Samuel macauley jackson, D. D., LL. D




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Birds, vii (1897), 13.

GOOD, JAMES ISAAC: German Reformed; b. at York, Pa., Dec. 31, 1850. He was educated at Lafayette College (B.A., 1872) and Union Theo­logical Seminary (1872 75). He was pastor of Heidelberg Reformed Church, York, Pa. (1875 

1877), Heidelberg Reformed Church, Philadelphia

(1877 90); Calvary Reformed Church, Reading,

Pa., (1890 05). He was connected with Ur­

einus College, Philadelphia, first as professor of

church history from 1890 to 1893, and then as pro­

fessor of dogmatics and pastoral theology and dean

of the school of theology from 1893 to 1897.

Since 1907 he has been professor of Reformed

Church history in Central Theological Seminary,

Tiffin, O. In theology his position is conservative

and positive. He has written Origin of the Re­

formed Church of Germany (Reading, Pa., 188?);

Rambles around Reformed Lands
(1889); History

of the Reformed Church of Germany (1894); History

of the Reformed Church in the United States (1899);

Famous Women of the Reformed Church (Philadel­

phia, 1902); and Famous Miasionariea o f the Re­

formed Church (1903).

GOOD TEMPLARS. See TOTAL ABsTumNcE.

GOOD WORKS.

Ethnic and Jewish Conception (§ 1). The Teaching of Jesus (12).

I Pauline Teaching (.§ 3).

Patriotic and Roman Catholic Doctrine (§ 4).

In the Eastern Church (§ b).

The Teaching of Luther and Melanchthon (§ 8).

Modern Lutheran Teaching (§ 7).

Roman Catholic Doctrine Criticised (§ 8).

There are only faint traces among the Babylo­

mans of the conception of a judgment of the dead,

but Babylonian prayers contain peti­

:. Ethnic tiona that the " table of good works "

and Jewish might be written upon and the " table

Conception. of sine " destroyed. The former table

is identical with the " table of life "

upon which Nebo registers man's length of life.

In the Egyptian religion Thoth corresponds to this

writing god, the heart of the dead is weighed in a

scale and Thoth notes the result. The dead man

puts in a claim, for example, for charity, " I have

given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty,

clothes to the naked, and passage to those without

ship." The Greek conception of the judgment of

the dead was influenced by the Babylonians (cf.

L. Rub], De mortuorum judicio, Giessen, 1903). In

the Zoroastrian eschatology the conceptions, good

thoughts, good words, good works, are important

(Bee ZOROAaTER, ZOROAaTRIANIaM). These accom­

pany the soul in its flight to heaven. At the judg­

ment of the dead good works are weighed against

bad works. Here may be found the idea of a treas­

ury of superfluous good works and that works of

pity are decisive. These ideas probably had an

influence upon the Jewish religion. Their influence

upon Islam is well known. These parallel features

are especially noteworthy: books of good and bad

works, the' weighing of them, and emphasis on

works of pity. God accepts repentance. Faith

and good works moat follow in order to drive away

former evil (J. B. Ruling, Eschotologie des Islam,

pp. 18 25, Leipaic, 1895). In the Jewish religion

ma'oaim forum, "good works," are frequently men­

tioned along with mizwoth, " fulfilment of the law."

Ma'aseh signifies the practical fulfilment of the law,

and comes neat to its study, and might include the

conception of mizwoth. It was not limited to the

giving of alms and acts of kindness. It can not be





Good Works THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 20

maintained that all good works of these two sorts were regarded as extralegal (cf. Dent. xv. 7 sqq.). But although they were commanded by the law, the measure and degree in which they were to be performed were left'to individual initiative. The idea of `deeds= ofleiselaes~tc~e ~asadhim3­first appears in Ecclesiasticus and Tobit; these acts relate to the dead, mourners, the sick, strangers, and prisoners, and are dependent upon personal motive. They have justifying and atoning power. They are written down in books in heaven, and on the judgment day God opens the books and judges accordingly (Jubilees, xxx. 19 sqq.). Another con­ception is that of the garnering up of good works. On the judgment day they " awake " (IV Ezra. vii. 35, 77). In Pirke Aboth iv. lla, vi. 9b, good works are represented as companions of the departing soul and witnesses in his favor before the judgment seat. The idea sometimes appears of the super­fluity of the good works of the Fathers being vica­riously accredited to Israel (IV Ezra 8, 26 aqq.).

On the expression kala or agatha ergs., which occurs in the New Testament first in Matt. v. 16, cf. H.

