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nefs. And fo, 1 Tim. iii. 16. CHRIST is faid to be SER M. CCXXVI juftified in the Spirit ;" that is, by the teftimony' of the Spirit concerning him; as alfo by the miracles which he wrought by the holy Ghoft, and the miraculous gifts of the Spirit which were poured forth on the apostles, he was proved and declared to be the true Meffias, and the Son of GOD. And this phrafe of CHRIST's being " juftified by the Spirit," feems to be of the fame fenfe with that expreffion, Rom. i. 4. " declared to be the Son of GOD with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the "refurrection from the dead;" that is, he was evidently proved to be the Son of GOD, by the great miracle of his refurrection, which was wrought by the power of the holy Ghoft. But most frequently, to justify, in fcripture, fignifies to pardon.


Thus the word " justify" do fignify variously, according to the subject or matter it is applied to: but when it is applied to a finner, it fignifies nothing elfe but pardon of his fin. Nor can I poffibly apprehend what other notion men can frame to themselves, of a finner's being justified, distinct from pardon and remiffion. Indeed if a perfon be not really guilty, that is, unjustly accused of a crime, he may be faid to be justified, when he is cleared from the charge and accufation which is brought against him: but if a man be guilty, he cannot otherwise be faid to be justified, than by having the guilt removed, that is, by being pardoned. And that the fcripture understands the fame thing by juftification, and pardon, or remiffion of fins, is I think very evident from these two texts. Acts xiii. 38, 39. "That through this "man is preached unto you the forgiveness of fins ;" that is, in and through JESUS CHRIST the way of pardon and forgiveness is declared," and by himn,

" all


SERM. all that believe are juftified from all things, from "which ye could not be juftified by the law of "Mofes ;" that is, according to this declaration, all that do believe are by him, that is, by the virtue of his facrifice, acquitted and cleared from the guilt of all thofe fins, for which there is no way of expiation provided by the law of Mofes, that is, of prefumptuous fins, for which there was no facrifice, but the man was to be cut off. Now if the meaning of this text be this, that in and through CHRIST the way of pardon and forgiveness is declared, and accordingly all that do believe in him are pardoned, then to be justified and pardoned, are all one in this place; but this is the meaning of the text, if by the phrase of being "justified from all things, from “which we could not be juftified by the law of Mo"fes," be meant the pardoning of fuch fins and tranfgreffions, for which, by the law of Mofes, there was no way of expiation: but this muft of neceffity be the meaning of this phrafe; for what are "thofe "things for which," it is faid, "we could not be

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juftified by the law of Mofes," but finful tranfgreffions and violations of the law? and how can a man be faid to be juftified from any fin and tranfgreffion, otherwife than by the pardon and forgivenefs of it? The other text is, Rom. iv. 6, 7, 8. "Even as David alfo defcribeth the bleffedness of "the man unto whom GoD imputeth righteousness "without works, faying, Bleffed are they whofe " iniquities are forgiven, and whofe fins are covered; " blessed is the man to whom the LORD will not "impute fin. The man unto whom GoD imputeth "righteoufnefs" is the man whom God juftifies. Now how does David defcribe the bleffedness of the man whom GOD juftifies? thus, " bleffed is the




"man whofe iniquities are forgiven, and whofe fins SER M. "are covered," which is a metaphorical expreffion of the fame thing, covering of fin being the pardoning of it. From hence I reafon, if according to the apostle those propofitions be equivalent, "bleffed is "the man whofe iniquities are forgiven," and "bleffed "is the man whom GOD juftifies," then according to the apostle, juftification and forgiveness of fins are all one but thofe propofitions are equivalent, if the apostle cite the text out of the Pfalms pertinently.

2. That faith can in no tolerable propriety of language be faid to be the inftrument of our pardon, and confequently not of our juftification. An inftrument is fomething fubordinate to the principal efficient caufe, and made ufe of by it to produce the effect; and this in natural and artificial caufes may be understood, but what notion to have of a moral instrument, I confefs I am at a lofs. But to bring the business out of the clouds, we may thus conceive of the pardon of fin. GOD in the gospel hath entered into a covenant of grace and mercy with finners; one of the benefits proniifed by GoD in the covenant, is pardon of fin, The conditions upon which we fhall be made partakers of the benefit, are comprehended in this one word, faith, which fignifies the whole of chriftian religion, viz. fuch an effectual affent to the revelation of the gofpel, as doth produce repentance, and fincere obedience, and a truft and confidence in CHRIST alone for falvation, The procuring or meritorious caufe of this benefit, viz. the pardon of our fins, is the death of CHRIST, which is called his blood or facrifice. The principal efficient caufe of our pardon is GOD, in the fentence of the law, or, which is all one, in the tenor of this Covenant,


this text.

covenant, declaring us pardoned upon these terms and conditions. Now how can faith, which is an act on our parts, and the condition to be performed by us, be faid to be an inftrument in the hand of GoD of our pardon; unless men will think fit to call a condition an inftrument, which I think no propriety of language will allow.

I should now proceed to the third particular which I proposed, but shall refer that to my next difcourfe on this argument.

Of justifying faith.

JOHN xx. 31.

But these are written, that ye might believe that JESUS is the CHRIST, the Son of GOD, and that believing ye might have life through his name.


HE obfervation I am difcourfing upon is this, that "to believe that JESUS is the The third" CHRIST, the Son of God," is truly and properly Sermon on fanctifying, and justifying, and faving faith. I have entered upon the latter part of the observation, viz. to fhew that this is truly and properly justifying and faving faith; in speaking to which I propofed to fhew fix things.

1. That juftification in fcripture fignifies no more but the pardon and remiffion of fins.

2. That faith can in no propriety of language be faid to be the inftrument of our pardon. Thus far I have gone, and now proceed to what remains, viz. to fhew,

3. That


3. That the influence which faith hath upon the SER M. pardon of fin in this, that it is the whole and entire condition, required in the gofpel, of our pardon, upon the performance of which God hath promised to pardon fin; which appears thus. All the conditions the gospel requires on our part, in order to pardon, may be reduced to these four heads.

(1.) An affent to the truth of the gospel.

(2.) A trust and confidence in CHRIST as our only SAVIOUR.

(3.) Repentance from dead works.

(4.) Sincere obedience and holiness of life.

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But I have already proved at large, that all these are comprehended in the new teftament notion of faith, which fignifies the whole of chriftian religion. And that repentance and obedience are conditions of our pardon, and confequently of our juftification, appears from these texts, Acts iii. 19. "Repent "therefore and be converted, that your fins may be "blotted out." Doth not this imply that upon condition we do repent and be converted, GOD will pardon our fins? 1 John i. 9. "If we confefs our "fins," (that is, with a refolution to leave them; as it is faid elsewhere," he that confeffeth, and forfak"eth his fins;") "he is faithful and just to forgive "us our fins, and to cleans us from all unrighte<< oufness." Matt. vi. 14, 15. "For if ye forgive "men their trefpaffes, your heavenly Father will al"alfo forgive you but if ye forgive not men "their trefpaffes, neither will your Father forgive "your trefpaffes." And to the fame purpose, Matt. xviii. 35. "So likewife fhall my heavenly Fa"ther do unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive "not every one his brother their trefpaffes." Luke Judge not, and ye fhall not be judged: " condemn,

vi. 37.

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