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God!, O the beight of mysteries, which angels desire to look into! Glory to the Father, who raised up, accepted, and gave us such & Surety! Glory to the Son, who clothing himself in buman flesh, so willingly, so patiently, and so constantly performed such an engagement for us. Glory to the Holy Ghost, the revealer, the witness, and the earnest of so great happiness for us. All hail ! Christ Jesus, true and eter
, O nal God, and true and holy man, all in one, who retains the properties of both natures in the unity of thy person. Thee we acknowledge, thee we worship, to thee we betake ourselves, at thy feet we fall down, from thy hand alone we look for salvation. Thou art the only Saviour; we desire to be thy peculiar property, we are so by thy grace, and shall remain such for ever. Let the whole world of thine elect, with us, know, acknowledge, and adore thee, and thus at length be saved by thee. This is the sum of our faith, and hope, and this the top of all our wishes. Amen.
Of the Suretiship and Satisfaction of Christ. L Having thus spoken of the person of the Surety, so far as the nature of our design requires, now is the time and place to treat a little more accurately of the satisfaction itself, which, by his suretiship he undertook to give. For be is called the Surety of the Covenant, or Testament, Heb. vii. 22. Not only, nor principally, because he engaged to us in the name of God, to fulfil the promises contained in that testament if we obeyed his commands, as Curcellous, freading in the footsteps of his master Socinus, artfully pretends : but, because he engaged to God for us, to perform all those conditions in our stead ; upon which we were to receive the testamentary inheritance. When Hezekiah desired the saving fruit of this suretiship, he prayed, Isa. xxxviü. 14. “ I am oppressed, undertake for me. And God himself, when he gives to his Son all the glory of this suretiship, expresses himself thus : Jer. xxx. 21. “ for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord." That is, what mortal, nay, what creature dares engage to perform all those things which are incumbent on the priest, who shall have a right to approach to me for himself and his people. Our surety therefore, thus engaged to God for us. To what purpose is such a surety, who should only engage to us in
the pame of God? If Christ ibe a mere man, such as they represent him, could his engagement give us a greater assurance of the truth of the divine promises, than if we heard them immediately from the mouth of God himself? Was it not necessary that God, who cannot lie, should first of all engage to us, that the man Christ would be true in all bis sayings, before we could with sure copfidence rely upon them? Is it not much better and more safe, to rely upon the oath of the infallible God, by which he has abundantly conformed to the heirs of promise, the immutability of his counsel, Heb. vi. 17. than on the declaration of a mere man, let him be ever so true and faithful ? And what peculiar excellency would Christ have had above others in this case, to the honour of being the alone Surety, had he only, by the publication of a saving doctrine, pvbich he confirmed by bis martyrdom, assured us self the certainty of the promises of grace: seeing the other pros phets and apostles of Christ did the very same, not scrupling to undergo the most cruel death, in order to seal with their blood the truth of God's promises, which they had declared ? What can vilify Christ, or make void bis suretiship, if this does not ?
II. Christ therefore is called our Surety, because be engaged to God to make saTISFACTION FOR US. Which satisfaction again is not to be understood in the Socinian sense, as if it only consisted in this, that Christ most perfectly fulfilled the will of God, and fully executed everything God enjoined bim, on account of our salvation, and so in the fullest manner satisfied God, and that for us, that is, on our account, for our highest and eternal good: as Crellius, when making the greatest concessions, would fain put us off with these fair words: but it coni sists in this, that Christ, in our room and stead, did both by doing and suffering, satisfy divine justice, both the legislatory, the retributive, and vindictive, in the most perfect manner, ful filling all the righteousness of the law, which the law otherwise required of us, in order to impunity, and to our having a riglat to eternal life. If Christ did this, as we are inormediately to shew, he did, nothing hinders why we may not affirm, he satisfied for us in the fullest sepse of the word. For to what
pur. pose is it superciliously to reject a term so commodions, because pot to be met with on this subject in seripture, if we can prone the thing signified by it?
III. We find his engaging to make this satisfaction, Peal. xl. 6, 7, 8. expressed in these words by Christ: "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou open ed: burnt-offering and sin offering thou hast not required.
Then said T, Lo! I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my bowels or heart." 'Where observe, 1st. The covenant between the Lord Christ and the Father, by virtue of which Christ calls the Father his God. 2dly. That Christ freely, and of his own accord, entered into this covenant with the Father; since he compares himself to a servant, whose ears were bored or digged through, in order voluntarily to serve his beloved Lord. 3dly. That by virtue of this covenant, Christ presented himself to do the acceptable will of bis God. '4thly. That that will was expressed by a law, which Christ has within his bowels or heart, which he loves from his soul, and is to keep with all bis heart. 5thly. That that law requires, not only perfect righteousness, in order to obtain a right to eternal life, but also deserved punishment to be inflicted on the sinner. For all this was signified by the sacrifices, gifts, burnt-offerings, and sin-offerings, law. For when the sinner offered to God beasts which were given to himself for food, and was careful to have them consumed by fire, as it were in his own room, be thereby confessed that, on account of his sin, he deserved the most dreadful destruction, and even the eternal flames of hell., 6thly. That these external ceremonies of sacrifice could never, without a respect to the thing signified, please God, nor purge the conscience from dead works: therefore, Christ offered himself, in order to accomplish that will of God, by which we are sanctified, Heb. x. 10. both by fulfilling all the righteousness prescribed by the law, and by undergoing the guilt of our sins, that he might atone for them as an expiatory sacrifice. All these things are contained in the suretiship of Christ described by David.
IV. Christ could, without any injury, undertake such a suretiship; Ist. Because he was the lord of his own life, which, on account of his power over it, he could engage to lay down for others, John x. 18. I have power to lay it down." Adly. Because being God-man in one person, he was able to perform what he undertook, by enduring condign punishment, by fulfilling all righteousness, and in both, performing an obedience of such value as to be more than equi. valent to the obedience of all the elect. 3dly. Because by that means, he gave an instance of an extraordinary and incomprehensible degree of love, both to the glory of God and the salvation of men. 4thly. Nor has his human nature any reason to complain, because a creature could have no greater glory than to be hypostatically united with a divine person,
and be subservient to him for accomplishing the greatest work, which the whole choir of elect angels will with astonishment celebrate through eternity; especially seeing it was assured, that after its sufferings, which were indeed the greatest that could be, yet of a short duration, that which was made, a little lower than the angels, should obtain a name above every ,
V. It was also worthy of God the Father, both to procure and accept of this suretiship of his Son, because in the exe. cution of it, there is a manifestation of the truth of God, exactly fulfilling every thing he had promised in his law to hiş justice, and had threatened against sin ; and of the goodness. of God, reconciling to himself sinful and wretched man, on giving and admitting a proper Mediator; and of the justice of God, not clearing the guilty, without a sufficient satisfaction; nay, accepting a far more excellent satisfaction, than could ever be given by man himself, because of the more excellent obedience of Christ, and his more meritorious sufferings, Rom. iii. 25. and of the holiness of God, not admitting man unto a blessed communion with himself, unless justified by the blood, and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ; in fine, of the all-sufficiency of God, who, as what seemed almost a thing incredible, is, by this means, become, without any di- . minution to his perfections, the God and salvation of the sin. der. Hence it is, that the Lord Jesus, in the execution of his undertaking, professes, be manifested the name, that is, the perfections of God, John xvii. 6. particularly those we bave just now mentioned, Psal, 1x. 10. "I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart, I have declared thy FAITHFUL., NESS and thy salvATION: I have not concealed thy LOVING KINDNESS, and thy TRUTH, from the great congregation." As, then nothing can be thought more worthy of God, than the manifesting in the most illustrious manner, the glory of the divine perfections, and these perfections shine forth no where with greater lustre, than in the satisfaction of Christ, it was altogether worthy of God to procure and admit his undertaking such a satisfaction.
VI. Nor by the admission of such suretiship is there anyos abrogation of, or derogation to the divine law; as little any contradiction of, or substitution of another, but only a favour able construction put upon it, because the law, as it stood, but only taken in a favourable sense, was most fully satisfied
. by the Redeemer, who was in the closest union with us
, when be paid the due ransom. Whence the apostle said, Rom. viii. 4. the righteousness of the law was, fulfilled by Christ.- We shall not improperly conceive pf the whole, in,
the following manner: the law declares, there is no admission for any to eternal life, but on the account of a wost per: fect and complete righteousness; also, that every sioner shall undergo the penalty of death, and be under its dominion for ever. However, it is a doubtful matter, not explained by the law, whether that perfect righteousness' must necessarily be performed by the very persou to be saved, or, whether a surety may be admitted, who shall perform it in his room. Again, it is doubtful, whether it was necessary the singer should, in his own person, undergo the deserved punishment, or whether he could truly undergo it in the person of a spons sor. In fine, it is a matter of doubt, whether he who was to undergo the penalty, ought to do so to an infinite degree, with respect to daration, or whether, that dominion of death could be abolished by the sufficient dignity and worth of the person who should undergo it, and so death be swallowed up in vietory: strict justice would, as the words seem to import, at first view, demand the former ; but the favourable construction, which, according to Aristotle, Ethic lib. V. C. 10. is an amendment of the lato, where it is deficient, on accorint of its universality, admits of the latter, where it can be obtained'; as really was, and is the case with Christ and Christians. Thus therefore, that in which the law seemed to be defective from its universality, comes to be corrected; not as to the intention of God the lawgiver, which is alto gether invariable, and always most perfect; but as to the express form of the words : almost in the same manner; as if a father stiould be admitted to pay an equivalent fine for his son; and instead of silver, make payment in gold. This would be a favourable interpretation of the law.
VII. Nor was it unjust for Christ to be punished for us : steeing Socinus himself and Crellius' own, that the most grievous torments, nay, death itself, might be inflicted on Christ, though most innocent ; which also appears from the event. Por God; in right of his dominion, could lay all those afflictions og Christ'; especially with the effectual consent of the Lord' Jesus himself, who had power over his own life. The whole difficulty lies in the formality of the punishment. But as Christ, most willingly took upon himself our transgressions, and the trespasses we had conmitted against the divine majesty, and offered himself as a surety for them; God, as the supreme governor could justly exact punishment of Christ in our room, and actually did so. And thus the chastisement of our peace, that exemplary punishment inflicted on Christ, in which God by the brighdest example, shewed his implacable hatred to sin,
was upon him," Isa. liñ: 5. 'who