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curity, at other times we are told, that " by works a man is justified, and not by faith only; and that faith without works is dead ;" and that the inquiry at the last day shall be, Who has" fed the hungry, clothed the naked || ?" &c.
§ 7. And most commonly these two views are united in the same paragraph; that one may prevent the ill conse quences man's perverseness would draw from the other. As physicians, finding some dangerous effect likely to follow from a drug of sovereign virtue, mix some other with it, to prevent the fatal consequences.
So we are said to be "elect, according to the foreknow. ledge of God, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obe dience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus §." Again, we are told, that "by grace we are saved through faith, the gift of God, not of works; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." ¶
§ 8. I may give another instance, in the different ways the Scripture speaks of power and duty. Sometimes we are told that we cannot come to Christ except the Father draw us *." That" without Christ we can do nothing t." That" if we live, it is not we, but Christ that liveth in us ++." Now these views tend to hide pride from man, to create a diffidence of ourselves, and to centre our hopes and dependence on Christ; but lest the slothful and wicked servant should make his impotence his excuse, we are called upon to "turn and make us new hearts," exhorted to "ask and we shall receive, and are assured "God will give the Spirit to them that ask him |||| ;" and how happily are these two views united in this passage!" Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do." **
9. Now, less skilful dividers of the word deal entirely in one of these views, and neglect the other; and while they are labouring to excite one good affection, they raise
Jam. ii. 24, 26.
§ 1 Pet. i. 2.
| Matt. xxv.
+ John xv. 5.
** Phil. ii. 12, 13.
another of a bad tendency together with it. To this in part it is owing that there are so many low or distempered Christians. Nor is this partiality more happy in effecting the real conversion of sinners, who generally, under such management, are either left asleep, and settled in a fond conceit of their own righteousness, or else stumble at the rock of offence (in a different manner indeed from what the Jews did) thinking to find by Christ a way to Heaven, without holiness or moral honesty.
§ 10. 3. Distinctly explaining and enforcing particular duties, and opposing particular sins. It is true, the whole scheme of gospel duty is deducible from the general heads of faith and love; but, alas! most men's minds are slow, confused, and erroneous in long deductions; and it is our business to lead them on in every step, and to shew what particular duties to God, our neighbour, and ourselves, will flow from these principles, and are necessary to make the man of God perfect. We must particularly teach them to" add to their faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity," if we would not leave them blind and unfruitful ††; and we should, in a particular manner, speak of" the fruits of the Spirit, as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance;" and at proper seasons explain and enforce each of them *. We should apply the lamp of the word to detect and disgrace all the particular "works of darkness," and to make manifest the fruits of the flesh; such as adultery, lasciviousness, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like." +
§ 11. If I should read to a sick person a learned lecture on the benefit of health, and exhort him to take care to recover it, but never inquire into the nature of his disease, or prescribe proper methods and medicines for the cure, he would hardly acquiesce in me for his physician, or resign to me the care of his bodily health. Nor is it a more likely way to the soul's health, to rest in mere general exhorta
++ 2 Pet. i. 7.
* Gal. v. 22, 23.
tions to holiness, without distinctly handling the several branches thereof, and the opposite sins.
§ 12. 4. Particularly applying to the several cases, tempers, and experiences of the hearers. Besides many thoughts suited in general to all cases, there might properly arise in the application of most subjects, thoughts distinctly proper to the converted and unconverted; to notional hypocrites and mere moralists, to mourners, to backsliders, and lazy Christians; and at several times to a much greater variety of characters and persons. Now such particular addresses, when the case is drawn in a lively manner, and in the natural language of the sort of men intended, and judiciously and artfully treated, are the closest, most weighty, and most useful parts of the application.
§ 13. That this is the true way of addressing an auditory, viz. to divide them into several classes, and distinctly speak to each, will be plain, if we look through the apostolic writings, and, I might add, the prophetic also, with this view; and we shall find that both prophets and apostles frequently take care to distinguish the holy and the vile, the converted and the unconverted. As for instance, as to their knowledge and apprehension of things:
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, they are foolishness to him, he cannot know them: but the spiritual judge all things t." And also as to their obedience to the law, "The carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to God's law, nor can be subject, or please God." *
§ 14. They particularly reprove scoffers, and confute gainsayers; "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish." For instance, those who denied or cavilled at the resurrection: "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die," + &c. And also those that were for a faith without works: "Wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead," &c. ||
§ 15. They address carnal stupid sinners in an awful
1 Cor. ii. 14, 15.
1 Cor. xv. 36.
*Rom. viii. 7, 8.
woe to them that are at ease;" as Paul, when he made Felix tremble §; or as Stephen, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised," &c. |
§ 16. They lead convinced sinners to Christ; to those that are inquiring they say, "If ye will inquire, inquire ye, return, come; turn to the strong hold; if the Lord hath torn, he will heal." "Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins," &c. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," &c.,.**
§ 17. They reason with the moralist, and those that "trust in themselves that they are righteous;" shewing Their righteousness is "as filthy rags." "The law saith, there is none righteous, but all the world are guilty before God; therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified; but the righteousness of God is manifested, that God might freely justify them that believe on Jesus, therefore man is justified by faith; boasting is excluded by the law of faith" ++. And ye received the Spirit by the hearing of faith; the gospel was before preached to Abraham; they that are of the works of the law are under the curse. But the law could not disannul the covenant confirmed before, but was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith; they then that are Christ's are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."‡‡
§ 18. They sharply rebuke and expose pretending hypocrites, shewing them their abominations, detecting and confounding the wretches that "delight to know God's way, and hear his word, but will not do it." As Peter: "Thou hast no part in this matter; thy heart is not right in the sight of God * ;" and James; Shew me thy faith without thy works; the devils believe and tremble."+
19. They rouse and encourage Christians who have but little strength, and persuade them to make farther ad
§ Acts xxiv. 25.
tt Rom. iii
vances in religion, that he that is "feeble may be as David." "Ye are dull of hearing, for the time ye ought to have been teachers; strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age; therefore leaving the first principles, let us go on to perfection." +
§ 20. They deal with the several sorts of Distempered Christians tenderly, and yet plainly and faithfully; as particularly, with those who idolize one minister, and despise others; telling them it is not by might and power of man, but by God's Spirit, that the gospel is successful. "While one saith I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal ? Who is Paul or Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed? It is God that giveth the increase; Paul, Apollos, Cephas, all are yours §." They endea vour to soften those of too rigid a temper, exhorting them not to speak to the grief of those whom God hath smitten: as "Ye ought rather to forgive and comfort him; I beseech confirm your you love towards him ||." "If a man be overtaken in a fault, restore him in the spirit of meekness, considering lest thou also be tempted T."-They talk roundly to those who are apt to make God the author of sin who say "We unavoidably pine away in our iniquities, and how can we then be saved?" As in James, "Let no man say I am tempted of God; for God tempteth not any man.” **
§ 21. Declining Christians are quickened, awakened, and put in mind of the love of their espousals; "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die." ++
§ 22. They awfully warn those who are in danger of sinning and falling back to perdition; telling them, "the righteousness they have done will be remembered no more:" and "God's soul will have no pleasure in them." "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, &c.