Mark the perfect [man]
None are so in themselves, not the most holy man upon earth; for though all grace is implanted at once in regeneration, the seed of grace of every kind is cast into the heart at once; yet it opens and spreads, and gradually increases; nor is any grace in its exercise perfect; not faith, nor hope, nor love: sin is in the best of men, and all stand in need of fresh supplies of grace. None of the saints ever affirmed that they had arrived to perfection, but have disclaimed it: one saint may indeed attain to a greater degree of grace and knowledge than another, and in a comparative sense be perfect; and there is a perfection of parts, though not of degrees, in all; the new man is formed in all its parts, though these are not grown to their full perfection: and whereas perfection often denotes truth and sincerity, such may be said to be perfect, that is, sincere, who have received the grace of God in truth, have the, truth and root of the matter in them; so Noah, Job, and others, are said to be perfect men; but not simply and absolutely in themselves, but as in Christ Jesus; who has obtained complete redemption, perfectly fulfilled the law for them, fully expiated their sins, procured the entire pardon of them, and brought in an everlasting righteousness, by which they are justified from all sin, and are perfectly comely, and a perfection of beauty, through the comeliness of Christ put upon them;
and behold the upright;
the man that is upright in heart and conversation, who has a right spirit renewed in him, and the uprightness of Christ showed unto him; or, in other words, who has the truth of grace within him, and the righteousness of Christ upon him: such men are to be marked, observed, viewed, and considered, as rare and uncommon men; and to be imitated and followed in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; and especially the end of such persons is to be marked and beheld, as follows;
for the end of [that] man [is] peace:
such a man now enjoys a conscience peace, which passes the understanding of worldly men; and which he possesses in Christ, and from him, amidst a variety of tribulations, arising from a view of interest in his blood and righteousness; and, generally speaking, goes off the stage of life, if not triumphing, yet resigned to the will of God, and in a serene and tranquil frame of spirit, and even desiring to be gone, and to be with Christ, and to have leave, with good old Simeon, to depart in peace; and as soon as they are departed they enter into peace, into the joy of their Lord, into his presence, where is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore; see ( Numbers 23:10 ) .