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solving to be a good servant to God, and to hold op in out ward 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 hinr, in the glass of the Law, how he finheth in all he does, even when he does the best he can; and therefore the dreadful sound returns to his ears, Gal. iii. ro. 6 Curfed is every one that continuerh not in all things, &c. When ye

faited aid mourned, faith the Lord, Did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?” Will muddy watır 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 whorith look to such an idol? And did it not rile in a fit ot imparience under fuch an afil Erion? “ should I accept this of


hands? Cursed be the deceiver, which saciie fieerh to the Lord a corrupt cling,” Md. i. 13; 14. And thus he b-comes so far broke off, that he fees he is not able to satisfy the demands of the 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 wła' 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 butter, he cheats himself in a pera lu fion of the goodness of his state: and hereby thousands are ruined. But the elect get another stroke, which looserh their hold in this case. The do&rine of the Law is born in on their consciences, demonstrating to them 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 notto do them :" that is, acully 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 desires to be, and to do better, nilk not save his soul; therefore he goes to Chritt intrearing, that his: righteousnefs may make up what is wanting in his own, and cover, all the defe&ts 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 up all his defects, he comes, at length, again to fkep in a sound, skin. Many persons are ruined this way. This was the error of the Galatians, which Paul in his epistle to them,

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disputes against. But the Spirit of God breaks off the finner from this bold also; by bearing in on his conscience that great truth, Gal, jii. 12. 6 The Law is nie of faith : but the man that doth them shall 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, and the way

of faith, are so far different, that it is not possible for a sinner to walk in the one, but he must come off from the other : and, if he be for doing, he must do all alonė; Chrift will not do a part for him, if he do not all. A garnient pieced up of fundry sorts of righteoufness, 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 alkamed? 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


fo speak) folemnly promising and vowing, that he will be a servant to Christ, as long as he lives, if he will save his soul. And here oft-times the lioner makes a personal covenant with Christ, refigning himself to him on these terms; yea, and takes the facranient to make the bargain sure. Hereupon the nian's great care is, how to obey Chritt, 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 stroke, lo cut off the man from this refuge of lies like wise. And that happens in this manner : When he fails of the duties he engaged to, and falls again into the fin he covenanted against'; it is powerfully carried home on his conscience, that his covenant is brokep : so all his comfort goes, and terrors afresh seize on his soul, as one that has broken covenant with Christ : and, commonly, the man, to help himself, renews his covenant, but breaks again as before. And how is it possible it should be otherwise, feeing he is fill upon the old ttock ? Thus the work of many, all their days, as to their souls, is nothing but a making and breaking such covenaois, over 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 unsound, who then can be saved ? Answ. True believers will be saved ; namely, all who do by faith take hold of Gid'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 else, 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 be hejrs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Ver' 16. Therefore, ir is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the feed. Chap. xi. 6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works ; otherwise grace is no more grace. 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 fure 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 fervice 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 him, to them gave he power to become the fons of God." And being become a son, he serves his Father, not that the inheritance may become his, but because it is his, through Jesus Christ.See Gal. iv. 24. and downward. To enter into ibat fpurious Covenant, is to buy from Christ with money; but to take hold of God's covenant is to buy of him.“ without money an:l without price,” Isa. 1x. 1. that is to say, to beg of him. In that cove. nant men work for life ;, in God's covenant they come to Christ for life, and wirk from life, When a person under that covenant fails in his duty, all is gine; the covenant must be made over again. But under Gos'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 falvatiun, namely, the righteousness of Christ, still stands entire, and the corenant reinains firm. See Rom. vii. 24. 25. and viii. i.

Now, thu' fomę 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 last il creates them listle or no uneasiness : yet the man, in whom the nood work is carried un, till it be accomplished in cutting him



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, getting 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, standing 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 mạy commend them to Christ, and engage him to take their causé 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 poveriy, and forced to beg: When they come to beg, they still remember their former character; and though they have loft 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 finner many cominjon mercies; and shuts him not up in the pit, according to his deserving: but all this is nothing in bis eyes. He must be set down at the children's table, otherwise he reck. ons himself hardly dealt with, and wronged : for he is not yet brought so low, as to think, “ God may be justified when he speaketh, (against him) and clear from all iniquity, when he judgeth him, according to his real demerit," Pral. li. 4. He thinks, perhaps, that 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 earnest 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 addrefle's to the throne of

But here the Spirit of the Lord shoots a fheaf of arrows into the man's heart, whereby his confidence in these things is sunk and destroyed; and inflead of thiäking himself better than many, he is made to see himself worse than any. The naughtiness of his reformation of life is discovered : His repentarice appears to him no better than the repentance of Judas; his tears like Elau's and his desires after Christ to be selöth and lothsome, like theirs who fought Christ because of the loaves, John vi. 26. His an. swer from God seems now to be, Away proud beggar, “ How





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shall I put thee among the children?" He seems to lock sternly on him, for his flighting of Jesus Christ by unbeliet, which is a sin he scarce discerned 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, Goning 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, “he 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 niay compare him, :in this case, to the soung man who followed Christ, « having a linea cloth cast about, bis 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 truited 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 iell 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 plaister be applied to his wounded soul, it will not stick : He says, " Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord,” Luke v. 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 Chrift; and that he must either be in better case, or elle he'll never believe. And hence, he now makes his strongest efforts to amend what was amiss in his way before : He prays more earnestly than ever, mourns more bitterly, 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 tbiok the man is well

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


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