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and do consider themselves as ÚTÓDIKOÇ TÜ Okq,' guilty before God;' subject, obnoxious, liable unto his wrath in the curse of the law; as we declared in the entrance of this discourse; Rom. iii. 19. They were all in the same state that Adam was in after the fall, unto whom God proposed the relief of the incarnation and suffering of Christ ;' Gen. iii. 15. And to seek after justification, is to seek after a discharge from this woful state and condition. Such persons have and ought to have other designs and desires also. For whereas the state wherein they are antecedent unto their justification, is not only a state of guilt and wrath, but such also as wherein through the depravation of their nature, the power of sin is prevalent in them, and their whole souls are defiled, they design and desire not only to be justified, but to be sanctified also. But as unto the guilt of sin, and the want of a righteousness before God, from which justification is their relief, herein I say they have respect unto Christ as set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood. In their design for sanctification they have respect unto the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ, in their especial exercise. But as to their freedom from the guilt of sin, and their acceptance with God, or their justification in his sight, that they may be freed from condemnation, that they may not come into judgment; it is Christ crucified, it is Christ lifted up as the brazen serpent in the wilderness, it is the blood of Christ, it is the propitiation that he was, and the atonement that he made, it is his bearing their sins, his being made sin and the curse for them, it is his obedience, the end which he put unto sin, and the everlasting righteousness which he brought in, that alone their faith doth fix upon and acquiesce in. If it be otherwise in the experience of any, I acknowledge I am not acquainted with it. I do not say that conviction of sin is the only antecedent condition of actual justification. But this it is that makes a sinner' subjectum capax justificationis.' No man therefore is to be considered as a person to be justified, but he who is actually under the power of the conviction of sin, with all the necessary consequents thereof. Suppose, therefore, any sinner in this condition, as it is described by the apostle, Rom. iii. ' guilty before God,' with his mouth stopped as unto any pleas defences, or excuses; suppose him to seek after a relief and deliverance out of this estate, that is to be justified according to the gospel; he neither doth, nor can wisely take any other course than what he is there directed unto by the same apostle; ver. 20-25. Therefore by the deeds of the Ja'w there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the Jaw is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

Whence I argue ;

God.

That which a guilty condemned sinner, finding no hope nor relief from the law of God, the sole rule of all his obedience, doth betake himself unto by faith, that he may be delivered or justified, that is the especial object of faith as justifying. But this is the grace of God alone through the redemption that is in Christ, or Christ proposed as a propitiation through faith in his blood. Either this is so, or the apostle doth not aright guide the souls and consciences of men in that condition wherein he himself doth place them. It is the blood of Christ alone that he directs the faith unto of all them that would be justified before

Grace, redemption, propitiation, all through the blood of Christ, faith doth peculiarly respect and fix upon. This is that, if I mistake not, which they will confirm by their experience, who have made any distinct observation of the actings of their faith in their justification before God.

2. The Scripture plainly declares that faith as justifying, respects the sacerdotal office and actings of Christ alone. In the great representation of the justification of the church of old in the expiatory sacrifice, when all their sins and iniquities were pardoned, and their persons accepted with God, the acting of their faith was limited unto the imposition of all their sins on the head of the sacrifice by the high-priest; Lev. xvi. By his knowledge,' that is faith in him, shall righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their ini

my

quities;' Isa. liii. 11. That alone which faith respects in Christ as unto the justification of sinners, is his 'bearing their iniquities.' Guilty convinced sinners look unto him by faith, as those who were stung with fiery serpents did to the brazen serpent; that is, as he was lifted up on the cross; John iii. 14, 15. So did he himself express the nature and actings of faith in our justification, Rom. iii, 24, 25. · Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood. As he is a propitiation, as. he shed his blood for us, as we have redemption thereby, he is the peculiar object of our faith, with respect unto our justification. See to the same purpose, Rom, v. 9, 10. Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14. Eph. ii. 13-16. Rom. viii. 3, 4. He was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him; 2 Cor. y. 21. That which we seek after in justification is a participation of the righteousness of God; to be made the righteousness of God, and that not in ourselves but in another, that is, in Christ Jesus. And that alone which is proposed unto our faith as the means and cause of it, is, his being made sin for us, or a sacrifice for sin, wherein all the guilt of our sins was laid on him, and he bare all our iniquities. This therefore is its peculiar object herein. And wherever in the Scripture we are directed to seek for the forgiveness of sins by the blood of Christ, receive the atonement, to be justified through the faith of him as crucified, the object of faith in justifi, cation is limited and determined.

