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the understanding: they rather denote the quality of unfeignedness, a quality repeatedly ascribed to faith, * and which marks an honesty of heart which is essential to it.
Seventhly, The want of faith is ascribed to mo. RAL CAUSES, or to THE WANT OF A RIGHT DISPOSITION OF HEART.-Ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have. eternal life, and they are they which testify of me: And ye WILL NOT come to me that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you that ye have not the LOVE OF GOD in you, I am come in my Father's name, and ye RECEIVE ME NOT. If another shall come in his own name, him ye will re-. ceive. How can ye believe who receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometh from God only ?-Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God, heareth God's words ;ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of Godot If a holy disposition were unnecessary to believing in Christ, neither the want of it, nor the existence of the contrary, could form any obstruction to it.
Lastly, Unbelief is not a mere error of the under. standing, but a positive and practical rejection of the gospel. It is actually treating God as a liar, and
all the blessings of the gospel with contempt : but faith is the opposite of unbelief: therefore it is not a mere assent of the understanding, but a positive and practical reception of the gospel, actually treating God as the God of truth, and the blessings of the gospel as worthy of all acceptation. This state. ment of things is clearly taught us by the pointed address of our Lord to the Jews, quoted under the foregoing argument. Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not--If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? If faith were a mere exercise of the understanding, why do not men as readily believe the truth, as they believe a lie? Surely truth is not less evident to the mind, or less consistent than falsehood. It is evident that their not believing. the truth was owing to the aversion of their hearts, and nothing else; and by what follows, it is equally evident that the belief of the truth is owing to the removal of this aversion, or to the heart's being brought to be on the side of God, He that is of God, heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
I proceed to the consideration of objections. The first, and principal objection that Mr. M. alleges against this statement of things, is, that it affects the doctrine of justification by grace alone, without the works of the law. “The scriptures pointedly “declare, he says, that God justifies sinners FREE« LY BY HIS GRACE, through the REDEMPTION that “ is in Jesus Christ, and that this justification is “ received through FAITH in Christ's blood. Faith,
“ in this case, is always distinguished from, and 6 opposed to the works of the law: not merely of
the ceremonial law, which was peculiar to the “ Jews; but of that law by which is the knowledge “ of sin, which says, Thou shalt not covet, and which “ requires not only outward good actions, but love, " and every good disposition of heart, both to
wards God and our neighbour;" so that the works “ of this law respect the heart as well as life. The “ distinction, therefore, between faith and works, “ on this subject, is not that which is between in“ ward and outward conformity to the law; for if “ faith be not in this case distinguished from, and " opposed to our conformity to the law, both out" wardly and inwardly, it cannot be said that we 6 are justified by faith without the deeds of the law, 5 or that God justifieth the ungodly. Faith indeed, “ as a principle of action, worketh by love; but it, “ is not as thus working that it is imputed for right“ eousness; for it is expressly declared, that right6 eousness is imputed to him that WORKETH NOT, “ but believeth on him that justifieth the UNGOD. “ LY. It is of FAITH, that it might be by GRACE; “ and grace and works are represented as incom“ patible with each other: for to him that wORK“ ETH, is the reward not reckoned of GRACE, but “ of debt. Now when men include in the very na“ ture of justifying faith such good dispositions, “ holy affections, and pious exercises of heart, as o the moral law requires, and so make them neces“ sary, (no matter under what consideration) to a “ sinner's acceptance with God, it perverts the
“ apostle's doctrine upon this important subject and “ makes.justification to be at least, as it were, by “ the works of the law.” *
There is no dispute whether justification be of grace, through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ ; nor whether justification by faith be opposed to justification by the works of the law, even those works which are internal, as well as those which are external. But it is apprehended, that in order to maintain these doctrines, there is no necessity to explain away the holy nature of faith, or to maintain that it consists in mere speculation, which it must, if it have nothing of the disposition of the heart in it.
If considering faith as arising from the dispo. sition of the heart, be unfriendly to justification by grace, without the works of the law, it must be on one or other of these suppositions: First, Either, that should there be any holiness in us antecedent to justification, it must be imputed unto us for righteousness. Or, Secondly, If it be not so in fact, yet it will be so in the view of awakened sinners.
^ The first of these suppositions, so far from being friendly to the doctrine of justification by grace, utterly subverts the grand principle on which the necessity of it is founded. The grand principle on which the apostle rests the doctrine is this: It is
* Commission, pp. 83, 84.
wrịtten, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL THINGS written in the book of the law to do them,* This declaration goes to an utter denial of the possibility of a sinner's being justified by the works of his hands. But if the foregoing supposition be true, the declaration must be false: for according to this, the holiness of one that has not continued in all things written in the book of the law to do them, provided he have any, is admissible to his justification. On the other hand, if the declaration be true, the supposition is false : for according to the apostle's doctrine, it must follow, that whatever holiness any creature may possess, before, in, or after his believing, unless he could produce a righteousness conforming in all things to God's righteous law, it will avail him nothing in respect of justification. I have no idea of any holiness antecedent to justification, any farther than what is necessarily implied in the nature of justifying faith ; but if it were otherwise, and a sinner could produce a series of holy actions, performed in a course of years, all must be reckoned as loss and dung in respect of his being accepted of God. He that would win Christ, must be found in him.
If antecedent holiness destroy the freeness of grace, I know of no solid reason why consequent holiness should not operate in the same way; and then, in order to be justified by grace, it will be necessary to continue the enemies of God through
* Gal. ii. 10.