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seem throughly to have understood, occasion'd them, in Opposition to a most notorious Falfhood and most pernicious Doctrin of the Papists, to express the real Truth in the Apostle's own Phrase; but in a Sense, tho' in no wise contrary to, yet somewhat different from, what he (as later Writers have evidently shewn) did most certainly intend thereby
These things being premis’d, I proceed to the Propositions contain'd in this Article.
The First Proposition. The Reason of it is plain, because (according to what I observd upon the foregoing Article) our own Works are not strictly good. But see the Second Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus fextus.
The Second Proposition. See the same Author in the Third Question of the same Locus. For since our own Works are excluded in the foregoing Question, and there is no Pretense of any other Mediator ; therefore we are justified by Christ only.
The Third Proposition. See the same Person in the Seventh Question of the fame Locus.
The Fourth Proposition is the necessary Confequence of the other Three. For if the Doctrin of Justification, as taught in the Homily referrd to, is proved in the forecited Places of Turretin ; 'tis consequently wholsom, because true, and founded on the Holy Scriptures. And it cannot but be full of Comfort also, because it assures us of Happinefs upon such infallible Grounds, as the Malice of Men and Devils can't affect or undermine.
The Reader should also compare the Fourth Chapter of the Sixth Book of Limborch's System, with those Parts of Turretin which I have just now referr'd co. G 2
The T W E L F TH ARTICL E.
Of good Works.
LBE IT that good works, which are the fruit of
faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our fins, and endure the severity of God's judgment ; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Chrift, and do Spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.
This Article contains Four Propositions.
low after Justification.
endure the Severity of God's Judgment. 3. Good Works are pleasing and acceptable to
God in Christ. 4. Good Works do spring out necessarily of a
true and lively Faith, insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known, as a Tree discerned by the Fruit.
For the better understanding this Article, the Terms and Distinctions premised in the Tenth Article must be carefully observed. It must also be farther noted, 1. That our Church does not allow any Works, which are done before Justification, to be so much as imputatively good; as appears from the Thirteenth Article.
2. That by faith, in the former Part of this Article, our Church means a lively faith, as she expresses her self in the latter Part of it. 3. That those Works which she calls good, meaning that they are imputatively such,
åre Works performed in Obedience to God's Commandments. These things being premised,
The First Proposition has Two Branches. First Good Works (that is, Works imputatively good, and perform'd in Obedience to God's Commandments) are the Fruits of Faith. See the Tenth Chapter of the Fifth Book of Limborch’s System. Secondly, good Works follow after Justification, that is, those Works or Instances of Obedience to God's Commandments, which follow after Justification, are imputatively good. See the Fourth Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus feptimus.
The Second has also Two Branches, the last of which depends on the First.
Good Works cannot endure the severity of God's Jugdment. That is, Because those Works, which we perform, are not strietly good, tho' they are speciousy or comparatively such'; therefore they cannot in themselves, or upon their own account, or real and intrinsic Worth, enduro the Severity of God's Judgment, which must needs discover and condemn the Imperfection of them. See the Second Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus septimus. From whence it necessarily follows, that good Works, cannot put away our Sins, or merit our Pardon for former evil Actions. For that which is it self so imperfect, as in its own Nature to need Pardon, can't merit Pardon for something else.
The Third Proposition. See the Third Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus feptimus. For God can't be fupposed to have made that necessary to Salvation, which is not pleasing and acceptable to himfelf. And that good Works are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, is evident. Because, since they cannot of themselves endure the Severity of God's Wrath, they can't be pleasing and accepta.
ble to him on their own account ; but are such for che Sake of him in whom God is well pleased with ui, even Christ, by whom God has reconciled us to himself,
The Fourth Proposition is in effect the same with the former Branch of the First.
Of Works before Justification. Win
ORKS done before the grace of Christ, and the
inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesu Chrift, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
This Article contains Three Propositions. 1. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith
in Jesu Christ. 2. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, do not make Men meet to receive Grace, or (as the School-Authors say) deserve Grace of Con
gruity, 3. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, have the Nature of Sin.
For the Words yea rather, the Latin Copy reads Immo ; so that the Word rather is not comparative, but the Church directly affirms, that such Works have the Nature of Sin, as the Latin necessarily imports, and the following Expression, we doubt not, manifestly implies. And indeed, yea, or but rather does both here, and in the Twenty second Article, mean the same as yea, on the contrary. This is evident from the Context of both Places.
The First Proposition. Since Works done before the Grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are neither strictly nor imputatively good (the Meaning of which Expressions I explained under the Tenth Article) they cannot be pleasant to God; forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in Jesu Christ
. For if they did spring of Faith in Jesu Christ, they would be done by his Grace, and through the Inspiration of his Spirit; and consequently they would be imputatively good, and for that Reason pleasant to God. See allo Turretin's Fourth Question of his Locus Decimus feptimus.
The Second Proposition. That which is sinful, needs Pardon, but can deserve Nothing. See also the Fifth Question of the same Locus of Turretii.
The Third Proposition. Since Works done before the Grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are neither striktly nor imputatively good; they must needs be sinful, or have the Nature of Sin. And that for this Reason, viz. Because they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done. For had they been done, as God hath willed and commanded, that is, according to the Gospel Rule ; they would have been imputatively good thro' Faith in Christ, and consequently-not