash themselves clean; the houie that must be razed from the foundation, they go to patch up and repair ; for in their attempts for holinels they act as if they had need of nothing but activity to use and improve their natural abilities for sanctification ; which is as opposite to the doctrine of the gospel, as to say, the cripple needs but to let himself to rise and walk, and he will be cured, is contrary to common sense ; for our natural abilities will serve us no more for sanctification, than the crip. ple's legs will serve him to walk, Let men learn from Job, that where the whole body is all full of boils and fores, their hands are not fit to scrape the fores on the rest of their body, being as ill themfelves as any other part: therefore he took a potsherd, and scraped him. Telf. And while to the unbelieving there is nothing pure, but their very natural powers are defiled, they can never purify the man in holinels.
But for remedy in this, Christ is made fanctification. There is a fulness of the Spirit of holiness lodged in him, to be communicated to the unholy; and to him God
fends the unholy finner, that out of his fulness he may receive, and grace for grace. Therefore the most sober patural man and stricteft profeffor, who has hammered out of his mere natural abilities, assisted by external revelation, a life blameless before the world, being estranged still to the life of faith, must know that he has but put a new face on the old man, which Christ never intended to repair, but to destroy, Rom. vi. 6. and must begin anew to attain true holiness, from and by him whom the Father has made fanctification to us. And the most polluted anner, whose lufts are most raging, may confidently try this grand method of fanctification, which can no more fail him, than God's device can fail to reach the end he designed it for.
(4.) Man by the fall is become mortal, liable to many bodily infirmities and miseries, and at length must go to the grave, the house appointed for all living. Nature could find no remedy for this. The learned Athenians mocked at the resurrection of the dead, Acts xvii. 32. the Sadducees among the Jews denied it, Matth. xxii. 2 3. The unrenewed part of the world, who, by the benefit of external revelation, have embraced the doctrine of the resurrection, and particularly of the happy resurrection, have no other way to attain it, but what they follow to attain righteousness and fanctification; and that being insuffi. cient to attain them, must be so also in this respect; for all their Christless endeavours leave them still under guilt and corruption, these bonds of death, wherewith the second death will draw them down into the pit, when they are raised out of their graves at the last day.
But man's falvation cannot be complete without a remedy for this; therefore Christ is made redemption, who will give in due time deliverance to his people from milery and death, which is called the redempo tion of the body, Rom. viii. 23 And in this sense he calls himself the resurrection and the life, John xi. 25. So our redemption is in him in so far as he has got above death and the power of the grave by his refurrectioni, and that as a public perfon, thereby ensuring the happy refurrection of all that are in him. Therefore, if ever we would get our heads above these waters, we must come to him for it.
2. That all who partake of this falvation, must partake of it in him, by virtue of union with him : But of him are ye in Christ Jefus, &c. As the stock is itay, itrength, and fap to the branches; fo is Christ wildom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption to them that are in him, or unto finners united to him. The fap of the stock is not conveyed to branches that are not in it; neither is Christ wisdom, b'c. to any but those that are in him. He is the Saviour of his body, and we must partake of his salvation as members of his body. In the old world when the deluge came on, some without the ark getting up on the tops of trees or mountains, might be safe for a while; but none but those who were in the ark were safe to the end : fo men that are out of Christ may get common tempo. ral favours from the Lord; but none but those ia him receive that wisdom, &c. which is the great fal. vation. The loft world is the first Adam, and the na. tural branches of that stock. The faved world are
such branches as are taken out of that dead and killing · stock, and ingrafted into Christ the true vine.
This then is the grand device of salvation, that Chritt shall be all to sinners, and that they must par. take of all in him ; which is quite opposite to our natural imaginations, and exalts the free grace of God, depresling nature. (1.) They do not help themfelves, their help is in another: He is made wisdom, &c. (2.) They do not so much as help themselves to their hielper ; for it is of God by the power of his grace that they are brought to be in him. It is not the branch itself, but the husbandman that ingrafts it.
The doctrine I observe from the words is,
- Doct. Ged's device for the fanctification of an unholy
world is, that finners unite with Christ, and derive holiness from him, whom the Father has constituted the head of fanctifying influences. Union with Christ is the only way to sanctification.
For proof of this doctrine, consider the following scriptures, Rom. vii. 4. John xv. 5. Gal. ii. 20.
In handling this doctrine, I shall,
I. Drop a word concerning holiness derived from Christ.
II. Shew how it is derived from him.
I. As to holiness, it is that disposition of heart and course of life which is conformable to God's holy law, and pleases him. In this life it is imperfect, but in the life to come it will be perfected. I shall only offer these few things concerning it.
1. True holiness is universal in respect of the commands of God, Psal. cxix. 6.--I have respect unto all thy commandments; the holy man making conscience of the duties of both tables of the law, his duty to God, his neighbour, and himself, Tit. ii. 12. Whofo divide these declare themselves to be upholy persons, who cannot see God. A profane life is a sure evidence of a profane heart, Gål. v. 19. dc.
2. True holiness is not only in external duties, but necessarily includes internal obedience of the soul to the will of God, Pfal. xxiv. 3. The outward works of piety and charity will never denominate a man holy, without holy thoughts, affections, and imaginations. The heart must be a temple confecrated to God, wherein love, fear, delight in God, submission, patience, and all other parts of unseen religion, are exercised. The heart of the holy man is no more the devil's common, where thoughts go free, and lufts range at their ease, Pfal.cxix. 113. I bate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love : but it is God's inclosure, hedged about as a garden for the Lord. And though not Vol. II.
a profane bholiness is nornal obediente