(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 23

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23. The Council of Trent delivers this concerning justifying faith: "It has always been the consensus of the Catholic church, that faith is the beginning of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and attain to the fellowship of His sons," see above (n. 5). (a) Also, "That faith comes by hearing the Word of God" (n. 4). (c) Moreover that Roman Catholic council joined faith and charity, or faith and good works, may clearly be seen from the quotations above (n. 4, 5, 7, 8). But that the Reformed churches, from their leaders, have separated them, declaring salvation to consist in faith, and not at the same time in charity or works, to the intent that they might be totally severed from the Roman Catholics, as to the very essentials of the church, which are faith and charity, I have frequently heard from the above mentioned leaders themselves. As also, that they established such separation by the following considerations, namely, "that no one can do good which confers salvation of himself, nor can he fulfil the law"; and moreover, lest thereby any merit in man should enter into faith. That from these principles, and with this view, they excluded the goods of charity from faith, and thereby also from salvation, is plain from the quotations from The Formula Concordiae above (n. 12); among which are these: "That faith does not justify, as being formed by charity, as the Papists allege (n. 12). (b) That the position, that good works are necessary to salvation, ought to be rejected for many reasons, and among others, because they are accepted by the Papists to support an evil cause (n. 12). (h) That the decree of the Council of Trent that good works preserve and retain salvation and faith, is deservedly to be rejected" [n. 12 (n)]; besides many other things there. That still, however, the Reformed conjoin faith and charity into one at the same time saving, and only differ from the Roman Catholics respecting the quality of the works, will be shown in the following article.


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