« PreviousContinue »
fied by works, he bath whereof to glory, but | ed, and no man once dreamed of meaning not before God. The argument may be the judicial law, he must, the law mult, conceived thus : Whoever is justified by be taken as comprehending the moral, no works, hath ground of boasting and glory less than the ceremonial. 3dly, That in ing before God, as giving something of this dispute he means not only the works his own, deserving a reward in justice: of the moral law, done by the light of naBut Abraham hath no ground of boast- ture, or by unregenerate persons without ing and glorying before God; There- grace ; for he brings in Abraham's infore, &c. And this argument he fo pro- itance, as he was a believer, and the faposeth as thereby answering an objection ther of the faithful; and so, que lionless, which might be moved in their mind at one who was regenerated, and did many a that which he faid, verse 1. They might good work, as Gen. xxii. and yet he defay, did Abraham acquire nothing by his nies that he was justified by his works. holy life and conversation? Did he not | 4thly, But taketh in the confideration of acquire the praise and commendation of the works of regenerate persons, for such men? Yes, says the apostle, he hath an one was Abraham, and excludeth all whereof to glory, after that kind; his works such works from being the meritorious made him honourable with men, who cause of justification, either in whole, or look ooly to the outward face of actions, in part, but he hath no ground of glorying before II. However under the Old Testament God; for before him all boasting was ex- the covenant of grace was administered in cluded, as we heard before, in the last another manner than under the New, and chapter, verse 27.
Christ was not then exhibited, but only held
forch as one to come, by promises, proplieOBSERVATIONS.
cies, sacrifices, lacraments, :ypes, and other I. In that the apostle 'maketh use of ceremonies: yet there was but one way of the instance of Abraham, 10 prove justific justification, then and now ; Christ, the cation by faith, withour the works of the meritorious cause of• justification, being law, it teachech us these four things: the Lamb pain from the begining of the 1/t, That in this dispute against Juftiti- world, and his righteousneis being only aries, who were enemies to the truth, in that which must cloath us, and faith being the point of justification, he doth not only then the way of applying this righteour . speak of the ceremonial law, and of works nefs, as nozo : therefore doth he make done according to it, so as his meaning use of Abraham's instance to prove the should be, when he says, we are not jus- manner of our justification now, which tified by the works or deeds of the law, could not be, if the way were not the that we are not justified by these works fame both under the Old Teltainent, and enjoined by the ceremonial law; for Abra . under the New. hair was long before the ceremonial law III. Justification, and the right way had any being, and so had not been a fit thereof, being a matter of great necessity instance to have proved no justification by to be known, and a truth which Satan works; besides, that it can hardly be, upon hath early and late bent his strength againlt, good grounds, thought, that those Jufti- a great necessity lieth upon all to be ihotiaries did mean only the works of the ce- roughly clear in this matter; and ministers remonial law, excluding all other. 2dly, Thould labour to explain it fully unto peoThat in this dispute he takes in the works 1 1.te, and take pains, and ufe all means to of the moral law; for seeing he must not make plain the way, and to confirm thein mean coly the ceremonial law, as we thew- in the truth thereof: therefore after the
arofils comelt hird cheating from the resample of that Abraham was juftitied by painting Abraham, for their farther satisfaction. without the works of the law, whereby
IV. Old Testament scriptures, are yet also the former reason is confirmed. It in force to us under the gospel, and may may shortly be taken up thus: The scripsafely be made use of to confirm or illu- ture faith that Abrahain was not justified strate truths ; for the apostle bringeth in by faith, because the scriprure faith, that here an Old Testament example, to con
Abrahan believed God, and it was imputfirm and clear a gospel truth.
