Page images
PDF
EPUB

The law of works we introduce, As if old merit were in use, When man could life by doing won, Ev’n though the work by grace were done. Old Adam in his innocence Deriv'd his power of doing hence: As all he could was wholly due ; So all the working strength, he knew, Was only from the grace of God, Who with such favour did him load : Yet was the promise to his act, That he might merit by compact. No merit but of paction could Of men or angels e'er be told; The God-man only was so high To merit by condignity Were life now promis'd to our act, Or to our works by paction tack'd; Though God should his affiftance grant, 'Tis still a doing covenant. Though Heav'n its helping grace should yield, Yet merit's still upon the field; We cast the name, yet still 'tis found Disclaim'd but with a verbal found. If one should borrow tools from you, That he some famous work might do ; When once his work is well prepar'd, He fure deserves his due reward ; Yea, justly may he claim his due,, Although he borrow'd tools from you: Ev'n thus the borrow'd strength of grace Can't hinder merit to take place. From whence foe'er we borrow pow'rs, If life depend on works of ours; Or if we make the gospel thus In any fort depend on us; We give the law the gospel-place, Rewards of debt the room of

grace ; We mix heav'n's trealures with our trash, And magnify corrupted flesh.

The new and gospel covenant
No promise to our works will grant
But to the doing of our Head,
And in him to each gospel-deed.
To godliness, which is great gain,
Promise is said to appertain:
But know, left you the gospel mar,
In whom it is we godly are :
To him and to his righteousness
Still primar’ly the promile is;
And not ev'r to the gracious deed,
Save in and through the glorious Head.
Pray let us here observe the odds,
How law and grace take counter roads.
The law of works no promise spake
Unto the agent, but the act ;
It primar’ly no promise made
Unto the person, but the deed:
Whate'er the doing person shard,
Twas for his deed he had reward.
The law of grace o'erturns the scale,
And makes the quite reverse prevail :
Its promise lights not on the deed,
But on the doing person's head;
Not for his doing, but for this,
Because in Christ his portion is;
Which union to the living Prince,
His living works and deeds evince.
Good fruits have promise in this viesi,
As union to the BRANCH they shew;
To whom the promises pertain,
In him all Yea, and all Amen.
Observe, pray; for if here we err,
And do not Christ alone prefer,
But think the promife partly stands
On our obeying new commands;
Thold cov'nant place to works we give;
Or mingle Grace with Do and Live;
We overcloud the gospel charms,
And also break our working arms.

More honour to the law profess,
But giving more, we give it less:
Its heavy yoke in vain we draw;
By turning gospel into law.
We rob grace of its joyful sound,
And bury Christ in Moses ground:
At best we run a legal race
Upon the field of gufpel grace.

PARAGRAPH III.
Tbe Gospel no New Law; but a joyful found of Grace

and Merey. LAW.precepts in a spel. mold,

We may as gospel-doctrine hold,
But gospel.calls in legal dress,
The joyful found of grace suppress.
Faith and repentance may be taught,
And yet no gospel-tidings brought ;
If as mere duties these we press,
And not as parts of promis'd bliss.
If only precepts we present,
Though urg'd with strongest argument;
We leave the weak’ned finner's hope
In darkness of despair to grope:
The man whom legal precepts chase,
As yet estrang’d to sov'reign grace,
Mistaking evangelie charins,
As if they stood on legal terms;
Looks to himself, though dead in fing
For grounds of faith and hope within:
Hence fears and fetters grow and swell,
Since nought's within but sin and hell.
But faith that looks to promis'd grace,
Clean out of self the foul will chale;
To Christ for righteousness and strengthe
And finds the joyful rest at length:
Proud Aesh and blood will startlé here,
And hardly such report can bear,
That Heav'n all saving flore will give
To them that work not, but believe.

Yet not of works, but 'tis the race
Of faith, that it may be of grace :
For faith does nothing but agree
To welcome this falvation free.
Come down, Zaccbeus; quickly come,
“ Salvation's brought unto thy home :
« In vain thou climb'st the legal tree;
• Salvation freely comes to thee.
" Thou dream'st of coming up to terms,
« Come down into my saving arms;

Down, down, and get a pardon free,
“ On terms already wrought by me.
“ Behold the bleflings of my blood, ,
“ Bought for thy everlasting good,

And freely all to be convey'd

Upon the price already paid. " I know thou hast no good, and fee “ I cannot stand on terms with thee, " Whose fall has left thee nought to claim, " Nor aught to boast but sin and shame.” The law of heavy hard commands Confirms the wak’ned finner's bands ; But grace proclaims relieving news, And scenes of matchless mercy fhews. No precept clogs the gospel-call, But there in grace is all in all; No law is here but that of grace, Which brings relief in ev'ry case. The gospel is the promise fair Of grace, all ruins to repair; And leaves no finner room to say, « Alas! this debt I cannot pay; “ This grievous yoke I cannot bear, « This high demand I cannot clear." Grace stops the mouth of such complaints, And store of full supply presents. The glorious gospel is (in brief,) A fou'reign word of sweet relief; Not clogg'd with cumbersome commands, To bind the soul's receiving hands.

[ocr errors]

'Tis joyful news of sov'reign grace,
That reigns in state through righteousness,
To ranfom from all threat'ning woes,
And answer all commanding Do's.
This gospel comes with help indeed,
Adapted unto finners need.
Thele joyful news that suit their case,
Are chariots of his drawing grace.
Tis here the Spirit pow'rful rides,
The fountains of the deep divides;
The King of glory's splendor fhews,
And wins the heart with welcome news.

[ocr errors]

THE

a

PARAGRAPH IV.
The Gospel furtber described, as a Bundle of good News,

and gracious Promises.
THE first grand promise forth did break

In threats against the tempting snake;
So may the gofpel in commands,
Yet nor in threats or precepts stands :
But 'tis a doctrine of free grants
To finners, that they may be saints :
A joyful sound of royal gifts,
To obviate unbelieving shifts :

.
A promise of divine supplies,
To work all gracious qualities
In those, who proneft to rebel,
Are only qualify'd for hell.
Courting vile finners, ev’n the chief,
It leaves no cloak for unbelief;
But ev'n on gross Manassehs calls,
On Mary Magdalens and Sauls.
'Tis good news of a fountain ope'
For fin and filth; a door of hope
For those that lie in blood and gore,
And of a falve for ev'ry sore.
Glad news of fight unto the blind;
Of light unto the dark’ned mind;
Of healing to the deadly fick;
And mercy both to Jew and Grcek.

a

« PreviousContinue »