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"works of the law," could not be intended; for the law was not yet given.-" To him that work"eth is the reward not reckoned of grace but of "debt. But to him that worketh not, but be"lieveth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his "faith is counted for righteousness." Working of every kind is here excluded expressly from justication by grace, and therefore from justification by faith; and "worketh not" is explained by ungodly."-"Even as David also describeth the "blessedness of him unto whom God imputeth " righteousness without works.” 1 Are not works of all sorts here excluded from that justification of which the apostle was discoursing? The same is manifestly shewn, though not in exactly the same words, in many other places. By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, "it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man "should boast; for we are his workmanship, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which "God hath before ordained that we should walk "in them." Here works of every kind, are excluded from having saved us; and a new creation unto good works is considered as a part of our salvation. Works of every kind must then be excluded from any share in our justification." Who "hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, "not according to our works, but according to his "3 own purpose and grace. "Not by works of " righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us: that, being "justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
"according to the hope of eternal life." 1 No distinction is here made between one sort of works and another; or, rather, " works of righteousness" properly means obedience to the moral law.'"Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh "be justified before God, for by the law is the "knowledge of sin."-By what law is "the knowledge of sin?" By the moral, or by the ritual law? "I had not known sin but by the law; for "I had not known lust, except the law had said, "Thou shalt not covet."2 Now what law said, "Thou shalt not covet?" The ceremonial, or the moral? Indeed all the apostle's preceding discourse had been concerning the violations of the moral law, without one reference to the ceremonies, as even Dr. Taylor affirms. It is by referring to scriptures not at all connected with the ritual law, that the apostle brings his argument to this conclusion: "We know that what things so"ever the law saith, it saith to them that are under "the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and "all the world become guilty before God. There"fore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be "justified in his sight: for by the law is the "knowledge of sin."3 But why must ceremonial works exclusively be meant, by the "works of the "law?" No good reason can be assigned for such a limitation. Though ceremonial observances introduced the subject in the second chapter of Galatians; yet the apostle afterwards says, "I
'Tit. iii. 4-7.
a Rom. vii. 7. Gr. ̓Επιθυμίαν. Ουκ ἐπιθυμήσεις. Coveting. Thou shalt not covet. 3 Rom. iii. 9-20.
"through the law, am dead to the law:" which accords to his language elsewhere, when he says, "I was alive without the law once, but when the "commandment came, sin revived and I died; "1 where the moral law exclusively is meant, beyond all doubt: and he adds, "If righteousness come "by the law, then Christ is dead in vain ;" which equally holds good of the moral as of the ritual law." As many as are of the works of the law ❝ are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is
every one, that continueth not in all things "written in the law to do them."2 Now the passage to which the apostle refers wholly treats of sins against the moral law, without a single intimation of the ceremonies.3 "The works of the "law," therefore, do not exclude works of obedience to the moral law.-It was the tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet," which slew the self-righteous hopes of Saul of Tarsus.-Even real good works, "the fruits of the Spirit," (and let it be noted, that none else are called good works, in the New Testament,) can do nothing, towards our justification. Good works, which ' are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment.' 4 And also you 'have heard the ancient authors' minds of this 'saying, Faith in Christ only justifieth man, so plainly declared, that you see, that the very true "meaning of this proposition, or saying, We be "justified by faith in Christ only, (according to
Comp. Rom. vii. 7-9, with Gal. ii. 19-21. 2 Gal. iii. 10.
3 Deut. xxvii. 15-26.
'the meaning of the ancient authors,) is this: We
put our faith in Christ that we be justified by 'him only; that we be justified by God's free mercy, and the merits of our Saviour Christ only; and by no virtue or good work of our own 'that is in us, or that we can be able to have, or to do, for to deserve the same; Christ himself only 'being the cause meritorious thereof.'1
Let it not be thought that we exclude good works from our system.2 These have their place, and that of the greatest importance, yea, of absolute necessity but it is not as to our justification, in the least degree, except as evidencing our faith to be living and justifying. It may seem some'what extreme, which I will speak; therefore let every one judge of it, even as his own heart shall ❝ tell him, and no otherwise. I will but only make 'a demand: if God should yield unto us, not as 'unto Abraham, if fifty, forty, thirty, twenty, yea, 'or if ten good persons could be found in a city, for their sakes this city should not be destroyed: but and if he should make an offer thus large; 'Search all the generations of men, since the fall ' of our father Adam; find one man, that hath 'done one action, which hath passed from him 6 pure, without any stain or blemish at all; and 'for that one man's only action, neither man nor 'angel shall feel the torments which are prepared 'for both: Do you think that this ransom, to de'liver men and angels, could be found among the 'sons of men?-The best things which we do
'Homily of salvation, Part 3.
'See quotation from Hooker, p. 344.
I have somewhat in them to be pardoned; how then can we do any thing meritorious, or worthy to be rewarded..... We acknowledge a dutiful necessity of doing well; but the meritorious dig'nity of doing well we utterly renounce. We see 'how far we are from the perfect righteousness of the law; the little fruit which we have in holiness, it is, God knoweth, corrupt and unsound: we put no confidence at all in it; we challenge nothing in the world for it: we dare not call 'God to reckoning, as if we had him in our debtbooks: our continual suit to him is and must be, 'to bear with our infirmities and pardon our of'fences.'1 In this quotation the judicious Hooker goes even beyond our sentiments. The word. "unsound' seems too strong to be applied to the real good works of believers, "the fruits of the "Spirit:" yet these are grievously defective. "The fruits of the Spirit" in themselves are most holy but, as the most excellent wine, when put into a cask which has not been fully cleansed, loses much of its fine flavour, and contracts a disagreeable taste from the vessel through which it has passed; so is it with the "fruits of the Spirit" as produced by us. We must therefore still contend, that all works of man are wholly excluded from any share in our justification: and, whatever difference there may be in other respects, between moral and ceremonial works, there is none in this grand concern.
'Calvin concludes, that if works have any share
'Hooker of Justif. § 7.