Appendix. On the Formal Cause of Justification

{343} [Note 1] THE formal cause of a thing is generally explained to be that which constitutes it what it is; thus the soul may be said to be that which changes the dust of the earth into an organized and living body; or, again, heat may be considered the cause of a hot substance being hot, or that in which its state as hot, consists. Comparing the formal cause to other so-called causes or antecedents, it is the last in the series by which a thing is brought to be, or the ultimate state of the process which intervenes between the will of the originator and its performance; at least this will convey a notion of what is meant, sufficient for the matter in hand. Thus, according to the Council of Trent, justification, the work of God, is brought into effect through a succession of the following causes: the mercy of God the efficient cause, Christ offered on the Cross the meritorious, Baptism the instrumental, and the principle of renewal in righteousness thereby communicated the formal; upon which immediately follows justification. Or again, Faith is, by various parties, considered successively as a disposing {344} cause, the instrumental, or the formal cause of justification, thus being brought nearer and nearer to that of which it is the cause, till it (as it were) falls into and coincides with it. Hence the form is that, between which and the thing in question nothing can be interposed in our ideas; and accordingly it is sometimes really distinct from that effect, sometimes not, though it is always supposed to be distinct. Thus, to take one of the instances given, if the renovation in righteousness which follows Baptism, or the "justitia Dei qua nos justos facit," as the Council speaks, be considered as the principle of renewal, as I have expressed it, it is the formal cause of our renewed state itself as well as of justification; and is or is not really distinct from that renewed state, according as we believe the principle of renewal to be a mere abstraction of the mind contemplating it, or a definite divine gift residing in the soul. Again: heat, the formal cause of a hot iron, is or is not really distinct from and antecedent to its being hot, according as we view caloric as an idea or as a substance. When what is considered the formal cause is a mere abstraction of the mind, then it nearly coincides with the logical differentia, or proprium, or inseparable accident. Thus whiteness is at once the form and the accident of a white wall; and animality is the form and the generic difference of man as distinguished from a vegetable.

The ordinary meaning of the word form serves to illustrate this scientific use of it. What discriminates a body from everything else is its shape; which is the development of that of which it is composed, into and unto a certain determinate lineament and structure. The Form then is some such disposition or result, constituting a thing to be what it is. For instance, the matter of a science is its objective truth, its form is that truth when it has become subjective, or knowledge, which is a sort of determinate embodying of what was till then unappropriated. {345}

Other instances of the formal cause are as follows:—The muscles, claws, teeth, intestines, etc. of a beast of prey so intimately harmonize with each other, as forcibly to suggest the notion that they are necessary results of some one element or principle, or that there is a certain latent type on which its whole structure is formed and from which it is developed. This, if it exists, will be the formal cause of what we mean by a beast of prey.

Again:—It is often a difficult question in pathology to determine the seat of diseases. Fever, for instance, manifests itself in certain symptoms, as quickness of pulse, restlessness, etc.; and, speaking in a vague way, we might say that it consisted in those symptoms, but it is natural to investigate whether there be not some simple disarrangement of one or other organ or function or department of the animal frame, to which these symptoms may be referred. Thus insanity has been supposed to consist in,—i.e. to have for its formal cause,—a certain determination of blood to the head; gout to be an inflammation of the membrane which covers the bones, etc. etc. In like manner, it has lately been a subject of controversy in the medical world, whether the seat of disease generally, and therefore its formal cause, was to be sought in the solids or in the fluids.

Again:—If man be defined to be a rational animal, we do not gain any real and tangible account of him, nor advance in our knowledge of him; it is an ideal, not a real view of him; but if we are told that virtue is a power of ruling the passions, or that happiness, as Aristotle says, lies in action, we have brought before us, more or less clearly, how virtue or happiness come to be, or of what they are the issue; that is, we approximate to their formal cause. When Cicero suggests that "omne bonum in honestate consistit" (Tuscul. Disp. v. 42), or that "honestas" is that quality of a thing on account of which it is called good, he is assigning the formal cause of goodness.

Again:—It is often debated in what the union of Church {346} and State consists; whether in the Church rates, or in the legal protection of endowments, or in its Bishops having seats in parliament, or in the Sovereign being an ex officio member of it, and bound to support it; that is, what is the formal cause.

Once more:—Every one knows what is meant when we speak of "endowments;" but a question may arise as to a particular institution, object, or country, what in fact its endowments consist in. For instance, the endowment of a certain hospital may consist in land; of a certain bishopric in tithes; of a certain preachership in railroad shares. These may be considered as the respective formal causes of "endowment" in the particular cases, as being the real things in which the endowments in question lie.

2. This being the meaning of the term employed, it is plain that to determine what is the formal cause of our justification, or what it is which under the Christian covenant constitutes us just in God's sight, or what it is in us in which our justification consists, or what it is immediately upon which we receive God's justification, is as important an undertaking as any one in the controversy, whatever difficulties may attend it, whatever chance there be of verbal disputes (as there is almost the certainty), and whatever danger, in consequence, of men finding themselves on contrary sides, who are in reality like-minded. The question may be thrown into the following more practical shape: What is it which God will look on at the last day and accept us in? what will be the immediate antecedent in our souls to the words, "Come, ye blessed." Supposing a religious man, unversed in controversy, to be asked this question, the answer would at once rise on his tongue, which is suggested by the passage of Scripture referred to, viz. the recognition of our good works on the part of God; "Come, ye blessed, for I was an hungered," etc. Next, on consideration he might correct his answer so far as to say, that since works are not good except done in a certain way, and {347} persevered in to the end, it is not the mere having done certain works, but the presence of a renewed state of mind developing itself in works, which is that upon which acceptance or justification falls. Further; after a little more thought, recollecting the parable of the Pharisee and Publican, he might add, that of course he did not mean to say that our works or our inward state was such as to be able in itself to stand the scrutiny of a Just and Holy God, but that whatever was accepted in us must be accepted for the sake of Christ's merits and under the covenant of mercy. Lastly, recollecting the language of Hezekiah and Nehemiah, and St. Paul's about "the rich storing up for themselves a good foundation," and about his own "good fight," and St. Luke's remark that Zacharias and his wife were "righteous before God," and Zacharias's prophecy about Gospel "holiness and righteousness before Him," and St. Paul's appeal to his conscience, he would add further, by way of caution, that Christ's merits did not supersede the necessity of our doing our part.

