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is entitled to eternal life, who is a subject of such works as are in their nature contrary to dead works. This is illustrated and confirmed by the apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God.” The end of those whose works are dead works, “is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we tnus speak.” Dead works must be repented of; but when we perform a good work, it is not to be repented of. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
If we do what is required of us in the word of God, we shall give God our heart, and believe on the Son of God. For this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Every command of God, whether to love, work, or believe, has the same centre. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of love unseigned.”
Treating on a subject, in which bis object is to exhibit the difference between “The works of the law” and saving faith, a certain Author observes, that, “the revelation made in the Gospel which is the exhibition of a covenant of grace to guilty man, is not a manifestation of the authority of God as a Lawgiver, demanding obedience as a worthiness to recommend to his favour and rewards; but the revelation of a Saviour for lost man; the unspeakable free gift of God, a remedy suited to his necessities; the offer of free undeseryed mercy and glorious grace, through a worthy Mediator; and every one is invited to partake in this wonderful glorious provision, however unworthy and guilty. Here then no virtue or moral goodness is or can be given, as a price of the salvation exhibited and offered; but all the virtue and holiness that can be exercised in this case, consists in believing and receiving the things exhibited and offered, or acquiescing in them as real and excellent. And this, as it is opposed to obedience or works, as a worthiness to recommend to favour, and a reward, is more properly called FAITH.”
I readily grant, that, according to the Gospel, no virtue or moral goodness is, or can be given as a price of the salvation therein exhibited. It is true however that no salvation can be obtained by the Gospel, without virtue or moral goodness. Yea, faith itself is a dead thing, unless it contain in its nature that love or moral goodness which is required in the law. And the moral Law is as far from requiring virtue or moral goodness as a price of salvation, as is the Gospel. No man can be saved either by law or Gospel, unless he be a subject of moral goodness. For, sówithout holiness no man shall see the Lord."
The subsequent paragraph is in contrast with the foregoing quotation from the same Author. "The revelation which God first made to innocent man, was a law, or covenant of works, expressing his will and authority in requiring of them supreme and perfect respect and love, which they must render to him, as the price of his favour, and which he would reward with eternal life; and the least neglect of duty required, he threatened with his awful displeasure This is properly called a law or covenant of works; and compliance with such a revelation and command consists in works, working in order to a reward. These are "the works of the law."
By this it is evident that our Author understands the Apostle Paul to mean the same by the works of the Law as the covenant of works, which God first revealed to innocent man. Of the truth of this the reader is left to judge for himself.
Although what the law required of innocent man, was required as the price of his securing the favour of his Maker; yet what the MORAL LAW requires of fallen
man, is not required as the price of the divine favour. For, according to the law promulgated in the garden of Eden, in order to Adam's retaining the favour of God, he must be perfectly holy: But the MORAL LAW, although it requires sinless obedience; yet sinless obedience in this site, is not absolutely necessary to happiness in the life to come.
For he that KEEPETH THE LAW, happy is he.
We learn from Paul's Epistle to the Romans that there is a law which excludes boasting; and that there is a law which does not exclude boasting. Adam in a state of perfect holiness did not boast And it is the nature of the least degree of holiness not to boast It is the doing therefore of the unregenerate which does not exclude boasting; and it is the doing or believing of the man born of God which does exclude boasting. Therefore the law of works, which does not exclude boasting, cannot mean the same as the covenant of works, made with Adam; for while he kept this covenant he was free from boasting: he was as free from boasting as the best of men now are who keep the Law of faith or obey the Gospel.
Holiness as well as faith excludes boasting. If sin*less obedience did not exclude boasting, in what a situation are the holy angels? And in what a situation would have been the human race had not Adam sinned? Heaven and earth would bave been filled with boasting. Not holiness, but sin, not humility, but pride leads men to boast. If man had not lost his moral likeness to God, a boaster would not have been found in all the earth. But when the earth, in consequence of the fall of man, was filled with violence, then it was also filled with boasting. In heaven there is no boasting because there is no sin there. And if all unregenerate works should cease in the earth, all boasting would cease also.
Not to distinguish between the law to Moses and that to innocent Adam, casts a dark cloud over the whole face of divine revelation. It makes the B.ble in a measure, a sealed book. But to distinguish between these laws; and, at the same time to consider the law to Moses and the Gospel essentially the same, breaks the seals from off this blessed BOOK, and causes many scales to fall from the eyes of those who read it. This renders the Bible from Genesis to the Revelations, a harmonious, consistent, and most glorious system of Gospel truth. This makes the whole of divine revelation the Bible, to contain good news to men. It exhibits the writings of Mses and the prophets, Christ and bis apostles in perfect harmony, like the building of God which is fitly framed together, having Jesus Christ as the Foundation and Chief Corner Stone. This being the case, it cannot be said that Moses and the prophets curse, whom Christ and the apostles bless. The Old Testament does not rise up against the New, and the New contend with the Old. The Son does not bless whom the Father curses. He who loveth the Father is entitled to the same everlasting life, as he who believeth on the Son. He who loveth not the Father is entirely destitute of that faith which is necessary to obtain salvation through the Son. He who honoureth not the Father by loving him, honoureth not the Son by believing on him. And no one will come to Christ unless he be drawn of the Father. "And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. Hethat hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
The Scriptures teach nothing more plainly, than that salvation is promised to all those who believe on the only begotten Son of God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved " This is he, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood.” I thou shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved.” So then, salvation and faith are indissolubly connected. And it is equally evident, that salvation is promised to those who do the things contained in
This evidence is exhibited in the Old Testament and the New. "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes: cease to do evil; learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Jesus, in a certain case, says to his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” “There came then his brethren and his mother-and he looked round about on them, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” And such are "heirs of God, and joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, to an incorruptible and glorious inheritance; and if we suffer with Christ we shall be also glorified together. To them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, God will give eternal life.”
Some will object and say, that, although salvation is promised to well doing, as truly as to unseigned faith; yet with respect to justification, it is not so. You allow that the doers of the law shall be justified, but say it is not by the Law, that men are justified. I grant that the only ground or meritorious cause of justification, is the atonement. But the atonement is no more the ground of the one, than of the other. For love is as necessary to justification as to salvation. No man can be justified, it is true, unless he be united to Christ. It is equally true, that no Man can be justified by faith, unless he be a subject of