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for the time when God's final Victory shall be revealed (Rev. vi. 9, 10), when we and they shall “have our perfect consummation and bliss in God's eternal and everlasting glory?."
The Forgiveness of Sins. 1. The Second great privilege of the Church is the Forgiveness of Sins; and this Article occurs with hardly any variation in all the Creeds?.
Sin. A mournful catalogue of words, based on a great variety of images, is employed in Scripture to describe the state of sinfulness which man inherits from his birth. Sometimes it is set forth as the missing of a mark or aim; sometimes as the transgressing * of a line; sometimes as disobedience to a voice”; sometimes as ignorance of what we ought to have done;
i See the Collect in the Burial Service, the Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church Militant here in earth, and the Collect for All Saints' Day. Hence our Church has appointed special days for the commemoration of the saints of God, of which Hooker has said that “they are the splendour and outward dignity of our religion, forcible witnesses of ancient truth, provocations to the exercise of all piety, shadows of our endless felicity in heaven, and on earth everlasting records and memorials." Eccl. Pol. v. lxxi. 11.
Heurtley, p. 146. The Nicene Creed mentions Baptism as the Sacrament of Remission. 3 'Auaprla or åuáprnua. Comp. Hom. Il. v. 287; Ix. 501. Παράβασις, from παραβαίνω =
=to transgress. Compare Cicero, Peccare est tanquam transilire lineam, The word occurs seven times in the N. T., and is twice applied to Adam's fall, Rom. v. 14, 1 Tim. ii. 14.
6 IIapakon, from napakoúelv=(1) to hear beside, (2) to hear carelessly, (3) to take no heed of. The word occurs three times, Rom. v. 19, 2 Cor. x. 6, Heb. ii. 2.
Ayvórua which occurs once, Heb. ix. 7.
sometimes as a defeat or discomfiture?;, sometimes as a debt2; sometimes as disobedience to law. The last figure is employed in the most general definition of sin given in the New Testament, viz. Sin is transgression of law (1 Jn. iii. 4)".
3. The Guilt of Sin. For “whatsoever is done by man, or is in man, having any contrariety or opposition to the Law of God, is sin 5.” This Law was first broken by Adam, by whom sin entered into the world, and death by sin (Rom. v. 12). Hence “the fault and corruption of the nature of mano," who is the offspring of Adam, whereby he is inclined to act contrary to the law of God, is called original sin, and every yielding to this corrupt inclination, whether in thought, word, or deed, is actual sin. Now sin not only involves a breach of the Law, but brings guilt upon the soul, and even its visible results are often of the most disastrous description. Of its ultimate and invisible consequences, however, experience can tell us nothing. But what the human conscience has more or less certainly anticipated?, Revelation confirms, when it declares that the wages of sin is death (Rom. vi. 23 ; Jas. i. 15).
1 "Hornua (Rom. xi. 12, 1 Cor. vi. 7), from yttão dal =to be worsted, discomfited, because, as Gerhard says, “a sinner yields to, is worsted by, the temptations of the flesh and of Satan.” Compare the Latin delictum. Trench's N. T. Synonyms, p. 237, 2nd edit.
2 'Οφείλημα from οφειλείν = to ove. Thus it occurs in Mtt. vi. 12, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
'Avoula from & not and vouos=a law. The word occurs fourteen times in the N. T., and is generally translated in the E. V. by iniquity (Mtt. vii. 23, Rom. vi. 19, Heb. x, 17); once, by unrighteousness (2 Cor. vi. 14); and once, by transgression of the law (1 Jn. iii. 4): Trench's Synonyms, p. 232.
4 See Alford in loc.
4. The Forgiveness of Sin. Now as experience testifies that mere sorrow and regret avail not to arrest the visible consequences of sin', so Revelation testifies that repentance alone, and by itself, cannot arrest its ultimate consequences. But what man's unaided efforts cannot do, that it declares? God in His infinite mercy has done for him. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. vi. 23). For the only-begotten Son of God, whose very name Jesus testifies that He came to save us from our sins, and who Himself was without sin, holy, harmless, and undefiled (Heb. vii. 26), for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven“, took upon Him our nature, and therein lived a life of spotless obedience to His Father, and yielded up His life a ransom for many (Mtt. xx. 28). He, who knew no sin, became a sin-offering for us (2 Cor. v. 21), bore our sins in His own Body on the tree (Pet. ii. 24) and on the altar of His Cross made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, not only for original guilt, but for all actual sins of men". 524 E, and in the Republic, ix. 579 D; also the words of Tacitus respecting Tiberius, An. vI. 6, and Cicero, Off. III. 21.
i See Butler's Analogy, Pt. II. ch. v.
2 “In this darkness, or this light of nature, call it which you please, Revelation comes in, confirms every doubting fear which could enter into the heart of man, concerning the future unprevented consequence of wickedness,...but teaches us that God has mercifully interposed in such a manner as was necessary and effectual to prevent that execution of justice upon sinners which He had appointed should otherwise have been executed upon them.” Butler's Analogy, Pt. II. ch. V.; comp. also Secker's Lectures on the Catechism, 1. 239.
3 See above, p. 24.
5. Means and Conditions. The Forgiveness of sins, then, is a free gift, which Christ, as our Paschal Lamb', purchased for us by His meritorious Cross and Passion, and which he commanded should be preached to all nations in His Namo (Lk. xxiv. 47). All the reasons why His sufferings had this efficacy we cannot tell, but it is our wisdom thankfully to accept so great a benefit, and without disputing how it was procured on the part of our Redeemer?, to enquire what are the means whereby, and the conditions on which it is offered to us. Now the means are (1) Baptism, wherein the promise of forgiveness is signed and sealed to us?; (2) Prayer, in answer to which God has appointed for
Office, and the Second, Tenth, and Thirty-first Articles. The three great circles of images, which the Scriptures employ, when they represent to us the purport of the death of Christ, are (1) a sin-offering or propitiation (IXaouds, 1Jn. ii. 2; iv. 10), (2) reconciliation with an offended friend (katallayň=atonement, i.e. at-one-ment, Rom. v. 11, xi. 15; 2 Cor. v. 18, 19), (3) redemption from slavery (årolutpwors, Rom. iii. 24; Eph. i. 7; Col. i. 14). See Grotii Defensio Fidei Cath. de Satisfactione Christi, Chap. I.; Trench's N. T. Synonyms, p. 276, 2nd edition.
1 1 Cor. v. 7; compare the Proper Preface in the Com. munion Office for Easter Day.
2 See Butler's Analogy, Part 11. ch. V., where he declares it to be the doctrine of the Gospel that our blessed Lord (1) rendered repentance of the efficacy which it is by what He did and suffered for us; (2) obtained for us the benefit of having it accepted unto eternal life; (3) put us into a capacity of salvation.
3 Hence in the Nicene Creed we say we believe in one Baptism for the remission of sins, even as St Peter on the day of Pentecost bade the first Christians be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts ii. 38), and Ananias bade the repentant Saul arise and be baptized, and wash away his sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts xxii. 16; comp. Acts x. 42—48; Eph. v. 25, 26, and the Baptismal Service). See Pearson On the Creed; Secker's Lectures on the Catechism, 1. 242.
giveness at any time when it is sincerely sought; (3) the Absolution of the Church”, which God has “given power and commandment to His ministers to declare and pronounce to His people ;" (4) the. Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, wherein we personally apply to ourselves the benefit of Christ's meritorious Cross and Passion, The conditions, on which we receive this inestimable benefit, are (1) that we sincerely repent us of our sins (Acts iii. 19), (2) that we confess them (1 Jn. i. 9), (3) that we believe that God is faithful and just to forgive them, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. i. 9; Rom. iii. 25).
THE ELE VENTH ARTICLE.
The Resurrection of the Body.
1. The Eleventh Article of the Creed treats of the Resurrection of the Bodys, and fitly follows the pre
1 Hence, in the Lord's Prayer, the Saviour has bidden us pray Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us (Mtt. vi. 12; Lk. xi. 4), thereby teaching us that “as we through the frailty of our nature are always subject unto sin, so we should always exercise the acts of repentance, and for ever seek the favour of God.” Pearson On the Creed, Art. X.
2 Comp. Jn. xx. 22, 23; Mtt. xvi. 19; the Church of England has three forms of Absolution: (1) in the daily Morning and Evening Service, (2) in the Communion Service, (3) in the Visitation of the Sick, but they all presuppose Confession, Repentance, and I'aith.
3 In the Creed of the Church of Aquileia this Article was entitled The Resurrection of this flesh. In the Prymer of A.D. 1538 it is expressed The resurrection of the fleisch. But in the Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man, A.D. 1543, this was altered to its present form, while the ancient formula still remains in the Bap