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iniquity, transgression, and sin. The same is to be said concerning justice; for this vindictive justice is nothing but the absolute rectitude of the nature of God, with respect to some outward objects, viz. sin and sinners. Had there never, indeed, been any sin or sinners, God could not, in any outward acts have exercised either vindictive justice, or sparing mercy; but yet he had been notwithstanding eternally just and merciful. To say that God may forego this right or remit of it, is to say, that he may, at his pleasure, cease to be our Lord and God; for the same nature of God, which necessarily requireth our obedience, doth indispensably require the punishment of our disobedience.
$11. Socinus and Crellius object, “That Christ neimither did, nor could undergo the penalty due to us, “because that was eternal death.” But we reply,
1. That Christ underwent the punishment, which, in the justice or judgment of God, was due to sin.
That the justice of God did require, that sin should be punished with a meet and due recompense of reward, we have proved already; and to satisfy this justice it was that Christ suffered; and, therefore, he suffered what justice required. We should have undergone no more, but what, in the justice of God was due to sin. This Christ underwent, and therefore he underwent what we should have undergone. Nor can it be supposed, that in the justice of God there might be two sorts of penalties due to sin, one of one kind, and another of another. If it be said, that because it was undergone by another, it was not the same; I grant it was payment, which our suffering would never have been; it was satisfaction, which we, by undergoing any penalty, could not make; but yet he suffered the same penalty which we should
have done. In short, the Lord Christ underwent that punishment, which was due to our sins; and the justice of God required no other.
2. That which was due to sin was, all of it, comprehended in the curse of the law; for in the curse, God threatened the breach of the law with all that punishment which was justly due to it; for the curse of the law is nothing but an expression of that punishment which is due to the breach of it, delivered in a way of threatening. But now Jesus Christ underwent the curse of the law, by which I know not what to understand, but that very punishment which the transgressors of the law should have undergone. Hence our apostle says, “That he was made a curse "for us,” Gal. iii, 13; because he underwent the penal sentence of the law. And there were not two kinds of punishment contained in the curse of the law; one that the sinner himself should undergo, another that should fall on the Mediator; for neither the law, nor its curse had any respect to a Mediator. The interposition of a Mediator depends on other principles and reasons than any the law was acquainted with. It was, therefore, the same punishment, in the kind of it, which was due to us, that the Lord Christ was to undergo.
3. It is said expressly, that God “caused all our “iniquities to meet on him,” Isa. liii, 6; or hath laid on him the iniquities of us all, tnat he “bare our sins;" ver. 10. Or, “bore our sins in his own body on the "tree," 1 Pet. ii, 24; whereby he who “knew no sin, "was made sin for us,” 2 Cor. v, 21.
4. Christ suffered in our stead; for he was our (evlab uxos) substitute. See Rom. v, 6–8. When one would substitute himself in the room of another, who was obnoxious to punishment, he that was so
substituted was always to undergo that very penalty, whether by loss of limb, liberty, or life, that the other should have undergone. And in like manner, if the Lord Christ suffered in our stead, as our substitute, he suffered what we should have done.
$12. It is still objected, “That the punishment “which we should have undergone, was death eternal."
Death, as eternal, was in the punishment due to our sin; not directly, but consequentially; and that a natura subjecti, not a natura cause; for that the punishment of sin should be eternal, arose not from the nature and order of all things, viz. of God, the law, and the sinner; but from the nature and condition of the sinner only. This was such, as that it could no otherwise undergo a punishment proportionable to the demerit of sin, but by an eternal continuance under it. This, therefore, was not a necessary consequent of guilt absolutely, but of guilt with respect to such a subject. And if it be said, “That the
admission of one to suffer for another, who could dis“charge the debt in much less time than the offender scould, is not the same that the law required;" we answer, that it is true the law requires no such thing as one to suffer for another, nor absolutely considered, doth admit of it; but the substitution was from God's graciously dispensing with the law, as the supreme Lord and Ruler over all. The law takes notice only of offenders, nor doth it include any supposition, that the offenders must suffer, “or a mediator” in their stead. But, notwithstanding, it is inseparable from the law, that this kind of punishment is due to the transgression of it; and by God's gracious substitution of Christ in the room of sinners, there was no re
laxation made of the law, as to the punishment it required.
$13. It is yet farther pleaded, “That if the same be spaid in a strict sense, then deliverance would have “followed ipso facto; for the release immediately fol“lows the payment of the same.” Howsoever we allow of that expression of "paying the same,” it is only suffering the same for which we contend. Christ underwent the same punishment that the law required, but that his so doing should be a payment for us, depended on God's sovereign dispensation; yet so, that when it was paid, it was the same which was due for us. This payment, therefore, as such, and the deliverance that ensued thereon, depended on a previous compact and agreement, as must all satisfaction of one for another. Deliverance, therefore, doth not naturally follow on this satisfaction, and therefore was not to ensue ipso facto, but (jure foederis) in the way and order disposed in that covenant. The actual deliyerance of all the persons for whom Christ suffered, to ensue ipso facto upon his suffering, was absolutely impossible; for most of them were not when he suffered. And that the whole of the time, way, and manner of his deliverance dependeth on compact, is evident from them who were delivered actually from the penalty, long before the actual sufferings of Christ, merely upon the account of his sufferings, which should afterwards ensue. Deliverance is no end of punishment considered merely as such, none is punished properly that he may be delivered: however, the cessation of punishment may be called a deliverance. Mere deliverance was not the whole end of Christ's sufferings for us; but such a deliverance as is attended with a state and condition of superadded blessedness. And the duties of faith, repentance, and obedience, which are
prescribed to us, are not enjoyed only, or principally, with respect to deliverance from punishment, but with respect to the attaining of those other ends of the mediation of Christ, in a new spiritual life here, and eternal life hereafter. And with respect to those ends may they justly be required of us, though Christ suffered and paid the same which we ought. No deliverance ipso facto, upon a supposition of suffering or paying the same, was necessary; but only the actual discharge of him who made the payment, as an Undertaker for others. Accordingly, Christ, immediately on his sufferings as our surety, was discharged.
$14. But it may be farther objected, “That it is im"possible to reconcile the freeness of remission, with “the full payment of the very same that was in the "obligation.” To say, that God freely remitted our sins, abrogating the law, and the curse of it, requiring no punishment, no satisfaction, neither from ourselves, nor from the Mediator, hath at first view an appearance of royal grace and clemency, until being examined, it is found utterly inconsistent with the truth and holiness of God; and in reality, is a conceit that hath no countenance in scripture. But to say, that God required the execution of the sentence and curse of the law, in the undergoing of the punishment due to sin; but yet, out of his love and infinite grace, sent his Son to undergo it for us, (so, to comply with his holiness, to satisfy his justice, and fulfil his truth and law, that he might freely pardon sinners) this the scripture every where declares; and is demonstrably consistent with all the perfections of the Divine nature. Wherefore the absolute freedom of pardon to us is absolutely consistent with Christ suffering the same penalty which was due to our sins.