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Death of Death in the Death of Christ
« Prev Chapter III. Of the agent or chief author of the… Next »

Chapter III.

Of the agent or chief author of the work of our redemption, and of the first thing distinctly ascribed to the person of the Father.

I. The agent in, and chief author of, this great work of our redemption is the whole blessed Trinity; for all the works which outwardly are of the Deity are undivided and belong equally to each person, their distinct manner of subsistence and order being observed. It is true, there were sundry other instrumental causes in the oblation, or rather passion of Christ but the work cannot in any sense be ascribed unto them; — for in respect of God the Father, the issue of their endeavours was exceeding contrary to their own intentions, and in the close they did nothing but what the “hand and counsel of God had before determined should be done,” Acts iv. 28; and in respect of Christ they were no way able to accomplish what they aimed at, for he himself laid down his life, and none was able to take it from him, John x. 17, 18: so that they are to be excluded from this consideration. In the several persons of the holy Trinity, the joint author of the whole work, the Scripture proposeth distinct and sundry acts or operations peculiarly assigned unto them; which, according to our weak manner of apprehension, we are to consider severally and apart; which also we shall do, beginning with them that are ascribed to the Father.

II. Two peculiar acts there are in this work of our redemption by the blood of Jesus, which may be and are properly assigned to the person of the Father:— First, The sending of his Son into the world for this employment. Secondly, A laying the punishment due to our sin upon him.

1. The Father loves the world, and sends his Son to die: He “sent his Son into the world that the world through him might be saved,” John iii. 16, 17. He “sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,” Rom. viii. 3, 4. He “set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” chap. iii. 25. For “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons,” Gal. iv. 4, 5. So more than twenty times in the Gospel of John there is mention of this sending; and our Saviour describes himself by this periphrasis, “Him whom the Father hath sent,” John x. 36; and the Father by this, “He who sent me,” chap. v. 37. So that this action of sending is appropriate to the Father, according to his promise that he would “send us a Saviour, a great one, to deliver us,” Isa. xix. 20; and to the profession of our Saviour, “I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me,” Isa. xlviii. 16. Hence the Father himself is sometimes called our Saviour: 1 Tim. i. 1, “According to the commandment Θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν,” — “of God our Saviour.” Some copies, indeed, read it, Θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, — “of God and our Saviour;” but the interposition of that particle καὶ arose, doubtless, from a misprision that Christ alone is called Saviour. But directly this is the same with that parallel place of Tit. i. 3, Κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Θεοῦ, — “According to the commandment of God our Saviour,” where no interposition of that conjunctive particle can have place; the same title being also in other places ascribed to him, as Luke i. 47, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” As also 1 Tim. iv. 10, “We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe;” though in this last place it be not ascribed unto him with reference to his redeeming us by Christ, but his saving and preserving all by his providence. So also Tit. ii. 10, iii. 4; Deut. xxxii. 15; 1 Sam. x. 19; Ps. xxiv. 5, xxv. 5; Isa. xii. 2, xl. 10, xlv. 15; Jer. xiv. 8; Micah vii. 7; Hab. iii. 18; most of which places have reference to his sending of Christ, which is also distinguished into three several acts, which in order we must lay down:—

(1.) An authoritative imposition of the office of Mediator, which Christ closed withal by his voluntary susception of it, willingly undergoing the office, wherein by dispensation the Father had and exercised a kind of superiority, which the Son, though “in the form of God,” humbled himself unto, Phil. ii. 6–8. And of this there may conceived two parts:—

[1.] The purposed imposition of his counsel, or his eternal counsel for the setting apart of his Son incarnate to this office, saying unto him, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession,” Ps. ii. 7, 8. He said unto him, “Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool;” for “the Lord swore, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek,” Ps. cx. 1, 4. He appointed him to be “heir of all things,” Heb. i. 2, having “ordained him to be Judge of quick and dead,” Acts x. 42; for unto this he was “ordained before the foundation of the world,” 1 Pet. i. 20., and “determined, ὁρισθείς, to be the Son of God with power,” Rom. i. 4, “that he might be the first-born among many brethren,” chap. viii. 29. I know that this is an act eternally established in the mind and will of God, and so not to be ranged in order with the others, which are all temporary, and had their beginning in the fulness of time, of all which this first is the spring and fountain, according to that of James, Acts xv. 18, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world;” but yet, it being no unusual form of speaking that the purpose should also be comprehended in that which holds out the accomplishment of it, aiming at truth and not exactness, we pass it thus.

