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Christ's body, and shedding of Christ's blood, but also his perfect fulfilling of the law, are the adequate price of our redemption. All these act conjointly, they sweetly harmonize, in the great and glorious work. To suppose their disunion, is a doctrinal mistakes somewhat like that practical error of the papists, in severing the sacramental wine from the sacramental bread; administering to the laity the symbols of the slaughtered body, but withholding the symbols of the streaming blood.
There are other clauses in the same homily, which set the seal of the cburch to our sentiments. I shall content myself with trapscribing one from the conclusion : " Christ, says that form of sound words, is the righteousness of all them that do truly believe. He for them paid their ransom by his death. He for them fulfilled the law in his life. So that now, in him, and by bim, every true Chris, tian man may be called a fulfiller of the law; forasmuch as that which their infirmity lacked, Christ's righteousness hath supplied." This authority is as clear, as the doctrine authorised is comfortable! May the former sway our judgment; may the latter cbeer our bearts.
Hervey It would have remained a puzzling question to men and angels
, How should man be just with God? had not his grace employed his wisdom to find out a ransom, whereby he has delivered his people from going down to the pit of corruption; wbich ransom is no other than his own Son, whom he sent, in the fulness of time, to execute the scheme he had so wisely formed in his eternal mind; which he did, by finishing transgression, making an end of sin, making reconciliation for iniquity, and bringing in an everlasting righteousness, which being wrought out by Christ, God was wellpleased with, because hereby bis law was magnified and made honourable; and, having graciously accepted of it, be imputes it freely to all bis people, and reckons them righteous on the account of it. The Hebrew word and the Greek words, which are used to express this act of imputation, signify to reckon, repute, estimate, attribute, or place any thing to the account of another; as when the apostle Paul said to Philemon, concerning Onesimus, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee aught, put that on my account;" Phil. 18. let it be reckoned or imputed to me. So, when God is said to impute Christ's righteousness to us, the meaning is, that he reckons it as ours, being wrought out for us; and accounts us righteous by it, as though we had performed it in our own persons. And
now, that it may appear that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, observe,
1. That we are in our own persons ungodly, who are justified ; for God justifieth the ungodly; Rom. iv.5. if ungodly, then without a righteousness, as all Adam's posterity are; and if without a righteousness, then, if we are justified, it must be by some righteousNess imputed to us, or placed to our account, which can be no other than the righteousness of Christ.
2. We are justified either by an inherent or by an imputed righteousness : not by an inherent one, because that is imperfect, and nothing that is imperfect can justify us. Besides, this is a righteousness within us, whereas the righteousness by which we are justified is a righteousness without us; it is unto all and upon all them that believe. Rom. iii. 22. And if we are not justified by an inherent righteousness, then it must be by an imputed one, because there remains no other.
3. The righteousness by which we are justified is not our own righteousness, but the righteousness of another—the righteousness of Christ. “That I may be found in Christ, (says the apostle) not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. Phil. iii, 9. Now the righteousness of another cannot be made ours, or we be justified by it, any other way than by an imputation of it.
4. The same way that Adam's sin becomes ours, or we are made sinners by it, the same way Christ's righteousness becomes ours, or we are made righteous by it. Now Adam's sin, becomes ours by imputation; and so does Christ's righteousness, according to the Apostle : “ As by one mau's disobedience many were made sinners; so, by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Rom,
5. The same way that our sins became Christ's, his righteousness becomes ours. Now our sins became Christ's by imputation only;
the Father laid them on him by imputation, and he took them to himself by voluntary susception; they were placed to his account, and he looked upon bimself as auswerable to justice for them. Now, in the same way his righteousness becomes ours; for he, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. v. 21.
We must be declared free from guilt, and invested with a righteousness that will stand before the law of sinless perfection, and entitle us to the kingdom of heaven. And if we bave it not in our selves, wbere must we look for it, but as existing solely in the person of Jesus Christ? Dependance, therefore, upon that righteousness, as wrought out by bim for believers, and appointed of God for sinners to trust in, is the gracious faith of the Gospel, by which the soul is justified.
Satan and the world may ask us, “ How can ye be justified by a righteousness which is not yours ?” We answer, “ The righteousness of Christ is ours; and ours, by as great a right as any thing we possess; to wit, by the free gift of God: for it hath pleased bim to give us a garment, who were naked; and to give us, who had none of our own, a righteousness answerable to justice.”
True justifying faith puts the soul (as sensible of its lost condition by the law) upon flying for refuge unto Christ's righteousness, which righteousness of his is not an act of grace, by which he makes our obedience accepted with God for justification, but his personal obedience to the law, in doing and suffering for us what the law requires at our hands. This righteousness true faith accepteth, under the skirt of which the soul being shrouded, and by it presented as apostles before God, it is accepted and acquitted from condemnation.
Paul asserts, We are justified freely by grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. iii. 24. He declares roundly, By the obedience of one [even Christ] sball many be made righteous, Rom. v. 19. and affirms, The righteousness of God [the God-man
surety] is unto all and upon all that believe, Rom. iii. 22. is imputed unto all that believe, and put upon all, as their justification-robe.
Berridge. St. Paul, speaking of the crimes which Onesimus had committed, and of the injuries which Philemon bad sustained, says, “ Charge them all on me.” The meaning is, “ I will be responsible for all; as much, as if the whole guilt had been of my own contracting,” Here is supposed, not the imputation of something done by the apostle himself, but of another's criminal behaviour. Hervey.
Men generally think, that besides Christ and his merits, there is something more in the way that leadeth to life; namely, a man's own righteousness, to act in conjunction with Christ. “ These together,” say they, “ are the way to salvation," Alas for such! Christ alone is the way to beaven; and he himself hath declared that to be a narrow one. It is, among other respects, narrow in this regard; that all a man's own righteousness (as a ground, cause, or condition, of justification and eternal life) must be clean shut out. It is so narrow, that there can be nothing in the way, but the righteousness of Christ. When a man's own righteousness is supposed to be a part of the way, we make the way broader than God will allow.
This doctrine illustrates that of justification, as showing wherein the true manner of justifying righteousness doth consist, and how it comes to be ours; our faith, or act of believing, cannot be the matter of it, for that is an imperfect thing, and so cannot be reckoned in the place of perfect righteousness; for it must be a righteousness perfectly perfect that justifies, as it was a sin perfectly sinful that coudemned. This righteousness also must be our own, in a way of right, as Adam's sin also was, though performed in the person of another, Christ and Adam being parallels in their headship, the imputation of the one's guiltiness and of the other's righteousness are righteously applied to their respective seeds; and this was a main end of the Lord's putting those he would justify into Christ; that he being made sin and a curse for them, they might be made the righteousness of God in Him; and so God might be just in justi
fying of them. Faith in this matter holds the place of an evidence or seal of that righteousness which belonged to us, as being in Christ before we believed; as Canaan did to Abraham's seed before they were born; and is given us on the account of that our interest therein, (Phil. iii. 12.) that we might apprebend it, and enjoy the benefits of it, (Phil. i. 29.) which is surely a far better ground to build our justification upon, than our weak and imperfect faith, which stands in need daily of the righteousness of God for its own support.
Cole. Whatsoever is of nature's spinning must be all unravelled before Christ's righteousness can be put on.
Wilcox. Now the obedience of Christ was only performed upon the aecount of those whose nature he had assumed; as we by faith lay
it, so God, through grace, imputes it to us, as if it had been performed by us in our own persons. And hence it is, that as in one place Christ is said to be made sin for us, (2 Cor. v, 21.) so in another place, he is said to be made our righteousness, (1 Cor. i. 30.) and in the fore-cited place, (2 Cor. v. 21.) as he is said to be made sin for us, so we are said to be made righteousness in him. But what righteousness ? Our own ? No: the righteousness of God, radically his, but imputatively ours; and this is the only way by which we are said to be made the righteousness of God, even by the righteousness of Christ being made ours, by which we are accounted and reputed as righteous before God.
This, therefore, is the righteousness and the manner of that justification, whereby I hope to stand before the judgment-seat of God, even by God's imputing my sins to Christ, and Christ's righteousness to me; looking upon me as one not to be punished for my sins, because Christ hath suffered; but to be received into the joys of glory, because Christ bath performed obedience for me, and does, by faith, through grace impute it to me. Bishop Beveridge
The righteousness of Christ is a glorious covering ; to have all our sins laid upon the head of this scape-goat, and notwithstanding our personal unworthiness, to be accepted in the Beloved, is a privilege of infinite and unspeakable importance, But we should ever