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tion of the ungodly. “Abraham believed God, and it

was counted unto him for righteousness. . Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not,” that is, worketh not with a view to merit a reward; “ but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly,” or sinful men, “ his

faith is counted for righteousness.” It is reckoned to

him as an equivalent for a perfect righteousness; because it embraces Jesus Christ, and relies on his merits. Thus it appears, that by the ungodly is meant, not the impenitent, nor the unbelieving. For repentance and faith in Christ are the necessary conditions of salvation. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” and “He that believeth not shall be damned.” Many and various have been the definitions of gospel justification. The assembly of divines say, that “justifica

tion is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth

all our sins, and acceptethus as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.” By faith, Jesus Christ is received; and by faith, all his doctrines and testimonies are embraced. But the very act of justification is an

acquittance from just condemnation, and from deserved

punishment; and a restoration to the everlasting love and favor of God, only through faith in Jesus Christ. “Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.” He receives the forgiveness of his sins, and an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. He becomes an heir of 6 od, and a joint heir with Christ, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. “Being justified by his grace, we are made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life.” But this special act of divine grace is limited to believers only. “Be it known unto you, therefore, Men and brethren, that through this man, Jesus Christ, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe, are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,” -

In the third chapter to the Romans, the Apostle having exhibited, in glowing colors, the total sinfulness, and utter condemnation of all mankind, proceeds to the most clear, and illustrious statement of the doctrine of justification by faith in Jesus Christ. “Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight. For by the law is the knowledge of sin–For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption #. is in Christ Jesus; whom God . set forth for a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.” To procure the pardon and final salvation of sinners, in a way that will do honor to the inflexible justice of God, is the great thing necessary to gospel justification. And this way of pardon and salvation is clearly stated in the passage of scripture before us. It is through faith in the blood of Christ, to declare and vindicate the justice of God, that remission of sins, is preached in his name.

It appears, on the whole, that the doctrine of justifi. cation implies several things. It is a special act of divine grace. Nothing at all is done by sinnners, to merit the forgiveness of their sins, and the everlasting favor of God. They are not only unprofitable servants, but infinitely injurious and ill deserving. Their justification, therefore, is an act of infinite grace to the most vile, the most unworthy, and hell deserving.

Justification is also through the blood and death of Jesus Christ. “Being justified by his blood, we are saved from wrath through him.” “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” “ Christ died for the ungodly; died the just for the unjust; died for our sins, according to the scriptures.” “ Christ our passover was sacrificed for us,” “He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.” Had he not risen

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from the dead, how could he vindicate his cause P. If
Christ be not risen from the dead, faith, and hope are
Another prominent idea in the doctrine of justification
is, that it is obtained, only by faith, in Jesus Christ.
“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Therefore is it of
faith, that it might be by grace.” “For by grace are ye
saved, through faith, and that, not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God.” “The just,” or those who are justified
by Christ,“ shall live by faith.” . By faith, the humble
and contrite soul, enters heartily into the same views of
God’s law and government, which Christ manifested,
when he laid down his life for us. The Christain faith,
by which sinners are justified, has for its leading object,
the Saviour, who, by his humiliation and death, expressed
the strongest possible attachment to the divine law; as
well as the greatest possible love and compassion to sin-
ners. So that he was both a merciful and faithful high
priest. By him, mercy and truth have met together,
righteousness and peace have kissed each other. True
faith embraces the law, as well as the gospel. It embra-
ces and approves of the sentence of condemnation, and
* the punishment of all the transgressions of the
Thus, by faith, the soul is united to Christ ; and by
means of this union, God can be just, and the justifier of
him that believeth in Jesus. If, by faith in Christ, the
Iaw of God is vindicated and honored, then certainly,
faith is the proper condition of justification.
It may be added, that justification by faith implies
great humility and abasement of heart. The true believ-
er must realize his infinite unworthiness, criminality,
and guilt; before he will look to the cross of Christ for
mercy and forgiveness. He must realize his dependence
on the riches of divine grace; and never feel disposed,
in the highest exercises of faith, to make any other plea
than that of the Publican, “God be merciful to me, a
sinner.” In this state of mind, disposed to honor, equal-
ly, all the attributes of God, his sins are forgiven; and,
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like the humble publican, he is justified by Christ. He is adopted into the family of God, and commences a brotherhood with the Saviour, whose image he bears. By faith, he becomes an heir of heaven. But in this life, he must be deeply humbled before God. Like his Lord and master, he must humble himself to be exalted ; and suffer with him, to reign with him. He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow him.

Such is the humiliating doctrine of justification by

faith. In the scriptures, it is stated as a contrast to justification by the works of the law: , “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law;” for “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” “Thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.”


1. Faith being a o exercise of heart, peculiarly acceptable to God, and being the condition of pardon and justification, some may still enquire, after all that has been said on the subject, “What is the difference between justification by faith, and justification by works?” To cast further light on this subject, we answer; Justification by works wholly excludes the Mediator from any part of the great work of salvation. And of course, it is taking the ground of infidelity; and rejecting the whole §. But justification by faith, is through an infinite Mediator, and an infinite atonement, by his most precious blood. This plan secures the honor of the divine law; but the plan of salvation by works, makes no provision for the honor of a broken so. nor for the pardon of the guilty. “By the law is the knowledge of sin;” but not of the forgiveness of sin: for the law knows nothing of divine mercy. Obey perfectly, and live; disobey in one point, and die. This is the tenor of the law. For “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all

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things, which are written in the book of the law, to do

them.”. Surely, the difference between justification by
works, and justification by faith in Christ, is very wide
and conspicuous. -
2. In the light of this subject, we discover the great
error of those who hold, that salvation is partly by works,
and partly by grace. The current doctrine of the scrip-
tures respecting salvation by Christ is, that he is all in
all. “Neither is there salvation in any other.” Christ
alone, is the hope of glory. The Apostle is decisive, that
salvation is of works only, or of grace only. “If by
grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no
more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more
grace; otherwise work is no more work.” The idea is,
that justification by works, in our fallen and condemned
state, is a perfect contrast to justification by faith. The

two plans cannot be blended together. Repentance and

faith in Christ, and evangelical obedience, are real vir-
tues, and are the sum of christian holiness. But even
these best virtues, which are the condition of salvation,
have no merit in themselves, to atone for a single sin;
and they do not at all diminish the grace of God in our
salvation. How then can any one imagine, that his mere
selfish morality, his dead works, can avail any thing to-
wards his salvation ? Most certainly, if salvation be at
all of grace, it must be by grace alone. . Justification is
doubtless by grace alone. “Not of works, lest any man
should boast.” -
3. The discussion of this subject revives in our minds
the impropriety of a current mode of expression among
divines, that believers are justified by the righteousness
of Christ. If, by the righteousness of Christ, is meant
his sacrifice for sin, or his atoning blood; we do well to
express this idea, in scripture language. It is plainly
said in scripture, that we are justified by his blood, and
saved from wrath through him ; that without shedding of
blood, there is no remission of sins; and, that the church
of God was purchased with his own blood. Truly, he
was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;
and this was required of him, to make an atonement for

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