« PreviousContinue »
enmity mentioned, so making peace.
Now what is the enmity intended ? Not the enmity that is in our hearts to God, but the legal enmity that lay against us, on the part of God; as is evident from ver. 15. and the whole design of the place, as afterward will appear more fully.
There is indeed, 2 Cor, v. 18—20. mention made of reconciliation in both the senses insisted on; of us to God; ver. 20. where the apostle saith, the end of the ministry is to reconcile us to God; to prevail with us to lay down our enmity against him, and opposition to him; of God to us, ver. 19. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to him-. self;' which to be the import of the words is evinced from the exegetical expression immediately following; 'not imputing to them their sins and transgressions ;' God was so reconciling the world unto himself in Christ, as that upon the account of what was done in Christ, he will not impute their sins; the legal enmity he had against them, on the account whereof alone men's sins are imputed to them, being taken away. And this is farther cleared by the sum of his former discourse, which the apostle gives us, ver, 21. declaring how ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself;' For,' saith he, he made him sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' Thus he was in Christ reconciling the world to himself; in that he made him to be sin, or a sacrifice for sin, so to make an atonement for us, that we might be accepted before God, as righteous on the account of Christ.
Much less doth that of the 1 Pet. iii. 18. in the last place mentioned, speak at all to Mr. B.'s purpose: Christ hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.' Bringing to God,' is a general expression of the accomplishment of the whole work of our salvation, both in the removal of all hinderances, and the collation of all things necessary to the fulfilling of the work: of this the apostle mentions the great fundamental and procuring cause, which is the suffering of Christ in our stead, the just for the unjust; Christ in our stead suffered for our sins, that he might bring us to God. Now this suffering of Christ in our stead, for our sins, is most eminently the cause of the reconciliation of God to us; and by the intimation
thereof, of our reconciliation to God, and so of our manuduction to him.
Thus, though it be most true, that Christ died to reconcile us to God, by our conversion to him, yet all the places cited by Mr. Biddle to prove it (so unhappy is he in his quotations), speak to the defence of that truth, which he doth oppose, and not of that which he would assert; and which by asserting in opposition to the truth, with which it hath an eminent consistency, he doth corrupt.
The next question I shall not insist upon; it is concerning the object of the death of Christ, and the universality thereof; the words of it are, For whom did Christ die?' The answer is from 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. 1 Tim. v. 6. Heb. ii. 9. John vi. 8. where mention is made of all,' and the world'in reference to the death of Christ. The question concerning the object of the death of Christ, or whom he died for, hath of late by very many been fully discussed; and I have myself spoken Celsewhere somewhat to that purpose; it shall not then here be insisted on; in a word, we confess that Christ died for all, and for the world; but whereas it is very seldom that these words are comprehensive of all and every man in the world, but most frequently are used for some of all sorts, they for whom Christ died, being in some places expounded to be the church, believers, the children, those given unto him out of the world;' and nowhere described by any term expressive constantly of an absolute universality: we say the words insisted on are to be taken in the latter sense, and not the former; being ready, God assisting, to put it to the issue and trial with our adversaries, when we are called thereunto.
He proceeds: 'What was the procuring cause of Christ's death?
• A. Rom. iv, 25. Isa. liii. 5. 1 Cor. xv. 3.' The expressions are ; that Christ was delivered for our offences,' that • Christ died for our sins, and was bruised for our iniquities.'
That in these and the like places, that clause for our sins, offences, and transgressions, is expressive of the pro, curing cause of the death of Christ, Mr. B. grants; sin can be no otherwise the procuring cause of the death of Christ,
· Salus Electorum sanguis Jesu.
but as it is morally meritorious thereof. To say 'our sins were the procuring cause of the death of Christ,' is to say, that our sins merited the death of Christ; and whereas this can no otherwise be, but as our sins were imputed to him, and he was put to death for them, Mr. B. hath in this one question granted the whole of what in this subject he contends against. If our sins were the procuring cause of the death of Christ, then the death of Christ was that punishment which was due to them : or in the justice, or according to the tenor of the law of God, was procured by them; and so consequently, he in his death underwent the penalty of our sins, suffering in our stead, and making thereby satisfaction for what we had done amiss. Mr. Biddle's masters say generally that the expression of, 'dying for our sins,' denotes the final cause of the death of Christ; that is, Christ intended by his death to confirm the truth, in obedience whereunto we shall receive forgiveness of sin; this grant of Mr. B.'s, that the procuring cause of the death of Christ is hereby expressed, will perhaps appear more prejudicial to his whole cause, than he is yet aware of; especially being proposed in distinction from the final cause, or end of the death of Christ, which in the next place he mentions, as afterward will more fully appear; although I confess he is not alone, Crelliusd making the same concession.
