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DE Justificatione docemus, quòd ea propriè significat remissionem peccatorum, et acceptionem seu reconciliationem nostrain in gratiam et favorem Dei; hoc est, veram renovationem in Christo : Et quòd peccatores licet non assequantur hanc Justificationem absque pænitentiâ et bono ac propenso motu cordis, quein Spiritus efficit, erga Deum et proximum, non tamen propter dignitatem aut meritum pænitentiæ, aut'ullorum operum seu meritorum suorum justificantur, sed gratìs propter Christum per fidem ; cùm credunt se in gratiam recipi, et peccata sua proper Christum remitti, qui sua morte pro peccatis nostris satisfecit.
Hanc Fidem imputat Deus pro justitiâ coram ipso, Rom. 3, and 4. Fidem verd intelligimus non inanem et otiosam, sed eam quæ per dilectionem
0) Strype, Ann. of the Reformation, vol. I. Appendix, No, cxii. p. 301. 1
operatur. Est enim vera et Christiana Fides de quâ hic loquimur, non sola notitia articulorum fidei, et credulitas doctrinæ Christianæ, dumtaxat historica, sed una cum illa notitia, et credulitate, firma fiducia misericordiæ Dei promissæ propter Christum, quâ videlicet certo persuademus ac statuimus eum etiam nobis misericordem et propitium. Et hæc Fides verè justificat, verè est salutifera, non ficta, mortua, et hypocritica; sed necessariò habet spem et charitatem sibi individuè conjunctas ; ac etiam studium benè vivendi; et benè operatur pro loco et oceasione.
Nam Bona Opera ad salutem sunt necessaria : non quòd de impio justum (9) faciunt, nec quod sunt pretium pro peccatis, aut causa Justificationis; sed quia necessum est, ut qui jam fide Justificatus est, et reconciliatus Deo per Christum, voluntatem Dei facere studeat, juxta illud, Non omnis, qui dicit mihi, Domine, Domine, intrabit regnum cælorum, sed qui facit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in cælis est. Qui verò hæc Opera facere non studet, sed secundum carnem vivit, neque veram Fidem habet, neque justus est, neque vitam æternam (nisi exanimo resispicat et vere pæniteat) adsequetur.
(9) Strype reads faciens, incorrectly.
(r) FROM THE NECESSARY ERUDITION OF A CHRISTIAN MAN, edit. 1543.
FORASMUCH as in this book, which is set. forth for the institution and erudition of the common people, the Articles of our Faith have the first place; it is very necessary, before we enter into the declaration of the said Articles, something to entreat of Faith ; to the intent that it may be known, what is meant properly by the word Faith, as it is appertaining to a Christian man, who by Faith is partaker of God's benefits by Christ. And although Faith be diversly taken in Scripture, it shall be sufficient to entreat here of two kinds or acceptions of the same.
Faith, in the first acception, is considered as it is a several gift of God by itself distinct from hope and charity; and, so taken, it signifieth a persuasion and belief wrought by God in man's heart, whereby he assenteth, granteth, and taketh for true, not only that God is, (which knowledge is taught and declared by the marvellous works of the creation of the world, as saith St. Paul in the Epistle to the (s) Romans,) but also that all the words and sayings of God, which he revealed and opened in the Scripture, be of most certain truth and infallible verity. And further also, that all those things, which were taught by the apostles, and have been by a whole universal consent of the church of Christ, ever since that time, taught continually and taken always for true, ought to be received, accepted, and kept, as a perfect doctrine apostolick. And this is the first acception of Faith, which man hath of God; wherein man leaneth not to his own natural knowledge, which is by reason, but leaneth to the knowledge attained by Faith ; without the which Faith, we be ignorant and blind, and can not understand ; according as the prophet Isaiah saith, (t) Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis : Unless ye believe, ye shall not understand. And this Faith is the beginning, entry, and introduction, unto all Christian religion and godliness. For, as St. Paul saith, (u) He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder unto them which seek to please him. And this Faith, although it be the necessary beginning of all righteousness, yet, if it proceed not further to hope and charity, it is
(-) The 4to, edit, sign. B. et seq.
creation (s) Rom. i.
called in Scripture a dead Faith; because it is void and destitute of the life and efficacy of charity.
Faith, in the second acception, is considered as it hath hope and charity annexed and joined unto it. And Faith, so taken, signifieth not only the belief and persuasion before-mentioned in the first acception, but also a sure confidence and hope to attain whatsoever God hath promised for Christ's sake, and an hearty love to God, and obedience to his commandments. And this Faith is a lively Faith, and worketh in man a ready submission of his will to God's will. And this is the effectual Faith that worketh by charity, which St. Paul unto the (w) Galatians affirmeth to be of value and strength in Christ Jesu. By this Faith, (.x) Abraham, not knowing whither he should go, went out of his country, and dwelt in the land of behest, as in a strange land; looking and trusting for a city founded and builded by Almighty God. By this Faith also, he was ready to offer up his only begotten son Isaac, when he was tempted; in whom he looked for the promise, nothing doubting but that God was able to raise him up again from death. And this wise is Faith taken in the most part of the examples, which be recited of St. Paul in the eleventh chapter of bis Epistle to the
(w) Galat, v
(1) Hebr. xi.