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to see hell, to see the justice of God, to see the spirituality of the law, the imperfection of his duties, the emptiness of his performances, and the sandy foundation he hath been building his faith upon, then his conscience roars, his heart despairs ; he hath no peace, no comfort; but finds himself miserably disappointed. If his eyes be not open, why then? He dies in a delusion, as he lived, finks into the lake of fire ; and in hell he opens his eyes, and finds himself eternally disappointed : O see then, what ground there is to lament over this legal temper, which is indeed a damnable temper, where it hath a full reign.
Exhortation, both to them that are alive to the law, and to them that are dead to the law, of whom the text especially speaks. if, To unbelievers, and all these that are alive to the law. O, for the Lord's sake, take no rest till you get out of that damnable state: O consider what you are doing, so long as you are not dead to the law; the best thing that you are doing, in that case, is, that you're building your nest about the old rotten walls of the covenant of works. May be, you think you're a good protestant, you're a good chriftian, you have a good heart, you perform good duties, you partake of good ordinances, and what ill should you fear? 1. I tell you, that you're under the curse of the law of works; Cursed is every one that continuetb not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. And while you're under the law, and seeking to establish a law-righteousness of your own, all the people of God are obliged to say, that God is in the right to curse you ; they are obliged to say Amen, to all the curses of the bible against you, Deut. xxvii, laft.
Cursed is he that confirmeth not all the words of this law; and all the people fall fuy, Amen. If you "will take the old covenant of doing for life, and justification, then you must take it with a vengeance, unless you do perfectly, and do to purpose, which is impoflible for you; Curled is every one that continueth not in all things, &c. and all believers can fay Amon to it, in words of Paul, Let bim that loves not our Lord Jesus Christ, be Anathema Maranatha. While you are under the law, no blessing belongs to you, but all divine curses; if you will not get out of your legal righteousness, and get under the gospel-covert of the blood of Jesus, nothing but terror belongs to you, and nothing but terror and curses can I preach to you: For, As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse. 2. I must tell you, as you are under the curse of the law, so you are under the command of the law, Do, and live : Though by the gospel-call you are not obliged indeed to seek righteousness in yourself, in order to life, but to seek it in Christ; yet by your unbelief, you keep yourself under the command of the law, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandment; keep it perfectly, or else vengeance hall overtake you. It is not your little efforts that will fatisfy the law, tho' you should read, fast, mourn, and shed tears of blood all your days; if you will pay any duty to the law as a covenant, You are a debtor to fulfil the whole low, Gal. v. 3. The law is a chain that is linked together, and if you take one link of it, the weight of the whole chain will be upon you ; and so if you will do any thing in obedience to the law that you' may be thereby saved and justified, you're under bondage to the whole law, and bound
to do every thing perfectly, that you may be justified. O the miserable bondage that you are under ! You will never be able to satisfy the law, and so you are condemned already. Yea, let me tell you more, you are a wicked ungodly creature : Whatever you seem to be to others, or think you are yourself; yet being alive to the law, you are a Itranger to the life of God; for, till you be dead to the law, you shall never live unto God; though you look like an angel of light for holiness, yet, being alive to the law, you have no true holiness nor godliness. Ye that are still trusting to your works, you'll meet with a sad disappointment; for by the deeds of the law no flesh living can be justified. But there are others, who seem to be upon another extreme; they fay, the law is now abrogated, and we are not to seek justification or salvation that way; and therefore we are careless about the law, or about any duty of obedience. Yea, but let me tell you your doom out of the law also; you are a desperate finner: Because you cannot satisfy the curse of the law, therefore you run away from the commands of the law, and run away to the devil, instead of running to Christ. But I'll tell you, tho' the law cannot justify, or save you, yet it can condemn you: Ic hath power to condemn you, tho’ it hath none to save you; and it will condemn, and does condemn you, and all that are out of Christ; and therefore, for every sin that you are guilty of, you must answer; and every fin is enough to damn you, by virtue of the law. O then, may this be a mean to move you all that are under the law, to seek to Christ, who is the end of the law, for righteouso ness, to every one that believeth! Come, poor, cursed, condemned, ungodly finner, if you would live unto God here, and live with him hereafter, come out from under the heavy yoke of the law; Christ hath a good and perfect law-biding righteousness to give you, though you have nothing to bring to him but fin and guilt, and misery, and hell about you, yet come to him; and if you cannot come, O go to him, and tell him that you cannot come, and plead that by his omnipotent power he may draw you ; and if you do so in truth, it is one to a thousand, if he does not meet you half way. O firs, you cannot be saved, to the credit of God's holiness, unless you join in with Christ's righteousness, which answers also the threatning of the law, and satisfies the justice of God. In this way, mercy can take vent, to the credit and honour of all God's perfections. O my brethren, are you for this way of it? O then say, farewel to the law of works for ever; here is a more noble and glorious way. O blessed be God for ever, if that be the bargain betwixt Christ's righteousness and your soul ! O may the Lord draw you to it! But now,
2dly, To you that are believers, and have closed with Christ, and so are dead to the law; remember you're not to live a lawless life for all that: My exhortation to you is, that being dead to the law, you live unto God. Let me offer some motives and directions, and the rather that I have taken fome pains to gather together, and lay before you many things relative to a legal temper, for guarding you against the Neanomian extreme on the one hand, let men beware left their carnal hearts abuse this doctrine of grace to Antinomian licentiouinels on the other hand, Sure I am, the gospel-doctrine
of itself hath no such tendency : Though an ignorant world may suspect the doctrine of the gospel, the doctrine of Christ's righteousness, as if it were against a personal righteousness or holiness. I declare to you, in the name of Johovab, that the contrary is true, and that you'll never live according to the law as a rule of holiness, till you be dead to the law as a covenant and condition of life. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. If the light of the glorious gospel, even the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, did once thine into your heart, then beholding this glory of the Lord, you would be changed into the fame image from glory to glory by the spirit of the Lord; yea, to believe the gospel savingly, is the way to fulfil perfectly. The true believer may be said to fulfil the law, both as it is a covenant, and as it is a rule: As it is a covenant, he fulfils it perfectly and legally in his head and surety, in whom he hath perfect, everlasting righteousness; and as it is a rule, he fulfils it perfectly also, with a perfection of parts here, and a perfection of degrees hereafter : And in both these respects may that word be explained, Rom. i. 3, 4. where the righteousness of the law is said to be fulfilled in believers, whose character is, that they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Now, I would press you to this spiritual walk, this holy life, which is a living unto God; for though your holiness be not necessary for your justification, which is the damnable doctrine of popery; tho', I say, it be not necessary for your justification, because you're dead to the law in point of justification, yet it is necessary, because you're dead to the law, for this very end, that you may live unto God, in point of