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justification itself, shall be afterward declared. But it is not yet proved, nor ever will be, that whatever is required in them that are to be justified, is a condition whereon their justification is immediately suspended. We allow that alone to be a condition of justification, which hath an influence of causality thereunto, though it be but the causality of an instrument. This we ascribe unto faith alone. And because we do so, it is pleaded that we ascribe more in our justification unto ourselves than they do by whom we are opposed. For we ascribe the efficiency of an instrument herein unto our own faith; when they say only that it is a condition, or 'causa sine qua non,' of our justification. But I judge that grave and wise men ought not to give so much to the defence of the cause they have undertaken, seeing they cannot but know indeed the contrary. For after they have given the specious name of a condition, and a 'causa sine qua non,' unto faith, they immediately take all other graces and works of obedience into the same state with it, and the same use in justification; and after this seeming gold hath been cast for awhile into the fire of disputation, there comes out the calf of a personal inherent righteousness, whereby men are justified before God, 'virtute foederis Evangelici;' for as for the righteousness of Christ to be imputed unto us, it is gone into heaven, and they know not what is become of it.

Having given this brief declaration of the nature of justifying faith, and the acts of it (as I suppose sufficient unto my present design), I shall not trouble myself to give an accurate definition of it. What are my thoughts concerning it, will be better understood by what hath been spoken, than by any precise definition I can give. And the truth is, definitions of justifying faith have been so multiplied by learned men, and in so great variety, and such a manifest inconsistency among some of them, that they have been of no advantage unto the truth, but occasions of new controversies and divisions, whilst every one hath laboured to defend the accuracy of his own definition, when yet it may be difficult for a true believer to find any thing compliant with his own experience in them ; which kind of definitions in these things, I have no esteem for. I know no man that hath laboured in this argument about the nature of faith more than

Doctor Jackson; yet when he hath done all, he gives us a definition of justifying faith which I know few that will subscribe unto; yet is it in the main scope of it both pious and sound. For he tells us; Here at length we may define the faith by which the just do live, to be a firm and constant adherence unto the mercies and loving-kindness of the Lord; or generally unto the spiritual food exhibited in his sacred word, as much better than this life itself, and all the contentments it is capable of, grounded on a taste or relish of their sweetness, wrought in the soul or heart of a man by the Spirit of Christ.' Whereunto he adds, ' The terms for the most part are the prophet David's, not metaphorical as some may fancy, much less equivocal, but proper and homogeneal to the subject defined ;' tom. 1. book iv. chap. 9. For the lively scriptural expressions of faith, by receiving of Christ, leaning on him, rolling ourselves or our burden on him, tasting how gracious the Lord is, and the like, which of late have been reproached, yea, blasphemed by many, I may have occasion to speak of them afterward; as also to manifest that they convey a better understanding of the nature, work, and object of justifying faith, unto the minds of men spiritually enlightened, than the most accurate definitions that many pretend unto; some whereof are destructive and exclusive of them all.


The use of faith in justification ; its especial object farther cleared.

The description before given of justifying faith doth sufficiently manifest of what use it is in justification. Nor shall I in general add much unto what may be thence observed unto that purpose. But whereas this use of it hath been expressed with some variety, and several ways of it asserted inconsistent with one another, they must be considered in our passage. And I shall do it with all brevity possible; for these things lead not in any part of the controversy about the nature of justification, but are merely subservient unto other conceptions concerning it. When men have fixed their apprehensions about the principal matters in controversy, they express what concerneth the use of faith in an accommodation thereunto. Supposing such to be the nature of justification as they assert, it must be granted that the use of faith therein, must be what they plead for. And if what is peculiar unto any in the substance of the doctrine bę disproyed, they cannot deny but that their notions about the use of faith do fall unto the ground. Thus is it with all who affirm faith to be either the instrument, or the condition, or the 'causa sine qua non,' or the preparation and disposition of the subject, or a meritorious cause by way of condecency or congruity, in and of oậr justification. For all these notions of the use of faith are suited and accommodated unto the opinions of men concerning the nature and principal causes, of justification. Neither can any trial of determination be made, as unto their truth and propriety, but upon a previous judgment concerning those causes, and the whole nature of justification itself. Whereas, therefore, it were vain and endless to plead the principal matter in controversy upon every thing that occasionally belongs unto it; and so by the title unto the whole inheritance on every cottage that is built on the premises; I shall briefly speak unto these various conceptions about the use of faith in our justification, rather to find out and give an understanding of what is intended by them, than to argue about their truth and propriety, which depends on that wherein the substance of the controversy doth consist.

