Faith in Justification respects not in a special manner
Christ as a King, but as a Priest
††††††††† Mr. Baxter did long ago in his Aphorisms tell us that the accepting of Christ for Lord, is as essential a part of justifying faith, as the accepting of him for Savior. That is, as he explained himself, that faith, as it accepts Christ, for Lord and King, doth justify. And this was asserted by him, to the end, he might clear and confirm how sincere obedience comes in with affiance to make up the condition of justification; for his Thesis LXXII did run thus. As the accepting of Christ for Lord (which is the heartís subjection) is as essential a part of justifying faith, as the accepting of him for our Savior; so consequently, sincere obedience (which is the effect of the former) hath as much to do in justifying us before God, as affiance (which is the fruit of the latter.) Hence the question arose, and was by some proposed thus; Whether faith in Christ qua Lord, be the justifying act: or, whether the acceptation of Christ, as Lord, and not only, as a Priest, doth justify. And Mr. Baxter in his confession p. 35, ß 13, says that
it is not only without any ground in Godís word, but fully against it, to say, that faith justifies only, as it apprehends Christ, as a Redeemer, or Satisfier of justice, or Meriter of our justification; or his righteousness as ours; and not as it receives him, as King, or as a Savior from the stain and tyranny of sin.
††††††††† I have shown before, that the moving of this question is of little use, in reference to that end for which it seems it was first intended, to wit, to prove that sincere obedience hath as much to do in justification, as faith, or affiance hath; where I did show the inconsequence of that consequence. That because justifying faith receives Christ, as King; therefore obedience is a part of the condition of justification, yea, or therefore a purpose, or a promise of obedience is a part of the condition of justification. So that, in order to the disproving of that assertion, that makes obedience, or a purpose, or a promise of obedience, an essential part of the condition of justification we need not trouble ourselves with this question. Yet, in regard that the speaking to this may contribute to the clearing of the way of justification by faith, (which is our great design) we shall speak our judgment there anent. And in order thereunto, several things must be permitted.
††††††††† As 1. The question is not, whether Christ, as a King, belongs to the complete and adequate object of that faith, which is the true and justifying faith. For this is granted, as was shown above, this faith, being the same faith, whether it be called true faith, or saving faith, or uniting and covenanting faith, or justifying faith, it must have one and the same adequate object.
††††††††† 2. Nor is the question, whether faith in order to justification, doth so act on Christ, as a Priest, as to exclude either virtually, or expressly, the consideration of any other of his offices, or of Christ under any other of his offices: for under whatever office Christ be considered, when faith acts upon him, whole Christ is received, and nothing in Christ is or can be excluded. So that there is no virtual exclusion, nor can there be any express exclusion of any of his offices, when he, under any other of his offices is looked to a right and received; for such an exclusion would be an open rejection of Christ, and no receiving of him.
††††††††† 3. When we speak here of receiving of Christ, as a Priest, or in respect of his Sacerdotal office, it is all one, as if we named his sacerdotal work, or what he did in the discharge of that office, offering up himself a Satisfactory Sacrifice, and giving his blood, and life for that end, and suffering inwardly and outwardly, what was laid upon him by the Father, in order to the making of full satisfaction to justice, and paying our debt, by his righteousness active and passive.
††††††††† 4. Nor do we, when we speak of faith acting on Christ, as a Priest, so limit and restrict the same unto his sacerdotal work, as to exclude anything, that is presupposed thereunto, concomitant thereof, consequential thereunto and depending thereupon, or is necessarily requisite unto the effectual application of the same unto our justification and advantage. When therefore it is said, that in justification, faith eyes in a special manner the
sacerdotal office and work of Christ, there is no exclusion of the consideration of that fountain love, grace, and favor of God, whereby Christ was given unto the chosen, and appointed to be their Priest, and to make satisfaction for them: Nor of his foregoing incarnation, obedience, resurrection, ascension, &c. nor of other thing that are necessarily requisite hereunto, for all these are necessarily herein included.
