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measure, the same mainspring of activity, and who are not capable of delighting in the same employments and services here on earth ?
The scripture, in exhorting believers to good works, by no means exclusively addresses their selflove, in any form, but the higher principle of love to God and man.“ Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works, and ‘glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I “ Teach “ the young women to be sober, to love their own
husbands, to love their children, to be discreet,
chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own “husbands; that the word of God be not blas
phemed.” “ Sound speech that cannot be con“ demned ; that he who is of the contrary part
may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." “ Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please them well in all things, “not answering again, not purloining, but shew
ing all good fidelity: that they may adorn the “ doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” 2 “ That with well doing ye may put to silence the "ignorance of foolish men.” “ That, whereas “they speak against you as evil-doers, they may
by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” whereas they speak evil of you, as evil doers, they
may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good “ conversation in Christ.”3 No doubt a gracious recompense is frequently connected with exhortation to duties, especially such as are peculiarly
Matt. v. 16.
Tit. ii. 5, 8, 10. 31 Pet.ü. 12, 15. iii. 16.
self-denying ; and our faith must be shewn by our works, in order that it may be approved to be living and genuine ; but the general style of scriptural exhortation, especially in the New Testament, proposes motives taken from the honour of the gospel, the glory of God, the love of Christ, love of the brethren, and good will to mankind at large; rather than from any thing immediately connected with the salvation of the persons exhorted; except where some doubt is intimated, that they are in danger of deceiving themselves.-And it is thus, that the exhortations of the apostles are stamped evangelically, and distinguished from heathen morality.
'I can shew a man that by faith without works lived, and came to heaven : but without faith
never man had life. The thief that was hanged when Christ suffered did believe only, and the ‘most merciful God justified him. And, because
no man shall say again that he lacked time to do 'good works, for else he would have done them; 'truth it is, and I will not contend therein : but 'this I will surely affirm, that faith only saved him. If he had lived, and not regarded faith ' and the works thereof, he should have lost his * salvation again.''
Only faith saved the thief upon the cross, and only faith saves any man; for the will and the power of doing good works are a part of his salvation. “His name shall be called Jesus, for he
Quotation from Chrysostom, in Hom. of Good Works, Part 1. Ref. 157.
“shall save his people from their sins.” I “ By grace are ye saved, through faith. “We are his work
manship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, “ which God hath before ordained that we should “ walk in them.” 2 Thus they are necessary to salvation; for salvation would be wholly incomplete without them, or at least without the disposition to love and perform them. If salvation from wrath and guilt could be separated from salvation from sin, the person thus saved would to eternity bear the image of the devil, be utterly incapable of happiness, and in himself very miserable, though exposed to no positive punishment.--It may pass, in a general discourse, to speak of the thief upon the cross as saved without works; but, in fact, his faith was shewn by his works in a highly satisfactory manner. “He confessed Christ before men, ” even when he hung upon the cross, surrounded with insulting enemies, and forsaken by his disciples. “ With the heart man believeth unto righ
teousness, and with the mouth confession is made “unto salvation.” 3—He humbly acknowledged that he deserved the excruciating death, which he was suffering: “We indeed justly:" and this was an indication of deep repentance, and patient submission to the will of God.--He declared that Jesus “ had done nothing amiss :” and, if so, then he was “ Christ the Son of the living God.”—He rebuked his fellow sufferer, and expostulated with him, as “not fearing God,” even when suffering death for his crimes ; which was an act of zeal for
Matt. i. 21.
* Eph. ii. 8, 10. Rom. x. 10. See also Matt. x. 32, 33. Luke xii. 8, 9. VOL. VII.
the honour of the reviled Saviour, and of love to the soul of his fellow-sufferer.—“ Behold he pray“ eth!" He “ called on the name of the Lord “Jesus,” “Lord, remember me, when thou com“ est into thy kingdom.” 2 But " whosoever “ calleth on the name of the Lord shall be saved." -Each of these circumstances was sufficient to distinguish his faith in Christ from a dead and inefficacious assent to the truth of the gospel. Indeed, it may be questioned, whether he did not do more honour to Christ, during the short space allotted him, than many Christians do in a long course of
years. This statement may shew that some of us at least are as unwilling as our opponents can be to admit, that solitary faith, faith which is not attended with true repentance, and productive of good works, is sufficient for salvation. “ It is dead “ being alone;" and can no more justify a man than an amputated hand can work, or an eye separated from the head can see. Had the thief merely said, however confidently, I believe that * Jesus is the Messiah;' it might have been thought that he did not understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom ; but had the same worldly notions of it which the Jews in general entertained. But what could a dying malefactor expect from a crucified Messiah, as to this world? He did not say, “ If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us :” but, “ Lord, remember me when thou comest into 'thy kingdom.” It is manifest that, being “ taught “ of God," he believed in Jesus as “ the Author
Luke xxiii. 39--43.
“ of eternal salvation,” as “the Saviour of the “ lost ;” and that he understood the spiritual nature of his kingdom, more clearly than the apostles themselves at that time did, who could not conceive how his “ coming into his kingdom” could consist with his dying on the cross. He called on Jesus (with desire, and some feeble hope at least,) for salvation from wrath and sin, and for the blessings of his heavenly kingdom; while he confessed himself so atrociously wicked that he deserved crucifixion from man, and condemnation from God. He hoped for eternal salvation from one expiring on a cross. Thus he honoured Christ, who did not disappoint his expectations. Had he been taken down from the cross, and lost this faith, or not shewn it by his subsequent works," he
should have lost his salvation again.' But the question is, whether such a faith is ever lost. “I “ have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.”
· The reference to the Homily upon justification was in the Articles of 1552 ; but our reformers . in 1562, as a farther caution, added the xiith
Article, no part of which was in the Articles of * 1552, and which may be considered as expla'natory of the species of faith, of which they • intended to speak in the preceding Articles, the
word faith being there used without any epithet. * In the xiith Article it is said, “ Albeit that good works cannot put away our sins, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith :' “the Popish doctrine of human merit is here again condemned, for the purpose of declaring that,