(Owen, Trinity. part 7)

many were made sinners."
  Secondly. That, by this sin of our first parents, all men are
brought into an estate of sin and apostasy from God, and of enmity
unto him: - Gen. 6: 5, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great
in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart
was only evil continually." Ps. 51: 5, "Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Rom. 3: 23, "For all
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Chap. 8: 7, "The
carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be." Eph. 4: 18, "Having the understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance
that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart," Chap. 2: l;
Col. 2: 13.
  Thirdly. That in this state all men continue in sin against God, nor
of themselves can do otherwise: - Rom. 3: 10-12, "There is none
righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is
none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they
are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no,
not one."
  Fourthly. That the justice and holiness of God, as he is the supreme
governor and judge of all the world, require that sin be punished: -
Exod. 34: 7, "That will by no means clear the guilty." Josh. 24: 19,
"He is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your
transgressions nor your sins." Ps. 5: 4-6, "For thou art not a God
that has pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of
iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing." Hab. 1: 13,
"Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon
iniquity." Isa. 33: 14, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring
fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Rom. 1: 32,
"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things
are worthy of death." Chap. 3: 5, 6, "Is God unrighteous who taketh
vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge
the world?" 2 Thess. 1: 6, "It is a righteous thing with God to
recompense tribulation to them that trouble you." Heb. 12: 29, "For
our God is a consuming fire;" from Dent. 4: 24.
  Fifthly. That God, has also engaged his veracity and faithfulness in
the sanction of the law, not to leave sin unpunished: - Gen. 2: 17,
"In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Dent. 27: 26,
"Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do
them." In this state and condition, mankind, had they been left
without divine aid and help, must have perished eternally.
  Sixthly. That God out of his infinite goodness, grace, and love to
mankind, sent his only Son to save and deliver them out of this
condition. - Matt. 1: 21, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he
shalt save his people from their sins." John 3: 16, 17, "God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God
sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through him might be saved." Rom. 5: 8, "God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 1
John 4: 9, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
through him." Verse 10, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but
that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
sins." 1 Thess. 1: 10, "Even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath
to come."
  Seventhly. That this love was the same in Father and Son, acted
distinctly in the manner that shall be afterward declared; so, vain
are the pretences of men, who, from the love of the Father in this
matter, would argue against the love of the Son, or on the contrary.
  Eighthly. That the way, in general, whereby the Son of God, being
incarnate, was to save lost sinners, was by a substitution of himself,
according to the design and appointment of God, in the room of those
whom he was to save: - 2 Cor. 5: 21, "He has made him to be sin for
us, who knew no sin; that we might become the righteousness of God in
him." Gal. 3: 13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law,
being made a curse for us" Rom. 5: 7, 8, "For scarcely for a righteous
man will one die; yet per adventure for a good man some would even
dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Chap. 8: 3, "For what the law
could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his
own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in
the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us"
1 Pet. 2: 24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the
tree." Chap. 3: 18, "For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the
just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." All these
expressions undeniably evince a substitution of Christ as to suffering
in the stead of them whom he was to save; which, in general, is all
that we intend by his satisfaction, namely, that he was made "sin for
us," a "curse for us," "died for us," that is, in our stead, that we
might be saved from the wrath to come. And all these expressions, as
to their true, genuine importance, shall be vindicated as occasion
shall require.
  Ninthly. This way of his saving sinners is, in particular, several
ways expressed in the Scriptures.
  1. That he offered himself a sacrifice to God, to make atonement for
our sins; and that in his death and sufferings: - Isa 53: 10, "When
thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." John 1: 29, "Behold the
lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." Eph. 5: 2, "Christ
hath loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a
sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." Heb. 2: 17, Was "a
merciful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people." Chap. 9: 11-14, "But
Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater
and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not
of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his
own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained
eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls," etc., "how much
more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered
himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works?"
