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be doce, we doubt not but they hare the rature of sin."- Art.

- Voluntary works, besides, over and above God's command ments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety: for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required: whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants."

-Art. xiv.

The church of Rome charges the church of England, and all other Protestant churches who hold in common with her the doctrine of justification by faith only, as superseding the necessity of good works, and releasing men from the eternal obligations of the moral law. The church of Rome, confounding justification with sanctification, insists on the merit of good works, in connexion with the merit of the Saviour, as necessary to procure our acceptance with God, and remission of our guilt. The church of England, on the contrary, declares, that “we

justificatum bonis operibus, quæ ab eo per Dei gratiam, et Jesus Christi meritum, cujus vivum membrum est, fiunt, non vere mereri augmentum gratiæ, vitam æternam, ipsius vitæ æterna (si tamen in gratia decesserit) consecutionem, atque etiam gloriæ augmentum; anathema sit.”<-Sen. vi, cass. 32.

are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings.” Though she thus decisively rejects works as the meritorious cause of justification, it is clear, from the Articles given above, she most strongly and scripturally insists on them as the necessary fruits of true faith, and the indispensable evidences of Christian character.

One leading argument which the Romanists adduce in support of their own doctrine, and against justification by faith only, is founded on the words of St. James—“ You see, then, how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (ii. 24.) These words are regarded by them as conclusive against the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith only, and as decisive of the necessity, merit, and concurrence of good works. The seeming discrepancy in the statements of St. Paul and St. James, on this important doctrine, appeared so great to Luther, at an early period of his career, that for a time he doubted the inspiration of the epistle of the latter apostle. Though St. Paul declares that we are justified by faith only, and not by works; and St. James, that justification is by works, and not by faith only ; there is, in fact, no difference of opinion between them. It is not necessary, according to the hypothesis adopted by some, to suppose that the one apostle means our justification before God, and that the other speaks

of our justification before men. The two inspired writers differ entirely in their object. “ The object of St. Paul is to point out the way of justification ; and this is by faith without the deeds of the law.' St. James, writing to those who held the truth, but held it in unrighteousness, has no occasion to press the point of justification by faith as the only way of acceptance, for on this point he and his

opponents are agreed; but his object is to show them that they are totally mistaken as to the nature of that faith, through which they must be reconciled to God. The faith in which they trusted was the mere name, and profession, and shadow of faith; he tells them that they cannot be justified, except by a true, and lively, and operative faith,—by a faith really existing in the heart, and evidencing itself in the life.”* This statement, which furnishes the true key to the apostle's meaning, is confirmed by the way in which St. James introduces the subject—" What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works ?” He supposes the case of one who said, or boasted, that he had faith, but who gave no evidence of it by his works : he asks, “ Can faith save him ?” or, as the original, which has the article (n misis) would be more correctly rendered,

Can this faith save him ?” Such a faith as he

* " St. Paul and St. James Reconciled”-A sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, by Professor Scholefield,

p. 8, 9.

3

professes, by the absence of all those holy fruits which spring from true faith, is evidently a dead faith, and will profit him nothing. The reasoning of St. James, as is rendered more clear by the facts by which he illustrates and confirms his point, has for its object to show, not that we are justified before God by the merit of good works, in whole or in part, but that true faith by which alone we obtain that blessing, is, as Bishop Hopkins expresses it, “ Not a lonely or solitary faith, but accompanied and attended by good works."

Not to follow St. James through all the facts which he adduces, in proof of his argument, it may be necessary to advert to one fact as it is urged by the Council of Trent, and by most writers of the church of Rome, in proof of justification by the merit of good works; it is the case of Abraham. “ Was not our father Abraham justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar ? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect, and the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness ?” (ii. 21–23.) This passage, though adduced by the Romanists in favour of their notion of the merit of good works in justification, is most fatal to it. The justification of Abraham, as stated in the Scripture, quoted by St. James in this passage, is attributed to faith, and not to works. St. Paul quotes the same scripture from Gen. xv. 6, in

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Rom. iv. 3, in proof of the doctrine of justification by faith. This justification of Abraham referred to, took place forty years before his offering up Isaac. His readiness to sacrifice Isaac at God's command could not then be the cause of that previous justification; it was the fruit of that faith, the proof of its vitality and power.

When St. James, then, declares that Abraham was justified by works, his meaning may be expressed in the following paraphrase of his words by a writer before quoted—“ Was not that faith, by which I readily confess that Abraham was justified, a faith that put itself forth, and evidenced, and approved itself in works? Seest thou how his faith influenced his conduct, and was connected with, and productive of, works ; and it was itself made perfect by works, as the goodness of a tree is not perfect without bringing forth its appropriate fruits ?"

The doctrine of the church of England on this point, as stated in her 12th Article given above, while it protests against the error of the church of Rome, that good works are the meritorious cause of justification, most decidedly and scripturally insists on their necessity, as “ pleasing and acceptable to God"-as, “ springing necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch, as by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit."

The same scriptural sentiments are more at large expressed in her homilies, from one of which the

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