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loose to go where he pleased, in a Land the properest for his Sublistence in a Wilderness where he was to wander and range all his Days. Which was a figurative Way of lignifying the total removal of Guilt, or Obligation to Punishment, from the penitent Ifraelites, It should not return, nor be remember'd any more. They were as free from it as the leprous Perfon from his Confinement, or Pollution, fignify'd by letting a Bird fly into the Fields, Lev. xiv. 7. As far as the East is from the West ; so far hath be removed our Transgresions from us, Pfal. ciii. 12.-Again ; Isa. liii. 6. The Lord laid on our Blessed Redeemer the Iniquities of us all. And ver. 11. He shall bear their Iniquity, ver. 12. He bare the Sin of many. So Heb. ix. 28. 1 Pet. ii. 24. But Iniquity and Sin, do also signify Suffering, Afli&tion, &c. And, where Sin is suppos'd in the Subject, suffering for Sin in a proper Sense, or Punishment. Gen. xix. 15.-- left thou [Lot] be consumed in the Iniquity, suffering of the City. Gen. xx. 9. Thou hast brought--on my Kingdom a great Sin, Calamity, Suffering. Ver. 4. Wilt thou say allo a righteous Nation ? Gen. xxxi
. 39. I bare the Loss of it, Heb. I was the Sinner or Sofferer for it. 2 Kings vii. 9.-if we tarry till the Morning, fome Mischief, (Heb. Iniquity) Suffering,] will come upon us. Job v. 6. Affliction [Heb. Iniquity) cometh not forth of the Duft. Jer. li. 6. Flee out of the midst of Babylon,
and deliver every Mar bis Soul: be not cut of in her Iniquity, Sufferings, Destruction. Hab. i. 3. Wby dost thou shew me Iniquity, Afdiction, and caufe me to behold Grievance ? Therefore as
Iniquity, and Sin signify Suffering or Affliction, it is evident a Person may have Iniquity laid upon him, or may bear Sin, to whom Iniquity and Sin cannot be imputed, or upon whom they cannot be charged. And that this was the Case with respect to our Lord is evident : For when, Ifa. liii. 6. the Lord is said to have laid on him the Iniquities of us all, that he bare our Iniquities and Sin, the Spirit of Prophecy fufficiently explains itself by telling us in other Words, ver. 5. He was wounded for our Tranfgreffons, he was bruised for our Iniquities. He suffered for Sin, the just, to whom no Sin could be imputed, for the unjust. He who knew no Sin, and therefore to whoin no Sin could be imputed, was made Sin, was placed in a State of Suffering and Affliction, and became obedient to Death, for us. Thus Ezekiel (Chap. iv. 4, 5, 6.) lying first on his left Side three hundred and ninety Days, and then on his right Side forty Days, bore the Iniquity of the Houses of Israel and Judah which God is there said to lay upon him : Not that the Iniquity of Israel was imputed to, or charged upon him ; but he bore their Iniquity as he prophetically represented in his own Person, either their bearing of Punishment, or God's forbearing their Punishment a certain Number
of Years : for it may be understood either Way. And our Lord was in a State of Suffering, it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put him to Grief, in order to a much nobler End, the Expiation or Atonement of our Sins. But our Sins are never said to be imputed to Christ; nor could Sin be imputed to him who was holy, harmless, undefiled and fe. parate from Sinners. For in Scripture no Sin is said to be imputed, or not imputed to any Person, but his own actual Sin.
On the contrary, with regard to Parents and their Posterity, it is an express Rule in the Law given by God himself, Deut. xxiv. 16. The Fathers shall not be put to death for the Children, neither all the Children be put to death for their Fathers : every Man shall be put to death for his own Sin.
And the Spirit of Truth teaches, and fully and clearly affures us, throughout the whole eighteenth Chapter of Ezekiel, that God, however he may bring the Son under disciplinary Visitations, doth not impute the Guilt of the Father to the Son. And this in Confutation of the Jews, who had entertained a hard 0pinion concerning the Divine Proceedings ; which they express’d by this Proverb, ver. 2. The Fathers have eaten four Grapes, and the Childrens Teeth are set on Edge. To which the Lord God answers, ver. 4. Behold, all Souls are mine ; as the Soul of the Father, je
also the Soul of the Son is mine : the Soul that finneth it skall die. Ver. 5. If a Man be just and do that which is lawful and right, &c. ver. 9. -be Mall surely live, faith the Lord God. Ver. 10. If he beget a Son that is a Robber, a Shedder of Blood, &c. ver, 13. ke [the Robber, &c.] shall surely die, his Blood shall be upon him. Ver. 14. Now lo, if he (the Robber and Shedder of Blood] begetteth a Son that seeth all his Father's Sin that he hath done, and conßders and doth not such like, &c. ver. 17. be shall not die for the Iniquity of his Father, be mall surely live. Ver. 19. And yet say ye, why ? doth not the Son [in fact] bear the Iniquity of the Father? To this the Lord God replies, When the Son bath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my Statutes, and bath done them, he shall surely live. Ver. 20. The Soul that finneth it mall die : the Son shall not bear the Iniquity of the Father, neither Mall the Father bear the Iniquity of the Son; the Righteousness of the Righteous Mall be upon him, and the Wickedness of the Wicked shall be upon him. Thus God proves that his Way, his Dealings with Men, was equal and just, (ver. 25, 29.) not by affirming he might justly impute the Sin of the Parent to the Child, and punish him for it; but by declaring that he would not do so, but would judge them, (ver. 30.) every one ACCORDING TO HIS Ways.
And with this the Nature of the Thing concurs. For imputed Guilt, as used by Divines with respect to Original Sin, is the Guilt of a Sin charged upon a Person who is not a&tually or personally guilty of it. Of the Sin he, the Person, is clear and innocent ; he neither committed it, nor had
hand in encouraging, advising or approving it, but it might be committed some thousands of Years before he was born; and yet it is suppos'd to be imputed to him by the Judge, and charged upon him so far that he is on account thereof treated as a Sinner, involv'd in Sin and Guilt as soon as he is born, and obliged to suffer severe Punishment in this Life, according to R. R. * and according to the Assembly of Divines, the most grievous Torments in Soul and Body in Hell-fire for ever; not because he has done any thing worthy of Punishment, but because the Judge or Govenor is pleased to appoint it to be so.
Con* By these two Letters I signify the first Edition of The Ruin and Recovery of Mankind, both Author and Book, And in Justice to this Author, it must be observ'd, that although he endeavours to maintain the common Doctrine of Original Sin, so far as relates to the Im. putation of Adam's Guilt, the Miseries of this Life, and the moral Corruption of our Nature, yet he doth not espou fe that Affertion, that Adam's Sin and Fall render'd either Adam himself or his Pofterity juftly liable to the most grievous Torments in Soul and Body without Intermiffion in Hell-fire for ever; but very judiciously, in my Mind, suggests, that the Death threatened to Adam was a Forfeiture of Existence, &c. p. 197.