sion of language can change or affect this sacred truth. We will now enquire what St. James has done with the other solitary being "only." A different fate awaits that word from the use the Calvinist has made of it with faith in justification; St. James instead of an affirmative has given it a negative effect; his words are, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." To shew and prove what he had before stated, that faith alone was dead, St. James shews that works are indispensably necessary, and that justification cannot be obtained by faith only. How can common sense give to these two words a place, and a most significant place, when the Apostle has so directly and expressly excluded them from the situation in which they are so generally found, and which is nothing less than an attempt to falsify the words of the Apostle; to say it is unscriptural to use these words in the manner they have been, it is more and nothing less than most antiscriptural. The Apostle has most pointedly shewn, that if either of these words only or alone is used with faith, such faith is dead and ineffectual to justification. Can a greater misapplication or abuse of words be made, than by placing them with faith as a justifying faith?

In this head two ways have been stated to give St. Paul's words, where he has used the

expression, that justification is by or through faith, a fair, full, and reasonable meaning: one, that faith is the sole instrument in justification; the other, that as Christ was the atonement for sin, man could not have the benefit of that atonement without faith; whereby faith became such an essential part in justification, that St. Paul in the expression, that faith justified, used the figure synecdoche, that is, put a part for the whole, and which we see St. James did, when he said a man was justified by works, and not by faith only. This construction is possibly the most reasonable of any to reconcile the two Apostles, as also St. Paul with himself; and we may see Mr. Scott has most plainly shewn this construction to be correct, which he has illustrated by a most familiar case of a drowning man, who is saved by a rope thrown to him by a man on the bank of the river, and the man's hand taking hold of the rope, and as the man's hand, the rope, and the man on the bank contributed to save the man, either of the parties may be said to save the man. This familiar

"It appears, therefore, that free grace (or the gratuitous favour, sovereign love, or everlasting mercy of God) is the source of our justification: that the righteousness and atonement of Emmanuel are the meritorious cause of it; and that faith is the only recipient of the blessing: and we are 'justified by his blood;' because by shedding his blood he com

case is most truly applicable to St. Paul's expression, in saying we are justified or saved by faith; but if we annex either of the epithets only or alone to the man's hand, to the rope, or to the man on the bank, how will this case apply? Will the expression contain truth? most assuredly not; but this familiar case most fully illustrates, and strongly supports the construction before given to St. Paul's words, and most truly so upon reasonable argument. This construction is not inconsistent with any statement made by St. Paul relative to justification, nor with any part of Scripture; and wholly consistent with St. James, and is most fully shewn, by many expressions used by St. Paul, to be well founded. Such as justified by Christ, by his blood, by the Spirit of God, by grace. In most instances where the words "justified by faith" are used, it may be observed, St. Paul was shewing the distinction between justification by faith and

pleted his obedience as our surety. Justification may, there

fore, be ascribed either to the source, to the meritorious cause, or to the recipient of it. As (to use a very familiar illustration) a drowning person may be said to be saved, either by a man on the bank of the river, or by the rope thrown out to him, or by his hand laying hold on the rope; according to the different ways in which we consider the subject."-Scott's Essays on Religious Subjects, p. 210.

d Gal. ii. 17.

e Rom. v. 9.

8 Titus iii. 7.

f 1 Cor. vi. 11.

works, and to shew the former was by grace, the latter would be a debt justly due, whereby boasting would be admitted, and grace no longer grace, and Emmanuel would not be the only meritorious cause of justification; but if Christ is the only meritorious cause, which surely cannot be doubted, there can be no other. The construction the Calvinist puts upon the words, that faith alone, to the exclusion of all other works, justifies; involves so many various statements made by St. Paul with such inexplicable and insuperable difficulties, not to say contradictions, that St. Paul might be said to be the most inconsistent writer the world has produced. Can such an idea of his writings, proceeding from inspiration, be entertained for a moment. If it cannot, should we not endeavour by fair, reasonable argument to explain the Apostle's words, and, if by possibility, it can be done, reconcile those apparent inconsistencies, of which the following may be deemed a part: could we conceive that God will accept faith, and faith only, as the appointed condition for man to have or possess to obtain justification, how could St. Paul say, if he had all faith, and not charity, he was nothing? How could he say, if faith doth not work by love, it would be unavailable with Christ? How could he say, without holiness no man shall see the Lord? Why should faith by

putting away a good conscience become shipwrecked? How, or in what way, was man to work out his salvation with fear and trembling by faith alone? For what purpose did St. Paul give the directions he did to Timothy, to become the man of God? Did faith alone justify, how could he say, God would render to every man according to his deeds? And that godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Can it be supposed St. Paul could have said dead faith justifies? which he most expressly would have done, had he meant to say, faith alone was sufficient for man's justification. These are glaring contradictions and inconsistencies from his own words, independent of those which are so numerous and palpable with reference to other parts of Scripture. A principle, that faith alone justifies, is a perfect contradiction to the words of Christ, when he says,


by thy words thou shalt be justified:" and in another place he calls the righteous for ministering to the brethren, "ye blessed of my Father," and tells them they shall go into life eternal for what they had done: and the answer he gave a certain lawyer, who asked him how he was to obtain eternal life; Luke x. 25. and in another place he says, those who feed the poor shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just and

« ElőzőTovább »