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St. James ii. 26.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so

faith without good works is dead also.

Titus iii. 8.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I

will that thou affirm constantly, that they
which have believed in God, might be care-
ful to maintain good works.
FROM

ROM the first rise of christianity down to SERM. this present time, there has always existed a set of designing or deluded men, calling themselves christians, who have maintained the doctrine of faith in opposition to that of good works; who have imagined, or preVOL I.

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tended

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SERM. tended to imagine, that a belief in the life,
I.

death, and resurrection of our Saviour, and
in the miraculous circumstances which ac-
companied each, would exempt them from
the practice of the moral virtues, and leave
them to the free indulgence of their lawless
and unruly passions.

This doctrine of theirs they have ground-
ed on certain selected passages of scripture,
which they have explained in such a manner,
as to make them contradict all the rest of it.
They tell us of the frequent and vehement
assertions of St. Paul, “of justification by.
the free grace of God,” and “of being saved
by faith alone,” and “by faith without the
works of the law;" and these expressions
they so interpret as to make them counter-
act the whole design of religion. Salvation,
say they, is the free gift of God; it is not of
debt but of grace; it is not bestowed in con-
sequence of any actions of ours, but gra-
tuitously given through God's boundless

mercy;

passages which

mercy; a lively faith in the merits of our SERM.

I. Redeemer is alone requisite on our parts; what we do is out of the question; we have but firmly to believe, and we shall be entitled to an inheritance of life eternal,

I propose in this discourse to endeavour to overthrow this pernicious opinion, first, by explaining what learned men have in ge. neral agreed to be the real meaning of the

appear to make for it: secondly, by laying before you some strong and clear quotations from the scriptures, in which the virtues of a good life are insisted on as indispensably necessary to salvation; and lastly, by proving, from common sense and reason, the absurdity of expecting the favour of God and the rewards of Heaven on any other terms than by adding to sound faith good works.

And first, I will explain what learned men have, in general, agreed to be the real mean. ing of the passages, which are brought in

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