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be the main thing on which he meant to insist, in these concise and emphatical words. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. The true import of these words, is not that evangelical faith is ever a dead faith; for it cannot exist without being operative of good works. But such a faith as is unproductive of Christian obedience is a mere speculative, lifeless faith. Hence, a man is justified by works; as they are the consequence, fruit, and evidence of a saving justifying faith.

We are now naturally led to the true sense of the following declaration : Now to hiun that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. By the expression, to him thut workelh not, is evidently to be understood, one wiro does not attempt to work, to recommend himself to the favour of God by his moral goodness, so as to be justified by the deeds of the law. He renounces all pretence and expectation of acceptance in this manner, by his works. In opposition to working, so as to render himself worthy of a reward in a legal sense, and to bring God in debt to him, his hope is founded in the faith of the gospel, to which the promise of pardon is annexed. The following reason is subjoined. Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Hence, even good works, those which are truly evangelical, are not designed to recommend a man to the divine favour; but to be an evidence of pardon, acceptance, and justification by faith. They are to be a manifestation, that our faith is genuine, the faith of the gospel, which, through the grace of God, is saving, or is connected with the promise of salvation.

IMPROVEMENT. Ist. This subject exhibits evidence, that the gospel furnishes a consistent scheme of salvation to mankind. The gospel takes man, where it finds him, in a state of sin and ruin; condemned by the law of God to final perdition, and incapable of justification by his own righteousness. In this situation, it announces to him a Saviour, divinely great and glorious ;* divinely excellent and lovely, assuming his nature, to become an expiation for his sins; revealing to him the way of reconciliation to God, and of eternal salvation. The terms on which he may be reconciled, it discloses with exact precision and perfeet clearness. Repentance towards God, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and a godly life, include them all. They are terms the most reasonable in themselves, and productive of incomprehensible good to all who embrace them. The way of salvation is here become

highway; and way-faring men, though fools, need not err therein. Natural religion does not bold forth the method of return and reconciliation to God. It is the religion of the law, which proclaims, Do these things, and thou shalt live: but the soul that sinneth, shall die. We have sinned, and the sentence pronounced on those who disobey, is a sentence of final condemnation. In such a situation, what man, not lost to sense and thought, would not hail the dawn of the gospel with transport; and joyfully welcome the clear rising of the Sun of righteousness, to illume his path through this melancholy world, to dispel the darkness of the grave, and brighten his passage to the heavens!

2d. In the light of this subject, we may see that we are under unspeakable obligations of gratitude to each of the Divine persons in the Godhead.

In view of the unbounded grace of God as the originatiag, moving cause of justification, praise unspeakable is due to the Father, who devised the great plan of man's redemption; by which sinners, entirely ruined, are in a savable state. Neither men nor angels could have been adequate for devising the wondrous scheme. Matchless the wisdom, and matchless the grace! Had the Father refused to offer his Son, that he might become a sacrifice for sin, the case of man must have been as hopeless as that of the sinning angels. Every one of the human family must inevitably have had their portion in endless perdition.

And when the Father had devised the plan, and proposed the terms to the Son, that redemption should be purchased by his blood, had the Son been unwilling and rejected the proposal, none of the guilty sons and daughters of Adam could have escaped hell and obtained heaven. All must have sunk down to the regions of sorrow and everlasting despair. But the Son, for the honour and glory of his Father, and in the most tender compassion for a world of siriners in a desperate condition, says, Lo! I come: I delight to do thy will, O my God. Hence, in the fulness of time, He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the

And are the atoning sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus Christ the sole ground of pardon, or that on the account of which God the Father justi-. fies any of this rebellious world? Then how unspeakable are the obligations of gratitude to the Son!

And as believers are justified by a living faith which is productive of works, equal praise is due to the Holy Spirit. All mankind are so dead in trespasses and sins, as to stand in perishing need of his divine renewing influence to work in their hearts evangelical faith, which alone embraces a Saviour, and is connected with a godly life. Unless the Divine Spirit enable them to work out their salvation, they would draw back unto perdition. Through his agency the blood of Christ is applied, the work of grace perfected, and the soul prepared

cross.

for immortal glory. In the economy of redemption, and in the view of the different senses of justification, each of the divine persons has claims for the most lively gratitude for interminable ages.

Then let us give to the Father praise,

Give glory to the Son;
And to the Spirit of his grace,

Be equal honours done. Let all the redeemed shout aloud for joy; and whilst for ever exulting in the Author of their salvation, give glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

3rd. This subject renders it evident, that they who reject the atonement of Christ, can have no wellgrounded hope of obtaining the divine favour. .

Without a vital, operative faith, no saving benefit can result to mankind from the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. A mere ground for pardon, though ever so complete, cannot profit those who refuse compliance with the proposed condition. And, indeed, a mere speculative, dead faith, and a rejected Saviour, will serve to sink the soul down to the lowest abodes of perdition. How peculiar the guilt of setting at nought the singular, the eminently divine goodness of God, manifested in the wonderful provision for the recovery of lost man! It is beyond the power of man to conceive in what manner they could more contemptuously despise the divine character, or in what manner they could more insolently affront the divine grace and mercy. Shall rebel man sit in impenitence from the cradle to the grave, under the noon-day light of the gospel ? Shall he in unbelief, bask through life, in the beams of the Sun of righteousness ? Such ingratitude is wonderful; such insolence, amazing; such guilt, incomprehensible. Still by what multitudes is the Redeemer of sinners, regarded with cold-hearted unbelief and stupid indifference! How often is his glorious name profaned and blasphemed by those to whom he is offered as a

Saviour from sin and death. By how many is he treated with open opposition and avowed contempt, till they launch hopeless into eternity!

4th. We may see that the promised rewards of the gospel to believers for all their good works, are rewards of grace.

All will grant that the rewards of the gospel must be of grace, and not of debt; since the salvation of believers has its origin and completion wholly founded in the grace of God, and through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul, speaking of future retribution in his epistle to the Romans, teaches that God will render to every man according to his deeds. To them who by patient continuing in well-doing, seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life. Hence, they who shall have done but little for the honour and glory of God, will not receive so great a reward as those that shall have been more faithful, having suffered all manner of persecution for Christ's sake. The same apostle encourages the Hebrews to good works, in the following strain: God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Again : He which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly: and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. . Love ye your enemies, and do good; and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great.

Various remarks might be made which would show that the rewards of the gospel, promised according to works and for works, are rewards of grace. This is evidently true; for sinners who cannot be justified by the deeds of the law, could not be the subjects of reward in any other way. If their obedience, faithfulness, or sufferings, should ever be rewarded, it must, for various reasons, be wholly of grace.

It was the grace of God that proposed a new and living way of salvation by a Redeemer. And without

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