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And here by the way I can't but take notice of that nice but false Distinction, which they of the Church of Rome make use of. They will allow, that our Sins are forgiven, and we so far justify'd for the sole Merits of Christ, but that we are rewarded withi Eternal Happiness, That, they say, must be by our Own. But where is the Ground of this Difference, why must the Death of Christ, which made a full Satisfaction for all Sin, be absolutely necessary, and the sole Cause of our being sav'd from Eternal Death; and the Life of Christ, which fulfilld all Righteousness, not be esteem'd equally necessary, and the sole Cause of our being admitted to Eternal Life
The astonishing Disproportion between the Work and the Recompence can be accounted for by nothing but Grace, nor obtain'd by any thing but by that same Grace, producing in us Gratitude and Love. For it is for Love that That glorious Recompence is laid up, which Eye has not seen, nor Ear beard, neither has it enter'd into the heart of Man to conceive what God has prepar'd for them that love Him. This is the subItantial Reason of our Hope, and this unmeasurable Inequality between the Service and the Reward no longer confounds our Understanding, or staggers our Belief. For tho our Works are really nothing worth, the Affection, from which they proceed, may be of great Value in the sight of God; and when it is not strict Justice, but free Grace that rewards, and when it is not the Work that is rewarded, but the Love, there is no Reward too great for that free Infinite Grace to bestow. .
Thus every way we see all Pretence to Merit excluded. To which Purpose it is very well worth our Observation in what different Terms the Apostle expresses the different Retributions of Sin and Holiness, in the last Verse of the oth Chapter to the Romans. Death is there calld the Wages; τα όψώνια της αμαρτίας, the Stipend which we have earn'd, and which without Injustice cannot be detain'd from us: whereas Everlafting Life, let our Righteousness be never so great, is yet xáextua Tà Osĩ, the free and gratuitous Gift of God thro' Jesus Christ. So directly contrary are the words of this holy Apostle to the Devices of those wicked Men, who have made Sins that are not Mortal, and good Works that are Meritorious. Whereas our best and most holy Endeavours inust beg for Grace and Favour, and our Sins only are the Works by which we can properly merit any thing from God; Thoʻ that alas! is a dreadful Recompence, even his Wrath and everlasting Damnation.
· Let us therefore, laying aside all vain Truft in Ourselves or our Deservings, rely wholly upon that Grace by which we are fav’d; For by Grace ye are sav'd thró Faith, but not of Works. Of which two last it remains to treat, which I shall reserve to another Opportunity, and at present conclude with exhorting all earnestly to pray in the Words of the Apostle, That He would make all Grace to abound in us, that we may abound to every good Work, 2 Cor. 9.8. That * Grace may reign thro' Righteousness to Eternal Life, Rom. 5. 21. And now to our Father that bath loved us, and given us everlasting Confolation and good Hope thro' Grace, 2 Theff.2.16 The God of all Grace, who has called us into his eternal Glory by Jefus Chrift, 1 Pet. 5.10.
To him with the same. Jesus Christ and : Holy Spirit, three Persons and one God, be
afcrib'd, as is most due, all Glory, Honor, Might, Majesty, and Dominion both nove and for Evermore. Amen.
Ephes. II. 8, 9, 10. For by Grace are ye Sav'd, through
Faith, and that not of yourselves,
it is the Gift of God: Not of Works, lést any Man Mould
boast : For we are his Workmanship, creat
ed in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordain'd, that we mould walk in them. :
N treating of these Words, I observ'd
three things very considerable in them 1. contain'd, which in their Order I
propos'd to make the Subject of my Discourse.
I. The First of these, I then told you, was Grace, By which we are Sav’d. : · Il. The Second, Faith, through which we are Sav’d.
III. The Third, Good Works, of which we are not, but without which we cannot be Sav'd.
Of the First of these, Grace, and how entirely our Salvation depends upon it, and ought wholly to be ascrib'd to it, I at that time discours d at large, concluding that without all Controversy, by Grace ye are Sav'd. By Grace, but That not Irrepltable, Through Faith, but That not Idle, but productive of Good Works, and those Good Works not Meritorious of, but yet necelsary to Salvation.
Of which two last therefore, namely Faith the immediate Instrument of Salvation, and Good Works, the necessary Qualification of all that would be Say'd, it remains in order now to treat..
II. Through Faith ye are Sav'd, and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God. .
In which Words two things are Observable.
ift, That Salvation is through Faith. 42dly, That this Saving Faith is not of ourselves, it is the Gift of God. .