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The TWELFTH ARTICLE
Of good Works.
and follow after Fustification, cannot put away our fins, and endure the severity of God's judgment ; get are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do Spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as & tree discerned by the fruit.
This Article contains Four Propositions. 1. Good Works are the Fruits of Faith, and fol
low after Justification. 2. Good Works cannot put away our Sins, and
endure the severity of God's Judgment. 3. Good Works are pleasing and acceptable to
God in Christ. 4. Good Works do spring out necessarily of a
true and lively Faith, insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known, as a Trec discerned by the Fruit.
For the better understanding this Article, the Terins and Distinctions premised in the Tenth Article must be carefully observed. It must also be farther noted, 1. That our Church does not allow any Works, which are done before Juftification, to be so much as imputatively good; as appears from the Thirteenth Article. 2. That by faith, in the former Part of this Article, our Church means a lively faith, as she expresses her self in the latter Part of it. - 3. That those Works which she calls good, meaning that they are imputatively such,
are Works performed in Obedience to God's Commandments. These things being premised,
The First Proposition has Two Branches. First Good Works (that is, Works imputatively good, and perform’d in Obedience to God's Commandments) are the Fruits of Faith. See the Tenth Chapter of the Fifth Book of Limborch's System. Secondly, good Works follow after Justification, that is, those Works or Instances of Obedience to God's Com. mandments, which follow_after Justification, are imputatively good. See the Fourth Question of Turretin's Locas Decimus septimus.
The Second has also Two Branches, the last of which depends on the First. Good Works cannot endure the severity of God's Judgment. That is, Because those Works, which we perform, are not strictly good, tho' they are speciously or comparatively such; therefore they cannot in themselves, or upon their own account, or real and intrinsic Worth, endure the Severity of God's Judgment, which must needs discover and condemn the Imperfection of them. See the Second Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus feptimus. From whence it necessarily follows, that good Works cannot put away our Sins, or merit our Pardon for former evil Actions. For that which is it self so imperfect, as in its own Nature to need Pardon ; can't merit Pardon for something else.
The Third Proposition. See the Third Question of Turretin's Locus Decimus feptimus. For God can't be suppos'd to have made that neccssary to Salvation, which is not pleasing and acceptable to him, self. And that good Works are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, is evident. Because, since they cannot of themselves endure the Severity of God's Wrath, they can't be pleasing and accepta
ble to him on their own account ; but are such for the Sake of him in whom God is well pleased with us, even Christ, by whom God has reconciled us to himself.
The Fourth Proposition is in effect the same with the former Branch of the First.
The THIRTEENTH ARTICLE.
Of Works before Justification.
ORKS done before the grace of Christ, and the
inspiration of bis Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they Spring not of Faith in Jesu Chrift, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors Say) deserve grace of congruity :, yea rather, for that they are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
This Article contains Three Propofitions. 1. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith
in Jesu Christ. 2. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, do not make Men meet to receive Grace, or (as the Scool-Authors say) deserve Grace of Con
gruity. 3. Works done before the Grace of Christ, and
the Inspiration of his Spirit, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, have the Nature of Sin.
For the Words yea rather, the Latin Copy reads Immo ; so that the Word rather is not comparative, but the Church directly affirms, that such Works have the Nature of Sin, as the Latin necessarily imports, and the following Expression, we doubt not, manifestly implies. And indeed, yea, or but rather does both here, and in the Twenty second Article, mean the same as yea, on the contrary. This is evi. dent from the Context of both Places.
The First Proposition. Since Works done before the Grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are neither strictly nor imputatively good (the Meaning of which Expressions I explained under the Tenth Article) they cannot be pleasant to God; forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in Fesu Chrift. For if they did spring of Faith in Fesu Christ, they would be done by his Grace, and through the Inspiration of his Spirit ; and consequently they would be imputatively good, and for that Reason pleasant to God. See also Turretin's Fourth Question of his Locus Decimus septimus.
The Second Proposition. That which is sinful, needs Pardon, but can deserve Nothing. See alsó the Fifth Question of the same Locus of Turretin.
The Third Proposition. Since Works done before the Grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are' neither strictly nor imputatively good ; they must needs be finful, or have the Nature of Sin. And that for this Reason, viz. Because they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done. For had they been done, as God hath willed and commanded, that is, according to the Gospel Rule; they would have been imputatively good thro' Faith in Christ, and consequently not
sinful ; since tho they are strietly sinful in themfelves, yet their Imperfection is removed thro' Faith.
The FOURTEENTH ARTICLE.
Of Works of Supererogation.
commandments, which they call works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his fake than of bounden duty is required : whereas Christ saith plainly, when ye bave done all that are commanded to you, Say, We are unprofitable servants.
This Article, properly speaking, contains but One Proposition, the latter Part being only à Con. firmation or Proof of what is asserted in the former. See Limborch's System, Book the Fifth, Chapter the Seventy seventh, Sec. 17, 18. and the Fourth Question of Turretin's Locus Undecimus.
The FIFTEENTH ARTICLE.
Of Christ alone without Sin.
HRIST in the truth of our nature was made like
unto us in all things (sin only excepted) from which be was clearly void, both in bis flesh and in his spirit. He came