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ling actually to cease to be what he is : For, as he loves himself perfectly for being what he is, so he perfectly loves to act like himself, and to appear in his conduct just as he is in his heart : Therefore our Savior expressly asserts, That heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of the law, shall fail....Mat. v. 18.
(5.) But all this notwithstanding, yet God did, of his infinite goodness and sovereign grace, entertain designs of mercy towards a fallen world....d rebellious, obstinate, stubborn, sinful, guilty, hell-deserving race, under the righteous condemnation of the law ....a law, like himself, holy, just, and good. Particularly, he de. signed to declare himself reconcileable to this sinful, guilty world ....to put mankind into a new state of probation....to try and see if they would repent and return unto him, and to use a variety of methods for their recovery: And to make way for this, he designed to reprieve a guilty world, for a certain space of time, from that utter ruin he had threatened, and to grant a sufficiency of the good things of this life for their support, while in a state of probation ; and he also purposed to grant a general resurrection from the dead, that those who should return to him and be reconciled might be most conipletely happy in the world to come. And because he knew their aversion to a reconciliation, therefore he designed to use a variety of external means to bring them to it: And because he knew that mankind would be universally disposed to hate all such means, (not liking to have God in their knowledge), and cast them off, and get froin under them, therefore he designed, in his so ereign grace, to select some part of mankind, (the Jews for instance) with whom, by his special providence...by the more open or secret workings of his almighty power, such means should be continued. And, in the fulness of time, he purposed also to use equal, yea, greater means with various nations of the Gentiles : And because he knew that all external means notwithstanding, yet all, with one consent, would refuse to repent, and convert, and be reconciled, therefore he designed, by his providence, and by the more common influences of his spirit, to take some farther pains with
many, and try them: And because he knew that this would never effectually persuade them, through the great perverseness of mankind, therefore he designed, by the special influences of his holy spirit, through his almighty power and all-conquering grace, all their obstinacy notwithstanding, yet to reclaim, and recover, and bring home to himself, a certain number in this world, and here train them up for eternal glory, and finally bring them thereunto--and all of his sovereign goodness, and all to the praise of the glory of his grace. And towards the latter end of that space of time, in which this world was to be reprieved, it was his purpose more eminently to destroy Satan's kingdom on earth and his influence among mankind, and more generally recover the guilty nations from his thraldom, and set up his own kingdom on earth, to flourish in great glory and prosperity a thousand years: Such were his designs, as is evident by the event of things, and from the revelation he has made in his word of what is yet to come to pass.
(6.) But as the case then stood, it was not fit that any of these favors should be granted to a guilty world; no, not any thing that had so much as (all things considered) the nature of a mercy, without some sufficient salvo to the divine honor. Indeed, some kind of reprieve, I presume, might have been granted to a guilty world, so as to have suffered the human race to have propagated, and the whole designed number to have been born -a reprieve, all things considered, not of the nature of a mer
• Obj. But if God could not consistently with his perfections, shew any mercy 80 a guilty evorli without a sufficient salvo to bis bonor, bow could be, consistently with bis perfections, provide tbem a mediator? Was not tbis a great mercy? And what salvo bad be for bis bonor in doing it?
Ans. The very doing of this thing itself was to secure his own honor. This was the very end he had nextly in view. Were it not for this end, a mediator had not been needful ; but a guilty world might have been par. doned by an act of absoluie sovereign grace. Now his taking such a glo. rious method to secure his honor, and the honor of his law, and government, and sacred authority, had no tendency to misrepresent them : He acted in it just like himself. His infinite wisdom, holiness, justice, and goodness, are all at once most perfectly displayed in this conduct of the supreme Governor of the world ; particularly, his infinite hatred of sin, and disposition to punish it, appeared in the very act of appointing his Son to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world : For, in this act, it was manifest, that he did choose his own dear Son should himself bear the punishment of sin, rather than let it go unpunished.
cy: 'So the fallen angels -seem to be under some kind of a reprieve ; for they are reserved in chains, to the judgment of the great day, as condemned prisoners...II. Peter ii. 4. And hence, a number of them once cried out, Art thou come to torment us before the time ?....Mat. viii, 29: Yet we are not taught, in scripture, to look upon this as a mercy to them. But the scriptures teach us to consider our reprieve..., Qur worldly comforts ....our means of grace....our space for repentance....the restraints of providence, and the common influences of the spirit, as mercies---yea, as great mercies.... Rom. ii. 4-Isaiah v. 4-Deut. x. 18-Acts xiv, 17-Rev. ii. 21. All these common favors, therefore, as well as special and saving mercies, were not proper to be granted to such a guilty, hell-deserving world, by a holy, sin-hating, sin-revenging God. This was not to treat mankind as it was fit and meet they should be treated ; It was contrary to law that any favor at all should, without a salvo to the divine honor, be granted them ; for, by law, they were all doomed to destruction : And it was contrary to the divine na. ture to do any thing in the case, that, all things considered, would have, in the least measure, a favorable aspect towards sin ; or so much as in the least tend to make him seem less sem yere against it, than if he had damned the whole world for their apostacy and rebellion,
If God had set aside his law, which was the image of his heart, and undertaken and shown all these favors to a guilty world, without any salvo to his honor, his visible condụct would have been directly contrary to the inward temper of his heart ; and by it he would have counteracted his nature, and misrepresented himself, dishonored his law, rendered his authority weak and contemptible, and opened a wide door for the encouragement of rebellion, throughout all his dominions--and, in effect, gotten to himself the character the devil designed to give of him to our first parentş, when he said, Ye shall not surely die, (Gen. iii. 4)—i.e. “God is not so severe against sin as he “ pretends to be, and as you think for nor does he hate it so “ much, nor will he do as he says in the case." It was there, fore infinitely impossible.
(7.) To the end, therefore, that a way night be opened for him to prut his designs of mercy in execution, consistently with him self....consistently with the honor of his holiness and justice, low and greerroment, and sacred authority, something must be done by him in a preblic manner, as it were, in the sight of all worlds, whereby his infinite hatred of sin, and unchangeable resolution to punish it, might be as effectually manifested as if he had damned the whole world. MEBELY his saying that he infinitely hates sin, and looks upon it worthy of an infinite punishment, would not have manifested the inward temper of his heart in such a meridian brightness as if he had damned the whole world in Dery deed : but rather, his saying one thing, and doing another directly contrary, would have been going counter to himself ; especially, considering him as acting in the capacity of a Goos ernor, to whom, by office, it belongs to put the law in execution, and cause justice to take place : For him first to make a law, threatening eternal death to the least sin, makes him appear infinitely just and holy; but then to have no regard to that law in his conduct, but go right contrary to it, without any salo to his honor, is quite inconsistent, and directly tends to bring himself, his law and authority, into the greatest contempt. Some thing, I say, therefore, must be DONE, to make his hatred of the sin of mankind, and disposition to punish it, as manifest as if he had damned the whole world; to the end that the honor of his holiness and justice....of his law and government, and sacred authority, might be effectually secured. To act contrary to his own nature, was impossible....to have no regard to the honor of his law and government, was unreasonable—a guilty world had better all have been damned.
Thus, from the perfections of God, and from the nature of the thing, we see the necessity there was that satisfaction should be made for sin, in order to open an honorable way in which divide mercy might come out after a rebellious, guilty, hell-deserving world.
To conclude this head, the necessity of satisfaction for sin seems also to be held forth in the scriptures, and to be implied
in God's conduct in this affair. In the Old Testament, the necessity of an atonement for sin was taught in types and figures. The man that sinned was to bring his offering before the Lord, and lay his hands upon it, and confess his sin over it-and so, as it were, transfer his sin and guilt to it ; then was it to be slain, (for death is the wages of sin) and burnt upon the altar, (for the sinner deserves to be consumed in the fire of God's wrath), and the blood thereof was to be sprinkled round about, (for without shedding of blood there is no remission )-nor was there any other way of obtaining pardon prescribed but this, which naturally taught the necessity of satisfaction for sin, and led the pious Jews to some general notion of the great atonement which God would provide, and to a cordial reliance thereon for acceptance in the sight of God....Lev, iv, and xvi-Heb. ix. But, in the New Testament, the nature and necessity of satisfaction for sin, and the impossibility of finding acceptance with God, unless through the atonement of Christ, is taught in language very plain and express ; particularly in the third chapter of the epistle to the Romans. St. Paul having proved both Jews and Greeks to be under sin, and all the world to be guilty before God, and that every mouth must be stopped, in the first and second chapters, and in the beginning of the third, does, in the next place, enter upon, and begin to explain the way of salvation, by free grace, through Jesus Christ :-“We cannot,” says he, “ be justified by the deeds of the law, (Chap. iii. 20), but “ it must be freely by grace through the redemption that is in “ Jesus Christ, (ver. 24) : But if we are not justified by the - deeds of the law....by our own obedience, how will God, our “ Judge, appear to be righteous ? If the law condemns us, and “ yet he justifies us, i. e. if he thus proceeds contrary to law, to - clear and approve when that condemns, how will he appear “.to be a just and upright Governor and Judge, who, loving “ righteousness and hating iniquity, is disposed always to ren“ der to every one his due ?.... Why, there is a way contrived, * wherein the righteousness of God is manifested in our justi“ fication without the law's being obeyed by us....a way unto