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though good works possess no power to atone ' for sin, yet they are pleasing and acceptable to
God, and arise necessarily out of a true and lively ' faith. This Article, therefore, plainly shews that 'the faith, by which in the preceding Article we
are said to be justified, is a faith productive of a ' holy and virtuous life, and not a faith which * bringeth forth no good works, but is idle, barren
and unfruitful, consisting only in believing in " the word of God.'1
The addition of the 12th Article was made with great wisdom and propriety; and without it the system would have been incomplete, and nothing can more exactly express our sentiments than it does. The doctrine of human merit is indeed popish ; but it is held in some form or other by a vast proportion of nominal protestants, and by persons of various religions all over the world. Our Articles and Homilies were levelled against the sentiment, by whomsoever held, and not exclusively against the Papists. Their opinions are like those of the Jews in the time of our Lord and his apostles; and the opinions of vast multitudes, in every age and nation, in this respect resemble their's.
If, however, the framers of our Articles had ' said, “We are not justified by faith only,' instead ‘of saying, as they have done,' We are justified by faith only,' they might, as we have seen,
equally have pleaded the authority of an apostle . for the assertion. Both propositions are true;
. and the seeming contradiction between them, " arises from the different senses in which the (word faith is used.'i
Had the framers of our Articles said, “We are not justified in the sight of God by faith alone;' they would have found much difficulty in adducing any scriptural authority in their favour. What they have said sufficiently proves that they understood St. James as not meaning any thing inconsistent with the doctrine of St. Paul, in this argu ment; though, probably, they would not all have made out the agreement in exactly the same manner, any more than we now do.
*St. James says that a man is not justified by · faith only, but St. Paul does not expressly say 'that a man is justified by faith only ; his words
are, “ by faith without the deeds of the law.” In 'no part however of his epistles does he mention any thing but faith as necessary to justification, because, when he speaks of the justification of
Christians, he always means the justification con• ferred by baptism.'2
The apostles never say, in so many words, that we are justified by faith only, or alone : and the language of our Article, in which this is expressly stated, is a decided proof, in what sense the framers of it understood the apostolical language. * Because, when he speaks,' &c. In what part of St. Paul's epistles does he so much as hint, that the justification of which he speaks is 'the justi' fication conferred by baptism?' or where does
Note, Ref. 159
he mention baptism in connexion with justification? Assertion is easy, but proof is wanting ; and very clear and conclusive proof in such a case as this.—If, as pædobaptists in general contend, the infants of believing parents were baptized in the days of the apostles ; could these infants be justified in baptism and by faith at the same time? 2
* These men believing, but not obeying the gospel, have the faith meant by St. James, which does not justify; but they have not the faith ' meant by St. Paul, which does justify. But, if a
person of this description become convinced of ' the evil of his ways, be sincerely penitent, and ' feel 2 a true and lively faith in Christ, he is then `justified from all the sins he has committed, ' being accounted righteous before God for the 'merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.'3
This is accurately stated, according to our sentiments. Whether faith ever rises from a dead to a living faith, shall not be here disputed. We hope it is often exchanged for a living faith. Of this there is much clearer and fuller proof than that a living faith ever degenerates into a dead faith.
• True Christian faith, and good works pleasant ' and acceptable to God, are in their own nature 'inseparable. True faith produces good works as ' naturally as a tree produces its fruit: good
See Catechism, on Sacraments, 6th and 7th Questions and Answers. ? See B. I. c. ii. & 12.: On Internal Feelings.
* Ref. 159, 160.
works, wherever they exist, must proceed from faith, their only genuine source.
And hence it happens, that the one is often mentioned in scrip'ture without the other, although the other is ‘implied or supposed.''
This is admitted by both parties, and needs no further remark : provided the word produce, be adhered to; and contained, or any other term to the same effect, be not substituted.
Faith, or a general belief of the truth of Chris'tianity, is not necessarily connected with good 'works. True Christian faith and good works are * inseparable.'2
I know not, that any evangelical clergyman dissents from this statement: if any do, let them plead for themselves.
St. Paul says, “They who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, shall inherit eternal life.” Here is not a word concerning faith; but it is supposed, for nothing but faith can cause a patient continuance in well-doing with the hope of everlasting happiness.'3
Where nothing occurs to which we should materially object, I take a pleasure in selecting a few passages which meet my cordial approbation, and I think that of my brethren in general.
* There are, however, more passages in the
Ref. 160, 161.
Note, Ref. 160.
epistles which attribute justification and salvation to good works, than to faith.'!
Final salvation is frequently connected with good works, though not attributed to them : but, except the passage in St. James, which has been repeatedly considered, I do not recollect one in which justification is attributed to good works, in any sense, or in any degree; or even intimately connected with them. It is added in a note, “That ‘is, the continuance in a state of justification : but justification, and continuance in a justified state, are not the same. We however read nothing in any part of scripture, about ' continuance in a
state of justification' unless the following texts refer to it: " By whom also we have access by “ faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice “ in hope of the glory of God.”
" While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more “ then being justified by his blood, we shall be “ saved from wrath through him.”? “That, being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.”3 “Who “ are kept by the power of God, through faith, “ unto salvation." 4—There is indeed one passage which
may be thought more favourable to the sentiment; “ If ye continue in the faith grounded “and settled,” &c.5 but, even here, their continuance in a state of reconciliation is connected with their continuance in the faith, not with good works.
,' Ref. 161.
Col. i. 21-23.
» Rom. v. 2, 8, 9.