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God so loved us that he gave his only Son to die for us? or is it that Christ loved us and washed us in his own blood? or is it that God for Christ's sake doth freely forgive us? Yea, but our adversaries say that God freely forgives us; yea, but they say it is without satisfaction. Is it, then, an encouragement to sin to affirm that God forgives us freely for the satisfaction of his Son, and not so to say that he forgives us freely without satisfaction? Doth the adding of satisfaction, whereby God to the highest manifested his indignation and wrath against sin, doth that, I say, make the difference and give the encouragement? Who could have discovered this but our catechists and their companions! Were this a season for that purpose, I could easily demonstrate that there is no powerful or effectual motive to abstain from sin, no encouragement or incitation unto holiness, but what ariseth from or relateth unto the satisfaction of Christ.
And this is that which they have to make good their charge against the common faith, that "it is false, erroneous, and pernicious”! Such worthy foundations have they of their great superstruction, or rather so great is their confidence and so little is their strength for the pulling down of the church built upon the Rock!
They proceed to consider what testimonies and proofs (they say) we produce for the confirmation of the truth contended for. What (they say) we pretend from reason (though indeed it be from innumerable places of Scripture), I have vindicated not long since to the full in my book of the vindictive justice of God,' and answered all the exceptions given thereunto, so that I shall not translate from thence what I have delivered to this purpose, but pass to what follows.
Question 12 they make this inquiry :
Q. Which are the scriptures out of which they endeavour to confirm their opinion?
A. Those which testify that Christ died for us, or for our sins, also that he redeemed us, or that he gave himself or his life a redemption for many; then that he is our mediator; moreover, that he reconciled us to God, and is a propitiation for our sins; lastly, from those sacrifices which, as figures, shadowed forth the death of Christ.
So do they huddle up together those very many express testimonies of the truth we plead for which are recorded in the Scripture; of which I may truly say that I know no one truth in the whole Scripture that is so freely and fully delivered, as being, indeed, of the greatest importance to our souls. What they except in particular against any one of the testimonies that may be referred to the heads
1 De Justit. Divin. Diatrib. vol. x.
? “Quæ vero sunt scripturæ e quibus illi opinionem suam adstruere conantur l-Eæ quæ testantur Christum vel pro peccatis nostris mortuum, deinde, quod nos redemit, aut dedit semetipsum et animam suam redemptionem pro multis ; tum quod noster mediator est. Porro quod nos reconciliarit Deo, et sit propitiatio pro peccatis nostris. Denique, ex illis sacrificiis quæ mortum Christi seu figuræ adumbraverunt."
before recounted (except those which have been already spoken to) shall be considered in the order wherein they proceed.
They say, then,
For what belongeth unto those testimonies wherein it is contended that Christ died for us, it is manifest that satisfaction cannot necessarily be therein asserted, because the Scripture witnesseth that we ought even to lay down our lives for the brethren, 1 John iï. 16; and Paul writes of himself, Col. i. 24, “Now I rejoice in my affliction for you, and fill up the remainder of the affliction of Christ for his body, which is the church :" but it is certain that neither do believers satisfy for any of the brethren, nor did Paul make satisfaction to any for the church.
Q. What then is the sense of these words, “ Christ died for us?”
A. That these words for us” do not signify in our place or stead, but for us, as the apostle expressly speaks, 1 Cor. viii. 11, which also alike places do show, where the Scripture saith that Christ died for our sins; which word cannot have this sense, that Christ died instead of our sins, but that he died for our sins, as it is expressly written, Rom. iv. 25. Moreover, these words, “ Christ died for us," have this sense, that he therefore died, that we might embrace and obtain that eternal salvation which he brought to us from heaven; which how it is done you heard before.
Ans. Briefly to state the difference between us about the meaning of this expression, “ Christ died for us,” I shall give one or two observations upon what they deliver, then confirm the common faith, and remove their exceptions thereto:
1. Without any attempt of proof, they oppose “vice nostri” and propter nos," as contrary and inconsistent, and make this their argument that Christ did not die “vice nostri,” because he died “propter nos," when it is one argument whereby we prove that Christ died in our stead, because he died for us in the sense mentioned i Cor. viii. 11, where it is expressed by diá, because we could no otherwise be brought to the end aimed at.
2. Our sense of the expression is evident from what we insist upon in the doctrine in hand. “ Christ died for us,”—that is, he underwent the death and curse that was due to us, that we might be delivered therefrom.
