Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), on the Death of Christ

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in For Whom did Christ Die?


Special Redemption:

1) God hath given all things into his hand, all creatures to rule them, all treasures to bestow them, all power to protect his people; he hath given him the world of men and angels to govern, the world of his elect to redeem; he hath put all things under his feet, and made him the head over all things for the church,’ Eph. i. 22. Stephen Charnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in Works, 4:306.

Redemption applied:

2) Therefore Christ is called the Lamb slain from ‘before the foundation of the world,’ determinately, in the counsel and decree of God; promissorily, in the promise and word of God passed to Adam after the fall; typically, in sacrifices which were nettled immediately upon that promise of redemption; efficaciously, in regard of the merit of it, applied by God to believers before the actual suffering. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of Christ Crucified,” in Works, 4:496.

Sufficient price:

1) God had manifested a goodness, but had not been glorified by it in the finite of it, which we could never have enjoyed, because no creature could pay a sufficient ransom for the sin of man. The ransom wee to be infinite, but angels were limited and finite creatures; and if they had undertaken, they must have suffered too infinitely, and never have emerged out of their misery. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God in Christ,” in Works, 4:145.

2) The satisfaction of Christ was more efficacious to take away sin and please God, than the sin of man had guilt to displease him, and of more value to outweigh the sins of the whole world, than they had weight to press man down to the Lake of fire; because of the marriage between the divinity and the humanity, whereby that person, who was man, was infinite in regard of his divine nature. Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works, 4:251-252.

3) Again, it must be one creature, or a multitude of creatures. How one mere creature could satisfy for a numberless number of men, every one of them foully polluted, cannot well be conceived by common reason. One creature can only be supposed to be a sufficient ransom for one of the same kind. There could not be a dignity in any creature to answer the dignity and equal the value of all mankind. If a multitude of creatures were necessary, there must be as many creatures satisfying as were creatures sinning; so God would lose one species of creature to restore another, or an equal number of creatures to them that were redeemed. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 5:29.

4) (5.) Upon the account of his righteousness in all these respects, he must needs prevail with God. This the apostle implies; he represents him as an Advocate, and as righteous, for the comfort of believers that through a temptation fall into sin, which could be none at all if the efficacy of his intercession were not included in this of his righteousness. Because he is righteous in his admission, in the foundation of his office, in his person, and the matter of his plea, he ie worthy to be heard by God in his pleas; and since he wants nothing to qualify him for this office, he will not want entertainment with the Father in any suit he makes. And since his propitiation is sufficient bar the sins of the whole world, we need not question the prevalency of his intercession for them that believe. If it hath a sufficiency for such multitudes, it must have an efficacy for those few that do comply with the terms of enjoying the benefit of it. The righteousness of the person of our Advocate, renders his intercession grateful to God and successful for us.

5) The foundation of this discourse, or the reason of it, is, ver. 2, ‘He is the propitiation for our sins ; not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.’ He hath expiated our sins, and appeased the wrath of God which flamed against us.

[I.] Not only for our sins who now live, but for the sins of all believers in the pest and succeeding ages of the world, as well as the present. His propitiation, in the virtue and efficacy of it, looks back upon all believers, in every age since the foundation of the world; and looks forward to every believer to the last period of time. The apostle’s following discourse in this chapter evinceth that he restrains the efficacy of this expiation to believers, that manifest their faith by their holiness, and walk in his commands.

[2] Or he is the propitiation, not only for the sins of as Jews, but for the Gentiles also.

[3] Or he is a propitiation for the whole world in point of the sufficiency of the sacrifice and infinite value of his blood. The malignity of them that refuse it doth not diminish the value of the price, nor the bounty and grace that offers to them the benefits of it upon believing… And remember also that this Advocate is the very same person who, in the days of his flesh, did expiate sin and reconcile God by his bloody passion, and made so fall an atonement as that it was sufficient not only for the sins of the present age, but of the whole world; and hath been efficacious for the blotting out the sins of all former believers before his coming. And to this Advocate you must address yourselves by faith, for you must know him, i.e. believe in him, which is implied in verse the third…

6. The efficacy of this plea, from the extensiveness of this propitiation, for the whole world… Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:96.

Sufficient expiation and redemption for all:

1) Let then this love engage every man to come to God through Christ. How should it ravish us into an humble compliance with him, and subjection to him! If he hath bruised him for us, he will not bruise us if we come to him. The blood shed by the order of God, is able to expiate a world of sins. God hath spent his wrath upon him, and hath none for those that accept of him. God hath discovered a propensity to be reconciled, though we lie open to the stroke of his justice, and have no strength to with stand him; a higher evidence he cannot give. Stephen Charnock, “God the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:425.

2) It is so acceptable to God, that is a sufficient sacrifice for all, if all would accept of it, and by a fixed faith plead it. It is sufficient for the salvation of all sinners, and the expiation of all sins. The wrath of God was so fully appeased by it, his justice so fully satisfied, that there is no bar to a readmission into his favour, and the enjoyment of the privileges purchased by it, but man’s unbelief. The blood of Christ is a stream, whereof all men may drink; an ocean, wherein all men may bathe. It wants not value to remove our sins, if we want not faith to embrace and plead it. As no sickness was strong enough against the battery of his powerful word when he was in the world, so no guilt is strong enough against the power of his blood, if the terms upon which it is offered by God be accepted by us. It is absolutely sufficient in itself, so that if every son of Adam, from Adam himself to the last man that shall issue from him by natural decent, should by faith sue out the benefit of it, it would be conferred upon them. God hath no need to stretch his wisdom, to contrive another price, nor Christ any need to reassume the form of a servant, to act the part of a bloody sacrifice any more. If any perished by the biting of the fiery serpent, it was not for want of a remedy in God’s institution, but from willfulness in themselves. The antitype answers to the type, and wants no more a sufficiency to procure a spiritual good than that to effect the cure of the body. He is therefore called ‘the Saviour of the world,’ 1 John iv. 14. And when the apostle, upon the citation of that in the prophet, that ‘whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed,’ concludes, that ‘there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, but that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved,’ Rom. x. 11, 13; by the same reason it may be concluded, that there is no difference between this and that man, if they believe; what is promised to one believer, as a believer, is promised to all the world upon the same condition. And when the apostle saith, ver. 9, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thy heart, thou shalt be saved, ‘ he speaks to every man that shall hear that sentence. If any man believe, this sacrifice is sufficient for his salvation. As Adam’s disobedience was sufficient to ruin all his posterity, descending from him by natural generation, so is this sacrifice sufficient to save all that are in Christ by a spiritual implantation. The apostle’s comparison would not else be valid: Rom. v. 18, ‘As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.’ And if all men in the world were united to him by faith, there could not be any more required of Christ for their salvation than what he hath already acted; for it is a sacrifice of infinite value, and infinite knows no limits. Since it was sufficient to satisfy an infinite justice, it is sufficient to save an inexpressible number; and the virtue of it is in saving one, argues a virtue in it to save all upon the same condition. Who will question the ability of an almighty power to raise all men from death to life, that hath raised one man from death to life by the speaking of a word? If men, therefore, perish, it is not for want of value, or virtue, or acceptableness in this sacrifice, but for want of answering the terms upon which the enjoyment of the benefits of it is proposed. If a man will shut his eyes against the light of the sun, it argues an obstinacy in the person, not any defect in the sun itself.” Stephen Charnock, “The Acceptableness of Christ’s Death, in Works,” 4:563-564.

3) There is no want on Christ’s part. There hath been by him satisfaction enough for the payment of our debts, and merit enough for our restoration to our happiness. He hath done all things necessary for the salvation of the world: he hath expiated sin, which plunged it into misery; he hath presented his death to God as a sacrifice of infinite value, sufficient for all the world, and by opening the throne of grace, hath given liberty to approach to God, and solicit him for the application of the benefit he hath purchased; he hath also purchased the Spirit, sent him into the world to renew his solicitations to men, who seriously calls them to the partaking of this salvation, and declares it to be a thing very agreeable to him, that men should come in to him. He came not intentionally to condemn any man: John iii. 18, ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved;’ to proclaim the riches of the grace of God for the salvation of men.* But in regard of the event, indeed he is their judge, to which men provoke him by their obstinacy; whence it is said, John ix. 89, that he came ‘ to judge the world,’ i.e. in regard of the event. As the intention of a physician in prescribing sovereign medicines for the mastering the disease is to heal the patient; but if the patient neglects those restoratives, and swallows poison in their stead, this is not the physician’s fault. [*Tarnov, in loc p. 811.]

Christ sent to redeem the world:

1) Some things are impossible to be done, because of God’s ordination. Some things are impossible, not in their own nature, but in regard of the determined will of God. So God might have destroyed the world after Adam’s fall, but it was impossible; not that God wanted power to do it, but because he did not only decree from eternity to create the world, but did also decree to redeem the world by Jesus Christ, and erected the world in order to the manifestation of his glory in Christ: Eph. i. 4, 5, the choice of some in Christ was ‘ before the foundation of the world.’ Supposing that there was no hindrance in the justice of God to pardon the sin of Adam after his fall, and to execute no punishment on him, yet in regard of God’s threatening, that in the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he should die, it was impossible. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Power,” in Works, 2:120.

Redeemer of the world (sample):

1) In the salvation of the soul. Our Saviour himself, though God, the great redeemer of the world, was so mean in the eyes of the world, that he calls himself ‘a worm, and no man,’ Ps. xxii. 6. He picks out many times the most unlikely persons to accomplish the greatest purposes for men’s souls. He lodges the treasures of wisdom in vessels of earth; he chose not the cedars of Lebanon, but the shrubs of the valley; not the learned Pharisees of Jerusalem, but the poor men of Galilee: ‘ Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, he ordains praise to himself. ‘ The apostles’ breeding was not capable of ennobling their minds, and fitting them for such great actions as Christ employed them in. But after he had new moulded and inflamed their spirits, he made them of fishermen, greater conquerors of the world, than the most magnified grandees could pretend to. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on Divine Providence,” in Works, 1:21.

2) The second temple was less glorious than the first, for it wanted some of the ornaments which were the glory of the first. But it is said of this state, that ‘ when the Lord should build up Sion, he should appear in his glory,’ ver. 16, his proper glory, and extraordinary glory. Now that God, who shall appear in glory and build up Sion, is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world; he builds up the church, he causes the nations to fear the Lord, and the kings of the earth his glory. He broke down the partition wall, and opened a door for the entrance of the Gentiles. He struck the chains from off the prisoners, and ‘loosed those that were appointed to death’ by the curse of the law, ver. 20. Stephen Charnock, “The Immutability of God,” in Works, 1:407.

3) How many view it as a bare story, an almanac out of date, and regard it as a dry bone, without sucking from it the evangelical marrow! Christ is, in Genesis, Abraham’s seed ; in David’s Psalms and the prophets, the Messiah and Redeemer of the world. Charnock, “Wisdom of God,” in Works, 2:8.

4) Secondly, His wisdom appears in making use of sinful instruments. He uses the malice and enmity of the devil to bring about his own purposes, and makes the sworn enemy of his honour contribute to the illustrating of it against his will. This great crafts-master he took in his own net, and defeated the devil by the devil’s malice, by turning the contrivances he had hatched and accomplished against man, against himself. He used him as a tempter, to grapple with our Saviour in the wilderness, whereby to make him fit to succor us; and as the God of this world, to inspire the wicked Jews to crucify him, whereby to render him actually the Redeemer of the world, and so made him an ignorant instrument of that divine glory he designed to ruin. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Wisdom,” in Works 2:34-35.

5) And thus the devil ruins his own kingdom while he thinks to confirm and enlarge it, and is defeated by his own policy, whereby he thought to continue the world under his chains, and deprive the Creator of the world of his purposed honour. What deeper counsel could he resolve upon for his own security, than to be instrumental in the death of him who was God, the terror of the devil him self, and to bring the Redeemer of the world to expire with disgrace in the sight of a multitude of men! Thus did the wisdom of God shine forth in restoring us by methods seemingly repugnant to the end he aimed at, and above the suspicion of a subtle devil, whom he intended to baffle. Stephen Charnock, God’s Wisdom,” in Works 2:65.

6) Our blessed Saviour, the redeemer of the world, will know none for admission into happiness without his badge upon them: Mat. vii. 23, ‘I never knew you:’ you had nothing in you worthy my knowledge and affection. Where is the evangelical impression upon your soul? will be the only question then asked. Stephen Charnock, “Regeneration” in Works, 3:65.

7) His divine nature was exalted and glorified in regard of its manifestation. The Father would manifest that the Redeemer of the world was God blessed for ever, above angels or men. His deity in the time of his humiliation was incapable of any change, and therefore neither did nor could receive any detriment in its nature and essential perfections. It could not be subject to infirmities, or fall under the strokes of death; yet the Son of God emptied himself in taking upon him the form of a servant, and veiled that deity which dwelt bodily in him by the flesh he took, and suffered reproaches and indignities from men, and masked the glory of it by human infirmities; but in his resurrection and ascension, the deity did gloriously spring out of that obscurity, and brake out from under the cloud of his humanity in a glorious lustre, which before had discovered itself in some few sparklings; he was now ‘clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God,’ Rev. xix. 13; i.e. be was manifested to be the Word of God after and upon the account of his death. Stephen Charnock, ‘The Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:441.

8) There was never but one God that justifies, never bat one way of justification, and that by faith, as the apostle argues, Rom. iii. 30, and therefore but one cause of the justification of all them that went before, because but one object of faith, the blood of the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. In him only all things were gathered and summed up into blessedness, Eph. i.12, and men are blessed in him, Ps. Ixxii.17. In his merit, saith the Chaldee paraphrase, understanding it of the Messiah. Stephen Charnock, “The Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3:510-511.

9) As there was a necessity of his union with us in our nature for our redemption, since he could not be the Redeemer of mankind by death, as he was the Son of God, unless he were also the Son of man, so there is a necessity of our union with him in his Spirit. As there could be no expiation without a satisfaction, no satisfaction to be made by Christ, unless there were an imputation of our sins to him; and no imputation can be supposed, unless he were united to us in our nature; so there can be no imputation of anything in him to us, unless there be a strait union, whereby he becomes our head and we his members. Stephen Charnock, “The Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3:521.

10) The apostles founded the witness they gave of the resurrection of Christ to the world, not upon the revelation of angels, but upon their own sight and knowledge of him. He was seen of angels, se he was justified by the Spirit; declared to be the Son of God, Redeemer of the world, es he was preached to the Gentiles; mediator and reconciler, as he was received up into glory, approved of by God, settled as an advocate for mankind. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:4.

11) But we have heard of him in his glory mounting above the violences of men, dropping off the infirmities of the flesh, shaking off the fetters of death by a victorious resurrection, and triumphant ascending above the heavens to live for ever, and all this that he might be believed on, confided in as the Redeemer of the world….

And never palliate the business by pleading that none of as are as the Jews, because we profess Christ to be the Messiah, and own him to be the Son of God, and the Redeemer of the world; our unbelief is worse than theirs, because we orally own him, and cordially deny him. Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works 4:260.

12) It hath been the custom of all nations to have an anniversary commemoration of those heroes who have been the instruments of some public happiness to them, and of all societies to commemorate their benefactors. And is there any reason to deny that to the great benefactor of mankind, the Redeemer of the world, Emmanuel, God with us? Stephen Charnock, “The End of the Lord’s Supper,” in Works, 4:395.

13) I might here instance in the two anniversary goats, Levit. xvi., one offered, the other devoted to the wilderness; in the red heifer, Num. xix., burnt upon the day of expiations, both eminent type of the death of Christ ; as also in the passover or paschal lamb, the blood whereof sprinkled upon the poets was of no necessity in itself for the Israelites’ preservation from the destroying angel, nor had any intrinsic virtue in it to procure their security. The angel, no doubt, had acuteness of sight enough to discern the houses and persons of the Israelites from those of the Egyptians. We cannot justify the wisdom of God in this conduct, if we refer it not to Christ, as a representation of that great miracle of redemption to be wrought by him for the true Israelites, when he should come to free man from a bondage worse than Egyptian. This is the true Lamb of God, that hath the virtue and vigor of all that whereof the paschal lambs had but the image and shadow. Let me add the observation of one, the command of God, that the bones of the paschal lamb should not be broken, signified that the redeemer of the world should die such a death wherein the breaking of bones wan usual. Yet that that circumstance should not be used in his death, and therefore that that order of not breaking the bones of the paschal lamb, is cited by John, as if it had been literally meant of him and not of the lamb: John xix. 36, ‘ That the Scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him shall not be broken.’ Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 5:44.

15) The essential glory is altogether free, and hath no obligation upon it; the mediatory glory hath a charge annexed to it (for he is ‘ascended far above the heavens, that he may fill all things,’ Ephes. iv. 10), an office of priesthood to intercede, and a royal office to gather and govern those that are given to him by his Father. His essential glory he would have enjoyed, if he had never undertaken to be our ransom; yet without his sufferings for us, he had never had the glorious title of the Redeemer of the world. As God had been essentially glorious in himself, if he had never created a world; but he had not then been so manifest under the title of Creator. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:75.

16) Ver. 1. His foundation. The foundation of God, i.e. that which God hath founded, that Jerusalem which is of God’s building, is seated in the holy mountain. The city was built before Jehovah conquered Canaan; but God is said to be the founder of it in regard of that peculiar glory to which it was designed, to be the rest of his ark, the place of his worship, the throne of the types of the Messiah, the seat whence the evangelic law was to be published to all nations, and the Messiah revealed as the redeemer and ruler of the world. Stephen Charnock, “The Church’s Stability,” in Works, 5:319.

17) Nay, they were all eminent for holiness that were noted for this frame, whom we have mentioned before: Moses, a non-such for speaking with God face to face; David, who only had that honourable title of a man after God’s own heart; Isaiah, who had the fullest prospect of evangelical glory of all the prophets; Ezra, a restorer of his country; Daniel, a man greatly beloved; Christ, the Redeemer of the world; and Paul, the only apostle rapt up in the third heaven;. he was also humbled for the sins of the Corinthians, 2 Cor. xii. 21. Stephen Charnock, “Mourning for Other Men’s Sins,” in Works, 5:388.

18) Yet all that deluge of wickedness which has overflowed the world since the fall, sprang out of his loins; nay, Abraham, the father of the faithful, was probably an idolater in Ur of the Chaldees, and a worshipper of the sun and fire, as his fathers were, Josh. xxiv. 2, yet God makes a particular covenant with this man, presents him with a richer act of grace than any in the world besides him had, even that the Messiah, the great redeemer of the world, should come from his seed. Stephen Charnock, “Chief Sinners Objects of Choicest Mercy,” in Works, 5:527.

Redemption of man (sample):

1) Our Saviour thought the name Satan a title merited by Peter, when he breathed out an advice, as an axe at the root of the gospel, the death of Christ, the foundation of all gospel truth ; and the apostle concludes them under the same character, which hinder the superstructure, and would mix their chaff with his wheat. Mat. xvi. 23, ‘ Get thee behind me, Satan.’ It is not, ‘ Get thee behind me, Simon,’ or, ‘ Get thee behind me, Peter,’ but, ‘ Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art an offence to me.’ Thou dost oppose thyself to the wisdom, and grace, and authority of God, to the redemption of man, and to the good of the world. Stephen Charnock, “Wisdom of God,” in Works, 2:3.

2) First, It was not congruous that the Father should assume human nature, and suffer in it for the redemption of man. He was first in order; he was the lawgiver, and therefore to be the judge. As lawgiver, it was not convenient he should stand in stead of the law- breaker; and as a judge, it was as little convenient he should be reputed a malefactor. That he who had made a law against sin, denounced a penalty upon the commission of sin, and whose part it was actually to punish the sinner, should become sin for the wilful transgressor of this law, he being the rector, how could he be an advocate and intercessor to himself? Stephen Charnock, “God’s Wisdom,” in Works, 2:56.

3) Indeed sacrifices, as they looked backward, could be no other than a transcript of the agreement between the Father and the Son, of the one’s paying, and the other’s accepting the price of blood for t h e redemption of man. [Footnote: Amyraut sur Hebr. vii. p. 50.] Stephen Charnock, “Christ Our Passover,” in Works, 4:520.

4) He might well sum up in two or three hours’ time (wherein we may suppose he was with them) most of those testimonies which did foretell his sufferings for the expiation of sin. The proposition which he maintains from Moses and the prophets, is in the text, ‘Ought not Christ to have suffered those things?’ which is laid down by way of interrogation. but equivalent to an affirmation; and he backed, without question, his discourse with many reasonings for the confirmation of it, to reduce them from the distrust they had to a full assent to the necessity of his death, in order to his own glory, and consequently theirs; the foundation of his own exaltation, and the redemption of mankind, being laid in his being a sacrifice

Though the end, the redemption of man, was not necessary, yet, when the end was resolved on, this, as the means, was found necessary in the counsel of God. The natural inclination and will of Christ, as man, did startle at it, when he desired that this cop might pass from him. It was contrary to the reason and common sense of men. How, then, should that infinite Wisdom, that wills nothing but what is unquestionably reasonable, have determined such a means, if it had not been necessary for his own glory and man’s recovery? But both the Father and the Son were moved to it by the height of that good will they bore to the fallen creature. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:4.

5) Christ was the fittest, and only capable of effecting it. He was more excellent than all the creatures of the lowest and highest rank put together. There was none whose merit and dignity could equal the greatness and infiniteness of the injury done to God by sin. None could compensate the blackness of the offence with such a greatness of satisfaction. And indeed we cannot imagine that God would expose his Bon to so cruel a death, were it not necessary or highly convenient for his honour, or that the Son himself would have taken such a task upon his shoulders, to redeem man in a way of perfect justice. The death of Christ was necessary, our redemption could not else have been in the most perfect manner. None but a divine person could offer a price of redemption worthy of God. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:34.

6) For as he was the seed of the woman, having human nature. he was to be bruit&, he was to feel the power of the devil (now, the power of the devil was the power of death, Heb. ii. 14), yet so to feel the power of the devil as not utterly to sink under it ; for not his head, but his heel, was to be bruised, i e. his flesh, not his wisdom and chief design for the redemption of man. He was only to be bruised, not destroyed, or to see corruption; so that his death and resurrection are here predicted. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:39.

7) As the occasion of his death was the fall of man, so the moving cause of his death was the redemption of man, not the exaltation of the name of Christ primarily and immediately. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:51.

8) Without this, those main truths of the gospel upon which the Christian religion depended, and which are the life and sod of it, as the redemption of man, the justification of believers by the blood of his sacrifice, bad wanted a ground for the manifestation of them, and all the comforts of the gospel been frustrate. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:61.

