AN EXPOSITION OF THE 28. VERSE OF THE THIRD CHAP­TER OF THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. Wherein is manifestly proued the Doctrine of IVSTIFICATION by FAITH, and by Faith onely.

By FRANCIS BVNNY, one of the Prebendaries of the Cathedrall Church of DVRHAM.

Habac. 2.4.

The iust shall liue by his Faith.

LONDON Printed by William Stansby, for Henry Fetherstone. 1616.

TO THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD, MY VERY GOOD LORD, WILLIAM, LORD BISHOP of DVRHAM, F. B. wisheth most happy increase of all graces in this life, and end­lesse happinesse in the life to come.

HOw bad a guest sinne is, and how vnworthy to be in­tertayned in the house of our hearts, there is no man but will readily confesse, if he consider, first, how di­ligent it is to solicit and allure to euill, alwayes pro­uoking and intising to offend; and when it hath preuailed, how clamorous it is and ready to accuse vs, neuer suffe­ring vs to haue true peace and quietnesse, vntill by some meanes or other, we finde our selues reconciled to him against whom we haue offended. Neither by any other way can this atonement with God be wrought, so that our consciences may without feare stand before God,Rom. 3.25. but by him only whom God hath set forth to be a reconcilia­tion through faith in his bloud. He is called Iesus, Matt. 1.21. because he saueth his people from their sins. And,Rom. 5.1. we haue peace with God through Iesus Christ our Lord. Now this peace with God, which Christ by his death hath wrought, paying for a ran­some thereof, his precious bloud, is made to dwell in our hearts, by [Page 4] an assured faith, and stedfast apprehension of the mercies of God in Christ.

But the light of comfort which this most sweet doctrine should make to shine to such, as feeling the burden of their sinne, grone to bee eased of the same, is so dimmed and darkened by the clouds of Merits, and such Satisfactions as men haue deuised to blinde the eyes of the simple withall, that hardly they can finde that true con­solation. I therefore in two Sermons, preached at Durham, inde­uoured according to my small talent, to scatter those mists, and to make the Sunne of truth to shine to all such, as wilfully doe not winke against the same. Wherein how little soeuer I haue perfor­med, my indeuour was to take away some stumbling blocks (where­by the vnlearned haue beene somewhat hindered) that the truth might haue free passage. This short Treatise hath long lyen hid­den in corners, almost quite forgotten, at the least without any pur­pose that I had to publish the same, vntill a right Worshipfull friend thinking better thereof, then it was my part to doe, shewed himselfe very forward to furder the publishing of it. Seeing therefore it must come to light, I humbly intreat your Lordship, that it may goe forth vnder the shaddow of your protection, who haue most right thereto, not only in respect of your Honours diuers fauours shew­ed to my selfe, but because the Sermons were (long since) preached in your Cathedrall Church, perchance also in your owne hearing, at the least by one deuoted to your Lordship, who will pray the Father of all graces to inrich your Honour with his heauenly blessings, to the comfort of Gods Church, while here you liue, and in the end to your endlesse and vnspeakable ioy, in a better life.

Your Honours in all duety at commandement, FRA. BVNNY.

AN EXPOSITION OF IVSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

ROM. 3.28.

We conclude that a man is iustified by Faith, without the workes of the Law.

ALL knowledge of things godly, and necessary for this life of ours, is good and commen­dable: but none more needful for a Christian, either yet so comfortable for a wounded and afflicted conscience,The most needfull know­ledge. as that which teacheth vs, how, and by what meanes, wee may haue peace with God. For when without partiality we take a view of our selues, and consider duly of our owne waies (which thing we must doe, before we can haue true quietnesse at home in our own consciences, or perfect reconciliation with God) we cannot but see in our selues many wants and infirmities, often doing the euill we should not, omitting also and that not seldom, the good duties which we should performe: alwaies wanting that cheerefulnesse, alacritie, and sinceritie in the good things we inde­uour or take in hand, which must by Christ, season our worke, and make it acceptable to God. In regard of so manifold imperfecti­ons, how shall we be able with confidence and assurance, to stand before that iust Iudge, who also seeth the very secret of our harts, and searcheth our hidden thoughts (and therefore before him, euen the least and most vnknowne offence lyeth open) vnlesse we know assuredly that our atonement is made?

The Apostle S. Paul, as in many other places, so in these wordes also, preacheth vnto vs most plainely, the meanes of our atone­ment, and how it cōmeth to passe that we are reconciled to God, [Page 6] and (as I may say) friended with him. But Satan, that ancient ene­mie to mankind,Satans in­deuour to darken this do­ctrine. who seeketh, and that most greedily, the destruc­tion of our body & soule, by his instruments in the Popish Church, indeuoureth to dimme this Sunne-shine, that we should not inioy that sweet comfort: and to put this candle vnder the bushell of violent and false interpretations; lest the light thereof, shining in the house of God, should discouer the absurditie of their errors. I therefore will assay (as God shall inable me) to put this candle in a candle-sticke, Mat. 5.15. that it may giue light to the whole house of God, by free­ing it from their wrested glosses.

To come then roundly to the matter, the difference between vs and our aduersaries concerning these words, standeth especially in two points: The one is the interpretation and meaning of the wordes themselues: for the other, they much mislike the Conclu­sion (of our iustification by Faith only) which out of the wordes we gather. Therefore will I (by Gods assistance) first, iustifie our exposition, then also our conclusion. Which that I may more fully performe, I purpose in the third place to answere the principall obiections that they haue out of Gods word, whereby these seeke to impugne our doctrine.

Iustifying, what it signifieth.And first this word of iustifying, our aduersaries following that sense which the Latine word may yeeld, as if iustificare, to iustifie, must be to make righteous, doe take it for an inherent righteous­nesse: as if the Apostle had said, By faith we are inabled to liue ho­lily, and to haue increase in righteousnesse. True it is, I confesse, that our gracious God, of his infinite goodnesse and mercy, wor­keth in vs holinesse also,Act. 15 9. Hebr. 11.6. and godlinesse, Purifying our hearts by Faith, without which it is impossible to please God; and therefore iu­stification in that sense, we denie not, but willingly acknowledge it to be an effect of Faith, and that all our goodnesse groweth from it, as the fruit from the roote, and heat and light from the Sunne: but the question which is now to be answered, is, how the word (iustified) must here in these wordes of S. Paul be taken?

Phil. 3.5.I say then, it is most likely that S. Paul, being of the kindred of Israel, of the tribe of Beniamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrewes, as hee was best acquainted with the Hebrew phrase, so he would rather vse it then the Latine. Nay, this is more then likely, because in this very Chapter before, he hath vsed this very word according to the Hebrew phrase, and in that sense, that it hath commonly in the [Page 7] Scripture, as our aduersaries themselues must needes confesse, in his allegation out of the 51. Psalme. It is therefore very absurd,Rom. 3.4. that our aduersaries, to confirme their sense of this word, are for­ced so to vnderstand it, as it is neuer, or at the least very seldome vnderstood in the Scripture, so that hardly they can alleage any testimonies, where of necessitie it must bee taken in their sense: whereas we are able to bring very many, which they confesse must haue our sense.

Another absurditie I find in their interpretation,Iustifica­tion and sanctifica­tion, con­founded by the Popish in­terpreta­tion. that they con­found these two notable benefits which we haue by Christ: that is, our iustification, & our sanctification. Of the first he speaketh in this place, & to the end of the fift Chap: and of the latter he begins to speake in the sixt Chap. as (to the end I need not stand long in proofe hereof) Tho. of Aquine (whom, I know, our aduersaries wil trust in a greater matter then this is) shall testifie for vs in these wordes: After the Apostle hath shewed, that by the grace of Christ we are freed from sinnes past; Tho. Aquin. in Rom. 6. Lec. 1. as well that which hath beene brought in by the first man as that which by the Law aboundeth: here he sheweth, that by the grace of Christ, power is giuen vs to resist sinne afterward. And this he teacheth, entring into his exposition vpon the sixt Chap­ter of this Epistle to the Romans, prouing directly that which I haue said. Now, the confounding of these two benefits, which the Apostle here and else-where distinguisheth, is very absurd.

But here by the way I would aske a question of our Romish Masters, what they thinke of these wordes of their Angellical Do­ctor? For if it be true that he saith, as it is indeed most true, and well warranted by the Word it selfe: then is it most false that our aduersaries here say, that the Apostle speaketh of an inherent righ­teousnesse, which I thus proue; Inherent righteousnesse is for the auoiding of sinne to come, but the Apostle speaketh not of the a­uoiding of sinne to come, before the beginning of the sixt Chap­ter: therefore, before the beginning of the sixt Chapter, he spea­keth not of inherent righteousnesse. The Minor, which is onely by them to be denyed, is taken out of the words of Tho. Aquinas.

Besides these absurdities, we haue strong arguments, whereby to refell their interpretation. As first,The Apo­stles mea­ning. the intent and meaning of the Apostle, who from the 16. verse of the first Chapter, vnto these words, proueth, that all both Iewes and Gentiles stand in need of the mercy of God, because they are all found guiltie before him. [Page 8] The Gentiles not hauing the Law written,All are sinners. yet had such light of nature shining in their heart, as taught them so far forth to know what was good, and what was bad, that they had their thoughts accusing one another when they did euill, or excusing, if they liued according to that knowledge. But they walked not after that light, neither followed that which their owne conscience told them was good; [...]m. 2.15. they shewed not in their life the effect of the Law written in their hearts: but might say with that vnhappy woman MEDEA, Video meliora probo (que), deteriora s [...]quor: I see and approue that which is better, I follow that which is worse.

As for the Iewes, among whom were the Lawes of God writ­ten in tables of stone, and that they might neuer bee vnmindfull thereof, they had their Priests for an ordinarie meane of their in­struction, yea the Prophets also as Gods extraordinary remem­brancers, to put them in remembrance of their duty, and of Gods Law; they, I say, who had greater helps to haue beene better; yet liued so little according to that Law, that the Apostle thus chargeth them,Rom. 2.24. Rom. 3.20. The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles for you. Hereupon the Apostle thus concludeth, That by the works of the Law, shall no flesh be iustified in Gods sight.

Vers. 23.But the Apostle hauing thus proued, that all haue sinned, and are depriued of the glory of God, will not leaue vs in that vncomfor­table case, but sheweth by and by how we are deliuered. And as he hath taught vs, that all both Iewes, and Gentiles, are transgres­sors of the Law, and by transgression guiltie: so now most com­fortably he declareth, how we shall be acquitted of our transgres­sion,Our deli­uery from sinne. that we may plead not guilty. The question then being, how we being breakers of Gods Law, may appeare before our God, and with confidence, and plead not guilty. This we can neuer doe by any inherent righteousnesse, no goodnesse, no holinesse, that in this vale of misery, while wee carry about vs this lumpe of sin­full flesh, wee can attayne vnto, may acquire vs before God, but this must be by faith in Iesus Christ, as the Apostle teacheth. Now by this it is plaine enough, that the Apostle saying wee are iusti­fied by Faith, and bringing this as the conclusion of all his former discourse, should speake nothing to the purpose, if he would here tell vs how we may liue righteously, who must rather teach vs how we may be freed from the danger, wherein hee hath proued that all men are.

And as the Apostle had in these words no meaning to shew how wee are inabled to walke in holinesse (for of that he meaneth after­ward to speake, as before I shewed) so the words themselues doe sufficiently confute our aduersaries, as by this argument may bee proued. The Apostle speaketh in these words, of such Iustificati­on, as is not gotten or had by workes:Not by workes. but the Iustification in the Popish sence is only by workes, therefore the Popish Iustification is not that which the Apostle mentioneth. The Maior is plaine by the words of this text. A man is iustified without workes. The Minor they will not deny. For that increase of righteousnesse, which our aduersaries so much speake of, is nothing else,2. Pe [...] but to ioyne vertue with faith, and with vertue knowledge, and with knowledge tempe­rance, and with temperance patience, and with patience godlinesse, and with godlinesse brotherly kindnesse, and with brotherly kindnesse loue. Such a continuall labouring to be adorned with all goodnesse,Good workes ne­cessarie. is the Iustification, that is by inherent righteousnesse. This, I confesse, is a goodly ornament vnto a Christian. But if wee looke well a­bout vs, we shall find it too short to couer our imperfections, and therefore must wee seeke otherwise to appeare righteous before God, namely, in the righteousnesse of Iesus Christ, by whom wee haue forgiuenesse of sinnes. And whereas the Apostle denyed that wee are iustified by workes, would you not thinke hee spoke very absurdly, to take this word as the Romish Church vnderstandeth it? For to say a man is made godly without good workes (and this they must say) is as if I should affirme, any thing to be burnt in the fire, without heate.

Againe, Iustification in our aduersaries sence is alwayes in do­ing. For it is our regeneration or new birth, our renouation or sanctification, which can neuer bee perfected, so long as wee are in this flesh, and carry about with vs this bodie subiect to sinne. Heere wee are militant and striuing, after, wee must looke for the crowne. Heere we are Pilgrimes, after this wee shall be Citizens, and rest in ioy. For now wee know but in part, wee prophecie in part: 1. Cor. 13.9, 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be abolished. And as our knowledge is but in part, euen so, yea much more is our obedience heere very maimed and vnperfect. That Paul himselfe confesseth, Our inward man is renewed daily (sayth he.2. Cor. 4.16.) And hee whose prayse is in the Scripture for wisdome, doth verie aptly liken, the way of the righteous to the morning, Pro. 4.18. that shineth as [Page 10] the light, that shineth more and more, vnto the perfect day. By which fit similitude Salomon setteth forth vnto vs, the continuall increase in godlinesse, that an inherent righteousnesse (that I may so terme our maimed and vnperfect obedience) can bring forth. Saint Ber­nard pithily and prettily expresseth as much, comparing man in respect of his fall, vnto one that falleth vpon a heape of stones and in the myre too.Bernardus de Coena Domini. Cecidimus super aceruum lapidum (sayth he) & in luto; vnde non solum inquinati, sed etiam vulnerati, & grauiter quas­sati sumus: lauari quidem cito possuinus; ad sanandum vero opus est curatione multa. We haue falne vpon a heape of stones and in the mire; so as wee are not only defiled, but wounded also and sore bruised. Wee may quickly be washt, but to heale vs there must bee long time. By wa­shing away our myre, he meaneth our Iustification, which he saith may soone be, but by healing our wounded and bruised nature, he vnderstandeth our sanctification,Aug. de Trinit. lib. 14. cap. 17. which is long in doing. There­fore most truly, sayth Saint Augustine, Sanè renouatio ista non fit in momento: Truly this renewing or new birth is not wrought of a sudden.

And now to adde an Assumption to that proposition, that righ­teousnesse of which Saint Paul speaketh,Iustificati­on already perfited. Rom. 5.1. is alreadie in them that are iustified: We are iustified (sayth hee) as speaking of a thing al­readie perfited: as also elsewhere, being iustified by faith, wee haue peace with God. The same Apostle telling the Corinthians, that For­nicatours, Idolaters, &c. shall not inherit the Kingdom of God: & apply­ing this vnto them,1. Cor. 6.11. saith, Such were some of you, but you are iustified. These reasons then being wel considered of, giue vs to vnderstand, that there is so great difference betweene that sence of this word Iustification which our aduersaries would haue, and that which is agreeable to the Apostles meaning, as that their exposition of this word heere, cannot be good and true.

But as I mislike (and that iustly) of that they teach; so is it need­ful I should shew what is the true meaning of this word. We seeke no strange signification of the word, neyther force it to any other, then that in the Scriptures most commonly it hath, and most pro­perly belongeth vnto it. This I might proue by infinite testimo­nies: I will produce but some few. Hee that iustifieth the wicked (sayth Salomon) and hee that condemneth the iust, Prou. 17.15 euen they both are abomination vnto the Lord. In like sort in Esay, God by that Pro­phet denounceth,Esa. 5.23. Woe to them that iustifie the wicked. I know, our aduersaries will not say, that woe shall be to them that shall make [Page 11] a wicked man righteous, and reforme his vngodlinesse: but to such as call euill good, or good euill. Esay 5 20. The Prophet Dauid acknow­ledgeth his sinnes to be verie great, that GODS faithfulnesse in shewing mercie to him, may bee confessed, that thou (sayth hee) maist be iustified in thy sayings: which words the Apostle in this ve­rie Chapter alleadgeth, as before is said. But that God standeth in need to be iustified in the Popish sence, our aduersaries dare not for shame say. To be short, the Prophet Dauid prayeth thus. En­ter not into iudgement with thy seruants, O Lord: for in thy sight, shall no man liuing be iustified. In all which and infinite moe places that I might produce, the word iustifying is so taken, as that a man is absolued or acquited, that hee is pronounced not guiltie: and so must it in these words be vnderstood, when the Apostle sayth, wee are iustified by faith, that is, by faith wee stand before GOD, and may plead, not guiltie.

For confirmation of that which I haue said, I vse this argument. Saint Paul speaketh heere of such Iustification,Iustificati­on bring­eth peace. Rom. 5.1. as maketh vs to haue peace with God. For so are the words of the Apostle, Being iustifi'd by faith, wee haue peace with God: But Iustification in the Popish sence maketh vs not to haue peace with GOD, and in our sence it bringeth peace with God: therefore Saint Paul speaketh not of Iustificatiō in the Popish sence, but in ours. My Minor only is to be proued: (for I haue alreadie shewed that the Apostle auer­reth the Maior) and that hath two parts, the one negatiue, where­in I deny Iustification in their sence to bring peace with God: the other affirmatiue, that in our sence it doth.

That Iustification, as it is a doing of good workes, and a liuing righteously, so farre forth as mans frailetie will permit, (which is the sence that our aduersaries say belongs to this word heere) can­not procure our peace with God, I proue, because the perfection of the Law which wee are commanded to obserue and keepe, is such as man can neuer attaine to the fulfilling thereof.None can fulfill the Law. For who is hee that can so rule his affections by the Spirit, that hee can in all sincerity and soundnesse serue the Lord? Not any Man, but Christ, could euer doe it, as the godly most plainely confesse. The reason is, because the Law commandeth perfection, and our weakenesse is not able to performe it. The Apostle teacheth vs so much, say­ing: It was impossible for the Law, in as much as it was weake, Rom. 8.2.3. because of the flesh, to free vs from the Law of sinne or of death. If then our [Page 12] obedience be so vnperfit, can wee hope to finde quietnesse in our consciences, and peace with GOD, when wee shall stand before him, who because he is infinite in wisedome, seeth all things, bee they done neuer so secretly or in the darke, yea, hee heareth what we whisper in the eare, and knoweth the most secret thoughts of the heart: and because he is iust, will punish transgressors, and in that he is Almightie, is able to take vengeance? No, no, our best workes can in this case giue vs no securitie. Then by inherent righteousnesse we haue not peace with God.

