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charged or imputed, and of obnoxiousness to divine displeasure on that account, which can give the soul uneasiness and torture.—The saints, I am persuaded, will retain for ever a consciousness of their sinful actions, and will never lose the idea of that wrath, curse, and vengeance, to which their offences rendered them obnoxious: but this consciousness, and this perception of the proper demerit of their guilt, occasion no uneasiness, sorrow, or pain; the reason is, they are discharged of their guilt, and are not the objects of God's displeasure, to which it exposed them; this must be allowed, if their happiness in heaven is granted to be complete. Each of these things enter into the very nature of, and are essential to divine punishment. Surely it is not to be thought that God approves of any whom he punishes, that is to say, as they are the subjects of his act of punishing: and it is impossible that a creature under the same consideration should be the object of divine condemnation and justification; for these are certainly inconsistent ideas, if any such there be. Nor can God impress the mind of a creature with a painful sense of his wrath, who is not, under any consideration, the object of his displeasure. Either therefore an innocent creature cannot be subject of pe. nalty, or these things do not enter into the nature of divine punishment: or else guilt is imputed to that innocent creature, and in his suffering punishment, he is considered, not as he is in himself, but as guilty, by a charge of another's guilt on him, for whom he sustains that punishment.
"God in punishing, acts as a Lawgiver and Judge: the act of punishing therefore is not an act of sovereignty, but of righteousness and justice; and is agreeable to the nature of his law by which penal suffering is threatened. Now if no divine law is extant which threatens penalty without relation to a charge of fault or sin, it should seem to follow that punishment cannot be inflicted on an innocent creature, as such, or without the imputation of another's guilt to him. I am firmly of opinion that no law of God is to be produced wherein penal suffering is denounced, without respect to sin imputed, as the procuring cause of that denunciation of penal evil; and if not, then no innocent creature as such, can be the subject of divine punishment. What God hates in man he cannot do himself. Nothing is the object of God's displeasure, but what is contrary to the divine nature. To punish the innocent is disapproved of God: because it is a dreadful violation of right and justice; and is therefore contrary to the essential righteousness and justice of God: it being so, he cannot condemn and punish without a righteous charge and imputation of the offence.'
If our sins were not imputed to Christ, what can the apostle mean by saying, “ He was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Now how could our Lord bear the sins of many, if these sins were never laid upon him? If the words have any meaning, surely there must have been a sense in which, when on earth, he was not without sin. But in himself there was no sin-He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinnersHe did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. He shall appear a second time without sin. The words are very remarkable; and if they have any determinate signification, must refer to his character as a substitute; or to speak in scripture language,' to his being made sin for us-to his bearing our sins in his own body on the tree-to his being wounded for our trans. gressions, and bruised for our iniquities—the meaning of which is, says Calvin,' that he was made a substitute and surety for transgressors, and was treated as a criminal himself, to sustain all the punishment which should have been in. flicted upon them.' All we like sheep have gone astray, adds the prophet; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all; or hath made the iniquity of us all to meet on him.'
If these and similar expressions, do not clearly convey the idea of Christ's dying under a charge of imputed sin, and of his suffering the penalty connected with it, they have no meaning at all. But viewed in this light, which is the natural and obvious sense of the inspired writers, from which, as Dr. Sherlock justly observes, we must never depart without evident necessity,' there is nothing perplexed, nothing obscure; all is lumi.
nous: the language is level to every capacity, and contains a truth, the contemplation of which has imparted joy to the hearts of thousands.
“Here is firm footing; here is solid rock;
None, says Mr. Clarkson,' can deny, the im putation of Christ's death and sufferings, but those who deny his satisfaction; (and so subvert. the foundation of the Gospel) for since the imputation of his sufferings to us, and accepting of them for us, are one and the same thing, if they be not imputed to us, they are not accepted for us as suffered in our stead. If they be not accepted for us, or suffered in our stead, he did not suffer in our stead, and if he did not suffer in our stead, he did not make satisfaction; for by satisfaction nothing is meant but the suffering the penalty of the law in our stead: which this draws deep, and tends directly to undermine the foundation of christianity. I would they who make bold to deny the imputation of Christ's sufferings, would show us things thus stated, how it is possible to secure his satisfaction. I am