Page images
[ocr errors]


p. 6.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

order to satisfy the tenderehearied neric word will retain only one of
reader, that our failure fixes no slur its specific senses in common acceps
on gar bumanity, we sball copy the tationi youts Buite
fatal sentence from his pamphletu 1; 21 dnp. 7, Mr. Beresford states his
flere It has been sigtilficarilly and in the ind intention to ascertain the real nature
tended sense of the 'expression, correctly of faith, or in his own expresside
observed i bado iords are things... Under language, to make it si confese its
this ) conviction, I shall now apply myself to own meaning, first, by the citation
the examination of certain words, which, of certain remarkable passages "int
however they may be regarded by many as which it is found ; and, secondly,
merely notional or opinionative, have been by the apposite deduction of other
made contributory 10 real consequences,

passages, which, 'taken in just and nost alarming that ever canic froiu error.'

Frere, fair connection' with the former, de

n'al"3" virtually become its context." Impressed with the mysterions Now, admitting, as we are ready terrors of this representation, as it to do, that an apposite collection of moved before us, ir dike the vfabled texts wherein the term fuith is eius ghosts, in tbe majesty of darkness, ployed, taken along with their conta we sat for a few minutes pondering, text, might develop its true 'meară what frightful catastrophe might ing; we must contend,'' judgiog speedily result from words notionut from the pamphlet before us, that and opinionatide. But having never Mr. Beresford has no talent whatbeen introduced to words of this ever for this mode at least óf diskind, in the incomplete course of entangling knots of controversy. our elogical studies, we were not a Among the bungling logiciaty, with little bewildered by the expression. whow it has been our misfortune It occurred to us, however, that our to'engage, Mr. Beresford, by his redistress might possibly be relieved searches into the nature of faith, has by a recourse to some convertible gained an incontestible pré-emia tenis; and, stberefore, having turn. nence. Indeed, he seenis common. ed over the pages of our dictionary ly to forget his premises, before he for the words notional and opinionet has reached his conclusion or the tide, we found that Mr. Beresford's course of our Review, we shall fully expression, displayed in synonimous authenticate this particular charge; terms, would run thus: 9 words and shall content ourselves at preimaginary, or fond of preconceived sent, with producing such specimens opinions. No light being obtained as constitute a fair sample of Mr. from this quarter, we might still Beresford's literary merils.! have feared to perish in the darkı; In order to prove that faith is not but in the hope that Me. Beresford's a forcing instrument, of which the bedings had proceeded from a sickly 'subject is necessarily propelled to insagination, or some preconceived good works, he construcis the Polopinions, we went forwarıts with lowing perspicuous and irrefragable sorvewhat lighter hearts1. But werdo argument. In one of bis Epistles,» entreut Mr. Beresfurd, out of pily to the Apostle Paul writes, homely understandingsy to rėniem. have grace.Elsewhere he ob. ber, in his future, jocursions upon ''serves; « By grace are ye saved, the science of language, Ethat, if through faith." This grace, then, " words are things," they partake (says Mr. Beresford)' is to be oba of sheir mutability. Maný words, tained by faith; and St. Paul's līnu in which few ideas were originally junction to have grade, -is construct involved, gradually become more lively an 'injunction to have faith. complex. ri They collect in their fit“ Now (he adus);owwhat we are : currency ebrongh ages, new ideas of direcdeb to have or procure can even altogether lose their prin apginever be pure gratuity froin God. signification; cand, sometimesy can geba appc 16, 19.4-Did Jewish rabbi, or

