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cufation, but establishing the contrary truth, the influence of this doctrine upon purity of heart and life, which we find the apoftle alfo afferting in the middle of his reafoning upon the point, "Do we then make void the law through faith? "God forbid; yea, we establish the law t."

In the profecution of this fubject, it will be neceffary, firft, in a few words, to ftate that doctrine against which the objection is made. It may be delivered in Scripture - language thus, "That all have finned, and come fhort of the "glory of God. That every mouth must be "stopped, and all the world become guilty be"fore God.-Therefore by the deeds of the "law, there shall be no flesh juftified in his fight. "But we are juftified freely by his grace, "through the redemption that is in Chrift Je"fus:-Whom God hath fet forth as a propi "tiation, through faith in his blood, to declare "his righteoufnefs, for the remiffion of fins that "are past, through the forbearance of God."Where is boafting then? It is excluded. By "what law? of works? Nay, but by the law of "faith. Therefore we conclude, that a man is

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fuftified by faith, without the deeds of the "law. Moreover, the law entred, that the offence might abound; but where fin abounded, † Rom. iii, 31.

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grace did much more abound; that as fin hath "reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteoufnefs unto eternal life, by "Jefus Chrift our Lord.”

The doctrine afferted in the above and other paffages of fcripture may be thus paraphrased: that every intelligent creature is under an unchangeable and unalienable obligation, perfectly to obey the whole law of God: that all men proceeding from Adam by ordinary generation, are the children of polluted parents, alienated in heart from' God, tranfgreffors of his holy law, inexcufabie in this tranfgreffion, and therefore expofed to the dreadful confequences of his displeasure; that it was not agreeable to the dictates of his wisdom, holiness and juftice, to forgive their fins without an atonement or fatisfaction; and therefore he raised up for them a Saviour, Jefus Chrift, who, as the fecond Adam, perfectly fulfilled the whole law, and offered himfelf up a facrifice upon the crofs in their ftead: that this his righteoufnefs is imputed to them, as the fole foundation of their justification in the fight of a holy God, and their reception into his favour: that the means of their being interested in this falvation, is a deep humiliation of mind, confeffion of guilt and wretchednefs, denial of themselves, and acceptance of pardon and peace through Chrift Jefus, which they


-neither have contributed to the procuring, nor can contribute to the continuance of, by their own merit; but expect the renovation of their natures, to be inclined and enabled to keep the commandments of God, as the work of the Spirit, and a part of the purchase of their Redeemer*.

This fhort account of the doctrine of the imputation of Chrift's righteousness will be further illuftrated and explained in the progrefs of this. difcourfe, intended to fhew, that in those who do cordially embrace it, the obligations to holinefs are not weak ned, but ftrengthned and confirmed. For this purpose be pleased to attend to the following observations; in all of which I defire it may be remembred, even where not exprefly mentioned, an oppofition is intended be tween the principles and views of a believer in

* The intelligent reader will probably perceive, that I have expreffed the above doctrine in fuch general terms, as not dif tinctly to take a part in the differences that are to be found among fome authors, as to the way of explaining it, and particularly as to the nature of faith. The reafon of my doing fo is, that I would willingly rather reconcile than widen these dif ferences; and because it is my firm perfuafion, that however fome think it jufteft, or wifeft, or fafeft, to exprefs themselves one way, and fome another, yet all who have a deep and real envêtion, that they are by nature in a loft state, and under the wrath of God, and that there is no falvation in any other but in Chrift, are, if they understood one another, at bottom, or at leaft in all things any way material, entirely of the fame opinion. Accordingly the reader will, I hope, find that the reafoning in the following pages may cafily be applied by them all without exception.


Christ, who refts his hope on his imputed righteousness, and those who act on any contrary principle.

In the first place, he who expects juftification by the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrift, hath the clearest and strongest conviction of the obligation of the holy law of God upon every reasonable creature, and of its extent and purity. This will appear very evidently, if we confider what it is that brings any perfon to a belief or relifh of this doctrine. It must be a fense of fin, and fear of deferved wrath. Let us fearch out the cause by tracing the effects. Whence arifes the fear of wrath, or apprehenfion of God's difpleafure? Only from a conviction of guilt. And what can produce a conviction of guilt, but a sense of obligation? This is manifeftly the doctrine of Scripture, which teaches us, that " by the law is the

knowledge of fin"-and that "the law is a "schoolmaster to bring us to Chrift." Thofe who have none at all, or a very imperfect sense of the obligation of the divine law, will never have the least esteem of the righteousness of Chrift, which atones for their tranfgreffion of it; it must appear to them to be foolishness: whereas those who have a strong conviction of the juftice of the demand of the law, both efteem and use the plea of their Saviour's merit. Such also have a ftrong




fense of the extent and purity of the law of God, as well as its obligation in general. Whilst others confider nothing as fin, but the groffest and most notorious crimes, they are deeply fenfible of the alienation of their hearts from God, whom they are bound supremely to love, and to whose glory they are obliged to be habitually and universally fubfervient.

This conviction of the obligation of the divine law, fo effentially connected with, or rather fo neceffarily previous to, an acceptance of the imputed righteousness of Chrift, is evidently founded upon the relation of man to God, as a creature to his Creator. This relation then continues, and muft continue, unchangeable; therefore the obligation founded upon it must be unalienable; and all those who have once been fenfible of it, muft continue to be fo, unless we fuppofe them blinded to the knowledge of God as Creator, by the difcovery of his mercy in Chrift the Redeemer. But this is abfurd; for the subfequent relation of a finner to God, as forgiven and reconciled through Chrift, never can take away, nay, never can alter his natural relation as a creature, nor the obligation founded upon it. Neither can it be conceived as confiftent with the perfections of God, to abate the demands of hist law; that is to fay, a perfect conformity to his

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