Protestant divines, until of late, have unanimously affirmed faith to be the instrumental cause of our justification. So it is expressed to be, in many of the public confessions of their churches. This notion of theirs concerning the nature and use of faith, was from the first opposed by those of the Roman church. Afterward it was denied also by the Socinians, as either false or improper. Socin. Miscellan. Smalcius adv. Frantz. disput. 4. Schlichting. adver. Meisner. de Justificat. And of late this expression is disliked by some among ourselves; wherein they follow Episcopius, Curcellæus, and others of that way. Those who are sober and moderate, do rather decline this notion and expression as improper, than reject them as untrue. And our safest.

course in these cases is to consider what is the thing or matter intended. If that be agreed upon, he deserves best of truth, who parts with strife about propriety of expressions, before it be meddled with. Tenacious pleading about them will surely render our contentions endless; and none will ever want an appearance of probability to give them countenance in what they pretend. If our design in teaching be the same with that of the Scripture, namely, to inform the minds of believers, and convey the light of the knowledge of God in Christ unto them, we must be contented some, times to make use of such expressions, as will scarce pass the ordeal of arbitrary rules and distinctions, through the whole compass of notional and artificial sciences. And those who without more ado reject the instrumentality of faith in our justification as an unscriptural notion, as though it were easy for them with one breath to blow away the reasons and arguments of so many learned men as have pleaded for it, may not, I think, do amiss to review the grounds of their confidence. For the question being only concerning what is intended by it, it is not enough that the term or word itself, of an instrument, is not found unto this purpose in the Scripture. For on the same ground we may reject a trinity of persons in the divine essence, without an acknowledgment whereof, not one line of the Scripture can be rightly understood.

Those who assert faith to be as the instrumental cause in our justification, do it with respect unto two ends. For first, they design thereby to declare the meaning of those expressions in the Scripture, wherein we are said to be justified, aíotel, 'absolutely,' which must denote, either instrumentum, aut formam, aut modum actionis.' loyilbueba otv TiOTEL dikalovo Dae å v putov, Rom. iii. 28. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith. So dià niOTEWS, ver. 22. !K TOTEWS, Rom. i. 17. Gal. iii. 8. dià tās míoTEWS, Εph. ii. 8. εκ πίστεως και διά της πίστεως, Rom. iii. 22. 30. That is fide; ex fide, per fidem ;' which we can express only by faith or through faith. • Propter fidem,' or da plotiv, for our faith, we are nowhere said to be justified. The inquiry is, what is the most proper, lightsome, and convenient way of declaring the meaning of these expressions. This the generality of Protestants do judge to be by an instrumental cause. For some kind of causality they do plainly intimate, whereof the lowest and meanest is that which is instrumental. For they are used of faith in our justification before God, and of no other grace or duty whatever. Wherefore, the proper work or office of faith in our justification is intended by them. And did is nowhere used in the whole New Testament with a genitive case (nor in any other good author), but it denotes an instrumental efficiency at least. In the divine works of the holy Trinity, the operation of the second person, who is in them a principal efficient, yet is sometimes expressed thereby; it may be to denote the order of operation in the holy Trinity answering the order of subsistence, though it be applied unto God absolutely or the Father; Rom. xi. 35. di auroī, by him are all things.' Again, έξ έργων νόμου, and έκ πίστεως are directly opposed ; Gal. iii. 2. But when it is said that a man is 'not justified,' & égywv vóuou, ' by the works of the law,' it is acknowledged by all, that the meaning of the expression is to exclude all efficiency in every kind of such works from our justification. It follows, therefore, that where in

opposition hereunto, we are said to be justified šklotews, 'by faith ;' an instrumental efficiency is intended. Yet will I not, therefore, make it my controversy with any, that faith is properly an instrument, or the instrumental cause in or of our justification; and so divert into an impertinent contest about the nature and kinds of instruments and instrumental causes, as they are metaphysically hunted with a confused cry of futilous terms and distinctions. But this I judge, that among all those notions of things which may be taken from common use and understanding, to represent unto our minds the meaning and intention of the scriptural expressions s0 often used, πίστει, εκ πίστεως, διά πίστεως, there is none so proper as this of an instrument or instrumental

cause, seeing a causality is included in them, and that of any other kind certainly excluded; nor hath it any of its own.

But it may be said, that if faith be the instrumental cause of justification; it is either the instrument of God, or the instrument of believers themselves. That it is not the instrument of God, is plain, in that it is a duty which he prescribeth unto us; it is an act of our own; and it is we that believe, not God; nor can any act of ours be the in

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