Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/78

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test, according to St. John's canon, "He who doeth righteousness is righteous." Do not you see then your argument is already proved to be unsound? It seems that true doctrine and warm feelings are not enough. How am I to know what is enough? you ask. I reply, by searching Scripture. It was your original fault that, instead of inquiring what God has told you is necessary for being a true Christian, you chose out of your own head to argue on the subject;—e. g. "I can never believe that to be such and such is not enough for salvation," &c. Now this is worldly wisdom.

Let us join issue then on this plain ground, whether or not the doctrine of "the Church," and the duty of obeying it, be laid down in Scripture. If so, it is no matter as regards our practice, whether the doctrine is primary or secondary, whether the duty is much or little insisted on. A Christian mind will aim at obeying the whole counsel and will of God; on the other hand, to those who are tempted arbitrarily to classify and select their duties, it is written, "Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven."

And here first, that you may clearly understand the ground I am taking, pray observe that I am not attempting to controvert any one of those high evangelical points, on which perhaps we do not altogether agree with each other. Perhaps you attribute less efficacy to the Sacrament of Baptism than I do; bring out into greater system and prominence the history of an individual's warfare with his spiritual enemies; fix more precisely and abruptly the date of his actual conversion from darkness to light; and consider that Divine Grace acts more arbitrarily against the corrupt human will, than I think is revealed in Scripture. Still, in spite of this difference of opinion, I see no reason why you should not accept heartily the Scripture doctrine of "the Church." And this is the point I wish to press, not asking you to abandon your present opinions, but to add to them a practical belief in a tenet which the Creed teaches and Scripture has consecrated. And this surely is quite possible. The excellent Mr. ——, of ——, who has lately left ——, was both a Calvinist, and a strenuous High-Churchman.

You are in the practice of distinguishing between the Visible and Invisible Church. Of course I have no wish to maintain, that those who shall be saved hereafter are exactly the same company that are under the means of grace here; still I must insist on it, that Scrip-