Sivut kuvina

on Good Works, Part I, the end. Hereby the mercy of God is magnified.

Fifthly.In respect to justification by faith working by love. Though faith, and faith working by love, are, according to the analogy of scripture, synonymous, aš has been shewn ; nevertheless the apostle, I apprehend, foreseeing the perversity of mankind in endeavouring to evade generul truths, to which there must almost always be exceptions, has, in Gal. v. 6. defined the sense in wbich he usually applies the word faith, and taught us that it means a true and lively faith ; agreeably to which our church, in her eminent wisdom, most happily makes a true and lively faith the sole condition of salvation. See the Article on Good Works, and the Homily on Salvation, Part I. Perhaps the English reformers observing the effects of the Lutheran doctrines, had learned, that though the doctrine of justification by faith be true, the thing expressed in different words is less liable to misconception and perversion...

Sixthly.-- Justification by faith and works, (James ii. 24.) supposes opportunity given for works, and therefore relates to a state of justification, and not to the commencement of that state. The doctrine of St. James agrees very well with the Homily on Good Works, Part I. the end. It resolves itself into this, that though the Almighty is willing to take the will for the deed in cases where the deed cannot be performed, in other cases, he requires both will and deed, and will judge every man according to his works:

The object of St. James certainly was not to change the condition of justification supported by the analogy and tenor of the gospel; but to limit and protect it from misconceptions and evasions. But be this as it may, although perhaps we may not discover the higher reasons for the importance attached in the gospel to faith, still the experience of ages may prove to every impartial observer, the practical wisdom of the divine legislator, in requiring principles before practice, and his omniscience in searching the heart rather than the hands.

I am, Gentlemen,
Your obedient humble Servant,



Mr. Daubeny's Reply to Mr. PEARSON.



T BEG leave, through the channel ofyour valuable Mis-

cellany, to say a few words in answer to your respectable correspondent Mr. Pearson, who has brought forward to notice an apparent error in one of my publications. Mr. Pearson's words in a late number of the Magazine are * these : “ Truth compels me to say, that Mr. Daubeny (see his Vindiciæ Eccl. Angl. page 360, 371.) whether misled by haste, or quoting through an erroneous medium, has given a wrong representation of what the Homily says; a representation indeed quite the reverse of what is the fact, in the hurry of consultation, the little but important word not” might escape the eye; but it must be confessed, that, in a point on which a part of the controversy so much depended, more care ought to have been taken.” Should Mr. Pearson have it in his power to consult the edition of Homilies bearing date 1640, the only edition I possess, and that alone which I have read, he will find that there has not only been no error of quotation on my part, but that, understanding our reformers according to strict precision of language, he will not perhaps be surprized, that the passage in question should not have suggested to my · mind any doubt with respect to its correctness; and con

sequently, that it should not have occurred to me, that further examination was necessary. The object which the reformers apparently had in view in the Homily in question, was, to discriminate between the two kinds of faith ; that which would not, and that which would be available to salvation; for the express purpose of guarding against a coinmon and dangerous deception on this important subject. With this object before them, the Homily begins with stating, that“ faith is taken in scripture two manner of ways.” From generals the Homily then proceeds to particulars; and for the evident purpose of discriminating between the two kinds of faith, according to the two manner of ways in which that term · is taken in scripture, furnishes a particular description of * See Orthodox Churchnan's Magazine for August 1805, page 99.


each in its respective kind. The first kind of faith de

scribed is, that which by way of distinction, is called · dead faith, on account of its unfruitfulness: and this faith

consists (as the Homily proceeds to inform us) " in a pérsuasion and belief in man's heart, whereby he knoweth that there is a God, and agreeth unto all the truth of God's most holy word contained in the holy scripture." This kind of faith, the Homily (in my edition of it) goes on to say, “ is properly called faith ; that is, as I understand, it is so called in reference to that kind of faith which had just been described. And this language appears to be strictly correct. For faith, in the simple acceptation of the term, is the assent of the mind io the testimony of others : in the scripture sense it, considered abstractedly from the consequences justly to be expected from it, it is what the Homily describes it, “a persuasion and belief, in man's heart, whereby he agreeth unto all the truth of God's most holy word contained in the holy scripture,” founded on the evidence which that scripture furnishes: or, in Mr. Pearson's definition of it, “ an assent, on the authority of inspired persons, to those revealed truths, of which we have not the evidence of sense.” To call faith then what, when considered in the sense under consideration, it really is, is certainly to call it by its proper name. Whereas to say, that of two ways in which faith is taken in scripture, one only is the proper way; or, that in one only of the two manner of ways in which faith is taken in scripture, it is properly called faith; is indirectly to say, that the term faith cannot be properly used in different senses. A position which every intelligent reader of scripture must be competent to disprove.

