Rom. 9:31, 32, “Israel hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law, for they stumbled at that stumbling stone.” Now, says Mr. F, “ought they not to have sought it by faith? Why then are they blamed because they did not? Did they right and what they ought to do in stumbling at that stumbling stone? Why then are they in so doing said to be disobedient?” (p. 45).
By faith here is meant, not the grace, but the doctrine of faith, the gospel; as appears clearly by its being opposed to the law, and this was the stumbling stone at which they stumbled, as we are expressly told in 1 Pet. 2:8, “which stumble at the word being disobedient.” Taking the words in this view, I thus answer Mr. F.’s questions. The doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Jesus Christ being clearly revealed in the gospel, they ought to have received it, and were to blame for treating it with contempt; but I will not say they ought to have received this righteousness by special faith, or that they ought to have been clothed with it, nor do I find them any where blamed for being destitute of it. No, all they are blamed for is, for not receiving the doctrine, and not because they did not receive the thing itself.