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tial branch of Christian doctrine: “ 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 (a).” She lays it down as a most certain truth, that “ God made his blessed Son obedient to the law for man (6).” quotes, and adopts, that remark of St. Basil, that “ Paul gloried in the contempt of his own righteousness, and that he looked for the righteousness of God by faith (c).” Nay, she affirms, in so many words, that “. Christ is now the righteousness of all them who truly believe in him. He for them paid their ransom, by his death; he for them fulfilled the law, in his life; so that now, in him and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law (d).” Supported by such positive evidence, I will venture to pronounce, that the man who denies justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, is, in the strictest acceptation of the term, a dissenter from the church of England. Every real member of that church will and does adopt that usual saying of one of its brightest ornaments, “ Had I all the faith of the patriarchs, all the zeal of the prophets, all the good works of the apostles, all the holy sufferings of the martyrs, and all the glowing devotion of the seraphs; I would disclaim the whole, in point of dependance, and count all but dross and dung, when compared with the infinitely precious death and the infinitely meritorious righteousness of Jesus Christ my Lord.”
IX. The doctrine of effectual vocation and conversion by the influence of insuperable grace, stands high on the list of the doctrines taught by Christ. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me (e), or be made to believe in me, to the saving of their souls. The hour is coming, and now is, when the
(a) Art. xi. Part 2.
(6) Coll. for the Circum.
(c) Hom. of Salva. (e) John vi. 37.
dead, the dead in sin, shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and, hearing, they shall live (a): live to God below; and live with God, when their spirits return to him that gave them. Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, who are not within the pale of Judaism ; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd (b). To the same effect speaks the church : “ Wherefore they that be indued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called, according to God's purpose, by his Spirit working in due season (c).” Nor can any thing be more truly apostolical, than that solemn caveat, which she enters against the imaginary powers of free-will, in the first part of the homily concerning repentance: “Even so must we beware and take heed, that we do in no wise think in our hearts, imagine, or believe, that we are able to repent aright, or to turn effectually unto the Lord, by our own might and strength. For this must be verified in all men, without me ye can do nothing. Again : of ourselves we are not able so much as to think a good thought. And, in another place, it is God that worketh in us both the will and the deed. For this cause, although Jeremy had said before, If thou return, O Israel, return unto me, saith the Lord; yet, afterwards, he saith, Turn thou me, O Lord, and I shall be turned, for thou art the Lord my God. And therefore that ancient writer and holy Father Ambrose, doth plainly affirm, that the turning of the heart unto God is of God: as the Lord himself doth testify by his prophet, saying, And I will give thee an heart to know me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God : for they shall return to me, with their whole heart.”—In her public addresses to God, the
(α) Ibid ν. 25. και οι ακεσαν7ες ζησονται.
(6) John x. 16.
church acknowledges, that it is from him “ All holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, do proceed (a); and that it is he “ Who maketh us both to will and to do those things that be good and acceptable to his divine majesty )."
Inseparable from the grace of effectual calling, are,
X. The sanctifying agency and constant inhabitation of the holy Spirit in the hearts of them that believe.
Cyrus is reported to have said to Croesus, “ The chests, in which I keep my riches, are the hearts and affections of my people.” With still greater truth may it be said, that the souls of the regenerate are the repositories, in which God lays up the riches of his grace. His best treasure is in the hearts of his people: for there himself resides. If I depart, said Christ, I will send the comforter unto you; and when he is come, he will convince the world, i. e. the elect, believing world, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (c). He convinces of sin, by making his people sensible of their native unbelief and total sinfulness. He convinces of righteousness, by pointing out to their view, and leading them to rely upon, that vicarious obedience of one, even of Christ, through the imputation of which, many are made righteous (d) before God. He convinces of judgment, by turning the soul from dead works, to serve the living and true God. Satan is, as it were, brought to the bar; judged, found guilty of usurpation; and deposed (e) from the throne of the con
(a) Daily Evening Service. (6) Confirmation Office.
(d) Rom. v. 19.
verted sinner's heart: who, from thenceforward, is enabled to live, not to himself, but to the glory of that Saviour who died for him and rose again.
Nor does the blessed Spirit cease to dwell in those who are born again of him. I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him ; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (a). Nor must we consider this promise as peculiar to the apostles: for the gracious promiser declares, He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water; his consolations shall abound, and the overflowing streams of practical godliness shall enrich and adorn the whole of his conversation : this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive (6)
This divine influence, its intrinsic efficacy, and practical effects, are strongly recognized by our national church. She teaches us to pray, that “ we, being regenerate, and made the children of God by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by the holy Spirit:" that we may, “ by the same Spirit, have a right judgment in all things, and evermore rejoice in his holy comfort (c).” She describes “godly persons” to be such as “ feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the deeds of the flesh, and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things (a).” She avers, that, by the blessed Spirit of God,“ the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified (e);” and adopts
ensues in the hearts and lives of those, who, by the energy
of renew. ing grace, are turned from darkness to light, and from the power satan unto God.
(a) John xiv. 16, 17. (6) John vii. 38, 39. (c) Coll. for Christmas Day, and for Whitsunday.
(d) Art. xvii.
(e) Second Coll. for Good Friday.
this acknowledgment for her own, “ No man can know thy pleasure, except thou givest wisdom, and sendest thy holy Spirit from above. Send him down, therefore, from the holy heavens, and from the throne of thy majesty, that he may be with me, and labour with me, that so I may know what is acacceptable before thee (a).” From this government and sanctification of the holy Spirit, proceeds,
XI. That never-failing stream of good works, which Christ so constantly enforced, and which all true believers are so careful to maintain. Every good tree, says our Lord, every soul made good by the grace of God, bringeth forth good fruit (6).-Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you (c).--He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me (d). Nor does the church speak a different language: “ Here is now that glass, wherein thou must behold thyself, and discern, whether thou hast the Holy Ghost within thee, or the spirit of the flesh. If thou see that thy works be virtuous and good, consonant to the prescript rule of God's word, savouring and tasting, not of the flesh, but of the spirit; then assure thyself, that thou art endued with the Holy Ghost: otherwise, in thinking well of thyself, thou dost nothing else but deceive thyself (e).”
XII. That real sanctification and good works are crowned with the grace of final perseverance, is most expressly taught by Christ. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand (f). As for those who fall away from the pro(a) Hom. for Rogat. part 3. (6) Matth.
hn xv. 14. (d) Ib. xiv, 21.
(e) Hom. for Whitsunday, part 1. (f) John X. 27, 28, 29.