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II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith :o and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren,' adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, creatWherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch we that we are in him. 2 Pet. i. 5. as this people draw near me with their And besides this, giving all diligence, mouth, and with their lips do honour add to your faith, virtue; and to vir. me, but have removed their heart far tue, knowledge; Ver. 6. And to knowfrom me, and their fear toward me is ledge, temperance; and to temperance, taught by the precept of men. 1 Pet. patience; and to patience, godliness; i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye Ver. 7. And to godliness, brotherly were not redeemed with corruptible kindness; and to brotherly kindness, things, as silver and gold, from your charity. Ver. 8. For if these things vain conversation received by tradi- be in you, and abound, they make you tion from your fathers. Rom. x. 2. that ye shall neither be barren nor For I bear them record, that they have unfruitful in the knowledge of our a zeal of God, but not according to Lord Jesus Christ. Ver. 9. But he knowledge. John xvi. 2. They shall that lacketh these things is blind, and put you out of the synagogues : yea, cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten the time cometh, that whosoever kill- that he was purged from his old sins. eth you will think that he doeth God Ver. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethservice. 1 Sam. xv. 21. But the peo- ren, give diligence to make your callple took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, ing and election sure; for if ye do the chief of the things which should these things, ye shall never fall. have been utterly destroyed, to sacri. 2. Cor. ix. 2. For I know the forfice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. wardness of your mind, for which I Ver. 22. And Samuel said, Hath the boast of you to them of Macedonia, Lord as great delight in burnt-offer- that Achaia was ready a year ago; and ings and sacrifices, as in obeying the your zeal hath provoked very many. voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is Matt. v. 16. Let your light so shine better than sacrifice, and to hearken before men, that they may see your than the fat of rams.Ver. 23. For good works, and glorify your Father rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, which is in heaven. and stubbornness is as iniquity and S Tit. ii. 5. To be discreet, chaste, idolatry. Because thou hast rejected keepers at home, good, obedient to the word of the Lord, he hath also re- their own husbands, that the word of jected thee from being king.
God be not blasphemed. Ver. 9. ExII. - James ii. 18. Yea, a man may hort servants to be obedient unto their say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; own masters, and to please them well shew me thy faith without thy works, in all things; not answering again; and I will shew thee my faith by my Ver. 10. Not purloining, but shewing works. Ver. 22. Seest thou how faith all good fidelity; that they may adorn wrought with his works, and by works the doctrine of God our Saviour in all was faith made perfect ?
things. Ver. 11. For the grace of God d Ps. cxvi. 12. What shall I render that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto the Lord for all his benefits to- to all men, Ver. 12. Teaching us, that, ward me? Ver. 13. I will take the denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, cup of salvation, and call upon the we should live soberly, righteously, name of the Lord. 1 Pet. ii. 9. But and godly, in this present world. 1 ye are a chosen generation, a royal Tim. vi. 1. Let as many servants as priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar are under the yoke count their own people; that ye should shew forth the masters worthy of all honour, that the praises of him who hath called you out name of God and his doctrine be not of darkness into his marvellous light. blasphemed.
1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do hi Pet. ii. 15. For so is the will of know that we know him, if we keep God, that with well-doing ye may put his commandments. Ver. 5. But whoso to silence the ignorance of foolish men. keepeth his word, in him verily is the i1 Pet. ii. 12. Having your converLove of God perfected : hereby know sation honest among the Gentiles: ed in Christ Jesus thereunto;k that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end eternal life.1
III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure:" yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit ; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
IV. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which that, whereas they speak against you as ye have always obeyed, not as in as evil-doers, they may, by your good my presence only, but now much more works, which they shall behold, glorify in my absence, work out your own God in the day of visitation. Phil. i. salvation with fear and trembling. 11. Being filled with the fruits of Heb. vi. 11. And we desire that every righteousness, which are by Jesus one of you do shew the same diligence, Christ, unto the glory and praise of to the
full assurance of hope unto the God. John xv. 8. Herein is my Fa- end: Ver. 12. That ye be not slothful, ther glorified, that ye bear much fruit; but followers of them who through so shall ye be my disciples.
faith and patience inherit the proEph. ii. 10. For we are his work- mises. 2 Pet. i. 3. According as his manship, created in Christ Jesus unto divine power hath given unto us all good works, which God hath before things that pertain unto life and godliordained that we should walk in them. ness, through the knowledge of him
1 Rom. vi. 22. But now, being made that hath called us to glory and virfree from sin, and become servants to tue. Ver. 5. And besides this, giving God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and the end everlasting life. and to virtue, knowledge; Ver. 10.
