(Owen, Justification. part 16)

relieve, to say that this personal righteousness is of the free
grace and gift of God unto some, and not unto others; for we must
plead it as our duty, and not as God's grace.
     5. Suppose a person freely justified by the grace of God, through
faith in the blood of Christ, without respect unto any works,
obedience, or righteousness of his own, we do freely grant,--(1.)
That God does indispensably require personal obedience of him; which
may be called his evangelical righteousness. (2.) That God does
approve of and accept, in Christ, this righteousness so performed.
(3.) That hereby that faith whereby we are justified is evidenced,
proved, manifested, in the sight of God and men. (4.) That this
righteousness is pleadable unto an acquitment against any charge
from Satan, the world, or our own consciences. (5.) That upon it we
shall be declared righteous at the last day, and without it none
shall so be. And if any shall think meet from hence to conclude unto
an evangelical justification, or call God's acceptance of our
righteousness by that name, I shall by no means contend with then.
And wherever this inquiry is made,--not how a sinner, guilty of
death, and obnoxious unto the curse, shall be pardoned, acquitted,
and justified, which is by the righteousness of Christ alone imputed
unto him--but how a man that professes evangelical faith, or faith
in Christ, shall be tried, judged, and whereon, as such, he shall be
justified, we grant that it is and must be, by his own personal,
sincere obedience.
     And these things are spoken, not with a design to contend with
any, or to oppose the opinions of any; but only to remove from the
principal question in hand those things which do not belong unto it.
     A very few words will also free our inquiry from any concernment
in that which is called sentential justification, at the day of
judgement; for of what nature soever it be, the person concerning
whom that sentence is pronounced was,--(1.) Actually and completely
justified before God in this world; (2.) Made partaker of all the
benefits of that justification, even unto a blessed resurrection in
glory: "It is raised in glory", 1 Cor.15:43. (3.) The souls of the
most will long before have enjoyed a blessed rest with God,
absolutely discharged and acquitted from all their labours and all
their sins; there remains nothing but an actual admission of the
whole person into eternal glory. Wherefore this judgement can be no
more but declaratory, unto the glory of God, and the everlasting
refreshment of them that have believed. And without reducing of it
unto a new justification, as it is nowhere
called in the Scripture, the ends of that solemn judgement,--in the
manifestation of the wisdom and righteousness of God, in appointing
the way of salvation by Christ, as well as in giving of the law; the
public conviction of them by whom the law has been transgressed and
the gospel despised; the vindication of the righteousness, power,
and wisdom of God in the rule of the world by his providence,
wherein, for the most part, his paths unto all in this life are in
the deep, and his footsteps are not known; the glory and honour of
Jesus Christ, triumphing over all his enemies, then fully made his
footstool; and the glorious exaltation of grace in all that do
believe, with sundry other things of an alike tendency unto the
ultimate manifestation of divine glory in the creation and guidance
of all things,--are sufficiently manifest.
     And hence it appears how little force there is in that argument
which some pretend to be of so great weight in this cause. "As every
one", they say, "shall be judged of God at the last day, in the same
way and manner or on the same grounds, is he justified of God in
this life; but by works, and not by faith alone, every one shall be
judged at the last day: wherefore by works, and not by faith alone,
every one is justified before God in this life". For,--
     1. It is nowhere said that we shall be judged at the last day "ex
operibus"; but only that God will render unto men "secundum opera".
But God does not justify any in this life "secundum opera"; being
justified freely by his grace, and not according to the works of
righteousness which we have done. And we are everywhere said to be
justified in this life "ex fide", "per fidem", but nowhere "propter
fidem"; or, that God justifies us "secundum fidem", by faith, but
not for our faith, nor according unto our faith. And we are not to
depart from the expressions of the Scripture, where such a
difference is constantly observed.
     2. It is somewhat strange that a man should be judged at the last
day, and justified in this life, just in the same way and manner,--
that is, with respect unto faith and works,--when the Scripture does
constantly ascribe our justification before God unto faith without
works; and the judgment at the last day is said to be according unto
works, without any mention of faith.
