"How then can man be justified (counted righteous) with God? (Job 25:4). God has given the answer to this universal question in the Holy Scriptures, the Christian's perfect lamp and never-failing light. We need not be cast afloat upon the waves of modern thought, nor drift with human speculation. The doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ is a doctrine of great importance. It is the fundamental article of the gospel, the basis of Christianity. It was the great doctrine of the Reformation—what our first reformers made their chief study, and by it cut the sinews of popery, the anti-Christian doctrines of penance and purgatory, pardons and indulgences, of the merit of good works, works of supererogation.
Luther called it The Article of the church by which it stands or falls. As this is, the church is; if this obtains, the church is in a well-settled and prosperous state; but if this loses ground and is rejected, it is in a ruinous state. If this is a rule to judge by, it may be easily discerned in what case the church, and interest of religion, now are.