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absolute ? This is making justification a sort of running account, to be renewed as occasion requires; “ but not finally, or in the most solemn form conferred, before the day of judgment.” Scripture speaks only of one justification, which must be permanent, and having once taken place must be irrevocable. The text most in favour of the Doctor's system is, “ All that believe are justified,” &c. Take this text in its literal sense, all persons upon believing become justified, that is, all who have faith. Is this true according to the cases of those who were specially justified ? Certainly not; in the case of Abraham he was not justified upon having faith. Those who had their sins remitted by Christ were told their faith saved them, but that was to shew, that their faith was the ground of the sentence or act of remission being pronounced. This remission in strictness was not justification, only an indispensable part. We now see the strongest text quoted by the Doctor wholly fails of the proof for which he adduced it. The Doctor's system of justification is stated in that indefinite, uncertain, and contradictory manner, which must do away all effect as any thing like an argument to prove justification generally takes places in this life, that is, primarily to be perfected hereafter: which must be a division of justification into two parts, and according to the Doctor, it is not only divisible

Y

into parts, but one of those parts may wear out and require renewal, it then becomes fluctuating, móveable, and variable; such a justification, upon any principle either of Scripture or reason, cannot be reconciled to the acts or decrees of the Supreme Being, who cannot change.

A learned Prelate has recently, in a tract appended to his Charge to the Clergy of his Diocese, when treating of justification, given a statement in support of two justifications, in these words : “ The remission of sin through faith only is our first justification, and is confined to this life; and is as distinct from the final justification of the last day, as pardon is from reward; and bears no other relation to it than this, that all men will be punished in the next life whose sins are not forgiven in this; and that no man will be rewarded hereafter, who has not made his peace with God here by faith and repentance. For the judgment of the last day will be not to pardon, but to reward or punish every man according to his works.” His Lordship, at page 6 of his letter placed before the charge, has stated, “ There is no justification without the pardon of sin;" and in the first quotation, that“ our first justification is as distinct from the final justification as pardon is

p Bishop of Salisbury's Charge, p. 80.

from reward.” Here are two facts stated; one, that “ there is no justification without the pardon of sin;" and the other, “ that pardon and reward are quite distinct matters.” These, it is conceived, cannot be controverted; but we will endeavour to see how far his Lordship’s statement, that “ the judgment of the last day will be not to pardon, but to reward,” is borne out by scriptural authority. Christ has stated, that we shall be justified at the day of judgment? His Lordship has stated, that “ the judgment of the last day will be not to pardon, but to reward;" and also truly stated, that pardon and reward are distinct, and that there is no justification without pardon. Should his Lordship's statement, that reward, and not pardon, is to be the work of the last day, be capable of support from Scripture, how are we to reconcile such a principle with Christ's words? It surely cannot be done. But we will bring to his Lordship’s recollection another text, part of which his Lordship has quoted, in his judicious and forcible argument, to prove that repentance is necessary to justification, and precedes faith. Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts iïi. 19". Had his Lordship quoted the

9 Matt. xii. 36, 37.

Letter, p. 7.

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whole verse, he would have seen the time stated when the sins of man are to be blotted out; the remaining words are, “ when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” This verse most perfectly shews, that remission of sin does not take place at the time of repentance, but at the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. There can be very little doubt what time is here alluded to, the words are the same in effect to others often mentioned in Scripture, and equivalent to them, which are," when Christ shall appears.” These two strong authorities, Christ's and St. Peter's, it is conceived, must bring into question his Lordship’s tenets of a double justification, and that rewards only are to be awarded at the last day, if not held conclusive against them. Should the last day be confined to rewards only, how can it be called a day of trial, and more emphatically of a fiery trialt?

Both a double justification, and justification in this life, have been before so fully shewn to be fraught with such difficulties, and have so many insurmountable objections against them, according to the authorities adduced, it must be unne

s Col. iii. 4. Heb. ix. 28. 1 Pet. v. 4.

+1 Pet. iv. 12.

1 John ïi. 28. iii. 2.

66

cessary here to urge any further Scriptural authority or argument to shew his Lordship's principles are not and cannot be supported.

“In baptism we are, by the grace of God, regenerated and born anew of water and the Holy Spirit". “For they are saved by baptism, that is, placed in a state of salvation *.” By baptism men are no longer apostates and aliens, but made children and heirs '.” “ By baptism we are washed from our sins past, justified, sanctified, regenerated, and placed in a state of salvation, gratuitously and unconditionally a.” At p. 80, before quoted, it is stated, “ The remission of sin through faith only is our first justification.” Are not these statements directly repugnant ? “ The remission of sin through faith,” and “ by baptism we are washed from our sins.” How are these expressions to be reconciled ? Are not the words, “washed from our sins,” the same meaning, or in effect as “remission of sin ?” And as it is stated “ remission of sin through faith only is our first justification,” and confined to this life; must it not be understood that the remission takes place at the time of embracing faith? If so, there are two periods stated when the first justification takes place, one at baptism, the

u Letter, p. 8.

y Ibid.

p.

59.

» Charge, p. 58.
Appendix, p. 76.

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