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and constant obedience, not only to the wicked, but also to the godly. Indeed, those that have obtained full assurance of their safe estate, are not capable of this motive, and they have no need of it. But when persons are most capable of the fear of hell, by reason of their want of assurance, and their uncertainty whether or no they are not exposed to damnation by reason of the weakness of their grace, then they have most need of it.

Coroll.—Here we may observe, that it is not the Scripture way of judging of the truth of grace, to be determined principally by the method and steps of the first work, but by the exercise and fruits of grace in a holy life.

§ 3. Perseverance in faith is, in one sense, the condition of justification ; that is, the promise of acceptance is made only to a persevering sort of faith ; and the proper evidence of its being of that sort is actual perseverance. Not but that a man may have good evidences that his faith is of that sort, before he has finished a perseverance, yea, the first time that he exercises such a faith, if the exercises of it are lively and vigorous. But when the believer has those vigorous exercises of faith, by which he has clear evidences of its being of a persevering kind, he evermore feels most of a disposition and resolution to persevere, and most of a spirit of dependence upon God and Christ to enable him so to do.

§ 4. As to passages of Scripture like that, Ezekiel xvii. 24, wherein are declared the fatal consequences of turning or falling away from righteousness, they do not at all argue but that there is an essential difference, in the very nature of the righteousness of those that persevere, and the righteousness of those that fall away. The one is of a lasting sort, the other not; and so, falling away or holding out, are in those places respected as natural fruits or discoveries of the nature of the righteous or of the wicked. If a man that had a prospect of being erelong in calamitous circumstances, of being poor, and the object of general contempt, and should make this declaration concerning his friend, or him that now appeared to be such, that if his friend would cleave to him through all his circumstances, he would receive him and treat him ever after as his true friend, but otherwise he would utterly desert him as a false friend; this would not

argue, that he thought there was no difference between the love of friendship that was persevering, and that that fails when it is tried: but only, that those difficulties discover the difference, and show whose love is of a lasting sort, and whose not. The promises in Scripture are commonly made to the signs of grace; though God knows whether men be sincere or not, without the signs whereby men know it.

§ 5. The following are some reasons why grace to persevere is promised in the covenant of grace. 1. God when he had done such great things to redeem men, and had not spared his own Son, had so completely provided for men's redemption in the dignity of the person of the Redeemer, and the greatness of the things that he did and suffered to magnify his grace towards poor fallen man: I say, God, when he had thus laid out himself to glorify his mercy and grace in the redemption of poor fallen men, did not see meet

, that those that are redeemed by Christ, should be redeemed so imperfectly, as still to have the work of perseverance left in their own hands, which they had been found already insufficient for even in their perfect state, and are now less sufficient for than they were before, and ten times more liable than formerly to fall away and not to persevere, if, in their fallen, broken state, with their imperfect sanctification, the care of the matter be trusted with them. Man, though redeemed by Christ, so as to have the Holy Spirit of God, and spiritual life, again restored in a degree; yet is left a very poor, piteous creature, because all is suspended on his perse

verance as it was at first; and the care of that affair is left with him as it was then; and he is ten times more likely to fall away than he was then, if we consider only what he has in himself to preserve him from it. The poor creature sees his own insufficiency to stand from what has happened in time past ; his own instability has been his undoing already; and now he is vastly more unstable than before. Though he be redeemed to spiritual life, yet he has no remedy provided against that which has once proved his ruin, and is so much more likely to be so again. The more considerate and wise he is, the more will he be sensible of his own insufficiency, and how little his own strength is to be depended on, and how much he needs God's help in this matter. Yet he has nothing to trust to but his own strength. He wants soine person that is to be depended on, to fly to for help; but there is none provided. God in his providence made void the first covenant, to make way for a better covenant, one that was better for man. It was the will of God, that it should first appear by the event, wherein the first was deficient, or wanting what man needed, which was manifest in the fall. Therein it appeared, that the great thing wherein the first covenant was deficient, was, that the fulfilment of the righteousness of the covenant, and man's perseverance, was intrusted with man himself, with nothing better to secure it than his own strength. And therefore, God introduces a better covenant, which should be an everlasting covenant, a new and living way; wherein that which was wanting in the first covenant should be supplied, and a remedy should be provided against that, which under the first covenant proved man's unduing, víz., man's own weakness and instability; by a Mediator's being given, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ; who cannot fail; who should undertake for his people; who should take the care of them; who is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through him; and who ever lives to make intercession for them. God did not see it fit that man should be trusted to stand in his own strength a second time. God at first entered into such a covenant with man, wherein he was left to stand in his own strength, to the end that the event might show the weakness and instability of man, and his dependence on God. But when the event has once proved this, there is no need of entering into another covenant of the same tenor, to manifest it. It is not fit in a covenant, that is distinguished from the first covenant as a covenant of grace, wherein all is of mere, free, and absolute grace, that the reward of life should be suspended on the perseverance of man, as dependent on the strength and steadfastness of his own will. It is a covenant of works, and not a covenant of grace, that suspends eternal life on what is the fruit of a man's own strength. Eternal life was to have been of works in those two respects, viz., as it was to have been for man's own righteousness, and as it was suspended on the fruit of his own strength. For, though our first parent depended on the grace of God, the influences of his Spirit in his heart; yet that grace was given him already, and dwelt in him constantly, and without interruption, in such a degree as to hold him above any lust or sinful habit or principle. Eternal life was not merely suspended on that grace that was given him and dwelt in him, but on his improvement of that grace which he already had. For, in order to his perseverance, there was nothing further promised beyond his own strength; no extraordinary occasional assistance was promised. It was not promised but that man should be left to himself as he was (though God did not oblige himself not to afford extraordinary assistance on occasion, as doubtless he did to the angels who stood). But the new covenant is of grace, in a manner distinguishing from the old, in both these respects, that the reward of life is suspended neither on his own strength nor worthiness. It pro

vides something above either. But if eternal life under the new covenant was suspended on man's own perseverance, or his perseveringly using diligent endeavors to stand without the promise of any thing farther to ascertain it than his own strength, it would herein be farther from being worthy to be called a covenant of grace than the first covenant; because man's strength is exceedingly less than it was then, and he is under far less advantages to persevere; perseverance is much more difficult. And if he should obtain eternal life by perseverance in his own strength now, eternal life would, with respect to that, be much more of himself than it would have been by the first covenant; because perseverance now would be a much greater thing than under those circumstances; and he has but an exceeding small part of that grace dwelling in him, to assist him, that he had then; and that which he bas, does not dwell in him in the exercise of it by such a constant law as grace did then, but is put into exercise by the Spirit of grace, in a far more arbitrary and sovereign way.

2. Again, Christ came into the world to do what mere man failed of. He came as a better surety, and that in him those defects might be supplied that proved to be in our first surety, and that we might have a remedy for that mischief that came by those defects. But the defect of our first surety was, that he did not persevere. He wanted steadfastness; and therefore God sent us, in the next surety, one that could not fail, that should surely persevere. But this is no supply of that defect to us, if the reward of life be still suspended on perseverance, which has nothing greater to secure it still, than the strength of mere man; and the perseverance of our second surety is no remedy against the like mischief, which came by failure of our first surety; but, on the contrary, we are much more exposed to the mischief than before. The perseverance on which life was suspended, depended then indeed on the strength of mere man; but now it is suspended on the strength of fallen man. In that our first surety did not

persevere, we fell in and with him ; for doubtless, if he had stood, we should have stood with him. And therefore when God in mercy has given us a better surety to supply the defects of the first, a surety that might stand and persevere, and one that has actually persevered through the greatest imaginable trials; doubtless we shall stand and persevere in him. After all this, eternal life will not be suspended on our perseverance by our own poor, feeble, broken strength. Our first surety, if he had stood, would have been brought to eat of the tree of life, as a seal of a confirmed state of life in persevering and everlasting holiness and happiness; and he would have ate of this tree of life as a seal of persevering confirmed life, not only for himself, but as our head. As when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he tasted as our head, and so brought death on himself and all his posterity; so, if he bad persevered, and had ate of the tree of life, he would have tasted of that as our head, and therein life and confirmed holiness would have been sealed to him and all his posterity. But Christ, the second Adam, acts the same part for us that the first Adam was to have done, but failed. He has fulfilled the law, and has been admitted to the seals of confirmed and everlasting life. God, as a testimony and seal of his acceptance of what he had done as the condition of life, raised him from the dead, and exalted him with his own right hand, received him up into glory, and gave all things into his hands. Thus the second Adam has persevered, not only for himself

, but for us; and has been sealed to confirmed and persevering and eternal life, as our head; so that all those that are his, and that are his spiritual posterity, are sealed in him to persevering life. Here it will be in vain to object, that persons persevering in faith and holiness is the condition of their being admitted to the state of Christ's posterity, or to a right

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in him; ard that none are admitted as such till they have first persevered. For this is as much as to say, that Christ has no church in this world ; and that there are none on this side the grave, that are adınitted as his children or people ; because they have not yet actually persevered to the end of life, which is the condition of their being admitted as his children and people; which is contrary to the whole Scripture.

Christ being the second Adam, and having finished the work of Adam for us, does more than merely to redeem or bring us back to the probationary state of Adam, while he had yet his work to finish, knowing his eternal lise uncertain, because suspended on his uncertain perseverance. That alone is inconsistent with Christ's being a second Adam, and having undertaken and finished the work of Adam for us. For if Christ, succeeding in Adam's room, has done and gone through the work that Adam was to have done, and did this as our representative or surety, he has not only thereby set us, that are in him and represented by him, in Adam's probationary, uncertain state, having the finishing or persevering in the work on which eternal life was suspended yet before him and uncertain, or in the state that Adam was in on this side a state of confirmed life; but besides, if Christ has finished the work of Adam for us, as representing us, and acting in our stead, then doubtless he has not only gone through himself, but has carried us, who are in him, and are represented by him, through the work of Adam, or through Adam's working probationary state, unto that confirmed state that Adam should have arrived at, if he had gone through his own work.

3. That the saints shall surely persevere, will necessarily follow from this, that they have already performed the obedience which is the righteousness by which they have justification unto life; or it is already performed for them, and imputed to them: for that supposes, that it is the same thing in the sight of God as if they had performed it. Now, when the creature has once actually performed and finished the righteousness of the law, he is immediately sealed and confirmed to eternal life. There is nothing to keep him off from the tree of life, to seal him to it any longer. But as soon as ever a believer has Christ's righteousness imputed to him, he has virtually finished the righteousness of the law.

It is evident the saints shall persevere, because they are already justified. Adam would not have been justified till he had fulfilled and done his work. If he had stood, he would not have been tried or judged in order to his justification till then, and then his justification would have been a confirmation. It would have been an approving of him as having done his work, and as standing entitled to his reward. A servant that is sent out about a piece of work, is not justified by his master till he has done; and then the master views the work, and seeing it to be done according to his order, he then approves and justifies him as having done his work, and being now entitled to the promised reward; and his title to his reward is no longer suspended on any thing remaining. So, Christ having done our work for us, we are justified as soon as ever we believe in him, as being, through what he has accomplished and finished, now already actually entitled to the reward of life. And justification carries in it not only remission of sins, but also a being adjudged to life, or accepted as entitled by righteousness to the reward of life; as is evident, because believers are justified by communion with Christ in his justification, which he received when he was raised from the dead. But that justification of Christ which he was then the subject of, did most certainly imply both these things, viz., his being now judged free of that guilt which he had taken upon him, and also his having now fulfilled all righteousness, his having perfectly obeyed the Father, and done enough to VOL III.

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entitle him to the reward of life as our head and surety; and therefore he then had eternal life given him as our head. That life which begun when he was raised from the dead, was eternal life. Christ was then justified in the same sense that Adam would have been justified, if he had finished his course of perfect obedience; and therefore implies in it confirmation in a title to life, as that would have done; and thus, all those that are risen with Christ, and bave him for their surety, and so are justified in his justification, are certainly in like manner confirmed. And again, that a believer’s justification implies not only a deliverance from the wrath of God, but a title to glory, is evident by Rom. v. 12, where the apostle mentions both these as joint benefits implied in justification : “ Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.So, remission of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified, are mentioned together as what are jointly obtained by faith in Christ: Acts xxvi. 18, “ That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified, through faith that is in me.” Both these are undoubtedly implied in that passing from death unto life, which Christ speaks of as the fruit of faith, and which he opposes to condemnation : John v. 24, “ Verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”

To suppose that a right to life is suspended on our own perseverance, which is uncertain, and has nothing more sure and steadfast to secure it than our own good wills and resolutions (which way soever we suppose it to be dependent on the strength of our resolutions and wills, either with the assistance, or in the improvement of assistance, or in seeking assistance), is exceedingly dissonant to the nature and design of the gospel scheme. For, if it were so, it would unavoidably have one of these two effects; either, 1, Exceedingly to deprive the believer of the comfort, hope and joy of salvation; which would be very contrary to God's intention in the scheme of man's salvation, which is to lay a foundation for man's abundant consolation every way, and to make the ground of our peace and joy in all respects strong and sure: or else, 2, He must depend much on himself, and the ground of his joy and hope must in a great measure be his own strength, and the steadfastness of his own heart, the unchangeableness of his own resolutions, &c. ; which would be very different from the gospel scheme.

$ 6. It is one act of faith to commit the soul to Christ's keeping in this sense, viz., to keep it from falling. The believing soul is convinced of its own weakness and helplessness, its inability to resist its enemies, its insufficiency to keep itself, and so commits itself to Christ, that he would be its keeper. The apostle speaks of his committing his soul by faith to Christ, under great sufferings and trials of his perseverance: 2 Tim. i. 12, “ For which cause also I suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed : for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day.” And we are commanded to commit our way and our works unto the Lord, Psalm xxxvii. 5, and Prov. xvi. 3. Faith depends on Christ for all good that we need, and especially good of this kind, which is of such absolute necessity in order to the salvation of our souls. The sum of the good that faith looks for, is the Holy Spirit. It looks for spiritual and eternal life; for perfect holiness in heaven, and persevering holiness here. For the just shall live by faith.

§ 7. It seems to be because continuance in faith is necessary to continuance

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