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ing it, I shall guard the doctrine of obedience against the antinomians. ]
As this quibbling argument may puzzle the simple, and make the boasting pharisees, that use it, triomph as if they had overturned the protestant doctrine of falvation by faith without [the] works [decried by St. Paul;] i beg leave to Thew its weakness by a comparison.
Suppose you said to me, “ Your doing the work of a parish-priest will never (merit] you an archbifhoprick ; " and I answered with discontent, “lf doing my office will never [merit} me the fee of Canterbury, why should I do it at all? I need not trouble myself about preaching any more;” would you not as me whether a clergyman bas no reason to attend his Aock, but the wild and proud conceit that his la. bour must (deserve +) him a bishoprick. And I ask in my turn ; Do you suppose, that a christian has no motive to do good works, but the wilder and prouder notion, that his good works must [properly speaking merit) him heaven? (see the 5th note.]
If therefore I can Thew, that he has the strongest motives, and inducements, to abound in good works without the doctrine of [proper merits ; I hope you will drop your objection. You say, “ If good works will never ( properly merit us salvation, see the 5th note] why should we do them?" I answer, For fix good reasons, each of which [in some degree 1] overturns your objection.
(1) 27 We
(38) + This illustration is not strictly juft. If the king had millions of bishopricks to give, and if he had promised to bestow one upon every diligent clergyman; folemnly declaring that all who neglect their charge, should not only miss the ecclefiaftical dignity annexed to diligence, but be put to a shameful death as so many murderers of souls, the cases would then be exactly parallel. Besides, every clergyman is not a candidate for a bishoprick, but every man is a candidate for heaven. Again, a clergyman may be as happy in his parfonage as a bishop in his palace : but if a man milles heaven, he finks into hell, These glaring truths I overlooked when I was a LATE evangelical preacher.” I Formerly I said [entirely] but experience has taught me otherwise,
(1) We are to do good works, to fliew our obe: dience to our heavenly Father. As a child obeys his parents, not to purchase their estate, but because he is their child (and does not chuse to be disinhe. sited :) so believers obey God, not to get heaven for their wages; but, becaufe he is their Father, (and they would not provoke him disinherit them. +]
(2) * We are to abound in all good works, to be juftified before men (now, and before the Judge of all the earth in the great day ;] and to thew that our faith is saving. St. James strongly insists upon this, chap. ii. 18. Shew me thy faith without thy works, says he, and I will shew thee my faith by my works : That is, Thou fayett, thou hait faith, [because thou wast once justified by faith ;] but thou doeft not the works of a believer : thou canst follow vanity, and conform to this evil world : thou canst swear or break the fabbath; lie, cheat, or get drunk ; rail at thy neighbour, or live in uncleanness : in a word, thou canst do one or another of the devil's works : Thy works therefore give thee the lie, and shew that thy faith is [now like) the devil's faith ; for if faith without works is dead, how doubly dead must faith with bad works be ! [And how abfurd is it to suppose, that thou canst be instrumentally juitified by a dead faith, or declaratively justified by bad works, either before men or in the sight of God!] But I will shew thee my faith by my works, adds the apostle : i. e. By constantly abftaining from all evil works, and steadily walking in all sorts of good works, I will make thee confess,
(39) † This argument is weak without the additions. Our Lord informs us, that when the Father in the gospel says to his fair-spoken child, Son, Go work to-day in my vineyard, he answers, I go, Sir, and goes not : And God himself says, I have nourished and brought up CHILDREN, but tbey have rebelled againft me.
'Wo to the parents, who have such children, and have no power to cut off an entail !
(40) I If this single clause of my old sermon stands, so will the Minutes and the Checks. But the whole argument is a mere jest, if a man that wallows in adultery, murder, or incest, may have as true, justifying faith, as David had when he killed Goliah.
that I am really in Christ a new creature, and that may faith is living and genuine.
(3) Our Saviour told his disciples, that they were to do good works, not to purchase heaven, but that others might be stirred up to serve God. You then, that have found the way of salvation by Chrift, let your light so shine before men, that even they, who speak evil of the doctrine of faith, seeing your good works may † glorify your Father who is in heaven. Mat. v. 16.
(4) We are to do good works out of gratitude and love to our dear Redeemer, who having (conditionally) purchased heaven for us with his precious blood, akks the small return of our love and obe. dience. If you love me, says he, keep my commandments, John xiv. 15. (This motive is noble, and continues powerful so long as we keep our first love. But alas ! it has little force with regard to the myriads, that rather fear than love God. And it has lost its force in all those, who have denied the faith, or made shipwreck of it, or cast off their first faith, and consequently their firf love, and their firit gratitude. The multitude of these, in all ages, has been innumerable. I fear, we might say of justified believers, what our Lord did of the cleansed lepers : Were there not ten cleanfed? but where are the nine ? Alas! like the apostates mentioned by St. Paul, they are turned aside after the flesh, after the world, after fables, after antinomian dotages, after vain jangling, after Satan himself. 1 Tim. v. 15.]
