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who profeffed the faith) fhould be careful to maintain good works," had been fuperfluous.
If ST. PETER had thought that Chriftian faith was neceffarily 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 righteoufness of GOD, have directed his difciples" 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 kindnefs; and to brotherly kindness, charity." The important reason for this direction he immediately fubjoins: "For" (continues the Apostle)" if these be in you, and abound, they make you that ye fhall 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 profefs his faith in him as fuch; but his faith being barren and unfruitful will profit him nothing. "Wherefore, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election fure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall. For fo (or upon this condition) an entrance fhall be miniftered unto you. abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Sa viour JESUS CHRIST."*
This plain paffage from ST. PETER places the whole plan of falvation through CHRIST fairly before us. It represents the exceeding great and precious promises which have been obtained for man, through the righteousness of CHRIST, as the bafis of his falvation; 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 ST. PAUL and ST. JAMES, and all other parts of fcripture, 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,† in vindication of
2 PETER i. 5, 6, &c.
+ "Accedamus jam ad alterum iftud, quod breviter notandum duximus; nempe, phrafi illâ, & gywv, non id voluiffe JACOBUM opera noftra effe juftificationis noftræ caufam principalem aut meritoriam; illa quippe in merâ et gratuita DEI Patris mifericordiâ hæc in CHRISTI folius morte ac meritis unicè ftatuenda eft, et ab Apoftolo revera ftatuitur. Etenim quamvis particula & eam nonun`quam vim obtineat, fæpe tamen adhibere folet fenfu quodam mitiori, ut notet medium quodcunque rei obtinendæ, five 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 istews Six800α, particula ɛx manifeftè hoc fenfu fumitur. Quippe ne ipfà quidem fide tanquam
ST. JAMES, has reprefented them; not as " either the principal or the meritorious caufe of man's falvation, 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 refpectable writer's publication, which, as it ftrikes me, ought to be read with fome comment; because, as it ftands, it seems calculated to lead the indifcriminating reader to a conclufion different, I fhould fuppofe, 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 defires 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, difclaiming with indignation every idea of attaining it by his own ftrength, all his hopes of poffeffing it reft altogether on the Divine affurances of the operation of the Holy Spirit, in those
causa principali, imo non ut causâ omnino, nifi improprie dictâ, justificari aliquis dici poteft. Dicitur igitur homo, s őgywv dinaısola, quia bona opera conditio funt, juxta ordinationem divinam in Evangelico fædere ftabilitam neceffario in hoc requifita, ut quis justifiçetur, i. e. remiffionem peccatorum per CHRISTUM partam obţineat, Deoque ad falutem gratus et acceptus fiat."
BULL. Harmon. Apoftol. cap. i. § 8.
who cordially embrace the Gofpel 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 caufe; but to follow it, and be its effect. That in fhort it is by faith in CHRIST only, that he is to be justified in 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 fpirit of grace, and a partial renewal after the image of his Creator; hereafter, to the more perfect poffeffion 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 ftate of conditional falvation under the new covenant, feems here not fufficiently distinguished from that particular reconciliation of GOD to the individual in his redeemed condition, when restored to that degree of likeness to his Creator neceffary to qualify him for admiffion into his prefence.
There can be no fuch 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 falvation confequent 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. L 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 grace and relative holinefs; in confequence of his dedication to the fervice of GoD in baptifm. But whether this relative holiness may become perfect holinefs, effectual to the falvation of the party, muft depend upon fubfequent confiderations. The Apoftle 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 neceffary to give effect to the former. "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; "We pray you receive not the grace of GoD in vain ;" but having in confequence of God's reconciliation to man, the