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favour ;” the Vulgar hath it, Et non mererentur ullam clementiam, “ That they might not merit any mercy.” And, Gen. iv. 13, “My punishment is greater than I can bear,” our margin reads it, “Mine iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven ; " but the Vulgar, Major est iniquitas mea quàm ut veniam merear, “Mine iniquity is greater than that I should merit forgiveness.” What can "meriting in these places signify, but “obtaining ?” a signification very far differing from that in which the Papists now take it. Usus is norma loquendi ; “ words are to be taken as they are used :” and who knows not that words have their modes and fashions, as well as men's habits and manners ? And so those which are in fashion in one age are quite out in another, or taken quite in a different sense : and sometimes the metaphorical signification of a word may be more in use than the proper ; and we shall make strange confusion in the nature of things, if those words which properly signify those things be always taken in their proper sense. I insist the more on this, because it is all the answer I intend to the testimonies of the fathers, which the Papists think to run us down with.

But, to pass from the word to the thing: if we inquire into the pedigree of this darling doctrine of the Papists, we may easily derive it (to look no higher) from their great-grandfathers, the pharisaical Jews, from whom they have received a great part of their religion. The Pharisees were for infallibility, and a magisterial, imposing spirit in matters of conscience, before the pope was born ; and the rabbins were for tradition before there were any Papists in the world. And as for merits, Camero cites a passage out of Maimonides, where he says, that every man hath his sins, and every man his merits : and he that hath more merits than sins is a just man ; but he that hath more sins than merits is a wicked man."* And that learned author, as well as others, † is of opinion, that the apostle James hath an eye to this error of the Pharisees, when he says, that “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James ii. 10.)

Others tell us of seven sorts or degrees of Pharisees among the Jews ; one of which had its name from their professing to do all still that was required of them, or asking, Was any more yet to be done? I like the young man in Matt. xix. 20 : “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet ?” And, indeed, we need go no farther than our Saviour's frequent reflections upon them, and the apostle's smart disputations against them in the point of justification. (Luke xviii. 9; xvi. 15; Rom. x. 3.) But from whence soever the Papists have received this doctrine of merits, thus they manage it. Merit, they say, is twofold: one out of congruity, the other out of condignity. The former is a work to which the reward is not due out of justice, but out of some kind of decency, or congruity; or, as some of them speak, out of the liberality

1976 na 58.-Vide BuxtoRFII Synagog. Jud. ; et Petrum GALESINIUM, lib. i. cap. 1 ; CAMERONEM in Matth. vix. 3, oper. 170. + BROGEnsis apud DRUSIUM. I w inain J Pharisæus qui dicit, Quid debeo facere? et faciam illud. Quasi dixerat, Quid fieri oportet quod non feci ? --- Drusius De tribus Sect. Jud. lib. ii. cap. 22; et HOTTINGERI Thesaurus, lib. i. cap. 1. “A Pharisee is one that says, 'What ought I to do? and I will do it.' As if he should say, “What ought I to do, that I have not done ?!"- Epit.

of the person who accepts the work : so that though the work do not really merit the reward, and is not proportioned to it, yet there is some kind of meetness or congruity that it should be rewarded. This kind of merit some of them contend to be found in men while in their natural state, in relation to that grace which is afterward bestowed on them, or wrought in them.* But others of themselves do as stiffly oppose it ; and maintain that sinners cannot even in this way merit the first grace, nor the pardon of their sins ; and that believers, when fallen from grace, (as they suppose they may,) cannot merit their own recovery. But this is not the merit we are to speak of. The other is that which is out of condignity, which Durand distinguisheth into two kinds :f one taken more largely for a work of that dignity or goodness which is, according to God's appointment, required in it, that it may be rewardable with eternal life ; and that is no more really than the graciousness or supernatural goodness of the action, as proceeding from a supernatural principle, and ordered to a supernatural end; which, we acknowledge, must be in every good work which is capable of a supernatural reward, and is to be found in every truly gracious action. But there is a merit out of condignity in a more strict sense, which is defined to be “a voluntary action, for which a reward is due to a man out of justice, so that it cannot be denied him without injustice.” I Others define it much after the same manner ; namely, such an action as hath an equality of dignity or worth in relation to the reward, which is therefore due to it out of justice. And this is the merit we are to speak of, to say nothing of that third kind (which] some add,-meritum ex pacto, “merit upon supposition of a promise ; as when a reward is promised to a man if he do some work which yet bears no proportion to that reward, and for which antecedently to the promise he could not challenge any; but, such a promise being made, he may, and consequently, say they, may be said to, merit.

THE STATE OF THE QUESTION. II. The question then is, between us and the Papists, whether the good works of believers, such as God doth reward in the future life, do truly and properly deserve that reward, so that it is due out of justice, and God should be unrighteous if he should deny or refuse it.

The modern Papists generally affirm it. The council of Trent so lays down the judgment of the present church of Rome, as to assert that good works do truly merit eternal life; and anathematize any that shall say the contrary.

* Diego ALVAREZ De Auril. disp. 59; FRANCISCUS CUMelius in 1, 2, et 1 Thom. di-p. v. lect. 3. In Sentent. lib. ii. dist. xxvii. quæst. 2.

I Est actio volun. taria, propter quam debetur alicui merces ex justitiá : sic ut, si non reddatur, ille ad quem pertinet reddere, injuste facit, et est simpliciter ac propriè injustus.- DURANDOS ibid. $ Cum enim ille ipse Jesus Christus, tanquam caput in membra, et tanquam vites in palmites, in ipsos justifu atos jugiter virtutem inflet ; qua virtus bona ipsorum opera semper antecedit, comitatur, et subsequitur, et sine quá nuilo pacto Deo grata et meritoria esse possent ; nihil amplius ipsis justificatis deesse credendum est, quò minus plenè, illis quidem operibus quæ in Deo facta sunt, divina legi, pro hujus vitæ statu, satisfecisse, et vitam aternam, suo etiam tempore, si tamen in gratia decesserint, consequendam, verè promeruisse, censeantur.--Sess. vi. cap. 16. “Since Jesus Christ himself continually inspires a certain virtue or power into those who are justified, as the head into the members, and vines into their branches; which virtue always precedes, accompanies, and follows their good works, and without which

And though those cunning fathers speak somewhat darkly, and so involve things, blending truth with error, as if they designed to make younger brothers of all the world beside ; yet the great interpreter of council speaks more honestly, that is, more broadly; and plainly tells us, that “eternal blessedness is no less due to the good works of good men, than eternal torments are to the evil works of wicked men ;” and that “eternal life is so the recompence of good works, that it is not so much given of God freely, and out of liberality, as it is out of debt ;" and that “the nature of merit and grace not being consistent, the reward is to be reckoned, not as of grace, but of debt.”* Now, well fare Andradius, for a plain-dealing enemy. It is a commendable quality in any; but a rare one in a Papist. The man saves us the labour of guessing at the council's meaning. Had all spoken out like him, we should more easily have understood them, and fewer would have been deluded by them. And yet, not to wrong any, other modern Jesuits are no less rigid in the point than this author: nay, who among the Papists do not assert the worthiness of good works, in relation to the reward ? though they are not yet agreed from whence that worthiness should arise. Some say, as Bellarmine tells us, from the promise of God, engaging to reward them :t but these are few, and too modest; and, indeed, half heretics for their pains. Others say, from the intrinsic worth and excellency of the works themselves, setting aside the consideration of the promise. These are the impudent children of holy church, fit sons for such a mother. And yet the cardinal himself comes little bebind them, if at all : he is of opinion, that “the good works of righteous men are worthy of eternal glory, partly by reason of their own proper goodness, and partly by virtue of God's promise ; yet not so, neither," (for he is afraid of speaking too diminutively of good works,) “as if, without God's covenanting with the worker and acceptance of the work, it did not itself bear an answerable proportion to eternal life ; but (only) because, setting aside the promise, God is not obliged to accept a good work to eternal life, though it be equal to it.”I To these we may add others, who say they could by no means be pleasing to God and meritorious : it is to be believed that nothing further is required by justified persons in order to their being accounted fully to have satisfied the divine law, with regard to the state of this life, by those works indeed which have been done in God; and to have truly meriied eternal life, to be obtained also in due time, if indeed they depart in the faith.”- Epit. Si quis dixerit, hominis justificati bona opera ita esse dona Dei ut non sint etiam bona ipsius justificati merita, aut ipsum justificatum, bonis operibus, &c., non vere mereri augmentum gratiæ, vitam æternam, &c.; anathema sit.-Can. 32. “ If any one shall assert, that the good works of a justified man are so the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good deserts of him that is justified; or that the justified person does not by his good works truly merit an increase of grace, life eternal, &c.; let him be accursed." - EDIT.

