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God gives for it, is eternal, was the fame from the beginning of the World, and will be so to the end of it, All Souls are mine. And God complains of the Injuftice of that Proverb, and what a Reproach it was to his Nature and Government, The Fathers have eaten foure Grapes, and the Childrens Teeth are fet on Edge; which he could not justly have done, had this been his Practice in former Times.

The Examples these Men give of this Nature both from Scripture and human Laws, do not reach the prefent Cafe. God told David by the Prophet Nathan, that his Child, which was born to him in Adultery, fhould die. So that the innocent Child was punish'd with Death for David's Sin; and if any Thing can be called at Punishment, certainly Death is: It is fo moft certainly, if we confider Death as the Curfe of the Law inflicted on all Mankind for Adam's Sin; but the particular Times and Circumftances of dying are not always inflicted as a Punishment; for God, who is the Sovereign Lord of Life and Death, may take away the Lives of the most innocent Perfons, at what Time, and in what Manner, and for what wife Reafons he pleafes, without any Injuftice; and then he may do this, when it is for the Punishment, not of the Innocent, but of the Guilty. Parents may be punished in their Children, fince natural Af fection makes their Death and Misfortunes the feverest Punishment to them; but this is not to transfer the Punishment of the Guilty to the Innocent, but to punifh the Guilty in the Suf ferings of the Innocent; which may be, when fuch Sufferings neither are, nor are intended, as Punishments of the Innocent. Thus as to human Laws, Treafon forfeits Eftate and Honour,

and corrupts the Blood, which punishes the innocent Children, and all their innocent Pofterity with their guilty Parent: This indeed is a great Misfortune, but no formal Punishment; it is a Misfortune to any Children to be born of Beggars, or of mean People, who have no Inheritance to leave them; and a more fenfible Misfortune to have prodigal Parents, who spend their Estates, and leave their Children Beggars, who were born to a plentiful Fortune; but these are not formal Punishments; and it is the fame Cafe, if Parents legally forfeit their Estates and Honours, as if they spent their Estates, or could part with their Honour; Children must in these Cafes follow the Fate of their Parents, and therefore must suffer by their Parents Fault or Folly. But thefe are no Examples of punishing the Innocent for the Guilty; a wild furious Revenge may do this, but those who suffer it may justly complain, and nothing can excuse it, but fuch a Neceffity as fuperfedes the common Rules of Juftice. A Traytor may forfeit his Estate and Honour, and his Son fuffer by it, because it cannot defcend to him when his Father has loft it; but strict Juftice will not allow, that an innocent Son fhould die for his Father's Treafon; whatever Neceffities of Government Men may pretend for tranfgreffing the known Rules of Juftice, God knows how to govern the World without it. But ftill, what is all this to the Notion of a Sacrifice, where the Innocent fuffers the Punishment of Sin to redeem and fave the Guilty, dies that the Sinner may live? If Parents are punished in the Sufferings of their Children, or Children fuffer by the Sins of their Parents, is there any Thing of the Nature of a Sacrifice in this? Is the Sinner punished in his


Sacrifice? By no Means: but the Sacrifice bears the Punishment of Sin, to fave the Sinner from Punishment; and it is the Juftice of this we are to enquire after, whether it be juft, that an innocent Sacrifice fhould bear the Punishment of Sin to redeem the Sinner; not abfolutely, whether it be juft, that the Innocent should fuffer for the Guilty. But to this our Adversaries have not one Word to fay, nor is it poffible they fhould fay any Thing to the Purpose, without deftroying the very Notion of a Sacrifice; for if the Innocent must not suffer for Sin, nor bear the Punishment of Sin, there is an End of Sacrifices.

This might reasonably fuffice in answer to this Objection, to fhew, that it does not concern the prefent Cafe: In a general and abfolute Senfe all Men allow it very unjust to punish the Innocent for the Guilty; but the Question is concerning Sacrifices, which must not be meafured by the common Rules of just and unjust, for they are no Branch of natural Juftice; but must be reduced to Goodness, as being a merciful Provifion for the Redemption and Salvation of Sinners; and in fuch Cafes, whatever is upon all Accounts good, is juft: Not that Goodnefs alters the ftanding Rules of Juftice and Righteoufnefs, but that Goodness may do that which Juftice cannot require to be done; nay, which would be unjuft if required to be done; but is fo far from being unjuft when Goodness does it, that it is the Glory and Perfection of Goodness.

There are as many Instances of this, as there are great and heroical Acts of Goodnefs; but I fhall content my felf with Two at prefent, which are proper to the Bufinefs in Hand. Our Sins


we know in Scripture are compared to Debts, and no Law or Juftice can require a Stranger, who is no way concerned in it, to pay another Man's Debts; but yet a good Man, who does pay another Man's Debts, and redeem him out oi Prison, does a very generous Act of Kindness, which had been unjuft had it been impofed, but was great Goodness in him to do: And fhall we charge our Saviour's Sufferings with Injuftice, when he as freely and voluntarily, out of mere Pity and Compaffion to Sinners, pays that Debt which they owe to the divine Law, by dying for them?

Thus St. Paul reprefents the Love of Christ in dying for Sinners by one Man's dying for another. Scarcely for a righteous Man would one die, yet peradventure for a good Man fome would even dare to die; but God commended his Love to us, in that while we were yet Sinners Chrift died for us, Rom. v. 7, 8. Now we must confefs, it would be very unjust for any Law or Judge, to condemn any Man to die, to fave the best Man in the World; but yet, it feems, it would be far from unjuft, even an heroical Act of Goodnefs, for any Man to offer himself to Death to fave the Life of fuch a good Man: And this is the Love of God, who gave his Son for us; this is the Love of our Saviour, who freely gave himself a Sacrifice and Propitiation for our Sins: This had been unjuft, had he not made it his own Choice; but that makes it a furprizing and aftonishing Act of Goodnefs, which challenges the eternal Praises and Adorations of his redeemed Ones.

But still this does not fatisfy; for fay they, if Christ suffered the Punishment of Sin, he must fuffer the Wrath and Vengeance of God, which


is due to Sin; and this is impoffible to conceive, that the only begotten and well-beloved Son of God, who was always infinitely dear to his Father, and never dearer than when he hung upon the Crofs, in obedience to his Will, to obtain eternal Redemption for Sinners, should at the fame time be the Object of his Wrath and Vengeance.

Now I must confefs, if by the Wrath of God they mean any thing more than that Punishment of Sin, which may be called his Wrath, as the Effect of his Wrath and Displeasure against Sinners, this is fuch a Reprefentation of the Death of Chrift, as may juftly prejudice all thinking Men against it: For it is Blafphemy to fay, that there ever was one Minute wherein Chrift was not the Son of God's Love; and a Contradiction to fay, that the Son of God's Love was at the fame time the Object of his Hatred, of his Wrath and Vengeance.

This is no Scripture Account of Chrift's Death, which every where declares God's great Love to our Saviour, and his full Affurance of his Father's Love, his perfect Truft and Affiance in him, and profound Submiffion to his Will, even in his bittereft Agonies; and yet our Saviour tells us, that all that he was to fuffer, ended in his Death, when he cried, it is finished, and gave up the Ghost.

But fome Men think, that if Chrift fuffered for our Sins to redeem us, he must suffer all that we should have fuffered, had he not redeemed us by his Blood; that is, all the Miseries of the Damned: A Thought which makes me tremble with the utmoft Abhorrence. But these Men mistake the Nature of a Sacrifice, which can only fuffer that Punishment which the Law threat


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