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in the mere mercy of God through Christ in his word, that fully and gloriously justifies and saves the person ; and that no work, no Christian law whatever, is necessary for a man unto salvation. For by faith he is free from every law; and whatever he does, he does from pure liberty and freedom; seeking nothing of advantage or salvation thereby, but only the good pleasure of God; for he is already full and saved by the grace of God through his faith.

Hence, no good work whatever of the unbeliever availeth unto righteousness and salvation; even as, on the contrary, it is not any evil work that makes him evil or damnable ; but it is the unbelief that makes the person and the tree evil, and the works evil and damnable also. And therefore, a man's being good or bad, does not arise from any works, but from faith or unbelief: as Sirach testifies, Eccles. X., " The beginning of sin is departing from God :” that is, falling from faith. And Paul also Heb. xi., saith, “He that cometh must believe.” And Christ saith the same thing, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt.

As though he had said, he who would have good fruit, must begin from the tree, and plant that good. So, he who would do good works, must begin, not by working, but by believing ; since it is this alone that makes the person good. For nothing makes the person good, but faith ; and nothing makes it evil but unbelief!

This indeed is true, that, in the sight of men, a man is made good or evil according to his works : this however, is only the being outwardly seen and known, who is good, and who is evil : as Christ saith, Matth. vii., " By their fruits ye shall know them.” But this is all in appearance and externals, in which very many are deceived; who taking upon themselves to write of, and teach good works, as the way in which men are justified, at the same time make no mention of faith whatever; following their own ways; deceiving and being deceived; becoming worse and worse; blind leaders of the blind; wearying themselves with many works, and never able to attain unto true righteousness : concerning whom Paul saith, 1 Tim. iii.,

Having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." Always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

He therefore that would not err with these blind ones, must look beyond doings, laws, and doctrines of works; yea, he must turn away his eyes from works altogether, and look to the person, how that can be justified—which can be justified and saved, neither by laws, nor by works, but by the word of God, (that is, the pro miseof his grace,) and by faith.—That the glory of the divine Majesty might stand maintained; which saves us, “not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his own mercy" through our believing the word of his grace.

From these things it may be clearly understood, in what sense good works are to be rejected or embraced, and according to what rule the doctrines of all men concerning works are to be understood. For if works be compared with righteousness, and if thou presume to do them under that perversion of the devil, a false persuasion that by them thou mayest become righteous, they thus impose a necessitous bondage, and destroy both liberty and faith together. Nay, from this false persuasion being added, the works are no longer good, but, in truth damnable ; for they are not done in liberty, and they blaspheme the grace of God, who alone justifies and saves by faith : which works, though they cannot effect, yet they attempt it, and thus presumptuously rush upon the work of grace and the glory of it.

We do not therefore reject good works, but, on the contrary, we strenuously mantain and teach them : for we do not condemn the works for themselves, but for that impiously added false opinion of seeking righteousness by them : by which, they are made to have the appearance of good only, when in reality they are not good; and thus, by them, men are deceived themselves, and deceive others, as ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing.

And this devil, this perverse opinion concerning works, where there is no real faith, is insuperable; for it cannot be beaten out of those holy workmen, until faith its destroyer come and plant its kingdom in the heart. Nature herself cannot drive it out, nor even know what it is: nay, she considers it to be a most holy and obedient will. And where custom has long prevailed and confirmed this depravity of nature, (as is the case under wicked teachers,) it is an evil incurable, and seduces and sends thousands to irremediable perdition.

Wherefore, although it is good to preach and write of repentance, confession, and satisfaction; yet, if there be a stopping here, and no going on to teach faith, these doctrines are, without doubt, delusive and devilish. Hence Christ, together with his servant John, not only said, “ Repent ye,” but added the word of faith, saying, “ The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—For not one part of God's word only, but both must be preached : new, as well as old, must be brought forth out of the treasure : the voice of the law, as well as the word of grace. The voice of the law must be sounded forth, that men may be alarmed and brought to a knowledge of their sins, and then converted unto repentance and newness of life. But there must not be a stopping here: for that would be, to wound without binding up; to smite, without healing; to kill, without making alive ; to bring down to the gates of hell, and not to raise up; to cast down, without exalting. Therefore the word of grace and of the promise of remission of sins must be preached to teach and build up faith ; without which, the law, contrition, repentance, and every thing else, will be taught and wrought in vain.

There still remain, indeed, preachers of repentance and grace, but they do not set forth the law of God and the promise in that way, and with that spirit, that their hearers may learn whence repentance and grace come: for repentance comes by the law, but faith or grace by the promise of God: as the apostle saith, Rom. X., " Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of


Christ.” Hence it is, that the man, who, by the threatenings and fear of the divine law, is brought low, and cast down into the knowledge of himself, is comforted and raised up by faith in the divine promise: as in Psalm xxx., “Weeping shall endure until the night, and joy until the morning. '--So far have we spoken concerning works in general, and those also which the Christian works in his own body.

We will now, in the last place, speak of those works which he works toward his neighbour.-- For man does not live for himself alone in this mortal body, and to work in it only, but he lives for all men upon the earth; yea, he lives for others only, and not for himself; for he brings his body into subjection, to the very end that he may be able to serve others more sincerely, and more freely: as Paul saith, Rom. xiv., “None of us liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself; for he that liveth, liveth unto the Lord; and he that dieth, dieth unto the Lord.” And therefore, it is impossible that he can live at ease in this life, and without doing works toward his neighbours; for he must of necessity converse, act, and have intercourse with men; even as Christ was made in our likeness, and found in fashion as a man, and had intercourse with men : as Baruch iïi, saith.

But yet he has no need of these things unto righteousness and salvation. Therefore, in all his works he ought to be in this mind, and to have only this view—that, in all things whatever he does, he serve and profit others; having nothing before his eyes, but the necessity and profit of his neighbour. For thus the apostle commands us to labour with our hands, “ that we may have to give to him that needeth.” Whereas he might have said, that we may have wherewith to nourish ourselves — but no ! he saith also “him that needeth.” For it is a part of Christianity to take care of the body for this very end, thất by its health and powers we may labour, earn, and lay up that, which may supply the necessity of those who are in need; that thus, the member that is strong may serve the member that is weak; that we may be the sons of God, feeling and labouring for each other, bearing each others burthens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ.

Behold, this is the true Christian life! Here is the true “ Faith which worketh by love;” that is, which goes forth with joy and delight in the work of “perfect freedom;" it serves its neighbour freely and spontaneously, because its own treasure is richly filled, with the overfouing abundance which it possesses by faith.

Hence Paul, when he had made it evident to the Philippians, how rich they were by the faith of Christ, in which they had possession of all things, goes on to admonish them, saying, “ If therefore there be any consation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, fulfil ye my joy :--that ye be like minded ; having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through contention or vain glory, but each in humblemindedness esteeming other better than himself; and each considering, not his own things, but the things of another.” Here we see plainly, that the Christian life, is, by the apostle, made to consist in this--directing all our works for the benefit of others ; because, each one so abounds by his faith, that all his other works, yea, his life itself, are but superabounding blessings, which he may devote with spontaneous benevolence to the service and benefit of his neighbour.--He then, moreover, brings forward Christ' as an example, saving, “ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Nevertheless, he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and, being found in fashion as a man, he became obedient unto death."--This most healthful admonition has been obscured from us by those, who, not at all understanding these apostolical terms, “ form of God,” “ form of a servant,” “ fashion” and “ likeness of men,” have made this passage refer expressly to the divine and human natures. Whereas the apostle's meaning is, that Christ, though he was full in his form of God, and abounding

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