ms plainly that they are so all their lives, until they are actually freed by Jesus Christ, Heb. 2:14,15. (5.) Are they not under the curse of the law? How are they freed from it? By Christ being made a curse for them, Gal. 3:13. (6.) Are they not obnoxious unto judgment, and guilty of eternal death? How is it, then, that Paul says that there is no difference, but that all are subject to the judgment of God, and are guilty before him? Rom. 3:9; and that Christ saves them from this wrath, which, in respect of merit, was to come upon them? Rom 5:9; I Thess. 1:10. (7.) Are they not under the dominion of sin? "God be thanked," says Paul, "that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed," etc., Rom. 6:17. In brief, the Scripture is in nothing more plentiful than in laying and charging all the misery and wrath of and due to an unreconciled condition upon the elect of God, until they actually partake in the deliverance by Christ.
But now some men think to wipe away all that hath been said in a word, and tell us that all this is so but only in their own apprehension; not that those things are so indeed and in themselves. But if these things be so to them only in their apprehension, why are they otherwise to the rest of the whole world? The Scripture gives its no difference nor distinction between them. And if it be so with all, then let all get this apprehension as fast as they can, and all shall be well with the whole world, now miserably captived under a misapprehension of their own condition; that is, let them say the Scripture is a fable, and the terror of the Almighty a scarecrow to fright children; that sin is only in conceit; and so square their conversation to their blasphemous fancies. Some men's words eat as a canker.
4. Of particular places of Scripture, which might abundantly be produced to our purpose, I shall content myself to name only one: John 3:36, "He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him." It abideth: there it was, and there it shall remain, if unbelief be continued; but upon believing it is removed. "But is not God's love by which we shall be freed from his wrath?" Who denies it? But is an apprentice free because he shall be so at the end of seven years? Because God hath purposed to free his in his own time, and will do it, are they therefore free before he doth it? "But are we not in Christ from all eternity?" Yes, chosen in him we are; therefore, in some sense, in him. But how? Even as we are. Actually, a man cannot be in Christ until he be. Now, how are we from eternity? are we eternal? No; only God from eternity hath purposed that we shall be. Doth this give us an eternal being? Alas! we are of yesterday; our being in Christ respecteth only the like purpose, and therefore from thence can be made only the like inference.
This, then, being cleared, it is, I hope, apparent to all how miserable a strained consequence it is, to argue from God's decree of election to the overthrow of Christ's merit and satisfaction; the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ being, indeed, the chief means of carrying along that purpose unto execution, the pleasure of the Lord prospering in his hand. Yet, the argument may be retorted, and will hold undeniable on the other side, the consequence being evident, from the purpose of God to save sinners, to the satisfaction of Christ for those sinners. The same act of God's will which sets us apart from eternity for the enjoyment of all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, sets also apart Jesus Christ to be the purchaser and procurer of all those spiritual blessings, as also to make satisfaction for all their sins; which that he did (being the main thing opposed) we prove by these ensuing arguments.
Being a second part of the former digression--Arguments to prove the satisfaction of Christ.
1. If Christ so took our sins, and had them by God so laid and imposed on him, as that he underwent the punishment due unto them in our stead, then he made satisfaction to the justice of God for them, that the sinners might go free; but Christ so took and bare our sins, and had them so laid upon him, as that he underwent the punishment due unto them, and that in our stead: therefore, he made satisfaction to the justice of God for them. The consequent of the proposition is apparent, and was before proved. Of the assumption there be three parts, severally to be confirmed: --First, That Christ took and bare our sins, God laying them on him. Secondly, That he so took them as to undergo the punishment due unto them. Thirdly, That he did this in our stead.
For the first, that he took and bare our sins, ye have it, John 1:29, "Who taketh away the sin of the world;" I Pet. 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body;" Isa. 53:11, "He shall bear their iniquities;" and verse 12, "He bare the sin of many." That God also laid or imposed our sins on him is no less apparent: Isa, 53:6, "The LORD, made to meet on him the iniquity of us all;" 2 Cor. 5:21, "He hath made him to be sin for us."
The second branch is, that in thus doing our Saviour underwent the punishment due to the sins which he bare, which were laid upon him; which may be thus made manifest:--Death and the curse of the law contain the whole of the punishment due to sin, Gen. 2:17, "Dying then shalt die," is that which was threatened. Death was that which entered by sin, Rom. 5:12: which word in these places is comprehensive of all misery due to our transgressions; which also is held out in the curse of the law, Deut. 27:26, "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them." That all evils of punishment whatsoever are comprised in these is unquestionably evident. Now, Jesus Christ in bearing our sins underwent both these: for "by the grace of God he tasted death," Heb. 2:9; by death delivering from death, verse 14. He was not "spared, but given up to death for us all," Rom. 8:32. So also the curse of the law: Gal. 3:13, he "was made a curse for us;" and "cursed." And this by the way of undergoing the punishment that was in death and curse: for by these "it pleased the LORD to bruise him, and put him to grief," Isa. 53:IO; yea, "he spared him not," Rom. 8:32, but "condemned sin in his flesh," verse 3. It remaineth only to show that he did this in our stead, and the whole argument is confirmed.
