Prop. 2: Christ’s sufferings for men’s Sins, were not the Idem, the same thing which the Law threaten to us: Or the fulfilling of the threatening; and discharge of the debt itself in kind. But the Equivalence, or Value, freely paid by him (obliged only by his own sponsion,) and accepted by God, for our not fulfilling the Law, as to its Precept and Commination.
Some this question, whether Christ paid the Idem or Tantundem? To be not Tantidem, not worth the disputing. Mr O[wen], (against me) seems stiffly to main it to be the Idem, but yielding it to be not per eundem, and the law to be relaxed so far, does yield as much as I need, and gives up the whole cause; and made me think it a useless labor to reply to him. As small as this question seems, I think the main body of divinity stands or falls according to the resolution of it. For understanding the meaning of it, you must know, 1. that it is not the quality of the suffering that we enquire: Whether Christ suffered the same kind of pain, or loss that we should have suffered? Nor of the quantity of torment, for intension or duration? For I am willing to believe as much as identity in these as I can see any ground of probability to encourage me: Though yet I know how hard it is, for them that say, by [death]1 in the threatening, was meant, death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, to prove that the loss of God’s image was none of the penalty; (for I hope none will say, that Christ lost God’s image) or that Christ’s temporary sufferings, were the Idem with our eternal, quaod quantitatem; and not the want of duration made up by the intension, or dignity, or the person, as being equivalent: (which is our ordinary doctrine, and I think sound): Or yet that the eternity of the punishment was not in the threatening, but was accidental: Either as, some Schoolmen think, for want of power to deliver or overcome; or as others (and with them Parker and Sanford, I think, not soundly), because of the everlastingness of sinning. I think none of these much worth the disputing, comparatively: Nor 2. Is it de personâ naturali, who he was naturally that paid the debt, or made the satisfaction. It is not therefore de materia debiti, that we enquire, but de formâ: Whether it were the same formally which we owed, and the obligation required? Or only the value, and not the same full debt? Also you must know that, though we may well use the word [debt] in this Case, because the Scripture does, yet we must acknowledge it but a metaphor, and the proper terms are, whether Christ’s sufferings were the same thing that the lw in its threatening required, i.e., obliged unto, and made due? And so a fulfilling of that threatening? And this with great averseness I deny. The question is determined on the determination of the former, having necessary dependence on it, and being tantum non in sense the same. And therefore all the arguments which I used for the former will serve to this; and therefore I need not repeat any of them, but refer you to them, desiring you to peruse them and apply them to this; for all the same absurdities (or near all) do follow upon this as on the other. Indeed there two together (that Christ paid the Idem, the debt it self and not the value, by personating us in his sufferings, so that in law sense, we satisfied in him) are the very foundation of the whole frame of that religion commonly called Antinomian, but much more fitly Anti-evangelical. To touch again on some few. It is evident that this doctrine utterly destroys all possibility of pardon of sin, and consequently all repenting and believing, praying for pardon, all thankfulness for it, all Testamental or Evangelical conveyance of it by the promise, all Gospel and ministerial tenders of pardon; all sacramental exhibition and obsignation of pardon; and a Christians enquiries, examination, and seekings after pardon, and his comforts living or dying in assurance of pardon; and instead of all, asserts us to righteous, that we need no pardon. You will sure confess, that if this will follow, then almost all religion is overthrown at a blow. And that it follows, seems to me past doubt. For what can any law in the world require or any lawgiver, in exact justice, but that the law be perfectly fulfilled? What can any creditor require, but the Idem, the very debt it self which the obligation did contain? Can he have all his debt, and remit it too? Is the obligation fulfilled, and remitted or relaxed too? Does the Judge execute all the penalty; and yet forgive it? Is not he unjust that denies him an acquittance and the cancelling of the obligation, who hath fully paid him all his due? If any shall conceive, with the Socinians, that the same inconveniences will follow, upon the asserting of Christ’s full satisfaction for us, I answer, Not one of them: Nay there is no way, I think, but this that I now maintain to confute a Socinian, and defend Christ’s satisfaction. Were it well used, it is a key into a great part of the Body of Divinity, and helps to resolve solidly and satisfactorily a multitude of difficult objections, which without this admit not of solution (though Mr. O. call it my progon pheudos ) The Idem, or full debt or suffering, is solutio non recusabilis the value in another kind or way, is solutio recusabilis, (stricte dicta satisfactio) more plainly, the proper penalty, which is supplicum delinquentis, is all that can be required to satisfy the Legislator or Law: But that an innocent person should suffer for our sins, is quid Recusabile; the Legislator may refuse it. If therefore we had paid the Idem, the very debt we had been acquitted or to be acquitted ipso facto, as presently righteous, without remission; but when another pays it (even the Son of the Law-giver sent by his own love and mercy, who is nearer him then us ) there two things follow, 1. That the supreme Rector may accept it on what terms he please, or nor accept it: And that accordingly God did accept it on terms most fitted to his blessed ends in governing the world: Among others, that man should have the special benefits of this satisfaction conveyed to them only in a legal way, in time; on such and such terms or conditions as he saw meet, and as is expressed in the tenor of the Covenant of Grace.2 &c. Nay it was the desire of Christ the satisfier, that these benefits should only thus be conveyed to the Redeemer: That so though the impetration were wholly by him, and absolutely wrought, yet the Application might be in part by themselves and conditional; and the mercy might not cross Gods ends by making them independent and secure, but might further his ends, in drawing them to him, and engaging them to repent, believe, seek, strive, fear, care, &c. If the Idem, were paid, that is, the delinquent himself had suffered, there had needed no New Covenant,3 to apply the Benefits, or convey them: But now there doth.
