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Ser M.understood him,) that Men are justified
parely by Faith or Believing, as distinguished from Virtue or Righteousness of Life; but that men are justified by the Obedience of the Gospel, (so the word Faith always signifies in St Paul's epistles, ) and is therefore sometimes expressly called The Obedience of Faith, Rom. xvi. 25; and obedience to the Faith, Rom. i. 5; and
Afts vi. 7, they are justified (he faith) by the Obedience of the Gospel only, by that Fidelity or Sincerity in Religion, which the Gospel requires, without observing the ceremonies of the Law of Moses. In like manner, when he tells them that their Salvation is not of Works, but of Grace, Rom. xi. 5; and Gal. v. 4. he does not mean that God saves them without the works of Virtue and Righteousness; but that they are saved by the gracious dispensation of the Gospel, (That is always the meaning of the word, Grace, in these Epistles,) they are saved by the gracious dispensation of the Gospel, by the merciful Terms of Repentance declared, through Christ, and not by the ritual and rigorous Observations of the Mosaick
Law. Further ; because one great End Serm. of This Last Dispensation of the Gospel, VI. was to teach men to worship God with pure worship, in Spirit and in Truth, with all Holiness and Righteousness of the Heart and Mind; in opposition to external Forms and carnal Ordniances, Such as Circumcision, Bodily Washings, Purifications, and the like; which affect the Body only; therefore St Paul frequently expresses the Gospel of Christ by the figurative Name of Spirit, and the Law of Moses by that of Flesh : Gal. ii. 3, Are ye so foolish ? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye' now made perfeet by the Fleth? These Phrases, which otherwise might seem very difficult, because different from modern ways of speaking; do, .from what has been said, appear plainly to signify This only, that the Galatians were worthy of reproof, for that since their embracing the Religion of Cbriff, they imagined they could still become more perfect, by continuing the practice of Jewish observances. And that This is his true and only meaning may be shown yet more evidently from the following
SER M. parallel places; Rom. ii. 29, Circumcifon,
VI. is that of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not m o in the letter : And ch. vii. 6, We are deli
vered from the Law; that we should
nothing, and uncircumcifion is nothing, SERM. but Faith which worketh by Love: And VI. in stanceth in Abraham, Rom. iv. 3, 10. m that before his receiving the Seal of Circumcision, he believed in God, and obeyed his commandments, and it was counted unto him for Righteousnefs: The Religion of Abraham, was the fame as the Spiritual Religion of the Gospel; He lived before the Law, as our Saviour requires that Christians should do after the law ; worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth.
3dly, As Some among the Antient Jews, and Antient Christians, were, in the manner already shown, guilty of transgressing this great Precept of worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth; fo among Christians of all later Ages likewise, there are Many too justly chargeable with being guilty of the fame Fundamental Fault in different respects. In the
It PLACE, Those of the Church of Rome, do in the Highest degree transgress this great Commandment of our Saviour, when instead of that Spiritual Worship, which our Lord intended to establish,
SER M.they on the contrary fill their religion VI. with more rites and ceremonies, than even
the Law of Moses itself was burdened withal ; And (which of all other things is the most profane,) compell men by force, to make external and hypocritical Professions in matters of Religion ; which yet, they well know, if it is not feated in the Heart, is no Religion at all.
2dly, Of transgressing this precept in the Text, those Christians also are guilty in All communions, who place the chief of their religion in the Form of Godliness, in barely going to Church, and in receiving the Sacrament, and in such other outward Performances, which ought not indeed to be left undone, but which are Then only acceptable to God and useful to the Souls of Men, when they are Means of producing that True Holiness, Charity, and Righteousness of life, which is, in Heaven, as well as upon Earth, the eternal and unchangeable essence of Religion. Such persons as These therefore are well reproved by the Prophet Jeremy; ch. vii. 4. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the