ed to him for righteoufness, Gen. xv. 6. V. Whatever excellencies or endow- therefore he was not jultified by works. ments any have whereby they excel others, The consequence he confirmeih in the folyet in the matter of justification, all these lowing verle, thus: To have faith imbeing but dross and dung, yea even their puted for righteoufness makes the reward righteousness being but rotten rags, Ifa. of grace, and not of debt ; but to have Ixiv. 6. they have to pre-eminence beyond works imputed for righteousness makes the others, but being plunged into the same reward of debt, and not of grace : theregulph of fin, must be beholden to another fore whoever is justified by faith, or by no less than any, for their delivery: and having faith imputed for righteousness, is this may abundantly convince such as are not justified by works; this is set down far short of these, in parts, moral vir- ver. 4. and the ground of all is laid down tues, and Christian walk, of a necessity ver. 5. faith is counted for righteousness, of fleeing out of themselves for a righ- not to him that worketh; that is, truftech teousness, whereby they may be justified and relieth upon his works : but to him before God : for Paul, as an argument that believeth in him that justifieth the unproving no justification by works, brings godly. So then, in hort, there is, 1. The in Abraham's instance, saying, What shall fcripture proof laid down, that Abraham sve say then, that Abraham our father believed God, and it was counted to him for bath attained? &c. .
. 2. A deduction or interVI. Whatever praise and commenda- ence from this, applying it to the purpose: tion men may acquire to themselves from if it was counted to him for righteousness men like themselves, for some heroic acts in that he believed, then not as he was a and notable exploirs; yet in point of ac- worker. And, 3. a reason of this, beceptance with God, all these being but cause what is counted to folk as works, is pieces of their duty, fo as still they must a reward of debt, and not of grace; but stile themselves, unprofitable servants, Luke this is of grace, for it was counted to him. xvii. 10. they have no ground of boasting for righteousness. notwithstanding of all these ; for if Abra- Because there is some difficulty in the ham were justified by works, he hath where- words, we shall a little farther explainz of to glory, but not before God.
them, that our way may be facilitated in
raising points, and for that cause lay down VERSES 3. 4. 5. For what faith the ferip- fome considerations.
ture? Abraham believed God, and it ift, The words here cited are taken was counted unto him for righteousness. out of Gen. xv. 6. where the Lord is reNow to him that worketh, is the reward newing his promise which he had made
nat reckoned of grace, but of debt. with Abraham before, chapter xii. and But to him that worketh not, but believes thereby strengthening Abraham's faith,
on him that justifieth the ungodly, bis who was doubting ever to see his own faith is counted for righteousness, issue. Now, it is said, Abraham believed
in God, and here it is, Abraham believed | believing that particular promise menGod, according to the Seventy, whose ver- tioned immediately before. 1. Because fica the apostle followeth punctually; but that this faith of his was a justifying faith, all is one, faith being both a trutting of or a faith whereby remiffion of fins was God, a giving of him credit in all he had, seeing the apostle makes use of it speaks, and also a fiducial recumbence and here in the matter of justification, as an reiting upon him; it is a puting of our argument to prove justification by faith; trust and confidence in him, to adhere and and so Abraham's faith must be such a cleave to him, as faithful and true. faith as may agree to more than hinself
2dly, Abraham's believing here doth alone, but a faith in such a particular pronot relate unto that promise which God mife cannot be required of all, feeing fuch made with him, viz. of making his feed as a promise is not made to al). 2. Belide, the stars of heaven for multitude, verse 5. that Abraham was justified before now, allenarly, and to nothing else; but it re- and was a believer also, and is said to befpeéteth the covenant whereof that was lieve now, because his faith got up its but a particular promise. This covenant head, and got from under the difficulty being a covenant of grace, all the pro- with which it was wrestling before, and mises thereof flowed from grace, many so was confirmed from the promise renewa. whereof were temporal, which were given ed. So then this faith of Abraham's was as types of spiritual bleflings; but the main a justifying faith, and so of the same elapromises were, that in him all the families fence and nature with the faith required of the earth should be blessed, Gen. xii. 3. of us under the gospel, and therefore it xviii. 18. and xxii. 18. and that the Lord looked to Christ the promised Messiah, would be his God, and the God of his seed, who was the main piece of his feed foGen. xvii. 7. 8. And thus God promised much spoken of, as the apostle expounds to be his father, portion, protector, strong Gal. iii. 16. and Abraham saw his day, refuge, and all; and for this cause he held Joha viii. 56. forth himfelf to be God, almighty and all- 3dly, That the following words, and it suficient: and to these main blessings was was imputed to him for righteousness, may the promise of temporal good things an- be fomewhat cleared, take notice of these nexed; as protection, Gen. xv. 1. multi- particulars: 1. That in the original it inay plicity of seed, and the land of Canaan. be taken up thus: And he imputed righteSo then Abraham clofed with the cove-oufiefs to him, or taking the verb impernant by faith; and especially his faith re- fonaliter, as almost all do) righteousness was spected Christ the promised feed, in whom imputed to him. The verb hath an affix of all the nations should be blessed, and in
and in the feminine gender annexed, which says, tohom all the promises are yea, and amen ; it must look back to some noun of the feand who was wraped up in all these pro. minine gender"; and is it not better to take mises: as, for example, in that, that his the noun rendered righteousness, which is feed should multiply fo, and that he should of the feminine gender, than to go and be the heir of the world, for that promise pick it out of the verb, he believed? And is not meant of his carnal seed, or feed if we take the words thus, all will be clear; through the law, as the apostle fays, inchus, Abraham believed God, and God imthis fane chapter, verfe 13. and so mult puted righteousness to him; that is, Abrabe meant of his spiritual seed, who are ham believed God, or in God, and there
brought in under Christ's kingdom, ac- | by was clothed with the righteoulness of ·cording to Pialm ii. 8. So that his believ- another, viz. Christ, through God's ining God, must not be meant oily of his putation. 2. The cause why the apostle
has the words otherways rendered, is, be- | must be wholly excluded from being the cause he followeth the Seventy, their condition, principally, or less principally, version being at that time most in ufe, and of our justification; and if he be excluding doth not alter one letter, seeing that the works from being the meritorious cause, fame version made abundantly for his pur then faith must be taken in upon that pose, and was no way contrary to the text, score, and not properly taken, for so it is but consonant enough thereto. So then, a work, but as looking to its object: Or 3. the apolile hereby meaneth, that his rather it is taken for its obječt, Christ, faith was imputed to him for righteous- viz. griped and laid hold on by faith: and ness, for so be faith, verses 5. 9. Bur, thus faith, with its object, answereth the 4. By faith the apostle deth not un- place which works had in the old covederstand the act of faith, fimply so under nant, viz. both the meritorious cause, and stood, without respect unto Christ the ob the applicatory medium; for works in the jeet thereof: not as if I thought true jus- oid covenant did merit life, (not striály, tifying faith could be taken up without for we can merit nothing from God so, but respeč to Christ
, that were a contradiction, so as life should have become a due debt, to understand that faith, the nature where by virtue of a paction) and was the way or of looks to Christ, could be considered mean of applying this; fo in the new cowithout looking to Christ; but my mean venant, faith taken for its object, Christ, ing is, that the apostle being about to is the meritorious cause; and faith, properclear the way of our justification not to be | ly taken, as our act, is the medium; one by works, as the meritorious cause thereof, thing cannot be both, now as before. Ic and the way of obtaining the same; but is true, faith may be called our righteoulhy Christ's merits, as the meritorious cause, ness, as being the performance of a duy apprehended and laid hold on by faith; or required, and we affirm that it is neceffaby faith looking only to Christ's death ry as the condition of our justification, and merits, as the meritorious cause: faith, but we cannot think, that it can be faid ta properly taken, cannot be accounted to us be imputed to us for righteousness here, as our righteousness, as if we were cloth. I mean, faith properly taken, for the reaed with no other righteousuels beside that; son tormerly alledged. And farther, bebut faith tropically taken, that is, for cause, (2.) in the original
