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as not concerning them. vet such courses | VII. When men once give way to yain will prove but folly in the end: for albeit thoughts, and will not impartially examine they thought these testimonies concerned and pass sentence upon their condition, them noc, yet that availed not, for the law or estate before God, but will lay it down did indeed speak to them, and they were for a conclufion, that their estate is good guilty before God, notwithstanding they did enough, tho’ it be not so; then their false dream the contrary.
hearts, fet on work by Satan, will furnish IV. Whatever purposes be handled in them with abundance of false grounds the word of the Lord, and whatever truths whereupon to build their empty hopes, . be there delivered, or whatever way they seeing that is all they defire; and they be proposed, yet we ought to look upon will have enough of such stuif furnished i the whole as a law, having a binding them, whereby to maintain their righrepower to regulate our practice, and to ousness, fo as their voluble tongues will direct us in point of faith and doctrine : be as fluent, as if they were as many For here the whole Old Testament is call-mighty rushing waters; fuch will not be ed a law; and here the prophet Ifaiah foon nonpluís’d; as is clear by this meta(and consequently all the rest of the pro phor of damming up their mouths, and phers) is termed the law, and the Psalms hedging them up, which supposeth how also; so John x. 34. and xv. 25. so the violent these were in their defence, and historical part hath that name, Gal. iv. 22. how fertile their invention was to find out and the law of Moses hath still that name.apologies and defences for themselves.
V. So strong is the force of pride and 1 VIII. The law, thoroughly studied, and self-love, where it gets vent, that it will particularly applied, and mens actions and make a man that is full thereof go over natures duly examined thereby, is sufficient the belly of his own light, to lay down to beat down all folks proud thoughts of grounds whereupon to build his foolish themselves, and take from them all excuses hopes, and whereby to answer what might and tergiversations, whereby they labour be produced for their conviction and reco- to fhun any thorough conviction of their Tery: for albeit they had this objection, own unrighteousness, and lost condition : that these testimonies touched not their and when the doctrine of the law is cafe, yet they could not deny, if they brought home to folks consciences by the would speak according to their own light, Spirit, it will lay their boasting of their that the law spake to them; and therefore own righteousness, and cause them lay says Paul, We know, and so took it as a their hands upon their mouths, and cry, maxim that they could not get denied, that guilty : fo the right way to convince folk what things foever the law fays, it says to of their natural condition, is to hold forth such as are under the law.
the law, for it is by the law, and what it VI. As the law of the Lord hath a com-says, that mouths are foped, and all found. manding power over all unto whom it is out to be guilty. ziren and prescribed; so hath it a speaking IX. To be guilty, and so liable to voice to reprove, accuse, threaten and con God's curse, is not the condition of a few demn all coorraveeners; for thus this law only, but even the natural condition of all,
faid to speak (viz. by convincing them of be they privileged outwardly, or not : it in, and judgment for fin, as the scope of 1 is the common case and condition of all the forecited testimonies evidenceth) to ranks, qualities and conditions of people, all that are in it, or under it; and there is of whatsoever language, nation or kinBone that need plead exemption, or ima- dred they be; the whole mass of mankind gise freedom therefrom,
is guilty, and lying under the curie, linca.
the apostle addeth, before God; that is, in cannot be justified by the deeds his judgment, as opposed to man's judge which discovereth so much guilt, deserve meni, at whose bar men may be justified, ing condemnation. Rom. iv. 2. for that may pass as current before men, which cannot endure God's
OBSERVATIONS. ftrictest judgment, that vain hypocrites 1. Though man by the guilt of. Adam may not think to deceive God as they do hach utterly lost that righteousness, in men, seeing in God's eyes the heavens are which once he was created, and whereby. act clean, Job iv. 18. and sv. 15. and xxv. he looked like God, this being a part of 5. and he searcheth the heart. By being the image of God, Eph. iv. 24. and now julified he means, not having righteous. is become altogether unrighteous, and of ness infused, for then there would be no himself utterly incapable of ever appeare sense in the words, nor truth either; to ing before the Judge as righteous; yet fay, that by the works of the law fio man | God hath found out a way, and there is a hall have inherent righteousness before poflibility how, the unrighteous may apGod; but such an act whereby we have our pear righteous; and there is such a glori. fins pardoned, are acquitted and abfolvedous privilege as justification-attainable, and fron sin and death, and declared righteous the apostle is here proving the right way in God's sight; and thus the word is taken, of attaining to it. Job ix. 20. Rom. viii. 33. 34. Gal. iv. 16. II. Man would still be at a way of his 17. and iïi. 8. Prov. xvii. 15. for the apo- | own, whereby to attain unto this privilege Atle is about to thew, how poor finful flesh, of justification, Luke xviii, and such a Dow lying under guilt, and liable to death, high account have they of their actions, may win free, and be absolved, and looked and religious performances, (not knowing, upon as just before God.
or. not considering, what a just God they Beside this conclusion, there is an argu- have to do with, what a.pure law they will ment in the verse, to enforce it; which be tried by one day, what a lump of cormay either be looked upon as a new argu- ruptions sticks to every thing they do, so meni, or as the last sumed up in short : that of all cheir actions there shall not one however it is this, If by the law be the be found able to abide a trial, when it is knowledge of fin, then by the deeds of the examined according to its principal motive L# no ielh shall be justified before God: and end) that they cannot be gotten conthis is clear, for he speaketh of such a vinced of an inpossibility of ever being jula knowledge as convinceth, and makes us cified by themselves : as it is hard to get guilty before God, and so holds forth sone convinced of this in opinion, so it is God's wrath and curse: but so it is, that harder to get more convinced of it in pracby the law is the knowledge of sin; whiere, tice: therefore it must be concluded, and by the law he means both the law of na- again concluded, and proven, and proven ture, and the written law, and all law, see over again. ng is hath no article added in the original; III. The best way to get souls convinced and this law discovers the least and most | of a necessity of following the right way, cbscure în, especially the written law dif- of justification without themselves, is, to covereth concupifcence, and such like ; convince them once of their natural conad the very original and foul fountain of dition, how they stand guil:y before God. esery vice, both as to want of our original | If souls would study this well, and be thovoderstanding in our judiy ments, and rec- roughly convinced thereof, they would trute in our wills and affections, and to more heartily close with this doctrine, that the having of contrary habits; so that we ' by the works of the law, no flesh fhould be