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folemnly declared it is an essential | has generally been adopted by our part of his glory, that he “ will best divines. It is a mode of reze by no means clear the guilty." | soning so long established, and Will he thus, as the means of doo | sanctioned by so many venerable ing this, condemn the innocent ; authorities, that I once supposed He hath said, “ Are not my ways it must be scriptural, and agreeable equal ?-The soul that firineth, it to common sense ; and therefore Shall die. The son shall not bear labored to comprehend its consist. the iniquity of the father, neither ency. But, after searching dilishall the father bear the iniquity of gently, to me, it could never ap: the son. The righteousness of the pear satisfactory. I can no more righteous shall be upon him, and see the justice of imputing fin, to wickedness of the wicked Mall be one personally innocent, so that he upon him.” In this manner hath the may be properly punished; than most High condescended to clear | I can see the justice of punishing himself of the imputation of unright. him at first, without any such im.; cousness. He does this by denying putation. If this would do among the factalledged,andaotbyjustifying men, any person in the world, it; which implies a plain confession, might be justly executed, only by that did he punish one person, ! putting him in the law.place of an. for the fins of another, the com- other who had committed murder ;. plaint that his ways were not equal, and then judging him worthy of. would be well grounded.

death, as an imputed actual mur. To remove this objection, as it derer. And if the judge of all respects the death of our Saviour, should proceed thus, in common' an approved expositor, in a note cases, or if it were believed to be on the text now under considera- just and right for him to do so tion, says; “ Unless the guilt of in any case ; what would all his our iniquities, or our law.obliga- threatenings and promises avail, in. tion to punishment, had been ju- the government of the moral dicially charged upon Christ, it world? Whac terror to evil dom Seems to me that he could not, by ers, would there be in the former ; . any rule of justice, have borne their l or what security in the latter, to punishment. For, in the order of them that do well ? He will by no justice, our sins must first be suppo. | means clear the guilty, nor con., fed to be placed to his account, demn the innocent : but, upon this to answer for them, before he principle, he can make any one could undergo the proper punish- innocent or guilty, only by impı-. ment for them ; since divirie jus ting to him the guilt or innocence tice can no more punish the en- of fome body else. Upon this tirely, and in all relpects, guilt principle when the books come Jess, than clear the guilty." to be opened, in the day of the

You see, it is here supposed, revelation of the righteous judg.. that our fins were imputed, by the ment of God, thousands of such supreme Judge, to the holy Jesus, transfers, never thought of before, so as to become really his; till might be found written : and whose which he could not, and after fins we should finally be antwerable which he could, and did, justly for, it would be imposible for any bear the proper puuishment for man to tell. Cao real blame-wor. them. And this is the way of thiness, and just defert of punilhgetting over the difficulty, which ment be thus thrown upon persons

for things they never did, and more than his own iniquities de which were totally foreign from serye. But sustaining loss and dama the thoughts and intents and dif- age, by means of the criminality position of their hearts ! .. . of others; and being chargeable with

Yes; it has been said. By the criminality itself, and so being means of a constituted union, bel properly punished for it as evil dotween two or more persons, there ers, are quite different things. Notarifes a kind of common personal. withitanding, therefore, both a fed. ity. A community of interest | eral and a vital union between and action, of loss and gain, of Christ and Christians, he cannot be merit and demerit ; of right to re- to blame for their sins. In order to wards, and liableness to punish- make out this, they must be sup. ments. Such conftitutions are posed so united, as to be proper. common among men ; and are ly one individual person. That never thought to be arbitrary or merit or demerit, are not transferunreasonable. The husband and able from one person to another, wife ; a father and his minor child; or capable of being thrown into a a creditor or debtor and his legal | common stock, like civil property ; attorney ; all the members of a I am persuaded is one of the plaincorporation and their trustees, are eft feelings of the moral sense, im- . one in law.

planted in every man's mind.. In many civil matters, they are And as no fimilitudes, nor metSo, I grant ; but not in criminal aphysics, unless by confounding actions. A man is not hanged ideas, can ever commend this nofor a murder committed by his wife tion of imputation to any man's or child ; nor the heads of a conscience ; so, I hope, we are corporation, for the treasons of not put to the hard talk of attempt. Some of its members. No one is ing it, in order to vindicate any thought culpable, or properly pun of the ways of God, revealed to ishable, on account of the ill-con us in his word. Perhaps no artiduct of another, to which he was cle of the faith for which we are no way accessary ; however nearly required earneitly to contend, related to him, or in whatever looks more paradoxical ; or more way connected with him, that oth- | like a contradiction to reason and er person may have been.

