« PoprzedniaDalej »
here occurs, whether the temporary faith of those, who “ for a while believe, and in time of temptation 4 fall away,” ever deserved to be called a true
faith ;" or whether a true faith ever degenerates into a dead faith? But it is not necessary to discuss this, at present, especially as some things, respecting it, will, in the next chapter, come under our consideration. It is observable, that justification, when lost, may be renewed, yet regeneration cannot: but they, who have sinned away regeneration, must still be addressed as regenerate. I can see no reason for this distinction, unless the opus operatum of baptism is actually regeneration. .
As the note from Dr. Waterland contains nothing, beyond what has been considered ; and as he, however learned and respectable, is not authority, in that sense, in which the Scriptures are to all, and the liturgy and articles, &c, are to the members and ministers of the established church; it is not needful to make remarks upon it. : P. cxliv. I. 12. "Repentance and faith are the
only things required for baptism, or justification.' In the former chapter, it was baptism, or regener«ation;' here it is • baptism, or justification.' Is then taptism not only regeneration, but justification also ? The answer, in the catechism referred to, says no such thing. Question. What is required of per
sons to be baptized ? Answer. Repentance, whereby • they forsake sin, and faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that sacrament.' There is not a word about justification; nor even, in this answer, concerning regeneration.
· P. cxlv. 1. 16. As by baptism, &c." Why not sealed, in baptism, as well as in the Lord's supper! Baptism- is also a sign of regeneration, or new.birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that • receive baptisan rightly, are grafted into the church;
the promises of the forgiveness of our sins, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed." Is remission of sins, in adults, more inseparably connected with baptism, than with the Lord's supper? If hypocrites, coining to the Lord's supper, eat and drink their own condemnation ; do hypocrites, coming to baptism, receive salvation ? Surely, both are signs and seals, and nothing more: they are signs and seals, to the believer, but not to the unbeliever, whatever be his profession. It is sealed to those who are truly
penitent:' then it is not so much as sealed to the impenitent. But suppose a believer, who had fallen into sin, now truly penitent, yet so circumstanced, that he could not receive the Lord's supper; or even so mistaken, that he thought himself not required to do it: would he not be pardoned, though he did. not receive the outward pledge and seal of his forgiveness ? !
P. cxlv. last line. We ' beseech him to grant us true repentance, &c.” This certainly implies, that
1 As by baptism, says Bishop Bull, all sins committed before
the grace of the gospel is received, are washed away ;, so in the ' Lord's supper the remission of all sins, which are committed
after baptism and regeneration, is sealed to those who are truly penitent,' * Art. xxvii. 3 Absolution.
true repentance, both the will and the power, is the gift of God; else why do we pray for it, every time we meet in publick worship? : P. cxlvii. 1. 6. It is the doctrine of our church,
* that baptism duly administered confers justificastion.'-Baptism, rightly received, seals justification :
as Abraham's circumcisio: “ sealed to him the righ166 teousness of the faith which he had, yet being “ uncircumcised :" but God alone "confers justifica• tion ;' and faith alone receives it. If our church does indeed teach, that baptism duly administered 'confers justification ;' we should be glad to know in what part of her liturgy, articles, or hoiniljes, this is found... · P. cxlvii. I, 25. Let us attend, &c.'' I quote
: 1. Let us attend to the words of this article in the Latin, which Lois much clearer than the English : Tantum propter meritum
• Domini, ac Servatoris nostri, Jesu Christi, per Fidem, non prop'' ter opera, et merita nostra, justi coram Deo reputamur: ob
• serve, that faith is not opposed to works, but the merit of • Christ is opposed to the merit of our works-propter meritum
• Christi-non proper opera, et nierita nostra-and it is per .' Fidem, not propter Fidem. We are here said to be justified ;on account of the merit of Christ, through our own faith, and not • on account of our own works or deservings. Our works never
can have any merit towards procuring pardou of our sins, from • their own intrinsic worth; they cannot justify, or tend to justify rus. Nor has our faith any merit of this kind; we are not said
to be justified propter meritum Fidei, or, propter Fidem, but • per Fidem. The blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is • the meritorious cause of our justification; but it operates through • our faith, and through our faith only. If faith be wanting in is those to whom the gospel is made known, the merits of Christ ? are of no avail to them; and if they have faith, no other pre
· Art, ai, .
this passage, as conveying our sentiments. But if we be justified by faith only; and if no previous
condition be required ;' how can · baptism confer • justification,' on those who have previously believed, and consequently been justified ?
P. exlix. 1. 18. •God sent, &c." . Because all men be sinners and offenders against God, and *breakers of his law and commandments, therefore
can no man by his own acts, works, or deeds, • (seem they never so good,) be justified, and made
righteous before God: bui every man is of neces. • sity constrained to seek another righteousness of `justification, to be received at God's own hands, " that is to say, the forgiveness of his sins and tress passes, in such things as he hath offended. And
- vious condition is required. Wherefore, that we are justified • by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of * comfort, as more largely is expressed in the homily of justifia
cation.' • "God sent his only Son our Saviour Christ into this world, • to fulfil the law for us, and by shedding his most precious blood, • to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as it may be called) " this justification, or righteousness, which we so
amends to his father for our sins, to assuage his wrath and "" indignation conceived against us for the same. Insomuch, that
infants, being baptized and dying in their infancy, are by this r sacrifice washed from their sins, brought to God's favour, and " made his children, and inheritors of his kingdom of heaven, " And they, which in act or deed do sin after their baptism, when • they turn again to God unfeignedly, they are likewise washed .. by this sacrifice from their sins, in such sort, that there remain- eth nor any spot of sin, that shall be imputed to their damna• tion. This is that justification of righteousness which St. Paul
speaketh of, when he saith, No man is justified by the works ' of ihé law, but freely by faith in Jesus Christi'. Homily of Justification, quoted in the Refutation,
receive of God's mercy, and Christ's merits, em- : braced by faith, is taken, accepted and allowed of * our God, for our perfect and full justification. • For the more full understanding hereof, it is our ' parts and duties ever to remember the great inercy
of God, how that, (all the world being wrapped in • sin by breaking the law,) God sent his only Son, * &c." • Infants, being baptized, and dying in their • infancy, are by this sacrifice, (not by baptism,)
washed from their sins, &c.' There is no intimation, that sins before baptism are washed away, by any other washing, than sins after baptism : but both by the sacrifice of Christ. The apostle touch
eth specially three things, which must go together ' in our justification. Upon God's part, his great mercy and grace; upon Christ's part, justice ; that is, the satisfaction of God's justice, or the price of
our redemption, by the offering of his body, and • shedding of his blood, with fulfilling the law per* fectly and thoroughly : and upon our part, trưe 6 and lively faith, in the merits of Christ." St. Paul • declareth here nothing upon the behalf of man, • concerning his justification, but only a true and
lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of God, and not inan's only work without God. And yet • that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love,
* Homily on Salvation, part first. Both the article, and bis Lordship, call this · The Homily of Justification :' yet in the Book of Honoilies, it is called ' A Sermon on the salvation of mankind by * only Christ our Saviour, from sin and death reverlasting :' and -There is no homily called, “The Homily of Justification. How, or when, the title was altered does not appear.