“They that justify themselves before men are abomination in the sight of God, and those that charge him with being an austere man, reaping where he had not sowed, and gathering where he had not strawed, are condemned out of their own mouth; and so will they be who talk of free will, human power, inherent grace, salvation by works, and fleshly perfection; which is giving the lie to the testimony of heaven, which declares the perverseness of man’s will, the frailty of man’s nature, his corruption and enmity to God; that by works there is no flesh living that can be justified; and, so far from sinless perfection, that, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness, and that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is evil, only evil, and that continually.
These proud wretches contradict their Maker; they give the groaning confessions of all the saints the lie; they belie the verdict of their own thoughts, and the judgment and sentence of their own conscience; and, in effect, charge God with folly for sending a Savior, and providing an everlasting righteousness by him, when man’s state did not require it, and when human power and self-righteousness never stood in need of his being either righteousness or strength to them; all which counsel and clemency of heaven is viewed by them needless, or superfluous. These are the sort that appear outwardly righteous before men, but knows their hearts, and they will plead their performances even in the great day. “When saw we thee an hungry, and did not feed thee, thirsty, and gave thee no drink?” &c. “But these shall go away into everlasting punishment, for by their words they shall be condemned.”
We are also said to be justified in Christ; “for in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Christ is our covenant head, in whom we are all chosen, and in whom we are all accepted; and to the fellowship of whom we are all called in one hope of our calling: to this “Shiloh the gathering of the people is to be;” and by him, and in him, the whole family of heaven and earth are called.” – William Huntington