Imatges de pàgina

stification by faith alone. And this asser- IV. Howbeit it hath seemed good in cion, or thesis, he choseth to let down, as the Lord's eyes, to give us so ample a rule it were couched in the prophet's words; to walk by, and to examine doctrine by, wherein also is held forth a confirmation as many proofs may be had of one point; from Scripture. Take the thesis thus : yet seeing the author of this word is a We are justified by Faith, and not by God of truth, who cannot lye, one word, Works. His first argument standeth and one place of fcripture, should be sufehus: If so be Scripture affirm, that we ficient to confirm us of the truth of a are jut by faith, and by faith we live, doétrine; as Paul's ciing only one place then are we justified by faith. But the of scripture gives us to know. former is true; Therefore. The con- V. We ought to be so well'acquainted Dection is undoubted ; and the words of with the Scriptures, that the very recit-Habakkuk prove the assumption, viziing of the words should be enough to put That we are just, and live, by faith: for us to the place where it is, tho'it be not it is written, Hab. ii. 4. The just stall live named: therefore does Paul only say, by faith; or, T he jull by faith fball live : As it is written;, naming neither where, for it may be read both ways.

nor by whom. HENCE OBSERVE,

VI. So full and comprehensive is this I. The doétrine of justification by faith touchilone, the law and the testimony, is so necessary to be well understood, and by which we are to try what is light and so oppugned and obscured by Satan and what is darkness, that we may confirm a his instruments, as it concerneth all to be truth from a place where that truth is not weli acquainted there with, and to labour directly and intentionally handled, nor is to have it cleared, and confirmed to us the dire&t scope of the place to speak to it: from the word of the Lord : therefore for here the apostle makes ute of that doch Paul infiit so much upon it here, place of Habakkuk, where the prophet and beginneth with, As it is written. is not speaking how and what way people

II. So precious fhould truth be unto may be justified before God, but how the both pastor and people, and so warry godly thould be supported, and have a ought both to be of error, that as the life of it even in days of trouble; only is paftor fould labour to bring forth no- might be gathered from it by a just conthing into people but what he can pro- fequence, thus: If the righteous have a duce fcripture for, and show that thus it comfortable life, thro' waiting on God, it is written; so people Mould search and in an evil time, and that by faith, it must try whether the doctrines delivered be be by faith that he is brought into a live according to the word written, or not : ing itate, and justified. Or, if it be read therefore doth Paul confirm his affertion the other way, The just by faith foall live, by thus it is written.

then it clearly holds forth, that it is by III. However the Lord hath Been faith (viz. laying hold on Christ's righpleased to afford us many helps, whereby teousness

, and in his blood) that they are we may attain unto the clear discovery of juft, or justified. It is a great wrong done truth, and which we may fafely make use to scriprure, wlien confequences clearly of in their own place ; yet the only test deduced therefrom, are made invalid. and touchstone by which we are to try

VII. However we find not the way of what is truth, what is error, and upon the juilification of finners, so clearly ard which we are to rest, is the word of the fully laid down in the Old Testament as. Lord: Thus it is written, should suffici- in the New; yet justification by faith is an eatly clear us of the truth,

Old Testament truth; for the apo tle confirmeth this doctrine from a place of the his righteousuels) they were instated into Old Testament, Hab. i.

firmeth that


a justified state; so it is by this fame faith, VIII. In citing scripture for probation and not by works, that they are justified of truths, we may fafely cite so much of it afterwards, and get out new extracts and às maketh to the purpose, leaving what pardons ; for the just (or he that is almaketh not for it ; provided that by fo do- ready justified) liveth (in that justified state) ing we falsify not the testimony, and make by faith. it speak, being thus curtailed, the contrary of what it would affirm, were it VersE 18. For the wrath of God is rewhole: therefore Paul leaveth out his, vealed from heaven against all ungodliwhich is in Habakkuk, and only citech, ness, and unrighteousnefs of men who the just Mall live by faith.

hold the truth in unrighteousness. IX. The only way how finners are brought out of the state of death, into a


Here is a second argument which the state of life, and justification, is by faith, apostle prosecuteth at large, after or closing with, and heartily embracing of, this manner : Either we must be justified Jesus Christ for salvation, as he is offered by faith or by works. But so it is, we in the gospel. It is by this, our leaning cannot be justified by works before God; on him and his righteousness that we are Therefore. The proposition is most clear, just, and justified; for it is by faith that because these two ways are fupponed here sve are just.

by the apostle to be inconsistent together. X. There is such an inseparable con- And as for the assumption, that we are nection betwixt a state of justification and not justified by works, he proveth at large, life, that all such as are justified by faith thus: If any man were justified by the works in the blood of Christ, and have fled unto of the law without faith, then either they the city of refuge, and sheltered them would be Jews or Gentiles that would be selves under the wings of Christ, may be fo justified, because all the world are eifure, that as they are for present inco a ther Jews or Gentiles, and there is not a ftate of life, so they shall be carried thro' | third fort: but neither Jew ,nor Gentile all difficulties and temptations, and at last can be fo justified. And this he maketh inherit life eternal : for the jult by faith good, first of the Gentiles, unto the 17th fall live.

