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other creatures, so in one whose heart the love of God is shed abroad by the Holy Ghost, not only consults his own true happiness, but is led to consult the happiness of others. Charity, saith the apostle Paul, “ suffereth long, and is ” kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth or not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave ( itself unseemly; seeketh not her own; is not “ easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth “ not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; “ beareth all things; believeth all things; hopeth ~ all things; endureth all things.” The Scriptures, indeed, mark love to the brethren as the great practical proof of our Christianity. Nothing can be more peremptory than the language of the beloved disciple. If a man say, “ I love God," and hateth his brother, he is a LIAR: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? On this point, however, there will be little dispute. Men are instinctively led, to measure, by their social effects, all pretensions of love to God. The question before us, and of which the scriptural decision will be far from uniting the mass of suffrage, is, how faith works by love?
The apostle asserts, that the faith of a Christian, instead of being a merely speculative assent to the abstract truth of the gospel, is an active moral principle, which cannot have its just course without embodying itself in deeds of goodness. The reasons are many and manifest--By faith in Christ Jesus, we are justified before God, our natural enmity against him is slain, and his love finds access to our hearts, By faith we embrace the exceeding great and precious promises, and, in embracing them, are made partakers of the divine nature; so that we are filled with all the fulness of God; and out of the abundance of the heart, not only does the mouth speak, but the man act: By faith we converse with our Lord Jesus Christ; are conformed to him; follow him in the regeneration; and learn to imitate that great example which he left us when he went about doing good. By faith we obtain the promised Spirit who sanctifies our powers both of mind and body, so that ice yielil our members instruments of righteousness unto God. By faith in Christ's blood, which redeems us from the curse of the law, we are also liberated from the vafsalage of sin: for the strength of sin is the law'; and, receiving the law as fulfilled and satisfied by his righteousness, come under its obligation in his covenant, and are enabled to keep it by his grace. Now the fulfilling of the lure", is love; love and kindness to God and our neighbour, in all our social relations: It is, therefore, impossible that faith should not work by love.
All the direstions of the book of God, for the practice of the moral virtues, consider them as the evolution of the principle of love residing in a heart which has been purified by faith. Our Lord's sermon on the mount, by the perversion of which many have seduced themselves and others into a lying confidence in their own fancied merits, was preached, not to the promiscuous multitude, but to his disciples, who professed faith in his name. And the scriptures of the apostles, especially the apostle of the Gentiles, follow the same order. They. address their instructions to the church of God
to the saints--to such as have obtained like precious faith with themselves. Not a moral precept escapes from their pen, till they have displayed the riches of redeeming love. But when, 'like wise master-builders, they have laid a broad and stable foundation in the doctrines of faith, they rear, without delay, the fair fabric of practical holiness. It is after they have conducted their pupils to the holiest of all, through the new and living way which Jesus hath opened, that you hear their exhorting voice, “ Mortify, therefore, your members " which are upon the earth; fornication, un“ cleanness, inordinate affection, evil concu• piscence, and covetousness which is idolatry. 6 Put off also all these, anger, wrath, malice, “ blasphemy, filthy communication out of your : “ mouth.—Lie not one to another, seeing ye
“ have put off the old man with his deeds, and
of all action, and sends forth its vigorous and healthful streams, purifying the heart, and æorking by love. · I should be unfaithful, my brethren, to truth and to you, were I to dismiss this subject without employing its aid for repelling an attack which is often made upon the Christian religion-for refuting the calumny which pretended friends have thrown upon its peculiar glory, the doctrine of faith-for correcting the error of those who, separating faith from holiness, have a name to live and are dead—and for stimulating believers to evince, by their example, both the truth of their profession and the power of their faith.'
The enemies of the gospel have invented various excuses for their infidelity. At one time, there is a defect of historical document: at another, they cannot surrender their reason to inexplicable mystery. Now, they are stumbled at a mission sanctioned by miracle: then, the proofs of revelation are too abstracted and metaphysical: and presently they discover, that no proof whatever can verify a revelation to a third person. But when they are driven from all these subterfuges: when the Christian apologist has demonstrated that it is not the want of evidence, but of honesty; that it is not an enlightened understanding, but a corrupted heart,