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captivated and in bonds, and Christ did give his life a ransome for them, and
that a proper ransome, if that his life were of any price, and given as such. For Hesych. Aó-a ransome is properly nothing else but something of * price given by way of Tego, Tijumpe. redemption, to buy or purchase that which is detained, or given for the re
leasing of that which is enthralled. But it is most evident that the life of
Christ was laid down as a price; neither is it more certain that he died, than I Cor.6.20. that he bought us: Te are bought with a price, faith the Apostle, and it is
7; 23 the Lord who bought us, and the price which he paid was his blood; for a 1 Pet. 1. 18,"We are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with 19. This is the precious blood of Christ. Now as it was the blood of Christ, so it was a pressed by two price given by way of compensation : and as that blood was precious, so was words, each of it a full and perfect fatisfaction. For as the gravity of the offence and inithem fully fog quity of the fin is augmented and increaseth, according to the dignity of the price: the first person offended and injured by it; so the value, price, and dignity of that simple, which which is given by way of compensation, is raised according to the dignity of is, aloogider, the person making the satisfaction. God is of infinite Majesty, against whom composition, we have sinned ; and Christ is of the fame divinity, who gave his life a raniga loedsev. some for sinners : for God hath purchased his Church with his own blood. AlVordered though therefore God be said to remiç our sins by which we were captivated, Suy in the
yet he is never said to † remit the price without which we had never been New Testace redeemed: neither can he be said to have remitted it, because he did require eth property it and receive it. to buy, appeareth generally in the Evangelists, and particularly in that place of the Revelations 13. 17. ivce un sis duón) cloesësues ή σωλήσαι. In the same fignification it is attributed undoubtedly unto Christ in respect of us whom he is often said to have bought, as 2 Pet. 2. I. I droogco aria auto's deavórlu aguojeluoi and this buying is expressed to be by a price, 1 Cor. 6. 20. ox ise écwtwv, slogcéad 17€ 2.0, Typeãs, Vulg. Non eftis veftri
, empti enim estis pretio magno, & i Cor. 6.23. Topelis aloesíat nie, pesi vivents do not dv@gátwy. What this price was is also evident, for the tipes
' was the tipcov cei pea the precious blood of Christ, or the blood given by way of price, Rev. 5: 9. Öte lopalns, saj vybegcoas tos Ocão speãs e te avece?i Cy. Which will appear more fully by the compound word itacoegéta, Gal. 3. 13. Xessos suecs i nyócsecev in * xa?ćeges 75 v6 MB, sfuópfe inię speão ratéege, and Gal. 4. 4. 5. sfuópfer vaò vómov, iva to's word vópov, écroegen. Now this ižalogs veids is proper Redemption, or aúrewors, upon a proper price, though not Silver or Gold, yet as proper as Silver and Gold, and far beyond them both, και φθαρούς αρΓυρίω ή κρυσίω έλυτρώθητε κ τ μαθαίας υμών ανατροφής παegπαραδότε, αλλα Tipiw añuecetu w's dmv de mecius xj carino, Xerso, 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. † As aótegy is a certain price given or promised for Liberty, fo úprévous détegy is to remit the price set upon the head of a Man or promised for him ; as we read in the Tetament of Lycon the Philofopher, Δημητρίω κ ελοθέρω πάλαι όν7ι αφίημι τα λύτρα. Demetrius had been his Servant, and he had set him free upon a certain price which he had engaged himself to pay for that Liberty; the Sum which Demetrius was thus bound to pay, Lycon at his death remits, as also to Criton, Kertavo j Kagzneovica, og Tótų, tà nótese Apinus. Diog. Laert.
If then we consider together, on our side the nature and obligation of sin, in Christ the satisfaction made, and reconciliation wrought, we shall easily perceive how God forgiveth sins, and in what remission of them consistech. Man being in all conditions under fome law of God, who hath sovereign power and dominion over him, and therefore owing absolute obedience to that law, whenfoever any way he transgresseth that law, or deviateth from that rule, he becomes thereby a sinner, and contracteth a Guilt which is an obligation to endure a punishment proportionable to his offence; and God who is the law-giver and sovereign, becoming now the party wronged and offended, hath a most just right to punish man as an offender. But Christ taking upon him the nature of man, and offering himself a sacrifice for fin, giveth that unto God for and instead of the eternal death of man, which is more valuable and acceptable to God than that death could be, and so ma keth a fufficient compensation and full satisfaction for the sins of man : which God accepting, becometh reconciled unto us, and for the punishment which Christ endured, taketh off our obligation to eternal punishment.
Thus man who violated, by sinning, the law of God, and by that violation offended God, and was thereby obliged to undergo the punishment due unto the sin, and to be inflicted by the wrath of God, is, by the price of the most pre
cious blood of Christ, given and accepted in full compensation and satisfaction for the punishment which was due, restored unto the favour of God, who being thus fatisfied, and upon such fatisfaction reconciled, is faithful and just to take off all obligation unto punishment from the finner; and in this act of God confifteth the forgiveness of sins, Which is sufficient for the first part of the explication of this article, as being designed for nothing elle but to declare what is the true notion of remision of fins, in whát that action doth confift.
The second part of the explication, taking notice not only of the fub stance, but also of the order of the Article, observing the immediáte connexion of it with the Holy Church, and the relation, which in the opinion of the Ancients ir hath unto it, will endeavour to instruct us how this
great privilege of forgiveness of fins is propounded in the Church; how it may bé procured and obtained by the members of the Church.
At the same time when our Saviour fent the Apostles to gather a Church unto him, he foretold that repentance and remission of sins should be preach- Luke 24. 47: ed in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem; and when the Church was first constituted, they thus exhorted those whom they desired to come into it, Repent and be converted, that your fins may be blotted ont; and, Be it known unto you that through this man is preached unto yoù Acts 3. 29. forgiveness of sins. From whence it appeareth that the Jews and Gentibes were invited to the Church of Christ, that they might therein receive remiffion of sins; that the doctrine of remission of all sins propounded and preached to all cuen, was proper and peculiar to the Gospel, which teacherh us that lets 13. 39: by Christ all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. Therefore John the Baptist, who went before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways, gave knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their fins.
This, as it was preached by the Apostles at the first gathering of the Church of Christ, I call proper and peculiar to the Gospel, because the same doctrine was not so propounded by the law. For if we consider the law.it self strictly and under the bare notion of a law, it promised life only upon perfect, absolute, and uninterrupted obedience ; the voice thereof was.only this, Dó this and live. Some of the greater sins nominated and specified in the law, had annexed unto them the sentence of death, and that sentence irreversible; nor was there any other way or means left in the law of Moses, by which that punishment might be taken off. As for other less and more ordinary sins, there were facrifices appointed for them; and when those facrifices were offered and accepted, God was appeased, and the offences were released. Whatsoever else we read of sins forgiven under the law, was of some special divine indulgence, more than was promised by Moses, though not more than was promulgated unto the people, in the name and of the · nature of God, fo far as something of the Gospel was mingled with the law.
Now as to the atonement made by the sacrifices; it clearly had relation to + Lex péccathe death of the Messias; and whatsoever virtue was in them did operate torum nefcit through his death alone. As he was the lamb sain from the foundation of remiffionein; the world, so all atonements which were ever made, were only effectual by his blood. But though no sin was ever forgiven, bue by, virtue of that Sa- bet quo octisfaction ; though God was never reconciled unto any linner but by intuition of that propitiation ; yet the general doctrine of remission of fins was quod in lege
never clearly revealed, and publickly preached to all nations; till the co- minus cít, ming of the Saviour of the world, whole name was therefore called Jesus, tur in Evanbecause he was to save his people from their fins.
gelio. S. Amb Being therefore we are affured that the preaching remission of fins belong in Lucám: 1.6:
uin non ha
tur : & ideo
eth not only certainly, but in fome sense peculiarly, to the Church of Christ, it will be next considerable how this remission is conferred upon any person in the Church
For a full fatisfaction in this particular two things are very observable ; one relating to the initiation, the other concerning the continuation of a Christian. For the first of these, it is the most general and irrefragable assertion of all, to whom we have reason to give credit, that all sins whatsoever any person is guilty of, are remitted in the baptism of the same person. For the lecond, it is as certain that all fins committed by any person after baptism are remissible ; and the person committing those fins, Thall receive forgiveness upon true repentance, at any time, according to the Gospel.
First, It is certain, that forgiveness of sins was promised to all who were baptized in the name of Christ; and it cannot be doubted but all persons who did perform all things necessary to the receiving the ordinance of baptism, did also receive the benefit of that ordinance, which is remission of sins. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance
for the remission of sins. And S. Peter made this the exhortation of his Acts 2. 38. first Sermon, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Je* Vel Baptis- fus Christ for the remiffion of sins. In vain doth doubting and fluctuating mo illi, hoc * Socinus endeavour to evacuate the evidence of this Scripture: attributing
the remission either to repentance without consideration of baptism; or elle
to the publick profession of faith made in baptism; or if any thing must be nem, nequac attributed to baptism it self, it must be nothing but a declaration of such rePetrus, sed mission. For how will these shifts agree with that which Ananias said unto pænitentiæ; Saul, without any mention either of repentance or confession, a Arise and vel fi Baptif
be baptized, and wash away thy sins ; and that which S. Paul, who was rationem cà so baptized, hath taught us concerning the Church, that Christ doth fanin re habuit
, &tifie and cleanse it with the washing of water. It is therefore fufficiently publicam no- certain that baptism as it was instituted by Christ after the præadministration minis Jesu of S. John, wheresoever it was received with all qualifications necessary in Chrifti pro
the person accepting, and conferred with all things necessary to be performcontinet, eam ed by the person administring, was most infallibly efficacious, as to this par. tantùm con- ticular, that is, to the remission of all fins committed before the administrafi ipfius etiam tion of this facrament. lutionis omnino rationem habere voluit, quod ad ipfam attinet, remiflionis peccatorum nomine non ipfam remiffionem verè, sed remiffionis declarationem, & obligationem quandam intellexit. Soc. de Baptifmo. Acts 22. 16. b Ephef. 5. 26.
est, ablutioni peccatorum Remiflio
* S. Chryso
As those which are received into the Church by the facrament of bapftome speak- tism receive the remission of their Sins of which they were guilty before Powerofetike they were baptized: fo after they are thus made members of the Church, Priests, o ys they receive remission of their future fins by their repentance. Christ who orav minãs ava- hath left us a pattern of prayer, hath thereby taught us for ever to implore and
une pe beg the forgiveness of our sins; that as we through the frailty of our nature are tawra Cure always subject unto sin, fo we should always exercise the acts of repentance,
dan XX1 içeriæ apapahuc7ce
. De Sacerd. I. 3. Excepto baptismatis munere, quod contra originale peccatum donatum est, (ut quod generatione attra&um eft regeneratione detrahatur, & tamen activa quoque peccata quæcunque corde, ore, opere cominissa invenerit tollit) hac ergo exceptâ magnâ indulgentià (unde inquit hominis renovatio) in qua folvitur omnis reatus & ingeneratus & additus, ipfa etiam vita cætera jam ratione utentis ætatis, quantalibet præpolleat fæcunditate justitiæ, fine remislione peccatorum non agitur ; quoniam filii Dei quamdiu mortaliter vivunt cum morte confligunt: & quamvis de illis, üt veraciter dictnm, quotquot Spiritu Dei aguntut, bi filii sunt Dei: sic tamen Spiritu Dei excitantur & tanquam filii Dei proficiunt ad Deum, ut etiam spiritu fuo (maximè aggravante corruptibili corpore) tanquam filii hominum quibusdam moribus humanis deficiant ad seipfos & peccent. S. Aug. Enchir. c. 44. Oűtwee leto τα το βάπτισμα εκκαθαίρε) αμαρτήματα με πόνε πολλά και καμάτε. Πάσαν τoίνω επιδειξώμεθα ασυδω, ώσε αυτα εξαλείψαι ώζεύθεν, και αιχμύης και η κολάσεως απαλλαγώαι η οκά, καν γδ μυρία ώμου ημιμαρτηκότες, αν έθέλω μου, διησόμεθα άπανT* TATA dood eats o due degnuátov poglice. S. Chryf. Hom. in Pentecoft
. 1. Quod autem scriptum, & fanguis Jesu filii ejus mundat nos ab omni peccato, tam in Confessione Baptismatis, quàm in clementia pænitudinis accipiendum cít. S. Hieron. adv. Pelag. 1. 2.
