« הקודםהמשך »
is justified as a righteous person, or honourably acquitted, (being one against whom no charge can be maintained, or ought to have been brought,) has no occasion for a pardon, and would be insulted by the offer of one; while, in the dealings of God with his true servants, pardon and justification, though distinct, are inseparable. This act of God, “who justifieth the ungodly,” is entirely, in our view, “ by grace," from first to last; not only undeserved but contrary to our deservings ; not only to our deservings before we began to repent, and submit, and believe, and obey, but to the end of life: as, according to the most perfect, and holy and just and good law of God, the best things which we do have in many respects need of pardon, and can therefore effect nothing for our justification before God,
As the source of justification is the most free mercy and grace of God, so this act of grace is granted to us entirely for the sake of Jesus Christ; for the sake of his - merits and atonement ; his righteousness and sacrifice, of infinite value and efficacy, as the righteousness and the atoning sacrifice of him who is “ God inanifest in the flesh." Through this redemption, and the mediation grounded on it, the dire nature and deserved punishment of sin are shewn, the justice of God is satisfied, the law of God is magnified, the holiness of God is glorified, and he appears in full and resplendent honour as “ a just God and a Saviour.” “ He “ who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in
| Rom, iii, 24. Tit. jii. 7.
“him." · Such,' says the judicious Hooker, 'we
are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very • Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly, or
frenzy, or fury, whatsoever ; it is our comfort and * our wisdom; we care for no knowledge in the 'world but this ; that man hath sinned, and God
hath suffered ; that God hath made himself the • Son of man, and that men “ are made the righ'teousness of God.”—God now looking on them ‘ there appears nothing but Christ ; they are, as it were, covered over with him, as a man is with the clothes which he has put on; and hence in the next verse it is said, they are “ all one in Christ * Jesus," as if there were but that one person.'3
The language of these quotations, from two persons peculiarly eminent each in his line, is peculiarly energetic and decided ; and indeed more so, in some respects, than can be produced from ' the writings of modern Calvinists ;' or than would even meet with the unreserved approbation of many among them ; especially the language of Hooker.
Again, as we are justified by grace, and “ made “ the righteousness of God in Christ,” so we are
justified by faith," and faith alone.-Faith is the only hand which putteth on Christ unto justifica'tion ; and Christ the only garment which, being
so put on, covereth the shame of our defiled na'tures, hideth the imperfection of our works, preserveth us blameless in the sight of God, before
'Rom. iii. 21, 22. 2 Cor. v. 21. Phil. iii. 9. See also Is. xlv. 24, 25. Jer. xxiii. 6.
Hooker, of Justification, $ 6. 3 Locke on Gal. iii. 27.
whom otherwise the weakness of our faith were cause sufficient to make us culpable, yea, to shut ' us from the kingdom of heaven, where nothing " that is not absolute can enter.'_Thus the apostle says,
“ The righteousness of God, which is by faith “ of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all that believe: “ for there is no difference.” 2
The Refutation, indeed, admits and maintains a great part of that which has been hitherto advanced; but, in opposition to the doctrine contended for by his Lordship, we must also strenuously avow our full and decided persuasion, that not only our first pardon and justification, our admission into a justified state, is wholly of grace, as “made the righteousness of God in Christ,” and by faith alone ; but that we are ‘ preserved' unto the end in a justified state by faith, and faith alone, and not by works. So that, if faith should wholly fail, nothing which we had done, or could do, would justify us, or do any thing towards it; “ for we through the Spirit wait for the hope of “ righteousness by faith.”3 Indeed we must also maintain, that, in whatever sense our words or our works may be spoken of as justifying us, even in the day of judgment nothing will “justify us in “ the sight of God,” so as to constitute us righteous, and entitled to the reward of righteousness, except, “ being found in Christ, not having our
own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by
« faith.” 1 Whatever else is mentioned, we consider it, in this one concern of justification, as merely evidential that we were partakers of the true and precious “ faith of God's elect.” 2
For we hold that no faith justifies the possessor, except that “ which worketh by love," of Christ and Christians, of “ God and man;" “ that which “ overcometh the world,” both the love of the world, and the fear of all those sufferings which the men of the world can inflict upon us; and that by which God'purifieth the heart.”3 We regard no faith as effectual for justification, which does not, in its fruits and effects, resemble that of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others of whom St. Paul reminds us in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Though faith alone justifies, as alone receiving Christ " who is made of God to us “ righteousness,” 4 yet we regard none as thus justified, who are not“ in Christ new creatures ;" who do not " walk in newness of life—”“not after “ the flesh but after the Spirit.” 5 true believer is “ born of God,” “ created anew “ unto good works ;” a humble penitent, “ doing “works meet for repentance;” an obedient servant of Christ,“ doing the will of God from the “ heart." * So that a lively faith may be, by good works, as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.'6 In proportion to our fruitfulness so
In short every
Phil. iii. 9. See also Rom. v. 17, 18. Ps. cxlii. 2. Heb. x. 38, 39.
Tit. i. 1. 1 Pet, i. 7. 2 Pet. i. l.
is the evidence of our justification, both to our own conscience, and before the church, and to the world at present: and the true Christian's “ work “ of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope “ in the Lord Jesus, in the sight of God even our
Father," I when made known to the assembled world, will prove that he was indeed a believer, and “ made the righteousness of God in Christ.”— Most of these points will need to be resumed : but it is not necessary here to enlarge further on them. Our general meaning is clearly declared : and I advocate the cause of none who do not admit the latter part of the statement, as fully and unreseryedly as the former.
* You shall understand that, in our justification ' by Christ, it is not all one thing, the office of God ' unto man, and the office of man unto God. Jus* tification is not the office of man, but of God ; 2 ' for man cannot make himself righteous by his own
works, neither in part nor in the whole.—But jus* tification is the office of God only, and is not a thing
which we render to him, but which we receive of • him; not which we give to him, but which we take of hin, by his free mercy, and by the only merits of ' his most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ. So that 'the true understanding of this doctrine, We be justified freely by faith without works, or, That we be justified by faith only, is not, that this our own act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in
tions a “dead faith,” but does not in so many words oppose to it a living faith; it has been asked, “ What do you mean by
a living faith ?' To which it is enough to answer,' That wbich • is not dead :' and to refer to our Latin Article.
'1 Thes, i. 3. ? Rom. iii. 26. iv. 5. viii. 33.