Christ Underwent the Curse of the Law
††††††††† Mr. Goodwin tells us in his 14th conclusion that the sentence or curse of the law was not properly executed upon Christ in his death: but this death of Christ was a ground or consideration to God, whereupon to dispense with his law, and to let fall or suspend the execution of the penalty, or curse therein threatened. Answer: (1.) This is directly contrary to what the Apostle says in Galatians 3: 13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is everyone, that hangeth on a tree. It was the curse of the law, that we were under, and were to be delivered from; and this Christ hath delivered us from, by coming in our stead and bearing it for us, yea bearing it so, that he is said to have been made it, being made a curse for us, which is a most emphatic expression, to hold forth Christ bearing the very penalty, threatened in the Law, which cursed everyone, that continued not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them, verse 10, Deuteronomy 27: 26. If Christ underwent the curse of the law, he surely did suffer the very sentence, or punishment threatened in the law; for the curse of the law can import no other thing. (2.) If Christ did not bear the sentence or curse of the law, how could he be said to have died or suffered in our place, room or stead? No man is said to suffer in the place and stead of another, who doth not suffer that same particular kind of punishment, that the other is obnoxious to, and is obliged to suffer. (3.) Why was Christ said to be made sin for us, II Corinthians 5: 21, and to bear our iniquities, Isaiah 53: 6, I Peter 2: 24, if he did not undergo the very punishment that was due to us, because of sin? (4.) This is to give away the cause, in a great measure, unto the Socinians, who will not yield, that Christís death was any satisfaction to the justice, or payment of our criminal debt, or a suffering the punishment of sin, due to us; for if Christ did not suffer the curse and sentence of the law, he did not suffer the punishment, which the law threatened, and justice required; he did not suffer any punishment at all, if he suffered not our punishment, or that which was due to us; he did not stand in our law-place to answer all the demands of justice according to what we were liable unto by the law. Nor did he bear our sins in his own body on the cross. (5.) If Christís death was a ground or consideration to God, whereupon to dispense with his Law; then it is apparent, that the
consideration of Christís death was anterior to the dispensing with the law whereas the contrary is rather true, to wit, that the Lordís dispensing with the law, was anterior to his sending of Christ, because the Law properly knowing no Mediator, and requiring none to suffer the penalty for another, must first, in order of nature, be considered, as dispensed with, before Christ be substituted in the room of sinners to undergo what they deserved. (6.) If it was only a ground to God, whereupon to let fall, or suspend the execution of the penalty, then it seems, Christís death was no full payment, or satisfaction; for a full satisfaction requires more than a suspension of the execution of the punishment, even a full delivery there from.
††††††††† Let us hear his reason. Because (says he) the threatening and curse of the law was not at all bent or intended against the innocent or righteous, but against transgressors only. Therefore God, in inflicting death upon Christ, being innocent and righteous, did not follow the purport or intent of the Law, but in sparing and forbearing the transgressors (who according to the tenor of the law should have been punished) manifestly dispenses with the law, and doth not execute it. Answer: All this being granted, yet it will not follow that the sentence and curse of the law was not executed upon Christ in his death: for notwithstanding of this dispensing with the law, as to the persons, yet was there no relaxation of the law, as to the punishment threatened. Though the law did not require that the innocent should suffer, yet the Supreme Lord and Ruler dispensing with his own law so far, as to substitute an innocent person, in the room and place of sinners, the law required, that this innocent person, taking on that penalty, and thereby making himself nocent (guilty), as to the penalty, should suffer the same that was threatened, and consequently bear the curse, threatened in the law.
††††††††† As (he says further for explication) when Zaleucus (the Locrian Lawgiver) caused one of his own eyes to be put out, that one of his sonís eyes might be spared, who according both to the letter and intent of the law, should have lost both, he did not precisely execute the law, but gave a sufficient account or consideration, why it should for that time be dispensed with. Answer: This speaks not home to our case, wherein we pay not the half, nor no part of the penalty. But Christ pays the whole, as substitute in our room. If Zaleucus had substituted himself in the room of his son, and suffered both his eyes to be put out, though the law had been dispensed with, as to the persons, yet the penalty of the loss of both eyes had been paid, and the same punishment, which the law required, had been exacted: And so it is in our case, as is manifest.
††††††††† Yet he grants, that in some sense, Christ may be said to have suffered the penalty or curse of the law; as 1. It was the curse or penalty of the law (says he) as now hanging over the head of the world, and ready to be executed upon all men for sin, that occasioned his sufferings. Answer: If this were al, all the beasts and senseless creatures, may be as well said to have suffered for man and to have born manís sin, in order to his redemption, as Christ; for the sin, and penalty
of sin, whereunto man was liable, did occasion their suffering, or being subjected to vanity, Romans 8: 20, 21. Thus our whole redemption is subverted, and the cause yielded unto the wicked Socinians, for if this be so, Christ had not our sins laid upon him, he did not bear our sins in his body on the tree, he was not wounded for our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was not on him; He was not made sin for us. He was not our Cautioner and High Priest; He died not in our room and stead.
††††††††† Again (says he) (and somewhat more properly) Christ may be said to have suffered the curse of the law, because the things, which he suffered were of the same nature and kind (at least in part) with these things, which God intended by the curse of the law. Answer: Though this seems to come nearer to the truth, than the former, yet it cannot give full satisfaction until it be explained, what that part, is in respect of which, Christís sufferings were only of the same nature and kind, with what the law threatened. Let us hear therefore what follows, and see if thence satisfaction can come. But if by the curse (says he) of the law, we understand either that entire system and historical body (as it were) of penalties and evils, which the Law itself intends in the term; or also include and take in the intent of the law, as touching the quality of the persons, upon whom it was to be executed; in neither of these senses, did Christ suffer the curse of the Law. Answer: (1.) This doth not explain to us, what that part is, in which Christís sufferings are of the same nature and kind, with what was intended by the curse of the law. (2.) There is need of explication here, to make us understand, what is that entire system and historical body of penalties and evils, which the law itself intends in the term Curse, or death: for this is but to explain one dark thing by what is more dark; and so can give no satisfaction. (3.) But if the alternative added be explicative, and so the two particulars here mentioned be one and the same; then we deny that this doth properly belong to the essence of the penalty, as threatened in the law: that is, everything that necessarily attended the punishment, as inflicted on man, did not directly and essentially belong thereunto, as threatened by the law, such as the everlastingness of death, despair, and the like necessarily accompanying this punishment inflicted on sinners; so that notwithstanding Christ did not, neither could, endure these accidental and consequential evils; yet he both did and might be said to suffer the curse and death threatened by the law, which is to be abstracted from what flows not from the law itself, but merely from the nature of the subject, or condition of the sinner punished. But it may be, these words of his, the intent of the Law, as touching the quality of the persons, upon whom it was to be executed, have some other import, and that he means, hereby no more but this, that the intent of the Law was, that the sinner should suffer: And indeed if so, it was impossible, that Christís sufferings could answer the intent of the Law: but we have said above, that as to this, the Law was dispensed with; and yet notwithstanding Christ the substitute sufferer did suffer the same kind of punishment, that the law threatened under the terms of Death and Curse. What he adds further can give no satisfaction. So that God (says he) required the death and sufferings of Christ, not that the law properly, either in the letter or
intention of it, might be executed; but on the contrary, that it might not be executed, I mean upon those, who being otherwise obnoxious unto it should believe. Answer: Though it be true, that God required the death and sufferings of Christ, not that the Law either in the letter or intention of it might be executed, as to that, wherein it was dispensed with: Yet God required the death and sufferings of Christ, that the letter and intent of the law might be executed, as to that wherein it was not dispensed with: that is, as to the punishment therein threatened; and unless the law, as to this, had been executed, no man obnoxious to it, should have escaped, and that because of the veracity of God, yea and because of his justice, which he had determined to have satisfied, ere sinful man should escape the punishment.
††††††††† In the next place he tells us, that God did not require the death and sufferings of Christ, as a valuable consideration, where on to dispense with his law towards those that believe, more (if so much) in a way of satisfaction to his justice, than to his wisdom. This savors rankly of Socinianism. It is not for us to make such comparisons, as if Godís wisdom and justice were not at full agreement, and were not one. The Scripture tells us, that God set forth Jesus Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him, which believeth in Jesus, Romans 3: 25, 26. And so it is manifest, that satisfaction to justice was hereby intended: And this is enough to us, who know also, that in the whole contrivance of the business, the Infinite Wisdom of God is eminently relucent; and love not to make any such comparisons: only we think, that a propitiation, and satisfaction, and the like terms, used in Scripture, in the expressing of this matter, have a direct aspect, and bear a manifest relation unto justice;† and correspond directly therewith, yea clearly enough infer the same, though there were no other mention made expressly of the justice of God, in this matter.
††††††††† What says he next to prove this? For doubtless, God might (says he) with as much justice, as wisdom (if not much more) have passed by the transgression of his law, without consideration of satisfaction. Answer: What God might have done by his absolute sovereignty, antecedent to his design and purpose, as to the punishment, or the reatus poenae (which must not be extended to the reatus culpae) is not to the question. But now, the Lord, having declared his determination and purpose to rule and govern the world thus, and to have the glory of his relative justice manifested in the salvation of lost man, could not according to justice, pass by transgressions, without a satisfaction. He adds, No man will say, that if a man hath been injured and wronged, that therefore he is absolutely bound in justice, to seek satisfaction, though he be never so eminent in the grace and practice of justice: but in many cases of injuries sustained, a man may be bound, in point of wisdom, and discretion, to seek satisfaction in one kind or other. Answer: This is the Socinian way of arguing: and nothing to the point; for we are to look upon the Lord in this matter, not as a private man, who may dispense with injuries done him; but as a righteous Governor, who is resolved to demonstrate his justice and equity,
and who therefore cannot suffer sin to go unpunished without a due satisfaction had, for the violation of his laws.
††††††††† Nor is it to the point to tells us, that some hold, that God, if it had pleased him, might have pardoned Adamís transgression, without the atonement made by the death of Christ: for they speak not of what God may now do, having determined to manifest the glory of his justice; but what he might have done in signorationis ante decretum. And as for that word, Hebrews 2: 11, It became him, &c. it will as well respect the justice of God as his wisdom, seeing it became him upon the account of justice, which he would have glorified.
††††††††† Mr. Baxter, in his Confess. chapt. IX, sect. 5. page 289, thinks that to say, that Christ paid the same thing, that the law required of us, and not only satisfied for our not payment, is to subvert the substance of religion. But this is only in his apprehension, and as he takes up their meaning, who say so; And others possibly may have no lower thoughts of some, who hold, that Christ only gave such a sacrifice to God, as might be a valuable consideration, on which he might grant us the benefits, on such conditions as are most suitable to his ends and honor; and that he did not suffer the same, which the Law threatened. The screwing up of such differences to such a height, as to make either the one, or the other, subversive to the substance of religion, had need to be upon clear and undeniable grounds, and not founded on mere sandy and loose consequences, such as those seem to me, by which Mr. Baxter makes out this charge.
