Appendix (continued)

16. So much space has been given to Bucer's doctrine, because he is in no small degree connected with our own {374} Reformation; and such as his has been the current doctrine of the English Church. Our divines, though of very different Schools, have, with a few exceptions, agreed in this, that justification is gained by obedience in the shape of faith, that is, an obedience which confesses it is not sufficient, and trusts solely in Christ's merits for acceptance; which is in other words the doctrine of two righteousnesses, a perfect and imperfect; not of the Roman schools, that obedience justifies without a continual imputation of Christ's merits; nor of the Protestant, that imputation justifies distinct from obedience; but a middle way, that obedience justifies in or under Christ's Covenant, or sprinkled with Christ's meritorious sacrifice. It would be easy to show this in the case of Bull, Taylor, Barrow, Tillotson, and Wake, who goes so far as to imply his agreement with Bossuet on this point, Expos. Art. 5. Nay, it is almost the opinion of the Calvinists, which is worth remarking. Davenant, for instance, grants the doctrine of "justitia inchoata." He grants that it is true righteousness in the same sense in which a white wall, though not perfectly white, has whiteness (vid. supra, note, p. 84), and he grants that inherent righteousness is justification in a passive sense, or what he calls justifaction, c. 22; that is, in fact, we have two righteousnesses, a perfect and an imperfect, Christ's and our own; the point in which he differs being merely this, whether this inchoate righteousness can be said to tend towards justification, or to serve us in any stead in God's sight. And this would seem to be very much a question of words; for if he means to deny it is such as we can trust to, Bucer confesses this distinctly; but that there is something good in it, he surely cannot deny unless he will contend there is no whiteness in a wall that is partially white. Nay, in one place he confesses as to a kindred point, "Non igitur cum Patribus neque cum hisce sanioribus Pontificiis lis ulla nobis erit de nudo meriti vocabulo (quanquam multo melius et tutius est ab hoc vocabulo {375} abstinere), sed contra nuperos Papistas dimicabimus."—De Just. Act. c. 53.

To the same effect Hooker, whose view of justification is supposed to be adverse to Bucer's and Bull's: "I will not in this place dispute ... whether truly it may not be said, that penitent both weeping and fasting are means to blot out sin, means whereby, through God's unspeakable and undeserved mercy, we obtain or procure to ourselves pardon; which attainment unto any gracious benefit by Him bestowed, the phrase of Antiquity useth to express by the name of merit."—Eccl. Pol. v. 72, § 9. Hooker then holds, or at the very least suffers, the doctrine, that God has not only made his son righteousness to us by imputation, but that He does for us still more; He begins actually to make us in this life what Christ is, righteous. That doctrine surely is neither derogatory to God's grace nor an incentive to man's pride, which, while it adds a gift, does not tend to dispense with the utter necessity of Christ's merits for our justification. Or again, let the following extract from our Homily, which has been quoted at length elsewhere, be considered: "Mercifulness quaileth the heat of sin so much, that they shall not take hold upon man to hurt him; or if ye have by any infirmity or weakness, been touched and annoyed with them, straightway shall mercifulness wipe and wash them away, as salves and remedies to heal their sores and grievous diseases."—Of Almsdeeds, 2. In like manner Chamier makes this curious coufession:—"Nos ... non negamus justitiam nostram aliquo modo constare justitia inhęrente; quod sępe testati sumus; nimirum quia necesse sit nos mori peccatis et vivere Deo. Sed iidem justitię proram et puppim constituimus in remissione peccatorum; nimirum, quia hęc nos apud Deum constituit justos quod perfectio virtutum non potest. Quid ergo discriminis est? nimirum, quia ut duas formales causas ita duas distinguimus justitias; quia absurdum sit, unius ejusdemque rei geminam formam esse, itaque justitiam nostram, quatenus {376} constat remissione peccatorum, cum Paulo justificationem, eam autem quę perfectione virtutum, sanctificationem appellavimus."—xxi. 19, 9. (Vid. Davenant de Just. Hab. xxv. p. 360.) Just before he has found fault with the Council of Trent for assigning "unica," one only, formal cause, in opposition to St. Austin, who made two, and made not the inherent but the imputed righteousness the chief. In another place he hails Bellarmine's explanation of the phrase, "Christ our righteousness," (by which that author seems to assign a double formal cause to justification), as all but the same as his own. "Certe si pauca vel demas vel commode interpreteris, nihil est in hac Bellarmini solutione quod non libenter admitamus."—xxi. 17, § 25."Nostram in Bellarmini verbis mentem lęti agnoscimus, et optamus, ut vere sic sentiant Jesuitę, sic sentiant omnes Papistę."—ibid. § 38. This is not the first passage which has already been referred to from Bellarmine, about trusting to works, in which he comes near to an agreement with the Protestants. In like manner, while Bellarmine and the Romanists call love the extrinsic, and therefore accidental form of justifying faith, Calvin calls it its inseparable accident, and says that justification and sanctification are as inseparable as light and heat in the sun. His words are as follows: "Neque tamen interea negandum est quin perpetuo conjunctę sint ac cohęreant duę istę res, sanctificatio et justificatio: sed perperam inde infertur unam ac eandem esse; exempli gratia, solis lumen, etsi nunquam separatur a calore, non tamen calore existimandus est, nemoque tam rudis invenitur qui non unum ab altero distinguat."—Calvin. Antid. p. 324. The extent then of the doctrinal error he opposes, is the confessing indeed that the Sun of righteousness is both light and heat, but speaking of the Sunshine warming us. As to the practical corruptions of Roman Catholics, that is another matter; here the question is about a certain doctrine held by them and others. The statement of the Bishop of Bitonto at Trent, quoted above, p. 369, seems {377} identical with Calvin's, except that the former attributes more to justification, comparing it to the Sun's presence, not merely his heat. All this being considered, it does not seem rash to say with Grotius, that, provided we acknowledge that man does not procure remission of sins by anything he can do, and nevertheless, is retained in God's favour by obedience "cętera quę disputantur, sunt Scholastica, et Metaphysicalia."—Animadv. in Rivet. 4.

