Imatges de pÓgina
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difference obferved, is that which relates to the distinction of the fubftance and evidence of faith-fometimes, the righteousness of Christ, as it existed from eternity, in his confent to the covenant, is directly given; and fometimes, that exhibition of his righteousness, which he has made in the world, is more immediately in view; or, perhaps, it may be obferved, that fometimes the divine will is contemplated in all its parts; and fometimes 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 righteoufnefs is fully ex hibited in the work of redemption; for, as the Son, in his fervice-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 alfo of his righteoufnels, 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 promife to him in the covenant. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteoufnefs 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 finned and come fhort of the glory of God; Being juflified

freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jefus Christ; Whom God hath fet forth through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remiffion of fins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I Jay, at this time his righteoufnefs: that he might be juf, and the juftifier of him which believeth in Jefus. Romans iii. 21-26And all the honor which is conferred upon Christ declaratively, and all the favor which is conferred upon men, are to testify the divine acceptablenefs of his faith, or covenant righteoufnels; evidenced in his blood, or in his making himfelf a facrifice according to the divine will.-God, now, has a reason to be afligned, as the ground of his fhowing favor to finners; acting upon the ground of the exhibited righteoufnefs of his Son, Gcd makes it to be feen, that he loves righteoufnefs and hates iniquity. God is, now, just to his own engagement, and just to his righteous fervant; when, according to his promife in the covenant of redemption, he juflifieth him who believeth in Jefus,

Section 5. Grace fovereign through Faith.

Grace is a thread of gold, appearing every where in the doctrine of the Old and New Teftament; the whole fyftem of redemption difplays it; and every one truly enlightened by the gofpel muft fee and admire it. Grace is ufed in the fcriptures, in relation to the

whole, and every part of the work of redemption, from the foundation to the top-flone; though, perhaps, the most definite use of the term expreffes an act of government, in which God fhows favor to the guilty, as it is dif played in juftification.

Grace is used, in relation to faith, as the fubftance of things hoped for, to exprefs the gift of righteoufnefs, as beftowed upon us by the Father, and received by Chrift, as our trustee and furety, before the world began; and it is used, particularly, in relation to the evidence, to exprefs the redemption-work of Christ, together, with the act of government, proceeding upon this work, in which the righteoufnels of God is fully difplayed, in our pardon and acceptance with him; and it is also used in relation to the anticipation, to exprefs the fruits of righteoufnefs in the glorious, most glorious miniftration of the fpirit, -In a word, grace is ufed, generally, to exprefs the work of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft.-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 kingdom-he has freely given us all things. The Lord Jefus Chrift gave himfelf freely; no man took his life from him, but he laid it down of himfelf: and the Holy Gholt is the free spirit, the spirit of grace; and, by his free agency, we are effectually called. Our falvation is wholly of free, rich, and fovereign grace. The golpel is given freely

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to the world; and, as the wind bloweth where it lifteth, fo is every man vifited that is born of the Spirit; for he is the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jefus Chrift. 1 Peter v. 10.-Faith the fubftance of things, is the gift of God; faith the evidence, is alfo the gift of God; and the anticipation is received, not by the works of the law, but by the hearing of faith. Gal. iii. 2.So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. x. 17.-For by grace are ye faved, through faith; and that not of your felves; it is the gift of God: Not of works left any man should boaf. Eph. ii. 8, 9.

In the view of the kingdom of righteouf nefs, and the provifion which God has made for a perifhing world, there is certainly no room for boafting-no man has had a hand in this work-for this kingdom was prepar ed, and the rich provifion was made and giv'en to us in Chrift before the world washence it is called grace-According to his own purpofe and grace which was given us in Chrit Jefus, before the world began. 2 Tim. i. 9. And in the view of bringing forward, and exhibiting of this eternal provifion to the world, all boafting of men is utterly excluded-For when we were yet without frength

when we were enemies-in due time Chrift died for the ungodly. Rom. v. 6-10. And, with refpect to the anticipation, in the nature of the thing, no glory can be due to the fubject; for whatfcever be the merit of making a fealt of fat things, of fpreading out the provifion upon the table, and of inviting and

constraining the poor and unworthy to come freely, and partake of it; no part thereof, furely, can be afcribed to the indigent, felfdeftroyed guests, merely for coming, feeding and feafting 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 enlight en and animate the world, nothing of the virtue, nothing of the praise of the mighty deed belongs to us, who behold, and admire, and felicitate ourselves in the glory that beams around us and upon us. Where is boafting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Grace fuppofes guilt and ill defert in the object. The angels of light are not fubjects of grace, for they have not finned. The angels which kept not their first estate, are not fubjects of grace; for there is not laid a foundation, upon which it can be exercised towards them; for Chrift took not on him the nature of angels. Were it not for Chrift's mediation, our cafe would have been as desperate as theirs-Christ's righteousness is the only ground upon which grace can be exereifed towards us.

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