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may be the truth in that case; but what is their power, force, and efficacy, towards them that truly believe.

3. The answers which the apostle returns positively unto this objection wherein he declares the necessity, nature, ends and use of evangelical righteousness, and good works, are large, and many comprehensive of a great part of the doctrine of the gospel. I shall only mention the heads of some of them which are the same that we plead in the vindication of the same truth.

1. He pleads the ordination of God; God hath before ordained that we should walk in them;' Eph. ii. 10. God hath designed, in the disposal of the order of the causes of salvation, that those who believe in Christ should live in, walk in, abound in, good works, and all duties of obedience unto God. To this end are precepts, directions, motives and encouragements, every where multiplied in the Scripture. Wherefore we say that good works, and that as they include the gradual progressive renovation of our natures, our growth and increase in grace, with fruitfulness in our lives, are necessary from the ordination of God, from his will and command. And what need there any farther dispute about the necessity of good works among them that know what it is to believe, or what respect there is in the souls and consciences of believers unto the commands of God?

But what force, say some, is in this command or ordination of God, when notwithstanding it, and if we do not apply ourselves unto obedience, we shall be justified by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, and so may be saved without them. I say, 1. As was before observed, that it is believers alone concerning whom this inquiry is made; and there is none of them but will judge this a most unreasonable and senseless objection, as that which ariseth from an utter ignorance of their state and relation unto God. To suppose that the minds of believers are not as much and as effectually influenced with the authority and commands of God unto duty and obedience, as if they were all given in order unto their justification, is to consider neither what faith is, nor what it is to be a believer, nor what is the relation that we stand in unto God by faith in Christ Jesus, nor what are the arguments or motives wherewith the minds of such persons are principally affected and constrained.

This is the answer which the apostle gives at large unto this exception, Rom. vi. 2, 3. 2. The whole fallacy of this exception is, 1. In separating the things that God hath made inseparable, these are our justification and our sanctification. To suppose that the one of these may be without the other, is to overthrow the whole gospel. 2. In compounding those things that are distinct, namely, justification and eternal actual salvation; the respect of works and obedience being not the same unto them both, as hath been declared. Wherefore, this imagination that the commands of God unto duty, however given, and unto what ends soever, are not equally obligatory unto the consciences of believers, as if they were all given in order unto their justification before God, is an absurd figment, and which all of them who are truly so, defy. Yea, they have a greater power upon them, than they could have, if the duties required in them were in order unto their justification, and so were antecedent thereunto. For thereby they must be supposed to have their efficacy upon them before they truly believe. For to say that a man may be a true believer, or truly believe, in answer unto the commands of the gospel, and not to be thereon, in the same instant of time absolutely justified, is not to dispute about any point of religion, but plainly to deny the whole truth of the gospel. But it is faith alone that gives power and efficacy unto gospel commands, effectually to influence the soul unto obedience. Wherefore, this obligation is more powerfully constraining, as they are given unto those that are justified, than if they were given them in order unto their justification.

2. The apostle answers, as we do also, 'Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.' For although the law is principally established in and by the obedience and sufferings of Christ, Rom. viii. 3, 4. x. 3, 4. yet is it not, by the doctrine of faith and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto the justification of life, made void as unto believers. Neither of these do exempt them from that obligation unto universal obedience, which is prescribed in the law. They are still obliged by virtue thereof to 'love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and their neighbours as themselves.' They are indeed freed from the law, and all its commands unto

