(Owen, Justification. part 17)

ground of the imputation of our sin unto Christ. He took on him the
person of the whole church that had sinned, to answer for what they
had done against God and the law. Hence that imputation was
"fundamentaliter ex compacto, ex voluntaria sponsione";--it had its
foundation in his voluntary undertaking. But, on supposition hereof,
it was actually "ex justitia;" it being righteous that he should
answer for it, and make good what he had so undertaken, the glory of
God's righteousness and holiness being greatly concerned herein.
     3. There is an imputation "ex injuria," when that is laid unto the
charge of any whereof he is not guilty: so Bathsheba says unto
David, "It shall come to pass that when my lord the king shall sleep
with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be 'chatta'im'"
(sinners), 1 Kings 1:21;--"shall be dealt with as offenders, as
guilty persons; have sin imputed unto us, on one pretence or other,
unto our destruction. We shall be sinners,--be esteemed so, and be
dealt withal accordingly." And we may see that, in the phrase of the
Scripture, the denomination of sinners follows the imputation as
well as the inhesion of sin; which will give light unto that place
of the apostle, "He was made sin for us," 2 Cor.5:21. This kind of
imputation has no place in the judgment of God. It is far from him
that the righteous should be as the wicked.
     4. There is an imputation "ex mera gratia," of mere grace and
favor. And this is, when that which antecedently unto this
imputation was no way ours, not inherent in us, not performed by us,
which we had no right nor title unto, is granted unto us, made ours,

so as that we are judged of and dealt with according unto it. This
is that imputation, in both branches of it,--negative in the non-
imputation of sin, and positive in the imputation of righteousness,-
-which the apostle so vehemently pleads for, and so frequently
asserts, Rom. 4; for he both affirms the thing itself, and declares
that it is of mere grace, without respect unto any thing within
ourselves. And if this kind of imputation cannot be fully
exemplified in any other instance but this alone whereof we treat,
it is because the foundation of it, in the mediation of Christ, is
singular, and that which there is nothing to parallel in any other
case among men.
     From what has been discoursed concerning the nature and grounds of
imputation, sundry things are made evident, which contribute much
light unto the truth which we plead for, at least unto the right
understanding and stating of the matter under debate. As,--
     1. The difference is plain between the imputation of any works of
our own unto us, and the imputation of the righteousness of faith
without works. For the imputation of works unto us, be they what
they will, be it faith itself as a work of obedience in us, is the
imputation of that which was ours before such imputation; but the
imputation of the righteousness of faith, or the righteousness of
God which is by faith, is the imputation of that which is made ours
by virtue of that imputation. And these two imputations differ in
their whole kind. The one is a judging of that to be in us which
indeed is so, and is ours before that judgment be passed concerning
it; the other is a communication of that unto us which before was
not ours. And no man can make sense of the apostle's discourse,--
that is, he cannot understand any thing of it,--if he acknowledge
not that the righteousness he treats of is made ours by imputation,
and was not ours antecedently thereunto.
     2. The imputation of works, of what sort soever they be, of faith
itself as a work, and all the obedience of faith, is "ex justitia,"
and not "ex gratia," of right, and not of grace. However the
bestowing of faith on us, and the working of obedience in us, may be
of grace, yet the imputation of them unto us, as in us, and as ours,
is an act of justice; for this imputation, as was showed, is nothing
but a judgment that such and such things are in us, or are ours,
which truly and really are so, with a treating of us according unto
them. This is an act of justice, as it appears in the description
given of that imputation; but the imputation of righteousness,
mentioned by the apostle, is as unto us "ex mera gratia", of mere
grace, as he fully declares,--"doorean tei chariti outou". And,
moreover, he declares that these two sorts of imputation are
inconsistent and not capable of any composition, so that any thing
should be partly of the one, and partly of the other, Rom.9:6, "If
by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more
grace: but if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise
work is no more work." For instance, if faith itself as a work of
ours be imputed unto us, it being ours antecedently unto that
imputation, it is but an acknowledgment of it to be in us and ours,
with an ascription of it unto us for what it is; for the ascription
of any thing unto us for what it is not, is not imputation, but
mistake. But this is an imputation "ex justitia," of works; and so
that which is of mere grace can have no place, by the apostle's
rule. So the imputation unto us of what is in us is exclusive of
grace, in the apostle's sense. And on the other hand, if the
righteousness of Christ be imputed unto us, it must be "ex mera
gratia," of mere grace; for that is imputed unto us which was not
ours antecedently unto that imputation, and so is communicated unto
us thereby. And here is no place for works, nor for any pretence of
them. In the one way, the foundation of imputation is in ourselves;
in the other, it is in another; which are irreconcilable.