††††††††† 5. When we speak of the soul acting faith, in order to justification, we do not suppose, that at that time, the troubled soul can have no other end or design before his eyes; nor be troubled with no other evil, or with the thoughts thereof, that he would be delivered from; and so in order to getting help therein, and a remedy thereof, cannot eye something else in Christ, answering and suiting the same. For a sinner in that case, may be troubled with the sense of the great unbelief and hardness and impenitency of his heart, the unholiness of all his ways, his blindness and ignorance; as well as with the sense of his guilt, and of his being under the curse; and so may and must be supposed, in coming to Christ for relief, to eye in a special manner, that in Christ, which is answerable to these necessities: and in this respect, a sinner may be said to go to Christ, as a Prophet, and as a King, as well as to him as a Priest. But in reference to these evils, they are not said or supposed to go to Christ, for justification; for that respects merely their state of sin and guilt.
††††††††† 6. But the real question should be, what is the special and practical meaning of these words, we are justified, or live by faith: and to this end, the true question is, what special way doth faith act on Christ (for it is here presupposed, that Christ must be the object of justifying faith) in order to the sinnerís justification? or what is that in Christ that faith especially eyes, and carries the soul out unto, when justification before God is only designed. Or when the wakened sinner is earnestly desirous of delivery from the guilt of sin and from the curse of God, and of enjoying the favor and reconciled face of God, whether he is to apply himself by faith unto Christ, as King, or unto Christ, as a Priest and to what he did as a Priest, for the relief of sinners?
††††††††† In answer to the question thus proposed, I say, that the wakened sinner, in that case, while seeking relief from sin and guilt, and from the curse, by absolution and justification, in the sight of God, in compliance with the Gospel method and design, making justification to be by faith, and in obedience to the Gospel command, saying, Believe and be Justified, is to act faith in a special manner on Christís mediation and satisfaction; and to betake himself to Christ as a Priest, and rest on him and what he did as a Priest, that is, on his death, blood and satisfaction. This is it, which others call the justifying act of faith: or that special act of faith, required in order to justification.
††††††††† Though what was said in the foregoing chapter to prove that Christís righteousness is the object of justifying faith, may serve for confirmation of this; yet we shall, in short, lay down these grounds of proof.
††††††††† First, several Scripture expressions, where justification is spoken of and
cleared in its causes, show and point forth what is, which faith should specially eye, and be employed about, in order to the interessing of the soul in this benefit: such as
††††††††† 1. Romans 3: 24, 25 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood. Here, as justification is said to be brought about and effectuated through the redemption of Christ, who was a propitiation, and this respects only his priesthood; so the special object of faith, in this affair, is expressly said to be his blood, through faith in his blood, to tell us, that all such, as would have interest in this privilege of justification, must by faith eye the propitiation, the bloody sacrifice of Christ; and by blood we find it oft said, that remission of sins is had, Colossians 1: 14, Ephesians 1: 7, Matthew 26: 28, and not without it, Hebrews 9: 22.
†††††††† 2. Romans 4: 24, 25 Ėto whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him, that raised up Jesus, our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. As justification, here is held as procured and brought about by Christ, as a Priest, for as such, was he delivered for our offences, and as such was he raised, or brought out of prison, so faith here, even when acting upon God, yet it is with a special relation to Christís priesthood, or to his satisfaction; for it is a believing on him, that raised up Christ Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, that is, in God as declaring he hath now received full satisfaction from the Cautioner Christ by bringing him out of prison; and consequently in that satisfaction given by Christ, wherewith the Father is now well pleased. See also Romans 10: 9.
††††††††† 3. Romans 5: 9, 10 Much more then being now justified by his blood: for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, &c. As the way is here pointed out, how justification and reconciliation was effectual by Christ; to wit, by his blood and death, or by what he did and suffered as Priest and Cautioner; so accordingly is our faith directed to look, in order to a partaking of this justification and reconciliation, especially when this is so clearly and expressly explained to us.
††††††††† 4. Romans 8: 33, 34 ĖIt is God that justifies ĖIt is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. All which grounds of justification belong to his priestly office. And, if these be here laid down for grounds of comfort and assurance unto believers, to fortify them against all assaults of the accuser of the brethren, and against all accusations, or condemnations of men or devils; surely, the way is also pointed out, how faith should act, in order to their being brought into a state of justification.
