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" Testament is not contrary to the New : CHAP. " for both in the Old and New Testament 111.
everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator be
tween God and Man, being both God “ and Man*.” The Patriarchs lived by faith; their descendants journeyed through the wilderness by faith ; and both now, and to the end of the world, the Christian warrior, armed with the shield of faith, advances to the spiritual combat. Christ is equally the end of the ceremonial and written Law. His advent ;
His advent; his one sacrifice of himself once offered for the fins of all mankind; the preaching of the Gospel ; the transitory nature of the Law ; the call of the Gentiles; the rejection and final conversion of the Jews; are all predicted, with astonishing accuracy, under the Mosaical dispensation. We, who live during the latter days of God's covenant, have feen the accurate completion of all these prophecies, except the last; and we cannot doubt, but that it likewise will be accomplished, when it shall seem good unto the Almighty. In the mean time, it is our duty to await the event with a lively
* Article vii,
SECT. faith, and humble confidence in the proIII. mises of God our Saviour, ever return.
ing thanks, that, through his mercy, we the Gentiles are not faithlefs but believe ing.
THE PRACTICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN
THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.
THE LAW A SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US
us unto Chrift,
FEW errors are more common among The Law a those, who rest satisfied with only an in- ter to bring definite comprehension of the Christian scheme, than that of imagining the power of the Law to be totally abrogated by the Gospel. Persons of this description suppose, that in the Law indeed God required unsinning obedience; but finding that men, by reason of their frailty, were unable to perform it, he was pleased to lower his requisitions, and, instead of a perfect, to enjoin only a, sincere observance of his commandments. The usual way of expressing this crude notion is in some fuch terms as the following.
God is merciful, and man is weak. Noiv. thing therefore is required under the Chriftian
difpenfation but sincerity; and provided only we do our best, we are sure of salvation. The ancient statutes of Mofes are now abolished ; and Christ has promulged a new law, in which the former strictness of God's justice is abated.
However plausible this system may appear to a superficial observer, it is fraught with error, and replete with danger. A contemptuous neglect of the Law is fuperinduced; and the Antinomian heresy again makes its appearance in a more decent and less suspected garb. Instead of the absurd doctrine, of salvation to be acquired by a bare belief, notwithstanding a subsequently wicked and impenitent life; the equally absurd one, of salvation through the abstract mercy of God, is here advanced
upon similar principles : and they, who are the first to expose the shocking tendency of the one, rush headlong into the errors of the other a
a It may not be amiss, before the subject be discussed at large, to give a brief statement of the difference between Christianity and the two heretical extremes of Antinomianism and Self-righteousness.
The advocates for these tenets may per- CHAP. haps indeed deny the charge of Antinomianism; and affert, that what they maintain is simply this : Provided only we do our beft, we are sure of obtaining everlasting happiness. God forbid, that such a damnatory scheme of doctrine should ever find admittance into the church of Chrift! The thunder of Papal anathemas spoke comfort to the soul, compared to the horrible conclusion which must be drawn from these premises. If none are to be saved but those who do their best; all the fons of Adam, without a single exception, must be
Antinomianism maintains the doctrine of salvation by bare, fpeculative belief-Christianity maintains the doctrine of falvation BY FAITH ONLY IN THE MERITS OF CHRIST, wbicb faitb, bowever, as necesarily produces good works, as a bealtby tree does fruit-Self-righteousness maintains, that the cause meritorious of salvation is partly faith, and partly good works.
In the English language we can express the difference between Antinomian belief, and Christian faith, by two diftinct words. The Greek tongue, unfortunately, affords only one word to express both these ideas. Such appears to be the true key to the imaginary discrepancy between St. Paul and St. James. St. Paul ftrenuously maintains the orthodox doctrine of salvation by Faith only, in opposition to the baneful heresy of Self-righteousness: St. James as ftrenuously denies the doctrine of salvation by Belief only, in opposition to the perverse licentiousness of Antinomianism.