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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?
1 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.
jins. 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. But' 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 uvviu-iltd to him.'
► .Vil have vi'iv, quod nos Deo reconciliarit quid offers —Primura, nusquam
«ui<iiii.im HMnn, IVtim nobis a Christo reconciliatuml vcrum id tantum, quod
III, i'|m>lmu nut mortem ejus, simus reconciliati, vel Deo reconciliati, ut ex
|bw> loci!". Quw At hac reconciliatione agunt, videre est. Quare nullo modo ex
"B loch's dis satisfactio extrui potest, deinde vero quod aperte in Scripturis
in not »ibi reconciliasse, id opinionem adversariorum prorsus falsam esse
Cot. v, 18. Col. i. tO. »S.
ct\> do have tooniciliationc sentis.'^Christum Jesum nobis, qui propter
IVi inimici erannis, et ab eo abalienali, viain ostendisse, qiicmadmo
iii cooverli, atque, ad eum raodum ei reconciliari oporteat. * Rom. i. 32.
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."1
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.
The satisfaction of Christ, on the consideration of his death, being a ptinijAment, farther evinced; and vindicated from the exceptions of Smalciui.
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
on est etiamaliqua alia mortis Chrisli causa?—Nulla prorsus; ctsi nunc vulgo mi sentiunt, Christum morte sua nobis salutem meruis.se, et pro peccatis nos- **rie satisfecisse, quae sententia fallax est et erronea, et admodum perniciosa. *>v. 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. M. 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
'" Qua ratione ?—Quod ad id quod fallax sit ct erronea, attinet, id hinc perspicuum est, quod non solum de ea nihil extet in scripturis, veram etiam Scripturis et sanae rationi repugnat'!
'Demonstta id ordine 1—Id non habcri in Scripturis argumento est, quod istius opinioim assertores nuuquum perspicuas scripturas afferunt, ad probandam istam opinionem: verum quasdam consecutiones nectunt, quibus quod aqserunt efficere conantur; quas ut admittere aequum est, cum ex Scripturis necessario adstruuntur, ita ubi Scripturis repuguantur, eas nullum vim babere cerium est. Quest. 15.