††††††††† 5. II Corinthians 5: 19, 21. To wit God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. The way how reconciliation was brought about, is here set down, to the end the ministry of reconciliation, mentioned in verse 18, and whereby persons are beseeched to be reconciled, verse 20, may be understood, and such as are called upon may know what in special what to do, in order to be reconciled, to
wit close with him, and be in him, and be united to him, who was made sin for sinners, that they might be clothed with a sufficient righteousness in him: so that this points out Faith eyeing Christ, as such a Cautioner, having the debt of sinners imputed to him, and becoming a sacrifice for sin.
††††††††† 6. Galatians 2: 16, 20. ĖWe have believed in Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ. And what he did, when he thus believed in Christ, that he might be justified, he plainly tells us in verse 20, saying, I am crucified with Christ: thus he won to the life of justification; by eyeing Christ on the cross, making satisfaction unto justice, and assenting unto that way, and acquiescing in it, and resting and relying upon it. And in the same verse he tells us, that his faith by which he lived, was on the Son of God, who gave himself for him, that is, unto death.
††††††††† 7. Galatians 3: 11, 13. The just shall live by faith. This is the text we are upon, and we have cleared how this life here mentioned is the life of justification; But what is the special object of this faith, in order to justification? That is clearly enough pointed to in verse 13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. It is Christ, and Christ as redeeming from the curse of the law, and that by being made a curse for us; which only looks to his Priestly office.
††††††††† 8. Philippians 3: 9, 10, 11. Paul was desirous to be found in Christ, and to be partaker of his righteousness alone, which was by faith: But what was it in Christ that the eye of his faith was mainly fixed upon? He shows us in verses 10 and 11. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, &c. Christís sufferings, death, and resurrection were most in his eye.
††††††††† 9. John 3: 14, 15. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. The special object of faith here is Christ, as lifted up, that is, as crucified, John 12: 32, 33.
††††††††† It will not be sufficient for weakening of these reasons, to say that none of these conclude that faith in order to justification, eyes Christ as a Priest only: for 1. They sufficiently prove, that faith in this matter of justification goes to Christ, as a Priest, and eyes his sacrifice, blood and redemption through his death; and we are called to prove no more, because it lies upon those who are of another judgment, to show us from Scripture that faith, in order to the obtaining of justification, acts on Christís Kingly office, and receives him as Lord. (2.) We know what evasions Papists make against the like arguments of Protestants for justification by faith, because it is not said, we are justified by faith alone. (3.) Though the Scriptures do not as plainly say, that faith in justification doth not in a special manner eye Christ as King and Prophet; as it says that we are not justified by works; Yet we are bound to follow the light of the word, and to regulate our conceptions by what we find there expressed, and if we find not any mention made of faith in Christís command or government, or the like relating to his kingly office, as we hear of faith in his blood and the
like relating to his Priestly office, we may safely judge, that the one, being so clearly mentioned and so frequently, is a denying of the other, that is never mentioned.
††††††††† Secondly, the very case and condition, wherein such are, who are desirous of justification, may Clear this: for they are now awakened, and made to see their natural state of death, wherein they are under the sentence of the Law, under the curse and malediction of God: And therefore the thing, which their soul now seeks after, is a suitable relief, something that may answer this case and may prove a fit relief to them thus imprisoned, and in chains, because of their debt and transgressions: And therefore, as all reason requires, so experience proves, that these wakened sinners seek after the satisfaction through the death and merits of Christ, that they may have an interest therein, and the benefit thereof, to the quieting of their souls; They lay hold on the sufferings of Christ, that they may be hid in his wounds (as it were) that so they may be healed by his stripes; and have a righteousness, under which they may with confidence stand, and appear before God; They become crucified with Christ, sweetly acquiescing in, resting satisfied with, contentedly accepting of, and confidently resting and relying upon, his merits, his death, his payment and satisfaction to justice. Seeing then, that this (as experience proves) is the way, that pursued souls take, to refuge themselves under a crucified Christ, to flee to his death and merits, this, or Christ as a Priest dying and paying the debt, must be the special object of the faith of a hunted soul, panting after justification, or freedom from condemnation.
††††††††† Thirdly, Christís other offices, as his kingly, or prophetical office, do not hold him forth, as immediately suitable unto souls under this pressure; nor is there anything properly belonging to these offices, that promises immediate relief unto a soul, in this case, seeking after reconciliation with God, and pardon of sinners, which is only had by Christís death and blood, Romans 5: 9, 10 and 3: 25, Ephesians 1: 7, Colossians 1: 14. Christ by his Kingly or Prophetical office, doth not act towards God, in the behalf of sinners, but by his Priestly office he does, Hebrews 5: 1, 5, 6, 7. And it is after this, that poor sinners, pursued with the sense of wrath, do seek, and this can only give present and suitable relief.
††††††††† Fourthly, the faith of believers under the sense of sin and guilt, under the Law, was thus led to act on the promised Messiah, when he was typified unto them by their sacrifices, and they were to put their hands on the head of the sacrifice, thereby rolling their sin and guilt upon the sacrifice, or on him rather, who was the true sacrifice, represented by these outward sacrifices, and thereby professing their faith in him, as the only satisfying sacrifice that could make atonement, and pacify an angry God, and deliver them from wrath.
††††††††† Fifthly, Christ is held forth, as having taken on these different offices, and as to show his being a full and complete Mediator, able to answer all our necessities, and as authorized to give forth suitable relief; so to instruct us how to go unto him, and to act faith upon him suitably, with hope and confidence.
Therefore as he is a King to subdue enemies, the faith of his people is to act upon him, as such, when they would have their spiritual enemies subdued; and as he is a Prophet to teach, the faith of his people must act upon him, as such, when they would have light, counsel, and direction; so, as He is a Priest to die, satisfy, make atonement, reconciliation and peace, their faith is to act upon him, as such, when they would have guilt removed, and peace made up betwixt God and their souls.
††††††††† Sixthly, the end and design of asserting Christ, as King to be specially the object of faith, in justification, as is Christ, as Priest, may sufficiently tender it suspicious; for it is, as we touched above, to bring in our obedience, as distinct from faith, or as included in it, to be the condition of justification, the same manner of way, that faith is: though, as was cleared above, the consequence will not be found good. The real question here (as is well observed by others) is not, whether anything of Christ is† to be excluded from being the object of justifying faith, but what, in and of ourselves, under the name of receiving Christ as King, is to be admitted to share with faith, in its place and interest, in our justification?
††††††††† Seventhly, to say that faith acts, in order to justification, in as special a manner on Christ as a King, as on Christ as a Priest, is to alter the nature, use and ends of faith in this work, and to give it the place and power of a proper potestative condition, as it is a virtue and work of ours; and not to look upon it as bringing all suitable supplies, in a distinct manner, from Christ, as was shown above: And this is but suitable to that alteration of the nature of the New Covenant, that is made by those who assert this, whereby it is of the same† specific nature with the Old Covenant of Works; as if it were no more, but a new edition thereof, with some alterations, as to the condition.
††††††††† Let us now see, what Mr. Baxter says to the contrary, in his Catholic Theol. p. 2. of moral works, sect 7. p. 55. &c.
††††††††† He tells us (n. 105) that to be justified by faith in Paulís sense, is all one as to be justified by becoming Christians. Answer: We grant, with him, that to be a believer, a disciple, and a Christian, are all one, in the Gospel sense, and that by the same faith, by which one is justified, he is a Christian also: but this proves not, that faith, in order to justification, acts not, in a special manner, on Christ, as a Priest; and we have found, how Paul both in his doctrine, and in his own practice, explains the acting of faith in justification. This may serve for an answer also to what he says (n. 106) to wit, that the faith, by which we are justified is essentially a believing fiducial consent to our Covenant relation to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: for we grant, that it is but one and the same faith, which doth all this, but yet this faith may be conceived, as acting in a peculiar manner in order to justification. We grant also, that it is the same faith, by which we have right to the benefits of the Covenant, and by which we are justified. Yet we say, that in order to justification, that same faith, which receives whole Christ, and thereby a right to the benefits of the Covenant, acts in a peculiar
manner on Christ, as Priest, in order to justification.
††††††††† He tells us next (n. 108) that the faith by which we are justified, hath God the Father for its object, as essentially, as Christ the Savior. Answer: And we do not deny God the Father to be the object of that faith, by which we are justified. And will he say, that faith in God without Christ will justify a sinner, or that there is any believing in God the Father now, without believing also in Christ? The places he cited John 17: 3 and 13: 1 show the contrary. Adamís faith indeed was such before the fall; but our faith now must be of another kind. It is as to little purpose for him to say (n. 109) that it is as essential to this faith to believe in Christ, as the purchaser of holiness and heaven, as to believe in him, as the purchaser of pardon: For he purchased all as a Priest, and not as a Prophet or a King, and when faith acts on him as a purchaser, it acts on him as a priest. But he adds, And to believe in him, as the Teacher and Ruler of the Church, as to believe in him, as the justifier of believers. True because believing in him, as a ruler, and believing in him as the justifier of believers, are both to believe in him, as a King: And this is not the thing that is denied, believing in Christ, as the justifier of believers, is not the same with believing in him, as a Priest, in order to justification, which is the thing, he should have said here, if he would have spoken to the purpose.
††††††††† What he says (n. 110) concerning faith being the act of the whole soul, and having for its object God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and in Christ, all that is essential to him, as a Saviour, was granted, and asserted also by us formerly: but it makes nothing to our present question. He tells us (n.111) that to say, that some one only of these parts of Christís office, as they are conceptus inadaequati of a Savior, is the only object of justifying faith, or that by believing in Christ, as our teacher and ruler, as well as Priest, and as a justifying judge, as well as a justifying sacrifice, and as a fulfiller of the law, is to expect justification by works, as Paul denies it. This is a vain distinguishing, a falsifying of the doctrine of Faith and Justification, a departure from the Scripture simplicity by corrupting seeming subtlety, and one of those human inventions, which have wronged the Church. Answer: These, are but angry words, and carry with them no force of reason: And who is most guilty of vain distinguishing and falsifying the doctrine of Faith and Justification, &c. he, or such as he opposes in this matter, indifferent persons are at freedom to judge: And whether his new doctrine, or the old, which he so violently, in all his writing, oppugns, hath more of seeming subtlety in it, to the wronging of the Church, in its peace and quiet, everyone may judge by the effects. But as to the matter in hand, he may know (1.) that there is a difference betwixt saying that some one only part of Christís office is the only object of justifying faith (as he here speaks) and saying, that faith (whose adequate object is considered to be as large, as he himself doth make it) in order to a soulís justification, acts in special manner on Christ as a Priest, not excluding Christ as King, or as a Prophet, but rather including whole Christ, according to the manner above mentioned, (which is the thing we say.) (2.) Where reads he of faith in Christ (in order to justification)
as our Teacher, or Ruler or justifying Sacrifice? He should remember what he said (n. 107,) when speaking against the phrase justifying faith, and faith justifying us, as being human, and not Scriptural at all. (3.) Indeed believing in Christ as Teacher, Ruler, &c. in our sense, cannot infer justification by works: but he knows, that it was for this end, to bring works in with faith, as equal conditions, or parts of one condition of justification, that this new question was stated by him, in his Aphorisms: and whether such doctrine be consonant to Paulís or not, we have seen in part above.
††††††††† He adds (n. 112) that it is but the same deluding subtlety, and vain curiosity, playing with deceitful words, to say, that we are justified by faith, quatenus recipit Christ justitiam, as it believes in Christís sacrifice and perfect obedience only; and not as it believes in him, as Teacher and Ruler, Sanctifier, Judge, when the Scriptures say no such thing at all, but simply make faith in Christ, (supposing faith in God the Father) to be that, by which we must be justified. Answer: We mind not to be startled at his bold and angry expressions, for we meet with them so oft. Whether the Scriptures warrant us to say, what we have said, or not, the reader is at liberty to judge, from what is said. And we have nothing here yet said by him, to prove, that we are justified by faith in Christ, as Teacher, or Ruler, which is what we are looking for here.
