b Rom. chap. 6. ver. 7.

tion; so we have a righteousness without us, and a righteousness inherent in us: the righteousness without us, is forgiveness of sins, and pardon of them, which is a gracious act of God, letting fall all actions against me, and accounting of me, as if I had never sinned against him all my life time; then there is a righteousness within me, an inherent righteousness. And if a righteousness, then justification; for that is but a declaration of righteousness. And so that which the fathers call justification, is taken generally for sanctification; that which we call justification, they call forgiveness of sins; that which we call sanctification, they call justification: so that the difference is only in the terms. Justification, we must know, is not taken only as opposed to condemnation, which is the first kind of righteousness. "Heb that is dead, is freed from sin ;" if you look to the Greek, or to the margin, it is," he that is dead, is justified from sin:" this is not took in the first sense as opposed to condemnation, but in the other sense. as it hath relation to final grace. The perfection of sanctification is wrought in me; for where there is final grace, there is a supersedeas from all sin; "Let him that is righteous, be righteous still;" the Greek is, " let him that is righteous, be justified still." See then the difference between St. Paul, and St. James. St. Paul speaks of that which consists in remission of sins, as in comparing the apostle with David will appear; "Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven." St. James speaks of justification in the second acceptation. You need not fly to that distinction of justification before God, and justification before men: think not that St. James speaks only of justification before men; "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac on the altar?" What, justified by killing his son? this was a proper work indeed to justify him before man, to be a parricide; to kill his son, though it were not so before God. So Psalm CVI. we read how God accounted the act of Phineas for righteousness: thus you see how works are accounted righ

c Rev. chap. 22. ver. 11.

teousness in the second kind of righteousness. In the former righteousness we are justified by faith, for in righteousness inherent there is a goodly chain of virtues; "Add to your faith, virtue," add one grace to another; add "to virtue, knowledge:" faith is but one part of the crown. Now this justification in the first sense, whereby my sins are forgiven, is called the righteousness of God, because of Christ which is God, because it is wrought by Christ, he is called "an everlasting righteousness," which continueth for ever, world without end; for do not think the saints in heaven have only the second kind of righteousness, for they have the same covering by justification by Christ in heaven, that they had before. God covers their sins, not here only, but there also; justification follows them for ever.

QUEST. But now, what parts hath justification in it? we are wont to say that there are two parts; one imputation of righteousness, the other forgiveness of sins.

SOL. I answer; for my own part I think justification is one simple act of God, and that it is improperly distinguished as parts; but rather as terminus a quo is distinct from terminus ad quem. And this I shall shew unto you both by reason and authority, that faith is but one act.

We are

Let none say that I take away the imputation of the righteousness of Christ: no; the bringing in of light, and the expulsion of darkness is not two acts, but one; but there is terminus a quo, and terminus ad quem. accounted righteouss, and that is, we have our sins forgiven. And the reason is this; if sin were a positive thing, and had a being in itself, then the forgiveness of sin must be a thing distinct from the imputation of righteousness. Scholars know the difference between adversa and privantia, white and black are both existent, but darkness and light are not, but only a privation one of another. Darkness is nothing of itself, but the absence of light; the bringing in of light is the suppression of it: you must understand sin hath no being, no entity; it is only an absence

d Dan. chap. 9.

of righteousness, that want of that light which should be in the subject: which want is either in our nature, and then it is called original; or in our person and actions, and then it is called actual transgression. Sin is an absence of that positive being, which is, as I said, either in our nature, or works. Then thus I will resolve you in another point, viz. If sin were a positive thing, all the world cannot avoid it, but God must be the author of it; for there is nothing can have a being, but it must derive its being from the first being, God. Now, how can we avoid God's being the author of sin? Why thus; it is nothing.

But what, is sin nothing? Will God damn a man, and send him to hell for nothing?

