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the name of God? If Christ be 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 his sayings, before we could with sure confidence rely upon them? Is it not much better and more safe, to rely upon the path of the infallible God, by which he has abundantly confirmed to the beirs 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, which he confirmed by his martyrdom, assured us of the certainty of the promises of grace : seeing the other Prophets and Apostles of Cirist 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 his suretiship, if this does not?
II. Christ therefore is called our surety, because he engaged to God to make SATISFACTION FOR US. Which satisfaction again is not to be understood in the Socinia sense, as if it only consisted in this, that Christ inost perfectly fulfilled the will of God, and fully executed every thing God enjoined him, 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 inaking the greatest concessions, would fain put us off with these fair words: but it consists 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, fulfilling all the righteousness of the law, which the law otherwise required of us, in order to impunity, and to our having a right to eternal life. If Christ did this, as we are immediately to shew he did, nothing hinders why we may not affirm, he satisfied for us in the fullest sense of the word. For to what purpose is it superciliously to reject a term so commodious, because not to be met with on this subject in Scripture, if we can prove the thing signified by it?
III. We find his engaging to make this satisfaction, Psa. xl. 6. 7. 8. expressed in these words by Christ : “ Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened : burnt-offering and sin-offering thou hast not required. Cc 2.
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Then said I, 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, ist, 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 his 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 his 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 of the law. For when the sinner offered to God beasts or corn, which were given to himself for food, and was careful to have them consumed by fire, as it were in his own room, he 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 sacrifices 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. 2dly, 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 equivalent 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 complåin, 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 name,
V. It was also worthy of God the Father, both to procure and accept of this suretiship of his Son; because in the execution of it, there is a manifestation of the truth of God, exactly fulfilling every thing he had promised in his law to his justice, and had threatened against sin ; and of the goodness of God, reconciling to himself sinful and wretched man, on giving and adinitting a proper mediator; and of the juştire 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 fire, of the all-sufficiency of God, who, as what seemed almost a thing incredible, is, by this means, become without any diminution to his perfections, the God and salvation of the sinner. Hence it is, that the Lord Jesus, in the execution of his undertaking, professes, he manifested the name, that is, the perfections, of God, John xvii. 6. particularly those we have just now mentioned. Psa. lx. 10. “ I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart, I have declared thy FAITHFULNESS 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 any 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 he 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 of the whole, in
the following manner : the law declares, there is no admission for any to eternal life, but on the account of a most perfect and compleat righteousness; also, that every sinner 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 person 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 sinner should, in his own person, undergo the deserved punishment, or whether he could truly undergo it in the person of a sponsor. 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 duration, 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 victory : 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 law, where it is deficient, on account 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 altogether invariable, and always most perfect; but as to the express form of the words : almost in the same manner, as if a father should 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 : seeing 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. For God, in right of his dominion, could lay all those afflictions on 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 committed 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 brightest example, shewed his implacable hatred to sin, “ was upon him." Isa. liii. 5) who
standard of mine the equite 100 much upon
brought pardon and peace unto us. For abiri was upon him; here is that exemplary punishment, in which God's wrath against sin is discovered, which is well adapted to deter others from it. Thus Jer. xxx. 14. the punishment of a cruel 'one, and Prov. vii. 22. the exemplary punishment of a fool, and Ez. V. 15. so shall it be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction (example) and an astonishment.
VIII. But we certainly take too much upon us, when we presume to examine the equity of the divine government, by the standard of our reason : when the fact is plain, we are always to vindicate God against the sophistry of our foolish reasonings. That man is certainly the author of a monstrous, horrible, and detestable heresy, and discovers a profane arrogance, who like Socinus, is not ashamed to write as follows:
As for my part, indeed, though such a thing should be found not once, but frequently, in the sacred records, I would not on that account believe it to be so. But modesty should teach us rather to say ; ' That truly for my part, though my rea
son, which I know is blind and foolish, and apt to be clam• orous against God, should a thousand times gain-say it, I • would not therefore presume to call in question, what I
find but once in the sacred records ; or, by seeking some other
interpretation, would I force on the words of scripture, any * meaning more consonant to my reason. When therefore we shall have proved from holy writ, that the Lord Christ has made satisfaction to the justice of God, and consequently, that there is no injustice in it: according to the maxim, which nature itself dictates, that all the ways of God are righteousness ând truth.
IX. No Christian questions that Christ fulfilled all righteousness. The multitude of the Jews, Mark vii. 37. testified concerning him, he hath done all things well. And he declared this truly, as he did everything else, concerning him. self “ for, I do those things that please him," John viii. 29. And hence he boldly appealed to his enemies, v. 46.“ which of you convinceth me of sin?” Nay, even to his father himself, Psal. xcix. 5. “ O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from thee:" For I suppose this Psalm contains a prayer of the Lord Christ, as appears from several parts of it, being often quoted in the New Testament. And these words, I think, contain a protestation of the Lord Jesus to his father of his own innocence ; of which Theodorus in Ca. tena, has given no improper paraphrase: “ Whether I have been guilty of any fault against them, thou thyself knowest and art my witness, I have done nothing." But I think the