« AnteriorContinuar »
of expounding the scripture doctrine of justification by faith. We extract what applies to one of them. ." If we regard that doctrine, (viz. Justification by Faith), as stating the ground of our salvation, and as restraining it entirely to Christ's only sufferings and merits, as the proper cause of our Redemption, which is the view taken of the subject by St. Paul In his epistle to the Romans, then the general conditions of the Christian covenant will be perfectly consistent with this statement. Thus the benefit of pardon, grace, and glory, will arise as the purchased blessings procured for us by the blood and merits of one only Saviour, though the grant of those gifts be suspended on conditions, which are calculated to our best improve. ment, and graciously adapted to a state of trial or probation consistent with our present circumstances and capacity. It will still remain indubitably clear that those unspeakable advantages are procured for us by Another's mcrits, that they are bestowed only for his sake, and purchased at a price to which we contribute nothing; though the same gifts be coupled with such terms as are inseparable from the nature of a state of trial, and from the moral character of man. If we will only keep in mind the purpose and intent to which the Redeemer's sufferings and merits have their full avail, and compare that with the end for which the Christian's service, under the general conditions of the gospel is required, we shall not fail to find a clear, easy, and obvious solution of the difficulties which have been raised upon this subjeet; and it will be sufficient barely to state this difference, in order to shew that the conditions of the Christian covenant are perfectly compatible with the sole sufficiency of the Redeemer's merits in the work of justification here considered. Thus then it is one thing to be the only valuable cause by which salvation is procured, and it is another thing to be the condition upon which that gift is graciously bestowed. From the former of these, that is from the meritorious cause, we exclude not only our own works of every kind, but repentance and faith also. Under the latter, that is under the condition, we find repentance, faith, and obedience, to be constantly required. .
" The distinction here proposed is not a nice or subtle thing. The simplest man may understand the difference between the cause, and the condition of his hope. By that obvious discrimination he will be able to solve a question which has exercised the pains of many, and to reconcile with ease the supposed discordance between the words of revealed truth in the mouths of two of its distinguished witnesses. Thus when St. Paul in his cpistle to the Romans treats of the meritorious ground or reason of our justification for Christ's only sake, he speaks in different terms from his fellow-witness, who treats in his general epistle of
the conditions of the Christian covenant. The very scope of the · two discourses, and the persons to whom they were addressed,
point point directly to this obvious distinction. St. Paul aims his reasoning at the Jews, and therefore he lays open the foundation of & liew and better covenant than that in which they trusted. St. James addresses Christian converts who admitted the true ground of salvation, but wanted to get rid of the conditions of the gospel, contending that Faith might serve without works of probation. Accordingly he does not treat there of the meritorious cause of our salvation, nor has he one word in that discourse which looks that way, which is the true reason why he speaks so differently from St. Paul. He confines his remarks to that which was called in question, the conditions of the gospel. He does not, as some would have him, profess to shew that there is ono mode of justification before God, and another before men, concerning which distinction there is not a syllable in his discourse; nor does he intimate, as some also suppose, that good works will follow faith by inevitable consequence. He supposes rather from the very case of those whom he reproves, that men might believe, and stop short in their belief. He therefore proves that obedience must be added to faith, upon the same grounds of choice and trial, with the same voluntary. prosecution of the terms of our engagement, and in order to the same end.”
This we consider as a fair specimen of the able manner in which the Archdeacon handles his subject, and the excellent use he makes of the criterion which he takes up.
Would our limits admit, we could enrich our pages with many admirable observations on the much agitated and too little understood subjects of clection, grace and assurance, but we cheerfully refer our Readers to a careful pe. rusal of the Work itself, which on account of the temper, clearness, and acuteness displayed in it, may be safely pronounced a most seasonable IRENICUM to heal the wounds of the church.
Reflections on the Policy and Justice of an immediate and
general Emancipation of the Roman Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland. By the late Lord Petre. 1o which are added, some Strictures on the same subject, by the Editor, Sto.
DREFIXED to this tract, is a pompous and inflated
I panegyric upon the noble author, re-printed from a newspaper, and here avowed by the editor, who is no other person than the renowned wight Mr. Felix M-Car,
thy; and who does not know Mr. Felix M'Carthy ? This gentleman has manifested no small ingenuity in the book making craft, by eikng out a few loose “ reflections," said to be Lord Petre's into a three shilling and sixpenny pamphlet. This he has done by attaching to it à foolish letter of his own, to that foolish zealot of framing méinory lord George Gordon, ad whic h was first printed in 1782. On these stilts stalks forth Mr. Felix M.Carthy abusing the government and demanding the emancipation of the Catholics of Great Britain and
Ireland, as a matter of right, . In a dedication to the Prince of Wales, Mr. M.Carthy has the assurance roundly to assert that his Royal Highness" is the illustrious PATRON of that cause so ably advocated by his lordship:” which is as much as to say, that his Royal Highness is a friend to all the prin. ciples and objects contained in this memorial of the Roman Catholics, as said to be drawn up by Lord Petre, and published and illustrated by Mr. Felix M'Carthy. :
Were this 'so, it would be a matter of very serious concern, for it is here claimed, on the behalf of that body, that they should have free and equal admission into either house of parliament. Now, if this door were once opened, we beg leave to ask, of what description of persons would the Irish representation consist, when it is here acknowleged that three-fourths of the inhabitants of Ireland are Roman catholics?
