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whereby the spiritual man discerneth God, and the things of God.
Considering, justifying, or saving faith in a more particular sense, we cannot better define it than in the language of our church, where it is described as not only a divine conviction, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, but, as "a sure trust and confidence which a man hath in God, that through the merits of Christ his sins are forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God, whereof doth follow an obedient heart to keep his commandments."
Obedience then, is inseparable from saving faith; faith is the principle, obedience the practice faith is the tree, obedience the fruit: if the tree be good, the fruit will be good also. But, let us hear what the scripture testifies on the subject, to the law and to the testimony." "Not every one," declares our Saviour, in the 7th chapter of St. Matthew, "that saith unto me Lord, Lord," that is, who professeth to believe in me, "shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the
will of my Father which is in heaven," that is, he whose faith produces obedience.
Again, he saith in the 13th chapter of St.
Luke, "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you I know ye not whence ye are; then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunken in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. shall say, I tell you I know you not whence ye are; depart from me all ye workers of iniquity."
To the same purpose is the parable of the ten virgins, in the 25th chapter of St. Matthew, where the five that were foolish, represent those professors who have the form of godliness, without its power; an outward profession of faith unproductive of good works.
St. Peter speaking of faith, in the 15th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, describes it as
purifying the heart." The commission which St. Paul received at his conversion, as he himself declares to King Agrippa, in the 26th chap
ter of the Acts of the Apostles, was to go to the Gentiles" to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive an inheritance among them which were sanctified by faith." The same apostle in the 11th chapter of his epistle to the Galatians, describes faith as the life of the soul ; the life," saith he, "which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved himself for me." In the 5th chap
me and gave himself for me."
ter of the second epistle to the Corinthians, we
are said "to walk by faith."
We walk by faith," saith the apostle," and not by sight." In the epistle to the Galatians, it is described as "working by love:" by St. John it is said "to overcome the world:" by St. Jude it is called "a holy faith." St. Paul exhorts Timothy to "hold faith and a good conscience, which," saith he, "some having put away concerning the faith, hath made shipwreck." St. Peter exhorts us" to add to our faith virtue :" and St. Paul declares, "if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains," even the faith of miracles," and have not charity I am no
thing." But St. James speaks still more decisively to this point, with whose testimony I shall close these quotations. What," saith he, "doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so, faith if it hath not works is dead, being alone; for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
By the faith therefore which in the scripture is said to justify or save, we are to understand that lively faith which worketh by love, which purifieth the heart, and which keepeth the commandments of God.
The testimony of our church is also peculiarly clear on this subject. In her 11th article, after having declared agreeably to the two propositions in my former discourse, that "we are saved only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for
our own works or deservings;" she adds, in her 12th article, "Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith, cannot put away our sins; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith; insomuch, that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit."
In the homilies of our church also, having guarded the doctrine of works, by declaring that we are not " to have any affiance, or to put any confidence in our works, as by the merit and deserving of them to purchase to ourselves the remission of sins;" she thus proceeds: "The first coming to God is through faith. And lest any man should be deceived, it is diligently to be noted that there is one faith, which in scripture is called a dead faith,' which bringeth forth no good works, but is idle, barren, and unfruitful. And this faith, by the holy apostle St. James, is compared to the faith of devils. And such faith have the wicked, who, as St. Paul saith, confess God with their mouths, but deny him in their deeds. The true lively Christian faith liveth and stirreth