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nature was not washed from her; as long as the sow is kept from the mire, in a fair meadow with the sheep, she looks as sleek and clean as they: she was washed; there is an external change, but her nature remained: bring the sow and the sheep to a puddle, the sheep will not go in, because it hath no swinish nature; but the other, retaining its swinish nature, though before in outward appearance, as clean as the sheep was, yet she goes again to her wallowing in the mire. There may be the casting away of a man's sins, and yet no new creature wrought in him. That I may show this to you, take this example. A man known to be as covetous a man as liveth, he loveth his money as well as his God; yet perchance this man is brought in danger of the law, and must be hanged for some misdemeanour committed; this man, to save his life, will part with all he hath: what, is his disposition changed? no, not a whit; he is as covetous as before, he is the same man, he doth it to save his life, and to this end he is content to part with his money. The same mind had those in the Acts of the apostles, who in a storm cast their wares into the sea with their own hands", έkìv åɛKóνTI YE Oúμ willingly, and yet half unwillingly; for the κόντι saving of their lives they would part with these things, yet it was with a great deal of repining and reluctancy. As we read of Phaltiel, when his wife was taken from him, he followed behind weeping, till they bid him be gone, and return back. So these men forsake their sins, and hate them, but it is but imperfectly; they part with them, but they part weeping. Well, at this parting there may be a great deal of joy; it may taste not only the sweetness of the word of God, but because they are in a disposition and way to salvation, they may have some kind of feeling of the joys, and taste of the powers of the world to come; as the apostle speaks: "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost," &c. There is a supernatural work wrought in them, and they have
2 Sam. chap. 3. ver. 16.
n Acts, chap. 27.
P Heb. chap. 6. ver. 4.
4 John, chap. 6. ver. 54.
Hosea, chap. 6. ver. 4.
tasted the good word of the Lord; they begin to have some hope, and rejoice in the glory of the world to come. What is the difference then? here is a tasting; but as it is in John, it is not said, he that tastes my flesh, and tastes my blood; but "he that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, hath eternal life." There is a difference betwixt tasting and drinking, there may be a tasting without drinking; and the text saith, when they gave Christ vinegar, he tasted thereof, but would not drink. He that can take a full draught of Christ crucified, he shall never thirst, but shall be as a springing fountain that springeth up to everlasting life; but it shall not be so with him that doth but taste. The vintner goes round the cellar, and tastes every vessel; he takes it into his mouth, and spits it out again, and yet knows by the tasting, whether it be good or bad; the wine goeth but to his palate, it reaches not the stomach. So a temporary believer tastes and feels what an excellent thing it is to have communion with Christ, and to be made partaker of his glory; but he does but taste it. Look in Hosea, chap. V. ver. 15. where we have another instance of this temporary believer: ye would think they sought in a good sort, and in as good a manner as one could desire: well, but how did they seek him? It was only upon occasion, in time of af fliction: "I will go and return to my place until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face; in their affliction they will seek me early;" and again, the Lord complains of them notwithstanding : They will in their affliction seek me early." Was not this a fair returning? "Come," say they, "let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us." What a deal of comfort did they seem to gather from the ways of the Lord! But see what follows: "Ot Ephraim, saith the Lord, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away:" that is, it is but a temporary
r Matth. chap. 27. ver. 34.
thing, wrought by affliction, which will not abide. As when a wicked man on his death bed desires that God would spare him and restore him to his health, and that he would become a new man, all this comes but from the terrors of death; for it oft proves, that if God restores him he becomes as bad, if not worse, than ever he was before. But that I may not hold you too long;
2. Take this for another difference: that God's children can as earnestly desire grace as mercy; the temporary desire mercy, but never desire grace. The believer desires grace to have his nature healed, to hate his former conversation. The temporary never had, nor never will have this desire; should one come to the temporary believer, and tell him God will be merciful unto him, you may go on, and take your fill of sin, you shall be sure of mercy; he would like this well, and think it the welcomest news as could be, because he only fears damnation, and self-love makes him only desire freedom from that; but now the child of God hates sin, though there were no hell, judge nor tormentor; he begs as hard of God for grace, as for mercy, and would do so, were there no punishment. His nature being changed, he desireth grace, as well as mercy, which the temporary never does.