     3. Herein both these kinds of imputation do agree,--namely, in
that whatever is imputed unto us, it is imputed for what it is, and
not for what it is not. If it be a perfect righteousness that is
imputed unto us, so it is esteemed and judged to be; and accordingly
are we to be dealt withal, even as those who have a perfect
righteousness; and if that which is imputed as righteousness unto us
be imperfect, or imperfectly so, then as such must it be judged when
it is imputed; and we must be dealt withal as those which have such
an imperfect righteousness, and no otherwise. And therefore, whereas
our inherent righteousness is imperfect (they are to be pitied or
despised, not to be contended withal, that are otherwise minded), if
that be imputed unto us, we cannot be accepted on the account
thereof as perfectly righteous, without an error in judgment.
     4. Hence the true nature of that imputation which we plead for
(which so many cannot or will not understand) is manifest, and that
both negatively and positively; for,--(1.) Negatively. First, It is
not a judging or esteeming of them to be righteous who truly and
really are not so. Such a judgment is not reducible unto any of the
grounds of imputation before mentioned. It has the nature of that
which is "ex injuria," or a false charge, only it differs materially

from it; for that respects evil, this that which is good. And
therefore the glamours of the Papists and others are mere effects of
ignorance or malice, wherein they cry out "ad ravim," [till they are
hoarse,] that we affirm God to esteem them to be righteous who are
wicked, sinful, and polluted. But this falls heavily on them who
maintain that we are justified before God by our own inherent
righteousness: for then a man is judged righteous who indeed is not
so; for he who is not perfectly righteous cannot be righteous in the
sight of God unto justification. Secondly, It is not a naked
pronunciation or declaration of any one to be righteous, without a
just and sufficient foundation for the judgement of God declared
therein. God declares no man to be righteous but him who is so; the
whole question being how he comes so to be. Thirdly, It is not the
transmission or transfusion of the righteousness of another into
them that are to be justified, that they should become perfectly and
inherently righteous thereby; for it is impossible that the
righteousness of one should be transfused into another, to become
his subjectively and inherently: but it is a great mistake, on the
other hand, to say that therefore the righteousness of one can no
way be made the righteousness of another; which is to deny all
     Wherefore,--(~.) Positively. This imputation is an act of God "ex
mera gratia," of his mere love and grace; whereby, on the
consideration of the mediation of Christ, he makes an effectual
grant and donation of a true, real, perfect righteousness, even that
of Christ himself unto all that do believe; and accounting it as
theirs, on his own gracious act, both absolves them from sin and
grants them right and title unto eternal life. Hence,--
     5. In this imputation, the thing itself is first imputed unto us,
and not any of the effects of it, but they are made ours by virtue
of that imputation. To say that the righteousness of Christ,--that
is, his obedience and sufferings,--are imputed unto us only as unto
their effects, is to say that we have the benefit of them, and no
more; but imputation itself is denied. So say the Socinians; but
they know well enough, and ingenuously grant, that they overthrow
all true, real imputation thereby. "Nec enim ut per Christi
justitiam justificemur, opus est ut illius justitia, nostra fiat
justitia; sed sufficit ut Christi justitia sit causa nostrae
justificationis; et hactenus possumus tibi concedere, Christi
justitiam esse nostram justitiam, quatenus nostrum in bonum
justitiamque redundat; verum tu proprie nostram, id est, nobis
attributam ascriptamque intelligis", says Schlichtingius, Disp. pro
Socin. ad Meisner. p. 250. And it is not pleasing to see some among
ourselves with so great confidence take up the sense and words of
these men in their disputations against the Protestant doctrine in
this cause; that is, the doctrine of the church of England,.
     That the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto us as unto its
effects, has this sound sense in it,--namely, that the effects of it
are made ours by reason of that imputation. It is so imputed, so
reckoned unto us of God, as that he really communicates all the
effects of it unto us. But to say the righteousness of Christ is not
imputed unto us, only its effects are so, is really to overthrow all
imputation; for (as we shall see) the effects of the righteousness
of Christ cannot be said properly to be imputed unto us; and if his
righteousness itself be not so, imputation has no place herein, nor
can it be understood why the apostle should so frequently assert it
as he does, Rom.4. And therefore the Socinians, who expressly oppose
the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, and plead for a
participation of its effects or benefits only, do wisely deny any
such kind of righteousness of Christ,--namely, of satisfaction and
merit (or that the righteousness of Christ, as wrought by him, was
either satisfactory or meritorious),--as alone may be imputed unto
us. For it will readily be granted, that what alone they allow the
righteousness of Christ to consist in cannot be imputed unto us,
whatever benefit we may have by it. But I do not understand how
those who grant the righteousness of Christ to consist principally
in his satisfaction for us, or in our stead, can conceive of an
imputation of the effects thereof unto us, without an imputation of
the thing itself; seeing it is for that, as made ours, that we
partake of the benefits of it. But, from the description of
imputation and the instances of it, it appears that there can be no
imputation of any thing unless the thing itself be imputed; nor any
participation of the effects of any thing but what iS grounded on
the imputation of the thing itself. Wherefore, in our particular
case, no imputation of the righteousness of Christ is allowed,
unless we grant itself to be imputed; nor can we have any
participation of the effects of it but on the supposition and
foundation of that imputation. The impertinent cavils that some of
late have collected from the Papists and Socinians,--that if it be
so, then are we as righteous as Christ himself, that we have
redeemed the world and satisfied for the sins of others, that the
pardon of sin is impossible and personal righteousness needless,--
shall afterward be spoken unto, so far as they deserve.
     All that we aim to demonstrate is, only, that either the
righteousness of Christ itself is imputed unto us, or there is no
imputation in the matter of our justification; which, whether there
be or no, is another question, afterward to be spoken unto. For, as
was said, the effects of the righteousness of Christ cannot be said
properly to be imputed unto us. For instance, pardon of sin is a
great effect of the righteousness of Christ. Our sins are pardoned
on the account thereof. God for Christ's sake, forgives us all our
sins. But the pardon of sin cannot be said to be imputed unto us,
nor is so. Adoption, justification, peace with God, all grace and
glory, are effects of the righteousness of Christ; but that these
things are not imputed unto us, nor can be so, is evident from their
nature. But we are made partakers of them all upon the account of
the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto us, and no
     Thus much may suffice to be spoken of the nature of imputation of
the righteousness of Christ; the grounds, reasons, and causes
whereof, we shall in the next place inquire into. And I doubt not
but we shall find, in our inquiry, that it is no such figment as
some, ignorant of these things, do imagine; but, on the contrary, an
important truth immixed with the most fundamental principles of the
mystery of the gospel, and inseparable from the grace of God in
Christ Jesus.

VIII. Imputation of the sins of the church unto Christ--Grounds of
it--The nature of his suretiship--Causes of the new covenant--Christ
and the church one mystical person--Consequents thereof

Imputation of sin unto Christ--Testimonies of the ancients unto that
purpose--Christ and the church one mystical person--Mistakes about
that state and relation--Grounds and reasons of the union that is
the foundation of this imputation--Christ the surety of the new
covenant; in what sense, unto what ends--Heb.7:22, opened--Mistakes
about the causes and ends of the death of Christ--The new covenant,
in what sense alone procured and purchased thereby --Inquiry whether
the guilt of our sins was imputed unto Christ--The meaning of the
words, "guilt," and "guilty"--The distinction of "reatus culpae",
and "reatus poenae", examined--Act of God in the imputation of the
guilt of our sins unto Christ--Objections against it answered--The
truth confirmed

Those who believe the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto
believers, for the justification of life, do also unanimously
profess that the sins of all believers were imputed unto Christ. And
this they do on many testimonies of the Scripture directly
witnessing thereunto; some whereof shall be pleaded and vindicated
afterwards. At present we are only on the consideration of the
general notion of these things, and the declaration of the nature of
what shall be proved afterwards. And, in the first place, we shall
inquire into the foundation of this dispensation of God, and the
equity of it, or the grounds whereinto it is resolved; without an
understanding whereof the thing itself cannot be well apprehended.
     The principal foundation hereof is,--that Christ and the church,
in this design, were one mystical person; which state they do
actually coalesce into, through the uniting efficacy of the Holy
Spirit. He is the head, and believers are the members of that one
person, as the apostle declares, 1 Cor.12:12,13. Hence, as what he
did is imputed unto them, as if done by them; so what they deserved
on the account of sin was charged upon him. So is it expressed by a
learned prelate, "Nostram causam sustinebat, qui nostram sibi carnem
aduniverat, et ita nobis arctissimo vinculo conjunctus, et
'henootheis', quae erant nostra fecit sua". And again, "Quit mirum
si in nostra persona constitutus, nostram carnem indutus", etc.,
Montacut. Origin. Ecclesiast. The ancients speak to the same
purpose. Leo. Serm. 17: "Ideo se humanae imfirmitati virtus divina
conseruit, ut dum Deus sua facit esse quae nostra sunt, nostra
faceret esse quae sua sunt"; and also Serm. 16 "Caput nostrum
Dominus Jesus Christus omnia in se corporis sui membra transformans,
quod olim in psalmo eructaverit, id in supplicio crucis sub
redemptorum suorum voce clamavit". And so speaks Augustine to the
same purpose, Epist. 120, ad Honoratum, "Audimus vocem corporis ex
ore capitis. Ecclesia in illo patiebatur, quando pro ecclesia
patiebatur", etc.;--"We hear the voice of the body from the mouth of
the head. The church suffered in him when he suffered for the
church; as he suffers in the church when the church suffers for him.
For as we have heard the voice of the church in Christ suffering,
'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? look upon me;' so we
have heard the voice of Christ in the church suffering, 'Saul, Saul,
why persecutes thou me?'" But we may yet look a little backwards and
farther into the sense of the ancient church herein. "Christus,"
says Irenaeus, "omnes gentes exinde ab Adam dispersas, et
generationem hominum in semet ipso recapitulatus est; unde a Paulo
typus futuri dictus est ipse Adam", lib.3 cap.33. And again,
"Recapitulans universum hominum enus in se ab initio usque ad finem,
recapitulatus est et mortem ejus". In this of repapitulation, there
is no doubt but he had respect unto the "anakefalaioosis", mentioned
Eph.1:10; and it may be this was that which Origin intended
enigmatically, by saying, "The soul of the first Adam was the soul
of Christ, s it is charged on him". And Cyprian, Epist. 62, on
bearing about the administration of the sacrament of the eucharist,
"Nos omnes portabat Christus; qui et peccata nostra portabet";--"He
bare us", or suffered in our person, "when he bare our sins." Whence
Athanasius affirms of the voice he used on the cross, "Ouk autos ho
Kurios, alle hemeis en ekeinooi paschontes hemen"--"We suffered in
him." Eusebius speaks many things to this purpose, Demonstrate.
Evangeli. lib.10 cap.1. Expounding those words of the psalmist,
"Heal my soul, for" (or, as he would read them, if) "I have sinned
against thee," and applying them unto our Saviour in his sufferings,
he says thus, "Epeidan tas hemeteras koinopoiei eis heauton
hamartias"--"Because he took of our sins to himself;" communicated
our sins to himself, making them his own: for so he adds, "Hoti tas
hemeteras hamartias exoikeioumenos"--"Making our sins his own." And
because in his following words he fully expresses what I design to
prove, I shall transcribe them at large: "Poos de tas hemeteras
hemartias exoikeioutai; kai poos ferein legetai tas anomias hemoon,
e kath' ho sooma autou einai legometha; kata ton apostolon tesanta,
humeis este sooma Christou, kai mele ek merous. kai kath' ho
paschontos henos melous sumpaschei panta ta mele, houtoo toon
pollooon meloon paschontoon kai hamartanontoon, kai autos kata tous
tes sumpatieias logous, epeideper eudokese Theou Logos oon, morgen
doulou lathein, kai tooi koinooi pantoon hemoon hemoon skenoomati
sunafthenai. tous toon paschontoon meloon ponous eis heauton
analamthanei, kai tas hemeteras nosous idiopoieitai, kai pantoon
hemoon huperalgei kai huperponei kata tous ts filanthroopias nomous.
ou monon de tauta praxas ho Amnos tou Theo, alle kak huper hemoon
kolastheis kai timoorian huposchoon, hen autos men ouk oofeilen,
all' hemeis tou plethous eneken peplemmelemenoon, hemin aitios tes
toon hamartematoon afese hos kateste, ate ton huper hemoon
anadexamenos thanaton, mastigas te kai hutreis kai atimias hemin
epofeilomenas eis auton metatheis, kai ten hemin prostetimemenen
kataran eph' heauton helkusas, genomenos huper hemoon katara. kai ti
gar allo e antipsuchos; dio fesin ex hemeterou prosoopou to logion--
hooste eikotoos henoon heauton hemin, hemas te hautoo kai ta
hemetera pasthe idiopoioumenos fesin, egoo eipa, Kurie ele-eson me,
iasai ten psuchen mou, hoti hemarton soi.
     I have transcribed this passage at large because, as I said, what
I intend to prove in the present discourse is declared fully
therein. Thus, therefore, he speaks: "How, then, did he make our
sins to be his own, and how did he bear our iniquities? Is it not
from thence, that we are said to be his body? as the apostle speaks,
'You are the body of Christ, and members, for your part, or of one
another.' And as when one member suffers, all the members do suffer;
so the many members sinning and suffering, he, according unto the
laws of sympathy in the same body (seeing that, being the Word of
God, he would take the form of a servant, and be joined unto the
common habitation of us all in the same nature), took the sorrows or
labours of the suffering members on him, and made all their
infirmities his own; and, according to the laws of humanity (in the
same body), bare our sorrow and labour for us. And the Lamb of God
did not only these things for us but he underwent torments and was
punished for us; that which he was no ways exposed unto for himself,
but we were so by the multitude of our sins: and thereby he became
the cause of the pardon of our sins,--namely, because he underwent
death, stripes, reproaches, translating the thing which we had
deserved unto himself,--and was made a curse for us, taking unto
himself the curse that was due to us; for what was he but (a
substitute for us) a price of redemption for our souls? In our
person, therefore, the oracle speaks,--whilst freely uniting himself
unto us, and us unto himself, and making our (sins or passions his
own), 'I have said, Lord, be merciful unto me; heal my soul, for I
have sinned against thee.'"
     That our sins were transferred unto Christ and made his, that
thereon he underwent the punishment that was due unto us for them,
and that the ground hereof, whereinto its equity is resolved, is the
union between him and us, is fully declared in this discourse. So
says the learned and pathetical author of the Homilies on Matt.5, in
the works of Chrysostom, Hom.54, which is the last of them, "In
carne sua omnem carnem suscepit, crucifixus, omnem carnem crucifixit
in se." He speaks of the church. So they speak often, others of
them, that "he bare us," that "he took us with him on the cross,"
that "we were all crucified in him;" as Prosper, "He is not saved by
the cross of Christ who is not crucified in Christ," Resp. ad cap.,
Gal. cap. 9.
     This, then, I say, is the foundation of the imputation of the sins
of the church unto Christ,--namely, that he and it are one person;
the grounds whereof we must inquire into.
     But hereon sundry discourses do ensue, and various inquiries are
made,--What a person is? In what sense, and in how many senses, that
word may be used? What is the true notion of it? What is a natural
person? What a legal, civil, or political person? In the explication
whereof some have fallen mistakes. And if we should enter into this
field, we need not fear matter enough of debate and altercation. But
I must needs say, that these things belong not unto our present
occasion; nor is the union of Christ and the church illustrated, but
obscured by them. For Christ and believers are neither one natural
person, nor a legal or political person, nor any such person as the
laws, customs, or usages of men do know or allow of. They are one
mystical person; whereof although there may be some imperfect
resemblances found in natural or political unions, yet the union
from whence that denomination is taken between him and us is of that
nature, and arises from such reasons and causes, as no personal
union among men (or the union of many persons) has any concernment
in. And therefore, as to the representation of it unto our weak
understandings, unable to comprehend the depth of heavenly
mysteries, it is compared unto unions of divers kinds and natures.
So is it represented by that of man and wife; not as unto those
mutual affections which give them only a moral union, but from the
extraction of the first woman from the flesh and bone of the first
man, and the institution of God for the individual society of life
thereon. This the apostle at large declares, Eph.5:25-32: whence he
concludes, that from the union thus represented, "We are members of
his body, of his flesh, and of his bones," verse 30; or have such a
relation unto him as Eve had to Adam, when she was made of his flesh
and bone, and so was one flesh with him. So, also, it is compared
unto the union of the head and members of the same natural body, 1
Cor.12:12; and unto a political union also, between a ruling or
political head and its political members; but never exclusively unto
the union of a natural head and its members comprised in the same
expression, Eph.4:15; Col.2:19. And so also unto sundry things in
nature, as a vine and its branches, John 15:1,2. And it is declared
by the relation that was between Adam and his posterity, by God's
institution and the law of creation, Rom.5:12, etc. And the Holy
Ghost, by representing the union that is between Christ and
believers by such a variety of resemblances, in things agreeing only
in the common or general notion of union, on various grounds, does
sufficiently manifest that it is not of, nor can be reduced unto,
any one kind of them. And this will yet be made more evident by the
consideration of the causes of it, and the grounds whereinto it is
resolved. But whereas it would require much time and diligence to
handle them at large, which the mention of them here, being
occasional, will not admit, I shall only briefly refer unto the
heads of them:--
     1. The first spring or cause of this union, and of all the other
causes of it, lies in that eternal compact that was between the
Father and the Son concerning the recovery and salvation of fallen
mankind. Herein, among other things, as the effects thereof, the
assumption of our nature (the foundation of this union) was
designed. The nature and terms of this compact, counsel, and
agreement, I have declared elsewhere; and therefore must not here
again insist upon it. But the relation between Christ and the
church, proceeding from hence, and so being an effect of infinite
wisdom, in the counsel of the Father and Son, to be made effectual
by the Holy Spirit, must be distinguished from all other unions or
relations whatever.
     2. The Lord Christ, as unto the nature which he was to assume, was
hereon predestinated unto grace and glory. He was "proegnoosmenos",-
-"foreordained," predestinated, "before the foundation of the
world," 1 Pet.1:20; that is, he was so, as unto his office, so unto
all the grace and glory required thereunto, and consequent thereon.
All the grace and glory of the human nature of Christ was an effect
of free divine preordination. God chose it from all eternity unto a
participation of all which it received in time. Neither can any
other cause of the glorious exaltation of that portion of our nature
be assigned.
     3. This grace and glory whereunto he was preordained was twofold:-
-(1.) That which was peculiar unto himself; (2.) That which was to
be communicated, by and through him, unto the church. (1.) Of the
first sort was the "charis henooseoos",--the grace of personal
union; that single effect of divine wisdom (whereof there is no
shadow nor resemblance in any other works of God, either of
creation, providence, or grace), which his nature was filled withal:
"Full of grace and truth." And all his personal glory, power,
authority, and majesty as mediator, in his exaltation at the right
hand of God, which is expressive of them all, do belong hereunto.
These things were peculiar unto him, and all of them effects of his
eternal predestination. But,--(2.) He was not thus predestinated
absolutely, but also with respect unto that grace and glory which in
him and by him was to be communicated unto the church And he was so,-
     [1.] As the pattern and exemplary cause of our predestination; for
we are "predestinated to be conformed unto the image of the Son of
God, that he might be the first born among many brethren," Rom.8:29.
Hence he shall even "change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body," Phil.3:21; that when he appears we may
be every way like him, 1 John 3:2.
     [2.] As the means and cause of communicating all grace and glory
unto us; for we are "chosen in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy, and predestinated unto the adoption
of children by him," Eph.1:3-5. He was designed as the only
procuring cause of all spiritual blessings in heavenly things unto
those who are chosen in him. Wherefore,--
     [3.] He was thus foreordained as the head of the church; it being
the design of God to gather all things into a head in him, Eph.1:10.
     [4.] All the elect of God were, in his eternal purpose and design,
and in the everlasting covenant between the Father and the Son,
committed unto him, to be delivered from sin, the law, and death,
and to be brought into the enjoyment of God: "Thine they were, and
thou gavest them me," John 17:6. Hence was that love of his unto
them wherewith he loved them, and gave himself for them,
antecedently unto any good or love in them, Eph.5:25,26; Gal.2:20;
     [5.] In the prosecution of this design of God, and in the
accomplishment of the everlasting covenant, in the fulness of time
he took upon him our nature, or took it into personal subsistence
with himself. The especial relation that ensued hereon between him
and the elect children the apostle declares at large, Heb.2:10-17;
and I refer the reader unto our exposition of that place.
     [6.] On these foundations he undertook to be the surety of the new
covenant, Heb.7:22, "Jesus was made a surety of a better testament."
This alone, of all the fundamental considerations of the imputation
of our sins unto Christ, I shall insist upon, on purpose to obviate
or remove some mistakes about the nature of his suretiship, and the
respect of it unto the covenant whereof he was the surety. And I
shall borrow what I shall offer hereon from our exposition of this
passage of the apostle in the seventh chapter of this epistle, not
yet published, with very little variation from what I have
discoursed on that occasion, without the least respect unto, or
prospect of, any treating on our present subject.
     The word "enguos" is nowhere found in the Scripture but in this
place only; but the advantage which some would make from thence,
namely, that it being but one place wherein the Lord, Christ is
called a surety, it is not of much force, or much to be insisted on,-
-is both unreasonable and absurd; for,--1st. This one place is of
divine revelation; and therefore is of the same authority with
twenty testimonies unto the same purpose. One divine testimony makes
our faith no less necessary, nor does one less secure it from being
deceived than a hundred.
     2dly. The signification of the word is known from the use of it,
and what it signifies among men; so that no question can be made of
its sense and importance, though it be but once used: and this on
any occasion removes the difficulty and danger, "toon hapax
legomenoon". 3dly. The thing itself intended is so fully declared by
the apostle in this place, and so plentifully taught in other places
of the Scripture, as that the single use of this word may add light,
but can be no prejudice unto it.
     Something may be spoken unto the signification of the word
"enguos", which will give light into the thing intended by it.
"Gualon" is "vola manus",--the "palm of the hand;" thence is
"enguos", or "eis to gualon",--to "deliver into the hand."
"Enguetes" is of the same signification. Hence being a surety is
interpreted by striking the hand, Prov.6:1, "My son, if thou be
surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a
stranger." So it answers the Hebrew "arav", which the LXX render
"enguaoo", Prov.6:1; 17:18; 20:16; and by "dienguaoo", Neh.5:3.
"Arav" originally signifies to mingle, or a mixture of any things or
persons; and thence, from the conjunction and mixture is between a
surety and him for whom he is a surety, whereby they coalesce into
one person, as unto the ends of that suretiship, it is used for a
surety, or to give surety. And he that was or did "arav", a surety,
or become a surety, was to answer for him for whom he was so,
whatsoever befell him. So is it described, Gen.43:9, in the words of
Judas unto his father Jacob, concerning Benjamin, "'anochi
'e'erbennu",--"I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou
require him." In undertaking to be surety for him, as unto his
safety and preservation, he engages himself to answer for all that
should befall him; for so he adds, "If I bring him not unto thee,
and set him before thee, let me be guilty forever." And on this
ground he entreats Joseph that he might be a servant and a bondman
in his stead, that he might go free and return unto his father,
Gen.44:32,33. This is required unto such a surety, that he undergo
and answer all that he for whom he is a surety is liable unto,
whether in things criminal or civil, so far as the suretiship does
extend. A surety is an undertaker for another, or others, who
thereon is justly and legally to answer what is due to them, or from
them; nor is the word otherwise used. See Job 17:3; Prov.6:1; 11:15;
17:18; 20:16; 27:13. So Paul became a surety unto Philemon for
Onesimus, verse 18. "Engue" is "sponsio, expromissio, fidejussio,"--
an undertaking or giving security for any thing or person unto
another, whereon an agreement did ensue. This, in some cases, was by
pledges, or an earnest, Isa.36:8, "hit'arev na"--"Give surety,
pledges, hostages," for the true performance of conditions. Hence is

(continued in part 18...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: ownjs-17.txt