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Teftament is not contrary to the New; CHAP. " for both in the Old and New Teftament III. everlasting life is offered to mankind by Chrift, who is the only Mediator be"tween God and Man, being both God and Man." The Patriarchs lived by faith; their defcendants journeyed through the wilderness by faith; and both now, and to the end of the world, the Christian warrior, armed with the fhield of faith, advances to the fpiritual combat. Chrift is equally the end of the ceremonial and written Law. His advent; his one facrifice of himself once offered for the fins of all mankind; the preaching of the Gospel; the transitory nature of the Law; the call of the Gentiles; the rejection and final converfion of the Jews; are all predicted, with astonishing accuracy, under the Mofaical difpenfation. We, who live during the latter days of God's covenant, have feen the accurate completion of all these prophecies, except the laft; and we cannot doubt, but that it likewife will be accomplished, when it fhall feem good unto the Almighty. In the mean time, it is our duty to await the event with a lively
* Article vii.
SECT. faith, and humble confidence in the promifes of God our Saviour, ever returning thanks, that, through his mercy, we the Gentiles are not faithlefs but believ
THE PRACTICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN
THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.
FEW errors are more common among The Law a thofe, who reft fatisfied with only an in- ter to bring definite comprehenfion of the Chriftian Chrift. scheme, than that of imagining the power of the Law to be totally abrogated by the Gospel. Perfons of this defcription fuppose, that in the Law indeed God required unfinning obedience; but finding that men, by reafon of their frailty, were unable to perform it, he was pleafed to lower his requifitions, and, instead of a perfect, to enjoin only a fincere obfervance of his commandments. The ufual way of expreffing this crude notion is in fome fuch terms as the following.
God is merciful, and man is weak. Nothing therefore is required under the Chriftian difpenfation but fincerity; and provided only we do our best, we are fure of falvation. The ancient ftatutes of Mofes are now abolifhed; and Chrift has promulged a new law, in which the former ftrictness of God's justice is abated.
However plaufible this fyftem may appear to a fuperficial obferver, it is fraught with error, and replete with danger. A contemptuous neglect of the Law is fuperinduced; and the Antinomian herefy again makes its appearance in a more decent and lefs fufpected garb. Instead of the abfurd doctrine, of falvation to be acquired by a bare belief, notwithstanding a fubfequently wicked and impenitent life; the equally abfurd one, of falvation through the abftract mercy of God, is here advanced upon fimilar principles: and they, who are, the first to expofe the fhocking tendency of the one, rush headlong into the errors of the other a.
a It may not be amifs, before the subject be difcuffed at large, to give a brief statement of the difference between Christianity and the two heretical extremes of Antinomianifm and Self-righteousness.
The advocates for thefe tenets may per- CHAP. haps indeed deny the charge of Antinomianism; and affert, that what they maintain is fimply this: Provided only we do our beft, we are fure are fure of obtaining everlasting happiness. God forbid, that fuch a damnatory scheme of doctrine fhould ever find admittance into the church of Chrift! The thunder of Papal anathemas spoke comfort to the foul, compared to the horrible conclufion which must be drawn from these premises. If none are to be faved but those who do their beft; all the fons of Adam, without a fingle exception, must be
Antinomianifm maintains the doctrine of falvation by bare Speculative belief-Chriftianity maintains the doctrine of falvation BY FAITH ONLY IN THE MERITS OF CHRIST, which faith, however, as necessarily produces good works, as a healthy tree does fruit-Self-righteousness maintains, that the cause meritorious of falvation is partly faith, and partly good works.
In the English language we can exprefs the difference between Antinomian belief, and Chriftian faith, by two dif tinct words. The Greek tongue, unfortunately, affords only one word to express both these ideas. Such appears to be the true key to the imaginary discrepancy between St. Paul and St. James. St. Paul ftrenuously maintains the orthodox doctrine of falvation by FAITH only, in oppofition to the baneful herefy of Self-righteousness: St. James as ftrenuously denies the doctrine of falvation by BELIEF only, in oppofition to the perverse licentiousness of Antinomianism.