9) He knows now the time of judgment, since he is constituted the Judge of the world, whereof his resurrection was an assurance to men, and no less an assurance to himself, Acts xvii. 81, since by his resurrection, the first step of his exaltation, God judged him a righteous person, and acknowledged him his Son with power, that had redeemed a world, whereby there was an evidence also that by him he would judge the world. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:74.

10) How pleasing to God is the redemption of man Christ’s glorious advancement speaks a fragrancy in his satisfaction to God, as well as a fulness of merit for men. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:81.

Redemption of the world:

1) Secondly, In ordering them. God governs them by his own unsearchable wisdom and goodness, and directs them to the best and holiest ends, contrary to the natures of the sins, and the intentions of the sinner. Joseph’s brothers sold him to gratify their revenge, and God ordered it for their preservation in a time of famine. Pharaoh’s hardness is ordered by God for his own glory and that king’s destruction. God decrees the delivering up Christ to death; and Herod, Pilate, the Pharisees, and common rout of people, in satisfying their own passion, do but execute what God had before ordained: Acts iv. 28, ‘For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.’ Judas his covetousness, and the devil’s malice, are ordered by God to execute his decree for the redemption of the world. Titus the emperor, his ambition led him to Jerusalem, but God’s end is the fulfilling of his threatenings, and the taking revenge upon the Jews for their murdering of Christ. The aim of the physician is the patient’s health, when the intent of the leeches is only to suck the blood. God hath holy ends in permitting sin, while man hath unworthy ends in committing it. The rain, which makes the earth fruitful, is exhaled out of the salt waters, which would of themselves spoil the ground and make it unfruitful. ‘The deceiver and the deceived are his,’ Job xii. 16. Both the action of the devil the seducer, and of wicked men the seduced, are restrained by God within due bounds, in subserviency to his righteous will. For ‘with him is strength and wisdom.’ Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on Divine Providence,” in Works, 1:18.

2) Satan wills it as a sin, God as a punishment: God, say some, permissive, Satan efficaciter. In the most villainous and unrighteous action that ever was done, God is said to have an influence on it. God is said to deliver up Christ: Acts ii. 23, ‘ Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain :’ Acts iv. 28, ‘ For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.’ Not barely as an act of his presence, but his counsel, and that determinate, i.e. stable and irreversible. He makes a distinction between these two acts. In God it was an act of counsel, in them an act of wickedness, ‘ by wicked hands;’ there was God’s counsel about it, an actual tradition: Rom. viii. 32, ‘ He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.’ All the agents had several ends. God in that act aimed at the redemption of the world, Satan at the preventing it, Judas to satisfy his covetousness, the Jews to preserve themselves from the Roman invasion, and out of malice to him for so sharply reproving them. God had a gracious principle of love to mankind, and acted for the salvation of the world in it ; the instruments had base principles and ends, and moved freely in obedience to them. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on Divine Providence,” in Works, 1:26.

3) Fourthly, Sufferings of good men for the truth highly glorifies the providence of God. This is a matter of glory and honour : 1 Peter iv. 16, ‘If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.’ They thereby bear a testimony to the highest act of providence that God ever exercised, even the redemption of the world by the blood of his Son. And the church, which is the highest object of his providence in the world, takes the deeper root, and springs up the higher; the foundation of it was laid in the blood of Christ, and the growth of it is furthered by the blood of martyrs. The carriage of the righteous in them makes the truth they profess more valued. It enhanceth the excellency of religion, and manifests it to be more amiable for its beauty than for its dowry, since they see it desirable by the sufferers, not only without worldly enjoyments, but with the sharpest miseries. This consideration hath wrought upon many to embrace the religion of the sufferers. If it reaches as far as death, they are but despatched to their Father’s house, and the day ‘of their death is the day of their coronation; and what evil is there in all this? Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on Divine Providence,” in Works, 1:36.

4) He left man’s mutable nature to fall under unrighteousness, that thereby he might commend the righteousness of his own nature, Rom. iii. 7. Adam’s sin in its nature tended to the ruin of the world, and God takes an occasion from it for the glory of his grace in the redemption of the world. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Holiness,” in Works, 2:229.

5) The glory of God must be principally in our minds, and nearest, our hearts in all our applications. Christ prays first for his own glory, but as a means for the glory of his Father, before he prays particularly for the good of the church: ‘Glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee;’ and only for such a glory for himself , whence the glory of the Father might spring with a greater brightness upon the Son; for, by the raising Christ, and manifesting the glory of his deity, the Father would be glorified in full declaration of himself, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the author of the great redemption, as a God that so loved the world as to send his Son into into it for the redemption of it. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:7.

6) A man may study sun, moon, and stars, yet never learn each a lecture as the death of the Son of God for the redemption of the world. Their ruin is not properly for the sin of unbelief, but for the sins against

the first covenant, and against the law of nature, known and accepted by them; yet their ruin is for the want of faith, because the sins cannot be wiped off, but by faith in the blood of the second covenant; but they are not immediately chargeable with it as a sin. Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works, 4:227.

7) This was not only truth to his own resolve, as he had determined it, but truth to his word, as he had published it. God having decreed and declared the redemption of mankind, and the death of the Messiah as the medium, could not appoint then another way, because his counsel had not only pitched upon redemption as the end, but the death of

Christ as the means; and there could be no change in God. Had there been a change in the end, and had God altered his purpose for man’s redemption, he had obscured and lost the glory of all those attributes which sparkled in it. There could be none in the means; if so, it must have been for the better or worse. The better it could not be; for no way sf so great a sufficiency could be found out as this, nor could any sacrifice of a higher value be thought of. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 5:38.

8) By this the bar to God’s resting and rejoicing in his work was removed, the bands of sin mere broken off, a carnal Adam changed into a spiritual, the debased image of God restored, the world formed into a second and more noble creation, and the kingdom of God established in the world by the conquest and spoiling of the revolted spirits. If God were glorious by creating a world, he was more glorious in the redemption of the world. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 5:57.

9) “For believers only.” It is their peculiar privilege. It is not every name he takes into his lips, Ps. xvi. 4. The names of those that hasten after another God, that own another God and another mediator, he would not offer their drink-offerings, or back them by any solicitation of his own for acceptance. He would deny them, and not assert them for his clients, nor be an high priest for them, to offer any of their sacrifices; for those that believe not in him as mediator, disown that God by whom he was sent for the redemption of the world; and therefore he disowns, in his mediatory prayer, the whole unbelieving impenitent world: John xvii. 9, ‘ I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.’ I t is not agreeable to his wisdom to intercede for those that reject him. Be is an advocate, but only for those that entertain him. He manages no man’s cause that is not desirous to put it into his hands. Advocates manage the business only of those that enter themselves their clients. As he prayed not for the world on earth as much less doth he in heaven. No person hath an interest in his intercession, but he that, by faith, hath an interest in his satisfaction. Though his death was the remedy of our evils in a way of satisfaction to divine justice, yet the application of this remedy by the act of his priesthood in heaven is only to those that repent and believe; in the text, ‘We have an advocate with the Father,’ we that walk in communion with God Though he be a propitiation for the world, if any should take it extensively, yet he is not an advocate for the whole world, but for those that separate themselves from the world by believing on him. Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:127.

10) Christ is the immediate object of faith in his person. ‘Believe also in me,’ that I am the great person appointed by God for the redemption of the world. Christ in this speech directs them to himself, not to a promise; it is not, Believe in this or that promise, but in me. Stephen Charnock, “The Object of Faith,” in Works, 5:164.

11) Joseph’s slavery in Egypt by his brothers’ sin is the preservation of the church in Canaan; and the crucifying the Son of God, the redemption of the world. Why should we distrust God, who can use the sins of men to clear up the way of salvation, both to ourselves and others? Stephen Charnnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in Works, 4:299.

12) God loves to glorify those two attributes together; he did so in the redemption of mankind by the death of his Son, and he doth so in the deliverance of his church. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on the Fifth of November,” in Works, 5:358.

13) God intended not in the acceptance of Christ’s mediation to remove in this life all the punishments denounced after the fall. God takes away the eternal, but not the temporal. For this very punishment was threatened after his acceptance of Christ’s mediation; and after the compact and covenant between the Father and the Son about the redemption of mankind, because the promise preceded the threatening, and the mediatory covenant preceded the promise. Some parts of Christ’s purchases are only payable in another life, and some fruits of redemption God intends for growth only in another soil; such are freedom from pain, diseases, death, and sin. Stephen Charnock, “Comfort of Child-Bearing Women,” in Works, 5:403.

14) By the weakness of the cross God redeem the world; by the foolishness of preaching he converts a world, and conveys through earthen vessels a treasure wherewith to enrich his people, and a strength that makes confusion in the

kingdom of darkness; and by these elements, mean in appearance, he doth nourish the believer, still making those ordinances the pipes of his invisible grace. Stephen Charnock, “The End of the Lord’s Supper,” in Works, 4:414.

World redeemed:

1) There is no succession in the decrees of God. He doth not decree this now which he decreed not before, for as his works were known from the beginning of the world, so his works were decreed from the beginning of the world; as they are known at once, so they are decreed at once; there is a succession in the execution of them, first grace, then glory; but the purpose of God for the bestowing of both was in one and the same moment of eternity: Eph. i. 4, ‘ He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy; ‘ the choice of Christ, and the choice of some in him to be holy, and to be happy, were before the foundation of the world. It is by the eternal counsel of God all things appear in time; they appear in their order, according to the counsel and will of God, from eternity. The redemption of the world is after the creation of the world, but the decree whereby the world was created, and whereby it was redeemed, was from eternity. Stephen Charnock, “The Eternity of God,” in Works, 1:353.

Christ gave himself as a ransom for all:

1) It administers matter of comfort to the believer. It is some comfort to all, that they are in a fair way of being happy; the justice of God was the bar to God and man’s meeting together. It was morally impossible, in regard of God’s truth and holiness, for man to be restored without a vindication of that law which had been broken; but now the honour of the law is restored by this sacrifice; God hath owned it, the bar is removed, and where God hath found a sweetness man may find salvation, if he be not his own enemy, and wilfully cast away his own mercy. He ‘gave himself a ransom for all,’ 1 Tim 1:5,6, antilutron, a ransom in our stead, or a counter-ransom, in opposition to the sin of Adam, as the fountain of our bondage; for all upon gospel conditions. As he gave himself for all, so he was accepted for all upon the same conditions; for he was accepted as he gave himself. It is a comfort to a diseased hospital, that a physician is chosen and accepted by the governors that is able to cure every disease; it is no less a comfort to any guilty soul, that there is a sacrifice sufficient to expiate every sin. But there is a ground of sensible comfort to those that believe. Stephen Charnock “A Discourse of the Acceptableness of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 4:582.

Christ died for all as an expression of General Love:

1) “Let us not judge ourselves by a general love. As there is a general love of God to man, a general love of Christ to mankind in dying, and giving a conditional grant of salvation upon faith and repentance, and a particular love to the soul of a believer, so likewise in man there is a general assent, and a particular serious assent to the truth of God, and accordingly a general love upon the apprehensions of what Christ hath done in general. There is a common love to God, which may be so called, because the benefits enjoyed by men are owned as coming from that fountain; a love arising from the apprehensions which men commonly have of the goodness of God in himself, and a common love wrought in them to God, as to other things that are good. Again, men may have a false faith, and a false apprehension of pardon of sin, when indeed no such pardon is granted to them; so they may have proportionably a false love upon such an ungrounded belief.” Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of the Subjects of the Lord’s Supper” in Works, 4:464.

Men reject the redemption of Christ:

1) It is a debasing of God beyond what the devil doth at present. He is more excusable in his present state of acting than man is in his present refusing God for his rule and end. He strives against a God that exerciseth upon him a vindictive justice; we debase a God that loads us with his daily mercies. The despairing devils are excluded from any mercy or divine patience, but we are not only under the long-suffering of his patience, but the large expressions of his bounty. He would not be governed by him when he was only his bountiful Creator. We refuse to be guided by him after he hath given us the blessing of creation from his own hand, and the more obliging blessings of redemption by the hand and blood of his Son. Stephen Charnock, “Practical Atheism,” in Works 1:254.

Reject your redeemer and your redemption:

1) Hath he not met us, and instead of offering to kill us, as the Lord did to Moses, he bath opened his heart, shewed us the wounds of his Son, desired nothing of us but that we would believe he had a design of kindness for us, and that we would give him such an entertainment as his affection doth; that we would give credit to his assertion, and walk according to it? He complains only of your drawing back him; he never quarrels with any man for sucking the breasts of his goodness; his only grief is, that you will not come, that you might have life. And can the spurning his grace be a means to our blessedness, or this desperate sin instate us in the glory of heaven? Shall the lions be ashamed to tear Daniel, and an unbeliever not ashamed spiritually to tear his Redeemer? …A belief of him we owe to him as creatures; but when it is of the greatest moment to our souls to believe the gospel, as that whereupon depends eternal happiness or misery, shall any of us that acknowledge it to be of God, that hath been bred up in the midst of its light, be so cruel to our souls as to make light of the condition of it? It is unreasonable, as it dishonors our Creator, for whose glory we were made; as it disgraceth our Redeemer, by whose blood we are ransomed; uncharitable to ourselves, by murdering our souls, to which we owe the greatest care. Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works, 4:294-295.

2) The crime of the one was extenuated by their ignorance, and the crime of the other aggravated by their knowledge, as, also, by the frequency of the impressions made upon them by the word. Well, then, if heathens shall be condemned, who had only the material heavens, and the sensitive, and insensitive creatures upon the earth preaching to them, who had only God in his works, and the Jews who had God speaking to them in legal ceremonies, what will become of those who have had the voice of God, Christ, and redeeming blood calling to them in the word, and neglected all? Stephen Charnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in Works, 4:327.

3) The whole world indeed belonged to him by the right of creation and government; but in regard they had not such particular obligations to him an the Jews, they are not here called his own. Yet those that longed for him, wished for his coming, instead of receiving him, with the greatest welcome, rejected him with the greatest spite; an though he that came to redeem them, and perfect the kindness shewn to them in the first administration of the covenant with them, had designed nothing but their ruin. Stephen Charnock, “Who are unbelievers,” in Works, 4:352.

4) Thou art above the reach of all accusations. Shall the law condemn thee? No. Thou art ‘ not under the law, but under grace.’ And if grace hath forgiven thee, the law cannot sentence thee. Shall conscience? No. Conscience is but the echo of the law within us: that must speak what God speaks. God’s Spirit and a believer’s spirit are joint witnesses: Rom. viii.16, For the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.’ Conscience is sprinkled by the blood of Christ, which quite changeth the tenor of its commission. Will God condemn thee? No. That were to lose the glory of all his pardoning mercy hitherto conferred upon thee; that were to fling away the vast revenue grace hath all this while been gathering for him; yea, it were to deny his own covenant and promise. Shall Christ condemn thee? No. That were to discard all his office, to undo his death, and belie his merits. Did he sweat and bleed, pray and die for thee, and will he now condemn thee? Hath he been pleading for thee in heaven all this time, and will he now at the upshot cast thee off? Shall we imagine the severity of a judge more pleasing to him than the charity of an advocate, since his primary intention in coming was to save the world, not to condemn it? No. It would not be for his honour to pay the price and to lose the purchase. Stephen Charnock, “The Pardon of Sin,” in Works, 5:450.

5) The title of our Lord Jesus in his first coming was Saviour, not Judge; he presented men with that which might warrant them from condemnation; but if they will not rejoice in their happiness, they exclude themselves him the benefit; and by not embracing the ransom God hath provided, they expose themselves to pay that satisfaction in their persons which the law exacts. The satisfaction of Christ they cannot plead, because the conditions of it are not embraced; they must therefore pay what the law demands, which would else be insignificant, and the honour of God’s justice would suffer in their safety. When, therefore, every offer of mercy shall accompany men to the tribunal of the judge, and this charge be heard from his month: I have redeemed you by my blood, end you have trod it under foot; I have invited you to faith and repentance, but you would rather wallow in the excrement of sin; I have called you by the motions of my Spirit, and you have proved rebellious; I have encouraged you by promises of great reward, but yon made no account of them; wherein have I been wanting? With what face can any man now lay the fault upon God? An when a king proclaims pardon to a rebellious city, upon the condition that they yield up themselves to his son; as it is equity that those that surrender themselves should have the promised benefit, so it is just that those that wilfully resist so easy and reasonable a condition, should fall under the threatened penalty; they have no reason to large their ruin upon any want of clemency in the king, since the proffer was made to all, but upon their own obstinacy, because they perish by them own folly. Stephen Charnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in Works 4:343.

Void Christ’s redemption:

1) And since barefaced idolatry is exploded among us, this principle of a self-righteousness is more spiritually lurking in us, whereby we invalidate the redemption by Christ. Stephen Charnock, “Who are unbelievers,” in Works, 4:358.

Shed his blood for those who are never finally saved:

1) How willingly then should we part with our sins for Christ, and do our duty to him! Oh that we could in our measures part as willingly with our lusts as he did with his blood! He parted with his blood when he needed not, and shall not we with our sins, when we ought to do so for our own safety, as well as for his glory? Since Christ came to redeem us from the slavery of the devil, and strike off the chains of captivity, he that will remain in them, when Christ with so much pains and affection hath shed his blood to unloose them, prefers the devil and sin before a Saviour, and will find the affront to be aggravated by the Redeemer’s voluntariness in suffering for his liberty. How willingly should we obey him, who so willingly obeyed God for us!” Stephen Charnock, “The Voluntariness of Christ’s Death,” in Works, 4:551.

Redemption offered in the Gospel:

1) Election was an act of eternity, but then it shall be declared, in the separation of them for ever from the rest of the world, to be with him in glory. Redemption was purchased by the death of Christ, offered in the gospel, and conferred upon the believer, but then it will be complete in a deliverance from all enemies, and the last enemy, death. And therefore called the ‘day of redemption,’ Eph. iv. 30. Stephen Charnock, “The Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3:517.

Christ the mediator of the world:

1) In not accepting it as the blood of God, he renders Christ more criminal than Judas, and chargeth him with a falsity in declaring himself to be the Son of God, and the mediator of the world. If Christ be the Son of God, and the mediator of the world, why is he not cordially owned to be so? Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works, 4:227.

2) Now if the unworthy receiving the signs of the body and blood of Christ, when a man bath no formal intent to be guilty of so great a crime in his approach, but he hath some pretenses of holy ends, and addresses himself to it with come kind of seeming seriousness, make him, guilty of the death of Christ, how much more must he be guilty of it, who hath no value for it, doth not accept of it as the death of the Son of God, and mediator of the world? [Vatabl. in loc.] Stephen Charnock, “Unbelief the Greatest Sin,” in Works, 4:255

Surety for mankind:

1) The necessity of his sufferings is here described, and also the necessity of his glory. Ought not is to be referred to both,–ought he not to suffer, ought he not upon those sufferings to enter into glory? How did he suffer? As man. He entered into glory as man; as man he suffered, as man he was glorified. His divine nature was impassible, and also unglorifiable by any addition of glory to it. His death was necessary for us, so was his glory. He died in a public capacity as a surety for mankind; he was exalted in a public capacity as the head of those he died for. As he offered himself to God for us upon the cross, so he entered into heaven to appear in the presence of God for us upon his throne, Heb. ix. 24. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:75.

Propitiation for the world:

1) 2. But “us believers.” I t is the same we he speaks of in the first chapter; we that have our sins pardoned, we that have fellowship with God, we, as distinguished from all the world: ver. 2, ‘Who is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world;’ where the we (the apostle speaks of) that have an interest in this advocate, are differenced from the world. His propitiation belongs in some sort to the world, his intercession to his church, to those that are children new begotten by the Spirit. Upon the cross as a man he prayed for his murderers; but in his mediatory prayer, John xvii. 9, he prays ‘not for the world,’ but those given him out of it. Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:92.

2) Before his sacrifice. The text intimates it; as he was a propitiation for the whole world,’ i.e. for all ages of the world. so he is an advocate in all ages of the world. How could the execution of God’s vengeance upon the world for sin, at the first commission of it, have been prevented, but by the interposition of the Son of God? Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:125.

Sins of the world:

1) Another principle was that universal one of sacrifices for expiation, and rendering God propitious to man, and was practised among all nations. I remember not any wherein this custom did not prevail, for it did even among those people where the Jews, as being no trading nation, had not any commerce, and also in America, found out in these latter ages. It was not a law of nature (no man can find any such thing written in his own heart), but a tradition from Adam. Now that among the loss of so many other doctrines, that were handed down from Adam to his immediate posterity, as in particular that of the ‘seed of the woman,’ which one would think a necessary appendix to that of sacrificing, this latter should be preserved as a fragment of an ancient tradition, seems to be an act of divine wisdom, to prepare men for the entertainment of the doctrine of the great sacrifice for the expiation of the sin of the world. And as the apostle forms his argument from the Jewish sacrifices in the Epistle to the Hebrews, for the convincing them of the end of the death of Christ, so did the ancient fathers make use of this practice of the heathen, to convince them of the same doctrine. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Wisdom,” in Works, 2:72.

2) It is resembled to the most magnificent act of divine power that God ever put forth, viz., that in the resurrection of our Saviour, Eph. i.19, wherein there was more than an ordinary impression of might. It is not so small a power as that whereby we speak with tongues, or whereby Christ opened the mouths of the dumb and the ears of the deaf, or unloosed the cords of death from a person. It is not that power whereby our Saviour wrought those stupendous miracles when he was in the world; but that power which wrought a miracle that amazed the most knowing angels as well as ignorant man, the taking off the weight of the sin of the world from our Saviour, and advancing him in his human nature to rule over the angelical host, making him head of principalities and powers ; as much as to say, as great as all that power which is displayed in our redemption, from. the first foundation to the last line in the superstructure. It is therefore often set forth with an emphasis, as ‘excellency of power,’ 2 Cor. iv. 7, and glorious power, 2 Peter, i. 3. ‘To glory and virtue,’ we translate it ; but it is diadoxes, 1 through glory and virtue,’ that is, by a glorious virtue or strength. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Power,” in Works, 2:159.

3) All this is more manifest, if we consider the provocations he hath. Wherein his slowness to anger infinitely transcends the patience of any creature; nay, the spirits of all the angels and glorified saints in heaven would be too narrow to bear the sins of the world for one day, nay, not so much as the sins of the churches, which is a little spot in the whole world; it is because ‘ he is the Lord,’ one of an infinite power over himself, that not only the whole mass of the rebellious world, but of ‘ the sons of Jacob’ (either considered as a church and nation springing from the loins of Jacob, or con sidered as the regenerate part of the world, sometimes called the seed of Jacob), ‘ are not consumed,’ Mal. iii.6. A Jonah was angry with God for recalling his anger from a sinful people. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Patience,” in Works, 2:521.

4) Man is to be considered as respited from the present suffering this sentence by the intervention of Christ; whereby he is put into another way of probation. So those common notions in our understandings, and common motions in our wills and affections, so far as they have anything of moral goodness, are a new gift to our natures by virtue of the mediation of Christ. In which sense he may be said to ‘taste death for every man,’ Heb. ii. 9, and be ‘a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.’ By virtue of which promised death, some sparks of moral goodness are preserved in man. Thus his ‘life was the light of men;’ and he is ‘The light that lightens every man that comes into the world,’ which sets the candle of the Lord in the spirit of man a-burning and sparkling, John I. 9, and upholds all things by his mediatory as well as divine power, Heb. I. 3, which else would have sunk into the abyss. By virtue of this mediation, some power is given back to man, as a new donation, yet not so much as that he is able by it to regenerate himself; and whatsoever power man has, is originally from this cause, and grows not up from the stock of nature, but from common grace. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of the Efficient of Regeneration in Works,” in Works, 3:210.

5) But yet this gracious power is higher than all this, for it is as great as that which wrought the two greatest miracles that ever were acted in the creation, as great as the raising Jesus Christ perfectly dead in the grave, and having the weight of the sin of the world upon him; and as great as that power, which, after the raising of him, set him in his human nature at his right hand, above principalities and powers, above the whole angelical state ; as much as to say, As great as all that power which wrought the whole scene of the redemption, from the foundation-stone to the top-stone. Stephen Charnock, “Regeneration,” in Works, 3:276.

6) Hence it follows that sin is perfectly cleansed by this blood. Since it expiated the sins of former ages, since it was the end of his coming, since he did what he did by his own worthy sin must be perfectly cleansed, else the end of his coming is not attained, and his worth would appear to be but of a finite value. All cleansing is the fruit of this blood: the cleansing from guilt is wrought immediately by it; the purging from filth is mediately by his Spirit, but as it was the purchase of his blood. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3:515.

7) Two things in justice to be considered: the equity of justice, therefore the nature offending must suffer; the infiniteness of justice, therefore an infinite person must suffer. He therefore being thus infinite, could answer the infiniteness of God’s honour in the reparation, and the infiniteness of our debts in the expiation. For as he had a human nature, wherein to merit, so he had a divine nature whereby to make that merit sufficient. No other nature could be fit; the angelical nature was not infinite, and therefore could not pay an infinite price; the human nature was neither infinite nor innocent, and therefore could not satisfy for infinite guilt. He was to stand under the sin of the world, and what creature could ever be fit to bear so vast a burden! As none but an infinite goodness could exercise so great a patience towards the sins of men, so none but an infinite goodness could pay a satisfaction for them. Now, though Christ, as he was the Son of man, “gave his life a ransom for many,” Mat. xx. 28, yet the value of the redeeming price arose from it, as ‘ the blood of God,’ Acts xx. 28. He gave his life as man, but the purchase was made by him as God. It could not have been for our glory, or purchased a glory for us, unless he who was the Lord of glory had been crucified, 1 Cor. ii. 6, 8; for ‘ being the express image of God, and upholding all things by the word of his power, he did by himself purge our sins, Heb. i.3. So that his shoulders were able to bear the weightiest burden, his strength able to endure the sharpest curses, and his soul able to drink down the bitterest potions. Christ therefore being God, and united to the human nature, was every way fit, as being God and man in one person, that what the human nature could not do by reason of its imbecility as a creature, the divine might; and what the divine nature could not do by reason of its perfection, the human nature might perform : that God’s honour might be repaired by an infinite satisfaction, and man reduced to service by the highest motive, viz. the incarnation of his Son, than which God could not afford a greater. Stephen Charnock, “God the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:391-392.

8) All punishment supposes a guilt one way or other; but the Redeemer had no personal guilt, for ‘he had done no violence,’ Isa. liii. 10, yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, when his soul made itself an offering for sin,’ imputed to him. This imputation was God’s immediate act, and could not be the act of any other, because he was the sole creditor, without any partner; and therefore it is no more reflection upon God immediately to punish him, than it was to transfer our sins upon him, which was an act of God, not possible to be done by any creature. God imputed a world of sins to him, because he undertook for that world God had created by him; therefore God alone inflicted upon his soul that punishment which was principally due for our sins. Since he died for our sins, he died under that hand which was to strike us for them; for God made him sin for us, i.e. he handled him as he would have done those sinners in whose stead he suffered, had he not undertaken for them. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of God’s Being the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:419.

9) None else was ever accepted, or designed to be accepted, but this Mediator. No other surety was ever accepted by God for the payment of our debts. All sacrifices ‘could not make the comers thereunto perfect,’ Heb. x. 1, could not set them right in the esteem of God, and make a reconciliation with him; they were an image, not the life, and God accepted them as shadows, not as the substance; the repetition of them was a certain evidence of their inability to effect the reconciliation of man, Heb. x. 2, as the iteration of a medicine daily sheers its inefficacy to cure. The law was not able after our fall, by reason of our disagreement with the terms of it, to bring us near to God. God’s justice and our sins stood in the way of amity, therefore God commanded bounds to be set to the people when the law was given, Exod. xix. 12, that they should not come near the mount. But the covenant of grace, veiled in the ceremonial law, was laid in the blood of Christ, typified by that blood sprinkled by Moses upon the people, Exod. xxiv. 8, to which the apostle alludes, ‘the blood of sprinkling speaks better things than the blood of Abel,’ Heb. xii. 24, than the blood of the firstlings, which Abel sprinkled, Gen. iv. 4, which was the first eminent type of the death of Christ upon record, which the Spirit of God mentions here as the first sacrifice, though no question Adam did not spend all that time between his fall and the growth of Abel to man’s stature, without a sacrifice. Those sacrifices were poor and feeble, unworthy in themselves of the acceptance of God, not able to expiate sin, nor ever intended for propitiation, because they had no intrinsic value in them for such an end. But the blood of Christ, being the blood of the Lamb of God without spot, is a worthy and valuable price for the sins of the world. These, nor our own righteousness, were ever intended to be of worth, or strength, to expiate the sin of the soul and reconcile us to God; Christ is the only peacemaker, the only peace-conveyer; no other righteousness is called the righteousness of God, the righteousness of God’s appointment, or the righteousness of God’s acceptance. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of God’s Being the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:473.

10) The Scripture speaks but of one person designed for this great work. John Baptist speaks of ‘the Lamb of God,’ pointing to one lamb appointed to ‘take away the sins of the world,’ John i.29. The world is to be understood kronichos, for all ages, all times of the world; as the same is meant, I John ii. 2, ‘He is a propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins, of the whole world;’ and he, and only he, is the propitiation, by once offering of himself. Not for the sins of us only that live in the dregs of time, and the declining age of the world, but of those that went before in all ages of the world, from its youth till his appearance in the flesh and expiring upon the cross. Christ is said to be the one mediator, in the same sense that God is said to be the one God: 1 Tim. ii. 5, ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’ As there is but one creator of man, so there is but one mediator for men. As God is the God of all that died before Christ came, as well as of those that lived after, so Christ is the mediator of all that died before his coming, as well as of those that saw his day. They had Christ for their mediator, or some other; some other they could not have, because there is but one. They might as well have had another creator besides God, as another mediator besides the man Christ Jesus. In regard of the antiquity of his mediation from the foundation of the world, he is represented, when he walks as mediator in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, with ‘hair as white as wool,’ a character of age, Rev. i. 14. As God is described so in regard of his eternity, Dan. vii. 9. There is but one God from eternity, but one mediator, whose mediation has the same date as the foundation of the world, and runs parallel with it; but one captain of salvation also for many sons, Heb. ii. 10, that were brought to glory. All that were brought to glory were brought into that happy state by this captain of salvation, as made perfect by sufferings; so that either none were brought to glory before the sufferings of Christ, which is not true, or they were brought to glory by virtue of the sufferings of that captain of salvation. If that one captain were not a perfect head of salvation but by shedding his blood, then those that were under his conduct from the beginning of the world could not be perfect, but upon the account of his passion. For they had no perfection but in and by their head; the same way that he was justified for them, they were justified by him. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3:506.

11) By taking sin upon himself. God collected all the sins from all parts of the world, in all ages of the world, bound them up together, and ‘laid them upon’ Christ’s shoulders, Isa. liii. 6, alluding to the manner of transferring the sins of the people by Aaron’s laying his hands upon the head of the sacrifice; so that, as the scape-goat purged the people, Christ cleanses or justifies men by bearing their iniquities, Isa. liii. 11. Not by bearing the pollution of them inherently, but the guilt of them, or the curse which the sinner had merited; for our sins could no more be transmitted to him, in the filth and defilement of them, than the iniquities of the Israelites could be infused into the scape-goat, but only in their curse and guilt. A beast was not capable of spiritual pollution, because it wanted an intellectual nature; nor Christ, because of the excellency of his person. Christ took our sins upon him, not thereby to become sinful, but to become devoted in a judicial manner, as a curse; and, therefore, his being said to be ‘made sin’ in one place, ‘that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,’ 2 Cor. v. 21, is to be interpreted by Gal. iii. 13, wherein he is said to be ‘made a curse to redeem us from the curse of the law,’ i.e. a person exposed to the vengeance of God, to procure impunity for the offenders, that they might be absolved, and treated as if they had never been criminal. He is ‘the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,’ John I. 29, ‘airon’: the word signifies to take up, as well as to take away. He took the guilt upon his shoulders, that he might for ever take it away from ours. As we are made righteousness in him, so he was made sin for us. Now we are not righteous before God by an inherent, but by an imputed righteousness, nor was Christ made sin by inherent, but imputed, guilt. The same way that his righteousness is communicated to us, our sin was communicated to him. Righteousness was inherent in him, but imputed to us; sin was inherent in us, but imputed to him. He received our evils to bestow his good, and submitted to our curse to impart to us his blessings; sustained the extremity of that wrath we had deserved, to confer upon us the grace he had purchased. The sin in us, which he was free from, was by divine estimation transferred upon him, as if he were guilty, that the righteousness he has, which we were destitute of, might be transferred upon us, as if we were innocent. He was made sin, as if he had sinned all the sins of men, and we are made righteousness, as if we had not sinned at all. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of Cleansing Virtue of Christ’s Blood,” in Works, 3: 518-519.

12) “Glorify thy Son.” Glorify him in his death, by accepting it as the death of thy Son for the sins of the world; glorify h m in his death, by manifesting at that time that I am thy Son. God did so by miraculous testimonies of his innocency in the time of his passion, by rending of the temple’s veil, obscurity of the sun, quaking of the earth, and the cleaving of the rocks, which made the centurion that guarded him pronounce him to be ‘ truly the Son of God, Mat. xxii.54. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:4.

13) Without affection, we answer not the end of the knowledge of God.The revelation of God is made to us for our imitation, he is discovered as the chiefest good and the exactest pattern. The sum of the law consists in love, and the end of the gospel manifestation is to engage our love. Christ is not represented only as a dying man, but as God-man dying for the sins of the world, suffering in our stead, and therefore to raise our affections, not to content our curiosity. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:47.

14) And his justice was never so evident as in Christ crucified; he chose his Son to lay upon him the guilt of the world, subjected him the state of a criminal, depressed him to the condition of a servant, sunk him into the misery of rebels, caused him to swallow the disgraces of men, and drink down the vials of his anger, rather than the sin of the world should boast of impunity, and men presume to think him disarmed of his justice. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:149.

15) By his strength he gives a being to his own word and promise, when neither angels nor man could conceive the methods of the execution, even after the promise of bruising Satan by the seed of the woman was declared. It in seen in raising Christ from the dead, after he had sustained the weight of the sin of the world upon him, and bringing him forth with success and glory, after that great encounter with the powers of hell; which power is called ‘ the glory of the Father:’ Rom. vi.4, ‘As Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father,’ dia doxes; by the glory of the Father, as noting the efficient cause, or to the glory of the Father, re noting the final cause, being for the glory of W e power. Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:154.

16) His sufferings. were (3) accursed. As under God’s blessing all blessings are included, so under the notion of a curse all punishment is contained, He was “made a curse for us,” Gal. iii. 13. There must be something more dreadful than a bare outward pain or bodily punishment; Christ wanted not courage to support that, as well as the most valiant martyr; he bore the beginnings of it till he saw a black cloud between his Father and himself. This made him cry out, my God, my God, &c. The agonies of Christ were more than the sufferings of all the martyrs, and all men in the world, since God laid upon him the sins of the whole world. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on the Knowledge of Christ Crucified,” in Works, 4: 498.

17) He bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, there necessarily follow a discharge of every believer from them. The payment made by the made by the surety is a discharge of the principal debtor from the pursuit of the creditor. As he took away the course from as by being made a curse, so he took away sin from as by being made sin for us. The taking away the sins of the world was the great end of his coming. Stephen Charnock, “Knowledge of Christ Crucified,” in Works, 4:500.

18) To have a part in the great passover of our Lord, the condition is to ‘sprinkle our hearts,’ by faith with his blood, 1 Pet. i. 2. Had an Israelite’s family neglected, it had felt the edge of the angel’s sword; the lamb had not availed him, not by defect of the sacrifice, but by their own negligence or contempt of the condition. Or had they used any other mark, they had not diverted the stroke; no work, no blood, but the blood and sufferings of the Redeemer, can take away the sins of the world; without it, every man in this world lies in the sin of his nature, under the wrath of God. If anything else in the world had virtue for it, it could not prevail, unless God would accept it, because he did not appoint it. Stephen Charnock, “Christ our Passover,” in Works, 4:517.

192. It was our Savior’s practice. As he had the highest love to God, so he must needs have the greatest grief for his dishonor. He sighed in his spirit for the incredulity of that generation, when they asked a sign, after so many had been presented to their eyes: Mark viii. 12, ‘He sighed deeply in his spirit.’ And the hardness of their hearts at another time raised his grief as well as his indignation, Mark iii. 5. He was sensible of the least dishonor to his Father: Ps. lxix. 9, ‘The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell upon me.’ I took them to heart. Christ pleased not himself when his Father was injured; as the apostle descants upon it, when he applies it to Christ, Rom. xv. 3. His soul was more pierced with the wrongs done to God, than the reproaches which were directed against his own person. His grief was inexpressibly greater than can be in any creature, because of the inimitable ardency of his love to God, the nearness of his relation to him, and the unspotted purity of his soul. Christ had a double relation: to man, to God. His compassion to men afflicted him with groans and tears at their bodily distempers; his affection to his Father would make him grieve as much to see him dishonored, as his love to man made him groan to see man afflicted. This grief for sin was one part of Christ’s sacrifice and suffering; for he came to make a full satisfaction to the justice of God by enduring his wrath, to the holiness of God by offering up an infinite sorrow for sin, which it was impossible for a creature to do. We cannot suppose that Christ should only accept the punishment, but not bewail the offense which those sins, had not been acceptable; it had not been agreeable to the purity of his human nature. He wept at Jerusalem’s obstinacy, as well as for her misery, and that in the time of his triumph. The loud hosannas could not silence his grief, and stop the expressions of it, Luke xix. 41. It was like sorrow for men’s displeasing the holiness of God, it is surely our duty, as his members, to imitate the afflictions of the head. He is unworthy of the name of Christ, who is not afflicted as Christ was, nor can call Christ his master, who doth not imitate his graces, as well as pretend to believe his doctrine; he cannot see that God, who hath distinguished him from the world, dishonored, his precepts contemned, but he must have his soul overcast with a gloomy cloud. It is our glory to value the things he esteemed, to despise the things he condemned, to rejoice in that wherein he was delighted, and to grieve for that which was the matter of his sorrow and indignation. Thus was he afflicted, though he had a joy in the assurance of his Father’s favour, and the assistance of his Father’s power. The highest assurance of God’s love in particular to us, ought not to hinder the impressions of grief for the dishonor of his name. Did Christ ever look upon the swinish world without melting into pity? Did he bleed for the sins of the world, and shall not we mourn for them? Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of Mourning for Other Men’s Sins,” in Works, 5:385-386.

20) Resurrection. Conversion simply is so called: ‘Quickened us when we were dead,’ Eph. 2:5. And the power that effects it is the same power that raised Christ from the dead; which was a mighty power, that could remove the stone from the grave, when Christ lay with all the sins of the world upon him, Eph. 1:19, 20; so the greater the stone is upon them, the greater is God’s power to remove it. For if it be the power of God simply to regenerate nature, and put a new law into the heart, and to qualify the will with a new bias to comply with this law, and to make them that could not endure any thoughts of grace not to endure any thoughts of sin, it is a greater power sure to raise a man from that death wherein he has lain thirty or forty years rotten and putrefied in the grave; for if conversion in its own nature be creation and resurrection, this must needs be creation and resurrection with an emphasis. Stephen Charnock, “The Chief Sinners Objects of the Choicest Mercy,” in Works, 5:541.

21) The extent of it. Both to original and actual sin: John 1:29, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world;’ sin of the world, the sin of human nature, that first sin of Adam. Of this mind is Austin, and others, that original sin is not imputed to any to condemnation since the death of Christ. But howsoever this be, it is certain it is taken away from believers as to its imputation. Christ was ‘made sin for us,’ 2 Cor. 5:21, to bear all sin. Stephen Charnock, “The Pardon of Sin,” in Works, 5:443.

22) Christ’s death was a satisfaction for the greatest sins, both ex parte facientis, Christ, and ex parte acceptantis, God; for God could not accept any satisfaction but what was infinite. ‘One sacrifice for sins for ever,’ &c., Heb. 10:12; not one sin, but sins; not little sins, but sins without exception. Yea, and it is all sin, 1 John 1:7; and all includes great as well as little. Satan once came to a sick man, and shews him a great catalogue of his sins, concluding from thence his eternal damnation. The sick man, strengthening himself by the word of God, bid the devil write over the catalogue in great letters those words, 1 John 1:7, whereupon the devil presently leaves. Are thy sins be greater than Christ’s merit? Or thine offences than his sacrifice? It is strange if the malignity of thy sin should be as infinite as the virtue of his death. He hath satisfied for all the saints that ever came to heaven; and put thy sins in the balance with theirs, and surely they cannot weigh so much. He was ‘a propitiation for the sins of the whole world;’ and are thy sins as great as the sins of the whole world? If part of his merits be enough to save ten thousand damned souls in hell, if they had applied it, is it not enough to satisfy God for thy sins, which are far less? Was not Christ charged with as great sins as thine can be when he was upon the cross? Or are thy single sins bigger or than all those the prophet means when he saith, ‘And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all’? Isa. 53:6. The Chief Sinners Objects of the Choicest Mercy. Stephen Charnock, “The Chief Sinners Objects of the Choicest Mercy,” in Works, 5:561.

Sacrifice for the world:

1) Let a man examine himself, as to his sentiments concerning the nature of the institution. The apostle intimates it in the motive he urges to press this examination: ver. 29, ‘For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself for not discerning the Lord’s body, upon the neglect of this [* Amyraut Paraphr.]. We must consider what an holy and glorious use those elements are destined to, and glorious body of our Lord, which they represent, that we may not violate in the signs the honour due to his majesty. To discern the Lord’s body, is to consider it as the body of the Son of God [* Daille Melange Des Sermons. xxvii. Pp. 300-302, somewhat changed, but imitated.], of God blessed for ever, the sovereign Lord of the whole world, the body of the lamb who takes away the sins of the world, a miracle of goodness, the pavilion of the Sun of righteousness, the pledge to believers entering heaven, a body purer than the heavens in holiness, and higher than the heavens in glory. Consider the design of this body: it was a sacrifice for the world, an expiation of sin, the ligature of the church to God; it has been loaded with our crimes, and borne the punishment of our sins upon the cross; it has undergone the chastisement of our peace; it bowed down upon the cross to purchase our happiness, and mounted up to heaven to insure it to us, and possess it for us. The death of this body was of universal influence to expiate our sins, the resurrection of the body was for the justification of our persons; it sunk into the grave into the grave loaden without guilt, it rose out of the grave and ascended to heaven to be invested with all inconceivable immortality for our consolation. Stephen Charnock, “The Subjects of the Lord’s Supper,” in Works, 4: 451.

Christ sustains all sin:

1) The extent of it. Both to original and actual sin: John I.29, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world;’ sin of the world, the sin of human nature, that first sin of Adam. Of this mind is Austin, and others, that original sin is not imputed to any to condemnation since the death of Christ. But howsoever this be, it is certain it is taken away from believers as to its imputation Christ was made sin for us, 2 Cor. v.21, to bear all sin. It had been an imperfect payment to have paid the interest, and let the principal remain; or to have paid the principal, and let the interest remain. ‘There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,’ Rom. viii.1, and therefore no damning matter or guilt left in arrear. Stephen Charnock, “The Pardon of Sin,” in Works, 5:443.

Sins of men:

1) As, had not our Saviour had the weight of the sins of men upon him, had he been dead but an hour or two, lain in the grave with a litle loose or light sand cast upon him, it would have required infinite power to have restored him to life. The apostle men tions this in other places, though not so highly as in this : Rom. vi. 4, ‘ That like as Christ was raised up by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life.’ Stephen Charnock, “Regeneration,” in Works 3:277.

2) As he bore the sins of many as a common person in the offering of himself, and satisfied for their guilt, so he hath an absolution as the head from all that guilt he bore ; no more to lie under the burden of our sins, or endure any penalties of the law for them : Heb. ix. 27, ‘ As it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered for the sins of many ; and unto them that look for him shall he appear without sin unto salvation.’ As judgment is appointed for all men, as well as death, and they receive their judgment after death, so Christ after his death was judged by God, and judged perfect, fully answering the will and ends of God, and shall not ap pear any more as a sacrifice, but as a perfect Saviour. Stephen Charnock, “God the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works, 3:432.

For the good of mankind:

1) As air, whose place is above the earth, when it is enclosed in the bowels of the earth, and there increased by vapours, will find ita way out by an earthquake, to that place which God hath settled for it; stones descend, and water flows down to ita proper place, as soon as the let is removed; so, though Christ, for the good of mankind, stepped into the world, yet when he had effected that business, he must necessarily take his flight to heaven, his proper place. Stephen Charnock, “The Necessity of Christ’s Exultation,” in Works, 5:75.

Trinity in Salvation:

1) Nothing, or that which hath no being, is not capable of a redeemed being. Redemption supposes the existence and the misery of a person redeemed. As creation precedes redemption, so redemption precedes the application of it. As redemption supposes the being of the creature, so application of redemption supposes the efficacy of redemption. According to the order of these works is the order of the operations of the three persons. Creation belongs to the Father, the first person ; redemption, the second work, is the function of the Son, the second person; application, the third work, is the office of the Holy Ghost, the third person. The Father orders it, the Son acts it, the Holy Ghost applies it. He purifies our souls to understand, believe, and love these mysteries. He forms Christ in the womb of the soul, as he did the body of Christ in the womb of the Virgin. As the Spirit of God moved upon the waters, to garnish and adorn the world, after the matter of it was formed, Gen. i.2, so he moves upon the heart, to supple it to a compliance with Christ, and draws the lineaments of the new creation in the soul, after the foundation is laid. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Wisdom,” in Works 2:56-57.

2) The Son pays the price that was due from us to God, and the Spirit is the earnest of the promises of life and glory purchased by the merit of that death. It is to be observed that the Father, under the dispensation of the law, proposed the commands, with the promises and threatenings, to the understandings of men; and Christ, under the dispensation of grace, when he was upon the earth, proposes the gospel as the means of salvation, exhorts to faith as the condition of salvation ; but it was neither the function of the one or the other to display such an efficacy in the understanding and will, to make men believe and obey, and therefore there were such few con versions in the time of Christ by his miracles. But this work was reserved for the fuller and brighter appearance of the Spirit, whose office it was to convince the world of the necessity of a Redeemer, because of their lost condition; of the person of the Redeemer, the Son of God; of the sufficiency and efficacy of redemption, because of his righteousness and acceptation by the Father. The wisdom of God is seen in preparing and presenting the objects, and then in making impression of them upon the subjects he intends. And thus is the order of the three persons preserved. Stephen Charnock, God’s Wisdom,” in Works, 2:57.

Removal of legal obstacles:

1) Upon the whole we must consider, that though our propitiation made on the cross by the blood of Christ be the meritorious cause of our justification, yet the intercession upon the throne made by the same blood of Christ, as a speaking blood, is the immediate moving cause, or the causa applicans, of our justification, as Illyricus phraseth it. The propitiation Christ made on the cross, made God capable of justifying us in an honourable way; but the intercession of Christ, as pleading that propitiation for us, procures our actual justification. The death of Christ accepted made justification possible, and the death of Christ, pleaded by him, makes justification actual. Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:131.

2) By way of purchase. The declarations of the name of God are founded upon the expiation of sin, made by the merit of the death of Christ. All the knowledge of God we have by reason is not from nature, but is a pact of Christ’s purchase. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and is thereupon the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world. Sin made the veil between God and us, and Christ’s sacrifice removed it. God shone out upon man, till a cloud of iniquity interposed; the Sun of righteousness dissolved the cloud, and made the nature of God visible to us. The propitiation made upon the cross is the cause of the knowledge of God under the new covenant… Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of God,” in Works, 4:4.

Earth and Redemption:

1) How detestable is everything to him that is in the sinner’s possession ! The very earth, which God had made Adam the proprietor of, was ‘cursed for his sake,’ Gen. iii. 17, 18. It lost its beauty, and lies languishing to this day ; and notwithstanding the redemption by Christ, hath not recovered its health, nor is it like to do, till the completing the fruits of it upon the children of God, Eom. viii. 20-22. Charnock, “God’s Holiness, in Works 2:210.

2) This goodness in redemption extends itself to the lower creation. It takes in not only man, but the whole creation, except the fallen angels, and gives a participation of it to insensible creatures; upon the account of this redemption the sun and all kind of creatures were preserved, which other wise had sunk into destruction upon the sin of man, and ceased from their being, as man had utterly ceased from his happiness: Col. i. 17, ‘ By him all things consist.’

…The whole creation.’ It is the pang of universal nature, the agony of the whole creation, to be alienated from the original use for which they were intended, and be disjointed from their end, to serve the disloyalty of a rebel. The drunkard’s cup, the glutton’s table, the adulterer’s bed, and the proud man’s purple, would groan against the abuser of them. But when all the fruits of redemption shall be completed, the goodness of God shall pour itself upon the creatures, ‘ deliver them from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God ‘ ; they shall be reduced to their true end, and returned in their original harmony. Stephen Charnock, “God’s Goodness,” in Works 2:347.

God seeks reconciliation with the world:

1) God hath been importunate in entreaties of us. God offers not only truce, but a peace, and hath been most active in urging a reconciliation. Can he manifest his willingness in clearer methods, than that of sending his Son to reconcile the world to himself? Stephen Charnock, “Man’s Emnity to God,” in Works, 5:521.

Charnock on Reconciliation:

1) 2. Nor in regard of that affection the Father bears to Christ. He is indeed in a peculiar manner in Christ in regard of love, more than in all believers besides. He loved him as the head, believers as the members. This is common to believers with Christ, though not in the same degree.

3. But it notes some peculiar manner of operation in Christ as me diator. Redemption was not the work only of the Son ; the Son wrought it, the Father directed it ; the Son paid the price, the Father appointed him to do so, received it of him, accepted it from him, and accounted it to others through him, which is that we are bound to believe, as Christ tells the Jews, John x. 38, ‘that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him;’ John xiv. 20, ‘I am in my Father.’ The Father is in Christ by way of direction, support, and influence, and Christ in the Father by way of observance, obedience, and dependency. As the world was in Christ as in their surety and head, satisfying God, so God is in Christ as in his ambassador, making peace with the world. All things that Christ acted and managed in this work are to be referred to God as the prime author.

“The world.” The world properly signifies the frame of heaven and earth, [* Daille, Sermon sur Jean iii. 16.] and all creatures therein, joined together by an exact harmony, order, and dependence upon one another; but in the Scripture is chiefly understood of mankind, the top of the lower world and end of its creation. It is frequent in all writers to put the place for the inhabitants; and it is taken for the most part for the corrupted world, the world fallen under sin and wrath, and opposing God: John i. 10, ‘The world knew him not.’ And when God takes some out of the world, he calls them not by the name of the world, but his church. And those that he brings out of this sinful condition, he is said to bring ‘out of the world,’ John xv. 19, and to choose ‘out of the world,’ John xvii. 6. The world is fundamentally reconciled, there being a foundation laid for the world to be at peace with God, if they accept of the terms upon which this amity is to be obtained; or all ages of the world, those before the coming of Christ in the flesh as well as those after, 1 John ii. 2.

“Reconciling.” The greatest controversy lies in this word, whether by it be meant God’s reconciliation to us, or our laying down our enmity against God. Socinus and his followers say God was not angry with man, he was reconciled before, but that this place is meant of affection towards God, because it is said we are reconciled to G-od, and not G-od to us. But learned men have cleared this.[* Grotius de satis., cap 7, p. 143, 146. Owen against Biddle, cap. 29.] The phrase in heathen authors of men’s being reconciled to their gods, is always understood for appeasing the anger of their gods, and escaping those dreadful judgments either actually inflicted or certainly threatened from heaven. By reconciliation of us to God in this place cannot be meant our conversion, or any act of ours.

1. Because the reconciliation here spoken of was the matter of the apostles’ discourses and sermons, and the great argument they used to convert the world to God. If, then, that sense ware true, it would be an impertinent argument, unworthy of those that Christ called out to be the first messengers and heralds of this redemption. The sense of their discourse would run thus: God hath already converted you, therefore be converted to him; as it is nonsense to exhort a man to do that very act which he hath already done.

2. This reconciliation doth formally consist in the non-imputation of sin to men. Now this is God’s act, not the creature’s. “Not imputing sin” and [* Grotius de satis., cap 7, p. 146.] forgiving sin are the same thing, Rom. iv. 7, 8; therefore the reconciliation itself is an act of God. If God were to be brought into our favour as a person offending, we should be said rather not to impute God’s supposed offences to him, and not to charge him with that which was the ground of our hatred of him.

The apostle tells us that God doth not impute the trespasses of the world to them emphatically, as Grotius* observes, but he doth to another whom he had made sin for them: ver. 21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” And the apostles were sent about the world to testify this benefit, that men might give credit to God, and turn to him.

>And upon the declaration of this doctrine, that God had in Christ laid aside his anger for their sins, and having punished another for them, would not punish them if they embraced by faith what was proposed to them, they besought men that they would lay aside their enmity against God, as he declared himself willing to lay aside his enmity against them, and had testified this by sending his own Son to bear their punishment.

There is a like place with this: Rom. v. 6, 10, “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” If Christ died for sinners to make an atonement for them, it was then to procure God’s well-pleasedness with them, because they had offended him. But if he died to bring God in favour with us, then his death was an atonement for God, and to expiate God’s offences, who never was, nor can be, guilty of any towards his creature.
But it is evident [* Grotius de satis., cap 7, p. 143, &c.] the reconciliation there mentioned, as well as in the text, was antecedent to conversion, and therefore is not the same with the conversion of the creature.

1. Because otherwise the apostle’s argument would have little validity in it, for it proceeds a majori, “much more,” being reconciled by his death, we shall be saved.’ If God were so infinitely kind to us as to turn away his anger from us by the death of his Son when we were yet enemies, how much more tender will he be of us since he hath taken us into favour, and we are actually converted to him !

2. The effect of this reconciliation is a saving from wrath by the blood of Christ : ver. 9, ‘ Much more, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.’ Therefore this reconciliation must be by appeasing that wrath under which we should otherwise have fallen. And the effect of it is to have peace with God: ver. 1, ‘ We have peace with God;’ whereas, if it were meant of God’s being brought into our favour, it should have been said, God hath peace with us, and that God hath access to us.

3. Justification is the effect and consequent of this reconciliation. And this Crellius confesseth, [* Respon. ad Grotius de satisfac., cap. 7, p. 391.] Justificatio est effectus recondliationis. But this is the act of God, Rom. iv. 5, Rom. viii. 33.

4. Reconciliation is here attributed to the death of Christ as a distinct cause from that of conversion : Rom. v. 10, ‘If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son;’ that is the recondliatio impetrata, which in the second expression of our actual or applied reconciliation is ascribed to the life of Christ or intercession, that being the end for which he lives in heaven, Heb. vii. 25.

5. We are said to ‘receive the atonement,’ Rom. v. 11, which is the same with ‘receiving forgiveness of sins,’ Acts x. 43. But to receive con version is a phrase not at all used in Scripture. When a man turns to the east, no man saith he receives turning to the east. Besides, if it were meant of bringing God into our favour, it were more proper to say God received the atonement, and not we.

6. If by reconciliation [* Camero, Praelect. p., 142, col. 2.] were meant our bending our hearts to love God, there could not be any sufficient reason rendered why the sanctification of the heart should be laid down by the apostle as the end of this reconciliation, as it is Col. i. 22, ‘ Yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh ‘through death, to present you holy and unreprovable in his sight.’ For nothing can be both medium and finis sui ipsius, its own end and means too. By reconciliation is meant the whole work of redemption. The Scripture hath various terms for our recovery by Christ, which all amount to one thing, but imply the variety of our misery by sin, and the full proportion of the remedy to all our capacities in that misery. Our fall put us under various relations; our Saviour hath cut those knots, and tied new ones of a contrary nature. It is called reconciliation as it respects us as enemies, salvation as it respects us in a state of damnation, propitiation as we are guilty, redemption as captives, and bound over to punishment. Reconciliation, justification, and adoption differ thus: in reconciliation, God is considered as the supreme Lord and the injured party, and man is considered as an enemy that hath wronged him; in justification, God is considered as a judge, and man as guilty; in adoption, God is considered as a father, and man as an alien. Reconciliation makes us friends, justification makes us righteous, adoption makes us heirs. Charnock, “God the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works 3:338-340.]