[2.] The actual inauguration or solemn admission of Christ into his office; “committing all judgment unto the Son,” John v. 22; “making him to be both Lord and Christ,” Acts ii. 36; “appointing him over his whole house,” Heb. iii. 1–6; — which is that “anointing of the most Holy,” Dan. ix. 24; God “anointing him with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” Ps. xlv. 7: for the actual setting apart of Christ to his office is said to be by unction, because all those holy things which were types of him, as the ark, the altar, etc., were set apart and consecrated by anointing, Exod. xxx. 25–28, etc. To this also belongs that public testification by innumerable angels from heaven of his nativity, declared by one of them to the shepherds. “Behold,” saith he, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” Luke ii. 10, 11; — which message was attended by and closed with that triumphant exultation of the host of heaven, “Glory be to God on high, on earth peace, towards men good-will,” verse 14: with that redoubled voice which afterward came from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” Matt. iii. 17, xvii. 5; 2 Pet. i. 17. If these things ought to be distinguished and placed in their own order, they may be considered in these three several acts:— First, The glorious proclamation which he made of his nativity, when he “prepared him a body,” Heb. x. 5, bringing his First-begotten into the world, and saying, “Let all the angels of God worship him” chap. i. 6, sending them to proclaim the message which we before recounted. Secondly, Sending the Spirit visibly, in the form of a dove, to light upon him at the time of his baptism, Matt. iii. 16, when he was endued with a fulness thereof, for the accomplishment of the work and discharge of the office whereunto he was designed, attended with that voice whereby he owned him from heaven as his only-beloved. Thirdly, The “crowning of him with glory and honour,” in his resurrection, ascension, and sitting down “on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Heb. i. 3; setting “him as his king upon his holy hill of Zion,” Ps. ii. 6; when “all power was given unto him in heaven and in earth,” Matt. xxviii. 18, “all things being put under his feet” Heb. ii. 7, 8; himself highly exalted, and “a name given him above every name, that at,” etc., Phil. ii. 9–11. Of which it pleased him to appoint witnesses of all sorts; — angels from heaven, Luke xxiv. 4, Acts i. 10; the dead out of the graves, Matt. xxvii. 52; the apostles among and unto the living, Acts ii. 32; with those more than five hundred brethren, to whom he appeared at once, 1 Cor. xv. 6. Thus gloriously was he inaugurated into his office, in the several sets and degrees thereof, God saying unto him, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth,” Isa. xlix. 6.

Between these two acts I confess there intercedes a twofold promise of God; — one, of giving a Saviour to his people, a Mediator, according to his former purpose, as Gen. iii. 15, “The seed of the woman shall break the serpent’s head;” and, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be,” chap. xlix. 10. Which he also foresignified by many sacrifices and other types, with prophetical predictions: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into,” 1 Pet. i. 10–12. The other is a promise of applying the benefits purchased by this Saviour so designed to them that should believe on him, to be given in fulness of time, according to the former promises; telling Abraham, that “in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed,” and justifying himself by the same faith, Gen. xii. 3, xv. 6. But these things belong rather to the application wholly, which was equal both before and after his actual mission.

(2.) The second act of the Father’s sending the Son is the furnishing of him in his sending with a fulness of all gifts and graces that might any way be requisite for the office he was to undertake, the work he was to undergo, and the charge he had over the house of God. There was, indeed, in Christ a twofold fulness and perfection of all spiritual excellencies:—

First, the natural all-sufficient perfection of his Deity, as one with his Father in respect of his divine nature: for his glory was “the glory of the only-begotten of the Father,” John i. 14. He was “in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Phil. ii. 6; being the “fellow of the Lord of hosts,” Zech. xiii. 7. Whence that glorious appearance, Isa. vi. 3, 4, when the seraphims cried one to another, and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” And the prophet cried, “Mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts,” verse 5. Even concerning this vision the apostle saith, “Isaiah saw him, and spake of his glory,” John xii. 41. Of which glory ἐκένωσε, he as it were emptied himself for a season, when he was “found in the form” or condition “of a servant, humbling himself unto death,” Phil. ii. 7, 8; laying aside that glory which attended his Deity, outwardly appearing to have “neither form, nor beauty, nor comeliness, that he should be desired,” Isa. liii. 2. But this fulness we do not treat of, it being not communicated to him, but essentially belonging to his person, which is eternally begotten of the person of his Father.

