Some Passages of the New Testament Confirming the Imputation
of Christís righteousness, vindicated from the
exceptions of John Goodwine
††††††††† Having seen, what countenance the Old Testament gives unto the truth we are asserting; and having vindicated some of these exceptions from the exceptions of John Goodwine, we come next to search for confirmation of this truth out of the New Testament, and I shall here begin with such, as the said author takes notice of, in order to excepting against them, in his Treatise of justification.
††††††††† First, Romans 3: 21, 22. But now the righteousness of God without the Law, is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. But if men would dispute against this truth, they should except against whole chapters in that epistle; and dispute against the very scope and design, yea and all the arguments of the Apostle, who, in the first part of that epistle,
is about to confirm and clear that which he sets down in chapter on verse seventeen, as the sum of the whole Gospel, and clear demonstration of its being the power of God unto salvation, & c., to wit, that in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; a righteousness revealed, laid open, and offered unto all that hear the Gospel, that they may lay hold on it by faith: a righteousness revealed from the true and faithful God, unto our faith (as Ambrose, P. Martyr, and others understand it) or revealed from faith to faith, that is only to faith, (as Pareus) or (as Calvin, Beza, Musculus and others) from a weak faith, to a stronger faith: or rather, to faith first and last, through the whole of a saintís life here, as the following words clear it, as it is written, the just shall live by faith. Yet let us see, what he excepts on page 136.
††††††††† He first, supposes that he has proved before, that this passage speaks plainly for the imputation of faith for righteousness; but no way for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, for any such purpose. And, we may have occasion hereafter to examine his grounds, both from this and other passages, for the imputation of faith, in opposition to the imputation of Christís righteousness. I shall only say at present, that this righteousness cannot be faith itself, because it is revealed to faith; and it is called the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ; and so not faith itself. One thing cannot be both the act, and the object of that act. And what sense would that make, to say, faith is upon all them that believe.
††††††††† 2. He says, By the righteousness of God some understand here His truth and faithfulness, in keeping promise. Answer: But though Godís righteousness may elsewhere import and signify His faithfulness in keeping promise; yet that is not the righteousness here understood; for this suits a guilty sinner; such as the Apostle has been proving, in his foregoing discourse, both Jews and Gentiles to be; and is such a righteousness as is requisite to such, as would be justified in Godís sight (verse 20), and cannot be had by manís doing the deeds of the Law, by which is the knowledge of sin, and which therefore renders their case more desperate; and such a righteousness, as is had by faith, and which is unto all and upon all them that believe (verses 20, 22) and such a righteousness, as is manifested without the Law (verse 21.) All which, and much more, which might be mentioned, show, that some other thing is here understood by the righteousness of God, than His faithfulness and truth; even the righteousness of God, which is imputed unto, and bestowed upon all that believe.
††††††††† 3. He says, Hereby is meant that way, method and means, which God himself hath found out to justify, or make men righteous: or else that very righteousness, by which we stand justified, or righteous, in the sight of God. But not the righteousness of Christ: nor is there the least appearance in the context of any necessity to take it so. Answer: It is true, the Apostle is here showing the whole way, method and means of our justification; and particularly, what that righteousness is, by which poor sinners can stand justified and righteous in the sight of God; even a righteousness, that is not had by the works of
the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ: and this sufficiently evinces that the righteousness of God, here spoken of, is the righteousness of Christ, which faith seeks in, and goes to Christ for, that it may be imputed; for faith has no other end or errand to Christ, in reference to a freedom from the wrath and curse of God, but to lay hold on a righteousness, in which the poor self-condemned sinner may appear before God. Beside that the following words (verses 24, 25, 26) where the redemption and propitiation of Christ, which was His surety-righteousness, is mentioned, may satisfy us, as to what is meant by this righteousness of God. Sure, there is not the least appearance of Paulís understanding that Mean and Method, which this Opposer supposes to be the only method, to wit: That our faith, considered, as our act, is that: as if that were the righteousness of God, and could constitute us righteous, in the sight of God, and were a righteousness had without works and without the Law, and received by all that believe.
††††††††† Secondly, Romans , Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea we establish the Law. Where the Apostle, preoccupying an objection, asserts; that through justification by faith, he did not make void the Law, but rather did establish it; the ground whereof is this, that by the Gospel way of justification, the Law gets full satisfaction, in all points, because Christ not only satisfied for the penalty thereof, which we were guilty of, and did lie under; but did also yield a perfect obedience thereunto; that so He might make up a full and complete surety-righteousness, by the imputation of which unto his own, or the Lordís reckoning it upon their score, when they receive it by faith, they may be justified. And thus, though sinners, who have broken the Law, and so have forfeited the reward, promised to such as observe it in all points, and are come under the Curse, threatened to transgressors, be not only freed from the Curse, but receive the rich recompense of reward; yet the Law is not made null and void, but is rather established and confirmed in its full force, both as to its commands and sanction.
††††††††† John Goodwine takes exception: 1. There is no necessity, that by the Law, in this place, should be meant precisely the moral law; others understand it as well of the Ceremonial Law. Answer: But sure, Paulís doctrine was not for establishing of the Ceremonial Law, in whole, or in part. The Law, whereof the Apostle is speaking, is that Law, by which both Gentiles and Jews were convinced of sin, and had their mouths stopped, and were become guilty before God (verse 19,) and that Law, which makes a discovery of sin (verse 20 compared with Romans 7: 7), and by the deeds of which no flesh shall be justified in the sight of God (verses 20, 28). It is that Law, by the works whereof even Abraham could not be justified, nor David (Romans 4: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8).
††††††††† 2. He said, It is much more probable, that Paul should here assert the establishing of the Ceremonial Law, than of the Moral Law: (i.) Because the Jews were more tender and jealous over the Ceremonial Law, placing the far greatest part, if not the whole of their hope of justification and salvation, in the observance thereof. (ii.) Because the doctrine of faith did not carry any such color of opposition to the Moral,
as to the Ceremonial part of their Law. Answer: To imagine, that no Law is here to be understood, but the Ceremonial Law, is to make the Apostle establish here, what he destroys elsewhere, particularly in his epistles to the Galatians and Colossians, and in his whole doctrine: yea this would make the Apostle, to cross the whole intent and design of the Gospel, which who dare once to have the least thought of? The Law here plainly signifies that which was the rule of righteousness and of obedience, and was publicly given unto the Jews for that end; and by obedience to and observation of which Law, they were expecting justification and life; as by the young man is manifested, who came to Christ to enquire what he should do to be saved; and said, he had observed all these, &c. As to his reasons, they have no force, for: (i.) The Jews had a zeal for the whole Law, but not according to knowledge, and went about to establish their own righteousness, which was not in mere ceremonials but in obedience and full conformity (as they supposed) unto the righteousness, which they sought after, yea followed and hunted after, Romans 9: 31 and 10: 3. (ii.) The doctrine of faith carries the same color of opposition to the Moral Law, that it does to the Ceremonial, in the point of justification. And it is not the doctrine of faith that carries any color of opposition to the Ceremonial Law; though the doctrine of the Gospel administration does; otherwise we must say that there was nothing of the doctrine of faith, under the Law, or that old dispensation.
††††††††† 3. He says, Though the Moral Law were precisely here understood; yet there is no necessity to say, that it is established by the imputation of Christís righteousness: for, (i.) some affirm, that the Law is therefore said to be established by faith, because faith compasses and attains that righteousness, which the Law sought after, and could not attain. (ii.) The Moral Law may in this sense be said to be established; because faith purges the hearts of believers, and so promotes the observation of it. Answer: As for the first, I do not understand what the meaning of it is. What is that righteousness, which faith compasses, and the Law sought after, and could not attain? It would seem to be nothing else but holiness and sanctification: and if so, the two make but one: and therefore I answer to this also, by saying to the second óThat albeit subordinates can well consist together, and this sense need not thrust out our sense; yet I judge, this is not the main objection, that Paul obviates here: he reserves a peculiar place for that hereafter, where he speaks fully to it (chapters 6 and 7.) But he speaks of the establishing of the Law, both in its commanding power and sanction; for having spoken so much of justification by faith in opposition to justification by the Law; and having said in the foregoing verse that the circumcision shall be justified by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith: and neither the one, nor the other by or through the Law; some might have thought, that by his thus crying up of faith, and speaking so much of it, and only of it, as to justification, he was quite cashiering and rendering the Law null and void: And therefore he answers, that he is so far from making the Law void through faith, that he rather doth establish the same, as was shown above.
††††††††† 4. He says, The Law may be said to be established by faith, in as much as the threatenings of the Law are by the doctrine of faith declared not to be in vain, Christís sufferings being a full confirmation of the force, efficacy and authority of the Curse of the Law. Answer: This is so far good: But why shall not also His obedience be a full confirmation of the force, efficacy and authority of the commanding power of the Law, óthis being principally intended in the Law, belonging as much, at least, to the establishment thereof, as the sanction? We assert not the one with an exclusion of the other; but assert the establishment of both by faith: and thus the Law is by faith fully established, in all its parts and demands.
