(Owen, Justification. part 8)

of the most sober among the Papists, in their ascriptions unto grace
and the merit of Christ, on the one side; and the express judgment
of the Protestants, variously delivered, of the necessity of good
works to them that are justified, on the other. Besides, it appears
that in different expressions which either party adhere unto, as it
were by tradition, the same things are indeed intended. Among them
who have laboured in this kind, Ludovicus le Blanc, for his
perspicuity and plainness, his moderation and freedom from a
contentious frame of spirit, is "pene solus legi dignus". He is like
the ghost of Tiresias in this matter. But I must needs say, that I
have not seen the effect that might be desired of any such
undertaking. For, when each party comes unto the interpretation of
their own concessions, which is, "ex communi jure", to be allowed
unto them, and which they will be sure to do in compliance with
their judgment on the substance of the doctrine wherein the main
stress of the difference lies, the distance and breach continue as
wide as ever they were. Nor is there the least ground towards peace
obtained by any of our condescensions or compliance herein. For
unless we can come up entirely unto the decrees and canons of the
Council of Trent, wherein the doctrine of the Old and New Testament
is anathematized, they will make no other use of any man's
compliance, but only to increase the glamour of differences among
ourselves. I mention nothing of this nature to hinder any man from
granting whatever he can or please unto them, without the prejudice
of the substance of truths professed in the protestant churches; but
only to intimate the uselessness of such concessions, in order unto
peace and agreement with them, whilst they have a Procrustes' bed to
lay us upon, and from whose size they will not recede.
     Here and there one (not above three or four in all may be named,
within this hundred and thirty years) in the Roman communion has
owned our doctrine of justification, for the substance of it. So did
Albertus Pighius, and the Antitagma Coloniense, as Bellarmine
acknowledges. And what he says of Pighius is true, as we shall see
afterwards; the other I have not seen. Cardinal Contarinus, in a
treatise of justification, written before, and published about the

beginning of the Trent Council, delivers himself in the favour of
it. But upon the observation of what he had done, some say he was
shortly after poisoned; though I must confess I know not where they
had the report.
     But do what we can for the sake of peace, as too much cannot be
done for it, with the safety of truth, it cannot be denied but that
the doctrine of justification, as it works effectually in the church
of Rome, is the foundation of many enormities among them, both in
judgment and practice. They do not continue, I acknowledge, in that
visible predominancy and rage as formerly, nor are the generality of
the people in so much slavish bondage unto them as they were; but
the streams of them do still issue from this corrupt fountain, unto
the dangerous infection of the souls of men. For missatical
expiatory sacrifices for the tiring and the dead, the necessity of
auricular confession, with authoritative absolution, penances,
pilgrimages, sacramentals, indulgences, commutations, works
satisfactory and supererogatory, the merit and intercession of
saints departed, with especial devotions and applications to this or
that particular saint or angel, purgatory, yea, on the matter, the
whole of monastic devotion, do depend thereon. They are all nothing
but ways invented to pacify the consciences of men, or divert them
from attending to the charge which is given in against them by the
law of God; sorry supplies they are of a righteousness of their own,
for them who know not how to submit themselves to the righteousness
of God. And if the doctrine of free justification by the blood of
Christ were once again exploded, or corrupted and made
unintelligible, unto these things, as absurd and foolish as now unto
some they seem to be, or what is not one jut better, men must and
will again betake themselves. For if once they are diverted from
putting their trust in the righteousness of Christ, and grace of God
alone, and do practically thereon follow after, take up with, or
rest in, that which is their own, the first impressions of a sense
of sin which shall befall their consciences will drive them from
their present hold, to seek for shelter in any thing that tenders
unto them the least appearance of relief. Men may talk and dispute
what they please, whilst they are at peace in their own minds,
without a real sense either of sin or righteousness, yea, and scoff
at them who are not under the power of the same security; but when
they shall be awakened with other apprehensions of things than yet
they are aware of, they will be put on new resolutions. And it is in
vain to dispute with any about justification, who have not duly been
convinced of a state of sin, and of its guilt; for such men neither
understand what they say, nor that whereof they dogmatize.
