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MERE GRACE AND MERCY, THAT RECOMPENCE :
all this is judicious, folid and orthodox. The right LXX. This manifestation of mere juftice is not eous judge more strongly concluded from that day being called cludes
the day of the righteous judgment, Rom. 2. 5. For, ist. not grace. It is there called the day of wrath. And yet wrath
will not be exercised only, without a manifestation
LXXI. What is asserted Rom. 2. II, viz. that
sufficient to confirm this opinion. For because God persons.
does all things without respect of persons, does it
LXXII. It is a new opinion, and an extraordinary
be justified, and according to which they shall be be perfect. judged, will be perfeet, yea most perfect, that notking
may derogate from the righteousness of the judgment of
to be justified, will be perfect: ist. In Christ, on account of his most perfect righteousness imputed to them, Col. 2. 10. 2dly. In themselves, being then, perfectly fanctified: For, they, who had died before that time, are called just men made perfeet Heb. 12. 23; and they, who shall, at that day, be alive, shall be changed, 1 Cor. 15. 51, 52, and doubtless, obtain perfect holiness by that change, which the others obtained at death. But that the works, which they performed in this life, can then be said to be most perfect, is neither consonant with scripture, nor reason,
LXXIII. The scripture declares, that the works, But the which were done by believers, in this life, were not
works by without blemish, because they, who performed them, had the old man still remaining, who mixed and be juftifi
they hall tainted them with some corruption of his own, ed, will Rom. 7. 22, 23, 24. Gal. 5. 15: This is without not be
perfect. dispute. But the scripture no where says, that these works, shall appear otherwise, at the latt judgment, than they did in this life; nay, it afferts the contrary, when it testifies, that every one shall be judged according to that he hath done in his body, 2 Cor. 5. 10; but it is certain that the things, done in the body, were imperfect. It is also contrary to reason, to fay that actions, which were imperfect while they were performing, and actually existing, should be declared to be perfect, when they were no more; and perfect not only in the estimation of God the judge, but also by, I know not, what fanctification, really perfecting them, when they had no further existence. No doubt habits, which are holy when first infused, are perfected by a farther fanctification; but that actions, which were imperfect while they exifted, should become perfect, after they have ceased to be, is inconceivable.
LXXIV. Seeing, what we are taught in scripture What the concerning the perfection of believers by a progref. Scripture
ascribes to five fanctification, and the death of the body, regards
perfons, K 3
to be a
ought not their persons, about the perfection of which there is scribed to
no dispute, it is erroneous to apply it to their antetheir ac.
cedent works. That God refines those works like tions,
gold, purging away all their tin and dross, so as to be altogether pure in his eyes, is an unscriptura! fancy. The passages, Isa. 1. 25. Zech. 13. 9. Mal. 3. 3, do not treat of works but of perfons, nor speak of their abfolute perfection, nor have a reference to the day of the last judgment, but relate to the condition of the present life, as will plainly appear to any who will peruse them; and can therefore with no probability be wrested to this sense.
LXXV. Indeed, the good works, of those who die (in the Lord] are said to follow them Rev. 14 13: but they are such as they were performed here; and they follow, not in themselves, but in their fruits and effects; in so far as God, in regard of their good works, does good to the pious even after death. For this end it is not requisite, that they be perfect ; it is sufficient, that they bę performed in faith, and by the spirit of Christ. I do not remember, that the scripture says, 'that good works shall rise with them. They who speak thus, mean no more, at least they ought to mean no more by that phrase, but that, in the resurrection of the just, the pious shall rejoice in the gratuitous reward of their holiness. It is said indeed; that he, who hath begun a good work in believers, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Phil. 1.6. But by a good work is there meant the communication of the grace of Christ, revealed in the gospel, as appears from v. 5, which God perfects in certain degrees, till the finishing hand is put to it at che last day. There is nothing in that paffage relating to the perfection
of our actions, which are already over and gone: Which if
LXXVI. In the last place, if good works are pould be there to appear perfect, there can
be no reason, why allo meri- they should not be meritorious. For, that is certainly torious.
meritorious, which satisfies every dem.and of the law; if merit is to be ascribed to such a work, which when a man does, he is to live therein, according to the law of the covenant of works. It is not required to meritorious works, in the sense now in debate, that they are not due and properly our own, that is, that they are done in our own îtrength, without the grace of God. For, the papists themselves readily acknowledged, that there are no such meritorious works. But by those meritorious works, which are the present subject of dispute, are understood such actions, on performing which one has a right to life. But the only, or at least the principal reason, why our works are not meritorious, is what the catechism aligns, because they are † imperfect and ftained with sin.
LXXVII. Nor will the righteousness of the judgment of that day, be in the least diminished, tho' the works of believers, by which they shall be judged, are imperfect. For, they will not be mentioned, as the causes of their right to claim the reward, to which perfection is requisite; but as effects and, signs of grace, and of union with Christ, and of a living faith, and of justification by faith, and of a right to life: for whi h their unfeigned sincerity is fufficient, We therefore conclude, that the justification in the next world is not to be so very much diftinguished from the justification in this world.
LXXVIII. As this doctrine of free justification, The ufeon account of the righteousness of Christ, apprehended by faith alone, is founded on clear testi- the doc.
Q. 62. Why cannot our good works be righteousness, or Come part of righteousness before God?
A. Becaufe that righteousness, which must stand before the judgment of God, must be in all points perfect and agreeable to zhe law of God. But our works, even the best of them are im perfect in this life, and defiled with fin.
1. For the
monies of scripture; fo it approves itself to every pious conscience, by its most excellent uses and fruits.
LXXIX. ift. It tends much to display the display of glory of God, whose most exalted perfections the glory ihine forth with an eminent lustre in this matter. of God.
It sets forth the infinite GOODNESS of God, by which he was inclined to procure salvation freely for loft and miserable man,' to the praise of the glory of his grace, Epb. 1. 6. It displays also the strictest JUSTICE, by which he would not forgive even the smallest offence, but on condition of the sufficient engagement, or full satisfaction of the mediator, that he might be just, and the justifier of bim wbicb believeth in Jesus, Rom. 3. 26. It shews further the unsearchable wisdom of the deity, which found out a way, for the exercise of the most gracious act of mercy, without injury to his stricteft justice and infallible truth, which threatned death to the finner: justice demanded that the soul, that finned, should die, Rom. 1. 32. Truth had pronounced, cursed is be that continueth not in all things, Deut. 27: 26. Goodness, in the mean time, was inclined to adjudge life to some finners, but by no other way, than what become the 'majesty of the most holy God.' Here wisdom interposed saying, " I will fully fatisfy my
goodness, and say to mine clect; I, even I am bé, so that blotteth out thy transgeffons for mine own sake, “ Isa. 43. 25. Nor shall you, my justice and my “ truth, have any cause of complaint, because full « fatisfaction shall be made to you by a mediator. Hence the incredible philantropy of the Lord Jesus Thineth forth, 'who, tho” Lord of all, was made subječt to the law, not to the obedience of it only, but also to the curse; made fin for us, " that we might be made the rigteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5. 21.
LXXX. Ought not the pious foul, who is deeply engaged in the devout meditation of these things, break out into the praises of a juftifying God, and