Page images
[ocr errors]

Christ has merited to those

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

give himself up to death. But from this assertion of Armi.

nius and the Remonstrants, it was possible, that Christ, after having paid the ransom, should see no seed, be a king without any kingdom of grace, an everlasting Father without any childron, a bridegroom without a bride, a head without a body.

All which are most abominable. ... "... - -- -
XIV.Arminius, however, defends his opinion by three argu-

ments. The first is this: God has fully right to impart those - to whom he thinks proper, and on what %. he is pleased to prescribe. Whence it follows, that Christ has not merited the bestowing those benefits actually upon any one; for this is the tendency of these words of Arminius. 'I answer, 1st. We deny that God may not impart those benefits which

- %. whom he died. God might indeed appoint the persons Christ was to die for; but this appointment being once settled, God is not at liberty not to give that

...grace and o which was purchased by the death of Christ, those for whom he died. 2dly. Arminius is further mista

... ken, when he says that God had a full right to impart those

benefits on what conditions he pleased to prescribe, supposin that the performance of these conditions, namely faith an

.., repentance, or the grace . to the performance of them,

... was not among those blessings which Christ had merited for us by his passion. For, it was in that covenant between

... the Father and the Son, by which Christ gave himself up to

death, that all adult persons should, in the way of faith and repentance, come to the saving enjoyment of the other blessings

of it: nor can any other conditions be now settled by agreement. Besides, it was, also fixed that the Father should, from

the consideration of Christ's merit, grant the Spirit of grace for ... faith and repentance, to those for whom Christ had died, as we ... have already seen Arminius himself orthodoxly reckoning the

o #. of grace among the effects of the sacerdotal office of Christ. 3 of or,

seeing God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, Eph. i. 3. that is, through and for the merits of Christ, ... and the gift of faith is one of the most excellent of these bless

..ings, Phil, i.29. that likewise must certainly come to us on ... account of his merits. 8dly. Nor is it agreeable to scripture

language, to say, that faith and repentance are requisite condi#. : effects of ë. are communicated to a person. Certainly they are not required previous to our regeneration and vivification from the death of sin, and our . from this present evil world, which are reckoned among the effects of Christ's death by Paul, Eph. ii. 5. and Gal. i. 4. We may therefore say, if you will, that these are

conditions requisite for applying to our consciences that conso

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. vii.] charst's satisfaction. o 243

lation purchased by the death of Christ, yet, in such a manner,
as it is from the merit of Christ, that the grace, that is power-
fully and abundantly effectual to perform those conditions, must
flow. . . . . . - 4: . .
XV. Arminius' second argument is this: “ If the actual
remission of sins, &c. be the effect of Christ's death, we must
then allow, that, according to the very rigour of God's justice
and law, both an eternal life and an immunity from punishment,
are due to the elect, and that therefore they are entitled to ask
those benefits of God, in right of the payment and purchase
made; without God's having any right to require of them faith
in Christ and conversion to .” I answer, 1st. We are
wholly of opinion, that one who is renewed may come boldly
to the throne of grace, and ask for those blessings at God's
hand, in right of the payment and purchase made by Christ.
For, why should we not venture to ask of God that he would
perform for us what he was pleased to make himself a debtor
to his Son and to his merits? This is the réfonosz, or boldness of
our faith, to expect the crown of righteousness from God, as
a merciful and gracious giver, in respect of our unworthiness,
but as a just Judge, in t to the merits of Christ, 2 Tim.
iv. 8. 2dly. It is an j. reflection of Arminius, to say,
“without God's having any right to require of us faith in
Christ, and conversion to himself." For it is impossible for
any who so to, and ask those blessings from God, not
to perform those duties. For how can any ask those benefits
of God in the name of Christ, and without conversion to the
Father and the Son P 8dly. But to speak plainly. If we admit
of Christ's satisfaction, and of the ratification of the covenant of
, and New Testament, then God can by no right require
#. and conversion from the elect, as conditions of the covenant
of grace, in the sense of Arminius and the Remonstrants; name.
ly, 1st. To be performed by us, without grace working them
in us supernaturally, effectually, and invincibly, 2dly. As, by
some gracious appointment of God, coming in the place of that
perfect obedience to the law, which the covenant of works re-

