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derful and free mercy to restore them again ; wonderful and glorious wisdom to do it by so great a condescension and contrivance, as the incarnation and passion of the Son of God. There lay no bond upon God at all, to show mercy to a creature, which had cast him off, and rebelled against him. He might, 'pari jure,' have left men unredeemed, as he did the angels, and have glorified himself in their just perdition. It was mere and alone mercy, which made the difference." He took not the nature of angels; but the seed of Abraham he took." (Heb. ii. 16)

2. By the gospel, the human nature is more highly advanced, than it could be in the first Adam, had he persisted in his integrity. First, In the person of Christ; in whom it was hypostatically united to the divine nature, and advanced far above all principality and power, might and dominion, and every name that is named. Angels, and principalities, and powers, are made subject to him. He is the first-born of every creature, and hath, in all things, the preeminence. 2. In all those who are spiritually descended from him, and estated by union and communion with him in his fulness both of grace and glory. For certainly, to be where Christ is, and to behold his glory when he shall come to be admired in those that believe, to be like unto him, to see him as he is, to sit down with him on his throne', to be joint heirs with him in his glory ",—which are some of those exceeding great and precious promises, which in the gospel are made unto true believers, are more high and honourable expressions of the dignity of the sons of God by gracious adoption, than any we can discover to have belonged unto Adam and his natural posterity, had they persisted in that integrity, wherein they were created. For then the reward would only have borne proportion to the obedience whereunto it related: but now it shall have its dimensions from the dignity of the person, and excellency of the price whereby it was purchased; both which do infinitely surpass both the person and obedience of Adam, or any other mere

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3. By the gospel, there is more divine and supernatural help afforded to believers, to carry them through their course of obedience unto glory, than there was unto Adam in paradise. To Adam was given a posse non peccare, si vellet,' a power not to sin if he would"; and a power to have willed, if he would so have done. But he had not special supernatural assistance given him to will: for if he had had that, he had persevered. But unto believers there is such grace given, 'qua efficitur ut velint." It is God that worketh in us both to will and to do, of his own good pleasure," saith the apostle. (Phil. ii. 13) Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power," saith the prophet David. (Psalm cx. 3) "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them," saith the Lord. (Ezek. xxxvi. 27) This point is excellently handled by that renowned champion of the grace of God, St. Austin P, in his book, De Correptione et Gratia.'

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II. The excellency of the gospel will appear, if we compare it with the law of Moses. The priesthood thereof, a nobler priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek: the covenant thereof, a better covenant,- established upon better promises,' as the apostle proveth at large in his epistle to the Hebrews.

1. The law moral, considered singly and alone, is a ministration of death and condemnation; a killing, enthralling, inexorable, insupportable law: insomuch that the people were not able to endure the commands thereof. (Heb. xii. 20.) "Why should we die?" say they; "this great fire will consume us :-if we hear the voice of the


Accepit gratiam, qua non posset peccare, si peccare nollet; nondum tamen tantam acceperat gratiam, qua nec peccare vellet. Fulgent. de incarnat. et Gra. Christi, cap. 12. Tale erat adjutorium, in quo permaneret si vellet, non quo fieret ut vellet. Aug. de corrept. et grat. c. 11. • Trahitur miris modis,

ut velit, ab illo, qui novit intus in ipsis hominum cordibus operari: non ut homines, quod fieri non potest, nolentes credant, sed ut volentes ex nolentibus fiant. Aug. cont. 2 Ep. Pelag. 1. 1. c. 19. Certum est nos velle cum volumus, sed ille facit ut vellemus, &c. de grat. et lib. arbit. c. 16, 17.—Vid. de Dono perseverant. 22, 23.-De grat. Christi, c. 24, 25, 26.-Enchirid. ad Laurent. c. 32.-Ep. 107, 143.-Ad Simplician. 1. qu. 2.—Vid. Concil. Arausican. 2. cap. 4, 6, 7, 9, 20, 23.— Pet. Diacon, de Incarnat. Christi, c. 6, 8.-Fulgent. de Incarnat. et grat. Christi, c. 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 29, 30.-Bernard. de grat. et lib. arbit, et de modo bene vivendi, Serm. 3. P Cap. xi. 12. Heb. vii. 22. viii. 6. ix. 23.

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Lord our God any more, then we shall die." (Deut. v. 25) But the gospel is the ministration of the Spirit and righteousness; and therefore more glorious, as the apostle argues, 2 Cor. iii. 7, 8, 9.

1. Hereby the curse of the law is removed: for Christ 'came to bless us,' (Acts iii. 26) that repentance and remission of sins might be preached in his name.''

2. Hereby we are delivered from the law as a covenant of life, though not as a rule of living'; the righteousness of faith being substituted in the room thereof, as the apostle teacheth us. (Acts xiii. 39. Rom. iii. 20, 28. Gal. ii. 16, iii. 10, 13)

3. Hereby the rigour of the law is corrected, Christ procuring acceptation of sincerity instead of perfection. He is the altar" which sanctifieth all our oblations: so that the Lord, notwithstanding their defects, is well pleased with them, pardoning that in them which comes from our weakness, and accepting and rewarding that which comes from his own grace. (1 Pet. ii. 5. Isa. lvi. 7)

4. Hereby the coaction of the law is sweetened by healing and assisting grace: that, whereas the law doth only drive by terror and bondage unto the doing of duty, which otherwise we should rather have left undone; (mallent licitum quod male delectat,' as St. Austin speaks) the spirit of grace in the gospel, shedding abroad the love of Christ into our hearts, doth cause us with delight to run the ways of God's commandments, ut non sit terribile sed suave mandatum:' for the yoke of Christ is easy, and his burden light, and his commandments not grievous. (1 John v. 3)

• Gal. iii. 13. Luke xxiv. 47. De Spiritu et Lit. c. 8. 10. Rom. vii. 22.

v. 5.

grat. c. 57.