Now, this also our Saviour himself maketh apparent, Matt. 20:28. He came "to give himself a ransom for many." The word ANTI always supposeth a commutation, and change of one person or thing instead of another, as shall be afterward declared: so Matt 2:22; so I Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet 3:18, "He suffered for us, the just for the unjust;" and Ps. 69:4, "I restored" (or paid) "that which I took not away,"--namely, our debt, so far as that thereby we are discharged, as Rom. 8:34, where it is asserted, upon this very ground, that he died in our stead. And so the several parts of this first argument are confirmed.
II. If Jesus Christ paid into his Father's hands a valuable price and ransom for our sins, as our surety, so discharging the debt that we lay under, that we might go free, then did he bear the punishment due to our sins, and make satisfaction to the justice of God for them (for to pay such a ransom is to make such satisfaction); but Jesus Christ paid such a price and ransom, as our surety, into his Father's hands, etc: ergo,--
There be four things to be proved in the assumption, or second proposition:--First, That Christ paid such a price and ransom. Secondly, That he paid it into the hands of his Father. Thirdly, That he did it as our surety. Fourthly, That we might go free. All which we shall prove in order:
First, For the first, our Saviour himself affirms it, Matt. 20:28. He "came to give his life LUTRON," a ransom or price of redemption "for many," Mark 10:45; which the apostle terms ANTILUTRON, I Tim. 2:6, a ransom to be accepted in the stead of others: whence we are said to have deliverance, "by the ransom-paying of Christ Jesus," Rom. 3:24. "He bought us with a price," 1 Cor. 6:20; which price was his own blood, Acts 20:28; compared to and exalted above silver and gold in this work of redemption, I Pet. 1:18. So that this first part is most clear and evident.
Secondly, He paid this price into the hands of his Father. A price must be paid to somebody in the case of deliverance from captivity by it; it must be paid to the judge or jailer,--that is, to God or the devil. To say the latter were the highest blasphemy; Satan was to be conquered, not satisfied. For the former, the Scripture is clear: It was his "wrath" that was on us, John 3:36. It was he that had "shut us all up under sin," Gal. 3:22. He is the great king to whom the debt is owing, Matt. 28:23-34. He is the only "law-giver, who is able to save and to destroy," James 4:12. Nay, the ways whereby this ransom-paying is in the Scripture expressed abundantly enforce the payment of it into the hands of his Father; for his death and blood-shedding is said to be PROSPHORA and THUSIA, "an oblation and sacrifice," Eph. 5:2; and his soul to be a sacrifice or "offering for sin," Isa. 53:lO. Now, certainly offerings and sacrifices are to be directed unto God alone.
Thirdly, That he did this as surety, we are assured, Heb. 7:22. He was made EGGUOS, a "surety of a better testament;" and, in performance of the duty which lay upon him as such, "he paid that which he took not away," Ps. 69:4. All which could not possibly have any other end but that we might go free.
III. To make an atonement for sin, and to reconcile God unto the sinners, is in effect to make satisfaction unto the justice of God for sin, and all that we understand thereby; but Jesus Christ, by his death and oblation, did make an atonement for sin, and reconcile God unto sinners: ergo,--
The first proposition is in itself evident; the assumption is confirmed, Rom. 3:24,25. We are justified freely by the ransom-paying, that is in Christ, whom God hath set forth to be HILASTERION, a propitiation, an atonement, a mercy-seat, a covering of iniquity; and that, for the manifestation of his justice, declared in the going forth and accomplishment thereof. So likewise Heb. 2:17, he is said to be a "merciful high priest,"--"to make reconciliation for the sins of the people," to reconcile God unto the people: the meaning of the words being,--to reconcile God, who was offended with the sins of the people; which reconciliation we are said to "receive," Rom. 5:11 (the word KATALLAGE there, in our common translation rendered "atonement," is in other places in the same rendered "reconciliation," being indeed, the only word used for it in the New Testament.) And all this is said to be accomplished,--by one righteousness or satisfaction; that is of Christ, (the words will not bear that sense wherein they are usually rendered, "By the righteousness of one"). And hereby were we delivered from that from which it was impossible we should be otherwise delivered, Rom. 8:3.
IV. That wherein the exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ whilst he was on earth doth consist, cannot be rejected nor denied without damnable error; but the exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ whilst he was upon the earth consisted in this, to bear the punishment due to our sins, to make atonement with God, by undergoing his wrath, and reconciling him to sinners upon the satisfaction made to his justice: therefore cannot these things be denied without damnable error.
That in the things before recounted the exercise of Christ's priestly office did consist is most apparent,--first, From all the types and sacrifices whereby it was prefigured, their chief end being propitiation and atonement; secondly, From the very nature of the sacerdotal office, appointed for sacrificing, Christ having nothing to offer but his own blood, through the eternal Spirit; and, thirdly, From divers, yea, innumerable texts of Scripture affirming the same. It would be too long a work to prosecute these things severally and at large, and therefore I will content myself with one or two places wherein all those testimonies are comprised; as Heb. 9:13, 14, "If the blood of bulls and of goats," etc., "how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God?" etc. Here the death of Christ is compared to, exalted above, and in the antitype answereth, the sacrifices of expiation which were made by the blood of bulls and goats; and so must, at least spiritually, effect what they did carnally accomplish and typically prefigure,--namely, deliverance from the guilt of sin by expiation and atonement: for as in them the life and blood of the sacrifice was accepted in the stead of the offerer, who was to die for the breach of the law, according to the rigour of it, so in this of Christ was his blood accepted as an atonement and propitiation for us, himself being priest, altar, and sacrifice. So, Heb. 10:10-12, he is said expressly, in the room of all the old, insufficient, carnal sacrifices, which could not make the comers thereunto perfect, to offer up his own body a sacrifice for sins, for the remission and pardon of sins through that offering of himself; as it is verse 19. And in the performance also do we affirm that our Saviour underwent the wrath of God which was due unto us. This, because it is by some questioned, I shall briefly confirm, and that with these following reasons:--
First, The punishment due to sin is the wrath of God: Rom. 1:18, "The wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness;" chap. 2:5, "The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" Eph. 2:3, "Children of wrath;" John 3:36. But Jesus Christ underwent the punishment due to sin: 2 Cor. 5:21, "Made sin for us;" Isa. 53:6, "Iniquity was laid upon him;" I Pet. 2:24, "He bare our sins in his own body on the tree." Therefore he underwent the wrath of God.
Secondly, The curse of the law is the wrath of God taken passively, Deut 24:20, 21. But Jesus Christ underwent the curse of the law: Gal. 3:13, "Made a curse for us," the curse that they lie under who are out of Christ, who are "of the works of the law," verse, 10. Therefore he underwent the wrath of God.
Thirdly, The death that sinners are to undergo is the wrath of God. Jesus Christ did taste, of that death which sinners for themselves were to undergo; for he died as "our surety," Heb. 7:22, and in our stead, Matt. 20:28. Hence his fear, Heb. 5:7; agony, Luke 22:44; astonishment and amazement, Mark 14:33; dereliction, Matt. 27:46; sorrow, heaviness, and inexpressible pressures, chap. 26:37-39.
V. That doctrine cannot be true nor agreeable to the gospel which strikes at the root of gospel faith, and plucks away the foundation of all that strong consolation which God is so abundantly willing we should receive; but such is that of denying the satisfaction made by Christ, his answering the justice and undergoing the wrath of his Father. It makes the poor soul to be like Noah's dove in its distress, not knowing where to rest the soles of her feet. When a soul is turned out of its self-righteousness, and begins to look abroad, and view the heaven and earth for a resting place, and perceives an ocean, a flood, an inundation of wrath, to cover all the world, the wrath of God revealing itself from heaven against all ungodliness, so that it can obtain no rest nor abiding,--heaven it cannot reach by its own flight, and to hell it is unwilling to fall;--if now the Lord Jesus Christ do not appear as an ark in the midst of the waters, upon whom the floods have fallen, and yet has got above them all for a refuge, alas! what shall it do? When the flood fell there were many mountains glorious in the eye, far higher than the ark; but yet those mountains were all drowned, whilst the ark still kept on the top of the waters. Many appearing hills and mountains of self-righteousness and general mercy, at the first view, seem to the soul much higher than Jesus Christ, but when the flood of wrath once comes and spreads itself, all those mountains are quickly covered; only the ark, the Lord Jesus Christ though the flood fall on him also, yet he gets above it quite, and gives safety to them that rest upon him.