Perhaps the editor of this pamphlet will not scruple to say; and glory in it too, that the majority of members would be Roman Catholics. Let this once happen, the next thing would be a division of ecclesiastical property between the clergy of the establishment and the Roman catholics': in consequence, the latter would obtain by far the largest portion.
The author sets out by citing more malevolently than could be expected from a nobleman who is said to have possessed so much of the milk of human kindness, , an observation, asserted to have been made in the House of Lords by a learned prelate, that, “the people have nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.” His lordship, or the editor for him, then applies this literally to the people of Ireland, who; says he, “had nothing to do with the laws but to obey and curse them.”
We remember to have heard this insulated expression much hackzied and bandied about by the jacobinal party,
but we never thought that any man of liberality and understanding would have gravely mentioned it in a publication upon a serious subject. When the words were first used, they were also explained, and that too, to the satisfaction of noblemen high in opposition and in popular esteem. The people certainly have nothing to do with the laws of their country, but to obey them; for, after they become such, they are sacred, and no authority, short of that which enacted, can destroy or alter them. This is so self-evident that none but downright republicans and men of vicious principles will attempt to controvert it.
The author of the reflections, for, after all, it is not perfectly satisfactory to us that they are the genuine production of the noble personage wbose name they bear, (but dead men tell no tales) after whining over the union of Ireland with much of complaint and nothing of arguineot, proceeds to consider the restrictions which lie on the Roman Catholics of England. Here he observes, that while there still existed a PRETENDER panting, and sometimes struggling, to regain the abdicated throne of his ancestors, he was far from experiencing any countenance or assistance from the Roman Catholics of this country " '
On this assertion we cannot but pause; for, in the first place, it is not true, and, in the next, it is needless. We really think that the assistance given by Roman Catholics to James [I. and his descendants, was no reflection either upon their consistency or their morals. On the contrary, such an attachment was not only natural, but, considering the sacrifices made to them by that unfortunate family, it was a debt of gratitude. The question, as to protestants, is of a very different kind, but with respect to Roman catholics strictly and conscientionsly adhering to their tenets, we are of opinion, that their espousing the cause of the Stuarts was not at all to be condemned. :
Much labour is bestowed upon the coronation oath, which a certain august personage is said to regard as an insuperable bar against granting a catholic emancipation. On this delicate subject we shall make no other remark than this, that all which is here said upon it does not tend to clear up the scruple, " an · A very gross insinuation is made against some prelate as having been converted from "a philosophical atheist
of of the college, into the zealous apostle of the pulpit !" To whom the allusion is made, we find ourselves at a total loss to conjecture; but the author of the aspersion, let him be who he may, has done no credit to his cause by such pitiful arts. Nothing can be easier than to fabricate such indiscriminate charges, and thus calumniate any.church or community by drawing hideous caricatures, which have no other reality than in the libels which exbibit them for the purpose of imposing upon the credulous and ignorant.
tures, which or commnunate chargesn be easier to his cause
exhibihave no oty by drawiand thus chalan to fa
Justification by Faith ; a Sermon preached at the primary.
visitation of the Right Rev. Father in God, Henry William, Lord Bishop of Chester, held at Richmond : in Yorkshire, August 22, 1804 ; and published at his
Lordship's request. By John HEADLAM, M. A. Rector of Wycliffe. 4to. pp. 30.
Text :-Job ix, 2.“ How shall man be just with God?" M R. HEADLAM examines very closely the great
I mystery of justification and salvation, and as he justly observes
“ It may afford matter of astonishment that at this period of the gospel history, when the word of God has been open to the serious meditation of pious and learned men for so many centuries, different opinions should still be entertained on this fundamental part of our holy religion; that, amongst sincere believers, who all equally appeal to the authority of holy scripture, questions should still be agitated concerning our justification by faith; and that even the meaning of the terms justification, and the faith which justifies, should still afford matter for controversy."
He then proceeds thus to state the true scriptural doctrine on this important subject :- .
“ Justification, simply considered, means the being made just, And evangelical justification imports the being entitled, under the new covenant, to those privileges which under the law of nature were the rewards only of the just, i. e. of those who were without sin. This state of spotless obedience, however, being impossible to fallen man, justification in the sense in which it is generally used in the New Testament, seems properly to express the change which is effected in us on our becoming christians, and the difference thence produced between our fallen and redeemed nature. On our coming to Christ, our sins are pardoned; by God's grace and the assistance of his holy spirit, the cor
Vol. VII. Churchm. Mag. Dec. 1804. 000 ruption