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really depreciating, as, alas, this is sometimes done ;) the blame rests with the offending individuals, for this is no part of our system. Whether our language on the subject be inconsistent or not, others will judge. But, though we hold good works as essentially necessary to salvation, when time is given for performing them, we cannot allow them to be properly a condition of salvation: and must think ourselves fully authorized to avoid this unscriptural expression. We evidently adhere to the language of scripture, and to that of our authorized books, from which our opponents undeniably deviate. . “Being created in “ Christ Jesus unto good works,” we consider the inclination and ability to love and perform good works, as an essential part of our salvation. We would therefore " give thanks to the Father, “ who hath made us meet to be partakers of the “ inheritance of the saints in light;" and we would reflect with lively gratitude on his love, “ who gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify us unto himself a peculiar
people zealous of good works." —Health is essential to our enjoyment of life, so that without it we can enjoy nothing: we thank God for giving us health ; but it would be absurd to call health a condition of our enjoyment.
• If the endeavour to maintain such a distinction as this does not deserve the name of direct absurdity and contradiction, surely it is at least 6" a strife of words," “a perverse disputing,"
'Col. i. 12. Tit. ii. 14.
' which ministers questions, rather than godly 'edifying.")
They who consider these distinctions as a mere “ strife of words” may disregard them ; but we think them essential to the doctrine of Christianity: and, though most of us, contented with using the language of scripture, and of the reformers of our church, on these subjects, if we might do it without offence; are little disposed to enter into disputes with those who adopt another phraseology: yet, when our whole system is directly assaulted, we must either stand forth, and shew what we do maintain, and what we do not, and explain our views, and assign our reasons for our conduct; or we must tacitly plead guilty to all the charges brought against us, and give up as indefensible those truths which we value more than life. But, whether they who retain the language of scripture, and of our articles and homilies, or they who depart from it, most resemble the philosophizing · Greeks in the days of the apostles,' must be left to the judgment of the public. And let the quotations made from the works of the reformers, and from the homilies, determine whether the language above objected to, or that which states that good works are essential as the evidences of true faith, and for many other important purposes, but not as the condition of our salvation,' be the most proper to find the way into protestant pulpits.' Of this there can be no doubt, to those who are acquainted with the history of the times between Edward VI. and James I., that the propositions,
before animadverted on, could never have been brought forward in a protestant pulpit, without being protested against as direct popery, in the grand article of a standing or falling church.We never meant to exclude either hope or charity, from being always joined, as inseparable mates of faith, in the man who is justified; or ' works from being added, as necessary duties, re
quired at the hands of every justified man: but 'to shew, that faith is the only hand which putteth ' on Christ for justification; and Christ the only garment which, being so put on, covereth the shame of our defiled natures, hideth the imper‘fection 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 culpable, yea, to shut us from the kingdom of heaven, where nothing that is not perfect can enter. In this passage the judicious Hooker is expressly vindicating the doctrine of justification, held by protestants, against the objections of Papists ; yet now his views and distinctions on the subject, it seems, 'ought never to find their way ' into the pulpits of a protestant church! We hold no other doctrine, as to justification, than what he held, and we make no other distinctions than those which he made. If we do, let it be clearly shewn. 1
The words, Works are clearly made the grand hinge, on ' which our justification and salvation turn;' are in fact, as I have since discovered, Mr. Overton's, as comprising the substance of Mr. Daubeny's doctrine in this respect: but the manner in which his Lordship has introduced m, not as an unfair inference from Mr. Daubeny's words, but as a proposi
To sum up the whole at the close of this book, as it began with a statement of the doctrine which I purposed to maintain :-All the human race “ have sinned, and come short of the glory of “ God;" all are under condemnation : “the scrip“ ture hath shut up all under sin, that the pro“ mise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to “ them that believe." I Now justification signifies in scripture, when applied to fallen man, constituting him righteous, who in himself, according to the strict, holy, and good law of God, is unrighteous ; and dealing with him, not as a sinner, but as a righteous person; not “ imputing sin,” “ but imputing righteousness without works.” 2 This we consider as the act of God, wholly and entirely; “ It is God that justifieth :” that it is altogether of grace and mercy, unmerited, and contrary to our deservings; and not in any degree, or at any time, of our works or merits. This free grace is the source of the blessing ; but, in thus shewing mercy, our just and holy God has respect to the merits, or the righteousness and atonement, of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, even
righteousness of God, which is unto all and upon “ all them that believe ;” 3 and this is the merit
tion which ought not to be denied, amounts, as it appears to me, to an adoption of them; and this argument remains unaltered. Gal. ii. 22. Rom. iv. 6–8. 3 Rom. iii. 20-24.
orious cause, the alone meritorious cause of our justification.-We also maintain, that by faith alone we become partakers of this justifying righteousness of our Redeemer.
So that none can scripturally be spoken of as justified either at baptism, or at any other time, unless he have faith in Christ.-But this justifying faith is not merely a rational belief of Christianity, or of any of its doctrines; or even of them all; but a cordial reception of Jesus Christ and his righteousness and atonement, with application to him, and reliance on him," as the end of the law for righteousness “ to every one that believeth.” Faith alone justifies, as the eye alone sees : yet justifying faith is never alone in him who has it. It is inseparably connected with repentance; "it worketh by love" of God and man, of Christ and Christians; it “ overcometh the world ;” and by it God“ purifies “ the heart.” It produces obedience and all good works, as a good tree produces good fruits; and it may be known by them as certainly as a tree by its fruits. For it is "the gift of God,” the effect of regeneration, and mainly employed by the Holy Spirit in completing our sanctification. Yet it justifies as receiving Christ for righteousness, not as producing obedience. Justification, in respect of all true believers, is a past transaction, which took place when they became believers. But, continuing still to believe with a lively faith, they are continued in a justified state by faith alone; and will be so to the end, if indeed faith do not fail or degenerate. “ They wait for the hope of right
eousness by faith.” Both during life, at death, and at judgment, their title to the reward of