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VII.

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S E R M. and the Scripture largely and plainly affirms. But

let thus much suffice for the enquiry concerning the genuine nature and notion of faith proper to this place (that faith by which in this text we are said to be justified): the other particulars I cannot so much as touch upon at this time.

I end with those good prayers of our Church : 5th Sunday O Lord, from whom all good things do come, grant to after Easter.

us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good; and by thy mercifuil guiding may perform the same, through our

Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 14th Sun

Almighty and everlasting Lord, give unto us the inday after

crease of faith, hope, and charity, and that we may Trinity.

obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command, through Jesus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

SERMON

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Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with

God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. N order to the understanding of these words, I SERM,

did formerly propound divers particulars to be viu. considered and discussed : the first was, What that Faith is, by which Christians are said to be justified? This I have dispatched : the next is, What Justification doth import? The which I shall now endeavour to explain ; and I am concerned to perform it with the more care and diligence, because the right notion of this term hath in latter times been canvaffed with so much vehemence of diffenfion and strife.

Informer times, among the Fathers and the Schoolmen, there doth not appear to have been any difference or debate about it; because, as it seems, men commonly having the same apprehensions about the trepi ketidiano matters, to which the word is applicable, did not so wimpedeysivo much examine or regard the strict propriety of expression concerning them : consenting in things, they

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SERM. did not fall to cavil and contend about the exact VIII. meaning of words. They did indeed consider dir

tinctly no such point of doctrine as that of justification, looking upon that word as used incidentally in some places of Scripture, for expression of points more clearly expressed in other terms; wherefore they do not make much of the word, as some Divines now do.

But in the beginning of the Reformation, when the discovery of some great errors (from the corruption

and ignorance of former times) crept into vogue, Articulus rendered all things the subjects of contention, and dentis Eccle multiplied controversies, there did arise hot disputes Ja. Luth. about this point; and the right stating thereof feem

ed a matter of great importance; nor scarce was any controversy profecuted with greater zeal and earneftness: whereas yet (so far as I can discern) about the real points of doctrine, whereto this word, according to any sense pretended, may relate, there hardly doth appear any material difference; and all the questions depending, chiefly seem to consist about the manner of expressing things, which all agree in ; or about the extent of the signification of words, capable of larger or ftriéter acception : whence the debates about this point, among all sober and intelligent persons, might, as I conceive, easily be refolved or appeased, if men had a mind to agree, and did not love to wrangle; if at least a consent in believing the same things, although under some difference of expreffion, would content them, so as to forbear strife.

To make good which observation, tending as well to the illustration of the whole matter, as to the stating and decision of the controversies about it, let us consider the several divine acts, to which the term Justification is, according to any sense pretended, applicable: I say divine acts; for that the Justification we treat of is an act of God simple or compound in fome manner) respecting, or terminated upon man, is evident, and will not, I suppose, be contested; the

words

VIII.

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33. IV. 5.

words of St. Paul in several places so clearly de- SERM.
claring it; as in that, Who Mall lay any thing to the
charge of God's eleet ? It is God that justifieth; and in
that, To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that Rom. viii.
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. ill. 26.
Now according to the tenour of Christian doctrine
such acts are these.

1. God (in regard to the obedience performed to
his will by his beloved Son, and to his intercession) is
so reconciled to mankind, that unto every perfon,
who doth fincerely believe the Gospel, and, repent-
ing of his former bad life, doth feriously resolve
thereafter to live according to it, he doth (upon the
solemn obsignation of that faith, and profession of
that resolution in baptism) entirely remit all past
offences, accepting his perfon, receiving him into fa-
vour; assuming him into the state of a loyal subject,
a faithful servant, a dutiful fon; and bestowing on
him all the benefits and privileges suitable to such a
ftate; according to those passages : It behoved Christ Luke xxiv.
to suffer-and that repentance and remision of fins 46, 47.
should be preached in his name among all nations : Then
Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every Acts ii. 38.
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of i. 19.
fins ; and, To him give all the Prophets witness, that Acts r. 43.
through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive 2 Cor.v.
remission of hins; and, God was in Christ, reconciling the Rom. iii.
world unto himself, not imputing their fins; and in other 24, 25.
places innumerable.

2. As any person persisting in that sincere faith, and serious purpose of obedience, doth afsuredly continue in that state of grace, and exemption from the guilt of fin; so in case that, out of human frailty, such a person doth fall into the commission of fin, God (in regard to the same performances and intercessions of his Son) doth, upon the confession and repentance of such a person, remit his sin, and retain him in or restore him to favour ; according to those sayings of St. John, If we confejs our fins, be is faith. - John i. 9. L 3

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14. Gal. iv. 6.

12

2 Tim. ii. 7.

9.

Tit. iji. 5.

(Eph. ii.

22.)
Eph. ii. 10.

jy. 23.

SE R M. ful and just to forgive us our fins, and to cleanse us from vill. all unrighteousness : and, If any man fin, we have an

Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John ii. 1. 3. To each person sincerely embracing the Gospel,

and continuing in steadfast adherence thereto, God doth afford his holy Spirit, as a principle productive

of all inward sanctity and virtuous dispositions in his Rom. viii. heart, enabling also and quickening him to discharge

the conditions of faith and obedience required from 1 Cor. ii. him, and undertaken by him; that which is by

some termed making a person just, infusion into his Acts ii. 38. soul of righteousness, of grace, of virtuous habits ; Rom. viii. in the Scripture style it is called ating by the Spirit,

bestowing the gift of the holy Ghost, renovation of the holy Ghost, creation to good works, fanétification by the Spirit, &c. which phrases denote partly the collation of a principle enabling to perform good works, partly the design of religion tending to that performance.

Now all these acts (as by the general consent of Christians, and according to the sense of the antient Catholick Church, so) by all considerable parties seeming to diffent, and so earnestly disputing about the point of justification, are acknowledged and asfcribed unto God; but with which of them the act of justification is solely or chiefly coincident; whether it signifieth barely some one of them, or extendeth to more of them, or comprehendeth them all (according to the constant meaning of the word in Scripture), are questions coming under debate, and so eagerly prosecuted: of which questions whatever the true resolution be, it cannot methinks be of so great consequence, as to cause any great anger or animosity in Diffenters one toward another, seeing they all conspire in avowing the acts, whatever they be, meant by the word Justification, although in other terms ; seeing all the dispute is about the precise and adequate notion of the word Justification : whence those questions might well be waved as unnecessary

grounds

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