Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. The righteousness we receive is opposed to our own obedience to the law; opposed to it, not as something in another kind, but as something in the same kind, excluding that from such an end which the other obtains. Now this is the obedience of Christ to the law, himself thereby being made to us righteousness;' 1 Cor. i. 30.

Rom. v. 10. the issue of the death of Christ is placed upon reconciliation, that is, a slaying of the enmity and restoring us into that condition of peace and friendship, wherein Adam was before his fall. But is there no more to be done ? Notwithstanding that there was no wrath due to Adam, yet he was to obey if he would enjoy eternal life. Something there is moreover to be done in respect of us, if after the slaying of the enmity and reconciliation made, we shall enjoy life; being reconciled by his death ;' we are saved by that perfect obedience which in his life he yielded to the law of God. There is distinct mention made of reconciliation, through a non-imputation of sin; as Psal. xxxii, 1. Luke i. 77. Rom. iii. 25. 2 Cor. v. 19. and justification through an imputation of righteousness; Jerem. xxiii. 6. Rom. iv. 5. 1 Cor. i. 30. although these things are so far from being separated, that they are reciprocally affirmed of one another; which, as it doth not evince an identity, so it doth an eminent conjunction; and this last we have by the life of Christ.

This is fully expressed in that typical representation of our justification before the Lord, Zech. iii. 3-5. two things are there expressed to belong to our free acceptation before God. 1. The taking away of the guilt of our sin, our filthy robes; this is done by the death of Christ. Remission of sin is the proper fruit thereof, but there is more also required, even a collation of righteousness, and thereby a right to life eternal; this is here called 'fine change of raiment;' so the Holy Ghost expresses it again, Isa. Ixi. 10. where he calls it plainly the 'garment of salvation, and the robe of righteousness;' now this is only made ours by the obedience of Christ, as the other by his death.

Obj. But if this be so, then are we as righteous as Christ himself, being righteous with his righteousness.

Ans. But first, here is a great difference, if it were no more

than that this righteousness was inherent in Christ, and properly his own, it is only reckoned or imputed to us, or freely bestowed on us; and we are made righteous with that which is not ours. But secondly, the truth is, that Christ was not righteous with that righteousness for himself, but for us ; so that here can be no coinparison ; only this we may say, we are righteous with his righteousness which he wrought for us, and that completely.

And this now is the rise of the purchased grace whereof we speak, the obedience of Christ; and this is the influence of it into our-acceptation with God. Whereas the guilt of sin, and our obnoxiousness to punishment on that account, is removed and taken away, as shall farther be declared by the death of Christ; and whereas besides the taking away of sin, we have need of a complete righteousness upon the account whereof we may be accepted with God, this obedience of Christ, through the free grace of God, is imputed unto us for that end and purpose.

This is all I shall for the present insist on to this purpose ; that the passive righteousness of Christ only, is imputed to: us, in the non-imputation of sin, and that on the condition of our faith and new obedience, so exalting them into the room of the righteousness of Christ, is a thing which in communion with the Lord Jesus, I have as yet no acquaintance withal ; what may be said in the way of argument on the one side or other, must be elsewhere considered.

(2.) The second spring of our communion with Christ in purchased grace, is his death and oblation. He lived for us, he died for us; he was ours in all he did, in all he suffered."

I shall be the more brief in handling of this, because on another design I have i elsewhere at large treated of all the concernments of it.

Now the death of Christ, as it is a spring of that purchased grace wherein we have communion with him, is in the Scripture proposed under a threefold consideration.

h. Tanta-ne me tenuit vivendi, nate, voluptas,

pro me hostili paterer succedere dextræ, Quem genui ? tuane bæc genitor per vulnera servor, Morte tua vivens ?— Virgil Æneid. x. 846.

i Vindic. Evan, tap. 20--29.

[1.] Of a Price.
[2.] Of a Sacrifice.
[3.] Of a Penalty.

In the first regard, its proper effect is redemption; in the second, reconciliation or atonement; in the third, satisfaction; which are the great ingredients of that purchased grace whereby, in the first place, we have communion with Christ.

[1.] It is a price. We are bought with a price;' 1 Cor. vi. 20. ‘being not redeemed with silver and gold, and corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ; 1 Pet. i. 17, 18. which therein answers those things in other contracts ;he came to lay down his life a ransom for many;' Matt. xx. 28. a price of redemption; 1 Tim. ii. 6. The proper use and energy of this expression in the Scripture, I have elsewhere declared.

Now the proper effect and issue of the death of Christ as a price or ransom, is, as I said, redemption. Now redemption is the deliverance of any one from bondage or captivity, and the miseries attending that condition, by the intervention or interposition of a price or ransom, paid by the redeemer, to him by whose authority the captive was detained.

1st. In general it is a deliverance. Hence Christ is called the deliverer;' Rom. xi. 26. giving himself to 'deliver us; Gal. i. 4. he is Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come;' 1 Thess, i. 10.

