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"If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”—Isaiah viii. 20.
· No. 50.
are twin-sisters, they are inseparable. The Good Works Justification by Faith-Works grace of God, which bringeth salvation, of Supererogation—Indulgences
teacheth us, that denying ungodliness and - Penances.
worldly lust, we should live soberly, righ(Concluded from page 35.)
teously, and godly in this present world (1
Paul). But it will be objected, that salvation by But you will reply, that keeping the comfaith through grace, does away with works, mandments is made the condition of entermakes them necessary no more, loosens the ing into life. Well, admitting it to be so, motives which should lead to the perform- tell me who ever kept the commandments ? ance of the duties of life, and tends to the —who ever performed the conditions ? No destruction of good deeds. No! far other- one. Therefore none could so be saved-as wise. It takes away, indeed, the base and it is written, “ There is NONE righteous, sordid motives which actuate too many no, not one.” And again, “ By the WORKS minds, and implants those of a purer, holier, of the Law shall no flesh living be justiloftier, more heavenly kind. Instead of the fied.” “ALL have sinned, and come short of praise or fear of man, the hope of mere the glory of God.” “The Lamb of God who earthly gain, or the fear of temporal loss to taketh away the sins of the world” (John i. ourselves in reputation, ease, or wealth—the 36) alone could do this. He it was who, LOVE of God is the animating motive, the “perfect God and perfect man,”made honorspring, the beginning, and the end of all we able God's insulted law, and “opened to us do. We love him, because he first loved us; the gates of everlasting life.” Still you will and loving him, we endeavour to give that say, that good works are spoken of as conbilrest test of our love, the keeping of his ducing to salvation-as operating conjointly commandments, well knowing that his yoke with truth, to work out the salvation of the and his commandments « are not grie- soul. Vain delusion! There is no half vous."
salvation-there is no half redemptionNot destructive of good works, nor making there is no compromise with God—there is them meritorious in the sight of God. - no intermixture in his plan of redemption. Scripture requires their existence, as an evi- You must be saved by faith, or by works, dence of saving faith. The faith and works not by BOTH-" Whosoever of you is justiwhich are acceptable in the sight of God, fied by the law, is fallen from grace" says
St. Paul. And will you hazard eternity? will and what is the nature of the objection you stake your eternal all, upon your fan- brought forward? Why, that the great imcied power to keep whole and inviolate the portance attributed by scripture to good law of God? Can you do what none before works, clearly proves that it is not by grace you have ever done-none after you can do ? alone that man is saved, since without good Scarcely shall the words by which you would works he could not enter heaven. But it is ratify so vain, so rash an undertaking, have not entirely so; indeed, far otherwise ; for passed your lips, ere you may stand convic- only observe here, that though good works ted before the tribunal of the all-pure and are required, they are never spoken of as heart-searching God, of having violated your being the meritorious cause, or as forming condition and forfeited heaven. Throw aside the consideration, in respect of which the for a moment the delusions of time-dis- kingdom of heaven is bestowed. There are mantle yourself of the veil which a false esti- no good works apart from faith; and though mate of things has thrown around you- in rare and extreme cases of late call, and look into God's own holy word — observe late repentance, (as in that of the penitent at once the perfection, the entireness, and thief upon the cross,) faith, without the the spirituality of his lawHe that keepeth works of a continued holy life, may prove “the whole law, and yet offend in ONE effectual to the saving of the soul. Yet point, he is guilty of All” (St. James ii. 10). works without faith do nothing. (See Arti
Mark, how not only the outward act of cles and Homily.) which man takes notice, but the secret Where those eminent men-men eminent thoughts of the heart itself, when wicked, for their piety, their zeal, and their learning violate this law. “All things are naked, -men who reformed our church from the and open to the eyes of him with whom we errors of Popery-who, with the lamp of dihave to do.” The external practice and con- vine truth on the one hand, and the flames of duct of the Hypocrite, may differ from the martyrdom on the other, wrought out a way internal tenor of his heart and feelings; but through the darkness of centuries, and were observe how the commands are broken by instrumental in causing gospel light and anger, hatred, and revenge; by unchaste truth once more to shine upon our land, thoughts and the covetous desire, equally thus write: “ For as the fruit is not the as by murder, adultery, and theft. Thus cause that the tree is good, but the tree must you will find what hard conditions you have first be good, before it can bring forth good taken to yourself—how you are excluding fruit; so the good deeds of man are not the yourself from heaven, by seeking to gain it cause that maketh man good, but he is first as of right, of merit, or reward.
made good by the spirit and grace of God Oh, sons of earth, attempt ye still to rise that effectually worketh in him, and afterBy mountains piled on mountains to the skies? wards he bringeth forth good fruit. And Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, then, as the good fruit doth argue the goodAnd buries fools beneath the Alps they raise. ness of the tree. so doth the good and mer
This may you see in time, to throw your. ciful deed of the man argue, and certainly self at the foot of the cross-cast yourself at prove, the goodness of him that doth it the feet of Jesus-take his yoke upon you, according to Christ's saying, 'Ye shall know who was meek and lowly in heart, and thus them by their fruit.'” And though reward find rest unto your soul.
be given for works, the offer of that reward Still, proud, vain man, wishing rather to was of grace, entirely of grace. It was made confer a favour on God, than to receive as before any good works had been performed. an unmerited mercy the gift of salvation, A humane man, in some time of distress, lingers on the fond hope, that something may say to 10,000 perishing creatures, may be done for himself. This is the Popery wanting work, “ Here is work to be doneof the human heart; and scripture itself is do this and live.” Now all hear this graappealed to, and the understanding is ap- cious invitation. Some do not heed it, bepealed to, and the moral feelings and nature cause they disbelieve it: they have, indeed, of man are all appealed to, and their united no faith. Others believe, but despair, pretestimony spoken of as being in favour of ferring their squalid wretchedness to better the meritoriousness of men's work. “ Vain circumstances provided by exertion; others, reasoning all, and FALSE philosophy.” Man's again, are too idle, and would rather starve moral nature is corrupt, unable of itself to in sloth, than live by activity. And to those receive right impressions. His intellect is who hear and obey the call, and work and but a poor guide in matters BEYOND the receive wages, yet to them is reward not of grasp and comprehension of his frail facul- merit but of grace. Free grace devised the ties. To scripture alone then can we go plan-free grace offered the reward-free grace offered them the work--free grace causes a Felix on his throne, to tremble beenabled them to do it-free grace strength- fore his captive ; and as by the purity and ened them to persevere; yes, it is even so— majesty of Divine Truth, light from heaven free grace shall reward their labours.
flashes upon his soul, makes him to behold Satan gives wages—what are they? The the approaching judgment day, the yawning wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is gulph beneath, and to fear lest he should eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. totter into it. Happy if its call may be atThus, “ the sword of the spirit which is the tended to while the day of grace yet lasts, word of God” cuts down the vain crown of and so by faith in the atoning blood of man's fallen nature-thus, before the cross, Christ Jesus, the guilty conscience may be falls the idea of man's works being a merito- washed and made clean. rious cause in the sight of Jehovah. This Oh! Infidels may declaim as they please also strikes at other errors of the Church of against revelation and religion, and the Rome, viz., Works of Supererogation, In- Atheist fool may say in his heart there is no dulgences, Penances, &c., of which more God---Ps. xiv. v. 1-yet how vain. They canhereafter.
not by their bold assertions, talk down Truth
--they cannot alter the essential properties THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE.
and relations of things, nor abrogate laws
which the Deity has himself established Whilst metaphysicians dispute respect- they cannot blot out conscience. They may ing conscience-its nature, and where it is indeed dispute, as to that of which it conto be found, there are comparatively few sists, but this is no proof against its exnone perhaps, who are ignorant of its exis- istence. Philosophers cannot tell us of what tence - none who do not feel its power. life consists ; yet they will in vain endeavour The monarch upon his throne, and the pea- to persuade us that there is no life : so neisant in his cottage, the tyrant and the cap- ther can they annihilate conscience, nor detive, are alike amenable to it. The votary pose her long from her power. We see its of dissipation, and the recluse, own its sway, operation displayed most powerfully oftenand in various ways bear tribute, even times in those cases, where it might be least against their will, to the almost omnipo- expected. tence of its nature.