3. Here suppose two disputants to interpose, they would perhaps each claim the speaker as on his own side. The one would urge that he had decided that the formal cause of justification was either our good works, or our inward holiness, as the case was viewed. The other, that on the contrary he had spoken of the necessity of Christ's merits coming between us and God's sentence; these merits then, after all, were the immediate antecedent of justification, that upon and in which justification came, or its formal cause. The former would rejoin that those merits were not the immediate antecedent of justification, but the presupposed ground-work of justification all along, without which there would be no covenant, no works, no reward at all; not the last step before justification, but the first step towards it [Note 2]: not the formal cause, but the meritorious. {348} And here they would join issue; viz. whether Christ's merits, which are the original cause of our holiness and works, are to be considered as the medium (as it may be called) of the covenant in which we act, or the proximate cause of our entering into life [Note 3]. Such is the question on which some remarks are now to be attempted, and which has been viewed by different schools in a variety of ways; such as the following:—(1) It has been said that we are justified directly and solely upon our holiness and works wrought in us through Christ's merits by the Spirit; or (2) upon our holiness and works under the covenant of Christ's merits, or, in other words, sanctified and completed by Christ's merits; or (3) that our faith is mercifully appointed as the substitute for perfect holiness, and thus is the interposing and acceptable principle between us and God; or (4) that Christ's merits and righteousness are imputed as ours, and become the immediate cause of our justification, superseding everything else in the eye of our Judge. Of these the first is the high-Roman view; the last the high-Protestant; and the two intermediate are different forms of what is commonly considered the high-Church view among ourselves, and very nearly resemble Bucer's, among the Protestants, and that of Pighius, Mussus, and many others of the Roman school.

4. Indeed, it is no point of faith with the Roman Catholics to take the view which I have called Roman [Note 4], {349} but still I shall so call it, as holding the place among them which our so-called high-Church doctrine does among us, that is, as being the generally received, orthodox, and legitimate exposition of their formularies. Romanists then consider that that on which justification at once takes place, in which it consists, or its formal cause, is inherent righteousness (whether habitual or of works, which is an open question); and they argue that it is so, on the plain ground that no interposition of mercy between it and justification is required, and therefore none is made. If justification is the issue of inherent righteousness at all, there is no reason, they say, why it should not be the immediate issue of it. If it be replied to them, that nothing we can do, though proceeding from the grace of Christ, is such as to stand the scrutiny of God's judgment; so that the most perfect human righteousness cannot possibly proceed to justification as its legitimate result, but even though real, and though not infected with sin, yet as being but inchoate and incomplete, needs to be pardoned, they deny it, and argue as follows:—Nothing exposes us to God's wrath but sin, and a state of sin is incompatible with the existence at all of grace in the soul [Note 5]. To deny this, they say, is almost a contradiction in terms; hence a habit of grace occupies the soul, to the exclusion, not of infirmities, imperfections, and venial sins [Note 6], but of everything which interferes with a state of reconciliation with God; it may grow towards perfection, and it tends to destroy all that remains of an earthly nature {350} in the soul, but by the fact of entering into the soul it expels at once all that is hateful to God. The renewed soul is in a state of favour, else it would not be renewed; Christ's merits have been applied when it was renewed, and their virtue lasts while the renewal lasts. If a man commits a mortal sin, he is at once thrown out of this state both of favour and renewal; and if he so died would die out of justification; but, while he is in it, he is by the very force of the words only in the commission of such sins as are not mortal, and do not incur God's wrath and damnation. And in this the Roman schools differ from Luther, who taught that no sin throws the soul out of a state of grace but unbelief, that is, distrust. It appears then that they hold two things—that the presence of grace implies the absence of mortal sin; next, that it is a divine gift bringing with it the property of a continual acceptableness, and thus recommending the soul to God's favour, so as to anticipate the necessity of any superadded pardon.

Nay, some writers speak of the presence of the Holy Ghost himself, who is in the righteous, as being the formal cause of their inherent righteousness, who of course may easily be understood as continually applying to them Christ's merits, while He continually sustains their spiritual life. But whether we consider the presence of the Holy Spirit as the form of righteousness, or grace as the form, or grace as the "justitia" which is mentioned as the form in the Council, or even if grace be taken to be the same habit as love viewed differently, yet in all these cases an inward gift is supposed immediately from God, doing that for the soul, which, whatever be its actual proficiency in holiness, it must need, washing it in Christ's blood, and so presenting it to God blameless and glorious without spot or wrinkle or blemish. This doctrine seems expressed in the Canon of the Council of Milevis (A.D. 416), in the time of St. Austin: "Placuit, ut quicunque dixerit gratiam Dei, in qua justificamur {351} per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum, ad solam remissionem peccatorum valere quæ jam commissa sunt, non etiam ad adjutorium ut non committantur, anathema sit." To the same effect, when Bucer in the Ratisbon Conference objects to his opponent, as saying, "Homines non eo justos quia non eis imputentur, sed quia legem Dei impleant," the Roman writer of the Acts observes, "Sed hoc non ita posuerat Malvenda; sed quia gratiam habent delentem peccata, et vires suggerentem ad implendam legem."

5. This doctrine of a real distinction, to be drawn between the divinely imparted principle of righteousness, even after it has been imparted, and the actual righteousness or renewed state of our minds, is allowed in the Church of Rome and held by Roman divines, both before the Council of Trent and after. Lombard even held that for justification the indwelling of the Spirit takes the place of the habit of love, etc. (Vasquez, Disp. 203, c. 1; Bellarm. de Gratia, i. 8.) Again, St. Thomas contends that the "gratia justificans" is not the same as the habit of love; the latter belonging to the will, and the former to the substance of the soul. In which opinion he is followed by Caietan, Conradus, Soto, and others. Bonaventura assents, so far as to consider that there is a formal distinction between them. (Vasquez, Disp. 198, c. 2.) This alleged distinction was a subject of dispute at the Council of Trent between the Franciscans and Dominicans (Sarpi, Hist. lib. ii. p. 187); on all which accounts it was left unsettled by the Fathers there assembled. "Observandum præterea est," says Pallavicino, Hist. viii. 14, § 2, "cum e Scholasticis aliqui putarent, hominem reddi justum per gratiam a charitate distinctam, alii per ipsam charitatem, præter quam non insit alia gratia quæ justum faciat, adhibitam data opera fuisse a Patribus vocem nunc gratiæ nunc charitatis et interdum etiam utramque, velut in Canone undecimo, ut se abstinerent ab ea declaratione, duæ res an una eademque res illæ forent." Indeed it may be {352} obviously argued, that unless the habits of grace and of love are distinct, infants cannot be justified. Vasquez and Bellarmine indeed, though they treat it as an open question, consider that grace and love are one and the same, which would resolve the inward justifying principle into a quality of our minds; but even then arises the question in reserve, whether that love does not after all arise from the presence of the Holy Spirit, who, therefore, and nothing of ours, whatever strong terms be used about love, will be the true justifier; and among moderns, Petavius, no mean authority, does not scruple to call the Holy Ghost the formal cause of the righteousness imparted to us.