3. The last mark is from the words of the apostle: "Neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love." Love and the new creature puts God's children on work; their hearts are first altered, and changed by being made new creatures. As the Scripture saith, his flesh is circumcised, he is a dead man; dead, not, as formerly, in trespasses and sins, but dead unto them". Deadness argueth impotency of doing those things which a living man doth; he cannot walk, &c. The temporary will not sin for fear of afterclaps, but this man cannot sin, his heart is changed, he is dead to sin; we see how both abstain from sin, but the temper and disposition is not alike. The temporary believer perchance commits not the sin, but he could find in
his heart to do it; he saith not with Joseph, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against my God?" The other saith, I could do this evil well enough, but I will not. "Thou canst not bear those that are evil," saith Christ in his epistle to the church of Ephesus. This was her great commendation. Now he that is born of God cannot sin, there is that seed, that spring in him, that for his life he cannot sin, but it turns his heart from it; for his life he cannot tell how to swear, lie, or join with others in wickedness; but this must be understood of the constant course of their lives; I speak not what they may do in temptations, when they are surprised, but in the course of their lives, they commit sin, as if they knew not how to do it; the other doth it skilfully; these cobblingly, and bunglingly, they do it ill-favouredly; thus it is with a wicked man in doing a good work, he cobbles it up. This is intimated unto us in the very phrase of the apostle: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin:" it is not the same thing to sin, in St. John's acceptation, and to commit sin; committing sin is the action of the artist, and practitioner in the trade; from this the seed of God, which abideth in the regenerate, secureth him. Thy faith then must be a faith that worketh by love: canst thou do those good works thou doest out of love? then, my soul for thine, thou art saved. Get me any temporary that loves God, I shall say something to you. Hast thou then a faith that causeth thee to love God, a working faith, and a faith that will not suffer thee to do any thing displeasing to him? if thou hast such a faith, thou art justified before God.
x Rev. chap. 2. ver. 2. 1 John, chap.
2. And so I come now to the point of justification, the greatest of all blessings: " Blessed is he," saith David, "whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity." It is the most blessed condition that can be; it
Psalm 32. ver. 12.
is set down by way of exclamation. "O, the blessedness of the man, to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity!" or, as the original imports; "O, the blessedness of the man discharged from sin." Here are many blessings conceived in our justification from sin. For justification, see what it is; the Scripture in St. Paul's epistles, speaks of justification by faith; and in St. James, of justification by works. Now it will be useful to us in this point to know whence justification comes; it comes from justice, tsedeck, as the original hath it, and hitsdiq, to justify; so that justification and righteousness depend one upon the other; for what is justification but the manifestation of the righteousness that is in a man? And therefore in Galatians, chap. III. ver. 21. they are put for one and the same thing: "For if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness had been by the law;" that is, justification had been by the law. Again, "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain," that is, also, if justification had been by the law, &c. Justification is a manifestation of righteousness; and as many ways as righteousness is taken so many ways is justification, which is a declaration of righteousness; so that if there be a double righteousness, there must be also a double justification. Beloved, I bring you no new doctrine; be not afraid of that; but I shew you how to reconcile places of Scripture against the Church of Rome, and those things which the papists bring against us in this point. It stands by reason, seeing justification is a declaration of righteousness, that there must be so many sorts of justification, as there be of righteous
Now there is a double sort of righteousness. the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us;" see then there is a double righteousness; there is a righteousness fulfilled in us, and a righteousness fulfilled by us, that is, walking in the Spirit. The righteousness fulfilled in us, is fulfilled by another, and is made ours by imputa
2 Gal. chap. 2.
a Rom. chap. 8. ver. 4.