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their proposition are careful to assure us, that they do not mean the penalty of the law threatened against sinners, either in kind, degree, or duration. When, however, they reason from the Scriptures or otherwise, to prove that Christ suffered the penalty, then they logically forget their own disclaimers, and prove it not with those limitations and disclaimers, but without them; that is, they do not prove the proposition they define, but another one, so far as they prove any. We give an example:
Dr. Alexander remarks: "The sufferings of Christ could no otherwise open a way of pardon but by removing the penalty of the law; but they could have no tendency to remove the penalty, but by his enduring it." Let us fill out this argument. The sufferings of Christ “ could have no tendency to remove the penalty,” that is to say, the eternal damnation of the sinner, “but by his enduring it,” that is to say, not the eternal damnation of the sinner in kind, degree or duration. It is plain that all the argument the passage contains, is founded upon the exact identity of the two, namely, the sufferings of Christ and the penalty of the law. Dis. claim this identity, and the reason vanishes into air. B
Take another example. Dr. Junkin earnestly inquires, “ Can any man be at a loss to say what the violated law requires ? Do not all men know that it demands the infliction of its penal sanction? Can justice be satisfied-fully satisfied—with anything short of this?, Why, by the very terms, to stop short of the full demand of law, is injustice; and can justice be fully satisfied with injustice? with a partial meeting of its claims ? Clearly, then, the very essential nature of justice demands a penal infliction-an infliction of the penalty—the WHOLE penalty—and nothing but the penalty of the law; and any and every diminution from this, is a sacrifice of justice.”?
The object of this reasoning is to show that Christ suffered the penalty of the law-in the strong language of the author, “ The WHOLE penalty, and nothing but the penalty.” We submit two questions : First-does the author believe that “the whole penalty and nothing but the penalty of the law," when inflicted on sinners, involves their future and eternal misery? We suppose he does. This is “what God's law required of his own people who had trangressed it”—the criterion of this penalty as named by the author himself. Secondly-does he believe that this “ whole penalty, and nothing but the penalty,” as thus ascertained, was inflicted upon Christ? We suppose not. If he does, then he contradicts Dr. Hodge, the reviewer of Beman, Dr. Janeway, the author of Letters on the Atonement in the Christian Advocate, the Rev. Mr. Wood, Symington-indeed, all the penalists. If it be said, that the demands of justice were satisfied with the
Pres. Tract and S. School Society, Tract No. XII. p. 29. · Vindication &c of Dr. Junkin : pp. 114, 115
temporary sufferings of Christ, then they were satisfied without “the whole penalty, and nothing but the penalty of the law”which is contrary to the Dr.'s statement, though in exact correspondence with the views of the substitutionists. The reasoning, if it proves anything, proves the literal infliction of the penalty in the most literal sense, upon the Saviour. But this proposition the penalists disclaim, though it is the only one their argument is adapted to prove.
The same remarks apply with equal pertinency to the Scriptural argument of the penalists. They refer to those passages, in which Christ is said to bear our sins, to be made sin for us, to have the iniquities of his people laid upon Him, to be made a curse for us, &c., in proof that the penalty of the Divine law was inflicted upon Him. We pause not exegetically to canvass the origin and exact meaning of these phrases, as used in the Scriptures. Let us assume, that they prove that Christ did suffer the penalty of the law—the point to establish which they are cited. The question is, do they prove this point, as explained by the penalists : namely, that He suffered the penalty, but not in kind, degree, or duration? Do they contain this exposition of the thing they prove ? Plainly not. If they prove the infliction of the penalty, they prove it, not as the penalists hold it, but as they do not: namely, they prove the the infliction of “the whole penalty, and nothing but the penalty,” in kind, degree, and duration, as conclusively as they prove its infliction at all. Hence, they prove too much. Where then shall the limitation be fixed ? The penalists say: They prove the infliction of the penalty, though not in kind, degree, or duration. The substitutionists respond, as we think, justly: This is giving up the point while professing to retain it-using the penal phraseology without the penal fact-continuing the name in the absence of the substance. Hence, the latter decline to use the word penalty, because they do not hold to its infliction in the proper and literal sense. The former use the term, and attempt the proof of its infliction in the manner named, and yet do not hold to that infliction in the sense in which their brethren deny it, and in which their argument proves it, if at all. Who uses language most correctly? Who speaks exactly as he means? Here we think the one class of theologians have greatly the advantage of the other.
The author of Letters on the Atonement, in the Christian Advocate, after a strenuous effort to show that Christ suffered the penalty of the law, when replying to an objection, abandons his own ground, without any apparent perception of the transition. The objection is, that Christ did not endure eternal suffering. This the author concedes ; and adds, “ the infinite dignity of his person imparted to his temporary sufferings avalue that made them a FAIR and FULL EQUIVALENT for the sufferings of all who shall be finally saved." This, however, is the very doctrine of those against whom he is reasoning, and whose falseness he has proved, if he has proved anything. The whole strength of his own argument is expended against himself. The difficulty is easily seen. When proving, he has one proposition in view : when replying to objections, he states another, not the one he has proved ; that is, the direct argument and the responsive argument assume different doctrines. In the direct, it is the penalty; in the responsive, it is not the penalty, but a substitute, an equivalent for it, of equal value, answering all its ends. This inconsistency is to be avoided only by maintaining, contrary to the plain fact, the doctrine of penalty throughout, or denying it throughout. The atonement either is, or is not the penalty of the law. If it is, then no explanation, however necessary to answer an objection, is admissible, if it implies the reverse. A proposition which in one stage we maintain, but in another must abandon, is either defective in its form, or untrue in what it asserts. That of the penalists is beset with both of these difficulties.
