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Picus Calvinists maintain good works and

are Solifidians only by halves :

The propriety of working from an initial

life of

grace,

for

grace and

glory, is epforced by a variety of argu-

228

Five objections to the doctrine contained

in that Efray are answered

229, &c.

E RRA TA,

Pape So, last word, read mistake. p. 21, l. 7, read famira.

p. 93, 1. 5, properly, read powerfully. p. 140, 1. 18, before
salvation add eternal.p. 143, l. 3, believing beartily, read, ONLY
believing confidently. - p. 228, last line but one, two, read, five.

AN

HISTORICAL ESSAY

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Upon the importance and harmony of the two gospel

precepts, Believe and Obey; and upon the fatal conSequences that flow from parting Faith and Works.

HEN the gospel is considered as opposed to

the error of the pharisees, and that of the antinomians, it may be fummed up in the two fol. lowing propofitions : (1) In the day of conversion, we are saved freely as finners (i. e made freely partakers of the priviledges that belong to our gospel difpenfation in the church militant thro' the merits of Christ, and by the instrumentality of a living faith. (2) In the day of judgment we shall be saved freely as faints, [i. e. made freely partakers of the priviledges of our gospel dispensation in the church triumphant) thro' the merits of Christ, and by the evidence of evangelical works. Whence it follows: (1) that nothing can absolutely hinder our justification in a gospel day, but the want of true faith; and (2) that nothing will absolutely hinder our justification in the day of judgment, but the want of good works. If I am not mistaken, all the evangelical do&trine of faith and works turns upon those propositions. They exactly answer to the grand directions of the gospel. Wilt thou enter into Christ's sheepfold? Believe. - Wilt thou stay there ? Believe and obey. - Wilt thou be numbered among his sheep in the great day ? Endure unto the end : Continue in well doing : that is, Persevere in faith and obedience.

To believe then and obey, or as Solomon expresses it, To fear God and keep his commandments, is the whole duty of man. Therefore a professor of the faith withoue genuine obedience, and a pretender to obedience

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without

without genuine faith, equally miss their aim'; while a friend to faith and works put in their proper place, a possessor of the faith which works by love, hits the gospel mark, and so runs as to obtain the prize : for the same true and faithful Witness spoke the two following, and equally express declarations. He that Believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son Mall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John iii. 36. And, The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall come forth, they that have done GOOD, unto the resurrection

of life; and they that' have DONE EVIL, unto the refurrection of condemnation. John v. 29.

See that sculler upon yonder river. The unwea. ried diligence and watchful skill, with which he plies his two oars, points out to us the work and wisdom of an experienced divine. What an even, gentle spring does the mutual effort of his oars give to his boat! Observe him : his right hand never rests, but when the stream carries him too much to che left : he lacks not his left hand, unless he is gone too much to the right; nor has he sooner recovered a just medium, than he uies both oars again with mutual harmony. Suppose that for a constancy he employed but one, no matter which, what would be the confequence ? He would only move in a circle ; and if neither wind nor tide carried him along, after an hard day's work he would find himself in the very spol, where he began his idle toil.

This illustration needs very little explaining: I shall just observe that the antinomian is like a sculler, who uses only his right hand car; and the pharisee, like him who plies only the oar in his left hand. One makes an endless bustle about grace and faith, the other about charity and works ; but both, after all, find themselves exactly in the same case; with this single difference, that one has turned from truth to the right, and the other to the left.

Not so the judicious, unbiaffed preacher, who will safely enter the haven of eternal reft, for which he and his hearers are bound. He makes an equal use

of

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of the doctrine of faith and that of works. If at any time he infiits most upon faith, it is only when the stream carries his congregation upon the pharifaic shallows on the left hand : And if he lays a preponderating stress upon works, it is only when he sees unwary souls fucked into the antinomian whirlpool on the right hand. His skill confitta in fo avoiding one danger as not to run upon the other.

Nor ought this watchful wisdom to be confined to ministers : for tho' all are not called to direct congregations; yet all moral agents are, and always were, more or less called to direct themselves, that is, to occupy till the Lord comes, by making a proper use of their talents according to the parable, Mat. xxv. 15, to 31. God gave to angels and man "remigium alarum,the two oars, or if you please, the equal wings of faith and obedience ; charging them to use those grand powers, according to their original wisdom and enlightened conscience. Or, to speak without metaphor, he created them in such a mannes, that they believed it their duty, intereit, and glory, to obey him without reserve ; and this faith was naturally productive of an universal, delightful, perfect obedience. Nor would they ever have been wanting in praétice, if they had not first wavered in principle. But when Lucifer had unaccountably perfuaded himself, in part at leaft, either that obedience was mean, or that rebellion would be advantageous; and when the crafty Tempter had made our first parents believe in part, that if they ate of the forbidden fruit, far from dying they should be as God himself; how possible, how easy was it for them to venture upon an act of rebellion !-By rashly playing with the Serpent, and fucking in the venom of his crafty insinuations, they soon gave their faith a wilful wound, and their obedience naturally died of it: But alas! it did not die unrevenged; for no sooner had fainting faith given birth to a dead work, thaa she was destroyed by her spurious offspring. Thus Faith and Obedience, that couple more lovely than David and his friend, more inseparable than Saul

and

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and Jonathan, in their death were not divided. They even met with a common grave, the corrupt atrocious breast of a rebellious angel, or of apoftate man.

Nor does St. James give us a less melancholy.account of this fatal event. While faith Blumbered, luft conceived, and brought forth sin, and fin finished, brought forth death, the death of faith, and consequently the moral death of angelic spirits and human fouls, who equally live by faith t during their state of probation. So fell Lucifer from heaven, to rule and rage in the darkness of this world : So fell Adam from paradise, to toil and die in this vale of tears : So fell Judas from an apoftolic throne, to hang himself and go to his own place.

we rise but in a way parallel to that by which they fell. For, as a disbelief of our CREATOR, productive of bad works, sunk our first parents ; so a faith in our Redeemer, productive of good works, mutt intrumentally raise their fallen potterity.

Should you ask, which is moft neceffary to salvasion, fuith or svorks ; I beg leave to propose a fimilar question. Which is most essential to breathing, infpiration or expiration? If you reply, that “ The moment either is absolutely at an end, so is the other; and therefore both are equally important;"! I return exadly the same answer. If humble faith receives the breath of spiritual life; obedient love gratefully returns it, and makes way for a fresh fupply: when it does not, the spirit is grieved; and if this want of co-ope

Nor can

ration

+ Faith in God as Creator, Langiver, and Judge, was not lels necessary to Lucifer and Adam in order to their standing in a state of innocence, than Faith in God as Redeemer, Sanctifier, and Rewardor of them that diligently seek him, is neceffary to finners, in order to their recovery from a state of guilt ; or to believers in order to avoid relapses and final apoftafy. Faith therefore, so far as it implies an unthaken confidence in God, and a firm adherence to his will, is as eternal as love and obedience. But when it is confidered as the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, which are effential properties of a believer's faith in this prelent state of things, it is evident that it will necessarily end in fight, as soon as the curtain of time is drawn up; and terminate in enjoyment, as soon as God's glory appears without a veil,

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