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surely was there a more striking probably sometimes harassed with display of the Lord's strength being the same fears as was the subject perfected in weakness, or of his of this narrative, may hope that loving-kindness and tender mercy, the Lord will be to them “ than in the interesting case we sent help in time of need," and that have been dwelling upon. When dying grace will be bestowed in a we call to mind the dread she had dying hour. May the Eternal frequently evinced of a conflict in Spirit teach us all to profit, and death, the astonishment she always enable us “to press towards the expressed to hear that any one mark of the prize of our high call. could speak at such a time, and ing of God in Christ Jesus.” the hope she had often expressed, Dear Mrs. 0. had informed me “of not being called upon to en
of her intended residence, and of dure much pain," (pain she had all her plans, and in a letter writnever in all her former dangerous ten to me just one month before illnesses suffered) when death really her death, she thus expressed herdrew near, only makes us wonder self, “I expect to get into my more at the gentle, peaceful man- house after Christmas; it is ready ner in which she was permitted to
very comfortable, Í “fall asleep in Jesus.” Oh, what pray that I may not be without encouragement to those who are the true support from the Living looking to the same omnipotent Fountain, and that I may find I am arm for strength, and who, though not alone in the wilderness.”
A SERMON, PREACHED BEFORE BEFORE HER GRACIOUS MAJESTY THE QUEEN DOWAGER, BY THE REV. JOHN JOHNSTONE, M.A.,
RECTOR OF BANGHURST.
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
ROMANS iii. 28.
a The doctrine of justification, or est importance, as it is bthe founthe way
means whereby we may dation of peace with God, and of be absolved from the guilt and con- every hope of eternal life. The sequences of all our sins, and ac- apostle employs a large portion of counted righteous in the sight of this epistle in setting before us its God, is a doctrine of the very deep- necessity, its nature, and its results.
• He first urges the universal ex
tent and awful magnitude of our * Diffundit se justificationis doctrina
apostacy from God; the fearful per totum theologiæ corpus, et prout depravity of every one of us; the fundamenta hic, vel bene, vel male, jacta sunt, eo universum ædificium vel solidius power and exceeding sinfulness of
the holiness and severity of angustiusque ascendit, vel male statuminatum fædam minitatur ruinam.
b Rom. v. l.
o Rom. i. Wits, de Foed. Dein, iii. 8.
à Rom, iii, 9; 23. é Ibid. 12. May.—1845.
the law; and the deplorable help
whether holiness be necessary to lessness and misery of our condi- the Christian character: we know tion. He then unfolds to us the free that holiness is necessary, for'withand complete salvation that there out holiness no man shall see the is in Christ; he shows us that jus. Lord. Christian holiness, however, tification is entirely an act of the is m the consequence of pardon and 8 freest grace, through the redemp- acceptance with God through Jesus tion that is in Jesus Christ; that Christ, but not the ground and it is utterly opposed to all human reason why the sinner is pardoned works and merits, of every kind and accepted. The real question and in every degree; that its object is, Whether the sinner is justified is to "manifest the glorious per
and accepted by God, solely on fections of Almighty God, and to account of the perfect righteoussecure the salvation of souls; that ness of Jesus Christ, imputed to it 'exalts the Saviour, and effectu- him by grace and received by faith: ally humbles the believer; and or, whether some righteousness and therefore he concludes that a man
works of our own are not also necan alone find pardon of sin and cessary to be added to the work of acceptance with God, by truly em- Christ, to insure our justification bracing this plan of salvation; and in the sight of God? The word of that he never can by seeking to God repeatedly excludes all our merit eternal life through any
works and merits of every kind doings of his own.
from having the slightest share in This is manifestly the scope of our justification. It declares that the apostle's argument. But the the "preaching, which would unite doctrine of justification through any works or merits of ours with the righteousness of Jesus Christ the glorious and all-sufficient meis not confined to this epistle. It rits of the Redeemer, is another is the chief subject of the epistle to gospel, which indeed is not another, the Galatians; it is the leading for it is no gospel at all. 'It prodoctrine in the epistle to the He- nounces that the preachers of such brews : for thousands of
it doctrines are accursed; yea, though was set forth in a variety of types an apostle or an angel from heaven, and figures, all leading the believer let him be accursed: and Pthat the to Jesus Christ; and it shines as hearers too, who are thus beguiled the grand and fundamental truth of the truth as it is in Jesus, depart of the Gospel from every portion from grace, and that to them the of the word of God.
death of Christ is of no effect. This doctrine has ever been a
saries do so greatly please themselves, i stumbling-block to the self-right- exclaiming, that we tread all Christian eous, and highly offensive to carnal
virtues under our feet, because we teach reason ; and various methods have
that faith alone justifieth. — Hooker, been from time to time devised, to Serm. ii. sec. 31. soothe the pride and to uphold the Qui autem nos calumniantur, quasi gradignity and self-sufficiency of fallen tuitam fidei justitiam prædicando, a bonis man. * Now the question is not
operibus avocemus homines, abunde hinc, refelluntur: quod fides non minus rege
nerationem in Christo apprehendit, quam f Rom. ii. 21. & Ibid. 24.
peccatorum veniam. - Cal. in 1 Cor. b Ibid. 26. i Ibid. 27.
i. 30. j 1 Cor. i. 23.