††††††††† More of this stuff we have (n. 113). This distinction (says he) is founded on another falsehood supposed, which is that the effects of all Christís saving works, are as distinctly to be ascribed to receiving acts of faith, as they are to the several procuring acts of Christ, the object of faith, which is another corrupting addition to Godís word. Answer: Who it is that says this, as to all the several effects, I know not; Nor do I see any necessity to say so; as to some, and in special, as to justification, we but follow the Scripture, going before us, as is shown. And we make no addition; but he is the man, that is singularly guilty of adding to Godís word, in this point; for he says that faith, in order to justification, acts not only in a special manner on Christ, as Priest, (which is the truth, we say, and own with the Scriptures) but also on Christ, as a King, and as a Prophet, and as a Judge; and yet gives us not one passage of Scripture to confirm this, but thinks we must be satisfied with his assertions, subtle distinctions, vain and curious expressions, answering his own philosophical notions, with which he seems to be much taken, and we very little. What follows there, I have nothing to do with.
††††††††† He hath a large discourse of various receivings (n. 114, 115) to what purpose, as to the business we are now upon, I do not well see: yet let us see, how he ends it. Godís covenant (says he) doth give us Christ and life, that is, justification, sanctification, and glorification, in title or right, in one gift, to be accepted by one entire faith, as the condition; not making at all, the order of the gifts and faiths respect to them in that order, to be any of the Ratio Proprietatis. Answer: (1.) Will he not distinguish betwixt having of these benefits in Title or Right, and having them in possession? He must, surely, or he
must say, that believers are already perfectly sanctified, and glorified. (2.) Will he say, that there is no more required to the actual possession of glory and full sanctification, than here he says is required unto the title? But it is like, he will comprehend under this faith, all after Gospel obedience; But then, all this must precede to justification, &c. as well as to actual glorification, and so none shall be justified, till they be glorified, or he must admit of differences here. (3.) As not withstanding of what he says here, he will, I suppose, grant that faith hath a further and special acting or manner of acting on Christ, in order to obtaining of light, life, strength, and other things necessary in and for growth in sanctification: so he must suffer us to say, that notwithstanding of this, faith in a special manner eyes and acts upon Christ, as a Priest, in order to justification; for there is no more inconsistency in the one, than in the other.
††††††††† The human instances, whereby he thinks to make this plainer (n. 116) do not help here. A wifeís relation (says he) is founded in her marriage consent. Now if he be a noble man, a rich man, a wise man, a good man, and they knew all this, and by knowing it were induced to consent, and are to have their proportionable benefits by his nobility, riches, &c. yet their title to these benefits arise not from the act of their consent, as it respects these benefits distinctly, but merely by consent unto their relation. Answer: Notwithstanding hereof, when the woman is charged by her Creditors to pay her debt, her running to her husbandís wisdom, nobility, and goodness will not avail her; but she must in a special manner run to his riches, and must from thence bring a satisfactory payment unto her creditors: And if he, whom she hath taken for her husband, hath already satisfied the debt, she is to instruct that before the judges, before whom her alleging, that her now husband is a great noble man, and a most wise man, &c. will not avail. We grant also, that by faith the believer is united and married unto Christ, and hath thereby a right unto Him, and to all his benefits, according to their necessity: Yet will the Lord have, that, in order to their actual justification, they shall apply his merits, lay hold thereon, and as it were, produce the same in face of court, as the only ground of their discharge: as in order to their actual glorification, he will have then doing many other things.
