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If we compare three remarkable sentences of the apostle Paul, it will appear, that according to him, saving faith and gospel holiness, or evangelical obedience, are not two distinct things; but really one and the same. They are the following: "For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, "For in

BUT FAITH WHICH WORKETH BY LOVE."* Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, BUT A NEW CREATURE."t "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing,

BUT THE KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD." The two first of these sentences are the same

in words, except the last clause in them. For faith which worketh by love, in the first, he puts, a new creature, in the second. There appears no way to make the apostle consistent, but taking faith that worketh by love, and the new creature, to mean one and the same thing. But by the new creature is meant that holiness which takes place in men under the gospel, by their being “created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Faith then, which worketh by love, is the new creature exercising itself in acts of evangelical holiness. And it can be nothing else, according to the natural and necessary meaning of the phrase, "Faith which worketh by love, as it has been explained. For if the life and operative nature of faith be love: then gospel holiness is the essence of faith, and this is the new creature. And it hence appears, that the last sentence is perfectly agreeable to the former, and asserts the same thing; for faith which worketh by love, and the new creature, are gospel holiness, or evangelical obedience, and this consists in keeping the commandments of God our Saviour, and can mean nothing, more or less.

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Thus it appears evident from the representation of this subject in the scripture, that saving faith and evangelical obedience, are not two distinct things, or dif ferent kinds of exercises; but are so far one and the same, that believing on Jesus Christ intends and implies the whole. Not only is faith an act of evangelical obe. dience; but every act of gospel holiness is an exercise of saving faith, which implies the whole. And the rea* Gal. v. 6. † Chap. vi. 15. § Eph. ii. 10.

1 Cor. vii. 19.

son and consistence of this will appear, if the whole that has been observed from scripture concerning faith, be kept in view, and properly considered.

It has been shewn, that saving faith does not consist in mere speculation, but right and holy disposition and exercise of heart is implied in it, and essential to it; and that this exercise of heart is love, which is the life and operative nature of saving faith. It is love, discerning, tasting and approving of the divine perfections and truths revealed in the gospel; and particularly, discerning and delighting in the character of Jesus Christ, and heartily receiving, adhering to him, and trusting in him, in the character and offices which he sustains, as the Saviour of sinners. And in these exercises all gospel holiness, or evangelical obedience, consists. It all consists in love; for there is no obedience which does not consist in love, love to God, manifest in the flesh, and the love to our neighbour, which is implied in this. This love is exercised in viewing Jesus Christ in the light in which the gospel sets him, in receiving and trusting in him, and paying proper acknowledgments to him; or, which is the same, in conforming to him, his character, example, doctrines and precepts, in heart and life. In one word, it is all comprehended and consists in RECEIVING Jesus Christ-and all external obedience or holiness, expressed in words and actions, is but a proper outward expression of an inward, hearty receiving Jesus Christ, in a cordial compliance with the gospel.

This may be illustrated farther, by attending to a few particulars. Hearkening to Christ, or yielding and submitting to his teaching and instructions, is the same with receiving him as a prophet and teacher. Every act of true submission to Christ, and obeying him, is receiving him in his kingly office. All self denial for his sake, and every instance of voluntary suffering in his cause, is an exercise and expression of faith in him, and relying on his promises, or trusting in him. Following Christ as his disciple, and cleaving to him, in hope of salvation by him, is the same with actually receiving him and trusting in him as a Saviour. The exercise of true humility, in self condemnation, and renouncing all self dependence, is implied in receiving Christ as our

righteousness and strength. Actually forsaking sin in heart and life, is an actual acceptance of deliverance and freedom from sin and therefore an actual acceptance of Christ as a Saviour from sin. And the practice of christian holiness, in every branch of it, is an actual acceptance of Christ, as our sanctification. Heartily engaging in the cause of Christ, forsaking all things for his sake, seeking the interest of his kingdom, as the first and most important object, is an exercise and expression of love and union of heart to him, and a cordial receiving him as the Son of God, and Saviour of men.

Therefore, if receiving Christ is the same with believing on him, or comes into the essence of saving faith; then all gospel holiness, as it has respect to Christ, and is a practical receiving him in his true character, is really the exercise of saving faith, and is all included in it.— This is that by which faith operates, in the proper exertions of it, and is made perfect. And we are hence led to see the meaning and propriety of the following words, as a concise description of evangelical faith and holiness. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye IN HIM. And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."*

But a question may be suggested in the minds of some, from the foregoing account of saving faith, which it will be proper to answer, as this may serve to render the subject more clear and intelligible. It is as follows;

QUESTION. If hope, love and repentance are saving faith, and if every christian grace, and all the branches of gospel holiness, are implied in faith, and really are faith, why are these distinguished, and called by these different names, in the scriptures? We find faith, hope, and love, mentioned and distinguished as different graces. And we often find a particular enumeration of

* Col. ii. 6. iii. 17." The obedience of a christian, so far as it is truly evangelical, and performed with the spirit of the Son sent forth into the heart, has all relation to Christ the Mediator; and is but an expression of the soul's believing unition to Christ. All evangelical works, are works of that faith that worketh by love; and every such act of obedience, wherein it is inward, and the act of the soul, is only a new, effective act of recep tion of Christ, and adherence to the glorious Saviour."-President Ed wards' Discourse on Justification by Faith alone, page 83.

the several christian graces, such as faith, love, hope, joy, humility, repentance, righteousness, goodness, godliness, meekness, patience, temperance, &c. If all these are faith, or included in it, why are they distinguished from it, as they seem to be?

ANS. 1. It must be evident to every one who will attend, that the various christian exercises, which are denoted by different names in scripture, and commonly called christian graces, are not in themselves so distinct and different as not to imply each other. To suppose them to be distinct, separate and independent one of another, is manifestly contrary to truth, and tends to confuse and mislead the mind in attending to subjects of this nature.

True grace, or christian holiness, is, in the nature of it, one and the same thing, though as it is exerted, and appears in various exercises, on different occasions, in different circumstances, and towards different objects, there is a diversity, or it puts on different forms, from which it is called by different names; while yet, in substance and essence, it is the same thing.


It is abundantly evident from scripture, that love is the whole of all christian grace. This is all that is required of men. In this the law is fulfilled and obeyed. Therefore, all christian holiness consists in this. follows, that all christian graces are love in the various branches of it, exercised and expressed on various occasions, in different circumstances, and towards different objects.

The apostle Paul says, "All the law (meaning the second table of it) is fulfilled in one word, even in this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."* Yet he denominates the various exercises, in which men do, by this love, serve one another, by different names, such as goodness, mercy, gentleness, patience, meekness, long suffering, &c. In the same manner love to God, which is the whole that is required in the first table of the law, is called love, faith, trust in God, fear, hope, joy, repentance, humility, &c. according to the different views and circumstances in which this same love is exercised: All which, therefore, are the exercises of one

• Gal. v. 14.

and the same affection, and do involve and imply each other, and are in substance and essence the same.

The new creature, produced by the Spirit of God in regeneration, by which men are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, is that in which all christian holiness consists. This is the moral image of God; the divine nature communicated and implanted; or Christ formed in the soul. And this consists in a principle of true love. And all the exercises and obedience of a christian, through the course of a holy life, are the exertions and exercises of this love, this new creature. It is the same life and active nature, by which the christian lives, and acts in a holy manner, on all occasions: the new creature living and acting: As much so, as the various exercises of an animal are the same life, exerting itself and acting.

Unless we have this view of the grace or holiness of a christian, as it is exercised on all proper occasions, and towards different objects, and in manifold various circumstances, called love, faith, hope, repentance, &c. our thoughts on this subject will be attended with a degree of darkness and confusion.

Ans. 2. Notwithstanding christian holiness is one and the same thing in the nature and essence of it, and every branch of evangelical obedience is the exercise of the same principle and life; yet this same love or holiness, as it is exercised in different modes and forms, on various occasions, in peculiar circumstances, and with respect to different and opposite objects, may properly be distinguished by different names: Yea, this is convenient and necessary, in order to the most exact and clear communication of the ideas which are essential to the right understanding of this subject. In the course of a christian life, the same holy principle, the same in kind, nature and substance, exerts itself on various oecasions, and puts on different modes, and appears in different forms, as it respects the different circumstances of the subject exercising himself, and the different and opposite objects, which are particularly regarded by the mind: And it is proper and necessary, in order to represent and express, in the best manner, this exercise in the different modes and forms of it, to call it by different

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