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Sermon XXIII

Our sins already laid on Christ

Tobias Crisp

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid {or, made to meet,} on him the iniquity of us all.” {Is.53:6}

I have elsewhere made some progress in these words; which indeed contain in them the fulness of the mystery of free-grace. It is iniquity itself, as well as the punishment of it, that the Lord laid upon Christ; for he bare the sins of many, as well being wounded for them. This is a real transaction; Christ stands as very a sinner in God’s eye, as the reprobate, though not as the actor of sin; yet as he was the surety, the debt became as really his, as it was the principal’s before it became the surety’s; and this translation of our iniquities from us unto Christ, is the sole and only act of the Lord himself; for none but he could lay iniquity on him.

The fourth thing considerable in the words is that “the Lord hath done it already.” It is not, the Lord doth lay, or will lay, iniquity upon Christ; but he hath laid it upon him; the business is not to be done now. Thou hast, peradventure, this day committed this, and that, and the other sin; yet the Lord is not now to lay it upon Christ; for it is done long ago.

We have entered upon this point elsewhere this morning; and here I briefly propose to you this, for the better clearing of the time, when the Lord laid iniquity upon Christ; and I will leave it with you as a caution to distinguish between the Lord’s act of laying iniquity, and the believer’s act of applying this grace to himself. When we believe our iniquities are laid on Christ, is one time; when God lays them, is another. God, long before we believed, laid them upon Christ; and, when we believe, the foundation of it is an ancient grant that we find upon record, enacted and entered long ago. Faith hath a word of truth, if it be true faith, whereupon it builds; it looks not for present revelation of things not extant before, but takes them as it finds them upon record, when the record is first entered; nay, when the act was first made, from whence it was entered, then was the grant; then God did his part in laying iniquity upon Christ; and we, in time, by the grace of the Lord given to us, believe, find out his ancient grant, which now at believing, becomes apparent, and so comes our application. Application at present, or may be hereafter; but the laying iniquity itself, an act passed long before by God.

For the better understanding of God’s laying iniquity upon Christ, when he did it, there are these three things considerable.

1. The Lord’s laying iniquity upon Christ by way of obligation; {2;} by way of execution; {3;} by way of application of this benefit to us.

1. God’s act of having iniquity upon Christ by way of obligation; so he laid it upon him, as soon as ever he was bound to it; a bond is a man’s act and deed before payment. As soon as ever God bound himself, the iniquity was laid upon Christ; for he had forfeited his own faithfulness, if he had not fulfilled it. Now the time wherein he thus laid it on Christ, was from all eternity. Royal assent gives being to any act of grace. Before there could be any believing of this grace, God’s assent, by his determinate counsel, {Acts 4:28,} gave being to it.

2. Then there was the laying iniquity on Christ by way of execution; Christ from all eternity stood engaged to answer all the sins of the elect, but God gives him a long day of payment. There is a twofold laying iniquity upon Christ by way of execution, the one virtual, the other real and actual. The virtual laying iniquity on Christ was long before payment, but the other at it. Abraham sinning, his sins were laid on Christ; God laid his execution upon him, for the sins of Abraham; and yet, notwithstanding, Christ was not actually called to account, where observe, that here was but a virtual execution served upon Christ, not the actual; the real and actual way of execution is, or rather was, when Christ actually stood out, and had the load of sin pressing him down, saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Now sin actually lay upon him; “your iniquities {saith the prophet} have separated you and your God.” When iniquity came once to separate, then was it actually laid upon Christ; he himself was separated from his Father, and then did he bear iniquity; then was he called to account for it; but I hasten.

3. There is one thing more very considerable, that is, the Lord’s laying iniquity upon Christ, by way of application; I mean, when it is that the Lord singles out this and that, and the other person now present, and takes your very sins you have committed, and shall hereafter, and lays them upon him. Concerning the elect in general, as they were in the eye of the Lord, before they had a real existence, so all their iniquities were laid upon Christ from eternity; but it must needs be granted, beloved, that the particular application of this grace to persons, that the Lord hath laid my, and thy iniquities upon Christ individually, must needs be in time. Before a man is in being, there cannot be a personal application of the grace of God unto him; God cannot apply his grace to nothing. Though in his eye he may apprehend a person as being, though not actually, and so reckon Christ as a sinner, instead of him, when he be; yet to say to such as one by name, thy iniquities are laid upon Christ; and the Lord reckons thee in person, as such as one who hath not one iniquity he can charge upon thee, this is done in time. Now it will be worth the while, to know when the Lord singles out particular persons, and when this grace of laying this man’s iniquities upon Christ, is appropriated by him to him; for you must know, that there is a twofold appropriation of God’s grace of laying iniquity upon Christ. There is God’s application, and man’s application; God’s application is, when he himself says from heaven, that he loves this very person; and that his iniquities are carried away by Christ. Man’s application is, when God gives to him to believe and by this act to be persuaded that he hath done it. We are yet upon the first kind of application, when the Lord himself applies to such a particular person, that his iniquities are laid upon Christ.

In the clearing of this, beloved, I must tell you, I dare not confine myself to the judgment of any man under heaven; nor pin my faith upon any man’s sleeve; to conceive such a thing truth, because such men speak it; and therefore I shall desire you, if you be sincere, and mean that the word of the Lord shall be your guide, to resolve you in such comfortable truths, to mind not so much what I, or any man say, as what the Lord himself saith; and according to the clearness of the Lord in his own word, so set you up your rest.

And that you may be the better resolved of this truth, so much inquired into, when the Lord laid my, and thy iniquities upon his Son Christ; know that he laid the iniquities of every elect person two ways upon him; {1;} secretly; and {2;} manifestly and openly. In the secret application of this grace unto a man, he hath a full discharge; and in the manifestation hereof, in the second way of application, he hath the comfort of it.

As concerning the Lord’s secret applying unto a person, the grace of laying his iniquity upon Christ; I shall desire you, beloved, what you may see in one view, both him, the Lord did this, and the time when he doth it. It is a secret thing, for a time, to those for whom he doth it. Look into Rom.9:10-13, a place very well worth your consideration, that hath been much canvassed; yet, for all this, I see the evidence of the Spirit of the Lord is not so fully seen as possibly it might be. The apostle there tells us, of the admirable free grace of God, and how that the Lord in showing mercy, intends that it may appear to all the world, that what he doth, is merely and solely of grace, and for his own sake; and for the illustration of it, he bringeth in an example of Rebecca and her sons, Jacob and Esau, saying, “when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Mark the words well, I pray you. Out of this passage, I shall note these particulars to you. First, you have here expressed the Lord’s declaring himself personally and individually to the one, Jacob, I mean, that he loved him; there was a love from eternity to him, as he was among the rest, in the election of grace; but mark it well beloved, till there was a single individual person, as Jacob, the Lord did not say, “Jacob have I loved;” therefore, you shall see, here is a personal singling out of Jacob by name, distinct from any other whatsoever, and a love pronounced to him, “Jacob have I loved.”

Then consider next, what kind of love this was, that the Lord here pronounces on Jacob; it is a love that is opposed to the hatred, wherewith he hated Esau; now what kind of hatred was that? You know the hatred of Esau, was a hatred of rejection; the love of Jacob, then, was a love of acceptance; a love, wherewith he received him as one of his own. Now then consider, when the Lord first began personally to fasten this his love, the love of his justification; the text saith, “when they were not yet born, neither had done good or evil, that the purpose of God might stand, according to election, not of works, but of grace, it is said, Jacob have I loved;” as much as to say, the Lord did not tarry some space of time after Jacob had a being till he called him, and then pronounced love unto him, as if there had been no love to him till he was called; but before he came into the world, while he was yet in the womb; nay, when he was first conceived, the Lord pronounced, “Jacob have I loved;” and yet this was a secret, that there was any such thing as love to him; he being yet in the womb, and not capable to understand that God did thus love him; so that it is plain, there is a secret passing over of the grace of God, into the possession of a particular person, before he can know it; and this hath its being in the very conception, as soon as he hath any being.

From whence I gather this conclusion, that God applies or appropriates, unto his elect, his grace of discharge from all iniquity, and his love, at the very instant that such a person hath a being in the world.

