Abbildungen der Seite

per to the remission of sins; therefore I conceive the nature of forgiveness of sins is rather to be understood by the consideration of all such ways and means which were used by God in the working and performing of it, than in this, or any other which is made use of in expressing it.

Now that we may understand what was done toward the remission of sins, that from thence we may conclude what. was done in it; it is first to be observed, that “almost all things by the Law were purged by blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb. ix. 22.)* And what was then legally done, was but a type of that which was. to be performed by Christ, and therefore the blood of Christ must necessarily be involved in the remission of sins; for he

once in the end of the world hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.(Heb. ix. 26.)+ It must then be acknowledged, and can be denied by none, that Christ did suffer a painful and shameful death, as we have formerly described it; that the death which he endured, he did then suffer for sin; for “ this man (saith the apostle) offered one sacrifice for sins;” (Heb. x. 12.) that the sins for which he suffered were not his own, for “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust;” (1 Pet. iii. 18.) he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners,” (Heb. vii. 26.) and therefore had no sins to suffer for; that the sins which he suffered for, were ours, for “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;” (Isa. liii. 5.) he“ was delivered for our offences,” (Rom. iv. 25.) he“ gave himself for our sins," (Gal. i. 4.) he“ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;" (1 Cor. xv. 3.) that the dying for our sins was suffering death as a punishment taken upon himself, to free us from the punishment due unto our sins; for God "laid on him the iniquity of Dixon ka suur kai údeg váoaç tús So 'Tertullian: “ Diximus de remissa åpaprias pov. And in that remarkable peccatorum.' adv. Marc. I. iv. c. 18. place which St. Paul made use of to St. Cyprian: 'Qui blasphemaverit ig declare the nature of remission of Spiritum Sanctum non habet remis sins, Psal. xxxii. I. yun WWI '90x sam, sed reus est æterni peccati.' I. jakápuoi ūv åpéInoavai à voulai. Some- ii. ep. 14. 9. 1. al. ep. 10. Dominus times it is taken for abo as, Numb. baptizatur a servo, et remissam peccaxiv. 19.7777 DY115 X3 no apec torum daturus, ipse non dedignatur laTolv åuqpriav tab laq toúry. Lev. iv. yacro regenerationis corpus abluere.' 20. Omhoz vai åpe Snoetai aüroic Idem, de bon. Patient. §. 3. Of an in

fant: η αμαρτία. Now being αφιέναι in rela

Qui ad remissam peccatorum tion to sins, is used for a signi. recipiendam hoc ipso facilius accedit, fying expiation and reconciliation; for quod illi remittuntur non propria sed ww) signifying elevation, portation, or aliena peccata.' Idem, l. iii. ep. 8.9. 4. ablation; for 50 signifying pardon and

al. ep. 59. Add the interpreter of Ire

næus concerning Christ : Remissam indulgence; we cannot argue from the peccatorum exsistentem his qui creword alone, that God in forgiving dunt in eum.' Adv. Hares. I. iv. c. 27. sins doth only and barely release the s. 2. debt. There is therefore no force to be aid upon the words άφεσις αμαρ- άφεσις.

Χωρίς αίματεκχυσίας ου γίνεται , Tiūv, remissio peccatorum, or, as the + It is not only άφεσις, τut αθέτησις ancient fathers, remissa peccatorum. åpaprias.

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

us all,” (Isa. liii, 6.) and “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin:” (2 Cor. v. 21.)" he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed;” (Isa. liii. 4, 5.) that by the suffering of this punishment to free us from the punishment' due unto our sins, it cometh to pass that our sins are forgiven, for, “This is my blood (saith our Saviour) of the New Testament (or Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matt. xxvi. 28.) “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.” (Eph. i. 7.).

In which deduction or series of truths, we may easily perceive that the forgiveness of sins which is promised unto us, which we upon that promise do believe, containeth in it a reconciliation of an offended God, and a satisfaction unto a just God: it containeth a reconciliation, as without which God cannot be conceived to remit; it comprehendeth a satisfaction, as without which God was, resolved not to be reconciled. : For the first of these, we may be assured of forgiveness of sins, because Christ by his death hath reconciled God unto us, who was offended by our sins; and that he hath done so, we are assured, because he wbich before was angry with us, upon the consideration of Christ's death, becomes propitious unto us, and did ordain Christ's death to be a propitiation for us. For we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood.” (Rom. iii. 24, 25.) We have an advocate with the Father, and he is the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John ii. 1.) For God“ loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” (Ibid. iv. 10.) It is evident therefore that Christ did render God propitious unto us by his blood (that is, his sufferings unto death), who before was offended with us for our sips. And this propitiation amounted to a reconciliation, that is, a kindness after wrath. We must conceive that God was angry with mankind before he determined to give our Saviour; we cannot imagine that God who is essentially just, should not abominate iniquity. The first affection we can conceive in him upon the lapse of man, is wrath and indignation. God therefore was most certainly offended before he gave a Redeemer; and though it be most true, that he " so loved the world that he gave his onlybegotten Son:” (John iii. 16.) yet there is no incongruity in this, that a father should be offended with that son which he loveth, and at that time offended with him when he loveth him. Notwithstanding therefore that God loved men whom be created, yet he was offended with them when they sinned, and gave his Son to suffer for them, that through that Son's obedience he might be reconciled to them.

This reconciliation is clearly delivered in the Scriptures as wrought by Christ; for all things are of God, who hath recon

ciled us to himself by Jesus Christ;" (2 Cor. v. 18.) and that by virtue of his death, for “when we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the death of his Son,” (Rom. v. 10.) “making peace through the blood of his cross, and by him reconciling all things unto himself.” (Col. i. 20.) In vain it is objected that the Scripture saith our Saviour reconciled men to God, but no where teacheth that he reconciled God to man; for in the language of the Scripture, to reconcile a man to God, is in our vulgar language to reconcile God to man, that is, to cause him who before was angry and offended with him to be gracious and propitious to him. As the princes of the Philistines spake of David, “Wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men ?” (1 Sam. xxix. 4.)* Wherewith shall he reconcile Saul who is so highly offended with him, wherewith shall he render him gracious and favourable, but by betraying these men unto him? As our Saviour adviseth, “If thou bring thy gift before the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother,” (Matt. v. 23, 24. + that is, reconcile thy brother to thyself, whom thou hast injured, render him by thy submission favourable unto thee, who hath something against thee, and is offended at thee. As the apostle adviseth the wife that “ departeth from her husband, to remain unmarried, or to be reconciled to her husband,” (1 Cor. vii. 11.) that is, to appease and get the favour of her husband. In the like manner we are said to be reconciled unto God, when God is reconciled, appeased, and become gracious and favourable unto us; and Christ is said to reconcile us unto God, when he hath moved, and obtained of God to be reconciled unto us, when he hath appeased him and restored us unto his favour. Thus “when we were enemies we were reconciled to God,” that is, notwithstanding he was offended with us for our sins, we were restored unto his favour “ by the death of his Son.” (Rom. y. 10.)

Whence appeareth the weakness of the Socinian exception, that in the Scriptures we are said to be reconciled unto God;} but God is never said to be reconciled unto us. For by that very expression, it is to be understood, that he which is re

'Ev civi dallaynoerAL OUTOG TÖ Kv- est.' Catech. Rac. c. 8. To this may be piw aútoŨ; ouxì tv rais kepalais tūv åv- added the-observation of Socinus: Spôvékeivwv; 7370 acceptum se red- Ita communem ferre loquendi condet, ita se geret, ut Saul eum in gratiam suetudinem, ut scilicet is reconciliatus recipere velit.

fuisse dicatur, per quem stabat, ne + IIpūrov dalláyngi tq å del pq cov. amicitia aut denuo exsisteret, aut con

