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that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. v, 21.)
2. I have said, that I disapprove of the Second enunciation, “The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for righteousness :" And why may not I reject a phrase which does not occur in the Scriptures, provided I do not deny any true (sensum] signification which can be proved from the Scriptures? But this is the reason of my rejection of that phrase: “ Whatever is imputed for righteousness, or to righteousness, or instead of righteousness, it is not righteousness itself strictly and rigidly taken : But the righteousness of Christ, which He hath performed in obeying the Father, is righteousness itself strictly and rigidly taken: THEREFORE it is not imputed for righteousness.” For that is the signification of the word “to impute," as Piscator against Bellarmine, when treating on Justification, (from Rom. iv, 4, has well observed and satisfactorily proved.
The matter may be rendered clearer by an example. If a man who owes another a hundred forins, pays this his creditor the hundred which he owes, the creditor will not speak with correctness if he says, “I impute this to you for payment:" For the debtor will instantly reply, “ I do not care any thing about your imputation !;" because he has truly paid the hundred florins, whether the creditor thus esteems it or not. But if the man owe a hundred florins and pay only ten, then the creditor, forgiving him the remainder, may justly say, “ I impute this to you for full payment; I will require nothing more from you.” This is the gracious [æstimatio) reckoning of the creditor, which the debtor ought also to acknowledge with a grateful mind : It is such an estimation as I understand as often as I speak about the imputation of the righteousness which is revealed in the Gospel, whether the obedience of Christ be said to be imputed to us, and to be our righteousness before God, or whether faith be said to be imputed for righteousness. There is therefore a crafty design latent in this confusion: For if I deny this their enunciation, they will say I deny that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us : If I assent to it, I fall into the absurdity of thinking that the righteousness of Christ is not righteousness itself. If they say,
that the word “impute" is received in a different acceptation, let them prove their assertion by an example; and when they have given proof of this, (which will be a work of great difficulty to them,) they will have effected nothing: For “the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us by the gracious estimation of God.” It is imputed therefore, either by the gracious estimation of God for
righteousness; or it is imputed by [rion gratiosa] his non-gracious estimation : If it be imputed by His gracious estimation for righteousness, (which must be asserted,) and if it be imputed by His non-gracious estimation; then it is apparent, in this confusion of these two axioms, that the word “impute” must be understood ambiguously, and that it has two meanings.
3. The THIRD is thus enunciated : “Faith, or the act of believing, is imputed for righteousness," which are my own words. But omitting my expressions, they have substituted for them the phrase, “ The act of believing justifies us." I should say, “ They have done this in their simplicity," if I thought they had not read the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, in which this phrase is used eleven times, “ Faith, or the act of believing, is imputed for righteousness." Thus it is said in the third verse, “ Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness;” that is, his believing was thus imputed. Our brethren therefore do not reprehend me, but the Apostle, who has employed this phrase so many times in one chapter, and who does not refrain from the use of the other phrase, “to be justified by faith and through faith,” in the third and fifth chapters of the same epistle. They ought therefore to have reprehended, not the phrase itself, but the signification which I attach to it, if I explain it in a perverted manner. Thus incorrectly should I seem to have explained the Apostle's phrase if I had said, “ The righteousness of Christ is not imputed to us or does not justify us, but Faith or the act of believing does.” But I have already replied, that this assertion concerning me is untrue, and I have declared that I believe both these expressions to be true, " The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us,” and “Faith is imputed for righteousness," When they place these phrases in opposition to each other, they do this, not from the meaning which I affix to them, but from their own; and therefore, according to the signification which they give to them severally, they fabricate this calumny, which is an act of iniquity. But they will say, that I understand this phrase, “ Faiti is imputed for righteousness,” in its proper acceptation, when it must be figuratively understood : This they ought therefore to have said, because this alone is what they were able to say with truth. Such in fact are my real sentiments on this subject; and the words make for the proper acceptation of the phrase. If a figure lies concealed under it, this ought to be proved by those who make the assertion.
ARTICLE XXV. (V.) The whole of that in which we appear before God, justifies us :
But we appear before God, not only by Faith, but also by Works: Therefore we are justified before God, not only by Faith, but likewise by Works.
A man who is ignorant of those things which [aguntur) are here the order of the day, and who reads this article, will undoubtedly think, that, in the point of Justification, I favour the party of the Papists, and am their professed defender. Nay he will suppose, that I have proceeded to such a pitch of impudence, as to have the audacity to maintain a conclusion directly contrary to the words of the Apostle, who says, “We conclude therefore, that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law.” But when he shall understand the origin of this article, and why it is charged on me, then it will be evident to him that it arises from calumny and from a corruption of my words. I deny therefore, that I made that syllogisın, or ever intended to draw that conclusion, or to propound those things from which such a conclusion might be deduced.
This brief defence would suffice for all upright minds, to give a favourable interpretation, if perchance any thing had been spoken which could give occasion to unjust suspicion. But it will be labour well bestowed, for me to transcribe my own words from a certain Disputation on JUSTIFICATION, from which this article has been taken; that it may appear with what kind of fidelity they have made their extract. The Ninth Thesis in it is thus expressed :
“ From these things, thus laid down according to the Scriptures, we conclude, that JUSTIFICATION, when used for the act of a Judge, is either purely the imputation of righteousness, (factam] bestowed, through mercy from the throne of grace in Christ the Propitiation, on a sinner, but on one who believes ; or that man is justified before God, of debt, according to the rigour of justice, without any forgiveness. Because the Papists deny the latter, they ought to concede the former. And this is so far true, that, how highly soever any one of the Saints may be endowed with Faith, Hope and Charity,—and how numerous soever and excellent
may be the works of Faith, Hope, and Charity which he has performed, yet he will not obtain from God the Judge a sentence of Justification, unless He quit the tribunal of His severe Justice, and place Himself in the throne of Grace, and out of it pronounce a sentence of absolution in his favour, and unless the Lord of his Mercy and Pity graciously account for righteousness the whole of that good with which the Saint appears before Him : For woe to a life of the greatest innocence, if it be judged without mercy! This truth even the Papists seem to acknowledge, who assert, that the works of the Saints cannot stand before the judgment of God, unless they be “sprinkled with the blood of Christ.'” (Public Disput. XIX.)
Thus far my Thesis: Could any person imagine that the Major in this article can, according to my sentiments and design, be deduced from it? “The whole of that in which we appear before God, justifies us !;" how can this be deduced when I say, “ that “ not even this good, which the Papists are able or know how to « attribute to the most holy men, can obtain from God a sentence “ of Justification, unless He through mercy from the throne of “ grace reckon this graciously for righteousness !" Who does not perceive, that I grant this through sufferance and concession ?, “ God considers and esteems for righteousness all this good in which, the Papists say, the Saints appear before God :" I yield this, that I may the more firmly confute them; and I thus obtain, “ that not even that total can be accounted for righteousness except graciously and through mercy." This conduct is real malignity and a violent detorsion of my words; on account of which I have indeed no small occasion given to me of complaining before God of this injury: But I contain myself, lest my complaint to God should be detrimental to their souls; I would rather beseech God to be pleased to grant them a better mind.
The matter (with regard to me) stands thus; as if any one should say to a Monk or a Pharisee, who was boasting of his virtues and works, of his faith, hope, love, obedience, voluntary chastity, and similar excellences: “O man ! unless God were to omit the “ severity of his ( judicii] Justice, and unless from the throne of “ Grace He were to pronounce a sentence of absolution concern“ ing thee, unless He were graciously to reckon all that good of “ thine, however great it may be, and thus to account it for righte6 ousness, thou wouldst not be able to stand before Him or to be “justified."--I declare, and before Christ I make the declaration, that this was my (mentem meaning: And every man is the best interpreter of his own expressions. But let it be allowed, that I have said these things from my own sentiments; was this proposition [of their fabrication) to be deduced from my words? If it was, they ought to have proceeded thus according to scientific method : They ought to have briefly laid down the enunciation which I employed, and which might be in this form : “Unless God graciously account for righteousness the whole of this good in which a saint appears before Him, that saint cannot be justified before God:” From which will be deduced this affirmative proposition, “ If God graciously accounts for righteousness this good in which a holy man appears, then this holy man can be justified before God,” or “ he will then be justified before God.” The word“ the whole" has a place in the negative proposition; because it conduces to the exaggeration : But it ought not to have a place. in that which is affirmative. Let this question, however, have a place here: Why have my brethren omitted these words?, “ The Lord graciously of his Mercy, from the throne of his “ Grace, having omitted the severity of Judgment, accounts that
good for righteousness.” And why have they proposed only these ?, “ The whole of that in which we appear before God, justifies us.” This is, indeed, not to deny the fact; but a pretext is thus sought for calumny, under the equivocation of the word “justifies," as Justification may be either of grace, or of debt or severe judgment: But I have excluded that which is of debt or severe judgment from my expressions, and have included only the Justification which is of grace. Let these remarks suffice for the Major Proposition.
I now proceed to the assumption that they have subjoined to this Proposition, which is theirs and not mine. It reads thus: “ But we appear before God, not only by Faith but also by Works.” Then is it your pleasure, my brethren, to appear thus before God? David was not of this opinion when he said : “ Enter not into judgment with thy servant: For in thy sight shall no man living be justified,” or “ shall justify himself:” (Psalm cxliii, 2:) Which is thus rendered by the Apostle Paul, “ For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal. ii, 16.) But perhaps you will say, that you do not appear before God " by the works of the law, but by works produced from faith and love!" I wish you to explain to me, what it is to appear by faith, and what to appear by works; and whether it can possibly happen, that a man mayappear both by faith and works. I know, the Saints who will be placed before the tribunal of the Divine Justice, have had Faith, and through Faith have performed good Works: But, I think, they appear and stand before God with this Confidence or Trust, “ that God [proposuit] has set forth bis Son Jesus Christ as a Propitiation through Faith in his blood, that they may thus be justified by the Faith of Jesus Christ, through the remis