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The Price of Redemption (Of the Covenant of Redemption – Part II) by David Dickson

By April 10, 2011June 24th, 2019Covenant Theology

AS to the second article of the Covenant of Redemption concerning the price of Redemption, and the fitting of the Redeemer for accomplishing the work of Redemption, God would not have silver, or gold, or any corruptible thing, 1 Pet. 1.18. He refuseth all ransom that can come from a mere man, Psalm 49.8. But He would have His own co-eternal and only begotten Son to become a man, to take on the yoke of the law, and to do all His will, that He alone might redeem the elect, who by nature are under the curse of the law. He would have Him the second Adam to be obedient even to the death of the cross, that by His obedience many might be justified, Rom. 5.19.

This is clearly confirmed by the Apostle, Heb. 10.5,6,7,10, commenting upon the 7th and 8th verses of Psalm 40, In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure, then said Christ coming into the world, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do {38} thy will O God—by the which will we are sanctified, by the offering up of the blood of Jesus once for all.

2. By Christ’s obedience we understand not only that which some call his active obedience, nor that only which some call his passive obedience: for, his active and passive obedience, are but two notions of one thing; for, his incarnation, subjection to the law, and the whole course of his life was a continued course of suffering, and in all his suffering he was a free and voluntary agent, fulfilling all which he had undertaken unto the Father, for making out the promised price of Redemption, and accomplishing what the Father had given him command to do. His obedience, even to the death of the cross, did begin in his emptying himself to take on our nature, and the shape of a servant, and did run on till his resurrection and ascension. As for these his sufferings in the end of his life, which he suffered both in soul and body, they were the completing of his formerly begun and running obedience, but were not his only obedience for us, or his only suffering for us, for he had done and suffered much from his incarnation before his last passion and death, but the highest degree of his obedience, whereby he bought deliverance unto us from sin and misery, and whereby he bought unto us, immortality and eternal blessedness in heaven, was his death on the cross completing our ransom.

3. Whereas some have said, that one drop of His blood was sufficient to redeem more worlds than one, if there were any more, it is but an inconsiderate speech, and destitute of Scriptural authority; for when Christ had suffered all things before the time of His death, it behooved Him to be crucified also, Luke 24.26, but it behooved Him not to suffer more than justice required for a ransom, but only as much as was agreed upon, and no less could satisfy. Now this commandment He received of the Father, that He should lay down his life for His sheep, John 10.18. For, the wisdom of God thought good, to testify His own holiness and hatred {39} of sin, and to testify His love to the elect world, and riches of His grace toward them to whom He would be merciful, by inflicting no less punishment of sin on the Mediator His own dear Son (taking upon Himself full satisfaction to justice for all the sins of all the Elect given unto Him to redeem) than the death both of His body and soul for a season.

And indeed it was suitable to His holy and sovereign Majesty, that for the ransom of so many thousands and millions of damnable sinners, and saving of them from everlasting torment of body and soul, no less price should be paid by the Son of God, made man and surety for them, than His sufferings both in His body and soul for a season, as much as should be equivalent to the due deserved punishment of them whom he should redeem; and it became the justice of the infinite Majesty offended, to be reconciled with so many rebels, and to bestow upon them heaven and eternal blessedness, for no less price than the sufferings of the eternal Son made man, whose humiliation and voluntary obedience, even to the death of the cross, was of infinite worth and value; and therefore he yieldeth himself to the sufferings agreed upon in the covenant of Redemption, both in body and soul.

Of the sufferings of Christ in His soul


OUR Lord’s sufferings in His body did not fully satisfy divine justice; (1.) because as God put a sanction on the law and covenant of Works, made with us all in Adam, that he and his should be liable to death, both of body and soul, (which Covenant being broken by sin, all sinners became obnoxious to the death both of body and soul) So the redeemed behooved to be delivered from the death of both, by the Redeemer’s tasting of death in both kinds, as much as should be sufficient for their redemption. (2.) As sin infected the whole man, soul and body, and the curse following on sin, left no part nor power to the man’s soul free; So justice {40} required, that the Redeemer, coming in the room of the persons redeemed, should feel the force of the curse, both in body and soul.

Objection. But how can the soul die, seeing it is, by the Ordinance of God in creation, made immortal?

Answer. The death of the soul is not, in all things, like to the death of the body; for, albeit the spiritual substance of the soul be made immortal and not to be extinguished, yet it is subject to its own sort of death, which consists in the separation of it from communion with God, in such and such degrees, as justly may be called the death of the soul, from which sort of death, the immortality of the soul, not only doth not deliver, but also it doth augment it and perpetuate it, till this death be removed.

Objection. But, seeing the human soul of our Lord could never be separated from the permanent holiness wherewith it was endued in the first infusion of it in the body, and could never be separated from the indissolvable personal union with the second person of the God-head assuming it, how could His soul be subject to any degrees of death?

Answer. Albeit the con-natural holiness of the soul of Christ could not be removed, nor the personal union of it be dissolved, no not when the soul was separated from the body, yet it was subject, by Christ’s own consent, to be emptied of strength-natural, to be deprived for a time of the clearness of vision of its own blessedness, and of the quiet possession of the formerly felt peace, and of the fruition of joy for a time, and so suffer an eclipse of light and consolation, otherwise shining from His God-head; and so in this sort of spiritual death might undergo some degrees of spiritual death.

The degrees of the suffering of Christ’s holy soul


AMONG the degrees of the death suffered by Christ in His soul, we may number, first, that habitual heaviness of spirit which haunted him all the days of His life, as was foretold by Isaiah 53.3, He was a man of {41} sorrows, and acquainted with grief. We hear He wept, but never that he laughed, and but very seldom that he rejoiced.

2. He suffered in special, sorrow and grief in the observation of the ingratitude of them, for whom he came to lay down his life, we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not, Isa. 53.3.

3. The hardness of men’s hearts, and the malice of his own covenanted people, and the daily contumelies and despiteful usage he found from day to day, increased his daily grief, as by rivulets the flood is raised in the river; he was despised and rejected of men, Isa. 53.3.

4. He was tempted in all things like unto us, and albeit in them all never tainted with sin, Heb. 4.15, yet with what a vexation of his most holy soul, we may easily gather by comparing the holiness of our Lord with the holiness of his servants, to whom nothing is more bitter than the fiery darts of the devil, and his suggestions and solicitations to sin: especially, if we consider the variety of temptations, the heinousness of the sins, whereunto that impudent and unclean spirit boldly solicited his holiness, Matth. 4, and withal, the importunity and pertinacy of the devil, who never ceased, partly by himself, partly by those that were his slaves, and partly by the corruption which he found in Christ’s disciples, to pursue, press, and vex the God of glory all the time he lived on earth.

5. The guilt of all the sins, crimes, and vile deeds of the elect, committed from the beginning of the world, was imputed unto him, by accepting of which imputation, albeit he polluted not his Conscience, yet he burdened his soul, binding himself to bear their deserved punishment.

Now when we see that the vilest sinners, as liars, thieves, adulterers, cannot patiently hear themselves called liars, or thieves, nor bear the shame of the vileness, whereof they are really guilty, with what suffering of soul, with what clouding of the glory of his {42} holiness, think we that our Lord took upon his shoulders such a dunghill of all vileness, than which, nothing could more be unbeseeming his holy Majesty?

6. Unto all the former degrees of suffering of his soul, the perplexity of his thoughts fell on him, with the admiration and astonishment of soul, when the full cup of wrath was presented unto him, in such a terrible way, as made all the powers of his sense and reason for a time to be at a stand. Which suffering of his soul, while the Evangelist is about to express, he saith he began to be sore amazed, and also to be very heavy; and to express himself in these words, My Soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death, Mark 14.33,34.

Objection. But did not this astonishing amazement of Christ’s soul speak some imperfection of the human nature?

Answer. It did no ways argue any imperfection or inlack of sanctity in him, but only a sinless, and kindly infirmity in regard of natural strength, in the days of his flesh; for, the mind of a man, by any sudden and vehement commotion arising from a terrible object, may without sinning be so taken up, that the swift progress of his mind in discourse may for a while be stopped, and the act of reasoning suspended a while: all the cogitations of the mind fleeing together to consult, and not being able to extricate themselves in an instant, may stand amazed, and sit down a while like Job’s friends astonished. Now our Lord, taking on our nature and our common sinless infirmities, became like unto us in all things except sin. Daniel’s infirmity at the sight of an Angel, was not sin, Dan. 10.

