Free choice can cooperate with grace, grace that is first given, that is to say, the giving of the uprightness that the will receives by free choice, and then, in keeping this righteousness, cooperates with grace again. The grace can only be lost by the choices made to abandon uprightness in favor of something else. Worthy of note, in this treatise, Anselm gives a concrete example of this sort of grace. This uprightness is never separated from the will except when it wills something else that is not in harmony with this uprightness. Just as when somebody receives the uprightness of willing sobriety, and they reject it by wiling an immoderate pleasure of drinking. (S., p. 267)
3. But wilt thou yet plead thy righteousness formercy Why, in so doing thou takest away from God the powerof giving mercy. For if it be thine as wages, it is nolonger his to dispose of at pleasure; for that which another manoweth me, is in equity not at his, but at my disposal. DidI say that by this thy plea thou takest away from God the powerof giving mercy I will add, yea, and also of disposing ofheaven and life eternal. And then, I pray you, what is leftunto God, and what can he call his own Not mercy, for thatby thy good deeds thou hast purchased: not heaven, for that bythy good deeds thou hast purchased: not eternal life, for that bythy good deeds thou hast purchased. Thus, Pharisee (O thouself-righteous man), hast thou set up thyself above grace, mercy,heaven, glory; yea, above even God himself, for the purchasershould in reason be esteemed above the purchase.
Pharisee, I will assure thee, thou art beside the saddle; thystate is not good, thy righteousness is so far off from doing anygood, that it maketh thee to be a greater sinner, because itsignifieth more immediately against the mercy, the love, thegrace, and goodness of God, than the sins of other sinners, as todegree, do.
1. Because he is justified as ungodly; that is, whilsthe is ungodly: but it must not be said of them that have thisprinciple of grace in them, that they are ungodly; for they aresaints and holy. But this righteousness, by it Godjustifieth the ungodly, by imputing it to them, when and whilethey, as to a principle of grace, are graceless.
Answ. From this way of reasoning it is not at allapparent that sanctification, or a principle of grace, is in thesoul before righteousness is imputed and the soul made perfectlyrighteous thereby. And for the clearing up of this, let mepropose a few things.
So that the question is not, Do I find that I am righteousbut, Am I so Doth God find me so, when he seeth that therighteousness of his Son is upon me, being made over to me by anact of his grace For I am justified freely by his grace,through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ, whom God hathset forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, todeclare his righteousness for the remission of sins that arepast, through the forbearance of God; Rom. iii. 24. Butthis our Pharisee understandeth not.
Answ. No; for although the principle of inherentrighteousness be the gift of God, yet it bringeth forth fruits byman, and through man; and so man having a hand therein, though heshould have ever so little, he has an occasion offered him toboast. Yea, if a man should be justified before God by thegrace, or the working of the grace of faith in him, he would haveground of occasion to boast; because faith, though it be the giftof God, yet as it acteth in man, takes man along with it in itsso acting; yea, the acting of faith is as often attributed to theman by whom it is acted, and oftener, than to the graceitself. How then can it be, but that man must have a handtherein, and so a ground therein, or thereof to boast
Suppose I give a man materials, even all materials that arenecessary to the completing of such or such a thing; yet if heworketh, though the materials be mine, I am to him a debtor, andhe deserveth a reward. Thou sayst, God has given thee hisSpirit, his grace, and all other things that are necessary forthe working up of a complete righteousness. Well, but isthy work required to the finishing of this righteousness If so, this is not the righteousness that justifieth; because itis such as has thy hand, thy workmanship therein, and so obtainsa reward. And observe it, righteousness, justifyingrighteousness, consisteth not in a principle of righteousness,but in works of righteousness; that is, in good duties, inobedience, in a walking in the law to the pleasing of the law,and the content of the justice of God.
I assert he cannot, because he cannot lie, because he cannotdeny himself: for if he should first threaten the transgressionof the law with death, and yet afterwards receive thetransgressor to grace, without a plenary satisfaction, what isthis but to lie, and to diminish his truth, righteousness, andfaithfulness; yea, and also to overthrow the sanction and perfectholiness of his law His mercy, therefore, must act sotowards the sinner that justice may be satisfied, and that cannever be without a justifying righteousness.
Do we then by grace make void free will God forbid! Nay, rather we establish free will. For even as the law by faith, so free will by grace, is not made void, but established. (Rom 3:31) For neither is the law fulfilled except by free will; but by the law is the knowledge of sin, by faith the acquisition of grace against sin, by grace the healing of the soul from the disease of sin, by the health of the soul freedom of will, by free will the love of righteousness, by love of righteousness the accomplishment of the law. Accordingly, as the law is not made void, but is established through faith, since faith procures grace whereby the law is fulfilled; so free will is not made void through grace, but is established, since grace cures the will whereby righteousness is freely loved. (chapter 52)
Wherefore he who lives according to the righteousness which is in the law, without the faith of the grace of Christ, as the apostle declares that he lived blameless, must be accounted to have no true righteousness; not because the law is not true and holy, but because to wish to obey the letter which commands, without the Spirit of God which quickens, as if of the strength of free will, is not true righteousness. But the righteousness according to which the righteous man lives by faith, since man has it from God by the Spirit of grace, is true righteousness. (Bk III, chapter 23) 59ce067264