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3. He assureth all professed believers, that as they shall profit in the obedience of this direction, so they shall profitably prove the soundness of tbeir own faith ; and if they want these graces, that they shall be found blind deceiv. ers of themselves, ver. 9. The third thing requisite to evidence true faith is, that obe
dience to the law run in the right channel, that is, through faith in Christ, &c. held forth, 1 Tim. i. 5.
Now the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart, and of a good conseience, and of faith unfeigned.
Wherein the Apostle teacheth these seven doctrines :
1. That the ebedience of the law must flow from love, and love from a pure heart, and a pure heart from a good conscience, and a good conscience from faith unfeigned This he makes the only right channel of good works : “The " end of the law is love,” &c.
2. That the end of the law is not, that men may be justified by their obedience of it, as the Jewish doctors did falsely teach ; for it is impossible that sinners can be justified by the law, who, for every transgression, are condemned by the law : “ For the end of the law is (not such " as the Jewish doctors taught, but) love, out of a pure “ heart,” &c.
3. That the true end of the law, preached unto the people, is that they, by the law, being made to see their dę. served condemnation, should flee to Christ unfeignedly, to be justified by faith in him ; so saith the text, while it maketh love to flow through faith in Christ.
4. That no man can set himself in love to obey the law, except in as far as his conscience is quieted by taith, or is seeking to be quieted in Christ; for “the end of the law os is love, out of a good cooscience, and faith unfeigned.”
5. That feigned faith goeth to Christ without reckoning with the law, and so wants an errand ; but unfeigned faith reckoneth with the law, and is forced to flee for refuge unto Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness, so often as it finds itself guilty for breaking of the law : “For the end of the law is faith unfeigned.”
6. That the fruits of love may come forth in act particularly, it is necessary that the heart be brought to the batred of all sin and uncleanness, and to a stedfast purpose to follow all holiness universally ; “For the end of the law is “love, out of a pure heart."
7. That unfeigned faith is able to make the conscience good, and the heart pure, and the man lovingly obedient to the law; for when Christ's blood is seen by faith to quiet justice, then the conscience becometh quiet also, and will not suffer the heart to entertain the love of sin, but sets the man on work to fear God for his mercy, and to obey all bis commandments, out of love to God, for hiş free gift of justification, by grace bestowed on him : “ For this “is the end of the law indeed," whereby it obtaineth of a man more obedience than any other way. The fourth thing requisite to evidence true faith is, the
keeping strait communion with Christ, the fountain of all graces, and of all good works, held forth, Jobo xv. 5.
I am the vine, ye are the branches : He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bring eth forth much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing.
Wherein Christ, in a similitude from a vine tree, teach
1. That by nature we are wild barren briers, till we be changed by coming unto Christ; and that Christ is tbat noble vine-tree, having all life and sap of grace in bimself, and able to change the nature of every one that cometh to him, and to communicate spirit and life to as many as shall believe in him : “ I am the vine” (saith he)
" and ye are " the branches."
3. That, Christ loveth to bave believers so united unto him, as that they be not separated at any time by unbelief : And that there may be a mutual inhabitation of them in him by faith and love ; and of him in them, by his word and Spirit; for he joineth these together, "If ye abide in me, and I in you,” as things inseparable.
3. That, except a man be ingrafted in Christ, and united to him by faith, he cannot do any the least good works of his own strength; yea, except in as far as a man doth draw spirit and life from Christ by faith, the work which he doth is naughty and null in point of goodness, in God's estimation : "For without me". (saith he) “ye can do " nothing.”
4. That this mutual inhabitation is the fountain and infallible cause of constant continuing and abounding in well doing : For“ be that abideth in me, and I in him" (saith be) the same beareth much fruit." Now, as our abiding in
THE PRACTICAL USE OF SAVING KOWLEDGE.
Christ presupposeth three things: 1. That we have heard the joyful sound of the gospel, making offer of Christ to us, who are lost sinners by the law ; 2. That we have heartily embraced the gracious offer of Christ ; 3. That by receiving of him we are become the sons of God, John i. 12. and are incorporated into his.mystical body, that he may dwell in us, as his temple, and we dwell in him, as in the reši. dence of righteousness and life : So our abiding in Christ importeth other three things : 1. An employing of Christ in all our addresses to God, and in all our undertakings of whatsoever piece of service to him ; 2. A contentedness with bis sufficiency, without going out from him to seek righteousness, or lile, or furniture in any case, in our own or any of the creature's worthiness ; 3. A fixedress in our believing in him, a fixedness in our employing and making use of him, and fixedness in our contentment in him, and adhering to him, so that no allurement, no temptation of Satan or the world, no terror nor trouble, may be able to drive our spirits from firm adherence to him, or from the constant avowing of his truth, and obeying bis commands, who hath loved us, and given himself for us ; and in whom, not only our life is laid up, but also the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily, by reason of the substantial and persodal union of the divine and human nature in him.
Hence let every watchful believer, for strengthening himself in faith and obedience, reason after this manner :
“ Whosoever doth daily employ Christ Jesus, for cleansing his conscience and affections from the guiltiness and so filthiness of sins against the law, and for enabling him to "give obedience to the law in love, he hath the evidence of s true faith in himselt.
“But I (may every watchful believer say) do daily ems ploy Jesus Christ, for cleansing my conscience and affecstions from the guiltiness and filthiness of sios agaiost the “ law, and for enabling of me to give obedience to the law " in love.
Therefore, 1 bave the evidence of true faith in my" selt."
And hence also, let the sleepy and sluggish believer reason, for his own upstirring, thus :
“ Whatsoever is necessary for giving evidence of true “ faith, I must study to do it, except I would deceive my" self and perish.
But, to employ Christ Jesus daily, for cleansing of my
“ conscience and affections from the guiltiness and filthiness " of sins against the law, and for enabling me to give obe“ dience to the law in love, is necessary for evidencing of “ true faith in me.
“ Therefore, this I must study to do, except I would de“ceive myself and perish."
And, lastly, Seeing Christ himself hath pointed this forth, as an undoubted evidence of a man elected of God unto life, and given to Jesus Christ to be redeemed, “ if he come “ unto him," that is, close covenant, and keep communion with him, as he teacheth us, John vi. 37. saying, “ All that or the Father hath given me, shall come to me; and bim “ that cometh to me, I will, in no wise, cast out:" Let every person, who doth not in earnest make use of Christ for remission of sin, and amendment of life, reason bence, and from the whole premises, after this manner, that his conscience may be awakened :
“Whosoever is neither by the law, nor by the gospel, " So convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as to “ make him come to Christ, and employ him daily for re" mission of sin, and amendment of life ; he wanteth not " only all evidence of saving faith, but also all appearance “ of his election, so long as he remaineth in this condition.
" But I (may every impenitent person say) am peither • by the law oor gospel so convinced of sin, righteousness, " and judgment, as to inake me come to Christ, and employ “ him daily for remission of sin, and amendment of life.
“ Therefore, I want not only all evidence of saving faith, “ but also all appearance of my election, so long as I remain " in this condition."
SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE.
Head l. Our woful condition by nature.
II. The remedy provided in Christ Jesus.
The Use of Saving Knowledge,
For strengthening the believer in faith and obedience,
by these evidences.