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and fruits meet for repentance, and amendment of life; he had not given fufficient teftimony to the world of his love to holinefs and righteoufnefs, and of his hatred of fin and iniquity. The Apoftle tells us, that God in the juftification of a finner declares his righteousness. But fhould he juftify men upon other terms, this would not declare his righteousness and love of holiness, but rather an indifferency, whe ther men were good and righteous or not. For a bare affent to the truth of the gospel, without the fruits of holiness and obedience, is not a living, but a dead faith, and fo far from being acceptable to God, that it is an affront to him; and a confident reliance upon Chrift for falvation, while we continue in our fins, is not a juftifying faith, but a bold and impudent prefumption upon the mercy of God, and the merits of our Saviour, who indeed juftifies the ungodly, that is, thofe that have been fo, but not thofe that continue fo. And if God fhould pardon finners, and reward them with eternal life, upon any other terms than upon our becoming new creatures, than upon fuch a faith as is made perfect by charity, that is, by keeping the commandments of God; this would be fo far from declaring his righteousness, and being a teftimony of his hatred and difpleafure. against fin, that it would give the greatest counte-nance and encouragement to it imaginable.

Secondly, It is likewife very reasonable, that fuch a faith, that makes us new creatures, and is perfected by charity, and keeping the commandments of God, fhould be the condition of juftification, in order to the qualifying of us for the pardon of our fins, and the reward of eternal life; that is, for the favour of God, and for the enjoyment of him. To forgive men upon other terms, were to give countenance and encouragement to perpetual rebellion, and difobedience. That man is not fit to be forgiven, who is fo far from being forry for his fault, that he goes on to offend; he is utterly incapable of mercy, who is not fenfible that he hath done amifs, and refolved to amend. No Prince ever thought a rebellious fubject capable of pardon upon lower terms than thefe.

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It is in the nature of the thing unfit that an obstinate offender should have any mercy or favour fhewn to him.

And as without repentance and refolution of better obedience, we are unfit for forgiveness, fo much more for a reward: As we cannot expect God's favour, fo we are incapable of the enjoyment of him without holiness. Holiness is the image of God, and makes us like to him; and till we be like him, we cannot fee him, we can have no enjoyment of him. All delightful communion and agreeable fociety is founded in a fimilitude of difpofition and manners, and therefore fo long as we are unlike to God in the temper and difpofition of our minds, and in the actions and courfe of our lives, neither can God take pleasure in us, nor we in him, but there will be a perpetual jarring and difcord between him and us; and tho' we were in heaven, and feated in the place of the bleffed, yet we fhould not, nay we could not be happy; becaufe we should want the neceffary materials and ingredients of happiness. For it is with the foul in this refpect, as it is with the body; though all things be eafy without us, and no cruelty be exercifed upon us, to give torment and vexation to us, yet if we be inwardly diseased, we may have pain and anguifh enough, we may be as it were upon the rack, and feel as great torment from the inward diforder of our humours, as if we were tortured from withSo it is with the foul. Sin and vice are internal difeafes, which do naturally create trouble and difcontent; and nothing but diverfion, and the variety of objects and pleafures which entertain men in this world, hinders a wicked man from being out of his wits, whenever he reflects upon himself; for all the irregular appetites and paffions, luft, and malice, and revenge, are fo many furies within us ; and though there were no Devil to torment us, yet the diforder of our own minds, and the horrors of a guilty confcience would be a hell to us, and make us extremely miferable in the very regions of happinefs. So that it is neceffary that our faith fhould be made perfect by charity, and that we fhould become

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new creatures, not only from the arbitrary conftitution and appointment of God, but from the nature and reafon of the thing, becaufe nothing but this can difpofe us for that bleffedness, which God hath promifed to us, and prepared for us. Faith confidered abftractly from the fruits of holiness and obedience, of goodnefs and charity, will bring no man into the favour of God. All the excellency of faith is, that it is the principle of a good life, and furnisheth us with the best motives and arguments thereto, the promises and threatnings of the gospel; and therefore in heaven, when we come to fight and enjoyment, faith and hope fhall ceafe, but cha rity never faileth; for if it fhould, heaven would ceafe to be heaven to us, because it is the very frame and temper of happinefs; and if this difpofition be not wrought in us in this world, we fhall be altogether incapable of the felicity of the other.

