ON THE FORMAL CAUSE OF JUSTIFICATION.
THE formal cause of a tiling is generally explained to be that which constitutes it what it is; thus the soul may be said to be that which changes the dust of the earth into an organized and living body; or, again, heat may be considered the cause of a hot substance being hot, or that in which its state as hot, consists. Comparing the formal cause to other so-called causes or antecedents, it is the last in the series by which a thing is brought to be, or the ultimate state of the process which intervenes between the will of the originator and its performance; at least this will convey a notion of what is meant, sufficient for the matter in hand. Thus, according to the Council of Trent, justification, the work of God, is brought into effect through a succession of the following causes: the mercy of God the efficient cause, Christ offered on the Cross the meritorious, Baptism the instrumental, and the principle of renewal in righteousness thereby communicated the formal; upon which immediately follows justification. Or again, Faith is, by various parties, considered successively as a disposing cause, the instrumental, or the formal cause of justification, thus being brought nearer and nearer to that of which it is the cause, till it (as it were) falls into and coincides with it. Hence the form is that, between which and the thing in question nothing can be interposed in our ideas; and accordingly it is sometimes really distinct from that effect, sometimes not, though it is always supposed to be distinct. Thus, to take one of the instances given, if the renovation in righteousness which follows Baptism, or the "justitia Dei qua nos justos facit," as the Council speaks, be considered as the principle of renewal, as I have expressed it, it is the formal cause of our renewed state itself as well as of justification; and is or is not really distinct from that renewed state, according as we believe the principle of renewal to be a mere abstraction of the mind contemplating it, or a definite divine gift residing in the soul. Again: heat, the formal cause of a hot iron, is or is not really distinct from and antecedent to its being hot, according as we view caloric as an idea or as a substance. When what is considered the formal cause is a mere abstraction of the mind, then it nearly coincides with the logical differentia, or proprium, or inseparable accident. Thus whiteness is at once the form and the accident of a white wall; and animality is the form and the generic difference of man as distinguished from a vegetable.
1 [Tlie purpose of this Appendix is to show that the cardinal question to be considered by Catholics and Protestants in their controversy about Justification is, What is its formal cause? When this is properly examined, it will be found that there is little or no difference of view between the disputants, except when the Protestant party adheres to the paradox of Luther :—"Sola fides, non fides formata charitate, justificat: fides justificat sine et ante charitatem," and refuses to assign a formal cause.]
The ordinary meaning of the word form serves to illustrate this scientific use of it. What discriminates a body from everything else is its shape; which is the development of that of which it is composed, into and unto a certain determinate lineament and structure. The Form then is some such disposition or result, constituting a thing to be what it is. For instance, the matter of a science is its objective truth, its form is that truth when it has become subjective, or knowledge, which is a sort of determinate embodying of what was till then unappropriated.
Other instances of the formal cause are as follows:— The muscles, claws, teeth, intestines, etc. of a beast of prey so intimately harmonize with each other, as forcibly to suggest the notion that they are necessary results of some one element or principle, or that there is a certain latent type on which its whole structure is formed and from which it is developed. This, if it exists, will be the formal cause of what we mean by a beast of prey.
Again:—It is often a difficult question in pathology to determine the seat of diseases. Fever, for instance, manifests itself in certain symptoms, as quickness of pulse, restlessness, etc.; and, speaking in a vague way, we might say that it consisted in those symptoms, but it is natural to investigate whether there be not some simple disarrangement of one or other organ or function or department of the animal frame, to which these symptoms may be referred. Thus insanity has been supposed to consist in,—i.e. to have for its formal cause,—a certain determination of blood to the head; gout to be an inflammation of the membrane which covers the bones, etc. etc. In bike manner, it has lately been a subject of controversy in the medical world, whether the seat of disease generally, and therefore its formal cause, was to be sought in the solids or in the fluids.
Again:—If man be defined to be a rational animal, we do not gain any real and tangible account of him, nor advance in our knowledge of him; it is an ideal, not a real view of him; but if we are told that virtue is a power of ruling the passions, or that happiness, as Aristotle says, lies in action, we have brought before us, more or less clearly, how virtue or happiness come to be, or of what they are the issue; that is, we approximate to their formal cause. When Cicero suggests that "omne bonum in honestate consistit" (Tuscul. Disp. v. 42), or that "honestas" is that quality of a thing on account of which it is called good, he is assigning the formal cause of goodness.
Again :—It is often debated in what the union of Church and State consists; whether in the Church rates, or in the legal protection of endowments, or in its Bishops having seats in parliament, or in the Sovereign being an ex officio member of it, and bound to support it; that is, what is the formal cause.
Once more :—Every one knows what is meant when we speak of "endowments;" but a question may arise as to a particular institution, object, or country, what in fact its endowments consist in. For instance, the endowment of a certain hospital may consist in land ; of a certain bishopric in tithes; of a certain preacherjship in railroad shares. These may be considered as the respective formal causes of "endowment" in the particular cases, as being the real things in which the endowments in question lie.
2. This being the meaning of the term employed, it is plain that to determine what is the formal cause of our justification, or what it is which under the Christian covenant constitutes us just in God's sight, or what it is in us in which our justification consists, or what it is immediately upon which we receive God's justification, is as important an undertaking as any one in the controversy, whatever difficulties may attend it, whatever chance there be of verbal disputes (as there is almost the certainty), and whatever danger, in consequence, of men finding themselves on contrary sides, who are in reality like-minded. The question may be thrown into the following more practical shape: What is it which God will look on at the last day and accept us in? what will be the immediate antecedent in our souls to the words, "Come, ye blessed." Supposing a religious man, unversed in controversy, to be asked this question, the answer would at once rise on his tongue, which is suggested by the passage of Scripture referred to, viz. the recognition of our good ivories on the part of God; "Come, ye blessed, for I was an hungered," etc. Next, on consideration he might correct his answer so far as to say, that since works are not good except done in a certain way, and persevered in to the end, it is not the mere having done certain works, but the presence of a renewed state of mind developing itself in works, which is that upon which acceptance or justification falls. Further; after a little more thought, recollecting the parable of the Pharisee and Publican, he might add, that of course he did not mean to say that our works or our inward state was such as to be able in itself to stand the scrutiny of a Just and Holy God, but that whatever was accepted in us must be accepted for the sake of Christ's merits and under the covenant of mercy. Lastly, recollecting the language of Hezekiah and Nehemiah, and St. Paul's about " the rich storing up for themselves a good foundation" and about his own " good fight," and St. Luke's remark that Zacharias and his wife were "righteous before God" and Zacharias's prophecy about Gospel"holiness and righteousness before Him," and St. Paul's appeal to his conscience, he would add further, by way of caution, that Christ's merits did not supersede the necessity of our doing our part.
3. Here suppose two disputants to interpose, they would perhaps each claim the speaker as on his own side. The one would urge that he had decided that the formal cause of justification was either our good works, or our inward holiness, as the case was viewed. The other, that on the contrary he had spoken of the necessity of Christ's merits coming between us and God's sentence; these merits then, after all, were the immediate antecedent of justification, that upon and in which justification came, or its formal cause. The former would rejoin that those merits were not the immediate antecedent of justification, but the presupposed ground-work of justification all along, without which there would be no covenant, no works, no reward at all; not the last step before justification, but the first step towards it:' not the formal cause, but the meritorious. 1 Vide Vasquez, Disp. 222.
And here they would join issue; viz. whether Christ's merits, which are the original cause of our holiness and works, are to be considered as the medium (as it may be called) of the covenant in which we act, or the proximate, cause of our entering into life.1 Such is the question on which some remarks are now to be attempted, and which has been viewed by different schools in a variety of ways; such as the following:—(1) It has been said that we are justified directly and solely upon our holiness and works wrought in us through Christ's merits by the Spirit; or (2) upon our holiness and works under the covenant of Christ's merits, or, in other words, sanctified and completed by Christ's merits; or (3) that our faith is mercifully appointed as the substitute for perfect holiness, and thus is the interposing and acceptable principle between us and God; or (4) that Christ's merits and righteousness are imputed as ours, and become the immediate cause of our justification, superseding everything else in the eye of our Judge. Of these the first is the high-Eoman view; the last the high-Protestant; and the two intermediate are different forms of what is commonly considered the high-Church view among ourselves, and very nearly resemble Bucer's, among the Protestants, and that of Pighius, Mussus, and many others of the Roman school.
