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play the perfection of his own moral rectitude, as rector of the universe, in the accomplishment of it. The excellence and goodness of the end did justify the choice of the mean, and gave it its whole value. In any other view, the death of Christ will give us a most absurd and shocking idea of the nature of God.
§. 4. Again, supposing that the death of Christ did take its value from his obedience and goodness; yet this, instead of subserving, would really disserve the Dr's purpose; because it supposes that the death and the perfect obedience of Christ were two different things. For, if the death of Christ took its value from his obedience and goodness, his death could not be his obedience and goodness: if it had, it could not have derived its value from them. Wherefore, if the Dr. could really prove, that the death of Christ did take its whole value from his obedience and goodness, yet this would not prove that the death of Christ was his obedience and goodness, but the contrary.—However the Dr. fays, that he has " proved this, and explained it at large, "in the VHP* chapter of the Key to the ct Apostolic writings." And to what he has said there he refers his reader. I shall, therefore, here examine all the scriptureevidence which the Dr. has produced, in that VIIIth chapter, to prove this point.
And as the things, which the Dr. fays in the next paragraph of his scripture-doctrine of atonement examined, coincide with some of these things which he fays in that VIIIth chapter of his Key, I (hall examine both together.
§. 5. All the scripture-evidence, (additional to that which we have in the Xth chapter of his scripture-doctrine of atonement examined,) which the Dr. produceth, in the VIII"1 chapter of his Key to the Apostolic writings, in order to prove, that Christ's perfect obedience and goodness was the sacrifice which he offered to God for the fins of mankind, is contained in the second paragraph of that chapter. And, therefore, I shall consider and examine all the parts of that paragraph separately and distinctly.
§. 6. The Dr. begins this paragraph with a question, viz. "How then is this "(/'. e. the blood or death of Christ, consi"dered as an offering and sacrifice to God) "to be understood?" To which he answers, "The blood of Christ is the perfect obedi"ence and goodness of Christ." And then he proceeds to the proof of this point; the various parts of which I shall set down in order, and make a particular answer to each of them.
Tbe Drs Proof.
§.7. L The Dr. says, "His (Christ's) c* blood is not to be considered only with "regard to the matter of it; for so it is a c* mere corporeal substance, of no more "value in the sight of God than any other "thing of the same kind?
§. 8. What the Dr. here says, will be readily granted to him: but I don't fee that it can be of any service to his scheme. The question, under consideration, is not about the blood of Christ as a corporeal substance, or the value of it in God's sight, as such: but about his voluntary death upon the cross, and its efficacy as a sacrifice for sins: and particularly, about this death as being, or not being, the perfect obedience and goodness of his whole life here on earth. And whatever inference the Dr. may draw, in support of his scheme, from the blood of Christ, considered as a corporeal substance; yet, I am perswaded, he can draw none from it, subservient to that purpose, when it is considered in this other view. For, considered as the blood of the Son of God, voluntarily shed upon the cross, or his painful, violent, and shameful death, it must affect, and make very deep impressions upon, the minds of all sober thinking intelligences, whether God, angels or men.— But supposing that the blood of Christ had been, in all respects, worthless, yet it will not follow, that his blood was his perfect obedience and goodness, or that this is the scripture sense of his blood: if I am not mistaken, the contrary will follow, viz. that his blood, because it was of no value, was not his perfect obedience and goodness, which were things of great worth. This last inference, I think, is good common fense; but no way favourable to the Dr's notion of the blood or death of Christ.
The Dr'j proof continued.
§. 9. II. The Dr. adds, "Nor is the "blood of Christ to be considered only in "relation to his death and sufferings, as if "mere death or suffering were, in itself, "pleasing and acceptable to God.
§.10. What the Dr. here means by "considering the blood of Christ in re"lation to his death and sufferings," is what I cannot comprehend. In the scripture phraseology, the blood of Christ, and the death of Christ, are equipollent terms,
and signify one and the same thing: for which reason, his blood cannot be considered in relation to his death, nor his death in relation to his blood. All, therefore, that I can make of what the Dr. fays, is, the death or suffering of living and sensible beings is not, in itself, pleasing and acceptable to God: consequently, the death or suffering of Christ was not, in itself, pleading and acceptable to him.—All this is very true. But I cannot fee, that it is of any service to the Dr. For although the death or suffering of Christ is not, in itself, pleading and acceptable to God, yet it will not follow, that the blood or death of Christ was the perfect obedience and goodness of his spotless life; or, that this is the scripture-senje of it, which is the point that the Dr. has to prove: nor will it follow, that the death or suffering of Christ was pleasing and acceptable to God, because it was the death or suffering of a person whose obedience and goodness were without any stain or defect. If this last was true, the death and sufferings of every obedient and good being would be pleasing and acceptable to God; not only so, but the more perfect the obedience and goodness of any being were, his death and sufferings would, in proportion, be the more pleasing and acceptable to him. A little cool reflection upon these things, may help us to perceive the absurdity of