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count of the sins
CHAP. be supported, certain that all the promises of
the covenant should be yea, and amen, to him and to his people.
VII. Let us now come to the other head of VII. Whether Christ inquiry, whether it be proper to say, That was abomi. nable to
Christ on account of the pollution of our sins, was God on ac- also polluted and odious, and placed in such a
state, that God abhorred him. Where again it which he is without controversy, that Christ, because of had tak.
his most perfect holiness, was always most achim.
ceptable to God the Father, and most beloved by him. And it is so far from being true that by the voluntary susception of our sins, the love of God to him was any how diminished, that on the contrary, he never pleased the Father more, than when he showed himself obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. For this is that excellent, that incomparable, and almost incredible obcdience, which the Father recompensed with a suitable reward of ineffable glory. Nay, it is also confessed on both sides, that Christ, not because of the susception of our sins, which was an holy action, and most acceptable to God, but because of the sins themselves which he took upon him, and because of the persons of sinners whom he sustained, was represented not only under the emblem of a lamb, inasmuch as it is a stupid kind of creature, and ready to wander; but also of a fascivious, a wanton, and a rank-smelling goat, Lev. xvi. 7. yea, likewise of a cursed serpent, John ji. 14. and in that respect, was execrable and
accursed, even to God. For this is what Paul CHAP.
III. expressly asserts, Gal. iii. 13. on which place Calvin thus comments, “ He does not say
that Christ was cursed, but a curse, which is more; for it signifies that the curse due to all, terminated in him. If this seem hard to any, let him also be ashamed of the cross of Christ, in the confession of which we glory!"
VIII. Some of the Romish doctors have, VIII. Cal with great acrimony of style, aggravated what vin, and
some of the was said by Calvin in the tenth section of his ancients, Catechism, concerning the satisfactory pains say that he and punishment of Christ, viz. that he was in ed. a state of damnation. But it is answered by our Divines, that Tertullian used the same phrase, Book III. against Marcion, chap. xi. “ The nativity will not be more shameful than death, nor infamy than the cross, nor damnation than the flesh.” Cyprian on the passion of Christ, “ He was damned, that he might deliver the damned.” And Gregory the great, Moral. Book III. chap. xi. * He who is equal to the Father in point of divinity, came, on our account, to scourging in respect of the flesh; which scourging he would not have received, had he not in redemption taken upon him the form of a damned man.” [5.]
IX. Since therefore the apostle expressed IX. It is this truth in the most emphatic words, i know better to not why a desire should seize
ei- ourselves to ther of substituting or of adding others to scripture
CHAP. them, or of using them oftener perhaps, thane.
ven Paul's. For what cogent reason is there, than by why we should
that Christ was odious and asingothers abominable to the Father, when we may adto multiply here to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, who
pronounces that he was an execration of God? But I would wish also to know what there is in these words of human invention, except that they are of human invention, for the Sake of which others are so much offended. If we love the thing itself, is there more of emphasis or of weight, in the names filthy, odious, abominable, than in the name cursed, or execrable? Why do we strive about words, which may be safely omitted, if found to give offence; but being also innocently said,
ought not to be wrested to another sense. X. The X. The conciliatory letter I lately mentioned, form of
seems to have found out a convenient method concord.
of agreement, in the following words. “Since there is an exchange of persons between Christ and believers, and since the guilt of our iniquitics was laid upon him, the Father was OFFENDED AND ANGRY with him. Not that he was ever moved with any PASSION against bim, which is repugnant in general to the perfection of the Divine nature, under whatevi'r consideration: nein ther that he was by any means offended at him, much less abhorred him, so far as be was consia dered IN HIMSELF, for so be was entirely free froin all sin; but as considered IN RELATION TO US, seeing be was our SURETY, carrying our sins in his own body. Thus, if by an OFFENDED
AND AN ANGRY mind, you understand a boly CHAP. WILL TO PUNISH, Christ the Lord felt and bore the displeasure of God, and the weight of his wrath, in the punishment of our sins, wbich were translated to him. For it pleased the Father to bruise him, having laid the iniquities of us all upon him.” If these things are granted on both sides, as is just, what controversy can remain?
XI. There is more difficulty in THE ABDI- XI. WheCATION OF THE Son of God, as they call it, the Father continuing even to his resurrection from the ever dis
owned his dead. For no where in sacred scripture do Son. I find this phrase, or any other equivalent to it. Concerning it, certainly, it is not inquired, whether the eternal Son of God ceased to be the Son of God, while he carried our sins. Let him be anathema who teaches this. But neither is it inquired, whether or not the Father then assumed the character of a judge, by whom the Mediator Christ, sustaining the person of rebellious servants, should, as such, be most severely treated. For this also is an incontested truth Perhaps that may be inquired, whether God, when he assumed the character of a Judge toward Christ, so laid aside the character of a Father, that he corsidered and punished him only as guilty, setting aside the consideration that that guilty person was his own most innocent Son. In which controversy, the negative part, is in my judgment, better than the affirmative.
XII. For as Christ in the utmost extremity XII. Christ
CHAP. of anguish, acknowledged the Judge to be his
Father, so also God the Judge owned him to be in the ut
his Son. For these mutually follow one ano
ther. Now Christ, with an ingemination, and guish, acknowledge
a singular affection, cried, Abba, Father: 'and ed God as a hanging on the cross, he commended his spirit Father.
into the Father's hands. And it was of paternal affection, as I also lately hinted, that he sent an angel to comfort him, (which certainly will not be the lot of reprobates) that he gave him occasion to say, when he was most poor and needy, Indeed I am such, but the Lord thinketh upon me, Psal. xl. 18.; and finally, that he received the departing soul into his
own habitation. XIII. It XIII. I see indeed it is alleged for this is not taught, Acts purpose, that Paul refers the words of the sexiii. 33.
cond Psalm, “ Thou art my Son, this day that Christ was again have I begotten thee,” to the resurrection of begotten in Christ, Acts xiii. 33. as if God in the resurrection rection of Christ, had, as it were, again begotfrom the
ten his Son: and as if his Sonship, dedead.
stroyed by death, had been renewed by the resurrection. But these words have a very dif. ferent sense. By the resurrection it was indeed declared, that Christ is the Son of God with power, not only, because appearing alive again by his own power, he proved that he has life in himself; but also, because the Father by raising him, absolved him from the blasphemy wherewith he was charged, for claiming to himself the dignity of the Son of God: in fine, because then the form of a ser