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mise to one of his subjects, upon compliance with certain terms, and the performance of certain duties, a reward in magnitude and value out of all competition beyond the merit of the compliance, beyond the desert of the performance; to what shall such a subject ascribe the happiness held out to him ? He is an ungrateful man, if he attribute it to any cause whatever, but to the bounty and goodness of his prince in making him the offer; or if he suffer any consideration, be it what it will, to interfere with, or diminish, his sense of that bounty and goodness. Still it is true, that he will not obtain what is offered, unless he comply with the terms. So far his compliance is a condition of his happiness. But the grand thing is the offer being made at all. That is the ground and origin of the whole. That is the cause ; and is ascribable to favour, grace, and goodness, on the part of the prince, and to nothing else. It would, therefore, be the last degree of ingratitude in such a subject, to forget his prince, while he thought of himself; to forget the cause, whilst he thought of the condition ; to regard every thing promised as merited. The generosity, the kindness, the voluntariness, the bounty of the original offer, come by this means to be neglected in his mind entirely. This, in my opinion, describes our situation with respect to God. The love, goodness, and grace of God, in making us a tender of salvation, and the effects of the death of Christ, do not diminish the necessity or the obligation of the condition of the tender, which is a sincere endeavour after holiness ; nor are, in any wise, inconsistent with such obligation.
THE EFFICACY OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST CON. SISTENT WITH THE NECESSITY OF A GOOD LIFE; THE ONE BEING THE CAUSE, THE OTHER THE CONDITIOX, OF SALVATION.
ROMANS VI. 1.
Il'hat shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that
grace may abound? God forbid.
In the last discourse I said that good works are the condition of salvation; not the cause : that the cause is no other than the gratuitous abounding mercy of Almighty God. Now, though this position was attempted to be established for the purpose of checking such a notion of merit and pretensions in ourselves as might tend to lessen in our minds the consideration of that goodness and love to which we are above all measure indebted, and by which we are above all degrees obliged—though, I say, it was there advanced for the sake of this application, and no other, yet the proposition may be again taken up as introductory to a second important argument, namely, the discussion of the question, which every Christian must have heard of, between good works and faith.
Remarking the great stress that is laid upon faith in Scripture, and the high and strong terms in which it is 1:35 Daf 1 cent St. Paul's Epistles i per as they agreed with us in site condition of salvation, badaches Larach to be the cause. Vow this is no Find more the cause of salvation thun wir
The proper cause is distinct from een bestely and solely the grace or rulundary levimity God. Therefore it is misreprezinte mire to advance faith into a different prezen, ss I may say, from good works by calling is the wax, and good works the condilion of salvation. In truth, they are neither of them the cause They are bech of the same nature ; they both hold the same pre in our consideration ; by which I mean to sunity, that so far as either of them are necessary, they are of importance and efficacy as conditions only. This I think, ought to be carefully
, observed ; for it puts us into the true way both of comprehending and of trying the question between them ; which question, though in substance one, is capable of being submitted to examination under three forms.
Whether faith alone be the condition of salvation ? Whether good works alone be that condition? Whether faith and good works be the condition, neither of them being, without the other, sufficient?
Now, independently of Scripture texts, I know not that any one would ever have thought of making faith alone, meaning by faith the belief of certain religious propositions, to be the condition of salvation ; because it would have occurred to every one, who reflected upon the subject, that at any rate faith could only be classed amongst other virtues and good qualities, and not as that which superseded all. Be its excellency, or value, or obligation ever so great, it is still a quality of our moral
nature, capable of degrees, and liabie to imperfections, as our other moral qualities are. Those, therefore, who contend for the sufficiency of faith a'one, must found their doctrine, and we will do them the justice to allot, that they do found their doctrine, upon certain strong texts of Scripture. The texts upon which they rely are principally taken from the writings of St. Paul; and they are these :-“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.” “ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed on Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” “ That no man is justified by the law, in the sight of God, it is evident : for the just shall live by faith." The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” “ For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." These, no doubt, are strong texts, and it will not be wondered at, that in conjunction with other inducements, they have led many serious persons to lay such a stress upon them, as to exclude good works from being considered even as a condition of salvation ; and a few perhaps to take refuge in this doctrine, as a ground of hope under a life of continued sins. I
that these inferences are not to be wondered at, if the texts be taken by themselves. Scripture is to be compared with Scripture; particular texts with other particular texts; and especially with the
man nur Isteri Tse doctrine even of Transearacun jas a tee: to stand upon; which, taken aune, unu intrerzd 30s, is very strong in its arour: jut vuurze wieczer tests, and explained
reri v verin xcaile rules of interpretation, Site' pure is apučic ce being disposed of without intvu is any crize e that which had been htuu.f. V. proceeding in this manner
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keut eonidhlice. Eererilacas be saved at the liv i tin rietorshe cactrizes of the Christian religioui va ke mean to encourage any one to test vit ut $ Toi sia, espress's and intentionally Cornie dini procenting kirself by this opinion. I
. Ripsala hithe poste, could not mean to say tai hed, he would say what is expressly maka putor ceatralidad by other texts of at least
qed waterier with dis own; he would say what is coneradicai ly che very dritt and design of the Christian consecution ; and would say, lastly, what is expressly denies and contradicted by himself.
First, he would say what is contradicted by other tones of Scripture, and those of the very highest authority. For instance, what words can be plainer, mort positive; or more decisive of this point than our Saviour's own? “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lond, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in love." There can be no doubt but that they who me here introduced as crying out to Jesus Christ,