     We have, therefore, the same reasons that the first reformers had,
to be careful about the preservation of this doctrine of the gospel
pure and entire; though we may not expect the like success with them
in our endeavours unto that end. For the minds of the generality of
men are in another posture than they were when they dealt with them.
Under the power of ignorance and superstition they were; but yet
multitudes of them were affected with a sense of the guilt of sin.
With us, for the most part, things are quite otherwise. Notional
light, accompanied with a senselessness of sin, leads men unto a
contempt of this doctrine, indeed of the whole mystery of the
gospel. We have had experience of the fruits of the faith which we
now plead for in this nation, for many years, yea, now for some
ages; and it cannot well be denied, but that those who have been
most severely tenacious of the doctrine of justification by the
imputation of the righteousness of Christ, have been the most
exemplary in a holy life: I speak of former days. And if this
doctrine be yet farther corrupted, debased, or unlearned among us,
we shall quickly fall into one of the extremes wherewith we are at
present urged on either side. For although the reliefs provided in
the church of Rome, for the satisfaction of the consciences of men,
are at present by the most disliked, yea, despised, yet, if they are
once brought to a loss how to place their whole trust and confidence
in the righteousness of Christ, and grace of God in him, they will
not always live at such an uncertainty of mind as the best of their
own personal obedience will hang them on the briers of; but retake
themselves unto somewhat that tenders them certain peace and
security, though at present it may seem foolish unto them. And I
doubt not but that some, out of a mere ignorance of the
righteousness of God, which either they have not been taught, or
have had no mind to learn, have, with some integrity in the exercise
of their consciences, betaken themselves unto that pretended rest
which the church of Rome offers unto them. For being troubled about
their sins, they think it better to retake themselves unto that
great variety of means for the ease and discharge of their
consciences which the Roman church affords, than to abide where they
are, without the least pretence of relief; as men will find in due
time, there is no such thing to be found or obtained in themselves.
They may go on for a time with good satisfaction unto their own
minds; but if once they are brought unto a loss through the
conviction of sin, they must look beyond themselves for peace and
satisfaction, or sit down without them to eternity. Nor are the
principles and ways which others take up withal in another extreme,
upon the rejection of this doctrine, although more plausible, yet at
all more really useful unto the souls of men than those of the Roman
church which they reject as obsolete, and unsuited unto the genius
of the present age. For they all of them arise from, or lead unto,
the want of a due sense of the nature and guilt of sin, as also of
the holiness and righteousness of God with respect thereunto. And
when such principles as these do once grow prevalent in the minds of
men, they quickly grow careless, negligent, secure in sinning, and
end for the most part in atheism, or a great indifference, as unto
all religion, and all the duties thereof.

