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Preached at the
Lady MOYER'S LECTURE.
On the REDEMPTION.
I PETER III. 18.
Christ hath alfo once fuffered for Sins, the Juft for the Unjust, that he might bring us unto God.
AVING, in a former Difcourfe, SERM. VI. fhewn the Weakness and Infuffi- ~ ciency of those Schemes, which
have been fet up in Oppofition to Scripture; I now proceed to my
IId general Head, to establish and con-
tisfaction. VOL. II.
I fhall in the laft Place, confider the Extent of the Redemption.
Ift, I fhall endeavour to establish and confirm the true Scripture Doctrine of the Satisfaction.
And this I fhall do,by enquiring what Neceffity there was for a Satisfactionby fhewing-that our Saviour was the only proper Person to fatisfy for our Sins, as he only could merit Forgiveness for themthat his Merits might be imputed to usand our Iniquities born by him; by removing Objections.
That there was a Neceffity for a Satiffaction; appears very ftrongly from Scripture Evidence, the only Evidence, which perhaps we are capable of, in Matters of fo high a Nature. For unless there had been an abfolute Neceffity, unless there had been a Knot too hard for any but the Deity to unty; a God indeed, who was the Brightness of his Father's Glory, and the exprefs Image of his Perfon, would not have defcended upon the Scene of this World, to unravel the perplexing Difficulty. Certainly a Being of infinite Benevolence, would not have expofed his
only Son, in whom he was well pleafed, to SERM. VI. heedless, as well as undeferved Misery.
Again: It is faid, it is not poffible that the Blood of Bulls and Goats, which have no inherent Worth and Efficacy, fhould take away Sins, or the Penalty of Sin, Heb. x. 4. Therefore it was neceffary, that a Person of inconceivable Dignity, and fuperior Excellency; should fatisfy the Demands of justice, and procure for us the Endearments of divine Mercy. Him bath God fet forth to be a Propitiation for Sin, to declare his Righteousness, or to difplay his Juftice, for the Remiffion of Sins that are past that he might be juft, and the Juftifier of them, that believe in Jefus Chrift.
To reject a Satisfaction thus ftrongly proved from Scripture, merely because we do not perceive the abfolute Fitness and Neceffity of it, by any Evidence from the Nature of the Thing; is intirely to set afide the Divine Authority. For a Regard to the divine Authority, can only be fhewn by affenting to Propofitions inevident in themselves, as having his Sanction, or being revealed by him. To Propofitions evident in themselves we should have affented, whe ther revealed by him or not; nay, if they Cc 2 had
SERM, VI. had been difcovered to us by the most aban doned Sinner, or notorious Liar. It is aftonishing therefore to find Perfons afferting, in exprefs Words, that it is not the Declaration of God, but the Fitness of the Thing declared, which is the proper Ground of our Affent, i. e. they will not believe the Deity affirming a Propofition, unless they have such a clear and distinct Perception of the Fitness of the Thing affirmed; as muft induce their Belief, whether the Deity had affirmed it, or no. Modefter Men will be inclined to think, that all the Declarations of an infinitely wife Being imply a Fitness; a Fitness in the Nature of the Thing, but unperceived by us, whose Ideas do not reach the whole Compafs and Extent of Fitneffes and Unfitneffes. A Man of fuperior Senfe may discover a Fitnefs, that escaped the Obfervation of one of less Penetration: An Angel may discern a Fitness, which escapes a Man of the highest Reach of Thought: And the Deity must perceive an Infinity of Fitneffes, which are undiscoverable by the most exalted Archangel. And here I would obferve, once for All, that most of the Objections, which I have met with against Scripture,
Scripture, proceed from hence; that Men SERM. VI. fet up for Free-Thinkers, in Cafes where they can be but Half-Thinkers, or even less than that. Particularly in this Cafe, we, who fee but fome scattered Links of the univerfal Chain, fome disjointed Parts of the whole united Syftem, cannot perceive, what is best and most fitting for the Good of the Whole; and therefore ought to acquiesce in his Declaration, who certainly does. Our Conclufion is but the Sum total of our Reafoning; and as a Sum can never be justly caft up, when any one Particular is omitted; So neither can the Sum total of our Reafoning be juft and exact, when any one intermediate Idea, which ought to be taken into the Account, is dropped or wanting. What may seem to us to have no. Fitnefs, who view only fome detached Branches of God's univerfal Kingdom; might appear very reasonable, could we fee through the whole Contexture of Things. Juft as fome loofe difjointed Paffages from Scripture, appear odd and unpromifing by themselves, and yet are very beautiful, and pertinent; the Thread, Connexion, and Dependency of one Thing on another, being confidered, Nothing