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Norton, Preston, Owen, synod of New-England, the assembly of Divines, &c. and none have reason to scruple it, except such as think we are justified before we are born. Properly speaking, the justification of man is the gracious act of God alone through Jesus Christ. The other parts of the Gospel covenant, as faith, repentance, and good works through the operation of the Spirit, are the conditions on which God engages to vouchsafe that justification."



The above position is, I presume, in strict conformity with the eleventh Article, which says, that "we are accounted righteous only for the merit of our Lord," &c. It afterwards says, that 66 are justified by faith only." Now, according to the observation of a learned professor, we cannot be justified by two things, and by each of them only. To make the Article, therefore, speak a consistent language, it must be considered, that we are accounted righteous, or justified only, propter meritum Domini, according to the Latin; i.e. for, on account of, or for the sake of, the merit of the Lord; per fidem by faith, considered as the means through which we attain to that justification; or the condition on which we are made partakers of it.t

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Now, Sir, you may call faith the instrument by which the sinner lays hold on the righteousness of Christ; I call it the condition on which he is made partaker of it. But if we both mean the same thing, as, it is to be presumed, we do; namely, that faith, considered in its complete evangelical sense, is the Vindiciæ, c. 6, p. 295, &c.

* Dr. Hey.

sine qua non in Christianity, that without which there is no salvation under the covenant of grace; why should we fall out by the way, for a mere difference of expression? The quotation which you have brought from the Homily, in which it is said, that "man is saved freely in Christ, without works, by faith only," applies to the divines who hold the doctrine which this Homily was meant to oppose. The Roman Catholic Church maintains, that good works contribute in a degree as a meritorious cause to man's salvation. This is one of those gross errors which Protestants removed at the Reformation. When the Homily, therefore, in conformity with our article, says, that man is saved freely without works, the expression implies, not that good works are to be omitted in the plan of Gospel salvation, but that they are not to be considered as the meritorious cause of it. According to the doctrine of the Church of England, they are necessary, as parts of the condition upon which the free grace of God has been suspended, and as the evidence by which our title to that grace in our final justification will ultimately be determined.

My only object, in adding a single word to the many solid and satisfactory answers that from time to time have been given to a cavil, (for in truth I can hardly honour it with the name of an objection) was, that I might, if possible, effectually remove a stumbling-block, which I fondly hoped had long ago been removed; that even the most rigid Calvinists might hereafter forbear to object to our significant and inoffensive term condition, that

it is an encroachment on the freedom of Divine grace.

But having no reason to think that the authority of so obscure an individual as myself will have much weight, I am happy in appealing to those celebrated Divines to whom we both look up; I mean the late excellent Bishop Horne, whom I observe with pleasure you mention with respect and gratitude, in page 135; and the present Bishop of Rochester, whose name you have introduced, also, with respect, in a note in page 44 of your book. The former, in a sermon preached before the University of Oxford, has these words:

"I call works a necessary condition of our justi fication; because most certain it is, that the only meritorious cause thereof, is the satisfaction of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; who alone, by his most precious blood shed upon the cross, hath obtained for us remission of sins and eternal life. But in the Gospel covenant, to which we are now admitted by baptism, faith and works are the conditions; to the performance of which, through the power of his grace, God has annexed the promises of redemption; and without the performance of which, a right to those promises can neither be acquired nor preserved. That faith is such a necessary condition, all Christians are agreed.”* The whole discourse from which the above extract is taken, appears to me to be well worthy your serious attention.

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Next to the homilies of our Church on justification, (you say, in page 44) I have seen no human

* Vindiciæ, c. 6, p. 306.

composition more clear and satisfactory on the subject than the charge delivered by the present Bishop of Rochester, when he held the see of St. David." With this excellent charge I have long been ac quainted. There is nothing in it to which I do not cordially assent. Upon the subject of justification, I think, moreover, there is nothing in it that is not, in substance at least, to be found in my book, No such merit is ascribed by me to the good works of men, as may claim immortality as the wages of our service; nor is any power ascribed to man to perform works truly good, without the assistance of the Divine Spirit, Christian fruit, (I say) can only grow on the Christian tree.* The Bishop says, "There is no hope from any merit of our own, but through the efficacy of our Lord's atonement." "Properly speaking, (I say) the justification of man is the gracious act of God alone, through Jesus Christ."+ In order to guard against the deception of nominal professors, I have represented faith with its proper accompaniments, not as the meritorious.cause of salvation, but the condition upon which it is suspended. The Bishop, as a preservative from the contagion of the Antinomian folly, recommends the Harmonia Apostolica of Bishop Bull, from whence two or three decided passages were brought forward in my book, for the purpose of proving, what it was the professed object of that treatise to prove, the conditionality of man's salvation through Christ. Perfectly agreed as we are, I am at some loss to account for the different opinions you entertain of the Bishop of Rochester and Vindicia, c. 6, p. 269.

* Guide, P. 226.

myself, relative to this subject. If want of ability on my part has prevented my expressing myself so forcibly and so satisfactorily as the learned Bishop has done, I flatter myself it will be found, that, with proper attention on the part of the reader, however different our language, our ideas are the same. But this mode of conditional salvation, which certainly has been revealed in the Bible, "reverses (you think) the whole Gospel plan of redemption for man, as a guilty, unworthy, helpless sinner; and makes none partakers of it, who do not bring with them faith, repentance, and good works, through the operation of the Holy Ghost." Permit me to ask, would you have any partakers of salvation, who do not bring these Christian qualifications with them? Assuredly not, you will readily answer. But then the bringing these qualifications, as conditions upon which men are to be made partakers of salvation, is, in your idea, to reverse the free plan of Gospel salvation through Christ. It is neither more or less than to say, in your words, "Bring with you your price of terms, qualifications, and conditions, and call them what you please, and then God will certainly give you justification gratis."

Respect for the writer sometimes obliges me to give an answer to remarks and observations, which appear on no other account to require an answer. I proceed, therefore, to ask, do not the words price and condition convey two distinct ideas? By paying down the price of a commodity, a claim of right to that commodity is acquired, for which I am indebted to no one; it is my own, I have bought

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