There is one point, to which, before dismissing this subject, we ask a moment's attention. The theory of the penalists leads by a strict logical necessity, to the inference of a LIMITED atonement. Let it be granted, that Christ suffered the penalty of the law for the elect, and that in order to this their sins were imputed to Him, and that these two propositions are essential to the nature of the atonement, and we confess a total inability to avoid the conclusion, that it is limited in its nature, just adequate to the salvation of the elect, and no more. We must believe this, or adopt the doctrine of universal salvation, by making the elect to include all sinners. It is worthy of note, that in their exegesis of the Scriptures, the penalists limit to the elect all the passages, which to others seem to convey the doctrine of a general atonement. Where then is the proof, that Christ died for the nonelect any more than for devils, when the only passages showing that He died for any body, are taken to mean the elect, and these only? All the Scriptural proof that He has made any atonement for sinners, is, by this mode of interpretation, monopolized with this class. This is the very course pursued by Symington, in his chapter on the extent of the atonement; and it is perfectly consistent with his positions in respect to its nature. An atonement, such as he describes, has no more to do with the non-elect than with lost angels. As a basis on which to proceed in the offer of pardon, and in preaching repentance and faith to a lost world, it is of necessity limited to the elect.
But do not the penalists hold to the infinite MERIT or suFFICIENCY of the atonement, to save all men, yea, eren a thousand worlds? They do; but when we take these expressions in con
* Christian Advocate, Sept. 1826, p. 149.
nection with their views of its nature, it is not easy to see in what sense it is sufficient to save any but the elect. Surely it is not sufficient to save all against its own nature; and to make it so according to its nature, the sins of the non-elect must be imputed to Christ, and He must suffer the penalty in their behalf; neither of which suppositions, according to these divines, is real; and, therefore, the atonement, as it is, by the very necessity of its constituent ideas, is sufficient for the salvation of the elect only. It is all-sufficient for what? To save all men, if the sins of all had been imputed to Christ, if He had suffered the penalty for all; but not otherwise, except at the expense of ideas declared essential to its nature. It is true, the reviewer of Beman assures us, that they “ do not hold that there is any limitation in the nature of the atonement. They teach as fully as any men, that an atonement sufficient for one is sufficient for all. : It is a simple question relating to the design, and not to the nature of Christ's work.” pp. 72, 73. Not so, if we understand this reviewer, in respect to its nature ; it is more ; for an atonement sufficient for one is not sufficient for all, unless the sins of all have been imputed, and Christ has suffered the penalty for all, neither of which is admitted to be a fact.
But, suppose a non-elect sinner were to become a believer, would he be saved by the atonement ? The author of Letters on the Atonement in the Christian Advocate, puts this question, and answers it in the affirmative. He must so answer it, or contradict the Bible ; yet the answer ought not to be true, and is not, according to the author's theory. Surely, the sinner's faith does not affect the nature of the atonement by addition, or deduction, or modification. And if it be essential to its nature that Christ should suffer the penalty for the elect, having their sins imputed to Him, and if neither of these is true in respect to the non-elect, then clearly the salvation of a non-elect sinner, on the supposition of his faith, is a logical impossibility. We should an. swer the question in the negative; or, alarmed at its palpable collision with the plainest principles of the Bible, re-model the theory which necessitates that negative. The theory strictly ad. hered to, does not admit the affirmative.
The doctrine of the substitutionists, on the other hand, does not place in the atonement any elementary ideas, which of necessity limit it to any particular class of sinners belonging to our race; and in this respect harmonizes with the exact teaching of very many passages, and also the general tenor of the Scriptures. In their view the number that will be saved is not determined by the atonement itself. Its application in the sense of faith on the part of the sinner, and justification on the part of God, depends on other agencies. God has determined in this
Christian Advocate, April, 1826 p. 149,
ose with thatply, the sufferi, and in deas which
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way actually to save only a portion of our race; and viewed with respect to this purpose the atonement is definite, its success being “ coincident in extent with that of the Divine purpose.” Contemplated as an atonement simply, the sufferings and death of Christ have opened the way of salvation to all, and in itself considered equally to all, containing in its nature no ideas which restrict it to the elect. This is what we mean by a general, in distinction from a limited, atonement. God's purpose to make it effectual to the salvation of some, by calling them to repentance and faith, is another matter. That the atonement is thus general, we believe to be a Scriptural doctrine, a plain fact lying upon the face of the inspired record. We can see how it can be thus general upon one view of its nature, while we cannot see the same thing upon the other view. The Bible is in harmony with itself. It has not presented to the world an atonement in the sacrifice of Christ, having so many obvious marks of being general, imposing upon all sinners, elect and non-elect, the obligation of acceptance, adding untold intensity both of guilt and doom to its rejecters, when it is absolutely limited to the elect by ihe constituent ideas which compose its nature. This cannot be. The inconguity is too strange to be true.
NATHANAEL'S FIRST INTERVIEW with CHRIST; OR THE MEANING OF John 1: 45–51.
By Rev. E. C. Jones, Southington, Ct.
It has commonly been supposed that what our Lord said of Nathanael, (John 1: 45–51.) “ Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile !” was intended to be descriptive of his general character, and to signify that he was a Jew “inwardly;" a man of sincere and consistent piety, in distinction from one who only bore the name and profession of a Jew. This is the view adopted by most commentators, if not by all.
Dignus hic est nomine veri Israelitae. Non omnes Israelis posteri digni eo nomine, sed qui Jacobi probitatem referunt." Rosen. müller. __-“A person that indeed deserves the honorable title of one of God's people, and is worthy of his descent from Jacob, his pious ancestor, as being a plain and upright man." Doddridge. - “A sincere professor of the faith of Israel; he was true to the religion he professed, and lived up to it.” Henry— “A genuine son of Israel, a servant and worshipper of Jehovah, an honest upright