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tification signifies forgiveness of sins, or, the acceptance of a person to life eternal."*
IX. We shall now refer to several Confessions of Faith. Our first is the French Confession.
"We believe that our whole justification is founded in the forgiveness of our sins, in which also our felicity entirely consists, as David says. Therefore we reject all other means of being just before God; and presuming not upon other merits and virtues, we rest simply upon the obedience of Jesus Christ, which is imputed to us, that all our sins may be covered, and we obtain favor before God. - We believe that we become partakers of this righteousness by faith alone, as it is written: He suffered to purchase salvation for us," etc.† Articles 18, 20.
X. We cannot pay much attention to the order of time, and shall next refer to the Augustan (or Augsburg) Confession. It was written A. D. 1530. "The churches likewise teach, that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits or works, but that they are justified by grace through faith, for the sake of Christ, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins have been forgiven on account of Christ, who by his death made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes to us as righteousness. Rom. 3: 4.”‡
"Justificatio significat remissionem peccatorum, seu acceptationem personae ad vitam aeternam." Locis Communibus. See also his Preface to Vol. III. of the Works of Luther.
+ Not being in possession of a Latin copy of this Confession, we have been obliged to consult the French version. "XVIII. Nous croyons, que toute notre justice est fondée en la remission de nos pechez, comme aussi c'est notre seule félicité, comme dit David. C'est pourquoi nous rejettons tous les autres moyens de nous pouvoir justifier devant Dieu et sans presumer de nulles vertus ni merites, nous nous tenons simplement à l'obeïssance de Jesus-Christ laquelle nous est allouée, tout pour couvrir toutes nos fautes, que pour nous faire trouver grace et faveur devant Dieu. - XX. Nous croyons que nous sommes faits participans de cette justice, par la seule foi; comme il est dit, qu'il a souffert pour nous acquirir le salut."
"Item docent, quod homines non possint justificari coram Deo propriis viribus, meritis aut operibus, sed gratis justificentur propter Christum per fidem, cum credunt se in gratiam recepi, et peccata remitti propter Christum, qui sua morte pro nostris peccatis satisfecit. Hanc fidem imputat Deus pro justitia coram ipso. Rom. 3: 4.
XI. The Saxony Catechism, framed Anno 1571. "The forgiveness of sin differs not from justification. Hence justification is defined to be remission of sins, reconciliation with God, imputation of righteousness, and acceptance to life eternal."*
XII. Not having the original of the following Confession (the Belgic) by me, I am obliged to make the subsequent extract from a miserable abridgement, and even a perversion of the Harmony of Confessions,' recently published in America. It reads thus: "We believe that all our happiness consists in the forgiveness of sins, which we have by Jesus Christ, and that in it alone all our righteousness is contained, as St. Paul teacheth, out of the prophet David, who declareth the happiness of those men to whom God imputeth righteousness without works. And the same apostle saith, Rom. iii. and iv. that 'We are justified by the redemption made in Christ Jesus.' We therefore, leaning upon this as a sure foundation, do yield all glory to God, having a most base and humble opinion of ourselves, knowing full well who and what manner of creatures we be indeed. Therefore we do not presume of ourselves, or of any of our own merits, but being upholden by the holy obedience of Christ crucified, we do rest altogether in it: and to the intent it may become ours, we believe on him. This righteousness alone is all-sufficient, both to cover all our iniquities, and also to make us safe and secure against all temptations," etc. Art. XXIII.
XIII. Wendeline, whose character as a profound and consistent Calvinist, is of the highest standing, shall be our next witness. On pp. 565-590 of his Christian Theology, we meet with the following language: "Evangelical Justification is that by which a sinner is absolved from the curse of the law, and by grace accounted righteous before God, for the sake of the righteousness or merit of Christ, apprehended and applied by true faith. Legal justification is that by which any one is pronounced righteous in himself, from his own inherent righteousness and innocency. Before the divine tribunal no one is justified, that is, absolved from the curse of the law, and pronounced innocent and righteous, except by evangelical righteousness and justification. For as many as are of the works
"Remissio peccatorum et justificatio non differunt. Ideo justificatio definitur, quod sit remissio peccatorum, reconciliatio cum Deo, imputatio justitiae, et acceptatio ad vitam aeternam." Catechesis Saro
of the law are under the curse. Gal. 3: 10. And it is manifest that no man can be righteous with God but by the law.
v. 11." *
Again: " "Theologians remark that forgiveness of sins or absolution from the curse, and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, are not two integral parts of justification, or two acts really and numerically distinct: but only one act respecting the two terminos a quo and ad quem.' Even as by one and the same act darkness is expelled from the atmosphere and light introduced into it; so by one and the same act of justification, the sinner is absolved from guilt and pronounced righteous. Whence we are sure that they express the whole nature of justification who affirm that it consists in the forgiveness of sins, and also those who affirm that it consists in the imputation of righteousness. Because, when God forgives our sins, he pronounces us righteous through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ: and when he pronounces us righteous through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, he forgives our sins." + Again: Again: "But that we are justified before God, that is, absolved from the curse of the law, not by our inherent righteousness, but by the righteousness of Christ im
"Evangelica justificatio est, qua peccator absolvitur a maledictione legis, et justus refutatur coram Deo gratis, propter Christi justitiam seu meritum vera fide apprehensum ac applicatum. Legalis justificatio est, qua quis justus pronunciatur in se propria suo et inhaerente justitia ac innocentia. Coram tribunali divino nemo justificatur, hoc est, a maledictione legis absolvitur, innocensque et justus pronunciatur nisi justitia et justificatione Evangelica. Quotquot enim ex operibus legis, sub execratione sunt. Gal. 3: 10. Et manifestum est nullum per legem justificari apud Deum. ver. 11."