This is so remarkable as to justify the insertion of several passages out of the many which might be quoted from his De Trinitate, lib. viii. "Sic igitur cum fidelibus ac justis impertiri communicarique Spiritus Sanctus legitur, non ipsamet illius persona tribui, sed ejus efficientia videri potest, idque communis fere sensus habet eorum, qui in Patrum veterum lectione minus exercitati sunt. Quos qui attente pervestigare voluerit, intelliget occultum quendam et inusitatum missionis communicationisque modum apud illos celebrari, quo Spiritus Ille Divinus in justorum sese animos insinuans cum illis copulatur; eumque non accidentarium, (ut ita dicam) esse.—hoc est, qualitate duntaxat illa cœlesti ac divina perfici, quam in pectora nostra diffundit idem cœlestium donorum largitor ac procreator Spiritus,—sed [ousiode], hoc est substantialem; ita ut substantia ipsa Spiritus Sancti nobiscum jungatur, nosque sanctos et justos, ac Dei denique filios efficiat."—4, § 5. "Omnino itaque per occultam quandam infusionem substantiæ suæ justificare homines Spiritum Sanctum Didymus arbitratus est. Eadem et apud Paschasium et Bernardum leges de participatione illa substantiæ Spiritus Sancti, qua boni vel sapientes efficimur, hoc est justi et sancti."—Ibid. § 15. "Evidens est ex eorum [Patrum] decretis, justiciæ ac sanctitatis statum non creata re {353} ulla vel qualitate, sed ipsa Spiritus Sancti substantia, tanquam principali forma, in nobis perfici."—5, § 1. "Ac valde sunt illa consentanea Cyrilli, aliorumque Patrum sententiis … quæ Spiritum Sanctum [poioteta] velut quandam divinitatis esse demonstrant, aut formam quæ [poious tinas] reddit eos in quibus inest."—Ibid. § 15. "Relegantur omnia veterum Patrum testimonia, quæ superius exposita sunt, et quod iis præstantius est Scripturæ loca illa recenseantur, quæ cum justis conjungi vel in iis habitare, aut Deum simpliciter, aut privatim Filium, docent, inveniemus eorum pleraque testari per Spiritum Sanctum hoc fieri, velut proximam causam et ut ita dixerim formalem."—6, § 8. It would seem then as if there were two formal causes of justification admitted by Romanists, love or inherent righteousness, and grace or the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling. Nor does Vasquez take an objection to the notion of thus viewing the subject; on the contrary, he says, "Neque enim incommodum aliquod est, constituere duas formas, per quas homo justificari possit apud Deum, nempe duos habitus." [Note 7] Disp. 198, c. 3. Indeed, such a determination of the matter is just as intelligible and reasonable, as if the form of bodily life were said to be either a certain organization, or the presence of an animating spirit.

This admission of a double form in justification is worth noting, as it points towards that doctrine which I shall presently notice as more exact and satisfactory than the {354} extreme Roman; nor does the argument urged by Vasquez against it, that where one is enough, it is superfluous to suppose two, tell for much, on the hypothesis that the gift of grace is really the form, and inherent righteousness but improperly so.

6. But to return: such then is, on the part of the extreme Romanists, the resolution of the question how inherent righteousness stands the scrutiny of divine holiness and constitutes our acceptance; they answer, that it consists in an inward divine quality, which has the power of applying, or springs from the application of Christ's merits, and so effects or pre-supposes the cleansing of all sin in us. Protestants, on the other hand, are accustomed to consider that the immediate antecedent to justification is an act of pardon from without upon the soul to be justified, which act, in consequence, is considered its formal cause. Now there are many difficulties attending this theory, but its strength in argument with Romanists lies in the authorities which can be brought against them from among their own friends. Some of these shall be mentioned, before we consider the theory itself. A remarkable testimony, for instance, of this kind is St. Austin's, who thus speaks in his De Civitate Dei: "Ipsa nostra justitia, quamvis vera sit propter veri boni fidem ad quem refertur, tamen tanta est in hac vita, ut potius peccatorum remissione constet quam perfectione virtutum. Testis est oratio totius Civitatis Dei, quæ peregrinatur in terris, per omnia quippe membra sua clamat ad Deum, Dimitte nobis debita nostra."—xix. 27. And St. Jerome: "Tunc ergo justi sumus, quando nos peccatores fatemur; justitia nostra non ex proprio merito, sed ex Dei consistit misericordia."—contra Pelag. (vol. ii. p. 179). Against such statements it seems hardly in point to urge passages from the Fathers on the other side which speak of inherent righteousness as justifying; the sole question being whether, granting this, it justifies after being sprinkled with {355} the blood of Christ, which passages such as the above seem clearly to imply. So again St. Ambrose: "Non gloriabor, quia justus sum, sed quia redemptus sum; gloriabor, non quia vacuus peccatis sum, sed quia mihi remissa sunt peccata; non quia profui, neque quia profuit mihi quisquam, sed quia pro me Advocatus apud Patrem Christus est, sed quia pro me Christi sanguis effusus est."—de Jacob et vit. beat. i. 6. And Pope Gregory: "Justus Advocatus noster justos nos defendet in judicio, quia nosmet ipsos et cognoscimus et accusamus injustos. Non ergo in fletibus, non in actibus nostris, sed in Advocati nostri allegatione confidamus."—In Ezek. lib. i. hom. 7, fin. And so St. Bernard on his sick-bed, as Hooker after him: "Fateor, non sum dignus ego, nec propriis possum meritis regnum obtinere cœlorum; cæterum duplici jure illud obtinens Dominus meus, hæreditate scilicet Patris et merito passionis, altero ipse contentus, alterum mihi donat; ex cujus dono jure illud mihi vendicans non confundor."—Vit. S. Bern. i. 12, col. 1084. And so again the words of the present Roman Mass, "intra quorum [sanctorum] nos consortium, non æstimator meriti sed veniæ quæsumus, largitor admitte." These passages are not inconsistent indeed with the Roman view of the doctrine, still they differ in tone from it. Lists of similar passages will be found in Gerhard de Just. §§ 8, 213, etc.; de Leg. § 189; Field, Of the Church, iii. Append. ch. 2; J. White's Way to the Church, Digress. 35; Davenant de Just. Habit. c. 29. Of these I shall only cite in addition the testimony of Bellarmine himself, often quoted in the controversy, and remarkable because he advocates the high Roman view. After saying that the Catholic Church goes along a middle way, teaching that our chief hope and confidence must be placed in God, yet some in our services, he proves from Scripture and the Fathers three propositions;—that the confidence of the Saints in God arises not from faith alone, but from good works: that when our services are proved {356} really to deserve the name, we may put some confidence in them, so that we beware of pride; and thirdly, which is the statement in question, "Propter incertitudinem propriæ justitiæ et periculum inanis gloriæ, tutissimum est fiduciam totam in sola Dei misericordia et benignitate reponere." And then he explains this by saying that he means, not that we should not pursue good works with all our might, not that they are not a true ground of confidence, are not real righteousness, or are unable to sustain God's judgment, but that it is safer in a manner to forget what we have done, and to look solely at God's mercy, because no one can know, except by revelation, whether or not he has done any good works, or whether he shall persevere, and because the contemplation of his good works, even if he could know of them, is dangerous, as being elating.—Vide de Just. v. 7.

