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Here truly he does not speak of a part of justification, but of
* "Justificare ergo nihil aliud est, quam eum qui reus agebatur, tanquam approbata innocentia a reatu absolvere. Quum itaque nos Christi intercessione justificet Deus, non propriae innocentiae approbatione, sed justitiae imputatione nos absolvit: ut pro justis in Christo censeamur, qui in nobis non sumus. Sic Actorum, cap. 13. (v. 38.) in concione Pauli: Per hunc vobis annuntiatur remissio peccatorum, et ab omnibus iis a quibus non potuistis justificari in lege Mosis, omnis qui credit in eum, justificatur.' Vides post remissionem peccatorum justificationem hanc velut interpretationis loco poni: vides aperte pro absolutione sumi: vides operibus legis adimi: vides merum Christi beneficium esse: vides fide percepi: vides denique interponi satisfactionem, ubi dicit nos a peccatis justificari per Christum. Sic quum publicanus dicitur (Luc. 18: 14) justificatus e templo decendisse, non possumus dicere aliquo operum merito consequutum esse justitiam. Hoc ergo dicitur, post impetratam peccatorum veniam pro justo esse coram Deo habitum. Justus ergo fuit non operum approbatione, sed gratuita Dei absolutione. Quare eleganter Ambrosius, qui peccatorum confessionem vocat justificationem legitimam (in Ps. cxviii. Serm. 10). 4. Atque ut omittamus contentionem de voce, rem ipsam si intuemur qualiter nobis describitur, nulla manebit dubitatio. Nam Paulus acceptionis nomine certe justificationem designat quum dicit ad Ephesios cap. 1. v. 5: Destinati sumus in adoptionem per Christum, secundum bene placitum Dei in laudem gloriosae, ipsius gratiae, qua nos acceptos vel gratiosus habuit.' Id enim ipsum vult quod alibi dicere solet (Rom. 3: 24), Deum nos gratuito justificare. Quarto autem capite ad Romanos (v. 6-8), primum appellat justitiae impulationem: nec eam dubitat in peccatorum remissione collocare. Beatus homo (inquit) a Davide dicitur, cui Deus accepto fert vel imputat justitiam sine operibus: sicut scriptum est, Beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates,' etc. (Ps. 32: 1.). Illic sane non de justificationis parte, sed de ipsa tota disputat. Ejus porro definitionem a Davide positam testatur, quum beatos esse pronuntiat, quibus datur gratuita peccatorum venia. Unde apparet, justitiam hanc, de qua loquitur, simpliciter reatui opponi." Institutio, Lib. III. cap. 11. 3, 4. Tholuck's Edition, Vol. II. p. 7, 8.
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forgiven (Rom. 4: 7. Ps. 32: 1). Is this a complete definition of justification, or a partial one? Most assuredly he does not adduce the prophetic testimony as if it taught that the pardon of sins was a part of righteousness! or that it merely unites with something else in justifying man! But David embraces our entire righteousness in gratuitous forgiveness; declaring that man to be blessed whose sins are covered, to whom God remits iniquities, and to whom he does not impute transgressions. He estimates and reckons his happiness from thence, that he is righteous in this manner, not in very deed, but by imputation."*
Further on in the same chapter he remarks, "Now let us examine the truth of that which is affirmed in the definition, viz., that the righteousness of faith is reconciliation with God, which consists alone in the forgiveness of sins. It is an axiom never to be forgotten that the whole world of mankind are under the wrath of God so long as they continue sinners. Isaiah beautifully declares this truth in the following words, (chap. 59: 1, etc.): The Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save: neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear: But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God; and your sins have hid his face from you that he may not hear.' In this we perceive that sin is a separation between man and God, a turning of the countenance of God from the sinner. Nor can it be otherwise, when it is truly foreign from his righteousness to have any intercourse with sin. Whence the apostle teaches that man is an enemy to God, until restored into favor by Christ (Rom. 5: 8-10). Whom therefore the Lord receives into fellowship he is said to justify; because he can neither receive into favor nor unite man to himself, until from a sinner he makes him righteous. We add that this is done by the remission of sins. For if by their works they be estimated whom the Lord reconciles to himself, they will still be found to
"Jam vero mihi respondeat Osiander, ubi dicit Paulus describi a Davide justitiam sine operibus in his verbis, Beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates (Rom. 4: 7. Ps. 32: 1): Sitne plena haec definitio, an dimidia. Certe Prophetam non adducit testem, acsi doceret partem justitiam esse veniam peccatorum, vel ad hominem justificandum concurrere: sed totam justitiam in gratuita remissione includit, beatum hominem pronuntians, cujus tecta sunt peccata, cui remisit Deus iniquitates, et cui transgressiones non imputat: felicitatem ejus inde aestimat et censet, quia hoc modo justus est non re ipsa, sed imputatione." Vide ut supra, cap. 11. 11.
be truly sinners, whom, notwithstanding we must regard as pure and released from sin. It appears therefore, that those whom God receives into favor, are not otherwise made righteous, save that their corruptions having been washed away they are purified by the forgiveness of sins; as such righteousness can be in one word denominated the forgiveness of sins."* These passages place the opinions of Calvin on this subject beyond controversy.
VI. Ursinus is our next witness. He was the writer of the Heidelberg Catechism; and a man who was not only of the straitest sect of Calvinists, but in every respect abundantly qualified to teach theology in Calvin's presence and from Calvin's chair. He was contemporary with Calvin, and died in 1583. His testimony is very explicit. In his exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism (a book from which more sound theology can be learned than from almost any other of its size except the Bible), he remarks Question 60 (p. 339), as follows: "Righteousness is conformity with law, or the fulfilment of law, or it is that by which we are righteous before God. Justification is the application of righteousness to any one. Hence righteousness and justification differ from each other as the form differs
* "Nunc illud quam verum sit excutiamus, quod in definitione dictum est, justitiam fidei esse reconciliationem cum Deo, quae sola peccatorum remissione constet. Semper ad illud axioma redeundum est, universis iram Dei incumbere, quamdiu peccatores esse perseverant. Id eleganter significavit Jesaias his verbis (59: 1 seq.): 'Non est abbreviata manus Domini, ut servare nequeat: neque aggravata auris ejus, ut non exaudiat: sed iniquitates vestrae dissidium fecerunt inter vos et Deum vestrum, et peccata vestra absconderunt faciem ejus a vobis, ne exaudiat.' Audimus peccatum esse divisionem inter hominem et Deum, vultus Dei aversionem a peccatore: nec fieri aliter potest, quandoquidem alienum est ab ejus justitia, quicquam commercii habere cum peccato. Unde Apostolus inimicum esse Deo hominem docet, donec in gratiam per Christum restituitur (Rom. 5: 8-10). Quem ergo Dominus in conjunctionem recepit, eum dicitur justificare: quia nec recipere in gratiam, nec sibi adjungere potest, quin ex peccatore justum faciat. Istud iddimus fieri per peccatorum remissionem. Nam si ab operibus aestimentur quos sibi Dominus reconciliavit, reperientur etiamnum revera peccatores, quos tamen peccato solutos purosque esse oportet. Constat itaque, quos Deus amplectitur, non aliter fieri justos nisi quod abstersis peccatorum remissione maculis purificantur: ut talis justitia uno verbo appellari queat peccatorum remissio." Ut supra, cap. 11. 21.
from the application of the form to the subject; as, for instance, whiteness differs from making white. But in justification there is a distinction likewise to be observed. There is a legal justification and an evangelical. Legal justification is the producing conformity with God, and with the law in ourselves. This is begun in us when we are born again by the Holy Spirit. Evangelical justification is the application of evangelical righteousness; or it is the inputation of another's righteousness which is without us, in Christ; or it is the imputation and application of the righteousness of Christ which he procured for us by dying upon the cross and rising again from the dead. It is not the transfusion into us of righteousness or of any qualities; but an absolution from sins in the judgment of God on account of the righteousness of another. Hence justification and the forgiveness of sins are the same thing."*
Again, on Question 61 (p. 345), he says, "We are justified by faith alone, that is, for the sake of the merit of Christ alone we receive by faith forgiveness of sins." Again, on p. 342, he says, "justifying, in the church, does not signify legally to make a person righteous, and endued with the quality of righteousness, out of one who is unrighteous; but evangelically, to absolve an unrighteous person from guilt, as if he were righteous, and not to punish him; for the sake of the satisfaction of another imputed to him. Thus the Scripture uses this word; and in almost all languages the signification is the same. For the word to justify, signifies with the Hebrews, to absolve from guilt, to pronounce innocent: See Ex. 23: 7. Prov.
