THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS BY FAITH.BY SAMUEL COX" For what saith the Scripture ?' And Abraham believed God,and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness." — Romans iv. 3.If the Lord Jesus marvelled at the unbelief of men,we, in our turn, are tempted to marvel at the immenseimportance which the Bible everywhere attaches to faith.And, above all, we marvel to hear that faith is acceptedas a substitute for righteousness. When we read thatAbraham's faith was reckoned to him for righteousness,and, still more, when we hear St. Paul arguing that inevery case " to him that worketh not, but believeth inhim that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned forrighteousness," we are apt to think that " good works "are made light of, that morality is endangered or even' The Scripture referred to by St. Paul is, of course. GenesisXV. 6, where we read, " And he believed in the Lord, and it wasreckoned unto him for righteousness." But for us the questionmay have a wider scope ; for not only in the Book of Genesis andin the Epistle to the Romans, but also in Galatians (iii. 6) and inJames (ii. 23) we find the identical words of the text, " Abrahambelieved God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness ! "2 1 2 THE RIGHTEO US NESS WHICH IS BY FA ITHundermined. Such a doctrine, it is said, abolishes theimmutable distinctions of right and wrong. If the un-godly are to be accounted righteous simply becausethey believe certain facts or truths, what profit hathgodliness ? and why should we brace ourselves to astedfast, arduous, and painful endeavour to lift our livesinto correspondence with the will of God ?