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The mystery of our salvation is thus opened by St. Paul : ‘By grace are ye saved, through faith which worketh by love.' This apostolic declaration subdivides itself into the following propositions, which, on account of their clearness and importance, may, with propriety, be called GOSPEL Axioms.-(1.) 'Ye are saved by grace.'-(2)' Ye are saved through a faith which works by love.'— These propositions, like two adamantine pillars, support the whole doctrine of Christ, concerning faith and works ; grace and rewardableness; or mercy on God's part, and obedience on our own :-A doctrine which, though clear as the day, has nevertheless heen so obscured by endless controversies, that thousands of Protestants and Papists know it in its purity no more.

According to the First of these axioms, all that go to heaven give Divine Grace the glory of their salva

because they are all saved by mere tavour, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. And according to the SECOND axiom, all that go to hell are obliged to clear Divine Justice, because they are con. demned merely for their avoidable unbelief, and obstinate disobedience. Upon this evangelical plan, the righteous are graciously rewarded, and the unrighteous justly punished; the doctrine of God's mercy, in giving grace for Christ's sake, and of man's faithfulness


in using it by Christ's help, sweetly coincide ; and from their blessed union springs the just proportion of every part of the gospel.

These axioms are so strongly maintained, and so frequently alluded to, by the sacred writers, that whoever rejects either the oue or the other might reject one half of the Bible. Attentively consider them asunder, and your unprejudiced reason will perceive their equity. In lly compare them together, and instead of finding them imcompatible, (as some prepossessed persons would persuade us they are,) you will see, that they harmonise in so exquisite a manner, as to answer the most excellent ends in the world.

To give you an idea of their working in the breast of believers, permit me to compare them to those two opposite, and yet consentaneous, motions of the heart, which anatomists call diastole and systole. The one forcibly dilates, the other powerfully contracts, that noble part of the human body; and both together, by means seemingly contrary, cause the circulation of the blood, and diffuse vital powers through all the animal frame. Just so, passive faith, and active love. The ove perpetually receives favours from God, the other perpetually bestou's them upon man ; and thus, by continually performing their contrary (not contradictory) offices, they make spiritual life circulate throughout the believer's soul, and enable him to diffuse kindness and good works throughout the social body of which he is a member.

From the animal we pass to the planetary world ; and we shall see another striking emblem of the harmonious opposition which subsists between the two gospel-axioms. There we eminently discover the cenn tripetal and the centrifugal force. Though opposed to each other, they are nevertheless so admirably joined together, that from their exquisite combination results the harmonious dance of the spheres : I mean, the circular motion of the planets around the sun, and around each other.--Such is the wonderful effect of evangelical promises and legal precepts, when they meet in a due proportion, in an upright heart. The promises, wnich are all wrapped up in the first gospel-axiom, powerfully draw believers to Christ, who is the Sun of Righteousness, and the centre of the Christian system; the precepts, which the second axiom necessarily supposes, drive them forward in the straight line of duty, Being thus delightfully attracted, and powerfully impelled, like planets of a different magnitude, in the firmament of the church, believers rapidly move in the orb of evangelical obedience, where the original light of Christ warmly shines into their own souls, and their borrowed light mildly gleams upon their fellow-mortals.

If ever you saw a person, thus swiftly and evenly moving in the immense circle of religious and social duty ; freely receiving all from his God, and freely imparting all to his neighbour ; you have seen one of the' stars in the Lord's right hand ;'—you have seen one who practically holds the two gospel-axioms :-one, who believes as a sinner, and works as a believer ;-one, in whose heart, the doctrines of faith and works, free grace and free obedience, divine fuithfulness and human fidelity, are justly balanced ;-one who keeps at an equal distance from the dreadful rocks upon which Antinomian believers, and Antichristian workers, are daily cast away. In a word, you have seen an adult Christian, a man who “adorus the doctrine of Christ our Saviour in all things.'

