(Owen, Justification. part 29)

shall only say, that I know not how to express myself in this matter
in words and terms more express or significant of the conception of
my mind. And if we could all but subscribe the answer here given by
the apostle, how, by what means, on what grounds, or by what causes,
we are justified before God,--namely, that "we are justified freely
by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom
God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,"
etc.,-- there might be an end of this controversy.
     But the principal passages of this testimony must be distinctly
considered. First, the principal efficient cause is first expressed
with a peculiar emphasis, or the "causa proegoumene". "Dikaioumenoi
doorean tei autou chariti",--"Being justified freely by his grace."
God is the principal efficient cause of our justification, and his
grace is the only moving cause thereof. I shall not stay upon the
exception of those of the Roman church,--namely, that by "tei
chariti autou" (which their translation renders "per gratiam Dei"),
the internal, inherent grace of God, which they make the formal
cause of justification, is intended; for they have nothing to prove
it but that which overthrows it, namely, that it is added unto
"doorean", "freely;" which were needless, if it signify the free
grace or favour of God: for both these expressions, "gratis per
gratiam," "freely by grace," are put together to give the greater
emphasis unto this assertion, wherein the whole of our justification
is vindicated unto the free grace of God. So far as they are
distinguishable, the one denotes the principle from whence our
justification proceeds,--namely, grace; and the other, the manner of
its operation,--it works freely. Besides, the grace of God in this
subject does everywhere constantly signify his goodness, love, and
favour; as has been undeniably proved by many. See Rom.5:15;
Eph.2:4,8,9; 2 Tim.1:9; Tit.3:4,5.
     "Being justified "doorean" (so the LXX render the Hebrew particle
"chinam"),--"without price," without merit, without cause;--and
sometimes it is used for "without end;" that is, what is done in
vain, as "doorean" is used by the apostle, Gal.2:21;--without price
or reward, Gen.29:15; Exod.21:2; 2 Sam.24:24;--without cause, or
merit, or any means of procurement, 1 Sam.19:5; Ps.69:4; in this
sense it is rendered by "doorean", John 15:25. The design of the
word is to exclude all consideration of any thing in us that should
be the cause or condition of our justification. "Charis", "favour,"
absolutely considered, may have respect unto somewhat in him towards
whom it is showed. So it is said that Joseph found grace or favour,
"charin", in the eyes of Potiphar, Gen.39:4: but he found it not
"doorean", without any consideration or cause; for he "saw that the
LORD was with him, and made all that he did to prosper in his hand,"
verse 3. But no words can be found out to free our justification
before God from all respect unto any thing in ourselves, but only
what is added expressly as the means of its participation on our
part, through faith in his blood, more emphatical than these here
used by the apostle: "Doorean tei autou chariti",--"Freely by his
grace." And with whom this is not admitted, as exclusive of all
works or obedience of our own, of all conditions, preparations, and
merit, I shall despair of ever expressing my conceptions about it
intelligibly unto them.
     Having asserted this righteousness of God as the cause and means
of our justification before him, in opposition unto all
righteousness of our own, and declared the cause of the
communication of it unto us on the part of God to be mere free,
sovereign grace, the means on our part whereby, according unto the
ordination of God, we do receive, or are really made partakers of,
that righteousness of God whereon we are justified, is by faith:
"Dia tes pisteoos en outou haimati",--that is, "By faith alone,"
Nothing else is proposed, nothing else required unto this end. It is
replied, that there is no intimation that it is by faith alone, or
that faith is asserted to be the means of our justification
exclusively unto other graces or works. But there is such an
exclusion directly included in the description given of that faith
whereby we are justified, with respect unto its especial object,--
"By faith in his blood;" for faith respecting the blood of Christ as
that whereby propitiation was made for sin,--in which respect alone
the apostle affirms that we are justified through faith,--admits of
no association with any other graces or duties. Neither is it any
part of their nature to fix on the blood of Christ for justification
before God; wherefore they are all here directly excluded. And those
who think otherwise may try how they can introduce them into this
contempt without an evident corrupting of it, and perverting of its
sense. Neither will the other evasion yield our adversaries the
least relief,--namely, that by faith, not the single grace of faith
is intended, but the whole obedience required in the new covenant,
faith and works together. For as all works whatever, as our works,
are excluded in the declaration of the causes of our justification
on the part of God ("doorean tei outou chariti",--"Freely by his
grace"), by virtue of that great rule, Rom.11:6, "If by grace, then
no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace;" so the
determination of the object of faith in its act or duty, whereon we
are justified,--namely, the blood of Christ,--is absolutely
exclusive of all works from an interest in that duty; for whatever
looks unto the blood of Christ for justification is faith, and
nothing else. And as for the calling of it a single act or duty, I
refer the reader unto our preceding discourse about the nature of
justifying faith.
     Three things the apostle infers from the declaration he had made
of the nature and causes of our justification before God, all of
them farther illustrating the meaning and sense of his words:--
     1. That boasting is excluded: "Pou oun he kauchesi? exekleisthe",
chap.3:27. Apparent it is from hence, and from what he affirms
concerning Abraham, chap.4:2, that a great part, at least, of the
controversy he had about justification, was, whether it did admit of
any "kauchesis" or "kauchema" in those that were justified. And it
is known that the Jews placed all their hopes in those things
whereof they thought they could boast,--namely, their privileges and
their righteousness. But from the declaration made of the nature and
causes of justification, the apostle infers that all boasting
whatever is utterly shut out of doors,--"exekleisthe". Boasting, in
our language is the name of a vice; and is never used in a good
sense. But "kauchesis" and "kauchema", the words used by the
apostle, are "ek toon mesoon",--of an indifferent signification;
and, as they are applied, may denote a virtue as well as a vice: so
they do, Heb.3:6.
     But always, and in all places, they respect something that is
peculiar in or unto them unto whom they are ascribed. Wherever any
thing is ascribed unto one, and not unto another, with respect unto
any good end, there is fundamentum "kaucheseoos",--a "foundation for
boasting." All this, says the apostle, in the matter of our
justification, is utterly excluded. But wherever respect is had unto
any condition or qualification in one more than another, especially
if it be of works, it gives a ground of boasting, as he affirms,
Rom.4:2. And it appears, from comparing that verse with this, that
wherever there is any influence of our own works into our
justification, there is a ground of boasting; but in evangelical
justification no such boasting in any kind can be admitted.
Wherefore, there is no place for works in our justification before
God; for if there were, it is impossible but that a "kauchema", in
one kind or other, before God or man, must be admitted.
     2. He infers a general conclusion, "That a man is justified by
faith, without the works of the law," chap.3:28. What is meant by
"the law," and what by "the works of the law," in this discourse of
the apostle about our justification, has been before declared. And
if we are justified freely through faith in the blood of Christ,
that faith which has the propitiation of Christ for its especial
object, or as it has so, can take no other grace nor duty into
partnership with itself therein; and being so justified as that all
such boasting is excluded as necessarily results from any
differencing graces or works in ourselves, wherein all the works of
the law are excluded, it is certain that it is by faith alone in
Christ that we are justified. All works are not only excluded, but
the way unto their return is so shut up by the method of the
apostle's discourse, that all the reinforcements which the wit of
man can give unto them will never introduce them into our
justification before God.
     3. He asserts from hence, that we "do not make void the law
through grace," but establish it, verse 31; which, how it is done,
and how alone it can be done, has been before declared.
     This is the substance of the resolution the apostle gives unto
that great inquiry, how a guilty convinced sinner may come to be
justified in the sight of God?--"The sovereign grace of God, the
mediation of Christ, and faith in the blood of Christ, are all that
he requires thereunto." And whatever notions men may have about
justification in other respects, it will not be safe to venture on
any other resolution of this case and inquiry; nor are we wiser than

the Holy Ghost.
     Rom. chap.4. In the beginning of the fourth chapter he confirms
what he had before doctrinally declared, by a signal instance; and
this was of the justification of Abraham, who being the father of
the faithful, his justification is proposed as the pattern of ours,
as he expressly declares, verses 22-24. And some fear things I shall
observe on this instance in our passage unto the fifth verse, where
I shall fix our discourse.
     1. He denies that Abraham was justified by works, verse 2. And,--
(1.) These works were not those of the Jewish law, which alone some
pretend to be excluded from our justification in this place; for
they were the works he performed some hundreds of years before the
giving of the law at Sinai: wherefore they are the works of his
moral obedience unto God that are intended. (2.) Those works must be
understood which Abraham had then, when he is said to be justified
in the testimony produced unto that purpose; but the works that
Abraham then had were works of righteousness, performed in faith and
love to God, works of new obedience under the conduct and aids of
the Spirit of God, works required in the covenant of grace. These
are the works excluded from the justification of Abraham. And these
things are plain, express, and evident, not to be eluded by any
distinctions or evasions. All Abraham's evangelical works are
expressly excluded from his justification before God.
     2. He proves by the testimony of Scripture, declaring the nature
and grounds of the justification of Abraham, that he was justified
now other way but that which he had before declared,--namely, by
grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, verse 3. "Abraham believed
God" (in the promise of Christ and his mediation), "and it was
counted unto him for righteousness," verse 3. He was justified by
faith in the way before described (for other justification by faith
there is none), in opposition unto all his own works and personal
righteousness thereby.
     3. From the same testimony he declares how he came to be partaker
of that righteousness whereon he was justified before God; which was
by imputation: it was counted or imputed unto him for righteousness.
The nature of imputation has been before declared.
     4. The especial nature of this imputation,--namely, that it is of
grace, without respect unto works,--he asserts and proves, verse 4,
from what is contrary thereunto: "Now to him that worketh is the
reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." Where works are of any
consideration, there is no room for that kind of imputation whereby
Abraham was justified: for it was a gracious imputation, and that is
not of what is our own antecedently thereunto, but what is made our
own by that imputation; for what is our own cannot be imputed unto
us in a way of grace, but only reckoned ours in a way of debt. That
which is our own, with all the effects of it, is due unto us; and,
therefore, they who plead that faith itself is imputed unto us, to
give some countenance unto an imputation of grace, do say it is
imputed not for what it is, for then it would be reckoned of debt,
but for what it is not. So Socinus, "Cum fides imputatur nobis pro
justitia ideo imputatur, quia nec ipsa fides justitia est, nec vere
in se eam continet", De Servat., part 4. cap.2. Which kind of
imputation, being indeed only a false imagination, we have before
disproved. But all works are inconsistent with that imputation
whereby Abraham was justified. It is otherwise with him that works,
so as thereon to be justified, than it was with him. Yea, say some,
"All works that are meritorious, that are performed with an opinion
of merit, that make the reward to be of debt, are excluded; but
other works are not." This distinction is not learned from the
apostle; for, according unto him, if this be merit and meritorious,
that the reward be reckoned of debt, then all works in justification

are so. For, without distinction or limitation, he affirms that
"unto him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of
debt." He does not exclude some sort of works, or works in some
sense, because they would make the reward of debt, but affirms that
all would do so, unto the exclusion of gracious imputation; for if
the foundation of imputation be in ourselves, imputation by grace is
excluded. In the fifth verse, the sum of the apostle's doctrine,
which he had contended for, and what he had proved, is expressed:
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth
the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." It is granted
on all hands, that the close of the verse, "His faith is counted for
righteousness," does express the justification of the person
intended. He is justified; and the way of it is, his faith is
counted or imputed. Wherefore, the foregoing words declare the
subject of justification and its qualification, or the description
of the person to be justified, with all that is required on his part
     And, first, it is said of him that he is "ho me ergadzomenos",--
"who worketh not." It is not required unto his justification that he
should not work, that he should not perform any duties of obedience
unto God in any kind, which is working; for every person in the
world is always obliged unto all duties of obedience, according to
the light and knowledge of the will of God, the means whereof is
afforded unto him: but the expression is to be limited by the
subject-matter treated of;--he "who worketh not," with respect unto
justification; though not the design of the person, but the nature
of the thing is intended. To say, he who worketh not is justified
through believing, is to say that his works, whatever they be, have
no influence into his justification, nor has God in justifying of
him any respect unto them: wherefore, he alone who worketh not is
the subject of justification, the person to be justified; that is,
God considers no man's works, no man's duties of obedience, in his
justification, seeing we are justified "doorean tei outou chariti",-
-"freely by his grace." And when God affirms expressly that he
justifies him who works not, and that freely by his grace, I cannot
understand what place our works or duties of obedience can have in
our justification; for why should we trouble ourselves to invent of
what consideration they may be in our justification before God, when
he himself affirms that they are of none at all? Neither are the
words capable of any evading interpretation. He that worketh not is
he that worketh not, let men say what they please, and distinguish
as long as they will: and it is a boldness not to be justified, for
any to rise up in opposition unto such express divine testimonies,
however they may be harnessed with philosophical notions and
arguing; which are but as thorns and briers, which the word of God
will pass through and consume.
     But the apostle farther adds, in the description of the subject of
justification, that God "justifieth the ungodly." This is that
expression which has stirred up so much wrath amongst many, and on
the account whereof some seem to be much displeased with the apostle
himself. If any other person dare but say that God justifies the
ungodly, he is personally reflected on as one that by his doctrine
would overthrow the necessity of godliness, holiness, obedience, or
good works; "for what need can there be of any of them, if God
justifies the ungodly?" Howbeit this is a periphrasis of God, that
he is "ho dikaioon ton asethe",--"he that justifieth the ungodly."
This is his prerogative and property; as such will he be believed in
and worshipped, which adds weight and emphasis unto the expression;
and we must not forego this testimony of the Holy Ghost, let men be
as angry as they please.
     "But the difference is about the meaning of the words." If so, it
may be allowed without mutual offense, though we should mistake
their proper sense. Only, it must be granted that God "justifieth
the ungodly." "That is," say some, "those who formerly were ungodly,
not those who continue ungodly when they are justified." And this is
most true. All that are justified were before ungodly; and all that
are justified are at the same instant made godly. But the question
is, whether they are godly or ungodly antecedently in any moment of
time unto their justification? If they are considered as godly, and
are so indeed, then the apostle's words are not true, that God
justifieth the ungodly; for the contradictory proposition is true,
God justifieth none but the godly. For these propositions, God
justifieth the ungodly, and God justifieth none but the godly, are
contradictory; for here are expressly "katafasis" and "apofasis
antikeimenai", which is "antifasis".
     Wherefore, although in and with the justification of a sinner, he
is made godly,--for he is endowed with that faith which purifies the
heart and is a vital principle of all obedience, and the conscience
is purged from dead works by the blood of Christ,--yet antecedently
unto this justification he is ungodly and considered as ungodly, as
one that works not, as one whose duties and obedience contribute
nothing unto his justification. As he works not, all works are
excluded from being the "causa per quam;" and as he is ungodly, from
being the "causa sine qua non" of his justification.
     The qualification of the subject, or the means on the part of the
person to be justified, and whereby he becomes actually so to be, is
faith, or believing: "But believeth on him who justifieth the
ungodly;" that is, it is faith alone. For it is the faith of him who
worketh not; and not only so, but its especial object, God as
justifying the ungodly, is exclusive of the concomitance of any
works whatever.
     This is faith alone, or it is impossible to express faith alone,
without the literal use of that word alone. But faith being asserted
in opposition unto all works of ours, "unto him that worketh not;"
and its especial nature declared in its especial object, God as
"justifying the ungodly,"that is, freely by his grace, through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus;--no place is left for any works
to make the least approach towards our justification before God,
under the covert of any distinction whatever. And the nature of
justifying faith is here also determined. It is not a mere assent
unto divine revelations; it is not such a firm assent unto them as
should cause us to yield obedience unto all the precepts of the
Scripture,--though these things are included in it; but it is a
believing on and trusting unto him that justified the ungodly,
through the mediation of Christ.
     Concerning this person, the apostle affirms that "his faith is
counted for righteousness;" that is, he is justified in the way and
manner before declared. But there is a difference about the sense of
these words. Some say the meaning of them is, that faith, as an act,
a grace, a duty, or work of ours, is so imputed. Others say that it
is faith as it apprehends Christ and his righteousness, which is
properly imputed unto us, that is intended. So faith, they say,
justifieth, or is counted for righteousness relatively, not
properly, with respect unto its object; and so acknowledge a trope
in the words. And this is fiercely opposed, as though they denied
the express words of the Scripture, when yet they do but interpret
this expression, once only used, by many others, wherein the same
thing is declared. But those who are for the first sense, do all
affirm that faith here is to be taken as including obedience or
works, either as the form and essence of it, or as such necessary
concomitants as have the same influence with it into our
justification, or are in the same manner the condition of it. But as
herein they admit also of a trope in the words, which they so
fiercely blame in others, so they give this sense of the whole:
"Unto him that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith and works are counted to him for righteousness;"
which is not only to deny what the apostle affirms, but to assign
unto him a plain contradiction.
     And I do a little marvel that any unprejudiced person should
expound this solitary expression in such a sense as is contradictory
unto the design of the apostle, the words of the same period, and
the whole ensuing context. For that which the apostle proposes unto
confirmation, which contains his whole design, is, that we are
justified by the righteousness which is of God by faith in the blood
of Christ. That this cannot be faith itself shall immediately be
made evident. And in the words of the text all works are excluded,
if any words be sufficient to exclude them; but faith absolutely, as
a single grace, act, and duty of ours, much more as it includes
obedience in it, is a work,--and in the latter sense, it is all
works. And in the ensuing context he proves that Abraham was not
justified by works. But not to be justified by works, and to be
justified by some works,--as faith itself is a work, and if, as
such, it be imputed unto us for righteousness, we are justified by
it as such,--are contradictory. Wherefore, I shall oppose some few
arguments unto this feigned sense of the apostle's words:--
     1. To believe absolutely,--as faith is an act and duty of ours,--
and works are not opposed, for faith is a work, an especial kind of
working; but faith, as we are justified by it, and works, or to
work, are opposed: "To him that worketh not, but believeth." So
Gal.2:16; Eph.2:8,9.
     2. It is the righteousness of God that is imputed unto us; for we
are "made the righteousness of God in Christ," 2 Cor.5:21; "The
righteousness of God upon them that believe," Rom.3:21,22; but
faith, absolutely considered, is not the righteousness of God. "God
imputeth unto us righteousness without works," chap.4:6; but there
is no intimation of a double imputation, of two sorts of
righteousnesses,--of the righteousness of God, and that which is not
so. Now faith, absolutely considered, is not the righteousness of
God; for,--
     (1.) That whereunto the righteousness of God is revealed, whereby
we believe and receive it, is not itself the righteousness of God;
for nothing can be the cause or means of itself;--but the
righteousness of God is "revealed unto faith," chap.1:17; and by it
is it "received," chap.3:22; 5:11.
     (2.) Faith is not the righteousness of God which is by faith; but
the righteousness of God which is imputed unto us is "the
righteousness of God which is by faith," chap.3:22; Phil.3:9.
     (3.) That whereby the righteousness of God is to be sought,
obtained, and submitted unto, is not that righteousness itself; but
such is faith, Rom.9:30,31; 10:3,4.
     (4.) The righteousness which is imputed unto us is not our own
antecedently unto that imputation: "That I may be found in him, not
having mine own righteousness," Phil.3:9; but faith is a man's own:
"Show me thy faith, and I will show thee my faith," James 2:18.
     (5.) "God imputeth righteousness" unto us, Rom.4:6; and that
righteousness which God imputes unto us is the righteousness whereby
we are justified, for it is imputed unto us that we may be
justified;--but we are justified by the obedience and blood of
Christ: "By the obedience of one we are made righteous," chap.5:19;
"Much more now being justified by his blood," verse 9; "He has put
away sin by the sacrifice of himself," Heb.9:26; Isa.53:11, "By his
knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear
their iniquities." But faith is neither the obedience nor the blood
of Christ.
     (6.) Faith, as we said before, is our own; and that which is our
own may be imputed unto us. But the discourse of the apostle is
about that which is not our own antecedently unto imputation, but is
made ours thereby, as we have proved; for it is of grace. And the
imputation unto us of what is really our own antecedently unto that
imputation, is not of grace, in the sense of the apostle; for what
is so imputed is imputed for what it is, and nothing else. For that
imputation is but the judgment of God concerning the thing imputed,
with respect unto them whose it is. So the act of Pinehas was
imputed unto him for righteousness. God judged it, and declared it
to be a righteous, rewardable act. Wherefore, if our faith and
obedience be imputed unto us, that imputation is only the judgment
of God that we are believers, and obedient. "The righteousness of
the righteous," saith the prophet, "shall be upon him, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him," Ezek.18:20. As the
wickedness of the wicked is upon him, or is imputed unto him; so the
righteousness of the righteous is upon him, or is imputed unto him.
And the wickedness of the wicked is on him, when God judges him
wicked as his works are; so is the righteousness of a man upon him,
or imputed unto him, when God judgeth of his righteousness as it is.
Wherefore, if faith, absolutely considered, be imputed unto us as it
contains in itself, or as it is accompanied with, works of
obedience; then it is imputed unto us, either for a perfect
righteousness, which it is not, or for an imperfect righteousness,
which it is; or the imputation of it is the accounting of that to be
a perfect righteousness which is but imperfect. But none of these
can be affirmed:--
     [1.] It is not imputed unto us for a perfect righteousness, the
righteousness required by the law; for so it is not. Episcopius
confesses in his disputation, dispute.45, sect.7,8, that the
righteousness which is imputed unto us must be "absolutissima et
perfectissima,"-- "most absolute and most perfect." And thence he
thus defines the imputation of righteousness unto us,--namely, that
it is, "gratiosa divinae mentis aestimatio, qua credentem in Filium
suum, eo loco reputat ac si perfecte justus esset, ac legi et
voluntati ejus per omnia semper paruisset". And no man will pretend
that faith is such a most absolute and most perfect righteousness,
as that by it the righteousness of the law should be fulfilled in
us, as it is by that righteousness which is imputed unto us.
     [2.] It is not imputed unto us for what it is,--an imperfect
righteousness; for, First, This would be of no advantage unto us;
for we cannot be justified before God by an imperfect righteousness,
as is evident in the prayer of the psalmist, Ps.143:2, "Enter not
into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight no man living" (no
servant of thine who has the most perfect or highest measure of
imperfect righteousness) "shall be justified." Secondly, The
imputation of any thing unto us that was ours antecedently unto that
imputation, for what it is, and no more, is contrary unto the
imputation described by the apostle; as has been proved.
     [3.] This imputation pleaded for cannot be a judging of that to be
a perfect righteousness which is imperfect; for the judgment of God
is according to truth. But without judging it to be such, it cannot
be accepted as such. To accept of any thing, but only for what we
judge it to be, is to be deceived.
     Lastly, If faith, as a work, be imputed unto us, then it must be
as a work wrought in faith; for no other work is accepted with God.
Then must that faith also wherein it is wrought be imputed unto us;
for that also is faith and a good work. That, therefore, must have
another faith from whence it must proceed; and so "in infinitum."
     Many other things there are in the ensuing explication of the
justification of Abraham, the nature of his faith and his
righteousness before God, with the application of them unto all that
do believe, which may be justly pleaded unto the same purpose with
those passages of the context which we have insisted on; but if
every testimony should be pleaded which the Holy Ghost has given
unto this truth, there would be no end of writing. One thing more I
shall observe, and put an end unto our discourse on this chapter.
     Rom.4:6-8. The apostle pursues his argument to prove the freedom
of our justification by faith, without respect unto works, through
the imputation of righteousness, in the instance of pardon of sin,
which essentially belongs thereunto. And this he does by the
testimony of the psalmist, who places the blessedness of a man in
the remission of sins. His design is not thereby to declare the full
nature of justification, which he had done before, but only to prove
the freedom of it from any respect unto works in the instance of
that essential part of it. "Even as David also describeth the
blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without
works," (which was the only thing he designed to prove by this
testimony), "saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are
forgiven." He describes their blessedness by it;--not that their
whole blessedness does consist therein, but this concurs unto it,
wherein no respect can possibly be had unto any works whatever. And
he may justly from hence describe the blessedness of a man, in that
the imputation of righteousness and the non-imputation of sin (both
which the apostle mentions distinctly), wherein his whole
blessedness as unto justification does consist, are inseparable. And
because remission of sin is the first part of justification, and the
principal part of it, and has the imputation of righteousness always
accompanying it, the blessedness of a man may be well described
thereby; yea, whereas all spiritual blessings go together in Christ,
Eph.1:3, a man's blessedness may be described by any of them. But
yet the imputation of righteousness and the remission of sin are not
the same, no more than righteousness imputed and sin remitted are
the same. Nor does the apostle propose them as the same, but
mentions them distinctly, both being equally necessary unto our
complete justification, as has been proved.
     Rom.5:12-21. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all
have sinned: (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not
imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam
to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of
Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But
not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the
offense of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the
gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto
many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offenses unto justification. For if by one man's offense death
reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and
of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus
Christ:) Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all
men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free
gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one
man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of
one shall many be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered, that
the offense might abound: but where sin abounded, grace did much
more abound: that as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace
reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our
     The apostle, chap.3:27, affirms that in this matter of
justification all "kauchesis", or "boasting," is excluded; but here,
in the verse foregoing, he grants a boasting or a "kauchema". "Ou
monon de, alle kai kauchoomenoi en tooi Theooi";--"And not only so,
but we also glory in God." He excludes boasting in ourselves,
because there is nothing in us to procure or promote our own
justification. He allows it us in God, because of the eminency and
excellency of the way and means of our justification which in his
grace he has provided. And the "kauchema", or "boasting" in God,
here allowed us, has a peculiar respect unto what the apostle had in
prospect farther to discourse of. "Ou monon de",--"And not only so,"
includes what he had principally treated of before concerning our
justification, so far as it consists in the pardon of sin; for
although he does suppose, yea, and mention, the imputation of
righteousness also unto us, yet principally he declares our
justification by the pardon of sin and our freedom from
condemnation, whereby all boasting in ourselves is excluded. But
here he designs a farther progress, as unto that whereon our
glorying in God, on a right and title freely given us unto eternal
life, does depend. And this is the imputation of the righteousness
and obedience of Christ unto the justification of life, or the reign
of grace through righteousness unto eternal life.
     Great complaints have been made by some concerning the obscurity
of the discourse of the apostle in this place, by reason of sundry
ellipses, antapodota, hyperbata, and other figures of speech, which

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