« הקודםהמשך »
'to devils. By works, he means not the ceremo
nial works of the Mosaic law, which were reject?ed by St. Paul, but works of benevolence and 'conformity to the will of God, as appears from the illustration of “a brother or sister who is • naked and destitute of daily food,”1 and from the examples of Abraham and Rahab, who gave proof of their faith by their actions. And by the word justify he does not mean, as St. Paul did, ‘ justification or remission of past sins at the time
of admission into the Christian covenant, but the 'continuance in a state of justification, which would be followed by salvation : and here again he conforms himself to the language of those whose error he is refuting. In reasoning upon 'this point, he asks, “ Can faith save him?”3 implying, that the faith spoken of is insufficient for salvation.'4
Is there any ground in scripture for the marked distinction between ceremonial works and works of moral obedience, as to this grand question, 'How shall men be justified before God?' It may be important to remark, that Bishop Bull, and even Dr. Taylor of Norwich, expressly admit, and even positively assert, that there is no ground for such a distinction. That Paul treats concerning even the moral works of the Mosaic law, (however ' some may say the contrary,) is too manifest from ' his own words. (Rom. iii. 20. vii. 7, &c.) The disputation of the apostle, therefore, beyond doubt, belongs to the works even of the moral
• law.!! By works excluded from justification or
salvation, he doth not mean only ceremonial works, or ritual observations of the Mosaic con‘stitution : for he expressly excludes “ works of • righteousness” or righteous works. (Tit. iii. 5.) * Now this sets aside, not only ceremonial works, ' but all acts of obedience properly moral.??_Ce
remonial works,' he observes, do not come into the apostle's proofs,' or his quotations from the Old Testament, or his reasonings upon them.Abraham's justification preceded the ceremonial law, and even the appointment of circumcision : yet he was not justified by works, in any degree, but by faith exclusively. His Lordship has before stated, that we cannot be justified before God by obeying the moral law, unless through life we obey it perfectly : 'a single transgression would
destroy the right of justification, and in many ' things we offend all. Thus the apostle says: “ If there had been a law given, which could have
given life, verily righteousness should have been
by the law. But the scripture hath concluded 5 “ all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus “ Chrișt might be given to them that believe.”6 The ceremonial law was indeed principally concerned in the disputations excited by the Judaizing teachers : and this, apart from the question concerning justification, with which it was closely connected, involved another question, of great importance at that time; namely, whether the
Bp. Bull, H. A. vii. 2. Translated. Taylor's Key, c. xii. * Idem, on Rom. iij. 20.
- Ref. 111, 112. EUVÉXAELCEV. Shut up together as close. prisoners. ' Luke v. 6. Rom. xi. 32. Gal. iii. 23. Gr. 6 Gal. ii. 21, 22.
gentile converts were bound to become Jews, (as well as Christians,) by receiving circumcision, and obeying the ritual law of Moses ; and whether the Jewish converts were still bound to observe the legal ceremonies. The instances of Abraham and Rahab, “who gave proof of their faith by their
actions,' and who were not under the ceremonial law, fully proves that works of moral obedience were, indeed, exclusively intended by St. James : but it by no means follows, that works of ceremonial obedience were exclusively meant by St. Paul.
* But, if it be insufficient for salvation in the 'world to come, it is insufficient to keep a person ' in a state of justification in this world ; and ac
cordingly the apostle soon after says, “ By works ' a man is justified, and not by faith only;") that is, faith only will not preserve a man in a justified state ; it must be accompanied by works, for “ faith without works is dead." It is evident • that the faith here spoken of may exist without works; and in that case it is of no avail to sal(vation.'2
Would “ dead faith” then, 'bare belief, without producing inward purity, or practical obedience, * the faith of devils,' bring a person into a state of justification ? His Lordship has repeatedly marked the difference between true living faith, and this worthless assent to the truth ;3 and has ascribed justification to the former exclusively. Yet here, by a strange inadvertency, he supposes that a man is brought into a state of justification by a dead
! Jam. ii. 24.
? Ref. 119.
faith, which, however, is insufficient to keep him in that state! Dead faith can be accompanied' only by formal and dead works : and will this dead faith and these dead works combined, either justify a man or preserve him in a justified state?' -Would St. James have granted that the faith, which he had spoken of as vain, was sufficient to bring a man into a justified state? and that the vain men, of whom he speaks, were once justified believers ? and justified by this dead faith? Or is it supposed that living faith, having justified the possessor, expires or' degenerates into dead faith? As continuance, and preservation in a justified state, are not mentioned by the apostle, we may conclude that he did not intend to convey that sentiment.
Thus St. Paul says, “ Because of unbelief, they
were broken off, and thou standest by faith.” I “For by faith ye stand.”? And St. Peter, “Who “ are kept by the power of God through faith unto “ salvation."3 St. Paul speaking of justification by faith evidently meant, that faith alone formed a sinner's relation to Christ, and so, through his righteousness and atonement, justified him before God: but this justifying faith“ works by love,” and produces the fruits of holy obedience: and St. James evidently meant, that no faith which was not productive of good works could justify a man before God, being dead and worthless. There is therefore a sound sense in which a man may be said “ to be justified by works, and not by faith
only." His works must shew that his faith is
*1 Pet. i. 5.
1. Rom. xi. 20. VOL. VII.
2 2 Cor. i. 24.
living ; and justify him, as a professed servant of God, from every charge or suspicion of hypocrisy: and they will be adduced as evidence of his having been a true believer, at the day of judgment. St. James, however, does not say that a man is “justified before God” by works ; and probably he meant, evidentially, before the church and the world. But St. Paul and St. James are perfectly agreed, that nothing " availeth in Christ Jesus,” (or for justification,)“ but faith which worketh by “ love." 1
· Whenever St. Paul, in speaking of justifica‘tion, uses the words, “works” or “deeds,” he invariably adds“ of the law;" he frequently says,
a man is not justified by the works of the law,” ' but not once does he say, a man is not justified
by works : so scrupulous is he upon this point, 'that he repeats the expression, “ works of the law," three times in one verse.
The works, therefore, which he rejects from any share in
justification are the ceremonial works of the law, ' for which the Judaizing Christians contended.'?
This can only mean that the two words justify and works, without some addition, do not occur in the same sentence in St. Paul's writings: and yet even this is not quite correct. “If Abraham were justified by works, he hath“ whereof to glory.”3 Here works are completely excluded from justifying Abraham; and ceremonial works, or
1 Gal. v. 6. * Ref. 120.-See an express denial of this by Bp. Bull, and Dr. Taylor, in the preceding pages.
3 Rom. iv. 2.