網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

in St. Paul, and it is taken as an acquittal; sometimes it is opposed to hypocrisy and pollution in a man's soul; so it signifies sanctification, whereby God not only covers our sins past, but heals our natures. The first is perfect, but imputed: the second inherent, but imperfect. When the time cometh that God will finish his cure, he will then make a perfect cure ; when final grace cometh, we shall not need to think of a popish purgatory. Death is the Lord's refining pot; then there is not a jot of sin shall be left in a Christian. Now, when God hath taken away our dross, then to think we shall be put in a refining fire; that an entire soul that hath no blot, that one that hath no spot, should be purged after final grace hath made him clear and whole, that is against reason and common sense. They might have learned better of their own Thomas; all the fire in the world will never put away sin without the infusion of grace. This by the way concerning them.

I shewed besides, that these two being both righteousnesses, the Church of Rome confounds them both together : St. James his justification with St. Paul's. They confound inherent righteousness which is begun, and shall be perfected in final grace with the other; so that the point is not between us and Rome, whether faith justifieth by works or no? but, whether it justifieth at all? In truth that is the state of it: the question is this, whether there be such a grace as justification that is distinguished from sanctification, or whether there be another

of sanctification? Do not think that we are such blockheads as to deny faith and sanctification; yet faith is but a piece or part of that train of virtues. There justification is taken for sanctification; we acknowledge a man is justified by faith and works : but the question is between us and them, whether there be any justification besides sanctification? that is, whether there be any justification at all or no? we say sanctification is wrought by the kingly office of Christ; he is a king that rules in our hearts, subdues our corruptions, governs us by the sceptre of his word and Spirit; but it is the fruit of his priestly office which the Church of Rome strikes at: that is, whether Christ hath reserved another righteousness for us, besides that which as a king, he works in our hearts, whether he hath wrought forgiveness of sins for us? we say he hath, and so saith all the Church, till the new spawn of Jesuits arose. They distinguish not remission of sins from sanctification. Bellarmine saith,

grace

remission of sins is the extinguishing of sin in the soul;" as water, though it be cold, yet the bringing in of heat extinguishes the cold; and so remission of sins is the bringing in of inherent righteousness, which extinguisheth all sin which was before. A strange thing, and were it not that the Scripture does speak of “ ad cup in the hand of the harlot of Rome, whereby she makes drunk the inhabitants of the earth with the wine of her fornication,” except the men of her communion were drunk, it were impossible that a learned man should thus shake out an article of our and their creed, which hath ever been believed by all the churches. When the Scripture speaks of forgiveness of sins, see how it expresseth it: “ Bee ye kind one to another, brethren, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Observe in the Lord's prayer, we pray that the “ Lord would forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us." Let him that hath common understanding judge: do we forgive our neighbour by extinguishing sin in the subject? I forgive you; that is, I take away the ill office you did me: doth he forgive thus? alas, no! forgiveness is without a man. I have an action against you, perhaps an action at law ; I will let fall my suit, my charges I will forgive; this is forgiveness. God justifieth, who shall condemn?” Though God has just cause to proceed against me as a rebel, yet he is content to let fall his action, to fasten it upon the cross of his Son; there to fix the chirographum,“ the handwriting against us." He will let fall that which was the ground of a suit against us, all that he could say against

Rev. chap. 17. ver. 4. and chap. 18. ver. 3. e Ephes, chap. 4. ver. 32.

i Coloss. chap. 2. ver. 14.

us.

That you may understand the thing the better, there are two things, two kinds of righteousness; the one of justification, the other of sanctification. The Holy Ghost distinguisheth them by several terms: “Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” You see here are two distinct graces, righteousness and sanctification; they make them but one, sanctification and remission of sins. “Moreover", whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Here justification and glorification are nothing else but justification and sanctification. St. Paul speaks of a thing past, not of the glory to come; them he glorified, not shall glorify: he means sanctification, which is inchoate glory. For what is the glory we shall have in heaven, but the enlargement of those inherent graces God begins in this world? Here is the seed, there is the crop: here thou hast a little knowledge, but there it shall be enlarged; now thou hast a little joy, there thou shalt enter into thy master's joy; here some knowledge, but there thou shalt have a full knowledge, and a full measure. Here glory dwelleth in our land, but there we “shalli with open face behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and be changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord;" that is, we are more and more conformed to the image of Almighty God, by obedience and holy qualities infused into us, that we grow from one degree of sanctification unto another. And so you see how these are distinguished by their terms. Justification and glorification, justification and sanctification. There is another place in St. John, an hard place; but yet as I take it, these two righteousnesses, that have the same name for justification and

h Rom. chap. 8. ver. 30.

6 1 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 30. i 2 Cor. chap. 3. ver. 18.

sanctification, are righteousnesses both of them, to be distinct in their terms; in that place it is said, that “when the Spirit shall come, he shall reprove;" or, as we should translate it, and as you read it in the margin," he shall convince the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.” Thus I say it should be translated, for it is of no sense to say that God should reprove the world of righteousness; on what occasion this was spoken, we must not stand to speak: but righteousness and judgment is justification and sanctification. And the drift of the place is this; when the Spirit shall come, how? not upon me or thee; but the Spirit here spoken of is that Spirit that should come upon the apostles, it shall begin at the day of Pentecost; and these, first, should set forth like twelve champions to conquer the world, and to bring them unto the sceptre of Christ. He shall convince the world; that is, when the Spirit shall come on you, and your tongues be tipped with that spiritual fire, which shall be active; it shall convince the world of three particulars, " of sin, righteousness and judgment:" of the point of humiliation for sins, the point of justification by righteousness imputative: and the glory of sanctification in judgment, and righteousness inherent. This method St. Paul useth in the Romans to stop every man's mouth. First, he convinceth the gentile, which was easy to be done ; after, he convinceth the Jew, that there is righteousness to be had in another, though none in myself. “He shall convince the world :" As if he should say, to be shut up under unbelief is to be convinced of all sins. Now consider what is the nature of unbelief; it is to fasten all sins upon a man: and when I have faith, all my sins are put out of possession, they are as if they were not; but if we are shut up under unbelief, we are dead. The second work of God's Spirit, is the ministry of his word; he shall convince the world that there is righteousness to be had by a communion with another; though we are guilty in ourselves, yet he will set us free; and the reason is, “ because I go to my Father.” As if he should say, though you be convinced of your sins, that you are wholly dead in trespasses and sins, and have no means in the world to put that away; yet notwithstanding, the second work of God's Spirit is to convince of righteousness; that there is a righteousness to be had in Christ, because he was our surety, arrested for debt; he was committed to prison, where he could not come out, till he had paid the utmost farthing. There is a justification to be had in me; I go to the creditor, I have made no escape; not like one that brake the prison, and ran away, but I am now a free man. I have not made an escape before the debt is paid, then I might be brought back again; but the debt is discharged, and therefore “I go to my Father,” to maintain my place and standing. I was given unto death for your sins, but I am risen again for your justification," and I now sit at my Father's right hand: this is the second thing. But is there not a third thing that the work of the ministry must do? Yes, “ to convince the world that there is a judgment or righteousness inherent." There is a hard place, I shall speak of it; it is usual in Scripture to join righteousness and judgment together. The words of the Lord are "righteousness and judgment." And the integrity of a man's heart which is opposed to hypocrisy, is called judgment; “ as God liveth who hath taken away my judgment.” How did God take away his judgment? is it meant that he had taken away his wits? No, but he hath put his heavy hand on me, that hath put a conceit in the mind of my friends that I am an hypocrite; though, to confront the error of his misjudging friends, he was resolved to persist in his integrity; " Mym righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.” His “judgment was taken away," that is, the opinion they had of his integrity: and this will expound another place in Matth. chap. XII. ver. 20.“ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, until he send forth

k John, chap. 16. ver. 8.

[ocr errors]

Job, chap. 27. ver, 2.

m Verse 8.

« 上一頁繼續 »