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also be considered, in our Justification in this Lise, Christ is considered in the special Character of our Redeemer, our Propitiation, and High Priests and accordingly applies the Benesits of his Redemption to our Souls, that we may be accepted in him; but in the great Day of Accounts, he will appear in the special Character of our Judge, publickly owning and rewarding thofe Graces which he ha-s enabled us to exercise, and that Obedience which he has excited and strengthened us to perform.—*In our Justification here, he is glorifying the Riches of bis redeeming Mercy and Love: In the Day of Judgment he will glorify his rectoral Holiness and Equity, as well as his insinite bounty, and let the intelligent World see, that the Judge of all the Earth willdo right.—Here he justifies the Ungodly, by acquitting them from Guilt, and imputing Righteousness without Works; there he will reward the'Godly, by crowning their Piety and Holiness with eternal Lise. Here our Justification is the Foundation and Fountain of our new Obedience, as I have before shewn you; there we are to receive the Reward of our Obedience already performed and sinished.—In our Justification here Christ acts from the Motives only of his sovereign Grace and Love : In the sinal Sentence he will proceed according to the Rules of distributive remunerative Justice, in adjusting and proportioning Rewards.—So that from the Nature- of Things it is agreeable that we should here be justified by Faith only; but there judged according to our Works.
And now, Sir, will you indulge me the same Freedom which you have hitherto born with ; and allow me to be your saithsul Monitor in an Instance or two?
I would sirst put you in Mind, that it is of much greater Consequence to your highest Interests, to
make make it evident to yourself, that you are indeed justisied in the Sight of God, than to exercise your Mind with this arbitrary Distinction of a sirst and second Justisication. If you are indeed interested in Christ by Faith; if you do indeed experience, a Change of Heart and Lise in Consequence of your Faith in him, and make a Progress in the divine Lise, in the Mortisication of your Corruptions, in Love toGod and your Neighbour, and in Heavenlymindedness and Spirituality, you will not be examined at the Bar of your Judge about your Acquaintance with these modern Distinctions; or, whether those Qualisications which will then be gloriously rewarded, are the Fruits of the sirst, or the Conditions of a secondary Justisication.
I would again entreat you to consider, that the Lise of a Christian is a Life of Faith in the Son of God. We are not only justified by Faith, but we are faved by Faith; and the Just muft live by Faith. Whatever becomes of this Debate, you may be therefore certain, that you can be no longer sase, than while you are humbly committing your Soul to Christ as to the Author of your eternal Salvation, depending upon him as the Lord your Righteousness; and expecting all Supplies of Grace from his Fulness.—-And believe me, Sir, a lively Exercise of Faith in Christ will afford you more present Comfort, will much more quicken you in Devotion and true Holiness; and more strengthen and establish you in every good Work, in your Progress to the heavenly Kingdom, than all your Studies in these fruitless Doctrines about a first and fecondary Justisication.
I will take Leave to add once more, that the Way to Heaven is certainly a Way of Holinefs; and without Holinefs you can never fee God. It therefore concerns you to look to the Fountain of Holiness ness for all Supplies of Grace, to watch over your Heart and Lise, to endeavour and pray for a holy Consormity to the whole Will of God; and amidst and aster all, to bring your great Desects to the Blood ofChrist for Pardon; and continually implore the divine Influences, that the Work of Grace may be carried on in your Soul with Power, till you arrive without Spot and blamelefs, before the Throne of your Sovereign and righteous Judge.
That you may thus be directed sase, amidst all the Snares and Delusions in your Way, is the Prayer of,
LETTER XV. Wherein the Apostle James's Doctrine of Justification by Works, in his fecond Chapter, is distinctly reviewed, and fet in its genuine Light, by a Comparison with the Apostle Paul's Doctrine of Justification by Faith.
YOU " acknowledge, that if it were not for one "Difficulty in your Way, you should thinfi "the Evidence ofsered against the Doctrine you "have propofed, must be conclusive: But you do "not know how to give into a Scheme that is "not only expressly contradicted, but particularly "resuted, in the Word of God.—The Apostle "Paul, you say, does indeed seem to speak in "Favour of my Principles ; but he ought to be "interpreted by the Apostle James, who expressly
"reject* "rejects my Interpretation of St. Paul's Discourses
"on the Subject before us. What Appearance
"therefore soever there may be, in Favour of my "Principles, in St. Paul's Epistles, these must not "be understood in direct Contradiction to the ex"press Declarations of another inspired Writer.—, "You therefore desire me to stiew, how it is possible "to reconcile my Scheme with the Doctrine of "St. James, in the second Chapter of his Epistle, "from the fourteenth Verse to the End."
If this be all your remaining Difficulty, I hope it will not prove an hard Matter to give you sull Satissaction, that theDoctrine of the Apostle James, in the Place reserred to, is noways inconsistent with the Doctrine of our Justijication by Faith, so plainly and sully taught by the Apostle Paul in all his Epistles; and therefore, that our Justisication by Works (in the Sense that I oppofe it) has no Foundation at all in the whole Word of God.
That this may be set in a proper Light, there are two or three Things necessary to be premised, and distinctly considered, previous to a direct and immediate View of the Consistency and Concurrence of these two Apostles, in the Doctrine of a Sinner's Justification by Faith, notwithstanding their seeming Disagreement and Repugnancy.
It should sirst be premised, that these two Apostles must be understood in such a Sense as will make them consijlent. We must take this for a Principle, that whatever becomes of our Schemes, on one Side or the other, the Spirit of God cannot be inconsistent with himself, nor teach contrary Doctrines.—That Interpretation therefore must be right, which will nuke them consistent; and that must be rejected, which sets them at Variance, and makes their Doctrines utterly irreconcilable.
B b It It should be likewise premised, that the Apostle James must be understood in such a Sense as will make him consistent with himself. We may not suppofe, that he teaches such a Doctrine in this Part of the second Chapter, as is repugnant to the Doctrine which he himself teaches elsewhere, in the same Epistle—Let us then see if we can't find the Doctrine I am pleading for taught in this very Epistle of James, particularly in Chap. i. ver. j,6, 7. If any of you lack Wisdom, let him ask osGd, nibo giveth to all Men liberally and upbraideth ml; and it shall be given him. But iet him ask in Faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth, is like 1 Wave of the Sea, driven of the Wind, and tof:i For let not that Man think that he shall recthi any Thing of the Lord. From whence I argue, is Faith be the Way to divine Acceptance and Audience of our Prayers, the Means by which our Duties wHl find a gracious Reception with God, and without which they will be rejected, then we arc justified by Faith, and not by Works. For it is undoubtedly true, that what justifies our Obedience, and renders that acceptable to God, does likewise justify our Persons, and render them acceptable to him. And our Works can have no Hand in justifying our Persons, if our Works themselves are justified by Faith; but condemned and rejected without it, as the Apostle teaches us in the cited Text. So we learn from Chap. v. 1 j, 16. that the effectual servent Fray er of the righteous Man is the Pray er of Faith.
Moreover, if spiritual Wisdom, or practical Holiness, be the Fruit and Effect of Faith (as we ate told that it is in the quoted Text) then our Justification and Acceptance with God (by which we do, and without which we cannot obtain the divine Influences to our progressive Sanctification) is by Faith,