CHAP. LIX. How Justification is one indivisible act, not successive, as Sanctification, and yet God dayly pardoneth sinnes.
WEe make no question but we are at once justified, and not by degrees and succession, as wee are sanctified, because justification is a foreinsecall, and Law-change, or judici∣all sentence of God, absolving the person of the sinner from all punishment, or obligation to punishment due to him for sinnes, past, present, and to come, according to the rule of revenging, and Law-persuing justice, and that for the alone righteousnesse of the surety Christ, freely imputed, and by faith received of him, aand the bloud of Jesus Christ shall purge you from all your sinnes:bin whom wee have redemption, the remission of our sinnes in his bloud. Now the Scripture no where inti∣mateth a favour of free grace in purging us from sinnes, by halves or quarters, as if some were halfe washen, halfe deli∣vered from the wrath to come; and halfe unwashen, and half under wrath. 2. There is no condemnation to a soule once in Christ, and justified, Rom. 8.1. then there can be no re-ac∣ceptation, or second receiving of a soule into the state of a ju∣stified person, from the state of an ungodly man, as if he had fallen from the former state, and there can bee no second deli∣verance from eternall wrath, to be inflicted for a new com∣mitted sinne.
Yet doe I not see that one and the same justification nega∣gatively, because it is never retracted, is therefore a successive and graduall worke that groweth more and more, as sanctifi∣cation doth; for so predestination to glory, which is negative∣ly, one and the same should bee a graduall growing worke; for as no shaddow of change can fall on God, so neither can Predestination be retracted.
Yet is there no cause to deny that sinnes are dayly pardo∣ned, and remitted as they are committed; for God is said to re∣mit sinnes dayly, when he reneweth the sense of the once pas∣sed act of attonement, and applyeth what he once did to the feeling and comfort of the beleever, for we never taught that Faith is a cause, or so much as an instrument or condition, with∣out which Christ doth not on the Crosse, by the power of his Page 105 bloud take away sinnes, now he that denyeth that God by his Spirit reneweth the lively apprehension of this act of attone∣ment, must deny that a beleever can oftner then once lay the weight of his soule, in a filiall recumbencie on God, and with adherence to Christ crucified for pardon of sinne; which were to abolish the dayly exercise of our faith on Christ crucified. 2. God forgiveth sinnes, when he removeth the temporall pu∣nishment, and fatherly rod inflicted for sinne. Hence to beare our whoredomes, to beare sinnes, to beare iniquitie, is to beare the punishment of sinnes cTo beare the indi•nation of the Lord, because the Church hath sinned, Micha 7.8, 9. is to beare the temporall punishment: for otherwise the Prophet speaketh of a Church in favour with God, and freed from eter∣nall wrath. The Lord shall be• my light. Thou shalt bee d•mbe because thou beleevest not my word, saith Gabriel to Zacharie, Luke 1.20. then to remove the temporall sword, must bee a forgiving of, and a relaxing from the temporall punishment. So Nathan saith to David,dThe Lord also hath put away thy sin. But how maketh he that good? Thou shalt not dye; Hee meaneth, especially a temporall death, as the words following cleare, vers. 14. Howbeit, because by this deed, thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme; the child also that is borne to thee shall surely dye. Ergo, his sinne was not fully taken away, in regard of the temporall rod: for the rod did never depart from his house for it, nor doe wee thus adde fuell to purgatory; to say with Papists, that par∣doning of sinne, is the taking away of the guilt of sinne, when the punishment remaineth▪ for the Papists have a wicked mea∣ning, that God doth so forgive sins, as he removeth guilt, and remembreth not the sin, but leaveth the sinner also as good as halfe drowned in it, to revenging justice, by suffering for these same sinnes satisfactorie punishment both in this life, and in purgatorie, or the life to come, which we think impious; for only Christs blood is a satisfaction to revenging justice for sinne. 3. The Lords taking away, and pardoning of Davids sinne, is not the Lords justifying of David, because justification is the re∣all or law-translation, in a forensecall way of a sinner, an un∣godly man, an unwashen one from the state of sinne, into the state of grace and favour with God for the imputed righteous∣nes of Christ, as is cleare, and such were some of you, but yee Page 106 are washed,ebut yee are sanctified, but yee are justified, so God justifieth the sinner and ungodlie; then by justi∣fication the person is washed and translated from a state of un∣godlines, of enmity, and received in a court of acceptance and grace, reconciliation and attonement, in a covenant-state with God for Christs imputed righteousnesse, so as this justification is an act of incorporation and ingraffing of a stranger and ene∣mie to be a free Denison, and Burgess, and free Citizen of the new Ierusalem, intituled to all the priviledges and liberties of the brough. Now David was not this way pardoned; for un∣deniably he, for his person was justified, and all his sinnes par∣doned; that is, hee was freed from obligation, to eternall wrath and condemnation; therefore seeing God justifieth but once, as he maketh us heires and Citizens of heaven but once, and yet pardoneth sinnes dayly, justification, and some remit∣ting of sinnes, must be of a wide difference.