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sion only into the Church of Christ, and a title to the privileges of the baptismal covenant. Practising faith, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, is what renders that admission a title of real value; by producing that renewal of our fallen nature, which secures our inheritance of eternal glory.

Words need not be multiplied to convince the reader, that these are two very different things, and that the one does not necessarily comprehend the other. The remark, therefore, subjoined by our author to the above passage, "that faith, where genuine, always supposes repentance, abhorrence of sin, &c." p. 328, is calculated to lead into error, because it teaches the reader to take for granted, what must always remain to be proved.

For, allowing that the practical precepts of Christianity do grow out of her peculiar doctrines, which is certainly true; yet that they are “inseparably connected with them,"* is a position not to be admitted: for in such case faith and practice may be considered but as two words for the same thing; and it becomes impossible for professors "to hold the truth in unrighteousness;"+ which St. Paul tells us some did in his days; and which, in consequence of the corrupt nature of man, some will do in a greater or less degree in every stage of the Christian Church. The learned Bishop Bull has so clearly stated this subject, as to render further enlargement upon it unnecessary.‡

+ Rom. i. 18.

* Wilberforce, P. 382. "Quod jactant de instrumentalitate fidei in justificationis negotio, nihil etiam quam meram et inanem subtilitatem redolet. Præterquam enim quod extra scripturas hic loquuntur, si

The Gospel scheme of salvation can then only be complete, when the whole of it is taken together; when each part of the Christian obiigation, comprehended under the general terms of faith, repentance, and obedience, is suffered to have its due weight in the scale of human estimation.

In a word, that man is not to be saved by any works of righteousness of his own, because, in

instrumentum strictè et propriè sumatur pro causâ efficiente minus principali, clarum est, fidem justificationis instrumentum nullo modo dici posse. Nam primò, cum justificatio sit actio Dei solius, éaque tota extra nos producta, quomodo vel fides nostra, vel quævis nostra actio ad justificationis effectum producendum physicam ullam efficientiam habeat, prorsus axaraλnтov est. Deinde omnis causa instrumentalis, (ut jam innuimus) suo modo in effectum influit, eique effecti productio proprié attribui potest. Jam veró cum justificatio nihil aliud sit quàm gratiosus Dei actus, quo precata nostra nobis condonet, ac nos ad salutem acceptet, valdè absurdum esset dicere, vel fidem, vel opera nostra, vel quidvis aliud nostrî, aut remittere peccata nostra, aut personas nostras acceptare; quod tamen, si instrumentalis causa justificationis fides sit, planè discendum esset. Etiam si igitur concederemus, habitum fidei esse instrumentum istius actûs quo Christum amplectimur; qui tamen inde intulerit, fidem esse justificationis instrumentum, manifestissimæ certè inconsequentiæ reus tenebitur. Ut ergo quod res est dicam, si fidem instrumentum esse velimus, fieri non potest, ut concipiatur alio modo instrumentum esse, quám quatenus opus es ex prescripto, et per gratiam Dei a nobis præstitum. Conditio enim, quatenus præstita est, aliquo modo medium, sive instrumentum dici potest, quo consequimur rem, quæ sub conditione promittitur. Et vocatur hoc a nonnullis instrumentum morale. Et si hoc sensu instrumentum sumatur (nempe pro conditione sive instrumento morali) fidem esse unicum justificationis instrumentum omnino negamus; cum, ut satis evincimus, etiam pænitentiæ opera non minus necessaria ad justificationem obtinendam a Spiritu Sancto diserté statuantur.-BULL. Harmon. Apost. cap. ii. § 9.

consequence of their imperfection, they can have no merit in the eyes of God, but by what Jesus Christ has done and suffered for him, is a doctrine which cannot be too unequivocally expressed; at the same time it is to be remembered, that the qualification of the party, through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, is the indispensable condition upon which salvation through Christ is suspended.

Satisfied in my mind that there can be no real difference of opinion between this respectable author and myself upon this matter; he will not, I flatter myself, feel offended at my endeavour to counteract a conclusion, to which certain unqualified passages, against which the best of writers are not always upon their guard, may possibly lead. The apparent disagreement between us, (if I have been correct in my remarks) arises from the different idea annexed to faith, considered either as a comprehensive term, including under it all the conditions of the Gospel covenant on man's part, or the simple act of believing the Christian doctrine, unaccompanied with that spiritual transformation of the sinner, necessary to render the death of Christ effectual to his salvation. These two ideas, applicable to faith in its different stages, ought at all times to be clearly distinguished, to qualify the Christian to form a correct judgment upon this important subject.

The account given by this author of the actual state of Christianity in this country is, it is to be feared, but too true. Vital Christianity we can scarce expect to find at a time, when the meaning annexed to that term is, to the bulk of professing Christians, become unintelligible. In this

degenerate state of things, every man who feels for the honour of God, and the welfare of the community, must regard with gratitude and respect an author, whose professed object it is to restore this dead thing, modern Christianity, to life and vigour; and, in the scripture sense, will bid him "God speed.” But whilst I agree with this author in his account of the declining state of genuine Christianity, I cannot so perfectly agree with him with respect to one cause, to which the further continuance of that decline is to be attributed.

The clergy of the Church, as we have already observed, soon after the Restoration, with a view to counteract the abuse that had been made of the doctrine of grace, gave into the opposite extreme. Finding the stick bent too much one way, they injudiciously adopted the natural process of bending it the other, with the view of bringing it straight. But the clergy of the present day do not, I conceive, stand in the same predicament.

Doctrinal points, it shall be admitted, are not so often, nor so powerfully, enforced in our pulpits as they once were, or as they ought to be; but I do not recollect having ever heard a sermon which, in fair construction, placed man's hopes of happiness upon the unsound ground of his own moral performances. Indeed I am inclined to hope that the generality of hearers, in the present day, possess no relish for such heathenish doctrine. There is a wide difference, it will be allowed, between powerfully enforcing a fundamental article of the Christian faith, and preaching a doctrine incompatible with it. However deficient some of our clergy may have

been in the former case, instances, I trust, are very rare of their being found guilty in the latter; thereby proving themselves declared traitors to the cause they have in charge to maintain.

It is not consistent with candour, from incautious language occasionally made use of, (and what man is always so guarded in his expressions, as to bid defiance to misconstruction?) to draw those conclusions either for an author or a speaker, which they themselves do not acknowledge. If, therefore, the subject of Christ crucified be not always taken up in our pulpits, yet when it is considered that the sermon is accompanied with a liturgy, which preaches that saving doctrine throughout; charity forbids me to conclude, unless upon very evident ground, that it is the design of the preacher to place the Christian's hope upon any other foundation.

May it not happen, then, that judgment in this case has sometimes been too hastily formed? A person, for instance, who entertains the unfavourable idea here alluded to, respecting our clergy, enters a Church with a certain prejudice in his mind: and should it so happen, that the object of the preacher's discourse is the enforcement of some practical duty of Christianity, he leaves the Church in disgust, with the conclusion that nothing but moral preaching is to be heard in it. He attends, it may be, some irregular place of worship in the evening, where the fundamental doctrine of the cross happens to be the subject of the preacher's discourse; he goes away confirmed in the conclusion drawn in the morning; and the clergy of the Church

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