I. Justifying faith; the causes and object of it declared

Justification by faith generally acknowledged--The meaning of it
perverted--The nature and use of faith in justification proposed to
consideration--Distinctions about it waived--A twofold faith of the
gospel expressed in the Scripture--Faith that is not justifying,
Acts 8:13; John 2:23,24; Luke 8:13; Matt.7:22,23--Historical faith;
whence it is so called, and the nature of it--Degrees of assent in
it--Justification not ascribed unto any degree of it--A calumny
obviated--The causes of true saving faith--Conviction of sin
previous unto it--The nature of legal conviction, and its effects--
Arguments to prove it antecedent unto faith--Without the
consideration of it, the true nature of faith not to be understood--
The order and relation of the law and gospel, Rom.1:17--Instance of
Adam--Effects of conviction--Internal: Displicency and sorrow; fear
of punishment; desire of deliverance--External: Abstinence from sin;
performance of duties; reformation of life--Not conditions of
justification; not formal disposition unto it; not moral
preparations for it--The order of God in justification--The proper
object of justifying faith--Not all divine verity equally; proved by
sundry arguments--The pardon of our own sins, whether the first
object of faith--The Lord Christ in the work of mediation, as the
ordinance of God for the recovery of lost sinners, the proper object
of justifying faith--The position explained and proved, Acts 10:43;
16:31; 4:12; Luke 24:25-27; John 1:12; 3:16,36; 6:29,47; 7:38; Acts
26:18; Col.2:6; Rom.3:24,25; 1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.5:21; Eph.1:7,8; 2

The means of justification on our part is faith. That we are
justified by faith, is so frequently and so expressly affirmed in
the Scripture, as that it cannot directly and in terms by any be
denied. For whereas some begin, by an excess of partiality, which
controversial engagements and provocations do incline them unto, to
affirm that our justification is more frequently ascribed unto other
things, graces or duties, than unto faith, it is to be passed by in
silence, and not contended about. But yet, also, the explanation
which some others make of this general concession, that "we are
justified by faith", does as fully overthrow what is affirmed
therein as if it were in terms rejected; and it would more advantage
the understandings of men if it were plainly refused upon its first
proposal, than to be led about in a maze of words and distinctions
unto its real exclusion, as is done both by the Romanists and
Socinians. At present we may take the proposition as granted, and
only inquire into the true, genuine sense and meaning of it: That
which first occurs unto our consideration is faith; and that which
does concern it may be reduced unto two heads:--1. Its nature. 2.
Its use in our justification.
     Of the nature of faith in general, of the especial nature of
justifying faith, of its characteristical distinctions from that
which is called faith but is not justifying, so many discourses
(divers of them the effects of sound judgment and good experience)
are already extant, as it is altogether needless to engage at large
into a farther discussion of them. However, something must be spoken
to declare in what sense we understand these things;--what is that
faith which we ascribe our justification unto, and what is its use
     The distinctions that are usually made concerning faith (as it is
a word of various significations), I shall wholly pretermit; not
only as obvious and known, but as not belonging unto our present
argument. That which we are concerned in is, that in the Scripture
there is mention made plainly of a twofold faith, whereby men
believe the gospel. For there is a faith whereby we are justified,
which he who has shall be assuredly saved; which purifies the heart
and works by love. And there is a faith or believing, which does
nothing of all this; which who has, and has no more, is not
justified, nor can be saved. Wherefore, every faith, whereby men are
said to believe, is not justifying. Thus it is said of Simon the
magician, that he "believed," Acts 8:13, when he was in the "gall of
bitterness and bond of iniquity;" and therefore did not believe with
that faith which "purifieth the heart," Acts 15:9. And that many
"believed on the name of Jesus, when they saw the miracles that he
did; but Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew
what was in man," John 2:23,24. They did not believe on his name as
those do, or with that kind of faith, who thereon "receive power to
become the sons of God," John 1:12. And some, when they "hear the
word receive it with joy, believing for a while," but "have no
root," Luke 8:13. And faith, without a root in the heart, will not
justify any; for "with the heart men believe unto righteousness,"
Rom.10:10. So is it with them who shall cry, "Lord, Lord" (at the
last days, "we have prophesied in thy name," whilst yet they were
always "workers of iniquity", Matt.7:22,23.
     This faith is usually called historical faith. But this
denomination is not taken from the object of it, as though it were
only the history of the Scripture, or the historical things
contained in it. For it respects the whole truth of the word, yea,
of the promises of the gospel as well as other things. But it is so
called from the nature of the assent wherein it does consist; for it
is such as we give unto historical things that are credibly
testified unto us.
     And this faith has divers differences or degrees, both in respect
unto the grounds or reasons of it, and also its effects. For as unto
the first, all faith is an assent upon testimony; and divine faith
is an assent upon a divine testimony. According as this testimony is
received, so are the differences or degrees of this faith. Some
apprehend it on human motives only, and its credibility unto the
judgment of reason; and their assent is a mere natural act of their
understanding, which is the lowest degree of this historical faith.