But that knowing our selues to bee acquited of our sinnes, wee haue peace with GOD (and in that sence wee take this word of iustifying) it is most plaine.Sinne hin­dreth our peace with God. For first, the thing that hindreth this our peace, is sinne: sinne, I say, that naughtie and noy­some neighbour, euen the worst neighbour that any man can dwell with. It neuer resteth but eyther by faire meanes or foule, it intiseth to consent to it.Rom. 7.23. For what else is that Law that Paul did see in his mēbers, rebelling against the Law of his mind, and leading him captiue vnto the law of sinne, which was in his members? And when it hath preuailed,Psal. 51.3. it is euer before vs as a seruant of God complaineth, neither will it let vs take any rest,Gen. 4.7. it lyeth at the doore of our con­science, alwaies accusing, and bawling against vs. And marke I pray you what sowre fruit this bitter roote yeeldeth: It maketh a breach betweene God and vs, as the Prophet Esay telleth Gods people in his dayes:Esa. 59.2. Your sinnes haue separated betweene you and your God, and your iniquities haue hidden his face from you, that hee will not heare. And by that meanes wee are depriued of many blessings, which GOD vseth to bestow vpon his seruants, as ano­ther of the Prophets also saith to the Iewes:Ier. 5.25. Your iniquities haue turned away these things (speaking of raine in due season, and the appointed time of haruest) and your sinnes haue hindered good things from you. Leuit. 26. Deut. 8. And yet by sinne, wee haue greater hurt then this. For God denounceth many plagues against his people if they trans­gresse, which also, that he can powre vpon the inhabitants of the earth, when in his iust iudgement hee will execute the same, the drowning of the World in that generall deluge, and the casting of fire and brimstone from Heauen vpon those wicked Cities of the plaine, and the rooting out of that Nation, which he did chuse to serue him, doth sufficiently teach vs. Vntill then, sinne so odious to GOD, so grieuous vnto men, bee taken away, it is impossible [Page 13] there should be any true quietnesse or peace vnto men. For GOD often telleth his people, howsoeuer they would flatter themselues in their owne strength or in the friendship of their confederates, or in their externall ceremonies and seruice of GOD in outward shew; That there is no peace to the wicked: Esa. 48.22. Esa. 50.11. Psal. 14.5. 1. Thess. 5. [...] but they shall lye downe in sorrow, and feare where no feare is, because they haue promised to themselues, peace and safetie, without this atonement with God. Out of all which it doth appeare, that if wee will haue peace with God, we must first haue sinne, this cumbersome neighbour, remo­ued, which altogether hindereth this reconciliation, whereby we haue quietnesse of consciences.

Therefore the Apostle telleth vs,Rom. 3.24.25. that Wee are iustified freely by Gods grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus, whom God hath set forth to bee a reconciliation through faith in his bloud, Reconci­liation with God by for­giuenesse of sinne. Act. 13.38. Ephes. 1.7. to de­clare his righteousnesse by the forgiuenesse of sinnes that are past, through the patience of God. And the same Apostle preaching at Antioch, teacheth this Iustification in these words: Men & brethren through this man is preached vnto you forgiuenesse of sinnes, as also elsewhere, By Christ we haue redemption through his bloud, the forgiuenesse of sinnes, according to his rich grace. Which great and inestimable be­nefit whoso feeleth, hath to his vnspeakeable comfort, a most sweet tast of that blessednes which the Apostle out of the Prophet Dauid mentioneth. Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiuen, Ps. 32.1, 2. Rom. 4.7. S. Aug. de verb. Dom. Serm. 61. Hieron. in Rom. 4. or whose sinnes are couered: Blessed is the man, to whom the Lord impu­teth not sinne. Fide viuenti (sayth Saint Augustine) soluuntur pec­cata: He who liueth by faith, hath his sinnes forgiuen him. And Saint Hierome hauing written thus, Per solam fidem iustificat Deus: God by faith only doth iustifie, doth after shew how this iustification is, and in what manner: Proposuit per solam fidem peccata dimittere: He purposed to forgiue sinnes by faith only. And thus by forgiue­nesse of sinnes, the cause of this dangerous iarre betweene GOD and vs being taken away, we haue boldnesse to cal him Father, and to stand before him pleading not guiltie.

But God gaue a Law to his people,Exo. 23.15. Good workes. That none should appeare be­fore the Lord emptie. So that being now freed from sinne: yet must we be fraught and loden with holinesse and righteousnesse. Well therefore doth Saint Peter out of the Psalme conioyne these two precepts, Eschew euill, doe good. Psa. 34.14. 1. Pet. 3.11. But where shall this goodnesse be had? Or how shall wee get any thing, that may bee acceptable to [Page 14] God? Our light is but darkenesse, our righteousnesse, but as stai­ned clothes. And when we haue indeuoured our selues as much as we are able to serue the Lord, yet shall we find many wants, much imperfection. It is therefore good, we doe as did Bernard, who of himselfe thus writeth:Ber. in Can­tic. ser. 61. Christ a­lone sup­plyeth all our wants. Ego vero fidenter quod ex me mihi deest, vsur­po mihi ex visceribus Domini, quia misericordia affluunt; nec desunt fo­ramina per quae effluant. I (sayth Bernard) doe boldly take out of the bowels of the Lord that which I want of mine owne; because they a­bound with mercie, neyther want they holes by which they may gush out. And after he addeth what holes these are; Foderunt manus cius, & pedes eius, latusque lancea forauerunt, & per has rimas licet mihi su­gere mel de petra, oleumque de saxo durissimo, id est, gustare & videre quàm suauis est Dominus: Psal. 21.16. They haue pierced mine hands and my feet, and haue opened my side with a speare, and by these rifts, I may sucke hony out of the rocke, and oyle out of the hardest stone, that is, I may taste and see how sweet the Lord is.

And we may with the greater boldnesse claime this righteous­nesse that is in Christ, because that wee being by faith made one with Christ,Imputatiō of Christs iustice. and married vnto him, hee by right of marriage, is made partaker of our sinnes, to ease vs of the heauie weight of that burden: and we in regard thereof too, haue an interest in his righteousnesse.1. Cor. 1.30. For he is made vnto vs of God, wisedome and righ­teousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption. Which imputation of Christs righteousnesse, howsoeuer our aduersaries doe much mis­like;Rom. 4.3.22 Rom. 4 5.24 yet Abraham had it, and it is a righteousnesse that belong­eth to all that beleeue. Saint Bernard, though he saw not all things, yet he saw much sweetnesse in this most comfortable doctrine, so much condemned in the Romish Church. [...]er. Epi. 90. Assignata est (sayth hee) homini aliena iustitia, qui caruit sua; Anothers righteousnesse is assig­ned to man, for that he wanted his owne. And a little after: Cur non aliunde iustitiae quum aliunde reatus? Why may not we haue righteous­nesse from another, seeing guiltinesse is from another? Againe, Tu­tior est mihi donata, quam iuuata, That which is giuen mee, is safer then that which is bred in mee. And thus I trust I haue sufficiently proued, that sinne being abolished, and the condemnation there­of taken away; and we appearing before God in Christ his righ­teousnesse,Gen. 27.27. which is vnto vs as Esaus garment which was vnto I­saak of a sweet fauour; we, I say, stand as not guiltie, and haue peace with God, Rom. 5.1. through Iesus Christ our Lord.

The second difference, betweene our Aduersaries and vs, is of the word Faith. For explanation whereof,What faith is meant. I will not enter into con­sideration of all the significations that this word hath, but onely search how in these wordes it must be taken. Our aduersaries say, it is Assensus solum firmus & certus, Bellar. de Justific. l. 1 cap. 5. ad ea omnia quae Deus credenda proponit: A constant and sure assent only, vnto all things which God would haue vs beleeue. This is the faith that our Aduersaries say, S. Paul speaketh of, when he telleth vs, we are iustified by faith.

Stapleton our Countriman, indeuoureth out of S. Augustine, Stap. An­tid. in Rom. [...].17. [...]ug. de [...]ir. & lit. cap. 32. To be­leeue God to proue the sufficiency of this definition. And to this end he allea­geth these wordes: Nulli dubtum est eam fidem commendari ab Apo­stolo qua creditur Deo: No doubt the Apostle commendeth that faith whereby we beleeue God. These wordes, wee confesse, are S. Augu­stines, and, as he speaketh them, most true: but by Stapleton wre­sted from their right and naturall sense. For whereas in the for­mer Chapter this Father had spoken of two kinds of Faith,Cap. 31. To be­leeue in God. the one whereby we beleeue God, the other wherby we beleeue in God: now in this Chapter he intreateth first of the former, commending such as beleeue God, and that which hee teacheth, rather then o­ther Masters. And that this is Augustines meaning, himselfe can best tell.Cap. 32. We must inquire (saith this Father) what faith the Apostle so greatly commendeth, for euery beleeuing is not good. For whence is that; Brethren, beleeue not euery spirit, but try the spirit, 1. Ioh. 4.1. whether it be of God? And so he goeth forward, to proue that euery doctrine is not to be beleeued, and thereupon affirmeth, by way of conclu­sion, that which Stapleton alleageth, that the Apostle commendeth the faith, whereby we beleeue that God saith. But after, remem­bring that S. Iames commandeth to aske in faith, Iam. 1.6. of that faith he saith, This is the faith whereby the iust man liueth; This is the faith whereby a man beleeueth in God, who iustifieth the wicked. And thus wee see how vntruly Stapleton dealeth, in the allegation of his proofe, out of Augustine, for to iustifie their definition of faith.

But against this their definition of iustifying faith,The Po­pish defi­nition a­greeth not to iu­stifying faith only. we haue di­uers reasons. For first, the rules of Logicke teach vs, that in all definitions wee must take heed, that the definition extend no fur­der, then to the thing that is defined, and therefore are such diffe­rences therein to be vsed, as may distinguish that which we would define, from all other things: for otherwise a man shall not know by the definition, what a thing is, and so the definition shall not [Page 16] doe that, for which end only it is made. But this their definition of iustifying faith, extendeth further then to the thing defined. For it comprehendeth the faith which may be, and is in many wicked ones, who neither are, nor euer shall be iustified, because euen they may assent to all the articles of Religion, as daily experience pro­ueth sufficiently.

August. de verb. Dom. ser. 61. S. Augustine, besides the place before alleaged, elsewhere also speaketh of two sorts of faith, the one is to beleeue God, the o­ther to beleeue in God. But in his Sermons of the time, he men­tioneth three kinds of beleeuing.August. de Temp. ser. 181. Hebr. 11.6. First, to beleeue that God is, and this is one step to God, as the Apostle to the Hebrewes teach­eth vs: He that commeth to God, must beleeue that God is. The second is to beleeue God, that is to say, that which God teacheth, and this S. Augustine doth worthily commend (as is said) but yet of it he affirmeth,August. de Temp. ser. 181. that credere vera esse quae loquitur multi & mali possint: Many, euen euill men, may beleeue it is true that God speaketh. Now the third sort is of such as beleeue in God, which onely is that which in the Creede we confesse, and is auaileable to iustification euen by Augustines iudgement, as whoso readeth his words, must needes acknowledge.

Now our aduersaries rest but vpon the second sort of belee­uing, and seeke no further. Which is much like as if a sicke man should be perswaded, that a Physicion hath skill enough to helpe him, and the Apothecary hath drugs enow to doe him good, but reapeth not the fruit of the Physicions counsell, nor getteth any good of the Apothecaries store, because he neither followeth the Physicions counsell, nor receiueth any medicine from the Apothe­cary. For such a generall perswasion, without a particular appli­cation, profiteth little. For this assent, which is in their faith, must not be cordis & voluntatis, Bellar. de Iustific. l. 1. c. 4 & 5. of the heart or will, as Bellarmine vn­truly teacheth vs, and others too, but only mentis & intellectus: Of the minde or vnderstanding: in so much as he maketh the minde or vnderstanding, to be the seat of faith, noting it for a second point of difference, betweene vs and them, that wee say faith is in the heart, which they deny, and place it only in the minde. But if in the heart it bee not, then can it not haue the application that I spoke of.

Faith must bee in the heart.Against this their opinion, I thus reason: Iustifying faith is in the heart: Popish faith is not in the heart: therefore, Popish faith [Page 17] is not that iustifying faith. My Minor is the doctrine of the Pa­pists, and of Bellarmine among other, as is said before. The Maior, or first proposition, S. Paul will proue for me sufficiently, so that it may not be denyed.Rom. 10 10 Gal. 4.6. With the heart a man beleeueth vnto righte­ousnesse. What can be more plaine? Because you are sonnes (saith the same Apostle elsewhere) God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Sonne into your hearts. And what worketh it thereby? The Apostle tel­leth vs: Whereby wee cry Abba, Father. And how learne wee this lesson of the Spirit? First, the Spirit teacheth vs to beleeue, and to haue confidence, and then this faith bringeth forth prayer as a fruit. For, How shall they call on him in whom they haue not beleeued? Rom. 10.14 The Eunuch, after Philip had instructed him in the faith, asked, if he might not be baptized? Philip made answere:Act. 8.37, 38. If thou beleeuest with all thine heart, thou maist. Arator therefore, a Christian Poet, who wrote about 1100. yeeres since, hath these wordes:Arator in Act. lib. 2. Corde salus credentis erit, confessio voce: In the heart, is the saluation of the beleeuer, the confession is in the mouth. To be short, vnfaithfulnesse is by the Apostle assigned to the heart:Hebr. 3.12 Take heed brethren (saith he) lest there be in any of you at any time an euill heart and vnfaithfull, to depart away from the liuing God; therefore, by the Law of con­traries, faith must be in the heart too.

A third fault, that I find, with this definition, is, that they say, it is assensus solùm: An assent onely, No true faith with­out know­ledge. Bellar. de Iustific. l. 1. cap. 7. as before out of Bellarmine I shewed; whereby their meaning is to exclude knowledge, as a thing nothing at all required in faith. In so much as Bellarmine shameth not to affirme, that fides melius per ignorantiam quàm per notitiam definitur: Faith is better defined by ignorance, then by know­ledge. But herein the common prouerbe is verified, plus vident o­culi quàm oculus: Mo eyes see more then one. For the Vniuersity of Colen, in their Censure,Censur. Co­lon. explic. Dial. 4. written against Monhemius (though they were Papists, and in other points aduersaries to the truth) yet in this write farre otherwise then Bellarmine doth: Fidei ratio in fir­ma notitia consistit: The definition (say they) of faith, standeth vpon firme knowledge. We cannot herein speake more contrary to Bellar­mine, then they haue done.

Yet, true it is, that Bellarmine in the Booke and Chapter, last alleaged by mee, granteth, that in faith there is a kinde of know­ledge; for, he saith there are in him, that beleeueth, two things, Bellar. de Iustif. l. 1. c. 7 assent and apprehension, which apprehension, he saith, is notitia rudis & [Page 18] confusa: A rude and confused knowledge. A knowledge, belike, such as his sight was,Mar. 8.24. who saw men walking like trees, sauing, that this knowledge is not like to bring forth so good an effect, as his vn­perfit sight did.25. For, he soone after was restored to his sight, and saw euery man a farre off cleerely: but they who seeke for faith in this confused knowledge, shall neuer finde it.

An vn­knowing knowledge the Papists brag of.And if you desire to know what this confused knowledge is, wherewith they content themselues; you may giue a great ghesse thereof, by that which they tell vs of the Colliars faith, holden for a true faith in the Romish Church, commended by Staphilus that slanderous Apostata, approued also by Stapleton, who transla­ted that idle pamphlet.Staphilus his Apo­logie. The Colliar told the Deuill, he beleeued as the Church beleeueth, and the Church beleeued as he did. But further, what the Church beleeued or himselfe either, he could not tell. This is that confused knowledge then, that they would, men should content themselues withall; to bee able to speake of the Church in generall, but not of the particular doctrine thereof, to call God Father, but not to know by what meanes hee is our Fa­ther: to say, wee beleeue in Iesus Christ, not vnderstanding any thing of his person, or office. And thus, not to know how to ap­ply vnto our selues, the comfort of these, or any other generall points, is a found faith with our great Masters of Rome. But though Staphilus say, the Deuill was ouercome with that answere, and put to flight: yet, sure I am, that God requireth greater knowledge, and therefore giueth his word, and appointeth his ministerie for the instruction of his people.A particu­lar know­ledge is needfull. Exod. 12.26. Neither did Moses suppose such a generall knowledge would serue the turne, when hee so straitly chargeth the Israelites, to instruct their children in the true cause of their feast of Passeouer. When your children (saith he) aske you what seruice is this you keepe; Then shall yee say, It is the sacrifice of the Lords Passeouer, 27. which passed ouer the houses of the children of Is­rael in Aegypt, when he smote the Aegyptians, & preserued our houses. Ioshua also thought it not enough, that Gods people should haue a generall perswasion, that God was good, but hee tooke order, that his particular benefits should bee remembred euen of their children.Iosh. 4.6, 7. And when Ioshua would that Moses should forbid El­dad and Medad, Num. 11.29 to prophecie in the Host, Moses answered, Would God that all the Lords people were Prophets, and the Lord would put his Spirit vpon them, wishing a more speciall knowledge vnto them, [Page 19] then was ordinary among Gods people. And the Apostle prayeth, that the Colossians may be fulfilled with knowledge of Gods will in all wisedome and spirituall vnderstanding. He addeth his reason,Coloss. 1.9. that you may walke worthy of the Lord, and please him in all things: 10. giuing vs thereby to vnderstand, that without particular knowledge of his will, in all things we cannot please him. But, what stand I vpon this point? Doth not Saint Peter (who they say was the first Pope, and therefore that he commandeth, they will confesse must bee o­beyed) require such knowledge in euery Christian,1. Pet. 3.15. that they may be readie to giue answere to euery man, that asketh a reason of the hope that is in them? Shall wee then content our selues against so many expresse testimonies of the word, with that rude and confused knowledge of Bellarmines, or the Colliars faith, so well liked of Staphilus?

