(Owen, Justification. part 12)

from the design of their discourses where they use it) for
impetration or acquisition "quovis modo;"--by any means whatever.
But there being no cogent reason to confine the word unto that
precise signification, it has given occasion to as great a
corruption as has befallen Christian religion. We must, therefore,
make use of the best means we have to understand the meaning of this
word, and what is intended by it, before we admit of its use in this
     "Conditio," in the best Latin writers, is variously used,
answering "katastasis, tuche, axia, aitia, tuntheche", in the Greek;
that is, "status, fortuna, dignitas, causa, pactum initum." In which
of these significations it is here to be understood is not easy to
be determined. In common use among us, it sometimes denotes the
state and quality of men,--that is, "katastatis" and "axia"; and
sometimes a valuable consideration for what is to be done,--that is,
"aitia" or "suntheke". But herein it is applied unto things in great
variety; sometimes the principal procuring, purchasing cause is so
expressed. As the condition whereon a man lends another a hundred
pounds is, that he be paid it again with interest;--the condition
whereon a man conveys his land unto another is, that he receive so
much money for it: so a condition is a valuable consideration. And
sometimes it signifies such things as are added to the principal
cause, whereon its operation is suspended;--as a man bequeaths a
hundred pounds unto another, on condition that he come or go to such
a place to demand it. This is no valuable consideration, yet is the
effect of the principal cause, or the will of the testator,
suspended thereon. And as unto degrees of respect unto that whereof
any thing is a condition, as to purchase, procurement, valuable
consideration, necessary presence, the variety is endless. We
therefore cannot obtain a determinate sense of this word condition,
but from a particular declaration of what is intended by it,
wherever it is used. And although this be not sufficient to exclude
the use of it from the declaration of the way and manner how we are
justified by faith, yet is it so to exclude the imposition of any
precise signification of it, any other than is given it by the
matter treated of. Without this, every thing is left ambiguous and
uncertain whereunto it is applied.
     For instance, it is commonly said that faith and new obedience are
the condition of the new covenant; but yet, because of the ambiguous
signification and various use of that term (condition) we cannot
certainly understand what is intended in the assertion. If no more
be intended but that God, in and by the new covenant, does
indispensably require these things of us,--that is, the
restipulation of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection
of Christ from the dead, in order unto his own glory, and our full
enjoyment of all the benefits of it, it is unquestionably true; but
if it be intended that they are such a condition of the covenant as
to be by us performed antecedently unto the participation of any
grace, mercy, or privilege of it, so as that they should be the
consideration and procuring causes of them,--that they should be all
of them, as some speak, the reward of our faith and obedience,--it
is most false, and not only contrary to express testimonies of
Scripture, but destructive of the nature of the covenant itself. If
it be intended that these things, though promised in the covenant,
and wrought in us by the grace of God, are yet duties required of
us, in order unto the participation and enjoyment of the full end of
the covenant in glory, it is the truth which is asserted; but if it
be said that faith and new obedience--that is, the works of
righteousness which we do--are so the condition of the covenant, as
that whatever the one is ordained of God as a means of, and in order
to such or such an end, as justification, that the other is likewise
ordained unto the same end, with the same kind of efficacy, or with
the same respect unto the effect, it is expressly contrary to the
whole scope and express design of the apostle on that subject. But
it will be said that a condition in the sense intended, when faith
is said to be a condition of our justification, is no more but that
it is "causa sine qua non"; which is easy enough to be apprehended.
But yet neither are we so delivered out of uncertainties into a
plain understanding of what is intended; for these "causa sine
quibus non" may be taken largely or more strictly and precisely. So
are they commonly distinguished by the masters in these arts. Those
so called, in a larger sense, are all such causes, in any kind of
efficiency or merit, as are inferior unto principal causes, and
would operate nothing without them; but in conjunction with them,
have a real effective influence, physical or moral, into the
production of the effect. And if we take a condition to be a "causa
sine qua non" in this sense, we are still at a loss what may be its
use, efficiency, or merit, with respect unto our justification. If
it be taken more strictly for that which is necessarily present, but
has no causality in any kind, not that of a receptive instrument, I
cannot understand how it should be an ordinance of God. For every
thing that he has appointed unto any end, moral or spiritual, has,
by virtue of that appointment, either a symbolical instructive
efficacy, or an active efficiency, or a rewardable condecency, with
respect unto that end. Other things may be generally and remotely
necessary unto such an end, so far as it partakes of the order of
natural beings, which are not ordinances of God with respect
thereunto, and so have no kind of causality with respect unto it, as
it is moral or spiritual. So the air we breathe is needful unto the
preaching of the word, and consequently a "causa sine qua non"
thereof; but an ordinance of God with especial respect thereunto it
is not. But every thing that he appoints unto an especial spiritual
end, has an efficacy or operation in one or other of the ways
mentioned; for they either concur with the principal cause in its
internal efficiency, or they operate externally in the removal of
obstacles and hindrances that oppose the principal cause in its
efficiency. And this excludes all causes "sine quibus non," strictly
so taken, from any place among divine ordinances. God appoints
nothing for an end that shall do nothing. His sacraments are not
"arga semeia" but, by virtue of his institution, do exhibit that
grace which they do not in themselves contain. The preaching of the
word has a real efficiency unto all the ends of it. So have all the
graces and duties that he works in us, and requires of us: by them
all are "we made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light;"
and our whole obedience, through his gracious appointment, has a
rewardable condecency with respect unto eternal life. Wherefore, as
faith may be allowed to be the condition of our justification, if no
more be intended thereby but that it is what God requires of us that
we may be justified; so, to confine the declaration of its use in
our justification unto its being the condition of it, when so much
as a determinate signification of it cannot be agreed upon, is
subservient only unto the interest of unprofitable strife and
     To close these discourses concerning faith and its use in our
justification, some things must yet be added concerning its
*especial object*. For although what has been spoken already
thereon, in the description of its nature and object in general, be
sufficient, in general, to state its especial object also; yet there
having been an inquiry concerning it, and debate about it, in a
peculiar notion, and under some especial terms, that also must be
considered. And this is, Whether justifying faith, in our
justification, or its use therein, do respect Christ as a king and
prophet, as well as a priest, with the satisfaction that as such he
made for us, and that in the same manner, and unto the same ends and
purposes? And I shall be brief in this inquiry, because it is but a
late controversy, and, it may be, has more of curiosity in its
disquisition than of edification in its determination. However,
being not, that I know of, under these terms stated in any public
confessions of the reformed churches, it is free for any to express
their apprehensions concerning it. And to this purpose I say,--
     1. Faith, whereby we are justified, in the receiving of Christ,
principally respects his person, for all those ends for which he is
the ordinance of God. It does not, in the first place, as it is
faith in general, respect his person absolutely, seeing its formal
object, as such, is the truth of God in the proposition, and not the
thing itself proposed. Wherefore, it so respects and receives Christ
as proposed in the promise,--the promise itself being the formal
object of its assent.
     2. We cannot so receive Christ in the promise, as in that act of
receiving him to exclude the consideration of any of his offices;
for as he is not at any time to be considered by us but as vested
with all his offices, so a distinct conception of the mind to
receive Christ as a priest, but not as a king or prophet, is not
faith, but unbelief,--not the receiving, but the rejecting of him.
     3. In the receiving of Christ for justification formally, our
distinct express design is to be justified thereby, and no more.
Now, to be justified is to be freed from the guilt of sin, or to
have all our sins pardoned, and to have a righteousness wherewith to
appear before God, so as to be accepted with him, and a right to the
heavenly inheritance. Every believer has other designs also, wherein
he is equally concerned with this,--as, namely, the renovation of
his nature, the sanctification of his person, and ability to live
unto God in all holy obedience; but the things before mentioned are
all that he aims at or designs in his applications unto Christ, or
his receiving of him unto justification. Wherefore,--
     4. Justifying faith, in that act or work of it whereby we are
justified, respects Christ in his priestly office alone, as he was
the surety of the covenant, with what he did in the discharge
thereof. The consideration of his other office is not excluded, but
it is not formally comprised in the object of faith as justifying.
     5. When we say that the sacerdotal office of Christ, or the blood
of Christ, or the satisfaction of Christ, is that alone which faith
respects in justification, we do not exclude, yea, we do really
include and comprise, in that assertion, all that depends thereon,
or concurs to make them effectual unto our justification. As,--
First, The "free grace" and favour of God in giving of Christ for us
and unto us, whereby we are frequently said to be justified,
Rom.3:24; Eph.2:8; Tit.3:7. His wisdom, love, righteousness, and
power, are of the same consideration, as has been declared.
Secondly. Whatever in Christ himself was necessary antecedently unto
his discharge of that office, or was consequential thereof, or did
necessarily accompany it. Such was his incarnation, the whole course
of his obedience, his resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and
intercession; for the consideration of all these things is
inseparable from the discharge of his priestly office. And therefore
is justification either expressly or virtually assigned unto them
also, Gen.3:15; 1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14-16; Rom.4:25; Acts 5:31;
Heb.7:27; Rom.8:34. But yet, wherever our justification is so
assigned unto them, they are not absolutely considered, but with
respect unto their relation to his sacrifice and satisfaction.
Thirdly. All the means of the application of the sacrifice and
righteousness of the Lord Christ unto us are also included therein.
Such is the principal efficient cause thereof, which is the Holy
ghost; whence we are said to be "justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God," 1 Cor.6:11; and the
instrumental cause thereof on the part of God, which is the "promise
of the gospel," Rom.1:17; Gal.3:22,23. It would, therefore, be
unduly pretended, that by this assertion we do narrow or straiten
the object of justifying faith as it justifies; for, indeed, we
assign a respect unto the whole mediatory office of Christ, not
excluding the kingly and prophetical parts thereof, but only such a
notion of them as would not bring in more of Christ, but much of
ourselves, into our justification. And the assertion, as laid down,
may be proved,--
     (1.) From the experience of all that are justified, or do seek for
justification according unto the gospel: for under this notion of
seeking for justification, or a righteousness unto justification,
they were all of them to be considered, and do consider themselves
as "hupodikoi tooi Theooi",--"guilty before God,"--subject,
obnoxious, liable unto his wrath in the curse of the law; as we
declared in the entrance of this discourse, Rom.3:19. They were all
in the same state that Adam was in after the fall, unto whom God
proposed the relief of the incarnation and suffering of Christ,
Gen.3:15. And to seek after justification, is to seek after a
discharge from this woeful state and condition. Such persons have,
and ought to have, other designs and desires also. For whereas the
state wherein they are antecedent unto their justification is not
only a state of guilt and wrath, but such also as wherein, through
the depravation of their nature, the power of sin is prevalent in
them, and their whole souls are defiled, they design and desire not
only to be justified, but to be sanctified also; but as unto the
guilt of sin, and the want of a righteousness before God, from which
justification is their relief, herein, I say, they have respect unto
Christ as "set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his
blood." In their design for sanctification they have respect unto
the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ, in their especial
exercise; but as to their freedom from the guilt of sin, and their
acceptance with God, or their justification in his sight,--that they
may be freed from condemnation, that they may not come into
judgment,--it is Christ crucified, it is Christ lifted up as the
"brazen serpent" in the wilderness, it is the blood of Christ, it is
the propitiation that he was and the atonement that he made, it is
his bearing their sins, his being made sin and the curse for them,
it is his obedience, the end which he put unto sin, and the
everlasting righteousness which he brought in, that alone their
faith does fix upon and acquiesce in. If it be otherwise in the
experience of any, I acknowledge I am not acquainted with it. I do
not say that conviction of sin is the only antecedent condition of
actual justification; but this it is that makes a sinner "subjectum
capax justificationis". No man, therefore, is to be considered as a
person to be justified, but he who is actually under the power of
the conviction of sin, with all the necessary consequent thereof.