Some have their minds enabled unto it by spiritual illumination,
making a discovery of the evidences of divine truth whereon it is to
be believed; the assent they give hereon is more firm and operative
than that of the former sort.
     Again; it has its differences or degrees with respect unto its
effects. With some it does no way, or very little, influence the
will or the affections, or work any change in the lives of men. So
is it with them that profess they believe the gospel, and yet live
in all manner of sins. In this degree, it is called by the apostle
James "a dead faith," and compared unto a dead carcass, without life
or motion; and is an assent of the very serene nature and kind with
that which devils are compelled to give; and this faith abounds in
the world. With others it has an effectual work upon the affections,
and that in many degrees, also, represented in the several sorts of
ground whereinto the seed of the word is cast, and produces many
effects in their lives. In the utmost improvement of it, both as to
the evidence it proceeds from and the effects it produces, it is
usually called temporary faith; for it is neither permanent against
all oppositions, nor will bring any unto eternal rest. The name is
taken from that expression of our Saviour concerning him who
believeth with this faith,--"Proskairos esti", Matt.13:21.
     This faith I grant to be true in its kind, and not merely to be
equivocally so called: it is not "pistis pseudoonumos". It is so as
unto the general nature of faith; but of the same special nature
with justifying faith it is not. Justifying faith is not a higher,
or the highest degree of this faith, but is of another kind or
nature. Wherefore, sundry things may be observed concerning this
faith, in the utmost improvement of it unto our present purpose. As-
     1. This faith, with all the effects of it, men may have and not be
justified; and, if they have not a faith of another kind, they
cannot be justified. For justification is nowhere ascribed unto it,
yea, it is affirmed by the apostle James that none can be justified
by it.
     2. It may produce great effects in the minds, affections and lives
of men, although not one of them that are peculiar unto justifying
faith. Yet such they may be, as that those in whom they are wrought
may be, and ought, in the judgment of charity, to be looked on as
true believers.
     3. This is that faith which may be alone. We are justified by
faith alone; but we are not justified by that faith which can be
alone. Alone, respects its influence into our justification, not its
nature and existence. And we absolutely deny that we can be
justified by that faith which can be alone; that is, without a
principle of spiritual life and universal obedience, operative in of
it, as duty does require.
     These things I have observed, only to obviate that calumny and
reproach which some endeavour to fix on the doctrine of
justification by faith only, through the mediation of Christ. For
those who assert it, must be Solifidians, Antinomians, and I know
not what;--such as oppose or deny the necessity of universal
obedience, or good works. Most of them who manage it, cannot but
know in their own consciences that this charge is false. But this is
the way of handling controversies with many. They can aver any thing
that seems to advantage the cause they plead, to the great scandal
of religion. If by Solifidians, they mean those who believe that
faith alone is on our part the means, instrument, or condition (of
which afterward) of our justification, all the prophets and apostles
were so, and were so taught to be by Jesus Christ; as shall be
proved. If they mean those who affirm that the faith whereby we are
justified is alone, separate, or separable, from a principle and the
fruit of holy obedient, they must find them out themselves, we know
nothing of them. For we allow no faith to be of the same kind or
nature with that whereby we are justified, but what virtually and
radically contains in it universal obedience, as the effect is in
the cause, the fruit in the root, and which acts itself in all
particular duties, according as by rule and circumstances they are
made so to be. Yea, we allow no faith to be justifying, or to be of
the same kind with it, which is not itself, and in its own nature, a
spiritually vital principle of obedience and good works. And if this
be not sufficient to prevail with some not to seek for advantages by
such shameful calumnies, yet is it so with others, to free their
minds from any concernment in them.