††††††††† 5. He says, The best interpretation is, that by the Law here is meant that part of the Old Testament which comprehends the writings of Moses, with those other books, which together with the writings of the Prophets, make up the entire body thereof, as it was used (verse 21) and in this sense, the Law may most properly be said to be established by Paul teaching the doctrine of faith, because it is fully consonant and agreeable to those things, that are written there. Answer: But this sense is not the same with the sense of the word Law, verse 21, for the Law there is mentioned, as distinct from the Prophets. And if that part of the Old Testament be meant, which is different from the book of the prophets, what ground was there to think, that the doctrine of faith did more seem to cross what was contained in the one, than what was contained in the other, especially seeing he had said (verse 21) that the righteousness, he spoke of, was witnessed both by the Law and the Prophets. And if both should be here understood, seeing the Apostle did fully enough declare his mind as to that v. 21 what ground is there to think, that he was called that objection here again? And what imaginable color can be from anything that the Apostle spoke, in the forgoing words, for such an objection, as this? This manifestly is nothing but a groundless invention of men, that know not else what to say.
††††††††† Thirdly, in Romans 4: 6, where mention is made of a righteousness imputed without works, and that as the ground of a manís blessedness and justification: for it is of the blessedness of justification that the Apostle is there speaking, and he shows, that this is attained, not by the works of the Law, but by an imputed righteousness, which can be none else, than the righteousness of God, spoken of in the preceding chapter; or of Christ, who wrought the redemption, and was set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.
††††††††† Against this he excepts on page 140, saying, If we will needs here understand a positive legal righteousness, it is much more probable, he should mean a righteousness consisting of such, or of such an obedience to the Law, as hath an absolute and perfect agreeableness to every manís condition and calling respectively, than the righteousness of Christ, which hath no such property in it. Answer: The Apostle speaks of a righteousness, and of a righteousness imputed, and all righteousness must consist in obedience to the Law, and in full conformity thereto: and seeing it is said to be imputed, and not by our works, it must of necessity follow, that the Apostle is to be understood, as speaking of the surety righteousness of Christ. And if the righteousness of Christ, who
gave perfect obedience to the Law, and was constituted Mediator and Surety by the Father, and as such did give full satisfaction both in obeying the Law, and in paying the penalty, be not such an obedience to the Law, as will serve every believerís turn, where else will the believer find a more adequate righteousness? Shall we think, that his act of faith, which is but one act of obedience to the Law, or an act of obedience to one command of the Law, hath a more perfect and absolute agreeableness to every manís condition respectively, than the perfect obedience and righteousness of Christ! Let such believe this, as can.
††††††††† 2. He says, The righteousness, which God is said here to impute, is placed in remission of sins. Answer: That imputation of righteousness and pardon of sins do inseparably go together, is true; and that the one proves the other, is also clear from these words. But it is not proved, nor can it be proved, that imputed righteousness and remission of sins are the same; seeing it is obvious enough, that righteousness is one thing, and pardon of sins is another distinct thing. No man will say, that a pardoned thief is a righteous man; for that were as much as to say, He was never a thief. It is true, by pardon he is no more obnoxious to the penalty; the obligation to undergo that being now taken away: yet that will not evince that he is a righteous man: and there is still a difference between him, and one that never was chargeable with that guilt: this man, as to this, is indeed a righteous man, but not the other.
††††††††† 3. He says, The phrase of imputing righteousness is best understood by the contrary expression of imputing sin; and this signifies either to look upon a person, as justly liable to punishment; or to inflict punishment upon him, in consideration of sin. Therefore doubtless to impute righteousness imports nothing else, but either to look upon a man as righteous, or to confer upon him the privileges, belonging to persons truly righteous. Answer: This is true, if we speak of a person, who is truly righteous, antecedently unto this imputation; as the sinner is supposed to be truly a sinner antecedently unto this imputation. But when sin is imputed to a righteous person, or to one, who, before the imputation, was not guilty, nor looked upon as a sinner, as sin was imputed to Christ, the Holy and Righteous One, who knew no sin; and as sin through injustice, was imputed to Naboth, who was not guilty of what was laid to his charge; imputation, in this case, must import something else, than either of these two mentioned, and that antecedently to a holding of that person liable to punishment, or to a punishing of him, with consideration to that sin. Thus before Christ could be looked upon, as a person liable to punishment, or could be punished for sin, by the righteousness of God, sin must first have been imputed to Him, and reckoned upon His score, and that righteously, because of His undertaking and willingly submitting to the debt, as Surety: as when Jezebel would have Naboth killed as a malefactor, she first by injustice and indirect means, made him guilty of sin, and then held him liable to punishment, and dealt with him accordingly. So, upon the other hand, when righteousness is imputed to a sinner (s we all are sinners) before he can be looked upon as a righteous
person, or be dealt with, as a righteous person, he must first have a righteousness imputed to him, and bestowed upon him: for how can God, whose judgment is according to truth, look upon a person as righteous, and confer privileges upon him, due only to such as are righteous, who is not righteous indeed? Must He not first bestow a righteousness upon him, and reckon a righteousness upon his score, to the end He may be just and righteous, when He is the justifier of him that believes?
††††††††† Lastly, he says, Here is neither peer nor peep of the least ground or reason to perceive, that by ďrighteousness,Ē in this Scripture, should be meant the ďRighteousness of Christ.Ē Answer: It is enough that the text says, righteousness is imputed: for the man here spoken of, has not a righteousness of his own, as the Apostle has proved in the preceding chapters, and does here take for granted. Therefore this imputed righteousness must be the righteousness of another; and it must be such a righteousness of another as can found free remission of sins. And whose righteousness else can this be, if it be not Christís? Is there any third competitor here imaginable? Must it not be the righteousness of Him, to whom faith goes out unto and lays hold on, in order to justification? Must it not be His righteousness, who was the Mediator, who laid down the price of redemption, and was a propitiation, as He told us in the preceding chapter? Some men, in alleging a difference between a righteousness imputed to us sinners, and the righteousness of Christ, as if there could be any other righteousness imputable to us, except the Surety righteousness of Christ; as they expressly in this join with Socinians (see Volkel de vera Relig. lib. 5. cap. 21. p. 565) and with Papists and Arminians; so they declare themselves utter strangers to the Gospel; yea greater strangers, than those were, against whom the Apostle wrote, who took it for granted, that if any righteousness from without, or that was not by anything which we do, were imputed, it behooved to be the righteousness of the Mediator: And this, we may conceive, is the reason, why the Apostle does not say, in so many express words, that it was the righteousness of Christ; for who could have thought of another?
††††††††† Fourthly, in Romans 5: 19, a place with its whole contexture pregnant for our purpose: for the Apostle is not only here confirming, but also illustrating this whole matter, from the imputation of Adamís sin unto his posterity; and after many various and emphatic expressions, used there anent from verse 12 and forward, he says here in verse 19, for as by one manís disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Socinus de Servat. lib. 4. cap. 6 is so bold as to tell us, That he supposes, there is nothing written in the Scriptures, that has given us a greater occasion of erring, than that comparison between Adam and Christ, which Paul made and did prosecute at length here. And he would clear to us the comparison thus, That as by Adamís sin and disobedience, it came to pass, that all men were condemned and died; so by Christís righteousness and obedience it came to pass, that they wer absolved, and did live: for Christ by his own righteousness and obedience, by virtue of the decree of God, did penetrate the
heavens, there to reign forever, and there he beget eternal life and everlasting blessedness both to himself, and to his. How alien this is from the whole of the Apostleís discourse, needs not be declared, seeing there is not one word giving the least hint of the Apostleís design to be to declare how and what way Christ obtained power and authority to save: Yet he goes on to tells us, That as Adamís fault made him guilty of death, whence it came to pass, that all mankind, that are procreated of him after that guilt, is obnoxious to death: so Christ by his righteousness purchased to himself eternal life; whence it comes to pass, that whoever are procreated of him, partake of this life. But he never once takes notice, that Paul gives for the ground of all mankindís becoming guilty of death, their sinning in him verse 12, even such, as had not sinned after the similitude of Adamís transgression, verse 14. Yea, in every verse this cause is noted, or pointed at: and it being notour of itself, that if all mankind did sin in Adam, Adamís sin must be imputed unto them; so Christís righteousness must be imputed unto all his, in reference to their justification, and that with a much more.