I am not ignorant, how men differ in their judgments about God’s first applying his grace unto the sons of his election; for some think that God never applies pardon of sins to them till they be called and manifestly converted, but this cannot be; Jacob could not be called in the womb, but he was beloved in it, with such a love, as was opposed to the hatred of Esau. And others affirm, that the Lord first appropriates justification to persons when they are baptized, and not before; this cannot be neither; for {whereas circumcision had the place of baptism} Jacob was declared manifestly to be beloved before circumcision; and in Rom.4:10, the apostle {speaking of Abraham’s faith} saith expressly, that the Lord justified him not being in circumcision, but in uncircumcision; then the Lord singled him out, and possessed him of his own grace before ever he was circumcised.

Let me tell you, beloved, I conceive people are much mistaken, and exceedingly trouble their own spirits in vain, about the time when the Lord should give them their possession of this grace of laying their iniquities upon Christ. It is thought by some, that in case such a person should happen to die before God call him to grace, and give to him to believe, that he had been damned; and that elect persons are in a damnable estate, in the time they walk in excess of riot, before they are called. Let me speak freely to you; and, in so doing, tell you, that the Lord hath no more to lay to the charge of an elect person, yet in the height of iniquity, and in the excess of riot, and committing all the abominations that can be committed; I say, even then, when an elect person runs such a course, the Lord hath no more to lay to his charge, than he hath to lay to the charge of a believer; nay, he hath no more to lay to the charge of such a person, than he hath to lay to the charge of a saint triumphant in glory.1 It is true, such an one, not called, is never able to know individually of himself, that he is one that God hath nothing to charge upon him; because, till calling, God gives not unto men to believe, and it is only believing that is evidence to men of things not seen. Things that are not seen, are hidden, and shall not be known; I mean, the things of God’s love shall not be known to particular men, till they believe; but, considering their real condition, the Lord hath not one sin to charge upon an elect person, from the first moment of conception, till the last minute of his life; there is not so much as original sin to be laid on him; and the ground is, the Lord hath laid it on Christ already. When did he lay sins on him? When he paid the full price for them. Now, suppose this person, uncalled commits iniquity and that this is charged upon him; seeing that his iniquities are laid upon Christ already, how comes it to pass they are charged upon him again? How come they to be translated from Christ again, and laid upon him? Once they were laid upon Christ it must be confessed that “the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin;” {I Jn.1:7;} and that “by one sacrifice he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} Was there, by one act of Christ, the expiation of sins, and all at once, that are committed from the beginning of the world to the end of it? How comes it to pass that this and that sin should be charged upon the elect, when they were laid upon Christ long before? He did, by that one act of his, expiate all our sins, or he did not. If he did not expiate them fully, then he did not “save to the uttermost all that come to God by him;” but, if he did, then all iniquity is vanished and gone; he extracted it out, as some plaister of excellent virtue, extracts out the venom of a plague-sore; so Christ, by once offering up himself, took away all the sins of the elect at once.

Therefore, beloved, I cannot see what the instant of time may be wherein the Lord hath not yet taken the sins of such an elect person, and laid them upon Christ; suppose the distance of time between birth and baptism, which is the nearest time any man comes to; now, before baptism, where lie these iniquities? An elect person is conceived in sin, as David was, what becomes of it? Where lies it? Doth it lie upon him now? Then was it not laid upon Christ before, and so his blood hath not cleansed from all sin; he hath not borne all the transgressions of his people; he hath not perfected forever them that are sanctified by one sacrifice upon the cross. He that hath one sin lying upon him, is not perfect till that be taken from him; but saith the apostle, “by one sacrifice he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified;” but it seems by this, that he hath not perfected them; here is a middle time, or some time wherein such a person is not perfect; for there is no perfection while there is sin; and if there be sin upon persons, how can such be perfect? Therefore know, beloved, to your abundant comfort, that every elect vessel of God from the first instant of his being, is as pure in the eyes of God from the charge of sin as he shall be in glory; no more sin shall be reckoned to him now, than he shall have in heaven. The saints in heaven, how came they to be pure and holy, but only thus, Christ bare their iniquities for them, and paid the price of their transgressions? For if they had gone to heaven, and he had not borne them, they must have carried them with them; their purity is, that he bore their iniquities, and how did he bear the iniquities of a saint in heaven? It is all one with his bearing the sins of an elect person in the womb; the scripture makes no such difference, that he bore the sins of the one more, and otherwise than the sins of the other; but he equally perfected all the elect at once. The saints in heaven were no sooner perfected, than the elect child in the womb, save that there is a distance of time between the first being of the one, and of the other; for as those now in glory had their first purity in the womb, so every elect person now receives his there.

Beloved, I should be loth to put any new and strange things into the minds of men, that are not fully consonant to the mind of God recorded in the scripture; but I see not how it can be avoided, but that Christ’s sacrifice must be an imperfect one, and that it sanctified by halves, and degrees, and so he must do something more than he hath done, except there be a complete purging away of sin all at one instant. Surely, Christ must do something anew, if something yet remain to be done; if there be any one sin in the world, concerning the elect, to be taken away, he must come down again upon the earth to take it away; if there be but a farthing behind, he must come down again and pay it, before ever they be perfectly acquitted; but Christ left nothing behind him imperfect; and herein the apostle shows the difference between Christ’s priesthood and that after the order of Aaron; speaking of Aaron’s, he saith, “there is a remembrance of sin again every year;” for that their sacrifices could not make the comers thereto perfect, and therefore they were fain to reiterate them; but when Christ came, he offered himself up once for all, and then “sat down at the right hand of God;” surely Christ should have had no leisure to sit down, if any business of his were to be done; and if there be a remembrance of sin again, there must be a new sacrifice, to take away those sins whereof there is a remembrance; so that if you suppose any elect person, at any time, to have sin not yet taken away, Christ must come again upon the earth, and offer himself up again; for “without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” Christ must come to shed his blood again, if there be new sins to be remitted that were not remitted before.

Beloved, this may be of use to you in some respect, in behalf of your children; suppose they die in the womb, as you have many abortives; the case of such a child is the same, and as good as is the estate of a person that hath determined to the most evident calling as ever man was called by; for Jacob was beloved when Rebecca conceived him, while yet he was in the womb; and the Lord appropriates and applies to such a person that grace of his, the laying of his iniquity upon Christ.

I deny not but that the scripture speaks of a time of regeneration; but I desire you will understand, according to the mind of the Holy Ghost, what this time is that is spoken of. I know, it is the time of calling, but this is no prejudice at all to the applying of the grace of God, even from the womb. Take this regeneration for the act of conversion, and that is done in time, and it will amount to this; that though God secretly gives over the right and title of his own grace to a person in the womb, yet he doth not make it known to him till he hath it, till such time as he calls him. In Gal.4:1-5, the apostle, having spoken of the difference between the law and the gospel, that during the time of being under the law, they were under schoolmasters, tutors, and governors, saith, when “faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster;” {vs.25;} then he follows that with a fresh allegory, and makes use of the similitude of an heir, and a child under age. “Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Wherein I observe these two particulars:

1. That there is an heirship during childhood itself; “the heir as long as he is a child,” saith the apostle.

2. That there is this heirship when there is no difference between being a son and a servant; “while he is a child, he differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.” He is an heir, though there be no difference between him and a servant, during his childhood; what is the reason there is no difference during that? “He is,” saith the apostle, “under tutors and governors;” and so how doth he apply this? “Even so we, when we were children were in bondage under the rudiments of the world; but when the fulness of time was come, he sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons;” as if he had said, there is a time when a person is an heir under age; and there is a time when he comes to enjoy that whereof he is an heir, and differs from a servant manifestly, as indeed in nature he doth, and did before. A child is an heir, if the first born, as soon as ever born; nay, when he is first conceived in the womb. Suppose a man die estated in a great deal of land, leaving his wife but a month gone with child, he leaves his child as heir; yet for all this, there is a long time in the womb, and also of education, in which this child is used as a servant; there is no difference appears, he hath no more in possession than a servant, yet this child is still an heir; and so it is with all believers; the elect of God are the heirs of God; and as they are, so the first being of them puts them into the right of inheritance; he that is an heir born, is an heir the first moment he is conceived; so that either you must allow, that there is a time when an elect person is not an heir, or you must confess, that there is no time but such a one is a child of God; and as such, is purged from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; purged, I mean, by way of imputation, in the reckoning and account of God; though sins be committed afterwards in respect of which there may be, for a time no difference between the life of an heir, and the life of a servant; yet as this person is an heir of all, so none of this iniquity is reckoned to this person, nor ever shall be, in this life, nor in the life to come, though for the time he doth not know it.

