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full resolution in this point; for admitting God to be a creator, or he to whom the debt should be paid ; and Christ, he that satisfies or pays it on the behalf of man, the debtor; this question will arise, Whether he paid that debt as God, or man, or both ? (to use their own terms.)
Not as God. 1. In that it divides the unity of the Godhead, by two distinct acts, of being offended and not offended; of condemning justice and redeeming mercy; of requiring a satisfaction and then making it.
2. Because if Christ pay the debt as God, then the Father and the Spirit being God, they also pay the debt.
3. Since God is to be satisfied, and that Christ is God, he consequently is to be satisfied; and who shall satisfy his infinite justice ?
4. But if Christ has satisfied God the Father, Christ being also God, it will follow then that he has satisfied himself, which cannot be.
5. But since God the Father was once to be satisfied, and that it is impossible he should do it himself, nor yet the Son or Spirit, because the same God; it naturally follows, that the debt remains unpaid, and tuese satisfactionists thus far are still at a loss.
Not as Man. 6. The justice offended being infinite, his satisfaction ought to bear a proportion therewith, which Jesus Christ, as man, could never pay, he being finite, and from a finite cause could not proceed an infinite effect; for so man may be said to bring forth God, since nothing below the Divinity itself can rightly be styled infinite.
Not as God and Man. 7. For where two mediums, or middle propositions, are singly inconsistent with the nature of the end for which they were at first propounded, their conjunction does rather augment than lessen the difficulty of its accomplishment; and this I am persuaded must be obvious to every unbiassed understanding.
But admitting one of these three mediums possible for the payment of an infinite debt; yet, pray observ the most unworthy and ridiculous consequences, that unavoidably will attend the impossibility of God's pardoning sinners without a satisfaction.
Consequences irreligious and irrational. 1. That it is unlawful and impossible for God Almighty to be gracious and merciful, or to pardon transgressors; than which what is more unworthy of God?
2. That God was inevitably compelled to this way of saving men; the highest affront to his uncontrollable nature.
3. That it was unworthy of God to pardon, but not to inflict punishment on the innocent, or require a satisfaction where there was nothing due.
4. It doth not only disacknowledge the true virtue and real intent of Christ's life and death, but entirely deprives God of that praise which is owing to his greatest love and goodness.
5. It represents the Son more kind and compassionate than the Father; whereas, if both be the same God, then either the Father is as loving as the Son, or the Son as angry as the Father.
6. It robs God of the gift of his Son for our redemption (which the Scriptures attribute to the unmerited love he had for the world), in affirming the Son purchased that redemption from the Father, by the gift of himself to God, as our complete satisfaction.
7. Since Christ could not pay what was not his own, it follows, that in the payment of his own, the case still remains equally grievous; since the debt is not hereby absolved or forgiven, but transferred only ; and by consequence we are no better provided for salvation than before, owing that now to the Son, which was once owing to the Father.
8. It no way renders man beholding, [beholden] or in the least obliged to God; since by their doctrine He would not have abated us, nor did He Christ the last farthing ; so that the acknowledgments are peculiarly the Son's, which destroys the whole current of scripture testimony for his good will towards men. O the infamous protraiture this doctrine draws of the Infinite Goodness! Is this your retribution, O injurious satisfactionists?
9. That God's justice is satisfied for sins past, present, and to come; whereby God and Christ have lost both their power of enjoining godliness, and all prerogative of punishing disobedience; for what is once paid is not revokable ; and if punishment should arrest any for their debts, it either argues a breach on God's or Christ's part, or else that it has not been sufficiently solved, and the penalty completely sustained by another; forgetting "that every one must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive according to the things done in the body; yea, every one must give an account of himself to God."* But many more are the gross absurdities and blasphemies, that are the genuine fruits of this so confidently believed doctrine of satisfaction.
Caution. Let me advise, nay warn thee, reader, by no means to admit an entertainment of this principle, by whomsoever recommended; since it does not only divest the glorious God of his sovereign power, both to pardon and punish, but as certainly insinuates a licentiousness, at least a liberty, that unbecomes the nature of that ancient Gospel once preached amongst the primitive saints, and that from an apprehension of a satisfaction once paid for all. Whereas I must tell thee, that unless thou seriously repent, and no more grieve God's holy Spirit, placed in thy inmost parts, but art thereby taught to deny all ungodliness, and led into all righteousness; at the tribunal of the great Judge, thy plea shall prove invalid, and thou receive thy reward without respect to any other thing than the deeds done in the body. “Be not deceived, God will not be mocked; such as thou sowest, such shalt
* 2 Cor. xv. 10; Rom. xiv. 12,
;"* which leads me to the consideration of my third head, viz. "Justification by an imputative righteousness.
The Justification of impure Persons, by an imputa
tive Righteousness, refuted from Scripture.
“That there is no other way for sinners to be justified in the sight of God, than by the imputation of that righteousness of Christ, so long since performed personally; and that sanctification is consequential, not antecedent.'
1. “Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked.”+ Whereon I ground this argument, that since God has prescribed an inoffensive life, as that which can only give acceptance with Him, and on the contrary hath determined never to justify the wicked ; then will it necessarily follow, that unless this so much believed imputative righteousness bad
* Gal. vi. 7.
+ Exod. xxiii. 7.