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The SUBSTANCE and SCOPE of both TESTAMENTS OR The Distinguishing Glory of the Gospel.

A SERMON ON The DISPLAYS of Divine JUSTICE, IN The Propitiatory SACRIFICE of CHRIST: Representing the Nature, Necessity, and Sufficiency, of his SATISFACTION, the IMPUTATION of his RIGHTEOUSNESS, in consequence of it, together with an Answer to the most impor­tant Objections.

Preach'd at PHILADELPHIA, in April 1749.

By GILBERT TENNENT, A. M.

1. COR. iii. 11.

For other Foundation can no Man lay, then that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1. COR. i. 21.23.24.

For after that, in the Wisdom of God, the World by Wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the Foolish­ness of preaching to save them that believe. We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling Block, and unto the Greeks Foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.

PHILADELPHIA: Printed and Sold, by WILLIAM BRADFORD in Second-Street, 1749.

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ROMANS, iii. 25, 26.

Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation, through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:

To declare, I say, of this Time his Righteousness: That he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

THE unsearchable Wisdom and unparrallel'd Love of God, are not only conspicuous in the Method of our Redemption by the Lord JESUS CHRIST, but the Glory of His Justice and Righteousness is herein likewise very apparent, as the Verses I have read inform us; in which we have these three Things, viz. Two important Benefits mentioned, Propitia­tion for, and Remission▪ Sin 2. The Causes hereof assigned both meritorious and instrumental, the Blood of Christ and Faith. 3. The Design of God herein declared, viz. The manifestation of his Justice and Righteousness,

THE first Benefit mentioned in our Text, is Propitiation or Attone­ment, whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation. It is Christ that the Apostle here Speaks of, as appears from the preceeding Verse, him the Father hath purpos'd and engaged in his Councils and Covenant from Eternity to be a PROPITIATION, and hath actually exhibited him as such in Time, not only by the Shadows of the Law and Prophesies of the Prophets, but also by the open preach­ing of the Gospel after his Advent. To be a Propitiation, ilaste­rion, either from ilascomai, to expiate Sin or shew Mercy; or from ilasco placo, to asswage, quiet, pacify, atone, reconcile, There is in the Words a Metalepsis of the Effect for the Efficient; Christ is call'd a Propitiation because he purchased it, instead of propitiator, reconciler, pacifyer, &c. The Word ilasterion, is the Title of the Mercy Seat; this is ascrib'd to Christ, because in many Things he resembles it; it was indeed an eminent Type of him: The Mercy Seat cover'd the Tables of the Law which were broke by us, to signify that by Christ pardon is procur'd for us; [Page 4] by the sprinkling of the Blood of the Sacrifice upon it, God was rendered propitious or favourable, and exhibited himself there upon a Throne of Grace, so it is in Christ alone that God is re­conciled to Sinners, and thro' him we have access to the Father: He interposes between divine Justice and our Guilt, and purchases the Kindness of God for us. God was peculiarly present in a Cloud on the Mercy Seat, and gave gracious Answers thence to his People from between the Cherubims, (Levit. xvi. 2. Num. vii. 83.) Thus it is only in Christ that we can expect God's special Pre­sence and a merciful Answer to our Requests.

The 2d Benefit mentioned in our Text, which is indeed but a consequent of the former, is the Remission of Sins, i. e. The cancelling of their Guilt, or our Obligation thro' them to Punish­ment. Now this is obtained by the Propitiation or Atonement of Christ. This Remission the Apostle observes, extends to Sins that are past, i. e. Not only to Sins committed after Christ's coming, but to Sins committed before it, even from the Foundation of the World: He only mentions the Sins that are past, because that seem'd incredible that the Effect of Remission should exist before its Cause, and likewise that he might represent the great Value and Efficacy of the Death and Satisfaction of Christ; which not only extended forwards to the Time to come after it, which is easy to conceive, but also to the Time past before it. It was a difficult and momentuous Question, What became of the Fathers who dyed before Christ's coming? Now the Apostle tells us, that they were forgiven, and God's forbearance exercised towards them, the Times of Ignorance God winked at. We must consider the Death of Christ, not as a natural but a moral Cause; it's not strictly or properly as a Medicine that heals, but as a Ransom that frees a Captive. Natural Causes operate nothing before their actual Existence, but Moral Causes do. Its sufficient that they shall be, and that the Person with whom they are effectual, accept the Promise. A Captive is released upon assurance given that he will send his Ransom, tho' it is not actually paid: Thus the Death of Christ was available to purchase pardon for Believers before his coming; for he interposed as their Surety, and God, to whom all Things are present, knew and saw the accomplishment of it in the Time promised; and hence he is called the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the World, not only in respect of God's Purpose concerning the certainty of his Death, but likewise in re­gard of the Efficacy of it. The Salvation we derive from him was ever in him. It is true, under the Old Testament they had not so clear Knowledge of him, yet notwithstanding they enjoyed the Benefit of his Sufferings: For the Medium by which his Benefits are conveyed, is not an exact Knowledge of what he did and suf­fered, but sincere Faith in the Promise of God. Now the divine Revelation being the Rule and Measure of our Faith, such a De­gree was sufficient to Salvation, as answered the general Discovery of Grace: Believers then depended upon God's Goodness to par­don [Page 5] them in a way honourable to his Justice: By their Ceremonies and Sacrifices they were taught the reality and greatness of their Disease and Danger, and the necessity and sufficiency of a Remedy without themselves, even in the Mesiah: And from hence, together with the Prophesies of the Prophets respecting him, they were in­duced to believe that he would certainly come in due Time and bring Salvation with him: Thus Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's Day, and Moses valued the Afflictions of Christ more than the Trea­sures of Egypt. From what has been said it appears, that the Jewish and Christian Church is one essentially; they differ but as the Morning and Evening Star, which is the same, but is diversly called from its Appearance before the Sun rising and after its setting. Our Faith respects a Saviour that has already come, theirs respect him as yet to come.

NOW the meritorious Cause of the Benefits of Propitiation and Remission, is the Blood of Christ, i. e. by a Synedoche the whole Sacrifice of Christ, which began in the obedience of his Humilia­tion, and was consumated in his Death

BUT the instrumental Cause of the Application of the aforesaid Benefits to us, and our Investiture in them is Faith, such a cordial Complacence in, and entire Dependance on the Method of Salvation by the Death of Christ, as habitually attracts the Mind and Life, to the Love of Truth, and Practice of Good, both moral and evan­gelical, whom GOD hath set forth to be a Propitiation thro' Faith in his Blood; and indeed the Wisdom of the divine Con­stitution is herein apparent, that an actual Interest in the Benefits of CHRIST'S Death, is communicated in a way intirely consistent with the Purity of GOD'S Nature and Honour of his Government. Sinners must first humble themselves before GOD for their Offen­ces, and accept the Mediator before they are forgiven. But the

3d. PARTICULAR in our Text, is the Design of GOD in our Redemption by JESUS CHRIST, and that is the Manifestation of his Justice and Righteousness: Whom God hath set forth to be a Propi­tiation thro' Faith in his Blood to declare his Righteousness. To declare I say at this Time his Righteousness, that he might be just; and the Justifier of him that believes in JESUS. This Point is repeated with earnestness by the Apostle, not only to signify its great Importance, and inexpressible Mo­ment, but likewise to make the deeper Impression by it upon our Minds. The Justice of GOD is that Perfection of his Na­ture, whereby he is inclined to render every one his Due: That at­tribute whereby he is disposed to hate Sin, and punish Sinners ac­cording to their Demerit; now of this the blessed GOD has given a glorious but awful Demonstration, in the Sufferings of CHRIST; by condemning and punishing Sin, in the Person of his only be­gotten and dearly beloved Son; hereby the Almighty shews before the whole World, the Inflexibleness and Severity of his Justice, and that he will not suffer Sin to pass unpunished.

FROM the Words of our Text thus explain'd, I would observe [Page 6] the following Proposition, viz. That the Justice of GOD is glo­riously manifest, or declared in the Redemption of Man, by the Death of JESUS CHRIST: Altho' GOD spared guilty Man for the Ho­nour of his Mercy, yet he spared not his own Son, when he be came the Sinner's Surety, for the Honour of his Justice.

