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either making the death of Christ his perfect obedience and goodness, or of conceiving of his perfect obedience and goodness as the things from which his blood or death derived its value in the sight of God. The truth is, the blood or death of Christ was pleasing and acceptable to God, neither in itself, nor on account of his perfect obedience and goodness; but because it was a fit and proper mean for promoting, upon the whole, the happiness of the rational system, particularly, the happiness of penitent sinners, and that in a consistency with their own moral character, the end and rectitude of divine government, and the happiness both of their own species, and of all other rational creatures.
'The Dr'i Scripture-evidence of this feint.
§. 11. III. The Dr. goes on with his proof of this point, in the following words, "But his (Christ's) blood implies a cha-* "raster; and it is his blood, as he is a "lamb without spot and blemifo, (1 Pet. i. ** 19.) that is, as he is perfectly holy, "which is of so great value in the sight of "God. His blood is the fame as his offer** ing himself without spot to God, Heb. ix. "14." And to the fame purpose, "The "blood of Christ, by which he hath re"deemed us, is precious (1 Pet. i. 18, 19.)
K 2 or "or of great worth, as it is the blood of "the lamb of God without spot and blemish; "or spotless and unblameable in all duty "and obedience to God, and in love and "goodness to men, through the whole "course of his life, but principally at his ,c death. This was the sacrifice which he "offered to God, (Heb. ix. 14.) and "which made atonement for the sin of the "world8."
§. 12. Death is no constituent part of a moral character; and, therefore, it doth not imply a moral character. Death is the common lot of all men, virtuous or vitious. The moral characters of men, therefore, are no way affected by it. Nor doth blood shed upon, or the violent and painful death of the cross, which was the death that Christ suffered, imply any moral character in the sufferer: for though it was a punishment appointed for certain crimes by the Roman-law; yet it might be, and, through the iniquity of the times, sometimes actually was, the lot of the innocent and righteous: and, therefore, in itself, it implied no moral character. Considered, indeed,
? See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. X. §. 161.
as a punishment appointed for crimes by the law, it would be generally thought to imply a very immoral character among the Romans, though it did not, in all cafes, imply such a character, even among them. But I know of no person, in any age, who ever thought that the death of the cross did imply a character of perfect obedience and goodness, before the Dr. took it into his head to think so.
2dly. The Dr. affirms that, " It is the "blood of Christ, as he is a lamb without "spot and blemi/h, that is, as he is perfectly "holy, which is of so great value in the "fight of God."—This is a most absurd assertion; for the blood of Christ, or his painful and ignominious death, or the violent death of any other righteous person, abstracted from all other considerations but that of the innocency or righteousness of the sufferers, is so far from being of any value in the sight of God, that it is the object of his high displeasure and abhorrence. Instead of having its worth, in his estimation, raised or heightened by the holiness and goodness of the sufferers, it has its odiousness increased and greatly aggravated by them. This, in a clear, demonstrative manner, shews us, that the blood or death of Christ could not take its value in God's sight, from the holiness and goodness of the sufferer.-^-Besides, had his death really taken
K 3 , its its value from his perfect holiness and goodness, yet this would not prove, that his death and his holiness are one and the fame thing: but it would be a clear proof of the contrary; because his death, if it did derive its value from his holiness, must have been a different thing from his holiness; for if it had been the fame thing with his holiness, it could not have derived its value from it. So that whether the thing, which the Dr. affirms, be true or false, it makes nothing for his purpose.
3<ily. The next thing the Dr. affirms, is, that ct his (Christ's) blood is the fame "as his offering himself to God, Heb. ix. "14."-—This proposition is manifestly false; because it supposeth an absurdity, viz. that the thing offered, and the oblation of it, are the lame thing.—Besides, in the place here referred to, the oblation which Christ offered to God, and the moral quality of that oblation, are mentioned as two distinct things. The oblation which he offered to God is described as being himself, that is, his own person, or life: and the being without spot is only mentioned as a description of the moral quality of this oblation; and not as being the oblation itself. And in all this I fee nothing that makes for the Dr's purpose.—The Jews, in order to make atonement for their sins, offered, in sacrifice, lambs without spot or blemish, or
lambs. lambs which had no natural defect or imperfection of body. But should any person take it into his head, to infer from this circumstance, that the blood of these animals, or the oblation of them to God, was the natural perfection of their bodys, he would reason just after the fame manner as the Dr. must be supposed to do here: but every body must see, that his reasoning would be very absurd and ridiculous.
Lastly. The Dr. fays, "The blood of "Christ, by which he hath redeemed us, is "precious, or of great worth, as it is the "blood of the lamb of God without spot "and blemijh, or spotless and unblameable "in all duty and obedience to God, and in "love and goodness to men, through the "whole course of his life, but principally, "at his death. This was the sacrifice ** which he offered to God, and which "made atonement for the sin of the world." ■—The only argument, subservient to the Dr's purpose, that can be formed out of these words, is this:
Christ hath redeemed us by his own blood.
But the blood of Christ is precious, as being the blood of a person emir nently and perfectly pious and good.
Therefore, the perfect piety and eminent goodness of Christ, is the blood by which we were redeemed.
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