Objection. But doth not this astonishing admiration, suddenly lighting upon Christ’s soul, prove that something unforeseen of him did befall him?

Answer. Not at all; for, he knew all things that should befall him, and told his disciples thereof, and was at a point and resolved in every thing, which was to come before it came. But this astonishing amazement did {43} only shew forth the natural difference between things preconceived in the mind, and these same things presented to sense: for, there is in the mind a different impression of the preconceived heat of a burning iron, before it do touch the skin, from that powerful impression which a hot iron thrust into the flesh doth put upon the sense. In regard of which natural difference between foresight and feeling, between resolution and experience, this astonishment befell our Lord, and in this regard, Christ is said to learn experimental obedience by these things which he suffered, Heb. 5.8.

7. Another degree of the suffering of our Lord’s soul, is the interruption, for a time, of the sensible uptaking and feeling of that quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the felicity of the human nature, given (for the point of right) unto it in its personal union with his God-head, insofar, that in the midst of many disciples, Greeks and Jews looking on him, the vehemency of his trouble did not suffer him to hide his perturbation; for, (John 12.27,) our Lord cried out, Now is My Soul troubled, and what shall I say? and, Mark 14.34, made him declare his exceeding heaviness; My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death. In which words he insinuates, that to his sense, death was at hand; yea, that in no small measure, it had seized on him, and wrapped him up in the sorrows of death, for the time, as in a net of which he knew he could not be holden still.

Objection. But did not this huge heap of miseries take away from the human nature, the felicity of its union personally with his God-head?

Answer. It did indeed hide it for a time, and hinder the sensible feeling of it for a time, as it was necessary, in his deep suffering; but it did not take it away, nor yet eclipse it altogether: for, as a corporal inheritance hath a threefold connexion with the person owner thereof; so a spiritual inheritance hath a threefold connexion with the believer’s soul. The first is, of lawful title and right; the next is, of possession of the inheritance {44} according to the lawful right; the third is, an actual fruition and present feeling of the use of the inheritance. The fruition and felt benefit and use, may be marred or suspended, & the possession stand: and the possession may be interrupted and suspended, and the lawful right remain firm. Christ had not only an undoubted right to this felicity standing unto him, by the personal union, but also a fast possession of it, in as far as the personal union was indissolvable. But the actual felt fruition in his human sense and uptaking, was so long interrupted as the human nature was diverted from this contemplation for its present exercise, and turned to look toward the sad spectacle of imminent and incumbent wrath: especially when, and how long it was, as it were, bound to the feeling of the present stroke which did fill the soul with sadness and grief, anxiety and vexation, without sin.

8. Neither did the vindictive justice of God, pursuing our sins in our Surety, stay here, but in the garden went on to shew unto Christ the cup of wrath, and also to hold it to his head, and to press him to drink it; yea, the very dregs of the agreed-upon curse of the law, was poured into his patient and submissive mouth, as it were, and bosom, and the most inward part of soul and body, which as a vehement flame, above all human apprehension, so filled both soul and body, that out of all his veins it drew and drove forth a bloody sweat (the like whereof was never heard) as when a pot of oil, boiling up and running over by a fire set under it, hath yet further the flame increased by the thrusting of a fiery mass of hot iron into it.

Hence came such a wasting and eating up of all his human strength, and emptying of his natural abilities, such a down-throwing of his mind, such a fainting and swooning of his joy, and so heavy a weight of sorrow on him, that not only he desired that small comfort of his weak disciples watching with him a little, and missed of it, but also stood in need of an Angel to comfort him, Luke 22.43. {45}

It is without ground, that some of the learned have denied the cause of this agony to be the drinking of the cup of wrath holden forth to him by the Father, saying, that the sight of it only and of the peril he saw we were into, was the cause of this heavy exercise: for, the cup was not only shown unto him, and the huge wrath due to our sin set before him that he should see it, and tremble at the apprehension of the danger we were in, but it was poured into him, and not only on him, that he for the sins of his redeemed should suffer it sensibly, and as it were drink it, that the bitterness thereof might affect all the powers of soul and body: for, the Scripture testifies, that not only upon the sight and apprehension of this wrath and curse coming on him, the holy human nature did holily abhor it, but also that he submitted to receive it, upon the consideration of the divine decree and agreement made, upon the price to be paid by him, and that upon the feeling of this wrath this agony in his soul, and bloody sweat of his body, was brought on.

Objection. But, how could the pouring forth of the Father’s wrath upon his innocent and dear Son consist with his Fatherly love to him?

Answer. Even as the innocency and holiness of Christ could well consist with his taking upon him the punishment of our sins; for, even the wrath of a just man, inflicting capital punishment on a condemned person, put case [suppose] his own child, can well consist with fatherly affection toward the child suffering punishment; therefore it is not to be doubted, but these two can well consist in God, in whom affections do not war one with another, nor fight with reason, as it falleth forth among men; for, the affections ascribed unto God, are effects rather of his holy will toward us, than properly called affections in him; and these effects of God’s will about us, do always tend to our good and blessedness at last, however diverse one from another in themselves.

9. Among the degrees of the sufferings of Christ’s {46} soul, we may number not only the perturbation of his mind and thoughts, but also the perturbation of his affections, and especially his fear; for, his human nature was like unto ours in all things except sin, and was indeed feared when it saw and felt the wrath of God, lest it should have been swallowed up by it, and of this fear the Apostle (Heb. 5.7,) beareth witness, saying, who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications and strong cries and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.

Now, albeit this seemeth the saddest passage of all his sufferings, that he was feared for being swallowed up, yet this his fear is not to be wondered at, nor is it inconsistent with his holiness; for when Christ assumed our nature (as hath been said) he assumed also all the common and sinless infirmities, passions, and perturbations of our nature: Now it is kindly that the creature, at the sight of an angry God should tremble; for, we read, that the rocks and mountains have trembled before God, when he did let forth his terrour; and it is natural to man, at the sight of a terrible object, at the sight of a peril and evil coming upon him, but much more already come upon him (especially if the evil and peril be above all his natural strength) to tremble and fear the worst; and this becometh holy nature very well to fear present death, off-cutting, perdition and swallowing up in the danger, when God appeared angry and was hasting to be avenged on sinners in the person of their Surety, what could the human soul of Christ gather from this terrible sight, but that which sense and reason did teach? In the meantime there was no place here for his doubting of the issue and his escaping from being swallowed up; for, natural fear of the manly nature, arising from the infirmity of the creature, differs very far from the fear arising from the infirmity of faith in God’s faithfulness and power; and natural fear of the worst can very well stand with the strength of faith to overcome the natural fear: for, as {47} the sensitive appetite may abhor a bitter cup of medicine, and cause all the body tremble for fear to take it, while in the mean time, the man by reason is resolved to drink that bitter cup of medicine, because he confidently hopeth to help his health thereby; so natural fear in Christ to taste of the cup of wrath, could very well consist with strong faith and assurance to be delivered therefrom: for, it is very suitable that faith should as far overcome the natural apprehension of sense and reason natural, as reason doth overcome sense in drinking a loathsome and bitter cup of medicine.

And to clear this yet further, that extreme fear to be swallowed up of wrath, could well consist in Christ with strong faith to overcome and bear out that terrible wrath, Let it be considered, that as it was needful Christ should be subject to the infirmity of natural strength, that he might suffer death; so it was needful, that he should have strong faith to enable him to bear out, in a holy way, that which he behoved to suffer: for, if on the one hand, Christ had not been weakened, and emptied of all human strength in his flesh, he could not have been humbled enough for us, he could not have suffered so much, as Justice did exact for satisfaction for us; and on the other hand, if he had not stood firm in faith and love toward God’s glory and our salvation, he could not have satisfied Justice, nor been still the innocent and spotless lamb of God, nor have perfected the expiatory sacrifice for us.

Objection. But was he not tempted to doubt by Satan?

