1. New Testament Doctrine.
    1. Paul's Doctrine of Righteousness (§ 1).
      Relations of Faith and Righteousness (§ 2).
      Johannean Doctrine (§ 3).
      Other New-Testament Writers(§ 4).
  2. History of the Doctrine.
    1. Patristic Doctrine till Augustine (§ 1).
      Augustine's Teaching (§ 2).
      Scholastic and Roman Catholic Teaching (§ 3).
      The Lutheran Position (§ 4).
      Later Views (§ 5).
      Ritschl and Dorner (§ 6).
  3. Doctrinal Discussion.
    1. The Fundamental Position (§ 1).
      Justification Establishes New Relations with God (§ 2).
      Conditions of Justification (§ 3).
      Relations of Faith and Justification (§ 4).
      Justification and Baptism (§ 5).
      Conclusion (§ 6.).
      Additional Note (§ 7).

I. New-Testament Doctrine:
1. Paul's Doctrine of Righteousness.

In the Scriptural presentation one starts naturally with Paul. He alone of the first witnesses of the Gospel had the inner experience of the sharp opposition between Old-Testament piety and the new thing in Christ out of which as an inevitable interpretation the doctrine of justification arose. After his conversion he was completely occupied with the contrast between his own righteousness and God's righteousness, between the works of the law and faith, between Law and Gospel. Any mistake alleged against Paul's earlier life could not be attributed to the law; nor may one adduce a radical distinction between Galatians and Romans. Both affirm that the law was given "because of transgressions" (Gal. iii. 19), "that sin . . . might become exceeding sinful" (Rom. vii. 13); in the redemptive history, however, both see in the law a divine ordinance, and in faith in Christ a fulfilment of this law (Rom. xiii. 8, 10; Gal. v. 14). For his failure to fulfil the law Paul blames neither the law nor his own zeal (Phil. iii. 6). A bitter experience had convinced him of the impossibility of a perfect righteousness under the law. One who with such sincerity and energy seeks to unify his action, can hardly have failed before his conversion to struggle with the doubt (cf. Rom. vii. 7 sqq.) whether he could really fulfil the law of God. As a Pharisee he could not resolve this doubt by a renewed effort after a righteousness of his own, and therefore a righteousness proceeding from the law. The appearance of the exalted Lord convinced him that the one he was persecuting in the name of God was the Messiah. This experience was indeed individual, but it was an instance of the universal weakness of man's fleshly nature (Rom. viii. 3) which no law could quicken (Gal. iii. 21). In the Epistle to the Romans Paul showed that with reference to justification by faith the Jew has no advantage over the Gentile. The law which pronouns a curse upon all men can not, however, be given for this purpose, but for a " schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ " (Gal. iii. 24).

2. Relations of Faith and Righteousness.

The righteousness of God with which the Gospel is concerned can mean only either an attribute or a relation of God (Rom. i. 17, 19), or else a righteousness created by God (II Cor. v. 20; Rom. x. 3). In any case, it is directly opposed to Pharisaic self-righteousness under the law; having its sole source in God, man is only a recipient of it. The significance of faith appears in two characteristic passages of Paul (Rom. iii. 26 and II Cor. v. 21). Thus righteousness or communion with God is possible in Christ, since only in him in virtue of his atonement is there righteousness. This divine arrangement for salvation must be realized by the subordination of man in the form of faith (Rom. x. 3 sqq.). Legal justification being impossible, faith in Christ alone remains. The distinction between law-works and faith was for Paul the fundamental question of religion, viz., whether communion with God is from man or from God; if the latter, it can be experienced by faith alone. Faith includes an intellectual element--related to historical facts, as the death and resurrection of Jesus, yet only so far as by means of these facts Christ has become what he is for man. According to its peculiar nature, however, faith is essentially trust in the person of the Lord in its historical and present meaning. Where-ever faith is there is also a condition of justification as God's act. This signifies not a making but a declaring righteous (cf. Luke xviii. 14; Matt. xii. 37; Gal. iii. 11; Rom. iii. 20, iv. 4; also the notion of forgiveness of sin, Rom. iv. 7). Further, this meaning accords with the entire understanding of Paulinism. Moreover, justification is both a result and a completion of the historical redemptive work of Christ. This has its continuity in the Word, and aims at the justification of the individual. Paul does not teach empirical sinlessness. He refers to a conflict of the flesh with the spirit and does not underestimate the danger of a Christian's falling into sin. He even applied this warning to himself and toward the end of his life knew of remaining imperfection; but this does not destroy the Christian position. One's safety lies in a constant renewal of that which the Christian has essentially, i.e., Christ and his righteousness. Joined with this in Paul's thought was the certainty of future perfection and blessedness. He urges the Christian to self-examination, but at the same time to a looking wholly away to Christ in faith. But faith is derived from the Holy Spirit, in it is given the possession of the Spirit--a witness of sonship, and even pledge and seal of salvation. According to the Synoptics Jesus' preaching seems at first opposed to Paul's message; over against his doctrine of justification, Jesus emphasized the permanent demand of the law, the judgment of works and even reward for the same. One asks only whether Paul's doctrine is a necessary inference from Jesus' self-witness. Jesus connects the kingdom, salvation, and the judgment with his own person, a fact which the disciples first understood after his suffering and death. Two remarks of Jesus concerning the meaning of his death (Matt. xx. 28, xxvi. 28) coincide with the ideas of Paul. With Jesus, forgiveness of sin occupies a central place, likewise dikaiosyne, "righteousness," although


