Whether Repentance precedes the Remis-

sion of Sins.
1. The state of the Question. II. Since the acts of faith

and repentance are together in time, the latter goes be. fore the remission of sins in the same manner as the form

III. Repentance, whether it be considered as a privilege, or a duty, is before actual forgiveness.




CHAP. I. UT this also deserves consideration, whether sorrow for sin, penitence, and repent- w ance, or a purpose to live according to the I. The

state of the will of God, go before justification and re- question. mission of sins, as a disposing condition, prerequiste in the subject. And here the simplicity of scripture is far more acceptable to me than all the subtleties of the schools, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying, which is in faith. Doubtless the matter stands thus:

II. As soon as a principle of new life is in- the acts of fused into the adult person by the Spirit of faith and

repentance grace, immediately spiritual acting of every are togethkind springeth up from that principle, actions or in time, so pervading, and exciting one another, and goes before so mingled in their exercise, that they can sion of sins, scarcely be distinguished in practice; and as in the same difficult is it to determine which is first in

the former. time, which last. Surely it is not [19.]

II. Since

mariner as

Note (19.]

CHAP. possible, but that the soul, quickened by XI.

the Spirit, should, in that supernatural light, wherewith it is illuminated, both see itself defiled and undone with innumerable sins, and see Christ full of grace, truth, and salvation. Such a view cannot but cause, both that with shame and sorrow it be displeased with itself, and with ardent desire, be carried out unto Christ. Hence arises the receiving and accepting of Christ, that it may be delivered from the filthiness and guilt of its sins. Now it cannot receive him for justification, except at the same time, it receive him for sanctification: nor receive him as a Priest, to expiate sin, unless it also receive him as a King, to whom it may submit, in order to obedience. Hence it follows, that that act of faith, whereby we receive Christ for righteousness, cannot be exercised, without either a previous, or at least a concomitant repentance, and a purpose of a new life. If therefore faith go before justification, as we have lately asserted; the same must be said of repentance, springing up together with it from the same

principle of spiritual life. [20.] III. Re- III. Further, this penitence and repentance pentance, whether it may be considered two ways: either as it is be consider

a privilege of the covenant of grace, and the ed as a privilege, or fruit of Christ's merits, and thus according a duty, is before ac

to the Divine dispensation, in the order of natual for ture at least, it goes before that other privi. giveness.

Note (20.1


lege of personal justification, and the actual CHAP. forgiveness of sins: or as it is man's duty, and so required by God as an act to be performed by him, in order to obtain pardon, not that it any how merits pardon, or gives any one a right to pardon; but that at least it shows the man that is effectually called and regenerated, is in that state to which alone pardon is promised.

IV. I rather choose to stop here, than to IV. trouble myself and others with the unprofitable subtleties of vexatious disputes. For in this manner, the highest honour is done both to the free grace of God, and to evangelical piety, and at the same time, the mouth of calumny is stopt.


The Explication of certain Paradoxes.

1. In what sense it may be said, that all sins are pardoned

at once, even those which are to come. II. That God sees no sin in believers. Ill. That there is no deformity of sin in them. IV. That no guilt is contracted by new sin. V. That they have no sins which waste the conscience: and that David did pot truly complain of the burden of sin lying on him. VI. That sin does them no hurt. VII. That neither is God offended with any sin of theirs. VIII. That confession is not necessary to obtain pardon. IX. As neither a sense of sin, nor humiliation of mind, X. Nor daily prayer.

THE last question now remains, where


in many things concur, which are not wont

to be heard, and which need the clearest ex. sense is it,plication, lest they be understood amiss. said that all sins, even

And the first indeed, that concerning the rethose mission of all sins at once, not only of the past which are future, are

and present, but also of the future, is abundantly pardoned clear of itself. For since all the sins of be

lievers were wholly translated to Christ, and he made satisfaction for them, hence, learned men, in their discourses, conclude with pro. priety, that in justification, which is the application of Christ's satisfaction, it is declared to believers that satisfaction has been made for all their sins, and consequently, that there are none at all, whether past, or to come,

at once.



which can be imputed to them for their con

СНАР. demnation. [21.] II. Balaam said, in so many words, that

II. That God does not behold iniquity in Jacob, nor God sees no see perverseness in Israel, Numb. xxxiii. 21. sin in beIn this sense, according to their judgment, God surely sees by his omniscience whatever is done amiss by any.

He sees also the sins of believers, as the sins of believers, inasmuch as they are committed by them: for whatever is true, God sees that it is true.

But at the same time, he does not see the sins of beļievers as the sins of believers, inasmuch as they

no more theirs, but Christ's, to whom they were imputed, and who hath now satisfied for them.

III. They suggest that the spot and deform. III. That ity of sin may be considered as twofold; ei-there is no

deformity ther in relation to sanctification, or to justifi- of sin in cation. They teach, that believers are so de-them. filed with it, under the first consideration, that even their best duties, if compared with the perfection of the Divine law, are nothing but dung. But in the last respect, since Christ took all sin from the elect upon himself, and rendered them pleasing and acceptable unto God, they deny that believers, by any pollution of their sins, become abominable to him, or fall from his justifying favour. IV. In one respect they affirm, and in an

IV. Tha

no guilt is other deny, that a justified man brings new contracted

by new sin,

Note [21.]

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