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to discourage a proper use of the means of grace. What has been said, was not designed, and if properly understood, I think, has no tendency to depreciate moral virtue or weaken our obligations to it, but to set it upon its proper basis. Nor does the utter renunciation of our own righteousness, in point of justification, at all supersede our obligations to attend upon the means of grace. We are bound to regard them, but must be sure to regard them only as means. It is in this way, that God is wont graciously to afford the powerful influences of his Spirit to renew and sanctify the hearts of sinners, and bring them savingly acquainted with Jesus Christ.
Justification wholly by the righteousness of Christ, does not in the least vacate our obligations to the moral law, as a rule of life. "The law is holy, just and good." "Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the law." "This is a faithful saying, and this," in conformity to the great teacher of the Gentiles, "I would affirm constantly, that they, that have believed in Christ, should be careful to maintain good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men." The faith of God's elect always purifies the heart, works by love, and produces good works. He that says, he believes in Christ, and yet is careless as to a holy life, deceives himself and the truth of grace is not in him.
3. We learn that all the glory of our salvation must be ascribed to the free grace of God by Jesus Christ. We must "rejoice only in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh." "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay; but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law." None of the saints may claim any share in the honor of their salvation, but should humbly renounce it all, in such language as this, "Not unto us, not unto us ;" and strive to magnify the Lord and exalt the name of their Saviour. Upon a view of every step of their salvation, they should humbly adore the love of God, and cry, Grace, grace!
To conclude,-Let us all be very solicitous to have this great truth fixed deep in our minds, that our own righteousness cannot bear any, the least part, in our justification before God. Certainly we can have no color of reason to expect justification in such a way; unless we can be sure, that our tempers and lives are perfectly conformable to God's law; that we have not, in any part of our lives, offended in any one point. Until we can justly assure ourselves that our obedience is thus perfect, without a blemish, without a flaw, we shall bring upon ourselves a curse, instead of a blessing, by depending upon it. And sure there are none among us that dare pretend to this perfection. Let us then disclaim,
entirely disclaim, any dependence upon what we have done or can do in point of acceptance with God. This is necessary in order to our being Christians indeed.-Without this, we cannot pay a due regard to the riches of God's grace and mercy.-Without this, we cannot suitably prize the glorious Saviour of men.Without this, we cannot share in the rich consolations which are in Christ Jesus.-Yea, without this, we cannot justly hope for the approbation of our Judge in the great day, or admission into the mansions of glory.
How important is it then, that we possess our souls with a lively and practical belief, that "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ;" and that we cast ourselves entirely upon him for salvation, firmly persuaded that "he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him!" Upon him let all our hopes be fixed. Through him let all our acknowledgments be made. Let us contract a delightful familiarity with the doctrines of free grace, and endeavor frequently to warm our hearts with the highest sentiments of gratitude and praise to God our Saviour." Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. AMEN."
PREACHED JULY 4, 1764,
REV. MR. EDWARD BROOKS,
TO THE PASTORAL CARE OF THE CHURCH
BY JASON HAVEN, A. M.
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN DEDHAM.
PRINTED BY RICHARD AND SAMUEL DRAPER, AT THE PRINTING
OFFICE IN NEWBURY STREET.