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fome vague and indeterminate rule of conduct, which they call sincerity: They infilt not upon the conversion and renozation of the heart, in those who have been educated Christians: They account little of the immediate duties of the whole forli table of the law, or allow them only a fecondary importance : They cenfure us for our strictness in regard to what chiefly concerns a man's self, and tolerate various kinds of public dislipation : And, so far are they from being strict on those branches of morality into which they nearly resolve the whole of it, on the relative and Jocial virtues ; fo lax are the notions of some of them on the duties of subjects to their governors, and of ministers to their people ; fo little reason have they for boasting, with respect to the virtues of Veracity, Candour, and Charity.
Hence it is, that, as the eminent Bishop Horsley obferves to his Clergy, when a man affirms that he " is a moral man,” he means nothing more than that " he is no murderer, no adulterer, 10 thief, no liar, no spendthriftk." Yet this is the morality concerning which we hear such a continual boast! These are the good works which are to contribute so much toward obtaining heaven and immortality! " With nothing more of the Christian character about him,” his Lordship proceeds, “ than is supposed to be contained in the negation of these crimes, he (i. e. such a profeffor of Christianity), hopes to find admission into the kingdom of heaven; for, if at any time he hath chanced to drop in, while you have been preaching, he has heard you tell your congregation that Morality is all in all"."
Concerning the SANCTIONS of Morality.
BUT, it is of little importance, it will be faid, what our Standard of Morality is, if we destroy its Sanctions, and dispense with its necessity. Let us examine then whether or not this is in any degree the cafe? Good works, we have maintained, are neither the meritorious cause, nor the ap. pointed condition of justification. Let us inquire whether it from hence follows, that we have either no neceffary use for them, or no proper fan&tions by which we enforce them. The body of those whom our doctrines concern constitute two claffes, the righteous and the wicked, or believers and unbelievers; it may be proper therefore to attend to their bearings on each of these classes of men.
Now, it must be admitted, that this doctrine of justification, will have the fame aspect on morals, when taught by us, which it has when taught precisely in the fame manner, by our church. In whatever way therefore the can inculcate inorality consistently with it, we can consistently imitate her. The church too, it has appeared, is in fome degree implicated in the charge to be refuted m. To her pro: cedure on the subject we will therefore particularly attend. · And first, Our church secures the interests, and inculcates the necessity of morality, by considering Good Works the natural fruit, and necessary effect, of that faith which juftifies.
On this point she is most full and decisive. " By all the
(m) Above, p. 221.
declaration of St. Paul,” she fays, “it is evident, that the true, lively, and Christian faith, is no dead, vain, or unfruitful thing, but a thing of perfect virtue, of wonderful operation and strength, bringing forth all good motions and good works ^.” “ True faith,” she affirms, “ doth ever bring forth good works.” “Good' works,” she teaches, “ are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification ." This is the import of the epithets “ truc," " quick," and “lively,” which the annexes to it, and the characteristic by which the constantly diftinguishes it from all counterfeits, that “it liveth and stirreth inwardly in the heart,” “ worketh by charity,” “ and is fruitful in bringing forth good worksq.” She subjoins, accordingly, to her definition of this faith; " whereof doth follow a loving heart to obey God's commandments?.” She declares most expressly and repeatedly, that where these fruits do not follow,” men are destitute of the true faith; and that if they pretend to have it, they “ deceive themselves, mock God," and manifestly fhow that they know not " what true faith meaneth." “ That faith,” she says, " which bringeth forth (without repentance) either evil works, or no good works, is not a right, pure, and lively faith, but a dead, devilish, counterfeit, and feigned faith, as St. Paul and St. James call it.” Nay, “ it is not,” she says, “ properly called faith ";" and that forasmuch as it is thus " dead, it is not now faith, as a dead man is not a man w.” Accordingly, after her definition of justifying faith, she adds; “ This true Christian faith no man hath, who in his outward profession. ... seemeth to be a Christian man, and yet in his living and deeds showeth the contrary ." And again, “ If we do not show ourselves
(n) Homily on Faith, p. 23. (0) Ibid. p. 26. (p) Art. 12. (9) Homily on Faith, p. 20, and passim. (r) Homily on Salvation, p. 19., (s) Homily on Faith, p. 21, 26. (t) Homily on Salvation, p. 18. (v) Above, p. 192. (w) Above, p. 193. (x) Homily on Salvation, p. 18.