4. Indeed, it is no point of faith with the Roman Catholics to take the view which I have called Roman,* but still I shall so call it, as holding the place among them which our so-called high-Church doctrine does among us, that is, as being the generally received, orthodox, and legitimate exposition of their formularies. Eomanists then consider that that on which justification at once takes place, in which it consists, or its formal cause, is inherent righteousness (whether habitual or of works, which is an open question); and they argue that it is so, on the plain ground that no interposition of mercy between it and justification is required, and therefore none is made. If justification is the issue of inherent righteousness at all, there is no reason, they say, why it should not be the immediate issue of it. If it be replied to them, that nothing we can do, though proceeding from the grace of Christ, is such as to stand the scrutiny of God's judgment; so that the most perfect human righteousness cannot possibly proceed to justification as its legitimate result, but even though real, and though not infected with sin, yet as being but inchoate and incomplete, needs to be pardoned, they deny it, and argue as follows: —Nothing exposes us to God's wrath but sin, and a state of sin is incompatible with the existence at all of grace in the soul.1 To deny this, they say, is almost a contradiction in terms; hence a habit of grace occupies the soul, to the exclusion, not of infirmities, imperfections, and venial sins,2 but of everything which interferes with a state of reconciliation with God; it may grow towards perfection, and it tends to destroy all that remains of an earthly nature in the soul, but by the fact of entering into the soul it expels at once all that is hateful to God. The renewed soul is in a state of favour, else it would not be renewed; Christ's merits have been applied when it was renewed, and their virtue lasts while the renewal lasts. If a man commits a mortal sin, he is at once thrown out of this state both of favour and renewal; and if he so died would die out of justification; but, while he is in it, he is by the very force of the words only in the commission of such sins as are not mortal, and do not incur God's wrath and damnation. And in this the Roman schools differ from Luther, who taught that no sin throws the soul out of a state of grace but unbelief, that is, distrust. It appears then that they hold two things—that the presence of grace implies the absence of mortal sin; next, that it is a divine gift bringing with it the property of a continual acceptableness, and thus recommending the soul to God's favour, so as to anticipate the necessity of any superadded pardon.
1 Quando fonnalem causam quserimus justificationis nostra, id quserimus propter quod peccator in gratiam Dei recipitur, per quod immediate Deo gratus et ad seternam vitam aeceptus stat.—Daven. Just. Hab. 22. Statnendum est hanc justitiam sive hoc merituni Christi non intervenire solummodo in prima nostra justificatione, sed semper objici divino judicio, ita ut ejus intuitu non modo recipiamur in gratiam ab initio, sed stemus in gratia ac perducamur ad fiuem gratia?, nempe ad gloriam.—Ibid. p. 28.
* [It was laid down in the Council of Trent that the "unicm formalis causa" of justification is "justitia Dei, quanos justos facit," or renovation of spirit and the good works thence proceeding; for there can be only one form of any thing, and this inward righteousness being that on which justification immediately follows, is therefore that one form. At the same time there may be many improper forms ; as (according to the illustration used infra) the soul is the true form of the body, and yet its organization in some sense its form also.]
1 Vid. Jerom. Adv. Jovinian. ii. 2.
a About venial sins, vid. Vasquez, Disp. 222, ii. 17.
Nay, some writers speak of the presence of the Holy Ghost Himself, who is in the righteous, as being the formal cause of their inherent righteousness, who of course may easily be understood as continually applying to them Christ's merits, while He continually sustains their spiritual life. But whether we consider the presence of the Holy Spirit as the form of righteousness, or grace as the form, or grace as the "justitia" which is mentioned as the form in the Council, or even if grace be taken to be the same habit as love viewed differently, yet in all these cases an inward gift is supposed immediately from God, doing that for the soul, which, whatever be its actual proficiency in holiness, it must need, washing it in Christ's blood, and so presenting it to God blameless and glorious without spot or wrinkle or blemish. This doctrine seems expressed in the Canon of the Council of Milevis (a.d. 416), in the time of St. Austin: "Placuit, ut quicunque dixerit gratiam Dei, in qua justifiedmur per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum, ad solam remissionem peccatorum valere quae jam commissa sunt, non etiam ad adjutorium ut non committantur, anathema sit." To the same effect, when Bucer in the Ratisbon Conference objects to his opponent, as saying, "Homines non eo justos quia non eis imputentur, sed quia legem Dei impleant," the Roman writer of the Acts observes, "Sed hoc non ita posuerat Malvenda; sed quia gratiam habent delentempeccata, et vires suggerentem ad implendam legem."
5. This doctrine of a real distinction, to be drawn between the divinely imparted principle of righteousness, even after it has been imparted, and the actual righteousness or renewed state of our minds, is allowed in the Church of Rome and held by Roman divines, both before the Council of Trent and after. Lombard even held that for justification the indwelling of the Spirit takes the place of the habit of love, etc. (Vasquez, Disp. 203, c. 1; Bellarm. de Gratia, i. 8.) Again, St. Thomas contends that the "gratia justificans" is not the same as the habit of love; the latter belonging to the will, and the former to the substance of the soul. In which opinion he is followed by Caietan, Conradus, Soto, and others. Bonaventura assents, so far as to consider that there is a formal distinction between them. (Vasquez, Disp. 198, c. 2.) This alleged distinction was a subject of dispute at the Council of Trent between the Franciscans and Dominicans (Sarpi, Hist. lib. ii. p. 187); on all which accounts it was left unsettled by the Fathers there assembled. "Observandum prseterea est," says Pallavicino, Hist. viii. 14, § 2, "cum e Scholasticis aliqui putarent, hominem reddi justum per gratiam a charitate distinctam, alii per ipsam charitatem, prater quam non insit alia gratia quae justum faciat, adhibitam data opera fuisse a Fatribus vocem nunc gratice nunc charitatis et interdum etiam utramque, velut in Canone undecimo, ut se abstinerent ab ea declaratione, duas res an una eademque res iliae forent." Indeed it may be obviously argued, that unless the habits of grace and of love are distinct, infants cannot be justified. Yasquez and Bellarmine indeed, though they treat it as an open question, consider that grace and love are one and the same, which would resolve the inward justifying principle into a quality of our minds; but even then arises the question in reserve, whether that love does not after all arise from the presence of the Holy Spirit, who, therefore, and nothing of ours, whatever strong terms be used about love, will be the true justifier; and among moderns, Petavius, no mean authority, does not scruple to call the Holy Ghost the formal cause of the righteousness imparted to us.
This is so remarkable as to justify the insertion of several passages out of the many which might be quoted from his De Trinitate, lib. viii. "Sic igitur cum fidelibus ac justis impertiri communicarique Spiritus Sanctus legitur, non ipsamet illius persona tribui, sed ejus efficientia videri potest, idque communis fere sensus habet eorum, qui in Patrum veterum lectione minus exercitati sunt. Quos qui attente pervestigare voluerit, intelliget occultum quendam et inusitatum missionis communicationisque modum apud illos celebrari, quo Spiritus IHe Divinus in justorum sese animos insinuans cum illis copulatur; eumque non accidentarium, (ut ita dicam) esse,—hoc est, qualitate duntaxat ilia ccslesti ac divina perfici, quam in pectora nostra diffundit idem ccelestium donorum largitor ac procreator Spiritus,—sed obeitobn, hoc est substantialem; ita ut substantia ipsa Spiritus Sancti nobiscum jungatur, nosque sanctos et justos, ac Dei denique filios efficiat."—4, § 5. "Omnino itaque per occultam quandam infusionem substantia sum justificare homines Spiritum Sanctum Didymus arbitratus est. Eadem et apud Paschasium et Bernardum leges de participatione ilia substantias Spiritus Sancti, qua boni vel sapientes efficimur, hoc est justi et sancti."—Ibid. § 15. "Evidens est ex eorum [Patrum] decretia, justitice ac sanctitatis statum non creata re ulla vel qualitate, sed ipsa Spiritus Sancti substantia, tanquamprincipali forma, in nobis perfici."—5, § 1. "Ac valde sunt ilia consentanea Cyrilli, aliorumque Patrum sententiis .... quae Spiritum Sanctum itmirnra velut quandam divinitatis esse demonstrant, aut formam quae miobt nvai reddit eos in quibus inest."—Ibid. § 15. "Relegantur omnia veterum Patrum testimonia, quae superius exposita sunt, et quod iis praestantius est Scriptures loca ilia recenseantur, quae cum justis conjungi vel in iis habitare, aut Deum simpliciter, aut privatim Filium, docent, inveniemus eorum pleraque testari per Spiritum Sanctum hoc fieri, velut proximam causara et ut ita dixerim formalem."—6, § 8. It would seem then as if there were two formal causes of justification admitted by Romanists, love or inherent righteousness, and grace or the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling. Nor does Vasquez take an objection to the notion of thus viewing the subject; on the contrary, he says, " Neque enim incommodum aliquod est, constituere duos formas, per quas homo justificari possit apud Deum, nempe duos habitus."' Disp. 198, c. 3. Indeed, such a determination of the matter is just as intelligible and reasonable, as if the form of bodily life were said to be either a certain organization, or the presence of an animating spirit.
This admission of a double form in justification is worth noting, as it points towards that doctrine which I shall presently notice as more exact and satisfactory than the extreme Roman; nor does the argument urged by Vasquez against it, that where one is enough, it is superfluous to suppose two, tell for much, on the hypothesis that the gift of grace is really the form, and inherent righteousness but improperly so.
1 [Sporer goes further. In defending the thesis, that "justificatio est effectus formalis gratia? sanctificantis ex ordinatione divina," he says, not indeed that there are two formal causes of justification, since there is "unica formalis causa," but that the causa is of a composite nature, including an external and internal Divine act. "Qualitas inhsrens seu habitus charitatis et ordinatio seu favor Dei constituunt integraliter unam causam formalem nostrse justificationis." And he appeals to the words of the Council of Trent for this view.—Theol. Moral. Suppl. p. 286.]
6. But to return: such then is, on the part of the extreme Romanists, the resolution of the question how inherent righteousness stands the scrutiny of divine holiness and constitutes our acceptance; they answer, that it consists in an inward divine quality, which has the power of applying, or springs from the application of Christ's merits, and so effects or pre-supposes the cleansing of all sin in us. Protestants, on the other hand, are accustomed to consider that the immediate antecedent to justification is an act of pardon from without upon the soul to be justified, which act, in consequence, is considered its formal cause. Now there are many difficulties attending this theory, but its strength in argument with Romanists lies in the authorities which can be brought against them from among their own friends. Some of these shall be mentioned, before we consider the theory itself. A remarkable testimony, for instance, of this kind is St. Austin's, who thus speaks in bis De Civitate Dei: "Ipsa nostra justitia, quamvis vera sit propter veri boni fidem ad quem refertur, tamen tanta est in hac vita, ut potius peccatorum remissione constet quam perfectione virtutum. Testis est oratio totius Civitatis Dei, quae peregrinate in terris, per omnia quippe membra sua clamat ad Deum, Dimitte nobis debita nostra."—xix. 27. And St. Jerome: "Tunc ergo justi sumus, quando nos peccatores fatemur; justitia nostra non ex proprio merito, sed ex Dei consistit misericordia." — contra Pelag. (vol. ii. p. 179). Against such statements it seems hardly in point to urge passages from the Fathers on the other side which speak of inherent righteousness as justifying; the sole question being whether, granting this, it justifies after being sprinkled with the blood of Christ, which passages such as the above seem clearly to imply. So again St. Ambrose: "Non gloriabor, quia Justus sum, sed quia redemptus sum; gloriabor, non quia vacuus peccatis sum, sed quia mihi remissa sunt peccata; non quia profui, neque quia profuit mihi quisquam, sed quia pro me Advocatus apud Patrem Christus est, sed quia pro me Christi sanguis effusus est."—de Jacob et vit. beat. i. 6. And Pope Gregory: "Justus Advocatus noster justos nos defendet in judicio, quia nosmet ipsos et cognoscimus et accusamus injustos. Non ergo in fletibus, non in actibus nostris, sed in Advocati nostri allegatione confidamus."—In Ezek. lib. i. hom. 7, fin. And so St. Bernard on his sick-bed, as Hooker after him: "Fateor, non sum dignus ego, nee propriis possum meritis regnum obtinere coelorum; cseterum duplici jure illud obtinens Dominus meus, haereditate scilicet Patris et merito passionis, altero ipse contentus, alteram mihi donat; ex cujus dono jure illud mihi vendicans non confundor."—Vit. S. Bern. i. 12, col. 1084. And so again the words of the present Eoman Mass, " intra quorum [sanctorum] nos consortium, non (estimator meriti sed venim quaesumus, largitor admitte." These passages are not inconsistent indeed with the Roman view of the doctrine, still they differ in tone from it. Lists of similar passages will be found in Gerhard de Just. §§ 8, 213, etc.; de Leg. § 189; Field, Of the Church, iii. Append, ch. 2; J. White's Way to the Church, Digress. 35; Davenant de Just. Habit, c. 29. Of these I shall only cite in addition the testimony of Bellarmine himself, often quoted in the controversy, and remarkable because he advocates the high. Roman view. After saying that the Catholic Church goes along a middle way, teaching that our chief hope and confidence must be placed in God, yet some in our services, he proves from Scripture and the Fathers three propositions;—that the confidence of the Saints in God arises not from faith alone, but from good works: that when our services are proved really to deserve the name, we may put some confidence in them, so that we beware of pride; and thirdly, which is the statement in question, "Propter incertitudinem propriae justitiae et periculum inanis glorice, tutissimum est fiduriam Mam in sola Dei misericordia et benignitate reponere." And then he explains this by saying that he means, not that we should not pursue good works with all our might, not that they are not a true ground of confidence, are not real righteousness, or are unable to sustain God's judgment, but that it is safer in a manner to forget what we have done, and to look solely at God's mercy, because no one can know, except by revelation, whether or not he has done any good works, or whether he shall persevere, and because the contemplation of his good works, even if he could know of them, is dangerous, as being elating.—Vide de Just. v. 7. 7. On this subject may be consulted to advantage Le Blanc's Theological Theses, de Bel. bon. op. part. 2, Thes. 1, who carefully discusses the views of the Roman doctors concerning the value of good works, and shows that, in spite of their doctrine ex condigno, many of them hold one or other of the following opinions distinct from that of Vasquez, which has been chiefly spoken of above :—that the merit of the works of the regenerate depends on God's covenant, even regarded as works of the Spirit; that these works are not accepted for the reward of eternal life, except as sprinkled with the blood of Christ;' that the word merit is not meant to apply in the standard of justice but of mercy; and that when the justice of God is spoken of in this relation His faithfulness is meant, or conformity to the dictates of His wisdom. Moreover he says, that they all confess that the meritorious works in question are not such in themselves, but as done by the persons of the regenerate, who are God's sons, not servants, and that good works are not meritorious of life, in the sense in which bad works are meritorious of death. In a word, they do not consider our holiness or good works a cause in the way of nature, but in the mind and dealings of a gracious God; though, at the same time, as is hardly necessary to add, the Roman doctors often use language most grating and revolting to our ears, and (as we cannot but think) very perilous to those who acquiesce in it.
1 Vid. also Davenport. "Nos dicimus nostram justitiam, si prsescindas acceptationetn divinam et justitiam Christi, a qua suam dignitatem meritorie derivat, parum valere."—Franc, a Sanct. Clar. Tractat. 26.
To these authorities must be added the testimony of many of the schoolmen, who distinctly state as general doctrine what Bellarmine considered only to be safer to the individual, that the regenerate cannot trust in the view of God's judgment on anything good in them, or any good works of theirs. Vasquez makes mention of these writers and of others of later date, in the following very observable words, which have often been quoted :—" Non possum non mirari antiquos scholasticos, quos hactenus memoravi, quod de justitia nobis inhaerente ita abjecte senserint, ut veram ei adscribere formidaverint rationem justitiae et sanctitatis inhserentis qua? suapte natura Deo necessario placeat; recentiores vero theologos multo magis miratus sum, quod post praeclaram Concilii Tridentini definitionem, quam inferius explicabo, tam exilem justitiam inha?rentem justis concesserint, ut ex se non habeat virtutem tergendi maculas peccatorum, nee eas purgare valeat, nisi favore et condonatione Dei relaxentur."—Disput. 204, c. 2, p. 469.
8. Such are the confessions, or, it may be said, concessions, of Roman Divines, towards the doctrine of Protestants on the subject of justification. But far from being content with them, Luther, Calvin, and their followers, have maintained that nothing is really granted, while good works or holiness are in any respect made the formal or constituting cause of justification; and then their difficulty begins, for they have forthwith to construct a doctrine of their own, whereas Protestants seem by the force of their name to disclaim the office of framing any positive theology.1 The question is, what is the formal cause of our justification %— now let us grant that any divinely imparted sanctity, any good works are not the immediate antecedent to our being justified; that justification does not depend on, or consist in, anything we are or can do; that Christ's merits must ever interpose or intercede between us and God, and so preclude the righteousness inherent in us from being the formal cause; the question recurs, what is the formal cause of our justification? and on this question we shall find in the writings of Protestants great diversity of opinion and little satisfaction. Some say that faith is the formal cause, some forgiveness of sins, some the imputation of Christ's righteousness, and some that there is no formal cause at all. 9. Perhaps the best choice that can be made out of these answers, is to say that it is faith. Such was the answer originally given by the Lutherans, but they retracted it. And such is the answer virtually given by Bishop Bull and many others of our divines who have chosen to express themselves in what may be called the calculus of Protestantism. By faith, according to Bishop Bull, is meant fides formata charitate et operibus, or the obedience which is of faith; a doctrine which one is glad to find was admitted in the deliberations of the Council of Trent,2 and differs from the view I have called properly Roman, in this, that by calling inherent righteousness by the name of faith, it implies that it is only in Christ that that righteousness is accepted, being unable to stand God's judgment unless sprinkled with His Atoning blood. But, returning to Luther, I observe that he too sometimes speaks of faith as our "formalis justitia." "Ubi ergo vera fiducia cordis est, ibi adest Christus ipsa
1 There is a dissertation on the formal cause of justification in Pareus's Miscell. Catechet. vii. p. 171, but it does not help us in our present inquiry. * PalJavic. Hist. viii. 4, § 3.
nebula et fide. Eaque est formalis justitia, propter quam homo justificatur, non propter charitatem, ut sophistae loquuntur."—In Gal. ii. 16. "Hoc [tribuere Deo gloriam] ratio non facit, sed fides ea consummat divinitatem, et, ut ita dicam, creatrix est divinitatis, non in substantia Dei, sed in nobis. . . . Ideoque illam gloriam posse tribuere Deo, est sapientia sapientiarum, justitia justitiarum, religio religionum, et sacrificium sacrificiorum. Ex hoc intelligi potest, quanta justitia sit fides, et per antithesin quantum peccatum incredulitas."—In Gal. iii. 6.1 And Illyricus, writing against Osiander, ascribes to Luther the doctrine, "fiduciam in Christum esse nostram formalem justitiam seu imputari nobis in justitiam."—E. 3, p. 6. Calvin says the same; by way of showing that works are not a cause of salvation, he observes that of the four received kinds of causes, " Efiicientem . . . vitae seternse nobis comparandse causam ubique Scriptura prsedicat Patris ccelestis misericordiam et gratuitam erga nos dilectionem; materialem vero Christum cum sua obedientia, per quam nobis justitiam acquisivit; formalem vel instrumentalem quam esse dicemus nisi fidem ?"—Instit. iii 14, § 17. This solution of the question, however, seems to have been soon given up, and the apprehensive notion of faith substituted. Gerhard, de Justif. § 163, argues that faith cannot be the formal cause of justification; "cum justificatio sit actio Dei;" which is to miss the question (vide above, Lecture IV. pp. 96, 97), and says, §§ 197, 201, that it is so called by Lutherans, nothing more is meant than that faith is the means of apprehending Christ, who is our righteousness in God's sight.
10. This latter doctrine, which is Luther's, is reduced by Gerhard from Christus fide apprehensus est justitia nostra, § 163, to Christi justitid, next to Christi obediential imputatio, then to justitiae per Christum parlce imputatio, and lastly to remissiopeccatorum, §§ 16,197, 198 ; maintaining, as he does, 1 Vide also Melaiiehth. Apol. vol. i. f. 77.
that imputatio justitiae per Christum part* is identical with remissio peccatorum,, § 199, and the one formal cause of justification. Calvin, on the other hand, assenting to the doctrine that the imputatio justitiae, or non-imputatio or remissio peccatorum, is the formal cause (Instit. iii. 11, §§ 2, 4; Antidot. p. 323; Eccles. Reform. Eat. p. 368; Chamier, de Justif. xxii. 13, § 5), and that sanctification is not the formal cause, but a "necessary accident," present in justification comitanter not formaliter,—a distinction difficult to master, since a form need not be intrinsic,—(vide Calvin, Antid. p. 324; Davenant de Just. Hab. fin.) determines with more candour that Christus, or the obedientia Christi, is the matter of justification.1 (Vide passage above quoted, and Instit. iii. 11, § 7 ; Chamier de Justif. xxi. 1, § 19.) But what he gains thereby in truth, he loses in the argument; for whereas the formal cause must be from its nature intimately connected (whether accidentally or essentially) with that of which it is the cause, this solution of the question gives up the notion of such a connection altogether, as substituting with Gerhard for the passive sense of justification that active sense which belongs to God. (Vide Chamier, loc. cit.) To tell us that justifying consists in God's pardoning sin, does not help us one step towards determining what it really is to be justified; whereas the phrases " Christus justitia nostra," "Christus in cordibus inhabitans," etc., of the Lutherans are better adapted to create at least a semblance of some real and intimate characteristic, and thus, granting nothing more than Calvin, to break the force of an opponent's argument.
The Lutherans then argue that a form need not be anything essential or internal; that the form, for instance, of a sunny bank is the sun's shining, the form of news lies in him to whom it is news; moreover that lore, the form, as their opponents say, of justifying faith, is extrinsic only. Vasquez grants this (Disput. 202, c. 3), but argues that still there is always some real connection between a thing and such extrinsic form; for instance, it is part of the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation that our Lord's human nature is holy from its union with the Divine Nature as an extrinsic form; here, however, the union between the two natures is personal; what then, in like manner, is that real connection between Christ and the justified, whatever be its precise nature, which will allow us to call Him the form of our righteousness 1 The Lutherans make answer that faith is such a connection; to which Vasquez replies by asking, whether a man is called rich who by faith apprehends riches'! or noble who so apprehends nobility 1 What do they mean, in short, when they say that an act of our minds changes our real state in God's sight? Gerhard answers (in controversy with Bellarmine), § 238, that it is a mystery; a sufficient account, if his school kept to it, instead of going on, as they do, to explain how it was, and turning the justifying power of faith into a weapon against all mysteries, such as the Sacraments.
1 It is remarkable that Davenant animadverts on Bonaventura's making the merits of Christ the matter of justification, which he says at once throws us upon inherent righteousness as the form.—De Just. Hab. ch. 28, fin.
Further, Bellarmine goes on to urge (de Just. ii. 7), that, even though the formal cause be extrinsic, still where there is an intrinsic also, that is more properly the form (for instance, it is more exact to say that fluidity is the form of melting wax than its exposure to the fire); that a negro dressed in white would still be called a black man; and that a sinner to whom the righteousness of Christ is but imputed, has for his truer form the sin which is in him, not the perfection which is counted to him; (and, in like manner, if he is really made righteous by inherence, whether infection be left or not, that inherent righteousness is more properly the form of his justification than a mere imputed righteousness which is without him); whereas, in the case of fides formata which is alleged by Lutherans as an argumentum ad hominem, no other form can be assigned but an external one, namely love, whatever be the form of faith as such, and love, far from being separated from faith, is united with it by the closest and most real of all connections, as existing with it in one and the same soul. To this Gerhard answers, that the reason why the justified sinner is said to be in a state of righteousness, because of what is external to him, rather than of sin from what is internal, is that he is not really a sinner in the same sense in which he was before; for sin in the regenerate has lost its formal part, which is guilt, and has only its matter remaining, and even that is under process of mortification. Further: he protests against the notion that the Protestant doctrine of imputation is nominal, shadowy, and putative. Davenant makes a similar complaint; yet, desirous as one may be to be fair to the theory, it is difficult to speak of it in any other terms. Davenant's words are these :—" Imputatio non Actionem cogitationis humanae denotat, sed efficacissimam Dei ordinationem et validissimam rei donationem. Si Bellarminus nolit advertere quid intersit inter fictionem et donationem justitiae Christi, dignus est qui coram tremendo illo tribunali sistatur, non alia justitia indutus quam sua inhaerente."—c. 34. This surely is unfair, as well as severe; a gift or a possession is of two kinds, personal, and for use and enjoyment; gold or jewels put into one's hands is the former, and landed property is the latter. Davenant means that the justitia Christi is ours in the latter sense. He says (c. 28, fin.), "Christi justitia imputata nihil aliud est quam Christi justitia applicata et donata nobis ad spiritualem aliquem effectum producendum." He does not regard it at all as a personal possession; and Calvin grants as much, when he considers the formal cause of justification, not the justitia Christi, but remission of sins, that is, the spiritual consequence of His righteousness. Bellarmine then assumes no more than Calvin grants; that we are said to be or named as having Christ's righteousness in order to have the fruits of that righteousness. Only he goes on to argue that such a mere nominal and not real gift, or to make use of the foregoing distinction, a gift not personal, cannot be called a formal cause. Yet Davenant dispenses very different justice to his acute opponent and his clear-headed and candid Master. While he uses language which one would wish to forget, because Bellarmine says that the imputation which is by faith, by the very force of the terms used, cannot be a personal characteristic of the soul, yet when Calvin says that Christ's righteousness is but the matter, not the form of justification, and only is applied to us in its effects, in the remission of sins, he says, " ut itaque seponamus philosophicas speculationes de natura causae formalis," etc. Yet he is just beginning a dissertation of eight chapters upon it! The subject may be treated in a philosophical, or a common-sense way; but must not be taken up and put down in one or the other at pleasure. All this ambiguity, as I must call it, is to be imputed not to Bishop Davenant, whose work is full of noble passages, but to his system.
11. Another answer still more explicit than Calvin's, is that there is no formal cause of justification at all. Such is the final evolution of the Protestant theory, which beginning in the bold, nay correct language of Luther, that Christ Himself is the form of our justification, is gradually attenuated till the very notion of a form vanishes. This is the ground taken by those of our writers who are not Calvinists, yet retain partially the language of Protestantism: Jackson plainly puts forward this view in the following words:— "To demand of us what is the formal cause of Justification, by which our sins are formally remitted, is as if we should ask one of our young pupils, what were Latin for manus. Justification taken (as we do) for remission of sins, not by inherent righteousness, or aught within us immediately incompatible with them, but by the external merits of Christ, is a form or entity as simple as any formal cause can be, and simple or uncompounded entities can neither have formal causes, or aught in proportion answering to them. Wherefore, as I said, it is either the folly or knavery of our adversaries to demand a formal cause of their justification, that deny themselves to be formally just in the sight of God."— Book iv. ch. 7, init. Yet surely, with deference to so great a writer, if a justified state, or, as he expresses it, a state of remission of sins by the external merits of Christ, consist in anything, if he who is in that state differs from him who is not, that in which it consists, that in which he differs from the other, is a kind of formal cause: and he would be the last to deny that there are such characteristics attaching to a person justified. Yet from a fear of the Eoman doctrine of merit, and from a principle of maintaining, as far as might be, their inherited doctrine, some of our most revered divines have virtually denied with Jackson that there is any formal cause of justification; that is, they have avoided the question.1 Thus Hooker, in a note on the Christian Letter, which asks, " Tell us whether you think, that not faith alone, but faith, hope, and love, be the formal cause of our righteousness 1" answers, "Is faith then the formal cause of justification? and faith alone a cause in this kind 1 who hath taught you this doctrine ]" but he does not tell us what the formal cause is.—Eccles. Pol. lib. i. n. 58, Ed. 1836. Again, Bull, Taylor, and others who hold the doctrine of " fides formata charitate," and Barrow, Tillotson, "Wake, and a number of supporters of the same doctrine, nevertheless do not, as far as I can discover, venture to speak of "justificatio formata fide," though by calling faith, or faith and obedience, the condition of justification, they call it the form virtually. Indeed Bull, Apol. iv. 8, expressly recognizes the "remission of sins and acceptation to eternal salvation" as the formal cause of justification. In spite of this, Grabe, in Harm. i. 1, §§ 6 and 8, and "Wells also, Covenants, p. 2, ch. 2, fin., do not scruple to call faith the formal cause.
1 Romanists are equally perplexed to determine the matter in Penance; the Council of Trent calls contrition, etc., the "quasi materia;" just as Davenant calls Christ's righteousness instar causa" formalis.—c. 28, p. 369.
12. The reluctance, which writers like those just mentioned show, from the prudence necessary for their times, becomes in all who are imbued with the proper Protestant theory a feeling of zeal against a view, which, though existing in the Roman system, is not false, unless exclusively held. Such divines go a step further yet than has been noticed, and maintain not simply that there is no formal cause of justification, but that any one who says there is, is thereby assigning not a formal but a meritorious cause. Christ is acknowledged on all hands to be the sole meritorious cause of our justification: but the question is not, who is the Author or Agent, or other cause of it more or less subordinate, but simply what justification consists in, what immediately constitutes us righteous in God's sight? This question, we will suppose, had been abused to the neglect of God's grace and Christ's merits, and to an idolatrous reliance on the creature, just as the doctrine that life consists in certain physical conditions, or the brain is the organ of thought, or the system of gravitation, may be perverted to a denial of God's creative and overruling power, or of the immateriality of the soul. Going into the opposite extreme, Protestants, when asked what it is which constitutes us righteous before God, not only refuse to answer explicitly, but assume the offensive; and when any one does venture to answer, accuse him of substituting the merit of works for the true Source of all acceptance and grace. "Whenever one speaks of conditions, they explain it of merits; whenever one says, that the pure in heart shall see God, they answer that, contrariwise, none are justified but those who are drawn by God's grace; and when one says that only the obedient shall be saved, they cry out that the doctrine of justification by faith only is the " articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiae."
Such are some of the difficulties of the Protestant doctrine on this point; in suggesting which, if I have ventured to differ from some of our standard writers, it has been on a point not of faith, and on which they differ from each other; and if I have here or elsewhere spoken freely of Luther and Calvin, I will observe, that those who spoke as they did of all who went before them, have no claim on the reverence of those who come after.1
13. To sum up what has been said:—the form into which we cast the original question was this, are our holiness and works done in Christ accepted or not without a fresh imputation upon them of Christ's merits % does the personal state of Christians, or do Christ's merits, come next before the act of God justifying them 1 The Eomanist answers, that Christians are justified in their holiness and works without any fresh pardon; and explains himself to mean, not that Christ's merits are not imputed, but that either they have been imputed once for all on the original justification, or that their continual imputation accompanies that inward gift of grace by which Christians are holy and do good works. The Protestant maintains that we are saved merely by that imputation, because even granting our holiness and works were in themselves good, which the strict followers of both Luther and Calvin deny altogether even of the fruit of the Spirit,2 yet that after all they would be but inchoate and incomplete.
