(Owen, Justification. part 19)

covenant were purchased for the church by Jesus Christ. In this
sense, by his death he procured the new covenant. This the whole
Scripture, from the beginning of it in the first promise unto the
end of it, does bear witness unto; for it is in him alone that "God
blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things." Let
all the good things that are mentioned or promised in the covenant,
expressly or by just consequence, be summed up, and it will be no
hard matter to demonstrate concerning them all, and that both
jointly and severally, that they were all procured for us by the
obedience and death of Christ.
     But this is not that which is intended; for most of this opinion
do deny that the grace of the covenant, in conversion unto God, the
remission of sins, sanctification, justification, adoption, and the
like, are the effects or procurements of the death of Christ. And
they do, on the other hand, declare that it is God's making of the
covenant which they do intend, that is, the contrivance of the terms
and conditions of it, with their proposal unto mankind for their
recovery. But herein there is "ouden hugies". For--
     (1.) The Lord Christ himself, and the whole work of his mediation,
as the ordinance of God for the recovery and salvation of lost
sinners, is the first and principal promise of the covenant; so his
exhibition in the flesh, his work of mediation therein, with our
deliverance thereby, was the subject of that first promise, which
virtually contained this whole covenant: so he was of the renovation
of it unto Abraham, when it was solemnly confirmed by the oath of
God, Gal.3:16,17. And Christ did not by his death procure the
promise of his death, nor of his exhibition in the flesh, or his
coming into the world that he might die.
     (2.) The making of this covenant is everywhere in the Scripture
ascribed (as is also the sending of Christ himself to die) unto the
love, grace, and wisdom of God alone; nowhere unto the death of
Christ, as the actual communication of all grace and glory are. Let
all the places be considered, where either the giving of the
promise, the sending of Christ, or the making of the covenant, are
mentioned, either expressly or virtually, and in none of them are
they assigned unto any other cause but the grace, love, and wisdom
of God alone; all to be made effectual unto us by the mediation of
     (3.) The assignation of the sole end, of the death of Christ to be
the procurement of the new covenant, in the sense contended for,
does indeed evacuate all the virtue of the death of Christ and of
the covenant itself; for,--First, The covenant which they intend is
nothing but the constitution and proposal of new terms and
conditions for life and salvation unto all men. Now, whereas the
acceptance and accomplishment of these conditions depend upon the
wills of men no way determined by effectual grace, it was possible
that, notwithstanding all Christ did by his death, yet no one sinner
might be saved thereby, but that the whole end and design of God
therein might be frustrated. Secondly, Whereas the substantial
advantage of these conditions lies herein, that God will now, for
the sake of Christ, accept of an obedience inferior unto that
required in the law, and so as that the grace of Christ does not
raise up all things unto a conformity and compliance with the
holiness and will of God declared therein, but accommodate all
things unto our present condition, nothing can be invented more
dishonourable to Christ and the gospel; for what does it else but
make Christ the minister of sin, in disannulling the holiness that
the law requires, or the obligation of the law unto it, without any
provision of what might answer or come into the room of it, but that
which is incomparably less worthy? Nor is it consistent with divine
wisdom, goodness, and immutability, to appoint unto mankind a law of
obedience, and cast them all under the severest penalty upon the
transgression of it, when he could in justice and honour have given
them such a law of obedience, whose observance might consist with
many failings and sins; for if he have done that now, he could have
done so before: which how far it reflects on the glory of the divine
properties might be easily manifested. Neither does this fond
imagination comply with those testimonies of Scripture, that the
Lord Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it, that he
is the end of the law; and that by faith the law is not disannulled,
but established. Lastly, The Lord Christ was the mediator and surety
of the new covenant, in and by whom it was ratified, confirmed, and
established: and therefore by him the constitution of it was not
procured; for all the acts of his office belong unto that mediation,
and it cannot be well apprehended how any act of mediation for the
establishment of the covenant, and rendering it effectual, should
procure it.
     7. But to return from this digression. That wherein all the
precedent causes of the union between Christ and believers, whence
they become one mystical person, do centre, and whereby they are
rendered a complete foundation of the imputation of their sins unto
him, and of his righteousness unto them, is the communication of his
Spirit, the same Spirit that dwells in him, unto them, to abide in,
to animate and guide, the whole mystical body and all its members.
But this has of late been so much spoken unto, as that I shall do no
more but mention it.
     On the considerations insisted on,--whereby the Lord Christ became
one mystical person with the church, or bare the person of the
church in what he did as mediator, in the holy, wise disposal of God
as the author of the law, the supreme rector or governor of all
mankind, as unto their temporal and eternal concernments, and by his
own consent,--the sins of all the elect were imputed unto him. Thus
having been the faith and language of the church in all ages, and
that derived from and founded on express testimonies of Scripture,
with all the promises and resignations of his exhibition in the
flesh from the beginning, cannot now, with any modesty, be expressly
denied. Wherefore the Socinians themselves grant that our sins may
be said to be imputed unto Christ, and he to undergo the punishment
of them, so far as that all things which befell him evil and
afflictive in this life, with the death which he underwent, were
occasioned by our sins; for had not we sinned, there had been no
need of nor occasion for his suffering. But notwithstanding this
concession, they expressly deny his satisfaction, or that properly
he underwent the punishment due unto our sins; wherein they deny
also all imputation of them unto him. Others say that our sins were
imputed unto him "quoad reatum culpae". But I must acknowledge that
unto me this distinction gives "inanem sine mente sonum". The
substance of it is much insisted on by Feuardentius, Dialog 5 p.
467; and he is followed by others. That which he would prove by it
is, that the Lord Christ did not present himself before the throne
of God with the burden of our sins upon him, so as to answer unto
the justice of God for them. Whereas, therefore, "reatus," or
"guilt," may signify either "dignitatem poenae," or "obligationem ad
poenam," as Bellarmine distinguishes. De Amiss. Grat., lib.7 cap.7,
with respect unto Christ the latter only is to be admitted. And the
main argument he and others insist upon is this,--that if our sins
be imputed unto Christ, as unto the guilt of the fault, as they
speak, then he must be polluted with them, and thence be denominated
a sinner in every kind. And this would be true, if our sins could be
communicated unto Christ by transfusion, so as to be his inherently
and subjectively; but their being so only by imputation gives no
countenance unto any such pretence. However, there is a notion of
legal uncleanness, where there is no inherent defilement; so the
priest who offered the red heifer to make atonement, and he that
burned her, were said to be unclean, Numb.19:7,8. But hereon they
say, that Christ died and suffered upon the special command of God,
not that his death and suffering were any way due upon the account
of our sins, or required in justice; which is utterly to overthrow
the satisfaction of Christ.
     Wherefore, the design of this distinction is, to deny the
imputation of the guilt of our sins unto Christ; and then in what
tolerable sense can they be said to be imputed unto him, I cannot
understand. But we are not tied up unto arbitrary distinctions, and
the sense that any are pleased to impose on the terms of them. I
shall, therefore, first inquire into the meaning of these words,
guilt and guilty, whereby we may be able to judge what it is which
in this distinction is intended.
     The Hebrews have no other word to signify guilt or guilty but
"'asham"; and this they use both for sin, the guilt of it, the
punishment due unto it, and a sacrifice for it. Speaking of the
guilt of blood, they use not any word to signify guilt, but only
say, "dam lo"--"It is blood, to him." So David prays, "Deliver me"
"midamim", "from blood"; which we render "blood-guiltiness,"
Ps.51:14. And this was because, by the constitution of God, he that
was guilty of blood was to die by the hand of the magistrate, or of
God himself. But "'asham" (ascham) is nowhere used for guilt, but it
signifies the relation of the sin intended unto punishment. And
other significations of it will be in vain sought for in the Old
     In the New Testament he that is guilty is said to be "hupodikos",
Rom.3:19; that is, obnoxious to judgment or vengeance for sin, one
that "he dike dzein ouk eiasen", as they speak, Acts 28:4, "whom
vengeance will not suffer to go unpunished;"--and "enochos", 1
Cor.11:27, a word of the same signification;--once by "ofeiloo",
Matt.23:18, to owe, to be indebted to justice. To be obnoxious,
liable unto justice, vengeance, punishment for sin, is to be guilty.
     "Reus", "guilty," in the Latin is of a large signification. He who
is "crimini obnoxious," or "poenae propter crimen", or "voti
debitor", or "promissi", or "officii ex sponsione", is called
"reus". Especially every sponsor or surety is "reus" in the law.
"Cum servus pecuniam pro libertate pactus est, et ob eam rem, reum
dederit", (that is, "sponsorem, expromissorem",) "quamvis servus ab
alio manusmissur est, reus tamen obligabitur". He is "reus," who
engages himself for any other, as to the matter of his engagement;
and the same is the use of the word in the best Latin authors.
"Opportuna loca dividenda praefectis esse ac suae quique partis
tutandae reus sit", Liv. De Bello Punic. lib.5 30;--that every
captain should so take care of the station committed to him, as that
if any thing happened amiss it should be imputed unto him. And the
same author again, "An, quicunque aut propinquitate, aut affinitate,
regiam aut aliquibus ministeriis contigissent, alienae culpae rei
trucidarentur", B.P., lib.4 22;--should be guilty of the fault of
another (by imputation), and suffer for it. So that in the Latin
tongue he is "reus," who, for himself or any other, is obnoxious
unto punishment or payment.
     "Reatus" is a word of late admission into the Latin tongue, and
was formed of "reus." So Quintilian informs us, in his discourse of
the use of obsolete and new words, lib.8, cap.3, "Quae vetera nunc
sunt, fuerunt olim nova, et quaedam in usu perquam recentia; ut,
Messala primus reatum, munerarium Augustus primus, dixerat";--to
which he adds "piratica, musica," and some others, then newly come
into use: but "reatus" at its first invention was of no such
signification as it is now applied unto. I mention it only to show
that we have no reason to be obliged unto men's arbitrary use of
words. Some lawyers first used it "pro crimine,"--a fault exposing
unto punishment; but the original invention of it, confirmed by long
use, was to express the outward state and condition of him who was
"reus," after he was first charged in a cause criminal, before he
was acquitted or condemned. Those among the Romans who were made
"rei" by any public accusation did betake themselves unto a poor
squalid habit, a sorrowful countenance, suffering their hair and
beards to go undressed. Hereby, on custom and usage, the people who
were to judge on their cause were inclined to compassion: and Milo
furthered his sentence of banishment because he would not submit to
this custom, which had such an appearance of pusillanimity and
baseness of spirit. This state of sorrow and trouble, so expressed,
they called "reatus," and nothing else. It came afterwards to denote
their state who were committed unto custody in order unto their
trial, when the government ceased to be popular; wherein alone the
other artifice was of use: and if this word be of any use in our
present argument, it is to express the state of men after conviction
of sin, before their justification. That is their "reatus," the
condition wherein the proudest of them cannot avoid to express their
inward sorrow and anxiety of mind by some outward evidences of them.
Beyond this we are not obliged by the use of this word, but must
consider the thing itself which now we intend to express thereby.
     Guilt, in the Scripture, is the respect of sin unto the sanction
of the law, whereby the sinner becomes obnoxious unto punishment;
and to be guilty is to be "hupodikos tooi Theoooi"--liable unto
punishment for sin from God, as the supreme lawgiver and judge of
all. And so guilt, or "reatus," is well defined to be "obligatio ad
poenam, propter culpam, aut admissam in se, aut imputatum, juste aut
injuste"; for so Bathsheba says unto David, that she and her son
Solomon should be "chatta'im"--sinners; that is, be esteemed guilty,
or liable unto punishment for some evil laid unto their charge, 1
Kings 1:21. And the distinction of "dignitas poenae", and "obligatio
ad poenam" is but the same thing in diverse words; for both do but
express the relation of sin unto the sanction of the law: or if they
may be conceived to differ, yet are they inseparable; for there can
be no "obligatio ad poenam" where there is not "dignitas poenae".
     Much less is there any thing of weight in the distinction of
"reatus culpae" and "reatus poenae"; for this "reatus culpae" is
nothing but "dignitas poenae propter culpam." Sin has other
considerations,--namely, its formal nature, as it is a transgression
of the law, and the stain of filth that it brings upon the soul; but
the guilt of it is nothing but its respect unto punishment from the
sanction of the law. And so, indeed, "reatus culpae" is "reatus
poenae", the guilt of sin is its desert of punishment. And where
there is not this "reatus culpae" there can be no "poenae", no
punishment properly so called; for "poenae" is "vindicta noxae",--
the revenge due to sin. So, therefore, there can be no punishment,
nor "reatus poenae", the guilt of it, but where there is "reatus
culpae," or sin considered wth its guilt; and the "reatus poenae"
that may be supposed without the guilt of sin, is nothing but that
obnoxiousness unto afflictive evil on the occasion of sin which the
Socinians admit with respect unto the suffering of Christ, and yet
execrate his satisfaction.
     And if this distinction should be apprehended to be of "reatus,"
from its formal respect unto sin and punishment, it must, in both
parts of the distinction, be of the same signification, otherwise
there is an equivocation in the subject of it. But "reatus poenae",
is a liableness, an obnoxiousness unto punishment according to the
sentence of the law, that whereby a sinner becomes "hupodikos tooi
Theooi" and then "reatus culpae" must be an obnoxiousness unto sin;
which is uncouth. There is, therefore, no imputation of sin where
there is no imputation of its guilt; for the guilt of punishment,
which is not its respect unto the desert of sin, is a plain fiction,-
-there is no ouch thing "in rerum nature." There is no guilt of sin,
but in its relation unto punishment.
     That, therefore, which we affirm herein is, that our sins were so
transferred on Christ, as that thereby he became "'ashem",
"hupodikos tooi Theooi", "reus",--responsible unto God, and
obnoxious unto punishment in the justice of God for them. He was
"alienae culpae reus,"-- perfectly innocent in himself; but took our
guilt on him, or our obnoxiousness unto punishment for sin. And so
he may be, and may be said to be, the greatest debtor in the world,
who never borrowed nor owed one earthing on his own account, if he
become surety for the greatest debt of others: so Paul became a
debtor unto Philemon, upon his undertaking for Onesimus, who before
owed him nothing.
     And two things concurred unto this imputation of sin unto Christ,
first, The act of God imputing it. Second, The voluntary act of
Christ himself in the undertaking of it, or admitting of the charge.
     (1.) The act of God, in this imputation of the guilt of our sins
unto Christ, is expressed by his "laying all our iniquities upon
him," "making him to be sin for us, who knew no sin," and the like.
For,--[1.] As the supreme governor, lawgiver, and judge of all, unto
whom it belonged to take care that his holy law was observed, or the
offenders punished, he admitted, upon the transgression of it, the
sponsion and suretiship of Christ to answer for the sins of men,
Heb.10:5-7. [2.] In order unto this end, he made him under the law,
or gave the law power over him, to demand of him and inflict on him
the penalty which was due unto the sins of them for whom he
undertook, Gal.3:13; 4:4,6. [3.] For the declaration of the
righteousness of God in this setting forth of Christ to be a
propitiation, and to bear our iniquities, the guilt of our sins was
transferred unto him in an act of the righteous judgment of God
accepting and esteeming of him as the guilty person; as it is with
public sureties in every case.
     (2.) The Lord Christ's voluntary susception of the state and
condition of a surety, or undertaker for the church, to appear
before the throne of God' justice for them, to answer whatever was
laid unto their charge, was required hereunto; and this he did
absolutely. There was a concurrence of his own will in and unto all
those divine acts whereby he and the church were constituted one
mystical person; and of his own love and grace did he as our surety
stand in our stead before God, when he made inquisition for sin;--he
took it on himself, as unto the punishment which it deserved. Hence
it became just and righteous that he should suffer, "the just for
the unjust, that he might bring us unto God."
     For if this be not so, I desire to know what is become of the
guilt of the sins of believers; if it were not transferred on
Christ, it remains still upon themselves, or it is nothing. It will
be said that guilt is taken away by the free pardon of sin. But if
so, there was no need of punishment for it at all,--which is,
indeed, what the Socinians plead, but by others is not admitted,--
for if punishment be not for guilt, it is not punishment.
     But it is fiercely objected against what we have asserted, that if
the guilt of our sins was imputed unto Christ, then was he
constituted a sinner thereby; for it is the guilt of sin that makes
any one to be truly a sinner. This is urged by Bellarmine, lib.2, De
Justificat., not for its own sake, but to disprove the imputation of
his righteousness unto us; as it is continued by others with the
same design. For says he, "If we be made righteous, and the children
of God, through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, then
was he made a sinner, 'et quod horret animus cogitare, filius
diaboli'; by the imputation of the guilt of our sins or our
unrighteousness unto him." And the same objection is pressed by
others, with instances of consequences which, for many reasons, I
heartily wish had been forborne. But I answer,--
     [1.] Nothing is more absolutely true, nothing is more sacredly or
assuredly believed by us, than that nothing which Christ did or
suffered, nothing that he undertook or underwent, did or could
constitute him subjectively, inherently, and thereon personally, a
sinner, or guilty of any sin of his own. To bear the guilt or blame
of other men's faults,--to be "alienae culpae reus,"--makes no man a
sinner, unless he did unwisely or irregularly undertake it. But that
Christ should admit of any thing of sin in himself, as it is
absolutely inconsistent with the hypostatical union, so it would
render him unmet for all other duties of his office, Heb.7:25,26.
And I confess it has always seemed scandalous unto me, that Socinus,
Crellius, and Grotius, do grant that, in some sense, Christ offered
for his own sins, and would prove it from that very place wherein it
is positively denied, chap.7:27. This ought to be sacredly fixed and
not a word used, nor thought entertained, of any possibility of the
contrary, upon any supposition whatever.
     [2.] None ever dreamed of a transfusion or propagation of sin from
us unto Christ, each as there was from Adam unto us. For Adam was a
common person unto us,--we are not so to Christ: yea, he is so to
us; and the imputation of our sins unto him is a singular act of
divine dispensation, which no evil consequence can ensue upon.
     [3.] To imagine such an imputation of our sins unto Christ as that
thereon they should cease to be our sins, and become his absolutely,
is to overthrow that which is affirmed; for, on that supposition,
Christ could not suffer for our sins, for they ceased to be ours
antecedently unto his suffering. But the guilt of then was so
transferred unto him, that through his suffering for it, it might be
pardoned unto us.
     These things being premised, I say,--
     First, There is in sin a transgression of the receptive part of
the Law; and there is an obnoxiousness unto the punishment from the
sanction of it. It is the first that gives sin its formal nature;
and where that is not subjectively, no person can be constituted
formally a sinner. However any one may be so denominated, as unto
some certain end or purpose, yet, without this, formally a sinner
none can be, whatever be imputed unto them. And where that is, no
non-imputation of sin, as unto punishment, can free the person in
whom it is from being formally a sinner. When Bathsheba told David
that she and her son Solomon should be "chata'im" (sinners), by
having crimes laid unto their charge; and when Judas told Jacob that
he would be a sinner before him always on the account of any evil
that befell Benjamin (it should be imputed unto him); yet neither of
them could thereby be constituted a sinner formally. And, on the
other hand, when Shimei desired David not to impute sin unto him,
whereby he escaped present punishment, yet did not that
non-imputation free him formally from being a sinner. Wherefore sin,
under this consideration, as a transgression of the receptive part
of the law, cannot be communicated from one unto another, unless it
be by the propagation of a vitiated principle or habit. But yet
neither so will the personal sin of one, as inherent in him, ever
come to be the personal sin of another. Adam has upon his personal
sin communicated a vicious, depraved, and corrupted nature unto all
his posterity; and, besides, the guilt of his actual sin is imputed
unto them, as if it had been committed by every one of them: but yet
his particular personal sin neither ever did, nor ever could, become
the personal sin of any one of them any otherwise than by the
imputation of its guilt unto them. Wherefore our sins neither are,
nor can be, so imputed unto Christ, as that they should become
subjectively his, as they are a transgression of the receptive part
of the law. A physical translation or transfusion of sin is, in this
case, naturally and spiritually impossible; and yet, on a
supposition thereof alone do the horrid consequences mentioned
depend. But the guilt of sin is an external respect of it, with
regard unto the sanction of the law only. This is separable from
sin; and if it were not so, no one sinner could either be pardoned
or saved. It may, therefore, be made another's by imputation, and
yet that other not rendered formally a sinner thereby. This was that
which was imputed unto Christ, whereby he was rendered obnoxious
unto the curse of the law; for it was impossible that the law should
pronounce any accursed but the guilty, nor would do so, Dent.27:26.
     Secondly, There is a great difference between the imputation of
the righteousness of Christ unto us and the imputation of our sins
into Christ; so as that he cannot in the same manner be said to be
made a sinner by the one as we are made righteous by the other. For
our sin was imputed unto Christ only as he was our surety for a
time,--to this end, that he might take it away, destroy it, and
abolish it. It was never imputed unto him, so as to make any
alteration absolutely in his personal state and condition. But his
righteousness is imputed unto us to abide with us, to be ours
always, and to make a total change in our state and condition, as
unto our relation unto God. Our sin was imputed unto him only for a
season, not also lately, but as he was a surety, and unto the
special end of destroying it; and taken on him on this condition,
that his righteousness should be made ours for ever. All things are
otherwise in the imputation of his righteousness unto us, which
respects us absolutely, and not under a temporary capacity, abides
with us for ever, changes our state and relation unto God, and is an
effect of superabounding grace.
     But it will be said that if our sins, as to the guilt of them,
were imputed unto Christ, then God must hate Christ; for he hates
the guilty. I know not well how I come to mention these things,
which indeed I look upon as cavils, such as men may multiply if they
please against any part of the mysteries of the gospel. But seeing
it is mentioned, it may be spoken unto; and,--
     First, It is certain that the Lord Christ's taking on him the
guilt of our sins was a high act of obedience unto God, Heb.10:5,6;
and for which the "Father loved him," John 10:17,18. There was,
therefore, no reason why God should hate Christ for his taking on
him our debt, and the payment of it, in an act of the highest
obedience unto his will. Secondly, God in this matter is considered
as a rector, ruler, and judge. Now, it is not required of the
severest judge, that, as a judge, he should hate the guilty person,
no, although he be guilty originally by inhesion, and not by
imputation. As such, he has no more to do but consider the guilt,
and pronounce the sentence of punishment. But, Thirdly, Suppose a
person, out of an heroic generosity of mind, should become an
"Antipsuchos" for another, for his friend, for a good man, so as to
answer for him with his life, as Judas undertook to be for Benjamin
as to his liberty,--which, when a man has lost, he is civilly dead,
and "capite diminutus,"--would the most cruel tyrant under heaven,
that should take away his life, in that case hate him? Would he not
rather admire his worth and virtue? As such a one it was that Christ
suffered, and no otherwise. Fourthly, All the force of this
exception depends on the ambiguity of the word hate; for it may
signify either an aversation or detestation of mind, or only a will
of punishing, as in God mostly it does. In the first sense, there
was no ground why God should hate Christ on this imputation of guilt
unto him, whereby he became "non propriae sed alienae culpae, reus."
Sin inherent renders the soul polluted, abominable, and the only
object of divine aversation; but for him who was perfectly innocent,
holy, harmless, undefiled in himself, who did no sin, neither was
there guile found in his mouth, to take upon him the guilt of other
sins, thereby to comply with and accomplish the design of God for
the manifestation of his glory and infinite wisdom, grace, goodness,
mercy, and righteousness, unto the certain expiation and destruction
of sin,--nothing could render him more glorious and lovely in the
sight of God or man. But for a will of punishing in God, where sin
is imputed, none can deny it, but they must therewithal openly
disavow the satisfaction of Christ.
     The heads of some few of those arguments wherewith the truth we
have asserted is confirmed shall close this discourse:--
     1. Unless the guilt of sin was imputed unto Christ, sin was not
imputed unto him in any sense, for the punishment of sin is not sin;
nor can those who are otherwise minded declare what it is of sin
that is imputed. But the Scripture is plain, that "God laid on him
the iniquity of us all," and "made him to be sin for us;" which
could not otherwise be but by imputation.
     2. There can be no punishment but with respect unto the guilt of
sin personally contracted or imputed. It is guilt alone that gives
what is materially evil and afflictive the formal nature of
punishment, and nothing else. And therefore those who understand
full well the harmony of things and opinions, and are free to
express their minds, do constantly declare that if one of these be
denied, the other must be so also; and if one be admitted, they must
both be so. If guilt was not imputed unto Christ, he could not, as
they plead well enough, undergo the punishment of sin; much he might
do and suffer on the occasion of sin, but undergo the punishment due
unto sin he could not. And if it should be granted that the guilt of
sin was imputed unto him, they will not deny but that he underwent
the punishment of it; and if he underwent the punishment of it, they
will not deny but that the guilt of it was imputed unto him; for
these things are inseparably related.
     3. Christ was made a curse for us, the curse of the law, as is
expressly declared, Gal.3:13,14. But the curse of the law respects
the guilt of sin only; so as that where that is not, it cannot take
place in any sense, and where that is, it does inseparably attend
it, Dent.27:26.
     4. The express testimonies of the Scripture unto this purpose
cannot be evaded, without an open wresting of their words and sense.
So God is said to "make all our iniquities to meet upon him," and he
bare them on him as his burden; for so the word signifies, Isa.53:6,
"God has laid on him" "et 'awon kulanu", "the iniquity", (that is,
the guilt) "of us all;" verse 11, "we'awonotam hu yisbol", "and
their sin or guilt shall he bear." For that is the intendment of
"'awon", where joined with any other word that denotes sin: as it is
in those places, Ps.32:5, "Thou forgavest" "'awon chata'ti", "the
iniquity of my sin," that is, the guilt of it, which is that alone
that is taken away by pardon; that "his soul was made an offering
for the guilt of sin;" that "he was made sin," that "sin was
condemned in his flesh," etc.
     5. This was represented in all the sacrifices of old, especially
the great anniversary [one], on the day of expiation, with the
ordinance of the scapegoat; as has been before declared.
     6. Without a supposition hereof it cannot be understood how the
Lord Christ should be our "Antipsuchos", or suffer "anti hemoon", in
our stead, unless we will admit the exposition of Mr Ho, a late
writer, who, reckoning up how many things the Lord Christ did in our
stead, adds, as the sense thereof, that it is to bestead us; than
which, if he can invent any thing more fond and senseless, he has a
singular faculty in such an employment.

IX. The formal cause of justification, or the righteousness on the
account whereof believers are justified before God--Objections

Principal controversies about justification:--1. Concerning the
nature of justification, stated--2. Of the formal cause of it--3. Of
the way whereby we are made partakers of the benefits of the
mediation of Christ--What intended by the formal cause of
justification, declared--The righteousness on the account whereof
believers are justified before God alone, inquired after under these
terms--This the righteousness of Christ, imputed unto them--
Occasions of exceptions and objections against this doctrine--
General objections examined--Imputation of the righteousness of
Christ consistent with the free pardon of sin, and with the
necessity of evangelical repentance--Method of God's grace in our
justification --Necessity of faith unto justification, on
supposition of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ--
Grounds of that necessity--Other objections, arising mostly from
mistakes of the truth, asserted, discussed, and answered

To principal differences about the doctrine of justification are
reducible unto three heads:--1. The nature of it,--namely, whether
it consist in an internal change of the person justified, by the
imputation of a habit of inherent grace or righteousness; or whether
it be a forensic act, in the judging, esteeming, declaring, and
pronouncing such a person to be righteous, thereon absolving him
from all his sins, giving unto him right and title unto life. Herein
we have to do only with those of the church of Rome, all others,
both Protestants and Socinians, being agreed on the forensic sense
of the word, and the nature of the thing signified thereby. And this
I have already spoken unto, so far as our present design does
require; and that, I hope, with such evidence of truth as cannot
well be gainsaid. Nor may it be supposed that we have too long
insisted thereon, as an opinion which is obsolete, and long since
sufficiently confuted. I think much otherwise, and that those who
avoid the Romanists in these controversies, will give a greater
appearance of fear than of contempt; for when all is done, if free
justification through the blood of Christ, and the imputation of his
righteousness, be not able to preserve its station in the minds of
men, the Popish doctrine of justification must and will return upon
the world, with all the concomitants and consequences of it. Whilst
any knowledge of the law or gospel is continued amongst us, the
consciences of men will at one time or other, living or dying, be
really affected with a sense of sin, as unto its guilt and danger.

(continued in part 20...)

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