IN speaking upon this Proposition I would,

I. OPEN the Nature of GOD's Justice. And,

II. SHEW how it is gloriously manifest in the Redemption of Man by the Death of Jesus Christ, and then proceed to the Im­provement.

NOW the Justice of GOD, is that eternal Rectitude of the divine Nature, whereby he orders and disposes all Things, according to the Rules that his infinite Wisdom has prescribed; and governs all Mankind with the utmost Exactness and Impartiality in Relation to the Distribution of Rewards and Punishments; to illustrate this we should observe, that there is an intrinsick RECTITUDE and ODDI­QUITY in Things, and that the Reasons and Relations of moral Good and Evil, do not depend upon any uncertain and arbitrary Principle; but are fixed and immutable, indispensable, and eter­nal▪ pursuant to this, that Truth, Goodness, and Justice are essen­tial and necessary Properties, in the divine Nature; antecedent to any Consideration of the divine Will; and what he can no more alter or unsettle, than he can deny himself or cease to be; that as he is the Maker and Governor of the World, he has an undoubt­ed Authority to make Laws, and enforce them with proper Sanc­tions; that when Laws are thus enacted, he setts Bounds in some Measure to his own Authority; for Justice requires that he should not prescribe what is above Man's Strength, or if he does, that he should give supernatural Power to obey it; that upon Obedience he cannot without Prejudice to his Justice, deny the promis'd Re­ward, or, upon Disobedience, finally forbear to inflict the threatned Punishment: And from hence it follows, that GOD is necessarily obliged, both by his Nature and Covenant, to act with the strictest Justice and Impartiality, in all his Proceedings with Man: But I proceed to the

II. Propos'd, Which was to shew how divine Justice is gloriously manifest, in the Redemption of Man, by the Death of Jesus Christ. Now the Particular in which, or Manner how divine Justice is glorify'd by the Death of Christ, is the Satisfaction that has been made thereto by it. In order to open this important and FUN­DAMENTAL POINT, of the CHRISTIAN RELIGION, and give it its just Weight, let me endeavour to represent,

1. THE indispensable Necessity there was of a Satisfaction to Justice, in order to our Redemption and Salvation. And,

2. EVINCE the Reality and Sufficiency of that which Christ has made thereto by his Death.

NOW the Necessity of a Satisfaction to divine Justice in order to our Redemption and Salvation, appears from the Consideration of the Nature of GOD, and his Relation to intelligent Creatures.

[Page 7] JUSTICE being a natural and necessary Perfection of the di­vine Nature, hath consequently an invariable Respect to the mo­ral Qualities of intelligent Beings, as divine Goodness in some Degree naturally and necessarily diffuses itself upon Agents, per­fectly pure and innocent, so likewise Justice terminates upon the Guilty and Nocent by Punishments equal to their Crimes; except a Satisfaction intervene. If it be impossible considering the Per­fection of the Diety that Holiness should be unrewarded, then surely it must be more impossible that Sin should be unpunished; seeing the Exercise of Justice is more necessary than that of Good­ness; for the Rewards which Goodness dispenses are pure Favour, inasmuch as the Creature has received it's Being, and all its Bene­fits from GOD, all the Services it can perform, are due to him on account hereof, and if so, by the Payment of a just Debt, they cannot merit fresh Benefits; but the Punishments which Jus­tice inflicts are due and demerited, for violating the Rights of Heaven, and all the Obligations they are laid under to GOD; seeing Justice in it's Nature is a Perfection, it must of Conse­quence be in GOD, who is possess'd of all kinds of Excellency, and that in the highest Degree of Eminence, or infinitely, and if so it is inflexible and eternal.

SIN is directly contrary to the divine Purity, and therefore he must as necessarily hate it, as he loves himself; this is evident from the Law of Contraries, as well as from the Psalmist's Obser­vation, The righteous Lord loveth Righteouness, but the Wicked his Soul hateth. Now Punishment is but a natural Effect, and pro­per Manifestation of this Hatred; and therefore it is not an arbi­trary Constituion; it is true, the Time and Manner of it's In­fliction is founded in divine Sovereignty, but the Matter or Sub­stance of it is bottom'd on the essential Purity and Rectitude of the divine Nature to which Sin is repugnant.

BUT if together with what has been offered, respecting the di­vine Nature; we consider the Relation Jehovah bears to the moral World, it adds much Light and Force to this Argument.

ALMIGHTY GOD in the Character of a Governor, is obliged to protect the Laws of his Government from Reproach and In­sult.

AS it was proper and necessary, that the reasonable Creature should have a Law to direct it, in that Homage and Service, which it had a Capacity to perform to its Creator and Sovereign.

SO it is highly reasonable that the aforesaid Law should be con­firm'd by such important Sanctions, as were necessary to procure the Creature's Obedience.

SIN being the greatest moral Evil, because opposite to the greatest moral Good the blessed GOD, it is but suitable that it should be punished with the greatest penal Evil, viz. Death.

NOW the Law being broken, was it not just and necessary, that the Penalty threatned should be inflicted, either upon the Transgressor himself, according to the immediate Intent of the [Page 8] Law, or upon such a Surety in his room, as was able to make Satisfaction equivalent to the Offence; that so the Majesty, Pu­rity, and Righteousness of GOD might be rendered conspicuous, as well as the Value he puts upon Obedience to his Law.

IF the Penalty threatened be not inflicted, upon a proper Oc­casion, does it not reflect either upon his WISDOM, as if he had not with good Reason concerted the SANCTION, or upon his POWER, as if he was not able to inflict it, or upon his PURITY, as tho' he conniv'd with Transgressors; or upon his TRUTH, in­asmuch as his Word is not perform'd. And would not Sinners be hereby induced to contemn the Law and the Lawgiver, and en­courag'd in their Impieties? All which Considerations plainly prove the Necessity of Satisfaction for the Breach of GOD'S Laws; without this, GOD'S Hatred against Sin would not be declared, nor the Honour of his Laws preserved, nor a suitable Fear of offending him awak'd, every of which are necessary and excellent: It is true, temporal Magistrates are sometimes obliged to dispense with the Law, and spare an Offender, either thro' inabillity to punish him, or because his Life may be of more Service to the State; and still there is a superior Tribunal, to which the Case either is, or ought to be referred; but GOD'S Government is very different, no Criminal can either escape his Notice, byass his Justice, or controul his Power; here is no Exigency of Govern­ment that requires Impunity, no superior Tribunal: Moreover the Majesty of these Laws is more sacred than that of Civil States and Kingdoms. But,

2. I am to evince the Reality and Sufficiency of that Satisfac­tion which CHRIST paid to divine Justice by his Death. And to this End, it will be necessary to consider the PREQUISITES in order to it; and the Account the sacred Scriptures give of Christ's Death, together with the CONSEQUENTS thereof.

NOW in order to Satisfaction, these Things were previously ne­cessary, viz. The personal Holiness of the Mediator; his being possess'd of the divine and human Natures; his Appointment to undertake this Province, and his Consent thereto.

HE that satisfies for another's Sin must be without Sin himself, for guilty Blood is impure and consequently stains by its Effusion rather than cleanses: Now the Lord JESUS was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from Sinners, he appeared to take away Sin and in him was no Sin: To prevent his Infection with original Sin propogated by natural Generation, he was conceived in a miracu­lous Manner, by the Power of the Holy Ghost according to the Angel's Declaration, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy Thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of GOD. And as he was perfectly free from original, so likewise from actual Sin; Satan, when he came found nothing in him, to fasten his Temptation upon; and therefore was baffled in all his Stratagems; tho' he came in the likeness of sinful Flesh, yet he had no Sin: [Page 9] just as the brazen Serpent had the Figure, but not the Venom of the fiery Serpent: Our Lord fulfilled all Righteousnes, and ever did what pleased his Father.

NAY our Lord was not only free from Sin, but it was impossible that he should be tainted with it, because of the intimate Union of his human Nature with the divine; the divine Nature being Holiness itself, and Almighty Power, must needs by its Presence and Union insallibly prevent Sin in the Redeemer.

