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transgression. The sin was done and committed by us in the garden before he was clothed with our flesh.” That which puzzles me here is, what you mean by these words, “ As God is strictly just without a full recompense of the same." By what follows, I understand that your meaning is-That God is strictly just in saving and pardoning sinners without receiving any recompense or satisfaction from them, having got full and perfect satisfaction from Christ their surety:- This I believe to be your meaning; otherwise God has declared, that he will by no means clear the guilty without a full satisfaction; and, as he has said this, so he cannot be just and true to his word without a perfect obedience to the law, and without a full and perfect satisfaction to justice. But, as Christ has obeyed the law, both in precept and penalty, and given justice a full and complete satisfaction, so all that are brought to believe in him are delivered from all condemnation, upon the footing of the strictest justice; for God is just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly that are brought to believe in Christ; and he is only merciful because he is strictly just. Thus have I expressed your meaning I believe.
What follows is a statement of justification before God, as this passage expresses it. “ For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew 110 sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor. v. 21. Here we see the doctrine of the imputation, both of sin and righteous
ness. The Son of God having undertaken to be his people's surety from all eternity, a body was prepared to be assumed in time, that so, the Godhead and manhood being united in one person, a proper mediator miglit appear; for as sin entered all the human race became corrupted; all were enemies to God, and reconciliation could never more be brought about without satisfaction both to law and justice. And, that Christ's human nature night be preserved pure and free from all sin, it was not brought forth by natural generation, but produced in the virgin's womb under the influence of the Holy Ghost, and thereby preserved perfectly holy; and, when formed in the womb, then the union between the two natures took place; for the human nature never had personal existence, as that would make two persons in our Saviour, which is confusion. As the two perfect natures were united in the virgin's womb, so, as soon as Christ was born, he is declared to be the Son of God, because of the human nature being united to the divine person of the Son of God; and by this union of God and man in one person a suitable redeemer, saviour, and mediator, was manifested; for, as perfect man, he could yield a perfect obedience to the precepts of the law, and could suffer and endure the death that we had incurred; and what the human nature did, the divine stamped an infinite dignity upon, and so made his obedience perfectly meritorious. And none but Christ could be a proper saviour; for, il
he was no more than perfect man, he could not merit; and, if he was God only, he could not suffer; but, being both God and man in one person, he could both obey and merit, and so reconcile God to sinners, and sinners to God. As mediator, Christ was set up from everlasting in the purpose of God, and undertook to redeem those chosen in him, and given to bim by bis Father; and, upon the footing of this his everlasting undertaking, all the Old Testament saints were pardoned. He undertook to remove all the sins of the elect, which were placed to his account, or imputed to him as their surety; and so, when he actually became incarnate, on the cighth day he was circumcised, which put him into liis people's law place, to answer every demand both of law and justice for them. And, as all the sins of the elect were imputed to him, (for the Lord caused to meet upon him the iniquity of us all), so the righteousness he wrought out and brought in is imputed to them; he took their sin by free imputation, and they receive his righteousness by free imputation also; and this one only righteousness of Christ is the sole cause of their justification, which faith apprehends and puts on. As by the disobedience of one, and by one disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, and by one obedience, shall many be made righteous, Rom. v. 19. So that we are not justified by any inherent righteousness wrought in us, but by Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to us; and the worth and value of this righteousness springs from this, that he who wrought it out and brought it in was God as well as man. Give up the divinity of Christ, and then I will insist upon it, in the name of God, that every soul must perish. I know, and am sure of it, glory be to his precious name, that he is God over all, and for ever blessed, though also bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, Eph. v. 30–32. Heb. ii. 14. “ For he hath made him to be sin for us (by imputation), who knew 110 sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” (by imputation also,) 2 Cor. v. 21. Meditate upon this precions passage. So far we agree, I am fully persuaded.
Again you say, “ I am far from believing that Christ was in the transgression; the sin was done and committed by us in the garden before he became incarnate.” This is not clearly worded; but your meaning I understand to be this+that Christ was entirely free from all sin, and had none of his own. This is clear; for, if he bad not been holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, he could not have been our Saviour; he could have been no saviour at all. The sins that he bore, which were the cause of bis dreadful agony and sufferings in the garden and upon the cross, were all the sins that had been committed by his people, and also those that should be committed after his incarnation to the end of time; and, when he bowed his head upon the cross, saying, “ It is finished,” the whole score was then atoned for.
“For by (his) one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Heb. x. 14; "and thereby became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him," Heb. v. 9. “ Having obtained eternal redemption for us,” Heb. ix. 12. And, as he died to redeem all the elect of God under both testaments, it was thus accomplished; for, as he died for our sins, so he rose again for our justification; and this resurrection from the grave insures the salvation of all those for whom he died; and his finished salvation, in the fulness of time, in its efficacy, extended from the creation to the end of the world. “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 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,” Rom. iii. 24, 25. “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, tliat by means of death, for the redemption of the trans. gressions that were (committed) under the first testament, they which are called (to the knowledge and fellowship of Christ under the new) might receive the promise of eternal inheritance,” Heb. ix. 15.
Further, you say, “ Even in the solemn act of prayer all God's chɔsen people stand in need of pardon, and Christ is exalted as a prince and a saviour, to perfume their prayers, and as their forerunner to appear in the presence of God for them."