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tion. It is true, he sometimes appeared then in the form of a Man, or an Angel, that he might occasionally converse with his people; yet he never continued long, or dwelt amongst them, till he was made flesh; whereas, Melchizedek seems to be described as an inhabitant of the land of Canaan, dwelling in Salem, therefore it cannot be meant of him.
Answ. This objection takes some things for granted, that will not readily be allowed, by those who entertain the contrary way of thinking, viz. that Salem is the name of a place, and that there he resided; whereas it may be replied to this, that it is rather a character of his person ; for, if Tzedek be a character of his person, as signifying righteousness, why should it be denied that Salem, from the Hebrew word Shalom, is also a glorious character, belonging to his person? especially considering the apostle explains both of them in this sense, when he says, that these words, by interpretation, are, King of righteousness, and King of peace, Heb. vii. 2. and, if this be true, there is no force in the other part of the objection, taken from his residing in any particular place before his incarnation.
Object. 2. It is farther objected, that our Saviour is said to be a Priest, after the order of Melchisedek, chap. vii. 17. and it is also added, that after the similitude of Melchisedek there ariseth another Priest, ver. 15. meaning our Saviour; therefore he cannot be the same person with Melchisedek.
Answ. This objection is much more material than any other, which is brought against this opinion, which, I am apt to think, determines the sentiments of many, who give into the commonly received opinion concerning him : But, as it ought to be considered, whether the arguments, in defence of the other side of the question, be conclusive; so it may be replied to it; that Christ might be called a Priest, after the order of Melchisedek, though he were the person intended by him, if we take the words in this sense ; viz. that, by his appearing in the form of a Priest and a King to Abraham, he afforded a type, or figure, of what he would really be, and do, after his incarnation, and herein gave a specimen of his Priestly and Kingly office, which he would afterwards execute. And this might as well be said to be a type hereof, as any of his appearances, in the form of a man, were typical of his incarnation, which divines generally call a prelibation thereof, which differs very little from the sense of the word type.
As to what is said concerning another Priest, arising after the similitude of Melchisedek, though it may be reckoned a strong objection against our argument; yet let it be considered, that after the similitude of Melchisedek, imports the same thing as after the order of Melchisedek; and so it signifies, that there is a similitude, or likeness, between what he then appeared to
be, and what he really was, after his incarnation. And as for his being called another Priest, that does not imply that he was a Priest different froin Melchisedek, but from the priests under the law; for the apostie, as appears by the context, is comparing Christ's Priesthood with the Aaronical ; and therefore, when he executed his Priestly office, after his incarnation, he might well be styled another Priest, that is, a Priest not descending from Aaron, but the anti-type of Melchisedek, as prefigured by this remarkable occurrence.
Thus concerning that difficult question, who Melchisedek was! All that I shall add is, whether it were Christ himself, or some other person, yet it is evident that there was herein a very eminent type of Christ's Kingly and Priestly office; and more especially of his Priestly, as containing in it several things that were not shadowed forth by the Aaronical priesthood ; par. ticularly, though the Aaronical priesthood contained a type of Christ's making atonement, by shedding his blood ; yet there was nothing in it that typified the glory of his Person, his immortality and sinless perfection, the eternal duration of his Priesthood, or his being immediately raised up by God, for that end; nor was there herein a type of the Kingly and Priestly office of Christ, as belonging to the same Person, since the priests under the law were not kings, nor the kings priests.
Moreover, Melchisedek's being represented as without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, plainly signifies, that the execution of his priestly office depended immediately on God, who raised him up, as an extraordinary Person, for this end, as well as that he remains a Priest for ever; so that, if we take both these types together, we have a very plain and clear representation of Christ's Priestly office. And this leads us to consider,
III. The necessity of Christ's executing this part of his Priestly office, which consists in his making satisfaction to divine justice. This is generally denied by those who oppose his divivity; and particularly the Socinians, who maintain, that God pardons sin without satisfaction. (a) And others, who do not
(a) “That death is a punishment for sin, and that all mankind are by death of fered as a sacrifice for sin, is not only a doctrine of revealed Religion, but the plain dictate of Reason. For, thoughts Rerelation alone that can teach us, hos God threatened death as the punishment of a particular sin, yet Reason must be obliged to acknowledge, that men die, because they are sinners. Dut if mer die, because they are sinners, and Reason itself must receive tlus, as the most justifiuble cause of Death; then Reason must allow, that the death of all mankind is appunted by the true God, as a sacrifice for sin. But, if Reason must acknow. ledge the death of all mankind as a sacrifice for sin, then it can have no just objection against the sacrifice of Christ, because it was human.
Reveiation, therefore, teaches nothing inore hard to be believed on this point, than Reason teaches. For, if it be just and fit in God, to appoint and devole all
altogether deny the satisfaction of Christ, suppose, that God might have pardoned sin without it ; but that it was more expedient to make a demand of it, than not, inasmuch as his honour, as the Governor of the world, is secured thereby, and therefore that his demanding satistaction, is the result of his will ; and accordingly, that he might have required and accepted of a satisfaction, less valuable than what was given him by our Saviour: This opinion is equally to be opposed with the former, as derogatory to the glory of the divine perfections.
Now, when we assert the necessity of satisfaction, we mean, that God could not, in consistency with his holiness and justice, pardon sin without it; and that no satisfaction, short of that which Christ gave, is sufficient to answer the end designed thereby, or worthy to be accepted by God, as a price of redemption.