faithful in our conversation, the faith which we pretend to have is but a feigned faith y.” “ Deceive not yourselves therefore thinking that you have faith in God, ... when you live in lin; for then your ungodly and sinful life declareth the contrary, whatsoever you say or think a.”
Nor is this mode of speaking peculiar to our Articles and Homilies, but is the common language of our Reformers and the authorities they respected, on all occafions.----Archbishop Cranmer, speaking of justifying faith, says, it “ cannot but produce love and obedience a.” Nowell's Catechisin, treating on this faith, says, “ it always has joined with it, a difpofition to obedience b." The Bishops and Martyrs in prison, having described the faine faith, say, " where through as the mind is illuminated, fo the heart is suppled to submit itself to God unfeignedly, and so showeth forth an inherent righteousness;" and that although this righteousness is to be distinguished " in the article of justification, from the righteousness which God endueth us withal justifying us,” yet " inseparably they go together.” “ Our church," the learned Bilhop of Lincoln accordingly fays, “ considers good works as effential to the character of a true Christian, and, as the necessary consequence of sincere faith in Chrifto."
Our church also afsigns the reasons why true faith is ever thus productive of obedience. Some of these are, because 66 when we really receive Christ, we receive him such as he offers hinself to us; and that it is his office not only to deJiver us from sin and death, and reinstate us in God's favour, but also to reform and regenerute us by the inspiration and operation of his Spirit, and to restore us to that love and practice of holiness which is called newness of life.” because
(y) Kom. on faith, p. 22. (z) Ibid. p. 26. (a) Above, p. 193. (b) Above, p. 194. (c) Ibid. (d) Elements, Vol. ii. p. 269. (e) Nowell's Cat. p. 112 ; and Hom. on Resurrection, p. 277.
that as true believers “ know Christ to be the only Saviour of the world, so they know also that wicked men shall not enjoy the kingdom of God;" and because, on believing they become united to Christ as the branches are to the vine, and through the continued exercise of faith, derive from him strength and nourithment, and whatever is requisite for the support of the spiritual life. Hence the concludes, that, in the nature of things, it is impoflible it should be otherwise; that the principles of the Gospel really embraced must be operative h; that, as St. John argues, “ being born of God they cannot,” in the ordinary course of their behaviour, “ commit fin;" but that “ bis feed,” the divine principle implanted in regeneration, 's remaineth in them,” and disposeth them to relish and pursue whatever is excellenti. “ Præterea,” says the Augsburgh Confession, “ docent noftri, quòd necesse sit bona opera facere, non ut confidamus per ea gratiam mereri, sed propter voluntatem Dei. Tantùm fide apprehenditur remiffio peccatorum ac gratia. Et quia per fidem accipitur Spiritus fan&us, jam corda renovantur, et induunt novos affectus, ut parere bona opera poffint. Sic enim ait Ambrofius: Fides bonæ voluntatis, et justæ actionis genetrix eft ."
In short then, our church teaches most undeniably, “ that good works do spring out NECESSARILY of a true and lively faithk;” that “ good living CANNOT BE SEPARATED from true faith;” that as the light cannot be hid, but will show forth itself at one place or other, so a true faith cannot be kept secret, but will show itself by good works;" and that " as the living body of a man ever exerciseth such things as belong to a natural and living body, even fo the soul that hath a lively faith in it, will be doing always some good
(f) Hom. on Salva. p. 18. (g) See above, p. 195; and Hom. on Good Works, p. 27. (b) Hom. on Salva. p. 18. (i) See Hom. on faith, p. 24-26. (2) Art. 20. . (k) Art. 12. (1) Hom. on faith. p. 22.