"Justitia est conformitas cum lege, seu legis impletio, seu res, qua justi sumus coram Deo. Justificatio est justitiae applicatio ad aliquem. Differunt igitur justitia et justificatio, ut forma et applicatio formae ad subjectum, ut albedo et dealbatio seu albificatio. Dividitur autem justificatio, sicut justitia. Alia est legalis, alia evangelica. Legalis justificatio est effectio conformitatis cum Deo et lege in nobis. Haec inchoatur in nobis, cum per spiritum Sanctum regeneramur. Evangelica justificatio est applicatio justitiae evangelicae: seu est imputatio justitiae alienae, quae est extra nos in Christo: seu est imputatio et applicatio justitiae Christi, quam pro nobis moriendo in cruce et resurgendo praestitit. Non est transfusio justitiae aut qualitatum in nos, sed absolutio a peccatis in judicio Dei propter alienam justitiam. Idem igitur sunt justificatio et remissio peccatorum."
"Sola igitur fide justificamur, hoc est, propter solius Christi meritum fide accipimus remissionem peccatorum."
7: 15. Δικαιοῦν sometimes signifes even with the Greeks καίον νομίζειν, to judge or pronounce righteous ; sometimes laser to affect with punishment, the cause being known in udgment, Suidas observes: So Christ says, 'By your words ou shall be justified.' Matt. 12: 37. The former signification s used in a two-fold sense in Scripture; for either it signifies not to condemn but to absolve in judgment, as in Rom. 8: 33, and Luke 18: 14, or it signifies to acknowledge just, to declare just, etc., as in Luke 7: 37. Ps. 51: 6. Rom. 3: 4. And yet both significations amount to the same thing. But justificare, though the word often occurs among the Latins, is never employed in the sense of making righteous, or of implanting a principle of righteousness: In the Scriptures and in the church, however, the following unequivocal passages declare that it is otherwise used; for they cannot be understood, exce absolution of the sinner and his gratuitous acceptance. Rom. 8: 38, Who shall accuse the elect of God? It is God who justifieth; and Luke 18: 14, The publican went down justified; that is, absolved from guilt and accepted by God rather than the pharisee. Acts 13: 38, 39, Whosoever believeth is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses: and I announce to you the forgiveness of sins,' etc. In these passages, to be justified, manifestly signifies to be absolved, and to receive the forgiveness of sins. Rom. 3: 24, 25, 28, They are justified by grace-justifying him who believes-man is justified without works.' See also Rom. 4: 5. and 5: 9."*
*"Justificandi verbum in Ecclesia non significare legaliter, ex injusto justum facere, justitiae qualitate indita, sed evangelice, injustumi in se quasi justum absolvere a reatu nec velle punire, propter alienam satisfactionem ipsi imputatam. Sic utitur hoc verbo scriptura, nec alia est significatio fere in omnibus linguis. Nam p justificare Hebraeis significat reum absolvere, innocentem pronunciare: Ego non justificabo impium (Ex. 23: 7). Qui justificat impium, et condemnat insontem, uterque abominatio Jehovae (Prov. 17: 1). Aixaιour etiam Graecis significat alias δικαίον νομίζειν, justum censere seu pronunciare: alias zoλugev supplicio afficere, causa in judicio cognita, ut SuiSic Christus: Ex verbis tuis justificaberis. Prior significatio dupliciter usurpatur in Scriptura. Vel enim significat non condemnare, sed absolvere in judicio (Rom. 8:33). Quis condemnabit electos Dei? Deus est qui justificat (Luc. 18: 14). Descendit justificatus prae illo: Vel significat justum agnoscere, declarare, etc. justificata est sapientia a filius suis (Luc. 7: 37). Ut justificeris in ser