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■ Aug. de grat. Christi, 1. 1. c. 13. De nat. et Lex jubere tantum potest, non adjuvare :' de pec. meritis et remiss. 1. 1. c. 11. et 1. 2, c. 17. Lex jubere novit, cui succumbit infirmitas; gratia juvare, qua infunditur caritas.—In ipsa intus voluntate peccat, qui non voluntate sed timore non peccat: cont. 2 Ep. Pelag. 1. 1. c. 8, 9. Non fit in corde quod fieri videtur in opere, quando mallet homo non facere, si posset impunè. Ergo benedictio dulcedinis est gratia Dei, qua fit in nobis ut nos delectet, quod præcepit nobis. Ibid. lib. 2. c. 9. et l. 3. c. 7.-De spiritu et lit. c. 8, 9, 12, 32.—Quod operum lex minando imperat, hoc fidei lex credendo impetrat. Ibid. c. 1. 3.-Lex data est, ut gratia quæreretur; gratia data est, ut lex impleretur; 1h. c. 19. Ep. 95. et 200.-De nat. et grat. c. 15, 16.-De bono viduitat. c. 17, 18.

5. Lastly, hereby the irritation of the law is rebuked: that whereas the restraints thereof did before exasperate corruption, that, like an obstructed river, ab obice sævior iret,' it gathereth strength by suppression; now all the channels of the heart being opened by grace, the course of obedience goeth on with more freedom; and lust is not able to gather head against it, as it was wont to do.

2. The excellency of the gospel will appear, if we compare it with the ceremonial law. For though, 'quoad substantiam fœderis,' the covenant was the same to them and us, Christ theirs and ours, the New Testament hidden in the Old, and the Old expounded in the New, as St. Austin speaks, yet quoad modum administrandi,' there is much greater excellency in the gospel than in the law; as there is in the body or substance than in the picture or shadow, whereby it is represented.

1. The law was dark and obscure, a veil over the eyes of that people; but, in the gospel, Christ is evidently set forth; (Gal. iii. 1) we see, with open face, the glory of God. (2 Cor. iii. 18) Though the Jews had the same promises of eternal life, and a heavenly country with us, yet they were overshadowed with the types of a Holy Land, and temporal blessings there: and therefore the apostle telleth them of another rest, besides that of their sabbath and Canaan : "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." (Heb. iv. 9)

2. The law was exceeding burthensome in many chargeable and painful observances; a yoke, which they were not able to bear. (Acts xv. 10) Whereas the yoke of Christ is light and easy; unto the bearing whereof, he encourageth us by glorious promises, and assisteth us by the supplies of his Spirit of grace.

3. The law is weak and unprofitable, not able to make the comers thereunto perfect, to expiate sin, to pacify God, to

Rom. vii. 8. Aug. de spir. et lit. c. 4. contra 2 Ep. Pelag. 1. 3. c. 2. b Cor. x. 4. In Veteri Testamento est occultatio Novi: in Novo, est manifestatio Veteris. Aug. de catechizand. rud. c. 4.-de Civit. Dei, 1. 16. 1, 26.-Fides eadem nostra et illorum: Sacramenta pro temporum diversitate diversa, ad unitatem tamen ejusdem fidei concordissimè recurrentia: Ep. 157.-Justin Martyr, 1. quæst. q. 110.-Leo, Serm. in nativ. Dom. c. 3. 4. Aug. Ep. 220. c. 2. in Psalm 73. cont. 2 Ep. Pelag. 1. 3. c. 4.-Dr. Field, of the Church, 1. 1. c. 5. xi. 30. Omnia quippe fiunt facilia caritate. Aug. de nat. et grat. c. 69.

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quiet conscience, or procure salvation. It is true, by virtue of divine institution, it was profitable to the uses for which it was designed, namely, to prefigure and lead unto Christ for that salvation, which itself could not give. But Christ being come, the use of it is wholly ceased; and it become, to all intents, weak and unprofitable. And therefore Moses and Aaron both died before the entering of Israel into Canaan; the Lord thereby signifying, as Tertullian hath observed, the mortality of the law, and its impotency to bring men into the possession of the promises; that it was to give way to Christ, who had an unchangeable priesthood; and to his gospel, which was an everlasting gospel. (Rev. xiv. 6) Thus we see the excellency of the gospel above the law; for by it only, is ministered grace to pardon the sins committed against, and to perform the duties required by, the moral law; and by it, is Christ exhibited to accomplish the prefigurations of the ceremonial law: for 'the law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.'

III. The excellency of the gospel appeareth, if we compare it with any other the most noble perfections, acquirable by the uttermost improvement of natural abilities, either 'in genere notitiæ,' or 'in genere morum.'

1. The highest knowledge, attainable by human investigation, is far below angelical learning. But the mysteries of the gospel are so great, that the glorious angels gaze upon them with wonder and adoration. "These things," saith the apostle," the angels desire to look into;" (1 Pet. i. 12) alluding to the cherubims with their faces towards the mercyseat. (Exod. xxv. 20) To principalities and powers is made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. (Eph. iii. 10) This is one branch of the mystery of godliness, that Christ is seen of angels.' (1 Tim. iii. 16) This is one great business of the angels about the throne, 'to ascribe power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, to the Lamb that was slain.' (Rev. v. 11. 12)

Again, the highest natural knowledge in the world is no way beatifical. A man may, as to all such learning, be the

• Heb. xviii. John i. 17.


f Tertul. cont. Marcion. 1. 3. c. 16.
i Vid. Greg. Nyssen. homil. 8. in Cantic.

2 K

Heb. vii. 24.

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