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the entire dominion of that selfishness which is enmity against God, and opposition to all holiness. It gives them no satisfaction to reflect upon their outward decency, propriety, and obedience, because they find it to be true, that a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, nor a corrupt fountain send forth pure streams. They feel that their corrupt hearts have rendered all their external conduct, however beautiful and amiable in the view of men, really vile and criminal in the sight of God. And in consequence of this discovery of moral depravity, they find themselves under a load of guilt. But still they labor to throw it off. A sense of guilt constrains them to seek and strive for deliverance. And they are ready to hope, that by reading and praying, hoping and fearing, seeking and striving, they shall get rid of their burden. They do all in their power to stifle a sense of guilt, by reformation, and becoming better than they were. They try to restrain their enmity against God, as well as to break off from all acts of disobedience to his commands. They avoid sins of omission and of commission. They watch over their thoughts, their desires, and all their selfish affections. They labor to weariness, and still continue heavy laden with guilt. Their conscience is awake, and condemns them for all they do, and for all they desire. Their sins revive, and appear more numerous, and more criminal, and more unconquerable. They become indeed weary and heavy laden, with a sense of their great sinfulness and guilt.
2. In consequence of a sense of their great criminality, they become weary and heavy laden with a sense of the divine displeasure. A sense of guilt naturally creates a sense of the divine displeasure. They realize that by sinning against the divine law, they have exposed themselves to the wrath and indignation of a holy, and sin-hating, and sin-revenging God. It appears to them, that God looks directly on their hearts; and that his wrath constantly abides upon them. They feel themselves no less under the condemnation of God, than under the condemnation of their own consciences. As sin revives, they die. They feel themselves condemned already. All the perfections of God appear armed to destroy them. The terrors of God overwhelm them. They cannot think of the great and holy God, without fear and trembling. And such a realizing, constant sense of the wrath of God, is a heavy burden indeed. It is really heavier to endure, than a prospect of
all the pains of hell. Mere punishment appears light in comparison with a sense of the everlasting wrath of the pure and holy God of heaven. A consciousness of hating God, and of being forever hated by him, is a most intolerable burden to the awakened and convinced sinner. The hatred of God appear infinitely greater than the hatred of all other beings; and those who are awakened to see themselves in the hands of God, who abhors them, feel the hatred and wrath of God a burden too heavy for them to bear. They sink under it, especially while they have a clear and realizing sense of their own infinite vileness and ill-desert. Thus the three thousand felt. Thus the jailor felt. And thus those whom Christ addressed in the text felt. They were pressed down with a sense of their own guik and the divine displeasure. But besides this,
3. Those who are weary and heavy laden, are borne down with a sense of their own moral impotency. Sinners can struggle a great while with a sense of their sinfulness and exposedness to divine wrath, if they be not thoroughly convinced of their total moral impotency to break the cords of their iniquity, and flee from the wrath to come. It is one of the last things of which sinners are convinced, that all the struggles and strivings of the carnal mind are utterly in vain, and that while they are in the flesh, they cannot please God, and appease his wrath. But of this the spirit of God does convince sinners, before he changes their hearts. He makes them truly weary of all their own sinful doings. He makes them tired of striving and contending with their Maker. He makes them feel that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth; that the sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; and that without faith, it is impossible to please God. A full conviction of this total moral impotency, takes away all their hopes, and adds a tenfold weight to the burden of their sinfulness and exposedness to everlasting wrath. Sin and guilt now fall with all their weight upon their souls. Every door of hope is shut. They see no way of escape. For aught appears, they must lie down in everlasting despair. All that they have done, only increases their burden, and all they are disposed to do, renders it more insupportable. All this they may see and feel, while their hearts remain rebellious and entirely unreconciled to God. And this leads me to observe once more,
4. That it goes into the character of the truly weary and heavy laden, to resign themselves entirely into the hands of a
sovereign God. They cease to oppose, and cordially submit to divine sovereignty. They not only see that they must die, if God pleases, but they are willing to die, if God pleases. Their will becomes united with the divine will. They cordially say, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth good in his sight." Life and death are before them. They have a clear, realizing view of eternal happiness, and of eternal misery. All the weight of eternity lies upon them, as much as it can lie upon creatures of their limited views. Heaven appears most desirable, and hell most awful and tremendous. In such a resigned situation, heavy-laden sinners often remain for hours, for days, for weeks, and sometimes for months. Their struggles are at an end; their opposition to God subsides; a solemn submission reigns in their minds; but no gleam of hope appears. These are the persons whom Christ invites to come unto him. "Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden,"
[To be concluded.]
