Objections taken out of Scripture by Mr. Goodwine,
against the imputation of the righteousness of
Christ unto Justification, Answered.
††††††††† Having in the foregoing chapters proved, both from Scripture and reason, that Christís righteousness is imputed unto believers unto justification; and having vindicated such of them, as were excepted against by Mr. Goodwine; we shall now come and examine the arguments, by which he oppugns the doctrine of imputation, in the first part of his treatise of justification; where he marshals his arguments under two heads, viz. of Scripture and †Reason. He begins with his supposed Scripture proofs, Chapter 2, &c. As to the first of which, largely prosecuted, Chapter 2, we shall speak to it afterward, when we come to speak of the interest of faith in justification; for thereunto it doth more properly belong, being rather a proof of the imputation of faith, in a proper sense, as our righteousness, unto justification, than of the non-imputation of the righteousness of Christ.
††††††††† Leaving therefore the examination of this to its proper place, we come to see what other Scriptures, adduced by him against the Truth hitherto asserted, do say, in this question under debate; and that the more willingly, because Mr. Baxter in his late book against D. Tully refers us to this man for arguments.
††††††††† First, he adduces such passages, as absolutely exclude the works of the law from justification, as Romans 3: 20. We spoke something to this matter, while we were mentioning the mysteries, remarkable in justification: yet we shall here consider what he says. He thus reasons, page 55, If a man be justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed unto him, he shall be justified by the works of the law; because that righteousness of Christ, we now speak of, consists of these works. Answer: The vanity and falsehood of the consequence is obvious: nor doth the reason added, make any supply. It is true the righteousness of Christ did consist in works of obedience, required by the law; yet though this be imputed to us, it doth not follow, that we are justified by the works of the law, according to the Scripture sense of that expression: for the Scripture means works of the law, which we do in our own persons, Titus 3: 5. And the whole scope, drift and purpose of the Spirit of the Lord, in all these places cited, and in all others, evinces this; and all the arguments mentioned in Scripture against justification by the works of the law, demonstrate this to be the true and only import of that expression, as cannot but be plain to any considering person. Yet he hath four answers, and he adds several other things, which we must examine.
††††††††† He says, 1. Where the Holy Ghost delivers a truth simply and indefinitely and in a way of a general and universal conclusion, without imposing any necessity there,
or elsewhere, to limit or distinguish upon it; for men to interpose by distinctions and limitations, to overrule the express meaning of the words, is to usurp authority over the Scriptures. Answer: I grant, adhibit distinctions or limitations, which the Scripture gives no warrant for, to over rule the express meaning of the words of the Holy Ghost, is to exercise an unlawful authority over the Scriptures, and savors much of audacious profanity. And I judge, that there are not a few of such distinctions and limitations to be found, in his book, making him fall under the lash of this censure. But to assert such a general and universal sense of a Scripture expression, as neither will agree with other Scriptures, nor with common sense and reason; yea which so directly crosses the whole Gospel, and destroys the scope, cohesion, and obvious sense of the whole purpose, and of every sentence, used by the Spirit of the Lord in the matter, is to usurp a Supra-papal power and authority over the Scriptures of truth, and a most ready way to render them wholly useless. (2.) As for our sense of this expression, who, that will willingly be ruled by the Scriptures, cannot submit unto it? Let us but look to the very first place cited by himself, Romans 3, and consider the whole preceding discourse of the Apostle from chapter 1: 18 and forward, and particularly Chapter 3: 19, where the Apostle closes his discourse, tending to evince both Jews and Gentiles to be under the curse, by saying, Now we know, that what things so ever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Is not this to be understood, in respect of their own personal deeds and works? See then his conclusion, verse 20, Therefore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. Can any man, that hath not renounced common sense, understand this otherwise, than that no man shall be justified in the sight of God by his own personal works; seeing this is the only native conclusion, that flows from the premises; seeing by their own personal works they can be justified before men; and seeing the following words, for by the law is the knowledge of sin, that is, the law proves and evinces all, that we do, to be short and sinful, enforce this likewise? Is not this also enforced by these words, verse 23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God? Is it imaginable, that justification, through the imputed obedience of Christ to the law can evince, that we are not justified freely by His grace through the redemption, that is in Jesus Christ, verse 24? If this general sense were the true meaning, what ground was there for that verse 27, Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? no, by the law of faith? Would justification by Christís obedience give ground of boasting? And what ground were there for that objection, verse 31, Do we then make void the law, &c. and in the following chapter, when speaking of Abraham, doth he or can any man imagine, that the Apostle doth mean any other works, when he denies that Abraham is justified by works, than Abrahamís own personal works? And meaneth he, or can he mean any other works, when he says in verse four, Now to him, that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt? But it were tedious to prosecute this matter further, that is so clear in itself to every ordinary
reader, that it must needs argue a desperate design, together with unparalleled boldness, thus, with confidence and peremptoriness, to assert the contrary.
††††††††† He says, 2. If the Apostleís charge had been, in delivering of this doctrine , either to have made, or to have given allowance for any such distinction, certainly he should have been unfaithful in his trust, in giving the honor, due to the works of Christ, unto a thing of a far inferior nature, viz. to faith, as he doth, Galatians 2: 16, where he saith not, Ďbut by the works of Jesus Christí but Ďby faith.í Answer: This answer is, in a great measure, sick of the same distemper of presumption, with the former. We must not think, that the Apostle is still to be blamed for unfaithfulness, when he speaks not, as we would have him speak: Christian sobriety should teach us, to search for Godís mind, in the expressions He hath thought good to use, for signifying of His mind. These, against whom the Apostle here wrote, and whose error, in the matter of justification, he was confuting, never had a thought of such a general groundless sense, as we have here obtruded upon us; nor can it come into the thought of any rational man; and when then should we suppose, that the Apostle should have spoken to such a thing? (2.) Paul gives not the honor, due to the works of Christís, unto anything of an inferior nature, no not to faith, whatever this author, misunderstanding the Apostleís mind, and perverting his words, would make his reader believe, as we shall have occasion to show hereafter. This author sets Christ and faith at variance, while as the Apostle everywhere shows their agreement and indissoluble union. (3.) Taking faith, in this authorís sense, we see, that by his own confession, the ascribing of that unto faith, which he doth ascribe unto it, in the matter of justification, is a giving of that honor unto it, which, we say, is due to Christís obedience. So that the question betwixt him and us, is, whether Christ and His obedience, or faith of a far inferior nature, must have that honor? We see no ground to imagine, that Paul would give the honor, that universal obedience might call for, unto one act of obedience, or think that he would cry up one act of obedience, that is, faith, and cry down all other acts of obedience: far less that he would cry up faith, in prejudice of the full and perfect obedience of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Surety.
