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removed, as well as innumerable inconsistencies and contradictions in Scripture reconciled by merely fixing the time when justification actually takes place to the day of judgment.
Those who hold justification takes place in this life must wholly forget or overlook what is stated and taught in Scripture relative to a day of judgment. When we consider the purposes, &c. of a day of judgment, it will appear the two tenets cannot exist together; no means or words can be found to reconcile them, either from the authority of Scripture or reason. It cannot be believed, that those who imbibe this principle can consider all the statements in Scripture respecting a day of judgment are nothing more than a mere flourish of words or high hyperbole, and as such are to have no attention paid them, but to be wholly rejected from their system of theology! But if, on the contrary, the statements in Scripture are to be received as an authority, it may be reasonably asserted, that as sure as a day of judgment will take place, it is also as certain, from the same authority, that man at that day is to be tried and judged, and the sentence of justification or condemnation then passed upon him. This objection, were there no others, seems quite insurmountable, upon every principle of reason as well as Scripture, to the tenet of justification taking place in this life.
AN ENQUIRY INTO THE REMISSION OF SINS.
ACCORDING to our definition of justification there must be pardon or remission of sins whenever man is justified; to shew this definition is well founded, writers giving a definition of justification have generally agreed, that such is the effect of justification, and very few have at any time, it is believed, denied this sense or construction of the word; we may, therefore, assume it to be correct: consequently remission of sins is an essential part of justification, and as such it becomes desirable to enquire and examine how, by whom, and upon what occasions, sins have heretofore been remitted, and at the same time, it will also be most important to learn from what cause, through what means, and when, according to Scripture, the sins of men generally are, or are to be remitted: this must be deemed a material part of the argument upon the question now under discussion, whether justification takes place in this life or at the day of judgment.
Mark i. 4. .“ John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
Luke xxiv. 47. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Acts ii. 38. “ Then St. Peter said unto them repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Ibid. x. 43. “ To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
Rom. üi. 25. “ Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.”
James v. 15. “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him
up; and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.”
Matt. ix. 6. “ But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, then saith he to the sick of the palsy ; Arise, take up thy bed and go unto thine house.”
Ibid. xii. 31. “ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
Ibid. xii. 32. “ And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him : neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
1 John i. 9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Ibid. v. 17. “All unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not unto death."
John xx. 23. “ Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained."
Acts iii. 19. “Repent ye, therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
The first five verses above, shew most distinctly, that certain conditions are required to be performed by man to obtain remission of sins. St. Mark states, that John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and St. Luke states, that Christ after his resurrection appeared in the midst of his Apostles, and having opened their understanding, that they should understand the Scripture, says, “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations :” and Peter with the rest of the Apostles being asked by the multitude, what shall we do? Peter said, repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost :” and upon another occasion Peter says, “ To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." And St. Paul in confirmation of what St. Peter said, states, in the Romans, that God hath set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. From these authorities we cannot be mistaken, what the conditions are by which remission of sins is to be obtained, as far as these authorities extend, namely, baptism, repentance for and confession of sins, and faith in Christ; these are plain and express conditions, but do not exclude other conditions which may be necessary, these are indispensable.
We will now see by whom and upon what occasion sins have been heretofore remitted : that sins have been remitted to man on earth by Christ himself, there cannot be a doubt, and