17. To sum up again, that we may not lose ourselves:—All parties seem to agree that there are two main essential conditions, or constituting causes, of a soul being in the state of justification, God's bounty and our sanctification; and there are two extreme opinions, both dangerous, and at first sight paradoxical; the one that God's bountiful acceptance of the regenerate is independent of that Atonement through which of course they become regenerate, the other that their holiness is not really and intrinsically good, even considered as the work of the Holy Ghost. Putting these two extravagances, as they may be called, aside, all parties will be found to agree together, that is, theologically speaking, and so far as this doctrine is concerned (for I am not going to the question of moral differences, or differences in creeds, in existing parties and individual writers),—with this one point of controversy, viz. whether God's mercy, considered as the form of justification, is an external form or not. To say that the proper form of justification is external to us, seems, on the face of it, unnatural; yet, on the other hand, how shall we say that it is within us, without confusing it with our own inherent righteousness? The multitude of controversialists then have taken this side or that, according as they were on the one hand clear-minded, or on the other hand sensitively alive to their own moral deficiency and unprofitableness. Great divines, however, have approximated to an agreement; thus Lombard and St. Thomas, and, in modern times, Petavius, declare that {378} grace, or the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling, is the formal cause of justification, and thus appear to have avoided an intellectual difficulty without falling into what is a worse moral one. On the other hand, it is remarkable that Hooker, in his Treatise on Justification, in spite of his just abhorrence of the practical corruptions of Romanism on this point, virtually confesses the same doctrine with the divines last mentioned. After speaking of three kinds of righteousness, Imputed, Habitual, and Actual, he proceeds: "If here it be demanded which of these we do first receive, I answer that the Spirit, the virtue of the Spirit, the habitual justice which is ingrafted, the external justice of Jesus Christ which is imputed, these we receive all at one and the same time: whensoever we have any of these we have all; they go together; yet sith no man is justified except he believe, and no man believeth except he has faith, and no man except he hath received the Spirit of adoption hath faith, forasmuch as they do necessarily infer justification, and justification doth of necessity pre-suppose them, we must needs hold that imputed righteousness, in dignity being the chiefest, is, notwithstanding, in order the last of all these."—§ 21. Here it is said that whereas in time these separate gifts go together, yet in order imputation comes upon the gift of the Spirit; what is this, divested of verbal differences, but to say expressly that the Holy Spirit is the formal cause of justification? Now, turning from Hooker to the following statements of Mr. Knox, let the reader decide whether there is any great difference between them on the particular point which is before us. "Our being reckoned righteous coram Deo always and essentially implies a substance ofrighteousness previously implanted in us; and ... our reputative justification is the strict and inseparable result of this previous moral justification. I mean that the reckoning us righteous indispensably pre-supposes an inward reality of righteousness, on which this reckoning is founded."— {379} Remains, vol. i. p. 278. Now if Mr. Knox means that we are in matter of fact and time sanctified before we are justified, then he differs from Hooker, as also from St. Austin's famous maxim, Sequuntur opera justificatum, etc.; but if he means in order of nature (as when we say that wisdom is "first pure, then peaceable"), then I conceive he agrees with Hooker. And in p. 265 he expressly declares that he means in order of nature. Or again, let the coincidence of doctrine between Calvin and the Council of Trent be observed in the following passages:—Calvin: "Admonet [Petrus], ne irrita sit sacri illius sanguinis effusio, arcana Spiritus irrigatione animas nostras eo purgari."—Instit. iii. 1, § 1. The Council: "Quanquam enim nemo possit esse justus, nisi cui merita passionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi communicantur, id tamen in hoc impii justificatione fit, dum ejusdem sanctissimę passionis merito per Spiritum sanctum charitas Dei diffunditur in cordibus eorum qui justificantur."—Sess. 6, c. 7. With these passages let the words of the Homily on Almsdeeds be compared: "We, doing [as if dum facimus] these things, according to God's will and our duty, have our sins indeed washed away, and our offences blotted out, not for the worthiness of them, but by the grace of God, which worketh all in all, and that for the promise, etc. Almsdeeds do wash away sins, because God doth vouchsafe then to repute us clean and pure, when we do them for His sake, and not because they deserve or merit our purging, etc." The same dependence of justification upon the gift of the Spirit is maintained by Baxter. "Though most Protestants say that justification is a sentence of God, they are not agreed what that sentence is ... Some think, etc. … Others say that by a sentence is meant God's secret mental estimation. Mr. Lawson noteth that (as all confess that God hath no voice but a created voice, and therefore useth not words as we, unless what Christ as man may do in that we know not; so), His sentence is nothing but His declaration {380} that he esteemeth us pardoned and just in title, which is principally, if not only, by his execution, and taking off all penalties of sense and loss, and using us as pardoned in title; and so that the giving of His Spirit is His very sentence of justification in this life, as it is His declaration as aforesaid … There is much truth in most of the foresaid opinions inclusively, and much falsehood in their several exclusions of all the rest, unless their quarrel be only de nomine, which of all these is fitliest called justification … There is no doubt that God doth esteem them just, that are first made just, and no other, because he erreth not ... and that God doth begin such execution [of His sentence] in this life, and that His giving the Spirit is thus His principal pardoning and justifying act, and yet that this is but part, and not the whole, of our present executive pardon, and that glorification in this sense is the highest and noblest justification or pardon."—Life of Faith, p. 3, ch. 8. The whole passage is worth consulting. Waterland speaks of the operation of the Spirit as the efficient cause, but the general sense is evidently the same:—"The Holy Ghost is here to be considered as the immediate efficient cause [of justification]; for proof of which, we need not go farther than our Lord's own words, that 'except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,' which is as much as to say, he cannot have a title to salvation, cannot be justified."—On Justification, p. 434. "The merits of Christ applied in Baptism by the Spirit, and received by a lively faith, complete our justification for the time being," p. 440. Barrow is still more to the point: "To each person sincerely embracing the gospel, and continuing in stedfast adherence thereto, God doth afford His Holy Spirit as a principle productive of all inward sanctity, and virtuous dispositions in his heart, enabling and quickening him to discharge the conditions of faith and obedience required from him, and undertaken by him, that which is by some {381} termed, making a person just, infusion into his soul of righteousness, of grace, of virtuous habits. In the Scripture style it is called, 'acting by the Spirit,' 'bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost,' 'renovation of the Holy Ghost,' 'creation to good works,' 'sanctification by the Spirit,' etc., which phrases denote partly the collation of a principle enabling to perform good works, partly the design of religion tending to that performance. Now all these acts (as by the general consent of Christians, and according to the sense of the ancient Catholic Church, so) by all considerable parties seeming to dissent, and so earnestly disputing about the point of justification, are acknowledged and ascribed unto God; but with which of them the act of justification is solely or chiefly coincident, whether it signifieth barely some one of them, or extendeth to more of them, or comprehendeth them all (according to the constant meaning of the word in Scripture), are questions coming under debate, and so eagerly prosecuted: of which questions, whatever the true resolution be, it cannot methinks be of so great consequence as to cause any great anger or animosity in disputes one toward another, seeing they all conspire in avowing the acts, whatever they be, meant by the word justification, although in other terms, seeing all the dispute is about the precise and adequate notion of the word justification; whence those questions might well be waived as unnecessary grounds of contention, and it might suffice to understand the points of doctrine which it relateth to in other terms laying that aside as ambiguous and litigious."—Barrow, Of Just. by Faith.

