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confession is made unto salva-, bled universe, that they have emtion.” So that gracious words braced the terms of divine acform a necessary evidence by fceptance. Hence we learn in which believers will be justified. what sense believers are justifiAnd in this sense are believers ed, by eaeh of those things pointjustified by their words..... ed out in the gospel. They are
5. Believers are justified by I justified freely by the grace of their works. Says the apostle, God, which concerted and ef
Ye see then how that by works | fected the whole plan of gospel a man is justified." Good works | justification. They are justifiare a necessary evidence of gosed by the blood of Christ, as the pel faith, because they are its meritorious ground of their acnatural fruit, and confirm the ceptance, for without the sheding believer's words. Gospel faith, of his blood there could be no reas has been observed, is an ope- mission of sins ; his atonement rative principle, and purifies the is that alone which can render heart: iť is a fountain that sends God just in justifying the believforth sweet waters. If any man er. They are justified by gosbelieves there is one God he pel faith, the exercise of which does well, or believes right; but fulfils the gospel requirement if that is all, he does no more for salvation. They are justifithan the devils, for they believe ed by gracious words as a necesand tremble; but such faith sary evidence of gospel faith. without works is dead, being They are justified by good works alone. If any one should make which are a confirming witness ever so great professions of of the sincerity of their words, faith, it would be no evidence of and prove that they flow from its existence unless he brought that faith which worketh by love forth fruit meet for l'epentance. (and purifies the heart. AlThough he should speak with though it is proper to say bethe tongue of men and of angels lievers are justified by each of and has not charity, he becomes these several things mentionect as a sounding brass or a tinkling in the gospel ; yet it would be €ymbal. That good works are improper to say they can be jusevidence which will be produ- tified without all of them, for they 'ced at the day of judgment is are not so many distinct justificonfirmed by the words of our cations, but only so many insepLord, for he shall say unto them arable links in 'the great chain in that day, “ I was an hungred of gospel justification. It is and ye gave me meat, I was thought that many by attemptthirsty and ye gave me drink, ing to separate what God has I was a stranger and ye took me thus joined together, have led in, naked and ye clothed me, I themselves into fatal error and was sick and ye visited me, delusion. I was in prison and ye came un- Secondly, we were to consider to me;" and from such evidence the reason why all these things he pronounces theni blessed. are necessary for gospel justiThus believers are justified by fication. Upon this we shall their works, for they confirm | make but few observations, as their words, and establish suffi- the reason has already been cient evidence, before the assem- partiy brought into view.
All these things appear ne-ness, and happify God's moral cessary to display the holy attri- kingdom. butes of Jehovah and happify In view of what has been said, his moral kingdom. It could we may infer 1st. The great never have been known to crea- goodness of God in all his dealtures that God was graciousings towards his creatures ; that and merciful, if he had never all his works are mercy to his exercised grace , and mercy ; kingdom, and that he pursues its therefore his justifying believ- highest happiness in making all ers in a gracious manner brought things subservient to that end. these attributes into view before Therefore there is the greatest the intelligent universe. It is reason for rejoicing that the to the ill deserving alone that Lord reigns, and that he will do grace and mercy can be exer- all his pleasure. We may incised, and it cannot be exercis- fer 2d. That the atonement coned to them without injustice, sisted in something more than unless the law they have bro- obedience, for obedience only ken be made honorable. Hence could never have made an infiwe see the necessity of the nite display of the turpitude of blood of Jesus to honor the law sin, nor have honored a law by which mortals have broken, so aproving its penalty, which that God can be just and justify threatened infinite punishment the believer. Here justice and for transgression. And that it mercy were displayed. As sin would be a great insult to divine brought disorder and confusion, justice to ask the forgiveness of and disqualified man for the en. an infinite offence, without dejoyment of holy beings, it was pending upon an atonement for necessary for gospel faith to be justification, which had infinitely the condition of salvation, as it, honored the law. We may is gospel faith alone which infer 3d. That the atonement reconciles the sinner to the di- is of infinite value, and sufficient vine government, and diffuses to render God just in justifying happiness among believers, by sinners, who are infinitely guilty flowing out in holy words and if they are but believers in Jeactions, which are the only evi- sus. We may infer 4th. That dences that will admit believers there is no foundation for beinto the society of holy beings, lieving that the personal sins of and enable them to mingle in mankind were imputed to Christ the heavenly employment of and in him were punished to the receiving and communicating extent of their deserts ; for if the happiness. They can never learn sufferings of Christ consisted in the song of Moses and the Lamb, receiving the personal deserts of without hearts glowing with sinners, and to the extent of holy exercises ; and without what divine justice could rewords and actions here, we can quire, it would render the pennever unite hereafter in chanting alty of the law useless, instead the seraphic theme. Hence we of magnifying it, and making it see that every thing by which honorable. And that it would believers are justified, is neces | be unjust to require any thing sary to display the divine good further of sinners, as it would
I be exacting more than their sins
deserved, and of course all that burns with fire and brimgospel requirements would be stone. We may infer, 9th. but unreasonable demands. That if any reject understandWe may infer, 5th. That ex- ingly any thing included in gosternal exercises of religion are pel justification, they must finalgospel requirements, and should ly fail of salvation, for in the day not be neglected, but attended of retribution they will be weighin a humble, solemn manner ; ed in the gospel balance, and will for our external conduct will ap- be found wanting, and the wrath pear in judgment either for or of God must abide upon them. against us ; by our words we We may infer, 10th. That there shall be justified or condemned. is a great work to be performWe may infer, 6th. That faith ed in order for final justification. which is not operative and pro- We must depend on the grace ductive of good words and works of God that bringeth salvation, is not the gospel requirement, and rely alone on the blood of and that it is a lamp without oil, Jesus as the meritorious ground which will be extinguished in of acceptance with God, and exthe day of the Lord's appearing. ercise that faith which worketh “ For what doth it profit, my 1 by love and purifies the heart, brethren, though a man say he and confess Christ before men, bath faith and hath not works, that he may confess us before can faith save him ?” Such faith his Father and the holy angels; certainly will not, “ for faith if and finally work out our own it hath not works is dead, being salvation with fear and trem. alone. We inser, 7th. That bling : then we shall live in reliance on works as the meri- peace, die in hope, and beyond torious ground of acceptance the grave receive that eternal with God, is building upon a weight of glory, which God the sandy foundation which will not righteous judge shall give to stand : when the winds and the all them that love his appearing. storm rage against it, because it is not founded upon the rock Christ Jesus, “ for there is none | other name under heaven given On Conformity to this world. among men whereby we must.
NO. I. be saved.” We may infer, 8th. That personal holiness is abso- DAUL in his epistle to the lutely necessary for salvation ; 1 Romans, whom he addres“ for without holiness no man ses as beloved of God, called to shall see the Lord." All that be saints ; after beseeching are destitute of gospel faith, them by the mercies of God, which is a principle of holiness, to present their bodies a living are totally disqualified for the sacrifice, holy, acceptable to society of holy beings, and are God; exhorts them saying ; fit only to mingle with the fear- “ And be not conforined to this ful, and the unbelieving, and the world : but be ye transformed, abominable, and murderers, and by the renewing of your mind, whoremongers, and sorcerers, that ye may prove what is that and idolaters, and all liars, who good and acceptable and perfect shall have their part in the lake I will of God.” Our Saviour char
Vol. VI. NO, 4.
acterizing his truc disciples and ples. Thus shall ye make it followers declares, “ If ye were appear that ye have learned of of the world the world would Christ, have imbibed his spirit, love his own ; but because ye and I will not be ashamed to are not of the world, but I have own you. The disciples of chosen (you atit of the world, Christ by separating themselves therefore the world hateth you." from the world which lieth in The dews, God's ancient, cove- sin, prove the reality and excelnant people, were remarkably tence of their religion. They distinguished from all other na- make it appear that a mighty tions, by their theological sys- \ work hath been wrought upon tem and by their religious rites; their hearts, to the glory of the compared with which, the sys- holy Trinity. They use the toms of the Gentiles even in most ipowerful means to advance their most improved state, were the interest of the Redeemer's wanity and a lie, and their reli- | kingdom. By making it man. gious rites, an abomination. ifest that they ane new creatures, With allusion to Israel, whom that they possess something God thus distinguished by his which mankind in common do grace, the apostle Peter, ad- not, a pearl of inestimable valdressing believers in Christ, thus uerby showing that they are describes them, " But, ye are a governed by a spirit as much chosen generation, a royal priest- superior to that which reigns in hood, an holy nation, a peculiar selfish men as the heavens are people ; that ye should shew above the earth ; they diffuse forth the praises of him who light for the conviction of the unhath called you out of darkness | godly and use the most powerinto his marvellous light." " ful means to recover lost souls.