For the Hopkinsian Magazine.
PAUL AND JAMES CONSISTENT.
Remarks upon Romans iii. 28.-Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law; compared with James ii. 24.-We see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
It has been thought by some, that between these two passages of scripture there is a real contradiction. To admit this, however, is to relinquish the inspiration and consequent infallibility of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit never inspired men with contradictions. We consider this a good argument against the pretended inspiration of fanatics; and it is an equally good argument against the inspiration of the apostles, if it can indeed be made to appear that they do contradict one another. It is easy to see, therefore, that it concerns those who are set for the defence of the Gospel, to endeavor to reconcile such seeming contradictions in the sacred writings, as the one between Paul and James in the passages before us, both for the confirmation of believers, and the conviction of infidels.
In remarking upon the passages under consideration, I would premise, that the apostle Paul means the same by the deeds of the law, that the apostle James means by works. The
Divine Law is the great rule of duty. It enjoins all that men are required, or ever ought to do. The deeds of the law, therefore, or those deeds which the law requires, include every thing that can come under the denomination of works. Paul is evidently speaking of the moral law, which is binding upon all men and amongst those things which James calls works, he particularly mentions feeding and clothing a hungry and naked brother, which are included in the great command of the moral law, to love our neighbors as ourselves. By the deeds of the law, then, and by works, we are to understand the same things. They are good deeds, holy actions, works done from good motives, agreeably to the requirements of the divine law.
I premise again, that these apostles agree in their account of faith. Very different and opposite notions have been entertained of that faith which the gospel demands. But there is no disagreement between the apostles on this point. Paul says, that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; i. e. justifying, saving faith is an exercise of the heart as well as of the understanding. It is not merely a speculative belief of the truths of the gospel; but such a belief as is accompanied with love to those truths. It is receiving the truth in the love of it.' Hence he says again, that faith worketh by love. According to Paul's idea of faith, therefore, it is a holy exercise, an exercise belonging to the new heart, and peculiar to those who are born of God. And hence he says, that faith is the gift of God. Now if such be the nature of true faith; then it will show itself by good works. If faith is the exercise of a renewed or holy heart, all who believe will maintain good works; for a "good man out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things." Let this now be compared with what James says of true faith. "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” i. e. Can such a faith as hath not works, save him? "If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and clothed, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone:" i. e. Faith which hath not works, is a dead faith, a mere speculative belief, and not true, evangelical faith, which always purifies the heart and acts itself out in works of charity and mercy. It is, therefore,
very evident, that the apostles Paul and James entertained precisely the same idea of true faith.
Having premised these things respecting works and faith, I proceed to show, that these two apostles are consistent with each other, when one of them says, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law; and the other says, that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. In order to which, it is only necessary to observe, that these apostles are speaking of justification, in two different respects. Paul is speaking of the condition of justification; but James is speaking of the evidence of justification. This may be made to appear, by attending to their reasoning, in the two passages before us.
Paul is speaking of the condition of justification. Having shown that all mankind, being by nature wholly depraved, are condemned by the law, he justly concludes that by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God. For as it is impossible that the same law should both justify and condemn the same persons, if the divine law condemns all men, then no man can be justified by it. The deeds of the law, or works done in obedience to it, can never be the ground or meritorious cause of the justification of any man. He then brings into view the atonement of Christ, as the ground of justification. "But now the righteousness of God without the law, is manifest-even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe-being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to delare his righteousness-that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." From whence he draws the conclusion in the passage before us: "Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law." Here it is evident, that the apostle's object is to show, that the atonement of Christ received by faith, is the ground, or procuring cause of justification or pardon, in opposition to the deeds of the law. He does not mean to make void the law, or to deny the importance of good works. He only shows, that works cannot be the ground or procuring cause of justification, and that, as the atonement of Christ is the ground, so faith is the condition of the believer's justification before God. And as here so in all his writings, he representeth faith as the grand