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The New Creation.

The New Creation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


EPH. ii. 10.

" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them."
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


EPH. ii. 10.

" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them."

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THE EW CREATIO.

BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.
EPH. ii. 10.
" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them."
THE apostle in this chapter gives us a plain description
of the state of nature, and the state of grace : what
sort of people we are, as we proceed from the first
Adam ; and what we are made, when we are engrafted
into the second. He first puts the Ephesians in mind
how they had been dead in trespasses and sins, and
that not only they, but we also, we the disciples of
Christ, \ve are all "by nature the children of wrath,
even as others V The children of wrath, because the
children of disobedience, walking according to the
course of this world, according to the prince of the
power of the air, and so directly contrary to the laws
of God ; who is, therefore, justly displeased with us,
and hath passed the sentence of death, even of eternal
death, upon all ; and will most certainly execute it
upon every one that goes out of this world no better
than he came into it.
But, then, on the other side, the apostle saith, that
" when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us
1 Eph. ii. 3.
THE EW CREATIO. 309
together with Christ, and hath raised us up together 2 ."
He hath raised us up to a new and spiritual life, that we
may not only escape the death to which we were before
condemned, but "sit together in heavenly places in
Christ Jesus," and so enjoy everlasting life and hap
piness.
But this the apostle ascribes wholly to the grace of
God. " For," saith he, " by grace ye are saved through
faith 3 ." By grace on God s part, and through faith on
ours ; through faith in Christ as the way whereby we
come to be interested in his merits and mediation.
And " that," too, is " not of ourselves : it is the gift of
God : not of works," not of any thing which we ourselves
can do, either to effect or to deserve it, " lest any man
should boast 4 :" but that God may have all the glory.
ow for the further illustration and proof of this
great doctrine here delivered by the apostle, he adds
these remarkable words, " For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
In which few words, rightly understood, there are many
things much to be observed by all that concern them
selves in good earnest about their future state; and
therefore I shall endeavour to explain them in the
same order wherein they lie.
The apostle, therefore, to shew that the great change,
that is made in us when we are brought out of the
state of nature into that of grace, is wrought in us
wholly and solely by God himself, first observes, in
general, that "we are his workmanship," not only as
men, but as Christians; not only as creatures, but as
new creatures ; we are made such also by him, by
whom we were at first made ; whatsoever means or
instruments may be used in bringing it about, he is the
efficient cause, he is the principal agent. Paul may
plant, and Apollos water; but it is God that giveth
the increase 5 . So that the whole new man also, with
every part of it, is his workmanship.
2 Eph. ii. 5, 6. 3 Ver. 8.
4 Ver. 8, 9. 5 1 Cor. iii. 6.
310 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
It is his workmanship as much as the creation of
the world was ; for, as the apostle here adds, " We are
created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Here, it
seems, a new creation, or production of something- out
of nothing, though not of matter and substance, yet of
qualities and endowments : piety and virtue being
made to spring up where there was no such thing
before, nothing like it, but rather the quite contrary;
and therefore David prayed that God would "create
in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within
him 6 ." He had an heart before ; but it could not be
a clean heart, unless it was created again. He had a
spirit before ; but that spirit must be renewed before
it could be a right spirit, right in the sight of God,
and set to obey his commandments.
But, to distinguish this from the first creation, the
apostle here saith, that we "are created in Christ
Jesus;" and elsewhere, that "in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but
a new creature 7 ," as the words there signify ; and " if
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature 8 ." It is
still in Christ that this creation is effected, or the new
creature made. This is the great mystery of godliness
that is revealed in the Gospel ; out of which I shall,
therefore, endeavour to set it in such a light, that we
may all see what to believe concerning it, and what to
do, that we may be eternally the better for it.
For which purpose, we may first observe, that this
Jesus Christ being both God and man in one Person ;
as God, he was neither made nor created ; but, as man,
he was " made of a woman 9 ," and created immediately
by God himself, according to that of the prophet, " The
Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman
shall compass a man ." "The man that is my fellow,
saith the Lord of hosts 2 ." "One who, being in the
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with
God 3 ;" and yet, nevertheless, " took upon him the
6 Ps. li. 10. 7 Gal. vi. 15. 2 Cor. v. 17.
Gal. iv. 4. Jer. xxxi. 22. 2 Zech. xiii. 7.
3 Phil. ii. 6.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 311
form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of
men V He was made so by the immediate act of God
himself, as the first man was; for as the Lord God
formed Adam of the dust of the ground 5 , so he formed
Christ of the flesh or substance of the Virgin ; to whom
the angel said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee :
therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of
thee shall be called the Son of God 6 ." Where we see
that Jesus Christ, who was to be born, is not called
only an holy God, or holy man, but "that holy thing,"
a thing, made up of God and man together ; such a
thing as never was before, any otherwise than in the
decree and promise of God ; but now it began actually
to exist by the power of the Highest. It was by that,
that the manhood was both formed and united to the
Divine Person. And so, in both respects, that holy
thing, Christ Jesus, was the workmanship of God,
created, as the first man was, by his almighty power.
And as the first man was not only a single human
person, but one in whom all mankind was then con
tained, and, therefore, had no proper name given him,
but was called Adam, that is, man, man in general ;
so Christ took not on him the nature of one or more
particular human persons, but the whole human nature,
the nature of man in general. And, therefore, although
there were millions of human persons between the
first man and him, yet the man Christ Jesus is called
" the second man V The second that was man in gene
ral, as the first was; and for the same reason he is
called also " the last Adam 8 ," because the whole nature
of man was in him, as well as it was in the first Adam.
And that, too, with this mighty advantage, that it was
in the first only as in a finite human person, but in the
last in a Person that is infinite and divine, so as to
make but one person with him ; for that which was
formed of the substance of the blessed Virgin never
subsisting of itself, but being from its first conception
4 Phil. ii. 7. 5 Gen. ii. 7. 6 Luke i. 35.
7 1 Cor. xv. 47. Ver. 45.
312 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
united to the Godhead, could not make a person of
itself distinct from the divine ; but as the reasonable
soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one
Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into
the flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.
ow the manhood in general, or whole human
nature, being thus in God our Saviour, whatsoever he
did or suffered as man, was done and suffered by the
whole nature of man ; and it being done and suffered
in an infinite Person, it could not but be of infinite
worth and merit for those who are of that nature.
Hence it is, that as our whole nature was corrupted
in the first man, it is cleansed and sanctified in the
second; "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be
made alive 9 ." " As by one man s disobedience many
were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall
many be made righteous ." And as in Adam we fell
from the happy estate in which we were created, so
we were restored to it by being created again in Christ
Jesus.
But that we may be so, as we come by nature from
the first Adam, we must come to the last by faith;
that is, we must believe and trust on him for it, accord
ing to the revelations that God hath given us, and the
promises which he hath made us in him ; that being
the way that God himself hath appointed in his holy
word whereby to come to Christ, so as to have all that
he did and suffered in our common nature applied to
our own particular persons ; as appears from the whole
design and tenour of the Gospel, where faith is all
along required in order to our obtaining any of the
blessings that he hath merited for us ; insomuch that
they who do not believe have no part or portion in
him, no more than as if he had never been made man,
but are still in their natural state, just as they pro
ceeded from the first Adam ; whereas they who truly
believe are taken out of the first, and grafted into the
second, so as to be made branches of him, the true
9 1 Cor. xv. 22. l Rom. v. 19.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 313
vine ; members of that body, whereof Christ himself is
head. And being in him, they partake of all the
merits of the death he suffered, and of all that he ever
did, or is now doing, in their nature : in him they
have pardon and peace ; in him they have righteous
ness and strength ; in him they are made new crea
tures, for they are " created in Christ."
They are created much after the same manner as all
things were at first ; for as all things were at first
created by the word of God, so are they by the Word
made flesh, and by the Word made known unto them ;
for they are created, or " born again, not of corruptible
seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which
liveth and abideth for ever 2 ." There is only this dif
ference, that whereas, in the first creation of all
things, there being nothing to believe or disbelieve his
Word, " God only commanded, and they were created 3 ."
But in this new creation, men being before made, and
made free agents, capable of believing or not believing
what is said, "The Word worketh effectually only in
them who believe 4 ." And that is the reason that
none but they who believe, are created in Christ Jesus;
but all that do so are.
Again, when God in the beginning had created the
heavens and the earth, it is said, that "the Spirit of
God moved upon the face of the waters 5 ." So that by
" the Word of the Lord were the heavens made ; and
all the host of them by the breath, or Spirit, of his
mouth 6 ." He first by his Word raised the heavens out
of nothing, giving them a being or existence in gene
ral ; then by his Spirit he made all the hosts of them,
that is, all things wherewith they were to be furnished
and adorned, bringing them all into their proper place
and order, that every thing might be, and act, and
move, as he designed it should ; so here, when any are
created in Christ Jesus, his Spirit moves upon their
souls, and reduces all their powers and faculties into a
2 1 Pet. i. 23. 3 Ps. cxlviii. 5. 4 1 Thess. ii. 13.
