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solving to be a good servant to God, and to hold on in outward and inward obedience for the time to come. But the stroke must go nearer the heart" yet, ere the branch fall off. The Lord ciscovers to hint, in the glass of the Law, how he fipheth in all he does, even when he does the best he can; and therefore the dreadful found returns to his ears, Gal. iii. to. Cursed is every one that continuerh oot in all things, &c. When ye faited aid mourned, faith the Lord, Did ye at all fait unto me, even to me?"

Will muddy water make clean clothes? Will you fatisfy for one fin with another? Did not your thoughts wander in such a duty ? Were not your affections flat in another ? -Did Aut your heart give a whorih look to such an idol? And did it not rise in a ft of impatience under such an afil Erion ? " should I accept this of

your hands? Cursed be the deceiver, which facii.. fieeth io the Lord a corrupt thing,” Mal. i. 13; 14. And thus he becomes fo får broke off, that he fees he is not able to satisfy the demands of she Law.

SEVENTHLY, Hence, like a broken: man, who fods he is not able to pay all his debts, he goes about to compound with his. creditor. And being in pursuit of ease and comfort, he does wla he can to fulfil the Law; and wherein he fils, he looks that God will accept the will for the deed. Thus doing his dut', and having a will to do bitter; he cheats himself in a per: Tu fion of the goodness of his state: and hereby thousands are ruined. But the eleet get another stroke, which looferh their hold in this case. The do&rine of the Law is born in on their confciences, demonstrating to then that exact and perfect obe. dience is required by it under pain of the curse; and that it is

. doing, and not wishing to do, which will avail. Wishing to do beiter, will not answer the Law's demands; and therefore the curfe sounds again, “ Curfed is every one that continueth note: to do then :" that is, actually to do them. In vain is wishing then,

EIGHTHLY, Being broken off from hopes of compounding, with the Law, he falls a borrowing. He sees that all he can do to obey the Law, and all his defues to be, and to do better, n illi Bot save his soul; therefore lie goes to Christ intrearing, that his: righteousnefs may make up what is wanting in his own, and cover, all the defeats of his doings and sufferings; that so God, for Christ's fake may accept them, and thereupon be reconciled.. Thus doing what he can to fulfil the Law,and looking to Christ to make all his defects, he comes, at length, again to feep in a found skin. Many persons are ruined this way. This was the error of the Galatians, which: Paul ia his epistle 20 thêm


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the one,

disputes againsta But the Spirit of God breaks off the finner from this hold also; by bearing in on his conscience that great truth, Gal, jii. 12. - The Law is nie of faith : but the man that doth them thall live in them."'. There is no mixing of the Law and faith in this business; the finner niuft hold by one of them, and let the other go. The way of the Law, aod the way

of faith, are so far different, that it is not possible for a finner to walk in

but he must come off from the other : and, if he be for doing, he must do all alone; Chrift will not do a part for him, if he do not all. A garnent pieced up of sundry sorts of righteoufoess, is not a garment meet for the Court of Heaven. Thus the man, who was in a dream, and thought he was eating, is awakened by the stroke, and behold his soul is faint; his heart finks in bim like a stone, while he finds he can neither bear his burden himself alone, nor can he get help under it.

NINTHLY, What can one do, who must needs pày, and yet neither has as much of his own as will bring him out of debt ; nor can he get as much to borrow; and to beg he is altamed? What can such a one do, I say, but fell himself, as the man under the Law, that was waxed poor? Lev. xxv, 47. Therefore the finner beat off from so many holds, goes about to make a bargain with Christ, and to sell himself to the Son of God, (if I may fo Speak) folemnly promising and vowing, that he will be a servant to Christ, as long as he lives, if be will save his soul And here oft-times the finner makes a personal covenant with Christ, refigning himself to him on these terms; yea, and takes the facrament to make the bargain sure. Hereupon the man's grea: care is, how to obey Chrift, keep his commands, and to fulfil his bargain. And, in this, the soul finds a false,unfound peace, for a while, till the Spirit of the Lord fetch another ritroke, lo cut off the man from this refuge of lies likewise. And that happens in this manner : When he fails of the duties he engaged to, and falls again into the so he covenanted against'; it is powerfully carried home on his conscience, that his covenant is brokep : lo all his comfort goes, and terrors afresh seize on bis foul, as one that has broken covenant with Chrift: and, commonly, the man, to help himself, renews his covenant, but breaks again as before. And how is it poffible it ihould be otherwise, feeing he is fill upon the old Itock? Thus the work of many, all their days, as to their souls, is nothing but a making and breaking such covenants, aver and over again.

Object. Some, perhaps, will say, " Who liveth and finneth not ?" Who is there that saileth not of the duties he is engaged to? If


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you reject this way as unfound, who then can be saved ? Answ. True believers will be saved ; namely, all who do by faith take hold of God's covenant. But this kind of covenant is men's own covenant, devised of their own heart; not God's covenant revealed in the gospel of his grace : and the making of it is nothing elfe, but the making of a covenant of works with Chrift, confounding the Law and the Gospel ; a covenanı he will never subfcribe to, though we should sign it with our heart's blood, Rom. iv. 14." For, if they which are of the law bé hefrs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Ver' 16. Therefore, ir is of faith, that it might be by grace, in the end the promise might be sure to all the seed. Chap. xi. 6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more gracé. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace ; otherwise work is no more work." God's covenant is everlasting; once in, never out of it again : and the mercies of it are sure mercies, Ifa. lv. 3:

But that covenant of yours is a tottering covenant, never sure, but broken every day. It is a mere fervile covenant, giving Christ service for salvation : but God's covenant is a filial covenant, in which the finner takes Christ and his falvatio: freely offered, and fo becomes a son, John i. 12." But as many as received liini

, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." And being become a son, he serves his Father, not that the inheritance may become his, but because ic is his, through J-fus Chrift.See Gal. iv. 24. and downward. To enter into that spurious covenant, is to buy from Christ with money; but to take hold of God's covenant is to buy of himn." without money ani' without price,” Isa. 1x. 1. that is to say, to beg of him. In that covenant men work for life ; ; in God's covenant they come to Christ for life, and work from life. When a person under that cuvenant fails in his duty, all is gone; the covenant mult be made over again. But under Goy's covenant, although the man fail in his duty, and for his failures fall under the discipline of the covenant ; and lies under the weight of it, till fuch time as he has recouise anew to the blood of Christ for pardon, and renew his repentance : yet all that he trusted to for life and falvativni, namely, the righteousness of Christ, ftill stands entire,' and the covenant remains firm. See Rom. vii. 24. 25. and viii. i.

Now, tha' fome men spend their lives in making and breaking such covenants of their own ; the terror upon the breaking of them wearing weaker and weaker by degrees, till at-lalt it creates them liitle or no uneasiness : yet the man, in whom the good work is carried un, till it be accomplished in cutting him


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off from the old stock, finds these covenants to be as rotten cords broke at every touch : and the terror of God, being thereupon redoubled on his spirit, and the waters, at every turn, getsing in into his very foul, he is obliged to cease from catching hold of such covenants, and to seek help some other way.

TENTHLY, Therefore the man comes at length to beg at Christ's door for merty; but yet he is a proud beggar, ftanding on his personal worth : For, as the Papists have mediators to plead for them with the one only Mediator ; so the branches of the old stock, have always something to produce, which they think may

commend them to Christ, and engage him to take their cause in hand: They cannot ihink of coming to the spiritual market without money in their hand. They are like persons who once had an estate of their own, but are reduced to extreme poverty, and forced to beg: When they come to beg, they still remember their former character ; and though they have lost their substance, yet they retain much of their former spirit;

therefore they cannot think they ought to be treated as ordinary beggars ; but deserve a particular regard ; and, if that be not given them, their spirits rise against him to whom they address themselves for supply. Thus God gives the unhumbled Ginner many common mercies; and shuts him not up in the pit, according to his deferving but all this is nothing in his eyes. He must be set.down at the children's table, otherwise he reckons himself hardly dealt with, and wronged: for he is not yet brought so low, as to think, “ God may be justified when he speaketh, (agaioft bim) and clear from all iniquity, when he jadgeth him, according to bis real demerit," Pfal. li. 4. He thinks, perhaps, thắt even before he was enlightned, he was better than many others : he considers his reforma ion of life, his repentance, ihe grief and tears his lin has cost him, his carnest desires after Christ, his prayers, and wrestlings for mercy ; and useth all these now as bribes for inercy ; laying no small weight upon them in his addresles to the throne of grace.

But here the Spirit of the Lord shoots a leaf of arrows into the man's heart, whereby his confidence in these things is sunk and destroyed; and instead of this king himself better than many, he is mace to see himself worse than any. The naughtiness of his reformation of life is discovered : His repentance appears to him no better than the repentance of Judas; his tears liké Efau's and his desires after Christ to be selőth and lothrome, like theirs who fought Christ because of the loaves, John vi. 26. His an. swer from God feems now to be, Away proud beggar,

6 How


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shall I put thee among the children?” He seems to look sternly on him, for his flighting of Jerus Christ by unbeliet, which is a sin he scarce discerved before : but now, at length, he beholds it in its crimson colours, and is pierced to the heart as with a thousand darts, while he sees how he has been going on blindly, Goniog against the remedy of sin, and in the whole course of his lífe, trampling on the blood of the Son of God. And now he is, in his own eyes, the miserable object of law-vengeance, yea, and gospel vengeance too.

ELEVENTHLY, The man being thus far humbled, will no more plead, “lie is worthy for whom Chrift should do this thing': but, on the contrary, looks on himself as unworthy of Christ, and unworthy of the favour of God. We nias compare him, in this case, to the goung man who followed Christ, « having a linen cloth cast about his naked body: on whom, when the young men laid hold, he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked,” Mark xiv. 51 52. Even so the man had been following Christ in the thin and coldrife garment of his own personal worthiness ; but by it, even by it, which he so much trafted to, the Law catcheth hold of him, to make him prisoner; and then he is fain to leave it, and fees away naked : yet not to Christ, but from him. If you now tell him, he is welcome to Christ, if he will come to him; he is apt to say, Can such a vile and unworthy wretch as I, be welcome to the holy Jesus? If a plaifter be applied to his wounded soul, it will not stick : He says, Depart from me, for I am a finful man, O Lord,”? Luke

8. No man needs speak to him of his repentance, for his comfort ; he can quickly espy such faults in it, as makes it naught : nor of his tears, for he is assured they have never come into the Lord's bottle. He disputes himself away from Chrift, and concludes now, that he has been such a slighter of Christ, and is such an unholy and vile creature, he cannot, he will not, he ought not, to come to Christ; and that he must either be in better case, or else he'll never believe. And hence, hie now makes his strongest efforts to amend what was amiss in his way before : He prays more earnestly than ever, mourns "more bit. terly, strives against fin in heart and life, more vigoroufly, and watches more diligenıly, if, by any means, he may at length be fit to come to Christ. One would think the. mandis

well humbled now ; But ah ! devilith pride lurks under the veil of all this seeming humility. Like a kindly branch of the old stock, he adheres till; and will not submit to the righteousness of God, Rom. 8. 3. He will not come to the market of free grace,


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