duty as it abides in its first consideration, 'Do this and live; the opposite whereunto is, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the law to do them.' For he that is under the obligation of the law in order unto justification and life, falls inevitably under the curse of it, upon the supposition of any one transgression. But we are made free to give obedience unto it, on gospel motives, and for gospel ends, as the apostle declares at large, Rom. vi. And the obligation of it is such unto all believers, as that the least transgression of it hath the nature of sin. But are they hereon bound over by the law unto everlasting punishment; or, as some phrase it, will God damn them that transgress the law, without which all this is nothing? I ask again what they think hereof; and upon a supposition that he will do so, what they farther think will become of themselves? For my part, I say, no; even as the apostle saith, There is no condemnation unto them that are in Christ Jesus.' Where, then, they will say, is the necessity of obedience from the obligation of the law, if God will not damn them that transgress it? And I say, it were well if some men did understand what they say in these things, or would learn, for a while at least, to hold their peace. The law equally requires obedience in all instances of duty, if it require any at all. As unto its obligatory power, it is capable neither of dispensation nor relaxation, so long as the essential differences of good and evil do remain. If, then, none can be obliged unto duty by virtue of its commands, but that they must on every transgression fall under its curse, either it obligeth no one at all, or no one can be saved. But although we are freed from the curse and condemning power of the law by him who hath made an end of sin and brought in everlasting righteousness; yet, whilst we are 'viatores' in order unto the accomplishment of God's design for the restoration of his image in us, we are obliged to endeavour after all that holiness and righteousness which the law requires of us.

3. The apostle answereth this objection, by discovering the necessary relation that faith hath unto the death of Christ, the grace of God, with the nature of sanctification, excellency, use and advantage of gospel holiness, and the end of it in God's appointment. This he doth at

large in the whole sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and that with this immediate design, to shew the consistency of justification by faith alone, with the necessity of personal righteousness and holiness. The due pleading of these things would require a just and full exposition of that chapter wherein the apostle hath comprised the chief springs and reasons of evangelical obedience. I shall only say, that those unto whom the reasons of it, and motives unto it, therein expressed, which are all of them compliant with the doctrine of justification by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, are not effectual unto their own personal obedience, and do not demonstrate an indispensable necessity of it, are so unacquainted with the gospel, the nature of faith, the genius and inclination of the new creature (for, let men scoff on whilst they please, 'he that is in Christ Jesus is a new creature'), the constraining efficacy of the grace of God, and love of Christ, of the economy of God in the disposition of the causes and means of our salvation, as I shall never trouble myself to contend with them about these things.

Sundry other considerations I thought to have added unto the same purpose; and to have shewed, 1. That to prove the necessity, of inherent righteousness and holiness, we make use of the arguments which are suggested unto us in the Scripture. 2. That we make use of all of them in the sense wherein, and unto, the ends for which they are urged therein, in perfect compliance with what we teach concerning justification. 3. That all the pretended arguments or motives, for and unto evangelical holiness, which are inconsistent with the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, do indeed obstruct it, and evert it. 4. That the holiness which we make necessary unto the salvation of them that believe, is of a more excellent, sublime, and heavenly nature, in its causes, essence, operations, and effects, than what is allowed or believed, by the most of those by whom the doctrine of justification is opposed. 5. That the holiness and righteousness which is pleaded for by the Socinians and those that follow them, doth in nothing exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; nor upon their principles can any man go beyond them. But whereas this discourse hath already much exceeded my first inten

tion, and that, as I said before, I have already at large treated on the doctrine of the nature and necessity of evangelical holiness, I shall at present omit the farther handling of these things, and acquiesce in the answers given by the apostle unto this objection.


The doctrine of the apostle James, concerning faith and works. Its agreement with that of St. Paul.

THE seeming difference that is between the apostles Paul and James, in what they teach concerning faith, works, and justification, requires our consideration of it. For many do take advantage from some words and expressions used by the latter, directly to oppose the doctrine fully and plainly declared by the former. But whatever is of that nature pretended, hath been so satisfactorily already answered and removed by others, as that there is no great need to treat of it again. And although I suppose that there will not be an end of contending and writing in these causes, whilst we know but in part, and prophesy but in part; yet I must say, that in my judgment the usual solution of this appearing difficulty, securing the doctrine of justification by faith through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ from any concernment or contradiction in the discourse of St. James, chap. ii. 14. to the end, hath not been in the least impeached, nor hath had any new difficulty put upon it in some late discourses to that purpose. I should therefore utterly forbear to speak any thing thereof, but that I suppose it will be expected in a discourse of this nature, and do hope that I also may contribute some light unto the clearing and vindication of the truth. To this purpose it may be observed, that 1. It is taken for granted on all hands, that there is no real repugnancy or contradiction between what is delivered by these two apostles. For if that were so, the writings of one of them must be pseudepigrapha, or falsely ascribed unto them whose names they bear, and uncanonical, as the authority of the Epistle of James

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