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St. Augustine, 'that Christ is the Saviour of infants? But how is he said to save them, if there is in them no distemperature of original sin? How does he redeem them, if they are not, by their original, sold under the sin of the first man?'
But here it is worth observing, that though children, dying unbaptized, die formal heirs to Adam, having no other covenant but his, under which they can derive; yet, as they have neither transgressed that covenant by actual sin, nor rejected the new one, we may presume they are actual objects, at least, of God's uncovenanted mercy; or I should rather say, as Adam's transgression was imputed to them without a voluntary act of their own, so Christ's merit is imputed to them, without the requisition of any such act; because it is to be laid down for a maxim, that, in respect to souls, circumstanced as theirs are, Christ came to undo whatsoever Adam did. Nay, he came to do more; for, as it is not in the power of man to do so much evil as God is both able and willing to do good, so our blessed Saviour came to bestow heaven on those whom Adam had deprived of paradise only.
Since, then, the sin and corruption of our first parents are entailed on us; and experience tells us, we can neither retrieve ourselves from sin, nor save our souls from the punishment of sin; we stand in need of a Redeemer who is able to do both; who can cure the disorders of our minds by divine wisdom, and clear the debt that is against us by an equivalent price. This Christ alone was able to do, both because he was the wisdom of God,' 1 Cor. i. 24, and, through the sinless purity of his nature, and the infinite dignity of his person, could lay down a sufficient ransom for us. Such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as the high-priests of the law did, to offer up sacrifice first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself;' Heb. vii. 26, 27. But farther; as it is not enough barely to be forgiven, in order to our exaltation to a state of glory, to which no merit of our own can ever entitle us; we must borrow the merit necessary to that purpose from our representative, and found our title to so great a reward on the covenant he hath procured for us.
On the whole of this matter; whosoever conceives any other system of redemption than that which is here set forth, draws it from his own imaginations and prejudices; by no means from the word of God. The fifth chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans alone is sufficient to establish what I have maintained. Whosoever candidly considers the doctrine therein laid down, from the sixth verse inclusive, to the end, will plainly see, that 'for us, ungodly, and destitute of strength to help or redeem ourselves, Christ died; that herein God commendeth his love towards us, who were yet sinners; that if his love so abounded towards us, even when we were in sin,' and unredeemed, we may hope for a still greater degree of it, now that we are justified by the blood of his Son,' which is sufficient to save us from his wrath;' that if, 'when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we have much greater reason to hope,' after such a reconciliation, 'to be saved by his life;' that we have not only cause of hope, but of joy in God, through Christ, having already received the atonement.' The candid reader of this passage, having thus seen the redemption of man through the blood of Christ enlarged on, will be farther instructed by a comparison drawn between Christ and Adam, which will shew him how sin and death came into the world by means of the one; and how they are to be taken out of it again by means of the other: By one man,' saith the Apostle, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Although sin is not imputed where there is no law, nevertheless death (through the breach of the first law) reigned from Adam to Moses, even over such as had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him,' that is, Christ, who was to come;' for he represented, and covenanted for, all mankind; insomuch that since by this man came death, by man,' namely Christ, came also the resurrection of the dead;' 1 Cor. xv. 21. However, though they are alike in this, that they both communicated an entail, the former of sin, and the latter of grace, to all who derive under them respectively; yet they differ in this, that we have less reason to complain, if,,' through the offence of one, many should have died,' inasmuch as all have sinned, than we have to rejoice, and be thankful, for the grace af
forded to many through one,' since that grace 'was a free gift,' bestowed on persons no way resembling the donor in righteousness; through whose righteousness, nevertheless, if it is not their own fault, they may reign in life eternal.' But to conclude; as, by the offence of one,' the first Adam, 'judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so, by the righteousness of one,' the last Adam, the free gift came upon all men unto the justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.'
Here the doctrine of the satisfaction is expressly asserted, and the parallel between Christ and Adam, between grace and guilt, between life and death; as also between the free gift of grace and life through Christ on the one side, and the entail of sin and death through Adam on the other; is too clearly stated not to convince us, who submit our private opinions to the word of God, that, by nature, we inherit the guilt and punishment of Adam, and, by adoption, the righteousness and reward of Christ; that, according to my text, as in Adam we all die, so in him we must all have sinned, death being the consequence of sin only; and that as in Christ we shall all be made alive, so in him we must all be first rendered righteous, because life is the effect, or reward, of righteousness alone.
It is true, indeed, that actual, rivets the imputation of original, sin; as, on the other hand, repentance and faith secure to us the imputation of Christ's merit. He who sins, consents to what Adam did, and makes himself a party with the father and representative of sinners. He who repents and believes under the Christian covenant, makes himself a party with the father and representative of believers. The sinner inherits death under Adam; and the believer life under Christ. Either inheritance is chosen by an actual, and strengthened by an habitual, imitation of him who established the original title. The natural birth is the initial form whereby possession of the former, and the new birth in baptism that whereby possession of the latter, is conveyed. To this we must particularly attend, because it depends on ourselves to make good our title through Christ; and, therefore, we are exhorted by St. Peter, to give diligence, that we may make our calling and election sure.'
The satisfaction made for sin by the death of Christ, is, I think, sufficiently proved already in this Discourse; but, whereas that is a subject of infinite importance, and much disputed, I should, according to the second head proposed in this Discourse, proceed to a more full and ample proof of it, were it not that I have taken up too much of your time with the first. For this reason I shall defer this proof to another occasion:
Humbly beseeching him, in the mean time, who 'giveth us the victory over death, through our Lord Jesus Christ,' that he would make us truly thankful for this great mercy, and inspire our minds with the true principles of eternal life promised to us in and through his Son, and our Saviour; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all might, majesty, dignity, and dominion, now and for evermore. Amen.
CHRIST THE TRUE AND PROPER SACRIFICE FOR SIN.
1 COR. XV. 22.
As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
TAKING it for granted, that, in my former Discourse on these words, the doctrine of imputation, both as to the sin of Adam, and the righteousness of Christ, was sufficiently established on a scriptural foundation, against the only objections that seemed materially to affect it; I shall endeavour in this more fully to prove from Scripture, that Christ hath not only made satisfaction to his offended Father, for our sins, by his blood, so as to exempt us from the punishment of sin; but hath also, by the merits of his obedience, perfected in the reproachful death of the cross, and, through faith imputed to us, entitled us to eternal life, or the full reward of that righteousness, which results from a strict observance of the divine law in all its parts. After this, I shall
endeavour to shew on what terms these inestimable blessings are offered to us by the evangelical dispensation.
That we may proceed in this matter with the greater clearness and certainty, let us consider, first, that the holy and good God hates sin; that he is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that he cannot even look on iniquity,' Hab. i. 13; secondly, that there is no peace between God and the wicked,' Isa. xlviii. 22; but 'indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, denounced against every soul that doth evil,' Rom. ii. 8, 9; and, thirdly, that we, being born under the breach of God's covenant, and universally prone to wickedness, are, in the eye of Divine justice, 'all concluded under sin,' Gal. iii. 22; and, consequently, by nature the children of wrath,' Eph. ii. 3; and strangers from the covenants of promise,' ver. 12. In the next place, let us consider what are the effects of this indignation and wrath thus threatened on account of the natural state of sin into which we are born, and wherein we must unavoidably continue, if we are not born again unto a new and better life. They are, exclusion from the sight and enjoyment of God, Without holitogether with death temporal and eternal. • The wages The wicked shall go away
ness no man shall see the Lord;' Heb. xii. 14. of sin is death;' Rom. vi. 23.
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil, and his angels ;' Matt. xxv. 41. Such is the state we are in by nature; and such must be its end, if God do not deliver us from it. Without him we can do nothing,' John xv. 5; 'for we are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God ;' 2 Cor. iii. 5. Every text here quoted might be supported with many others, equally express and plain, whereby it might appear, that we are by nature the servants of sin,' Rom. vi. 17; that we were vii. 14; that we were set at a distance from God,' Eph. ii. 13; and that we were 'alienated from him, and enemies in our mind's, by wicked works;' Col. i. 21.
sold under sin,'
Now if it shall appear as plainly from the same Scriptures, that Christ hath taken our sins on himself; hath suffered the punishment appointed for them by the justice of God in order to set us free; and hath, by his covenant, imparted his own righteousness to us; and if it shall also appear, that God, on this account, hath been reconciled to us, and adopted