« PoprzedniaDalej »
OF THE FALL OF MAN, ORIGINAL SIN, AND THE STATE OF MAN BEFORE JUSTIFICATION.
22. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death went over all men, forasmuch as all have sinned.
23. Original sin standeth not in the imitation of Adam (as the Pelagians dream), but is the fault and corruption of the nature of every person that naturally is engendered and propagated from Adam, whereby it cometh to pass, that man is deprived of original righteousness, and by nature is bent unto sin; and therefore in every person born into the world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation.
24. This corruption of nature doth remain even in those that are regenerated, whereby the flesh always lusteth against the Spirit, and cannot be made subject to the law of God. And howsoever, for Christ's sake, there be no condemnation to such as are regenerate and do believe; yet doth the apostle acknowledge, that in itself this concupiscence hath the nature of sin.
* IX. 25. "The condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God."
Wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasing and acceptable unto God, without the grace of God preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.
26. Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasing unto God,
forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace (or, as the school authors say, deserve grace of congruity); yea rather, for that they are not done in such sort that God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they are sinful.
27. All sins are not equal, but some far more heinous than others; yet the very least is of its own nature mortal, and without God's mercy making the offender liable unto everlasting damnation.
28. God is not the author of sin: howbeit he doth not only permit, but also by his providence govern and order the same, guiding it in such sort by his infinite wisdom, as it turneth to the manifestation of his own glory, and to the good of his elect.
OF CHRIST, THE MEDIATOR OF THE SECOND COVENANT.
29. The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the true and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were inseparably joined in one person, making one Christ, very God and very man.
30. Christ, in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, from which he was clearly void, both in his life and in his nature. He came as a lamb without spot to take away the sins of the world, by the sacrifice of himself once made, and
sin (as St. John saith) was not in him. He fulfilled the law for us perfectly; for our sakes he endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body. He was crucified and died to reconcile his Father unto us; and to be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for all our actual transgressions. He was buried, and descended into hell, and the third day rose from the dead, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, until he return to judge all men at the last day.
OF THE COMMUNICATING OF THE GRACE OF CHRIST.
31. They are to be condemned that presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature; for Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ whereby men must be saved.
* 32. VIII. “None can come unto Christ unless it be given unto him, and unless he draw him. all men are not so drawn by the Father, that they may come unto the Son; [* VII.] neither is there such a sufficient measure of grace vouchsafed unto every man, whereby he is enabled to come unto everlasting life."
33. All God's elect are in their time inseparably
united unto Christ, by the effectual and vital influence of the Holy Ghost, derived from him, as from the head, unto every true member of his mystical body. And being thus made one with Christ, they are truly regenerated, and made partakers of him and all his benefits.
OF JUSTIFICATION AND FAITH.
34. We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, applied by faith, and not for our own works or merits. And this righteousness, which we so receive of God's mercy and Christ's merits, embraced by faith, is taken, accepted, and allowed of God, for our perfect and full justification.
35. Although this justification be free unto us, yet it cometh not so freely unto us, that there is no ransom paid therefore at all. God shewed his mercy in delivering us from our former captivity, without requiring any ransom to be paid, or amends to be made, on our parts, which thing, by us, had been impossible to be done. And whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any desert of ours, to provide for us the most precious merits of his own Son, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied; so that Christ is now the righteousness of all them that truly believe in him: he for them paid their ransom by his death; he for them fulfilled the law in his life; that now in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law; forasmuch
as that which our infirmity was not able to effect, Christ's justice hath performed; and thus the justice and mercy of God do embrace each other, the grace of God not shutting out the justice of God in the matter of our justification, but only shutting out the justice of man (that is to say, the justice of our own works) from being any cause of deserving our justification.
36. When we say, that we are justified by faith only, we do not mean, that the said justifying faith is alone in man without true repentance, hope, charity, and the fear of God (for such a faith is dead, and cannot justify); neither do we mean, that this our act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in Christ, which is within us, doth of itself justify us, or deserve our justification unto us (for that were to account ourselves to be justified by the virtue or dignity of something that is within ourselves); but the true understanding and meaning thereof is, that although we hear God's word, and believe it; although we have faith, hope, charity, repentance, and the fear of God, within us, and add never so many good works thereunto, yet we must renounce the merit of all our said virtues, of faith, hope, charity, and all our other virtues and good deeds, which we either have done, shall do, or can do, as things that be far too weak and imperfect, and insufficient, to deserve remission of our sins, and our justification; and, therefore, we must trust only in God's mercy, and the merits of his most dearly beloved Son, our only Redeemer, Saviour and Justifier, Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, because faith doth directly send us to Christ for our justification, and that by faith, given us of God, we embrace the promise of God's mercy, and the remission of our sins