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thren, is done unto me: Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

This, at first sight, seems opposed to the whole tenor of the gospel, which declares that "we are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works and deservings:" that " by grace we are saved; not of works, lest any man should boast:" that so far from relying upon our good deeds, our justice, our integrity, our zeal, or our charity, our language is to be, when we "have done all," "we are unprofitable servants," who can advance no claim. 3

The account, however, here given of the day of judgment, does not contradict this truth. But it discloses the real nature of faith in Christ Jesus; which is not a mere assent to the history of his Advent and Incarnation ;-which is not a presumptuous confidence in his merits: but is the "receiving him" with the whole heart, as "the way, the truth, and the life:" alike the Redeemer to atone, and the King or Lord to guide and rule. This is the faith which unites him to us, and us to him. This is the faith by which "he is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." This is the faith according to which "man believeth unto righteousness."

And this faith will naturally and necessarily lead to the works here described of active charity.

For, first, those who have this faith, obey their Lord's precepts. And his precepts tell us, that the

2 Art. xi.

3 Luke xvii. 10.

characteristic of his disciples is to "have love one towards another:" and that the law and the prophets are all comprehended in this, that, "whatsoever we would that men should do unto us, we do also unto them."

Secondly, those who have genuine faith in Christ will imitate his example. And we well know that his example was the model of that benevolence which his precepts enjoin. If, then, he "went about doing good," so must his disciples. "If he so loved us," as our faith avows that he did, "we ought also to love one another."

Thirdly, those who truly believe in Christ, learn of him to view their fellow-creatures in a light peculiar to the Christian: for their fellow-creatures are those whom he so loved, as to descend from heaven for their redemption: those whom he so pitied, as to lay down his life for their sakes. And therefore it is, that if hungry, they are to be fed; if naked, they are to be clothed; if strangers, they are to be cared for; if sick, or in prison, they are to be visited; if erring, they are to be reclaimed ; if young, they are to be nurtured; if ignorant, they are to be instructed. Thus manifesting our "love not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth, we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him." For he has said, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it

unto me.

Those, then, who are here represented as the righteous, who "go into life eternal," are re

4 1 John iii. 19.

warded for their works. But the ground of their acceptance is still their faith. And the cause why they have wrought these works, is their faith. Faith is the principle, works, the effect. Holiness, purity, temperance, integrity, mercy, charity, are proofs of the existence and of the soundness of the principle from which they spring.

The same argument applies to those on the left hand, who are rejected.

41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited

me not.

44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, did it not to me.


46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

We may be certain, then, that the Son of man, when he comes in his glory, will pronounce sentence according to the spirit of these words. Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me. Had ye truly believed in me, ye would not have left the naked without clothing, or the hungry without food, or the sick, and the prisoner, without relief in their affliction. Had ye believed in me, ye must have pitied and assisted

those wants, which both by precept and example I warned you to consider. "Depart from me, I never knew you." Because the absence of brotherly kindness and charity is proof of the absence or the inefficacy of that on which all depends: is evidence discernible by men, of the absence of that inward principle which men cannot discern, but which He discerns who knows what is in men: absence of that genuine faith, which, wherever it exists, must produce active love towards all our fellow-creatures. So that one way in which we are taught to "know that we have passed from death unto life," is "because we love the brethren." "He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death." 5

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Be it remembered, then, that in the description here given us of the judgment-day, the one class is accepted, not because they had works independently of faith, but because their faith in the Redeemer wrought with their works, and by works was their faith made perfect." " While the other class is rejected, not because they had no works to justify and save them: (for what would be the hope of any man, if he trusted to be saved or justified by anything he had done or can do?) but because their conduct had shown, that they had no real faith in him whom they had been used to call by the name of Lord and Saviour. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

5 1 John iii. 14.

See James ii. 22.

7 Ib. ii. 26.



MATT. xxvi. 1-13.

1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,

2. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

3. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4. And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.

5. But they said, Not on the feast-day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

"The common people heard him gladly:" the common people were benefited by his works of mercy and pity; the common people had no private interest to make them dread his growing influence, neither had their vices in the same degree provoked his severe reproofs. Therefore, as in the case of John the Baptist, Herod "feared the people, because all counted John for a prophet,”—so now the chief priests and elders, in apprehending Jesus, saw reason to avoid the uproar of the people. And thus by the operation of various unseen motives, the "determinate counsel of God" received its execution.

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