Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

“CHAP. V. Of the necessity and source of preparation

for justification in adult persons. “ The council further declares, that in adult persons the beginning of justification springs from the preventing grace of God, through Christ Jesus ; that is, from his calling, wherewith they are called, having in themselves no merits; so that those who, in consequence of sin, were alienated from God, are disposed to betake themselves to his method of justifying them, by his grace, which excites and helps them, and with which grace they freely agree and co-operate. Thus, while God touches the heart of man by the illumination of his Holy Spirit, man is not altogether passive, since he receives that influence which he had power to reject; while, on the other hand, he could not of his free will, without the grace of God, take any step towards righteousness before him. Hence, when it is said in the sacred Scriptures, • Turn ye to me, and I will turn to you,' (Zech. i. 3,) we are reminded of our freedom. When we reply, Turn us to thyself, O Lord, and we shall be turned,' we confess that we are influenced by the grace of God.

“ CHAP. VI. The mode of preparation. 66 Men are disposed for this righteousness when, excited and aided by divine grace, and receiving faith by hearing, they are freely drawn to God, believing that those things are true which are divinely revealed and promised; and this chiefly, that God justifies the sinner by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; and when, perceiving that they are sinners, and moved by that fear of divine justice with which they are salutarily smitten, they are, by the consideration of God's mercy, encouraged to hope, trust that he will be propitious to them for Christ's sake, begin to love him as the fountain of all righteousness, and consequently regard sin with a certain hatred and abhorrence,-that is, with that penitence which must necessarily exist before baptism ; and finally, when they resolve to receive baptism, to begin a new life, and to keep the divine commandments. Of this disposition it is written, · He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him,' (Heb. xi. 6 ;) and, · Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee,' (Matt. ix. 2;) and

• The fear of the Lord driveth out sin,' (Ecclesiasticus i. 27;) and, · Do penance, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,' (Acts ii. 38;) and, • Going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,' (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20 ;) lastly, · Prepare your hearts unto the Lord,' (1 Sam. vii. 5.)*

5 Chap. VII. Of the nature and causes of the justification

of the ungodly. - Justification itself follows this disposition, or preparation ; and justification is not remission of sin merely, but also sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of grace and divine gifts; so that he who was unrighteous is made righteous, and the enemy becomes a friend, and an heir according to the hope of eternal life. The causes of justification are these: the final cause, the glory of God and of Christ, and life eternal; the efficient cause, the merciful God, who freely cleanses and sanctifies, sealing and anointing with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance; the meritorious cause, his well-beloved and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who, through his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were enemies, merited justification for us by his most holy passion on the cross, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father; the instrumental cause, the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which no one can ever obtain justification; lastly, the sole formal cause is, the righteousness of God; not that by which he himself is, righteous, but that by which he makes us righteous ;t with which being endued by

* « The Council of Trent enumerates seven acts by which the ungodly are disposed to justice—viz., faith, fear, hope, love, penitence, the resolution to receive the sacrament [of baptism], and the purpose to lead a new life and keep the commandments.”—Bellarm. de Justificatione, lib. i. c. 12.

† This is generally called by Roman-catholic writers, “infused,” or “inherent” righteousness. “Under the name of faith is conteined the whole reformation of our soules and our new creation in good workes. . . Christian justice is a very qualitie, condition, and state of vertue and grace resident in

him, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and are not only accounted righteous, but are properly called righteous ; and are so, receiving righteousness in ourselves, each according to his measure, which the Holy Spirit bestows upon each as he wills, and according to our respective dispositions and cooperation. For although no one can be righteous unless the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are imparted to him, yet this takes place in the justification of the ungodly, when, for the sake of his most holy passion, the love of God is infused in the hearts of those who are justified, and abides in them. Therefore, when a man is justified, and united to Jesus Christ, he receives, together with remission of sins, the following gifts, bestowed upon him at the same time, namely, faith, hope, and charity. For faith does not perfectly join us to Christ, nor make us living members of his body, unless hope and charity accompany it; for which reason it is most truly said, “faith without works is dead and void,' (James i. 20;) and “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by charity,' (Gal. v. 6.)* It is this faith that catechumens ask of the church before they receive the sacrament of baptism, according to apostolic tradition, for they seek that faith which procures eternal life, which faith cannot procure, separately from hope and charity. Therefore,

us, and not a phantasticall apprehension of Christ's justice only imputed to us. ... The faith which justifieth, joyned with the other vertues, is properly the formall cause, and not the efficient or instrumentall cause of justification ; that is to say, these vertues put together, being the effect of God's grace, bee our new creature and our new justice in Christ.”-Roman-catholic Version, note on Gal. vi. 15, omttied in the modern editions, as are the notes quoted in pp. 88, 94. “ The whole controversy may be brought to this simple question -whether the formal cause of absolute justification be inherent righteousness or not; for he who proves the affirmative does, at the same time refute all opposite errors. For if the formal cause of justification is inherent righteousness, then it is not the indwelling righteousness of God; not the imputed righteousness of Christ; nor solely the remission of sin, without the renewal of the inner man.”— Bellarm. de Justificatione, lib. ii. c. 2.

