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their governor was of themselves, who had the power of life and death, and they were governed by their own laws; and so Judah had “a lawgiver from between his feet” during the Persian and Grecian monarchies. Towards the latter part of the Grecian monarchy, the people were governed by kings of their own, of the race of the Maccabees, for near a hundred years; and after that they were subdued by the Romans. But the Romans suffered them to be governed by their own laws, and to have a king of their own, Herod the Great, who reigned about forty years, and governed with kingly authority, only paying homage to the Romans. But shortly after Christ was born he died, as we have an account, Matt. 2 : 19; and Archelaus succeeded him; but was soon put down by the Roman emperor; and then the sceptre departed from Judah. There were no more temporal kings of Judah after that, neither had that people their governors from the midst of themselves, but were ruled by a Roman governor sent among them; and they ceased to have the power of life and death among themselves. Hence the Jews say to Pilate, “ It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” John, 18:31. Thus the sceptre departed from Judah when Shiloh came.
THE PURCHASE OF REDEMPTION.
Having thus considered Christ's coming into the world, and his taking on him our nature, to put himself in a capacity for the purchase of redemption, I come now to show what is intended by the purchase of redemption ; to make some general observations concerning those things by which this purchase was made; and then to consider those things more particularly which Christ did and suffered, by which that purchase was made.
I. The Purchase itself. Christ's purchasing redemption, two things are intended, his satisfaction, and his merit. All is done by the price that Christ lays down, which does two things: it pays our debt, and so it satisfies : by its intrinsic value, and by the agreement between the Father and the Son, it procures our title to happiness, and so it merits. The satisfaction of Christ is to free us from misery, and the merit of Christ is to purchase happiness for us.
The word purchase, in this connection, is taken either more strictly or more largely. It is often used more strictly, to signify only the merit of Christ; and sometimes more largely, to signify both his satisfaction and merit. Indeed most of the words used respecting redemption, have various significations. Thus sometimes divines use merit for the whole price that Christ offered, both satisfactorily and positively meritorious. And so the word satis:faction is sometimes used, not only for his propitia
tion, but also for his meritorious obedience. For in some sense, not only suffering the penalty, but positively obeying, is needful to satisfy the law. The reason of this various use of these terms seems to be, that satisfaction and merit do not differ so much really as relatively. They both consist in paying a valuable price, a price of infinite value: but that price, as it respects a debt lo be paid, is called satisfaction ; and as it respects a positive good to be obtained, is called merit. The difference between paying a debt and making a positive purchase, is more relative than essential. He who lays down a price to pay a debt, does in some sense make a pur. chase; he purchases liberty from the obligation. And he who lays down a price to purchase a good, does as it were make satisfaction: he satisfies the conditional demands of him to whom he pays it. This may suffice concerning what is meant by the purchase of Christ.
II. General Observations concerning those things by which this Purchase was made.
1. And here observe, that whatever in Christ had the nature of satisfaction, was by virtue of his suffering or humiliation; but whatever had the nature of merit, was by virtue of his obedience or righteousness. The satisfaction of Christ consists in his answering the demands of the law on man, which were consequent on the breach of the law. These were answered by suffering the penalty of the law. The merit of Christ consists in what he did to answer the demands, which were prior to man's breach of the law, or to fulfill what the law demanded before man sinned, which was obedience. The satisfaction or propitiation of Christ consists either in his suffering evil, or his being subject to abasement. Christ did not only make satisfaction by proper suffering, but by whatever had the nature of humiliation and abasement of circumstances. Thus he made satisfaction by continuing under the power of death while he lay buried in the grave; though neither his body nor soul properly endured any suffering after he was dead. Whatever Christ was subject to that was the judicial fruit of sin, had the nature of satisfaction for sin. But not only proper suffering, but all abasement and depression of his state and circumstances below his primitive honor and dignity, such as his body remaining under death, his body and soul remaining separate, &c. are the judicial fruits of sin. And all that Christ did in his state of humiliation, that had the nature of obedience, moral virtue, or goodness, had the na. ture of merit in it, and was part of the price with which he purchased happiness for the redeemed.
2. Both Christ's satisfaction for sin, and also his meriting happiness by his righteousness, were carried on through the whole time of his humiliation. Christ's satisfaction for sin was not by his last surferings only, though it was principally by them; but all his sufferings, and all his humiliation, from the first moment of his incarnation to his resurrec. tion, were propitiatory or satisfactory. Christ's sat. isfaction was chiefly by his death, because his suf. ferings and humiliation in that were greatest. But all his other sufferings, and all his other humiliation, all along had the nature of satisfaction: the mean circumstances in which he was born: his being born of a poor virgin, in a stable, and laid in a
manger; his taking human nature upon him in its low estate, and under those infirmities brought upon it by the fall; his being born in the form of sinful flesh, &c. And so all his sufferings in his infancy and childhood, and all that labor, contempt, reproach, temptation, and difficulty of any kind which he suffered through the whole course of his life, was of a propitiatory and satisfactory nature. And so his purchase of happiness by his righteousness was also carried on through the whole-time of his humiliation till his resurrection : not only in that obedience he performed through the course of his life, but also in the obedience he performed in laying down his life.
3. It was by the same things that Christ both satisfied God's justice, and also purchased eternal happiness. He did not make satisfaction by some things, and then work out righteousness by other different things; but in the same acts by which he wrought out righteousness, he also made satisfaction, only taken in a different relation. One and the same act of Christ, considered with respect to his obedience, was part of his righteousness, and purchased heaven: but considered with respect to the self-denial, and difficulty, and humiliation with which he performed it, had the nature of satisfaction for sin, and procured our pardon. Thus his going about doing good, preaching the Gospel, and teaching his disciples, was a part of his righteous. ness, and the purchase of heaven, as it was done in obedience to the Father; and the same was a part of his satisfaction, as he did it with great labor, trouble, and weariness, and under great temptations, exposing himself thereby to reproach and contempt.