Cremer, Wbrterbuch der
neutestament 

2. The lichen Grdcitat (Goths, 1902), and Teaching of Zahn, Das Evangedium deg Matthdus,

Jesus. p. 203 (Leipsic, 1905). The image of a

" treasure in Heaven " is used also by Jesus (Matt. vi. 20), who retains the conceptions relating to the reward for good works. The image of bookkeeping with reference to good works appears in Rev. xx. 12; that of the companionship of good works in Rev. xiv. 13. Jesus' criticism of the righteousness of good works is aimed at the Pre­sumption of claiming credit with God, at the con­fusion of the distinction between moral and ritual­istic works, at the increasing of the necessary number of good works to an intolerable degree, and at the pride and love of glory accompanying it. The Jews commonly associated almsgiving, prayer, and fasting as types of good works. Jesus approved of fasting as an expression of a sorrowful mood, but not as a means of purification. He emphasized the importance of words as indications of the character of the spirit (Matt. xii. 36 37), but he also praised the doing of the will of God in contrast to the mere utterance of words (Matt. vii. 21, xxi. 28 aqq.). He taught also that only those acts of love are good that arise from adequate motives (Matt. xxv. 37 aqq.). In Luke x. 20 he uses the old image of a book of life, meaning that his disciples had cOn­feseed God and been chosen to salvation.

Paul was not only a man of deep religious feel­ing, but an active character and an ethical genius.

It is an exaggeration to assert that

3. Pauline his denial of justification by works

Teaching. meant an alienation from works (A.

Sehlatter, Der Glaube im N. T., pp. 327 sqq., 381 aqq., Stuttgart, 1905). Paul opposes the doctrine that man may demand recompense from God for doing that which God has bidden him do. It is impiety from the standpoint of the religion of sal­vation and faith in Christ. He opposes to the Jewish formula, " works and faith," the principle " out of faith alone." Faith is trust in .the grace of God, which alone brings salvation and would no longer

be grace if the principle " by works " were valid. The sole efficacy of predestined grace is lauded in Rom. xi. 6; its relation to works in Eph. ii. 9 10. Paul certainly valued highly the activity of Chris­tians in works, which, religiously considered, is nothing less than God's " good works." The saving power of good works arises from the fact that at the judgment decision will be based upon them. This seems contradictory of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. It will not do to regard the former of these views as a mere survival in Paul of a Jewish mode of thought., Paul not only felt that Christ was producing all those heroic works which he, Paul, was able to do through love of Christ, but he also recognized in himself freedom, power, and responsibility. He was filled with the spirit of self­sacrifice and joy because he was able to do something for the love of Christ, for which he hoped to receive not " reward "from Christ, but favor and friendly recognition. Faith in Christ as judge because of his " meekness and gentleness " (II Cor. x. 1) made the idea of man's hoping in his littleness to deserve anything of God because of his works seem less presumptuous. The ethical conception that sal­vation must be dependent upon activity, respon­sibility, and duty was developed in Paul's mind by the idea of the atonement. The pastoral letters mention frequently the idea of good works, which then passed into church doctrine and terminology. While these letters do not contain the phrase " faith and works," they do contain the phrase " faith and love."

For the evolution of the idea of justification by works see JUSTIFICATION. The best material bearing

on the common postapostolic view of 4. Patristic good work is presented in A. Titius, and Roman Die neutestamentliche Lehre von der

Catholic Seligkeit, vol. iv.,
chap. iv. (Tilbingen,

Doctrine. 1900). For the apostolic fathers, E. J.

Goodspeed, Index patristicus (Leipsic, 1907) is valuable. Their ethicism is currently ex­plained as due to Jewish influence. The significance of Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine for the Roman Catholic doctrine of good works is very great (see JUSTIFICATION). Augustine's De ,fide et operibus established in the Church Paul's doctrine of " faith which worketh by love " (Gal. v. 6). The specific Roman Catholic combination of a religion of salva­tion and a religion of justice began after the time of Tertullian to be formed by means of an elastic and complicated conception of Merit (q.v.). The thesis of Augustine that God crowns as human desert his own gifts of grace made the combination possible. The scholastics treat many problems relative to this subject not under the title of bona opera, " good works," but under actus humani, " human ac­tivities," as belonging to ethics. As they recognized seven principal virtues, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and as especially good acts, eight evangelical beatitudes, so also they counted seven corporal and seven spiritual works of charity. The corporal were the Jewish " deeds of kindness " (Lactantius, Epitome, Ix.; Augustine, De moribm eeclesim catholicce, xxvii.). These works of pity especially, but also the other categories mentioned, are still important in the Roman Church. The prevailing,





