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who professed the faith) should be careful to maintain good works,” had been superfluous.
If St. Peter had thought that Christian faith was necessarily of that prolific nature, that it could no where exist without producing its proper fruits, he would not, after having mentioned the precious, faith obtained through the righteousness of God, have directed his disciples “ to give all diligence to add to their faith, virtue; to virtue, knowledge; to, knowledge, temperance; to temperance, patience; to patience, godliness; to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.” The important reason for this direction he immediately subjoins: “ For” (continues the Apostle) “ if these be in you, and abound, they make you that
shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. But he that lacketh these things is blind." He may have a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of mankind, and profess his faith in him as such; but his faith being barren and unfruitful will profit him nothing: " Wherefore, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall. For so (or upon this condition) an entrance shall be ministered unto you. abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus CHRIST."*
This plain passage from St. Peter places the whole plan of salvation through Christ fairly before
It represents the exceeding great and precious promises which have been obtained for man, through the righteousness of Christ, as the basis of his fal. vation; but the bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, as the condition upon which that falvation will be ultimately realized. In this sense, the writings of Sr. Paul and St. James, and all other parts of seripture, will be found to harmonize; and we need no longer be afraid to talk of works, if we represent them, as the learned Bishop Bull,t in vindication of
2 Peter i. 5, 6, &c. t Accedamus jam ad alterum iftud, quod breviter notandum duximus; nempe, phrasi illâ, ež spywv, non id voluisse JACOBUM opera noftra esse justificationis noftræ causam principalem aut meri. toriam; illa quippe in merâ et gratuita Dei Patris mifericordiâ hæc in Christi folius morte ac meritis unicè ftatuenda est, et ab Apoftolo revera statuitur. Etenim quamvis particula && eam nonunquam vim obtineat, fæpe tamen adhibere folet sensu quodam mitiori, ut notet medium quodcunque rei obtinenda, sive conditionem præcedaneam, quæ vulgo caufa fine qua non dicitur, licet reverà vix caufæ nomen mereatur. Atque is loquendi modus neque a communi fenfu abhorret, neque a ftylo fcripturæ alienus eft. Ut enim alia taceam, cum dicitur homo ex WISTEMS doxaleolu, particula ex mani. feftè hoc sensu sumitur. Quippe ne ipfà quidem fide tanquam
St. James, has represented them; not as either the principal or the meritorious cause of man's salvation, but as only the condition, upon which, according to the terms of the Gospel covenant, man is to become partaker of it.”
There is another part of this respectable writer's publication, which, as it strikes me, ought to be read with some comment; because, as it stands, it seems calculated to lead the indiscriminating reader to a conclufion different, I should suppose, from that meant to be conveyed by it. The part alluded to is to be found in p. 327 and 328, and runs thus: “But the nature of the holiness, to which the desires of the true Christian are directed, is no other than the reftoration of the image of God; and as to the manner of acquiring it, disclaiming with indignation every idea of attaining it by his own strength, all his hopes of possessing it rest altogether on the Divine affu. rances of the operation of the Holy Spirit, in those
causa principali, imo non ut causâ omnino, nisi improprie dictâ, justificari aliquis dici poteft. Dicitur igitur homo, gözywv.dixane Boban, quia bona opera conditio funt, juxta ordinationem divinam in Evangelico fædere stabilitam neceffario in hoc requisita, ut quis justificetur, i. e. remiffionem peccatorum per CHRISTUM partam obtineat, Deoque ad falutem gratus et acceptus fiat.”
ByLL. Harmon. Apoftol. cap. i. $ 8.
who cordially embrace the Gospel of Christ.” Thus far we are perfectly agreed.
To proceed with our author:
“He knows, therefore, that this holiness is not to precede his reconciliation to God, and be its cause; but to follow it, and be its effect. That in short it is by faith in Christ only, that he is to be justifiedin the fight of God; to be delivered from the con-, dition of a child of wrath, and a flave of SATAN; to be adopted into the family of God; to become an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ; entitled to all the privileges which belong to this high relation, here to the spirit of grace, and a partial renewal after the image of his Creator; hereafter, to the more perfect poffefsion of the Divine likeness, and an inheritance of eternal glory.”
That general reconciliation of God to man in his fallen condition, through the facrifice of CHRIST, by virtue of which he is placed in a state of conditional salvation under the new covenant, seems here not sufficiently distinguished from that particular reconciliation of God to the individual in his redeemed condition, when restored to that degree of likeness to his Creator necessary to qualify him for admission into his presence.
There can be no such thing as holiness in man, independent of the operation of the Holy Spirit; and the work of the Holy Spirit being the part of the Gofpel scheme of salvation consequent upon that all-fufficient facrifice by which alone God became reconciled to his fallen creatures, it certainly follows, that this
work cannot precede the cause which gave it birth.
But every one admitted into the church is, in fome sense, in a state of reconciliation with God; that is, he is taken out of a condemned condition, in · which there can be no holiness, and placed in a condition of
and relative holiñess; in conséquence of his dedication to the service of God in baptism. But whether this relative holiness may become perfect holiness, effectual to the salvation of the party, must depend upon subsequent considerations. The Apostle therefore, after having first mentioned God's reconciliation to man in Christ, as the foundation of all our hope, proceeds to remind us of man's reconciliation to God, as necessary to give effect to the for
“We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God:” and how this is to be effected, the Apostle proceeds to inform us; receive not the grace of God in vain ;" but having in consequence of God's reconciliation to man, the
66 We pray you