Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

punishment there can be no satisfaction either to the law or to the justice of God.

Socinus was aware, says the incomparable Owen, that by the establishment of punitory justice, a knife is put to the throat of his opinion, and that it cannot be defended ; (that is, that no reason can be given why Christ our Saviour is called Jesus Christ) he maintains that the whole controversy concerning the satisfaction of Christ hinges on this very question-That could they get rid of this justice, even if they had no other proof, that human fiction of Christ's satisfaction would be thoroughly exposed, and would vanish. For, adds the Doctor, it being granted that this justice belongs to God; not even Socinus, though doubtless a man of great, very artful, and fertile genius, could devise any way of obtaining salvation for sinners without a satisfaction. I am fully persuaded in my own

mind, says the Doctor, elsewhere, That the truth which we embrace, is so far from being of trivial consequence in our religion, that it is intimately connected with many, the most important articles of the christian doctrine concerning the attributes of God, the satisfaction of Christ, and the nature of sin, and of our obedience ; and that it strikes its roots deep through almost the whole of theology, or, the acknowledging of the truth which is according to godliness.' The Arminians and Baxterians allow, says a writer well versed in polemic theology, " That Christ suffered in the room and stead of sinners, but neither of them will acknowledge that his satisfaction was plenary. They insist that what Christ paid for our redemption was not the same with what is in the obligation; and that, therefore, his dolorous sufferings were not a proper payment of our debt; and, consequently, a proper and full satis

faction for our sins could not arise from his death to the law and justice of God. For were this satisfaction conceded, they see at once that the delinquents for whom it was made, must inevitably be saved.'

ance.

That punitive justice is natural and essential to God, is a truth of vast import

In contemplating this awful attribute as exhibited in the redemption of man, the divine holiness appears eminently glorious. Here the devout christian discovers ample cause for humiliation and for triumph. With the most pungent sorrow he reflects on his depravity and his guilt; and while he adores the grace that has saved him from perdition, he may confidently ask, with the Apostle, 'Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died. He will indeed have to regret that he has so long been the slave of sin, and that he still is the subject of corruption; but he may notwithstanding rejoice, • That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so grace reigneth through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ ;' and that, though his enormities are many and great, yet the God to whom he looks for pardon and acceptance can nevertheless be ‘just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.'

That the doctrine of Imputation, as exhibited in the scriptures, and as held by the most eminent Protestant Divines, lays at the foundation of our hope of forgiveness, I firmly believe. It is inseparably connected with the glory of God in the salvation of man. Important however as it undoubtedly is, the salutary truth has not met with that cordial reception to which it is entitled. The scripture phrases that refer to this momentous subject are indeed

retained because they are scriptural; but the doctrine itself, when properly defined, is by numbers strenuously opposed. But, as a learned writer remarks, The putting that which is not a cause for a cause, namely, that which is not a divine testimony for a 'divine testimony : the letter of the scripture alledged not according to its sense, is not the scripture. That saying of Christ, “The Father is greater than I,' cited according to the sense of an Arian, is not scripture. These words, " This is my body,' cited according to the sense of a Papist, is not the word of God.'

The Socinians, says Dr. Owen, expressly oppose the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, and plead for a participation of its effects or benefits only.-But to say that the righteousness of Christ, that is, his obedience and sufferings, are imputed to us only as to their effects, is to

« AnteriorContinuar »