But what reason haue they so to reioyce in this dimme light,Why this generall knowlege is so prai­sed of Pa­pists. Ioh. 3 20. like such as haue sore eies, and therefore hang something before them, to keepe the brightnesse of the light from them? Our Sauiour Christ yeeldeth the reason in these words, Euery man that doth e­uill, hateth the light, neither commeth to the light, lest his deedes should be reprooued. Our aduersaries teach so many doctrines which can­not abide the light of the word, and touchstone of truth: they haue deuised, and daily doe deuise, so many fruitlesse workes, and blind deuotions, so many false and wil-worshippings, and super­stitious seruices, repugnant to the Sacred Scriptures, and so little sauouring of that obedience, that is, eyther commended in the godly, or commaunded in the word: that to cloke the wickednesse and abomination in many, but folly and vanitie in the best of these their deuices, they are forced to tell the people, that ignorance is the mother of Deuotion (for so they may lead them into a very dungeon of Superstition) and that a folded vp faith, is good e­nough for them;Stapl. Anti­dot. in Act. 16.31. Nec aliam simplex & idiota Christianus habere te­netur; neither is a simple and vnlearned Christian bound to haue any other faith. Is not this the way to make fooles and idiots of Chri­stians? This, this, I say, is the way to cast men into a gulfe of Ido­latries,Mat. 23.15. and to make men two-fold more the children of hell then you are. And then with, an Iöpoean, you reioyce, that Ignorance hath hatched many Deuotions. A mother worthie of such badde Daughters.

Now, this assent being proued to bee no true iustifying faith [Page 20] (for thereby wee only beleeue that which God teacheth, not in God, as in our Creed we professe) let vs step a little forward, and see what this faith is, which we affirme doth iustifie. And if wee rightly consider thereof,True faith. we shall find two things necessarie for one that beleeueth; the one is Knowledge, the other is the Application of that our knowledge.Know­ledge. That knowledge is necessarie to attaine to faith, if we had no other proofe, yet this were sufficient, that God vseth so many wayes for the instruction of his people, that by Ig­norance they should not erre. Hee giueth his Law to bee a rule of life and Religion, appointeth his Priests to teach the same, and to supply their negligence, hee sendeth his Prophets, extraordinary Messengers, to iogge his people vpon the elbow, so putting them in minde when they did amisse. And hath hee not ordained the Ministerie,Ephes. 4.13 1. Cor. 14.26. that wee may meete together in the vnitie of faith and knowledge of the Sonne of God? The sundry gifts that GOD hath giuen vnto his Church, ought all to bee imployed to the edifying thereof.Luk. 1.17. Iohn the Baptists office was, to make readie a people prepa­red for the Lord, as the Angell doth foreshew, or as Zacharie his father sayth,Luk. 1.76. To prepare the way of the Lord, that is, to make men fit to beleeue in Christ. And how doth he execute this his function? E­uen by giuing knowledge of saluation vnto Gods people, 77. by the remissi­on of their sinnes. Our Sauiour Christ thus speaketh vnto the Iewes.Ioh. 10.38. If I doe (the workes of my Father) then though you be­leeue not mee, beleeue the workes, that ye may know and beleeue. As if he would say, Vnlesse you know, you cannot beleeue; and there­fore consider of my workes, that you may know, and so beleeue. To this purpose also,Act. 15.7. is that which Saint Peter said: Among vs (the Apostles) God chose out me, that the Gentiles by my mouth should heare the word of the Gospell and beleeue. Now, it is most plaine, that men heare (vnlesse they bee such forgetfull hearers as S. Iames mis­liketh) that they may know,Iam. 1.24. and so beleeue. But that I may bee short, Knowledge is so necessarie for such as beleeue, as that it is taken for faith it selfe, and that by one that did know better how to speake of these matters,Ioh. 17.3. then all our Romish Rabbies. This is life eternall (sayth Christ) to know thee to bee the only very God, mea­ning, that it is life eternall to beleeue God, to bee the only verie God, and whom hee had sent, Iesus Christ: and such speeches are common in the Scripture.

But as meate how good so euer nourisheth not, but such as eate [Page 21] it: and Physicke, be it neuer so medicinable, helpeth not but such as receiue it: Euen so,Applicati­on, second thing re­quired in faith. if this knowledge be not applyed to the grieued or wounded conscience, the offendour shall neuer haue peace with God therby. The Apostle hauing handled at the ful the example of Abra­ham, and set forth his constant faith, with the comfortable effect it had, That it was imputed to him for righteousnesse, Rom. 4.22.23.24. then teacheth vs by application what vse we must make thereof: It was not written for him only, that it was imputed to him for righteousnesse; but also for vs to whom it shall be imputed, which beleeue in him, who raysed vp Ie­sus our Lord from the dead. Notably for this point,Benard. de Annunt. Serm. 1. Saint Bernard writeth. Si credas peccata tua non posse deleri, nisi ab illo cui soli pec­casti, & in quem peccata non cadunt, bene facis: If thou beleeue thy sinnes cannot be done away, but by him against whom thou hast only sin­ned, and who himselfe is not subiect to sinne, thou dost well. Here is a good and a Christian knowledge: now marke what vse wee must make of it. Sed adde adhuc (sayth he in that verie place) vt & hoc credas, quia per ipsum peccata tibi donantur. Hoc est testimonium quod perhibet Spiritus Sanctus in corde tuo, Dimissa sunt tibi peccata tua: But yet adde this (sayth good Bernard) that thou also beleeue, that by him thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. This is the testimonie that the holy Ghost beareth in thine heart, Thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. Heere wee haue a particular application of that generall knowledge before mentioned.

And out of this place of Bernard, wee are by the way to note, how the Romish Church which would (though most vniustly) bee counted the true Church, hath this long time deceiued the world, in making men beleeue, the Pope hath power to forgiue sinnes;Man can­not for­giue sins. whereas Saint Bernard most plainly, and to the Scriptures most a­greeably doth teach, that God only can forgiue sinnes, both be­cause our sinne is a breach of his Law, and himselfe cannot sinne. Fye, therefore vpon that man of sinne, who being himselfe full fraught with sinne, and ouerloden with wickednesse, dare take vp­on him that office, that belongeth only to our Sinne-lesse GOD. He only can make cleane that which is conceiued of vncleane seed, Job. 14.4. and besides him none. He, I say, hee only, can truly make this Procla­mation, I, I am he that putteth away thine iniquities, Esa. 43.25. for mine owne sake, and will not remember thy sinnes. Howsoeuer that gracelesse wretch, Boniface the eighth, who instituted the first Romish Iubi­le, giuing therein immunitie both from sinne, and the punishment [Page 22] thereof, would make the world beleeue that hee hath power to forgiue sinnes too.Anton. part. 3. cap. 8 tit. 20. §. 2. The fruit of appli­cation. Praefat. ex­hort. ad Martyr. ad Fortuna­tu [...]. Job. 19.25.26. Micah. 7.7. [...]. Tim. 1.15 But as Antoninus Bishop of Florence, writing that Historie, sayth, God only forgiueth sinne.

But to returne, from whence for a few lines I haue digressed. When we can in this sort apply vnto our selues the mercy of God, and thus make a garment fitting our selues, to couer therewith our shame of the wooll of the Lambe (as Cyprian in one place prettily speaketh) (for so he calleth the Scripture.) Oh, with what assurance will wee bee able with Iob to say, I am sure my Redeemer liueth, I shall see God in my flesh. And with Micah: I will waite for God my Sauiour, my God will heare me. And with the Apostle, Christ Iesus came into the World to saue sinners, whereof I am chiefe. Notwithstan­ding for this cause was I receiued to mercie, that Iesus Christ should first shew on me all long suffering, vnto the example of them, who shall, in time to come, beleeue in hir [...] eternall life. But the Apostle shew­eth in many places vnspeakeable comfort, by applying to him­selfe in particular, the mercies of God, in so much as hee assureth himselfe, that none could charge Gods seruants to indanger them, none could condemne them.Rom. 8.33.35.38.39. Yea, who shall separate vs (sayth hee) from the loue of Christ? I am perswaded, that neither death, nor life, nor the Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, is able to separate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. Thus wee see what wonderfull assurance and confidence they haue, whom Gods Spirit guideth, to apply vnto their wounded consciences, the most Soueraigne salue of the promises and examples of Gods mercie. Whereas others in the time of feare and danger, languish in perplexitie,Luk. 23 30. Bernard. de Annunt. serm 3. and could wish the mountaines would fall vpon them, and the hills would couer them. For truly (sayth Bernard) as it were speaking vnto God, Non reponis [...]leum misericordiae, nisi in vase fidu­ciae: Thou, Lord, puttest not the oyle of mercie, but into the vessell of confidence. This, this, I say, is the faith commended by the Apostle, this is the faith that iustifieth before God, which beginning with knowledge of Gods mercy in Christ Iesus, out of it gathereth con­fidence and boldnes.

And thus with good warrant out of the Word, I trust wee may affirme, that this faith which doth assuredly know, and comforta­bly apply vnto vs the promised mercies of God, causeth vs with boldnesse to stand before God without feare of condemnation: [Page 23] yet not for the merit or worthinesse of the act of beleeuing; but because the office, yea the very nature of faith is, to apprehend and take hold of Christ, through whom wee are found righteous before God: in that he is made vnto vs of God, wisedome, 1. Cor. 1.30 and righ­teousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption, as before I haue said.

The last wordes in this sentence,What workes of the Law are meant. whereof there is any question betweene our aduersaries and vs, are these, The workes of the Law. Out of these arise two doubts. The first is, what Law the Apostle speaketh of in these wordes. For some, euen very ancient, haue beene in that error, that he speaketh of the Law ceremoniall, as Origen, and others. Now the Romish Church, not seeing how they might maintayne their doctrine of Merits, and Iustification by workes, vnlesse they were of that minde also; were in former times of that mind too, being glad that they might shrowd them­selues vnder the name of ancient [...]rs. I need not speake in particular of these Popish Writers, seeing Bellarmine confesseth as much as I say. Nonnulli (saith he) è Catholicis, Bellar. de Iustific. l 1. cap. 19. docent per opera quae Apostolus à iustificatione excludit, intelligi obseruationem lega­lium ceremoniarum: Many of the Catholikes teach, that by the workes which the Apostle excludeth from iustification, the obseruation of the ceremoniall Law is meant.

But how many, or how great in learning,Not works ceremo­niall. Rom. 2.13. or accompt soeuer they be: S. Paul affordeth vs proofe enough to conuince them of error. When he saith, The doers of the Law shall be iustified, is there any colour of reason to imagine, that they who obserue the cere­monies of the Law, shall bee iustified? Wee see in the first and last Chapters of the Prophet Esay, Micah the 6. the 50. Psalme, and in other places of Scripture, that many, who were most diligent performers of the ceremonies, were notwithstanding misliked of God, yea reproued for satisfying themselues with that externall seruice. What haue I to doe with the multitude of your sacrifices, Esa. 1.11. saith the Lord, I am full of the burnt offrings of Rams, and of the fat of fed beasts, and I desire not the bloud of Bullocks, nor of Lambs, nor of Goates. That also, which the Apostle writeth of the effect of the Law, written in mens hearts, by reason whereof, we haue thoughts accusing & excusing, cannot be vnderstood of the Law ceremonial.

But to come yet neerer to the purpose, S. Paul, euen in that place where hee handleth this question, concluding the former part of this discourse, and hauing proued Iewes and Gentiles to be trans­gressors [Page 24] of the Law, either written or of nature, thus saith, Therefore by the workes of the Law, Rom. 3.20. shall no flesh be iustified in Gods sight. And lest we might make any doubt what Law hee meaneth of, he yeeldeth a reason of his former assertion, which maketh the matter plaine. For by the Law is knowledge of sinne. And yet that it may be more manifest what Law is here meant, elswhere in plaine wordes he expoundeth himselfe:Rom 7.7. I knew not sinne, but by the Law: For I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not lust. Out of which wordes I reason thus: The Apostle speaketh of that Law, that maketh vs to know sinne; but that is not the Law ce­remoniall: therefore the Apostle speaketh not of the Law cere­moniall.

Yea, this place seemed to S. Augustine to haue such force, as that thereupon he groundeth that which we teach.August. de Spir. & lit. cap. 8. Ac ne quisquam pu­taret hic Apostolum ea lege dixisse hominem iustificari, quae in Sacra­mentis veteribus multa continet figurata praecepta, &c. And lest any man should thinke the Apostle to haue said, that a man is iustified by that, which in the old Sacraments haue many figuratiue precepts, from whence commeth circumcision, which children were commended to re­ceiue: he by and by sheweth what Law he meant, and saith, For by the Law is knowledge of sinne.

But the Apostle himselfe is best Interpreter of his owne mea­ning. Out of that he had said, some perchance would gather, that he had little regard to the Law, whereby the Iewes would be of­fended, (for they knew the Law was giuen of God.) Others would take occasion thereupon more boldly to transgresse: to meet therefore with these inconueniences, hee maketh vnto him­selfe this obiection:Rom. 3.31. Doe wee then make the Law of no effect through faith? Yea, we establish the Law. But the Law ceremoniall is not by the Gospell established,Hebr. 10.1. Rom. 10.4. but abolished. For that Law had but the shaddow of good things to come. But the end of the Law is Christ. So that he, offering himselfe vpon the Altar of the Crosse to God the Father,Iob. 19.30: a sacrifice for sin, did vpon good ground say, It is finished. So as Christ being come, if wee will still tye our selues to the ob­seruation of that Law,Gal. 5.2. Paul telleth vs, that Christ shall profit vs nothing. 4. Yee are (saith he) abolished from Christ, whosoeuer are iusti­fied by the Law, yee are fallen from grace. Therefore were the Apo­stles in their dayes very carefull, to teach men to rest vpon Christ, and not to imagine that now in the time of the Gospell, they are [Page 25] tyed to those impotent and beggerly rudiments, Gal. 4.9. as the Apostle calleth them. This may appeare by that notable Councell, Act. 15. and in diuers places. Much more might bee alleaged, to proue that the Law ceremoniall cannot in this place be vnderstood. But this, I trust, is sufficient: and had indeed beene more then enough, but that our Aduersaries of later time,Bellar. de Iustif. l. 1. c. 19. Andrad. Orthodox. Explic. l 6. although they dare not defend that opinion, yet would they make it seeme lesse absurd, as doth Bellarmine, in pointing to some places that their errour is groun­ded vpon, as if they had reason so to teach, and Andradius na­meth some Fathers of that minde.

Well then, by the Law, without all question wee must vnder­stand the Law morall. But here ariseth another doubt, what works are here excluded in these wordes,What workes are exclu­ded. Without the workes of the Law. And here our aduersaries doe earnestly contend, not to haue all workes excluded from Iustification, but such only as are done be­fore they beleeued. For if they should confesse that no works can iustifie, then falleth downe that doctrine of Merits to the ground; a most gainefull doctrine to Pope and Popish Priests (who must supply with their store, that which other want of their owne me­rits.) But we teach that all workes,All works before & after, ex­cluded from Iu­stification. aswell such as follow our iu­stification (this our aduersaries denie) as the workes that wee doe afore our iustification (which themselues confesse) are in these wordes excluded, from being any causes of our iustification be­fore God.

And to auerre this, which we say, we haue many strong reasons. The first is taken from the wordes themselues, being mightily strengthned with the faithfulnesse of him who teacheth this do­ctrine, and with his sincerity in teaching. For as hee requireth in other disposers of the secrets of God, that euery man be found faithfull: 1. Cor. 4.2. so he testifieth of his owne faithfulnesse in his ministery, speaking vnto the Elders of the Church of Ephesus.Act. 20.20. I kept backe nothing (saith he) that was profitable, but haue shewed you, and taught you o­penly, and throughout euery house. And againe,27. I haue kept nothing backe, but haue shewed you all the counsell of God. Neither can wee in reason suppose he would deale more sincerely with them of E­phesus, then with the Romanes, of whose instruction in the faith how carefull hee was, may well bee seene in his first and fifteenth Chapters of that Epistle.

The Apostle therefore,All with­out ex­ception. speaking of workes without any excep­tion, [Page 26] as hee doth (without the workes of the Law) if any workes should not haue beene excluded from iustification, he might haue beene charged by the Romanes, that he kept backe somwhat from them, namely, what workes were to be admitted as causes of iusti­fication, and what not: and so did not shew them all the counsell of God. For if he had beene of our aduersaries opinion, sincerity would haue forced him to haue said, When I say, we are iustified without workes, I speake only of workes done afore we are iusti­fied, not of all workes. For when we are once iustified by God, then by our workes wee must iustifie our selues. So that if any workes may be accounted as causes of our iustification, the Apo­stles manner of speaking would rather haue beseemed some acqui­uocating Priest or Iesuite, who haue taught their hearts to dis­semble, and their tongues to lye, yea who professe to teach the arte of dissimulation, and cogging, and glory in their falshood, whereby they deceiue the world, then this faithfull Apostle.

It is most certayne therefore, that the Apostle, being as he was, a most faithfull disposer of the mysteries of God, one that dete­sted all such doubtfull or double dealing in Gods matters especi­ally,1. Cor. 2.4. Whose preaching standeth not in the iniycing speech of mans wise­dome, but in the plaine euidence of Spirit and power, excepting no workes, excludeth all. And many such like speeches we haue in Scriptures, in which such indefinite propositions (as Logicians call them) are vniuersally to bee vnderstood.Hebr. 4.15. Christ is said to bee without sinne. Now, seeing there is sinne Originall and Actuall, of commission, and of omission, shall we imagine, that because the Apostle saith not without (all) sinne, therefore Christ is subiect to some sinne?Zach. 2.4. God maketh promise to his people, that Ierusalem shall be inhabited without wall. Now, because there are sundry sorts of walls, some of stone, some of earth, or of other matter, as men fancy: shall some cauilling companion say, Though they had no stone walls, yet had they some other walls for their strength? But infinite such places might bee brought, wherein it may easily ap­peare, that though this vniuersall signe (all) be not added, yet it must be vnderstood, as also it must be in these wordes of S. Paul, as well all workes going before, or following iustification, as all Lawes, either Naturall, or Morall, or Ceremoniall.

Againe, if the Apostle had meant only to exclude the workes done in our infidelity, he needed not so carefully to haue set down [Page 27] the manner of our Iustification, as he doth immediatly before these words: That it is by the righteousnesse of God, Rom. 3.22.24. by the faith of Iesus Christ, vnto all, and vpon all that beleeue. And that, Wee are iustified freely by his grace, through the Redemption that is in Christ Iesus, whom God hath set forth to bee a reconciliation, 25. through faith in his bloud, to declare his righteousnesse, by the forgiuenesse of sinnes. In all which, there is not one word of Workes, but all is ascribed to Christ. Wherein the Apostle, also writeth so carefully, and so wa­rily, as if he feared nothing more, then, that man should rest any thing vpon his Merits. To conclude therefore this my first argu­ment, I say with the Apostle, If it be of grace, it is no more of Workes, Rom. 11.6 or else were grace, no more grace: but if it bee of Workes, it is no more grace; for then were Workes no more Workes. So that, because the A­postle sayth, it is of grace, and by faith without Workes, therefore Workes are wholly excluded, as Andradius himselfe will warrant me to say. For, Mercedis ratio, Andrad. Orthodox. Explicat. lib. 6. cum gratiae nomine ex aduerso pug­nat. For the consideration of reward (or Merit) is cleane contrarie to grace.

A second argument I take from the finall causes of this doctrine of Iustification by faith only, which are two, set downe by the A­postle. The one in this Chapter, immediately before the words of my Text; namely, to exclude our reioycing or boasting. But if all workes bee not disabled, as insufficient causes of our Iustification, some workes should be left, wherein we might reioyce.To ex­clude re­ioycing in our selues. For by re­ioycing, the Apostle meaneth nothing else, but that confidence that men haue, whereby they content themselues, as if they were out of danger of Gods wrath. Saint Paul then concluding out of that he hath taught of Iustification by faith, that our reioycing is thereby taken away, teacheth vs thus much, that whoso apprehen­deth with an assured faith this Iustification, that we haue by Christ, resteth nothing vpon his owne workes, or contenteth not himselfe with the righteousnesse that is by the Law. But on the contrarie, our Aduersaries suppose their reioycing is not taken away. In so much, as a great man among them dareth affirme,Andrad. Orthodox. Explicat. lib. 6. That heauenly blisse is not so freely giuen of God, and liberally, as in respect of their workes it is due. And by and by after: We gather, that eternall felici­tie ought not to bee imputed according to grace, but according to debt. And therefore within a few words after, he also defineth Merit,Merit. A free action whereunto a reward is due. Which Doctrine of Andra­dius, [Page 28] because it is also the Doctrine of the Romish Church, wee may truly affirme of them, that they doe, what in them lyeth, to make the Apostle a Lyer, when hee affirmeth that reioy­cing is taken away by the Law of faith: seeing they still re­ioyce and content themselues in their workes. But I will end this with one short argument: If Iustification may bee by workes, then is not our reioycing in the Law taken away by faith: but it is by faith taken away: therefore Iustification is not by workes. The Minor proposition is the wordes of the A­postle.Rom. 11.6. The Maior is proued by that, which a little before out of the Apostle I alleadged, that workes and grace cannot both stand as causes of our Iustification. But notably for this purpose, doth Chrysostome gather out of these words:Chrys. in Epist. ad Rom. hom. 7 If the faithfull man, and he who is saued, would thinke well of himselfe in this respect that he re­gardeth the Law, doe heare in these words, how by the Law it selfe his mouth is stopped, how by the Law hee is accused, how the Law it selfe denieth as it were saluation to sinners, and excludeth all boasting: and he who as yet beleeueth not, being hereby deiected and humbled, may take occasion to draw neere vnto faith: thou seest how great force faith hath, how it driueth vs from whatsoeuer we had before, not suffering vs to reioyce though neuer so little, in them. And a little before he hath sayd that God saueth, Nullis ad hoc vsus operibus, sed fidem tantum exigens: Not vsing (for our Iustification) any workes, but requiring faith only. Sedul. in E­pist. ad Rom. cap. 3. Sedulius also verie well noteth thus, Talis gloriatio quae veniebat ex operibus legis excluditur. Such reioycing is excluded as commeth of the workes of the Law.

Our com­fort.Another end why our Iustification is by faith, is for our vn­speakeable comfort, That it might come by grace, and the promise might bee sure to all the seed. Rom. 4.16. Whereas if wee should seeke to get the inheritance by the Law,Gal. [...].18. we could not thinke to haue it by pro­mise, and so in respect of our owne manifold imperfections, wee might alwayes bee doubtfull and wauering, and farre from that comfort, that Gods children finde in themselues. In this respect then, it is good, that we perswade our selues, that we are saued by grace,Bell. de Iu­stific. l. 5. c. 7 that we may looke vnto Christ only. Yea, Bellarmine him­selfe giueth this aduice: Propter incertitudinem propriae iustitiae, & periculum inanis gloriae, tutissimum est fiduciam totam in sola Dei mi­sericordia ponere. In respect of the vncertaintie of our owne righteous­nesse, and the danger of vaine glorie, the safest way, is to put all our [Page 29] confidence, only in Gods mercy and goodnesse. Very well writeth vpon these words of the Apostle, Theophilact: Theophil. in Epist. ad Rom. 4. Quum vniuersa sint in Dei, tum gratia, tum misericordia, fita, profecto quae ab eoconfe­runtur, stabilia fore & certa omni semini, id est, credentibus cunctis existimanda sunt. Seeing all things are of Gods grace and mercie: sure the things that are giuen from him, as it may be thought, are stable and sure to all the seed, that is, to all beleeuers. Ambros. in Epist. ad Rom. 4. Saint Ambrose also sayth, Firma esse non potest, promissio omni semini, hoc est omni homi­ni ex omni gente, nisi fuerit ex fide: The promise cannot bee firme vnto all the seed, that is, to all men of euery Nation, vnlesse it bee of faith. And he after yeeldeth a reason of that he hath said, because by the Law we are found guiltie, and the promise cannot be giuen to them that are guiltie, vnlesse they bee purified, which must bee done by faith. Thus then I reason, The promise of Iustification must be sure: but vnlesse it be of faith, it cannot be sure: therefore the promise of Iustification must bee of faith. The Maior is Saint Pauls, Rom. 4.16. The Minor is the former wordes of Saint Ambrose.

A third argument to proue, that euen the workes of them that are regenerate, cannot iustifie, and are excluded by Saint Paul, from hauing that force, is taken from the example of Abraham, who is set forth as a patterne, in whom wee may learne how wee all can attaine to Iustification, as it is plaine to see in the fourth Chapter of this Epistle to the Romanes. Abraham, Abraham not iusti­fied by workes. a good while after he was called out of Vr of the Chaldees, had liued a good time in obedience vnto GOD, had done no doubt, many good Workes, and offered many Sacrifices vnto God: yet, without re­spect vnto any of his Workes, that hee now the childe and seruant of God had done: Abraham beleeued God, Gen. 15 6. Gal. 4.9.3. Rom. 4.13. and that (his beleeuing) was imputed to him for righteousnesse. And therefore, Paul is bolde to vse such exclusiue words: The promise was not giuen through the Law, but through the righteousnesse of faith. And, Sicut Abrahae, & nostra filiorum eius per gratiam, sayth Primasius: Primas. in Epist. ad Rom. 4. As was (the Iu­stification) of Abrahams, so is ours also, who are his children, by grace. But to be short, I suppose, we may bee bold to gather out of that which is said, this reason. As Abraham was iustified, so shall wee bee: but Abraham was iustified by faith, without the workes that he did, being Gods seruant, therefore we also shall so be iustified. All this argument may well and strongly be prooued [Page 30] out of this fourth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romanes.

But what neede many Arguments? Confitentem habemus reum. Stapleton our Countriman, a sure friend to the Romish Church, and as loth as any of them, to write any thing that might any way im­pugne their Popish Maximes, seeing the deadly wound which these words of the Apostle giue to their Doctrine of Merits, is ve­ry carefull to salue that sore: yet the force of truth driueth him to grant that heere the Apostle,Antidot. in Rom. 3.28. Our works cannot merit for­giuenesse of sinnes. Excludit opera à virtute iustificandi ab­solutè, id est, à virtute remittendi peccata: Excludeth Workes from ha­uing power simply or absolutely to iustifie, that is, to remit sinne, or from power to remit sin. What can be more plaine? Good Workes cannot obtaine remission of sins, sayth Stapleton, and therefore not iustifie absolutely or perfitly. Now, an vnperfit Iustification we are not ac­quainted withal, neither hath Christ or any of his Apostles taught vs any such. But we know that a perfect cause hath her perfect ef­fect, a perfit Sacrifice (such an one was that which Christ offered) hath obtained perfect Iustification before God for all beleeuers.

But heere, I would faine haue asked a question of Stapleton, if he had beene aliue, or of some other friend of his, (seeing hee is gone, to giue an account, how well he hath vsed his talent, whe­ther to gaine soules to Christ or to Antichrists) how Parish Priests shall doe hereafter? When men and women come to bee shriuen, and haue confessed their sinnes, shall their Ghostly Father, bid them fast so many Frydayes, Wednesdayes, or Saints Eeues, gad on Pilgrimage to Hales or Buxton, to Compostel, to Rome, or to Loretta, weare Haire-cloth next their skinne, goe bare-foote and bare-legged? shall they torment their bodie with Whips, or other punishments,Popish pe­nances plaine co­zenages. or begger their Posteritie in building Chaunteries, and such like places, for satisfaction for sinne? All this is to no purpose. For Stapleton assureth vs, there is in these, or any other, though better workes by farre, such as GOD hath commanded, no power to remit sinne; so that Iustification must bee sought for some better way. And so it seemeth, the World hath beene cou­zened a great while by these cogging Companions, which haue made men and women beleeue, that by such Workes they may sa­tisfie for their sinnes. And thus I trust vpon so good a confession of Stapleton, so good warrant of the Word, and sure grounds of doctrine, wee may conclude that a man is iustified and accounted guiltlesse before God, by faith apprehending Christ Iesus, in whom [Page 31] we haue redemption by forgiuenesse of our sinnes, without any Merit of our Wrokes, whether before or after our Iustification.

Now, that which out of these words we conclude, doth of ne­cessitie follow, but that our Aduersaries fearing, lest their Diana of Merits should be nothing esteemed, if they cast not a mist before mens eyes, to hinder from them seeing the cleere light of truth that shineth in our Doctrine,Act. 19.25.28. assemble as did the Siluersmiths at the call of Demetrius, who told them, by that craft they got their goods; and with such other speeches, made them full of wrath, inso­much as they cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. Euen so is it with vs. The Romish Demetrius, that getteth much by selling such as they call good Workes, with his followers seeking to defend the Doctrine of Merits, cry out of that which teacheth Iustification by faith only, whereby they may haue much losse, if want of euill gotten goods may bee counted losse. I confesse, we teach, that Faith only doth iustifie: that is, that a true and liuely faith, wrought in our hearts by Gods Spirit, working by loue,True faith only iusti­fieth. fruitfull in good workes, adorned and beautified with holinesse of life (for these are badges whereby to know a true faith) doth iusti­fie and acquite vs before God, so as wee boldly stand and plead not guiltie. Whereby our Aduersaries may see, how vniustly they slander vs and our Doctrine, as if wee were enemies to all good Workes. And yet we only teach, that such a true faith as I haue now described, without respect of the Workes that alwayes ac­companie it, doth iustifie, not by the Merit of this faith, but in that it is our hand whereby we apprehend and hold fast, that Iustifica­tion which we haue in Christ, through the vnspeakeable mercie of God.

And this our Doctrine is so warranted in Sacred Scripture, as nothing more. Saint Paul doeth often vse exclusiue words,Exclusiue words. Negatiue. Equiua­lent. as these are without the Law: without Workes. Sometime plaine nega­tiue words, Not by Workes, not by the Law. Otherwhile words e­quiualent, or of such like force; As, by grace, Freely. These man­ners of speech when I consider of, I cannot but like well of the good and Christian counsell, giuen by Primasius an ancient Wri­ter, Audi gratis, tace de Meritis. Heare (what the Apostle sayth) freely, and speake not a word of Merits.

Thus, therefore I reason for our Doctrine of Iustification by faith only: If Workes are not to be ioyned with faith in the mat­ter [Page 32] of Iustification, then faith only, euen by the confession of our Aduersaries doth iustifie. For our Romish Catholikes denie not this our Doctrine but in respect of workes, neyther doe they in a­ny their Bookes or Writings, seeke to match any thing with faith as cause of Iustification, but workes only: But workes are not to be ioyned with faith, in the matter of Iustification, as the Apostle most plainly proueth:Gal. 2.16. Know ye, that a man is not iustified by the Workes of the Law, but by the faith of Iesus Christ. Againe, Ye are saued by grace, Eph. 2.8.9. through faith, not of your selues, it is the gift of God, not of Workes, lest any man should boast himselfe. Lastly, these words to the Romanes are very effectuall.Rom. 1.28. Therfore wee conclude, that a man is iustified by faith without the workes of the Law. As if he would haue said, We the Apostles of Iesus Christ, appointed to bee the Scholemasters and Teachers of the World, vpon good ground teach this as a doctrine not to be denied, a principle in Re­ligion not to be doubted of.

Faith onlyAnd howsoeuer our Aduersaries impugne this Doctrine, and would perswade the simple, that it is strange, and hath no warrant: yet are we able to produce such, as many hundreds of yeeres since, haue taught the same, and gathered it out of these words of the A­postle. Origen, who liued about fourteene hundred yeeres since, in verie few words,Orig. in Ro. lib. 3. cap. 3. doth twice auerre the same: Dixit Apostolus (sayth he) fide, solius iustificationem sufficere, ita vt credens quis tan­tummodo iustificetur: The Apostle hath said, that Iustification of faith only will suffice, so that he who beleeueth only, is iustified. Isichius wrote at the least a thousand yeeres since, and he sayth much like, as Origen before him:Isich. in Le­uit. l. 4. c. 18 Gratia & misericordia, fide comprehenditur sola, non ex operibus, vt dicit Apostolus: Grace and mercy is obtained by faith only, not by Workes, as Paul saith. We cannot then be iustly charged as Teachers of new Doctrine heerein, seeing wee affirme nothing, but that others long before vs haue taught.

But, because this is so much misliked, as it is, and so scornefully reiected of our aduersaries, although all truth must bee grounded vpon the word of truth,Iam. 1.18. as S. Iames calleth the Word of God, nei­ther needeth it the testimonie of any man, which God in the Sa­cred Scriptures so plainly hath deliuered: yet for the satisfying of the simple, and the stopping of the slanderous mouthes of our ob­stinate enemies; I purpose to let you see such a consent with vs in Doctrine for this point, of Ancient Fathers and Learned Writers [Page 43] long before our time, as in no one article or piece of doctrine, wherein our aduersaries dissent from vs, I suppose a greater can be shewed, neither mo seuerall Authors alleaged. So that I may well impanell for tryall of this controuersie, two Grand-Iuries of famous men, well reported of for godlinesse and learning among all men; many of them, and the meanest of them, of such repu­tation in the Church of Rome, as they are thought sufficient to goe vpon tryall of as great a matter as this is (although it be of great importance:) And S. Paul himselfe shall speake for all, as you heare hee hath done, and bee Fore-man of this Iurie, for they all haue learned of him that they say, euen in these wordes, which now I intreat vpon.

And first I will second him with some of them,Commen­taries vp­on these wordes. that wrote their Commentaries vpon this Epistle of S. Paul to the Romanes. All I haue not, out of such as I haue I will alleage, but out of euery one, one place, although out of diuers of them I might produce very many. Of Origen I haue spoken before, and therefore I now omit him. S. Ambrose is next, who affordeth very good choice of testimonies, he hath such plenty.Amb. in Rom. 3. Iustificati sunt gratis (saith hee) quia nihil operantes, ne (que) vicem reddentes, Sola fide iustificati sunt dono Dei: They are iustified freely, because working nothing, neither re­compensing, they are iustified by faith only by Gods gift. S. IEROME very briefly, but as plainely, writeth,Hieron. in Rom. 4. Per solam fidem iustificat Deus: God iustifieth by faith only. Then haue we Sedulius, writing thus: Ad Christum veniens sola quum credit fide saluatur: Sedul. in Rom. 3. He that commeth vnto Christ, is saued by faith only, when he beleeueth. And the last of this ranke shall Primasius be, who writeth thus,Primas. in Rom. 4. Impium per solam fidem iustificat: God iustifieth the vngodly by faith only.

Another sort of them, whom I meane to produce in this matter,Other ex­pounding other Scriptures are such, as expounding other places of Scripture, haue in such their Commentaries taught the same doctrine. Among whom the first is Hilarie, as most ancient in yeeres, so most worthy to haue the first roome, because he setteth downe the very wordes in que­stion betweene vs now:Hil. in Mat. Con. 8. Sola fides iustificat (saith he) Only faith iu­stifieth. The next shall be Chrysostome, who, as he was next him in yeeres of all this company, so hee differeth very little in wordes. Ex sola quippe fide nos saluauit: For by faith only he hath saued vs. Chrysost. in Eph. hom. 5. Augustine, a man most famous in Gods Church for learning, and his great labours against Heretikes, well agreeth with the rest, [Page 44] saying,Aug. in Ps. 88 Conc. 2. Sola fides Christi mundat: The faith only of Christ cleanseth. To whom may Cyril also be added, who though he haue not the same wordes, yet teacheth he that substance of doctrine in these wordes:Cyril. Alex. in Iob. lib. 9. cap. 30. Per fidem; nam (que) non aliter saluamur: By faith; for no o­ther way we are saued. ISYCHIVS I haue before produced, I will not therefore mention him againe in this place. But venerable Bede, the glory of our North Country, speaketh more plainely. Per iustitiam factorum nullus saluabitur, Beda in Ps. 77. sed per solam iustitiam fidei: By righteousnesse of workes shall no man be saued, but by the righteous­nesse of faith only. Theophil. in Gal. 3. After him Theophilact writeth thus: Demonstrat (Apostolus) fidem vel solam habere iustificandi virtutem: The Apostle sheweth, that euen only faith hath power to iustifie. Very well also, and agreeably to the rest writeth Haimo, who liued about some 800. yeeres since:Haimo in Gal. 3. Bernard. in Cantic. ser. 22. Fides sola saluat: Faith only saueth. And most com­fortably, as in many things, writeth good BERNARD. Quisquis pro peccatis compunctus, esurit & sitit iustitiam, credat in te qui iusti­ficat impium, & solam iustificatus per fidem, pacem habebit apud Deum: Whoso feeleth remorce for sinne, and so doth hunger and thirst after righ­teousnesse, let him beleeue in thee, who dost iustifie the vngodly, and be­ing iustified by faith only, he shall haue peace with God. And Oecume­nius telleth vs,Oecumen. in Iam 2. That ABRAHAM was an image of iustification by faith only, when it was imputed to him for righteousnes that he beleeued. Then haue we Rupert, Rupert. in Reg. cap. 39. lib. 2. who writeth, that sola iustificare potest fides Iesu Christi: The only faith of Iesus Christ can iustifie.

Sundry other Fathers also and learned Writers we haue, who in their seuerall Treatises affirme that also,Fathers in their seue­rall Trea­tises. which we out of the A­postle doe gather. To begin with Cyprian as most ancient: Fides tantùm prodest (saith he:) Faith only profiteth. Next vnto him com­meth Basil, Cypr. l. 3. ad Quir. c. 42. Basil. Hom. 22. whose wordes are these: Ea demum perfecta & omni­moda gloriatio est in Deo, quandone (que) propter suam ipsius iustitiam quis extollitur, sed agnoscit se quidem vera destitui iustitia, verum sola in Christum fide iustificatum esse: That is perfit reioycing, and altoge­ther in the Lord, when a man is not proud, no not of his owne righteous­nesse, but confesseth himselfe to be destitute thereof, and that hee is iusti­fied only by faith in Christ. GREG. NAZIAN. who for the great opinion of learning, that was conceiued of him, was called the Diuine, as he was in Basils time, so was he of his mind too, as these his wordes doe shew:Nazian. Orat. 21. Confiteri Christum, & credat illum a mortuis suscitatum esse & saluaberis. Siquidem credere solum iustitia est: Con­fesse [Page 45] Christ, and beleeue that he is raised from the dead, and thou shalt be saued. For to beleeue only is righteousnesse. PAVLINVS also is of the same minde, that the rest are, as wee may see in an Epistle, which is among S. Augustines Epistles: his wordes are,Epist. 58. Aug. Salus fide sola quaeritur: Saluation is sought for by faith only. This is also the iudgement of Ruffine, in his exposition of the Creede, it is among Cyprians workes.Ruffin. in Symbolum. De remissione peccatorum (saith he) sufficere debe­ret sola credulitas: Concerning remission of sinnes, beleeuing only should suffice. And the reason of this his assertion is not to bee omitted. Quis enim causas aut rationem requirat, vbi indulgentia principalis est? For who will inquire after causes, or a reason, where indulgence (or pardon) is principall? THEODORET also, as oft in other his Treatises, so also in his bookes against the Idolatrie of the Gen­tiles, and in defence of Christian Religion, writeth thus:Theod [...]r. de curat. Grae. Affect. l. 7. Non vl­lis operibus nostris, sed per solam fidem, mystica bona consecuti sumus: Not by any our workes, but by faith only we haue gotten vnknowne good things. Now vnto these I may adde Leo a Pope, in an Epistle that he sent by one called Philo, to Leo, then Emperour. It is not his 70. Epistle (as Bellarmine vntruly quoteth the place) but 76. But his wordes are these: Catholica fides humanum genus sola vinificat, Leo Epi. 76. sola sanctificat: The Catholike faith doth only quicken, only sanctifie man­kinde. But Bellarmine answereth, that Leo in those wordes speaketh De fide dogmatica: Of a dogmaticall faith; Bellar. de Iustif. l. 1. cap. 25. and such as is opposed against Heretikes. As if he had said, that the Arrian faith, or that of the Eutycheans cānot sanctifie, but that faith which is true and Catholike. Be it so, yet he must needes grant, that no dogmati­call faith, that is, no externall profession of Religion, how earnest in shew soeuer it is, be it also neuer so true, can quicken and san­ctifie, vntil it be as a seed sowne in the heart, taking hold of Christ for the remission of sinnes; and so it, I say, it only giueth true life to a Christian. I haue also read these very wordes, cited out of Alcuine, whom some call Albine; the booke, I confesse,Alcuin. Praefat. ad Carol. Mag. I haue not seene. But if he haue such words, he seemeth well to approue that which Leo hath written, because hee hath alleaged his very wordes without any change. I will cloze vp this ranke with one, well esteemed of in the Church of Rome:Rich. de S. Victor. de­cisione dubi. Apostoli. Ecce (saith he) habes a­pertè, quòd possit homo aliquando iustificari ex sola fide, abs (que) legis ope­re: Behold, thou seest plainely, that a man may sometime be iustified by faith only, without any worke of the Law. Which, seeing hee will [Page 46] grant to be sometime, I see no reason why he should doubt, but that it is so alwayes. For there is but one way of iustifying Iew or Gentile,Rom. 3.22. one or other, Euen the righteousnesse of God, by the faith of Iesus Christ, vnto all, and vpon all that beleeue.

Christian Poets.There are then three ancient Christian Poets, who sing the same song, with these Fathers and learned Writers. Iuuencus is first,Hier. Catal. Script. eccl. Hieron. in Mat. 2. Iuueac. hist. Euang. l. 2. who liued about the 330. yeere of Grace, of whom S. Ie­rome maketh mention, and also citeth a Verse out of him, in his Commentaries vpon S. Matthewes Gospell. This Iuuencus, I say, hath these wordes: Nam (que) vbi certa fides fuerit complexa salutem, non erit vlla illic anceps agitatio iuris: For when assured faith hath ta­ken hold of saluation, there will be no more doubtfull waging of Law. Not long after him was Prudentius, who in a booke, intituled Psychomachia, wherein hee sheweth what fights and battels the soule hath,Prudent. pugna con­cord. & dis­cord. speaking of faith, writeth thus, Haec mea sola salus: This faith only is my saluation. And I finde alleaged by that famous learned man of our time, D. Humphrey, in his answere to Campians first reason: the like out of one Victor Cemensis, as I take it, but his wordes are these,Victor. writing of Abrahams faith, Credidit, & nudae fi­dei consensio sola, plenam ad iustitiae & meritireputata coronam est: ABRAHAM beleeued, and this consent only of bare faith, was im­puted to him for a full crowne of righteousnesse and merit.

Popish Writers.Yet haue I reserued three great Rabbies in the Romish Church, for the shutting vp of this question, who if they speake, as their Fore-man hath done, and many other before them, I hope, we shal be found not guiltie of errour, much lesse of heresie. The first of this company is Gratian, the very store-house of their Canon Law, who very plainely affirmeth,Dist. 2. de Poenit. cha­ritas est a q. that fidei soli vaenia promittitur: To faith only is pardon promised. And a little after, Fide sola peccata relaxantur: By faith only, sinnes are remitted. If any man answere, that he there telleth vs but what Augustine saith: true; but with­all he alleageth it, not as misliking, but as approuing it as sound doctrine. After him commeth Peter Lombard, though equall in time (for it is said that Gratian, Danaeus in Com. in Lombard. in prolego­menis, c. 4. and Lombard, and Petrus Comestor, were all brethren, and the bastard children of a Nunne) Lombard, I say, Bishop of Paris, whose authority in the Church of Rome, was like that Pythagoras had among his Schollers, among whom it was enough, to say, The Master saith it. His writings are in such account with them, that they are the very ground of Popish or [Page 47] Schoole diuinitie. In so much, as since hee wrote his bookes of Sentences, very many by their Commentaries haue laboured to explane him, studying somtime to make him agree with himselfe, sometime with that the Church Romish hath formerly taught. Lambertus Danaeus, in the place before alleaged, reckoneth at the least 37. or 38. who haue taken such paines, and yet as not hauing reckoned all, referreth them, who are desirous to know of mo, vn­to Trithemius.

This great Doctor of the chaire for Schoole-diuinitie, in a Pre­face he writeth before his Commentaries vpon Pauls Epistles, in the very latter end thereof, gathering a briefe and summe of the former part of Pauls Epistle to the Romanes, hath these wordes: Pluribus modis ostendit iustitiam & salutem, Lombard. Praefat in Comment. in Epi. Paul. aequè Iudaeis & Gentibus esse, non per legem sed per fidem Iesu Christi, vt à lege eos tollat, & in sola fide Christi eos constituat: The Apostle many wayes proueth, that righteousnesse and saluation is both to Iewes and Gentiles alike, not by the Law, but by faith of Iesus Christ, that he may with-draw them from the Law, and settle them in the only faith of Christ. And after, in the very beginning of his exposition, vpon the third Chapter of the Epistle vnto the Philippians:Lombard. in Epist. ad Philip. c. 3. Contra Pseudo-apostolos eos monuit, ne legalia ab eis recipiant, sed fidem Christi solam sufficere cre­dant: Against false Apostles he hath admonished them, that they re­ceiue not of them precepts of the Law, but beleeue that the only faith of Christ sufficeth.

Yet haue we the Doctor of Doctors behinde, that Angellical Doctor (for so they call him) whose wordes at Rome are Oracles, and his writings, with too many, haue more credit, then the sa­cred Scriptures. Yet in this, I beleeue, he will proue a Lutheran or Caluinist, I know not whether, but sure I am a Paulinist. Yee shall heare his owne words, that you may know I wrong him not. Moralium legitimus vsus est (saith he) vt homo non attribuat eis, Tho. Aquin. 1. Tim. 1. Ier. 3. quam quod in eis continetur. Data est lex vt cognoscatur peccatum, Rom. 7. Concupiscentiam nesciebam, nisi lex diceret: Non concupisces, quod dicitur in decalogo. Notable good counsell it is, which in these wordes hee giueth, and sound and Christian instruction, which I would it were well marked. The lawfull vse (saith he) of the morall precepts is, when a man ascribeth not any thing to them, but what in them is contayned. The Law is giuen, that sinne might bee knowne, Rom. 7. I knew not lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt [Page 48] not lust, as is said in the Decalog. Now marke the conclusion, which he hereupon inferreth. Non est ergo in eis spes iustificationis, sed in sola fide, Rom. 3. Arbitramur hominem iustificari per fidem, abs (que) o­peribus legis: Therefore, there is not in them (the precepts of the Law) any hope of iustification, but in faith only, Rom. 3. We conclude that a man is iustified by faith, without the workes of the Law. I haue the more carefully set downe his words, because they are so plaine and pregnant for vs. For first, he teacheth that the lawfull vse of the morall Law, is to let vs see our sinne (not to seeke for iustifica­tion by it, as after he sheweth.) And why should wee bee taught this, if not to driue vs vnto Christ? Then also he affirmeth, that there is no hope of saluation therein, but in faith only. And that which doth much contradict our now Romish Catholikes, he ga­thereth this doctrine of Iustification by faith only, euen out of these wordes of Paul, as we doe. How now can we be Heretikes, and your Angellical Doctor a Catholike! No, no, hee writeth as plainely for Iustification by faith only, as any of vs. It is high time the purgers of mens writings should be set on work, to mend their Index Expurgatorius, that Thomas may bee taught to speake otherwise then thus, or else he will marre all, for he speaketh here not Romish.

For to make it more plaine, what hee thinketh elsewhere too, concerning iustification by workes, when duly and indifferently he considereth of the word it selfe, and examineth that he writeth by the true touch-stone, one place more, out of the said Thomas, I trust, shall not be thought tedious. Expounding the wordes of S. Paul to the Galathians,Gal. 3.10. As many as are of the workes of the Law, are vnder the curse, He sheweth, the Apostle speaketh here of all workes,Aquin. in Gal. 3. Lect. 4. Ceremoniall, or Morall. Opera enim non sunt causa quòd aliquis sit iustus apud Deum, sed potiùs executiones & manifestationes iustitiae. Nam nullus per opera iustificatur apud Deum, sed per habitum fidei, non quidem acquisitum, sed infusum. Et ideo quicun (que) ex operibus legis iustificari quaerunt, sub maledicto sunt, quia per ea peccata non re­mouentur, nec aliquis quo ad Deum iustificatur, sed per habitum fidei charitate informatum: For (saith he) workes are not the cause why a man is iust before God, but the executions rather, or manifestations of iustice. For by workes is no man iustified before God, but by the habit of faith, and that not gotten, but giuen. Whosoeuer then by the workes of the Law, seeke to be iustified, are vnder the curse, because by works our [Page 49] sinnes are not put away, neyther is any iustified before God, but by faith beautified with loue. These two sentences of Thomas of Aquine being duly weighed, doe as plainely auow Iustification by faith only, and disproue Iustification by Workes and our owne Merits, as any thing we doe say or write: insomuch, as if he were aliue, I make no doubt, but he should be forced eyther to recant, or would be accounted a Caluinist, hee followeth so truly the trace of Saint Pauls Doctrine herein.

But, what if our Countriman Stapleton bee of this minde too? I know that (if hee were aliue) he would not say so for any thing, he hath alwayes beene so pestilent and peruerse an enemie to the same, calling the Doctrine of Iustification by faith only,Stap. Antid. in Act. 15.10. Antid. in Ro. 3. v. 21. A most wicked and most pestilent Doctrine. Yea, & elsewhere too, he is no­thing better perswaded thereof, but sayth, It is impious, and full of shame: so shamefully doth this impious wretch, write of this most comfortable Doctrine. But we will not moue him to say it plainly: wee will not stand vpon termes; so hee teach the substance of the Doctrine, we will beare with him. And with a little helpe hee will be brought to that. We will but lend him a Maior proposition, much like that which I vsed in the beginning of this discourse of Iustification by faith only, and he will fit himselfe of a Minor, and so iumpe with vs in Doctrine. If the Apostle exclude from Iusti­fication all workes, so as they haue no power to iustifie, then faith only doth iustifie: but he excludeth all workes from hauing power to iustifie: therefore faith only iustifieth. The Maior I haue shewed before, is not to bee denyed of any Papists, because that they seeke not to ioyne with faith any thing in the matter of Iusti­fication, but only workes. As for my Minor, Stap. Antid. in Act. 3.10. it is granted by Stapleton in the words before alleadged, that the Apostle excludeth Workes from hauing power to iustifie absolutely, that is, to forgiue sinnes. Thus haue we one more on our side then we hoped for, and so may be bold (I trust) to conclude.

Now, although this cloud of witnesses is sufficient, I hope, to cleere vs from any sinister imputation of euill dealing, as if wee would teach that is strange, and not heard of, but of late dayes: yet we haue in this point, a better testimonie then all men can af­foord vs. For the assurance of this Doctrine is this, that the ho­ly Ghost sealeth vp this confidence in our hearts,Rom. 8.16. and Gods Spirit beareth witnesse with our Spirit, that wee are the children of God, and [Page 50] hauing receiued the Sprit of adoption, we are bold to cry, Abba Father. This, this, I say, is the argument that more perswadeth the children of God, then all that men can bring. This argument did so con­uince euen the very conscience of Saint Paul, Phil. 3.8.9. That the righteous­nesse of the Law was (as I may so say) but lothsome to him, in compari­son of that righteousnes which he longed after by Christ. This righteous­nesse whoso hath a true feeling of, he doth but laugh to scorne the idle disputations of them, that seeke to proue it must bee had by Workes.

But I am not ignorant, how our Aduersaries doe what in them lyeth, to elude the testimonies of God and all good men, and as much as they can, to dimme the verie light of our consciences; that wee should not see this comfort.Bell. de Iu­stif. l. 1. c 25 Annot. in Iam. 2.24. And therefore Bellarmine seemeth to make some answer to some few places alleaged out of the Scrip­tures and Fathers against them. So doe the Rhemists too, in their Annotations vpon the new Testament. But all in vaine: the Sunne of truth shineth so cleere, that all they can doe, is not sufficient to dimme the light thereof. For this word, Faith only, being so com­monly vsed as it is, teacheth vs, that nothing but faith is that which by our Sauiour Christ iustifieth. For it only cannot be said to doe it, if eyther Law of Ceremonies, or of the Commandements, the workes eyther of the vnrighteous or of the faithfull bee ioyned with it. And therefore, though our Aduersaries would sometime exclude one thing from iustifying, sometime another: yet so long as they exclude not all, but faith in Christ Iesus, from being cause of our Iustification, they seeke but to deceiue vs.

Aug de fi­de & ope­ribuc. 14. Good workes necessarie when we are iusti­fied. Aug. de fide & operi­bus cap. 14.Yet I denie not, but workes, as S. Augustine sayth, doe follow him that alreadie is iustified, though they goe not before him that is to be iustified. For they are (as a little before I said out of Thomas of A­quine) the execution and manifestation of our righteousnesse, but no causes therof. In which sence, the Fathers very often, especially Saint Augustine, in many places hauing shewed plentifully out of the Apostle, That we are iustified by faith without the workes of the Law: Yet withall, he giueth vs to vnderstand, that, Hoc non a­git, vt percepta ac professa fide, opera iustitiae contemnantur: hee goeth not about thereby to make vs contemne the workes of righteousnesse, we once hauing receiued and professed faith. No, we (when once we are iu­stified) are Gods workemanship, Ephes. 2.10. created in Christ Iesus vnto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walke in them.

Againe, they tell vs, some of the Fathers speake of faith as it is Dogmaticall, for our profession or Religion, and that in such sence only they affirme, Faith only to iustifie, because it is the true, and not a false faith that must saue. Of which I sayd somewhat be­fore, when I alleadged the words of Leo, for confirmation of our Doctrine. But yet somewhat more to explane the matter, wee must consider that faith hath two respects:Outward Doctrine. The one as it is an outward thing which is taught, or wee may reade of it in Bookes. That pierceth the eares, it hath also consent of the minde and vnder­standing, when we yeeld to the truth therof. But this; though a true faitht yet vntill it be planted in the heart and beleeued, iustifieth not. As for example, the Deuill may and did know the true faith, as when he said, Iesus, the Sonne of God, Mat. 8.29. Mark 1.24. what haue wee to doe with thee? Againe, What haue we to doe with thee, Iesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy vs? I know what thou art, That holy ome of God. We reade also elsewhere in Saint Marke, Mark. 3.11 When the vncleane Spirits saw Christ, they fell downe before him and cryed, saying. Thou art the Sonne of God. And Saint Iames sayth plainely,Iam. 2.19. The Deuils beleeue that there is one God and tremble. But our Aduersaries will grant, that although it is a Catholicke faith that the Deuils haue: yet it fur­thereth them not to saluation. That faith in Christ Iesus doth iu­stifie is a true faith, that is a true Doctrine; yet no doubt acknow­ledged of many, that shall neuer find with comfort the sweetnesse thereof. But when this perswasion is well rooted in the heart,Inward as­surance. so that it maketh vs to rest and repose our selues vpon God, which we call beleeuing in God, then doth it iustifie. Thus then, although it is most true, that it must be a Catholike, not an Hereticall faith that saueth: yet euen that true & Catholike faith doth not quicken, it doth not sanctifie, or iustifie, vnlesse to our endlesse comfort, we receiue the same into the heart. And so as the Catholike faith is only auaileable: so vntill it be receiued into the heart, it helpeth not, and then it only iustifieth.

