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CHAP. And that therefore this application, consti
tutes the difference between true justifying faith, and historical. He adds, that ihis knowledge is joined with certainty; but the measure of which is no other than that of faith. That therefore the certainty of perfect faith, is perfect; and that of imperfect, is also imperfect. But, says he, as when describing the nature of faith, we ought not to insist on the defects of individuals; so also in this, certainly. As therefore we declare, that there is opposed to faith, not only the falsity of the thing believed, but also the doubting of the person who believes, as there is none so adranced, while in this life, who does not need to pray, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief,” Mark ix. 24. it is entirely so in this matter. It is the part of the believer, to conclude with certainty that he shall be saved by faith; and that he is not a believer, except he so conclude: although it be true, that from the feeling of the flesh, and of his own infirmity, other judgments are suggested, whereby that kind of certainty may be shaken:' so that he seems sometimes to degenerate into unbelief. But even in these, as in other temptations, we are more than conquerors.” Thus that very grave Divine, who, after a little, subjoins, “ God forbid we should be so ignorant of human infirmity, which we confess is always in some degree in every regenerate person; that we should place faith beyond all sense of temptation. He feels, he
IX. Du Moulin.
often feels, indeed, wonderful motions froin CHAP. his own unworthiness, from the world, and from Satan: and he so feels, that he cannot but be affected, and so staggers, that he is almost like one in despair. But wrestling for a time, he overcomes at last. Therefore he never despairs. I have spoken too laxly, what even the Papists themselves do not deny. Therefore I say more: he always believes: he always certainly believes, that salvation is his own; namely, because by believing he fights, by believing he overcomes.” Thus far Chamier. Panstr. Vol. iii. Book. 13. Chap. i.
IX. To Chamier may be joined Peter Du Moulin, who, after he had treated at large concerning that persuasion whereby one applies to himself the promises of the gospel, believing that his sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, expresses himself elegantly in these words : " Yet it is not the design of these things, that as many should be expunged from the roll-of believers, as have not yet obtained this full persuasion of faith, which God gives not to all at the same time, nor in the same measure. But that we may be taught this assurance is commanded by God, and is earnestly to be asked from him, and that, with all our might, we must endeavour, that by prayer and good works it may be strengthened and increase. Add, that there is place for weak faith, but not for feigned: even the purblind perceive the way, nor were they equal
CHAP. ly quick-sighted who were healed by looking
to the brazen serpent.” Thus far Molinus.
Disput. de Fud. Inst. Part. i. Thes. xxxix. X. Per- X. Perkins also observes very prudently, in kins,
his Catholic Reformed, Controv. xvi. concerning implicit Faith, that the doctrine of some Catechisms is well explained, which seem to define faith in the highest and most perfect degree, while they say it is a certain persuasion of mind concerning the love and favour of God towards us in Christ. « For although, (says he,) all faith be in its nature, a certain persuasion, yet a perfect persuasion only, is a firm and consummate faith. Therefore faith ought to be defined, not only in general, and in the highest degrees; but also its various degrees and its measure should be set forth, even that they who are weak, may be truly and properly. taught concerning their state.” Neither do I doubt, but those very brethren will confess this, who otherwise seem to be exercised in extremes, and to
love rigid and hyperbolical phrases. XI. XI. conclude with Davenant's words, Davenant.
than which scarcely any thing can be more clearly and more accurately expressed, and in which I could heartly wish all would acqui.. esce. « The word trust, (says he,) signifies two things. The very act of resting upon, and cleaving unto Christ, whereby we embrace him as with both arms, and by that act, endeavour to obtain from God the Father, pardon, grace, and glory: and this we think
is that act upon which justification always CHAP. follows, that is, absolution from sin, and acceptance into Divine grace and favour: whether the sinner at that very moment conceive the full persuasion of having obtained remission, or not. Trust, uses also sometimes to denote the consequent effect of justifying faith, namely, a full persuasion, and as it were, a lively sense of having obtained remission, and the Divine favour. We confess that this trust is not justifying faith, but the darighter of justifying faith : to which the soul does not use to rise, except after many exercises of faith and holiness." Thus far, in a book entitled, Determinations of certain The Questions, Quest. xxxvii. by the venerable and very learned Bishop of Salisbury, who once bore a great part in our Synod at Dort."
1. Whether faith be a certain cause of justification, or an
evidence that it is already granted. II. III. IV. V.
HENCE we have a convenient transiCHAP. I.
tion to that question, What relation faith bears 1. Whe, in the matter of justification; whether as a certain ther faith
cause of granting it, or as an evidence and be a certain
ment that it is already granted? These seem
of their ambiguity, shall be exposed naked to
II. Justification is an absolution from sins.