Object. But it may be the Idem, the full due, though not per eundum, by the same person.
Ans. Distinguish (as before) between the Idem Materialiter and Formaliter, also between the full debt and a part. And so, if it were a debt of money or the like 1. It may be fully the same materially, and not formally: As a man may steal that same Money which you owe another, and pay it to that other as his own debt: 2. Here you must distinguish between Personam Naturalem & Civilem vel Legalem: If you pay all that was in the obligation, by your Servant, friend or any delegate or vicar, the law will say, yon have paid it your self. It was your delegates person naturally, but yours legally or rather your instrument, because the obligation required but the thing to be paid in your name, by what hand soever; and so you are acquitted without remission: For you have discharged the proper debt, and the creditor can demand no more.
But now in criminals its otherwise: Because the very person offending is in the obligation as the subject of the penalty: Noxa Caput sequitur. So that formaliter it is not the suffering which was due to you, which another suffers for you. This I add as a main argument for my proposition.
If the law do require only supplicium ipsins delinquentis, then Christ’s sufferings were not the Idem, the same thing which the law required: Nor is the law fulfilled thereby. But the law doth require only supplicium ipsius delinquentis: Therefore, &c. For the major, or its consequence it needs no proof; for Christ was not ipse delinquens; He was made sin, that is, one punishable and punished for sin; but not really, nor in law a sinner. The law never took any man for a sinner that did not sin. Of this more anon. The Minor is proved from the words of the law [In the day thou eat thou shalt dye] [Cursed is he that continues not in all things] It says, [Thou shalt dye] not [another shall dye] for them that say, it means [thou or thy surety] 1. They add to God’s law, out of their own brain, 2. They make the law to know a surety before sin; 3. They confound hereby Law and Gospel: For it is only the Gospel that revealed a surety. 4. They make the law to curse the innocent, and to threaten Christ for our sin dangerously. 5. They make Christ a surety â parte ante, and not ex post facto, and so corrupt the doctrine of his office. Let them therefore prove it before they affirm it. I conclude therefore in this case (as Grotius, Essenins, &c.) Dum alius soluit, simul aliud solvitur. And therefore Mr. O. and others that grant alius soluit, must needs grant that aliud solvitur. It was us and not Christ that the law threatened, and therefore it is not Christ’s sufferings that is the Idem, the thing threatened, but ours; nor that is a proper fulfilling of the commination in the execution. So that the obligation is not ipso facto, in justice void on Christ’s satisfaction, as it would have been on our payment (had ours been possible,) and on the payment of the proper debt.
Again I argue, as before, that is not true doctrine which denies Christ’s proper satisfaction: But so does the opposed doctrine directly. Ergo, &c.
For satisfactio (strictè sumpta) & solutio stricte sumpta, are thus different; satisfactio is solutio tantidem,& solutio stricte sumpta est ejusdem. He therefore that affirmeth that Christ paid our proper debt, denies him to have made proper satisfaction for our non-payment.
Lest you should think me singular herein, I think it meet to show you in some few testimonies, what our greatest divines say in this point.
1. Great Camero says, (page 363 Operum folio.) Objectio qui pro alio satisfecit, is soluit quod ille debet At Christus non soluit quod nos debebamus: Ergo Resp. Ad majorem per distinctionem: Id soluit quod alius debet Pondere & Valore, concedo: Id soluit specie; nego. Jam vero Christus id soluit quod nos debebamus, pondere & valore; quod satis est.
2. Rivet Disput. de satisfact. pag. 253, 254 &c. that which he disputeth for the law’s relaxation, makes wholly for this.
3. Mr. Ball of the Covenant, page 290. There is a twofold payment of Debt: One of the thing altogether the same which was in the Obligation; and this ipso facto frees from punishment, whether it be paid by the debtor himself, or by his Surety. Another of a thing not altogether the same which is in the obligation, so that some act of the creditor or Governour must come unto it, which is called remission: in which case deliverance doth not follow ipso facto, upon the satisfaction. And of this kind is the satisfaction of Christ.
4. Grotius in his Excellent Treatise De satisfactione, hath the same more fully.
5. Essenius defends it in Grotius against the cavils of Crellius at large.
6. Bilson of Christ’s Descent, page 45. and 262. (as cited by Parker.)
7. And Parker that opposes him, says as much as I do: de Descensu Christi, lib. 3. page 108, 109.
Argu. 2. If Christ paid the Idem, or fulfilled the law’s threat, then we who were the persons obliged, may be truly said to have fulfilled it in him. But that is false, therefore I mean the law is not fulfilled by Christ’s sufferings. Of which see the next question.
Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ, (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising-Sun in Cornhill, 1694),78-85. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; all bracketed inserts original; footnotes mine, and underlining mine.]
[Note: What is historically and theologically significant here is that echoes of Baxter’s key points can be seen in Charles Hodge’s criticism of the double payment argument. By Hodge’s time, the classical distinctions of idem versus tantundem had been dropped in many circles having been replaced with the broader categories of pecuniary versus penal satisfaction. Thus by Hodge’s time, the notion of a pecuniary satisfaction functioned in the same way, and to the same effect as the older quantitatively identical payment view of Owen, namely; the payment of the idem, the solutio ejusdem.]
1[Bracketed inserts original to the text.]
2[Here Baxter means something like the new conditions of salvation, namely faith in Christ, under the terms of the New Covenant.]
3[Here Baxter seems to indicate that if Christ paid the Idem, then the sinner, for whom he suffered, would be saved under the very terms of the previous legal covenant. Baxter is highlighting an important point here.]