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subject and obedient both to the moral and ceremonial laws of his father, and at last to death itself, even the death of the cross. In the one he paid in active, in the other a passive obedience; and so did not only fulfil the will of his father in obeying what he had commanded, but satisfied his justice in suffering the punishment due to us for the transgressing of it. His active obedience, as it was infinitely pure and perfect, did without doubt intinitely transcend all the obedience of the sons of men, even of Adam too in his primitive state ; for the obedience of Adam, make the best of it, was but the obedience of a finite creature, whereas the obedience of Christ was the obedience of one that was infinite God, as well as man. By which means the laws of God had higher obedience performed to them, than themselves in their primitive institution required ; for being made only to finite creatures, they could command no more than the obedience of finite creatures, whereas the obedience of Christ was the obedience of one who was the infinite Creator, as well as a finite creature.
Now this obedience being more than Christ was bound to, and only performed upon the account of those whose nature he had assumed, as we by faith lay hold upon it, so God through grace imputes it to us, as if it had been performed by us in our own persons.
And hence it is, tbat as in one place Christ is said to be made sin for us, so in another place he is said to be made unto us righteousness. And in the fore-cited place, 2 Cor. v, 21, as he is said to be made sin for us, so we are said to be made righteousness in him: but what righteousuess? Our own ? No, the righteousness of God, radically his, but imputatively ours: and this is the only way whereby we are said to be made the righteousness of God, even by the righteousness of Christ being made ours, by which we are accounted and reputed as righteous before God.
These things cousidered, I very much wonder how any man can presume to exclude the active obedience of Cbrist from our justification before God; as if what Christ did in the flesh was ovly of duty, not at all of merit; or as if it was for himself, and not for us : especially when I consider, that suffering the penalty is not what the law primarily requireth ; for the law of God requires perfect obedience, the penalty being only threatened to, not properly required of, the breakers of it. For, let a may suffer the penalty of the law in never so high a manner, he is not therefore accounted obedient to it; his punishment doth not speak his innocence, but rather his transgression of the law.
Hence it is that I cannot look upon Christ as having made full satisfaction to God's justice for me, unless he had performed the obedience I owe to God's laws, as well as borne the punishment that is due to my sins: for, though he should have borne my sins, I cannot see how that could denominate me righteous or obedient to the law, so as to entitle me to eternal life, according to the tenor of the old law, Do this and live : which old covenant is not disannulled or abrogated by the covenant of grace, but rather established, especially as to the obedience it requires from us in order to the life it promiseth ; otherwise the laws of God would be mutable, and so come short of the laws of the very Medes and Persians, which altered not. Obedience therefore is as strictly required under the New as it was under the Old Testament, but with this difference—there, obedience in our own persons was required as absolutely necessary; bere, obedience in our Surety is accepted as completely sufficient:
But now if we have no such obedience in our Surety, as we cannot have if he did not live as well as die for us, let any one tell me what title he hath or can have to eternal life? I suppose be will tell me he hath none in himself, because he hath not performed perfect obedience to the law; and I tell him he hath none in Christ, unless Christ performed that obedience for him, which none can say be did, that doth not believe his active as well as passive obedience to be wholly upon our account.
And now I speak of Christ's being our Surety, as the apostle calls bim, methinks this gives much light to the truth in hand ; for what is a surety, but one that undertakes to pay whatsoever he, whose surety he is, is bound to pay, in case the debtor prove non-solvent or unable to pay it himself? And thus is Christ, under the notion of a surety, bound to pay whatever we owe to God, be
cause we ourselves are not able to pay it in our own persons.
Now there are two things that we owe to God, whichi tbis our Surety is bound to pay for us, namely, first and principally, obedience to his laws as be is our Creator and Governor, and, secondly, by consequence, the punishment that is annexed to the breach of these laws, of which we are guilty. Now, though Christ should pay the latter part of our debt for us by bearing the punishment that is due unto us, yet if he did not pay the former and principal part of it too, that is, perform the obedience which we owe to God, he would not fully have performed the office of suretyship which he undertook for us, and so would be but a half-mediator or halfsaviour; which are such words, as I dare scarce pro, nounce for fear of blasphemy.
So that, though it is the death of Christ by which I believe my sins are pardoned, yet it is the life of Christ by which I believe my person is accepted. His passions God accounts as suffered by me, and therefore I shall not die for sin; his obedience God accounts as performed by me, and therefore I shall live with him. Not as if I believed that Christ so performed obedience for me, that I should be discharged from my duty to him ; but only that I should not be condemned by God in not discharging my duty to him in so strict a manner as is required. I believe the active obedience of Christ will stand me in no stead, unless I endeavour after sincere obedience in mine own person; his active as well as his passive obedience being imputed unto none, but only to such as apply it to themselves by faith ; which faith in Christ will certainly pat such as are possessed of it upon obedience unto God. This, therefore, is the righteousness, and the manner of that justification, whereby I hope to stand before the judgment-seat of God, even by God's imputing my sins to Christ and Christ's righteousness to me; looking upon me as one not to be punished for my sins, because Christ hath suffered, but to be received into the joys of glory, because Christ hath performed obedience for me, and does by faith, through grace, impute it to me.
And thus it is into the merit of Christ that I resolve
the whole work of my salvation; and this not only as to that which is wrought without me for the justification of my person, but likewise as to what is wrought within me for the sanctification of my pature. As I cannot have a sin pardoned without Christ, so neither can I have a sin subdued without him. Neither the fire of God's wrath can be quenched, nor yet the filth of my sins washed away, but by the blood of Christ. So that I wonder as much at the doctrine that some men have advanced concerning free-will, as I do at that which others have broached in favor of good works ; and it is a mystery to me, bow any that ever had experience of God's method in working out sin and planting grace in our hearts, should think they can do it by themselves, or any thing in order to it. Not that I do in the least question but that every man may be saved that will; for this I believe is a real truth; but I do not believe that any man of himself can will to be saved. Wheresoever God enables a soul effectually to will salvation, he will certainly give salvation to that soul ; but I believe it is as impossible for any soul to will salvation of himself, as to enjoy salvation without God.
And this my faith is not grounded upon a roving fancy, but the most solid reasons : forasmuch as of ourselves we are not able in our understandings to discern the evil from the good, much less then are we able in our wills to prefer the good before the evil; the will never settling upon any thing but what the judgment discovers to it.
natural judgment is unable to apprehend and represent to my will the true and only good under its proper notion, my own too sad experience would sufficiently persuade me, though I had neither scripture nor reason for it. And yet the scripture also is so clear in this point, that I could not have denied it, though I should never have had any experience of it; the Most High expressly telling me, that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii, 14. Neither can he know them; that is, there is an absolute impossibility in it, that any one remaining in his natural principles, without the assistance of God, should apprebend or conceive the excellency of spiritual objects. So that a man may as soon read the letter of the scripture without eyes, as understand the mysteries of the gospel without grace. And this is not at all to be wondered at; especially if we consider the vast and infinite disproportion betwixt the object and the faculty; the object to be apprehended being nothing less than the best of beings, God; and the faculty whereby we apprehend it nothing more than the power of a finite creature, polluted with the worst of evils, sin. So that I believe it is a thousand times easier for a worm, a fly, or any other despicable insect whatsoever, to understand the affairs of men, than for the best of men in a natural state to apprehend the things of God. No ; there is none can know God, nor, by consequence, any thing that is really good, but only so far as they are partakers of the divine nature. We must in some measure be like to God, before we can have any true conceptions of him, or be really delighted with him. We must have a spiritual sight, before we can behold spiritual things; which every natural man being destitute of, he can see no comeliness in Christ why he should be desired, nor any amiableness in religion why it should be embraced.
And hence it is that I believe the first work, which God puts forth upon the soul in order to its conversion, is to raise up a spiritual light within it, to clear up its apprehensions about spiritual natters, so as to enable the soul to look upon God as the chiefest good, and the enjoyment of him as the greatest bliss ; whereby the soul may clearly discern betwixt good and evil, and evidently perceive that nothing is good but so far as it is like to God, and nothing evil but so far as it resembles sin.
But this is not all the work that God hath to do upon a sinful soul to bring it to himself; for though I must confess, that in natural things the will always follows the ultimate dictates of the understanding, so as to choose and embrace what the understanding represents to it under the comely dress of good and amiable, and to refuse and abhor whatever under the same representation appears to be evil and dangerous; I say, though I must confess it is so in natural, yet I believe it is not so in spiritual, matDiv. No, I.