Page images

indwelling of fin. So it is for juftification and fanctification. And faith receives and refts on him


tively, acting for an action or work. On the other fide, balances of (Tzedek) righteousness, ftones of righteousness, Lev. xix. 36. are balances and weights conform to the fandard. Thus thefe two words, frequently occurring, howbeit their fignification may come to one in effect, yet they do in their formal notion reprefent the thing under different fchefes. Accordingly the righteousness of Chrift imputed to believers, is expreffed by each of them. His righteousness (Tzidkatho) is declared and preached, Pfal. xxii. ult.: and he is Jehovah (Tzidkenu) our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6.: the former propofing his righteoufness, as the fulfilling of the law; the latter, as conformity to the law, arifing therefrom. As the word Hhafchabb is used for devifing, chap. vi. 5. it is fometimes conftructed, 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. 1. 20. fince faith cannot be faid to be devifed righteoufnefs, that fenfe of the word, which at best is but fecondary, can have no place here. But for clearing the import of this weighty expreffion, used in the text, according to the fcripture-phrafeology, it will be worth the while to inquire into the feveral phrafes, formed with the word Hhafchabb, in the notion of reckoning, which is the formal notion of it. I. A person is faid to be reckoned WITH others, i. e. claffed with them, and the fame account made of him, as of them. Thus Pfal. Ixxxviii. 5. the pfalmift was reckoned with them that go down to the pit, his cafe accounted hopeless, even as theirs. 11. To reckon one person or thing as another, is to make a like account of them, as of the other, and fo to treat them after the like manner. Thus Job's friends thought they were reckoned as beafts, Job xviii. 3.; and he himself thought, he was reckoned as an enemy of God, chap. xix. 11. and darts are reckoned as ftubble by the leviathan, chap. xli. . So Num. xviii. 27. Pfal. xliv. 23. If. 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 judgement, i. e. reckoned this to be judgement. So Judah reckoned Tamar for an barlot, Gen. xxxviii. 15. 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 righteoufuefs, Pfal. cvi. 31. is to be reckoned to be righteoufnels. So this third phrase falls in with, and is equivalent to the IV. here ufed by Mofes. That is, two terms being propofed, the one is faid to be reckoned THE OTHER, as faith reckoned rightconfnefs. Concerning this Phrafeology, Obf. 1. It is ufed of reckoning a thing, what in reality and in very deed it is, antecedently to the reckoning. Thus the treafurers were reckoned faithful, Neh. xiii. 13. as indeed they were; and for that caufe Nehemiah put them into that office: the houses in unwalled villages were to be reckon

alone for all these, Gal. i. 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith


ed upon the field of the land, Lev. xxv. 31. as they were indeed, not being feparated from the field by a town-wall: a facl holding his peace, is reckoned wife, Prov. xvii. 28. and fo he is in that point: the fruitful field fhall be reckoned for a forest, If. xxix. 17. and fo it really is now, and is truly fo reckoned; namely, the Jews fometimes 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 ufed to be fo reckoned and july; for the giants, adds the text, dwelt therein in old time; however it neither was fo, nor was it fo reckoned, in Mofes's time. The Emims would have been reckoned giants, ver. 11. and justly fo; for they were tall as the Anakims, ver. 10. The fcope of the two laft paffages is, to confirm the Ifraelites in the faith of their conquet of Canaan, notwithstanding of the Anakims there. For this caufe Mofes fhews them, that the Zamzum nims were e 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, thefe inftances were nothing to the purpose they are adduced for. And thus the fact of Phinehas was reckoned for righteoufnefs, Pfal. cvi. 31. i. e. reckoned a righteous action, pleafing to God; which it really was, being done in faith and hereby it is declared to be fo, for an obvious reafon, viz. that otherwife men would have been apt to have condemned it. It is without caufe alleged, that the text fays, It was reckoned, righteousness for generation and generation, which it was not, being his own perfonal deed, and not the deed of any of his pofterity. For the text ftands thus, And it was reckoned to him, for righteoufnefs: for generation and generation; even to perpetuity. i. e. It was reckoned to him, righteoufnefs: [it was reckoned fo for generation and generation; even to perpetuity: A token of which was, the priesthood's being continued in his family, from generation to generation. Obf. 2. This phrafe is ufed of reckoning a thing, what in very deed it is not, neither prior to the reckoning, nor pofterior to it. And in this cafe, it either, 1. Bears a mistake, which takes place only, where the reckoner is capable to form a judgement, but withal is fallible. Thus did Judah's reckoning of Tamar bear a miftaken judgement, Gen. xxxviii. 15.; Eli's of Hannah, 1 Sam. i. 13.; the Jews of Chrift, while they reckoned him fricken, fmitten, of God, If. liii. 4. i. c. an object of God's peculiar hatred, while he was indeed his beloved Son. And fuch would be the judgement of one, who would reckon the derp hear hairs, Job xli. 4. which without queftion it is not. Or elfe, 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

In the cafe of agents incapable of forming a judge three cales.

"So the

of Jefus Chrift, even we have believed in Jefus Chrift; that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and

leviathan reckons iron for Atraw, Job xli. 19. which doubtless it is not; but he treats it as if it were ftraw. (2.) In the cafe of fallible judges, in points not liable to mistake. Thus Laban's own daughters were by him reckoned ftrangers, Gen. xxxi. 15.; and Job a Stranger, by his own domeftics, Job xix. 15.; and Zion's fons, earthen pitchers, by the enemies, Lam. iv. 2.: in all which cafes, there could be no mistaking of the perfons reckoned for fuch perfons and things; but thefe perfons were fo treated, as if they had been taken for fuch perfons and things. (3.) In the cafe of the infallible Fudge. So If. xl. 17. The nations are reckoned of him lefs than (Tohu, Gen. i. z.) emptiness: not that they are fo in very deed; for they are creatures made the fixth day, after (Tobu) emptiness was no more: but that he can so treat them, and annihilate them as easily. Thus Job fays, 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 refolved to maintain his way, as to the main of it, before the Lord, ver. 15. and fays exprefsly, 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 curfe reckoned to him, Prov. xxvii. 14. The bleffing is not in itself a curfe; yet it is a curfe in effect, as having the fame effect, as if he id curfed his neighbour and fo, on that ground, it is reckoned to the flatterer, a curfe. V. and laftly, To reckon a thing to a perfon, is to fet it down on his fcore, 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 beneft of it. Examples of the former. Lev. xvii. 4. Blend shall be reckoned to that man; i e. The guilt of blood fhall be put on that man's account, as really his, and he shall answer for it: he hath hed blood, faith the text, and that man shall be cut off. Pfal. xli. 4. Upon me they would reckon, evil to me, i. e. charge it on me, as my fact and deed, and make me anfwer for it. So a curfe is reckoned to the flatterer, Prov. xxvii. 14. Thus Shimei fays to David, Let lord reckon iniquity to me, 2 Sam. xix. 9.; he owns his crine, and do not remember that which thy fervant did perverfely, ibid.; but he begs that the king would not put it on his account, and make him anfwer for it. And thus David defcribes the blessednefs of the juftified man, that the Lord will not reckon iniquity to him, Pial. xxxii. 2. i. e. that he will not put his iniquity on his own account, and make him anfwer for it; the putting it on the Surety, and his anfwering already for it, being already fuflained at VOL. III. M m




[ocr errors]

IW not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law fbill no flesh be justified. So it is a going out of one's felf to Chrift for all.


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 it indeed did belong to Benjamin, Joh. xviii. 25. though the Philistines violently poffeffed it, 1 Sam. xxxi, 7. So it is faid of another plat of ground, 'It would have been ret koned to the Canaanites, Joth. xiii. 3. namely, as really theirs; and therefore it remained to be poffeffed by Ifrael, ver. 1. And thus, Num. xviii. 27. Your heave offerings shall be reckoned to you, i, ¿. put on your account, as your own offerings, and you to receive the benefit of the fame. On the other hand, He that offereth a peace offering, and eateth of it on the third day, it was not to be reckoned to bin, Lev. vii. 18. i. e. put on the account of his fervice to God. Pfal. xl. . 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 fervice, and graciously rewarded, for the fake of the Mediator. Thus far of the phrafes formed with Hhafchabh, to reckon. Now the SCOPE and de

[ocr errors]


ign of Mofes in the text, is to few to all, and particularly to the Jews, the way how a finner is juftified before the Lord, namely, by faith in the Meffias, without the works of the law. Having given an account, how Abram entertained the promife, viz. viz. that he trufted in Jehovah; he discovers, on that occafion, how he became righteous before God, namely, by that trust that every one m fee in him, as in an exemplar, how a nner is justified in God's fight. That this is the fcope of the words, is put beyond question by the apottle, Rom. iv. FROM what is faid, it appears, that, according to the phrafeology of the Holy Ghoft, and the scope of this pat 1age, the following pofitions are established. Pof. I. The only righ teousness, wherein a man can ftand before the Lord, is the fulfilling of the law, or a conformity to the law refulting therefrom. For fuc is the fcripture-notion of righteoufnefs in the cafe of men. Po. H The fenfe of this paffage is not, That God reckoned Abram's trufting or believing, for a righteous and worthy action, as he did the fact of Phinehas, Pial. cvi. 31. For it is the righteousness of Abram's perfon, not the righteoufnels of an action of is, that is here aimed at. The deed of Phinehas was what could not have miffed, by fome at leaft, to have been reckoned a rafh ́and finful action, if God himfelt had not declared his approbation of it but Abram's trufting in Jehovah, was what could never be liable to any fuch mifconftruction, among thofe who believe Jehovah to be GOD. But the fenfe is, His faith was accounted righteoufnefs for his perfon in the fight of God. Pb. 11, Faith's being reckoned or counted for righteoufnefs, which is the phrafe of

VII. I come now to confider the ground and warrant of faith. This is the gofpel-offer. (1.)


the Septuagint, retained by the apostle Paul, Rom. iv. 3. is equivalent to, and of the fame fenfe with, Mofes's phrafe in the text, viz. faith's being reckoned righteousness. This is clear from what is faid on the third and fourth phrafes compared. Pof. IV. The righteoufness of Chrifi, though righteoufnels in the ftrict ft proprie ty, greateft reality and perfection, antecedently to the imputation or reckoning of it, may, according to the fcripture, be inputed for righteoufnels, to us: for, in the phrafeology of the Holy Ghoft, a thing is is faid to be reckoned or imputed for what it is really, as well as for what it is not; as appears from the inftances adduced, ob. I. on the fourth phrafe. Pef. V. Since faith, or the act of believing, is not in itself righteoufness for a perfon before God, an. tecedently to the imputation of it, for that righteoufnels; which is manifeft from that it doth not, in itself, exactly anfwer or fulfil the law, the eternal rule of righteoufnefs: and fince God, the infal lible Judge, whofe judgement is always according to truth, is the party imputing it for righteoufnefs: therefore faith, or the act of believing, imputed to finners for righteoufnefs, 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 juftified in the fight of GOD. It is no more fo, than Laban's daughters were really frangers to him, Gen. xxxi. 15.; or Zion's fons, earthen pitchers, Lam, iv. 2.; or the nations really less than emptinefs, If, xl. 17. though they were fo reckoned. Pef. VI. Upon the fame grounds, faith is therefore faid to be imputed for righteouf nefs; not t that God judgeth it to be the righteousness of a person be fore him, but because he treats faith, as if it were that rightcouf nefs; namely, justifying the perfon who hath it, pardoning all his fins, and accepting him as righteous in his fight, immediately upon his act of believing. Even as the leviathan treats iron as ftraw, Job xli, 24 though he does not judge it to be flraw; and Laban treated his own daughters, Gen. xxxi. 15. and Job's fervants their mafter, Job xix. 15, as if they had been Arangers; and Zion's enemics, her fons as earthen pitchers, Lam. iv. 2, though furely they did not judge th them to be fo. And even as God treats the nations as if they quere less than emptinefs, 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 au enemy to him. Pof. VII. Though faith is not really and in itself the righteoufnefs of a guilty man before the Lord: yet being to ff, to wit, relatively and inftrumentally; forafmuch as it lays hold on, prefents, and pleads the righte ufnefs of Christ; it is, on good grounds, fajd to be imputed for righteousness: even as the Batterer's blofting as reckoned a curfc, Prov.xxvii. 14. as being fin


« PreviousContinue »