common sense, than the one now . It is true, we often suffer lofs before us ; but, could we keep and damage, from the criminal ac- clear of “ darkening counsel by tions of our relations, our trustees, words without knowledge"-could or constituents. We are some. we think upon it, neither too little tinies required to make compensa nor too much ; it is very likely that tion for the mischief done by the even this, would not appear inexiniquities of those under our care, plicable. or those empowered to act for us. | Divines have long followed one In human governments, such suf- another, in speaking of Christ as fering is often unavoidable, or not being properly punifted; but this is to be avoided without great public not the language of the Old or New inconvenience : In the divine goy. Testament. I know of no text ernment, it is always jult ; because, of scripturę, in which the word however the suffering of one may punijbment is used ; with reference be immediately occasioned by the to the sufferings of Christ, at the fin of another, no man suffers I hand of his heavenly Father.

God, is never faid to condemn him. him for his inheritance, and the Pilate, indeed, passed a sentence uttermost parts of the earth for his of death upon him, and the Jews pofseflion. That he fhould see of put that sentence in execution. the travail of his soul, and be sets By them, he was condemned and isfied. punished; but most unjustly. And! Thus God made him to be a though whatever they did, was fin-offering ; not by unwilling con. before determined in the counsel straint, but by the joy set before of the Most High : yet their acts him: by the most powerful induce herein, were not his acts ; any ments to a beoevolent mind. And more than all the garighteous deeds in all this, since there was no com. done under the sun are his. pulsion-00 unreasonable imputa

Chrilt suffered the curse of the cion--no real punishment, there law which was due to us ; but he was nothing unjust. did not suffer it as what was due to Our next inquiry is, how are him, in any way whatever. He we to understand that sinners, whea fuffered as an innocent person, vol. united to Christ by faith, are made untarily stepping in, to bear what the righteousness of God in him ? would answer the necessary ends of Not that they are made, in the the just punishment of the guilty. | light of God, free from all impuTo reconcile the sufferings of tation of fin, and worthy of the Christ with the justice of God, it rewards of the perfectly righteous. is enough to say, they were vol- | The benefits of Christ's meritori. untary sufferings : Sufferings which ous righteousness only, are made he freely consented to, knowing over to believers in the covenant of what he did, and to which he had | grace : his righteoufness itself, is a right to consent. And this is till his, and not theirs. Merit, the only way, it appears to me, in like demerit, is ever personal and which they can ever be so reconci untransferable ; but the consequenled. This is the plain scripture ces of either, may be transferred. account, “ He gave himself for us. As Christ, when he had undera He came not to be ministered un- taken the redemption of man, could Lo, but to minister, and to give his justly suffer death for their fin, life, a ransom for many." To do though still, in all respects, perthis, he said in heaven, Lo, I come : | fectly righteous ; so they, having and on earth he declared, “ I lay received him as their Redeemer, down my life of myself ; I have though still very finful, and in no power to lay it down." True, he respect any more innocent than adds, “ This commandment have before, can justly inherit eternal I received of my Father.” And life, as the reward of his right. we know he was sent of God to eousness. do what he did, and suffer what he On this ground, they will final fuffered. But the appointment of ly be delivered from all the penal a dutiful son to a painful service, consequences of their lins, how. with the promise of a great reward, ever numerous and aggravated; is not to condemn and punish him. and will be made as perfectly blef. Such was this case. Christ was led to all eternity, as if they had promiled, for his obedience unto fulfilled all righteousness in their death, that he should be exalted own persons, through the longest and extolled, and be very high. I and most trying {pace of probation. That the Fleathen should be given. They might be to delivered from