7. On this subject may be consulted to advantage Le Blanc's Theological Theses, de Rel. bon. op. part. 2, Thes. 1, who carefully discusses the views of the Roman doctors concerning the value of good works, and shows that, in spite of their doctrine ex condigno, many of them hold one or other of the following opinions distinct from that of Vasquez, which has been chiefly spoken of above:—that the merit of the works of the regenerate depends on God's covenant, even regarded as works of the Spirit; that these works are not accepted for the reward of eternal life, except as sprinkled with the Blood of Christ [Note 8]; that the word merit is not meant to apply in the standard of justice but of mercy; and that when the justice of God is spoken of in this relation His faithfulness is meant, or conformity to the dictates of His wisdom. Moreover he says, that they all confess that the meritorious works in question are not such in themselves, {357} but as done by the persons of the regenerate, who are God's sons, not servants, and that good works are not meritorious of life, in the sense in which bad works are meritorious of death. In a word, they do not consider our holiness or good works a cause in the way of nature, but in the mind and dealings of a gracious God; though, at the same time, as is hardly necessary to add, the Roman doctors often use language most grating and revolting to our ears, and (as we cannot but think) very perilous to those who acquiesce in it.

To these authorities must be added the testimony of many of the schoolmen, who distinctly state as general doctrine what Bellarmine considered only to be safer to the individual, that the regenerate cannot trust in the view of God's judgment on anything good in them, or any good works of theirs. Vasquez makes mention of these writers and of others of later date, in the following very observable words, which have often been quoted:—"Non possum non mirari antiquos scholasticos, quos hactenus memoravi, quod de justitia nobis inhærente ita abjecte senserint, ut veram ei adscribere formidaverint rationem justitiæ et sanctitatis inhærentis quæ suapte natura Deo necessario placeat; recentiores vero theologos multo magis miratus sum, quod post præclaram Concilii Tridentini definitionem, quam inferius explicabo, tam exilem justitiam inhærentem justis concesserint, ut ex se non habeat virtutem tergendi maculas peccatorum, nec eas purgare valeat, nisi favore et condonatione Dei relaxentur."—Disput. 204, c. 2, p. 469.

8. Such are the confessions, or, it may be said, concessions, of Roman Divines, towards the doctrine of Protestants on the subject of justification. But far from being content with them, Luther, Calvin, and their followers, have maintained that nothing is really granted, while good works or holiness are in any respect made the formal or constituting cause of justification; and then their difficulty begins, for they have forthwith to construct a doctrine of their own, {358} whereas Protestants seem by the force of their name to disclaim the office of framing any positive theology [Note 9]. The question is, what is the formal cause of our justification?—now let us grant that any divinely imparted sanctity, any good works are not the immediate antecedent to our being justified; that justification does not depend on, or consist in, anything we are or can do; that Christ's merits must ever interpose or intercede between us and God, and so preclude the righteousness inherent in us from being the formal cause; the question recurs, what is the formal cause of our justification? and on this question we shall find in the writings of Protestants great diversity of opinion and little satisfaction. Some say that faith is the formal cause, some forgiveness of sins, some the imputation of Christ's righteousness, and some that there is no formal cause at all.

9. Perhaps the best choice that can be made out of these answers, is to say that it is faith. Such was the answer originally given by the Lutherans, but they retracted it. And such is the answer virtually given by Bishop Bull and many others of our divines who have chosen to express themselves in what may be called the calculus of Protestantism. By faith, according to Bishop Bull, is meant fides formata charitate et operibus, or the obedience which is of faith; a doctrine which one is glad to find was admitted in the deliberations of the Council of Trent [Note 10], and differs from the view I have called properly Roman, in this, that by calling inherent righteousness by the name of faith, it implies that it is only in Christ that that righteousness is accepted, being unable to stand God's judgment unless sprinkled with His Atoning blood. But, returning to Luther, I observe that he too sometimes speaks of faith as our "formalis justitia." "Ubi ergo vera fiducia cordis est, ibi adest Christus ipsa {359} nebula et fide. Eaque est formalis justitia, propter quam homo justificatur, non propter charitatem, ut sophistæ loquuntur."—In Gal. ii. 16. "Hoc [tribuere Deo gloriam] ratio non facit, sed fides ea consummat divinitatem, et, ut ita dicam, creatrix est divinitatis, non in substantia Dei, sed in nobis ... Ideoque illam gloriam posse tribuere Deo, est sapientia sapientiarum, justitia justitiarum, religio religionum, et sacrificium sacrificiorum. Ex hoc intelligi potest, quanta justitia sit fides, et per antithesin quantum peccatum incredulitas."—In Gal. iii. 6 [Note 11]. And Illyricus, writing against Osiander, ascribes to Luther the doctrine, "fiduciam in Christum esse nostram formalem justitiam seu imputari nobis in justitiam."—E. 3, p. 6. Calvin says the same; by way of showing that works are not a cause of salvation, he observes that of the four received kinds of causes, "Efficientem … vitæ æternæ nobis comparandæ causam ubique Scriptura prædicat Patris cœlestis misericordiam et gratuitam erga nos dilectionem; materialem vero Christum cum sua obedientia, per quam nobis justitiam acquisivit; formalem vel instrumentalem quam esse dicemus nisi fidem?"—Instit. iii. 14, § 17. This solution of the question, however, seems to have been soon given up, and the apprehensive notion of faith substituted. Gerhard, de Justif. § 163, argues that faith cannot be the formal cause of justification; "cum justificatio sit actio Dei;" which is to miss the question (vide above, Lecture IV. pp. 96, 97), and says, §§ 197, 201, that it is so called by Lutherans, nothing more is meant than that faith is the means of apprehending Christ, who is our righteousness in God's sight.

10. This latter doctrine, which is Luther's, is reduced by Gerhard from Christus fide apprehensus est justitia nostra, § 163, to Christi justitia, next to Christi obedientiæ imputatio, then to justitiæ per Christum partæ imputatio, and lastly to remissio peccatorum, §§ 16, 197,198; maintaining, as he does, {360} that imputatio justitiæ per Christum partæ is identical with remissio peccatorum, § 199, and the one formal cause of justification. Calvin, on the other hand, assenting to the doctrine that the imputatio justitiæ, or non-imputatio or remissio peccatorum, is the formal cause (Instit. iii. 11, §§ 2, 4; Antidot. p. 323; Eccles. Reform. Rat. p. 368; Chamier, de Justif. xxii 13, § 5), and that sanctification is not the formal cause, but a "necessary accident," present in justification comitanter not formaliter,—a distinction difficult to master, since a form need not be intrinsic,—(vide Calvin, Antid. p. 324; Davenant de Just. Hab. fin.) determines with more candour that Christus, or the obedientia Christi, is the matter of justification [Note 12]. (Vide passage above quoted, and Instit. iii. 11, § 7; Chamier de Justif. xxi. 1, § 19.) But what he gains thereby in truth, he loses in the argument; for whereas the formal cause must be from its nature intimately connected (whether accidentally or essentially) with that of which it is the cause, this solution of the question gives up the notion of such a connection altogether, as substituting with Gerhard for the passive sense of justification that active sense which belongs to God. (Vide Chamier, loc. cit.) To tell us that justifying consists in God's pardoning sin, does not help us one step towards determining what it really is to be justified; whereas the phrases "Christus justitia nostra," "Christus in cordibus inhabitans," etc., of the Lutherans are better adapted to create at least a semblance of some real and intimate characteristic, and thus, granting nothing more than Calvin, to break the force of an opponent's argument.

The Lutherans then argue that a form need not be anything essential or internal; that the form, for instance, of a sunny bank is the sun's shining, the form of news lies in {361} him to whom it is news; moreover that love, the form, as their opponents say, of justifying faith, is extrinsic only. Vasquez grants this (Disput. 202, c. 3), but argues that still there is always some real connection between a thing and such extrinsic form; for instance, it is part of the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation that our Lord's human nature is holy from its union with the Divine Nature as an extrinsic form; here, however, the union between the two natures is personal; what then, in like manner, is that real connection between Christ and the justified, whatever be its precise nature, which will allow us to call Him the form of our righteousness? The Lutherans make answer that faith is such a connection; to which Vasquez replies by asking, whether a man is called rich who by faith apprehends riches? or noble who so apprehends nobility? What do they mean, in short, when they say that an act of our minds changes our real state in God's sight? Gerhard answers (in controversy with Bellarmine), § 238, that it is a mystery; a sufficient account, if his school kept to it, instead of going on, as they do, to explain how it was, and turning the justifying power of faith into a weapon against all mysteries, such as the Sacraments.

Further, Bellarmine goes on to urge (de Just. ii. 7), that, even though the formal cause be extrinsic, still where there is an intrinsic also, that is more properly the form (for instance, it is more exact to say that fluidity is the form of melting wax than its exposure to the fire); that a negro dressed in white would still be called a black man; and that a sinner to whom the righteousness of Christ is but imputed, has for his truer form the sin which is in him, not the perfection which is counted to him; (and, in like manner, if he is really made righteous by inherence, whether infection be left or not, that inherent righteousness is more properly the form of his justification than a mere imputed righteousness which is without him); whereas, in the case of fides {362} formata which is alleged by Lutherans as an argumentum ad hominem, no other form can be assigned but an external one, namely love, whatever be the form of faith as such, and love, far from being separated from faith, is united with it by the closest and most real of all connections, as existing with it in one and the same soul. To this Gerhard answers, that the reason why the justified sinner is said to be in a state of righteousness, because of what is external to him, rather than of sin from what is internal, is that he is not really a sinner in the same sense in which he was before; for sin in the regenerate has lost its formal part, which is guilt, and has only its matter remaining, and even that is under process of mortification. Further: he protests against the notion that the Protestant doctrine of imputation is nominal, shadowy, and putative. Davenant makes a similar complaint; yet, desirous as one may be to be fair to the theory, it is difficult to speak of it in any other terms. Davenant's words are these:—"Imputatio non fictionem cogitationis humanæ denotat, sed efficacissimam Dei ordinationem et validissimam rei donationem. Si Bellarminus nolit advertere quid intersit inter fictionem et donationem justitiæ Christi, dignus est qui coram tremendo illo tribunali sistatur, non alia justitia indutus quam sua inhærente."—c. 34. This surely is unfair, as well as severe; a gift or a possession is of two kinds, personal, and for use and enjoyment; gold or jewels put into one's hands is the former, and landed property is the latter. Davenant means that the justitia Christi is ours in the latter sense. He says (c. 28, fin.), "Christi justitia imputata nihil aliud est quam Christi justitia applicata et donata nobis ad spiritualem aliquem effectum producendum." He does not regard it at all as a personal possession; and Calvin grants as much, when he considers the formal cause of justification, not the justitia Christi, but remission of sins, that is, the spiritual consequence of His righteousness. Bellarmine then assumes no more than {363} Calvin grants; that we are said to be or named as having Christ's righteousness in order to have the fruits of that righteousness. Only he goes on to argue that such a mere nominal and not real gift, or to make use of the foregoing distinction, a gift not personal, cannot be called a formal cause. Yet Davenant dispenses very different justice to his acute opponent and his clear-headed and candid Master. While he uses language which one would wish to forget, because Bellarmine says that the imputation which is by faith, by the very force of the terms used, cannot be a personal characteristic of the soul, yet when Calvin says that Christ's righteousness is but the matter, not the form of justification, and only is applied to us in its effects, in the remission of sins, he says, "ut itaque seponamus philosophicas speculationes de natura causæ formalis," etc. Yet he is just beginning a dissertation of eight chapters upon it! The subject may be treated in a philosophical, or a common-sense way; but must not be taken up and put down in one or the other at pleasure. All this ambiguity, as I must call it, is to be imputed not to Bishop Davenant, whose work is full of noble passages, but to his system.

11. Another answer still more explicit than Calvin's, is that there is no formal cause of justification at all. Such is the final evolution of the Protestant theory, which beginning in the bold, nay correct language of Luther, that Christ Himself is the form of our justification, is gradually attenuated till the very notion of a form vanishes. This is the ground taken by those of our writers who are not Calvinists, yet retain partially the language of Protestantism. Jackson plainly puts forward this view in the following words:—"To demand of us what is the formal cause of Justification, by which our sins are formally remitted, is as if we should ask one of our young pupils, what were Latin for manus. Justification taken (as we do) for remission of sins, not by inherent righteousness, or aught within us immediately incompatible {364} with them, but by the external merits of Christ, is a form or entity as simple as any formal cause can be, and simple or uncompounded entities can neither have formal causes, or aught in proportion answering to them. Wherefore, as I said, it is either the folly or knavery of our adversaries to demand a formal cause of their justification, that deny themselves to be formally just in the sight of God."—Book iv. ch. 7, init. Yet surely, with deference to so great a writer, if a justified state, or, as he expresses it, a state of remission of sins by the external merits of Christ, consist in anything, if he who is in that state differs from him who is not, that in which it consists, that in which he differs from the other, is a kind of formal cause: and he would be the last to deny that there are such characteristics attaching to a person justified. Yet from a fear of the Roman doctrine of merit, and from a principle of maintaining, as far as might be, their inherited doctrine, some of our most revered divines have virtually denied with Jackson that there is any formal cause of justification; that is, they have avoided the question [Note 13]. Thus Hooker, in a note on the Christian Letter, which asks, "Tell us whether you think, that not faith alone, but faith, hope, and love, be the formal cause of our righteousness?" answers, "Is faith then the formal cause of justification? and faith alone a cause in this kind? who hath taught you this doctrine?" but he does not tell us what the formal cause is.—Eccles. Pol. lib. i. n. 58, Ed. 1836. Again, Bull, Taylor, and others who hold the doctrine of "fides formata charitate," and Barrow, Tillotson, Wake, and a number of supporters of the same doctrine, nevertheless do not, as far as I can discover, venture to speak of "justificatio formata fide," though by calling faith, or faith and obedience, the {365} condition of justification, they call it the form virtually. Indeed Bull, Apol. iv. 8, expressly recognizes the "remission of sins and acceptation to eternal salvation" as the formal cause of justification. In spite of this, Grabe, in Harm. i. 1, §§ 6 and 8, and Wells also, Covenants, p. 2, ch. 2, fin., do not scruple to call faith the formal cause.

12. The reluctance, which writers like those just mentioned show, from the prudence necessary for their times, becomes in all who are imbued with the proper Protestant theory a feeling of zeal against a view, which, though existing in the Roman system, is not false, unless exclusively held. Such divines go a step further yet than has been noticed, and maintain not simply that there is no formal cause of justification, but that any one who says there is, is thereby assigning not a formal but a meritorious cause. Christ is acknowledged on all hands to be the sole meritorious cause of our justification: but the question is not, who is the Author or Agent, or other cause of it more or less subordinate, but simply what justification consists in, what immediately constitutes us righteous in God's sight? This question, we will suppose, had been abused to the neglect of God's grace and Christ's merits, and to an idolatrous reliance on the creature, just as the doctrine that life consists in certain physical conditions, or the brain is the organ of thought, or the system of gravitation, may be perverted to a denial of God's creative and overruling power, or of the immateriality of the soul. Going into the opposite extreme, Protestants, when asked what it is which constitutes us righteous before God, not only refuse to answer explicitly, but assume the offensive; and when any one does venture to answer, accuse him of substituting the merit of works for the true Source of all acceptance and grace. Whenever one speaks of conditions, they explain it of merits; whenever one says, that the pure in heart shall see God, they answer that, contrariwise, none are justified but those who are drawn by God's { 366} grace; and when one says that only the obedient shall be saved, they cry out that the doctrine of justification by faith only is the "articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiæ."

Such are some of the difficulties of the Protestant doctrine on this point; in suggesting which, if I have ventured to differ from some of our standard writers, it has been on a point not of faith, and on which they differ from each other; and if I have here or elsewhere spoken freely of Luther and Calvin, I will observe, that those who spoke as they did of all who went before them, have no claim on the reverence of those who come after [Note 14].

13. To sum up what has been said:—the form into which we cast the original question was this, are our holiness and works done in Christ accepted or not without a fresh imputation upon them of Christ's merits? does the personal state of Christians, or do Christ's merits, come next before the act of God justifying them? The Romanist answers, that Christians are justified in their holiness and works without any fresh pardon; and explains himself to mean, not that Christ's merits are not imputed, but that either they have been imputed once for all on the original justification, or that their continual imputation accompanies that inward gift of grace by which Christians are holy and do good works. The Protestant maintains that we are saved merely by that imputation, because even granting our holiness and works were in themselves good, which the strict followers of both Luther and Calvin deny altogether even of the fruit of the Spirit [Note 15], {367} yet that after all they would be but inchoate and incomplete.

Now in the case of those who say that the fruit of the Spirit in us is in no degree good, and that we have no inherent righteousness at all, this difference is not verbal; the one party says that we are justified entirely by what is without us, because there is nothing within us which can justify, and the other says by what God plants within us, completed by His merciful imputation. But those who even, though admitting the infection of sin to remain in the regenerate, deny that it is a mortal matter, or "deserves God's wrath and damnation;" or even if they hold that it is mortal, yet that it may be through God's grace subdued, seem to have no irreconcilable difference on this point with the Romanists. And this view of sin has ever been virtually and practically the prevalent doctrine in the English Church; nay, Le Blanc, in his Theses Theologicæ, maintains that Protestants generally have no difference with Romanists on this subject. "Quum mentem suam distinctius explicant [Scholæ Romanæ Doctores] in eundem plane sensum cum Theologis Reformatis incidunt."—De Justit. inhær. 27. But however this may be, at least English divines teach that our holiness and works done in the Spirit are something towards salvation, but not enough; or that we are justified by obedience under the Covenant of mercy, or by obedience sprinkled with or presented in the Atoning Sacrifice. According to them then we are saved in Christ's righteousness, yet not without our own; or considering Christ's righteousness as a formal cause, we are saved by two contemporaneous formal causes, by a righteousness, meritorious on Christ's part, inchoate on ours.

Now it happens that this doctrine appears to have been held by Bucer as distinct from the other Reformers; it is {368} also the doctrine of the Canons of Cologne in their Antididagma of 1544; it was held by Pighius, Seripando, and others, at the Council of Trent; and we have already heard the confession of Vasquez, that it was virtually held by many schoolmen and divines of his Church, both in ancient and later times. In this then I conceive to lie the unity of Catholic doctrine on the subject of justification, that we are saved by Christ's imputed righteousness, and by our own inchoate righteousness at once.

14. First let us hear the Antididagma of Cologne, which was a considerable document at the time it appeared. It was drawn up by the Clergy of that See against Herman their Archbishop, who with Bucer and Melanchthon was meditating a reform of his Church. (Vid. Sleidan. Hist. Reform. xv.) It cannot then be accused of a Protestant leaning. It speaks as follows:—

"Justificamur a Deo justitia duplici tanquam per causas formales et essentiales. Quarum una et prior est consummata Christi justitia; non quidem quomodo extra nos in ipso est, sed sicut et quando eadem nobis (dum tamen fide apprehenditur) ad justitiam imputatur. Hæc ipsa ita nobis imputata justitia Christi, præcipua est et summa justificationis nostræ causa, cui principaliter inniti et fidere debeamus. Aliter vero justificamur formaliter per justitiam inhærentem; quæ remissione peccatorum simul cum renovatione Spiritus sancti et diffusione charitatis in corda nostra, secundum mensuram fidei uniuscujusque nobis donatur, infunditur, et fit propria; atque ita per fructus spiritus exercetur, efficiturque in nobis propria quædam justitia qua afficiamur. Cui tamen inhærenti justitæ (quod sit imperfecta) non innitimur principaliter; sed ea tanquam interiori quodam experimento certificamur, nobis (qui talem renovationem spiritus nostri in nobis sentimus et experimur) remissionem peccatorum factam Christi consummatam justitiam nobis imputari atque ita Christum per fidem in nobis habitare."—f. 13. {369}

The statement of the Bishop of Bitonto, in the deliberations at Trent, is to the same general effect: "Bituntinus ita disputavit: Duo intervenire cum impius justitiam accipit, liberationem ab injustitiæ statu et justitiæ adoptionem: illam huic antecedere, intelligens, ut arbitror, eam quam antecessionem naturæ Scholæ nominant, perinde ac Solis adventus suæ lucis effusionem antecedit. Is itaque fortasse censuit per hujusmodi quam dicunt naturæ antecessionem prius condonari peccatum per divinam extrinsecus remissionem, tum vero, sed eorum [eodem] temporis momento, cessante in nobis peccati obice, gratiam infundi qua Dei filii constituimur. Hinc ipse aiebat antecedentem hujusmodi justificationem ex eo haberi, quod nobis imputetur Christi justitia, qui veniam nobis impetrat; at subsequentem obtinet per justitiam interius nobis infusam, non autem per Christi justitiam nobis extrinsecus imputatam, quod Lutherani contendebant."—Pallavicin. Hist. Conc. Trid. viii. 4, § 14. To this may be added that of Seripando, the Augustinian General, which agrees with the Antididagma more closely still. "Duplicem postea justitiam statuebat. Partem quidem nobis intimam … Secundam justitiam extra nos sitam volebat, nempe justitiam ac merita Redemptoris, quæ ex divinâ commiseratione nobis imputentur quasi nostra; non quidem integra, sed secundum eum gradum et ad ea efficienda quæ Deo placuissent."—Pallav. Hist. viii. 11, § 4. Such too was the doctrine of Pighius (vid. Bellarm. de Just. ii. 1), from whose work on the Ratisbon Conference I make the following extract:—"Justificat ergo nos Deus Pater bonitate sua gratuita qua nos in Christo complectitur, dum eidem insertos, innocentia et justitia Christi nos induit; quæ una, ut vera et perfecta esst, quæ Dei sustinere conspectum potest, ita unam pro nobis sisti oportet tribunali divini judicii, et velut causæ nostræ intercessorem eidem representari," etc.—Controv. Ratispon. ii. G. iii. "Nos dicimus, nec fide, nec charitate nostra nos justificari coram Deo, si formaliter et proprie {370} loquamur, sed una Dei in Christo justitia, una Christi nobis communicata justitia, una ignoscente nobis peccata nostra Dei misericordia ... Ut vero intelligamus nos justificari seu fide seu charitate, velut dispositionibus aut mediis quibusdam in nobis ad justificationis gratiam a Deo obtinendam necessariis, nos utramque et fidem et charitatem necessario requirimus, sed hanc non illam esse dispositionem proximam et inseparabilem a justificationis gratia etiam a nobis demonstratum est."—ibid. I. Vide also the language of Contarini, Hosius, Stapleton, etc. etc., as found in Field and Gerhard as above, p. 355. The same is the doctrine of Valentinus, Bishop of Hildesheim, in a work written in 1535, with a view of composing the controversies of the day, and presented to the Emperor about the time of the Diet of Worms, 1545. I give an extract of it as it is preserved by Seckendorf. Comm. iii. 31, § 121. "Addit," says that writer, "quæ Lutheranæ doctrinæ propius accedere videntur, donatam nobis justitiam Christi, ejusque merita nostra esse, et nobis imputari; sed mox subjungit, præter hanc imputativam meritorum Christi justitiam, justitiam aliam, voluntati nostræ nempe inhærentem, justitiam, id est, propriam a nobis per charitatem recipi; his duabus justitiis simul hominem justificari easque separari non posse, et priorem amitti nisi altera sequatur." Valentinus assented, moreover, to the doctrine that fides formata justifies. Cassander's doctrine is the same in his Consultatio: "De ipsa autem justitia qua justificamur, magna hactenus certamina exstiterunt, aliis in sola Christi justitia nobis imputata, aliis in justitia novæ vitæ nobis communicata justificationis formam ponentibus, cum postea a doctissimis viris observatum sit, ex Apostolica doctrina et Patrum traditione utramque justitiam in justificationis ratione conjungi debere … Justificari hominem non sola imputatione sed etiam veræ justitiæ participatione manifeste declarat analogia illa peccati et justitiæ ex inobedientia et obedientia unius hominis, quæ explicatur a Paulo, Rom. v."—ap. Grotium, {371} Oper. vol. v. He then proceeds to say that this was Bucer's opinion, who, however, shall now speak for himself.

15. Bucer's opinion is of some importance to those who judge of the doctrine of the English Church by the views of the men who conducted its Reformation in the 16th century. I shall therefore give some considerable extracts from his writings:—He will be found to speak like a Lutheran concerning the office of faith under the gospel; but that does not interfere with his doctrine on the point in question, of there being two forms in justification:—

The following is the statement presented by the Emperor's directions to the Conference at Ratisbon, A.D. 1541, and assented to by Bucer among others:—"Firma itaque est et sana doctrina, per fidem vivam et efficacem justificari peccatorem. Nam per illam Deo grati et accepti sumus propter Christum. Vocamus autem fidem vivam, motum Spiritus sancti, quo vere pœnitentes veteris vitæ eriguntur ad Deum, et vere apprehendunt misericordiam in Christo promissam, ut jam vere sentiant, quod remissionem peccatorum et reconciliationem propter meritum Christi gratuita Dei bonitate acceperunt; et clamant ad Deum, Abba Pater. Id quod tamen nulli obtingit, nisi etiam simul infundatur caritas, sanans voluntatem, ut voluntas sanata, quemadmodum Divus Augustinus ait, incipiat implere legem. Fides ergo viva est, quæ et apprehendit misericordiam in Christo ac credit justitiam quæ est in Christo, sibi gratis imputari, et quæ simul pollicitationem Spiritus et caritatem accipit. Ita quod fides quidem justificans est illa fides, quæ est efficax per caritatem, sed interim hoc verum est, quod hac fide eatenus justificamur, id est, acceptamur et reconciliamur Deo, quatenus apprehendit misericordiam et justitiam, quæ nobis imputatur propter Christum et ejus meritum, non propter dignitatem seu perfectionem justitiæ nobis in Christo communicatæ. Etsi autem qui justificatur justitiam accipit, et habet per Christum etiam inhærentem, sicut dicit Apostolus, Abluti {372} estis, sanctificati estis, justificati estis, etc. (quare Sancti Patres justificari etiam pro eo quod est inhærentem justitiam accipere, usurparunt) tamen anima fidelis huic non innititur, sed soli justitiæ Christi, nobis donatæ, sine qua omnino nulla esse potest justitia. Et sic fide in Christum justificamur seu reputamur justi, id est, accepti per ipsius merita, non propter nostram dignitatem aut opera; et propter inhærentem justitiam eo justi dicimur, quia quæ justa sunt operamur, juxta illud Joannis, Qui facit justitiam justus est."—Liber. Propos. ad Comp. Rel. It is observable that this statement was as a whole considered so little Protestant, that a complaint was made to Luther by the Elector of Saxony against Melanchthon for having signed it. It was thought to be an undoing of the Confession of Augsburgh, and especial offence was taken at the word efficax applied to "fides," as if it implied "fides formata." The account is contained in Seckendorf Comm. iii. 23, § 87. It should be noticed that, while Luther casts off Bucer, expressly declaring his suspicions of him, Cassander, in the work already referred to, claims him as agreeing with himself.

But Bucer's opinion is more clearly stated in his own words four or five years afterwards in the second Conference at Ratisbon, in which he drew up a paper stating the points of agreement, dissent, and ambiguity, between him and the Romanists. He says, "Hanc ... inchoatam justitiam, justitiam non esse eam qua justi sumus apud Deum, ita ut propter illam vita æterna nobis debeatur. Cum ex parte tantum et imperfecta sit, nec legi Dei satisfaciat dum hic vivimus; ideo aliam in nobis nempe Dei justitiam esse qua Christo Domino confidamus," etc.—Acta Coll. Rat. Ult. (Lovan. 1547). Again: "Tum ille orsus (Bucerus) multis verbis de fide apprehendente dicere, qua apprehendamus Christi justitiam, quæ vera perfectaque hominis justificatio sit. Hanc vitæ justitiam nominari a Paulo, quam porro sequatur nostra illa inhærens atque inchoata justitia," etc.—Ibid. {373}

In the following passage he speaks of justification through spiritual obedience, as strongly as St. Austin in the passages quoted in Lecture II.:—"Non est igitur ex Lege justitia; imo qui ex operibus Legis sunt, execrationi existunt obnoxii, Gal. iii. 10, id est, qui nihil præter Legem et suas vires habuerint, ut opera eorum tantum a Lege sint extorta, non ultro nec Spiritu edita, hi execrationi sunt obnoxii; quia nequeunt omnia quæ Lex exigit, præstare. Tales autem ipsa Lex testatur execratos esse. Lex vetat ea ad quæ natura propensissima est, scilicet, amorem nostri et quæ hic quærit ... Ita a Lege bona et sancta, institutaque ad vitam, nihil nobis nondum Spiritu vivificante donatis, quam ut peccati cognitio, ita et incrementum ac consequenter ira Dei nostrique condemnatio provenit … Legem igitur abolemus per fidem? Absit, sed Legem stabilimus … Necessarium … ut ante pestifer hic animi morbus tollatur. Id quum Lex præstare nequeat, et ex sola gratia Dei donantis bonum Legis amantem Spiritum nobis contingit, consequens est nos ex gratia et haudquaquam ex Lege justificari. Hanc itaque gratiam quum Christus nobis meruerit, ipse unus Author est nostræ justificationis."—Enar. in Matt. v. 19. Vid. also Enar. in xv. 10-20.

As might be expected, he holds the doctrine of fides formata, nay, he condemns the use of the word sola as dangerous; he says, "Quia vero danda est opera, ne quem vel verbulo offendamus, nemo gravari debet (cum videt offendi homines quod sancti scribunt, nos sola fide justificari), adjicere viva, formata, per dilectionem efficaci, aut quid hujusmodi ... Ut igitur nemo ne veris quidem offendendus est, ita satis habebo vocibus uti Scripturæ et dicere, Justum fide vivere; fide nos justificari et salvari, omisso quod tantopere offendit, Sola."—In Psalm. 2. Vid. also a passage quoted by Bull, Harm. ii. § 8.

Appendix continued

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1. [The purpose of this Appendix is to show that the cardinal question to be considered by Catholics and Protestants in their controversy about Justification is, What is its formal cause? When this is properly examined, it will be found that there is little or no difference of view between the disputants, except when the Protestant party adheres to the paradox of Luther:—"Sola fides, non fides formata charitate, justificat: fides justificat sine et ante charitatem," and refuses to assign a formal cause.]
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2. Vide Vasquez, Disp. 222.
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3. Quando formalem causam quærimus justificationis nostræ, id quærimus propter quod peccator in gratiam Dei recipitur, per quod immediate Deo gratus et ad æternam vitam acceptus stat.—Daven. Just. Hab. 22. Statuendum est hanc justitiam sive hoc meritum Christi non intervenire solummodo in prima nostra justificatione, sed semper objici divino judicio, ita ut ejus intuitu non modo recipiamur in gratiam ab initio, sed stemus in gratia ac perducamur ad finem gratiæ, nempe ad gloriam.—Ibid. p. 28.
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4. [It was laid down in the Council of Trent that the "unica formalis causa" of justification is "justitia Dei, qua nos justos facit," or renovation of spirit and the good works thence proceeding; for there can be only one form of any thing, and this inward righteousness being that on which justification immediately follows, is therefore that one form. At the same time there may be many improper forms; as (according to the illustration used infra) the soul is the true form of the body, and yet its organization in some sense its form also.]
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5. Vid. Jerom. Adv. Jovinian. ii. 2.
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6. About venial sins, vid. Vasquez, Disp. 222, ii. 17.
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7. [Sporer goes further. In defending the thesis, that "justificatio est effectus formalis gratiæ sanctificantis ex ordinatione divinâ," he says, not indeed that there are two formal causes of justification, since there is "unica formalis causa," but that the causa is of a composite nature, including an external and internal Divine act. "Qualitas inhærens seu habitus charitatis et ordinatio seu favor Dei constituunt integraliter unam causam formalem nostræ justificationis." And he appeals to the words of the Council of Trent for this view.—Theol. Moral. Suppl. p. 286.]
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8. Vid. also Davenport. "Nos dicimus nostram justitiam, si præscindas acceptationem divinam et justitiam Christi, à quâ suam dignitatem meritorie derivat, parum valere."—Franc. à Sanct. Clar. Tractat. 26.
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9. There is a dissertation on the formal cause of justification in Pereus's Miscell. Catechet. vii. p. 171, but it does not help us in our present inquiry.
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10. Pallavic. Hist. viii. 4, § 3.
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11. Vide also Melanchth. Apol. vol. i. f. 77.
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12. It is remarkable that Davenant animadverts on Bonaventura's making the merits of Christ the matter of justification, which he says at once throws us upon inherent righteousness as the form.—De Just. Hab. ch. 28, fin.
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13. Romanists are equally perplexed to determine the matter in Penance; the Council of Trent calls contrition, etc., the "quasi materia;" just as Davenant calls Christ's righteousness instar causæ formalis.—c. 28, p. 369.
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14. Luther, on the text, "Behold I Paul say unto you," etc., Gal. v. 2, says, "Is locus terribile fulmen est contra totum regnum Papæ. Nam omnes sacerdotes, monachi, eremitæ, etc. (de optimis loquor), non Christo, quem summa injuria et blasphemia fecerunt iratum judicem accusatorem, et damnatorem, sed suis operibus, justitiis, votis, et meritis confisi sunt." As to Calvin's arrogance, even against the Nicene Fathers, it needs no proof.—Vid. in Valent. Gentil. p. 780, col. 2.
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15. Quanta quæso blasphemia est, opera facta ex fide et gratiâ Christi, stercora nominare (Phil. iii. 8) quæ ad Gal. v. fructus Spiritûs ipse idem vocat Apostolus!—Bellarm. de Justif. i. 19. Even Chemnitz seems to have been open to this charge.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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