The second fulness that was in Christ was a communicated fulness, which was in him by dispensation from his Father, bestowed upon him to fit him for his work and office as he was and is the “Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim. ii. 5; not as he is the “Lord of hosts,” but as he is “Emmanuel, God with us,” Matt. i. 23; as he was a “son given to us, called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, upon whose shoulder the government was to be,” Isa. ix. 6. It is a fulness of grace; not that essential which is of the nature of the Deity, but that which is habitual and infused into the humanity as personally united to the other; which, though it be not absolutely infinite, as the other is, yet it extends itself to all perfections of grace, both in respect of parts and degrees. There is no grace that is not in Christ, and every grace is in him in the highest degree: so that whatsoever the perfection of grace, either for the several kinds or respective advancements thereof, requireth, is in him habitually, by the collation of his Father for this very purpose, and for the accomplishment of the work designed; which, though (as before) it cannot properly be said to be infinite, yet it is boundless and endless. It is in him as the light in the beams of the sun, and as water in a living fountain which can never fail. He is the “candlestick” from whence the “golden pipes do empty the golden oil out of themselves,” Zech. iv. 12, into all that are his; for he is “the beginning, the first-born from the dead, in all things having the pre-eminence; for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” Col. i. 18, 19. In him he caused to be “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” chap. ii. 3; and “in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead σωματικῶς,” substantially or personally, verse 9; that “of his fulness we might all receive grace for grace,” John i. 16, in a continual supply. So that, setting upon the work of redemption, he looks upon this in the first place. “The Spirit of the Lord God,” saith he, “is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn,” Isa. lxi. 1, 2. And this was the “anointing with the oil of gladness” which he had “above his fellows,” Ps. xlv. 7; “it was upon his head, and ran down to his beard, yea, down to the skirts of his garments,” Ps. cxxxiii. 2, that every one covered with the garment of his righteousness might be made partaker of it. “The Spirit of the Lord did rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord,” Isa. xi. 2; and that not in parcels and beginnings as in us, proportioned to our measure and degrees of sanctification, but in a fulness, for “he received not the Spirit by measure,” John iii. 34; — that is, it was not so with him when he come to the full measure of the stature of his age, as Eph. iv. 13; for otherwise it was manifested in him and collated on him by degrees, for he “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,” Luke ii. 52. Hereunto was added “all power in heaven and earth, which was given unto him,” Matt. xxviii. 18; “power over all flesh, to give eternal life to as many as he would,” John xvii. 2. Which we might branch into many particulars, but so much shall suffice to set forth the second act of God in sending his Son.

(3.) The third act of this sending is his entering into covenant and compact with his Son concerning the work to be undertaken, and the issue or event thereof; of which there be two parts:—

First, His promise to protect and assist him in the accomplishment and perfect fulfilling of the whole business and dispensation about which he was employed, or which he was to undertake. The Father engaged himself, that for his part, upon his Son’s undertaking this great work of redemption, he would not be wanting in any assistance in trials, strength against oppositions, encouragement against temptations, and strong consolation in the midst of terrors, which might be any way necessary or requisite to carry him on through all difficulties to the end of so great an employment; — upon which he undertakes this heavy burden, so full of misery and trouble: for the Father before this engagement requires no less of him than that he should “become a Saviour, and be afflicted in all the affliction of his people,” Isa. lxiii. 8, 9: yea, that although he were “the fellow of the Lord of hosts,” yet he should endure the “sword” that was drawn against him as the “shepherd” of the sheep, Zech. xiii. 7; “treading the winepress alone, until he became red in his apparel,” Isa. lxiii. 2, 3: yea, to be “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; to be bruised and put to grief; to make his soul an offering for sin, and to bear the iniquity of many,” Isa. liii.; to be destitute of comfort so far as to cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Ps. xxii. 1. No wonder, then, if upon this undertaking the Lord promised to make “his mouth like a sharp sword, to hide him in the shadow of his hand, to make him a polished shaft, and to hide him in his quiver, to make him his servant in whom he would be glorified,” Isa. xlix. 2, 3; that though “the kings of the earth should set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against him, yet he would laugh them to scorn, and set him as king upon his holy hill of Zion,” Ps. ii. 2, 4, 6; though the “builders did reject him,” yet he should “become the head of the corner,” to the amazement and astonishment of all the world, Ps. cxviii. 22, 23; Matt. xxi. 42, Mark xii. 10, Luke xx. 17, Acts iv. 11, 12, 1 Pet. ii. 4; yea, he would “lay him for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation,” Isa. xxviii. 16, that “whosoever should fall upon him should be broken, but upon whomsoever he should fall he should grind him to powder,” Matt. xxi. 44. Hence arose that confidence of our Saviour in his greatest and utmost trials, being assured, by virtue of his Father’s engagement in this covenant, upon a treaty with him about the redemption of man, that he would never leave him nor forsake him. “I gave,” saith he, “my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting,” Isa. l. 6. But with what confidence, blessed Saviour, didst thou undergo all this shame and sorrow! Why, “The Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know; that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that condemn me? Lo! they shall all wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up,” verses 7–9. With this assurance he was brought as a “lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth,” Isa. liii. 7: for “when he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously,” 1 Pet. ii. 23. So that the ground of our Saviour’s confidence and assurance in this great undertaking, and a strong motive to exercise his graces received in the utmost endurings, was this engagement of his Father upon this compact of assistance and protection.

