« IndietroContinua »
of imputative righteousness necessarily does imply, that so far disengages God from the person justified, as that his guilt shall not condemn him, nor his innocency justify him? But will not the abomination appear greatest of all, when God shall be found condemning of the just, on purpose to justify the wicked, and that he is thereto compelled, or else no salvation, which is the tendency of their doctrine, who ima
gine the righteous and merciful God, to condemn ' and punish his innocent Son, that he having satis"fied for our sins, we might be justified (whilst un• fanctified) by the imputation of his perfect right
eousness. O! why should this horrible thing be contended for by Christians ?]
3. “ The son shall not bear the iniquity of his fa" ther; the righteousness of the righteous shall be
upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall “ be upon him. When a righteous man turneth away « from his righteousness, for his iniquity that he hath “ done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turn« eth away from his wickedness, and doth that which « is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive; yet « faith the house of Israel, the ways of the Lord are “ not equal: are not my ways equal ?y" [If this was once equal, it is so stíll, for God is unchangeable; and therefore I shall draw this argument, that the condemnation or justification of persons is not from the imputation of another's righteousness, but the actual performance and keeping of God's righteous statutes or commandments, otherwise God should forget to be equal : therefore how wickedly unequal are those, who, not from scripture evidences, but their own dark conjectures and interpretations of obscure passages, would frame a doctrine so manifestly inconsistent with God's most pure and equal nature; making him to condemn the righteous to death, and justify the wicked to life, from the imputation of another's righteousness :--a most unequal way indeed!]
“ Not every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord, « shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that “ doth the will of my Father. Whosoever heareth “ these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken “ him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a “ rock,z” &c. [How very fruitful are the scriptures of truth, in testimonies against this absurd and dangerous doctrine! these words seem to import a twofold righteousness; the first consists in sacrifice, the last in obedience; the one makes a talking, the other a doing Christian. I in short argue thus: If none can enter into the kingdom of heaven, but they that do the Father's will, then none are justified, but they who do the Father's will, because none can enter into the kingdom but such as are justified; since therefore there can be no admittance had, without performing that righteous will, and doing those holy and perfect fayings ; alas ! to what value will an imputative righteousness amount, when a poor soul shall awake polluted in his sin, by the hasty calls of death, to make its appearance before the judgment-seat, where it is imposible to justify the wicked, or that any should escape uncondemned, but such as do the will of
5. ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love, even as I have kept my Father's com“ mandments, and abide in his love.a” [From whence this argument doth naturally arise; If none are truly justified that abide not in Christ's love, and that none abide in his love who keep not his commandments; then consequently none are justified, but such as keep his commandments. Besides, here is the most palpable opposition to an imputative righteousness that may be; for Christ is so far from telling them of such a way of being justified, as that he informs them the reason why he abode in his Father's love was, his obedience; and is so far from telling them of their being justified, whilst not abiding in his love, by vir
z Mat. vii, 21, 24,,25.
* John xy, 10.
tue of his obedience imputed unto them, that unless they keep his commands, and obey for themselves, they shall be so remote from an acceptance, as wholly to be cast out; in all which Christ is our example.]
6. “ Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I « command you. [We have almost here the very words, but altogether the same matter, which affords us thus much, that without being Christ's friends there is no being justified; but unless we keep his commandments, it is impossible we should be his friends: it therefore necessarily follows, that except we keep his commandments, there is no being justified: or, in short thus; if the way to be a friend is, to keep the commandments; then the way to be justified is, to keep the commandments, because none can obtain the quality of a friend, and remain unjustified, or be truly justified whilft an enemy; which he certainly is that keeps not the commandments.)
7. “ For not the hearers of the law are just before u God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” [From whence how unanswerably may I observe, unless we become doers of that law, which Christ came not to destroy, but, as our example, to fulfil, we can never be justified before God; wherefore obedience is so absolutely necessary, that short of it there can be no acceptance; nor let any fancy that Christ hath fo fulfilled it for them, as to exclude their obedience from being requisite to their acceptance, but as their pattern: “ for unless ye follow me, faith Christ, ye can“ not be my disciples :" and it is not only repugnant to reason, but in this place particularly refuted; for if Christ had fulfilled it on our behalf, and we not enabled to follow his example, there would not be doers, but one doer only, of the law justified before God. In short, if without obedience to the righteous law none can be justified, then all our hearing of the law, with but the mere imputation of another's righteoulness, whilst we are actually breakers of it, is excluded,
as not justifying before God. “ If you fulfil the royal “ law, ye do well; so speak ye, and so do ye, as « they that shall be judged thereby.”]
8. “ If ye live after the flesh, ye ihall die; but if
ye through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the " body, ye shall live..” [No man can be dead, and justified before God, for so he may be justified that lives after the Aesh; therefore they only can be justified that are alive; from whence this follows, if the living are justified and not the dead, and that none can live to God, but such as have mortified the deeds of the body through the spirit, then none can be juftified but they who have mortified the deeds of the body through the spirit; fo that justification does not go before, but is subsequential to the mortification of lufts, and sanctification of the foul, through the spirit's operation.]
9. - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, « are the sons of God.” [How clearly will it appear to any but a cavilling and tenacious fpirit, that man can be no farther justified, than as he becomes obedient to the Spirit's leadings; for if none can be a son of God, but he that is led by the Spirit of God, then none can be justified without being led by the Spirit of God, because none can be justified but he that is a son of God: so that the way to justification and fonship, is through the obedience to the Spirit's leadings, that is, manifesting the holy fruits thereof by an innocent life and conversation.]
10. “ But let every man prove his own work, and “ then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and < not in another. Be not deceived, for whatsoever a « man soweth that shall he reap.” [If rejoicing and acceptance with God, or the contrary, are to be reaped from the work that a man soweth, either to the flesh, or to the spirit, then is the doctrine of acceptance, and ground of rejoicing, from the works of another,
Rom. viii. 13.
• Rom. viii. 14. f Gal. vi. 4, 7.
utterly excluded, every man reaping according to what he hath sown, and bearing his own burden.]
11. “ Was not Abraham our father justified by « works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the “ altar? Ye see then how that by works a man is juf« tified, and not by faith only.” He that will feriously peruse this chapter, shall doubtless find some, to whom this epistle was wrote, of the same spirit with the satisfactionists and imputarians of our time, they fain would have found out a justification from faith in the imputation of another's righteousness; but James, an apostle of the most high God, who experimentally knew what true faith and justification meant, gave them to understand from Abraham's selfdenying example, that unless their faith, in the purity and power of God's grace, had that effectual operation to subdue every beloved luft, wean from every Delilah, and entirely to resign and sacrifice Isaac himself, their faith was a fable, or as a body without a fpirit: and as righteousness therefore in one person cannot justify another from unrighteousness; so whoever now pretend to be justified by faith, whilst not led and guided by the Spirit into all the ways of truth, and works of righteousness, their faith they will find at last a fiction.] 12. “Little children, let no man deceive
he “ that doth righteousness is righteous, as God is right“ eous, (but) he that committeth fin is of the de“ vil.h” [From whence it may be very clearly argued, that none can be in a state of justification, from the righteousness performed by another imputed unto them, but as they are actually redeemed from the commission of fin: for “ if he that committeth sin is of the devil," then cannot any be justified completely before God, who is fo incompletely redeemed, as yet to be under the captivity of luft, since then the devil's feed or offspring may be justified; but that is impossible: it therefore follows, that as he who doth righteousness is
& Jam. ï. 21, 24.
1 John ii. 7, 8.