I Ad hæc vero quod nos Deo re- servaretur.' De Christo Servatore. p. conciliarit, quid affers ? Primum, nus- 1. c. 8. Which observation is most quam Scripturam asserere, Deum no- false, as appeareth in the case of Şaul bis a Christo reconciliatum, verum id and David, and in the person mentantum quod nos per Christum aut tioned in the Gospel, who is commortem ejus simus reconciliati, vel manded to be reconciled unto him Deo reconciliati; ut ex omnibus locis, whom he had offended, and who had quæ de reconciliatione agunt, videre something against him.

conciled in the language of the Scriptures, is restored unto the favour of him who was formerly offended with that person which is now said to be reconciled. As when David was to be reconciled unto Saul, it was not that David should lay down his enmity against Saul, but that Saul should become propitious and favourable unto David: and therefore where the language is, that David should be reconciled unto Saul, the sense is, that Saul, who was exasperated and angry, should be appeased and so reconciled unto David.

Nor is it any wonder God should be thus reconciled to sinners by the death of Christ, who“while we were yet sinners died for us,” (Rom. v. 8.) because the punishment which Christ, who was our surety, endured, was a full satisfaction to the will and justice of God. 6 The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. xx. 28.)* Now a ransom is a price given to redeem such as are in any way in captivity; any thing laid down by way of compensation to take off a bond or obligation, whereby he which before was bound becometh free. All sinners were obliged to undergo such punishments as are proportionate to their sins, and were by that obligation captivated and in bonds, and Christ did give his life a ransom for them, and that a proper ransom, if that his life were of any price, and given as such. For a ransom is properly nothing else but something of price given by way of redemption,t to buy or purchase that which is detained, or given for the releasing of that which is enthralled. But it is most evident that the life of Christ was laid down as a price; neither is it more certain that he died, than that he bought us: “Ye are bought with a price," saith the apostle, (1 Cor. vi. 20. vii. 23.) and it is the “ Lord who bought us,” (2 Pet. ii. 1.) and the price which he paid was his blood; for “we are

* Δούναι την ψυχήν αυτού λύτρον not ανάκλησιν). So that whatsoever is åyti mollüv. What is the true notion given for such a purpose, is Núrpov, of Xúrpov will easily appear, because and whatsoever is not given for such both the origination and use of the an end, deserveth not the name in word are sufficiently known. The ori- Greek. As the city Antandrus was so gination is from Núelv solvere, to loose, called, because it was given in exλύτρον quasi λυτήριον. Ειymol. θρέ- change for a man who was a captive. πτρα τα θρεπτήρια, ώσπερ λύτρα τα λυ- "Οτι 'Ασκάνιος αιχμάλωτος εγένετο υπό τήρια. Εustath. Λέγει δε θρέπτρα (ita Πελασγών και αντ' αυτού την πόλιν δέleg.) τα τροφεία έκ τού θρεπτήρια κατά δωκε λύτρα, και απελύθη. Ειym. So συγκοπήν ώς λυτήρια λύτρα, σωτήρια that there can be nothing more proper owotpa. Iliad. A. 478. Aúrpov igitur in the Greek language than the words quicquid datur ut quis solvatur. 'Eti of our Saviour, Aoûvai tiiv yuxiy ajαιχμαλώτων εξωνέσεως οικείον το λύε- τού λύτρον αντί πολλών Δούναι λύτρον, σθαι· όθεν και λύτρα τα δώρα λέγονται τα for λύτρον 18 το διδόμενον, and αντί εις τούτο διδόμενα Eustathius upon πολλών, for it is given αντί ανθρώπων, that of Homer, Il. A. 13. Avoóuevós as that city was called, "Avravèpoc τε θυγατρα. It is properly spoken of ήγουν αντί άνδρός δεδομένη. And theresuch things as are given to redeem a fore, 1 Tim. ii. 6. it is said, 'o dove lavcaptive, or recover a man into a free τον αντίλυτρον υπέρ πάντων. condition. Hes/ch. lavia đồóueva + Hesychius: Aúrpov, riunya. εις ανάκτησιν ανθρώπων (so I read it,

