Great Quotes

“The Lord hath laid the iniquity of us all upon him.” Let that be the proposition, putting the emphasis upon the word laid. If ever there be joy, peace, and rest of spirit, or thou wilt be of good cheer, as having knowledge of thy sins being forgiven, it must be fetched out of this, “The Lord hath laid the iniquity of us all upon Christ.” Men may suppose comfort and joy, and, in the strength of their fancy, peradventure, be at some kind of rest out of some other apprehensions; but there is no solid rest to any, but as it is founded on this, that iniquity is laid upon Christ. Satan knows this well enough, and therefore he raiseth a cloud of dust (as I may so say) to obscure the glorious light of the sun of righteousness shining forth in this truth. There is such a stir to shift on the plain genuine meaning of the Holy Ghost, that the truth is, persons scarce know where to find rest for the sole of their feet, in respect of peace, through the forgiveness of sins. And indeed, beloved, as the covenant of God is peculiar only to those that shall partake of the fulness of Christ; so none shall truly and thoroughly understand such truths as these, but those that are taught of God himself; which is one branch of the covenant, “They shall be taught of me.”

“He was made sin for us,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. The Lord laid our very iniquities themselves upon him: this is the greatest grace the soul can have comfort in, in this life, that iniquity is done away; and, therefore, it concerns all that hear such admirable tidings, to know from whence it comes, who undertakes this great work, to discharge a poor sinner, and to lay all its iniquities on Christ. If Christ himself doth not lay iniquity upon himself, much less doth the righteousness of man lay it on him. It is not all the prayers, the tears, the fasting, the repentance, though ever so perfect and complete, that lays any one iniquity upon Christ; it is the Lord alone that does it; nay, none of those performances have the least moving power in them to persuade him to it; the Lord moves himself to do it: all our services are for other purposes; they have no prevalency with him at all, no, our faith itself lays not our iniquities on Christ; but, as I said, the Lord lays, Christ bears, our faith doth but see and make evident that, in time, which before was hid and not seen. Beloved, it may be the just complaint of the Lord to the sons of men; I have laid the iniquities of you all upon Christ, and everything almost runs away with the honour of it; as if something else did ease you of the burthen of them, and I am neglected. Now so long as you have these vain conceits in you, that any thing you do becomes your case, and the lightening of the burden of your sins, they will go away with the praise that is due to God. To whomsoever we apprehend ourselves beholding, as we say, for such a courtesy, such a one shall go away with the praise of it. And so it is most true, beloved, as long as we reckon our own holy duties, repentance, and enlargement in prayer, etc. as the bringers of refreshment to our spirits, and the unloaders of our hearts from our transgressions, that are the burden of the soul; so long these are exalted above measure. Hence these strange epithets and expressions are fixed to them: “Oh; the omnipotency of repentance; and of meeting with God in fasting and humiliation! Oh; the prevalency of tears to wash away sin!” They supposing that these ease us of the weight of sin, go away with the glory. Oh! who is omnipotent but the God of heaven! What washes away the sins of men but the blood of Christ? It was the sin of the Jews, when they had gotten a prey, they presently thought it was their own nets and drags that got it; and therefore (saith the prophet) “They sacrifice to their own nets, and offer incense to their drags.” Beloved, you will offer incense to your performances, as long as you go to them to be your deliverers. The deliverance from the weight of your sin, is not from the virtue of any thing you do; it is the Lord alone that lays iniquity upon Christ; and, therefore, let him alone carry away the praise and glory of it; let nothing rob him of it.

It is not in the power of any righteousness we do, though ever so complete, no nor of our faith, to lay iniquity upon Christ. The Lord lays, Christ bears, and faith beholds this iniquity thus laid by him, and borne by Christ; and so the soul receives comfort upon the apprehension of it. None but the Lord can possibly lay iniquity upon Christ, because none hath to do with the disposing of it but he; “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done evil in thy sight.” If the debt be God’s, who hath power to dispose of it, either to take it off the principal, or transfer it to a surety, but he that is the creditor? What hath any man to do with another man’s debt? (Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted)

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