Such then are the decisions of divines of very various schools of opinion; and it will be observed, moreover, that, as far as they decide that justification consists in the presence of the Holy Spirit, they explain how it is that two formal causes can be assigned to it; which could not be if each were complete in itself and independent: whereas, incipient righteousness, which is the improper form, is but {382} the necessary attendant on the Divine Presence, which is the proper.

18. In the foregoing lectures a view has been taken substantially the same as this, but approaching more nearly in language to the Calvinists; viz. that Christ indwelling is our righteousness; only what is with them a matter of words I would wish to use in a real sense as expressing a sacred mystery; and therefore I have spoken of it, in the language of Scripture, as the indwelling of Christ through the Spirit. Stronger words indeed cannot be desired than those which the Calvinists use on the subject; so much so, that it may well be believed that many who use it, as the great Hooker himself at the time he wrote his Treatise, mean what they say. For instance, the words of a celebrated passage which occurs in it, taken literally, do most entirely express the doctrine on the subject which seems to me the Scriptural and Catholic view.—"Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in Him. In him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated into Christ. Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man which is impious in himself, full of iniquity, full of sin, him being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin remitted through repentance, him God beholdeth with a gracious eye, putteth away his sin by not imputing it, taketh quite away the punishment due thereunto by pardoning it, and accepting him in Jesus Christ, as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that was commanded him in the Law; shall I say more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole Law? I must take heed what I say; but the Apostle saith, God made Him to be sin, etc. Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself," etc. Or again, Davenant speaks thus:—"Christi Mediatoris in nobis habitantis atque per Spiritum sese nobis unientis perfectissima obedientia, est formalis causa justificationis {383} nostrę."—De Just. Habit. 22. And Calvin still more strongly:—"Conjunctio igitur illa capitis et membrorum, habitatio Christi in cordibus nostris, mystica denique unio a nobis in summo gradu statuitur; ut Christus, noster factus, donorum quibus pręditus est nos faciat consortes. Non ergo eum extra nos procul speculamur, ut nobis imputetur ejus justitia, sed quia ipsum induimus, et insiti sumus in ejus corpus, unum denique nos secum efficere dignatus est, ideo justitię societatem nobis cum eo esse gloriamur."—Instit. iii. 11, § 10. Many striking passages might be extracted from Luther to the same effect: as, for instance, one about Baptism, quoted by Dr. Pusey in his Work, ed. 1, p.28; or again, vid. Bucer on the text, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

But above all, attention must here be drawn to a most important passage in the Homily on the Resurrection, or rather to the greater part of that Homily, which precisely and formally lays down the doctrine which I have advocated. The writer of the Homily in question incidentally alludes to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; but with this further view of the doctrine we are not here concerned. He is enlarging on St. Paul's words, that "Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification," and he says,—"It had not been enough to be delivered by His death from sin, except by His resurrection we had been endowed with righteousness. And it should not avail us to be delivered from death, except He had risen again to open for us the gates of heaven, to enter into life everlasting … Thus hath his resurrection wrought for us life and righteousness. He passed through death and hell, to the intent to put us in good hope that by His strength we shall do the same. He paid the ransom of sin, that it should not be laid to our charge. He destroyed the devil and all his tyranny, and openly triumphed over him, and took away from him all his captives, and hath raised and set them with Himself among {384} the heavenly citizens above. He died to destroy the rule of the devil in us, and He rose again to send down His Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, to endow us with perfect righteousness."

Thus a justifying righteousness, viz. that of which St. Paul speaks as gained by Christ's resurrection, is ascribed to the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Homily continues:—

"Thus it is true that David sung ['Truth hath sprung out of the earth, and righteousness hath looked down from heaven']. The truth of God's promise is in earth to man declared; or, from the earth is the Everlasting Verity, God's Son, risen to life; and the true Righteousness of the Holy Ghost, looking out of heaven, and in most liberal largess dealt upon all the world. Thus is glory and praise rebounded upwards to God above for His mercy and truth. And thus is peace come down from heaven to men of good and faithful hearts. 'Thus is mercy and truth,' as David writeth, 'together met; thus is peace and righteousness embracing and kissing each other.' If thou doubtest of so great wealth and felicity that is wrought for thee, O man, call to thy mind that therefore hast thou received into thine own possession the Everlasting Verity, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to confirm to thy conscience the truth of all this matter. Thou hast received Him, if in true faith and repentance of heart thou hast received him; if in purpose of amendment thou hast received him for an everlasting gage, or pledge of thy salvation. Thou hast received His body which was once broken, and His blood which was shed for the remission of thy sin. Thou hast received His Body, to have within thee the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for to dwell with thee, to endow thee with grace, to strengthen thee against thine enemies, and to comfort thee with their presence. Thou hast received His Body to endow thee with everlasting righteousness, to assure thee of everlasting bliss, and life of thy soul." {385} Thus justification consists in "righteousness," and righteousness consists in the inward presence of God, in "receiving" within us Christ's "body which was broken" and "blood which was shed for the remission of sins;" which moreover communicates, "to dwell in us," the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To proceed:—

"Doubt not of the truth of this matter, how great and high soever these things be. It becometh God to do no small deeds, how impossible soever they seem to thee. Pray to God that thou mayest have faith to perceive this great mystery of Christ's resurrection; that by faith thou mayest certainly believe nothing to be impossible with God. Only bring thou faith to Christ's Holy Word and Sacrament ... Thus, good Christian people, forasmuch as ye have heard these so great and excellent benefits of Christ's mighty and glorious resurrection, as how that He hath ransomed sin, overcome the devil, death and hell, and hath victoriously gotten the better hand of them all, to make us free and safe from them, and knowing that we be by this benefit of His resurrection risen with Him by our faith unto life everlasting, being in full surety of our hope, we shall have our bodies likewise raised again from death, to have them glorified in immortality, and joined to His glorious body, having in the mean while His Holy Spirit within our hearts, as a seal and pledge of our everlasting inheritance, by whose assistance we be replenished with all righteousness, by whose power we shall be able to subdue all our evil affections rising against the pleasure of God; these things, I say, well considered, let us now in the rest of our life declare our faith that we have in this most fruitful article, by framing ourselves thereunto, in rising daily from sin to righteousness and holiness of life."