††††††††† In end (n. 117) he tells us, that to say, Ďfaith justifies me, as it is the receiving of Christís righteousness, and not as it is the receiving of Christ, as a teacher, ruler, &c.í is a confounding or seducing saying. But as yet we have seen no string reasons evincing this to be such a seducing or confounding saying: but the contrary is apparent from what is said. Let us see why he judges thus. For (says he) if it intimate, that faith justifies us as an efficient cause, [principal or instrumental] it is false. But we have seen before, that faith may be considered here as an instrument, and to say this, is neither to confound nor seduce: otherwise, all the Reformed, yea and his friend John Goodwine have been confounders and deceivers, and none but Mr. Baxter, with Papists and Socinians and some Arminians, are free of this charge. 2. (Says he) If it mean, that faith is the condition of justification, as it receives Christís righteousness only, it hath either one or two falsehoods.
We only say, that in order to the obtaining of justification, faith acts in a peculiar manner on Christís righteousness and merits, and conceives that in this, there is neither one, nor two falsehoods. 1. (Says he) if it mean that faithís receiving act is the formalis ratio conditionis, or that it justifies not quŗ conditio donationis, but qua reception justiś Christ, it is false. Answer: We are not here speaking precisely of the formalis ratio conditionis, in such a philosophical notion: for we say, that faith in order to justification, receives Christís righteousness; and that the Lord hath so appointed. Let Philosophers break their heads on these rationes formales, and quaís and quśís; we speak of this matter, so as every soul concerned may understand it. And then (says he)† 2. that [only the accepting of righteousness justifies us, that is, is the condition of justification] is a falsehood. This he should have proved to have been a falsehood: but in all his discourse of this, we have had nothing like a proof, only confident assertions, and that in great number.
††††††††† But in his Confession page 35, where he has the same discourse for substance, he cites several passages of Scripture, on the margin, as if they were confirmations of what he says: And yet not one of them comes home to the point in hand, as a short view may discover. For Colossians 2: 6 proves what we do not deny, to wit, that believers receive Christ Jesus the Lord: We have shown above, that whole Christ belongs to the object of faith that is justifying: but we are here speaking of the special acting of that faith, in order to justification. Psalm 2: 12 only proves, that such shall perish, as do not kiss and submit to the Son, and that kissing and submitting unto him, is required in order to being saved. Matthew 11: 28, 29 says that such as would have rest and ease, that is freedom from sin and misery here and hereafter, must come to Christ, and take his yoke upon them, and learn of him: And in order to that particular rest and ease, had in justification, we say also, that they must come to Christ, and take on his righteousness, which is easy, though it seem a yoke to unrenewed nature. Luke 19: 27 proves indeed, that such as will not have Christ to reign over them, shall perish; but does not prove, that in order to justification, Christ must be received as a King. Romans 10: 9, 10 proves that faith eyes Christ, as raised from the dead by God, (which respects his death and sacrifice) and that for a righteousness, in order to the life of justification; which is what we say Matthew 17: 5 and Mark 9: 7 prove, what is not denied, to wit, that it is the will of God, that Christ his only beloved Son should be heard and obeyed, in all things. And John 10: 3, 4, 9, 27 only prove, that Christís sheep know and hear his voice: And who denies this? John 12: 46, 47, 48 show what benefits believers shall receive, and what shall befall unbelievers: but touch not the point now in hand. Acts 2: 30, 33, 34, 36, 38 prove that Christ is indeed a King, and that all such, as would be saved, must receive him, as the exalted King. Acts 3: 22, 23, 26 prove that he is that Prophet, that was spoken of by Moses, and that he died, rose again, and sent forth the Gospel, to the end, that poor sinners might be turned from their iniquities: But there is nothing here to prove, that faith, in its special acting, in order to justification, receives
and lays hold on Christ, as well as a Prophet, as on Christ, as a Priest. Acts 5: 31 says that Christ is exalted to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins: but what is this to the question now in hand? John 13: 35 and 15: 8 and 8: 31 show the genius, disposition, and kindly work of his disciples, to wit, to love one another, to bear fruit, and to continue in his word; all which we willingly grant. Luke 14: 26, 27, 33 evinces that right coming to Christ is inconsistent with a predominant love to any terrene thing, how near and dear soever: but touches not the question now in hand. These are all the passages, he adduces there, and none of them come near the question.