ACCORDING to Dr. T.’s scheme, a very great part of mankind are the subjects of  Christ’s redemption, who live and die perfectly innocent, who never have had, and never  will have, any sin charged to their account, and never are exposed to any punishment  whatsoever, viz. all that die in infancy. They are the subjects of Christ’s redemption, as  he redeems them from death, or as they by his righteousness have justification, and by  his obedience are made righteous, in the resurrection of the body, in the sense of Rom.  5:18, 19. And all mankind are thus the subjects of Christ’s redemption, while they are  perfectly guiltless, and exposed to no punishment, as by Christ they are entitled to a  resurrection. Though, with respect to such persons as have sinned, he allows it is in  some sort by Christ and his death, that they are saved from sin, and the punishment of it.

Now let us see whether such a scheme well consists with the scripture-account of  the redemption by Jesus Christ.

I. The representations of the redemption by Christ, everywhere in Scripture, lead us  to suppose, that all whom he came to redeem are sinners; that his salvation, as to the  term from which (or the evil to be redeemed from), in all, is sin, and the deserved  punishment of sin. It is natural to suppose, that when he had his name Jesus, or Savior,  given him by God’s special and immediate appointment, the salvation meant by that  name should be his salvation in general; and not only a part of his salvation, and with  regard only to some of them whom he came to save. But this name was given him to  signify “his saving his people from their sins,” Mat. 1:21. And the great doctrine of  Christ’s salvation is, that “he came into the world to save sinners,” 1 Tim. 1:15. And that  “Christ hath once suffered, the just for the unjust,” 1 Pet. 3:18. “In this was manifested  the love of God towards us (towards such in general as have the benefit of God’s love in  giving Christ), that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live  through him. Herein is love, that he sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” 1  John 4:9, 10. Many other texts might be mentioned, which seem evidently to suppose,  that all who are redeemed by Christ are saved from SIN. We are led by what Christ  himself said, to suppose, that if any are not sinners, they have no need of him as a  Redeemer, any more than a man in health of a physician, Mark 2:17. And that, in order  to our being the proper subjects of the mercy of God through Christ, we must first be in a  state of sin, is implied in Gal. 3:22, “But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that  the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” To the same  effect is Rom. 11:32.

These things are greatly confirmed by the scripture doctrine of sacrifices. It is  abundantly plain, both from the Old and New Testament, that these were types of  Christ’s death, and were for sin, and supposed sin in those for whom they were offered.  The apostle supposes, that in order to any having the benefit of the eternal inheritance  by Christ, there must of necessity be the death of the testator; and gives that reason for it,  “That without shedding of blood there is no remission,” Heb. 9:15-18, etc. And Christ  himself, in representing the benefit of his blood, in the institution of the Lord’s supper,  under the notion of the blood of a testament, calls it, “The blood of the New Testament  shed for the remission of sins,” Mat. 26:28. But according to the scheme of our author,  many have the eternal inheritance by the death of the testator, who never had any need of  remission.

II. The Scripture represents the redemption by Christ, as a redemption from  deserved destruction; and that, not merely as it respects some particulars, but as the fruit  of God’s love to mankind. John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only- begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting  life;” implying, that otherwise, they must perish, or be destroyed. But what necessity of  this, if they did not deserve to be destroyed? Now, that the destruction here spoken of, is  deserved destruction, is manifest, because it is there compared to the perishing of such of  the children of Israel as died by the bite of the fiery serpents, which God in his wrath,  for their rebellion sent amongst them. And the same thing clearly appears by the last  verse of the same chapter, “He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life; and he  that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” or, is  left remaining on him: implying, that all in general are found under the wrath of God,  and that they only of all mankind who are interested in Christ, have this wrath removed,  and eternal life bestowed; the rest are left with the wrath of God still remaining on them.  The same is clearly illustrated and confirmed by John 5:24, “He that believeth, hath  everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life.”  In being passed from death to life is implied, that before, they were all in a state of death;  and they are spoken of as being so by a sentence of condemnation; and if it be a just  condemnation, it is a deserved condemnation.

III. It will follow on Dr. T.’s scheme, that Christ’s redemption, with regard to a  great part of them who are the subjects of it, is not only a redemption from no sin, but  from no calamity, and so from no evil of any kind. For as to death, which infants are  redeemed from, they never were subjected to it as a calamity, but purely as a benefit. It  came by no threatening or curse denounced upon or through Adam; the covenant with  him being utterly abolished, as to all its force and power on mankind (according to our  author), before the sentence of mortality. Therefore trouble and death could be appointed  to innocent mankind no other way than on account of another covenant, the covenant of  grace; and in this channel they come only as favors, not as evils. Therefore they could  need no remedy, for they had no disease. Even death itself, which it is supposed Christ  saves them from, is only a medicine; and one of the greatest of benefits. It is ridiculous  to talk of persons’ needing a medicine, or a physician, to save them from an excellent  medicine; or of a remedy from a happy remedy! If it be said, though death be a benefit,  yet it is so because Christ changes it, and turns it into a benefit, by procuring a  resurrection: I would ask, what can be meant by turning or changing it into a benefit,  when it never was otherwise, nor could ever justly be otherwise? Infants could not at all  be brought under death as a calamity; for they never deserved it. And it would be only an  abuse (be it far from us, to ascribe such a thing to God) in any being, to offer any poor  sufferers a Redeemer from a calamity which he had brought upon them, without the least  desert of it on their part.

But it is plain, that mortality was not at first brought on mankind as a blessing, by  the covenant of grace through Christ; and that Christ and grace do not bring mankind  under death, but find them under it. 2 Cor. 5:14-15, “We thus judge, that if one died for  all, then were all dead.” Luke 19:10, “The Son of man is come to seek and save that  which was lost.” The grace which appears in providing a deliverer from any state,  supposes the subject to be in that state prior to his deliverance. In our author’s scheme,  there never could be any sentence of death or condemnation, that requires a Savior from  it; because the very sentence itself, according to the true meaning of it, implies and  makes sure all that good, which is requisite to abolish and make void the seeming evil to  the innocent subject. So that the sentence itself is in effect the deliverer; and there is no  need of another to deliver from that sentence. Dr. T. insists upon it, that “nothing comes  upon us in consequence of Adam’s sin, in any SENSE, KIND, or DEGREE, inconsistent  with the original blessing pronounced on Adam at his creation; and nothing but what is  perfectly consistent with God’s blessing, love, and goodness, declared to Adam as soon  as he came out of his Maker’s hands.” (Page 88, 89 S) If the case be so, it is certain there  is no evil or calamity at all for Christ to redeem us from; unless things agreeable to the  divine goodness, love and blessing, are things from which we need redemption.  

IV. It will follow, on our author’s principles, not only with respect to infants, but  even adult persons, that redemption is needless, and Christ is dead in vain. Not only is  there no need of Christ’s redemption in order to deliverance from any consequences of  Adam’s sin, but also in order to perfect freedom from personal sin, and all its evil  consequences. For God has made other sufficient provision for that, viz. a sufficient  power and ability, in all mankind, to do all their duty, and wholly to avoid sin. Yea, he  insists upon it, that “when men have not sufficient power to do their duty, they have no  duty to do. We may safely and assuredly conclude (says he), that mankind in all parts of  the world have SUFFICIENT power to do the duty which God requires of them; and that  he requires of them NO MORE than they have SUFFICIENT powers to do” (page 111,  68, 64. S). And in another place (page 67. S), “God has given powers EQUAL to the  duty which he expects.” And he expresses a great dislike at R. R.’s supposing, that our  propensities to evil, and temptations, are too strong to be EFFECTUALLY and  CONSTANTLY resisted; or that we are unavoidably sinful IN A DEGREE; that our  appetites and passions will be breaking out, notwithstanding our everlasting  watchfulness” (page 68. S). These things fully imply, that men have in their own natural  ability sufficient means to avoid sin, and to be perfectly free from it; and so, from all the  bad consequences of it. And if the means are sufficient, then there is no need of more;  and therefore there is no need of Christ dying, in order to it. What Dr. T. says (p. 72. S)  fully implies, that it would be unjust in God to give mankind being in such  circumstances, as that they would be more likely to sin, so as to be exposed to final  misery, than otherwise. Hence then, without Christ and his redemption, and without any  grace at all, MERE JUSTICE makes sufficient provision for our being free from sin and  misery, by our own power.

If all mankind, in all parts of the world, have such sufficient power to do their whole  duty, without being sinful in any degree, then they have sufficient power to obtain  righteousness by the law: and then, according to the apostle Paul, Christ is dead in vain.  Gal. 2:21, “If righteousness come by law, Christ is dead in vain;” — äéá íïìïõ, without  the article, by law, or the rule of right action, as our author explains the phrase [Pref. to  Par. on Rom. p. 143, 38.]. And according to the sense in which he explains this very  place, “it would have frustrated, or rendered useless, the grace of God, if Christ died to  accomplish what was or MIGHT have been effected by law itself, without his death.”  [Note on Rom. 5:20, p. 297.] So that it most clearly follows from his own doctrine, that  Christ is dead in vain, and the grace of God is useless. The same apostle says, if there  had been a law which COULD have given life, verily righteousness should have been by  the law, Gal. 3:21, i.e. (still according to Dr. T.’s own sense), if there was a law, that  man, in his present state, had sufficient power perfectly to fulfill. For Dr. T. supposes the  reason why the law could not give life, to be “not because it was weak in itself, but  through the weakness of our flesh, and the infirmity of the human nature in the present  state.” (Ibid.) But he says, “We are under a mild dispensation of GRACE, making  allowance for our infirmities” (page 92. S). By our infirmities, we may upon good  grounds suppose he means that infirmity of human nature, which he gives as the reason  why the law cannot give life. But what grace is there in making that allowance for our  infirmities, which justice itself (according to his doctrine) most absolutely requires, as he  supposes divine justice exactly proportions our duty to our ability?

Again, if it be said, that although Christ’s redemption was not necessary to preserve  men from beginning to sin, and getting into a course of sin, because they have sufficient  power in themselves to avoid it; yet it may be necessary to deliver men, after they have  by their own folly brought themselves under the dominion of evil appetites and passions.   I answer, if it be so, that men need deliverance from those habits and passions, which  are become too strong for them, yet that deliverance, on our author’s principles, would  be no salvation from sin. For the exercise of passions which are too strong for us, and  which we cannot overcome, is necessary: and he strongly urges, that a necessary evil can  be no moral evil. It is true, it is the effect of evil, as it is the effect of a bad practice, while  the man had power to have avoided it. But then according to Dr. T. that evil cause alone  is in; for he says expressly, “The cause of every effect is alone from it.” (Page 128) And  as to that sin which was the cause, the man needed no Savior from that, having had  sufficient power in himself to have avoided it. So that it follows by our author’s scheme,  that none of mankind, neither infants nor adult persons, neither the more nor less vicious,  neither Jews nor Gentiles, neither heathens nor Christians, ever did or ever could stand  in any need of a Savior; and that, with respect to all, the truth is, Christ is dead in vain.

If any should say, although all mankind in all ages have sufficient ability to do their  whole duty, and so may by their own power enjoy perfect freedom from sin, yet God  foresaw that they would sin, and that after they had sinned, they would need Christ’s  death. I answer, it is plain, by what the apostle says in those places which were just now  mentioned (Gal. 2:21 and 3:21) that God would have esteemed it needless to give his  Son to die for men, unless there had been a prior impossibility of their having  righteousness by any law; and that, if there had been a law which COULD have given  life, this other way by the death of Christ would not have been provided. And this  appears to be agreeable to our author’s own sense of things, by his words which have  been cited, wherein he says, “It would have FRUSTRATED or rendered USELESS the  grace of God, if Christ died to accomplish what was or MIGHT HAVE BEEN effected  by law itself, without his death.”

V. It will follow on Dr. T.’s scheme, not only that Christ’s redemption is needless  for saving from sin, or its consequences, but also that it does no good that way, has no  tendency to any diminution of sin in the world. For as to any infusion of virtue or  holiness in to the heart, by divine power through Christ or his redemption, it is altogether  inconsistent with this author’s notions. With him, inwrought virtue, if there were any  such thing, would be no virtue; not being the effect of our own will, choice, and design,  but only of a sovereign act of God’s power (See p. 180, 245, 250). And therefore, all that  Christ does to increase virtue, is only increasing our talents, our light, advantages,  means, and motives; as he often explains the matter (In p. 44, 50 and innumerable other  places). But sin is not at all diminished. For he says, our duty must be measured by our  talents; as, a child that has less talents, has less duty; and therefore must be no more  exposed to commit sin, than he that has greater talents; because he that has greater  talents, has more duty required, in exact proportion (See page 234, 61, 64-72 S). If so, he  that has but one talent, has as much advantage to perform that one degree of duty which  is required of him, as he that has five talents, to perform his five degrees of duty, and is  no more exposed to fail of it. And that man’s guilt, who sins against greater advantages,  means, and motives, is greater in proportion to his talents (See Paraph. on Rom. 2:9, also  on verse 12). And therefore it will follow, on Dr. T.’s principles, that men stand no better  chance, have no more eligible or valuable probability of freedom from sin and  punishment, or of contracting but little guilt, or of performing required duty, with the  great advantages and talents implied in Christ’s redemption, than without them; when all  things are computed, and put into the balances together, the numbers, degrees, and  aggravations of sin exposed to, degrees of duty required, etc. So that men have no  redemption from sin, and no new means of performing duty, that are valuable or worth  anything at all. And thus the great redemption by Christ in every respect comes to  nothing, with regard both to infants and adult persons.

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