This last extended sentence, be it observed, is describing the "benefits of Christ's resurrection," that is, according to St. Paul's words on which the Homily is commenting, "our {386} justification," or our "endowment with perfect righteousness," as the Homily itself calls it, ascribing it to the operation of the Holy Ghost. This then is the great gift of the Gospel, manifold, but one, of which justification and sanctification are the two principal effects, divisible however only in our idea of them, not in fact; and that this one gift, considered in itself, is the sacred presence of the Word Incarnate within us, as both righteousness and renewal, as cleansing from guilt and from sin, is stated still more forcibly than hitherto in the words which follow:—

"What a shame were it for us, being thus so clearly and freely washed from our sin, to return to the filthiness thereof again! What a folly were it, thus endowed with righteousness, to lose it again! What madness were it to lose the inheritance that we be now set in, for the vile and transitory pleasure of sin! And what unkindness should it be, where our Saviour Christ of His mercy is come to us, to dwell within us as our guest, to drive Him from us and to banish Him violently out of our souls, and, instead of Him, in whom is all grace and virtue, to receive the ungracious spirit of the devil, the founder of all naughtiness and mischief! How can we find in our hearts to show such extreme unkindness to Christ, which hath now so gently called us to mercy, and offered Himself unto us, and He now entered within us? Yea, how dare we be so bold to renounce the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (for where one is, there is God all whole in majesty, together with all His power, wisdom, and goodness), and fear not, I say, the danger and peril of so traitorous a defiance and departure?"

Now surely there is something very striking and arresting in this repeated mention of the Divine Indwelling, over and above its being mentioned at all. Nor is this the last reference to it; after a while the Homily continues:—"Apply yourselves, good friends, to live in Christ, that Christ may still live in you, whose favour and assistance if ye have?"— {387} favour and assistance, be it observed, denote, in other words, a state of justification and of renewal:—"whose favour and assistance if ye have, then have ye everlasting life already within you, then can nothing hurt you. Whatsoever is hitherto done and committed, Christ, ye see, hath offered you pardon, and clearly received you into His favour again; in full surety whereof ye have Him now inhabiting and dwelling within you."—Sermon, of the Resurrection.

19. It may be proper to observe that the doctrine which has been adopted after the Homily in this Volume, and which Petavius ascribes to the Fathers generally, was advocated, or something not unlike it, at the time of the Reformation, by A. Osiander; and a few words shall here be added on the subject of his opinions. His Confessio de Justificatione was published in Latin and German, but neither it nor any of his other works have fallen in my way. The following statement is made from his son L. Osiander's sketch of his history and opinions, in A. Osiander's (the grandson's) Disputationes xiii. on the Liber Concordię, A.D. 1611, pp. 147-150; from M. Flaccius Illyricus's Answer to the Confessio, 1552; Bayle's Dictionary, art. Stancar; Petavius de Incarn. xii. 3, § 2; Calvin, Institut. iii. 11, § 5; and Bellarmine de Justif. ii. 5. If one accepts the testimony of Calvin and Illyricus, Osiander held almost a Manichęan doctrine, but it is unnecessary to advance so grave a charge against him. Illyricus accuses him also of favouring the Roman view; but he does not seem to have done more than oppose, without owning it, the doctrine of Luther. The same author also accuses him, fairly or unfairly, of teaching that the Son, or Word, is the inward counsel of God concerning the redemption of man, i.e. of Sabellianism. He gave rise to three distinct controversies among the Lutherans; the first of which was in consequence of his maintaining what had been admitted as a question into the schools, that the Incarnation would have been necessary {388} though man had not sinned; but which happily came to nothing. He next gave offence by teaching that repentance was confession and detestation of sin with purpose of amendment and hope of pardon, whereas Melanchthon considered it to consist in contrition and faith; and by insisting on the doctrine of the Divine Indwelling as a motive against Sin: but Melanchthon took his part here, and this disturbance also came to an end. Then followed his controversy about Justification, in which his two main positions were, first, that man is justified by the essential justice of God dwelling in him; and secondly, that Christ is our righteousness, according to His divine, and not His human nature. Of these two the latter is untenable, and actually led to Arianism; but the former, with which we are here concerned, is, with some explanation, not very different from the doctrine of Petavius. Osiander seems to have argued after the manner of the Calvinists, that Christ's death did but save us from punishment, and that His righteousness is still necessary to entitle us to heaven. To his manhood he ascribed the atonement, and to His Godhead justification. He proceeded to maintain that the formal cause of our justification was something in us, and therefore that it was the essential righteousness of Christ as God dwelling in us; or again (if Illyricus may be credited), that it was the "love which God is, infused into us." And lastly, he maintained that it was a "horrible error" to assert that the word justify stands for "declare just." In order to show the approximation of some of these statements to Catholic doctrine, amid much that is of a very suspicious character, one additional passage shall be quoted from Petavius, in spite of the ample extracts above given. "Illud imprimis memoriā tenendum, ... hanc bene multorum ex antiquis esse sententiam, justos homines et sanctos ac Dei filios adoptivos fieri applicatione ipsā Spiritūs Sancti, hoc est [ousiodos] et substantivč non [energeiai] solā Spiritūs ipsius, ut {389} ait Gregorius Nazianzenus, neque per creatam rem ullam, ut scribit Cyrillus Alexandrinus, nempe sic tanquam primariam formam, atque hanc pręrogativam Novi esse Testamenti propriam."—De Incarn. xi. 7, § 11.

20. And so much on the proper formal cause of justification, which, with the Roman Divines, I would consider as an inward gift, yet with the Protestant, as not a mere quality of the mind. Numerous passages might be cited from the Fathers in point, but it would be scarcely to the purpose to do so, for Scripture itself is as clear, as far as words go, on the doctrine of a Divine Indwelling, as the Fathers can be; and the question is, as to its interpretation, whether it should be literal or not. And if its forcible statements can be explained away, so may those of the Fathers, who, the subject not being one of controversy in their day, do not speak with more scientific exactness than Scripture itself. And we have already seen Petavius's strong testimony to the fact, that the Fathers generally held that the Holy Spirit Himself, as substantially indwelling, is the formal cause of our being just. However, I will refer the reader to some passages from their writings; and that with this purpose, to show that they considered Christians to have a gift under the Gospel, not moral, yet inward.—Iren. Hęr. v. 6, et seq. Cyprian. ad Donat. init. Cyril. Hieros. Cat. xvii. 8 (15). Greg. Naz. Orat. xl. passim. Basil. Hom. de Bapt. 3; in Eunom. v. fin. Ambros. de Isaac. et An. c. v. Chrysost. Hom. 40, in 1 Cor. xv. 29; in 2 Cor. iii. 18; in Gal. iii. fin.; in Col. ii. Hom. 6. Greg. Nyss. de Beatitud. iii. p. 798-9, in Cant. v. 2, 5, 13, vi. 4, pp. 633, 644, 676, 697. August. in Psalm xviii. En. i. 8, in 1 Joann. iii. Tract. 5, § 10; iv. Tract. 8. Cyril. Alex. in Isa. lib. iv. orat. 2, p. 591; v. t. 2, pp. 759, 760; v. t. 5, pp. 867-9, de Trin. vi. p. 595.

But as to the other part of the subject, the question of the improper formal cause of justification, something may {390} be advantageously said as to the mode in which the Fathers view it, because it has been recently made a question. I consider they held our inherent righteousness as really righteousness, and really availing as far as it goes; that it has a value as being wrought by the Spirit; or, in other words, that it is like a reflection of the sun's light, a real illumination, yet as little superseding the sun as the moon does. Or to take a sacred illustration, which must be used as an analogy, not as an exact similitude; as the Word Incarnate is infinitely holy, and yet His manhood has its own essential holiness too, though finite, so we are made absolutely acceptable to God through the propitiatory indwelling of his Son, yet are not without the beginnings of inherent acceptableness wrought in us by that indwelling. I feel myself obliged to refer to the Fathers' doctrine on this point, because a question, as I have observed, has been lately raised about it by a writer whom every member of the English Church must mention with respect and gratitude, Mr. Faber. He considers, if I understand him rightly, in his "Primitive Doctrine of Justification," that our holiness and works can in no sense be said to justify us in God's sight. It would be disrespectful, in writing on this subject, to pass over a protest such as Mr. Faber's without notice; but whatever I shall say, which will be very little, must be considered as merely defensive, not spoken controversially.

I observe then, that the point is not, whether we can have any real righteousness before God justifies us, nor whether we are not justified by Christ's righteousness imputed, nor whether our own righteousness is pure enough to be acceptable without a continual imputation of His (on all which the Fathers are clear), but whether they do not also teach that our righteousness after justification, as far as it goes, is real, tending to fulfil the perfect Law, and such as to be a beginning, outset, or ground on which, when purified and completed by Christ's righteousness, God may {391} justify us. That they do teach this, the passages which, in the notes appended to my second Lecture, I brought from St. Augustine, the special Doctor of Grace, are sufficient to show; but I will here add the testimonies of three other Fathers, separated from each other in place and time, as specimens of the unanimous teaching of the early Church.

21. First, St. Cyprian, to whose doctrine assent is given in the Homily on Almsdeeds, says—"Cum Dominus adveniens sanasset illa quę Adam portaverat vulnera, et venena serpentis antiqua curasset, legem dedit sano et pręcepit ne ultra jam peccaret, ne quid peccanti gravius eveniret. Coarctati eramus et in angustum innocentię pręscriptione conclusi. Nec haberet quid fragilitatis humanę infirmitas atque imbecillitas faceret, nisi iterum pietas divina subveniens, justitię et misericordię operibus ostensis, viam quandam tuendę salutis aperiret, ut sordes postmodum quascunque contrahimus eleemosynis abluamus. Loquitur in Scripturis divinis Spiritus Sanctus et dicit, 'Eleemosynis et fide delicta purgantur.' Non utique illa delicta quę fuerant ante contracta; nam illa Christi sanguine et sanctificatione purgantur. Item denuo dicit:—'Sicut aqua extinguit ignem, sic eleemosyna extinguit peccatum.' Hic quoque ostenditur et probatur quia sicut lavacro aquę salutaris gehennę ignis extinguitur, ita et eleemosynis atque operationibus justis delictorum flamma sopitur. Et quia semel in Baptismo remissa peccatorum datur, assidua et jugis operatio Baptismi instar imitata Dei rursus indulgentiam largitur."—De Op. et Eleemos. init.

St. Hilary, in like manner, declares in the following passage, both the value of good works yet their insufficiency. "Spes in misericordia Dei, in sęculum et in sęculum sęculi est." Non enim ipsa illa justitię opera sufficient ad perfectę beatitudinis meritum, nisi misericordia Dei etiam in hac justitię voluntate humanarum demutationum et motuum vitia non reputet. Hinc illud Prophetę dictum est, Melior {392} est misericordia tua super vitam; quia quamvis probabilis per justitię operationem vita justorum sit, tamen per misericordiam Dei plus meriti consequetur. Ex hac enim vita in vitam proficit ęternam; et operationem justitię in tantum misericordia Dei muneratur, ut miserans justitię voluntatem, ęternitatis quoque suę justum quemque tribuat esse participem.—Tract. in Ps. 51, § 23.

The third, St. Chrysostom, is admonishing his hearers neither outwardly nor inwardly to pride themselves on their good deeds; but, in doing so, he takes for granted, and every now and then affirms the worth, or what the Roman divines call the merit, of such deeds, according to the covenant of grace. I have abridged the passage:—

"If thou wouldst show thy good deed to be great, be not great about it, and then thou hast made it greater. Deem thyself to have done nothing, and thou hast achieved everything. For if, when we are sinners, on deeming ourselves what we are, we become righteous, how much more will this happen, if, when we are righteous, we still deem ourselves sinners!

"Do not then spoil thy labours, nor stultify thy toils, nor, after a thousand courses on the race-ground, run in vain, and make thy efforts nought; for, better than thou doth thy Master know those good deeds of thine. Though thou givest but a cup of cold water, not even this doth He overlook; if thy alms be but an obolus, if thou dost but heave a sigh, in His great lovingkindness doth He accept everything, and remember everything, and assign it a great wage. He has no wish that thy labours shall be made less. Made less? nay, He does everything, He is ever busy, that thou mayest have the crown even of little services, and He goes about seeking excuses why thou shouldest be rescued from hell. And though thou workest but the eleventh hour, the wage which He giveth is a whole wage.

