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the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” Isa. iii. 10. Colquhoun : “Though the law, as a rule of duty to believers, has no sanction of judicial rewards or punishments, yet it has a sanction of gracious rewards and paternal chastisements.”
IV. God himself at the last day will determine men's characters by their works. “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” Eccles. xii. 14. Jesus himself said, “ The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John v. 28, 29. So says the last book of Scripture: “ The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” “They were judged every man according to their works.” Rev. xx. 12, 13. Compare also Dan. xii. 2, 3, and Matt. xxv. 31-46.
V. As both our Creator and our fellow men will judge us by our works, so also ought we to judge ourselves. No man has any more religion than controls his practice. He whose life is holy has a holy heart. He whose life is wicked has a wicked heart. All this is natural and fair.. If the tree is not to be known by its fruits, by what shall it be known? If the fountain may not be known by the streams it sends forth, then we can determine nothing. “Be not deceived ; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption : but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Gal. vi. 7, 8. We ourselves lay down the same rule in judging of our fellow-men. We marvel that a man, who, without subjecting himself to penal consequences, has done all he can to injure us, should suppose himself possessed of no malignity. Those religious principles and actions which cannot bear this test are of no value. God's plan is to subject all his people to severe trials, not for the sake of giving them pain, but to illustrate his grace and their character. So says the Psalmist. “ Thou, O God, hast proved us : thou hast tried us as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidest affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water : but thou broughtest us into a wealthy place. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings : I will pay thee my vows."
my vows." Ps. lxvi. 10-13 and onwards. So to Abraham God said, “Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” Gen. xxii. 12.
VI. Good works are useful to our brethren. “These things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men, Let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses.” Titus iii. 8, 14.
VII. The Scriptures do clearly assert the necessity of good works to prove our acceptance with God. “Be
ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James i. 22, 27. “ To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Sam. xv. 22. “Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John iii. 17, 18. “Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John xv. 8, 14. Every Christian grace is to be judged of by the life we lead. Thus the fear of God is to be estimated not according to the secret dread which his majesty creates, but by our holiness of life. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” The sincerity of our benevolence can be safely tested in no other way. James ii. 15, 16. It is only thus we can manifest our gratitude in a becoming way. Thus only can we be built up in a true assurance of eternal life. 2 Pet. i. 5–10. Thus only can we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 1 Pet. ii. 15; Phil. i. 11.
We are bound to maintain this view of the Moral Law and its obligations at all times and under all circumstances; especially, let not the pulpit give forth a doubtful utterance on this point. There is a class of men who will accuse us of being Legalists, if we solemnly enforce duty. Stowell: “If by legal preaching is meant the faithful and fervid enforcements of these commands on every man's conscience as the standard by which he is to walk now, and to be judged
hereafter, whence we demand, the dread of such a style of preaching? Surely not from an enlightened regard to the honour of God; we know nothing of that honour, but as we study and obey his law. Surely not from an enlightened attachment to the gospel: for we do not understand the gospel, but as it enlarges our conceptions of the divine law, and constrains us to fulfil it."
SALVATION IS NOT BY OUR OBEDIENCE TO THE
LAW. THERE are two capital errors respecting the law.
1 One maintains that we are justified by it. The other asserts that we are under no obligation to obey it. The last of these will be considered hereafter. The first now claims our attention.
The following things are made remarkably clear in God's word.
I. ALL MEN ARE SINNERS. In proof of this proposition we have the unanswered and unanswerable argument of the Apostle Paul in the first three chapters of his epistle to the Romans. In the first chapter he proves that all the Gentiles are sinners. In the second, he shows that the Jews are involved in the same condemnation. In the third, he shows that all men indiscriminately have offended God, maintaining that, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” This great argument is but the summing up of irrefragable statements found in all the Scriptures, and confirmed by universal observation.
II. MAN IS UNDER A CURSE. The reason is because he is a transgressor. This was declared at the giving of the law. Moses said, “Behold, I set before you