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Third thing which I shall take notice of, as necessary for the health and well-fare of the Body, which
I intend now ( as the Lord shall assist) to apply to the point in hand, is this ; That we be well clothed.
God hath given to every living Creature some kind of clothing, or other : Even to the Birds of the air, and the Beasts of the Field. They could not endure the extremity either of heat, or cold without it. Adam and Eve when they were at first created, needed no clothing, but their own innocency; when they need ed it, God provided it for them, before they did for themselves, Gen. 3. 22. Cold, if extream, is very prejudicial to Man's health, and may be fo to his life. Paul reckoneth it among
his great sufferings, 2 Cor. 11. 27, in cold, and nakedness. Therefore up and down in the Scripture, we find it spoken of, as a commendable act of charity,To'cloth the naked, Ifa. 58.7. A.
9. 30. This is one thing then we ought special.. ly to mind, as ever we desire our Souls 04
fhould prosper, that ( as the Apostle faith, 2. Cor. 5: 3:) we may not be found naked. Now, the Scripture tells us, what the Garment is, wherewith the Soul that prospers, must be clothed, Rev. 19.8, And it was gran ted unto her (the Bride, the Lamb's Wife ) that she should be arrayed in fine linnen, clear and white : for the fine linnen' is the righteousness of the Saints. This fine Linnen, this Righteousness (directupate nopos aiglwy) comes under a double consideration.
1. The Righteousness which is wrought for the Soul by Jesus Christ himself, in his own Person, and is imputed to every Believer.
2. The Righteousness that is wrought in the Soul, by the Spirit of Christ, and is inherent in every new Creature. The one may be called, The outer garment, the other, The inner garment of the heart. So far as the Soul is clothed with this double garment of Righteousness, so far it prospers, and no farther.
Something must be said to each of these.
1. Of that garment of Righteousness, which Chrilt hath wrought for the Soul. This is that White garment Rev. 3. 18. I. counsel thee to buy of me,m--white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed. This is the only garment that gives a title to Heaven, Ifa. 61. 10, I will greatly rejoyce in the Lord,
My Soul fall be joyful in my God, for he hath clotbed me with the garments of salvation, be hath covered me with tbe robe of righteorf, ness. This is not like Saul's Armour, that was not fit for David ; it will fit every Soul, that really feels the want of it, and indeed, and in truth, is willing to put if on; and therefore, we are exhorted, Rom, 13. 14, To put on the Lord Jesus Chrift.
In prosecuting of this point, a few words to each of these Particulars.
I. Consider the materials whereof this i garment is made.
2. That it is of absolute necessity that it be put on, else the Soul cannot prosper.
3. How it is to be put on.
4. What influence it hath into Soul-prof perity, when it is put on.
(1.) For the first of these, the materials whereof it is made, briefly thus. It is the Obedience of Christ, as Mediatour, in doing and suffering what God the Father appointed, and which he accepts in the behalf of all those, who are clothed with it ; fo as, upon that account, they are delivered from the sentence of Eternal Death, which they had righteously deserved ; and are accepted as righteous, unto Eternal Life, of which they Were utterly unworthy,
Observe then these two things.
and perfect satisfaction to his Justice, for what ever was appointed for them to suffer by way of punishment, and cärle for fin. It is faid, I Peraz? 242 That:Chrift his own self bare our fim's in his Body, on the Tree. i.e. The punishment and curfe due fôrin. With this God the Father is well pleased, so that the Sentence of Condemnation shall never be executed upon the Soul that is clothed with it. And this he accepteth as a valuable consideration for all the wrong that their fins have done him, Eph. 432,---forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's Sake, batb'forgiven you. It is said, i Pet.4.8. that love to our Brethren covers a multitude of fiws. i.e. It doth not strictly take notice of, but in silence passeth by many failings of others ; especially those that concern our felves. But this covers All, so that no notice is taken of them, fo as ( according to the sentence of the Law ) to curse, and condemə fuchá Soul, Jer. 50.20, In those days, and at that time, faith the Lord, shall the iniquity of Israel be foughts for, and there shall be none, and the fans of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I referve. p The book is crossd, all the black bill, that otherwise would have been brought in against it, whereof it could not have anfwered one of a thousand ( i.e. none at all) is crosfed. Well then might David, fay,
Pfal. 32. 1, Blessed is the Man whose iniquity is covered.
2. God accepts it, in the behalf of all those that are clothed with it, for all that is required by way of perfect obedience to the Moral Law. It is said, Rom. 10.4, Christ is the end of the Law, for righteousness. Chriit; is é. Christ, and his Righteousness is the end of the Law, i. e. the perfection of the Law. - Now the end of the Law was, to invest those that perfectly fulfilled it, with a Righteousness that would give a true right, and title to Eternal Life. But this the Law cannot do, by reason of Man's weakness, being utterly unable to fulfil it ; so that it is become a killing Letter, the ministration of death, and condemnation, 2 Cor.3.6,7. Now Jesus Christ by hiş obedience, hath brought about this perfection of the Law, perfectly fulfilling the Righteousness, which the Law required ; for love is the fulfilling of the Law, Now Jesus Christ loved the Lord with all his heart, and with all his might, and his neighbour as himself. He failed not in the lealt of what was due either to the one, or the other. This he did, and none but he could do it: For though one sinful act in thought, in word, or deed, did break the Law, yet it is not fulfilled, but by perfect conformity unto it; and such a conformity there was in the obedience of Christ, Foki.