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servile works of wickedness. 2dly, That it con-“ demns him. The dominion is destroyed by fan&tificatiom :' the power of condemning, by justification. Both these are bestowed on the Elect" in the name of the the Lord Jesus; that is, on account of his merits;' and by his authority and will į and by the spirit of cur God, who is the author of fanctification, and sweetly insinuates the sentence of justification into the minds of believers. Both these benefits are fealed in Baptismi, to the washing of which there is here an evident allusion. Nor should it offend us, that fancti. fication is here put before justification; a diligent enquirer cannot but know, that the Scripture does not always exactly observe that order, as that things first in time are set in the first place. Thus even Peter puts yocation before election, 2 Pet. 1. 10. Besides, justification consists of various articles, as we will few more diftinctly in its place.
XIII. However, I cannot conceal that there are Ifi 53. ft, two places, in which the term pun juftify may seem the term to denote fomething more than a mere declaration of 2730 righteousness, tho that be also included. The first denote is, 1:53. 11, by his knowledge shall my righeous fer- fomething vant 0.975. pory justify many.
It is indeed true, that our Lord Jesus Chrift is constituted judge by the claration, father, and consequently empowered to absolve his Elect, who were given him: but here he is not represented as a judge, pronouncing fentence, but as the cause, which, both by merit and efficacy, brings and gives to his own people, that righteousness, on account of which they may be absolved at the bar of God: and the unusual construction of the word wich 5, the article of the dative case, calls for our notice. It is therefore the same, as if the Prophet had
more than a mere de.
be toil make a righteoufmers יעשה הצדקה לרבים ,faid
unte many, that which he himself performed as the
unto justification of life, as the Apostle speaks, Roma 5. 18, which I would have to be compared with this
passage. Dan. 12. - XIV. The other testimony, I hinted at, is Dan,
12. 3. where the faithful preachers of the God fpel are said to be '277 12:7313, justifying many. None doubts, that it belongs to the office of the ministers of the Gospel, to publish, in the name of God, abfolution from sin co the contrite in heart. But the compass of their function is much more extensive, namely, that, by their preaching, example and prayers, they may bring as many, as poffible to fuch a state, as remission of sins, may be preached, and that with fpecial application unto them, who, by faith and repentance, are reconciled unto God, and are diligent in the practice of holiness. The ministry of reconciliation, with which they are entrusted, comprizes all this. They who are diligent in the performance of these things, are faid to justify many, because they stir them up to repentance, which is the beginning of righteousnefs or holiness ; to faith, whereby they lay hold on the righteousness of Chrift, on account of which they may be pardoned ; to the practice of a holy life which when they prove by their works, they may obtain fuller assurance of their juftification by the ministers in the name of God.
XV. We have been the fuller on the fignification of this word justify, that, at the same time, we might thew the force of various testimonies of Scripture, nothing being more pleasant and useful than the study of this. Buť when treating of justification, we ihall always take that term in the declarative fenfe. Which being observed once for all, let us now addrefs ourselves to the more distinct examina. tion of the thing itself.
