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St. Paul could mean to state, that justification and salvation were so separate and distinct, that man could obtain the former, and not have the latter as a certain consequence:
clear that justification, which St. Paul calls the free gift, is by, or from the grace of God, and by Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many, and that the free gift is of many offences unto justification; and notwithstanding one offence brought sin and death into the world, yet by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life : what is the “justification,” or “ of life,” understood to be, if it has not in effect the same meaning as eternal life! St. Paul must have intended “ the free gift of many offences unto justification” was to produce eternal life: take away the “justification,” or “ of life” here stated, how is man to obtain salvation ? are they not so connected, that they cannot be severed to have effect? The words used in these verses shew most clearly St. Paul intended that justification was in effect the same as salvation, the latter being the sure and certain consequence of the former, and in the last verse he has used the words “ eternal life :" the conclusion then must be, that justification and salvation are so connected, that they are inseparable, and whatever are qualifications, conditions, or requisites necessary to obtain the one, must be equally necessary to obtain the other, according to the direct, and express authority of St. Paul. It is true, St. Paul has here used the words,“ justification of life," and is the only instance where he has adjoined the words, “of life," with justification ; but if any stress is to be placed upon that circumstance, it is in favour of the construction here put, and to do away any doubt as to his intention ; but he has also used the word “justification," without these words, while treating of the same subject; can there be the least ground to raise a doubt, whether he meant the same thing, when he used the word without the addition, as when he used it with it? certainly not.
It having been fully shewn that justification and salvation are attainable by faith as an indispensable condition, or instrument, and that both are from grace: we find in the Acts, and in the book of Kings, that the man who worketh righteousness is accepted of God, and justified : by St. Paul, that holiness', which is included in righteousness, is an absolute condition for man to have to obtain salvation : we find in the Acts & that repentance is necessary for the remission of sins; which is a most essential part of justification; and we find, according to St. Luke", Christ has stated, and we see the same fact stated by St. Peter', that without repentance man must perish, whereby repentance becomes an absolute condition for man to have to obtain salvation : and with
d Acts x. 35.
e i Kings viii. 32.
respect to baptism, which by some is held to be the first step necessary to a state of justification, and by all Christians an indispensable part of justification : St. Peter says, even baptism doth now save us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ". According to St. Matthew', we have Christ's authority, that man will be justified by words; and by St. Paul ", that with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Now seeing that grace, faith, righteousness, repentance, baptism, and words, or confession by the mouth, are all absolutely necessary requisites, ingredients, conditions, or qualifications, as well to obtain justification, as also salvation, there can be no possible means to raise a doubt as to the connection of justification with salvation, and that the latter is consequent to the former as sure as the sparks fly upward.
If any conditions, or acts, are to be done by
i 2 Pet. iii. 9.
b Luke xiii. 3.
1 Matt. xii. 37.
k 1 Pet. iii. 21. m Rom. x. 10.
man to obtain salvation, which are not required in justification ; justification would be reduced to a condition, and although it might be indispensable, yet those who are justified would be in a state of uncertainty as to their salvation ; and justification would be of no more importance,or estimation, than any other indispensable condition : here may be taken the great distinction between the act of God, and the act of man : all other conditions respect the man as the actor, and apply to him in that situation, and are to be performed by him ; but that is not the case with justification, which is the sole act of God: how can we reconcile the crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, which is stated to be for the justification of man as a mere condition in salvation ? Christ
Christ“ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification ";" and St. Paul has expressly said, those whom God “justified, them he also glorified.” From the authorities we have now seen, we must draw this conclusion, that justification is the act of God in absolving, or pardoning man's offences, and making and accepting him as fit, and meet, to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light; and that the sentence of salvation is a sure, certain, and inevitable consequence without any condition, or act to be done by man between the act of justification, and the sentence of salvation, and from thence arises the close, and inseparable connection of justification and salvation, which cannot be doubted.
n Rom. iv. 25.