THE True Light Shini …

THE True Light Shining in Darkness, And dispelling the Mists of Errour arising from the Darkness of Man's heart, &c. promoted by the Prince of Darkness against the Truth of God; in the matter of our JUSTIFICATION: Shewing, That by the deeds of the Law, or Man's own Righ­teous [...]ess, no flesh can, or shall be justified in the sight of God.

The First Part.

By THO. TAYLOR, the meanest and unwor­thiest of the Servants and Ministers of Jesus Christ; and now Pastor to a small Congrega­tional Church in Cambridge.

Rom. 1.21, 22.

Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thank­ful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkned; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

LONDON, Printed for Nath. Crouch at the Bell in the Poultrey near Cheapside. 1693.


WHoever thou art, that Readest this small Treatise upon so great a Subject as the matter of mans Justification, before God know that thou art concerned to consider seriously and weigh well in thy mind what is here written, without prejudice; forasmuch as thou art the man, to whom this word is sent, either for the informing and undeceiving thee in this matter, if thou be'st deceived. Or for the confirming thee in the truth and strength­ning thy Faith in Christ. If thou be'st al­ready by the teachings of Gods holy Spirit, one that knowest him that is true, and ar [...] in him that is true even in his Son Jesus Christ, 1 Joh. 5.20. And we know the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true: and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal Life. And it is im­mediately added: Little Children, keep your selves from Idols. And though there be many Idols in mans heart; yet this is one [Page] of the greatest, and most dangerous, and hardest to be departed from; a mans own righ­teousness, if it be, but as it were, by the works of the Law: And as we know that an Idol is nothing but the Image and Likeness of that which it is not: So verily; this, (mans own righteousness) is nothing; a meer Imaginati­on of Mans own heart exalted against God: which is not, nor cannot be in Gods sight, and so it should be in thine: Abominable to thee, and abhorred by thee, as it is to him, Job 15.14, 15, 16. What is man, that he should be clean? And he which is born of a Woman, that he should be righteous? Be­hold, he putteh no trust in his Saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? And 9.30, 31. If I wash my self with Snow-water, and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own cloaths shall abhor me. And Luke 16.15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justifie your selves before men; but God knoweth your hearts for that which is highly esteemed amongs [...] men, is abomination in the sight of God Read therefore this small Treatise, pray t [...] God that thou mayest read it without preju [...]dice. [Page] To help thee so to do, as much as in me lieth, I declare unto thee three things, namely,

1. That I am not ingaged in Spirit, world­ly interest or design with any party now enga­ged, disputing and contending one against other about these matters; further than for the truths sake, and so far as the truth of the Gos­pel obligeth me to defend and bear witness to the same, as it may be found to lodge and dwell on the one side or on the other, in any part of it: And perhaps it will sufficiently appear that I am not of that party, that may boast much of this Doctrine which is most true in it self: and yet did not give proof and assurance of hope, that themselves are sincere and sound in the Faith of Christ. The Doctrine may be true in its self, and yet their Faith in the re­ceiving of it be but a dead and a vain Faith; which will never save them, as James 2.17, 18, 19, 20. Even so Faith, if it hath not Works, is dead being alone, Yea, a man may say, Thou hast Faith, and I have Works; shew me thy Faith without thy Works, and I will shew thee my Faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou dost well: The Devils also be­lieve, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man that Faith without Works is [Page] dead? And ungodly men still; though boast­ing of the Grace of God in works, yet denying indeed the only Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; by turning the grace of God in­to lasciviousness, Jud. 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungod­ly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

And too many such Professors we have now, (who in Spirit and Practice, Course of Life and Conversation practically deny, what they verbally profess) as they had there, Tit. 1.15, 16. Unto the pure all things are pure: But unto them that are defiled, and unbelieving, is nothing pure; but even their mind and Consci [...]nce is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and dis­obedient, and unto every good work repro­bate. But let not this offend thee, for truth is truth still, and will be for ever, Hebrews 13.7, 8. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose Faith follow, consi­dering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever, Phil. 3.17, 18, 19, 20, 21. [Page] Brethren be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ; whose end is de­struction, whose God is their Belly: And whose glory is their shame, who mind earth­ly things) For our conversation is in Hea­ven, from whence also we look for the Sa­viour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashon'd like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to sub­due all things unto himself.

2. Here thou wilt find no carnal weapons, as Oratory, enticing words of mans wisdom, excellency of speech; fierie, if not perverse, dis­putings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth. No reasonings after the Flesh and the Wisdom of the World, which cometh to naught: But evidence and demon­stration of the Spirit, with power, 2 Cor. 10.3, 4, 5. For though we walk in the Flesh, ((i. e. in the body;) we do not war after the Flesh: i. e. after the car­nal mind, which is corrupt and weak.) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pul­ling [Page] down of strong holds) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity e­very thought to the obedience of Christ. 1 Cor. 2.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trem­bling. And my speech, and my preaching was not with enticing words of mens wis­dom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your Faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom a­mong them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this World, or of the Princes of this World that come to nought.

3. That the great truth herein declared, opened, demonstrated and applyed; is not mine, nor of mine own; but is the truth of God in Christ Jesus, ministred by the Spirit to the holy Prophets of old, and witnessed by them, who spake not of themselves, but as they [Page] were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1.21. For the Prophecy came not in the old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. And declared in the fulness of time by the Son of God, who came from the bosom of the Father, John 1.18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. And John 3.31, 32, 33, 34. He that cometh from above, is above all: he that is of the earth, is earth­ly, and speaketh of the Earth: he that cometh from Heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifi­eth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony, hath set to his seal, that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. And also witnessed by the Holy Apostles chosen of God to that end. Upon which testimony of the holy Prophets and Apostles as the Foundation, Christ him­self being the Chief or Head-corner stone, the whole Church of God is built, Ephes. 2.20. And are built upon the foudation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself be-the chief Corner-stone; so that he that re­fuseth, [Page] despiseth and rejecteth this truth in the ministry of us poor, weak, earthen vessels, despiseth not man but God, as Luke 10.16. He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you, despiseth me: and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. And 1 Thes. 4.8. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. Therefore thou art obliged to pay all honour, reverence, obedience and subjection to truth, because it is Gods truth and not mans; and to receive the word, because it is Gods word and not ours; And to receive the Word as it is in­deed the word of God and not as the word of Man, is the mystery of effectual or saving Faith: Whereby the Faith of Gods Elect is distinguished from the common and temporary Faith of Hy­pocrites and temporary professors, 1 Thes. 2.13. For this cause also thank we God with­out ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye re­ceived it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. Therefore whatever infirmities thou seest or may see in us, and whatever temptations in our fles [...], weaknesses, wants, necessities, emptine [...]s, nothingness; let not the the word [Page] of God be refused or despised: But receive it as if Christ himself was present on Earth in human shape to speak to thee, with his own mouth, Gal. 4.13, 14, 15, 16. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my Flesh ye de­spised not, nor rejected; but received me as an Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness you speak of? for I bear you record, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Therefore ask thy heart this question? is this the truth of God or no? If thy heart answereth, No: I do not like it, nor the persons that preach it: Then to the Law and to the testimony; to the holy Pro­phets and Apostles and to Christ himself; Whose testimonies are all distinctly recorded: and then ask thy heart this question again: Darest thou with a stiff neck and uncircum­cised heart always resist the Holy Ghost; as thy Fathers did, so dost thou dare to do; Acts 7.51, Ye stiff necked, and uncir­cumcised in heart and ears, ye do always re­sist the Holy Ghost: as your Fathers did, so do ye. If thou shouldest dare to refuse all [Page] the Prophets and Apostles who spake on earth, yet there is one more, who speaketh from Heaven, even the Son of God himself, and darest thou refuse him also? Heb. 12.25. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh: for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we es­cape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from Heaven: Consider therefore in thy heart; that whatever we are or may be esteemed to be, who are the poor Ministers of Christ; yet though we be nothing, let the Holy Prophets and Apostles be esteemed as something: for they shall sit upon twelve Thrones judging the twelve Tribes of Israel, Mat. 19.28. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the re­generation, when the Son of man shall sit in the Throne of his glory, ye also shall sit up­on twelve Thrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Israel. And the true Church of the living Ged which is cloathed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, doth wear them, as a Crown of twelve Stars upon her head: And wilt thou trample them under thy feet? Rev. 12.1. And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven, a Woman cloathed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a Crown of twelve Stars: [Page] But however though we be nothing, yet let the Son of God, Jesus Christ himself be some­thing! For verily God the Father thinks him to be something: When he hath given him a name that is above every name, that is in Heaven, and that is on the Earth: That every Knee shall bowe and every Tongue con­fess to him; as Phil. 2.9, 10, 11, 12. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus eve­ry Knee shall bowe, of things in Heaven, or things in Earth, and things under the Earth; And that every Tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more in my absence; work out your own Salvation with fear and trem­bling. And verily he shall appear to be some­thing at the great day when he shall come to judge the World, and before him shall be ga­thered all Nations, as Matth. 25.31, 32, 33, 34. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the Holy Angels with him, then shall he sit upon the Throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a Shepherd divid­eth [Page] his Sheep from the Goats: And he shall set the Sheep on his right hand, but the Goats on his left. Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepa­red for you before the foundation of the World. And thou thy self also must appear before his judgment seat, 2 Cor. 5.10, 11. For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whither it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also, are made manifest in your Consciences. And Rev. 6.15, 16, 17. And the Kings of the Earth, and the Great men, and the Rich men, and the Chief Captains, and the Migh­ty men, and every Bond-man, and every Free-man hid themselves in the Dens, and in the Rocks of the Mountains; And said to the Mountains and Rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? And Rev. 20.12, 13, 14, 15. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before [Page] God; and the books were opened: And a­nother book was opened, which is the book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the Sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: And they were judged every man according to their works. And Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire: This is the second Death. And who­soever was not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the Lake of Fire. And this day will come as a Thief in the night, 2 Pet. 3.10. But the day of the Lord will come as a Thief in the night; in the which the Heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also with the works that are therein shall be burnt up. And Rev. 22.11, 12. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: And he that is righte­ous, let him be righteous still: And he that is holy, let him be be holy still. And be­hold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Well then Reader, whoever thou art; know that the word Kingdom is [Page] good Seed, and the Sower is the Son of man, Matth. 13.37. He answered and said un­to them, He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man, We are but his under Ser­vants, to minister from him this good seed, and our great Lord is able to bless the seed sown though we be nothing, as 1 Cor. 3.5, 6, 7, 8. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but Ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered: but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that water­eth: But God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth, and he that watereth, are on [...]: And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour. With 2 Cor. 9.10. Now he that ministreth seed to the sower, doth minister bread for your food, and multiply the seed sown, and in­crease the fruits of your righteousness. And the ground into which we must sow this seed is the heart, tho' thro' the ear, Matth. 13.9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. The good ground is the good and honest Heart: The Lord make thine such; and then there will be good fruit brought forth with patience and to perfections, though in different measures and de­grees, as, Matth. 13.23. But he that re­ceived [Page] seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth some an hundred-fold, some fifty, some thir­ty. Luke 8.15. But that on the good ground, are they which in an honest and good heart having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. To thy sal­vation and God's glory which the Lord grant unto thee: And pray for us his poor Ministers and Servants, and particularly for the meanest and most unworthy of them all,

thy Servant for Christs sake in the Work of the Gospel, Tho. Taylor.

To my many Worthy and Beloved Friends of divers Congrega­tions in and about the City of London; the Town of Hackney, and other Towns, within and without the Lines of Communication, where I have occasionally Preached this Gospel: Grace and Peace.

MOST Dear and Pretious Friends; Pretious I say, for the late Pretious Faith obtained by you, with us, 2 Pet. 1.1. Simon Peter, a Servant and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like pretious Faith with us, through the righ­teousness of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ: By which Faith, the very Faith of Gods Elect, Christ is pretious indeed to you, 1 Pet 2.7. Unto you therefore which be­lieve he is pretious: But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disal­lowed the same is made the head of the corner: when to others a stumbling stone; even to [Page] them that stumble at the word being diso­bedient: Your Names are too many to be prefixed to this short Epistle, and besides in the matter of truth I like not to go to the Poll, as if truth needed a Muster-roll of names to carry the voice against such as are the opposers of it. It is enough that Christ hath a few names in Sardis, who have not defiled their Garments, and which shall walk with him in white, for they are wor­thy: It matters not how many the names of others in Sardis were, Rev. 3.4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, that have not defiled their Garments: and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. It is enough that wisdom is justified of her Children: When true Wisdom neither in John Baptist the forerunner, who was great­er than all the Prophets; nor in Christ the Head and Lord of them all, could have a testimony from an evil and adulterous Gene­ration: Or if they had any thing like it for a time, they quickly recanted and recalled it, Mat. 11.16— 19. But whereunto shall I liken this Generation? It is like unto Children sit­ting in the markets, and calling unto their fel­lows. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a man glut­tonous and a wine bibber, a friend of Publicans [Page] and sinners: But wisdom is justified of her Children. And John. 5.35. He was a burning and a shining light: And ye were wil­ling for a season to rejoyce in his light.

I have been greatly refreshed and comfort­ed in you all, by the grace of God, bringing Salvation to you, and which ye have not received in vain: But as ye have heard him and been taught of him, as the truth is in Je­sus Christ; this grace hath taught you ef­fectually to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously and god­ly in this present World, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might re­deem us from all iniquity and purifie unto himself a peculiar People zealous of good works: And am still comforted in the re­membrance thereof. And that these poor labours of mine in the Ministry of this Gos­pel hath had any effect upon your Souls, ei­ther in drawing you to Christ, or confirming or comforting you in Christ at any time, is and will be my rejoycing above all the esteem I have in your hearts, and all the help I have received from your hands by your Free, Kind, Liberal ministring to my necessities from time to time; and that [Page] my temptation which was in the Flesh through these necessities and wants and re­proaches for Christs sake ye despised not, but received me and embraced me, (I will not say) as an Angel of God, or even as Christ Jesus; But one far greater than I can own my self to be: I can truly say I have rejoyced much more because of the Grace of God given to you, than in all the gifts to me; though I had need of them all, and do acknowledge them to be more and great­er, than I am worthy of: But Christ is wor­thy, for whose sake only ye have counted me so, Mar. 9.4. And whosoever will offend one of those little ones that believe in me, It is better for him, that a milstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the Sea. And though I put not your names to this my Book, for reasons above mentioned, yet I hope they are all of them in the Book of Life. And this small Treatise, which is but a taste of some more that may follow in due time, if the Lord please; I do more especi­ally Devote and Dedicate to the Use and Ser­vice of you all and yours; not doubting that whither I live or die, you will find out it, or it will find out you by some providence or other: I say I Dedicate it to you; not for Patronage or Protection; but for Debt: for [Page] it is much due to you who have been my fel­low helpers in the Gospel, some of you for m [...]ny years. And two things I have to say to you all and leave here upon record as the greatest testimony of my thankfulness, love and care to and for you in the Lord. Namely,

First, That you beware and take heed of of a loose conversation, and that ye use not your liberty at any time, or in any thing for an occasion to the Flesh, or to the World; For we are not debtors to the Flesh, to live after the Flesh; for if ye live after the Flesh ye shall die, but if ye by the Spirit do mortifie the deeds of the body, ye shall live, Rom. 8.12, 13. And Jam. 4.4. Ye Adulterours and Adulteresses, Know ye not that the Friendship of the World is Enmity a­gainst God? Whosoever therefore will be the friend of the World is the enemy of God, 1 John 2.15. Love not the World, nei­ther the things that are in the World. If any man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him. 16. For all that is in the World, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, is not of the Father, but is of the World. 17. And the World passeth away and the Lusts thereof: But he that doth the will of God, abideth tfor ever. [Page] The power of Christ's Death is within you, therefore let your Old Man be crucified with Christ: That henceforth ye may not serve Sin; and let the World be crucified to you and you unto it, otherwise you cannot glory tru­ly in the cross of Christ, Gal. 6.14, 15. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the World is crucified unto me, and I unto the World. For in Christ Jesus neither cir­cumcision availeth any thing▪ nor uncircum­cision, but a new creature. You cannot be alive with Christ through Union with him; but you must be dead, and die conti­nually both to Sin and to the World, Rom. 6.1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Secondly, That you shine as lights in the World, and be as the Sons and Daughters of God; without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation holding forth the word of Life, that I may rejoyce in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain, Phil. 2.14, 15, 16. Do all things without murmur­ings, and disputings: That ye may be blame­less and harmless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine, (or shine ye) [Page] as lights in the World: Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoyce in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. And our Lord hath said, Matth. 5.16. Let your light so shine be­fore men, that they may see your good works and glorifie your Father which is in Heaven. If the time will come when ye shall shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of your Fa­ther, Math 13.43. Then shall the righte­ous shine forth as the Sun, in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear let him hear. Surely ye should shine as lights more in this State of imperfection, and whilst you are in this World; and thereby show you are not of it, Rev. 22.14. Blessed are they, that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of Life; and to enter in through the Gates of the the City. 15. For without ar Dogs, and Sorcerers, and Whore­mongers, and Murderers, Idolaters and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

To the Church or Congregation which is at Cambridge; unto which I stand as a Pastor or Overseer in the Faith, Fellowship and Order of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: And to many others my Constant or Occasional hearers, of whom I am perswaded such things as do accompany Salvati­on. Blessed be God.

Dearly Beloved,

I Do greatly rejoyce in you all, as my crown and my joy in the Day of Jesus Christ: And though I cannot say of you all, that I have begotten you by the Gospel; no, blessed be God that you were in Christ before my com­ing amongst you, and that others labours were blest for that end to you; yet this also I can say of some of you, now in the Church, and of others not yet joyned to it; that I have begotten you through the Gospel unto Jesus Christ, and that you are the seal of my Ministry, and the proof of Christ speaking in me, and by my Ministry unto your Hearts effectually; yet in you all and concerning [Page] every one of you; I do rejoyce in three things, Namely,

1. Your Election of God known of us, and manifestly appearing in you by the San­ctification of the spirit unto Obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ, as 1 Pet. 1.2. Elect according to the foreknowledg of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, and 2 Thes. 2.13, 14. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spi­rit, and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Your abiding in the Truth, and the Truth abiding in you, and that you stand fast both in the Faith and love of the Truth that you may be saved: When so many have departed from the Faith, giving heed to seduc­ing spirits, and are, (as is to be feared,) gi­ven up to strong delusion to believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteous­ness: as, 1 Tim. 4.1. 2 Thes. 2.11, 12. Which sheweth the unction of the holy one to be in you, as 1 John 2.20.21. But ye [Page] have an unction from the holy One, and ye know all things: I have not written unto you, because ye know not the truth: But because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth; and again, v. 26, 27. These things have I writ­ten unto you, concerning them that seduce you: But the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you: But, as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie: and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him, 28. And now, little Chil­dren, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. And in this I do rejoyce, and will rejoyce in and over you all, your stedfast, abiding and walking in the Truth, when there are so many deserters, as 2 John 1. Whom I love in the truth: and not I on­ly, but also all they that have known the truth, for the truth sake which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. And 3 John 4. I have no greater joy than to hear that my Chil­dren walk in truth; and again, John 8.31, 32. Then said Jesus to those Jews which be­lieved on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my Disciples indeed: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

[Page]3. Your order in the Faith and fellowship of the Gospel as a Church, which appeareth in your professed and declared subjection to the Go­vernment which Christ hath set in his Church, and that because it is Christs appointment, that so it should be, and his Spirit works in you, that willing and ready subjection and obedience, as a fruit of your Faith, upon which dependeth and followeth, that blessed Peace that ye now have, both in your own Consciences, and among your selves; it's pro­phesied of Christ, Isa. 9.7. Of the encrease of his government and of his peace there shall be no end; upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever: This belongs to the Kingly Office of Christ, to whom only it appertain­eth to give and appoint Laws for his Church, and they must not appoint Laws for them­selves; nor can Man, or any sort of Men in the World, appoint or give Laws to the Church of Christ, 'tis Christ prerogative Royal, and he alone sits and rains as King in Zion, as Ps. 2.6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. Now this Government which Christ hath set in his Church, is by a Faithful and ap­proved Ministry, as Pastors and Teachers, freely chosen by the whole Church according [Page] to Christs mind, and rightly set over them in the Lord as he hath appointed them to be, Ephes. 4.11, 12, 13. And being so set, as Acts 14.23. The Church and all the Members are to obey such, and to have them in high esteem for their works sake, and to be subject unto them; in the true light and conduct of the word, shining in their Ministry; and therefore they are cal­led Stars and Angels, or Messengers, from the Ministerial light and conduct they give to the Church from Christ himself, the Sun of Righteousness, and the Angel of the Cove­nant; as Rev. 1.20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the even Churches. The Churches therefore I say, are to be subject to them, and to obey them in the light of Truth shining in their Mini­stry from Christ the head, as the Stars do shine in the Firmament with their lesser lights all borrowed from the Sun; and for the proof of this let these Scriptures be considered and well weighed, Heb. 13.7, 8. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose Faith follow, considering the end of their conversati­on. [Page] Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. And again, v. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account: that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. And 1 Tim. 5.17, 18, 19. Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the Ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The labourer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before (or under) two or three witnesses. Where the rule of the Mini­stry is secured of the double honour of Main­tenance and Reverence, and 1 Thes. 5.12, 13. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly for their works sake. And be at peace among your selves ▪ This is the order and Government which Christ hath set in his Church; upon which their peace doth depend: And where thi [...] Government of Christ is not submitted un­to, and kept, but is rejected and broken, there is an end of Peace; there followeth no­thing but confusion, and every evil work, [Page] as James 3.16. To prevent which Christ hath set Order and Government in the Church, yea in all the Churches of Christ; as 1 Cor. 14.33. As it is in a Mans Heart, if the Government of Christ be not there, if Christ, ruleth not there by his Word and Spirit, there is no Peace to that Man; There is no Peace saith my God to the wicked: Even so it is in a Church; if Christs Goverment be not there, there is no Peace, but strife and bitter envying, confusion and every evil work. And I will therefore Rejoyce, and do Re­joyce in this, concerning you all beholding and seeing your order, and the stedfastness of your Faith in Christ, as Col. 2.5, 6. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. For this order floweth from the stedfastness of your Faith in Christ (as the breach of it in others doth emerge from the unstedfast­ness of their Faith.) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, v. 7. Rooted and built up in him and stablished in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you: Keep therefore and hold fast this Faith and order, and this will be your wisdom and understanding in the sight [Page] of all Men, as Deut. 4.5. Ephes. 5.17, 18, 19, 20. And this is the salt or true wis­dom commended to us by Christ himself, which will preserve you in purity and peace, and keep you from Corrupting; as Mark 9.50. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will you season it? Have salt in your selves, and have peace one with another. And this, as it is, and will be your glory, so it will be our rejoycing in the Day of Christ, Heb. 13.17, And 1 John 2.28. That we (i. e. we your Elders and Mini­sters,) may rejoyce in the Day of Christ. As ye have therefore obeyed, and in a great Conflict and Tryal of your Faith and Pati­ence, have testified yout obedience to the Truth through the Spirit; So I beseech you work out your own Salvation, with fear and trembling: For it is God that worketh in you both to will, and to do, of his good pleasure: And be in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition; but unto you of salvation, and that of God. For to you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but als [...] to suffer for his sake; Having the sam [...] conflict which ye saw to be in me, Phil▪ 1.28, 29. Now whether I live or die whether I be present in the body and so [Page] absent from the Lord, or whether I be absent from the body, that I may be present with the Lord; st [...]and fast in one Spirit, with one mind, striving together for the Faith of the Gospel; and so fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, of one accord, and of one mind. And the God of peace shall be with you, and shall bruise Satan under your Feet shortly; and shall make those, that say they are Jews and are not; but are the synagogue of Satan, to come and worship before you feet, and to know that he hath loved you, as Rev. 3.8, 9. Amen.

THE True Light In the matter of our Justification before GOD.

Rom. 3.20.

Therefore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledg of sin.

THIS Text is an Epiphonema or closing speech, wherein the holy Apostle Paul gives us the just and right conclusion or result of the whole matter, with respect to Mans justifica­tion before God, and doth Peremptorily de­termine in the negative, that by the deeds or works of the Law, no flesh can or shall be justified in his sight, and brings it in with the illative note therefore, as the undeniable con­sequence and true result of his whole Argu­ment in the two foregoing Chapters, where­in [Page 2] he hath fully proved, as he saith, v. 9. of this chap. that Jews and Gentiles are all un­der Sin.

1. The Gentiles he clearly proves in the first Chapter to be under Sin, in that when they knew God, or might have known him by the light of Nature in his works of Crea­tion and Providence, as Rom. 1.19, 20▪ they did not glorifie him as God, but contrary to the light of nature, debased and changed the glory of the incorruptible God, into the Image of corruptible Man, v. 23, 24, 25. Had they but used their poor dim light of nature aright, to have paid some suitable Veneration to the glory of the Godhead, in worshiping of him, they might have escaped many vile affections and actions amongst themselves: For which they could not so much as pretend light or nature, and of the wickedness or danger whereof they could not so much as pretend ignorance but as a punishment of their impiety towards God, God gave them up to vile affections and unseemly actions amongst themselves, as v. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, And these Sins they not only committed against the light of nature but delighted in, though convicted in their own Conscience that the issue there­of could be no less than eternal Death and [Page 3] Damnation, as v. 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, &c.

So severely, but justly doth God punish wilful Idolatry and false worship, a Sin a­gainst the first Table, by giving such a per­son or People up to all manner of Sins, and most horrible lusts, and abominable practices, even against Human Nature to their own De­struction: Nothing being more righteous and just, than that they who will not give unto God the glory of his own worship, should be given up of God to work their own Dam­nation and Destruction, see 2 Thes. 2.10, 11, 12.

2. The Jews he as clearly proves to be under Sin in the second Chapter; For where­as they rested in the law and made their boast of God, as Rom. 2. v. 17, 18, 19, 20. yet they transgressed that law, which they so much boasted of, and through transgressing thereof, dishonoured God and caused his name to be blasphemed amongst the Gentiles, as v. 21, 22, 23. And therefore the Jews as well as the Gentiles are left without excuse, and the mouth of them both equally stopped, being become guilty before God. The Gentiles by Sinning without law, yet against the light and law of Nature, as Rom. 1.20.32. &c. The Jews by Sinning under the law, and [Page 4] whilst they judged the poor Gentiles, became more obnoxious and inexcusable themselves, in that they did the same or worse things, as Rom. 2. v. 11, 12. And therefore both Jews and Gentiles are all under Sin and Condemnation, and that by the law: The Gentiles by the light and law of nature, and the work of it written in their Hearts, Rom. 2.14, 15, 16. And the Jews by the law written in tables of Stone by Gods own hand, and given unto them by Moses at mount Sinai, which law was added by reason of Sin, and Sin in the Jews taking occasion by the commandment, became ex­ceedingly more Sinful in them who were Jews by nature, than in the Gentiles, as be­ing against more clear light and greater Obli­gations, than the poor Gentiles were indul­ged with. And thus is fulfilled the design of God by Moses in giving the law, which was not that any Man should be justified and obtain righteousness and life thereby; but that the offence against it might so much the more abound and be made to appear. And Man be instructed from the desperate­ness of his case and the utter impossibility ever to get righteousness and life by works and the law, to seek it only by Grace and Faith in Jesus Christ, as Rom. 5.20, 21. This [Page 5] position being already proved, that Jews and Gentiles are all under Sin, Rom. 3.9. the Apostle doth further confirm by a text out of the old Testament, Rom. 3.— 19. where he concludes that quotation. Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law, inti­mating that the Jews must needs be concern­ed in this charge as well as the Gentiles: And that the Prophets of the old Testament, did plainly declare and confirm this truth, that by the works of the law, no flesh should be justified: For both David and Esaias, whose words these are, (if they would have under­stood them) in saying, there is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doth good, no, not one, &c. do both testifie from God by whose Spirit they speak; that in the sight of God all Men are Sinners and transgressors, by the law, both Jews and Gentiles, and that there is not one righteous Man by the works of the law, in the whole World. (for Jew and Gentile comprehended the whole world.) And if so, and this be true, that Jews and Gentiles are all under Sin, and that there is not one righteous Man by the works of the [Page 6] law in Gods sight, then it follows as a necessary consequence, that by the works of the law there shall no flesh be justified. Therefore we conclude, &c.

And thus I have done with the context.

In the text it self we have a great founda­tion truth or point of Doctrin ready prepared to our Hand, in words which the Holy Ghost teacheth, together with the reason of it; And therefore we shall take the point, as it lieth in the Text, &c.

That by the works of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God.

The truth of this doctrin is expresly testified also, Psal. 143.2. For in thy sight shall no Man living be justified, i. e. by his own works and righteousness, for otherwise there were then, and are now many Men justified in Gods sight by the free Grace of God through Faith in Jesus Christ.

And again, Gal. 2.16. Knowing &c. For the opening this position or point of Doctrin we shall take it into parts, and Enquire

1 Who or what is meant by (Flesh.)

2 What is meant by (Justified.)

3 What is mean by (the works of the law.)

1 What is meant; Or, What we are to understand by (Flesh) [...]. not any Flesh, or as it is Translated, (no Flesh.)

[Page 7]In answer whereunto, (Flesh,) is sometimes taken in Scripture, for the Human Nature separate from the sinfulness thereof, so John 1.14. And the word was made flesh, [...]. Flesh is here put for the Human Na­ture seperate from Sin as Adam had it in the state of innocency. And Christ the second Adam took it in the Womb of the Virgin Mary, and Heb. 10.20. Through the vail, i. e. his Flesh, put for the whole Human Nature, which was a vail to his Godhead, and which he offered upon the Cross, for our Sins and so consecrated a new and living way for us into the Holiest, i. e. Heaven it self.

