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interest in the same benefit? If a dead faith will justify at one time, why not at another; or, if a lively faith be required for continuance, why not the same required for commencement? If a man with only a dead stock be declared in a good condition, why should not the possession of the same stock be pronounced sufficient a second, a twentieth, or a thousandth time, or why should 'the neglect of any practicable duty' immediately declare him a bankrupt? If, on the contrary, however, we are placed in a good and acceptable condition by partaking of the Spirit of Christ, the continuance of this participation secures the continuance of that acceptable condition. Supposing the condition of continuance to be the exercise of faith, that exercise must be incessant and never-failing, and to fall asleep would be to lose our acceptance with God! Whereas, if the condition be a living union to Christ, who is ever present and ever active, then“ whether we wake or sleep, live or die, we are accepted of him.” To him who judgeth infallibly, this is an adequate ground and evidence of the justification of our persons, though to ourselves the evidence must be a conscious sincerity of repenting and believing,

$ 26. There is one thing more to be observed, before we close this discussion; viz. that there is an important difference between

the justification of our persons, and the justification of our actions. Every sinful act, and every neglect of duty, is condemnable; but it does not follow that every person on account of the failure, is struck off from the list of acceptance, without involving endless absurdities-such as confounding a federal and personal righteousness--destroying the fundamental difference between a covenant and a rule of action -placing a fallen sinner in the same predicament of continuance in favour with sinless Adam-making the divine Head of influence, as such, a mere cypher in the recovery of our justification, supposed to be lost—and imagining justification and condemnation to proceed alternately in rapid succession; a succession as rapid and frequent, for ought we know, as those of individual human volitions:-now justified by a dead faith, next condemned for neglect of ' any ' practicable duty,' then restored by sincere faith, anon condemned for another failure, and so on, it may be, ten thousand times over, till the moment of death,--and finally if any' neglect attach to us at that moment, we lie under condemnation for ever! And these, I apprehend, are the genuine consequences of his Lordship’s theory of Justification. - It must be owned, however, that many of the Christian fathers have been too favourable in their mode of expression to that sentiment; expressions which

the corrupt hierarchy of Rome eagerly caught up for advancing its own importance, and which an ignorant multitude as eagerly adopted, as the easiest way to justification and heaven. .

Sect. III.

The Bishop's avowed Sentiments concerning Farty,


§ 1. His Lordship's peculiar notions concerning Faith stated. $ 2, 3. His notion concerning the Faith of Heathens, examined. $ 4–6. That a dead Faith may rise to a lively Faith, examined. $ 7. That Faith only will not preserve justification, examined. $ 8. By

his Lordship's own statements, and $ 9, 10. By scriptural illus

trations. { 11. The importance of Faith and practice deduced from their ends

respectively. $ 12. That Faith is not bestowed arbitrarily, examined. § 13. The Calvinistic view of Faith summarily explained.

§ 1. When treating on

HEN treating on this important article of the Christian doctrine, with a view to refute Calvinism, his Lordship advances some very remarkable sentiments that require examination. Among other things he supposes, That the faith of Heathens was, believing that compliance with their law was acceptable to Godthat a dead faith may rise to a lively faiththat faith only, will not preserve justificationthat faith is the gift of God, but is not bestowed arbitrarily—and that faith is the result of candour and diligence.

§ 2.

• The Gentiles were a law unto them selves, and their faith,' his Lordship observes,

* consisted in believing that a compliance with

that law was acceptable to the Deity.'* It is natural to ask, what Deity? They had Moloch and Dagon, Jupiter and Mars, Apollo and Bacchus, Minerva and Venus; with innumerable others. Faith, in the acceptation of believing, it will be allowed, is giving credit to a testimony; and divine faith requires a divine testimony; but had any Deity of the Gentiles a testimony to give? If it be said that God bore a testimony to their consciences by the law within them, which they believed ; it may be again asked, why should this be called faith, any more than their believing that they had passions, or that they were the subjects of hunger and thirst? Or if their consciences bore witness, and their thoughts the mean while accused or excused, what propriety is there in calling this faith? As well may an Atheist be called a believer, because even he cannot get rid of the suggestions of conscience ; and his thoughts accuse him for doing or designing some things, or excuse him when he does or designs the contrary. And indeed, as the apostle observes, the Gentiles were (ateli) atheists, “ without God in the world,” though the visible effects of an invisible cause, an eternal power

* Refut. p. 102. Note.“

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