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themselves weary of this life.” “ Thus,” it proceeds to fay, “ did David, Daniel, Esther, Nehemias, the Ninevites, and all the children of Israel, fast and repents”
Here then, I appeal to Dr. Croft, Dr. Paley, Mr. Polwhele, Mr. Clapham, Mr. Ludlam, and the whole body of those who profess not to know what Experience means in religion, to say, whether if any person, with the least pretension to decency of conduct, should seriously adopt this language, or by any means discover this state of mind now, they would not consider him a Methodist; and whether if he consulted them as Divines, they would not think of a Strait-waistcoat for him?
And, I again appeal to every competent and unprejudiced judge to say, which party teaches most like the church of England on this subject : we, who allow men to be serious in this most serious cause; or they, who are so disposed to fight, and even to ridicule real solicitude about the spiritual state : we, who urge the necessity of a practical,radical, and general change of character; or they, who relt so much upon hereditary distinctions, and external reformation, and, at the most, require only fome very partial amelioration of heart and principles : we, who ascribe true conversion to God, to the agency of the Divine Spirit; or they, who consider it a work which is “ easy and natural” to man?
The question prosecuted with regard to the doctrine of
W E proceed to the doctrine of a finner's Justification before God. « How shall man be just with Goda? A more important inquiry cannot occupy the attention of rational creatures. All who see and feel themselves in the condition described by the church, under the two preceding particulars, will thus consider it. All others, as an eminent Reformer has well observed, will only amuse themselves with ingenious trifling on the subjectb.
It may here be premised, that this doctrine formed a principal controversy between the Romanists and the Reformers, and particularly between Gardiner and Cranmerc; that the whole body of the Protestant churches were agreed upon it d; and, that on this primary article they all disagreed with the church of Rome. It would therefore undergo the fullest discussions, and we have the most general and determinate conclusions upon it..
It is moreover already obvious, that on this point too, in estimating the judgment of our church, we must keep in view her ideas of man's disease, especially her notions of his natural impotence in respect to divine things. It follows indeed, of course, from hence, that she must either represent him as faved wholly by grace, or as not saved at all,
(a) Job ix. 2. (b) Calvin Instit. L. 3. Cap 12. § 1. (c) See Strype's Life of Cranmer, p. 149. (d) See Corpus Confessionum, &c. Art 5. (e) See Second Letter to the Author of the Confessional, p. 34.
The charge then, in refpe&t to us, is, that we ascribe too much to Grace, tò Chrijt, and to Faith, in this matter, and too little to Good works, to comparative Innocence, to Reformation, and other performances and conditions, on the part of man. We cannot, however, with our views of scrïpture and of man's native powers, relax on the point. Our uniforin doctrine is,—“That we are justified By fuith only,” and“ only FOR the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chriftf." And we think that we adhere most punctually to the church in these opinions. But this is the subject of our present investigation. Let us then first inquire,
2. Whose ideas most resemble hers with regard to what is meant by justification ?- OUR views of this particular are fully expreffed by Archbishop Cranmer in his “ Difcourse of Justification” on reviewing the Erudition of a Christian man. To be justified, this Prelate here shows, is to “ liave the forgiveness of our fins, to be reconciled to God, to be accepted, and reputed just and righteous in his fight 8.” And, omitting altogether subjects who are in: capable of faith, this we conceive is effected when a man rightly believes,
Our Opposers talk of “ two justifications," which they denominate" our first and our final justification.” The first, they teach, is all that is attainable in this life, and means " our admission into Christianity," or " a Christian fociety," and " belongs to all profeffed Christians witliout exception.” Thus teaches Bishop Watson, from Taylor the Socinian h. Dr. Hey approaches infinitely near him. The above language is all equally bis, except the last clause of the sentence. “ Our church,” this Divine also says, calls - the admission into Christianity our first justification,”
(f) See Art. 11. (g) See Strype's Life of Cranmer, Appendix, p. 60. (1) Tracls, Vol. iii, Taylor's Key, P. 360 and passiın.
