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“ do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup 6 and the platter, but your inward part is full of “ ravening and wickedness."1 " The washing of
regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Ghost. “ Not the washing away the filth of the flesh ; but “ the answer of a good conscience towards God."*, - The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all “ sin."4 “ Now to him, that loved us, and washed “ us from our sins, in his own blood."$ 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 bap• tism ;' it is not proper thus to restrict his general meaning. The subsequent citations from scripture, and from the articles, 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 worthy 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 so justifying: but this will be only declaratory. All, on the contrary, who professed faith in Christ, and did not shew their faith by good works, will be adjudged
! Luke xi. 39, 40.
3 Tit, iii. 5. . 3 1 Pet. iii. 21. 4 1 John i.7. s Rev. i. 5. 6 Rom. v.1.9. xii. xiii. xvii.
unbelievers, or as having had a mere dead and unprofitable faith.
P. ci. l. 20. The homily, &c.” The single expression, baptized or justified,' in this connexion, does not necessarily prove that “justification takes • place at baptism. Indeed if rigorously interpreted, it might be brought to prove, that baptism and justification are the same, which certainly was not intended. In those, who are baptized adult, baptism is, on their part, a profession of faith in “God the “ Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" and of self dedication to the God of salvation. Their admission to baptisín is a recognition or declaration of their admission into the ark of Christ's church; and a sign, 'seal, and pledge to them of the blessings of salvation, especially of justification ; 'for baptism is in this case, what circumcision was, “a seal of the “ righteousness of the faith,” which a man “ has “ yet being unbaptized.”2 This forms the connexion belween baptism and justification : but it goes on the supposition, that the profession of the baptized person is sincere ; that he has " the answer of a
good conscience towards God:” but if he be a
1. The homily “ On the salvation of mankind," in strict conformity to the 12th article, speaks of Good works necessarily to be done afterwards,' (that is, after a man is justified ;)
and the same homily uses the expression, baptized or justi<fied, considering justification as taking place at baptism, and
consequently in this life; • Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly, after that we are baptized, or justified, not caring how few good works we do to the glory of God, and profit of our neighbours." 9 Rom. iv. 11.
hypocrite, or a concealed Jew, or infidel, it is certain that baptism neither justifies him, nor recognizes his justification. For the scripture evidently connects justification with faith :' but he who has no faith, or only a dead faith, cannot be justified by any external observance: and children, not being capable of faith, are received to baptism, on the profession of their parents or sponsors, and the engagements in their behalf; but it cannot with propriety be said that they are justified in baptism, any more than that Abraham's posterity were jus. tified in circumcision. Abraham was " the father of “ circumcision to them, who are not of the circum“cision only, but who also walk in the steps of that “ faith of our father Abraham, which he had yet
being uncircumcised.” But it is the office or duty of baptized, or justified persons, professors of Christianity; to shew the sincerity of their profession by their holy and useful lives.
P. cii. J. 4. • Faith, &c. All the worthies mentioned in the eleventh of Hebrews had either tradi. tional, or written revelation, containing the promise of a Saviour.' But does the Scripture ever speak concerning the faith of Gentiles, who had no revelation, and no promise of a Saviour ?? “ Ye were “ without Christ, being aliens from the common" wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants “ of promise, having no hope, and without God in " the world.” Where again do we read, that any man's faith consisted in believing that compliance * with a law was acceptable to the Deity ? Or where are any spoken of as believers, who had no revelation? Faith, in every view, must be the crediting of some proposition, or testimony: and cannot properly mean the reasonings, imaginations, or conclusions of a man's own mind. The faith, spoken of in scripture, is “the belief of the truth," the “ sure testimony of “ God," and a reliance on his faithfulness to fulfil his promises : but, without some degree of revela
' Acts xiii. 39. Rom. i. 17. iii. 22-26. 28. 30. iv. 3-5. 24, 25. v. 1. x. 10. Gal. ii. 16. iii. 9–14. 2 Rom. iv, 12.
3 • Faith, in several parts of the New Testament, and espe. cially in the 11th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, is ' attributed to persons who lived prior to the times of the Gospel. • It is said in this chapter, that “ without faith it is impossible to
please God," v. 6. • By faith must be here meant, pot faith in • Christ exclusively, but a species of faith, varying in different
men according to the different means afforded them of knowing and practising their duty. For in this chapter we find faith, a
faith pleasing to God, attributed to a great variety of persons • living at very different times and under different dispensations, • from Abel the son of Adam, to David and the prophets uudler
• the Jewish economy. The Gentiles “ were a law unto them. “ selves," " and their faith consisted in believing that a com• pliance with that law. was acceptable to the Deity. The effi
cacy, however, of this faith, whether in the Patriarchs, the • Jews, or the Gentiles, must still be derived from the merits and
through the mediation of Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of • the whole world. Thus it appears that no human being was
ever born into the world, and arrived at the age when he had • the full use of his reason, who had it not in his power to please • God. Calvin acknowledges that the word faith is used in Scrip• ture in various senses; but my present business is to inquire into • its signification when applied to Christians.'
i Heb, xi, 13-40. * See quotation from homilies, on p. 98. 1. 14, Refutation, 3 Eph. ii, 12.
tion, what has faith to rest upon ? Man's most confident "dogmas have generally been found most egres gious errors : “ The world by wisdom knew not « God."1 « Faith comes by hearing, and hearing
by the word of God." _ They are to be had accursed, that presume to say, that every man shall * be saved, by the law or sect, which he professes;
so that he be diligent to frame his life according to * that law and the light of nature. For holy Scrip'ture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus
Christ, whereby men may be saved.'!' How far this passage accords with the article, which his Lord ship requires all, who come to him for ordination, or institution, to subscribe, the reader must determine. The power to please God,' has been considered in the remarks on the first chapter: but no man has a moral ability, or a willing mind, except as commu
: proved, that God ever gave this special grace, this renewal unto holiness, where he totally withheld the word of truth ; or that any, adults at least, will derive benefit from the merits and mediation of Christ, who never believed in him, either as an expected Redeemer, or as one already come; or that any could be said to believe in him, who had never heard of his name. “Forbidding us to speak to the “ Gentiles, that they might be saved."4 “Who
soever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be "saved, How then shall they call on him, in whom
z Rom. X. 14-17.
3 Art. xviii.
Ii Cor: i. 21.