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“ faith.”! Whatever else is mentioned, we consider it, in this one concern of justification, as merely evidential that we were partakers of the true and precious “ faith of God's elect.” 2
For we hold that no faith justifies the possessor, except that " which worketh by love," of Christ and Christians, of“ God and man;" “ that which “ overcometh the world,” both the love of the world, and the fear of all those sufferings which the men of the world can inflict upon us; and that by which God' purifieth the heart.” 3
We regard no faith as effectual for justification, which does not, in its fruits and effects, resemble that of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others of whom St. Paul reminds us in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Though faith alone justifies, as alone receiving Christ " who is made of God to us righteousness,
” 4 yet we regard none as thus justified, who are not “ in Christ new creatures ;" who do not " walk in newness of life—” “not after “ the flesh but after the Spirit.”5 In short every true believer is “ born of God,” “ created anew
unto good works ;” a humble penitent, “ doing “works meet for repentance;" an obedient servant of Christ, “ doing the will of God from the 's heart."
So that a lively faith may be, by good works, as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.' 6 In proportion to our fruitfulness so
Phil. iii. 9. See also Rom. v. 17, 18. Ps. cxlii. 2. Heb. x. 38, 39.
Tit. i. 1. 1 Pet, i. 7. 2 Pet. i. l. 3 Acts xv. 9. Gal. v. 6. 1 John v. 4, 5. +1 Cor. i. 30. - Rom. viii. 1. 2 Cor. v. 17.
Art. xii. Ex vivå fide, a living faith.-As St. James men
is the evidence of our justification, both to our own conscience, and before the church, and to the world at present: and the true Christian's “ work “ of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope “ in the Lord Jesus, in the sight of God even our
Father,”! when made known to the assembled world, will prove that he was indeed a believer, and " made the righteousness of God in Christ.” Most of these points will need to be resumed: but it is not necessary here to enlarge further on them. Our general meaning is clearly declared : and I advocate the cause of none who do not admit the latter part of the statement, as fully and unreservedly as the former.
* You shall understand that, in our justification ' by Christ, it is not all one thing, the office of God sunto man, and the office of man unto God. Jus* tification is not the office of man, but of God ;2 ' for man cannot make himself righteous by his own ' works, neither in part nor in the whole.—But jus* tification is the office of God only, and is not a thing which we render to him, but which we receive of
not which we give to him, but which we take of hin, by his free mercy, and by the only merits of ' his most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ. So that 'the true understanding of this doctrine, We be
justified freely by faith without works, or, That * we be justified by faith only, is not, that this our ‘own act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in
tions a “dead faith," but does not in so many words oppose to it a living faith; it has been asked, " What do you mean by 'a living faith ?' To which it is enough to answer,' That which • is not dead :' and to refer to our Latin Article.
1 Thes. i. 3. 2 Rom. iii. 26. iv. 5. viii. 33.
• Christ doth justify us, and deserve our justifica'tion unto us ; for that were to count ourselves `justified by some act or virtue that is within our
selves : But the true understanding and meaning 'is, that, although we hear God's word and believe 'it, although we have faith, hope, charity, repen
tance, dread and fear of God within us, and do 'never so many works thereunto ; yet we must
renounce the merit of all our said virtues ... ' and good deeds, which we either have done, shall ‘do, or can do, as things that be far too weak,
and insufficient, and imperfect, to deserve remis‘sion of our sins and our justification. And there'fore we must trust only in God's mercy, and that “sacrifice, which our High Priest and Saviour Christ
Jesus, the Son of God, once offered for us upon 'the cross, to obtain thereby God's grace and re' mission, as well of our original sin in baptism, as of all actual sin committed by us after our baptism; if we truly repent and unfeignedly 'turn to him again.'- 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.''
* Here you have heard the office of God in our ‘justification, and how we receive it of him freely,
by his mercy, without our deserts, through true ' and lively faith. Now you shall hear the office ' and duty of a Christian man unto God; what we ought on our part to render unto God again for
'Hom. of Salvation, Part 2.
his great mercy and goodness.-Our office is, 'not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully or idly, after that we are baptized or justified ;not caring how few good works we do, to *the glory of God, and the profit of our neigh• bours.'—That faith, which bringeth forth (without repentance,) either evil works, or no good works, is not a right, pure, and lively faith, but a dead, devilish, counterfeit, and feigned faith, as St. Paul and St. James call it.' 2
We may now proceed to make some remarks, on passages in the Refutation, which likewise are introductory to the main subject.
* Osiander relates twenty discordant opinions on justification.' (Bellarmine.) "Salmeron ascribes 'to the Lutherans twenty-two different opinions 'concerning justification.'3
Cardinal Bellarmine was one of the most bitter and able enemies to the Reformation, which the church of Rome ever produced; and not very scrupulous about the weapons with which he fought the battles of that church. Osiander at first favoured and helped Luther ; but at length he adopted and avowed new sentiments about justification, which after Luther's death he falsely ascribed to him. Being opposed by the steady friends of Luther's doctrine, he no doubt attempted to expose and vilify them and their opinions. I know nothing of Salmeron, and have not access to the book whence the quotation is made.-It is,
1 See preceding quotation.
Ibid. Part 3. 3 Translation of note in Ref. 97. from Bellarmine and Cent. Magd.
however, certain, that at the era of the Reformation (as indeed at other times,) various discordant sentiments were maintained, and some of them extravagant and pernicious in no small degree: yet the Lutherans, properly so called, immediately after the Reformation, opposed one uniform doctrine against all these discordant sentiments; which doctrine is stated in all the professions of faith made during that age, with no material difference, by the several protestant and reformed churches. Nor were the Lutherans considered as answerable for the notions of those who sprang up, in that age of innovation, “speaking perverse
things to draw away disciples after them,” by any but apostates and papists, and others “ who
spake evil of those things which they under6 stood not.”
* The application of this word (justification) in the New Testament is not confined to Christians. * St. Paul and St. James both speak of the justifi'cation of Abraham.'i
The example of Abraham, both as justified by faith, and“ as shewing his faith by his works,” is brought forward in the New Testament, as the grand exemplar and illustration of a Christian's justification, and of the fruits and effects of that faith which justifies. In respect of him it was first said, “He believed in the Lord, and it was “ accounted to him for righteousness.”3 In what
* Ref. 98. * Rom. iv. 1-5, 9-25. Gal. iii. 6—29. Heb. vi. 13-18. xi. 8-17. Jam. ii. 22-25.
3 Gen. xv. 6.