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that faith and new obedience are one and the fame thing. I own that faith is a virtue or grace, conmanded by the law of God, and that a believer, by his very believing, obeys God. I likewise confess, that we are to look upon nothing, as a true and living faith, which is not fruitful in good works, But yet faith is one thing, and the obedience flowing from it quite another, especially in the matter of justification, of which we now speak, where Paul always contradistinguishes the obedience of all manner of works to faith. For, it is a rafh attempt to confine to a certain species or kind of works, what the Apostle says concerning them all in general. The force of truth extorted from Schlichtingius this afsercion : faith, in its strit and proper : signification, bears the same relation to obedience, as the cause to the effect, as the tree to the fruit, as the mother to the daughter, contra Meisnerum, p. 325. In fine, neither the truth nor the justice of God allow our faith and our obedience, which are imperfect, to be admitted as perfect. For, it is the will of God, that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in our justification, and not that any thing be derogated from it, as we proved Sect. XLII.
XLIX. Others think proper to say, that faith is The sen. here considered as a condition, which the covenant timent of of
a certaint grace requires of us, in order to our justification.
learned A certain learned divine of ours, in a volume of
person ex disputations lately published, speaks thus: Nothing posed. can be said with greater probability, fimplicity and more agreeable to Scripture, than that justification is therefore ascribed to faiib; because faith is the condition, which the Gospel requires of us, in order to our being accounted righteous and innocent before God. And a little after; yea, since we affirm, that faith alone justifies, we don't intend, that the alone ałt of believing, 'taken precisely, as it is opposed to acts of love and bope, and distinguished from repentance, is the condition, which the new covepant, or the Gospel requires, in order to obtain remitlign
of fin, and be absolved from them on account of Christ. For, the hope of pardon, and love to God, forrow also for sin, and purpose of a new life ; in a word, all the afts, requisite to a genuine and serious conversion, are also somewhat necessary, and altogether prerequisite, in order for any to be reccived into the favour of God, and from thence forward to be accounted a justified person, yea, that a living faith that works by love, which we affirm alone to justify, includes and implies all these things. And the learned person imagines these are such truths, as the doctors both of the Romilh and reformed schools receive with common consent. He also adds: As often as the Apostle affirms, that we are not justified by works but by faith, he intends nothing else, but that none can, on any account, be justified by such observance of the law, as the legal covenant requires, in order to obtain life thereby, and escape the curse of God: but that God accounts as righteous, and out of mere grace, freely forgives all the fins of those, who with fincerity receive the Gospel, and from faith perform obedience thereto. These things justly call for our animadversion.
L. ist. With this very learned person's leave, I be found doubt, whether he can perfuade any, who is not in the con- altogether unskilled in theological matters, that what teslioa of he has proposed, is the received opinion of the churches, reformed school. I find nothing of this in their
confessions and catechisms; but there is a great deal, which does not differ much from the words of the learned person, in the writings of those, whose unhappy names and heretical principles, I from my
very heart believe are detestable to hin. Faith does
LI. 2dly: When the discourse is about the not justify, relation which faith bears to justification, the as it is our learned person does not seem with sufficient cauact enjoin ed by God.
tion, to repeat so often the axt of believing. For, it is well known, that the reformed churches condemned Arminius and his followers, for saying that faith comes to be considered in the matter of juftification, as a work or act of ours; whereas the
But not to
Dutch confession speaks far more accurately; namely, that faith is here instead of an instrument, whereby we are joined together with Christ in a partnership or communion of all bis benefits. 'I am well aware, that this is not very agreeable to the learned person, who maintains, that faith can be said to be the instrument of justification, no other way, but as it is a kind of condition, prequisite on our part thereto. But when the remonstrant apologists, in order to be relieved from that troublesoine expression, of our confeffions by their softening interpretation, wrote; that faith is therefore said to be the instrument of justification, as it is a work performed by us according to the command, and by the grace of God. For, a condition, so far as it is performed, may in some measure be said to become a mean or instrument, whereby we obtain the thing promised on such a condition, "Apolog. p. 112 a. The reformed protested, that they were displeased with this explication. They deny not, that our master, Christ himself, says Jobn 6. 29, that faith is a work : neither do they refuse that, in the matter of justification, the apprehending and receiving Christ is an act of faith; and that faith ought to be so far considered as active.
Yet they deny, that faith justifies as it is an act prescribed by God (for thus it would stand in the same relation with the other works enjoined by the law) but they affirm, that we are juftified by that act, as by it we apprehend Christ. are united to him, and embrace his righteousness. Which they usually explain by this fimilitude:ą beggar's stretching forth his hand, by which, at the command of a rich man, he receives the free gift of his charity, is the act of the beggar prescribed by the rich; but it doth not enrich the beggar, as it is an act, but as by this means he applies the gift to himself and appropriates, or makes it his own. These things are too evident to be obscured by any quibbles, or subtleties whatever.
Nor is LII. 3dly. Nor do I think it an accurate way is proper, of speaking, that faith is the condition, which the condition Gospel requireth of us, in order to be accounted
righteous and without guilt before God. The conmatter of 'dition of justification, properly speaking, is perfect juttifica
obedience only: this the law requires : nor does the tion,
Gospel substitute any other: but declares that satisfaction has been made to the law by Christ our surety; moreover, that it is the office of faith to accept that satisfaction offered to it, and by accepting appropriate the same. Which is quite a different thing from saying, (as the Socinians and remonftrants do, and which I know not whether the learned person would choose to say), that, in the room of perfect obedience, which the law prescribed, as the condition of justification, the gospel now requireth faith, as the condition of the same justification. Tho' some of the reformed have said, that faith is a condition fine qua non, without which we cannot be justified: yet they were far from being of opinion, that faith is a condition properly so called, on performing which, man Thould, according to the gracious covenant of God, have a right to justification as to a reward. This is very far from the mind of the truely reforined. See what the celebrated Triglandius has fully, solidly and perspicuously reasoned against the subtle triling of the remonftrants in Examine" Apologiæ, c. 20, 21, and Isaac Junius in Antapologia, P 236.
LIII. 4thly. Neither is it according to the mind the acts of of the reformed church, that the acts of hope and the other ' love, nay, all those, which are required to a true graces in- and serious conversion, are included in justifying
faith as juftifying, and concur with faith, strictly fo juftifying. called to justification. Wlien the remonstrants faid
in their confeffion, that faith contains in its compass the whole of a man's conversion prescribed by the Gospel : nay, the prescript of faith can bere be considered in no ather light, than as, by its natural propriety, it includes
cluded in faith as
the obedience of faith, and is as a fruitful parent of
in whatbefore the sentiments of this celebrated person came ever light to hand, the same exception, which he makes, that considera by the works, which Paul excludes from justification, ed, opis understood the perfect observance of the law, such pored to as the legal covenant requires. For thus he says justificade servat. P. 4. C. !1, the works, to which faith is tion. oppoféd, are not every kind of works, nor taken and considered in every light, but, as we have observed elfewhere, these works denote an absolute and perpetual observance and performance of the divine law, thro' the whole course of life. But our divines openly declared