« AnteriorContinuar »
died before the eighth day; and if “ the circumcision of " the heart by the Spirit,” were inseparable from that of the body; they must die among the uncircumcised in heart, and have their portion with them. John Baptist, being “ filled with the Holy Ghost from his “ mother's womb,” was doubtless regenerated before he was circumcised.--And if those, whom Jeremiah called on, to “circumcise themselves unto the Lord, "and take away the foreskins of their hearts;'* (a command, by the way, given to circumcised persons, 'to ' regenerate themselves,') through grace obeyed the call, it is evident, that they were regenerated subsequent to their sacrament of regeneration. The same was the case of all the Israelites, who profited by the exhortations of the servants and ministers of God, before the change of the initiatory ordinance the sacrament of ' regeneration,' from circumcision to baptism: and the same, is for substance the case, of all ungodly baptized persons, who at length become “new creatures,” and “ walk in newness of life.” We are required to do our several duties; but the Lord must not be limited. “ The wind bloweth where it listeth; and thou hearest “ the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, “and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of “the Spirit.”+
• Jer. iv. 3, 4.
† John ül. 8.
REMARKS ON CHAPTER III.
OF JUSTIFICATION, Faith, AND Good Works.
P. xcvii. Note translated. •Osiander relates twenty · discordant opinions concerning justification.' (Bellar. mine.) "Salmeron ascribes to the Lutherans twenty
two different opinions concerning justification.'—Cardinal Bellarmine was one of the most embittered and able enemies to the reformation, which the church of Rome ever produced; and was not very scrupulous about the weapons, with which he fought the battles of that church. Osiander was at first one of Luther's apparent coadjutors; but he gradually turned away from the truth: and hav. ing at length adopted and avowed, new sentiments about justification, which, after Luther's death, he falsely ascribed to him; he 'was opposed by all the friends of Luther's doctrine; and no doubt said all he could to vilify them. I suppose Salmeron was a Papist; but my scanty library gives me no information concerning him. That many discordant opinions have been maintained about justification, is certain: but that the Lutherans, (properly so called,) held many discordant opinions, was, I believe, never maintained, except by apostates, Papists, and infidels, and such others, as speak evil of things, that they understand not.
P. xcviii. 1. 7. • The application, &c.'* Abraham's faith, in its nature and effects, is not only 'spoken of in
the New Testament;' but stated to be the very pattern and standard of christian faith, and repeatedly referred to,
** The application of this word, (justification,) in the New Testament is not confined to Christians. St. Paul and St. James both speak of the justi'fication of Abraham.'
as the most complete exemplar, by which the way, of justification by faith, must be explained and illustrated.* He was not indeed a Christian, as living long before the coming of Christ: but“ he rejoiced to see the day of “ Christ, and he saw it and was glad.”+ It was in respect of him, that it was first said, “He believed in the Lord, " and he accounted it to him for righteousness.” I
P. xcviii. 1. 10... The former &c.'d Does St. Paul give the least intimation, that any Jews were actually justified by their own obedience? Or does he only mean, that to be justified by the law, the law must not only be heard, but obeyed; yea, perfectly obeyed, through life? He is proving that both Jews and Gentiles are all “ under sin."
P. xcviii. 1. 14. Of the heathen, &c.'T That is, God, who inspired the Scripture, foresaw, or predetermined, under the Gospel-dispensation, to call the Gentiles into his church; and to justify them by faith in the divine Saviour: and, as a pre-intimation of this, the same gospel, for substance, was preached to Abraham, when JEHOVAH said to him, “ In thee shall all nations be "blessed.”llAll these fathers, martyrs, and holy men, * whom Paul spake of, had their faith surely fixed in
God, when all the world was against them. They did 'not only know God to be the Lord, Maker, and Gover'no?, of all men in the world: but they had a special confidence and trust, that he was and would be their God, their Comforter, Aider, Helper, Maintainer, and • Defender. This is the Christian faith, which these
• Rom, iv. 1-5. 9–25. Gal. iii. 6-29. Heb. vi. 13-18. xi. 8—17. Jam. ü. 22.-25. † John viji. 56–58. # Gen. xv. 6.
S'The former apostle says of the Jews, “ Not the bearers of the law are “ just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."
'Of the heathen he says, “ The Scripture ,foreseeing that God would jus. “ tify the heathen through faith, preache pefore the gospel unto Abrahans."
Il Gal. iij. 6--10.
holy men had, and we also ought to have. And although they were not named Christian men; yet it was a Christian faith that they had: for they looked 'for all benefits of God the father, through the merits of ' his Son Jesus Christ, as we now do. This difference is between them and us; that they looked when Christ should come, and we be in the time when he is come. Therefore, saith St. Augustine, the time is altered, but not the faith. For we have both one faith in one · Christ: the same Holy Ghost, that we have, had they,
saith St. Paul. For as the Holy Ghost doth teach us 'to trust in God, and to call upon him as our Father; 'so he did teach them to say, “Thou, Lord, art our “ Father and Redeemer, and thy name is without begin. “ning and everlasting.” « God gave them then grace to be his children, as he doth us now. But now, by the coming of our Saviour Christ, we have received more abundantly the Spirit of God in our hearts, whereby we may conceive a greater faith, and a surer trust, than many
of them had. But, in effect, they and we be all 'one; we have the same faith, that they had in Christ, and they the same that we have,'*
P. xcix. l. 14. ! Here, &c.'t It is certain, that the apostle speaks in the passage referred to, of nothing as future, but of all as past. “ Ye are washed, ye are “sanctified, ye are justified, &c;" or rather, “ Ye have “ been, &c:" for all the verbs are in the past tenses.
• Homily on Faith, second part.
| Here St. Paul represents the Corinthian Christians as having been for. 'merly guilty of great sins, but as being now washed, sanctified, and justi. fied; that is, as having been baptized, as having abandoned their former . wickedness, and as having been justified from their former guilt, in the name of Christ, and through the operation of the Divine Spirit at the time of baptism: it is evident that in this passage nothing is spoken of as future;
the washing, the sanctification, the justification, were all events which had already taken place.'
# 1 Cor. vi. 9-11.
But, is there any sufficient reason, for substituting the words baptized and baptism, for washed? “Wash me
thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my < sin.” Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; “ wash me, and I shall be whiter then snow."*“ Wash " you, make you clean, put away the evil of your do
ings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to “ do well.” “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from “ wickedness; that thou mayest be saved.”'I “Now do
ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the • platter, but your inward part is full of ravening and “ wickedness."'S “ The washing of regeneration, and “ renewing by the Holy Ghost.”'T
“ Not the washing away the filth of the flesh; but the answer of a good s conscience towards God.”' || “ The blood of Jesus his “ Son cleanseth us from all sin."** “ Now to him, that “ loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own “ blood.”tt The apostle was not speaking of baptism: the term washed is general, and implies both sanctified and justified: and, as the apostle says nothing of the time of baptism;' it is not proper thus to restrict his general meaning. The subsequent citations from scripture,ff and from the articles, Il to prove that justification is, in respect of Christians, a benefit already received, and not one in future to be expected; that it takes place in this life, and not at the day of judgment, are well
thy the serious consideration of those, who hold justification to be a future benefit in another world, and such as suppose a twofold justification, one at the time of believing, and the other at the day of judgment. The works indeed, of true believers will, at that solemn season, be adduced to prove that their faith was living, and
• Ps. li. 2. 7.
t Is. i, 16, 17. # Jer. iv. 14.
$$ Art. xii. xiii. xvii.
Luke xi. 39, 40.
tt Rer. i. 5.