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“ which the types of the law and predictions of the prophets “ did all bear witness...a way in which the righteousness of “God is manifested in and by Christ, (ver. 21, 22) : But how?
Why, God hath set him forth to be a propitiation, to declare “his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through " the forbearance of God—to declare, I say, at this time, his right
eousness, THAT HE MIGHT BE JUST, and the justifier of him “ which believeth in Jesus.” The apostle seems evidently to suppose that God could not have been just, had he not thus declared his righteousness; and that he actually took this method to declare and manifest his righteousness, to the end he might be just....might act agreeably to his nature, the original standard of justice, and to his law, which is the transcript of his nature, and the established rule of righteousness between him our Governor, and us his subjects. He set forth his Son to be a propitiation
for the remission of sin, to declare his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier, &c. · BESIDES, The necessity of satisfaction for sin, and that even by the death of Christ, seems to be implied in our Savior's prayer in the garden, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.... Mat. xxvi. 39: And again, (ver. 42.) O, my father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. As if Christ had said, “ If it be possible thy designs of mercy might be put into execu“tion, and poor sinners saved, consistently with thine honor, “ without my drinking this cup, O that it might be ; but if it " is not possible it should be so, I consent.” Satisfaction for sin being necessary, and there being no easier way in which satisfaction for sin might be made, and a door opened for mercy come to a guilty world, consistently with the divine honor, seems to have been the very ground of the Father's willing him, and of Christ's consenting to drink that cup : And, indeed, is it possible to conceive why Christ should be willing to suffer what he did, or why his Father should desire it, were it not an expedient absolutely necessary, and nothing else would do, so that it must be, or not one of the race of Adam be ever saved,
consistently with the divine honor? If it was not so absolutely necessary if there was some cheaper and easier way that would have done, why did the Father will this? or how had Christ a sufficient call to undertake it ? or, indeed, what need was there for him to undertake? or what good would it do? If sin was not, in very deed, so bad a thing that it could not be pardoned without such a satisfaction, why was such a satisfaction insisted upon ?....why a greater satisfaction than was needful ? Could a holy and wise God set so light by the blood of his dear Son, as to desire it to be shed without the most urgent necessity ? Or why should the Governor of the world make more ado than was necessary, and then magnify his love in giving his Son, when mankind might have been saved without it? Did this become the great Governor of the world ? or would God have us look upon his conduct in such a light ?... Surely no : Verily, therefore, such was the case of a rebellious, guilty world, that God looked upon them too bad to be released, consistently with the divine honor, from the threatened destruction, unless such a mediator should interpose, and such a satisfaction for sin be made ; and therefore Christ acquiesced in his will, as being wise, holy, just, and good. And this being supposed, the love of God, in giving his Son, appears even such as it is represented to be--unparalleled, unspeakable, inconceivable; so, also, does the love of Christ in undertaking : And thus, from the perfections of God, and from the scriptures, and from God's conduct in this affair, it appears that a full satisfaction for sin was necessary, in order to its being pardoned, or any favor shown to a guilty world, consistently with the divine honor.
And if we, in very deed, did stand in such need, such an absolute, perishing need of a mediator, as this comes to—if God looked upon things in such a light, then must we see this our need of a mediator, and look upon things in this light too, and have a sense of this great truth upon our hearts : for, otherwise, we neither truly understand what a state we are in, nor what need we have of a mediator. And if we do not truly understand what a state we are in, nor our need of the mediator
God has provided, how can we be in a disposition to receive him as he is offered in the gospel, and truly and understand ingly to rely upon him, his death and sufferings....his worth and merits....his mediation and intercession, as the gospel invites us to do?
