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A True and Lively Faith Produces Works

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EDITED BY REV. HENRY NEWLAND, Isaiah, xlv. 15. Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, God of Israel, the Saviour
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  A TRUE AD LIVELY FAITH PRODUCES WORKSEDITED BY REV. HERY EWLAD, Isaiah, xlv. 15. Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, God of Israel, the Saviour IF you ask a child in the school how he has obtained his knowledge of God, his ready answer will be, From the Bible. You re mind him, however, that the Bible is a large book, that he himself is an indifferent scholar, who has not even read one hundredth part of it, nor understood a hundredth part of what he has read. You say that it is quite true that all that is known of God may be found in the Bible, but you doubt very much whether he has found it there himself. You then repeat your question. The child, led to think for himself, and not to answer in common-places, will now probably remember 72 2 WORKS DO SPRIG OUT ECESSARILY that all that he has learnt of God he has learnt from the Catechism, and from the answers and explanations of those whom God has authorised to teach him his father and mother the parson, or the parson s deputy and substitute, the schoolmaster. That is to say, he has learnt it from the Church, from the lips of those lay and clerical members of it whom God has appointed to  be its representatives to him. You narrow the question still farther. If he has learnt concerning God from that autho rised formulary of his own Church, the Cate chism, from what part of it has he learnt it especially ? This will draw his attention to the Apostles Creed, which really is the main doctrine of the Bible, arranged so that it may be easily com mitted to memory. And, lastly, the question, What dost thou chiefly learn in these articles of thy belief? reduces the doctrine to this form : First, a belief in God the Father, Who hath made us and all the world. Secondly, a belief in God the Son, Who hath redeemed us and all mankind. Thirdly, a belief in God the Holy Ghost, Who sanctifieth us and all the elect people of God. OF A TRUE AD LIVELY FAITH. 3 That is, a belief in the Trinity abstractedly, that God is three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and a belief in the Trinity relatively to ourselves, the several offices in relation to us, performed by the three Persons of that Godhead, the Maker, the Eedeemer, the Preserver. But this is the doctrine of Trinity Sunday,  which sums up all that has been said at large by the Church ever since Advent, just as this recapitulation of the Creed sums up all that has been said in the Bible. It is the heading of the doctrines given by God to that Church, into which every one who has been admitted at all must have been admitted in the ame of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This, therefore, is the sum of our Faith, all that we have been considering from Advent up to Trinity Sunday. We will first reca pitulate this, and then show how intimately it is connected with the sum of our duty, which we are about to consider from the first Sunday after Trinity to the end of the spiritual year. First, we will recapitulate that which has been taught us already. You have understood that which has hitherto been explained from Advent Sunday to this time; you can conceive that, we having lost our inheritance, and the Lord having promised 4 WORKS DO SPRIG OUT ECESSARILY to regain it for us, He was expected upon earth in Advent. It is hard to understand how the Almighty God could vouchsafe so far to put off the Godhead as to be born at Christmas time of a pure virgin but you are told so you can believe it, and with thankfulness you lay it to heart. That the Lord should be manifested to the world, that He should set His followers an ex ample of what a perfect man was in this world of sin and shame is easy to understand, if we  have taken in the doctrines of Christmas. If the Lord God was born into the world, and became man at all, it could not fail but that He would be manifest to the wide world of the Gentiles, and that He would be Perfect Man as He was Perfect God. That He suffered for our sins we can imagine; when we know how it is that this wicked world is in the habit of treating those who have done it most good, we can hardly think it would be otherwise with Him Who has done us most good of all. When we know, from ancient history, that man rebelled against God in Heaven, we can hardly suppose that he would not rebel against God in earth. But can God die? It is hard to conceive it, but not harder than to conceive that God should be born. In putting on the Manhood, OF A TRUE AD LIVELY FAITH. 5 such as we had made it, He put on all the weaknesses and all the ills that we had brought upon it. It was not the Image of God in which man was first created that He put on, but the image of man, such as Adam begat after his fall ; and if Adam brought death into the world, then must the Lord God put on death, as well as other ills, when He put on Adam s image. All the rest is easy to conceive. If the Lord God made Himself subject to death, it was, as St. Peter says, impossible that He should be holden of it. If He did pass through the shame and humiliation of Good

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Jul 28, 2017
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