Faith unto salvation considered and enforced as the natural man’s duty, is not of grace, nor of the spirit of grace; but it is, (1) Of the spirit of that zeal by which the Jews went about to establish their own righteousness, not submitting themselves unto the righteousness of God, Rom 10:3. (2) It is of that spirit of the five foolish virgins whose vessels were without oil, who made creatures their first recourse, and then thought by the natural duty, like self-effort of purchase, to establish a right to, and acquire to themselves the possession of all things, which the five wise virgins had and took, without any account of money, price, purchase, or duty faith; but the Lord answered them, ‘I know you not.’ Not you are come too late, the door being shut; but, ‘I know you not,’ Matt 25:12. (3) It is of the spirit of the many who will come saying, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ All done in the Lord’s name, but all self and duty faith like doings, and to whom the Lord will profess, ‘I never knew you, depart from me,’ Matt 7: 22,23. (4) It is of the spirit of those many, who shall seek to enter in at the strait gate, and shall not be able, Luke 13: 24; because they sought it on duty faith grounds; or, ‘as it were by the works of law,’ Rom 9:32. (5) Duty faith is of the very spirit of all those ‘that kindles a fire, and compass themselves about with sparks;’ who are bid to follow the delusion they have chosen and loved more than the truth, saying, ‘Walk in the light of your own fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.’ But hear the solemn end, for that is the main thing with never dying souls: ‘This shall ye have at mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow,’ Isaiah 50:2.
Ancient Pharisaism was self-righteousness with the name of Moses for authority, falsely attached to it; and duty faith is Modern Pharisaism, with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for authority, falsely attached to it; and done up so nicely too, with ‘great,’ learned, clever, and pious ‘signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it able, they shall deceive and seduce the very elect,’ Matt. 24:24; Mark. 13:22.
John Foreman (1792-1872) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was appointed the Pastor of Hill Street Chapel, Marylebone, serving this position for close to forty years.