To see our need of Christ to be our atonement....to see our need of his propitiatory sacrifice to open the way for the Governor of the world to be reconciled to us consistently with his honor, is a very different thing from what many imagine. Some fancy they want Christ to purchase an abatement of the law, and satisfy for their imperfections; and then they hope to procure the divine favor by their own goodness. Some trust in Christ and the free grace of God through him, as they think, and yet, at the same time, look upon God as obliged, in justice, to save them, if they do as well as they can. Some, who lay not so high a claim to the divine favor, yet, by their tears and prayers, hope to move the compassions of God, and, by their fair promises, to engage his favor, and would secretly think it hard, if, after all, God should cast them off ; and yet they pretend to see their need of Christ, and to trust in him : But these are all evidently so far from seeing their need of Christ, that, in the témper and exercises of their hearts, they implicitly and practically deny any need of him at all ; to their own sense, they are good enough to be accepted in the sight of God, upon their own account.... Rom. X. 3. Others, who have had great awakenings and convictions, and see much of their own badness, and do, in a sort, renounce their own righteousness....they look to be saved by free grace ; but, in all the exercises of their hearts, see no need of a mediator, and have nothing to do with him : they see no reason why they may not be pitied and saved by free grace, without any respect to the atonement of Christ : They do not understand that they are so bad that it would be a reproach to the Governor of the world to show them mercy, otherwise than through a mediator. Others, again, who talk much of Christ, and of faith, and of living by faith, and cry down works, and think themselves most evangelical, yet, after all, on
ly believe that Christ died for them in particular, and that they shall be saved : this is their faith, and this their trusting in Christ; whereby it is evident, they never truly saw their need of Christ, nor have they any respect to him under the proper character of a Mediator : But then do persons see their need of Christ, when, from a sense of what they are, and of what God is, they are convinced that they are too bad to be pardoned and accepted so bad that any thing short of damnation is too good for them ; so that it would be inconsistent with the di, vine perfections, and to the reproach of the great Governor of the world, to show them any favor without some sufficient sale po to his honor: Now they see their need of Christ, and are prepared to exercise faith in his blood, (to use the apostle's phrase... Rom. iii. 23,) and not till now : for men cannot be said to see their need of Christ and his atonement, unless they see that in their case which renders his atonement needful;, but its being inconsistent with the divine perfections, and to the dishonor of God, to pardon sin without satisfaction, was that which made an atonement needful : Therefore sinDers must see their case to be such as that it would be inconsisa tent with the divine perfections, and to the dishonor of God, to grant them pardon without satisfaction for their sins, in order to see their need of Christ and of his atonement. When they see their case to be such, then they begin to see things as they are—to view them in the same light that God does to perceive upon what grounds, and for what reasons, a mediator was necessary, and why and upon what accounts they want one ; and hereby a foundation is laid for them, under. standingly, to have a fidutial recourse to that Mediator which God has provided, that, through him, consistently with the di. vine perfections, they may be received to favor : and so, from Christ, the Mediator, and from the free grace of God through him, do they take all their encouragement to come to God, in hopes of pardon and acceptance, and eternal life: And thus they look to be justified by free grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, which is what the gospel intends and proposes
....Rom. ii. 24: And from an increasing sense of their unvorthiness and ill deserts, they, through the course of their lives, more and more, grow up into a disposition to live the life they live in the fiesh, by faith in the Son of God, always having respect to him as their great high-priest, in all their approaches to the mercy-seat, having access to God by him, who has styled himself the door of the sheep, and the way to the Father, which is the very thing the gospel proposes, and invites and encourages us unto. Heb. ix. 12....By his own blood he entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us : Ver. 24.... Into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us: Heb. X. 19~22.... Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath-consecrated for us—and having an high-priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. Rom. iii. 25....For him hath God set forth to be a propitiation for sin, to declare his righteousness, that he might be just, &c. · And a clear, realizing sense of these things on our hearts will lay a foundation for us to see how the gospel-way of salvation is calculated to bring much glory to God, and abase sinners in the very dust, which is that wherein the glory of the gospel very much consists....Rom. iii. 27-Eph. i. 3—12. And we shall learn to rejoice to see God alone exalted, and freely to take our proper place, and lie down in the dust, abased before the Lord forever: And indeed it is perfectly fit, in this case, that the rebelwretch should come down, and be so far from finding fault with the great Governor of the world, and with his holy, just, and good law, that he should rejoice that God has taken such an effectual method to secure his own honor, and the honor of his law. We ought to be glad with all our hearts that the supreme Governor of the world did put on state, and stand for his honor, and the honor of his law, without the least abatement; and did insist upon it that sin should be punished....the sinner humbled, and grace glorified.;—these were things of the greatest importance : and we ought to choose to be saved in such a way,