« PreviousContinue »
to punishinent, and must not be laid to the there are two, the one signifying lawleffhaner's charge.
ness, a repugnancy to the law of God; the
other, an erring from the right scope. OBSERVATIONS.
V. However fin be a great debt, by 1. Howbeit men and women walk light- reason whereof fwners are in bonds, bound ly under sin, being dead and senseless, so over unto justice; yet there is such a prias they cannot feel any weight or burden; | vilege, whereof believers are made-parJee lin, in eifect, is an unsupportable bur. takers, whereby they are set at liberty, and den that will crush sinners, if tbey be not freed from the bonds of fin, and have fin eased; and is as a debt which they of pardoned, and not imputed; for blesse:t is themselves will never be able to pay, or the man whose iniquities are pardoned, &c. fatisfy for: for here it is said to be par
VI. Albeit to deserve wrath and damndoned, or lifted up.
ation be an inseparable adjunct of sin, and II. As fin is such a burden, fo is it a fin, where-ever it is, leaveih such a blot az burden of fiith; it is a loathsoine and a denominates the man a finner, and it bebominable thing, however finners look up- ing wrong done to God, it displeasesh him; on it as the matter of gloriition, and do boast yet in pardon of lin, tho' the stain and themselves, and pride themselves in it, as blot wherewith the soul is said to be de. if it were their glory, when as it is their filed, Match. xv. 20.-be not removed, yet fume, and makes them so odious in God's the actual obligation of the finner unto puhuht, as he cannot away with them, nor nishment is taken off; and thus fin, which fufer it; he cannot behold ir, nor finners, before had, as it were, a being, and was because of it, unless it be covered : this is living and crying for vengeance, is now imported in that it is said to be covered. removed, pardoned, and taken out of the
III. However finners think it a small way: thus fin is faid to be pardoned. matter to add transgresfion unto frn, and VII. In pardon of fin, altho' it be not con:ract more and more guilt daily; yet fo wholly removed, as no relicts of corsa biadech the poor finner over to God's ruption should remain, for corruption still curse, and to eternal punishment, seeing cleaveth to us, and is properly fin; nor so they are not able to satisfy God's justice: covered or removed, as that God should this is implied, in that it is said not to be not be angry with, nor punish the perieputed.
sons, seeing such have been punished, even. IV. Sin is of such an evil and foul na. tho' pardoned, as, 2 Sam. xii. 14. Psalm ture, as cannot be sufficiently held forth xcix. 8. nor so covered as if his omniby one or two expreffions, but several mult science could not reach it, or there were be made use of to set it forth to us, that any thing interposed betwixt his eyes and its loathsomness, abominableness, and vile fin; yet it is so far covered, as that God mature, may the more appear : therefore (however it be filthy and abominable in in the Hebrew text here cited, there are it felf, provoking God to execute vengethree expressions used to set it forth. 1. Aance) will not so take notice of it, as to Ford that properly denoteth a defection, or punish the guilty person with eternal falling off from God, rebellion, yea, mali- wrath and destruction : thus fin is here faid casus rebellion flowing from pride, casting off to be covered. of God's authority with contempt.
VIII. However a believer may be vexword fignifying to step aside out of the way, ed with the thoughts of fin, even after it an aberration from the right scope. 3. A is pardoned, and conscience may terrify Ford fignifying pravity, perversity, malici- him, and God's dispensations may put the sufrels, crockedness. And in the Greeks man to cry Pardon, pardon, even after
him as a
Pardon is granted; yet when God pardon- justification pardon is granted; for the ech fin, he perfectly and completely par blessedness of the justified man is thus made doneth it, as to actual obligation to punish out, that blessed is the man whose fins are mėnt and wrath eternal, so that it cannot pardoned, covered, and not imputed. be more perfectly pardoned; it is totally XII. Befide this pardon of fin which is and irrevocably pardoned; yea, so fully granted in justification, there is also aa pardoned, as it it had never been, and fo imputation of righteousness, so that paras God doth no more look
don doth not exhaust the whole nature of finner, fin being now utterly abolished, as justification; for without righteouiness imto any actual obligation to condemnation : puted, at least, no man can be called or hence sin is said to be bloted out, subdued, accounted righteous, (and remission of fins casten into the sea, &c. Micah vii
. 19. lo properly gives no righteousness) and so no lía. xliv. 2?. and xxxviii. 17. Pfal. xiii. 12, man could have eternal life, unless the law For here there are several expressions used had been fulfilled; and therefore Christ to set it forth, as if one were not sufficient, was put to do it, Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iv.
4. it is pardoned, covered, and not imputed. as our cautioner: therefore lays the apo
IX. Albeit there be some qualifications Atle, Unto whom God imputeth righteousness, required of us before pardon, as faith and meaning the justified man, of whom he repentance, yet pardon is no act of ours, is speaking. but God's act allenarly; he only it is a XIII. This righteousness which is imgainst whom the injury is done, and he puted, is no righteousness inherent in us, only it is unto whom this belongeh, as an otherways the reward [hould be of debt; incommunicable property, Isa. xliii. 1.
but it is the righteousness of another, eExod. xxxiv. 7. he only abfolveth the fin ven Christ, in whom we are niade the righner absolutely, and satisfyingly intimateth teousness of God, and to whom our sins were the fame to the conscience: therefore it is imputed, 2 Cor. v. 21. in whom we are said, unio whom the Lord imputeth not fins accepted, Eph.i. 6. and hence is this righ
X. Tho’ it be too ordinary with poor teousness oftentimes called the rightecujnejs deluded souls under temptation, to cry out, of God, Rom. i. 17. and x. 3. Phil. ij. 6, as their fins are greater than can be forgiven; being the righteousness of Christ, who was yet it is a groundless conclusion, for there is God : for this righteousnejs is said to be no fin (save that against the Holy Ghost) imputed without works. but it may be pardoned; and let a souls XIV. Tho’ it be not true that Chriit's fins be never so gross and numerous, if he righteousness is so imputed to us, as if it flee in to Christ there is pardon for him; were formally ours, that thereby we could for fins are pardoned, transgresions are co
be said to be as righteous as Christ; yet vered, and iniquities nct imputed : Sins, this ipmutation of righteousness is ro chitranfgrcflions and iniquiries, and all inde- mera, or groundless imagination, however finitely, and all without exception, are
it seemeth absurd to carnal reason, but a pardoned. See Isa. i. 18. Exod. xxxiv.7. real thing, founded upon the obedience of Palm Ixv. 2.
Christ, which is no fi&tion ; and it is God's XI. Altho'pardon supposeth a man to be goodwill and pleasure to accept of that guilty in himself, so that as he is pardoned obedience and suffering of Christ, as if he cannot be said to be jufiified; yet justifi we ourselves had done it: thus this impucation is such an act of God wherein he par tation is said to be a deed of God's, and so doneth all our fins, whether pardon be the it must be a real thing; Unto whom God form or effect, or integral part of justin- imputeth righteousness. calici), yet this is sure, that in this act of XV. There is no inconvenience that
juftification comprehend both remifsion of tion, as if they were incompatible, that fins and imputation of righteousness, but they rather so agree as to infer each orather a necessity, in that after the fall ther, and the being of the one in justifiman was bound not only to suffer the pe- cation will infer the other; for the apostle Daly, by virtue of the threatening, That infereth, that righteousness is imputed beduy thou eateit thou mali die, but also to caufe remiffion of fins is granted; not as yield obedience in hiinself or cautioner, by if they were one and the fame, or equivirtue of that, 'Do this and live ; God pollent, but because of their necessary comwiil no more dispense with the one, which bination and inseparable connection, which was required primarily, and in itself, than may sufficiently ground a rational infewith the other: nor doth remission alone rence; as we may fay, a man.is justified, make a man legally righteous, in an uni- therefore he is fanctified, though they be versal sense, otherways Christ needed not distinct, yet inseparable; so tho' imputato have come in the flesh, that the righte- tion of righteousness and remiffion of fin ousness of the law might be fulfilled in. us, be distinct
, as the righteousness imputed contrary to Rom. viii. 3. Christ did not and the sin pardoned are not the same, tho’ satisfy for the penalty, that the law should one infereth the other: therefore says the be no longer a law obliging us to obedi. apostle, Even as David describeth the ence; and albeit life and death, taken na. blessedness of the man unto whom God im-turally, be privatively opposed, so that puteth righteousness,----saying, blessed is the the taking away of the one will effectuate man whose iniquities are pardoned. the other, without any farther action; fo XVI. Man being now by nature an that if there be not life, in a subject ca- heir of hell, lying under God's curse and pable, there must be death; as when there vengeance, unable to help himself, there is not light there must be darkness; and is no way for him to win to blessedness where there is no crookedness there must but by geting his iniquities pardoned, and be freightness; yet here, being considered righteousness imputed; and whoever have morally, they are opposite only by the ap- these favours may rest assured that they pointment and will of God; so that albeit, ihall inherit everlasting blessedness, for in de facto, there be not a third, or neutral | a manner they carry, heaven about with estate of a man who is neither just nor un- them; so that however, for their exercise juít, neither not just nor guilty, yet they and humiliation, God's face may be hid may well be considered as distinct, so as from them, and they in their own apprenot to be both effectuate by one and the hension, appear loft and' undone, and ' same action; for pardon doth not make a may sometimes meet with fatherly chalman to be no finner, but to be one not tisements for their transgressions, this obcoxious to eternal punishment; and from being a mercy covenanted, among the this, right to a heavenly and glorious life rest, Pfalm lxxxix. 31. 32. yet a jusdoth not flow by a natural resultancy, but tified state is a blessed state, and a juitionly from the free appointment of God; fied man hath blessedness; for Paul makfo that not to be a finner may be consider- ech mention of the blessedness of the man ed negatively, as importing only inno unto whom God imputeth righteousness, cency, which was Adam's case before the and David says, Blefed is the man whose fall, who was free of sin, and yet not just, so fins are pardoned, &c. as to have k right to eternal life, for this he XVII. Albeit there be no pardon of was not to have till he had persevered in iniquities but in and through Jesus Christ, perfeét obedience. Yea, these two are so who by the sacrifice of himself hath fatisbus from excluding other from justificaIfied justice; yet seeing we contribute po
thing to this fatisfaction, remifsion of fins circumcised he was nipety and nine years being free as to us, clearly evinceth, that old, Gen. xvii. juftification is not by works, but by faith
OBSERVATIONS. in Jesus Christ; for the apostle proveth, 1. That examples may be useful for that righteousness is imputed without works, clearing and confirming of truth satisfactobecause of remision, and non-imputation of rily to the consciences of hearers, 'they fins.
ought to be pertinently and fitly applied,
as Paul doth this example of Abraham, Verses 9. 10. Cometh this blessedness Thewing how it serveth to confirm both
then upon the circumcision only, or upon Jews and Gentiles, touching justification the uncircumcision also? for we fay, that by faith. faith was reckoned to Abraham for II. Blessedness, thro' free jastification, righteousness.
and remision of sins, is not a privilege due How was it then reckoned? when he was to the Jews only, however in respect of
in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? not external privileges they had the pre-emiin circumcifion, but in uncircuncifion. nence, but which both Jews and Gentiles
partake of thro' faith; for this blessedness POR the farther clearing of this argu-cometh not on the circumcision only, but on
ment, brought from the instance of the uncircumcision also. Abraham, he propofeth an objection, and III. Scripture chronology, whereby we then answereth it at large. The Romans, know at what period of time things fell to whom the apostle" was writing, might out, is useful and necessary, and when well have said, You have proposed the example improven will serve to clear useful truths of Abraham, and fhown how he was justi- and help us to the better uptaking and fied by faith, but what is that to us? Abo understanding of God's mind in several raham was one who was circumcised, and particulars; as here, the very computation the father only of the circumcised Jews; of the time when it was said, that Abraand so tho' his justification will say some ham’s faith was imputed unto righteoufthing to the Jews, who are his children, 'ness, and the taking notice how this came yet it will say little to us who are uncir to pass before that he was circumcised, is cumcised Gentiles. Thus then the objec- found useful to clear how Abraham's intion runeih: Cometh this bleffedness of jus. Itance may be of use even to the Gentiles. tification and pardon, on the circumcision, See Gal. iii. 17. that is, the circumcised Jews, or uncircum IV. Albeit the facraments be necessary cision also, that is, the Gentiles? We grant with such a necessity as floweth from a that faith was counted to Abraham for precept, so as to flight them, or cootem righteousness, but when? was it counted them, is a grievous guilt; yet are they to hin before he was circumcised, or af. not absolutely necessary unto salvation, se ter? He apfwereth, It was reckoned not as the want of them is damnable; fo in circumcision, but in uncircumcifion; even faith was imputed to Abraham in uncir about fourteen or fifteen years before he cumcision, and so he was into a state o was circumcised, for it was said of him, justification before the facrament was af that his faith was imputed unto righteous plied. nefs, Gen. xv. 6. before that Ishmael was conceived, Gen. xvi. 4. and when Ilhmael | VERSES 11. 12. And he received the fi was born Abraham was fourscore and fix of circumcision, a seal of the righteol years old, Gen. xvi. 16. but when he was ness of the faith which he had yet bei
uncircumcised: that he might be the fa- | to be a seal of the righteousness of faith. ther of all them that believe, though they But it might be said, 3. What meaned all be not circumcised; that righteousness | this, that he, being justified whilo uncirmight be imputed urto them also: cumcised, should receive circumcifion as a And the father of circumcision to them who feal of the righteousness of faith? He anare not of circumcision only, but also walk swereth, That he might become a father in the steps of that faith of our father both to Jews and Gentiles, that faith, or Abraham, which he had, being yet un- righteousness by faith, might be imputed to circumcised.
both; to those that are not circumcised, no
less than to those who are circumcised, pro"Hat this may be yet clearer, he pre- viding they believe, and walk in the steps
occupies two or three more objec-of that faith of our father Abraham, which tions, or answereth some questions, which he had, being yet uncircumcised; that is, might be proposed; as, !. Then this that he might be the first spring of conveyblessedness thould come only upon the ance of this covenant, with the blessings uocircumcised, seeing faith was imputed covenanted, unto his followers, and subto him unto righteousness while uncircum- confederates; so that as parents transfer cised. He answererh, No. And why? rights to inheritances unto their children, because he received the sign of circumcifion; and what right their children have to these that is, circumcision which was a holy inheritances is in and thro’ their parents, fign, according to God's appointment and fo he, as a father, fhuld transfer a righe institution ; for receiving presupposeth to these covenanted bleflings, both by his giving. But then it might be faid, 2. To doctrine and example, and their title to what purpose was he circumcised? what the covenant should be in him; and that use was there of circumcision to him who unto his feed, or c:ildren, that is, such as was justified before? He answers, That receive this covenant externally only, as it mi. ht be a seal of the righteousness of many of his carnal feed did, or i ternally faith which he had, Veing yet uncircumcised. also; so that he is a father to all those There being a covenant betwixt God and who profess faith in Christ, and so walk hin, in which there were several spiritual in the steps of that doctrine which Abra, bleflings promised, as, that God will be his ham believed and prof-fied, and therein. God, and the God of his feed, and that, in his was a father to them by example, in castfeed all the nations frould be blessed, and the ing them a copy, tho’ they believed not like; and so there was a righieousness held | fincerely and savindly; so that such have forth by which he should be jnftified, which a fundamental right to all the ordinances he was to lay hold on by faith, and there which are bestowed upon external covefore called, the righteousness of faith : nanters : and to those who come up to the therefore, that his faith might be strength- terms of the covenant, and believe saving enel, and that he might not stagger, thro' ly, as Abraham did, who have a right alunbelief, at the promise, the Lord ap- fo unto the saving blessings bestowed 012 points this visible lign, to be a seal to raii- internal covenanfers, such as the righteoulfy and confirm the promise, as a broad ness of faith imputed: and of these, I feal fet to a charter that it may have more think, he is mainly speaking here, (no faith and force, as the word is used, 1 Cor.way excluding the other, so as that the fx.2. 2 Tim. ii. 9. Rev. vii. 2. 4. · Cor. i. apostle thought there were none exter22. So that here we have a definition of nally only, the red of Abraham, and in circumcifion, yea, and of every sacrament covenant with God, for he has clearly in general : It is a sign appointed of God afferted the contrary, Rom. ii. 28. 29. and