     3. If justification and eternal judgment proceed absolutely on the
same grounds, reasons, and causes, then if men had not done what
they shall be condemned for doing at the last day, they should have
been justified in this life; but many shall be condemned only for
sins against the light of nature, Rom.2:12, as never having the
written law or gospel made known unto them: wherefore unto such
persons, to abstain from sins against the light of nature would be
sufficient unto their justification, without any knowledge of Christ
or the gospel.
     4. This proposition,--that God pardons men their sins, gives then
the adoption of children, with a right unto the heavenly
inheritance, according to their works,--is not only foreign to the
gospel, but contradictory unto it, and destructive of it, as
contrary unto all express testimonies of the Scripture, both in the
Old Testament and the New, where these things are spoken of; but
that God judges all men, and renders unto all men, at the last
judgment, according unto their works, is true, and affirmed in the
     5. In our justification in this life by faith, Christ is
considered as our propitiation and advocate, as he who has made
atonement for sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness; but at
the last day, and in the last judgment, he is considered only as the
     6. The end of God in our justification is the glory of his grace,
Eph.1:6; but the end of God in the last judgment is the glory of his
remunerative righteousness, 2 Tim.4:8.
     7. The representation that is made of the final judgment, Matt.7
and 25, is only of the visible church. And therein the plea of
faith, as to the profession of it, is common unto all, and is
equally made by all. Upon that plea of faith, it is put unto the
trial whether it were sincere, true faith or no, or only that which
was dead and barren. And this trial is made solely by the fruits and
effects of it; and otherwise, in the public declaration of things
unto all, it cannot be made. Otherwise, the faith whereby we are
justified comes not
into judgment at the last day. See John 5:24, with Mark 16:16.

VII. Imputation, and the nature of it; with the imputation of the
righteousness of Christ in particular

Imputation, and the nature of it--The first express record of
justification determines it to be by imputation, Gen.15:6--Reasons
of it--The doctrine of imputation cleared by Paul; the occasion of
it--Maligned and opposed by many--Weight of the doctrine concerning
imputation of righteousness, on all hands acknowledged--Judgment of
the Reformed churches herein, particularly of the church of England-
-By whom opposed, and on what grounds--Signification of the word--
Difference between "reputare" and "imputare"--Imputation of two
kinds:--1. Of what was ours antecedently unto that imputation,
whether good or evil--Instances in both kinds--Nature of this
imputation--The thing imputed by it, imputed for what it is, and
nothing else. --2. Of what is not ours antecedently unto that
imputation, but is made so by it--General nature of this imputation-
-Not judging of others to have done what they have not done--Several
distinct grounds and reasons of this imputation:--1. "Ex justitia";
--(1.) "Propter relationem foederalem;"--(2.) "Propter relationem
naturalem;"--2. "Ex voluntaria sponsione"--Instances, Philem.18;
Gen.43:9--Voluntary sponsion, the ground of the imputation of sin to
Christ. --3. "Ex injuria", 1 Kings 1:21. --4. "Ex mera gratia," Rom.
4--Difference between the imputation of any works of ours, and of
the righteousness of God--Imputation of inherent righteousness is
"ex justitia"--Inconsistency of it with that which is "ex mera
gratia," Rom.4--Agreement of both kinds of imputation--The true
nature of the imputation of righteousness unto justification
explained--Imputation of the righteousness of Christ--The thing
itself imputed, not the effect of it; proved against the Socinians

The first express record of the justification of any sinner is of
Abraham. Others were justified before him from the beginning, and
there is that affirmed of them which sufficiently evidences them so
to have been; but this prerogative was reserved for the father of
the faithful, that his justification, and the express way and manner
of it, should be first entered on the sacred record. So it is,
Gen.15:6, "He believed in the LORD, and it was counted unto him for
righteousness." "wayachsheveha",--it was "accounted" unto him, or
"imputed" unto him, for righteousness. "Elogisthe",--it was
"counted, reckoned, imputed." And "it was not written for his sake
alone that it was imputed unto him, but for us also, unto whom it
shall be imputed if we believe," Rom.4:23,24. Wherefore, the first
express declaration of the nature of justification in the Scripture
affirms it to be by imputation,--the imputation of somewhat unto
righteousness; and this [is] done in that place and instance which
is recorded on purpose, as the precedent and example of all those
that shall be justified. As he was justified so are we, and no
     Under the New Testament there was a necessity of a more full and
clear declaration of the doctrine of it; for it is among the first
and most principal parts of that heavenly mystery of truth which was
to be brought to light by the gospel. And, besides, there was from
the first a strong and dangerous opposition made unto it; for this
matter of justification, the doctrine of it, and what necessarily
belongs thereunto, was that whereon the Jewish church broke off from
God, refused Christ and the gospel, perishing in their sins; as is
expressly declared, Rom.9:31; 10:3,4. And, in like manner, a dislike
of it, an opposition unto it, ever was, and ever will be, a
principle and cause of the apostasy of any professing church from
Christ and the gospel that falls under the power and deceit of them;
as it fell out afterwards in the churches of the Galatians. But in
this state the doctrine of justification was fully declared, stated,
and vindicated, by the apostle Paul, in a peculiar manner. And he
does it especially by affirming and proving that we have the
righteousness whereby and wherewith we are justified by imputation,
or, that our justification consists in the non-imputation of sin,
and the imputation of righteousness.
     But yet, although the first-recorded instance of justification,--
and which was so recorded that it might be an example, and represent
the justification of all that should be justified unto the end of
the world,--is expressed by imputation and righteousness imputed,
and the doctrine of it, in that great case wherein the eternal
welfare of the church of the Jews, or their ruin, was concerned, is
so expressed by the apostle; yet is it so fallen out in our days,
that nothing in religion is more maligned, more reproached, more
despised, than the imputation of righteousness unto us, or an
imputed righteousness. "A putative righteousness, the shadow of a
dream, a fancy, a mummery, an imagination," say some among us. An
opinion, "foeda, execranda, pernitiosa, detestanta", says Socinus.
And opposition arises unto it every day from great variety of
principles; for those by whom it is opposed and rejected can by no
means agree what to set up in the place of it.
     However, the weight and importance of this doctrine is on all
hands acknowledged, whether it be true or false. It is not a dispute
about notions, terms, and speculations, wherein Christian practice
is little or not at all concerned (of which nature many are
needlessly contended about); but such as has an immediate influence
into our whole present duty, with our eternal welfare or ruin. Those
by whom this imputation of righteousness is rejected, do affirm that
the faith and doctrine of it do overthrow the necessity of gospel
obedience, of personal righteousness and good works, bringing in
antinomianism and libertinism in life. Hereon it must, of necessity,
be destructive of salvation in those who believe it, and conform
their practice thereunto. And those, on the other hand, by whom it
is believed, seeing they judge it impossible that any man should be
justified before God any other way but by the imputation of the
righteousness of Christ, do, accordingly, judge that without it none
can be saved. Hence a learned man of ]ate concludes his discourse
concerning it, "Hactenus de imputatione justitiae Christi; sine qua
nemo unquam aut salvtus est, aut slvari queat", Justificat. Paulin.
cap. 8;--"Thus far of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ;
without which no man was ever saved, nor can any so be." They do not
think nor judge that all those are excluded from salvation who
cannot apprehend, or do deny, the doctrine of the imputation of the
righteousness of Christ, as by them declared; but they judge that
they are so unto whom that righteousness is not really imputed: nor
can they do otherwise, whilst they make it the foundation of all
their own acceptation with God and eternal salvation. These things
greatly differ. To believe the doctrine of it, or not to believe it,
as thus or thus explained, is one thing; and to enjoy the thing, or
not enjoy it, is another. I no way doubt but that many men do
receive more grace from God than they understand or will own, and
have a greater efficacy of it in them than they will believe. Men
may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny;
and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness
which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed: for the faith of it is
included in that general assent which they give unto the truth of
the gospel, and such an adherence unto Christ may ensue thereon, as
that their mistake of the way whereby they are saved by him shall
not defraud them of a real interest therein. And for my part, I must
say that notwithstanding all the disputes that I see and read about
justification (some whereof are full of offense and scandal), I do
not believe but that the authors of them (if they be not Socinians
throughout, denying the whole merit and satisfaction of Christ) do
really trust unto the mediation of Christ for the pardon of their
sins and acceptance with God, and not unto their own works or
obedience; nor will I believe the contrary, until they expressly
declare it. Of the objection, on the other hand, concerning the
danger of the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of
Christ, in reference unto the necessity of holiness and works of
righteousness, we must treat afterwards.
