Jesse Kersey

Philadelphia: Emmor Kimbor, 1815. Pages 58-61.

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[p. 58] When we have submitted to the manifestation of the Spirit, and have come in consequence to possess the true and living faith, which is before spoken of, the Society of Friends believe we are justified. "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man, is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins; and by him, all that believe are justified." Acts 13:38-39. But justification cannot be without sanctification, nor sanctification without obedience, nor obedience without faith. Therefore, as true faith is always connected with obedience, "we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" Rom. 3:28, that is, whether he is acquainted with the outward obligations contained in the law or otherwise. By faith in the law of the Spirit, and obedience thereunto, he will be so instructed and strengthened as to fulfil the law, and even be justified by the law, though he act not from an outward knowledge of it, but from the word of faith alone. But justification, we have said, is not without sanctification. The reader will observe [P. 59] that these two terms are of themselves, when applied to man, not definate; that is, a man may be sanctified in part, and justified in part. And we belive that he is only justified in the same proportion or degree that he is sanctified: consequently, that entire justification must be because of entire sanctification,; and such a state of perfect sanctification, we belive to be an effect produced by perfect obedience to the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ. But those who act from a respect to the law, as it is outward, may do so from a principle of self-love, and may obtain the outward justification of the law, and be highly esteemed among men, and at the same time not obtain that justification which is of faith, but even be enemies to the cross of Christ, standing in the pride of the creature, and in that wisdom which is foolishness with God. Therefore the Apostle has said, "By the deds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight." Rom. 3:20. "But being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Rom. 5:1-2. That is, we are not possessed of any merit of our own, by [P. 60] which we can come of ourselves to this grace, but are sinful and fallen creatures in our natural state, without power to make reconciliation with God. And therefore our freedom from the sins that are past, is proposed and offered to us by the imputative righteousness of Christ supplying for us what on our part was lacking, on condition of our obedience to the manifestation of his Spirit; but in no case applied for our benefit, while we continue to refuse to walk in his Light. I have spoken of sanctification as going before justification. We believe when any one is awakened by the power and Spirit of Christ and brought to see his fallen and sinful state, that there is, if I may so speak, a provisional justification for him; by which he is introduced so far into the favour of the Almighty as to receive the opportunity of forgiveness of sins that are past, and stand acquitted from them by the atonement of Christ, on condition that he accept the offered dispensation of repentance; from which will follow, in the progress of the soul in obedience to Christ, sanctification, and a consequent justification. In this view the Apostle places the case. "And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of [P. 61] our God. 1 Cor. 6:11. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, and that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor." Thes. 4:3-4. 

Next: The Doctrine of Perfection.