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now the righteousness of all them that truly do believe 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.”—Ibid. p. 14. All the good works that we can do, be imperfect; and therefore not able to deserve our justification : but our justification doth come freely by the mere mercy of God.—1 Hom. of salvation, p. 13. By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should glory. And, to be short, the sum of all Paul’s disputation is this: that if justice (i.e. justification) come of works, then it cometh not of grace; and if it come of grace, then it cometh not of works. And to this end tend all the prophets, as St. Peter saith in the xth of the
* Luke xviii. 14.
t Eph. i. 5, 6.
from sins by Christ. Thus, when it is said that the publican “went down to his house justified *,” we cannot say that he obtained righteousness by any merit of works. The meaning therefore is, that after he had obtained the pardon of his sins, he was considered as righteous in the sight of God.—Institut. l. 3. c. 11. S. 3. Paul certainly describes justification as an acceptance, when he says to the Ephesians, “God hath predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted f.” For the meaning is the same as when in another place we are said to be “justified freely by his gracet.” But in the fourth chapter to the Romans, he first mentions an imputation of righteousness, and immediately represents it as consisting in remission
Rom. iii. 24.
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Acts. Of Christ, all the of sins. “David,” says he, prophets (saith St. Peter) do o describeth the blessedness witness, that through his of the man unto whom God name, all they that do be. imputeth righteousness withlieve in him, shall receive out works, saying, Blessed the remission of sins. St. are they whose iniquities are Hilary speaketh these words forgiven *.” &c.
forgiven *.” &c. He there plainly, in the ixth canon indeed argues not concernupon Mathew, “Faith only ing a branch, but the whole justifieth.” And St. Basil, a of justification. He also Greek author, writeth thus: adduces the definition of it This is a perfect and whole giren by David, when he rejoicing in God, when a
pronounces them to be blessman advanceth not himself ed who receive the free for his own righteousness, forgiveness of their sins. but acknowledgeth himself Whence it appears, that this to lack true justice and righ- righteousness of which he teousness, and to be justified speaks, is simply opposed to by the only faith in Christ. guilt. But the most decisive And Paul (saith he) doth passage of all on this point glory in the contempt of his is, where he teaches us that own righteousness, and that the grand object of the mihe looketh for the righteous- nistry of the gospel is, that ness of God by faith. These
" he reconciled to be the very words of St. Ba- Godt,” because he is pleassil. And St. Ambrose, a ed to receive us into his faLatin author, saith these vour through Christ, - not words: This is the ordinance imputing” our “ trespasses of God, that they, which unto us.' Let the reader believe in Christ, should be carefully examine the whole saved without works, by, context; for when, hy way faith only, freely receiving of explanation, he just after remission of their sins. adds, in order to describe
* Rom. iv, 6–8.
+ 2 Cor. v. 18, 19..
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Consider diligently (adds the the method of reconciliation, homily) these words, with that Christ, “ who knew no out works, -by faith only, sin*,” was “ made sin for - freely,--we receive remis. us,” he undoubtedly means sion of our sins. What can by the term reconciliation be spoken more plainly, than no other than justification. to say, freely, without works, Nor would there be any by faith only, we obtain re truth in what he affirms in mission of our sins?-Second another place, that we are part of the Homily of salva " made . righteous by the tion, p. 14, 15.
obedience of Christ t," unMan cannot make himself less we are reputed righteous righteous by his own works, before God in him and out neither in part, nor in the of ourselves.-Institut. 1.3. whole. For that were the c. ll. S. 4. greatest arrogancy and pre But as many persons imasumption of man, that an- gine righteousness to be tichrist could set up against composed of faith and works, God, to affirm that a man let us also prove, before we might, by his own works,take proceed, that the righteousaway and purge his own sins, ness of faith is so exceedingand so justify himself. But ly different from that of justification is the office of works, that if the one be esGod only, and is not a thing tablished, the other must newhich we render unto him, cessarily be subverted. The but which we receive of him: apost!e says, “I count all not which we give to him, things but dung, that I may but which we take of him, win Christ, and be found in by his free mercy, and hy hin, not having mine own the only merits of his most righteousness, which is of dearly beloved son, our only 'the law, but that which is redeemer, saviour, and jus- through the faith of Christ, tifier.-Ibid. p. 15, 16.
the righteousness which is of * 2 Cor. v. 21.
† Rom. v. 19.
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The true understanding of God by faith *.” Here you this doctrine, we be justified see a comparison of two freely by faith without works, opposites, and an implication or that we be justified by that his own righteousness faith in Christ only; is not must be forsaken by him that this our own act, to be who wishes to obtain the lieve in Christ, or ihis our righteousness of Christ.faith in Christ, which is Wherefore, in another place within us, doth justify us he states this to have been and deserve our justification the cause of the ruin of the unto us, (for that were to Jews, that “going about to count ourselves to be justi- establish their own righfied by some act or virtue teousness, they have not subthat is within ourselves.) So mitted themselves unto the that, as St. John the Baptist, righteousness of God 7." If although he were never so by establishing our own righvirtuous and godly a man, teousness we reject the righyet, in this matter of for teousness of God; then, in giving sin, he did put the order to obtain the latter, the people from him, and ap former must doubtless be pointed them unto Christ, entirely renounced. Heconsaying thus unto them, Be veys the same sentiment, hold, yonder is the lamb of when he asserts, that“boastGud which taketh away the ing is excluded. By what sins of the world: even so, law ? of works? nay : but as great and as godly a vir- by the law
by the law of faith 1." tue as faith is, yet it putteth Whence it follows, that as us from itself, and remitteth long as there remains the or appointeth us unto Christ, least particle of righteousfor to have only by him re ness in our works, we retain mission of our sins, or jus some cause for boasting. But tification, so that our faith if faith excludes all boasting, in Christ (as it were) saith the righteousness of works
* Phil. iii. 8. Rom, x. 3. [Ibid, iü. 27.
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unto us thus, It is not I that can by no means be associate take away your sins, but it ed with the righteousness of is Christ only, and to him faith. To this purpose he only I send you for that pur speaks so clearly in the pose; forsaking therein all fourth chapter to the Royour good virtues, words, mans, as to leave no room thoughis, and works, and for cavil or uncertainty. "If only putting your trust in Abrahain (says he) were jusChrist. Homily of salva- tified by works, he hath tion, Part II. p. 16.
whereof 10 glory*.”.
He God of his own mer- adds, “but” he hath "not" cy, through the only me whereof to glory : “ before pits and deservings of his God." It follows, therefore, Son Jesus Christ, doth that he was not justified by justify us. Nevertheless, works. Then he advances because faith doth directly another argument from two send us to Christ, for remis- opposites. “To bim that sion of our sins; and that worketh is the reward not by faith, given us of God, reckoned of grace, but of we embrace the promise of debt +." But righteousness God's mercy, and of the is attributed to faith through remission of our sins (which grace. Therefore it is not ibing none other of our vir- from the merit of works. tues or works properly doth); Adieu therefore to the fantherefore Scripture useth to ciful notion of those who say, that faith withont works imagine a righteousness comdoth justify. And foras- pounded of faith and works. much, that it is all one sen -Institut. l. 3. c. 1!. s. 13. tence in effect, to say, faith without works, and only faith, doth justify us ; therefore, the old ancient fathers of the church, from time to time, have uttered our justification with this speech, only faith justifieth us : meaning none other thing than St. Paul