« AnteriorContinua »
oross daily, and follow him. If we deny him, he also will deny us when we appear before his judgment seat.
Conversion, therefore, is absolutely necessary to salvation. Submit to Christ and you are happy; reject him, and you are undone forever.
3 What God has done for the redemption of sinners lays a foundation for everlasting thanksgiving.
“O Israel,” says God to 'his people, “thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” That man may be saved after he has destroyed himself, raises a monument of eternal praise to him who laid the foundation. Blame belongs to man for destroying himself; but all the praise of his restoration from the pit of ruin, belongs to God. “Not unto us,” is the language of the good man, “O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.” The good man knows that he has not redeemed himself; and having found Christ the only Rock of his salvation, he is sensible of his own nothingness, and ascribes all the praise to him to whom it is due. "All things,” says he, “are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ:—for we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The whole building of God, from the first foundation to the head-stone of the same, is of grace. And, “when the Lord shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory. And the ransomed of the Lord shah return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladDess, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
A MUTUAL TRANSFER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND
GUILT NOT IMPLIED IN ATONEMENT.
1 PETER i, 18, 19. Ye were redeemed—by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb, without blemish and without spot.
DOCTRINE. The sole price of redemption from sin, is the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
But what is implied in the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, when considered as the sole price of man's redemption?
I will endeavour to answer this inquiry in the negative, and in the positive.
1. Negatively: The negative answer will contain a number of particulars.
1. The precious blood of Christ which was shed for man’s redemption does not suppose that while his body lay in the tomb, his soul was in the place of the damned.
I believe it has been thought by some, that when Christ yielded up the ghost, bis departed soul went to the place of the damned. This sentiment is founded on what David says concerning him, as in the Acts of the Apostles; “I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for he is on my right hand that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: be. cause thou wilt not leave my soulin hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” The Greek word, 8m, which is translated hell, does not mean the
place of the damned. The place, into which the wicked are cast in the future state, is expressed by the Greek word, yeévve. The hell in which Christ was not suffered to remain, means the situation of the soul while separated from the body. The soul of Christ was not suffered to remain in that state, nor his body to see corruption. This separate state is expressed in the Acts, by the English word, Hell. But in the true sense of the word in the Original, all souls separated from the body are in hell; not only the souls of the wicked but also the souls of the righteous; for the souls of both are equally separated from the body. Though some may think that the soul of Christ was in hell while his body was in the grave, and that this was necessary in order to his making atonement for sin; yet it is a fact, that the soul of Christ while his body was in the grave, was in Paradise: This is evi. dent from the encouraging and animating promise of Christ to the penitent who expired with him on the cross. The penitent prayed. Christ, saying, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” The dying Redeemer, the Lamb of God, replied, “To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." Paradise is always considered as a place of happiness. The souls of good men, the disciples of Christ, as soon as the body dies, go into Paradise; that is, into a state of complete happiness, where there is no mixture of evil So also, did the soul of Christ, as soon as he gave up the ghost upon the cross, go immediately to Paradise, where he was perfectly free from all suffering: he never suffered another moment, after he cried aloud upon the cross and yielded up the ghost.
2. The precious blood of Christ, which was shed for the redemption of sinners does not suppose that his Jife was taken from him without his consent. When a mere man is pierced through the heart, he dies: he must die; it deper.ds not upon his choice, in the least degree, whether he shall die or not. But with Christ, the Lord from heaven, it was quite otherwise; he yielded up the ghost when he chose to do it. Christ chose to die upon the cross; it was necessary that he should expice there, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. See the history of the case according to Su John; “The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day,, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers, with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled. A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”
All matters therefore were conducted agreeably to the construction of things, in the covenant of redemption before the world was; which things were a mystery, kept secret in the counsel of the divine will, until after the apostasy, and especially till the coming of Jesus Christ. The life of Christ could have been prolonged, had it been viewed necessary in the counsel of heaven. Though Christ commended his Spirit into the hands of his father, and gave up the ghost when he chose to give up the ghost, yet they who conspired against him, and nailed him to the cross, were, indeed murderers. They meant to kill him; murder was in their hearts.
Christ had power to lay down his life, and he had power to take it again. This commandment, saith he, I have received of my Father; that is, it was agreed upon in the covenant of redemption. “Men can do nothing to frustrate the divine decrees, God will accomplish all his purposes, and in his own way.
“Why then do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us brake their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Though the enemies of Christ might think themselves able to kill him; and in this way to carry an important point against him; yet they will find, to their everlasting confusion, that he is the Almighty and can arise above all the evil which they may bring upon him, “and break them with arod of iron; and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel!” Let Kings then and Judges, and all the people fear the Lord, and rejoice with trembling. Let them kiss the Son lest he be angry, and they perish from the way, when bis wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
3. Being redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a Jamb without blemish and without spot, does not suppose that Christ was punished for the sins of men; or, that he bare our sins, in the same sense in which the wicked bear their own sins.
It is not proper to say that ever any one was punished, except for his own fault, or transgression of some law. ' It is not expressed in any part of the word of God, that Christ was punished for his own sins or for the sins of any other person.
It is granted that Christ suffered; and that his sufferings were exceedingly great. It is granted, that for us, for our redemption, for our salvation, he suffered; that he died for us, that he was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Christ could not suffer and die for his own sin, for he had none. "Who did no sin, neither was guile found