Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and that he must make "atonement by his blood j that he must suffer a painful and ignominious death, crucified between two malefactors; himself condemned as a malefactor, though he was the Lord of Glory. All this abasement, all this anguish he foresaw to be necessary, if he would purchase redemption for mankind. AH this abasement and anguish he foresaw ; but it shook not the purpose of his love. Though he was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God ; he made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross {u). By this his obedience unto death the great atonement was made. The gate of heaven was thrown open to man. Pardon through the blood of Christ, fanctification through the Holy Ghost, and everlasting happiness in the world to come were offerred, as purchased by the sacrifice of Christ, to all who should fly for salvation "to him.

How then may we acquire an interest in these bleffings I By faith: by faith only.

'.''' 'r'' fcjKiilipp.li- 6-8. : '.I. ...}\tJ'l"/ .. ) . i.-V' ,'..: -''.

r. . Faith

faith is ordained of God to be the instrument, the only instrument, by which we may receive and apply to ourselves the mercy of God, the atonement of our Redeemer. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thoujhalt be

saved. A man is justified by faith. The lazv worketh wrath: therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace. 'Therefore being justified by

faith, we have peace with Gc ithrough our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by

faith into this grace wherein we fland. The righteousness of'God'(the method of justification which God hath ordained) without the works of the law (without our works being required to do that which they never could do, to pay an atom of the price of salvation) is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe : for there is no difference ; for all have

Jinnedand come short of the glory of God; being

justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set

forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood (w). Justification by faith alone, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ:, iscthe grand doctrine,, o£ both testaments, Cinder

(tt>) Acts, xvi.31. Rom. Hi. 28. Gal. ii. 16. Rom. iv. 15, i<jj. v. 1, a. iii. 21-^25;-.-'

[graphic]

their authority, it was the grand doctrine of the reformation; It is the grand doctrine of the church of England. It was witnessed by the law. It is the justification to which the Intimations of mercy that gleamed amidst the awful curses of the law alluded; the justification which the law with all its shadowy rites and emblematical sacrifices unremittingly prefigured. It is the justification witnessed by the prophets. To that Redeemer by whose blood it was tq be accomplished, give all the prophets witness; that through his name, whosoever believeth on him shall receive remission ofjins (*). It is the justification to which, from the gospel ofSt. Matthew to the book of Revelations, all the penmen of the new covenant bear witness. It is the justification by which God is glorified; the justification by which man is to be saved.

The most salutary instruction may be perverted; ^he most holy doctrine may be vilified. What Jhdll we fay, therefore, if Ignorance should accost us in the language which she once addressed to St. Paul: Do you then make void the law through faith? Shall we continue in Jin thai grace may abounds In what words shall we reply but in those of the apostle? Cod forbid! Tea, we establish tht law. Gbd

(m) Acts, X, 43. , . - . ^

forbid!

forbid! How Jhall we that are dead to Jin, liv? any longer therein? They -which do the works of the fejh shall not'lnherlt the kingdom of God. Continue in faith and holiness* Without holiness no man Jhall fee the Lord. This is a faithful faying, and these things I will that thou affirm con/lantly; that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works (y). Is additional refutation necessary? Let it be given in the words of St. James. Know, 0 vain man, that faith. without works is dead. JBy "works faith is made perfecl. By works a man is jus if ed, and not by faith only (z). But here new difficulties seem to arise. "If St. Paul acknowledges that holiness must be con"stantly added to faith; if St. James affirms "that a man is justified, not by faith only, "but by works; where is the unity of Chrif"tian doctrine? Is the apostle of the Gen"tiles inconsistent with himself? Do the two "apostles contradict each other? Will you "plead that they speak of a first and of a sub"sequent justification? Or do you contend "that they refer, the one to justification in "the sight of God, the other only to justifica"in the sight of men?" St. Paul is in no degree inconsistent with himself. The two

(y) Rom. iii. 31. vi. t,2. Gal. v. 19—21. 1 Tim.ii. 15. Tit. iii. S. i-Ieb. xii. 14. (z) Janiffs,.ii. 20. 22. 24.

apostles

apostles accord in perfect harmony of sentiment : they speak of one and the same justification; and of justification-in the sight of God. The justifying faith of St. Paul is faith that worketh by love (a). The justifying, or persecl, faith of St. James, is faith which bringeth forth good "works. The fame faith is described by the two apostles, and in terms of the fame import. A dead, barren, and speculative faith is equally condemned by both. According to the doctrine, the uniform doctrine, of both, a living faith is a faith that justifies; and no faith is a living faith, which does not evince itself to be such by the fruits which a living faith cannot but produce, holiness and good works. -" Yet when St. James prou nounces that a man is justified not by faith K only, but by works; is not this," it will finally be objected, ** to pronounce that good "works pay a part of the price of our justifi? cation?" Impossible !" Howis the impoffi"bility manifested?" By the two following considerations. First: Because such an interpretation of the words of the apostle, an interpretation in no degree required by the ordinary use of language, is utterly inconsistent with that righteousness of God, that method

...-{*) Gal v. 6. *•. ,• .; ". of

« AnteriorContinuar »