« PreviousContinue »
Whether Christ can with propriety be call
ed a sinner, an adulterer, an idolater,
I. We must beware of hard unscriptural phrases, espe. cially in things concerning Christ. II. Whom scripture calls sin indeed, never a sinner. III. Although numbered with sinners. IV. The more hard sayings of some are not to be wrested into a bad sense. V. Christ was called a sinner by Chrysostom, by Oecumenius. VI. By Calvin. VII. By James Allingius. VIII. There was truly a certain exchange of persons between Christ and the Elect. IX. Highly extolled by Justin. X. Clearly explained by Turretin. XI. Approved by the English Brethren.
But, on the other hand, I think it is CHAP. neither good nor prudent, that others going farther, than is just, use too hard expressions, and such as are unknown to the Holy Spirit; must bewhich can scarcely but offend tender ears. For instance, when they say, that we are not scriptural greater sinners than Christ, who being made sin phrases
pecially in for us, was as great a sinner as we: that our things consins were so actually translated to Christ, that
cerning we are no more sinners.
That as often as an elect person is spoken of, although he hath committed adultery, theft, and idolatry, he is not the adulterer, the thief, or idolater, but that these
CHA P. are rather to be afirmed of Christ, that there
was never so great a transgressor on earth as Christ: and more of that nature. These things are without scripture, which indeed
calls Christ sin, never a sinner. II. Whom II. Neither indeed do I agree with those, scripture who think that by that abstract and hyperbocalls sin indeed, never lical phrase, as they say, the force of the cona sinner.
crete is intended: that it is more to say sin, than a sinner. Paul, as usual, borrows these his phrases from the Old Testament, and treating of our reconciliation with God, by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ, he teaches that Christ was such a sacrifice in truth as the XOTI and us were in type, as I have just
now shown.  III. Al- IIL Bụt neither does the prophet call Christ though
a sinner, when he testifies that he was numnumbered with sin- bered with transgressors, Isa. liii. 12. For that
may be very conveniently referred to the unjust judgment of the most wicked men, procuring the death of Christ. This prophecy had its accomplishment, when Christ being apprehended as a robber, accused of deceiving, of blasphemy, and of disturbing the commonwealth, was at last crucified, in the midst between two thieves: we have Mark at least, as the author of this interpretation,
chap. xv. 28. IV. The IV. But in reality, although they do not too hardex, pressions of speak with scripture, who love to call Christ
a sinner, truly a sinner, the greatest of all sin- CH A P. ners; and although I judge it better to abstain from phrases so hard, and so liable to some are calumny; yet since other authors solicitously not to be
wrested in provide for the untainted purity of Christ, to a bad and mean that none of them be understood except in respect of our sins, which are not Christ's, unless by the imputation of God the Father, and his own most holy undertaking; neither have they any other aim, except to show, that that imputation is most full, and every way good in law for our salvation; I am unwilling that that should be snatched by the left hand, which is given to the right, and that unusual expressions should be seized as materials for calumny.
V. For they also have the greatest exam- v. Chrise ples, by which they can defend themselves. sinner by
ChrysosChrysostom, Homil xi. on the Il. to the
tom, and Corinthians, δικαιον, φησιν, επιεσεν αμανλον, ινα Oecumeτους αμαρτωλιυς ποίηση δικαιους. μαλλον δε ουδε ουτως εισιν.
nius. αλλ' ό πολλω μειζον ην, ου γάρ έσιν εθηκεν, αλλ' αυτην την ποιοτητα ου γαρ ειπεν, εποιησε ο μαρτωλον, αλλ αμα; τίαν, ίνα ήμεις γεναμεθα, ουκ ειπε διεάιοι, αλλα δικαισούνη, και θεου δικαιοσυνη: For says he, be made the righteous a sinner, that he might make sinners righteous. Yea, he spake not only so, but something which much greater: for be did not suppose the habit, but the quality itself : for he did not say, be made him a sinner, but sin, that we might be made, he did not say, righteous, but righteousness, and even the righteousness of God. Add, Ecumenius on Chap. ix, to the Hebrews, p. 845. 'Ηνσφοδρα αμαρτωλος ο Χρισος, ως τας του παντος κοσ
p.zny our debt.
C Η Α Ρ. μου αναλαίων και οικειοσ αμινης αμαρτιας. Christ wAS A II.
GREAT SINNER, in as much as he had taken upon him, the sins of the whole world, and had
made them his own. VI. By
VI. Calvin on Gal. ii. 13. follows those Calvin.
fathers, but modestly. Because he represented our person, therefore he was a sinner, and obnoxisous to the curse, not so much in himself indeed, as in us; but yet that he was under a necessity to
And in Marlorat's collections on 2 Cor. v. 21. I find the following expressions, Christ not only died for us, but be died as accursed by God, and the most wicked sinner of
all. VII. And VII. But most plainly James Allingius, by James Diss. Theol. Hept. II. Dis. 1. Sect. 4, 5, 6, Allingius.
7, 8. that Christ came into judgment and was condemned there, yet is declared improUS, OR AN OFFENDER, appears from this, that imprisonment, is joined with judgment. Isa. liii. 8. By which judgment he was brought into prison. That judgment was not human, which may be unjust, but Divine, and therefore most just. Now since in the divine judgment, Christ was condemned to. that prison, verily he must needs have been GUILTY, AND AN OFFENDER: since injustice neither belongs, nor can belong to God the judge, under which, however, he would have laboured, if indeed he had condemned the just and the innocent. Now Cbrist was IMPIOUS, AND AN OFFENDER, not absolutely, but relatively, as a surety, who, free of personal debt, sustains the guilt of another, and on this account, is guilty, an offen
der, or impious in the sight of the creditor and CHAP. judge.
VIII. Though I do not altogether approve of these phrases, yet I must maintain, that There is
truly a cerChrist so substituted himself for the elect, tain erand sustained their person, that a certain ex-change of change of persons takes place; and as Christ tween represented their person, while he took their Christ and
the eled. debts upon him, and paid for them no less than if he himself had been bound to pay, so they again are judged to have paid in the Surety, no less than if they had paid in their own person. For I believe none acquainted with divinity has ever been found, nay, not indeed a man of sound judgment, who dreained of such an exchange of persons, whereby either the Saviour was reduced to the rank of them who are to be saved, or they became the Saviour. That would be as extravagant, as what I say is orthodox: because as Christ representing the person of the elect, was made sin for them; so also on the other hand, the elect considered in the person of Christ become the righteousness of God in him: and because his righteousness is as much their righteousness, as their sins.were his sins; both by imputation: [3.] but an imputation so valid, that as he could not but be punished on account of their sins imputed to him, so they cannot but be saved on account of his righteousness imputed to them. These things, as to the mat