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nor with the carrying about and worshipping of the bread, nor with such other idolatrous and blasphemous fondness, which none of them can prove that Christ or his apostles ever ordained, or left unto us.
And we justly blame the bishops of Rome, who, without the word of God, without the authority of the holy Fathers, without any example of antiquity, after a new guise, do not only set before the people the sacramental bread to be worshipped as God, but do also carry the same about upon an ambling palfrey whithersoever themselves journey ; in such sort, as in old times, the Persian fire, and the relics of the goddess Isis, were solemnly carried about in procession, as have brought the sacraments of Christ now to be used as a stage-play and a solemn sight; to the end that men's eyes should be fed with nothing else but with mad gazings and foolish gaudies, in the selfsame matter, wherein the death of Christ ought diligently to be beaten into our hearts, and wherein also the mysteries of our redemption ought, with all holiness and reverence, to be executed.”
DOCTRINE OF MERIT-JUSTIFICATION.
Church of Rome. “I embrace and receive all things, and every thing, which have been defined, and declared by the holy Council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification." - Trent. Profession, Art. iv.
Church of England. “We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the homily of Justification." -Art. xi.
The particular doctrine now to be considered is one of all others the most interesting and important. The compilers of the homilies of the church of England had a just sense of its importance, when they declared—“ Justification, by which, of unjust, we are made just before God, is the strong rock and foundation of Christian religion.”* Luther did not exaggerate its importance when he affirmed it to be “the article of a standing or falling church.” While the church held fast the Scripture doctrine of a sinner's justification before God, she was blest with purity and prosperity. When she departed from the ancient faith on this subject, she soon became corrupt in faith and practice. It has been truly remarked—“ So long as men continued to abide firm by the doctrine of the cross, and viewed the work finished on Calvary as the sole requisite to justification ; so long as they believed God to be already well pleased in his beloved Son, for his righteousness sake, and hoped for pardon only through his death, and the atonement made for transgression by the shedding of his most precious blood; there was no room left for the mortifications, and penances, and fastings, and monkish seclusion, and the thousand other superstitious rites which came to be imposed upon the consciences of men, by those who made merchandise of them.”
* Homily of Salvation, second part.
How man, a sinner obnoxious, by reason of transgression, to the divine anger, can be justified before God, obtain the pardon of his guilt, and become entitled to everlasting life, is an inquiry infinitely important and interesting. To this the church of England replies satisfactorily and scripturally, in the words of her eleventh Article given above. What the church of Rome teaches on this subject is defined and laid down in the decrees
and canons of the Council of Trent, from which the following extracts are made :
“ Justification is not remission of sins alone, but sanctification and renovation of the inner man by a voluntary reception of grace and gifts ; whence man, from unrighteous, becomes righteous, and from an enemy, a friend, that he may be an heir according to the hope of eternal life.”*
“If any one shall say that men are justified, either by the imputation of Christ's righteousness alone, or only by remission of sins, to the exclusion of grace and charity, (love,) which is poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit, and which inheres in them; or that the grace by which we are justified, is the favour of God alone ; let him be accursed." +
“ If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than a trust in the divine mercy, remitting sin for Christ's sake; or that it is faith
* “ Justificatio-quæ non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio, et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiæ et donorum ; unde homo ex injusto fit justus, et ex inimico amicus, ut sit hæres secundum spem vitæ eternæ.”_Sess. vi. cap. vii.
+ “Si quis dixerit, homines justificari vel solà imputatione justitiæ Christi, vel solâ peccatorum remissione, exclusâ gratiâ et charitate ; quæ in cordibus corum per spiritum sanctum diffundatur, at que illis inhereat; aut etiam gratiam, quâ justifimur, esse tantum favorem Dei, anathema sit.” Sess. vi.
alone by which we are justified ; let him be ac
“ If any one shall say that righteousness received (justification) is not preserved, and even increased before God by good works ; but that these works are only fruits and signs of justification, and not the cause of increasing it; let him be accursed." +
Though the decrees and canons of the Council of Trent on this important subject, are expressed with much caution and subtilty, it may clearly be gathered from them, that the church of Rome does not hold the Scripture doctrine, that “we are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith. On the contrary, it is contended that human merit must be united with the merit of our Saviour to secure our justification :—that his merit makes us deserving, and consists in giving merit to our obedience. The church of Rome, confounding sanctification with justification, holds that man is not justified by the merit of Christ alone, but by an
* “ Si quis dixerit, fidem justificantem nihil aliud esse quàm fiduciam divinæ misericordiæ, peccata remittentis propter Christum; vel etiam fiduciam solam esse, quâ justificamur; anathema sit.”_Can. xii.
+ “Si quis dixerit, justitiam acceptam non conservari, atque etiam augeri coram Deo bona
opera ipsa fructus solum modò et signa esse justificationis adeptæ, non autem ipsius augendæ causam; anathema sit."-Cass. xxiv.
opera : sed