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Serm. HOWEVER, had they gone into the other IX. Extream, and, as is the fashionable Turn our Times have taken, magnified moral Goodness to the Disparagement of Divine Institutions, and set God's natural Will in Opposition to his revealed, they would not have much mended the Matter, nor escaped the just Censure of the Reformer of the World.
The Point of Doctrine Christ Jesus had in his Eye, which the faulty. Conduct of the Pharisees gave him Occasion to inculcate on them, and which he has left on Record for the Instruction of Mankind, is, that nothing less than an unlimited universal Obedience will qualify us for Favour, and entitle us, through his Merits, to a gracious Acceptance here, and to eternal Life hereafter : Not, indeed, such a compleat Conformity to our Rule, as shall be void of every Deviation and free from all Imperfection, but such as in Case of Failure renews itself by a seasonable and hearty Rem formation. :
To run our Race without a Slip or Stuinble, appears to be an Height of Watchfulness, and
SERm. Vigour too exalted for the present weak IX. Capacity of human Nature : Though to
obey without Limitation,---to conform our Lives and Actions, in the general Course and' Tenour of them, to the Direction of God's Commandments, fo as not to perfift in the habitual Practice of any known Sin, cr the customary Breach of any plain Duty, as this is not above our Power, at least by the Assistance of his Grace ; so is it indispensably required of us.
God expects from all Men, from Chriftians especially, that out of a Conversation they do new forth their good Works ---that by their holy Behaviour in all Virtue and Godliness of living, they do demonstrate to the World and to themselves the inmost Disposition of their Minds, and by a Train of uniform consistent Performances prove their real Sanctification by the Spirit,---that - they do not on any Score make the Di
vine Laws to be at Variance among themselves,---not oppose Service to Service, nor pretend to justify the Transgression of some Commands, though it be by a more zealous Attachment to others.
Serm. This is the only Obedience, which either IX. Scripture or Reason gives us any Warrant to venture our Salvation upon, and an Affair of so much Importance calls for a most serious Inspection,
· If we consult the former, but with a night Attention, we shall find this Truth confirmed by a Multitude of Passages therein, That God demands an impartial Compliance with his Will, however notified to us. It is the Language of the Old Testament, Let thine Eye look right on, and let thine Eye-lids look streight before thee. Ponder the Path of thy Feet, and let thy Ways be established. Turn not to the Right Hand, nor to the Left (a). For then only hall we not be alhamed of entertaining an undue Reliance on God's Acceptance, when we have Respeet unto all bis Conimandınents (b).
Or if any one should conceive, that under the Gospel, a new Covenant of Grace and Mercy, he is indulged a greater Liberty, than was allowed under the Law, that Difpensation of Severity and Terrour; before he suffers such a Prejudice to be too firmly
rooted fa) Prov. iv. 25, 26, 27. (6) Pf.cxix. 6.
Serm. rooted within him, he ought very coolly to IX. examine, in what Strain the Declarations of
the New Testament run. As, Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ, depart from Iniquity (6).--- Abstain from all Appearance, every Kind of Evil (d).---Let us lay aside every Weight (e).---Cleanse yourselves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, perfetting Holiness in the Fear of the Lord (f).----And Keep yourselves unspotted from the World (8). So that every Weight of Guilt, every Stain of Corruption, every thing that looks like Sin, is to be thrown off, and removed at a Distance from us.
And as a defective Observance of our Maker's Will,.--the doing some Things he has enjoined, which shall be reckoned an Equivalent for leaving others undone, or available to Salvation without them, is condemned by unexceptionable Texts of holy Writ, so is it likewise opposite to the entire Scope and Drift, the End and Purport, of the Gospel. The Reason of Christ's appearing in the Flesh was to put away Sin (b), but this Notion establishes it :---He was the Mediator of the New Testament for the Re
demption B (c) 2.Tim. ii 19. (d) · Theff. v. 22.
(e) Heb. xii. 1. () 2 Cor. vii. 1.
demption of Transgressions (i), to release us SERM. from the Dominion as well as the Punish- IX. ment of them ; but the Doctrine of the Suf. m ficiency of a partial infincere Obedience confirms their Tyranny and our Misery.
Zacharias upon the Foresight of the approaching fpiritual Deliverance by the Mesfiah, prophesies (k), in as strong Terms, as if it had been actually accomplished, that God hath visited and redeemed his Pecple to perform the Mercy promised to sur Fathers and to remember his holy Covenant ---that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the Hands of cur Enemies, might serve bim without Fear, in Holiness and Righteousness before him, all the Deys of our Life. And Christ, says one Apostle, gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar People zealous of good Works (1), and not privileged to Evil; and for this Purpose, says another, the Son of God was manifested to destroy the Works, all the works of the Devil, without Exception or Reserve (m). It were endless to heap together Testimonies to to this Effect ; and it is needless, since the
li) Heb. ix. 15. (1) Tit. ii. 14.
(k) St. Luke i. 68, 75. (m) 1 St. John üi. 8.'