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a doctrine which he repeats in a variety of passages too numerous to mention here, and confirms by a number of practical exhortations which, you will recollect, are appended to every one of his apostolical epistles.

It was not therefore to contradict St. Paul, but only to reconcile one passage of his writings with another, and two apparently different but really connected doctrines of the gospel, that St. James wrote the words of the text. “Faith,' such is the meaning of the passage, 'is indeed necessary to salvation, and the only principle from which we ought to act. But still, “ faith, if it hath not works, is dead;" it is not only useless, -it is dead, it has no life, it has no existence,- it is not faith,-a genuine, living, saving faith at all; “ Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith and I have works ; -a sound Christian may argue with his adversary, You may possess indeed that abstract profession and shadow of belief which is kept stored up in the imagination alone, but has never found its way into the heart or the life; but I prefer that the whole course of my conduct, as well as the mere words of my lips, should consistently proclaim the reality of mine: “Shew me,” if thou canst, “thy faith without thy works;" prove if you can find any other mode by which man is wont to express the feelings of his heart;

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assert, if


think any one will trust you on such evidence, that


believe in that God who loves holiness, even while you are not holy, that you believe that gospel which requires obedience, even when you do not strive to obey. But, for my part, I am not content that the certainty of my faith should depend on such feeble evidences as these ; I will not hope that others will trust me, nay, I will not trust myself that it is sincere, unless its proceeds and its consequences are able to prove it in the sight of God and man; and so I will let my life also exhibit the truth of that which my lips profess, and “I will shew


faith by my works.”

II. Thus we see that those principles which some have supposed to be contrary and opposed to each other, are, in reality, only one and the same doctrine, explained, illustrated, and carried out into its natural consequences. But before I leave this part of my discourse, I will briefly mention two or three remarkable arguments in the chapter from which the text is taken, by which St. James has further substantiated the doctrine which has been stated above. The first of these is as follows: “What doth it profit," says he, “though a man say he bath faith and have not works? Can faith save him? brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily

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food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye gave them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith if it hath not works is dead."* Just as absurd would it be, (is his meaning,) to say to a poor brother,—“ Brother, I compassionate thy case,go, be filled and be satisfied,”—and yet do nothing to relieve him; as to say, “Lord, I believe, and trust in thee, accept my belief, accept my homage,” and yet do nothing to promote bis service. As compassion and charity are mere unmeaning and empty names, unless the life also be compassionate and charitable, so devotion and faith are absolute nonentities, and can scarcely be said to exist, if they have their place in the lips or the imagination alone.

Again, he says in the 19th verse, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe and tremble.' This also is another argument to show that it is possible to have a certain faith, and yet that that faith may be perfectly useless, nay, that it

that it may rather condemn than save us, if it be not accompanied with obedience. The very worst of beings may believe in God; they may believe, in one sense, every article of the Christian scheme, and yet who would call that faith, a living, saving faith, which has not made them better men, and more consistent followers of Christ? So that it is plain that corresponding works are not only necessary as evidences or proofs, but are actually essential parts in the constitution of faith itself, without which it cannot be said even to have a real existence.

* James ii. 14, 15, 16, 17.

Thirdly; in the 21st verse of this chapter he appeals to the very same argument by which St. Paul proved the doctrine of justification by faith, to shew that that faith itself was evidenced and perfected by works. " Was not Abraham our father,” he asks, "justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar ?" “ Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” And on the same principle he further intimates that in all those cases which St. Paul has recorded of remarkable and distinguished faith, it was by corresponding actions, (as we know it to have been the case especially in the character of Abraham) that that faith was evidenced in the sight of both God and man.

And, lastly, he completes his summary of arguments by a comparison derived from the life of the body, asserting that, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Inert indeed, and inactive as the dead* is that cold and dormant principle of faith which finds not its vent in external manifestations like these. It has but the name and the form, it has nothing of the spirit of devotion; it has nothing of life, nothing of animation; it can scarcely be said even to exist, or, at its very best, is little more than an empty and unmeaning name.

III. It is the doctrine of our church, therefore, a doctrine which you will see is framed from a comparison of both these apostles, and the general spirit of scripture, and which, you will also observe, is equally removed from extremes on both sides,—that, while on the one hand, "we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that will;"+ so, on the other, "good works are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit."

* See the Fourth Homily of our church, “Of the true, lively, and christian Faith.” A passage is there quoted from “ A book intituled to be of Didymus Alexandrinus,” to this effect;" Forasmuch as faith without works is dead, it is not now faith, as a dead man is not a man. This dead faith, therefore, is not that sure and substantial faith which saveth sinners." + Article x.

| Article xii.

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