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Art thou a legal zealot, foft or rude?
Renounce thy natʼral and acquired good.
As bafe deceitful lufts may work thy fmart,
So may deceitful frames upon thy heart.
Seeming good motions may in fome be found,
Much joy in hearing, like the flony ground; *
Much forrow too in praying, as appears
In Efau's careful fuit with rueful tears. †
Touching the law, they blameless may appear, ‡
From fpurious views moft fpecious virtues bear.
Nor merely be devout in mens efteem,
But prove to be fincerely what they seem,
Friends to the holy law in heart and life,
Suers of heav'n with utmost legal ftrife;
Yet ftill with innate pride fo rankly spic'd,
Converted but to duties, not to Chrift;
That Publicans and harlots heav'n obtain
Before a crew fo righteous and fo vain.
Sooner will thofe fhake off their vicious drefs,
Than these blind zealots will their righteoufness,
Who judge they have (which fortifies their pride)
The law of God itfelf upon their fide.
Old nature, new brufh'd up with legal pains,
Such ftrict attachment to the law retains,
No means, no motives can to Jefus draw
Vain fouls, fo doubly wedded to the law.
But wouldft the glorious Prince in marriage have,
Know that thy nat'ral hufband cannot fave.
Thy beft effays to pay the legal rent
Can never, in the leaft, the law content.
Didft thou in pray'rs employ the morning light,
In tears and groans the watches of the night,
Pafs thy whole life in clofe devotion o'er;
'Tis nothing to the law ftill craving more.
There's no proportion 'twixt its high commands,
And puny works from thy polluted hands;
Perfection is the leaft that it demands.
"Wouldst enter into life, then keep the law tt;"
But keep it perfectly without a flaw.
+ Heb. xii. 17.
7 ́ Mat. xix. 17.
Luke viii. 13.
+ Mat. xxvi. 31.
It won't have lefs, nor will abate at laft
A drop of vengeance for the fin that's past:
Tell, finful mortal, is thy ftock fo large
As duly can defray this double charge?
"Why thefe are mere imp fibles," fayft thou:
Yea, truly f they are; and therefore now,
That down thy legal confidence may fall,
The law's black doom home to thy bofom call.
"LI (the divine law,) demand no lefs
"Than perfect, everlafling righteousness;
"Bit thou hait fail'd, and loft thy ftrength to Do:
"Terefore I dom thee to eternal wo;
"In prifon clfs to be shut up
"Ere I be baffled with thy partial pay.
"Thou always didit, and doft my precepts break; "I therefore curfe thee to the burning lake. "In God, the great Lawgiver's glorious name,
I judge thy foul to everlasting fhame."
No flesh can by the law be justified *.
Yet dareft thou thy legal duties plead?
As Paul appeal'd to Cefar, wilt thou fo
Unto the law? then to it thou fhalt go,
And find it doom thee to eternal wo.
What would ye have us plung'd in deep defpair?
Amen; yea. God himfelf would have you there.
His will it is that you defpair of life,
And fafety by the law or legal ftrife;
That cleanly thence divorc'd at any rate
His faireft Son may have a faithful mate.
Till this law-fentence pafs within your breaft,
You'll never wed the law-difcharging Priest.
You prize not heav'n, till he through hell you draw;
Nor love the gospel, till ye know the law.
Know then, the divine law moft perfect cares
For none of thy imperfect legal wares;
Doms thee to vengeance for thy finful ftate,
As well as finful actions fmall or great.
If any fin can be accounted fmall,
To hell it dooms thy foul for one and all.
For fins of nature, practice, heart, and way,
Damnation-rent it fummons thee to pay.
Yea, not for fin alone, which is thy fhame,
But for thy boafted fervice too, fo lame,
The Law adjudges thee and hell to meet,
Because thy righteoufnels is incomplete.
As tow'ring flames burn up the wither'd flags,
So will the fiery law thy filthy rags.
DIRECTION given with reference to the right ufe of the Means, that we reft not on these instead of CHRIST, the glorious Husband, in whom our belp lies.
ADAM, where art thou*? Soul, where art thou now?
Oh! art thou faying, Sir, what fhall I do †?
I dare not ufe that proud fell-raising ftrain,
Go help yourself, and God will help you then.
Nay, rather know, O Ifrael, that thou haft
Dettroy'd thy felf, and canft not in the leaft
From fin nor wrath thy felf the captive free.