BUT it was not only necessary that the MEDIATOR should be personally holy, in order to make Satisfaction, but likewise pos­sess'd of the divine and human Natures: He must assume the Nature of Man, that he might be ally'd to him, and capable of suffering in his stead, for the Deity cannot suffer. Under the Jewish Oeconomy, the Right of Redemption belong'd to him that was next in Blood; hence our Lord took upon him the Seed of Abraham, that he might have a Right of Propinquity or near Alliance as Man, to redeem us, and be capable to make Satisfaction for us in the same Nature that sinn'd.

NOR was it less necessary that the MEDIATOR should be GOD, that so the human Nature might be supported under its Sufferings, and they made of infinite Value, and so equivalent to the de­merit of Sin. JUSTICE required an exact Proportion between the Guilt of Sin, and the Satisfaction made for it, which could not be, if the Mediator had not been GOD. The Guilt of Sin is doubtless infinite, because committed against an infinite GOD, but the Suf­ferings of any finite Nature can be but finite in Measure and Va­lue; and there was an absolute Necessity of a Union of the di­vine and human Natures, in the Person of the Mediator, to com­municate an infinite Dignity to his Sufferings: By Reason of this Union there is a Communication of the special Properties of both Natures to the Person of Christ, which being properly the Foun­tain of his Actions, must needs communicate an infinite Merit and Dignity to them all, and hence it is said, that the Lord of Glory was crucified; and that we are purchased by the Blood of GOD, the human Nature being united to the divine, the Actions pro­ceeding from it, are not meerly human, but rais'd above their natural Worth, and therefore meritorious and infinitely excellent: One Hour of Christ's Life glorified GOD, more than Millions of Ages spent in his Service by Men and Angels, because this being done by Creatures, can be but finite and limited; but the other being the Obedience of one who is GOD, is of infinite Excellen­cy, and worthy of GOD: He that comes from above, is above all; the same may said of his Sufferings.

ANOTHER Pre-requisite to Satisfaction, is the Mediators Appoint­ment to undertake this Province; without this his Mediation would have been in vain, being destitute of sufficient Authority. Now the Scriptures plainly and positively declare our Lord's Appointment to the mediatorial Work, in these Words for him hath GOD the Father sealed, GOD anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Ho­ly [Page 10] Ghost, and with Power, the Lord hath sworn and will not repent, thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my Life, this Commandment I have received of my Father. These Scriptures and many others that might be mentioned, do sufficiently shew Christ's Authority and Commission to mediate.

GOD the Father in this Constitution, is to be considered as a Governor, who by an Act of Supremacy and pure Jurisdiction, may dispense with the Execution of the Law, upon such Consi­derations, as fully answer the Ends of Government.

THE Law is not executed according to the Letter of it, for that obliges the Person that Sins to suffer, and if the Case were so no Flesh could be saved; nor is it disannull'd, for if so no Obligation to Duty or Penalty would remain, but all Men are o­bliged to obey, and those who impenitently neglect it, are under a Curse, it is therefore only relax'd in regard of its Penalty, by a merciful Condescension of the Lawgiver.

IT is true the Moral Law cannot be relaxed, in respect of its Precept; for that being a Copy of the divine Purity, the Al­mighty cannot deny himself by contradicting it, or allowing what is intrinsically Evil; nor can it be relaxed in Respect of the Sub­stance and Weight of its Penalty in general, because of the Jus­tice and Truth of GOD engaged to issue the same.

YET that the Penalty may be relaxed, as to the Person of the Sinner, for wise and just Reasons, is evident by considering, that it is not the Evil of the Offender, that is primarily designed by it, but the Honour of the Lawgiver, and the Preservation of pub­lick Order and Government; in case therefore those valuable Ends can be attain'd, by substituting a Surety in the Place of the Trans­gressor to suffer for him; the End of the Law is answered.

ALTHO' the Threatning declared the Demerit of Sin in the Transgressor, and the Right of Punishing in the Creator and So­vereign, yet it cannot vacate GOD'S Power to relax it upon just and wise Reasons; otherwise it would be absurd and inconsistent with his Supremacy.

THE last Pre-requisite that I mentioned, was the REDEEMERS Consent to the Fathers Appointment; this was necessary to make his Sufferings satisfactory; for being GOD himself he could not be compelled by any superior Authority▪ its true, after he had undertaken, he was then obliged to pay the Debt; but his first Engagement was altogether free and of Choice.

AND seeing that the Vertue of his Sufferings does not arise meerly from the Dignity of his Person, but from his Substitution in our stead, this rendered his Consent likewise necessary; his suf­ferings for others without his Consent, if he could have been com­pell'd thereto, would have been liable to the Charge of Injustice; and therefore the Scriptures expressly declare his willingness to undertake the Business of Mediation, Burnt-offering, and Sin-offer­ing thou didst not require, then said I, lo I come, in the Volumn [Page 11] of the Book it is written of me, I delight to do thy Will, O my God, yea, thy Law is within my Heart. And hence it is said, that he gave himself for us; and that on this Account, the Father loved him, because he laid down his Life; these Passages of Scripture do sufficiently manifest Christ's free, and full Consent to the Fathers Appointment, of his undertaking to be our Surety.

NOW having spoken of the Pre-requisites necessary in order to Satisfaction; it is proper to discourse on the Account which the Scriptures give of the Redeemer's Death, to the End we may know whether it was satisfactory or not, and to shew how divine Justice is therein glorified. Now the Scriptures represent the Death of CHRIST under a threefold Character, viz. as a Punishment inflicted for Sin, as a Price to redeem us from Ruin, and as a Sacrifice to reconcile us to God. And

1. IT is represented as a Punishment for Sin, this will appear by considering,

THAT Man on account of his Transgression, was sentenced by the Law he broke to Death; and being insolvent, the Lord Jesus Christ by his Father's Appointment and his own Consent, engaged as a Surety to pay the Debt; and hence he is call'd the Surety of a better Covenant, and he is said to be made under the Law, that we might obtain the Adoption of Sons; he who was God over all blessed forever, was in respect of his human Nature, and as Mediator, subject to its Precepts, and liable to its Penalties, that by performing the one and sustaining the other, he might redeem those that were under the Law.

THE Debt we ow'd was not pecuniary but penal, a Creditor may forgive the former without Payment, because it is his Pro­perty, but the latter cannot be forgiven without the Prince's Con­sent, who is Guardian of the Laws, because publick Justice is concerned in it.

JESUS CHRIST having assum'd the Relation of a SURETY, be­came one with the Debtor, in the Judgment of the Law; and so was liable to their Punishment according to Justice.

AND this Punishment the Scriptures assure us, GOD as a su­preame Judge inflicted upon him; and hence he is said to be deli­vered up by the Determinate Council of GOD, and that the Lord laid upon him the Iniquities of us all, that is the Guilt of them, and Punishment due for them. It is farther said, that it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and elsewhere that the Messias was cut of but not for himself▪ that he was wounded for our Transgressions, bruis'd for our Iniquities, that the Chastisement of our Peace was laid upon him, and that by his Stripes we are heal'd; that he himself bare our Sins on his own Body on the Tree. Moreover the Sufferings CHRIST endur'd, were answerable to the Penalty the Law de­nounc'd, in Substance, the Death threatn'd was both Temporal and Spiritual, and thus our Lord, not only bore a Temporal Death, accompanied with great Dishonour, and exquisite Anguish, but likewise with the Curse of GOD, and he also bore the Wrath of [Page 12] Jehovah upon his Soul, and hence he is said to tread the Wine Press of it alone:— The FEAR and SORROW of CHRIST at the approach of his Sufferings as well as his BLOODY SWEAT and Lamentation under them, shew'd that he endur'd something more terrible then all outward Torments, for the Martyrs have en­dur'd such with triumph, and surely our Redeemer cou'd not have less courage then they, who was the Source of their For­titude; the Difference then must be in the Nature of their Suf­ferings, GOD the Father dealt with him as our SURETY, and not as his own SON; and therefore suspended a comfortable Sense of his Love, and appear'd as a severe inexorable Judge: Now from the aforesaid Account of the Sufferings of CHRIST, it is evident they were PENAL; seeing they were inflicted for Sin by the Supreme Judge, and were equivalent to the Sentence of the Law, and we receive spiritual and special Benefits by them.

IN Christ's Sufferings we may observe the Matter and Form and Ends of Punishment. The Matter of Punishment is something afflic­tive, either privative in being deprived of some good, or positive in enduring something grievous, both which Christ bore. The form of Punishment is when it is Inflicted for Sin, and this distinguishes it from a Calamity. Now Christ suffer'd Death for Sin not his own, and hence he is said to bear our Sins, to be delivered up to Death for our Sins, yea, to be made Sin and a Curse for US. The End of Punishment is the common good, partly in deterring Persons from violating the Laws, which is the design of exemplary Punishment, and partly in maintaining the Honour and Interest of those who have suffered by the Breach of the Laws, this is the Design of Sa­tisfactory Punishment, answerable to which in the Death of Christ, the Severity there express'd is to deter from Sin, and maintain the Honour of the great Lord of the Universe, by making com­pensation for the Injury done against him by Sin.

2dly. THE DEATH of CHRIST is represented in Scripture as the PRICE of our Redemption: Redemption in general is a deliver­ing of one from a Calamity by a Ransom, i. e. Some valuable Consideration, which is term'd a Price; to understand which let it be considered, that Man by Disobedience to GOD was bro't into Misery, such Misery as the Scripture often expresses by Captivity, which consists in a servile Subjection to Satan and Death, to which Man was as it were committed for his Rebellion by the Supreame Judge and Governor; from this Calamity Men could no otherwise be delivered then by Ransom, for by Order of Divine Justice we were detain'd Prisoners, and till this was Satisfy'd, no Discharge could be obtain'd; freedom from a Calamity without a Price is Deliverance simply, but not properly Redemption: The Word Re­demption to which the Scriptures ascribe our escape (apolutrosis) signifies Deliverance by a Ransom; and hence it is said, that CHRIST gave himself a Ransom for all, (antilutron) This Word is exceeding Emphatical, and signifies a Ransom paid instead of another. Anti denotes Substitution, when a Thing or [Page 13] Person is put in the Place of another; many Instances might easily be given of this, so that the Meaning of the aforesaid Words, he gave himself a Ranson for many, is this, that he died in their stead, and by his Life as a Price obtained their Redemption; which Truth the Apostle Paul elsewhere confirms, by saying that Christ has Redeem'd us from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us; the Price upon Consideration of which we are Redeem'd, is not corruptable Things such as Silver and Gold, but the precious Blood of CHRIST as of a Lamb without blemish and without Spot, this Price was paid in our stead to GOD, for it was for Sin against his Majesty, that we were cast into Misery, and by his Righteous Order detained in it; and therefore to him the Price of our acquitance must be paid; Satan is no more then an In­strument of his Justice: If CHRIST had died only for the Confirmation of the Gospel, or to exhibit to us a Patern of Suffering, as the Socinians imagine, then what was there in his Death more than in the Death of other Martyrs, and how can we be said to be redeem'd by it? Would it not be as ridiculous as blasphemous to say, that we are redeemed by their Death? But

3. THE Death of Christ is represented in Scripture, as a Sacri­fice to reconcile us to God; him Jehovah has set forth to be a Propitiation thro' Faith in his Blood.

THAT the Death of Christ was a true and real Sacrifice appears not only from the express Declaration of Scripture, but from all the Ingredients of a Sacrifice being found in it, Christ our Passover, saith the Apostle to the Corinthians, is sacrificed for us; and in his Epistle to the Hebrews he informs us, that Christ hath appeared once in the End of the World to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself.

ONE Ingredient of a real and proper Sacrifice, was that the Per­son offering must be a Priest, every high Priest, saith the Apostle, taken from among Men is ordained for Men in Things pertaining to God, that he may offer both Gifts and Sacrifices for Sins; and was not Christ constitued a Priest by Oath after the Order of Melchizedeck.

AGAIN, The Things offered were to be of God's appointment, otherwise it was but Will-worship, even in freewill Offerings, tho' the Time of Offering was not fixed, yet the Things to be Offered were appointed; and thus was not what CHRIST offered, appointed and prepared by God, a Body hast thou prepared me, saith Christ; this Body was animated with a Soul, which being se­parated therefrom in his Death, is said to be made an Offering for Sin, by the Royal Prophet; and elsewhere he is said to offer him­self, i. e. both his Soul and Body, (Heb. ix.)

FARTHER, that which was offered for a Sacrifice was to be de­stroy'd; those Things that had life were kill'd, and their Blood pour'd out, and the other Parts besides the Blood were burnt, either wholy or in part: Thus our Lord was slain and his Blood shed, and his Soul was exposed to his Fathers Wrath. And as the Jewish Sacrifices were burnt without the Camp: Thus did not JESUS suffer without the Gates of Jerusalem. Moreover, [Page 14] Sacrifices were offered to God only, and hence the Author to the Hebrews terms them Things pertaining to God: And did not JESUS CHRIST, thro the eternal Spirit, offer himself without Spot to God, (Heb, ix. 14.)

FROM the aforesaid Particulars it appears, that all the Ingredients or Constituents, of a real Sacrifice are found in the Sacrifice of Christ.

HAVING already shewn that CHRIST'S Death was a real Sacri­fice, I would proceed to assert and prove, that it was a Sacrifice of Propitiation or Attonement and Reconciliation.

TO this End observe, that the Propitiatory Sacrifices under the Jewish OEconomy, were figures and shadows of the Sacrifice of Christ. Now if the Types and Shadows had any propitiatory Vertue in them, much more the Antitype, else the Substance would not exceed the Shadow, which is absurd. That the Jewish Sacri­fices did prefigure the Death of Christ, the Apostle declares at large in the ninth and tenth Chapters to the Hebrews, and in the second Chapter of his Epistle to the Colosians, where he calls them Figures and Shadows of good Things to come: but in the mean Time ob­serves, that the Body is of Christ; as if he should say, those Propitiatory Jewish Sacrifices had some resemblance of this, as the shadow has of the Body, tho' obscure and imperfect; but the Substance and Perfection of Atonement is in the Sacrifice of Christ.

BUT to make this very important Point more evident, let me endeavour to prove, that all that was absolutely necessary to a Sacrifice of Propitiation under the Jewish OEconomy, is to be found in the Sacrifice of Christ, e. g. The Sin of the Offender was laid upon the Sacrifice, and likewise his Punishment was inflicted upon it, the Sacrifice was substituted in his Room, apeased the Almighty, and removed the Sinners guilt.

EACH of these Particulars deserves and requires our Attention. The Sin of the Offender was laid upon the Sacrifice, or imputed to it and charged upon it, so as to be made responsible and liable to suffer for it, as if it had contracted the Guilt itself; even as a Surety is obliged to pay a Debt he never contracted, yea as much as if he had: The Sacrifice was look'd upon and treated as a guilty Thing, tho' it had not sin'd itself; hence these Sacrifices were called Sins, (Levit. xx. 17.) which is translated Sin-Offering. Farther they are said to bear the Iniquities of the People, (Levit. xvi. 22.) and the Goat shall bear upon him all their Iniquities. We are farther informed in the aforesaid Chapter, that the People laid their Hands upon the Head of the Sacrifice, confessed their Sins over him, and put their Sins upon him; and Aaron shall lay both his Hands upon the Head of the live Goat, and confess over him all the Iniquities of the Children of Israel. Putting them upon the Head of the Goat, signified, say the Hebrew Masters, that the Guilt was transferred from the People to the Sacrifice that was offered for them. And hence the Scape Goat, and other Propitiatory Sacrifices, were look'd upon as execrable and poluted Things; and those that touch'd them were poluted. (Levit. xxvi.) [Page 15] Now as the Sin was charged upon and imputed to the legal Sacri­fices, so our Sins were charged upon and imputed to JESUS CHRIST, as the Apostle observes to the Corinthians, he was made Sin for us who knew no Sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him. How could he be made Sin who knew none, any other way than by Imputation? And how can his Righteousness, who is God, be made ours by any other Method? Sin was imputed to Christ when it was charged upon him, and he obliged to suffer for it in our stead; as a Debt may be said to be imputed to a Surety when he takes it upon himself, and is thereby obliged to pay it, tho' he never contracted it; and Christ's Righteousness is imputed to us when it is accepted for us, and we as realy entitled to its Benefits as tho' we had perform'd it. Moreover,

THE Penalty of the Offender was laid upon the Sacrifice offered for him; the Sinner deserved temporal Death and Destruction, and the Sacrifice was slain or destroy'd. A Bullock, which was a Sin-Offerring for the High-Priest, and a Goat, which was a Sin-Offering for the People, were ordered to be killed, and the Scape Goat was sent into the Wilderness to be destroy'd one way or other. (See Levit. xvi) And in like manner the Sin-Offerings for private Persons whether Lambs, Kids, Turtle-Doves, or Young Pidegons, were to be slain, and the Offering of Flour was to be partly con­sumed. (Levit. v.)