And though in propriety of Speech, the Flesh or Body is but a part of the Human Nature; the Spirit or Soul being the other and more noble part, yet is by a figure Synechdoche, put for the whole, as 1 Peter 2.24. where Christ is said, to have born our sins in his own (body) on the tree: Body is there put for the whole Human Nature, and so the Soul or Spirit is also sometimes put, as Isa. 53.10. When thou shalt make his Soul an offering for Sin; yet 'tis manifest both Soul and Body were offered for Sin, and the Soul of Christ is there put for both; but in this sense of the Human Nature separate from Sin, the word [Page 8] Flesh is not to be understood in this Text▪ And therefore,

2. Flesh is also, and indeed most frequent­ly, put for the Human Nature as it is cor­rupt and depraved by Sin since the fall of the first Adam, and so Rom. 8.3. where the law is said to become weak through the (Flesh,) i. e. Mans Nature now corrupted by Sin; and so not able to rise up unto that true and perfect holiness, which the law doth require. And in this sense the word Flesh is to be taken and understood in the text▪ Shall not any flesh, or shall no flesh be justified, i. e. no Man that is a Sinner and corrupted by Sin, as all Men now are by Nature: And there is a kind of vehemency in the expressi­on: The Holy Ghost thereby casting a holy contempt upon Man that is called Flesh, i. e. an unclean and a corrupt thing, so Eliphas in Job 15.14, 15, 16. What is Man tha [...] that he should be clean, &c. And thus shall n [...] flesh be justified, i. e. no Man, no Person of Mankind, Man, Woman nor Child.

2ly. What its meant? And what i [...] to be understood by the word justified [...]? Shall no Flesh, (be justified?)

In answer hereto, 1. To be justified in the proper significancy and notion thereof is to be made righteous, to become righteous or to [Page 9] stand righteous before God, justificari is justum fieri, to be justified, is to be made or to be­come righteous; and so to stand a righteous Person in Gods sight: It is a foreinsick term, and here is an allusion to courts of Judicature amongst Men, wherein the person arraigned, is in the issue of the Plea, either Condemned, i. e. found Guilty, and then we say such a Man is cast, that is, in his Plea; or else is ac­quited and discharged, and so justified in the sight of the Court as an Innocent and righteous person, and so he is said to stand, as Psam 130.3. And therefore it is ad­ded, in his sight, to shew, that whatsoever Man may be in his own sight, or in the sight of other Men like himself, yet in Gods sight no flesh shall or can be justified by the works of the law. And as in Condemnation there are two things, First, a fixing of the Guilt, and there­fore we say, when a person is found guilty, he is condemned, so Rom. 3.19. That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be­come guilty before God.

2ly. A binding or Obligation unto the punishment, which is Death, and therefore we say of a Criminal when he is brought in guil­ty, that he is a dead Man, because the obli­gation unto punishment, is now fixed up­on [Page 10] him, and he must inevitably suffer death, which is the punishment due to his offence.

So on the other hand, there are two things implyed in Justification; first a just discharge and acquitment from the guilt of Sin; he that is justified is not guilty in Gods sight, his Sin is not imputed to him, and Ps. 32, 1, 2. where David describeth the blessedness of a justified person; saying, Blessed is he whose Transgression is forgiven, whose Sin is covered, unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.

3ly. There is also a dissolving and mak­ing void, and null the Obligation unto pu­nishment; so that a justified person is no more in danger of that death which is the wages of Sin, nor of the curse of the law and the infinite and eternal wrath of God, which is the punishment due to Sin, to every Sin, the least Sin as well as the greatest; therefore as Condemnation is called Death, because of the Obligation unto punishment, so justification is called Life, because of the dissolving and making void that Obligation: So John 5.24 where the believer is said to be passed from death to life, i. e. from a state of Con­demnation which is Death, to a state of Justi­fication which is Life; and Rom. 5.18. It is called justification of Life. And upon that account 'tis Written, the just shall live by [Page 11] Faith, i. e. be justified by Faith, for justifica­tion is his life.

3ly. But there is yet somewhat more imply­ed in this word Justified, and that is a posi­tive righteousness answering to the perfection of the holy law of God in the utmost extent and demand of it; for though non imputation and pardon of Sin makes a Man no more a Sinner nor guilty before God, yet to make him a righteous person in Gods sight, there must of necessity be a positive righteousness; for as it cannot consist with the perfect justice of God, to justifie a Man without righteousness, so it cannot consist with his veracity and justice to justifie any Man without a perfect righte­ousness, such as is commensurate and adequate to the perfection of his law, for otherwise the law should be made void even by faith itself contrary to Rom. 3.31. And to speak with holy reverence, as it is impossible for God to lie, so it is as impossible for him to be unjust, which he should be, should he justifie any Man by an imperfect righte­ousness; it is therefore a foolish, vain and wicked imagination in any person to think or affirm that a Man may be justified in Gods sight without a perfect righteousness; and this I may be bold to say from the clear light of Gods holy word, that he which hath not a [Page 12] better righteousness than his own, neither is, nor ever shall be justified in the sight of God; and whoever he be who affims the contrary, let him answer it; for sure I am, the judgment of God is according to truth, as it i [...] written Rom. 2.2. and again, Rom. 3.4▪ Let God be true and every Man a liar tha [...] thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, an [...] mightest overcome when thou art judged▪

3. What is here meant and what are we to understand by the deeds or works of the law

Ans. [...] By the needs of the law▪ of, or by, or upon the account of the deed▪ of the law. [...] works, operations or deed [...] do imply all sorts of works, deeds or operati [...]ons, Internal and External.

1 There are internal deeds and operati [...]ons, deeds of the mind and of the spirit with [...]in, works of the inward Man; wherein th [...] inward faculties of the Soul, the Mind, th [...] Conscience, the Understanding, the will and affections are operative and working in th [...] sight of God; before whom our spirits ar [...] naked and bare, Heb. 4.13. And there ar [...] internal vertues and habits, and these are op [...]rative within, and the holy law of God is Spi [...]ritual and reacheth the inward Man, yea, th [...] very thoughts and imaginations of the Hear [...] and than inward disposition, enclination [Page 13] and habits, Rom. 7.7. I had not known lust, if the law had not said, thou shalt not covet.

2. There are external deeds, the outward actions and deeds and operations of the light and Conversation which should all be regu­lated and are judged by the law, which is the rule of righteousness, to the inward and to the outward Man; to the inward frame of Heart, with all the Imaginations, Thoughts, Principles, Habits, Affections, Intentions and Designs thereof; and to the outward Man in all a Mans external Actions, words and deeds, to­gether with the nature and tendency of them, whether they be good or evil, true or false, sincere or feigned, so Acts 5.3, 4, 9. and Acts 8.20, 21. 2 Chron. 25.2. Ezek. 33.31, 32.

So that by the deeds of the law, we are to understand all the inward qualifications and inherent virtues and goodness of a Mans Heart, together with all the external actions of his life done in the utmost conformity and Obedience to the law, that Man can reach unto; by these deeds of the law whether in­ternal or external, there shall no flesh be jus­tified in his sight.

Quest. But the greater question is, what law is here meant? whether the Ceremonial law only, or the Moral law also? Those that are unsound in the Doctrin of Justification, do [Page 14] contend that by the law here, is only meant the Ceremonial law. And that the Apostle Paul here and in other places contending with the Jews in this point of Justification, speaketh only of the Ceremonial law, and so far they yield that by the works of the Cere­monial law indeed no flesh shall be justified, but the works of the Moral law are not here excluded from the matter of Mans justificati­on; insinuating thereby, that a Man may be justified in Gods sight by good works done in confirmity and obedience to the Moral law.

Ans. In answer whereunto we do affirm and shall plainly prove, that not the Ceremo [...]nial law only, but the Moral law also, ye [...] mainly and principally is meant by the Apo­stle. And that law unto the works or deed whereof justification in the sight of God i [...] denied to every Man, is the Moral law and not the Ceremonial law only, though it i [...] true also of the Ceremonial law. And this w [...] prove by two Argumenrs,

1 Argument; It is most plain from the contex [...] v. 19. That it is the same law by whic [...] every mouth is stopped, and all the World i [...] become guilty before God. Now the Gentile [...] could not have their mouth stopped and be [...]come guilty before God by the Ceremonia [...] law: For the Gentiles had no knowledg o [...] [Page 15] the Ceremonial law, neither could they; there being nothing in the light or law of nature, directing them to any such law; nor were the Gentiles under any Obligation unto that law; otherwise than as any of them were proseylites to the Jewish Church, neither could their Consciences either accuse or excuse them in observing or not observing the Cere­monial law, they could have no Conscience of Sin in that respect, for where no law is there is no Transgression: But the Moral law, they having the work of it written in their Hearts, as Rom. 2.14, 15. did bind the Conscien­ces of the very Gentiles, and did leave them without excuse before God, as hath been al­ready proved, Rom. 1.19, 20, 21. to the end of the Chap. So that it is the Moral law only by which every mouth is stopped and all the World, i. e. both Jew and Gen­tile are become guilty before God. And therefore it is not the Ceremonial law only, but the Moral law principally of which the Apostle speaks when he saith as in the Text; by the works of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.

2 Argu. It is also as plain from the latter part of this Text, that it is the same law by which is the knowledg of Sin: For so the A­postle [Page 16] brings it in immediately and in one and the same breath; For by the law is the knowledg of Sin; therefore whilst the Aposte saith, by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight, and then addeth, that by the law is the knowledg of Sin, it is plain, what law he meaneth: Namely, the same law by which is the knowledg of Sin.

Now the knowledg of Sin is not by the Ceremonial law; for though in the Ceremo­nial law, there is an acknowledgment of Sin; in that all the sacrifices, wash­ings and typical services, did take it for grant­ed, and every Man attending the services of that law did (ipso facto), acknowledg himself a Sinner, or else to what end was his Sacrifice if he had no Sin to be purged? Yet the Ce­remonial law neither did nor could convince the Conscience, and show a Man wherein he had Sinned; for this is the peculiar work of the moral law, and the light thereof shining in the Conscience, and so the Apostle, Rom. 7.7. Nay, I had not known sin but by the law: For I had not known lust except the law had said, thou shalt not Covet: Now the law which saith thou shalt not covet, is not the Ceremonial law, but the moral law, as Exod▪ 20.17. And therefore the Text must be interpreted and understood, not of the Cere­monial [Page 17] law only but also and more especially of the moral law, for as much as by this law, is the knowledg of Sin, and by this law every mouth is stopped, and all the World become guilty before God. So that Justifica­tion in the sight of God is denied to Man not only by the deeds of the Ceremonial law, but also by the deeds of the moral law: And a Man can no more be justified now by good works, either Internal, or External, or both, done in obedience and conformity to the moral law, than the Jews then were by their observances of the Ceremonial▪ And as it became Sin in the Jews, to seek justificati­on and righteousness by the works of the Ce­remonial law, and moral law both, and the stumbling stone to their perdition and damna­tion, as Rom. 9.31, 32. So it doth as much now become Sin to any Man under Heaven, to seek righteousness and justification by the works of the Moral law, as they are or can be performed by him, and if persisted in will prove the stumbling stone to his perdition, Gala. 5.2, 3, 4, 5.

Having thus done with the opening of the Doctrine, we proceed to the reasons of it, namely, to shew why by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified in God's sight; and they are these two.

[Page 18]First Reason; Because by the law is the the knowledg of Sin, and this is one reason subjoyned in the Text, [...]: For by the law is the knowledg of Sin: [...] which here is rendered knowledg, is a thorough and convincing knowledg which leaves a Man under such a conviction as he must needs acknowledg himself a Sinner and to have Transgressed the law of God: For Sin is the transgression of the law, and the knowledg of Sin is the knowledg in the Con­science of a Man that he hath transgressed the law, and no Man can have this conviction and knowledg but by the law: And the Conscience of Sin is nothing else but his knowing by the light of Gods holy law that he hath transgressed, and that he is a transgres­sor of the law, as Rom. 7.7. I had not known Sin but by the law; and again, Rom. 7.8, 9. For without the law, sin was dead, that is, it stirred not, it troubled not my Consci­ence. But when the commandment came, Si [...] revived and I died, i. e. I was in a whole and safe condition once without the law, and no­thing troubled my Conscience, but all was quiet and secure, as if I had no Sin, and wa [...] in no danger; But when the Commandmen [...] came, i. e. God brought the law home to my Conscience, so that I saw the convincing [Page 19] light, and felt the terrifying Power of the ho­ly law of God in my Conscience, then Sin revi­ved, i. e. lift up it self, and made me find and feel my guilt and the condemning power and strength that Sin had over me by the law: For the strength of Sin is the law, 1 Cor. 15.56. And I died, i. e. As to all my hopes and confidence of being justified by the law and the works thereof, so that I became as a dead Man without any life or hope of be­ing justified by it: And the Argument lieth plain, that law, by which every Man is con­vinced that he is a Sinner and condemned as a guilty Person before God; by that law and the deeds of it can no Man be justified in the sight of God; for condemnation and justification, are as directly contrary and in­consistent each with other as life and death are; therefore by the deeds of the law, can no flesh be justified, because by the law all flesh is Condemned and found guilty before God; upon this account the Ministration of the law is called the Ministration of death and of Condemnation, 2 Cor. 3.7. and 9. v. And therefore cannot be the Ministration of life and justification: Now if there were any Man found since the fall of Adam, that were not a Sinner and guilty by the law, and un­to whom by the law there could be no know­ledg, [Page 20] or conviction of Sin, then such a Man might be justified by the deeds of the law, but forasmuch as there is no such Man in the World since the fall of Adam, there can no Man be justified by the deeds of the law in Gods sight.

Second Reason. Because by the deeds or works of the law, there is no Man righteous in Gods sight, it hath already bin shewed that it cannot consist with the perfect justice and veracity of God to justifie any Man with­out righteousness and without a perfect righte­ousness, commensurate to the Perfection, Pu­rity and Holiness of his law; but no Man un­der Heaven since the fall of Adam ever had or can have such a righteousness by the deeds of the law, as they are or can be done and performed by Man; therefore by the deeds of the law, can no Flesh be justified in his sight, as Gala. 3.21. Is the law there­fore against the promises of God? God forbid, for if there had bin a law given which could have given life, verily, righteousness should have bin by the law. The Argument is plain, namely, that the law is not against the pro­mises of God, i. e. the free promise of Justifica­tion by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ, therefore the law cannot justifie, because if it could justifie any Man it would be against, [Page 21] i. e. frustrate and make void the free pro­mise of justification by Faith; for if a Man could be justified by the works of the law, there could be no need of the free promise of righteousness and justification by Faith; so that the promise is made void if righteous­ness be, or could be, by the law: And then it is added, If there had been a law given that could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law: if the law could have given life i. e. Justification, verily, righte­ousness should have been by the law; supposing and taking it for granted that if there had been a law that could have given Life and Justification, the same law should have given righteousness also, for without righte­ousness, there can be no Justification and Life to any Man in Gods sight. But there is no Man righteous or can be righteous in Gods sight by the deeds of the law, therefore no Man can be justified or have life thereby.

Now that there is no Man righteous or can be by the works of the law, is plain from the context, Rom. 3.10 — 19. Where the words of the Prophet David and Isaias, are quoted out of the Old Testament, that there is none Righteous, no, not one; there is none that doeth good, no, not one: Now, as at the 19. v. Whatsoever the law saith, it saith [Page 22] to them that are under the law, i. e. to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles, that there is not in the whole World, both Jews and Gen­tiles, one righteous Man by the deeds of the law, no, not one, no, not one that doth good, no, not one, i. e. according to that which the law doth require.

And this will more clearly appear by a just consideration of the obedience which the law doth require, in these Four particulars.

1. The law doth require personal Obedi­ence to the Holy and just commands there­of: And every Man is under Obligation to fulfil the law in his own Person, and there­fore it is said, Rom. 10.5. The Man which doth them shall live by them, and here is one essential difference betwixt the law of Faith, and the Law of works; that the law of Faith accepteth the Obedience of another, but the law of works requireth thee to obey and fulfil in thine own Person, and if thou failest of Personal performing and fulfilling, the law doth curse thee Personally, as it is written Gal. 3.10. Cursed is every one that continueth not, &c.

2ly. The Law doth require perfect Obe­dience in all things: So that if a Man keep the whole law and fail but in one point, he is guilty of all, as James 2.10. and the least Sinful thought, or idle word, cuts off and for­feits [Page 23] all a Mans hope of righteousness by the Law.

Now, forasmuch as there is no Man that ever did, or (since the fall of Adam,) ever can come up unto perfect Obedience in all things, which the Law doth require, so as not to fail in any one point: (For if such a Man were found, there should be found a just Man up­on Earth, that doth good and sinneth not. Yea, there would a Man be found that might say, I have not Sinned; which would be to make God a liar, as 1 Kings 8.46. Eccles. 7.20. 1 John 1. v. 10.) It is plain that there is none righteous, by the works of the law, no, not one; there is none that doth good, no, not one; i. e. as the Law doth require.

3ly. The Law doth require perpetual Obe­dience, i. e. the Perseverance, Persisting and Continuance in all things that are written in the law, as Gal. 3.10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the Book of the law to do them: So that if a Man could perfectly keep and fulfil the whole law, so as not to fail in one point to his very dying Day; and yet at last though in the Moment of Death, should commit one Sin, or once fail in his Obedi­ence, he hath lost all his righteousness; and [Page 24] is become a Sinner and Transgressor of the law in Gods sight.

4ly. The law doth require a Sinless Per­son; the law doth suppose and require every Man to be such as Adam was, in the estate of Innocency; to have the same rectitude, and perfect integrity of Nature, that Adam had, which we call Original Righteousness, and is directly contrary to Original Sin: And the want of Original Righteousness, as well as least the tincture of Original Sin, is a Sin­ful defect of conformity to the law, and ren­ders a Man uncapable of fulfilling the righte­ousness which the law doth require; so that by the law it is impossible for him that is once a Sinner, ever to become righteous by all that he can do or suffer afterward.

Now, that the want of Original righteous­ness, as well as Original Sin, is a Sinful de­fect of conformity to the law is plain, Rom. 8. To be carnally minded is Death, and the reason is added, v. 7. For the Carnal Mind is en­mity against God, and is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be: That which we render the Carnal mind is [...] the minde of the flesh, i. e. of Mans Nature now corrupted by sin, and destitute of Origi­nal righteousness; this mind of the flesh is enmity egainst God, and is not subject to the law [Page 25] of God, neither indeed can be, [...] so that it is impossible to a man in the carnal mind or mind of the flesh to be Obedient or subject to the law sincerely, and much more impossible to fulfil or keep the law per­fectly: And thence it is further inferred, v. 9. so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God: The person being Sinful, all his deeds and works are Sinful also, and neither his person nor his deeds or works can be pleasing or ac­ceptable unto God by the law; and therefore it is written also Heb. 11.6. But without Faith it is impossible to please God; which it would not be if a Man could be righte­ous by the works of the law and without Faith, i. e. Faith in Christ; he might then please God by the works of the law, and and without Faith.

Now let all these particular Considerati­ons, be brought together into one; namely, that the law requireth personal, perfect and perpetual obedience continually, and that in all points, and doth also require a sinless Person; and it will easily appear that it is become absolutely impossible to every Man since Adam, (as it was also to Adam himself after the fall,) ever to become righteous by the works or deeds of the law: And there­fore as impossible for any Man to be justified [Page 26] in the sight of God by the works of the law, seeing he cannot by the works of the law be righteous; for this were to suppose that a Man might be justified without righteousness, which to suppose is a contradiction and ab­surdity. And thus having done with the Reasons of the Doctrine; namely, that by the deeds of the law, no Flesh shall be justi­fied in Gods sight: We proceed next and further to enquire,

Q. Why the infinitely wise and holy God, who created Man such an excellent and glo­rious creature after his own Image, and put him under such an excellent law, so holy, just and good, should suffer this excellent creature, and this excellent law of his, (by the interposition of Sin) to be so frustrate and disappointed; that it is now become im­possible for Man to be justified by the law and the deeds of it.

Answ. This must be resolved ultimately into the Sovereign will and pleasure of God, as our Lord Christ upon another occasion; Father, I thank thee Lord of Heaven and Earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and from the prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight; Mat. 11.25. A stupendious Mystery it was; And [Page 27] can be resolved ultimately into nothing less than the Sovereign will of the blessed God and Creatour, who may do what he pleases; his own will being the most perfect Rule, and his own glory the highest and ultimate end of all his works. Certain it is, that the holy God could easily have prevented Sin, and have preserved his Creature Man under the Conduct of the pure and holy Law of his unto Eternal Life and Glory; but it seemed not good in his sight so to do; Knowing how to over-rule so great an evil as Sin, and the Transgression of his holy Law, to the further manifestation of his own greater glo­ry and the greater good of his own Elect: And therefore we further find by inqui­ry into this matter by the Light of the Holy Scriptures; That this so stupendious and mysterious a work of his Providence with re­spect to man was necessary in order to the manifestation of his own greater glory and mans greater good, in five or six things.

1. Namely first; That thereby he might take occasion through Sin and the Trans­gression of his Law to bring to light and give forth the manifestation of his Eternal Electi­on of Grace both amongst Angels and Men before the World was; which was a Mystery [Page 28] hid in God, till the discovery and manifesta­tion thereof now began to apppear.

1. Amongst the Angels of Heaven, a­mongst whom Sin entred, and so great a number of them leaving their first habitati­on, and were cast down to Hell, for their transgression; whilst a remnant of them were preserved and were confirmed of God in Christ, as Ephes. 1.10. Gods Election of Grace toward some became manifest, and ap­parent, and his severity towards the rest that Sinned, whom he spared not, but cast them down to Hell; and 2 Pet. 2.4. So that here is a difference and a discrimination made betwixt Angels and Angels, some cast down to Hell, others preserved and confirmed in Hea­ven. And that which made the difference was, not any natural goodness, and excellency of Endowments in the one more than the other; but the free Grace and Election of God in Christ, preseverd and confirmed some, that they did not, that they should not Sin, whilst the rest sinned and were cast down to Hell: Hence the elect Angels on the one part, 1 Tim. 4.21. and the Angels that Sinned, on the other, divide the whole World of Angels. And as vast a difference and di­stance is put betwixt the one and the other, as betwixt Heaven and Hell; as be­twixt [Page 29] Light and Darkness: Hence of the same lump of the Angelical Nature, are made Angels of Light, as 2 Cor. 11.14. and Angels of Darkness, 2 Pet. 2.10. Angels of Heaven as Mat. 24.36. and Angels of Hell, as Mat. 25.41, the Holy Angels, as Mat. 25.31. And the wicked or Apostate Angels, as Jud. 6.

2ly. Amongst Men in this World, God took occasion by Sin and the trangression of his Holy law, to manifest his Election of Grace, even amongst Men on Earth, as he had already amongst Angels in Heaven. And now a difference is put betwixt the seed of the Woman; (namely, Christ as the head of this Election, and all the Elect amongst Men; whom the Father had chosen in Christ before the foundation of the World, Ephes. 1.4.2 Tim. 1.9. and whom the Father had given to Christ out of the Wold, John 17.9. These all are one in Christ by virtue of this Electi­on, and are to be brought unto actual con­formity to him in Grace here, and Glory hereafter. Christ the first Born, and they all brethren to him, and one to another in him, as Rom. 8.29.) And the seed of the Serpent on the one hand, that is, all the Children of the Devil or wicked One, who are now distin­guished and made manifest by the admission [Page 30] and entrance of Sin, as 1 John 3.9, 10. And as Sin took occasion by the law, for if there had been no law, there had been no Sin or transgression; so the Grace of God took oc­casion by Sin, and by the transgression of the law, to manifest it self both amongst Angels and Men, to Gods greater Glory, and the greater good and glorious advantage of his Elect. Oh the depth both of the Wisdom and knowledg of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! How hath the Election of Grace taken occasion by the Sin and misery of Mankind, to shew and manifest it self in glorious tri­umph over all Mans sinfulness and unworthi­ness, as well as over all Mans works and righteousness by the law, in over ruling the one, and excluding of the other; that the purpose of God according to Election, might stand not of works, but of him that calleth; as Rom. 9.11. and again, Rom. 11.7. The E­lection hath obtained it, and the rest were blnded.

2ly. That so he might make way for the coming of his Son Jesus Christ into the World; for his coming forth into and in the Human Nature, and being made, and mani­fested in Flesh both to Angels and Men; This Mystery of Godliness, as the Apostle hath it, 1 Tim. 3.16. (God manifested in [Page 31] the Flesh,) had never been exhibited in the sight of Angels and Men, had not the trans­gression of the law, and the utter inability in the law to give Man life and righteousness in Gods sight; first prepared and opened a way for it: had there been no Sin, there had need­ed no Sacrifice; no need of God manifested in Flesh; could righteousness have been by the works of the law, there had been no need of a Christ, to take away Sin, to make an end of Sins, and to bring in everlasting righte­ousness, as Dan. 9 24. Rom. 8.3. And as the Apostle hath it, Gala. 2 21. If righte­ousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain. Christ coming in the Flesh, his being made of a Woman, made under the law, his being made a curse for us; yea, all that he did & suffered for us in his life & death; yea, his resurrection from the dead, his Ascension into Heaven, and his intercession for us there hath been altogether in vain, if Sin could be ex­piated and righteousness obtained by the deeds or works of the law: But Christ is not dead in vain, his coming into the World is not in vain: Now consider what a glorious work, the work of redemption is above all the works of Gods Creation, and above all the other works of his mighty, wise and holy providence, and be filled with admira­tion, [Page 32] and wonder at the infinite wisdom, power and Grace of God in Christ, who hath thus over-ruled, so great an evil as Sin is; and the frustration of the hope of righteousness by the law for the manifestation of the riches of his glory, and Grace in his Son Christ Jesus, and the greater advancement and good of his own Elect, who are no losers by their disappointment and loss of the hope of righte­ousness by the deeds of the law; having now obtained a better hope of a better and great­er righteousness by Faith in Christ, than could have been obtained by the law, if they had never Sinned, and if they had fulfilled the righteousness of the law in themselves: Glory be to the triumphant Grace of God in Christ.

3. That so also just occasion might be of­fered for the promulgation and making known amongst Men the everlasting Cove­nant of Grace; Now consider what a great blessing the Covenant of Grace is, above the Law and Covenant of works; which the Apostle saith, Had no glory in comparison of the new Covenant of Grace which so far ex­celled, 2 Cor. 3.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. verses. And consider how the manifestation and reve­lation of this better Covenant hath filled Heaven and Earth with a greater light and [Page 33] manifestation of the Divine glory than any the World knew before or could ever have known without it, and you will fall Down and worship before the throne of God, and of the Lamb; saying, Blessing, Glory, and Praise be unto the God and Father of our Lord Je­sus Christ; who hath thus blessed us with the blessings of such a Covenant: all Spiri­tual blessings, all Heavenly blessings, all Spiritual blessinngs in heavenly places in Christ; Ephes. 1.3. This Covenant of Grace is called the New Covenant; but on­ly with respect to the promulgation of it; forasmuch as it was not promulgated till af­ter the fall of Man, and the frustration and making void the law or old Covenant, as a Covenant of works, and utter incapacity of that Covenant to give Man righteousness and life by the deeds or works of it, as the Apostle argueth, Heb. 8. v. 7, 8, 11, 13. But the Covenant of Grace is also called the everlast­ing Covenant with respect to the institution and establishment of it betwixt the Father and the Son, not only because it is to ever­lasting, and endureth for ever, but also be­cause it is from everlasting, and before all time, and is therefore said to be given us in Christ before the World was, Tit. 1.2. In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, [Page 34] promised before the world began; that this is the Covenant of Grace is plain, because it is that, upon which the hope of eternal life is builded, and it is called the promise, as it is often called in Scripture, as Gala. 4.28. Now we Brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise, i. e. of the new Covenant, for this is the new Covenant, which is compared to that Jerusalem which is above, and is the Mother of all the children of God, as Gala. 4.22, 23, 24, 25, 26. Upon this account they are called heirs of the promise, i. e. of the new Covenant or Covenant of Grace, and not of the old Covenat or Covenant of Works, as Gala. 4.31. So then brethren, we are not children of the Bond-woman, but of the Free, i. e. not of the old Covenant, but of the new. Now of this promise, viz. this promise of God that cannot lie, it is said to have been before the world began, i. e. given us in Christ the Mediator of this Covenant, and unto whom this promise was given for us, before all time, before the World began, i. e. from Eternity. And if any shall enquire why then was the law or Covenant of works at all added and promulgated; The Answer is ready, as the Apostle, Gala. 3.19. It was added, because of transgression; i. e. that by the occasion of Sin and transgression of that [Page 35] Covenant, Men might be prepared to enter­tain and embrace the Promise and Covenant of Grace, and so look unto the free Promise and Covenant of Grace in Christ for Life and Salvation, and so Rom. 5.20, 21. The law entred that sin might abound, &c.

Now as it was for the further manifestion of Gods greater glory, and for Mans great­er good, that this new Covenant, or Cove­nant of Grace should be declared, so it was necessary that Sin should first enter, in the transgression and frustration of the law as a Covenant of works, that a fit occasion, and sea­son might be offered for the declaring and making known this blessed Covenant, this new and everlasting Covenant of Grace. And thus by the disannulling and making void the old or first Covenant as a Covenant of works, which could not have bin without the en­trance of Sin, is way made for bringing in the Covenant of Grace!