     [As] for the especial nature of justifying faith, which we inquire
into, the things whereby it is evidenced may be reduced unto these
four heads:--1. The causes of it on the part of God. 2. What is in
us previously required unto it. 3. The proper object of it. 4. Its
proper peculiar acts and effects. Which shall be spoken unto so far
as is necessary unto our present design:--
     1. The doctrine of the causes of faith, as unto its first original
in the divine will, and the way of its communication unto us, is so
large, and so immixed with that of the way and manner of the
operation of efficacious grace in conversion (which I have handled
elsewhere), as that I shall not here insist upon it. For as it
cannot in a few words be spoken unto, according unto its weight and
worth, so to engage into a full handling of it would too much divert
us from our present argument. This I shall only say, that from
thence it may be uncontrollable evidenced, that the faith whereby we
are justified is of an especial kind or nature, wherein no other
faith, which justification is not inseparable from, does partake
with it.
     2. Wherefore, our first inquiry is concerning what was proposed in
the second place,--namely, What is on our part, in a way of duty,
previously required thereunto; or, what is necessary to be found in
us antecedaneously unto our believing unto the justification of
life? And I say there is supposed in them in whom this faith is
wrought, on whom it is bestowed, and whose duty it is to believe
therewith, the work of the law in the conviction of sin; or,
conviction of sin is a necessary antecedent unto justifying faith.
Many have disputed what belongs hereunto, and what effects it
produces in the mind, that dispose the soul unto the receiving of
the promise of the gospel. But whereas there are different
apprehensions about these effects or concomitants of conviction (in
compunction, humiliation, self-judging, with sorrow for sin
committed, and the like), as also about the degrees of them, as
ordinarily prerequired unto faith and conversion unto God, I shall
speak very briefly unto them, so far as they are inseparable from
the conviction asserted. And I shall first consider this conviction
itself, with what is essential thereunto, and then the effects of it
in conjunction with that temporary faith before spoken of. I shall
do so, not as unto their nature, the knowledge whereof I take for
granted, but only as they have respect unto our justification.
     (1.) As to the first, I say, the work of conviction in general,
whereby the soul of man has a practical understanding of the nature
of sin, its guilt, and the punishment due unto it; and is made
sensible of his own interest therein, both with respect unto sin
original and actual, with his own utter disability to deliver
himself out of the state and condition wherein on the account of
these things he finds himself to be,--is that which we affirm to be
antecedaneously necessary unto justifying faith; that is, in the
adult, and of whose justification the word is the external means and
     A convinced sinner is only "subjectum capax justificationis",--not
that every one that is convinced is or must necessarily be
justified. There is not any such disposition or preparation of the
subject by this conviction, its effects, and consequent, as that the
form of justification, as the Papists speak, or justifying grace,
must necessarily ensue or be introduced thereon. Nor is there any
such preparation in it, as that, by virtue of any divine compact or
promise, a person so convinced shall be pardoned and justified. But
as a man may believe with any kind of faith that is not justifying,
such as that before mentioned, without this conviction; so it is
ordinarily previous and necessary so to be, unto that faith which is
unto the justification of life. The motive unto it is not that
thereon a man shall be assuredly justified; but that without it he
cannot be so.
     This, I say, is required in the person to be justified, in order
of nature antecedaneously unto that faith whereby we are justified;
which we shall prove with the ensuing arguments:--For, [1.] Without
the due consideration and supposition of it, the true nature of
faith can never be understood. For, as we have showed before,
justification is God's way of the deliverance of the convinced
sinner, or one whose mouth is stopped, and who is guilty before God,-
-obnoxious to the law, and shut up under sin. A sense, therefore, of
this estate, and all that belongs unto it, is required unto
believing. Hence Le Blanc, who has searched with some diligence into
these things, commends the definition of faith given by Mestrezat,--
that it is "the fight of a penitent sinner unto the mercy of God in
Christ." And there is, indeed, more sense and truth in it than in
twenty others that seem more accurate. But without a supposition of
the conviction mentioned, there is no understanding of this
definition of faith. For it is that alone which puts the soul upon a
flight unto the mercy of God in Christ, to be saved from the wrath
to come. Heb.6:18, "Fled for refuge."