Let me now ask any of those poor souls who ever have been wandering and tossed with the fear of the wrath to come, whether ever they found a resting-place until they came to this: --God spared not his only Son, but gave him up to death for us all; that he made him to be sin for us; that he put all the sins of all the elect into that cup which he was to drink of; that the wrath and flood which they feared did fall upon Jesus Christ (though now, as the ark, he be above it, so that if they could get into him they should be safe). The storm hath been his, and the safety shall be theirs. As all the waters which would have fallen upon them that were in the ark fell upon the ark, they being dry and safe, so all the wrath that should have fallen upon them fell on Christ; which alone causeth their souls to dwell in safety? Hath not, I say, this been your bottom, your foundation, your resting-place? If not (for the substance of it), I fear you have but rotten bottoms. Now, what would you say if a man should come and pull this ark from under you, and give you an old rotten post to swim upon in the flood of wrath? It is too late to tell you no wrath is due unto you; the word of truth and your own consciences have given you other information. You know the "wages of sin is death," in whomsoever it be; he must die in whomsoever it is found. So that truly the soul may well say, "Bereave me of the satisfaction of Christ, and I am bereaved. If he fulfilled not justice, I must; if he underwent not wrath, I must to eternity. O rob me not of my only pearl!" Denying the satisfaction of Christ destroys the foundation of faith and comfort.
VI. Another argument we may take from some few particular places of Scripture, which, instead of many, I shall produce:--
As, first, 2 Cor. 5:21, "He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." "He made him to be sin for us;" how could that be? are not the next words, "He knew no sin?" was he not a Lamb without blemish, and without spot? Doubtless; "he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." What then is this, "God made him to be sin?" It cannot be that God made him sinful, or a sinner by any inherent sin; that will not stand with the justice of God nor with the holiness of the person of our Redeemer. What is it, then? "He made him to be sin who knew no sin?" Why, clearly, by dispensation and consent, he laid that to his charge whereof he was not guilty. He charged upon him and imputed unto him all the sins of all the elect, and proceeded against him accordingly. He stood as our surety, really charged with the whole debt, and was to pay the utmost farthing, as a surety is to do if it be required of him; though he borrow not the money, nor have one penny of that which is in the obligation, yet if he be sued to an execution, he must pay all. The Lord Christ (if I may so say) was sued by his Father's justice unto an execution, in answer whereunto he underwent all that was due to sin; which we proved before to be death, wrath, and curse.
If it be excepted (as it is) "That God was always well pleased with his Son,--he testified it again and again from heaven,--how, then, could he lay his wrath upon him?" Ans. It is true he was always well pleased with him; yet it "pleased him to bruise him and put him to grief." He was always well pleased with the holiness of his person, the excellency and perfectness of his righteousness, and the sweetness of his obedience, but he was displeased with the sins that were charged on him: and therefore it pleased him to bruise and put him to grief with whom he was always well pleased.
Nor is that other exception of any more value, "That Christ underwent no more than the elect lay under; but they lay not under wrath and the punishment due to sin." Ans. The proposition is most false, neither is there any more truth in the assumption; for--First, Christ underwent not only that wrath (taking it passively) which the elect were under, but that also which they should have undergone bad not he borne it for them: he "delivered them from the wrath to come," Secondly, The elect do, in their several generations, lie under all the wrath of God in respect of merit and procurement, though not in respect of actual endurance,--in respect of guilt, not present punishment, So that, notwithstanding there exceptions, it stands firm that "he was made sin for us, who knew no sin."
Isa. 53:5, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Of this place something was said before; I shall add some small enlargements that conduce to discover the meaning of the words. "The chastisement of our peace was upon him;" that is, he was chastised or punished that we might have peace, that we might go free, our sins being the cause of his wounding, and our iniquities of his being bruised, all our sins meeting upon him, as verse 6; that is, he "bare our sins," in Peter's interpretation. He bare our sins (not, as some think, by declaring that we were never truly sinful, but) by being wounded for them, bruised for them, undergoing the chastisement due unto them, consisting in death, wrath, and curse, so making his soul an offering for sin. "He bare our sins;" that is, say some, he declared that we have an eternal righteousness in God, because of his eternal purpose to do us good. But is this to interpret Scripture, or to corrupt the word of God? Ask the word what it means by Christ's bearing of sin; it will tell you, his being "stricken" for our transgressions, Isa. 53:8,--his being "cut off" for our sins, Dan. 9: 26. Neither hath the expression of bearing sins any other signification in the word: Lev. 5:1, "If a soul hear the voice of swearing, if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity." What is that? he shall declare himself or others to be free from sin? No, doubtless; but, he shall undergo the punishment due to sin, as our Saviour did in bearing our iniquities. He must be a cunning gamester indeed that shall cheat a believer of this foundation.
More arguments or texts on this subject I shall not urge or produce, though the cause itself will enforce the most unskilful to abound. I have proceeded as far as the nature of a digression will well bear. Neither shall I undertake, at this time, the answering of objections to the contrary; a full discussion of the whole business of the satisfaction of Christ, which should cause me to search for, draw forth, and confute all objections to the contrary, being not by me intended. And for those which were made it that debate which gave occasion to this discourse, I dare not produce them, lest haply I should not be able to restrain the conjectures of men that I purposely framed such weak objections, that 1 might obtain an easy conquest over a man of straw of mine own erection, so weak were they and of so little force to the slashing of so fundamental a truth as that is which we do maintain. So of this argument hitherto.
Of the merit of Christ, with arguments from thence.
ARG. XIV. A fourth thing ascribed to the death of Christ is MERIT, or that worth and value of his death whereby he purchased and procured unto us, and for us, all those good things which we find in the Scripture for his death to be bestowed upon us. Of this, much I shall not speak, having considered the thing itself under the notion of impetration already; only, I shall add some few observations proper to that particular of the controversy which we have in hand. The word merit is not at all to be found in the New Testament, in no translation out of the original that I have seen. The vulgar Latin once reads promeretur, Heb. 13:16; and the Rheimists, to preserve the sound, have rendered it promerited. But these words in both languages are uncouth and barbarous, besides that they no way answer EUARESTEO, the word in the original, which gives no colour to merit, name or thing. Nay, I suppose it will prove a difficult thing to find out any one word, in either of the languages wherein the holy Scripture was written, that doth properly and immediately, in its first native importance, signify merit. So that about the name we shall not trouble ourselves, if the thing itself intended thereby be made apparent, which it is both in the Old and New Testament; as Isa. 53:5, "The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." The procurement of our peace and heaing, was the merit of his chastisement and stripes. So Heb. 9:12, "Obtaining by his blood eternal redemption," is as much as we intend to signify by the merit of Christ. The word which comes nearest it in signification we have, Acts 20:28, PERIPOIEO, "Purchased with his own blood;" purchase and impetration, merit and acquisition, being in this business terms equivalent; which latter word is used in divers other places, as I Thess. 5:9; Eph. 1:14; I Pet 2:9. Now, that which by this name we understand is, the performance of such an action as whereby the thing aimed at by the agent is due unto him, according to the equity and equality required in justice; as, "To him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt," Rom. 4:4. That there is such a merit attending the death of Christ is apparent from what was said before; neither is the weight of any operose proving [of] it imposed on us, by our adversaries seeming to acknowledge it no less themselves; so that we may take it for granted (until our adversaries close with the Socinians in this also).
Christ then, by his death, did merit and purchase, for all those for whom he died, all those things which in the Scripture are assigned to be the fruits and effects of his death. These are the things purchased and merited by his blood-shedding, and death; which may be referred unto two heads:--First, Such as are privative; as,--I. Deliverence from the hand of our enemies, Luke 1:74; from the wrath to come, I Thess. 1:10. 2. The destruction and abolition of death in his power, Heb. 2:14; 3. Of the works of the devil, I John 3:8. 4. Deliverence from the curse of the law, Gal. 3:13; 5. From our vain conversation, I Pe1:18; 6. From the present evil world, Gal. 1:4; 7. From the earth, and from among men, Rev. 14:3,4. 8. Purging of our sins, Heb. 1:3, Secondly, Positive; as,--1. Reconciliation with God, Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20. 2. Appeasing or atoning of God by propitiation, Rom. 3:25; I John 2:2. 3. Peacemaking, Eph. 2:14. 4. Salvation, Matt. 1:21. All these hath our Saviour by his death merited and purchased for all them for whom he died; that is, so procured them of his Father that they ought, in respect of that merit, according to the equity of justice, to be bestowed on them for whom they were so purchased and procured. It was absolutely of free grace in God that he would send Jesus Christ to die for any; it was of free grace for whom he would send him to die; it is of free grace that the good things procured by his death be bestowed on any person, in respect of those persons on whom they are bestowed: but considering his own appointment and constitution, that Jesus Christ by his death should merit and procure grace and glory for those for whom he died, it is of debt in respect of Christ that they be communicated to them. Now, that which is thus merited, which is of debt to be bestowed, we do not say that it may be bestowed, but it ought so to be, and it is injustice if it be not.
Having said this little of the nature of merit, and of the merit of Christ, the procurement of his death for them in whose stead he died, it will quickly be apparent how irreconcilable the general ransom is therewith ; for the demonstration whereof we need no more but the proposing of this one question,--namely, If Christ hath merited grace and glory for all those for whom he died, if he died for all, how comes it to pass that these things are not communicated to and bestowed upon all? Is the defect in the merit of Christ, or in the justice of God? How vain it is to except, that these things are not bestowed absolutely upon us, but upon condition, and therefore were so procured; seeing, that the very condition itself is also merited and procured, as Eph. 1:3, 4, Phil. 1:29,--hath been already declared.
