« הקודםהמשך »
• life. So that now, in him and by him, every 'true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of “the law; for as much as, that which their infirmity lacked, Christ's justice hath supplied.'' -Our faith in Christ, as it were, saith unto us thus : It is not I that take away your sins, ' but it is Christ only; and to him only I send
you for that purpose, forsaking therein all your good virtues, words, thoughts, and works, and only putting your trust in Christ. Because ' faith doth directly send us to Christ for remission ' of our sins, and that by faith given us of God we 'embrace the promise of God's mercy, and of the ‘ remission of our sins, (which thing none other of
our virtues and works properly doth,) therefore 'the scripture useth to say, that faith without works doth justify.'3
" It is a childish cavil, wherewith in the matter ‘of justification our adversaries do so greatly please
themselves, exclaiming that we tread all Christian virtues under our feet, and require nothing in • Christians but faith, because we teach that faith • alone justifieth. Whereas by this speech we never ' meant to exclude either hope or charity from be
ing alway joined as inseparable mates with faith ' in the man that is justified ; or works from being ' added as necessary duties, required at the hands ‘of every justified inan: but to shew that faith is ' the only hand' which putteth on Christ for jus* tification ; and Christ the only garment which, . being so put on, covereth the shame of our de
? Ibid. Part 2.
Homily of salvation, Part 1. ; Ibid. Part 3.
' filed natures, hideth the imperfection of our ' works, preserveth us blameless in the sight of 'God; before whom, otherwise, the weakness of
our faith were cause sufficient to make us cul' pable, yea, to shut us from the kingdom of God, ' where nothing that is not absolute can enter.''— The view given, in the last passage from the Refutation, of faith as producing good works coincides with these quotations; but that which states faith to contain within it all other Christian graces is perfectly incompatible: for, on that supposition, it might as properly be said that repentance, that hope, that love, alone, justifies us, as that faith alone justifies us. Undoubtedly the apostle meant by the faith which “ abideth along with hope and
love,” living justifying faith : but love, “ the “ requirement of the law,”
,” “ the fruit of the Spi“ rit,” the very“ image of God,” who “ is love,” the
very essence of heavenly holiness and happiness, is far greater than faith, though it cannot perform the office of faith. Faith and hope are, so to speak, the scaffolding of that building, by which fallen man is to become an eternal “ habi“ tation of God through the Spirit ;” but love is the building itself: and, when that is finished, the scaffolding shall be taken down. Now the building which shall remain to eternity, and for the sake of which the scaffolding was prepared, must be vastly greater than the scaffolding itself, though that was indispensably necessary.
Hooker' of Justif. $ 31. This and several other quotations from Hooker were made by the author, in The Force of Truth, published thirty-six years ago.
ON JUSTIFICATION, AND PRESERVATION IN A
* The general doctrine of justification, thus stated,
may be resolved into these three parts: first, the ( meritorious cause on account of which we are justified: secondly, the condition to be performed by ourselves, to render that cause efficacious : ' and, thirdly, the motive which led to the appoint'ment of this mode of justification. First, God is
said to have “ set forth Christ to be our propiti‘ation, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.” Christ is our propitiation; that is, the atonement made by his death is the meritorious cause of the remission of our sins, or of our justification. The characteristic blessing of • the Christian religion is, that it provides a satis
faction for sin : to this inestimable benefit it has ' an exclusive claim: “By him all that believe
are justified from all things, from which they 'could not be justified by the law of Moses," or
by any previous dispensation. Secondly, Does * this cause operate necessarily, and produce our ' justification as its unavoidable effect? No; it
operates “ through faith in his blood;" that is, 'the means by which it operates is our faith in • the death of Christ. If we have not that faith, if 'we do not embrace the gospel when proposed to us, Christ is not our propitiation ; and, con
sequently, faith is the condition to be performed
by ourselves, to render the death of Christ effec' tual to our justification. And the same thing is
expressed in a preceding verse: “The righteous* ness of God [is manifested] which is by faith of * Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them, that * believe:” belief or faith is here also pronounced 'to be the condition of justification. Thirdly, the ' motive which led to the appointment of this mode
of justification is contained in these words, “ Be‘ing justified freely by God's grace:" it was the ' mercy of God, his good will towards men, which * alone induced him to appoint this gracious mode
of justification. It was done “ freely” and gra'tuitously, without
any merit in us, any claim on our part, when we were all sinners, when the ' whole world was guilty in the sight of God, and must otherwise have perished everlastingly. "" Where is boasting thenIt is excluded. By what law? Of works Nay, but by the law of faith.” '1
The clause, “ The condition to be performed by ourselves, to render that cause efficacious,' may perhaps by a laboured explanation be made to bear a scriptural meaning. Yet the sacred oracles contain no words signifying conditions, conditional, or terms, on this subject : and, as the inspired writers fully expressed themselves without them ; and as they are liable to be misunderstood; we hope to be excused from employing them in our discussions. These words can never be scripturally used, as implying any thing more than something, sine
! Ref. 106, 107.
qua non. He, who repents and believes, and shews his repentance and faith to be 'genuine by his conduct, according to the gracious constitution of the new covenant, is a partaker of its blessings: but he who does not repent and believe is not at present a partaker of these blessings : yet if hereafter he shall repent and believe he will be made a partaker of them. In respect, however, of justification, nothing, even in this sense, can be considered as a condition, except “ faith ; and that not of our
selves, it is the gift of God.” In other respects, the quotation does not materially differ from our views ; at least from the views of all those whose cause I would at all advocate.
** The apostle (St. Paul) in this discourse,' says Dr. Barrow, 'implies, that no precedent dispensa* tion had exhibited any manifest overture or pro‘mise of pardon, and upon that account we are in 'a main point defective; for the light of nature • doth only direct to duty, condemning every man * in his own judgment and conscience, who trans
gresseth ; but as to pardon, in case of transgression, it is blind and silent: and the law of Moses rigorously exacteth punctual obedience, denouncing in express terms a condemnation and 'curse to the transgressors of it in any part: and “ so it was a law, ου δυνάμενος ζωοποιήσαι, not able to
give life, Gal. iii. 21, or save us from death. · Hence doth the apostle lay down this as the · foundation of this whole dispute, that the gospel ' alone was the power of God through faith to the
| Acts xüï. 38, 39.