"So let us not be lifted up; let us call ourselves {393} worthless that we may come to have worth. It is a necessity for us to forget our good deeds. You will say, 'How is this possible to be ignorant of what we know?' What! thou art ever offending thy Master, and art in comfort and merriment, and hast no sense of thy having sinned, for then thou hast utterly forgotten it all; and canst thou not rid thyself of the memory of thy good deeds? This is extreme madness, and the greatest of losses to any one who is heaping such deeds up. The only safe storehouse of good deeds is to forget them. Ask then no wage from God, that thou mayest gain a wage; confess thou art saved by grace, that He Himself may confess that He is thy debtor, a debtor not only for thy good deeds, but also for that good disposition."—Hom. iii. in Matt. t. vii. p. 39.

This passage well illustrates the compatibility of the two positions quoted from Bellarmine (supra, p. 356), that the good works of the regenerate really deserve the name, and have a claim on God's justice, but that we personally, nevertheless, must rely on our Lord's merits only for salvation.

22. But on this subject the confessions of Protestants, perhaps, are worth more than the collection of certain passages from the Fathers: so let us turn to their testimony: and first of Luther:—"Philip Melanchthon said to me, the opinion of St. Austin of Justification (as it seemeth) was more consistent when he disputed not, than it was when he used to dispute; for thus he saith, We ought to hold that we are justified by faith, that is, by our Regeneration, or by being made new creatures. Now, if it be so, then we are not justified only by faith, but by all the gifts and virtues of God given unto us. That is St. Austin's opinion. From hence cometh also that gift of grace of the school-divines, grace which maketh accepted. They allege also that love is the same grace that maketh us acceptable before God. Now what is your opinion, sir? do you hold that a man is {394} justified by this Regeneration, as is St. Austin's opinion? I answered and said, I hold this, and am certain, that the true meaning of the Gospel and of the Apostles is, that we are justified before God gratis, for nothing, only by God's mere mercy, wherewith, and by reason whereof, He imputeth righteousness unto us in Christ."—Table Talk, c. xiii. Next Calvin:—"Scholę in deterius semper aberrarunt, donec tandem pręcipiti ruina devolutę sunt ad quendam Pelagianismum. Ac ne Augustini quidem sententia, vel saltem loquendi ratio per omnia recipienda est. Tametsi enim egregie hominem omni justitię laude spoliat, ac totam Dei gratię transcribit, gratiam tamen ad sanctificationem refert, qua in vitę novitatem per Spiritum regeneramur."—Instit. iii. 11, § 15. Bucer says, "Patres plerique justificaro pro justum facere accipiunt."—In Eph. ii. p. 63. Chemnitz: "Patribus … licet plerumque verbum justificare accipiant pro renovatione qua efficiuntur in nobis per Spiritum opera justitię, non movemus litem, ubi juxta Scripturam recte et commode tradunt doctrinam," etc. p. 129. It must be observed that Chemnitz holds with Bucer the doctrine of inchoate righteousness, so that in saying that the Fathers differ from him in the use of the words, he does not mean to say they deny that Christians are really righteous. Gerhard: "Scriptura verbum justificandi accipit in significatione forensi pro absolutione a reatu peccatorum, sed Patres quandoque secuti grammaticam vocis compositionem pro donatione inhęrentis justitię usurpant."—De Justif. § 245. Chamier, after speaking of St. Bernard's doctrine, says, "Concedam justificationem intelligi pro infusione; quod, etsi crebrum est apud Patres, non est ex stilo Pauli."—xxi. 19, § 16. Davenant more cautiously, but to the same effect: "Si aliquis Patrum, propter arctam illam cognatam et individuam concatenationem gratię infusę sive inhęrentis cum gratia remissionis ac imputatione justitię Christi, hęc inter se commiscera videatur, non debemus nos idcirco illa confundere, {395} quę Spiritus Dei in Sacris Scripturis accurate solet distinguere … Neque huic sententię nostrę reclamare patres illico judicandi sunt, si justificandi vocabulum ad justitię infusionem aliquando referant; nam idem vocabulum diverso sensu, non modo a Patribus, sed etiam ab ipsis Scripturis quandoque usurpatur. Non itaque jam quęrimus de diversis hujus vocabuli justificationis apud Patres significationibus; sed (quod theologicę disquisitionis proprium est) de ipso dogmate justificationis quid illi senserint indagamus."—De Just. Hab. c. 25. Barrow speaks as follows: "It may be objected that St. Austin and some others of the Fathers do use the word commonly according to the sense of the Tridentine Council. I answer that, the point having never been discussed, and they never having thoroughly considered the sense of St. Paul, might unawares take the word as it sounded in Latin, especially the sense they affixed to it, signifying a matter very true and certain in Christianity. The like hath happened to other Fathers in other cases; and might happen to them in this, not to speak accurately in points that never had been sifted by disputation. More, I think, we need not say in answer to their authority."—Barrow, of Justif. by Faith.

Barrow, it will be observed, accounts for the difference between the Primitive and the Protestant modes of speech, by saying that the subject of justification was never accurately discussed. Now it is remarkable that Roman Catholics on their part also both express dissatisfaction with the statements of the Fathers, and account for them in the same way. Vasquez speaks of "ea quę pertinent ad formalem causam nostrę justificationis," as being "difficillima eorum quę de justificatione nostra tractari solent, neque pręteritis sęculis tam exacte a patribus discussa, quam ea quę de necessitate auxilii gratię ad operandum et recte vivendum hactenus a nobis sunt disputata."—Quęst. 112, Disp. 202, c. 1, init. Father Paul goes further, observing that "the opinion of {396} Luther concerning justifying faith, that it is a confidence and certain persuasion of the promises of God, with the consequences that follow, of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, and of the quality of works depending on the one and the other, was never thought of by any school writer, and never confuted or discussed."—Hist. ii. 75, transl. Now supposing, as Bucer and his Roman opponents of Cologne, and again as Valentinus and Seripando, strenuous opponents of the Lutherans, maintain, as the Calvinists Chamier and Davenant, and the Lutherans Melanchthon and Chemnitz, almost grant, and as the body of English divines imply, the Fathers held two formal causes of justification, a proper and an improper, this dissatisfaction of both Roman and Protestant controversialists with their writings is accounted for.

23. Mr. Faber has drawn up a list of passages from them in favour of the view he maintains against Mr. Knox. How far they avail against that original and instructive writer, it falls to others to decide; they do not seem to militate against what has been maintained in these Lectures, as an instance will best show. This shall be the Epistle of St. Clement of Rome, which I select, because it is the earliest of the Fathers' writings, and the shortest, and insisted on by Mr. Faber, and as favourable a witness for the Lutheran side as any that can be taken.

Clement speaks as follows:—[ou di' eauton dikaioumetha, oude dia tes hemeteras sophias e suneseos, e eusebeias, e ergon on kateirgasametha en hosioteti kardias, alla dia tes pisteos.].—c. 32. Now here the point in controversy is whether, when St. Clement says, [ergon on kateirgasametha en hosioteti kardias], he means works done since faith and regeneration, or before. Mr. Faber considers that works after faith and regeneration are spoken of; and he thence concludes, what in that case irresistibly follows, that, according to St,. Clement, works after justification do not justify, but merely faith. And his reason for considering that St. Clement means works after {397} justification, is, that no holy works at all are possible before justification. "What are the works done in holiness of heart," he asks, "which Clement thus carefully shuts out from the office of justifying, quite as much as wisdom, and understanding, and piety? Indisputably, by the very force and tenor of their definition, they are works performed after the infusion of holiness into the heart by the gracious Spirit of God."—p. 83. Mr. Faber, then, does not deduce his proof from the text of St. Clement, but from the force of a definition of his own, that is, from these two doctrines together,—first, that no works are holy but those which are done through the Holy Spirit; and next, that no works are done through the Holy Spirit before justification.

Granting, however, for argument, both of these without entering into explanations, still the words in question need not refer to the holiness of the justified, and, as I think the text itself shows, do not.

First, let it be observed, St. Clement changes his tense, "We are not justified by works which we did (not, 'have done,' as Mr. Faber translates) in holiness of heart."

Next, he omits the article; he says [di' ergon] and thus naturally, I do not say necessarily, implies he is speaking of an hypothetical, not a real case. He says in fact, "We are not justified by holy works which we did, for we did none;" or, in St. Jerome's words, afterwards quoted by Mr. Faber, p. 122, "Convertentem impium per solam fidem justificat Deus, non per opera bona quę non habuit." Again, [en hosioteti kardias] is scarcely more than an adverb meaning "piously," "holily." Thus St. Paul speaks, Tit. iii. 5, [ouk ex ergon ton en dikaiosunei on epoiesamen hemeis esosen hemas]; not, [dia ton ergon]. What makes this stronger is that St. Clement has just before been speaking of the legal righteousness of the Jews, which was not hypothetical, and has said it did not justify; and then he speaks thus:—[pantes oun edoxasthesan kai emegalunthesan, ou di' auton, e ton ergon tes dikaiopragias es kateirgasanto]. {398}

But next, if, leaving the particular passage, we examine St. Clement's epistle throughout, we shall find that he nowhere speaks of Christ's righteousness, or of faith as the instrument of apprehending it; but he speaks again and again of faith as a moral virtue, and joined to other moral virtues, and in one place he speaks of love remitting sin, and in another of justification by works. If so, this early Father holds that "fides formata charitate" justifies; in other words, that "fides formata," or holy obedience, is a formal or constituting cause of justification, or that the righteousness of the regenerate is real. E.g. [tis gar paretidemesas pros humas ten panareton kai bebaian humon pistin ouk edokimasen]; c. i.—[panaretos] is but another word for formata. ['Endusometha ten homoian, tapeinophronountes, enkrateuomenoi, apo pantos psithurismou kai katalalias porro heautous poiountes, ergois dikaioumenoi kai me logois].—c. 30. [Makarioi esmen, agapetoi, ei prostagmata tou Theou epoioumen en homonoiai agapes, eis to aphethenai hemin di' agapes tas hamartias hemon. Gegraptai gar; makarioi on aphethesan hai anomiai, kai on epekaluphthesan hai hamartiai].—c. 59. St. Paul applies the passage in the Psalm here referred to, to justification by faith; St. Clement then, his "fellow-labourer," when interpreting it of remission through love, explains faith to be "fides formata charitate."

Other passages in the Epistle, as soon as they mention faith, go on to mention obedience of one kind or other in connection with it, or interpret the "righteousness" which follows upon faith to be inherent holiness; clearly implying that faith justifies as being of a moral nature, not as apprehensive, and is "taken for righteousness," not as its substitute but as the seed, earnest, and anticipation of it—being taken for what under God's grace it will be in due time: E.g. the Apostles are called [ekklesias pistoi kai dikaiotatoi stuloi].—c. 5. St. Paul, [to gennaion tes pisteos autou kleos elaben, dikaiosunen didaxai holon ton kosmon].—ibid. [labomen 'Enoch, hos en hupakoei dikaios heuretheis metetethe ... Noe pistos heuretheis dia tes leitourgias autou palingenesian kosmoi ekeruxen].— {399} c. 9. ['Abraham ho philos prosagoreutheis, pistos heurethe, en toi auton hupekoon genesthai tois rhemasi tou Theou].—c. 10. [dia pistin kai philoxenian edothe autoi huios en gerai, kai di' hupakoes prosenenken auton thusian toi Theoi].—Ibid. [dia philoxenian kai eusebeian Lot esothe ek Sodomon].—c. 11. [dia pistin kai philoxenian esothe 'Rahab he porne].—c. 12. After speaking of humility, subordination, mutual kindness, dutifulness, etc., he says, [tauta de panta bebaioi he en Christoi pistis].—c. 22. [tinos charin eulogethe ho pater hemon 'Abraham, ouchi dikaiosunen kai aletheian dia pisteos poiesas].—c. 31. After speaking of brotherly love, he says, [pule gar dikaiosunes aneoiguia eis zoen aute]. Then, after quoting Ps. cxviii. "Open Me the gates of righteousness," etc., he proceeds: [pollon oun pulon aneoiguion, he en dikaiosunei aute estin he en Christoi en ei makarioi pantes hoi eiselthontes, kai kateuthunontes ten poreian auton en hosioteti kai dikaiosunei].—c. 48. All this is not in the tone of a Lutheran Protestant.

What has been explained of St. Clement's Epistle, might, it seems to me, be easily applied to the rest of Mr. Faber's extracts. Some of them teach what the foregoing Lectures have aimed at enforcing, that our justification consists primarily in Christ's righteousness, or (to speak more definitely) in Christ Himself the righteous, present in us; but none go to show that Christ does not gradually impart to us that righteousness which He is. For instance, Augustine says, "per fidem [hominem] posse justificari, etiamsi Legis opera non pręcesserint; sequuntur enim justificatum, non pręcedunt justificandum."—De Fid. et Op. 14. Let it be granted most fully that works before justification do not at all in themselves tend to justify,—nor does faith; both faith and works are but preliminary conditions for justifying Baptism, but neither till then "avail." After Baptism both are justifying, i.e. both partake in the righteousness of Christ imputed, and tend towards a perfect justification; faith, however, more properly and intimately than works, not as being apprehensive, which is a human subtilty, but {400} as being their root, and as having a special unexplained connection with the invisible world. And so much upon the doctrine of the Fathers.