Heb. xii. 14. * It is a childish cavil wherewith, in m Eph. i. 10. John xv. 5. the matter of justification, our adver- n Gal. i. 6. • Id. 8. P Id. v. 4.
The apostle concludes that a manjection, its inconsistency with is justified by believing in Jesus, the believer's character and hopes, without the deeds of the law. That and declares it to be impossible. is, some say, without the deeds of 4. *The example which St. Paul the ceremonial, not without the gives of justification without the deeds of the moral law. But the works of that law which he intends, word of God has no such limita- is that of Abraham, who lived four tion, nor can any interpretation be hundred years before the giving of more contradictory to the design of the ceremonial law. Some again the whole epistle. For, l. The maintain that the apostle refers apostle is expressly treating of that only to works done before conlaw, by which is the knowledge version, and not to those of a rege. and conviction of sin : which is nerate state. But they are good evidently not the ceremonial, but works which the apostle excludes. the moral law. I had not known Now ? none of the works of unsin, but by the law : for I had not believers are good works. They known lust, except the law had are not only not good, but posisaid, Thou shalt not covet. 2. The tively sinful, since they spring not apostle is speaking of the whole from grace and faith : for “whatworld: of Gentiles, who had soever is not of faith is sin. He nothing to do with the ceremonial then would not so labour to exclude law, as well as Jews. The law such works from having any share which he intends, is that law which in our justification. By the deeds is written in the heart of every and works of the law nothing else man ; which ustops every mouth, can be intended than good works and pronounces every man, both of every kind, wrought by believers Jew and Gentile, guilty of the through the aids of grace: and it transgression of it in the sight of is repeatedly declared in the most God. This, then, can be no other solemn manner, that such works than the moral law. 3. The ob
are altogether inefficient to our jection which the apostle 'supposes salvation. Therefore we conclude will be made to this doctrine, has that a man is pardoned and acevidently nothing to do with the cepted by God simply by believing ceremonial law. The objection is, in Jesus Christ. That works of not that the neglect of the cere- every kind are utterly excluded monial law will lead to licentious. from any share in our justification, ness, but that if our own good whether they are the works of the works are not the ground of our ceremonial or of the moral law : acceptance with God, we shall cease that to this end they are all alike to regard them as necessary, and inadequate, whether done in a state then live in sin. He exclaims of nature, or in a state of grace. against the absurdity of this ob- The ground of the sinner's accepobservance of religious ordinances : humility, nor from a broken and but simply and solely in the cross contrite spirit, but from self-rightand righteousness of Jesus Christ. eousness and pride. They are In the sight of God, all are placed then hateful to God: they stand without distinction on the same in the way of the glory of his level. All are addressed in the
tance with God is not in himself : 9 Ne quisquam putaret hic apostolum it is not in any state of his heart, dixisse eâ lege neminem justificari, quæ nor in the highest excellency of in sacramentis veteribus multa continet his life, nor in the most punctual figurata præcepta, continuò subjunxit quam dixerit legem, et ait: Per legem enim cognitio peccati.-August. de Spir.
w Id. vi. 4.
* Rom. iv, 1. et Lit. viii. 14.
1 Τα δικαιωματα του νομου. * Rom. viii. 7. 3 Id. ii. 9.
z Rom. viii. 7. Id. i. 15. u Id. iii. 19.
a Id. xiv. 23. "Id. vi. l.
* Acts xvi. 30
grace : they dishonour Christ, and same terms, as sinners, as guilty, they proceed not from the working condemned and perishing sinners.
of the Holy Spirit. All are commanded at once d to The disposition to put our own forsake every sin, to believe in works, in some form or another, Jesus as their Saviour, and to live into the foundation of our expectawithout reserve to the glory of God. tions of forgiveness, and our hopes O, then let us for ever cast away of eternal life, is universal : it is all confidence in any works or merits scarcely to be eradicated from the of our own. Let us consider well mind of man. And until the proud the awful purity and holiness, the heart has been broken with an glory and majesty of that God, acute sense of its own pollution before whom each of us must soon and guilt, it will not humbly and appear : and sensible of our innu- solely rest for salvation upon the merable transgressions, our deep sufferings and meritorious obedi. pollution and utter unworthiness, ence of another : nor will it emlet us seek salvation in that only brace and rejoice in that leading way which the grace, and love, and and glorious gospel truth, Christ wisdom of God has been pleased to is the end of the law for righteousprovide. We still urge the im- ness to every one that believeth. portance and indispensible neces- Cordially to renounce all the merits sity of holiness and good works of of our own works, whilst our aim every kind. We still affirm that it is with heart and life to devote is the believer's duty and desire to ourselves to the service and glory obey the whole will of God, and to of God; and to rely with simple live to his glory : and to hate sin and lively faith solely upon Jesus as polluting to himself, and abo- Christ, is a work so great, and so minable to his God. The most opposed to the mind of man, as specious pretensions to a sense of only to proceed from the Spirit of pardoning love and to acceptance God. However, it is a state of with God through Jesus Christ, mind which is the invariable result without inward holiness and obe- of the gracious operations of the dience to his commands, are but
Holy Ghost. empty and vain. 'He that saith I
It may be to our advantage know him, and keepeth not his to consider the experience of commandments, is a liar, and the some of the most eminent of the truth is not in him. But yet it is saints of God. Job had not, of the utmost importance that we in holiness, his equal upon the assign to our good works only that earth : and yet, in language of which is given to them of God. the deepest self-abasement, he cries If we look upon them as making out— Behold I am vile: "I abhor amends for sin, or as procuring us myself, and repent in dust and acceptance in the sight of God, they spring, not from Christian
8 Rom. x. iv.
h Zech. iv, 6. c Gal, vi. 14. à Mark i. 15.
i Job i. 8.
j IX. xl. 4. e Exod. xv. 11. f 1 John ii. 4,
k Job xlii. 6.
ashes. 'If I justify myself, my which is of God by faith.” Such own mouth shall condemn me: if then were the views and expectaI say I am perfect, it shall also tions of those, whose faith we are prove me perverse.
m Abraham is exhorted to follow, considering the the instance which the inspired end of their conversation : Jesus apostle adduces to show that a Christ, the same yesterday, and toman is justified by faith, and not day, and for ever. Is it then safe, by works. David implores_Enter or scriptural, for us to trust to our not into judgment with thy ser- defective duties, and to our impervant: for in thy sight shall no man fect services, for the salvation of our living be justified. He has no souls ? Ah no, let us rather labour works, no worthiness to offer to to know ourselves : let us rather conciliate the favour of his Judge, pray for that work of grace, when he only prays
and we are brought to remember our • describes the blessedness of the own evil ways, and our doings that man, unto whom God imputeth were not good : and to loathe ourrighteousness without works, say- selves in our own sight for our ing-Blessed are they whose ini- iniquities, and for our abominaquities are forgiven, and whose sins tions. Let us rather, as chief of are covered. Blessed is the man sinners, cast ourselves at the feet unto whom the Lord will not im- of Christ, and look upon pardon
The prophet Isaiah and eternal life, not as the reward trembles at the manifestation of of merit, but as the freest gift of the holiness and majesty of God; grace, through the wonderful and and, sensible of his own defile- rich display of peculiar love. ments, exclaims in language of This is the doctrine which has terror and humiliation, p Woe is been clearly and distinctly held in me ! for I am undone : because I
u Clement in his epistle am a man of unclean lips. Nor to the Corinthians, speaking of the were his fears removed, until a Old Testament believers, saysseraph applied to him a type and They all therefore were glorified pledge of that, by which our ini- and magnified, not for their own quity is taken away, and our sin sake, or for their own works, or for purged. The writings of the apos- the righteousness that they themtle Paul abound with the most selves wrought, but through his direct and conclusive passages. will. And we also, being called by And when he speaks of his own the same will in Christ Jesús, are hopes of acceptance with God, a he not justified by ourselves, neither sums up his Jewish privileges, his by our own wisdom, nor knowledge, numerous sufferings, his apostolic nor piety, nor the works which we labours, and his Christian graces, have done in the holiness of our and renounces and rejects them hearts; but by that faith by which all : “ that I may win Christ, and Almighty God has justified all from be found in him, not having mine the beginning: to whom be glory own righteousness which is of the for ever and ever. Amen. law, but that which is through the If we inquire into the doctrine faith of Christ, the righteousness of the Church of England on this
i Job ix. 20. m Rom. iv.
9 Phil, iii.
r Heb. xiii. 7.