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law : for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.' So it is a going out of one's self to Christ for all.
VII. I come now to consider the ground and warrant of faith. This is the gospel-offer. (1.) The sinner has his invitation, Isa. lv. 1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and
under different schefes. Accordingly the righteousness of Christ imputed eat, yea come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.' (2.) The declaration of God's good pleasure in their so doing, John vi. 29. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.' And, lastly, his pereinptory command, 1 John. iij. 23. And this is his com
to believers, is expressed by each of them. His righteousness (Tizidkatho) · is declared and preached, Psal. xxii. ult.: and he is Jehovah (Tziakenu)
our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6: the former proposing his righteoufness, as the fulfilling of the law; the latter, as conformity to the law, arising there. from. As the word Hhafihabh is used for devising, chap. vi. 5. it is fometimes constructed, as here, with L’to or for, denoting the party for whom the thing is devised, as Amos vi. 5; or the end for which, as Gen. I. 20. But fince faith cannot be said to be devised righteousness, that sense of the word, which at best is but secondary, can have no place here. But for clearing the import of this weighty expression, used in the text, according to the scripture.phraseology, it will be worth the while to inquire into the feveral phrases, formed with the word Hhafchabh, in the notion of reckonjog which is the formal notion of it. I. A person is said to be reckoned with others, i. e. claffed with them, and the same account made of bim as of them. Thus, Psal. lxxxviii. 5. che Psalmilt was reckoned with them that go down to the pit, his case accounted hopeless, even as theirs. II. To reckon one person or thing as another, is to make a like account of them as of the other, and so to treat them after the like manner. Thus Job's friends thought they were reckoned as beasts, Job xviii. 3 ; and he himself thought, he was reckoned as an enemy of God, chap. xix. 11. and darts are reckoned as stubble by the leviathan, chap. xli. 21-29ths. . So Num. xviji. 27. Pfal. xliv. 23. II v. 28. & xl. 15. Hof. viii. 12. III. To reckon one thing for another, is to account it to be that thing : Job XXXV.
2. Haft thou reckoned this for judgment, i. e. reckoned this to be judgment. S. Judab reckoned Tamar for an harlot, Gen. xxxvii. 1.5. Eli, Hannah for a drunken woman, 1 Sam. i. 13. Job, according to Elihu, reckoned God for his enemy, i.e. to be his enemy, Job xxxiii. 10. Thus to be reckoned for righteousness, Psal. cvi. 31. is to be reckoned to be righteousness. So this third phrase falls in with, and is equivalent to the IV. here used by Moses. That is, two terms being proposed, the one is said to be reckoned the other, as faith reckoned righteousness. Concerning this phraseology, Obf 1. It is used of reckoning a thing, what in reality and is very deed it is, antecedently to the reckoning. Thus the treasurers were reckoned faithful, Neh, xiii. 13. as indeed they were ; and for that cause Nehemiah put them into that office : the houses in unwalled villages were to be reckoned upon the field of the land, Lev. xxv. 31. as they were indeed, not being separated from the held by a town-wall : a fool holding his peace is reckoned wise, Prov. xvii. 28. and so he is in that point ; the fruitful field Mall be reckoned for a forest, Il. xxix 17. and so it really is now, and is truly so reckoned ; namely, the Jews, sometime God's people, but now rejected. The land of the Ammonites, faith the text, Deut. ii. 20. would have been reckoned a land of giants, i. e formerly it used to be
so reckoned: and justly, for the giants, adds the text, dwelt therein in old time ; however, it neither was so, nor was it so reckoned in Moses' time. The Emims would have been reckoned giants, ver. 11 : and justly lo ; for they were tall as the Anakims, ver. 10; The scope of the two lait pallages is, to confirm the Israelites in the faith of their conquest of Canaan, noi. withstanding of the Anakims there. For this causé Moses Thews them, that the Zamzımmims were driven out before the Ammonites, and the Emims before the Moabites, though both the one and the other were reckoned giants. But if they were not really what they were reckoned to be, these joltances were nothing to the purpose they are adduced for. And thus the fact of Phinehas was reckoned for righteousness, Psal. cvi, 31 ; i. e, reckoned a righteous action, pleasing to God; which it really was, hereby done in faith: and hereby it is declared to be so, for an obvious reason, viz. that otherwise men would have been apt to have condemned it. It is without cause alleged, that the text says, It was reckoned, righ. teousness for generation and generation ; which it was not, being his owy personal deed, and not the deed of any of his posterity. For the text stands thus ; And it was reckoned to him for righteousnels: for generation and generation ; even to perpetuity; i. e, it was reckoned to him righteousness : [it was reckoned ro] for generation and generation ; even to perpetuity : A token of which was, the priesthood's being continued in his family, from generation to generation, oif. 2. This phrase is used of reckoning a thing, what is very deed it is not, neither prior to the reckoning, nor pofterior to it. And in this case, it either, 1. Bears a mistake, which takes place only where the reckoner is capable to form a judgment; but withal is fallible. Thus did Judah’s reckoning of Tamar bear a miltaken judgment, Gen. xxxviii. 15; Eli's of Hannah, 1 Sam. i. 13; the Jews of Christ, while they reckoned him ftricken, smitten of God, Ila. liii. 4; i. e. an object of God's peculiar hatred, while he was indeed his beloved Son. And luch would be the judgment of one, who would reckon the deep hoar hairs, Job xli. 24-32ds, which without question it is not. Or else, 2. The meaning is no more, but that the reckoner treats the thing as if it were that other thing. And thus it is always in three cases. (1). In the case of agents incapable of forming a judgment. Sọ the leviathan reckons iron for Straw, Job xli. 19-27ths, which doubtless it is not ; but he treats it as if it were straw. (2.) In the case of fallible judges, in points not liable to mistake. Thus Laban's own daughters were by him reckoned strangers, Gen. xxxi. 15; and Job a stranger, by his own domeftics, Job xix. 15; and Zion's fon's, earthen pitchers, by the enemies, Lam. iv. 2; in all which cases, there could be no mistaking of the persons reckoned for such persons and things; but these persons were so treated as if they had been taken for such persons and things. (3.) In the case of the infallible Judge. So lsa. xl. 17; the nations are reckoned of him less than (Tohu, Gen. i. 2.) emptiness: not that they are so in very deed; for they are creatures made the fixth day, mandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.'