24. As I have throughout these remarks implied that the modern controversy on the subject of justification is not a vital one, inasmuch as all parties are agreed that Christ is the sole justifier, and that He makes those holy whom He justifies, it may be right, in conclusion, to give the decisions of some of our divines on this subject, that it may be seen how far such an opinion is safe. With this view, I will appeal in conclusion to the three who have sometimes been considered the special lights of our later Church, Hooker, Taylor, and Barrow; of whom two will be found to sanction me, and the third, though apparently pronouncing the other way, to withdraw his judgment while he gives it.

Barrow, whose judgment on the matter has already incidentally been given, speaks thus:—"In former times among the Fathers and the schoolmen, there doth not appear to have been any difference or debate about it; because, as it seems, men commonly having the same apprehensions about the matters, to which the word is applicable, did not so much examine or regard the strict propriety of expression concerning them; consenting in things, they did not fall to cavil and contend about the exact meaning of words. They did indeed consider distinctly no such points of doctrine as that of Justification, looking upon that word as used incidentally in some places of Scripture, for expression of points more clearly expressed in other terms; wherefore they do not make much of the word, as some divines now do.

"But in the beginning of the Reformation, when the discovery of some great errors, from the corruption and ignorance of former times crept into vogue, rendered all things the subjects of contention and multiplied controversies, then did arise hot disputes about this point; and the {401} right stating thereof seemed a matter of great importance; nor scarce was any controversy prosecuted with greater zeal and earnestness: whereas, yet, so far as I can discern, about the real points of doctrine, whereto this word, according to the sense pretended, may relate, there hardly doth appear any material difference; and all the questions depending chiefly seem to consist about the manner of expressing things which all agree in; or about the extent of the signification of words capable of larger or stricter acceptation: whence the debates about this point, among all sober and intelligent persons, might, as I conceive, easily be resolved or appeased, if men had a mind to agree and did not love to wrangle; if at least a consent in believing the same things, although under some difference of expression, would content them so as to forbear strife." [Note 1]

In like manner Bishop Taylor, recounting the chief points on which the controversy about Justification has turned:—"No man should fool himself by disputing about the philosophy of justification, and what causality faith hath in it, and whether it be the act of faith that justifies or the habit? whether faith as a good work or faith as an instrument? whether faith as it is obedience, or faith as it is an access to Christ? whether as a hand or as a heart? whether by its own innate virtue, or by the efficacy of the object? whether as a sign or as a thing signified? whether by introduction or by perfection? whether in the first beginnings, or in its last and best productions? whether by inherent worthiness or adventitious imputations? … These things are knotty and too intricate to do any good: they may amuse us, but never instruct us; and they have already made men careless and confident, disputative and troublesome, proud and uncharitable; but neither wiser nor better. Let us therefore leave these weak ways of troubling ourselves or others, and directly look to the theology of it, the {402} direct duty, the end of faith, and the work of faith, the conditions and instruments of our salvation, the just foundation of our hopes, how our faith can destroy our sin, and how it can unite us unto God, how by it we can be made partakers of Christ's death, and imitators of His life. For since it is evident, by the premises, that this article is not to be determined or relied upon by arguing from words of many significations, we must walk by a clearer light, by such plain sayings and dogmatical propositions of Scripture, which evidently teach us our duty and place our hopes upon that which cannot deceive us, that is, which require obedience, which call upon us to glorify God, and to do good to men, and to keep all God's commandments with diligence and sincerity." [Note 2]

Such is the concordant testimony of Taylor and Barrow; Hooker, however, the third great divine mentioned, decides the contrary way, declaring not only for one special view of justification (for his particular opinion is not the point in question here), but that the opposite opinion is a virtual denial of gospel truth. The Romanists, he says, profess "that they seek salvation by the blood of Christ; and that humbly they do use prayers, fastings, alms, faith, charity, sacrifice, sacraments, priests, only as the means appointed by Christ, to apply the benefit of His holy blood unto them; touching our good works, that in their own natures they are not meritorious, nor answerable to the joys of heaven; it cometh of the grace of Christ, and not of the work itself, that we have by well-doing a right to heaven and deserve it worthily. If any man think that I seek to varnish their opinions, to set the better foot of a lame cause foremost, let him know, that since I began thoroughly to understand their meaning, I have found their halting greater than perhaps it seemeth to them which know not the deepness of Satan, as the Blessed Divine speaketh."—Justif. § 33. {403}

This passage, it must be candidly confessed, is by implication contrary to the sentiments maintained in the foregoing pages; but it does not avail the least as authority against them, for the following plain reason:—because this great author, in the very Treatise in which he so speaks, himself confesses that he is not acquiescing in the theology of the early Church; and, since we are not allowed to call any man our master on earth, Hooker, venerable as is his name, has no weight with any Christian, except as delivering what is agreeable to Catholic doctrine, which, as being unanimous and concordant, is Christ's doctrine. Did he indeed state his belief on any theological point, and declare that it was the voice of Catholic consent, we might defer to his judgment; or did he but keep silence whether it was or no, we might take for granted that it was so: but in the instance before us, far from transmitting ancient doctrine, he even declares that, according to the views which he then held, or rather, which, by the clamour of the Puritans, he was made to believe he held, the Greek Fathers were involved by implication in the heresy of Pelagianism; and he excuses them merely upon the plea of their having anticipated that error in ignorance. To accuse a number of Greek Fathers of mistake on this point, will be found virtually to accuse all of them; and to accuse the Greek Fathers, virtually to oppose Catholic consent. His words are as follows: "The heresy of free-will was a mill-stone about the Pelagians' neck: shall we therefore give sentence of death inevitable against all those Fathers in the Greek Church, which, being mispersuaded, died in the error of free-will?" The doctrines of grace and justification are too closely connected to make it possible for an author to judge rightly of the importance of questions concerning the latter, who is in error in his view of the former. I conceive, then, that Hooker makes for the foregoing statements as truly as Taylor and Barrow: for he shows us, as by a special instance, that a divine cannot make {404} the Protestant doctrine of justification a fundamental of faith, without involving himself in an accusation of those, whose concordant decisions carry with them a weight greater than that of even the greatest individual teacher. But there is enough in Hooker's writings and history to show that this valuable Treatise, written before his views were fully matured, and published after his death, is not to be taken on all points as authority.

THE END.

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Notes

1. Sermon V. of Justification by Faith.
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2. Sermon on Fides formata, vol. vi. p. 271.
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