« PreviousContinue »
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.'
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.*
to the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee. Job xxii. 2. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Ver. 3. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect? Job xxxv. 7. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Ver. 8. Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art, and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
Luke xyii 10. [See letter p in this Chapter.]
Gal. v. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Ver. 23. Meekness, temperance: against
such there is no law.
t Isa. lxiv. 6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all de fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Gal. v. 17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Rom. vii. 15. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Ver. 18. I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. Psal. cxliii.
2. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psal. cxxx. 3. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
VI. u Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. 1 Pet. ii. 5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Exod. xxviii. 38. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts: and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. Gen. iv. 4. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof; and the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering. With Heb. xi. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speaketh.
w Job ix. 20. If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Psal. cxliii. 2. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man liv. ing be justified.
x Heb. xiii. 20. Now, the God of peace, that brought again from the
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 word"; nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to re
dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Ver. 21. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Cor. viii. 12. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Heb. vi. 10. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Matt. xxv. 21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Ver. 23. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
VII. y 2 Kings x. 30. And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. Ver. 31. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 1 Kings xxi. 27. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcleth, and went
softly. Ver. 29. Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house. Phil. i. 15. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will. Ver. 16. The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add afflic. tion to my bonds. Ver. 18. What then? notwithstanding every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
8 Gen. iv. 5. But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his coun tenance fell. With Heb. xi. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righ teous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speaketh. Ver. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that com eth to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
a 1 Cor. xiii. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Isa. i. 12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts?
b Matt. vi. 2. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trum pet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Ver. 5. And when thou pray. est, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
ceive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God.
CHAP. XVII. Of the Perseverance of the Saints.
HEY whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.a
are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Ver. 10. Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypoarites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward..
c Hag. ii. 14. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands, and that which they offer there is unclean. Tit. i. 15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Amos v. 21. I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Ver. 22. Though ye offer me burnt-offerings, and your meat-offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Hosea i. 4 And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. Rom. ix. 16. So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
d Psal. xiv. 4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord Psal. xxxvi. 3. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good Job xxi.. 14. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways Ver. 15. What is the Almighty,. that we should serve him? and what profit should we have if we pray unto him? Matt. xxv. 41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Ver. 42. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; Ver. 43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Ver. 45 Then shall he answer them, saying. Verily I say unto you, Inasuruch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Mátt. xxiii. 23. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
I. a Phil. i. 6: Being, confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will per form it until the day of Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed
calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never falt. John x. 28. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. Ver. 29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all: and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 Pet. i. 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Ver. 9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
II. b 2 Tim. . 18. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Ver. 19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Jer. xxxi. 5. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.
c Heb. x. 10. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Ver. 14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb. xiii. 20. Now, the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Ver. 21. Make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Heb.
. 12. Neither by the blood of goats
and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Ver. 13. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; Ver. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Ver. 15. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Rom. viii. 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Ver. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Ver. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Ver: 36. (As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) Ver. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. Ver. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Ver. 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jehn xvii. 11. And now I am no more in the world; but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those
of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace from all which ariseth also the certainty and infal libility thereof. f
III. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, i and grieve
whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Ver. 24. Fa ther, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Luke xxii. 32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
d John xiv. 16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Ver. 17. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 1 John ii. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him a bideth in you; and ye need not that any man teach you: but, as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John iii, 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
e Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
ƒJohn x, 28. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out
of my hand. 2 Thess. iii. 3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 1 John ii. 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
III. g Matth. xxvi. 70. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. Ver. 72. And
again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. Ver. 74. Then began he to curse and to swear, sayin', I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
b Psal. li. [the title.] To the chief musician, A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba. Ver. 14. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
i Isa. lxiv. 5. Thon meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways behold, thou art wroth, for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. Ver. 7. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. Ver. 9. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 2 Sam. xi. 27. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son :