  2. That he redeemed us by paying a price, a ransom, for our
redemption: - Mark 10: 45, "The Son of man came to give his life a
ransom for many." 1 Cor. 6: 20, 7: 23, "For ye are bought with a
price." 1 Tim. 2: 6, "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be
testified in due time." Tit. 2: 14, "Who gave himself for us, that he
might redeem us from all iniquity." 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19, "For ye were not
redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold; but with the
precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
  3. That he bare our sins, or the punishment due unto them: -Isa. 53:
5, 6, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his
stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the
iniquity of us all." Verse 11, "For he shall bear their iniquities." 1
Pet. 2: 24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the
  4. That he answered the law and the penalty of it: - Rom. 8: 3, 4,
"God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us." Gal. 3: 13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse
of the law, being made a curse for us." Chap. 4: 4, 5, "God sent forth
his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law"
  5. That he died for sin, and sinners, to expiate the one, and in the
stead of the other: - Rom. 4: 25, "He was delivered for our offenses."
Chap. 5: 10, "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the
death of his Son." 1 Cor. 15: 3, "Christ died for our sins according
to the Scriptures." 2 Cor. 5: 14, "For the love of Christ constraineth
us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all
dead," 1 Thess. 5: 9, 10.
  6. Hence, on the part of God it is affirmed, that "he spared him
not, but delivered him up for us all," Rom. 8: 32; and caused "all our
iniquities to meet upon him," Isa. 53: 6.
  7. The effect hereof was, -
  (1.) That the righteousness of God was glorified. Rom. 3: 25, 26,
"Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins." (2.)
The law fulfilled and satisfied, as in the places before quoted, chap.
8: 3, 4; Gal. 3: 13, 4: 4, 5. (3.) God reconciled. 2 Cor. 5: 18, 19,
"God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them." Heb. 2: 17, "he made reconciliation for
the sins of the people." (4.) Atonement was made for sin. Rom. 5: 11,
"By whom we have now received the atonement;" and peace was made with
God. Eph. 2: 14, 16, "For he is our peace, who has made both one, ...
that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having
slain the enmity thereby." (6.) He made an end of sin. Dan. 9: 24, "To
finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make
reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness." The glory of God in all these things being exalted,
himself was well pleased, righteousness and everlasting redemption, or
salvation, purchased for sinners. Heb. 9: 14, For in that "the
chastisement of our peace was upon him," and that "by his stripes we
are healed," he being punished that we might go free, himself became a
captain of salvation unto all that do obey him.
  I have fixed on these particulars, to give every ordinary reader an
instance how fully and plainly what he is to believe in this matter is
revealed in the Scripture. And should I produce all the testimonies
which expressly give witness unto these positions, it is known how
great a part of the Bible must be transcribed. And these are the
things which are indispensably required of us to believe, that we may
be able to direct and regulate our obedience according to the mind and
will of God. In the explanation of this doctrine unto farther
edification, sundry things are usually insisted on, which necessarily
and infallibly ensue upon the propositions of Scripture before laid
down, and serve to beget in the minds of believers a due apprehension
and right understanding of them; as, -
  1. That God in this matter is to be considered as the chief,
supreme, absolute rector and governor of all, - as the Lord of the
law, and of sinners; but yet so as an offended ruler: not as an
offended person, but as an offended ruler, who has right to exact
punishment upon transgressions, and whose righteousness of rule
requires that he should so do.
  2. That because he is righteous and holy, as he is the supreme Judge
of all the world, it is necessary that he do right in the punishing of
sin; without which the order of the creation cannot be preserved. For
sin being the creature's deduction of itself from the order of its
dependence upon, and obediences unto, the Creator and supreme Lord of
all, without a reduction of it by punishment, confusion would be
brought into the whole creation.
  3. That whereas the law, and the sanction of it, is the moral or
declarative cause of the punishment of sin, and it directly obliges
the sinner himself unto punishment; God, as the supreme ruler,
dispenses, not with the act of the law, but the immediate object, and
substitutes another sufferer in the room of them who are principally
liable unto the sentence of it, and are now to be acquitted or freed;
- that so the law may be satisfied, requiring the punishment of sin;
justice exalted, whereof the law is an effect; and yet the sinner
  4. That the person thus substituted was the Son of God incarnate,
who had power so to dispose of himself, with will and readiness for
it; and was, upon the account of the dignity of his person, able to
answer the penalty which all others had incurred and deserved.
  5. That God, upon his voluntary susception of this office, and
condescension to this work, did so lay our sins, in and by the
sentence of the law, upon him, that he made therein full satisfaction
for what ever legally could be charged on them for whom he died or
  6. That the special way, terms, and conditions, whereby and wherein
sinners may be interested in this satisfaction made by Christ, are
determined by the will of God, and declared in the scripture.
  These, and the like things, are usually insisted on in the
explication or declaration of this head of our confession; and there
is not any of them but may be sufficiently confirmed by divine
testimonies. It may also be farther evinced, that there is nothing
asserted in them, but what is excellently suited unto the common
notions which mankind has of God and his righteousness; and that in
their practice they answer the light of nature and common reason,
exemplified in sundry instances among the nations of the world.
  I shall therefore take one argument from some of the testimonies
before produced in the confirmation of this sacred truth, and proceed
to remove the objections that are commonly bandied against it.
  If the Lord Christ, according to the will of the Father, and by his
own counsel and choice, was substituted, and did substitute himself,
as the mediator of the covenant, in the room and in the stead of
sinners, that they might be saved, and therein bare their sins, or the
punishment due unto their sins, by undergoing the curse and penalty of
the law, and therein also, according to the will of God, offered up
himself for a propitiatory, expiatory sacrifice, to make atonement for
sin, and reconciliation for sinners, that the justice of God being
appeased, and the law fulfilled, their might go free, or be delivered
from the wrath to come; and if therein, also, he paid a real
satisfactory price for their redemption; then he made satisfaction to
God for sin: for these are the things that we intend by that
expression of satisfaction. But now all these things are openly and
filly witnessed unto in the testimonies before produced, as may be
observed by suiting some of them unto the several particulars here
asserted: -
  As, 1. What was done in this matter, was from the will, purpose, and
love of God the Father, Ps. 40: 6-8; Heb. 10: 5-7; Acts 4: 28; John 3:
16; Rom. 8: 3.
  2. It was also done by his own voluntary consent, Phil. 2: 6-8.
  3. He was substituted, and did substitute himself, as the mediator
of the covenant, in the room and stead of sinners, that they may be
saved, Heb. 10: 5-7, 12: 22; Rom. 3: 25, 26, 5: 7, 8.
  4. And he did therein bear their sins, or the punishment due to
their sins, Isa. 53: 6, 11; 1 Pet. 2: 24. And this, -
  5. By undergoing the curse and penalty of the law, Gal. 3: 13; or
the punishment of sin required by the law, 2 Cor. 5: 21; Rom. 8: 3.
  6. Herein, also, according to the will of God, he offered up himself
a propitiatory and expiatory sacrifice, to make atonement for sin and
reconciliation for sinners, Eph 5: 6; Rom. 5: 6; Heb. 9: 11-14; -
which he did, that the justice of God being satisfied, and the law
fulfilled, sinners might be freed from the wrath to come, Rom. 3: 25;
1 Thess. 1: 10.
  7. And hereby also he paid a real price of redemption for sin and
sinners, 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19; 1 Cor. 6: 20. These are the things which we
are to believe concerning the satisfaction of Christ. And our
explication of this doctrine we are ready to defend when called
  The consideration of the objections which are raised against this
great fundamental truth shall close this discourse. And they are of
two sorts: - First, In general, to the whole doctrine, as declared, or
some of the more signal heads or parts of it. Secondly, Particular
instances in this or that supposal, as consequences of the doctrine
asserted. And, in general, -
  First, they say "This is contrary to, and inconsistent with, the
love, grace, mercy, and goodness of God, which are so celebrated in
the Scripture as the principal properties of his nature and acts of
his will wherein he will be glorified; -especially contrary to the
freedom of forgiveness, which we are encouraged to expect, and
commanded to believe." And this exception they endeavour to firm by
testimonies that the Lord is good and gracious and that he does freely
forgive us our sins and trespasses.