††††††††† For he tells us, The Idem is the perfect obedience, or the full punishment that the Law requires. It is supplicium ipsius delinquentis. Answer: But now, seeing such as say, that Christ paid the Idem, will say as well as he, that when Christ suffered that, which they call the Idem, the person himself that sinned, did not suffer: And I would enquire at Mr. Baxter, whether Christ paid the Idem, as to all other respects beside; that is, whether Christ suffered all that penalty, which the law did threaten to transgressors only this excepted (which must be excepted) that he did it in another person, and that he was not the person himself, that sinned, or not? If he says not, then the difference goes deeper; but why does he not then, to make out this heavy charge, instance some particulars, threatened in the law, which Christ did not undergo? And why does he insist only on this one, that he was not ipse delinquens, but another person? If he grants that in all other respects, Christ paid the Idem; no man, surely, can see such difference here, as shall make one side subvert the substance of religion: for it is a mere strife about a word; and it all comes to this, whether when one man lays down his life, to save another condemned to death, after all satisfaction in money, lands, rents, or whatever else, hath been rejected, he can be said to pay the Idem, which the law required, or not? Some Lawyers would possibly say, he did pay, or suffer the Idem; Mr. Baxter would say not, because he was not ipsa persona delinquens, was not the very person, that was condemned, but another. And yet death, unto which the other man was condemned, was inflicted upon him, and no less would be accepted as satisfaction, at his hands; which would make some say, that all that debate,
whether it was the same, or the equivalent, were a mere needless contest about a word. And if it be just so here, in our present debate, everyone will judge it very hard, to call that a subversion of religion, which, after examination and trial, is found to be but a strife about a word. Now, how will Mr. Baxter prove that the suffering of the Idem, is only, when it is supplicium ipsius delinquentis? And not also, when the same punishment, in all its essential ingredients, is undergone and suffered by another? When the law imposes the penalty of death, or of such a great sum of money, on a person transgressing such a law; common discourse would say, and I suppose the law give allowance thereto, that, when another came, and paid the same penalty for him, without the least abatement, he paid the same penalty, which the law imposed, and not another; and not merely a valuable consideration. It is true, the law threatened only the transgressor, and obliged him to suffer; but notwithstanding, another might pay the very same thing, which the Law threatens and requires.
††††††††† He says next, (p. 290) the Law never threatened a Surety: nor grants any liberty of substitution: that was an act of God above the Law: If therefore the thing due were paid, it was we ourselves that morally or legally suffered. Answer: Surely, some laws of men will threaten Sureties, and grant liberty of substitution too: But if he speaks here only of the law of God, we grant, that it threatened only the transgressor; and that it was an act of God above the law, and dispensing therewith, that granted a substitution; yet notwithstanding of this, it is not proved that the substitute did not, or could not, suffer the same punishment, which the law threatened. And if Mr. Baxter thinks, that the law not threatening a Surety, nor granting liberty of a substitution will prove it, it is denied. His other consequence is unclear, viz. that if the thing due were paid, it was we ourselves that suffered personally: all these consequences run upon the first false ground, that no man can pay the Idem, but the very transgressor. What he means by, we ourselves morally, he would do well to explicate. And as for legally, we ourselves may be said to do legally, what our Surety and undertaker does for us. And if this be all he means, viz. that if the thing due (to wit by law, as threatened there) be paid, either we in our own persons, or our Surety for us, and in our room and law-place, paid it, it is true, but subversive of his hypothesis: It must then be some other thing that he means by morally or legally and it must be the same with, or equivalent to personally: or the like; but his next words clear his meaning; for he adds; And it would not be ourselves legally, because it was not ourselves naturally. And what lawyer, I pray, will yield to this reason? I suppose, they will tell us, that we are said to do that legally, which our Cautioner, or Surety does for us. But if he thinks otherwise here also, that nothing can be accounted to be done by us legally, but what is done by ourselves naturally (which is a word of many significations, and might occasion much discourse) that is, personally; yet it will not follow, that no other can suffer the Idem, that was threatened, but the delinquent himself.
††††††††† At length he tells us that if it had been ourselves legally, then the strictest
justice could not have denied us a present and perfect deliverance ipso facto, seeing no justice can demand more, than the idem quod debitur (rather debetur) the whole debt of obedience or punishment. Answer: But what if we ourselves, in our own natural persons, had undergone penalty, had we therefore ipso facto attained a perfect deliverance? It will be confessed, I suppose, that all that underlies this punishment, underlies it forever: how then doth their legal suffering the idem help them? If it be said, that they must eternally suffer, because never able to suffer so, as to make satisfaction: yet still it is obvious, that their undergoing the idem in their own persons naturally, does not advantage them, as to a present and perfect deliverance ipso facto, or ever at all. And where then is the truth of this axiom? Or where is its pertinence to our purpose? When a man is punished with death, according to the law, is he ipso facto presently and perfectly delivered? It seems then, that the paying of the idem, yea, or the tantunim by another person, is more effectual for their liberation, than their paying of the idem in their own persons. And again the law, in many cases grants liberation, even when the idem in Mr. Baxterís sense is paid, that is, when another pays down the same: Yea and likewise if the creditor be satisfied, when another thing is paid: so that neither part of this assertion holds true, universally.