III. m John xv. 4. Abide in me, and Wherefore the rather, brethren, give I in you. As the branch cannot bear diligence to make your calling and fruit of itself, except it abide in the election sure; for if ye do these things, vine; no more can ye, except ye abide ye shall never fall: Ver. 11. For so ani in me.
Ver. 5. I am the vine, ye are entrance shall be ministered unto you the branches: he that abideth in me, abundantly into the everlasting king. and I in him, the same bringeth forth dom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus much fruit; for without me ye can do Christ. Isa. lxiv. 7. And there is none nothing. Ver. 6. If a man abide not that calleth upon thy name, that in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and stirreth up himself to take hold of is withered; and men gather them, thee: for thou hast hid thy face from and cast them into the fire, and they us, and hast consumed us, because of are burned. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. A new our iniquities. 2 Tim. i. 6. Whereheart also will I give you, and a new fore I put thee in remembrance, that spirit will I put within you; and I thou stir up the gift of God, which is will take away the stony heart out of in thee by the putting on of my hands. your flesh,
and I will give you an heart Acts xxvi. 6. And now I stand and of fiesh. Ver. 27. And I will put my am judged for the hope of the promise Spirit within you, and cause you to made of God unto our fathers: Ver. walk in my statutes, and ye shaïl keep 7. Unto which promises our twelve my judgments, and 'do them.
tribes, instantly serving God day and * Phil. ii. 13. For it is God which night, hope to come: for which hope's worketh in you both to will and to do sake, 'king Agrippa, I am accused of of his good pleasure. Phil. iv. 13. I the Jews. Jude, ver. 20. But ye, be can do all things through Christ which loved, building up yourselves on your strengthenethma: 2 Cor. iii. 5. Not most holy faith, praying in the Holy that we are sufficient of ourselves to Ghost, Ver. 21. Keep yourselves in the think any thing as of ourselves; but love of God, looking for the mercy of our sufficiency is of God.
our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal • Phil. ii. 12. Wherefore, my beloved, life.
is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.P
V.We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins;? but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants;' and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit;' and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment."
IV. P Luke xvii. 10. So likewise ye, according to the hope of eternal life. when ye shall have done all those Rom. viii. 18. For I reckon, that the things which are commanded you, say, sufferings of this present time are Weare unprofitableservants: we have not worthy to be compared with the done that which was our duty to do. glory which shall be revealed in us. Neh. xiii. 22. And I commanded the Psal. xvi. 2. O my soul, thou hast Levites, that they should cleanse them- said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: selves, and that they should come and my goodness extendeth not to thee. keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath. Job xxii. 2. Can a man be profitable day. Remember me, O my God, con, unto God, as he that is wise may be cerning this also, and spare me ac- profitable unto himself ? Ver. 3. Is cording to the greatness of thy mercy. it any pleasure to the Almighty, that Job ix. 2. I know it is so of a truth: thou art righteous ? or is it gain to but how should man be just with him, that thou makest thy ways perGod ? Ver. 3. If he will contend with fect? Job xxxv. 7. If thou be rightehim, he cannot answer him one of a ous, what givest thou him ? or what thousand. Gal. v. 17. For the flesh receiveth he of thine hand ? Ver. 8. lusteth against the Spirit, and the Thy wickedness may hurt a man as Spirit against the flesh: and these are thou art, and thy righteousness may contrary the one to the other; so that profit the son of man. ye cannot do the things that ye would. Luke xvii. 10. [See letter P in this