††††††††† He says 3. If Paulís intent had been, to have reserved a place in justification, for the works of the law, as performed by Christ, his indefinite expression would have been, as a snare upon men, to cause them pass over the great things of their justification. Answer: Paulís indefinite expression neither was, nor could have been a snare unto any; nor came such an imagination ever in the head of any man, but such a one, as can stumble in the most even path, being blind with prejudice at the truth, and drunk with love to his own inventions, which he cannot otherwise maintain, but by new and unheard of fictions. What great things of justification could, I pray, Paulís expression cause any pass over? Why are not some of these great things mentioned?
††††††††† He says 4. If this had been Paulís meaning, it cannot be once imagined, but
that he would have made use of such a distinction, or reservation, and would have been glad, if, without trenching upon some Gospel truth, he could have come over so near unto the Jews, who were chiefly incensed against Paul, for passing over the law in justification. Now had he said, that he did not exclude the righteousness of the law by faith, but advance it rather; only he preached that they could not be justified by their own observation of it; who sees not how this would have taken off great part of their opposition. Answer: It is a wonder to see, how some men can shut their eyes, that they should see not what is most obvious, and what is in plain terms asserted in the Scriptures. Did not Paul say expressly enough, Romans 3, that he did not make void the law by faith, but did establish it? Doth he not also plainly tell us, where the difference lay betwixt him and the Jews; and what it was especially, at which they stumbled, when he said, Romans 9: 31, 32, But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness; wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by works of the law; for they stumbled at that stumbling stone. And again, Romans 10: 3, 4 But they being ignorant of Godís righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God; for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, &c. †Is it not hence clear, that they rejected Christ, and would not own Him, as the end of the law for righteousness: and that they stumbled at Him, seeking after justification and life, by their own personal following after the law of righteousness, and by seeking to establish their own righteousness? How then can this man say, page 61, that Paul was as far from holding justification by the works of the law, as performed by Christ, as the Jews were, who would have nothing to do with Christ, but stumbled at Him, while as Paul sought only to be found in Him, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law; but that which is thru the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith, Philippians 3: 9, and proclaimed Christ to be the end of the law for righteousness, to everyone that believes, Romans 10: 4.
††††††† Against Titus 3: 5, where mention is made of the works of righteousness, which we have done; and a sufficient ground laid for the distinction mentioned, and to prevent the stumbling of such, as love to walk in the light, he advances several answers, page 62, &c. as 1. He never said, that the active righteousness of Christ should be made a stander-by; but that it hath a blessed influence into justification, as it issues into His passive obedience, which together may be called a righteousness for which, but not with which we are justified, except it can be proved to be either the material, or formal, or instrumental cause of justification, and whoever attempt to do this, will wholly dissolve the merit of it. Answer: (1.) All this makes nothing to the purpose now in hand, which is to show, that Paul by this expression clears sufficiently, what he means by the works of the law, which he exclude from having any interest in justification, viz. the works of the law, performed by us in our own persons. (2.) What influence the active obedience of Christ hath in justification, when he will not when he will not admit it to be any part of that Surety-righteousness, which is imputed unto us, he showeth not; nor what way it issues into His passive obedience.
If all this influence be to make Him fit to be a sacrifice, we have shown above, that the personal union did that; and consequently His active obedience, if it had no other influence, is made a mere stander by. (3.) A righteousness for which, and a righteousness with which, is a distinction, in our case, without a difference; for the one doth no way oppugn, or exclude the other, because the meritorious cause imputed, made over to and reckoned upon the score of believers, can be also that righteousness with which they are justified. (4.) Whether it may be called the material, or formal cause of justification (that any ever called it the instrumental cause, is more than I know) is no great matter, seeing it may be either, as the terms shall be explained, which men are at freedom to do, according to their own mind, when they apply them unto this matter, which hath so little affinity with effects merely natural, unto the causes of which these terms are properly applied: though I should choose rather to call it the formal objective cause, if necessitated to use here philosophic terms. (3.) That to call Christís whole righteousness either the material or formal cause of justification, is to overthrow the merit of it, is said, but not proved: It is not these philosophical terms themselves, but the explication of them by such, as use them in this matter, that is to be regarded: and none shall ever show, that either of these terms, as explained by the orthodox, doth overthrow the merit of Christís righteousness, but doth rather establish it.
††††††††† He says, 2. The Holy Ghost may reject the works of men from being the cause of such or such a thing, and yet no ways intimate, that the works of any other should be the cause thereof, If the words had gone thus, Ďnot by the works of righteousness, which we ourselves had done,í this had been somewhat a higher ground, to have inferred the opposite member of the distinction upon, viz. by the works of another, or of Christ. Answer: This exception is as little to the purpose, as the former; for these words were here brought only to show, what the Apostle meant by the works of the law, which he excluded from justification, viz. the works which we do: and not to prove immediately, that the works of any other were understood hereby. (2.) It is a foolish thing to imagine a distinction, betwixt works, which we do and works, which we ourselves, do, the same word in the original, which in verse 5 is rendered we, is rendered we ourselves, in verse 3. What poor shifts are these, which men take to support a desperate cause?
††††††††† He saith 3. To put the matter out of all question, that excluding the works of the law, which we have done, he had no intent to imply the works, which another might do, he expresses the opposition thus, Ďaccording to His mercy.í Answer: The mistake is still continued in: By these words, we only clear what the works are, which are excluded; viz. our personal works, or works, which we do, or have done: whose works else are accepted, other places prove expressly, and this by consequence, unless the work of a third could be alleged. (2.) The opposition here made, destroys not the opposition which we make: for when we are justified and saved according to His mercy; as well as we are justified freely by
His grace, when justified through redemption, that is in Jesus Christ, Romans 3:24.
††††††††† He says 4. and thereby seems to reply to what is last said, The Apostle delivers himself distinctly of that, wherein this mercy of God, he speaks of, consists, viz. regenerating us, &c. But, I hope, the Apostleís mentioning of regeneration, doth not exclude the imputation of Christís righteousness, the ground thereof; nor can he suppose this, unless he plead with Papists for justification by our good works, done after regeneration, and the new birth.
