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PART which it is, by what he did and suffered for

II. us: That he obtained for us the Benefit of Whaving our Repentance accepted unto eternal

Life: Not only that he revealed to Sinners, that they were in a Capacity of Salvation, and how they might obtain it; but moreover that he put them into this Capacity of Salvation, by what he did and fuffered for them; put us into a Capacity of escaping future Punishment, and obtaining future Happiness. And it is our Wisdom thankfully to accept the Benefit, by performing the Conditions, upon which it is offered, on our Part, with out disputing how it was procured, on His. For

VII. Since we neither know, by what Means Punishment in a future State would have followed Wickedness in this; nor in what Manner it would have been inflicted, had it not been prevented; nor all the Reafons why its Infliction would have been needful; nor the particular Nature of that State of Happiness, which Christ is gone to prepare for his Disciples: And since we are ignorant how far any thing which we could do, would, alone and of itself, have been effectual to prevent that Punishment, to which we were obnoxious, and recover that Happiness, which we had forfeited; it is most evident we are not Judges, antecedently to Revelation, whe

ther

ther a Mediator, was or was not necessary, to CHAP.
obtain those Ends: to prevent that future V.
Punishment, and bring Mankind to the final in
Happinefs of their Natüre. And for the
very fame Reasons, upon Supposition of the
Necessity of a Mediator, we are no more
Judges antecedently tò Revelatson, of the
whole Nature of his office, or the several
Parts of which it consists; of what was fit
and requifite to be affignéd him, in order to
accomplish the Ends of Divine Providence in
the Appointment. And from hence it fol-
lows, that to object against the Expediency
or Usefulness of particular things, revealed to
have been done or suffered by him, because
we do not see how they were conducive to
those Ends; is highly abfurd. Yet nothing is
more common to be met with, than this
Absurdity. But if it be acknowledged before-
hand, that we are not Judges in the Case, it
is evidend that no Objection can, with

any
Shadow of Reason, be urged against any par-
ticular Part of Christ's mediatorial Office re-
vealed in Scripture, till it can be shewn posi-
tively, not to be requisite or conducive to the
Ends proposed to be accomplished; or that it
is in itself unreasonable.

And there is one Objection made against the Satisfaction of Christ, which looks to be of this positive Kind: that the Doctrine of

X 2

His

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PARTHis being appointed to suffer for the Sins of

II. the World, represents God as being indifferent muwhether he punished the innocent or the

guilty. Now from the foregoing Observati-
ons we may see the extream

Slightness of all
such Objections; and (though it is most
certain all who make them do not see the
Consequence) that they conclude altogether
as much, against God's whole original Con-
ftitution of Nature, and the whole daily
Course of divine Providence in the Govern.
ment of the World, i.e. against the whole
Scheme of Theism and the whole Notion of
Religion; as against Christianity. For the
World is a Constitution or System, whose
Parts have a mutual Reference to each other:
and there is a Scheme of things gradually car-
rying on, called the Course of Nature, to
the carrying on of which, God has appointed
us, in various ways, to contribute. And when,
in the daily Course of natural Providence, it
is appointed that innocent People should suffer
for the Faults of the guilty, this is liable to
the very same Objection, as the Instance we
are now considering. The infinitely greater
Importance of that Appointment of Christia-
nity which is objected against, does not hina
der but it may be, as it plainly is, an Appoint-
ment of the very same Kind, with what the
World affords us daily Examples of. Nay if
there were any Force at all in the Objection,

it

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it would be stronger, in one Respect, against CHAP. natural Providence, than against Christianity: V. because under the former, we are in many w Cases commanded, and even necessitated whether we will or no, to suffer for the Faults of others; whereas the Sufferings of Christ were voluntary. The World's being under the righteous Government of God, does indeed imply, that finally and upon

the whole

every one shall receive according to his personal Deserts: And the general Doctrine of the whole Scripture is, that this shall be the Completion of the divine Government. But during the Progress, and, for ought we know, even in Order to the Completion of this moral Scheme, vicarious Punishments may be fit, and absolutely necessary. Men by their Follies run themselves into extream Distress; into Difficulties which would be absolutely fatal to them, were it not for the Interposition and Affistance of Others. God commands by the Law of Nature, that we afford them this Aflistance, in many

Cases where we cannot do it without very great Pains, and Labour, and Sufferings to Ourselves. And we see in what Variety of Ways, one Person's Sufferings contribute to the Relief of another: and how, or by what particular Means, this comes to pass or follows, from the Constitution and Laws of Nature, which come under our Notice: and, being familiarized to it, Men are X 3

not

PAR T not shocked with it. So that the Reason of

II. their insisting upon Objections of the foregoming Kind against the SatisfaEtion of Christ, is,

either that they do not confider God's settled
and uniform Appointments as His Appoint-
ments at all; Or else, they forget that vicari-
ous Punishment is a providential Appointment
of every Day's Experience: And then, from
their being unacquainted with the more gene-
ral Laws of Nature or divine Government
over the World, and not seeing how the Suf-
ferings of Christ could contribute to the Re-
demption of it, unless by arbitrary and ty-
rannical Will; they conclude his Sufferings
could not contribute to it any other Way.
And yet, what has been often alledged in
Juftification of this Doctrine, even from the
apparent natural Tendency of this Method
of our Redemption; its Tendency to vin-
dicate the Authority of God's' Laws, and
deter His Creatures from Sin; this has ne-
ver yet been answered, and is I think plainly
unanswerable: though I am far from think-
ing it an Account of the whole of the Case,
But without taking this into 'Confideration, it
abundantly appears, from the Observations a-
bove made, that this Objection is, not an Ob-
jection against Christianity, but against the
whole general Constitution of Nature. And
if it were to be considered as an Objection a-
gainst Christianity, or considering it as it is,

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