not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Pet. i. 18, 19.)* Now as it was the blood of Christ, so it was a price given by way of compensation : and as that blood was precious, so was it a full and perfect satisfaction. For as the gravity of the offence and iniquity of the sin is augmented, and increaseth, according to the dignity of the person offended and injured by it; so the value, price, and dignity of that which is given by way of compensation, is raised according to the dignity of the person making the satisfaction. God is of infinite majesty, against whom we have sinned; and Christ is of the same Divinity, who gave his life a ransom for sinners: for God hath purchased his Church with his own blood.” (Acts xx. 28.) Although therefore God be said to remit our sins by which we were captivated, yet he is never said to remit the price without which we had never been redeemed :neither can he be said to have remitted it, because he did require it and receive it.

If then we consider together, on our side the nature and obligation of sin, in Christ the satisfaction made and reconciliation wrought, we shall easily perceive how God forgiveth sins, and in what remission of them consisteth. Man being in all conditions under some law of God, who hath sovereign power and dominion over him, and therefore owing absolute obedience to that law, wbensoever any way he transgresseth that law, or deviateth from that rule, he becomes thereby a sinner, and contracteth a guilt which is an obligation to endure a punishment proportionable to his offence; and

* This is sufficiently expressed by εξηγόρασεν εκ της κατάρας του νόμου, γεtwo words, each of them fully signifi- võuevos ŪTĖp ruñv katápaand Gal. iv. cative of a price: the first simple, 4,5. yevóuevov ünÒ vóuov, iva tous . which is a yopáselv, the second in com νόμον εξαγοράση. Now this εξαγοραposition, εξαγοράζειν. That the word σμός is proper redemption, or λύτρωσις, àyopáselv in the New Testament sig- upon a proper price, though not silver uificth properly to buy, appeareth ge- or gold, yet as proper as silver and nerally in the evangelists, and parti- gold, and far beyond them both : Oů cularly in that place of the Revelations φθαρτοϊς, αργυρίω ή χρυσίω, έλυτρώθητε xiii. 17. ίνα μή τις δύνηται αγοράσαι ή εκ της ματαίας υμών αναστροφής πατροπωλήσαι. In the same signification it παραδότου, αλλά τιμίω αίματι ως αμνού is attributed undoubtedly unto Christ αμώμου και ασπίλου, Χριστού. 1 Ρet. i. in respect of us, whom he is often said 18, 19. to have bought, as 2 Pet. ii. 1. ròv åyo + Ας λύτρον is a certain price given ράσαντα αυτούς δεσπότην αρνούμενοι" or promised for liberty, so αφιέναι λύand this buying is expressed to be by Tpov is to remit the price set upon the a price, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. OÚK ÉOTÈ ¿ave head of a man, or promised for him Tūv, nyopáoOntɛ yap rițñs, Vulg. non as we read in the Testament of Lycon estis vestri, empti enim estis pretio the philosopher : Anuntpiq Mèv levmagno: and I Cor. vii. 23. ruñs nyo- Jépp trádat oyti åpinue tà đúrpa. Deράσθητε, μη γίνεσθε δούλοι ανθρώπων. metrius had been his servant, and he What this price was is also evident, had set bim free upon a certain price for the riuni was the riuov alua tho which he bad engaged himself to pay precious blood of Christ, or the blood for that liberty; the sum which Degivep by way of price, Rev. v. 9. őri metrius was thus bound to pay, Lyoon εσφάγης, και ηγόρασας τω θεώ ημάς εν at his death remits, as also to Criton: το αίματί σου. Which will appear Κρίτωνι δε Καρχηδονίω, και τούτω τα more fully by the compound word húrpa åpinu. Diog. Lacrt. in Vit. εξαγοράζω, Gal. iii. 13. Χριστός ημάς αd .



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »