« EdellinenJatka »
' fruit.'1 “No man should think that he hath
that lively faith which the scripture commandeth, when he liveth not obediently to God's laws; for
all good works spring out of that faith.'2—An excellent passage is afterwards quoted in the Refutation from the same Homily, which needs not to be here reprinted, as the reader will do well carefully to peruse the whole in the Book of Homilies. If any of those who are called evangelical clergymen do not approve of this doctrine, thus stated from scripture and the authorized writings of our church; we who do (a very large majority) only request that we may not be confounded with them.
1. “That faith, to which so many and great things
are ascribed in the New Testament, must by no 'means be taken for a single and simple virtue.
For in its circuit it comprises all the works of
Christian piety. But wherever it is taken for a • work distinct by itself, and disjointed from all
other virtues ; so far is the Holy Spirit from ascribing to it the first part, that it is placed by St. Paul himself after love, almost in the third place.' 3
This passage from Bishop Bull exactly describes what we disapprove, as that before from the Refutation, what we approve. “Faith produces,' says the author of the Refutation; · Faith comprises, says Bishop-Bull. The former we maintain ; the latter we wholly reject, as inconsistent with “sal
"Art. xii. ? Homily of Faith, Part 3.
“vation of grace," and justification by faith alone.
St. Paul declareth here nothing upon the behalf of man concerning his justification, but only a true and lively faith ; which nevertheless is the
gift of God, and not man's only work without * God. And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, and the fear of God,
to be joined with faith in every man that is jus.tified; but it shutteth them out from the office
of justifying. So that, although they be all present together in him that is justified, yet they. justify not altogether. Neither doth faith shut ' out the justice of our good works, necessarily to be done afterwards, of duty towards God: (for we are most bounden to serve God, in doing good deeds, commanded by him in his holy 'scripture, all the days of our life :) but it excludeth them, so that we may not do them to this intent, to be made just by doing of them.
For all the good works that we can do be imper‘fect, and therefore not able to deserve our justi*cation : but our justification doth come freely by * the mere mercy of God; and of so great and free 'mercy, that, whereas all the world was not able
of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father, of his in' finite mercy, without any of our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ's body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and
his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is now 'the Righteousness of all them that truly do be• lieve in him. He for them paid their ransom by his death; He for them fulfilled the law in his
• 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 in
firmity 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. 2 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 man: 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
Homily of salvation, Part 1. ; Ibid. Part 3.
? Ibid. Part 2.
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 culpable, 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 remis
sion of sins.” Christ is our propitiation ; that is, * the atonement made by his death is the meri
torious 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