But some may be ready to object, how is it possible, that from the first instant of an elect person’s being, all his sins should be reckoned as laid upon Christ, even from that instant? Can a sin be laid upon Christ before sin is existent? Can sin be laid upon Christ before sin is committed?

I answer, sin is laid upon Christ before it is; and it is no absurdity in reason itself to say so; for you know that it is possible a man may buy out trespasses before he doth them; suppose a man is addicted to hawking and hunting, and must trespass upon his neighbor’s ground; he may lay down a good large sum at once, that shall countervail all the trespasses that shall be done afterwards. Beloved, shall any man say that there was no trespass borne, paid, and satisfied by Christ, because there was none acted? What then shall become of all the elect that have been in the world since Christ’s coming, if there be not a real serving of sin upon him, and satisfaction made by him, before sin be committed? What will become of the sins of the apostles, and of the people of God since then? All their sins were committed since the reckoning was made; and if of particular persons in the church, why not so of every particular elect person by himself? If you shall have no more sins laid upon Christ, or reckoned to him, but what were committed before Christ made payment, there will be none of our sins found to be laid upon him, for all the sins we have committed, have been committed since Christ suffered.

Some object and say that Christ puts us upon our prayer, and in prayer that God would forgive us our trespasses; and so how can our iniquities be laid upon Christ already, when we are to pray that God would forgive them to us? It is a vain thing for us to pray to God to forgive them, when they were long ago forgiven. I answer, they were reckoned to Christ long before we pray for the forgiveness of them, and yet we do well in praying for it. We have a common answer known to all, as there is a twofold forgiveness of sins, a forgiveness of sins in heaven, and in the consciences of men. Forgiveness of sins in heaven is that which is acted by God alone; forgiveness of sins in the consciences of men is the manifestation of his former act. So then to pray for it, is no more but to pray that God would manifest to us that he hath forgiven our sins; and that it may be clear that he hath forgiven them, before we pray for it; and that prayer is grounded upon God’s act before-hand made.

Consider this one thing; I would ask this of you, you that pray for forgiveness of your sins; do you pray in faith, or not? If not, mark what the apostle James saith; {chap.1:6,7} “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” Beloved, your prayers stink in the nostrils of God, if you do not pray in faith. Well, you pray in faith, you will say; if you do, if you pray for the forgiveness of sin in faith, what is the ground of your faith? If you believe, you have a ground for it; you will say, the grant and word of God is the ground of it. Well, if that be the ground of your believing, then the grant hath a being before your faith, and so consequently before your prayer is made. As for example, God promised forgiveness of sins; now sin was forgiven by him as soon as ever he made the grant and record; at that instant, it was made, sin was forgiven, and God did his part in pardoning the transgressions of his people. Well then, if you pray in faith that your sins are forgiven, upon this ground, because God hath made this grant, and you find it upon record; then it seems your sins were forgiven you before your prayer was made. You will say, God hath granted this before, and now you pray to God that he would make good that to you which he hath granted before. Beloved, what is this more than to make that evident to you, and to give you the knowledge of that which he hath before granted, that you may have the comfort of it?

In brief, when people pray for any grace that God hath passed over to men, all their prayer is that he would make them perceive that he hath done that for them in special; so that all our prayers get no new thing of God that he hath not done before; only he is pleased when people pray to him according to his own mind, to meet with them in that ordinance, and then to manifest to them what secretly he had done before for them.

