(Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660)
“Those who have believed God might be careful
to devote themselves to good works.” Titus 3:8
Grace does not lie as a sleepy habit in the soul,
but will put forth itself in vigorous and glorious
actings. Grace can no more be concealed, than
fire. Grace does not lie in the heart as a stone
in the earth—but as seed in the earth. It will
spring up into good works! “Our people must
also learn to devote themselves to good works.”
The lamp of faith must be filled with the oil of
charity. Faith alone justifies—but justifying faith
is never alone. You may as well separate weight
from lead, or heat from fire—as works from faith.
Good works, though they are not the causes of
salvation—yet they are evidences of salvation.
Though they are not the foundation—yet they
are the superstructure. Faith must not be built
upon works—but works must be built upon faith.
“You are married to Christ—that we should bring
forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:4. Faith is the
grace which marries Christ, and good works
are the children which faith bears.
Works are distinct from faith—as the sap in the
vine is different from the clusters of fruit which
grow upon it.
Works are the touchstone of faith. “Show me
your faith by your works.” James 2:18
Works honor faith. These fruits adorn the ‘trees
of righteousness’. This queen—faith, has the
handmaids of good works waiting upon her.
Good works are more visible and conspicuous than faith.
Faith is a more hidden grace. It may lie hidden in the
heart and not be seen—but when works are joined with
it, now it shines forth in its native beauty! Though a
garden is ever so decked with flowers—yet they are not
seen until the light comes. So the heart of a Christian
may be enriched with faith—but it is like a flower in the
night. It is not seen until works come. When this light
shines before men, then faith appears in its orient colors!