Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Page

there is an appearing repugnancy. The doctrine of justifioation according

unto that role principally to be learned from the writings of Paul. The rea-

sons of his fulness and accuracy in the teaching of that doctrine. The im-

portance of the truth; the opposition made unto it; and abuse of it. The

design of the apostle James. Exceptions of some against the writings of St.

Paul,-scandalous and unreasonable. Not in this matter to be interpreted by

the passage in James insisted on, chap. ii. That there is no repugnancy be-

tween the doctrine of the two apostles demonstrated. Heads and grounds

of the demonstration. Their scope, design, and end not the same. That

of Paul; the only case stated and determined by him. The designs of

the apostle James; the case proposed by him quite of another nature.

The occasion of the case proposed and stated by him. No appearance of

difference between the apostles, because of the several cases they speak unto.

Not the same faith intended by them. Description of the faith spoken of by

the one, and the other. Bellarmine's arguments to prove true justifying faith

to be intended by James, answered. Justification not treated of by the apo-

stles in the same manner, nor used in the same sense, nor to the same end.

The one treats of justification, as unto its nature and causes; the other as unto

its signs and evidence, proved by the instances insisted on ....

473

How the Scripture was fulfilled, that Abraham believed in God, and it was

counted unto him for righteousness, when he offered his sont, on the altar.

Works the same, and of the same kind in both the apostles. Observations

on the discourse of James. No conjunction made by him between faith and

works in our justification, but an opposition. No distinction of a first and

second justification in him. Justification ascribed by him wholly unto works,

in what sense. Does not determine how a sinner may be justified before God;

but how a professor may evidence himself so to be. The context opened from

ver. 14. to the end of the chapter

• 486

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

TO THE READER. *

Is SHALL not need to detain the reader with an account of the nature and moment of that doctrine which is the entire subject of the ensuing Discourse. For although sundry persons, even among ourselves, have various apprehensions concerning it, yet that the knowledge of the truth therein is of the highest importance unto the souls of men, is on all hands agreed unto. Nor indeed is it possible that any man who knows himself to be a sinner, and obnoxious thereon to the judgment of God, but he must desire to have some knowledge of it, as that alone whereby the

way of delivery from the evil state and condition, wherein he finds himself, is revealed. There are, I confess, multitudes in the world, who, although they cannot avoid some general convictions of sin, as also of the consequents of it; yet do fortify their minds against a practical admission of such conclusions, as in a just consideration of things do necessarily and unavoidably ensue thereon. Such persons wilfully deluding themselves with vain hopes and imaginations, do never once seriously inquire by what way or means they may obtain peace with God, and, acceptance before him, which in comparison of the present enjoyment of the pleasures of sin, they value not at all. And it is in vain to recommend the doctrine of justification unto them, who neither desire nor endeavour to be justified. But where any persons are really made sensible of their apostacy from God, of the evil of their natures and lives, with the dreadful consequences that attend thereon in the

.

wrath of God, and eternal punishment due unto sin, they cannot well judge themselves more concerned in any thing, than in the knowledge of that divine way whereby they may be delivered from this condition. And the minds of such persons stand in no need of arguments to satisfy them in the importance of this doctrine; their own concernment in it is sufficient to that purpose. And I shall assure them, that in the handling of it from first to last, I have had no other design, but only to inquire diligently into the divine revelation of that way, and those means, with the causes of them, whereby the conscience of a distressed sinner may attain assured peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I lay more weight on the steady direction of one soul in this inquiry, than in disappointing the objections of twenty wrangling or fiery disputers. The question therefore unto this purpose being stated, as the reader will find in the beginning of our Discourse, although it were necessary to spend some time in the explication of the doctrine itself, and terms wherein it is usually taught, yet the main weight of the whole lies in the interpretation of Scripture testimonies, with the application of them unto the experience of them who do believe, and the state of them who seek after salvation by Jesus Christ. There are therefore some few things that I would desire the reader to Take notice of, that he may receive benefit by the ensuing Discourse; at least, if it be not his own fault, be freed from prejudices against it, or a vain opposition unto it.

1. Although there are at present various contests about the doctrine of justification, and many

books published in the way of controversy about it; yet this Discourse was written with no design to contend with, or contradict any, of what sortor opinion soever.

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »