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out which they will be rejected; then we are justified by faith, and not by works. For it is undoubtedly true, that what justifies our obedience, and renders that acceptable to God, does likewise justify our persons, and render them acceptable to him; and our works can have no hand in justifying our persons, if our works themselves are justified by faith; but condemned and rejected without it, as the apostle teaches in the cited text. So we learn from chap. v. 15, 16, that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man is the prayer of faith.

Moreover, if spiritual wisdom, or practical holiness, be the fruit and effect of faith, (as we are told that it is in the quoted text,) then our justification and acceptance with God (by which we do, and without which we cannot obtain the Divine influences to our progressive sanctification) is by faith, and not by works. I think no man will pretend, that we are so acceptable to God, as to obtain his sanctifying influences, in a progress of wisdom and grace, before we are justified; or that we are sanctified by faith, and justified by works. Whence it follows, that faith is the mean, or term, of our justification, because it is the mean, or term of our sanctification; and that a holy life cannot be the condition of our acceptance with God, because it is the consequence and fruit of that faith by which we find acceptance with him.

ii. 5.

Another text to the same purpose we find in chap. "Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him?" It might be read, hath not God chosen the poor, to be rich, (as a similar phrase is translated, Rom. viii. 29,) to be rich with, or by faith, and heirs. Does it not plainly teach us, as that

the end of God's choosing the poor was that they might be spiritually rich, so that it is faith which enriches them, and constitutes them heirs of the kingdom? And you will readily own, that if we are heirs of the kingdom by faith, we are justified by faith. The kingdom is prepared for them that love God, and faith is the source of that love to God by which we are qualified for the kingdom. Faith worketh by love, Gal. v. 6; and therefore faith is the term, or medium, of our acceptance with God, and title to the kingdom. These texts must therefore be remembered, in our explication of the context you refer to, that we may not represent the apostle as teaching contradictions or inconsistencies.

It must be premised, that we should understand the reasonings and conclusions of the two apostles, Paul and James, according to the professed scope and design of their discourses, and according to the subject they are professedly treating upon and we should consider the expressions they each of them use upon the point in view, not as words occasionally and transiently spoken; but as what relate to, and are connected with the subject matter professedly undertaken to be explained. This must be always allowed to be a natural and rational rule, which ought to be strictly adhered to in the interpretation of scripture. Now, then, let us look a little into this case; and see if we do not find the scope and design of these two apostles very different, where they speak so very differently of justification by faith and by works.

Paul designedly handles this question, How shall a guilty, condemned, and convinced sinner, get reconciled to God, find acceptance with him, and have a title to the heavenly inheritance? He treats of such, who are under sin, whose mouths must be stopped,

who are all become guilty before God, and who have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom. iii. 9. 19. 23. He considers the impossibility, in the nature of the thing, that such as these can be justified by works; because, when they have done all they can do, they yet, in their highest attainments, continue sinners, and remain under guilt. This is the plain and manifest scope of the first and second, and part of the third chapters to the Romans. He thence proceeds to show which way, and which only, they may hope for acceptance with God, in the remaining part of the third, and in the following chapters of that epistle. This cannot be by the deeds of the law. "Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight," chap. iii. 20. But it must be by the righteousness of God without the law, by the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ, and by faith without the deeds of the law, ver. 21, 22. 28. This is the subject that the apostle Paul keeps constantly in view, in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians.

But then, on the contrary, the apostle James designedly handles this question, Whether careless, licentious professors of christianity, may presume upon their obtaining salvation, from their doctrinal faith, or from their notional and historical assent to the truth of the gospel? And thence he takes occasion distinctly to consider which way a christian's faith may be justified, his profession vindicated and evidenced to be sincere and true. He discourses of a man that saith he hath faith, and hath not works, ver. 14; of one that hath a faith, without charity, ver. 15, 16; of a faith that hath not works, but is dead being alone, ver. 17; a faith that is but like a body without spirit, or a carcass without breath, ver. 26.

These are the respective questions handled by these

two apostles: and their answers are adapted to the subjects professedly handled by them. They give the very same answers to each of these questions that a judicious divine would now give. Should an awakened sinner, under a sense of his guilt and danger, inquire of one of our divines how he may obtain the pardon of his sins, reconciliation to God, and a title to eternal life? would he not answer, with the apostle Paul, that he must "seek righteousness by faith, and not, as it were, by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified in his sight; that he must be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith?" But, then, on the other hand, should any vain professor, that turns the grace of God into wantonness, yet say that he has faith, and flatter himself with salvation, from his historical and doctrinal belief of the gospel, while living a careless and sensual life; would he not be told in the language of the apostle James, that such a faith will not save him; that the very devils have such a faith, as well as he; that faith without works is a dead faith, and but a carcass without breath; that he must have works to justify his pretence to faith, and must show his faith by his works, or his hopes are vain, and he a vain man to entertain such hopes? Now, what shadow of disagreement would appear in these different answers, to such very different subjects in question?

After this view of the case, it is now to be considered, from which of these apostles we may expect to have the doctrine of a sinner's justification before God explained and set in its proper light: whether from him who is purposely handling this subject, or from him who is not purposely handling this matter, but

treating on a very different subject? This is an inquiry very easily answered; and being answered, the whole difficulty vanishes of course.

These things being premised, I proceed to consider the subject before us more directly and particularly ; and, by taking notice of the doctrines respectively taught by these apostles, shall endeavour to show you, that there is no disagreement at all between them nor any thing at all in this discourse of the apostle James, which you refer to, that is in the least repugnant to our justification by faith without works of righteousness done by us.

This will appear evident, if we consider, in the first place, that these apostles are treating of a different faith. The one of them has not the same idea, and does not mean the same thing with the other, when they discourse of faith, and its influence upon our justification. You remember, I have formerly shown you at large, in a letter purposely written on that subject, that there are two sorts of faith mentioned and described in the scripture. By the one we are, and by the other we are not justified before God. Now the apostle Paul speaks of the former of these, and the apostle James of the latter. There is therefore the greatest truth and propriety in what each of these apostles speak of faith, taking it in the notion which they respectively intend. It is true, that by the faith of God's elect we are justified and saved; it is also true, that the faith of the vain man, or empty professor, a bare, notional, historical, fruitless faith, will not save us. The apostle Paul speaks of a living faith, by which the just shall live, Rom. i. 17. The apostle James speaks of a dead faith, which is but as a body without the spirit, ver. 17. 26. The apostle Paul speaks of a faith which worketh by love, Gal. v. 6.

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