Suppose, therefore, any sinner in this condition, as it is described
by the apostle, Rom.3, "guilty before God," with his "mouth stopped"
as unto any pleas, defenses, or excuses; suppose him to seek after a
relief and deliverance out of this estate,--that is, to be justified
according to the gospel,--he neither does nor can wisely take any
other course than what he is there directed unto by the same
apostle, verses 20-20, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the
knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law
is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the
righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and
upon all them that believe; for there is no difference: for all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely
by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom
God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are
past, through the forbearance of God." Whence I argue,--
     That which a guilty, condemned sinner, finding no hope nor relief
from the law of God, the sole rule of all his obedience, does retake
himself unto by faith, that he may be delivered or justified,--that
is the especial object of faith as justifying. But this is the grace
of God alone, through the redemption that is in Christ; or Christ
proposed as a propitiation through faith in his blood. Either this
is so, or the apostle does not aright guide the souls and
consciences of men in that condition wherein he himself does place
them. It is the blood of Christ alone that he directs the faith unto
of all them that would be justified before God. Grace, redemption,
propitiation, all through the blood of Christ, faith does peculiarly
respect and fix upon. This is that, if I mistake not, which they
will confirm by their experience who have made any distinct
observation of the acting of their faith in their justification
before God.
     (2.) The Scripture plainly declares that faith as justifying
respects the sacerdotal office and acting of Christ alone. In the
great representation of the justification of the church of old, in
the expiatory sacrifice, when all their sins and iniquities were
pardoned, and their persons accepted with God, the acting of their
faith was limited unto the imposition of all their sins on the head
of the sacrifice by the high priest, Lev.16. "By his knowledge"
(that is, by faith in him) "shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities", Isa.53:11. That alone which
faith respects in Christ, as unto the justification of sinners, is
his "bearing their iniquities". Guilty, convinced sinners look unto
him by faith, as those who were stung with "fiery serpents" did to
the "brazen serpent,"--that is, as he was lifted up on the cross,
John 3:14,15. So did he himself express the nature and acting of
faith in our justification. Rom.3:24,25, "Being justified freely by
his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God
has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." As
he is a propitiation, as he shed his blood for us, as we have
redemption thereby, he is the peculiar object of our faith, with
respect unto our justification. See to the same purpose, Rom.5:9,10;
Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; Eph.2:13-16; Rom.8:3,4. "He we made sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him," 2 Cor.5:21. That which we seek after in justification, is a
participation of the righteousness of God;--to be made the
righteousness of God, and that not in ourselves, but in another;
that is, in Christ Jesus. And that alone which is proposed unto our
faith as the means and cause of it, is his being made sin for us, or
a sacrifice for sin; wherein all the guilt of our sins was laid on
him, and he bare all our iniquities. This therefore, is its peculiar
object herein. And wherever, in the Scripture, we are directed to
seek for the forgiveness of sins by the blood of Christ, to receive
the atonement, to be justified through the faith of him as
crucified, the object of faith in justification is limited and
     But it may be pleaded, in exception unto the testimonies, that no
one of them does affirm that we are justified by faith in the blood
of Christ alone, so as to exclude the consideration of the other
offices of Christ and their acting from being the object of faith in
the same manner and unto the same ends with his sacerdotal office,
and what belongs thereunto, or is derived from it.
