Westminster Divines on Justification


Order of Contents

Articles  5
Books  9





Rutherford, Samuel

A Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist: Opening the Secrets of Familism & Antinomianism…  (London: J.D., 1648), pt. 2

Ch. 16, ‘Justification is close mistaken by Antinomians when they judge it to be an extirpation of sin, root and branch, as Papists fancy, venials to remain only in the justified’
Ch. 18, ‘That we are not justified until we believe’
Ch. 20, ‘There is a real change of our state in justification’
Ch. 21, ‘We mix not works and grace in the matter of Justification’
Ch. 22, ‘Antinomians deny sin to be in the justified’
Ch. 25, ‘The Antinomians’ ground, that God sees no sin in the justified, refuted’
Ch. 30, ‘The justified countable to God for sin’
Ch. 42, ‘Our happiness is in sanctification, as well as in justification’
Ch. 50, ‘How we are freed from the Law in regard of Sanctification, as of Justification’
Ch. 59, ‘How Justification is one indivisible act, not successive, as Sanctification, and yet God daily pardons sins’
Ch. 61, ‘How Faith justifies, and the Antinomian error discovered in this point’
Ch. 71, ‘The Justified obey not God by necessity of nature, as the fire burns, as Antinomians fancy’
Ch. 73, ‘Sanctification concurs as well as justification to make saints’

Rutherford was a Scottish commissioner to the Westminster Assembly.

Ch. 19, sections ‘4. We are not justified by works. 5. The place of declarative justification by works, James 2, discussed. 6. Faith and works different. 7. Possession of life and right to life cleared’, pp. 158-76  of The Covenant of Life Opened…  (Edinburgh, 1655), pt. 1

Clendon, Thomas – Justification Justified: or the Doctrine of Justification Briefly & Clearly Explained & Vindicated in a Sermon Preached at Gregories near Paul’s, the Eleventh of December, 1652  Ref  (London, 1653)  32 pp.  on Rom. 5:1

Clendon (d. 1677) was invited to be a member of the Westminster Assembly, but did not attend.

Gataker, Thomas – An Antidote Against Error Concerning Justification, or, The True Notion of Justification & of Justifying Faith, Cleared by the Light of Scripture & Solid Reason from Several Mistakes of the Words, which Misapprehensions Prove the Seeds of Dangerous Errors; to which is Added, The Way of Truth & Peace, or, A Reconciliation of the Holy Apostles, St. Paul & St. James, Concerning Justification by Faith Without Works, Rom. 3:28, by Works & not by Faith Only, Jam. 2:21,24, by Charles Gataker  (London: Brome, 1670)  58 pp.

Gataker (1574–1654)

Bridge, William – The Doctrine of Justification by Faith Opened & Applied from Rom. 3:24-25  (d. 1671; 1705)  in The Works…  (London: Tegg, 1845), vol. 5, pp. 363-401

Bridge (c. 1600 – 1670)





Walker, George

A Defense of the True Sense & Meaning of the Words of the Holy Apostle, Rom. 4:3,5,9 in an Answer to Sundry Arguments Gathered from the Forenamed Scriptures by Mr. John Goodwin, Together with a Reply to the Former Answer  (1641)  56 pp.

Socinianism in the Fundamental Point of Justification Discovered & Confuted, or An Answer to a Written Pamphlet Maintaining that Faith is in a Proper Sense without a Trope Imputed to Believers in Justification, wherein the Socinian Fallacies are Discovered & Confuted & the True Christian Doctrine Maintained, Namely, that the Righteousness by which True Believers are Justified Before God is the Perfect Righteousness & Obedience which the Lord Jesus Christ God & Man did Perform to the Law of God, Both in his Life & Death  (1641)  355 pp.

A True Relation of the Chief Passages Between Mr. Anthony Wotton & Mr. George Walker in the Years 1611-1615, Written by George Walker for the Vindicating of Himself from Some Imputations Laid on Him by Mr. Thomas Gataker in his Defense of Mr. Wotton  (1642)  36 pp.

Walker (c.1581–1651) was a London rector with strong puritan views.  Wotton (c. 1561–1626) was an English clergyman, controversialist, and professor of divinity.  Christopher Hill described him as a Modernist and Ramist.

Wikipedia: “In 1611 George Walker (1581?-1651) accused him [Wotton] of Socinianism; this led to a ‘conference’ of learned divines, which ended in Wotton’s vindication.  The controversy went on till 1615, and in 1641, long after Wotton’s death, Walker repeated his accusations. This provoked Mr. Anthony Wotton’s Defence (Cambridge, 1641, published under the name of Thomas Gataker, who, however, only wrote the postscript, the Defence being by Wotton’s son, Samuel…  Walker replied in A True Relation of the cheife Passages…”

“Mr. Wotton in his papers which he dispersed in this city, and which he acknowledged to be his own when I [Walker] brought them to his face before Mr. Gataker and eight other grave ministers, does deny the imputation of the whole obedience of Christ, to the Law of God; both active and passive, both jointly and severally.  He affirms that there is no end or use whatsoever of the imputation of Christ his righteousness for justification.  He renounces the law in whole and part, performed by ourselves, or any other in our stead for our justification…  he sets up faith, even the act of believing for righteousness, affirms that it is said to be imputed in a proper sense without a trope, and serves for all purposes in our justification under the Gospel, as perfect righteousness of works performed to the whole law did for man’s justification in the first covenant.  He denies the punishment of our sins in Christ, and the satisfaction which in Him our head & surety was made to God’s justice for purchase of our pardon…

These and such like speeches I condemned for Socinian heresy and blasphemy, as Beza, Paraeus and Lubertus had done before me, and for this Mr. Gataker did deride me, when I gave in my charge against Mr. Wotton 27 years ago, and now [Gataker] blames it in me as falsehood and dishonesty.” – pp. 1-3

Goodwin, Thomas – The Object & Acts of Justifying Faith  (1642)  on Rom. 8:34  being vol. 8  in The Works…  (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1861)  593 pp.  ToC

Goodwin (1600–1680) was a congregationalist puritan.

Roborough, Henry – The Doctrine of Justification Cleared, by Animadversions on Mr. John Goodwin’s Animadversions Upon Mr. George Walker’s Defense of the True Sense of the Apostle, Rom. 4:3,5, etc. Together with an Examination of Both Parts of his Treatise of Justification: wherein the Imputation of Faith in a Proper Sense is Denied, & the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness, Active & Passive, Affirmed, Against that Treatise  (London: R.C., 1643)  221 pp.

Roborough (d. 1649) was a non-voting scribe at the Westminster Assembly.  John Goodwin was a prominent Arminian, though often considered a puritan.

Sedgwick, Obadiah – The Humbled Sinner Resolved what He Should Do to be Saved…  Discovering the Quality, Object, Acts, Seat, Subject, Inseparable Concomitants & Degrees of Justifying Faith…  (London: Adoniram Byfield, 1660)  283 pp.  ToC

Burgess, Anthony

The True Doctrine of Justification Asserted & Vindicated from the Errors of Many, & More Especially Papists & Socinians, or, a Treatise of the Natural Righteousness of God & Imputed Righteousness of Christ  (London: Underhill, 1655)  ToC 1, 2  This is the same as The True Doctrine of Justification, in Two Parts  Ref  (London, 1655)

A Digressive Epistle Concerning Justification by Faith Alone, Excluding the Conditionality of Works in that Act  in  The Doctrine of Original Sin, Asserted & Vindicated…  to which is Added a Digressive Epistle Concerning Justification…  Ref  (London: Abraham Miller, 1658)

Burgess (d. 1664)

Burroughs, Jeremiah – Gospel Remission  (London: Newman, 1668)  220 pp.




Related Pages


On the Continuation of Justification