But many things are out of the Scripture obiected against this Doctrine, whereby the simple, and such as are not acquainted with the Word,Heb. 3.14. neyther by long custome haue their wits exercised to discerne both good and euill, as the Apostle to the Hebrewes spea­keth, may soone be deceiued. For to such as haue not iudgement to trye Metals, euen Tinne will seeme Siluer, and Copper Gold; because in colour they are somewhat like. To say nothing of such [Page 52] places, it may bee dangerous in these our euill dayes, lest thereby some that desire to know the truth, by the name of Scripture, wrested to a wrong sence, may be led into errour. And yet to speak of euery particular place alleadged would bee verie tedious, for they are many. I haue therefore thought good to draw them in­to some few heads, and so answering their principall allegations, it will not be hard to iudge of all others also.

I will beginne with such Scriptures as seeme to ascribe Worthi­nesse vnto men. For out of them doth Bellarmine thus gather, Dig­num esse praemio, De Iustific. lib. 5. ca. 2, 3 What wor­thinesse in men. Wisd. 3.5. & mereri praemium idem sunt: To bee worthy of a re­ward, and to deserue a reward is all one. And to proue this worthi­nesse in men, he alleadgeth foure places. The first is taken out of the Booke of Wisedome, God tryed them and found them worthie of himselfe. The Booke from whence this testimonie is taken, is knowne not to be Canonicall Scriptures, and therfore of no such credit in Gods Church, as that vpon places out of it, wee may ground any Article of Religion. And this answere might serue ve­rie well to this obiection. But yet the words themselues doe not of necessity proue merit or worthinesse of the workes that we doe. And that first in respect of the person that trieth, thē also in regard of them that are tryed. He that tryeth his seruants, is (I know) wise enough to examine and spye faults, iust also to punish them: But he is also content to couer with the righteousnes of his Sonne our faults, and to hide our iniquities, not beholding vs, as in our selues we are sinners,Who are found righteous or worthy. Dan. 9.24. but as we are in Christ righteous. Then al­so who are they that being tryed are found righteous? Euen they whose debt Christ hath paid, for whose sinnes hee hath satisfied, and sealed vp, as Daniel sayth, that they may bee no more remem­bred, Whose iniquitie he hath reconciled, to bring in euerlasting righ­teousnesse. Of such we see who bring with them nothing whereby they should be found worthy, but haue all from Christ, it is said, he found them worthy.

Other two places hee bringeth for which wee are much behol­ding to him, because by them we may learne how to answere such testimonies, as seeme to ascribe worthinesse vnto men. One is out of the answere that Christ maketh vnto the Sadduces (a Sect which thought there is no resurrection) who thought to intrappe him in a subtile question. The question was of one woman that married seuen husbands, who all dying, they would know whose [Page 53] wife she should be at the Resurrection? To whom Christ answeres thus, They who shall be counted worthy to enioy that world, Luk. 20.35. and the re­surrection from the dead, neither marry wiues, nor are married. The o­ther is much like this:2. Thes. 1.5. That yee may be counted worthy of the King­dome of God, for which yee also suffer, saith S. Paul to the Thessalo­nians. Now, who knoweth not that we may bee counted worthy of that, which in due consideration we cannot be worthy of? So, that they are accounted worthy, proueth not that they are worthy indeed, as shall, God willing, by and by plainely appeare.

The fourth place then must serue the turne, or else nothing is said. That is, the wordes of our Sauiour Christ of some of Sardi: They shall walke with me in white: for they are worthy. Reuel. 3.4. As if Christ had said, they shall triumph with me, or raigne in glory, and life e­uerlasting, for they are worthy. But what are they worthy in re­spect of their worke, or for the merit thereof? For if not, it helpeth not our Aduersaries.

And that neither they, nor any other,No man worthy of eternall life, but Christ. that is conceiued (as we all are) of vncleane seede, can be worthy in respect of workes: I proue thus. No man is worthy of eternall life, in respect of works, but hee who can fulfill the Law; but no man can fulfill the Law: therefore, by their workes no man can be worthy of eternall life. My first Proposition I proue thus. God himselfe saith to his people of Israel: If thou keepe my Statutes, thou shalt liue in them. Leuit. 18.5. In which wordes, as we see a promise of life, so must we obserue the condi­tion of keeping Gods statutes, if we will looke to be partakers of the promise. And no doubt the Apostle S. Paul, out of these and such like words hath learned, that which he teacheth vs of the iu­stification, which is of the Law: The man that doth these things, Rom. 10.5. Gal. 3.12. Deut 27.26 Gal. 3.10. shal liue thereby. But if the condition bee not obserued, then marke what followeth, Cursed is euery man, that continueth not in all the wordes of this Law to doe them. This continuance in doing the Law, and keeping the Statutes of God, teacheth vs neither to be idle, nor euill occupied, and that wee must not swarue, either to the right hand or left, leauing the right path of Gods Law at any time. For S. Iames hath truly out of this place gathered,Iam. 2.10. that who­soeuer shall keepe the whole Law, and yet faileth in one point, is guilty of all. Not because, whoso breaketh one Commandement, brea­keth all. A thiefe, in that he is a thiefe, is not a murderer, or adul­terer: but the meaning is, he is guilty of transgression, and there­fore [Page 54] cannot bee saued by the Law. If then eternall life be promi­sed to them only, that keepe the whole Law, as is proued, much lesse shall it be merited by any that fulfill not the same.

My Minor, or second Proposition is, that no man can fulfill the Law. For confirmation whereof, I minde rather to point vnto ar­guments,We can­not perfit­ly fulfill the Law. then any way to dilate them. First therefore, it is a per­fection belonging only to Christ, to keepe the whole Law. He on­ly was without sinne, because he neuer did transgresse: Hee only could offer the sacrifice of perfect and holy obedience, so that (in this respect) hee only could make the atonement betweene God and vs. As for his Apostles (though, no doubt, good men) yet they prayed,Luk. 17.5. Mar. 9.24. as they had good cause: Increase our faith. Helpe our vnbeliefe. And our Sauiour himselfe taught them, and in them, the perfectest that euer was,Mat. 6.12. Hebr. 7.26. to pray, Forgiue vs our trespasses. Our imperfections then being so many, and so great, Such a high Priest it became vs to haue, as is holy, harmelesse, vndefiled, separate from sinners, made higher then the heauens. For but by such a Mediator, our sinnes are so great, as that wee neuer could haue beene recon­ciled to God, because we are farre from keeping the Law.

Our con­science teacheth this.Secondly, our owne consciences will so testifie with me herein, and against our selues, that, I hope, I neede not produce much proofe hereof. Let vs but examine our selues by that rule, which the Author of all truth gaue vnto some, who would get (as our Papists say they can doe) eternall life by doing: by which hee meant they should trie and examine themselues.Luk. 10.25. Master (saith a certaine expounder of the Law) what shall I doe to inherit eternall life? 26.27. And hee said to him, What is written in the Law? How readest thou? And hee answered, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soule, and with all thy strength, and with all thy thought, 28. and thy neighbour as thy selfe. Then he answered him, Thou hast said right, doe this, and thou shalt liue. If, I say, we examine our selues, and trie our wayes by this rule (which is a very true rule, and cannot deceiue) we will, no doubt, acknowledge our mani­fold transgressions. For it is impossible that flesh and bloud, so long as it hath within it this bitter roote of corruption (which whilest here we liue, will neuer leaue vs) should so abandon the loue of our selues, and our owne delights, that thereby our loue of God should be nothing hindered. If we consider of our best workes, we shall not finde such alacrity and cheerefulnesse in our [Page 55] selues, as is fit; neither in the worke such respect to Gods will and glory; as wee ought to haue. So that our conscience must needes tell vs, that, because we are conceiued of vncleane seede, Iob. 14.4. no man can make vs cleane: and therefore we must sing that song that they did, who thus say, We haue beene as an vncleane thing, Esa. 64.6. and all our righ­teousnesse as filthy clouts. And if we make tryall of our loue to our Neighbour, he whose charity among vs most aboundeth, will per­ceiue himselfe to be of his minde, who said, Proximus egomet mihi: I am neerest neighbour to mine owne selfe. So shall we be found farre short of the duty we owe, either to God or Man. These things are so plaine to such as haue any feeling consciences, as that I need not stand vpon proofe hereof.

Lastly, the confessions of all the godly,The con­fessions of the godly. Iob. 1.8. will teach vs what wee may thinke of our obedience, and fulfilling the Law. Iob was a good man: None was like him vpon the earth, an vpright and iust man, one that feared God, and eschewed euill. Yet good Iob, as in sundry other places he confesseth himselfe to be guiltie, so in these wordes: If I would iustifie my selfe, Iob. 9.20. mine owne mouth would condemne me: If I would be perfit, he shall iudge me wicked. As if he had said, If I would goe about to cleere my selfe, I cannot doe it, I must ac­knowledge my transgression.1. Sam. 13.14. Dauid was a man according to Gods owne heart, as Samuel reporteth: yet, he of himselfe, and all other, saith, If thou, O Lord, straitly marke our iniquities, O Lord, Psal. 130.3. who shall abide it? That is, none can stand before thee, to iustifie himselfe, if thou pry into their liues to examine their transgressions. The An­gell of the Lord calleth DANIEL a man of desires, Dan. 9.23. God so de­lighted in him, and loued him: yet he in that notable prayer that he maketh for the deliuerance of Gods people, now that the 70. yeeres of their captiuity were expired, as it were, to put God in minde of his promise of deliuerance, confesseth not only the sins of their Fathers, of their Princes, and of the People;Dan. 9.5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11. but wrap­peth himselfe in that number too, acknowledging that to them belonged nothing but shame and confusion; to God only mercy and forgiuenesse. Paul, we all say, was a good man also, taken vp into the, third heauen, and heard wordes which cannot be spoken, which are not possible for man to vtter: Rom. 7.21. Yet this heauenly man found by the Law, that when he would doe good, euill was present with him: whereby it came to passe,19. that he did not the good thing which hee would, but the euill that he would not, that did he, as a little before, [Page 56] the same Apostle hath complayned. To be short, S. Iames was an Apostle of our Sauiour Christ,Mat. 17.1. whom he tooke to be one of the witnesses of his Transfiguration, a faithfull seruant of God: yet of himselfe,Iam. 3.2. as well as of other his brethren, he hath said, In mul­tis offendimus omnes: We all offend in many things. Wee, I say, that are chosen of God, we the Apostles of Iesus Christ, who haue re­ceiued the holy Ghost in some good measure, who are aided and guided by the grace of God, we all, I say, offend in many things. Such confessions of the godly, haue imboldened the worthy lear­ned Fathers,Hieron. in Gal. 3. to say after them as doth HIEROME, Nemo legem seruat: No man keepeth the Law. But of that sort I will bring no mo testimonies.Aquin. in Gal. 3. Lect. 4. The Angellicall Doctor shall speake for all: Im­plere totam legem est impossibile: It is a thing vnp [...]ssible to fulfill the whole Law. And thus the premisses being proued, this conclusion doth follow, that in respect of workes no man is worthy.

But because Christ saith of some of Sardi, that they are wor­thy,Worthy, how. Ephes. 1.4. there is, no doubt, a worthinesse in Gods seruants, although in respect of merits wee iustly deny it. Therefore, Gods children are said to be worthy, first in respect of their election, in that God hath chosen them before the foundation of the world: especially, seeing we are chosen in Christ, 11. in whom only we are found worthy. For we who in our selues are not, yet in him are found worthy. The me­ditation hereof made the Apostle not to make reckoning but of this only,Phil. 3.9. That he might be found in Christ, not hauing his owne righ­teousnesse which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. Seeing then we haue all our worthinesse from Christ, that we may more earnestly seeke to him, it is needfull that with all the godly we acknowledge our owne vnworthinesse. Now, true it is,Rom. 8.30. that whom God hath predestinated (and chosen to be his) he also calleth (not only externally by outward meanes, but inwardly al­so by his grace) and whom he calleth, he also iustifieth; and whom he iustifieth, he also glorifieth: but yet our corruption being such, as will not suffer vs sincerely to follow our calling, and walke wor­thy of our profession, our worthinesse in this respect will be found but vnworthinesse, but as it is supplied by that worthinesse of Christ.Hier. ad Clesiphon­tem. Let vs therefore harken to that Hierome saith, Haec homi­nibus sola perfectio est, si imperfectos se esse nouerint: This is the only perfection of men, if they know they are vnperfect. And so may we well say of our worthinesse: Herein we only are found worthy, if we [Page 57] confesse our owne vnworthines. For as Saint Augustine writeth,August. de Spirit. & lit. cap. 36. In ea quae perficienda est iustitia ille multùm profecit, qui quàm longè sit à perfectione iustitiae proficiendo cognouit: Hee hath much profited in this life, in that righteousnesse that is to bee perfited, who by profiting knoweth how much he wanteth of perfection of righteousnesse.

Another obiection they haue out of such testimonies, as teach that God shall reward euery man according to his worke. Psal. 62.12. Mat. 16.27 Rom. 2.6. Reue. 22.12 Bell. de Iu­stific. l. 5. c. 2 Aug. Con­fess l. 9. c. 13 How the godly are rewarded according to workes. Of which sort the Scripture affordeth vs diuers. And out of those wordes, Bellarmine draweth this Doctrine. Secundum opera sua, id est, vt o­pera merentur, According to his workes, that is, as his workes de­serue: I might answer him with that golden saying of Saint Au­gustine, Vae hominum vitae etiam ladabili, si remota misericordia dis­cutias eam: Woe to the life of man that is commendable, if thou (Lord) setting mercie aside doe sift the same. But that the absurditie of his assertion may the rather appeare, it is needfull, that if the reward be giuen according to the merit of the worke, there should bee some equalitie of proportion, betweene the worke and the reward it meriteth. But what proportion can there be betweene workes so vnperfect as before I haue shewed ours to bee, and that eternall glorie, which is so great and excellent a reward, that the Apostle describeth it in these wordes: The things which eye hath not seene, 1. Cor. 2.9. eare hath not heard, neyther can enter into the heart of man, God hath prepared for them that loue him? Howsoeuer therefore Bellarmine dareth affirme;Bell. de. Ju­stific. lib. 5. cap. 18. That non requiritur absoluta aequaelitas inter meri­tum & praemium, a perfit equalitie is not requisite betweene merit and the reward (which thing he indeed barely affirmeth, without any one testimonie of Scripture, or sentence of Fathers) yet dare I boldly pronounce, that if any man saith, that eternall life is giuen as workes deserue, and yet that there is no proportion betweene eternall life, and the worke, hee speaketh most absurdly, making merit no merit, and deseruing no deseruing, whereas in all reason and learning, how much a worke wanteth of the equalitie with the reward which is to be giuen for doing it, so much it lacketh of me­riting that reward. Very well, therefore S. Bernard, after he hath shewed, That mens merits are not such, Bern. Serm. 1. de An­nunt. that eternall life is of right due to them, or that God should doe wrong if he so giue it not, because euen our merits are Gods gifts, and therefore, we are rather bound to God for them, then he to vs, asketh this question: Quid sunt merita omnia ad tantam gloriam? What are all merits to so great glory? As if he had [Page 58] said, There is no proportion, no equalitie. This then which Bel­larmine heerein hath taught, is as absurd, as if a man should af­firme, that hee doth not sell twelue penny-worth of ware or doe twelue penny-worth of worke, must be deemed to haue truly de­serued twelue pence. I trow, Bellarmine would not well like of such penny-worthes.

Not as workes merit.One other argument I will produce, which plainely enough confuteth that which Bellarmine sayth, that According to the worke, must be expounded, as the worke meriteth. Consider of the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard,Mat. 20.1.3.5.6, whereof some went to their labour at the dawning of the day, others at the third houre, but some were not called to worke, before the sixt or ninth houres, yea other about Sunne-setting, that is at the eleuenth houre. The Ma­ster of the Vineyard, when euen was come, sent for the Labou­rers, and as hee promised to the first, paid to euerie one a pennie. But they who came first,12. pleaded that they had borne the burden and heat of the day, and therefore thought as our Papists doe, they deserued more then the rest. But the master of the Vineyard answered, they had their due, and what hee promised; if hee gaue other more, that hindred not them. Now, I would that our Ro­mish Catholikes would answere truly to this question, If paiment should haue beene made according to the merit of the worke, who deserued most? I suppose they will answere (for otherwise they cannot truly answere) that they who came first to their labour, de­serued best payment. Yet, wee see the last had as much as they. Therefore it is plaine, payment was not made to them, nor shalbe to vs, as our worke meriteth, but according to promise. For eue­rie one had his pennie.Hill. in Mat. Can. Merces quidem nulla est ex dono, quia de­betur ex opere: sed gratuitam Deus omnibus ex fidei iustificatione do­nauit. 20. There is no wages of gift (sayth Hilarie) for it is due by the worke: but God hath giuen a free (reward) vnto all by Iustification of faith. The pen­ny in the Gospell. Prosper de vocat. Gent. lib. c. 17. Thereby prouing that this penny was not as wages, but a free reward, not for the worke but giuen in promise. Notably there­fore, sayth Prosper (who wrote about that time, Saint Augustine did) who gathereth out of this parable, Operarios accepisse donum gratiae, non mercedem operis; that these workemen receiued a gift of grace, not a reward or wages for their worke.

