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the text tells us, Jesus loved him. But our Saviour, to try whether in earnest he believed him to be the Messiah, and resolved to take him to be his king, and to obey him as luch, bids him give all he has to the poor, and come, and follow him, and he thould have treasure in heaven. This I look on to be the meaning of the place : this of selling all he had, and giving it to the poor, hot being a standing law of his kingdom, but a probationary command to this young man, to try whether he truly believed him to be the Mefliah, and was ready to obey his commands, and relinquith all to follow him, when he his prince required it.
And therefore we see, Luke xix. 14. where our Saviour takes notice of the Jews not receiving him as the Messiah, he expresies it thus, “ We will not have this man to reign over us." It is not enough to believe him to be the Messiah, unless we also obey his laws, and take him to be our king, to reign over us.
Matt. xxii. 11-13. He that had not on the wedding-garment, though he accepted of the invitation, and came to the wedding, was cast into utter darkness. By the “ wedding-garment,” it is evident, good works are meant here. That wedding-garment of fine linen, clean and white, which we are told, Rev. xix. 8, is the dixzzoápala, « righteous a&s of the Saints :" or, as St. Paul calls it, Ephef. iv. I. « the walking worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called.” This appears from the parable itself; « The kingdom of heaven," says our Saviour, ver. 2. « is like unto a king who made a marriage «' for his son.” And here he distinguishes those who were invited into three forts; 1. Those who were invited, and came not, i. e. those who had the gospel, the good news of the kingdom of God, proposed to them, but believed not. 2. Those who came, but had not on a wedding-garment, i. e. believed Jesus to be the Messiah, but were not new-clad (as I may so say) with a true repentance and amendment of life, nor adorned with those virtues which the apostle, Col. iii. requires to be put on. 3. Those who were invited, did come, and had on the wedding-garment, i. e. heard the gospel, believed Jesus to be the Messiah, and sincerely obeyed his laws. These three forts are plainly designed here; whereof the last only were the blefied; who were to enjoy the kingdom prepared for them.
Matt. xxiii. “ Be not ye called Rabbi ; for one is your master, “ even the Messiah, and ye all are brethren. And call no man « your father upon the earth; for one is your father which is in “ heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, « even the Messiah. But he that is greatest amongst you, shall be « your servant; and whosoever shall exalt himself, thall be abased; « and he that shall humble himself, Ihall be exalted.”
Luke xxi. 34. “ Take heed to yourselves, left your hearts be at " any time over-charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares « of this life.”
Luke xxii. 25. “ He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles “ exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon « them, are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that
< is greatest amongst you, let him be as the younger ; and he that " is chief, as he that doth serve.”.
John xiii. 34. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye « love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one « another : by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if « ye love one another.” This command of loving one another is repeated again, chap. xv. 12. and 17.
John xiv. 15. “ If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Ver. 21. “ He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is « that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my « father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him.” Ver. 23. “ If a man loveth me, he will keep my words.” Ver. 24. “He « that loveth me not, keepeth not my fayings.”
John xv. 8. “In this is my father glorified, that ye bear much “ fruit ; fo fhall ye be my disciples.” Ver. 14. “ Ye are my “ friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
Thus we see our Saviour not only confirmed the moral law, and, clearing it from the corrupt glosses of the Scribes and Pharisees, Thewed the strictness as well as obligation of its injunctions; but moreover, upon occasion, requires the obedience of his disciples to several of the commands he afresh lays upon them, with the enforcement of unspeakable rewards and punishments in another world, according to their obedience or disobedience. There is not, I think, any of the duties of morality, which he has not, somewhere or other, by himself and his apostles, inculcated over and over again to his followers in express terms. And is it for nothing that he is so instant with them to bring forth fruit? does he their king command, and is it an indifferent thing? or will their happiness or misery not at all depend upon it, whether they obey or no? They were required to believe him to be the Messiah ; which faith is of grace promised to be reckoned to them for the completing of their righteousness, wherein it was defective: but righteousness, or obedience to the law of God, was their great business, which if they could have attained by their own performances, there would have been no need of this gracious allowance in reward of their faith; but eternal life, after the resurrection, had been their due by a former covenant, even that of works, the rule whereof was never abolished, though the rigour was abated. The duties enjoined in it were duties still: their obligations had never ceased, nor a wilful neglect of them was ever dispensed with ; but their past transgressions were pardoned, to those who received Jesus, the promised Messiah, for their king; and their future Nips covered, if renouncing their former iniquities, they entered into his kingdom, and continued his subjects, with a steady resolution and endeavour to obey his laws. This righteousness therefore, a complete obedience and freedom from sin, are still sincerely to be endeavoured after ; and it is no where promised, that those who perfift in a wilful disobedience to his laws lhall be received into the eternal bliss of his kingdom, how much soever they believe in him.
A fincere obedience, how can any one doubt to be, or scruple to call, a condition of the new covenant, as well as faith, who ever read our Saviour's formon on the mount, to omit all the rest ? Can any thing be more express than these words of our Lord? Matt. vi. 14. “ If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will « also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespalles, nei" ther will your father forgive your trespasses.” And John xiii. 17. “ If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." This is so indispensable a condition of the new covenant, that believing without it will not do, nor be accepted, if our Saviour kneẢ ihe terms on which he would admit men into life. " Why call ye me “ Lord, Lord,” fays he', Luke vi. 46. “ and do not the things < which I say?" It is not enough to believe him to be the Messiah, the “Lord,” without obeying him : for that thefe he speaks to here were believers, is evident from the parallel place, Matt, vij. 21-23. where it is thus recorded; “ Not every one who says Lord, Lord, « fhall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the « will of my father, which is in heaven.” No rebels, or refractory disobedient, shall be admitted there, though they have so far believed in Jesus as to be able to do miracles in his name ; is is plain out of the following words, “ Many will say to me in that « day, Have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have “ cait out devils, and in thy name have done many wonderful < works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; “ depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.”
This part of the new covenant, the apostles also, in their prcaching the gospel of the Messiah, ordinarily joined with the doctrine of faith.
St. Peter in his first sermon, Acts ji. when they were pricked in heart, and asked, “What thall we do?” says, ver. 38. “ REPENT, “ and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Chriit, “ for the remillion of fins.” The same he says to them again in his next speech, Acts iv. 26. “Unto you first, God having raised “ up his son Jefus, fent him to bless you."" How was this done? « IN TURNING AWAY EVERY ONE FROM YOUR INIQUITIES."
The fame doctrine they preach to the high-priest and rulers, Acts v. 30. “ The God of our fathers raised up Jerus, whom ye « flew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his “ right-hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour for to give REPENTANCE " to Israel, and forgiveness of sins; and we are witnesses of these << things, and so is also the Holy Ghoft, whom God hath given to « them that obey him.”
Acts xvii. 30. St. Paul tells the Athenians, that now under the gospel “ God commandeth all men every where to REPENT.”
Acts xx. 21. St. Paul, in his last conference with the elders of Ephesus, professes to have taught them the whole doctrine necessary to falvation. “ I have,” says he, “ kept back nothing that was « profitable unto you; but have shewed you, and have taught you " publicly, and from house to house, teftifying both to the Jews
6 and to the Greeks ;” and then gives an account what his preaching had been, viz. “ REPENTANCE towards God, and faith toki wards our Lord Jesus the Messiah.” This was the sum and substance of the gospel which St. Paul preached, and was all that he knew necessary to falvation, viz. « Repentance, and believing Jesus 16 to be the Messiah;” and fo takes his last farewel of them, whom he should never see again, ver. 32. in these words : « And now, “ brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, 46 which is able to build up, and to give you an inheritance among « all them that are sanctified.” There is an inheritance conveyed by the word and covenant of grace, but it is only to those who are « lanétificd."
Acts xxiv, 24. " When Felix sent for Paul,” that he and his wife Drulilla might hear him « concerning the faith in Christ,” Paul reasoned of righteousness," or justice, and a temperance;” the duties we owe to others, and to ourselves, and of the judge nent to come: till he inade Felix to tremble. Whereby it appears, that - temperance and justice” were fundamental parts of the religion that Paul professed, and were contained in the faith which he preached. And if we find the duties of the moral law not pressed by him every where, we must remember, that most of his sermons left upon record were preached in their synagogues to the Jews, who acknowledged their obedience due to all the precepts of the law, and would have taken it amiss to have been suspected not to have been more zealous for the law than he: and therefore it was with reason that his discourses were directed chiefly to what they yet wanited, and were averse to, the knowledge and embracing of Jesus their promised Messiah. But what his preaching generally was, if we will believe him himself, we may fee Afts xxvi. where giving an account to king Agrippa of his life and doctrine, he tells him, ver. 20. “I shewed unto them at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and " throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that " they should repent and turn to God, and do works mect for re« pentance.”
Thus we fee, by the preaching of our Saviour and his apostles, that he required of those who believed him to be the Messiah, and received him for their Lord and deliverer, that they should live by his laws; and that (though in consideration of their becoming his subjects, by faith in him, whereby they believed and took him to be the Melliah, their former fins should be forgiven, yet) he would own none to be his, nor receive them as true denizons of the New Jerusalem, into the inheritance of eternal life, but leave them to the condemnation of the unrighteous, who renounced not their former miscarriages, and lived in a sincere obedience to his commands. What he expects from his followers, he has sufficiently declared as a legislator. And that they may not be deceived, by iniftaking the doctrine of faith, grace, free-grace, and the pardon and forgiveness of fins and salvation by him (which was the great end of his coming), he more than once declares to them for what omissions
- and miscarriages he sball judge and condemn to death even those who have owned him, and done iniracles in his name, when he comes at last to render to every one according to what he had DONE in the flesh, sitting upon his great and glorious tribunal, at the end of the world.
The first place where we find our Saviour to have mentioned the day of Judgment, is John v, 28, 29, in these words : « The hour «s is coming, in which all that are in their graves shall hear his « [i. e. the son of God's] voice, and shall come forth; they that « have DONE GOOD, unto the resurrection of life; and they that < have DONE EVIL, unto the resurrection of damnation.” That which puts the distinction, if we will believe our Saviour, is the having « done good or evil.” And he gives a reason of the necessity of his judging or condemning thole “ who have done evil” in the following words, ver. 30. “ I can of my own self do no« thing. As I hear I judge, and my judgement is just; because I
« seek not my own will, but the will of my father who hath sent ... me.” He could not judge of himself; he had but a delegated
power of judging from the father, whose will he obeyed in it, and who was of purer eyes than to admit any unjust person into the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. vii. 22, 23. Speaking again of that day, he tells what his sentence will be, « Depart from me, ye WORKERS of iniquity.” Faith, in the penitent and sincerely obedient, supplies the defect of their performances, and so by grace they are made just. But we may observe, none are sentenced or punished for unbelief, but only for their misdeeds. « They are workers of iniquity" on whom the sentence is pronounced.
Matt. xii. 14. « At the end of the world, the son of man shall “ send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all “ fcandals, and them which DO INIQUITY, and cast them into a « furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” And again, ver. 49. « The angels shall sever the WICKED from « among the JUST, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire."
Matt. xvi. 24. « For the son of man shall come in the glory of his « father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man ac« cording to his WORKS."
Luke xiii. 26. “ Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and u drunk in thy presence, and thou haft taught in our streets. But “ he thall say, I tell you, I know you not: depart froin me, ye 56 WORKERS of iniquity.”
Matt. xxv. 24–26. When the son of man fhall come in his “ glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations, he shall set
the sheep on his right-hand, and the goats on his left: then ihall « the king say to then on his right-hand, Come, ye blessed of my Şc father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation Ķc of the world; for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was
thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me ein; naked, and ye cloathed me; I was sick, and ye visited me;