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ered from the curse of the law, it is presumed no one can tell ; or why it was necessary that a substitute should obey the law in man's stead, if there was no need of his suffering the penalty also. Upon this plan there appears
. to be no need of a Redeemer, unless it be to reveal the mercy of God to sinners, and his readiness to pardoni and save all who repent and return to obedience, and persevere therein : And to set an example of holy obedience, and to lay down his life in confirmation of the truths which he had taught : And what need there is that the Redeemer should be more than a mere man, in order to do all this, it is believed, none can tell, The Socinian's Redeemer is therefore equal to the whole of this work.
III. We farther learn what a great delusion they embrace, who think they, in their own persons, are become innocent and worthy, by the atonement and obedience of Christ: That his sufferings and obedience are so imputed to them, that they are really become their own sufferings and obedience; that his righteousness and holiness is in such a sense and degree, their own righteousness and holiness, that they themselves are, in the sight of God, perfectly innocent and holy. And some go so far as to say they have no ill desert or sin ; nor can they sin, let them do what they will. This is to a dreadful degree, perverting the doctrine of the atonement of Christ, and his work, as the Redeemer of sinners, and of pardon and justification through him.
It has been shewn, that the sinner who is interested in the atonement of Christ, and is delivered from the curse of the law, is left as ill deserving as he ever was, in his own person ; and this his ill desert, never will, or can be removed. And it is equally true, that the sinner who is interested in all the merit and worthiness of Christ, and is for the sake of that, justified, and made heir of eternal life, is still as unworthy as ever in himself, in his own person, of the least favour : as unworthy as he could be, if the Redeemer had merited nothing for him, or he had no interest in his righteousness; and must remain so, and know that he is so, forever : And the least thought to the contrary would be infinitely
criminal, and a most ungrateful and horrid abuse of the atonement and righteousness of Christ.
Every thing contrary to the divine law, in the believer, is his own sin, and as criminal, as if he had no interest in the righteousness of Christ ; and much more so. What the Redeemer has done and suffered is imputed to him ; that is, is reckoned in his favour, so that he has the benefit of it, as much as if it were his own; and it avails to obtain deliverance, froin the curse of the law, for him, and eternal life : But it leaves him as unworthy of any favour, as deserving of eternal destruction, and as great a criminal as he ever was,
IV. The work of the Mediator, and his design in it, as it has been now considered, brings into view his wonderful love and grace, which is exercised towards man.
In order to have an adequate view of this, we must rise in our conceptions to the height from which he descended ; and comprehend his greatness, worthiness and glory; and then take a full and comprehensive view of the depth to which he descended in his humiliation ; and the magnitude of the evil which he suffered, in order to redeem man. But this is absolutely impossible to men or angels; therefore, the love of Christ never will be fully known by angels, or the redeemed: For it "passeth knowledge," as inspiration has declared. This, therefore, must be an endless theme, and has laid a foundation for endless progression in knowledge, love and happiness. The more the redeemed shall know of Christ, the greater view they will have of the evil which he suffered for their redemption. This infinitely exceeds all instances of love among creatures. This will be exhibited forever, as infinitely the greatest instance of love and grace in the universe, except the love of the Father, in giving his Son ; which will be celebrated by the redeemed, and all the friends of God, without end. St. Paul dwelt on this theme, when on earth. “I live, said he, by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."* “ Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us.”+ * Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that • Gal. ü, 20.
† Eph. v. 2.
though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."*
The love of Christ, exercised towards sinners, is great in proportion to the greatness of the evil he suffered for their redemption. The latter is infinite, so therefore is the former. “And though he sought the glory of God, and the general good, in what he did and suffered, yet his love to sinners is not in the least diminished, or the less, by reason of this : For he gave himself for them. - Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father ; to Him be glory and dominion, forever and ever, Amen.”+
ON THE APPLICATION OF REDEMPTION.
On the Application of Redemption in general. THE first Adam was united to all his posterity as their father, head, and constituted representative and substitute; and all mankind were united to him, as such. This may be considered, both as a natural and constituted union ; by which all his children were to have the benefit of his obedience, as much as if it were their own personal obedience, should he obey through the time of his trial ; so that his holiness should insure perfect, everlasting holiness and happiness to them : And, on the other hand, his disobedience should descend to them, and make them sinners, and entail sin and ruin on all his posterity ; so that their sin, guilt and ruin, were connected with his rebellion, and, in this sense, his sin was their sin.
The second Adam has no such natural union with mankind, as their natural father and head, and they have • 2 Cor. yiü.9
| Rev. i.
no union to him in this way : But they must, in some way and manner, be united to him, and he to them, in order to his becoming their head and representative, so as to share in the saving benefits of his atonement and righteousness. He is constituted by God a public head and representative, as the first Adam was, and is substituted to obey and suffer for man ; but in order to their being actually interested in the benefit of his atonement and righteousness, they must be united to him, and he to them, so as to be in a sense one, as the head and members of the natural body are one. This union, by divine constitution and appointment, is to take place and consist in a mutual voluntary consent; the Redeemer offering himself to them, and they consenting and complying with his proposal and offer, and accepting of him, and trusting in him as their Redeemer. This lays the foundation for a treaty with mankind; in the prosecution of which, redemption is actually applied ; not to all mankind, but to those who cordially embrace the offer, and accept of Christ, and salvation by him. This is particularly stated in the scripture. “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”* These words suppose, and implicitly assert, that none but believers are to be saved by the Redeemer, as no others have that relation to him, and union with him, which is necessary, in order to give them an interest in redemption by him. This Christ expressly asserted, when he commissioned the apostles to go forth and treat with men, in order to effect the application of his redemption ; without which no man could be saved. “ And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”+
As all mankind are united to Adam, as his posterity, his seed; so Christ has a seed, a posterity, who are by their union to him, made the children of God, and joint heirs with him, to whom the promise of salvation is made. These are not all mankind, but believers in him, For thus saith the scripture.
“ The children of the • John iii. 16.
+ Mark xvi. 15, 16.
promise are counted for the seed. Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then ye are Abraham's seed, and heirs accord. ing to the promise ; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise."*
The Redeemer has made an atonement sufficient to expiate for the sins of the whole world ; and, in this sense, has tasted death for every man, has taken away the sin of the world, has given himself a ransom for all, and is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, so that whosoever believeth in him may be saved, and God can now be just, and the justifier of him that believeth, in Jesus. Therefore, the gospel is ordered to be preach. ed to the whole world, to all nations, to every human creature : And the offer of salvation by Christ is to be made to every one, with this declaration, that whosoev. er believeth, is willing to accept of it, shall be delivered from the curse of the law, and have eternal life.
But as all mankind are totally depraved, and are be. come enemies to God, his law and government, and consequently equal enemies to the Redeemer, and salva. tion by him, they are all prepared and disposed to refuse to accept of the offered sal wation, and reject it with their whole hearts, whatever motives are set before them, and methods taken to persuade them to comply. This lays the foundation of the necessity of the renovation of the hearts of men by the holy Spirit, in order to their believing and embracing the gospel ; of which the scripture speaks abundantly. Christ taught, that except a man be born of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, or so much as see it. St. Paul says, that. all believers are the subjects of the mighty power of God, operating upon them, by which they have been. brought to believe : That they, being naturally dead in trespasses and sins, have been made alive by God; and that faith is the gift of God ; that they are saved not by
57 * Bom yiii. 17. ix, Gal, üi. 7, 26, 27, 29. iv. 28.