When for any violation of human laws, When rightly directed, it is a guide with- the criminal is detected, and drawn before in the breast of man, pointing to what is some earthly tribunal, we may well imagine right, and dissuading from what is wrong; his soul to be harrassed by the most poignant and though its admonitions may for a while feelings of distress, both at the consciousness be disregarded -though under the super- of detection and the prospect of punishment. natural influence of the excitement of sti- But what shall account for that restlessness mulating draughts its voice be overruled — sometimes evinced, in which those whose or from dulness and almost deadness-it guilt might never have been detected, permay be lulled to comparative inactivity— haps never suspected, from very uneasiness of yet in very few, perhaps no cases, is it mind betray thernselves? How often has the extinguished. Oppressed beneath false murderer, safe from human vengeance, been maxims of worldly policy, it may lay compelled, by conscience that could not dormant for a while-or stifled amidst rest, to turn his own accuser? How often the clamour of gaiety and dissipation, its has thus been divulged what no eye of man voice may not be heard, its continued beheld-no ear of man heard-no heart of knockings may be unattended to, its remon- man imagined. Why is this? We stop strances may so often have met with the “ go not to enquire more minutely into the cause, thy way for this time, and at a more con- but from the existence of the fact, proceed venient season I will call upon thee," as to a practical improvement of it. Behold nearly to have lost their power. Yet sooner this man overwhelmed with an agony of grief or later conscience awakes, and arouses at the wickedness he has committed. He its sleeping owner, and then like a giant cannot contain himself-he cannot make refreshed with wine, it pursues its work, restitution he cannot restore the life he has it forces itself upon the attention of the taken !-he cannot recall the soul which he worlding, it is an interloper at the feast sent before its Maker “all unprepared to of the convivialist, it reminds the tyrant of meet him!”-he can benefit no one by dithe day of future reckoning, when even he, vulging himself as the author of the crime, great as he is on earth, must give an ac- yet he cannot endure its concealment. His count of his stewardship. Yes! it is the conscience torments him. That silent moniresponsive call of this monitor within, that tor says all is not right. There is no approving smile from within-no approbation Strange as it may seem, he who had long, --no love of God—but all is gloom and long neglected to pray for himself, had pity terror. And who can put an end to this for another, and prayed with and for the alstate? Suppose that it should last for most dying sinner. The pious example too, ever-that it follows the sinner into the set him while yet a child, by a beloved parent, world of spirits? It must be, then, immortal long gone to rest, now, like bread cast upon as the soul: time cannot destroy it-pain the waters, and not found till after many cannot consume it-suffering cannot annihi- days, produced its effect. The dying expreslate it!
sions of one who watched over his infant No! still the soul lives, tormented with years with a mother's love-her blooming its own accusations, and fearful imaginings, hopes of a glorious and blessed immortality, and nothing but a sense of pardoning love which enabled her through a Saviour's love can restore or give it peace. How does this to bear the pains of sickness, and the agonies realize the truth of scripture-" The wicked of death, not only without murmuring but are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, with holy joy and rapture, contrasted striwhose waters cast up mire and dirt. There kingly with the scenes he had lately witnesis no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” sed. Grace was given him, we believe,
No peace in solitude-no peace in society to become truly penitent. He sought -no peace in time-no peace, no hope, forgiveness there, where there is plenthrough eternity!
teousness of mercy to all who ask it; and We have but very recently had before us now reclaimed from the error of his ways, he a case illustrative of the foregoing remarks, lives a monument of God's grace and mercy, and of the silent but powerful operation of endeavouring to lead the life of a consistent conscience. There was a man who had christian. He has indeed done no penance, passed the first years of his life in laborious performed no acts of corporal severity, to occupation in the sphere to which he be- procure peace and pardon; but he has longed, and been a lover of pleasure more evinced that repentance to salvation, not to than a lover of God. On one occasion, be repented of, which shews a change of in the course of his daily avocation, he had heart and soul, a conversion and turning secreted some valuable property, which he from the power of satan unto God. afterwards purloined and appropriated to his own purpose. None but he and his comrades knew of this. The property was MEDITATIONS FROM BISHOP missed. It was valuable from its own na
HALL. ture, and yet more, because it consisted of family relics, which no money could re
ON THE SIGHT OF AN ECLIPSE OF THE place, because no money could bring back
SUN. the identical things. Many and tedious were Light is an ordinary and familiar blessing, the searches made, but all in vain. Ten yet so dear to us, that one hour's intercepyears afterwards, or nearly so, one of the par- tion of it sets all the world in a wonder. The ties called at the house of the writer of this two great luminaries of heaven as they imarticle. It was then late. His name was part light to us, so they withdraw light from announced-admission to him was granted. each other. The sun darkens the full moon But his appearance !-his appearance was in casting the shadow of the earth upon her pale-his voice faltering—his manner agi- opposed face; the new moon repays this tated. After a while however he stated the blemish to the sun in the interposing of object of his coming, unfolded what had her dark body betwixt our eyes and his taken place, spoke of his having now become glorious beams. The earth is troubled at a different character, how tormented he had both. Oh God! if we be so afflicted with been in mind for some years past, and how he the obscuring of some piece of one of thy sought in vain to find out the parties he had created lights for an hour or two, what a wronged, that so he might make restitution confusion shall it be that thou, who art the so far as in his power. Various causes con- God of these lights, in comparison of whom tributed to lead to this state of mind, and they are mere darkness, shalt hide thy face amongst them these : One of his com- from thy creatures for ever! Oh, thou that panions, who had been a sharer in the spoil, art the sun of righteousness, if any of my met some time after with a sudden and sins closed thy face, yet let not my grievous shocking death. He beheld another on the sins eclipse thy light. Thou shinest always, verge of eternity, with no hope of continued though I do not see thee. But oh! never life in this world, no prospect of happiness suffer my sins so to darken thy visage, that in the other.
I cannot see thee.
ON A CANCELLED BOND.
and eternal death, which I am never able to While this obligation was in force, I was endure. But now that my Saviour has fasin servitude to my parchment. My bond tened it cancelled to his cross, in respect to was double-1. To a payment-2. To a pe- the rigor and malediction of it, I look upon nalty. Now that is discharged, what is it it as the monument of my past danger and better than a waste scroll — regarded for bondage. I know by it how much was owed nothing, but the witness of its own voidance by me-how much was paid for me. The and nullity. No otherwise is it with the direction of it is everlasting : the obligation severe law of my Creator. Out of Christ, by it unto death is frustrated. I am free it stands in full force; and binds me over from curse, who can never be free from obeeither to perfect obedience, which I cannot dience. O Saviour, take thou glory, and possibly perform-or to exquisite torment give me peace.—Bishop Hall.
FOOTPRINTS OF POPERY. At the time of the Reformation, Scotland climb up to Salisbury Craigs and Arthur's was not without her martyrs. Many, who Seat, and to look down, from that great were bold for the truth, fell victims to the height, on the old town and the new town. fury of their persecutors; and there are those To gaze on the castle and Holyrood house, in the present day, who like them would which is a palace, and look where the Tolcontend, and were it necessary, die for the booth, or public jail, used to stand. faith once delivered to the saints. The fol- “ Arthur's Seat would please me best, if lowing little dialogue between an old man that is the highest.” and a little boy, from a book bearing the “ We are most of us, old and young, too above title, and recently published by the much disposed to get above the heads of our Religious Tract Society, will interest many neighbours when we can. You would be of our juvenile readers. We hope it will surprised to see many of the houses in Edinedify them also.
burgh, for they run up, story above story, “I am very glad to meet you so soon, for till they are forty yards high. The castle, now you will tell me something about Scot- too, is a very fine object as you look at it land and Edinburgh, and the martyrs." from the hollow, three hundred feet below.
“Yes, Robert, I will be as good as my It was upon the castle hill that Dean word. Scotland is the most northern, and Thomas Forrest was burned. The printed therefore the coldest part of Great Britain. account of what took place between him The Highlands are mountainous and barren. and the bishop of Dunkeld, sets forth so Along the narrow valleys you may seem
strikingly the way in which the Romish The wild deer sporting on the meadow ground.
nd church proceeded in those days, that having And here and there a solitary tree,
med it with me, I feel disposed to read it to you, Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crown'd.
for if I attempt to describe it myself, I shalí While the Lowlands are more level, wooded, not do it justice.” and fertile. EDINBURGH, built on three “ Please then to read it me, every word of hills, is the capital of Scotland, as I dare it." say you remember. It would delight you to “ Dean Thomas Forrest, a canon of St.