« EdellinenJatka »
6“ Being justified by faith, we have peace with God;" St. Paul speaks of living Christians, who ‘in consequence of having been justified from their ' former sins' through faith in Christ, have now <“ peace 'vith God."| "The following text is still more clear, and points out the difference between justification and salvation : “Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through
him."? Here also justification is spoken of as hav‘ing already taken place, salvation as being future; " that is, justification in this world, salvation in the
next. Justification is the remission of sins here 'on earth; salvation is the attainment of happiness 'in heaven. Not a single passage can be found ' in the Epistles, or indeed in any part of the New · Testament, in which justification or justify, when
applied to Christians exclusively, that is, when
treated of as belonging to them as such, denotes 'the sentence to be pronounced at the day of
judgment. Nor do the apostles ever tell their 'converts, that they will hereafter be justified ; but always address them as persons who have been justified.'3
This statement, viewed as general, tends to establish our sentiments ; and is well worthy of the attention of those who contend for a twofold justification; one at the time of their first believing, and another at the day of judgment. Perhaps it is too unqualified ; 4 and it does not appear to me consistent with what will shortly come under consideration, of our being continued in a justified
state by our works. In whatever way works are spoken of in connexion with justification, it is, I apprehend, always as evidencing and declaring our faith to be living, genuine and justifying...
The apostle says, “ Much more, being justified “ by his blood we shall be saved from wrath “ through him : for, if when we were enemies we 6 were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, “ much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved " through his life." 1 Does not this as fully prove that salvation is.certain to those who are justified and reconciled, as that it is future? “ It is God « that justifieth : who is he that condemneth? It “ is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, " who is even at the right hand of God, who ever “ liveth to make intercession for us. Who shall “ separate us from the love of Christ ? " 2
· The Homily on the salvation of mankind, in strict conformity to the 12th Article, speaks of
good works necessarily to be done afterwards ;'. * (that is, after a man is justified ;) and the same ‘Homily uses the expression, baptized or justi'fied, considering justification as taking place at
baptism, and consequently in this life : "Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly after that we are baptized or
justified, not caring how few good works we do to *the glory of God, and profit of our neighbours.'3
The passage from the Homily has already been adduced : but it is far from maintaining that “jus* tification takes place at baptism.' Indeed, the
Homily proceeds to shew, that the faith which does not produce good works is dead; which would have been quite needless, if `justification
took place at baptism,' whether that of infants, ' who by reason of their tender age' cannot either believe or disbelieve; or that of adults, whether they do truly believe or not. The scriptures, and our Articles and Homilies, connect justification with faith, and faith only. You have heard how we receive justification of him freely, without our deserts, through true and lively faith.'? And then, after two or three lines, follow the words, 'baptized or justified. So far from meaning that the two words convey the same idea, the whole context shews that they were intended to distinguish the two; and to state that some are baptized who are not justified ; but that even those who are justified must and will shew their faith and love by holiness and obedience. In respect of those who are baptized adult on a sincere profession of faith, they were “justified by faith” previously to baptism; and it was to them (as circumcision to believing Abraham)“a seal of the “ righteousness of the faith, which they had” yet being unbaptized. And as to all others, they can no more be said to be justified at the time of baptism, than the descendents of Abraham could be said to have been justified at the time of their circumcision. His Lordship, however, will shew in what follows, that he considers justification as connected (when Christians first find admission to the benefit of the Christian covenant,) with faith as.
· Homily on Salvation, Part 3.
its condition; and therefore they who are baptized, but have not faith, cannot be justified when baptized, even by his own allowance.
· Calvin acknowledges that the word faith is used in scripture in various senses.'?
Calvin and Calvinists most readily acknowledge that faith is used in scripture in various senses : but in every sense, either a real or a feigned, an effectual or an ineffectual belief of some testimony of God, either received by immediate revelation, or by tradition, or by the written word, is spoken of; and believing a man's own reasonings or conjectures is not one of these senses. 2 But this subject has been already discussed. 3
St. Paul says, “ Though I have all faith, and, · have not charity, I am nothing;” and to the
Ephesians he says, “ By grace are ye saved through faith :" in the former passage, faith is * declared to be an useless qualification; in the • latter, nothing less than the power of attaining
eternal salvation is ascribed to it, through the grace of God. An useless faith, and a saving ' faith, cannot be the same; and consequently the 'word is used by this inspired writer in different
senses. The faith which a man may possess, and ‘yet be “nothing," is a bare belief of the truth of 'the gospel, without any love or gratitude to God ' for the blessings it conveys, or any practical re
Ref. 103, Note.
? Ref. 102, Note. * On the case of approved characters before Christ, and on that of the Gentiles. Book I. c. i. $ 3, 4.
gard to the duties it enjoins. The faith which ‘is the means of salvation is that belief of the
truth of the gospel, which produces obedience to ' its precepts, and is accompanied by a firm re• liance upon the merits of Christ. That there is (a species of faith which is of no value, we learn
also from St. James : Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."'i
It is the general opinion of commentators, that the apostle, in the passage referred to 2 at the opening of this quotation, means by“ faith,” a special reliance on the promised power of God to enable a man to work miracles in the name of Christ; which it is clear some had who were destitute of that “ faith which worketh by love."
Our Saviour seems plainly to inform us that men might prophesy, and cast out deyils, and do mighty works in his name, and yet be workers of iniquity, and persons whom he would not own at the last day.'3 In other respects the quotation expresses the sentiments of a great majority of Calvinists : especially this sentence; 'The faith 'which is the means of salvation is that belief of *the truth of the Gospel, which produces obe
dience to its precepts, and is accompanied by a ' firm reliance on the merits of Christ. To produce is very different from to contain, which many would substitute for it.— Good works, which are 'the fruits of faith and follow after justification
do spring out necessarily of a true and lively ' faith, insomuch that a lively faith may be as evi
dently known by them, as a tree discerned by its
1. Cor. xiii. 2.
Whitby on 1 Cor. xiii. 2.