     The judgment of the Reformed churches herein is known unto all,
and must be confessed, unless we intend by vain cavils to increase
and perpetuate contentions. Especially the church of England is in
her doctrine express as unto the imputation of the righteousness of
Christ, both active and passive, as it is usually distinguished.
This has been of late so fully manifested out of her authentic
writings,--that is, the articles of religion, and books of homilies,
and other writings publicly authorized,--that it is altogether
needless to give any farther demonstration of it. Those who pretend
themselves to be otherwise minded are such as I will not contend
withal; for to what purpose is it to dispute with men who will deny
the sun to shine, when they cannot bear the heat of its beams?
Wherefore, in what I have to offer on this subject, I shall not in
the least depart from the ancient doctrine of the church of England;
yea, I have no design but to declare and vindicate it, as God shall
     There are, indeed, sundry differences among persons learned,
sober, and orthodox (if that term displease not), in the way and
manner of the explication of the doctrine of justification by the
imputation of the righteousness of Christ, who yet all of them agree
in the substance of it,--in all those things wherein the grace of
God, the honour of Christ, and the peace of the souls of men, are
principally concerned. As far as it is possible for me, I shall
avoid the concerning of myself at present in these differences; for
unto what purpose is it to contend about them, whilst the substance
of the doctrine itself is openly opposed and rejected? Why should we
debate about the order and beautifying of the rooms in a house,
whilst fire is set unto the whole? When that is well quenched, we
may return to the consideration of the best means for the disposal
and use of the several parts of it.
     There are two grand parties by whom the doctrine of justification
by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ is opposed,--
namely, the Papists and the Socinians; but they proceed on different
principles, and unto different ends. The design of the one is to
exalt their own merits; of the other, to destroy the merit of
Christ. But besides these, who trade in company, we have many
interlopers, who, coming in on their hand, do make bold to borrow
from both as they see occasion. We shall have to do with them all in
our progress; not with the persons of any, nor the way and manner of
their expressing themselves, but the opinions of all of them, so far
as they are opposite unto the truth: for it is that which wise men
despise, and good men bewail,--to see persons pretending unto
religion and piety, to cavil at expressions, to contend about words,
to endeavour the fastening of opinions on men which they own not,
and thereon mutually to revile one another, publishing all to the
world as some great achievement or victory. This is not the way to
teach the truths of the gospel, nor to promote the edification of
the church. But, in general, the importance of the cause to be
pleaded, the greatness of the opposition that is made unto the
truth, and the high concernment of the souls of believers to be
rightly instructed in it, do call for a renewed declaration and
vindication of it. And what I shall attempt unto this purpose I do
it under this persuasion,--that the life and continuance of any
church on the one hand, and its apostasy or ruin on the other, do
depend in an eminent manner on the preservation or rejection of the
truth in this article of religion; and, I shall add, as it has been
professed, received, and believed in the church of England in former
     The first thing we are to consider is the meaning of these words,
to impute, and imputation; for, from a mere plain declaration
hereof, it will appear that sundry things charged on a supposition
of the imputation we plead for are vain and groundless, or the
charge itself is so.
     "Chashav", the word first used to this purpose, signifies to
think, to esteem, to judge, or to refer a thing or matter unto any;
to impute, or to be imputed, for good or evil. See Lev.7:18; 17:4,
and Ps.106:31. "Watechashev lo litsdakah"--"And it was counted,
reckoned, imputed unto him for righteousness;" to judge or esteem
this or that good or evil to belong unto him, to be his. The LXX
express it by "logidzoo" and "logidzomai", as do the writers of the
New Testament also; and these are rendered by "reputare, imputare,
acceptum ferre, tribuere, assignare, ascribere." But there is a
different signification among these words: in particular, to be
imputed righteous, and to have righteousness imputed, differ, as
cause and effect; for that any may be reputed righteous,--that is,
be judged or esteemed so to be,-- there must be a real foundation of
that reputation, or it is a mistake, and not a right judgment; as a
man may be reputed to be wise who is a fool, or reputed to be rich
who is a beggar. Wherefore, he that is reputed righteous must either
have a righteousness of his own, or another antecedently imputed
unto him, as the foundation of that reputation. Wherefore, to impute
righteousness unto one that has none of his own, is not to repute
him to be righteous who is indeed unrighteous; but it is to
communicate a righteousness unto him, that he may rightly and justly
be esteemed, judged, or reputed righteous.
     "Imputare" is a word that the Latin tongue owns in the sense
wherein it is used by divines. "Optime de pessimis meruisti, ad quos
pervenerit incorrupta rerum fides, magno authori suo imputate",
Senec. ad Mart. And Plin., lib. 18 cap. 1, in his apology for the
earth, our common parent, "Nostris eam criminibus urgemus, culpamque
nostram illi imputamus".
     In their sense, to impute any thing unto another is, if it be
evil, to charge it on him, to burden him with it: so says Pliny, "We
impute our own faults to the earth, or charge them upon it." If it
be good, it is to ascribe it unto him as his own, whether originally
it were so or no: "Magno authori imputate". Vasquez, in Thom. 22,
tom. 2: disp. 132, attempts the sense of the word, but confounds it
with "reputare:" "Imputare aut reputare quidquam alicui, est idem
atque inter ea quae sunt ipsius, et ad eum pertinent, connumerare et
recensere". This is "reputare" properly; "imputare" includes an act
antecedent unto this accounting or esteeming a thing to belong unto
any person.
     But whereas that may be imputed unto us which is really our own
antecedently unto that imputation, the word must needs have a double
sense, as it has in the instances given out of Latin authors now
mentioned. And,--
     1. To impute unto us that which was really ours antecedently unto
that imputation, includes two things in it:--(1.) An acknowledgment
or judgment that the thing so imputed is really and truly ours, or
in us. He that imputes wisdom or learning unto any man does, in the
first place, acknowledge him to be wise or learned. (2.) A dealing
with them according unto it, whether it be good or evil. So when,
upon a trial, a man is acquitted because he is found righteous;
first, he is judged and esteemed righteous, and then dealt with as a
righteous person,--his righteousness is imputed unto him. See this
exemplified, Gen.30:33.
     2. To impute unto us that which is not our own antecedently unto
that imputation, includes also in it two things:--(1.) A grant or
donation of the thing itself unto us, to be ours, on some just
ground and foundation; for a thing must be made ours before we can
justly be dealt withal according unto what is required on the
account of it. (2.) A will of dealing with us, or an actual dealing
with us, according unto that which is so made ours; for in this
matter whereof we treat, the most holy and righteous God does not
justify any,--that is, absolve them from sin, pronounce them
righteous, and thereon grant unto them right and title unto eternal
life,--but upon the interveniency of a true and complete
righteousness, truly and completely made the righteousness of them
that are to be justified in order of nature antecedently unto their
justification. But these things will be yet made more clear by
instances; and it is necessary they should be so.
     (1.) There is an imputation unto us of that which is really our
own, inherent in us, performed by us, antecedently unto that
imputation, and this whether it be evil or good. The rule and nature
hereof is given and expressed, Ezek.18:20, "The righteousness of the
righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall
be upon him." Instances we have of both sorts. First, in the
imputation of sin when the person guilty of it is so judged and
reckoned a sinner as to be dealt withal accordingly. This imputation
Shimei deprecated, 2 Sam.19:19. He said unto the king, "Let not my
lord impute iniquity unto me,"--"'al-yachashav-li 'adoni 'awon", the
word used in the expression of the imputation of righteousness,
Gen.15:6,--"neither do thou remember that which thy servant did
perversely: for thy servant does know that I have sinned." He was
guilty, and acknowledged his guilt; but deprecates the imputation of
it in such a sentence concerning him as his sin deserved. So Stephen
deprecated the imputation of sin unto them that stoned him, whereof
they were really guilty, Acts 7:60, "Lay not this sin to their
charge;"--impute it not unto them: as, on the other side, Zechariah
the son of Jehoiada, who died in the same cause and the same kind of
death with Stephen, prayed that the sin of those which slew him
might be charged on them, 2 Chron.24:22. Wherefore to impute sin is
to lay it unto the charge of any, and to deal with them according
unto its desert.
     To impute that which is good unto any, is to judge and acknowledge
it so to be theirs, and thereon to deal with them in whom it is
according unto its respect unto the law of God. The "righteousness
of the righteous shall be upon him." So Jacob provided that his
"righteousness should answer for him," Gen.30:33. And we have an
instance of it in God's dealing with men, Ps.106:30,31, "Then stood
up Phinehas and executed judgment; and that was counted unto him for
righteousness." Notwithstanding it seemed that he had not sufficient
warrant for what he did, yet God, that knew his heart, and what
guidance of his own Spirit he was under, approved his act as
righteous, and gave him a reward testifying that approbation.
     Concerning this imputation it must be observed, that whatever is
our own antecedently thereunto, which is an act of God thereon, can
never be imputed unto us for any thing more or less than what it is
really in itself. For this imputation consists of two parts, or two
things concur thereunto:--First, A judgment of the thing to be ours,
to be in us, or to belong unto us. Secondly, A will of dealing with
us, or an actual dealing with us, according unto it. Wherefore, in
the imputation of any thing unto us which is ours, God esteems it
not to be other than it is. He does not esteem that to be a perfect
righteousness which is imperfect; so to do, might argue either a
mistake of the thing judged on, or perverseness in the judgment
itself upon it. Wherefore, if, as some say, our own faith and
obedience are imputed unto us for righteousness, seeing they are
imperfect, they must be imputed unto us for an imperfect
righteousness, and not for that which is perfect; for that judgment
of God which is according unto truth is in this imputation. And the
imputation of an imperfect righteousness unto us, esteeming it only
as such, will stand us in little stead in this matter. And the
acceptilation which some plead (traducing a fiction in human laws to
interpret the mystery of the gospel) does not only overthrow all
imputation, but the satisfaction and merit of Christ also. And it
must be observed, that this imputation is a mere act of justice,
without any mixture of grace; as the apostle declares, Rom.11:6. For
it consists of these two parts:--First, An acknowledging and judging
that to be in us which is truly so; Secondly, A will of dealing with
us according unto it: both which are acts of justice.
     (2.) The imputation unto us of that which is not our own
antecedently unto that imputation, at least not in the same manner
as it is afterwards, is various also, as unto the grounds and causes
that it proceeds upon. Only it must be observed, that no imputation
of this kind is to account them unto whom anything is imputed to
have done the things themselves which are imputed unto them. That
were not to impute, but to err in judgment, and, indeed, utterly to
overthrow the whole nature of gracious imputation. But it is to make
that to be ours by imputation which was not ours before, unto all
ends and purposes whereunto it would have served if it had been our
own without any such imputation.
     It is therefore a manifest mistake of their own which some make
the ground of a charge on the doctrine of imputation. For they say,
"If our sins were imputed unto Christ, then must he be esteemed to
have done what we have done amiss, and so be the greatest sinner
that ever was;" and on the other side, "If his righteousness be
imputed unto us, then are we esteemed to have done what he did, and
so to stand in no need of the pardon of sin." But this is contrary
unto the nature of imputation, which proceeds on no such judgment;
but, on the contrary, that we ourselves have done nothing of what is
imputed unto us, nor Christ any thing of what was imputed unto him.
     To declare more distinctly the nature of this imputation, I shall
consider the several kinds of it, or rather the several grounds
whence it proceeds. For this imputation unto us of what is not our
own antecedent unto that imputation, may be either,--1. "Ex
justitia;" or, 2. "Ex voluntaria sponsione;" or, 3. "Ex injuria; or,
4. "Ex gratia;"--all which shall be exemplified. I do not place them
thus distinctly, as if they might not some of them concur in the
same imputation, which I shall manifest that they do; but I shall
refer the several kinds of imputation unto that which is the next
cause of every one.
