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and Damnation ; yet (such was the Tenderness of his Nature) God could not but provide Means of Salvation for us. For we desery'd his Wrath and Damnation, only because we were Sinners; and as long as we continued so depraved, Happiness was impossible to us. But since our Nature could be renew'd, and the Dominion of Sin could be rooted out (the contrivance and perfecting of which glorious Change was the Effect of Divine Wisdom) therefore we became Objects of Pity, that is (for infinite Goodness can't restrain it self of fervent Love.
I shall make no farther Enlargements ar prefent ; because any person of ordinary Understanding may improve what I have briefly suggested.
The Third Proposition (God help us) is evidently true, as daily Experience teaches us. But see the Eleventh Question of Turretin's Locus Nonus, Numb. 21. p. 705.
The Fourth Proposition. See the Third Paragraph of Bishop Pearson on the Tenth Article, and the Two first Questions of the Locus Nonus of Turretin's System.
The TENTH ARTICLE.
Of Free Will. THE condition of man after the fall of Adam is such,
that he cannot turn and prepare himself by bis own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works plea. sant and acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will,
- For :
For the better understanding of this and some following Articles, 'cis necessary to observe, that the Phrase good works may be used and taken in very different Senses.
Those Works which have no Degree of Imper. fection in them, are in their own nature ftri&tly good, and may well bear the severity of God's Judgment; it being impossible for him to impute Guilt, where there is no Defect. And such Works as these, such strietly good Works, 'twas possible for our first Parents to perform before their Fall: And it had been also possible for us in like manner to perform strietly good Works, had we been preserved in our primitive Integrity.
But alas! by reason of our Original Corruption and Depravity of Nature, 'tis become impossible for us, in our present Circumstances, to perform any Works thus ftri&tly good. ' For in spite of our utmost Endevors, fome Degree of Imperfection does and will cleave even to our best Actions; and consequently all our present Works are in their own Nature, in some Respect of Degree, Strictly evil; according to the known Rule of the Moralists, Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex quolibet defe&tu. And therefore none of our present Works can in themselves bear the severity of God's Judgment, who must needs impute Guilt, where there is notorious Defect. For in a Moral Consideration all Defect is materially sinful.
But then those Persons, who can claim a Share in our Savior's Merits by the Terms of the Gospel Covenant, that is, such as are justified by Faith in him, may perform such Works, as are, tho' not Arictly, yet imputatively good ; that is, such Works as God is pleased to regard, accept and reward as
efpect Rule Of het defe&tu.
gocd for the sake of Christ, by whose all-perfect Righteousness the Defects of justified Persons are supplied, and by whose most precious Blood their Guilt is washed away.
As for the Works of others, viz. those who are not in a State of Justification by Faith (either bee cause they are not so much as enter'd into Covenant with God by Baptism ; or because, tho’they have been baptiz'd, yet they have not a justifying Faith, viz. a Faith working by Love) they do, and must of Neceflity continue in their own Nature ftri&tly Evil; and consequently they are Sins. So that even those Works which are good in Appear. ance, such as the Relief of the Oppressed, Temperance, Justice, &c. and which we may call, either (for the Reason above mention'd) speciously good Works, or Works comparatively good (because they are less Evil, and approach nearer to the Rule of Action) those very Works, I say, those speciously or comparatively good Works, which either an Infidel, or å bare formal Professor of Christianity may perform, are in Reality Splendida peccata, Acts of Vice under the Disguise of Virtue. For since none of our Actions can be strictly good; and Actions perform’d by such Persons cannot be imputatively good; therefore tho they are Speciously or comparatively good, yeç by reason of that Imperfection which must needs cleave to them, because 'tis not done away thro’ Christ, they are ftrictly evil, that is, Sins. ! I hope, I have express'd my self so clearly, that the Reader throughly understands the foregoing Diftin&ions and Terms, upon which a great deal depends. I proceed therefore to the Consideration of the Article it self,
This Article contains Two Propositions. 1. The Condition of Man after the Fall of Adam
is such, that he cannot turn and prepare him
self by his own natural Strength and good · Works to Faith and Calling upon God. 2. We have no Power to do good Works pleasant
and acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good Will, and working with us, when we have that good Will.
The First Propofition. The Phrase good works does in this Propofition manifestly denote Works that are only Speciously or comparatively good. This being premised, see the Fourth Question of the Locus Decimus of Turret in's System.
In the Second Propofition, tho' the good Works are said to be pleasant and acceptable to God, yet the Church does not mean that they are stričtly good, and consequently pleasant and acceptable to him in their own Nature : but the manifestly means Works imputatively good, towards the Performance of which God's preventing and allifting Grace is undoubtedly necessary. This being premised, the SecondProposition(whichis the neceffary Consequence of the First, and is therefore connected by the illative Particle wherefore) is created of by Limborch in the Eleventh and Twelfth Chapters of his Fourth Book, and Dr. Whitby in his Appendix to the Sixth Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, down to Secondly, to explain as far, &c.
The E LEVEN TH ARTICLE.
Of the Justification of Man.
W E are accounted righteous before God, only for the
VV merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own Works or deservings. Where. fore that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholfom Do&trine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification,
This Article contains Four Propositions,
for our own Works or Deservings.
for the Merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Cbrist. 3. We are accounted righteous before God, only
for the Merit of our Lord and Savior Hesus
Christ by Faith. 4. That we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholsom Doctrin, and very full of Comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Juftification.
Our Church expresly refers to the Homily of Justification for a more full Explication of the Doctrin of this. Article. And what the Church cals the Homily of Justification, is the Third Ho. mily in the First Book, entituled, of the Salvation of all Mankind. For in the said Homily the Do. &trin of Justification is declared and established; nor is there any other Homily which bears the Title of Justification. Thar Homily of Salvation