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difference observed, is that which relates to the distinction of the sub/tance and evidence of faith-sometimes, the righteousness of Christ, as it existed from eternity, in his confent to the covenant, is directly given; and sometimes, that exhibition of his righteousness, which he has made in the world, is more immediately in view; or, perhaps, it may be observed, that sometimes the divine will is contemplated in all its parts; and sometimes more particularly, the part of duty.
The will of the Father has always been a law to the Son. This law has always been in his heart; he has always delighted in it, and the Father has always loved the Son; he has always delighted in him, as his only begotten, and honored and glorified him with himself
. And this everlasting righteousness is fully ex. hibited in the work of redemption; for, as the Son, in his service-work, has given pub. lic evidence of his righteousness, and fully declared his regard to the divine will, a foun. dation is laid for the Father to give public evidence also of his righteousnels, and declare his love to his Son, and his delight and pleasure in his work.—This is done by his pardoning and justifying finners for his Son's fake, according to his promise to him in the covenant.--But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifejted, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference : For all have pinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified
freely by his grace, through the redemplion that is in Jesus Christ; Whom God hath set forth through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of fins that are paj!, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I Jay, at this time his righteousness: that he might be juli
, and the juslifier of him which believeth in Jefus, Romans jii. 21-25.And all the honor which is conferred upon Christ declaratively, and all the favor which is conferred upon men, are to testify the divine acceptableness of his faith, or covenant righteousness; evidenced in his blood, or in his making himself a sacrifice according to she divine will.-God, now, has a reason to be alligned, as the ground of his showing favor to finners; aliing upon the ground of the exhibited righteousness of his Son, God makes it to be seen, that he loves righteousness and hates iniquity. God is, now, just to his own engagement, and just 10 his righteous servant; when, according to his promise in the covenant of redemption, he justifieth him who believeth in Jesus,
Seclion Grace sovereign through Faith..
Grace is a thread of gold, appearing every where in the doctrine of the Old and New Teftament; the whole system of redemption displays it: and every one truly enlighiened by the gospel muft see and admire it. Grace is used in ihe scriptures, in relation to the
whole, and every part of the work of redemption, from the foundation to the top-stone; though, perhaps, the most definite use of the term expresses an act of government, in which God shows favor to the guilty, as it is dilplayed in justification.
Grace is used, in relation to faith, as the Substance of things hoped for, to express the gift of righteousness, as bestowed upon us by the Father, and received by Christ, as our trustee and surety, before the world began; and it is used, particularly, in relation to the evidence, to express the redemption-work of Christ, together, with the act of government, proceeding upon this work, in which the righteousness of God is fully displayed, in our pardon and acceptance with him; and it is also used in relation to the anticipation, to express the fruits of righteousness in the glorious, most glorious ministration of the spirit,
- In a word, grace is used, generally, to express the work of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.-The work of redemption is grace! grace! the manifold grace of God!
The Father, of his mere good pleasure, gave to us his Son, and, with him, he has given us the kingdonn—he has freely given us all things. The Lord Jesus Christ gave himseif freely; no man took his life from him, but he laid it down of himself; and the Holy Ghost is the free spirit, the Spirit of grace; and, by his free agency, we are efiectually called. Uur lalvation is wholly of free, rich, and fovereign grace. The gospel is given freely
to the world; and, as the wind bloweth where it lifteth, so is every man visited that is born of the Spirit; for he is the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ. i Peter v. 10.-Faith the subJtance of things, is the gift of God; faith the evidence, is also the gift of God; and the anticipation is received, not by the works of the law, but by the hearing of faith. Gal. 11. 2.-— So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. x. 17. For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works left any man should boast. Eph. ii. 8, 9.
In the view of the kingdom of righteousness, and the provision which God has made for a perishing world, there is certainly no room for boasting-no man has had a hand in this work-for this kingdom was prepar. ed, and the rich provision was made and give 'en to us in Christ before the world was hence it is called grace—According to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jefus, before the world began. 2 Tim. i. 9. And in the view of bringing forward, and exhibiting of this eternal provision to the world, all boasting of men is utterly excluded-For when we were yet without prength meyvhen we were enemies in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. v. 6—10, And, with respect to the anticipation, in the nature of the thing, no glory can be due to the subject; for whatscever be the merit of making a fealt of fat things, of spreading out the pro. vision upon the table, and of inviting and tonstraining the
and unworthy to come freely, and partake of it; no part thereof, furely, can be ascribed to the indigent, selfdestroyed guests, merely for coming, feeding and feasting upon the rich bounty.Whatsoever might be the merit of providing a ransom for lawful captives and condemned prisoners, and of bringing to them the good news of their free and full liberation; certainly, there is none in their hear: ing and rejoicing in the glad tidings, and in their receiving and enjoying the liberty graciously bestowed upon them; Or howfoever great, and infinitely meritorious, is the work which formed the orb of day, and which fends forth daily, his golden rays to enlighten and animate the world, nothing of the virtue, nothing of the praise of the mighty deed belongs to us, who behold, and admire, and telicitate ourselves in the glory that beams around us and upon us.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Grace supposes guilt and ill desert in the object. The angels of light are not subjects of grace, for they have not sinned. The angels which kept not their first eftate, are not lubjects of
grace; for there is not laid a foun. dation, upon which it can be exercised towards them; for Christ took not on him the nature of angels. Were it not for Christ's mediation, our case would have been as desperate as theirs-Christ's righteousness is the only ground upon which grace can be exereised towards us.