Others rely upon a mixed kind of righteousness: they will freely own, that their duties and performances will never exalt them into favour and acceptance with God; but, O, say they, it is Christ and our duties, Christ and our prayers, He and our tears and repentance, that must do it. But believe it, Sirs, Christ and the idol of self will never cement; these old rotten rags will never piece in with the white and new robe of righteousness of the Son of God: and if you adventure to mingle them together, ‘Christ shall profit you nothing,’ Gal. v. 2, 3, 4. Other’s again, they will pretend to renounce all their works and duties, and own, with their own mouth, yet still their hearts cleave fast unto a covenant of works; they were never through the law, dead to the law; and when nothing else will do, they will make their own act of believing the righteousness on which they lean for acceptance, which is still a seeking righteousness in themselves: whereas, if ever we be justified before God, we must have it in the Lord Jesus, saying, ‘In Him will we be justified and in Him alone will we glory.’ Faith carries the soul quite out of itself; yea, faith renounces its own act in the point of justification. All these, and many other rooms and lying refuges, hath the devil and our own hearts devised, to lead us off from Christ. But, O Sirs, believe it, these are but imaginary sanctuaries , and the hail will sweep them away. Nothing but the doing and dying of the Surety, apprehended by faith, will ever exalt you unto favour and fellowship with God, or acquit you from the curse and condemnation of the broken law.
Rev. Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), The Whole Works of the Late Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, 1:105–06 (Sermon on Psalm 89:16).
(HT: Inwoo Lee)