5 Gen, i. 2. 6 Ps. xxxiii. 6.
314 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
right order and disposition again, "so as to quicken 7 ,"
" renew 8 ," " regenerate 9 ," and make them another sort
of creatures than they were before : before they were
natural, now supernatural ; before carnal, now spiritual
creatures ; " For that which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit ." As
they were at first born, they were all flesh ; by this
new birth, they are all over spirit, of the same pure
and spiritual nature with Him of whom they are born
again; and, therefore, as before "they were the off
spring of Adam, they are now made the children of
God V " And if children, then heirs : heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ 3 ," in whom they are thus
created. Such a wonderful change is wrought in
those who are created in Christ Jesus, in all respects
as much to be admired as the first creation of all
things out of nothing !
Moreover, as, in the first creation, the first particular
thing that God made was " light V so it is in this new
creation. Before God made light, it is said, " that
darkness was upon the face of the abyss, or deep 5 ."
And so it is in this case, darkness is upon the face of
all mankind by nature; the worst sort of darkness,
even spiritual darkness, covers them all over; so that
although they have eyes to see other things, they can
not see the things that belong to their everlasting
peace, nor discern so much as the true difference be
tween good and evil; much less can they see God,
though his glory shines continually about them, no
more than a man that is stark blind can see the sun at
noon-day. And as for the gospel of Christ, they are so
far from seeing anything of that, that they laugh at
those who profess to see any thing in it, as the apostle
observes, "The preaching of Christ crucified is to the
Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolish
ness 6 ." And all because the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God, " For they are
7 John vi. 63. 8 Tit. iii. 5. 9 John iii. 5.
1 John iii. 6. " Rom. viii. 14. 3 Ib. ver. 17.
4 Gen. i. 3. 5 Ib. ver. 2. c 1 Cor. i. 23.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 315
foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, be
cause they are spiritually discerned 7 ."
There are many such natural men in the world; indeed,
the far greatest part of men are such : but the condition
of all such is very sad and deplorable ; for however they
may flatter themselves at present, they will find the apos
tle s words to be true, " If our gospel be hid, it is hid to
them that are lost : in whom the god of this world hath
blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image
of God, should shine unto them 8 ." If they believed,
the god of this world could have no power over them :
but seeing they will not believe, he carrieth them cap
tive at his will, keeps them in the dark, and leads them
blindfold to the place allotted for unbelievers. either
is it possible to be avoided without having their eyes
opened : they must first be turned from darkness to
light, before they can be turned from the power of
Satan unto God 9 . But " God, who commanded the
light to shine out of darkness, shines in the hearts"
of those who are created anew, " to give them the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God 4n the face of
Jesus Christ V " who is the Light of the world -," " the
true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into
the world 3 ." So that no man ever had, or can have,
any light but from him. Who, therefore, saith, that
he " came a Light into the world, that whosoever be-
lieveth on him should not abide in darkness 4 ;" and,
therefore, all who believe, and so are created in him,
are so far from abiding any longer in darkness, that
they are immediately enlightened by him with such a
light, whereby they both see and feel the wondrous
things of his law and gospel, and all things relating to
their eternal happiness and salvation, which lie hid to
all other mortals ; for he, the Sun of righteousness,
shines not only about them and upon them, but in
them ; spreading his bright beams all over their hearts,
7 1 Cor. ii. 14. 8 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 9 Acts xxvi. 18.
1 2 Cor. iv. 6. 2 John viii. 12. 3 John i. 9.
4 John xii. 26.
316 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
so as not only to open the eyes of their understanding,
but to fill their whole souls with so clear a sight, and
so quick a sense of what he would have them to be
lieve and do, that their wills also are inclined to it.
There is no need of any force ; for when they so plainly
see it to be for their own benefit and advantage, they
cannot but of their own accord choose to believe and
live as he would have them. This is that " marvellous
light " to which they are called, " who are created in
Jesus Christ 5 ."
