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and justly alfo from the fellowship of the true kirk; fo the obedience of the law, and teaching others to do the fame, by example, counfel, and doctrine, according to every man's calling, proveth a man to be a true believer, and in great estimation with God, and worthy to be much efteemed of by the true church, verf. 19.
9. That the righteoufnefs of every true Chriftian must be more than the righteoufness of the Scribes and Pharifees, for the Scribes and Pharifees, albeit they took great pains to difcharge fimndry duties of the law, yet they cutted fhort the expofition thereof, that it might the lefs condemn their practice; they ftudied the outward part of the duty, but neglected the inward and fpiritual part; they difcharged fome meaner duties carefully, but neglected judgment, mercy, and the love of God: In a word, they went about to establish their own righteoufiefs, and rejected the righteousness of God by faith in Jefus. But a true Chriftian must have more than all this; he muft acknowledge the full extent of the spiritual meaning of the law, and have a refpect to all the commandments, and labour to cleanfe himself from all filthinefs of fleth and fpirit, and "not lay "weight upon what service he hath done, or fhall do," but cloath himfelf with the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrift, which only can hide his nakedness, or elfe he cannot be faved; fo faith the text, "except your righteoufnefs," &c.
The fecond thing requifite to evidence true faith is, that the believer endeavour to put the rules of godlinefs and righteoufnefs in practice, and to grow in the daily exercife thereof, holden forth, 2 Pet. i. 5.
And befides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue ; and to virtue, knowledge; verf. 6. And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; verf. 7. And to godliness, troiherly-kindnefs; and to brotherly-kindness, charity. Verf. 8. For if thefe things be in you, and abound, they make you that je fhall neither be barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherein, 1. The apoftle teacheth believers, for evidencing of precious faith in themselves, to endeavour to add to their faith feven other fifter graces. The firft is Virtue, or the active exercise and practice of all moral duties, that fo faith may not be idle, but put forth itself in work. The fecond is Knowledge, which ferves to furnish faith with information of the truth to be believed, and to furnish virtue with direction what dutics are to be done, and how to ge about them prudently. The third is Temperance, which ferveth to moderate the ufe of all pleafant things, that a man be not clogged therewith, nor made unfit for any duty whereto he is called. The fourth is Patience, which ferveth to moderate a man's affections, when he meeteth with any difficulty or unpleafant thing; that he neither weary for pains required in well-doing, nor faint when the Lord chaftifeth him, nor murmur when he crofleth him. The fifth is Godliness, which may keep him up in all the exercises of religion, inward and outward; whereby he may be furnished from God, for
all other duties which he hath to do. I he fixth is brotherly-kindnes, which keepeth estimation of, and affection to, all the household of faith, and to the image of God in every one wherefoever it is feen. The feventh is Love, which keepeth the heart in readiness to do od to all men, whatsoever they be, upon all occafions which God hall offer.
2. Albeit it be true, that there is much corruption and infirinity in the godly; yet the Apostle will have men uprightly endeavouring, and doing their best, as they are able, to join all thefe graces one to another, and to grow in the measure of exercifing them: "Giving all diligence, (faith he,) add to your faith," &c.
3. He aflureth all profefled believers, that as they fhall profit in the obedience of this direction, fo they fhall profitably prove the foundness of their own faith; and if they want thefe graces, that they fhall be found blind deceivers of then felves, verf. 9.
The third thing requifite to evidence true faith is, that obedience to the law run in the right channel, that is, through faith in Chest, &c. holden forth, 1 Tim. i. 5.
Now the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart, and of a good confcience, and of faith unfeigned.
Wherein the Apostle teacheth these seven doctrines:
1. That the obedience of the law muft flow from love, and love from a pure heart, and a pure heart from a good confcience, and a good confcience from faith unfeigned: This he makes the only right channel of good works: "The end of the law is love," &c.
2. That the end of the law is not, that men may be justified by their obedience of it, as the Jewish doctors did falsely teach; for it is impoffible that finners can be juftified by the law, who, for every tranfgreffion, are condemned by the law: "For the end of the law "is (not fuch as the Jewish doctors taught, but) love, out of a pure heart," &c.
3. That the true end of the law, preached unto the people, is that they, by the law, being made to fee their deferved condemnation, should flee to Chrift unfeignedly, to be juftified by faith in him; fo faith the text, while it maketh love to flow through faith in Christ.
4. That no man can fet himself in love to obey the law, except in as far as his confcience is quieted by faith, or is feeking to be quieted in Chrift; for "the end of the law is love, out of a good confcience, "and faith unfeigned."
5. That feigned faith goeth to Chrift without reckoning with the law, and fo wants an errand; but unfeigned faith reckoneth with the law, and is forced to flee for refuge unto Chrift, as the end of law for righteoufnefs, fo often as it finds itself guilty for breaking of the law: "For the end of the law is faith unfeigned.”
6. That the fruits of love may come forth in act particularly, it is neceffary that the heart be brought to the hatred of all fin and uncleanness, and to a ftedfaft purpofe to follow all holiness univerfally: "For the end of the law is love, out of a pule heart."
7. That unfeigned faith is able to make the confcience good, and the heart pure, and the man lovingly obedient to the law; for when Christ's blood is seen by faith to quiet juftice, then the confcience becometh quiet alfo, and will not fuffer the heart to entertain the love of fin, but fets the man on work to fear God for his mercy, and to obey all his commandments, out of love to God, for his free gift of juftification, by grace beftowed on him: "For this is the end of the law indeed," whereby it obtaineth of a man more obedience than any other way.