1 Luther, on the text, "Behold I Paul say unto you," etc., GaL v. 2, says, "Is locus terribile fulmen est contra totum regnum Papae. Nam omnes sacerdotes, monachi, eremitae, etc. (de optimis loquor), non Christo, quern summa injuria et blasphemia fecerunt iratum judicem accusatorem, et damnatorem, sed suis operibus, justitiis, votis, et mentis confisi sunt." As to Calvin's arrogance, even against the Nicene Fathers, it needs no proof.—Vid. in Valent. Gentil. p. 780, col. 2.
s Quanta quaeso blasphemia est, opera facta ex fide et gratia
Now in the case of those who say that the fruit of the Spirit in us is in no degree good, and that we have no inherent righteousness at all, this difference is not verbal; the one party says that we are justified entirely by what is without us, because there is nothing within us which can justify, and the other says by what God plants within us, completed by His merciful imputation. But those who even, though admitting the infection of sin to remain in the regenerate, deny that it is a mortal matter, or "deserves God's wrath and damnation;" or even if they hold that it is mortal, yet that it may be through God's grace subdued, seem to have no irreconcilable difference on this point with the Eomanists. And this view of sin has ever been virtually and practically the prevalent doctrine in the English Church; nay, Le Blanc, in his Theses Theological, maintains that Protestants generally have no difference with Romanists on this subject. "Quum mentem suam distinctius explicant [Scholae Romanse Doctores] in eundem plane sensum cum Theologis Reformatis incidunt."—De Justit. inhser. 27. But however this may be, at least English divines teach that our holiness and works done in the Spirit are something towards salvation, but not enough; or that we are justified by obedience under the Covenant of mercy, or by obedience sprinkled with or presented in the Atoning Sacrifice. According to them then we are saved in Christ's righteousness, yet not without our own; or considering Christ's righteousness as a formal cause, we are saved by two contemporaneous formal causes, by a righteousness, meritorious on Christ's part, inchoate on ours.
Now it happens that this doctrine appears to have been held by Bucer as distinct from the other Reformers; it is
Christi, stercora nominare (Phil, iii. 8) quae ad Gal. v. fructus Spiritfis ipse idem vocat Apostolus !—Bellarm. de Justif. i. 19. Even Chemnitz seems to have been open to this charge.
also the doctrine of the Canons of Cologne in their Antididagma of 1544; it was held by Pighius, Seripando, and others, at the Council of Trent; and we have already heard the confession of Vasquez, that it was virtually held by many schoolmen and divines of his Church, both in ancient and later times. In this then I conceive to lie the unity of Catholic doctrine on the subject of justification, that we are saved by Christ's imputed righteousness, and by our own inchoate righteousness at once.
14. First let us hear the Antididagma of Cologne, which was a considerable document at the time it appeared. It was drawn up by the Clergy of that See against Herman their Archbishop, who with Bucer and Melanchthon was meditating a reform of his Church. (Vid. Sleidan. Hist. Reform, xv.) It cannot then be accused of a Protestant leaning. It speaks as follows:—
"Justificamur a Deo justitia duplici tanquam per causas formates et essentiales. Quarum una et prior est consummata Christi justitia; non quidem quomodo extra nos in ipso est., sed sicut et quando eadem nobis (dum tamen fide apprehenditur) ad justitiam imputatur. Hsec ipsa ita nobis imputata justitia Christi, praecipua est et summa justificationis nostra causa, cui principaliter inniti et fidere debeamus. Aliter vero justificamur formaliter per justitiam inhcerentem; quae remissione peccatorum simul cum renovatione Spiritus sancti et diffusione charitatis in corda nostra, secundum mensuram fidei uniuscujusque nobis donatur, infunditur, et fit propria; atque ita per fructus spiritus exercetur, efficiturque in nobis propria quaedam justitia qua afficiamur. Cui tamen inhaerenti justitse (quod sit imperfecta) non innitimur principaliter; sed ea tanquam interiori quodam experimento certificamur, nobis (qui talem renovationem spiritus nostri in nobis sentimus et experimur) remissionem peccatorum factam Christi consummatam justitiam nobis imputari atque ita Christum per fidem in nobis habitare."—f. 13.
The statement of the Bishop of Bitonto, in the deliberations at Trent, is to the same general effect: "Bituntinus ita disputavit: Duo intervenire cum impius justitiam accipit, liberationem ab injustitm statu et justitiae adeptionem: illam huic antecedere, intelligens, ut arbitror, eam quam antecessionem naturm Scholae nominant, perinde ac Solis adventus suae lucis effusionem antecedit. Is itaque fortasse censuit per hujusmodi quam dicunt naturae antecessionem prius condonari peccatum per divinam extrinsecus remissionem, tum vero, sed eorum [eodem] temporis momento, cessante in nobis peccati obice, gratiam infundi qua Dei filii constituimur. Hinc ipse aiebat antecedentem hujusmodi justificationem ex eo haberi, quod nobis imputetur Christi justitia, qui veniam nobis impetrat; at subsequentem obtinet per justitiam interius nobis infusam, non autem per Christi justitiam nobis extrinsecus imputatam, quod Lutherani contendebant." —Pallavicin. Hist. Cone. Trid. viii. 4, § 14. To this may be added that of Seripando, the Augustinian General, which agrees with the Antididagma more closely still. "Duplicem postea justitiam statuebat. Partem quidem nobis intimam
Secundam justitiam extra nos sitam volebat, nempe
justitiam ac merita Eedemptoris, quae ex diving commiseratione nobis imputentur quasi nostra; non quidem integra, sed secundum eum gradum et ad ea efficienda quae Deo placuissent."—Pallav. Hist. viii. 11, § 4. Such too was the doctrine of Pighius (vid. Bellarm. de Just. ii. 1), from whose work on the Batisbon Conference I make the following extract:— "Justificat ergo nos Deus Pater bonitate sua gratuita qua nos in Christo complectitur, dum eidem insertos, innocentia et justitia Christi nos induit; quae una, ut vera et perfecta est, quae Dei sustinere conspectum potest, ita unam pro nobis sisti oportet tribunali divini judicii, et velut causae nostrae intercessorem eidem repraesentari," etc.—Controv. Eatispon. ii. G. iii. "Nos dicimus, nee fide, nee charitate nostra nos justificari coram Deo, si formaliter et proprie loquamur, sed una Dei in Christo justitia, una Christi nobis communicata justitia, una ignoscente nobis peccata nostra Dei misericordia . . . Ut vero intelligamus nos justificari seu fide seu charitate, velut dispositionibus aut mediis quibusdam in nobis ad justificationis gratiam a Deo obtinendam necessariis, nos utramque et fidem et charitatem necessario requirimus, sed hanc non illam esse dispositionem prozimam et inseparabilem a justificationis gratia etiam a nobis demonstratum est."—ibid. I. Vide also the language of Contarini, Hosius, Stapleton, etc. etc., as found in Field and Gerhard as above, p. 355. The same is the doctrine of Valentinus, Bishop of Hildesheim, in a work written in 1535, with a view of composing the controversies of the day, and presented to the Emperor about the time of the Diet of Worms, 1545. I give an extract of it as it is preserved by Seckendorf. Comm. iii. 31, § 121. "Addit," says that writer," quaa Lutheran® doctrinse propius accedere videntur, donatam nobis justitiam Christi, ejusque merita nostra esse, et nobis imputari; sed mox subjungit, praetor hanc imputativam meritorum Christi justitiam, justitiam aliam, voluntati nostra nempe inhserentem, justitiam, id est, propriam a nobis per charitatem recipi; his duabus justitiis simul hominem justificari easgue separari non posse, et priorem amitti nisi altera sequatur." Valentinus assented, moreover, to the doctrine that fides formata justifies. Cassander's doctrine is the same in his Consultatio: "De ipsa autem justitia qua justificamur, magna hactenus certamina exstiterunt, aliis in sola Christi justitia nobis imputata, aliis in justitia novas vitae nobis communicata justificationis formam ponentibus, cum postea a doctissimis viris observatum sit, ex Apostolica doctrina et Patrum traditione utranigue justitiam in justificationis ratione conjungi debere.
Justificari hominem non sola imputatione sed etiam
verse justitiae participatione manifesto declarat analogia ilia peccati et justitiae ex inobedientia et obedientia unius hominis, quse explicatur a Paulo, Eom. v."—ap. Grotium, Oper. vol. v. He then proceeds to say that this was Bucer's opinion, who, however, shall now speak for himself.
15. Bucer's opinion is of some importance to those who judge of the doctrine of the English Church by the views of the men who conducted its Reformation in the 16th century. I shall therefore give some considerable extracts from his writings :—He will be found to speak like a Lutheran concerning the office of faith under the gospel; but that does not interfere with his doctrine on the point in question, of there being two forms in justification :—
The following is the statement presented by the Emperor's directions to the Conference at Ratisbon, A.D. 1541, and assented to by Bucer among others :—" Firma itaque est et sana doctrina, per fidem vivam et efficacem justificari peccatorem. Nam per illam Deo grati et accepti sumus propter Christum. Vocamus autem fidem vivam, motum Spiritus sancti, quo vere poenitentes veteris vitse eriguntur ad Deum, et vere apprehfendunt misericordiam in Christo promissam, ut jam vere sentiant, quod remissionem peccatorum et reconciliationem propter meritum Christi gratuita Dei bonitate acceperunt; et clamant ad Deum, Abba Pater. Id quod tamen nulli obtingit, nisi etiam simul infundatur caritas, sanans voluntatem, ut voluntas sanata, quemadmodum Divus Augustinus ait, incipiat implere legem. Fides ergo viva est, quae et apprehendit misericordiam in Christo ac credit justitiam quae est in Christo, sua gratis imputari, et quse simul pollicitationem Spiritus et caritatem accipit. Ita quod fides quidem justificans est ilia fides, quae est efficax per caritatem, sed interim hoc verum est, quod hac fide eatenus justificamur, id est, acceptamur et reconciliamur Deo, quatenus apprehendit misericordiam et justitiam, quse nobis imputatur propter Christum et ejus meritum, non propter dignitatem seu perfectionem justitiae nobis in Christo communicatee. Etsi autem qui justificatur justitiam accipit, et habet per Christum etiam inhserentem, sicut dicit Apostolus, Abluti estis, sanctificati estis, justificati estis, etc. (quare Sancti Patres justificari etiam pro eo quod est inhaerentem justitiam accipere, usurparunt) tamen anima fidelis huic non innititur, sed soli justitiae Christi, nobis donatae, sine qua omnino nulla esse potest justitia. Et sic fide in Christum justificamur seu reputamur justi, id est, accepti per ipsius merita, non propter nostram dignitatem aut opera; et propter inhaerentem justitiam eo justi dicimur, quia quae justa sunt operamur, juxta illud Joannis, Qui facit justitiam Justus est."—Liber. Propos. ad Comp. Eel. It is observable that this statement was as a whole considered so little Protestant, that a complaint was made to Luther by the Elector of Saxony against Melanchthon for having signed it. It was thought to be an undoing of the Confession of Augsburgh, and especial offence was taken at the word efficax applied to "fides," as if it implied " fides formata." The account is contained in Seckendorf Comm. iii. 23, § 87. It should be noticed that, while Luther casts off Bucer, expressly declaring his suspicions of him, Cassander, in the work already referred to, claims him as agreeing with himself.
But Bucer's opinion is more clearly stated in his own words four or five years afterwards in the second Conference at Eatisbon, in which he drew up a paper stating the points of agreement, dissent, and ambiguity, between him and the Eomanists. He says," Hanc .... inchoatam justitiam, justitiam non esse earn qua justi sumus apud Deum, ita ut propter illam vita sterna nobis debeatur. Cum ex parte tantum et imperfecta sit, nee legi Dei satisfaciat dum hie vivimus; ideo aliam in nobis nempe Dei justitiam esse qua Christo Domino confidamus," etc.—Acta Coll. Eat. Ult. (Lovan. 1547). Again; "Turn ille orsus (Bucerus) multis verbis de fide apprehendente dicere, qua apprehendamus Christi justitiam, qu* vera perfectaque hominis justificatio sit. Hanc vitce justitiam nominari a Paulo, quam porro sequatur nostra Ula inhcerens atque inchoata justitia," etc.—Ibid.
In the following passage he speaks of justification through spiritual obedience, as strongly as St. Austin in the passages quoted in Lecture II.:—"Non est igitur ex Lege justitia; imo qui ex operibus Legis sunt, execrationi existunt obnoxii, Gal. hi 10, id est, qui nihil prater Legem et suas vires habuerint, ut opera eorum tantum a Lege sint extorta, non ultro nee Spiritu edita, hi execrationi sunt obnoxii; quia nequeunt omnia quae Lex exigit, preestare. Tales autem ipsa Lex testatur execratos esse. Lex vetat ea ad quae natura propensissima est, scilicet, amorem nostri et qua? hie quaerit. .... Ita a Lege bona et sancta, institutaque ad vitam, nihil nobis nondum Spiritu vivificante donatis, quam ut peccati cognitio, ita et incrementum ac consequenter ira Dei nostrique
condemnatio provenit Legem igitur abolemus per
fidem ] Absit, sed Legem stabilimus Necessarium
. . . . ut ante pestifer hie animi morbus tollatur. Id quum Lex praestare nequeat, et ex sola gratia Dei donantis bonum Legis amantem Spiritum nobis contingit, consequens est nos ex gratia et haudquaquam ex Lege justificari. Hanc itaque gratiam quum Christus nobis meruerit, ipse unus Author est nostrae justificationis."—Enar. in Matt. v. 19. Vid. also Enar. in xv. 10-20.
As might be expected, he holds the doctrine of fides formata, nay, he condemns the use of the word sola as dangerous; he says, "Quia vero danda est opera, ne quem vel verbulo offendamus, nemo gravari debet (cum videt offendi homines quod sancti scribunt, nos sola fide justificari), adjicere viva, formata, per dilectionem efficaci, aut quid hujusmodi. . . . Ut igitur nemo ne veris quidem ofiendendus est, ita satis habebo vocibus uti Scripturae et dicere, Justum fide vivere; fide nos justificari et salvari, omisso quod tantopere offendit, Sola."—In Psalm. 2. Vid. also a passage quoted by Bull, Harm. ii. § 8.
16. So much space has been given to Bucer's doctrine, because he is in no small degree connected with our own Eeformation; 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 Eoman 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 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 confession:—"Nos ... non negamusjustitiamnostramaliquo modo constare justitia inhcerente; quod ssepe testati sumus; nimirum quia necesse sit nos mori peccatis et vivere Deo. Sed iidem justitiae proram etpuppim constituimus in remissione peccatorum; nimirum, quia hsec nos apud Deum constituit justos quod perfectio virtutum non potest. Quid ergo discriminis est ] nimirum, quia ut duas formates causas ita duas distinguimus justitias; quia absurdum sit, unius ejusdemque rei geminam formam esse, itaque justitiam nostram, quatenus. constat remissione peccatorum, cum Paulo justificationem, eam autem quae 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 admittamus."—xxi. 17, § 25. "Nostram in Bellarmini verbis mentem lseti agnoscimus,'et optamus, ut vere sic sentiant Jesuitae, sic sentiant omnes Papistae."—ibid. § 38. This is not the first passage which has already been referred to from Bellarmini', 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 sanetification are as inseparable as light and heat in the sun. His words are as follows: "Neque tamen interea negandum est quin perpetuo conjuncta e sint ac cohaereant dua e ista e res, sanctificatio et justificatio: sed perperam inde infertur unam ac eandem esse; exempli gratia, solis lumen, etsi nuuquam separator a calore, non tamen calore existimandus est, nemoque tarn 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 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 "caetera quse disputantur, sunt Scholastica, et Metaphysicalia."—Animadv. in Rivet. L
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, theologicaMy 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 1 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
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 Eomanism 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 1 Now, turning from Hooker to the follow-
ing 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 of . . .
righteousness previously implanted in us; and . . . our repu-
tative 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."—
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 [Petals], ne irrita sit sacri illius sanguinis effusio, arcana Spiritus irrigations 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 sanctissimse 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 worheth 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 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 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,' sanctiiication 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 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 1 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 Spiritwm sese nobis unientis perfectissima obedientia, est formalis causa justificationis nostrae."—De Just. Habit. 22. And Calvin still more strongly:—" Conjunctio igitur ilia capitis et membrorum, habitatio Christi in cordibus nostris, mystica denique unio a nobis in summo gradu statuitur; ut Christus, noster factus, donorum quibus preeditus est nos faciat consortes. Non ergo eum extra nos procul speculamur, ut nobis imputetur ejus justitia, sed quia ipsum iuduimus, et insiti sumus in ejus corpus, unum denique nos secum efficere dignatus est, ideo justitiae 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 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, 0 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."
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
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"— 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 Concordiae, 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. hi. 11, § 5; and Bellarmine de Justif. ii. 5. If one accepts the testimony of Calvin and Illyricus, Osiander held almost a Manichaean 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 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 memori& tenendum, . . hanc bene multorum ex antiquis esse sententiam, justos homines et sanctos ac Dei films adoptivos fieri applicatione ips& Spiritus Sancti, hoc est ovoiu&ug et substantive, rum ingyilct. sol& Spiritus ipsius, ut ait Gregorius Nazianzenus, neque per creatam rem ullam, ut scribit Cyrillus Alexandrinus, nempe sic tanquam primariam formam, atque hanc prserogativam 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. Hser. 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 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
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 ilia quae Adam portaverat vulnera, et venena serpentis antiqua curasset, legem dedit sano et prsecepit ne ultra jam peccaret, ne quid peccanti gravius eveniret. Coarctati eramus et in angustum innocentiae praescriptione conclusi. Nee haberet quid fragilitatis humanae infirmitas atque imbecillitas faceret, nisi iterum pietas divina subveniens, justitice et misericordice operibus ostensis, viam quandam tuendce salutis aperiret, ut sordes postmodum quascunque contrahimus eleemosynis' abluamus. Loquitur in Scripturis divinis Spiritus Sanctus et dicit,'Eleemosynis et fide delicta purgantur.' Non utique ilia delicta quae fuerant ante contracta; nam ilia Christi sanguine et sanctificatione purgantur. Item denuo dicit:—' Sicut aqua extinguit ignem, sic eleemosyna extinguit peccatum.' Hie quoque ostenditur et probatur quia sicut lavacro aquae salutaris gehennae ignis extinguitur, ita et eleemosynis atque operationibus justis delictorum flamma sopitur. Et quia semel in Baptismo remissa peccatorum datur, assidua el jugis qperatio 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 sseculum et in saeculum saeculi est." Non enim ipsa ilia justitiae opera sufficient ad perfectce beatitudinis meritum, nisi misericordia Dei etiam in hac justitiae voluntate humanarum demutationum et motuum vitia non reputet. Hinc illud Prophetae dictum est, Melior est misericordia tua super vitam; quia quamvis probabilis per justitiae operationem vita justorum sit, tamen per misericordiam Dei plus meriti consequetur. Ex hac enim vita in vitam proficit aeternam; et operationem justitiae in tantum misericordia Dei muneratur, ut miserans justitiae voluntatem, aeternitatis quoque suae 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 I
"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
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 1' 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 1 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 (mp-a, 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 any number of isolated passages: 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 justified by this Eegeneration, 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:—" Scholaa in deterius semper aberrarunt, donee tandem praecipiti ruina devolutae sunt ad quendam Pelagianismum. Ac ne Augustini quidem sententia, vel saltern loquendi ratio per omnia recipienda est. Tametsi enim egregie hominem omni justitiae laude spoliat, ac totam Dei gratiae transcribit, gratiam tamen ad sajictificationem refert, qua in vitae novitatem per Spiritum regeneramur."—Instit. iii. 11, § 15. Bucer says," Patres pleriguejustificare 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 justitiae, 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 inhaerentis justitiae 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 gratiae infusae sive inhaerentis cum gratia remissionis ac imputatione justitiae Christi, haec inter se commiscere videatur, non debemus nos idcirco ilia confundere, quse Spiritus Dei in Sacris Scripturis accurate solet
distinguere Neque huic sententiae nostrae reclamare
patres illico judicandi sunt, si justificandi vocabulum ad justitiae infusionem aliquando referant; nam idem vocabulum diverso sensu, non modo a Patribus, sed etiam ab ipsis Scripturis quandoque usurpatur. Non itaque jam quaerimus de diversis hujus vocabuli justificationis apud Patres significationibus; sed (quod theologicae 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 quae pertinent ad formalem causam nostrae justificationis," as being "difficillima eorum quae de justificatione nostra tractari solent, neque prceteritis sceculis tarn exacte a patribus discussa, quam ea quae de necessitate auxilii gratiae ad operandum et recte vivendum hactenus a nobis sunt disputata."—Quaest. 112, Disp. 202, c. 1, init. Father Paul goes further, observing that "the opinion of 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 Eoman 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 Eoman 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: —ov hi iavrSw dixaiovptda, avdi diet, Tjjj ^airsgas eotplag 5] evvieiai$, 5) ivezfiiiag, r) 'igyuv uv xariigyaad/iiQa h oeiorriri xag&'aj, aXXd did rjjs iriericag.—c. 32. Now here the point in controversy is whether, when St. Clement says, 'igym Siv xariipyaed//.sda h iaiorriri xagdiag, 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 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 'igyw, 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 wo 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 guaz non habuit." Again, h oeior^n xugd/ag is scarcely more than an adverb meaning "piously," "holily." Thus St. Paul speaks, Tit. iii. 5, oux i% igyw ruv h SixaioauvTj m iiroiriaa/isv ii/iiTg 'ieueiv ii/iag; not, dia ruv hyuv. 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:—vuwig ouv edo^dadrinav xai i/iiyuXuvSrieav, ou di' aurav, j) ruv igyuv auruiv rjjj dixcucmeuyiut ijj xuriigydfavro.
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. rig ydo irapsmdri/i^sag irgbg i/ia; rqv iravdgirov xal ftifiaia.]/ U/js,uv irienv ojx iSoxi/iaaiv; c. i.—Tawzgsro; is but another word for formata. 'Evdusii/AiQa. rfjv b/iovoiav, rairsivopgovouvrig, iyxoariu6,'j.ivoi, airb vavrbg -piQugie/^ou xal xara.Xa.Xiai soiiu lauroig voioZvrig, 'igyoig dixaiou//.ivoi xal /iri Xiyoig.—c. 30. Maxdeio! i<Sfj.w, uyairtiToly 1) vgoardy/iara roD ©sou ivoioij/iiv iv b/iovoia dydirrig, iig rb aipiQrjuai ri/j,Tv di' ay cinqg rag a/tagriag fj/iSJv. Yzyoaxrai yag /iaxagioi uv aipiQrjeav ai dvo/xiai, xal w ittxaXipfaeav ai apagrlai.—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" wliich 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 sxxXriaiag maro) xal bixaiiraroi ariiXoi.—c. 5. St. Paul, rJ yivvahv r5j; vlariug ouroD xX'sog sXa/3sv, Bixaioduvriv didd^ai oXon rbv xoa/ioy.—ibid. Xd/3u/i,n 'Eva/j£, Sj iv iivuxofi dixaiog ibgifalg /itTiridti. . . . Nwi mcrbg iiigidilg bia rSj; Xiirougylag aurou vaXiyyivieiav xos/xijj *x^ci/jin.— 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 Eeformation, 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 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."'
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 1 whether faith as a good work or faith as an instrument 1 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 1 whether as a sign or as a thing signified 1 whether by introduction or by perfection 1 whether in the first beginnings, or in its last and best productions 1 whether by inherent worthiness or adventitious imputations 1. . . . 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 1 Sermon V. of Justification by Faith.
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."'
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. 1 Sermon on Fides formata, vol. vi. p. 271.
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 1" 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 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.
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