The last question of this chapter is, 'What are the ends of Christ's suffering and death intimated by the Scripture ?' Whereunto by way of answer, sundry texts of Scripture are subjoined ; every one of them expressing some one end or other, some effect or fruit, something of the aim and intendment of Christ in his suffering and death ; whereunto exceeding many others might be annexed. But this business of the death of Christ, its causes, ends, and influence into the work of our salvation, the manifestation that therein he underwent the punishment due to our sins, making atonement, and giving satisfaction for them, redeeming us properly by the price of his blood, &c. being of so great weight and importance as it is, lying at the very bottom and foundation of all our hope and confidence, I shall, leaving Mr. Biddle, handle the whole matter at large in the ensuing chapters. d Crellius de Causis Mortis Christi. p. 13.
For our more clear and distinct procedure in this important head of the religion of Jesus Christ, I shall first lay down the most eminent considerations of the death of Christ, as proposed in the Scripture; and then give an account of the most special effects of it in particular, answering to those considerations of it; in all manifesting wherein the expiation of our sins by his blood doth consist.
The principal considerations of the death of Christ, are of it, 1. as a price; 2. as a sacrifice ; 3. as a penalty. Of which in the order wherein they are mentioned.
The several considerations of the death of Christ, as to the expiation of our
sins thereby, and the satisfaction made therein: First, of it as a price.
Secondly, as a sacrifice. 1. The death of Christ in this business is a price : and that properly so called; 1 Cor. vi. 20. nyopáo Inte riuñs, you were bought with a price;' and if we will know what that price was, with which we are bought, the Holy Ghost informs us, 1 Pet. i. 17, 18. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.' It is the blood of Christ, which in this business hath that use which silver and gold have in the redeeming of captives; and paid it is into the hand of him, by whose power and authority the captive is detained, as shall be proved; and himself tells us what a kind of price it is, that is so paid; it is Xurpov, Matt. xx. 28. He came to lay down his life, λύτρον αντί πολλών; which for its more evidence and clearness, is called, àvtidurpov, 1 Tim. ii. 6. 'a price of redemption,' for the delivery of another.
The first mention of a ransom in the Scripture is in Exod. xxi. 30. 'If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life, whatever is laid on him.' The word in the original is ?V7D, which the Septuagint there render τρα: δώσει λύτρα της ψυχής αυτού; and it is used again in
ame sense, Psal. xlix. 9. and in both places intends a
le price, to be paid for the deliverance of that, which ruilt became obnoxious to death. It is true, the word n 170 redimere, vindicare, asserere in libertatem,' by any ways and means, by power, strength, or otherwise. But wherever it is applied to such a kind of redemption, as had a price going along with it, the Septuagint constantly render it by απολυτρούν, and sometimes λυτρώσασθαι, otherwise by púoual, and the like.
It is then confessed, that 1770 in the Old Testament, is sometimes taken for redemit in a metaphorical sense, not strictly and literally, by the intervention of a price; but that durpugao Jal, the word whereby it is rendered, when a price intervened, is ever so taken in the New Testament, is denied Indeed Moses is called Auspuris, Acts i. 35. in reference to the metaphorical redemption of Israel out of Egypt: a deliverance by power and strong arm; but shall we say because that word is used improperly in one place, where no price could be paid, where God plainly says, it was not done by a price, but by power, therefore it must be so used in those places, where there is express mention of a price, both the matter of it, and its formality as a price, and speaketh not a word of doing it any other way, but by the payment of a price. But of this afterward.
There is mention of a ransom in ten places of the Old Testament; to ransom, and ransomed, in two or three more. In two of these places, Exod. xxi. 30. and Psal. xlix. 9. the word is pvz from 1779 as before, and rendered by the Septuagint Mútpov, in all other places it is in the Hebrew -3, which properly signifies a propitiation, as Psal. xlix. 8. which the LXX have variously rendered. Twice it is mentioned in Job, chap. xxxiii. 24. and xxxvi. 18. In the first place, they have left it quite out, and in the latter so corrupted the sense, that they have rendered it altogether unintelligible. Prov. vi. 35. and xiii. 8. they have properly rendered it dúTpov, or a price of redemption, it being in both places used in such business, as a ransom useth to be accepted in. Chap. xxi. 18. they have properly rendered it to the subject matter, περικάθαρμα περικαθάρματα, are things publicly devoted to destruction, as it were to turn away anger from others, coming upon them for their sakes.
So is kápapua, Homo piacularis pro lustratione et expiatione patriæ devotus;' whence the word is often used as scelus in Latin, for a wicked' man, a man fit to be destroyed and taken away. Γρύζειν δε και τολμάτoν ώ καθάρματε, says