††††††††† But yet some may say that if the Idem or the very same, were paid by Christ, our liberation should immediately follow. I answer: It will not follow; for if we, in our own persons, had made full payment of that debt of suffering (which is impossible to be done in time) it might be granted, that actual liberation would immediately follow: but when we did not this, in our own persons; but Christ made full payment of what the Law could demand by way of punishment, or threatened, for us, it will not follow, that our deliverance should immediately follow thereupon: and the reason is because it was such a paying of the Idem, as was refusable, and as God himself provided out of wonderful love and free grace; and was accorded unto by a mutual compact, according to the free and wise conditions of which the benefits were to be given out.
††††††††† Mr. Baxter in his Cath. Theol. part 2, n. 48. says, the very nature and reason of the satisfactoriness of Christís sufferings was not in being the very same either in kind, or in degree, which were due to all for whom he suffered. Whence we see, that he denies, that Christ suffered the same, either in kind, or in degree, that was due by the law to those for whom he suffered. His reason, why they could not be the same, which was due by the Law, he gives (n. 49) is the same we heard before, viz. The Law made it due to the sinner himself. Which notwithstanding, it might be the same both as to kind and degree, which Christ suffered, that the Law made due; the substitution of a new person, that the Law did not provide, alters not the punishment either as to kind, or as to degree. He adds: and another suffering for him fulfills not the law (which never said Either thou, or another for thee shall die) but only satisfies the Law-giver, as he is above his own Law, and could dispense with it, his justice being satisfied and saved, dum alius solvit, aliud solvitur.
Answer: Though the Law intend only the punishment of the transgressor; Yet when the Law-giver dispenses with the Law, and accepts of the punishment and suffering of another, it doth not follow, that because it is the punishment and suffering of another, that it becomes different in kind and degree from the punishment enjoined by the Law; as is obvious; when one man suffers death for another, the Law being dispensed with, that made death due to the transgressor himself: because it is the death of another, than of him that transgressed, his death does not become another kind of death, or distinct as to degrees; it may be the same as to both: And yet this is all the force of Mr. Baxterís argument, dum alius solvit, aliud solvitur; which whether it be a certain and universal rule in the Law, I much doubt: but though it were: Yet no man can hence infer, that aliud quoad genus & gradus, eo ipso solvitur: for it is a rule in logic, that a genera ad speciem non sequitur affirmative, so that though, when the Law requires, that he who sins shall suffer and die, and another suffers and dies, in the room and stead of him who sinned, it may be said, that in so far aluid solvitur; Yet it cannot be hence inferred, that the death or suffering of him, who sinned not, is quite of another kind, and differs in degrees from that death, which the law made due to the sinner.
††††††††† He mentions afterward in the 2, 3, 4, and 5 places some particulars, which were not in Christís sufferings, and yet would have been in the sufferings of sinners themselves: but all this is to no purpose; for the question is not, whether Christís sufferings were the same every way with the sufferings of the damned, as to all circumstances, and consequents, flowing from the condition of sinners suffering; but whether they were the same, as to kind, with that death and curse, which was threatened in the Law, by way of punishment, and which was therefore due by law unto the transgressor. Let us now see the particulars. 2. And sin (says he) itself (though not as sin) was the greatest part of the sinners punishment. To be alienated from God, and not to love him and delight in him, but to be corrupted and deluded and tormented by concupiscence. Answer: These are indeed necessary consequents of sin in the person, who is a sinner, and are consequently punishment; but not directly such; neither were they threatened as punishments by the Law, and so do not belong to the essence and substance of that punishment, which the Law threatened, and which Christ was called to undertake. 3. He says, And the immediate, unavoidable consequences resulting from sin itself, were punishments, which Christ did never undergo, (as to be hateful and displeasing to God, as contrary to his holy nature, to be related as criminal, to loose right to Godís favor and Kingdom.) Answer: To be hateful and displeasing unto God, agrees only to a creature (which God doth not hate, as such) as a sinner inherently: and though Christ did not feel Godís hatred and anger against his own person, yet he felt his anger and hatred against sin, and sinners. And Christ was also related as criminal, not inherently, but by imputation, when he was made sin for us, II Corinthians 5: 21. The sinner that is such inherently only, loses right to Godís favor, and Christ missed the sense thereof, when he cried out, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And 4. he says, none of the further punishment,
which supposed real faultiness, could fall on Christ, as the torment of an accusing conscience, for rejecting and offending God, for casting away our own felicity and running into hell, &c. the sense of Godís hatred of us, as real sinners. Answer: All this is granted, but these belong only to the punishment as inflicted on the sinner and transgressor himself, but did not belong to its essence and substance abstractly considered, and so could not accompany the same, as inflicted upon one, who was in himself wholly free of all sin. And this is yet more manifest in that which he mentions 5thly †saying, much less the desertions of the Spirit of holiness, to be left without goodness, in a state of sin, and to hate God for his justice and holiness, which will be the case of the damned; for these did not belong to the essence and substance of the punishment, threatened in the Law; but were only consequents thereof, as inflicted on sinners inherently. We do not say, that Christ suffered, what the damned do suffer, or that he was in the case of the damned. Thus, though we make them not of the same kind, with all that the damned do suffer; Yet without any blind zeal (as he is pleased to censure) we may say, that Christ suffered the same curse and death, that was threatened in the Law properly, as a punishment, as to substance; and yet no way be guilty of intolerable blaspheming of our Savior.
††††††††† The same answer may serve to that, which he says (n. 50) Nor could Christís sufferings be equal in degree, intensively and extensively, to all that was deserved by the world, as is easily discernable by pursuing what is now said, seeing our deserved suffering lay in things of such a nature, as to be left in sin itself, destitute of Godís image and love and communion, under his hatred, tormented in conscience, besides the everlasting torments in hell, which are more than these, upon all the millions of sinners, which were redeemed. This is already answered; and it is not demonstrated, that all these consequents and concomitants of the punishment, as inflicted on such as were sinners inherently, did properly belong to the essence and substance of the punishment threatened, in itself considered; And of this we only speak, for as to this, we only say, that Christ suffered the same. If two men be condemned to pay, each a thousand pounds, which none of them are well able to do, and a rich man undertakes to pay the sum for one of the two, that rich man may well be said to have paid the same sum, that the poor man was obliged to pay, though his paying of that sum be not attended with such consequents and circumstances, as it would have been, if the poor man himself had been put to pay it, or as the other poor man finds it, who is made to pay it; in the poor man it is necessarily attended with poverty to himself and all his family, and possibly he and all his must be sold for slaves to make up the sum; but the rich man can pay it without any such concomitants, or consequences, and yet be said to have paid the same sum.
††††††††† It is to be observed, that Papists and some others use all these same arguments to prove, that Christ did not suffer anything of the penalty of sin in his soul, as may be particularly seen in Parker de descensu lib 3. But Mr. Baxter grants (n. 51) that Christ did suffer more in soul, than in body: And yet what answers are made by Parker and other Reformed divines, in this matter,
against Papists, may also serve our turn against Mr. Baxter and others. Socinians also, (as may be seen in Smalcii Refut. lib. de Satisf. Christ Chap 6 and 7) upon these same grounds, deny, that Christí sufferings were a proper satisfaction, he thereby not paying the Idem, the same, that man should have suffered. And Socinus Prael. Theol. Cap. 18. fol. 205, says in plain terms, that Christ did no way satisfy the justice of God by his sufferings, unless it be said, that he suffered the same things, which we should have suffered because of our sins. Therefore there is a necessity, to hold that Christ suffered the same for substance, that the Elect were liable to suffer, that it may the more clearly appear, that his sufferings were indeed a satisfaction.
††††††††† But Mr. Baxter tells us, in the same book (n. 149) that solution of the debt and satisfaction, strictly taken, thus differ, that satisfaction is solutio rantidum, vel aequivalentis, alias indebiti. And if Christ be said to have paid the very same duty and punishment, which the law required, he is denied to have satisfied, for our non-payment; for a law that is fully performed can require no more, nor the Law-giver neither: And therefore both satisfaction and pardon are shut out. Answer: Thus we seem to be hardly strained, for if we say, that Christ paid the Idem, the Same, Mr. Baxter thinks we destroy thereby all satisfaction and all pardon, and so yield the cause to the Socinians: If upon the other hand, we say, that Christ did not suffer the Idem, we yield the cause unto the Socinians, and deny all satisfaction, in their judgment; and their consequences seem to be as rational, as Mr. Baxterís. But truth may be affirmed, without all hazard: And to make such a difference betwixt Solution and Satisfaction, is to play needlessly upon words, and at length will but recur unto this, Si alius solvit, aliud solvitur; and so by saying that Christís satisfaction was also a solutio ejusdem, we shall deny both satisfaction and pardon; or by calling it so: But, as was said above, it is not fit to lay so much weight upon the simple use of a term or word; and surely it is most unfit for Mr. Baxter to do so, who on all occasions, vents his displeasure so much against others, who lay so much weight on mere terms of art, or words. But, as to the thing, surely, the creditor will think himself satisfied, when the same sum, which was owing by one, is paid by another for the debtor, and that in the same species of silver, or of Gold. And if that hold, that si alius solvit, aliud solvitur, Mr. Baxter may see, that if another pay, his payment may become a satisfaction, because it is so far aliud another thing, though really and upon the matter, it be the same. And here lies the truth, that we assert, Christ paid the very same suffering, that we were obliged to pay, but he being another, and not the guilty persons themselves, his sufferings were not only a solutio debiti, a payment of our debt, but also, as being performed by him, they were a Satisfaction to justice, and so much the rather a complete satisfaction, that they were the same sufferings, we were liable to, and not strictly equivalent. And this appears to me the more clear from what Mr. Baxter said before (n. 52 and 53) where he hath these words. The true reason of the satisfactoriness of Christís suffering was, that they were a most apt means for the demonstration
of the governing justice, holiness, wisdom, and mercy of God, by which God could attain to the ends of the Law and Government, better than by executing the Law on the world in its destruction. Where we hear no word of it being solutio equivalentis alias indebiti. And next, all this is more clear by Christ suffering the very same, that we were to suffer, than by saying that he suffered some other thing; The most clear demonstration of the governing justice of God was in exacting of Christ the full penalty, and the very same punishment both in soul and body, that the Law of God made due unto transgressors; No other thing could give such a demonstration hereof, justice could not have required more; and justice had not been fully demonstrated by exacting less: and the exacting of the very same, both as to kind, and as to degrees kept a just correspondence with the requisite demonstration of the governing justice of God. Hereby also was his holiness, wisdom, and mercy, whereby he attained the ends of the law and government, most clearly manifested, when he did not execute the law upon the sinful world, but upon the substituted Cautioner, that the Elect world might be saved: This, I am sure, was evidently a full salve to Godís justice, when the same punishment was paid down, that law and justice called for. Not that God might give pardon and life to sinners, upon the new terms of the Covenant of Grace (as he speaks n. 53) for that looks too much like the Arminian satisfaction: as if nothing but a possibility and freedom were here obtained for God to bestow pardon and life, upon such conditions; whereby notwithstanding of this satisfaction, it might come to pass, that not one should be saved. See Colloq. Hag. p. 172. Impatratio salutis pro omnibus, est acquisitio possibilitatis, ut nimirum Deus, illaesa sua justitia, hominem peccatorem possit recipere in gratiam. See also Grevinch. ad Ames fol. 9. Posita & praestita Christi morte & Satisfactione, fieri potest, ut, nemine novi foederis conditionem praestante, nemo salvaretur. Therefore I judge it safest to say that justice was so satisfied, as that all such, for whom the satisfaction was given, shall in due time, and according to Godís own method, certainly receive both pardon and life, both grace and glory, both grace to believe in Christ, and all other graces that follow thereupon, with life everlasting.