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and the imputation of his righteousness unto us, that we may be righteous before God, are the same), we are justified.
His third answer, as was before observed, grants the whole of what we plead. For it is the same which he gives unto Jer. xxiii. 6. which place he conjoins with this, as of the same sense and importance, giving up his whole cause in satisfaction unto them, in the words before transcribed; lib. ii. cap. 10.
Socinus prefaceth his answer unto this testimony with an admiration, that any should make use of it, or plead it in this cause, it is so impertinent unto the purpose. And indeed, a pretended contempt of the argument of his adversaries is the principal artifice he makes use of in all his replies and evasions; wherein I am sorry to see that he is followed by most of them, who together with him, do oppose the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. And so of late the use of this testimony which reduced Bellarmine to so great a strait, is admired at, on the only ground and reason wherewith it is opposed by Socinus. Yet are his exceptions unto it such, as that I cannot also but a little on the other hand wonder, that any learned man should be troubled with them, or seduced by them. For he only pleads, that if Christ be said to be made righteousness unto us, because his righteousness is imputed unto us; then is he said to be made wisdom unto us, because his wisdom is so imputed, and so of his sanctification, which none will allow; yea, he must be redeemed for us, and his redemption be imputed unto us.' But there is nothing of force, nor truth in this pretence. For it is built only on this supposition, that Christ must be made unto us of God, all these things, in the same way and manner; whereas they are of such different natures, that it is utterly impossible he should so be. For instance; he is made sanctification unto us, in that by his Spirit and grace we are freely sanctified. But he cannot be said to be made redemption unto us, in that by his Spirit and grace we are freely redeemed. And, if he is said to be made righteousness unto us, because by his Spirit and grace he works inherent righteousness in us, then is it plainly the same with his being made sanctification unto us. Neither doth he himself believe that Christ is made all these things
unto us in the same way and manner. And therefore doth he not assign any special way whereby he is so made them all, but clouds it in an ambiguous expression, that he becomes all these things unto us in the providence of God. But ask him in particular, how Christ is made sanctification unto us, and he will tell you that it was by his doctrine and example alone, with some such general assistance of the Spirit of God as he will allow. But now, this is no way at all whereby Christ was made redemption unto us; which being a thing external, and not wrought in us, Christ can be no otherwise made redemption unto us, than by the imputation unto us of what he did, that we might be redeemed, or reckoning it on our account. Not that he was redeemed for us, as he childishly cavils, but that he did that whereby we are redeemed. Wherefore, Christ is made of God righteousness unto us in such a way and manner, as the nature of the thing doth require. Say some, it is because by him we are justified. Howbeit the text says not, that by him we are justified, but he is of God made righteousness unto us, which is not our justification, but the ground, cause, and reason whereon we are justified. Righteousness is one thing, and justification is another. Wherefore, we must inquire how we come to have that righteousness whereby we are justified. And this the same apostle tells us plainly is by imputation. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth righteousness;' Rom. iv. 6. It follows then, that Christ being made unto us of God righteousness, can have no other sense, but that his righteousness is imputed unto us, which is what this text doth undeniably confirm.
2 Cor. v. 21. The truth pleaded for, is yet more emphatically expressed. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' The paraphrase of Austin on these words gives the sense of them. 'Ipse peccatum ut nos justitia, non nostra sed Dei, non in nobis sed in ipso; sicut ipse peccatum non suum sed nostrum, non in se, sed in nobis constitutum.' Enchirid. ad Laurent. cap. 4. And the words of Chrysostom upon this place, unto the same purpose, have been cited before at large.
To set out the greatness of the grace of God in our reconciliation by Christ, he describes him by that paraphrasis
ròv μn yvóvтa ȧuapríav, 'who knew no sin,' or who knew not sin. He knew sin in the notion or understanding of its nature; and he knew it experimentally in the effects which he underwent and suffered; but he knew it not, that is, was most remote from it, as to its commission or guilt. So that he knew no sin,' is absolutely no more, but he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,' as it is expressed, 1 Pet. ii. 22. or, that he was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.' Heb. vii. 26. Howbeit, there is an emphasis in the expression which is not to be neglected. For as it is observed by Chrysostom, as containing an auxesis (οὐχὶ τὸν μὴ ἁμαρτάνοντα μόνον (λέγει) ἀλλὰ τὸν μήδε γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν,) and by sundry learned persons after him. So those who desire to learn the excellency of the grace of God herein, will have an impression of a sense of it on their minds, from this emphatical expression, which the Holy Ghost chose to make use of unto that end, and the observation of it is not to be despised.
'He hath made him to be sin;' that is, say many expositors, a sacrifice for sin.' 'Quemadmodum oblatus est pro peccatis, non immerito peccatum factus dicitur, quia et bestia in lege quæ pro peccatis offerebatur, peccatum nuncupatur.' Ambros. in locum. So the sin and trespass offering are often expressed by xon and Ovx, 'the sin' and 'trespass,' or 'guilt.' And I shall not contend about this exposition, because that signified in it, is according unto the truth. But there is another more proper signification of the word; ȧuapría being put for åμaprwλòç, ‘sin' for a 'sinner;' that is, passively not actively, not by inhesion but imputation. For this the phrase of speech, and force of the antithesis seem to require. Speaking of another sense Estius himself on the place adds, as that which he approves; 'Hic intellectus explicandus est per commentarium Græcorum Chrysostomi et cæterorum; quia peccatum emphaticus interpretantur magnum peccatorem; ac si dicat apostolus, nostri causa tractavit eum tanquam ipsum peccatum, ipsum scelus, id est, tanquam hominem insigniter sceleratum, ut in quo posuerit iniquitates omnium nostrum.' And if this be the interpretation of the Greek scholiasts, as indeed it is, Luther was not the first who affirmed, that Christ was made the greatest sinner, namely, by imputation. But we shall allow
unto us in the same way and manner. And therefore do
he not assign any special way whereby he is so made the sin in
all, but clouds it in an ambiguous expression, that he,
To set out the greatness of the gr conciliation by Christ, he describes hi
for it. And very rarely it is abused to denote such a sin or crime as deserves public expiation, and is not otherwise to be pardoned; so Virgil
Distulit in seram commissa piacula mortem.
But we shall not contend about words, whilst we can agree about what is intended.
The only inquiry is, how God did make him to be sin. 'He hath made him to be sin;' so that an act of God is intended. And this is elsewhere expressed, by his 'laying all our iniquities upon him,' or causing them to meet on him, Isa. liii. 6. And this was by the imputation of our sins unto him, as the sins of the people were put on the head of the goat, that they should be no more theirs, but his, so as that he was to carry them away from them. Take sin in either sense before-mentioned, either of a sacrifice for sin, or a sinner, and the imputation of the guilt of sin, antecedently unto the punishment of it, and in order thereunto, must be understood. For in every sacrifice for sin there was an imposition of sin on the beast to be offered, antecedent unto the sacrificing of it, and therein its suffering by death. Therefore, in every offering for sin, he that brought it was to 'put his hand on the head of it;' Lev. i. 4. And that the transferring of the guilt of sin unto the offering, was thereby signified, is expressly declared, Lev. xvi. 21. Wherefore, if God made the Lord Christ a sin-offering for us, it was by the imputation of the guilt of sin unto him antecedently unto his suffering. Nor could any offering be made for sin, without a typical translation of the guilt of sin unto it. And therefore, when an offering was made for the expiation of the guilt of an uncertain murder, those who were to make it by the law, namely, the elders of the city that were next unto the place where the man was slain, were not to offer a sacrifice, because there was none to confess guilt over it, or to lay guilt upon it; but whereas the neck of an heifer was to be stricken off, to declare the punishment due unto blood, they were to wash their hands over it to testify their own innocency; Deut. xxi. 1-8. But a sacrifice for sin without the imputation of guilt there could not be. And if the word be taken in the second sense, namely, for a sinner, that