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cation of life. But no other grace or duty is a coming unto Christ, and therefore have they no place in justification. He who hath been convinced of sin, who hath been wearied with the burden of it, who hath really designed to fly from the wrath to come, and hath heard the voice of Christ in the gospel, inviting him to come unto him for help and relief, will tell you that this coming unto Christ consisteth in a man's going out of himself, in a complete renunciation of all his own duties and righteousness, and betaking himself with all his trust and confidence unto Christ alone, and his righteousness, for pardon of sin, acceptation with God, and a right unto the heavenly inheritance. It may be some will say this is not believing, but canting; be it so, we refer the judgment of it to the church of God.
4. It is expressed by flying for refuge, Heb. vi. 11. Who have fled for refuge, to lay hold on the hope set before us.' Prov. xviii. 10. Hence some have defined faith to be 'perfugium animæ,' the flight of the soul unto Christ for deliverance from sin and misery. And much light is given unto the understanding of the thing intended thereby. For herein it is supposed, that he who believeth is antecedently thereunto convinced of his lost condition, and that if he abide therein he must perish eternally; that he hath nothing of himself whereby he may be delivered from it; that he must betake himself unto somewhat else for relief; that unto this end he considereth Christ as set before him, and proposed unto him in the promise of the gospel; that he judgeth this to be a holy, a safe way for his deliverance and acceptance with God, as that which hath the characters of all divine excellencies upon it; hereon he flyeth unto it for refuge, that is, with diligence and speed that he perish not in his present condition, he betakes himself unto it by placing his whole trust and affiance thereon. And the whole nature of our justification by Christ is better declared hereby unto the supernatural sense and experience of believers, than by a hundred philosophical disputations about it.
5. The terms and notions by which it is expressed under the Old Testament, are leaning on God, Mich. iii. 11. or Christ, Cant. viii. 5. rolling, or casting ourselves and our burden on the Lord, Psal. xxii. 8. xxxvii. 5. The wisdom of the Holy Ghost in which expressions hath by some been pro
fanely derided. Resting on God, or in him, 2 Chron. xiv. 11. Psal. xxxvii. 7. Cleaving unto the Lord, Deut. iv. 4. Acts xi. 15. as also by trusting, hoping, and waiting in places innumerable. And it may be observed that those who acted faith as it is thus expressed, do every where declare themselves to be lost, hopeless, helpless, desolate, poor, orphans, whereon they place all their hope and expectation on God alone.
All that I would infer from these things, is, that the faith whereby we believe unto the justification of life, or which is required of us in a way of duty that we may be justified, is such an act of the whole soul whereby convinced sinners do wholly go out of themselves to rest upon God in Christ, for mercy, pardon, life, righteousness and salvation, with an acquiescency of heart therein, which is the whole of the truth pleaded for.
The truth pleaded, farther confirmed by testimonies of Scripture.-
THAT which we now proceed unto, is the consideration of those express testimonies of Scripture which are given unto the truth pleaded for, and especially of those places where the doctrine of the justification of sinners is expressly and designedly handled. From them it is, that we must learn the truth, and into them must our faith be resolved, unto whose authority all the arguings and objections of men must give place. By them is more light conveyed into the understandings of believers, than by the most subtle disputations. And it is a thing not without scandal, to see among Protestants whole books written about justification, wherein scarce one testimony of Scripture is produced, unless it be to find out evasions from the force of them. And in particular, whereas the apostle Paul hath most fully and expressly (as he had the greatest occasion so to do) declared and vindicated the doctrine of evangelical justification, not a few in what they write about it, are so far from declaring
their thoughts and faith concerning it, out of his writings, as that they begin to reflect upon them as obscure, and such as give occasion unto dangerous mistakes; and unless, as was said, to answer and except against them upon their own corrupt principles, seldom or never make mention of them. As though we were grown wiser than he, or that Spirit whereby he was inspired, guided, acted in all that he wrote; but there can be nothing more alien from the genius of Christian religion, than for us not to endeavour humbly to learn the mystery of the grace of God herein, in the declaration of it made by him. But the foundation of God standeth sure, what course soever men shall be pleased to take into their profession of religion.
For the testimonies which I shall produce and insist upon, I desire the reader to observe, 1. That they are but some of the many that might be pleaded unto the same purpose. 2. That those which have been, or yet shall be alleged on particular occasions, I shall wholly omit; and such are most of them that are given unto this truth in the Old Testament. 3. That in the exposition of them, I shall with what diligence I can attend; 1. Unto the analogy of faith, that is, the manifest scope and design of the revelation of the mind and will of God in the Scripture. And that this is to exalt the freedom and riches of his own grace, the glory and excellency of Christ, and his mediation, to discover the woful, lost, forlorn condition of man by sin, to debase and depress every thing that is in and of ourselves, as to the attaining life, righteousness, and salvation, cannot be denied by any who have their senses exercised in the Scriptures. 2. Upon the experience of them that do believe, with the condition of them who seek after justification by Jesus Christ. In other things I hope the best helps and rules of the interpretation of the Scripture shall not be neglected.
There is weight in this case deservedly laid on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, as promised and given unto us; namely, the Lord our righteousness; Jer. xxiii. 6. As the name Jehovah, being given and ascribed unto him, is a full indication of his divine person; so the addition of his being our righteousness, sufficiently declares, that in and by him alone, we have righteousness, or are made righteous. So was he typed by Melchisedec, as first,' the
King of righteousness,' then the King of peace; Heb. vii. 2. For by his righteousness alone have we peace with God. Some of the Socinians would evade this testimony, by observing, that righteousness in the Old Testament is urged sometimes for benignity, kindness, and mercy, and so they suppose it may be here. But the most of them, avoiding the palpable absurdity of this imagination, refer to the righteousness of God in deliverance, and vindication of his people. So Brennius briefly, 'Ita vocatur quia Dominus per manum ejus judicium et justitiam faciet Israeli.' But these are evasions of bold men, who care not, so they may say somewhat, whether what they say, be agreeable to the analogy of faith, or the plain words of the Scripture. Bellarmine, who was more wary to give some appearance of truth unto his answers, first, gives other reasons why he is called the Lord our righteousness;' and then, whether unawares, or overpowered by the evidence of truth, grants that sense of the words which contains the whole of the cause we plead for. 'Christ,' he says, 'may be called the Lord our righteousness, because he is the efficient cause of our righteousness.' As God is said to be our strength and salvation. Again, 'Christ is said to be our righteousness; as he is our wisdom, our redemption, and our peace; because he hath redeemed us, and makes us wise and righteous, and reconcileth us unto God' and other reasons of the same nature are added by others. But not trusting to these expositions of the words, he adds, Deinde dicitur Christus justitia nostra, `quoniam satisfecit patri pro nobis, et eam satisfactionem ita nobis donat et communicat, cum nos justificat, ut nostra satisfactio et justitia dici possit.' And afterward, 'Hoc modo non esset absurdum, si quis diceret nobis imputari Christi justitiam et merita, cum nobis donantur et applicantur, ac si nos ipsi Deo satisfecissemus.' De justificat. lib. ii. cap. 10. 'Christ is said to be our righteousness because he hath made satisfaction for us to the Father; and doth so give and communicate that satisfaction unto us, when he justifieth us, that it may be said to be our satisfaction, and righteousness. And in this sense it would not be absurd if any one should say, that the righteousness of Christ and his merits are imputed unto us, as if we ourselves had satisfied God.' In this sense we say, that Christ is the Lord our righteousness; nor
is there any thing of importance in the whole doctrine of justification that we own, which is not here granted by the cardinal; and that in terms which some among ourselves scruple and oppose. I shall therefore look a little farther into this testimony, which hath wrested so eminent a confession of the truth, from so great an adversary. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous branch, and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness;' ver. 5, 6. It is confessed among Christians that this is an illustrious renovation of the first promise, concerning the incarnation of the Son of God, and our salvation by him. This promise was first given when we had lost our original righteousness, and were considered only as those who had sinned and come short of the glory of God. In this estate a righteousness was absolutely necessary that we might be again accepted with God; for without a righteousness, yea, that which is perfect and complete, we never were so, nor ever can be so. In this estate it is promised that he shall be our righteousness, or, as the apostle expresseth it, 'the end of the law for righteousness to them that do believe.' That he is so, there can be no question; the whole inquiry is, how he is so? This, say the most sober and modest of our adversaries, because he is the efficient cause of our righteousness, that is, of our personal inherent righteousness. But this righteousness may be considered either in itself, as it is an effect of God's grace, and so it is good and holy, although it be not perfect and complete; or it may be considered as it is ours, inherent in us, accompanied with the remaining defilements of our nature; in that respect, as this righteousness is ours, the prophet affirms, that, in the sight of God,' we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;' Isa. Ixiv. 6. ♫py compriseth our whole personal inherent righteousness. And the Lord Christ cannot from hence be denominated py ; the Lord our righteousness,' seeing it is all as filthy rags. It must therefore be a righteousness of another sort whence this denomination is taken, and on the account whereof this name is given him. Wherefore he is our righteousness, as all our righteousnesses are in him. So the church, which confesseth all her own righteousnesses to be filthy rags, says, 'in the Lord have I righte