If the two gospel-axioms are of such importance, that the health and vigour of every Christian flow from the proper union of their power in his heart, is it not deplorable to see so many people every where rising against them ? Self-conceited moralists violently attack the first axiom ; and self-humbled solifidians will give the second no quarter. Those opposed assailants have all, I grant, a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge ; for the former know not, that they rob God of his glory; and the latter do not consider, that they pour upon hini our shame. The one refuse to acknowledge him the grand author of our bliss; the other, to mend the matter, represent him as the grund contriver of our

ruin. Both, nevertheless, have truth on their side ; but alas ! it is only a part of the truth as it is in Jesus ; and truth divided, like an animal cut through the middle, is dreadfully mangled, if not entirely destroyed.

You are also desired to observe, judicious Reader, that as a just proportion of sail and ballast, next to a favourable wind, makes a ship sail with speed and safety ; so the just balance of the two gospel-axioms, next to the Spirit of God, makes a believer run swiftly and safely the race that is set before him. He does not properly run, he merely hops in the way of truth, who, discarding one of the gospel-axioms, moves only upon the other. Antinomian Laodiceans, therefore, and Antichristian Pharisees, are equally blameable. For the piety of the former stands only upon the first axiom ; and the devotion of the latter has no other basis than the second. The one will hear of nothing but faith ; the other will be told of nothing but works. But the sound believer is for a faith that works righteousness.

“Faith unfeigned” and “obedieut love,” are of equal importance to the true Christian. Those precious graces, which answer to the gospel-axioms, like a wellproportioned pair of heavenly steeds, mutually draw the steady chariot of his profession across the valleys of discouragement, and over the hills of difficulty, which he meets with in his way to heaven. If I might carry on the allegory, I would observe, that all the advantage which the right-hand steed has over the other, is, that it is first put in the traces ; but this is no proof of his superiority, for he will be taken off at the gate of heaven; and “obedient love” alone shall have the honour of drawing the Christian's triumphal car through the realms of glory.

Reader, if in the theory and practice you maintain both gospel-axioms; if, instead of setting up the one in opposition to the other, you stand upon the scriptural line in which they harmonize; you have sur. mounted the greatest difficulty there is in the Christian religion : You hold the faith once delivered unto the saints.' And now, prepare to contend for it; arm your


self for the fight ; for Antinomian believers will attack you on the left hand, and Pharisaic unbelievers on the right. But be not afraid of their number ; patiently receive their double fire. They may gall one another, but they cannot hurt you.

Truth is great, and love powerful : If you fight under their glorious banners, though the arrows of contempt, and the brands of calumny, will fly thick arouud you, you shall not be dangerously wounded. Only take the shield of faith,' with this motto, ‘By grace I am saved through faith ;' and quench with it the fiery darts of self-couceited legalists. “Put on the breastplate of righteousness,' with this inscription, “ Faith works by righteous love, the mother of good works :" This piece of celestial armour, will keep off the hea. viest stroke of self-humbled gospellers. And animated by the Captain of your salvation, through the opposite forces of those adversaries, urge your evangelicallylegal way, till you exchange the sword of the Spirit for a 'golden harp,' and your daily cross for a-heavenly crown.

Such is the happy medium, that the author of this book desires to recommend. Some time ago, he thought himself obliged to oppose good mistaken men, who, in their zeal for the first gospel-axiom, wanted to represent the second as a “ dreadful heresy.” And now he lets these papers see the light, not only to prove to the free-thinkers of his parish, that the first axiom is highly ratioual, but to convince the enemies of the second axiom, that, though he has exposed their mistakes with regard to works, he receives the genuine doctrines of grace as cordially as they ; and is ready scripturally and rationally to defend salvation by faith, against the inost plausible objections of self-righteous moralists.

He just begs leave to observe, that the preceding pages guard the first gospel-axiom ; that the Four Checks to Antinomianism guard chiefly the second : That the Equal Check to Pharisaism and Antinomianism guards both at once; and that those tracts contain a little system of practical and polemical divinity, which,

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