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

o Let

Catholic monk, 'ever produce such war on either side: Nay, more; it an instance of paralogy? It were were vain to charge on Mr. Beres idle to set about a serious refutation ford any of his own tenets, for be of these positions, which are ground. can instantly point to its contradic ed on an entire ignorance of the ge. tory, in some page of the same book. neral meaning of the word graces For instance, in page 8, he roundly on a false interpretation of the ex. denies, thạt failh is such a belief in pression, “ Let us have grace," Christ, as absolutely necessitates tbe which means in the passage cited, performance of religious and moral “ Let us bave grateful hearts" - duties; but we find bim positively and on a total misunderstanding of asserting, in page 42, that faith the text, " By grace are ye saved, is utterly incompatible with disobe, through faith."- Ooly let Mr. Bea dience to the positive cornmands, and resford try bis mode of reasoning departure from the imitable habits of with another collation of texts. We its divine nbject." . Again, in page begin with one of his own premises; 11, this gentleman denies, that all " Let us have grace.” Now, in Rom. good works originate from faith; iii. 23, we read of being " justified but so entirely has he changed bis freely by the grace of God, through mind at page 33, as not to spare his the redemption that is in Christ former self the most contemptuous Jesus.” This grace, then, is to be language. “ Weak, indeed, must obtained by the redemption that is be the mind, and worse than weak," in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we are (we give his words accurately), constructively directed to have or that would separate good works procure the redemption that is in from that which is their only lawful Christ Jesus; and, consequently, it principle(meaning faith)," and is not a pure gratuity. But St. their only certain guide."-Oor reaPaul asserts, that we are " justified ders will compassionate us for bare freely." No way, then, remains of ing to cope with this ambidexter an. reconciliog the Apostle with him- tagonist. self, but by concluding that we are We have already wasted too much freely and not freely justified at the time on this beterodox jargon. same time.

Were it deserving of a serious refu. Whatever defects there may be tation, it might be necessary to be in our author's argumentative powers, gin with the different kinds of faith, be possesses, very eminently, some as they are commonly distinguished of the qualifications of a contro- by theologians. But whatever de veruist. He ofien surrounds himself féct of information Mr. Beresford with impenetrable darkness, and has shewn ypon this subject, it is puts into the mouths of his ad. plainly his intention to treat ouly of versaries unintelligible arguments, the faith which is concerned in our which he stoutly assails with unin: justification. Upon this faith, then, telligible answers. He adopts the we shall proceed to offer a few me triumphant tone of an unconquer. marks, which we hope will be chaable champion, assuring his readers, ritably and candidly received by a that he is marching to the annihi- class of Christians, who appear to us lation of the fugitive doctrines, to exbibit the great doctrine of jus which had been marshalled against tification by faith, in terms that ex: him. Again : he asserts, in defiance pose it to the specious charge of of our Homilies and Liturgy, that a turning on the same hiage with the faith, unattended by good, works, Antinomian heresy. We do not may yet be a true and saving faith; speak here of the higher species of but then, he expunges this Antino Calvinism, being aware that many mian heresy from a part of his ima preachers and writers, even of the pression, without any acknowledg: Supralapsarian", class abbar the ment, and is thus prepared to wage notion of turning the

grace of God

[ocr errors]

into lasciviousness;

and require the ceiving him as a Teacher of right, fruits of holiness, as indispensable eousness, implies a sincere disposins evidences of a state of salvation. tion to learn

of him; and the noths We allude to the defective view tion of receiving him as a King, which many persons propose of implies a loyal submission to the faith, by confining its operation to yoke of his government. If faithea the merely accepting of Christ as a we observe, include an acceptance propitiation for our sins. This me- of Christ in his prophetic and regal thod of viewing the subject appears as well as in his sacerdotal office, to us to be most onscriptural, and there is an end to the objections altherefore of pernicious tendency. leged against the evangelical doce