21 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Good Works

external, reward hungry doctrine of the Middle Ages was undermined by mystics like Bernard, Eckhart, and Tauler (qq.v.). The Tridentine council de­fended the " regard for reward " (see REWARD) and the fear of hell and judgment. Christ is not only the Savior whom one should trust, but the lawgiver whom one must obey. The Gospel is not a bare and unconditioned promise of eternal life without the requirement of observing the commands of God and of the Church. As works of satisfaction are mentioned " fasting, works of charity, prayer, and other exercises of the spiritual life." The point of view is not alone that of the observance of the, commandments. Good works are regarded also as sufferings with Christ (Rom. viii. 17), as war with the flesh; and especially noteworthy is the connection with Johannean mysticism. The current Roman Catholic doctrine of good works may be sketched briefly as follows: even a man who has committed a sin deserving of death may perform naturally good works, which, although they will not bring him to Heaven, " are very useful in ob­taining from the Divine pity the grace of conversion, and in winning temporal reward or avoiding tem­poral punishment " (Katholischer Katechismus fiir das Apostolische Vikariat im KBnigreiche Sachsen, p. 89). The commands of God and of the Church, the performance of which will win Heaven for the doer, are to hear mass, to fast, to confess and partake of the communion, to pay church tithes, and not to marry at forbidden times. To the question, which works . are especially recommended by the Bible, the catechism quoted, p. 90, mentions prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in which are included all works of reverence, mortification, and love of neigh­bors. A great theological ethical tradition beginning with Augustine lies back of the doctrine of the catechism that. God " especially regards the good intention, through which even with slight works we may obtain great reward of God." The good intention should be awakened every morning with prayer; to renew it frequently through the day increases the merit. A good intention that does not coincide with the proper aim and direction of a good work adds a new species of goodness to the good work, makes it doubly good. An alms, an action or suffering of anything irksome, is spoken of as being " brought as a sacrifice " to God. The good intention then makes doubly good the deed good in itself. The awakening of the good intention is an act of explicit love of God. The acts of faith and hope also should frequently be awakened. These three theological virtues are, together with sanctifying grace, an inpoured ornament of the soul disposing to a fulness of good works. It is evident how great is the number of possible good works. The Catholic needs many of them not only to obtain merit in order to attain blessedness, but also as acts of penance in order to escape temporal punishment for his sins. The acts of penance im­posed by the confessor (prayer, fasting, and alms) must be supplemented by voluntary deeds, which avail to help the poor soul suffering the fires of purgatory.

In the Eastern Church the spirit of an Augustine has been lacking to lead the way beyond the formula

" faith and good works." Faith and good works are regarded in that church as the two factors of all Christianity.. According to Metho 

g. In the dius "the praiseworthy are those who

Eastern adorn the inner man with the proper

Church. faith as well as the outer with good

works." The words of Cyril of Jerusa­

lem are well known: "The way of regard for God is

twofold, pious beliefs and good deeds; these beliefs

apart from good deeds are not acceptable to God;

nor are good works apart from right beliefs received

by him " (MPG, viii. 456 B). The " Confession "

of Mogilas names fourteen works of charity.

With Luther, it may be admitted, the ethical interest was secondary, in the sense that he preached the receptive power of faith with more 6. The enthusiasm than the effective power; Teaching of that faith is, according to him, ethio 

Luther and ally effective only when it is not too Melanch  far removed from its idealization, as he thon. himself for the most part experienced it; and that he should have avoided his apparently antinomian modes of expression. His principal work, Von den guten Werken (1520), begins with " It is to be understood in the first place that those things commanded by God are not the only good works." 'Luther believed that faith brought all religious activities along with it. He refers several times in this tract to the charge that he forbade good works. While he had condemned mere legal good works, intended to procure blessed­ness for the doer, he defended good works &,rising from faith. Good works are, according to him, the end and aim of faith, which reenforces the natural human motives to good works. Faith, especially that in the beneficence of God, disposes the re­created man to be beneficent to his neighbor. Good works are not necessary to blessedness; they flow of necessity from the beatific faith. He who has been baptized and believes is just and happy, and has received heaven and eternal life. But in order to remain so, he must retain, exercise, complete, and test his faith, and for this good works are necessary. Good works are a means, at the judg­ment, for measuring the degree of faith, but are not in themselves causes of blessedness. Luther continued the fight of the mystics against the " regard for reward," but in practise he did not take away the motives of reward. Melanchthon, on the other hand, defended the principle of obligation in the good works of believers they are not " forced " but " owed." In the Augsburg Confession, VI., the statutory motive, the necessity arising from command and obligation, is placed beside the more idealistic bringing forth of good fruits, and the " thus hath God commanded " contains a third thought it is aimed at the former emphasis upon " childishly unnecessary works,, of which Melanch­thOn Complains in articles XX. 3, XXVI.2, XXVII. 13. In §f bodii. sqq. of the " Apology " the ideas of merit and reward are brought in good works are meritorious, but deserve neither justification nor I eternal life, but only "other corporal and spiritual rewards in this life and afterward."

For the controversies about the necessity of good works in the seventeenth century see ANTINOMIAN 





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