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faith, which, however, is insufficient to keep him in that state! Dead faith can be accompanied' only by formal and dead works : and will. this dead faith and these dead works combined, either justify a man or preserve him in a justified state?' -Would St. James have granted that the faith, which he had spoken of as vain, was sufficient to bring a man into a justified state ? and that the vain men, of whom he speaks, were once justified believers ? and justified by this dead faith? Or is it supposed that living faith, having justified the possessor, expires or' degenerates into dead faith?' As continuance, and preservation in a justified state, are not mentioned by the apostle, we may conclude that he did not intend to convey that sentiment :
Thus St. Paul says, “ Because of unbelief, they “ were broken off, and thou standest by faith.” 1 “ For by faith ye stand.”? And St. Peter, “Who “are kept by the power of God through faith unto “ salvation."3 St. Paul speaking of justification by faith evidently meant, that faith alone formed a sinner's relation to Christ, and so, through his righteousness and atonement, justified him before God: but this justifying faith “ works by love." and produces the fruits of holy obedience: and St. James evidently meant, that no faith which was not productive of good works could justify a man before God, being dead and worthless. There is therefore à sound sense in which a man may be said “ to be justified by works, and not by faith “ only." His works must shew that his faith is
living; and justify him, as a professed servant of God, from every charge or suspicion of hypocrisy : and they will be adduced as evidence of his having been a true believer, at the day of judgment. St. James, however, does not say that a man is “ justified before God” by works ; and probably he meant, evidentially, before the church and the world. But St. Paul and St. James are perfectly agreed, that nothing “ availeth in Christ Jesus, (or for justification,) “ but faith which worketh by “ love."1
Whenever St. Paul, in speaking of justification, uses the words, “works” or “deeds," he invariably adds“ of the law;" he frequently says, 6“a man is not justified by the works of the law,” but not once does he say, a man is not justified by works: so scrupulous is he upon this point, that he repeats the expression, “ works of the law," three times in one verse. The works, therefore, which he rejects from any share in justification are the ceremonial works of the law, ' for which the Judaizing Christians contended.'? · This can only mean that the two words justify and works, without some addition, do not occur in the same sentence in St. Paul's writings: and yet even this is not quite correct. “ If Abraham were justified by works, he hath “ whereof to glory."3 Here works are completely excluded from justifying Abraham; and ceremonial works, or
. Gal. v. 6. * Ref. 120.-See an express denial of this by Bp. Bull, and Dr. Taylor, in the preceding pages.
13 Rom. iv. 2.
“ works of the law,” could not be intended; for the law was not yet given.—" To him that work“eth is the reward not reckoned of grace but of “ debt. But to him that worketh not, but be“ lieveth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his “ faith is counted for righteousness.” Working of every kind is here excluded expressly from justication by grace, and therefore from justification by faith; and “worketh not” is explained by “ungodly.”—“Even as David also describeth the “ blessedness of him unto whom God imputeth “ righteousness without works.”l. Are not works of all sorts here excluded from that justification of which the apostle was discoursing? The same is manifestly shewn, though not in exactly the same words, in many other places. “By grace are ye “ saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, “ it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man “ should boast; for we are his workmanship, “ created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which “ God hath before ordained that we should walk “ in them.” 2 Here works of every kind, are excluded from having saved us; and a new creation unto good works is considered as a part of our salvation. Works of every kind must then be excluded from any share in our justification.--"Who “ hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, “not according to our works, but according to his “ own purpose and grace."3 “ Not by works of “ righteousness, which we have done, but accord“ ing to his mercy he saved us : that, being “justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
“ according to the hope of eternal life.”! No distinction is here made between one sort of works and another; or, rather, “ works of righteousness" properly means obedience to the moral law.'“ Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh 166 be justified before God, for by the law is the “ knowledge of sin."-By what law is “ the know“ ledge of sin?” By the moral, or by the ritual law? “I had not known sin but by the law; for " I had not known lust, except the law had said, “ Thou shalt not covet.” 2 Now what law said, “ Thou shalt not covet?” The ceremonial, or the moral? Indeed all the apostle's preceding discourse had been concerning the violations of the moral law, without one reference to the ceremonies, as even Dr. Taylor affirms. It is by referring to scriptures not at all connected with the ritual law, that the apostle brings his argument to this conclusion : “We know that what things so“ever the law saith, it saith to them that are under “ the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and “ all the world become guilty before God. There“ fore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be “ justified in his sight: for by the law is the “ knowledge of sin.”3 But why must ceremonial works exclusively be meant, by the “ works of the “ law ? ” No good reason can be assigned for such a limitation. Though ceremonial observances introduced the subject in the second chapter of Galatians ; yet the apostle afterwards says, “I
"Tit. iii. 4–7.
* Rom. vii. 7. Gr. 'Etodoulay. 'Oux étud Ounces. Coveting. Thou shalt not covet
Rom. iii. 9--20.
« through the law, am dead to the law;" which accords to his language elsewhere, when he says, “I was alive without the law once, but when the “ commandment came, sin revived and I died;" 1 where the moral law exclusively is meant, beyond all doubt: and he adds, “ If righteousness come “ by the law, then Christ is dead in vain;" which equally holds good of the moral as of the ritual law.-“ As many as are of the works -of the law.. “are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is “ every one, that continueth not in all things “ written in the law to do them.” 2 Now the passage to which the apostle refers wholly treats of sins against the moral law, without a single intimation of the ceremonies.3 “ The works of the “ law,” therefore, do not exclude works of obedience to the moral law. It was the tenth commandment, “ Thou shalt not covet,” which 'slew the self-righteous hopes of Saul of Tarsus.-Even real good works, “ the fruits of the Spirit,” (and let it be noted, that none else are called good works, in the New Testament,) can do nothing, towards our justification.-- Good works, which
are the fruits of faith, and follow after justifica"tion, cannot put away our sins, and endure the.
severity of God's judgment.'4 'And also you • have heard the ancient authors' minds of this
saying, Faith in Christ only justifieth man, so • plainly declared, that you see, that the very true meaning of this proposition, or saying, We be justified by faith in Christ only, (according to
· Comp. Rom. vii. 7-9, with Gal. ii. 19-21. · Gal. iii. 10. Deut. xxvii. 15-26.
* Art. xii.