THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF THE
APPROPRIATION WHICH IS IN THE NATURE OF
SAVING FAITH STATED AND ILLUSTRATED IN SEVERAL DISCOURSES.
JOHN ANDERSON, D.D., S.T.P., AND MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL IN SERVICE AND KING’S CREEK, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.
————— We believe, that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.”— Acts xv. 11.
————— THE FOURTH EDITION, Digitised by Thomas Cotton
————— THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE. READER,—Our Lord Jesus directs his people to “go forth by the footsteps of the flock;” and the faith we should seek to obtain, is like precious faith with that of all true believers who have gone before us. It is a great encouragement to hold fast the doctrine concerning the appropriation in the nature of saving faith, which is insisted upon in the following Discourses, that there is a remarkable harmony among the Confessions of the Protestant Churches in asserting it. “We believe,” say the Reformed Churches of France, in the 20th article of their Confession of Faith, “that we are made partakers of this righteousness [of Christ] by faith alone; as he hath said, that he suffered for the procuring of our salvation, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish. And this is the case, when the promises of life which are given us in him are appropriated to our use; and they rendered effectual to us, when we receive them, not doubting, being assured by the mouth of God that we shall not be disappointed.” The Confession of the Belgic Churches, as it was revised and approved by the Synod of Dort, says, in the 22nd article, “We believe that the Holy Spirit kindles true faith in our hearts; which faith embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, appropriates and makes him its own, nor ever seeks anything without him.” The Augsburg Confession, article 20: “We are to hold, that the remission of sins is given to us, and of unjust we are made just; that is, reconciled, accepted, and sons of God, freely for Christ’s sake; not for the sake of the worthiness of our contrition, or of any other works going before or following. This benefit is to be received by faith; whereby we are to believe, that, for Christ’s sake, remission of sins and justification are freely given to us.”—“The faith we speak of does not only signify historical knowledge, but the belief or confidence of the promise of mercy, which comes for the sake of Christ the Mediator.” The Confession of the Churches of Saxony, which was presented to the Council of Trent in the year 1551, in the article of the Remission of Sins and Justification, we have these words:—“Faith signifies not only historical knowledge, such as is in devils (for they are said to ‘believe, and tremble’); but it signifies the embracing of all the articles of faith; and particularly of this article,— I believe the remission of sins; I believe that this remission is given not only to others, but to me also. This faith is a confidence, acquiescing in the Mediator— beholding and embracing the promises.” The National Covenant of Scotland: —“We detest and refuse his [Antichrist’s] desperate and uncertain repentance, his general and doubt-some faith.” Larger Catechism of the Westminster Assembly, question 73:—“Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God; whereby he not only assenteth to the truth of the
promise of the Gospel, but receiveth and resteth upon Christ, and his righteousness, therein held forth, for the pardon of sins, and the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God, for salvation.” To be satisfied that the Assembly mean the same fiducial application of Christ, and his righteousness, as is meant in the other Confessions of the Protestant Churches, the reader is desired to consider their words in connection with the texts of Scripture which they quote, namely, Philip, iii. 9; Acts xv. 11. A few sentences may be added from two eminent lights of the Church. Augustine (Serm. 16, de