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and as his error involves in it the most arrogant opposition to the truth and righteous government of God.'
It is therefore, I apprehend, a self-evident proposition, that if the sufferings of our Lord were not penal, there can be no salvation for apostate man. The malediction of the divine law is, and ever must be an insuperable bar to his happiness. You allow indeed that Christ suffered for us; but what will these sufferings avail if there was nothing penal in them? Mere suffering gives a right to nothing: suffering, io be expiatory, must be voluntary, and endured as the desert of imputed sin; and it is delightful to consider that these indispensable requisites were united in the person of our adorable Substitute. He' laid down his life for the sheep-no man took it from him, but he laid it down of himself-He bare our sins in his own body on the tree-He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.
But if our iniquities were not laid upon Christ, his sufferings could not be punishment, and theres
fore not satisfactory; for where there is no sin, either actual, inherent, or imputed, there can be no punishment, and of course no expiation of guilt. It was no more possible for God to inflict penal sufferings on Christ while considered in every respect as perfectly innocent, than it was for him to deny himself. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?-Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?-Shall the righteous be as the wicked?— He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord' If the curse of the divine law has not been borne by Christ, we are still in our sins, and the weight of that curse will sink us into endless perdition.
If God be a God of truth, says Mr. Charnock, the threatenings of the Law must have their accomplishment either in the person offending, or in some undertaker for him capable to bear them in his stead.—Had the veracity of God in settling the penalty of death upon transgression been violated, he would have justified the Devil in his argument for man’s rebellion. The Devil's
argument is a plain contradiction to God's threatening. God affirms the certainty of Death; the Devil affirms the certainty of Life, Gen. iii. 4. · Ye shall not surely. die.' Had no punishment been inflicted, the Devil had not been a liar from the beginning. God would have honoured the tempter, and justified the charge he brought against him, and owned that envy the Devil accused him of, and thereby have rendered the Devil the fittest object for love and trust. As the Devil charged God with a lie, so had no punishment been inflicteil, God would have condemned himself, and declared Satan instead of a lying tempter to be the truest counsellor. He had exposed himself to contempt, and advanced the credit of his enemy, and so set up the Devil as a God instead of himself. It concerned God therefore to manifest himself true and the Devil a liar; and acquaint the world, that not himself, but the evil spirit, was their deceiver, and that he meant as he spake.'
But it is a delightful truth that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' which he could not have been without the imputation of sin, and his enduring whatever was included in that curse.
He that undertaketh for another man's debt, says Bishop Sanderson, maketh it his own, and standeth chargeable with it, as if it were his own personal debt: so Christ becoming surety for our síns, made them his own, and so was punishable for them as if they had been his own personal sin-He was punished for us, who himself deserved no punishment; it was because He was made sin for us, who himself knew no sin.'
Here the Socinians cry out, remarks the learned and excellent Polhill, "That if God should punish the innocent for the guilty, Christ for us sinners, he would be unjust, a cruel tyrant, one like Hannibal, who looked upon a ditch full of human blood as a fair spectacle. Unto which I answers The scripture is very pregnant; our sins were laid upon him, they were condemned in his flesh, he bore them in his body: he was wounded and bruised for them, and that even unto death, and that not a mere simple death, but one that had a penal
curse in it: and if these phrases express not punishment, no words can do it.'
It has been asked, · May not God punish an innocent creature as so considered.' To which Mr. Brine has judiciously replied; " God cannot but approve and justify an innocent creature as so considered--because the innocent creature is what God wills him to be according to his law, and therefore it is impossible he should, under this consideration, be the object of his disapprobation. An innocent creature, as such, cannot be the subject of the condemnation and curse of the law of God: because the law pronounces a sentence of condemnation, only, upon a charge or imputation of fault or sin. Hence it necessarily follows that an innocent creature, as so considered, cannot be impressed with a piercing sense of divine vengeance against sin. A perception the guiltless creature may have of the evil of sin, and of the wrath of God, which sin demerits: such a perception the holy angels and glorified saints doubtless have, and ever will have; but this is not attended with any anguish or pain of mind: for it is only a sense of sin, as