(41) † This argument is quite frivolous, if my late opponent is right. Ilow bas many a poor soul, says he, who has been faitbless thro' the fear of man, even bleged God for Peter's denial! Five Letters, Se. COND edition revised, p. 40. Hence it appears, that denying Chrift with oaths and curses, will cause “ many a poor soul to bless God," i, e. to-glorify our heavenly Fatber. Now if horrid crimes do this as well as good works, is it not absurd to inforce the practice of good works, by saying, that they alone have that blessed effect? But my opponent may easily get over this difficulty before those, whose bata tles he fights. He needs only charge me with difingenuity for not quoting the THIRD revised edition of his book, if he has published inch a one.
(5) We are to be careful to maintain good works, [not only that we may not lose our confidence in God,
John jij. 19, &c. but also] that we may nourish and increase our faith or spiritual life ; [or, to use the language of St. James, that faith may work with our works, and that by works our faith may be made perfect.] As a man (in health, who is † threatened by no danger,] does not walk that his walking may procure him life (or save his life from destruction ;] but that he may preserve his health, and (add to] his ac. tivity : So a believer, does not walk in good works to get [an initial life of grace, or a primary title to an] eternal life [of glory :) but to keep up and in. crease the vigour of his faith, by which he has (already a title to, and the earnelt of] eternal life (in hea.
For as the best health without any exercise is foon destroyed, so the strongest faith without works will soon droop and die. Hence it is that St. Paul exhorts us to Hold faith and a good conscience, which Some having put away by refusing to walk in good works, concerning faith have made shipwreck.]
(6) We are not to do good works to obtain heaven by them (as if they were the primary, and properly meritorious cause of our salvation.] This i proud, antichriftian motive would poison the best doings of the greatest saints, if saints could thus trample upon the blood of their Saviour: Such a wild conceit being only the pharisee's cleaner way to hell. But we are to do them, because they shall be reçuarded in heaven
(42) + Formely I did not consider that as Noah walked into the ark, and Lot out of Sodom, to save their lives ; fo finners are called :0 turn from their iniquity, and do that which is lawful and right to fave their souls alive. Nor did I observe, that saints are commanded to walk in good works, left the destroyer overtake them, and they lefome fons of perdition, However, in Babel, such capital oversights did ine “ much credit.”
(43) I Here I leave out the word selfish, as being ambiguous. It is not selfishness, but true wisdom and well-ordered self-love, evange, fically to labour for the meat that endureth to everlasting life. Not to do
is the height of Laodicean stupidity, or antinomian conceit.
(as well as t ) with heaven. To understar.d this we must remember, that, according to the gospel and our liturgy, God opens the kingdom of heaven to all believers : [because irue believers are always true workers; true faith always working by love to God's commandments. Next to Chrilt then, to speak the language of some injudicious divines,] Faith alone, when it works by love, takes us to heaven : [Or rather, to avoid an apparent contradiction, Faith and its works are the way to heaven :) But as there are stars of different magnitude in the material heaven, so also in the spiritual. Some who, like St. Faul, have eminently thined by the work of faith, the patience of hope, and the labour of love, tall line like the brightest Itars, (or the fun :) and others, who, like the dy. ing thief and infants, have had [little f or] no time to Thew their faith (or holiness] by their works, fall enjoy a less degree of glorious bliss: But all thall afčribe the whole of their salvation only to the mercy of God, the merits of Chrift, and the efficacy of his blood and spirit, according to St. John's vision : I beheld, and le a great multitude of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, food before the thrones with palms in their hands, cloathed with robes, that they had washed, and made white in the blood of the Lamb: And [while our Lord said to them by his gra
(44) + Here I leave out altho' not, and supply, as well as, for the
reasons assigned in the Scriptural Ejay. (45) I Mr. H. triumphs in his Finishing Stroke, p: 50, last note, thro' my omission of those two words. But without having recourse to “ magical power," or even to "Logica Helvetica,” to reconcile my sermon with my Checks; I defire unprejudiced Calvinists to mention any one besides the dying thief, that ever evidenced his faith by confesling Christ, when his very apostles denied or forsook him ; by openly praying to him, when the multitudes reviled him; by humbly pleading guilty before thousands ; by publicly defending injured innocence; by boldly reproving blafphemy; by kindly admonishing his fellow-malefactor ; and by fully acknowledging Christ's kingly office, when he was crowned with thorns, and hanging on the cross ? Did St. John, did Mary Magdalen, did even the Virgin Mary, for their faith by such glorious works, under such unfavourable circumstances ? Oye Solifidians, where is your attention ?