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defects which depreciate, and the defilements which sully, whatever they have, and whatever they do. Nay, strongly tinctured with pride, they would be themselves the alpha, and suffer the blessed Jesus to be no more than the omega, in procuring their eternal salvation. Therefore they can hardly be reconciled to the humbling character of an eleemosynary, one who lives ..wholly upon the alms of the gospel, and is dependent upon grace for his all. - ... : . . Whereas, were this grand obstacle removed; were men convinced of sin, of exceeding sinfulness in their worst estate, and of remaining sinfulness in their best; they would soon be ‘convinced of righteousness,” of the absolute necessity and inestimable worth of a Redeemer's righteousness; they would no longer dispute against it, but cordially receive it, entirely rely on it, and adore the goodness, the transcendent and unutterable goodness of God, in providing it. - * *

- I think, in one of our conferences I undertook to

produce my vouchers from the ancient fathers. Let me now subjoin two or three attestations of this kind: from one of which you will perceive that those early writers had a considerable degree of clearness upon the point; from the other you will see that, far from rejecting the doctrine, they embrace it with delight and rapture; and if you will admit of the last, you cannot be startled at anything which I shall advance upon the subject. Let me only premise in general, that if those authors are not so copious and explicit with regard to the imputation of active righteousness, they abound in passages which evince the substitution of Christ in our stead; passages which disclaim all dependance on any duties of our own, and fix the hopes of a believer entirely upon the merits of his Saviour. When this is the case, I am very little solicitous about any particular forms of expression, and far from being angry, even though the words which I think most significant are not retained. Clemens, an intimate acquaintance of St. Paul's, and whose name was in the Book of Life,t in his truly excellent Epistle to the Corinthians, assures that people,t

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We are not, in any respect or in any degree, justifted
by ourselves, but wholly by Jesus Christ: not by our
own wisdom or prudence, which could never find out
the way; not by the piety of our hearts, or works of
righteousness performed in our lives, which could
never be sufficient for the purpose; but by faith, the
one invariable method by which the Almighty Sovereign
has justified all his people ever since the world began.
Justin, who was first a Gentile philosopher, then an
eminent Christian, and at last a martyr for the truth,
speaks more fully to the point:* “What else could
cover our sins, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ?
By what possible means could we, unrighteous and un-
holy creatures, be justified, but only by the interposi-
tion of the “Son of God' on our behalf? Having in
this clause made a profession of his faith, the good
man, on the contemplation of such a privilege, breaks
out into a kind of holy transport, “O sweet and de-
lightful exchange! a dispensation unsearchably wise
and gracious benefits quite unexpected, and rich be-
yond all our hopes! that the sin of many should be bid
by one righteous Person, and that the righteousness of
one should justify many transgressors.”
The following words are remarkably strong, and the
sentiments peculiarly bold; but they come from the pen
of the finest writer in ecclesiastical antiquity; they
have the great name and venerable character of St.
Chrysostom for their recommendatory preface of “Fear

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not,’ says he, “on account of any of thy past transgressions of the law, when once thou hast fled by faith to

Jesus Christ. The most enormous and the most de

structive violation of the law is, to be withheld, by the consciousness of any guilt whatever, from believing on Christ. When thou actest faith on him, thou hast fulfilled, I might say more than fulfilled, the law; for thou has received a better righteousness than it could ever require: thou art possessed of a better obedience than any creature could possibly pay.” * Two or three witnesses of distinguished ability and

andoubted veracity are a sufficient confirmation of any

cause. . For this reason, and to avoid a tiresome prolixity, I have set aside a multitude of voices, which, from the writings of our own and foreign divines, are ready to pour their united evidence; and lest the business of quotation, though sparingly managed, should seem dry and tedious, I will relieve your weariness, and enliven the collection, by an extract from the prince of English poetry. Michael, the prophetic archangel, mentioning the destructive consequences of the fall, and asserting the Godhead of that glorious Person who undertook to be the repairer of this deadly breach, dds, - * Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall secure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works, In thee and in thy, seed. Nor can this be, But by fulfilling (that which thou didst want) Obedience to the law of God, impos'd On penalty of death; and sufferi; death, The penalty to thy transgression due; And due to theirs, which out of thine will grow. - So only can high justice rest appaid.” --- Here, then, is the express determination of our homilies, supported by the authority of our articles, established by the concurrence of our liturgy, still farther ratified by the unanimous attestation of several celebrated divines, whose lives were the brightest ornament to our church, and whose writings are the most unex

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ceptionable interpretation of her meaning. As a capital, to crown and complete this grand column, supervenes the declaration of the ancient fathers, those who flourished, and with the highest renown, in the first and purest ages of Christianity. So that, if great au. thorities carry any weight, if illustrious names challenge any regard, this tenet comes attended and dig, nified with very considerable credentialso Yet I will venture to affirm, that all these, considerable as they appear, are the least of those testimonials which recommend the doctrine to my Theron's acceptance, and which have gained it admittance into the heart of His most affectionate, ASPASIO.

LETTER IV. Aspasio re-establishes the tenet from the Scriptures of the Old Testament.

Apasio to Theron,


THE family in which I have the satisfaction to reside, though remarkable for their genteel figure and ample fortune, are still more amiably distinguished by their benevolence, hospitality, and charity. As they live at a distance from the market-town, the lady has converted one apartment of her house into a little dispensatory, and stocked it with some of the most common, the most needed, and most salutary medicines, which, in cases of ordinary indisposition, she distributes, to her indigent neighbours, with singular compassion, and with no small success. This fine morning Emilia has ordered some skilful hands into the fields to cull their healing simples, and lay up a magazine of health for the af, flicted poor. Camillus is withdrawn to receive his rents, and settle accounts with his tenants,

Suppose we act in concert with these valuable persons; suppose we range the delightful fields of Scripture, and form a collection, not of salutiferous herbs, but of inestimable texts, such as may be of sovereign efficacy to assuage the anguish of a guilty conscience, and impart saving health to the distempered soul: suppose we open the mines of divine inspiration, and enrich ourselves, not with the gold of Ophir, but with the unsearchable treasures of Christ, or with that perfect righteousness of our Redeemer, which is incomparably more precious than the revenues of a county or the produce of Peru. In pleading for imputed righteousness, we have already urged the authority of our established church, and the suffrage of her most eminent divines. The opinion of excellent writers, which has been the restilt of much learning, great attention, and earnest prayer, is no contemptible evidence: yet"we must always reserve the casting voice for those infallible umpires the prophets and apostles. “If we receive,’ with a deferential regard, “the witness of men, the witness of God is greater;” and challenges the most implicit submission; which remark naturally leads me to the intended subject of this epistle, or rather calls upon me to fulfil my late engagement, and shew, that the above-mentioned doctrine is copiously revealed through the whole proeess of the Scriptures. Let me detach a very significant portion from the Epistle to the Romans; which, though little inferior to a decisive proof, is produced only as an introduction to others: “Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, eveh the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe.† The righteousness of God signifies that righteousness which the incarnate God wrought out in his own all-glorious person: it is styled the righteousness

* 1 John v. 9. - + Rom. iii. 21, 22. * t This explication, or something to the same purpose, has ocgarred already ; but it is hoped the candid reader will not condemn the repetition as a disagreeable and jejune .# be. cause it is so consonant to the practice of our great apostlé, who repeats the term, reinculcates the doctrine, and hardly knows how to desist from the favourite topic; like one who was quite enamoured with the subject, who found music in the words, and whose happiness was bound up in the blessing, because it is conformable to another and a greater example. To Lord Jehovah himself, within the compass of one chapter, once and again, yea,

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