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fied by circumcision, and observing the other rites of the ceremonial law, which being abolished, there was no virtue in these their unrequired duties, and so they could not be justified by them.” But St. Paul's argument was not, “ you trust in duties, which God does not require: therefore by these duties you cannot be justified.” But it was this, "you do not yield perfect obedience to the whole law; therefore you cannot be justified.” Therefore,

They say, “it is true, we cannot be justified by a law that requires sinless perfection, nor do we expect it. But this does not prove but that our sincere obedience will justify us through Christ, according to the Gospel.” But St. Paul's argument was not, “ you expect to be justified by sinless perfection, but cannot.” But it was this : "you expect to be justified by an obedience short of sinless perfection ; but no obedience short of sinless perfection will justify you. For Christ will not make up for your defects. He will profit you nothing, if you go this way for justification !.”

Again, they say, “the obedience of the Galatians was not sincere. And that was the reason they could not be justified by it. But our obedience is sincere.” But St. Paul's argument was not; " your obedience is not sincere ; therefore

1 Gal. v. 2. Behold, I Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Not that circumcision, merely of itself, would seclude them from the blessings of the Gospel. For Paul circumcised Timothy. Acts xvi. 3. Not that by their being circumcised, they meant to renounce Christianity, and embrace Judaism. For they had not a thought of that, as is plain from the whole epistle. But because they trusted in their circumcision, and in their other religious performances, to recommend them to the favour of God, and entitle them to eternal life. Not that they looked upon their obedience as perfect : for they never once imagined that sinless perfection was necessary, or ever thought they were bound to keep the whole law. Ver. 3.-Nor that they trusted in their imperfect, sincere obedience, without any dependance on Christ: for they were so strong in the faith, that Christ would profit them, and be of effect to them, that St Paul could hardly beat them off from their false hopes. He speaks, as knowing they would not readily believe him. BEHOLD, I PapL, SAY UNTO you; and so truly as I am divinely inspired, you may depend upon it; Christ will profit you nothing : will make up for none of your failings, as you vainly expect. So that it appears, the Galatians professed Christianity, and depended upon Christ, and hoped that throngh him, they, by their sincere, although imperfect obedience, should obtain the favour of God, and eternal life. Just as our Armi. niaus do now-a-days. Nor is there any essential difference between their schemes.

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you cannot be justified by it.” But it was, your

obedience is not perfect: therefore you cannot be justified by it."

Again, they say, “ Christ has purchased an abatement of the law; and promised justification to our sincere obedience.” But St. Paul


" the law is not abated one tittle; but re. quires sinless perfection still: and cusses the man that ever at any time fails in the least point. Nor will any obedience justify, short of perfection.” So that which way soever they turn, St. Paul meets them, and there is no escape.

“Yes," say they, “we hold justification by faith, just as St. Paul did. By faith he meant sincere obedience, and so do we."

“No, no," says St. Paul, “if by faith you mean sincere obedience, you cannot be justified by it; for I constantly affirm, that no obedience short of sinless perfection can justify you. If you will be justified by obedience, it must be perfect. Sincere obedience will not answer. For it is write ten, cursed is every man that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.

Seeing, then, nothing is to be done with St. Paul, but still he will be against them, therefore they run to St. James to help them against St. Paul, and look all over the bible for help. And so having strengthened themselves by perverting some passages of Scripture, they venture out, and boldly say,

« That if St. Paul does in fact mean that our sincere obedience will not justify us, he contradicts almost the whole bible, which constantly declares, that repentance is absolutely necessary to forgiveness; that we are justified by our works, and not by faith only ; that none but good men shall ever be saved ; yea, that keeping the commands is what gives a right to the tree of life.”

Doubtless, these men, had they lived in the apostle's day, would have been as zealous against St. Paul, as ever any were at Galatia or Antioch. Nor would his single authority have satisfied them. And if a word or sentence of another sound at any time dropped from any other of the apostles, on whatever subject they were preaching, it would have been picked up with joy, to prove St. Paul's scheme to be singular. It was this same spirit which obliged St. Paul to write this Jaboured epistle, to vindicate himself and establish the truth.

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And he plainly demonstrates that their scheme was contrary to the law of Moses, and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and pronounceth the man accursed that ventured to preach it. Vain is it, therefore, now, to bring in a detached sentence or two, from here and there in the bible, to overset a doctrine that St. Paul affirms and proves cannot be overset, without oversetting both law and Gospel. These men must prove that St. Paul's words did actually mean some other thing, or they must believe him to be right, or they must call his inspiration into question, as some of the same stamp did 1700 years ago. But it is not all the wit of man can ever show St. Paul's words capable of any sense consistent with the common Arminian scheme. They bave tried, but all in vain, this many a year, till many have argued themselves into downright infidelity; for he could not have framed bis argument better, had he been to have written against Arminianism in its very present dress. As to the sentences of a different sound here and there in the bible, which they refer to, their consistence with St. Paul's doctrine hath been often shown by divines; and till these men have, at least, attempted an answer, it is needless to offer much at present". However, I will just observe,

First. That it is true, “ that repentance * is absolutely necessary to the forgiveness of sins.” For it belongs to the very essence of justifying faith, which implies in its nature such a sense of the great evil of sin, as effectually turns the heart from it to God, to be on his side, and on the side of his law, against sin and self, as I shall presently show, And yet this is nothing against St. Paul's doctrine, as I shall also make appear under the next inference.

Secondly. “There is not the least difficulty in what St. James says, of Abraham's being justified by works and not by

m This was done in Mr. Edwards' Sermon on Justification, printed at Boston, (N. E.) 20 years ago, to which, any answer, as yet, never has been attempted.

n And because, where there is true repentance, there is always a disposition heartily to forgive those that have injured us, and no where else ; therefore our Saviour teaches us, that those, and those only, may expect forgiveness from God, sho do from the heart forgive others. Matt. vi. 14, 15.-Those who have not an heart to forgive and love their enemies, are impenitent, unhumbled, Christless sinners.

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faith alone.It being so very plain, in what respect he was justified by works, when he offered up his son Isaac. Only turn back to the twenty-second Chapter of Genesis, and there you may read the whole story, and you cannot be at a loss. And it came to pass after these things, i. e. fifty years after Abram had been in a justified state, (Heb. xi. 8.) that God did tempt, (i. e. try,) Abraham. Take now thy son, thine onLy son Isaac, whom thou LoveST, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a BURNT-OFFERING, &c. Abraham, whose love to God was supreme, readily obeyed. Now follows his justification, in these very words; ver. 12. NOW I KNOW THAT THOU FEAREST GOD, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine ONLY son. And indeed this was sufficient proof that he did fear God. And ibus he showed his faith, which he had had about 50 years, by his works. And now he might with peculiar propriety be called the friend of God. And in this same sense all true believers are justified by works ; i. e. by external visible acts of obedience, under great trials, it becomes manifest that they do fear God: while stony ground hearers at the same time fall away'. All which has not the least show of inconsistency with our being justified by faith without works, in the sense, and according to the language of St. Paul.

THIRDLY. And if the whole bible does constantly declare, “ that none but good men shall ever be saved ;" so does St. Paul too.-But this does not prove “that they are saved by their goodness."

Fourthly. Yea, it is constantly maintained by St. Paul, and by all the apostles, “ that perseverance in all holy living through all the great trials they may meet with, is absolutely necessary to an admittance into heaven at last. Compare Rev. ii. 7. 11. 17. 26. and Chap. iji. 5. 12. 21. with Rev. xxi. 7. and Chap. xxii. 14. Yea, St. Paul, speaking to true believers, says, if ye live after the flesh ye shall die P. But this does not prove that they are justified, or saved by this their goodness. Yea, notwithstanding all this, and in a perfect consistence with all this, it remains true, that we are saved by

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• Matt. xiii.

p Rom. viii. 13.

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grace, through faith, not of works 9. But how? Why, thus the difficulty may be easily solved. We are all the children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ". And if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, to the heavenly inheritance. And if our actual enjoyment of the heavenly inheritance is suspended, upon our being the followers of God, as dear children', this is but a proper test to determine our character. For some, who profess to be children of God, fall away, like the stony-ground-hea rers, who indeed never had any root in themselves, when a time of trial comes“. Now, if we persevere through all trials, it proves our sincerity; and demonstrates, that we were not merely the children of God in name, but in truth. And shows that we did really believe in Christ, not with a dead, but with a true and living faith. Thus Abraham, in this sense, was justified by his works. And thus, in this sense, they that do the commandments, have right to the tree of life. For now I KNOW THAT THOU, PEAREST GOD. Now I KNOW thou art @ TRUE CHILD of God becomes applicable to such. And if children, then heirs, according to the tenour of the new covenant.

Yea, I may add that, to persevere in all holy living, is but to show the heart, and act up to the character of a true child of God. It is, in effect, but to maintain the temper of a child. And this is but the same thing, viewed in another point of light, with that faith whereby we become children. For justifying faith implies in it every filial grace, as we shall afterwards see. So that perseverance in all holy living, is implied in our perseverance in faith. But it is necessary we should persevere in faith, in order to our final admittance into heaven, for the same reason, that it was necessary that we should be first united to Christ by faith, in order to our being interested in him. Let the marriage union be dissolved between the husband and the wife, and the woman has no longer any right in the man's estate. It is necessary that they continue united, in marriage, that she may have right to his estate. So, it is necessary that we continue in Christ, that we may

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8 Rom. viii, 17.

9 Eph. ii. 8, 9.

t Eph. v. i. VOL. III.

g Gal. iii. 26. 29.
u Matt. xiii. 20. 21.


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