Page images

righteousness of justification is inherent in Christ; that of sanctification is inherent in the Christian. The one was fulfilled for the elect sinner; the other is implanted and inherent in him : the former is on him, as an embroidered robe; the latter is in him as a new nature ; by that he is comely without, in the view of remunerative justice ; by this he is glorious within, in the eye

of Divine omniscience. 4th, Sanctification differs from justification in their extent. The former terminates immediately upon the whole man ; the latter only upon the conscience. Justi. fication, though it relates to the whole man, yet termi. nates immediately upon the conscience, only setting it free from alarming fears of Divine wrath ; but sanctification, on the other hand, terminates immediately upon all the faculties of the soul and members of the body, and it consists in the gradual renovation of the whole man. In the former, conscience is only pacified, or at most purged; in the latter, it is renewed.

5th, Sanctification and justification differ in their properties.-The righteousness of justification is the righteousness of God-Man. The righteousness of sanctification is the righteousness only of a mere man, a sinful creature. The one is meritorious of eternal life, the other is meritorious of no blessing at the hand of God. Sanctification is imperfect at first, and carried on by degrees ; justification is perfect at the beginning, and incapable of degrees. The former is unequal ; for some believers have more of it than others. Hence we read of little children, young men, and fathers, in the family of Christ, 1 John ii. 13. The latter is entirely equal in every believer.

6th, They differ in their order of precedence. In the order of nature, though not of time, sanctification follows justification, as the effect follows the cause. Righteousness imputed is, in order of nature, prior to holiness, implanted and inherent; the removal of guilt is prior to the removal of the defilement of sin; a title to eternal life in justification is prior to the beginnings of it in sanctification, just as the sun is before the light and heat afforded by him. How vain is it to expect justification on account of any performances of our own, and to expect to be holy without being already justified !

7th, Sanctification differs from justification in its use. By justification we are instated in the Divine favour; but by sanctification we are adorned with the Divine image. That gives only a title to eternal life; this gives a meetness for, and a capacity of enjoying it. It is one thing to have a right to heaven, another thing to be ready for it ; to have the nature so much sanctified as to be fit to live in it. What would a title to it avail, if one were not qualified to live in it? What would it profit a man to be qualified to live in it, if he wanted a legal title to it? Consider this, you who are self-righteous, and who imagine that, because you


you have some degree of holiness or reformation, all shall be well. Suppose your holiness were true holiness, and so perfect that you are now qualified for heaven, what would this avail, without your having at the same time a title to heaven, by the righteousness of Christ imputed to you? It is his righteousness only that can afford you a right. Attend to this, you who pretend to an interest in the righteousness of Christ, and yet who have no genuine holiness ; although you had a title to heaven, what would it profit you, if you are not qualified to live there?

8th, They differ in the respect which they have to the offices of Jesus Christ.—Justification flows immediately from the priestly office of Christ ; sanctification springs immediately from his prophetical and kingly offices. As a sacrificing priest, he satisfied the law and justice of God, by fulfilling a justifying righteousness; as a prophet, he gives an understanding to know him that is true; and, as a king, he writes his law in the heart, and inclines it to yield obedience to him. Now, to introduce light into the understanding, and to write the law in the heart, is to sanctify. In his priestly office, Christ is made to sinners justification ; in his prophetical and kingly offices, he is made wisdom and sanctification.

9th, Sanctification differs from justification in its relation to the law of God.—Justification has respect to the law as a covenant of works ; sanctification relates to it, as a rule of obedience : the one sets the soul free from it as a covenant, the other makes the soul delight in it and yield obedience to it as a rule. Justification sets free from debt to the law; while sanctification renders us fit for duty to the law.

10th, Sanctification is an evidence of justification ; but justification is not an evidence of sanctification. None can warrantably conclude that he is justified, if he be not pressing toward the perfection of universal holiness; but if he be, this is a real evidence that he is in a state of justification. On the other hand, justification, as it is the root from which sanctification springs, cannot be an evidence of sanctification. The stem of a tree, as it appears to us, is an evidence of its root which is under the ground; but the root under ground cannot be said properly to evidence the stem of the tree. Just so, sanctification discovers justification as its root; but justification does not discover sanctification. The former is not discerned but by the latter. It is by the exercise of grace in general, of justifying faith in particular, that a believer can for ordinary discern that he is justified. “By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,” Acts xiii. 39. So much for the points of dif. ference between justification and sanctification.

V. Under the fifth general head, I was to consider the design and the use of sanctification. And,

1st, The design of it is not to gain the approbation or applause of the world. Sanctification is so far from being of use for this purpose, that it rather exposes one to contempt and hatred from worldly men. If a man be so far reformed as to be habitually attentive to social duties, he will gain a reputation from the most of men ;

but if they discover that he is sanctified, by having respect to all God's commandments in their great extent and spirituality, and by testifying against all manner of sins, he shall be sure to be despised, and counted as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things. “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you, Luke vi. 26. Do not, then, o believer, apply yourself to the practice of holiness, in order to gain a reputation among men. Remember what Jesus said of the Phari. sees, who loved to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they might be seen of men, “ Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward,” Matt. vi. 5.

2d, It is of no use in order to justification before God. As it is not the design of it to entitle a man either to the pardon of sin, or to acceptance as righteous in the sight of God, so it is of no use for these purposes. It is of great use, indeed, to evidence his title to eternal life ; but of no use to afford him a title. deeds of the law shall no Hesh be justified in his sight.” A man is not justified on account of his being sanctified, or because of his sanctification; but is rather sanctified because he is justified.

3d, It is of no use to qualify a man for justification. If one must be perfectly justified before he can begin to be sanctified, surely his sanctification cannot qualify him for such justification.

4th, But it is of great use for the following pur. poses ; such as, for evidencing our faith. “I will show thee my faith by my works.” As faith worketh by love, and purifieth the heart, so, wherever there is true holiness, proceeding from supreme love to God, it is an incontestable evidence of a living faith.

Again, it is useful for evidencing our justification. Would you, believer, desire to advance to more assurance of your justification ? Study to walk closely with God in the exercise of every grace, and the practice of every duty. Besides, it is highly useful for promoting the glory of God. As they who are sanctified propose the

By the

glory of God in Christ for their ultimate end, so their walking in newness of life is the very way to glorify him. While they go on without offence till the day of Christ, “they are filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God." "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." It is only by actual sanctification, or the practice of evangelical holiness, that a person can be active in glorifying God, or in showing forth his praise. In the new creature, or new creation, all things are of Him, that they may be to him.

Further, It is useful for qualifying one for heaven; and indeed there is no other way in which we can be meet for it. “ Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” It is necessary for “ adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour," Tit. ii. 10. A holy and heavenly conversation, as it becomes the gospel, so it adorns the gospel : it is an ornament to the gospel.–Again, it is useful and necessary for promoting spiritual peace, and consolation of soul. “ Great peace have they who love thy law,

and nothing shall offend them.” Although peace and joy are not derived from sanctification as the ground of title to them, yet they are promoted by it as a means of them; they grow usually in proportion as it grows.-. But further, sanctification is very useful and beneficial to those around them. These things are good and profitable unto men.” It serves to gain others over to Christ. In this way, our light shines before men, and they, seeing our good works, glorify our Father which is in heaven. The believer who is advancing in sanctification is more useful than a thousand others.-In a word, it is very useful and necessary for maintaining communion with the holy Lord God. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness ? “ He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” Com. munion with God consists in receiving grace from him,

« PreviousContinue »