THE Sacrifices, by having the Sins of the People laid upon them, became liable to the Penalty, and did actually under go it: Thus it was with Christ whom they pointed to; he himself, saith the Apostle Peter, bare our Sins in his own Body on the Tree, by whose stripes we are healed; he was bruised for our Iniquities, saith the Prophet, wounded for our Transgressions, and poured out his Soul unto Death. Farther,

THE Sacrifice suffered the aforesaid Penalties in the Offenders room and place, and this indeed necessarily follows from the Par­ticulars beforementioned, for to suffer in one's stead is nothing else but to suffer for another what he should have suffered, that he may escape; thus the Sacrifice suffered Death for the Offender that he might not die, and therefore dy'd in his stead, its Life went for his Life, Levit. xvii. 11. For the Life of the Flesh is in the Blood, and I have given it to you upon the Altar to make an Atonement. The Blood being the Vehickle of Life, when it goes, the Life goes; this therefore being offered to attone for them, or save their Lives, of Consequence the Life of the Sa­crifice went instead of the Life of the Offender.

AND if, as has been before proved, both the Sin and Punish­ment of the Offender were laid upon the Sacrifice, it must needs suffer in his room and place; but for farther Illustration of this important Point of the Substitution of the Sacrifice in the Trans­gressors room, it may be observed, that no Sacrifices were instituted for Capital Offences, such as Murder, Idolatry, &c. because the Sinner himself was to be cut off; but for other Sins which tho' [Page 16] they in strictness according to that Dispensation, deserved Death, yet God was pleased to relax the Penalty of the Law in Respect of the Transgressor, and accept of the Life of the Sacrifice for his Life: Agreeable hereto the guilty Person was to offer a clean Beast of his own, to signify its Substitution in his stead, for as Proprietor he had a Dominion over it to apply it to that Use.

WELL; if there was in the Sacrifices of Attonement a Substi­tution of the Sacrifice in the Offender's room, and Christ was such a Sacrifice as has been proved, then it necessarily follows that he died not only for our Good, but in our room and place, seeing he is the Substance and Anti-type to which those Shadows pointed, and in whom they have their Accomplishment; and hence he is said to die for the Ungodly, and to suffer the just for the un­just that he might bring us to GOD, just as the innocent Sacri­fice in the room of the guilty Transgressor, not only the original Words in those Scriptures Huper and Anti, but the Things spoken of manifestly declare a Substitution of Christ in the Place of Sinners as a Sacrifice of Propitiation.

AGAIN, propitiatory Sacrifices were to appease God and turn away his Anger, this is the Meaning of the Word Attonement, which was the Design of the Sin-Offerings, the Trespass-Offerings▪ and the Burnt-Offerings, Levit. vii. 7. and i. 4. And he shall put his Hand upon the Head of the Burnt-Offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make Attonement for him. And this was also the Design of the Peace-Offerings, and this End those Sacrifices attained, many Examples of this Kind might be offered but I shall only, for brevity's sake, mention one, 2 Sam. xxiv. ult. And David offered Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings▪ so the Lord was intreated for the Land, and the Plague was stayed from Israel. Because the Lord by those Sacrifices was rendered propitious or well pleased, therefore they are frequently said to be of a sweet savour to the Lord, Levit. i. Noah's Sacrifice is said to be a savour of Rest, as it is in the Margin, Gen. viii. 21. on which Occasion God said he would not curse the Ground any more for Man's sake. It is call'd a savour of Rest, because when God is pacify'd, his Anger rests, Ezek. xvi. 42. Hence those Sacrifices are call'd propitiatory. The Words Propitiation, Attonement, Re­conciliation, Pacifying, are synonimous Terms, and signify one and the same Thing.

NOW the same Words and Effects are ascribed to the Sacrifice of Christ (or to his Death and Blood which is the same) in our Text he is said to be a Propitiatory thro' Faith in his Blood, by him, says the Apostle to the Romans, we have received the At­tonement, Rom. xi. He is called our Peace, Ephes. ii. 14. And the Chastisement of our Peace is said to be laid upon him, i. e. Punishments necessary to procure our Peace, and by his Blood and Death we are said to be justified and reconciled. Rom. v. 9.10.

PREVIOUS to this Reconciliation, Satisfaction to Justice was necessary, which implies not only the Suffering of a Calamity, [Page 17] but that in Substance, which the Law threatned and the Sinner deserved. Justice that it may be satisfied requires the Execution of the Law, and the Calamity aforesaid must be endured by the Sinner, and in his stead by another, if one suffers upon his own Account, that can be no Satisfaction for another, all these Parti­culars we have already proved, are verified in the Jewish Sacri­fices, and in the Substance which they prefigured.

ONCE more I may observe, that the Jewish Sacrifices removed Guilt or Obligation to Punishment, here observe, that Guilt may be said to be threefold, viz. Civil, Ceremonial, and Moral. Civil Guilt consisted in a liableness to temporal Death, for some viola­tion of the civil or judicial Law, Deut. xxi. 9.

CEREMONIAL Guilt consisted in an Obligation to be debarr'd from the Privileges of publick Worship under the Jewish Oecono­my for some Breach of the ceremonial Law, for some legal Pol­lution, Levit. 5. But,

MORAL Guilt consists in an Obligation to endure eternal Death for transgressing the moral Law, for by divine Constitution the Wa­ges of every moral Evil or Sin properly and intrinsically so call'd is Death; now the legal Sacrifices could free from the two former Kinds of Guilt, but the Death of Christ alone from the latter, Heb. ix. 13, 14. For if the Blood of Goats, and Ashes of a Heifer sprinkling of the Unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the Flesh, i. e. promoted an external Sanctification or Expiation, as to the Flesh, not as to the Soul and Conscience, How much more shall the Blood of Christ purge your Consciences from dead Works.

THE legal Sacrifices could not make him that did the Service, perfect, as pertaining to the Conscience, because they could not compensate the Injury Sin had done to GOD, being finite, without which, Justice is engaged to punish the Transgressor with eternal Death.

THESE Sacrifices could only remove a civil and ceremonial Guilt, or liableness to outward Punishment enacted by those Laws▪ (in Instances not grounded upon the Nature and Reason of Things, but meerly upon divine Sovereignity;) and shadow forth the Sacri­fice of Christ, which being of infinite Value is sufficient to satisfy divine Justice, remove the Guilt of moral Impurity, and save the Soul: Under the Law we are told, that without the shedding of Blood there was no remission of Sins, and the Blood is said to make Attonement, Levit. xvii 11. the Reason is, because the Life was in the Blood, and therefore when the Blood was offered to make Attonement for the Offender, the Life of the Sacrifice was suppos'd to be given instead of his Life, and thus the Sentence of the Law threatning Death was executed, and so Justice satisfied. For this Reason the Blood of the Mediator is said to speak better Things than the Blood of Abel, for that cry'd for Revenge, but this procures Remission to Believers; and this doubtless is the Reason why so frequent mention is made of the Blood of Christ, in [Page 18] the New-Testament, viz. to shew that our dear Redeemer has en­dured the Penalty of the Law, Death itself, and thereby satisfied Justice, magnified the Law, and made it honourable.

BUT the Reality and Sufficiency of Christ's Satisfaction to Justice appears, not only from what has been said upon the scriptural Representation of Christ's Death as a Punishment inflicted for Sin, as a Price to redeem us from Ruin, and a Sacrifice to reconcile us to GOD, but likewise from the Consideration of the Quality of the Person suffering, the Degrees of his Sufferings, and the Effects of them.