††††††††† He says 5, Such an inference is neither probable, nor pertinent to the purpose; because the Apostle rejects the works of righteousness, which he names, from being any cause, antecedently moving God to save us; and not from being the formal cause of justification: and we ourselves (says he) will not say, that the works of the law, which Christ hath done, moved God to save us. Answer: (1.) The inference, which he here speaks of, is his own, and not ours, as we have said. (2) The salvation here mentioned is comprehensive, and includes justification and adoption, as verse 7 clears; and the mercy, mentioned, verse 5, comprehends all other subordinate causes and means, which the Lord hath appointed: and though the obedience of Christ be no cause, moving God to decree to save; yet it may be a cause of justification. But then (says he page 65) this will only establish the merit of Christís righteousness in justification, but overthrow the formality of it. And why so? Because (says he) it is impossible, that one and the self same thing, in respect of one and the self same effect, should put on the different habitude both of the formal and efficient cause. Answer: All this is but vain talk, and a reasoning from terms of art, or philosophical notions taken improperly, to the same taken most properly and strictly; as if a moral, political or legal effect were every way the same, with a natural physical effect: and yet in physical effects, as such, meritorious causes have no proper efficiency: But, as to our case, we plainly say, that Christís righteousness is the meritorious cause of our justification, and yet may be called the formal cause thereof, as that term may be adapted and fitly explained, according as the matter will bear; or the formal objective cause, which we rather incline to.
††††††††† He speaks against Galatians 4: 4, page 66, saying, that it is adduced to prove, that Paul mentions the works of the law, as done by Christ, in the discourse of justification; and consequently, that he had no intent to exclude the works of the law, as done by Christ from having their part in justification. But, as was shown above, there are many other places of Scripture evincing this. Yet let us see what he says. 1. The law, under which Christ was made, is the ceremonial law, as is clear verse 5, we are not redeemed from the moral law, which is of eternal obligation; but from the ceremonial law. Answer: (1) That Christ was made under the ceremonial law only, no reason can evince; for He was made under that law, under the curse whereof we were, who were to be delivered there from by Him, Galatians 3: 10, 12. But this was not the ceremonial law only; otherwise he should have died only for the Jews. Again, the law, which he speaks of, was ordained by angels, in the hand of a
Mediator, Galatians 3: 17, 19, but this was the moral law, contained in the Decalogue. Is the ceremonial law only that law, that cannot give life verse 21, was nothing a schoolmaster to Christ, but the ceremonial part of the law, verse 24. (2.) To be under the law, is not only to be under the lawís obligation, but chiefly to be under the lawís curse, which is the same with being concluded under sin, Galatians 3: 22. (3.) If being under the law be thus limited, or restricted, to a being under the obligation of the ceremonial law, no more can be meant, by receiving the adoption of sons, there mentioned, as the opposite mercy, than a freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law: but this, I suppose, will be too narrow an interpretation. (4.) Though none be redeemed from obedience to the moral law; yet they may be delivered there from, as the sole condition of the covenant, and as the sole way of obtaining life. 2. He says, hereby may be meant His subjection to the curse of the law. Answer: That this may be part of the meaning, may very easily be granted: and what then can hence follow? The expression of being under the law, hath not always this single and sole import, as we see in that same chapter, verse 21.
††††††††† Secondly, Chapter 4, page 69, He argues from Romans 3: 21, 22, thus, If the righteousness, of faith, which is here called the righteousness of God, consists in the imputation of Christís righteousness, then is it not, nor can it be, made manifest without the law, that is, without the works of the law. But the righteousness of faith is sufficiently manifested without the law, that is without the works or righteousness of the law. Ergo. The connection of the major he thus confirms. Because to such a righteousness the law, and the works thereof, are every whit as necessary than faith itself; for faith is made only a means of the derivation of it upon men; but the body and substance of the righteousness is nothing else, but the pure law, and the works of it. Answer: The connection of the major is unsound, and its probation is founded upon a manifest wresting, or misinterpretation of the place: for the meaning of these words, The righteousness of God without the law, is this, the righteousness of God, which is not had by our performance of the commands of the law, or, doth not consist therein; not, the righteousness of God, which is without all obedience to the law: for there be no such righteousness; all righteousness being a conformity to the law of God; and if righteousness consist not in obeying the law of God, wherein shall it consist? The righteousness then of God is a righteousness consisting indeed in full obedience to the law; but yet a righteousness consisting in obedience to the law, performed by one, who was God (and therefore also called the righteousness of God; and not merely because invented by God; or because bestowed by Him upon men; or because such, as will only be accepted of by Him, as he says; though these be also true, and may in part ground the denomination) and not by ourselves, who were properly and originally under the obligation of the law.
††††††††† This will not satisfy him, and therefore he says, 1. This sanctuary hath been polluted, and the horns of this altar broken down, in the demonstration of the former proof. Answer: The contrary is manifest from our foregoing examination of that supposed demonstration.
†††††††† He says, 2. There is not the least intimation given, that the Apostle should have any such by, or back meaning, as this. Answer: Nor was there any necessity, for any express mention hereof; not only because of the party, the Apostle had here mainly to deal with, understood nothing else by the law, but our obedience performed thereunto; knowing the meaning of the law to be this, he that doth these things shall live by them; but also because the whole scope and manner of arguing of the Apostle, and his whole procedure in this debate, manifest this to be the meaning: for having convinced both Jews and Gentiles to be under the law, as guilty before God, he infers, that therefore by deeds of the law,, there shall no flesh be justified, Romans 3: 20. That is, by their own deeds or actions: for the law to them can do nothing, but convince of sin, and bind guilt more upon them. But it did not so to Christ, who yielded perfect obedience. We might also demonstrate this from the Apostleís following discourse, if it were necessary; but we said enough of this, in answer to the foregoing objection.
††††††††† He says, 3. The works of the law are never the less the works of the law, because performed by Christ. Answer: Yet when performed by Christ, they are not the works of the law done by us, who did lie under the obligation; and by the imputation of such an obedience, as was performed by Christ, we have no ground of boasting or of glorying, either before God, or man: and it is against such an obedience to the law, as the ground of justification, as doth not exclude glorying or boasting, and such as consists in works of righteousness, which we have done, and is exclusive of free grace, that the Apostle disputes.
