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12. “ In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." [Now what relation satisfaction has to forgiveness of sins, or how any can construe grace to be strict justice, the meanest understanding
may determine.] 13. “ But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory, by Christ Jesus.r”. (He does not say that God's justice, in consideration of Christ's satisfaction, acquitted us from sins past, present, and to come, and therefore hath called us to his eternal glory; but from his grace.]
14. “ In this was manifest the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." [Which plainly attributes Christ, in his doctrine, life, miracles, death, and sufferings, to God, as the gift and expression of his eternal love, for the salvation of men.
1.' In abolishing that other covenant, which consisted in external and shadowy ordinances, and that made none clean as concerning the conscience.
2. In promulgating his message, of a most free and universal tender of life and salvation, unto all tbat believed and followed him, (the light) in all his righteousness, the very end of his appearance being to destroy the works of the devil, and which every man only comes to experience, as he walks in an holy subjection to that measure of light and grace, wherewith the fulness hath enlightened him.
3. In seconding his doctrines with signs, miracles, and a most innocent self-denying life.
4. In ratifying and confirming all (with great love and holy resignation) by the offering up of his body, to be crucified by wicked hands : who is now ascended far above all heavens, and is thereby become a most complete captain, and perfect example.
So that I can by no means conclude, but openly declare, that the scriptures of truth are not only silent in reference to this doctrine of rigid satisfaction, but that it is altogether inconsistent with the dignity of God, and very repugnant to the conditions, nature, and tendency of that second covenant, concerning which their testimony is so clear.
The absurdities, that unavoidably follow the comparison of
this doctrine with the sense of scripture. 1. That God is gracious to forgive, and yet it is impossible for him, unless the debt be fully satisfied.
4 Eph. i. 7. rl Peter v. 10. • 1 John iv. 9.
2. That the finite and impotent creature is more capable of extending mercy and forgiveness, than the infinite and omnipotent Creator.
3." That God so loved the world, he gave his only Son to save it ;" and yet that God stood off in high displeasure, and Christ gave himself to God as a complete satisfaction to his offended justice : with many more such like gross consequences that might be drawn.,
Refuted from right reason. But if we should grant a scripture silence, as to the necessity of Christ's so satisfying his Father's justice ; yet so manifest would be the contradictions, and foul the repugnancies to right reason, that who had not vejled his understanding with the dark suggestions of unwarrantable tradition, or contracted his judgment to the implicit apprehensions of some over-valued acquaintance, might with great facility discriminate to a full resolution in this point: for admitting God to be a creditor, or he to whom the debt should be paid, and Christ, he that satisfies or pay; it on the behalf of man, the debtor, this question will arise, Whether he paid that debt, as God, or man, or both ? (to use their own terms.)
Not as God. 1. In that it divides the unity of the God-head, by two distinct acts, of being offended, and not offended; of condemning justice and redeeming mercy; of requiring a satisfaction, and then making of it.
2. Because if Christ pays the debt as God, then the Father and the Spirit being God, they also pay the debt.
3. Since God is to be satisfied, and that Christ is God, he consequently is to be satisfied; and who shall satisfy his infinite justice?
4. But if Christ has satisfied God the Father, Christ being also God, it will follow then that he has satisfied himself, (which cannot be.)
5. But since God the Father was once to be satisfied, and that it is impossible he should do it himself, nor yet the Son or Spirit, because the same God; it naturally follows, that the debt remains unpaid, and these satisfactionists thus far are still at a loss.
Not as man. 6. The justice offended being infinite, his satisfaction ought to bear a proportion therewith, which Jesus Christ, as man, could never pay, he being finite, and from a finite cause could not proceed an infinite effect; for so man may be said to bring forth God, since nothing below the divinity itself can rightly be stiled infinite.
Not as God and man. 7. For where two mediums, or middle propositions, are singly inconsistent with the nature of the end, for which they were at first propounded, their conjunction does rather augment than lessen the difficulty of its accomplishment; and this I am persuaded must be obvious to every unbiassed understanding.
But admitting one of these three mediums possible for the payment of an infinite debt; yet, pray observe the most unworthy and ridiculous consequences, that will unavoidably attend the impossibility of God's pardoning sinners without a satisfaction.
Consequences irreligious and irrational. 1. That it is unlawful and impossible for God Almighty to be gracious and merciful, or to pardon transgressors; than which, what is more unworthy of God?
2. That God was inevitably compelled to this way of saying men; the highest affront to his incontroulable nature.
3. That it was unworthy of God to pardon, but not to inflict punishment on the innocent, or require a satisfaction where there was nothing due.
4. It doth not only dis-acknowledge the true virtue and real intent of Christ's life and death, but entirely deprives God of that praise which is owing to his greatest love and goodness.
5. It represents the Son more kind and compassionate than the Father; whereas if both be the same God, then either the Father is as loving as the Son, or the Son as angry as the Father.
6. It robs God of the gift of his Son for our redemption (which the scriptures attribute to the unmerited love he had for the world) in affirming the Son purchased that redemption from the Father, by the gift of himself to God, as our complete satisfaction. 7. Since Christ could not pay what was not his own,
it follows, that in the payment of his own, the case still remains equally grievous; since the debt is not hereby absolved or forgiven, but transferred only; and by consequence we are no better provided for salvation than before, owing that now to the Son, which was once owing to the Father.
8. It no way renders man beholding, or in the least
obliged to God; since by their doctrine he would not have abated us, nor did he Christ the last farthing; so that the acknowledgments are peculiarly the Son's; which destroys the whole current of scripture-testimony, for his good-will towards men.-0 the infamous portraiture this doctrine draws of the infinite goodness! Is this your retribution, O injurious satisfactionists?
9. "That God's justice is satisfied for sins past, present, and to come; whereby God and Christ have lost both their power of enjoining godliness, and prerogative of punishing disobedience ; for what is once paid is not revokeable, and if punishment should arrest any for their debts, it either argues a breach on God's or Christ's part, or else that it has not been sufficiently solved, and the penalty completely sustained by another; forgetting," that every one must appear before ihe judgment-seat of Christ, to receive according to the things done in the body; yea, every one must give an account of himself to God.". But many more are the gross absurdities and blasphemies that are the genuine fruits of this so-confidently believed doctrine of satisfaction.
A Caution. Let me advise, nay warn thee, reader, by no means to admit an entertainment of this principle, by whomsoever recommended ; since it does not only divest the glorious God of his sovereign power, both to pardon and punish, but as certainly insinuates a licentiousness, at least a liberty, that unbecomes the nature of that ancient gospel once preached amongst the primitive saints, and that from an apprehension of a satisfaction once paid for all. Where. as I must tell thee, that unless thou seriously repent, and no more grieve God's holy Spirit, placed in thy inmost parts, but art thereby taught to deny all ungodliness, and led into all righteousness; at the tribunal of the great Judge, thy plea shall prove invalid, and thou receive thy reward without respect to any other thing than the deeds done in the body : “ Be not deceived, God will not be mocked ; such as thou sowest, such shalt thou reap :" which leads me to the consideration of my third head, viz. • Justification by an imputative righteousness.'
The justification of impure persons, by an imputative righte
ousness, refuted from scripture. "That there is no other way for sinners to be justified in the sight of God, than by the imputation of that righte
Rom. xiv. 12. 2 Cor. iv, 10. u Gal. vi. 7. VOL. I.
ousness of Christ, long since performed personally; and that sanctification is consequential, not antecedent."
1. “ Keep thee far from a talse matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not ; for I will not justify the wicked.w" (Whereon I ground this argument, that since God has prescribed an inoffensive life, as that which can only give acceptance with him, and on the contrary hath determined never to justify the wicked, then will it necessarily follow, that unless this so-much-believed imputative righte ousness had that effectual influence, as to regenerate and redeem the soul from sin, on wbich the malediction lies, he is as far to seek for justification as before ; for whilst a person is really guilty of a false matter, I positively assert, from the authority and force of this scripture, he cannot be in a state of justification; and as God will not justify the wicked, so, by the acknowledged reason of contraries, the just he will never condemn, but they, and they only, are the justified of God.]
2. “ Ře that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord.” [It would very opportunely be observed, that if it is so great an abomination in men to justify the wicked, and condemn the just, how much greater would it be in God, which this doctrine of imputative righteousness ne. cessarily does imply, that so far disengages God from the person justified, as that his guilt shall not condemn him, nor his innocency justify him? But will not the abomination appear greatest of all, when God shall be found condenning of the just, on purpose to justify the wicked, and that he is thereto compelled, or else no salvation, which is the tendency of their doctrine, who imagine the righteous and merciful God, to condemn and punish his innocent Son, that he having satisfied for our sins, we might be justified (whilst unsanctified) by the imputation of his perfect right. eousness.' 0! why should this horrible thing be contended for by Christians :]
3. “ I'he son shall not bear the iniquity of his father ; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, for his iniquity that he hath done shall be die. Again, when the wicked' man turneth away from his wickedness, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive; yet saith the house of Israel, the ways of the Lord are not equal : are not my ways equal ?y”. (If this was once equal, it is soʻstill, for God is unchangeable ; and therefore I shati
* Exod. xxii. 7. * Prov. Ivii. 15. » Ezek. xviii. 20, 26, 27, 28.