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ditions of the covenant into which he had voluntarily entered, and which he expressly promised to fulfil, he can have no claim to its privileges and benefits. But if he repents, and returns to a true and lively Faith in the merits of Christ, his sins are pardoned, and his Justification is renewed.
In our Catechism it is asked, " What is required of persons to be baptized ?" And the Answer is, “ Repentance, whereby they forsake sin; and Faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that sacrament;" hence it appears, that repentance and Faith are the only things required for Baptism or Justification; and it equally appears from this and the followiog Question and Answer, that those who are baptized or justified, are required to forsake sin, and are bound to perform the promises made by themselves or their sureties at the time of baptism. But as the frailty and imperfection of our nature will not allow us “always to stand upright,” ( 9 ) will
not totally and finally.”... “ The sense of our Church on this head is manifest from this single consideration, that she looks upon it as certain by God's word, that all children baptized are so far justified, inasmuch as if they die before actual sin, they are undoubtedly saved. Now it cannet be doubted but that many, who have been baptize in infancy, inay, and do, fall afterwards, both totally and finally, therefore our Church must of consequence allow and suppose, that persons once justified may totally and finally perish."-Waterland on Justificatio:..
(9) Collect 4th Sunday after the Epiphany,
not admit of a strict performance of these promises of renouncing the devil and all his works, of serving God, and obediently keeping his commandments, since “ no man liveth and sinneth not," we are also required in the Catechism, to examine ourselves whether we truly repent of those sins which we may have committed, and have a lively Faith in God's mercy through Christ, preparatory to the receiving the other sacrament of the Lord's Supper. And in the Communion Service 'we are taught to believe, that those, who with hearty repentance and true Faith, turn unto God, are, by the worthy participation of the body and blood of Christ,“ pardoned and delivered from all their sins, strengthened in all goodness, and, if they hereafter serve and please God, will at length inherit everlasting life.”—“ As by baptism, says Bishop Bull, all sins committed before the grace of the Gospel is received, are washed away; so in the Lord's Supper the remission of all sins, which are committed after baptism and regeneration, is sealed to those who are truly penitent.”
Our Church, in the beginning of its daily Service, calls upon its members to confess their sins, , and assures them, that God.“ pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfcignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore we pray and beseech him to grant us true repentance and
his Holy Spirit, that those things inay please him which we do at this present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This
is a summary of the doctrine of our Church; it
supposes all nyen to be guilty of sin, and it declares to whom forgiveness will be granted, namely, to those who truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the Gospel; that is, repentance and unfeigned Faith are necessary for the pardon of our sins. It then teaches us to pray to God for true repentance and his Holy Spirit, to enable us to please God, and that the rest of our life may be holy; hence we learn that our own strength is not sufficient, but that we stand in need of the assistance of God's Holy Spirit. The prayer lastly tell us why we are to do this, “ so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Repentance, Faith, and a pure and holy life, will therefore lead us to eternal happiness, through the merits of our Blessed Redeemer. This eternal happiness is the aim of every Christian, and here every Christian is instructed what he must do to obtain it.
It is said in the 16th Article, that " The grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after baptism. After we have received 3
the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin ; and by the grace of God we may rise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which ... deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.” It is the doctrine of our Church, that baptism duly adıninistered confers Justification; and therefore, according to this Article, a man may fall into sin after he has been justified, and in consequence of true repentance he may again receive forgiveness, and recover a state of Justification.
But the 11th Article relates more immediately to Justification, and deserves our particular attention. As several of the Epistles were written for the purpose of correcting the errors which prevailed among
Christians in the days of the Apostles, so many of the Articles of our Church are directed against the corruptions of the church of Rome. This uth Article was intended to disclaim the Popish doctrine of Human Merit, which our Reformers, with reason, considered as inconsistent with the whole scheme of redemption through Christ alone, and in particular as striking at the very root of the Christian duty of humility. Let us attend to the words of this Article in the Latin, which is much clearer than the English: Tantum propter meritum Domini, ac Servatoris nostri Jesu Christi, per Fidem, non prop
ter opera et merita nostra, justi coram Deo reputamur : Observe, that Faith is not opposed to works, but the merit of Christ is opposed to the merit of our works-propter meritum Christinon propter opera et merita nostra--and it is
per Fidem, not propter Fidem (9). We are here said to be justified on account of the merit of Christ, through our own Faith, and not on account of our own works or deservings. Our works never can have any merit towards procuring pardon of our sins, from their own intrinsic worth; they cannot justify, or tend to justify us. Nor has our Faith any merit of this kind; we are not said to be justified propter meritum Fidei or propter Fidem, but per Fidem. The Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the meritorious cause of our Justification ; but it operates through our Faith, and through our Faith only. If Faith be wanting in those to whom the Gospel is made known, the merits of Christ are of no avail to them; and if
(9) Wherever the Tustification or Salvation of man by Faith is mentioned in Scripture, the expression is, ίσει, εκ πίσεως, δια πίσεως, or δια της πίσεως, but never δια aisuv, or did tñ wisiv. Vide Rom. c. 1. v. 17. c. 3. v. 22. 28. & 30. Gal. c. 3. v. 8. Eph. c. 2. v 8. It is well known that dià when it governs a genitive case signifies per, and when it governs an accusative case it signifies propter ; that is, in the former case it indicates the means, in the latter the cause.