ARG. XV. Fifthly, The very phrases of "DYING FOR US," "bearing our sins," being our "surety," and the like, whereby the death of Christ for us is expressed, will not stand with the payment of a ransom for all. To die for another is, in Scripture, to die in that other's stead, that he might go free; as Judah besought his brother Joseph to accept of him for a bondman instead of Benjamin, that he might be set at liberty, Gen. 44:33, and that to make good the engagement wherein he stood bound to his father to be a surety for him. He that is surety for another (as Christ was for us, Heb. 7:22), is to undergo the danger, that the other may be delivered. So David, wishing that he had died for his son Absalom, 2 Sam. 18:33, intended, doubtless, a commutation with him, and a substitution of his life for his, so that he might have lived. Paul also, Rom. 5:7, intimates the same, supposing that such a thing might be found among men that one should die for another; no doubt alluding to the Decii, Menoeceus, Euryalus, and such others, whom we find mentioned in the stories of the heathen, who voluntarily cast themselves into death for the deliverance of their country or friends, continuing their liberty and freedom from death who were to undergo it, by taking it upon themselves, to whom it was not directly due. And this plainly is the meaning of that phrase, "Christ died for us;" that is, in the undergoing of death there was a subrogation of his person in the room and stead of ours. Some, indeed, except that where the word [HUPER, for] is used in this phrase, as Heb. 2:9, "That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man," there only the good and profit of them for whom he died is intended, not enforcing the necessity of any commutation. But why this exception should prevail I see no reason, for the same preposition being used in the like kind in other cases doth confessedly intimate a commutation; as Rom. 9:3, where Paul affirms that he "could wish himself accursed from Christ,"--"for his brethren,"--that is, in their stead, that they might be united to him. So also, 2 Cor. 5:20, "We are ambassadors in Christ's stead." So the same apostle, I Cor. 1:13, asking, and strongly denying by way of interrogation; "Was Paul crucified for you?" plainly showeth that the word HUPER, used about the crucifying of Christ for his church, doth argue a commutation or change, and not only designs the good of them for whom he died, for, plainly, he might himself have been crucified for the good of the church; but in the stead thereof, he abhorreth the least thought of it. But concerning the word ANTI, which also is used, there is no doubt, nor can any exception be made; it always signifieth a commutation and change, whether it be applied to things or persons: so Luke 11:11, "A serpent instead of a fish;" so Matt. 5:38, "An eye for an eye;" so Heb. 12:16 --and for persons, Archelaus is said to reign, "instead of his father," Matt. 2:22. Now, this word is used of the death of our Saviour, Matt. 20:28, "The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many,"--which words are repeated again, Mark 10:45,-that is, to give his life a ransom in the stead of the lives of many. So that, plainly, Christ dying for us, as a surety, Heb. 7:22, and thereby and therein "bearing our sins in his own body," I Pet. 2:24, being made a curse for us, was an undergoing of death, punishment, curse, wrath, not only for our good, but directly in our stead; a commutation and subrogation of his person in the room and place of ours being allowed, and of God accepted. This being, cleared, I demand,--First, Whether Christ died thus for all? that is, whether he died in the room and stead of all, so that his person was substituted in the room of theirs? as, whether he died in the stead of Cain and Pharaoh, and the rest, who long before his death were under the power of the second death, never to be delivered? Secondly, Whether it be justice that those, or any of them, in whose stead Christ died, bearing their iniquities, should themselves also die and bear their own sins to eternity? Thirdly, What rule of equity is there, or example for it, that when the surety hath answered and made satisfaction to the utmost of what was required in the obligation wherein he was a surety, they for whom he was a surety should afterwards be proceeded against? Fourthly, Whether Christ hung upon the cross in the room or stead of reprobates? Fifthly, Whether he underwent all that which was due unto them for whom he died? If not, how could he be said to die in their stead? If so, why are they not all delivered? I shall add no more but this, that to affirm Christ to die for all men is the readiest way to prove that he died for no man, in the sense Christians have hitherto believed, and to hurry poor souls into the bottom of Socinian blasphemies.
The last general argument.
ARG, XVI. Our next argument is taken from some particular places of Scripture, clearly and distinctly in themselves holding out the truth of what we do affirm. Out of the great number of them I shall take a few to insist upon, and therewith to close our arguments.
1. The first that I shall begin withal is the first mentioning of Jesus Christ, and the first revelation of the mind of God concerning a discrimination between the people of Christ and his enemies: Gen. 3:15, "I will put enmity between thee" (the serpent) "and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed," By the seed of the woman is meant the whole body of the elect, Christ in the first place as the head, and all the rest as his members; by the seed of the serpent, the devil, with all the whole multitude of reprobates, making up the malignant state, in opposition to the kingdom and body of Jesus Christ.
That by the first part, or the seed of the woman, is meant Christ with all the elect, is most apparent; for they in whom an the things that are here foretold of the seed of the woman do concur, are the seed of the woman (for the properties of any thing do prove the thing itself.) But now in the elect, believers in and through Christ, are to be found all the properties of the seed of the woman; for, for them, in them, and by them, is the head of the serpent broken, and Satan trodden down under their feet, and the devil disappointed in his temptations, and the devil's agents frustrated in their undertakings. Principally and especially, this is spoken of Christ himself, collectively of his whole body, which beareth a continual hatred to the serpent and his seed.
Secondly, By the seed of the serpent is meant all the reprobate, men of the world, impenitent, unbelievers. For,
First, The enmity of the serpent lives and exerciseth itself in them. They hate and oppose the seed of the woman; they have a perpetual enmity with it; and every thing that is said of the seed of the serpent belongs properly to them.
Secondly, They are often so called in the Scripture: Matt. 3:7, "O generation of vipers," or seed of the serpent; so also chap. 23:33. So Christ telleth the reprobate Pharisees, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do," John 8:44. So again, "Child of the devil," Acts 13:10,--that is, the seed of the serpent; for "he that committeth sin is of the devil," I John 3:8.
These things being undeniable, we thus proceed:--Christ died for no more than God promised unto him that be should die for. But God did not promise him to all, as that he should die for them; for he did not promise the seed of the woman to the seed of the serpent, Christ to reprobates, but in the first word of him he promiseth an enmity against them. In sum, the seed of the woman died not for the seed of the serpent.
2. Matt. 7:23, "I will profess unto them, I never knew you" Christ at the last day professeth to some he never knew them. Christ saith directly that he knoweth his own, whom he layeth down his life for, John 10:14-17. And surely he knows whom and what he hath bought. Were it not strange that Christ should die for them, and buy them that he will not own, but profess he never knew them? If they are "bought with a price," surely they are his own? I Cor. 6:20. If Christ did so buy them, and lay out the price of his precious blood for them, and then at last deny that he ever knew them, might they not well reply, "Ah, Lord! was not thy soul heavy unto death for our sakes? Didst thou not for us undergo that wrath that made thee sweat drops of blood? Didst thou not bathe thyself in thine own blood, that our blood might be spared? Didst thou not sanctify thyself to be an offering for us as well as for any of thy apostles? Was not thy precious blood, by stripes, by sweat, by nails, by thorns, by spear, poured out for us? Didst thou not remember us when thou hungest upon the cross? And now dost thou say, thou never knewest us? Good Lord, though we be unworthy sinners, yet thine own blood hath not deserved to be despised. Why is it that none can lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Is it not because thou diets for them? And didst thou not do the same for us? Why, then, are we thus charged, thus rejected? Could not thy blood satisfy thy Father, but we ourselves must be punished? Could not justice content itself with that sacrifice, but we must now hear, =91Depart, I never knew you?=92" What can be answered to this plea, upon the granting of the general ransom, I know not.
3. Matt. 11:25, 26, "I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." Those men from whom God in his sovereignty, as Lord of heaven and earth, of his own good pleasure, hideth the gospel, either in respect of the outward preaching of it, or the inward revelation of the power of it in their hearts, those certainly Christ died not for; for to what end should the Father send his only Son to die for the redemption of those whom he, for his own good pleasure, had determined should be everlasting strangers from it, and never so much as hear of it in the power thereof revealed to them? Now, that such there are our Saviour here affirms; and he thanks his Father for that dispensation at which so many do at this day repine.
4. John 10:11, 15, 16, 27, 28. This clear place, which of itself is sufficient to evert the general ransom, hath been a little considered before, and, therefore, I shall pass it over the more briefly. First, That all men are not the sheep of Christ is most apparent; for,--First, He himself saith so, verse 26, "Ye are not of my sheep." Secondly, The distinction at the last day will make it evident, when the sheep and the goats shall be separated. Thirdly, The properties of the sheep are, that they hear the voice of Christ, that they know him; and the like are not in all. Secondly, That the sheep here mentioned are all his elect, as well those that were to be called as those that were then already called. Verse 16, Some were not as yet of his fold of called ones; so that they are sheep by election, and not believing. Thirdly, That Christ so says that he laid down his life for his sheep, that plainly he excludes all others; for,--First, He lays down his life for them as sheep. Now, that which belongs to them as such belong only to such. If he lays down his life for sheep, as sheep, certainly be doth it not for goats, and wolves, and dogs. Secondly, He lays down his life as a shepherd, verse 11; therefore, for them as the sheep. What hath the shepherd to do with the wolves, unless it be to destroy them? Thirdly, Dividing all into sheep and others, verse 26, he saith he lays down his life for his sheep; which is all one as if he had said he did it for them only. Fourthly, He describes them for whom he died by this, "My Father gave them me," verse 29; as also chap. 17:6, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me:" which are not all; for "all that the Father giveth him shall come to him," chap. 6:37, and he "giveth unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish," chap. 10:28. Let but the sheep of Christ keep close to this evidence, and all the world shall never deprive them of their inheritance. Farther to confirm this place, add Matt. 20:28; John 11:52.
5. Rom. 8:32-34. The intention of the apostle in this place is, to hold out consolation to believers in affliction or under any distress; which he doth, verse 31, in general, from the assurance of the presence of God with them, and his assistance at all times, enough to conquer all oppositions, and to make all difficulty indeed contemptible, by the assurance of his loving kindness, which is better than life itself. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" To manifest this his presence and kindness, the apostle minds them of that most excellent, transcendent, and singular act of love towards them, in sending his Son to die for them, not sparing him, but requiring their debt at his hand; whereupon he argues from the greater to the less,-- that if he have done that for us, surely he will do every thing else that shall be requisite. If he did the greater, will he not do the less? If he give his Son to death, will he not also freely give us all things? Whence we may observe,--First, That the greatest and most eximious expression of the love of God towards believers is in sending his Son to die for them, not sparing him for their sake; this is made the chief of all. Now, if God sent his Son to die for all, he had [done] as great an act of love, and hath made as great a manifestation of it, to them that perish as to those that are saved. Secondly, That for whomsoever he hath given and not spared his Son, unto them he will assuredly freely give all things; but now he doth not give all things that are good for them unto all, as faith, grace, and glory: from whence we conclude that Christ died not for all. Again, verse 33, he gives us a description of those that have a share in the consolation here intended, for whom God gave his Son, to whom he freely gives all things; and that is, that they are his "elect,"--not all, but only those whom he hath chosen before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy; which gives another confirmation of the restraint of the death of Christ to them alone: which he yet farther confirms, verse 34, by declaring that those of whom he speaks shall be freely justified and freed from condemnation; whereof he gives two reasons,--first, Because Christ died for them; secondly, Because he is risen, and makes intercession for them for whom he died: affording us two invincible arguments to the business in hand. The first, taken from the infallible effects of the death of Christ: Who shall lay any thing to their charge? who shall condemn them? Why, what reason is given? "It is Christ that died." So that his death doth infallibly free all them from condemnation for whom he died. The second, from the connection that the apostle here makes between the death and intercession of Jesus Christ: For whom he died, for them he makes intercession; but he saveth to the utmost them for whom he intercedeth, Heb. 7:25, From all which it is undeniably apparent that the death of Christ, with the fruits and benefits thereof, belongeth only to the elect of God.
6. Eph. 1:7, "In whom we have redemption." If his blood was shed for all, then all must have a share in those things that are to be had in his blood. Now, amongst these is that redemption that consists in the forgiveness of sins; which certainly all have not, for they that have are "blessed," Ro4:7, and shall be blessed for evermore: which blessing comes not upon all, but upon the seed of righteous Abraham, verse 16.
7. 2 Cor. 5:21, "He hath made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." It was in his death that Christ was made sin, or an offering for it. Now, for whomsoever he was made sin, they are made the righteousness of God in him: "By his stripes we are healed," Isa 53:5; John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Then, to intercede is not of greater love than to die, nor any thing else that he doth for his elect. If, then, he laid down his life for all, which is the greatest, why doth he not also the rest for them, and save them to the uttermost?
8. John 17:9, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which then hast given me; for they are thine." And verse 19, "For their sakes I sanctify myself."
9. Eph. 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" as [also] Acts 20:28. The object of Christ's love and his death is here asserted to be his bride, his church; and that as properly as a man's own wife is the only allowed object of his conjugal affections. And if Christ had a love to others so as to die for them, then is there in the exhortation a latitude left unto men, in conjugal affections, for other women besides their wives.
I thought to have added other arguments, as intending a clear discussing of the whole controversy; but, upon a review of what hath been said, I do with confidence take up and conclude that those which have been already urged will be enough to satisfy them who will be satisfied with any thing, and those that are obstinate will not be satisfied with more. So of our arguments here shall be an end.