  Ans. 1. I readily grant that whatever is really contrary to the
grace, goodness, and mercy of God, whatever is inconsistent with the
free forgiveness of sin, is not to be admitted; for these things are
fully revealed in the Scripture, and must have a consistency with
whatever else is therein revealed of God or his will.
  2. As God is good, and gracious, and merciful, so also he is holy,
righteous, true, and faithful. And these things are no less revealed
concerning him than the others; and are no less essential properties
of his nature than his goodness and grace. And as they are all
essentially the same in him, and considered only under a different
habitue or respect, as they are exerted by acts of his will; so it
belongs to his infinite wisdom, that the effects of them, though
divers, and produced by divers ways and means, may no way be contrary
one to the other, but that mercy be exercised without the prejudice of
justice or holiness, and justice be preserved entire, without any
obstruction to the exercise of mercy.
  3. The grace and love of God, that in this matter the Scripture
reveals to be exercised in order unto the forgiveness of sinners,
consists principally in two things: - (1.) In his holy eternal purpose
of providing a relief for lost sinners. He has done it, "to the praise
of the glory of his grace," Eph. 1: 6. (2.) In the sending his Son in
the pursuit and for the accomplishment of the holy purpose of his will
and grace. Herein most eminently does the Scripture celebrate the
love, goodness, and kindness of God, as that whereby, in infinite and
for ever to be adored wisdom and grace, he made way for the
forgiveness of our sins. John 3: 16, "God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son." Rom. 3: 25, "Whom God has set forth to be
a propitiation through faith in his blood." Rom. 5: 8, "God commendeth
his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died
for us." Tit. 3: 4; 1 John 4: 9, 10. Herein consists that ever to be
adored love, goodness, grace, mercy, and condescension of God. Add
hereunto, that, in the act of causing our iniquities to meet on
Christ, wherein he immediately intended the declaration of his
justice, Rom. 3: 25, - "not sparing him, in delivering him up to death
for us all," Rom. 8: 32, - there was a blessed harmony in the highest
Justice and most excellent grace and mercy. This grace, this goodness,
this love of God towards mankind, towards sinners, our adversaries in
this matter neither know nor understand; and so, indeed, what lies in
them, remove the foundation of the whole gospel, and of all that faith
and obedience which God requires at our hands.
  4. Forgiveness, or the actual condonation of sinners, the pardon and
forgiveness of sins, is free; but yet so as it is everywhere
restrained unto a respect unto Christ, unto his death rind blood-
shedding. Eph. 1: 7, "We have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins." Chap. 4: 32. "God for Christ's sake has forgiven
you." Rom. 3: 25, 26, "God has set him forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the
remission of sins." It is absolutely free in respect of all immediate
transactions between God and sinners.
  (1.) Free on the part of God.
  [1.] In the eternal purpose of it, when he might justly have
suffered all men to have perished under the guilt of their sins. [2.]
Free in the means that he used to effect it, unto his glory. 1st. In
the sending of his Son; and, 2dly. In laying the punishment of our sin
upon him. 3dly. In his covenant with him, that it should be accepted
on our behalf. 4thly. In his tender and proposal of it by the gospel
unto sinners, to be received without money or without price. 5thly. In
the actual condonation and pardon of them that do believe.