this both agrees with and diverges from Paul's view. Paul's presentation of the kingdom of God as a gift corresponds with that of Jesus. Jesus distinctly emphasizes the mutual relations between the religious and the ethical aspect of sonship. On the ethical side as a condition of entering that kingdom there is repentance. Faith is conceived as the right relation to Christ--trust not merely in his wonderful power to help, but in his person. Faith affirms that in him the kingdom of God has come and that he is the Messiah. Jesus complains of lack of faith, prays for increase of his disciples' faith, and he designates those as his followers who have faith in him. Of this the Pauline teaching is only a continuation.

3. Johannean Doctrine.

The self-witness of Jesus, according to John, stands in close relation to the Pauline circle of thought, yet with its own characteristic features. Paul's secret of religion recalls John's living communion with God. The Synoptics designate this as divine sonship, which in John is mediated through Jesus. Here both the person of Jesus and faith in him are far more strongly accentuated; also the saving significance of his death. The central good is the "life," which includes the forgiveness of sins--a present salvation and a future perfection. In sonship the ethical and religious elements are inseparable and conditioned through faith in Jesus and a new birth, wherein one discerns a leaning toward the Pauline view of the new birth as mediated by faith. In faith the aspect of trust is not lacking, but the intellectual element is conspicuous. There is an approach to Paul's idea of faith--the mystic fellowship with Christ. Nor is the ethical element wanting: "he that is born of God doeth no sin" is an ideal judgment and is to be understood empirically, as is Paul's statement that the Christian is dead to sin. More strongly than Paul, John affirms that the Christian is deceived who declares that he does not sin. Divine sonship is traced wholly to God's love, and the Christian is led to ground his salvation not on his love to God but on God's love to him, guaranteed in the sending of his Son and the atonement for sin.

4. Other New-Testament Writers.

In the rest of the New-Testament writings, James' Epistle mainly demands attention. The author's interest is wholly practical. The Christian community is presupposed, but the content of faith is never developed and no warning to the Christian community rests on it. Owing to uncertainty in the date of this epistle, no intentional polemic against Paul can be affirmed. One must, however, reckon with the possibility that James' presentation was directed against a practical abuse of Pauline preaching. James holds that a separation of faith and works is impossible; rather does faith prove itself alive through works. With reference to other passages in the New Testament: at Pentecost, salvation is connected with the person of the crucified and risen Christ, and forgiveness of sins with faith in him. With this agrees I Peter, where, however, faith appears rather as trust in the redemptive activity of Jesus, and the ethical element and fear before God are strongly accentuated. The Epistle to the Hebrews accords with Paul's view in emphasizing perfection (vii. 11) in Christ's work, and forgiveness of sins in baptism, as well as the enduring high priesthood of Christ.

II. History of the Doctrine:
1. Patristic Doctrine till Augustine.

Outside of the canonical Scriptures one seeks in vain for a full conception of the Pauline doctrine of justification. Christianity is imperfectly understood. Men were aware of something completely new in Christianity, but could not specifically distinguish this from the law; thus Christianity was in danger of becoming a new law, and faith an obedient acceptance of revealed doctrine, to be completed by works. Of the Apostolic Fathers, Clement did not gain complete understanding of the Pauline faith. For salvation faith and works are combined, and even forgiveness of sins is mediated through love. Ethical action is based on the command of God. For Barnabas the content of the Gospel was the forgiveness of sins, yet he teaches that the way of light is the fulfilling of the law. In the Ignatian Epistles the thought not of faith but of the indwelling of God and Christ is prominent. Ignatius relates faith to the historical person of Christ and especially to his death--a trust which rescues from death. From him comes the formula, "first faith, then love." The Shepherd of Hermas and the second Clementine Epistle are the classic representatives of a Christianity which is profoundly convinced of the essential significance of faith as the foundation and power of the entire Christian position, but for the practise of the Christian life lays all weight on obedience to the divine requirements. Faith and works are the saving formula, and the doctrine of merit is adumbrated: fasting is better than prayer, alms better than both. In Hermas appears the thought of a supererogatory action which may hope for recompense from God. By Tertullian and Cyprian the notion of merit was made at home in the Church. Tertullian also marked out the path by which the Roman Church has sought to adjust merit to the religious character of Christianity. He knows of a supernatural endowment by which one is qualified for meritorious action. On the other hand, he does not know of a grace through which one becomes pleasing to God. Thus the entire Christian life is under the stamp of fear. The understanding prepares for a distinction between natura and gratia, but uses it only to obliterate the opposition of gratia and merit. It was more fatal still that the doctrine of Tertullian was made effective by the authority of Cyprian. Almsgiving is paralleled with the forgiveness of sins through baptism. No longer is justification by faith held in the Pauline sense; faith is acknowledgment of the truth; it is trust only as an expectation that God will not withhold reward for meritorious deeds. Yet one must not conclude that for actual piety the Evangelical thoughts of the Scriptures had wholly disappeared. These were still influential for personal piety. Augustine reminds those who cavil at his notion of grace of the prayers and institutions of the Church. Even the Didache had required confession of sins before the sacrifice of


the Lord's day. And Tertullian's piety was not simply self-righteousness, as one may see from his tractate on baptism and his writing concerning repentance. Jovinian, as opposed to the idea of a special reward for supererogatory action, such as that of virginity, admits only a Christian position which rests on Christ and is established by faith and baptism, in which the Father and Son dwell in the believer.

2. Augustine's Teaching.

More clearly than Augustine, Ambrose rests sal vation and the certainty of it on the historical work of Christ. Yet he advances the doctrine of merit, almsgiving, and especially virginity. To Augus tine more than to any one the Roman Church owes its doctrine of justification. For him Christianity is a present rest in God--a conception, shaped, although not immediately, by his experience, first, of distance from God, and then by the inward commotion of a finding of God. His earlier, differing from his later, teaching on sin and grace is drawn not directly from his conflict with Pelagius but from his study of Paul and from Neoplatonic sources. His personal experience is for him the key, and as with Paul and later with Luther sin and grace are the two poles of all Christian knowledge. Outside of grace mankind is a "mass of lost souls" which may through God's grace be reunited to God. According to Augustine the Law said: "Do what thou orderestl" the Gospel: "Give what thou orderest!" That is, grace is preeminently a power of religious and ethical renewal. Concerning forgiveness of sins Augustine holds that (1) baptism as foundation of Christianity confers forgiveness of sins; (2) forgiveness is bound to justification; (3) there exists a continual forgiveness even for the baptized Christian. Fruitful for piety is the personality of Christ-his inner life, his humility, his entire manifestation the highest proof of love, his death the ground of forgiveness of sins. But grace through Christ is present by means of "word and sacrament," not clearly connected with Christ's historical work but in the strict sense creative. As operating or prevenient it establishes, as cooperating it alone sustains, the Christian position. From it comes justification, i.e., renewal, which makes one actually righteous; instead of evil concupiscence comes good concupiscence. The entire Christian life becomes a process of sanctification wherein is merit which the Christian must gain for himself. He teaches a justification by a faith that works through love. In De fide et operibus, along with faith, works are so emphasized as to make this writing valuable to Roman Catholic histories of dogma to-day. He approaches the Reformation doctrine when he gives a more mystical turn to faith--such a union with Christ that all that is Christ's becomes ours. In love to God a present life from and in God is attained. But here is no personal certainty of salvation.

3. Scholastic and Roman Catholic Teaching.

Scholastic theology adhered to Augustine's didactic definitions, at the same time it was influenced by the religious impulse originating in him. Yet here Semipelagianism and Augustinianism appeared in many shades of conflicting differences. According to the Tridentine confession, justification is not simply, but includes, forgiveness of sins. According to Thomas Aquinas, it is a consequence of forgiveness of sins--a physical infusion of grace. Other church teachers regard the connection as ethical, thus its elation to the historical redemptive work is uncertain. The infusion of grace is variously interpreted: the substance of the Holy Spirit is planted in men (Peter the Lombard); sanctifying grace is identified with love (Duns Scotus); the Tridentine seeks to combine both views. Later dogmatics side with Thomas. According to the Roman teaching, justifying grace is a pure gift of grace--a heritage from Augustine. Merit (meritum de condigno) is first grounded on sanctifying grace, while the corresponding action of man is rewarded by infusion of justifying grace (meritum de congrao). Concerning this the Tridentine was silent. Later theology teaches that grace is not given for merit. Yet if one does what he can he may humbly hope that God will lend his grace. Others do not admit a psychological necessity of a preparation for reception of grace. In the Roman Catholic Church the increase of grace received, eternal life, and the winning of a higher glory in that life are subjects of human merit. According to Thomas the three signs of a state of grace are: joy in God, scorn of worldly things, consciousness that one is not guilty of mortal sin.

4. The Lutheran Position.

For Luther the fundamental question was concerning the gracious God, and how one might be justified in the judgment of God. Through a painful experience in the complete renunciation of his own righteousness, he understood the Pauline word--by grace alone through faith in Christ. Justification includes not merely forgiveness, which has precedence, but inner justification. Grace is pardoning mercy, and faith is trust. Christ himself in his person and his historical work is man's righteousness. The law can only increase sin and it demands God's righteous judgment against the sinner. The law must indeed be preached; yet God's proper work begins when he comforts the alarmed conscience by the gospel of forgiveness in Christ. Wherever faith lays hold on Christ and becomes one with him, Christ's righteousness becomes our righteousness; God declares man righteous and forgives his sin. Thus Christ becomes the power of a new life. Later, Luther speaks of a beginning, an advancing, and a completed justification yet to be hoped for. Never could faith by reason of an inner quality be regarded as justifying. The Christian position is grounded in God's gracious judgment. Luther warns against confusing the certainty of salvation with the feeling of it. He combines baptism and justification but without precise theological treatment. Through Melanchthon the doctrine of justification received its first symbolic form (The Augsburg Confession, q.v.). We are righteous before God, not "by our own strength, merits or works," but by faith alone. Justification is grounded in Christ and is mediated by faith alone. In the "Apology" the impelling interest of the Reformation against the Roman


doctrine first came to clear expression. In the Formula of Concord all human action is excluded as a condition of the certainty of salvation; justification as distinguished from regeneration is interpreted as forensic, the righteousness of Christ is imputed so that sins are forgiven, and the doctrine of justification is so formulated that nothing whatever in man but simply the historical work of Christ is the true ground of salvation.

5. Later Views.

The later dogmatists distinguished not merely between the human and the divine aspect of the appropriation of Christ's righteousness (Baier), but within faith itself a certainty before, in, and after regeneration (Quenstedt). The certainty of salvation was to be experienced by looking wholly away from self to Christ as the promise. Thus the process of justification was conceived as purely transcendental for which faith is only an essential presupposition. According to Burk, who presents this view, justification is withdrawn from all vacillation of the inner life so that assurance becomes possible to those whose peace has been disturbed. But the question arises as to the criteria of faith. The Lutherans presupposed the universality and promise of Christ's redeeming work; to the Reformed who restricted this to the elect, personal assurance of salvation must be gathered from the works of faith as supernaturally caused. Schleiermacher co-ordinated justification with conversion; to be taken up into living communion with Christ is, as a changed form of life, conversion, as a changed relation to God, justification. He, however, conceives this as purely general and progressively realized. Some theologians resolve the objective process of justification into subjective consciousness, others emphasize the ethical aspect. Hengstenberg toward the end of his life distinguished stages of justification; according to Beck, in justification mediated through Christ one enters on a condition of life where on the one hand all earlier sins are wiped out, on the other hand a new ethical condition is awakened which must express itself in righteousness of conduct; with Martensen the justifying power of faith lay in God beholding in it the seed-corn of future blessedness, and in the pure will the already realized ideal of freedom. In the so-called Bornholmer movement (see BORNHOLMERS), since the world is justified in Christ; justification is identified with his redemptive work and faith is simply a becoming aware of what one has in Christ.

6. Ritschl and Dorner.

Ritschl combines justification with the historical work of Christ. In Christ the community is so far justified as God reckons to the community belonging to Christ the position which Christ himself maintained toward God, and for his sake admits the community to fellowship with himself. The individual is justified on the ground that through faith in the Gospel he is a member of the community. Justification and reconciliation have the same content. Reconciliation is the result of justification. Ritechl's entire treatment has en during significance on account of the many problems involved, especially the relation of justification to the historical work of Christ and to faith. Dorner characteristically emphasized the historical deed of reconciliation in relation to the Christian's present position: faith is thus simply "the assimilating organ" of forgiveness already complete so far as the divine aspect is concerned. Justification is identified with reconciliation: the central significance, the express founding, and the certainty of justification on the basis of the historical work of Christ is a peculiar characteristic of Cremer's theology.

III. Doctrinal Discussion:
I. The Fundamental Position.

A comprehensive discussion of this subject must be limited to the clear presentation of the controlling interest and the simplest possible designation of the points on which it depends. Communion with God and personal assurance of this stand or fall together. If Christianity is a present personal communion with God, a necessary and radical implication is that it can only be a conscious experience. This being established, one has further to ascertain whether the Christian can be certain of it. There is finally only the alternative, the initiative of communion with God is wholly from God or wholly from man. Whenever the question concerning communion with God wakens in a man, it always occurs at first in his desire to make himself pious, and so to work in fellowship with God. This has its source in the painful consciousness of separation from God in sin; if one recognizes his responsibility for this, it is quite natural for him to establish his own righteousness before God. Yet in all such attempts, on account of their abiding imperfection, one does not escape from inward uncertainty. This has, however, its objective ground: only from God himself can men be admitted to communion with him. It is therefore a more correct understanding when the Catholic view refers the initiative in the entire process of justification definitely to God, and sees the final ground of justification in a justifying act which proceeds from God; this, resulting from suitable preparation and made fruitful in congruous activity, assures one of eternal life. In reality, however, what is here under discussion is such a kind of mediation as brings vividly to consciousness how every attempt to effect reconciliation actually points man after all to his own self-doing, and thrusts him into inner uncertainty. But one can arrive at an actual assurance of a gracious state only when he is clear that this rests solely on God's offer, and that nothing remains for him except in faith to appropriate this divine gift, or rather to let trust in it be begotten in him. God has completed this offer of himself in the work of Christ in which, through an atonement for sin, he has reconciled the world to himself. In so far, then, certainty of salvation is based wholly upon a justice outside ourselves: the righteousness which has been created by Christ's undertaking in man's behalf is the real ground, or, on the ground of his sufferings and death, he now represents man before God. So far, however, as that historical work of Christ reaches man only in the Word and the sacrament therein contained, the Word and the sacrament are the ground of assurance. Later on, these positions will require completion and confirmation.


But they designate the central interest which can not be surrendered; that form of the doctrine of justification can alone be adequate which satisfies this interest.

2. Justification Establishes New Relations with God.

It is now plain in what sense justification as a forensic act is to be understood. If communion with God is established only by him, and if, on the other hand, both on account of the personal nature of this relation of communion and because of the remaining imperfection of the justified, the thought of a magic transformation is excluded, then the justifying act of God on which the Christian position is based can be thought of only in the form of a gracious judgment of God which is not analytic but synthetic. In a word, since the justifying act of God does not first of all contemplate the establishing of a new ethical quality in man, but the founding of a new relation to God, it must be understood not as the confirmation of an ethical quality existing in man, but simply as a judgment of God's gracious will which passes over the sinner and in and with forgiveness of sins justifies and takes him up into communion with God. Even faith, without which there can be no justification, may not, as a meritorious attainment, be made the real ground of justification, nor may the continuance of the state of justification be grounded in part on the life-work of the Christian as a completing of God's act of justification. On the contrary, from beginning to end, the Christian position rests exclusively on God's gracious judgment, so that this, in spite of remaining imperfection, depends solely on affirming the judgment of faith. As a matter of terms, one may question whether God's relation to the sins of the justified person is to be interpreted as daily forgiveness or with older dogmaticians as a continuous justification. According to the former phraseology, the fundamental character of God's justifying act comes indeed to the clearest possible expression, but one may doubt whether the believer can avoid thinking of the daily forgiveness of sins as a constant and radical renewal of his relation to God. In any case, by the acceptance of the notion of a justification continually renewed one is not warranted in supposing that the Christian position is composed of ever new additions. On the contrary, a continuous state of grace is grounded in the original divine act of justification.

3. Conditions of Justification.

If, however, the continuity of this gracious state is due to the historical work of Christ, but originates and is sustained by the gracious judgment of justification, it follows at once that under all circumstances justification and the historical work of Christ must be brought into the closest connection. But the limits within which this connection is to be sought are designated by the following propositions: (1) justification may not be identified with the historical work of Christ--the Biblical connection between justification and faith would be obscured and the reality of a reciprocal communion of God and man lost. (2) It would be a relapse into the Roman Catholic way of thinking to see in the historical work of Christ only the general ground of possible justification--manifestly the final decisive ground of the divine justifying act of God must then be somehow sought in man himself. If one carries through the combination already suggested in the Biblical presentation, then an adjustment between the apparently divergent interests is possible only when justification is understood as an actual fulfilment of God's offer of himself as completed in the historical work of Christ. Paul does not conceive that the reconciliation in Christ renders the demand "be ye reconciled to God" (II Cor. v. 20) superfluous; rather he sees in the word of reconciliation the necessary accomplishment of reconciliation. On the other hand, he believes that in the Gospel righteousness is disclosed and made efficacious. A combination of these two lines of thought compels one to see that God's historical offer of himself in the work of Christ endures in his Word and so reaches the individual. It is not the fact that God has reopened the way of access to himself in his historical revelation, while man must work his way through to God in reliance on the divine deed; on the contrary, self-disclosure of God in the Word effectively reaches the individual, and wherever through God's offer of grace one lets himself be won to trust in this, the judgment of justification is passed upon him, and this both objectively and subjectively establishes the condition of justification.

4. Relations of Faith and Justification.

The same conclusion follows from the answer to the other question--What position and meaning belong to faith in the act of justification? That faith alone can be regarded as justifying is clear from the foregoing (III., § 1); there it was remarked that the justifying power of faith may not be found in its ethical quality. If fellowship with God rests solely on Christ's redemptive work and the righteousness procured by it, then faith can be regarded simply as the assimilating organ and as justifying only on account of the object apprehended by it. The peculiar difficulty first emerges in the question, how this understanding of faith which is to be maintained under all circumstances is consistent with the other proposition which must be as firmly emphasized, that only where faith exist is there justification. Does not the latter position indeed involve that somehow on man's part faith appears as an efficient condition of justification? In reality this consequence would be unavoidable if one had to suppose that man--always of course under the influence of the Word--first himself ripens faith in Christ, and then God completes the judgment of justification on the ground of confirming this faith as if it were a finished achievement. The element of truth in such a view is that in fact faith in the strict sense is an offering of Christ to the wrath of God, and precisely for this reason justification comes to pass by means of it. Evidently these propositions which aim to complete the doctrine of justification really point to such a method as will not allow faith to appear in any way as real ground of justification. If, on the other hand, the conclusions just indicated are to be drawn, this means nothing less than that the original interest of the Reformation


doctrine would be surrendered. For the Christian would then again be directed to ground his assurance of salvation by reflection upon himself, i.e., on the existence of faith in himself. There would be no place for a simple and radical grounding of certainty on Christ and the Word to which he witnessed. Manifestly that kind of judgment of justification, which amounts to a confirmation of faith already existing in man, can not be thought of as mediated by the Gospel; and again a suggestion of such a judgment of justification could not be presented by means of the Gospel. For the Word, whether it is applied to the individual as a sacramental word or as absolution, can never establish the existence in man of a qualification of justification, but remains simply an active offer of the universal promise. If, therefore, one believes that the reality of the process of justification can be defended only when it is interpreted as confirmation of existing faith, then one must not deceive himself by supposing that a corroboration of such a justifying judgment must be sought in an immediate witness of the Spirit, or won by reflection on the criteria of faith. The Reformed way, on the contrary, which allows the assurance of salvation to be experienced only in the trust springing from the promise, points in another direction--justification is mediated by the Gospel, so that the word of promise becomes itself a justifying judgment wherever it is able to awaken acceptance in man. Thus the position is fully warranted that only where faith exists is there justification, and faith justifies only because it makes Christ avail before God: Christ is indeed the central content of the Word and he it is who is apprehended in the Word. Accordingly justification takes place before God and not in the heart of man--in the strict sense an act of God, and not a conscious process in man. Only in this way is it seriously maintained that every action of God necessarily aims at establishing a present communion with himself. But this is manifestly not attained by a purely transcendent process. Where justification is mediated by the Gospel, the meaning is that this rightly demands trust for and in itself; where man trustfully accepts this, he has what he believes; justification and a state of communion with God is subjectively and objectively realized. One can make this plain to himself in the simplest possible way with reference to absolution. Absolution is not confirmation of a faith existing in man, nor an ineffective announcement of a forgiveness bound to conditions; just as little does it bring forgiveness to all who hear it irrespective of their faith; but being an efficacious offer of forgiveness, it is really forgiveness wherever it is received in faith. Thus understood, justification and certainty concerning it are grounded in faith. This excludes neither a possible nor an actual series of degrees in faith and in certainty; the completion of the divine justification is of significance for faith. Here then the Biblical writers have their place, according to whom, where faith and justification are, there the Holy Spirit who was already active in man for this end becomes for the believer a personal possession in such a way that he witnesses to the existing kinship with God and appears as its seal and pledge. Hence it is possible to apprehend the element of truth in the distinction of faith before and after justification, and in the distinction of justification and confirmation.

5. Justification and Baptism.

The last intimations, if they are to receive concrete form, depend on the answer to a previous question which can not be solved in this article. The foregoing discussion suffers from an unavoidable abstraction in that it can not show whether the original justification is mediated by the Word or by baptism, in the case of children or adults. In fact, manifold difficulties and obscurities beset the treatment of the subject when one does not seriously consider how the general propositions concerning justification are necessarily modified according as they are put to the test in a community of those who were baptized in infancy, or are maintained in the mission field. It is, e.g., plain how the question of the relation of confirmation to justification gains a wholly different meaning when it is put on the basis of child-baptism. Yet these questions can not be settled here because they presuppose the understanding of baptism (see BAPTISM, I.- II.). Only this, however, may be directly inferred from the treatment of the doctrine of the Scripture, that justification and baptism are to be combined. If this is true in the first instance of baptism itself, then it must of necessity apply to child-baptism, if only this is regarded as a real baptism. Here the question concerning the relation of justification and faith takes on a new meaning and raises serious difficulties. For a solution of these a path has already been so far prepared as it was expressly emphasized how faith springs from the divine offer. In any case, one must believe that in the baptism of adults there is a completion both of the divine offer of salvation and, under its influence, of faith, and just in this way the Christian position is both objectively and subjectively established. With reference to the baptism of children, it is to be maintained under all circumstances that even in such cases faith, which affirms baptism, must somehow grow out of baptism. But the question, whether and in what sense one is to connect the origin of faith with baptism, can not here be settled.

6. Conclusion.

The discussion concerning the nature of Christian assurance begun in III., § 1, may now be completed so far as need be in accordance with what has been established in III., §§ 2-5. First then one may formulate the significance of Rom. viii. 16 for the assurance of salvation. If faith in the historical divine revelation, by which the Christian position is created, takes place only by the Holy Spirit, the immanent certainty of the Christian therein given could not maintain itself without the continuous witness of the Spirit. This repudiates the Methodistic view which will experience this witness of the Spirit in an immediate feeling of peace; preferable is the Lutheran view which has the entire economy of salvation on its side as it relates the continuous witness of the Spirit to the historical process of salvation, mediating this by the Word and the sacrament. Yet the strictly supernatural


character of that witness may not be lost sight of; in this, as well as in the possession of the Spirit, the Christian has the pledge of his salvation. In the same way may be defined the significance of self-examination for Christian assurance. If the Christian position is connected with faith, the serious Christian can not avoid testing faith and salvation by the criterion of the whole life. On the other hand, it can be of service to one in trouble when faith is hidden from him to become certain of it by means of its criteria. In both of these ways this self-examination is to be conceived as a point of departure. One recognizes the normality of the Christian assurance in its unreflecting appeal to the divine deed which produces the Christian position. All finally comes to this, that the pledge of faith is also the pledge of certainty. If the existing Christian position is assured to faith by historical divine revelation, apparently there is no occasion to go behind that historical revelation to an eternal counsel of God. Yet in reality not merely the Reformed view but also the Formula of Concord makes predestination fruitful for Christian assurance. In fact, recourse to this can not be dispensed with by one who seeks an assurance not simply for the present but also for the future. Only one must add immediately, certainty concerning one's election is to be sought in Christ alone. But wherever the be lieving Christian, so long as he believes, is certain of the divine election, he knows that his entire salvation, present and future, is in the hand of the eternal God. Two points yet require mention, the brevity of which bears no relation to their significance: (1) in the necessarily personal nature of faith and assurance of salvation one may not for get that these will be experienced in the community of believers in which the Word and the sacrament are in use; and (2) this is in precise analogy to the first—the energy with which, in the matter of the certainty of salvation, the entire life is related to God and to God alone, may not obscure the other truth, that after all man meets God only in the concrete reality of an individual life, and he there fore experiences and maintains the certainty of salvation in the limitless riches of the concrete situations of this life. Only where this is understood does one avoid isolating the witness of the Spirit from the actual life. And now it is possible to make fruitful the profound thought of James, that the Christian is blessed, and that too not by means of his deed but in his deed.


7. Additional Note.

While a majority of critical authorities favor the forensic interpretation of dikaioun, "pronouncing righteous," as the only meaning in Paul's writings, there is a not inconsiderable number of scholars who defend the view that it also signifies making or becoming actually righteous." Among the passages cited to substantiate the latter claim are Rom. iii. 24, 26, 28, 30, vi. 7; Gal. ii. 16, 20, v. 6. That this word is there and in other places used in a real sense is evident from a variety of considerations, such as, the forensic view is inconsistent with an intelligible interpretation of Paul's words referred to above; the real interpretation alone meets the exegetical and rational demands; and in all the passages dikaiosyne, "righteousness," is used in the proper sense as the basis of the judgment. Two further arguments for this position are adduced: the principle of character running through the whole of life is one and the same, being that on which the final judgment is based; faith which works by love is the essential principle of righteousness and is accordingly an inward quality of ethical excellence. Even when a forensic judgment is signified by dikaioun, this is grounded not in an outside condition but in an actual inner virtue. It does not, like works, make a demand on God, but it constitutes a ground on which one is forgiven who forsakes his sin and identifies himself with Christ. Some of those who hold this general view of dikaioun restrict its main reference to the initial moment of conversion, while others extend it to cover the entire period of Christian experience--one is justified according as he is sanctified. Justification may relate to that aspect of the new life in which the person freely and progressively accepts the grace of God in Christ, while sanctification refers to the gradual inner purification of the sources of desire, thought, and will.

C. A. B.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: On the N. T. side consult the works on N. T. theology, especially that of Beyschlag; the literature on the Apostle Paul; R. A. Lipsius, Die paulinische Rechtfertigungslehre, Leipsic, 1853; E. Riggenbach, Die Rechtfertigungslehre des Apostels Paulus, Stuttgart, 1897; H. Cremer, Die paulinische Rechtfertigungslehre,Gütersloh, 1900; K. F. Nösgen, Der Schriftbeweis für die evangelische Rechtfertigungslehre, Halle, 1901; C. Clemen, Paulus, sein Leben und Wirken, 2 vols., Giessen, 1904; C. E. Woods, The Gospel of Rightness. A Study in Pauline Philosophy, London, 1909.

On the dogmatic and historical sides consult: G. S. Faber, The Primitive Doctrine of Justification, London, 1839; G. Bull, Harmony of St. Paul and St. James on Justification, 2 vols., in Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, Oxford, 1841 sqq.; C. A. Heurtley, Justification, ib. 1846; G. Junkin, A Treatise on Justification, Philadelphia, 1850; P. D. Burk, Rechtfertigung und Versicherung, Stuttgart, 1854; C. Cholmondely, The Protestant Doctrine of Justification . . . Confuted, London, 1854; J. Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, Edinburgh, 1867; A. Ritschl, Critical Hist. of the Christian Doctrines of Justification and Reconciliation, ib. 1872; C. Hodge, Systematic Theology, iii. 114 sqq., New York, 1873; R. N. Davies, A Treatise on Justification, New York, 1878; I. A. Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, passim, 4 vols., Edinburgh, 1880-82; J. H. Newman, Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification, London, 1885; J. T. Beck, Vorlesungen über christliche Glaubenslehre, 2 vols., Gütersloh, 1886-87; T. R. Birks, Justification and Imputed Righteousness ib. 1887; J. T. O'Brien, An Attempt to Explain and Establish the Doctrine of Justification by Faith only, Dublin, 1887; W. G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, ii. 538 sqq., New York, 1888; H. B. Smith, System of Christian Theology, ed. W. S. Karr, pp. 522-552, ib. 1890; H. Bushnell, Vicarious Sacrifice, ii. 177 sqq., ib. 1891; E. V. Gerhart, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ii. 717-759, ib. 1894; J. Miley, Systematic Theology, ii. 308 sqq., ib 1894; R. V. Foster, Systematic Theology, pp. 678 sqq., Nashville, Tenn., 1898; J. Macpherson, Christian Dogmatics, pp. 379-387, Edinburgh, 1898; J. Wilhelm and T. B. Scannell, Manual of Catholic Theology, ii. 246 sqq., London, 1901; H. W. Holden, Justification by Faith, ib. 1902; A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, pp. 471-483, New York, 1902; H. C. G. Moule. Justification by Faith, London, 1903; the literature on Luther, and in general the works on the history of doctrine.


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