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To a true Believer the Righteousness of Chrift is reckoned and imputed for his Righteousness. I fay there is a vaft Difference between these two Propofitions: The Meaning of the former is, that under the Covenant of Grace (which was procured by our Lord Jefus Chrift) God is pleased to accept of a true fincere Faith inftead of a perfect Obedience to the Law. Whofoever truly believes in Jefus Chrift, and fhews forth the Fruits of his Faith, by a fincere, though not perfect, Obedience to God's Commandments, as Abraham did, (and without this his Faith is not a true Faith) fuch a Man is justified, is accounted righteous before God, as much as if he had performed all the Righteousness of the Law of Works: His Faith is accounted to him for Righteousness.

But when we fay that Chrift's Righteoufness is imputed to us, as if it was our Righteoufnefs, (which is the other Propofition) it is capable of no other Meaning but this; That upon account of Chrift's Obedience to God's Laws, God will account us righteous, as much as if we had obeyed them ourfelves. The Holiness of his Life is fo made ours by Imputation, that God efteems us holy Perfons upon the Account thereof, tho' we are not really fo in our own Perfons.

VOL. V.

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The former Propofition, of Faith being imputed for Righteoufnefs, is certainly true, and I know no Chriftians that deny it.

But the latter Propofition, of Chrift's Righteousness being imputed to us, hath no Foundation in Scripture: Nay, it is certainly not true in that Senfe of the Words that the natural proper Grammatical Conftruction of them leads to. And thus much for the firft Text.

Well then, (faith the Objector) it seems you plead for a Righteoufnefs of your own, diftinct from Chrift's Righteousness. I muft confefs we do fo. What then? Why, fays he, that other Text of St. Paul will for ever confute and quash all fuch Pretenfions; for doth not he in the 3d of the Philippians, ver. 8. (which is the other Text I am to confider) doth not he there exprefly fay, I count all Things as Lofs for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Jefus Chrift my Lord; and I defire to be found in him not having my own Righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is thro' the Faith of Chrift, the Righteoufnefs of which is of God by Faith? Doth not St. Paul here exprefly declare against and renounce all Righteousness of his own? I grant he doth fo. But what then? If you will ferioufly mind what kind of Righteoufnefs of his own he here declares against, and

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and what Righteoufnefs that is which he
defires to be poffeffed of, you will certainly
be convinced that he is fo far from oppo-
fing our Doctrine, that he earneftly pleads
for that Righteoufnefs we are all this while
contending for.

Let us look a little back into the Occafion and Scope of thefe Words. His Defign is, in this Chapter, to fet forth the Excellency of the Chriftian Religion above the Jewish, and to fhew how mean, nay, how altogether infignificant all thofe Things the Jews fo much gloried in, were, in Comparison of Chriftianity. And he here reckons up all the magnificent Things they boasted of, and wherein they placed their Righteousness, and tells us, that upon those Accounts he had as much Reafon to be confident of his own Eftate towards God, as any of them had. If any other Man (faith he in the 4th Verfe) thinketh he hath wherein he might trust in the Flesh, I have more. I was circumcifed the eighth Day, of the Stock of Ifrael, of the Tribe of Benjamin. As touching the Law I was a Pharifee (which was the ftricteft Sect among the Jews) and as for my Zeal in the Law, I was a Perfecutor of the Church (than which nothing could be more meritorious among the Jews); and as for the Righteousness which is by the Law, I was blameless: There was no Man could fay but that I X 2 lived

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lived up to the Precepts of the Law of Mofes, and was blameless in my Converfation, as far as the Letter of it required. But what, after all this, fhould I plead my Confidence in any of thefe Things? No, verily, (as he goes on in the 7th Verfe) but thofe Things which were Gain to me, I accounted Lofs for Chrift: That is to fay, All thefe Prerogatives, my Birth, my Profes fion, my Sect, my Reputation, my strict Way of Living, which might be thought to be of great Advantage to me; now that I am come to the Knowledge of Chrift, I abandon them all; I fee that they are nothing worth; nay, I account them as a Lofs, as Things like to be rather a Hindrance to me, than a Gain. Yea, doubtless, (as he goes on in the next Verse) I account all Things but Lofs for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Chrift my Lord, for whom I have fuffered the Lofs of all Things, and I account them but Dung that I may win Chrift. And then comes in the Verfe that I am now concerned with, That I might be found in him, not having my own Righteoulnefs, which is of the Law, but that which is by the Faith of Jefus Chrift, the Righteoufnefs which is of God by Faith.

This is the Paffage that is brought to establish the Doctrine of imputed Righteoufness. This is the Text that doth fo utterly blaft all Righteousness of our own.

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mind what fort of Righteousness pray of our own that is which St. Paul here would not be found in. Is it not the Legal Pharifaical Righteousness? Is it not the Righteousness which is by the Law? Are not these his very Words?

I pray mind what Righteousness that is

that he would be found in. Is it not that Righteousness which is by the Faith of Jefus Chrift? He doth not say the Righteoufness of Jefus Chrift: It is not that that he would be found in; (if he had said so, that indeed had been to the Purpose) but that Righteousness which is by the Faith of Jefus Chrift, that is to fay, that Righteousness which is to be obtained by believing in Jefus Chrift, by becoming a Chriftian. Certain it is, that St. Paul doth not here oppose an inherent Righteousness to an imputed one; but an outward natural Righteousness, to that which is inward and wrought in a Man by the Spirit of God. The Righteoufnefs that he would be found in, is not the Righteousness of Chrift, made his, or imputed to him; but it is a righteous, holy State of Soul, wrought in him by the Spirit of God thro' the Faith of Jefus Chrift.

The clear Senfe then of thefe Words is this; That, which above all Things I defire, is, to be found in Chrift; that is, to be a true Difciple of Jefus Chrift: Not X 3

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