You fee then what it is that muft recommend us to the favour of God; the real renovation of our hearts and lives, after the image of him that created us. This must be repaired in us, before ever we can hope to be restored to the grace and favour of God, or to be capable of the reward of eternal life. And what could God have done more reafonable, than to make these very things the terms of our falvation, which are the neceflary caufes and means of it? How could he have dealt more mercifully and kindly with us, than to appoint that to be the condition of our happiness, which is the only qualification that can make us capable of it?

I will conclude all with that excellent paffage in the wisdom of Solomon, chap. vi. 17, 18. The very true beginning of wisdom is the defire of difcipline, and the care of difcipline is love, and love is the keeping of her laws, and taking heed to her laws is the affurance of incorruption. The fum of what I have faid upon this argument amounts to this, that upon the terms of the gofpel we can have no hope of the forgiveness of our fins, and eternal falvation, unlefs our nature be renewed, and the image of God, which is defaced by fin, be repaired in us, and we be

be created in Chrift unto good works; That no faith will avail to our juftification and acceptance with God, but that which is made perfect by charity, that is, by fulfilling of the law, and keeping the commandments of God; by fincere obedience and holiness of life, which notwithstanding the unavoidable imperfection of it in this ftate, will nevertheless be accepted with God, through the merits of our bleffed Saviour, who hath loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood. To whom be glory for ever.

Amen.

SERMON CXI.

The danger of all known fin, both from the light of nature and revelation.

ROM. i. 18, 19,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

The first fermon on this text.

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N the beginning of this chapter, the Apostle de clares that he was particularly defigned and appointed by God to preach the gospel to the world, and that he was not afhamed of his ministry,. notwithstanding all the reproach and perfecution it was attended withal, and notwithstanding the flight and undervaluing opinion which the world had of the doctrine which he preached, it being to the Jews. a ftumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; for: tho' this might reflect fome difparagement upon it in the the esteem of fenfual and carnal men, yet to thofe who weighed things impartially, and confidered he excellent end and defign of the Chriftian doctrine, and he

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force and efficacy of it to that end, it will appear to be an instrument admirably fitted by the wifdom of God, for the reformation and falvation of mankind.

And therefore he tells us, ver. 16. that how much foever it was defpifed by that ignorant and inconfiderate age, he was not ashamed of the gospel of Chrift; because it is the power of God unto falvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek; that is, the doctrine of the gofpel fincerely believed and embraced, is a moft proper and powerful means, defigned by God for the falvation of makind; not only of the Jews, but alfo of the Gentiles.

The revelations which God had formerly made, were chiefly restrained to the Jewish nation; but this great and laft revelation of the gospel, was equally calculated for the benefit and advantage of all mankind. The gofpel indeed was first preached to the Jews, and from thence published to the whole world; and as this doctrine was defigned for the general benefit of mankind, fo it was very likely to be effectual to that end, being an inftrument equally fitted for the falvation of the whole world, Gentiles as well as Jews; it is the power of God to falvation, to every one that believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

And to fhew the efficacy of it, he inftanceth in two things, which render it fo powerful and effectual a means for the falvation of mankind:

Firft, Because therein the grace and mercy of God, in the juftification of a finner, and declaring him righteous, is fo clearly revealed, ver. 17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. This is very obfcurely expreft, but the meaning of this text will be very much cleared, by comparing it with another in the third chapter of this epistle, ver. 20, 21, 22, c. where the Apoftle fpeaks more fully and exprefly of the way of our juftification by the faith of Jefus Chrift, that is, by the belief of the gofpel. He afferts at the 20th verfe, that by the

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