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while we were yet finners, Chrift died for us. Now, it is plain, and cannot be denied, that every one of Adam's pofterity is not the object of Chrift's dearest love; and therefore he did not lay down his life for every one of them.
4thly, To affirm that Chrift offered up himself a facrifice with a defign and intention to fave all mankind, great abfurdities would follow. As,
(1.) That Chrift died for many, yea for innumerable multitudes, who never heard of his blessed name, nor of the bleffings and benefits which were purchased by his death. But this runs cross to the ftrain and current of the fcripture, which tells us plainly, that there can be no falvation but by faith in Chrift; and that without hearing of him there can be no faith, Rom. X. 14. 15. 16.
(2.) If Chrift died for all, then this abfurdity would follow, that he died for those whom he knew to be children of wrath and fons of perdition, whom God had paffed by, and left to perish eternally in that miferable condition into which they had plunged thenfelves by fin.
(3.) If Chrift died for all men, then he died for those who are now roaring in hell, and fcorched and tormented with unquenchable fire, without any hope of redemption; and fo he bare the punishment of their fins, and they are alfo now bearing, and fhall bear it for ever themselves.
(4.) If Chrift died with an intention to fave all men, then he is an imperfect and incomplete Saviour, who hath fatisfied offended juftice for their fins, and purchased redemption by his blood, but cannot apply it. He is only a true Saviour of those who are actually faved, and obtain falvation by him.
(5.) If Chrift died for all men, then he died in vain for the most part, and his death and facrifice had little effect; for the generality of men and women will perifh eternally. There are many nations in the world that never heard of Chrift; and even where the gospel
is preached, our Saviour tells us, that wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to deftruction, and many go in thereat; but that ftrait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it, Matth. vii. 12. 13. Many are called, but few are chofen. So that Chrift did not offer up the facrifice of himself for every one in particular.
4. Chrift died for the elect, and for all the elect, and none else. God defigned to fave fome of the loft pofterity of Adam, for the manifeftation of the glory of the exceeding riches of his grace; and Chrift died for all thefe, Eph. i. 4. 5. 6. Compare the following fcriptures, Acts xiii. 48. Rom. iv. 25. & v. 8. 1 Cor. xv. 3. 4. 1 Pet. ii. 21. 24. &c. from which we may be fully convinced that Chrift died only for the elect.
Fifthly, I come now to fhew, for what ends Chrift offered up himself a facrifice. It was to fatisfy divine juftice, and reconcile us to God. The grand defign and intendment of this oblation was to atone, pacify, and reconcile God, by giving him a full and adequate fatisfaction for the fins of the elect world. So the apoftle teaches us, Col. i. 20. Having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself. 2 Cor. v. 19. God was in Chrift, reconciling the world unto himself, &c. Reconciliation is the making up of that breach which fin had made between God and us, and restoring us again to the forfeited favour and friendship of heaven. This was the defign and intendment of Chrift's facrifice, Eph. ii. 16. Now, Chrift's facrifice abundantly fatisfied these ends. And therefore I proceed,
Sixthly, To prove that Chrift gave full fatisfaction to the juftice of God for the fins of all the elect. This is clear and evident,
1. From many texts of fcripture which merit your perufal, as Eph. v. 2. Heb. vii. 26. 27. x. 14. & ix.
2. Chrift's refurrection from the dead proves the validity and completenefs of his fatisfaction. As the
elects Surety he fatisfied the law in his death, and having thereby paid all their debt, he received an acquittance, and the discharge was folemnly published to the world in his refurrection. He was releafed from the grave, as from prison, by a public fentence; which is an undeniable argument of the validity of the payment made by him in our name. For being under fuch strong bands as the juftice and power of God, God could never have loofed the pains of death, if his fufferings had not been fully fatisfactory to God, and received and accepted by him for our discharge. And it is obfervable to this purpose, that the railing of Christ is afcribed to God as reconciled, Heb. xiii. The divine power was not put forth in loofing the bands of death till God was pacified. Juftice incenfed exposed him to death, and justice appeased raised him from the dead. If he had not paid all his people's debt by his facrifice, he had been detained a prifoner for ever in the grave. But God having received full fatisfaction, fet him free.
