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scriptures of truth, and praying for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that we may not be so left " to "lean to our own understanding," as to reject and even to revile that, which perhaps may, in great part at least, accord with the " sure testimony of "God."
THE SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE,
Concerning the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men thereby.
Art. 1. God is not only supremely merciful, but also supremely just. And his justice requires (according as he hath revealed himself in the word,) that our sins committed against his infinite majesty should be punished, not only with temporal but also with eternal sufferings, of soul as well as of body; which punishment we, cannot escape, unless the justice of God be satisfied.1
2. But, as we cannot satisfy it, and deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, God of infinite mercy gave to us his only begotten Son as a surety, who, that he might make satisfaction for us, was made sin and a curse on the cross for us, or in our stead.2
3. This death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; of infinite value and price, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.3
1 Isa. xW. 21. Rom. iii. 25,26. 'Isa. liii. 4—6.10,11. 2 Cor. v. 21. Gal. iii. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 24. iii. 18.
2 John i. 29.1 John ii. 2. Prayer of consecration in Communion Service. Catechism, second instruction from tlie articles of the creed.
4. But this death is of so much value and price, on this account; because the person who endured it is not only a true and perfectly holy Man, but also, the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, such as it behoved our Saviour to be. Finally, because his death was conjoined with the feeling of the wrath and curse of God, which we by our sins had deserved.
5. Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Which promise ought to be announced and proposed, promiscuously and indiscriminately, with the command to repent and believe, to all nations and men to whom. God in his good pleasure hath sent the gospel.
6. But because many who are called by the gospel do not repent, nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief; this doth not arise from defect or insufficiency of the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but from their own fault.1
7. But to as many as truly believe, and through the death of Christ are delivered and saved from sin and condemnation, this benefit comes from the sole grace of God, which he owes to no man, given them in Christ from eternity.2
'John iii. 19, 20. v. 44. Heb. in. 5.
'Johni. 12.1 Cor.xv. 10. Phil.i.29. 2Thess.ii. 11—14. 'We 'believe, that God, (after that the whole race of Adam had been 'thus precipitated into perdition and destruction, by the fault of 'the first man) demonstrated himself to be such as he is in 'reality, and acted as such (prastitisse,) namely, both merciful 'and just; Merciful indeed in delivering and saving from
damnation and death (interitu) those, whom in his eternal 'counsel, according to his gratuitous goodness by Jesus Christ 'our Lord, he elected, without any respect to their works: but 'Just, in leaving others in that their own fall and perdition, into 'which they had cast themselves headlong.' Belgic Confession, Article xvi.
8. For this was the most free counsel, and gracious will and intention of God the Father, that the life-giving and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his own Son should exert itself in all the elect, in order to give them alone justifying faith, and thereby to lead them to eternal life: that is, God willed that Christ, through the blood of the cross, (by which he confirmed the new covenant,) should, out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer on them the gift of faith; (which, as well as other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he obtained for them by his death ;) that he should cleanse them by his own blood from all sins, both original and actual, committed after as well as before faith; that he should preserve them faithfully to the end; and at length present them glorious before himself without any spot and blemish.1
9. This counsel, having proceeded from eternal love to the elect, has, from the beginning of the world to this present time, (the gates of hell in vain striving against it,) been mightily fulfilled, and will henceforth also be fulfilled: so that indeed the elect may in their time be gathered together in one, and that there may always be some church of believers founded in the blood of Christ, who may constantly love the Saviour, who for her, as a bridegroom for his bride, gave up his soul upon the cross; and perseveringly worship him, and celebrate him here and to all eternity.
1 John vi. 37—40, 44, 65. Eph. v. 25—'27. 1 Pet. i. 2—5. Rev. v. 9,10.
BY THE TRANSLATOR.
These nine articles are thus abbreviated by Tilenus, and the abbreviation adopted by Heylin, and in the ' Refutation of Calvinism.'
* Art. II. Of the Merit and Effect of Christ's Death.
'That Jesus Christ hath not suffered death, but 'for those elect only: having neither had any 'intent nor commandment of his Faher, to make 'satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.''
REJECTION OF ERRORS UNDER THE SECOND HEAD.
The orthodox doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those,
1. Who teach, 'That God the Father destined 'his own Son unto the death of the cross, without 'a certain and definite counsel of saving any one 'by name, (or particularly, nominatim,) 2 so that 'its own necessity, utility, and meritoriousness '(dignitas) might stand unimpaired (sarta tecta) * to the benefit obtained (irnpetrationi) by the 'death of Christ, and be perfect in its measures, '(numeris,) complete and entire, even if the ob'tained redemption had never, in the fact, been 'applied to any individual.' For this assertion is contumelious to the wisdom of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, and is contrary to scripture: as the Saviour says, "I lay down my life for the "sheep, and I know them:" John x. 15. 27: and the prophet Isaiah concerning the Saviour; "When he shall give himself a sacrifice for sin, "he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, "and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in his "hand." Is. liii. 10. And, finally, it overturns the article of faith by which we 'believe the church.'l
1 See Art. 4, 5, above. 'Rev xiii.8. xvii. 8. xx. 16.
2. Who teach, ' That this was not the end of 'the death of Christ, that he might, in very deed, 'confirm the new covenant of grace through his 'blood; but only that he might, acquire a bare 'right to the Father of entering again into some 'covenant with men, either of grace or of works.' For this contradicts the scripture, which teaches, that "Christ is become the Surety and Mediator "of a better covenant." Heb. vii. 22. And "A "testament is at length ratified in those that arc "dead." Heb. ix. 15, 17.2
3. Who teach,' That Christ, by his satisfaction, 'did not with certainty (certo) merit salvation itself, 'and faith by which this satisfaction of Christ may 'be effectually applied unto salvation ; but only that 'he acquired to the Father power, and a plenary 'will, of acting anew with men, and of prescribing
1 For in this case there might possibly have been no" church "of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts xx. 28.
2 Isa. xlii. 6. xlix. 8. Dan. ix. 27. Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark xiv. 24. Gr. Heb. ix. 13—23. xiii. 20.