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ELEVENTH LORD'S DAY.

Question 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour, who seek their salvation and happiness of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?

Answer. They do not ; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus, the only deliverer and Saviour : for one of these two things must be true that either Jesus is not a complete Saviour, or that they, who by a true faith receive this Saviour, must find all things in him necessary to their salvation.

 

EXPOSITION.

This question is proposed on account of those who glory in the name of Jesus, and yet, at the same time, seek their salvation, either wholly or in part in some other place without him, in the merits of the saints, in the indulgences of the Pope, in their own offerings, works, fastings, prayers, alms, &c., as do the Papists, the Jesuits, and other hypocrites of a cast. We must therefore enquire, whether these persons believe in Jesus as the only Saviour, or not. It is answered, that they do not believe in him, but that in very deed they deny him, however much they may boast of him in words. The substance of this answer is included in this syllogism, drawn from the description of an only and perfect Saviour : Who soever is a perfect, and only Saviour, he does not confer salvation with others, nor in part only. Jesus is a complete and only Saviour, as we have shown in the exposition of the former question. Therefore he does not confer salvation in connection with others, nor in part only ; but he alone confers it entire, and in the most perfect manner. Hence we justly conclude that all those who seek their salvation wholly or in part somewhere else, in reality deny him to be an only and perfect Saviour. Or, we may put it in this form : Those who seek salvation elsewhere than in Christ, whether in the saints, or in themselves, &c., do not believe in Jesus as an only Saviour. The Papists and Jesuits, who look upon their works as meritorious, do this. Therefore they do not believe in Jesus as their only Saviour.  The minor proposition is acknowledged by them ; and as to the major, it is clearly evident from the description which we have given of a perfect Saviour.

Obj. God desires and commands us to pray for each other. Therefore to attribute a part of our salvation to the intercession of the saints, does not impeach the office and glory of an only Saviour. Ans. There is a great distinction to be made between the intercessions of Christ and those of the saints. Christ intercedes for us with the Father, by the efficacy of his own peculiar dignity and merit ; and is heard on account of himself, and obtains what he asks. The saints pray and intercede mutually for each other in this life, and the good things which they ask and obtain for them selves, and others, they seek and obtain, riot upon their own worthiness, but upon the ground of the dignity and merit of the mediator. Wherefore, inasmuch as the Papists imagine that the saints obtain favor with God, and certain good things for others on account of the worthiness of their own merits, they manifestly derogate from the office and glory of Jesus, and deny him to be an only Saviour.

 

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