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Now this review of the principles, which guided those against whom the censures of St. James were levelled, would give us an insight into the nature of that faith, of whose efficacy he thought so meanly. But we have no occasion to draw any conclusions of our own. It is clear from his own language, that it was a faith, which led to no holiness and purity of life; which permitted its possessor to consider himself as absolved from every moral and social obligation. He evidently supposes, that it can, and does exist, withont good works; and illustrates it by a simile most forcible, and by a comment on the comparison, too plain to be for a moment misunderstood. Whoever has this faith, he declares, is like a man, who, if his brother or sister were naked, and destitute of daily food, would say unto them, depart



warmed and filled ; and notwithstanding would not give them the means by which they might acquire these comforts to themselves. “ Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my

faith by my works."

Now it is quite manifest, from the whole tenour of St. Paul's epistles, that he never contemplated such a faith as this, when he declared, that a man is justified by faith. No apostle has insisted more

strongly than he has done, upon the necessity of moral righteousness; and had it fallen in bis way, to remark upon that vain and unfruitful principle, which St. James was called upon to reprove, be would have censured it in language as strong and decisive as that, which has been sometimes brought forward as a contradiction to his own teaching. He says, in the 2nd chapter of his epistle to the Romans, that “not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Again' in the 7th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, he declares in the 19th verse, that “circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” And in the 13th chapter of the 2nd epistle, he uses these remarkable words: “ though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." Now look through the chapter and see how he sets forth the effects of this charity, or love, for such is the true meaning of the word, and you will see immediately, that he thought as lightly of a barren faith as St. James did.

But there is another point of view in which it is most evident from St. James' own words, that the faith of which he spoke, was entirely different from that which St. Paul preached. St Paul speaks of faith as a righteous principle, “to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that

justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” And again in another place be declares, that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin:” thereby plainly intimating that whatever is of faith, is holy. He enjoins the Ephesians besides, to take this faith as their buckler to guard them from the snares and assaults of the devil. "Above all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” And to the Philippians he writes, “I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Now let us attend to what St. James says relative to the faith which he reproves, and we shall find that so far from its being a righteous principle, the very devils themselves


hold it. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble.”

From the preceding observations, it has, I trust, been made clearly to appear, that there is in reality no discrepancy between the doctrine taught by St. Paul, and that inculcated by St. James: that in the passages from their writings, which we have placed in seeming opposition to each other, the two apostles speak of a different faith

and different works. For whilst it has been shewn that the faith which St. Paul preached, was a holy and lively faith; a faith which through the influence of the Holy Spirit, tended to purify and spiritualize the affections, to draw our anxieties away from the world, and fix them upon God's promises in heaven; we have fully proved that the faith animadverted upon by St. James, was a mere assent to the Christian truths, which wrought no change in the heart, and was so far removed from every thing that was holy and pure, that even the spirits of evil professed it, though they trembled. Again, we have seen that St. Paul spoke of works done in self-righteousness, in the arrogant expectation of earning heaven, as it were, by the merits of our own obedience; tban wbich nothing can be farther from the true spirit of the gospel: whereas, St. James treats of those truly evangelical works, those Christian virtues, which are the fruits of a faith that worketh by love. Hence the two apostles, instead of contradicting, explain and illustrate each other. And we shall now, I apprehend, have no difficulty in perceiving, that the example of Abraham was equally forcible in confirming their respective arguments. For St. Paul it proved, that the patriarch was blessed, because his heart was guided and controuled by a firm belief in God's mercy, humble reliance upon his power to fulfil the promise he had given. And to St. James, it afforded the most irrefragable evidence, that a barren faith would be of no avail, because it testified, that the exaltation of Abraham's posterity was predicted, not upon the mere expression of his belief, but upon his performance of an act of solemn obedience.

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My brethren, we have been enabled, I trust, to-day, by God's help, to clear up an apparent difficulty in the Sacred Scriptures; but we shall have gained little by such elucidation, if we do not, from the observations made, derive spiritual improvement to our own souls. One simple and solemn lesson may be readily deduced,--that we hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience; the mystery of that faith, which hopes for' mercy only through the blood of Christ, and the merits of his gracious and continual mediation. When we preach this faith, we preach every thing that is holy; we preach good works in the only light in which good works can be acceptable to God, namely, wben they proceed from a contrite and humble heart, and are done from love to that gracious Redeemer, in whose righteousness alone we may dare to present our imperfect offerings.

- Without holiness no man shall see the Lord;" and without faith, our good deeds are but as dust and corruption before him. It is vain to assume the name of Christian, if we depart not

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