Tay help, fays Jefus, only lies in me .
Heav'n's oracles direct to him alone,
Full help is laid upon thy mighty One.
In him, in him complete falvation dwells;
He's God the helper, and there is none elfe +.
Fig-leaves won't hide thee from the fiery fhow'r,
'Tis he alone that faves by price and pow'r.
Muft we do nothing then, will mockers fay,
But reft in floth till Heav'n the help convey?
Pray, ftop a little finner; don't abuse
God's awful word, that charges thee to use
Means, ordinances, which he's pleas'd to place
As precious channels of his pow'rful grace.
Refilefs improve all thefe, until from heav'n
The whole falvation needful thus be giv'n.
Wait in his path according to his call,
On him whofe pow'r alone effecteth all.
• Gen. iii. 9.
+ Isa, xlv. 22,
Would't thou him wed? In duties wait, I fay;
But marry not thy duties by the way.
Thou'it wotully come fhort of faving grace,
If duties only be thy refting place.
Nay, go a little further through them all,
To him whofe office is to fave from thrall,
Thus in a gofpel-manner hopeful wait,
Striving to enter by the narrow gate †;
Sofirait and narrow, that it won't admit
The bunch upon thy back to enter it.
Not only bulky lufts may ceale to prefs,
But ev'n the bunch of boafted righteoufnefs.
Many, as in the facred page we see,
Shall ftrive to enter, but unable be‡:
Becaule, miftaking this new way of life,
They pufh a legal, not a gospel strife:
As if their duties did JEHOVAH bind,
Because 'tis written, “Seek, and ye fhall find 4.”
Perverted fcripture des their error fence,
They read the letter, but neglect the fenfe.
While to the word no gofpel-glofs they give;
Their feek and find's the fame with do and live.
Hence would they a connection native place
Between their moral pains, and saving grace:
Their nat❜ral poor effays the Judge won't mifs,
In justice, to infer eternal blifs.
Thus commentaries on the word they make, Which to their ruin are a grand mistake: For, through the legal bias in their breaft, They fcripture to their own deftruction wreft. Why, if we feek, we get, they gather hence; Which is not truth, fave in the fcripture fenfe. There Jefus deals with friends, and elsewhere faith, Thefe feekers only speed that ask in faith **. "The prayer of the wicked is abhorr'd, "As an abomination to the Lord tt." Their fuits are fins, but their neglects no lefs, Which can't their guilt diminish, but increafe.
Song iii. 1,-4.
+ Matth. vii. 7.
+ Matth. vii. 13, 14. + Luke xiii. 24. **James i. 6. tt Prov. xv. 9. xxviii. 9.
They ought, like beggars, lie in grace's way;
Hence Peter taught the forcerer to pray *;
For though mere nat'ral mens addrefs or pray'rs
Can no acceptance gain as work of theirs,
Nor have, as their performance, any fway;
Yet as a divine ordinance they may.
But spotlefs truth has bund itself to grant
The fuit of none but the believing faint.
In Jefus perfons once accepted, do
Acceptance find in him for duties too.
For he, whofe Son they do in marriage take,
Is bound to hear them for their Hufband's fake.
But let no Chriftlefs foul, at pray'r appear,
As it JEHOVAH were oblig'd to hear :
But ufe the means, because a fov'reign God
May come with alms in this his wonted road.
He wills thee to frequent kind wifdom's gate,
To read, hear, meditate, to pray and wait;
Thy Spirit then be on thefe duties bent,
As gofpel means, but not as legal rent,
From thefe don't thy falvation hope nor claim,
But from JEHOVAH in the use of them.
The beggar's fpirit never was fo dull,
While waiting at the gate call'd Beautiful,
To hope for fuccour from the temple-gate,
At which he daily did fo careful wait:
But from the rich and charitable fort,
Wao to the temple daily made refort.
Means, ordinances. are the comely gate,
At which kind heav'n has bid us conftant wait:
Not that from thefe we have our alms, but from
The lib'ral God, who there is wont to come.
If either we thefe means fhall dare neglect,
Or yet from thefe th' enriching blifs expect,
We from the glory of the King defalk;
Who in the galleries is won't to walk;
We move not regular in duties road,
But base, invert them to an idol-god.
Seek then, if gofpel-means you would effay, Through grace to ufe them in a gofpel-way: