« EdellinenJatka »
of sin, and the way to eternal life; md at the last day it shall be altogether abolished. And if you go on to argue in this manner, I shall easily make it appear from your own hypothesis, that even that very anguish of Christ when he complained of his being forsaken of God, was not satisfactory for us; for believers themselves often complain of spiritual desertion: " But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me," Isa. xlix. 14. Where we have the very same word, which the Lord Jesus uses, Psal. xxi. 2. And Zion says so truly, with respect to the sense of grace, and the influence of spiritual consolation. The difference between the desertion whereby Christ was forsaken of his father and that of believers, consists in this, that in the former, there was the wrath and curse of God, and the format nature of punishment, which are not in the latter ; peither are these in their death. . XLVI. What is objected to our argument, taken from the begonies of Christ in Gethsemane, is very inconsistent. They say that these sufferings were not satisfactory, because then an angel appeared to comfort him; whereas a good angel would not have done this without a most grievous sin against God, if Christ was then actually making satisfaction; especially as he was to tread this wine-press alone, and it was foretold, that while making satisfaction, he should be deprived of all consolation, Psal. Ixix. 20. “ there is none to take pity, comforters I found none;" for 1st. That angel did not tread the wine-press together with the Lord Jesus, nor bear any part of his sufferings, nor by any natural influence did he assist Christ in carrying that burden. He strengthened Christ only in a moral sense, by setting before him the glorious issue of the contrict he had undertaken, and by other arguments to the like purpose. 2dly. There is no reason why some small share of comfort should not be administered to Christ while in the act of making satisfaction ; especially if with a view to preserve him for more, and not fewer sufferings. The words of Psal. Ixix, are not to be taken in such a general sense as to exclude all manner of consolation and pity; for, « a great company of people and of women bewailed him," Luke xxin. 27. as did also “ all the people that came together to that sight, and smote upon their breasts," v. 48. and the beloved disciple John, and above all his pious mother, “ whose soul then a sword pierced,” Luke i. 35. Nor is there any thing in the words of the Psalm which obliges us to confine these things to the three hours of darkness. It treats of that time in which “ they gave him gall for his meat, and in his thirst gave him vinegar to drink,” ver. 21. which was
not done during the darkness. Sdly. It cannot be inferred that God the Father, in sending that angel had not then er ther begun to act, or that time ceased to act; as a strict and impartial judge; any more than it can be inferred, that the disposition of Christ's enemies was softened to pity, when they laid the cross on Simon of Cyrene, in order to carry it after him. For both were done with a view, lest Christ sinking under his present pains, should escape those that were to ensue. 4thly. We shall by this be better able to form a judgment of the incredible load of anguish with which that mighty lion of the tribe of Judah was so pressed down, that he appeared almost ready to sink under it, unless he was, in some wander at least, encouraged. 5thly. Nor on any pretence can that angel be accused of any sin in streng Christ while satisfying for us; since by that consolation, he neither intended to rob Christ of his glory, to whom alone the praise of satisfying remains entire; nor to oppose the decree of God; for he animated Christ to exécute that with resolution ; nor to put any bar in the way of our salvation, for be encouraged our Lord to acquire the right to that by constancy in his sufferings.
XLVÍI. To pretend to infer from the beginning and end of the solar eclipse, during the passion of Christ, the beginning and end of his satisfaction, is a cabalistical fancy, founded neither on scripture nor solid reason. I do not deny, that in that darkness there was a kind of type of the very thick darkness with which the greatly distressed soul of the Lord Jesus was then overwhelmed, without a single ray of consolation breaking in upon him, but what his unshaken faith, grounded on the inviolable promises of his Father, and pot staggering as to the certainty of the future reward, darted in at times upon his trembling soul. But the question is not, whether Christ was then actually satisfying? This we all allow: the question is, whether then only?
XLVIJI. But let us pow conclude this debate; which has so much disquieted the mind of this very learned person, as his friends wanted the world should know from letters published after his death. But God and my conscience are my witnesses, that nothing but the love of truth, which is only to be derived from, and defended by the scriptures, obliged me to enter upon this subject. I know not in what I can be blamed, unless in the liberty I bave taken to dissent from the author. But if, by taking a wrong path, I have strayed from the truth, how acceptable will the kind admonition be! How readily shall I own and correct the error! I heartily wish we could
generally endeavour to please ourselves less, in order to please God more. I ever had a veneration for this learned
person, though after our dispute I found he was much disgusted. But I thought this should be no hindrance to my profiting by bis learned commentaries, which I own I did, with a just commendation of the author, as my other writings abundantly testify."
Of the Efficacy of Christ's Satisfaction. I. Tur efficacy of Christ's satisfaction is twofold: the first regards Christ himself; the other, the elect. Christ by his satisfaction, obtained for himself, as Mediator, a right to all the elect: which the Father willingly and deservedly bestows upon bim, Psal. ii. 8. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." This is Christ's work with his God, that he should not only be his servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel ; but that he should be given for a light to the Gentiles, that he might be God's salvation unto the
end of the earth, Isa. xlix. 4, 6. It diye appears also from that promise, Isa. liii. 10. “ if his soul shall make itself an offering for sin, he shall see his seed.” And
thus we become his " inheritance,”. Eph. i. 11. his“ peculiar treasure," Psal. cxxxv. 4. his “ peculiar people," Tit. ii. 14. and 1 Pet. ï. 9.
II. Besides, it is not possible but Christ should exercise that right which he acquired at so dear a rate. For when, according to the determinate counsel of God, the time of the gracious visitation of every one of the elect is come, he actually delivers them, as his property, by an outstretched arm.' And why should he not, seeing he can easily effect it by the power of his Spirit, turning and inclining their heart? Is it credible he should suffer those who are his lawful right, to be, and to remain the slaves of Satan? Is it worthy of Christ that he should not be actually glorified in the anctification and happiness of those for whom he underwent so much infamy? Or should suffer any of those to perish whom he purchased for his own possession by his precious blood ? Christ himself hath taught us thus to reason, John x. 16. “ And other sheep I
• I have rendered this efficacy, rather than effect, as that expresses all the effects of Christ's satisfaction, treated of in this chapter.
have, which are not of this fold ; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice." Because these sheep were of right his property, it therefore became him actually to lay hold of them as his own, and bring them into his fold. Nor can the right of Christ be made ineffectual, or remain without actual possession ; especially as he was not promised by the Father & bare right, but also a possession by right, upon his making satisfaction; as the places above quoted evince.
III. The Lord Jesus obtained for the elect, by his satisfac tion, an immunity from all misery, and a right to eternal life, to be applied unto them in effectual calling, regeneration, sanctification, conservation, and glorification, as the scripture declares. Thus Matt. xxvi. 28 “ this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Gal. i. 4. “ he gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Tit. ii. 14. "
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Eph. v. 25, 26, 27. “'Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it, that he might present it to himself a glorious," &c. In a word,“ this is that faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” 1 Tim. i. 15. By these and many other passages to the same purpose, which it would be needless to mention here, it evidently appears, that the effect of Christ's satisfaction was not a bare possibility of the remission of our sins, and of our reconciliation with God, but an actual remission and reconciliation, an abolition of the dominion of sin, and at length salva tion itself: and it is not possible the elect should have no share in this, unless Christ should be deemed to have satisfied for them to no purpose. It is certainly incumbert on us, never to weaken the force of the words of the Holy Ghost, especially in those places and expressions of scripture, where the subject of our salvation is treated of; nor to detract in any thing, from the value of the satisfaction of our Lord.
IV. This truth also appears from those places of scripture, in which the satisfaction of Christ is called a rolüngadis a redemption, made by the payment of Aurgu a ransom, or artidurger a price of redemption." for, the proximate effect of redemption, and of the payment of a ransom, is the setting the cap tive at liberty, and not a bare possibility of liberty. It is neither customary, nor equitable, that after paying the price, it should still remain uncertain, whether the captive is to be set free or not. A true redeemer procures the restitution
of liberty to the miserable captive, wherever good faith and an agreement are of force. One may possibly be upon terms about the price, though uncertain of the event, but it is neither prudent nor just, to make any payment, before what is stipulated be made sure and form. The scripture itself declares, that the proximate effect of redemption is the ectual remission of sins, and restoration to liberty, Rom. i. 24. "justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Eph. i. 7." In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
;" and Col. i. 14. to the same purpose: in like manner, Heb. ix. 12. “ by his own islood obtained eternal redemption for us;" the fruit or effect, which is eternal liberty and salvation.
V.. Of the like nature are those phrases, by which the elect are said to be " bought with a price, purchased with blood, redeemed by Christ's subjection to the law:" as 1 Cor. vi. 20. “ ye are bought with a price.” Acts xx. 28. “ to feed the
á church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Gal. iv. 4, 5. “made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." But whoever makes a purchase of any thing has an unquestionable right to it, and it not only may, but actually does become his property, in virtue of his purchase, upon paying down the price. And herein consists our liberty and salvation, that we are no longer our own, nor the property of sin, nor of Satan, but the property of Christ. Whence it appears, that the effect of Christ's satisfaction is not a bare possibility of our salvation, but salvation itself. VI. A right to all the benefits of the covenant of grace
is purchased at once to all the elect by the death of Christ, so fax as, that consistently with the truth and justice of God, and with the covenant he entered into with his Son, he can not condemn any of the elect, or exclude them from partaking in his salvation; nay, on the contrary, he has declared, that satisfaction being now made by his Son, and accepted by himself, there is nothing for the elect either to suffer or do, in order to acquire either impunity, or a right to life; but only, that each of them, in their appointed order and time, enjoy the right purchased for them by Christ, and the inheritance arising from it. And this is what the apostle says, 2 Cor. v. 19. “ God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.". That is, seeing God accepted of the offering of his Son, when he gave himself up
to death for his people, he received, at the same time into favour, not only the preserved of Israel, but all nations, and all families of the carth, which, in other respects, lay in wickedness,