« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
as God could not bestow this grace to the disparagement of his justice, it follows that the scheme which he has devised for the reconciliation of these two perfections in the act of forgiveness must have been devised, and its blessings bestowed without claim or merit also. Hence, I read in the Douay Bible the following text: “ BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
The Bible, yes this Douay Bible, is full of passages to this effect. I read in Romans xi. 6 : “ If by grace it is not now by works; otherwise grace is no more grace.” In Ephesians ii. 8, 9: "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves for it is the gift of God. Not of works that no man may glory." In Titus iii. 5: “Not by works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us ; that being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to the hope of everlasting life.” But why should I multiply references to substantiate a doctrine whose fitness and whose glory appeal to the conscience of every sinner, and whose truth was patent to the whole Christian Church for the first thousand years of its existence! Roman Catholics speak of the unity of their church, and of the apostolicity of its teaching and practice; but this we considently affirm, and you shall have proof before you leave this church, that into whatever other errors the Church of Rome may have fallen before the sitting of the Trentine Council, it was left to that body of ecclesiastics to hurl the first church anathema against every humble preacher who should dare to affirm with Paul, “ that man is justified by faith
only." In the beginning of the twelfth century, Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, required that the following exhortation should be given to a dying monk: “ Do you
believe that you cannot be saved but by the death of Jesus Christ? I do believe so. heartily thank him for it? I do. Be
therefore ever thanking him for it as long as you live, and put your whole trust and confidence in that death alone; and let that be your only safeguard. And if the Lord will enter into judgment with thee, say thus: 0 Lord, unless I hold the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and thee and thy judgment, I am not able to plead with thee. If he tells
have merited damnation, say unto him, I hold the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and
ill-deserts ; and instead of those merits which I ought to have, but alas, have not, I offer to thee the merit of his most meritorious passion.” This exhortation was judged so orthodox and scriptural in the twelfth century, that it found its way into most of the Roman Catholic devotional works. . Cardinal Hosius, indeed, referred to it as Catholic in doctrine, and it was not until the Council of Trent that it was found to contain articles of faith contrary to the belief of the church ; so it soon found a place in the Index Expurgatorius! What will be said by Roman Catholics when they are informed that in the year 1584, several passages which deny the merit of good works, were commanded by the order of the Council of Trent to be blotted out of several books? What will be said, when I affirm, that from the office for the dying, the following questions and answers were
expunged by the same authority: Q. “Dost thou believe that thou shall come to Heaven not by thy own merits, but by the virtue and merit of Christ's passion ? A. I do believe it. Q. Dost thou believe that Christ died for our salvation, and that none can be saved by their own merits, or any other way but by the merits of his passion ! A. I do believe it." These are the questions which, prior to the Council of Trent, were put by officiating ministers to dying Roman Catholics ; but that Council stretched forth its sacrilegious hand and robbed the members of the church of this sole foundation of their hope.
Our Catholic friends sometimes ask: “ Where was your religion before Luther?" In the Bible we reply: and, so far as the doctrine of justification by grace is concerned, in St. Bernard, in Anselm, in those sentences which the Council of Trent expunged from the office of the church. To show you how Scripture triumphed over the Tridentine dogmas, I will read to you some of the last expressions of Cardinal Hosius, the very prelate who presided over the Council :—The following sentiments are taken from his last will :-“I approach the throne of thy grace, O Father of mercies, and of all consolation, to the end that I
and find grace in thy sight. Whensoever it shall please thee to demand back again that which thou hast committed to me, into thy hands I resign my spirit; which if thou shouldst look upon as it is in itself, I confess it is not worthy to appear in the presence of thy Majesty, for it is full of all kind of pollution; but if thou hast respect to the blood of thy Son, wherein it has been washed
and purified, and to those bitter torments which he suffered for our sins, that he might render us acceptable in thy sight; they are worthy that for their sake thou shouldst give it eternal life, which he purchased at so great a price.” He then desires that God would not look upon
him as himself, but in the face of Jesus Christ. “I am not worthy," says he, “ that thou shouldst behold me with the eyes of thy Majesty ; but as it is most worthy, that for the sake of his death, and passion, thou shouldst not only look upon me, but crown me also ; 'tis therefore that I come unto thee, most dear Father, and that without any merits, but those inestimable ones of thy Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Redeemer; I bring thee the merit of that death, wherein alone I place all my hope and my confidence; that is my righteousness, my satisfaction, my redemption, and my propitiation. The death of my Lord is my merit.” And after that, having recited the words of St. Bernard in the 61st sermon upon the Canticles; he adds, speaking of the blood of Jesus Christ, “ Regard that price, for that price sake declare me worthy to be placed among the sheep at thy right hand."
Blessed, thrice blessed Gospel truth! It is the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ; it is the refuge of the distressed sinner; it is the anchor of the rejoicing soul of the believer. What other doctrine can sustain the mind of the penitent, while in fear and trembling he prays,
66 God be merciful to me a sinner ?” What other doctrine can encourage the faith of the Christian while he surveys the absolute demerit of his best actions ? What other doctrine but that of salvation by grace can
enable the dying Christian to say “thanks be to God : which giveth me the victory?" I rejoice to be permitted to preach to Protestants and to Catholics this evening, salvation by the grace of God; “Be it known unto you men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
III. We come now to the third proposition,—WHEN GOD JUSTIFIES A SINNER, HE JUSTIFIES HIM WHOLLY.
This proposition you perceive is educed from the text: “ And from all the things from which you
could not be justified by the law of Moses, in him every one that believeth is justified."
The Apostle evidently means all things with which man stands charged in the sight of God. The law of Moses, either ceremonial or moral, justified from nothing; if therefore Paul's language means anything, it means that the evangelical justification of the sinner by God through Christ is perfect and complete; that the sinner indeed is delivered from all the guilt of his original sin and all the guilt of his manifold offences ; delivered so fully as to be able to exclaim in the triumph of his faith, “ There is now, therefore, no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ;” and as long as this text remains in the Douay Bible it will witness with the clearness of the noon-day sun against the counter-teaching of the Church of Rome during the last four centuries. Her view as propounded by the Council of Trent is, that all guilt is not remitted in justification, that the accepted and reconciled child of God is still liable to temporal punishment on account of his sins.