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draw this argument, that the condemnation or justification of persons is not from the imputation of another's righteousness, but the actual performance and keeping of God's righteous statutes or comipandments, otherwise God should forget to be equal: therefore how wiekedly unequal are those, who, not from scripture evidences, but their own dark conjectures and interpretations of obscure passages, would frame a doctrine so manifestly inconsistent with God's most pure and equal nature ; making him to condemn the righteous to death, and justify the wicked to life, from the imputation of another's righteousness :- most unequal way indeed !)
4. “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father. Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock,z” &c. [How very fruitful are the seriptures of truth, in testimonies against this absurd and dangerous doctrine! these words seem to import a twofold righteousness; the first consists in sacrifice, the last in obedience; the one makes a talking, the other a doing Christian. I in short argue thus: If none can enter into the kingdom of heaven, but they that do the Father's will, then none are justified, but they who do the Father's will, because none can enter into the kingdom but such as are justified; since therefore there can be no admittance had, without performing that righteous will, and doing those holy and perfect sayings ; alas ! 'to what value will an imputative righteousness amount, when a poor soul shall awake polluted in his sin, by the hasty calls of death, to make its appearance before the judgment-seat, where it is impossible to justify the wicked, or that any should escape uncondemned, but such as do the will of God ?]
5. “ If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.a” (From whence this argument doth naturally arise ; If none are truly justified that abide not in Christ's love, and that none abide in his love who keep not his commandments; then consequently none are justified, but such as keep his commandments. Besides, here is the most palpable opposition to an imputative righteousness that may be ; for Christ is so far from telling them of such a way of being justified, as that he informs them the reason why he abode in his Father's love was, his obedience; and is so far from telling them of their being justified, whilst not abiding in his love, by virtue of his 2 Matt. vii. 21, 24, 25. * John xv. 10.
obedience imputed unto them, that unless they keep his .commands, and obey for themselves, they shall be so remote from an acceptance, as wholly to be cast out; in all which Christ is our example.]
6. “ Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.” [We have almost here the very words, but altogether the same matter, which affords us thus much, that without being Christ's friends there is no being justified ; but unless we keep his commandments, it is impossible we should be his friends : it therefore necessarily follows, that except we keep his commandments, there is no being justified: or, in short thus ; if the way to be a friend is to keep the commandments; then the way to be justified is, to keep the commandments, because none can obtain the quality of a friend, and remain unjustified, or be truly justified whilst an enemy; which he certainly is that keeps not the commandments.
7. “ For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.c” (From whence how unanswerably may I observe, unless we become doers of that law, which Christ came not to destroy, but, as our example, to fulfil, we can never be justified before God; wherefore obedience is so absolutely necessary, that short of it there can be no acceptance : nor let any fancy that Christ bath so fulfilled it for them, as to exclude their obedience from being requisite to their acceptance, but as their pattern : “ for unless ye follow me, saith Christ, ye cannot be my disciples ;” and it is not only repugnant to reason, but in this place particularly refuted; for if Christ had fulfilled it on our behalf, and we not enabled to follow his example, there would not be doers, but one doer only, of the law justified before God. In short, if without obedience to the righteous law none can be justified, then all our hearing of the law, with but the mere imputation of another's righteousness, wbilst we are actually breakers of it, is excluded, as not justifying before God.“ If you fulfil the royal law, ye do well ; so speak ye, and so do ye, as they that shall be judged thereby.”']
8. " If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, je shall live.d” (No man can be dead, and justified before God, for so he may be justified that lives after the flesh; therefore they only can be justified that are alive; from whence this follows, If the living are justified and not the dead, and that none can live to God, but such as have mortified the deeds of the body through the spirit, then none John xv. 14.
Rom. ii. 13. a Rom. viii, 13.
can be justified but they who have mortified the deeds of the body through the spirit; so that justification does not go' before, but is subsequential to the mortification of lusts, and sanctification of the soul, through the spirit's operation.]
9. “ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God.e” [How clearly will it appear to any but a cavilling and tenacious spirit, that man can be no farther justified, than as he becomes obedient to the Spirit's leadings; for if none can be a son of God, but he that is led by the Spirit of God, then none can be justified without being led by the Spirit of God, because none can be justified but he that is a son of God: so that the way to justification and sonship, is through the obedience to the Spirit's leadings, that is, manifesting the holy fruits thereof by an innocent life and conversation.]
10. “ But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in bimself alone, and not in another. Be not deceived, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap.” [If rejoicing and acceptance with God, or the contrary, are to be reaped from the work that a man soweth, either to the flesh, or to the spirit, then is the doctrine of acceptance, and ground of rejoicing, from the works of another, utterly excluded, every man reaping according to what he hath sown, and bearing his own burden.]
11. “Was not Ábraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.5" (He that will seriously peruse this chapter, shall doubtless find some, to whom this epistle was wrote, of the same spirit with the satisfactionists and imputarians of our time, they fain would have found out a justification from faith in the imputation of another's righteousness; but James, an apostle of the most high God, who experimentally knew what true faith and justification meant, gave them to understand from Abraham's self-denying example, that unless their faith, in the purity and power of God's grace, had that effectúal operation to subdue every beloved lust, wean from every Delilah, and entirely to resign and sacrifice Isaac himself, their faith was a fable, or as a body without a spirit: and as righteousness therefore in one person cannot justify another from unrighteousness; so whoever now pretend to be justified by faith, whilst not led and guided by the Spirit into all the ways of truth, and works of righteousness, their faith they will find at last a fiction.]
12. “ Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doth righteousness is righteous, as God is righteous, (but)
" Gal. vi. 4, 7. | Jam. ii. 21, 24,
e Rom. viii. 14.
he that committeth sin is of the devil.b” [From whence it may be very clearly argued, that none can be in a state of justification, from the righteousness performed by another imputed unto them, but as they are actually redeemed from the commission of sin : for 6 if he that committeth sin is of the devil,” then cannot any be justified completely before God, who is so incompletely redeemed, as yet to be under the captivity of lust, since then the devil's seed or offspring may be justified; but that is impossible: it therefore follows, that as he who doth righteousness is righteous, as God is righteous, so no farther is he like God, or justifiable; for in whatsoever he derogates from the works of that faith, which is held in a pure conscience, he is no longer righteous or justified, but under condemnation as a transgressor, or disobedient person to the righteous commandment; and if any would obtain the true state of justification, let them circumspectly observe the holy guidings and instructions of that unction, to which the apostle recommended the ancient churches, that thereby they may be led out of all ungodliness, into truth and holiness; so shall they find acceptance with the Lord, who has determined nevertojustify the wicked.]
Refuted from right reason. 1. Because it is impossible for God to justify that which is both opposite and destructive to the purity of his own nature, as this doctrine necessarily obliges him to do, in accepting the wicked, as not such, from the imputation of another's righteousness.
2. Since man was justified before God, whilst in his native innocency, and never condemned till he had erred from that pure state; he never can be justified, whilst in the frequent commission of that for which the condemnation came; therefore, to be justified, his redemption must be as entire as his fall.
S. Because sin came not by insputation, but actual transgression ; for God did not condemp his creature for what he did not, but what he did ; therefore must the righteousness be as personal for acceptance, otherwise these two things will necessarily follow : first, that he may be actually a sinner, and yet not under the curse. Secondly, that the power of the first Adam to death, was more prevalent than the power of the second Adain unto life.
4. It is therefore contrary to sound reason, that if actual sinning brought death and condemnation, any thing besides actual obedience unto righteousness, should bring life and justification; for death and life, condemnation and justification, being vastly opposite, no man can be actually dead and
n I John ii. 7, 8.
imputatively alive; therefore this doctrine, so much contended for, carries this gross absurdity with it, that a man may be actually sinful, yet imputatively righteous; actually judged and condemned, yet imputatively justified and glorified. In short, he may be actually damned, and yet imputatively saved; otherwise it must be acknowledged, that obedience to justification ought to be as personally extensive, as was disobedience to condemnation : in which real, not imputative sense, those various terms of sanctification, righteousness, resurrection, life, redemption, justification, &c. are most infallibly to be understood.
5. Nor are those words, impute, imputed, imputeth, imputing, used in scripture by way of opposition to that which is actual and inherent, as the assertors of an imputative righteousness do by their doctrine plainly intimate; but so much the contrary, as that they are never mentioned, but to express men really and personally to be that which is imputed to them, whether as guilty, as remitted, or as righteous : for instance : 6 What man soever of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, and bringeth it not to the door of the tabernacle, to offer unto the Lord, blood shall be imputed unto that man,i” or charged upon him as guilty thereof." And Shimei said unto the king, let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, for thy servant doth not know that I have sinned.k"
6. “ But sin is not imputed where there is no law.!” From whence it is apparent that there could be no imputation, or charging of guilt upon any, but such as really were guilty. Next, it is used about remission : “ Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.m” or, as the foregoing words have it, " whose transgression is forgiven.” Where the non-imputation doth not argue a nonreality of sin, but the reality of God's pardon ; for otherwise there would be nothing to forgive, nor yet a real pardon, but only imputative, which, according to the sense of this doctrine, I call imaginary. Again, “ God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Where also non-imputation, being a real discharge for actual trespasses, argues an imputation, by the reason of contraries, to be a real charging of actual guilt. Lastly, it is used in relation to righteousness, « Was not Abraham justified by works, when he oifered Isaac? and by works was faith made perfect, and the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.o” By which we must not coni Lev. xvii. 4. $ 2 Sam. xix. 18, 19, 20.' i Rom, v. 13. m Psal. xxxii. 2.
Jain, ii, 21, 22, 23.
n 2 Cor. v. 19.