Page images

Faith, that nor leads to good, nor keeps from ill,
Will never lead to heaven, nor keep from hell.
The body without breath is dead ;* no less
Is faith without the works of holiness.§

How rare is faving. faith, when earth is cramm'd
With fuch as will believe, and yet be damn'd;
Believe the gofpel, yet with dread and awe
Have never truly firft believ'd the law.

That matters fhall be well, they hope too foon
Who never yet have seen they were undone.
Can of falvation their belief be true,
Who never yet believ'd damnation due?
Can thefe of endless life have folid faith

Who never fear'd law threats of endless death?
Nay, fail'd they han't yet to the healing fhore,
Who never felt their finful, woful fore.
Imaginary faith is but a blind

Which bears no fruit but of a deadly kind:
Nor can from fuch a wild unwholesome root
The leaft production rife of living fruit.
But faving faith can fuch an offspring breed,
Her native product is a holy feed.

The fairest iffues of the vital breath

Spring from the fertile womb of heav'n-born faith ;
Yet boasts fhe nothing of her own, but brings
Auxiliaries from the King of kings,

Who graves his royal law in rocky hearts,
And gracious aid in foft'ning fhowers imparts;
This gives prolific virtue to the faith
Infpir'd at first by his almighty breath,
Hence, fetching all her fuccours from abroad,
She still employs this mighty pow'r of God.
Drain'd clean of native pow'rs and legal aims,
No ftrength but in and from Jehovah claims;
And thus her service to the law o'er tops
The tow'ring zeal of Pharifaic fops.

* James ii. 26.

§ James ii. 17, 10.

SECT. IV. The Believer only being married to Chrift, is juftified and fanctified: and the more gofpel freedom from the Law as a covenant, the more holy conformity to it as a rule.

THUS doth the Husband by his Father's will
Both for and in his bride the law fulfil :
For her, as 'tis a covenant; and then
In her, as 'tis a rule of life to men.
First, all law debt he inoft completely pays,
Then of law duties all the charge defrays.
Does first affume her guilt, and loose her chains,
And then with living water wafh her stains;
Her fund restore, and then her form repair,
And make his filthy bride a beauty fair;
His perfect righteousness moft freely grant,
And then his holy image deep implant;
Into her heart his precious feed indrop,
Which, in his time, will yield a glorious crop.
But by alternate turns his plants he brings
Through robbing winters and repairing fprings.
Hence, pining oft, they fuffer'd fad decays,
By dint of fhady nights and ftormy days.
But bleft with fap, and influence from above,
They live and grow anew in faith and love;
Until tranfplanted to the higher foil,
While furies tread no more, nor foxes fpoil.
Where Chrift the living root remains on high,
The noble plant of grace can never die ;
Nature decays, and fo will all the fruit
That merely rifes on a mortal root.
Their works, however fplendid, are but dead,
That from a living fountain don't proceed;
Their faireft fruit is but a garnish'd fhrine,
That are not grafted in the glorious Vine.
Devouteft hypocrites are rank'd in rolls
Of painted puppets, not of living fouls.

No offspring but of Chrift's fair bride is good,
This happy marriage has a holy brood.


Let finners learn this mystery to read,
We bear to glorious Chrift no precious feed,
Till through the law, we to the law be dead.*
No true obedience to the law, but forc'd,
Can any yield, till from the law divorc'd.
Nor to it, as a rule, is homage giv'n,
Till from it, as a cov'nant, men be driv❜n.
Yea more, till once they this divorce attain,
Divorce from fin they but attempt in vain ;
The curfed yoke of fin they basely draw,
Till once unyoked from the curfing law.
Sin's full dominion keeps its native place,
While men are under law, not under grace.†
For mighty hills of enmity won't move,
Till touch'd by conqu'ring grace and mighty love.
Were but the gospel secret understood;

