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All the good works which he does, in such a state, are dead; and of too little value to exact from the divine justice, that the grace of reconciliation should be restored to him, as the fruit of his works. When God justifies us, by restoring his friendship to us, it is not in consequence of the goodness of our works; it is solely in consequence of the infinite price of the passion and death of Jesus Christ; it is gratuitously; it is from the pure effect of his mercy, that he applies to us the fruit of the merits and the infinite satisfaction of his Son. It is true, that God requires certain works, without which he does not justify the sinner; and in consequence of which, he does justify him but he does not require them as meritorious works; he requires them as conditions, or as necessary dispositions, without which he does not receive the sinner into favour, or admit him to participate in the merits of Jesus Christ, as to their effects in the remission of sins. According to the doctrine of the Council of Trent, (Sess. VI. c. 8.) nothing that precedes justification, either of faith or works, can merit the grace of justification.
"Fourthly,-We believe, that though the sinner can only owe his justification to the merits of Jesus Christ, yet the merits of Jesus Christ are not the formal justice of the person justified :—he is not just of the justice of Jesus Christ; that is extrinsic to him. He is just, by an inherent justice, ―a justice which, at the same time, is the justice
of God, and the justice of man ;-the justice of man, because, having obtained it of the divine liberality, it is within him, and not out of him ;the justice of God, because it comes from God alone; he alone gives it to the sinner, by a pure effect of his mercy, gratuitously, and only in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the sinner being altogether unable, on his part, to merit the justice by any imaginable work, whatever it may be."
We leave the reader to his own reflections:if he be a roman catholic, he must concede to the protestant, that he believes no sinner to be justified without good works; if he be a protestant, he must concede to the catholic, that he believes no good works of the sinner entitle him to justification; and whether he be a roman-catholic or a protestant, he must concede to both, that they equally believe, that, where either faith or good works are wanting, the sinner will not be justified,-still, that his justification is not owing either to his faith or his good works, or to both: for though these abound, still would not the sinner be justified, if it were not for the infinite mercy of God, and the infinite merits and satisfaction of his Son.-The author of the letters, to which the writer of these pages has referred, was father Scheffmacker, a jesuit of Strasburgh. The reader, whatever be his creed, will be delighted with their truly christian politeness, elegance and perspicuity.
Communication between the divines of Wirtemburgh and the patriarch of Constantinople, on the Confession of Augsburgh.
THE Confession of Augsburgh, and the other symbolic books of the Lutherans, have been translated into every European language, and made the subject of innumerable commentaries. The Bibliotheca Symbolica Evangelica Lutherana of Feverlinus, Gottingen, 1752, 8vo. gives the titles of 1,185 works, relating to the symbolic books, 204 relating to the discipline, and 145 relating to the catechisms of the lutheran church. One of the most important translations of the Confession of Augsburgh, is that in modern Greek, which în 1574 was sent, under the direction of some lutheran ministers of Wirtemburgh, to Jeremias, the patriarch of Constantinople. The translation was accompanied by a letter, in which the Wirtemburgh divines expressed their hopes, that, "though, on account of the distance of their countries, there was some difference of ceremonies between them, the patriarch would acknowledge, that they had introduced no innovation into the principal things necessary to salvation; and that they embraced and preserved, as far as their intelligence reached, the faith which had been taught them by the
Apostles, the Prophets, and the holy Fathers; and inspired by the Holy Spirit, the seven councils, and the holy scriptures." The different readings of that article of the Confession of Augsburgh, which relates to the real presence, have been noticed. In the translation of the Confession, which was sent to the patriarch, it was expressed in the following terms, " Touching the supper of the Lord, they teach, that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are there truly present, and are distributed to those who participate; and they condemn those who teach the contrary."
The patriarch's answer, so far as it relates to this article, is expressed in the following terms: "The tenth article treats of the Lord's supper; and, to say the truth, with some obscurity; for they report to us on this point some things of you, which we disapprove. The catholic church teaches, that the bread is changed into the very body and the very blood of the Lord; but it is necessary, that the bread should be leavened, not unleavened. the Lord, in the night, in which he was betrayed, having taken bread and given thanks, brake it, and said, take and eat. He does not tell them, this is unleavened bread,' or 'the figure of my body;' but this is my body.' It is not, that the flesh which our Saviour bore, was given to his disciples to eat, or his blood to drink; or that the Lord descends from heaven in the divine mysteries: for this would be blasphemy: but it is, that then, at
our Lord's supper, and now, in our sacrifice, by the invocation and grace of the all-powerful Spirit, which operates it, and by the holy prayers and words of the Lord, the bread is changed and converted into the very body of the Lord, and the wine into his very blood." In their reply to the patriarch Jeremias, the divines of Wirtemburgh state separately the points, in which they agreed, and the points in which they differed. On the real presence, they tell him, that they agree with him in believing, that "the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the holy supper; but that they do not believe, that the bread is changed into the body of Jesus Christ." To this reply the patriarch answered. Another reply and another answer followed. The Wirtemburgh divines afterwards published the whole correspondence, under the title, "Acta et Scripta Theologorum Wirtemburgensium et Patriarchæ Constantinopolitani D. Hieremiæ, quæ utrique ab anno MDLXXVI, usque ad annum MDLXXXI, de Augustana Confessione, inter se miserunt, græce et latine ab iisdem theologis edita. Wert. MDLXXXIV. Fol. The consequences to be drawn from the correspondence were a subject of warm dispute between M. Claude and the authors of the Perpetuité de la Foy.