• ANDRADIUS apud CHEMNITIUM. Ratio meriti complete est ex ordinatione voluntatis divina illius actus ad pramium.-Scotus in Sentent. cap. i. dist. 17.“ The reckoning of merit is wholly from the appointment, by the divine will, of that action to reward."— Edit. Et paulò post : Actu voluntatis suæ, (Deus,) ordinando ipsum (actum humanum) ad præmium, voluit ipsum esse meritum, qui, secundum se consideratus absque tali acceptatione diviná, secundum strictam justitiam non fuisset dignus tali pramio. “ God, having, by an act of his own will, ordained a human action to reward, willed that it should be merito. rious, which, considered by itself without such divine acceptation, according to strict justice would not have been deserving of such reward."'- Epit. 1 Opera justorum sunt meritoria vitæ æternæ de condigno ratione pucti et operis simul: non quidem quod sine paco rel acceptatione non habeat opus bonum proportionem ad vitam æternam; sed quia non tenetur Deus acceptare ad illam mercedem opus bonum, quamvis par et æquale mercedi, nisi conven tio intercedat.-BELLAR. De Justif. lib. v. cap. 17.

[that] works are worthy of eternal life, as they are tincta sanguine Christi, " dipped in Christ's blood,” dignified and commended by his merits, from which they receive virtue and power to be themselves meritorious.* And so our business is to show that good works do not on any account, either of themselves and their own internal excellency, or of God's promise or Christ's merits, deserve eternal life.


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III. And so we come to confirm the truth.

ARGUMENT 1. Good works are rewarded merely out of God's mercy and grace; and therefore not out of man's merit.—What more opposite than mercy and merit ? + “ Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” (Titus iii. 5.) What a man doth really deserve by his works, cannot be said to be given him out of mere mercy and grace. But it is from thence only that the best works of God's children are ever rewarded with eternal blessedness. Thus the text : “ To thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy : for thou renderest to every man according to his work.” Were not God infinite in mercy, the best saint upon earth would fall short of a reward in heaven : “ Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 21.) ** Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter i. 13.) And Paul prays for Onesiphorus, “ That he might find mercy of the Lord in that day,” the great day of retribution. I (2 Tim. i. 18.) The reward, then, that these saints expected, and would have others look for, is one given them out of mercy.

Men never need mercy more than when they come before God's tribunal ; and even there, when they look for the reward of their good works, they must expect it from the mercy of the Judge. So Nehemiah did ; who, after making mention of some of his good works, and praying that God would remember him for them, (Neh. xiii. 14,)—he farther prays that God would “spare him according to the greatness of his mercy.” (Verse 22.) Now when is it that Nehemiah desires to be spared, but then when he expects his works should be rewarded ? God's sparing extends even to his judging. God's “remembering him for good,” (verse 31,) his not "wiping out his good deeds,” and his “sparing him," all proceed from the same mercy of God. EXCEPTION. “But eternal life,” say the Papists,

say the Papists, " is ascribed to God's mercy: not that it is not truly and properly the reward of man's merits; but that those merits themselves are the fruits of God's mercy.”

Vide Catech. Rom. p. 412. † Inter mercedem et meritum est quidam respectus mutuus, &c. : utraque autem habet quandam oppositionem ad gratiam sive donum gratuitum. -JANSENIUS YPREngis De Grat. primi Flominis, cap. 16. « Between reward and merit there is a certain mutual relation : but both have some kind of opposition to grace or gratuitous gift."- Edit. 1 Ει δε Ονησιφορος και κινδυνοις εαυτον σαραβαλλων δια Χριστον απο ελεου σωζηται, πολλα μαλλον ημεις. Ει μη ελες και φιλανθρωπια ελθοι κριναι, αλλ' ακριβη ποιησασθαι την εξετασιν, σαντας υπευθυνους ευρησει παντως.-CHRYSOSTOmos in Psalmum cxxx. “ If Onesiphorus, exposing himself to danger for Christ's sake, be saved by mercy, much more must we be so saved, If Christ come not to judge in mercy and benignant philanthropy, but to make a severe scrutiny, he will find us all entirely culpable."--Edit.


ANSWER. To which we may easily reply, that if God do out of his mercy save us, and out of mercy remember us for good, and reward us according to our work; then it is clear that he doth not only enable us out of his mercy to do those good works which tend to salvation. It is one thing for a man to be saved ; another thing to be put into a way of salvation, by being enabled to work for it : as it is one thing to crown a man for conquering; and another to give him weapons, and teach him to fight. God could not be truly said to save any man, if he only gave him grace to work in order to it; nor to “save him out of mercy, if for all that

mercy he must still be saved by his merits, and without them might fall short of salvation.” *

ARGUMENT 11. Eternal life is the gift of God; and therefore is not deserved by our good works.--" It is your Father's good pleasure,” suĉoxyos, “ to give you the kingdom.” (Luke xii. 32.) “The wages of sin is death ; but the gift of God is eternal life.” (Rom. vi. 23.) That therefore eternal life is a gift, none can deny that will not deny the plain words of scripture ; and that then it will follow, that good works do not deserve it, will appear by the opposition that there is between a free gift and a due reward : that which is of grace is not of debt, and that which is of debt is not of grace. (Rom. xi. 6.) What I owe, I cannot be said properly to give ; and what I properly give, I cannot be said to

So that if God properly gives eternal life, he cannot be said to owe it; and if he do not owe it, I am sure we do not deserve it. So much we see in the apostle's antithesis, “ The wages of sin is death.” Death is truly and properly the wages of sin, as being deserved by us ; and it is justice in God to give us our desert. But he doth not say, Eternal life is the wages of our righteousness or works, but “the gift of God ;” as being free, and altogether undeserved by us. Obwnia, stipendium ; he alludes to “ the pay that was given to soldiers in the wars, and for which they had served : “Be content with your wages,” Apxelobe TOIS Odwrious úywv. (Luke iii. 14.) But eternal life he calls xapiouch, free gift of God,” such an one as is given ex xapitos,

o out of grace;" I as soldiers sometimes were wont to have gifts, donativa, “largesses, given them, over and above their pay; as we know was the frequent practice of the Roman emperors to do ; unto which it is not unlikely that our apostle may allude in the latter part of the verse, as well as he plainly enough doth to their pay in the former. “The apostle doth not say, “Eternal life is your wages,' ” says Theophylact; “but, God's

Neque servatus (est) er misericordia, cui tam sint post eam misericordiam necessaria merita, ut possit illa absque his fieri irrita. -CHAMIERI Panstratin, lib. xiv. cap. 14, tom. iii. + Stipendium peccati mors. Recte stipendium, quia debetur, quia dignè retribuitur, quia meritò redditur. Deinde, ne justitia humana de humano se extolleret bono merito, &c., non e contrario retulit, Stipendium justitiæ vita æterna ; sed, Dei grotia vita æterna. AUGUSTINUS Contra Pelagian. epist. cv. ««• The wages of sin is death.' It is rightly called 'wages,' because it is due, because it is deservedly paid, because it is rendered according to merit. Then, lest human justice should boast itself of human good deserts, the apostle has not set in opposition to the former phrase, 'I he wages of justice is eternal life ;' but, “The gift of God is eternal life.'"-Edit. Maluit dicere, Gratia Dei vita aterna, ut intelligeremus, non pro meritis nostris Deum nos ad vitam æternam, sed pro sud miseratione, perducere.- Idem, De Grat. et lib. Arbit. “ The apostle preferred saying, • The gift of God is eternal life,' that we might understand that God does not bring us to eternal life for the sake of our merits, but on account of his own compassion."- Epit. 1 “ When they had nothing to pay,” exaploato, “he frankly forgave them both." (Luke vii. 42.)

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