2dly. It is the delivery of one from bondage or captivity. We are without him, all prisoners and captives, bound in prison; Isa. lxi. 1.' 'sitting in darkness, in the prison house ;' Isa. xlii. 7. xlix. 9. prisoners in the pit wherein there is no water ;' Zech. ix. 11. 'the captives of the mighty and the prey of the terrible ;' Isa. xlix. 25. under a captivity that must be led captive; Psal. Ixviii. 18. this puts us in bondage; Heb. ii. 14.

3dly. The person committing thus to prison and into bondage, is God himself. To him we ‘owe our debts ;' Matt. vi. 12. xviii. 27-29. against him are our offences; Psal. li. 5. he is the judge and lawgiver; James iv. 12. to

Nil quidem emitur, nisi interveniente pretio ; sed hoc tamen additum magnam emphasin habet.-Bez.

sin is to rebel against him; he shuts up men under disobedience; Rom. xi. 32. and he shall cast both body and soul of the impenitent into hell-fire; Matt, x. 28. To his wrath are men obnoxious,' John iii. 36. and lie under it the sentence of the law, which is their prison.

4thly. The miseries that attend this condition are innumerable. Bondage to Satan, sin, and the world, comprises the sum of them, from all which we are delivered by the death of Christ as a price or ransom. "God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood;' Col. i. 13, 14. and he 'redeems us from all iniquity;' Tit. ii. 14.' from our vain conversation ;' 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. even from the guilt and power of our sin, purchasing us to himself 'a peculiar people zealous of good works ;' Tit. ii. 14. so dying for the .redemption of trans, gressors;' Heb. ix. 15. redeeming us also from the world; Gal. iv.5.

5thly. And all this is by the payment of the price mentioned into the hand of God, by whose supreme authority we were detained captives, under the sentence of the law. The debt is due to the great householder, Matt. xviii. 23, 24. and the penalty, his curse and wrath, from which by it we are delivered; Rev. ii. 5.

This the Holy Ghost frequently insists on; Rom. iii. 24, 25. “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare bis righteousness for the remission of sins;' so also, 1 Cor. vi. 20. 1 Pet. i. 18. Matt. xx. 28. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 13. Gal. iii. 13. And this is the first consideration of the death of Christ, as it hath an influence into the procurement of that grace wherein we hold communion with him.

[2.] It was a sacrifice also. He had a body prepared him, Heb. x. 5. wherein he was to accomplish what by the typical oblations and burnt-offerings of the law was prefigured. And that body he offered ; Heb. x. 10. that is,

his whole human nature, for his soul also was made an offering, for sin; Isa. liii. 10. on which account he is said to offer himself; Eph. v. 2. Heb. i. 3. ix. 24. He

him

gave

self a sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savour; and this he did willingly, as became him who was to be a sacrifice.' The law of this obedience being written in his heart ; Psal. xl. 9. that is, he had a readiness, willingness, desire for its performance.

Now the end of sacrifices, such as his was, bloody and for sin, Rom. iv. 3. Heb. ii. 17. was atonement and reconciliation. This is every where ascribed to them, that they were to make atonement, that is in a way suitable to their nature. And this is the tendency of the death of Christ, as a sacrifice, atonement, and reconciliation with God. Sin had broken friendship between God and us; Isa. lxiii. 10. whence his wrath was on us, John iii. 36. and we are hy nature obnoxious to' it; Eph. ii. 3. This is taken away by the death of Christ, as it was a sacrifice ; Dan. ix. 24. 'when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son;' Rom. v. 10. and thereby do we receive the atonement;' ver. 11. for God was in Christ 'reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins and their iniquities ; 2 Cor. v. 19-21. so also Eph. ii. 12–16. and in sundry other places. And this is the second consideration of the death of Christ, which I do but name, having at large insisted on these things elsewhere.

[3.] It was also a punishment; a punishment in our stead. He was wounded for our sins, and bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was on him; Isa. liii. 5. God made all our iniquities (that is the punishment of them) 'to meet upon him ;' ver. 6. "he bare the sins of many ;' ver. 12. 'his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree;' 1 Pet. ii. 24, 25. and therein he'who knew no sin, was made sin for us; 2 Cor. v. 21. What it is in the Scripture to bear sin, see Deut. xix. 5. xx. 17. Numb, xiv. 33. Eph. xviii. 20. The nature, kind, matter, and manner of this punishment I have, as I said before, elsewhere discussed.

Now bearing of punishment tends directly to the giving

1 Observatum est a sacrificantibus, ut si hostia quæ ad aras duceretur, fuisset vehementer reluctata, ostendissetque se invitam altaribus admoveri, amoveretur, quia invito Deo eam offerri putabant; quæ vero stetisset oblata, hanc volenti numini dari existimabant. Macrob, Saturnal. lib. 3.—Hoc quoque notandum, vitulos ad aras humeris hominum allatos non fere litare; sicut nec claudicante, nec aliena hostia placari deos ; neque trahente se ab aris. -Plin. lib. 8. cap. 45.

« AnteriorContinuar »