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three things, which must go together in our Three things justification. Upon God's part, his great must go together mercy and grace: upon Christ's part, justice, tion. that is, the satisfaction of God's justice, or the price of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and shedding of his blood, with fulfilling of the law perfectly and throughly: and upon our part, true and lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours, but by God's working in us : so that in our justification, is not only God's mercy and grace, but also his justice, which the apostle calleth the justice of God, and it consisteth in paying our ransom and fulfilling of the law: and so the grace of God doth not shut out the justice of God in our justification, but only shutteth out the justice of man, that is to say, the justice of our works, as to be merits of deserving our justification. And therefore St. Paul declareth here nothing upon the behalf of man, concerning his justification, but only a true and lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of God, and not man's only work, without God [Èph. ii. 8]. And yet that faith doth not shut How it is to be out repentance, hope, love, dread, and the understood, that fear of God, to be joined with faith in every without works. man that is justified; but it shutteth them out from the office of justifying. So that although they be all present together in him that is justified, yet they justify not altogether. Neither doth faith shut out the justice of our good works, necessarily to be done afterwards, of duty towards God, (for we are most bounden to serve God, in doing good deeds, commanded by him in his Holy Scripture, all the days of our life) but it excludeth them, so that we may not do them to this intent, to be made just by doing of them. For all the good works that we can do be imperfect, and therefore not able to deserve our justification : but our justification doth come freely by the mere mercy of God, and of so great and free mercy, that, whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ's body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is now the

righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him. He for them paid their ransom by his death. He for them fulfilled the law in his life. So that now in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law, forasmuch as that which their infirmity lacked, Christ's justice hath supplied.


Ye have heard, of whom all men ought to seek their justification and righteousness, and how also this righteousness cometh unto men by Christ's death and merits. Ye heard also, how that three things are required to the obtaining of our righteousness, that is, God's mercy, Christ's justice, and a true and a lively faith, out of the which faith springeth good works. Also before was declared at large, that no man can be justified by his own good works, because that no man fulfilleth the law, according to the strict rigour of the law.

And St. Paul in his epistle to the Galatians proveth the same, saying thus, If there had been any law given, which could have justified, verily righteousness should have been by the law (Gal. iii

. 21). And again he saith, If righteousness be by the law, then Christ died in vain [Gal. ii

. 21]. And again he saith, You that are justified by the law are fallen away from grace [Gal. v. 4]. And furthermore he writeth to the Ephesians on this wise, By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should glory (Ephes. ii. 8, 9). And to be short, the sum of all Paul's disputation is this; that if justice come of works, then it cometh not of grace ; and if it come of grace, then it cometh not of works [Rom. xi. 6]. And to this end tend all the prophets, as St. Peter saith in the tenth of the Acts (v. 43), Of Christ all the Prophets (saith St. Peter) do witness, that through his name, all they that believe in him shall receive the remission of sins.

And after this wise, to be justified only by this true and • Faith only lively faith in Christ, speak all the old and justifieth,' is the ancient authors, both Greeks and Latins. Of

whom I will specially rehearse three, Hilary, Basil, and Ambrose. St. Hilary saith these words plainly in the ninth canon upon Matthew, “Faith only justifieth. And St. Basil, a Greek author, writeth thus, “ This is a

of doctors.

perfect and whole rejoicing in God, when a man advanceth not himself for his own righteousness, but acknowledgeth himself to lack true justice and righteousness, and to be justified by the only faith in Christ. Paul (saith he) doth glory in the contempt of his own righteousness, and that he looketh for the righteousness of God by faith” (Philip. iii. 8,9). These be the very words of St. Basil. And St. Ambrose, a Latin author, saith these words, “This is the ordinance of God, that they which believe in Christ, should be saved without works, by faith only, freely receiving remission of their sins." Consider diligently these words, without works, by faith only, freely' we receive remission of our sins. What can be spoken more plainly, than to say, that freely, without works, by faith only, we obtain remission of our sins? These and other like sentences, that we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works, we do read ofttimes in the best and ancient writers. As beside Hilary, Basil, and St. Ambrose, before rehearsed, we read the same in Origen, St. Chrysostom, St. Cyprian, St. Augustine, Prosper, Ecumenius, Phocius, Bernardus, Anselm, and many other authors, Greek and Latin. Nevertheless, this sentence, that we be justified by faith only, is not so meant of them, that the said justifying faith is alone in man, without true repentance, hope, charity, dread, and the fear of God, at any time and season. And when they say, that we be justified freely, they mean how it is to be not that we should or might afterward be idle, and that nothing should be required on our parts afterward: neither mean they that we are so to be justified without good works, that we should do no good works at all, like as shall be more expressed at large hereafter. But this saying, that we be justified by faith only, freely and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at God's hands, and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man, and the goodness of God; the great infirmity of ourselves, and the might and power of God; the imperfectness of our own works, and the most abundant grace of our Saviour Christ; and therefore wholly to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only, and his most precious bloodshedding. This faith the Holy Scripture teacheth us;

Faith alone,



that impugn the

The profit of this is the strong rock and foundation of the doctrine of Christian religion; this doctrine all old and


ancient authors of Christ's church do approve; this doctrine advanceth and setteth forth the true glory of Christ, and beateth down the vain glory of man; this What they be whosoever denieth, is not to be accounted for

a Christian man, nor for a setter-forth of doctrine, 'faith only justifieth. Christ's glory; but for an adversary to Christ and his gospel, and for a setter-forth of men's vain-glory. And although this doctrine be never so true (as it is most true indeed) that we be justified freely, without all merit of our own good works (as St. Paul doth express it), and freely, by this lively and perfect faith in Christ only (as the ancient authors use to speak it) yet this true doctrine must be also truly understood, and most plainly declared, lest carnal men should take unjustly occasion thereby to live carnally, after the appetite and will of the world, the flesh, and the devil. And because no man should err by A declaration mistaking of this doctrine, I will plainly and of this doctrine, shortly so declare the right understanding of works justifieth. the same, that no man shall justly think that he may thereby take any occasion of carnal liberty, to follow the desires of the flesh, or that thereby any kind of sin shall be committed, or any ungodly living the more used.

First, you shall understand, that in our justification by Christ, it is not all one thing, the office of God unto man, and the office of man unto God. Justification is not the office of man, but of God; for man cannot make himselt righteous by his own works, neither in part, nor in the whole; for that were the greatest arrogancy and presumption of man, that antichrist could set up against God, to affirm that a man might by his own works take away

and purge his own sins, and so justify himself. But Justification is justification is the office of God only, and is the office of God not a thing which we render unto him, but only.

which we receive of him; not which we give to him, but which we take of him, by his free mercy, and by the only merits of his most dearly beloved Son, our only Redeemer, Saviour, and Justifier, Jesus Christ. So that the true understanding of this doctrine, We be justified freely by faith without works,' or that 'we be justified by faith in Christ only,' is not, that this our own

act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in Christ, which is within us, doth justify us, and deserve our justification unto us, (for that were to count ourselves to be justified by some act or virtue that is within ourselves) but the true understanding and meaning thereof is, that although we hear God's word, and believe it ; although we have faith, hope, charity, repentance, dread, and fear of God within us, and do never so many works thereunto; yet we must renounce the merit of all our said virtues, of faith, hope, charity, and all other virtues and good deeds, which we either have done, shall do, or can do, as things that be far too weak and insufficient, and imperfect, to deserve remission of our sins, and our justification; and therefore we must trust only in God's mercy, and that sacrifice which our High Priest and Saviour Christ Jesus, the Sor. of God, once offered for us upon the cross, to obtain thereby God's grace, and remission, as well of our original sin in baptism,

as of all actual sin committed by us after our baptism, if we truly repent, and turn unfeignedly to him again.' So that, as St. John Baptist, although he were never so virtuous and godly a man, yet in this matter of forgiving of sin, he did put the people from him, and appointed them unto Christ, saying thus unto them, Behold, yonder is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world (John i. 29): even so, as great and as godly a virtue as the lively faith is, yet it putteth us from itself, and remitteth or appointeth us unto Christ, for to have only by him remission of our sins, or justification. So that our faith in Christ (as it were) saith unto us thus, It is not I that take away your sins, but it is Christ only; and to him only I send you

for that purpose, forsaking therein all your good virtues, words, thoughts, and works, and only putting your trust in Christ.


IT hath been manifestly declared unto you, that no man can fulfil the law of God, and therefore by the law all men are condemned: whereupon it followeth necessarily, that some other thing should be required for our salvation than the law; and that is, a true and a lively faith in Christ, bringing forth good works, and a life according to

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