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That declaration imports, that the sins, for CHAP. which satisfaction has been made, are not
X. imputed to elect sinners for their condemna
some of tion; but that the Surety's satisfaction is im- which preputed to them for righteousness. The imputa-cede faith. tion of the Surety's righteousness has various periods : and relates either in general to all the elect collected into one mystical body, or to each of them considered apart. For, as has been often inculcated, Christ dying, God reconciled the whole world of his elect unto himself at once, and declared, that he wouid not impute their trespasses to them, and that for the sake of Christ's perfect satisfaction, 2 Cor. v. 19. For my part therefore, I can allow that act of God to be called the general justification of the elect. Certainly Christ was justified, then God raised him from the dead, and gave the discharge of the payment made by Christ, and accepted by himself. And the same Christ was raised for our justification, Rom. iv. 25. For when he was justified, the elect at the same time were justified in him, in regard that he represented them. (17.)
III. Here I choose to add Charnock's commentary on the passage just now quoted from Paul: vol. ii. p. 321. of his English works. “ For the exquisite pleasure God took in Christ's sufferings upon mount Calvary, he graciously forgot our sins, and of rebels, de
CHAP. clared us heirs. In this discharge of Christ
there is a fundamental justification of them who shall be, and believe: though not formal nor actual, till they believe. As there was a fundamental condemnation of all in the loins of Adam, upon his fall; not actual, till they were in being, and did actually partake of his nature: after the same manner, Christ being absolved as a Surety, all they whom he represented, and whose sins he bore, have, in that absolution of his, a fundamental absolution from all penal sufferings. When as a
common person, he bore the sins of many in the offering of himself, and satisfied for their guilt, then as the head, he obtained the absolution of all those whose guilt he had taken upon him, that they should no more lie under the burden of their sins, or incur the punishment denounced in the law.” These things may suffice from Charnock: for what follows is too tedious. Let
us return to our purpose. VI.
IV. This general, or as Charnock calls it, fundamental justification, is followed by another more special, and more actual, which is applied to every elect person one by one. And this again has the following tendency, either that the first beginning of saving grace and spiritual life be communicated to the man, on account of Christ's satisfaction in his stead; or that he be declared to be now in a state of grace. Surely it is not possible, that God should be pleased to bless the sinner
with the first communication of his grace, CHAP. and endow him with the beginning of spiritual life, except on the consideration of Christ's merits, which he declares to belong to this man in particular; when he begins to confer upon him those things which Christ obtained by his obedience and death. And thus far it may be said, that that man is justified in the first regeneration; that is, declared to be one of those for whom Christ purchased a right to life, by virtue of which right he is now raised from spiritual death to life.
V. It is evident that all these periods of the imputation of Christ's righteousness are prior to actual faith; and if you choose to call them by the name of justification, (though I doubt if
you can, with the concurrence of scripture) surely, in this view, faith is a consequence, a fruit, an evidence, and an argument of justification.
VI. However, justification, according to the style of scripture, generally denotes that act Others fol
low faith. of God, whereby he declares that man has now passed from a state of wrath and hostility, into a state of grace and friendship, and enjoys the privilege of the remission of sins, and the hope of glory, which maketh not ashamed. Now, this justification is of faith, and by faith, as Paul every where teacheth; and consequently the effect and fruit of faith, the result of regenaration and effectual calling. W bom be called, he also justified. Such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are justi
CHAP. fied. With the heart man believeth unto rightX.
eousness. Knowing that a man is not justified but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justi
fied by the faith of Christ, vti. Or- VII. These scripture phrases are too evidinarily
dent, proper, and forcible, to be wrested by scripture describes unnatural interpretations. Surely it cannot justification be denied, but that he speaks ordinarily, if not as a fruit of faith. always according to the tenor of scripture,
who reckons faith among the causes of that justification, concerning which the whole of Paul's disputation turns. Now, he did not dispute concerning the manifestation of justification only, but concerning itself. Much more does faith precede the sense of justification, and the delights of ineffable peace and friendship with God.
VIII. But if faith is to be reckoned among VIII. Whether
the causes of justification, what kind of cause faith in justification be is it? Whether is it a condition of justification, a condition which the gospel demands, in place of that succeeding in place of most perfeći obedience which the law demandperfect o
ed of old? Or is it an instrument whereby we bedience.
apprehend Christ and his righteousness, offer
ed to us in the gospel? IX. That IX. To speak freely, the first opinion seems opinion to me indeed to be the introduction of a new gospel a
law, whereby the most pleasant, the most granew law.
cious, and the most glorious nature of the gospel of Christ is not a little corrupted. I do not now insist on Socinus, who, denying the satisfaction of Christ, and the imputation
of his righteousness, perverts the whole
gospel. I have to do with brethren, who revering the satisfaction of Christ, and piously acknowledging his righteousness, as the only meritorious cause of our salvation, yet speak incautiously concerning faith. They err, I apprehend, in the following instances. X. First, That under the name of faith they X. Its
. include the hope of pardon, and the love of four errors. God, likewise sorrow for sin, and the purpose of a new life; and in one word, all the acts requisite to a true, serious repentance, and to an obedience performed to the gospel, from a sincere heart, through faith: and all these they mean to be something necessary, and altogether prerequisite, in order to be received into favour with God, and to be accounted by him as justified. To which assertion, I lately opposed my Considerations: To which I now add, that the most learned professors of our religion in the Netherlands, reckoned, that the Remonstrants emitting the same doctrine in similar terms, the mask being torn off, attribute to faith the Socinian and the Popish manner of justifying: which they prove by solid arguments. See the censure of the Professors of Leyden, chap. x. Sect. 2, 3. So far is it from being true that ever our church acknowledged that doctrine for its own.
2dly, That they would have this faith to succeed in place of that perfect obedience which the legal covenant demanded. For in, stead of it is substituted in thecovenant of grace,