††††††††† Let us now see the objection of John Goodwine on page 142 &c. It is not here (said he) said, that by the imputation of Adamís disobedience, men are made formally sinners, but simply sinners, that is, either obnoxious to death and condemnation, or else sinners by propagation, not imputation. Answer: This is the same upon the matter, with Bellarmineís answer de justif. lib. 2. cap. 9. And here we have a distinction proposed without any explication, to wit, between simply sinners, and formally sinners: And what can he mean by formally sinners? Possibly he means that which is otherwise expressed by inherently sinners. And if so, though Adamís posterity, so soon as they come to have a being, have a universal corruption of nature conveyed by propagation. Yet, that is not what is properly said to be imputed. For that which is imputed is the guilt of Adamís sin, whereby they become sinners, that is, guilty legally, and so obnoxious to punishment, death and condemnation. And this is enough for us; for as the posterity of Adam have the sin of Adam so imputed to them, that they become guilty and obnoxious to wrath; so believers have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto them, and they thereupon are accounted legally righteous. (2.) While he will not grant, that Adamís posterity are sinners by imputation, he joins the Socinians, who turn these words, verse 12, †not in whom; but because, or whereas, which the Ethiopic version does better sense, saying, Because that sin is imputed unto all men, even unto them who know not what is that sin; And the Arabic turn thus, Seeing all have now sinned: †and the Syriac word is Behi, or Bhi, which may as well be interpreted in whom, as because. And in several other places, this preposition so construed , as here in the Greek, has this same import; as Mark 2: 4, Luke 5: 25 & 11: 22, Romans 6: 21, Philippians 4:10, I Thessalonians 3: 7. But enough of this here, seeing that matter is sufficiently cleared by the orthodox, writing against the Socinian; and we have also spoken of it against the Quakers.
††††††††† Again says he, Neither doth the Apostle here oppose unto, or compare the obedience of Christ, with the obedience of Adam, as one act unto or with
another; but as satisfaction to and with the provocation; or the remedy to and with the disease. Otherwise he should make sins of omission to be no disobedience, because omissions are no acts. Answer: The Apostle so compares the obedience of Christ with the disobedience of Adam, as the satisfaction with the provocation, or as the remedy with the disease; as that withal and chiefly, he clears up the manner and way thereof to be by imputation, thus, that as Adamís sin of disobedience (which includes both omission and commission, being a violation of the Law, and the Covenant) was imputed to his posterity, and they hence became guilty and obnoxious to death, yea and were punished with original corruption, (which comes by propagation) and the consequences thereof; so Christís obedience, which was full and complete, is imputed unto believers, whereupon they become righteous, in order to their recovery out of their natural state of sin and misery.
††††††††† Further He says, By that obedience of Christ, whereby it is here said, that many are, or shall be made righteous, that is justified, we cannot understand that righteousness of Christ, which consists only in obedience to the Moral Law; but that satisfactory righteousness, or obedience, which He performed to that peculiar Law of Mediation, which was imposed upon him, and which chiefly consisted in his sufferings. Answer: By the obedience of Christ unto the Law of Mediation, strictly so taken, as distinguished from his obedience to the Moral Law, believers could not be made righteous, as the posterity of Adam are made sinners by his disobedience; for that could not be properly imputed, as this is, as has been shown; as so Paulís similitude should halt. But (2.) why is Christís obedience to the Law of Mediation set in opposition to his obedience to the Moral Law, seeing this was a part of that, and unto this he obliged himself, in undertaking the Mediation. Was He not by the Law of Mediation bound as well to give obedience to the Law, as to suffer the penalty? And was he not obliged to both, as Surety, in room and place? And then why may not both be imputed unto them? (3.) Why should obedience here be thus restricted to the Law of Mediation? He adds two reasons, but neither are valid. The first is this, Because otherwise the opposition between Adamís disobedience, which was but one single act, and Christís obedience, if it were his universal conformity to the Law, would not hold. Answer: This same Man told us in his former objection, that Christís obedience, in respect of Adamís disobedience, was considered and opposed, as the satisfaction to the provocation, and as the remedy to the disease: now if this be true, Christ made satisfaction for no provocation, but for that single act of eating the forbidden fruit: and what He did and suffered should be only a remedy for that one distemper: and if so, how shall the rest of the provocations and diseases be taken away, or are there no more provocations and diseases? (2.) Adamís disobedience was no single act of disobedience; but a disobedience including the breach of the whole Moral Law: saith not James, that he who offendeth in one, is guilty of all? James 2: 10. and prove it too, in the following verse? The second is this, The effect that is here attributed to this obedience of Christ, to wit, justification, or righteous making
of many, is constantly appropriated to the death and blood of Christ. Answer: This that is attributed to the blood and death of Christ elsewhere, to wit, our justification, shows, that the death of Christ is not understood exclusively; for by his death, exclusively considered, we cannot be made righteous; for the imputation of anotherís suffering, though it may exempt from death and suffering; yet it cannot constitute righteousness, in reference to the commanding Law. (2.) The death of Christ must not be looked on, as one act of obedience; but as including all His foregoing acts of obedience, belonging to his state of humiliation, whereof His death was the crowning piece; and so as including as His whole suffering; so His whole obedience to the Law, under which he was made: for He is said to have been obedient unto death, even unto the death of the cross Philippians 2: 8, not that the death of the cross was all His obedience, as it was not the whole state of His humiliation, but the terminating remarkable act thereof; as it was not all His suffering, His whole life being a life of suffering. (3.) If this obedience be understood of this one act of obedience in His dying, and justification be looked upon, as the effect of this only, what shall become of His soul sufferings, while He was in agony in the garden? But if the act of obedience in His death, include these, why not His whole state of humiliation? And if it include all this, why not also His obedience to the Law, seeing His being made under the Law, belongs to His state of humiliation, as the Apostle tells us in Galatians 4: 4.
††††††††† He objects further saying, Suppose, that by the obedience of Christ, we should here understand, His active obedience to the Moral Law, yet it will not hence follow, that men must be justified, or made righteous by it, in such a way of imputation. Answer: If by Christís obedience to the Moral Law, we be made righteous, as the posterity of Adam were made sinners by the disobedience of Adam, that obedience of Christ must necessarily be imputed to us, as Adamís disobedience was imputed to his posterity: for there is no other way imaginable. Let us hear his reason to the contrary.
††††††††† For certain it is (said he) that that justification or righteous making, whereof the Apostle speaks in verse 19, is the same with that, which he had spoken of in verses 16, 17, 18. Now that righteousness in verse 17 is describe in verse 16 to be the gift (i.e. the forgiveness) of many offenses, i.e. of all the offenses, whereof a man either does, or shall stand guilty of before God, unto justification: and evident it is, that that righteousness &c. cannot stand in the imputation of a fulfilling of the Law. Answer: (1.) Though making righteous and justification be inseparable; yet they are not formally one and the same; but righteous making (to wit by imputation) is antecedent unto justification, and the ground thereof, as becoming sinners is not formally the same as being condemned, but is prior to it, and the ground thereof. (2.) That free gift mentioned in verse 16 is not free forgiveness, but is that, which is opposed to judgment, or guilt, or reatus, tending to condemnation; and so is the same with that which is called the Grace of God, and the gift by Grace verse 15, and the gift of righteousness verse 17, which is in order to justification and free pardon. As therefore the , guilt is not the same with †condemnation; but tends thereunto; so neither
is the †the free gift the same with †justification, but leads thereunto, and is followed therewith. (3.) Nor can the adversary himself take these words in verse 16 the free gift is of man offences, to be the same with free pardon of many offenses, else he must say, that this free pardon goes before justification and consequently is not justification itself, as he says elsewhere; for the text says, that the free gift is of many offenses unto justification; as judgment or †was antecedent to condemnation. (4.) So then, the true meaning is, that the free gift of righteousness hath respect unto many sins, to the end, that justification and pardon, that follow thereupon, might be full, while as the guilt, that was imputed to Adamís posterity, had respect only to his first breach of the Covenant, for which all were made obnoxious to condemnation.
††††††††† Lastly he says, It is but loose and unsavory arguing, to reason from a thing simply done, to a determinate manner of doing it: so is it to reason from being made righteous, to a being made righteous by imputation. Answer: The particular manner or way how we are made righteous, is abundantly signified by our being made and constituted righteous by the righteousness of another, who was our head, representative, and surety: and that because it can be imagined to be no other way, than by imputation. And further, the whole discourse of the Apostle here, and particularly the comparison so much here insisted upon, puts the matter beyond all debate. As Adamís sin was imputed to his posterity, whereby all were accounted sinners, and dealt with as such, even as guilty, by reason of Adamís act of sin: so Christís righteousness becomes ours by imputation, and we are made righteous and accounted such and dealt with as such, upon the account thereof. No man can imagine, how one shall be accounted guilty, as punished as guilty of a sinful act, done by another, unless the guilt of that sinful act be imputed to him; so no man can imagine, how one can be accounted righteous, and dealt with as such, upon the account of the righteousness of another, if that righteousness of the other be not imputed to him. And beside, this is called a gift, a free gift, and a free gift of righteousness, and a free gift of righteousness received, which fully points forth this imputation, which we contend for.
