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duced the Gentiles into the Church and Kingdom of God, or the first Justification.
380. IV. The Query, Chap. vi. 1, “Shall we [Gentiles] continue in Sin?” and the Answer to it, have evident Reference to the State of Christian Gentiles, after they had believed, and were ingrafted into Chrilt, Ver. 5; after they were baptized and admitted into the Church. Therefore, the preceding Arguments relate to their State prior to their Faith, and to their being taken into the Church. For it is plain, the five firft Chapters refer to one State, and the fixth Chapa ter to another, and very different State. Consequently, in the five first Chapters he considers Works antecedently to Faith; in the sixth Chapter he cooliders Works as consequent to Faith. The five first Chapters speak of something conferred upon them by Grace and Faith alone, without Works of Law, or of Righteousnefs : The sixth Chapter speaks of. a State wherein they were indispensably obliged to do Works of Righteousness. But had the Apostle spoke of the fame Kind of Justification or Salvation in the fixth Chapter, as in the foregoing Chipiers, then the Justification in the sixth Chapter must also have been without Works, as well as that in the five Chapters foregoing. Therefore, in those different Places, he certainly speaks of two different Kinds of Justification. And, as that in the fixch Chapter clearly refers to their Christian State ; the other, in the five first Chapters, must refer to their Heathen State; and must be that Righteousnels, Justi, fication, or Salvation, by which they were delivered from the Power of Darkness, and tran!lated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
381. V. The Election of God, Chap. ix. 11, and the Election of Grace, Chap. xi. 5, certainly refer to the original Cause of that Justifi, cation, which the Apostle is arguing aboat, in the five first Chapters, For as that Election was “ not af Works, but of Grace, and of him that calls, of God that shows Mercy,” Chap. ix. 11, 16, xi. 5, 6: So also is that Justification, which the Apostle argues for in the five first Chapters. But the Purpose or Election of God, in the 9th, soth, and 11th Chapters refers to their being admitted to the Privileges of God's Kingdom and Covenant in this present World: Therefore the Justification in the five first Chapters refers to the fame; or is the first Justification.
382. VI. Again ; The Righteousness the Apostle speaks of Rom. ix. 30, is the same he is arguing for in the five first Chapters. For that there is “ of Faith, and not of the Works of the Law, Chap. i. 17. iii. 20, 28. And fo is this here Chap. ix. 30, “ The Gentiles, which fol. lowed not Righteousness, have attained Righteousness, the Righteousnefs which is of Faith. But Ifrael, which followed the Law of Righteousness, has not attained to the Law of Righteousness;" Ver. 32, " Wherefore? Because they fought it not by Faith, but as it were by the Works of the Law.” And he is also in both Parts of the Epiftle speaking of the same fubjects, Gentiles and Jews; and with Reference to the Righteousness of God, which the Jews rejceted, and the believing Gentiles embraced. Chap. x. 3 ; " For they (the Jews] being ignorant of God's Righteousness, and going about to establiñ their own Righteousness, have not submitte to the Righteousness of God.”
Compare Chap. i. 17 ; "For therein [in the Gospel] is the Righteousness of God revealed.” iii. 12 ; “ But now [by the Gospel] the Righteousness of God is-manifested ;-even the Righteousness of God by Faith.” Therefore, the Righteousness the Apostle is arguing for Chap. ix. 30. X. 3, is the very fame he argues for in the five first Chapters; and his Arguments relate to the same Persons. But the Righteousness, Rom. ix. 30, refers to the preceding Discourse, concerning God's rejecting the Jews and calling the Gentiles. For [51sgBmxv] “ what shall we say then ?" evidently connects this 30th Verse with what goes before. But in the Discourse which goes before, he argues about being called to be the People, and Children of God in this World; and being admitted to the Privileges of the visible Church. Therefore he certainly argues about the same Subject in the five first Chapters; and consequently, the Righteousness, and being justified, he pleads for, is the first Justification; and relates to our Admission into the Church and Kingdom of God in this World. Compare also Chap. x. 3-14, with Chap. i. 16. iï. 29, and Chap. xi. 7. with Chap. ix. 30, 31. -383. VII. The Justification, the Apostle argues about, in the five first Chapters, is such as may be applied to collective Bodies of Men, as well as particular Persons; as appears from Chap. iii. 9: “Are we [Jews] better than they (Gentiles? ]” And Ver. 29: “Is he the God of the Jews only?" Doth he confine his Favours only to Jews?“ Is he not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes of the Gentiles ?” This is one Argument he advances to prove the Justification of Gentile-Believers. But it is evident, he here considers them in a general, collective Capacity. Consequently, the Justification, he is arguing for, is such as suits this collective Sense; though no Doubt but it is intended for the Benefit of Individuals: But primarily, and in the Apostle's Argument, it is to be considered as affecting the whole Body of believing Gentiles, as contra-distinguished from the Nation of the Jews. Therefore, it is the first Juftification he is arguing about. For full and final Justification is applicable only to good Men, iu Opposition to the Wicked ; not to any Body of Men, whatever they believe or profess, in Opposition to the Jewish Nation. · 384. Vill. Full and final Justification is not compleated till the End of our Course. Mat. X. 22, “ He that endures unto the End Mall be saved. So run that ye may obtain. I have fought the good Fight, I have finished my Course, ----henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which Christ, the righteous Judge, sall give me at that Day. To him that overcomes will I give,” &c:" But the Justification, the Apostle pleads for, was then compleat, by the free Gift and Grace of God. Therefore it is the first Juftification *.
* But the Justification which the Apostle James discourses about, Chap. ii. 14, to the End, is full and final Jultification. Which I prove chus. St. James evidently speaks of Works confequent to Faith; or such Works as are the Fruit and Product of Faith. For he faith, Ver. 17, "Faith without Works is dead being alone.” Which evidently supposes Faith to have a Being with but Works, though it is but a dead Faith. Again ; Ver. 22, " Seelt thou how Faith wrought with his [Abraham's] Works, and by Works was Faith made per; jedt." If Faith was made perfect by Works, then those Works must be additional
385. From all these considerations, it seems very clear to me, That the Justification the Apostle is contending for, in the five first Chapters of this Epistle, is the Calling of the Gentiles, and their being admitted, upon Faith, into the peculiar Family and Kingdom of God. And we need not wonder he has so much laboured this Point, if we consider ; That this Salvation of the Heathen World, or the bringing the Gentiles into the Church, made a glorious Figure in the Promises and Prophecies of the Old Testament, how low foover our Sense of it may now run.-Besides, it was the grand Article in the Apostle's Commission, and the great Point in which he was opposed by the Jews. It was here they laboured to unsettle the Gentile Converts, and to demolith all that the Apostle had built up, by his Preaching. Therefore the Right of the believing Gentile to a Place in the Church, and an Interest in the special Covenant of God, was the first and principal Thing the Apostle had to establish ; which if it were not true, both his Ministry and his Gospel, as well as our Faith and Hope, must come to the Ground.
386. And that the Admission of the Gentiles into the Church and Covenant of God should be expressed by being justified *, will not seem strange, when we consider ; that it is expressed by other Terms, which are full as strong as this. For instance; it is expressed by being saved. Rom. X. 1, “ My Heart's Desire and Prayer to God for (unbelieving] Israel is that they might be saved.” xi. 26, “ And so all Israel (who are now in Vobelief ] shall be saved.” 1 Thes. ii. 16, The Jews “forbid us to speak to the Gentiles ihat they might be saved.” It is also expressed by obtaining Mercy, Rom. xi. 30. i Pet. ij. 10. Whence we may conclude, that being justified is not too strong an Expression, when rightly understood, to denote our being taken iņto the visible Church and Kingdom of God. 387. And indeed it was in itself a great Deliverance and Salvation ;
to Faith ; and Faith must have a Being before they were produced ; " and [by the Addition of Works to Faith] the Scripture was fulfilled, (or had its full and compleat Sense), which faith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for Righteousness.” Ver. 23, The Apostle James manifeftly speaks of Works consequent to Faith, or of Tuch Works as are the Fruiť and Product of Faith. Whereas St. Paul, Rom. iii. 20—29, speaks of, and rejects, Works confidered as antecedent to Faith (380). According to St. Paul, Abraham's Juftification refers to his State before he believed; or when he was az:bons, ungodly, Rom. iv. 5. According to St. James, to his State after he believed; or when Faith wrought with his works. But Justification, or Salvation, by Works, after a Man believes ; by Works produced by Faith, is full or final Justification. And of this he speaks, when he faith, Ver. 14, that “ Faith without Works cannot save a Man;" that is, cannot save him finally. And St. Paul argues as ftrenuously as James, or any of the ApoMles, for Works consequent to Faith ; or, for a Life of Piety and Virtue, as absolutely necessary to full and final Justification, or Salvation; as appears from all his Writings ; especially Roin. vi. and Heb. xi. Thus St. James and Paul are truly and perfectly reconciled.
Possibly the Apostle chote the Term Righteousness, or Juftification, and confequently Justify, to signify our Title to the Blessings of the Covenant, because it is the very word by which the Grant of Pardon, and of Covenant Bleffings, is fignified to Abraham, Gen. xv. 6.
Our Salvation from Heathenism a great Mercy. CA. XVII confidering how obnoxious the Gentile World was to the Wrath of God. This Mercy the old World, exceeding corrupt and wicked, did pot obtain ; but were all cut off by the Flood of Waters. And our being preserved from a like Destruction, and being put into a State of Pardon, and a Capacity of being finally and for ever faved, ought to be regarded as a great Instance of God's Grace and Goodness. The Sense of being justified, saved, and not destroyed, but taken into the Bosom of God's Lovė, would stand more clear and full before the Thoughts of those, who had been immersed in all the Darknefs, Eiror and Wicked. ness of an Idolatrous State ; and were then turned to the Light and glorious Privileges of the Gospel. And indecd, this inestimable Benefit of Pardon and Salvation, whereby the World is preserved from Wrath, and Nill enjoys the great Advantages and Blessings of the Gospel, would much more affect our Hearts, even at this Time, and engage our Atten. tion, were it por for the following Causes.
383. (1.) The Wickedness of the Christian World, which renders it so much like that of the Heathen *, that the good Effects of our Change to Christianity, or of our being the People and Children of God, are but little seen; and therefore the Grace, which grants us the Privileges and Bieslings we abuse, is but little regarded and valued.
389. (2.) Wrong Representations of the Scheme of the Gospel have giea ly obscured the Glory of Divine Grace, and contributed much to the Corruption of its Professors. For, not only have very gross Absurdities been introduced into the Gospel Scheme, which have prejudiced great Numbers againft it, and confounded the Understandings of the Generality, who have embraced it; but such Doctrines have been, almost universally, taught and received, as quite subvert it. Mil
. taken Notions about Nature and Grace, Election and Reprobation, Juftifi
. cation, Regeneration, Redemption, Calling, Adoption, &c. have quite taken away the very Ground of the Christian Life, the Grace of God, and have left 'no Object for the Faith of a Sinner to work upon. [268, 269.] For fuch Doctrines have represented the Things, which are fredly given to us of God, as uncertain ; as the Result of our Obedience ; or the Effect of some arbitrary, fortuitous Operations, and the Subject of doubtful Enquiry, Trial, and Examination of ourselves : As, whether we“ have an Interest in Christ,” whether we are “ in a State of Pardua, delivered from the Power of Darkness, and translated into the Kingdom of God's Son;" whether we be " called into the Fellowship of his Son," wherher we“ have obtained Redemption by him,” and have a Promife left us of entering into his Reft;" whether we be selected, adopted,” &c. All which Things are the free Gift of God's Grace; and therefore are not the Subject of Selt Examination; but of Praise and Thanksgiving. The proper Subject of the Christian's Self-Examination is; whether he lives agreeably to
* As God in his righteous Judgment gave up the Gentile World to core rupt and dishonour themtelves; because they had abused their Understanding, and corrupted the Religion of Nature: So in like Manner, God has given up the Christian World to corrupt and debríe then felves by the vilellt sitecins, Principles and Practices; because they alco have shamefully abused their la de:ftanding, and liave corrupted, in a Degree very attonitting, the Chritma Revelation.
those great favours conferred upon him by the Divine Grace. But those Favours have been represented as uncertain; as the Result of our Obedience or Holiness; and as the Subject of Self-Examination. This is to make our Juftification, as it invests us in those Blessings, to be of Works, and not by Faith alone. Thus the very Ground of the Christian Life, the Grace of God, is taken away, and no Object left for the Faith of a Sinner to act upon. /
390. (3.) The Christian Church, chiefly through Ambition and worldly Views, has, for many Ages, been broke into various Sects and Factions, distinguished by some peculiar Opinions, or Modes of Wor ship; which have been made the Tests and Terms of Admission into particular Churches. And the Zeal and Thoughts of Christians have been so much imployed about these party Tests and Terms of Communion, that they have lost Sight of the only Condition of a Right to a Place in the Church, which Christ and his Apostles established ; namely, that professed Faith in Christ, upon which the first converts were baptised, and of the Advantages and Privileges thence resulting. Instead of attending to what the Apostles have taught, concerning our common Justification, and Admissions to the Bleflings of the Kingdom and Covenant of God, they have been busy in supporting with great Zeal their various Pretences and Peculiarities. Hence have arisen the bitterest Animosities and Quarrels. And thus the Minds of Men have been so far led aftray from the pure, fimple Doctrine of the Gospel, that it would, probably, have been wholly lost to the World, had not the good Providence of God preserved the Writings of the New Testament, as a Mean and Standard of Reformation. Which Writings the more we study with Care and Impartiality, the more we fhall discern the Truth and Glory of the Christian Scheme ; and, if we are wise to submit our Hearts to its Influences, it will be an infallible Guide to eternal Life. Amen.