, as I shewed beChrist, who is sometimes called our righ- fore, it may read thus: He imputed righteousness, 1 Cor. i. 30. Jer. xxiii. 6. as hope teousness to him, or, righteoufness was im. is sometimes taken for the thing hoped puted to him; and fo Paul's saying, faith for, Gal. v. 5. Col. i. 5. 27. I Tim. i. 1. was imputed for righteousnefs, iberein folTit. ii. 13. And that, (1.) because if faith lowing the Seventy, must bear a sense corwere taken properly here, it were imper- responding with the Hebrew. (3.) More. tinent to the apostle's purpose to alledge over, if faith were imputed to us for this testimony; for his main dispute is a. righteousness, taking faith only as our act, bout the meritorious cause of our justifi-| fo as the meaning should not be, Christ cation, and not about the mean, or condi- received by faith is our righteousness tion, or instrumental cause thereof, except but the act of faith is our righteousness by the bye, and fill opposeth faith to then faith should not be imputed to us by works; and so whatever way he excludes grace, but as a due debt; God's imputa works, he must take in faith : and if he te tion should not be an act of
grace, treating mainly of the condition of justifi- act of justice, and a due debt, which wer cation, and faith be imputed to us as our also contrary to the apostle's fcope : an righteousness on that account, then works why fo? because faith is granted to be a par
of our inherent righteousness, and so it is must be looked on as the meritorious cause, ours before, in a manner, and doch nor and therefore faith mult not be taken probecome ours by imputation; as when guilt perly, otherways faith, as a work, should is imputed to the guilty man, it is but ac. be the meritorious cause; and why then counting of him guilty who was so before; should Paul exclude all works? so this thould be only God's accounting of were loose arguing to say, Abraham was us righteous who were so before ; and this not justified by works, but by faith; that wiil not make the reward of grace, but of is, Abraham was not justified by works as debt; for what is accounted by grace is the meritorious cause, making the reward not in the subject, or is not that really in of debt, because the scripture faith, faith the room whereof it is accounted; but faith, was the condition of justification, and upaccording to this expofition, is in the sub- on that score was imputed to hiin as his ject, and is really that in the room where righteousness. Now, where is the reaof it is accounted. (4.) Beside, if we took son of the connection here? Sure there the apostle's meaning to be thus, we could is none; unless you say, that faith being fee no consequence in his arguing; for he impured as a condition, doth lay down for is here proving that Abraham was not juf- granted, and presuppose Christ's rightetified by works, but by faith; and what ousness as the meritorious caufe ; for faith is his argument? it is this; The scripture that doth not this is not faith. That is faith, that his faith was counted to him true, thar faithi prefupposeth that, but then for righteousness; therefore he was not it is Christ's merits properly that stand in justified by works. Now let us put in opposition to works; and the main strength their exposition, and see how it will run : of the apostle's argument is here, viz. in The scripture faith, that his work of faith Christ's righteousness, laid hold on by was counted to him for righteousness; faith, and this is it which is imputed for therefore he was not justified by works: righteousness; and this is that which we Would this be a clear demonstration ? he say. (5.) This will be farther clear, if we was justified by one work, therefore not consider how the apostle says afterward, by works! Or thus, One work was iin. that righteousness is imputed, see verses 6. , puted to him for righteousness, therefore 11. and here either the meaning must be, works was not imputed : any body may that faith is imputed, and so faith and perceive the vanity of this arguing. If it righteousness shall be all one; or the apobe replied, that faith is only accounted for file is speaking of the impuration of a our evangelic righteousness, in fubordinado
double righteousness, both of Christ's tion to Christ's righteousness, which only righteousness (which must be that other is the meritorious cause, and is still set in righteousness distinct from faith, and will opposition to works, that have no share be readily granted) and of faith. The: here: I answer, 1. It is granted, that faith firit, I hope, will not be affirmed, and this may be called so, taking the meaning to last cannot be said, because (not as if I afbe only this, Faith is that mean appointed firmed that the apostle were not both of God, whereby we apply Chrilt's righ-speaking of Christ's righteousness, as inteousness, to our justification; but the puted to us, and of faith, as the way how,
, apostle's arguing necessitates us to take or condition upon which it is imputed ; faith and works as diametrically opposite, for this I grant; only I say, that the meanand as ad idem : so that upon whatever ing of these words, faith is imputed for score works be excluded, upon the same righteousness, is not, that faith, as our act, score faith is included; so that if works be is accounted our righteousness
, and proexcluded as the meritorious cause, faith perly imputed to us) then the apostle's, ar