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obedience has any place here, and so whether it be imputed as any part of our righteousness. It is confessed that Scripture most frequently mentions his passive obedience (or sufferings) as that which made the atonement, and procures our redemption, Matthew, 20:28, and 26 : 28, Romans, 3:24, 25, and elsewhere ; but his passive obedience is never mentioned exclusively, as the sole cause, or matter of satisfaction. But in those places where it is mentioned by itself, it is put for his whole obedience, both active and passive, by a usual figure of speech; and in other scriptures it is ascribed to both, as Gal. 4:4, 5, he is said "to be made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” Now his being "made under the law” to this end, implies not only his subjection to the curse of the law, but also to its commands. So Rom. 5 : 19, "As by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” It were a manifest injury to this text also, to limit it to the passive obedience of Christ. To be short, this twofold obedience of Christ stands opposed to a twofold obligation that fallen man is under ; the one to do what God requires, the other to suffer what he has threatened for disobedience. Suitably to this double obligation, Christ comes under the commandment of the law, to fulfil it actively, Matt. 3:15; and under the maledic. tion of the law, to satisfy it passively. And whereas it is objected by some, If he fulfilled the whole law for us by his active, what need then of his passive obedience ? We reply, great need; because both these make up that one, entire, and complete obedience by which God is satisfied, and we justified. The whole obedience of Christ, both active and passive, make up one entire perfect obedience; and therefore there is no reason why one particle, either of the one or of the other should be excluded.
5. The effect and fruit of this his satisfaction, is our freedom, ransom, or deliverance from the wrath and curse due to us for our sins. Such was the dignity, value, and completeness of Christ's satisfaction, that in strict justice it merited our redemption and full deliverance; not only a possibility that we might be redeemed and pardoned, but a right whereby to be so. If he be made a curse for us, we must then be redeemed from the curse; so the apostle argues,
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that God might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Rom. 3:25, 26. Mark the design and end of God in exacting satisfaction from Christ; it was to declare his righteousness in the remission of sin to believers; and lest we should lose the emphatical word, he repeats it, "to declare, I say, his righteousness." Every one can see how his mercy
is declared in remission : but he would have us take notice, that his righteousness and justice are vindicated in the justification of believers. Oh how comfortable a text is this! Doth Satan or conscience set forth thy sin in all its discouraging circumstances and aggravations? God hath set forth Christ to be a propitiation. Must justice be manifested, satisfied, and glorified ? So it is in the death of Christ, ten thousand times more than ever it could be in thy damnation. Thus you have a brief account of the satisfaction made by Jesus Christ.
II. We might repeat all that has been said, to establish the truth or fact of Christ's satisfaction; proving its reality; that it is not an improper, fictitious satisfaction, as some have called it; but real, proper, and full, and as such accepted of God. For his blood is the blood of a Surety, Heb. 7: 22, who came under the
same obligations of the law with us, Gal. 4 : 4; and though he had no sin of his own, yet standing before God as our surety, the iniquities of us all were laid upon him, Isa. 53:6; and from him did the Lord exact satisfaction for our sins, Rom. 8 : 32, in the sufferings of his soul, Matt. 27 : 46, and his body, Acts, 2: 23; and with this obedience of his Son he is fully pleased and satisfied, Eph. 5 : 2, and hath in token thereof raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand, Eph. 1: 20, and for his righteousness' sake acquitted and discharged believers, who shall never more come into condemnation, Rom. 8: 1, 34. All this is plain in Scripture : our faith in the satisfaction of Christ is not built on the wisdom of man, but the everlasting sealed truth of God; yet such is the perverse nature of man, and the pride of his heart, that whilst he should be humbly adoring the grace of God, in providing such a surety for us, he is found accusing the justice and diminishing the mercy of God, and raising all the objections which Satan and his own heart can invent, to overturn that blessed foundation upon which God hath built his own honor and his people's salvation.
INFERENCE 1. If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God for our sins, there is infinite evil in sin, since it could not be expiated but by an infinite satisfaction. Fools make a mock at sin, and there are few in the world who are duly sensible of its evil; but certainly, if God should exact of thee the full penalty, thy eternal sufferings could not satisfy for the evil there is in one vain thought. You may think it severe, that God should subject his creatures to everlasting sufferings for sin, and never be satisfied with them any more. But when you have well considered, that the Being against whom you sin is the infinitely blessed God, and how God dealt with the angels that fell, you will change your mind. Oh the depth of the evil of sin! If ever
you wish to see how great and horrid an evil sin is, measure it in your thoughts, cither by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wronged by it; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to satisfy for it; and then you will have deeper apprehensions of its enormity.
2. If the death of Christ satisfied God, and thereby redeemed us from the curse; then the redemption of souls is costly ; souls are precious and of great value with God. "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition; but with the precious blood of the Son of God, as of a lamb without spot.” 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19. Only the blood of God is an equivalent for the redemption of souls. Gold and silver may redeem from human, but not from hellish bondage. The whole creation is not a value for the redemption of one soul. Souls are very dear; he that paid for them found them so : yet how cheaply do sinners sell their souls! But you that sell your souls cheap, will buy repentance dear.
3. If Christ's death satisfied God for our sins, how unparalleled is the love of Christ to poor sinners! It is much to pay a pecuniary debt to free another, but who will pay
his own blood for another? We have a noted instance of Zaleucus, who decreed, that whoever was convicted of adultery should have both his eyes put out. But his own son was brought before him for that crime; and the people interposing, made suit for his pardon. At length the father, partly overcome by their importunities, and not unwilling to show what lawful favor he might to his son, first put out one of his own eyes, and then one of his son's; thus showing himself both a merciful father and a just lawgiver; so tempering mercy with justice, that both the law was satisfied, and his son spared. This is written by the historian as
an instance of singular love in his father, to pay one half of the penalty for his son. But Christ did not divide and share the penalty with us, he bare it all. Zaleucus did it for his son, who was dear to him ; Christ did it for enemies that were fighting and rebelling against him :
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5 : 8.
4. If Christ, by dying, has made full satisfaction, then God can consistently pardon the greatest of sinners that believe in Jesus; and consequently his justice can be no bar to their justification and salvation. He is "just to forgive us our sins.” 1 John, 1:9. What an argument is here for a poor believer to plead with God! Lord, if thou save me by Jesus Christ, thy justice will be fully satisfied; but if thou damn me, and require satisfaction at my hands, thou canst never receive it: I can never make payment, though I lie in hell to eternity. One drop of his blood is more worth than all my polluted blood. Oh how satisfying is this to the conscience of a poor sinner who feels that the multitude, aggravations, and amazing circumstances of his sins, prevent the possibility of their being pardoned! Can such a sinner as I be forgiven ? Yes, if thou believest in Jesus, thou mayest; for in him God can pardon the greatest transgressors: "Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” Psalm 130 : 7.
5. If Christ has made such full satisfaction, how much is it the concern of every soul to abandon all thoughts of satisfying God for his own sins, and betake himself to the blood of Christ, the ransomer, by faith, that in that blood they may be pardoned ? It would grieve one's heart to see how many poor creatures are drudging and toiling at a task of repentance, and
revenge upon themselves, and reformation, and obedience, to satisfy God for what they have done against him: and alas! it can