     Answer. This exception derives from that common objection against
the doctrine of justification by faith alone,--namely, that that
exclusive term alone is not found in the Scripture, or in any of the
testimonies that are produced for justification by faith. But it is
replied, with sufficient evidence of truth, that although the word
be not found syllabically used unto this purpose, yet there are
exceptive expressions equivalent unto it; as we shall see
afterwards. It is so in this particular instance also; for,--First,
Where our justification is expressly ascribed unto our faith in the
blood of Christ as the propitiation for our sins, unto our believing
in him as crucified for us, and it is nowhere ascribed unto our
receiving of him as King, Lord, or Prophet, it is plain that the
former expressions are virtually exclusive of the latter
consideration. Secondly, I do not say that the consideration of the
kingly and prophetical offices of Christ is excluded. from our
justification, as works are excluded in opposition unto faith and
grace: for they are so excluded, as there we are to exercise an act
of our minds in their positive rejection, as saying, "Get you hence,
you have no lot nor portion in this matter;" but as to these offices
of Christ, as to the object of faith as justifying, we say only that
they are not included therein. For, so to believe to be justified by
his blood, as to exercise a positive act of the mind, excluding a
compliance with his other offices, is an impious imagination.
     (3.) Neither the consideration of these offices themselves, nor
any of the peculiar acts of them, is suited to give the souls and
consciences of convinced sinners that relief which they seek after
in justification. We are not, in this whole cause, to lose out of
our eye the state of the person who is to be justified, and what it
is he does seek after, and ought to seek after, therein. Now, this
is pardon of sin, and righteousness before God alone. That,
therefore, which is no way suited to give or tender this relief unto
him, is not, nor can be, the object of his faith whereby he is
justified, in that exercise of it whereon his justification does
depend. This relief, it will be said, is to be had in Christ alone.
It is true; but under what consideration? For the whole design of
the sinner is, how he may be accepted with God, be at peace with
him, have all his wrath turned away, by a propitiation or atonement.
Now, this can no otherwise be done but by the acting of some one
towards God and with God on his behalf; for it is about the turning
away of God's anger, and acceptance with him, that the inquiry is
made. It is by the blood of Christ that we are "made nigh," who were
"far off," Eph.2:13. By the blood of Christ are we reconciled, who
were enemies, verse 16. By the blood of Christ we have redemption,
Rom.3:24,25; Eph.1:7; etc. This, therefore, is the object of faith.
     All the actings of the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ
are all of them from God; that is, in the name and authority of God
towards us. Not any one of them is towards God on our behalf so as
that by virtue of them we should expect acceptance with God. They
are all good, blessed, holy in themselves, and of an eminent
tendency unto the glory of God in our salvation: yea, they are no
less necessary unto our salvation, to the praise of God's grace,
than are the atonement for sin and satisfaction which he made; for
from them is the way of life revealed unto us, grace communicated,
our persons sanctified, and the reward bestowed. Yea, in the
exercise of his kingly power does the Lord Christ both pardon and
justify sinners. Not that he did as a king constitute the law of
justification; for it was given and established in the first
promise, and he came to put it in execution, John 3:16; but in the
virtue of his atonement and righteousness, imputed unto them, he
does both pardon and justify sinners. But they are the acts of his
sacerdotal office alone, that respect God on our behalf. Whatever he
did on earth with God for the church, in obedience, suffering, and
offering up of himself; whatever he does in heaven, in intercession
and appearance in the presence of God, for us; it all entirely
belongs unto his priestly office. And in these things alone does the
soul of a convinced sinner find relief when he seeks after
deliverance from the state of sin, and acceptance with God. In
these, therefore, alone the peculiar object of his faith, that which
will give him rest and peace, must be comprised. And this last
consideration is, of itself, sufficient to determine this
     Sundry things are objected against this assertion, which I shall
not here at large discuss, because what is material in any of them
will occur on other occasions, where its consideration will be more
proper. In general it may be pleaded, that justifying faith is the
same with saving faith: nor is it said that we are justified by this
or that part of faith, but by faith in general; that is, as taken
essentially, for the entire grace of faith. And as unto faith in
this sense, not only a respect unto Christ in all his offices, but
obedience itself also is included in it; as is evident in many
places of the Scripture. Wherefore, there is no reason why we should
limit the object of it unto the person of Christ as acting in the
discharge of his sacerdotal office, with the effects and fruits
     Answer 1. Saving faith and justifying faith, in any believer, are
one and the same; and the adjuncts of saving and justifying are but
external denominations, from its distinct operations and effects.
But yet saving faith does act in a peculiar manner, and is of
peculiar use in justification, such as it is not of under any other
consideration whatever. Wherefore,--2. Although saving faith, as it
is described in general, do ever include obedience, not as its form
or essence, but as the necessary effect is included in the cause,
and the fruit in the fruit-bearing juice; and is often mentioned as
to its being and exercise where there is no express mention of
Christ, his blood, and his righteousness, but is applied unto all
the acts, duties, and ends of the gospel; yet this proves not at all
but that, as unto its duty, place, and acting in our justification,
it has a peculiar object. If it could be proved, that where
justification is ascribed unto faith, that there it has any other
object assigned unto it, as that which it rested in for the pardon
of sin and acceptance with God, this objection were of some force;
but this cannot be done. 3. This is not to say that we are justified
by a part of faith, and not by it as considered essentially; for we
are justified by the entire grace of faith, acting in such a
peculiar way and manner, as others have observed. But the truth is,
we need not insist on the discussion of this inquiry; for the true
meaning of it is, not whether any thing of Christ is to be excluded
from being the object of justifying faith, or of faith in our
justification; but, what in and of ourselves, under the name of
receiving Christ as our Lord and King, is to be admitted unto an
efficiency or conditionality in that work. As it is granted that
justifying faith is the receiving of Christ, so whatever belongs
unto the person of Christ, or any office of his, or any acts in the
discharge of any office, that may be reduced unto any cause of our
justification, the meritorious, procuring, material, formal, or
manifesting cause of it, is, so far as it does so, freely admitted
to belong unto the object of justifying faith. Neither will I
contend with any upon this disadvantageous stating of the question,-
-What of Christ is to be esteemed the object of justifying faith,
and what is not so? For the thing intended is only this,--Whether
our own obedience, distinct from faith, or included in it, and in
like manner as faith, be the condition of our justification before
God? This being that which is intended, which the other question is
but invented to lead unto a compliance with, by a more specious
pretence than in itself it is capable of, under those terms it shall
be examined, and no otherwise.

IV. Of justification; the notion and signification of the Word in

The proper sense of these words, justification, and to justify,
considered--Necessity thereof--Latin derivation of justification--
Some of the ancients deceived by it --From "jus", and "justum";
"justus filius", who--The Hebrew "hitsdik"--Use and signification of
it--Places where it is used examined, 2 Sam.15:4; Deut.25:1;
Prov.17:15; Isa.5:23; 50:8,9; 1 Kings 8:31,32; 2 Chron.6:22,23;
Ps.82:3; Exod.23:7; Job 27:5; Isa.53:11; Gen.44:16; Dan.12:3--The
constant sense of the word evinced--"Diakaio-oo", use of it in other
authors, to punish--What it is in the New Testament, Matt.11:19;
12:37; Luke 7:29; 10:29; 16:15; 18:14; Acts 13:38,39; Rom.2:13; 3:4-
-Constantly used in a forensic sense--Places seeming dubious,
vindicated, Rom.8:30; 1 Cor.6:11; Tit.3:5-7; Rev.22:11--How often
these words, "diakaio-oo" and "dikaioumai", are used in the New
Testament--Constant sense of this--The same evinced from what is
opposed unto it, Isa.1:8,9; Prov.17:15; Rom.5:116,18; 8:33,34--And
the declaration of it in terms equivalent, Rom.4:6,11; 5:9,10; 2
Cor.5:20,21; Matt.1:21; Acts 13:39; Gal.2:16, etc.--Justification in
the Scripture, proposed under a juridical scheme, and of a forensic
title--The parts and progress of it--Inferences from the whole

Unto the right understanding of the nature of justification, the
proper sense and signification of these words themselves,
justification and to justify, is to be inquired into; for until that
is agreed upon, it is impossible that our discourses concerning the
thing itself should be freed from equivocation. Take words in
various senses, and all may be true that is contradictorily affirmed
or denied concerning what they are supposed to signify; and so it
has actually fallen out in this case, as we shall see more fully
afterwards. Some taking these words in one sense, some in another,
have appeared to deliver contrary doctrines concerning the thing
itself, or our justification before God, who yet have fully agreed,
in what the proper determinate sense or signification of the words
does import; and therefore the true meaning of them has been
declared and vindicated already by many. But whereas the right
stating hereof is of more moment unto the determination of what is
principally controverted about the doctrine itself, or the thing
signified, than most do apprehend, and something at least remains to
be added for the declaration and vindication of the import and only
signification of these words in the Scripture, I shall give an
account of my observations concerning it with what diligence I can.
     The Latin derivation and composition of the word "justificatio,"
would seem to denote an internal change from inherent
unrighteousness unto righteousness likewise inherent, by a physical
motion and transmutation, as the schoolmen speak; for such is the
signification of words of the same composition. So sanctification,
mortification, vivification, and the like, do all denote a real
internal work on the subject spoken of. Hereon, in the whole Roman
school, justification is taken for justifaction, or the making of a
man to be inherently righteous, by the infusion of a principle or
habit of grace, who was before inherently and habitually unjust and
unrighteous. Whilst this is taken to be the proper signification of
the word, we neither do nor can speak, ad idem, in our disputations
with them about the cause and nature of that justification which the
Scripture teaches.
     And this appearing sense of the word possibly deceived some of the
ancients, as Austin in particular, to declare the doctrine of free,
gratuitous sanctification, without respect unto any works of our
own, under the name of justification; for neither he nor any of them
ever thought of a justification before God, consisting in the pardon
of our sins and the acceptation of our persons as righteous, by
virtue of any inherent habit of grace infused into us, or acted by
us. Wherefore the subject-matter must be determined by the
scriptural use and signification of these words, before we can speak
properly or intelligibly concerning it: for if to justify men in the
Scripture, signify to make them subjectively and inherently
righteous, we must acknowledge a mistake in what we teach concerning
the nature and causes of justification; and if it signify no such
thing, all their disputations about justification by the infusion of
grace, and inherent righteousness thereon, fall to the ground.
Wherefore, all Protestants (and the Socinians all of them comply
therein) do affirm, that the use and signification of these words is
forensic, denoting an act of jurisdiction. Only the Socinians, and
some others, would have it to consist in the pardon of sin only;
which, indeed, the word does not at all signify. But the sense of
the word is, to assoil, to acquit, to declare and pronounce
righteous upon a trial; which, in this case, the pardon of sin does
necessarily accompany.
     "Justificatio" and "justifico" belong not, indeed, unto the Latin
tongue, nor can any good author be produced who ever used them, for
the making of him inherently righteous, by any means, who was not so
before. But whereas these words were coined and framed to signify
such things as are intended, we have no way to determine the
signification of them, but by the consideration of the nature of the
things which they were invented to declare and signify. And whereas,
in this language, these words are derived from "jus" and "justum,"
they must respect an act of jurisdiction rather than a physical
operation or infusion. "Justificari" is "justus censeri, pro justo
haberi;"--to be esteemed, accounted, or adjudged righteous. So a man
was made "justus filius," in adoption, unto him by whom he was
adopted, which, what it is, is well declared by Budaeus, Cajus
lib.2, F. de Adopt. De Arrogatione loquens: "Is qui adoptat rogatur,
id est, interrogatur, an velit eum quem adopturus sit, justum sibi
filium esse. Justum", says he, "intelligo, non verum, ut aliqui
censent, sed omnibus partibus, ut ita dicam, filiationis, veri filii
vicem obtinentem, naturalis et legitimi filii loco sedentem".
Wherefore, as by adoption there is no internal inherent change made
in the person adopted, but by virtue thereof he is esteemed and
adjudged as a true God, and has all the rights of a legitimate son;
so by justification, as to the importance of the word, a man is only
esteemed, declared, and pronounced righteous, as if he were
completely so. And in the present case justification and gratuitous

(continued in part 13...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: ownjs-12.txt