Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

justification. Δωρεὰ τῆς δικαιοσύνης expresseth the free grant of that righteousness, which is imputed unto us unto the justification of life, afterward called the obedience of Christ. Be men as wise and learned as they please, it becomes us all to learn to think and speak of those divine mysteries from this blessed apostle, who knew them better than we all, and besides, wrote by divine inspiration.

And it is marvellous unto me, how men can break through the fence that he hath made about the grace of God, and obedience of Christ, in the work of our justification before God, to introduce their own works of obedience, and to find a place for them therein. But the design of Paul and some men in declaring this point of our justification before God, seems to be very opposite and contrary. His whole discourse is concerning the grace of God, the death, blood, and obedience of Christ, as if he could never sufficiently satisfy himself in the setting out, and declaration of them, without the least mention of any works or duties of our own, or the least intimation of any use that they are of herein. But all their pleas are for their own works and duties; and they have invented as many terms to set them out by, as the Holy Ghost hath used for the expression and declaration of the grace of God. Instead of the words of wisdom before-mentioned, which the Holy Ghost hath taught, wherewith he fills up his discourse, theirs are filled with conditions, preparatory dispositions, merits, causes, and 1 know not what trappings for our own works. For my part I shall choose rather to learn of him, and accommodate my conceptions and expressions of gospel mysteries, and of this in especial, concerning our justification, unto his who cannot deceive me; than trust to any other conduct, how specious soever its pretences may be.

2. It is plain in this verse, that no more is required of any one unto justification, but that he receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness. For this is the description that the apostle gives of those that are justified, as unto any thing that on their part is required. And as this excludes all works of righteousness which we do; for by none of them do we receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness; so it doth also the imputation of faith itself unto our justification, as it is an act and duty of our

408

own for faith is that whereby we receive the gift of righte ousness, by which we are justified. For it will not be denied, but that we are justified by the gift of righteousness, or the righteousness which is given unto us; for by it have we right and title unto life. But our faith is not this gift, for that which receiveth, and that which is received, are not the same.

3. Where there is περισσεία χάριτος, and χάρις ὑπὲρ περισσεvovσa, abounding grace,' 'superabounding grace,' exerted in our justification, no more is required thereunto. For how can it be said to abound, yea, to superabound, not only to the freeing of us from condemnation; but the giving of us a title unto life, if in any thing it is to be supplied, and eked out by works and duties of our own. tended do fill up these expressions, although to some they The things inare but an empty noise.

4. There is a gift of righteousness required unto our justification, which all must receive, who are to be justified. And all are justified who do receive it; for they that receive it shall reign in life by Jesus Christ. And hence it follows, I. That the righteousness whereby we are justified before God, can be nothing of our own, nothing inherent in us, nothing performed by us. For it is that which is freely given us, and this donation is by imputation: Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth righteousness;' chap. iv. 6. And by faith we receive what is so given and imputed, and otherwise we contribute nothing unto our participation of it. This it is to he justified in the sense of the apostle. 2. It is such a righteousness as gives right and title unto eternal life. For they that receive it, shall reign in life. Wherefore, it cannot consist in the pardon of sin alone. For, 1. The pardon of sin can in no tolerable sense be called 'the gift of righteousness.' Pardon of sin is one thing, and righteousness another. 2. Pardon of sin doth not give right and title unto eternal life. It is true, he whose sins are pardoned shall inherit eternal life; but not merely by virtue of that pardon, but through the imputation of righteousness which doth inseparably accompany it, and is the ground of it.

The description which is here given of our justification by grace, in opposition unto the condemnation that we were

made liable unto by the sin of Adam, and in exaltation above it, as to the efficacy of grace above that of the first sin, in that thereby not one, but all sins are forgiven, and not only so, but a right unto life eternal is communicated unto us, is this; That we receive the grace of God, and the gift of righteousness,' which gives us a right unto life by Jesus Christ. But this is to be justified by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ received by faith alone.

"

The conclusion of what hath been evinced in the management of the comparison insisted on is fully expressed and farther confirmed, ver. 18, 19.

"

·

Ver. 18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto the justification of life.' So we read the words. By the offence of one;' the Greek copies vary here. Some read rý ivì maparтwμari, whom Beza followeth, and our translation in the margin; by one offence;' most by rų toũ έvòc TAρATTWμATI, by the offence of one;' and so afterward as unto righteousness; but both are unto the same purpose. For the one offence intended, is the offence of one, that is, of Adam. And the one righteousness, is the righteousness of one, Jesus Christ.

·

[ocr errors]

The introduction of this assertion by apa ovv, the note of a syllogistical inference, declares what is here asserted to be the substance of the truth pleaded for. And the comparison is continued, s, these things have themselves after the same

manner.