††††††††† He says, 4. This righteousness is said to receive testimony from the law, that is, from that part of Scripture, which is often called the law; and from the prophets. Now, neither of these give any testimony to such a righteousness, but to a righteousness procured or derived upon a man by faith, Genesis 15: 6, Habakkuk 2: 4. Answer: It is true, this righteousness receives testimony from the law, and from the writings of the prophets; and we plead for no other righteousness, but such, as is so testified of, and hath the concurrent consent both of the Old and of the New Testament. Both law and prophets that spoke of the seed of the woman, and of the Messiah, and of His being the Lord our righteousness, or spoke of the peopleís duty in reference to Him, as such, did bear witness to this truth. (2.) What is that righteousness, which is here said to be procured, or derived upon a man by faith? Is it the righteousness of Christ? Then the cause is yielded. Is it the righteousness of men themselves? Then justification by works is established, and the whole Gospel is overthrown. And how, I pray, can this be said to be procured or derived upon a man by faith? The places cited speak of no such thing, but have a far contrary import, as may hereafter appear.
††††††††† He says, 5. This righteousness of God is said to be unto all, and upon all dia\ pi/stewj by or thru faith, by way of opposition to the works of the law: Now between faith and works of the law, there is a constant opposition; but between the law and the works of righteousness of Christ, there is no opposition. Answer: (1.) If this righteousness be unto all and upon all, by or thru faith, it must of necessity
be the righteousness of another, in bringing home and applying of which, faith is an instrument: and to this way of bringing in the righteousness of God by faith from without, is the seeking of righteousness by our own works, or by our own acts of obedience to the law, manifestly opposite and irreconcilable: and this is the opposition, which the Scripture always makes, between justification by the law, and by faith, as the very Scriptures, cited by himself, make manifest, to wit, Romans 3: 27, 28 & 4: 13, 14 & 9: 32 & 10: 5, 6; Galatians 2: 16 & 3: 5, 11, 12, &c. (2.) This argument and all the steps of its prosecution, make against himself, who will have our act of faith to be the righteousness of God, though it be nowhere so called; and cannot be that, which is by, or through faith; for faith is not by or through faith; nor doth faith become a righteousness by, or through faith: nor is faith, as our act, against the law, otherwise it should be no act of obedience, but a piece of will-worship; and consequently no righteousness at all but an unrighteousness, and a plain disobedience, or a work of supererogation: nor do the law of prophets, anywhere, testify to this, as our righteousness.
††††††††† Thirdly, Chapter 5, page 73, he reasons from Romans 5: 16, 17, thus, The gift of righteousness (as it is called verse 17) which is by Christ, in the Gospel, and is said in verse 16 to be a free gift of many offenses unto justification, that is the forgiveness of many offenses, cannot be a perfect legal righteousness imputed unto us, or made ours by imputation; but the righteousness which is by Christ in the Gospel, is the gift of many offenses. Ergo, &c. The major he thus confirms. That righteousness, which extends unto a manís justification, by the forgiveness of sins, can be no perfect legal righteousness imputed. But the righteousness of Christ, in the Gospel, by which we are justified, extends unto a manís justification, by the forgiveness of sins. Ergo &c. The major of this, he thus proves. Because a legal or perfect righteousness doth no proceed to justify a manís person by way of forgiveness of sins; but is of itself intrinsically and essentially a manís justification, yea such a justification with which forgiveness of sins, is not compatible: for what need hath he, that is legally righteous, or hath a legal righteousness imputed to him, of forgiveness of sins, when as such a righteousness excluded all sin, and all guilt of sin from his person.
††††††††† To all which I answer (1.) The major proposition of the two syllogisms, is true only of a perfect righteousness, wrought by ourselves, in conformity to the law; and not of the righteousness of another imputed to us; which though it may be called legal, as to Christ, as consisting in perfect obedience and conformity to the law; yet is rather to be called evangelical, as to us, upon the account of its discovery and revelation, and manner of communication unto us. (2.) The confirmation of the major is likewise only true of a righteousness performed by ourselves: for that indeed excludes all remission: and therefore if our faith be accounted our righteousness (as he says) it must be our justification, and so, inconsistent with free forgiveness. (3.) As to the Scripture, where upon all this is founded, I say, the text says not, that our righteousness is only free forgiveness; but that in reference to pardon and free forgiveness, there is a gift bestowed; and that this gift by grace, which
abounds unto many, is attended with free forgiveness, as a necessary consequent. It is the free gift, that comes upon all men unto justification verse 18, and that, by which many are made righteous verse 19 and therefore is called the gift of righteousness, verse 17.
††††††††† He objects against himself thus, A manís sins are first forgiven him, and then this perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed unto him; and so he is justified. But this is not the thing we would say, but on the contrary, that first the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed, whereupon the believer is justified and pardoned. Let us hear his answer.
††††††††† 1. He says, If we will needs distinguish the effects of the active and passive obedience of Christ, so as from the active part to fetch a perfect righteousness for imputation, and from the passive remission of sins; yet whether it be any ways reasonable to invert the order, I leave to sober consideration. Christ did not first die, and after death keep the law; therefore reason requires, that what is first purchased, should be first received and applied. Answer: I see no necessity of distinguishing, after this manner, the effects of Christís active and passive obedience; but judge it best, to keep as conjoined what divine wisdom hath firmly and inseparably joined together: but though we should thus needlessly distinguish these effects; yet there is no necessity of saying, that Christís obedience, because first existing, should be first imputed unto justification; and then His death to remission: for neither do we assign justification to His active obedience only; nor is the same order to be observed in Christís performance, of what was laid upon Him, and required of Him, as our sponsor: for the nature of the thing required, that Christ should first have obeyed, before He died: and on the other hand, the condition of sinners requires, that they be first justified and pardoned, before they have a right to all the effects of Christís active obedience imputed.
††††††††† 2. He says, If a man hath once sinned, it is not any legal righteousness whatsoever imputed, that can justify him. Answer: This is granted; but in order to justification we say, that Christís whole surety righteousness is imputed; and this comprehends both His active and passive obedience, so usually distinguished.
††††††††† 3. He says, If a manís sins be once forgiven him, he hath no need of any further righteousness for his justification; because forgiveness of sins reaches home, and amounts unto a full justification with God. Answer: If justification were nothing else, but forgiveness of sins, there would be some color for this: but in justification there is also an accepting of the man as righteous; and to this a mere pardon of sins will not serve: for a righteousness is hereunto requisite; and pardon of sins and righteousness are not on thing. It is false then to say, as he adds, That this is all the justification, the Scripture knows, or speaks of, the forgiveness of sins, or acquitting from condemnation. For both according to Scripture, and the native import, and universal usage of the word, justification denotes a constituting legally and declaring solemnly a person to be righteous, or free of the accusation, given in against him; or a pronouncing of an accused man to be righteous; and therefore supposes,
when the sentence is just, that the person is a righteous person: and, in our case, the sentence of God being according to truth, the person justified, having no righteousness of his own, must be clothed with the surety-righteousness of Christ, as surety, head and husband, imputed to him and received by faith.
††††††††† He adds, That righteousness, which we have by Christ, and where with we are said to be justified, is only a negative righteousness, not a positive: It is nothing else, but a non-imputation of sin, which I therefore call a righteousness by imputation, as having the privileges, but not the nature and substance of a perfect legal righteousness. Answer: A righteousness not positive, but merely negative, is no righteousness at all; for a true righteousness is a positive conformity unto the law, the rule of righteousness: and as the righteousness is but negative and interpretatively such; so must the justification be, that is founded thereupon. He thinks to prove this from Romans 4: 6, 7, 8, and adds, a righteousness without works must needs be a negative or privative righteousness. The imputation of righteousness verse 6, is interpreted verses 7, 8, to be a not imputing of sin. Answer: The place cited, as we declared above, gives no countenance unto this sense of the word justification; but evinces rather the contrary. A righteousness without our works (which is the Apostleís meaning) may be, and is no negative, nor privative righteousness; but a positive, full and complete righteousness, being the surety righteousness of Christ, the sponsor: and the text says, not, that this righteousness is nothing else, than a non-imputation of sin, but infers rather the imputation of righteousness, as the cause, from the non-imputation of sin, as the effect; and all this to prove, that justification is not by the works of the law.
††††††††† He tells us, that we have the like description of this righteousness, II Corinthians 5: 19, which he calls in God, the not imputing of our sins unto us, he calls in us verse 21 a being made the righteousness of God in Him. Answer: This is a plain perversion of the scope of the meaning of the words: for verse 21 the Apostle is giving the ground and reason of what was said verse 19, and showing how this reconciliation and non-imputation of sin is founded, and what is the special ground thereof; as appears by the particle for verse 21, for He hath made Him sin, &c. He says, This is most plain, Acts , 39, where forgiveness of sins is immediately thereafter called justification. Answer: All that can be hence inferred, is, that in justification sins are pardoned; or that such as have forgiveness of sins are justified; or that these do inseparably go together: but no appearance of proof here, that they are but one thing; or that in justification there is no more, but pardon of sins.
††††††††† He prosecutes this purpose yet further, saying, This is the most usual and proper signification of the word, justify, not to signify the giving or bestowing of a complete positive righteousness; but only an acquitting or discharging and setting a man free from guilt and penalty, due unto such things, as were laid to his charge. Answer: (1.) Nor do we say, that justification signifies such a giving and bestowing of a complete, positive righteousness; but that it signifies a declaring and pronouncing of a person to be righteous: and therefore presupposes this giving or bestowing of a complete righteousness: for the man, whom God declares
and pronounces to be righteous, must be righteous; and seeing he hath no righteousness of his own, he must have his sureties righteousness imputed to him. (2.) And so, in this sense, justification is an acquitting, or setting a man free from the guilt and penalty, due to such things, as were laid to his charge; for he is pronounced righteous. But it is not a simple discharge of the person from the guilt and penalty, upon a pardon and remission: for a pardoned man is not a justified man, but rather is supposed to be guilty, and is pardoned because guilty.
††††††††† He proceeds, In Scripture, it is usually opposed to condemning Proverbs 17: 15. Where, by justifying the wicked, nothing is meant, but the making of them just, in the rights and privileges of just men, which are freedom from censure, punishment, &c. so that by justifying the wicked, nothing else is meant, but the not condemning of him, Romans 8: 33, 34 & 5: 19. Therefore by justifying nothing else is meant, but acquitting from condemnation; and so to be justified and live are equipollent, Galatians 3: 11, 21, Isaiah 53: 11. Answer: (1.) That justifying is opposed to condemning is granted; but this makes for us; for condemning is something else, than a not pardoning, even a pronouncing or declaring of a person guilty; and therefore an adjudging of him to the punishment, due for the guilt; and therefore justification must be something else than a pardon. (2.) Justification is more than not condemning; for not condemning may be a mere suspending of the sentence of condemnation: and while the process is under trial, or the guilty person not yet convicted in law, he is not condemned; yet he is not therefore justified. (3.) When justification and life are said to be equipollent, it is manifest, that justification is more than pardon, even an adjudging of one to the reward promised: for life here is not a mere negative or privative life, called Reigning in life, Romans 5: 17, and the blessing of Abraham Galatians 3: 14, the promise of the Spirit, ibid, and all the blessings of the covenant verse 17, and the inheritance verse 18. Here then is a difference between justification in our case, and justification among men: for among men, justification is usually in reference to the accusation given in; and the accusation bears a reference only unto the sin committed and to the punishment due to such or such transgressors: so that the justified man is declared not guilty, and therefore not liable unto the penalty; but there is no word here of a reward, due to the observers of the law, unless in cases, where a reward is expressly promised. And yet, even where there is no more, but a simple declaring of the person not guilty, and so not liable to the punishment, justification is more than mere pardon. But in our case, when the Lord justifies the believer, He not only declares him not liable to the punishment, due to transgressors of the law; but also adjudges him to the reward promised to the observers: and therefore here the person is declared and pronounced righteous, having a right to the reward, through imputed righteousness.
††††††††† Fourthly, He objects from Philippians 3: 9. This objection must be hard hearted, and shows, with what confidence, some men, once in love with their own darling conceit, can abuse the most plain passages of Scripture: for what can be more plain and full against our adversaries, than is this
text? The Apostle is here showing, upon what ground he desired to stand, in his appearing before God, and expressly renounces all his former privileges, and what once he had an esteem for; and particularly also his own righteousness, of whatsoever kind, that consisted in his obedience to the law; and he says not, which consists in my full obedience to the law; but, in mine own righteousness, which is of the law. And, in opposition to all this, he desires to be found in Christ, stated and hid in Him, which includes Christís righteousness: for Christ and His righteousness are not separated; and the righteousness he expressly mentions, calling it, that which is through the faith of Christ, and again, the righteousness, which is of God by faith. By which he cannot mean the act of faith, for that is his own righteousness, all which he renounced; for it was conform to the law and commandment, being enjoined by the law of God, otherwise it had been no act of obedience. Moreover; faith is not through faith, nor by faith; but this righteousness, which Paul sought after, is a righteousness, that is through faith and by faith, as an instrument laying hold upon it, and applying it; faith cannot be that righteousness, which is through faith, or by the faith of Christ, for if so, Christ should be rendered useless, and the nature of faith in Christ should be changed, seeing true faith in Christ carries the soul out of itself to Christ, to the end a righteousness may be had. Faith, sure, is not the righteousness, which is of God, wrought by God, and imputed by Him. So that when Paul desired to be found in Christ, having the righteousness, which is through faith in Christ, even the righteousness, which is of God by faith, what can be more plain, than that he desired to be found in the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed by God, and received by faith?
††††††††† As to this place, our adversary frames no formal argument there from, but hath some observes, tending rather to make it useless to our point, than directly to confirm his own, chapter 6, page 84. I shall only take notice of such things, as he alleges to darken the glorious light of the grace of God, shining with a meridian brightness in this passage.
††††††††† He (i.e. Paul) doth not say (says he) that he may be found in His righteousness; much less in His righteousness imputed to him; but simply in Himself; which is an usual expression in Scripture of the spiritual state and condition of a believer. (1.) To be found in Christ, who is the public person and surety, is to be found in His surety righteousness: for Christ and His righteousness are no more separated, than a surety, as such, and his surety payment and satisfaction: And therefore, when Paul spoke of being found in Him, he emphatically enough expressed what we say. (2.) It is true, the expression, in Christ, doth elsewhere denote a spiritual state, but here Paul speaks not simply of being in Christ, but of being in Him, in order to having of a righteousness, wherewith to appear before God; in order to which, he had renounced all his former privileges and attainments.
††††††††† What it is (says he) to be found in Christ, he expresses, negatively thus, not having mine own righteousness, yet not simply and altogether, no righteousness,
that may in no sense be called his own; but precisely and determinately no such righteousness, as his own, which stands in works of the law: such he must be sure, not to have; i.e. not to trust to, or to shroud and shelter himself under, from the stroke of Godís justice. Answer: Then faith, considered as an act of obedience, must not be that righteousness, under which he could think to shelter himself from the stroke of justice: for that stands in one work of the law; and if that righteousness be renounced, which stands in works of the law; much more must that be renounced, which stands in one work of the law. (2.) The righteousness of Christ, imputed and received by faith, may in some sense be called the believers own: but that righteousness, which the Apostle calls his own here, is opposed to the righteousness of another, and comprehends all his own acts and works, done in obedience to the command of God.
††††††††† Next (he says) affirmatively thus, but that, which is through the faith of Christ, &c. Here is not the least jot or title of any righteousness, he should have by imputation, no nor any righteousness by or through the righteousness of Christ; but only such a righteousness, as is through the faith of Christ. Answer: (1.) When all that righteousness is excluded, which is in manís self, or in any acts of obedience to the law, which he doth; and yet a righteousness mentioned as the only refuge and sheltering place, what can this righteousness be else, than an imputed righteousness? What can this imputed righteousness be: if it be not the righteousness of Christ? Is there any other that will do our business? (2.) A righteousness through faith in Christ is most clearly a righteousness obtained, possessed and laid hold on by faith.
††††††††† The Apostle adds (says he) by way of commendation of this righteousness, that it is the righteousness of God i.e. a righteousness, which God himself hath found out, and which He will own and countenance, even the righteousness of God, which is in faith, which comes and accrues, and is derived upon a man by faith. Answer: (1.) It is not only a righteousness, which God himself hath found out, and which He owns and countenances; but a righteousness also, which is in God, or is in Him, who is God, and is derived from Him to man; for it is conformity to the law of God, all such righteousness being already renounced by the Apostle. (2.) The righteousness of God, which is by, or through faith, and comes, accrues, or is derived upon a man in and by faith, must needs be something else, than faith itself, even the righteousness that is without a man, and is derived unto him from another, viz. from Him, who is God, and on whom faith lays hold, that is, Jesus Christ, in whom alone the Apostle was seeking to be found.
††††††††† Fifthly, Chapter 7, page 88, &c. He abuses to this end all those Scriptures, wherein justification is ascribed to faith, as Romans 3: 28 & 5: 1 As to the interest of faith, in the matter of justification, we will have occasion hereafter to speak of it, at some length: here we are only enquiring after that righteousness, upon the account of which, we are justified, which our adversary, as it would appear, places only in faith: and so, instead of making faith the mean of applying and bringing home the surety righteousness
of Christ, he makes it the very formal righteousness itself, upon the account of, and because of which we are justified. Let us hear what he says.
††††††††† When men say (says he) that faith justifies, I demand, what is it, they mean by faith? Do they not mean their believing of act or faith? Answer: When the Scripture says, that we are justified by faith, faith is taken for our act of faith, laying hold on Christ and on His righteousness, it being the mean appointed of God for this end, by interessing us in and uniting us with Christ, and applying that surety righteousness of His. But this can no way prove, that therefore faith itself is that righteousness, upon the account whereof we are declared righteous in the sight of God, in order to justification; or is the formal objective reason of our justification. Though faith be said to justify, as an instrumental cause (as this author himself afterward confesses) it will not follow, that therefore it justifies as a principal cause, or as the formal objective cause. The hand receiving riches doth instrumentally enrich; but is not the principal cause of the manís riches. The producing, in face of court, of the suretyís payment, by the principal debtor, now pursued by the creditor, is not the formal ground of the debtorís absolution.
††††††††† He says, he conceives not of faith as divided, or severed from its object, either Christ in person, or Christ in Promise. Answer: It is true, the act cannot be conceived without its object; and all the consideration of the object here had by him, is by virtue of the act reaching the object; and so the act is only considered by him no further, than as a commanded duty, or as any other act of the soul, which is commanded: and beside, this faith, thus acting on Christ, according to the Gospel, and as it is called justifying or saving faith, in distinction from the faith of miracles, and from historical faith, he must look upon it, as the soulís fleeing out of itself to Christ for refuge; and as laying hold on His righteousness as only sufficient; and as receiving, embracing, leaning to and resting upon Christ and His righteousness; whence it is manifest, that it cannot be conceived, nor looked to, nor rested upon, as our righteousness, its use and work being to bring in and receive another gifted righteousness, and to rest upon that for life, justification and salvation.
††††††††† He tells us next, that he also confesses, that faith justifies instrumentally, and not otherwise; and that he hath never said, nor intended to say any other thing. Answer: But how this can agree with what he hath said, and with what hereafter we shall hear him saying, let men of understanding judge. Did ever man before acknowledge faith, to justify instrumentally, and yet deny the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, as he doth? and yet and yet assert that this instrument faith is imputed for our righteousness, for our only righteousness, and as the only formal ground of our justification, as he doth? Did ever man assert
this instrumentality of faith, to shoulder out the chief and principal interest, that the surety righteousness of Christ hath, in this business? This therefore must be looked upon, as inconsistent with his only design, in this whole book; and as an unwary expression overturning all; or else that he must have said all this in a hid sense, not yet understood.
††††††††† To that, that faith justifies, as it takes hold of Christís righteousness, he answers, That yet it is the act of faith that justifies. Answer: And did ever any mean otherwise, when they spoke of faith as an instrument, or mean? But that is not our present question: we are now enquiring after that righteousness, for which, and upon the account of which alone we are justified, and by which we are put into a state of justification. So that all this waste of words is to no purpose.
††††††††† He moves another objection against himself, thus, If it be said, that when we are justified by faith, the meaning is, we are justified by that, which faith apprehends; and this is far from saying that faith is imputed for righteousness.
††††††††† Here I can observe nothing but confusion, and a jumbling together, as one, these two far different questions, viz. What is that righteousness, for, because and upon the account of which we are justified: and what is the way, mean, or instrument, by which we partake of righteousness, unto justification, and are justified. Here is a manifest confounding of the principal meritorious cause, and the instrumental cause: of the formal objective cause (which some call the formal, others the Material cause) and the inferior mean, or instrumental cause. Here also these two are confounded and made one, viz. We are justified by faith; and faith is imputed unto righteousness. That these are far different, shall be cleared hereafter. But what answers he? He says, 1. If their meaning be simply so, that we are justified by that, which faith apprehends, they speak more truth, than they are aware of. But that whatsoever faith apprehends should justify, is not true. Answer: Who speaks thus, I know not; yet I see little danger in it, their meaning being only this, in that expression, we are justified by that, which faith apprehends, that Christ and His righteousness, which justifying faith, in the act of justifying, lays hold on, is the formal objective cause, or that upon the account of which we are justified: and this no way says, that our faith is that righteousness, for which we are justified.
††††††††† Next he says, If men ascribe justification, in every respect, to that, which faith apprehends, they destroy the instrumental justification of faith. Answer: No man, that I know, does or will ascribe justification, in every respect, unto that which faith apprehends, and so, they need not destroy the instrumental use of faith in justification; for as to the instrumental justification of faith, I understand it not; it seems to be a very catachrestic expression.
††††††††† In the end, he adds, If faith justifies any way, it must of necessity be by imputation, or account from God, for righteousness; because it is all that God requires
of men in their justification, instead of the righteousness of the law. Therefore if God shall not impute, or account it to them for this righteousness, it would stand them in no stead at all to their justification; because there is nothing useful, or available to any holy, or saving purpose, but only to that, whereunto God hath assigned it. If God in the New Covenant, requires faith in Christ, for our justification, instead of the righteousness of the law, in the Old, and this faith will not pass in account with him for such righteousness, but his command and Covenant for believing, and the obedience itself of believing, will both become void, and of none effect, the entire benefit of them being suspended upon the gracious pleasure and purpose of God, in the designation of them to their end. Answer: Whatever interest, or place faith hath, in the New Covenant and in the matter of justification, it has it from Godís sole appointment and designation, and it is all that, which is now required of us, in order to our justification, and entering into covenant with God: yet unless we change and alter its true nature, and assign another place and power to it, that God hath, the Crown is kept on the head of the Mediator, and His righteousness is only owned, received, produced by the sinner, as it were, in face of court, and rested upon by faith, in order to justification. But when faith is said to be imputed for righteousness; that is, when our act of believing is made our righteousness, and said to be so accounted and esteemed by God; and all this to shoot out the righteousness of Christ, and to take away the imputation thereof to us, as the only ground of our justification, not only are the native and kindly actings of justifying faith destroyed; but the very nature and genius of the New Covenant is altered, and it is made out to be the same, in kind, with the first Covenant, with this gradual difference, that the first Covenant required full and perfect obedience; the second one act of obedience only, viz. faith, as a peppercorn (as some speak) instead of a great rent, and our whole righteousness: for no other righteousness will our adversaries grant to be really imputed to us, save what they grant of the imputation of Christís righteousness only as to effects, and thus they make the Lord to repute (for that is the meaning of imputing with them) that to be a righteousness, which, at best, is but imperfect, and not every way conformed to the command of God, enjoining it. Whereby thus one imperfect act of obedience, viz. faith, is made that, whereupon the wakened sinner is to rest, and lay his whole weight, and wherein he is to refuge himself from the wrath of God, and which he is to hold up, as his legal defense, against all accusations, coming in against him: and all this use is to be made of faith immediately, instead of Christ, and His surety righteousness. Whence we see, that it is false to say (1.) That if faith justifies anyway, it must of necessity be by imputation for righteousness: For it justifies as the mean appointed of God, to lay hold on an imputed righteousness, and to carry the soul forth thereunto. The reason added is vain, for though it be all that God requires of men to their justification, it is not that righteousness, which is imputed unto justification, or the ground thereof; but the mean or instrument of a soulís partaking of that righteousness of Christ, which is the only ground, or formal objective reason. (2.) It is false to say, That if God shall not account it to them
for righteousness, it shall stand them in no stead to justification. For it is required, as the mean, whereby the sinner is married unto Christ, and partakes of His righteousness, in order to justification; and is as the legal production of the righteousness of the surety, in face of court, as the ground of absolution to be pleaded and stood unto. The reason he here adds is of no force, because faith is assigned of God to this end and purpose, as the Gospel clears; and only to this end, that so the Mediator alone may wear the Crown, and bear the weight of sinners; and nothing in us, or from us may share with Him, in that glory. It is false (3.) to say, or suppose (as his following words intimate) That faith in the New Covenant hath the same place, force and efficacy, which the righteousness of the law had, in the Old Covenant: For then faith should be meritorious ex patio, and should give ground of glorying before men. It is (4.) false to say, That if faith hath not this place, force and efficacy in the New Covenant, the command for believing, and believing itself shall be vain. Seeing it hath another use designed to it of God; and it is required for another end, as is said, according to the gracious pleasure and purpose of God.
††††††††† Lastly Chapter 8 page 93 &c. he argues from Galatians 3: 12 thus, If the Scriptures do not only no where establish, but in any place absolutely deny a possibility of the translation or removing of the righteousness of Christ from one person to another, then there is no imputation of Christís righteousness. But the former is emphatically true from this place. Ergo, &c. Answer: This, upon the matter, is but what Socinus said lib. 2. cap.3. viz. That one manís deed can no more be the deed of another, than one manís death, or pain can be the death or pain of another: and that in deeds of the law, the deed itself is not simply called for, but the proper deed of everyone, who is under the law: and that nothing can be more ridiculous, than to say, that one manís righteousness can be the righteousness of another, who is unrighteous in himself: and that it is against common sense, to say, that one may obey for another. But howbeit we easily grant, there neither is, nor can be any physical translation or removing of righteousness from one to another: yet to deny all legal translation, is to deny all Suretyship and cautionary; yea and all satisfaction: and therefore the Socinians, who see the force of this consequence, do peremptorily deny, that Christ made any satisfaction to justice, or paid the debt of the chosen ones, as their surety: and such, as deny this legal translation of Christís righteousness, would do well to consider, if they do not hereby weaken the truth, concerning Christís satisfaction, and His dieing in the room, place and stead of the elect. As for the thing itself, everyone, that knows what a surety is, knows that his payment of the debt is by law reckoned on the score of the principal debtor, and so transferred upon him, as he is no more liable to the charge of the creditor, or to the execution of the law against him for non payment, than if he himself had laid down the full sum.
††††††††† He would prove, what he alleges, thus, This Scripture doth not barely and simply deny a possibility of translation of the righteousness of the law from one person to another; but denies it emphatically. Answer: Howbeit a truth, that no
mere manís righteousness is derivable from him to another: yet this text proves no such thing; but only tells us the nature and purport of the Covenant of Works, viz. that it required personal and perfect obedience of him, that would have right to the promised reward. Which speaks nothing against the new contrivance of the Gospel, wherein the Supreme God and Law-giver, and the great Rector of the World did, in mercy and love, appoint Jesus Christ to be the Mediator and Surety for the chosen ones, to pay their debt, and suffer for them; and did ordain a way, how they should, in due time, come to have an interest in, and to partake of that surety-righteousness of Christ Jesus, that so they might be justified, and dealt with as righteous persons, having Christís Surety-righteousness imputed to them, and reckoned upon their score, when by faith they close with Him, and lay hold on it.
††††††††† He adds for proof, for it denies a possibility of it to be done even by faith, which was the likeliest hand to have done it, if the nature of the thing had not resisted the doing of it. Answer: The meaning of these words, the law is not of faith, is, only to show, that the way of justification by faith and by the law, are so far different, that they cannot agree together: but not to show, that by faith believers are not made partakers of the righteousness of Christ, or have to not imputed unto them and reckoned upon their score; as the whole scope and circumstances of the place show. That therefore is not true, which he adds, By which it appears also, that he (i.e. the Apostle) had an intent particularly, to make the righteousness of the law, as performed by Christ himself, incapable of this translation, or imputation. For though the law should be against the imputation of the righteousness of one man, who is naturally and every way under the law, and obliged by his being, to obey the law, unto another: yet it is not against the imputation of the righteousness of one, who is God; and so under the law only by voluntary submission, and is appointed thereunto by the Supreme Lawgiver and Rector, unto all such, as were committed and given to Him to save that way, in a way condescended upon by Jehovah, and the Mediator.
††††††††† He proceeds, The meaning of these words, ĎThe law is not of faith,í must be this, that the righteousness of the law doth not arise, or come upon any man, out of his faith, or by his believing: and this is proved because the very doer shall live in or by them. Answer: It is true, the law way of justification, or the way of justification, revealed in and by the law, and hold forth in the Old Covenant, says only, that the man that doth these things shall live in them: and does not prescribe the way of justification through faith. But the Gospel reveals, how the righteousness of the law, which was part of our debt, being performed and paid by the Lord Jesus, the Surety, appointed of God, is transferred and imputed unto those, He did represent.
††††††††† He adds further, The word ĎLawí here is put for the righteousness or fulfilling of the law. Answer: And why also shall not the word be taken in that sense in the following verse, where it is said, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law; and so the meaning be, from the curse of the righteousness or fulfilling
of the law? Again, what though the word had that import here? Can anything more hence follow, than that personal righteousness is not derivable now from one man to another, so as to stand for his personal righteousness? But how shall this sense of the words make them a proof or confirmation of what was said in the former verse?
††††††††† He answers to this, saying, The Apostle in the former verse had delivered it for a truth, that no man could be justified by the law i.e. by the righteousness or works of the law; because the Scripture saith, Ďthe just shall live by faith.í Now because this consequence might seem doubtful, upon this account, that it might be said, why may not the just live by faith, and by the works of the law too? May not the righteousness of the law be made over to them by faith? No, saith the Apostle, the law is not of faith, there can be no legal righteousness drawn upon men by faith, &c. Answer: This confirmation is manifestly perverted: for there was no occasion for that question, whether the righteousness of the law could be made over by faith, whether it be taken in his sense, viz. whether the righteousness of Christ, performed to the law could be made over and received by faith; as appears from what he had said of the Gospel way verses 8, 9. Or whether it be taken in this sense, that the righteousness of the law, performed by a mere man, only for himself, according to his obligation, can be now made over to another by faith; for no man ever dreamed of such a thing. But enough of this frothy trash.
††††††††† What he talks afterward of the opposition between the law and faith, in the matter of justification, is utterly impertinent; because quite mistaken, and misunderstood by him: for he only understands the difference thus; that faith has nothing to do with the righteousness of Christ, but must be considered alone, as our act of obedience; and wherever the law, or the righteousness thereof is excluded in the matter of justification, there the righteousness of Christ is as well to be understood, as our own personal acts of obedience. But how cross this is unto the whole doctrine of the Gospel, is already abundantly shown; and we may have further occasion to touch upon this matter hereafter.