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we utterly renounce.* This, I believe, is the doctrine, not only of the church of England, but of all the reformed churches; the doctrine, not only of the reformed churches, but of that venerable and most ancient church, which, by a long line of succession connecting itself immediately with the primitive ages, may claim the high and extraordinary praise of not being a reformed church, simply because it required not reformation. With the depressed, but unextinguishable, church of the Piedmontese valleys, we all, if I mistake not, agree in this important point. We confess THE DUTY, but not THE MERIT, of good works: and, viewing them under that aspect, we thence consistently deny the possibility of their making any expiatory satisfaction to God for our transgressions.

The same principle we, of course, extend to every species of temporal punishment. When sent from God, we would humbly submit to it: and, as the apostle speaks, we would deem it the fatherly chastisement of the Lord, "at present, indeed, not joyous ' but grievous, nevertheless, afterward yielding the 'peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are 'exercised thereby." But, with such a view of the question, in the language of our own Hooker, "We dare not call God to reckoning, as if we had 'him in our debt-books. The little fruit which we 'have in holiness, it is, God knoweth, corrupt and ' unsound. We put no confidence at all in it: we 'challenge nothing in the world for it. Our constant 'suit to God is and must be, to bear with our infir'mities, and to pardon our offences."+

In this lowly estimate even of our best performances, we hold ourselves to be justified, not only by the express decision of Scripture, but by the entire

* Hooker's Disc. of Justific. § vii.

Heb. xii. 5-11.

Hooker's Disc, of Justific. § vii.

analogy of the Christian faith. So far from calculating a proportionable correspondence between merit and reward; we deem it more seemly, to adopt the words which our Saviour Christ hath prepared for us, and to confess that when we have done all, we have done nothing more than our bare DUTY:* instead of ascribing to our works any even remote possibility of making satisfaction to God for our many evil deeds; the whole analogy of faith, as propounded luminously by the great apostle himself to the church. of Rome, compels us to take up a doctrinal system diametrically opposite. The doctrine of merit, and the doctrine of duty, in short, lie at the very root of the differences between the church of Rome and the church of England.

II. As usual, the bishop quotes the fathers in favour of his speculation: and it must be owned, that Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, and Augustine, all speak of our making satisfaction to God by the temporal pains which we endure.

If they use the term in his lordship's apparent sense, I shall have no hesitation in saying, that their grossly unscriptural language merely shows how soon and how easily a specious and flattering corruption crept into the church. But I greatly doubt, though I would speak under correction, whether their meaning has not been altogether misapprehended. We all know, that, in the idiom both of the Greek and of the Latin, the same phrase indifferently signifies to give satisfaction and to suffer punishment. This very simple circumstance, I strongly suspect, is the true key to the phraseology employed by certain of the fathers. When they spake of a man making satisfaction to God for his sins by any measure of temporal suffering, they meant not, I apprehend, to intimate, that his pains were meritorious, and that they were capable of expiating his transgressions;

* Luke xvii. 10.

† Rom. iii. 19-28. v, 16—21. xi. 6.

but they meant merely to say, that we must expect sin to be attended by merited punishment.

Be this, however, as it may, if we are to be guided by the authority of the primitive doctors, I should certainly prefer the very ancient testimony of St. Paul's own fellow-labourer, the Roman Clement, to the much later evidence of Tertullian, or Cyprian, or Ambrose, or Augustine.

"All are glorified and magnified, not through 'themselves, or through their own works, or through 'the righteous deeds which they have done, but 'through the will of God. We, therefore, being 'called through his will in Christ Jesus, are not jus'tified through ourselves, or through our own wis'dom, or intellect, or piety, or the works which we 'have wrought in holiness of heart; but through faith, by which the Almighty God hath justified all from everlasting. To him be glory and honour 'through all ages. What then shall we do, brethren? 'Shall we be slothful from good deeds, and shall we 'desert the faith? The Lord forbid such to be our 'case! Rather let us hasten, with all vehemence ' and alacrity, to accomplish every good work."*

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So far as a positive argument will go, it is difficult to believe, that the man who wrote thus could hold the doctrine of a meritorious satisfaction to be made to God either by holy deeds or by acute sufferings: and, so far as we may build upon a negative argument, the total silence of Clement, in regard to any such satisfaction as that maintained by the bishop, affords much reason for suspecting, that in his days the catholic church knew nothing of the doctrine. Equally difficult, unless I greatly mistake, will his lordship find the task of extracting his theory from the remains either of Polycarp or of Ignatius.

III. The bishop asks, whether to appease the

* Clem. Roman. Epist. ad Corinth. i. § 32, 33.

anger of God, and to satisfy his justice, do not ultimately come to the same thing.*

I readily answer, No. The difference consists in the total dissimilarity of ideas conveyed respectively by those two phrases. Sincere repentance, offered up through the alone merits of Christ, is no doubt available to appease God's anger, when we have sinned against him: but such repentance does nothing to satisfy his justice in the way of making a meritorious expiation. To talk, indeed, of the expiatory meritoriousness of repentance is a plain contradiction in terms. By the very act of repentance we acknowledge ourselves to be sinners: but what possible expiatory meritoriousness can there be in a sorrowful acknowledgment and direct confession that we are great and undeserving offenders? Clearly there can be none: unless, indeed, we are prepared to maintain the actual existence of that moral paradox, a meritorious sinner or a holy transgressor.t

IV. It has been confidently asserted by the bishop, that Christ made satisfaction for our sins only so far as to exempt us from eternal punishment, and that we ourselves must supply the defect by undergoing temporal punishment, or by performing certain meritorious actions in the way of an expiatory satisfaction to God for our transgressions. This doctrine his lordship boldly avows to be the undoubted mind of Christ; and he claims to prove it, both from Scripture and from the primitive church.

In each line of argument he has completely failed. The earliest church is decidedly against him: and

* Discuss. Amic. vol. ii. p. 222.

†The bishop claims, as an ally, the proem of our commination office. It seems to me, when viewed in connexion with the whole tenor of our articles and homilies, merely to import, that penitence and fasting are a useful mean of putting our souls in a proper posture to meet their God. I cannot perceive any thing in it, which at all assimilates to the doctrine of meritorious expiatory satisfaction.

his meagre proof from Scripture is limited to the mourning of Job on account of his trials, to the repentance of David, and Ahab, and the king of Nineveh, and to a singular perversion of a very plain passage of St. Paul, wherein the apostle speaks of the afflictions of Christ the head being filled up in the afflictions of his mystical body, the church.* How these are to demonstrate, that either sufferings or good deeds can make temporal expiatory satisfaction to God for our varied transgressions, I am unable to comprehend. There is not so much as the slightest perceptible coherence between the bishop's premises and his conclusion. When thrown into the form of a syllogism, his whole argument runs in manner following:

Job mourned on account of his trials: David, and Ahab, and the king of Nineveh, repented in sackcloth and ashes: and the afflictions of Christ are still prolonged in the afflictions of his body, the church. THEREFORE temporal punishments and holy deeds are able, by their expiatory meritoriousness, to satisfy the strict justice of our heavenly Father.

In laying his foundation, the bishop has altogether failed; and the natural consequence will be the downfall of his superstructure. As he himself is perfectly aware, for the whole plan of his discussion evinces it, the connected doctrines of indulgences, and purgatory, and prayers for the dead, all rest ultimately upon the basis of meritorious satisfaction. The basis being unsound, the superstructure cannot stand.

*Coloss. i. 24.

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