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32d questions of the 8th chapter, which is about the death of Christ.
Q. Whath say you then to those places, that affirm that he reconciled us to God?
'A. 1. That the Scripture nowhere says, that God was reconciled to us by Christ. But this only, that by Christ, or the death of Christ we are reconciled, or reconciled to God, as may appear from all those places, where reconciliation is treated of. Wherefore from those places, the satisfaction cannot be proved. 2. Because it is evident in the Scripture, that God reconciled us to himself, which evinceth the opinion of the adversaries, to be altogether false; 2 Cor. v. 18. Col. i. 20. 22.
Ans. 1. Whether there be any mention of such a reconciliation, as whereby the anger of God is turned away, and we received into favour, in the Scripture, the reader will judge from what hath been already proposed, and thither we appeal. It is not about words and syllables that we contend, but things themselves. The reconciliation of God to us by Christ, is so expressed, as the reconciliation of a judge to an offender, of a king to a rebel, may be expressed.
2. If Christ made reconciliation for us, and for our sins an atonement, he made the satisfaction for us which we plead for.
3. It is true, God is said to reconcile us to himself; but always by Christ, by the blood of Christ: proposing himself as reconciled thereby, and declaring to us the atonement, that we may turn unto him.
'Q. Buti what thinkest thou of this reconciliation?
A. That Jesus Christ shewed a way to us, who by reason of our sins were enemies to God, and alienated from him, how we ought to turn unto God, and by that means be reconciled to him.'
h Ad hæc vero, quod nos Deo reconciliarit quid affers?-Primum, nusquam scripturam asserere, Deum nobis a Christo reconciliatum; verum id tantum, quod nos per Christum aut mortem ejus, simus reconciliati, vel Deo reconciliati, ut ex omnibus locis, quæ de hac reconciliatione agunt, videre est. Quare nullo modo ex iis omnibus locis ea satisfactio extrui potest, deinde vero quod aperte in Scripturis extat, Deum nos sibi reconciliasse, id opinionem adversariorum prorsus falsam esse evincit; 2 Cor. v. 18. Col. i. 20. 23.
i Quid vero de hac reconciliatione sentis?Christum Jesum nobis, qui propter peccata nostra Dei inimici eramus, et ab eo abalienati, viam ostendisse, queniadmodum nos ad Deum converti, atque, ad eum modum ei reconciliari oporteat.
Ans. I suppose there was never a more perverse description of any thing, part, or parcel of the gospel, by any men fixed on. Some of the excellencies of it may be pointed out.
1. Here is a reconciliation between two parties, and yet a reconciliation but of one; the other excluded.
2. An enmity on one side only, between God and sinners, is supposed, and that on the part of the sinners; when the Scriptures do much more abound in setting out the enmity of God against them as such; his wrath abiding on them, as some will find one day to their eternal sorrow.
3. Reconciliation is made nothing but conversion, or. conversion to God; which yet are terms and things, in the Scriptures every where distinguished,
4. We are said to be enemies to God, 'propter peccata. nostra,' when the Scripture says every where, that God is an enemy to us," 'propter peccata nostra.' He hateth and is angry with sinners, his judgment is that they which commit sin, are worthy of death."
5. Here is no mention of the death and blood of Christ, which in every place in the whole Scripture where this reconciliation is spoken of, is expressly laid down as the cause of it; and necessarily denotes the reconciliation of God to us by the averting of his anger, as the effect of it.
6. Did Christ by his death shew us a way, whereby we might come to be reconciled to God, or convert ourselves? What was that way? Is it, that God lays punishment, and affliction, and death, on them who are no way liable thereunto? What else can we learn from the death of Christ, according to these men? The truth is, they mention not his death, because they know not how to make their ends hang together.
This is the sum of what they say. We are reconciled to God, that is, we convert ourselves, by the death of Christ; that is, not by his death, but according to the doctrine he teacheth; and this is the sum of the doctrine of reconciliation, Christ teacheth us a way how we should convert ourselves to God. And so much for reconciliation.
Rom. i. 32.
The satisfaction of Christ, on the consideration of his death, being a punishment, farther evinced; and vindicated from the exceptions of Smalcius. THE third consideration of the death of Christ, was of it, as it was penal, as therein he underwent punishment for us, or that punishment, which for sin was due to us. Thence directly is it said to be satisfactory. About the word itself, we do not contend; nor do our adversaries except against it; if the thing itself be proved that is intended by that expression, this controversy is at end. Farther to open the nature of satisfaction, then, by what is said before about bearing of sins, &c. I see no reason; our aim in that word is known to all, and the sense of it obvious. This is made by some the general head of the whole business. I have placed it on the peculiar consideration of Christ's bearing our sins, and undergoing punishment for us. What our catechists say to the whole, I shall briefly consider.
Having assigned some causes and effects of the death of Christ, partly true in their own place, partly false; they ask, Q. 12.
Is there no other cause of the death of Christ?
'A. None at all. As for that which Christians commonly think, that Christ by his death, merited salvation for us, and satisfied fully for our sins, that opinion is false (or deceitful), erroneous, and very pernicious.'
That the men of this persuasion are bold men, we are not now to learn. Only this assertion, that there is no other cause of the death of Christ, but what they have mentioned, is a new experiment thereof.
If we must believe that these men know all things, and the whole mind of God, so that all is false and pernicious, that lies beyond their road and understanding, there may be some colour for this confidence. But the account we have already taken of them, will not allow us to grant them this plea.
a Non est etiam aliqua alia mortis Christi causa ?-Nulla prorsus; etsi nunc vulgo Christiani sentiunt, Christum morte sua nobis salutem meruisse, et pro peccatis nostris plenarie satisfecisse, quæ sententia fallax est et erronea, et admodum perniciosa. Cat. Racov. de Mor. Christi cap. 8. q. 12.
2. Of the merit of Christ, I have spoken briefly before. His satisfaction is the thing opposed chiefly. What they have to say against it, shall now be considered; as also how this imputation, or charge, on the common faith of Christians, about the satisfaction of Christ, to be false, erroneous, and pernicious, will be managed.
'Q. 13. How is it false, or deceitful?
'A. That it is false (or deceitful) and erroneous is hence evident; that not only there is nothing of it extant in the Scripture, but also, that it is repugnant to the Scriptures and sound reason.'
For the truth of this suggestion, that it is not extant in Scripture, I refer the reader to what hath been discoursed from the Scripture about it already. When they, or any for them, shall answer, or evade the testimonies that have been produced, or may yet be so (for I have yet mentioned none of those which immediately express the dying of Christ for us, nor his being our Mediator and surety in his death) they shall have liberty, for me, to boast in this manner. In the meantime we are not concerned in their wretched confidence. But let us see how they make good their assertion by instances.
'Q. 14. Shew that in order?
A. That it is not in the Scripture, this is an argument, that the assertors of that opinion do never bring evident Scriptures for the proof of it; but knit certain consequences, by which they endeavour to make good what they assert: which as it is meet to admit, when they are necessarily deduced from Scripture, so it is certain they have no force, when they are repugnant to the Scripture.'
But what is it that we do not prove by express Scripture, and that in abundance? That our iniquity was laid upon Christ; that he was bruised, grieved, wounded, killed for us;' that he bare our iniquities,' and that in his own body on the tree,' that he was made sin for us,' and a curse; that we
b Qua ratione?—Quod ad id quod fallax sit et erronea, attinet, id hinc perspicuum est, quod non solum de ea nihil extet in scripturis, verum etiam Scripturis et sanæ rationi repugnat?
Demonstra id ordine ?-Id non haberi in Scripturis argumento est, quod istius opinionis assertores nunquam perspicuas scripturas afferunt, ad probandam istam opinionem: verum quasdam consecutiones nectunt, quibus quod asserunt efficere conantur; quas ut admittere æquum est, cum ex Scripturis necessario adstruuntur, ita ubi Scripturis repugnantur, eas nullum vim habere certum est. Quest. 15.
deserved death, and he died for us;' that he made his sour an offering for sin, laid down his life a price and ransom for us,' or in our stead; that we are thereby redeemed and reconciled to God;' that our ' iniquities being laid on him,' and he bearing them (that is the punishment due to them), ' we have deliverance;' God being atoned, and his wrath removed, we prove not by consequence, but by multitudes of express testimonies. If they mean that the word 'satisfaction' is not found in Scripture in the business treated of, we tell them that mys, is, and λύτρον, αντίλυτρον, and λύτρωσις, ἀπολύτρωσις, καταλλαγή (all words of a cognate significancy thereto, and of the same importance as to the doctrine under consideration), are frequently used. It is indeed a hard task to find, satisfaction, the word, in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, or the Greek of the New. But the thing itself is found expressly a hundred times over; and their great master doth confess, that it is not the word, but the thing itself, that he opposeth. So that without any thanks to them at all, for granting, that consequences from Scripture may be allowed to prove matters of faith, we assure them our doctrine is made good by innumerable express testimonies of the word of God, some whereof have been by us now insisted on; and moreover, that if they and their companions did not wrest the Scriptures to strange and uncouth senses, never heard of before amongst men professing the name of Christ, we could willingly abstain wholly from any expression, that is not onrus found in the word itself. But if by their rebellion against the truth, and attempts to pervert all the expressions of the word, the most clear and evident, to perverse and horrid abominations, we are necessitated to them, they must bear them unless they can prove them not to be true.
Let the reader observe, that they grant, that the consequences we gather from Scripture would evince that which we plead and contend for, were it not but that they are repugnant to other Scriptures. Let them then manifest the truth of their pretension by producing those other Scriptures, or confess that they are self-condemned.
Wherefore they ask,
Q. How is it repugnant to the Scriptures?
d Qui vero Scripturæ repugnat ?-Ad eum modum, quod Scripturæ passim, Deum