and for ever seek the favour of God. This then is the comfort of the Gofpel, that as it discovereth Sin within us, so it propounded a remedy unto us. While we are in this life encompassed with flesh, while the allurements of the World, while the stratagems of Satan, while the infirmities and corruptions of our nature betray us to the transgression of the Law of God; we are always subject to offend, (from whence whosoever faith that he hath no fin is a lyar, contradicting himself, and contracting iniquity by pretending innocency) and so long as we can offend, so long we may apply our selves unto God by repentance, and be renewed by his Grace, and pardoned by his Mercy.
And therefore the Church of God, in which remision of sin is preached, doth not only promise it at first by the Laver of Regeneration, but afterwards also
upon the virtue of Repentance; and to deny the Church this Power of Absolution is the * Heresie of Novatian.
* I call this the Herefre of No
vatian rather than of Novatus, because though they both joined in it, yet it is rather Sprung from Noratianus the Roman Presbyter, than from Novatus the African Bishop. And he is thus cxpressed by Epiphanius, Silww pensioen (wirescu, anda piar με άνοιαν και το λα7ρgν, μηκέτι διώαι, ελεεία, ο δαπεπλωκότα" that is, he acknowledged but one Repentance which υας available in Baptism; after which if any Man sinned, there was no Mercy remaining for him. To which Epiphanius gives this Reply, Η ε τιλεία μελάνοια ώ τω λαθρο τυχάνς· και δέ τις παρέπεσεν εκ λιπόλλή τατον η αγία τη Θεά Εκκλησία, δίδωσι δ και επάνοδον, και με το μελάνοιαν τ' μελαμέλαν' And again, Δέχε3 ον ο άΠος λόχος και η αγία Θεά Εκκλησία σάνο7ε 7 μελάνοιαν " And yet more generally. Τασάνα (αφώς τεγελάω3 τ ωεύθεν εκδημίαν, έτι και όντων και το αγώνι σανίων, και με σώσιν ένα ανάσασις, έτι ελπίς, έτι θεραπεία, έτι ομολογία: κάν και μη τελειότατα, αλλ' ών, γε και άλλων εκ cznyógevy Caineia. Hær. 59.
The necessity of the belief of this Article appeareth, first, because there can be no Christian consolation without this persuasion. For we have all sinned and come short of the Glory of God, nay, God himself hath concluded all under Sin ; we must also acknowledge that every Sinner is a guilty Person, and that guilt consisteth in an obligation to endure eternal Punishment from the wrath of God provoked by our Sins; from whence nothing else can arise but a fearful expectation of everlasting Misery. So long as guilt remaineth on the Soul of Man, so long is he in the condition of the Devils, delivered into chains and reserved unto judgment. For we all fell as well 2 Pet. 2. 4: as they, but with this difference ; Remission of Sins is promised unto us, but to them it is not.
Secondly, It is necessary to believe the forgiveness of sins, that thereby we may fufficiently esteem God's goodness and our Happiness
. When Man was fallen into Sin, there was no possibility left him to work out his recovery; that Soul which had finned must of necessity die, the wrath of God abiding upon him for ever. There can be nothing imaginable in that Man which should move God not to sew a demonstration of his Justice upon there can be nothing without him which could pretend to rescue him from the fentence of an offended and Almighty God. Glorious therefore must the goodness of our God appear; who dispenseth with his Law, who taketh off the guilt, who looseth the obligation, who imputeth not the Sin. This is God's goodness, this is Man's happiness. For blessed is he whose trans- Pfal. 31. 1, 2, gression is forgiven, whose fin is covered; Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no iniquity. The year of Release, the Year of Jubilee, was a time of publick Joy; and there is no Voice like that, thy sins are forgiven thee. By this a Man is rescued from infernal Pains, fecured from everlasting Flames; by this he is made capable of Heaven, by this he is affured of eternal Happiness.
Thirdly, it is necessary to believe the forgiveness of sins, that by the sense thereof we may be inflamed with the love of God: For that love doth naturally follow from such a fense, appeareth by the Parable in the Gospel, There was a certain creditor which had two debtors, the one owed him Luke 6.41,4ài
five hundred pence, the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, be frankly forgave them both. Upon which case our Saviour made this question, Which of them will love him most? He supposeth both the Debtors will love him, because the Creditor forgave them both; and he collecteth the degrees of love will answer proportionably to the quantity of the debt forgiven. We are the debtors, and our debts are fins, and the creditor is God: The remission of our fins is the frank forgiving of our debts, and for that we are obliged to return our love.
Fourthly, The true notion of forgiveness of sins is necessary to teach us
what we owe to Christ, to whom, and how far we are indebted for this ForAfis 13. 38. giveness. Through this man is preached unto us the forgiveness of sins, and
without a surety we had no release. He rendred God propitious unto our Persons, because he gave himself as a satisfaction for our Sins. While thus
he took off our obligation to Punishment, he laid upon us a new obligation 1 Cor. 16.20. of Obedience. We are not our owu who are bought with a price : We I Cor. 7.22. must Glorifie God in our bodies, and in our spirits, which are God's. We
must be no longer the servants of men ; we are the servants of Christ, who are bought with a price.
Fifthly, It is necessary to believe remission of sins as wrought by the Blood of Christ, by which the Covenant was ratified and confirmed, which mindeth us of a Condition required. It is the nature of a Covenant to expect performances on both parts; and therefore if we look for forgiveness promised, we must perform repentance commanded. These two were always preached to
gether, and those which God hath joined ought no Man to put asunder. Christ Aits 5. 31. did truly appear a Prince and a Saviour, and it was to give repentance to
Ifrael, and forgiveness of sins : He joined these two in the Apostle's ComLuke 24. 47. mission, saying, that Repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name throughout all nation's.
From hence every one may learn what he is explicitely to believe and confess in this Article of forgiveness of sins; for thereby he is conceived to intend thus much: I do freely and fully acknowledge, and with unspeakable comfort embrace this as a most necessary and infallible Truth, That whereas every Sin is a transgression of the Law of God, upon every transgression there remaineth a guilt upon the person of the transgressor, and that guilt is an obligation to endure eternal Punishment; so that all Men being concluded under Sin, they were all obliged to suffer the miseries of eternal Death, it pleased God to give his Son, and his Son to give himself to be a furety for tbis Debt, and to release us from these bonds, and because without shedding of Blood there is no remission, he gave his life a facrifice for Sin, he laid it down as a ransome, even his precious Blood as a price by way of compensation and satisfaction to the will and justice of God; by which propitiation, God, who was by our Sins offended, became reconciled, and being fo, took off our obligation to eternal Punishment, which is the guilt of our Sins, and appointed in the Church of Christ the Sacrament of Baptism for the first remiflion, and Repentance for the constant forgiveness of all following Trespasses. And thus I believe the forgiveness of Sins.