« НазадПродовжити »
not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.' For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
In all these instances, not the eternal fitness of virtue and the deformity of vice, not the dignity of human nature and a proud sense of what is due to character ; but THE MERCY
but THE MERCY VOUCHSAFED BY GOD TO LOST MANKIND THROUGH THE SUFFERINGS OF THE REDEEMER is urged as the true principle of Christian practice. In fine, every action, which is not built upon these fundamentals, is to be classed only among those deeds, which St. Augustine calls brilliant wickedness."
VII. With regard to the use of thie terrors of the Law, in bringing men to Christ, and in teaching them to give up all those self-righteous notions which militate against the very soul of the Gospel, the great Apostle of the Gentiles speaks in the following terms.
Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions (it was given to convince men of sin, because, though sinners, they would not allow themselves to be so), till the seed should come to whom the promise was made ; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.-- Is the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid : for if there had been a Law given, which
1 John iv. 10, 11.
i John v. 3. 3 See Art. xiij. Splendida peccata.
could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.'
In another passage, St. Paul speaks of his own knowledge of the power of the Law, in convincing him of sin, and thereby shewing him his need of a Redeemer ; thus exemplifying theory by practice.
I had not known sin, but by the Law : for I had not known lust, ercept the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commundment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the Law sin was dead. For I was alive without the Law once (as long as I felt not the power of the Law, I perceived not the sinfulness of my nature); but, when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained unto life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good ; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
· Gal. iii. 19-24. See also Rom. v. 20. and Bp. Latimer's Serm. fol. 208.
Rom. vii. 7-13.
This conviction of sin, brought about by the Law, immediately raised a struggle in the breast of the Apostle between the will and the power to obey. Nevertheless he constantly found, as every man must find, that he was utterly unable to satisfy the rigorous demands of the Law. And, even supposing that he could have done so in future, that would not have wiped out his past transgressions. The Law once violated can never cease to have been violated ; and the penalty of a single transgression is a curse.
CURSED is every one that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the book of the Law to do them, The Apostle was but too conscious, that neither he, nor any other person, could pretend to an unsinning obedience : the curse of the broken Law thundered in his ears : and he cried out in a momentary agony of despair; O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? But comfort in a moment darts into his soul, when he recollects the mediatorial office of the Redeemer. I thank God, through Jesus, Christ our Lord. The Law had shewn him his need of a Saviour ; and the Holy Spirit enabled him, through faith, to rest entirely and contentedly upon the merits of the Son of God."
The conclusion from the whole amounts to this.
If any person rest his justification upon the works of the Law, whether ritual as in the case of
See the second part of the Homily concerning the death and passion of Christ. Bp. Reynolds's Use of the Law. p. 201, 202: Sinfulness of sin. p. 117.
the Galatians, or moral, as in that of the selfrighteous : he is a debtor to do the WHOLE Law;' and by that Law he must be condemned. But he, who accepts the salvation offered him through Jesus Christ, and who, renouncing the merit of his own good works, receives to himself through faith the imputed righteousness of the Redeemer; that man has reinission of his sins, and is freely justified in the presence of God.
Now we know, that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law (which is the case with all, who are not under grace); that every
тау be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. For by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets ; even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe : for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle, as if to preclude the heresy of mixing works with faith, as an efficient cause of our justification, has expressed himself in terms; which can neither be eluded, nor explained away. There is a remnant according to the election of
grace. And, if by grace, then it is no more of works : otherwise grace is no more grace. But, if it be of works, then is it no more grace : otherwise work is no more work." Nothing can be clearer than these words. It involves a direct contradiction to assert, that a man is saved both by grace or favour, and by works. For, if he be saved by works, he has a right to his salvation; and consequently, it cannot be called a favour granted to him : on the other hand, if a man be saved by favour, he cannot be saved by works, because works imply right; and what is demanded as a right will never be acknowledged as an obligation."
On this firm basis stands the eleventh Article of our Church, in which it is directly asserted, that we are justified by faith only, and that we are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings.
VIII. This point being settled, it remains only to recapitulate the effects of faith, without which effects a lively saving faith cannot exist.
Since Christ hath quickened us, who were dead in trespasses and sins ; how zealous ought we to be in every good work, how earnest in the service of God, how rich in the fruits of the Spirit! For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty : only
! Rom. xi. 5,6.
See Bp. Wilkins on Prayer. c. xiii. Bp. Latimer's Serm. fol. 288, 298. Augustin. Epist. 105.
3. Ephes. ii. 1.