« PreviousContinue »
there it an appearing repugnancy. The doctrine of justification according unto that rule principally to be learned from the writings of Paul. The reasons of his fulness and accuracy in the teaching of that doctrine. The importance of the truth; the opposition made unto it; and abuse of it. The design of the apostle James. Exceptions of some against the writings of St. Paul, scandalous and unreasonable. Not in this matter to be interpreted by the passage in James insisted on, chap. ii. That there is no repugnancy between the doctrine of the two apostles demonstrated. Heads and grounds of the demonstration. Their scope, design, and end not the same. That of Paul; the only case stated and determined by him. The designs of the apostle James; the case proposed by him quite of another nature. The occasion of the case proposed and stated by him. No appearance of difference between the apostles, because of the several cases they speak unto. Not the same faith intended by them. Description of the faith spoken of by the one, and the other. Bellarmine's arguments to prove true justifying faith to be intended by Janes, answered. Justification not treated of by the apostles in the same manner, nor used in the same sense, nor to the same end. The one treats of justification, as unto its nature and causes; the other as unto its signs and evidence, proved by the instances insisted on 473
How the Scripture was fulfilled, that Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness, when he offered his son, on the altar. Works the same, and of the same kind in both the apostles. Observations on the discourse of James. No conjunction made by him between faith and works in our justification, but an opposition. No distinction of a first and second justification in him. Justification ascribed by him wholly unto works, in what sense. Does not determine how a sinner may be justified before God; but how a professor may evidence himself so to be. The context opened from ver. 14. to the end of the chapter ••• >.. 486
GOSPEL GROUNDS AND EVIDENCES OF THE FAITH OF GOD'S ELECT.
To the reader .. ...,.497
Evidences of the faith of God's elect • • *99
The second evidence of the faith of God's elect • 519
The third evidence of the faith of God's elect 537
The fourth evidence of the faith of God's elect ........* 544 THE
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH,
THE IMPUTATION OF
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST;
EXPLAINED, CONFIRMED, AND VINDICATED.
TO THE READER.
I Shall not need to detain the reader with an account of the nature and moment of that doctrine which is the entire subject of the ensuing Discourse. For although sundry persons, even among ourselves, have various apprehensions concerning it, yet that the knowledge of the truth therein is of the highest importance unto the souls of men, is on all hands agreed unto. Nor indeed is it possible that any man who knows himself to be a sinner, and obnoxious thereon to the judgment of God, but he must desire to have some knowledge of it, as that alone whereby the way of delivery from the evil state and condition, wherein he finds himself, is revealed. There are, I confess, multitudes in the world, who, although they cannot avoid some general convictions of sin, as also of the consequents of it; yet do fortify their-minds against a practical admission of such conclusions, as in a just consideration of things do necessarily and unavoidably ensue thereon. Such persons wilfully deluding them selves.,with vain hopes and imaginations, do never once seriously inquire by what way or means they may obtain peace wkh .God, and acceptance before him, which in comparison of the present enjoyment of the pleasures of sin, they value not at all. And it is in vain to recommend the doctrine of justification unto them, who neither desire nor endeavour to be justified. But where any persons are really made sensible of their apostacy from God, of the evil of their natures and lives, with the dreadful consequences that attend thereon in the wrath of God, and eternal punishment due unto sin, they cannot well judge themselves more concerned in any thing, than in the knowledge of that divine way whereby they may be delivered from this condition. And the minds of such persons stand in no need of arguments to satisfy them in the importance of this doctrine; their own concernment in it is sufficient to that purpose. And I shall assure them, that in the handling of it from first to last, I have had no other design, but only to inquire diligently into the divine revelation of that way, and those means, with the causes of them, whereby the conscience of a distressed sinner may attain assured peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I lay more weight on the steady direction of one soul in this inquiry, than in disappointing the objections of twenty wrangling or fiery disputers. The question therefore unto this purpose being stated, as the reader will find in the beginning of our Discourse, although it were necessary to spend some time in the explication of the doctrine itself, and terms wherein it is usually taught, yet the main weight of the whole lies in the interpretation of Scripture testimonies, with the application of them unto the experience of them who do believe, and the state of them who seek after salvation by Jesus Christ. There are therefore some fesv things that I would desire the reader to Va\e notice of, that he may receive benefit by the ensuing Discourse; at least, if it be not his own fault, be freed from prejudices against it, or a vain opposition unto it.