THE Quality of his Person derived an infinite Value upon his Sufferings. Our Redeemer was the true and eternal GOD, co-equal and co-eternal with his Father, the Brightness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person, the Son of GOD, not meerly by Office, but by Nature, and therefore was able to make full Sa­tisfaction for our Sins. The Wisdom and Justice of all Nations agree that Punishments receive their Estimate from the Quality of the Persons that suffer: Tho' the Deity is impassible, yet it was a divine Person that suffered, and hence his Blood is call'd the Blood of GOD, in Scripture, this made his Sufferings of infinite Worth.

NOR was there any Defect in the Payment he made, we ow'd a Debt of Death to the Law, and his Life was offered up as a Sacrifice; yea, he trod the Wine-press of his Father's Anger, and his divine Nature communicated an infinite Dignity to his Suffer­ings, so that they were in Kind, Degree, and Value, suited to the Sentence of the violated Law, equal to the Demerit of Sin, and consequently satisfactory to divine Justice, provoked by it.

BUT methinks, the Consideration of the Consequents and Effects of Christ's Death pours more Light upon this important Subject, and clearly proves the sufficiency of his Satisfaction to Justice.

NOW there are these three Consequences of his Death that deserve our present Attention, viz. his Resurrection from the Grave, his Ascension into Heaven, and Exaltation to the Father's Right Hand.

OUR Lord, in Quality of our Surety, was arrested by Justice, and detain'd as Prisoner in the Grave, till he had by his Death satisfied the Law and paid our Debt; upon which he received a Discharge in his Resurrection, and hence the raising of Christ is ascribed to GOD as reconciled, Now the God of Peace, who brought again from the Dead the great Shepherd of the Sheep, thro' the Blood of the everlasting Covenant; besides it is ascribed to his Blood because that was the full Price of his and our Liberty. Justice incensed arrested and slew him, but Justice satisfied gave him a Release and Acquittance, of which his Resurrection is a clear Demonstration.

THE blessed Jesus having risen from the Dead, ascended into Heaven as our High Priest, there to interceed for us: Now his Admission into Heaven, after he had undertaken to be our Surety, is a full and certain Proof that he has faithfully discharged that [Page 19] important Trust, this is doubtless the Meaning of these Words of Christ, John xvi. 10. He shall convince the World of Righteous­ness, because I go to my Father, i. e. the holy Spirit shall convince and persuade Sinners of the Compleatness of my personal and media­torial Righteousness, by the Argument of my ascending to and being accepted of my Father, for without this he would exclude me from his divine Presence.

AFTER the High Priest had offered Sacrifices without at the Altar, for the Sins of the People, he opened the Vail and entered into the Holy of Holies, and there offered sweet Incense and the Blood of Sacrifices to render GOD propitious to them, (Levit. xvi. 14, 15.) These Things were Figures of what Christ was to perform, the Holy of Holies was a Type of the third Heaven, as that had a double Vail which separated it from the inner Temple, and the outward Court, so is the third Heaven separated from the Earth by the double Vail of the starry Heavens and airy Regions, none that was impure might enter into the Holy of Holies, and into Heaven, we are told that no unclean Thing can enter; there was the Throne of GOD, for as the Psalmist observes, He dwells between the Cherubims, there the Tables of the Law, the Em­blems of divine Wisdom and Purity, there the Cherubims the Figures of the blessed Angels, there the High Priest entered with the Blood of the Sacrifice, carrying the Names of the twelve Tribes upon his Breast-plate.

THUS our great High Priest, after having by the Sacrifice of him­self without the Gates of Jerusalem, attoned for the Sins of his People, entered into the eternal Sanctuary with his own Blood, bearing on his Bosom the Names of all the redeemed, and taking Possession of Heaven for them in their Names, and there offering their Supplications to his Father, perfumed with the Incense of his Merits. Of this there was a miraculous sign given at his Crucifixion, for in the Moment he expired, the Vail of the Tem­ple was rent from the Top to the Bottom, to signify that the great High Priest had Authority to enter into Heaven itself as our Surety, and that his Design herein was to appear in the Presence of God for us as the Lamb slain, (Heb. ix. 24.)

AS our LORD purchased Salvation for us, by the real Sacrifice of himself upon the Earth, so he applies it to us by his Interces­sion in Heaven, which is a Commemoration of that Sacrifice; and therefore he is said to appear before his Father by Sacrifice. (Heb. ix.)

IF any Man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. His Intercession is attended with Majesty and Efficacy: He does not now supplicate with strong crying and tears, as in the Days of his Flesh, but Wills Salvation to his People, Father I will that those thou hast given me be with me, that they may behold my Glory. Nor does his Suit ever fail of Success, for it is just, he asks nothing but what he has bought by Blood. Moreover, he is nearly related to the eternal Father, and has an [Page 20] inexpressible Interest in his Affection; and hence we are told, that him the Father heareth always.

FARTHER, the present Exaltation of our Redeemer to the highest Degree of Dignity, Glory and Dominion, is a certain Argument of the sufficiency of his Satisfaction to Justice by his obedient Suf­ferings, because it was promised to and conferred upon him by his Father as a Reward thereof.

THAT he is now advanced to the highest Dignity and Dominion, is evident from these Scriptures, (Ephes. i.) When he raised him from the Dead, and set him at his own right Hand in heavenly Places, far above all principality and Power, and Might and Do­minion; and every Name that is named, not only in this World but also in that which is to come, and hath put all Things under his Feet, and gave him to be the Head over all Things to the Church.

THAT the Father promised to him, as Mediator, the aforesaid Dignities as a Reward, and consequent of his Humiliation, is like­wise evident from these Places of Scripture, (Luke xxiv. 26.) Ought not Christ to have suffered and to enter into his Glory: This doubtless refers to the Covenant of Redemption between the Fa­ther and the Son, before all Worlds, wherein the Son engaged to suffer for Sinners, and the Father promised to reward him for it; for without Reference had hereto, there was no Obligation either upon the Father or the Son in these respects, See also Phil. ii. 8.9. He humbled himself and became obedient unto Death; wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a Name which is a­bove every Name, that at the Name of Jesus every Knee should bow. Heb. i. 3. When he had by himself purged our Sins, he sat down on the right Hand of the Majesty on high.

NOW seeing the aforesaid Exaltation, of being Head of the Church, and Lord of the Universe, was promised to the Mediator as a Reward and Consequent of his Sufferings and Satisfaction; forasmuch as it is dispensed, it is a sufficient Proof that the Con­dition is perform'd, on which the Promise was suspended, or in other Words, of the certainty and sufficiency of CHRIST'S Satis­faction to Justice.

BUT the Effects of Christ's Death, are likewise Evidences of his Satisfaction by it, and therefore give farther force to this Argu­ment. The La [...] made nothing Perfect, all it's Sacrifices and Ce­remonies could not cancel the Guilt, or cleanse the stain of moral Impurity, nor open Heaven for us, all which are necessary to our Perfection. But CHRIST by one Offering hath perfected forever them that are sanctified; he hath acquired for his People, acquit­ance from the Guilt of Sin, deliverance from its Stain and Domi­nion, and a final Admission into the Imperial Paradise.

The Death of JESUS has blotted out the Hand-Writing of Or­dinances which was contrary to us, and took it out of the Way, hailing it to his Cross i. e. entirely cancelled the condemnatory Sentence of the Law as to Believers; for in the aforesaid Terms there is a manifest allusion to the Defacing and Destruction of [Page 21] obligatory Bonds. In the End of the World our great high Priest appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself; his Blood cleanseth from all Sin, and not only extends its Efficacy to all Time past, but will to all Time coming; and hence he is said to be the same Yesterday to-day and forever, able to save to the uttermost all that come to the Father by him.

NOR is the Death of CHRIST less efficacious in removing the Dominion and Stain of Sin, for by it the sanctifying Influences of the Holy Spirit are procured, whereby we are renewed after the Image of God, and made meet for Communion with him; hence it was that Christ promised the Comforter as a consequent of his Ascension. (John xvi.) Hence we are said to be sanctifyed in Christ Jesus, and to have our Robes made white in the Blood of the Lamb. (Rev. vii. 14.)

