Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

but also on themselves. In order to calm the con-
sciences of believers, when thus shaken by the false
accuser, they have need to be abfolved from this ac-
cusation, and justified from this false teftimony be-
fore God; which God also daily does, assuring the
elect of the sincerity of their conversion, by the testi-
mony of his spirit, and thereby shewing, that the
praise of a true Jew is of him, Rom. 2. 29. This jufti-
fication is, indeed, very different from that other, of
which we shall presently treat, wherein the perforı is
absolved from sins, whereof he is really guilty, and
which are forgiven him on Christ's account. In this
we are speaking of, he is acquitted of fins, which he
is not chargeable with, and is declared not to have

committed.
Jts foun. XXIV. The foundation of this justification can be
dation in- nothing but inherent boliness and righteousnefs. "For,
sighteouf- as it is a declaration concerning a man, as he is
ness. in himself; by the regenerating and fanctifying

grace of God, so it ought to have for its founda-
tion, that which is found in man himself: He that
doth righteousness is righteous, says John, 1 John 3. 7;
and Peter says, Acts 10. 34, 35, of a truth, I perceive,
that, in every nation, he ibat feareth him and worketh
righteousness, is accepted with God. And Luke, in the
name of God, gives this teftimony to the parents of
John the Baptist, that they were righteous before God,
walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the
Lord, blameless, Luke 1. 6. But yet inherent righteous-
ness is not the foundation of this justification, from
its own worthiness, or because it is a toliness exactly
commensurate with the rule of the law, but because
it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the Elect, which
God cannot but acknowledge and delight in as his
own, and because the failings, with which it is al-
ways stained in this world, are forgiven for Christ's

fake. Thisjufti

XXV. In this senise we think the Apostle James fication speaks of justification, in that much controverted

passage,

passage, Jam. 2.21, 24: where he declares, that treated of

Abraham was not justified by faith only, but also by works, by James, and insists upon it, that every man ought to be justified in this manner. For, the scope of the Apostle. is to Thew, that it is not sufficient for a Christian to boast of the remission of his sins, which indeed, is obtained by faith only, but then it must be a living faith on Christ: but that besides, he ought to labour after holiness, that, being justified by faith only, that is, acquitted from the sins he had been guilty of, on account of Christ's satisfaction, apprehended by faith, he may likewise be justified by his works, that is, declared to be truly regenerated, believing and holy; behaving as becomes those who are regenerated, believing and holy. Thus our father Abraham behav. ed, who, having been before now justified by faith only, that is, obtained the remission of his fins, was afterwards also justified by his works. For, when he offered up, his fon to God, then God said to him, now I know, that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy fon, thine only son from me, Gen, 22. 12. And James infifts, upon it, that this last juftification is so necessary to believers, that, if it be wanting,

the first ought to be accounted only vain and ima. .. ginary. I

XXVI. These things are evident from Scripture: The fame but, least any after, the manner of the world, should owned by ridicule this, I inform the more unskilful, that this our most

celebrated 's is no invention of mine, but that the most celebrated

divines. iTM!

divines have, before me, spoken of such a justification

according to inherent righteousness and of works. Buoferus in altero Colloquio Ratisbonensi, p. 313, says, we

think that this begun righteousness is really a true and living righteousness, a noble and excellent gift of God; and that the new life in Christ confists in this righteous. nefs, and that all the saints are also righteous by this righteousness, both before God and before men, and THAT ON - ACCOUNT THEREOF THE SAINTS ARE ALSO JUSTIFIED BY A JUSTIFICATION OF WORKS, that is,

.

[ocr errors]

are approved, commended and rewarded by God. Cal-
vin teaches much the same, Instit. lib. 3. 6. 17. fe&t. 8,
which concludes with these words, The good works,
done by believers, are connted righteous, or, which is the
Jame, ARE IMPUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS,: The
very learned Ludovicus de Dieu has at large explained
and proved this opinion, in Comment. ad Rom. 81-4.
And he quotes, as agreeing with hin, herein, Da-
niel Colonius, formerly regent or professor of the
French colledge at Leyden. The fame is also main-
tained by the Revd. Dr. Peter de Witte, that very
able defender of the truth, in Controverfia de justifica-
tione adversus Socinianos. And Triglandius explains
the passage of James to the fame purpose with us,
making use of the very fame distinction of justifica-
tion, in Examine Apologia Remonftrantium, c. 21,

p. 316.
The just, XXVII. Let us now at length proceed to treat of
fication of

the justification of man as a sinner, but considered as a finner, considered

in Christ the surety: As this subject is the foundation asinChrist of all solid comfort, so it is full of myiteries and per defined. plexed with many controversies: nevertheless it is

clearly delivered in the Scriptures, if men would only
be satisfied with their fimplicity, and not shut their
eyes against the light, which so freely shines upon
them, nor give way to curious niceties, and the
roving of a luxuriant fancy. We thus define the
Gospel-justification of a sinner : it is a judicial, but
gracious act of God, whereby the ele! and believing fin.
ner, is absolved from the guilt of his fins, and hatha
right to eternal life adjudged to him, on account of the

obedience of Christ, received by faith.
God XXVIII. This is evident,that all men, considered
could not in themselves, are abominable finners before God,
juftly jur.

and obnoxious to eternal death. Paul before proved ners, but both Jews and Gentiles, to be all under fin; so tbat every as confi- mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become dered in guilty before God, Rom. 3:9, 19. But since, as we obChrift, served before, the judgment of God is always ac

cording

[ocr errors]

tify sin

[ocr errors]

cording to truth, it cannot be otherwise, but that God declare those, who in themselves are finners, and liable to death, to be really fo in themselves, Yet the scripture declares, that God justifies finners, that is, acquits them from sin and from being liable to eternal death, and adjudges them a right to eter, nal life. And unless this was the case, the salvation and hope of all mankind had been at an end. But certainly, God does this agreeably to his truth and justice. :i le is therefore necessary, that they, who are finners in themselves, appear in another light to a justifying God, namely as .confidered in another, whose perfect rigteousness may be so imputed to them, as; in virtue thereof, they may be reputed righteous. And this is the mystery of our justification in the faith of Christ.

XXIX. After all had sinned in Adam, and come Christ perThort of the glory of God, the only begotten fon of formed God offered himself as furety to the father and for the promised, that, at the time appointed, he would fulfil, all the demands of the law forthe elect. And ceffáry for

thing ne he also executed this with all fidelity: he was born their Justiof a virgin, without any spot of sin, being con-fication. ceived by the Holy Ghoft, and endowed with original righteousness, in order to remove the guilt of original sin, and make up the defect of original righteousness which the elect are born without. Befides, from his very infancy, and thro' the whole course of his life, especially at the close thereof, he endured all manner of sufferings, both in soul and in body, humbling, nay emptying himself, and being obedient to the father unto death, even the death of the cross; that he might bear, in their stead, the punishment due to the sins of his chosen people; the dignity of the person, who suffered abundantly compensating what was wanting in the duration of the punishment, which otherwise must have been eternal. In fine, he fully performed for his people all that the law required, in order to obtain a right

elect every

[ocr errors]

to

[ocr errors]

to eternal life. Had the elect themselves, in their
own persons, performed, what Christ did for them,
there is no doubt, but they would have obtaind that,
for which they might, have been justified by God,
nay and ought to have been so, at least according to

the + covenant. And justly

XXX. Moreover, since whatever of this kind imputed Jesus performed, he did it by a voluntary under

.

taking with the fathers approbation, in the room and
stead of the ele&t: It is deservedly imputed to them,
and placed to their account: just as what a surety
pays for å debtor, or in his stead, is accounted as
paid by him to the first creditor. Paul, in the fifth
chapter of his epistle to the Romans, has handled
this point in an excellent and divine manner; the
fum of which is contained v. 19, as by one man's
disobedience many were made constituted finners; fo by the
obedience of one, hall many be made constituted righte-

[ocr errors]

cus.

When by

XXXI Moreover, to set the ground of this
faith unit-imputation in a clearer light, we must observe that
edinto one Christ, according to the eternal counsel of the father
body with
him.

not only undertook all these things for the elect,
and fulfilled them, agreeable to his undertaking,
but also, that the elect, before the righteousness of
Chrit is imputed to them for justification of life,
are so closely united to him by faith, as to be one
body, i Cor. 12, 13, and which is still more indivi-
fible, or indisulable, one spirit with him, 1 Cor: 6.17;
nor are they only united, but he and they are one
and that hy such an unity or oneness, in which
there is some faint resemblance of that most împle.
oneness whereby the divine persons are one anong
themselves, John 17. 22, 23.

But in virtue of this

| The author, I suppose, means that covenant, which fays, the man which doth those things, fhall live by them, Rom. 10.5.

2

« AnteriorContinuar »