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to none, but to him who should already be CHAP.
XIV. partaker of the antecedent promises. For it is impossible that any should please God without faith, or see him without holiness.. - IX. In fine, it cannot be denied, that scrip- IX. ture sometimes exhibits the form of the cove. nant of grace in a conditional style: Rom. x. 8,9. “ This is the word of faith which we preach: If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” John xiii. 17. “ If ye
know these things, happy shall ye be if ye do them.” Again, xiv. 23. “If any man love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him;" and so often elsewhere; and in this sense some condition is to be admitted in the covenant of grace; inasmuch as it signifies a duty according to the will of God, to be performed by man, in a manner agreeable to the nature of that covenant, before he enter upon the possession of consummate salvation. If in all these things there be an agreement, as I hope there will; strange, brethren, what is it concerning which you contend on this head?
X. In place of a supplement, I choose to X. Cha. subjoin the most excellent Chamier's opinion mier's sen
timents, on this controversy, of which let the learned judge. Disputing in his Panstrat. vol. iii. book xv. chap. iii. against Bellarmine, he teaches that the true and determinate differ
ence between the law of works and that of faith, is the condition of works and of faith; that is, that the law of works proposes salvation, upon condition of performing the law. But the law of faith proposes it, upon condition only of believing in Christ. Lest, however he should leave any thing unexplained, he observes, that conditions in contracts are of two kinds; some of which may be called antecedent, others consequent. He calls these antecedent, which give rise to the contract, according to the maxim, I give, that thou mayest give, as when one sells a field for a certain sum of money.
But the consequent conditions are added to the antecedent, as following from them: which indeed are mutual between the parties, but oblige the one only: so that the other is bound to do no more on their account: As if one having given or sold a plot of ground, should assign an annuity to be laid out upon the poor. Now conditions of that kind, when not performed, usually disannul the contract: and yet they do not constitute it. Nay, there would be no anpuity, except the sale were already full and complete. This distinction that very learned divine applies to the present purpose, in the following manner: The law of works requires the fulfilling of the law as an antecedent condition, without which, not only no man can enter upon the possession of eternal life, but cannot so much as have a right to it. But the law of faith does not admit of works as a con.
dition in this sense, but only in the other: viz. CHAP. that by virtue of the life already given through faith, works are necessary, so that he who shows no works, falls from every right which he had, or rather seemed to have, on account of his external vocation; although otherwise, works are not the causes of the life to be given. Thus far Chamier: compare Tuckney in his Theological Prelections, p. 233.
Paradoxical assertions concerning the uti
lity of Holiness.
1. Five paradoxical assertions. II. Dreadful in their very
sound. III. But to be softened from the intention of their authors, and by a more convenient explication. IV. In what sense it may be said, that good works contribute nothing to the possession of salvation, and are not the way to the kingdom. V. That it is unlawful to do any thing with an intention to promote our own sal. vation. VI. That no good is acquired, nor evil avoided, by doing well. VII. That practical godliness is not a sufficient evidence of a state of grace. VIII. That the best works of believers are nothing but filthiness and dung
WITH respect to the utility of holi
ness and good works, I find the following things paradozical disputed; Whether it be justly said, 1. That assertions. good works are of no profit to us, in order
to the possession of salvation; so, that though they are acknowledged not to be the cause of reigning, they cannot be reckoned even the way to the kingdom : that whatever good we do, we do it not for ourselves, but for Christ: that nothing is to be done that we may live, but because we do live, 2. That it is unlawful to do any good with the intention, that by doing it we may promote our own salvation. 3. That there is no duty of virtue or holiness, however perfectly performned, whereby we can gain
even the least good to ourselves, either in this CHAP. life, or in that which is to come. For that no evil or hurt can be avoided by so doing, neither can peace of conscience, nor joy.in the Holy Ghost, nor assurance of the remission of sins, nor consolation be promoted in this way.
4. That the exercise of holiness and good works is not to be reckoned a proper, and even a sufficient evidence and argument, that we are in a state of grace, and in the certain expectation of glory. 5. That even the sincere holiness of believers, proceeding from the Spirit of grace, is in its exercise, filthiness and dung before God; and that consequently he who studies holiness with all the diligence he can, is not a whit more please ing and acceptable to God, than if he neglected it, or indulged himself in vice. II. Truly these things are so unusual in
11. the very sound of the words, and so unexpect. Dreadful in ed from the mouth of a Christian, much less sound. from his who is reputed a teacher of evangelical holiness, and professes and exercises it in piety of life, that they cannot but strike horror into the hearers, and fill their minds with strong prejudices against the teacher and the doctrine. But it must also be confessed, that that horror will be not a little diminished, when we hear the learped man himself, and those who are on his side, explaining their mind more at large. Which indeed is very necessary to the decision of