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The Bishop's avowed Sentiments concerning Good
$ 1. The Bishop's contradictory statements. $ 2. His comment on St. Paul's Faith without Charity or Good Works,
examined. 3- 5. His opinion that we may recommend ourselves to the favour and mercy of God, and render ourselves worthy the mediation of Christ, examined. $ 6, 7. The imprudence of using such
language. $8-11. Ministerial addresses employed by Calvinists, described and
vindicated. § 12. His Lordship's view of the importance of recommending Good Works, considered, with an appeal to the actual effects of different modes.
§ 1. On the subject of Good Works we have several statements made in his Lordship’s futation,” which require no small degree of ingenuity even plainly to reconcile them. In one place we read thus : ' Indeed that there is
no necessary connexion between faith or belief ' and good works, even according to St. Paul, ' who is the great advocate for the doctrine ' of justification by faith, is evident from 'a passage in his first Epistle to the Co
rinthians—“ Though I have all faith so that I • could remove mountains, and have not charity, "I am nothing." Could St. Paul have described ' faith in stronger terms--or could he have * inculcated the necessity of good works in
stronger language?'*. In another place we read : ‘In reality,'true Christian faith, and good ' works pleasant and acceptable to God, are in • their own nature inseparable. True faith pro• duces good works as naturally as a tree pro• duces its fruit.'+ In a note we have this explanation : ! Faith, or the general belief of • the truth of Christianity, is not necessarily 'connected with good works. True Christian • faith and good works are inseparable.” Again : • The ministers of our church are unquestionably • authorised by our Articles to speak of faith, as
signifying a firm reliance upon the merits of • Christ for salvation, necessarily productive of good works.'
§ 2. Now, if St. Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, intended a true Christian "faith,' how can his Lordship’s remarks upon
it be reconciled with his other declarations, that faith and good works are inseparable: and if St. Paul did not intend such faith, but some other--as a general belief of the truth of • Christianity, or, the faith by which miracles were performed, which appears from the connexion to be the case of what use are the observations 'upon it? 'Need any one to be assured by proof--a professed appeal to scrip
* Refut. p. 130.
+ 1b. p. 160.
IIb. p. 163.
ture evidence-that a faith which no one expects to produce good works, has no 'necessary connexion' with them? At least, did any
Calvinist suppose any such connexion? His Lordship asks, 'could St. Paul have described faith ' in stronger terms?' What faith? The terms indeed are strong to describe the faith of miracles; but the following are stronger to indicate justifying or saving faith. “ Faith unfeigned." “ The faith of God's elect." Faith which is “ the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” “ Precious faith." Faith which “ overcometh the world." “ Most holy faith.” That by which a man is justified, by which his heart is purified, and his person sanctified; by which he has access to God, by which he has power, or privilege, to become a son of the Most High; that by which Christ dwells in his heart, by which he offers a sacrifice acceptable to God, and walks with him :- these are superior qualities, and more excellent effects, than those of which St. Paul speaks in the passage above referred to.
§ 3. We are again told, That we may recommend ourselves to God by good words... Men,
as they now are, are not capable of perfect 'obedience, but they are capable of endea
vouring to attain it. Such an endeavour is their 'indispensable duty; and although it may not
* in all instances, and on every occasion be
effectual, it is humbly hoped that it may be sufficient to recommend them to the favour of
God, forasınuch as what their infirmity lacketh, • Christ's justice hath supplied.' His Lordship avows, that a minister of the Established Church ought not to be blamed for 'hoping that his
congregation will recommend themselves to the favour of God by a regular attendance upon divine ordinances, and an uniform practice of religious duties and for urging the necessity of recommending ourselves to the mercy of God, and rendering ourselves worthy the medi·ation of Jesus Christ by an holiness of living * and by an abhorrence of vice.'
§ 4. That good works are pleasant and acceptable to God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, is language that any Christian may approve, but the phrases above printed in Italics: appear inconsistent with the economy of grace, and not a little offensive to Christian humility, especially in the connexion in which they are introduced. How much more suitable and pious the language and sentiment of the patriarch Jacob, not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy servant." Or of the Centurion, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof,"
6 I am
§ 5. As words acquire different acceptations, according to their connexion, so we find the term “ worthy” denoting different things. Christians are exhorted, to “walk worthy of their vocation," -"worthy of the Lord,” " worthy of God.” In such phrases, the obvious meaning is, that they conduct themselves in a manner suitable to their privileges and relations. In this sense we may say, that a man conducts himself worthily in certain circumstances; as Solomon said of Adonijah, “If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth.” Sometimes the term“worthy” denotes deserving; as when a man is said to be “ worthy of death,” or “worthy of punishment,”_or, when it is said of God that he is “ worthy to be praised ;” and of the divine Saviour, that he is “ worthy to receive glory and
power, &c.” Again, when it is said that " the labourer is worthy of his reward;" that the saints “ shall walk in white, for they are worthy,” it implies not only suitableness but also a kind of desert. Where there is a stipulation, either tacit or expressed; on performance of the condition, the notion of desert is attached to the reward stipulated, however unmeritorious might be the performance independent of promise.
$ 6. But in which of these acceptations, or