Answer. We grant that he was indeed tempted by Satan to doubt, yea we shall not stand to grant that he was tempted to desperation; But we altogether deny that he was tainted with sin by temptation in the least degree: for, the Scripture saith, he was tempted in all things like unto us, but yet without sin in him or yielding in any sort to any temptation. And seeing by the Evangelist, Matt. 4, we understand, that he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil unto the most {48} horrible sins that Satan could devise, and yet was not stained or polluted in the least degree, with the least measure of yielding to the sinful temptations; we need not stand to grant, that he might be tempted, or that he was tempted unto doubting and desperation; for, this was among the most notable and prime temptations, whereby Satan, in his impudent boldness, solicited the Son of God, very God and man in one person, even to doubt of that what Satan knew he was: If thou be the Son of God, saith he. It is true indeed, that we who are sinners by nature and corrupted in all the powers of our soul, cannot be tempted, tossed, and troubled, but therein our sinful nature in some measure may appear, and be polluted: But the matter was not so with our holy Lord, the God of glory, who was separate from sinners; for our impure nature is like to water in a puddle, which being stirred, doth presently become muddy and foul; but the holy human nature of Christ, was altogether pure, like unto clear and pure fountain water in a glass, which howsoever it be troubled and tossed, remaineth most pure and free of all muddiness.

Objection. But at least, was there not a conflict in our Lord between his faith, and the temptation to doubting?

Answer. We grant not only a conflict of Christ’s human natural strength, with the burden of affliction, but also a conflict and wrestling of his faith against the temptation to doubting; for, wrestling doth not always argue the infirmity of the wrestler, for the Angel who is called God, Hos. 12, wrestles with Jacob, and in God was no infirmity. Again, wrestling doth not argue always infirmity, but doth only evidence the wrestler’s power and the importunate obstinacy of an adversary, who being repulsed and cast down, doth not at first leave the field, but riseth up again, insists and presseth on so long as it pleaseth the most powerful party to suffer the adversary to make opposition.

Objection. But you must grant, that in the conflict of Christ’s human natural strength, with the affliction {49} and burden of the punishment laid upon him by the Father, he was overcome, and succumbed and died.

Answer. Yes indeed: but we must put a difference between the conflict of natural strength with the burden of affliction, and the conflict between faith and a temptation unto sin; in the conflict of holy human nature in Christ with the punishment of our sins laid on Him, it was not a sin to have his natural strength overpowered, and to lie down under the burden and to lay down his life and die; but it was a main part of His obedience, it was the performance of His promise and undertaking to yield himself to Justice and to die for us, that we might be delivered from death eternal. But in the wrestling of His faith with the temptation unto doubting, it had been a sin to have yielded in the least degree, and that which could not consist with the perfect holiness of the Mediatour, Surety for sinners.

Objection. But, did not the perplexity of His thoughts and the anxiety of His mind, diminish something of the vigour and constancy of his faith?

Answer. It did diminish nothing of the vigour and constancy of His faith; for there is a great difference between the troubling of the thoughts, and the hesitation or weakening of faith, as there is also a great difference between the perturbations of the mind and the perturbation of the conscience. For, as the mind may be troubled, when in the consideration of some difficulty it cannot at first perceive an outgate, meantime the conscience remaining sound and quiet; so may the work of the mind’s discoursing, be interrupted and at a stay for a time, faith (meantime) remaining untouched, wholly sound and quiet. For example, upon the sudden receiving of a wound, or upon an unexpected report of some great loss, such as befell Job, the wheels of the reasoning faculty may be at a stand for a time, and the conscience in the meantime be quiet; yea, and faith in the meantime, remain strong, as we see in Job’s first exercise. {50}

Now if this may be found in an holy imperfect man in any measure, why shall we not consider rightly of the exercise of the holy one of Israel suffering in His human nature the punishment of our sin?

Let us consider but one of the passages of our Lord’s exercise, John 12.27,28, Now (saith He) My Soul is troubled: wherein behold the perplexity of His mind, smitten with the horrour of the curse due to us, coming upon Him; then cometh forth, what shall I say? wherein, behold! reason standing mute and altogether silent, only He lets forth the confession of His perplexity: presently after this, He subjoineth Father, save Me from this hour; wherein behold! Holy nature, trembling and shrinking to fall into the wrath of the Father, and according to the principles of holy nature, testifying the simple abhorrency of His soul from such an evil as is the wrath of God His Father, which had it not been for love to save our souls, He could not have yielded his human nature to endure, or bear it: therefore He, considering that we were but lost forever, if He should not suffer wrath for us, He repeats the sum of the Covenant of Redemption agreed upon, But for this cause came I unto this hour. And last of all, shuts up His speech and exercise in the triumphing voice of victorious and untainted faith, Father, glorify thy Name; and here He resteth: wherewith the Father is so well pleased, as that from heaven He speaketh to the hearing of the multitude standing by, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

