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rity, in heavenly-mindedness, in faith, in praying, in denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and in living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; (ver. 12.) What remains, but that, knowing our Master's will, we should all do it? We see Cbrist came into the world to make us his “ peculiar people, zealous of good works;" and such we must be, before ever we come to heaven.
Bishop Beveridge. The scripture hath seven reasons, (which, in the sacred writings, is a perfect and complete number) for the practice of good works.
Ist. They are commanded by God himself; Tit, iji. 8. “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they wbich have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.”
2. God's people are predestinated, chosen, and born again in Christ Jesus, for this very purpose; Eph. ii. 10. We are bis work. manship, created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, which Gud hath before ordained, that we should walk in them.”
3. Good works are the external evidences of true living faith bere, and will be so at the day of judgment, according to which a reward of grace will be given. “ Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. I will show thee my faith by my works.” James ij. 17, 18. “ For the Son of Man sball come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then shall be reward every man according to bis works.” Matt. xvi. 27. xxv. 31, &c.
4. The love of Christ to us sinners excites us to the practice of them; yea, to be zealous for them. “ For the love of Christ constraineth us.” 2 Cor. v. 14. “If ye love me, keep iny commandments." John xvi. 15. “He gave bimself for us, to purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Tit. ii. 14.
5. The example of Christ and bis apostles teaches and enforces them. “Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good.” Acts x. 38. 6 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Cor. xi. 1.
6. When performed from right inotives, and to right ends, they tend to glorify God. “Let your ligbt so sbine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Ma'
7. They are for the profit and advantage of our fellow Cbristians. “Do good unto all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Gal. vi. 10. “ These things (good works) are good and profitable onto men.” Tit. iii. 8. « Whoso hard this world's good, and seeth bis brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?" 1 John iii. 17.
These are the scripture reasons for the practice of good works; yet vain man would add an eighth, which he thinks preferable to all the rest, though in fact it tends to subvert and defeat the whole gospel plan of salvation; namely, to recommend us to the favoar of God, either in whole or in part, or at least to serve as conditions of our justification and acceptance.
Sir R. Hill,
Te bu ar
Grace, saith St. Augustine, belonging to God, who doth call as; and then bath be good works, whosoever received grace. Good works, then, bring not forth grace; but are brought forth by grace. The wheel, saith be, turneth round, not to the end that it may be made round; but because it is first made round, therefore it torneth round. So no man doth good works to receive grace by his good works ; but because he hath first received grace; therefore, consequently, he doth good works. And in another place, he (Saint Austin) saith : Good works do not go before, in him which shall afterwards be justified; but good works do follow after, when'a man is first justified. St. Paul therefore teacheth, that we must do good works, for divers respects : 1. To show ourselves obedient children to our heavenly Father, &c. 2. For that they are good declarations and testimonials of our justification. 3. That others, seeing our good works, may the rather be stirred up and excited, &c.
Homily of Fasting. How runs the beavenly edict, in this case made and provided ? “I will, that they who have believed in God, for pardon of sin, and life eternal, be careful to maintain good works.” Tit. iii. 8. How beats the pulse of a believing soul? You may feel it in that generous demand, made by the Psalmist, “What shall I render nnto the Lord,” for delivering me from impending death, from deserved
e price Charter
fotod rist," ]
bit eget te kam,
damnation ; and " for all the benefits that he hath done unto me?" Ps. cxvi. 12. A grateful heart wants not the goad; but is a spor to itself. How leans the bias of his vature ? He is new-boril, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works ;" Eph. ii. 10. " his delight is in the law of the Lord,” Ps. i. 2. Whatever is our supreme delight, we are sure to prosecute, and prosecute with ardour. “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,” (Acts iv. 20.) was the profession of the apostles ; if applied to practical godliness, it is the experience of the Christian.
Nor can his main interest be secure without a boly obedience; because the Judge of the world, at the day of eternal retribution, will declare to the workers of iniquity, “ I never knew you; depart from me;" Matt, vii. 23. because holiness, though not the cause of our admittance to the beatific vision, is so necessary a qualification, that “ without it no man sball see the Lord.” Heb. xii. 14. Without it there is no access to heaven, neither could there be any enjoyment in heaven.
Obedience, personal obedience, is necessary, because this is the most authentic proof of our love to the gracious Redeemer. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John xiv. 15. This is a comfortable evidence of our union with that exalted head. • He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” John xv.5. This is also the most effectual method of adorning our profession, and of winning our neighbours to embrace the gospel. “ Let your light," the light of your exemplary conversation, not only appear, but “ shine before men, that they, seeing your good works," may think honourably of your religion, (Matt. v. 16.) “ may glorify your Father which is in heaven," and say, with those proselytes mentioned by the prophet, “ We will go
Are not these obligations, real obligations, obligations whose reality will never be dispuied, whose force must always be felt by the true believer? “Do we then make void the law,” through an imputed righteousness ? No, verily; but if gratitude to the crucified Jestis have any constraining influence; if a concern for our own comfort and happiness have any persuasive energy; if there be any thing inviting, any thing desirable, in the prospect of how
mouring God and edifying man ; “ we establish the law." By all these generous, manly, endearing motives, we enforce its precepts, and provide for its observance.
This is also a very important link of our chain, “ Cbristian” must not only be careful to maintain good works, but he must be careful also how he employs his time. I could picture out to myself, that, when the soul of " Christian” leaves the body, whether in the morning or the evening, day or night, it will be conducted by a guardian angel, or ministering spirit, through the air to its place of destination; and, at the appointed time it will be conducted, by one of the officers of the court, to the bar of judgment; (for “ it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment;") where he must give an account of every idle hour, every thought, Word, and action, while in the body; where the book of remembrance will be opened, and the Judge, who sees a thousand years as a day, and a day as a thousand years, will say, by way of preliminary to the various charges and counts recorded even against the soul of the Christian*_ Sinner at the bar, how did you employ your time, while down in yonder world?"'+
Then will conscience read aloud the various charges against the soul of “ Christian” before bis Judge, and shall turn over, as it were, the leaves of his misspent time, in hours, days, and years; and will then resign bim, without friend or counsellor, into the
bands of justice.
to the centre
# 1 Pet. iv. 18. + I have often remarked this question put by the judge to the prisoner at the bar in the Old Bailey : How do you employ your time? The answer generally gives the character
of the prisoner.
“ Shall I, then, be industrious to shorten what is no longer than a span, or to quicken the pace of what is ever on the wing? Shall I squander away what is unutterably important, while it lasts, and, when once departed, is altogether irrecoverable? O my soul, forbear the folly; forbear the desperate extravagance. Wilt thou chide, as a loiterer, the arrow that boundeth from the string; or sweep away diamonds, as the refuse of thy house? Throw time away! Astonishing, ruinous, irreparable profuseness! But oh! be parsimonious of thy days; busband the precious hours. They go connected, indissolubly connected, with beaven or hell. Improved, they are a sure pledge of everlasting glory; wasted, they are a
sad preface to never-ending confusion and anguish."
This is that moment who shall tell
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.
Neither filtbiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
See, tben, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Ephes. v, 1, 4, 8, 14–16.
Our moments slip away silently and insensibly; the thief steals not more upperceived from the pillaged house. And will the runagates never stop ? No: wherever we are, however employed, time pursues bis incessant course. Though we are listless and dilatory, the great measurer of our days presses on, still presses on, in his unwearied career, and whirls our weeks, and months, and years away. Is it not, then, surprisingly strange to hear people complain of the tediousness of their time, and how heavy it hangs upon