I shall conclude with a very few inferences.
after (Tohu) emptiness was no more: but that he can so treat them, and andihilate them as easily. Thus Job says, God reckoned him for his enemy, Job xiii. 24: not that he thought God judged him to be his enemy indeed; on the contrary, he was resolved to maintain his way, as to the main of it, before the Lord, ver. 15; and says expressly, chap. x. 7. Thou knoweft that I am not wicked; but his meaning is, that God treated him as if he had been an enemy; and Elihu found fault with him, even for that, chap. xxxiii. 10. Obf. 3. This phrase is used of reckoning a thing what it is not indeed confidered in its own nature, but yet in effect is ; which last bears the ground of the reckoning. Thus he who gives a flattering bleffing to his Deighbour, hath a curse reckoned to him, Prov. xxvii. 14. The blessing is not in itself a curse ; yet it is a curse in effect, as having the same effect as if he had cursed his neighbour : and so, on that ground it is reckoned to the flatterer a curse. V. and lastly, To reckon a thing to a person, is to fet it down on his score, to put it on his account, as really his, antecedent to the reckoning: if ill, to answer for it; if good, that he may claim, or have the benefit of it. Examples of the former : Lev. xvii. 4. Blood Mall be reckoned to that man ; i. e. the guilt of blood shall be put on that man's account, as really his, and he shall answer for it : he hath shed blood, faith the text, and that man shall be cut off. Psal. xli. 8-7ths. Upon me they would reckon, evil to me, i. e. charge it on me as my fact and deed, and make me answer for it. So a curse is reckoned to the flatterer, Prov. xxvii. 14. Thus Shimei says to David, Let not my lord reckon ini. quity to me, 2 Sam. xix. 20.19 hs ; he owns bis crime, and do not remember that which thy servant did perversely, ibid. but he begs that the king would not put it on his account, and make him answer for it. And thus David describes the blessedness of the justified man, that the Lord will not , reckon iniquity to him, Pfal. xxxii. 2. i. e. that he will not put his iniquity on bis own account, and make him answer for it; the putting it on the Surety, and his answering already for it, being already suitained at God's bar. Examples of the latter : 2 Sam. iv. 2. Beeroth i it would have been reckoned upon Benjamin ; viz. as truly theirs, to have the benefit of it, for indeed did belong to Benjamin, Josh. xviii. 25; though the Philistines violently poffefsed it, 1 Sam. xxxi. 7. So it is said of another plot of ground, It would have been reckoned to the Canaanites, Josh. xiii. 3. namely, as really theirs ; and therefore it remained to be possessed by Ifrael, ver. 1. And thus, Num. xviii. 27. Your heave.offerings shall be reckoned to you; i. e. put on your account, as your owu offerings, and you to receive the benefit of the same. On the other hand, He that offereth a peace-offering, and cateth of it on the third day, it was not to be reckoned to him, Lev. vii. 18. i. e. put on the account of his service to God. Psal. xl. 18.17ths, I [an] poor and needy, my LORD will reckon to me; i. e. The Father would put ibe poverty of the Mediator on his account, and reward him for it. And thus the deed of Phinehas was reckoned to him, put on his account of acceptable service, and gracioudy rewarded, for the sake of the Mediator.
sworn by, but sought of the Lord. It saves the precious soul, and wraps it up in precious promises.
2. It is a most necessary grace; for it is that which brings Christ and the soul together. And without it, it is impossible to please God, Heb. xi. 6.
Thus far of the phrases formed with Hhafchabh to reckon. Now, the Scope and design of Moses in the text, is to thew to all, and particularly to the Jews, the way how a lioner is justified before the Lord, namely, by faith in the Messias without the works of the law. Having given an account, how Abram entertained the promise, viz. that he trusted in Jehovah, he discovers on that occasion, how he became righteous before God, namely, by that truit : that every one may see in him, as in an exampler, how a finner is justified in God's fight. That this is the scope of the words, is put beyond question by the apostle, Rom. iv. From what is said, it appears, that, according to the phraseology of the Holy Ghost, and the scope of this pas. sage, the following positions are established. Pof. I. The only righteousness wherein a man can liaud before the Lord, is the fulfilling of the law, or a conformity to the law, refuging therefrom. For such is the scripture-notion of righteousness in the case of men. Pof. II. The sense of this passage is not, That God reckoned Abram's trusting, or believing, for a righieous and worthy action, as he did the fact of Phinehas, Psal. cvi. 31. For it is the righteousness of Abram's person, not the righteousness of an a&ion, of his that is here aimed at. The deed of Phinehas was what could not have missed, by some at least, to have been reckoned a rash and finful action, if God himself had not declared his approbation of it: but Abram's trusting in Jehovah, was what could never be liable to any such misconftru&inn, among those who believe Jehovah to be God. But the sense is, His faith was accounted righteousness for his person in the fight of God. Pof. III. Faith's being reckoned or accounted for righteousness, which is the phrase of the Septuagint, retained by the apoftle Paul. Rom. ir... is equivalent to, and of the same sense with, Moses' phrase in the text, viz. faith's being reckoned righteousness. This is clear from what is said on the third and fourth phrases compared, Pof. IV. The righteousness of Chrift, though righteousness in the Itrictelt propriety, greatest reality and perfection, antecedently to the imputation or reckoning of it, may, according to the scripture, be imputed for righteousness to us : for, in the phraseology of the Holy Ghost, a thing is said to be reckoned or imputed for wbat it is really, as well as for what it is not ; as appears from the instances adduced, obf. 1. on the fourth phrase. Pof. V. Since faith, or the act of believing, is not in itself righteousness for a person, before God, antecedently to the imputation of it, for that righteousness : which is manifelt from that it doth not, in itself, exactly answer or fulfil the law, the eternal rule of righteousness: and since God, the infallible Judge, whose judgment is always according to truth, is the party imputing it for riyliteousness : therefore faith, or the act of believing, imputed to Gno Ders for righteousness, neither is at any time, nor is made by the imputation, nor by any gratuitous acceptation, the very formal righteousness for which a finner is justified in the light of GOD, It is no more so than Laban's daughters were really trangers to him, Gen. xxxi. 15; 3. It is of perpetual use while here; it is an eye, hand, and foot to the soul, Psal. xxvii. 3; and at death it does the
last office to the man, supports him when all other comforts p fail
, Heb. xi. 13. 4. Lastly, Seek faith, to have it wrought, actuated, and strengthened in you; and for that cause, diligently attend ordinances, the preaching of the word particularly; for • faith cometh by hearing,' Rom. x. 17.
or Zion's fons earthen pitchers, Lam. iv. 2; or the nations really less than emptiness, Isa. xl. 17; though they were so reckoned. Pof. vi. Upon the same grounds, faith is therefore said to be imputed for righteousness ; not chat God judgeth it to be the righteousness of a person before him, but because he treats faith as if it were that righteousness ; namely, justifying the person who hath it, pardoning all his Ins, and accepting him as righteous in his fight, immediately upon his aở of believe ing. Even as the leviathan treats iron as straw, Job xli. 24. though he does not judge it to be, straw; and Laban treated his own daughters, Gen. xxxi. 15; and Job's servants their master, Job xix. 15; as if they had been strangers; and Zion's enemies, her sons as earthen pitchers, Lam. ir . 2s though surely they did not judge them to be so. And even as God treats the nations as if they were less than emptiness : Ifa. xl. 17. though he infallibly knows they are more than emptiness : and as Job thought himself treated of God, as if he had been his enemy, Job xiii. 24; while in the mean time he knew, that God did not judge him to be an enemy to him. Pof. VII. Though faith is not really and in itself the righteousness of a guilty man before the Lord : yet being so in effect, to wit, relatively and inftrumentally ;- for as much as it lays hold on, presents, and pleads the righteousness of Christ, it is on good grounds, said to be im. puted for righteousness; even as the flatterer's blessing is reckoned a curse, Prov. xxvii. 14; as being so in effect. POS. VIII. and last. The righte. oufoess which is the relative and object of faith, viz. the righteousness of Chrift, is reckoned or imputed to believers, as really theirs, as well as their faith ; theirs, I say, antecedently to the imputation of it at God's bar; though the former is not indeed inherent in them, as the latter is. This is evident from the true sense of the fifth phrase, reckoning a thing to a person, established by the inftances of it above adduced. Chrilt's righe teousness becomes ours, by faith upiring us to him : from which union immediately results a communion with him in his righteousness; which being legally found at the bar of heaven, that perfečt righteousuess is reckoned or imputed to us, set down on our score, put on our account, as really ours': even as the guilt of blood is reckoned io the man, Lev. xvii. 4; as really his guilt; and as the plot of ground, Josh. xiii. 3 ; was reckoned to the Canaanites, as really theirs, or belonging to them, &c. And thereupon we are justified on the account of that righteousness truly being and reckoned to be ours.