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CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
meant, when he said, faith without works justifieth us. And because all this is brought to pass through the only merits and deservings of our Saviour Christ, and not through our merits, or through the merit of any virtue that we have within us, or of any work that cometh from us; therefore, in that respect of merit and deserving, we forsake (as it were) all together again, faith, works, and all other virtues. For our own imperfection is so great, through the corruption of original sin, that all is imperfect that is within us; faith, charity, hope, dread, thoughts, words, and works; and therefore not apt to'merit and discern any part of our justification for us. And this form of speaking use we in the humbling of ourselves to God; and to give all the glory to our Saviour Christ, who is best worthy to have it.Ibid. Part III. p. 17.
The Bishop's statement of the doctrine of Justification is not consistent with that given by the Church in these
passages. He says, p. 111. “ Had there been such an unwearied observance of the law “ in any one, it would have given him a title, upon the ground of strict justice, without any grace or favour, to the sentence of justification :" and in the following page he adds, “Faith stands in the place of righteousness or uniform obedience; and through the mercy of God OBTAINS for the transgressor that JUSTIFICATION as
grace, which his own uniform obedience, had it taken place, would have obtained for him as a debt of justice.” If his lordship means,
66 that this OUR OWN ACT, to believe in Christ, or this OUR FAITH in Christ, which is within us, DOTH JUSTIFY us and DESERVE OUR JUSTIFICATION unto us," this is what the Homily expressly denies. If his lordship's meaning be any thing else, he has been extremely unhappy in the language he has used on this subject.
If his lordship be really attached to the doctrine of the Articles and Homilies, how can we account for such observations as these? “ There are more passages in the epistles, which attribute justification and salvation 10 good works than to faith.” p. 161. “Men, as they now are, are not capable of perfect obedience, but they are capable of endeavouring to attain it. SUCH AN ENDEAVOUR is their indispensable duty; and although it may not in all instances, and upon every occasion, be effectual, it is humbly hoped that it MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO RECOMMEND THEM TO THE FAVOUR of God." p. 174. The attainment of eternal happiness is made to depend upon our own choice and exertions.”
“ Our Saviour not only assigns eternal life to those who have performed acts of mercy to their fellow creatures, but expressly on account of those acts." In the New Testament, «G WORKS ARE clearly made THE GRAND HINGE on which our justiFICATION AND SALVATION turn.". .66 Works are the grand turning point in the matter of our salvation."
The frequent assertion of St. Paul, that a man is not justified by the works of the law, is represented by Dr. T. as referring solely to “ the observance of the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation.” p. 114, 115.
" Whenever St. Paul, in speaking of justification, uses the word works or deeds, the invariably adds, “ of the law;" he frequently says, “a man is not justified by the works of the law;' but not once does he say “a man is not justified by works." p. 120. But had his lordship forgotten this passage ? “ If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory.” Rom. iv. 2. Here we find the phrase“justified by works," not followed by the words which his lordship asserts are “INVARIABLY ADDED.'
The works denied to have had any share in Abraham's justification could not be “the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation"--and we are expressly informed in a subsequent verse, that this refers to a period even antecedent to the institution of circumcision. His lordship says,
" It is the doctrine of our church that baptism duly administered, confers justification." p. 147. Baptism may be duly administered, and yet not be rightly received. Its spiritual benefits are restricted in the 27th article, to them “ that receive it rightly." But in what part of the Articles, Homilies, or Liturgy, it is said to confer justification, his lordship has not thought proper to state. Such an assertion as this re . quired proof. But his lordship is accustomed to assertion without proof.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
A quick or lively faith But why do I use such an is not only the common be obscure testimony? Paul ina lief of the articles of our variably denies, that peace faith, but it is also a true or tranquillity can be ene trust and confidence of the joyed in the conscience; mercy of God through our without a certainty that we Lord Jesus Christ, and a justified by faith *." steadfast hope of all good And he also declares, whence things to be received at that certainty proceeds: it is God's hand.1 Hom. on " because the love of God is faith, p. 20.
shed abroad in our hearts by They (the Old Testament the Holy Ghost t;" as though saints) did not only know
he had said that our conGud to be the lord, maker, sciences can never be satisand governor of all men in fied without a certain pero * Rom. v. 1.
Rom. v. 5.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
CALVIN the world; but also they had suasion of our acceptance a special confidence and trust, with God. Thence he exthat he was, and would be, claims in the name of all their God, their comforter, the pious,
the pious, “Who shall seaider, helper, maintainer, and parate us from the love of defender. This is the Chris. God, which is in Christ *?" tian faith which these holy for till we have reached that men had, and we also ought port of safety, we shall tremto have.-2 Hom. on faith, ble with alarm at every
slightest breeze ; but while He that doth consider all God shall manifest himself these things, and helieveth as our shepherd, we shall them assuredly, as they are “ fear no evil t."-Institut. to be believed, even from l. 3. c. 13. 5.5. the bottom of his heart; being established in God in this true faith, having a quiet conscience in Christ, a firm hope, and assured trust in God's mercy, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to obtain this quietness, rest, and everlasting joy; shall not only be without fear of bodily death, &c.-3 Hom. against fear of death, p. 61, 62. CHURCH OF ENGLAND.,
CALVIN. « To fast, with this per The observation of Ausuasion of mind, that.,our gustine is strictly true, that fasting and our good works all, who are strangers to the can make us perfect and just religion of the one true men, and, finally, bring us God, however they may be to heaven; this is a devilish esteemed worthy of adunirapersuasion.”
Hom. on tion for their reputed virtue, fasting, p. 168.
not only merit no reward, “ It? [nainely, the para. but are rather deserving of ble of the Pharisee and Pub- punishment; because they lican] “ is spoken to them contaminate the pure gifts * Rom. viii. 33.
* Psalm xxiii. 4.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
"CALVIN. that trusted in themselves; of God with the pollution of that they were righteous, their own hearts. For though and despised others. Now, they are instruments used because the Pharisee direct- by God for the preservation eth his works to an evil end, of human society by the exseeking by them justifica. ercise of justice, continence, tion, which indeed is the friendship, temperance, forproper work of God, with- titude, and prudence; yet out our merits ; his fasting they perform these good twice in the week, and all works of God very improhis other works, though they perly ; being restrained from were never so many, and the commission of evil not seemed to the world never by a sincere attachment to so good and holy, yet, in true virtue; but either by very deed, before God, they mere ambition, or by selfare altogether evil and abo- love, or by some other irreminable."-Ibid. p. 169.
gular disposition. These ac
tions therefore being corrupted in their very source by the inpurity of their hearts, are no more entitled to be classed among virtues, than those vices which commonly deceive mankind by their affinity and similitude to virtues. Besides, when we remember that the end of what is right is always to serve God; whatever is directed to any other end can have no claim to that appellation. Therefore, since they regard not the end prescribed by divine wisdom, though an act performed by them be externally and apparently good, yet being directed to a wrong end it becomes sin.-Institut. l. 3. C. 14. . 3.