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NOTES

TO

The Sermon

ON

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

NOTES

TO THE

Sermon

ON

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

NOTE (A) p. 121.

THE care with which St. Paul guards his doctrine of "Justification by faith without works" from abuse, is well worthy of our observation.

Before he lays down the doctrine, he has that most remarkable passage, (II. 2-16.) which ought for ever to have served as a sufficient barrier against all abuse and mistake in this case. Against all abuse, because it represents in the most striking and awful manner that can be, the connection betwixt a man's conduct here, and his condition hereafter:-against all mistake, because it affords the plainest marks of distinction betwixt the two Justifications. The first is in this life, (Ev тų vvv kalpų, III. 26.) the last is at the great day of account, "the day of wrath,

and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" (11. 5.) “in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." (II. 16.) The first is by faith only, the last will depend upon works; "who will render to every man according to his deeds:" (11. 6.) "glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good;" (II. 10.) "for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (11. 13.)

And after he has laid down the doctrine, he immediately puts in a caution; "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid. Yea we establish the law." (шII. 31.)

And the caution which he here puts in, he prosecutes at large, (Chapter VI.) after he had dispatched the reasoning he was upon. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?" (See the remainder of the Chapter.)

And in the Epistle to the Ephesians, (II. 8, 9.) where he delivers the same doctrine, of our being placed in a state of salvation by God's free mercy, without any merit of preceding works ; "For by grace ye are saved, through faith. Not of works, lest any man should boast:" he instantly subjoins, "For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

In the Epistle to Titus (111. 5-7.) we find the selfsame doctrine, of the Baptismal justification of Christians by mere mercy, exclusive of all merit of preceding works, clearly laid down: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done,

but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." And then in the next Verse it follows, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, That they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works :" i. e. as I conceive, works of mercy and charity to the poor and necessitous. (Comp. Acts ix. 36; 1 Tim. v. 10; vi. 18.)

In the 3d Chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians, he thus magnifies the Christian righteousness which is of faith, in comparison of the Jewish righteousness which is of the law: "But what things were gain to me, (he speaks of his Jewish privileges, and legal performances,) those I counted loss for Christ: yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ; and be found in him, (i. e. that I may be a true member of his body,) not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law; but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" (Phil. iii. 7, 8, 9.)—Then, in the next verse, follow the effects required to be exhibited in the Christian man, in order to the attainment of final salvation; "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means, I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead:" (v. 10, 11.)—

* Ίνα δικαιωθεντες τη εκείνε χαριτι, κληρονομοι γενώμεθα κατ' ελπίδα ζωης αιώνια.

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