verse of chapter second; and then inakes XI. As it is by faith laying hold on it good of the Jews, unto the 20th verle Chrill's righteousness that people are jufti- of chapter third. fied; so it is by faith drawing strength Here then is the first argument wherefrom Christ as a root, that they live the by the apostle proveth that the Gentiles life of grace and holiness: and by the same could not be justified by their works; to faith, viewing God as reconciled in Christ, this purpose: If fo be ihe wrath of God and faithful in his promises, and minding be revealed from heaven against the Genthe good of souls in all sad dispensations, tiles, for their fins and transgressions ait is, that they have a life of comfort un- gainst both tables of the law, then they der the saddest troubles that can befal could not be justified by their works; them ; for all these ways do the just live but the wrath of God is revealed from heaby faith. See Gal. ii. 11. and ii

. 20. Heb. ven against all ungodliness, and unrighteoufx. 38. Now the just Mall live by faith.---- ness. And this he confirmeth by an argu

Xll. As at the first by faith (as an in- ient, fewing the main and root-evil aftrument or mean appointed of God, for mong them, för which God was so difthe accepting and einbracing of Chrift and I pleased, viz. Because they laid fetters on

that light which they had, and keeped it is sin in these persons, be they young or in prison, and did not let it go forth at li old, whom God pursueth with death, or berty in a holy life and conversation; the other outward strokes; and the best may truth they had in their understandings was fafely go in and search out their own fin : not put forth in practice, but keeped in by for it was against ungodliness, and unrighuprighteous and wicked actions.

teousness, that God's wrath was revealed : HENCE LEARN,


. 33. For be doth not afflict willI. By nature we are so far from having ingly, nor grieve the children of men. any thing in ourselves, whereby we may Verse 39. Wherefore doth a living man expect to be justified before God, that, on complain, a man for the punishment of his the contrary, there is nothing in us, but fins? ungodliness, and unrighteousness, and the V. A clear sight of fin, and God's discurse and wrath of God hanging over our pleasure testified against it, may abundantheads because of that; for this the apostle's ly convince us of a necessity of choosing argument supposeth as truth.

another way whereby to be justified than II. There is such a deal of pride in us our own works; for being convinced of by nature, that we will never heartily and our short-coming, and so not being perfect, fully come out of ourfelves, and take the and of God's justice ; so that we may rasingle and humble way of faith whereby to ther expect condemnation than justificabe justified, until we be once driven from tion for our works, and all this by God's all hopes and expectation of any good from judgments on us, or others; it is but a ourselves, and see nothing but sin and ini- folly to foster a good conceit of our own quity in us, and God's curse and wrath due righteousness any more: for this is the to us therefore : This argument which the sum of the apostle's argument. apostle usern, and the connection, Theweth VI. Every sin, how little foever in our fo much. We will not be convinced that eyes, who take not up sin aright, deservibe just by faith foall live, till we see the erh God's curse and wrath; and all that sorath of God revealed against ungodliness, fiieth not in to Jesus Christ for shelter, end unrighteousness.

fhall certainly find his wrath revealed aIII. However the ever-blessed Lord be gainst them for every sin, even the least: free from all those perturbations of mind for it is faid, The wrath of God is revealcich fallen men are subject to, yet he is ed against all unrighteousness of men, be it oft laid to be wroth with finners because lefs or more.

lin: fin is that which he hateth and ab VII. So righteous and just is the Lord, borreth, as being a violation of his righte- that he will not countenance or bear with cess laws, against which he will testify his fin in whomfoever it be, but will imparSpleasure, in justice.

cially punish it; for his wrath was revealiv. Outward plagues and judgments ed againlt the ungodliness of men, with 30 excluding his spiritual judgments on out exception, even of those who seemed Ou's for sin, whereof we will hear after best, having more koowledge of truth wards) may lufficiently demonstrate God's than others. s pleasure against man for sin; and how VIII. Man has no will to be driven ever it seemeth good to the only wise Lord, from his own self-righteousness, but will Danctimes, and for wise ends, (as to try look with a wrong eye upon the most zi exercise his people) to lay upon them clear demonstrations of its insufficiency; forze ourward stroke or other, tho' not for hardly would they look upon these 17 way of punishment or chastisement for judgments as coming from God because -; yet we may well conclude, that there of their fins, but thought they came from



chance and fortune; and therefore Paul | that they had some knowledge of the tells them, God's wrath is revealed from truth, he proves in these two verses; and beaven, and those judgments had not their next, that they did incarcerate this knowrife lower.

ledge, he confirmeth, verles 21. 22. 23. IX. However men may run on in their So the apostle in these two verses is iniquity, and conceive false hopes of escap- Thewing what that knowledge of God was ing the just judgment of God, yet at which the Heathens had, and how they length they will find themselves deceived, came by it. God's eternal power and when judgment inevitable shall come on, Godhead, which are in themselves inviand they shall have no way to escape; fible, was a thing the knowledge whereof when God's wrath shall be revealed from was attainable by the light of nature. heaven.