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all evils, and made thus happy, on he not with him also freely give us their first cordially embracing the all things ?" Nor are those who gospel, notwithstanding the origin have fled for refuge to lay hold on al curse of the law. From that the hope set before us, left to argue curse, Christ hath fully redeemed out the certainty of their salvation, them. If they die in a moment | merely from the grace of God, after they have become his willing and from what he hath already disciples and subje&ts, they are done for them. He has, moreothen made perfect in holiness, and ver, given them his word and his immediately pass into glory. But, oath; that by these two immutafor wife reasons-(for the good of ble things, they might have strong others, and their own greater confolation. “ He hath made good, and for the fuller mani with me an everlasting covenant, festation of the grace and power says David, ordered in all things of God, it is so ordered, that and sure ; for all my salvation, while they continue in this world, and all my delire.” And indeed, they shall be fanctified but in part; | beyond such ample security, what and that their transgresion Mall can be desired by any one, who is be visited with the rod, and their willing to be saved by grace, and iniquity with stripes. These, tho' to walk humbly with God? If merciful corrections, are real pun any reliance can be placed on his ishments; and what they would goodness, already so wonderfully neither receive nor deserve, had manifested, or on his promise and they a sinless righteousness proper oath, why should we want to have ly their own. It is also appointed a demand upon his justice, for all to them, in common with other our salvation, on the ground of a men, once to die; and that their full and perfect, though imputed, bodies shall sleep in the grave un- Self-righteousness. . til the general resurrection. Christ But are there not several texts is, nevertheless, made of God un which seem favorable to this exa to them righteousness, in regard ploded high notion of merit by to their infallible final justification, imputation, Those two, that I from the first moment of their think of, which have often been so receiving him, and consenting to improved : Jer. xxiii. 6. " In his be his. “ He that believeth days Judah shall be saved, and If hath everlasting life, and shall not rael shall dwell safely; and this is come into condemnation.” That his name whereby he shall be called, is, shall never be liable to the The Lord our righteousness." And curse of the law, or the wrath to 1 John, i. 9. “ If we confess our come.

| fins, he is faithful and just to forAnd now, what can any hum. give us our sins, and to cleanse us ble Christian wish for more? His from all unrighteousness.” salvation is as certain, as if it were | Must not the first of these pain made a matter of absolute debt to fages imply, that the merit of Christ him. “ If, when we were ene is so transferred to his people, or mies, we were reconciled to God fo held in common by them, or to by the death of his son ; much be really their merit? ,miin more, being reconciled, we shall I think not. Only making a be saved by his life. He that very reasonable allowarice for the spared not his own son, but deliv. Itrong language of prophetic fcrip. ered him up for us all, how shall I ture, and no niore need be underVOL. I. No. 19.

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stood by this, than what has been It remains to be enquired, in the above admitted and supposed : | last place ; What neceffity there namely, that Christ is of God was, or whether any, for making made to believers righteoufness, to Christ a fin-offering, that we all intents and purposes of their might be restored to the divine safety and salvation.

favor ? : But does not the other text af It has often been supposed, that sert; expressly, that the pardon God might have reconciled fallen of penitent Christians, and their men to himself, not imputing their complete fanétification, may be | crespasses unto them, in some expected from God as a matter of other way than in and througla ftrict justice?

the death of his son, if he had No, surely. If it did, it would seen fit. be quite inconsistent, even with it. But if it could have been fit, in self. Had finners a finless righ:- | any easier way to have done it, eousness properly their own, they that he should see fit to adopt this, would have no lins to confess, or raust appear very unaccountable. to be forgiven. The humble con Why all this waste of sweat, and fesfion,, or proper forgiveness, of agony, and blood! What glory one who can justiy have no lin of God, in the face of Jesus imputed to him, looks, I should | Christ, when his visage was mar.. think, very much like a contradic- red more than any man, and his tion. And to affert, that God is form more than the fons of men, bound in justice to remit all pun- if all his wounds and bruises, ishment to penitent believers, and thorns and bufferings, were unne. to complete their falvation, on the cessary! At such a sight, on that ground of their own real worthi- | supposition, many might indeed ness, is certainly irreconcilably in- be astonished ; but no one could consistent with a thousand other possibly be delighted, unless a very texts, all over the bible. Accor- malicious spectator. To ascribe ding to this notion, after the gift such sovereignty to the blessed and of faith; God could never freely only potentate, as supposes him give us any thing.

capable of doing any thing, properNot to infilt that the words, or iniproper, wife or unwise, confaithful and jusi, may be used by | filtent of inconsistent, is surely not che apo tle as nearly fynonymous to do honor to him. expressions ; I would observe, that We are plainly told, that God's the fulfilment of a promise, how setting forth Christ to be a propiever gratuitous, is, in some fenfe a tiation was necessary, and why it matter of jullice. It is what a was necessary; namely, that he just nian will ever make a point might be just, and the justifier of of doing; and not to do it, might ta finner, on his believing in Jesus. be a real injury to the other partys To this account of an apostle, who had calculated upon its per- | however, the wise, the scribe, the formance. It may further be ob- disputer of this world, the infidel. served, that should God not fulfil, and the focinian, are ready to obthe word of his grace, on which jeet. Earthly kings and judges, he hath caused his servants to hope, | they will tell us, can pardon high he would act dishonorably; and ) crimes, treasons and rebellions, so would not be just to himself only on the submision of the of. zo his own name and glory; fenders : and lhall we think, that

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