And, when we assert that satisfaction was necessary, we would be understood as intending it in the same sense, as forgiveness of sin, or salvation is so; the necessity hereof being conditional, or founded on this supposition, that God designed to save sinners. This, indeed, he might have refused to have done, and then there would have been no room for satisfaction to be given to his justice : But, since God designed to be reconciled to his people, and to bring them to glory, we cannot but assert the necessity of satisfaction in order thereunto; and, to prove this, let it be considered,
1. That the necessity hereof appears from the holiness of God; and accordingly,
(1.) Inasmuch as he is infinitely perfect, he cannot but will and love that which is most agreeable to his nature, and which contains the brightest display of his image, which consists in righteousness and true holiness, as it is said, The righteous Lord loveth righteousness, Psal. xi. 7. And it follows, from hence,
(2.) That he cannot but hate, and have an infinite aversion to, whatever is contrary hereunto; for, if his love of holiness be founded in the perfection of his nature, then his
hatred of sin, which is opposite to it, must be founded therein: Thus it is said,
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity, Hab. i. 13. and elsewhere, Thou hatest all workers of iniquity, Psal. v. 5. Now God's hating sin, consists in his infinite opposition to it, and so it is natural to him, or in his will, to punish it; and consequent thereunto, in his actual punishing of it. If the first of these be necessary, the others must be so likewise; or, if he be an holy God, he cannot but determine to punish sin, and afterwards put his determination in execution. (3.) It is fit he should manifest his hatred of sin, otherwise he could not be glorified by his creatures, as an holy God; for he cannot have the glory of any attribute ascribed to him, unless there be a visible display thereof; therefore it is necessary to demonstrate his hatred of sin, by punishing it; and, hence an obligation arises from a necessity of nature, and not barely from an act of his will, to bring to condign punishment all sin, even that which he designs to pardon : But this could not have been done without a demand of satisfaction to be giyen, by a surety, in the sinner's behalf, which plainly evinces the necessity of satisfaction, which was the thing to be proved.
men to death, as the proper purushment of their sins; how can it be proved to be unjust and unfit in God, to receive the death of Jesus Christ, for the same ends
2. This farther appears, from the punishment threatened by the law of God, which is also necessary. For the understanding of which, let it be considered,
(1.) That God cannot but give a law to intelligent creatures, who, as such, are the subjects of moral government, and therefore under a natural obligation to yield obedience to him : But this they could not do, if the law were not given and promulgated.
(2.) It was necessary for God to annex a threatning to his law, in which respect punishment would be due to those who violate it, whereby obedience might be enforced, and that fear, which is excited by it, would be an additional motive hereunto; otherwise the sinner would be ready to conclude, that he might go on in his rebellion against God with impunity.
(3.) If this law be violated, as it is by sin, the truth of God, as the result of the threatning annexed to it, obliges him to punish it, either in our own persons, or in the person of our Surety, that so the honour of his law might be secured, which he is obliged to vindicate, as it contains a bright display of the glory of his perfections.
3. If God could, consistently with his own perfections, pardon sin without satisfaction, he would not have sent his wellbeloved Son to suffer for it. This plainly appears from his wisdom and goodness. It is not consistent with the glory of his wisdom, for him to bring about a thing with so much difficulty, and with such displays of his vindictive justice, in punishing one who never offended him, if he could have answered the great end hereof on easier terms or have brought about the work of our salvation without it; neither does it consist with his goodness to inflict puishment, where it is not absolutely necessary, since, agreeably to this perfection, he delights rather to extend compassion, than to display his vindictive justice, if it might be avoided. Accordingly he is described, in scripture, (speaking after the manner of men) as punishing sin with a kind of regret, or reluctancy, Hosea. xi. 8. Thus it is said to be his strange work, Isa. xxviii. 21. and that he doth not afflict wilingly, nor grieve the children of men, Lam. iii. 33. but on the
other hand, delighteth in mercy, Micah vii. 18. Therefore if he could, consistently with his perfections, have pardoned sin without satisfaction, he could not have commanded the sword of his vindictive justice to awake against the man that is his fellow, Zech. xiii. 7. as an expedient to bring about an end, that might have been attained without it.
Moreover, if God could have pardoned sin without satisfaction, then his giving his own Son to perform it for us, would not have been such a wonderful instance of divine grace, as it is represented to be in scripture ; for it could not have been the only expedient to bring about our salvation, if satisfaction were not absolutely necessary thereunto. (a)
IV. We are now to consider what kind of satisfaction God demanded, for the expiating of sin. There are many who do not pretend, in all respects, to deny the necessity of satisfaction; but, when they explain what they mean by it, it amounts to little more than a denial thereof: Thus the heathen, who had learned, by tradition that sacrifices were to be offered, to make atonement for sin, concluded that these were sufficient to satisfy for it, and thereby to deliver from the guilt thereof. And some of the Jews, in a degenerate age of the church, seemed to have nothing else in view, and to have no regard to the spiritual meaning thereof, or their reference to Christ's satisfaction, as types of it, when they rested in them, as supposing, that the multitude of their sacrifices were sufficient to satisfy for those vile abominations, which they were guilty of; upon which occasion, God expresses the greatest dislike thereof, when he says, Tó what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of bullocks or of lambs or of he-goats, Isa. 1. 11. And elsewhere he tells them, I spake not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices, Jer. vii. 22. He does not mean that these were not instituted by him ; but it is as though he had said, I did not hereby intend that they should be reckoned a sufficient price to satisfy my justice for sin. And, to fence against this supposition, the apostle says, that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins, Heb. x. 4. for they were far from being a sufficient price to satisfy God.
Moreover, the Papists speak much of human satisfactions, consisting in various penances, fastings, leading a mortified life, parting with their estates, and submitting to voluntary poverty, with a design to make atonement for sin. The main foundation of this opinion, is their supposing, that, whatever satisfaction God demands for sin, it is the result of his will, and
(a) All the reasons upon which pardons are granted in human governments fail in the Divine.