††††††††† Fifthly, Romans 8: 3, 4 For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us. The Law could not help a sinner from under the Curse, nor unto the recompense of reward, because it was weak through the flesh, through the sin and corruption of man, whereby he could not give right and full obedience thereunto. And therefore God sent His Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, who by His obedience and suffering, in His state of humiliation, took away the sting of death, and the strength of sin, by satisfying all the demands of the Law, the whole , the jus and right of the Law, which consisted in yielding full and perfect obedience, and in making full satisfaction for the violation committed: for the Law said, cursed is every one, that continues not in all things, which are written therein, to do them
Deuteronomy 27: 26, Galatians 3: 13. And the righteousness, which is of the law, is, that the man, who doeth these things, shall live by them. And this was so ordered, that the righteousness of the Law, the †of the Law, the jus and demand of the Law mentioned, might be fulfilled in us, that is, in our nature, by the Redeemer and Surety, who did and suffered all this in and for His own. The Ethiopic version is a clear commentary, and when we were impotent to do the commands of the Law, God sent His own Son for that sin, who took on our body of sin, and condemned sin itself in our body, that He might justify us, and be propitious unto us, and that so He might fulfill the work of the commands of the Law for them, who walk in the Law of the Holy Spirit. Let us now see what John Goodwine objects (p. 145 &c.)
††††††††† He says, (1.) Some understand this rather of sanctification, than of justification; and by the fulfilling of the righteousness of the Law, that evangelical obedience to the precepts thereof, which all those, that truly believe in Christ, do in part perform, and desire and strive to perform more perfectly. Answer: Gospel justification and Gospel sanctification agree well together, and Christ is the true foundation and cause of both. But that this is to be understood rather of justification appears hence. (1.) That this is a further explication and confirmation of what was said in verse 1, There is therefore now no condemnation to them, which are in Christ Jesus (2.) All that measure of sanctification which the saints through grace attain unto here, cannot be called a fulfilling of the righteousness of the Law, the Laws demands are not thereby satisfied; for it calls for perfect obedience, which none of the sanctified can give. (3.) If this were understood of sanctification, why are these words added, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?
††††††††† He said, By righteousness of the Law, which is here said to be fulfilled in believers, cannot be meant the righteousness or active obedience of Christ imputed, because it must of necessity be such a righteousness and such a fulfilling, as may be apprehended as a proper and suitable effect of Christís condemning sin in the flesh, as the particle †declares. But it is impossible that the active obedience of Christ, or the imputation of it, should be any proper effect of condemning sin in the flesh, that is of the abolishing or taking away the guilt, or the accusing and condemning power of sin; for when the guilt of sin is purged away, there is needed no other righteousness, nor imputation of righteousness for justification. Answer: (1.) Christís obedience and suffering need not be distinguished, both being done in His state of humiliation, and belonging thereto, and both being necessary to answer the demand of the Law, which we did lie under: Christ performed both, to the end of the whole , or jus and right of the Law might be fulfilled in us, and for us, by this Surety. And before guilt be purged away, we must have both imputed to us; for justification by faith must not make the Law void, but rather establish it. (2.) Neither is this verse 4 to be looked on, as holding forth the end of that, which did immediately precede in the end of verse 3, or of Christís condemning sin in the flesh; but rather as a further end of Godís sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh; or as a comprehensive end of all that was mentioned before.
††††††††† 3. He says, The clause ďÖin themÖĒ still notes either a subjective inhesion of some things in persons, or else some kind of efficiency. But the righteousness of Christ is subjectively and inherently in Himself only; nor are we the workers of this righteousness. Answer: Though the righteousness of Christ be subjected in Him only, and wrought by Him alone: yet the same being imputed unto believers, the righteousness of the Law may be said to be fulfilled in them because by faith they are in Christ, and Christ is in them: and in them, is as much, as for them, or upon them, or on their account (as this same person hereafter grants, in a like case) and so it is accepted of God for all ends, as if it were performed by them; and so it is fulfilled in our nature, for, for this end, He came in the likeness of sinful flesh.
††††††††† He says, If by righteousness of the Law we understand that entire obedience, which every believer, according to the great variety of their several conditions, callings and relations stand bound to perform, it cannot be said to be fulfilled in them, by the imputation of Christís righteousness: for every believer is bound to many more particular acts, than can be found in all that golden catalogue of works of righteousness performed by Christ. Answer: If the works of righteousness, performed by Christ, shall not be a complete righteousness, that can satisfy the demands of the Law, where shall believers get a complete righteousness? Shall their poor imperfect obedience, where with themselves are not satisfied, but complain much of, and mourn for, be a more perfect and complete fulfilling of the righteousness of the Law, than was the perfect obedience of Christ, with which the Father was well pleased? Or shall the single and weak act of their faith (as this author says) be a more entire fulfilling of the †of the Law, than the catalogue of the works of righteousness, performed by Christ? What probable ground is there for this imagination? (2.) Christís obedience was perfect, and the Law-giver was satisfied therewith, and accepted of it, in the behalf of all the chosen ones, and all their defects and sins, in their various conditions, callings and relations, were done away by the satisfaction made by Christ: so that the †of the Law was perfectly fulfilled, in their behalf, and this being imputed unto them and received by faith, no more is requisite unto a stating of them into a state of pardon and right to glory.
††††††††† 5. He says, The word †signifies not obedience to or conformity with the Law, but rather that justification, which was the end and intent of the Law, or rather that jus, or right, or Law (as it were) of the Law. Answer: But all this will not weaken our argument: for that right, jus, or demand of the Law was, as to us now sinners, both satisfaction for transgressions committed, and full and complete obedience; and till both were done and performed, there could be no justification of sinners: and so this rather establishes than hurts the doctrine of imputation, whatever he may imagine.
††††††††† He says, By the word Law, cannot necessarily be understood the Moral Law for 1. The weakness of the Law extends also to the judicial and Ceremonial. 2. The Jews, to whom he specially addresses himself, in all this disputation, built as
much on the observation of the Ceremonial Law. 3. The Moral Law, though perfectly observed, could not have justified all men, at least not the Jews, who were obliged to the observation of other Laws. 4. The imputation of the observation of the Moral Law would not have served for the justification of the Jews, who were under the transgression of other Laws. Answer: It will satisfy us, if by the Law be here understood, that universal rule of righteousness, which God prescribed unto men, and that certainly is the Moral law, whereof, as to the Jews, the Ceremonial and judicial were a part, or were reduced unto: and particularly the Ceremonial Law, being Godís instituted worship, they were obliged to observe it by virtue of the second command.† and thus both the exception, and all the reasons confirming it, evanish: for (1.) we take not the Law here so narrowly, as to exclude the other Laws, which God gave to the Jews, seeing they are all reduced thereunto, and comprehended thereunder. (2.) Paul is here mainly writing for information of the Gentiles, the Church of Rome; and though there might be some Jews among them, and what he says may be also for their use: yet this will not prove that by the Law, he understands any other, than that perfect rule of righteousness, which God gave unto them, comprehending these other Laws, as appendices thereof. (3.) The Moral Law, thus taken, if observed, could have justified even Jews, if we suppose they had not been born sinners. (4.) Christ having fulfilled all righteousness, His righteousness was an observation of this universal law: and therefore the imputation thereof can serve for the justification both of Jews and Gentiles.
††††††††† Lastly he says, The clear meaning of the place seems to be this, that that justification, or way of making men righteous, which the writings of Moses prophesied of long since, to wit, by faith in the Messiah, might be accomplished, made good, and fully manifested in us, or upon us, viz. in our justification, who by an eminency of holiness in our lives, above the strain and pitch of men under the Law, give testimony unto the world, that the Messiah, the great justifier, is indeed come into the world, and having suffered for sin and overcome death, hath poured out the Spirit of Grace abundantly upon those that believe. Answer: (1.) To take the Law here for the mere writings of Moses, and then to interpret the fulfilling thereof, as is here done, is to exclude the witness of the Prophets, which Paul expressly mentions in Romans . (2.) What could this contribute to prove, that there was now no condemnation to such, as were in Christ Jesus, among the Gentiles? (3.) How can this be a proof of what was said in verse 3 foregoing? (4.) How can this be the end of Christ condemning sin in the flesh, as himself said it was, Except 2? (5.) He told us before, that †did properly signify jus, right, or Law of the Law, now I pray, what is this , this jus, right, of Mosesí writings? And how is that †or righteousness fulfilled? (6.) What then can be meant by the weakness of Mosesí writings, or how could they be said to be weak through the flesh? (7.) And how could God be said, by this interpretation, to send His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, because Mosesí writings were weak through the flesh? (8.) I see hen, in us may import the same that upon us imports, though it was objected against formerly,
as we heard. (9.) It seems by this interpretation, that there was no eminency of holiness or walking after the Spirit, among those, who were under the Law; which is utterly false (10.) Christ, by His coming, did not only fulfill Mosesí writings, but also all the predictions and prophecies, many of which are elsewhere to be found, than in Mosesí writings. Yet to fortify this audacious and groundless interpretationó
††††††††† He tells us 1. That this interpretation (as far at least, as concerns the clause in question, ĎÖthat the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in usÖí) is confirmed by the sweet proportion between, such a fulfilling &c. as the effect, and the sending of Christ &c. as the cause or means thereof. Answer: But before this proportion appear to be so sweet, it must be shown to us, what proportion there is hereby kept with the manifest scope of the Apostle, which is to clear and explain, how there is now no condemnation to them, which are in Christ Jesus, notwithstanding of the weakness of the Law, through the flesh. As also it must be shown to us, what interest these words, for what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, have, or can have, in this interpretation: for a proportion, that suits not all the parts of the text, is but a disproportion, being a plain perversion of the true meaning of the words.
††††††††† He tells us 2. In this interpretation the word †Ďfulfilledí has its proper and genuine force, which is to signify the accomplishment, making good, or full manifestation of a thing, which before was only promised, or foretold. Answer: Not only the verb †and (?) is often taken in another sense than is here alleged, as we see in Romans 13: 8 and Galatians , but the very verb in the same tense and mood, that is here viz. †is used, to import some other thing, than a fulfilling of what was promised, as we see in II Corinthians 10: 6, when your obedience is fulfilled, that is, perfected, established and confirmed. So John that your joy might be full, or fulfilled, that is, might be abundant and full in all points, and upon all considerations. So Luke 22: 16, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of heaven, that is, perfected.
††††††††† He tells us 3. The righteousness of the Law here must be the same with that mentioned in Romans 3: 21, 31. Answer: The righteousness of the Law here, is the Lawís , jus, right and demand, which was satisfied by what Christ, the Surety, did and suffered. But that righteousness, mentioned in Romans , is the righteousness of God, or of Christ, which He performed, to satisfy the righteousness of the Law; and so they are not the same formally, this being the obligation, and that the payment. It is true, the Law here and in Romans is the same; and that makes for us, as appears by our foregoing vindication of that place.
††††††††† He tells us 4. By this interpretation, this passage is of perfect sympathy those Romans 3: 21, 22, 25. Answer: This also will make for us, as appears by our foregoing vindication, where this gloss was rejected: and I wonder, how he could imagine such a perfect agreement, seeing there mention is made of the Prophets, as well as of the Law, giving countenance to Gospel Justification: but here by his interpretation, only the Law of Moses is understood: where then will he make his harmony appear? And what would
he hence infer? 1. (Says he,) That the righteousness of God, that is, the way that God holds for justification of men, stands in remission of sins. Answer: Of this we have hithertill seen neither peer nor peep: pardon of sins hath no affinity with the †legis, the righteousness of the Law. Says he, That this righteousness or justification of his is witnessed, that is, asserted and vindicated by the law, that is, the writings of Moses. Answer: Neither is righteousness and justification one and the same thing, as we said above, nor are the writings of Moses all the law and Prophets. Neither is witnessed by the Law, the same, with fulfilling of the Law. 3. Says he, That this way was not manifested, declared, or fulfilled, that is, fully revealed to the bottom and foundation of it, till the coming of Christ, and dying for sin. Answer: Whatever truth be in this, there is no foundation for it here, but in his imagination, as is manifest from what is said. And thus this place is vindicated.
he mentions next, that he may except against, Romans , 32. But why is not verse 30 mentioned? Is it because
the matter is there too clearly held forth? The Apostle doth there expressly
say, that the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, (that is,
did not pretend to justification by their own works; nor once think, by their
own works to patch up a righteousness, wherein they might appear before God,
and be absolved,) have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness
which is by faith, (that is, have a righteousness imputed to them, and they
made possessors thereof by faith, laying hold upon it.) But Israel (as
it follows verse 31,) who followed after the law of righteousness, hath not
attained to the law of righteousness, (that is, Israel, who conceiting
their own works, and crying them up, and seeking after absolution,
justification and life, by the law of righteousness, and their own conformity
thereunto, and that with all earnestness and eager persecution, have not
attained to that, they were pursuing after.) Verse 32, Wherefore?
because they sought it no by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law,
(that is, they would not submit to the Gospel way of justification, through the
righteousness of Christ, laid hold on by faith; but would still be essaying the
way of works; though all they did, was rather a shadow of obedience, or of
conformity to the Law, than a true performance of what was commanded.) The
Ethiopic version, though a corrupt translation, yet hints something of the true
sense, saying, But
††††††††† He says 1. That by the Ďlaw of righteousnessí here cannot be meant the moral law, or any law: for God had presented them with the gift of all these so that they needed not have sought after them. Answer: But Calvin thinks there is a hypallage here, and the law of righteousness is put for the righteousness of the law. And if we take the law of righteousness here for the law of that law (as he himself spoke
above) that is that form of righteousness and holiness, which the law called for, will not this satisfy? But the matter is plain, their fault was, that they sought after a righteousness, by their own obedience to the law; and neglected that righteousness, which the Gentiles attained by faith, viz. the righteousness of Christ, at whom they stumbled, verses 32, 33, and the righteousness of God, of which they were wholly ignorant, Romans 10: 3. This was not a simple endeavor of keeping the law (as he hints in the following words, where he would preoccupy this objection; and then tell us, that this study could be no cause of their coming short of righteousness, as Christians are never further off from justification, by keeping the commands of God) but a proposing of that design of attaining a righteousness by their own works, whereby alone they might be justified. And when Christians endeavor after holiness, but not from Gospel-principles, nor upon Gospel grounds; but to the end they may attain unto a righteousness of their own, by their works of obedience; they prejudge themselves of justification: for thus they do not lay hold on Christ, but reject Him, and stumble at that stumbling stone, that is at Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes, Romans 10: 4.
††††††††† 2. He says, neither Calvin, nor any other restrain the law to the moral law. Answer: Nor do we so restrain it to that law, strictly so taken; but comprehend thereby all that God prescribed for a righteousness; and this is the moral law, in it full sense; the ceremonial and judicial being parts thereof and appendices thereto.
††††††††† 3. He says, There is no reason to limit this to the moral law only, for the Jews sought righteousness by the ceremonial also. Answer: This is but the same with the former; and we have told him, that the ceremonial law was then enjoined by the moral law; and so the moral law did comprehend it, so long as the ceremonial law was not repealed. And whatever law it was, their seeking of righteousness by it, and their refusing of Christ and his righteousness went together; and they so pursued after it, that they sought righteousness by their obedience to it; and did not seek by faith after Christís righteousness, nor would they submit thereunto.
††††††††† 4. He says, The righteousness of the moral law alone, suppose they should have attained to it by believing, could have stood them in no stead, they being bound also to the observation of the ceremonial law. Answer: This has been answered before. Christ fulfilled all righteousness, and satisfied that law of righteousness, which was an universal rule of righteousness; and so comprehended the ceremonial laws, so long as they were in force: so that if they had forsaken their own righteousness, and embraced by faith the righteousness of Christ, they had been certainly† saved; and the imputation of this righteousness had made them up.
††††††††† Lastly he says, The clear sense is, that the Ďlaw of righteousnessí is justification itself, or righteousness simply and indefinitely taken, which the Jews seeking to attain to by the works of the law, that is, by themselves, and the merits of their doings, and not by faith in Jesus Christ, lost Godís favor and perished in their sins. Answer: (1.) That the Jews sought after justification by the merits of their own works, otherwise than merits are included in all works,
is not manifest, in this place. (2.) Otherwise this may pass for part of the sense, for by faith he understands the act of faith itself, as our righteousness, and not the righteousness of Christ, which faith lays hold on, or faith as laying hold on and receiving a surety-righteousness, which is here imported, when the contrary is expressed of the Jews, and of them it is said, that they stumbled at the stumbling stone; and in the next chapter it is said, they would not submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. What he adds, as a confirmation of this interpretation, is to no purpose, for he speaks nothing to clear the main thing in doubt; but all is to prove, that by the law of righteousness, righteousness is meant; which is not denied: and withal he takes for granted, what is not proved, and has been denied, viz. that righteousness and justification are one and the same thing.
††††††††† Seventhly, Romans 10: 3, 4. A passage cleat and pregnant for our purpose, where the Apostle is but prosecuting the same purpose, as to the Jews, and showing whence their disappointment and missing of that came, which they so earnestly endeavored after, viz. a righteousness by which they might be justified before God: for (says the Apostle) 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 to everyone that believeth. There is a righteousness called Godís righteousness, which is opposed to, and inconsistent with menís own righteousness, that is, all that is done by them in conformity to the law of God, as a righteousness, whereupon to be justified: yea, so great is this opposition, that whoever labors most to establish and set on foot his own righteousness, or to seek after a righteousness by his own performances, is furthest from the righteousness of God, as being both ignorant thereof, and in pride refusing to submit thereunto. This righteousness of God is explained in verse 4 to be the end of the law, that is, the full righteousness, which the law, in its primitive institution, called for, and which is the accomplishment of the lawís design, as proposed to be a rule of righteousness, and the condition of life promised, upon the performance thereof. And Christ is said to be this end of the law for righteousness. He, by yielding perfect obedience, hath brought forth a righteousness, in which the Law hath its end, and Christ is this, to everyone that believeth, the righteousness being made over unto them, who believe, and by faith lay hold on Him; which, because the Gentiles did, they therefore attained to this righteousness, Romans 9: 30.
††††††††† Mr. Goodwine, page 137 &c., excepteth several ways, 1. There is (says he) †no color of reason, that by the law here should be meant precisely and determinately the moral law; because the Jews never dreamed of justification by this law only, but chiefly by the ceremonial law. Besides, in verse 5 he cites that description, which Moses gives of the righteousness of the law not out of any passage of the moral law; but out of the heart, as it were of the ceremonial law, Leviticus 18: 5. Answer: The first part of this exception has been often answered: we take not the moral law so precisely and determinately, as not to include, as parts or appendices, all other laws given by God. And the last part of this exception
will say nothing, unless he thinks, this law is precisely and determinately to be understood of the ceremonial law, excluding all others, and especially the moral law, taken as distinct from judicial and ceremonial. But why does he say, that this description of the righteousness of the law is taken out of the heart of ceremonials, seeing in the place cited, both before and after the words, morals are mentioned? Yea, that whole chapter is taken up, in rehearsing morals.
††††††††† Exception 2. Neither is it any ways agreeable to the truth, that the righteousness of Christ imputed to believers, should be called the end of the moral law, for no law, considered simply as such, is any cause or means of justifying a person, than by observation of it itself; and consequently justification by Christ cannot be conceived to be the end of the moral law: for nothing can properly be said to be the intent or end of a thing, but that which in likelihood may be obtained by it. Now it is impossible that justification by Christ should be procured by the moral law. It may be said, with a far more favorable aspect to the truth, that Christ is the end of the ceremonial law; yet not simply considered, as a law, but as comprehending in it such and such usages and rites typifying Christ. (1.) This whole exception looks with a very ill favored aspect both to truth and modesty: For its scope and drift is not so much against the truth which we maintain, as against the Apostle Paul himself, and against the language of the Spirit of the Lord; for it says this in effect; that either the Apostle spoke not truth, or spoke not in good sense, when he said, that Christ was the end of the Law: for (to use Mr. Goodwineís reason) as nothing can be properly said to be the intent or end of a thing but that which in likelihood may be obtained by it; so nothing can be said to be the intent and end of a law, but what in likelihood may be obtained by it: But how can any think, that Christ can be, in any likelihood obtained by the law? (2.) But we say not, that justification by Christ is had by the moral law: yet, why the righteousness of Christ, consisting in perfect obedience to the law, and in full answering of the same, in all its demands, may not be called the end or fulfilling of the law, I see not; especially seeing the Apostle says expressly, that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. The question being moved about a righteousness, required by the Law, and this not being to be found in manís obedience, but in Christís, who was the end of the law for righteousness, the law hath its full accomplishment in him also when he suffered, and satisfied the sanction of the law, the law had satisfaction, or the Law-giver rather, and the Law its end and accomplishment. Now this righteousness of Christ being imputed to believers, they are thereupon justified, and the Law is satisfied. And though the Law because it was weak through the flesh, could not bring about this righteousness, and this end, in us; yet Christ having answered all the demands of the law, and given full satisfaction both in point of obedience, and in point of suffering, the Law hath its full accomplishment in Him, and that end, which is here meant. (3.) We do not say, that the righteousness of Christ, imputed to believers, is, or is called, the end of the moral law: but that Christ came, and was made under the Law, that He might answer all the demands
thereof; and both satisfy for its violation, and yield perfect obedience unto its commands; and so fulfill it in all points: So that it had its end and accomplishment in and through him, and what he did and suffered: and that he submitted himself hereunto, that he might make up a righteousness, wherewith the law should be satisfied, for the justification of believers.
††††††††† (4.) Though the moral law, nor no law, considered in itself, can be any cause or means of justifying a person, otherwise than by the observation of itself; and though justification by Christ cannot be conceived to be the end of moral law: yet in Christís obedience and suffering, the Law may be said to have received its accomplishment and satisfaction; and thereby a complete righteousness may be said to be obtained for all believers.
††††††††† Exception 3. The Greek expositors make Christ in this sense, to be called Ďthe end of the law for righteousness,í because he performed, or exhibited unto them that, which the law propounded to itself, as its end, and would have performed, but could not, to wit, their justification. Answer: Seeing the law propounded their justification, as its end, only by the perfect observation of itself, or by a full and perfect conformity unto it, Christ cannot be called Christ cannot be called the end or accomplishment of the law, unless he had performed all that, which the law required: nor could he be called the end of the law for righteousness, unless he had fully satisfied the law; and thereby made up a righteousness, in the behalf, and for the behoove of believers, to whom it being imputed, they might be accepted, and justified upon the account thereof. And this righteousness, where with the law was satisfied, and wherein it had its full accomplishment, is, I grant, exhibited in the Gospel, to the end, that all, who would be justified, may lay hold on it, receive it, and rest upon it, as the only righteousness, in and through which they desire to be accepted, and to stand before God, the righteous judge.
††††††††† Exception 4. Some conceive, that Christ is said to be the end of the law, &c., because the law, by convincing men of sin, and exacting of them a righteousness, which it doth not enable them to perform; and again by threatening and condemning them for want of it, it doth as good as lead them by the hand to Christ by whom they are freely justified. But neither doth this seem to be the meaning of the place. Answer: Seeing he himself is not satisfied with this interpretation, he might have forborne to have added it. But as for the interpretation itself, I judge the thing said to be true, and that it hath a subordinate aspect unto what we have said; and holds forth part of the truth; though it be not a plain and full exposition of the place: for there is mention made here of a righteousness of God, which the Jews neither understood, nor would submit unto: but in opposition to this they went about to establish their own righteousness, that is, to seek after a righteousness by their own works, or by their own obedience to the law; and therefore did miss their end: for this righteousness, which they were seeking after, and which they could not attain unto, by all their acts of obedience; that is, a righteousness, that was a perfect obedience and conformity to the law, and withal a sufficient compensation and satisfaction for the breaches of the Law, already committed, was only to be
found in Christ, who is the end of the Law for righteousness, that is, made full satisfaction for the breaches committed, and performed complete and perfect obedience, which the Law did principally require (whatever other accidental ends it might have had, or the Law-giver in promulgating it, and accompanying it with other things, as to the nation of the Jews) because for this end was the law, as a law, given by the Law-giver, that subjects might walk according to the same, and that they might become thereby righteous, and have a right to the reward promised, by fulfilling this condition of the covenant. Now, when these ends (or this end, putting these together as one) were only attained by what Christ did and suffered, the Jews, who stumbled at this stumbling stone, and rejected this righteousness of God, could never be justified by all their own acts of obedience to the law, how zealously so ever they should have sought after a righteousness thereby.
††††††††† Exception 6. (The 5th we pass, because he lays no weight on it himself.) The plain and direct meaning is, that the law, that is, the whole Mosaic dispensation was for that end given by God to the Jews, that whilst it did continue, it might instruct and teach them, concerning the Messiah, who was yet to come, and by his death to make atonement for their sins, that so they might believe in Him accordingly and be justified: and further that in time, that Nation might be trained up and prepared for the Messiah himself, and that economy and perfection of worship and service, which He should bring with him, and establish in the world at his coming. Answer: What was said to the two foregoing exceptions, may serve for an answer to this: for whatever truth may be in this; yet it is no true sense and exposition of the place; because Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes; and so to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; whereas this gloss limits and restricts all to the Jews. (2.) There is nothing here, keeping correspondence with what is said, verse 3, touching their going about to establish their own righteousness and refusing to submit unto the righteousness of God. (3.) The righteousness of the Law, described by Moses, and here cited in verse 5, hath no interest in the Mosaic economy, as given for the mentioned end to the Jews. (4.) If Christ made an atonement for sins, and was to be believed in accordingly, by such as would be justified, then that atonement was to be made over unto them and reckoned upon their score, to the end they might be justified upon the account thereof. (5.) The text says, that Christ was the end of the law for righteousness; and so was to bring in everlasting righteousness, as well as to make atonement for sins, Daniel 9: 24. (6.)The perfection of that service and worship, which Christ was to establish at His coming, was a clearer manifestation of the Gospel of the Grace of God, whereby the righteousness of God, or the surety-righteousness of Christ, was imputed unto believers, and received by faith, in order to justification, as the whole Gospel declares.
††††††††† He labors to confirm this gloss with two reasons, 1. Because the Jews sought righteousness and self-justification, as of the moral law. 2. Because Christ is held forth; as the end of this dispensation, II Corinthians , Galatians . Answer: As to the first of the reasons, we have often replied to it already. And the second will not prove, that there is
no other interpretation of this passage, that can have place. And besides, that whole economy did point out and lead them to the Messiah, that in Him they might find that, which they were seeking after by their own works, and all in vain; even the righteousness of God, which will sufficiently cloth all believers, and both keep them from wrath due for sin, and give them a right to glory. So that even this sense, if rightly understood, doth rather strengthen than hurt imputed righteousness.
††††††††† Eighthly, I Corinthians 1: 30 is excepted against by him on page 162 &c. To which we may add verses 29 and 31, which will help to clear the matter. That no flesh should glory in His presence: but of Him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. That according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. All the work of God in and about His chosen ones, is so contrived, that no flesh should have ground to glory in the presence of God; but that he, who glorieth, should glory in the Lord: and therefore He hath made Christ to be all things to them, that they stand in need of, in order to their everlasting enjoyment of Himself; and particularly, Christ is said to be made of God to us (among other things, which our necessity calls for) righteousness, answering His name the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, Jeremiah 23: 6. And a righteousness He cannot be made unto us, any other way, than by clothing us (who are naked and have no righteousness of our own) with a righteousness; that is, by imputing to us His righteousness, that we may thereby become righteous, and be looked upon, as such, and so be accepted of God, and justified.
††††††††† Exception 1. Christ is no other way said to be made righteousness, then He is said to be made wisdom, &c. Therefore we may as well plead for the imputation of His wisdom, or His sanctification: there is no more intimation made of the imputation of the one then of the other. Answer: This is but the old exception of Socinus part 4 de Servant, cap.5., and of Volkel. De vera Relig. cap.21.p.566. and it stands upon this only ground, that Christ is made all these particulars to us here mentioned, after one and the same manner: and what that manner is, should be declared: and of necessity it must be a very general one, otherwise it shall not agree to all these particulars. Therefore Socinus hath devised a very general manner of way, saying in the place cited: That all this signifies nothing else, than that we have attained to that by Godís providence, through Christ, that we are become wise, holy and redeemed before God: and that therefore Christ is said to be righteousness to us, because through the providence of God by Christ, we have attained to be just before God. But this general way makes us not one whit wiser. Volkelius, in the place cited, gives us no relief, but only tells us, That Christ is said to be made all these to us; because he was the cause of all these; and because God, by his means, made us wise and holy, and will at length redeem us. Bellarmine condescends to tell us, that He is said to be our righteousness, because he is the efficient cause thereof. But how that is, he does not explain: But Bellarmineís next answer is to some better purpose; Christ (says he) is said to be our righteousness because he satisfied the Father for us; and doth so give and communicate that satisfaction to us, when he justifies us, that it may be called
our satisfaction and righteousness. (2.) Such as oppose us here, do (and must necessarily so do) speak of this matter, as id righteousness and sanctification were on and the same thing; and so give us here a most needless tautology. And others, who will not yield to imputed righteousness, and yet will grant a difference between righteousness and sanctification, must tell us distinctly, how He is the one, and how He is the other, to His chosen ones. (3.) Wisdom and sanctification are of a different nature from righteousness; for righteousness cannot be here taken for inherent grace and holiness; for then it should be the same with sanctification, and so there must needs be here a tautology; and withal no perfect enumeration of the several great things, we stand in need of, and Christ is made to be unto us of God: and seeing they are different, there is ground to say, that He is not to us righteousness, the same way that He is sanctification; sanctification is wrought in us by His Spirit; but so is not righteousness; for if we had a righteousness wrought in us, we should be justified by virtue thereof, and upon the account thereof: and if we be justified by a righteousness within us, we are justified by our own works, and by the law, contrary to all the Apostleís dispute, and contrary to what precedes and follows the words under consideration; for then he who glories might glory in himself, and not in the Lord alone. (4.) All these particulars here mentioned, we must have or find in Christ, as the Ethiopic version has it, and each, according to its nature. And withal we must be made partakers and possessors of them all, according as the nature of the benefit will admit: and therefore, as Christ is forthcoming to His chosen ones, for wisdom, so as they may really become wise, for sanctification, that they may become holy; and for redemption, that they may be redeemed: so is He forthcoming to his own for righteousness, that they may be justified: for though righteousness and justification be not one and the same, as our Excepter often alleges; yet they have constant respect to each other, and are inseparable, in our case. If then we find a righteousness in Christ, for justification, that righteousness must be made ours, and this being a righteousness, that is not our own, before it be made our own, it must be imputed to us, that we may be there by justified.
He adds, Suppose, Christ were made righteousness unto us by imputation: yet this special manner of his being righteousness to us, must be made out by other Scriptures, than this: as because a rich man hath silver and gold and jewels in possession, it will not follow, that he hath silver in one chest, and gold in another, jewels in a third. Answer: Christís being made righteousness to us, who have no righteousness of our own, in order to our justification, says, that the righteousness, we have from Him, can be no other ways ours than by imputation, for it cannot be wrought in us, else it should be the same with holiness and sanctification. And therefore the similitude of gold, silver, and jewels is not worth a straw, in this case; because the dissimilitude is obvious.
††††††††† Exception 2. The meaning only is this, that Christ is made, ordained of God, to be the author, or sole means, by way of merit of our justification. Answer: (1.) According to his former exception, it will follow hence, that He works
not holiness and wisdom in us, by His word and Spirit; but only is the means thereof, by way of merit: for he will have Christ to be all these particulars to us, one and the same way. (2.) This differs little from the answer of Schlightingius cont. Meisnerum, p 250. who says, It is enough that Christís righteousness be the cause of our justification: and Christ may be said to be made righteousness to us, because His righteousness redounds to our good and justification. (3.) It is not said, that Christ is made justification to us; but it is said, He is made righteousness to us, and though it is true, that He hath merited our justification; yet when He is said to be made of God righteousness to us, it is apparent, that He bestows a righteousness upon us, in order to justification, or He must be righteousness to us, ere we be justified: and how shall we partake of His righteousness, if not by imputation? (4.) Christ cannot be the author, or sole means, by way of merit, of our justification, till we have a righteousness; that is, He must be the sole author and means of a righteousness; for we must not say, that he hath merited, that we shall be justified without a righteousness, it being an abomination to the Lord, that even a terrene judge should justify one, that hath no righteousness. If then He hath merited, that we shall be justified by having a righteousness, that righteousness must be within us, or without us: if within us, then He hath merited, that we shall be justified by the works of righteousness, which we do, and by the law, and by the works of the law, contrary to the whole Gospel: If without us, then it must either be Christís own righteousness, or the righteousness of some other. It cannot be the righteousness of any other, as will easily be granted: and if it be Christís righteousness, it must be imputed to us, to the end it may be ours, and we justified thereby: and this is the thing we press.
††††††††† He adds, to confirm this sense, that righteousness is very frequently used for justification. Answer: Thus he gains nothing: for (1.) That will not prove, that it is so used here. (2.) And though it did import justification here; yet seeing there is no justification before God, without a righteousness, it would say, that Christ were our righteousness too, or that He merited a righteousness for us: and what is that righteousness, that He hath procured, that we shall have, in order to our justification? Is it the righteousness of our own works? Then He hath merited, that our works shall merit justification; and why not also glorification? Is not his to overturn the whole Gospel?
††††††††† He adds, 2. Righteousness or justification, which believers have in or by Christ, is still attributed unto His death and sufferings, and never to His active obedience. Answer: But he has forgotten what is said, Romans , Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. Sure, His resurrection was neither His death, nor His sufferings. He hath forgotten also what is said, Romans , So by the obedience of the one, shall many be made righteous. And to be righteous, and to be justified, is all one with him, as we have oft-times heard.
Exception 3. This will not say, that Christís active obedience only is imputed; or that he only, by his active obedience, is made righteousness to us. Answer: I plead
not for the sole imputation of Christís active obedience, but for the imputation of Christís whole surety-righteousness, that is, His complete obedience and suffering, or of what He did and suffered in answering all the demands of the law, which we were lying under.
††††††††† Exception 4. Many sound and able expositors are for this sense; understanding nothing by this, but our justification, or righteous making by Him; some placing this justification in remission of sins; some ascribing it to the sufferings of Christ. Answer: We could also cite sound and able expositors for our sense, and bringing in besides the general verdict of such, as write against Socinians, and Papists, and others also: but this is not our present work. (2.) Justification and righteous-making are not one and the same. If we be made righteous by Him, it must be by His righteousness: and if we be made righteous by His righteousness, it must be imputed to us. (3.) That justification is nothing but remission of sins, is not yet proved. (4.) We have heard Paul say, that by the obedience of one (i.e. Christ) (in opposition to the disobedience of Adam, whereby all his posterity were made sinners) many are made righteous, Romans .
††††††††† Ninthly, II Corinthians 5: 21 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. This is added, as a confirmation and further explication of what was said, verse 18, 19. Concerning the reconciliation of a sinful world unto God, in and through Christ, and of Godís imputing their trespasses unto them. As if he had said, all our salvation, and all the way how it is brought about, is of God, who, in and through Christ, reconciles the sinful world of His own chosen ones to Himself, and pardons their sins, by laying them all on Christ, and making Him bear the guilt and punishment of all; that the chosen ones might be made partakers of that righteousness, and have it imputed unto them, as their sins were imputed unto Christ; and so become the righteousness of God in Him, or by being in Him, and united to Him. This place is pregnant and full of proof: so that the whole matter cannot be more clearly and emphatically expressed, than it is here held forth. Yet Mr. Goodwine labors to darken it with his exceptions, page 164 &c. Let us hear him.
††††††††† Exception 1. Here is nothing said, touching any imputation of our sins to Christ: and consequently here can be nothing to build a reciprocal imputation of His righteousness unto us upon. Answer: If that expression of God making Christ to be sin who knew no sin, and that for us, will not enforce an imputation of our sins to Christ, it must be so only with such, as will hold fast their opinion, let Scripture speak what it will to the contrary: for when it is said, that Christ, who knew no sin, i.e. was guilty of no sin, by committing of it, in thought, word or deed; was yet made sin by God, and that for us, what words can be imagined, that shall more emphatically express this imputation? And the Greek commentators (whom our adversary doth often cite, when he finds it anything to his advantage) give the meaning to be, that he was made a great sinner, and was handled, as if He had been the worst of sinners, even very wickedness itself. And Isaiah tells us, 53: 6, That the Lord laid all our iniquities on Him, or caused them to meet in one upon Him. And nothing
can be alleged against this, except it be said, the meaning is, He was made an offering or sacrifice for sin. But this is so far from weakening the truth, concerning the imputation of our sins to Christ, that it abundantly confirms it: for there was a real imputation of the guilt of the sinner upon the sacrifice, as is expressly said, Leviticus 22. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their trespasses in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited. And the people were to lay their hands on the head of the sacrifice, to signify their rolling of their guilt over upon the expiatory sacrifice,† Leviticus 1: 4; 3: 2, 8, 13; , 24, 29, 33. So that if Christ was made sin, that is, a sacrifice for sin (though the word †is no where in the New Testament so taken) it must needs be granted, that guilt was transferred upon Him, in order to His becoming a sacrifice for sin: justice could not exact upon Him, if it had not been so, He having been free of all sin and guilt, in His own person.
†††††††† Exception 2. Some of the most judicious and learned assistants of the way of this imputation, absolutely reject this equality or reciprocation of imputation between the sins of believers unto Christ, and the righteousness of Christ unto them. There is not the same force and power of our unrighteousness to make Christ unrighteous; which is of His righteousness to make believers righteous. Therefore we are not made formally righteous by such an imputation. Answer: We willingly grant several differences, beside what is mentioned: yet this agreement and correspondence (which is all we seek) is manifest, that, as Christ, who knew no sin, as to Himself, was made sin, or had the guilt of sin laid upon Him, and was handled by justice as a sinner legally: so we, who have no righteousness of our own, have Christís righteousness imputed to us, and bestowed upon us; and upon the account thereof are dealt with as legally righteous. We do not speak of Christís obedience only; but assert the imputation of His sufferings too. Nor do we say, that we are hereby made formally righteous, if the term formally import inherently; but that by the imputation thereof to us, we are accounted and looked upon by God as righteous formally in a legal sense; and as such are accepted of God and justified.
††††††††† Exception 3. There is not so much, as the face or appearance, in this place of any comparison between Christís being made sin for us, and our being made the righteousness of God, in Him; but only the latter is affirmed, as the end, consequent, or effect of the former. Answer: Though the latter be a consequent of the former; yet every word holds forth a comparison, or correspondence; Christ made sin, and we become righteous, or righteous in Him: Christ knew no sin, and yet was made sin; and we, who were sinners and rebels, standing in need of reconciliation (as the preceding words evidence, and as is undeniable) are made righteous.
††††††††† Exception 4. That the weight of that particle, Ďin Him,í should be by the imputation of His active obedience unto us, hath neither instance or parallel expression
in Scripture, nor rule in Grammar, nor figure in rhetoric, to make probable in the lowest or lightest degree. Answer: We plead not solely for the imputation of Christís active obedience, as is said; but for the imputation of His whole surety-righteousness. And though these words in Him, that denote believers union with Him, as the ground of their interest in His righteousness, should not be asserted, to import this imputation: yet the words, that we might be made the righteousness of God, will be a rock, whereupon imputation may stand: for they hold this forth unto us, that as God made Christ sin by imputation; so He make us righteousness, yea the righteousness of God, by imputation.
††††††††† Exception 5. The clear meaning is this, that God for that end made Christ sin, that is, an offering or sacrifice for sin, for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, that is, that we might be justified, or made a society or remnant of righteous ones, after that peculiar manner of justification, which God hath established, through that sacrifice of His Son. Answer: When Christ was made an offering for sin, the guilt of sin was laid upon Him, even the guilt of our sin. And if we be justified, or made a society of justified ones, we must be made a society of righteous ones: and if we be made a society of righteous ones, we must first have a righteousness; seeing we have not a righteousness of our own, we must have a righteousness made over to us, as being in Christ, it must be the righteousness of God. So that though this interpretation be very far fetched, and hath no countenance from the words, and destroys the cohesion of these words with the former, as also the reason, that is contained in them, adduced for confirmation of what was said, verse 19, yet it cannot destroy the doctrine of Imputation; but must contribute to its support, though a little more remotely.
††††††††† He labors to give strength to this his interpretation by alleging 1. That it is a frequent Scripture expression, to call the sin-offering, or the sacrifice for sin, by the name of sin simply, as Exodus 29: 14 and 30: 10, Leviticus 5: 6, 16, 18, 19; 7: 1, 2, 7; 9: 7. Ezekiel 44: 27; 45: 19, 23, Hosea 4: 8 Answer: Though it be true, that the Hebrew words †do sometimes signify sin, and sometimes, an offering for sin: yet the Greek word †doth always signify sin in the New Testament and the seventy do not use this Greek word in the places cited, except Exodus 29: 14, and there, in the version that is in the Biblia Polyglot. Lond. it is in the Genitive case †of sin: and the Chaldean paraphrase calls it an expiation targ. Jonath. & Haeros. say, it is a sin, and so doth the (?) version: and the Samaritan Version turns it that is for sin; and the Arabic, an expiation. But further, though it were granted to be so taken here; yet our cause would hereby suffer no prejudice; but be rather confirmed, as was lately shown. And when the same word used to express a sacrifice for sin, which signifies sin itself, we may hence be confirmed in this, that that sacrifice for sin hath guilt laid upon it, before it can be a sacrifice for sin; and it must be sin, in respect of this, before it be a due sacrifice, or oblation for sin. And therefore Christ must have been sin,
in law, by imputation, or have the guilt of sin laid upon Him, before He could be a fit sacrifice for sin.
††††††††† He alleges 2. To express a number of justified or righteous persons by the abstract term of righteousness, is very agreeable to the Scripture dialect, in other places, as poverty for poor, captivity for captives. Answer: (1.) Yet no one instance can be given, where the word righteousness hath this import. (2.) But however, as was said, these justified, or righteous persons, must be righteous, else they cannot make up such a company; as captivity can never signify a company of men, that are not captives; nor poverty a company of persons that are not poor. So that this company of righteous ones must needs be righteous, and that in order to justification: and seeing they have no righteousness of their own, for in themselves they are ungodly, they must have a righteousness by imputation. (3.) Why should they be called the righteousness of God, according to this interpretation? And how is the opposition here observed, between Christís being made sin, and their being made the righteousness of God in Him? But this man, by this interpretation, transgresses all lines of correspondence.
††††††††† He alleges 3. That addition Ďof Godí imports, that that righteousness or justification, which believers obtain by the sacrifice of Christ, is not only righteousness of Godís free donation, but of His special procurement and contrivement for them. Answer: (1.) Righteousness and justification are not one and the same, how oft so ever he name them as synonymous. (2.) We grant, that the righteousness and the justification, which believers obtain, are both Godís free gift and His contrivement: But notwithstanding hereof, yea so much the rather, is there a righteousness imputed to them, and the righteousness of Christ, who is God, and a righteousness, which will be accepted of God, whose judgment is according to truth, as a sufficient ground, whereupon to pronounce such, as in themselves are ungodly, to be righteous, and so to justify them.
††††††††† He alleges 4. That by the grammatical construction and dependence of the latter clause, Ďour being made the righteousness of God in Christ,í upon the former, it is evident, that in the latter such an effect must of necessity be signified, which may answer that cause, to wit, the death of Christ for us; and this is deliverance from guilt and punishment of sin, not the imputation of His active obedience. Answer:† as Christís death could not be separated from His Obedience, which is thereby presupposed, His death being a sacrifice of one, who is made under the Law, and was obedient thereunto unto death, and that in the room and stead of His own; so the imputation of righteousness to us should not be separated from the imputation of His sufferings, both being necessarily required unto sinners, who had sinned, and yet remained under the obligation of the Law, in order to their acceptance with God, and justification.
††††††††† He alleges 5. The Scriptures, when they speak of the sufferings of Christ, as a cause, in respect of justification, never ascribe any other effect unto them, but only, either the remission of sins, deliverance from wrath, redemption, or the like. Answer: As the Scriptures making so frequent mention of the sufferings
of Christ, do not exclude His obedience; so neither do they exclude the imputation of His obedience, in order to our justification, and receiving a right to glory: yea they make our being constituted righteous, an effect of His obedience; and righteousness or righteous-making is accompanied with justification. So that though the Scriptures speak sometimes more expressly of the sufferings, and sometimes more expressly of the obedience of Christ, according to the exigency of the cause handled; yet both are inseparable, as a cause; and so is our righteousness and justification inseparable, as the full effect.