Page images
PDF
EPUB

а

as though we were all then actually justified and saved, but upon the account of the certainty of the performance and accomplishment of those things in their due time towards us and upon us are these things so delivered: for in reference to the undertaking of Christ in this covenant is he called “The second Adam,” becoming a common head to his people (with this difference, that Adam was a common head to all that came of him necessarily, and, as I may so say, naturally, and whether he would or no; Christ is so to his voluntarily, and by his own consent and undertaking, as hath been demonstrated); now, as we all die in Adam federally and meritoriously, yet the several individuals are not in their persons actually dead in sin and obnoxious to eternal death before they are by natural generation united to Adam, their first head; so, though all the elect be made alive and saved federally and meritoriously in the death of Christ, wherein also a certain foundation is laid of that efficacy which works all these things in us and for us, yet we are not viritim made partakers of the good things mentioned before we are united to Christ by the communication of his Spirit to us.

And this, I say, is the covenant and compact that was between Father and Son, which is the great foundation of what hath been said and shall farther be spoken about the merit and satisfaction of Christ. Here lies the ground of the righteousness of the dispensation treated of, that Christ should undergo the punishment due to us: It was done voluntarily, of himself, and he did nothing but what he had power to do, and command from his Father to do. “I have power," saith he, "to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again; this commandment have I received of my Father;" whereby the glory both of the love and justice of God is exceedingly exalted. And,

1. This stops the mouth of the Socinian clamour concerning the unrighteousness of one man's suffering personally for another man's sin. It is true, it is so if these men be not in such relation to one another that what one doth or suffereth, the other may be accounted to do or suffer; but it is no unrighteousness, if the hand offend, that the head be smitten. But Christ is our head; we are his members. It is true, if he that suffereth hath not power over that wherein he suffers; but Christ had power to lay down his life and take it again. It is true, if he that is to suffer and he that is to punish be not willing or agreed to the commutation; but here Father and Son, as hath been manifested, were fully agreed upon the whole matter. It may be true, if he who suffers cannot possibly be made partaker of any good afterward that shall balance and overweigh all his suffering; not where the cross is endured and the shame despised for the glory proposed or set before him that suffers,—not where he is made low for a season, that he may be crowned with dignity and honour. And,

2. This is the foundation of the merit of Christ. The apostle tells us, Rom. iv. 4, what merit is: it is such an adjunct of obedience as whereby “the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt." God having proposed unto Christ a law for obedience, with promises of such and such rewards upon condition of fulfilling the obedience required, he performing that obedience, the reward is reckoned to him of debt, or he righteously merited whatever was so promised to him. Though the compact was of grace, yet the reward is of debt. Look, then, whatever God promised Christ upon his undertaking to be a Saviour, that, upon the fulfilling of his will, he merited. That himself should be exalted, that he should be the head of his church, that he should see his seed, that he should justify and save them, sanctify and glorify them, were all promised to him, all merited by him. But of this more afterward.

Having thus fully considered the threefold notion of the death of Christ, as it was a price, a sacrifice, and a punishment, and discovered the foundation of righteousness in all this, proceed we now to manifest what are the proper effects of the death of Christ under this threefold notion. Now these also, answerably, are three:-1. Redemption, as it is a price; II. Reconciliation, as it is a sacrifice; III. Satisfaction, as it is a punishment. Upon which foundation, union with Christ, vocation, justification, sanctification, and glory, are built.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Of redemption by the death of Christ as it was a price or ransom.

Having given before the general notions of the death of Christ, as it is in Scripture proposed, all tending to manifest the way

and manner of the expiation of our sins, and our delivery from the guilt and punishment due to them, it remains that an accommodation of those several notions of it be made particularly and respectively to the business in hand.

I. The first consideration proposed of the death of Christ was of it as a price; and the issue and effect thereof is REDEMPTION. Hence Christ is spoken of in the Old Testament as a Redeemer: Job xix. 25, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” The word there used is Spis, whose rise and use is commonly known.

bra is “vindicare, redimere;" isinau Cúveroor in Greek; which is commonly used for "suum vindicare:" "Orı áv Tis éxs nuevos , . ... zal μηδείς επιλάφηται, εάν ούτω τις ενιαυτόν οτιούν εκτημένος .