Secondly, [His promise] of success, or a good issue out of all his sufferings, and a happy accomplishment and attainment of the end of his great undertaking. Now, of all the rest this chiefly is to be considered, as directly conducing to the business proposed, which yet would not have been so clear without the former considerations; for whatsoever it was that God promised his Son should be fulfilled and attained by him, that certainly was it at which the Son aimed in the whole undertaking, and designed it as the end of the work that was committed to him, and which alone he could and did claim upon the accomplishment of his Father’s will. What this was, and the promises whereby it is at large set forth, ye have Isa. xlix.: “Thou shalt be my servant,” saith the Lord, “to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the end of the earth. Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful.” And he will certainly accomplish this engagement: “I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim,” verses 6–12. By all which expressions the Lord evidently and clearly engageth himself to his Son, that he should gather to himself a glorious church of believers from among Jews and Gentiles, through all the world, that should be brought unto him, and certainly fed in full pasture, and refreshed by the springs of water, all the spiritual springs of living water which flow from God in Christ for their everlasting salvation. This, then, our Saviour certainly aimed at, as being the promise upon which he undertook the work, — the gathering of the sons of God together, their bringing unto God, and passing to eternal salvation; which being well considered, it will utterly overthrow the general ransom or universal redemption, as afterward will appear. In the 53d chapter of the same prophecy, the Lord is more express and punctual in these promises to his Son, assuring him that when he “made his soul an offering for sin, he should see his seed, and prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand; that he should see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied; by his knowledge he should justify many; that, he should divide a portion with the great, and the spoil with the strong,” verses 10–12. He was, you see, to see his seed by covenant, and to raise up a spiritual seed unto God, a faithful people, to be prolonged and preserved throughout all generations; which, how well it consists with their persuasion who in terms have affirmed “that the death of Christ might have had its full and utmost effect and yet none be saved,” I cannot see, though some have boldly affirmed it, and all the assertors of universal redemption do tacitly grant, when they come to the assigning of the proper ends and effects of the death of Christ. “The pleasure of the Lord,” also, was to “prosper in his hand;” which what it was he declares, Heb. ii. 10, even “bringing of many sons unto glory;” for “God sent his only-begotten Son into the world that we live through him,” 1 John iv. 9; as we shall afterward more abundantly declare. But the promises of God made unto him in their agreement, and so, consequently, his own aim and intention, may be seen in nothing more manifestly than in the request that our Saviour makes upon the accomplishment of the work about which he was sent; which certainly was neither for more nor less than God had engaged himself to him for. “I have,” saith he, “glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” John xvii. 4. And now, what doth he require after the manifestation of his eternal glory, of which for a season he had emptied himself, verse 5? Clearly a full confluence of the love of God and fruits of that love upon all his elect, in faith, sanctification, and glory. God gave them unto him, and he sanctified himself to be a sacrifice for their sake, praying for their sanctification, verses 17–19; their preservation in peace, or communion one with another, and union with God, verses 20, 21, “I pray not for these alone” (that is, his apostles), “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us;” and lastly, their glory, verse 24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.” All which several postulata are no doubt grounded upon the fore-cited promises which by his Father were made unto him. And in this, not one word concerning all and every one, but expressly the contrary, verse 9. Let this, then, be diligently observed, that the promise of God unto his Son, and the request of the Son unto his Father, are directed to this peculiar end of bringing sons unto God. And this is the first act, consisting of these three particulars.

2. The second is of laying upon him the punishment of sins, everywhere ascribed unto the Father: “Awake; O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered,” Zech. xiii. 7. What here is set down imperatively, by way of command, is in the gospel indicatively expounded. “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad,” Matt. xxvi. 31. “He was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted;” yea, “the Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all;” yea, “it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and to put him to grief,” Isa. liii. 4, 6, 10. “He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor. v. 21. The adjunct in both places is put for the subject, as the opposition between his being made sin and our being made righteousness declareth. “Him who knew no sin,” — that is, who deserved no punishment, — “him hath he made to be sin,” or laid the punishment due to sin upon him. Or perhaps, in the latter place, sin may be taken for an offering or sacrifice for the expiation of sin, ἁμαρτία answering in this place to the word חַטָּאת in the Old Testament, which signifieth both sin and the sacrifice for it. And this the Lord did; for as for Herod, Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, when they were gathered together, they did nothing but “what his hand and counsel had determined before to be done,” Acts iv. 27, 28. Whence the great shakings of our Saviour were in his close conflict with his Father’s wrath, and that burden which by himself he immediately imposed on him. When there was no hand or instrument outwardly appearing to put him to any suffering or cruciating torment, then he “began to be sorrowful, even unto death” Matt. xxvi. 37, 38; to wit, when he was in the garden with his three choice apostles, before the traitor or any of his accomplices appeared, then was he “sore amazed, and very heavy,” Mark xiv. 33. That was the time, “in the days of his flesh, when he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,” Heb. v. 7; which how he performed the evangelist describeth, Luke xxii. 43, 44: “There appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. But being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Surely it was a close and strong trial, and that immediately from his Father, he now underwent; for how meekly and cheerfully doth he submit, without any regret or trouble of spirit, to all the cruelty of men and violence offered to his body, until this conflict being renewed again, he cries, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And this, by the way, will be worth our observation that we may know with whom our Saviour chiefly had to do, and what was that which he underwent for sinners; which also will give some light to the grand query concerning the persons of them for whom he undertook all this. His sufferings were far from consisting in mere corporal perpessions and afflictions, with such impressions upon his soul and spirit as were the effects and issues only of them. It was no more nor less than the curse of the law of God which he underwent for us: for he freed us from the curse “by being made a curse,” Gal. iii. 13; which contained all the punishment that was due to sin, either in the severity of God’s justice, or according to the exigence of that law which required obedience. That the execration of the law should be only temporal death, as the law was considered to be the instrument of the Jewish polity, and serving that economy or dispensation, is true; but that it should be no more, as it is the universal rule of obedience, and the bond of the covenant between God and man, is a foolish dream. Nay, but in dying for us Christ did not only aim at our good, but also directly died in our stead. The punishment due to our sin and the chastisement of our peace was upon him; which that it was the pains of hell, in their nature and being, in their weight and pressure, though not in tendence and continuance (it being impossible that he should be detained by death), who can deny and not be injurious to the justice of God, which will inevitably inflict those pains to eternity upon sinners? It is true, indeed, there is a relaxation of the law in respect of the persons suffering, God admitting of commutation; as in the old law, when in their sacrifices the life of the beast was accepted (in respect to the carnal part of the ordinances) for the life of the man. This is fully revealed, and we believe it; but for any change of the punishment, in respect of the nature of it, where is the least intimation of any alteration? We conclude, then, this second act of God, in laying the punishment on him for us, with that of the prophet, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa. liii. 6: and add thereunto this observation, that it seems strange to me that Christ should undergo the pains of hell in their stead who lay in the pains of hell before he underwent those pains, and shall continue in them to eternity; for “their worm dieth not, neither is their fire quenched.” To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalists:— God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for, either all the sins of all men, or all the sins of some men, or some sins of all men. If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: “If the Lord should mark iniquities, who should stand?” Ps. cxxx. 3. We might all go to cast all that we have “to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,” Isa. ii. 20, 21. If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. If the first, why, then, are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins? You will say, “Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.” But this unbelief, is it a sin or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death? If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins. Let them choose which part they will.

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