But it may be pleaded in exception unto the testimonies, that no one of them doth affirm, that we are justified by faith in the blood of Christ alone; so as to exclude the consideration of the other offices of Christ and their actings, from being the object of faith in the same manner, and unto the same ends, with his sacerdotal office, and what belongs thereunto, or is derived from it.

Ans. This exception derives from that common objection against the doctrine of justification by faith alone ; namely that, that exclusive term alone is not found in the Scripture, or in any of the testimonies that are produced for justification by faith. But it is replied with sufficient evidence of truth, that although the word be not found syllabically

used unto this purpose ; yet there are exceptive expressions equivalent unto it, as we shall see afterward. It is so in this particular instance also. For, (1.) whereas our justification is expressly ascribed unto our faith in the blood of Christ, as the propitiation for our sins, unto our believing in him as crucified for us, and it is nowhere ascribed unto our receiving of him as king, Lord, or prophet; it is plain, that the former expressions are virtually exclusive of the latter consideration. (2.) I do not say, that the consideration of the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ is excluded from our justification, as works are excluded in opposition unto faith and grace. For they are so excluded, as that we are to exercise an act of our minds in their positive rejection, as saying, Get you hence, you have no lot nor portion in this matter. But as to these offices of Christ, as to the object of faith as justifying, we say only that they are not included therein. For so to believe to be justified by his blood, as to exercise a positive act of the mind, excluding a compliance with his other offices, is an impious imagination.

3. Neither the consideration of these offices themselves, nor of any of the peculiar acts of them, are suited to give the souls and consciences of convinced sinners, that relief which they seek after in justification. We are not in this whole cause to lose out of our eye, the state of the person who is to be justified, and what it is he doth seek after, and ought to seek after, therein. Now this is pardon of sin, and righteousness before God alone. That, therefore, which is no way suited to give or tender this relief unto him, is not, nor can be, the object of his faith, whereby he is justified in that exercise of it, whereon his justification doth depend. This relief it will be said, is to be had in Christ alone; it is true, but under what consideration? For the sole design of the sinner, is how he may be accepted with God, be at peace with him, have all his wrath turned away, by a propitiation or atonement. Now this can no otherwise be done, but by the acting of some one, towards God, and with God on his behalf; for it is about the turning away of God's anger, and acceptance with him, that the inquiry is made. It is by the blood of Christ, that we are made nigh, who were far off; Eph. ii. 13. By the blood of Christ are we reconciled who were enemies; ver, 16. By the blood of Christ we have redemption; Rom. iii. 24, 25. Eph. i. 7, &c. This therefore, is the object of faith.

All the actings of the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ, are all of them from God, that is, in the name and authority of God towards us. Not any one of them is towards God on our behalf, so as that by virtue of them, we should expect acceptance with God. They are all good, blessed, holy in themselves, and of an eminent tendency unto the glory of God in our salvation. · Yea, they are no less necessary unto our salvation to the praise of God's grace, than are the atonement for sin and satisfaction which he made; for from them is the way of life revealed unto us, grace communicated, our persons sanctified, and the reward bestowed. Yea, in the exercise of his kingly power doth the Lord Christ both pardon and justify sinners. Not that he did as a king constitute the law of justification, for it was given and established in the first promise, and he came to put it in execution; John iii. 16. But in the virtue of his atonement and righteousness imputed unto them, he doth both pardon and justify sinners. But they are the acts of his sacerdotal office alone, that respect God on our behalf. Whatever he did on earth with God for the church, in obedience, suffering, and offering up of himself, whatever he doth in heaven in intercession, and appearance in the presence of God for us, it all entirely belongs unto his priestly office. And in these things alone doth the soul of a convinced sinner find relief, when he seeks after deliverance from the state of sin, and acceptance with God. In these therefore alone the peculiar object of his faith, that which will give him rest and peace, must be comprised. And this last consideration is, of itself, sufficient to determine this difference.

Sundry things are objected against this assertion, which I shall not here at large discuss, because what is material in any of them, will occur on other occasions, where its consideration will be more proper. In general it may be pleaded, that justifying faith is the same with saving faith ; nor is it said, that we are justified by this or that part of faith, but by faith in general, that is, as taken essentially for the entire grace

of faith. And as unto faith in this sense, not only a respect unto Christ in all his offices, but obedience itself

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