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when Christ came, he supplied all these defects, and made up every thing which before was wanting. I am not come, fays he, to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil them. He fet down all those things which Moses had omitted, and restored all those laws to their true meaning, which the Pharisees had corrupted. He drew up a most compleat body of all manner of virtues, fuch as neither the Gentile, nor the Jewish world, had ever seen before; and these he enjoins for the indifpensible duties of his kingdom. For, says he, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
As for the laws and precepts of the gospel then, it is plain, that the falvation which they are fitted to effect in us, is, the reformation of our lives, and a deliverance from our fiņs. Their end is plainly to oblige us to the highest virtue, and the most exalted piety; to make us better men, and more perfect livers, than ever
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the world had seen before. They require the most compleat amendment and reformation of our lives, and therefore are a most powerful means in effecting our salvation,
I PROCEED next, to consider the promises of the gospel. And the deliverance which they aim at, is the very famę reformation of our lives, which is designed by all those precepts, which they are annexed to. They are made to us for no other end, but to quicken our obedience, and encourage it. They are used as means to excite our endeavours, and to make us diligent in the pursuit of that reformation and amenda ment, which are the very thing that they are made to do. For all the promises of pardon and happiness in the gospel, run upon condition of our repentance. Except ye repent, says our Saviour, ye shall all per rish. And when he fends oật his apostles, to proclaim remission of fins, and other benefits purchased by his death to all the yyorld, he makes this the terms whereon
they are to be tendered : Preach repentance and remission of hins, says he, in my name, to all nations,
Christ never died to procure men a lie berty to fin, and to purchase benefits and rewards for evil doers. His great design was to destroy sin, and to draw men on to obedience and repentance, by the gracious offers of pardon and acceptance.
So that as for all the promises of the go, spel, the salvation which they encourage, is plainly this deliverance from our fins; that being the very thing, which all the good things of the gospel are promised to.
Then, as to those threatenings which are contained in the gospel,--the salvation which they aim at, is evidently this des liverance from our fins, which are those very things they are all denounced to. The gospel, though it breathe out nothing but grace and mercy to the penitent, is yet the feverest difpenfation that ever was, to all jocorrigible men,
For therein God declares himself an utter enemy to all, that will not be reformed; and that he will inflict a most terrible punishment, and exemplary vengeance on them. The author of grace and mercy, Christ himself, hath spoken it, that Except we repent, we shall all perifh. And St. Paul tells us plainly, that at the last day, God will render to all that obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguilh ; and that, upon every soul of man, whether he be Jew or Gentile. . .
Our fins then are plainly those evils, which the threatenings of the gospel would fright us from ; and our deliverance from them, is that salvation which they would inforće upon us. Their end is evidently, to make us leave all evil ways, for fear left they should be inflicted on us for our per, severance in them,
As for that salvation then, which Christ came to purchase for us, from what I have faid, it appears (I suppose) most evidently,
what it is. The declarations of the prophets, of Christ and his apostles, the chief end of the precepts, the promises, and the threatenings of the gospel, in short, the design of our whole religion, and Christianity, make it clear to us, that it is our reformation; or, as the angel exprefleth it in my text, our deliverance from our fins : He shall be called Jesus, because he shall save bis people from their fins.
And thus having represented what that falvation is, which Christ came to purchase for us, and shewn (I think) clearly, that the great deliverance designed us by him, and promoted by his gospel, is our reformation, and a freedom from our fins; I shall observe some uses, and practical improvements of this discourse, and so conçlude.
And, 1. Then; From what hath been discoursed, upon the nature of the Chrifțian salvation, we may plainly understand,