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vide the word of God. The ways of Truth and Error fie close together, though they never coincide. When some preachers say, that “ The road to hea. ven passes very near the mouth of hell,” they do not mean, thal the road to heaven and the road to hell are one and the same. If I assert, that the way of Truth runs parallel to the ditch of Error, I by no means intend to confound them. Let Error therefore come, in fume things, ever so near Truth, yet it can no more be the Truth, than a filthy ditch, that tuns parallel to a good road, can be the road.

liis often a thing little in appearance, that turns the scale of truth; nevertheless, the difference between a scale turned or not turned, is as seal as the difference between right and wrong. I make this obfervation : (1) To shew that although my opponents tome very near me in some things, and I go very near them in others, yet the difference between us is as essential as the difference between truth and er. Por; And (2) to remind thein and myself, that we ought so much the more to exercise Christian forbearance towards each other, as we find it difficult, whenever we do not stand upon our guard, to do justice to every part of the Truth, without seeming to dissent even from ourselves. However, our short sightedness and twilight knowledge do not alter the nature of things. The truth of the anti-pharisaic and anti-Crispian gospel is as immutable as its eternal Author; and whether I have marked out its boun: daries with a tolerable degree of juftness or not, I must say as the heathen poet:

Est modus in rebus, funt certi denique fines,
Quos ultra citra que nequit consistere rectum. +

+ Truth is confined within her firm bounds : nay, there is a middle line equally diftant from all extremes ; on that line the Ilands, and to mits her, you need only step over it to the right hand or to the left.

A. SCRIP

А

SCRIPTURAL ESSAY

On the rewardableness of Works according to the

Covenant of Grace ;

CONTAINING

1. A VARIETY of Scriptures, which shew, that Heaven

ITSELF is the gracious REWARD of the WORKS of Faith, and that Believers may lose that Reward by bad Works. II. An Answer to the most plaufble Objections against this Do&trine. - III. Some REFLECTIONS upon the unreafonableness of those, who scorn to work with an eye to the Reward, that God offers to excite us to Obedience.

FIRST PART.

AVING particularly guarded in the preceeding

venant of grace, and having endeavoured to secure the foundation of the gospel against the unwearied attacks of Pharisees; I shall now particularly guard the Works of the covenant of grace, and by that means secure the superstructure against the perpetuat affaults of Antinomians ; a part of my work this, which is so much the more important, as the use of a strong foundation is only to bear up an useful Aructure,

None but fonis a&t without motive. To deprive a wise man of every motive to act, is to keep him in total inaction; and lo rob him of any grand motive, is to weaken his willingness to a&t, or his fervour in acting. The love of God is undoubtedly the most generous motive to obedience: In thousands of weak

be

believers, love is not yet well kindled; it is rather afmoking flax than a blazing fire; in thousands of Laodicean profeffors it is scarce lukewarm; and in all apoftates it is waxed cold. Therefore, in the present, sickly state of the church militant, it is as absurd in

preachers, to urge no motive of good works but I love; as it would be in physicians to infift, that a

good ftomach must be the only motive, from which their patients ought to take either food or phyfic.

Our Lord far from countenancing our refine. ments in this respect, perpetually secures the practice of good works by promising heaven to all that persevere in doing them; while he deters us from sin, by threatening destruction to all that persist in committing it; working thus alternately upon our hopes and fears, those powerful springs of action.

The force of this double incentive to practical religion, I greatly weakened; when, being carried away by the stream of Solifidianism, I rafhly said in my old sermon, that " good works shall be rewarda ed in heaven and eternal life, although not wilh eternal life and heaven." An Antinomian error this

, which I publicly renounce, and against which I enter the following protest,

If the oracles of God command us to work FROM an initial life of grace, ror an eternal life of glory; frequently annexing the promise of heavenly bliss to good works, and threatening all workers of iniquity with hell-tormenis; it follows, that heaven will be the gracious reward of good works, and hell the just wages of bad ones.

I readily grant however, that, if we consider ourfelves merely as finners, in the light of the first gospel axiom, and according to the covenant of works, which we have so frequently broken; heaven is

MERELY the Gift of God through our Lord Jesus al : for, according to that covenant, destruction

of all who have committed sin. But, if we are converted linners or obedient believers : and if We consider ourselves in the light of the second gospel

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axiom, and according to the covenant of grace; every unprejudiced person, who believes the bible, must allow that heaven is the gracious REWARD of our works of faith.

An illustration may help the reader to see the justness of this distinction- A charitable nobleman dif. charges the debts of ten insolvent prisoners, sets them up in great or little farms, according to their respective abilities; and laying down a thousand pounds before them, he says: “ I have already done mạch for you, but I will do more still. I freely give you this purse, to encourage your industry. You shall share this gold among you, if you manage your farms according to my directions: but if you let your helds be over-run with thorns, you shall not only lose the bounty I design for the industrious, but forfeit all my preceding favours.” Now who does not see, that the thousand pounds thus laid down, are a free gift of the nobleman; that nevertheless, upon performance of the condition he has fixed, they become a gracious reward of industry; and that con. scquently, the obtaining of this reward turns now entirely upon the works of induftry performed by the farmers.

Just so eternal salvation is the free gift of God thro' Jesus Christ; and yet the obtaining of it [by adults] turns entirely upon their works of faith; that is, upon their works as well as upon their faith. Hence the fcripture says indifferently, He that BELIEVETH is NOT CONDEMNED; and, if thou DOEST WELL fhalt Thou not be ACCEPTED ? All that BELIEVE are justI• TIED; and, He that WORKETH righteoufness is Aco CEPTED.-Our Lord, speaking of a weeping penitent, says equally: Her fins, which are many, are for. given; for she LOVED much; and, Thy fins are forgiven, thy FAITH hath faved thee.--As for St. Paul, tho' he always justly excludes the works of unbelief, and merely ceremonial works, yet he so joins faith, and works of faith, as to shew us, they are equally necessary to eternal salvation : There is no condemnation,

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says he, to them that are in Chrift by faith : (Here is the Pharisee's portion] who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit [Here is the Antinomian's portion.] Hence it appears, that living faith now and always works righteousness; and that the works of righte: ousness now and always accompany faith, so long as it remains living. ?

I know this is the doctrine,' says judicious Mr. Baxter, that will have the loudest outcries raised against it: and will make some cry out, Heresy, Popery, Socinianism ! and what not ? For my own part the Searcher of hearts knoweth, that not fingularity, or any good will to Popery provoketh me to entertain it; but that I have earneltly sought the

Lord's direction upon my knees, before I durft adventure on it; and that I relifted the light of this con.

clusion as long as I was able.'-May this bright testimony make way for an illuminated cloud of prophets and apostles! and may the sun of righteousness rifing behind it, so scatter the shades of error, that we may awake out of our Antinomian dreams, and see a glorious, unclouded gospel-day!

That in subordination to Christ, our eternal salvation depends upon good works, i.e. upon the works of faith, will appear indubitable to them that believe the bible, and candidly consider the following scriptures, in which heaven and eternal life in GLORY: are suspended upon works, if they spring from a fincere belief in the light of our dispensation : I say, if they spring from true faith, it being absolutely impossible for an Heathen, and much more for a Chris. tian, to work righteousness without BELIEVING in fome degree that God is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, as well as the punisher of them that presumptuously sin against him: For without faith it is impossible to please God; all faithless works {pringing, merely from fuperftition, like those of Baal's priests, or from hypocrify like those of the Pharisees. Having thus guarded again the doctrine of FAITH, I produce some of the many fcriptựres

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