That which is affirmed on the one side, is, di ivòs πaρAπτώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς κατάκριμα ; ‘by the sin or fall of one, on all men unto condemnation,' that is, judgment, say we, repeating κoiμa from the foregoing verse. But κρῖμα siç karáκoua is guilt, and that only. By the sin of one, all men became guilty, and were made obnoxious unto condemnation. The guilt of it is imputed unto all men. For no otherwise can it come upon them unto condemnation, no otherwise can they be rendered obnoxious unto death and judgment on the account thereof. For we have evinced that by death and condemnation in this disputation of the apostle, the whole punishment due unto sin, is intended. This therefore is plain and evident on that hand.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

408

ous!

nie

or

W

fo

t

men, so

The Syriac translation

Braswer hereunto, the dialonia of one, as to the caus of ustification, is opposed unto the rapárroua of the er, as unto its causality unto, or of condemnation. Al maros, 'by the righteousness of one.' That is, the righteousness that is pleadable siç dikaiwow, unto justification. For that is duralupa, a righteousness pleaded for justification. By this, say our translators, the free gift came upon all; repeating xápiopa from the foregoing verse, as they had done a before on the other hand. renders the words without the aid of any supplement; "Therefore, as by the sin of one, condemnation was unto all by the righteousness of one, justification unto life shall be unto all men. And the sense of the words is so made plain without the supply of any other word into the text. But whereas in the original the words are not karáεἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους, but εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς και rxona, and so in the latter clause, somewhat from his own foregoing words, is to be supplied to answer the intention of the apostle. And this is xápioμà' gratiosa donatio,' 'the free grant' of righteousness; or dwpnua 'the free gift' of righteousness unto justification. The righteousness of one Christ Jesus, is freely granted unto all believers, to the justification of life. For the all men' here mentioned are described by, and limited unto, them that receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness by Christ;' ver. 17.

kpya

Some vainly pretend from hence a general grant of righteousness and life unto all men, whereof the greatest part are never made partakers; than which nothing can be more opposite nor contradictory unto the apostle's design. Men are not made guilty of condemnation from the sin of Adam, by such a divine constitution, as that they may, or on some conditions may not, be obnoxious thereunto. Every one so soon as he actually exists, and by virtue thereof is a descendant from the first Adam, is actually in his own person liable thereunto, and the wrath of God abideth on him. And no more are intended on the other side, but those only who by their relation through faith unto the Lord Christ the second Adam, are actually interested in the justification of life. Neither is the controversy about the universality of redemption by the death of Christ herein concerned. For those by whom it is asserted, do not affirm that it is thence

[ocr errors]

necessary that the free gift unto the justification of life, should come on all, for that they know it doth not do. And of a provision of righteousness and life for men in case they do believe, although it be true, yet nothing is spoken in this place. Only the certain justification of them that believe, and the way of it is declared. Nor will the analogy of the comparison here insisted on, admit of any such interpretation. For the 'all' on the one hand, are all and only those who derive their being from Adam by natural propagation. If any man might be supposed not to do so, he would not be concerned in his sin or fall. And so really it was with the man Christ Jesus. And those on the other hand, are only those who derive a spiritual life from Christ. Suppose a man not to do so, and he is no way interested in the righteousness of the one unto the justification of life. Our ar gument from the words is this; as the sin of one that came on all unto condemnation, was the sin of the first Adam imputed unto them, so the righteousness of the one unto the justification of life that comes on all believers, is the righteousness of Christ imputed unto them. And what can be more clearly affirmed or more evidently confirmed than this is by the apostle, I know not. Yet is it more plainly expressed, ver. 19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.'

This is well explained by Cyrillus Alexandrinus in Joan. lib. xi. cap. 25. Quemadmodum prævaricatione primi hominis ut in primitiis generis nostri, morti addicti fuimus; eodem modo per obedientiam et justitiam Christi, in quantum seipsum legi subjecit, quamvis legis author esset, benedictio et vivificatio quæ per spiritum est, ad totam nostram penetravit naturam.' And by Leo. Epist. 12. ad Juvenalem. 'Ut autem reparet omnium vitam, recepit omnium causam ; ut sicut per unius reatum omnes facti fuerunt peccatores, ita per unius innocentiam omnes fierent innocentes; inde in homines manaret justitia, ubi est humana suscepta natura.' That which he before called παράπτωμα and δικαίωμαhe now expresseth by rapaкon and vπakon, disobedience' and obedience.' The Taрaкon of Adam or his disobedience was his actual transgression of the law of God. Hereby, saith the apostle, many were made sinners.' Sinners, in such a

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »