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imputed unto him that is absolutely perfect, so as to be made his own, needs no pardon, hath no sin that should be forgiven, nor can he ever need forgiveness. But because this objection will occur unto us again in the vindication of one of our ensuing arguments, I shall here speak briefly unto it.
1. Grotius shall answer this objection; saith he, 'Cum duo nobis peperisse Christum dixerimus, impunitatem et præmium, illud satisfactioni, hoc merito Christi distincte tribuit vetus ecclesia. Satisfactio consistit in peccatorum translatione, meritum in perfectissimæ obedientiæ pro no. bis præstitæ imputatione.' Præfat. ad lib. de Satisfact. • Whereas we have said that Christ hath procured or brought forth two things for us, freedom from punishment, and a reward, the ancient church attributes the one of them distinctly unto his satisfaction, the other unto his merit. Satisfaction consisteth in the translation of sins (from us unto him), merit in the imputation of his most perfect obedience performed for us,' unto us. In his judgment the remission of sins, and the imputation of righteousness, were as consistent as the satisfaction and merit of Christ, as indeed they are.
2. Had we not been sinners, we should have had no need of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to render us righteous before God. Being so, the first end for which it is imputed, is the pardon of sin; without which we could not be righteous by the imputation of the most perfect righteousness. These things therefore are consistent, namely, that the satisfaction of Christ should be imputed unto us for the pardon of sin, and the obedience of Christ be imputed unto us, to render us righteous before God. And they are not only consistent, but neither of them singly were sufficient unto our justification.
2. It is pleaded by the same author, and others, That the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, overthroweth all necessity of repentance for sin, in order unto the remission or pardon thereof, yea, rendereth it altogether needless. For what need hath he of repentance for sin, who by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, is esteemed completely just and righteous in the sight of God. If Christ satisfied for all sins in the person of the elect; if as our surety he paid all our debts, and if his righteousness be made ours before we repent, then is all repentance needless. And these things are much enlarged on by the same author in the place before-mentioned.
Ans. 1. It must be remembered, that we require evangelical faith in order of nature antecedently unto our justification by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto us, which also is the condition of its continuation. Wherefore, whatever is necessary thereunto, is in like manner required of us in order unto believing. Amongst these, there is a sorrow for sin, and a repentance of it. For whosoever is convinced of sin in a due manner, so as to be sensible of its evil and guilt, both as in its own nature, it is contrary unto the preceptive part of the holy law, and in the necessary consequences of it, in the wrath and curse of God, cannot but be perplexed in his mind, that he hath involved himself therein. And that posture of mind will be accompanied with shame, fear, sorrow, and other afflictive passions. Hereon a resolution doth ensue, utterly to abstain from it for the future, with sincere endeavours unto that purpose, issuing, if there be time and space for it, in reformation of life. And in a sense of sin, sorrow for fear concerning it, abstinence from it, and reformation of life, a repentance true in its kind doth consist. This repentance is usually called legal, because its motives are principally taken from the law; but yet there is moreover required unto it that temporary faith of the gospel which we have before described. And as it doth usually produce great effects in the confession of sin, humiliation for it, and change of life, as in Ahab and the Ninevites, so ordinarily it precedeth true saving faith, and justification thereby. Wherefore, the necessity hereof, is no way weakened by the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, yea, it is strengthened and made effectual thereby. For without it, in the order of the gospel, an interest therein is not to be attained. And this is that which in the Old Testament is so often proposed as the means and conditions of turning away the judgments and punishments threatened unto sin. For it is true and sincere in its kind; neither do the Socinians require any other repentance unto justification. For as they deny true evangelical repentance in all the especial
causes of it, so that which may and doth precede faith in order of nature, is all that they require. This objection therefore as managed by them, is a causeless vain pretence.
2. Justifying faith includeth in its nature the entire principle of evangelical repentance, so as that it is utterly impossible that a man should be a true believer, and not at the same instant of time, be truly penitent. And therefore are they so frequently conjoined in the Scripture as one simultaneous duty. Yea, the call of the gospel unto repentance is a call to faith, acting itself by repentance. So the sole reason of that call unto repentance which the forgiveness of sins is annexed unto, Acts ii. 38. is the proposal of the promise which is the object of faith, ver. 39. And those conceptions and affections which a man hath about sin, with a sorrow for it and repentance of it, upon a legal conviction, being enlivened and made evangelical by the introduction of faith as a new principle of them, and giving new motives unto them, do become evangelical; so impossible is it that faith should be without repentance. Wherefore, although the first act of faith, and its only proper exercise unto justification, doth respect the grace of God in Christ, and the way of salvation by him, as proposed in the promise of the gospel, yet is not this conceived in order of time to precede its actings in self-displicency, godly sorrow, and universal conversion from sin unto God; nor can it be so, seeing it virtually and radically containeth all of them in itself. However therefore evangelical repentance is not the condition of our justification, so as to have any direct influence thereinto; nor are we said any where to be justified by repentance; nor is it conversant about the proper object which alone the soul respects therein ; nor is a direct and immediate giving glory unto God, on the account of the way and work of his wisdom and grace in Christ Jesus, but a consequent thereof; nor is that reception of Christ which is erpressly required unto our justification, and which alone is required thereunto; yet is it in the root, principle, and promptitude of mind for its exercise, in every one that is justified, then when he is justified. And it is peculiarly proposed with respect unto the forgiveness of sins, as that without which it is impossible we should have any true sense or comfort of it in our souls; but it is not so as any part of that righteousness on the consideration whereof our sins are pardoned, nor as that whereby we have an interest therein. These things are plain in the divine method of our justification, and the order of our duty prescribed in the gospel; as also in the experience of them that do believe. Wherefore, considering the necessity of legal repentance unto believing, with the sanctification of the affections exercised therein by faith, whereby they are made evangelical, and the nature of faith, as including in it a principle of universal conversion unto God, and in especial of that repentance, which hath for its principal motive the love of God, and of Jesus Christ, with the grace from thence communicated, all which are supposed in the doctrine pleaded for, the necessity of true repentance is immoveably fixed on its proper foundation.
3. As unto what was said in the objection concerning Christ's suffering in the person of the elect, I know not whether any
have used it or no, nor will I contend about it. He suffered in their stead ; which all sorts of writers ancient and modern so express, in his suffering he bare the person of the church. The meaning is what was before declared. Christ and believers are one mystical person, one spiritually animated body, head and members. This I suppose will not be denied; to do so, is to overthrow the church and the faith of it. Hence what he did and suffered is imputed unto them. And it is granted that as the surety of the covenant he paid all our debts, or answered for all our faults; and that his righteousness is really communicated unto us. Why then, say some, there is no need of repentance, all is done for us already. But why so, why must we assent to one part of the gospel unto the exclusion of another? Was it not free unto God to appoint what way, method and order he would, whereby these things should be communicated unto us? Nay, upon the supposition of the design of his wisdom and grace, these two things were necessary:
1. That this righteousness of Christ should be communicated unto us, and be made ours in such a way ner, as that he himself might be glorified therein, seeing he hath disposed all things in this whole economy, unto the praise of the glory of his grace ;' Eph. i. 6. This was to be done by faith on our part. It is so, it could be no otherwise. For that faith whereby we are justified, is our giving unto God the glory of his wisdom, grace, and love. And whatever doth so, is faith, and nothing else is so.
2. That whereas our nature was so corrupted and depraved, as that continuing in that state, it was not capable of a participation of the righteousness of Christ, or any benefit of it, unto the glory of God, and our own good, it was in like manner necessary that it should be renewed and changed. And unless it were so, the design of God in the mediation of Christ, which was the entire recovery of us unto himself, could not be attained. And therefore as faith, under the formal consideration of it, was necessary unto the first end, namely, that of giving glory unto God, so unto this latter end, it was necessary that this faith should be accompanied with, yea, and contain in itself the seeds of all those other graces wherein the divine nature doth consist, whereof we are to be made partakers. Not only therefore the thing itself, or the communication of the righteousness of Christ unto us, but the way and manner, and means of it, do depend on God's sovereign order and disposal. Wherefore although Christ did make satisfaction unto the justice of God for all the sins of the church, and that as a common person (for no man in his wits can denybut that he who is a mediator and a surety, is in some sense a common person), and although he did pay all our debts, yet doth the particular interest of this or that man, in what he did and suffered, depend on the way, means, and order designed of God unto that end. This and this alone gives the true necessity of all the duties which are required of us, with their order and their ends.
3. It is objected, That the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, which we defend, overthrows the necessity of faith itself. This is home indeed. Aliquid adhærebit,' is the design of all these objections. But they have reason to plead for themselves who make it. For on this supposition, they say, 'the righteousness of Christ is ours before we do believe. For Christ satisfied for all our sins, as if we had satisfied in our own persons. And he who is esteemed to have satisfied for all his sins in his own person, is acquitted from them all, and accounted just, whether he betieve or no; nor is there any ground or reason why he should