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REPLY TO B. W. ON CERTAIN DOC
person who reads “ the ConvenTRINES
ticle of Rolle" will be at a loss to IN M. MALAN's con
ascertain what M. Malan means by VENTICLE OF ROLLE.
faith. It will also appear in the WE had intended to conclude course of the following remarks,
the remarks of our correspon- that B. W.'s objections are founded, dents, on B. W.'s paper, with those contained in our last Number ; but statement, but on the very different
not on the obscurity of M. Malan's as the discussion involves some view which he himself takes of the points of great moment, and as our
nature of faith. correspondents and readers seem
B. W. asserts that the proposition, to be much interested in its prose- no works in order to salvation, is cution, we introduce the following contrary to Scripture. “ It ought," paper, with which we must termi- he says, “ to be, no works in order to nate the investigation; unless B. W. justification.". The Apostle, how, should wish to reply to the friends ever, says, “ By grace are ye saved who have commented on his re- through faith, not of works, lest any marks. We have been obliged to
man should boast.” (Eph. ii. 8, 9.) shorten J. A. H.'s paper, omitting Again, “ not by works of righteouschiefly the parts which had been
ness which we have done, but accordanticipated by other correspon- ing to his mercy he saved us by the dents, or which appeared to us washing of regeneration, and the not materially relevant to the exact renewing of the Holy Ghost, which points under discussion, such as his he shed on us abundantly through defence of the doctrine of "the Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being final perseverance of the saints."
justified by his grace, we should be
made heirs according to the hope Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. of eternal life." (Titus iii. 5, 7.)
Even those who disapproved of These passages, to which it would the sentiments of your correspon- be easy to add many others, state dent B. W. must be gratified by the proposition objected to by B. W. his expressions of kindness towards “no works in order to salvation," M. Malan, on one of whose publi- as strongly as M. Malan has done ; cations (the Conventicle of Rolle) and the latter passage proves that - he has animadverted. I trust it is in the word of God, those who are not inconsistent with the plan of justified are saved : “ whom he your work to admit the following justified, them he also glorified.” strictures on his criticism, as the (Rom. viii. 30.) “ There is therefore subjects treated of are of funda- now no condemnation to them mental importance.-B. W. com- which are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. plains of a defect of definition viii. 1.) If so, doubtless they are throughout M. Malan's book, and saved. that there is no distinct statement The passages adduced by B. W. of the nature of faith. I can in support of his position, that the hardly suppose, however, that any assertion, no works in order to CHRIST. OBServ. No. 306.
salvation is incorrect, are first, The Apostle addresses the Phi“ Work out your own salvation.” lippians with the utmost affection (Phil. ii. 12.) B. W. appears to and confidence. They had given overlook the different verses in much evidence of their faith and which the term salvation is em- love ; and he was confident that he ployed in the word of God. In who had begun a good work in one sense, the salvation of the them would perform it until the believer is not complete till he day of Jesus Christ. (ch. i. 6.) is perfectly conformed to Christ. Yet he exhorted them to work out (1 John iii. 2.) This is the prize of their own salvation; and he enforces the high calling of God in Christ the exhortation by his own example. Jesus, towards which he is to A second passage referred to by press. Immediately connected with B. W. is, “ We labour, whether the first passage above referred to, present or absent, to be accepted in which believers are said to be of him.” (2 Cor. v. 9.) In the presaved by grace, through faith, the ceding context, the Apostle had Apostle proceeds, “ For we are expressed his confidence of a joyful his workmanship, created in Christ resurrection (2 Cor. iv. 14), and of Jesus unto good works, which God a far more exceeding and eternal hath before ordained that we should weight of glory. (v. 17.) He dewalk in them.” (Eph. ii. 10.) Here scribes himself and his fellow-Chrisbelievers are spoken of as having tians as being always confident, and obtained salvation; and good works, willing rather to be absent from so far from being the cause of this the body and to be present with the salvation, are described as its effects, Lord; and he adds, “ Wherefore we or perhaps more properly as the labour, that whether present or absalvation itself. It is by faith, by sent we may be accepted of him." union with Christ, by being grafted Is this the language of a man who into the true vine, that we bring forth stood in doubt of his acceptance? fruit. “Either," says Christ, "make Surely not. It is the language of the tree good, and his fruit good, one who, being “accepted in the or make the tree corrupt, and his beloved” (Eph. i. 6), was looking fruit corrupt, for the tree is known and longing for the full enjoyment by his fruit." (Matt. xii. 33.) But of the presence of Christ. But the tó endeavour to obtain salvation greater his confidence the more ferby good works, is to begin with vent was his love, and hence his the fruit, that, by improving its anxiety to please God. The words quality, we may change the nature rendered accepted, signify to be well of the tree.