i. For, in this manner Arminius explains these things;

instead of perfect obedience, which the covenant of works required, the act of faith succeeds in the covenant of grace; to be, in God's gracious account, imputed to us for righteousness, ... that is, to be our claim of right to asketermal life." But the nature of the covenant of grace cdmits of no such conditions, however framed, on which to build a right to life eternal, either

from the justice, or the gracious estimation of God. And thus

far Arminius concludes well, if the Mediator has so satisfied

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

tion can, by any right, be required of us, which, in any
can be reckoned instead of payment. The whole glory of our
right to eternal life, must be purely ascribed to the alone merit -
of our Lord; and on no pretence be transferred to any one of o
our acts. . . . . . . . . . . . . .” *
XVI. There is still one argument, which Arminius imagines
to be very cogont. “The righteousness, says he, wrought out
by Christ, is not ours as wrought out, but as imputed to us by
faith.” “I answer, 1st. What does Arminius infer from this?
Does he conclude that besides the satisfaction of Christ, faith is
also necessary to salvation? And what then? Therefore Christ
did not obtain for us the actual remission of sins. We deny
the consequence. For, faith is not considered as impetrating,
but as o; the impetrated remission. And as the presup.
object of saving faith is remission, already impetrated for
all the effect by Christ, it must certainly be the proper effect of
the death of Christ. 2dly. This righteousness of Christ, was
really his, as it was wrought out by him; and it is ours, as it
was wrought out for us: therefore, in a sound sense, even ours
before faith, being the meritorious cause of that grace which is
effectual to produce faith in us. It is ours, I say, in respect
of right, because both in the decree of God the Father, and
the purpose of the Son, it was wrought out for us, and in the
appointed time to be certainly applied to us. Though it was
foot yet outs by possession, as to our actual translation from
a state of wrath, to a state of grace, and our acknowledgment.
and sense of so great a benefit vouchsafed unto us: *The dis-
tinction between active and passive justification is well known.
The former is that sentence of God, by which he declares his,
having received satisfaction from Christ, and pronounces that
all the elect are made free from guilt and obligation to punish-,
ment, even before their faith, so far as never to exact of them.
any payment. The latter is the acknowledgment and sense of
that most sweet sentence, intimated to the conscience by the
Holy Spirit, and fiducially apprehended by each of the elect.
The one precedes faith, at least as to that general article which
we just proposed; the other follows it. And thus we have &
defended the value and efficacy of Christ's satisfaction against
the cavils of Arminius.

[ocr errors]

- .


• Others distinguish the justification of the elect, into that which is decretive, virtual, and actual. The first is God's eternal purpose to justify sinners in time, by the righteousness of Christ; but God's eternal purpose to justify the elect is one thing, and the execution of it another. There was also a virtual justification upon Christ's having made satisfaction; and justification is actual when the elect simmer is enabled to believe in the Son of God, and by faith is united to him. See Book III. chap. viii. S. 57, &c.

[ocr errors][merged small]

* * * *
. . . . .”

