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same, that we should not be inclined unto it; but rather the power and strength of the same sin he hath so vanquished, that it shall not be able to condemn those which believe in him, for sin is remitted, and not imputed unto the believers..
So, likewise, he saved us from sin, not taking it clean away, but rather the strength and force of the same. So, he saved us from other calamities, not taking the same clean away, but rather the power of the same, so that no calamity nor misery should be able to hurt us that are in Christ Jesu. And, likewise, he saved us froin death, not that we should not die, but that death should have no victory over us, nor condemn us, but rather to be a way and entrance into salvation and everlasting life ; for death is a gate to enter into everlasting life.
No man can come to everlasting life, but he must first die bodily; but this death cannot hurt the faithful, for they are exempted from all danger through the death and passion of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, which with his death hath overcome our death. Here is to be noted the error of the Jews, which believed that this Saviour should be a temporal king and ruler, and deliver them out of the hands of the Romans. For the Jews, at that time, were under the governance of the Romans, subdued by Pompeius, the great and valiant captain, as Josephus, a great learned man amongst the Jews, and Titus Livius do witness. Therefore they believed, that this Saviour should not only set them at liberty, but should subdue all nations, so that the Jews only, with their Saviour, should be the rulers of all the whole world, and that the whole world should serve them. This was at the same time, and is yet still the opinion of the Jews, which will not learn, nor understand that Jesuis saved them and us, not from the power of the Románs, but from sin, death, the devil, and hell,
and set us at liberty, and made us the children of God and the inheritors of life everlasting.
The Papists, which are the very enemies of Christ, make him to be a Saviour after their own fantasy, not after the word of God, wherein he declared himself and set out and opened his mind unto us. They follow, I say, not the Scripture, which is the
very leader to God, but regard more their own in· ventions, and therefore they make him a Saviour after this fashion.
They consider how there shall be after the general resurrection a general judgment, where all mankind shall be gathered together to receive their judgment; then shall Christ (say the Papists) sit as a judge, having power over heaven and earth; and all those which have done well in this world, and have stedfastly prayed upon their beads, and have gone a pilgrimage, &c. land so with their good works have deserved heaven and everlasting life, those (say they) that had merited with their own good works, shall be received of Christ, and admitted to everlasting salvation. As for the others that have not merited everlasting life, they shall be cast into ever, lasting darkness, for Christ will not suffer wicked sinners to be taken into heaven, but rather receive those which deserve. And so it appeareth, that they esteein our Saviour, not to be a redeemer, but only a judge, which shall give sentence over the wicked to go into everlasting fire, and the good he will call to everlasting felicity. And this is the opinion of the Papists, as concerning our Saviour, which opinion is most detestable, abominable, and filthy in the sight of God. For it diminisheth the passion of Christ, it taketh away the power and strength of the same passion, it defileth the honour and glory of Christ, it forsaketh and denieth Christ and all his benefits. For if we shall be judged after
our own deservings, we shall be damned everlast
Therefore, learn here, every good Christian, to abhor this most detestable and dangerous poison of the Papists, which go about to thrust Christ out of his seat. Learn here, I say, to leave, all papistry, and to stick only to the word of God, which teacheth thee, that Christ is not only a judge, but a justifier, a giver of salvation, and a taker away of sin. For he purchased our salvation through his painful death, and we receive the same through believing in him, as St. Paul teacheth us, saying (Rom.ü.iv.), “ Freely you are justified through faith.”. In these words of St. Paul, all merits and estimation of works are excluded and clean taken away, for if it were for our works sake, then it were not freely, but St. Paul saith, “ freely." Whether will you now believe St. Paul, or the Papists? It is better for you to believe St. Paul, rather than those most wicked and covetous Papists, which seek nothing but their own wealth, and not your salvation.
But if any of you will ask now, How.shall I come by my salvation? How shall I get everlasting life? I answer, If thou believe with an unfeigned heart, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world, and took upon him our flesh, of the Virgin Mary, and suffered under Pontius Pilate in the city of Jerusalem most , painful death and passion upon the cross, and was hanged between two thieves for our sins, sake (for in him was no sin), neither (as the prophet Isaiah saith) was there found in his mouth any guile or deceit. For he was a lamb undefiled, and therefore suffered not for his own sake, but for our sake, and with his suffering hath taken away all our sins and wickedness, and hath made us, which were the children of the devil, the children of God, fulfilling the law for us to the utter
Mary, ani most panced betw
most, giving us freely as a gift his fulfilling to be ours. So that we are now fulfillers of the law by his fulfilling, so that the law may not condemn us. For he hath fulfilled it, so that we; believing in him, are fulfillers of the law, and just before the face of God. For Christ with his passion hath deserved, that all that believe in him shall be saved, not through their own good works, but through his passion.
Here, thou seest whereupon hangeth thy salva. tion, namely, believing in the Son of God, which hath prepared and gotten heaven for all those that believe in him, and live uprightly according to his word. For we must do good works, and God requireth them of us, but yet we may not put our trust in them, nor think to get heaven with the same. For our works are wicked and evil, and the best of them be imperfect. As for those which are evil, no man is so foolish to think to get to heaven with evil doing. And as concerning our good works, they are imperfect, and not so agreeable to the law of God, who requireth most perfect works, by the which appeareth that the best works, which are done by man, are hateful before God, and therefore not able to get or deserve salvation.
Wherefore, we must be justified, not through our good works, but through the passion of Christ, and so live by a free justification and righteousness in Christ Jesu. Whosoever thus believeth, mistrusting · himself and his own doings, and trusting in the merits of Christ, he shall get the victory over death, the devil, and hell, so that they shall not hurt him, neither all their powers be able to stand against any of those, which are in Christ Jesu. Therefore, when thou art in sickness, and feelest that the end of thy bodily life approacheth, and that the devil with his assaults cometh to tempt thee, and to have thy soul, and so to bring thee to everlasting confusion, then withstand him strongly in faith : namely, when he bringeth thee low, for he is an oid doctor, and very. well learned in the Scripture, as it appeareth in the 4th chapter of Matthew, where he reasoned with Christ. So will he reason with thee, saying, “Sir, it is written in the law, that all those which have not fulfilled the law to the uttermost shall be condemned. Now, thou hast not fulfilled it, but hast been wicked and a transgressor of it, therefore thou art mine, and therefore thou shalt go to hell, and there be punished world without end.”
Against such temptations and assaults of the devil, we must fight in this wise, and answer, “I acknowledge myself to be a sinner most miserable and filthy in the sight of God, and therefore, of myself, I should be damned according to thy saying. But there is yet one thing behind ; that is this, I know and believe without all doubt that God hath sent his Son into the world ; who suffered a most painful and shameful death for me, and fulfilled the law wherewith thou wouldest condemn me. Yea, he hath given me, as a gift, his fulfilling, so that I am now reckoned a fulfiller of the law before God, therefore avoid, thou most cruel enemy, avoid, for I know that my Redeemer liveth, who hath taken away all my sin and wickedness, and set me at unity with God, his heavenly Father, and made me a lawful inheritor of everlasting life.”
Whosoever in such wise fighteth with the devil, shall have the victory, for he is not able to stand against Christ, and it appeareth throughout all the Scripture most plainly and manifestly, that the power of the devil is vanquished, when the word of God is used against him, and not only in the Scripture, both Old and New Testament, but also in other writings. For Eusebius Pamphilius hath many