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penitent finners; but then, I say, that this fatisfaction was not of the first, but of the second kind. That it was not of the first kind, I prove by this single, but conclusive argument, viz. the Father's exercising his mercy in the pardoning and forgiving of sins. To exercise mercy in the pardoning and forgiving an offender, is to remit the punishment in whole, or in part, which is due for the offence; but if the offender, or any other which is substituted to make sacisfaction in his stead, shall do or suffer that which is, in the first and strict sense, a full and equal satisfaction to the demerit of the offence, then there is no room nor place for pardon or forgiveness to be exercis'd, because there is nothing to be pardon'd or forgiven. Yet that the Father doth exercise his mercy and grace in the forgiveness of sins, is what I have largely shewn already. But then I say, secondly, that Christ did make a full and equal satisfaction to the demand of his Father. The truth of which will appear by what follows, viz. the Father did propose that his Son should thus suffer, and Christ voluntarily submitted unto death, to answer that proposal: this I have proved already, when I fhew'd, that what Christ did and suffer'd, was in obedience to his Father's will. I farther say, the Father was so highly pleas’d, and so fully satisfied with Christ's undertaking this performance, that he hath thereupon appointed him to be an intercessor for sinners, and pardons the believing penitent for his sake. For this, fee Phil, ii. 8, 9. He bumbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him. Acts v. 31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand. Rom. viii. 34. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. sine Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save to the uttermost those that come unto t God by hiņ, seeing he ever livet hľ to make intercession for them. Chap. ix. 24. de Cbrist is not entered into the holy place made with hands, but into heaven itself, nowo od to appear in the presence of God for us. Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his tid grace, through the redemption that is in Jefus Christ. Eph. iv. 32. Forgiving one th another, even as God, for Christ's sake, bath forgiven you. John ii. 1, 2. If 4 any man fin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; cum and he is the propitiation for our fins, and not for ours only, but also for the fins de sang of the whole world. Versé 12. I write unto you, little children, because your hinski are forgiven you for his name's fake. Here we see that Christ's obedience untojai death was só highly acceptable, and so satisfactory to his Father, that he thereupon exalted him at his right hand, to be a prevailing intercessor for finners, si and pardons the believing penitent upon his account, and for his fake; and consequently his sufferings and death were full and equal to the demand, and sin his Father was fully satisfied therewith : tho it ought to be remembered, that this is not to be understood so * strictly, as that God would have been absolutely implacable to returning penitent finners, were it not for such intercession and satisfaction,
** See my discourse on justification:
OBJECTIONS with their ANSWERS. Obje&t. I. The sufferings and death of Christ are instrumental towards sinners deliverance from condemnation; but they could not be instrumental any other way than by merit, therefore they are so by merit. I answer, this is a mistake. The sufferings and death of Christ, are instrumental towards sinners deliverance from condemnation three ways, and yet are not so by merit : namely, first, as they are a proper argument with the finner, to turn from his fins and return to his duty, and thereby he becomes the proper object of God's mercy; fecondly, as they are an argument with God, to pardon the finner upon his return to him; and, thirdly, as they were a sacrifice of atonement of God's own appointment, and so are a hgn and pledge of the finner's repentance, and God's forgiveness. And,
First, The sufferings and death of Christ are instrumental towards the finner's deliverance from condemnation, as they are a proper argument to bring him to repentance and reformation. As our Lord came into the world to proclaim the glad tidings, viz. that God would pardon and receive to favour all believing penitent finners; so his sufferings and death had in them a two-fold argument to convince people of the truth of those ridings; and, consequently, were an instrumental cause of that faith and repentance, which disposed them for God's mercy. For, first, they served to convince men that Christ was fincere in his pretensions, there being not any thing which could more effectually convince people, that he was in earnest, than his willingly foregoing all present enjoyments, and yielding up himself to sufferings and death, in maintaining the cause he undertook. And as he declared himself a heavenly messenger, so, secondly, his foretelling his sufferings and death, together with the events answering the predictions, were an evidence of the divinity of his mission; and both these afford a proper argument with the finner, to turn from his fins that he may be saved. Sinners, whilft under the prevailing power of their lusts, are set forth in fcripture as servants and captives to sin and satan, Rom. vi. 16, 17, 18. and Christ is represented as redeeming finners from that thralldom, by his sufferings and death, Tit. ii. 14. 1 Pet. i. 18. and, tho Christ did not pay down a price or valuable confideration to fin and satan, to whom men were in bondage; yer his sufferings and death were as effectual for the finner's deliverance, as if he had been redeemed by a price, inasmuch as they became a prevailing argument with the finner, to renounce subjection to his lusts, and to yield up himself a servant unto God. And this, in the language of the scripture, is called redemption, and being bought with a price: the expressions being used not properly but figuratively, the finner being as effetually delivered from the thralldom he was under, as if he had been redeemed by a price. Thus, God is said to redeem the children of Israel by a mighty hand, out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, Deut. vii. 8. not that God had paid down a price, or valuable consideration to Pharaoh, for the children of Israel's discharge, but he forced them out of Pharaoh's hand, by his judgments; and this is called redemption,
inasmuch as the Israelites were as effectually delivered, as if they had been redeemed by a price. Again,
Secondly, "The sufferings and death of Christ are inftrumental towards the delivering finners from condemnation, as they were an aɛt of obedience to the Father's will, which fo recommended him to his Father's love, that he hath exalred him at his right hand, to be a prevailing interceljor for finners: and to, those sufferings and death are an argument with God, to pardon the believing penitent, for Christ's sake. This is what I have shewn above, in my discourse of justification, and therefore it needs not to be enlarged upon here. Again,
Thirdly, The sufferings and death of Christ are instrumental towards the delivering finners from condemnation, as they were a sacrifice of atonement of God's own appointing, and, so, are at once a sign and pledge of the finner's repentance, and God's forgiveness. All sin is chiefly and primarily committed against God; and as God is at liberty to pardon, or punijh the finner, as he sees good, provided the punishment does not exceed the demerit of the crime; so, when he has been pleased to come to an accommodation with his creatures, he has, upon fome occasions, appointed that a sacrifice of atonement should be offer'd up to him. Thus under the law, Lev. iv. 31. 2 Sam. xxiv. 18, 25. 2 Chron. xxix. 24. a peace-offering, or sacrifice of atonement, was offered up: and thus under the gospel, Christ was made a peace-offering, or sacrifice of atonement for fin, Rom. v. 11. Heb. vii. 26, 28. Chap. ix. 11, 12. Verses 26, 28. Not that this sacrifice of atonement, in either case, did, in its own nature, merit God's mercy, because there is not any thing which can be done, or suffered, which can repair the damage done by sin, or which can be any way profitable to God: but as God had required it, in order to discharge the sinner, then it became necessary to that discharge, and the finner is said to obtain his pardon by it. From all which I think it appears, that the sufferings and death of Christ are instrumental towards the delivering finners from condemnation, tho not by merit, in the original and strict sense of that word.
Obje£t. II. St. Paul faith, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, &c. And our Lord faith, Matt. xx. 28. That he came to give his life a ransom for many. Here we see, that Christ did pay to God a price, or valuable consideration for the breach of his law; and that the finners deliverance from condemnation was, in a proper and literal sense, merited by Christ's sufferings and death. I answer as before, that these are figurative expressions, like as what God said to Ifrael, Isaiah xliii. 3. I gave Egypt for tly ransom; but Egypt was not given as a ransom for Ifrael, because it was Egypt they were in bondage to; but God gave Egypt to destruction, and wrought the Israelites deliverance thereby; and this, by a figure of speech, is called a ransom. In like manner, Christ gave his life a ransom for many; not properly, because God discharges the finner freely, forgiving him all trespasses, Rom. iii. 24. Col. ii. 13. but figuratively, as Christ's death was subservient to the finner's deliverance, as I have shewn above.
Object. III. If the sufferings and death of Christ did not merit, or buy off the sinner from condemnation, then they are of no more advantage, than the
fufferings and death of the Apostles, or any other Martyrs. Answer, As the rendering to all their due is a general rule or law of equity; so, I think, we ought to follow that rule in the present case. God is the first mover, Christ is the prime instrument, and the Apostles and others are fubordinate instruments in the work of man's salvation, John iii. 16, 17. God so loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but bare everlasting life: For God sent not bis Son into the world, to condemn the world; but that the world, through him, might be saved. 1 Cor. iii. 9. We are labourers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, we are God's building. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, yesues Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. James v. 20. Let him know, that be which converteth a finner from the error of his way, mall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of fins. Here we fee, that as God's love is the first moving cause, and as Christ is the prime instrument; so every other person, who fets forward the salvation of sinners, is a subordinate instrument in the work of falvation; and yet this does not set their labours or sufferings upon a level, because they are not alike subservient to that end.
Object. IV. If the foregoing account of salvation, by Christ, is true, then those, who lived before Christ's time, would have no benefit by his death. Anfwer, Tho the sufferings and death of Christ could not be an argument with such, to repent and return to God, yet they may be sharers in the benefits of
: it could as well be a sacrifice of atoneinent to those who lived before Christ's time, as to those who lived after it; and because the benefits of his intercessorship, the ground and cause of which was his obedience in doing and suffering unto death, may extend as well to those who were before him, as to those who were after him; and, upon this account, Christ might be said to be a lamb pain from the foundation of the world; as in Rev. xiii. 8.
HIS enquiry is three-fold; first, what justice is; fecondly, what rules must be observ'd by those that administer it; and, thirdly, whecher
God is a just Being : after which are objections with their answers. da First, What justice is ? Justice is the balance of common equity, by which is weighed out, or dispensed, good and evil, in an equal proportion to the merit or demerit of things, or to any other right of claim that one being hath upon another: I say, to any other right of claim, because there may be a right of claim without merit, as in the case of free promises; for when one person makes a promise to another, to give him some good thing, free and unconditional, he doth, by that act, confer on him not only a right to claim and expect, but also of receiving and enjoying the good thing promised to him. And tho the making of that promise may only be an act of bounty, because it is free and unconditional ; yet the keeping of that promise is an act of justice, because the benefactor is not free and at liberty, after such promise is made. Again, justice is a mean, in the administration of good, between bounty and fraud, the balance of justice standing upon such an even poize, as that if it turn to one side it is bounty, if to the other it is fraud. Again, justice is a mean in the administration of evil, between mercy and cruelty, the balance of justice standing upon such an even poize, as that if it turn to one side it is mercy, if to the other it is cruelty. .
Secondly, What rules must be observ'd by those that administer justice? In order to administer justice, according to the laws of common equity, every administrator must have regard to every just claim, so as that all may have their due. And here it is to be noted, that, by the laws of common equity, every one has a right to dispose of his own peculiar property, according to his own will,