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Mr Biddle’s sixth chapter considered.

This is a short chapter, and will speedily receive its consideration. That Christ is a Saviour, and that he is so called in Scripture, is confessed on all hands Mr Biddle’s masters were the first who directly called into question amongst Christians on what account principally he is so called. Of his faith in this business and theirs we have the sum, with the reasons of it, in the book of their great apostle, “De Jesu Christo Servatore.” This book is answered throughout with good success by Sibrandus Lubbertus; the nerves of it cut by Grotius, “De Satisfactione Christi;” and the reply of Crellius thereunto thoroughly removed by Essenius, in his “Triumphus Crucis.” The whole argumentative part of it, summed up into five heads by Michael Gitichius, is answered by Ludovicus Lucius, and that answer vindicated from the reply of Gitichius. And generally those who have written upon the satisfaction of Christ have looked upon that book as the main master-piece of the adversaries, and have made it their business to remove its sophistry and unmask its pretensions.

Mr B. is very slight and overly in this business, being not able, in the method of procedure imposed on himself, so much as to deliver his mind significantly as to what he does intend. The denial and rejection of the satisfaction and merit of Christ is that which the man intends, as is evident from his preface, where he denies them, name and thing. This he attempts partly in this chapter, partly in that concerning the death of Christ, and also in that of justification. In this he would attempt the notion of salvation, and refer it only to deliverance from death by a glorious resurrection. Some brief animadversions may possibly rectify the man’s mistakes. His first question we pass, as a principle in the terms of it on all sides confessed, namely, that “Christ is our Lord and Saviour.” His second is:—

Ques. Is Christ our Saviour originally and of himself, or because he was given, exalted, and raised up by another to be a Saviour?

Ans. Acts iv. 12, v. 31, xiii. 28.

The intendment of this query is to pursue the former insinuations of our catechist against the deity of Christ, as though his appointment to his office of mediation were inconsistent with his divine nature; the vanity of which pretence hath been sufficiently already discovered. In brief, Christ is considered either absolutely with respect to his divine nature and person, as he is God in himself, and so he is a Saviour originally of himself; for “as for our Redeemer, 346the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel,” Isa. xlvii. 4. “Thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel,” chap. liv. 5. In this sense was Christ a Saviour originally and of himself. But as he took flesh, to accomplish the work of our redemption by tasting death for us, though his own merciful and gracious will did concur therein, yet was he eminently designed to that work and given, by his Father, in love and mercy, contriving the work of our salvation. And this latter is mentioned not only in the places cited by our catechist, but also in a hundred more, and yet not one of them lying in the least subserviency to Mr B.’s design. His last query is:—

Q. How do the saints expect to be saved by Christ?

A. Rom. v. 10; Phil. iii. 20, 21.

The intendment of this question must be to answer the general proposal, in what sense Christ is our Saviour, and how his people are saved by him. Now, however that be true in itself which is here asserted, and is the exurgency of the question and answer as connected, the saints expecting salvation by Christ in the complete accomplishment of it by his power in heaven, yet as here proposed to give an account of the whole sense wherein Christ is our Saviour, [it] is most false and deceitful. Christ is a Saviour principally as he was promised, and came to “save his people from their sins,” — whence he had his name of Jesus, or a Saviour, Matt. i. 21, — and that by his death, Heb. ii. 14, 15, or laying down his life a ransom for us, Matt. xx. 28, and giving himself a price of redemption for us, 1 Tim. ii. 6, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Eph. i. 7, so saving or delivering us from the wrath that is to come, 1 Thess. i. 10. The salvation which we have by Christ, which this chapter in title pretends to discover, is from sin, the world, Satan, death, wrath, curse, the law, bearing of us unto acceptation with God, peace, reconciliation, and glory. But that the doctrines before mentioned, without which these things cannot once be apprehended, may be obscured or lost, are these wholly omitted. Of the sense of Rom. v. 10, and what is there intended by the “life of Christ,” I shall farther treat when I come to speak about justification, and of the whole business under our consideration of the death of Christ.

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