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totally ignorant of the purity and perfection of the divine law. Otherwise his language would have been just the reverse of this: and instead of saying, All these have I kept, he would have said, All these have I transgressed from my youth up. But he persisting to justify himself, our Saviour put him upon the trial, Go sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, ver. 21. At this the self-righteous creature went away sorrowful, discovering thereby his inordinate love of the world, and showing that he preferred carthly treasures before heavenly. Thirdly and Lastly, The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith, Gal. iii. 24. When a man is convicted of his guilt and danger by the law of works, he is forced to flee from the wrath to come, and lay hold of Christ that he may be justified by faith. This is a way wherein souls are led from under the law to Christ. Our Saviour seems to have taken this course with the young man, but his disobedience proved his ruin.

But I shall not stand to answer any more objections; for they are all founded in the state of the heart. Men know not the want of this righteousness, and, therefore, they object against it; they know not the value of it, and, therefore, they slight it. The insensibility of their indigence supplies them with a fund of cavils and objections, all which are answered at once, as soon as they are convinced of sin, unbelief, internal iniquity, external impiety, and selfrighteousness. When men find the want of Christ's

righteousness, they will then know the worth of it; they will have nothing to object against it, but bless God for providing it for them.

The imputation of Christ's active obedience, and his satisfaction for sin, are both founded upon the same principle, viz. that one may undertake or become surety for another; and that what the one does and suffers, may be transferred to the other. Those, therefore, who allow that Christ was our surety, must grant not only that he made satisfaction for our sins, but also that his active obedience is imputed to us and they that deny the latter, do in effect, renounce the former. If Christ might in consequence of his suretiship suffer for our sins, why might he not also upon the same principle work out a perfect righteousness for us? Is not one of these as reasonable as the other? And if you admit one of these, have you not as good reason to admit both? But if you reject either, you have as good ground, (and that is just none at all,) to reject both. The Socinians deny the atonement of Christ's death, and so in consistence with their own scheme, renounce the doctrine of his righteousness imputed; and if you disclaim this latter, you must cashier both.

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We are justified by Christ's righteousness or active obedience: This is the matter of our justification. God imputes this righteousness to us; faith apprehends this righteousness, and so we are justified before God. We are justified by faith, not by the act

of faith, as an act which we, (through grace,) exert, or as an exercise of our own minds. To assert this, would be in effect to maintain justification by works, and to say we are justified for something in us or done by us, which is directly opposite to that of the apostle, Rom. iii. 24. being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Now we should not be justified freely and of grace, but of debt, if we were justified by faith as an act, work, or exercise of ours, Rom. iv. 4. We are no more justified by faith as an act of ours, than by hope, love, or any other fruit of the Spirit. When, therefore, we speak of being justified by faith, we do not mean by faith as our act, but by the object of faith, i. e. Jesus Christ. And this is no needless or frivolous distinction; for you will observe many preachers, who with a great zeal and air of free grace declare for justification by faith, by faith alone, in the strongest manner possible; yet for want of duly making a distinction between the act of faith and the object, they do all the while unawares preach justification by works. Faith is nothing of itself: it must always be taken with its object, or else it is nothing worth. The blood and righteousness of Christ are the ground and foundation of our acceptance with God. And what is faith without these? It is nothing but a withered hand. Therefore, all the glory of our justification is to be ascribed to CHRIST ALONE, and not to our faith, nor any thing in us, nor any thing done by us.

Hence, therefore, we see how full and perfect the righteousness of Christ is: It is sufficient to justify us, without any thing of our own. This righteousness was accomplished by the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, and, therefore, its worth and excellence must bear proportion to its divine Author. The righteousness of Christ is in every respect answerable to the strictest demands of God's law, and the severest exactions of his justice. Is the divine commandment exceeding broad? Yet the obedience of Christ is as broad and extensive. It is so pure, that the holiness of God can discern no spot in it; it is so universal and uniform, that his infinite justice can find no fault with it. Hath not God, therefore, magnified the law? Hath he not made it honourable? Is not the obedience of Christ a greater honour to the divine law than if men and angels and all finite creatures whatsoever had obeyed it? All these could have yielded but the obedience of finite creatures, but the obedience of Christ is the obedience of the Creator, and is infinite. As by the sacrificè of Christ's death a greater recompense was made to the injured justice of God than if all mankind had suffered eternally; so by his absolute conformity to the divine commandments, the law was more highly honoured than if it had been fulfilled by all intelligent beings, whether human or angelical. Christ hath suffered all, Christ hath done all for us, and we have nothing to do but to believe that he hath done all for us. And this faith is the gift of God, Eph. ii. 8. Only believe, saith our Savlour, Luke, viii. 50. This

is a mystery to the children of this world, and carnal reasoners esteem it foolishness. "If we walk wor"thy of Christ, (says Polycarp,) we shall also reign ❝ with him, i. e. if we believe."* So that according to this apostolic father believing in Christ is walking worthy of him, and we have nothing to do but to believe in Christ. And even this belief or this faith is not our own work, but the work of God and his gift, John, vi. 29. Eph. ii. 8. Therefore, all is of grace.

Indeed, if Christ had left one sin unsatisfied for, we could never have made satisfaction for that single offence, and so must have perished for ever. And if Christ had left but one of the least commandments unfulfilled, that commandment we could never have fulfilled, and so we could never have been saved. Suppose we had sinned only in one single turn or thought of the heart, suppose that afterwands we had kept the whole law in thought, word and deed, yet our present or future obedience could never make amends for that one offence, though it were but a single deviation of the heart from God for the space of a moment. All our prayers, tears, humiliation, confessions and penances, can never wash out the stain of the least sin. The fire of hell itself cannot purify us from the pollution of sin. Nothing but the precious blood of Christ can purge our souls from

* Εάν πολιτευσώμεθα αίως αυτό, κι συμβασιλεύσωμεν αὐτῷ, ειδε ποδύομεν. Polycarp. Dpist. ad Philip.

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