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the great fundamental doctrines of Christianity, he adds the following note :- This I shall show hereafter; and endeavour to rescue it from the madness of enthusiasm, on the one hand, and the absurdity of the common system on the other, and yet not betray it, in explaining it away, under the fashionable pretence of delivering the Scripture doctrine of it."-Book vi. Sec. 4. How far the Bishop has redeemed this pledge in his Ninth Book, we shall not at present inquire.- We have the admission of the vigorous and manly miod of Dr. Marsh, that the doo. trine of Justification by works, either in whole or in part, is a post utterly untenable, and that Justification by Faith alone, without works, is an impregnable fort which never should have been attacked, and that the defenders of it ever have been, and ever must be, victorious. Bishop Warburton declares that the common and fashionable mode of explaining the doctrine of Justification is, to explain it away, and to tetray the doctrine of Scripture, 'under the pretext of delivering it. These are confessions of the highest importance, and upon a subject which embraces the hopes and fears of men for eternity. If the general body of professed Christians, as both these writers affirm, directly or indirectly, are building upon a foundation that cannot support the hopes of a sinner, for pardon and reconciliation with God; and are doing that in opposition to the most explicit declarations and warnings from Himself, who points to his Son as the only foundation, and if many of those who claim to be the Ministers of Christianity, instead of directing men to build upon a rock, instruct them to raise a superstructure upon the sand (and this is nothing more than these two writers allow), the consequences are likely to be tremendously serious. A mistake on this subject is so in
finitely dangerous, that pious men, who unbappily bave not always preserved the accurate statement of the Scripture, yet in their happier bours, when they approach it, and tread this awful round with more measured and Cautious steps, forget their former mazes, and in the light of Divine truth find the Cross of Christ to be the life of the world, and every other refuge to be hopeless and vain.
A concern for the interests of practical religion and morality is the pretext, with which those who are hostile to the Scripture doctrine of Justification by Faith, cover their attacks upon it, though many of them as decidedly oppose themselves to the strictness of the morality the Gospel teaches, as to the doctritie of. Reconciliation which it proposes.
Others, it must be confessed, are men of different principles and aims, but have had their judgments warped by fears and alarms, that have arisen from the licentious conduct of some who have adopted the doctrine, and 'waptoned in injustice or in intemperance. There is scarcely a doctrine of Natural, or of Revealed - Religion, which is not liable to abuse, and which has not 'been abused. The mercy of God is the only refuge of sinners, and yet there is not a day that passes in which we do not see men abusing it. 'The long-suffering of God is a part of his moral character to which we all owe much, and yet “because sentence against an evil work is not speedily executed, the hearts of the children of men are set in them to do evil.” Shall we, therefore, cast a veil over the mercy and patience of God, lest sinners should continue to abuse them ? Shall we not rather endeavour to awaken their minds to this consideration, that the abuse of Divine mercy and patience will constitute the most awful condemnation ; and the longer
the blow is suspended, it will strike with the more transfixing agony at last. If men will abuse the doctrine of Justification by grace through Faith, they are bringing upon their own heads such thunderbolts of Divine vengeance aş cannot even glance upon rebel angels, and preparing themselves for a hell, which God has not prepared even for devils. But because Hypocrites, and Enthusiasts, and Antinomians, will talk of Justification by Faith in Christ, while they “burst his bands and cast his cords away from them,” shall we discard that doctrine of Acceptance which alone opens the door of mercy to sin. pers, and admits them through the blood of Christ to pardon and peace; that walking in the light of God's countenance and in good works here, they may, by the mercy of God, attain to everlasting glory in the world to come.
Though good works cannot put away our sins, por endure the severity of God's judgments, yet they hold a a high and a distinguished place in the Christian system. Though they are not the foundation, they are the gold, the silver, and the precious stones, the superstructure to he built on the true foundation. Those who contend for Justification by Faith in Christ, and those who contend for Justification by good works, differ exceedingly in the place they assign to the latter, in their different systems, but in the necessity of them to final Salvation, they are perfectly agreed, as will appear from the following considerations. First. The most strenuous advocates for the doctrine of Justification by Faith, are equally strenuous in asserting the inseparable connexion between Justification and Sanctification; that no man ever was, or will be, justified, without being sanctified; and of Sanctifi. cation, good works are the immediate germ which ripens into fruit, “in some sixty, and in others an bundred fold.” Were Justification by Faith alone to be taught as a soli. tary doctrine, unconnected with the other doctrines of the Gospel, it might be attended with the most miscbievous consequences; but taught as a part of the Christian sys. tem, in connexion with holiness and good works, it cannot be abused but intentionally, and will only be so, by deliberate wickedness; an abuse against which it is impossible to provide.-Second. Though holiness and good works are not the foundation, yet are they the very object of Christianity. Of the religion of innocence, boliness and good works were the foundation, as well as the object, and upon them all the hopes of man, before the fall, rested, and rested securely ; but the hopes of innocence being forfeited by the rebellion of man against his Creator, his sanctity and good works being gone, and new bopes being communicated to him, by God through the Redemption that is in his Son, the Saviour being the hope of Israel, bis Atonement became the foundation, and holiness and good works the superstructure to be raised upon it. But even the Mediation of Christ, and the influences of the Holy Spirit are only the MEANS, and not the End of religion. They are decessary to bring us to God, and to restore us to his image ; but holiness and good works are the great END for which these mighty means are employed. He who supposes that he can gain any benefit from religion, without attaining the END of all religión, must have an understanding so besotted, as well as a heart so corrupted, that while he continues in that state, all arguments must be lost opon him. -Tbird. The end for which our Saviour laid down bis life was to purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Now, he who seriously believes this to have been the intention of his Saviour, in the Redemption purchased by his blood, cannot but know that unless he attain this high prize of his calling, he can have no interest in the Saviour; and that good works are as necessary to justify his Faith to men, and to his own conscience, as Faith is to justify him before God.- Fourth. Good works are called the fruits of the Spirit. These, with the holy dispositions from which they proceed, are the only evidences that cannot be counterfeited, of our having the Spirit of God. So that in proportion as a man abounds in the works of righteousness, be abounds in the evidences of God's Spirit dwelling in him; and in proportion as he is defective in the works of Faith, and in the labours of love, his evidences of it must be scanty and defective; and, if he has no good works, or lives in sinful habits, he not only has no evidence at all that he is the Temple of God, by the Spirit; but the most decisive proof that he is dead in trespasses and sins.-Fifth. The doctrine of Justification by Faith in the Atonement of Christ, through which we have peace with God, is perfectly consistent with the doctrine of all men's being judged according to their works, at the last day. The first of these doctrines is not more forcibly stated by St. Paul, than the last of them is by our Saviour and his Apostles. " They that have done good, shall come forth to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.” Works, according to our Saviour's statement, will then be the only subject of trial, at that awful audit, and he who has neglected to practise justice and charity, has no other sentence to receive than “ Depart from me thou cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." He who believes this to be true, and every christian believes it, cannot but