Passing over the other parts of the creation, let us
in the next place consider how man himself was at first
made. God said, " Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness ." Here we see several Persons
were pleased to manifest themselves as concerned and
agreeing in making man, which could be no other than
those who are before mentioned, or implied in the
rest of the creation, even God himself 7 , "the Spirit
of God 8 ," and the Word 9 , " by whom all things were
made ." So it was when the second man was made.
" The Word was then made flesh V He was made so
by the Spirit of God coming upon the blessed Virgin,
and by the power of the Highest overshadowing her;
and was therefore " called the Son of God 3 ," even of
God the Father. And so it is also when any particular
men are created in Christ Jesus. They are created by
the Father, the Creator of all things : he creates them
in his Son, Christ, and by his Spirit moving upon them,
as we before shewed.
But that which is chiefly to be observed in our
present case is, " that God created man in his own
image, after his own likeness," as like unto himself as
it was possible for such a creature to be made in know
ledge, holiness, and power over all earthly creatures.
And, as the first man was made in the image of God,
so the second, even Jesus Christ, " He is the image of
5 1 Pet. ii. 9. 6 Gen. i. 26. 7 Ver. 1.
8 Ver. 2. 9 Ver. 3.
1 Jobni. 3. Eph. iii. 9. Col. i. 16. 2 John i. 14.
3 Luke i. 35.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 317
God 4 ," " the express image of his person 5 ;" and when
any are created in him, they are said " to put on Christ,"
and so " the image of God 6 ," " and to put on the new
man, which after God," or according to his likeness,
" is created in righteousness and true holiness 7 ," " and
renewed in knowledge after the image of him that
created him 8 ;" and therefore all such " partake of the
divine nature 9 ," even of the holiness of God, which
is his nature I0 , being made " holy, as he who hath called
them is holy in all manner of conversation H ."
From these things, thus briefly touched upon, we
may see how truly they who believe as the gospel
requires are here said to be created in Christ Jesus,
what excellent creatures they are made, and how far
they exceed all other men, and themselves, too, before
they were so created. Before, their whole souls were
disordered and out of tune : now they are restored to a
right frame and temper again ; they have a right un
derstanding and judgment in all necessary things.
They always exercise themselves to keep their con
sciences void of offence towards God and men. They
look upon all things in the world as nothing in com
parison of him that made them ; and, therefore, they
love him with all their hearts, they put their whole
trust arid confidence in him, they fear nothing but him,
they rejoice continually in him, and account it their
only pleasure to please him, and their greatest honour
to honour him. It grieves them to the heart to see
his holy name dishonoured, or his service slighted; and
if they themselves ever happen to omit their daily
prayers, or any duty which they owe to him, they are
restless and uneasy until they return to it ; for, their
minds being wholly bent upon doing what he whose
image they bear would have them, whatsoever draws
them aside, goes against the grain ; they set the Lord
God Almighty always before them, and therefore are
4 2 Cor. iv. 4. Col. i. 15. 5 Heb. i. 3.
c Rom. xiii. 14. Gal. iii. 27. 7 Eph. iv. 24.
8 Col. iii. 10. 9 2 Pet. i. 4. 10 Heb. xii. 10.
11 1 Pet. i. 15.
318 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
always humble and lowly in their own eyes, and meek,
patient, and submissive to his divine will : in short, the
law of God being written again in their hearts, their
whole nature is changed ; insomuch that, as all things
naturally tend to their proper end, so do they to that
for which they are created.
What that is, the apostle here teacheth, saying,
"That we are created in Christ Jesus unto good
works ;" we are not created to sit still and do nothing,
much less to do ill ; but to do good works ; that is the
end of the second creation, as it was of the first. At
first, "the Lord made all things for himself," even to
shew forth the glory of his infinite wisdom, power,
goodness, and such other perfections as could be ex
erted in the contrivance, production, and establishment
of the world, and all things in it : but here are two of
his divine perfections, even " grace," or " mercy " and
" truth," for which there was yet no occasion, or object ;
but when man was fallen, he was pleased to manifest
them, by redeeming or creating him again in Christ
Jesus. By whom it is therefore said, that "grace and
truth came," or appeared, " in the world V Grace, in
the many promises which he hath made to fallen
man ; and his truth, in the faithful performance of the
same.