Charnock on John 3:16:

[world here should be read in the light of the above definition from Charnock’s preamble. 3:338.]

1) This is evident, First, By the condition of the person. He was his Son. Was it not the victorious triumph of mercy to make his Son a sufferer when we were the sinners, to make his own Son a servant to his justice when we were the debtors? He was his ‘only begotten Son,’ John iii. 16, not merely his own Son, but his only Son; he had but one Son in the world, and that Son he made a sacrifice for the world; he had not another begotten Son in being. He was ‘ the express image of his person,’ one who was equal with God without robbery, or detracting anything from his glory, Philip, ii. 6; an only Son, enjoying the same majesty and perfections in the Deity with the Father; a Son dearer to him than heaven and earth ; the Son he solaced himself with from all eternity, Prov. viii. 30, before ever any stone of the world was laid; and if we could suppose numberless worlds created before this, yet all his joy was placed in him. Can there be a greater assurance of the immensity of his love than in sending a Son that lay in his bosom; a Son who never in the least offended him, nor ever could? He always did the things which pleased him; and when he was in the world there was nothing in him that the devil could fasten upon as any resemblance to himself, John xiv. 30. In this Son was God reconciling the world. The nearer and dearer the Son was to the Father, the greater is the Father’s love in pitching upon him to undertake this work. His love bore proportion to the greatness of that Son whom he sent….

Secondly, It is a love that cannot be wound up to a higher strain. It is the utmost bound, if I may so speak, of an infinite love: ‘God so loved the world,’ 1 John iii. 16. So, above the conception of any creature; so, that his affection cannot mount an higher pitch. His power could discover itself in laying the foundation of millions of worlds, and his wisdom could shine brighter in the structure of them; but if he should create as many worlds as there are sands and dust upon the face of this, and make every one of them more transcendent in glory than this, than the sun is above a clod of earth or an atom of dust, yet he could not confer a greater love upon it than he hath done upon this; than to be, upon their revolt, a God in Christ reconciling those worlds to himself. There is not a choicer mercy than to be in amity with God, nor a more affectionate way of procuring and establish ing it, than by giving his only Son to effect it: in giving whom, he contracts to give himself to be our God, and live with us for ever. If God should take the meanest beggar that lives upon common alms, and transform him into an angel, and make him the head of that heavenly host, it would be incomparably a far less love than the gift of his Son for him. A more con descending kindness cannot be conceived, unless the Father himself should become incarnate, and die for man; but that cannot be supposed. If the fountain of the Trinity, the Judge of all, should take flesh, and suffer, to whom should the offering be made? The rector and judge is to be satisfied, and it is not fit for the judge to make satisfaction to himself; but the Father hath given that person next to himself to be our propitiation; most fit, as having the Father, the fountain of the Trinity, to offer the sacrifice of himself unto. Stephen Charnock, “God the Author of Reconciliation,” in Works 3:447 and 447-448.

Sins of the world in non-controversial contexts (sample):

1) Even the sins of the world his will permits them, his power assists in the act, and his wisdom orders the sinfulness of the act for holy ends. The four chariots in Zech. vi. 25, by which some understand angels, are sent upon commission into the several parts of the world, and compared to chariots, both for their strength, their swiftness, their employment in a military way to secure the church. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on Divine Providence,”in Works 1:12.

2) We may mourn for our own sins for secret by-ends, because they are against our worldly interests, and have reproaches treading upon the heels of them; we may mourn for the sins of our fiends, out of a natural compassion to them, and as they are the prognostics of some approaching misery to them; but in sorrowing for the sins of the world, we have not so many and affecting obligations to divert us from a sound aim in our sorrow. To be affected with the dishonour of God in the sins of others, is a distinguishing character of a spiritual constitution from a natural tenderness. It is both our duty and God’s pleasure. No grief is sweeter to God, nor more becoming us. Stephen Charnock, “Mourning for Other Men’s Sins,” in Works, 5:388.

3) Why should the apostle say God was ‘ rich in mercy,’ Eph. iv., and call it ‘ great love,’ if it were spent only upon little sins, and if any debts could exhaust it; for surely an infinite God cannot be finitely rich. If God be rich in mercy, he is surely infinitely rich; thou canst not think that any that have got to heaven before thee have drained his treasures, for then it had been finite, not infinite. They were not unsearchable riches, if the sins of all the world could find the bottom of them. Stephen Charnock, “Chief Sinners Objects of Choicest Mercy,” in Works, 5:559.

Notes and general interest:

1) 3. Upon this must follow the removal of guilt. If God, the judge of the world, be appeased and satisfied, and the law, upon which our accusation is grounded, and which is the testimony of our debt, be cancelled, the removal of our guilt must necessarily follow. And this forgiveness of sin is the chief and principal part of our redemption, and ascribed to his blood as the procuring cause, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin,” Ephes. i. 7. He bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, there necessarily fellows a discharge of every believer from them. The payment made by the surety is a discharge of the principal debtor from the pursuit of the creditor. As he took away the curse from us by being made a curse so he took away sin from us by being made sin for us. The taking away the sins of the world was the great end of his coming. There had been no need of his assuming our nature, and exposing himself to such miseries for our relief; had we been only in a simple misery, for then we might have been rescued by his strength; but being in a sinful misery, we could not be relieved but by his sacrifice to remove our guilt, as well as by his strength to draw us out of our gulf. Our sin was a bar upon the treasures of divine blessings. This must be removed before those could be opened for us, and could not righteously be removed by bare power, but by a full payment and satisfaction of the debt. It is a violent oppression to free a creditor from the hands of a debtor by force; it is righteous only when it is by legal payment. Well, then, “Christ was made sin for us,” 2 Cor. v. 21, and that in his death upon the cross. To what end? that sin might remain in its guilt upon us? No, for him to be made sin, and that by God, without respect to the taking away of sin had been inconsistent with the wisdom and righteousness of God. The justice of God would not permit him to take our debt of another, and yet to charge it upon ourselves. “He was therefore made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in “or by “him. “He was made sin, that we might be counted without sin by the imputation of the righteousness of the Mediator to us, as if it were our own; that as he represented our persons, and bore our penalty, we might likewise receive the advantages of his righteousness for the acquittal of our debts, the sin of our nature, and the sin of our persons, the removal of the guilt contracted by Adam and imputed to us, and the guilt contracted by ourselves. For it is “of many offences unto justification,” Rom. v.16. He was the true person figured by the scape–goat that took away our sins, and carried them into a land of forgetfulness, where none dwells to take notice of them and censure us to death for the crimes. Is not then this crucified Christ worth the knowing, who took such heavy burdens upon his own shoulders that they might not oppress ours, and suffered as a victim in the place of our guilty persons to obtain an eternal redemption for us? Heb. ix. 14. He that gives so great a ransom for us as that of his life and precious blood, rather than we should remain in our chains, deserves the choicest place in our understanding as well as affections. Were it a bare deliverance, it would challenge this; but he is said not only to deliver us, which speaks power, but to redeem us, which speaks price, and a buying what had passed into the possession of another–a payment of that which we never could be able to pay. Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on the Knowledge of Christ Crucifiedin Works, 4:500-501.

2) We must then lay hold on this sacrifice. The people were to be sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice, Exod. xxiv. 8, so must we with the blood of our Lamb. Thus only can it save us, 1 Peter 1:2. Thus is our Saviour described by this part of his office: Isa. 52:15, ‘He shall sprinkle many nations.’ Our guilt cannot look upon a consuming fire without a propitiatory sacrifice; our services are blemished, so that they will rather provoke his justice than merit his mercy; we must have something to put a stop to a just fury, expiate an infinite guilt, and perfume our unsavoury services. Here it is in Christ, but there must be faith in us. Faith is as necessary by the ordination of God in a way of instrumentality, as the grace of God in a way of efficiency, and the blood of Christ in a way of meritoriousness of our justification. All must concur, the will of God the offended governor, the will of the sacrificing mediator, and the will of the offender. This will must be a real will, an active operative will, not a faint velleity. We must have a faith to justify our persons, and we must have an active sincerity to justify the reality of our faith. Christ was real in his sacrifice, God was real in the acceptation of it, we must be real in believing it. Rocks and mountains cannot secure them that neglect so great a sacrifice, that regard this atoning blood as an unholy thing. It is as dreadful for men to have this sacrifice smoking against them, and this blood calling for vengeance on them, as it is comfortable to have it pleaded for them and sprinkled on them. Why will any then despise and neglect a necessary sovereign remedy ready at hand? Is it excusable, that when we should have brought the sacrifice ourselves, or ourselves have been the sacrifice, we should slight him who hath voluntarily been a sacrifice for us, and cherish a hell merited by our sin, rather than accept of a righteousness purchased at no less rate than the blood of God? This sacrifice is full of all necessary virtue to save us, but the blood of it must be sprinkled upon our souls by faith. Without this we shall remain in our sins, under the wrath of God and sword of vengeance.” Stephen Charnock, “Christ Our Passover” in Works, 4:538.

3) Christ is considered as an advocate in opposition to Satan the accuser, pleading the efficacy of his merit against the greatness of our crimes, and his satisfaction to justice by the blood of his cross against the demands of the law, whereby the sentence of condemnation due to us as considered in ourselves is averted, and a sentence of absolution upon the merit and plea of our advocate is pronounced, and Satan cast out, and this upon an universal rule of righteousness, which suffers not that which is either a criminal or pecuniary debt to be twice paid. Stephen Charnock, “Christ’s Intercession,” in Works, 5:130.

Implicit rejection of double payment fallacy:
1) Obs. 1. The punishment of the woman: ‘ a in child-bearing.’
2. The comfort of the woman : ‘she shall be saved.’
3. The condition of the salvation: if they continue.’ Wherein is implied an exhortation to continue in faith,
Doct. Many observations might be raised.
1. The pain in child-bearing is a punishment inflicted upon the woman
2. The continuance of this punishment after redemption by Christ, doth
not hinder the salvation of the woman, if there be the gospel-conditions
8. The exercise of faith, with other Christian graces, is a peculiar means for the preservation of believers under God’s afflicting hand.
Stephen Charnock, “Comfort of Child-Bearing Women,” in Works, 5:401.

Citation depth:

Among contemporary philosophic writers, he quotes from Gassendi and Voetius. His favourite uninspired writers were evidently the reformers, and those who defended and systematised their theology. Amyraut, and Suarez, and Daille were evidently favourites; and he was familiar with Turretine, Ames, Zanchius, Cocceius, Crellius, Cameron, Grotius, and many others; nay, he is not so bigoted as to overlook the high church Anglican divines of his own age.

vol 1:
Amyraut: 22
Daille 20
Cameron 1

vol 2:
Amyraut 38
Daille 13
Testard 2
Cameron: 4

vol 3:
Amyraut: 6
Daille: 10
Cameron 4

vol 4:
Amyraut: 39
Daille: 24
Cameron: 2

vol 5:
Amyraut: 12
Daille: 13
Cameron: 6

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 at 10:55 pm and is filed under For Whom did Christ Die?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


I have updated Charnock, adding an entry on Christ sent to reconcile the world and the last entry on Christ bleeding for the sins of the world. Thanks to Theological Meditations for the finds.

October 18th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Significant quotations from Charnock have been added. Look for quotations from vols 4 and 5.

October 28th, 2007 at 8:50 am

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