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in such case, no such conclusion could have been drawn.
According to the plausible idea adopted on this subject, which, as it strikes me, substitutes one erroneous doctrine for another, the duties of Christianity are represented as growing out of the doctrines of it," as the natural and necessary productions of such a living root." The fallacy in this case proceeds from a scripture allusion being taken in a too literal sense. Allusions are made use of to convey some similitude, not an exact representation of the subject in question. "A tree will produce according to its kind, by a merely physical result, if no impediment take place. Faith also will produce its own effects, if no moral hindrance shall prevail. But the obvious difference between merely natural results, and those which are of a moral nature, must be constantly remembered. Extend the comparison to those parts which are unlike in the several subjects, and you confound their natures; and the consequences will be most gross and erroneous."* The duties of Christianity must grow out of the doctrines of it, or they would not be Christian duties: but they certainly are not the necessary production of those doctrines; if they were, then every one who had the doctrines of Christianity in his head, must consequently have the duties of Christianity in his practice. Sad experience, however, tells us, that this is too often not the case. St. Paul, in his epistles, proceeds, like a wise master-builder, by laying his foundation
* Considerations on the Christian Covenant, by Archdeacon Pott, p. 100.
in Christ, as the only foundation upon which Christ. ian practice can be built. But had he considered that the doctrinal lesson contained chiefly in the first part of his epistles, must necessarily produce its practical effects, the conclusion of his epistle had in a great degree been unnecessary. His having, therefore, subjoined a practical lesson to his doctrinal one, proves that he did not consider the one as necessarily growing out of the other, “just as (we are told) any other consequence grows out of its cause." In fact, he knew, that although Christian doctrine constituted the only foundation for Christian practice, he knew at the same time, that they were not so inseparably connected, that the latter was a necessary consequence of the former ; otherwise, after having laid before his disciples the particulars of the Christian doctrine, he would not, it is probable, have thus concluded his important lesson: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."* Or, as he has still more strongly concluded in his second epistle to the Corinthians," Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."+
Cause and effect in the regular course of nature are correlative terms, being connected together by an inseparable bond of union. Nevertheless, as the moral and physical world are not governed by the same necessary laws, a strict correspondence between them is not to be expected. Faith and +2 Cor. vii. 1.
* Rom. xii. 1.
works may, in some sense, be considered as correlative terms, and as such they ought not to be separated. But the two words, ought not and cannot, convey two very different meanings. It is surely a different thing to say, that faith and works ought not to be separated, because perfect Christianity depends upon their constant connexion; and to say, that the union between them is indivisible. Had St. Paul thought so, instead of making the promises of the Gospel, the ground of his argument for human exertion, in the work of salvation, by beseeching his disciples to " present their bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable to God;" as if he had said, seeing, my brethren, such promises of salvation have been made to you through Jesus Christ, therefore, on this ground of hope, in the confidence that your labour will not be vain in the Lord, let me beseech you so to make use of the grace of God, that ye may thereby become "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;"* the language of the Apostle ought to have been this: "Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let me beseech you" to receive them in faith; in such case I shall have to congratulate you upon the certain effect that will be produced by them, as the consequence necessarily growing out of its cause; in such case you will be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and your bodies will be presented a living sacrifice, acceptable to God. An idea which, it will be readily perceived, the words of St. Paul were not designed to convey. Paul did not, therefore, sus
* Col. i. 12.
pert that the intirisible union between faith and works might “ wasibly be overlooked;"* because, if I understand him, he did not consider that any such union existed. The object of his address to his disciples was, to prevent them from separating what, according to the Divine economy of man's salvation, it was intended should always be joined together; and thus, by having the grace of God bestowed on them in vain, rendering the promises of the Gospel of none effect. "These things I will (said Paul, in his directions to Titus) that thou affirm constantly," as a matter of most essential importance, that "they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”+ Indeed, were the general tenor of St. Paul's writings duly attended to, we should not have his authority brought forward in support of a doctrine, which, though it does not openly preach Antinomianism, will, it is to be feared, insensibly promote it.
In page 52, you bring forward the celebrated Bishop of Meaux, for the sake of impressing upon the reader's mind the idea, that whilst, according
Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education, by Hannah More. No one who regards this lady with the respect to which she is entitled, from her zeal for the honour of God, and the welfare of the community, but must remark with reluc tance, that in writings confessedly containing so much of what is excellent and truly spiritual, any doctrine should be met with not perfectly sound. Would this lady take the trouble to consult the learned Hammond, she would be convinced, I flatter myself, that the paraphrase annexed by him to the text in ques tion, does more justice to the Apostle's argument, than does the conclusion which she herself has inadvertently drawn from it. † Titus iii. 8.
to your opinion, I differ from Mr. Wilberforce, and the Church of England, on the subject of faith, there is an exact conformity between my doctrine and that of this renowned Popish champion. To this I shall only answer, that I have not been in the habit of considering a Roman Catholic to be no Christian, because he is a Roman Catholic. On the contrary, I consider that Roman Catholics hold the fundamental doctrines of Christianity in greater purity than some Protestants. Nor should it be forgotten, for how much of our excellent Liturgy we are indebted to men who were Catholics; a circumstance which, so far from being thought in any respect derogatory to it, has generally been regarded as a pleasing proof of its venerable antiquity.
Many uninformed persons are led into error by the word PROTESTANT. We talk of the PROTESTANT religion and the Protestant faith, as if the religion and faith of a Protestant were essentially and totally different from those of the Roman Catholic. Whereas it should be remembered, that in the most essential articles of the Christian faith, the Church of England and the Church of Rome are agreed. Their disagreement respects those errors and corruptions, which have been superadded by the Romish Church to the original doctrines of Christianity; in the rejection of which errors and corruptions, the Protestantism of the Church of England consists. To the quotation from the Bishop of Meaux I readily subscribe, as containing, what I understand to be, sound divinity. The doctrine you have opposed to it, is not to be found any where