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be required to believe. If therefore the righteousness of Christ be really ours, because in the judgment of God we are esteemed to have wrought it in him, then it is ours before we do believe. If it be otherwise, then it is plain that that righteousness itself can never be made ours by believing; only the fruits and effects of it may be suspended on our believing, whereby we may be made partakers of them. Yea, if Christ made any such satisfaction for us as is pretended, it is really ours, without any farther imputation. For being performed for us and in our stead, it is the highest injustice not to have us accounted pardoned and acquitted, without any farther either imputation on the part of God, or faith on ours.' These things I have transcribed out of Socinus, De Servator. lib. iv. cap. 2–5. which I would not have done, but that I find others to have gone before me therein, though to another purpose. And he concludes with a confidence which others also seem in some measure to have learned of him. For he saith unto his adversary, 'Hæc tua, tuorumque sententia, adeo fæda et execrabilis est, ut pestilentiorem errorem post homines natos in populo Dei extitisse non credam ;' speaking of the satisfaction of Christ and the imputation of it unto believers. And indeed, his serpentine wit was fertile in the invention of cavils against all the mysteries of the gospel. Nor was he obliged by any one of them, so as to contradict himself in what he opposed concerning any other of them. For denying the Deity of Christ, his satisfaction, sacrifice, merit, righteousness, and overthrowing the whole nature of his mediation, nothing stood in his way which he had a mind to oppose. But I somewhat wonder how others can make use of his inventions in this kind, who if they considered aright their proper tendency, they will find them to be absolutely destructive of what they seem to own. So it is in this present objection against the imputation of the righteousness of Christ; if it hath any force in it, as indeed it hath not, it is to prove that the satisfaction of Christ was impossible; and so he intended it. But it will be easily removed.
I answer first in general; that the whole fallacy of this objection lies in the opposing one part of the design and method of God's grace in this mystery of our justification, unto another; or the taking of one part of it to be the whole, which as to its efficacy and perfection depends on somewhat else. Hereof we warned the reader in our previous discourses. For the whole of it is a supposition, that the satisfaction of Christ, if there be any such thing, must have its whole effect, without believing on our part, which is contrary unto the whole declaration of the will of God in the gospel. But I shall principally respect them who are pleased to make use of this objection, and yet do not deny the satisfaction of Christ. And I
say, 1. When the Lord Christ died for us, and offered himself as a propitiatory sacrifice, God laid all our sins on him;' Isa. liii. 6. And he then' bare them all in his own body on the tree;' 1 Pet. ii. 24. Then he suffered in our stead, and made full satisfaction for all our sins; for he appeared 'to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;' Heb. ix. 26. and by
one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified;' chap. x. 14. He whose sins were not actually and absolutely satisfied for, in that one offering of Christ, shall never have them expiated unto eternity. For, ‘ henceforth he dieth no more,' there is no more sacrifice for sin. The repetition of a sacrifice for sin, which must be the crucifying of Christ afresh, overthrows the foundation of Christian religion.
2. Notwithstanding this full plenary satisfaction once made for the sins of the world that shall be saved; yet all men continue equally to be born by nature 'children of wrath,' and whilst they believe not,' the wrath of God abideth on them ;' John iii. 36. that is, they are obnoxious unto, and under the curse of the law. Wherefore, on the only making of that satisfaction, no one for whom it was made in the design of God, can be said to have suffered in Christ, nor to have an interest in his satisfaction, nor by any way or means be made partaker of it antecedently unto another act of God in its imputation unto him. For this is but one part of the purpose of God's grace, as unto our justification by the blood of Christ, namely, that he by his death should make satisfaction for our sins. Nor is it to be separated from what also belongs unto it, in the same purpose of God. Wherefore, from the position or grant of the satisfaction of Christ, no argument can be taken unto the negation of a consequential act of its imputation unto us; nor therefore
He made no spoil of the glory אשר לא-גזלתי אז אשיב .5 .1xix
of the necessity of our faith in the believing and receiving of it, which is no less the appointment of God, than it was that Christ should make that satisfaction. Wherefore,
3. That which the Lord Christ paid for us, is as truly paid, as if we had paid it ourselves. So he speaks, Psal.
. of God, what was done of that nature by us, he returned it unto him. And what he underwent and suffered, he underwent and suffered in our stead. But yet the act of God in laying our sins on Christ, conveyed no actual right and title to us, unto what he did and suffered. They are not immediately thereon, nor by virtue thereof ours, or esteemed ours, because God hath appointed somewhat else, not only antecedent thereunto, but as the means of it, unto his own glory. These things both as unto their being and order, depend on the free ordination of God. But yet,
4. It cannot be said that this satisfaction was made for us on such a condition as should absolutely suspend the event, and render it uncertain whether it should ever be for us or no. Such a constitution may be righteous in pecuniary solutions. A man may lay down a great sum of money for the discharge of another, on such a condition as may never be fulfilled. For on the absolute failure of the condition, his money may and ought to be restored unto him, whereon he hath received no injury or damage. But in penal suffering for crimes and sins, there can be no righteous constitution that shall make the event and efficacy of it to depend on a condition absolutely uncertain, and which may not come to pass or be fulfilled. For if the condition fail, no recompense can be made unto him that hath suffered. Wherefore, the way of the application of the satisfaction of Christ unto them for whom it was made, is sure and steadfast in the purpose of God.
5. God hath appointed that there shall be an immediate foundation of the imputation of the satisfaction and righteousness of Christ unto us, whereon we may be said to have done and suffered in him, what he did and suffered in our stead, by that grant, donation, and imputation of it unto us; or that we may be interested in it, that it
be made ours, which is all we contend for. And this is our actual
coalescency into one mystical person with him by faith Hereon doth the nesessity of faith originally depend. And if we shall add hereunto the necessity of it likewise unto that especial glory of God which he designs to exalt in our justification by Christ, as also unto all the ends of our obedience unto God, and the renovation of our natures into his image, its station is sufficiently secured against all objections. Our actual interest in the satisfaction of Christ, depends on our actual insertion into his mystical body by faith, according to the appointment of God.
4. It is yet objected, That if the righteousness of Christ be made ours, we may be said to be saviours of the world as he was, or to save others as he did. For he was so and did so by his righteousness and no otherwise. This objection also is of the same nature with those foregoing, a mere phistical cavil. For,
1. The righteousness of Christ is not transfused into us, so as to be made inherently and subjectively ours, as it was in him, and which is necessarily required unto that effect, of saving others thereby. Whatever we may do, or be said to do with respect unto others, by virtue of any power or quality inherent in ourselves, we can be said to do nothing unto others, or for them, by virtue of that which is imputed unto us, only for our own benefit. That any righteousness of ours should benefit another, it is absolutely necessary that it should be wrought by ourselves.
2. If the righteousness of Christ could be transfused into us, and be made inherently ours, yet could we not be, nor be said to be, the saviours of others thereby. For our nature in our individual persons, is not subjectum capax,' or capable to receive and retain a righteousness useful and effectual unto that end. This capacity was given unto it in Christ by virtue of the hypostatical union, and no otherwise. The righteousness of Christ himself as performed in the human nature, would not have been sufficient for the justification and salvation of the church, had it not been the righteousness of his person, who is both God and man; for God redeemed his church with his own blood.'
3. This imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto us, as unto its ends and use, hath its measure from the will
of God, and his purpose in that imputation. And this is, that it should be the righteousness of them into whom it is imputed, and nothing else.
4. We do not say that the righteousness of Christ as made absolutely for the whole church, is imputed unto every believer. But his satisfaction for every one of them in particular, according unto the will of God, is imputed unto them ; not with respect unto its general ends, but according unto every one's particular interest. Every believer hath his own homer of this bread of life; and all are justified by the same righteousness.
5. The apostle declares, as we shall prove afterward, that as Adam's actual sin is imputed unto us unto condemnation, so is the obedience of Christ imputed unto us, to the justification of life. But Adam's sin is not so imputed unto any person, as that he should then and thereby be the cause of sin and condemnation unto all other persons in the world; but only that he himself should become guilty before God thereon. And so is it on the other side. And as we are made guilty by Adam's actual sin which is not inherent in us, but only imputed unto us; so are we made righteous by the righteousness of Christ which is not inherent in us, but only imputed unto us. And imputed unto us it is, because himself was righteous with it, not for himself but for us.
It is yet said, That if we insist on personal imputation unto every believer of what Christ did, or if any believer be personally righteous in the very individual acts of Christ's righteousness, many absurdities will follow. But it was observed before; that when any design to oppose an opinion from the absurdities which they suppose would follow upon it, they are much inclined so to state it, as that at least they may seem so to do. And this oftimes the most worthy and candid persons are not free from in the heat of disputation. So I fear it is here fallen out. For as unto personal imputation I do not well understand it. All imputation is unto a person, and is the act of a person, be it of what, and what sort it will, but from neither of them can be denominated a personal imputation. And if an imputation be allowed that is not unto the persons of men, namely, in this case unto