How God can pardon where he fees no good;
How grace and mercy free, that can't be bought,
Reign through a righteoufnefs already wrought:
Where woful reigning unbelief depos'd,
Mysterious grace to blinded minds difclos'd:
Did Heav'n with gospel news its pow'r convey,
And finners hear a faithful God but fay.
No more law debt remains for you to pay;
Lo, by the loving Surety all's discharg'd,'
Their hearts behov'd with love to be enlarg'd:
Love, the fuccinct fulfilling of the law,§
Were then the eafy yoke they'd fweetly draw;
Love would conftrain and to his fervice move,
Who left them nothing elfe to do but love.
Slight now his loving precepts if they can;
No, no; his conqu'ring kindness leads the van.
When everlasting love exerts the fway,

They judge themselves more kindly bound t' obey,
Bound by redeeming love in ftricter fenfe
Than ever Adam was in innocence.

Why now they are not bound, as formerly,
To do and live, nor yet to do or die;


* Gal. ii. 19.

Rom. vi. 14.

§ Rom. xiii, 10.


Both life and death are put in Jesus' hands,
Who urges neither in his kind commands,
Not fervile work their life and heav'n to win,
Nor flavifh labour death and hell to fhun.

Their aims are purer, fince they understood,


Their heav'n was bought, their hell was quench'd with

The oars of gospel service now they steer,
Without or legal hope or flavish fear.

The bride in fweet fecurity can dwell,

Nor bound to purchase heav'n, nor vanquish hell:
But bound for him the race of love to run,
Whose love to her left none of these undone;
She's bound to be the Lamb's obedient wife,
And in his ftrength to ferve him during life;
To glorify his loving name for ay,
Who left her not a fingle mite to pay
Of legal debt, but wrote for her at large,
In characters of blood, a full discharge.
Henceforth no fervile task her labours prove,
But grateful fruits of reverential love.

SECT. V. Gofpel grace giving no liberty_nor freedom to fin, but to holy fervice and pure obedience.

THE glorious Husband's love can't lead the wife
To whoredom or licentiousness of life:
Nay, nay; fhe finds his warmest love within
The hotteft fire to melt her heart for fin.
His kind embrace is ftill the strongest cord
To bind her to the fervice of her Lord.
The more her faith infures this love of his,
The more his law her delectation is.
Some dream, they might, who his affurance win,
Take latitude and liberty to fin.

Ah! fuch bewray their ignorance, and prove
They want the lively fenfe of drawing love;
And how its fweet constraining force can move.
The ark of grace came never in to dwell,
But Dagon-lufts before it headlong fell.
Men bafely can unto lafcivioufnefs

Abuse the doctrine, not the work of grace.


Huggers of divine love in vice's path,
Have but the fancy of it, not the faith.
They never foar'd aloft on grace's wing,
That knew not grace to be a holy thing:
When pregnant the the powers of hell appals,
And fin's dominion in the ruin falls.
Curs'd is the crew whofe antinomian drefs
Makes grace a cover to their idleness.
The bride of Christ will fure be very loth
To make his love a pillow for her floth.
Why, mayn't fhe fin the more that grace abounds?
Oh, God forbid! the very thought confounds.
When dead unto the law, fhe's dead to fin;
How can fhe any longer live therein ?*

To neither of them is the now a flave,
But fhares the conqueft of the great, the brave,
The mighty General, her victorious Head,
Who broke the double chain to free the bride.
Hence, prompted now with gratitude and love,.
Her cheerful feet in fwift obedience move.
More ftrong the cords of love to duty draw,
Than hell, and all the curfes of the law.
When with feraphic love the breaft's infpir'd,
By that are all the other graces fir'd;

These kindling round, the burning heart and frame,
In life and walk fend forth a holy flame.


A Caution to all against a legal spirit; efpecially to those that have a profeffion without power, and learning without grace.

WHY, fays the haughty heart of legalists,

Bound to the law of works by nat❜ral twists,
Why fuch ado about a law-divorce?

• Men's lives are bad, and would you have them worse.?

* Rom. vi. I, 2.

« PreviousContinue »