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" brethren, if a man fay, I have faith, and have S ER M.
"not works? can faith fave him?" That is, ac-
cording to this explication, can faith without works
fave him before men?

And this doth not contradict St. Paul, who faith, Gal. ii. 16. that "a man is not justified by the works "of the law; but by the faith of JESUS CHRIST." For how does this, that we are juftified not by the legal difpenfation, but by the faith of the gofpel, which includes obedience and good works, contradict what St. James fays, that we are not juftified by a bare affent to the truth of the gofpel, but by obedience to the commands of it? And I do not fee that upon the contrary fuppofition, viz. that the faith of the gospel doth not include obedience in it, it is poffible to reconcile these two apoftles. Suppofe this was St. Paul's meaning, that "we are juftified by

faith," as the only condition and inftrument, call it what they will, of our juftification; but not by obedience or good works, as a condition of our juftification; by what kind of comment can St. James his words be brought to this fenfe? what man would allow that thofe words at the 21ft verse," was not Abraham our father juftified by

works, when he offered Ifaac his fon upon the al"tar", fhould be explained by this fenfe? Was not Abraham, when in obedience to God's command he had offered his fon upon the altar, and upon this act of obedience was juftified, was not he juftified by faith only, and not by any work or act of obedience? Or that those words at the 24th verfe,, "ye fee then "that by works a man is juftified, and not by faith only," fhould be interpreted, ye fee then that by faith only a man is juftified, and not by works? And unless they be thus interpreted, they are not to be


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SER M. reconciled with the fenfe of St. Paul's words, which many faften upon them: but if St. Paul's words be taken in the most plain and obvious fense they are capable of, viz. that "we are not justified by the "works of the law," that is, by performing the works required by the legal difpenfation; "but by the "faith of JESUS CHRIST," that is, by affenting and fubmitting to the revelation of the gofpel; we do not ftrain St. James his words, to reconcile him with St. Paul.

And thus I have fhewn, that where the scripture fpeaks of juftification by faith, it fpeaks of this faith which I have defcribed. I add, and of no other; not of a bare appropriation of the grace and mercy of the gofpel; that is, in plain english, this is not justifying faith, to believe that I am pardoned, and justified, nor to have a firm affurance of this. For if we be juftified by faith, we must believe before we can be Juftified; but if this be juftifying faith to believe, or be affured we are justified, we must be juftified before we believe; or elfe when we believe that we are juftified, we must believe that which is not true. Nor is this justifying faith, to lay hold of the righteoufnefs and merits of CHRIST for the pardon of our fins; that is, to truft and confide only in that, as the meritorious cause of our pardon. For though this be part of the notion of juftifying faith, it is not all; though this be one of the terms or conditions upon which we are juftified; yet it is not the whole and entire condition; which befides this takes in an affent to the whole gofpel, repentance from dead works, and obedience to all the precepts of the gofpel. And if any man can produce any one text which faith, that the faith which juftifies, confifts only in a trust and confidence in the merits of CHRIST, for the pardon of fin, or any thing to this effect, I will be moft ready



publicly to acknowledge my error: but if nobody S ER M. can do this, I shall beg their pardon if I do continue ftill of the fame mind as I was.

I have now done with the fourth thing I propounded: but before I fpeak to the two heads which remain, I must remove an objection or two, that my former discourse may seem liable to.

Objection first, to make obedience a condition of pardon, feems to take away the freenefs of GOD'S grace in pardoning finners.

1. GOD's grace in pardoning a finner is faid to be free, not because it is not fufpended upon any condition; for the fcripture tells us plainly, that it is upon the condition of faith, and repentance, and forgiving others, and the like: but it is free, because GOD was pleafed freely to give his Son to die for our fins, and to accept of his facrifice for the expiation of them, and to impofe easy and reasonable conditions upon us, in order to our enjoying of this benefit; and upon fuch conditions, though they have nothing of virtue or merit, of any natural or moral efficacy, to deferve, or procure fuch a benefit as the pardon of our fins, for the fake of his Son, whom he gave to be a ranfom for us, to receive us to grace and mercy; and I think this abundantly enough to make our juftification very gracious and free, though not abfolutely free from all condition.

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2. Our falvation is faid in fcripture to be as free as our justification; we are faid "to be faved by grace," as well as "juftified freely by his grace.' But will any man fay, that we are faved without any conditions, who reads thefe texts?" He that be"lieveth on the Son, hath everlasting life: but he "that believeth not the Son, fhall not fee life. Blef"fed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God, "Except

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SERM. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewife perish. If ye CCXXVII. walk after the flesh ye fhall die: but if through the


Spirit ye mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye fhall "live. Without holinefs no man fhall fee the LORD." So that he who can understand how we may be faved by grace, though our falvation be fufpended upon the condition of faith, repentance, and holiness, and obedience of life, may, if he please, understand how we may be juftified freely by God's grace, though it be upon the fame conditions. So that if men were not monftroufly perverfe, it is impoffible they fhould not fee the weakness of this objection.

Objection the fecond. This is the doctrine of the Papifts, that obedience and good works are a condition of our juftification.

Anfw. 1. I am for the doctrine which is evidently contained in fcripture, whoever hold it. A man ought not to be frighted out of the truth by any


2. But there is a wide difference between the doctrine of the Papifts about juftification, and this doctrine. They fay that obedience and good works are not only a condition of our juftification, but a meritorious caufe of it; which I abhor as much as any one. It is the doctrine of merit that the Proteftants chiefly oppofe in the matter of juftification; and if fome alfo oppose the Papifts about good works being a condition, I know nobody that thinks himfelf obliged to hold every opinion that any Proteftant hath maintained against the Papifts: and the like I fay to the objection of Socinianifm and Arminianism, and a hundred names more, if people think fit to faften them upon it.

And now I might compare this doctrine with the contrary. All that may be faid againft it is, that it


diminisheth the grace of GoD: but that I have S ER M. fhewn it doth not; but then it hath thefe advantages: It is, fo far as I can judge, (and mine own judgment must govern me) much more plainly contained in fcripture, and it is a doctrine more "ac"cording to godlinefs," it tends more to quicken men to obedience and a holy life, to believe that they cannot have their fins otherwife pardoned, than to believe that they may have their fins pardoned without obedience and a holy life; and if obedience be not a neceffary condition of pardon, it is plain that men may be pardoned without it. For example, if a man promise me a thousand pounds, only upon this condition, that I will believe him and trust him, but without any condition of doing what he fhall command me, and he fhall declare thus much to me; if I can trust this man's word, I need not doubt but I shall have the fum promised; though I should difobey him in every thing that he commanded me to do and this is just the cafe; and if it be, it is no wonder that men are fo loth to disbelieve this pleafant opinion, which gives men comfortable hopes of the pardon of their fins, upon fuch eafy terms. Not that I am fo uncharitable, as not to acknowledge that our worthy and excellent divines, who have been of this judgment, have always preffed the neceffity of holinefs and obedience: but I am forry they could not do it with fo good advantage, according to their principles, the natural confequences of them tending to licentioufnefs, and a neglect of the precepts of the gofpel; to which purpose they have been fadly abused by several libertines in these and former times, ever fince Luther's days, and I could never yet fee how Antinomianifm could folidly be confuted upon thofe principles.

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3. That

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