The apostolical writings exhibit trine of justification by faith alone, faith as that gracious habit of the as though it leaned to Antinomian. heart and mind, wbereby we em- ism; objections, which have receivbrace Jesus Christ in all his oflices : ed some colour from the harsh disand, by this method, they appear torted dogmas of a spurious Calvinto us effectually to guard against ism. the fatal error of resting on histori There is another, and, perhaps, cal or temporary faith. -- On the simpler manner of considering the other hand, if justifying faith be re- way in which Christ is received by garded as merely a lively appreben- justifying faith. We employ this sion of the Saviour in his atoning pbrase for the sake of brevity and capacity, a door is thrown open to precision, although the term justifythe Antinomian error. For in or ing is not happily applied to that der to apply to ourselves the value which is not in any proper sense of Christ's sacrifice, simply con- the cause of justification, but only sidered, we can do no more than the medium through which it is cordially believe, that his precious conveyed, or the condition on which blood hath power to obtain for us it is suspended. But, to return; temission of sins and reconciliation regarding faith as the practical acwith God. A grateful persuasion, ceptance of the salvation offered in that Christ's obedience anto death the Gospel, the question immedisatisfied God's justice, and delivered ately arises, what that offer implies. man in a legal curse, is all that For, when faith is described as an can be included in the notion of ac- honest acceptance of the salvation cepting Christ simply as a Priest. of Christ, it is clearly to be underBut if justifying faith include the stood, that this salvation is accepted, notion of accepting him as a Pro- as it is offered by God. Now, the phet and a King, to suppose that offer of salvation clearly implies, faith can be disjoined from good that on our parts there shall exist works is a manifest contradiction. sincere repentance, un feigned deFor to affirm concerning any one, sires after a holy and charitable that we receive him as a teacher, is life, and an habitual trust upon the equivalent to the assertion, that we Lord Jesus, who “of God is made submit to him as learners; and to unto us wisdom, and righteousness, affirm, that we take him for a ruler, and sanctification, and redemption. is equivalent to the assertion, that We do not, therefore, speak of faith, we submit to him as subjects. These or even think of it as “the forcing

expressions are of precisely the instrument of good works, than same import. Now, to apply this; which a more inappropriate

phrase since the notion of receiving Christ can hardly be imagined; but we as a Priest, imports a hearty and distinctly maintain, that, of whomsothankful dependence on his blood ever it may be predicated that be and intercession as the only merito possesses evangelical faith, it may rious cause of our justification be with certainty be added that he posfore God; so also the notion of re- sesses a gracious disposition to good



works: or, to adopt a phraseology quence from those premises, for tbat Mr. B. may comprehend, that very obvious reasons. But that this justifying “ faiib does insure good is a most heterodox tenet, we have works."

already attempted to shew, in dem If our view of the nature of faith fiance of the Trent Council, Mr. be correct, it will be obvious to our Beresford, and the Antinomians. readers, that there is no meaning in In one part, however, of bis disserour author's confused definitions and tation, Mr. Beresford, with his chadescriptions, which aim at proving racteristic boldness," fearlessly chalthat faith does not ensure good lenges a contradiction to the follow, works, because it is itself progres- ing averment; viz. that this Apostle sive ; or, that it can only " be ne- (St. Paul) is in no single instaoce cessarily inclusive of good works in throughout his writings to be found its last or uimost degree of perfec- asserting that faith is necessarily tion.” It would, indeed, be imprac- implicative of good works." p. 23. ticable, as well as fruitless, to con- We beg, in reply, to direct Mr. Betend with Mr. Beresford step by resford to Galat, v. He will there step. Often have we endeavoured find that the Apostle, after exposing to grapple with his unsubstantial ar. at length, throughout the Epistle, the guments, but

fallacy of trusting to the works of

the law for justification, remarks, in - frustrà comprensa nianus effugit imago, Pur devibus sentis, volucrique simillima opposition to the legal Christians, that