μη εξέστω τοιούτου κτήματος επιλαβέσθαι μηδέν απελθόντος ενιαυτού, Plato de Legib. 12. And that may be the sense of the word érinaucáverai

, if not in the effect, yet in the cause, Heb. ii. 16.

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

The rise and use of this word in this business of our deliverance by Christ we have Lev. xxv. 25, “If any of his kin come to redeem it.” zipo iba, —"redimens illud propinquus.” The next who is Sri [is to] redeem it, or vindicate the possession out of mortgage. On this account Boaz tells Ruth that, in respect of the possession of Elimelech, he was goël, Ruth iii. 13, a redeemer; which we have translated

a kinsman,” because he was to do that office by right of propinquity of blood or nearness of kin, as is evident from the law before mentioned. Christ, coming to vindicate us into liberty by his own blood, is called by Job his goël, chap. xix. 25; so also is he termed, Isa. xli. 14, 283, “thy redeemer,” or “thy next kinsman;" and chap. xliv. 6, in that excellent description of Christ, also verse 24, chap. xlvii. 4, xlviii. 17, xlix. 26, liv. 5, lix. 20, lx. 16, lxiii. 16, and in sundry other places. Neither is the church of God at all beholding to some late expositors, who, to show their skill in the Hebrew doctors, would impose upon us their interpretations, and make those expressions to signify deliverance in general, and to be referred to God the Father, seeing that the rise of the use of the word plainly restrains the redemption intended to the paying of a price for it; which was done only by Jesus Christ. So Jer. xxxii. 7, 8. Hence they that looked for the Messiah, according to the promise, are said to look for, or to wait for, aútpwoiv,“ redemption in Israel,” Luke ii. 38: and, in the accomplishment of the promise, the apostle tells us that Christ by his blood obtained for us "eternal redemption,” Heb. ix. 12. And he having so obtained it, we are "justified freely by the grace of God, dide της απολυτρώσεως της εν Χριστώ Ιησού,-by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;” šv for dsá, “in him,” for “ by him," or wrought by him, Rom. iii. 24. And this being brought home to us, “ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins," Eph. i. 7, Col. i. 14; whence he is said to be “made unto us útoúspwois,” or “redemption," 1 Cor. i. 30.

How this is done will be made evident by applying of what is now spoken to what was spoken of the death of Christ as a price. Christ giving himself or his life aúspov and avriluopov, a price of redemption, as hath been showed, a ransom, those for whom he did it come to have aúspwouv and ůronúspwoiv, redemption thereby, or deliverance from the captivity wherein they were. And our Saviour expresses particularly how this was done as to both parts, Matt. xx. 28. He came δούναι την ψυχήν λύτρον αντί πολλών,- that is, he came to be an åvriyuxos, one to stand in the room of others, and to give his life for them.

To make this the more evident and clear, I shall give a description of redemption properly so called, and make application of it in the several parts thereof unto that under consideration:

Redemption is the deliverance of any one from bondage or cap

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

tivity, and the misery attending that condition, by the intervention or interposition of a price or ransom, paid by the redeemer to him by whose authority he is detained, that, being delivered, he may be in a state of liberty, at the disposal of the redeemer.”

And this will comprise the laws of this redemption, which are usually given. They are, first, On the part of the redeemer:-1. “Propinquus esto;"_"Let him be near of kin.” 2. “Consanguinitatis jure redimito;"_“Let him redeem by right of consanguinity." 3. “Injusto possessori prædam eripito;"_"Let him deliver the prey from the unjust possessor.” 4. “Huic pretium nullum solvito;"

” “ To him let no price be paid.” 5. “ Sanguinem pro redemptionis pretio vero Domino offerto;"-"Let him offer or give his blood to the true Lord for a ransom, or price of redemption." Secondly, On

" the part of the redeemed:-1. “ Libertatis jure felix gaudeto;" “Let him enjoy his liberty.” 2. “ Servitutis jugum ne iterum sponte suscipito;"—“Let him not again willingly take on him the yoke of bondage.” 3. “Deinceps servum se exhibeto redemptori;”—“ Let him in liberty be a servant to his redeemer.”

The general parts of this description of redemption Socinus himself consents unto: for whereas Covet had a little inconveniently defined "to redeem," saying, “Redimere aliquem est debitum solvere creditoris ejus nomine, qui solvendo non erat, sicque satisfacere creditori,” which is a proper description of the payment of another man's debts, and not of his redemption, Socinus, correcting this mistake, affirms that “redimere aliquem nihil aliud proprie significat quam captivum e manibus illius qui eum detinet pretio illi dato liberare,”_" to redeem any one properly signifies nothing else but to deliver him out of his hands that detained him captive, by a price given to him who detained him;" which, as to the general nature of redemption, contains as much as what was before given in for the description of it. With the accommodation, therefore, of that description to the redemption which we have by the blood of Christ, I shall proceed, desiring the reader to remember that if I evince the redemption we have by Christ to be proper, and properly so called, the whole business of satisfaction is confessedly evinced.

FIRST. The general nature of it consists in deliverance. Thence Christ is called 'o puójuevos, "The deliverer:"Rom. xi. 26, “As it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer.” The word in the prophet, Isa. lix. 20, is Spia, that we may know what kind of deliverer Christ is,-a deliverer by redemption. “He gave himself for our sins ÖFWs égéansas jãs, that he might deliver us,” Gal. i. 4. He delivered us; but it was by giving himself for our sins. 1 Thess. i. 10, “To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead,

i Socin. de Jes. Chris. Serv. lib. i. part. i. cap. i.

1

[ocr errors]

a

a

"Ιησούν, τον δυόμενον ημάς από της οργής της ερχομένης,-Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.' So Luke i. 74; Rom. vii. 6; Heb. ü. 15; Col. i. 13.

Now, as redemption, because its general nature consists in deliverance, is often expressed thereby, so deliverance, because it hath the effect of redemption, is or may be called redemption, though it be not properly so, but agrees in the end and effect only. Hence Moses is said to be λυτρωτής: Acts vii. 35, Τούτον ο Θεός άρχοντα και aurpworlv åréorsidev, “Him did God send a prince and a redeemer;" that is, a deliverer, one whom God used for the deliverance of his people. And because what he did, even the delivery of his people out of bondage, agreed with redemption in its end, the work itself is called redemption, and he is termed therein a redeemer, though it was not a direct redemption that he wrought, no ransom being paid for delivery.

It is pleaded, First, “That God being said to redeem his people in sundry places in the Old Testament, which he could not possibly do by a ransom, therefore the redemption mentioned in the Scripture is metaphorical, a mere deliverance; and such is also that we have by Christ, without the intervention of any price.”

Secondly, “Moses, who was a type of Christ and a redeemer, who is so often said to redeem the people, yet, as it is known, did it without any ransom, by a mere deliverance; therefore did Christ so also.”

Not to trouble the reader with repetition of words, this is the sum of what is pleaded by the Racovian Catechism to prove our redemption by Christ not to be proper, but metaphorical; and so, consequently, that no satisfaction can be thence evinced :

“ E verbo redimendi non posse effici satisfactionem hanc hinc est planum, quod de ipso Deo in novo et in prisco fædere scribitur, eum redimisse populum suum ex Ægypto, eum fecisse redemptionem populo suo; quod Moses fuerit redemptor, Act. vii. 35. Vox ideo redemptionis, simpliciter liberationem denotat.”-Rac. Cat. cap. viii. de Christo.

And, indeed, what there they speak is the sum of the plea of Socinus as to this part of our description of redemption, " De Jesu Christo Servatore," lib. i. part. ii. cap. i.-iii.

.
.

iTo remove these difficulties (if they may be so called), I shall only tender the ensuing considerations:

1. That because redemption is sometimes to be taken metaphorically, for mere deliverance, when it is spoken of God without any mention of a price or ransom, in such cases as wherein it was impossible that a ransom should be paid (as in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt and Pharaoh, when it is expressly said to be done by power and an out-stretched arm, Deut iv. 34), therefore it must be so understood when it is spoken of Christ, the mediator, with express

« PreviousContinue »