They had common principles of knowX. However since the fall our sight be ledge given them of God, whert by, lookdim, yet the Lord hath left so much ing upon the works of the creation, they knowledge of truth, as may in some mea- might safely and solidly gaiher, what a sure hold forth part of our duty, both God he was, and what was his due; fo towards God and man; for even these that they were rendered inexcusable in aHeathens had the knowledge of truth. busing this light; and their mouths were

XI. The knowledge of truth, touching stopped, so that they had nothing to say God, hath such a natural tendency to for themselves, why they lived in ungodpractice, and answerable walking in obe. liness and unrighteouinels. dience, that for any to do other ways, is

DOCTRINAL OESERVATIONS. as it were to do violence unto truth, and 1. So dim and dark is that firall candle to incarcerate it; for these Heathens, by light of nature, and so deep and untearchtheir ungodliness and uprighteousness, did able a mystery is God, that there are many block up and imprison the truth, or the things in God which nature is stone-blind knowledge of it.

into, and will never be known by all paXII. It is a heinous and heathenish evil ture's light ; for the apostle fuppofes that to be crossing light, and to walk in wick- there is fomething which may not be edness over the belly of conscience; a fin known, when he speakech of that which against which God is highly provoked, may he known. and occasioneth all impiety : for it was the 11. However the Lord Jehovah be in Gentiles fin here, that they detained the himself unsearchable, yet hath he left as truth in unrighteousness.

much light in folks, that were they defir

ous, by the very principles of natural VERSES 19. 20. Because that which may knowledge, they might lee as much of

be known of God, is manifest in theni'; God as might convince them that he only

for God hath fewed it unto them. is to be worshipped, loved, and feared; For the invisible things of him from the for it.pleased the Lord that as much

creation of the world are clearly seen, might be sufficient for this end, should re. being understood by the things that are main attainable by sand-blind nature; this made, even his eternal power and God is it that might be known. bead; fo tbat they are without excuse.

III. Thofe common notions, and tatu,

ral principles, (which, if well studied N confirmation of the last argument he would sufficiently convince folk that GOR

had faid, that they detained the truth only is to be worshipped, feared, and of God in unrighteousnels; and now he beyed) are fo deeply rooted and faltene makes out this in both its parts; and first, I into the minds of people, that will ibe



will they, they must keep them; and there must be a God: And seeing lie therefore Paul says, that it is manifest in created all things of nothing, (for there them, or within them. That knowledge could be no pre-existing matter beside ticks so fast, that they cannot get it thaken himself, not made by himself) he must be away for all their wickedness, it is so deep- all-mighty; and seeing if he had had a ly implanted in them.

beginning, he behoved to have had some IV. Whatever knowledge of God we cause, and so should not have been the first get, even by common principles and no- cause; and now seeing he is the first cause, tions of nature, should be acknowledged he must never have a beginning; and if as a special gift of God; as here that never a beginning, so never an end; and so knowledge which they had by the mere he must be eternal.

he must be eternal. Thus, by the things light of nature, and the works of creation, that are seen, the Heathens may win to without any further revelation, is said to see his eternal power and Godhead. have been made manifest unto them by God: VIII. All the knowledge of God that for he it was that implanted that light in can be attained by the light of nature, them; he it was that gave them those and the works of creation, is not sufficient common notions, and wisdom to draw from to instruct folk for salvation ; but only these principles, native conclusions; and so may stop the mouths of people, and renTR2y well be called the author of any der them without excuse, in that they knowledge they get.

have not walked up to their light : so V. Besides the dim light of darkened (says he) that they are without excuse. nature, consisting of some few undeniable and manifest principles and notions, en. | VERSES 21. 22. 23. Because that when graven upon the mind of every man, Hea they knew God, they glorified him not as thens, and such as are without the pale God, neither were thankful, but became of the church, have no other mean where vain in their imaginations, and their hy to attain unto the knowledge of God, foolish heart was darkned. but the dimly-printed book of the crea- Profelling themselves to be wise, they bea:100: these two are all their volumes.

came fools : VI. Howbeit God in his effence and And changed the glory of the incorruptible artributes be invisibl·, yet the Lord hath God, into an image made like to corrupteft fuch prints and footsteps of himself ibke man, and to birds, and fourfooted ia the creatures made by him, as pure beasts, and creeping things. rature, with the use of reason, seriously afideriog what is created, may win to N these verses the apostle sheweth, how kot much of God; for the invisible and after what manner it was that they ihings of God are clearly seen, being un detained the knowledge of God in undiftud by things that are made.

righteousness, and did not walk up unto Vil. More particularly, nature may their light, in these particulars : 1. When terson, and gather from the creation, that they knew God, they glorified him not as facing this world, and the things in the God; that is, when, by the light of naworld, did not exist, and take their ture, and the works of crcation, they ting of themselves, but of some other, knew that there was a God, that inade all, hat other behoved to have some cause, and ruled all, they gave him not the gloIP be the first cause itself; and so of ne ry of his attributes that was due to him; mettity there must be some first cause that they did not worship him as the only one hath Gfe of bimself eply, and giveth life God, eternal, omnipotent, most wise, most 002) other things, and thus reason, that good, and most merciful. 2. Niither

E 2

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinua »