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mandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.”
I shall conclude with a very few inferences.
(Tohu) emptiness was no more : but that he can so treat them, and anni. hilate 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 knowest 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 phrafe is used of reckoning a thing what it is not indeed confidered'in its own nature, but yet in effect is ; which laft bears the ground of the reckoning. Thus he who gives a flattering blessing to his neighbour, 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 fame effect as if he had cursed his neighbour : and so, on that ground it is reckoned to the flatterer a curse. V. and laftly, To reckon a thing to a person, is to set 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 shall be reckoned to that man ; i. c. : 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. Pfal. 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 fays to David, Let not my lord reckon iniquity to me, 2 Sam. xix. 20-19ths; he owns his 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 his own account, and make him answer for it; the putting it on the Surety, and his answering already for it, being already fustained at God's bar. Examples of the latter : 2 Sam. iv. 2. Beeroth; 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 possessed'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 Israel, ver. 1. And thus, Num. xviii. 27. Your heave-offerings shall be reckoned to you ; is e. put on your account, as your own offerings, and you to receive the benefit of the same. On the other hand, He that ofereth a peace-offering, and eateth of it on the third day, it was not to be reckoned to him, Lev. vii. 18. ; 1. e. put on the account of his service to God. Pfal. xl. 18-17ths. I [am] poor and needy, my LORD will reckon to me ; i. e. The Father would put the 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 graciously rewarded, for the sake of the Mediator.
Vol. III, No. 26.
sworn by, but sought of the Lord. It faves 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 Hhaschabh to reckon. Now, the Scopy and design of Moses in the text, is to shew to all, and particularly to the Jews, the way how a finner is justified before the Lord, namely, by faith in the Mefias, 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 truft : that every one may see in him, as in an exampler, how a finner is justified in God's sight. 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 passage, the following positions are established. Pof. I. The only righteousness, wherein a man can stand 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 righteous 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 adtion, of his, that is here aimed at. The deed of Phinehas was what could not have missed, by fome 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 misconstruction, 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 apostle Paul, Rom. iv. 3. 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 faid on the third and fourth phrases compared. Pof. IV. The righteousness of Christ, though righteoufness in the stricteft 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 faid to be reckoned or imputed for what it is really, as well as for what it is not ; as appears from the instances adduced, obs. 1. on the fourth phrase. Pos. 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 righteousness: therefore faith, or the act of believing, imputed to finners 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 fight of GOD. It is no more so than Laban's daughters were really strangers 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 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 sons earthen pitchers, Lam. iv. 2. ; or the nations really less than emptiness, If. xl. 17. ; though they were so reckoned. PofVI. Upon the fame grounds, faith is therefore said to be imputed for righteoufness; not that 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 lins, and accepting him as righteous in his fight, immediately upon his act of believing. 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. iv. 2. though surely they did not judge them to be so. And even as God treats the nations as if they were less than emptiness, If. 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. Pos. 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 instrumentally; for as much as it lays hold on, presents, and pleads the righteousness of Christ, it is, on good grounds, said to be imputed for righteousness : even as the flatterer's blessing is reckoned a curse, Prov. xxvii. 14. as being so in effect. Pof. VIII. and last. The righteousness which is the relative and object of faith, viz. the righteoufness of Christ, 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, eftablished by the instances of it above adduced. Christ's righteousness becomes ours, by faith uniting 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 perfe& righteousness is reckoned or imputed to us, fet down on our score, put on our account, as really ours : even as the guilt of blood is reckoned to 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.
OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
Acts xi. 18.-Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted re
pentance unto life,
REPENTA NICE is van infeparable
companion of faith, fo
that the soul blessed with faith in Christ will be also endowed with repentance towards God.
This is a conclusion drawn by the believing Jews from the account Peter had given them of what passed with respect to his receiving the Gentiles into Christian fellowship, with which they rest satisfied, namely, That God had given repentance to the Gentiles. Where consider,
1. A blessing granted; repentance unto life ; so called, to distinguish it from legal repentance, and the forrow that is unto death. This true repentance is unto life; for, by God's appointment, it must go before eternal life; and whoso have it shall be sure of that.
2. The parties to whom it was granted; the Gentiles, those who were once without hope and without God in the world.
3. The author of it, God. It is his gift, as well as faith is. He works it in the heart.
The doctrine of the text is,
Doct. “ To those whom God designs for life, he gives re
pentance unto life. They come all through this strait gate who enter into life.” Or, “Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his fin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedi, ence.”
Here I shall shew,
IV. The springs of it.
I. I am to fhew, what are the kinds of repentance. They are two.
1. Legal repentance, such as was in Judas, and may be in other reprobates, and so is not saving, Matth. xxvii. 3.; being produced by law terrors, without gospel-grace changing the heart.
2. Evangelical repentance, peculiar to the elect, which is that in the text, and is the only true and saving repentance, of which we speak. The general difference betwixt them lies here, that in this last, one repents of his fin as it is fin, or offensive to God, as David did, Psal. li. 4. saying, “ Against thee, thee only have I finned, and done this evil in thy sight;" in the other, only as it brings wrath on him, Gen. iv. 13.
II. I proceed to shew, the general nature of repentance unto life. It is a saving grace, 2 Tim. iii. 25. disposing the foul unto all the acts of turning from sin unto God.
1. It is not a transient action, a figh for fin, a pang of forrow for it, which goes away again; but it is an abiding grace, a new frame and disposition, fixed in the heart, dirposing one to turn from sin to God on all occafions, Zech. xii. 10. “ I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mournetht for his only fon, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born."
2. Nor yet a passing work of the first days of one's religion; but a grace in the heart, setting one to an answerable working all their days. The heart being smitten with repentance at conversion, the wound is never bound up to bleed no more, till the band of glory be put about it.
3. It is not a common grace, as legal repentance is, but a saving one; distinguishing one from a hypocrite, and having à necessary connection with eternal life.
III. I shall fhew, who is the author of this repentance. 1. Not men themselves; it is not owing to one's natural