4ly. That God might cut off all occasion of boasting from Man, and that no flesh might glory in his sight; had Man been justified by the works of the law, and his own righte­ousness, he should have had whereof to boast, as the Apostle, Rom. 4.2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to Glory; but not before God; Now therefore God [Page 36] in his infinite wisdom hath ordered and over­ruled things unto this issue, that by the work [...] of the law no flesh should be justified in his sight, that so no flesh might glory in his sight, no, not one amongst the many Sons which are and shall be brought unto glory; that as A­braham the father of the faithful, so none of the children of Abraham might have where­of to glory before God: God is very jea­lous of his glory and will not have any crea­ture in Heaven or Earth, to come in as a shar­er with him in that glory, whcih is his own peculiar, and appertaineth unto himself alone. And therefore hath so wisely disposed things in the aeconomy of Salvation, that Man being raised from the lowest degree and A­byss of Sin and misery to the highest pitch and height of Grace and glory, should have nothing to boast of, nothing to glory in before him; but to cry, Grace, Grace unto this spiritual Workmanship and building of God by Jesus Christ even from the first foundation stone to the topstone thereof, as Zech. 4.7. So that now boasting is here for ever excluded and, glorying cut off from all flesh, as Rom. 3.27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded, by what law? of works? Nay, but by the law of Faith. The law of works, had it carried the glory of giving life and [Page 37] righteousness to Man, could not have exclud­ed boasting, but had admitted boasting even amongst the Sons of glory; every person amongst them would have had something of his own to boast of; his own free will against Gods free Grace; his own works and righte­ousness against Gods free promise and Grace in Christ Jesus: But now by the law of Faith boasting is utterly and for ever excluded. And that this was Gods design is plain, from 1 Cor. 1.29, 30, 31. Eph. 2.9. And thus, as Gods own glory is his highest end, (as in all his other works, so also in this great work of ju­stification by Faith, and not by the works of the law,) so his own most Holy and Sove­reign will is the most perfect Rule in order to that end, as Eph. 1.11, 12. Who work­eth all things after the counsel of his will, That we should be to the praise of his Glory. There is nothing more hateful to God than Pride. The Angels for Pride were cast down to Hell; God resisteth the proud, but giveth Grace to the humble; a proud professor is most hateful to God; for a professor to make himself his end in his Religious works and duties, as Zech. 7.5, 6. and to make his own will his rule, as 2 Pet. 2.10. is to make himself a God to himself: And is the highest contradiction to the Divine will, which is the most perfect rule of his [Page 38] obedience, and to the Divine glory, which is his highest end; now therefore God hath so provided, that amongst all those that are justi­fied, (not by the works of the law, or their own righteousness, but by Faith in Jesus Christ,) no flesh should glory in his sight ei­ther by ascribing to his own free will in op­position to Gods free Grace or in his own works and righteousness in opposition to the free promise and the righteousness of God, which is by the Faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe.

5. It hath seemed good to the most wise and holy God, by the interposition of sin in the transgression of the first Cove­nant, and the frustration thereof as to any possibility of giving Righteousness and Life to any man under the Heavens (under which all are concluded, and shut up) to order things unto this issue, that so occasion might be given to glorifie his justice in the punishing of sin, and to Reveal his wrath from Heaven against all ungodliness and un­righteousness of Men; as Rom. 1.18. Had there been no sin, there had been no wrath; and so no manifestation of Gods righteous judg­ment, no revelation of his wrath from Hea­ven against all unrighteousness of men upon this Earth. Now it was absolutely n [...]ssa­ry [Page 39] with respect to Gods greater glory, that as his mercy, grace and Love should be ma­nifested towards some; as hath been already shewed; so his just wrath and the power of it should also be made manifest against others who upon that occount are called Vessels of wrath and fitted to destruction; as others are called Vessels of mercy, and aforehand pre­pared unto glory; as, Rom. 9.22, 23, v. What if God willing to shew his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the Vessels of wrath fitted to de­struction· There are amongst men in this World Vessels of Wrath as well as Vessels of Mercy: As amongst men, Vessels have their denomination from that which they contain and are filled up with: So Vessels of Oyl, Vessels of Wine, Vessels of Wa­ter, &c. So here some are called Vessels of Mercy, because they are filled with Mercy, Grace and Love from God in and through his Son Jesus Christ; and by this mercy, grace, and love of God in Christ to them, they are afore-hand prepared unto glory: So on the other hand, others are called Ves­sels of wrath, because they are the objects of Gods wrath, and by the fulness of Sin, when it is finished and grown ripe in them, they are fitted to destruction, and shall be filled [Page 40] with the infinite wrath of God, and that for ever: For their worm dyeth not, and their fire is not quenched; as Mark 9.44. Now such was the will, the sovereign will of God, that this warth of his, and the Power of this wrath should be manifested and shewed forth in the glory of it towards these Vessels of warth, what if God willing, [...]: as much as determining, resolving in [...]he Council of his will: For here the word (willing) doth not signifie barely a consent of the will, that such a thing shall be done; but a fixed pur­pose and Counsel of the Divine will determi­ning and decreeing: To shew his wrath and to make his power known on the Vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. Now there had been no occasion for the revelation of this part o [...] the Divine will, and the shewing forth his wrath, and the making of his power know towards these Vessels of wrath, if sin had not once entered, and the Law by transgression been disabled as to the giving Man Life and Righ­teousness by the works of it; yea, if there had been no sin, there had been no Vessels of wrath, nor any fitting of them to destructi­on. And thus the wise and holy God hath over-ruled Sin and the Transgression of his holy Law to his own glory, in the manifesta­tion of these Vessels of wrath amongst Men [Page 41] in this World, and in the fitting of them to de­struction; and in taking occasion thereby to shew his wrath, and to make his Power known partly in this World, and more abundantly in that which is to come: So that all the patience and long-suffering of God towards these Vessels of Wrath, hath no other issue than by their continuance in Sin, and filling up the measure of their Iniquity, to ripen and fit them to destruction: And af­ter the hardness and impenitency of their hearts to treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, as Rom. 2.5, 6. And thus have we done with the Doctrinal Part: I proceed to the Application.

Use 1. Hence we may infer and be informed that no Man can be justified by the light with­in him and by his obedience to that light; there hath been a Generation of Men, a­mongst us, that have made a greater noise about the light within, and which they say is in ever Man in its measure and degree, and that by harkening to the light within, and obeying the same, a Man may be righteous, yea, become perfect, and (as they have af­firmed) to be without Sin; but let us a little examine the matter, and we shall quickly find [Page 42] the falshood of this boasting and confidence; for this light, as they call it, is either true or false; if false and not warranted by the Holy Scriptures, then it is not light, but darkness; and as our Lord saith, Mat. 6.23. If there­fore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness? But we will suppose that this light which they speak of and affirm to be in every Man be true light in its mea­sure and degree; and if it be so, then at best it can be but the light of Gods Holy law, as the works of it is written in the Conscience of a Man: It can pretend no higher; and then no Man that can pretend to the highest degree of that light, and of obedience there­unto, can possibly become righteous and be justified in the sight of God thereby: For then a Man might be justified by works of the law contrary to the clear light of the Holy Scriptures: But forasmuch as no Man shall or can be righteous and justified before God by the law and the deeds or works thereof in whatsoever manner or degree they can be performed by him: It is most clear, certain and plain, that no Man can be justi­fied in the sight of God by the light with­in, nor by all his obedience thereunto.

2. Hence we may also infer, and be certainly [...]formed, that no M [...]n can be justified in the [Page 43] sight of God by Morality or Moral Vertue; Morality or Moral Vertue, is nothing else but obedience and conformity to the Moral law contained in the Decalogue or Ten Com­mandments, though generally it is restrained to the Duties of the Second Table: And many of the Heathens, (who knew nothing of instituted Religion and Worship, which depend only upon Divine Revelation) have attained unto divers Moral Vertues, and have therein excelled many called Christians, and many amongst the professors of Christianity, have made little pretence unto or Con­science of instituted worship further than the bare name of Religion, yet have been found amongst Men more Morally honest and vertuous than some others that have had a greater name & fame for Religion; and thereby have attained more reputation and esteem a­mongst Men, than multitudes of loose pre­tenders to instituted Religion: Yet when all due encourgement and praise is given and allowed to Moral Virtue and Honesty where­ever it is found; It must be affirmed and is certainly true; that no man under the Hea­vens can be Justified in the sight of God by Moral vertue; for then a man might be justified by the deeds of the Law: and that by the deeds of the Law in one part of it [Page 44] only, i. e. by the deeds of the second Table, when the deeds of the first are omitted. But for as much as by the deeds of the Law no flesh shall be justified in his sight; it fol­loweth as a necessary and undeniable conse­quence that moral vertue cannot justifie a man; nor that any man can be justified by moral vertue in the sight of God; and al­though there have not been wanting amongst the Philosophers of old, and amongst false Christians of latter times, who have by Dis­puting, Preaching and Printing, both with their Tongues and Pens endeavoured to ex­alt, magnifie and cry up Morality against the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the righteousness of Faith; yet have not been able to prevail in that attempt.

3dly. Hence also we may as certainly in­fer and be informed that those that are justifi­ed in the sight of God, are not justified by in­herent grace and sanctification: 'Tis a great and a blessed truth, that all that are justified are also sanctified, as Titus 2.11, 12. For the grace of God that bringeth Salvation, hath appeared unto all men; teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World: We will suppose that the Grace of God, is taken for the Doctrine of [Page 45] the Grace of God in Christ which hath ap­peared to all men, i. e. to Jew and Gentile; by the Gospel that bringeth Salvation, i. e. the glad tidings of Salvation, and Salvation it self when it is believed and embraced in the heart of any man by Faith. Now this grace of God doth teach us,

1st. Doctrinally when it is received only by a common and not saving Faith; as Histo­rical or Temporary Faith is such Faith as De­vils, and wicked Men, and Hypocrites may have; as James 2.19, 20. Mat. 13.20, 21, 22. When it is thus received, it teacheth us Doctrinally, i. e. the Light of the Gospel of the Grace of God, that teacheth men the Doctrine of Salvation; the righteousness of Gods Justification by Faith in Christ, teach­eth us also To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present World. Which particulars do expresly contain the whole and compleat Sanctification of the Heart and of the Life, i. e. in Mortification of Sin; and all manner of Holy and Godly walking & conversation amongst men in this World: So that if any person pretending to this Doctrin of Justifica­tion, & righteousness by faith in Christ be other­wise than a Truly, Holy, Mortified, and Sancti­fied person he is self-convict and left without [Page 46] excuse; as the Gentiles were by sinning a­gainst, and walking contrary to the light of Nature: So these loose Christians by sinning against and walking contrary to the Light of Grace, the fault is not in the Grace of God but in their own selves; who hereby proclaim to all the World, that they have received this Grace or Doctrine of the Grace of God in vain.

2dly. But then when this Doctrine of the Grace of God is imbraced sincerely and with a saving Faith, such as is the Faith of the ope­ration of God; as Col. 2.12. And the Faith of Gods Elect, as Tit. 1.1. And Like preti­ous Faith, 2 Pet. 1.1. Then it doth ef­fectually teach, and certainly work by the same Faith, all that Sanctification and Holi­ness of Heart and Life here mentioned: And so again, 1 Cor. 6.11. And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God: So that the same holy Spirit of God which applieth Christ to our Faith for righteous­ness and justification, doth also apply Christ to us as and for our sanctification: And every person that is truly justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, is also as truly sanctified by the Spirit; and 'tis as impossible for a justified [Page 47] person to be distitute of inherent Grace and Sanctification, as it is for a man living in the body to be so, without the Soul, James 2.26. Nevertheless Justification and Sanctification, Righteousness imputed and inherent, are distinct and different things, and must fall under a distinct consideration; and must not, cannot, be confounded; They differ as the cause and effect, as the antecedent and consequent: and though inherent Grace and Sanctification doth always accom­pany the person justified; yet inherent Grace and Sanctification is not that Righte­ousness by, or upon which any person is or can be justified in the sight of God: For inherent Grace and Sanctification is no more, can rise no higher than the writing of the Law in a mans heart, and so it is described and set out by God himself, Heb. 8.10. Quoted out of Jer. 31.33. I will put my Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: The work of grace inherent, is but the writing of the Law in the heart; and all Sanctification and Holiness is but the outward expression of this Law internally written in the Heart: Now if a man could be justified in Gods sight by inherent Grace and Sanctification, he might be justified by the Deeds and Works of the Law; and that [Page 48] by imperfect Deeds and Works too; for such is sanctification, but the imperfect writ­ing of the Law in the Heart; and such are all even the highest attainments of inherent righteousness and acts of new and holy obedi­ence in the Saints, but imperfect, Phil. 3.12. And Rom. 7.22, 23, 24, 25. Now forasmuch as No flesh can be justified in his sight by the Deeds of the Law; it is mani­fest and followeth, by necessary [...]nsequence that no man can be justified by inherent sancti­fication and obedience; seeing all inherent Sanctification and Obedience is but the writ­ing of the Law in the Heart, and the Deeds of that Law so written. And that which some men have imagined and endeavoured to maintain (that a believer is justified in the sight of God by Evangelical righteousness, i. e. his sincere obedience, or obedience of Faith: And that having obtained remission of sins through Faith in Christs blood, his Sincere or Evangelical obedience is accepted of God as if it were perfect) will plainly appear to be a false, and unsound assertion, and most contrary to the truth of the Gospel; for although both parts of this assertion be true in sensu divisio, i. e. in their different sense, and with respect to the different mat­ters to which they do relate; yet in sensu con­juncto, [Page 49] as they are confounded and referred to one and the same matter, they are utterly false and corrupt; as namely, That a belie­ver is justified by Evangelical righteousness is a blessed truth, if referred to the right subject and matter of justifying righteous­ness which the Gospel doth reveal: But this righ­teousness then is no other than the righteous­ness of God, i. e. the personal and perfect obedience and righteousness, which Christ who is God Man hath performed for us, and in our stead as the Second Adam and Head of the whole Church of the Elect; And is there­fore called, The righteousness of God, in oppo­sition to all a mans own or inherent righte­ousness, Rom. 10.3, 4. Phil. 3.9. And that this is the only Evangelical righteousness, i. e. that only Righteousness which the Gospel doth re­veal. For Justification is clear from Rom. 1.16, 17. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth to the Jew first and also to the Greek: For therein is the righteousness of God re­vealed from Faith to Faith; as it is written, the just shall Live by Faith, i. e. not in his own, but in the righteousness or another; which is Jesus Christ: Who is the end of the Law for righte­ousness to every one that believeth, Rom. 10.4. But if you will understand Evan­gelical [Page 50] righteousness of, and refer it to inhe­rent grace and sanctification, then it is ut­terly false; for then a man is justified by the Law and the Deeds of it; Seeing inherent Grace and Sanctification is no other as hath been already shewed, And again, as to the other part of this Assertion, namely, that God doth accept the sincere Obedience of a Believer as if it were perfect; is also a blessed truth, if you refer it to Sanctification only; but if you refer it to Justification, it is utterly false: for no Righteousness of Man is or can be accept­ed of God as the matter of his Justification in his sight, as hath been already proved; for that were for a Man to be justified by the Works of the Law, or his own Righteousness, which is contrary to the Scriptures: Now therefore, the sum of the matter is; that no Righteousness can be mentioned or accepted of God in Justification, but the Righteousness of Christ only; and although Inherent Righ­teousness, namely, Sanctification of Heart, and Holiness of Life in a Believer is accepted of God through Christ, as if it were perfect; yet 'tis so accepted as the truth and matter of his Sanctification, but not as the matter of his Justification, wherein none but Christ and his Righteousness can or ought to be men­tioned.

[Page 51] Use 2. Let the consideration of this truth caution and warn every man to beware and take heed how he goeth about directly or in­directly to establish his own Righteousness, or to seek Righteousness in and of himself by the Deeds and Works of the Law, i. e. by his own inherent qualifications, and internal or external acts of Obedience, and so become dis­obedient, and not submit himself to the Righ­teousness of God by Faith in Christ. The carnal Jews of old (called Israel) fell under this woful mistake; Rom. 9.31, 32. But Israel which followed after the Law of Righte­ousness, hath not attained to the Law of Righ­teousness; wherefore, because they sought it not by Faith, but as it were by the Works of the Law: for they stumbled at that stumbling-stone: they followed after the Law of Righte­ousness; i. e. they served God instantly day and night, as Acts 26.7. they attended to all the services of the Law in Sacrifices, and costly Offerings, and toilsom as well as charge­able observances, in which they spared no cost, nor pains, but continued day and night, and that with zeal and fervency; for so was that Service carried on by Sacrifices and Offerings of divers sorts and kinds, which were day and night made, and some of them continually [Page 52] before the Lord; and when the old were [...] moved, new were brought in and placed [...] their room; so that there was no vacancy no cessation, but a continued service day an [...] night, from one years end to another, an [...] this for the space of 2000 years; and upo [...] this account, as they did, so they suffered muc [...] from the Nations round about, both near an [...] far off, and that with much constancy, no [...] shrinking, nor turning away from the servic [...] of their God in times of greatest danger an [...] tribulation, as the Histories of Ezra, Nehe­miah, Daniel, and the 11th of the Hebrew [...] do abundantly declare: And yet they at­tained not to the Law of Righteousnss, where­fore? because they sought it not by Faith, but as were by the Works of the Law: those words, as it were, are of great significancy; shewing, that in the nature and scope of their Sacrifices they were directed unto Christ, and to seek Righteousness not by their own Works, and in themselves, but by Faith in Christ; and this was their common Profes­sion and Prophecies they had, and promises of Salvation by the Messiah, whom had they looked unto by Faith, and sought Righteous­ness by Faith in him, they had been safe: But they sought it, i. e. Righteousness, not by Faith, but as it were by the Works of the [Page 53] [...]aw; so that whilst they professed Christ, [...]nd Faith in him for Righteousness, they closely and under-hand pursued their own Righteousness, and rested in the Law, and [...]he Works thereof, and so miscarried; and this was their stumbling-stone under so bright a Profession as they made to the contrary.

Note. That these things are mentioned and quoted out of Heb. 11.32 — 37. not to impeach, or once to question the right Faith of those Worthies there mentioned; or as if they obtained not the Righteous­ness of God; for 'tis said, verse 39. These all obtained a good report through Faith; but to shew what things were done and suffered by the body of that People for many hundred years, and yet resting upon, and trusting to their own Works and Righteousness by the Law, they attained not unto the Righteousness of God; i. e. the gene­rality of them, most of them, through all those Ge­nerations, as is expresly declared, Rom. 9.31, 32. For a Person or People may do much, and suffer much, and yet all in vain, when by a fleshly mind, resting upon these things as their own Righteousness, they submit not themselves to the Righteousness of God; which is the same that the Apostle taketh for grant­ed, 1 Cor. 13.1, 2, 3. and which he also plainly de­clareth, Gal. 5.2, 3, 4. and herein appealeth to them­selves to be their own Judges, Gal. 3.3, 4.

And God grant that it be not our stum­bling-stone also under so great a Doctrinal [...] Faith, and Profession of Justification by Faith, and not by the Works of the Law, that we may not secretly and under-hand closely pur­sue, [Page 34] and go about to establish our own Righ [...]teousness, if not directly, yet as it were by the Works of the Law: And it is that whic [...] the Nature of Man is very prone and strongly inclined unto, and therefore hath great need of caution and warning in this matter; for God, who is jealous of his Glory, will search out this close Hypocrisie, and punish this dis­simulation in us, as well as he did in them: And this new and late covering, which some have found out to hide their nakedness, will not be sufficient; for what doth it avail them to say, that we are justified by Evangelical Righteousness, when this Evangelical Righ­teousness, as they call it, is not Christ's, but our own Righteousness; our sincere, but im­perfect Obedience; this is to blind our selves, and mock God; whilst we look one way, and row another; this is as it were by the Works of the Law, to seek Righteousness, and not by Faith: And it were to be wished, that these men who make their boast, and talk so much of sincere Obedience under the notion of Evangelical Righteousness, and thereby darken counsel by words without knowledge, and confound the Doctrine of Justification with that of Inherent Grace and Sanctification, would first shew sincerity in submitting them­selves to the Righteousness of God which is [Page 55] by Faith in Christ, and as sincerely deny their own Righteousness in point of Justifi­cation: And this would be a better evidence of their sincere Obedience to the Gospel of [...]sus Christ, than any they give without it: [...]e not deceived, God is not mocked; He that made the Eye, shall not he see? and he that made the Ear, shall not he hear? and he that formed the spirit of man within him, shall not he understand? and search out this Idol hid amongst the stuft? as it were by the Works of the Law.This is new Protestant Popery, whilst men glorying in the name of the Pro­testant Religion, condemn those of the Church of Rome for their Doctrine of Justification by Works, and they themselves are guilty of the same thing, Rom. 2.1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whomsoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thy self, for thou that judgest, dost the same thing.

Turpe est Doctori quem culpa redarguit ipsum.

Now to back this caution, and (if it may be) to fix it upon your spirits with the greater force, I shall add three Arguments against this attempting, or going about to establish your own Righteousness; namely;

1. This is certainly a vain and foolish attempt; we may allude to Psal. 2.1, 2. Why do the Heathen rage? and the People imagine [Page 56] a vain thing? the Kings of the Earth set them­selves, and the Rulers take counsel togethe [...] against the Lord, and against his Christ.

There have been those, who from the be [...]ginning of the World, and in all Ages an [...] Generations thereof, as they have had advan­tages, have attempted by all Humane Forc [...] and Policy against the Lord, and against hi [...] Christ, to oppress and exclude his Gospel and Spiritual Kingdom among men in thi [...] World; but they have not succeeded; they have been still frustrated and disappointed therein: For yet Christ sits as King upon his holy Hill of Zion, and there he shall sit and Reign by his Word and Spirit maugre all opposition of Hell and Earth: So that they have imagined a vain thing which they were never yet able to accomplish, nor ever shall be. So, let me tell you from the sure Word of God, that all such as have gone, and do go about to establish their own Righteousness, and not submit themselves to the Righteous­ness of God, have imagined, and do imagine but a vain thing, which they shall never ob­tain: For God hath said, and will not repent, that by the deeds of the Law no flesh shall be justified: And, God is not as man that he should lye, nor as the Son of man that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? [Page 57] or hath he spoken, and shall he not bring it to pass? Numb. 23.10. There have been those under the Old Testament that tried this at­tempt to the utmost, but were miserably dis­appointed in the Issue; Rom. 9.31. They attained not to the Law of Righteousness; and shall any think to succeed better under the New Testament, where the Light is more clear, and the utter impossibility of this at­tempt so plainly declared, that he that runs may read: And what a foolish and absurd thing is it, to attempt that which a man knoweth, or may know before-hand he shall never be able to accomplish?

2. This is also a sinful as well as a vain attempt, and therefore beware and take heed of it, it is disobedience in the high­est degree; 1 Pet. 2.6, 7, 8. Verses This is Spiritual wickedness, and there­fore greater Spiritual wickedness is that which hath in it spirits of wickedness, and therefore more strong and vigorous. We see by experience a little quantity of Spirits ex­tracted by Art, hath much more vigour and strength in it than a far larger quantity in the common bulk. Where the spirits are not united but dissipated in the common matter; vis unita fortior: Here are the spirits of many sins united in one, in this going about to establish [Page 58] a mans own righteousness in opposition to the righteousness of God. For,

1st. Here is the Sin of ignorance, not [...] invincible ignorance, for that cannot be i [...]puted as Sin to any; but of willful or willin [...] ignorance, as the Apostle Peter reproves th [...] scoffers of the last times, 2 Pet. 3.5. [...] this they are willingly ignorant of, &c. The [...] might have known if they would, but the [...] were not willing to know; they were willing to be ignorant; that so they might scoff th [...] more freely at the promise of his coming▪ And so here men are willingly ignorant o [...] Gods righteousness, that they might establish their own; So Rom. 10.3. For they being ignorant of Gods righteousness and going abou [...] to establish their own righteousness; have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. And v. 2. For I bear them record, they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. This ignorance and want of knowledge [...] them is no extenuation or ex­cuse of their sin, but an aggravation of it; as that whereby they, i. e. the Jews, are left without excuse, because they might and ought to have known better; seeing the whole dis­pensation & aeconomy of the Ceremonial Law was in the proper scope and tendency of it to lead them out of themselves unto Christ, to [Page 59] seek righteousness by Faith in him, and up­on this account they are as much without [...]xcuse as the Gentiles were, Rom. 1.19, 20. Who when they knew God or might, have [...]nown him, yet did not glorifie him as God.

2ly. Here is the Sin of Enmity and Re­bellion of the Will against God; They sub­mitted not themselves to the Righteousness of God; ' [...]is a Meiosis wherein more is implyed than exprest: They submitted not, but rebelled and set themselves against the Righteousness of God, from the enmity of their Carnal mind: And Christ saith unto this Generation of Men, John 5.40. And ye will not come unto me that ye might have Life.

3. Here is the Sin of Pride: Going about to establish their own, they submitted not them­selves to the righteousness of God; Going about to establish their own Righteousness; here is the Pride of mans Heart, he will ex­alt himself, he will have somewhat of his own; he will exalt his own Righteousness against the Righteousness of God; and such is the Pride of man by nature, that if he can­not have Righteousness and Life in himself, he will not be beholden to another for it; and if left to himself, will rather perish eter­nally than go out of himself to seek Righte­ousness and Life in Christ.

[Page 60]4ly. Here also is the Sin of obstinacy an [...] willful re [...]using and rejecting the Righteous­ness of God in Christ, though infinitely be [...] ­ter than their own; and persisting therei [...] in opposition to all the clear Light of God Word, and those convictions of the Spirit fastned thereby upon their minds: As the holy man Stephen tells them plainly, Act▪ 7.51. Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised i [...] Heart and Ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: As your Fathers did, so do ye. So that all these things with some others which might be mentioned, do make it plainly ap­pear to be a very sinful and wicked attempt in; man to go about to establish his own Righteousness. But,

3. It is also a very dangerous attempt, none can engage in this attempt but with the utmost peril and loss of his Soul, if persisted in a mans own righteousness is a stumbling stone, at which they stumble; and so fall and perish eternally: So fall upon that stone which breaks them to pieces, and provoke till it falls upon them and grinds them to powder: Namely, Christ the Foundation stone in Sion; So Rom. 9.32. For the [...] stumbled at that stumbling stone, as it is writ­ten, Behold I lay in in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offence. But who are they that [Page 61] stumbled? But those that sought not Righte­ousness by Faith in Christ, but as it were by the works of the Law: And wherefore did they stumble at Christ and his Righteousness? But because they went about to establish their own: Their zeal, their madness for a Righ­teousness of their own made them blind and not able to see the Righteousness of God, made them enemies unto, and haters of Christ, and his Righteousness; and in all the world none such enemies to Christ, and the Righ­teousness of God as these; none such invete­rate Persecutors of Christ and his Holy Apostles, and that spake against the things Preached by them, as these men did contra­dicting and blaspheming, Act. 13.45. 1 Thes. 2.15, 16. Their Zeal for their own Righteousness and made them exceed­ingly mad, raging and foaming out their own shame against the truth of the Gospel, viz. The Doctrine of Free Grace and Justificati­on by Faith in Christ alone, without the Deeds or Works of the Law.

Use. 3. This Doctrine speaketh by way of Exhortation, and that first to Sinners, and secondly to Saints; first to them that are out of Christ, and secondly to them that are in Christ.

[Page 62]1. To Sinners and such as are out Christ; if there be no hope for you, no po [...]sibility for you to obtain Righteousness an [...] Justification by the works of the Law in th [...] sight of God; then be Exhorted to escap [...] for your Lives, and fly for refuge unto Jesu [...] Christ the hope, the only hope, the [...] hope set before you in the Gospel: Yo [...] have no hope by the Law, but there [...] hope for you in Jesus Christ: Grace for th [...] greatest Sinners in the World. There i [...] hope in Christ for the Jew and for the Gen­tile: There is no man upon Earth so holy that can be justified by the deeds of the Law▪ And there is no man upon Earth so sinful and wicked but he may obtain Righteousness and be justified by Faith in Jesus Christ▪ Rom. 9.30. What shall we say then, that th [...] Gentiles who followed not after the Law of Righteousness, have attained unto righteous­ness, even the Righteousness which is of Faith Oh therefore make haste and fly for refuge unto Jesus Christ. The true Heirs of Pro­mise, Heb. 6.17. are described by this Cha­racter, ver. 18. Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hop [...] set before us. And all that are or shall be Heirs of Promise must and shall fly for refuge to lay hold upon this hope, which is Jesus Christ, who is en­tered [Page 63] within the vail; who when he had by himself purged our sins and brought in ever­lasting Righteousness for us (as Dan. 9.29. To make an end of sins, and to bring in Ever­lasting Righteousness,) sate down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb. 1.3. Now here is hope set before you in Christ, fly for refuge and lay hold upon it by Faith; and so lay hold on Eternal Life, and lay hold on Everlasting Righteousness; for Christ is Eternal Righteousness, and Eternal Life to all that lay hold on him by Faith; Who have fled for refuge. Here is a refe­rence and allusion to the Cities of refuge set apart by Gods special appointment from amongst the Cities of Israel; which were in number six, in convenient places, and at convenient distances from all parts: To the end that he that had slain a man at unawares might fly, and there find refuge and safety from the Avenger of blood, Numb. 35.10. — 16. These Cities of refuge were Types, and did point unto Jesus Christ; the Holy Ghost thereby signifying and testifying be­fore-hand Christ the True and Spiritual Re­fuge to Sinners amongst men, from the Avenger of Blood; with the vindictive and revenging Justice of God, and his Infinitive Wrath gone out in pursuit of all guilty and [Page 64] bloody Sinners, and Violaters of his Righ­teous and Holy Law: And the benefit of these Cities of Refuge was not only extend­ed to the Jews but also to the Strangers▪ as v. 15. The Holy Ghost plainly testifying hereby the extent of this true Re­fuge in Christ unto the Gentiles as well a [...] to the Jews; and that all that fled unto him should be safe, and escape the pursuing Ven­geance and Wrath of God due unto Sin and the Transgression of his Holy Law; and the assurance of Safety and Refuge to Sin­ners flying unto Christ, both of the Jew and of the Gentiles, is laid in Christ, bearing their Sins, and fulfilling the Righteousne [...] of the Law for them: It being an Act o [...] Glorious Justice as well as an Act of Sove [...]raign Mercy and Grace in the Father to just [...]fie him that believeth in Jesus, as Rom. 3.26 and Isa. 53.11. That he might be ju [...] and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus▪ And my Righteous Servant shall justifie m [...]ny, for he shall bear their iniquities. O [...] ▪ therefore Sinner thou needest not fear Refug [...] in Christ! Seeing not only the Grace an [...] Mercy of God, but his Justice also, to whic [...] I may add his Faithfulness and Truth in [...] Word and Promise are thy security: O [...] ▪ therefore Sinner fly for Refuge to lay ho [...] [Page 65] upon this hope which is set before thee, and which is sure and stedfast, and entereth in within the Vail: And for the setting home this Exhortation, I shall add three Motives and give three Directions, and so conclude this first branch of the Exhortation.