ow this will give us great light into what we are
to understand by the " good works," unto which we are
" created in Christ Jesus." ot that divine temper of
mind, or those excellent qualities and virtues, where
with such are inwardly endued ; but such overt acts
which proceed from them to the honour and glory of
our Almighty Creator. This we learn from our Lord s
own words to his disciples, " Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven 3 ." For from
hence it appears that, although we are not to do good
works therefore only that men may see them, and so
make that our end in doing them, yet, that our works
1 Prov. xvi. 4. 2 John i. 17. 3 Matt. v. 16.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 319
may be good, they must be such as men may see, and
glorify God for them ; according to that of his apostle
also to all Christians, " Having your conversation honest
among the Gentiles : that, whereas they speak against
you as evil-doers, they may by your good works,
which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of
visitation V They should be such works as men may
behold, and praise and glorify God for giving such
power to men, that they, who of themselves can do
nothing but sin, should be enabled by him to do good ;
which is much for the glory of his grace and truth
revealed in the gospel of Christ ; and the great end
wherefore any are created in him, even " to shew forth
the praises," or " virtues, of him who hath called them
out of darkness into his marvellous light 5 ." And,
therefore, as all such are to aim at "the glory of God"
in all their works, without which they cannot be
good G , so they must strive all they can to do such
works as may really tend to his glory, as ever they
desire to answer the end of their creation, by doing
good works.
To make this more plain, it will be necessary to
instance in some of those works which are truly good,
and therefore commanded, because of their tendency
to the ultimate end of all things, even the glory
of our almighty Creator and most merciful Saviour;
as, for example, to make open and public profession
to the world of our faith in God and our Saviour,
according to the revelations which he hath made of
himself, and his will, to mankind in the Holy Scripture
given by his inspiration ; to testify and confirm that our
profession by our constant attendance at his public
worship, to adore and pray to him, and him alone, for
what we want, and to praise his holy name for the
wondrous works that he hath done and still doth in the
world ; to frequent that holy Sacrament which he hath
ordained in memory of the death he suffered in our
4 1 Pet. ii. 12. 5 1 Pet. ii. 9. 1 Cor. x. 31.
320 THE EW CREATIO". [SERM.
nature, and for our salvation ; to vindicate and defend
his Church, wherein alone he is truly served and glori
fied, against all its enemies, that, according to his pro
mise, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it;"
to do what we can that his name may be known, and
his gospel propagated, all the world over ; that all kings
may fall down before him, and all nations serve him;
to erect, support, endow, and adorn, places where he
may be duly and devoutly worshipped, and to see that
his worship be accordingly performed by all that we
have any power over, especially by ourselves; to in
struct young and ignorant people in the principles of
the Christian religion, " that they may know the true
God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent," and what
he would have them to believe and do, that they may
serve him and be happy; to instruct those, also, in
meekness, who oppose themselves, if God peradventure
will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the
truth ; to reprove and rebuke such as blaspheme, or
profane, God s holy name, or dishonour his gospel by
any lewd and immoral practices ; to use all means to
bring them to a sense of their sin, and so turn them to
righteousness and true holiness ; to administer justice
truly and indifferently, to the punishment of wicked
ness and vice, and to the maintenance of God s true
religion and virtue; to compose any differences that
arise in Church or State, or between private persons ;
and so make peace ; to succour, help, and comfort, such
as are in danger, necessity, or any tribulation ; to de
fend and provide for the fatherless children and widows,
the sick and needy, desolate or oppressed, and all for
his sake, who hath promised to take care of such ; to
be true and just in all our dealings with men, that they
may see we prefer our duty before v any worldly interest ;
to choose resolutely to suffer the loss of all we have,
even of life itself, rather than do any thing whereby we
may seem to deny God, dishonour his holy name, or
wilfully break his laws : these, and such like, which
appear at first sight to tend to the honour and glory of
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 321
the most high God, are the good works unto whicli we
are created in Christ Jesus, and which we are, there
fore, all bound to do, according to our several abilities.
Which I therefore add, because it is implied in the
following words of my text; the apostle here saying,
that we are " created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained," or, as the word sig
nifies, " prepared, that we should walk in them." For
as he hath prepared us to walk in good works, so he
hath prepared good works for us to walk in. They,
who are created in Christ Jesus, are thereby restored
to a sound mind, and every way qualified and disposed
to do what their Creator would have them. They are
Xenlightened, renewed, sanctified, and led, by his good
Spirit ; and, therefore, as naturally do good works, as a
good tree bringeth forth good fruit. But as every
good tree bringeth forth its own proper fruit, such as
God designed it should when he made it; so every
one that is created in Christ Jesus doth such good
works as He hath fore-ordained, or prepared, for them
to do. one of them can do all ; but every one doth
all he can in that place and state of life in which God
is pleased for that purpose to set him. Some he ad-
vanceth to an higher degree, to greater authority and
larger estates, than others ; and for them he, therefore,
hath prepared greater and more good works to do, than
for those which he confines to a lower rank and nar
rower circumstances. But there is no condition that a
man can be in, be it never so mean, but he hath some
good works or other prepared for him, which he may
do if he will ; and will, too, if he be created in Christ
Jesus. Otherwise he may conclude himself not to be
created in him. He, in the parable, that had but " one
talent," was bound to improve that one, as he who had
"five" improved all his five for his master s use: and
because he did it not, he was judged to be a wicked
and slothful servant, and punished accordingly 7 .
Wherefore it highly concerns us who believe in God,
7 Matt. xxi. 30.
322 THE EW CREATIO. [SERM.
to " be careful to maintain good works 8 ." ot only
some few, but all which God hath prepared that we
should walk in them. ot only do them now and then,
by the by, but walk in them through the whole course
of our life, keeping always as close as we can to the
steps of our great Master, " who went about doing
good 9 ." So should we who profess ourselves to be his
disciples, and created in him unto good works: we
should be always doing, or at least contriving how to
do, good in the world ; that we may not live in vain
and to no purpose, as most people do, but to the great
end for which we were created.
I am very sensible that we can never set about any
good work, especially if it be more than ordinary, but
we shall meet with many rubs and difficulties in the
way, raised by the common adversary of mankind, or
such as he employs to hinder all good, and carry on his
wicked designs. But we must not regard that, but still
go on, trusting and depending upon Him, who sets us
on work, to carry us through it. "We can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth us 1 ." As it
is in him that we are created unto good works, in him
we have strength to do. all that he requires of us, who
requires no more than what we can do by his assist
ance. And " if there be first a willing mind, it is
accepted according to that a man hath, not according
to that he hath not 2 ." It is accepted, not for any
worth, or merit, in what we do, but through him by
whom we do it, who doth not only supply us with grace
to obey the will of God, as far as is required in this our
imperfect state, but makes up the defects of our obe
dience with the merits of his own. For he having in
our nature been obedient through the whole course of
his life unto death, as God is pleased to accept of his
death instead of ours, so he accepts of our obedience
for the sake of his, whatsoever is wanting in our per
sons being abundantly supplied by the infinite merits
s Tit. iii. 8. <J Acts x. 38.
1 Phil. iv. 13. 2 2 Cor. viii. 12.
XV.] THE EW CREATIO. 323
of what he did and suffered in our nature. And hence
it is, that they " who are created in Christ Jesus unto
good works" really do the good works unto which they
are created. For though the works they do be not
perfectly in themselves good, yet God is pleased to
look upon them as good through him in whom they
are created ; otherwise they could not be called " good
works," as they are in this and many other places of
Holy Scripture. Wherein we are also assured, that all
the spiritual sacrifices we offer, all the good works we
do, although in themselves imperfect, yet are " accept
able to God by Jesus Christ 3 ;" which, therefore, that
ours may be, whensoever we have done any good work,
we must lift our hearts to Christ in heaven, and trust
on him to perfume it with the incense of his merits,
and then we need not doubt but God will be well
pleased with it.
The premisses being thus briefly laid down, it is easy
to observe, that, as none can do good works, but they
who are "created in Christ Jesus;" so to manifest
ourselves to be created in him, it is absolutely neces
sary that we do all the good works we can in our
several vocations and callings ; and that they who do
so are the most happy persons upon earth, whatsoever
their outward condition may be, and howsoever other
people may say or think of them. For they do the
will of God upon earth, as it is done in heaven : they
shine as lights in the world : they have the honour
to honour God, and to be honoured by him 4 . They
have the pleasure of pleasing him that governs the
whole world, who therefore takes them into his own
particular care and protection ; makes their enemies
"to be at peace with them 5 ;" supplies them with all
things necessary both for life and godliness ; directs
and prospers them in all their undertakings ; makes all
things work together for their good while they live,
and then saith to every one of them, " Well done, good
3 1 Pet. ii. 5. 4 1 Sam. ii. 30.
5 Prov. xvi. 7.
Y2
324 THE EW CREATIO.
and faithful servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy
Lord."
" ow the God of peace, that brought again from
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant^
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and
ever 6 ."
6 Heb. xiii. 20, 21.
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