3. The last words of the catechists are those wherein they strive to hide the abomination of their hearts in reference to this business I shall a little lay it open:
1" Quod attinet ad illa testimonia in quibus habetur Christum pro nobis mortuum, ex iis satisfactionem adstrui necessario non posse hinc manifestum est, quod Scriptura testetur etiam nos pro fratribus animas ponere debere, 1 John iii. 16; et Paulus de se scribat, Col. i. 24, Nunc gaudeo, etc. Certum autem est, nec fideles pro fratribus cuiquam satisfacere, neque Paulum cuiquam pro ecclesia satisfecisse.
“ At horum verborum, Christum pro nobis esse mortuum, qui sensus est ?—Is, quod hæc verba pro nobis non significent loco vel vice nostri, verum propter nos, uti etiam apostolus expresse loquitur, 1 Cor. viii. 11, quod etiam similia verba indicant, cum Scriptura loquitur pro peccatis nostris mortuum esse Christum, quæ verba eum sensum habere nequeunt, loco seu vice nostrorum peccatorum mortuum esse, verum propter peccata nostra esse mortuum, uti Rom. iv. 25, manifeste scriptum legimus. Ea porro verba, Christum pro nobis mortuum esse, hanc habent vim, eum idcirco mortuum, ut nos salutem æternam quam is nobis coelitus attulit amplecteremur et consequemur, quod qua ratione fiat paulo superius accepisti."
(1.) Christ, say they,“ brought us eternal salvation from heaven;" that is, “he preached a doctrine in obedience whereunto we may obtain salvation.” So did Paul.
(2.) “He died that we might receive it;" that is, “rather than he would deny the truth which he preached, he suffered himself to be put to death.” So did Paul, and yet he was not crucified for the church.
(3.) “It is not indeed the death of Christ, but his resurrection, that hath an influence into our receiving of his doctrine, and so our obtaining salvation.”
And this is the sense of these words, " Christ died for us”!
For the confirmation of our faith from this expression, “ Christ died for us,” we have,
(1.) The common sense and customary usage of humankind as to this expression. Whenever one is in danger, and another is said to come and die for him that he may be delivered, a substitution is still understood. The avsiyoxou of old, as Damon and Pythias, etc., make this manifest.
(2.) The common usage of this expression in Scripture confirms the sense insisted on. So David wished that he had died for his son Absalom, that is, died in his stead, that he might have lived, 2 Sam. xviii. 33. And that supposal of Paul, Rom. v. 7, of one daring to die for a good man, relating (as by all expositors on the place is evinced) to the practice of some in former days, who, to deliver others from death, had given themselves up to that whereunto they were obnoxious, confirms the same.
(3.) The phrase itself of απέθανε, or απέθανεν υπέρ ημών, which is used, Heb. ii. 9, 1 Pet. i. 21,' Rom. v. 6-8, 2 Cor. v. 14, sufficiently proves our intention, compared with the use of the preposition in other places, especially being farther explained by the use of the preposition dvri, which ever denotes a substitution in the same sense and business, Matt. xx. 28, Mark x. 45, 1 Tim. ii. 6. That a substitution and commutation is always denoted by this preposition (if not an opposition, which here can have no place), 1 Pet. iii. 9, Rom. xii. 17, Matt. v. 38, Luke xi. 11, Heb. xii. 16, 1 Cor. xi. 15, amongst other places, are sufficient evidences.
(4.) Christ is so said to die arti nuã, that he is said in his death to have “our iniquity laid upon him,” to “bear our sins in his own body on the tree,” to be “made sin and a curse for us," to “offer himself a sacrifice for us” by his death, his blood, to "pay a price or ransom for us,” to “redeem,” to “reconcile us to God,” to “ do away our sins in his blood," to " free us from wrath, and condemnation, and sin.” Now, whether this, to “ die for us," be not to die in our place and stead, let angels and men judge.
1 In these two passages the phrase in question does not occur. The author might consider the expressions equivalent, and we have allowed them to remain.—ED.
4. But say they, “ This is all that they have to say in this business: yet 'we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren ;' and Paul saith, that he "filled up the measure of the affliction of Christ, for his body's sake, the church;" but neither the one nor the other did make satisfaction to God by their death or affliction.” 'But,
(1.) If all we had to plead for the sense of this expression, “ Christ died for us,” depended solely on the sense and use of that word isip, then the exception would have this force in it: “The word is once or twice used in another sepse in another business; therefore the sense of it contended for in this business cannot be such as
seek to maintain." But, [1.] This exception at best, in a cause of this importance, is most frivolous, and tends to the disturbance of all sober interpretation of Scripture. [2.] We are very far from making the single sense of the preposition to be the medium which, in the argument from the whole expression, we insist on.
