Page images

Let us also acknowledge the exceeding mercy of God towards us, and consess, that as of ourselves cometh all evil and damnation; so likewise of him cometh all goodness and falvation, as God himself faith by the Prophet Hosea, Hosea xiii. Q Israel, tby dejlruclion comctb of tbyself: but in me only is tby help and comfort. If we thus humbly submit ourselves in the sight of God, we may be fure that in the time of' his visitation, he will lift us up unto the kingdom of his dearly beloved Son Christ Jesus our Lord; to whom, -with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory for ever. Amen.





Salvation of Mankind, by only Chrijl our Saviour, from
Sin and Death everlajling.

BECAUSE all men be sinners and offenders against God, and breakers of his Law and Commandments, therefore can noman by his own acts, works, and deeds (seem they never so good) be justisied, and made righteous before God : but every man of necessity is constrained to seek for another righteousness of justisication, to be received at God's own hands, that is to fay, the forgiveness of his sins and trespaffes, in such things as he hath offended. And this justisication, or righteousness, which we so receive of God's mercy and Christ's merits, embraced by faith, is taken, accepted, and allowed of God, for our persect and fu^l justisication. For the more full understanding hereof, it is our parts and duties ever to remember the great mercy of God, how that (all the world being wrapped in sin by breaking of the Law) God sent his only Son our Saviour Christ into this world, to fulsil the Law for us, and, by shedding of his most precious blood, to make a facrisice and fatisfaction, or (as it maybe called) amends to his Father for our sins, to affuage his wrath and indignation conceived against us for the lame.

Insomuch that infants, being baptized and dying inTheefficatheir insancy, are by this facrisice washed from their sins, c^^^s brought to God's favour, and made his children, and in- obtaiion"." heritors of his kingdom of heaven. And they, which in act or deed do sin after their baptism, when they turn again to God unseignedly, they are likewise washed by this sacrifice from tneir sins, in fuch sort, that there re

C maineth

maineth not any spot of sin, that shall be imputed to their damnation. This is thatjustisication of righteousness which

Gal. ii. St. Paul speaketh of, when he faith, No man is jujlified by the works of the Law, but freely by faith in Jesus Christ. And again he faith, We helieve in Jesus Chrijl, that we be jujlified freely by the faith of Chrjl, and not by the works of the Law, hecause that no man shall he jujlified by the works of the Law. And although this justisication be free unto us, yet it cometh not so freely unto us, that there is no ransom paid therefore at all. But here may man's reafon

Objection. be astomshed, reasoning after this fashion: If a ransom be paid for our redemption, then is it not given us freely. For a prisoner that paid his ransom is not let go freely; for if he go freely, then he goeth without ransom: for what is it else to go freely, than to be set at liberty with

Answer. out paying of ransom ? This reason is fatissied by the great wisdom of God in this mystery of our redemption, who hath so tempered his justice and mercy together, that he would neither by his justice condemn us unto the everlasting captivity of the devil, and his prison of hell, remediless for ever without mercy, nor by his mercy deliver us clearly, without justice, or payment of a just ransom : but with his endless mercy he joined his most upright and equal justice. His great mercy he shewed unto us in delivering us from our former captivity, without requiring of any ransom to be paid, or amends to be made upon our parts, which thing by us had been impoffible to be done. And. whereas it lay not in us to do that, he provided a ransom for us, that wasr the most precious body and blood of his qwn most dear and best beloved Son Jesus Christ, who, besides this ransom, fulsilled the Law for us persectly. And so the justice of God and his mercy did embrace together, and fulsilled the mystery of our redemption. And of this justice and mercy of God knit together, speaketh.

Rom. iii. St. Paul in the third chapter to the Romans, All have of* fended, and have need of the glory of God; but are jujlified freely by grace, by redemption which is in Jejus Chrifl, whom. God hath fens forth to us for a reconciler and peace-maker, through faith in his blood, to shew bis righteousness. And in

Rom. x. the tenth chapter, Chrjl is the end of the Law unto righteousness, to every man that helieveth. And in the eighth

Rom. viii. chapter, That which was im[>oiJible by the Law, inasmuch as it was weak by the flesh, God fending his own Son in the. fimilitude offinful jlejb, by fin condemned fin in thejlish, that the righteousness of the Law might he fulfilled in us, which •walk not aster the flefb, but aster the Spirit, I iv these forelaid places, the Apostle toucheth specially three things, Three which must go together in our justisication. Upon God's ihin53 must {art, his great mercy and grace; upon Christ's part, jus-f°ou?j"stU rice, that Is, the fatisfaction of God's justice, or the price ficaiion. of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and shedding of his blood, with fulsilling of the Law persectly 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 justisication, there 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 fulsilling of the Law: and so the grace of God doth not shut out the justice of God in our justisication, but only shutteth out the justice of man, that is to lay, the justice of our works, as to be merits of deserring our justisication. And therefore St. Paul declareth here nothing upon the behalf of man concerning his justisication, but only a true and lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of God, and not man's only work, without God. Ana yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, and the sear of God, to be joined widi faith in every man that is justisied; but it (hutteth them out from the ossice of justifying. So that, although they How it Is be all present together in him that is justisied, yet they "'be underjustify not altogether: neither doth faith shut out the jus- J^f^f* tice of our good works, neceffarily to be done afterwards of fieih wiihduty towards God; (for we are most bounden to serveoui wrria. God, in doing good deeds, commanded by him in his holy Scripture, asl the days of our lise:) 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 imperse"ct, and therefore not able to deserve our justisication: but our justisication 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 insinite 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 fulsilled, and his justice fully fatissied. So that Christ is now the righteoulness of all them that truly do believe in him. He sor them paid their ransom by his death. He for them fulsilled the Law in his life. So that now in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be"called a fulsiller 01 the Law; foras

c % much

much as that which their inssirmity lacked, Christ's justic* hath supplied.

The Second Tart of the Sermon of Salvation.

\7E have heard, of whom all men ought to seek their X justisication and righteousness, and how also this righteousness cometh unto men by Christ's death and merits: ye heard also, how that three tiiings are required to the obtaining of our righteousness, that is, God's mercy, Christ's justice, and a true and lively faith, out of the which faith spring good works. Also before was declared atlarge,that no man can be justisied byhis own goodworks, that no man fulsilleth the Law, according to the strict rigour of the Law.

And St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians proveth the Gal. ii. fame, faying thus; If there bad heen any law given, which could have jujlified, verily righteousness should have heen by the Law. And again he faith, If righteousness he by the Law, then Chrijl died in vain. And again he faith, You that are jujtijied by the Law are fallen away from grace. And. fishes. n. furthermore, he writeth to the Ephesians on this wise, By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourjelves, for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lejlany man should glory. And, to be (liort, the sum of all Paul's disputation Js 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. And to this end tend all the Prophets, as St. PeActs x. ter faith in the tenth of the Acts; Of Chrijl all the Pro'phets, faith St. Peter, do witness, that through his name, ail they that helieve in him shall receive the remission of fins. Faiih onty 'And after this wise to be justisied only by this true and J"h*!f «h? '*l'vcty kith 'n Christ, speak all the old and ancient authors, of oid Doe^koth Greeks and Latins ; of whom I will specially rehearse iore. three, Hilary, Basil, and Ambrose. St. Hilary faith these words plainly in the ninth Canon upon Matthew; Faith only justisietn. And St. Basil, a Greek author, writeth thus; This is a persect 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 justisied by the only faith in Christ, fhitip. iii. And Paul, faith he, doth glory in the contempt of his own righteousness, and that he looketb for the righteousness of Cod by faith.


« PreviousContinue »