"we through the Spirit wait for the

hope of righteousness by faith. For The readers of Mr. Beresford's es. in Christ Jesus neither circumcision say, if there be any, will perceive availeth any thing, nor uncircumcione portentous absurdity thai twines sion, but faith which worketh by itself round every part of his sys. love.” v. 5,6. Can a more explitem." It is, that whenever he pre- cit assertion be required that no tends to disprove the efficacy of other faith is available to justifica. faith upon practice, he does it by tion, but a faith working by love; evincing, in his own dextrous ma that is, a faith which is the animal. I ner, the necessity of good works to ing principle of a devout and chathe attainment of final salvation; ritable life. and when he has demonstrated this In what we have hitherto proindisputable truth by elaborate ar pounded upon the subject of faith, gumentation, he exults in his vision, it bas been our object to shew the ary triumph with great delightabsurdity of maintaining that a The most regular syllogism (for he principle which essentially includes talks about syllogisms) that we can an entire acceptance of Christ can deduce froni his pamphlet, and we consist with wilful habitual disobereally think it contains the sub-dience, wbich denotes at the least a stance of his countless paralogisms, partial rejection of him. But there is the following:- The Apostle Paul is yet another most important view asserts, that good works are iydis, of the influence of faith upon pracpensable conditions of final salva- tice, which we earnestly press on tion: but there is a species of faith Mr. Beresford's consideration. It which does not produce good works: is this, įhat faith is represented in therefore good works are not the Scripture, as one cause of our sancconstant and necessary offspring of tification. Our hearts are said to justifying faith. As we admit the be purified and sanctified by faith. two premises in this masterly, argu- Acis xy, 9, xxvi, 18., Now faith ment, we shall dismiss them witbout has not , primarily, any purifying apy comment, peither shall we and sanctifying properties, The meddle with the last proposition, as work of renewing and sanctifying though it were a legitimate conse, our nature is ascribed, by inspired

And they

writers, to the immediate agency the branches of a vine do the juices of the Holy Ghost. The question, from its root'; and whoever is destithen, is, and a puzzling one it must tute of this Spirit belongeth not to be to the author of a sermon deny.. Christ. Now the Spirit of Christ is ing that faith ensures good works, a spirit of life and holiness. Ils how faith can be said to sanctify

6 fruit is in all goodness and right the heart. But the Bible, with the eousness and truth." expositions of our Church, set this who have received it into their matter in a very clear light. hearts, by being grafted into Christ,

And, first, it must be observed will ás certainly bring forth Chris that since divine faith implies à tian fruits, as the branches of a fruitfirm reliance on the veracity of ful tree will exhibit the proper God, and a persuasion that what he produce of the parent stock. So bath promised, being infinitely more ihat it is thus that faith is the invaluable than any objects of sense, strument of our sanctification, by is worlby of being purchased at any bringing us into such an union with cost, it follows that the true believer Christ as to draw from him the vir must habitually prefer the invisi. tue of his Divine Spirit. Moreble realities of another world before orer, Scripture disclaims the know, any earthly emoluments and plea- ledge of any other good works, than sures. The whole eleventh chapter such as are thus produced. It res to the Hebrews proceeds upon this jects wish abhorrence Mr. Beres. principle; and hence it is said of ford's theory, that good works and divine faith, that it overcometh the faith are " separately existent, and world. This is the victory that should be separately taught," while overcometh the world, even our it strenuously maintains that, faith.” Accordingly, a man will “ without faith, it is impossible to

conform his life to the law of holi- please God." : ness, in proportion to the force and

In p. 12, Mr, B. remarks on ihe extent of his conviction, that obe: text, Fight the good fight of dience to God is at all times best, faith:" because of the terrors of his anger and the blessedness of his favour, thing directed is, that we should strenuously

“ In this injunction of the Apostle, the And in this manner is the heart pu- labour to display our faith by actions conge, rified by faith.

nial with it :--but if he had considered faith But there is yet another most in- as necessarily involving those actions, he teresting way of contemplating the would obviously have refrained from that subject. Christ is said to dwell in separate exhortation to them, which we here our hearts by faith;" by which find that he thought it necessary to eni. is intended that gracious habit plog." which keeps open the heart to the Our design in making this cita. continual effusions of Christ's Holy tion is not to expose another of Mr. Spirit. In what manner we are Bi's contradictions, although three united to him by this lively faith, pages farther he joveighs against his we are no where taught, and at. own statement about the inexpedileinpt not to explain. It may be, ency of exhibiting the nature and as some bave imagined, that' faith necessity of good works, supposing is the principle of a mysterious " faith unquestionably would and union between the Head of the inevitably must bave produced these Church and his members, of some works." "We have produced an thing more than a purely moral abundance of specimens, not to kind. Of this, however, we are trouble our readers with any more, certain that true believers do as of the discordant ingredients which surely and beneficially receive the make up this precious morsel of influences of God's good Spirit, as theology. But it is our desire to

« PreviousContinue »