and uses. the word justification as synonimous to Baptismi.” This is the express doctrine of Mr. Daubeny. The confufion on this subject he fays, is to be attributed to a want of “ attention to the sense in which the word justifidation, is used in the articles :” and adds, " the word justification, as it was used at the Reformation, was considered as synonimous with baptism :" and that accordingly, “ By our justification is primarily to be understood our admission into Christianityz.” He then talks of " man's first justification,” and his“ final justification ;” and supports these notions by the arguments, and nearly the words, used by Dr. Hey Y.
In answer to one of these opinions, it may however fuffice to observe, that no such distinction can be found in any of the legitimate writings of our church. Certainly there is nothing like it in her articles and homilies on the subject. And in respect to the notion, that “ juftification is fynonimous to baptifmn; Dr. Hey himself allows, that " the word” is “ seldom, if ever,” used in this sense, except in our article and homilyk. And does not this circumstance render it highly improbable that it is so used there? Does it not far more than outweigh the single expression“ baptized. or justified” in the homily"? Dr. Hey allows too, that there are fuch Beings as mere “ nominal Christians,” and that the 13th Article, which treats “ of works done before justification,” is “ chiefly intended for nominal Christians m."? But, if baptism, or the bare admission into the Christian religion, means the fame as justification, what sense is there in this article, or in the doctrine it maintains, as applicable to fuch persons? Can they who are already admitted into Christianity do works before they are admitted into it? Or, can almost any member of our church, when almost univerfally they are admitted in their infancy, ever do such works?
(i) Nor. Lect. Vol. iii. p. 269, 270, 334, 336. (2) Appendix, p. 182. (y) Ibid. and p. 583 (k) Nor. Lect. Vol. jji. p. 336. (1) On Salva. part 3d. (m) Nor. Lect. Vol. iii. p. 378,
But the notion is overthrown by their own hypothesis ; namely, that it supposes “ men to do their part faithfully;" and that we are then only “ put into a way of being eternally happy, if all things go on well;" but that " we may lose our wayn.”-Now if this mean, that we inay lose our justification, and Dr. H. speaks of “our being restored to ito;" then, if justification be the same as baptism, in order to regain it, we must be re-baptized. “ Justification," he also fays, is “ supposed variable; fometimes increasing, sometimes decreajing P.” But how can our baptism vary, and be increased and decreased z ?
Even the paffage quoted from their favourite, though very illegitimate, authority, the “ Neceffary Doctrine, &c.,” is nothing to their purpose. This only mentions baptism, as the way “by the which God hath determined that man BEING OF AGE, and coming to christendom, should be justified 9:" It certainly does not hence follow, that it is the way by which those who are not of age, and therefore, not capable of faith and repentance, are justified. Our Church decides favourably, as doubtless she ought, on the condition of baptized infants, who die in their infancy. But all who arrive at maturity she supposes to be finners; and “ they,” she teaches, " who in act or deed fin after bap
(n) Ibid. p. 334, 336; and Daubeny's Appendix, p. 149. (0) Nor. Lect. p. 268. (p) Ibid. p. 335.
(2) Mr. Hooker, speaking of the Romanists, says, “ The first receipt of grace, in their divinity, is the first justification; the increase thereof the second justification. ....Unto such as have attained the first justification, that is to say, the first receipt of grace, it is applied further by good works, to the increase of former grace, which is the second justification. If they work more and more, gräce doth more and more increase, and they are more and more justified.” Disc. on Juftification, p. 19. — But these notions Mr. H. mentions among those in which the Romanists differ from us, and after the mention of which he adds; “ This is the mystery of the man of sin. This maze the Church of Rome doth cause her followers to tread, when they ask her the way of justification."-Ibid.
(q) Nor. Lect. p. 336.