*“ The faith to which the apostle here (Rom. iii. 28) attributes man's justification is not a presuinptuous assurance of our being justified, but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised ; a faith working through charity in Jesus Christ; in short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments.”-Roman-catholic Version, note on Rom. jii. 28.

they are immediately reminded of the words of Christ, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' (Matt. xix. 17.) Then receiving, in their regeneration, true and Christian righteousness, as the best robe, white and spotless, bestowed on them through Christ Jesus, instead of that which Adam lost by his disobedience, both for himself and us, they are commanded to preserve the same, that they may present it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, and possess eternal life.

“ CHAP. VIII. How it is to be understood that the ungodly

are justified by faith, and freely. “ When the apostle says, that man is justified by faith,' and freely,' these words are to be understood in that sense in which the Catholic church hath always held and explained them-namely, that we are said to be justified by faith,' because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and come into the fellowship of his children ;* and that we are said to be justified “freely,' because nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, can deserve the grace thereof. “For if by grace, then it is not now by works ;' otherwise, as the same apostle saith, 'grace is no more grace.' (Rom. xi. 6.)+

6 Chap. IX. Against the vain confidence of the heretics.

But although it must be believed that sin is not forgiven, nor ever was forgiven, unless freely, by the mercy of God, for Christ's sake; yet no one is authorized to affirm that his sins are or will be forgiven, who boasts of the assurance and certainty thereof, and rests only on that assurance; seeing that this vain and impious confidence may exist among heretics and schismatics, and does actually prevail in these times, and is fiercely contended for, in opposition to the Catholic church.* It is on no account to be maintained, that those who are really justified ought to feel fully assured of the fact, without any doubt whatever ; or that none are absolved and justified but those who believe themselves to be so; or that by this faith only absolution and justification are procured ; as if he who does not believe this doubts the promises of God, and the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For while no godly person ought to doubt the mercy of God, the merit of Christ, or the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments; so, on the other hand, whoever considers his own infirmity and corruption may doubt and fear whether he is in a state of grace; since no one can certainly and infallibly know that he has obtained the grace of God.

*“ Justification implieth all graces and vertues received by Christ's merits, but the entrance and accesse to this grace and happie state is by faith, because faith is the ground and first foundation to build on, and port to enter into the rest."-Roman-catholic Version, note on Rom. v. 2.

† “ No man attaineth his first justification by the merits either of his faith or workes, but merely by Christ's grace and mercy, though his faith and workes, proceeding of grace, be dispositions and preparations thereunto.”Ibid. Rom. iii. 24.

“ CHAP. X. Of the increase of actual justification. “ Thus, therefore, those who are justified and made the friends and servants of God go from strength to strength, and are renewed, as the apostle says, “day by day ;' that is, mortifying the members of their flesh, and presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification,” (Rom. vi. 13, 19,) by the observance of the commandments of God and the church, faith co-operating with good works, they gain an increase of that righteousness which was received by the grace of Christ, and are the more justified. As it is written, · He that is just, let him be justified still,” (Rev. xxii. 11;) and again, · Be not afraid to be justified, even to death,' (Ecclesiasticus xviii. 22;) and again, 'Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only ? (James ii. 24.) Holy Church seeks this

* “ Here may we lambs tremble (saith a holy father) when the ramme, the guide of the flock, must so labour and punish himselfe, (besides all his other miseries adjoyned to the preaching of the gospell,) least perhaps hee misse the marke. A man might thinke S. Paule should bee as sure and as confident of God's grace and salvation as we poor wretched caitives ; but the hereticke's unhappy securitie, presumption, and faithless persuasion of their salvation, is not fides apostolorum, but fides dæmoniorum, not the faith of the apostles, but the faith of the devils.—Ibid. 1 Cor. ix. 27.

+ This is what the Roman-catholic divines call the “second justification." In the first justification, the sinner is supposed to have no absolute merit, although his faith, hope, &c., dispose and prepare him for justification ; that is, have the merit of congruity. In his second justification, his works are positively meritorious, and deserve heaven ; this is the merit of condignity.

« PoprzedniaDalej »