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timents are made public to detect and confute error; these are to level and destroy systems established by men. Poor deluded man! If ever Mr. Skinner or any soul living enters the kingdom of God by such a doctrine as this, God's faithfulness and truth must fail for evermore.
When God created Adam he impressed his soul with his own image, which was accompanied with a demand of perfect obedience; and in case of failure in the latter, the former was forfeited, being rather lent than given. Man sinned, the image left him, and he died. God holds his to command, though man cannot obey; he insists upon receiving his own with usury whenever he comes; he will demand his own image on the soul, and a perfect obedience to his law. Hence he commands the free-thinker to make him a new heart and a new spirit, such as that in which God's image consisted, and to do that which is lawful and right, which is obedience to the law, which our author says, every man may do if he will; and if God cannot be unjust in demanding it, he that becomes surety for the elect must obey the law perfectly, satisfy justice fully, clear truth honourably, and discharge the debtor eternally, to the infinite satisfaction both of law and justice, and present the debtor before God created anew and renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him at first, Col. iii. 10; which is the new man, that after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. In this image, and in a
perfect obedience to the law, must every soul appear that enters heaven; the righteousness of the law must be fulfilled in them, and they be led to walk in the Spirit to heaven, if ever they enter there. Without this divine image and perfect obedience not a soul living shall ever escape the damnation of hell; but Christ has magnified the law, and paid a full ransom for his own sheep; the second Adam will present them in his own image; he will restore that which he took not away, and by his knowledge shall he justify many; which is all couched in this text, “He is made of God unto us wisdom,” as Adam had before he sinned;
righteousness” which Adam stood in before he fell; “sanctification,” or holiness, in which Adam's image chiefly consisted; "and redemption” from that death which reigned from Adam to Moses through his disobedience,
Could all the human race have produced one righteous man, could they have brought forth one person that could make a new heart, a new spirit, and obey the law as Mr. Skinner can do, even then he dared not strike hands and become surety to God for another; he could only deliver his own soul by his righteousness, or enter into life by the new creation of himself; he could deliver neither son nor daughter, friend nor brother; no man can redeem his brother, nor pay a ransom to God for him. God appointed the surety, and set him up from everlasting, and prepared a bady for him. Man had no hand in this work; God formed this
Jacob to bring the preserved of Israel, and to be for salvation to the ends of the earth: He made him strong for himself, Psal. lxxx. 17. God sent him into the world to do his will; and according to his determinate counsel and foreknowledge he was delivered, and by wicked hands he was crucified and slain; neither free-thinkers nor heirs of promise had any hand in providing this surety, in upholding him in his work, or in treading the wine-press. Many have talked and still do talk of co-workmanship and co-partnership, or of doing their part, but that is nothing but noise: “I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me. I looked and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold,” seeing so many had talked of it; “ therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me.” If God the creditor put a surety in with the chosen debtor, as Job desires, which no creditor by law is bound to do, then the surety is the creditor's gift; I will keep thee and give thee for a covenant of the people, Isa. xlii. 6. There is but little difference between a creditor's giving me a surety out of his own bosom to pay my debt, and forgiving me the debt; I neither procured the surety nor paid the debt, therefore am frankly forgiven. God has declared he will haye life for life, and blood for blood; if so, I cannot be cleared without the shedding of blood, as God must be true to his word.
In short the language of the Lawgiver is, obey
“I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people,” Jer. vii. 22, 23; this is the command: the threatening is this, “ The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Jesus became surety of the better testament; he magnified the law, and died the just for the unjust. He died a temporal death, the soul was separated from the body; he died a legal death, he was made a curse for us; he died a spiritual death, his Father departed from him; and what would this author have more? Is not this a proper payment? Is not this a full satisfaction for God's elect? If the author of free thoughts says nay, then let him shew me what law and justice demanded more; he replies, “The stings of a guilty conscience, and the horrors of despair.' I answer, he never died for one soul that ever was or will be damned; they cannot be ransomed from the pit that go into it, they cannot be redeemed from death that die eternally, Christ bore the sins of men, he endured the curse of the law, the wrath of God, and was tormented with the
powers of darkness; as to the stings of a guilty conscience, they could not lay hold of one that was holy, harmless, and undefiled, who had never sinned; nor had he any more room for reflection that recoils with guilt than I should have if I undertook to pay another's debt; I might reflect
upon myself for such an undertaking, but could never blame myself for imprudence in contracting the debt; my undertaking is an act of benevolence, not of imprudent wrong; I serve two persons, the creditor and the debtor, but wrong none except myself; nor did the Saviour, he became surety and smarted for it.
This author seems to intimate, nay he affirms, it is inferred that Christ did not pay the proper “debt for any man.' Then I say, prison doors can never be opened, deliverance to captives cannot be preached, nor the acceptable year of the Lord be proclaimed; for God must appear just to his law before he can be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. By this mode of free-thinking this author might infer, that my paying twenty pounds as a surety for another who owes that sum, is not sufficient to procure a gaoldelivery for my friend, unless I remain in a gaol myself. Christ paid the proper debt, and gave a full satisfaction, without either going into hell or rotting in the grave; his soul was made an offering to God for sin: “When Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” His body descended into the prison of the grave, but did not consume there; God suffered not his Holy One to see corruption. God raised him from the grave, and highly exalted him, as a proof that the work was finished, and God was glorified.
The main drift of this author is, to lessen the