  (2.) It is free on the part of the persons that are forgiven; in
that, [1.] It is given and granted to them, without any satisfaction
made by them for their former transgressions. [2.] Without any merit
to purchase or procure it. [3.] Without any penal, satisfactory
suffering here, or in a purgatory hereafter. [4.] Without any
expectation of future recompense; or that, being pardoned, they should
then make or give any satisfaction for what they had done before. And
as any of these things would, so nothing else can, impeach the freedom
of pardon and forgiveness. Whether, then, we respect the pardoner or
the pardoned, pardon is every way free, - namely, on the part of God
who forgives, and on the part of sinners that are forgiven. If God now
has, besides all this, provided himself a lamb for a sacrifice; if he
has, in infinite wisdom and grace, found out a way thus freely to
forgive us our sins, to the praise and glory of his own holiness,
righteousness, and severity against sin, as well as unto the
unspeakable advancement of that grace, goodness, and bounty which he
immediately exercises in the pardon of sin; are these men's eyes evil,
because he is good? Will they not be contented to be pardoned, unless
they may have it at the rate of despoiling God of his holiness, truth,
righteousness, and faithfulness? And as this is certainly done by that
way of pardon which these men propose, no reserve in the least being
made for the glory of God in those holy properties of his nature which
are immediately injured and opposed by sin; so that pardon itself,
which they pretend so to magnify, having nothing to influence it but a
mere arbitrary act of God's will, is utterly debased from its own
proper worth and excellency. And I shall willingly undertake to
manifest that they derogate no less from grace and mercy in pardon,
than they do from the righteousness and holiness of God, by the
forgiveness which they have feigned; and that in it both of them are
perverted and despoiled of all their glory.
  But they yet say, "If God can freely pardon sin, why does he not do
it without satisfaction? If he cannot, he is weaker and more imperfect
than man, who can do so."
  Ans. 1. God cannot do many things that men can do, - not that he is
more imperfect than they, but he cannot do them on the account of his
perfection. He cannot lie, he cannot deny himself, he cannot change;
which men can do, and do every day.
  2. To pardon sin without satisfaction, in him who is absolutely
holy, righteous, true, and faithful, - the absolute, necessary,
supreme Governor of all sinners, - the author of the law, and sanction
of it, wherein punishment is threatened and declared, - is to deny
himself, and to do what one infinitely perfect cannot do.
  3. I ask of these men, why God does not pardon sins freely, without
requiring faiths repentance, and obedience in them that are pardoned;
yea, as the conditions on which they may be pardoned? For, seeing he
is so infinitely good and gracious, cannot he pardon men without
prescribing such terms and conditions unto them as he knows that men,
and that incomparably the greatest number of them, will never come up
unto, and so must of necessity perish for ever? Yea, but they say,
"This cannot be: neither does this impeach the freedom of pardon; for
it is certain that God does prescribe these things, and yet he pardons
freely; and it would altogether unbecome the holy God to pardon
sinners that continue so to live and die in their sins" But do not
these men see that they have hereby given away their cause which they
contend for? For, if a prescription of sundry things to the sinner
himself, without which he shall not be pardoned, do not at all
impeach, as they say, the freedom of pardon, but God may be said
freely to pardon sin notwithstanding it; how shall the receiving of
satisfaction by another, nothing at all being required of the sinner,
have the least appearance of any such thing? If the freedom of
forgiveness consists in such a boundless notion as these men imagine,
it is certain that the prescribing of faith and repentance in and unto
sinners, antecedently to their participation of it, is much more
evidently contrary unto it, than the receiving of satisfaction from
another who is not to be pardoned can to any appear to be. Secondly,
if it be contrary to the holiness of God to pardon any without
requiring faith, repentance, and obedience in them (as it is indeed),
let not these persons be offended if we believe him when he so
frequently declares it, that it was so to remit sin, without the
fulfilling of his law and satisfaction of his justice.
  Secondly, they say, "There is no such thing as justice in God

(continued in part 8...)

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