"Notant theologi, remissionem peccatorum sed absolutionem a maledictione, et imputationem justitiae Christi non esse duas justificationis partes integrantes, vel actus numero et realiter distinctos; sed unum esse duntaxat actum duos respicientem terminos, a quo et ad quem: veluti uno eodemque actu tenebrae ex aëre pelluntur, et lumen in aërem introducitur, sic uno eodemque justificationis actu peccator a reatu absolvitur et justos pronunciatur. Unde colligimus eos totam justificationis naturam exprimere, qui aiunt eam in remissione peccatorum consistere, et qui dicunt eam in imputatione justitiae consistere: quia dum remittit nobis Deus peccata, nos justos pronunciat per imputationem justitiae Christi: et dum justos nos pronunciat per imputationem justitiae Christi, peccata nobis remittit." Christ. Theolog. Lib. I. Cap. XXV, p. 587.
puted to us, we prove in this manner: (1) The material of our justification before God is nothing other than the righteousness of Christ, or his obedience to the law accomplished for us. Therefore we are not justified, that is, absolved from the curse of the law, unless by and on account of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us."*"The justification of the wicked is by imputed righteousness. But the justification of the Christian is the justification of the wicked. Therefore the justification of the Christian is by imputed righteousness. The proposition is thus proved: Because the justification of the wicked is his absolution from punishment." +
XIV. Our next witness shall be Dr. Tilenus of Sedan. In his Syntagma, (the date of the preface to which is A. D. 1606) p. 714, he thus speaks: "To justify, in the Scripture, most frequently signifies, to absolve, to pronounce righteous and innocent, 2 Kings 15: 4. Deut. 25: 1. Is. 43: 9, which also the antithesis shows in certain places, where to justify,' and 'to condemn,' are opposed, Prov. 17: 15. Is. 5: 23, and 50: 8. Rom. 8: 33." I
On pp. 724, 725, he speaks as follows: "The forgiveness of sins, and the imputation of righteousness are not diverse parts differing in reality, but only in word: for either of the two taken separately expresses the whole nature of justification, as appears from Rom. 4: 6, 7, where the apostle, avowedly treating upon this matter, uses the phrases to forgive sins and to impute righteousness as equivalent, although this is stoutly denied by Bellarmine. The distinction between these two forms of
"Justificari autem nos coram Deo, hoc est, a maledictione legis absolvi, non per inhaerentem nobis justitiam sed per imputatam nobis Christi justitiam, probamus: (1) Materia nostrae justificationis coram Deo alia nulla est, nisi Christi justitia, seu obedientia legi pro nobis praestita. Ergo non justificamur, hoc est a maledictione non absolvimur, nisi per et propter Christi justitiam nobis imputatam." Ibid.
"Justificatio impii est per imputatam justitiam. Atqui justificatio Christiani est justificatio impii. Ergo justificatio Christiani sit per imputatam justitiam. Propositio prob. Quia justificatio impii est absolutio ejus a poena." Ibid.
Justificare in Scriptura frequentissime significat, absolvere; justum et insontein pronunciare. 2 Reg. 15: 4. Deut. 25: 1. Is. 43: 9. Quod et ostendit antithesis in quibusdam locis, ubi to justificare et To condemnare opponuntur. Prov. 17: 15. Is. 5: 23 et 50: 8. Rom. 8: 33." Syntag. Par. II. loc. XLI. Thes. 2.
speaking, (not two integral parts of justification) respects the two terminos a quo, and ad quem.' For, as by one and the same act, darkness is expelled and light introduced, so a sinner, by one and the same act of justification, is absolved from guilt and pronounced righteous. Bellarmine trifles when he pretends that, with our theologians, there are conflicting sentiments, inasmuch as one places justification in the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, while another places it in forgiveness of sins. This is as if he should contend that a man is clothed in one way when his nakedness is covered, and in another way when his garments are put upon him. As ridiculously as does this adversary imagine that darkness can be banished, and cold driven away, so that neither light nor heat need follow in the subject body, so sophistically does he allege that forgiveness of sins effects only this, that we thereby escape the punishment of hell, but do not at the same time obtain the rewards of eternal life. Just as though sin and righteousness were really not so contrary to each other, as that the one being absent the other must be necessarily present: or as if hell was to be considered only as the suffering of the greatest evil, and not the loss of the greatest good. Wherefore, if the forgiveness of sins takes away each part of this punishment, truly it leaves nothing more to be desired. But neither in the thought, nor even by dreaming, can there be imagined a being who is both righteous and unrighteous,-no angel or man, who, although he be not unrighteous, cannot on that account properly be called righteous. Just as if any one should dream of an animal that is not indeed dead, and yet not living! For death and life, perdition and salvation, are not more directly opposed to each other in the mysteries of grace than in nature itself. And hence the authors and abettors of this opinion have invented a new Tragelaphus, not unlike the chimera of transubstantiation: imagining accidents to exist, the subject of which cannot be conceived of, much less ascertained."*
"Remissio peccatorum, et imputatio justitiae, non sunt partes diversae, aut distinctae To siva, sed duntaxat to hoyo: nam utravis seorsim sumpta, totam justificationis naturam exprimit, ut patet, Rom. 4:6, 7, ubi Apostolus hoc argumentum ex professo tractans remittere peccata, et imputare justitiam, tanquam looduvaμovvτa usurpat, quamvis hoc proterve neget Bellarminus. Distinctio inter has duas loquendi formulas, non duas justificationis partes integrantes sed duos respicit terminos a quo, et ad quem. Nam ut uno eodemque actu, et tenebrae ex aëre pelluntur, et lumen in aërem introducitur: Sic