3. His afcenfion into heaven proves the completenefs and all-fufficiency of his facrifice. If he had been excluded from the divine prefence, there had been juft caufe to fufpect, that anger had been still refting in the breaft of God. But his admiffion into heaven is an infallible teftimony that God is reconciled. Our Saviour produces this as the convincing argument by which the Holy Ghoft will effectually overcome the guilty fears of men, John xvi. 10. He will convince the world of righteousness, because I go to my Father. Chrift in his fufferings was numbered among tranfgreffors; he died as a guilty perfon; but having overcome death, and returned to his Father again, he made the innocency of his perfon manifeft and apparent, and fhewed that a complete righteoufnefs is acquired by his fufferings, fufficient to justify all thofe who fhall truly accept of it.
4. The many excellent benefits which God reconciVOL. II.
led beftows upon his people prove the completeness of Chrift's fatisfaction.
(1.) Juftification is a fruit of Chrift's death; for the obligation of the law is made void by it, whereby the finner was bound over to eternai wrath and punishment; Col. ii. 14. Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. The terms are here ufed which are proper to the cancelling of a civil bond. The killing letter of the law is abolished by the blood of the cross; the nails and the fpear, which pierced his facred body, have rent it in pieces, to intimate that its condemning power is ta. ken away. The forgiveness of fin is the chief part of our redemption, and it is afcribed to Chrift's blood as the procuring caufe of it, Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of fins. The payment made by the Surety is a discharge of the principal debtor from the pursuit of the creditor. Christ took away the curfe from his people, being made a curfe for them; fo he takes away fin from his people, being made fin for them.
(2.) The death of Christ procured grace and holinels for men. We made a forfeiture of our original righteoufnefs and fanctity, and were juftly deprived of it; and till once divine juftice was appeafed, all influences of grace were fufpended. Now, the facrifice of Chrift opened heaven, and brought down the Spirit, who is the principle and efficient caufe of fanctification in men. The whole world lay in wickedness, as a dead carcafe in the grave, entirely infenfiole of its horror and corruption. But the Holy Spirit infpired it with new life, and by a marvellous change hath caufed purity to fucceed corruption. It had been a great favour indeed to be delivered from the guilt of fin, that bound us over to everlafting wrath and punifhment; but it had not been a perfect and complete favour, without our being delivered from the venom and filth of fin which had infected and corrupted our
whole nature. If our guilt were only removed, we, had been freed from punishment; but without the restoration of the divine image we had not been qualified for heaven, and fitted for converse with God. It was neceffary that our fouls fhould be washed and our faculties renewed, to put us in a capacity to serve God, and enjoy communion with him. And this is only obtained by Chrift's death, Tit. ii. 14.
(3.) The receiving believers into heaven is a convincing proof of the all fufficiency of Chrift's facrifice, The gates of the new Jerufalem were fait thut against finful man, when he fell from his primitive holiness and felicity. God banished him from his prefence, and drove him out of paradife, his native feat, fencing it with cherubims to prevent his re-entry. But Chrift hath fet open thefe everlasting doors, that believers may enter freely in, Heb. x. 19. 20. This thews the validity of his fatisfaction. For divine juftice will not permit that glory and immortality, which are the privileges of innocency and righteouinefs, ihould be given to guilty and polluted criminals; and therefore it was Chrift's firft and greatelt work to reinove the bar that excluded men from the fanctuary of felicity, Now, what stronger argument can there be, that God is infinitely pleafed with what Chrift has done and fuffered for his people, than the taking of them into his prefence to behold his glory? The apoftle fets down this order in the work of our redemption, Heb. v. 9. that Christ, being made perfect through Sufferings, became the author of eternal falvation to all them that obey him. In short, it is obfervable, that the fcripture attributes to the death of Chrift not only juftification, whereby we are redeemed from wrath and mifery, that dreadful punishment which we deferved for fin; but fuch an abundant merit al:o which purchases adoption for us, and all the glorious privileges of the fons of God.
From all which it is evident, that the facrifice of Christ aufwered all the ends for which it was deligned.