Page images

this be true, which Paul affirms, that no one is justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, it follows, that the patriarchs, and the Prophets, and the Saints who lived before the coming of Christ, were imperfect. We ought to admonish these persons, that those are here said not to have attained righteousness, who think that they are justified by works only; but that the Saints who were in former times, were justified by the faith of Christ, since Abraham saw the day of Christ, and rejoiced (9): and Moses ' esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward (r).' And Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, as John the Evangelist relates; and Jude says generally of all, 'I will put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believed not (s). Whence, not so much the works of the law are condemned, as those who trust they may be justified by works only.”—Vol. 4. part 1. p. 245.

“* As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written; Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them (t).'

But (9) John, c. 8. v. 56. (r) Heb. c. II. v. 26. (s) Jude, v. 5.

(t) Gal. c. 3. v. 1o.

But because nobody can fulfil the law, and do all things which are commanded, the Apostle testifies in another place, “What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (u): If this be true, it may be objected to us, Are therefore Moses and Isaiah, and the other Prophets, who were under the works of the law, under the curse? wbich no one will hesitate to acknowledge, who shall read these words of the Apostle, • Cbrist hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (x):' And he will further answer, that every one of the Saints was in his time made a curse for the people. And in attributing this to just men also, he will not seein to detract from our Saviour, as if he had nothing peculiar and excellent, being made a curse for us, when the rest also were made a curse for others. For no one of those, although he was himself made a curse, delivered any one from a curse, except the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who by his precious blood redeemed both all us and them, I mean Moses and Aaron, and all the Prophets and patriarchs, from the curse of the law. And do not consider this as my interpretation; the


(u) Rom. c. 8. v.3.

(*) Gal. c. 3. v. 13.

Scripture itself bears testimony ; ' Because Christ died for all (y):' But if for all, for Moses also, and for all the Prophets, no one of whom could blot out the ancient hand-writing, which was written against us, and fix it to the Cross. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (2): Ecclesiastes also, confirming this sentence, says, * There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not (a). Lastly, what the Apostle afterwards says, clearly shews, that neither Moses, nor any other illustrious person among the ancients, could be justified before God through the law."--Vol. 4. part 1. p. 257.

As all, before they are born, die in the first Adam; so also all, even those who were born before the coming of Christ, are made alive in the second Adam.”—Vol. 4. part 1. p. 265.

“This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you’ (b); for there is one work of God, another of men: it is the work of God to call; of men either to believe, or not to believe: and so the free-will of man is asserted in other passages of Scripture, as it is there, “If ye will obey my voice (c).' And again, “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee (d)?'


(,) 2 Cor. c. 5. v. 14. (a) Eccles. c. 7. v. 20. (c) Exod. c. 19. v. 5.

(z) Rom. c. 3. v. 23.
(b) Gal. c. 5. v. 8.
Pd) Deut. c. 10. v. 12.

And from the passage before us it is particularly proved. Whether, therefore, with respect to good or evil, neither God, nor the devil is the cause of it, because our persuasion cometh not of him that calleth, but from ourselves, who either consent, or do not consent to him that calleth.”—— Vol. 4. part 1. p. 290.

• The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (e). The flesh is delighted with present and short-lived things, the Spirit, with perpetual and future things. In the midst of this struggle stands the soul; and having in its power good and evil, to will and not to will; but not having even this, willing and not willing, constant : because it may happen, that when it shall have consented to the flesh and done its works, feeling remorse through repentance, it may again be joined to the Spirit, and work its works. This is therefore the meaning of the expression ‘These are contrary the one to the other; so that

ye cannot do the things that ye would.'”—Vol. 4. part 1. p. 298.

· According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him (f). But

that (c) Gal. c. 5. v. 17. (f) Eph. c. I. v.4.

that he testified before the foundation of the world, that we are chosen, that we should be holy, and without blame before him, that is, before God, belongs to the prescience of God, to whoin all future things are already done, and all things are known before they take place.”—Vol. 4. part 1. p. 325

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of hiin who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will (g).' It is to be considered, that predestination and purpose are here placed together, according to which God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Not that all things which are done in the world, are done with the will and counsel of God; for then wicked things might be imputed to God; but that all things which he does, he does with counsel and will, because they are full of reason, and of the power of him who acts. We men will to do most things with counsel; but effect by no jeans follows the will. But no one can resist Him, to prevent his doing whatever he wills. But he wills those things which are full of reason and counsel : • He wills all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (h).' But because no one is saved without his own will, (for


(8) Eph. c. 1. v. 11.

(h) 1 Tim. c. 2. v.4.

« PreviousContinue »