I answer, it is not such a nothing as you make it; a man is not damned for nothing. It is a nothing privative, an absence of that should be, and that a man ought to have. As when a scholar is whipped for not saying his lesson, is he whipped, think you, for nothing? Indeed he hath nothing, he cannot say a word of his lesson, and therefore it is he is whipped; it is for a thing he ought to have, and hath not. Well, if you will say there are two parts of justification, do if you please; but this I take to be the more proper and genuine explanation.

Besides, it appears by testimony of the apostle. "As David describeth the blessedness of the man, to whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, blessed are they, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." The apostle cites the prophet David'. Mark the apostle's conclusion, and how he proves it. His conclusion is, "That man is blessed, unto whom the Lord imputeth righteousnness without works." His argument then must needs be thus framed.

He whom God forgives, is blessed;

But him, to whom God imputeth righteousness without works, God forgives;

Therefore he is blessed.

Rom. chap. 4. ver. 6.


f Psalm 32.


Now, how could this assumption hold, if imputation of righteousness, and remission of sins were two distinct acts? for, not imputing righteousness, is, not to bring in a light which keeps out darkness. But observe, the apostle to the Colossians and Ephesians, makes this forgiveness of sins the whole work, nay, foundation of our redemption. But here remember, I deny not the imputation of righteousness; for that is the foundation of the other; here is the point. How is Christ's righteousness imputed to me? that positive thing, which expels the other? Not so, as if Christ's righteousness were in me subjectively; for it was wrought by his passion as well as his action. The apostle calls it faith in his blood; by faith in Christ, Christ's passive obedience is imputed to me. What do you think the meaning is, that God doth esteem me, as if I had hanged on the cross, and as if I had my side pierced? No, that would not stead me, or do me any good; that which was meritorious and singular in him, did reach to us: so that the meaning is this, as it is in the articles of the Church of England, that "we are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works and deservings;" that is, for the merits of Jesus Christ, God is well pleased with the obedience of his Son, both active and passive: he is so far satisfied, as that he takes us to be in that state for his sake, as if we had fulfilled all his laws, and never broken them at any time, and as if we owed him not a farthing: this is imputative righteousness, however the papists may scoff at it. And this kind of justification must of necessity be by imputation: Why? because, when a man hath committed a sin, it cannot be undone again: God, by his absolute power, cannot make a thing done, undone; for it implies a contradiction. The act past cannot be revoked, nor the nature thereof changed: murder will be murder still, &c. How then can I be justified, the sin being past, and the nature of it still remaining? I say, how can I be justified, in the first sense any other way than by imputation? It is said,

"God was, in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." This kind. of justification, which consists in remission of sins, cannot be imputative; sin cannot be changed, nor the thing done, undone.

But now cometh a greater question: if by justification our sins be forgiven us, what sins are forgiven, I pray? sins past, or sins to come? we are taught by some, that in the instant of justification, all our sins past and to come are remitted; which is in my mind an unsound doctrine : for if we look narrowly into it, we shall find that in propriety of speech, remission of sins hath relation to that which is past it is said therefore: "Whomh 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." And remission of sins hath relation to those that are past, as appears by inevitable reason; for what is remission of sins, but sin covered? Now can a thing be covered before it be? "bloti out mine iniquities," saith David; can a thing be blotted out, before it is written? this is the thing makes the pope so ridiculous, that he will forgive sins for the time before they are committed; but what, do we get nothing for the time to come? yes, yes, when the sin is past, by faith we have a new access unto God; and having risen by repentance, we get a new act, not of universal justification, but of a particular justification from this and that particular sin.

But if there be forgiveness of sins past already, and I know that I am justified, and my sin remitted; may I now pray for forgiveness of sins past? The papists say it is active infidelity, and as absurd to pray to God to create the world anew, or incarnate his Son again.

2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 19. i Psalm 51. ver. 1.

But there is no remission where there is no praying; and there is need of praying for the remission of sins past, and against sin for the time to come, as I shall shew next

h Rom. chap. 3. ver. 25.

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