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Men ought to consider, says Bishop Reynolds, • That there is a torrent of curses, a sea of death, a reign of condemnation, a hell of sin within, and a hell of torments without, between them and their salvation; and there is no drop of that sea, no scruple of that curse, no tittle of that law, which must not all be either fulfilled or endured. Surely 'tis no derogation to the dig. nity of Christ's Person, but on the other side, a great magnifying of the justice of God against sin, of the power of Christ against the law, and of the mercy of them both towards sinners, to affirm that the sufferings of Christ, whatever they were in the kind of them, were yet in their weight and pressure, equally grievous with those which we should have suffered; for being in all things, save sin, like unto us, and most of all in his liableness to the curse of the law, why he should not be obnoxious to as great extremities of pain, I see no reason; for no degree of mere anguish and dolor can be unfitting the person of him who was to be known by that title, A man of sorrows.'
That the whole world is become guilty before
God, is a lamentable fact; but that all are guilty
Now, in this case, what is punishment but the infiction of the curse of the law for the violation of its precepts? and if the law could righteously infict on the person of Manasseh a degree of punishment proportioned to his guilt, (* for without a proportion between the guilt and the punishment justice is not satisfied') the substitute of Manasseh must bear the same punishment, or how could he be said to suffer in his stead to bear his sins in his own body on the tree-to be made sin, and a curse for bim--to be wounded for his transgressions and bruised for his iniquities, if he did not bear that curse which the divine law could not but have inflicted on Ma.
nasseh, had he suffered in his own person? Fatt loforal seternal wood the curde; l' did not bear this for the lenonet to win the submitted ca isted before the law was givens ,
But of Christ it is said, That he purchased the church with his own blood that he suffered the just for the unjust--that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.
If therefore a thousand delinquents, involved in different degrees of guilt, are justly liable to suffer in their own persons the punishment due to their various enormities; surely it must be self-evident, that if the guilt of these enormities be laid upon Christ as their substitute, and he suffer in their stead, he must bear the same pu., 4 . nishment. If this be denied, and it be allowed that the Lord laid on him the iniquity of those delinquents, the law of God must have relaxed in the infliction of its curse, which, as a moral institute, was impossible. The sanction of the law is as irreversible as the law itself, and it is evident, from the different degrees of punishment inflicted on the wicked, that suffering is always proportioned to crime. If, then, the sanction of the law were not relaxed, how came Christ to suffer less than could have been righte eously indicted on the sinners themselves? Haec aute
OD 2 de could not die Lexeisely
Diedermera Christ was made under the law, and, as Mr.
Eyre in his treatise on justification has well Hd watuwe observed, "Was held in the same obligation de Towers which we were under-he paid the same debt het juodation ihat we
ihat we did owe-the curse, or punishment which we deserved, was inflicted upon him—the whole wages, or curse, that is due to sin, is death; and this death he underwent for us.' To say therefore that the compassionate Redeemer suffered less than the delinquents who are re. deemed would themselves have suffered, is not to magnify the riches of his dying love nor to honour his atonement: and to say that these sufferings are sufficient for the redemption of ten times the number, is to confound all our ideas of distributive justice, and has, besides, a tendency to lessen the obligation and the gratitude of those who have just reason to consider themselves objects of his mercy.
My obligation to him that shall forgive me a debt of ten thousand talents, is undoubtedly much greater than it would have been had he forgiven me but one. • The greater the sin of the elect was,' says Professor Durham, the more
Ir_debt was. th. Ble not the
SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. 43 Guitt golebie Christ suffered; the greater their debt was, the james more he paid; and their obligation is the greater fecondiori. to him; and they ought the more to love him som eittoutes and their duty for his sake.' To inculcate there not been fore that, in paying this debt of suffering, as 'unelo pero much would be endured in one case 'as in the flest. other, is not the most direct way to increase detestation of sin, nor to augment the love of him to whom it is remitted. He that has much forgiven, loveth much. This divine axiom should never be forgotten.
If the sufferings of Christ would not have been greater had he died for the salvation of all men, he must have suffered as much for them that perish, as for those who are saved; and, consequently, have so far suffered in vain. Now, if this be the fact, how is Christ to see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied? Will the salvation of a part of mankind be considered as an equivalent recompense for suffering enough for the redemption of the whole? or is it com. patible with the goodness and justice of God, that any should perish for whom the same price has been paid as for them that are saved?
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