Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.—1 Peter 2.17.

 
David Dickson's

Truth's Victory Over Error

Chapter. VIII.

Of Christ the Mediator.

QUESTION I.

"DID the Son of God, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance?"

Yes; John 1.1,14. 1 John 5.20. Heb. 2.14,16,17. Luke 1.27,31,35.

Well then, do not these heretics err called Marcionites, and the Anabaptists err, who maintain, That Christ is not a true man, but only the appearance, shape, or form of a man?

Yes.

Do not likewise the Manicheans err, who maintain, That the body of Christ is not the substance of the virgin Mary, but a heavenly body, brought from heaven to the womb of the virgin?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because Christ is said to be made of a woman, Gal. 4.4.

2d, Because the word was made flesh, John 1.4.

3d, By an induction of the essential parts of a man, and the sinless infirmities which were found in him.

  1. He was endued with a rational soul, John 12.27.
  2. He had a real and substantial body, and denied he was a spirit only, Luke 24.39.
  3. Christ did hunger, Mat. 4.2.
  4. He was weary and thirsty. John 4.6.
  5. Lastly, He was sad; he groaned in spirit, and was troubled, John 11.35. and verse 15. He wept. None of which sinless perturbations can agree to an appearance, shape, or form of a man.
4th, Because he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Rom. 1.3. and descended of the Jews, Rom 9.5.

5th, Because the promises were made in the seed of Abraham, Gen. 12.3. add Gen. 18.18.

6th, Because he took not on him the nature of angles, but took on him the seed of Abraham, Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, Heb. 2.16,17.

7th, Because otherwise he could not have satisfied in our place the justice of God: Seeing it had been unjust for another nature to have suffered punishment, than that nature which had offended and sinned.

Quest. II. "Are there two whole, perfect, and distinct natures in Christ, the God-head, and the manhood, inseparably joined together in one person?"

Yes; 1 Cor. 8.6. Eph. 4.5.

Well then, do not the Nestorians err, who maintain, the union between the divine and human nature, not to be hypostatical, but only by way of assistance: And that, as there are two natures in Christ, so there are two persons, one proper to the divine nature, another proper to the human nature?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because unless Christ-God-man were but one person, the merit of his death would not be of so great value, as to redeem the elect from infinite and eternal punishment; seeing hence cometh all the value and worth of his death, that the same person who was God, did suffer and die for us.

2d, Because otherwise, Christ had been swallowed up and devoured by the wrath of God, against the sins of the elect, which he himself undertook.

3d, Because Christ, if he had not been both God and man in one person, he could not have been a mediator: For a mediator must be one, 1 Tim. 2.5.

Quest. III. "Is the godhead and manhood in Christ united without conversion, composition or confusion?"

Yes; Luke 1.35. Col. 2.9. Rom. 9.5. 1 Pet. 3.18. 1 Tim. 3.16.

Well then, do not these old heretics, the Eutychiens err, who maintain, That as the person of Christ is one, so his nature is made one, by a composition, or confusion of the two natures together?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because such a composition is impossible, seeing the divine nature is most perfect and cannot lose any of its own perfection, unless we would affirm the divine nature to be mutable and changeable.

2d, Because that same Christ, who according to the flesh descended of the Jews is over all, God blessed for ever, Rom. 6.5.

3d, Because this doctrine takes away all means of mediation; for, by taking away the distinction between the natures, they take away the natures themselves: And so neither could Christ have suffered in our place, because not man; neither could he have given any virtue, value, or worth, to his sufferings because not God.

Quest. IV. "Did Christ endure most grievous torments immediately in his soul?"

Yes; Mat. 26.37,38. Luke 22.44. Mat. 27.46.

Well then, do not the Papists err, who maintain, That the soul of Christ, even from its first creation, was never affected with any sadness, or sinful perturbation of mind?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because the Scripture testifies, that his soul was sad unto death, Mat. 26.37.

2d, Because the apostle John testifies, that when Christ saw Mary weeping for her brother Lazarus, he groaned in Spirit and was troubled, John 11.33. and 12.27.

3d, Because his soul was exceeding sorrowful even unto death, as was cited before, Mat. 26.37.

4th, The same thing is proven from Christ's desertion, whereby the actual fruition, and enjoying of God's favour, as to his sense, was interrupted, and broken in the midst for a time, but in no wise altogether taken away, which made him cry upon the cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, Mat. 27.46. Eph. 5.2.

Quest. V. "Had the Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, fully satisfied the justice of his Father?"

Yes; Rom. 5.9. and 3.25,26. Heb. 9.14,16. and 10.14.

Well then, do not some, otherwise orthodox, err, who deny Christ's active obedience to be a part of his satisfaction, performed in our place?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because the active disobedience of the first Adam made us all sinners; therefore we must be made righteous by the active obedience of the second Adam, Rom. 5.19.

2d, Because Christ not only offered himself to the death for us, but for their sakes, that is, for the elects sake, he sanctified himself, that is, he gave up himself as a holy sacrifice, John 17.19.

3d, Because it behoved Christ to fulfill all righteousness, Mat. 3.15.

4th, Because we stood in need, not only of the expiation of sin, for saving us from eternal death, but of the gift of righteousness, for obtaining eternal life, according to that precept and demand of the law, Do this, and thou shalt live. And therefore Christ is not only called our ransom, but the end and perfection of the law, to every one that believeth Rom. 10.4. That is, the aim of giving the law by Moses, is that thereby men being brought to the knowledge of their sin, should fly for refuge unto Christ and his righteousness, as he that hath perfectly fulfilled the law for us.

5th, Because the passive obedience of Christ was not in itself merely and purely passive, but his active obedience did challenge the chief and principal part in it, Psalm 40.7. "Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of thy book it is written of me." With these words, our Saviour Christ declareth his willing obedience to accept of, undergo, and execute his Mediatorship, by God imposed upon him. And Isa. 53.7. he offered up himself a sacrifice for sin, and by one oblation, he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, Heb. 10.14.

6th, Because whole Christ was given to us, with all his benefits; otherwise, if only his passive obedience were imputed to us, it would follow that half Christ only were given, viz. Christ suffering, but not Christ doing those things which pleased the Father; taking away our sin, and saving from death only, but not bringing righteousness. But Christ was not given, and born for himself, but for us, that he might bestow himself wholly upon us, by doing for us what we could not do, and by suffering for us what we could not suffer.

Do not likewise the Socinians err, who maintain, That this orthodox doctrine, (namely, That Christ did merit eternal salvation to the elect, and hath satisfied divine justice for them,) is erroneous, false, and absurd?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because the Messiah doth finish transgression, and maketh an end of sins, and maketh reconciliation for iniquity, and shall be cut off, but not for himself, as the prophet Daniel hath foretold, chapter 9, verses 24 and 26.

2d, Because his own self bore our sins in his own body upon the tree, 1 Pet. 2.24.

3d, Because he hath reconciled those to God, that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in their minds by wicked works, in the body of his flesh through death, Col. 1.21,22.

4th, Because now once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself, Heb. 9.26.

5th, Because he hath given his life, an (antilytron) a pretium redemptionis, a price of redemption for many.

6th, Because the prophet Isaiah says, that it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put him to grief; and that he was wounded for our transgressions, and that he bare our iniquities, chapter 53.5,10,11.

Quest VI. "Did Christ in the work of mediation act according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself?"

Yes; Heb. 9.4. 1 Pet. 3.18.

Well then, do not the Papists err, who maintain, That Christ is a mediator, only according to his human nature?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because it was needful for perfecting the work of the Mediator, that Christ should overcome death; which could not otherwise be done, than by his divine nature, 1 Pet. 3.18. where it is said, he was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

2d, Because there are very many properties of the Mediator, which cannot in any wise agree to the human nature of Christ, as undertaking and promising that he will raise him up at the least day, whom the Father has given him, John 6.39. Again, he could not lay down his life, and take it up again, by the alone strength of his human nature; but all these works are proper to the Mediator, as is clear from the tenth chapter of John verse 18. And,

3d, The application of these good things which he hath merited, is the proper work of the Mediator, which can only be done by the divine nature.

4th, Because Christ is a prophet, a priest, and a king, according to both his natures. A prophet, Mat. 11.27. No man knoweth the Father, save the Son. A priest, Rom. 5.10. Heb. 9.14. He is a king, Luke 1.32. All which offices he executes according to both his natures.