     1. Things that are not our own originally, personally, inherently,
may yet be imputed unto us "ex justitia," by the rule of
righteousness. And this may be done upon a double relation unto
those whose they are:--(1.) Federal. (2.) Natural.
     (1.) Things done by one may he imputed unto others, "propter
relationem foederalem",--because of a covenant relation between
them. So the sin of Adam was and is imputed unto all his posterity;
as we shall afterward more fully declare. And the ground hereof is
that we stood all in the same covenant with him, who was our head
and representative therein. The corruption and depravation of nature
which we derive from Adam is imputed unto us with the first kind, of
imputation,--namely, of that which is ours antecedently unto that
imputation: but his actual sin is imputed unto us as that which
becomes ours by that imputation; which before it was not. Hence,
says Bellarmine himself, "Peccatum Adami ita posteris omnibus
imputatur, ac si omnes idem peccatum patravissent", De Amiss. Grat.,
lib.4 cap.10;--"The sin of Adam is so imputed unto all his
posterity, as if they had all committed the same sin." And he gives
us herein the true nature of imputation, which he fiercely disputes
against in his books on justification. For the imputation of that
sin unto us, as if we had committed it, which he acknowledges,
includes both a transcription of that sin unto us, and a dealing
with us as if we had committed it; which is the doctrine of the
apostle, Rom.5.
     (2) There is an imputation of sin unto others, "ex justitia
propter relationem naturalem",--on the account of a natural relation
between them and those who had actually contracted the guilt of it.
But this is so only with respect unto some outward, temporary
effects of it. So God speaks concerning the children of the
rebellious Israelites in the wilderness, "Your children shall wander
in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms," Numb.14:33;-
-"Your sin shall be so far imputed unto your children, because of
their relation unto you, and your interest in them, as that they
shall suffer for them in an afflictive condition in the wilderness."
And this was just because of the relation between them; as the same
procedure of divine justice is frequently declared in other places
of the Scripture. So, where there is a due foundation of it,
imputation is an act of justice.
     2. Imputation may justly ensue "ex voluntaria sponsione,"--when
one freely and willingly undertakes to answer for another. An
illustrious instance hereof we have in that passage of the apostle
unto Philemon in the behalf of Onesimus, verse 18, "If he has
wronged thee, or ows thee ought" ("touto emoi ellogei"), "impute it
unto me,--put it on my account." He supposes that Philemon might
have a double action against Onesimus. (1.) "Injuriarum," of wrongs:
"Ei de ti edikese se"--If he has dealt unjustly with thee, or by
thee, if he has so wronged thee as to render himself obnoxious unto
punishment." (2.) "Damni", or of loss: "E ofeilei"--"If he ows thee
ought, be a debtor unto thee;" which made him liable to payment or
restitution. In this state the apostle interposes himself by a
voluntary sponsion, to undertake for Onesimus: "I Paul have written
it with my own hand," "Egoo apotisoo"--"I Paul will answer for the
whole." And this he did by the transcription of both the debts of
Onesimus unto himself; for the crime was of that nature as might be
taken away by compurgation, being not capital. And the imputation of
them unto him was made just by his voluntary undertaking of them.
"Account me," says he, "the person that has done these things; and I
will make satisfaction, so that nothing be charged on Onesimus." So
Judas voluntarily undertook unto Jacob for the safety of Benjamin,
and obliged himself unto perpetual guilt in case of failure,
Gen.43:9, "I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require
him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee,"
"wechata'ti lecha kol-hayamim",--"I will sin," or "be a sinner
before thee always,"--be guilty, and, as we say, bear the blame. So
he expresses himself again unto Joseph, chap.44:32. It seems this is
the nature and office of a surety; what he undertakes for is justly
to be required at his hand, as if he had been originally and
personally concerned in it. And this voluntary sponsion was one

(continued in part 17...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: ownjs-16.txt