V. 9 Rom. iii. 20. Therefore by the Chapter.] deeds of the law there shall no flesh Gal. v. 22. But the fruit of the be justified in his sight: for by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-sufferlaw is the knowledge of sin. Rom. ing, gentleness, goodness, faith, Ver. iv. 2. For if Abraham were justified 23. Meekness, temperance : against by works, he hath whereof to glory, such there is no law. but not before God. Ver. 4. Now to Isa. Ixiv. 6. But we are all as an him that worketh is the reward not unclean thing, and all our righteousreckoned of grace, but of debt. Ver. nesses are as filthy rags; and we all 6. Even as David also describeth the do fade as a leaf : and our iniquities, blessedness of the man, unto whom like the wind, have taken us away. God imputeth righteousness without Gal. v. 17. For the flesh lusteth against works. Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are the Spirit; and the Spirit against the ye saved through faith; and that not flesh; and these are contrary the one of yourselves: it is the gift of God: to the other; so that ye cannot do the Ver. 9. Not of works, lest any man things that ye would. Rom. vii. 15. should boast. Tit. iii. 5. Not by works For that which I do I allow not: for of righteousness which we have done, what I would, that do I not; but but according to his mercy he saved what I hate, that do I. Ver. 18. For us, by the washing of regeneration, I know that in me (that is, in my and renewing of the Holy Ghost; flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to Ver. 6. Which he shed on us abun- will is present with me; but how to dantly through Jesus Christ our Sa- perform that which is good I find not. viour; Ver. 7. That, being justified Ps. cxliii. 2. And enter not into judgby his grace, we should be made heirs ment with thy servant : for in thy
VI. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him ;' not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God's sight;" but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections."
VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others;' yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;' nor are done in a right manner; according to the sight shall no man living þe justified. God is not unrighteous, to forget your Ps. cxxx. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldest work and labour of love, which ye have mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall shewed toward his name, in that ye stand ?
have ministered to the saints, and do VI. Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the minister. Matt. xxv. 21. His lord glory of his grace, wherein he hath said unto him, Well done, thou good made us accepted in the Beloved. 1 and faithful servant; thou hast been Pet. ii. 5. Ye also, as lively stones, faithful over a few things, I will make are built up a spiritual house, an holý thee ruler over many things : enter priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacri- thou into the joy of thy lord. Ver. fices, acceptable to God by Jesus 23. His lord said unto him, Well done, Christ. Exod. xxviii. 38. And it shall good and faithful servant; thou hast be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron been faithful over a few things, I will may bear the iniquity of the holy make thee ruler over many things: things, which the children of Israel enter thou into the joy of thy lord. shall hallow in all their holy gifts; VII. y 2 Kings x. 30. And the Lord and it shall be always upon his fore- said unto Jehu, Because thou hast head, that they may be accepted be done well in executing that which is fore the Lord. Gen. iv. 4. And Abel, right in mine eyes, and hast done unto he also brought of the firstlings of the house of Ahab'according to all that his flock, and of the fat thereof. And was in mine heart, thy children of the Lord had respect unto Abel, and the fourth generation shall sit on the to his offering. With Heb. xi. 4. By throne of Israel. Ver. 31. But Jehu faith Abel offered unto God a more took no heed to walk in the law of excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which the Lord God of Israel with all his he obtained witness that he was right, heart; for he departed not from the eous, God testifying of his gifts; and sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel by it he, being dead, yet speaketh. to sin. 1 Kings xxi. 27. And it came
w Job'ix. 20. If I justify myself, to pass, when Ahab heard those words, mine own mouth shall condemn me that he rent his clothes, and put sack if I say, I am perfect, it shall also cloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and prove me perverse. Ps. cxliii. 2. And lay in sackcloth, and . went softly. enter not into judgment with thy ser- Ver. 29. Seest thou how Ahab hum. vant: for in thy sight shall no man bleth himself before me ? Because he living be justified.
humbleth himself before me, I will * Heb. xiii. 20. Now the God of not bring the evil in his days; but in peace, that brought again from the his son's days will I bring the evil dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shep- upon his house. Phil. i. 15. Some in. herd of the sheep, through the blood deed preach Christ even of envy and of the everlasting covenant, Ver. 21. strife; and some also of good will. Make you perfect in every good work Ver. 16. The one preach Christ of to do his will, working in you that contention, not sincerely, supposing which is well-pleasing in his sight, to add affliction to my bonds. Ver. through Jesus Christ; to whom be 18. What then? Notwithstanding, glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 every way, whether in pretence, or in Cor. viii. 12. For if there be first a truth, Christ is preached; and I therewilling mind, it is accepted according in do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. to that a man hath, and not according Gen. iv. 5. But unto Cain, and to to that he hath not. Heb. vi. 10. For his offering, he had not respect. Aud word;a nor to a right end, the glory of God;b they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God. a
my courts ?
CHAP. XVII.- Of the Perseverance of the Saints. I. THEY whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called
by Cain was very wroth, and his coun- and conscience is defiled. Amos v. tenance fell. With Heb. xi. 4. By 21. I hate, I despise your feast-days, faith Abel offered unto God a more and I will not smell in your solemn excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which assemblies. Ver. 22. Though ye offer he obtained witness that he was right- me burnt-offerings, and your meateous, God testifying of his gifts; and offerings, I will not accept them; by it he, being dead, yet speaketh. neither will I regard the peace-offerVer. 6. But without faith it is im- ings of your fat beasts. Hosea i. 4. possible to please him : for he that And the Lord said unto him, Call his cometh to God must believe that he name Jezreel; for yet a little while, is, and that he is a rewarder of them and I will avenge the blood of Jezthat diligently seek him.
reel upon the house of Jehu, and will a 1 Cor. xiii. 3. And though I be- cause to cease the kingdom of the stow all my goods to feed the poor, house of Israel. Rom. ix. 16. So then and though I give my body to be it is not of him that willeth, nor of burned, and have not charity, it pro- him that runneth, but of God that fiteth me nothing. Isa. i. 12. When she weth mercy. Tit. iii. 5. Not by ye come to appear before me, who hath works of righteousness which we have required this at your hand, to tread done, but according to his mercy he
saved us, by the washing of regeneraMatt. vi. 2. Therefore, when thou tion, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. doest thine alms, do not sound a trum- d Ps. xiv. 4. Have all the workers pet before thee, as the hypocrites do of iniquity no knowledge ? who eat in the synagogues, and in the streets, up my people as they eat bread, and that they may have glory of men. call not upon the Lord. Ps. xxxvi. 3. Verily I say unto you, They have The words of his mouth are iniquity their reward. Ver. 5. And when and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, thou prayest, thou shalt not be as and to do good. Job xxi. 14. Therethe hypocrites are: for they love to fore they say unto God, Depart from pray standing in the synagogues, and us; for we desire not the knowledge in the corners of the streets, that they of thy ways. Ver. 15. What is the may be seen of men. Verily I say Almighty, that we should serve him? unto you, They have their reward. and what profit should we have, if we Ver. 16. Moreover, when ye fast, be pray unto him? Matt. xxv. 41. Then not, as the hypocrites, of a sad coun- shall he say also unto them on the left tenance: for they disfigure their faces, hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into that they may appear unto men to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil fast. Verily I say unto you, They and his angels: Ver. 42. For I was have their reward.
an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: • Hag. ii. 14. Then answered Hag- I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: gai, and said, So is this people, and so Ver. 43. I was a stranger, and ye took is this nation before me, saith the me not in: naked, and ye clothed me Lord; and so is every work of their not: sick, and in prison,
and ye visited hands; and that which they offer there me not. Ver. 45. Then shall he answer is unclean. Tit. i. 15. Unto the pure them, saying, Verily I say unto you, all things are pure: but unto them Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of that are defiled and unbelieving is the least of these, ye did it not to me. nothing pure; but even their mind Matt. xxiii. 23. Woe unto you, scribes