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Doers and Not Hearers Only

Doers and Not Hearers Only

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Published by glennpease

JAMES, 1. 122 25.

JAMES, 1. 122 25.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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DOERS AD OT HEARERS OLYBy THOMAS SCOTTJAMES, 1. 122 25.But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,deceiving your own selves. For ij t any be a hear-er of the word, and not a doer, lie is like unto aman beholding his natural face in a glass. Forhe beholdeth himself] and goeth his way, andstraightway forgetteth what manner of man hewas. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not af ot get ful hearer, but a doer of the work, this manshall be blessed in his deed*THE apostle James seems to have especially in-tended his epistle, as an antidote to the delusion of those, who ahused the doctrines of grace; and who,expecting salvation by a dead faith, consideredgood works as altogether superfluous. This mayaccount for the remarkable difference, between hislanguage and that of St. Paul ; who was chieflyemployed in contending against such as ran intoSERMOX XIII. 317the opposite extreme. Having therefore shownthat temptations and sins must not be ascribed toGod, the unchangeable Giver of every good andperfect gift ; and observed that the word of truthis the grand mean of regenerating sinners, andrendering them willing to consecrate themselvesunto God : he gives some directions concerningthe manner, in which men hear and receive the di-vine message, that it may be "in them an engraft -
"ed word, able to save their souls." He then in-troduces the passage, which I have chosen for thesubject of our present meditation, and concludeswith these remarkable words ; " If any man among" you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his" tongue, but deceiveth his own heart : this man's" religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled" before God and the Father is this ; to visit the" fatherless and widows in their affliction, and tou keep himself unspotted from the world." Thereligion which God approves, when viewed apartfrom the principles whence it springs, and the ordi-nances through which it is prodwed and maintain-ed, is chiefly manifested by self-denying kindnessto men for the Lord's sake, and separation from allthe pollutions of this evil world. " ow," says" St. Paul, " abideth faith, hope, and charity; but" the greatest of these is charity."The text viewed in this connexion, may give usan opportunity of considering,31$ SERMO XIII.I. The peculiar intent of revelation, and thepurposes which it was evidently intended toanswer.II. The inefficacy of hearing without prac-tising, to accomplish any of these purposes.III. The nature, and sources of that fatalself-deception, into which numbers are in thisrespect he t rayed.IV. The contrast betwixt the mere hearer,and the practical student of scripture.
I. We consider the peculiar intent of revelation,and the purposes which it was evidently intendedto answer." The Lord made all things for himself;" thatin different ways they might manifest his glory.The inanimate creation, in every part, proclaimshis wisdom, power, and goodness, and demonstrateshis being and perfections. "The heavens declare" the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his" handy-work." Each of the animal tribes an-swers the end of its creation, and enjoys all thefelicity of which it is capable, except as involvedin the consequences of our sins. But rationalcreatures should glorify their Maker in a highermanner; being formed capable of understandingSERMOST xni. 319the display he hath given of himself in his works,and of rendering him the reasonable service of ado-ration and obedience; in which, as connected withthe ineffable enjoyment of his love, their genuinefelicity consists. Yet, without at all consideringthe difference observable in men's characters, it isundeniable, that all "have forsaken the Fountain" of living waters: and have hewn out for them-" selves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no" water." This is the universal apostacy and idola-try of the human race: they are all " alienated" from the life of God." one seek their happinessin knowing, loving, obeying, and worshipping him;but al! 9 if left to themselves, idolize the creatures,and expect felicity from the possession and enjoy-ment of them. It might easily be shewn that thisis the prolifick source of all the vices and miseriesof mankind, however varied and multiplied, Theidolized objects of their several pursuits are unsuit-

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