But Bellarmine contending for merits, would faine remoue this blocke out of the way. Hee feareth lest some of his friends stum­bling [Page 59] thereon, should reele from the Romish Church. He there­fore out of Augustine and others telleth vs, that denarius diurnus, Bell. de Iu­stific. li. 3. c. 16: & li. 5. cap. 6. this penny for the day worke, is aequalitas aeternitatis, non gloriae, equae­litie of eternitie, not of glorie. But our controuersie is not what this penny is, but in what respect it is giuen, whether for the worthi­nesse of the worke or not? If he say for the merit of the worke, the Parable is against his opinion therein. If he say it is of promise, as elsewhere he seemeth to affirme, wee haue that we seeke.Bell. de Iu­fic. l. 5. c. 19. Wee see (saith he) the whole penny giuen to them, who had not laboured the whole day: and the Lord himselfe sheweth in these words, I will giue to him as to thee, &c. that this was done not of dutie, but of liberalitie. Heere our aduersary confesseth, the reward not to be as the labour merited. Therefore to omit that needlesse question what this pen­nie is, let vs heere remember, that it is not giuen for the worthines of the worke. For Bellarmines answere seemeth to mee much like as if I aske which way I may goe to London, and he answere me it is a faire Citie. Seeing then the reward is of mercie, and not of merit, let not vs by ascribing that to our workes, which is giuen freely in grace, be vnthankefull vnto him, who so loued vs that he dyed for vs, as Saint Hierom exhorteth vs, yeelding this reason:Ierom vpon Gal. 2. Ab­iecta est gratia, si mihi sola non sufficit, Grace is but cast away, if it on­ly suffice me not.

Thus it is plaine, I trust, that, According to the work is not as our ad­uersaries say, As the worke meriteth. But because many, euen among Gods people, delighted rather in outward shew of godlinesse, then in the truth thereof, contenting themselues to bring their offering to the Priest, to weare (with comming to the Temple) the paue­ment of Gods house, without any true deuotion, to performe some outward workes in obseruing dayes and times, and dyet and such like; these words teach vs, that the All-seeing eye is not deceiued with such counterfeit holines, but he looketh more narrowly vnto the worke it selfe. Wherein he first beholdeth the fountaine, from whence it floweth, and the root from whence it springeth. For as a filthy fountaine cannot yeeld wholsome waters, nor an euil tree bring forth good fruit, as our Sauiour Christ sayth;Mat. 7.18. so cannot a man that lyeth in his naturall corruption of the olde man, doe any thing that shall bee acceptable vnto God. The workes that come from the Spirit of Regeneration, hee rewardeth in mercie: the workes that are only from the olde ADAM, what shew of [Page 60] holinesse so euer they haue, in Iustice hee reiecteth.

Workes of the rege­nerate.Now, the workes that are done by the new-borne children of God, sauour much (though not wholy) of the Spirit of regenera­tion. For they are done with some cheerefulnesse, and willingnesse, though not with such alacritie, as the godly themselues wish. And this cheerefulesse is a thing well pleasing vnto God, not only in giuing to the reliefe of the needy,Cor. 9.7. but euen in all seruice that wee performe to him. When GOD appointed the Tabernacle to bee made, and people were to bring stuffe of all sorts towardes the making thereof, yet might none be accepted vnlesse it were-giuen with a willing heart. Exod. 35.5.21.22. Ps. 119.108. 1. Chron. 28 9. And Dauid in that respect commendeth to God his Prayers: Accept, O God, the free offerings of my mouth. And teaching his Sonne how to serue God, hee giueth him this lesson: And thou, Salomon my Sonne, know thou the God of thy Father, and serue him with a perfit heart, and willing mind. This graced the wid­dowes two mites,Luk. 21. because her willingnesse of heart, caused her to cast into the treasurie, that which she could not well spare, where­as other gaue of their abundance.

They also who are regenerate, ayme as neere as they can, at the right end in their workes.Mat. 6.1.2. The right end of good workes. They doe them not, that they may be seene of men, & praysed of men, as do Hypocrits; they respect not their pro­fit, estimation or reputatiō among men, neither haue any other such worldly respect in framing themselues to obedience. No, they seeke not thereby to satisfie for their sins as Papists doe, most iniuriously against the satisfaction that Christ hath made, but rather confesse that to bee spoken to them which Bernard sayth: Peccata tua maxi­ma sunt & nimium multa: Ber. in Cant. Serm. 38. nequaquam pro tot & tantis etiamsi te exco­ries, potes satisfacere. Thy sins are very great & very many. Thou canst not satisfie for them being so many and so great, though thou wouldst flay off thy skinne. Their chiefe care in performing their obedience, is That their light so shine before men, Mat. 5.16. that they seeing their good workes, may glorifie their Father which is in Heauen. And although they desire earnestly with such alacritie to serue GOD: yet find they that most truly Saint Augustine writeth,Aug. de pec­cat. merit. & remiss. l. 2. cap. 7. alluding to that place of, 2. Cor. 4.16. Profecto qui de die in diem adhuc renouatur, nondum totus est renouatus, & in quantum nondum est renouatus, in tantū adhuc in vetustate est. Surely, hee who is yet day by day renued, is not as yet wholly renued, and in asmuch as hee is not renued, he is of the olde man. Whereupon he also inferreth, Proinde ex hoc quod in vetustate sunt, [Page 61] quamuis iam baptizati, ex hoc sunt etiam filij seculi. Therefore in as much as they are of the olde man, though they be baptized, yet they are heerein the children of this world. And what perfit or vnstained worke, the children of this world are like to doe, it is not hard to gesse. Seeing therefore, our new birth is heere neuer perfited,Our new birth he [...]: not perfit. we cannot so apply our selues to serue God, as that in respect of our seruice, we dare stand as iust before God: but with good Bernard, we must cry; Meritum meum miseratio Domini: Ber. in Cāt. ser. 61. Ber. in Ps. Qui habi­tat, ser. 15. Ber. in Cāt. ser. 67. August. de Sancta Vir­ginit. c. 32. My merit is the Lords mercy. Hoc enim totum est hominis meritum, si totam spem suam ponat in eo, qui totum hominem saluum fecit? For this is all mans me­rit, if his whole hope bee only in him, who hath saued the whole man. And, Deest gratiae, quicquid meritis deputas: Whatsoeuer thou giuest to merit, thou takest from grace. Therefore, with Augustine also wee thinke, that, Enumerationi meritorum, praefertur confessio peccatorum, Confession of sinnes is better then reckoning of merits. Out of all which, it is plaine, that according to the worke, is not as the worke meri­teth (for our workes cannot merit so great blessing) but according to the nature of the worke: which if it be a fruit of a good Tree, what wanteth in the goodnesse of the fruit it selfe, is in Christ ful­filled, in whom we and all that we doe are accepted.

And the light of this candle, also discouereth that most impious blasphemie of the Church of Rome against God, and their trea­cherie against men: who these many yeeres deceiuing the world, made them beleeue, that the Pope can pardon,Pardons & Popish Satisfa­ctions. and Priests can sa­tisfie for mens sinnes. The gaine that thereby they haue reaped, is verie great (if such wicked getting may be called gaine.) For ney­ther doth Pope pardon, nor Priests pray, vnlesse they be wel hired. And whosoeuer hath store of treasure, may in that Romish Church be bold to sinne, seeing the Pope hath Pardons enow, and Priests can patter out heapes of prayers: But woe to poore soules that haue no money to buy such merchandize. With such trash the sa­cred Scriptures are not acquainted, neyther haue they beene of a­ny antiquitie, as our Aduersaries are forced to confesse.Durand. l. 4 dist. 20. quaest. 3. Of Pardons we cannot say much (sayth one of them) because the Scripture speaketh not expresly thereof. Iohn Fisher our Countrey-man, sometime Bi­shop of Rochester, acknowledgeth that the vse of Pardons and Purgatorie, Admodum sero repertus est, is very lately found out. Artic. 18. cont. Assert. Lutheri. But these words vnanswerably confute that impious doctrine, so iniu­rious to Christ his death and passion, God shall reward euery man [Page 62] according to his worke, I say, his worke, not other mens workes. For as S. Paul saith,2. Cor. 5.10. We must all appeare before the Iudgement seat of Christ, that euery man may receiue the things which are done in his body, accor­ding to that he (not another) hath done, whether it be good or euill. It is therefore a farre more Christian lesson, to learne out of these wordes,Eph. 2.10. because we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which God hath ordayned, that wee should walke in them; Gal. 6.10. 1. Pet. 1.17. while we haue time to doe good vnto all men, as S. Paul exhor­teth vs, and to passe the time of our dwelling here in feare, as S. Peter willeth: then so to puffe vp our selues with pride of our merits, as if we had some good in vs,1. Cor. 4.7. that we haue not receiued, as the Apostle vpbraideth the Corinthians.

Thirdly they obiect against this doctrine of Iustification, such Scriptures as promise vnto workes eternall life.Reuel. 7.14. Promise of life eter­nall. These are they (saith Christ) which did come out of great tribulation, and haue washed their long robes white in the bloud of the Lambe. Therefore are they in the presence of the Throne of God. 15. Mat. 25.34 35. Of this sort also is that: Come yee blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you from the beginning of the world: For I was hungry, and yee gaue me meat; I thirsted, and yee gaue me drinke; I was a stranger, and yee lodged me, Bellarm. de Iustific. l. 5. cap. 3. &c. It seemeth Bellarmine reposeth in this argument much confidence, as did that great Goliah the Philistine, in his great strength and mighty weapons. But not euery promise of reward, proueth that the thing, whereunto it is so promised, deserueth the reward,Mat. 5.10. which our Aduersaries are to proue. Blessed are they (the Truth himselfe telleth vs) which suffer persecution for righteousnesse sake, for theirs is the Kingdome of heauen. And yet the Apostle S. Paul counteth,Rom. 8.18. That the afflictions of this present life, are not worthy of the glory which shall be shewed vnto vs. Neither doth the Apostle take vpon him to controll that, which Christ affirmed. For Christ speaketh of a reward which shall be giuen in mercy: S. Paul tel­leth vs, that eternall life cannot be gotten by merits.

Mat. 10.42Likewise, Whosoeuer shall giue a cup of cold water only, to one of these little ones to drinke in the name of a Disciple, verily, I say vnto you, hee shall not leese his reward. Vpon which wordes the Author of the vnperfect worke in Chrysostome, Author o­poris Im­perf. hom. 26. writeth thus: Non quia ali­quid est quod dat, habet mercedem, sed quia magnus est propter quem dat: He hath his reward, not because it is any thing that he giueth, but because hee is great for whose sake hee giueth it. And Leo a Pope, [Page 63] handling the same wordes too, yeeldeth this reason, why a cup of cold water, a thing of it selfe very meane, should haue promise of reward, saith thus: Quae per se vilsa sunt, fides efficit pretiosa: Leo serm. 6. de quadrag. simile ser. 4. & de itiun. ser. 3. Things base of themselues, faith maketh precious. But to this end, that which before I spoke of the workes of the regenerate tendeth. For let a man, not regenerate, offer many times of (I say not cold water) but of most precious liquor, to what vse, or to whom he will; yet cannot he hope for any reward in heauen. For it is faith that puri­fieth our hearts, and also teacheth vs to depend vpon the goodnes of God, framing our hearts vnto obedience, and seasoneth our of­frings and all that we doe. It is faith, I say, that taking hold of the promises, looketh in all our workes, not what we doe, but what God promiseth.August. in Psal. 32. Non aliquid Deo dedimus & debitorem tene­mus. Vnde debitorem? quia promissor est. Non dicimus Deo, Redde quod accepisti, sed, Redde quod promisisti: We gaue nothing to God, and he is become our debter. How is he our debter? Because he is a promiser. We say not to God, Restore what thou hast receiued, but, Pay that thou hast promised. And againe, Fidelis Deus, qui se nobis fecit debitorem, August. in Psal. 109. non aliquid à nobis accipiendo, sed tanta promittendo: God is faithfull who hath made himselfe our debter, not in taking any thing of vs, but in promising so great things to vs.

Wee therefore confesse, that eternall life is a reward giuen to good workes, but not in respect of the merit of the worke, but in regard of the promise, which he that is faithfull hath made. A ser­uant is hyred to doe his Masters worke, hee agreeth of his wages, and taketh the worke in hand. But his Master oft findeth fault with his negligence, want of skill to worke as he should, or other wants, whereby his worke he findeth not well done, which he also might, if he would, alleage, as not being bound to pay for that is not done, or is euill done. Yet his Master payeth him that he pro­mised; not because his worke deserued the wages, but because he promised him so much, and was not willing to remember all the faults, that were in the worke. Euen so is it with the best seruants that God hath. Our seruice is farre short of that it should be: yet God, for Christ his sake, pardoneth our wants, accepteth our good indeuours, and because he is faithfull, is as good as his word and promise to vs.

A fourth obiection they haue, out of such places as testifie of the innocency of Gods seruants. And they are of two sorts. For the [Page 64] Prophet Dauid doth very often by that argument craue aide of God,Psal 7.8. because of his innocency and righteousnesse. Iudge thou me, O Lord, (saith he) according to my righteousnesse, and according to the innocency that is in me. Psal. 25.21. Againe, Let my vprightnesse and equitie preserue me. Whoso readeth the booke of Psalmes, shall find this very common.Innocent herein, not simply But out of such prayers, no man may conclude, that Dauid pleadeth righteousnes before God, or merit of works. He only alleageth, that in this point he was righteous, that he had giuen no iust cause to them, why they should so persecute and pursue him, and seeke his life. Therefore hee complayneth, that they hate him without a cause, Psal 35.19. Psal. 69.4. and make him restore the thing hee neuer tooke. Infinite such places are in Scripture, whereby it plainely ap­peareth, what innocency or righteousnesse the Prophet speaketh of. Not that he is iust before God: but that men deale vniustly with him. And this is no good argument: Dauid saith, he is righ­teous in respect of his aduersaries malice against him: therefore he pleadeth his iustice before God himselfe, or that he is simply or altogether righteous.

But sometime also righteousnesse is ascribed vnto men here vp­on earth. As among sundry other to Zachary and Elizabeth, of whom S. Luke writeth,Luk. 1.6. Innocent, in compa­rison of o­ther. Both were iust before God, and walked in all the Commandements and Ordinances of the Lord, without reproofe. S. Augustine handling this very history, doth truly teach what iu­stice they had, as elsewhere, so namely in these wordes: Secundum quandam inter homines conuersationem laudabilem & probabilem, Aug. cont. Pelag. & Celestin. l. 1. cap. 48. quam nullus hominum posset iustè in quaerelam vocare: They were iust in regard of their conuersation, commendable and allowable, such as no man might iustly complaine of. And after hee bringeth the example of Paul, Phil 3.6. who according to the righteousnesse that was by the Law, was without reproofe. And yet this righteousnesse he accounted dung, and losse, In comparison (saith AVG.) of that which he hoped for.

And because the Pelagians pressed him with an authority out of Ambrose, to proue that a man might in this life be perfit, he shew­eth what minde S. Ambrose was of for that point, alleaging some words of his out of Ambrose his Commentaries vpon Esay, which booke is not now extant (that I haue seene) although here and elsewhere, S. Aug. make mention thereof. And Ambrose himselfe referreth vs also to that booke;Amb. in Luc lib. 2. The wordes alleaged are these, Multi sunt perfecti in hoc mundo, qui si perfectionem veram respicias, [Page 65] perfecti esse non possunt: Many are perfit in this world, who if you looke to true perfection, cannot be perfit. Whereupon also S. August. doth thus conclude, Item immaculati sunt multi, quum si minutiùs excu­t [...]as, immaculatus esse nemo possit, quiae nemo sine peccato: Many also are vndefiled, when as if you sift the matter narrowly, no man can be vndefiled.

Notably also for this point writeth S. Ambrose, by occasion of those wordes of the Apostle. Let vs as many as bee perfit, Phil. 3.15. bee thus minded; Ambros. in Ep. ad Phil. cap. 3. Ad comparationem caeterorum qui res diuinas negligentiùs curant, perfecti dicendi sunt, qui adhibita solertia perfectionis it er am­bulant: In comparison (saith he) of such as are negligent in heauenly matters, they may be called perfect, who are carefull to walke in the wayes of perfection. S. BASIL expounding these wordes of the Prophet DAVID, Iudge me, O Lord, according to my righteousnes, Basil. in Psal. 7. and according to my innocency that is in me, taketh innocency to bee simplicity, or want of experience, whereby men fall into many in­conueniences: And righteousnesse hee interpreteth to be such iu­stice, as is hominibus comprehensibilis, & possibilis his qui in carne vi­uunt: Such as men may attaine to, and is possible for them to haue who liue in the flesh: and thus he frameth that prayer: Ad librilem hu­manae fragilitatis iustitiam meam appendens, ita me iudices: Waighing my righteousnesse in the wayscales of mans frailty, iudge me after that manner. By all this it doth appeare, that though some are com­mended in Scriptures as iust men: yet perfect righteousnes (which only can stand before God) none can attaine vnto. For,Hier. cont. Pelag. l. 1. Cunctorum in carne iustorum imperfecta iustitia est: The perfection euen of all iust men, while they are in the flesh, is vnperfit, as S. Hierome saith: but vnperfect righteousnesse cannot merit eternall life: therefore no perfection that man hath here, can merit that life.

This, which I haue already said, I would haue thought a suffi­cient answere to those Scriptures, wherein some are commended as iust: but seeing some contend to establish a greater righteous­nesse in vs, then we can haue, I am forced a little further to looke into this matter. Kemnitius, a great learned man,Popish im­pious spee­ches of Merits. Kem. exam. part. 1. pag. 211. who hath most learnedly examined those wicked decrees of the impious Councel of Trent, telleth vs, that Lindan, no small foole in the Romish Church (Reuerendiss. Episcopus Traiectensis, he is called) is very angry with some of his fellowes, for affirming, that God of his cle­mency and goodnesse rewardeth our good works, to which he teacheth [Page 66] a reward to be due for the worthinesse thereof. Andradius Paiuas, I am sure,Andrad. Orthod. ex­plicat. lib 6. pag. 518. dareth and shameth not to write, that the ioy of heauen, which the Scripture calleth the retribution and reward of the righteous, is not so much giuen them of God freely and liberally, as it is due to their workes. And as the Apostle S. Paul proueth our Iustification by grace,Rom. 4.4. because otherwise it should rather bee of debt then of fauour (and the reward and grace, saith he, are quite contrary) so dareth this man (because eternall life is in Scripture called a re­ward) gather this doctrine most false,Pag. 519. Pag. 522. That it ought not to be impu­ted according to grace, but as a debt. And not long after he repro­ueth Kemnitius, for finding fault with the Censurers of Colen, for writing that God set on sale eternall life. And not much vnlike is that,Cens. Colon. explicat. Dialog. 5. which they of Colen teach, That by grace there is in our works an infinitenesse, that they being somewhat holpen by that gift (of grace) doe worthily merit eternal life. So that we see, they imagine, any lit­tle helpe will serue the turne: A plaine proofe, that their studie was more how to defend their doctrine, then in sinceritie to exa­mine themselues, how vnable they are to keepe Gods Law, so as they may merit eternall life thereby.

A man may iustly wonder, how any that hath any feeling of his owne frailty, or any knowledge of Gods word, can bee so besot­ted, as to teach that which is so contrary to that euery one of vs doe, or iustly may feele in our selues, and so directly against most manifest Scriptures. Is any of them better then he, who said, no doubt as well in respect of himselfe,Iob 15.14. as of others, What is man that he should be cleane? and he that is borne of a woman, that he should be iust? Are they more righteous then Dauid, who confesseth, that if God enter into iudgement with his seruants, Psal. 143.2. no flesh liuing shall be iusti­fied, or found righteous in his sight? Are they holier then he, who said,Dan. 9.5. We haue sinned, and haue committed iniquity, and done wickedly, yea, we haue rebelled and haue departed from thy precepts, and from thy iudgements? Are they of greater power to resist sinne, then Paul, who said,Rom. 7.19. I doe not the good thing that I would, and the euill which I would not, that doe I? I thinke, they dare not for very shame, to match themselues with these men, that had so great testimonie of their sincerity from God himselfe; at the least they will not pre­ferre themselues. How then dare they so stand vpon their merits, seeing these godly men haue no trust in their works, but so wholy disable them?

Neyther is there in the Scripture any thing more plainly deliue­red, any Doctrine more often taught,Scriptures are against doctrine of merits. Tit. 3.5. then that which teacheth vs to deny our merits, and to rest only vpon Gods mercy in Christ for the forgiuenesse of our sinnes. Not by the workes of righteous­nesse which we haue done (saith Saint Paul) but according to his mer­cies he saued vs. And againe, God hath saued vs, 2. Tim. 1.9. and called vs with a holy calling, not according to our workes, but according to his owne purpose and grace, which was giuen to vs through Christ Iesus before the world was. And againe, By grace ye are saued, through faith, Ephes. 2.8.9. and that not of your selues, it is the gift of God, not of workes, lest any should boast himselfe. And infinite testimonies tending to this end (if it were needfull) might be brought, prouing plainly how little we may rest vpon our merits, and how little soundnes is in our workes, and therefore also shewing how little cause our aduersaries haue to write that eternall life is due to good workes not of mercy, but of merit, as LINDAN, ANDRADIVS, and the Colen Cen­surers doe teach.

The reason of this conceit they haue of their workes, is because they suppose none but great sinnes hinder our perfection. Leuicu­la vitiola (Kemnitius alleageth out of Lindan a Popish Bishop) As­spergines & naeuuli sunt, qui perse non maculant nec contaminant, Kem. exam. part. 1. Veniall sins they lightly e­steeme. sed quasi puluisculo leuiter aspergunt vitam Christianam, vt nihilominùs tamen per se sint perfecta, & vndique immaculata renatorum opera in hac vita. Which, if they bee the words of Lindan, hee vseth so many diminitiues to lessen and make nothing our breach of Gods Law, as thereby he sheweth himselfe to be a very graceles wretch, without any feeling of the burden of sinne. They are in English thus: Little, light, petty sinnes, are as sprinklings and small staines, which doe not of themselues blot or defile, but as it were with small dust, doe lightly sprinkle a Christian life, so as, notwithstanding the workes of the regenerate, are of themselues perfect, and euery way vndefiled. Indeed, Andradius too, though not in such scornfull termes (as I may well call them) teacheth the like Doctrine:Andra. Or­thodox. ex­plicat. l. 5. Peccata (saith he) in quae iusti quotidie labuntur, iustitiam euertere nullo pacto possunt, ac proinde neque perfectam & absolutam legis obedientiam quoquo modo impedire: The sinnes whereinto euen the iust daily fall, can by no meanes ouerthrow righteousnesse, Cens. Colon. explicat. er­rorum Dia­logi. 5. and therefore cannot any thing hinder the full and perfit obedience of the Law. The Censurers of Colen al­so, though not so vnmodestly, yet as vntruly as Lindan, affirme, [Page 68] speaking of veniall sins, that Leuia illa nec impios, nec malos efficiunt, nec operum nostr [...]rum obsunt efficaciae; Those light sinnes make men ney­ther wicked nor euill, neyther doe they hinder the efficacie of their workes.

Which their Doctrine, to bee most absurd and false, wee may proue by many reasons,The least sinnes hinder our obedience and staine it. as first thus. Euery breach of Gods Law maketh our obedience vnperfit: but euery veniall sinne is a breach of Gods Law, therefore euery veniall sinne maketh our obedience vnperfit. My Maior I would thinke should need no proofe seeing that where breach of a Law is, there is not absolute obedience to the same. And Saint Iames telleth vs, Whosoeuer shall keepe the whole Law, Iam. 2.10. and yet faileth in one point, hee is guilty of all. But that euery veniall sinne is a breach of Gods Law, is plaine. For if there be no breach of Law, then is not forgiuenesse needfull: but for­giuenesse is needfull for the taking away of veniall sinnes, as is most manifest by that place of Saint Iohn: If wee acknowledge our sinnes, 1. Ioh. 1.8.9 he is faithfull to forgiue vs our sinnes, and to clense vs from all vnrighteousnesse. Whereby we vnderstand that the sinnes that Saint Iohn speaketh of, are by forgiuenesse to bee done away. And that he speaketh of veniall sinnes, not only Andradius, Paiuas doth testifie,Andro. Or­thodox. ex­plicat. lib. 5. pag. 421. Bell. de A­mis. grat. l. 1 cap. 6. but Bellarmine also in plaine words. So that by two wit­nesses of good credit among our Aduersaries, it appeareth, that veniall sinnes are no otherwise taken away then other sinnes are, and therefore that our perfit obedience is by them so hindered, as that it cannot stand before the iust Iudge.

Againe, whatsoeuer sinnes are short of that obedience that God commandeth in this Law, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, Deut. 6.5. with all thy soule, with all thy might: are hinderances vnto the perfection of obedience: but the sinnes which they call venial doe that (for in committing of them our whole heart, minde and soule is not bent to obserue Gods Law) therefore such sinnes are a hinderance to our perfit keeping of the Law. But to be short: If veniall sinnes be no transgression of Law, they are to be much blamed that call them sinnes: (For where there is no Law, there is no transgression) but if they bee a breach of Law, as before I said, they are of the nature of sinnes, and vnlesse they be pardoned, shall also haue the reward of sinne.

The godly feare their venial sins.But what seeke I to proue that, which euery mans owne con­science (if they be not too much besotted) will tell them? Was it not veniall sinnes as our Aduersaries account, that made Paul cry [Page 69] out as he doth: O wretched man that I am, Rom. 7.24. who shall deliuer me from the bodie of this death? He could neuer haue said of himselfe as he doth, of being without reproofe concerning the Law, if he had beene stained with notorious and such as they call mortall sinnes. And shall Paul be so scarred with veniall sinnes, and can wee ima­gine they make vs nothing the worse? How much better were it for vs with good Bernard to confesse: Passio tua vltimum refugium, Ber. in Can. Ser. 22. singulare remedium. Deficiente sapientia, iustitia non sufficiente, suc­cumbentibus sanctitatis meritis illa succurrit. O Lord, thy passion is my last refuge, a singular remedy. For when wisdome wanteth, Iustice sufficeth not, and merits of holinesse faile, that helpeth. And thus I trust it doth appeare, that howsoeuer our Aduersaries teach of ve­niall sinnes (which they confesse are in the godly) yet are they such staines in the garment of our righteousnesse, as are not to bee shaken off with euery knocke of the brest, or washed off, with sprinkling a little holy-water or other such like tryfling deuices. No, no: vnlesse this our garment be dipt in the bloud of Christ and so made white, it will euer appeare defiled.

A fift obiection. They tell vs that eternall life is called a reward, great is your reward in Heauen. Mat. 5.12. As before in answering their third obiection, I sayd, that not euery promise proueth that which is giuen, to be merited by the worke: so heere I doe auerre,How life eternall is called a reward. that the calling of eternall life a reward, doth not euict, that it is giuen in regard of the worthinesse of the worke. If you demand, why it is then called a reward: I answere, It pleaseth God not only to ac­quaint vs with his will, that we may know what is good and what is euil: but also by many arguments sometime of his power, some­time of his Iustice, sometime of his goodnesse to moue his people to obedience. To them therefore, that with more alacritie,Gal. 6.10. While we haue time to do good vnto all men, as the Apostle exhorteth, he telleth vs that our labour shall not be without reward. The like argument doth the Apostle vse to the Corinthians,1. Co. 15.58 Therefore my beloued bre­thren, be yee stedfast, vnmoueable, abundant alwayes in the worke of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vaine in the Lord.

But eternall life is called a reward: Be it so. It is also called a Kingdome,Mat. 25.34 and that prepared for Gods seruants from the beginning of the world. If prepared so long since for them, then not bestowed for the worthinesse of their worke. If a Kingdome, it is an inheri­tance, that is giuen by grace (for we are sonnes by adoption) heires [Page 70] of God, and heires annexed with Christ. Or else by election we haue this inheritance.Rom. 8.17. For no man is elected to a Kengdome in regard of his merits, especially, so long before hee can doe any thing for it.Coloss 3.24. The Apostle calleth it a reward of inheritance. Ye shall receiue a reward of inheritance (sayth he.)

Howsoeuer, therefore it is called sometime a reward, yet is it a reward that is promised,Gal. 3.29. Bel. de Iusti­fic. l. 5. c. 18. and therefore Saint Paul sayth, Wee are heires by promise. And therefore Bellarmine himselfe confesseth, that remota promissione, non tenetur Deus acceptare opus nostrum ad mer­cedem: taking away the promise, God is not bound to accept our worke, to reward it. Now if a father promise his sonne, being yet but a childe both in strength and discretion (and such children are we in heauenly matters) a great reward, if hee doe some small matter at his appointment, yet such as hee knoweth passeth eyther his abi­litie or skill: whether shall we say when this recompence is giuen, that it is of promise or of dutie? The sonne indeuoureth as well as he can to doe it, and with much adoe with continuall helpe of his father, he doth it at length in some sort. I hope no man will say his worke deserued it. For the Father promised much for a small matter, hee helpeth his sonne to doe it, and beareth in the end with many wants: euen so God for the little that wee can doe promiseth much, and that wee doe hath many imperfections too. Can wee then thinke of merit?Ber in Cant. Serm. [...]7. No, no, the Spouse of Christ doth then shew her selfe to be more full of grace, when she ascribeth all to grace, knowing her part is first and last.

Luk. 17.7.But against the meriting of the reward, that parable in S. Luke is most plaine. A seruant ploweth, or doth any other worke in the field, when hee commeth home, his Master biddeth him not sit downe, but willeth him to dresse meat, and giue himselfe, and wait and serue him: teaching vs that we haue no time to bestow other­wise then vpon our Masters worke.Ambros. in Luke 17. Theopilact. in Luk. 17. We must alwayes while wee liue be doing, saith Ambrose. This Parable sheweth (saith Theophilact) that a man must not be proud of any good worke: no, neyther yet in the fulfilling of all the Commandements. For the seruant must doe what his Master commandeth, neither must hee ascribe it to himselfe as a good worke. Ambros. in Luk. 7. Dionis. Car­thus. in Luk. 17. And Ambrose gathereth the same lesson too. Let no man glory of workes, for we owe our seruice to the Lord. So doth the Carthusian also. The seruant is tyed to this, and after his worke in the field, he must labour in the house that he may daily be labouring.

It being thus, let vs consider of the conclusion of the Parable. So likewise ye, Luk. 17.10. when you haue done all things which were commanded you, say, We are vnprofitable seruants, we haue done that was our dutie to doe. Hieron. ad Ctesiphon­tem. Theophil. in Luk. 17. No merit in this worke. If that seruant were vnprofitable that did all (sayth Hierom) What shall we say of him that could not doe it? Theophilact also in like manner. If when we haue done all the Commandements, yet wee haue no cause to thinke well of our doing, how greatly doe we sinne, when not doing the greatest part of Gods Commandements; yet we are proud of our doing? The Carthusian likewise: If they must account them­selues vnprofitable seruants, who haue fulfilled all the Commandements: what shall we doe, who in so many things transgresse, and so vnperfectly perchance keepe that we keepe, that as the Prophet Esai sayth, all our righteousnesse is like a filthy clout?

But Bellarmine telleth vs,De Iustific. lib. 5. cap. 5. Bernard. de tripl. custo­dia. Bernard. de precepto & dispensa­tione. that Christ so concludeth to teach hu­militie. I answere with Bernard, Sanè propter humilitatem, sed num­quid contra veritatem? True indeed for humility: but is it against verity? He also elsewhere thus speaketh to that seruant: You are free from duty, but not glorious by merit: You haue escaped punishment, but haue not gotten the crowne. The Parable teacheth vs, that all wee can doe is dutie, therefore wee may not thinke of merit: because, whatsoeuer wee are able to performe at any time, in any place, by any meanes, we owe all that seruice to God.

Lastly, I come to those words of Iames, in shew as contrarie to Saint Paul as can be; yet because they both had one teacher, both were guided in writing by one Spirit, and were both of one faith and Religion, we are sure both teach one Doctrine.Rom. 3.28. Iam. 2.24. What Iustificati­on is by workes. Iude 4. Aug lib. 83. quaest. 76. & de fide & operibus cap. 14. And yet Paul sayth, We are iustified by faith without workes. Iames sayth, Wee are iustified by workes, and not by faith only: and both these are most true. For if we speake of the cause of Iustification, then must wee hear­ken to Saint Paul, who teacheth, that is by faith without workes. But, because many turning the grace of God into wantonnesse, gathe­red out of the Apostles words that so they beleeued, they needed no regard or care how they liued, as Augustine saith in moe places then one: Therefore Saint Iames teacheth, how men shall know that wee are iustified, and what manner of faith this true faith is. For faith without workes as it is not a true, or liuing, but a coun­terfeit and dead faith, so it auaileth nothing to Iustification.

So that the word of Iustification hath not the like signification in S. Iames, that it had in S. Paul. For in S. Paul it is taken for our [Page 72] iustification before God, as in the beginning I haue declared plentifully. And in S. Iames it signifieth that Iustification before men, whereby we are knowne to be righteous. S. Iames his words tend to that end:Iam. 2.18. Shew me thy faith by thy workes, and I will shew thee my faith by my workes. He would haue a faith shewed to men, which cannot be but by workes: for works are the touchstone, whereby a true and liuely faith is discerned from a false and dead faith, when oportuniry is offered to vs, to bring forth that fruit. Otherwise the faith that many speake of, will proue no better, scarse so good,Vers. 19. as that the Deuils haue, who beleeue and tremble. Therefore as S. Peter exhorteth vs to beautifie our selues, with that better then any golden chaine of Christian vertues, which will make vs neither idle nor vnfruitfull, 2 Pet. 1.8. in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ, so doth S. Iames giue them of his time to vnderstand, how they haue mistaken a bare name of faith and knowledge of Christ, for an effectuall and a iustifying faith.

He therefore speaketh in this sort: Thou saist thou hast faith: I see it not, for thy workes shew no such matter. Proue then before men that thou hast this confidence in God, that thou hast this as­surance within thee, of thy atonement with him. Primasius who wrote about 1100. yeeres since, so expoundeth these wordes, re­conciling that which seemed to bee contradiction in the Apostles S. Iames (saith he) speaketh of the workes that shew a man to be faith­full, Primas. in Rom. cap. 3. as himselfe in that which followeth, expoundeth it: Shew me by workes thy faith. It is workes whereby faith is knowne. Venerable Bede also is of that minde,Bede vpon Iam. 2. that Iames would vt fidem suam per ope­ra probarent: That they should proue their faith by their workes. But Thomas of Aquine the Angellicall Doctor, whose authority in the Romish Church will beare the sway, will loose this knot. For re­conciling those wordes of PAVL.Gal. 3.11. No man is iustified by the Law, with these wordes of Iames, Iam. 2.21. ABRAHAM was iustified by workes: He telleth that the iustification that is of workes, is an execution or manifestation of righteousnesse, whereby he is shewed to be iust. And, by and by after: The righteousnesse before God is in the inner heart: Tho. Aquin. in Gal. 3. Lect. 4. but the righteousnes that is of workes, that is that maketh knowne or manifest him that is iust: is before men. What can be spoken more plaine? S. Paul teacheth how with boldnes we may stand before God, pleading not guilty (now this confidence is alwayes with­in vs) S. Iames would haue this by their fruit to appeare vnto o­thers, [Page 73] Lest men deceiue their owne hearts, Iam. 1.26. and the Religion of such men proue vaine, as himselfe saith elsewhere. Thus then truly conside­ring, in what sense the one and the other Apostle doe take the word Iustification, the difference appeareth to be none at all, and so the matter is easily compounded.

And thus I trust it will appeare, the premises truly considered, that our interpretation of the Apostles wordes, (A man is iustified by faith without the workes of the Law) is both true and Catholike:Rom. 3.28. our conclusion, that out of them we gather is sound, and agree­able to the Apostles doctrine, hauing a very great consent of most approued antiquitie, yea and of Popish writers too: And our workes (how good soeuer) haue not in them any worthinesse or merit, but are in mercy rewarded according to promise. So that the seruant of God must learne with good Bernard, to say;Bern. super Cantic. ser. 67. Gratia reddit me mihi iustificatum gratis, & sic liberatum a seruitute pecca­ti: Grace restoreth me to my selfe iustified freely, and so deliuered from the thraldome of sinne. Luk. 2.23.24. Then shall we sing with that multitude of hea­uenly Souldiers praysing God and saying, Glory be to God on high. Yea with those many Angels round about the Throne, Reuel 5.11. and about the Beasts and the Elders, and those thousand thousands, Saying with a lowd voice: Worthy is the Lambe that was killed, to receiue power, and riches, 12. and wisedome, and strength, and honor, and glory, and prayse: because, O Lord, Thou hast redeemed vs to God by thy bloud, 9. Reuel. 1.5. yea thou hast loued vs, and in it hast washed vs from our sinnes. Which Meditations will teach vs, casting off all confidence in our selues, or our owne righ­teousnesse,1. Iob. 3.8. Mat. 1.21. to rest only vpon him that came to destroy the workes of the Deuill, and to saue his people from their sinnes: who his owne selfe bare our sinnes in his body vpon the tree, that we being deliuered from sinne, should liue in righteousnesse: by whose stripes we are healed. To him therefore with the Father, and the holy Ghost, bee all honor and praise, now and euer. AMEN.

FINIS.

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