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evil concerning him. He was cordially willing to meet his sufferings and death in their predicted form and manner, He was prepared to meet his strong enemy in the wilderness, or in the field of battle. He was always willing, at the time appointed, to try his strength with the power of darkness: for he knew that he was able to conquer every foe. He wished not to escape the wound, which, agreeably to the prediction, Satan would make upon bis heel; for, by this means, he would have an opportunity to effect a mortal wound upon the head of the serpent.
This bruise upon the blessed Redeemer; and the blood sprinkled upon his garments, will not hereafter appear to the disgrace of the mighty Conqueror; but they will be produced to his unspeakable honour, and eternal praise. He will exhibit to his redeemed in heaven, his mangled hands, his pierced side, his bruises and his blood, as tokens of his great love wherewith he loved them.
The precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, will not be exhibited as a token of divine anger towards sinners; but it will be produced as a most striking manifestation of divine benevolence towards a guilty world. No such token will be necessary to manifest the anger of God towards the finally impenitent: eternity, truly, will be long enough for God perfectly to express all his anger towards them for all their sins: for, the anger of God, therefore to be expressed towards them, in the sufferings and death of his beloved Son, is, indeed, altogether needless.
It is the opinion of some, that the sufferings of Christ, considering the infinite dignity and excellency of his person and character, are equal to the sufferings of all mankind in an eternal hell. But if this were the case why should sinner's suffer an eternal hell? And if the impenitent sinner will suffer in hell all that which he deserves, why, I ask, should Christ suffer in his room and stead, all that evil which he has to suffer in his own person? Is there anger enough in God to:
wards sinners, to inflict a double punishment? to inflice infinite evil upon the sinner, and infinite evil upon Christ as the sinner's Substitute? According to this, there is infinitely more suffering than there is need of.
If it be said that Christ suffered in the room and stead of the elect only; and that he suffered in their room and stead that which was equivalent to their eternal destruction; then, it appears to me, that justice requires the salvation of all the elect. According to this scheme of atonement, they for whom Christ died ought in justice to be exempted from punishment; and if justice requires their exemption from punishment, the idea of pardon is totally excluded. Therefore the salvation of sioners'according to this scheme, as it appears to me, would not be wholly of grace, but of strict justice. My meaning is that however gracious and merciful the Son would be in suffering all the evil which the sinner deserved; yet the Father would be, according to strict justice, under obligation lo exempta the sinner from punishment.
The sufferings of Christ were never designed to buy sinners out of the hands of justice. But justice requires that they be punished, as much as if Christ had not died. The finally impenitent will reap no advantage from the death of Christ. And sinners' repenting of their sins renders them no less deserving of punishment. But their sins being blotted out through the blood of Christ, makes their salvation to be of grace.
The anger of God is expresse... only in the sufferings of transgressors. God is angry with the wicked every day; and, if they do not repent, bis anger will burn against them forever. The anger of God will be suiliciently expressed in the everlasting punishment of those who know not God, and obey not the Gospel. But the day of reckoning is not yet come; the day of vengeance is still future. In the sufferings of Christ we do not see the anger of God expressed towards sinners, but we see his benevolence displayed in the clearest and fullest manner possible. No language can describe the love of God to guilty man equally to the sufferings of his dearly beloved Son. The love of God in the death of his Son is painted in the most lively colours. In the cross of Christ the love of God shines beyond the brightness of the meridian sun. It was the love of God to man which placed his Son upon the Roman cross; and out of love to God and man the Son expired there.
* "Guferings, it is true, can add nothing to the love of God to his creatures: but ihey may be, and it is boped can be, proved to be vecessary to a consistent exercise display of that lore. Atone inent does not imply a purchase of God's merry; it does not imply satisfaction in justice, ks a cancellation of debt; nor does is ina! aun obligation on justice, for the liberation of sinners; for if it do, then sina bers are in t sared by forgiveness, since it is impossible for mercy to pardon, where justice calibot purish." DR. MAXED.
For the redemption of man, it was necessary, that the Lord Jesus Christ should be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The necessity of Christ's dying upon the cross, was, in an early age of the world, expressed by Moses' lifting up the serpent in the wila derness; that the believer in the exalted Saviour, "might not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in hinį should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Hence it is evident, that, not the anger, but the love of God, was manifested in the sufferings and death of his well beloved Son,
And as it was the plan and purpose of God, for the redemption of sinners, that Christ should die upon the cross, so it was the mind of God, that he should be typified by the brazen serpent in the wilderness.
Christ must be nailed to the cross and expire there; for had he been put to death by stoning, according to a Jewish law, the Scriptures would not have been luifilled. But that the blood of Christ might answer the purpose of our redemption, it was necessary that all the predictions and prophecies respecting him, should centre in him. And as Christ was exhibited by types,
it was necessary, that, when he did appear, he should 80 appear as to answer the types.
It may be asked, why was the Antitype so constructed? This construction of things was involved in the covenant of redemption. But why, you ask, were things so constructed, as to render necessary, not only the crucifixion of Christ, but the manner and all the circumstances of it? Answer; “God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
But, still it is inquired, did not the nature of things, make it necessary, that, in order to man's redemption, something be done? I answer; the sole price of man's redemption, is the blood of Christ, and every thing implied in his death, was necessary that man might live. But,
Whether the nature of things, aside from the will of God, required the death of Christ, and that upon the cross, is not for me to decide.
I believe it was necessary, that the covenant of redemption be just such an instrument as it really is; and that the Bible be just such a book as it really is; and that all the types and predictions concerning Christ be as they really are: but, whether the nature of things required that the covenant of redemption be just as it is; or whether the nature of things forbids the salvation of man, on the supposition that the blood of Christ were shed by stoning, instead of its being shed by cru. cifixion, is too much for me to say.
I believe that the covenant of redemption was constructed in infinite wisdom; and, I believe, that the Bible stands firm upon the same solid foundation. Now then I believe, that God for Christ's sake,canconsistent. ly have mercy on whom he will he can renew and justify those who by nature are ungodly. And what was necessary in order to this, in the judgment of infinite wisdom, was determined in"the counsel of peace” before the world was.
The atonement of Christ is the onły foundation which keeps men from sinking into eternal perdition.
No where could wisdom be found sufficient to answer the important question, how can man be redeemed? but in the counsel of peace. And this question being settled in heaven, the knowledge of it, reached us who dwell on earth, by a divine revelation.
In the covenant of redemption, it was determined that the foundation of our salvation should be laid in the blood of one born of a woman, yet eminently the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
It was promised him, who was in the bosom of the Father, that on his coming and destroying the “prince of this world,” he should be the exalted Prince and Saviour of man. In the counsel of peace, every thing was settled between the Father and the Son, which was necessary to be done, that, the prince of this world might be cast out.” This being done, Christ must be exhibited by types and predictions: he knew therefore from the beginning every thing by which he should be exhibited to public view, in the revelation of God. A necessity was laid upon him to answer all the types and predictions concerning him. The Word knew before he was made flesh, that God had said to the serpent, “Thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The Prophet Isaiah knowing, that when the Son of man should appear upon the stage in public life, he would have to contend with satan and the whole er of darkness from earth and hell; therefore introduces him as a mighty conqueror: "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.” Bishop Lowth's translation of the above is; For the greaves of the armed warriors in the conflict, and the garments rolled in much blood, shall be for a burning, even fuel for the fire. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall