« הקודםהמשך »
compatible with a state of justification.'. No doubt deliberate habitual disobedience is here meant ; for “ in many things we offend all.”Abraham's conduct, in denying his wife, and saying, “My soul shall live because of thee,"1 implied no small degree of unbelief and distrust, and reliance on a creature; and was not conformity to
the will of God.' And this conduct he repeated, after he had been declared to be justified: but long before he was called on to sacrifice Isaac.2 In other respects the statement in these pages, as reconciling the doctrine of the two apostles, is to me satisfactory. The language produce, produced, (not contains,) should be especially noticed.
• It is scarcely possible to imagine a more gross perversion of any doctrine, than that which we ' have been now considering. St. Paul meant, • that ceremonial works were not necessary before `justification ; whereas these men pretended St. 'Paul's authority for maintaining that moral - works were not necessary after justification.
Ceremonial works are not necessary to obtain `justification in this world : therefore, say they,
moral works are not necessary to obtain justifi'cation or salvation in the world to come.'3
Nothing can be a more gross perversion of any doctrine, than to maintain that a dead and barren faith is sufficient to justification and salvation, because the scripture teaches us that we are justified and saved by a living, operative, and fruitful
I Gen. xii. 13.
2 Gen. xx. 2-11. 3 Ref. 123.
faith. But did St. Paul mean, that moral works were needful before justification, though ceremonial works were not ? and needful in order to justification ? If so, where were the moral works of the Corinthians to whom St. Paul preached the gospel? “ Such were some of you ; but ye are
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, “ in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit “of our God.” L-Indeed, his argumentative language is peculiarly energetic. " To him that “ worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth “ the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteous
ness. Even as David also describeth the bles“ sedness of the man unto whom God imputeth
righteousness without works.”? And again, 56 What shall we say then that the gentiles, “ which followed not after righteousness, have “ attained to righteousness, even the righteous
ness of faith : but Israel, which followed after “ the law of righteousness, hath not attained to “ the law of righteousness. Wherefore ? Because ,“ they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the “works of the law : for they stumbled at that “stumbling-stone.”3. Was any true believer ever excluded from justification because he had not previously done moral works? And what are moral works? Doubtless acts of obedience to the moral law of God. But “ the carnal mind “ is enmity against God; for it is not subject “ to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” 4 And therefore (according to our Article,) all' works
il Cor, vi. 9-11. 3 Rom. ix. 30–32.
? Rom. iv. 3-5. * Rom. viii. 7,8.
'which spring not from faith in Christ, -we doubt not have the nature of sin.'1
• Therefore, say they, moral works are not necessary to obtain justification, or salvation in the 'world to come.' Justification has before been shewn by his Lordship to belong to this life, and is distinguished from salvation.2 « Justification is the
remission of sins here on earth : salvation is the ' attainment of happiness in heaven. Not a single
passage can be found in the Epistles, or indeed ‘in any part of the New Testament, in which justification, or justify, when applied to Christians
exclusively, that is, when treated of as belonging • to them as such, denotes the sentence to be pro‘nounced at the day of judgment. Nor do the
apostles ever tell their converts that they will · hereafter be justified, but always address them as persons who have been justified.'3 Yet his
Lordship here speaks of obtaining justification in 'the world to come!'-Had he forgotten what he had written? or has he in reserve some method of reconciling the two passages, which at least appear to be irreconcilable ?
* Faith alone is sufficient; meaning, instead of a true and lively faith productive of obedience • a bare assent to the truth of the gospel, without any practical regard to its precepts. They vainly hoped that this spurious faith would keep them ' in a state of justification in this life, and finally procure them salvation in the next.' 4
His Lordship hath fully shewn that such a faith as is here described cannot justify.'' But how could men be kept in a state of justification, who, having only a dead faith, never were justified ? Dead faith is no better in this respect than direct unbelief: “He that believeth not the Son “shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth “ on him;" 2 and in this state he must abide, unless he believe with a true and lively faith.
God is pleased to grant remission of all past sins, for the sake of his blessed Son, on account
of faith only; but he requires from those, whom 'he thus graciously receives into his favour, an implicit obedience to his commands in future : if they disobey, the pardon is cancelled, the state of acceptance is forfeited, and liability to punish'ment ensues.'3
Habitual disobedience proves a professed believer's faith to be dead and worthless. If he never had any other faith, he never was pardoned ; and therefore his pardon cannot be cancelled.' It need not here be argued, whether a true and lively faith ever fails, or degenerates into dead faith : yet the language of scripture is very expressive, respecting forgiveness of sins. “As far as the east “ is from the west, so far hath he removed our “transgressions from us."4 "I will forgive their
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."5 “ The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and “ there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and
! Ref. 124. ? John ïïi. 36. Ref. 124. * Ps. ciii, 12.
5 Jer. xxxi. 34. Heb. viii. 12. x. 17.
they shall not be found : for I will pardon them “whom I reserve.”l“ Thou hast cast all my sins be“hind thy back.” 2 “ He will subdue our iniquities, “ and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths “ of the sea."3 What is sunk in shallow water may be got up again; but that which sinks to the bottom in the depths of the sea, will never more be brought forth.—Thus also the apostle, in full-coincidence with the prophets, “There is no condemnation to “ them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not “after the flesh but after the Spirit.” 4 And thus likewise the Lord of both prophets and apostles ;
They shall not come into condemnation, but are
passed from death unto life.” 5 They who “ in “ time of temptation fell away,” “ had no root in “ themselves :" the intruder at the marriage feast had not the wedding garment : and “the foolish “ virgins took their lamps, and took no oil with “ them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with “their lamps."6 Some essential difference between the wise and the foolish is thus marked in their setting out, which made way for the different event that took place respecting each of them. The • servant whose debt was forgiven by his Lord, * but who afterwards refused to forgive the debt • of his fellow servant, was severely rebuked, and • delivered to the tormentors to suffer punishment ' for that very debt which had been forgiven.'? And how far this instance of a cancelled for
giveness,' which is single, no other being so much as intimated in scripture, and that merely
5 John v.
! Jer. 1. 20. ? Is. xxxviii. 17. 3 Mic. vii. 19. • Rom. viii. 1.
6 Matt. xii. 20, 21. xxii, 11-13. xxv. 2-5.
Ref. 124. VOL. VII.