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fill in force'tis consider'd as a Rule of Life. So Christ has freed as from the Curse of the Law as it was a Covenant of Works, but ftronglier enforc d the Obedience of the Law as it is a Rule of Life. For as a Coc venant, 'twas rigorous and condemning, Do this and Live, Fail in one Tittle and Dye ! and that Rigour and Condemnation Christ has taken away; but as a Rule it was equal and holy and juft and good, and that Equity and Holiness and Justice and Goodness he has by no means taken away, he has rather establifh'd and confirm’d. Think not, says he, that I am come to destroy the Law, I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it; and St Paul, Do we then make void the Law by Faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the Laño. In fine, the Duties of the Moral Law being such as are not Good because commanded, but commanded because Good, are of indispensable and never-ceasing Obligation, so exactly conformable to the Eternal Rea ctitude and Immutable Holiness of God, the Copy not only of his Will but his Nature, that it is as impossible that God should ever abrogate or dispense with these, as it is that he should deny himself.
They who run down this as Legal Preachiņg, and as the more Evangelical Way lay themselves out in exhorting their Hearers to get Christ, to roll and cast themselves uponi
Chrift, one would almost think had discover'd some Other Christ, than the Gospel speaks of. His Doctrine was of a different Form and Tendency. In his first Divine Discourse on the Mount, he professes, as ye heard, that he came not to destroy the Lam; but to fulfil it. Not to cancel any part of our Duty towards God or Man, but to advance it to a higher Degree of Perfection, and by more terrible Threatnings and more precious Promises to enforce the Obligation to it. His whole Sermon is of Holiness and Happiness, of the several Kinds of good Works to be done, and the several respective Blessings that attend the doing of them. In short, the whole Dehign of his Religion is to promote good Works, and according to them he assures us, that he will judge the World. According to them shall be pronounc'd the Irreversible Sentence, Go
ye Cursed into everlasting Fire, or Come ye Blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared
for you from the beginning of the World. Holiness then is the Condition upon which all our future Happiness depends, and as the Law of God, as was before hinted, is not the arbitrary Declaration of his Will, but a Sample of his Essential Goodness, the Image and Reflexion of his Divine Nature; so this Allotment of Happiness to the Conformity to that Law, in which Conformity our Ho
liness confifts, is not a positive only and merely arbitrary Appointment, but grounded on the unchangeable Respect of things, the rational and eternal Agreement that is between the One and the Other. For were it possible, that an unholy Person could be admitted there, even Heaven it self could not make him Happy. For Happiness consists in the Enjoyment of an Object suitable and satisfying to our Desires ; nor can God, the Holy God, be our Felicity, unless we in some Measure partake of his Nature, and are transformed into his Likeness.
By this time the absolute Necessity of Good Works may plainly appear, not indeed as meritorious Causes of Salvation, but yet as requisite Qualifications, in every One that shall be fav'd. They are not Cause Regnandi, but they are Via ad Regnum, as the Father expresses it, not the Causes for which the Heavenly. Kingdom is by Right due, but the way thorough which every One that seeks to enter into that Kingdom muft neceffarily pass.
The Merit of them in my laft Discourse on this Text was utterly renounc'd, and, I think, sufficiently confuted from several Arguments not to be repeated. I shall only now add, That since 'tis on all hands allow'd, that we cannot without Grace perform any good Work, the better our Works
are, and the more of them we do, the more still we are indebted to him, that enables us to work, and as our Debt to him increases, so our Title to merit any thing at his hands must proportionably without doubt decrease. But let not this in the least Nacken our Endeavours, or
abate our Hopes. Tho we cannot in strict Justice claim any Reward, His Goodness will crown our Endeavours, and exceed our Hopes. God is not, cannot be a Debtor to the Holieft of his Creatures,; but to Himself he is, to his Own Inviolable Truth, whereby he stands voluntarily oblig'd to repay even inconsiderable Services, if perforin'd in Belief of his Promise and Obedience to his Command, with an Eternal Weight of Glory. As we therefore expect to be Sav'd by Grace, all our Works must be done in Faith, without which it is impossible to please God. For we may fafely invert the Words of St Jame's, and as He spakes of Faith without Works, fo may we say of the best Works, that as the Body without the Soul is dead, so without Faith they are dead also. For Faith alone it is that animates and gives Life unto them, by directing their first Intention to it's
proper End, by doing 'em for the Love Christ and to his Father's Glory, by teaching us to expect the Acceptation of their Imperfection for the sake of his Perfect
Righteousness, by minding us from whom they spring, and to whom all the Goodness in them is to be ascrib’d, by setting a right Value upon 'em, and lastly by assuring us of as certain a Reward to them from his gracious Promise, as if they had merited it from their Own Intrinsick Worth. Let us therefore by the Grace of God, through Faith, heartily set about these Works that accompany Salvation. Let none so rely upon God's Electing Grace, as to disregard his Sanctifying Grace, which is absolutely Necessary to make that presum'd Election sure. 'Tis a mortal Delusion for any to think, Electing Mercy will bring him to Glory, if he continue in Sin, or that he can reap any Benefit through Chift's Death by Faith, without Conformity to his Life by Obedience. Let us not flatter and cheat Ourselves with the fond Opinion of Our being predeftinated to Eternal Life, by an Irreversible Designation of the Secret Will of God, except we be ftudious and careful to perform that Will of his, which he has reveald. Let us not trouble our heads with the Order of God's Councils, nor presumptuously take upon us to range, after this or that Manner and Method, his Decrees, among which in reality there is neither Priority nor Subsequence, fore nor after, being all One simple uncompounded Eternal AČE