XVI. The declaration of God concerning men claration either regards some of their particular actions, or concern- their whole state. The ačtions of men are considered, ing men, either in relation to the rule of the divine cvill or in
Comparison with the attians of others, whether more regards or less evil. God pronounces absolutely on actions,
either when he declares them either evil, condeming man tions or in them; as Nathan said to David' in the name of their fate. God, 2 Sam. 12. y, thou hast despised the commandment of the Lard, to do evil in his fight : or good, justifying a man in them; in which lense David, having his eyes intent on the justice of his cause against his enemies, prays P: 7, 8, judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is
Thus God justified Job, when he declared that, he spoke of him the tbing which is right. Job
XVII. The example of Phinehas is here very mę. How Phimorable, Ps, 106. 30, 31, then stood up Phinebas and nehas's executed judgment; and so the plague was stayed. And
imputed that was accounted unto him for righteousness, unto all for rightgenerations for ever more. The fact of Phinebas was eousness. thus: Zimri, one of the princes of the tribe of Simeon brought into his tent, with an incredible impudence, Cozbi a daughter of the king of Midian, in the sight of the princes of his people, with an intent to polute her and himself with whoredom; while Moses, with the whole congregation stood, in tears, at the door of the tabernacle, to deprecate the vengeance of God already broke out. Pbinebas, son of Eleazar, the High Priest, and himself a priest, could not bear this Sight; but being infamed with a mighty zeal, and moved with the indignity of the action, rushed from samidst the congregation, and taking up a javelin, thrust them both through in the very act of their whoredom.' 23 XVIII. There were many things in this action, Objectwhich, to outward appearance, were faulty.., ift, ionsthere. Phinebas was a priest, whom it did not become to imbrue his hands in human blood. For, if it broughc guilt on a priest, to be expiated by sacrifice, io have touched a dead body, much more to have made a living man a dead carcase. 2dly, He was
none of the judges of Israel, whom Mofes, at the command of God himself, deputed to punish the guilty, by hanging them up before the Lord. Numb. 25. 4, 5. 3dly, He did not observe the due order or course of justice, because he began with the execution. 4thly, The whole seemed to breath an en
raged paffion of mind, rather than a zeal, tempered sobi with due lenity. For these reasons, Phinebas might
be thought to have been guilty of a horrid murder;
and, on that account, to have forfeited the honour of
(the priesthood. Answered, XIX. But it is plain, it appeared otherwise in the
sight of God, who pronounced the action right, commending this zeal of his, and declaring, that he was so pleased with it, that therefore he averted his great wrath from the children of Israel. And Phinebas was so far from being divested of the priesthood on that account, that, on the contrary, God adjudged to him and his seed after him a perpetual priesthood, by a covenant of peace that was to last for ever, Numb. 25. 11, 12, 13. And this is what David sings, it was counted unto him for righteousness, that is, it was judged that he had acted in a due and regular manner, and was therefore more worthy of praise and reward, than of blame and punish
ment. The jufti
XX. And as this man was justified in that abfofication of lutely, so others are justified in their actions, compe. fomecom- ratively, or when compared with the actions of others parative
which are far worse. In this sense it is said, Jer. 3. II, the backsliding Israel bath justified berself more tban treacherous Judah. That is, by her works hath shewed herself more righteous and innocent, profesling according to the sentiments of her heart, and not acting so hypocritically and deceitfully, as the prevaricating and dissembling Judab, who would appear, as if she was converted to me, while, in the mean time, the profanes my name. In like man
ner, Ezek. 16. 31, thou hast justified thy fifters in all thine abominations, which thou hast done. Thou hast behaved in such a manner, that, in comparison of thee, they may seem to be innocent.
XXI. Thus much for the declaration of God con- God cerning the aЕtions of men. On the other hand, his judging of declaration as to their state, is of several kinds. For,
the state, either God considers them, as they are in themselves, men either
considers according to inherent qualities, either vitious thro' in themcorrupt nature, or boly and laudable thro' reforming felves, or
in their grace; or as they are reputed in Christ the furety. XXII, God can neither consider nor declare men Declares
surety to be otherwise than as they really are. For, bis men to be judgment is according to truth, Rom. 2. 2, and there- such as fore they, who are ftill under the dominion of fin, they are, and walk with delight, according to their depraved lufts, are judged and declared by God to be unregenerate, wicked and Naves of the devil, as they really are; for, by no means docs be clear the guilty, Exod. 34. 7; but they who are regenerated by his grace, created anew after his image, and heartily give themselves up to the practice of fincere holiness, are by him absolved from the sin of profaneness, impiety and hypocrisy, and are no longer looked upon as dead in sins, slaves to the devil, children of the world ; but as true believers, his own children, restored to his image, and endowed with his life. It was thus he justified his servant Job, declariny, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and efbeweth evil, Job. i. 8.
XXIII. And this is still the case of all believers. Such as The devil indeed, who is the accuser of the bre-apply to thren, frequently charges theni with hypocrisy be true rightfore God, as if they did not serve him in fincerity; he proand he not only thus accufes them before God, but nounces he also disquiets their conscience, as if all their faith righteous, and piery were only a mask and outward Thew, by which they have hitherto imposed not only on others,