But though the faith here referred to, as one of those two kinds of faith spoken of in scripture, must, when taken in the way in which it is taken in scripture, be properly so called;" yet it is not that kind of faith which will be effectual to the salvation of the believing party. To discriminate then between these two kinds of faith, according to the different ways in which they are taken in scripture; to the description of the former, the Homily immediately subjoins that of the latter : with the view, that these two kinds of faith thus clearly distinguished from each other by their peculiar characteristics furnishing Christians with a criterion by which a correct judgment may be formed with respect to the kind of


faith they actually possess, all deception on so important a subject might thereby be effectually prevented. Regarding precision of language then, in conneetion with the object the reformers apparently had in view, in thus contrasting the two kinds of faith spoken of in seripture with each other, it was but giving them credit for correct writing, to admit the passage in question as it stands in my edition, without further examination.

“The worthies who are recorded in the 11th chap. of the Epist. to the Heb. (Mr. Pearson justly observes,) are commended, not merely because they had faith, but becanse their faith was productive of its intended effeet. They might have had faith, (continues Mr. Pearson) and faith in the scripture sense, without its being productive of that effect.” If the worthies here alluded to might have had faith in the scripture sense, they must have had what, in that sense, was properly called faith. But as they might have had faith in a scripture sense, though unproductive in kind; they could in such case have possessed faith only in that simple and abstract sense of it above given; which, in Mr. Pearson's words, “ is no more than assent on the authority of inspired persons, to those revealed truths of which we have not the evidence of sense." Froin whence it will follow, even admitting the consequence of my quoting through an erroneous medium, to have been that of my giving a wrong representation of what the, according to the general editions of it, does say; that I have not given “ a representation which is (in itself) quite the reverse of the fact.” For, by making the reformers say, that the kind of faith which consists in “ a persuasion and belief in a man's heart, whereby he agreeth unto all the truths of God's most holy word contained in scripture,” (a definition which corresponds with that which Mr. Pearson has annexed to what he says is now more commonly understood by the word faith, namely, “ that it means no more than an assent to the authority of inspired persons to those revealed truths of which we have not the evidence of sense ;) by making the reformers say, that this kind of faith " is properly called faith," I only make them say, what, in Mr. Pearson's own judgment, ought, strictly speaking, to be said on the subject, as thus stated. Whereas, on the other hand, admitting the reformers to say, that of two kinds of faith, as that term is differently taken in scripture, ode is not properly called faith ; they


indirectly say, that the scripture does not in this case make use of proper language: a position which they certainly could not mean to advance. At the same time to suppose them saying, that ' a persuasion and belief in man's heart, whereby he agreeth uoto all the truth of God's most holy word contained in scripture," is not properly called faith; is to make them advance a position, which, according to the sense in which Mr. Pearson says the term Faith is now more commonly understood, must, in bis judgment, be as certainly contrary to truth. In justice then to the character of our Reformers, where speaking of faith as the mere assent of the mind to the truths of revelation, they are supposed to say, that “ this is not properly called faith;" we must understand them as referring, not to the kind of faith which they had just been describing, but to that they were then about to describe; as that kind of faith which would alone save the sipper. As if they had said ; that kind of faith which has just been described, being merely professional and unaccompanied with the fruits to be expected from it, and as such ineffectual to salvation, is on that account not properly called faith; because, in the evangelical view of this subject, we do not consider that faith to be properly so called, which is not productive of its proper effects. The meaning of the reformers thus explained, is perfectly intelligible; and it is a meaning which all who understand the scripture, must readily admit; however, the language in which it is conveyed in the Homily before us, (according to the general editions of it,) may not be strictly correct. Still in justice to my own edition I must observe, on the supposition that the word “ notis to be taken into the text, that the sentence in which in such case it will be found, ought, as it strikes me, to have commenced with the disjunctive particle “ BUT;" not, as it does, with the connecting particle “ AND.” Whether then the insertion of the little word " not be an interpolation, which the original copy of the Homilies will not warrant, or the omission of it be an emendation of the editor of a particular edition, which the general tenor of editions may not justify; appears to me a point of no great importance to be determined ; since the conclusion meant to be drawn from the Homily in question, in whatever edition it be read, cannot fail to be strikingly obvious. The error so prevalent on this subject appears to have taken its rise from a want of due at

Vol. IX. Churchm. Mag. for Nov. 1805. Xx tention

« EdellinenJatka »