CHAP. VIII. . . . .
Of the Necessity of Christ's Satisfaction,

- * - - . . . . . .”
I. Havno explained from scripture the value and efficacy
of the satisfaction of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of
God, and for the consolation of the elect, it will not be un-
seasonable to treat of the necessity of this satisfaction; seeing
what we have shewn, § XXI, from the apology of the Remon-
strants, naturally leads to this. And here we choose not to state
the controversy in the manner, we observe, the otherwise great
Chamierus has done in his Pancratia; namely, “whether
God could not, by an act of his absolute power, grant remission
of sin, without any satisfaction.” We are not willing to enter
into any dispute about the absolute power of God; since the
consideration of that seems not to suit this present controversy.
For this debate is not to be explained, and finally determined
from the attribute of the power of God, but from those of his
holiness, justice, and the like. Some, when they consider the
power of God alone, affirm every thing about it; not reflecting,
that God can do nothing but consistently with his justice, holi.
ness, veracity, wisdom, immutability, in a word, with all his
other perfections. The lawyer Papinian f: lib. xxviii. Tit. vii.
Leg. 15. has said well concerning a good man; that we are to
believe, that he “neither does, nor can do, anything prejudicial
to piety, reputation, modesty, and in general, that is contrary to
manners." This certainly ought much more to be affirm.
ed of the Great God; that whatever is not a display of, or what.
ever throws a slur on any perfection or on the glory of God,
cannot be the work of d. Origen has još pleaded this

cause against Celsus, lib. iii. p. 154 “According to us God,

indeed can do all things, consistently with his Deity, wisdom,
and ness. ... But Celsus (not understanding how God may,
be said to do all things) affirms, he cannot will any thing unjust,
granting he can do what is so, but not will it. But we say,
that as what is capable of imparting its natural sweetness too

other things, cannot imbitter anything, because that would be

contrary to its nature; nor as what naturally enlightens, can as

such darken: so neither can God act unjustly. ..". power

gfacting unjustly is confrary io his very Deity, and to ev

power that can be ascribed to God.” And therefore we think

it very unbecoming, on every question about the most sacred

right of God, to appeal to his absolute power. We would ra.
. . . . ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* * * * *

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

so to . o 246 - of THE Necessity of [Book it. o o ther state the controversy thus: namely, whether God's requiring Christ to give him satisfaction before he restore sinners to his favour, was owing to the mere good pleasure of the divine will; or whether the essential holiness, the justice, and the like perfections of God, which he cannot possibly part with, required a satisfaction to be made? We judge the last of these to be more true and safe.o. II. In the preceding book, chap. v. § XIX. seq. we proved at large, that the very nature and immutable right of God, could not let sin go unpunished: which we may now lay down as a foundation. At present, we will subjoin other arguments more nearly relating to the satisfaction of Christ itself. III. And first we may certainly form no contemptible argument from the event, and a posteriori. For as God does not needlessly multiply beings; what probable reason can be assigned why without any necessity, he should make his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased, a curse for us? Let us insist a little on this thought. The infinite wisdom of God contrived the admirable union of the human nature... with one of the divine persons: so that God himself might be said to obey, to suffer, to die; in a word, to make satisfaction; that person was holy, harmless, and undefiled, the man of God's delight, his only begotten and only beloved Son. Him the most affectionate Father exposed to the greatest reproaches, to the most cruel sufferings, and to an accursed death, as a ransom for the redemption of sinners. These sufferings were a long time before predicted in various obscure ways, and also prefigured by the whole train of sacrifices appointed by Moses. He permitted the world after so many other crimes, to be stained with the guilt of deicide (from the view of which the very sun shrunk back and withdrew his rays) a crime, indeed, truly inexpiable, and in the guilt of which the whole Jewish nation is involved. Would not all this, to speak with reverence, seem a kind of solemn farce, if God by a single breath, could di all our sins as a cloud PIs it not contrary to the goodness, the wisdom, and the holiness of God, without any necessity, and to so, in a mere arbitrary way to proceed in this manner? If he could have reached his end in a direct and compendious way, why did he take such a wide and perplexed compass? . . . . IV. I would not have any reply here, that God acted in this manner, in order to manifest that his infinite right or authority over the creature was such, that he might inflict the most grievous torments even on the innocent. If God could claim that right and authority if he pleased; yet surely, he scarce, if ever, has made use of it. And if at any time he has, it was in suffering of a far more gentle, and mild nature, than what Christ

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »