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from that very place wherein it is n
sin from us unto
know not well how I come to men
it will be sound thar fh as to the guilt of them
But seeing it is mentioned, it may
mysteries of the gospel. be spoken unto And
high act of obedience unto God,
1. It is certain that the Lord Christ's taking on him the Hebr. 5, 6. and for which the Father loved him ;' John
guilt of our sins, was a
therefore no reason why God should
. 17. 18. There was
in the is not required of the severest judge, that as a judge
hate Christ, for his taking on him our debt and the payment in this matter is considered as a rector, ruler, and judge. of it, in an act of the highest obedience unto his will. 2. God
originally by inhesion and not by imputation. As such, he
for another, for his friend, for a good man, so as to answer
of an heroic generosity of mind should become an Avriluxos
as to his liberty, which when a man hath lost, he is civilly dead, and capite diminutus,' would the most cruel tyrant under heaven that should take away his life, in that case hate him; would he not rather admire his worth and virtue? As such a one it was that Christ suffered, and no otherwise. 4. All the force of this exception depends on the ambiguity of the word hate. For it may signify either an aversation or detestation of mind, or only a will of punishing, as in God mostly it doth. In the first sense there was no ground why God should hate Christ on this imputation of guilt unto him; whereby he became non propriæ sed alienæ culpæ reus.' Sin inherent renders the soul polluted, abominable, and the only object of divine aversation. But for him who was perfectly innocent, holy, harmless, undefiled in himself, who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth, to take upon him the guilt of other sins, thereby to comply
pacity, abides relation unto God,
with and accomplish the design of God for the manifestation of his glory and infinite wisdom, grace, goodness, mercy, and righteousness, unto the certain expiation and destruction of sin, nothing could render him more glorious and lovely in the sight of God or man. But for a will of punishing in God, where sin is imputed, none can deny it, but they must therewithal openly disavow the satisfaction of Christ.
The heads of some few of those arguments wherewith the truth we have asserted is confirmed, shall close this discourse.
1. Unless the guilt of sin was imputed unto Christ, sin was not imputed unto him in any sense; for the punishment of sin is not sin; nor can those who are otherwise minded, declare what it is of sin, that is imputed. But the Scripture is plain, that God laid on him the iniquity of us all,' and made him to be sin for us, which could not otherwise be but by imputation.
2. There can be no punishment but with respect unto the guilt of sin personally contracted, or imputed. It is guilt alone that gives what is materially evil and afflictive, the formal nature of punishment and nothing else. And therefore those who understand full well the harmony of things and opinions, and are free to express their minds, do constantly declare, that if one of these be denied, the other must be so also; and if one be admitted they must both be so. If guilt was not imputed unto Christ, he could not, as they plead well enough, undergo the punishment of sin much he might do and suffer on the occasion of sin, but undergo the punishment due unto sin he could not. And if it should be granted that the guilt of sin was imputed unto him, they will not deny but that he underwent the punishment of it; and if he underwent the punishment of it, they will not deny but that the guilt of it was imputed unto him; for these things are inseparably related.
3. Christ was made a curse for us, the curse of the law; as is expressly declared, Gal. iii. 13, 14. But the curse of the law respects the guilt of sin only; so as that where that is not, it cannot take place in any sense, and where that is, it doth inseparably attend it; Deut. xxvii. 26.
4. The express testimonies of the Scripture unto this
purpose cannot be evaded, without an open wresting of their words and sense. So God is said to make all our iniquities to meet upon him;' and he bare them on him as his burden, for so the word signifies; Isa. liii. 6. God hath laid on him, the iniquity,' that is, the guilt of us all,' ver. 11. bad, Nin Only) and their sin or guilt shall he bear. For that is the intendment of py, where joined with any other word that denotes sin as it is in those places; Psal. xxxii. 5. thou forgavest non ny the iniquity of my sin,' that is, the guilt of it, which is that alone that is taken away by pardon. That his soul was made an offering for the guilt of sin, that he was made sin, that sin was condemned in his flesh, &c.
5. This was represented in all the sacrifices of old, especially the great anniversary, on the day of expiation, with the ordinance of the scape-goat, as hath been before declared.
6. Without a supposition hereof it cannot be understood, how the Lord Christ should be our Avriluxos or suffer ȧvrì uv, in our stead, unless we will admit the exposition of Mr. Ho, a late writer, who reckoning up how many things the Lord Christ did in our stead, adds as the sense thereof, that it is to bestead us; than which if he can invent any thing more fond and senseless, he hath a singular faculty in such an employment.
The formal cause of justification; or, the righteousness on the account whereof believers are justified before God. Objections answered.
THE principal differences about the doctrine of justification are reducible unto three heads: 1. The nature of it; namely, whether it consist in an internal change of the person justified by the infusion of a habit of inherent grace or righteousness; or whether it be a forensic act, in the judging, esteeming, declaring, and pronouncing such a person to be righteous, thereon absolving him from all his sins,
giving unto him right and title unto life. Herein we have to do only with those of the church of Rome, all others, both Protestants and Socinians being agreed on the forensic sense of the word, and the nature of the thing signified thereby. And this I have already spoken unto, so far as our present design doth require, and that I hope with such evidence of truth, as cannot well be gainsayed. Nor may it be supposed that we have too long insisted thereon, as an opinion which is obsolete, and long since sufficiently confuted. I think much otherwise, and that those who avoid the Romanists in these controversies, will give a greater appearance of fear, than of contempt. For when all is done, if free justification through the blood of Christ and the imputation of his righteousness, be not able to preserve its station in the minds of men, the Popish doctrine of justification must and will return upon the world, with all the concomitants and consequences of it. Whilst any knowledge of the law or gospel is continued amongst us, the consciences of men will at one time or other, living or dying, be really affected with a sense of sin, as unto its guilt and danger. Hence that trouble and those disquietments of mind will ensue, as will force men, be they never so unwilling, to seek after some relief and satisfaction. And what will not men attempt, who are reduced to the condition expressed, Micah vi. 7, 8. Wherefore in this case, if the true and only relief of distressed consciences, of sinners who are weary and heavy laden be hid from their eyes; if they have no apprehension of, nor trust in that which alone they may oppose unto the sentence of the law, and interpose between God's justice and their souls, wherein they may take shelter from the storms of that wrath which abideth on them that believe not; they will betake themselves unto any thing which confidently tenders them present ease and relief. Hence many persons living all their days in an ignorance of the righteousness of God, are oftentimes on their sick beds, and in their dying hours, proselyted unto a confidence in the ways of rest and peace, which the Romanists impose upon them. For such seasons of advantage do they wait for, unto the reputation as they suppose of their own zeal, in truth unto the scandal of Christian religion. But finding at any time the consciences of men under disquietments,
and ignorant of, or disbelieving that heavenly relief which is provided in the gospel, they are ready with their applications and medicines, having on them pretended approbations of the experience of many ages, and an innumerable company of devout souls in them. Such is their doctrine of justification, with the addition of those other ingredients of confession, absolution, penances, or commutations, aids from saints and angels, especially the blessed Virgin, all warmed by the fire of purgatory, and confidently administered unto persons sick of ignorance, darkness, and sin. And let none please themselves in the contempt of these things. If the truth concerning evangelical justification be once disbelieved among us, or obliterated by any artifices out of the minds of men, unto these things at one time or other, they must and will betake themselves. For the new schemes and projections of justification which some at present would supply us withal, they are no way suited, nor able to give relief or satisfaction unto a conscience really troubled for sin, and seriously inquiring how it may have rest and peace with God. I shall take the boldness therefore to say, whoever be offended at it; that if we lose the ancient doctrine of justification through faith in the blood of Christ, and the imputation of his righteousness unto us, public profession of religion will quickly issue in Popery, or Atheism, or at least in what is the next door unto it, kai ταῦτα μέν δὲ ταῦτα.
The second principal controversy is about the formal cause of justification, as it is expressed and stated by those of the Roman church. And under these terms some Protestant divines have consented to debate the matter in difference. I shall not interpose into a strife of words. So the Romanists will call that which we inquire after. Some of ours say the righteousness of Christ imputed; some, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, is the formal cause of our justification; some, that there is no formal cause of justification, but this is that which supplies the place and use of a formal cause, which is the righteousness of Christ. In none of these things will I concern myself, though I judge what was mentioned in the last place, to be most proper and significant.
The substance of the inquiry wherein alone we are con