October 25, 2007

Flynn's Citation of Stephen Charnock (1628–1680) on Redemption

If you haven't yet seen this quote by Stephen Charnock on the Theology Online blog, you need to. It's from Stephen Charnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in Works, 4:342–343.

A lot more by Charnock can be found HERE.

Update: Since the Theology Online blog is down, here is the full quote from Charnock as originally posted by David Ponter:
1.) There is no want on Christ’s part. There hath been by him satisfaction enough for the payment of our debts, and merit enough for our restoration to our happiness. He hath done all things necessary for the salvation of the world: he hath expiated sin, which plunged it into misery; he hath presented his death to God as a sacrifice of infinite value, sufficient for all the world, and by opening the throne of grace, hath given liberty to approach to God, and solicit him for the application of the benefit he hath purchased; he hath also purchased the Spirit, sent him into the world to renew his solicitations to men, who seriously calls them to the partaking of this salvation, and declares it to be a thing very agreeable to him, that men should come in to him. He came not intentionally to condemn any man: John iii. 18, ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved;’ to proclaim the riches of the grace of God for the salvation of men [Tarnov, in loc p. 811]. But in regard of the event, indeed he is their judge, to which men provoke him by their obstinacy; whence it is said, John ix. 89, that he came ‘to judge the world,’ i.e. in regard of the event. As the intention of a physician in prescribing sovereign medicines for the mastering the disease is to heal the patient; but if the patient neglects those restoratives, and swallows poison in their stead, this is not the physician’s fault.
The title of our Lord Jesus in his first coming was Saviour, not Judge; he presented men with that which might warrant them from condemnation; but if they will not rejoice in their happiness, they exclude themselves him the benefit; and by not embracing the ransom God hath provided, they expose themselves to pay that satisfaction in their persons which the law exacts. The satisfaction of Christ they cannot plead, because the conditions of it are not embraced; they must therefore pay what the law demands, which would else be insignificant, and the honour of God’s justice would suffer in their safety. When, therefore, every offer of mercy shall accompany men to the tribunal of the judge, and this charge be heard from his mouth: I have redeemed you by my blood, and you have trod it under foot; I have invited you to faith and repentance, but you would rather wallow in the excrement of sin; I have called you by the motions of my Spirit, and you have proved rebellious; I have encouraged you by promises of great reward, but you made no account of them; wherein have I been wanting? With what face can any man now lay the fault upon God? An when a king proclaims pardon to a rebellious city, upon the condition that they yield up themselves to his son; as it is equity that those that surrender themselves should have the promised benefit, so it is just that those that willfully resist so easy and reasonable a condition, should fall under the threatened penalty; they have no reason to large their ruin upon any want of clemency in the king, since the proffer was made to all, but upon their own obstinacy, because they perish by their own folly."
Stephen Charnock, “The Misery of Unbelievers,” in The Works Complete Works of Stephen Charnock (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1865; repr. Edinburgh/Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1985), 4:342–343.


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