     [2.] The order, relation, and use of the law and the gospel do
uncontrollably evince the necessity of this conviction previous unto
believing. For that which any man has first to deal withal, with
respect unto his eternal condition, both naturally and by God's
institution, is the law. This is first presented unto the soul with
its terms of righteousness and life, and with its curse in case of
failure. Without this the gospel cannot be understood, nor the grace
of it duly valued. For it is the revelation of God's way for the
relieving the souls of men from the sentence and curse of the law,
Rom.1:17. That was the nature, that was the use and end of the first
promise, and of the whole work of God's grace revealed in all the
ensuing promises, or in the whole gospel. Wherefore, the faith which
we treat of being evangelical,--that which, in its especial nature
and use, not the law but the gospel requires, that which has the
gospel for its principle, rule, and object,--it is not required of
us, cannot be acted by us, but on a supposition of the work and
effect of the law in the conviction of sin, by giving the knowledge
of it, a sense of its guilt, and the state of the sinner on the
account thereof. And that faith which has not respect hereunto, we
absolutely deny to be that faith whereby we are justified,
Gal.3:22-24; Rom.10:4.
     [3.] This our Saviour himself directly teaches in the gospel. For
he calls unto him only those who are weary and heavily laden;
affirms that the "whole have no need of the physician, but the
sick;" and that he "came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." In all which he intends not those who were really
sinners, as all men are,--for he makes a difference between them,
offering the gospel unto some and not unto others,--but such as were
convinced of sin, burdened with it, and sought after deliverance.
     So those unto whom the apostle Peter proposed the promise of the
gospel, with the pardon of sin thereby as the object of gospel
faith, were "pricked to the heart" upon the conviction of their sin,
and cried, "What shall we do?" Acts 2:37-39. Such, also, was the
state of the jailer unto whom the apostle Paul proposed salvation by
Christ, as what he was to believe for his deliverance, Acts
     [4.] The state of Adam, and God's dealing with him therein, is the
best representation of the order and method of these things. As he
was after the fall, so are we by nature, in the very same state and
condition. Really he was utterly lost by sin, and convinced he was
both of the nature of his sin and of the effects of it, in that act
of God by the law on his mind, which is called the "opening of his
eyes." For it was nothing but the communication unto his mind by his
conscience of a sense of the nature, guilt, effects, and consequent
of sin; which the law could then teach him, and could not do so
before. This fills him with shame and fear; against the former
whereof he provided by fig-leaves, and against the latter by hiding
himself among the trees of the garden. Nor, however they may please
themselves with them, are any of the contrivances of men, for
freedom and safety from sin, either wiser or more likely to have
success. In this condition God, by an immediate inquisition into the
matter of fact, sharpens this conviction by the addition of his own
testimony unto its truth, and casts him actually under the curse of
the law, in a juridical denunciation of it. In this lost, forlorn,
hopeless condition, God proposes the promise of redemption by Christ
unto him. And this was the object of that faith whereby he was to be
     Although these things are not thus eminently and distinctly
translated in the minds and consciences of all who are called unto
believing by the gospel, yet for the substance of them, and as to
the previousness of the conviction of sin unto faith, they are found
in all that sincerely believe.
     These things are known, and, for the substance of them, generally
agreed unto. But yet are they such as, being duly considered, will
discover the vanity and mistakes of many definitions of faith that
are obtruded on us. For any definition or description of it which
has not express, or at least virtual, respect hereunto, is but a
deceit, and no way answers the experience of them that truly
believe. And such are all those who place it merely in an assent
unto divine revelation, of what nature soever that assent be, and
whatever effects are ascribed unto it. For such an assent there may
be, without any respect unto this work of the law. Neither do I, to
speak plainly, at all value the most accurate disputations of any
about the nature and act of justifying faith, who never had in
themselves an experience of the work of the law in conviction and
condemnation for sin, with the effects of it upon their consciences;
or [who] do omit the due consideration of their own experience,
wherein what they truly believe is better stated than in all their
disputations. That faith whereby we are justified is, in general,
the acting of the soul towards God, as revealing himself in the
gospel, for deliverance out of this state and condition, or from
under the curse of the law applied unto the conscience, according to
his mind, and by the ways that he has appointed. I give not this as
any definition of faith, but only express what has a necessary
influence unto it, whence the nature of it may be discerned.
     (2.) The effects of this conviction, with their respect unto our
justification, real or pretended, may also be briefly considered.
And whereas this conviction is a mere work of the law, it is not,
with respect unto these effects, to be considered alone, but in
conjunction with, and under the conduct of, that temporary faith of
the gospel before described. And these two, temporary faith and
legal conviction, are the principles of all works or duties in unto
justification; and which, therefore, we must deny to have in them
any causality thereof. But it is granted that many acts and duties,
both internal and external, will ensue on real convictions. Those
that are internal may be reduced unto three heads:--[1.] Displicency
and sorrow that we have sinned. It is impossible that any one should
be really convinced of sin in the way before declared, but that a
dislike of sin, and of himself that he has sinned, shame of it, and
sorrow for it, will ensue thereon. And it is a sufficient evidence
that he is not really convinced of sin, whatever he profess, or
whatever confession he make, whose mind is not so affected,
Jer.36:24. [2.] Fear of punishment due to sin. For conviction
respects not only the instructive and receptive part of the law,
whereby the being and nature of sin are discovered, but the sentence
and curse of it also, whereby it is judged and condemned,
Gen.4:13,14. Wherefore, where fear of the punishment threatened does
not ensue, no person is really convinced of sin; nor has the law had
its proper work towards him, as it is previous unto the
administration of the gospel. And whereas by faith we "fly from the
wrath to come," where there is not a sense and apprehension of that
wrath as due unto us, there is no ground or reason for our
believing. [3.] A desire of deliverance from that state wherein a
convinced sinner finds himself upon his conviction is unavoidable
unto him. And it is naturally the first thing that conviction works
in the minds of men, and that in various degrees of care, fear,
solicitude, and restlessness; which, from experience and the conduct
of Scripture light, have been explained by many, unto the great
benefit of the church, and sufficiently derided by others. Secondly,
These internal acts of the mind will also produce sundry external
duties, which may be referred unto two heads:--[1.] Abstinence from
known sin unto the utmost of men's power. For they who begin to find
that it is an evil thing and a bitter that they have sinned against
God, cannot but endeavour a future abstinence from it. And as this
has respect unto all the former internal acts, as causes of it, so
it is a peculiar exurgency of the last of them, or a desire of
deliverance from the state wherein such persons are. For this they
suppose to be the best expedient for it, or at least that without
which it will not be. And herein usually do their spirits act by
promises and vows, with renewed sorrow on surprisals into sin, which
will befall them in that condition. [2.] The duties of religious
worship, in prayer and hearing of the word, with diligence in the
use of the ordinances of the church, will ensue hereon. For without
these they know that no deliverance is to be obtained. Reformation
of life and conversation in various degrees does partly consist in
these things, and partly follow upon them. And these things are
always so, where the convictions of men are real and abiding.
     But yet it must be said, that they are neither severally nor
jointly, though in the highest degree, either necessary
dispositions, preparations, previous congruities in a way of merit,
nor conditions of our justification. For,--
     [1.] They are not conditions of justification. For where one thing
is the condition of another, that other thing must follow the
fulfilling of that condition, otherwise the condition of it it is
not; but they may be all found where justification does not ensue:
wherefore, there is no covenant, promise, or constitution of God,
making them to be such conditions of justification, though, in their
own nature, they may be subservient unto what is required of us with
respect thereunto; but a certain infallible connection with it, by
virtue of any promise or covenant of God (as it is with faith), they
have not. And other condition, but what is constituted and made to

(continued in part 9...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: ownjs-08.txt