The fourth thing requifite to evidence true faith is, the keeping firait communion with Chrift, the fountain of all graces, and of all good works; holden forth, John xv. 5.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the fame bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing
Wherein Chrift, in a fimilitude from a vine-tree, teacheth us,
1. That by nature we are wild barren briers, till we be changed by coming unto Chrift; and that Chrift is that noble vine-tree, having all life and fap of grace in himself, and able to change the nature of every one that cometh to him, and to communicate spirit and life to as many as fhall believe in him: "I am the vine, (faith he), and ye are the branches."
2. That Chrift loveth to have believers so united unto him, as that they be not separated at any time by unbelief: And that there may be a mutual inhabitation of them in him, by faith and love; and of him in them, by his word and Spirit; for he joineth thefe together, "If ye abide in me, and I in you," as things infeparable.
3. That except a man be ingrafted in Chrift, and united to him by faith, he cannot do any the leaft good works of his own ftrength; yea, except in as far as a man doth draw fpirit and life from Chrift by faith, the work which he doth is naughty and null in point of goodnefs, in God's eftimation; "For without me (faith he) ye can do nothing."
4. That this mutual inhabitation, is the fountain aud infallible caufe of conftant continuing and abounding in well-doing: For "he "that abideth in me, and I in him, (faith he), the fame beareth "much fruit." Now, as our abiding in Chrift prefuppofeth three things, 1. That we have heard the joyful found of the gofpel, making offer of Chrift to us, who are loft finners by the law; 2. That we have heartily embraced the gracious offer of Chrift; 3. That by receiving of him we are become the fons of God, John i. 12. and are incorporated into his mystical body, that he may dwell in us, as his temple, and we dwell in him, as in the refidence of righteoufnefs and life: So our abiding in Chrift importeth other three things, 1. An employing of Chrift in all our addreffes to God, and in all our undertakings of whatsoever piece of fervice to him. 2. A contentednefs with his fufficiency, without going out from him to feek righteQufness, or life, or furniture in any cafe, in our own or any of the creatures worthiness.
3. A fixedness in our believing in him, a fixedness in our employing and making use of him, and a fixednefs in our contentment in lim, and adhering to him, fo that no allurement, no temptation of Satan or the world, no terror nor trouble, may be able to dive our fpirits from firm adherence to him, or from the conftant avowing of his truth, and obeying his commands, who hath loved us, and given himself for us; and in whom, not only our life is laid up, but also the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily, by reafon of the fubstantial and perfonal uHion of the divine and human nature in him.
Hence let every watchful believer, for ftrengthening himself in faith and obedience, reafon after this manner:
"Whofoever doth daily employ Chrift Jefus, for cleanfing his "confcience and affections from the guiltinefs and filthiness of fins "against the law, and for enabling him to give obedience to the law << in love, he hath the evidence of true faith in himself.
"But I (may every watchful believer fay) do daily employ Jefus "Chrift, for cleaning my confcience and affections from the guihi"nefs and filthiness of fins against the law, and for enabling of me "to give obedience to the law in love.
"Therefore I have the evidence of true faith in myself."
And hence alfo, let the fleepy and fluggith believer reafon, for lis own upftirring, thus:
"Whatsoever is neceffary for giving evidence of true faith, I ftudy "to do it, except I would deceive myself and perish.
"But, to employ Chrift Jefus daily, for cleanfing of my confcience "and affections from the guiltinefs and filthiness of fins against the "law, and for enabling me to give obedience to the law in love, is "neceffary for evidencing of true faith in me.
"Therefore this I muit ftady to do, except I would deceive myfelf "and perish."
And, laftly, Secing Chrift himself hath pointed this forth, as an undoubted evidence of a man elected of God unto life, and given to jefus Chrift to be redeemed, "if he come unto him," that is, clofe covenant, and keep communion with him, as he teacheth us, John vi. 37. faying, All that the Father hath given me, fhall come to me; and him that ❝comcth to me, I will inno wife caft out:" Let every perfon, who doth not in earnest make use of Chrift for remiffion of fin, and amendment of life, reafon hence, and from the whole premises, after this manner, that his confcience may be awakened:
"Whofoever is neither by the law, nor by the gospel, fo convinced "of fin, righteoufhefs, and judgment, as to make him come to Chrift, "and employ him daily for remiffion of fin, and amendment of life; "he wanteth not only all evidence of faving faith, but alfo all apear"ance of his election, fo long as he remaineth in this condition.
"But I (may every impenitent perfon fay) am neither by the law "nor gospel fo convinced of fin, righteoufnefs, and judgment, as to "make me come to Chrift, and employ him daily for remiffion of fin, "and amendment of life.
"Therefore I want not only all evidence of faving faith, but also "all appearance of my clection, fo long as I remain in this condition."
CONFESSION OF FAITH
KIRK OF SCOTLAND;
ACTS OF PARLIAMENT
As are expedient for juftifying the Union after mentioned,
Josh. xxiv. 25. Sa Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and fet them a ftatute, and an ordinance in Shechem.
2 Kings xi. 17. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's people; between the king alfo and the people.
Ifa. xliv. 5. One fhall fay, I am the Lord's: And another shall call himfelf by the name of Jacob: And another shall fubfcribe with his hand unto the Lord, and firname himfelf by the name of Ifrael.