AND is it not thro' the Blood of CHRIST that we have bold­ness to enter into the holiest? (Heb. x. 19) Which is a clear E­vidence of the compleat Satisfaction made by it: For without this, Justice would never suffer the Privilege of the Righteous to be confered on the guilty and depraved. To this very Purpose the Apostle himself argues, (Heb. v. 9.) He learned Obedience by the Things which he suffered, and being made Perfect, he became the Author of eternal Salvation to all them that obey him. The meaning of which is, that there was Obedience to the Fathers ap­pointment in Christ's Sufferings, and that after he had perfected the End designed by them, which was Satisfaction to Justice, he became the Author of Happiness to all that are believingly sub­ject to his Government and Authority.

Having gone thro' the Heads of Discourse propos'd; give me leave, because of the inexpressible moment of this Subject, before I proceed to the Improvement, to offer a brief Answer to the prin­cipal Objections that are made against the Satisfaction of Christ.

1. The Socinians object, that it is a Violation of Justice to trans­fer the Punishment of one to another.

I Answer, It is so in some Cases, but not in all, e. g. When the Person punished has not Power to dispose of his Life, does not consent to the Punishment, and no valuable End can be answered by it, then it is no doubt unjust to transfer the Punishment upon him. But on the Contrary, when he has Power to dispose of his Life, consents thereto, and a valuable End can be answered thereby, it is not unjust.

NOW every of these Things are applicable to Christ. He had full Power to dispose of his Life, and freely consented to his Death, (John x. 18.) I lay down my life, no Man taketh it from me, I have Power to lay it down and Power to take it again; nor was it possible he should be held under the Power of Death, (Act. ii. 24.) otherwise no doubt it would have been unreason­able for such a one as he to endure it, for worthless rebels.

MOREOVER, an infinite Good results from his Death; God is hereby glorified, and guilty Sinners saved, and the great Ends of Government answered.

[Page 22]JUSTICE is no disorderly Appetite, that aims principally at the Ruin of the Guilty, and is dissatisfied without it. No, it pre­serves Right with pure Affections, and is therefore content when the Injury is repaired, from whomsoever Satisfaction comes.

THO' an Inocent Person cannot suffer as Inocent, without In­justice; yet he may contract an Obligation which will expose him to deserved Sufferings. The Wisdom and Justice of all Nations agree in punishing one for anothers Fault, where there is previous Consent, as in the Case of Hostages; tho' it is essential to pu­nishment to be inflicted for Sin, yet not on the Person sinning, for in the Judgment of the Law, the Sinner and Surety are one.

EXCHANGE in Criminal Cases it is true is not allowed, but that is not from a Supposition of Injustice in its Nature, for then it would not be allowed in civil; but for other Reasons, such as these, viz. Because Life is a Depositum committed to us, to be pre­served till God or the publick Good calls for it; besides the Pub­lick would suffer loss by the Destruction of one of its Members, and perhaps the surviving innocent, or guilty Person, grow worse by impunity.

Moreover we should remember, that there is a difference be­tween the same Person, when abstractly considered, and by him­self, and when sustaining the Representation of others, since such a one's Inocence, tho' it renders him incapable of suffering▪ strictly so called, in the former of these respects, yet not in the latter, because the Law then no longer looks upon his private but publick Character; and consequently the Punishment of those he represents devolves upon their Proxy. These Things duly con­sidered, the aforesaid grand and popular Objection vanishes into Smoke.

But it is again objected, that the Punishment which our SAVI­OUR underwent, was not the same which the Law threatned, and therefore is not Satisfactory; it is but the Death of one, but a transient and temporal Death, whereas the eternal Death of all was threatned.

I Answer, It is true there was a Difference in some Circum­stances, but not in Substance. Jesus Christ did endure a real tem­poral Death, and something Equivalent to an eternal, in weight and value. He could not endure indeed the reproaches of a sinful Mind, or the Anguish of Despair, because it is impossible from the Nature of Things, that these Calamities could come upon an ino­cent and divine Person, they being the result of personal Guilt and Impotency to atone for it; but our Lord endured Agonies of a­nother Kind, the awful apprehensions of a painful ignominious Death, the Malice of Satan, and the unrelenting Vengeance of Almighty God, which all united at once against him; while in the mean Time the divine Nature, as it were, withdrew from his relief. Whatever were the Ingredients of that bitter Cup which God that mix'd them, and he that drunk them, only knew, yet this we may say, that it could be no ordinary penal pressure, [Page 23] which could overwhelm his Soul with such a deluge of Grief, dissolve his Body into a sweat of Blood, and at last extort this awful outcry, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me. This inexpressible weight of Pain, which the dignity of his Person put an immense Value upon, made his Sufferings equal to the Guilt of all he represented, and more than equal to the sufferings of all Mankind; the eternal anguish of the whole human Race could not have so much honoured the Justice and Law of God, as the Sufferings of God himself in our Nature, tho' but for a small space of Time.

But to open and illustrate this Matter more fully, let it be con­sider'd, that it was impossible for the Redeemer to pay the Debt of Penalty denounced by the Law for Sin, in all the Circumstances of it: He did indeed endure a natural Death strictly so called, but then it was but one in the Room of Millions, the Defficiency of which was made up by the Dignity of his Person.

BUT as to spiritual Death, tho' he bore something like it, viz. the withdrawing for a Time a comfortable Sense of his Fa­thers love, and anguish of Spirit, in a Degree that we cannot con­ceive or express; yet it was impossible that he should endure it in all its Parts strictly and properly; for as spiritual Life includes these two Things, viz, a Union to God by Faith and pious Ha­bits, from which all truly spiritual and acceptable Acts proceed, so by the Law of Contraries, spiritual Death must needs include a real Separation from God, a real removal or privation of pious Habits, for so long as one has them, however clouded, weakned or out of Exercise, tho' he may be said to be in a spiritual Sleep or Consumption, yet he is still alive.

NOW to suppose that the human Soul of Christ was separated from the divine Nature, as it is without Foundation in Scripture, so it destroys the infinite value of the Sacrifice of it to Justice, which depends upon that Union.

AND to suppose that the Soul of Christ was devoid of pious Principles or Habits, is to make him a SINNER realy and inherently, and thus to disqualify him entirely from being a Saviour of others. The Reason is this, the moral Law being spiritual, in Regard of its Author, Nature and Design, and Perfect also, must needs re­quire Purity in the Temper and Disposition of the Soul, which cannot be without the aforesaid Habits: Now if CHRIST wanted these, he was disconformed to the Law, and so a Sinner realy and inherently, for Sin is any want of Conformity to, or Transgression of the Law. *

IF so, CHRIST would want another MEDIATOR to save him, and therefore he was only made Sin by Imputation, being in the mean Time personally and inherently holy, harmless and undefiled, and knowing no Sin.

WHAT was defective in the Sufferings of Christ's human Nature, [Page 24] in respect of the Species or Circumstances of the Penalty threatned by the Law, was made up by its Union with the divine, and so rendered an equivalent to the demerit of Sin.

AND indeed, in this Constitution, the Wisdom of God appears admirably; for on the Supposition that Christ paid the Debt in Specie in all Circumstances which the Law required, (were that possible) the Bond would be cancelled, and all those Christ repre­sented actually freed from the Curse, at least from the Time of the Payment made by the Surety, which Notion is as dangerous as absurd.

BUT an EQUIVALENT puts it into the original Creditors Power whether he will accept of it at all, and when, and how to com­municate the Benefits thereof to the Debtors.

AGREEABLE hereto the blessed God has, in unspeakable Wis­dom and Goodness, so formed the Plan of the new Covenant, that none shall have any actual Title to, or Investiture in the Be­nefits of Christ's Purchase, until they be enabled to repent and believe.

THIS, rightly understood, entirely oversets the dangerous and inconsistent Doctrines of the Antinomians, preserves the Harmony of the Scriptures, and makes the Doctrines of Grace and Duties of Religion entirely consistent.

ANOTHER Objection is this, How could God receive this Sa­tisfaction, since he himself was the Party that gave it? Or how could the Saviour of Mankind, supposing him to be God, make Satisfaction to himself? The Answer is,

‘THAT the infinite Goodness of God in giving a Redeemer, does not divest him of the Office of supreme Judge, nor hinder him from receiving a Ransom to preserve the Rights of Justice inviola­ble. To illustrate this Matter, we have an eminent Instance, not unlike it, in the Case of Zaleucus, the Prince of the Locrians, who passed a Law, that Adulterers should loose both their Eyes; and when his Son was convicted of that Crime, the People, who re­spected him for his excellent Qualities, came and interceeded for him, Zaleucus, in a conflict between Zeal for Justice and Affection to his Son, took but one Eye from him, and parted with one of his own to satisfy the Law, and in this Action both paid and received the Punishment: He paid it as a Father, and received it as a Conser­vator of publick Justice. In like Manner when guilty Mankind could not pay the Forfeiture of the Law, God, the Father of Mercies, was pleased to give it from the Treasures of his Love, i. e. the Blood of his Son for our Ransom; which he neverthe­less as the Supreme Judge received from Christ upon the Cross, and declared it to be an Offering of a sweet smelling Savour to him, or a sufficient Satisfaction to his Justice.’

‘NOR is it inconsistent with Reason, that the Son of God, clothed with our Nature, should by Death make Satisfaction to the Deity, and therefore to himself. In a Difference between two Parties, a Person that belongs to one of them, may interpose for Recon­ciliation, [Page 25] provided he divests his own Interest, and leaves it with the Party from whom he comes. For Instance, when a Father and Son, both possessed of Imperial Power, have been offended by rebellious Subjects, it may not be improper for the Son to inter­pose as a Mediator, to restore them to the favour of their Prince, and yet at the same Time he reconciles them to himself, and pro­cures them the Pardon of an Offence whereby his own Majesty was violated.’ But the Time requires that I hasten to the Im­provement.

HAS Jesus Christ been slain as a Sacrifice of Propitiation for us? Then how vain, how uncomfortable and perilous is the Opi­nion of those who deny the Imputation of his Righteousness to Be­lievers; for hereby they endeavour to sap the Foundations of the Christian's Hope, and shut up the Springs of their Joy, hereby they oppose the continued Series of Revelation both in the Old and New-Testament: To deny the Imputation of his Righteous­ness to Believers, is the same Thing in effect, as to deny his being sacrificed for them, and equally unreasonable, as has been before repre­sented, and if CHRIST has not died our Faith is vain, we are without Hope, Help, Comfort; but blessed be GOD, tho' the Doctrine of CHRIST crucified be to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness, yet to those that believe, it is the Wisdom of GOD, and the Power of GOD.

HAS Christ been set forth as a Sacrifice of Propitiation, then we may hence learn the Sinfulness of Sin and strictness of divine Justice in the Punishment of it; its true, the Evil of Sin may be in some Measure discerned from its malignant Nature, being an Enmity against the blessed GOD, a Contrariety to, and dishonour­able Reflexion upon all his adorable Attributes, as well as a re­bellious Contempt of all the sacred and unalianable Rights of his Government over the Natural and Moral World.

BUT the most affecting Demonstration of its Malignity appears in those Punishments which are inflicted for it; the Torments of the Damned are, no doubt, equal to the Demerit, and therefore expressive of the great Evil of it: But they are too little thought upon and realiz'd by stupid, indolent Transgressors, until it be too late to obtain a Deliverance; and temporal Calamities cannot sufficiently represent the infinite Displeasure of GOD against the obstinate and ungrateful Contempt of his Goodness and Govern­ment; but in the Sacrifice and Sufferings of CHRIST it is expressed to the utmost in the most strong and flaming Colours. Had divine Jus­tice rent the Heavens and appear'd on this Theatre, attended with the most terrible Images of Pomp and Majesty, to punish the Af­fronts and Insults cast upon the Authority of GOD by impenitent Transgressors, it could not make a deeper and more abiding Im­pression upon our Minds, than the due Consideration of the Suf­ferings of our Lord JESUS: The drowning of the Old World by an awful Inundation of Water, and the dreadful Destruction of the Cities of the Plain by Showers of Fire, do not set the [Page 26] Evil of Sin, and divine Severity in the Punishment of it in so strong and striking a Light; if we consider not only the Depth of his Sufferings but the Dignity of his Person, and near Rela­tion to his eternal Father; he suffered not only Torments from Men many Ways, but his Father's Wrath in a Degree equal to the Desert of all the Sins of those he represented; and the Person who endured these Things was the Son of GOD by Nature, and of co-equal Glory and Majesty with his eternal Father. O how in­flexible is the Justice of GOD, that would not spare even his own innocent and beloved Son, when he became Surety for Trans­gressors.

AND how then shall those escape the angry Strokes of GOD'S iron Rod, who obstinately persist in Unbelief and Impenitence, when such a dearly purchas'd Salvation is set before them, and they repeatedly and earnestly urged to accept thereof? Can they fortify themselves against Almightiness, or encounter with divine Vengeance, the Apprehensions of which made the Soul of Christ sorrowful, and heavy, even unto Death? Can they bear with Pa­tience forever, that Indignation which extorted a bloody Shower from Christ's Body; and the most affecting Lamentations from his Soul! Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, notwithstanding his personal Inocence and the Supports of his Godhead? O Sinners! For GOD'S sake, realize these Things speedily, least ye feel the Weight of God's Vengeance forever.

AGAIN, methinks what has been said in the doctrinal Part of this Discourse, serves to remove the Reproach of CHRIST'S Cross; this was a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Offence to the Jews, they wanted a pompous Messiah to deliver them from tem­poral Bondage, and judged it absurd to expect great Things or eternal Blessedness from one under Circumstances of the deepest Abasement, and many of the Gentiles are of the same Stamp, and take Occasion of Prejudice one Way or other from Christ's Cross; but to such as believe it is exceeding precious; for they clearly apprehend that CHRIST by his Death has satisfied Justice, made Attonement for Sin, and purchased spiritual and eternal Benefits: The Doctrine of Christ's Sacrifice upon the Cross, is the very Foundation of the Gospel, upon which its whole Fabrick is firmly built; its the Center in which the Lines of both Testa­ments meet and harmonize, the Soul that animates the whole Frame, without which it is but a dead Carcase; this is the Source of our Righteousness and Peace, our Comfort and Salvation: This opens a Door of Hope to distressed Sinners, and a Fountain of Joy and Solace, to all the Saints of GOD that will never, ne­ver run dry. For the Man Christ Jesus is to them a hiding-place from the Wind, a Covert from the Tempest, as Rivers of Waters in a dry Place, and as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary Land, sure Protection from every Danger, sweet Refreshment in every Difficulty, and strong Support under every Pressure; a Balm to every Wound, a Salvo to every Fear, yea, even to that [Page 27] of divine Justice; for Justice being satisfied by the Blood of the great Sacrifice becomes our Friend, and instead of barring us out of the celestial Paradise with its flaming Sword, safely conducts us thither, and infallibly ascertains our Salvation; for JUSTICE in its Nature requires but a single PAYMENT, which GOD the Father having received, in the obedient Sufferings of his be­loved Son; is JUST, even IN JUSTIFYING THOSE THAT BE­LIEVE IN HIM.

O therefore let us come to CHRIST, and depend upon his BLOOD alone for Justification and Salvation; for him hath GOD set forth to be a Propitiation thro' Faith in his Blood; it is in vain, my Brethren, to depend upon our Works, for he is cursed that don't continue in all Things that are written in the Book of the Law, to do them, and if we were perfect in our Obedience in Time coming, this Payment which is due to the Law, cannot can­cel the former Debt we are under to Justice for past Offences; it is in vain to come with Burnt-Offerings, and Calves of a Year old, to offer thousands of Rams, and ten thousand Rivers of Oil, or to offer our First-born for our Transgression, the Fruit of our Body for the Sins of our Souls, it is Christ, and Christ alone, that can help and save us: O then let us with the Apostle count all Things but Loss and Dung for the Excellency of the Know­lege of Christ our Lord, that we may be found in him, not ha­ving our own Righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is thro' the Faith of Christ the Righteousness of GOD thro' Faith; let us beware of the Ignorance of God's Righteousness, least we go about to establish our own, and so rebelliously refuse to submit to the Righteousness of GOD, seeing that by the Deeds of the Law in Flesh living can be justified, let us then inviolably pur­sue the Apostle's Sentiments, Disposition, and Practice, maugre all Opposition to the Contrary from Men and from Devils, namely, to desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, to worship God in the Spirit, to have no Confidence in the Flesh, and to rejoice in Christ Jesus, who by the Sacrifice of himself has satisfied divine Justice for us, and is our all in all, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN. May God himself say AMEN.

FINIS.

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