pleasing. They are thus rendered The salvation of Christ is a de. ch. iv. 18, also Heb. xiii. 21, and liverance from the power of sin, in various other passages.
The and from the bondage of satan, in verb is rendered please, Heb. xi. 5 which all mankind are by nature and 6, and xiii. 16. In other pasenthralled. (Isa. Ixi, 1. 3.) Our Lord sages it is rendered acceptable, is called Jesus (Saviour), because (Rom. iv. 1; Eph. v. 10); and it is he saves his people from their sins. never rendered accepted except in (Matt.i. 21.) He blesses them in this place. Having spoken of his turning away every one of them confidence in God, both as to this from their iniquities. (Acts üi. 26.) life and that which is to come, the
The moment we are vitally united Apostle affirms that the sense of his to Christ we are saved; the new unspeakable obligations to Christ creation is begun, which shall issue led him to labour to do what was in our complete restoration to pleasing in his sight. A few verses the image of God. “ I shall be afterwards he expresses the same satisfied when I awake with thy sentiment, when he tells us that the likeness." (Psal. xvii. 15.)
love of Christ, in laying down his
life for believers, constrained them to come and follow him.” On to live not to themselves, but to this narrative I observe, lst, That him who died for them, and rose Christ, on this, as on many other again. (verses 14, 15.)
occasions, reasoned with the perHere we are taught the nature son whom he addressed on his of Christian obedience: love and own principles. The ruler wished good works are enforced on the to obtain eternal life by doing disciples of Christ, from the con. something, and our Lord referred sideration of the love of God to- him to the holy and unalterable wards them. “ Ye have not re- law of God which was given, that ceived the spirit of bondage unto every mouth might be stopped, and fear, but the spirit of adoption that all the world might become whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” guilty before God (Rom. iii. 19). (Rom. viii. 15.) “ Because ye are 2dly, When the ruler shewed such
God hath sent forth the ignorance as to affirin, that he had Spirit of his Son into your hearts, obeyed the law of God from his crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore youth, Christ told him to sell all thou art no more a servant, but a he had and give to the poor, and son; and if a son, then an heir of that he should have treasure in God through Christ.” (Gal. iv. 6, 7.) heaven, and to come and follow And in opposition to those who him. This was well calculated to taught them to blend their obedi- make him acquainted with his own ence with the faith of Christ, the character. He had applied to Jesus Apostle exhorts them to“ stand fast as a teacher come from God: he in the glorious liberty wherewith had intimated that he was ready to Christ makes his people free; and do any thing to obtain eternal life; not to be entangled again with the but by our Lord's reply the convicyoke of bondage." (Gal. v. 1.) tion was forced on his mind that, The next passage referred to is, after all, he was
more anxious “ If thou wilt enter into life, keep about this world than the next, and the commandments.” Does B. W. he went away sorrowful. The cirreally consider this passage as cumstances of the case account for pointing out the way of salvation? our Lord's language. When the The Apostle Paul speaks of some jailor at Philippi inquired, “What 'who, “ being ignorant of God's shall I do to be saved ?” does the righteousness, and going about to Apostle reply, “ If thou wilt enter establish their own righteousness, into life, keep the commandments?” had not submitted to the righteous- Does our Lord thus instruct the ness of God.” (Rom. x. 3.) Can we Jews, when they asked, 66 What for a moment suppose, that our shall we do that we might work the Lord recommended this course to works of God?” “ This," said Jesus, the person to whom he said, “ If " is the work of God, that ye bethou wilt enter into life, keep the lieve on him whom he hath sent." commandments?” A young ruler, (John vi. 28.) The way of salvation apparently very amiable, and pro- is most plainly and explicitly tauglit bably very exemplary in his con- in the Scriptures. 