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cannot be a religious faith. We must see from every part of Scripture, that true religion must be practical and not speculative; faith remaining in the mind merely as a conception without action, without operation is the faith, called by St. James dead, but if by union or connection with any matter, it is put in motion, and has an operative effect, it ceases to be alone. True religion according to Scripture, must consist of divers parts, no fact can be more certain and indisputable; and as many parts of man contribute to make and constitute one body, so it is with perfect religion, which must consist of many parts, and all contribute, tend, and lead to the same end, and effect the justification and salvation of man. Did faith alone produce justification all other parts of religion may be dismissed as useless : but if other parts are to be retained as necessary, there is the same reason to say, that any, or either of those parts, will effect justification as well as faith: it must appear most certain, and will not admit of disputation in any way, that true religion, according to Scripture, must be practical, not speculative or theoretic; in considering religion in this point of view, we come to the question, what are the practical parts ? Faith alone cannot be conceived to be any thing more than a mere speculation or theory, because if faith is in any manner put into practice, it must co-operate or be united with some object. If we for a moment consider the purposes and intentions the writers in Scripture had in view, from the many ways, causes, facts, reasons, and means set forth to produce holiness and true righteousness in the heart of man, we must at once banish from our minds all idea of speculation or theory, and that practice only must be designed. When we have arrived at this conclusion, we must see something more than faith is necessary, if faith remains in the mind unexercised and alone, it is perfectly dormant, and cannot be put in motion unless it co-operates or is united to some other matter, and is not then alone ; but faith alone may be most truly called the theoretic part of religion, and although we know from theory the greatest and best works may be produced, but till it is made a practical use of, it has no intrinsic value: thus it is with faith : and in the discussion of all doctrines in religion, we must always bear in mind the effect to be produced, particularly as to faith, because whatever man's faith is, so his actions most probably will, or ought to be, and unless they are so, faith is no more than a shadow which passeth away without effect. We must see by Scripture, there is more for man to do than to have faith only, all those statements recommending and exhorting
man to good and virtuous conduct in life would by faith alone be rendered of no avail, and his behaviour would be of no concern, his justification and salvation being assured and secured to him, as he conceives, by possessing this one thing needful, all others are deemed useless, unimportant, unnecessary, and passed by as of no moment whatever. This must shew the great necessity there is, as far as man is able, to discover what the true principles of faith in the Christian religion are, and by an exertion of all his powers to learn, whether those he holds, will bring him to do practically those things which will ensure his eternal happiness ; or whether from a mistaken principle, he is travelling upon the very brink of a fatal precipice, and by one false step will inevitably be plunged into everlasting misery.
In viewing the discussion of this great, intricate, and momentous question, it is seen to be one not to be treated lightly, theoretically, nor speculatively, but practically, and nothing can, or will, have more effect upon man's understanding and reason than when applied to his senses by practice, which unfolds many secret mysteries, and hidden or dark parts of things, and is the surest and most direct road to lead him to truth : and when we contemplate the future happiness or misery of man may depend upon this single question,
whether faith alone is sufficient for man to obtain eternal felicity, or whether there must be a co-operation of good works, or what is scripturally called the fruit of the Spirit with faith, and that this one point is of such great, serious, and most momentous concern, and particularly when we reflect, that a misconception or misapprehension of the real truth may produce such direful and fatal consequences, an indispensable necessity must appear that no pains should be spared, no means left unused and untried to attain a rightful knowledge and comprehension of this point. Upon this ground, in addition to the authorities quoted from Scripture and arguments used, we will advance one more argument founded upon the broad basis of the
purpose, intention, and design of the writers in Scripture generally, and those of the New Testament in particular, and which we doubt not, upon close reflection and consideration, will appear clear,decisive,conclusive, and irresistible, enforced and confirmed by texts from Scripture.
It must be admitted, the Scriptures were written for the information of man, whereby he may
obtain the necessary knowledge what his conduct in life should be, and the rightful course he is to take, that is, what he is to do, and what he is to refrain from doing; this is such a conspicuous, plain, and striking fact, that its admission, it is
conceived, cannot require a moment's hesitation; the rejection of this great truth would render void the most essential parts of Scripture, destroy the apparent views, intentions, purposes, and object, not only of the writers, but also of God himself, by and under whose inspiration they have been written. Upon assuming this to be an undeniable and irresistible fact, we are led to enquire the uses and effects intended : by making Scripture its own expositor, we are informed, it was written to make man wise unto salvation, that is, by due diligence, he will attain sufficient knowledge of all things necessary for him to practise in the performance of his duty both towards God and man, which comprises every part of true practical religion whereby salvation may be obtained. We may then enquire, will faith alone, stripped and divested of those good works, which have been shewn, and proved to have been most wrongfully and unlawfully attributed to her as her offspring, comprise, and contain every part of true religion? A negative answer to this question can certainly cause no difficulty. Faith throughout the whole of Scripture is most clearly distinguished from other good works, consequently she cannot comprise them; and were not other works necessary all that could be wanting for the writers in Scripture to have shewn would have been what true