(2.) The passage in 1 John iii. 16, being a part of the apostle's persuasive to love, charity, and the fruits of them, tending to the relief of the brethren in poverty and distress, disclaims all intendment and possibility of a substitution or commutation, nor bath any intimation of undergoing that wbich was due to another, but only of being ready to the utmost to assist and relieve them. The same is the condition of what is affirmed of Paul. Of the measure of affliction which, in the infinitely wise providence and fatherly care of God, is proportioned to the mystical body of Christ's church, Paul underwent his share for the good of the whole; but that Paul, that any believers, were crucified for the church, or died for it in the sense that Christ died for it, that they redeemed it to God by their own blood, it is notorious blasphemy once to imagine. The meaning of the phrase, “ He died for our sins," was before explained. Christ, then, “dying for us,” being “made sin for us," "bearing our iniquities," and “ redeeming us by his blood,” died in our place and stead, and by his death made satisfaction to God for our sins.
Also, that Christ made satisfaction for our sins appears from hence, that he was our mediator. Concerning this, after their attempt against proper redemption by his blood, which we have already considered, question 28, they inquire,
Q. What say you to this, that Christ is the mediator between God and men, or [the mediator] of the new covenant?
A. Seeing it is read that Moses was a mediator, Gal. iii. 19 (namely, of the old covenant between God and the people of Israel), and it is evident that he no way made satisfaction to God, neither from hence, that Christ is the mediator of God and men, can it be certainly gathered that he made any satisfaction to God for our sins.?
1 “Quid ad hæc dicis, quod Christus sit mediator inter Deum et homines, aut noro fæderis ?-Cum legatur Moses fuisse mediator, Gal. iii. 19 (puta inter Deum et popu. lum Israel aut prisci foederis), neque eum satisfecisse Deo ullo modo constet, ne hinc quidem, quod mediator Dei et hominum Christus sit, colligi certo poterit eum satisfactionem aliquam qua Deo pro peccatis nostris satisfieret peregisse.”
· I shall take leave, before I proceed, to make a return of this argument to them from whom it comes, by a mere change of the instance given. Christ, they say, our high priest, offered himself to God in heaven. Now, Aaron is expressly said to be a high priest, and yet he did not offer himself in heaven; and therefore it cannot be certainly proved that Christ offereth himself in heaven because he was a high priest. Or thus:-David was a king, and a type of Christ;
a but David reigned at Jerusalem, and was a temporal king: it cannot therefore be proved that Christ is a spiritual king from hence, that he is said to be a king. This argument, I confess, Faustus Socinus could not answer when it was urged against him by Seidelius. But for the former, I doubt not but Smalcius would quickly have answered that it is true, it cannot be necessarily proved that Christ offereth himself in heaven because he was a high priest, which Aaron was also, but because he was such a high priest as entered into the heavens to appear personally in the presence of God for us, as he is described to be. Until he can give us a better answer to our argument, I hope he will be content with this of ours to his. It is true, it doth not appear, nor can be evinced necessarily, that Christ made satisfaction for us to God because he was a mediator in general, for so Moses was, who made no satisfaction; but because it is said that he was such a mediator between God and men” as gave his life a "price of redemption” for them for whom with God he mediated, 1 Tim. ii. 6, it is most evident and undeniable; and hereunto Smalcius is silent.
What remains of this chapter in the catechists hath been already fully considered; so to them and Mr B., as to his twelfth chapter, about the death of Christ, what hath been said may suffice. Many weighty considerations of the death of Christ in this whole discourse, I confess, are omitted,—and yet more, perhaps, have been delivered than by our adversaries occasion hath been administered unto; but this business is the very centre of the new covenant, and cannot sufficiently be weighed. God assisting, a farther attempt will ere long be made for the brief stating of all the several concernments of it.
Of election and universal grace-Of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
MR BIDDLE's intention in this thirteenth chapter being to decry God's eternal election, finding himself destitute of any scripture that should, to the least outward appearance, speak to his purpose, he deserts the way and method of procedure imposed on himself, and in the very entrance falls into a dispute against it, with such arguments