66 Christ is the duct, inquired " what he should do” end of the law for righteousness, to that he might have eternal life. Our every one that believeth” (Rom. Lord immediately referred to the x. 4); and so far from being directed words of Moses, “ The man that to the law for salvation, we are exdoeth these things shall live in pressly told, that, “ as many as are them” (Rom. x. 5); and when tlie of the works of the law (looking ruler professed that he had all along to it for salvation), are under the obeyed the law, our Lord com- curse.” (Gal. iii. 10.) manded him to sell
ll all he had, Another passage referred to by and to give to the poor," and B. W.is Matt. vii. 21. “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, (ch. ii. 21.) He takes the law in shall enter into the kingdom of its more extensive sense, as inheaven; but he that doeth the will cluding all the precepts for the reof my Father in heaven.” This is gulation of our conduct, and he says, one of the very numerous declara- «The law is not of faith ; but the tions of the Word of God which man that doeth these things shall teaches us the vanity of a profes- live in them.” (ch. iii. 12.) It is a sion of religion without the power matter of no consequence, whether of godliness; the folly of saying I the commandment which we enhave faith, while we have not works; deavour to incorporate with the but it contains not the shadow of faith of Christ, be circumcision, or an argument against the proposition, the love of God and our neighbour: “ No works in order to salvation.” in either case, by having recourse to B. W. next objects to what he our own obedience, we make ourconsiders the fallacy of M, Malan's selves debtors to do the whole law, exhibition of faith, and says, “ Faith we frustrate the grace of God, and in God must have respect to all represent Christ as dead in vain. which God declares and commands. (chap. ii. 21.) The Apostle teaches Faith believes the promise, obeys the us that “the Scripture hath con. precept, and receives comfort from cluded (shut up, as the word is both.” Here faith and works are thus rendered in the next verse,) blended together in a manner which all under sin, that the promise by appears to me utterly unscriptural. faith of Jesus Christ might be given The writer, I think, has fallen pre- to them that believe" (chap. iii. 22). cisely into the error so strongly B, W. may condemn M. Malan condemned in the Epistle to the for excluding obedience to the preGalatians. The Galatians had not cept from his exhibition of faith ; renounced Christ; they still pro. but the promise and the precept are fessed the Gospel; but certain men always carefully distinguished in the had taught them, that “except they word of God. St. Paul, having said were circumcised after the manner there was a remnant according to of Moses, they could not be saved.” the election of grace, adds,—“and The Apostle meets this by a coun- if of grace it is no more of works, ter-statement. “ Behold I Paul say otherwise grace is no more grace ; unto you, that if ye be circumcised but if it be of works it is no more of Christ shall profit you nothing. For grace, otherwise work is no more I testify to every man that is cir- work.” (Rom. xi. 16.). cumcised, that he is a debtor to do B. W. tells us that the promise the whole law. Christ is become of was (Gen. xv. I), I am thy shield, no effect unto you, whosoever of and (5.) So shall thy seed be: the you are justified by the law; ye are command was, Walk before me and fallen from grace. For we through he thou perfect (Gen. xvii. 1, 7, &e.); the Spirit wait for the hope of righte- and he observes, that “faith believes ousness by faith.” (Gal. v. 2. 5.) the promise and obeys the precept, The Galatians had no idea of being and receives comfort from both.” saved, except by Christ. They ad- The teachers in Galatia, whom the mitted that they could be justified Apostle opposes, used exactly the only by faith in him; but their same language, only substitating new teachers had informed them, another commandment recorded in that faith in God must have re- the very same chapter. “Every manspect to “ all which God declares child among you shall be circumand commands ;” and that they cised” (Gen. xvii. 10); and they were must not rest in the promise alone. perfectly satisfied when they had The Apostle refutes this error. He persuaded the Galatians that faith shews, that “ if righteousness come believes the promise and obeys the by the law, Christ is dead in vain." precept, and that, by their believing and obeying, like Abraham they were invited to believe that God hath justified by faith. But the Apostle de- made him to be sin for us who nounces thus of “ another Gospel" knew no sin, that we might be made (Gal. i. 6): he affirms that, by adding the righteousness of God in him circumcision to the faith of Jesus, (2 Cor. v. 21), and to receive Christ they renounced salvation by Christ, as made of God to us wisdom, were seeking justification by works, righteousness, sanctification, and reand consequently were under the demption. (1 Cor. i. 3.) curse pronounced on him who offends Let us suppose a number of rebels in one point. (Gal. iii. 10.)* who had taken up arms against B. W. goes on to object to faith their sovereign.
A general probeing represented as consisting “in clamation of pardon and amnesty is believing and applying the promises published. All are invited to return as if they were spoken of God abso- to their allegiance, with the assurlutely, personally, and individually ance that whoever lays down his to ourselves." The subsequent part arms and quits the rebel ranks shall of the paragraph, in which he in- be received into favour. Is not forms us how he comes to be assured every individual rebel warranted to that the general promise "refers to apply the proclamation to himself? me, and that I am a child of God Is not his doing so the only possiand an heir of glory," appears to me ble way in which he can receive the calculated to lead men to trust in benefit of the amnesty ? What else their faith, repentance, love, and obe- could induce him to submit? It is dience, instead of trusting in Christ ; precisely the same with the proclato lead the bold to a presumptuous mation of pardon in the Gospel; confidence in the safety of their none can receive benefit from it state, and the timid to a constant without applying it to himself, which alternation of hopes, of fears very from its general nature he is fully distressing to themselves, and tend warranted to do. ing much to prevent their progress “ Faith is the substance of things in holiness, and their
adorning the hoped for; the evidence of things doctrine of God our Saviour. not seen.” (Heb. xi. 1.) It appré
The Gospel is an exhibition of hends the truth of the incarnation, Christ as mighty to save, and of his death, and resurrection of Jesus death as a full atonement for our Christ, the fulness of his atonement, sins. The proclamations, “Behold and the prevalence of his intercesthe Lamb of God, that taketh away sion; and thus Christ is received the sins of the world,-Look unto me, and dwells in the heart (Eph. iii. 17), and be ye saved, all the ends of the as a Saviour exactly suited to our earth, Whosoever will, let him take circumstances, Christ came not to the water of life freely,--Him that call the righteous, but sinners to cometh unto me 1 will in no wise repentance. His blood cleanseth cast out,” afford a sure and solid us from all sin ; and the believing foundation for the hope and confi
sinner finds rest in the Saviour. dence of every one who hears the When the three thousand "gladly Gospel, even the most guilty. No received the word " (Acts ü. 41),did exception is made in the proclama- not their joy arise from believing tion; and therefore each individual and applying the promise of salvawho hears it, is fully warranted in tion? So when the jailor inquired, applying it to himself. We are • What shall I do to be saved ? "
He was told, “ Believe in the , * Our limits obliging us to abridge Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 1. A. H's paper, we have omitted what follows to prove the doctrine of justifica
be saved, and thy house ; and they tion by faith only, as B. W. maintains
spake unto him the word of the that doctrine as strenuously as I. A. H. Lord, and to all that were in his