“He himself experienced our sin, he himself gave his own son, a ransom on our behalf, the Holy for the lawless, the innocent for the guilty, the righteous for the unrighteous, the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal. For what else than that one’s righteousness could cover up our sin? In who else than in the Son of God alone could our lawlessness and ungodliness possibly be justified? Oh, the sweet exchange! … Oh, the unexpected benefits that the lawlessness of many should be concealed in the one righteous, and righteousness of the one should justify many lawless.”“Epistle to Diognetus,” in The Apostolic Fathers in English, trans. Rick Brannan, 9.2–5. A letter from the late second or possibly early third century.
Such diverse excellencies are expressed in [God] towards men, that otherwise would have seemed impossible to be exercised towards the same object; as particularly these three, justice, mercy, and truth. The same that are mentioned in Psalm 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The strict justice of God, and even his revenging justice, and that against the sins of men, never was so gloriously manifested as in Christ. He manifested an infinite regard to the attribute of God’s justice, in that, when he had a mind to save sinners, he was willing to undergo such extreme sufferings, rather than that their salvation should be to the injury of the honour of that attribute. And as he is the Judge of the world, he doth himself exercise strict justice; he will not clear the guilty, nor at all acquit the wicked in judgment. Yet how wonderfully is infinite mercy towards sinners displayed in him! And what glorious and ineffable grace and love have been and are exercised by him, towards sinful men! Though he be the just Judge of a sinful world, yet he is also the Saviour of the world. Though he be a consuming fire to sin, yet he is the light and life of sinners. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:25-26).
Jonathan Edwards, WJE, 1:682–683.
Grace gives a Christian his form and being, his work and his working, for all working is from the inward being and form of things. By grace we are what we are in justification, and work what we work in sanctification.Richard Sibbes
The righteousness wherein we must be found, if we will be justified, is not our own … Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in Him. In Him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated into Him. Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man who in himself is impious, full of iniquity, full of sin; him being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin in hatred through repentance; him God beholdeth with a gracious eye, putting away his sin by not imputing it, taketh quite away the punishment due thereunto by pardoning it; and accepteth him in Jesus Christ, as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that is commanded him in the law: shall I say more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law! I must take heed what I say: but the apostle saith, “God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself. Let it be counted folly, or frenzy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom, and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man hath sinned, and God hath suffered; that God hath made Himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God.
The Works of Richard Hooker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1845), 3:490-1.
All that repent are justified through faith by Christ, and not by works. Paul … concludeth that every man must be justified without deservings, without works, and without help of the law; but alone by Christ.
“A Prologue upon the Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians” in The Works of William Tyndale, 1:513.