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grace of God by Christ preventing us, we have no power to do good works,” and that “ we are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith.”
But, to proceed to the doctrine of the most orthodox of these Divines, at their most orthodox moments; this is, that we are justified by faith and good works together ; or, as they often express it, that faith and good works are the Conditions of our justification. Little need be advanced in support of this affertion, the matter of it will be fo generally avowed. Thus, Mr. Gray, treating on the doctrine of justification, says, Our church differs “ from the Calvinists, in confidering Good Works not merely as effects, but as co-efficient conditions with Faith.” Mr. Foley adds, “ The Chtistian religion is founded on a mutual covenant between the Creator and the Creature, Faith and good works are the conditions, falvation the reward of obediences.” Mr. Daubeny expresses the doctrine fully. Having mentioned the part which he conceives, belongs exclusively to God in the act of man's justification; " the other parts of the gospel covenant,” he says, “ as faith, repentance, and good works through the operation of the Spirit, are the CONDITIONS upon which God engages to vouchsafe that JUSTIFICATION to him.” Again, “ Good Works,” he says, “ are necessary as parts of the condition upon which the free grace of God has been suspended i.” And, to be concise where the case is so clear, the learned Bishop Bull, to whom Mr. Daubeny refers has having stated this subject fo clearly as to render further discussion useless k; whose Pupil Mr. D. is considered by the British Critic; and to whose divinity the most orthodox of our opponents would, doubtless, subscribe;
(f) Bamp. Lect. p. 246, Note. (g) See A Defence of the Church of England, by the Rev. R. Foley, M. A. Sermon vi. (h) Guide, p. 311. (i) Appendix, p. 173. (k) See Guide, p. 312.
speaks thus upon it. " A man is said, it igyūv divarēs@xi, to be justified by works, because Good WORKS ARE THE CONDITION, according to the Divine appointment, established in the gospel covenant requisite and necessary to his justification; that is, to his obtaining remission of sins through Christ, and acceptance into the Divine favour "." In attempting to prove this position a little after, he says, “ The first class of these teftimonies shall be those which speak of Good Works in a general sense as the requisite and necessary condition of justification.” And then having cited several paffages from the word of God, “Who,” he asks,“ does not believe that in these scriptures there is an abundance of good works required, which if a man do not perform he is altogether excluded from the hope of pardon and remiffion of fins ?”
But is this indeed the doctrine of our Church? Is this language congenial with what we have produced from her writings on the subject ? Surely it must require no ordinary courage to maintain this. If her doctrine indeed is, that we are thus justified by faith and good works ; or that faith and good works are thus the conditions of justification, is it not very strange that in none of her express writings on the fubject the thould have affirmed this ? And is there a single expression that founds like it, or that can be fairly construed into it, either in her Articles or Homilies on the point ? Let the Advocates of the doctrine produce it. On the contrary, does the not in the most explicit, uniform, pofitive, and earnest manner, reject this system, and maintain the very opposite one? In respect to merit, she places, we have seen, Faith and Works precisely on the same footing ; and afcribes this, wholly, in all fenfes, to our Redeemer : and then, when treating directly on the means, or condition, or whatever it is called, by which we obtain justification, she says, “ It is BY FAITH ONLY;"" by faith WITHOUT WORKS;" by faith
(1) Bull. Harmon. Apoft. Cap. i. § 8. and quoted by Mr. Daubeny,
as it is perfectly distinct from obedience to the law, namely, “ as it directly Jends us to, and embraces Christ.” She affirms, expressly and repeatedly, that in this act of approaching the Saviour for justification, “ we must forsake or leave behind us, all our supposed good virtues;" " that we must not do good works to the intent to be made just by doing of them;" that whatever good works are joined with faith in every man that is justified, “ it SHUTTETH THEM OUT FROM THE OFFICE OF JUSTIFYING;" that “ however good works and faith be present together in him that is justified, yet that THEY JUSTIFY NOT ALL TOGETHER.” She shows, that she considers it as impossible for good works to be a condition of justification, as it is for the effect to precede its cause, by constantly representing these works as the fruits and effects of justification.
But we must not here repeat the whole body of her evidence to the fame purport. Enough must have been said to convince all impartial judges, that even this most favourable ground of our opponents is not fairly tenable ; and that on this most important of all doctrines, they do not, as they would pretend, teach, as it is taught in the standard writings of our church, and was taught by our Reformers.
Whether regard is had to the nature of justification, to the nature and province of justifying faith, or to the means by which justification is obtained, their deviation from this acknowledged standard, and our strict adherence to it, are thus equally conspicuous. Our position therefore, we conceive, is again established on a double basis; and that of our opponents doubly overthrown. But whether our pre. mises warrant this conclusion; or whether, at any rate, our claim to Churchmanship on this point is not the best founded of the two, let every competent judge decide.
The question of adherence pursued in respect to the doctrine
of GOOD WORKS; with à vindication of our tenets on this head,
DUT let us pursue this investigation of particulars to the doctrine of Good Works, or Christian Morality, concerning which so much has already incidently been said.
This then, it must be remarked, is the point in which we are supposed unquestionably the most vulnerable. It is chiefly from a respect to their bearings here, that the objections to our other doctrines would be understood to originate. The most open clamour, the most frequent insinuation, against our whole system, is, that we depreciate good moralsa. Because we exclude morality from the office of justifying, it is sagaciously concluded, that we must either deny its neceflity; or, at the least, greatly underrate its value ; as if because we should maintain that our eyes cannot perform the functions of our hands, we should deny the necessity or depreciate the value of our eyes. Just so it was argued by the rigidly virtuous Papists against the doctrines of the Reformers b. And the fame objection, under a little more disguise, is preferred by the same kind of
(a) See Antijac. Review for April, 1799, p. 368,; and for May, p. 77 ; Nor. Lect. Vol. iii. p. 264, 296, 332 ; Review of Policy, &c. p. 22----32; Mr Ciapham's Sermon, p. 16, 17, 21; Mr. Haggitt's, p. 16, and Preface, p. 15; Mr. Fellowes', p. 12, and Preface; Mr. Daubeny's Appendix, p. 330 ; &c. (b) See Jewel's Apology; and the Corijus Confessionum, paflim ; the Homily on Fafting, p. 174 ; and Nor. Lect. Vol. iji: p. 292.
persons, against the Church herfelf. This undoubtedly is implied in the affirmation of Dr. Croft, that her “ Articles concerning Grace, Faith, and Good Works lean towards the side of Enthusiasm." This clearly is expreffed in their concessions already noticed d, that “ the Reformers went too far in depreciating good works; that the compilers of our eleventh article misunderstood St. Paul; that the expreffions of the homily about works are somewhat too strong; that the article might be made more acceptable by softening fome expressions seemingly tending to Antinomianism; and by strengthening expressions tending to encourage virtue, and the hopes of its rewards;" &c. &c.
We are in good company therefore, it appears, under our reproach. The charge however is a serious one, and would deserve, could it be substantiated, the most serious attention. Were it indeed true that our doctrines, or those of the Church, either in their natural tendency, or ordinary effect, encourage men in sin, no reprobation could be too fevere for them. But " audi alteram partem;" let not a conclufion be formed too hastily. Our main business indeed is, not so much to vindicate, as to investigate, the do&trines of the Church, and to show whose opinions most resemble them ; but in this instance, in attempting the one object, we shall also achieve the other.
Concerning the STANDARD of Morals.
W E will begin with the Standard or Rule of morality which the Church of England prescribes. This is the whole moral law of God. “ No Christian man whatever,"
(c) Bamp. Lect. p. 110.
(d) Above, p. 208, 209.