10. Among the deepest degrees of the suffering of Christ in His soul, we reckon that desertion whereof Christ on the cross giveth an account, crying out, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? By which speech He doth not mean, that then the personal union of the natures was in him dissolved, nor yet that God had withdrawn His sustaining strength and help from the human nature, nor that the love of the Father was taken off him, nor that any point of the perfection of {51} holiness was taken from him; but his true intent is, to show, that God for a time had taken away sensible consolation, and felt joy from His human Soul, that so justice might in His sufferings be the more fully satisfied: And this is the forsaking of Him here given to us to understand. In which desertion Christ is not to be looked upon simply as He is in His own person, the Son of the Father, in whom He is always well pleased, but as He standeth in the room of sinners, Surety and Cautioner, paying their debt: In which respect He behoved to be dealt with as standing in our name, guilty and paying the debt of being forsaken of God, which we were bound to suffer fully and forever, if He had not interposed for us.

11. The last degree of Christ’s sufferings (wherein He may be said to have descended into hell so far as Scripture in the old Testament or the history of Christ’s passion in the new, will suffer us to expound that expression) is that curse wherein the full wrath of God, and the dregs of that horrible cup was poured forth upon His holy human nature, while heaven and earth and hell, seemed to conspire to take vengeance on Him, and fully to punish our sins in the person of Him our Surety by that cursed death of the cross, which was the evidence foretold of the malediction of God lying on Him, insofar as was necessary to complete the punishment of loss and feeling both in soul and body. And therefore not without ground have Orthodox divines taken in Christ’s suffering in His soul, and the detaining of His body in the grave (put in as the close and last part of Christ’s sufferings) as the true meaning of that expression He descended into hell: not only because these pains which Christ suffered both in body and soul, were due to us in full measure; but also because that which Christ suffered in the point of torment and vexation, was, in some respect, of the same kind with the torment of the damned: for, in the punishment of the damned, we must necessarily distinguish these three things, (1.) the {52} perverse disposition of the mind of the damned in their sufferings; (2.) the duration and perpetuity of their punishment; and, (3.) the punishment itself, tormenting soul and body. The first two are not of the essence of punishment, albeit by accident they are turned into a punishment, for the wickedness, vileness, and unworthiness of the damned, who neither will nor can submit themselves to the punishment (and put the case they should submit, are utterly unable to make satisfaction for ever) do make them in a desperate, doleful condition forever, though obstinate sinners do not apprehend nor believe this, but go on in treasuring up wrath against themselves, pleasing themselves in their own dreams, to their own endless perdition. Of these three, the first two could have no place in Christ: Not the first, because He willingly offered Himself a sacrifice for our sins; and upon agreement, paid the ransom fully: Not the second, because He could no longer be holden in the sorrows of death than He had satisfied Justice, and finished what was imposed on Him; and His infinite excellency made His short suffering to be of infinite worth, and equivalent to our everlasting suffering.

The third then remaineth, which is the real and sensible tormenting of soul and body in being made a curse for us, and to feel it so in His real experience. And what need we question hellish pain, where pain and torment, and the curse with felt wrath from God falleth on, and lieth still, till Justice be satisfied? Concerning which, it is as certain, that Christ was seized upon by the dolours of death, as it is certain in Scripture, that He could not be holden of the sorrows of death, Acts 2.24.

Question. But what interest had Christ’s God-head in His human sufferings, to make them both so short and so precious and satisfactory to Justice for so many sins of so many sinners, especially when we consider that God cannot suffer? {53}

Answer. Albeit this passion of the human nature, could not so far reach the God-head of Christ, that it should in a physical sense suffer (which indeed is impossible) yet these sufferings did so affect the person, that it may truly be said, that God suffered, and by His blood bought His people to Himself, Acts 20.28, for, albeit the proper and formal subject of physical suffering be only the human nature; yet, the principal subject of sufferings, both in a physical and moral sense, is Christ’s person, God and man, from the dignity whereof, the worth and excellency of all sort of sufferings, the merit and the satisfactory sufficiency of the price, did flow.

And let it be considered also, that albeit Christ, as God, in His God-head could not suffer in a physical sense; yet, in a moral sense He might suffer, and did suffer: for, in as much as He, being in the form of God, and without robbery equal to God, did demit His person to assume human nature, and empty Himself so far as to hide His glory and take on the shape of a servant, and expose Himself willingly to all the contradiction of sinners which He was to meet with, and to all railings, revilings, contempt, despisings and calumnies, shall it seem nothing, and not enter in the count of our Lord’s payment for our debt?

Objection. But, how could so low a down-throwing of the Son of man, or of the human nature assumed by Christ, consist with the Majesty of the person of the Son of God?

Answer. We must distinguish in Christ these things which are proper to either of the two natures, from these things which are ascribed to His person, in respect of either of the natures or both the natures; for, infirmity, physical suffering, or mortality, are proper to the human nature. The glory of power and grace and mercy, and superexcellent Majesty and such like, are proper to the Deity; but the sufferings of the human nature, are so far from diminishing the glory of the divine nature, that they do manifest the same and make it {54} appear more clearly: for, by how much the human nature was weakened, depressed, and despised, for our sake, by so much the love of Christ, God and man in one person, toward man, and His mercy and power and grace to man, do shine in the eyes of those that judiciously look upon Him.

Objection. But seeing Christ’s satisfaction for sinners, doth not stand in any one part of His doings and sufferings, but in the whole and entire precious pearl, and complete price of His whole obedience from His incarnation even to the death of His cross, how cometh it to pass, that in Scripture the whole expiation of our sins, is ascribed so oft to His passion, and particularly to His blood?

Answer. This cometh to pass, (1.) Because the certainty and verity of His assumed human nature, and the certainty of His real suffering, and the fulfilling of all the levitical sacrifices, did most evidently appear unto sense in the effusion of His blood. (2.) Because the expression of His sufferings, both in soul and body, appeared in the effusion of His blood: for, in the garden, while His body was not as yet touched, or hurt by man, from the mere pains of His soul, drops of blood fell down out of all His body to the earth. (3.) Because His blood-shedding and death, was the last act of completing the payment of the ransom to the Father for us, which payment began in His humble incarnation and went on through all His life, and was completed in His blood-shed and death, whereof our Lord gave intimation on the cross, when He cried as triumphantly victorious, it is finished.


The use of this article of the covenant of Redemption.


WE have at some length spoken of the price of Redemption, and of Christ’s defraying the debt by His passion. (1.) That hereby the merit of our sins, may the more clearly be seen. (2.) That the sublimity and excellency of divine Majesty, offended by sin, may appear. {55}

(3.) That we may behold the severity of God’s justice, till He have satisfaction and reparation in some sort of the injuries done to Him. (4.) That the admirable largeness of God’s mercy may be acknowledged and wondered at.

For in the price of Redemption paid, as in a mirror we may see, how greatly the Lord hateth sin; how great His love is to the world in sending his Son Christ amongst us; how heavy the wrath of God shall lie upon them that flee not to Christ’s satisfaction for their delivery; how great the dignity and excellency of the Lord our Redeemer is, for whose cause reconciliation is granted to all that take hold of the offer of grace through him; how great the obligation of believers is to love God, and serve him; and how greatly the glory of all the attributes of God, doth shine in the work of Redemption.

2. By this doctrine, it appeareth how vain and wicked the devices of superstitious men are, who, for pacifying of God’s wrath, have appointed penances, and pilgrimages, and self-scourgings, and soul-masses, and purgatory, and such like other abominations, whereof the word of God hath not spoken, but forbidden all the inventions of men, as unworthy conceits, to bring about men’s salvation: which inventions tend only to derogate from the dignity of the price of Christ’s ransom, and to cry down the fullness and perfection of the price paid by our blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ, and to set up other Saviours in his room.

3. Hence also it is manifest, how fit a high Priest is appointed over us, who is touched with our infirmities and temptations; by whom we may have so solid consolation in all the pangs of our tormented consciences, and in whom we have a solid foundation laid down to all that flee to him, for settling our faith and hope in the Son of God, who hath of set purpose, with the Father’s consent, suffered so many and great evils that he might redeem us. {56}

4. And hereby we may perceive also how well divine Justice is satisfied, and with what warrant the consciences of the weak believers may be quieted, who so use to exaggerate the grievousness and the multitude of their sins, that they forget to put a right estimation upon the satisfaction made by Christ for all that come unto God through him.

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