Motive 1. Sinner know that necessity is upon thee; thou must fly, or die; and therefore I may say to thee as the Angels did to Lot when Sodom was destroyed, Gen. 19.17. Escape for thy Life, look not behind thee; neither tarry in all the plain: Escape to the Mountain lest thou be consumed. There was an absolute necessity upon Lot in his present case to escape out of Sodom, to escape to the Mountain, or to be consumed in the Fire of Gods Wrath that was kindled against Sodom and the Cities of the Plain: And so it is with thee Sinner, Escape for thy Life, and haste thee unto Jesus Christ; for if the Avenger of Blood in pursuit of thee, doth overtake thee out of Christ thou art a dead man, a lost and undone man for ever, and wilt be consumed in the Fire of Gods Wrath and Holy Indignation that is already kindled, and will burn Eternally to the con­suming all Unbelieving and Impenitent Sin­ners who live and dye out of Christ; and [Page 66] are not found in him, i. e. united to him by Faith, sprinkled with his blood, and cloath [...]d with his righteousness. Oh! therefore fly unto Christ and get into him, and so keep the blood of sprinkling lest he that destroyeth the first-born should touch thee, Heb. 11.28.

2 Motive. Here is Refuge prepared and provided for thee in Jesus Christ: How mi­serable were Man, guilty Man, faln under Sin, and under the Curse of the Law, and the Wrath of God, if there were no Refuge fo [...] him, no way to escape? The condition o [...] Man, of every Man, would then be despe­rate; as helpless and hopeless as that of the Devils; but blessed be God the case is no [...] so with faln Man as it is with the faln An­gels; Grace, free Grace hath put a diffe­rence; oh let us adore God in it, and cry▪ Grace, Grace to it! there was no Christ to take the Nature of Angels, or to take hold o [...] Angels, as the word signifies, Heb. 2.16. Bu [...] blessed be God there was a Christ found to take the Seed of Abraham, to make an en [...] of Sins, and to bring in Righteousness t [...] faln Man; and now Salvation is ready▪ Righ [...]eousness and Eternal Life is ready: O [...] therefore fly unto Christ, and take Refuge i [...] [Page 67] him, and lay hold upon the Hope that is in Christ for thee!

3 Motive. Yea this Refuge is not a Re­fuge afar off, but a Refuge near, a Refuge at hand; 'tis but st [...]pping out of thy self, and thine own Righteousness, and thou art presently in Christ, in this sure Refuge. Great care was taken by God's Appointment, that the Cities of Refuge should be in convenient places, not too far off, lest the distance should discourage the guilty Man-slayer, and give advantage to the Avenger of Blood to pre­vent his escape thither: But the Cities of Refuge were near both to them that lived in the Land of Canaan, and also to them that lived beyond Jordan; on the one side of Jordan, and on the other, that all might have opportunity and encouragement to fly thither; Numb. 35.14. Yea these Cities of Refuge, as they were to be near, so the way was to be prepared and made plain, that there might be no letts or hinderances in the way of the poor guilty Man slayer, that was to fly for his Life; Deut. 19.3. Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the Coasts of the Land (which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit) into three parts, that every Slayer may flee thither. Even so it is with [Page 68] respect to the true Spiritual Refuge in Christ, 'tis a Refuge near at hand, and not afar off, that every guilty Sinner may fly unto it: So that no Sinner hath reason to complain and say, Who shall ascend up into Heaven? i. e. to bring Christ down from above? or who shal [...] descend into the deep? i. e. to bring Christ back from the dead? No Sinner, say not in thine heart, nor think that this Refuge is far off; for the Word is nigh thee, even in thine heart, and in thy mouth; i. e. the Word of Faith that we preach, Rom. 10.6, 7, 8. And if thou wilt yet ask and further enquire, what this Word of Faith is; read Rom. 10.9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. What is nearer than that which is in thy heart and in thy mouth? Well, so near is Christ unto every Man, unto whom the Gospel is Preached: Christ that came down from Heaven into the Humane Nature; the Word that was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and did in the flesh of Humane Nature bear our sins, and die for us, is risen again from the dead, received up into Glory: I say, this blessed Jesus is brought near to us in the Gospel; that if we believe in him we shall be saved; in him, i. e. [Page 69] even Jesus who hath delivered us from the Wrath to come; 1 Thes. 1.10. And as Christ who is our Refuge is near; so the Way is prepared, the Vallies are ex [...]lted, and the Hills are laid low, the Stumbling blocks are ga­thered up long ago; Isa. 40.3, 4, 5. com­pared with Luke 3.4, 5, 6. So that Sinner, here is now no Valley, whose depth should affright thee; no Mountai [...] whose height should discourage thee; no Stumbling-block left to hinder thee in this flying for Refuge unto Christ; therefore Sinner, take courage and fly to Christ, and lay hold upon the Hope set before us; and as God hath levelled all that was betwixt Jew and Gentile, and prepared his way, that every guilty Sinner, both of the Jew, and of the Gentile, might have free access unto, and acceptance with his Son Jesus Christ; lay no Stumbling-blocks and put no difficulties in your own way, when God puts none; but fly for Refuge unto him, and be safe; be happy for ever: But take along with thee these three Di­rections.

Direct. 1. First of all; Be speedy in your flight, make no delay; tarry not; de­lays are dangerous and opportunities, blessed opportunities, are many times thereby lost. [Page 70] To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; as Heb. 3.15. And again, To day, while it is called to day; Heb. 3.13. And again, Now is the accepted time; this is the day of Salvation; 2 Cor. 6.2. And a­gain saith the Voice of God by his own Son to Jerusalem; Oh that thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace; but now they are hid from thine Eyes; Luk. 19.41, 42. Commonly men fly in haste, and take hold of the present op­portunity to avoid the danger feared; so must thou do Sinner, if thou art upon thy flight to Christ for Refuge; take hold of the present opportunity, which if lost, may perhaps never be recalled or recovered; you know what folly it was in him, who said call Time again; no, Time past can­not be recalled: The motion of Time is not retrograde, like the Wheels in Ezekiels Vision; which Went straight forward and turned not as they went: So doth Time, Vestigia nulla retrorsum. Well Sinner, thou hast a Day now, a Blessed Time now; a Day of Grace, a Time when Light shineth into thy Heart, Convictions are upon thy Conscience; thou hast a sense of Sin, and feeling of thy Guilt; tremblest under [Page 71] awakened Apprehensions of the Wrath of God justly due to thy Sin; seest thy Refuge to be only in Christ; hast some kindlings of Divine Love and Affection, some warm Desires unto and Breathings after Christ and Grace: Oh Sinner make use of this Blessed Time, and lay hold of this Pretious Season; and now or never, take thy flight and speed thee away to Jesus Christ who calleth thee! And let thy Heart answer, Behold, I come unto thee; for thou art the Lord my God. Lose this Season, and lose all; lose this Season, and lose thy Soul; lose this Sea­son, and thou art Lost for eve [...]; for ought thou knowest: Thou canst not assure thy self, nor can any Man under the Heavens assure thee of another Day, of a Morrow: No, no, To Day if you will hear his voice; there is no Morrow mentioned in all the word of God in this case; there is no m [...]r­row in the Promise, therefore thou canst not expect it; no Morrow in the com­mand, therefore thou canst not work in it: Thou mayest repen [...] and believe the Gospel whilst it is called to Day; but if thou staiest till to Morrow it may be it will be too late; there is but a Day of Grace, and there is no Morrow to succeed: Jerusalem had her Day, and Esau had his [Page 72] Day; but no Morrow, no afterward: No, no, then it was too late; read Luke 19.4. Heb. 12.17.

Direct. 2. Be steady in thy flight and persist in thy course; hold on thy way till thou arrivest at, and beest got into the City of Refuge: The guilty Man-slayer, was not safe till he got to the City of Refuge; he was as lyable to fall and perish by the hand of the Pursuer and Avenger of Blood at the Borders of the City of his Refuge, as he was when further off. 'Tis not his being not far off that would do; Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God, saith Christ to the Lawyer that answered well; but he was not in the Kingdom of God for all that. And whether he ever went on and got in after­ward we do not find. You know who said unto Paul, Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian; but we find not that he ever became an altogether Christian. 'Tis not thy making some progress toward Christ that will secure thee; but they getting into Christ, and they being in Christ, 1 John 5.20. Rom. 8.1. They that were near the Ark, perished in the Waters of the Flood as well as they that were further off; none were saved but they that entred in: Multi­tudes [Page 73] there are that seem not far off from Christ, yea many that seem near unto him; but none can be saved but such as are in him.

Direct. 3. Those that fled to the City of Refuge, were to abide therein, and not to venture out of it, at least till the death of the High Priest; for if the Avenger of Blood found him afterward wandring abroad, he might fall upon him and slay him, Numb. 35.25, 26, 27. Even so Sinner, thou must not only refuge thy self in Christ for a time, and then wander away after thy own lusts, worldly interests, or thine own righteousness afterward, but thou must abide in Christ all the days of thy life, and never draw back through an evil heart of unbelief; as Heb. 3.12. And thou must persevere in thy Faith, and in thy course of Holiness; and hold fast the rejoycing of thy hope unto the end; or else thou must lose all at last; Heb. 10.38, 39. 'Tis a dangerous thing, when thou hast put thy hand to the Plough, to look back, and remember Lot's Wife, who escaped out of Sodom, and yet afterward looking back, was turned into a Pillar of Salt: 'Tis ill for them that begin in the Spirit, and do after­ward end in the Flesh: 'Tis dangerous turn­ing back from Christ, and tacking about [Page 74] again to the World as Wind and Tyde serve: We read of many that did so, but never recovered their former Faith and Pro­fession; Joh. 6.66. From that time many of his Disciples went back, and walked no more with him. And the Apostle Peter tells us; It had been better for them not to have known the way of Righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn aside from the holy Com­mandment delivered to them; 2 Pet. 2.20, 21. For it is happened to them according to the true Proverb; The Dog is turned to his old vomit again, and the Sow that was wash­ed to her wallowing in the mire; v. 22. And ill it is for those that have sought to be justi­fied by Faith in Christ, to go back again to the Works of the Law; Gal. 5.4. Christ is become of none effect unto you whoever of you are justified by the Law, ye are faln from Grace; therefore having fled for Re­fuge unto Christ, abide in him as your Refuge.

2d Branch of Exhortation. This Doctrine speaketh by way of Exhortation unto Saints, unto Believers, unto them that are in Christ, and as true Heirs of Promise have fled for Refuge to lay hold upon the Hope that is s [...]t before them, which is Christ; I say it speaks unto them by way of Exhortation, unto three things.

[Page 75]1. To rejoyce in Christ Jesus. The poor guilty Man-slayer, when he had fled and got into the City of Refuge, rejoyced in his Re­fuge, because there he was safe and quiet, and the Avenger of Blood could not touch him there: So it becometh you much more to rejoyce in Christ Jesus, your Refuge; for here in Christ you are safe and quiet, the Guilt of Sin, the Curse of the Law, and the Avenging Justice and Consuming Wrath of God cannot touch you here in your Refuge; Rom. 8.1. There is therefore now no con­demnation to them that are in Christ; Gal. 3.13. Christ hath redeemed us, from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us; and 1 Thes. 1.10. Even Jesus, which hath delivered us from the Wrath to come. Oh therefore rejoyce in Christ Jesus, because ye are safe and quiet; your Souls are safe; you are now safe for ever, for ever! Psal. 107.30. Then are they glad, because they are quiet or safe, i. e. from their former dangers and fears. Oh Believers! be glad because ye are safe arrived in Christ your Harbour, your Refuge, and now ye are quiet and safe from your former dangers and fears; we which have believed do enter into rest; Heb. 4.3.

To rejoyce in Christ Jesus, doth imply three things; namely,

[Page 76]1. Thankfulness: The poor guilty Man-slayer is thankful for the City of Refuge, and for that he is got into the City of Refuge; he bows and worships God in thankfulness, and blesses God who appointed the City of Re­fuge, and blesses God that he is now got in­to it: So ye that are got into Christ, your spiritual and heavenly Refuge, bless God, and be thankful for Jesus Christ, and that ye are now got into Christ; all is of grace, of free grace, that Christ was given to be a Re­fuge to guilty Sinners pursed by the Law and Curse, and that ye were enabled to flee unto him in your distress; oh give the praise and glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephes. 1.3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ▪ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: And again, Col. 1.12, 13, 14. Giving thanks to the Father, &c. And Rev. 1.5. Unto him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own Blood!

2. Satisfaction, compleat satisfaction and content; the Lot is faln to you in a pleasant place; ye are now in the best state that ever you were in, or that you can be in on this side Heaven. The poor Man-slayer hath perfect satisfaction and content in his City of Refuge; and though he may want many [Page 77] things, yet he hath that which is better than all, which is best of all, and upon that ac­count he rejoyceth in full contentation, sa­tisfaction and well-pleasedness with his condi­tion: So ye that are in Christ, have infinite­ly more reason to be satisfied, and rejoyce in a holy contentation and well-pleasedness in Christ; for though you may want many outward comforts; yea, though you may suffer many afflictions and troubles in this world, yet you have that in Christ which is better than all worldly comforts; and which will infinitely weigh down and out-ballance all worldly afflictions and troubles. Oh! therefore rejoyce in Christ Jesus in a holy contentation and well-pleasedness in Christ. Oh Christian! let thy heart in this answer to the heart of God; for the heart of the Father doth rest in Christ in a perfect satis­faction, complacency and delight; Mat. 3.1. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. If the heart of God thus rests in Christ, and is well pleased, let thy heart do so too.

3. Reioycing in Christ Jesus doth imply a holy relyance upon him alone, and resting upon him for all, and that with firm trust, and u [...]most dependance. The poor guilty Man-slayer trusts in his City of Refuge makes it his strong Tower and Rock of defence to [Page 78] save him, and in confidence thereof he bid [...] defiance to Death it self, and to all danger, and triumphs in this confidence over all his Enemies, and saith, Who is he that shall harm me? Here he can look upon, and talk with his Enemy, the Avenger of Blood, with­out danger, and without fear: Why even so ye that are in Christ should rejoyce in Christ Jesus in a holy relyance and resting upon him alone for all your Salvation; upon his Blood to cleanse you, and his Righteousness to cloath you, his Wisdom to direct and con­duct you, his Power to preserve you, his Merit to obtain all for you, and his Spirit to work all in you: Oh thus live by Faith, and rest upon Christ for all: Oh Christian! this is indeed right living by Faith, and walking by Faith, when thou livest out of thy self up­on another, i. e. Christ, and when thou walk­est through all the darkness and wickedness of this World in a steady and firm depen­dance upon Christ thy Refuge, thy Rock and House of defence to save thee, thy Righte­ousness, thy Wisdom, thy Sanctification and Redemption! here thou mayest talk with all thine Enemies, and throw the Gantlet to them all in a holy triumph and rejoycing against That they can do against thee, and say as Rom. 8.33. Who shall lay any thing to [Page 79] the charge of Gods Elect? And as verse 34. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died! And as verse 35. Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? shall tribulation, &c. As vers. 35, 36. and conclude as a Con­queror, (yea more than a Conqueror through him that hath loved thee) as vers. 38, 39.

2. Next to rejoycing in Christ Jesus, be exhorted from this Doctrine, to put no con­fidence in the flesh; Phil. 3.2. Rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; these two must go together in the heart and walking of a Christian: You can­not rejoyce in Christ Jesus, if you have, or put any confidence in the flesh; and ye cannot have confidence in the flesh, if ye do aright rejoyce in Christ Jesus: To have confidence in the flesh, is to have trust and confidence in the Law, and in the Deeds and Works of the Law, done by you either before or after your laying hold upon Christ as your Refuge; the internal Deeds of the Law, which are the qualifications, virtues and graces of the mind, and the external Deeds of the Law, which are the external actions of thy Life and Con­versation, both with respect to God and Man done and wrought in conformity to the holy Law of God, so far as thou art able to reach it: The Duties of the first Table and of the [Page 80] second; those which respect Religion toward [...] God, and those which respect Righteousnes [...] towards Man, as they are or can be perform­ed by thee; these all are comprehended in the word flesh; as appeareth plainly by the Apostle; Phil. 3.4. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh, if any other man think­eth that he hath whereof to trust in the flesh; I more: And then he addeth all his Legal qualifications, priviledges and performances before his Conversion; v. 5, 6. Circumcised the eight day, &c. and then he adds all his own Righteousness of the Law in the internal and external Deeds of it after his Conversion and Faith in Christ; v. 9. And be found in him, not having mine own Righteousness, which is of the Law; but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by Faith: So that all his own Righte­ousness both before and after Conversion, he sets in opposition to the Righteousness of God by Faith in Christ; and this, all this that is, a mans own Righteousness, he calleth flesh, and forbids and denies any confidence or trust to be put in it, either by himself, or by any other man; so as that he or any other person should think or judge, or reckon himself righteous and justified in Gods sight by his own Righ­teousness, either of inherent qualifications or [Page 81] external obedience; no, no, this is abominable; this the Apostle abhors in himself, and deters all others from: But on the other hand, to trust alone unto Christ, and rely and depend upon the perfect Righteousness of Christ, which is the Righteousness of God, and is made ours by Faith, and not by Works; this is to rejoyce in Christ Jesus; but to have con­fidence in our own Righteousness; this is to have confidence in the flesh: And there are two reasons why all a mans own Righteousness is called flesh; 1. Because it is weak and un­able to bear the weight of mans hope and confidence as touching his being righteous thereby, or justified before God; and thus the Horses of the Egyptians are said to be flesh, not spirit, because of their weakness and in­ability to answer the sinful trust and confi­dence which the Jews had in them; Isa. 31. v. 3. And 2. Because it is polluted, sinful and unclean by the infirmity and imperfection of grace in the best, and by the mixtures of sin and corruption that attend us in our best Duties; as Isa. 64.6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and our Righteousnesses are as filthy Rags, and therefore not to be trusted in and relied upon when we come before, and have to do with God. Now therefore, ye that are in Christ, and desire to rejoyce in [Page 82] Christ Jesus, have; see that ye have no con­fidence in the flesh: covet earnestly the best gifts; strive after the highest attainments of inherent grace and holiness, but trust not to, put no confidence in your own Works and Righteousness; for by the Works of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.

3. And last of all; See that ye worship God in the Spirit; Phil. 3.2. For we are the true Circumcision which worship God in the spi­rit, rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no con­fidence in the flesh: So that to your rejoycing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh, you must add this also; To wor­ship God in the spirit. Now to worship God in the spirit implieth these three things; namely,

1. To Worship God in the Spirit, is to Worship God in Christ; those of the Con­cision spoken of in the beginning of Phil. 3. Who trusted to Circumcision and the Works of the Law, or their own Righteousness, Worshipped God in the Deeds and Works of the Law, which the Apostle here calls Flesh; and so they Worshipped God not in the Spirit, but in the Flesh: They rested in their own Deeds and Works, and looked not to Christ Jesus who was the End, Perfection, and Substance of the Ceremonial Law. And [Page 83] so indeed their Worship terminated in their own Righteousness, and they did not by Faith go out of themselves unto Christ and his Righteousness; and so they did not Worship God in the Spirit, i. e. Evangeli­cally and by Faith in Christ; but legally and presuming upon their own Merit and Worthiness without Christ; and so all their Worshipping was Carnal and in the Flesh, after the Old Covenant and Works; but not Spiritual and Evangelical, i. e. after the New Covenant and Grace. To Wor­ship God therefore in Christ, and by Faith in him as your only Righteousness, and al­ways to come unto the Father by the Son; this is indeed to Worship him in the Spirit relying upon his Mediation, Merit, Blood, and Righteousness as the Mediator of the New Covenant, and not upon the Old Cove­nant and Works.

2. To Worship God in the Spirit, is to Worship him sincerely and with a true heart; and thus to Worship God in the Spi­rit, is to Worship him in truth, Joh. 4 23, 24. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true Worshippers shall Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father seeketh such to Worship him: God is a Spirit, and they that Worship him, must Worship him in [Page 84] Spirit and in Truth. These Concisionis [...] did Worship God not in Truth, but i [...] outward Shew and Hyporisie; for they Wor­shiped him in the outward Circumcision o [...] the Flesh,; but the inward Circumcision of the Heart, which is in the Spirit, and Soul▪ and Mind, that was wanting, that they looked not after: Thus, whilst they doted upon, and boasted of the external Sign, they lost, they minded not the thing signified, i. e. the inter­nal Grace and Spirit; and there was not that in the Heart and Spirit within, that might accord and stand with, and answer to Circum­cision without, i. e. the Answer of a good Conscience; no, the Conscience was neither sprinkled with the Blood of Christ, nor san­ctified by his Spirit; and hence they did not, they could not draw near to God with a true heart, nor in that full assurance of Faith that God would either hear or accept them in their Worshiping of him: A guilty Consci­ence, and an unsanctified Heart is always hy­pocritical, and playeth false and loose in wor­shiping God; hence Heb. 10.22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of Faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil Conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water; and the heart must first be sprinkled from an evil Conscience, and body washed [Page 85] with pure water, by the Blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ, before any Man can worship God in Spirit and in Truth; and I do, and dare too affirm it from the Word of God, that there is not a true and spiritual Worship­per of God in all the World, but such as are so inwardly sprinkled and washed with the Blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; all others do worship God carnally and hypocritically, not in Spirit, and in Truth, not sincerely and inwardly: Oh therefore, you that are in Christ, see, look to it, that you worship God in the Spirit, and in Truth, for else there is none in all the World to do it.

3. To worship God in the Spirit, is to worship him in and according to his own ho­ly Institutions, Ordinances and Appointments, and not according to Humane Inventions, not according to Mens Traditions; there is neither Spirit nor Truth in that Worship that hath not the stamp of Divine Authority upon it: Voluntary Humility and Will-worship, and all things of mans devising in the Worship of God, and that hold not the Head Christ Jesus, can minister no grace or spiritual nourishment to the Members and Joynts of the Body; Eph. 4.16. compared with Col. 2.18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. A little Leaven will leaven the whole lump, and a [Page 86] little Superstition and Will-worship, after th [...] Doctrines and Commandments of Men, [...] render the whole Worship vain and fruitle [...] to your selves, as well as displeasing, provoke [...]ing and unacceptable to God; and so whe [...] all the ends of Worship are lost, it becom [...] altogether vain; as Mat. 15.9. But in va [...] they do worship me, teaching for Doctrine t [...] Commandments of men; and who hath [...]quired these things at your hands? will [...] day dash in pieces the confidence of all suc [...] Worshippers, and evidence the vanity, as we [...] as the impiety of all such Worship: Human [...] Traditions and Impositions of Men unde [...] what name or pretence soever, whether of E [...]clesiastical, or of holy learned and judicio [...] persons, or the Authority of the Civil Ma­gistrate, are not sufficient to warrant us i [...] our worshiping of God: No, no, we mu [...] to the Law, and to the Testimony; and i [...] they speak not according to this Word, ther [...] is no light or morning in them: And whe [...] men have once rejected the Word of th [...] Lord, what Wisdom is in them? yea wha [...] Holiness is in them? what Learning is in them? yea, professing themselves to be wise, they are become fools; and why then should you that are in Christ follow them, or be led by them, wherein they do not follow Christ, or [Page 87] are led by his Word and Spirit? 'Tis time for us to leave them who have left the Head Jesus Christ, and have gone a whoring from under their Gods: What though all the World wander after, and worship the Beast? yet those whose names are written in the Lambs Book of Life, must not com­ply with them; Rev. 13.7, 8. Ye that are in Christ are the Temple of the Living God; for God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them: What agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols? wherefore come out from amongst them, and be ye sepa­rate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; 2 Cor. 6.16, 17, 18. And again, Rev. 18 4. And ha­ving therefore, dearly Beloved, these promises, viz. of God's receiving us, and of being a Father to us, and our being his Sons and his Daughters; as before; Let us cleanse our selvet from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God; 2 Cor. 7.1. And let it be considered by you, that if you be re­jected of the World for not worshiping with them after their Rudiments, ye shall be received of God in Christ, as the true Worshippers, that worship him in spirit and truth, i. e. that worship him in Christ sincerely, and according to his own Institu­tion; and whether it is better to please God or Men; to be rejected of Men, and to be received of God; or to be received of Men, and rejected of God, judge ye; for to be j [...]stified by Works and our own Righteousness; and to worship God by Humane Inventions, are equally hateful and abo­minable with God, tho' highly esteemed amongst Men; Jer. 44.4. Oh do not this abominable thing that I hate! And Luk. 16.15. Ye are they, which justifie your selves before Men, but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed amongst Men, is abo­mination in the sight of God: And for us to think [Page 88] within our selves, that we can be justified in the sight of God by our own Works or Righteousness; or that we can worship God by Humane Inven­tions, or Mens Traditions, is to think that God is altogether such an one as our selves, for which cer­tainly he will reprove us; Psal. 50.21, 22. And there is a secret▪ yet strong connexion betwixt these two grand Errours▪ viz. to be justified by Works, and to worship God by and after our own Inventions; for they commonly go together, and stand and fall together: And those that are corrupt or loose in the Doctrine of Justification, are accordingly as corrupt and loose in Worship: And therefore when a Professing People grow loose in the Worship of God, 'tis an ill Omen, and just ground of godly jealousie and fear, that such are unsound and loose in the Point of Justifica­tion: Hence Gal. 4.8, 9, 10, 11. And that they are not fast knit by a sincere Faith unto Christ the Head; Col. 2.19, 20, 21, 22. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded; to rejoyce in Christ Jesus; have no confidence in the flesh; and worship God in the Spirit; then, and not till then are we the t [...]ue Circumcision; then, and not till then, do we walk after the spirit, and not after the flesh: As therefore ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: And the God of Peace shal [...] be with you. Amen.

The Second Part of t …

The Second Part of the True Light Shining in Darkness: To give to us the knowledge of Salvation, & to guide our feet into the way of Peace.

OR, The Righteousness of God Manifested, opened and declared as the True and only Matter of our Justification before GOD, through Faith in Jesus Christ.

Being one Sermon or Doctrine of five more remaining upon Rom. 3.21, 22. But now the Righteousness of God, without the Law, is manifested, 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.

Preached first in and about the City of Lon­don, and now more lately in the Town of Cambridge.

By Thomas Taylor.

London, Printed for Nath. Crouch, 1693.

The True Light shi­ning in Darkness.

Rom. 3.21, 22,

But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, 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.

IN the foregoing Verse, and the Discourse thereupon you have heard that there is no Righteousness of man whereby he can be Justified or Stand before God. Now lest you should Object and say; If the case be thus with Man, with all Men, since the fall of Adam; that there is an utter failing of a mans own Righteousness: so that it is now become impossible for him to be Righteous and to be Justified in the sight of God by the Deeds of the Law; Then is the case despe­rate with him, and there is no hope; I say to obviate such an Objection as this, and to open a door of hope, o [...] a better hope to man, [Page 91] thus desperate in himself; the Apostle present­ly adds; But now the Righteousness of God, &c. As if he had said, Oh! ye lost and un [...]one Chil­dren of Adam, cheer up your Spirits and let not your Hearts sink; for tho' there is no hope for you by the Law and the works of it, yet there is hope for you in Christ: And though there is no Righteousness of man that can be the matter of your hope for Justification be­fore him, with whom ye have to do; yet there is a better Righteousness which you may attain unto by Faith, i. e. the Righ­teousness of God; But now the Righteousness of God, &c.

In the Text you have this Righteousness described and set out unto you by six Charac­ters, each one of which will afford a distinct point of Doctrine, and deserve a particular Consideration. Namely,

  • 1. It is the Righteousness of God.
  • 2. It is without the Law.
  • 3. It is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.
  • 4. It is obtained by Faith of Jesus Christ.
  • 5. It is by way of imputation, [...], unto all and upon all that Believe, i. e. by way of imputation.
  • 6. It is extended equally and alike unto all them that Believe, for there is no differ­ence, [Page 92] i. e. betwixt one Believer and another in respect of Justification and this Righteous­ness of Faith.

The points of Doctrine accordingly, are or may be these six, Namely,

  • Doct. I. That the Righteousness which [...] by Faith of Christ to all them that Believe, i [...] the Righteousness of God.
  • Doct. II. That the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Christ to them that Believe is without the Law.
  • Doct. III. That the Righteousness of God without the Law, is manifested, being wit­nessed by the Law and the Prophets.
  • Doct. IV. That the Righteousness of God without the Law is dispensed and brought down to us, and can be obtained by us only by Faith.
  • Doct. V. That the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ, is an im­puted Righteousness.
  • Doct. VI. That the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ, is extend­ed equally and alike to all them that Believe: so that there is no difference.

We shall begin with the first of these Namely,

[Page 93]Doct. I. That the Righteousness which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all them that be­lieve, is the Righteousness of God; for so the Apostle calls it in the Text, [...], The Righteousness of God: And again v. 22. Even the Righteousness of God; and it is not in vain and without special reason, that this Character is repeated and inculcated again and again in the Text, as also in other pla­ces; for herein lieth one Essential difference and characteristical distinction betwixt all o­ther Righteousnesses that can be pretended to amongst Men, and this Righteousness, which is by Faith, namely, that this Righteousness only and above all others by way of eminen­cy, is the Righteousness of God.

And this will appear and be made plain in these four general Heads.

1. In that God alone is the Author of this Righteousness; and as he is the Father of Lights from whom every good gift and every perfect gift comes, and in whom is no variable­ness nor shadow of turning; Jam. 1.17. So this good gift, this perfect gift of Righteous­ness by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, cometh down from above, from him who is the Fa­ther of Lights: And God is the Author of this Righteousness in a special and peculiar way. Indeed as all things of the first Crea­tion [Page 94] are of God; Rom. 12. ult. so all Righ­teousness amongst Angels and amongst Men is of God, and he is the Author and given thereof: The Righteousness that is found in the Elect Angels, who obey his Word, and do his Will, whatever it is, is of God, and he is the Author thereof; for he planted that rectitude and integrity at first in the Ange­lical Nature, and he hath preserved the same in the Elect Angels that sinned not, and them in it, of his own Will: And if there be any Righteousness to be found amongst Men, it is still of God, and he is the Author of it. The Original Righteousness that was found in the first Adam before the Fall, was of God as the Author of it; for God made him after his own Image, and planted that Original Righ­teousness, Rectitude and Integrity in the Hu­mane Nature, conformable to that holy and righteous Law under which God put him: And if there be found in Faln Man any thing that may be called Righteousness amongst Men, as namely, that which Men call Moral Righteousness, it is certainly of God, and God is the Author of it, as it sheweth forth the work of his Law written at first in their hearts, though now to be found only in the broken remains of it: So that all Righteous­ness, Angelical and Moral, that is found [Page 95] amongst Angels or Men, is of God, and God is the Author of it, as it is a part of his first Creation; for he made all things very good; Gen. 1.31. and Man expresly, after his own Image; verse 26, 27.

But this Righteousness which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is of God after another manner, and God is the Author of it in a more espe­cial and peculiar way, and by way of eminen­cy above all that is called Righteousness amongst Angels or Men besides this; for this Righteousness is of God, and he is the Au­thor of it, as it is indeed the foundation of his new Creation, and the whole Fabrick and Building of the new Creation is founded up­on it; and look as God's new Creation of Grace in and by his Son Jesus Christ, is a more excellent Workmanship than that of his old Creation, and God is the Author of the new Creature in a more especial manner; so also is God the Author of this Righteousness; 2 Cor. 5.17, 18. Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new Creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new; and as old things are passed away, and all things are become new; so particularly the old Covenant and old Righteousness by the Deeds and Works of the Law is passed away, [Page 96] and a new Covenant and a new Righteous­ness brought in, not of Works, but of Grace; not by the Deeds of the Law, but by Faith in Jesus Christ; and all things are of God; as verse 18. i. e. all things of this new Creation, and so this Righteousness which is by Faith of Jesus Christ, is of God in a new and more peculiar and glorious way, under a new head, i. e. not Adam, but Jesus Christ, and by a new Covenant, not of Works, but of Grace; and by a new Birth, not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit; not of the Will of Man, but of God; Job. 1.13. Jam. 1.18. Gal. 4.28, 31. And so this Righteousness is called by a new Name, The Righteousness of God; as God is the Author of it, and hath created it, and brought it forth after a more peculiar manner; and this will appear more plainly in the consideration of these three particulars; namely,

1 Particular. First, In that God of his in­finitely free and soveraign Grace hath in and through his Son Jesus Christ, designed and conferred this Righteousness upon us by Faith in his Son. I say, God of his free Grace hath conferred this Righteousness by Faith upon the Heirs of Salvation, and that from all eternity the purpose and counsel of his Grace designed and conferred this Righteousness by [Page 97] his Son before the World was; 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. But according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the World began: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought immor­tality and life to light through the Gospel: What is that which is made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, but this Righteousness of God? as in the Text, But now the Righteousness of God is mani­fested: Now by this Righteousness of God is death abolished, and immortality and life brought to light through the Gospel. Now whence is this Righteousness of God, and so immortality and life brought to light? was it from, or according to Works? no, but ac­cording to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the World be­gan; so that it was not our Works, but God's free purpose and▪ grace which de­signed and conferred this Righteousness; and if you will know when this purpose and grace, or this purpose of grace in God moved him hereunto; it was from all eternity, be­fore the World began; and this Righteous­ness of God, is not a Righteousness of Work or by Works, but a Righteousness of Grace, given us in Christ, not as a reward of Works [Page 98] and of Debt, but as a gift of free and sove­raign Grace; and so it is called; Rom. 5. v. 17. Much more they which receive abun­dance of Grace, and of the Gift of Righte­ousness, and all that are justified by this Righteousness, which is by Faith in Christ, are said to be justified freely; Rom. 3.24 Being justified freely by his grace through the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ: And it is very much to be considered, that Mans Works are always excluded, and the Grace of God, and the Gift of Righteousness mag­nified and mentioned in the business of Justi­fication; Titus 3.5, 6, 7. And for as much as this purpose and grace, or this gracious pur­pose of Righteousness by Faith was given us in Christ before the World began, it is mani­fest, that Man not having then a Being, or having done good or evil, not Mans Works or Worthiness, but Gods own free Grace and Goodness moved him to confer and bestow this gift of Righteousness; as the Apostle ar­gueth concerning Esau and Jacob; Rom. 9. v. 11. For the Children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to Election might stand; not of Works, but of him that calleth: So that this Righteousness which is by Faith of Jesus Christ, is the Righteousness of God, [Page 99] as his Grace, his free and soveraign Grace in Christ hath created, designed from all eter­nity, and freely conferred the same on all them that believe: And thus no other Righ­teousness, but this of Christs only, is or can be called the Righteousness of God, because whatever other use there may be of other Righteousnessess, either Original▪ Legal or Mo­ral amongst men in this World, yet certain it is that this Righteousness only was designed and conferred as the Gift of God's free Grace in Christ, as that wherein only Man can be be justified in his sight.

2 Particular. This is the Righteousness of God, as his Infinite Wisdom alone hath con­trived and found it out: For considering the case of Man now faln under sin by the trans­gression of the first Covenant, and the first Adam, and every individual person of Man­kind comprehended in him, were now become sinners, and had lost all hope and possibility of Righteousness by the Law; it was above the reach and understanding of all created Wisdom; and would have put to a non-plus all the Wisdom of Men and Angels, to have found out a way, how Man, that had lost his own Righteousness, and all hope of it by the Law, could ever become righteous again, and be justified in the sight of God; and that God [Page 100] might be just in justifying Man that [...] once a sinner and transgressor of his [...] Law: And had God put the question Adam, who had as much natural Und [...]standing and Wisdom, as any Man ever ha [...] I say, had God put the question to him; [...] me Adam, now that sin and death have [...] the dominion over thee, and all thy Poster [...] by thy transgressing of my Law, how sin [...] death may be destroyed, and Righteousn [...] and Life brought in, my Law be fulfille [...] my Justice satisfied, and Glory preserv [...] and thou saved; his mouth had been stoppe [...] and his tongue silent without any answer; could not have entred into the heart of Ma [...] to conceive such a Mystery of Grace as th [...] is: And as there was none amongst Men, [...] none amongst the Angels in Heaven tha [...] could have been his Counsellor in this matte [...] ▪ or have first given unto him; as Rom. 11▪34, 35. Who hath been his Counsellor? and wh [...] hath first given unto him? No; no, God hath been his own Counsellor in this matter; his own Wisdom hath contrived this way of Righteousness by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ; as Rom. 11.33. Oh the depth of the riches both of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his Judgments, and his Ways past finding out! For I had not [Page 101] [...]he Wisdom, as well as the Grace of God [...]revented Man with the revelation and ma­ [...]ifestation of this Righteousness, it had ne­ [...]er entred into the understanding of Men or Angels to have conceived thereof; 1 Cor. 2. v. 9. But as it is written, eye hath not seen, [...]or ear heard, nor hath it entred into the heart [...]f man the things that God hath prepared for them that love him; which is quoted out of Isa. 64.4. For since the beginning of the World, men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, be­sides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him: And doubtless this Righte­ousness of God by Faith in his Son, is one, and not the least of those things, and these words of the Prophet, neither hath Eye seen, O God, besides thee, doth not only exclude the Eye and Wisdom of Man, but of Angels also: So that it is the Eye of God only that hath seen, and his Wisdom alone that hath contriv'd this wonderful thing: And it is therefore called not only the Wisdom of God; as 1 Cor. 1.24. but also the Wisdom of God in a Mystery; as 1 Cor. 2.7. And the hidden Wisdom, ordained before the World for our glory: And the Wisdom, which none of the Princes of this World knew; as verse 8. For had they known it, they would not have cru­cified the Lord of Glory.

[Page 102]3. Parti. This Righteousness is also th [...] Righteousness of God, and he is the Autho [...] of it. As his Infinite Power hath effect [...] and performed it in and by his Son Jesu [...] Christ, as his Infinite Grace alone hath de [...]signed and conferred; and his Infinite Wi [...]dom alone contrived and declared, so also [...] Infinite Power alone hath effected and broug [...] it forth; and therefore Christ in bringing in this Righteousness is called The Wisdom [...] God and the Power of God, 1 Cor. 1.2 [...] And admirable indeed it is and worthy [...] serious and particular consideration to observ [...] how the Infinite Power of the Godhead m [...]nifested it self, and wrought in Christ f [...] effecting and bringing forth of this Right [...]ousness; and this we may consider in [...] particular Instances thereof; As namely.

1. Inst. In the bringing forth of h [...] Son Jesus Christ into the Humane Nature [...] what an emanation and irradiation of th [...] Divine and Eternal Power of the God [...]head was therein manifested; to the admi [...]ration and wonder of Angels and Men Namely,

1. In that a Virgin should conceive an [...] bring forth a Son, as the Prophet had fore­told, Isa. 7.14. This was impossible with men, but things that are impossible with [Page 103] men, are easie with God: And therefore here was a manifestation of the Divine and Infinite Power in effecting that by its own immediate operation which in the course and order of things as to men was impossible.

2. In that a man should be brought forth of the Seed of the Woman, and partaker of Flesh and Blood, i. e. of all the Infirmi­ties of the Humane nature and yet without sin; this also was a further manifestation of the power of God: And as things stood with Adam after the fall, was altogether as im­possible as that a Virgin should conceive! For Adam being first corrupted, and the Humane Nature depraved by Sin; it be­came impossible in the way of ordinary Ge­neration, which God had ordained for the propagation and continuation of man in the World, that ever any particular man, or person of mankind should be born of a Wo­man, and in that respect be truly the Seed of the Woman, who was first in the Trans­gression; and yet be clean from the corrup­tion of the Humane Nature and be without Sin; as Job 14.4. Who can bring a clean thing [...]ut of an unclean? Not one. That is, not one amongst all the Creatures: 'Tis above and beyond the Power and Energy of any Creature in Heaven or Earth to effect [Page 104] such a work; To bring a clean thing out an unclean: And so again, Job 15. [...]What is man that he should be clean? A [...] he which is born of a Woman, that he sho [...] be Righteous? But here behold a Miracle i [...]deed! A wonder of Divine Power and E [...]ficacy! A man, one in the Humane Nature and brought forth in the fulness of Tim [...] that is perfectly clean, and free from all th [...] Original and Inherent Corruption of Ma [...] Nature, and one which is born of a Wo [...]man, and yet Righteous! Righteous above what Adam was in Innocency, and abov [...] what the Angels of Heaven were in the sta [...] of Original Purity: one more holy tha [...] Saints, more holy than Angels, and yet [...] Man, with all the Infirmities of Mans N [...]ture, and yet born of a Woman! a clea [...] thing indeed, brought out of an unclean And therefore this holy, this clean, and harm­less Son of Man, and separate from Sinners, was not brought forth in a way of ordinary Generation, but by the immediate Energy and Power of the Most High, working i [...] a miraculous and extraordinary manner, a [...] was expresly declared by the Angel to the Virgin Mary, Luke 1.35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall over-shadow thee; therefore als [...] [Page 105] that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God; and therefore his generation was peculiar to himself, the miraculous and extraordinary manner of which, Thoughts are wanting in us to con­ceive, and Words much more to express, as it is written, Isa. 53.8. And who shall de­clare his Generation? And surely herein that old Serpent the Devil was greatly deceived and disappointed of his expectation; for as (when he tempted Cain to Murder Abel he thought he had thereby made all sure: the Seed of the Woman in the Person of Abel being now cut off; But little did he think then of another Seed appointed by God to the Woman instead of Abel whom Cain slew, but when Seth was born, the mystery of God was revealed, to the Faith of the Woman, and the Confession of her Mouth plainly declared the Faith that was in her heart, as to another Seed, in whom the Genealogy and Line was to descend down even unto Christ, as Gen. 4.25. For God, said she, hath appointed me another Seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. So also in the first Temptation; here was the subtilty and ma­lice of the Devil to cut off and murder all Mankind at once, for understanding that this glorious Creature Adam, was brought forth [Page 106] as a publick person, and by the Covenant G [...] had made with him, was to stand or [...] the common Head and Root of all Manki [...] designed, and in his Serpentine Wisd [...] concluded, that if he could prevail up [...] this Adam to sin and transgress t [...] Covenant, he should at once murder [...] whole Race of Mankind, murder him [...] them in him, spiritually and eternally [...] well as bodily: and having effected this h [...] rid murder, he now triumphs over Ad [...] and all Mankind, as a mighty Conquer in the spoils he had made of so glorious Creature, supposing he had now made all sure, that God himself according to his ow [...] Law was not able to deliver this Capt [...] Adam, and the Spoils of Mankind out [...] his hand; Little did the Devil then think [...] a second Adam, of a more glorious Perso [...] to be brought forth in the Humane Natur [...] and of the Seed of the Woman, or that th [...] could possibly ever be, that a clean thing should be brought forth out of an unclean▪ But behold here the Wisdom of God defeat­ing the subtilty, and the power of God de­feating the malice and power of the Devil; who had now got the Power of Death in his Hand, as Heb. 2.14. had got the Keys of Hell and Death, and had as he thought lo [...] [Page 107] up Adam and all Mankind with him so fast [...]ithin these Gates, that none could come to [...]eliver him: but behold the second Adam Christ Jesus, by the Power of God, of the [...]eed of the Woman, holy, harmless, and [...]eparate from sinners being conceived in the Womb of the Virgin, and born of her with­ [...]ut sin, according to the Promise made to Adam, and now declared immediately after his fall, Gen. 3.15. The Seed of the Woman shall bruise thy, i. e. The Serpents Head; And here as the Serpent had deceived the Woman, and brought her first into the trans­gression; so this old Serpent the Devil was de­ceived by the Woman, of whose Seed by the Power of the highest is brought forth this se­cond Adam, this man Christ Jesus; who is made a quickning Spirit, 1 Cor. 15.45. to quick­en or make alive that which was dead, as ver. 22. who also was not, as the first A­dam, of the earth, earthy, and therefore ea­sily overcome, as he was; but the Lord from Heaven, as ver. 47. and therefore able to raise up all his, after his own Image, to bear the Image of the Heavenly, as ver. 49. and to triumph over Death and Hell, as ver. 55, 56, 57. Oh Death where is thy Sting! And thus the admirable Power of God was manifest in bringing forth such a person as [Page 108] Jesus Christ, in the Humane Nature; Jesus Christ, the Righteous, and the propitiation for our sins, and our Advocate with the Fa­ther; whose office and work it was to bring down this Righteousness of God from Hea­ven to us.

2. Instance. The Infinite and Eternal Power of God, was also as much seen and manifested in Christ, bearing our sins in this Humane Nature, in his own Body on the Tree: and first let us consider what a burden, what a weight sin and the guilt of sin is, when it is charged and laid upon the Conscience by the Power of God; and this may be considered in the Angels that sinned; Angels are greater in power than we, as 2 Pet. 2.11. Angels that excel in strength, or Psal. 103.20. Angels, who are Spirits, i. e. not flesh and blood as we are, weak and feeble; Angels that are not hay and stub­ble as we are, but a flaming Fire, Psalm 104 4 yet these high and mighty Angel, these strong and powerful Angels, that were natural­ly the first-born of Gods first or old Creation, and the excellency of Creature strength, when they had once sinned, and God comes to charge them with Folly, and lay the guilt and punishment of sin upon them, how doth it sink and break all the Powers and Spirits [Page 109] of the Angelical Nature; and casteth them down into the deepest darkness and despair, and that from the highest light, glory and confidence of their First and Heavenly state, and presently cast them down from Heaven to Hell, 2 Pet. 2.4. so unable were they each of them to bear the burden, i. e. the guilt and punishment of their own Sin.

And 2. Let us consider sin in man, and how unable man is to stand when God shall mark Iniquity, as Psal. 130. 3. If thou Lord shouldst mark Iniquities, O Lord who shall stand? i. e. none shall or can stand, no Nation or Kingdom, no House or Fami­ly, no Person under Heaven, no not the Church or People of God can stand; if God should mark Iniquity, and punish Sin but with his Temporal Wrath and Judgments in this World, there is none could possibly stand, for who can stand when God is An­gry? And who knoweth the power of his Wrath? The Sinners of the old World did know something of it, but they could not stand before it, it swept them all away with the Waters of a Flood; And whither did it sweep them? It swept them down to Hell, 1 Pet. 3.19. The Spirits now in Prison; and that Prison is the Prison of Hell, Luke 16.23. And in Hell, &c.

[Page 110]The Sinners also of Sodom and Gomorrah did know somewhat of this Wrath: but they could not stand before it; They could no longer (as stout and hard hearted as they were) bear up under this burden and weight of their own Sin, for it brought a dreadful shower of Divine Vengeance upon them; a Shower of Fire and Brimstone from the Lord out of Heaven, by which they all pe­rished, as Gen. 19.24, 25. Francis Spira also knew somewhat of this Wrath, and Bur­den of his own Sin, when God laid it upon his Conscience, in the guilt and punishment due to it, but he could not stand, but went despairing out of this World, and without any hope or comfort as to the next, as to what did appear.

And it may be some of you here present, and if you have not, I am sure others have known something of this matter, when God hath been angry but for a moment; and hath laid sin in the guilt of it, upon Con­science; It made them sink immediately un­der utmost despair, and bereaved them of all hope, comfort and patience, that had not Infinite Mercy stept in to their relief, they had gone despairing down to Hell.

The damned Spirits in Hell know more of the Power of Gods anger, and the weight [Page 111] and burden of Sin laid upon their awakened and terrified Consciences, than any in this World have done or can do, and their Tor­ments are intollerable, Luke 16.24. There the Worm dieth not, and the Fire is not quenched; They are for their sin, a Sacri­fice to Divine Wrath, and they are salted with Fire, and salted with Salt, and so are eternally Roasting in the Fire of Hell, Mar. 9.48, 49. and yet they do not know all the Power of Gods Wrath, nor feel all the tor­menting Power of the Fire of Hell: they feel much and fear more; They suffer that which is intollerable, and yet they fear what they have not yet felt: but must further feel and suffer to all Eternity. Oh Eternity! Eternity! Oh the Wrath of God, that is not only eternal, but infinite! They know not the utmost, they know not the end of it, nor can know! For that which is Infinite, hath no bounds or limits; and that which is Eternal hath no end.

Therefore last of all, Now consider this second Adam, the Man Christ Jesus, who though he had no sin of his own, to answer to God for, for he did no sin, nor was guile found in his Mouth, Isa. 53.9. He knew no sin, as 2 Cor. 5.21. yet he had the sin of the World, i. e. Jew and Gentile laid upon [Page 112] him and did bear it in his own Body on the Tree, John 1.29. The Lamb of God which taketh away or beareth the sin of the World; For he did take away sin by his bearing of it, i. e. both the guilt of it, and the punishment due to it: for thus was the Iniquity and Sin of all God's Elect laid upon him, Isa. 53.6. And Jehovah hath laid up­on him the Iniquity of us all; Now therefore the Sin of the World being laid upon him to bear, what an infinite burden and weight was it? and how impossible for created strength whether Angelical or Humane to bear; as hath been shewed. And yet that this one man, this second Adam should bear such an infinite weight as Sin and the Wrath of God due to sin is; what a wonder of Divine Power was manifested therein? The strength of Angels could not, the strength of Man could not bear such a Burthen and Weight, as ye have heard; yet they had but their own sin charged upon them, but here is a Man, the Son of Man, the Man Christ Je­sus, the Lamb of God, that beareth and taketh away, by bearing, the Sin of the World; oh admirable and wonderful Power of the God-head; by which this man was in­abled to bear such an infinite and eternal weight as Sin and the Wrath of God due to [Page 113] Sin is; And therefore 'tis said of him, that by the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God for us, Heb. 9.14. for nothing less than the Power of the Godhead it self, could have enabled the humane nature to bear such an infinite Weight and Burthen, as Sin is, even the Sin of the whole World, and the whole, and compleat Wrath of God due unto it; The Flesh or Humane Nature was but a Vail to his Godhead, as Heb. 10.20. but the Eternal Power and Godhead within this Vail, was that which enabled this second Adam, this man to bear the Sin of many: oh therefore behold with wonder and ad­miration the working of Divine Power in bringing forth such a Man into the World, and also in strengthening this Flesh and Hu­mane Nature, to bear that which no Crea­ture in Heaven or Earth could, neither An­gels nor Men.

3. Inst. But then again thirdly, Consider the Infinite Power of God, and the Ener­gy or working of it in the Resurrection of Christ from the Dead. And this also was necessary in order to, and for the manifestati­on and declaring this Righteousness of God for our Justification; which Righteousness, though it was wrought by what this Man, th [...] Jesus Christ had done and suffered in his [Page 114] Life and Death in obedience to the Law, un­der which he was made; yet this compleat, perfect and everlasting Righteousness of his as our Head and Surety, did not fully ap­pear, nor was manifested until his Resurre­ction from the Dead, when he was visibly dis­charg'd out of the Prison of the Grave, and could no longer be holden of Death, having satisfied Divine Justice to the utmost demand upon him for our sins, and having paid the full Price of our Redemption; and therefore now by his Resurrection from the Dead, he is declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness; or by the power of the Holy Spirit which raised him from the Dead; as Rom. 1.4. and Rom. 8. v. 11. By this Resurrection of his from the Dead, he was justified as our Head; 1 Tim. 3. v. 16. justified in the Spirit, i. e. in or by the power of the Spirit or Godhead dwelling in the Humane Nature; and by his Resurre­ction from the Dead, we, i. e. all that believe and are in him by Faith, were vertually ju­stified in him, and together with him as our spiritual Head; so that all Gods Elect were vertually justified by his Resurrection; and therefore, Rom. 4 ult. he is said, to be deliver­ed (i. e. by Death) for our Offences, and to be raised again for our Justification. Now consider [Page 115] what a manifestation there was of the mighty Power of God in the raising of this Man from the Dead, unto which he was delivered for our Offences: See how the Apostle doth set it out, Ephes. 1.19, 20. According to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought i [...] Christ when he raised him from the dead: Here is Power, his Power, his mighty Power. [...], the energy or working of this his migh­ty Power; so that the mighty Power of God did work and shew it self at a wonderful rate, when he raised him, i. e. Christ from the Dead: And indeed the Power of God was more seen in the raising of Christ from the Dead, than in raising all the Men in the World besides; for no Man ever had the sin of the World in the guilt and punishment of it laid upon him, but this Man Christ Je­sus: And by vertue of this Resurrection of his, all the Elect, the general Assembly and Church of the first-born, shall also be raised unto the Resurrection of Life at the great day; as 1 Cor. 15.22, 23. Therefore the Power of God, and the energy or work­ing of it is greater and more glorious in Christs Resurrection, than in raising all the Men in the World besides.

4 Inst. But then 4thly; What a working of the mighty Power of God was manifested in [Page 116] Christs Exaltation, and the setting of this second Adam, this Man down at the right hand of God in the heavenly places: And this also was necessary as a Reward of hi [...] Death and Sufferings, of that Obedienc [...] which he performed to the Law for us, and that Righteousness which he brought in to us; as Phil. 2.9. having before spoken of his Humiliation and Obedience; v. 6, 7, 8. Who being in the form of God, &c. Addeth, v. 9. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, & things under the Earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Now this Ex­altation of Christ was the Reward of his Righ­teousness, even his, with which the Father was so well pleased; as Isa. 42.21. And thereby is this Righteousness visibly declared and mani­fested in the sight of Angels and Men, being crowned, and in the most solemn manner de­clared at his inauguration or being received up into glory, which was the ultimate and finishing Testimony and Witness from the Father that he is righteous; and as such, and upon that account he sits in Heaven; as 1 Joh. 2.1. We have an Advocate with the [Page 117] Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and Joh. 16.10. Of Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: So that Christs going to the Father, and sitting down in the heavenly places, so as to abide there in a per­petual Advocateship, and as Intercessor for us with the Father, is the highest evidence and demonstration of this Righteousness beyond all contradiction; and therefore up­on this Argument 'tis said the Holy Ghost shall reprove or convince the World of Righ­teousness, i. e. this Righteousness of Christ; because, saith he, I go to my Father; for he went as a publick person and second Adam, the Head of the Church, and there is set down, in our Nature, and in our stead, as he that hath wrought out for us, and brought in to us perfect and everlasting Righteous­ness, in whom, as such, all the Seed of Gods Israel shall be justified and glory, Isa. 45.25. Now that this Exaltation of Christ, and the setting of him down at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, is a wonderful and glorious work of Divine Power; see Eph. 1.19, 20, 21. According to the working of his mighty Power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Now consider this work of Divine [Page 118] Power, and it will appear admirable; for God to take this Creature Man, made by Na­ture lower than the Angels, a Creature of the Earth, earthy; as Psal. 8.5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the Angels; and 1 Cor. 15.47. The first man is of the earth, earthy: Now I say, to take this Nature, and to advance it to Heaven, and to set it above Angels, both in its Union with the Godhead in the Person of the Son, and in its Superio­rity, Authority and Power over all the An­gels in Heaven, and over all things in Hea­ven and in Earth, and under the Earth; as Phil. 2.10, 11. and Eph. 1.21. far above all principality, and power, and might, and do­minion, and every name that is named, not only in this World, but also in that which is to come; and thus to put all things under his feet; as v. 22. And hath put all things under his feet. This I say is such a work of glorious power, as fills Heaven and Earth now, and will fill Eternity hereafter with wonder and admiration: But then consider again, that this Creature Man was now faln under sin, the Curse of the Law, and the Wrath of God; stript of its Original Righteousness, which it was created in conformable to the Law of God, and utterly uncapable of Righteousness by the Law and the Works thereof, and so [Page 119] separate from the Actual Union which he had with God his Creator, and set by sin at an infinite and eternal distance from God as to what this Creature Man could now do; and for God to take this Creature Man, and by a new Creation of it in Christ, to make all new, to purge and separate it from sin, take it into Union with the Godhead it self in the Person of his own Son, raise it from under sin and guilt, cloath it with perfect and everlasting Righteousness, and receive it up into glory above the highest Angels in Heaven: Oh what a work of divine and glo­rious Power was this! beyond whatever was seen in the Works of the old Creation, or in all the Works of Providence from the Foun­dation of the World.

5. But then again fifthly, What a mani­festation is there of the Power of God, and the working of it towards all them that Be­lieve in order to the making of them par­takers of this Righteousness of God by Faith in Christ; Divine Power hath not done in bringing forth and accomplishing this Righ­teousness by Christ for us. But there is a further work of the mighty power of God required and manifested in applying this Righteousness to us, and working that Faith in us by which alone this Righteous­ness [Page 120] of God is made ours, and we are made partakers of it unto Justification of Life: For this Righteousness of God is unto all, and upon all them that Believe; and as Rom. 10.10. For with the Heart man believeth unto Righteousness: Now this Faith is not a work of a mans own Heart, nor is it of a mans self to believe in Jesus Christ unto Righteousness: No, no, this Faith is not of our selves; It is the gift of God, Ephes. 2.8. And as this Faith is the gift of Di­vine Grace, or the Grace of God in Christ to us, so it is also the work of his mighty pow­er which worketh in us; and therefore it is cal­led the work of Faith with power, as well as the good pleasure of his will, 2 Thes. 1.11. And ful­fill all the good pleasure of his will, and the work of Faith with Power. And without the mighty power of God put forth upon a mans Heart in the hearing of the Word; there is not one man in the whole World that would or could believe in Jesus Christ unto Righteousness, Isa. 53.1. Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the Arm of the Lord revealed? The Arm of the Lord is his Power, his Mighty Power, and unless the Arm, i. e. the Mighty Power of Jehovah be revealed or manifested in the Heart of a man; he doth not, he cannot be­lieve [Page 121] the report which the Holy Prophets gave Christ; Who testified before hand the suffer­ings of Christ, and the glory that should fol­low; 1 Pet. 1.11. And this I may say from the word of God, there are no more men in the World that have believed this report; than there are persons in whom this Arm of the Lord hath been revealed. Now that there is a Mighty Power of God put forth upon them that believe: See Eph. 1.19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his Power to us-ward who believe; according to the working of his Mighty Power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the Dead, and set him at his own Right hand in the Heavenly places! Now look what ma­nifestation there was of the exceeding great­ness of his Power in raising Christ from the dead, and setting of him at his own Right hand in the heavenly places; (as hath been shewed) the same manifestation of his Pow­er, the exceeding greatness of his Power; and the Energy or working of it, is to be seen in & towards all them that believe: For indeed no less Power can be sufficient to raise a Dead Soul from Death to Life, than to raise a Dead Body from the Grave; i. e. no Pow­er less than the Infinite, no Power less than the Mighty Power of God; and therefore [Page 122] it is so exprest [...]: The superlative or exceeding greatness of his Power, and according to that which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the Dead: For no less instance and pat­tern of Divine Power, and the working of it could reach and set out the working of this Power in and towards all them that believe; than this of its working in the raising of Christ from the Dead. And indeed to raise a man from the Death of Sin and Unbelief, (un­der which all are shut up as in the Grave, Rom, 11.32.) is no less a manifestation of Divine Power, than was the raising of Christ from the Dead: And when this comes to be fully known and understood by the Saints, it will fill them with deep wonder and admiration to all Eternity; as 2 Thes. 1, 10. When he, i. e. Christ shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be admired in all them that believe; because our testimo­ny was believed among you in that day. So that it will be the matter of admiration to the Saints themselves when they come to the perfect knowledge of this Power of God to­wards them: That ever the testimony given concerning Christ by the Prophets first and the Apostles afterward; the Prophetical and Apostolical Testimony: Our Testimony [Page 123] was believed among you. And thus you see the mighty Power of God which wrought in Christ in performing and effect­ing this Righteousness for us; and also as it works in us that believe; that by Faith in Christ we might partake of this Righteous­ness of God. Now therefore it appeareth that God is the Author of this Righteousness as his Infinite Free Grace in Christ hath de­signed and conferred it; his Infinite Wisdom hath contrived, and his Infinite and Eternal Power hath performed and wrought it out in Christ for us, and in bringing down this Righteousness by Faith in Christ to us. And so much may suffice to have been spoken to the first▪ General Head: Namely, That God is the Author of this Righteousness in a special and peculiar manner, as it is his work of the new Creation, and is therefore called the Righteousness of God.

2 Head. And secondly, it is called the Righteousness of God, because it is the Righ­teousness of the glorious and wonderful Per­son Christ Jesus, who is God Man, and whose name alone is Emanuel, i. e. God with us, or in our Nature; this glorious Person, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and yet is the Son of Man, the Child [Page 421] born to us, and given to us; Isa. 9.6. was brought forth in our Nature and in our stead, to bring in everlasting Righteousness, as hath already in part, and shall be more fully shewed in its proper place; and he hath done it, he hath finished the work that the Father gave him to do; Joh. 17.4. and therein he glorified the Father; and the Lord is well pleased for his Righteousness sake: Now this Obedience which he hath performed to the Law for us, both in that part of it which we call Passive, and also in that part which we call Active, makes up to us and for us this everlasting Righteousness; and therefore this Righteousness which he in his Person wrought out for us, is called the Righteousness of God, because it is the Righteousness of that Person who is both God and Man in two distinct Natures, & one Person for ever; & hence it is that in this wonderful Person, what is more properly appertaining to one Nature, is often­times ascribed to the other; as Act. 20.28. To feed the Church of God which he hath pur­chased with his own Blood. Here the Blood of Christ is called the Blood of God, though in propriety of speech it was the Blood of Man, i. e. of the Humane Nature; for the Godhead is impassible, and cannot suffer, but by reason of the Union of the two Natures in one Per­son [Page 125] that suffered, it is called the Blood of God; even so the whole and compleat Righ­teousness of Christ both in his Active and Pas­sive Obedience, though properly it was not the Divine Nature that obeyed and fulfilled all the Righteousness which the Law required, but the Humane Nature, which was made of a Woman, and made under the Law; yet the Person who thus obeyed and fulfilled all Righteousness for us, being God and Man, his Righteousness, which [...]e performed to the Law for us in the Humane Nature, is called the Righteousness of God; as in the Text; but now the Righteousness of God; and Rom. 10. v. 3. have not submitted themselves to the Righteousness of God; and then it is added; for Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to every one that believeth: So that this Righ­teousness of God, which the unbelieving Jews submitted not themselves unto, is plainly the Righteousness of Christ, i. e. of that glorious Person who is God-Man, or God in our Na­ture Emanuel, God with us; and so an infinite dignity and merit is found in this Obedience, this Righteousness of Christ from the glory and dignity of his Person; and herein is also another part, and that no small part of the Mystery of Godliness; that as God was mani­fest in the Flesh or Humane Natrue; so God, [Page 126] thus manifested in the Flesh, i. e. the Humane Nature, should (being thereby made under the Law) become obedient, and fulfil all the Righ­teousness of the Law for us; and in this re­spect is also this Righteousness of God mani­fested, as the Person that performed it was God manifested in the Flesh, or Humane Nature.

3 Head. And then thirdly; This Righ­teousness is also called the Righteousness of God in opposition to all Righteousness of Man, either of the first Man Adam, or of all other men in the World pretending to a Righteousness of their own, and by the Works or Deeds of the Law, as they are or can be performed by them: And as it hath been shewed, the Holy Ghost casteth a con­tempt upon Man, when he calls him flesh; as Rom. 3.21. There shall no flesh be justified in his sight, i. e. by the Deeds of the Law, or his own Righteousness; and also casteth a con­tempt upon all a Mans own Righteousness and Works, in that he calls them flesh; and the putting confidence therein, to be putting confidence in the flesh; as Phil. 3.3, 4. So the Holy Ghost doth put a glory upon this Righ­teousness of Christ, when he calleth it the Righteousness of God, and the putting trust and confidence therein, our rejoycing in Christ Jesus; and so this Righteousness which is by [Page 127] the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is the Righteousness of God in opposition to all Righteousness of Man, or a Mans own Righteousness. And as the Apostle speaketh of the true, i. e. the hea­venly Tabernacle, Heb. 8.2. which the Lord pitched and not Man; so he speaketh of this Righteousness, which Jehovah hath provided in his Son Christ for us, and not Man; and therefore is Christ called, Jehovah our Righ­teousness, by the Prophet Jeremiah, c. 23. v. 6. Not Adam our Righteousness, or a Man our Righteousness, but Jehovah, or the Lord our Righteousness; and so it is frequently ex­pressed in the holy Scriptures, the Righteous­ness of God, in opposition to, and contempt of that Righteousness which is of Man, or which is our own Righteousness; so Rom. 10.3. For they being ignorant of Gods Righteousness, and going about to establish their own Righte­ousness, have not submitted themselves to the Righteousness of God. Here is Gods Righte­ousness mentioned again and again in opposi­tion to their own Righteousness! And so al­so, Phil. 3.9. Not having on mine own Righ­teousness, but the Righteousness which is of God: Where the Apostle calleth it Gods Righteousness, in opposition unto, and con­tempt of that which is or may be supposed [Page 128] or pretended to be his own Righteousness.

4 Head. And then Fourthly; It is called the Righteousness of God, as it is that Righ­teousness which only is and can be accepted of God in the matter of our Justification, i. e. that Righteousness by which, and upon the account whereof only a man may be Righ­teous and Justified in his sight: For there is no other Righteousness by which a man may or can possibly be Justified in the sight of God: Or that God accepts of, and is well pleased with, but this as the matter of our Justification, as hath been already proved; So that this only is the Righteousness of God, as his Heart doth rest in it, is well pleased with it, and doth always accept it by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ; and is not, nor can be well-pleased without it: And as a broken Heart is called the Sacrifice of God, Psal. 51.17. The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spi­rit; a broken and a contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Properly or in pro­priety of Speech, a broken Heart or Spirit is no Sacrifice; but it was that God expect­ed with all the Sacrifices which the People offered according to Gods appointment: For the Sacrifices for Sin were always slain, and so were offered up to God by Death, and shedding of their Blood. The Holy Ghost [Page 129] hereby signifying, that as the wages of Sin is Death; so every person that sacrificed and brought his offering for Sin, did deserve Death. And therefore, though this Death was transferred and laid upon the Sacrifices, which Typically did look unto Christ; and so required Faith in Christ, the Lamb or Sacrifice of God, Which taketh away the Sin of the World; as John 1.29. Yet the very Nature and Import of all the Sacrifices did plainly declare and imply, that Sin was a bitter and a very evil thing that could not be expiated with less than Death: And who­soever did present his Sacrifice to be slain, and offered up for Sin; did ipso facto ac­knowledge himself a Sinner, to have deserved Death, and to be Consumed in the Fire of Hell; as the Sacrifices were either wholly or in part burnt and consumed in the Fire after they were slain: And so were offered up, not by Death only but by Fire also till they were consumed. Now for a man to bring his Sa­crifice to be slain and burnt in the Fire, and salted with Salt; and yet to have no inward sense and feeling of his Sin, no feeling of the wrath of God due to Sin, and so no inward Repentance towards God. This was most hateful and abominable in the sight of God, and so the Sacrifice of that Person was [Page 130] not accepted, but despised of God, as a piece of meer Hypocrisie and outward Formality; for in this Man there is neither Faith in Christ, nor Repentance towards God: And therefore all the Sacrifices that Men did or could offer, signified nothing as to Divine ac­ceptation, without this inward sense of sin, and brokenness of heart: This one thing, a bro­ken heart, did signifie more than all Sacrifices without it; and so it is put for, and by the Holy Ghost, preferred to all Sacrifices what­soever; the Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; and why was a broken spirit more than all Sacrifices, and alone is called in the plural number, not Sacrifice, but Sacrifices; the Sacrifices, yea the Sacrifices of God, but because of the Divine acceptation, because God doth always accept this broken heart, this contrite spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise: The words are a holy Meiosis, there is more implied, than is exprest; thou wilt not despise, i. e. thou wilt certainly accept, thou wilt graciously accept and be well pleased with. Now therefore the Mystery is opened, the meaning of this ex­pression, The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, is abundantly made clear and plain: It is in this respect that a broken heart alone is called the Sacrifices of God, that, or upon [Page 131] the account thereof God is well pleased, yea more pleased, than with all outward Sacri­fices without it: Even so this Righteousness, which is by the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is called, The Righteousness of God, because that this Righte­ousness only, and above all others, is that which carrieth the glory of the Divine accep­tation; God will not despise, but will certain­ly, will graciously accept this Righteousness, whenever it is presented unto him upon the Faith of a repenting, believing Sinner, upon the Faith of him that worketh not, i. e. that hath no Works or Righteousness of his own, which he dares to offer or bring unto God, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly; as Rom. 4.5. His Faith is counted to him for Righteousness; and God is well pleased with this Man for this Righteousness sake which is alone by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ. Now that God is well pleased with this Righ­teousness of his Son Jesus Christ, is most clear­ly testified by the Voice from Heaven; Mat. 3. ult. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; which Voice from Heaven was heard by John when Christ was baptized of him in Jordan, and was now entred upon his work of fulfilling all Righteousness; as v. 15. Then cometh this Voice from Heaven, &c. [Page 132] And again, when Christ was transfigured up­on the Mount a little before his Death and Translation into Heaven: Now when he was about to finish his Obedience and whole Righteousness of the Law for us; I say, then again comes this Voice from Heaven; Mat. 17.5. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; and this Voice was heard from the most excellent glory by Peter, James and John; as 2 Pet. 1.18. Which Voice from Heaven we heard when we were with him upon the holy Mount. Yea this is also testified by the su [...]e Word of Prophecy; Isa. 42.21. The Lord is well pleased for his Righteousness sake; meaning Christ, as is manifest; verse 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7. of that chap. And it is not Christ alone, or as a single Person, but Christ considered as the Head and Root of the whole Church; and so Jehovah is well plea­sed for his Righteousness sake with all them that believe, and do bear and present this Righteousness of Christ in the hand of their Faith before the Father, as that wherein only they desire to be found and stand before him: Now that God is well pleased with all such, and doth graciously accept them as just and righteous before him upon the account of this Righteousness, is also as clearly testified unto by the holy Scriptures; Act. 13.39. [Page 133] And by him, that is, Christ, all that believe are justified and accepted as such; as Rom. 5.19. For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, or became sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righte­ous, or become righteous in his sight. And again; Ephes. 1.6. To the praise of the glory of his Grace, wherein, or in which Grace, he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. We were not so by Nature, or by our own Works and Righteousness; but we are made so by Grace through this Obedience or Righ­teousness of his Son, who alone is the Belo­ved; and that you may see 'tis through this Righteousness that we are made accepted, and stand before him as righteous; 'tis added in v. 7. immediately following; In whom we have Redemption through his Blood, the forgiveness of sins; for though forgiveness of sins, or non-imputation of sins, is only ex­pressed, which is but a part of our Redemp­tion and Justification; yet imputation of Righteousness is also implied, and necessarily inferred; as Rom. 4.6, 7, 8. The Apostle doth infer the imputation of Righteousness out of David; Psal. 32.1, 2. Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin; for unto this [Page 134] man the Lord doth impute Righteousness without Works; as v. 6. for else the Apostles Argument were of no force; and that the Lord is not well pleased with, or accepteth any person as righteous, but in and through this Righteousness of his Beloved Son appre­hended by Faith, is also as clearly testified in Heb. 11.6. For without Faith it is impossible to please God: Where he proves that Enoch was a Believer, and an Heir of the Righte­ousness that is by Faith; because he had be­fore his Translation received this Testimony, that he pleased God; which he could not do without Faith; nor can any man else under the whole Heavens be able to please God without this Faith; for the Scripture faith it is impossible. And thus have we finished the doctrinal part, namely, That the Righteousness which is by the Faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is the Righte­ousness of God: 1. As God is the Author of it. 2. As it is the Righteousness of that won­derful Person who is God-Man. 3. In oppo­sition to a Mans own Righteousness: And 4. As God is well pleased with it. The Use of this Doctrine is by way of Inference; and hence we may infer;

1. That this Righteousness which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all▪ and upon all [Page 135] them that believe; is a perfect and compleat Righteousness: The perfection of this Righteousness is argued from its Au­thor, which is no less than God [...]mself; and that as it is the design and gift of his own free and Soveraign Grace in Christ; and as it is the admirable contrivance of his Infi­nite Understanding and Wisdom, and also as it is the effect and product of his Infinite and Eternal Power manifested both in Christ and also in and towards them that believe; as hath been shewed: Now if it be the Righteousness of God in such a special and peculiar manner as it is the Foundation of his New Creation, and making all things New in Christ; and that the New Creature is raised and stands before God in his Son Christ; upon this Foundation of Righteous­ness by Faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law: Then certainly it is a most perfect and compleat work of God: For He is a Rock, and his work is perfect; as, Deut. 32.4. And sure I am that none can come after God to mend what he hath so curiously wrought, either by adding to, or taking ought from it: And if the question be put, as Eccles. 2.12. What can the man do that cometh after the King? Much more may it be put, What can the man do that cometh [Page 136] after God? And the answer is at hand; i. e. just nothing at all; he cannot take ought from or add ought unto that which God hath done. No, no, Man cannot add one cubit to his Stature, or make one Hair of his Head White or Black; as Luk. 12, 25. and Mat 5.36. And this is the perfection of Gods works of Creation and Providence, that there nothing can be added to, or taken from that which God made: No, that which is crooked, cannot be made strait; that which is wanting, cannot be numbred: All Created Wisdom and Power in Angels or Men, can [...]not reach the works of God so as to add the least thing which God hath left out, or dimi­nish that which God hath put into it. And as all Gods works of the First or Old Creati­on were perfect in their kind, Gen. 1.31. And God saw every thing that he had Creat­ed and Made, and behold it was very good. And the goodness of the work lay in the per­fection thereof according to its kind; every Creature being wrought after the counsel of his own will, which is his rule in working, Ephes, 1.11. Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. And being wrought in a tendency and subserviency to his own glory; which is his end in working: All things that God had made, answering ex­actly [Page 137] in their kind to the perfect rule of his will and pleasure; and to the perfect end of their Creation, viz. The Glory of their Great Creatour and Benefactour: This was their goodness, this was their perfection; and in this respect they were all very good and perfect as they were the works of God; He is a rock and his work is perfect. Now if it be thus with all Gods works of the First or Old Creation; how much more must it be so in the works of his New Creation in Christ! which do as far exceed, and are as far above the works of the Old Creation; as Heaven exceeds and is above the Earth. Now this Righteousness of God by Faith in his Son Je­sus Christ, is the glory of his Grace in Christ; 'tis the curious and admirable contrivance of his Infinite Wisdom, 'tis the product and work of his Infinite and Eternal Power; all the Divine attributes shine forth together in joynt lustre and glory in the face of Christ, and the work of Righteousness by Faith in him: Oh! what a perfect work then must this needs be; that is and shall be the admi­ration of Angels and Men to all Eternity! As hath been shewed. And the perfection of this work of Righteousness by Faith in Christ will appear, if we consider it is wrought exactly after the Counsel of his own [Page 138] will, i. e. the will of his own Soveraign Grace in Christ; and it answereth perfectly his highest end, i. e. his own glory: It gives all the glory to God in and by his Son Jesus Christ, and cuts off all boasting [...] and glorying from man, as hath been declared: And therefore there must needs be a glorious perfection in this Righteousness of God un­to which nothing can be added by man, or by the Sons of men; and in which there is no­thing wanting. Now the perfection of this Righteousness of God is expresly declared in the holy Scriptures, and celebrated to the Faith of Gods Elect; being proposed as an object not only most true, and so wor­thy of their firm assent unto it as it is a great and glorious truth of God in Christ, but al­so most sure and stedfast and worthy of their utmost trust and confidence, their inward re­lyance and dependence upon it as to their hope of Justification and Eternal Life in Christ; yea, an object of their Spiritual joy and delight; their rejoycing in Christ; their inward peace with God and comfort doth flow from it, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by Faith, we have peace with God; and v. 2. We rejoyce in the hope of the Glory of God. Which we could not do if we had not per­fect and compleat Righteousness by Faith in [Page 139] Christ; as it is written, Col. 2.10. And ye are compleat in him, who is the head of all principality and power. Now it hath been shewed how Jesus Christ as the Author of this Righteousness is exalted far above all principa­lity and power; and is made head thereof: An­gels & Men & all things in Heaven & Earth be­ing made subject to him as a reward of his obe­dience; by which exaltion he is declared in Hea­ven and Earth to be Jesu [...] Christ the Righteous: And therefore ye are compleat in him, saith the Apostle, i. e. ye have that perfect and com­pleat Righteousness by Faith in him; by which ye are now Justified before God the Father. The perfection of his Righte­ousness which ye have by Faith in him, ren­ders you compleat and perfect; ye are com­pleat [...]n him; which you could not be, if ye had not a perfect Righteousness in him by Faith to stand before God in. The force of the Argument lyeth in this, ye are compleat­ly and perfectly Righteous in him, i. e. in Christ your Head; and need not any thing of mans Wisdom or Works to make addition unto this Righteousness which ye had in him: No, no, all the Wisdom of Angels and Men can add nothing to your perfection in Christ; ye are compleat in him: And therefore Beware lest any man spoil you, through Philoso­phy and vain deceit; after the traditions of [Page 140] men, after the rudiments of the World; and not after Christ: as vers. 8. And let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary hu­mility, &c. as verse. [...]8. As if he had said, there are many pretences amongst men, both Philosophers and false Christians to invent and find out a Righteousness of their own; af­ter their own wisdom, and after their own tra­ditions, and each striveth to exceed other in their inventions of this sort; and some place their Righteousness in this, and others in that work; and esteem of their own supersti­on according to the strictness of their order and way: But beware ye, and let no man spoil you of your reward: Spoil and Rob you of your hope of Righteousness by Faith in Christ alone, without works; either works of the Law or works of mans superstition; f [...]r ye are compleat in him: And therefore adhere unto, and rely upon, yea also rejoyce in this perfect Righteousness which is in him, and by Faith in him alone: And be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel upon any pretence whatsoever; for ye are compleat in him: And such is the perfection of this Righteousness which is by Faith in Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe; that as, Rom. 10.3. 'Tis written; for Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to eve­ry [Page 141] one that believeth. The end of the Law [...]. Now there is a twofold end of a thing; there is finis extensionis; the end unto which any thing is or may be ex­tended; and there is finis perfectionis, the end by which any thing is perfected and consum­mated; now Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness in both; he is, [...], both finis extensionis, and finis perfectionis. 1. He is the end of the Law for Righteousness to eve­ry one that believeth: He is [...] finis exten­sionis; the utmost end which the Law doth or can extend or be extended and stretched out unto: Now the Law is of great and large extent, as, Psal. 119.96. I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy commandement is exceeding broad. Creature perfection is that which a man may easily search out and see to the end of, he may search out and see the utmost extent thereof; how far it can go, and how far it doth extend: So here saith the Psalmist, I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy comandment is exceding broad. A man cannot so easily see to the the end of the commandment, and find out the extent there­of: No saith the Psalmist again, It is ex­ceeding broad. The Law and Holy Com­mandment extends to all within, as well as to all without; it extends to the Soul and [Page 142] Spirit of a Man within; to all the Internal Faculties: The Mind and Conscience, the Understanding, Will and Affections; and to all the Internal motions and operations thereof, whether they be good or evil. It extends to all the thoughts and imaginations of the thoughts in the heart of a man; as Gen. 6.5. It extends to the Principle and End of a mans way and work; as Zech. 7.5, 6. It extends to the most Secret thoughts and intentions of the Heart, and divideth asun­der betwixt the marrow and the bones, Heb. 4.12, 13. It extendeth to all the words and actions of a mans Life and Conversation, to all his religion and religious performances, Mat. 5.23, 24. and v. 27, 28. and v. 40, 41, 42. and v. 43▪ 44. to the end. The Law in the Spirituality and purity of it ex­tends to all that a man is every way, as a man, and as a Christian, as considered in his place, station and relations; and it extends to all that a man hath, and to all that a man doth. Oh! well might the Psalmist say, But thy Commandment is exceeding broad. But yet as broad as the Commandment is, and considered in the utmost extent of it; the Obedience and Righteousness of Christ; extendeth its self to the utmost breath and length; yea to the utmost extent of the Law [Page 143] in the Spirituality, and Purity, and Diffu­siveness thereof; yea it doth exceed and go beyond the Law: For the Law required but a mans Righteousness and Obedience; as, Rom. 10.5. The Man that doth these things, shall live by them. But lo here is a Righte­ousness brought in, and an Obedience per­formed to the whole Law in the utmost ex­tent of it; by him who is God, as well as Man, even the Righteousness of God! And thus Christ is The end of the Law for Righte­ousness to every one that believeth; as the end of the Law is finis extensionis.

But then again; Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to every one that be­lieveth; as [...], the end of the Law is finis perfectionis, i. e. the perfection, accomplish­ment and finishing of the Law in the spiri­tuality, purity, universality and perpetuity of it. And in this sense also Christ is the end, i. e. the perfection of the Law, as it hath its accomplishment and fulfilling in him.

First; And first for the Ceremonial Law, that had its accomplishment, and was fulfilled in Christ: All the Types and Figures; all the Sacrifices, with the sprinkling of their Blood; all the Services and Ceremonies, looked and pointed unto him who was the substance of them all, and in whom they had [Page 144] their accomplishment, perfection and end; as Job. 1.17. For the Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ; Grace, i. e. all that Grace of Justi­fication typified by the Sacrifices and the Sprinklings of Blood, and all that Grace that was shadowed out by the National Election, Adoption and Glory; all that Grace of San­ctification typified and shadowed out by Circumcision, and the various washings un­der the Law; all this Grace was given unto us from the Father by Jesus Christ; and the truth and substance expressed and darkly figured in that Law of the heavenly things themselves, was performed and made good to us in Christ: So Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ in opposition to works, and mans righteousness and trurh in opposition to the shadows and appearances; so Dan. 9.24. To seal up the Vision and the Prophecy, and to anoint the most holy; so that the anointing of the most holy, was to be the sealing up the Vision and the Prophecy of the Old Testament, i. e. the finishing and accomplishing thereof; for sealing up doth signifie and imply the finish­ing and compleating of the things therein conveyed to us: And accordingly all that was seen, though but darkly in the vision of the Old Testament, and all that was testified aforehand in the Prophecy was fulfilled and [Page 145] finished in Christ, 1 Pet. 1.10, 11. Of which Salvation the Prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the Grace that should come unto you, searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie, when it testi­fied before-hand the sufferings of Christ, and the Glory that should follow; So that the Vi­sion and Prophecy of the Old Testament, pointed to the most Holy, i. e. Christ, and had their end of Perfection and Accomplishment in him: The Old Testament, Tabernacle, Odinances of Worship, Priesthood and Ser­vice was a Shadow of good things to come, but the Body is Christ, Col. 2.17.

2. And then again Secondly, As to the Moral Law, which was added in that Mo­saical Law and Dispensation, and that be­cause of Sin or Transgression, as Rom. 5.20. and Gal. 3.19. and was not the Covenant of God with that people particularly, as that by which they should expect righteousness and life, for the covenant of God with that people in the Mosaical Dispensation, was though more dark and shadowy, a Covenant of Grace. But I say the Moral Law was added, because of Sin; now as to the Moral Law, Christ is also the end of it, and it hath its perfection and ac­complishment only in Christ actually, and also in all them that believe virtually: now [Page 146] that the Moral Law is here mainly and prin­cipally intended is plain, in that it is said, that Christ is the end of the Law for Righ­teousness; Now there is no other Law that is the measure and rule of Righteousness, but the Moral Law first, and then such other positive Laws as God superadded: for as sin is nothing else but the transgression of the Law, so Righteousness is nothing else but the fulfilling of it; So that for as much as Christ is the end of the Law for Righte­ousness, 'tis plain that he did fulfill the Mo­ral Law, by giving that perfect obedience thereunto, that whole obedience, which the Law did and doth require of Adam and all his Posterity, and that as a Covenant of Works; I say this Law was fulfilled by Christ, for us in the perfection and utmost extent and de­mand of it, as shall be more particularly set out in the opening of the next Doctrine; for otherwise he could not be the end of the Law for Righteousness to them that believe, if he had not perfected and filled up the Righteousness of the Law for them and in their stead; Therefore the Righteousness of the Law is perfected and fulfilled by Christ actually and personally: and he is the end or perfection of it.

And then the Righteousness of the Law is also fulfilled, and hath its perfection in all [Page 147] them that believe virtually and in Christ their head; as Rom. 8.3, 4, For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the like­ness of sinful Flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us: So that the Righte­ousness of the Law hath its perfection and accomplishment also in them that believe: they having fulfilled the Law vertually and by Faith in Christ their Head; So that as the Apostle puts the question, Rom. 3.31. Do we then make void the Law through Faith? The answer is full; God forbid! yea we establish the Law. So that this Righteousness of God which is by the Faith of Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe, is a most perfect and compleat Righ­teousness, both with respect to Christ, and also with respect to all them that believe; who have better fulfilled the Law in Christ their Head, than could have been by the first Adam, if he had never sinned: but of this more fully under another inference.

2. Hence also we infer the stability and duration of this Righteousness; for if it be the Righteousness of God, and that as he is the sole author of it, as the Foundation of his new Creation in Christ conferred freely by [Page 148] his Grace, contrived by his Wisdom, and effected by his mighty Power, manifested in Christ, and also in all them that believe, as ye [...] have heard, then it is a stedfast Work that abi­deth unalterably and unchangeably the same, for ever: for such is the nature of all God's Works; Even the Works of the Old and First Creation, that they are established and stand fast for ever, as Eccles. 3.14. I know that whatsoever God doth it shall be for ever. i. e. it shall stand and remain as God hath made it: and neither man nor any Creature can alter or change that which God hath done; For Solomon explains himself in the following words, nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; and God doth it, that men may fear before him, i. e. that men may pay a due reverence to the works of God, and subscribe with a holy submissi­on thereunto: Now if this be the nature of all Gods Works, even in the first and old Creation, that whatsoever God doth, abideth for ever, and cannot be changed by man, or by the Sons of men: then how much more is it so in his works of the new Creation in Christ which must and shall stand fast forever? for as the Will and Wisdom of man cannot al­ter or change them; so God hath declared that he will not; as James 1.17, 18. Eve­ry [Page 149] good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning; Of his own Will begat he us, by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his Creatures. And again Rom. 11.29. For the gifts and calling of God are without Repentance, meaning the gifts of his Grace in Christ, all the Gifts and Works of his new Creation, are without Repen­tance; God will not Repent, nor alter, or change what he hath done therein.

Now that this Righteousness of God which is by the Faith of Jesus Christ unto all them that believe is such, plainly appeareth and is particularly declared, in that it is cal­led Everlasting Righteousness, Dan. 9.24. which plainly referreth unto Christ the Messiah, the most holy, whose work it was to make an end of sins, and to bring in everlast­ing Righteousness; this Righteousness of God therefore brought in by Christ, is everlast­ing Righteousness, and remaineth unalterably and eternally the same through all ages and generations; and through all Nations, and Tongues, and Kindreds of Men; So that all which have been, are, or shall be justified in God's sight; have been, are, and shall be so justified by Faith in Christ, and by this [Page 150] Righteousness of God, which is unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference betwixt Nation and Nation, betwixt Jew and Gentile; no difference be­twixt them that were justified under the Old Testament, and those which are justified un­der the New Testament; no difference be­twixt them that have been justified from the beginning of the World to this day, and those that shall be justified in the Ages and Generations yet to come; let them be never so many or never so long; this Righteousness of God remaineth unchangeably the same by the Faith of Jesus Christ only, and not by the works of the Law unto all, and upon all them that believe in all Nations and in all Ages; So in the old World, all that were justified and saved, were justified and saved by this righteousness of God, which is by the Faith of Jesus Christ, so express [...]y 'tis testified of Abel, Enoch and Noah, Heb. 11.4.5, 6, 7. They obtained Witness from God, that they were righteous and pleased God, and became Heirs of the Righteousness which is by Faith; And that is this very Righteousness of God and none other; and so all that were Justified in this World, and since the Flood, both before and after the Law of Moses, were justified by this very [Page 151] Righteousness of God by the Faith of Jesus Christ as is plainly declared, Heb. 11. from [...]he 8. ver. to the end of that chapter; where [...]peaking of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Sarah, yea of Joseph, who all were before [...]he Mosaical Law and Dispensation, about 400 and 30 years in the revolution of time, and afterward speaking of Moses, of Joshuah of Rahab the Harlot, yea of Gedion, of Ba­rak, of Sampson, of Jephthah, of David, of Samuel also, and all the Prophets, saith that these all obtained a good report through Faith: And what was the good Report which they obtained? Namely this, that they were Righteous and pleased God, and were ju­stified in his sight by Faith in Christ, and became the Heirs of the Promise and of this Righteousness of God, which is by the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe: And then for the times of the Gos­pel or New Testament, there is no need to say much, only take a text or two, namely, Rom. 8.29, 30. For whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren; Moreover whom he did predestinate them he also called, and whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified; So [Page 152] that look now into God's Eternal Purpo [...] and Counsel of Grace in Christ, and consi­der how God hath fore-known, and fore-knowing hath predestinated to be conforme [...] to the Image of his Son, all those many Brethren among whom Christ is the first born: and consider also how all these are called in the dispensation of the fulness of times, as Ephes. 1.10. for whom he did predestinate them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; i. e. by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, who is there­fore the first born among all these Brethren; so that they are all (as they come to be cal­led according to this purpose) justified in the sight of God, by this Righteousness of God through Faith in Jesus Christ, as Rom. 8.33, 34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God that justifieth who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh inter­cession for us. And as before ver. 30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified. So that all that are elected of God in Christ, and are, or have been and shall be called according to Gods purpose, are, have been and shall be justified in this Righteousness of God through Faith in his Son, and being thus justified shall be glorifi­ed; [Page 153] And what shall we say then to these things? God be for us, who shall be against us?

And thus in the dispensation of the fulness [...] times he doth gather together in one, all [...]ings in Christ, both which are in Heaven [...] which are on the Earth, even in him; [...] gathers them into or under one head, which is Christ, by one and the same Faith, [...]nder one and the same Righteousness, which [...] not their own, but the righteousness of God by Faith: and into one and the same glorified estate in Heaven, as Job. 17.20, 21. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also, which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, and ver. 22, 23. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one: In these words Christ prayeth for them that already believed in him, and also for all those that should afterward believe in him through their words, i. e. the Apostolical word, the everlasting Gospel to be preached unto all Nations, and to the end of the World, as Mat. 28.19, 20. and that which Christ Prayeth for, with respect to them all, is; that they may be one, and that they may be made perfect in one; that as the Father [Page 154] is in Christ and Christ in them, they also ma [...] be one in him, and in the Father throug [...] him: now this union is founded in the [...] Justification by this Faith: for here, by th [...] Spirit on Christ's part, given to the [...] and working Faith in them by the [...] preached, and by Faith on their part, they come into this actual union with Christ, an [...] the Father in Christ, and are now made per­fect in this union, in respect of their Justi­fication by Faith, and stand compleatly and perfectly justified and righteous before God, even the Father, in this Righteousness of Christ, and so shall be made perfect also in that which doth follow, and depend up­on their Justification, which is Adoption and Glory: For whom he justified, them he also glorified, is before, Rom. 8 30. And the glory which thou gavest me, have I given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; John 17.22. So that upon the whole argument it doth plainly and fully appear, that this righteousness of God which is by the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is an everlasting righte­ousness, remaining unalterably one and the same in all Ages and Generations, in all Na­tions and Kindreds of the Earth, and to all persons that have been already, are now, or [Page 155] [...]hall be hereafter justified before God. [...] Infer. 3. And then again thirdly, we [...]nfer the greatness, excellency and glory of [...] Righteousness, above all other Righ­ [...]eousnesses that might have been, or may be mentioned, or pretended unto amongst Men [...]or Angels; for as the Apostle saith of Christ, Heb. 1.4. That he hath by inheritance obtain­ed a more excellent name than they, i. e. the Angels; and argueth from thence the great­ness and excellency of his Person and Office; So we may say concerning this Righteous­ness, that it hath a more excellent name than any other Righteousness of Men or An­gels; for it is called the Righteousness of God, which none other is; And therefore it is a better, greater, and more excellent, and glorious Righteousness, than any other that might have been or may be pretended unto by Men or Angels: for it hath a more excellent name.

1. Now let us consider man in the first place, and what righteousness he might have pretended or may pretend unto: And cer­tainly Adam in the state of innocency was an excellent and glorious Creature, the high­est and top of Gods Creation in this lower World; He was made after the image of him that created him, in Knowledge, Righ­teousness, [Page 156] and Holiness, and God had [...] him under an excellent Law, Spiritual, Ho­ly, Just and Good; and this Law was writ­ten in his Heart, he had an original righ­teousness and integrity of nature conforme [...] and agreeable to this Law, and, an abili [...] thereby to have kept and fulfilled all th [...] Righteousness thereof: now if this excellen [...] person had kept and not transgressed this ex­cellent Law; He and all mankind in him had been Righteous, and lived thereby, a Rom. 10.5. For Moses describeth the righ­teousness which is of the Law; The [...] which doth these things shall live by them ▪ But yet this Righteousness which is by the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, is a greater, better, more ex­cellent and glorious Righteousness, than that of Adam could have been, if he had not sin­ned, but fulfilled the righteousness of the Law; For that could have been but a man's Righteousness: it could have risen no high­er, it could have been called by no greater name than the RIGHTEOUSNESS of MAN; But now here is a Righteousness brought in by Christ, the second Adam, and to us by Faith in him, which is the righ­teousness of God; The person working out this righteousness for us, being God in the [Page 157] humane nature, hath added an infinite dig­nity and glory to it by the dignity and glo­ry of his person, as hath been shewed; So that as Christ is a more excellent person than the first Adam; His obedience and righte­ousness in fulfilling the Law must needs be a more excellent righteousness, than that of Adam, or all other men could have been, if Adam and they in him had kept the Law; For that had been but the Righteous­ness of Man, but this is the righteousness of God. Oh the admirable work and contri­vance of the free Grace, Wisdom and Pow­er of God, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, towards his Elect, that (having lost righteousness in the first Adam, and all hope and possibility of it by works) they have gained a greater, better, and more ex­cellent righteousness by Faith in Christ; they lost that which would have been at best but a mans righteousness, but they have gained by that loss, and obtained by Faith, that which is the righteousness of God; So that the poorest believer have a better righ­teousness by Faith in Christ, than Adam had or could have had in innocency, or that themselves could have had, if they had ne­ver sinned.

And hereby indeed it is manifest that the [Page 158] Seed of the Woman hath bruised the head or head-plat of the Old Serpent the Devi [...] in bringing in a better Righteousness.

2. And let us also consider the gloriou [...] Angels of Heaven, the Elect Angels, an [...] what righteousness they are justified an [...] stand before the holy God in: And so far a [...] we can look into this matter, in the ligh [...] of the holy Scriptures; it doth not appea [...] [...]hat they are justified by Faith in Christ a [...] we are, for they never sinned as we all did [...] Adam, and needed no Redeemer to re­ [...]eem them by his blood as we did; And [...]hrist took not upon him the nature of Angels, [...]at the Seed of Abraham, as Heb. 2.16. [...]nd therefore as Christ took not their nature, [...] stood not in their stead to fulfil the righ­ [...]ousness of that law for them, under which [...] were put; But they have fulfilled and [...]ne the Will of God their Creator, as Psal. [...]3.20. Bless the Lord ye his Angels, that [...] in strength, that do his commandments, [...]kning to the voice of his word; And again [...].21. Ye Ministers that do his pleasure; [...] that for ought that doth appear, these ho­ [...] Angels stand before God and are justi­ [...]d by their own personal and perfect obe­ [...]nce to the Law of their Creator, and in [...] own Righteousness; indeed they need­ed [Page 159] a Saviour, to prevent their falling, and to confirm them in that state of innocency and glory, wherein they were at first creat­ed and made, and in this respect they have their confirmation in and by Christ, and from their election in Christ the common head of all Gods Elect both amongst Angels and Men, Eph. 1.10. and in this respect they are our brethren and fellow Servants, as Rev. 22.9. Brethren they are, though indeed our elder Brethren in Christ their head and ours, and had their election and confirmation in Christ, apparently manifest­ed before us, for their Election and Confir­mation in Christ appeared upon the fall of the Angel [...] that sinned, and before the Fall of Adam, whereas our Election and Redemp­tion in and by Christ, was not manifest nor did at all appear till after the Fall of the first Adam, and then it began to break forth, and appear in the first Promise, Gen. 3.15. So that they are our elder Brethren yet our Brethren in Christ, but so, that Christ hath the pre-emi­nence, and is the first born amongst the many Brethren, both Angels and Men, being the head of the Election; Yet as hath been said, it doth not appear that they have any other or great­er Righteousness than their own; And as they are by nature greater and more excellent than [Page 160] we, so their obedience may excel the obe­dience of man, if he had also obeyed and ful­filled the Law of his Creator as they did; Yet still the obedience of Angels, and the righteousness wherein they are justified and stand before God, is but the obedience and righteousness of Creatures; though it be ne­ver so excellent, though it be Angelical; yet it is, and can be but Creature righteous­ness; And this righteousness which we have by Faith in Christ, is God's Righteousness, and therefore as God is more excellent than his Creatures, so his Righteousness is greater; and more excellent than theirs can possibly be. And here see, and behold again the triumph of Grace over sin and death; that fallen man is raised again and advanced in Christ, to a greater, better, and more excellent and glo­rious hope of righteousness by Faith in Christ; not only, than Man had in innocency, or could have had by the works of the Law, but also than Angels in Heaven have: So that as they were preferred before us, and set above us by nature, we that believe are pre­ferred before them by Grace; for Christ took not Angelical but the humane nature into union with the Godhead in his own glorious person: and is sat down in that nature, at the right hand of the Majesty on high: and [Page 161] we are said also to be sat down together with or in him in the heavenly places, Ephes. 2.6. Whereas the Angels are not said to be sat down, but to stand before the Throne and in the presence of God, as Ministers and Servants, Luk. 1.19. Rev. 5.11. Heb. 1.13, 14. And the humiliation of Christ who was made a little lower than the Angels in our Nature, hath exalted us with or in Christ above the Angels, and we have a better righteousness than they.

Inf. 4. Again fourthly, hence we infer how much it is the duty and interest of every man under these Heavens (to whom the word of Salvation comes) to believe in Jesus Christ and submit themselves to this righ­teousness of God; The very name it carries (the righte [...]sness of God) is enough to bow every [...] to stoop to the autho­rity of it, and submit himsel [...] unto it; For it is the righteousness of God, as he is the Author of it, his Free grace hath conferred, his Wisdom hath contrived, found out, and appointed, and his Power hath wrought out this Righteousness for us, in his Son Christ, and he is only and infinitely well pleased with it, and we are under the highest ob­ligation to submit to it. For,

1. He hath commanded us so to do, [Page 162] 1 John 3.23. And this is his command­ment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. And when the Jews put the question to Christ, John 6.28. What shall we do that we might work the works of God? The answer is, vers. 29. This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. And when the voice came from the most excellent glory, and testifyed from the Father out of Heaven concerning Christ; This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. The same voice also addeth the command; and saith, Hear him, Mat. 17.5. So that the command of God declared makes it every Mans Duty to submit to this Righteousness of God, by be­lieving in his Son Jesus Christ.

2. It is a greater and more excellent Righ­teousness than that which is [...] be sup­posed to be a mans own Righteousness; for it is the Righteousness of God: And what comparison is there betwixt the one and the other? What is man? That is a Worm compared with God, whose name is I Am: What is man? Of the Earth Earthy, com­pared with the Lord from Heaven? 1 Cor. 15.47. And what then is the Righteous­ness of man, or thine own Righteousness poor Worm? compared with this Righteousness [Page 163] of God? Surely thy own Righteousness is but▪ filthy rags; and thou thy self but an unclean thing, Isa. 64.6. And why shouldest thou not be willing to part with thy rags, thy filthy rags; that thou mayest put on the Royal Robes of Christs Righteousness? Should not a poor filthy beggar be willing to put off, and throw away his rags, that he may be washed and cleansed and put on the Royal Apparel which the King of his Grace hath provided for him, and command­ed him to put on; that he may stand before him with acceptation? Had Mordecai re­fused to have put off his mournful and dir­ty weeds of Sack-Cloth and Ashes, the em­blems of his shame and sorrow for the de­struction designed by Haman, and confirm­ed by the Kings Seal for this Mordecai and all the Jews, and now ready for Execution: Had I say Mordecai refused; what a con­tempt▪ would it have been of the Royal fa­vour, and Rebellon against the Royal com­mand of so great a King? How justly then might the King upon such a contempt of Mercy and Grace, and his Royal Authority and Command withal; have abandoned Mordecai and left him and all his People to the destruction afore-mentioned? Oh man! this is thy case, and thou art the man here [Page 164] concerned: Hath God of his Grace and Fa­vour in his Son Christ conferred and pro­vided such Royal Robes of Righteousness for thee, and commanded them to be brought unto thee, and commanded thee to put off thy rags of Self, or thy own Righteous­ness? And wil [...] thou dare to reject this Roy­al Grace and Favour; and rebel against this Royal command of the great God? How justly mayest thou for this contempt be abandoned of God for ever, and left to perish in thy sins, and the rags of thine own Righteousness? And how canst thou think to stand before God in these rags? Before him, whose name is holy? And who is of purer Eyes, than to behold Iniquity? With whom evil shall not dwell, and in whose presence no unclean thing shall enter? Canst thou dwell with everlast­ing burning? O [...] canst thou, cloathed with Hay and Stable, stand before consuming Fire? Heb. 12. ult. When Joshuah the High Priest stood before the Angel cloathed in filthy garments; Satan stood at his Right hand to resist him, Zech. 3.1, 2, 3. And he could not st [...]nd with acceptation, till they took away his filthy garments, and cloathed him with change of raiment, vers. 4, 5. And then The Angel of the Lord protested unto him, as verse 6. Saying, thus saith the Lord, the [Page 165] Lord of Hosts; if thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge: Then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my Courts; and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Man, know, thou canst not stand, nor walk before God, the holy God with acceptation, till thy filthy garments and filthy rags be taken a­way from thee, and thou beest cloathed with change of Raiment, i. e. the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ: Which un­less thou puttest on by Faith, neither thy per­son nor service can be accepted of him. For as there is no salvation out of Christ, so also out of Christ and his Righteousness, there is no acceptation to any person under Hea­ven.

And that thou, Oh man! mayest yet be more fully convinced that thou canst not stand before God in the best of thine own Righte­ousness, but only and alone in this Righteous­ness of God; which is by the Faith of Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe: Consi-that thou canst not stand before thine own Conscience in the best of thine own Righ­teousness: And if thy Conscience be an awakened and enlightened Conscience, it will witness against thee; yea, it will judge and condemn thee, in the best of thy Inherent [Page 166] Righteousness of inward qual [...]ficat [...]ons, and ex­ternal performances: We will suppose, and thou mayest say, thou hast Faith; but hast thou not unbe [...]ief as well as Faith? And is not thy unbelief more than thy Faith? And many times dost thou not act, at least in some case [...] as if thou hadst no Faith? And doth not thy Conscience reprove and judge as Christ doth his Disciples? Mat. 4.40. Thou wilt say also▪ thou dost repent, and thou hatest tha [...] which is evil; well, but dost thou not find also impenitency and hardness of Heart, at least some times and in some cases? Dost thou not find thy Heart some­times to be without all tenderness? And to be even hardened from Gods fear; so that neither the Word of God, nor yet the Rod of God do make impression upon thee? Isa. 63.17. Yea neither the Mercies nor the Judgments of God, dost thou lay to Heart as thou oughtest to do? Isa. 42.24, 25. Thou wilt say thou art Humble, but is there not Pride also in thy Heart? And doth not Pride prevail many times in thy Heart as it did in Hezekiah? 2 Chron. 32.25. And doth not thy Conscience reprove thee for thy Pride as his did, verse. 26? Thou wilt say also that thou dost Love God, but dost thou love him withall thy Heart, and [Page 167] all thy Soul, and all thy Strength? Dost not thou love thy Carnal Self also, and the Creature more than God; at least sometimes and in some particular cases? And doth not the love of thy Self and of the Creature pre­vail above all the love of God in thy Heart? And so of the rest of all thy Inherent Qualifica­tions. And then for thy external performances; thou wilt say that thou prayest and callest upon God in thy Close [...], in thy Family, in and with the Congreation of the People of God? And thou hearest the word, and that with joy and delight thou receivest the seals of Gods Covenant; and thou joynest fasting with thy Prayers, and chastenest thy Soul therewith: Well but Oh Man! doth not sin mix it self with thy best duties, and iniquity creep into all thy holy things? And doth not thine own Conscience tell thee and reprove thee for these things? And thou art put to it after all, to cry out, Lord be merciful to me a Sinner, a Wretch, an un­clean thing. Now if this be true, and these things be so; that thou canst not stand be­fore thine own enlightened and awakened Conscience in the best of thine own Righ­teousness, either of inherent qualifications or external duties: How canst thou think to stand before God, who is greater than thy [Page 168] Heart or Conscience, and knoweth all things, as, 1 Joh. 3.20. Yea he knoweth more evil by thee, and seeth more sin and iniquity in thee, and in thy holy things than ever thou didst or canst do, Psal. 19.12. Jer. 17.9, 10. Therefore he is greater than thy Heart and knoweth all things; as thine own Heart condemns thee in all those things, he will condemn thee also; for thou canst not stand before him in these rags, in these filthy rags: Is it not therefore, Oh man! whoever thou art, that hearest the word of God this day: I say is it not thy duty and thy interest also to comply with and submit unto this Righteousness of God; and seek a better Righteousness out of thy self by Faith in his Son? Is not this Righteousness better than thy own? Are not the royal robes better than filthy rags? Canst thou stand before the great King of Heaven and Earth in filthy garments, And will he accept thee; Will not his Wrath burn against thee, and Say, friend how camest thou in hither, not having on the wedding garment? and will not he say? Take him hence, bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness? There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. And wilt not thou be left speechless and without excuse, as Mat. 22.11, 12, 13, 14. Oh therefore put [Page 169] on this wedding garment, and wear i [...] always when thou comest before the King, and treadest in his Courts; & be sure thou beest in it, having it on, and never dare to look God in the Face without it; as, Phil. 3.9. But be found in it whilst thou livest, when thou comest to die, and at the Day of Judg­ment; That the shame of thy nakedness do not appear to thy everlasting confusion.

Infer. 5. But then again fifthly; Hence we may also Infer and A [...]gue how greatly it is the duty and work, and as well the interest also of every Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be himself well instructed in the knowledge of this Righteousness of God; and understandingly, faithfully and clearly to Preach and declare this Righteousness of God which is by the Faith of Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.

And that it is your Duty and In­terest to understand and know this Righ­teousness of God, and to be well in­structed in and acquainted with this Mistery of Faith; and to Hold it in a pure Conscience; as the Apostle doth command, 1 Tim. 3.9. will appear by the Considerati­ons following,

[Page 170]1 Consid. This Righteousness of God by Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, is the great foundation truth of the Gospel; and as it concerns every wise and skilful builder to look well to his foundation, upon which the whole building and his success therein, and also his reputation as a workman doth depend: So it doth greatly concern every Gospel Minister, that he may be a skilful builder in the Church of God, to look well to the foundation of the Faith and Hope not only of himself, but also of the whole Church of Gods Elect: For other foundation can no man lay than what is already laid, which is Jesus Christ; the same yesterday, and to day and for ever, as 2 Cor. 3.11. If a Minister lay his foun­dation in the works of the Law, and mans Righteous­ness, it will never hold; whatever hope or confidence he builds upon this foundation in himself or others, will certainly fall, when his work shall come to be try­ed; and himself, and all those that hear him, and whom he builds upon this foundation will certainly perish; unless another better foundation be laid: For by the works of the Law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: As hath been shewed. No, no, mans Righ­teousness will not; no less than this Righteousness of God can be a sure foundation to build upon for Justi­fication in his sight, and for Eternal Life.

2 Consid. The building must be uniform and answerable to the foundation in all parts of it, and bear a true proportion to, and agreement with the foundation to the very topstone; that the beholders may cry, Grace, Grace, to it; and that with shout­ings as, Zech. 4 7. There is a blessed harmony in the Gospel, and all Gods attributes do harmonize and shine forth in a joynt lustre and glory in Jesus Christ. So all mans duty is consistent with this principle of the Righteousness of God, and doth sweetly flow from it; Grace is manifested, and yet the Law is [Page 133] established and not made void by it: Gods Justice is fully satisfied, his wrath is pacified, the Gospel is glad tydings, Peace on Earth, and good will to men; the Enmity is slain, and the hand-writing of Ordi­dinances that was against us is nailed to the Cross, and taken out of the way; all good works are esta­blished upon better Principles, and Man's duty encou­raged and rewarded. And if once you that are Mi­nisters have obtained this Key of Knowledge, the whole Mystery of God, of the Father, and of Christ will be opened unto you; and your Preaching will be clear, uniform and harmonious; so that you will never con­tradict your selves in whatever Point you Preach up­on, and the Faith of them that hear you will be clear and sound; but if you fail here, and, through igno­rance of this Righteousness of God, go about to esta­blish your own, or Man's Righteousness, your Preach­ing will be confused, and you will contradict your selves at one time, in what you Preach, or Print at a­nother; and your Hearers will be of doubtful minds, and wavering betwixt Works and Grace; betwixt the Law and Faith. Thus you will build again at one time, or other, what you have sometimes destroyed; and so make your selves transgressors, as Gal. 2.17, 18. And fo [...] want of a clear light in the knowledge of this Righte [...] of God, some, though otherwise men of eminent Learning, Zeal, and personal Holiness, have most shamefully contradicted themselves, and exposed their labours to that just censure and scorn even of adversaries, and the sorrow and shame of their friends: Whilst their hearers and admirers are un­stable and wavering, and so in danger after some time to fall into error: And how far the Church of God may be prejudiced thereby time will show: For this one Article, is Articulus Stantis & cadentis Ecclesiae. The Church of God Stands or Falls, Lives [Page 132] or Dies as this one Article of Justification by Faith in Christ, and this Righteousness of God, standeth or falleth amongst men.

And Lastly, That it is greatly the duty and interest of Ministers to Declare and Preach this Righteous­ness of God; appeareth from this one consideration; Namely, That they cannot Preach savingly without it: If they have all the Wisdom and Learning of this World, and have Tongues of men and Angels, and draw multitudes of Admirers and Followers af­ter them; Yet this I say from the word of God, that whilst they do not know, or knowing do not Preach this Righteousness of God, their Ministry cannot be powerful to the saving of their own Souls, or the Souls of those that hear them: For the Apostle doth assure us, Rom. 1.16, 17. The Gospel of Christ is [...]o nomine, and upon that account, The Power of God unto Salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek; as it doth Reveal and Declare this Righteousness of God: For I am not ashamed, &c. For therein is the Righte­ousness of God revealed, as it is written, the just shall live by Faith. i. e. Faith in this Righteousness of God. And take away this Righteousness of God out of the Gospel, it would be no Gospel, nor could it be unto Salvation: And take away this Righteous­ness of God out of your Ministry, and it will be no Gos­pel Ministry; nor can it be a Saving Ministry to your selves or them that hear you.


OR, A DISCOURSE Of, or Concerning, The Time and Season, wherein God doth Justifie his Elect, through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures.


  • I. The Doctrine of Justification from all Eternity.
  • II. The Doctrine of Justification from the time of Christs Death and Resurrection. Are fairly and truly tried and confuted.
  • III. The true time searched out and stated accord­ing to Scripture.


Searching what and what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie,

1 Pet. 1.11.

The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man that sow­ed good seed in his Field; But while men slept, his Enemy came, and sowed Tares and went his way,

Mat. 13.24, 25.

LONDON, Printed for Nath. Crouch. 1693.

Rom. 8.30.

And whom he called, them he also justified▪

HAving already opened and explained this Justification wherewith God doth justifie them whom he calleth, in the nature of it: we now proceed to speak of, and open, and explain the same as to the time of it; because not only the things themselves, but the time or times are to be searched into, when and wherein the things are, and are to be ministred unto us, 1 Pet. 1.11, 12. Searching what or what manner of times the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie.

And concer [...]ing this enquiry or search, there are and have been of late two several Doctrines or Opinions grea [...]l [...] cried up, and as confidently af­firmed by some, and violently imposed upon their unwa [...]y hearers, and with the same Spirit of vio­lence as furiously contended for by them, who are so imposed upon; As the Ephesian worshipers of Diana contended for her Goddess ship, as the Image that fell down from Jupiter out of Heaven, Acts 19.27, 28, 34, 35.

1. The first Doctrine and Opinion so cried up and contended for is; The Doctrine of Justificati­on from Eternity; Or that Gods Elect were justi­fied from all Eternity.

2. The second is like unto it; Which at least must be admitted without the least scruple or que­stion: Justification from the time of Christ Death, or Resurrection: or that all Gods Elect were and are justified from the time of Christs Death or Resurrection, because the price was then paid by Jesus Christ, and he as Head of the Church discharged by his Resurrection, according to the Interpretation they [Page 175] give of Rom. 4. ult. Who was delivered for our offen­ces, and raised again for our Justification; Which they suppose and take for granted, must needs im­ply the time as well as the thing of Believers Justi­fication.

We shall therefore fairly and truly try both these Doctrines by the Holy Scriptures according to what we are commanded. 1 John 4.1. Beloved believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirit whether they be of God; for many false Prophets are gone out into the World. And we shall first try the first of these Doctrines; As namely,

Quest. 1. Whether Gods Elect, or any sort of men were justified from all Eternity, as some do say and affirm?

And unto this we answer affirmatively in two things. Namely,

1. That there is and was a gracious purpose, which God had purposed in himself from all Eternity, to Justifie and save his Elect through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, Ephes. 1.9. According to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself. And again, 2 Tim. 1.9. But according to his own Purpose and Grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the World began. And the Apostle in the Context doth not only plainly imply, but expresly declare the same, when he saith, Rom. 8.28. To them, who are the called according to his purpose; and then, ver. 30. Whom he called, them he also justified; Therefore there is and was such a purpose in God before the World began to call and justifie them.

2. That all that have been, are now, or here­after shall be justified through Faith in Jesus Christ, from the Foundation of the World, to the end thereof, have been, are now, and shall be Justi­fied according to this Purpose, which God hath [Page 176] Purposed in himself before the World began, and no otherwise, as Ephes. 1.11. In whom also we have obtained an Inheritance; (And this Inheritance can­not be obtained without free Justification by Grace, as Tit. 3 7. Being Predestinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh all things after (or according to) the Counsel of his own Will; For in that he saith all things, 'tis manifest, that he worketh this one thing amongst all the rest, even his Justifying his Elect through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, after or according to this Counsel of his own Will; and Ephes. 1.3, 4. Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ; Amongst which Spiritual Blessings, that of Justification must be acknowledged to be one, and none of the least or last of those blessings; It followeth, ver. 4. According as he hath chosen us in him, before the Foundation of the World; And again 2 Tim. 1.9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling; not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and graee, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the World began. And this also is plainly declared in the Context, Rom 8.30. Whom he did Predestinate, them he also Called, and whom he called them he also Justified; And if you will ask how? The answer is, According to his Purpose, as ver. 28. According to this Purpose, he calleth them, and according to this Purpose he justifieth them: So that thus far we do consent and agree.

1. That there is and was a purpose in God from all Eternity to Justifie his Elect, through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, And

2. That all that are justified, are justified ac­cording to this Purpose, which God had purposed in himself.

[Page 177]But then we distinguish betwixt, being under a purpose of Grace from all Eternity to be justified: And being Justified from all Eternity, and there­fore though we grant and affirm the former, yet we deny the latter. Namely,

Neg. That Gods Elect, or any person in this World, are▪ or is, or ever were, or was justified from all Eternity. This Doctrine of Justification from Eternity, I say, we truly reject, disown, and deny, as a false and unsound Doctrine, and con­trary to the Holy Scriptures: all which will more than sufficiently appear in these following Parti­culars.

Part. 1. This Doctrine in the consequent of it, doth deny, destroy and overthrow the truth and true Doctrine of Gods Election and Predestinati­on, which the Holy Scriptures do establish, and which is one fundamental point of the true Chri­stian Faith, and from whence doth spring as from a Fountain, all the parts of our Salvation; This is called, The Foundation of God which standeth sure, 2 Tim. 2.19. And this is that from whence as from a Fountain all the parts of our Salvation do spring, and proceed, Ephes. 1.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. There are two parts of this Election of God, name­ly, foreknowledge, and predestination. Rom. 8.29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predesti­nate; Now there neither is nor can be any fore­knowledge or fore-ordaining of that which is from Eternity, for nothing can be said to be before Eternity: And foreknowledge and predestination must be before the things foreknown and predesti­nated, and therefore if Justification were from Eternity, there could be no foreknowledge, or predestination thereof; To speak with a holy re­verence, God cannot be said to foreknow himself, [Page 178] or to fore-ordain his own blessedness, and enjoy­ment of himself alone, 'tis true, the blessedness of God doth consist in that knowledge and injoyment of himself, which he hath in and of himself eter­nally; But he could not fore-know himself, or fore-ordain himself this blessedness, because he hath and had this eternally, and nothing can pre­cede, or be before eternity. Even so God could not be said to foreknow and predestinate his Elect to Justification and Salvation, through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, if they were J [...]stified from all Eternity. And besides, it is [...]ritten, Gal. 3.8. For the Scripture foreseeing tha [...] God would justifie the Heathen through F [...]h, preached the Gospel before-hand to Abraham; saying, in thee shall all the Na­tions be blessed. Now the Scripture could not fore­see that which was from Eternity: the Scripture may and doth declare that which was from Eter­nity, as John 1.1, 2. and 1 John 1.2, 3. but the Scripture cannot be said to foresee that which was from Eternity, yet the Scripture did foresee that God would justifie these elect Heathen through Faith: therefore these Heathen were not Justified from Eternity, though they were elected from eternity: he therefore that saith he was justified from eternity, and doth teach men so, doth by consequence overthrow the Foundation of Gods Election, and deny that himself and those he so teacheth were either fore-known or predestinated of God to Justification and Salvation through Faith in Christ.

Part. 2. This Doctrine of Justification from Eternity, doth by necessary consequences destroy and overthrow the Doctrine and Faith of recon­ciliation, which is also another fundamental point of the Christian Faith: Reconciliation must go be­fore [Page 179] Justification, at least in the order of Nature, though not of time; God must be first reconciled to that person in Christ whom he justifieth in Christ, as 2 Cor. 5.18, 19. God was in Christ reconciling the World to himself: and then their justification follows, not imputing to them their trespasses; Recon­ciliation must be first, and then Justification fol­lows, for God Justifies a sinner upon the account of the price paid, and satisfaction made by Jesus Christ, as Rom. 5.10. If when we were Enemies we were reconciled to God by the Death of his Son, &c.

Now reconciliation was not nor could be from Eternity, because reconciliation supposeth a breach first made by sin, now the breach made betwixt God and Man by sin, was not from Eternity but in time, and therefore reconciliation could not be from Eternity▪ and without reconciliation by shed­ding of blood there is no remission, as Heb. 9.22. i. e. No Justification to the Church of Gods Elect, for Remission of sins is their Justification.

Part. 3. This Doctrine of Justification from E­ternity, destroyeth and overthroweth the true Doctrine of Justification it self also, which is ano­ther fundamental point of the Christian Faith: and therefore this Doctrine of Justification from Eter­nity cannot be true. Now the true Doctrine of Justification is, that Act of Gods Grace passed or put forth upon the person Elect, whereby of a guil­ty, ungodly, and unrighteous person before, he is really made and doth become, a righteous per­son in Gods sight, through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ given unto him. I say, he is made and doth become a righteous person in Gods sight, and that really, and not by opinion only as some would ima­gine; and here are two things to be cleared, as namely,

[Page 180]1. That every man in this World is really made and doth become a guil [...]y and condemned person in Gods sight by the first sin of Adam justly impu­ted to him by the Law, so Rom. 3.9, 10 and again ver. 19, 20. which the Apostle plainly affirmeth by a comparison of the two Adam's, Rom. 5.19. For as by one mans disobedience many were made sin­ners, &c. ver. 18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came, or it came upon all men to condemnation, in Gods sight; So that 'tis plain the many ver. 19. is all men, ver. 18. even the Elect of God as well as others.

2. That as in the first Adam all men did become and were really made sinners in Gods sight, by the just imputation of Adam's sin to them by the Law, even so in Christ many as v. 19. or all men, as ver. 18. i. e. all that believe are justified, i. e. are made and do become righteous in Gods sight, through Faith in Christ, by the righteousness of one, or by the obedience of one, justly imputed to them by the Law of Faith and Grace. So that as before Justification every man was really a guilty and unrighteous person in Gods sight; So now that Faith in Christ is come, every man that believeth is justified, and doth become, and is made a righ­teous person in Gods sight; So that Justification maketh a real change of State, from a state of sin and unrighteousness, and death, to a state of Grace, Righteousness and Life.

Now therefore he that is Justified from Eterni­ty, was from Eternity in a state of Grace, Righ­teousness and Life, and never was in a state of Sin, Unrighteousness and Death: he never was a Sin­ner, Ungodly, and condemned in Gods sight, and Sin had never raigned in him unto Death, in whom Grace had raigned unto Life, through Righteous­ness [Page 181] from all Eternity; but the contrary is true in all them whom God Justifieth, as Rom. 4.5. Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on him, that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith is counted for Righte­ousness and Rom. 5.6. For when we were yet with­out strength in due time Christ died for the Ungodly, and v. 21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might Grace reign through Righteousness unto Eternal Life, by Jesus Christ our Lord; So that we who are now Justified by Faith in Christ, were without strength, were ungodly, were under the reign of Sin unto Death: but he that was Justified from Eternity, was never any of these: and therefore no man was or could be Justified from Eternity; there is a contradiction in the things themselves; and there­fore this Doctrine is inconsistent with the truth: for Sin did not reign unto death in any from Eter­nity, but in Time: therefore Grace could not reign through Righteousness unto Life in any from Eter­nity, but in time.

Part. 4. This Doctrine of Justification from E­ternity, destroyeth also the Doctrine of Adoption, which inseparably followeth Justification, and is another inseparable point of the Christian Faith; I say Adoption followeth, and is an inseparable companion of Justification by Faith in Christ; he that is Justified by Faith in Christ, is also adopted and taken into the number of Gods Sons or Chil­dren by the same Faith, as Gal That we might be justified by Faith, v▪ 24. But after that Faith is come, v. 25. Ye are all the Children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus: by the same faith by which any man is Justified, by the same Faith also he is Adopted and made a Son or Child of God, and so again, Gal. 4 4 5, 7. Now no man was A­dopted from Eternity, and therefore no man was [Page 182] Justified from Eternity; And he that was Adopt­ed from Eternity, was never a Servant but a Son; was never a Child of Disobedience, a Child of Wrath, as Ephes. 2.2, 3. but a Child of God from eternity: and then there never could be any Pre­destination to the Adoption of Children, as Ephes. 1.5. that the Adoption of Children had been from eternity.

Part. 5. This Doctrine of Justification from Eternity denieth, destroyeth, and overthroweth by consequence, the truth and doctrine of discri­mination or making a difference betwixt the state of Nature, and the state of Grace, which the holy Scriptures do every where establish; The state of Nature according the Scriptures is a state of Sin, and so of Death and Condemnation, as hath been already shewed: But the state of Grace, is a state of Righteousness, and so of Life and Justification, as hath also been declared, through Faith in the Son of God, Rom. 9.30. and Rom. 10.4. John 5.24. and 1 John 4.14. Now he that saith he was Justi­fied from Eternity, saith that he was in a state of Life from Eternity, and by consequence never was in a state of Sin and Death: for Justification is Life, as Condemnation is Death, Rom. 5.18. but most cer­tain it is that all were dead, and in a state of sin and condemnation, before they believed on Christ even the Elect of God as well as others, as 2 Cor. 5.14. And the death of Christ for all the Elect doth prove that they were all dead, and in a state of Death Jews and Gentiles; for else Christ needed not to have died for them, and the love of Christ doth constrain all them to acknowledge, that they were dead, and therefore are debtors to Christ for their Life and Justification, through Faith in him, and so no more to live to themselves, but to him [Page 831] that died for them and rose again. The words are most plain, and the sense most genuine: For the love of Christ constraineth us▪ because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not hence­forth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again; Therefore seeing they were once dead, and in a state of Death and Condemna­tion, they were not justified from Eternity, no not one of them, that Live and are Justified by Faith in Christ, for they all, and always thus judge, that they were all dead, i e. condemned, and not justified before they believed in Christ, and do freely confess the truth, and therefore not one of them doth profess, or can profess any such Faith, that he was Justified from Eternity.

Part. 6. This Doctrine of Justification from Eternity, denyeth and overthroweth the Doctrine of Regeneration or new Birth, and the necessity thereof; which Christ himself doth plainly affirm and urge upon every man in this World, John 3.3, 5, 8. and so do all the holy Prophets and Apo­stles, as may be easily proved if there were any so bold as to deny it. Now he that is Justified by Faith in Christ, and hath this power and priviledge given unto him to become a Son of God, as every true believer hath, John 1.11, 12. he also is born of God, as John 1.13. which were born, not of blood, nor of the Will of the Flesh, nor of the Will of Man, but of God, as James 1.18. Of his own Will begat he us by the Word of Truth: not one Believer (and so Justi­fied person in this World) but he is born of God and begotten of God, and so is born again, as 1 Pet. 1.23. being born again not of corruptible seed but of in­corruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abi­deth for ever, ver. 25. And this is the Word which [Page 184] by the Gospel is Preached unto you: so that not one person is or can be justified by Faith, but at the same time and by the same word of Faith, Preach­ed to him and Believed by him, he is also born again: he therefore that saith he was justified from Eternity, saith also that he was born of God from Eternity: and he that was born of God from E­ternity, needeth not; nor can be born again: for Regeneration is but once; and those that were born of God from Eternity, are far from being new born Babes, as all true Believers are after their first Conversion and Calling, and as the Apo­stle Peter calleth and styleth them. 1 Pet. 2.2, 3.

Part. 7. This Doctrine of Justification from E­ternity denieth, destroyeth, and overthroweth the Doctrine of Repentance and Conversion to God by Christ, and by consequence takes away the ne­cessity thereof: the holy Scriptures do every where establish, both in the Old and New Testament the necessity of Repentance and Conversion to God, as Isa. 55.6, 7. Act. 3.19. Act. 26.17, 18. Luke. 24.45, 46, 47. But he that saith he was justified from Eternity, by consequence saith, that he had remis­sion of Sins from Eternity, and that his Sins were blotted out from Eternity, for Justification is Re­mission of Sins, as Psalm 32.1, 2, 3. And blotting out of Sins, as Isa. 43.25. And so he needeth not to Repent and be Converted, for asmuch as he had his sins blotted out from Eternity, and was Righ­teous from Eternity; and well it is if men of these notions and traditions, which they have received to hold, do not become as the Pharisees of old; so Whole as they need no Physician, and so Righte­ous in their own Eyes, that like the 99 Just Per­sons, they need no Repentance or Conversion, as Luke 15.4, 8. And if the name of Repentance and [Page 185] Conversion shall still be pretended to, and boasted of amongst them; it shall only consist in making Proselytes to this their Tradition of Justification from Eternity, which they call the Gospel, and a more glorious Light than former Ages have enjoyed: And some have not blushed to affirm, than perhaps the Apostles had. But let them take heed, lest that Wo come upon them spoken by the Mouth of Truth himself, Mat. 23.15.

Part. 8. This Doctrine doth frustrate and make void all the ends of Christ Death and Suffering, which are the Justification and Salvation of Gods Elect; for if they were Justified from Eternity, what need was there of Christs dying to obtain that for them, which they had from all Eternity? So that if this Doctrine be true, as they affirm: then as the Apostle saith in another case, Gal. 2.21. Christ is dead in vain.

Part 9. This Doctrine of Justification from E­ternity, destroyeth and overthroweth the Doctrine and Order of God's new Creation in Christ, and making all things new in him; which the Holy Scriptures do every where establish both in the Old and New Testament. This is certain the Old Creation was first and before the New, else it were not new; Adam was before Christ, or the first A­dam before the Second, as Rom. 4.12. and 1 Cor. 15.45, 46, 47. And so it is written, the first man A­dam was made a living Soul, the last Adam was made a quickning Spirit, howbeit, that was not first, which is Spiritual but that which is Natural, and afterward that which is Spiritual. The first or old Creation in Adam is the natural, and the second or new Crea­tion in Christ the Spiritual, now that was not first which is Spiritual, but that is first which was na­tural, therefore the Workmanship of God in the na­tural [Page 186] or old creation was first; And the workman­ship of God in the new Creation in Christ, is the Spir [...]tual and therefore last: the second must be after the first, or else 'tis not second, the new must be after the old, or else the old is not old, nor the other new. Now Justification by Faith in Christ, is Gods Workmanship in the new Creation, as 2 Cor. 5.17, 18. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature, old things (i. e. the things of the first Creation in Adam) are passed away, behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. And therefore Reconciliation and Justification by Jesus Christ, as ver. 19. are parts of the new Creation in Christ as also is most manifest, Eph. 2.8, 9, 10. 'tis manifest I say, that God at first setled all things: So the first Adam and all men in him upon the foundation of the Law, or Covenant of Works, which settlement was broken or dissolved by the first transgression, and Death entred upon all men by Sin, and no hope or possibility of Righteous­ness or Life, by that Law or Covenant any more, therefore now God bringeth forth Christ the second Adam, and settles all things again upon a new Co­venant of Grace, restoring Righteousness and Life by Jesus Christ to all that believe, this is the new Creation, that which is Spiritual; Now therefore Justification and Salvation by Faith in Christ, was not from Eternity, because 'tis Gods new Creation in Christ; And forasmuch as the Old Creation, and that which is Natural, was not from Eternity but in Time; 'Tis manifest that Gods new Creation in Christ to any man in this World, was not from Eternity, but in Time, for the first must be before the second, and the old before the new; Therefore Justification and Life through Faith in Christ, was not from Eternity but in Time, [Page 187] though these things were laid in the purpose, and counsel of God from Eternity; yet they were not nor could be but in time; And if any will say, God calleth things that are not as if they were, 'tis most true but let such consider that all those things are still things that are not, till God brings them forth in time.

Thus have we tryed this Doctrine, and find it most contrary to the holy Scriptures; As the Apo­stle Paul [...]ryed the Doctrine of them who denied the Resurrection, under pretence that it was past a ready: whom he convinceth and confu [...]eth, by the necessary consequences of their Doctrine, as 1 Cor. 15, 12▪ —20.

And having finished the tryal of the first opinion or doctrine of Justification from Eternity: we now proceed to the second, namely.

2. Doctrine That they that are Christs were all justified in Christ their head from the time of Christs Death or Resurrection, when the price was paid, and satisfaction made by Christ, and he as head, was justified and discharged by his Resurrection, the question therefore is;

Quest. Whether the Church of Gods Elect were Justified at, from, or in the time of Christs Death and Resurrection?

Or whether Believers may and ought to dte [...]he time of their Justification from the time of Christs Death and Resurrection?

Answ. To this we answer by distinguishing, and that truly betwixt the Time and the Thing it self [...] and accordingly,

1. We do affirm and conclude, and (that most surely) according to the Scriptures, that all that are Christs▪ the whole Church of Gods Elect are [...]ustified from, by, through and upon the satisfacti­on, [Page 188] Merit, Virtue and Efficacy of Christs Death de­clared by his Resurrection, as Rom. 3.24, 25, 26. and again Ephes. 1.7. Rom. 4 ult. and Rom. 5.8, 9. and Luke 24.46, 47. Thus it is written and thus it be­hoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: that repentance and remission of sins should be Preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And this is certain that Remission of Sins or Justification cannot be preached to any but upon the account of Christs Death and Resurrecti­on; viz. The satisfaction, merit and efficacy of his Death, manifested and declared by his Resurrecti­on according to Rom. 1.4. and 1 Tim. 3.16. Mani­fested in the Flesh, Justified in the Spirit.

2. We do also affirm and conclude according to the Scriptures, that all that have been, are now, or shall hereafter be Justified, from the beginning of the World to the end thereof; have been, are now, and shall hereafter be Justified by the same satis­faction, vertue, merit and efficacy of Christs Death declared by his Resurrection, and no otherways, as Heb. 13.7, 8. Whose Faith follow, considering the end of their Conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday and to day, and for ever. 'Tis evident from the context, that he setteth before them, the doctrine and ex­ample, the faith and conversation of such as had spoken the Word of God to them, in which ex­pression he comprehendeth all the Holy Prophets, under the Old Testament, and those Holy Servants of God whom he had mentioned, chap. 11. parti­cularly, and then more generally referred them to ch. 12.1. as so great a Cloud of Witnesses: I say all these of the Old Testament, as well as the Apostles under the New Testament, together with their present Ministers: when he saith Remember them which have Rule over you, (or which are the guides [Page 189] and so rule by way of conduct, for other rule the Servants of God have none or ever had) who have spoken unto you the Word of God, whose Faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday and to day and for ever: by yester­day, is meant all the time that is past, by to day the present time, and by forever, is all the time yet to come from the foundation of the World to the end of it: And if so, the same Christ Jesus was promised, prophesied and preached to them, as truly as unto us, and was believed on by them, as well as by us, and by the same Faith, which they had in this Jesus Christ, they were justified and saved, and became the Heirs of the same Righte­ousness of Faith as well as we, Heb. 11.1. This Faith is described, and then Abel, Enoch, Noah, A­braham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, the heirs (with A­braham) of the same promise; and the promise was Christ, Justification, and Salvation in Christ with Eternal Glory, and then mentioning Joseph, Moses, Rahab also a Heathen; And then Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jeptha, David and Samuel the Prophet, with others, Men and Women: tells you, These all obtained a good report through Faith: before Christ the Seed of the Woman, and the Seed of Abraham and David promised, was come in the Flesh or Hu­mane nature; before his Death and Resurrection; and yet believed on Christ embraced him and were justified and saved by Faith in him all along, as well as we are now, Christ is come, hath died and rose again, so Rom. 4.23, 24, 25. So that 'tis most plain Christ is the same yesterday, as he is to day, and so forever, i. e. in all Ages and Generations yet to come, as John 17.20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also that shall believe on me, through their word, that they all may be one. This (shall believe [Page 190] on me) reacheth to the end of the World so long as Christ shall be Preached, and men shall believe on him through their word, of whom Christ saith, Mat. ult. ult. and lo! I am with you alway even to the end of the World: So that Christ Jesus is the same yesterday and to day, and forever; And all that are justified to day, as well as all that were justified yesterday, and all that shall be justified for ever, i. e to the end of the World have been, are and shall be still justified by the satisfaction, merit, vertue and efficacy of Christs Death▪ declared by his Resurrection; who was the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the World ▪ Rev. 13 8. as all the sacri­fices, types and prophecies did there concerning him, that he should be slain and ri [...]e again, and in that respect was both the Goat for our Sin Offer­ing or Sacrifice, and likewise our Scape-goat, let go and escaped from Death (when he had born our Sins) I say let go and escaped by a glorious Re­surrection: and so as the Lamb of God did bear a­way, or take away the Sins of World, John 1.29. Did bear or carry them away into a Land of for­getfulness, i. e. where none of them shall be re­membred.

And thus far we do affirm and consent con­cerning the justification of the whole Church of Gods Elect from the death of Christ, i. e. from and upon the satisfaction, merit, virtue, and effi­cacy of his death; and that none are justified or have redemption but through his blood, and faith therein, for the propitiation of their Sins: as Rom. 3.25. whom God hath set forth to be a pro­pitiation through Faith in his blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins: and v. 26. to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which be­ [...]elieveth [...]n Jesus.

[Page 191] Neg. But as concerning the Doctrine of Justifica­tion from the time of Christs Death and Resurrecti­on more or rather than any other time; or that the Church of Gods Elect are justified from the time of Christs Death or Resurrection; we do utterly deny and reject, and say the justification of his Body the Church doth no more commence from, or depend upon the time of his Death and Resurrection than upon any other time before or after: for,

1st. If the justification of Gods Elect did com­mence from, and depend upon the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, so that they were not, nor could be justified before that time, then all those that were fallen asleep in Christ, before the time of Christs Death and Resurrection are perished, as 1 Cor 15.18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. The Conse­quence is plain and invincible; for if they were not justified their Sins were imputed and not forgiven▪ and if so, then they died in their Sins and so are perished as John 8.12. If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins; and this is eternal perdition, or to perish for ever; if they were not justified, they were not righteous, righ­teousness was not imputed to them, and so they neither did not could inherit the Kingdom of God, as 1 Cor. 6.9. Know ye not that the Unrighteous (or Unjustified) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? And so Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Ja­cob, Moses and Samuel, and all the Prophets until John are perished and excluded out of the King­dom of God: yea, John Baptist [...]lso is perished, and good old Simeon that took the Babe in his arms and blessed him, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace according so thy word, [Page 192] for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation, Luke 2.29, 30 and Anna the Prophetess also, v. 36. are perished. For all these died before the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, as is most plain and manifest: But now these are not perished, but were justi­fied by Faith in their Life time, and blessed in their death, and live now unto God eternally in the Mansions of Heavenly Glory: and for all this we have a sure word of Prophecy. Abraham lived 430 years before the Law of Moses, and above 2000 years before Christ came in the flesh, and 30 years more before Christs Death and Resurrection, and yet was as much justified by Faith in Christ as any man ever since, or that will be to the end of the World, and so were all the rest afore­mentioned; and therefore justification is not reckoned from the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, seeing all these were justified so long before that time.

2. Then Christ himself is found a false Witness, who came from the bosom of the Father, and could declare and did declare the truth, as John 1.18. I say then Christ himself is found a false Witness who testified of Abraham, Isaac and Ja­cob, and all the Prophets to be in the Kingdom of God, Luke 13.28, There shall be weeping and gnashing of Teeth; when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God, and you your selves thrust o [...]: Now who are these, ye and your selves? these are many such as lived in and after the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, and great Professors too, as appear­eth v. 26. When they shall say we have eat and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our Streets; and also in that parallel place, Mat. 7.22. Have we not Prophesied in thy name? and in thy [Page 193] name have cast out Devils? and in thy name have done many wonderful works▪ all which must be after the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, for the Spirit was not given for these extraordinary works and miracles till Christ was glorified; and yet saith Christ ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Ja­cob, and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God, and ye your selves thrust out: so that those that lived before the time of my Death and Resurrect­ion, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, ye shall see them hereafter, when that day shall come which revealeth all things: ye shall see them in the Kingdom of God, and ye your selves, who lived, professed my name, Pro­phesied and did miracles in my name after the time of my Death and Resurrection, ye shall see your selves thrust out: and though you cast out Devils in my name, yet ye did not cast him out, nor was he cast out of your own hearts. But Christs Witness is most true, and will be found so at the great day; therefore let men take heed how they make him a Liar, who is Truth it self; for certainly Christ did not bear false witness, when he testified to the Sick of the Palsie, Mark 2.5. Son, thy Sins be forgiven thee, and when he testified in the House of Simon concerning the Woman that was and had been a great Sinner, when she washed Christs feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and brake so costly a Box of Ointment and poured it upon his head, that all the room was filled with the odour thereof: I say when he testified to Simon and all that were in the house concerning her, Luc. 7.47. Wherefore I say unto thee; her Sins which are many are forgiven, for she loved much: and when he te­stified to her, v. 48. And he said unto her, thy Sins [Page 194] are forgiven: Forgiveness of Sins is justification, and they had Faith in Christ wrought in them; for Mark 2.5. when Jesus saw their Faith, and Luke 7.50. And he said to the Woman, thy Faith hath saved thee; and yet the time of Christs Death and Resur­rection was not yet come; so that justification and Salvation through Faith in Christ was as sure and certain, and as full and compleat to them that believed before the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, as ever it was to any since or shall be to the end of the World: therefore the justifi­cation of Gods Elect is no more dated or doth commence from the time of Christs death, than from any time before or after.

3. If the justification of Gods Elect should com­mence and bear date from the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, then thousands of Gods Elect that were Born, were Converted and cal­led, and have believed on Christ since the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, in Ages and Generations until now, were justified before they were Converted and Called, before they receiv'd the Spirit by the hearing of Faith, before they believed God or his word, before they had any Faith wrought in them; for they were justified from the time of Christs death, according to this Doctrine; so that they were as much and as truly justified in their unbelief, impiety, unregeneracy and enmity, as ever they were or came to be ju­stified afterwards when they believed and em­braced Christ, which is most contrary to the Scriptures, Acts 13.38, 39▪ Rom. 4.23 Ephes. 2.11, 12, 13. and Rom. 8.30. Whom he called, them be also justified.

Paul, when Saul a Blasphemer, Persecutor, and Iniurious, was as truly justified as Paul when [Page 195] called, a Convert, a Believer and a Preacher of Jesus Christ, contrary to the Scriptures, 1 Tim. 1.13, 14, 15, 16. and Acts 22.16. For Saul conti­nued Unconverted, Uncalled, a Blasphemer, a Persecutor, and Injurious, Ignorant and an Un­believer long after Christs Death and Resurrection; and yet according to this Doctrine must be justified when he lived, and continued in impenitency and unbelief and disobedience till that time; yea and all those Corinthians mentioned, 1 Cor. 6 11. And such were some of you: But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus; and by the Spirit of our God. Now look back into the 9. and 10. verses; Know ye not that the un­righteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adul­terers, nor efeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the King­dom of God: And such were some of you. Plainly im­plying that when ye lived in these sins uncalled, unconverted, impenitent and unbelievers, then you were not washed, nor sanctified, nor justifi­ed; but now since you were called, and converted 'tis otherwise with you than it was before: But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Ye were not justified before, but now ye are justi­fied in the name of the Lord Jesus, i. e. since ye believed on that name; then ye were not washed, nor sanctified while ye wallowed in the mire of these sins, but now ye are washed, ye are sanctifi­ed by the Spirit of our God: Therefore they were not justified from the time of Christs death and resur­rection, but from the time of their calling to Faith [...]n Christ who dyed and rose again long before. [Page 196] And that this must be the true sense of the Apostle, appeareth in that he tells them, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus; He thereby conclud­eth and that truly, they were not justified before; though the time of Christs Death and Resurrection was past before.

And thus have we finished also the tryal of this second Opinion or Doctrine of Justification from the time of Christs Death and Resurrection, and find it not to be a true Doctrine; a Doctrine not of God.

All therefore which now remaineth to be done, is to shew and assign the true time and season of Gods Justifying his Elect; and from whence the truly justified person may humbly date his own Justification according to the holy Scriptures, and have the seal of God in the true witness of his holy Spirit in the word for the proof it.

Lastly therefore, The due time and season of Gods justifying his Elect, through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, is the time of their respective believing, embracing, re­ceiving and entertaining Christ; Christ in the pro­mise, or the promise in Christ: for all the promises are yea and Amen in Christ, 2 Cor. 1.20. Not a promise alone without Christ, for that is to be suspected; the promise when given by the Father, and ap­plyed by the Spirit is never alone or separate from Christ, but always in Christ and together with him: Even as Abraham is said to have received the pro­mises when he offered up his only Son, Heb. 11.17. But Abraham did not receive the promise, or promi­ses alone, i. e. without Christ, the substance of all the promises; but he received the promise in Christ▪ or Christ in and through the promises. For as God made no promise of Eternal Life out [Page 197] of Christ, but in Christ and through him, so we can receive no promise or promises of Eternal Life and Salvation but in Christ, and Christ in and together with the promise. And therefore Abra­ham is said to have received the promise of God in Christ, as God gave it to him, so he received it in Christ; as Gal. 3.16, 17, 18. He therefore that believeth with a justifying and saving Faith, re­ceiveth Christ in the promises, and embraceth not the promises alone, but Christ in the promise: and therefore union with Christ, and receiving Christ into the heart, and promises, and all things else to­gether, is the true Faith of Gods Elect, and the Faith of the operation of God, as 1 John 5.11, 12. This is the reward that God hath given to us, Eternal Life, and this Life is in his Son: He that hath the Son hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life; and Joh. 1.11, 12. He came to his own and his own re­ceived him not. But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. So that in short, Faith is receiving Christ, and without Christ be received there is no believing, and where there is no belie­ving there is no justification.

The true time therefore of God's justifying his Elect, is the time of their believing, i. e. of their receiving and embracing Christ; then, and not before, and thence ever after God doth justi­fie his Elect: And they may from thence date the time of their justification acccording to the Scrip­tures. As it was with Abraham, so it is with all the Children of Abraham; as it is written again and again; Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for Righteousness, Rom. 4.3. Now from the time that Abraham believed God from that time was he justified and ever after; even so it is with all [Page 819] the Children of Abraham; as, Rom 4.23, 24, 25. Now it was not written for Abrahams sake alone that it was imputed to him, but for us also to whom it shall be imputed: If we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the Dead; who was delivered for our Offences, and raised again for our Justifi­cation. Now therefore Christian, the time of Gods imputing Righteousness to thee, and justify­ing thee in Christ; is not the time of Christs dying and rising again, but the time of thy be [...]ieving on him and embracing him by Faith in thy heart who was deliver'd for thy offences, and raised again for thy justification.

And to produce this Faith in thee, and this be­lieving God as Abraham did; these three things must necessarily concur, all which did concur in the Faith of Abraham: as namely,

1. There must be hearing; The word of God must be truly preached to thee, and thou must hear it▪ or there neither is, nor can be th [...]s Faith that justifieth; as, Rom 10.17. So then Faith com­eth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and as v. 14, 15. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a Preacher? And how shall they Preach except they be sent, i. e. se [...]t of God? And thus God himself Preached the Gospel to Abraham, Say­ing in thee and in thy seed, sha [...]l the Families of the Earth, or Nations, be blessed, as, Gal. 3.8. com­pared with Gen. 12.3. and Gen. 2 [...].18. So then Abrahams Faith came by [...]aring Christ Preached.

2. The Spirit of God mu [...]t be given of God to thee, and received of thee by hearing the Faith or Doctrine of Faith Preached, as Gal. 4.2. With­out which thou canst not receive the Spiritual [Page 199] things which the Gospel Preacheth, but they will seem foolishness to thee because they are Spiritual­ly descerned, 1 Cor. 2.13▪ 14. and 1 Cor. 1.21, 22, 23, 24. Joh. 6.44, 45. and again verse 60 — 66. The word preached I say, will never be rightly understood till God by his Spirit openeth thy Heart to understand, as Luk. 24.45, 46. Acts 16.14. And thus God opened Abrahams Heart to understand the Gospel or the promise in Christ preached to him by the gift of his holy Spirit.

3. This Faith must be wrought in thee by the same Spirit, for this is the Faith of the operation of God, as Col. 2.12. The gift of God; as Eph. 2.8. Produced by the exceeding greatness of his power, as when he raised Christ from the dead; Eph. 1.17, 18. Which was done by the power of the Ho­ly Ghost, Rom. 1.4. Rom. 8.15. And thus was Abrahams Faith wrought in him and it was given him to believe, his Faith was not of himself, but was the gift of God; otherwise Abraham might have had whereof to boast, but not before God; as, Rom. 4 2, 3.

And thus Abrahams believing God, was as much of the Sovereign will of Gods grace and favour to him, as his imputing Righteousness to him upon his believing. And thus it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mer­cy. So it was with Abraham, and so it is with all the Children of Abraham; and the Lord grant it may be so with thee: Abraham belived God and it was counted to him for Righteousness. That was the time of Gods justifying him through Faith in Christ; do thou believe God as Abraham did and it shall also be counted to thee for Righteousness, and this shall be the time of Gods Justifying thee through Faith in his Son Jesus Christ: Even then [Page 200] when all these things concur in thy Faith, as they did in Abrahams. 1. The hearing of Faith or the word of Faith preached to thee: 2. Gods giving and thy receiving the Spirit through this hearing of the Faith Preached: 3. Faith wrought in thee by the same Spirit to receive Jesus Christ: This time I say again, and no other is or can be assigned according to the holy Scriptures for thy Justifica­tion in Gods sight. When this Faith cometh into thy Soul, then cometh this Blessedness of thy Justification, whether it be in Circumcision or in uncircumcision, Rom. 4.8—12.




BY the inadvertency of the Printer these few Errata's have happened in the first sheet of this Book. In the rest more care has been taken, so that there are no faults but what are unavoidable. In Page 3. of the first Epistle, Line 15. for did Read do. in p. 4. l. 2. for works, r. words. l. 14. r. did then. in p. 5. l. 17. for fiery, r. feirce. in p. 13. l. 29. r. the Kingdom. in p. 4. of the 2d. Epist. dele▪ the 42. ver. of Mar. 9. & r. 41. in p. 6. l. 17. r. 2. v. of Rom. 6. in p. 7. l. 19. r. into the City.

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