If any man be in Christ he is Two kingdoms divide the unideclared to be a new creature. verse as opposite in the temper With such, old things, are said | by which their respective subto have passed away, and alljects are governed as light and things to have become new.- darkness, holiness and sin, and From these passages, and nu- the subjects of the kingdom of merous others. of similar import, darkness must be miserable for that might be adduced, it is man- | ever unless they are made senifestly the will of the Lord that (sible of their deplorable condihis disciples shoald, by their ho- tion and induced to renounce liness, distinguish themselves the wicked one and all his works. from the world. It is their in- Serely then it is vastly importdispensible duty, an object which fant that the children of light they should ever keep in view should distinguish themselves. and with respect to which they If they are conformed to this stiould ever be on their guard. | world, iso that no-important difBy causing their light to shine ference appears between them before those who are without, and tbe children of this world, important ends are to be answer- the latter looking upon themed. • Herein is my Father glo-selves justified in their conduct, rified, saith Christ to his disci- will feel secure until their condiples, if ye bring forth much tion bę past remedy. fruits--so shall ye be my disci. These proliminary obserxa
tions show our subject' worthy | people of the world, can discerni the attention of all whocal them- no material difference between selves Christians.
their own conversation and that: Such is the frailty of man, of the professors of Christianity, , even at his best estale, and so- instead of being alarmed, they full is the world of temptation, will conclude their condition that we are ever prone to err. / safe. To avoid extremes, and pursue Hence, it appears highly exthe golden mean is the happi- pedient to lay down some rules ness of the wise and pious few. | by which to determine our duty
With respect to the subject in this natter, or distinctly to under consideration, there, is point out in what sinful conformgreat danger on both sides. Pero ity to the world consists. haps there is no subject on-which | As governed by a benevolent it is more difficult, on all occa- disposition, we would wish to sions, precisely to determine the render ourselves as acceptable path of duty.
to our fellow men as: we possiHaving the same ends in view, il bly can, and yet maintain a con. the glory of God and the good (sistency of character, so it is unof mankind, the increase of vital, doubtedly our duty to conform piety, the honor of religion and to the world, in all things of an advancement of the Redeemer's innocent. or indifferent nature. kingdom, the friends of Jesus, | To distinguish ourselves in such under various degrees of light things is no mark of Christiani and information, may pursue wisdom, benevolence or humilivery different measures. With ty, but rather an evidence of the a desire to promote these im- contrary. It is with respect to: portant ends, some have been such things, that we have the led to withdraw from the world, example of the same great apos. to conceal themselves in con- tle, who exhorts us not to be vents, to deprive themselves of conformed to this world; when the most agreeable, social con- he assures us, that he was made. nections, and undergo great bo- | all things to all men, that he dily mortification. Others hav- might by all means save some.* ing more light, do not proceed | This same great and good man such lengths, yet maintain such who hath set before us a mast a rigid austerity of manners, illustrious example, though so and exhibit such a gloomy air, ready to conform to all men in that they excite disgust, rather things of an indifferent nature, than recommend the cause of well knew where in other things religion. On the other hand, to make a stand and remain: with a view to remove prejudice immoveable. While in one view and win souls to the altogether he seemed ready to turn with lovely Saviour, some may be in the times and accommodate: danger of so far conforming to himself to the particular prejuthe world as to confound all vis- dices and humors of those with ible distinction of character, be- whom he was conversant and tween the subjects of the two whose good he was endeavoring kingdoms, respectively; and to promote ; in another, he upthus defeat the very object they wish to accomplish. For if the * 1 Cor. ix. 20-32