(Owen, Justification. part 30)

either are or are feigned to be therein. Howbeit, I cannot but
think, that if men acquainted with the common principles of
Christian religion, and sensible in themselves of the nature and
guilt of our original apostasy from God, would without prejudice
read "tauten ten periochen tes Grafes",--"this place of the
Scripture," they will grant that the design of the apostle is to
prove, that as the sin of Adam was imputed unto all men unto
condemnation, so the righteousness or obedience of Christ is imputed
unto all that believe unto the justification of life. The sum of it
is given by Theodore, Dial. 3 "Vide, quomodo quae Christi sunt cum
iis quae sunt Adami conferantur, cum morbo medicina, cum vulnere
emplastrum, cum peccato justitia, cum execratione benedictio, cum
condemnatione remissio, cum transgressione obedientie, cum morte
vita, cum inferis regnum, Christus cum Adam, homo cum homine".
     The differences that are among interpreters about the exposition
of these words relate unto the use of some particles, prepositions,
and the dependence of one passage upon another; on none of which the
confirmation of the truth pleaded for does depend. But the plain
design of the apostle, and his express propositions, are such as, if
men could but acquiesce in them, might put an end unto this
     Socinus acknowledges that this place of Scripture does give, as he
speaks, the greatest occasion unto our opinion in this matter; for
he cannot deny but at least a great appearance of what we believe is
represented in the words of the apostle. He does, therefore, use his
utmost endeavour to wrest and deprave them; and yet, although most
of his artifices are since traduced into the annotations of others
upon the place, he himself produces nothing material but what is
taken out of Origen, and the comment of Pelagius on this epistle,
which is extant in the works of Jerome, and was urged before him by
Erasmus. The substance or what he pleads for is, that the actual
transgression of Adam is not imputed unto his posterity, nor a
depraved nature from thence communicated unto them; only, whereas he
had incurred the penalty of death, all that derive their nature from
him in that condition are rendered subject unto death also. And as
for that corruption of nature which is in us, or a proneness unto
sin, it is not derived from Adam, but is a habit contracted by many
continued acts of our own. So also, on the other hand, that the
obedience or righteousness of Christ is not imputed unto us; only
when we make ourselves to become his children by our obedience unto
him,--he having obtained eternal life for himself by his obedience
unto God,--we are made partakers of the benefits thereof. This is
the substance of his long disputation on this subject, De Servatore,
lib.4 cap.6. But this is not to expound the words of the apostle,
but expressly to contradict them, as we shall see in the ensuing
consideration of them.
     I intend not an exposition of the whole discourse of the apostle,
but only of those passages in it which evident]y declare the way and
manner of our justification before God.
     A comparison is here proposed and pursued between the first Adam,
by whom sin was brought into the world, and the second Adam, by whom
it is taken away. And a comparison it is "ek tou enantiou",--of
things contrary; wherein there is a similitude in some things, and a
dissimilitude in others, both sorts illustrating the truth declared
in it. The general proposition of it is contained in verse 12: "As
by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so
death passed on all men, for that all have sinned." The entrance of
sin and punishment into the world was by one man; and that by one
sin, as he afterwards declares: yet were they not confined unto the
person of that one man, but belonged equally unto all. This the
apostle expresses, inverting the order of the effect and cause. In
the entrance of it he first mentions the cause or sin, and then the
effect or punishment: "By one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin;" but in the application of it unto all men, he
expresses first the effect and then the cause: "Death passed on all
men, for that all have sinned." Death, on the first entrance of sin,
passed on all,--that is, all men became liable and obnoxious unto
it, as the punishment due to sin. All men that ever were, are, or
shall be, were not then existent in their own persons; but yet were
they all of them then, upon the first entrance of sin, made subject
to death, or liable unto punishment. They were so by virtue of
divine constitution, upon their federal existence in the one man
that sinned. And actually they became obnoxious in their own persons
unto the sentence of it upon their first natural existence, being
born children of wrath.
     It is hence manifest what sin it is that the apostle intends,--
namely, the actual sin of Adam,--the one sin of that one common
person, whilst he was so. For although the corruption and
depravation of our nature does necessarily ensue thereon, in every
one that is brought forth actually to the world by natural
generation; yet is it the guilt of Adam's actual sin alone that
rendered them all obnoxious unto death upon the first entrance of
sin into the world. So death entered by sin,--the guilt of it,
obnoxiousness unto it; and that with respect unto all men
     Death here comprises the whole punishment due unto sin, be it what
it will, concerning which we need not here to dispute: "The wages of
sin is death," Rom.6:23, and nothing else. Whatever sin deserves in
the justice of God, whatever punishment God at any time appointed or
threatened unto it, it is comprised in death: "In the day thou
eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death." This, therefore, the
apostle lays down as the foundation of his discourse, and of the
comparison which he intends,--namely, that in and by the actual sin
of Adam, all men are made liable unto death, or unto the whole
punishment due unto sin; that is, the guilt of that sin is imputed
unto them. For nothing is intended by the imputation of sin unto
any, but the rendering them justly obnoxious unto the punishment due
unto that sin; as the not imputing of sin is the freeing of men from
being subject or liable unto punishment. And this sufficiently
evidences the vanity of the Pelagian gloss, that death passed upon
all merely by virtue of natural propagation from him who had
deserved it, without any imputation of the guilt of sin unto them;
which is a contradiction unto the plain words of the apostle. For it
is the guilt of sin, and not natural propagation, that he affirms to
be the cause of death.
     Having mentioned sin and death, the one as the only cause of the
other, the guilt of sin of the punishment of death,--sin deserving
nothing but death, and death being due unto nothing but sin,--he
declares how all men universally became liable unto this punishment,
or guilty of death: "Eph'hooi pantes hemarton",--"In quo ones
peccaverunt,"--"In whom all have sinned." For it relates unto the
one man that sinned, in whom all sinned: which is evident from the
effect thereof, inasmuch as "in him all died," 1 Cor.15:22; or, as
it is here, on his sin "death passed on all men." And this is the
evident sense of the words, "epi" being put for "en" which is not
unusual in the Scripture. See Matt.15:5; Rom.4:18; 5:2; Phil.1:3;
Heb.9:17. And it is often so used by the best writers in the Greek
tongue. So Hesiod, "Metron d'epi pasin ariston",--"Modus in omnibus
rebus optimus." So, "Eph' humin estin",--"In vobis situm est";
"Touto eph' emoi keitai",--"Hoc in me situm est." And this reading
of the words is contended for by Austin against the Pelagians,
rejecting their "eo quad" or "propterea." But I shall not contend
about the reading of the words. It is the artifice of our
adversaries to persuade men, that the force of our argument to prove
from hence the imputation of the sin of Adam unto his posterity,
does depend solely upon this interpretation of these words, "eph'
hooi", by "in whom." We shall, therefore, grant them their desire,
that they are better rendered by "eo quod," "propterea," or
"quatenus," --"inasmuch," "because." Only, we must say that here is
a reason given why "death passed on all men," inasmuch as "all have
sinned," that is, in that sin whereby death entered into the world.
     It is true, death, by virtue of the original constitution of the
law, is due unto every sin, whenever it is committed. But the
present inquiry is, how death passed at once on all men? How they
came [to be] liable and obnoxious unto it upon its first entrance by
the actual sin of Adam,--which cannot be by their own actual sin;
yea, the apostle, in the next verses, affirms that death passed on
them also who never sinned actually, or as Adam did, whose sin was
actual. And if the actual sins of men, in imitation of Adam's sin,
were intended, then should men be made liable to death before they
had sinned; for death, upon its first entrance into the world,
passed on all men, before any one man had actually sinned but Adam
only. But that men should be liable unto death, which is nothing but
the punishment of sin, when they have not sinned, is an open
contradiction. For although God, by his sovereign power, might
indict death on an innocent creature, yet that an innocent creature
should be guilty of death is impossible: for to be guilty of death,
is to have sinned. Wherefore this expression, "Inasmuch as all have
sinned," expressing the desert and guilt of death then when sin and
death first entered into the world, no sin can be intended in it but
the sin of Adam, and our interest therein: "Eramus enim omnes ille
unus homo"; and this can be no otherwise but by the imputation of
the guilt of that sin unto us, For the act of Adam not being ours
inherently and subjectively, we cannot be concerned in its effect
but by the imputation of its guilt; for the communication of that
unto us which is not inherent in us, is that which we intend by
     This is the "protasis" of the intended collation; which I have
insisted the longer on, because the apostle lays in it the
foundation of all that he afterwards infers and asserts in the whole
comparison. And here, some say, there is an "anantapodaton" in his
discourse; that is, he lays down the proposition on the part of
Adam, but does not show what answers to it on the contrary in
Christ. And Origin gives the reason of the silence of the apostle
herein,--namely, lest what is to be said therein should be abused by
any unto sloth and negligence. For whereas he says "hoosper", "as"
(which is a note of similitude) "by one man sin entered into the
world, and death by sin;" so the "apodosis", or reddition, should
be, "so by one righteousness entered into the world, and life by
     This he acknowledges to be the genuine filling up of the
comparison, but was not expressed by the apostle, lest men should
abuse it unto negligence or security, supposing that to be done
already which should be done afterwards. But as this plainly
contradicts and everts most of what he farther asserts in the
exposition of the place, so the apostle concealed not any truth upon
such considerations. And as he plainly expresses that which is here
intimated, verse 19, so he shows how foolish and wicked any such
imaginations are, as suppose that any countenance is given hereby
unto any to indulge themselves in their sins.
     Some grant, therefore, that the apostle does conceal the
expression of what is ascribed unto Christ, in opposition unto what
he had affirmed of Adam and his sin, unto verse 19; but the truth
is, it is sufficiently included in the close of verse 19, where he
affirms of Adam that, in those things whereof he treats, he was "the
figure of him that was to come." For the way and manner whereby he
introduced righteousness and life, and communicated them unto men,
answered the way and manner whereby Adam introduced sin and death,
which passed on all the world. Adam being the figure of Christ, look
how it was with him, with respect unto his natural posterity, as
unto sin and death; so it is with the Lord Christ, the second Adam,
and his spiritual posterity, with respect unto righteousness and
life. Hence we argue,--
     If the actual sin of Adam was so imputed unto all his posterity as
to be accounted their own sin unto condemnation, then is the actual
obedience of Christ, the second Adam, imputed unto all his spiritual
seed (that is, unto all believers) unto justification. I shall not
here farther press this argument, because the ground of it will
occur unto us afterwards.
     The two next verses, containing an objection and an answer
returned unto it, wherein we have no immediate concernment, I shall
pass by.
     Verses 15,16. The apostle proceeds to explain his comparison in
those things wherein there is a dissimilitude between the
     "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, by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto many."
     The opposition is between "paraptooma" on the one hand, and
"charisma" on the other,--between which a dissimilitude is asserted,
not as unto their opposite effects of death and life, but only as
unto the degrees of their efficacy, with respect unto those effects.
"Paraptooma", the offense, the fall, the sin, the transgression,--
that is, "tou henos parako-e", "the disobedience of one," verse 19.
Hence the first sin of Adam is generally called "the fall,"--"to
paraptooma". That which is opposed hereunto is "to charisma"--
"Donum, donum gratuitum; beneficium, id quod Deus gratificatur";
that is, "Charis tou Theou, kai doorea en chariti tei tou henos
anthroopou Iesou Christou", as it is immediately explained, "The
grace of God, and the free gift by grace, through Jesus Christ."
Wherefore, although this word, in the next verse, does precisely
signify the righteousness of Christ, yet here it comprehends all the
causes of our justification, in opposition unto the fall of Adam,
and the entrance of sin thereby.
     The consequent and effect "tou paraptoomatos",--"of the offense,"
the fall,--is, that "many be dead." No more is here intended by
"many," but only that the effects of that one offense were not
confined unto one; and if we inquire who or how many those many are,
the apostle tells us that they are all men universally; that is, all
the posterity of Adam. By this one offense, because they all sinned,
therein they are all dead; that is, rendered obnoxious and liable
unto death, as the punishment due unto that one offense. And hence
also it appears how vain it is to wrest those words of verse 12,
"Inasmuch as all have sinned," unto any other sin but the first sin
in Adam, seeing it is given as the reason why death passed on them;
it being here plainly affirmed "that they are dead," or that death
passed on them by that one offense.
     The efficacy "tou charismatos",--"of the free gift," opposed
hereunto, is expressed, as that which abounded much more. Besides
the thing itself asserted, which is plain and evident, the apostle
seems to me to argue the equity of our justification by grace,
through the obedience of Christ, by comparing it with the
condemnation that befell us by the sin and disobedience of Adam. For
if it were just, meet, and equal, that all men should be made
subject unto condemnation for the sin of Adam; it is much more so,
that those who believe should be justified by the obedience of
Christ, through the grace and free donation of God. But wherein, in
particular, the gift by grace abounded unto many, above the efficacy
of the fall to condemn, he declares afterwards. And that whereby we
are freed from condemnation, more eminently than we are made
obnoxious unto it by the fall and sin of Adam, by that alone we are
justified before God. But this is by the grace of God, and the gift
by grace, through Jesus Christ alone; which we plead for, verse 16.
Another difference between the comparates is expressed, or rather
the instance is given in particular of the dissimilitude asserted in
general before:--
     "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."
     "Di' henos hamartesantos", "By one that sinned," is the same with
"di' henos paraptoomatos", "by one sin," one offense, the one sin of
that man. "Krima", we render "judgment." Most interpreters do it by
"reatus," "guilt," or "crimen," which is derived from it. So
"mishpat", "judicium," is used in the Hebrew for guilt: "mishpat-
mawet la'ish hazeh", Jer.26:11, "The judgment of death is to this
man, this man is guilty of death, has deserved to die." First,
therefore, there was "paraptooma", the sin, the fall, "tou henos
hamartesantos", of one man that sinned; it was his actual sin alone.
Thence followed "krima", "reatus," "guilt;" this was common unto
all. In and by that one sin, guilt came upon all. And the end
hereof, that which it rendered men obnoxious unto, is "katakrima",--
"condemnation," guilt unto condemnation. And this guilt unto
condemnation which came upon all, was "ex henos",--of one person, or
sin. This is the order of things on the part of Adam:--(1.)
"Paraptooma", the one sin; (2.) "Krima", the guilt that thereon
ensued unto all; (3.) "Katachrima", the condemnation which that
guilt deserved. And their "antitheta," or opposites, in the second
Adam are:--(1.) "Charisma", the free donation of God; (2.)
"Doorema", the gift of grace itself, or the righteousness of Christ;
(3.) "Dikaiooma", or "dikaioosis dzooes", "justification of life."
But yet though the apostle does thus distinguish these things, to
illustrate his comparison and opposition, that which he intends by
them all is the righteousness and obedience of Christ, as he
declares, verses 18,19. This, in the matter of our justification, he
calls,--(1.) "Charisma", with respect unto the free, gratuitous
grant of it by the grace of God, "Doorea tes charitos", and (2.)
"Doorema", with respect unto us who receive it,--a free gift it is
unto us; and (3.) "Dikaiooma", with respect unto its effect of
making us righteous.
     Whereas, therefore, by the sin of Adam imputed unto them, guilt
came on all men unto condemnation, we must inquire wherein the free
gift was otherwise: "Not as by one that sinned, so was the gift "
And it was so in two things: for,--1. Condemnation came upon all by
one offence; but being under the guilt of that one offense, we
contract the guilt of many more innumerable. Wherefore, if the free
gift had respect only unto that one offense, and intended itself no
farther, we could not be delivered; wherefore it is said to be "of
many offenses," that is, of all our sins and trespasses whatever. 2.
Adam, and all his posterity in him, were in a state of acceptation
with God, and placed in a way of obtaining eternal life and
blessedness, wherein God himself would have been their reward. In
this estate, by the entrance of sin, they lost the favour of God,
and incurred the guilt of death or condemnation, for they are the
same. But they lost not an immediate right and title unto life and
blessedness; for this they had not, nor could have before the course
of obedience prescribed unto them was accomplished. That, therefore,
which came upon all by the one offense, was the loss of God's favour
in the approbation of their present state, and the judgment or guilt
of death and condemnation. But an immediate right unto eternal life,
by that one sin was not lost. The free gift is not so: for as by it
we are freed, not only from one sin, but from all our sins, so also
by it we have a right and title unto eternal life; for therein,
"grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life," verse 21.
     The same truth is farther explained and confirmed, verse 17, "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." The design of the apostle
having been sufficiently manifested in our observations on the
former verses, I shall from this only observe those things which
more immediately concern our present subject. And,--
     1. It is worth observation with what variety of expressions the
apostle sets forth the grace of God in the justification of
believers: "Dikaiooma, doorema, charis, charisma, perisseia
charitos, doorea tes dikaiosunes". Nothing is omitted that may any
way express the freedom, sufficiency, and efficacy of grace unto
that end. And although these terms seem some of them to be
coincident in their signification, and to be used by him
promiscuously, yet do they every one include something that is
peculiar, and all of them set forth the whole work of grace.
"Dikaiooma" seems to me to be used in this argument for
"dikaiologema", which is the foundation of a cause in trial, the
matter pleaded, whereon the person tried is to be acquitted and
justified; and this is the righteousness of Christ, "of one."
"Doorema", or a free donation, is exclusive of all desert and
conditions on our part who do receive it; and it is that whereby we
are freed from condemnation, and have a right unto the justification
of life. "Charis" is the free grace and favour of God, which is the
original or efficient cause of our justification, as was declared,
chap.3:24. "Charisma" has been explained before. "Perisseia
charitos",--"The abundance of grace,"--is added to secure believers
of the certainty of the effect. It is that whereunto nothing is
wanting unto our justification. "Doorea tes dikaiosunes" expresses
the free grant of that righteousness which is imputed unto us unto
the justification of life, afterward called "the obedience of
Christ." Be men as wise and learned as they please, it becomes us
all to learn to think and speak of these divine mysteries from this
blessed apostle, who knew them better than we all, and, besides,
wrote by divine inspiration.
     And it is marvelous unto me how men can break through the face
that he has made about the grace of God and obedience of Christ, in
the work of our justification before God, to introduce their own
works of obedience, and to find a place for them therein. But the
design of Paul and some men, in declaring this point of our
justification before God, seems to be very opposite and contrary.
His whole discourse is concerning the grace of God, the death,
blood, and obedience of Christ, as if he could never sufficiently
satisfy himself in the setting out and declaration of them, without
the least mention of any works or duties of our own, or the least
intimation of any use that they are of herein. But all their pleas
are for their own works and duties; and they have invented as many
terms to set them out by as the Holy Ghost has used for the
expression and declaration of the grace of God. Instead of the words
of wisdom before mentioned, which the Holy Ghost has taught,
wherewith he fills up his discourse, theirs are filled with
conditions, preparatory dispositions, merits, causes, and I know not
what trappings for our own works. For my part I shall choose rather
to learn of him, and accommodate my conceptions and expressions of
gospel mysteries, and of this in especial concerning our
justification, unto his who cannot deceive me, than trust to any
other conduct, how specious soever its pretences may be.
     2. It is plain in this verse that no more is required of any one
unto justification, but that he receive the "abundance of grace and
the gift of righteousness;" for this is the description that the
apostle gives of those that are justified, as unto any thing that on
their part is required. And as this excludes all works of
righteousness which we do,--for by none of them do we receive the
abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness,--so it does also
the imputation of faith itself unto our justification, as it is an
act and duty of our own: for faith is that whereby we receive the
gift of righteousness by which we are justified. For it will not be
denied but that we are justified by the gift of righteousness, or
the righteousness which is given unto us; for by it have we right
and title unto life. But our faith is not this gift; for that which
receives, and that which is received, are not the same.
     3. Where there is "perisseia charitos", and "haris
huperpepisseuousa",--"abounding grace," "superabounding grace,"
exerted in our justification, no more is required thereunto; for how
can it be said to abound, yea, to superabound, not only to the
freeing of us from condemnation, but the giving of us a title unto
life, if in any thing it is to be supplied and eked out by works and
duties of our own? The things intended do fill up these expressions,
although to some they are but an empty noise.
     4. There is a gift of righteousness required unto our
justification, which all must receive who are to be justified, and
all are justified who do receive it; for they that receive it shall
"reign in life by Jesus Christ." And hence it follows,--(1.) That
the righteousness whereby we are justified before God can be nothing
of our own, nothing inherent in us, nothing performed by us. For it
is that which is freely given us, and this donation is by
imputation: "Blessed is the man unto whom God imputeth
righteousness," chap.4:6. And by faith we receive what is so given
and imputed; and otherwise we contribute nothing unto our
participation of it. This it is to be justified in the sense of the
apostle. (2.) It is such a righteousness as gives right and title
unto eternal life; for they that receive it shall "reign in life."
Wherefore, it cannot consist in the pardon of sin alone; for,--[1.]
The pardon of sin can in no tolerable sense be called "the gift of
righteousness." Pardon of sin is one thing, and righteousness
another. [2.] Pardon of sin does not give right and title unto
eternal life. It is true, he whose sins are pardoned shall inherit
eternal life; but not merely by virtue of that pardon, but through
the imputation of righteousness which does inseparably accompany it,
and is the ground of it.
     The description which is here given of our justification by grace,
in opposition unto the condemnation that we were made liable unto by
the sin of Adam, and in exaltation above it, as to the efficacy of
grace above that of the first sin, in that thereby not one but all
sins are forgiven, and not only so, but a right unto life eternal is
communicated unto us, is this: "That we receive the grace of God,
and the gift of righteousness;" which gives us a right unto life by
Jesus Christ. But this is to be justified by the imputation of the
righteousness of Christ, received by faith alone.
     The conclusion of what has been evinced, in the management of the
comparison insisted on, is fully expressed and farther confirmed,
chap. 5:18,19.
     Verse 18. "Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon
all men unto condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the
free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." So we. read
the words. "By the offense of one:" the Greek copies vary here. Some
read, "Tooi heni paraptoomati", whom Beza follows, and our
translation in the margin,--"By one offense;" most by "Di henos
paraptoomatos",--"By the offense of one;" and so afterwards as unto
righteousness: but both are unto the same purpose. For the one
offense intended is the offense of one,--that is, of Adam; and the
one righteousness is the righteousness of one,--Jesus Christ.
     The introduction of this assertion by "apa ouv", the note of a
syllogistical inference, declares what is here asserted to be the
substance of the truth pleaded for. And the comparison is continued,
"hoos",--these things have themselves after the same manner.
     That which is affirmed on the one side is, "Di' henos
paraptoomatos eis pantas enthroopous eis katakrima",--"By the sin or
fall of one, on all men unto condemnation,"that is, judgment, say
we, repeating "krima" from the foregoing verse. But "krima eis
katakrima" is guilt, and that only. By the sin of one, all men
became guilty, and were made obnoxious unto condemnation. The guilt
of it is imputed unto all men; for no otherwise can it come upon
them unto condemnation, no otherwise can they be rendered obnoxious
unto death and judgment on the account thereof. For we have evinced,
that by death and condemnation, in this disputation of the apostle,
the whole punishment due unto sin is intended. This, therefore, is
plain and evident on that hand.
     In answer hereunto, the "dikaiooma" of one, as to the causality of
justification, is opposed unto the "paraptooma" of the other, as
unto its causality unto or of condemnation: "Di' henos
dikaioomatos",--"By the righteousness of one:" that is, the
righteousness that is pleadable "eis dikaioosin", unto
justification; for that is "dikaiooma", a righteousness pleaded for
justification. By this, say our translators, "the free gift came
upon all," repeating "charisma" from the foregoing verse, as they
had done "krima" before on the other hand. The Syrian translation
renders the words without the aid of any supplement: "Therefore, as
by the sin of one, condemnation was unto all men, so by the
righteousness of one, justification unto life shall be unto all
men"; and the sense of the words is so made plain without the supply
of any other word into the text. But whereas in the original the
words are not "katakrima eis pantas anthroopous", but "eis pantas
anthroopous eis katakrima", and so in the latter clause, somewhat
from his own foregoing words, is to be supplied to answer the
intention of the apostle. And this is "Charisma", "gratiosa
donatio," "the free grant" of righteousness; or "doorema", "the free
gift" of righteousness unto justification. The righteousness of one,
Christ Jesus, is freely granted unto all believers, to the
justification of life; for the "all men" here mentioned are
described by, and limited unto, them that "receive the abundance of
grace, and the gift of righteousness by Christ," verse 17.
     Some vainly pretend from hence a general grant of righteousness
and life unto all men, whereof the greatest part are never made
partakers; than which nothing can be more opposite nor contradictory
unto the apostle's design. Men are not made guilty of condemnation
from the sin of Adam, by such a divine constitution, as that they
may, or on some conditions may not, be obnoxious thereunto. Every
one, so soon as he actually exists, and by virtue thereof is a
descendant from the first Adam, is actually in his own person liable
thereunto, and the wrath of God abides on him. And no more are
intended on the other side, but those only who, by their relation
through faith unto the Lord Christ, the second Adam, are actually
interested in the justification of life. Neither is the controversy
about the universality of redemption by the death of Christ herein
concerned. For those by whom it is asserted do not affirm that it is
thence necessary that the free gift unto the justification of life
should come on all; for that they know it does not do. And of a
provision of righteousness and life for men in case they do believe,
although it be true, yet nothing is spoken in this place. Only the
certain justification of them that believe, and the way of it, are
declared. Nor will the analogy of the comparison here insisted on
admit of any such interpretation; for the "all", on the one hand,
are all and only those who derive their being from Adam by natural
propagation. If any man might be supposed not to do so, he would not
be concerned in his sin or fall. And so really it was with the man
Christ Jesus. And those on the other hand, are only those who derive
a spiritual life from Christ. Suppose a man not to do so, and he is
no way interested in the righteousness of the "one" unto the
justification of life. Our argument from the words is this:--As the
sin of one that came on all unto condemnation, was the sin of the
first Adam imputed unto them; so the righteousness of the one unto
the justification of life that comes on all believers, is the
righteousness of Christ imputed unto them. And what can be more
clearly affirmed or more evidently confirmed than this is by the
apostle, I know not.
     Yet is it more plainly expressed, verse 19: "For as by one man's
disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one
shall many be made righteous."
     This is well explained by Cyrillus Alexandrinus in Joan. lib.11
cap.25: "Quemadmodum praevaricatione primi hominis ut in primitiis
generis nostri, morti addicti fuimus; eodem modo per obedientiamet
justitiam Christi, in quantum seipsum legi subjecit, quamvis legis
author esset, benedictio et vivificatio quae per Spiritum est, ad
totam nostram penetravit naturam". And by Leo, Epist. 12 ad
Juvenalem: "Ut autem reparet omnium vitam, recepit omnium causam; at
sicut per unius reatum omnes facti fuerunt peccatores, its per unius
innocentiam omnes fierent innocentes; inde in homines manaret
justitia, ubi est humana suscepta natura."
     That which he before called "paraptooma" and "dikaiooma" he now
expresses by "parako-e" and "hupako-e",--"disobedience" and
"obedience." The "parako-e" of Adam, or his disobedience, was his
actual transgression of the law of God. Hereby, says the apostle,
"many were made sinners," sinners in such a sense as to be obnoxious
unto death and condemnation; for liable unto death they could not be
made, unless they were first made sinners or guilty. And this they
could not be, but that they are esteemed to have sinned in him,
whereon the guilt of his sin was imputed unto them. This, therefore,
he affirms,-- namely, that the actual sin of Adam was so the sin of
all men, as that they were made sinners thereby, obnoxious unto
death and condemnation.
     That which he opposes hereunto is "he hupako-e",--"the obedience
of one;" that is, of Jesus Christ. And this was the actual obedience
that he yielded unto the whole law of God. For as the disobedience
of Adam was his actual transgression of the whole law, so the
obedience of Christ was his actual accomplishment or fulfilling of
the whole law. This the antithesis does require.

(continued in part 31...)

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