To conclude. If so, here is a word of admirable comfort to poor souls in that bitter suspense they usually are; thou art in a wavering condition; I know not {sayest thou} whether God hath laid mine iniquities upon Christ or no; I hope well, that Christ is at work with the Father for me; I hope I shall hear well from him. Beloved, your suspense may fall to the ground; your business is done to your hand already; there is not one gone about to do it in heaven for you now, as if it were in the power and pleasure of God to grant or not to grant; observe the saying of the apostle, in Rom.10:6,7, &c., that you may have the greater consolation that God intends to you settledness of spirit, that the pardon of sin is so firm that you need no more look after it with fear or doubting; where he follows his former discourse, having largely disputed upon the freeness of God’s grace, he begins to draw towards a conclusion; for he tells us there, expressly that “the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven; that is, to bring Christ down from above; or, Who shall descend into the deep; that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” Before you shall find the apostle speaking of the establishing our own righteousness, and neglecting the righteousness of God; and here he comes, in the closure, to show what this righteousness of God is; he presseth so much upon men, and chargeth them with the neglect of; and it is as if he should say, You think, you must take a great deal of pains, by your own righteousness, to obtain the pardon of your sins, and what would you have? You will, you must, climb up higher, and go down steps to do it; but, saith he, the righteousness of faith runs in another strain; there will be not clambering up to heaven to fetch Christ down, nor going down to hell to fetch him up; there is no such thing to be done, nor required of you; he is come already, therefore you may save all your pains, care, and fear; Christ is in your mouths and in your hearts; he is in you and with you, already; as if he had said, You may well save all your fears, cares, and doubts of your condition, whether Christ hath obtained grace with the Father on your behalf in this point, or no; know that the work is done and finished to your hand; the pardon is come down from heaven already. You know what distraction and trouble must needs be in the heart of a malefactor condemned to die, as long as his pardon is in agitation, when he hath a friend gone to court to get it for him; he is now in hope that his friend will procure it; he is by-and-by full of fear lest his business should miscarry, and he be executed; but when the pardon is sealed, and he knoweth it is done, when it is brought to him, and he hath it in his hand, then his heart leaps within him, and he hath no joy till then. I tell you, beloved, Christ is not now gone to heaven to get a pardon, but he hath got one under seal already; it is in your hands, and in your mouths, and at your doors; it is with you, and in you; iniquity is laid on Christ already.

Well, hath he done it, and shall he change? Will he not be as good as his word? Heaven and earth shall pass, but not one word that he hath spoken shall fall to the ground. When Jacob had got the blessing, by deceit, from his father, yet, saith he, “I have blessed him, and he is blest, and shall be blessed;” I have said it, and I will stand to it. Shall Isaac, a man, stand to what he did in blessing, though out of a mistake; and shall the God of heaven and earth, that did such an act of blessing, by laying iniquities upon Christ, not upon mistake, but upon determinate counsel, go from his word? “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” This is like the law of the Medes and Persians that shall never be disannulled; it is enacted and passed under hand and seal, that he hath laid on Christ the iniquities of us all.

1 Not that the sins of God’s elect, in a state of unregeneracy, are not sins; or, that they are not guilty of sin; nor that they are not deserving of the wrath of God, for they are “children of wrath even as others;” or that they are not under the same sentence of condemnation; but then, as the elect of God, as they are redeemed by Christ, and as he has had their sins laid upon him, and made full satisfaction for them, as full as for the saints in heaven, no more charge can be brought against them by the justice of God, than against these; nor is it possible that they should come into a state of actual condemnation and death, or suffer the vindictive wrath and justice of God. It should be observed, that this is said in opposition to some, who thought elect persons in a damnable state, before calling; that judgment is come upon them to condemnation sententially, as they are considered in Adam, and transgressors of the law, is owned; and that their sins are deserving of eternal damnation will be granted; but that there is a possibility of their being damned, must be denied; or the election of God would not stand sure; redemption, by Christ, would be in vain, and his satisfaction must be void; they are as secure from damnation before calling, as after, though they have not the knowledge, sense, and comfort of it until they believe. The Doctor says not, that a man, living and dying in such a state shall be saved; but that en elect person shall be saved, who shall believe, be changed in heart and life. See the Doctor’s own answer, to the charge against him for these words, in his Sermon on Canticles 4:7. Gill.